The Curse of Inflation: A Biblical View

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The Curse of Inflation

A Biblical View

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The Curse of Inflation: A Biblical View

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Prices have been on the rise—whether gasoline, food, electricity, furniture, you name it. Inflation is hitting people’s wallets hard—especially in America, but in other countries as well.

The problem is actually worse than most realize. Real inflation is running much higher than the 7 percent reported in official U.S. government numbers, as calculation methods have changed. A more honest assessment at shadowstats.com reveals that if inflation were measured as it was in 1990 the rate would be 12 percent—or if figured as in 1980 the rate would be 15 percent.

Unemployment is also high. Government statistics put it at 3.4 percent in January, but it also has changed the calculation method for determining unemployment numbers. Going by more reasonable pre-1994 calculation, U.S. unemployment now shockingly stands at around 25 percent!

Another facet of the grim financial outlook is U.S. household debt, which for the first time passed $15 trillion in the third quarter of 2021. And in January 2022 U.S. national debt for the first time exceeded a mind-boggling $30 trillion as part of a dangerous money-creation experiment that is fueling the ramp-up in inflation.

Just what is going on? Where will it ultimately leave us?

The lure of Modern Monetary Theory

The Federal Reserve has gone into overdrive over the past decade in what amounts to creating more and more money out of thin air. We’re told not to worry about any repercussions of this massive money creation and the debt associated with it because of the new economic siren song of Modern Monetary Theory or MMT.

Writing in the American Enterprise Institute publication National Affairs, author Jonathan Hartley explains: “The defining feature of MMT—and what distinguishes it from more established, mainstream economic theories—is its insistence that, so long as a government’s debt is denominated in its own currency, there is no upper limit on the state’s monetary borrowing. In other words, public debt is irrelevant; a country’s central bank can always avoid default by printing more money. Such printing, MMT proponents further argue, can go on without any inflationary consequences” (“The Weakness of Modern Monetary Theory,” Fall 2020).

This especially appeals to those who want to fund an endless array of massively expensive government programs, but it gained wider acceptance as a means to buoy up the economy during Covid lockdowns. While MMT may be convenient, Hartley goes on to say, “MMT’s central claims regarding the harmlessness of deficits, debt, and mass currency production are not only flatly false, they are deeply dangerous” (emphasis added throughout).

He does note that the United States, due to the vastness and richness of its economy and the dollar serving as the world’s reserve currency, is able to borrow enormous sums. But this ultimately comes on the backs of everyone who holds dollars—in both America and around the world. Eventually investors, “no longer believing the government to be solvent, will refuse to buy bonds or lend to the government at manageable interest rates.” America is not there yet, but those calling for endless massive spending are driving the nation steadily to that point.

For years economists have warned that if the United States keeps ballooning up the money supply without commensurate economic growth and productivity, it is inevitable that other global economic powers such as the European Union or China will demand that the dollar be replaced as world reserve currency with the euro or Chinese yuan. This would lead to huge economic problems in America, including the hyperinflation nightmare.

The government is stealing from you

It was reported earlier this year that “U.S. companies are expecting to pay an average 3.4% raise to workers in 2022” (CNBC, Jan. 18, 2022). They’re forced to do so to retain workers, but this does not come close to keeping up with inflation. Likewise a Breitbart headline reads, “UK Wage Hikes Wiped Out to Zero by Soaring Inflation Rate” (Jan. 18, 2022).

Through policies that create inflation, governments are actually stealing from companies and individuals. How does this work? It’s really very simple. By artificially adding more and more money‚ the value of existing dollars is diminished. Therefore virtually everything you buy costs more—sometimes a lot more.

How bad is it? In 2020-2021, the U.S. money supply soared an astonishing 27 percent, the biggest jump in the nation’s history. This was far greater than in response to previous national crises such as the Great Depression (10 percent) and World War II (18 percent). Hundreds of thousands of businesses shut down and tens of millions of Americans were paid to stay home rather than work. The federal government sent “free money” checks to every American, including incarcerated felons. And now Americans are paying the price.

Among those hardest hit are the ones governments assure us they are dedicated to helping, namely the poor and the elderly. But since most of their meager income goes to such basics as food and utilities, inflation is especially devastating to their financial condition.

Besides the massive money creation that gives governments more wealth while diluting how much the money you have is worth, governments must keep interest rates low to finance that huge debt they’ve taken on. This keeps savers—especially those who are trying to preserve their income, such as those in or nearing retirement—from earning interest income and pushes many into gambling with their futures by seeking more dangerous investments just to maintain the same income (“How the Fed Is Driving Savers to Riskier Investments,” The Washington Post, July 1, 2020).

The truth is that the whole concept of fiat currency— money decreed into existence with no tangible basis—constitutes the biggest thieving scheme in history. Such currency manipulation contravenes God’s laws on maintaining honest weights and measures (see Deuteronomy 25:15 Deuteronomy 25:15But you shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shall you have: that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
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; Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 11:1A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
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; 16:11; 20:23).

God in the Bible repeatedly condemns stealing from others and mistreating the poor and needy (Exodus 20:15 Exodus 20:15You shall not steal.
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; Leviticus 19:11 Leviticus 19:11You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
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; Deuteronomy 24:14 Deuteronomy 24:14You shall not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of your brothers, or of your strangers that are in your land within your gates:
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; Psalms 72:4 Psalms 72:4He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.
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; 82:4; Amos 8:4-6 Amos 8:4-6 [4] Hear this, O you that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, [5] Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? [6] That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yes, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
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). And He warns against going into debt as a road to enslavement (Proverbs 22:7 Proverbs 22:7The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
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).

Former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend John Taylor on May 28, 1816, that “spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Indeed, expanding government debt obligates future generations to repaying debt they never incurred or had any say in creating. Again, it’s pure theft.

Do what you can to prepare

Bible prophecy warns about coming economic upheaval and troubles increasing in the English-speaking nations and the ultimate collapse of the financial system the world over (see our free study guides The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy and The Book of Revelation Unveiled).

Yet in some ways all will seem to be humming along—until calamity strikes (Matthew 24:38-43 Matthew 24:38-43 [38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, [39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. [42] Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come. [43] But know this, that if the manager of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
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).

Do what you can to prepare —to be ready (verse 44). As Proverbs 22:3 Proverbs 22:3A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
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and 27:12 tell us, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (New Living Translation). Of course, humanly we can only do so much. We need God to see us through. Jesus promised that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness that our physical needs would be provided for—that we would not be destitute (Matthew 6:25-34 Matthew 6:25-34 [25] Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [26] Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? [27] Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? [28] And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: [29] And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. [33] But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
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; compare Psalms 37:25 Psalms 37:25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
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).

The sobering fact we all face is that a reckoning lies ahead. Let us all take God’s warnings seriously and do whatever we can to prepare. Above all, we must prepare spiritually (see Matthew 25:1-13 Matthew 25:1-13 [1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
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), and God will see us through to the wonderful age beyond today when His laws—including His economic laws—will at last be followed the world over.