The next crash is coming. It has to be. Just listen to former comptroller David Walker, who says, among other things, “We face a tsunami of spending, due to the retirement of the baby boomers, that could swamp the ship of state. Every year we don’t act, the number goes up two to three trillion dollars.”
And the forgone conclusion is that we’ll get through the upcoming disaster – we always do. We got through the Great Crash of 1929. We got through World War Two. We can get through anything right? After all, we’re Americans.
The problem is that we aren’t the Americans we think we are. We certainly aren’t the people we used to be.
- Today we would never summon the muster to build the Hoover Dam (completed two years ahead of schedule by the way). We can’t even build wind farms for fear of harming the flora and the fauna.
- Firebombing cities like Dresden and Tokyo? Never. Atomic bombs on cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Never. Ending a global catastrophe as soon as humanly possible using less-than-politically-correct means? Nope.
- Can you imagine how the America society of the 1930’s soup line and the 1940’s GI Joe would have reacted to a lawsuit charging that coffee was too hot and that the cups needed to bear large warning labels?
My grandmother was born in 1899… When she was in her early ’20s her husband used to ridicule her because her teeth were crooked. So one day she’d had enough. She went to the dentist and demanded that he remove all her teeth… all of them. She was warned that there would be a lot of bleeding and a lot of pain (anesthesia in the 1920s wasn’t quite what it is today), but her mind was made up. Her only instruction was that if she passed out from the pain, the doctor was to finish the job. And that’s what happened. She awoke on the dentist’s lawn.
Don’t get me wrong… there are people out there with plenty of character. Our military, police departments, fire departments, etc. are filled with them. But the problem is that our culture has wandered away from common sense, humility, and objectivity and instead strutted right into agenda, entitlement, and hubris. Doubt it? Just look at our politicians.
The fact is that a financial and social Hades is coming. And if that isn’t bad enough, we as a culture can’t even control ourselves when the Lakers win the Championship. What do you think is going to happen in a couple of years when China won’t buy anymore of our national debt? What’s going to happen when we start laying off the police. How are we going to handle brownouts and blackouts and public transportation cutbacks? The Americans that we think of ourselves as (the 1930s and 1940s Americans) could easily handle such a crash. But I have very strong doubts if the Age of the “American Mall Rat”, The “Litigation-Mad” American, The “I Want My MTV” American will be up to the task.