WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
President and Pastor
Garner Ted Armstrong
February 27, 1976
Dear Inner Family of Co-Workers with Christ:
It's time we take notice. The trend is now unmistakable. You need to understand what it means!
Suddenly the United States no longer enjoys the highest per capita income of any nation. Sweden has now risen above us.
The United States' world's highest living standard has started on the way down. You need to understand WHAT is now actually happening -- WHY it is happening -- and WHERE it's going to take YOU and your family -- your relatives -- your neighbors!
Buying power of the average American family dropped nearly 3 percent last year. And that was the second year in a row! Actually, the typical family's REAL income last year was even less than it was six years before -- and that in spite of the fact that more wives are working now. Forty-three percent -- or twenty million wives -- are now working. More than that, some 5 percent of laborers are now holding down two jobs. Still, total FAMILY INCOMES are on the decrease.
What CAUSED American prosperity to rise so high above all other nations in the first place? And what has CAUSED this trend of decline?
I was involved in a personal experience that explains in part the rise of the average American income.
In early January 1914, I was traveling eastward in upstate New York from Buffalo, as editorial representative of America's largest trade journal. At Utica I received a telegram from the magazine's home office to go immediately to Detroit to interview Henry Ford. A news bombshell had broken the same day. The Ford Motor Company had startled the nation -- and the world -- with the sensational announcement of a new $5.00 per day wage scale. The union scale for automobile workers was then $3.75 per 10-hour day. Ford had announced a $5.00 per day wage for a 9-hour day.
The magazine editors wanted an on-the-spot story by their own editorial representative.
I did see Henry Ford, but the real story came from John R. Lee, head of Ford's Sociological Department. He had originated the plan.
I have published the account of this incident before, but it is important that I repeat it here, because it explains a major factor in America's rise to the highest living standard in all human history.
"You are now paying the highest wage rate in the automobile industry, right?" I began.
"WRONG!" came back Mr. Lee, with emphasis. "We are now paying the lowest wage rate."
"But is not the union scale at other plants $3.75 per 10-hour day, and are you not now paying $5.00 per 9-hour day?"
"Oh yes, but we figure what we pay in terms of what we GET, and we GET twice as much work accomplished per 9-hour day as other factories get per 10-hour day. In other words, other factories pay $7.50 to GET the same amount of production we get for $5.00."
This left me a little bewildered.
"You see," Mr. Lee explained, "we have now gone on the assembly-line system of mass production. This automatically sets the pace of each man's work. The machinery now does much of the work formerly done by hand. We have a mass market which makes possible MASS MACHINE PRODUCTION. That's the reason we can sell the Model T Ford at such a low price. That MASS PRODUCTION by the assembly-line method lowers production cost. No other automobile company has a market large enough to go on this method of production."
But it was only a matter of a little time until all United States automobile makers were on machine mass-production. American population was growing. Mass machine production greatly lowered labor costs in production. No other country at the time had a market large enough to warrant mass machine production.
Perhaps this might have made America's capitalists far richer, but labor unionism was growing by leaps and bounds at that time. They went after and got their share of the benefits of this lower-cost machine production.
Result: In a few years America's laboring class produced a new and vast MIDDLE-class population.
But by about 1960 something significant had happened. The average American wage was about three times that of Britain and Europe -- and almost four times that of Japan. But meanwhile, the Common Market had given European nations a MASS MARKET, and they had gone to mass machine production. Result: European nations had come to mass machine production with low-cost labor, while the United States had mass machine production with HIGH labor cost.
This in turn got the United States' dollar into trouble abroad due to unequal cash balances.
But this is only a partial explanation of what sky-rocketed the United States up to the highest per capita income -- the highest living standard of any nation in the history of mankind. And it also is only a partial explanation of the present down-turn of that affluent living standard.
A major cause lies in much deeper roots and involves a history of upwards of 3,000 years. Actually, what is now happening -- this sudden downward-trend in American prosperity -- the accelerating trend worldwide of increasing violence, wars, overthrow of governments of nations at the rate of one a month -- and world evils in general -- is the beginning of a staggering climax of world trouble such as never occurred before.
World leaders do not realize what's coming. They are almost totally unaware. They have been falsely educated into closing their minds to the CAUSES of great world events. They have been educated to ignore causes and deal with effects.
The world's best minds are in ignorance of the unprecedented cataclysm that is about to strike. It's laid out in advance for thousands of years in prophecy. But the prophecies have not been understood or believed because the vital KEY that could unlock prophecies has been LOST!
That key is the identity of the United States and the British nations in biblical prophecies. It's all explained in our free booklet, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy.
This booklet shows that it was prophesied long ago that, beginning 1800-1803, the United States and Britain would suddenly spring to the greatest wealth and power ever attained by any nation. God had promised that.
These nations reached the zenith of world power and wealth by the year 1950. The most amazing fact of world history is the sudden sky-rocketing of two nations -- the United States and Britain -- to unprecedented wealth and power. The British and Americans came into possession of more than two-thirds -- almost three-fourths -- of the cultivated wealth and resources of the WHOLE WORLD! All other nations combined shared between them less than a third!
What CAUSED this unequaled surge to wealth and power?
Abraham Lincoln answered: "We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards fertility of soil, extent of territory, and salubrity of climate .... We ... find ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in their acquisition or the establishment of them."
