On the topic we will be discussing on KMUD tonight.

ARE WE COMMITTING SUICIDE BY GOVERNMENT?

America has already experienced the early stages of a dramatic economic reversal.  The reversal has simply not completely manifested itself because it is hidden by deficit spending and the financial result of the changes that have already taken place have not yet run their full course.  But a fuse has been lit and it is tied to explosive future changes in Americans’ well-being and economic prosperity that are unprecedented.  As difficult as the Great Depression was, such depressions historically occur periodically, but the next time it happens, the government is in far worse economic shape and that will exponentially magnify the economic downturns that have occurred in the past and which are sure to occur in the future.  One need only take note of five trends that make such a conclusion obvious.

There are five ominous economic/financial trends that can no longer be ignored and which individually portend danger, but it is the cumulative effect of the trends that is so potentially explosive that few Americans can even begin to imagine what the future may hold.  Consequently, normalcy bias has clouded our thinking such that too many Americans are ignoring ominous signs, in the form of various economic trends, that our society faces extreme economic reversals.  These trends are:

1. Government deficits – soon to reach 16 trillion dollars and it is projected that in approximately twenty-five years the deficit will grow to twice the size of the American economy;
2. Decline in manufacturing jobs and production (we have lost eight million manufacturing jobs since late 1979);
3.  Trade deficits;
4.  Increases in dependence on various government assistance programs; and
5.  The long-term inability to finance current social programs.

As a result of these trends, we will eventually experience a confluence of economic problems that may well overwhelm American society and shake it to its very core.

Of these five trends, the federal deficit – we have run federal deficits of more than one trillion dollars a year for the last four years – is by far the most devastating because it singularly has the potential to completely undermine the American economy and social order.  As a society, we have become addicted to debt and government debt levels have become so critical that we have created conditions wherein collectively as a society we may well be committing suicide by government.

We have allowed global elites to create an economy that is ripe for massive decline at a minimum and perhaps even outright collapse.  This economic decline will not sit easy with Americans. There are deep ideological divisions within the nation and increasing poverty combined with crushing government debt may cause unprecedented political instability. It is not, for example, hard to imagine one or more of the states realizing that leaving the union is preferable to paying federal taxes that will increasingly go more and more to simply paying interest on the federal debt.  If this sounds like sensationalism or exaggeration to you, data released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicates otherwise.

It is most illustrative to consider the CBO data regarding the national debt in terms of debt per person because it is difficult to grasp the significance of trillions of dollars since most of us have no experience in dealing with numbers that astronomically high.  Existing federal government debt per capita is approximately $50,000.  If you are married and have three children, your family’s current share of the federal debt is $250,000.  In 2008, per capita debt was $35,000. That is quite an increase in just a short amount of time and I see no way that such a debt load could ever be repaid, but what is even more alarming is the level of projected government debt.  The trend is downright ominous.

According to CBO projections, at the rate debt is projected to accumulate, sometime in 2037 debt per American will rise to $147,000.  Keep in mind that this is just federal government debt. It does not include private debt, state debt, state and federal unfunded liabilities for pensions and social programs estimated in the tens of trillions of dollars, or continued projected trade deficits.

But even when we consider the federal debt alone, there is cause for considerable alarm for anyone except the most ardent pollyannas among us.  By 2037, the federal interest payments alone are estimated at $2.7 trillion per year. To put that into perspective, during fiscal year 2011, the federal government collected approximately $2.3 trillion in tax revenue. Of course, it spent more than that due to massive deficit spending.

What really disturbs me is that this catastrophic debt increase seems to be, at least in part, caused by changes in American’s attitudes toward economic matters and debt and such attitudes develop over time and are difficult to change.  For most of American history, when our debt was high, Americans paid it down and/or the economy grew reducing the debt as a percentage of GDP.  For example, the American Revolution started the nation off with high debt, but our Founders were scared by such debt and paid it down quite quickly.  Throughout American history that was the pattern.  Wars and economic crises caused government debt, but when stability was reached, government debt was paid down.  That all changed in the 1980’s. We became addicted to debt even when times were good.  It was not a revenue problem.  Government revenues increased dramatically during the 1980’s but federal spending increased even more.  The Grace Commission was empaneled to make recommendations to stop the growth of government.  The Grace commission’s recommendations were ignored.  We will all pay the price for doing so.

