Monday, September 22, 2008

The Battlefield of American Economy

A few years ago Larry Burkett wrote of a coming "economic earthquake" that would forever change our American financial landscape. After this month's financial devastation with the government takeover of so many of our financial institutions, there is no doubt in my mind that our economy will never be the same again.

This has the potential to usher in not only a deep recession if not a depression for Americans, but its tenticles extend to virtually all developed and developing nations. I don't know that I am a pessimist as much as I see how the exact same practices have played out in the lives of American families who come to me for budget counsel.

The United States Government is solving a liquidity crisis by use of debt. Families I have counselled when they find that their spending goes beyond the scope of their income (regardless of the reason) first tend to look to credit cards for short term boost to carry them through and then to the equity in their homes for bigger debt.

Financial counselors who are my peers have historically even recommended using debt to support lifestyle choices (rather than using savings) so that the savings could be invested for longer term and to roll credit card debt onto their homes as an equity arrangement so that it could be deductible for tax purposes. Both strategies are just plain bad practice in my estimation and are not supported in scripture.

The result of these practices, families continue to live higher on the hog than their income would allow and mortgage their future to pay for their perceived needs in the present. Ultimately, the failure to make wise choices with spending result in mounting crisis that presents itself in the future. Families become more and more constrained in their discretionary dollars as debt takes a larger and larger percentage of their take home. Without either a modification in the spending choices or an increase in the income financial failure results.

Our government is trodding that path right now. Every government bailout and program requires funding. Our funding comes from you the taxpayer. Our politicians are prone to short term financial thinking; they do what will serve them best to get them re-elected. Right now, our politicians are saying that governmental intervention is necessary to keep stability in the markets.

This is a free market system, or it used to be. Investors recognized that when they invest, that they are taking risk. When things are going well, everyone wants to invest where they can get the most gain. They take more risk because they don't perceive that market cycles may take their investment down or that some financial crisis like the one we face can degrade the value of the investments. It is the nature of investing and if we remove that risk from the markets, we are no better than any other socialist nation where the government controls all aspects of our financial welfare.

The United States used to be known as the home of the free; but I would venture to guess that it is no longer free. We are at the mercy of those creditors and they will exercise control, because they can and they must protect their investment.

For years I have felt that the Lord's return may be very near. More and more signs point to his returning. Some days I just find myself looking to the clouds for my Lord's return. If you study your Bible's there are predictions of financial hard times during the tribulation here on earth. I believe that we are moving closer and closer to that time. Every news article points to the financial upheaval that would be necessary to institute a one world financial economy. Last week even during the liquidity crisis we faced here in the US the central bank was diverting cash to foreign countries. The Lord told us to watch for the signs and to be prepared for his returning.

I don't believe in doom; I do believe that we should be preparing our hearts and boldly witnessing to unbelievers while we can. God has a grand plan to demonstrate his sovreignty; we Christians in America have been spoiled with pleasure and ease for many years. The days of the Lord's returning are shorter than they were last week. We need to put on our armor and be praying for our fellow believers who are serving in all kinds of conditions. Some are being oppressed and some have new doors opening for witness to them. Pray for those who have committed their lives to serve the Lord well.

Will you be one of the virgins with their lamps kept full until the Lord's return? The wait continues, but we don't know but what it may be today that he comes back for his people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes!!!!! I found your blog by searching for "coming economic earthquake Burkett." The late Larry Burkett (of Crown Financial, earlier called Christian Financial Concepts) helped focus my attention on the remarkable events about to unfold...and he was right! Amazing. The national Debt, the Euro, the collapse of "America as we Know It," Amazing, but Biblical! Thanks for your blog!