Again Lincoln said, "It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the over-ruling power of God ... and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord .... We have been the recipients of the choicest blessings of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation ever has grown, but we have forgotten God! We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."
The living God gave us this vast unprecedented prosperity.
Lincoln saw a nation that had forgotten God -- a nation drunk with a success not due to its own efforts -- a nation taking all the credit and glory to itself. This great president called for a day of fasting and prayer to confess the national sins before God. The fate of the nation was then hanging in the balance. God heard and answered -- the nation was saved.
But today the threat is a thousand times greater. And today there is no national leader with the UNDERSTANDING, the courage and faith to bring our nations to their knees for our deliverance.
What have we done with these multitudes of national and individual blessings which actually were the gift of the living God? God did NOT promise to continue the blessings if we rebelled. We have been rebellious and unwilling to yield to our God, and HIS WAYS which would have guaranteed lasting peace and prosperity. We have become arrogant and selfish. We have polluted the fertile lands the living God GAVE US. We have polluted the air, the rivers, lakes, and oceans. We have polluted our own minds and those of our children -- teaching the anti-God fable of evolution. We have given public acceptance to the misnamed "new morality" which is gross IMmorality! We have given public acceptance to homosexuality, premarital sex, perversion. We have polluted the sacred institution of marriage -- and through a constantly increasing divorce rate -- started on a course of destroying the home and family relationship -- the foundation of any stable society.
We have filled our lands with crime -- with corruption in high places -- with violence.
Speaking of this very condition and time, God says in the prophecy of Leviticus 26, "... I will break the pride of your power ...."
Fifty years ago we had less power, but we had PRIDE in our power. When a German battleship was steaming toward Manila Bay, President Theodore Roosevelt sent a strong note to Kaiser Wilhelm demanding the immediate withdrawal of the battleship. When the Kaiser ignored the demand, "Teddy" sent another note. Only, as I myself heard him say, he did not send this note to the Kaiser. He sent it to Admiral Dewey, in command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It instructed Dewey to steam with the whole fleet full speed toward the German battleship -- to fire one warning shot over her mast, and if she did not thereupon turn around, the note instructed, "SINK HER." Roosevelt said, "The Kaiser learned that I MEANT IT!"
But we as nations have turned from the God who so richly blessed us. And He is now withdrawing the blessings.
The United States has now won its LAST WAR! We were defeated humiliatingly in South Vietnam by little North Vietnam. We have the power, but WE ARE AFRAID TO USE IT! Our high standard of living is starting DOWNWARD. Our defeat in South Vietnam, and our Watergate scandal -- followed by the CIA scandal -- have greatly weakened the respect other nations had for us.
Europeans had relied on the United States for protection against Russia. They are fast losing confidence in that reliance. Soon they will unite POLITICALLY and MILITARILY in a gigantic United States of EUROPE -- a resurrection of the once powerful "Holy Roman Empire." And it will be a threat that could DESTROY the United States and Britain.
Already the once proud British Empire has crumbled. They were PROUD of their power -- a PROUD people. They are no longer a major nation.
Now, other prophecies reveal, the United States and the British peoples are to be visited soon by such extreme drouth and famine that disease epidemics following in their wake will take millions of lives -- up to one-third of our populations! When the heaven above us is as iron, and the earth as brass (Leviticus 26:19), our nations will realize that needed rain does not come from iron above, and an earth like brass does not soak up rain nor grow crops.
"And," continues the prophecy, "your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits" (Lev. 26:20).
But continue the prophecy: "And [after this] if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins .... And I will bring a sword upon you ...." -- INVASION -- NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION! (Lev. 26:21,25).
Unless these nations do turn to our God, and to HIS RIGHTEOUS WAYS OF LIFE, this and other prophecies warn of another third of our people being destroyed by military invasion -- our CITIES shall be destroyed -- undoubtedly NUCLEAR holocaust!! -- and-CAPTIVITY AS SLAVES!
But UNDERSTAND THIS! With God, punishment is CORRECTION for our GOOD -- not revenge! Prophecy shows OUR PEOPLE IN CAPTIVITY AND SLAVERY at the time of Christ's coming!
BUT -- THEN will come DELIVERANCE, at Christ's coming! -- and WORLD PEACE -- with OUR PEOPLES elevated to once again become the HEAD -- in greater prosperity and blessings than ever before -- and with our peoples turning to -- and receiving -- SPIRITUAL SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE!
WHY have those who profess to base their religion on the BIBLE never WARNED our people of these plain and clear PROPHECIES??
I have been commissioned by the living GOD to get out this WARNING to our peoples -- as well as to take Christ's last MESSAGE to Gentile nations for a warning to ALL NATIONS! Sure I get persecuted for it. Sure, I've had to make unrealized personal SACRIFICES for it -- but SOMEBODY has to have the courage to DO IT, and the living Christ has called and chosen me.
YOU NEED to carefully read and weigh the free booklet, The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. It will fill you in with all the details.
And I NEED, urgently, the help of all our Co-Workers to get this herculean Commission ACCOMPLISHED! I well know it is, truly, "Mission Impossible" ACCOMPLISHED! But our great God continues to bless me with youth, strength, dynamic energy and vitality. And I know, that with YOUR PRAYERS and help back of me, it will be accomplished!
With deep love, in Jesus's name,
Herbert W. Armstrong