The Same Old Insanity

Posted by tcmgo1 on Jun 8th, 2010

One of the definitions of insanity is to “do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” Ever since man rebelled against God in the garden to go his own “free thinking” way into death and sorrow, he keeps trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Pro. 14:12) and he who sows iniquity will reap sorrow (Pro. 22:8a). Perhaps it will make some bristle to hear this, given the popular humanist gospel of the “inherent goodness and nobility of man,” but man in his fallen state is basically a blind, self-righteous rebel tenaciously driven to always do what he thinks is right until he eventually destroys others and himself in the process, especially if left unchecked.

In bringing restraint to mankind’s volatile, self-destructive nature, God mercifully cursed the ground for his sake so as to humble him by toil and real sweat (Gen. 17-19), thus putting a real restraining damper on his rebellion. God has bound mankind to continually work the earth through thistle and thorn to produce the things He needs, a difficult task, but since man hates any restrictions placed upon his self-declared freedom, he rebels even against the mercy of his Maker in continually seeking new ways to circumvent both the created order and the curse. We witness this rebellion today, for instance, with the unchecked monster of corporate agribusiness that monopolizes agriculture with unsustainable mechanization and chemicalization that dominates and greatly damages millions of acres of farmland, while also destroying the family farm and local communities that use to work it. We witness it with genetically modified plants and foods we are forced to use, and with chemicals that poison the soil and its microorganisms so that only certain “engineered” plants can grow on this “specially treated” soil, only of course after the soil has also been saturated with sufficient liquid fertilizer to spark growth. This too is madness, as we will soon see.

In insuring that mankind rightly serves God as His husbandmen in stewarding the earth (Gen. 1:26, 2:15), man was created a moral being who is to think and act by His Maker’s commandments. It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that since the fall there is nothing more infuriating to mankind than to be governed by the law of his Maker, which he hates with an undying, raging passion. This might explain the knee jerk reaction one usually gets from people, even from Christians, when one happens to mention the law of God as the only transcendent standard by which we are able to live. “Them are fighting words.” In every generation since the fall, mankind has united together to cast off his Maker’s life-giving and merciful restraining Law to live by his own rule (Gen. 3:5), wherein he has without exception received the same results. This too is madness.

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure. (Psalms 2:1-5)

Insanity is ever the result when man rebels against the commandments of the Lord (Deu. 28:28). Mankind was specifically created to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of his Creator (Mat. 4:4) and when he rebels so as to live by his own word (rule), the Lord grants him his suicidal desire and suffers him to do just that, to attempt to live by his own laws and statutes until he perish by them. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live (Eze. 20:25). The hundreds of thousands of federal and state laws and regulations which dominate every aspect of our lives, eats up our substance with ever growing taxation, and strangles our freedoms, is a classic example of this.

Yes, for a season, man’s way can appear right, reasonable, even “blessed” of God, as temporal success and prosperity can come of his innovative rebellion, but time reveals soon enough what King and whose law truly prevails on earth. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. Psalms 37:7-9

Yet, in spite of the bloody and horrific history of mankind that bears inscrutable witness to this truth, he keeps trying the same thing over and over again, believing that this time he’ll somehow get different results . . . you know, like the lyrics from Fleetwood Mac song Don’t Stop, the theme song of Bill Clinton’s election back in 1992 when the nation was inebriated with blind hope for a new America.

 
 

Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow,
 

Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here,
 

It’ll be, better than before,
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.
 

 

Though yesterday is gone, the same immutable laws of the Creator that governed it then remain in force today and, thus, the same results will occur when the rebel with a “righteous cause” sets out again to go his own way on the next morrow.

Like it applies to all facets of life, this truth applies to economics, which are governed just as surely by the Lord’s unchangeable law as His laws of creation govern flight. Break the laws of flight and one will surely crash. Break the laws of economics and one will just as surely crash, in due season, as has every economy in the history of mankind that has violated them, without exception.

