IT'S ONLY GOING
TO GET WORSE!
By: SR Shearer
How many times have Republicans and their Christian
allies insisted that there is no funding for hospitals,
schools and social services, when all the time they know
that the cost of a military aircraft is $50,000 per hour,
per aircraft - Sorry, Mr. Smith we cannot afford your
cancer treatment, I am afraid you will have to die. We
regret to inform you, Mrs Jones, that there are no funds
available to help you and your family find housing —
you will have to sleep in your car tonight. I am sorry
to tell you that your unemployment benefits have run out,
This is the reality that millions and millions of
Americas are facing — AND IT IS NOT GOING TO GET
BETTER, IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. How you deal with
this crisis will reveal the true nature of your Christian
character, whether its real or just so much "talk."
Christians, whether they want to confront the fact or not,
are facing a disaster that will not go away, and if it has not
caught up with them by now, it soon will — one way or
another: We are speaking here of America's — and, indeed,
the world's — economic crisis. Despite all the "happy
talk" about a recovery, the economy is once again sputtering,
and unemployment claims have tipped 400,000 for the last seven
weeks. The jobless rate is presently stuck at 9.1 percent, which
means that REAL unemployment stands close to 20
percent. [Please see our article, "A
Permanent 30% Unemployment Rate for the United States."]
4.2 million Americans have been unemployed for one year or
longer at this point, and there are very few signs that the
employment situation in the United States is going to improve
any time soon.
Even for those who remain employed, rising food and gas prices
are eating away at their income. The chart below illustrates
how the lower income groups in the U.S. really get squeezed
when food and gas prices rise. In the U.S. the average annual
income for the consumer units (households) measured is $62,857,
where food expenditures consume a little over 10 percent of
But averages distort the true picture of what is really
going on as only 15 percent of consumer units fit into this
income group. Almost one third
of the households in the U.S. spend close to or more than 20
percent of their annual income on food — and
when the cost of food and gas rise for these people, it is devastating.
In addition to all that, Americans are in the middle of the
worst housing collapse in U.S. history - and unfortunately
it is going to get even worse. Already, U.S. housing prices
have fallen further during this economic downturn (26 percent),
then they did during the Great Depression (25.9 percent).
Approximately 11 percent of all homes in the United States
are currently standing empty. In fact, there are many new
housing developments across the U.S. that resemble little more
than ghost towns because foreclosures have wiped them out. Mortgage
delinquencies and foreclosures reached new highs in 2010, and
it is being projected that banks and financial institutions
will repossess at least a million more U.S. homes during 2011.
Moreover, because unemployment is rampant and wage levels are
going down at a time when mortgage lending standards have been
significantly tightened there are very few qualified buyers
running around out there and that is going to continue to be
the case for quite some time to come. When you add all of those
factors up, it leads to one inescapable conclusion. The "housing
Armageddon" that we have been experiencing since 2007 is
going to get even worse in 2011.
This chart shows the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index value for 10 US cities, starting in 2000. The latest data, from March 2011, show that home prices in the Composite-10 index are close to the lowest levels since the housing collapse started in 2006.
Countless numbers of Americans who "own their homes" are in
danger of default on their mortgages, and many will soon be
on the street — and this isn't counting those who are
in danger of being evicted from rental properties.
AM RADIO IN NEW YORK
AM New York Radio reports on what all this means in the REAL
lives of ordinary people, for example -
"The nurse who is taking your temperature may have no bed
to sleep in when she goes off shift and the waiter bringing
you your entrée may be schlepping his belongings from an intake
center to a city shelter in a black plastic bag.
"Homelessness has clawed its way tenaciously into the
ranks of the employed, enveloping a growing number of
families, couples and working people.
"According to a New York City census that is published on
the website for the Coalition for the Homeless, the ranks
of the homeless have diversified to include:
More children, 42,888 of the 113,553 who slept in city
shelters in fiscal year 2010 were kids.
More families, 28,977, up 10 percent from 2009
More working people, about 44 percent of the homeless
nationally have jobs.
