Plain Truth Magazine
June-July 1981
Volume: Vol 46, No.6
Issue: ISSN 0032-0420
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Donald D Schroeder  

The dreams of a future of stable peace and prosperity for all is achievable. Today's unparalleled economic and human crises will be solved! The Bible reveals precisely how.

   THE WORLD'S greatest statesmen can't solve it! The world's best economists don't know the answers! Few persons even grasp the scope and complexity of humanity's problems today!
   How, then, could anyone be so audacious as to give hope or a positive answer to the worsening and seemingly insoluble economic, political and social problems now facing every. nation — whether rich or poor — on earth?
   But the astounding truth is, there is an exciting and wonderful answer! And it's sure!

Alarming Era Today

   You live now in a totally new era of human experience. Nations all around the world — rich technological nations as well as poor developing nations — are plagued with many similar and serious problems that threaten their survival.
   Almost every nation on earth is now plagued with a spiraling demand for, but scarcity of, affordable fuel and affordable food. Lacking are the resources and money for the expansion of their economies, for the security and well-being of their people.
   The end of cheap energy now is joined by the end of cheap food, by the end of cheap money, by the end of cheap almost everything.
   And these shortages of affordable essential commodities of life are happening despite record incomes, despite record production of manufactured goods and services, despite record crops in most nations.
   How did it happen? There is a cause why so many nations have jumped the track!
   Few understand just how great today's economic problems are. Or understand just how great the solution to them must be!

Pivotal Event

   The sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1974 by Mideast oil producers was a pivotal event in world history. Do not misunderstand. This event is not the cause of all economic ills today.
   Mideast oil producers were forced to dramatically raise prices. They felt victimized by decades of creeping, then spiraling inflation for goods they had to import from developed nations. They understandably lost patience when they continued to receive low prices for their chief income-producing and irreplaceable resource — oil. Most oil importing nations scarcely offered a protest. They knew oil had been priced unfairly low.
   But this decision quickly super intensified every problem within and among nations.
   Economically broad-based technological nations — the industrial world — were able to absorb the first shock of quadrupled oil prices. Now, seven years later, in the new decade of the 1980s, many of these powerful nations are seriously weakened.

Third World Disaster

   But in the less developed or nonoil-producing nations (the nopecs), serious economic tragedy is already well advanced. These nations never recovered from any of the oil price, or other inflationary, shocks. Many nations are walking on the very edge of the precipice of total economic disaster!
   The non-oil-producing developing nations will have to spend almost $200 billion a year on oil imports by 1990 against $58 billion in 1980. Where will they get the money? The governments of many of these nations already survive only through massive loans from international and commercial banks. But developing nations are additionally hit. Soaring inflation and recession in much of the Western world has slackened demand for many of their resources and manufactured goods. They are crippling the ability of these nations to repay massive debts. And these nations can't afford new loans at today's enormous interest rates.
   In Africa, almost every country watches helplessly. They see bigger energy bills and falling prices — because of lessening demand for commodities like cocoa, uranium, peanuts and cotton erode trade and financial stability. Leaping oil prices and inflation have been major contributors to stagnating African economies. In Tanzania, for example, almost half of last year's export earnings, were earmarked to import less oil than in 1972 — but at 10 times the cost. This year oil costs will take 60 percent of export earnings.
   "Africa is dying," says the former foreign minister of Togo.
   Much of the continent is unable to feed itself. Food production per capita is actually less in several important African nations than in 1970. Widespread hunger and famines are due to several causes. The continent's soaring population growth relentlessly surpasses all increases in food production. To this crisis has been added widespread drought and weather upsets in recent months and years. But in several nations, food shortages are also caused by revolution and warfare and their attendant political and social turmoil.
   Tribalism and language barriers internally divide many nations of Africa.

