50 Ways to Beat Inflation

Inflation is higher than it has been in America since 1974. It is not merely a policy problem, but a major financial threat for every family in America, and most families throughout the world. Regardless of what one thinks about policy, we all need practical ways that we can fight inflation. Here are a few:

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How to Decide How to Invest

The American economy is struggling. Inflation is worse than at any time in the past forty years and the stock market has lost a quarter of its value since January of 2022. Retirees, many on fixed incomes, have lost $3 trillion in the same time.[1] Many are struggling just to get by. Necessities like food, fuel, clothing, shelter, and often health care, slip out of the fingers of millions of our countrymen.

Simultaneously, inflation is 9.1%, and the average interest on money in savings accounts is less than 1%. This means that in terms of purchasing power, savers are losing over 8% on their money.  For example, one hundred dollars in a savings account now could rise to $101 one year hence, but would only be able to buy $93 worth of goods and services.

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Nahum – The Four Fears

Nahum, an oft-overlooked minor prophet in the Old Testament, details God’s final judgment on the neo-Assyrian Empire and its leading city, Nineveh. The prophet Jonah, famous for his episode with a fish, had preached in Nineveh a century earlier and sparked a great repentance. In the intervening decades, the Assyrians returned to their wicked ways. Nahum, while showing none of the ethnic animus that so vexed Jonah, felt burdened by the sins of the Assyrians and the oppression of Israel. He asks the Lord what He will do about it, and God replies that His patience passed its limits, Nineveh would soon be destroyed.

Nahum chapter 1 overflows with the power of God, His wrath against evil, and His determination to punish the guilty. The Lord of Hosts reminds His prophet in a thousand ways about His strength to crush His foes and save those who trust in Him. The prophet concludes chapter 1 with the joys of bringing good news – being a herald of peace.

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A Discourse on Abortion

We frequently encounter debates on abortion in the news media but may not hear about such discussions between individuals. I was recently engaged in an email discourse with woman on abortion. Her initial, unedited email is as follows:

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In Christ Alone

How can man approach God?[1] People from the Aztecs to the Zulus have asked this since the dawn of humanity, and man has imagined thousands of answers.[2] These answers boil down to three possibilities.

  1. Man cannot do anything to approach God, and therefore can never approach Him.
  2. Man does something, or a group of things, to earn the right to approach God.
  3. Man cannot do anything to approach God, but God in His grace brings man to Him.

These possibilities are exclusive, as each includes a world view that is inconsistent with the others. It is logically impossible to select 1 and 3, for example, or some other combination.

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The Encroaching Tyranny

America has been a force for good, most of the time, for its history. If we don’t celebrate it, we will lose it. Tyranny encroaches.

For at least 70 years, America has been the preeminent diplomatic, informational, military, and economic power on earth. By and large, we have used our power for good. After World War II, we did not demand land, establish colonies, or institute an international economic system intended to make America richer. We opposed communism in all its forms, and tried to spread democracy, freedom, peace, and prosperity throughout the world. It is difficult to find another such example of benevolence in history. The British endeavored to improve the world as they understood it, but still accumulated colonies, acquired territories, and tilted the economic playing field in their favor. The Ottomans, the Mughals, the Mongols, the Arabs, the Romans, the Chinese, and other empire builders were not so munificent. The United States made mistakes, supporting dictators in an effort to stop communism, which we considered a greater evil. But internationally and overall, America has been a force for good.

Domestically, we have been equally idealistic. The reforms of the 1960s, from Johnson’s Great Society to the Civil Rights Act, have been attempts to right wrongs. The subsequent 60 years has been an attempt to right more wrongs, and correct problems in the fixes that we implemented earlier. America has been a force for good. And yet we take no joy in our successes. Instead, many Americans, especially younger ones, wish to hand more and more power to the government. They deny our victories and focus on our failures. They want socialism.[1]

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How Companies Can Attract, Hire, and Retain Good Workers in a Population Challenged Future

How can companies attract, hire, and retain enough high-quality workers in the population-challenged future?

The future of HR is inexorably tied to the future of demography and technology in the United States and throughout the world. Cultural changes will also play an important role. These changes are overwhelming in their power and even in their novelty. Chief executives who wish for their companies to succeed will have to lead their companies and their communities through these daunting challenges. How can they do that?

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Failing or Forging

Do the fires in your life forge you into greatness, or do you fail in the heat?

The Navy Exchange at the base in Rhode Island had a plaque which read, “Some people are lost in the fires, other people are forged in them – Marines.” The finest swords are heated again and again to burn and melt away impurities that weaken the steel, making it brittle, prone to shatter, and worthless for war.

Life is full of fires, including everything from health to money to relationships. The flames of suffering burn throughout every life, waxing and waning as the days pass. No moment is completely free of pain. Ultimately, these fires will consume the mortal coil of every one of us.

During our earthly walk, some people are damaged or are even destroyed by their fires, while others grow stronger. Some fail while others are forged. A few become truly great. What makes the difference? Four factors characterize those who are forged in their infernos.

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Marketing Myopia

Businesses must recall that they do not exist to sell products, no matter how excellent those products are, but to meet customer needs. Their survival depends upon it. 

Coronado Baptist Church in El Paso, Texas hosted a banquet to raise money for Christian ministries in Africa. A church leader spoke of his experience on that continent (personal experience, 2006).

“Tell me about yourself,” an African pastor said to the American.

“Well, I own a manufacturing plant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. We are expanding into India” the church man answered.

“Not about your work, that is unimportant,” the African pastor replied. “Tell me about your family.”

The American businessman defined himself by his work, while the African pastor defined himself as part of a family, a church, and a community. As is common in individualistic societies, the American focused on his individual contribution. As is common in communal societies, the African focused on his part of the group and their contribution. The businessman and the pastor had to understand what each meant when they asked, “Who am I?” Had they not, they never could have met one another’s needs, and the mission trip would have been a failure.

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