Schröder: Britain the Cause of the Euro Crisis

Schröder: Britain the Cause of the Euro Crisis

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Britain is the EU’s biggest problem and the reason the eurozone’s economies haven’t been fixed, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said on November 7. He accused Britain of standing in the way of the reforms Europe needed to fix its economy.

“We need to press ahead with Europe’s political unity, towards a kind of European federation,” said Schröder.

Why hasn’t that happened?

“The problem has a name, and that’s Britain,” he said. “As long as the British block these moves, nothing will happen.”

“We can assume that Britain is no longer willing to join the euro area,” said Schröder. “Countries that are not in the euro area cannot prevent greater integration. It’s tough but you cannot say ‘I will not be there but I want a say.’”

Schröder’s comments are exaggerated, but they contain a kernel of truth. Britain is a brake on European integration. It does not want to be part of a federal Europe, and once it parts ways with the EU, integration will proceed much more quickly.

But is Britain the biggest brake right now? No. The UK is perfectly happy to let the eurozone go ahead and do whatever it wants, as long as Britain is left out of it.

Most of Schröder’s analysis is spot on though. For the euro to be fixed for good—rather than held together with sticking tape, only to fall apart again at the next crisis—the eurozone needs to become a “kind of European federation.” Britain is making this more difficult. But the real obstacle here is that most European countries aren’t willing to give control of their economies over to a central authority. And since German money would be at stake, Germany would control that authority. At the same time, Germany doesn’t want to risk its money and financial reputation purely for the sake of the southern European nations.

The crisis will have to get worse to persuade both southern Europe and Germany to form a European superstate. In the meantime, Britain is guilty of getting in the way, so it makes a useful scapegoat.

Schröder also accused Britain, correctly, of blocking EU regulations over the financial sector. Britain has slowed down these regulations as much as it can. Right or wrong, Britain is heavily dependent on its financial center. Europe’s rules—often seemingly designed to take business away from London rather than fix any actual problems—risk harming the only sector that is really prospering in Britain right now. If that is crippled before a new engine of growth is built, it will hurt the whole of Britain and everyone living there.

Schröder’s comments clearly demonstrate that Britain and the eurozone are on separate paths. The eurozone is on its way to becoming a superstate, while Britain isn’t even sure it wants to be in the EU in its current form.

The Growing EU-U.S. Rivalry

The Growing EU-U.S. Rivalry

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Global power is shifting.

“German predomination over the EU is today taken for granted,” reported German-Foreign-Policy.com on November 5. “[A] shift is perceived in relations to the most important global rival, the United States.”

The article cites the German Institute for International and Security Affairs as saying, “‘A major redistribution of power’ is currently taking place in Europe, with France and Great Britain falling clearly behind Germany” as the bloc’s most recognizable power.

Whether it be in the spheres of government, economics or military, Germany now dominates the Continent. On the world stage, Germany’s leadership of Europe has forged the nation into a globally influential force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, the the United States is in the winter of its life as the dominant world power. It is plagued by financial malaise, reckless overspending, a chronic inability to fund its government services unless debt ceilings are repeatedly raised, and decreasing effectiveness in its foreign policy.

The fact that German predomination is taken for granted today signals a vast lack of historical understanding from leading nations. The denial of history—which has recorded two catastrophic world wars in recent memory, both of which were instigated by the most dominant country in Europe—will have shocking consequences.

Download your free copy of Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany. Its contents draw on Bible prophecy, revealing a short-term increase in power for the nation. The ancient Prophet Nahum’s account describes the subjugation of former powers, the United Kingdom and United States, to a German-dominated Europe.

Biblical prophecy shows that the emerging atmosphere of world powers violently rising and falling rapidly will culminate in an unprecedented time of instability. Yet, out of that tribulation will come the ushering in of an empire whose government is to administer a longevity of peace never before seen by mankind.

Have You Noticed That the World Is Shaking?

Brace yourself and take a look at the events that have happened in the past five years.

Beware the ‘Well-Educated Technocrats’

Beware the ‘Well-Educated Technocrats’

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A belief that they have all the answers ‘is spread across the administration’ in Washington. Do you feel safer?

