This site has been arguing that the Fifth Seal has been opened (Revelation 6:9) and that we are now waiting for the opening of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12). However, there has been one prophecy that seems out of sync. In Revelation 6:5-6, it says:
5And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Given that the first, second, fourth, and fifth seals seem to have progressed quite far, it feels as if the third seal, as seen above, is very much delayed. Famine still haunts fringes of Africa, in areas torn by war, but it is still extremely limited in nature. If one were to assume that this prophecy refers only to the price of grains (e.g. wheat, corn, soy beans), then the obvious problem is that grain prices are still relatively tame (though they have risen significantly over recent months). In all truthfulness, out of necessity, this site has recently begun to argue that this prophecy has a broader meaning, in that it foretells a dramatic increase in the cost of living (rather than just food scarcity), perhaps to the extent of an onslaught of hyperinflation. I believe that there is a great deal of intended misinformation on “inflation”, so I would like to attempt to better define its meaning.
When talking about rises in the prices of goods in an economy, the most common word used is inflation – the rate of rise of the price of goods. In more colloquial usages, “the increase in the cost of living” is often used. However, the official government methodologies to calculate inflation is highly artificial, and I would argue that it is not representative of what most people experience. If we were to believe central bankers, then the rate of inflation is “too low”, and that the purpose of monetary policy is to increase inflation. I will argue that “experienced inflation” (my own term) is significantly higher for the majority of the population, and by looking at experienced inflation, we can see that the rider of third beast (as per Revelation 6:5) has indeed been loosed upon the world.
I define experienced inflation as simply the rise in the cost of goods and services that people actually buy every year. To illustrate this point, let’s start with the simplest of examples. In a society comprised of rabbits and lizards, the economy is comprised of two items — cabbage for the rabbits and caterpillars for the lizards. Let us say that unusually wet weather results in a surge in caterpillars. The price of caterpillars will fall (increase supply results in a decrease in price) resulting in a windfall price drop for the lizards, making them better off. However, the surge in caterpillars means that there is a large decrease in cabbage production, because the increase in caterpillars resulted in them eating half the cabbage crop. The ensuing increase in the price of cabbages means that the rabbits have suffered a massive bout of inflation. If the price of caterpillars fell by half and the price of cabbages increased by 50%, then assuming that the economy is similarly divided evenly between these two goods, then the official rate of inflation is zero (the increase in the price of cabbage is exactly offset by the decrease in the price of caterpillars). Though the inflation rate is zero for this small economy, the experienced inflation rate of the rabbits is 50%. The rabbits will suffer hunger, while the lizards will enjoy a tremendous boon.
In a more realistic scenario, let us look at the experienced inflation differential between those who rent their homes verses those who own their homes. The central bank embarks on a massive monetary stimulus that results in real estate prices rising 10% per year. Assuming that rents also rise by 10% per year, and that those who rent must pay 50% of their net wages to their landlords, then renters experience an annual inflation of 5%, whereas homeowners suffer no experienced inflation (and enjoy an annual 10% increase in their wealth). The homeowner is made better off by the central banker and the renter is made worse off.
Now let us take a slightly larger basket into consideration. Let us look at a basket of good comprised of food, rent, and energy (i.e., gasoline and utilities). For 60% of the population, this basket represents 100% of their expenditures – the low-income bracket. For 30% of the population, this represents 50% of their expenditures (the middle-income bracket), and for 10% of the population (the high-income bracket), this represents 10% of their expenditures. Let us say that this basket of goods goes up in price by 15% each year. This means that 60% of the population are experiencing an annual inflation rate of 15%, as they spend all of their income on this basket of goods. For 30% of the population, they experience a 7.5% rate of inflation as they spend half of their income on these goods. For the final group, they only experience only a 1.5% rate of inflation. Thus, we see, that depending on your income group, you experience a different rate of inflation. The bottom tier of society, who must use all of their income to just survive, experience the highest rate of inflation. The top tier of society experiences very little inflation. This is true in this simple scenario and it also holds true in actual life.
Let us now add a twist. The bottom tier of society is experiencing a 15% rate of inflation. In a closed economy, the bottom tier would demand an increase in their wages of 15% to make up for rising prices. However, the government increases the labor supply every year, by importing workers from outside the country, to the extent that wages are unable to rise (by increasing the supply of labor, you decrease its cost). The resulting effect is that the bottom tier must reduce their real consumption (the actual quantity of goods consumed) by 15% to balance the increase in prices and the inability to increase their wages. The government’s monetary and labor policy results in the further impoverishment of the lower-income bracket.
Given this analysis, we can argue that the experienced inflation in the more advanced economies of America and Europe is significantly higher than official government statistics, for a majority of the people. As food prices continue to rise with the advance of global warming, people in lesser developed nations (who spend a larger percentage of their income on food) will similarly suffer an increasing rate of experienced inflation. From this viewpoint, we could argue that the third horseman of the apocalypse has indeed been loosed upon the world.
I admit that this is a seemingly long (and convoluted) argument for so simple a prophecy. One could argue that this was made necessary by the amount of officially sanctioned disinformation being supplied by central bankers. Christ tells us that God will help us with the basic necessities of food and clothing. Christ has also told us to help supply others with these necessities of life. Believers will need to be more helpful and generous when possible, as we progress further into the End of Days.