Debts Eat Up Development

   Ten years ago the leading borrowers of money on international markets paid less than 6 percent of their export earnings to service their external debts. Today Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, India, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Ivory Coast and other nations as well have to spend 20 percent more of export earnings to service their interest-laden debts. That means less and less financial resources are available to develop faltering economies.
   According to South, a magazine about developing nations, five years ago one metric ton of jute — an important fiber export of India, Bangladesh and Thailand — bought 35 barrels of oil and $56,000 in interest. Today the same amount is worth only 11 barrels of oil and $2,000 in interest.
   In 1975, one metric ton of cocoa bought 148 barrels of oil and paid $23,000 in interest. In 1980, the same amount of cocoa bought 72 barrels and $13,000 in interest, effectively halving the value of the commodity.
   Brazil is an example of a nation so deeply in debt there is almost no chance it could repay. But the West can't afford to let it go under.
   Brazil will owe $60 billion to the central banks of other nations by the end of the year. This year, Brazil will spend on oil and interest payments the equivalent of 75 percent of its export earnings. This leaves almost nothing for development, so it must borrow more money.
   Inflation hit 113 percent in Brazil last year, more than double the 54 percent average for all of South America. Despite this, Brazilian authorities are confident they can borrow from commercial banks again this. year. Said one Brazilian banker, "We
Almost every nation on earth is now plagued with a spiraling demand for affordable fuel and food.
owe so much that we can't afford not to borrow more."
   To such glibness the executive director of one of London's commercial banks answers rhetorically: "What else can the, banks do — walk in and turn off the lights in a country? You roll over the debt because, frankly, there is nothing else to do."
   If you think oil wealth will solve a nation's economic ills, you should look at Venezuela (or any number of other important oil-producing nations).
   Oil wealth led to massive Venezuelan government spending. This produced soaring inflation. The result? Everyone has lost buying power and feels insecure and demoralized. Venezuela's poor, who never received the benefits of oil wealth, are even more impoverished.
   Coming too little and too late is an attempt of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to establish a fund of a few billion dollars in low-cost loans to help non-oil, poor nations stabilize commodity prices and pay oil bills. OPEC has also proposed a $20 billion development bank for such nations. This amount is much too little for developing nations' needs. And the reality of such a bank is highly in doubt. The Iran-Iraq war and Mideast instability discourages any long-range commitment to such a fund.
   All of these and other similar problems in the world today are the result of the wrong way of living! Human selfishness and greed have produced these gigantic problems. The way of nations today has robbed mankind of many blessings they could have!
   Now here is good news! There is a revealed solution to these huge problems in your Bible!

The Good News

   Leaders of many nations feel helpless to cope with many of the problems you have just been reading.
   "What can I do to help my people?" ask many world leaders in conference with Herbert W. Armstrong, editor of this magazine, during his worldwide trips to fulfill his great commission. Mr. Armstrong gives them a message of hope for humanity. What is that hope?
   Mr. Armstrong tells world leaders of government and business the real cause of humanity's ills. He tells them that all of humanity's economic, political and social ills are produced by the GET way of life — the selfish concern and taking for oneself at the expense or hurt of others, at the disregard of consequences in the future or to future generations.
   The Bible reveals the source of this attitude. This self-seeking "get" way is actually Satan's attitude cleverly placed in human minds by the deceptive devil (see Ephesians 2:2-3 and Revelation 12:9).
   Mr. Armstrong tells leaders the only true solution to their national problems. That solution is living by the way of Love — the way of constructive help, sharing and concern for others. That's God's way! The GIVE or LOVE way is concern for the well-being of others equal with concern for oneself. It is, as Jesus taught, "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 19:19).
   The solution Mr. Armstrong gives to world leaders is actually the true gospel, the good news (gospel means "good news") of the coming rule of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the ruling family of God organized into a government. That government will enforce on humanity the way of life, God's way of love, which will produce true peace and lasting prosperity in all nations.
   For nearly 6,000 years God has let humanity experience the consequences of their own ways under Satan's evil sway. But the Creator reveals in his Word, the Bible, that he will soon intervene in world affairs, powerfully, to set up his government over all the earth. God's government will force nations to live in the ways that produce lasting peace and blessings. Human governments, of and by themselves, or in any group or combination, will not bring lasting peace and prosperity.