The result of our collective lack of resistance to debt and constantly increasing government expenditures is that the federal government spent more money than it took in for 39 of the last 40 years.  While the Clinton Administration claims it had budget surpluses, that was only achieved by using surplus social security/medicare funds.

What this all means is that the American people have become as addicted to government debt as a junkie addicted to methamphetamine and the fiscal health consequences will be just as deadly.  The federal debt Americans have accumulated has already caused permanent economic consequences.  America is in the grip of a downward spiraling debt cycle with no way out unless dramatic economic growth occurs which is highly improbable.

America can no longer stop deficit spending, increase taxes or increase interest rates because the economy is not strong enough even though it is bolstered by massive deficit spending. The adverse consequences of fiscal responsibility now mean that such steps would plunge the nation into depression which would raise the deficit anyway. You see there really is no way out at this point. There is no solution to such overwhelming public debt unless economic growth solves the problem, but for a myriad of reasons, not least of which is the decline of American manufacturing, that is highly improbable.

Rising federal debt levels also undermine our economy far beyond the cost of paying the interest and principal.  You see this same economic trouble in Greece today. Greece is just farther along in the debt cycle and fiscal tsunami than America is. This is what David Walker, former head of the GAO was trying to tell us back in 2007 and we just did not listen even though his views were covered on 60 Minutes and supported by both left-wing and right-wing think tanks.  But even a relatively non partisan wake up call was ignored – much to our peril.  Every American should log on to YouTube and watch Mr. Walker’s I.O.U.S.A. production and watch the 60 Minutes episode that covered his attempts to awaken us to our long-term financial perils.   It was important for Americans to respond to Mr. Walker’s message in a timely manner and not having done so has placed us in a no-win situation because neither austerity measures nor business as usual will work at this juncture.

Austerity measures only work when an economy is still strong enough to withstand the economic shock.  Europe and America are no longer strong enough to implement austerity programs and the governments knows it.  Both Mitt Romney and President Obama, for example, have clearly stated that they plan to continue heavy deficit spending even though both men have made clear, unambiguous statements in the past revealing that they both understand that deficit spending is ruinous and cruel to our children.  Nevertheless, austerity measures are unlikely in a republic wherein politicians want to be reelected; yet, increasing government debt creates a lack of confidence that is crucial to an economy that is 70 percent driven by consumer spending.

Confidence levels play an important role as evidenced by the fact that, as the value of American’s homes increased during the housing bubble, confidence levels soared and Americans spent more money and we had a robust economy.  This was true even for those Americans that did not pull equity from their homes.  Conversely, after the housing bubble burst, confidence levels waned and Americans spent less money even if they still retained significant equity in their homes.

In addition to the erosion of confidence caused by high government debt, the increasing interest payments are devastating – 458 billion dollars in 2011.  Can you even imagine how many tens of millions of Americans slaved away to pay their federal taxes just to see it thrown away on interest payments?  How can we grow our way out of our economic problems with such a staggering 458 billion dollar strain on our economy?  The answer is that we cannot and will not.  The unique economic conditions following WWII that allowed the U.S. to grow its way out of high government debt will never return.

Even if a long-term solution is available to the federal deficit problem, it is unlikely it will be implemented.  The nature of a republic/democracy wherein politicians seek to be reelected virtually ensures that our politicians will seek to prop up the economy in the short-term rather than seek long-term solutions. Every form of government has its weakness and democracy has now shown an inherent weakness – democracy tends to foster deficit spending when the electorate loses its core moral values that cause restraint.  But this should not come as a surprise.

