The World and Everything in It: September 7, 2022
On Washington Wednesday, measures to get inflation under control; on World Tour, the first-ever World Journalism Institute course in Europe; and a music ministry to homeless people around the country. Plus: commentary from Joel Belz, and the Wednesday morning news.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The inflation rate is at 8-1/2 percent and we all feel the pain. Is the Biden Administration fixing the problem?
NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Washington Wednesday.
Also a special report on WJI Europe.
Plus we’ll meet a musician who performs for the homeless.
And WORLD Founder Joel Belz on technology and truth.
REICHARD: It’s Wednesday, September 7th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!
REICHARD: Now news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Liz Truss day one » British Prime Minister Liz Truss arrived on London’s Downing Street just hours after officially assuming office on Tuesday.
Standing in front of the prime minister’s official residence, Truss told Britons…
TRUSS: I’m confident that together we can ride out the storm. We can rebuild our economy, and we can become the modern brilliant Britain that I know we can be.
She quickly began appointing senior members of her Cabinet. She tackles a to-do list dominated by an energy crisis and a rapidly rising cost of living.
British news media reported that Truss plans to cap energy bills, and she has vowed to cut taxes.
Truss also paid tribute to her predecessor.
TRUSS: Boris Johnson delivered Brexit, the covid vaccine, and stood up to Russian aggression. History will see him as a hugely consequential prime minster.
Johnson bowed to pressure to step down following a series of controversies.
Typhoon » One of the strongest storms ever to hit South Korea brought brutal winds and nearly three feet of rain on Tuesday.
Typhoon Hinnamnor made landfall near the port of Busan. It knocked out electricity to nearly 70,000 homes, shattered street lamps, and grounded transport services.
At least 14 people died weeks earlier when heavy rainfall triggered flooding around the capital city of Seoul.
UN calls for safety zone around Zaporizhzhia » The U.N. atomic watchdog agency is once again calling on Russia and Ukraine to establish a demilitarized safety zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Shelling continued around the nuclear plant on Tuesday, a day after it was again knocked off Ukraine's electrical grid.
Fears continue to mount that the fighting could trigger a catastrophe in a country still scarred by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
UN inspectors issued a report calling for the “establishment of a nuclear safety and security protection zone" around the facility.
Normally the plant relies on power from the outside to run the critical reactor cooling systems. A loss of those cooling systems could lead to a meltdown or other release of radiation.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Putin attends joint military drills with China, others » Vladimir Putin on Tuesday aimed binoculars at a distant horizon where his troops carried out joint military drills with Chinese forces.
AUDIO: [Military drills]
The weeklong exercise in eastern Russia is intended to showcase growing defense ties between the Kremlin and Beijing. China sent more than 2,000 troops along with military vehicles, combat aircraft, and warships to take part in the drills.
But several other countries are participating, including Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria, and a handful of ex-Soviet nations.
Russia to buy rockets, artillery shells from NoKo » Meantime, Russia is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said this is a sign that the war in Ukraine has likely strained Russia’s own supplies.
RYDER: The fact that they’re reaching out to North Korea is a sign that they’re having some challenges on the sustainment front.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said it could be a very large transaction.
KIRBY: Our sense is it could include literally millions of rounds of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea.
U.S. intelligence officials believe the Russians could purchase more military equipment from North Korea in the future.
Uvalde back to school » Students in Uvalde, Texas, walked into their first day of school past police cars, guards, and security fences.
They did not return to Robb Elementary, the scene of the mass shooting in May. The school will be demolished.
But other schools in the district reopened Tuesday with new security measures.
Parents of surviving students were understandably on edge.
PARENT: I was scared I wouldn’t get her back. But we went through drills all summer. I taught them you know, if you hear anything in the hallway, get out the window.
Some parents moved their children to online classes or charter schools.
I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: efforts to get inflation under control.
Plus, a country music artist using his talents to minister to the homeless.
This is The World and Everything in It.
NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Wednesday, September 7th, 2022.
We’re so glad you’ve joined us for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. It’s Washington Wednesday.
First up, inflation. The number one buzz word in Washington these days.
The rate at which prices are rising has slowed a bit, but it remains painfully elevated. For the 12 months ending in July, the annual US inflation rate stood at 8.5 percent.
EICHER: President Biden recently signed into law a slimmed-down version of his Build Back Better bill, which Democrats dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent sources say one thing the Inflation Reduction Act won’t do is reduce inflation — at least in the short term, if ever.
And some economists are concerned that the president’s student loan forgiveness plan will further fuel inflation.
So what impact will these measures have on rising costs? And what will it take to finally bring inflation under control?
