Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Armageddon: Part I

Remember after the stimulus was passed in 2009? President Obama responded by saying, "People thought that this would cause Armageddon, but I went out this morning and it was a beautiful day."

Well, that cliff that he saved us from falling off is back. I guess the ‘fix’ that he help implement did not work so well. It is after all, only two years later. And CHANGE did not work so well. So what do we do now? I have an idea: Let’s do more of the same. Lets continue to spend our way out of trouble. This is infinitely easier than making the difficult decisions as to which parts of government are less important. No matter what you do when cutting, you will piss someone off. Politicians on ‘both sides of the aisle’ don’t want to do that, at just about any price. This is at least part of the reason why we are in this mess in the first place. This is after all, human nature at work.

Is it not strange how the two sides can switch? President Obama voted against raising the debt limit back in 2006 (One of the few times he did NOT vote PRESENT) and yet he rails against Republicans for fighting against raising the limit. Republicans got the raise in the debt limit back in ’06 and are fighting tooth and nail against it today. Switches like this are common in politics. Today’s issue is that the fundamental economic strength of the United States is viewed as being so weak and vulnerable to shock. One of the biggest problems is that enough people understand the position well enough to realize that this is a fight that cannot be lost. And yet the Republicans are the ones keeping away the deal. I thought that Republicans were so good at making deals that they are constantly laughed at by Democrats. After all, it is commonly thought that all we are doing is waiting for the Republicans to cave again at the last minute. This is what happened in 1995. What makes this ‘crisis’ different is that for the Republican side, this is an all or nothing issue. I personally believe that this is the last chance to save the Republic. Makes it impossible to compromise.

One thing that really bothers me today is that I have never seen this country so divided. I am counting
Vietnam and it was bad enough. Today the problem is financial, which is an issue that is not so easily resolved. We could just cut and run from Vietnam. (We did just that) The financial problems of today do not allow for us to do so, although we can ‘just kick the can down the road’ by just doing the same and
not CHANGING our behavior. This has been going on for generations. Eventually, something will happen. What has happened in Greece would be a very mild example as the United States is the largest economy in the world. Violence occurred in Greece and is going on in England right now and with nobody to bail out the largest economy, the possibility of some degree of Armageddon becomes very real. Why do I believe this?

Like the budget and debt limit conflicts, wars are fought over scarce resources. Someone wants (or needs) what someone else has and is willing or desperate enough to attempt to take it by force. I do not believe that it was a coincidence that the greatest war in mankind’s history was immediately preceded by the greatest economic downturn in mankind’s history. And we have the possibility of the largest economy in the world going broke? I just cannot see how a war would not result.

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