Just Ahead

   Notice what the apostle John recorded under God's inspiration in Revelation, chapter 11. The time setting of this chapter is when much of the earth is being ravaged, and much of humanity destroyed, by soon-to-occur unprecedented warfare. Humanity is about to wipe itself off the earth except for the fact that Jesus prophesied it would not happen — because God will intervene to save us from ourselves (Matthew 24:22).
   ... and there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms [nations or governments] of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever" (verse 15).
   It is the time when Christ will return to earth to set up the government and way of God. It is the time when God will reward his faithful servants with rulership over the nations under Christ and also "destroy them which destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18-19, 2:26, 5:10).
   Daniel prophesied of this same great event in world history. "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions [or rulers] shall serve and obey him" (Daniel 7:27).

First Steps to World Peace

   What will be the first step taken by Christ to straighten out world problems?
   Christ will first dethrone and chain Satan and his evil host of demons so they cannot deceive and sway the nations of mankind with their evils (see Revelation 20:1-3). Without this step world peace is not possible. But no government on earth knows that!
   Under Christ's direction nations will be forced to stop warring and fighting.
   War making is one of the greatest curses on humanity. But, under God's all-powerful world government, this major cause of economic insecurity, disruption and misappropriation of limited human and material resources will be forcibly stopped.
   "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [government] of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains [it will rule over all nations]... and all nations shall go... and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord... and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths....
   "And he [Christ] shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords [military hardware] into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:2-4).
   With so many totally destroyed economies among the nations, Jesus can start afresh in rebuilding many nations in his totally new way of living.
   Notice the new economic focus of nations. It will be based in agriculture, in the soil, in producing abundant food and building materials, not in machines for war and conquest.
   Today, most nations are burdened with huge defense and military outlays. Some defense outlays eat up as much as half of government budgets while agriculture and essential economic sectors languish for funds. These military outlays are in defense of competitive world ideologies — capitalism and communism — neither of which can solve the economic injustices in this world.
   But after military threats to peace are eliminated, then what?
   Every human being will be given an inheritance in property, in productive land. This is land that a person can live upon or always fall back upon to provide the basic essentials of life for himself and his family.
   Humans under God's government will not be slaves to a state or to some industry or job that totally divorces them from the productivity of their own land.
   Notice the prophecy of Zechariah 3:10. "In that day [after God's government is established on earth], says the Lord... everyone of you will invite his neighbor under his vine and under his fig tree" (RSV).
   But you may ask, will there be enough good and fertile land for all? It will be produced by the power and mercy of the Great God!
   "The wilderness and the solitary place... and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.... Say to them that are of a fearful heart [that's much of humanity today], Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come... he will come and save you.... In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water... " (Isaiah 35:1, 3, 6-7).
   What a happy day for impoverished and landless millions to look forward to! (We could have it today if we would quit our selfish, sinful ways!) But there's even more good news!
   Right agricultural practices will produce ever more abundant crops. "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed... and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit thereof" (Amos 9:13-14).
   And yet another fantastic blessing! God will control the weather to back up his promised blessings for obedience." "...if thou shalt harken unto the voice of the Lord thy God... the Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand" (Deuteronomy 28:2, 12).
   No more will obedient nations be forced to suffer great natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. No more will natural disasters wipe out great segments of their economy and inflate the cost of remaining food supplies and resources.
   How much money are those blessings worth to any nation's prosperity and stability? You can't put a price tag on them!
   But what about anyone who would think to destroy one's crops or property, or to rob, rape or steal? That is all too common today.
   "Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind... The fool will no more be called noble, nor the knave [churl or ill-minded person] said to be honorable" (Isaiah 32:1, 2, 5, RSV).
   No more will criminal gangs or corrupt leaders terrorize a city or be permitted to bleed critical segments of national wealth for themselves.
   Criminal and corrupt thoughts will be discouraged before they become a habit of thinking in human minds. "... yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers [spirit members of the God family — manifested in human form]: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:20-21).
   Scalpers and speculators seeking to make a quick killing by spreading false rumors will not exist. Corrupt and greedy officials will be exposed and deprived of power. The unrepentant criminal will be speedily and justly punished. God's saints will be able to judge the hearts and attitudes of all men (Hebrews 4:12, I Corinthians 12:10). True justice will reign at last.
   "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, [nor] wasting nor destruction within thy borders" (Isaiah 60:18).

