Saturday, January 5, 2013

The America of 2013

From The American Thinker
Americans take great umbrage whenever they, as a society, are portrayed by the residents of other nations as self-centered, avaricious and overbearing.  While an egregious exaggeration in the past, is it an accurate description now?  Who are the American people today and what sort of country is the United States in 2013?

How does one describe a society wherein a majority of the people, and their elected leaders, have embraced the following mindset?
  • a) The United States can commit to unlimited government spending as the long-term future of the nation is immaterial and will take care of itself.
  • b) Based on 66 years of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity, the good times will never end and America will under no circumstance experience massive national adversity as there is a bottomless pit of money to be siphoned from an equally bottomless pit of wealth.
  • c) Since the dollar is the international reserve currency, the United States, in order to cover its massive budget deficits, can arbitrarily create trillions of dollars out of thin air regardless of any consequence for the nation or the global economy.
  • d) There are no limits to personal behavior and the arcane concepts of decency, honor and integrity are from a bygone era.
In just four years the United States has accumulated nearly $6 Trillion in debt.  The national debt is now $16.5 Trillion or 32.5% of the world's total indebtedness (the U.S. accounts for 5% of the global population and 20% of the annual Gross World Product).  Further, the total unfunded liabilities (state, local and federal) of the U.S., as of 2012, exceed $238 Trillion, or 3 times the annual Gross World Product (total economic activity of all the countries on earth).  The United States is, today, the most indebted and bankrupt nation in the history of mankind.

Assuming other nations would still be willing to buy American bonds and the dollar has not been replaced as the world's reserve currency, the expected level of government spending over the next four years will result in the national debt exceeding $21.5 Trillion (nearly 40% of the projected world debt in 2017).  Interest costs, as the end-product of having to raise rates to attract lenders, will absorb nearly 60% of the total income taxes collected in 2017.  

However, at some point before this scenario fully plays out, the rest of the world will no longer tolerate and subsidize a nation unwilling to change its profligate and self-centered ways.  The financial collapse of the United States would not only have a devastating impact on the standard of living for the average American but for the vast majority of people around the globe.

How can a nation with any sense of decency allow this scenario to play out?  None of this is a mystery to the politicians, academics, the media, Wall Street, major corporations and a substantial portion of the electorate. While there may be a considerable percentage of the population that could be categorized as "low-information" voters, this does not excuse the actions and attitudes of these people or the balance of the citizenry. The United States, and possibly the global economy, is being taken apart by the avarice and narcissism of its elites and the selfishness and ignorance of far too large a percentage of its inhabitants.
Read the entire article here.

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