📄 When I was able to start driving, I remember gasoline was 19 cents a gallon. Can you believe that? America drilled and refined all of its own oil and it was extremely cheap to drill and to transport to the USA. When large oil reserves were discovered in the Middle East, everything changed. This is where our dependency began, and more and more oil companies went to the Middle East as the cost to drill rose here. So the Kings and Sheiks prospered as America’s wealth grew over the next 50 years and no President really pushed for an acceptable energy plan.
John Bower, who has headed an international Christian mission in the Middle East, believed that “God gave the Arabs oil to bring them into the world community. Otherwise they would continue to isolate themselves.” Unfortunately, the Arab leaders got too used to the easy money so greed became another false god as the first OPEC embargo in 1973 pushed prices higher and pushed oil from $3 a barrel to $30. The world was hooked on Middle Eastern oil and could not change its diet.
Next, you have China seeing the handwriting on the wall from the collapse of Russia and the eastern block. With Mao dead, they wanted a piece of Western prosperity. So over the last 15 years they have been growing rapidly by allowing Economic Freedom and building on the backs, jobs, technology and prosperity of American resources and dollars. A Chinese executive told me in 2007 that 60% of China’s economy was based on American consumption. The Chinese are backing out of Communism. The party likes the prosperity too much to turn back now. Mao Tse-tung would roll over in his grave if he could see what is happening in his country.
So many outspoken Americans have said, “We have been stupid sending our money to the Middle East and Far East, putting our economy and future growth in peril.” On the surface that seems totally logical.
But what about God? Is He just sitting back laughing at what we have been doing? If you pull back and look at the big picture and you seek His face, I think you come to the same conclusions I have. God is involved in everyone’s life, whether we believe in Him or not. Fact: God gave mankind Free Will which is a natural desire placed in the heart and soul of every man and woman. That’s why Freedom is breaking out in the Middle East and China. God has used America to found Freedom and now nearly 75% of all the major countries in the world have declared a form of freedom and democracy. All of that is in God’s will. Freedom is a process and takes time to perfect, as we have proven over and over in the USA.
I believe in the next decade that, from God’s leading and our striving for debt reduction, America will begin to drill for our own oil and energy sources and turn the balance of trade. The same Middle Eastern countries will have to diversify their economies by developing industries, like exporting, retailing, manufacturing and servicing to employ their people to grow their economies. We have given them the down payment.
Without oil revenue, these countries will have to learn and use the principles of Biblical Freedom which drives Economic Exchange in the long term. For business owners to be successful in a free society requires integrity and treating customers and employees with honesty to sustain repeated business. You can only lie to a customer for a short time and keep their business. Bribery and swindling have to decline for God to bless these nations. China will no longer be able to steal our technology and knock off our product without licensing fees. The Golden Rule will prevail.
We may be stupid but God is not. He has a plan to spread Freedom through Christian principles. Africa will be His next big stop to feed people with jobs, and on a full belly people in Africa will be more and more interested in the Gospel and service to Him.