Benjamin Franklin purportedly warned us that “when the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Alexis de Tocqueville later warned us again that: “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”

Time has proven both men correct because in addition to a host of other economic problems, our deficit spending is ruinous long-term because it has negative long-term value.  Not only does it result in a drain on current budgets to pay interest payments, but we have spent trillions in deficits to obtain mere billions in economic growth (increases in GDP). It is simply a losing, unsustainable shell game our Founders warned us about. We should have listened to Thomas Jefferson:

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared.  To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.”

The United States has already had its credit rating downgraded.  It will eventually be downgraded again and interest rates will rise.  Even if the United States could continue its deficit spending indefinitely, which is impossible in the long run, eventually the interest payments alone will ruin us.  Greece and Spain have already seen their interest rates paid on government debt rise to 6 or 7 percent and we can eventually expect the same for American debt.  If we paid $458 billion in interest payments 2011, imagine what we will pay five years down the road after the deficit has increased and especially so should the interest rate increase to the higher levels paid in the past.  We could easily spend a trillion dollars or more per year just to service the federal deficit.  According to the taxpolicycenter.org,, in 2010 the federal government collected $2.2 trillion in revenue.  It is quite likely that interest payments alone could consume half of the federal government’s tax revenue in the not too distant future should the federal reserve be unable to maintain the current low interest rates.  That is why in 2011, the Federal Reserve purchased approximately 61 percent of all U.S. government debt.  It is nothing less than a desperate attempt to keep interest rates low given that rising interest rates would dramatically increase the debt burden.  But like any Ponzi scheme, no matter how sophisticated, it will eventually collapse.

If we could not make ends meet before such an impossible interest burden was created, how can we possibly get by with that level of drain placed on the American taxpayer?

There is yet another problem with high government debt.  In addition to the cost of debt (interest payments) and the loss of confidence caused by debt, it is yet another economy killer caused by massive federal deficits.  It is called inflation and it can be far more ruinous than most people can fathom.  Historically, governments increase the money supply (euphemistically called quantitative easing) when faced with a heavy debt burden.  By causing inflation, the debt to GDP level is reduced and the government pays back debt with money that is worth far less than when it was borrowed.  We have historical examples that show just what happens when governments get in debt and begin to greatly increase the money supply in order to survive.  Argentina is an interesting example.  One hundred years ago it was one of the World’s most wealthy nations.  Not any more and deficit spending and the resulting hyperinflation were major factors in Argentina’s decline.

Weimar Germany is also a cautionary tale.  In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, p. 61-62. 1960., William L. Shirer paints a vivid picture of what it was like for the German people when they experienced hyperinflation:

“German currency had become completely worthless. Purchasing power of salaries and wages was reduced to zero. The life savings of the middle classes and working classes were wiped out. But something even more important was destroyed: the faith of the people in the economic structure of the German society . . . the government deliberately let the mark tumble in order to free the State of its public debts, to escape from paying reparations. All [the people] knew was that a large bank account could not buy a straggly bunch of carrots, and half peck of potatoes, and few ounces of sugar, a pound of flour. They knew that as individuals they were bankrupt. And they knew hunger when it gnawed at them, as it did daily. In their misery and hopelessness, they made the Republic the scapegoat for all that had happened. Such times were heaven-sent for Adolph Hitler.”

Hyperinflation destroys nations – it is a historical fact that only a hard-headed ideologue would have the temerity to ignore.  Observant Americans have already noticed dramatic increases in food costs and fuel costs (the trend is upwards do not be fooled by short-term fluctuations).  I suspect that this is just the beginning and that much more dramatic inflation is sure to come.  Not only does increasing the money supply cause inflation if there is not a corresponding increase in goods and services, but the deficits, resulting inflation, and overall decrease in financial strength will have an amplified effect on the American economy because of the dollar’s status as the World reserve currency and its petrodollar status.