Joining us now to help answer those questions is Jeff Haymond with Cedarville University in Ohio. He is the Dean of the School of Business Administration and Professor of Economics.
REICHARD: Professor, good morning!
JEFF HAYMOND, GUEST: Good morning!
REICHARD: Well, let’s start with the “Inflation Reduction Act.” The White House says this will help to bring costs down. But Republicans and others say it will do the opposite. What’s your take?
HAYMOND: Well, first of all, to understand what's going to happen to inflation, you have to know what causes inflation. And in reality, the cause of inflation is what the Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman once said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” So what it means is when we print too much money in the economy and there's just too few goods that results in rising prices. And it's important to realize that because it's not simply that we're paying more for some goods and services. That's not necessarily inflation. We could have shortages in an area. For instance, we're all struggling with the energy prices, the food prices, that in itself is not necessarily inflation. However, when the Federal Reserve prints $5 trillion in the aftermath of the COVID crisis, and the federal government extended its debt by $7 trillion, you know we've had too much money printed in the economy. And that's the underlying root cause. So when we start thinking about, Okay, what's the Inflation Reduction Act going to do? If anything, it's going to be inflationary, because they wanted to spend some resources in the near term and they promised some cuts and tax increases over the longer term. Well, if anything, that brings more purchasing power online today, that will tend to cause additional pressure as once again there's more aggregate demand in the face of a certain limited amount of aggregate supply. Heretofore, the Federal Reserve had been monetizing that expanded debt and now the Fed isn't. So there's going to be tension, and we're going to see some continuing problems. But I don't I certainly agree with the other economists, the Inflation Reduction Act is not going to lower inflation, because it's really not designed to do that.
REICHARD: Beyond inflation, what effect do you think the law will have on the economy as a whole, positive or negative?
HAYMOND: Every bill that the Congress passes has some effect or they wouldn’t do it, right? And there are winners, and there are losers. In this particular case, I don't think it's good, necessarily, for the general population. But there will be interest groups that will benefit from some of that spending. I mean, clearly, if you're in the green energy business, you're gonna be particularly happy about this. But here's what we do know: absent the government intervention, the market had not wanted to steer resources towards those areas. Now, we're going to steer resources towards those areas because of the government push, which by definition was a less efficient use of those resources as the market itself would have determined. So I think that's a net negative. I believe markets choose more wisely than governments do. But that is not the political course we took.
REICHARD: Let’s talk about the president’s announcement regarding student loan forgiveness. Some worry that will further drive inflation. Do you agree with that?
HAYMOND: I do, but there’s a couple ways to think about that. First of all, the inflationary effects of the student loan bill are less than they otherwise might be because it's not as if we were going to have if he would have resumed the payment this past month, and then just all of a sudden this, all the loans were going to be paid off this quarter for say. But all that would have done was there would have been some people that are going to have their loans forgiven, that would have otherwise started making a small amount of payments. So yes, it's additional purchasing power and to the extent that he's forgiven that, that will be inflationary, so to speak, or put cost pressures. But it's not as if the whole $300 billion to $1 trillion, depending on which estimate you're looking at, would have been spent in the economy right now, that would have been over several years. But I would argue that the inflationary aspect is not the reason to criticize that bill, and that's—as you probably know, and your listeners know—the real issues with respect to that are all the longer second order effects, the unintended consequences, as well as the equity issues. I mean, what do you say to the people that paid off loans? What do you say to the people who never went to college or couldn't afford a college, so they didn't and went to trade school or what have you, they got no relief and now they're going to have to pay somebody else's loans. So that's a real equity issue that we should all be concerned about. And then the second order effects are okay, what do you think's going to happen now to future borrowers of student loans, right? They're going to be willing, on the margins, to take on a little bit more debt because there's at least now going to be the slight possibility, if this is upheld, that future borrowers, likewise, could have some of their debt forgiven. And then we have to ask, well, what do you think colleges are going to do with respect to that? They're gonna say, well, hey, if there's additional demand, and people are willing to take on more debt, we can raise tuition rates. And so this isn't necessarily a good move at all for reasons beyond the inflation. So those are my bigger concerns.
REICHARD: When inflation really began to take off last year, both the White House and the Federal Reserve predicted that the cost surge would be short-lived. They turned out to be wrong about that. What did they miss?
