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December 11, 2012

DOOM: Standing Right Here Beside You All Along

Part of the reason Monty gave up this gig is on vivid display inside the beltway right now. Namely, despite all the sturm und drang nothing really changes.

As Gabe mentioned in this morning's headlines, I sent the cobs links to some posts from the Summer of 2011 when we were debating the debt ceiling increase that led to the self-imposed EMERGENCY!!11! of the so-called fiscal cliff. Shocking no one, the arguments were virtually identical to the ones we're having now.

As was obvious at the time, we just kicked the can down the road. Anyone who thinks the outcome this time will be different, please raise your hand.

That's what I thought.

A fix to our real fiscal problems, including eye-popping deficits and mounting debt as far as the eye can see, isn't even remotely a part of the Kabuki Theatre playing out in Washington right now.

Meanwhile, we continue to run out of road (read the whole thing, h/t The Transom).

The root cause of the economic disaster that lies ahead is the kamikaze drive of democratic governments to displace the functions of the family, including the care of relatives in their old age. Since time immemorial, in every human society that ever was, and buttressed by social mores central to every religion ever practiced, children, grandchildren, and kin did what governments the world over now promise to do.

That's really it, isn't it? Since the New Deal, our federal government has taken on an ever-increasing role in performing the functions that members of a society ordinarily performed firsthand for themselves, their families and their communities. Through this process, all were enriched.

Now we vote for "the government" to do for us what we won't do for ourselves. Chief among these things is stealing the fruits of our neighbor's labor for our own benefit.

Like an addict confronting his addiction, the first step is admitting we have a problem. Based on November's election results, we're not there yet.

As a proponent of the Let It Burn argument, I continue to be amazed at people, especially those on our side arguing about the politics of whatever deal gets cut with an eye toward whether the GOP is blamed, who don't realize that the fire is raging out of control right now. Whatever small-ball agreement is reached that causes both sides to pat themselves and their friends across the aisle on the backs for their bipartisanship in a time of (self-imposed) crisis won't change this one stinkin' bit.

That which can't continue won't. And what we've done to our society simply can't continue if, for no other reason, than the old adage that sooner or later you run out of other people's money. Let It Burn isn't so much a comment on particular strategies or tactics as it is an admission that the fire can't be put out.

And on that cheery note ...

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posted by Andy at 01:08 PM

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