Because the United States has been so stable politically and economically and because of the size of its economy, much of the World maintains reserves of dollars for hard times, as a hedge against inflation of their own currency, and for use in international trade.  Most of the World’s oil is traded in U.S. Dollars.  But as our financial condition deteriorates, a replacement will be sought.  But for the fact that Europe is in even worse shape than America, I believe the Euro would have already replaced the Dollar.  When the Dollar loses its status as the World’s reserve currency and petrodollar status, it will be devastating to the American economy.  Billions and perhaps even trillions of dollars will no longer have much use for foreigners and will flood back into the American economy to purchase goods and services.  The inflationary effect will be devastating – especially on oil prices.  If Americans have to trade for some other currency in order to purchase oil, it will significantly raise the cost of gasoline far above the increased inflationary effect.  In an economy absolutely dependent upon its transportation sector, the affect will be catastrophic.
As can be seen, our deficit spending has undeniably serious consequences.  To summarize, we face the following critical problems as a result of deficit spending:

1.  Burdensome interest payments and the risk of dramatic increases in those payments due to rising interest rates even if deficit spending is unexpectedly ended;
2.  Economic depression if the deficit spending is cut unless the economy is far stronger than it is anticipated to be for the foreseeable future;
3.  Financial collapse if the deficit spending continues unabated;
4.  Hyperinflation;
5.  Collapse of the Dollar as the World reserve currency and for use in international trade; and
6.  Loss of consumer confidence.

As can be seen, these problems are staggering and can cause profound changes in American society.  These problems are enough to keep even the strongest at heart awake at night.  However, when combined with the additional dangerous trends, an even grimmer picture develops.  Next we will discuss the impact of the decline in American manufacturing.

When I was born in 1962, approximately 26 percent of working Americans worked in manufacturing jobs. Today, that figure is approximately 9 percent.   We have lost eight million manufacturing jobs since late 1979.  If those jobs had been preserved, the current unemployment rate would be cut by more than half because there are approximately 155 million people in the labor force and with current unemployment at approximately 8.9 percent (as measured by the government), that means the official figure for unemployed people is less than 14 million people.  Add 8 million jobs and that leaves six million officially unemployed even before any multiplier effect of those jobs is considered.  In other words, each manufacturing job tends to create additional jobs far beyond retail or service sector jobs.

So from an employment perspective, the loss of manufacturing strength has been devastating to working Americans because manufacturing jobs tend to pay far better than retail or service sector positions.  One fourth of all jobs in the United States now pay $10 per hour or less.  Given the increase in housing costs relative to wages and other inflationary effects, such a low wage is nearly impossible to live on and many workers at that pay level are forced to apply for any government social programs for which they qualify.  It is no wonder that there are now more than 46 million Americans that receive food stamps (or debit cards for food).  Dependence on the government has skyrocketed as American manufacturing has declined.

Wealth seems to correlate with manufacturing strength. The rapid U.S. economic development following the Civil War meant that by the 1890’s, the U.S. surpassed Great Britain for first place in manufacturing output and following that there was a steady transfer of financial and global power from Great Britain to the U.S.  Similarly, power is shifting to China as its manufacturing increases and American manufacturing declines.  We are witnessing the fastest transfer of wealth from west to east ever observed in modern economic history.

While it is true that some manufacturing jobs were lost to productivity increases, it is equally undeniable that our government intentionally created and participated in rules that made it impossible for working Americans to compete with foreign workers.  Our universities and think tanks all played along and brain washed people into believing that it was somehow good that American workers were getting lay off notices so we could buy many produced products manufactured by foreigners cheaper.  There is no question that many people benefited.  Those who retained well paying jobs now had access to many products that were relatively far cheaper than if they had been produced in America.  But these “beneficiaries” of foreign slave labor ignored the long-term cost they will pay.  They have helped impoverish millions of Americans that now want to see their taxes dramatically increased to help cover the cost of the resulting adverse social consequences.

As for those that bought in to the “free trade is good” mantra, I respectfully submit that they should have thought the matter through far more carefully.  When I was studying business and economics in the mid 1980’s, I could not help but notice to my alarm that many of the texts advocated international business and discouraged nationalistic sentiments.  Milton Friedman and those that followed his ideology taught that businesses’ only ethical limitation is what is imposed by law or regulation.  Hence, according to him, a corporation must “maximize shareholder value.”  Under such views, abandoning your fellow American workers and using 50 cent per hour workers in China instead is perfectly ethical because it “maximizes shareholder value” and was not illegal.