Technocrat. The word itself is ugly. It sounds like a madman in a lab coat concocting computerized weapons. Or maybe some steely, leggy, proboscis-covered beetle that eats your tomato plants.

But it’s actually worse. It’s a real and growing fixture in American government, and it is implementing an agenda that should alarm us all.

The Trumpet staff got a valuable peek at Washington’s inner workings October 31, when Congressman James Lankford gave an outstanding, and sobering, legislative update at Armstrong Auditorium.

Lankford represents Oklahoma’s fifth district in the U.S. House. One particularly chilling statement he made stood out to me. It was about technocrats. It rang true because of a slew of recent headlines and events. And it is all the more disturbing because of some history I’ve had my nose in of late.

He quoted Cass Sunstein, who headed the Office of Information Regulatory Affairs—a powerful office that oversees governmental regulations—for most of President Obama’s first term. According to Lankford, Sunstein said that America would be better off run by “a well-educated group of technocrats” rather than through the democratic process.

In other words, so many of the issues facing the country are too complicated for common people to decide. We need a handful of super-smart people to make all the decisions for us.

That is disturbing. Mr. Lankford described a highway-funding bill that came through the House a couple years ago. The technocrats want the federal government to control all the roads—they want to oversee construction all the way from the interstate system to your driveway. That way they can ensure the process complies with their environmental regulations, down to the composition of the pavement that is used. They believe they are the only ones responsible enough to manage such decisions.

Lankford concluded, “That belief is spread across the administration.”

Indeed. The words “well-educated group of technocrats” didn’t come out of the president’s mouth, but they underline so much of what his administration is doing.

Isn’t that what the kerfuffle over Obamacare’s broken promise “if you like your plan you can keep your plan” is all about? The administration now says the promise didn’t apply to “substandard” healthcare plans. What is “substandard”? Only the technocrats know.

These technocrats are convinced they have the ability to successfully run the insurance business, health care, the energy sector, car manufacturing, banking, home mortgages, and a growing list of other mammoth, complex industries. No problem is beyond their capacity to solve. They are issuing edicts, handing down regulations, taking on new projects and gobbling up the private sector at an unprecedented rate. All told, government spending now accounts for nearly half of the total U.S. economy.

These are the people who believe that monitoring the digital communications of all citizens is essential. They believe we’re only safe if they are the only ones with guns.

“I have heard over and over again that the problems that exist in the economy are not that the federal government has too much power, it’s that they don’t have enough,” Mr. Lankford said. “If they only had more authority to make the complete decision, it would go better.”

If only they had more authority.Where is the evidence? What proof do these well-educated technocrats have of their own capabilities? Right now, the big joke in America is that over $100 million in federal money couldn’t buy a functional website.

But how can failures ever teach the technocrats anything if the only lesson they come away with is that they simply don’t have enough power yet?

They have a “just trust us” disposition. “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” they said about Obamacare. It forcefully brings to my mind the wisdom of Jeremiah 17:5: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man.”

I’m familiar with the word technocrats because of Ron Fraser. For years he wrote in the Trumpet about how the European Union government was crawling with them—unelected, unaccountable individuals, deeply persuaded of their own sagacity and magnificence, who justify their existence by regulating the minutia of other people’s lives, expanding government and amassing power almost imperceptibly, incrementally, guideline by guideline, footnote by legalistically written footnote.

This is a well-worn road to catastrophe. History is littered with the wrecks of societies run by such powerful, self-delusional people.

Pardon the historical allusion—it will sound extreme. But Stalin and his technocrats were so convinced of their own wisdom that they imprisoned and murdered untold millions of their own people trying to realize their vision. “Power is a poison well known for thousands of years,” wrote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who knows a bit about the fallibility of technocrats after spending 11 years in the gulags. “[T]o the human being who has faith in some force that holds dominion over all of us, and who is therefore conscious of his own limitations, power is not necessarily fatal. For those, however, who are unaware of any higher sphere, it is a deadly poison. For them there is no antidote.”

That is what is perhaps most alarming about watching the steady, inexorable expansion of power that America’s highest officials are gleefully helping themselves to at the expense of our freedoms. One gets no sense that there is anything restraining them—no humility, no awareness of their own limitations, no answerability to anyone other than themselves.

