Security—Where Can It Be Found?
THE two youths were bitter, despondent—and unemployed. According to Time magazine, they “had attached a hose to the exhaust pipe, run it into the passenger compartment and filled the gaps in the windows with rags.” Their suicide note was chilling: “What have we left to live for now [that] there is no work for anyone?”
Reports such as this indicate the high level of frustration that people are feeling today. All of us are, in one way or another, being hurt by inflation, unemployment and an ever-increasing tax burden. For some families it means putting the wives, and in some cases even the children, into the job market. For others it has meant making drastic changes in eating habits, recreation and housing. Even money in the bank is no guarantee of security because of the eroding effects of inflation. Well did the Bible prophesy that these would be “critical times hard to deal with.”—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Even the wealthy are affected by inflationary shortages. (Revelation 6:6) In order to form a “hedge” against inflation, some invest in stocks, real estate, foreign currencies or precious metals. But even the sharpest investors have been trapped by sudden and unexpected changes. Recall, for example, how the price of gold in just a few days plummeted from a high of $875/oz. to less than $650, and later to below $300 (U.S.). Investors are therefore forced to keep a watchful and nervous eye on their investments. We are reminded of the Bible’s words at Ecclesiastes 5:12: “The plenty belonging to the rich one is not permitting him to sleep.”
“Not Knowing the Way Out”
Can economists, however, lead the way out of this chaos? How can they when there is so much disagreement among them? Neighbor nations Britain and France, for example, have both followed the advice of their respective top economic advisers. Yet these two nations pursue entirely different economic policies. Britain tries to lower inflation by clamping down on government spending and allowing high interest rates. But France risks raising inflation by ‘throwing open the national coffers’ and spending much money so as to create jobs. Commenting on this anomaly, Time magazine stated, “The two philosophies could not be farther apart or, in many eyes, their chances of success more evenly matched.”
The Bible accurately prophesied that there would be “anguish of nations, not knowing the way out.” (Luke 21:25) So if even world leaders themselves are perplexed by the world’s economic woes, what chance does the average person, like you, have to survive? Is there any reliable source of advice? Are there sound investments that can guarantee a secure future?