I beg to differ and argue that it can be immoral to abandon your fellow Americans.  While I certainly agree that a business that has no economic choice but to manufacture using cheaper foreign workers is certainly entitled to do so.  But there are many manufacturers that could have done reasonably well manufacturing in America but who left because they felt no duty whatsoever to their fellow Americans.  These businesses were further encouraged by numerous global elites that wanted wealth redistributed from Americans to foreigners.

I vehemently disagree that a corporation should adhere to no ethics other than legal compliance and maximizing shareholder value.  Corporations are nothing more than the collective pursuit of business.  Why should it be that those that engage in business as a group should be free to ignore the ethics that they would individually adhere to?  Would we say to anyone that they should just look out for number one, make as much money as you can as long as you abide by all laws?  Of course not.  Most people reject such materialistic values.

We have always recognized that there were higher moral standards than mere legal compliance. Nonetheless, our government and our educational system fostered an ideology that undermined our economy and left millions destitute.  Even worse, government policies should have been tailored to foster FAIR trade not laisez-faire so-called “free trade.”  For international trade to work, it must be fair.  When international trade is rigged as it currently is in favor of China- amongst other countries- hard working Americans are left with a playing field that is so unfair and biased that they cannot compete.  We have federal wage, labor, and environmental laws that ensure the various states can fairly compete for businesses.  Yet, those same businesses have been free to simply pack up and go abroad with no consequences so that they could escape the higher cost of production in the U.S.

If we believe it is unfair to employ people for 50 cents per hour in America, then why is it OK to lay people off and pay them nothing so one can produce in China and employ people there under wage levels and conditions that would be deemed illegal and unethical in America?  This is especially true when China engages in currency manipulation and tariffs that protect its workers.

It is one thing to view economics as an academic pursuit and to form theories.  But when the reality of those economic theories reveals utter economic devastation, one must allow reality to take precedence over theory.  When one examines the ruins that were once Detroit and other great American industrial cities, the societal decay and rot in those cities, the high numbers of unemployed workers that used to have well-paying manufacturing jobs, and the societal cost of supporting the millions of unemployed or underemployed, only a complete hard-core ideologue could claim that our globalization/free trade policies have been beneficial to Americans.

They have been beneficial to the wealthy and global elites, but those policies have decimated the American middle class.  It is almost as if our government wants to destroy the middle class.

Equally troubling, where will we find the capacity to once again be the “arsenal of democracy” as we were in World War II should the need ever arise again?

There is a correlation between the decline in American manufacturing and our other economic woes.  No wonder wealth is being concentrated in the very few.  The wealthy elites high wages and incomes go very far when buying products made by slaves in China and their profits rise when they can take advantage of slave labor in foreign countries.  Conversely, the American middle class is destroyed.  No wonder we have unprecedented levels of wealth and income disparity.  Consider the following facts taken from the Economic Collapse Blog which paint a vivid picture of the so-called “benefits” of globalization:

* “America has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.”

* “According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.”

* “According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day closed down in the United States during 2010.”

* “The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month and more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.”

* “The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.”

* “Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.”

* “In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.”

* “In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel. The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.”

* “China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.”

* “Chinese solar panel production was about 50 times larger in 2010 than it was in 2005.”

* “Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.”

* “China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.”

* “According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.”

* “According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.”

The foregoing facts would seem to dispel any notion that “free trade” has been good for America.  Our manufacturing decline is a significant factor in our trade and balance of payments deficits as well.

Also according to the Economic Collapse Blog:

* “Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion. That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.”

* “In 2011, our trade deficit with China was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990 and more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985.”

* “Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.”

* “The U.S. spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.”

*  “While we allow Chinese goods to freely flood our shores, China just keeps slapping new tariffs on American-made goods. According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.”

