You hear it everywhere. Barbershops, workout
gyms, radio, TV, and of course the Internet.
The buzz is constant and varied about the financial corner we, the
world, have painted ourselves into. All
nations find themselves in deep debt doo doo. In the past few years many trillions
of dollars and Euros have been borrowed and spent by nations all over the world
a la Wimpy of famed Popeye Comics. Remember Wimpy? He’s the dude who asks everyone he sees, “I
would gladly pay you back on Wednesday (a future date) if you would lend me a
quarter for a hamburger today.” Wimpy
loved hamburgers. But he was always
broke. To eat, Wimpy had to borrow. But he got by somehow. So has Greece. So has France, England, Portugal, Italy,
Mexico, and you guessed it, good old Uncle Sam.
He is the biggest debtor in the world.
Compared to all nations in the world taken together.
Major sovereign governments such as Greece have thrown in the towel. Paying off the Grecian Debt is harder than slaying Medusa before her eyes turn you to stone. The better-managed countries in the European Alliance, take Germany for instance, resent Greece’s going broke. Gives the more financially responsible countries a bad name. But Germany figures that the stronger financial countries in the European Union with Euros as the common currency must bail out the weak sisters like Greece or see the walls crumble and come falling down on the heads of every country in the EU. It is a no-win deal of mammoth proportions. Every country loses.
“So what about the United States?” one is tempted to ask. We have mortgaged our asses, our souls, and our children. Our National Debt is upwards of $16 trillion dollars! The trouble with that exercise is that even though the Fed continues to print new money (which fuels terminal inflation) the rest of the world (in a nutshell) is much, much broker than us. So foreign sovereign nations still want to trade with the United States, can you believe it? In US dollars, no less. America, in a purely dysfunctional sense, is seen as an icon of world financial strength, despite the fact that the United States is so broke, that paying back even a small portion of the Massive National Debt is akin to holding back a Mississippi 100-year flood. Here is a look at our National Debt Clock in real time:
So how did the world in the 21st century get so inundated with debt and dead-end roads to solving world debt? Is living within our means really that dreadful? Just who are these hucksters we have elected to Congress for the last few decades? You know, the ones who have caused the government they were in control of at the time to borrow and spend us into oblivion in the name of God so we could defeat Evil Empires and Axes of Evil? But first, before pondering that let us take a look at the national debts of some key countries around the world.
Great Zeus! How the f did these countries get access to such money to borrow and spend themselves into a terminal catnip trance of stupidity gone wild? I have to believe that the leaders, both elected and self-declared believed that to stay in power and secure the approval of the people it behooved them to borrow out the ass and not ever worry about the math or paying the debt (plus all the bloody interest) back. Free money in a country whether justified to defeat imagined evil or not, if it rained upon the people, rest assured that you would get the votes to get reelected next election. That is so crass. So mercenary and cynical. But sadly true. We took our eye off the ball and acquiesced to lies and scams perpetrated by our own government. Like, when al Qaeda attacked us on 911 you attack Iraq. Doesn’t have to make sense that Saddam and bin Laden were never in cahoots. No matter. Just spin it, the American people will buy it. Get Colin Powell to speak before the UN and back up his claims with artists’ drawings of WMD sites! They also know that the chumps (us) will still get to fund the lies with our tax dollars. And the perps get to skate free unscathed and write books and get presidential libraries built. As long as they don’t visit countries with war criminal extradition policies.
Even Nicolo Machiavelli in his brilliant book The Prince gave remedies for most every twist and turn a head of state could expect to encounter. It told you how to keep your kingdom and your rule over the people so that you need not fear losing your kingdom or your head. But nowhere in the book can I remember it suggesting the intoxicating ambrosia of borrowing money to spend on the people to give them the sense of belonging to a rich government as equals. Back then you just could not borrow the money because the piper came knocking on the door promptly to be paid. And the jig was up. But these days, sovereign nations can borrow, borrow, borrow money and keep on stacking it up, debt on debt, interest on interest without fear of an uprising. Why not? Well, you channel off the money to your own pocket, your partners in crime (can anybody say Military Industrial Complex?), and everybody is happy as long as the balloon is up and not deflated or punctured. Borrowed money and wrongfully created money (printing more to pay it back with cheaper inflated dollars) seems like a crime against humanity. Yet Bernanke gets away with it. Obama don’t mind one bit, but he don’t talk about it much. George W. Bush allowed it for 8 damned years so he would have the $4 trillion extra to finance his Afghanistan War and then his Iraq War. Lovely. All them no-bid crony “Have More” contractors probably had orgasms every day that went by when they could sell hammers to Uncle Sam for $500 apiece with no hassle or flak from the American voters. Tack on more trillions to the already staggering National Debt, and to a Martian observing earthlings, he would have to say that Americans went completely bonkers! Coo Coo for Ko Ko Puffs! With no hope of regaining sanity. It’s more than sad. It’s prophetic.
