Obama has admitted to watching the Greek crisis closely. He has also indicated that he is concerned about their debt problems and that his administration is keeping in touch with Europe. If socialist Greece and the EU were a part of his model for “remaking” the US, then one can only hope that the notes he is taking include the fact that it doesn’t appear to be working. Unfortunately, that probably isn’t the case seeming as www.thehill.com reported that Vice President Joe Biden just announced on Saturday (in Spain) that the US will not only support efforts to bailout Greece, but also “potentially other countries within the European Union.” Yes, America will now be a contributor to bailing out Europe, and it will probably be to our own demise.
Europe has also apparently been watching the US closely to see what we have been doing, and it has learned that what we’re doing isn’t going to work for them. According to a www.nytimes.com article on Friday, political scientist Anne-Marie Le Gloannec has noted that the US attempted to use the TARP bailout to restart the US economy. She went on to state that the EU is unable to do that for member countries on the Euro because “there is no single European institution that can do the same…every decision about Greece has been a painful, time-consuming bargain among the different national governments, with their own political requirements and concerns, and their own views of economic virtue. “
And many of them aren’t happy to be participating, especially Germany who is expected to contribute the most of the European nations because it apparently has the most. The response of some German citizens to that expectation was to riot last week. But they aren’t the only ones who feel that the system is out of control. According to www.reuters.com last week, Other countries in Europe that were reported as rioting over the plague of financial difficulties and high unemployment across Europe were France, Italy, Russia, and Bulgaria.
Many financial analysts believe that the next logical step is for the European Central Bank to buy not only Greece’s bonds, but also Portuguese and Spanish bonds since these countries are expected to default. However, Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of Europe’s Central Bank has insisted that such a move is not in the works.
The Center for European Reform chief economist Simon Tilford has stated that major structural changes are necessary in order to resolve the European debt crisis. He pointed out that “Germany
seems uninterested in changing its economic model to benefit the poorer south.” Funny, Germans apparently don’t like having their earnings redistributed, either.
Its being suggested that European countries with fewer funds will need “continual transfers of funds” from the more economically stable countries, and Tilford admits that “I don’t see the necessary social solidarity in the wider euro zone to provide this kind of fiscal supranationalism. The myth of European integration and solidarity has been exposed as wishful thinking.” In other words, socialism isn’t working and the redistribution of wealth brings resentment and hostility among people groups – not acceptance and peace.
Another case study for Obama would be Venezuela. It has apparently been battling an ailing economy for at least a decade. In fact, the way President Hugo Chavez gained enough popularity to win the election was because of “A devaluation (in Venezuela’s currency) in 1994 amid a deep economic crisis (which) spurred a wave of popular unrest that Chavez eventually tapped to win the presidency five years later,” according to a www.wsj.com article back in January. Once in power, he “veered the country’s economy sharply to the left through steps like nationalization of key industries, rampant government spending, and currency and price controls.” Chavez devalued the currency again in January to attempt to offset inflation and get the economy moving. In fact, he cut the currency “by half – to 4.3 per dollar from 2.15 per dollar – for most imports and transactions.” The article also stated that, “The currency became grossly overvalued amid galloping inflation and government spending.”
But as 2010 wore on, the devaluation did basically nothing. Not only did the economy continue to shrink, but the country also faced food, water and electricity shortages. Investors tend to shy away from Venezuela because of price caps, currency controls and the constant fear of nationalization. On Friday, the Associated Press reported that Venezuela’s annual inflation rate hit 30 percent, which is “the highest inflation rate in Latin America.”
But getting back to Greece for a moment, one of the ways that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has agreed to try to get Greece’s economy under control, per the insistence of the EU and IMF, is through pension cuts. Interestingly, a www.thehill.com article reported on Wednesday that Vice President Biden’s “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRA) would “impose new government mandates which would undermine 401(k) retirement savings plans and jeopardize employers’ willing to continue offering them to their workers.”
On the same day, www.humanevents.com reported that, “In February, the White House released its ‘Annual Report on the Middle Class’ containing new regulations favored by Big Labor including a bailout of critically underfunded union pension plans through ‘retirement security’ options.
The radical solution most favored by Big Labor is the seizure of private 401(k) plans for government disbursement — which lets them off the hook for their collapsing retirement scheme. And, of course, the Obama administration is eager to accommodate their buddies. Vice President Joe Biden floated the idea, called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs), in the February ‘Middle Class’ report.”
The Republicans have been attempting to fight the move, and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has written a letter in opposition to the proposal, which was signed by several Republican members of Congress.
As the world scene continues to reel out of control, there will be more of a push among national leaders for people’s individual freedoms and assets to be usurped. A major financial collapse alone would have the potential to increase civil unrest and even wars (Rev. 6:1-4). Those disruptions would have the potential to disrupt everyday commerce and bring on mass shortages, especially food shortages. Revelation 6:5-6 specifically mentions that wheat and barley will cost an entire day’s wages. That same chapter goes on to talk about widespread death from war, hunger and “the beasts of the earth,” as well as Christians getting martyred and natural disasters on a grand scale. So anyone who can con the masses into believing that he or she can bring order will have mass appeal. And that will most likely be a motivating factor for world leaders who would eventually surrender their power and authority to the anti-Christ; who will then be a supreme ruler over the world leaders (Revelation 17:11-13).
That being said, the less debt a country has, the better off they will be. Especially if there is another global economic earthquake coming that will make this last one look like a tremor. With the great number of people (and even businesses) who are likely to be unprepared for such a major economic disaster, now would be the ideal time for the church to consider what resources and connections it has, both within its walls and in the community where its located, that it can call upon in such a way that it can function as a part of the solution — as the true Bride of Christ.