Saturday, January 01, 2011

Looking Back At America - A Hundred Years From Now

Historic times, these days. Epic times. Looking back, a hundred years from now, people are going to say, “Why didn’t they see it coming?”

Eighty years ago we had The Great Depression. Eighty years from now, the times in which we currently live might be called The Great Collapse. Just as with The Great Depression, future economists and other self-proclaimed experts will disagree as to the exact cause of The Great Collapse, but there will be no question that We The People fell asleep at the wheel, allowed the banking cartels to take control of the government and the economy, and waited until it was too late to take the painful but necessary actions to save the country from the greatest financial, economic, and social catastrophe the world has ever seen.

History will view the generation currently in power as the generation that ran America off a cliff. This generation is commonly referred to as the Baby Boomers. History will not treat this generation kindly, nor should it, because this generation, when the chips were down, didn’t have the balls to make the difficult decisions that were needed to save the country from disaster. Indeed, they created the policies that allowed for the unprecedented explosion in the credit markets, and when confronted with the pernicious consequences of their policies, failed to take corrective action. For this reason, history will view this generation as an epic failure.

But to blame one generation is not accurate, because it’s not that simple. No, it was actually a blend of multiple generations that created the circumstances leading to The Great Collapse. The Centennials (the generation coming of age at the turn of the Twentieth Century) and the Greatest Generation laid the groundwork and built the foundation, and the Baby Boomers and Generation X were more than happy to raise the walls and hoist the rafters. The people born between 1875-1975, give or take a few years, are the people who created the system, perpetuated it, abused it and finally broke it. But it is the Baby Boomers who are at the wheel at this critical time in history.

Some will assert that it was the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 that set in motion the events that would eventually lead to the collapse. This is true, but the collapse wasn’t imminent at the moment the Fed was created; decisions made later charted the disastrous course (though these decisions were only made possible by the existence of the Fed).

And it is in 2011 that the last opportunities to steer away from the cliff are being ignored. Difficult choices are being avoided. The American Empire is straining under the burden of unsustainable debt, while We The People sit idly by, occupied with iPhones and FaceBook, where we tell anyone who cares to listen what we are having for dinner, or that we joined a karate class, or that the baby just crapped its diaper.

The Baby Boomers will be blamed because they are holding the wheel as the country goes over the cliff. They are the ones in the leadership positions, ignoring reality in favor of greed-fueled schemes, while the general population is too enraptured by the illusion of prosperity to actually look at what is happening. As blatant as our leaders’ incompetence and greed will look to us in a few years, it is the American population, We the People, who have allowed ourselves to be distracted, marginalized, and defrauded.

And while history will judge us harshly for our greed, corruption, and neglect, this is not the entire picture. It would be unfair to ignore the accomplishments of these generations, for we have also overseen the greatest advances in technology, science, and medicine since the beginning of human history. We built a quality of life unmatched by any other society in history. These achievements provide the contrast, and the irony, for our greatest failures.

So what happened?

Let’s take a look at what our society might look like when viewed from the historical perspective of a hundred years in the future. In an attempt to simplify an immensely complex situation, a macro view will be presented, with a focus on the terminal economic, financial, and political conditions that led to The Great Collapse.

Part II begins the construction of the historic persperctive.


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