Power without accountability is deadly. The human heart is simply too puffed up, too susceptible to vanity. “Pride grows in the human heart like lard on a pig,” Solzhenitsyn wrote.

It has been a tremendous asset to America that its founders understood the dangers of unaccountable power. Thankfully, they engineered the government with robust checks and balances squarely aimed at restraining well-educated technocrats.

Sadly, it is these very restraints that the current administration feels obliged by virtue of its own brilliance to ignore, bulldoze and demolish.

When Herbert W. Armstrong Prayed for Ten Extra Years of Life

When Herbert W. Armstrong Prayed for Ten Extra Years of Life

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“I am writing from Bucharest, Romania. I am spending two or three weeks at the Otopeni Clinic, famous over all of Europe, recharging tired batteries,” wrote Herbert W. Armstrong to readers of the Feb. 28, 1977, Worldwide News.

I have kidded about being 37 going on 36. It is acknowledged by all, so far as I know, that I appear to be at least some 20 years younger than I actually am. I have said that not one man half my age (42) out of a hundred could keep up with the pace I do in God’s Work.But there may have been a slight misunderstanding in some of this, and I wish to be utterly frank, and not to pretend. It is true the dynamic power, energy and drive have been there. It is true that probably not one in a hundred half my age could do the work that I have been doing.But what I feel most of you have not realized is that much if not most of all that energy, vitality, drive and power has come from two sources. God, of course (Isaiah 40:29-31), and sheer determination and self-drive, even when I did not feel up to it.But God is with me, and I need your prayers! I need at least 10 more years of vigorous, active work to finish the Work that God has committed to me, or less, if God cuts time shorter, which is most likely!

The lens of history reveals just how specific his prayerful petition to God was miraculously answered. He would later cut his Romanian rest stop short by several days in order to fly to England for a speaking engagement. Forty-eight hours after his departure, a 7.3 earthquake, the largest in Romanian history, shook for a minute, killing 1,500 people and destroying much of the Bucharest landscape.

During the summer of that same year, after concluding meetings in Japan and Israel, Mr. Armstrong flew to the Ivory Coast on his first visit to what he termed “darkest Africa.” During the trip, “he contracted a touch of what seemed to be intestinal flu,” the Worldwide News of Aug. 29, 1977, reported. The bout, it said, “gave him a fever which was aggravated by a stomach upset he contracted in Abidjan, Republic of Ivory Coast.”

That August, shortly after returning from Abidjan, Mr. Armstrong’s heart stopped beating, and he ceased breathing. The ambassador for world peace lay lifeless for a brief moment in time.

His longtime friend and personal chauffeur Melvin Olinger recalls, “I was running errands in town for him the day of the heart failure. I returned to his house some 20 to 30 minutes after the attack. Nurses said he stopped breathing for a minute and a half. Those of us there were all silently praying for God’s miraculous intervention.”

Then, dramatically, after being anointed (James 5:14; Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 53:5) and receiving cpr, he was revived, his heart began beating, and he gasped again the breath of life!

After 16 months of recuperation, during which time he continued producing a prolific amount of articles, Mr. Armstrong resumed world travel flying to Jerusalem on Dec. 11, 1978, for various meetings with local and national officials.

“God brought me back to life from complete heart failure and death, in August 1977 for a purpose,” he declared to co-workers in an April 16, 1979, letter. “That purpose is to finish proclaiming His message around the world ….”

Now “back in harness,” as he termed it, he drove himself even harder than before in the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy that the good news of the Kingdom of God would be preached in all the world as a witness in advance of His Second Coming (Matthew 24:14).

Did God answer his 1977 request for more years of life? Absolutely! Those remaining years were filled with greater vitality and drive, enabling the completion of the commission God had committed to him. During these additional years, God would open even more miraculous doors for preaching His gospel via public appearance campaigns and meetings with world leaders.

In June 1985, representatives of the world’s nations gathered in San Francisco to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the United Nations. Delegates reviewed 40 years of achievement and considered the future of the world organization. Herbert W. Armstrong had reported the 1945 conference for the Plain Truth magazine and World Tomorrow radio program. At the time of the 1985 conference he had met with more heads of state and leaders of government than any other man alive. He was afforded a position of honor and duly recognized by the delegates during the sessions of discussion and debate.