"'There are a lot of new faces', affirmed Christy Parque,
executive director of Homeless Services United. Many of
the new homeless are caught in a grinder of cruel, countervailing
economic forces: Wage compression, job loss and a trend
to shift work while ever-rising rents and housing prices
gobble up an increasing percentage of shrinking paychecks.
"Denise Miranda, the project director for homelessness
of the Urban Justice Center, recently was greeted as a client
when she went to visit a food pantry. The mistake was understandable,
she said, as there are more people who 'look like me; they're
in business casual.'
"Many are women in retail or service industries who managed
until their hours were cut. 'Companies don't want to give
them more than 30 hours, because then they would have to
pay them benefits', but holding down even two or three of
such jobs isn't enough to afford housing, said Parque."
Parque offers the following REAL-LIFE examples:
Latrell Reagan - Registered Nurse
Latrell Reagans, 39, an employed registered nurse, wonders,
still, what she could have done to prevent her family's tumble
into the unthinkable.
Maybe she could have skimped on school fees for her six kids,
not bought them as many toys, clothes or books. But the steep
medical insurance co-pays for the nebulizers and asthma medications
for the kids seemed non-negotiable, as did the breathtakingly
high Con Ed bills that sometimes soared to more than $1,000
"We had air conditioners in each of the kids' rooms because
they have asthma and we had to keep the air cool and clean,"
When her husband, Darren, lost his messenger job in 2009,
and was denied unemployment benefits, "there were times we
didn't pay the rent," and the Reagans lost their purchase
on their economic soil.
The marshall "was very nice," when he came to put the yellow
tape on her apartment door on February 26, recalled Reagans,
who was at the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing
Office in the Bronx with her daughters, Larren, 8, and Chanelle,
"He waits for you to gather your things. The landlord changes
the lock while you're there" and you are launched into a world
of uncertainty with frightened kids in tow, she said.
Two of the older kids went to stay with friends temporarily
as the rest of the Reagans bounced from shelter to shelter.
Reagans was at the PATH Office because the family was kicked
out that morning from their third shelter, having been deemed
ineligible to receive housing assistance.
"They want us to go stay with my mother-in-law," said Reagans.
"But there are seven of us (an older son is in college) and
she's in New York City housing with her husband, her daughter
and two other grandchildren who are not on the lease. She
could be put out, too."
Being homeless "is very hard emotionally," acknowledged Reagans.
Besides having to deal with the anger and anxiety of her children,
her own job has been disrupted by the Kafkaesque exigency
of having to respond to "notices that give you no notice,"
about her appeal, and emergency after emergency. "Every time
I come here, I can't go to work," said Reagans, "and I'm per
diem," which means losing a day's pay each time she is summoned.
Prayer helps, said Reagans, who is Baptist. But the newspaper
headlines about the recession resonate like they never did
"You never know who homelessness
will hit next," mused Reagans.
just a black phenomenon anymore - more and more so-called
white middle-class families are ending up in homeless
shelters, that is, if they are lucky enough to find one.
"We've seen a few Asian people at the shelter," said Lisa
Robinson, 22, with a rueful laugh. "You think they can always
go back to their family or they're good at managing money,"
but anyone can find themselves displaced, said Lisa, who
is of South Korean descent.
Her husband, Dannie Robinson, 29, was expecting the shelters
they've bounced around in to be filled with "bummy people
and drug addicts and people who couldn't cope with society,
but there are lots of normal, genuine people —
they just hit a rock and got a flat tire.
"A lot have been to college," added Lisa.
Dannie, a published poet, and Lisa, were enjoying a life
that included gym memberships and beach trips while working
as food servers in Sumter, S.C., when they both lost their
jobs. Unable to pay their share of the rent, their apartment's
primary lessor kicked them out. They headed to New York in
February, hoping that its comparatively robust economy would
reward them with jobs.
Jobs they eventually found: They were both recently hired
at Chili's but have yet to be able to amass enough money to
put a deposit on an apartment. They rapidly burned through
their savings paying off bills to preserve their credit. "If
you have bad credit, you're really screwed" because landlords
won't rent to you, said Dannie.
