Declinists, Collapsists, and Their Rose Colored Glasses: Another Pessimistic Ntrepid Ramble
“…the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.” (1)
Despite the reference to that three lettered evil whore (see Obamacare), I draw attention to this quote…lifted from an excellent blog post whose title included the phrase “the debt chart Obama and Geithner should be ashamed of”…because it signals much more than even the rare serious discussion of unavoidable financial doom-ism affords. We do, after all, still have our foot on the accelerator.
I presume the referenced “economy” is the U.S. economy and, whether or not the analysis claims any accuracy in timing I neither know nor care (plus or minus 5 years is irrelevant), the signaled impact…even as a mentionable potential outcome…should shake Americans to their core. To be clear, I suspect “shuts down” in this sense means the parameters become so out of balance that even the CBO admits the models are no longer valid. The implications of this…how this would manifest itself in our lives and our society…would be a nightmarish rabbit hole to go down but is not really relevant to our future.
I wonder how much sooner that projected “shut down” would come if the analysis was extended to include the complexity of the economies of the civilized western world. (How many random number generators would be in the Greece subroutine alone?) To be generous, I would really start to worry around 2020.
Unfortunately, the larger point is more serious. This tidal wave of economic collapse would obviously not hit everyone all at once…if it was allowed to get here in a vacuum, the instability created as more and more of the weaker component failed would spread panic and chaos…and opportunism. Consider where this would most likely head…(think Europe).
My unchecked pessimism on this issue leads me even further. Once we get past this period where “an all-powerful government would distract from its looming bankruptcy by introducing a universal contraceptive mandate” (2) and the obvious cannot be ignored by leaders or hidden from even the most loyal of subjects any longer, the horizon will darken in an all too familiar way for the first time this century. I don’t need a new CBO score to see this tinderbox scenario as early as the end of the next American administration. Do you really think that spark…accidental or intentional…facing certain economic calamity…would not come, sooner rather than later? Did I mention we still have our foot on the accelerator?
This week Mark Steyn “reject[ed] association with American declinists, and instead announced himself an American collapsist” (3) to which I say welcome to the club and thanks for giving us a catchy name. I, however, have sunk even lower since last July when I shortened a Victor Davis Hanson post titled “Unchained World” to the following:
“…the world will shortly become an even scarier place… In short, we will be back soon to about 1937. The old rules are disappearing… soon, we will learn what we learned last time in 1941…The world by 2016 will be a very dangerous place…” (4)
As usual, I ramble and have no solutions. I would say take the lead foot off the accelerator but we are probably already inside the doom-ish window I outline above and a near voting majority sits poised to blindly vote itself more plunder. At least a rightward landslide in November would result in a more favorable divvying up of sides for the reckoning. That would be a small victory…but a victory nonetheless.
My message really is just clarity (and, more accurately, just therapy for me at this point). I want my friends here to realize that this isn’t just about how embarrassingly unserious our current administration is or unavoidable astronomical tax rates for our kids and grandkids. In a historical sense, even as our Treasury Secretary smirks off congressional inquiry about such dire predictions, events are going to start happening very fast. Between distractions dutifully choreographed through the MSM and our own inside-baseball discussions about our candidates, the conversations…if not depressingly overt as I seem to prefer…had better continue with at least a common understanding of where this is all headed.
I hope I’m wrong but, I fear, we will all be collapsists soon.
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?