HAYMOND: Well, from a theoretical basis, the Federal Reserve just really rejected at least 40 years of collective wisdom when they went on a policy of saying they were going to do what's called average inflation targeting. And I know this is a little bit wonkish, but what they did was they changed their regime to say, hey, if we have undershot inflation for a while, like we did, say, the previous decade, they were shooting for 2% and it was a little bit below that. That means we need to go over that 2% for an extended period of time, well, that rejects the wisdom of what we learned in the 1970s that if you allow inflation to go above what your expectations are, first of all, how would you control it? As we found out they couldn't, and it went much higher than they expected. And then if you ever let the inflationary expectations get running wild, you get that 1970s experience, and we don't want to go there. So at a theoretical level, the Federal Reserve just blew it. And they rejected the monetary wisdom that Paul Volcker and the rest of us Americans learned painfully. From the political perspective, the White House, of course, they want more spending. They were elected in their minds to do and accomplish great things and they wanted to be able to have accomplishments to tell to the people that were supportive of them, all of whom, basically like a lot bigger government. So yeah, it wasn't that they missed it. And the interesting thing is, especially at the Biden administration, Mr. Biden himself says there's no economist that’s predicting it. And yet, Larry Summers—former Democratic Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration—has told us that you're gonna get a lot of inflation if you do this. And, shock, Mr. Summers was right and Mr. Biden was wrong, not surprisingly.
REICHARD: The Fed is of course now raising interest rates rather rapidly to beat back inflation. Will that be enough?
HAYMOND: It will be to beat back inflation. There's no doubt about that. Here's the question, though, at what cost? The Federal Reserve just a week or so ago at their monetary conference that they had at Jackson Hole, suggested they're prepared to go a lot higher and the markets were not pricing in. They the markets were thinking they were going to back off. And now we're starting to see the stock markets, the bond markets react negatively, accordingly. And there is the possibility of a more significant downturn in the economy as the Fed raises interest rates. My personal expectations, I expect them to to keep aggressively raising interest rates till we get somewhere between the 3% and 4% rate and then kind of pause a little bit to see what actually happens in the real economy because we've already seen a significant slowing. And we'll see what's going to happen to prices because monetary policy operates with a lag. Milton Friedman's famous line was six to 18 months. And so it's going to take a while for all this to get baked into the economy, but we're already starting to see signs of slowing in the upstream of costs. Commodity prices, for instance, have fallen quite a bit and I would expect that to continue if they keep raising interest rates.
REICHARD: You’ve touched on this. What everyone wants to know. Do you think we’ll have to endure a lengthy recession before prices come back down to earth?
HAYMOND: I hope not. My hope is if the Fed does what I think they're going to do, which is raise, again, 3-4% and then pause, we may see enough curtailing of this. I don't think there have been widespread inflationary expectations that are built in such that a mild kind of slowdown and recessionary force might curtail that. The problem, why I'm concerned, of course, is the way we finally beat the inflation in the 1970s and when we started doing in the 1980s, the early 1980s, it was the combination of tight monetary policy coupled with a real focus on increasing aggregate supply—ie the production of goods and services in the economy. Reagan and really Carter even preceding him had started a deregulatory agenda that Mr. Reagan accelerated. And obviously, Reagan cut taxes and so forth. So there was a lot of stimulus to the production side. I don't see any possibilities of that under the Biden administration. They continue to want to emphasize more regulation, not less. Higher taxes, not lower. So that's the concern I have is even if we get the tight monetary policy, we won't necessarily have the support we could have on the supply side of the equation.
REICHARD: Professor Jeff Haymond with Cedarville University. Professor, thanks so much!
HAYMOND: You’re welcome. Glad to be with you.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: a World Tour special report from Poland.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: WORLD just held its first-ever journalism training course in Europe. And WORLD’s Onize Ohikere was one of the teachers in Poland. She brings us this report.
AUDIO: [Jazz music playing in the square, kids chasing pigeons, horse hooves]
The market square in Kraków is bustling with activity. Tourists ride in horse-drawn carriages while children chase down pigeons in the street.
But every hour, the square goes still. A trumpeter appears in the north window of the towering Basilica.
AUDIO: [Trumpeter playing music]
It’s one of the many traditions in the history-rich city. In August, eight reporters-in-training stood in the square, but not just to listen to the trumpeter. Armed with white notebooks, they searched the crowds for people to interview.
The students were from Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. They were in Poland for the week-long World Journalism Institute.
AUDIO: [Welcome to WJI!]
There, they pounded the cobblestones in search of stories, learned about the importance of Biblical objectivity, and talked about how to remain faithful Christian journalists in a difficult climate.
LEE: It’s not being Christ-like or Christian if we ignore the brokenness of the world.
