A Tipping Point Is Nearing
We are facing a tipping point. There will soon be a crisis affecting US citizens beyond any experienced since the Great Depression. And it may happen within the year. This past week three awful developments put a dagger into the hope for a growth-led recovery, which held promise of possibly averting a debt and currency implosion crushing the American economy.
Referencing the timid spending cuts we are now seeing, as contrasted to our ridiculously bloated spending deficit:
So go the hopes for serious spending restraint from our newly elected wave of rabid, anti-big government Republicans. They may deliver cuts 1.3% of total spending that is itself approximately 90% greater than collected taxes. Let's mark this spending reduction effort as an epic fail, at a time when epic success is almost required for survival.
The second awful development to occur last week was the employment report from the Labor Department, describing employment conditions in the U.S. economy in January, 2011. The report was packed with statistics, all pointing to anemic growth with a modest pickup in manufacturing employment.
This year's benchmark revisions showed two alarming things: a decline from previously reported employment in December 2010 of nearly 500,000 jobs, and a reduction in the workforce of a similar amount.
Even though this article wasn't focused on famine, we see this as it is intertwined with rising inflation:
As global liquidity and deficit spending have accelerated, food and commodity prices have skyrocketed, sending many prices up 25-50% worldwide since August. In some countries (Tunisia and Egypt among them) rice prices and cooking oil have doubled.
Copper is up 40% in that time. If global inflation expectations take hold with tenacity, as they have many times in past periods of "easy money" by our Fed and Congress, interest rates may easily rise to 5-6%, an event which will blow an additional $300-500 billion hole in a budget already beyond sanity.
Now on to problem #3:
The third development of the last week which received much less press than the Egyptian crisis is the "new normal" in Social Security. The CBO released a report disclosing that the net cash flow for the Social Security trust fund -- excluding interest received from the book entry bonds it holds in U.S. debt -- will be negative $56 billion in 2011, and for every year hence even more so.
This is the train wreck that was supposed to happen in 2020.
It is upon us now. Any limp action by conservatives to bring this program into solvency can be expected only to slow the raging river of red ink this behemoth program (along with its twin Godzilla, Medicare) spills on U.S. citizens. With no political will to fix them, these "entitlements" will obligate Americans to borrow more and more money from China--to honor promises we simply refuse to admit we can't keep.
So what does this actually mean?
So why do these developments argue for a crisis of Great Depression proportions? Because they speak unequivocally of our pathway to insolvency, and the potential of currency failure via hyperinflation, despite the hopes of conservatives and market participants to see a halt of such direction.
Housing prices, the foundation of so much of private citizen debt loads, are destined for stagnation -- not inflation -- as the supply of homes is far greater than the demand -- 11% of the nation's homes stand empty today.
When the world begins to recognize that there is no fix for America's borrowings, a fast and brutal exodus from our currency and bonds can send us a shock in mere weeks or months.
Unlike the Great Depression, however, we will enter such a shock in a weakened state, with few producers among us and record mountains of debt.
More cataclysmic is the specter of inadequate food, as less than 4% of us farm, and those that do may cease to be as productive or may not accept devalued currency as payment, should the tipping point be crossed.
Corn and wheat prices in the U.S. have nearly doubled in less than 12 months, using our rapidly evaporating currency as the medium of exchange.
The time for action has passed, which may only become apparent as the "aid" of easy money becomes seen as the harm that it is. May we all be spared the worst, but I offer no such prayers for those responsible. The harm that comes will be swifter, and more severe, than most of them thought possible.
So what is one to do in the face of this impending financial crisis?
What we always do. Pray. Pray that somehow we will be delivered from this, and if we are to face this calamity as a nation, that God will protect us and allow us to continue our Christian witness during our remaining days on the earth.
Hopefully those days won't last long as we await our coming Messiah - Christ Jesus, who has promised to deliver us from the Tribulation that is rapidly approaching.
The apostle Paul knew the ominous times that we would be facing, and he gave us this bit of advice as we await the coming of Jesus. We are supposed to:
"wait for his son Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath" (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
And it is always worth remembering what Jesus Himself stated:
"I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it." (Revelation 3:10-12).
And we can never forget the last words written in the Holy Bible:
"He who testifies to these things says "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.