The Pressures of Inflation
Inflation has been hitting each of us in recent months. Gasoline prices are approaching $1.50 per gallon; it now costs nearly $30.00 to buy a tank of gasoline for a larger car. Interest rates are running nearly 20%. If one has to borrow money on today's market, he will pay dearly for it. Prices at the supermarket reflect the inflationary spiral when one purchases a product which has three price tags on it, one pasted on top of another to reflect the increase in cost.
Support of gopsel preachers simply must go up in such an inflationary period. When inflation is reaching nearly 18% on an annual basis, preachers must receive a generous raise just to stay even. To move is not even practical to those who must purchase a house simply because of the interest rates on homes. A man with an 8% mortgage would have his house payment to double if he borrowed the same amount of money at today's market price of interest. Hence, preachers cannot afford to move just because some brethren are inconsiderate about giving him the needed raise. Brethren must be realistic in compensating preachers during this period. Whereas a good many brethren have labor contracts which have an automatic cost of living raise for their employees, the preacher does not. T o a large degree, the preacher is at the mercy of elders and, in churches without elders, the brethren in general. T he pressures of inflation are hurting your preacher; how long has it been since he was given a raise - not just a salary increase, but a raise which reflected a real increase in buying power because it was greater than the inflation rate?
T he pressures of inflation are being felt by local congregations in more than one way. T he number of requests for support which arrive where I preach demonstrates that raising support is becoming harder. It is becoming more difficult to raise outside support because a greater percentage of one's budget is being used to keep present programs going. Heating and cooling costs on a good many buildings has risen to $350-400 per month. Radio programs, bulletins, class literature, and preacher support are all increasing. Churches are suffering from the pressures of inflation. How long has it been since you increased how much you are giving? Salary increases have come from your job; has your giving increased to reflect these increases in pay? We are expected to give as we have been prospered (1 Cor. 16:1-2); as your prosperity has increased, has your giving increased?
Cogdill Foundation Also Feels The Pinch
The pressures of inflation are hitting Cogdill Foundation even as they are hitting other industries. Our costs have gone up through the years. Yet, we have tried to hold the line on price increases as much as possible. T he last time we announced a price increase on our graded literature was in 1975; hence, the announcing of an increase on our literature is necessary at this point.
T o illustrate our need for a price increase, let me show you how closely we have been operating. Our class books sell for $.95 retail; they wholesale for 57e. We received a new printing of some of our pre-school material the other day and it was invoiced at 63e per book. Even I have enough sense to know that the volume of our sales will not make money at this rate. Hence, we are literally forced into raising our prices on our graded literature.
Truth Magazine Price Increase
On January 1, 1979, Truth Magazine announced a price increase from $7.50 per subscription to $10.00. We were operating at a considerable loss at the time we announced that price increase. It cost us $11.07 to print and mail a subscription which we sold for $7.50. By changing printers and cutting back on our usage of color, we thought that we could operate for several years at this price. However, we were not prepared for the present rate of inflation.
Consequently, beginning August 1,1980, we will be forced to increase our price to $11.50 for a one-year subscription and $14.00 for a foreign subscription. We shall hold the line on our group subscriptions at $.75 per family per month (this is $9.00 per year on an annual basis). We regret having to announce an increase in prices but we must operate this on a sound financial basis for us to stay in business.
Despite our increase in prices, Truth Magazine continues to be one of the best bargains in religious periodicals. Compare our prices with the following papers:
Vanguard (24 page monthly) $9.50
Gospel Anchor (32 page monthly) $7.00
Sentry (I6 page monthly) $6.00
Gospel Guardian (32 page monthly) $7.00
Searching The Scriptures (24 page monthly) $7.00
The Preceptor (32 page monthly) $6.00
Faith And Facts (76 page quarterly) $4.00
Gospel Teacher (32 page bi-monthly) $7.00
I remind you that Truth Magazine is a sixteen page weekly. T o give you some comparison in prices, compare the number of pages and the prices of these various periodicals.
* Uses a smaller page size than Truth Magazine
** Is not professionally type-set.
When one compares the number of pages published in relationship to the cost, he can see what a good bargain Truth Magazine is when compared to other papers.
The exact amount of price increase on other Cogdill Foundation publications can be obtained by writing the bookstore. Probably by now, some of you have already received written notice of our increased prices in giving you an opportunity to purchase quantities prior to the increase. In a similar fashion, we are going to offer any renewals of Truth Magazine at the old price until August 1, 1980. Hence, if you would like to renew your subscription or extend it for another year at the old price, do so prior to August 1,1980.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 25, pp. 403-404