John Ritenbaugh continues his appraisal of the startling state of affairs in which states such as California, Illinois, and Minnesota, all levying confiscatory taxes for wasteful liberal fiscal programs, are hemorrhaging productive taxpayers to more fiscally responsible states such as Texas, North Carolina, Utah, and South Dakota. Because of the hopelessly irresponsible fiscal policies of Illinois, the exodus from this hapless state has drained enough productive taxpayers to populate its four largest cities (exclusive of Chicago). Leftist enclave states such as California, Illinois, Washington and Oregon have figuratively shot themselves in the foot by (1.) making employment increasingly difficult to find, (2.) fostering an oppressive attitudinal personality, (3.) causing a prohibitive high cost of living, (4.) obfuscating and falsifying government statistics, and (5.) harboring hardened criminals through the vehicle of "sanctuary" states and cities. The failure of liberal 'progressive' policy can be seen most dramatically on the "left coast" extending from California to Washington. Sadly, the modern-day descendants of Manasseh will evidently continue to vote for irresponsibility while simultaneously rejecting common sense.
Martin Collins, continuing the "Money has Failed" series, contends that the move to a cashless society, in which the "bankster" elites have greedily commenced stealing the true physical wealth of society, replacing it with relatively worthless Federal Reserve Notes ('promissory' I.O.U.'s), will drastically drive up inflation, causing bankruptcies and foreclosures on a massive scale.The price of food has risen 8% annually, making it impossible to fill up a grocery cart for under $100 today. For example, the price of ground beef has risen 45%, a loaf of bread 39%, apples 36%, salt 34%, and vegetables 33.7%. Today, the inflated Federal Reserve Note is worth about 3 cents on the dollar since the establishment of the Federal Reserve System. Because of the disastrous process of quantitative easing (the continuous frenetic printing of valueless paper notes), the resultant damage appears beyond repair. National debt, hyperinflation, and negative interest rates for savings have burgeoned worldwide. God's people need to prepare for this impending disaster by getting out of debt as quickly as possible, and put effort into obeying God, valuing spiritual satisfaction above physical satisfaction.
Bill Onisick reminds us that God never intended work to be a curse, but instead an exhilarating experience unleashing creativity. This inventiveness has led to the creation of the wheel and axle, compass, combustion engines, electricity, computerized technology, the internet, etc., placing us once again on the verge of erecting a new tower of Babel, with an exponential ability to commit sin on a greater scale than ever. No matter how advanced our technology becomes, mankind's genius is vastly inferior to God's capabilities. Mankind, from the time of Adam and Eve to the present, has always tried to prove itself better than God. The current focus of technology, fusing human brains with computerized intelligence, threatens to put applied science on a collision course with God's plan for mankind. Technocrats have plans to make work obsolete and perhaps render mankind irrelevant and obsolete through artificial intelligence, making it difficult to distinguish the created from the synthetic. Interestingly, the Beast of Daniel is composed entirely of metal—perhaps an emblem of mankind's idolatry with manufactured things. When humans start to worship the things they make instead of the Creator who gave them the ability to craft these things, they place their faith in destructible, perishable things. As God's called-out ones, we cannot love a decaying, perishable world; our confidence needs to be in the indestructible, imperishable Creator, who can give us abundant Eternal life.
Martin Collins, claiming that economists often refer to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe because it portrays a lone man facing a scarcity in economic goods without any means of exchange of value, suggests that one in such a situation will prioritize his needs in a hierarchy of value. In a world of limited resources, a person should make decisions as to how to achieve his goals. What would we do if we had no money? When it comes to eating or starving, money has no value compared to food. During the famine in Egypt, the value of money had fallen to zero. When there is no bread, the one who has bread can buy anything of value with it. One will sell himself into slavery for a morsel of life-sustaining food. The Patriarch Joseph bought all land and resources for the Egyptian Pharaoh by exchanging food for other material resources. Grain became the new form of money. Whatever everybody wants is true money. Today, cash has value; next year that may not be. Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard economist and champion of the Federal Reserve System, has seriously proposed a phasing out of cash because of the lack of centralized control. Electronic cash would make taxation and confiscation easier, facilities 'progressive' authoritarian regimes have always loved. Some governments around the world, such as the Indian government, have started to phase out cash, instigating massive panics and riots at ATM machines. The price of gold immediately skyrocketed. The India government wants to move its citizenry to a cashless society so it can control every aspect of its peoples' lives by its chokehold on the digital banking system. Failed money is the same as unmarketable money. Digital currency severely limits freedom of movement and choices, tethering one to immense authoritarian government control by elite, unelected globalist brigands.
