The U.S. government is pumping a lot of borrowed money into the U.S. economy with the hope that it can be kick-started before it cools off. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the new coalition government under David Cameron has decided to take the "bull by the horns." The Economist reports that the budget cuts and work towards decentralization are "a great gamble."
"Throughout the rich world, government has simply got too big and Mr Cameron's crew currently have the most promising approach to trimming it" ("Radical Britain," The Economist, Aug. 14-20, 2010, p. 9).
Expecting our grandchildren to pay?
The article contrasts the American and British approaches to the debt crisis, explaining that "despite the Tea Partiers' zeal, the Republicans seem as clueless as Mr Obama in producing a credible medium-term plan to balance America's budget." And here is the critical part: "But pretty soon, as in Europe, somebody will have to come up with one―and Britain, for better or worse, is likely to be the place they will come to for ideas."
There is no doubt the world is still in an unstable economic state. We should not dismiss current attempts made by sincere leaders to keep the global economy afloat. But past overspending, easy credit and now spending ourselves out of a stalling economy means that we expect our grandchildren to pay for our excesses. That is not ethical.
We have to realize that the thinking that led us to this precipice has to change.
Prime Minister Cameron's actions to reduce the involvement of the state, to put more responsibility into the hands of the local community, will help to cut budget deficits. It remains to be seen whether the right values will be sufficiently practiced at the community level to make it work.
Imagine applying ancient Israel's laws today
Real change would come from understanding our need for God's revealed way of life. If the civil laws of the nation of ancient Israel were enforced as the laws of our lands today—and many U.S. and British laws do hearken back to those statutes and judgments—our society would be remarkably different.
The economic laws, for example, ensured that high interest rates were illegal within the country (usury). Family land was to be returned to its original owners every 50 years (the Jubilee year), which would create a different frame of mind in the sale of land.
A flat 10 percent (tithe) of productive increase was collected to make education possible by providing the needs of the teachers (Levites).
Many financial principles in the book of Proverbs and other sections of the Bible teach careful and sensible stewardship. God promises: "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth" (Deuteronomy 28:1).
But our people and our leaders have turned away from the laws of God. We have permitted activities that are "politically correct," but are sinful in God's eyes. Please download or request our booklet The Ten Commandments.
Prophetic end-time economy
We may continue to try our own way of fixing problems, economic and otherwise, but the time will come when we run out of workable ideas. The Bible speaks of a time when, for the sake of stability, nations within Europe will surrender their sovereignty to a powerful leader. Personal liberty will depend on submission to laws that the prophesied end-time leader will enforce—including restrictions that will exclude those who obey the laws of the Bible (Revelation 13:16-17).
This prophesied vibrant economy may sound like a positive development to many. The loss of liberty will be the price that our people will pay for the world's new order. This is explained in our booklet The Book of Revelation Unveiled, which shows a sequence of global events that will soon develop, and are even now shaping up behind the scenes.
Our responsibility is to provide the news of a different kind of government. The message Jesus Christ brought from His Father to mankind tells of a society motivated by a realignment of values. We will be preparing for our children and grandchildren's future rather than spending it.
Moses described the benefits of living God's way: "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people'" (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).
Find out more about the message Jesus brought about a new society. It is based on the eternal laws of God, flowing from God's desire to share eternity with us. Read this hope-filled good news in The Gospel of the Kingdom.