Since 1980, the statistics Herbert Armstrong used to illustrate the decline of Israel’s power have dramatically changed, adding further impact to Mr. Armstrong’s thesis. Quoted below are paragraphs from pages 156 through 158, with the updated statistics following:
World petroleum output in 1950 was almost 3,800 million barrels. Of this total the United States alone produced more than one half—nearly 52 percent. Together, the British Commonwealth and the United States produced 60 percent of the crude petroleum, not including our vast foreign investments. But by 1966—the fateful year in which the British Colonial Office in London closed its doors, marking the official death of the British Empire—that 60 percent of all the world’s crude petroleum output had been reduced to 32 percent.
In 2008, the decline was even more evident, with oil production in the United States falling to 10 percent. In 2007, the United Kingdom’s output fell to 2 percent of global petroleum production. By the end of 2007, America had found itself in the dangerous position of being dependent upon foreigners for over 66 percent of its vital oil supply.
Britain and America mined 1½ times as much coal as all other nations combined. But by 1966 our portion had shrunk to less than one third of the world production—30.9 percent!
By 2007, coal production in the U.S. was down to 16 percent of world totals and the UK had so dramatically depleted its coal deposits that in 2007 it had to import approximately 41 million short tons of hard coal.”
Together, the British Commonwealth and America produced, in 1950, three fourths of the world’s steel—the United States alone producing almost 60 percent, or 105.2 million short tons, in 1951. We produced 11⁄3 times as much pig iron as all other nations combined.
By 1966, this basic index of wealth had skidded down to one third (33.6 percent) of steel production and only 17.8 percent (one sixth) of the pig iron.
World production of crude steel in 2008 was 1.3 billion metric tons, with the U.S. producing only 91 million tons, or 7 percent, and the UK producing 13.5 million tons, or 1 percent, of world totals. World production of pig iron totaled 927 million metric tons in 2008. America produced 32 million metric tons of pig iron in 2008 for a measly 3.5 percent share of world production, while Britain’s production that same year had fallen to only 10 million tons, or 1 percent of world pig iron production.
We possessed nearly 95 percent of the world’s nickel (chiefly from Canada); 80 percent of the world’s aluminum; 75 percent of the zinc. But where did we rate in 1966? Only 3.6 percent of the world’s nickel; 40.2 percent of its aluminum (aluminium); 12.4 percent of its zinc.
Today, the United States and UK no longer produce any nickel (Canada and Australia combined produce 27 percent of the world’s total). In 2008, the U.S. accounted for 6.6 percent of aluminum production (Canada and Australia produced 12.7 percent). Zinc ore production in America fell to 6.8 percent of world totals in 2008, and the UK was no longer even listed as a zinc-producing country (Canada and Australia together produced 19 percent of world zinc totals).
In 1950, the British Commonwealth completely dominated the production of chromite (from South Africa). Together Britain and America produced two thirds of the world’s rubber, and dominated the world’s copper, lead, tin, bauxite and other precious metal outputs. But by 1966, we produced only 2.3 percent of the world’s chromite, 23.4 percent of its copper, 9.9 percent of its lead, no tin, and 6.3 percent of its bauxite.
In 2008, America and the United Kingdom produced no chromite ore, while South Africa (no longer part of the British Empire) still dominated world production with 45 percent of world totals. Britain and America no longer produce any natural rubber, although synthetic rubber production has gone up. By 2008, copper ore production in the United States had dwindled to 8 percent of the world’s supply (Canada and Australia combined produced 9 percent). That same year, the U.S. produced 12 percent of the world’s supply of lead (Canada and Australia combined produced 18 percent). America, the UK and Canada do not produce any tin or bauxite (Australia also produces no tin, but is a major bauxite producer).
The British Commonwealth produced two thirds of the world’s gold—about £266 million ($642 million) in 1950—while the United States had three times as much gold reserve as the total for the rest of the world. But by 1966 the U.S. gold supply had been drained so much that the dollar was in serious jeopardy.
