2004 has been a remarkable year. So much has changed, yet so little has barely budged. Under the surface, beneath the hollow, vapid din... confusion and delay reign supreme. It is a remarkable time in America, one I believe will usher in a period of deep reflection.
The degree of distortions / deceptions is unprecedented in History. Distractions abound in nearly every corner of our lives making it difficult to clearly see what it transpiring within the confines of the smoke's screen.
How did we arrive here?
While cutting the carport off the top of our 60 year old hickory tree, I marvelled at just how violent Mother Nature can be... how a structure so large could end up 20 feet off the ground in a twisted heap of galvanized steel was a none too subtle reminder we're at the mercy of our environment. The hickory had to come down as well, fractured so badly, it met the chainsaw the following day. Smoked kingfish will no longer require a trip to Mrs. Peters Smokehouse; I'll have all the dried hickory I need to enjoy kingfish dip for years to come... or an aromatic bonfire.
Around the time this particular tree broke ground as a seedling, FDR was holding hands with the newly formed House of Saud. We were preparing for Victory in both theatres of conflict during the final months of World War II; our repressed aspirations lay before us as Breton Woods assured us sole status in the As Good As It Gets, currency for the world.
Capital flowed west for six decades. America, in the second half of the 20th century, fostered an age of rapid and accelerating change. We were well on our way to exceeding through excess. There are many critical junctures where our responsibility to the Republic and one another waned; after all new and important discoveries added to life's complexity, it broke the nuclear family into small shards of its former self. The costs justified by simple inadequate axioms measuring quantitative truisms versus qualitative judgments. God did provide us with free will, but left us with to fend for ourselves within the constraints of a simple commandment.
Was accomplishment confused with progress?
What did we gain within the boundaries of these new Social and Economic paradigms?
Our money is worth less. A Federal Reserve Note buys 96% less in 91 years. Living wages require two income streams for the average American. Aspirational ideals rooted in the quest for more have so complicated reality, it's difficult to remember functional dynamics now outsourced to one's resident technologies... without my celfone's contact register... one feels somewhat alone within the communications of code division multiplex. The rotary dial phones largest frustration was having to dial once again, but in reality that rarely happened as generally more care was undertaken to reach out and touch someone.
Now, more than ever, we need to pause and take stock of our lives.
We are stand perilously close to a ruinous stumble, one that assures head injury as well as many broken bones. We can either convalesce or acknowledge the errors in judgment remove age old impediments of expanding bureaucracy and restore the republic in order to begin again. We owe it to the generations who came before us, who gave their lives in the name of liberty, and to the republic for which it stands.
Observing the Presidential debate confirmed for this American, electing either of the candidates assures us of far greater colossal errors in judgment for what remains of the Republic. Tell the American people the truth for a change, give them cause to follow where you lead instead of heaping platitudes of depth measured in microns, The debate came across for what it is... a complete distraction. Where are the real issues we face? A complete and total farce... in this political neophyte's opinion, but then common sense is truly all that is required to weed out the b.s.
The simpler the better... it's quite often an omnipotent individual's facade masquerading as knowledge, intellect and wisdom cause the simple truths' eloquent nature to be obfuscated, we've begun to error in the folly of more is truly more. The complex is fantastic, it has allowed marvellous achievements, but it is always rooted in simple principles, true to form. Up is up, on is on and left is not right.
We may believe Central Banking is an efficient form of economic and financial management, but the truth is far less complex. Markets are best left to their own uninhibited pricing mechanisms based upon supply and demand, not the illusions of risk mitigated through a central architect. The residents of many Florida communities are about to discover the harsh realities surrounding insurance and re-insurance... yet another derivative, unregulated for reasons. In simple terms, were Oceanside residents to absorb the actual costs incurred in re-building the Hurricane ravaged landscape... very few could afford the actual cost. Yet pooling of risks assures the burden is spread much in the same way the burden of Social Security is shifted from generation to generation.
This shift has perpetuated the belief in "rights" often confused with responsibility and obligation to one self and one another. The machine grinds on until it cannot, and when the participants realize their fears, they are some how horrified at how terribly wrong it has gone having assured themselves all along... this was precisely where they were headed.
A Fiscal Gap within the boundary estimates of $42 to $72 trillion Federal Reserve Notes is no destination. Essentially, this means our very futures are bankrupt. We, the Lilliputians, unbound Gulliver and allowed him to trample our ground, assuring our indentured-ness as slaves to our debt. Never mind Cash vs. Accrual Accounting... the $10 trillion gap in Social Security and $62 trillion Gap in Medicare / Medicaid is on the low side, given the propensity of swapping Treasury paper for Trust Fund Cash.
The Fact is, the actual Debt owed is significantly higher, one must account for accounting irregularities, gimmicks and fraud.
This did not occur in a vacuum. We did not achieve 400+% of GDP in deficit measures by ignorance, but allowance. The G7 has taken note and again fired a warning shot at President Bush. The dollar is clearly in for a stumble as the table is beginning to heavily tilt away from the United States. This adjustment will undoubtedly send real rates much higher and with a blinding speed when it begins to unravel. When "Funded" liabilities are no longer absorbed by our Trading Partners and Foreign Central Banks... We have a monumental problem we cannot solve. The Federal Reserve Note is worth less and on its way to worthless. We have likely exceeded 500% of GDP by deficit measures given all the bogus quantitative Hedonics. Were the U.S. Economy's Defence Spending, both direct and indirect to be granted the light of day, it would be above 50% of GDP.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are no longer trusts, but general ledger entries on the imbalanced sheets of money rain. They are merely raided coffers nailed insolvent with debt obligations in the form of United States Treasury coffins of various durations.
We are buried in debt and borrowing to dig deeper. Spending cuts are about as likely as increased tax revenue, at least until the consumption tax takes hold. With declining, real disposable incomes... there is little doubt as to how taxation without representation will begin to invade every niche of our lives. Someone has to pay for our widening
Malfeasance and it might as well be you and I. Deficit spending, contrary to popular economic philosophy cannot continue in perpetuity.
Policy without simple, coherent strategy is almost always a recipe for disaster.
We may seek to secure the worlds oil reserves as the powers that be deem them vital to avoiding what the debaters referred to as "Disaster."
We need to consider precisely what the scope and scale of "Disaster" they perceive.
Perhaps someone in the Town Hall forum debate will ask... then again, Americans have been far more consumed with money than the truth for a long time.