This one’s a keeper. It details the opulent standard of living of poor people in America, who live like rich people do elsewhere in the world.
And it discusses the attitude that opulence, driven as it is by subsidized housing, food stamps and free health care and other goodies supplied by the productive class, produces in a country which is rapidly descending.
Whittle is exactly right. What he doesn’t do is take the next step and note what the future holds – namely, the reaction of the world’s richest poor to the coming news that the gravy train has come off the tracks.
Standard & Poor’s didn’t just downgrade the federal government; it also put out a negative indication for future prospects and warned that without a change in the fiscal weather we’re headed for AA status in six months, down from the current AA+.
Mark Steyn, who has a book coming out entitled After America: Get Ready For Armageddon, penned a very insightful, if depressingly pessimistic, piece in National Review over the weekend warning that American decline isn’t what’s in the offing – collapse is.
Oh, don’t worry, I’m not one of these “declinists.” I’m waybeyond that, and in the express lane to total societal collapse. The fecklessness of Washington is an existential threat not only to the solvency of the republic but to the entire global order. If Ireland goes under, it’s lights out on Galway Bay. When America goes under, it drags the rest of the developed world down with it. When I go around the country saying stuff like this, a lot of folks agree. Somewhere or other, they’ve a vague memory of having seen a newspaper story accompanied by a Congressional Budget Office graph with the line disappearing off the top of the page and running up the wall and into the rafters circa mid-century. So they usually say, “Well, fortunately I won’t live to see it.” And I always reply that, unless you’re a centenarian with priority boarding for the ObamaCare death panel, you will live to see it. Forget about mid-century. We’ve got until mid-decade to turn this thing around.
Otherwise, by 2020 just the interest payments on the debt will be larger than the U.S. military budget. That’s not paying down the debt, but merely staying current on the servicing — like when you get your MasterCard statement and you can’t afford to pay off any of what you borrowed but you can just about cover the monthly interest charge. Except in this case the interest charge for U.S. taxpayers will be greater than the military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel combined.
Steyn isn’t just banging the drum to sell books. The numbers are there for anyone to see.
We borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Our national debt is larger than our economy. And all this spending isn’t producing growth; it’s produced stagnation, because the recipients of the transfer payments might be recycling money through the economy by buying video game systems or smart phones or Big Macs but they’re not contributing real value to the economy. They’re not doing meaningful work; those whose efforts confer real positivity on their employers’ balance sheets are already in the middle class and paying income taxes.
But while the traditional American ethic would dictate that people who are stuck in dead-end jobs or on public assistance would be howling for increased admissions to medical schools or engineering programs, or increased opportunities in the trades, or – and here’s the biggest indicator of how things are changed – screaming bloody murder about the jobs and opportunities illegal aliens are taking away from them in the midst of a rough economy, you’re hearing none of that.
Are the unions agitating to run off the illegals and put Americans back to work? Has anybody heard that? Didn’t think so. Are the usual suspects who purport to speak for the underclass taking a position for citizens? No. They’re embracing illegals as brothers-in-arms.
Which is a bit peculiar.
Nobody on the Left is calling for increased economic opportunities so the poor can rise to the middle class. Other than to add more government jobs, that is. Instead, this is about more goodies for people who don’t work. Unemployment checks in perpetuity, and Nancy Pelosi spouts the absurdity that it’s the best economic growth hormone the glands of our government can produce. Obamacare to cover all the uninsured whether they like it or not. Food stamps for 50 million people.
A former America, a solvent America, would have recoiled from such wretched excess. Perhaps that’s what’s happening out in the real world. Not among our governmental and media elites, though – they tell us that if the current levels of government redistribution were to stop it would destroy our economy.
Well, maybe they’re right. Maybe this Obama economy needs to be destroyed so the free market can come back.
And maybe the petulance and greed of our unproductive poor will melt away when the government-supplied opulence is over. Don’t count on that, though – not until after we’ve been dragged over the coals, Greece-style, as reality descends on our public fisc in the next few years.