Inflation continues to take its grim toll. Among its expected victims are the marginal private institutions of higher education along with magazines, secular and religious. Only a few days ago a secular magazine with 400,000 subscribers but insufficient advertising went to the wall. There will undoubtedly be more of the same in the days ahead.

Inflation is an old enemy. In Fawn Brodie’s new biography of Thomas Jefferson she says that in 1780 Mrs. Jefferson paid £84.6 of Virginia money for a pair of shoes. In 1779 one could buy a duck or a chicken for a few shillings; in 1781 a like purchase cost between £45 and £50. What happened to the currency in Virginia happened in the American colonies at large. The phrase “It’s not worth a continental” referred to the valueless paper money of the Revolution: printing-press money.

What is so frustrating is the helplessness we feel. We’re caught up in circumstances over which we have little control. It once again throws us back on God, who “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.… Therefore we will not fear …” (Ps. 46:1, 2).

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