Christmas 2011 – Another Year Older and Deeper in Debt
Vol: 123 Issue: 22 Thursday, December 22, 2011
Based on what is happening in the world this Christmas season, my counsel would be to enjoy this year’s celebration like it was going to be your last. It very well may be.
The US economy is allegedly “recovering” — or so it would appear based on falling unemployment numbers. The unemployment rate, which has hovered near 10 percent for almost all of the Obama regime, reportedly dropped to 8.6% and so we can all relax.
Whatever it is that he’s doing to the economy, it must be working, right? (See? Nothing up my sleeve . . )
Look up the other sleeve.
In the past year, the civilian population of the US rose by 1,726,000, but the labor force fell by 67,000. How can this be? Easy. It’s just more fun with numbers.
If one looks at the government’s “not in the labor force” statistics for the past year, one finds that figure rose by 1,793,000. In the month of November alone, another 487,000 unemployed workers were dropped from the labor force.
How does one get “dropped” from the labor force? The labor force consists of workers drawing a paycheck, which includes workers drawing unemployment benefits. So when you lose your job and go on unemployment, you remain part of the “labor force.”
If you haven’t found a job by the time your unemployment checks run out, then you are dropped from the “labor force” statistic — you are no longer counted as unemployed.
When the population increases while the labor force shrinks, it can, on the surface, create the illusion of economic recovery.
The true state of affairs is that, were it not for this odd bit of statistical sleight-of-hand, the actual unemployment rate went up in the past year. An honest accounting shows actual, long-term unemployment bordering on 12%.
Using average labor force growth statistics from 1948 to 2007, the labor force should have expanded by 6,316,000 since 2007. The actual expansion is less that 40,000, meaning that some 6,278,000 unemployed people are unaccounted for in the official Labor statistics.
By now, your eyes are probably glazing over, so let me get to the point.
The government is lying. Broadly and shamelessly.
While the administration points to the numbers as evidence of “recovery” the country would have to add 300,000 jobs every month for the next five years to “recover” the jobs lost since Obama came to power.
The head of the International Monetary Fund warned this week that the situation is no better globally.
Speaking to a group of Nigerian officials while on a trip to Africa, IMF chief Christine Lagard said IMF has already had to revise global economic growth statistics downward for the third time since June.
“And what’s more, there are downside risks on the horizon that are really threatening the recovery process that had started” after the 2008-09 global financial crisis, she said.“
“The IMF has said Europe’s worsening economy and financial market turmoil meant it will revise downwards its predictions for global growth contained in its World Economic Outlook report published three months ago.”
“Early this month, the UN cut its 2012 world growth forecast to 2.6 percent from 3.6 percent, warning that the global economy is “teetering on the brink of a major downturn”.
A report issued by Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy provides another example of how the administration is covering up the fact that it is responsible for keeping the economy in the tank.
Remember the Chevy Volt? When the government took over GM in 2010, Obama used the Chevy Volt as a major excuse — it was the first “electric” car manufactured in the US.
Never mind that it isn’t “electric” but a hybrid, and never mind that it gets worse gas mileage than an ordinary car of similar size and weight. Or that it costs more than $40,000.00.
It turns out that hardly anybody wants to risk forty grand on a subcompact that gets lousy gas mileage. In order to justify the investment, the government is now quietly subsidizing the thing, costing taxpayers up to a quarter of a million dollars per Chevy Volt sold!
(Oh, how I wish I was making this up.)
So US public policy is to pay a quarter million dollars per Chevy Volt so that 6,000 Volt owners (that is all the Volts GM has sold since its inception) can save (a little) gasoline. GM says the average Volt owner earns $170,000 per year.
CAPCON calculated that the three billion dollars in subsidies the government gave to GM would be enough to buy 75,222 Chevy Volts at roughly forty grand each.
“This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,” said Hohman, referring to the famously unreliable car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.
The administration can fool the voters, but they aren’t having as much luck with the bankers that did the math.
Last month, Fitch joined Standard & Poors in downgrading the United States credit rating, lowering its assessment of the US economy from ‘stable’ to ‘negative.’
Moody’s is threatening to cut its rating of US creditworthiness unless the government cuts spending.
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:6)
In the Apostle John’s vision of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the third horseman on the black horse holds in his hand a pair of balances.
He represents famine, but he also represents income distribution as it will exist in the last days. A measure of wheat or three measures of barley represent a day’s rations. A penny represents a day’s wages.
The ‘oil and wine’ were items of luxury, representing great wealth. While the poor will face starvation, the rich will not. Globally speaking, we are almost to that point now. The gap between rich nations and poor nations has never been more pronounced.
There are places in the world today where the average annual income wouldn’t buy dinner for two in a California restaurant. Some 2.4 billion people in the world today exist on less than $875.00 US per YEAR!
So the economic dynamics necessary for the Rider on the Black Horse to mount up and begin his ride are already well entrenched.
John’s description of the Rider on the Black Horse is a classic word picture of what results from a global economic depression. The rich get richer as the wealthy buy up failed businesses for pennies on the dollar.
The poor get poorer as jobs get scarce. (During the Depression of the 1930’s men wearing sandwich signs bearing the words, “Will Work For Food” were commonplace)
The Bible’s timeline places this global economic depression somewhere at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period. John outlines the four judgments represented by the Four Horsemen as follows:
First, the Rider on the White Horse: “and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Revelation 6:2)
The rider has a bow and he has a crown, but note he conquers without arrows. He conquers by deception. This is the antichrist of whom Daniel wrote; “By peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25)
The second rider is the Rider on the Red Horse – War. “and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” (6:4)
War we have, but nothing on the scale brought by the Fourth Rider, Death.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8)
The ongoing economic meltdown continues the slide towards a great, worldwide depression. If so, then the Rapture cannot be far away. That is about the only bit of good news I can squeeze out of the overall Big Picture, just in time for Christmas.
Otherwise, things aren’t looking so good. No matter how you parse it, it isn’t sensationalism to say the handwriting is on the wall.
The Lord is coming back soon for His Church. I don’t know how soon — nobody does. But we have the Promise.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
Every day that the Lord tarries is another chance for some lost person to trust Christ and be saved. The Lord will wait until the last possible moment because He loves that final lost sinner as much as He did the first one.
That’s a Christmas present for somebody.