Not So Fruited Plains
The United States once fed the world, but now it is falling behind Russia and even Brazil. Typically, agriculture has been one industry where America exports more than it imports, helping boost the trade deficit. However, despite President Donald Trump’s boasts of making America great again, this year’s crop numbers show that “America’s agricultural dominance has eroded,” as the Wall Street Journal reported.
This year, Brazil is expected to harvest a record soybean crop, producing 43 percent of world soybean exports. Brazil is now the world’s largest producer of soybean and “can sway global prices with a weather hiccup or transportation snarl,” wsj continued. Brazil is also the second-largest producer of corn. Last year, Russia outperformed America’s amber waves of grain, exporting more wheat than the United States.
American farming peaked at a record $123 billion in 2013 but has since faced a four-year decline, the first time the sector has seen such a decline since the 1970s. Despite the general prosperity American farming has enjoyed, it is heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. From 2015 to 2027, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (usda) is expected to spend nearly $87 billion protecting and propping up U.S. agriculture. This year, the usda predicts income to fall to $62 billion, half of what it was in 2013.
To make matters worse, President Trump’s pledges to restore American industry to greatness seems to exclude the farming sector. He withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was heavily supported by the agricultural community. He has threatened the North American Free Trade Agreement, another trade deal that boosts U.S. agricultural sales. President Trump may be helping other industries, but as one benefits, others suffer.
How has America declined so rapidly? When you go back to the peak of our power, no one could match the power and prosperity of the U.S. and Britain. The British Empire seems all but forgotten, and America is quickly following. The momentum to “make America great again” is worthless unless our people know and seek what made America great to begin with.
Did we acquire this because our own ingenuity, wisdom, foresight, energy, ability or power? You don’t have to look far back in our own history to see from our own politicians that all this came to us miraculously.
Abraham Lincoln said, “We find ourselves in peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the Earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate … legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.”
In another speech, President Lincoln said (March 30, 1863):
[I]t’s the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the ruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize … that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. …
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in number, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
God gave us this land and these blessings. He says so throughout the Bible, with specific mentions of agricultural blessings. In Deuteronomy 33:13, God said through Moses: “And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath.” Biblically, Joseph, the father of Ephraim and Manasseh, refers to the modern nations of America and the British commonwealth, as shown in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
At the zenith of their birthright, America and Britain were overtaken by blessings. Did God ever bless our land? The British Empire once presided over a quarter of the world; the United States is the choicest piece of land on Earth. We are still benefiting from those blessings, although they are quickly dwindling.
Mr. Armstrong wrote in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, ”More than half of all tillable, cultivated, temperate-zone lands of the Earth came after a.d. 1800 into the possession of our two great powers alone!” “What other nations combined ever possessed such material wealth?” he asked. Elsewhere Moses described even more blessings for national and individual obedience; he also warned of curses for disobedience.
In Amos 4, God warns that there is a connection between our lifestyle and the fruitfulness of our land. President Lincoln said we had forgotten God. That was in 1863. How much worse is it today? God uses agriculture to teach us many lessons and often to get our attention.
God promises blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. This applies nationally and individually. Your life can be blessed—even as our nation suffers for its disobedience. To make sense of what is happening in our nations today, request your free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s most popular book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.