Watching the World
Confidence in the leadership of major American institutions continues to drop. A Harris Survey late in 1975 asked a cross section of adults how much confidence they had in twelve major institutions, and it was found to be significantly lower for all but one—television news coverage. For instance, ten years ago 55 percent of the people interviewed said that they had confidence in major business corporations, but now only 19 percent did. The medical field showed a drop from 72 percent to only 43 percent in the same period. The military establishment experienced a decline of confidence from 62 to 24 percent, and the executive branch of government plunged from 41 to only 13 percent, with Congress almost identical. The results show that people feel that there is a leadership vacuum in the country.
Evolutionists claim that God did not create living things “according to their kinds,” as the Bible says. They claim, instead, that these various life forms gradually evolved, changing over millions of years of time. Yet, scientists who believe this are repeatedly confounded by finding fossils of ancient living things that are identical to living things today. Another such find has recently been reported, this time fossils of blue-green algae. Science News relates: “New evidence now reported by a team of Harvard University paleontologists shows that one blue-green alga fossil is almost a perfect match for its modern counterpart. The fossil they have identified is also the most complex yet discovered.” After all that time, this form of living thing has not changed into something different. There has been no “evolution.” But, then, there never was, as living things only reproduce “according to their kinds.”—Gen. 1:11, 21, 24.
College students in Illinois gleaned hundreds of bushels of corn by hand after mechanical harvesters finished the regular harvest. With corn selling for about $3 a bushel at the time, they were making money to donate to private agencies that help feed the world’s hungry. One student, observing that if the corn was not picked by hand it would be left to rot until it was plowed under, said: “What you see here is just a small sample of the appalling waste in modern, mechanized farming.” Agricultural experts estimate that about 5 percent of the country’s 5.7-billion-bushel corn crop is missed by the combines.
Large Companies Collapse
When W. T. Grant Company filed for reorganization under the nation’s bankruptcy laws, it became the largest retailing failure in United States history. The chain, with over 1,000 stores in 40 states and sales of $1.76 billion last year, became insolvent as its liabilities exceeded its assets. In Japan, the giant Kohjin Company, a leading textile manufacturer, also failed due to financial troubles. It was the largest Japanese company to collapse since the end of World War II. These two join a number of other large American and European firms that have gone under in recent years. Many others are not far behind.
Japanese Cities Broke
The financial problems of cities are not confined to the Western world. Tokyo’s Daily Yomiuri reports that 643 Japanese cities are “on the verge of bankruptcy,” mainly because of sharp rises in the salaries of city employees and increasing expenditures for social services. Twice as many cities were added to the crisis list this past fiscal year as were added the year before.
Presbyterian clergyman Thomas Kirkman of Michigan notes the increasing number of clergy who are experiencing broken marriages and divorce. Often they leave their pastorates to take up other work. “In nine cases out of 10,” says Kirkman, “these former clergymen have found employment as ‘marriage counselors,’ conflict-resolution counselors or in social services.” How does he view their working at trying to resolve the problems of others when they have not been able to resolve their own? He states: “It has always appeared to me that having ‘flunked the course,’ they have been elevated to teaching it. . . . The ‘sinner’ has become the ‘teacher.’ I like to see the teacher as one who can do the thing he teaches. This is not to deny Christian forgiveness. It is rather that I do not want the accident-prone to be directing the ‘driving school.’”
Protecting Unborn Babies
Pregnant women have long been counseled to avoid excesses in food and drink, and not to smoke, so as to protect their unborn babies. Recently two Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers, after more than a year of experimentation, claimed that pregnant women who smoke may be partially asphyxiating their unborn babies. They declared that harmful carbon monoxide from cigarette smoking can displace oxygen moving from the mother’s bloodstream, through the placenta, and into the fetus. In other research from the University of Illinois, it was claimed that there is some evidence, though incomplete, that pregnant women who drink more than six cups of coffee a day apparently tend to have higher rates of miscarriages, fetal deaths and stillbirths.
Car Sales Boom
While most Western nations have experienced a slump in new-car sales in the past year, the oil-rich Arab sheikdom of Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf cannot get them fast enough. Dealers there complain that the demand exceeds the supply. The country has a population of less than 60,000 people, but takes in an estimated $30 million a day in oil revenues. Now new cars are registered at the rate of about 1,200 a month. However, because of a shortage of spare parts, when cars break down they are often junked in the desert. One reporter said that the highway from Abu Dhabi to Dubai was littered with abandoned cars, left after wrecks or scrapped because spare parts were lacking. One problem that does not exist is concern over how much gasoline a car uses.
“Dime-Store” Hospital Costs
Hospital costs in the Western world have soared. But visitors to China who have gotten medical treatment and surgery there have reported extremely low costs for excellent service. The Seattle Times reported that an American had an eye operation that would have cost about $2,000 in New York, plus $100-a-day room charges. But the operation was performed in China for under $15, which included surgery, anesthetic and a semiprivate room. Food was extra, but cost under 50 cents a day for three meals.