Even so, the banking and political elite that rule our nation, along with nearly all Americans, believe somehow that the end result of our unique “American” system of debt-based economics will be different this time. Though they readily admit that the ship is in trouble, being flooded from bow to stern with debt, they adamantly believe, nevertheless, that it will triumph in preserving itself where all others have sunk into the annals of history, without exception. How will it magically save itself? In seeking to keep the ship afloat they will continue to flood it with even more ship-sinking debt, so as to create enough “economic growth” to sufficiently sink itself to the surface again. It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Folks, this too is insanity, pure and simple, and a particularly detrimental form where the passengers exhibit such blind faith in the captain of their ship, the Federal Reserve, that they steadfastly refuse to hear and understand the loud groaning and screeching noises coming from its bowels, nor see and understand the severe tilt it has taken on as it slowly breaks up and begins its journey to the bottom of the sea. “Pay no attention to the deck chairs and people falling into the ocean. As for those gut wrenching sounds you hear, why they are merely the everyday sounds of normal operations and course corrections!”

For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them (Matthew 13:15).

Gary North in his article, Athens Hosts The Olympiad Of Debt, describes our American economic insanity quite well, They [bankers] believe, as Congress believes, that there is no end to the floating of debt, that economic growth will overcome the debt, and that sobriety is one drink away. “We can quit borrowing at any time. We just don’t want to.” It’s not just the bankers and Congress that believe this nonsense, as I can understand the Washington Establishment’s insatiable need to stay in power through perpetual spending (read borrowing), but the vast majority of Americans also religiously profess it, even though they have been enslaved and plundered by the gospel of debt-based prosperity more than once.

But it’s no wonder, since they have to “believe” because they have pinned all their economic hopes on an ever successful—default, inflation, and crash free —voyage of the great American debt liner, less the unthinkable occur and their nesteggs go down with it. For this ship to sink is for their world to end, a totally unacceptable outcome of such staggering implications that they cannot even begin to entertain it as even remotely true, less they quickly loose hope and sink into what they think is irresolvable despair. The last thing they would believe, which sadly includes many that profess Christ, is that the Lord can make a way for them apart from debt-based, interest bearing economics, through just simply obeying His commandments by faith through grace. “Nah . . . it’s over simplistic and insulting to the great strides mankind has made to even consider such a course!”

This is why I believe that even people that are in the know as to what is actually happening, nonetheless, remain paralyzed in taking any meaningful action. “After all, who wants to look foolish or act in a panic by taking any unnecessary action that one might regret later, especially should affect their investments? Besides, the thought of an economic collapse is just too big and too consequential to wrap our minds around. No, it’s better to just “conservatively” stay on board and hope and pray for the best, rather than do anything radical like look for a lifeboat and take to the seas, looking for the Lord’s merciful deliverance.”

And what insanity America has come to! It believes that it can go on borrowing indefinitely (with compounding interest) in vastly increasing amounts without it ever really having to pay it back, that is, just keep floating debt long and hard enough and it will magically induce “economic growth” (so-called, as real growth comes from producing tangible products by real labor) of such glorious magnitude that it will overcome the debt and prosper us all. “Hurrah! . . . freedom and deliverance through debt, I knew they could do it!” As someone once said, there is a sucker born every minute, though it wasn’t PT Barnum who said it, as he actually believed more along the lines that there is a customer born every minute, which in my thinking is the same thing in these days when an unending  buffet of enticing credit and investing “products” is put before us.

Fallen man is born a rebel through and through, which also makes him a sucker and, thus, a customer who is easily deceived and plundered by those who know how the shell game of debt-based economics works. Through credit and interest bearing enticements man’s dreams, fears, and unchecked passions can readily be exploited. This is why I believe that the banking elite knows full well what they do and what the real outcome of their debt-based gospel is, the legal plundering of the labor and wealth of the masses. Frederick Bastiat, noted statesman and economist, understood the fallen nature of man and his hatred for God’s law and restraints, especially the pain of labor, which causes him to seek other ways to get his needs met.

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder. Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain – and since labor is pain in itself – it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.
 