During one evening exercise, the participants flipped through copies of WORLD Magazine to track down and discuss examples of some of the writing principles they learned only days earlier. They also did interviews, wrote and edited stories, and learned how to use a mic and recorder for radio pieces.
AUDIO: [WJI Instructor Lee Pitts working with the students]
As the week ended, the participants collected their certificates and Krakow keychains.
AUDIO: [Closing ceremony]
They also left with a deeper understanding on how to craft street-level stories while keeping their Christian worldview in focus.
Chiara Lamberti is a mother of two who came in from Rome. When she got back home, she said, she wanted to find the faces behind reports instead of writing abstract stories.
LAMBERTI: It was an amazing experience. I met other people with my same interests and also I learned a different way to write and to share stories.
Priscilla Dei heard about WJI from a church friend. She flew in from Hamburg, Germany, to attend the course. Dei says her key takeaway is to learn to pay attention.
DEI: Living a life that is observant of every detail and knowing that every person is worth a story.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere, in Krakow, Poland.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Pro football is clearly the most dangerous major sport: one academic paper concluded the player-injury rates are four to five times higher than all others: major-league baseball, the NBA, even the NHL.
So injuries in the NFL are quite common among players, but still rare among mascots.
That’s why an injury to the mascot of the Baltimore Ravens was such a shocker.
The Ravens’ mascot they call Poe, of course, a literary reference to Edgar Allen Poe.
Here’s Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh on Twitter:
HARBAUGH: Poe is going to be put on injured reserve for the rest of the season. He's going to be done. Unfortunately, he sustained a serious injury to his drumstick and he will not be able to perform for the rest of the season and we will find a replacement.
Did you hear that? Poe suffered a drumstick injury—aka: his knee. The injury coming after a youth football player tackled him during a little halftime entertainment, a mascot versus youth football game.
I guess Edgar Allen Poe might put it this way: the mascot’s days of cheering the team shall be “nevermore.” At least for this season.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, September 7th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Singing for the homeless.
Ministry to people in need takes many forms—food banks, medical services, temporary housing. But one Nashville musician has decided to do something different.
REICHARD: He’s using the talents God gave him and as part of a nationwide tour he’s performing for free at homeless shelters. WORLD Senior Writer Kim Henderson brings us the story.
KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR WRITER: A lot of musicians are vying for attention in Nashville.
Artists like 40-year-old singer and songwriter Steven Cade.
MUSIC: [Steven Cade - The Best Thing]
He’s dark-haired, dark-eyed. Wears the black t-shirt and jeans you expect to see on someone playing a guitar in Music City.
But lately, Cade has been traveling quite a bit … and playing some unusual venues.
CADE: Hey, everybody. We’re at the Rathgeber Center in Austin, Texas . . .
CADE: Hey, everybody. We’re in Scotsdale, Arizona, at the Family Promise in Scotsdale, Arizona...
NEWS ANCHOR: The Salvation Army of Savannah saw some star power tonight. Nashville country music singer Steven Cade performed . . .
Since last October, Cade has been on a music mission. He performed at The Salvation Army in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The City Gospel Mission in Cincinnati, Ohio. House of Refuge in Prescott, Arizona. Palmetto House in Daytona Beach, Florida.
And 50 other shelters in between.
CADE: Sure. What we did was we left Southern California about four years ago…
Cade is an award-winning country music artist. He’s shared stages with Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood, but he has something in common with folks living in shelters. He and his family experienced their own season of homelessness just before a big move several years ago.
CADE: We just had some financial issues that we didn't plan on, we didn't have enough money to get the first month's rent, after all. We had friends that were very gracious, and people sometimes we didn't even know just basically let us stay in their homes . . .
That common ground helps him connect with shelter residents. Cade describes what happened at a rescue mission in Orlando, Florida.
CADE: There were people who were standing in the back . . .
And they weren’t too sure about what was going on. They weren’t too sure about Steven Cade.
CADE: By the time I had told them my story and sang a song, they had come up and sat down comfortably to hear more and be open-hearted to that.
Cade says he’s seen the same thing happen with shelter staff. They, too, are skeptical about the country music artist.
CADE: I don't know how many board of directors I've met, but every shelter has one, a third of the way in the song, they're singing and they're clapping . . .
Cade is a Christian, and in the past he’s served as a worship leader in churches in California. His shelter concerts are upbeat and positive and include songs like “Pinky Promise,” inspired by his 11-year-old daughter.
MUSIC: [PINKY PROMISE]
Cade’s family travels with him. Cade’s wife, Kellee, homeschools their daughter and son. The family often joins Cade on stage when he gives guitars to shelter residents.
Yes, they are giving away guitars. Piles of them.
