In preparation for answering an e-mail this week, I had the opportunity to skim through the pages of Larry Burkett’s 1991 best seller, The Coming Economic Earthquake. The book was updated in 1994 to reflect the happenings of the Clinton era, and it’s amazing to me how right-on Larry was in his foresight of what was coming for our economy and for the nation, in general.
Larry touched on many topics in the book, but some jumped out at me as especially relevant for today.
1. Education: In light of the battles over the Common Core agenda that is being shoved down the nation’s throat, Larry hit the nail on the head even 23 years ago. He said, “Check out the curriculum being taught in your local schools and see if it is anti-free-market. It would shock most Americans to realize that a great deal of the economic information being fed their children in elementary schools, high schools, and especially state universities is blatantly socialistic, if not openly communistic.”
He went on, “The only place that communism still seems to flourish is in the American classroom. It is often labeled ‘socialism’ but, in reality, it is the same doctrine that was taught in the Soviet Union prior to the communism collapse: Government is the protector of the downtrodden; capitalism is inherently evil; people deserve decent incomes, regardless of their desire to work or not; and last, the government is a better purveyor of the nation’s resources than the wage earners are.” [emphasis mine]
Sound familiar? The very issues that Larry saw as major problems 23 years ago have escalated at an alarming rate.
2. Health Care: The government takeover of health care that was attempted during the Clinton administration was delayed only a few years until Obama came into power and had the political backing to force it onto the nation. Larry had great wisdom in this matter: “Let me say that if the federal government is allowed to take control of health care, which represents approximately 14 percent of our total economy, it will be the stake in the heart of our free enterprise system. The government cannot solve our health care problems—it is the problem!”
He continued, “Only twelve cents of every government dollar spent on health care now actually reaches a patient. It is a grossly inefficient system. There are two old sayings in Washington that describe what will happen to health care as soon as the political system gains control of that area too: ‘A camel is a horse designed by a government committee,’ and ‘An elephant is a mouse designed to government specifications.'”
Wow. If only we had heeded his warning, maybe we wouldn’t be facing the disastrous effects of the government hijacking of our entire health care system.
3. Abortion: Regarding abortion coverage in a nationalized health care system, Larry said, “I rather suspect that, if abortion is accepted as a ‘necessary benefit,’ there would be heavy pressure put on those who oppose abortion to participate or be subjected to financial penalties.” [Ring a bell?]
“Christians will have to take a stand on this issue, regardless of the consequences. We should have acted with one voice when the Supreme Court decided that somehow an unborn human has no rights. Once abortion is funded through a national health care plan, the number of abortions will likely escalate. God’s people must wake up to this offense now! There is no nation that will survive God’s wrath for long, if and when it decides to kill its young (and old).” [emphasis mine]
Isn’t this exactly what we’re seeing today? Countless numbers of ministries and faith-based companies (Hobby Lobby and Focus on the Family are some of the most recognizable) have been forced to sue the federal government over the abortion mandate in Obamacare.
4. National debt: When writing The Coming Economic Earthquake, Larry reported that at the current rate of growth, the national debt would swell to $8.7 trillion by the year 2004. Even Larry couldn’t anticipate the rate of reckless spending by the most liberal president in the history of our nation. I believe Larry would be utterly shocked to know that the national debt is now twice the predicted 2004 level, and it is higher than the Gross Domestic Product of our entire nation.
Writing about the forecasted 2004 national debt of $8.7 trillion, Larry said, “There has never been anything approaching this level of debt funding in the history of mankind in so short a period of time, even on a percentage basis. The effects of this will be felt throughout the U.S. and ultimately the world’s economies…..Either the government will take the necessary steps to control the budget and reduce the deficits drastically, or they will resort to monetizing the debt by printing massive amounts of new currency.”
We know which option our leaders chose.
Larry went on to say that, “Logic and common sense seem to play small parts in our present society….The answer [to these and all other issues] is found in God’s Word. All of these things are but symptoms. The real problem is that we have removed God from the decision-making process in America today. When any nation does this, evil will prosper. This is not the fault of the politicians; they are responding to the wishes of the most vocal groups. It is that the unprincipled people around us seem to be more committed to their agenda than the true ‘moral majority’ is to theirs.”
Larry urged us to get involved in the political process and the issues of the day so that we could make a difference for the better. I would add that if we want to leave this great nation intact for our children and grandchildren, we have no choice but to hold our leaders accountable for their foolish decisions and force them to make changes that will lead us back to the founding principles that made us great.
Some wise thoughts that Larry left us: “The one certainty is that God is still in control no matter what happens….However, knowing that God is in control does not remove our responsibility to do everything possible to change what is happening or to prepare ourselves for some difficult times. As Proverbs 16:9 says, ‘The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.'”
“We are to witness to those around us that God is sufficient in all things….God desires followers who will serve Him regardless of the costs. Adversity seems to strengthen us, whereas prosperity tends to weaken us. As the Prophet said in Proverbs 30:8-9, ‘Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.'”