Germany is in a bind. It is an industrial powerhouse, the richest economy in Europe, but it must prop up several poor-performing economies throughout the rest of the European Union. Berlin cannot continue this practice lest they drag it down with them. David Grabbe warns that Germany's decisions on these matters could have far-reaching consequences for Europe and the rest of the world.
John Ritenbaugh, observing a gigantic chasm between conservative talk radio, alternative media, and the 'official' Federal Government's portrayal of the American economy, concludes that the Obama Administration's calculations of economic indicators are not only full of equivocation and sleight of hand, but also weighed down by shameless prevarication. The rosy 5% unemployment figure touted by the government is deceitfully achieved by counting a plethora of part-time entry-level jobs, enough to provide spending money for teenagers but not enough to support a family, under-employed workers compelled to make ends meet by cutting the neighbor's grass or driving Uber taxis, and tens of thousands of unemployed people who have given up looking. Government statisticians and economists smugly count people working 30 hours a week at a minimum wage as fully employed. The real statistics, suppressed by the government-controlled media, bare the truth that only 41percent are employed, with most people skimping by, succumbing to indebtedness. Not even considering the shameful national debt amassed by the current Administration, personal indebtedness is now in the trillions of dollars: College students owe one trillion dollars in accumulated tuition debt, while millions of Americans will never fully "catch up on the credit card debt. A recent article in the Atlantic Monthly exposed the fragility of the disappearing middle class, suggesting that most Americans, because of governmental economic policy, are so cash poor that they could not scrape $400 together for an unexpected bill unless they sold something or borrowed money from a friend or relative. 47% of the American citizenry are dependents of the Federal government, which sadly, because of gross incompetency, is also cash poor. Most of our citizenry is ignorant about the causes of this demise, failing to realize that God is plaguing this nation for its blatant, calloused sin.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the Year of Release which falls on the Feast of Trumpets, relates that the Year of Release has ushered in major historical events, such as the September 11th attack and two financial collapses in 2001 and 2008. The Year of Release reminds us that God gives land as a gift to mankind to produce wealth. God is the Owner; we are the tenant as long as we exercise responsibility to dress and keep it. The Year of Release cancels, drops, and remits debts. The land continues to be God's. This year reminds us that God is the Creator, and we must trust God for sustenance every day. Man does not hold land in perpetuity, but only under the Eternal's trust. We own nothing until God entrusts us with His spiritual gifts. The Year of Release is a time lenders should forgive debts, mirroring God's forgiving our sins. The ancient Israelites had a difficult time forgiving debt. When we left spiritual Egypt, we were on death row, but all our sins were forgiven and the penalty dropped. The land Sabbath is a type of the weekly Sabbath wherein the land is given time to regenerate and restore its fertility. There was to be no sowing, no reaping, no pruning, and no storing, but the farmer, the animal, and the poor could glean the produce. The seventh year was also the time to release those who had fallen into servitude for monetary ineptitude.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, in which the seasoned demon Screwtape instructs the novice demon Wormwood on the best practices to corrupt mankind, advocating a gradual piecemeal corruption (like a frog boiling to death as the water incrementally rises from simmering to boiling), suggests that the leadership of the current government, beginning with the President and his handlers, is enacting Executive orders to box in the citizenry, preparing to restrict the movements of all enemies of the State. On July 1, 2014, President Obama, evidently savvy about the impending collapse of the dollar, placed a hold on the money retirees have earned over a lifetime by calling Social Security payments a "benefit" or "government gratuity" instead of recognizing it as money that has been hard-earned. Government has also thumbed its nose at Almighty God, forbidding churches and organizations which 'receive financial help' from the government to discriminate against homosexuals and other individuals who manifest lifestyles condemned in the Scriptures. An extremely ignorant, partisan, corrupt Federal judge in Kentucky deceitfully asserted that "long held beliefs" do not trump the Constitution (a document which is ironically silent about 'homosexual rights' or any other perversion.)