CADE: We approached Taylor and asked them if they would participate in this tour and give us a discount on the guitars, and they agreed . . .
That’s Taylor as in Taylor Guitars. …one of the biggest guitar manufacturers in the United States. They make the acoustic instruments Cade leaves with shelter residents across the country. That’s why it’s called the “Giving Guitars Tour.”
A Christian philanthropist funded the tour. Cade's Christian faith makes it about way more than guitar giveaways and concerts.
CADE: Music is an amazing tool. It's a gift from God. God is using music and the guitar, specifically the guitar right now, to break down barriers . . .
MUSIC: [YOUTUBE LESSONS]
Cade visited the Orlando Union Rescue Mission in February.
CLAYTON: My name is Freddy Clayton, and I’m president of Orlando Union Rescue Mission. And at the mission we have just enjoyed a spectacular blessing from Steven Cade and his family . . .
Clayton says Cade not only wowed them with his music. He gave his testimony, and the mission guests are still talking about it.
And those two guitars he left at the Orlando Mission? Well, Cade has an instructional video on YouTube . . .
Some guests of the Orlando Mission learned to play the guitars he gave them. And they helped form a praise band.
Home base for Cade and his family is Nashville. Along with his shelter stops, he has to keep a healthy mix of paid gigs too.
Still, he’s looking ahead with a ministry focus. He says there are some 11,000 shelters out there, and he’s eager to visit all of them.
When he does, Cade will probably sing his original song, “Better Me,” because shelter residents like it so much.
The lyrics tell of a man who wants to change. But in concerts, Cade makes clear it’s Christ who’s responsible for the lasting change in his life.
CADE: A better me, a better shoulder, a willing heart to pull you closer. A human being, being human. Walking miles in different shoes, and trying to be a better me. Yeah.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.
EICHER: To learn more about Steven Cade’s Giving Guitars Tour, read Kim’s story in the next issue of WORLD Magazine.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Wednesday, September 7th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Truth, technology, and timing. Three elements of this journalistic enterprise at WORLD. Here’s our founder, Joel Belz.
JOEL BELZ, FOUNDER: You probably would never call WORLD News Group a “high-tech” enterprise. But the technology we needed over four decades always seemed to show up right on time—and sometimes like it had been designed just for us.
In the old days, WORLD’s forerunner, the Presbyterian Journal, used a Linotype machine to print each issue. I remember the first time I saw a Linotype machine operate. As I watched the metal gears, I had no idea how this publishing tool built on ones that came before it.
AUDIO: [LINOTYPE MACHINE BEING TURNED ON]
For roughly 500 years, people tried to improve Johannes Gutenberg’s machine. Gutenberg was a German inventor and goldsmith who combined movable type with the efficiency of a winepress.
In 1884, Ottmar Merganthaler, a German watchmaker in Baltimore opened the door to a different approach. Instead of manually gathering lead type, Mergenthaler’s machine allowed the operator to use a keyboard. The keyboard assembled tiny brass molds of letters, numbers, and other characters.
AUDIO: [TYPING ON LINOTYPE MACHINE]
The molds were then sprayed with molten lead and quickly cooled. The result was a line of type that could be added to other lines and used to print a page.
Early on, thousands of these radical new machines found their ways into printing plants around the world. The New York Times soon had 90 of the wonder machines at work. Scientist Thomas Edison called the Linotype the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Years later, I decided to buy my own Linotype as a tool for earning my way through college. Even in the late 1950s, a brand new Linotype sold for $20,000—but I found one in A-1 condition for just $2,000.
The durability of the Linotype, sadly, does have its limits. Even someone who loves the machine cannot drop it carelessly down a steep basement stairway. My machine would run again, but never with the smooth efficiency of youth. Still, the trauma of dropping my prize typesetter did force me to reflect on God’s purpose in my life–always a good thing.
We can see some of God’s purpose in technology, too. From the early church until the 1400s, God’s Word was spread by quill and parchment—prompting Time magazine to name Gutenberg “Man of the Millennium.” Then, for roughly a century, Mergenthaler’s typesetter made printing pages and books–including Bibles–less costly.
But none of that matches the 1980s arrival of the personal computer and the digital revolution.
AUDIO: [FIRST IBM PERSONAL COMPUTER]
As that revolution goes on, WORLD continues to benefit–this podcast included. Clearly, God isn’t done yet designing incredible tools to spread His truth.
I’m Joel Belz.
NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: The state of human rights in China. We have a report on the UN’s findings.
And, a profile of an illusionist.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
The Bible says: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14-15 ESV)
Go now in grace and peace.
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