As of 2008, the U.S. mined 9.9 percent of world gold production. The United Kingdom produces virtually no gold. In 1965, gold reserve requirements for U.S. Federal Reserve deposit obligations were removed. That deceitful manipulation opened the way for the August 15, 1971, death of the Bretton Woods monetary system when then-U.S. President Richard Nixon took America off the gold standard and refused to redeem overseas dollars for gold. Following the 1974 and 1979 oil crises, gold went on a speculative rise, hitting a brief high of $970 per ounce in January 1980. In the late 1990s, gold plummeted to a 20-year low of $253.50, thus prompting central banks of many countries to sell off their gold reserves. Britain—described in Hosea 7:11 as a “silly dove without heart,” or sense—sold the national gold reserves between 1999 and 2002 and, along with the rest of the world, set the stage for a loss of confidence in and future collapse of mankind’s paper money system. Since then, with confidence in paper money deteriorating, the price of gold has soared, hitting a new all-time high of over $1,000 per ounce in 2008.
We produced and utilized two thirds of the world’s output of electricity—the United States producing 283 billion kilowatt-hours in 1948, and the United Kingdom and Canada outstripping Russia, Germany and France combined. But by 1966 we produced only 20.1 percent!
In 2006, world production of electricity was 18,014.7 billion kilowatt-hours, according to the Energy Information Administration. America produced 22.6 percent of the total, while the United Kingdom produced about 2.1 percent of world electrical output.
Great Britain and the United States did possess well over half of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage. But by 1966 the figure was only 32.5 percent.
According to a United Nations Conference of Trade and Development report, in 2008 the world fleet of 36,313 merchant ships totaled approximately 1.04 billion dead-weight tons (dwt), of which Great Britain owned a paltry 876 vessels totaling 26 million dwt or approximately 2.5 percent of the world merchant fleet tonnage. That same year, America owned 1,769 merchant ships totaling 39.8 million dwt or 3.8 percent of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage. Those figures reveal that in the 42 years from 1966 to 2008, Great Britain and the United States plummeted from 32.5 percent ownership of the world’s merchant fleet to a mere 6.3 percent! The vast majority of the freight tonnage which moved into and out of the United States in 1996 was carried on foreign-flag ships. Such a startling statistic reveals a real and present danger to the U.S. economy as well as to national security!
The British Isles constructed more vessels than any other place on Earth. But less than two decades later two or three Gentile nations had already outstripped Britain and America.
By 2005, over 90 percent of all shipbuilding was done by Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union, with South Korea being the top shipbuilding country in the world. The United States, which has seen its share of the shipbuilding market decline steadily over the course of the past two decades, claimed less than 1 percent of the global shipbuilding market. Additionally, as of 2007, of the world’s top 10 major ports, not one is located in the U.S. or Britain.
In 1950, we also possessed about one half of the world’s railroad mileage. By 1966 our combined railway freight shipping was only 26 percent of the world total.
By 2006, only 17 percent of total railroad mileage was in the U.S. and only 1 percent was in the UK.
Whereas the United States alone once produced 73 percent of the automobiles, by 1966 the U.S. combined with the UK produced 55 percent—44 percent from the U.S. alone. Japan, Germany, France, and Italy are making huge gains.
According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, total worldwide vehicle production in 2007 was approximately 73 million units. America’s share of production was 10.8 million vehicles, which equates to only 15 percent of the total. Asia, the world’s leading vehicle producer, accounted for a whopping 42 percent. Europe manufactured 31 percent.
The “Big Three” in America (Chrysler, Ford and GM) as recently as 1998 accounted for 76 percent of all U.S. sales. By 2008, that figure had plunged to only about 47 percent.
The tables are reversed! Whereas America once produced 73 percent of the world’s automobiles, by 2007 foreign manufacturers accounted for 85 percent of global vehicle output. Now foreign manufacturers with assembly plants in North America even produce the majority of vehicles sold in the U.S. Truly, as it says in Deuteronomy 28:43, “The stranger [or foreigner] that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low”!