What…has happened to us? Go back 20 years ago…or better yet 40 years ago, how would people have reacted in 1972 to today’s relentless events? Can you imagine “Oh well, Greece is gone, Ireland and Portugal have received aid and now Spain is going under with Italy close behind”? Or, 46 Million Americans on food stamps and the government thinking that expanding the program to even more is a “good thing” because it’s an economic stimulus? Heck, I can still remember UNICEF, sending money to buy food for starving Africans and having to eat all of my vegetables and not waste food because of all the starving people on the planet (I can still remember asking if I could send my fried okra and brussel sprouts to Africa)? What about the word “Trillion,” how many times did you hear that 40 years ago? Would a $700 Billion handout to the banks have ever been tolerated? Or the Fed making “savings” useless by dropping rates to zero%…for nearly 5 years? What if a couple of commodity firms failed and customers lost a billion or two? Would we have accepted a “tax or penalty” for not having health insurance? I can imagine my parents reactions if they found out that the banks didn’t have “mark to market” accounting or if the Federal deficit was $1.5 Trillion added to the already $15 Trillion debt, or if the Chinese and Japanese were our #2 and 3 “creditors” close behind the Federal Reserve who was buying 70% of all Treasury debt! 40 years ago during an election year (I think it was Nixon versus McGovern) can you imagine the ONLY “lunatic” candidate as being the only one who wanted to follow The Constitution? Especially in 1972, can you imagine investors waiting, drooling, sweating and begging the Federal Reserve to PRINT more money? Speaking of 1972, during Congressional hearings as depicted in the movie The Godfather, Senators were smoking on the floor, today there are cities that ban you from smoking a legal product ANYWHERE in the city including your own condo or apartment. It’s OK though if your “weed of choice” is medical marijuana, that’s legal!
I could probably write a book about how much “more stupid” we are today than those “primitive” days when color TV was still young but what’s the point? I would be paid in IOU’s and ridiculed for telling the truth which today comes across as comedy. We have strayed SO FAR away from due north on the compass in every imaginable fashion. Think about it, our sports heroes are using needles, their coaches look the other way when “minor indiscretions” occur (Joe Paterno), we have banks, brokers, cities, states and even whole countries “cooking the books”. Debt, became so pervasive that if you didn’t have any you were considered “poor”. The press (NY Times admitted this today) is “edited” by the government so nothing really bad (or really true) gets out (even Nixon would have liked this!). Our economic numbers are falsified and when that’s not enough the “measurement” itself gets changed to hide the truth. The markets are rigged so that they can be pointed to as “proof” and then reported on by the financial media. You no longer need a photo ID to vote and if you are not a U.S. citizen you have more rights and all the handouts and goodies one could want. Can you imagine a president, years ago spending $ millions in legal fees to hide their past and saying he didn’t need to prove his citizenship because “he was president?” 40 years ago, we didn’t have “red light” cameras, cameras on every city street corner or “drones” flying over farms and hovering outside of bedroom windows, it would not have been tolerated. 40 years ago, students actually READ The Constitution and Bill of Rights, today, less than half of our students even know what these are. Even during the height of protests, would it have been OK to fly the flag of a foreign country on our soil or to burn our own flag? In today’s world, there are places where it is “illegal” to fly the American Flag. Back then, if you didn’t “pledge allegiance” to the flag, you got sent to the Principal’s office, now any teacher that requires this of students will have a good chance to get fired (at least there’s lots of welfare programs to catch these fallen souls!). Of course, I could write another whole book on what happened to “God” over the last 40 years but that’s pretty obvious as even Christmas trees are no longer allowed in many places because we wouldn’t want to “offend” anyone. I could understand this if Santa was a mean guy but he seems like a pretty happy and non offensive guy to me.
I bet you are wondering why I even wrote this little diatribe? Because we have completely lost touch with reality, completely lost our moral fabric and completely lost sense of right and wrong. Because the financial train wreck dead ahead didn’t (doesn’t) need to evolve into a world where “Mad Max” is just a regular guy. The 1930’s could have been much worse than it was and “society” would still have survived, today…well…it’s going to be every man/woman for themselves. Believe me, don’t believe me, whatever, financially we are mathematically cooked. If you look out your door to see what society has already become, it is not too hard to figure the rest out. So to answer my own title’s rhetorical question…that’s what the heck has happened to us!