To my thinking, the U.S. is now clearly on the path Argentina started down with the Peron regime. Cause has effect. Actions have consequences, and the result will be much the same. Except I believe the descent of the U.S. will be much faster, much scarier, and will end in a much harder landing than that experienced by Argentina.
I say this because there’s no realistic possibility the Obama regime is going to change course. To the contrary, they’re likely to accelerate in the present direction. They believe the government should direct society – as do most Americans at this point. They feel government is a magic cure-all and not only can but should “do something” in response to any problem. Most complaints aren’t that they’re doing too much, but that they’re doing too little. Everything on the political front, therefore, is a disaster. There’s absolutely no prospect I can see that it will get better, and every indication it will get worse.
I’m not going to try to predict what will happen in the 2012 elections, but it’s fair to say the last several elections are indicators of the degraded state of the average American. What are the chances they’ll make a 180-degree turn, in the direction of someone like Ron Paul? I’d say close to zero, and libertarianism will remain a fringe movement, at best. Will Boobus americanus vote for someone who says the government should actually do less – much less – in the middle of a crisis? Especially if the current wars expand, which is quite likely in this kind of environment? No way.
Simply, the chances of a reversal in what passes for the philosophical attitude of this country are slim and none. And Slim’s left town. While there are some who hope for an improvement on the political front, I think that’s very naïve.
The Tea Party movement? Its ruling ethos appears to be a kind of inchoate rage. I sympathize with the fact that many seem to be honest middle to lower middle-class Americans who see their standards of living slipping away and don’t know why, or how to stop it. They feel bad that it’s no longer the America portrayed in Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne movies, but many are quick to blame the changes on swarthy immigrants. They’re desperately looking for a political solution. These folks tend to be highly nationalistic and atavistic, with a tendency to worship their preachers and the military. I just hope some popular general doesn’t get political ambitions…
The only bright spots – but these are very major bright spots – are in the areas of individual savings and technology.
As things get worse, the productive members of society will redouble their efforts to save themselves by producing more while consuming less; the excess will be savings. Those savings create a pool of capital that can be used to fund new businesses and technologies.
The problem here is that with the dollar losing value quickly, the savers will be punished for doing the only thing that can really improve the situation. And they’ll be discouraged by wrongheaded propaganda telling people to consume more, not to save. Funding new business and technologies will be harder with more regulations. But still, people will find a way to set aside a surplus. And that is a factor of overwhelming importance.
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