We are headed towards an “unraveling of civilization”.
That’s a sobering statement. And timely, since the terms “fiscal cliff”, “looming disaster”, and “Greece” have become castrated terms no longer synonymous with catastrophe and suffering. In today’s Townhall article, Mona Charen gives us a fresh descriptor to inspire fear and awareness for where Obama and congress are leading our country. And it’s chilling.
The incomparable Walter Russell Mead, writing in the American Interest, offered a glimpse into the coming dystopia:
“Things are getting worse in San Bernardino. The city filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but its financial situation has continued to deteriorate. And now with what promises to be a heated court battle over payments to the state pension fund in the offing, further cuts are likely.
“Things are getting so bad that at a recent city council meeting, the city attorney advised residents to ‘lock their doors and load their guns’ because the city could no longer afford to keep up a strong enough police force.”
Consider also this Reuters story from Greece:
“For hours the leader of the Greek journalists’ social security fund had been chairing a meeting about disastrous losses on retirement savings caused by the country’s economic collapse. ‘She tried to present herself as the fund’s savior and asked (members) to double contributions to 6 percent of salaries,’ said one of those present that night at the Titania hotel. Spanopoulou, 58, did not succeed.
“When she rose to leave around midnight, enraged fund members first swore, then waded in punching, kicking and tearing at her clothes, according to witnesses. A bodyguard managed to bustle her out of the room, but another group caught her just outside the hotel and gave her a second beating. She spent the night in hospital.
“It was a brutal sign of the fury many Greeks feel at the way the country’s debt crisis has dashed hopes of a comfortable old age. Greece’s pension funds – patchily run in the first place, say unionists and some politicians – have been savaged by austerity and the terms of the international bailout keeping the country afloat.”
When governments cannot pay their current employees because they’ve gone broke paying pensions to previous employees (among other obligations), you don’t get a “fiscal cliff,” or even a bad recession. You get the unraveling of civilization.
The Republicans are attempting to divert the nation — not from the “fiscal cliff” but from something much worse. If government debt is not controlled by spending cuts (tax increases on the rich make scarcely a dent), the U.S. is headed for drastic economic decline. Interest rates will rise to attract wary international investors. Rising interest rates will in turn increase our debt service burden, while a diminished private sector will provide less and less tax revenue. The combination of spiraling debt service and entitlement spending will quickly leave no funds for any other purpose.
That’s when it becomes Mad Max. That’s what the negotiations are about.
On some level the nation knows this. Further down Free Republic is an article, “The Post Election Public Mood: It’s About To Hit The Fan”. In it, the writer points out the new wave of best sellers on Amazon and its implications for how the public mood has shifted.
Well, before the November election, books about President Obama and about political theory in general were flying off the shelves. But now, checking the same bestseller lists that used to show those books doing well, it is plain that the mood has shifted. Those sorts of books have been supplanted and upstaged to a large degree. And the genre or theme that has replaced them is [insert drumroll here] Disaster Preparedness.
When our mainstream journalists are portending the “unraveling of civilization” with an outcome of “Mad Max”, and the national pastime has become learning how to store and sanitize water, something is wrong. Very wrong.