Charles Whitaker: In John 2:13-17, the apostle John records Christ's cleansing of the Temple near the commencement of His ministry: "Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem...."
With both the United States and Europe dealing with an impending financial disaster, the world today is full of economic news. Economic terms and philosophies are common knowledge to many. While many doubters think that the Bible is not sophisticated enough to comment on such modern ideas, Richard Ritenbaugh explains that God's Word does indeed factor economics into the end-time equation in its prophecies.
John W. Ritenbaugh: My last essay addressed the fact that change is always present in every person's life. ...
Over the past several months, the world's economy has struggled, and economists are divided about how soon we may see a recovery. However, Richard Ritenbaugh exposes what is really happening: In the name of turning the economy around, the government is destroying American capitalism.
John Ritenbaugh, affirming that one synonym of pride is arrogance or inordinate self-esteem, suggests that the woman riding the Beast in Revelation 17:9 is none other than the arrogant super power America (or modern Israel), unable to control its wealth, using its wealth to control. Because of its greed, modern Israel has squandered the blessings of Abraham, putting itself at the mercy of lender nations, with liens against all of our possessions. Modern Israel has not yet learned that there "ain't no free lunch." The reality of the depth of this crisis has not really hit the national psyche. We are living through the process of the United States of America becoming a debtor nation, a slave to her creditor lovers.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's appraisal of money in Ecclesiastes 10:19, suggests that modern Israel seems to have great difficulty managing money because of an addiction to greed. Wealth, without a powerful character, is a destructive drug. Unfortunately, our people's greed has put them on the verge of the greatest depression of all time. There is a time when "less" is actually more and pain can be an effective teacher, yielding the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Mortgage foreclosures and job losses are becoming critical, testing the limits of our faith. We, as God"s called-out ones, need to place unconditional trust in God and His providence, the kind of trust David exemplified in Psalm 23. This particular psalm shows God's goodness in the midst of our affliction. God gives us pain as a preventative of something far worse. God is good because God corrects.
Philosophers and ethicists, steeped in humanism, shoot wide of the truth in answering, 'Who is my neighbor?' Charles Whitaker explains that the Bible reveals the answer to this big moral question, as well as providing sensible guidelines on the finer details of Christian charity.
Predicting economic activity is about as tricky as forecasting the weather. Nevertheless, David Grabbe, citing recent financial news items, posits that the stage is set for economic instability around the world in the short term.
China seems to be the present media-darling among nations, as news shows, magazines, and reports of all kinds tout its emerging greatness. However, David Grabbe shows that behind its economic successes are latent weaknesses that are set to converge soon.
With populations around the world in decline, how will governments and businesses maintain the present standard of living? Charles Whitaker reveals that their solution, hinted at in the sudden surge in biotechnology, resides in technology discovering a brave new world.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon escalating energy prices, urges caution and self-control in spending and taking on debt. If the supply of oil should be drastically cut, all vital services would shut down, and our quality of life would deteriorate. In 1971, the U.S. reached the state of "peak oil" (when supply could no longer keep up with demand), forcing it to become increasingly oil-dependent. As the world industrializes, the demand for oil will quickly outstrip the total available supply (possibly to occur in November 2005). The rising cost of this dwindling resource presages the destruction of Babylon, the hub of the world's economy (Revelation 18:8-20) Christians need to exercise diligence to "know the state of our flocks," acquiring economic stability by submitting to God's counsel, sacrificing now before outside forces usurp our economic substance. Responsible economists admonish us to 1) avoid new debt and 2) get liquid (save). We cannot afford to do nothing.
World news, trends, and comment in light of Bible prophecy for May 2004: "No Money, No Empire."
John Ritenbaugh, soberly reflecting on the $19 trillion dollar national debt and with 25% of American private citizens two days away from bankruptcy, he warns that the prudent shouldn't continue to live in a fool's paradise, but should make common sense preparations, like the ant, (Proverbs 6:6-8) storing up provisions for at least a season. Prophetic warnings are given to motivate preparation. Both the watchman and the one who hears (Ezekiel 3:17) have a grave responsibility to make prudent economic and spiritual preparations for bad times, tightening belts, helping themselves and others through the tough times.
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