The U.S. is following the path of Europe, which paved the way for social unrest and totalitarian dictatorships with their irresponsible spending and bankruptcies. This is going to be a VERY bumpy ride – one which Americans are unaccustomed to and largely unprepared for.
Doug Casey has put together a thoroughly researched and sobering report on how dire America’s unsustainable financial situation is, and what were are likely to face when we finally are forced to face the music.
I’m only quoting a few of the key paragraphs here, but I encourage you to take the time to read the whole thing because it will open your eyes to the reality we face. Casey specifically breaks down each area of federal spending and why it’s unsustainable, including Justice, Defense, Social Security, Medicare, Transportation, Education, Social Services, and several others. Ironically, most of these aren’t included among the enumerated powers granted in the constitution, but it’s unlikely that any politician will have the courage to scale back the budget to only constitutionally mandated expenditures, even though the survival of our republic is at stake.
To sum up the situation, given its financial condition and the political forces working to worsen it, the US government is facing a completely impossible and irremediable situation. I’m going to try to illustrate that here. But because I’m a perpetual optimist, not a gloom-and-doomer, I’m also going to give you solutions to the purely financial problems – albeit with some good news and some bad news. The good news is, there actually are solutions. The bad news is that there is zero chance that any of them will be put into effect.
The problems are one hundred percent caused by the US government, not by bankers, brokers or the real estate industry – although they have been complicit. Recall what government is: an organization with a monopoly of force within a certain geographical area. Its purpose is, ostensibly, to protect the inhabitants of its bailiwick from the initiation of force. That implies three functions: an army to protect against aggressors coming from outside of its borders; police to protect citizens from aggressors inside its borders; and a court system to allow citizens to adjudicate disputes without resorting to force. Assuming you’re going to have a government, it’s important to limit it strictly, lest it get completely out of control – it’s got a monopoly of force, after all – and overwhelm the society it’s supposed to protect.
Here I want you to distinguish government from society. They are not only two totally different things, but are potentially antithetical to each other. This is because the essence of government is force, not voluntary cooperation. Everything that people think the government provides (beyond some forms of protection) is really provided by society or with resources the government has taken from society. It’s critical to understand this, or you won’t see the slippery slope the US is now sliding on. […]
Let’s divide people into three classes – rich, poor and middle class. Rich people are going to be okay. They can bribe the politicians to change the laws, hire the lawyers to interpret the laws, the accountants to limit their liabilities, advisors to help them profit from distortions and travel agents to get them out of Dodge. They may get eaten later, but for the moment, don’t worry about them.
The poor don’t have much to lose, and the government is going to keep throwing benefits at them to keep them happy. That’s a shame because it cements them to the bottom as poor people – but that’s a topic for another day.
The real danger is to the middle class, and it’s a serious matter because the US is a middle-class society. These are people who try to produce more than they consume and save the difference in order to grow wealthier. That formula has worked well up to now – but almost everybody saves dollars. What happens, however, if the dollars are destroyed? It means that most of what they saved disappears, and most of the middle class will disappear with it, at least for that generation. They’ll be very unhappy, and they’ll be up for some serious changes.
My point is to make it very apparent that there really is no conventional solution to the US government’s financial crisis. It’s reached a stage where the government will have to start defaulting on some of its obligations. You decide which. The only questions are political; the economics are quite clear. Nothing will be done, as the Super Committee showed. I believe they would have done something if they thought it possible and knew how. […]
So, the US government will go bankrupt. That’s not the end of the world. Lots of governments have gone bankrupt, some of them numerous times – like almost all of them here in South America, where I am at the moment.
In fact, there’s a temptation to look forward to it eagerly. After all, the state is the enemy of any decent human. One might hope that when they bankrupt themselves, maybe we will get to live in a libertarian paradise. But that’s not likely the way things will come down; rather, just the opposite. Not all state bankruptcies are just temporary upsets. Most of the great revolutions in history have financial roots. Great revolutions are more than just unpleasant and inconvenient; they’re extremely dangerous.
The French Revolution of 1789 was brought on by the financial collapse of the French government. It was a good thing to depose Louis XVI, but things didn’t get better – they got much, much worse with Robespierre and then Napoleon. In Germany, the destruction of the German mark in 1923 set the stage for the Nazis – and then the Depression ushered them in. The collapse of the Czar’s regime in Russia in 1917 seemed to be good news at first – but then things got worse, and they stayed worse for a long time.
The fact is that when a government collapses, especially when the government is providing all the things the US government does today, people want somebody to fix it; they want their goodies back. It’s well known that over 50% of the US population are net recipients of state largess. And the degree of state support and involvement in the US is far, far greater than it was in France, Russia or Germany. After a period of chaos, it’s always the people who are most political, who have the most rabid statist ideas who get the public’s attention and rise to the top.
It seems highly likely that the US will get a savior, someone full of bravado, who assures the booboisie that he can straighten things out – if he is given sufficient power.
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