They were at the Parkview Shelter in Manhattan, but found
ineligible for services because Lisa's previous roommate failed
to verify she had lived there. Then they went to the El Camino
in Jamaica, Queens and were kicked out again for being ineligible.
"They tell us it's our burden" to provide proof that doesn't
exist, Lisa sighed.
"We've had to sleep on the train twice," said Dannie. "We
met another family found ineligible ten times. How can you
take care of business and get back on your feet" when you
have no place to go at night?
computer programmers are now employed as "drudge workers"
for minimum wage.
The most Evelyn Rosa, 48, made in one year was $250,000.
She was earning $90,000 a year when she was laid off from
her job as a computer programmer after a series of post- 9/11
bank mergers and layoffs.
Now, Rosa makes $10 an hour selling Skyride tickets outside
the Empire State Building while doing intermittent contract
work in web design.
"No one wants employees anymore because they don't want to
pay benefits," she said.
Since February, she's been crashing with her 82-year-old
mother. The apartment is a one-bedroom and Rosa lives in the
living room. Her belongings are arrayed in stackable cubes.
Even if Rosa's employer gave her 32 hours a week, $10 an
hour "is not enough to get an apartment," she said. Plus,
earning a bit more would make her ineligible for food stamps,
Medicaid and the $66 cash benefit she gets in public assistance
every two weeks, leaving her even more destitute.
Her experience, she said, has taught her that "nothing
lasts. The American dream is out there,
but it's no longer for working class people."
AS THE SITUATION GETS WORSE,
THE CHURCH WILL BE SIFTED
listen to me very carefully here: the situation that we have
described above is only going to get worse, and those Christians
who think they can "pray themselves out of the poverty they
face" are making a big mistake.
The fact of the matter is, the church is being sifted,
and the economic crisis that is slowly settling itself on the
world is the means through which it is being sifted. How you
deal with this process will determine which side of the sifting
process you will end up on — and remember here, it's not
what you say that counts, but what you do.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:23)
Now, please pay attention here? - How does a rich man ever
know that he is truly loved? The sad truth is, he doesn't so
long as he retains his wealth. But should he lose it, then he
will find out. Great crowds of people followed Jesus so long
as he fed them and healed them of their diseases. But when tribulation
arose because of the Word He spoke, the crowds disappeared.
crisis is only getting worse, and how a Christian deals
with it will reveal a lot regarding the true nature of
Oh, to be loved because of who you are, and not just because
of the "things" you have! This is the love that God
desires from those who follow Him. It is the love that Ruth
gave to Naomi, and this even after Naomi had asked Ruth to depart
from her because she [Naomi] had nothing further to give Ruth
- she no longer possessed any "things" with which
to "purchase" Ruth's love:
"But Ruth said, 'Do not urge me to leave you or turn
back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and
where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people,
and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there
I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if
anything but death parts you and me'." (Ruth 1:16-17)
Oh, to be loved because of who you are, and not just because of the
"things" you have! This is the love that God desires
from those who follow Him. It is the love that Ruth
gave to Naomi.
The Lord is looking for such to follow Him - those that will
follow after Him long after the "things" are gone,
the crowds have left, the popularity faded; when the clothes
are tattered and torn, there is no food on the table, and persecution
rages all around. These are the disciples of Jesus - with such
people one can repose trust and friendship, true love is here
to be found!
These are the disciples who can say with the prophet Habakkuk:
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on
the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the
fields yield no food; Though the flock be cut off from
the fold, And there be no heard in the stalls - YET I WILL
REJOICE IN THE LORD, I WILL JOY IN THE GOD OF MY SALVATION."
God bless you all!
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO
FELLOWSHIP ON HOW TO GO ON IN THESE DANGEROUS AND TROUBLED TIMES,
WE URGE YOU TO CONTACT US AT: [email protected].
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS,
PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM
WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER
WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses
where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems
too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone
poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post
them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden,
near employment offices, wherever you can.
Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
YOU CAN HELP BY EMAILING
THIS ARTICLE TO
YOUR FRIENDS AND