He died January 1986, approximately eight years and 11 months from the time of his February 1977 prayer. This example of faith and obedience to God recalls one of his most powerful publications: The Plain Truth About Healing.

For over two decades, our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, has continued in the tradition of the very power and spirit of Mr. Armstrong’s example. He led an almost six year court battle over this book and many other works of Mr. Armstrong, which had been spurned by those who assumed control of the physical and spiritual assets with which God has so blessed His Work.

The Trumpet’s sponsor, the Philadelphia Church of God, won that legal battle out of the courts, and has continued vigorously to revive those works and publish them free for the asking. Request your copy of The Plain Truth About Healing without cost or obligation, and develop a personal relationship with the all-powerful God behind the miraculous answer to Herbert W. Armstrong’s righteous prayer.

Why British Children May Start School at Two

Why British Children May Start School at Two

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Another leftist attack on the family? No—it’s worse.

There’s a growing movement among Britain’s educators to encourage children to spend less time with their families and more time at school. Baroness Sally Morgan, the chair of Britain’s school inspection board, Ofsted, called for a “big brave move” toward children starting school at 2 years old, in a November 4 speech. Education Secretary Michael Gove is changing the law so that schools can choose how much time children get off school. He’s encouraged them to give pupils less holiday time and wants to extend the school day.

Why this push? At first glance, it could be easy to assume that this is yet another left-wing agenda to break down the family by taking kids away from the influence of their parents and entrusting government approved teachers with their upbringing. But there’s more to it than that.

Lady Morgan is indeed a left-wing politician. But Michael Gove is probably the most right-wing minister in Britain’s government. He’s passionately hated by the left-wing educational establishment for his push to raise standards, make exams harder and make history teaching more patriotic, for example. Calls for longer school days and shorter holidays having been coming from the new breed of solid headmasters that Gove has allowed to flourish.

Again, why? Some of these headmasters who have schools in poor areas find that much of their good work with disadvantaged pupils is undone as they go back to their families over the summer.

Lady Morgan is worried about a similar problem. A recent study found that children from poor homes were 19 months behind their richer peers by the time they start school at age 5. “They’re not ready to learn at school,” said Lady Morgan, because of “weak parenting, low educational attainment of parents, poor diet, poor housing and so on.” In extreme cases a child can arrive at school not potty-trained, unable to talk properly and not even knowing his own name.

This new push for earlier schooling isn’t an attempt to break down families. It’s worse: It’s proof that families have already been broken.

Michael Gove and company are strong believers in the importance of family. But after seeing so many parents doing an appalling job, they want to bring up the children instead.

Part of the problem may be a money issue. The government is doing all it can to push mothers out to work by rigging the tax system and offering financial incentives to women that will leave the home. Better-off parents will find it easier to afford to keep the mother at home or afford a daycare service that can at least make sure the children are potty-trained and ready for school.

But the parents of many of the children that suffer are on welfare—they’re not going out to work. The government is paying for them to stay at home—they should have plenty of time to spend with their children.

The real solution to this problem is not for the government to try and do the job of parents—it is to fix parents. But there’s little a government can do solve that problem. A good start would be to scrap all the anti-family policies in place. But that still leaves a whole generation of parents that haven’t been taught the knowledge or who haven’t built the character necessary to do the job.

Almost all of Britain’s problems—from its bloated welfare state and huge national debt to the obesity crisis hitting the National Health Service—can be traced to a breakdown in families. Britain’s educational system is constantly sliding down the ranks of developed nations. The dysfunctional education system that Gove is trying to fix is part of it. But he can only do so much. The improvements he can make are simply limited by the poor quality of Britain’s families.

Family, as the Trumpet has often said, is the foundation of a nation. Britain has fatally damaged the fabric of its family life. The government is trying to step in and do the job that families should be doing. But it can’t afford to. And it could never effectively replace parents properly fulfilling their God-given role.

For more on the importance of family, read our free book Why Marriage-Soon Obsolete?