Fair Taxation

   Under God's government, money, at last, will have stable and reliable value. Great wealth will flow in to God's throne on earth from all nations to be used for the good of others (Isaiah 60:17). Monetary stability will be further established because it will be based on God's everlasting, unchanging government, and on God's enormous and endless power to prosper the economies of obedient nations.
   God's government will not exact exorbitant and ever-increasing taxes to pay for foolish projects or deficit government spending.
   God's tithing law (tithing means tenth) on income will apply to all. One income level will not be forced to pay exorbitantly higher rates than another. The labor of the diligent will not be discouraged by being taxed away, as it so often is today.
   God's law reveals how the widow, fatherless and needy should be locally taken care of (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). The massive welfare state as we know it today will not exist. If an able man won't work, neither shall he eat (II Thessalonians 3:10).
   But what about business and social relationships?
   God's law — the Ten Commandments — and God's Word, the Bible — which amplifies the intent of God's laws — will be the basic guide of how humans ought to conduct all social and business relationships. Nations won't need endless and complicated bureaucracies, regulations and laws to govern every human action. Honesty, truthfulness, fair prices, service and safety will be expected in all business and social relationships.
   Business and smaller industry will certainly exist. But they won't be permitted to be giant polluters of the environment. Whatever industry and pollution exists will be controlled to provide safeguards to workers and to the environment — or they won't exist at all.
   Tomorrow's world will use nonpolluting and natural energy sources in an effective way. Totally rebuilt communities and nations will be able to begin anew from such an energy base. A much more agriculturally based world will not need the vast quantities of oil that are consumed today. Whatever energy sources are used will be environmentally safe.
   In all human production and activity the emphasis will be on quality, not quantity or cheapness. Lasting quality goods conserve resources and energy over the long run. Today's consume quickly-and-throw-away society will be no more. Reusable materials will be recycled.
   Human beings will be taught how to establish happy homes and stable marriages. Humans will find opportunities to fully develop talents and abilities.
   Women will rejoice in being homemakers, mothers and teachers of their children. Both parents will enjoy taking responsibility for teaching their children a great deal of their primary education. Children will be wanted and cherished. They will be needed to rebuild and beautify the earth.
   God will heal the sick, blind, maimed and mentally damaged. "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened– [by God's healing power], and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing." (Isaiah 35:5-6). No more millions of nonproductive hopeless lives or incurable diseases.
   Everyone will know what it means to experience love from others. All will be taught to respect all other humans regardless of race — for their incredible human potential. Every nation of mankind will be given their own land to develop the special talents and abilities God has given to each.
   What a different world!

Gradually Spreading Miracle

   Don't misunderstand. God's government and blessings won't happen in all nations all at once. It will take time. Nations will have many wrong ways to change, many wrong ideas to unlearn and overcome.
   God will first give a nation the chance to accept or refuse His ways. The consequences for repeated refusal to obey are indicated in Zechariah 14:16-19.
   Christ said the kingdom, or government, of God would be like leaven in a lump of dough (Matthew 13:33). It would gradually spread throughout the whole earth. God expects those who have learned and prospered from God's ways to teach and help others less fortunate. Prosperous and successful individuals will not devote their whole lives to accumulating more and more wealth for themselves.
   Wealth and abundance are not wrong. God wants all to prosper and be in health (III John 2). But under God's wonderful government a person's success and character will not be measured by the abundance of what he possesses. Success and character will be more measured in how a person helps, shares and serves others.
   Education, at last, will be universal. There will be a universal language to understand God and His ways (Zephaniah 3:9). No more will religious, political and economic confusion and strife be permitted to divide nations and lead humans into hate, animosity and war.
   "... for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
   God speed that happy age! That's good news really worth announcing to the world — and preparing one's self to take part in — today!