 

 

Since man is prone to forget or distort the memories of his yesterdays, believing that he just needs to keep doing the same thing over and over again until he gets different results, when one game ends in the plundering of his goods and loss of freedoms, he readily joins the next one to come along though it be run by the same ones that just robbed him. This is insanity. However, with mankind being ever the optimist in his own inherent goodness and nobility, though he continually heap death and sorrow upon himself, he will continue to destroy himself with all abandon and persevering zeal until the Lord mercifully save him through the true Gospel of peace.   There is but one God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contrary to popular opinion, the blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it (Pro. 10:22). It’s a real soul searching question to answer, but we must all ask ourselves how much more shall we heap upon ourselves the sorrows of “man’s blessing” before we truly believe the Lord by His written word (as evidenced by faith and works — James 2:18) that the American economic system is cursed and therefore doomed, including the investments we so desperately hope will pay off. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished (Pro. 22:3). —- The Rural Missourian

Saved By A Tree

Posted by Rural Missourian on Mar 7th, 2009

In the frantic world of financial woes, thinking long-term when one has a chance to make good money in the immediate is a rare quality. We see the short-term today with landowners that are quick to clear cut their forests to make a quick buck, rather than steward them to develop healthy forests that yield premium lumber on a sustainable basis for the generations to come. I want to share an amazing story about one tree and a farmer that, though it has a bittersweet ending, exemplifies the long-term vision that is lacking today. During the Great Depression Lloyd Hayes lived in Williams County, Ohio, where he farmed and like so many in the Midwest had a woodlot with walnut trees. There was one tree in particular, a beautiful black walnut with a flawless trunk that was straight as an arrow, for which someone offered him $300 in the early days of the 1930’s. In 2009 dollars that was $4,625, which was a fortune back then when thousands lost their farms and many stood in long soup lines just to eat. Even though it was a tempting sum of money during a time when it would have made a huge difference, Lloyd decided to let the tree grow, a living asset that could be cashed in later after it matured.

After he died in 1972, Mr. Hay’s family was hit with sizable inheritance taxes, which put them in a real quandary if they wanted to keep the family farm intact. They were forced to sell some of its land or sell some trees. As the tree next to the black gold tree had been recently struck by lightning, they decided to sell the mature giant before it was next. In 1976 they sold a total of 18 black walnut trees for $80,000, which included the black gold tree. In 2009 dollars that is a whopping $296,860!

[On a side note — This only testifies to the appalling decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar since the Federal Reserve began to debase it in 1913. You might be shocked to realize that the dollar has lost 95% of its value since 1913. To check this out for yourself go to the Inflation Calculator on the web, which keeps track of the purchasing power of the dollar since 1913. We are close to its total collapse where it will become worthless (as all fiat currencies have in history) along with “paper investments” denominated in it such as pensions, 401k’s, etc. This is why I keep hammering the point that you should get out of paper now, even if it means taking a hit on taxes or penalties, and put it into land and a means of production. I remember vividly walking the streets of Mira Flores, an affluent suburb of Lima, Peru, during its economic meltdown of the early 1990’s and seeing money blowing about, as inflation destroyed it daily. My father-in-law, who worked hard his whole life and put aside a decent retirement nestegg, saw it devalue into a pittance. Yes, the principle was still intact along with its accrued interest, but it barely paid the electric bill when it was finally needed.]

What is remarkable is that the one black gold tree that was allowed to mature sold for $30,000, which in 2009 dollars is $111,300 . . . not a bad return on a living asset. This tree yielded a 57 foot, grade A veneer log (defect free) that measured 38.50 inches in diameter at breast height (4.5 ft off the ground), which would have rendered more than 2,300 board feet (Doyle scale). Now that’s a tangible asset . . . true wealth. What a bittersweet story that this asset that Lloyd Hays so wisely allowed to mature had to be used to pay inheritance taxes to save the family farm, but they did have it, which is the point.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall . . .

