By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Spiritual aspects of Nation Building
Without a good spiritual foundation they labor in vain who attempt to build a nation.
The spiritual and social well-being of a country is the foundation of an economy.
Teaching people the Gospel and giving them the tools to provide for themselves is the basic formula for Nation Building.
There must be a commitment to God and a desire to resist temptation for a people to prosper.
God blesses the nation that speaks openly of Him and His way of righteousness.
An economy/society populated by righteous people is fair in all their transactions.
A Godly people gives to God, and expects that God will repay.
When a nation is taught how to be productive, that nation can be productive and return value far in excess of the investment of teaching and tools of production.
Candidates for Nation Building:
Choose nations which will contract for repayment of investment
Choose nations with a work ethic, i.e. the expectation of payment for work, not an entitlement attitude.
Choose nations with a legal system which honors contracts and property rights
Choose nations which will allow Christian missionaries to evangelize, and who are willing to establish a Constitution which honors God.
A country with a Christian ethic at its foundation, and which honors property rights, honesty, and contracts is more likely to appreciate our efforts and repay the investment in their country.
Goal: Establish the infrastructure of undeveloped and underdeveloped nations.
Elements of physical infrastructure include: Energy, transportation, power, water, food, communication, and sanitation
When initializing an economy, basic survival needs must be insured: power, water, food, shelter, and sanitation
The rudiments of transportation and communication are also required to support a low level economy
Once survival has been assured, the population centers must have an adequate power base (electrical/hydrogen/ethanol…) to drive the engines of industry and transportation.
A nation need not have natural resources for success. An excellent Godly national character, plus the industrial leverage of a work ethic and a desire to serve will provide national success.
A rich cache of minerals or fertile land is an advantage, but importing raw materials, and exporting finished products and trading for needed goods and services is a viable model for national production, e.g. Japan.
The key ingredient to success of any nation-building effort is the character of the people. The labor pool will ultimately produce and distribute all goods and services produced by the national economy. Automation and other labor leveraging methods will not be able to overcome the deficiencies of a people of unGodly character, e.g. addicted to pleasure, deficient work ethic, disrespect of property, property rights, and contracts.
A mature social infrastructure will include: education, government, defense, law, art, recreation, and spiritual expression. These should all support building character in the nation The fruits of the economy, the welfare of the people, the synergy between government, industry, and church should all bear the fruits of a people working for mutual goals and the glorification of God.
The minimum social structure required for economic prosperity will include a government which maintains order, and a legal system that enforces property rights and contracts.
Initialization of a social and physical infrastructure will create an economic environment where industry, production and trade can be supported
External investment is required to rapidly initialize a nation’s infrastructure. If America engages in supporting a nation-building effort, it should be with the expectation of profit and repayment.
Once established, the physical & social infrastructure will attract private investment which will accelerate the economy’s growth.
Energy is the force that drives the engines of industry & create productivity:
Wind/Solar/Biomass & Hydrogen are clean & plentiful.
Wind generation of electricity is currently cost competitive with conventional fuels (coal, oil, nuclear). But wind power must be coupled with an energy storage technology (.e.g. water electrolysis to produce Hydrogen for combustion or producing electricity through fuel cells).
The only byproduct of hydrogen combustion is water, H2O, which exhausts into the atmosphere and recirculates back as rain.
Hydrogen can be liquefied and used in modified conventional internal combustion automobiles instead of gasoline.
Hydrogen can be generated offshore from seawater (or from freshwater on land), piped as a gas to be burned in conventional power plants to generate electricity.
Hydrogen can be used as the stored energy source to power fuel cells to create electricity.
High temperature fuel cells are close to cost competitive in some applications for large commercial loads
New solar technologies are arriving (spherical solar beads) which when mature should be competitive with conventional fossil fuels when the hidden, subsidized, avoided, and parasitic costs of pollution are considered.
With sufficient energy combined with intelligent automation, the basic production needs of the entire population of the world could easily be met with the available workforce.
Investment in an energy infrastructure is an investment that can bring down the cost of all other produced goods and services.
As a nation and world, we should take the long view of life, sacrifice, and invest in the Alternative Energy infrastructure for our nation and the world, regardless of whether the price point of the alternative systems has crossed under the price/kW of conventional fuels.
Energy can be applied to industry to prevent the spoiling of the environment with the effluents & industrial byproducts of manufacturing
Recycling of packaging materials is a first step in the process of a sustainable ecology
A secondary layer of effluent recovery must become as common and expected as garbage recycling. Gas, liquid, and solid effluents can be scrubbed for impurities. The price competition between countries using, or not using the effluent standards can be equalized by tariffs.
Fair Trade must be the principle governing price competition between nations.
Government must simply decide the level of acceptable effluent purity. The level is arbitrary. Applying more energy to an effluent will produce an additional increment of purification.
