By 2005 practically everyone had a large automobile and a beautiful house. By 2010 many of these people will be asking where is that large automobile and will realize as the sheriff escorts them out of their house that this is not my beautiful house. There is plenty of blame to go round for this predicament. According to Northern Trust economist Paul Kasriel, “We’re a what’s my monthly payment nation. The idea is to have my monthly payments as high as I can take. If you cut interest rates, I’ll get a bigger car.” Major banks offer credit cards using your home equity as a way to pay everyday expenses like groceries, gas and clothes. Eating your house was never so easy. …Most of his obituary for the years of living dangerously has been said before — not that there aren't plenty of Americans still oblivious to anything other than gas prices. Quinn does ignore the politically incorrect causal factor described by Steve Sailer, of the federal government leaning on bankers and mortgage companies to give loans to unqualified owners of brown and black skin, ultimately treating them to affirmative action bankruptcy. All in all, though, it's a tidy summation of the reasons you can expect a hair-curling depression, arriving on time on Track 09.
The last thing that anyone thought would result while watching the Twin Towers collapse on September 11, 2001 was the greatest housing boom in the history of the world. When a country goes to war, it usually asks its citizens to sacrifice.
“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.” (Winston Churchill – May 13, 1940)In the true spirit of Winston Churchill, President Bush could have paraphrased Churchill by saying: I have nothing to offer but tax cuts, tax rebates, 0% auto financing, and no-doc mortgages. Americans grieved for a few weeks and then did their patriotic part by buying everything they could get their hands on.
Such warnings, even if they turn out to be a scrap exaggerated, are timely and worthwhile. But life has to go on. What should we do about the mess we've created?
I'm afraid as the storm washes out the levees, to borrow Quinn's metaphor, the mass media will offer their readers and viewers advice that sticks to a few carefully scripted clichés. Live within your means. Pay off your credit cards. Make a budget. Put tape around your windows to lower heating costs.
Well, duh. Yes, individuals — especially those who have spent frivolously with borrowed money — need to take a cold shower. Yes, you should pay off your credit card balances, assuming you have any zlotys to pay them with.
But while citizens (an archaic word that has been replaced by "consumers," and which needs to be revived) may have no choice but to learn responsibility, it shouldn't stop with them. Washington, and its 50 microcosms here and there, must take their medicine. I'm afraid on that side you will continue to see denial, clinging to bad practices, and resistance to penitence long after individuals have seen as much light as they have to.
May I offer a few "big picture" reforms that will help us as a nation get through the Slough of Despond and maybe even become a creative, solidly based society again?
1. Stop using our armed forces as agents of nation building, social work, bandage application for failed states, and referees among psychopaths who have had a falling out with each other. Resuscitate the idea of a military for defense. By all means, strike back at anyone who strikes us or credibly — that's C-R-E-D-I-B-L-Y — threatens to. But quit putting our own citizens (that word again) in danger of life or limb in service to an ideology.
2. Get the country out of the rescue mission business, at least as far as it consists of taking in refugees and immigrants from everywhere (i.e., about 75 percent of the world) where folks are dissatisfied with the status of their quo. Let them have a goddamn revolution instead of buying a plane ticket into our soft-hearted welfare system.
3. Build a fence and a 50-foot free-fire zone on our side of the border. Stop the anchor baby racket once and for all.
4. Make "program" (as in government p-----m) an unspeakable word. No more tax money to support p-----ms for inner city ping-pong recreation centers, remedial hairdressing, target shooting classes for the blind, signing interpreters for mime shows and orchestra concerts, enriched classes in earthworm studies for grade schoolers, No Teachers Union Left Behind, toenail fungus awareness outreach, parenting courses for at-risk pre-teens, video game rooms in public libraries, santeria-based speech therapy, mentoring for geriatric middle school dropouts. Spend tax money, if anyone has any remaining lolly to tax, on infrastructure projects, nuclear power plants, birth control for the poor, death-ray guns to arm border guards, and books to replace every school computer by 2012.
5. Abolish the Federal Reserve System, which has become a money counterfeiting operation. Back every dollar bill with a dollar's worth of gold. If the government can't afford to buy any more gold, let it stop printing dollars until it can. Quit inflating our way out of government debt.
Let the games end.