Based upon the foregoing, is it any surprise that Americans have become increasingly dependent on government assistance?  The government safety net was originally started to keep people from extreme poverty, but it is increasingly being relied upon by the middle class.  The United States Government spent more money in 2011 than at any time in the nation’s history to support or subsidize Americans in various ways ranging from health care, to school lunches, to low-income housing, to unemployment benefits, food stamps or food credits, mortgage assistance, earned income credit subsidies, and disability payments.

There is a correlation between the loss of better paying manufacturing jobs being exchanged for unemployment benefits or a less well-paying retail or service sector jobs and the increasing need for government assistance.  Equally troubling, as more and more people have no choice but to go on the government dole, there will be a decreased stigma attached to receiving public assistance and more and more people will apply for every program for which they qualify.  One in five Americans now receive public assistance.

Finally, we come to the fifth ominous trend – the long-term inability to finance current social programs.  This issue can be summed up quite succinctly.  The CBO projects that if current spending patterns remain constant, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on America’s loans will swallow up one hundred percent of projected tax revenues by 2025.  That means that if, for example, we want to continue to have a defense department, it would all be on borrowed money after 2025.  It also means no money for agricultural subsidies, highway construction, the federal courts, federal pensions and foreign aid.

Americans seem oblivious to the fact that there is absolutely no way our social programs can be sustained, but it is an undeniable fact.  The federal government would need tens of trillions of dollars today, set aside and earning interest, to cover benefits promised to current workers and retirees beyond what taxes will cover.  It is unknown how much higher the figure will climb as economic conditions worsen.  If our economy starts to contract, the situation becomes even more dire.  There will undoubtedly be cuts in social programs at a time when it will be extremely difficult for the beneficiaries of those programs to offset the losses with earnings from wages.

It is estimated that federal debt and retiree commitments already equal more than $500,000 per household.  As you can see, the situation is untenable and cuts in social programs are sure to follow.  The cuts may be in the form of inflation simply cutting the purchasing power of the benefits.  But no matter how the benefit cuts are made, cuts are certain to be part of our future.  The results will be devastating to hard-working Americans that paid into the system in good faith and expected a fair return in their golden years.  Instead, they will be betrayed and those seniors unable to reside with family members will be left in abject poverty.

Detroit may well be a harbinger of what is in store for the rest of America. The population of Detroit has declined from 2 million in the late 1950’s to near 700,000 today.  One-third of Detroit is now abandoned or has been demolished.  More than fifty percent of all children in Detroit are living in poverty and 47 percent of all people living in the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.  Crime is absolutely rampant.  High school graduation rates have fallen to 25 percent.  The city has become a terrible place to live.  Detroit was once one of the largest, wealthiest cities in America.  It was the “arsenal of democracy.”  Now it is the example of the future to come for parts of America.  Every American should go on YouTube and watch the videos showing Detroit’s abandoned infrastructure and houses.  It looks like a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Why has all of this happened?  How did America come to such a precarious situation?  In my opinion, America was sold out by its leadership – both Republican and Democrat.  The rich elites of the World have become citizens of the World and are no longer looking out for regular Americans’ well-being.  The new trend for the wealthy elites is to give up your U.S. citizenship to save on taxes.

Our government’s actions have been so devastating that it is as if our leaders want to undermine America in order to create a crisis situation wherein Americans can be convinced to cede more of their sovereignty to the United Nations and other international agencies.  America cannot and will not survive such duplicity as demonstrated above.  As Rome’s Cicero famously stated:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banners openly against the city. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.”  (Marcus Cicero)

If not outright treason, what else can explain the ruinous flowery wars abroad that accomplish nothing more than to waste lives and American taxpayer’s hard-earned money?  What else can explain a government that is destroying itself with debt giving hundreds of millions in aid to China, Egypt, Palestinians and Pakistan?

It is time for us to ask ourselves if we are going to fade away quietly much like the North Koreans who starve to death in their homes and commit suicide by government or are we going to educate ourselves to the dire nature of our economic situation, its causes, and make the necessary changes no matter how difficult?

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