Posted by Rural Missourian on Feb 21st, 2009

“We witnessed the collapse of the financial system. It was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”

So stated billionaire George Soros at a dinner held at Columbia University on February 20, 2009 (Soros sees no bottom for world “financial” collapse). He made the very sobering claims that the world financial system effectively disintegrated (starting with the collapse of Leman Brothers in September) and the turbulence we now suffer is more severe than the Great Depression, much like the demise of the Soviet Union. I concur with his assessment.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King’s trillions and all the King’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

Because the mother’s milk of a culture is its economic system, we are not witnessing just the collapse of the world’s financial institutions, but the cultures that have been built from them, especially ours, which has for several generations been the world’s premier “show home” for modeling the sophisticated debt-based culture. My biggest concern for the collapse of the world’s financial system has not been the high likelihood that it cannot be restored, as that would actually be a blessing in disguise given what a curse it has been in the destruction of the family, our Christian foundations, and the republic born of them. What concerns me is that our nation will emerge as something far different than any of us ever imagined.

If it comes out a humbled third world country, which is a distinct possibility, I could live with it as difficult as it would be, as that would open the doors to the Gospel as our nation hasn’t experienced since the days prior to the War for Independence. On the other hand, while many may think it would be a wonderful answer to prayer should America pull out of its present depression to resume business as usual, I think it would lead to horrific circumstances in the long run, if our decades long decline into state sponsored hedonism and perversion is any indication. How long will the Lord suffer us to kill the unborn, promote sexual perversion, and worship the financial gods of modern man? Though it may be pleasant for a season, worshipping mammon has enormous generational consequences.

Something we need to remember to keep us from total panic is that financial systems collapse, but not economies — per say — as they simply adjust to financial conditions, even catastrophic ones. Even in the worst days of Peru’s inflationary disaster of the 1980’s and 90’s, a robust “black market” flourished, which was the life line for many, especially the poor. No matter what happens to financial systems, the constant need to eat, drink, and live always remains and humans can be quite resourceful in establishing rudimentary economies, especially where local markets are free to build. It’s when government acts as a savior in trying to save the people through collectivism and monetary alchemy that nightmarish calamities occur, which can exact a huge human toll, as we see in Zimbabwe, where unemployment has hit 94% and people are starving.

Given the growing collectivist bent of federal policy and the trillions being thrown at our collapsed financial system, there is the possibility that in addition to emerging as a third world country that a police state could emerge in America, as our colossal central government desperately seeks to keeps its enormous power, which could involve all kinds of confiscatory schemes, if history is any indication. That said, I would much rather have the hand of God’s chastising love humble us to our very core in taking everything down to where governments and economies are once again local, than for His hand of wrath to uphold a move into an ironfisted totalitarian state.

The dilemma that American Christendom faces in having embraced debt-based economics for many generations reminds me of the dilemma that David faced when he sinned against the Lord in numbering the people and its armies, only our generational sin is on a much larger and consequential scale. He was given three choices for the punishment of his sin, all of which were to be brought upon the people. He wisely chose God’s hand of chastisement over the wrath of wicked man.

2 Samuel 24:10-16

10 And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”11 Now when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,12 “Go and tell David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.” ‘ “13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”14 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 15 So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died.16 And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

Americans have got to awaken out of their fairy tale world where nothing really bad happens to them that money cannot fix. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). It has been their love affair with “money” that lulled them into the comatose like stupor that made them totally oblivious to the decades long destruction of their once free America, which began in earnest in 1913 when the Federal Reserve took over the nation’s financial system. Sadly, the American people sold their birthright for a bowl of fiat gruel. If ever we are to get back on our feet as a free nation under God we need to not only think “outside the box,” but repent from the gilded box of debt-based economics, which has become an inescapable plantation for the American slaves we have become. May God be merciful to us that He would awaken our hearts to Him that we may become the answer to our nation’s woeful circumstances, as we repent from being its cause in breaking covenant with Him to embrace the fiat gods of the Federal Reserve and Wallstreet (2Chronicles 7:14). — The Rural Missourian