What’s worse is nobody took note of the arithmetic. Nobody cared. It was lame and boring to consider when we had been attacked by Muslim terrorists. We needed to draw blood even ifen it cost us a trillion dollars a day and we had to auction off Yosemite Park to the Japanese and Oregon and Washington to the Chinese. They are the biggest creditors to our National Debt, you know. They deserve a National Park or two for saving our bacon and keeping National Debt Clock running fast, don’t they? I mean we still get our Social Security checks and other gummint services, right?
On July 24th the House just voted by a slim margin to continue to fund the massive dollar drain on the National Budget, the NSA. It is the large agency that spies on us all in its search for terrorists. But it also keeps us safer by monitoring the activities of terrorists and nipping bombings and other terrorist strikes against the US in the bud, right? Tell that to the Boston Marathon spectators who were killed and maimed. Congratulations NSA. I guess our tax dollars are well spent. But on what?
Admittedly, there is better reason and awareness of our massive borrowing and spending as seen in the protests of further massive government funding of the NSA collecting phone records to spy not just on terrorists, but millions of American citizens. The slim margin of the House vote reflects this. But that seems like too little, too late. The House vote to continue funding the NSA as a part of the Defense budget did, after all, pass. The fact that those opposed to a continued funding of the NSA in order for our own government to continue to spy on us without cause, is, do I have to say it? Ludicrous. Dumb. Insane. Will the tide turn and Americans wake the hell up and rise up in protest of more billions poured into a newly-formed government spigot such as the NSA to allow needless monies to flow into spy contractors and their own ego agencies? So they can spy on innocent Americans (without FISA Court approval) just to fill the pockets of those who do not hate freedom, but would exploit and bludgeon the lives of innocents who trusted their government to do the right thing with their tax dollars? You know, those whose campaign contributions for favors talk the loudest? Poor America. Poor oblivious suckers who trusted their leaders in good faith. Poor us.
The world no longer seems to be a safe place to me. Truth can be bought by Big Brother and all his political consultants and media wizards who can cut and paste and edit the truth ad infinitum. These entities can change minds to be certain. Words and pictures and silky tongues, ads set to the right music can reset the collective unconscious of the world itself. The human animal has not yet evolved to be able to detect those ruses that rewrite the truth and make morphed history seem real. Truth does not matter, nor does it appear that it ever did. Countries and governments have lost all rational competence to lead the 7 billion inhabitants of planet earth. So why the rant? Why the rave? DK. I thought the people of the earth sought truth, I guess, silly me. Thought they wanted a good job and to be free to think their own thoughts without persecution or being killed. A fair shake. Education for their kids. An environment where they could earn a decent wage and pursue happiness. I am saddened that we have gone to the dogs in a dog-eat-dog world where might is right, and absolute power corrupts absolutely as it always did. We may chuckle at the wit of Lord Acton who coined the quote about absolute power, but we failed to heed his warning. And now we have become absolute idiots. Absolutely. We no longer have the right of habeas corpus. Freedom of movement without cameras and drones monitoring us. We are sent away to be tortured without a phone call. Our personal business that used to be sacred and against the law to copy or violate has become a memory. Looks like the boys from the back room ain’t scared anymore to even make it look good when they blow up our liberties. No more trial by a jury of our peers. Or the caring of our peers, our neighbors.
How could I ever rule out our descending into a world of doublespeak and oblivion when rational thought waited in the wings to save us? Rational thought was bought off. Truth was rewritten by the Ministry of History where Winston worked. Money and Power are truth. Money defines truth. The answer is that I did not think that money could buy everything, including the rewriting of reality with even a few billion dollars of propaganda money that countries spend freely to keep the balloon afloat and the money flowing into government centers, e.g., Washington, D. C. We have become herds of bovine creatures. And DC has the stick to guide us down the narrow trail to basic necessities. Until it is slaughter time.