Population, Ecology, Environment:
Overpopulation has been a major concern of the environmentalist/zero-population-growth lobby.
But, by continuing to increase the available Alternative Energy base, each added increment of population can be supported without environmental degradation.
The limiting factor on population growth then becomes related to productive area required to meet the needs of the population.
Currently the amount of uninhabitable land is very large. By applying energy, water (desalinization), and intelligent management, the unproductive lands of the earth can be put to good use in supporting humanity.
The ZPG/Environmental Lobby have allied with the Gaia movement, a neo-pagan earth/nature worship religion. Some branches of this type of religion have considered man to be a curse, plague or parasitic infestation on the body of Mother Earth. A program to make the earth bloom and support the first Biblical command of God to “Be fruitful and multiply” is considered anathema by some of this religious persuasion. Thus, a spiritual battle line has formed.
I support God’s Biblical charge to multiply and subdue the Earth. I believe that man is the center and crown of the created universe. The earth was made for man to enjoy, and to learn to live with and love his fellow man and God. The Earth is not our mother in an evolutionary or creative sense. It is simply the substrate of our substance, we are created from the dust of the earth, but it was God’s hands that fashioned our frame and enlightened our eyes with a spark of the divine, giving us a spirit akin to His. While we are not God, we do have a family similarity, and we are all called to adoption into His family by submitting our spirits to Him.
Water – a requirement for life and society:
Water can be supplied by drilling wells, pumping from rivers, and creating dams and storage basins.
Wind/solar Energy can supply the energy needed to pump the water from the ocean for desalinization
Solar Energy can supply the heat and electricity to desalinate salt water for industry, agriculture, and human consumption
Geothermal heat can be used in some locations to reduce the need for solar/electrical power.
Fuel cells can produce water as a byproduct of electricity production.
Funding of Infrastructure Development:
Investment in infrastructure through Private and Government financial institutions
Expect a payment. Contract with a government which will repay the loan from the taxes that result from the increased productivity.
Retirement accounts, Social Security, and other long term investment accounts might find Nation Building Bonds good investment instruments to hold value and appreciate for their clients.
American government involvement in nation building
Establishment of an Agency for Nation Building under Department of State
Coordinate and focus bidding for contracts to supply various elements of the Nation Building
Provide a point of accountability for the investments. Web posting of progress, contract terms, societal education, infrastructure goals, charts of percentage completion, etc. Management data should be open to public purview and supervision. Management assessment, independent analysis should be provided quarterly.
Benefits to America for engaging in Nation Building
America is currently underemployed
Job and manufacturing exodus after GATT and NAFTA
Reverse Tariffs 1 applied to goods and services
Regulations applied inequitably to our manufacturing sector
US competing with companies that are subsidized by foreign governments
The underemployed & unemployed would be available to fill the needed manufacturing positions in America
The need will be for skilled and unskilled workers, management, liaison, sales, and research
Technical consultants will go to the Host Country to assemble and operate the machinery manufactured in America
Those going overseas would be in essence a Peace Corp, missionary, tech-rep, worker-consultant
The at-home, and away-team would be needed for the full implementation of this Nation/economy-building effort
People are the foundation of the society and economy
An economy must have a human resource pipeline of capable and educated workers that can fill the slots of industry
The advisers, managers, technicians, and laborers who come to aid the fledgling economies should also serve as teachers and missionaries
Ideally every American assisting in the foreign country’s industrial growth should be a living example and representative of the Gospel of Christ.
The hearts of the native people should be taught to appreciate technology, maintenance, operations, discipline, work ethic, and love of learning.
The overarching principle of foreign aid is to feed the hungry and teach them the Gospel. We are a Christian nation, the world knows it, and we are to operate in the highest of ethics, and be an example of the faith.
America will be blessed by giving to the poor, and teaching them to feed themselves
Direct the investment and application of expertise and equipment in collaboration with local and national governments
All assistance should be in the form of loans that are dispersed under the authority of American nationals who are sent to improve the country’s infrastructure.
No cash aid given for discretionary spending.
All loans of labor and equipment are given with the expectation of repayment.
By sending products overseas, the net balance of trade can tip back in our favor.
Summary: Investment in development of 3rd World agriculture, education, transportation, manufacturing, information, & communication infrastructure will bring the undeveloped nations into full partnership in the world economy.
The investment in 3rd world economies is truly an investment with an intent for a return with interest
Investment requires sacrifice and a delay in gratification.
A large return will come from this investment, but there will be a period of sacrifice before that return is realized.
The return on investment will be tangible and intangible.
The risk of military and economic aggression will be reduced as the world’s nations come into the Kingdom of God, and the needs of their people are met.
A debt of gratitude and thanks will arise spontaneously and naturally when the gift comes from the heart.
The new foreign national economies will become markets for our goods, and exporters of goods for our use.
They will develop a standard of living which makes job export from our country to theirs less desirable.