No Nation Has Escaped

   Spiraling oil and food · prices have dealt a staggering blow to the struggling economies of Central America. To make matters worse, Guatemala, EI Salvador and Nicaragua are entangled in a web of growing political strife and warfare.
   In the Caribbean nations, principal cash crops such as sugar and coconuts are subject to the vagaries of weather and world demand. Higher oil prices and interest rates have forced Caribbean governments to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to survive.
   Jamaica must seek international loans to meet its debts and development needs. The nation ran out of funds last year.
   In Asia, the People's Republic of China, beset with budget deficits from its ambitious industrial development plans, has approached the IMF for loans to help its economy.
   Sri Lanka will have to spend on oil imports about 43 percent of its. national budget or the equivalent of 58 percent of its export earnings from tea, rubber and coconuts.
   One economist for Bankers Trust Company estimates that for every 1-point rise in the prime interest rate, less developed countries face a $2 billion increase in their annual debt service. Many weaker nations are in a desperate situation. There is little money at affordable prices for internal expansion and development.

More Developed Nations Hit, Too

   No political or economic ideology or system — whether capitalist or socialist — has escaped serious economic crises.
   In the Soviet Union, there are persistent shortages of many commodities — except vast military hardware. Weather calamities again have wiped out huge acreages of crops. Last year nearly 35 million tons of Soviet food grains were destroyed by inclement weather. The Soviets have resorted to paying premium prices to any nations who will sell to them. This competition for and upbidding of tight supplies of world grain lead to costs poorer nations cannot afford.
   Poland's debts to the West now are about $25 billion. And another $15 billion are needed over the next four years to eliminate its balance of payments deficits by 1986. Almost all of Poland 's foreign exchange earnings this year will go to interest payments on debts. Without foreign assistance there will be nothing for plant and equipment investments.
   In Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union has raised the price of its oil to its socialist satellites by 27 percent and cut supplies. These nations, already struggling with declining production, are now forced onto the even more expensive world oil market.
   Yugoslavia's economic woes are an example of a compound of problems. The nation recently received a $2 billion IMF loan to help cope with its difficulties. Heavy expenditures overwhelmed the government. This was due to costly imported oil, a severe jump in inflation (37 percent last year), a poor harvest and a huge cleanup bill after a devastating earthquake last year.
   Elsewhere the consequences of damaging economic policies are coming to a head. In Western Europe, rapidly rising wage costs, fringe benefits and cradle-to-the-grave welfarism are justly starting to price European goods out of world markets.
   "The total wage costs in Western Europe... continue to outpace wage costs in Japan and the United States," warns one European trade official.
   In Britain, which is usually a year or so ahead of other Western nations on the inflationary path, private firms are now borrowing to finance their payrolls. If this trend continues, the collapse of private business cannot be far off.
   Now the West German Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle, is turning sour. West Germany's once-huge balance of payments surpluses have been transformed into Western Europe's biggest deficit because of the cumulative effects of worldwide recession and imported oil.
   Though the disciplined Germans used 9 percent less oil in 1980 than in 1979, their oil bill still rose 32 percent. And their 1979 oil bill of $28 billion was double that of 1978.
   West Germany, like all nations, including the United States and other highly developed nations, is learning the hard way that they are now vulnerable to economically destroying forces — especially high energy prices, food shortages and worldwide inflation — beyond their national control.
   In nation after nation, too-rapid consumption of limited resources, massive government overspending, labor strikes, spiraling wage and welfare demands, and the pell-mell rush to spend to get every materialistic want now — even if one does not possess the money — have produced soaring inflation. That's too many people, demanding too many things for limited money and goods.
   Economic ills are often compounded by political instability, economic mismanagement and natural disasters.

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Plain Truth MagazineJune-July 1981Vol 46, No.6ISSN 0032-0420