It seems that the longer this economic (and social and political) crisis lasts, the less some people actually seem care (or want to think) about it.
For those of you who haven’t really been affected by it, it was never that big of a deal. If you didn’t lose your job (yet) or your home (yet), if the value of your 401K has sort of bounced back, or if you’ve actually prospered because of it…well, no big deal, right?
For most of the rest of us, of course, time has been a “great healer”….or, possibly, a creeping soporific. It was just a bump in the road that we hit and then moved past. We muddled through, as we always do, and, whewww, escaped calamity once again. Whatever the “new normal” might be, we’ll just learn to cope with it.
Of course, either of those responses require that we completely ignore the on-going struggles of the unemployed and the homeless. So long as they aren’t rioting in the streets (as they are elsewhere in the world), their problems don’t seem all that relevant.
How easy it is to adjust to a “new normal”, so long as it isn’t an outright catastrophe in our own lives. And, yet, this past three (going on four) years has brought all of us, to one extent or another: higher taxes, lower wages, less financial and job security, lower net worth, rising food and energy prices, more and more regulation, explosively higher collective debts, more government intrusion in our travels or on the internet and in our businesses, continuing difficulties in the selling or buying a home, an increasingly divisive political culture, and a world that, for all intents and purposes, is in the process of melting down.
So, that’s what “success” looks like for those that still have a job and a home. That’s what we are told, by our media and politicians, is progress and recovery. Too often, it has been my uncomfortable duty to suggest that this is not the sort of progress and recovery for which we ought to be yearning.
If it is, in fact, some form of “progress”, it is, rather, a progressive disease, both literally and figuratively. If it is “recovery”, it is the sort of stability offered by a heart-lung machine to a comatose patient….an apparent slowing or temporary respite of an inevitable outcome.
For some, the longer you survive in a game of Russian Roulette, the easier it is to imagine that the gun probably isn’t even loaded. Of course, that requires the “survivor” to completely ignore a growing number of other players who, clearly, aren’t faring as well.
Forget, for the moment, about “how things should be”. There is little question that, when judged from even a relativistic vantage point of only 5 years ago, the world has changed dramatically. And, not for the better. We’ve all become more – not less – dependent on the State. We’ve all lost a substantial degree of personal liberty and privacy. We’ve all become poorer. The world is more dangerous. This is not progress.
Of course, there are some who see the growing disorder in the world as a great opportunity. These see all of the above developments as “progress”. And, these are the folks we ought to be watching very carefully.
Where do you imagine that their progress train is headed to next? Oh, come on, don’t squirm…that’s a pretty easy question. Here are a few relevant hints, just in case you haven’t been paying attention: food, oil, debt (always), riots. Hmmmm, just gotta wonder what that will lead to.
This New World Order stuff sure is fun.