Very good article. Thanks goes to Chad.
It starts touching on two key issues:
Two articles, one by Christopher Booker describing the impending bankruptcy of the UK and another by Victor Davis Hanson describing the catatonic walk over the financial edge by California are united by a single theme: the power of denial.
Then goes to explain why we have become a third world country. This isn't the first time I have heard this comparison.
Until recently the difference between the First and Third Worlds was a that the Western future was real. The Western tomorrow was a definite quantity; loans would mature at a certain date, elections would be held at scheduled times and the pension check would arrive in the mail every 15th and 30th of the month. By contrast the Third World timescale had only the present. Tomorrow was ink on a calendar. Only things you could touch, take or use now were real. Checks in the future were as unreal as rocket ships and rayguns.
What a whole generation of Western political leaders have done is abolish the future. Comprehensively and perhaps irretrievably. And since that hasn’t happened in two generations, very few can even come to terms with it. Victor Davis Hanson describes the bewilderment of Californians who find that, for the first time in living memory, tomorrow isn’t coming. It’s so absurd people treat the fact with disbelief. People continue to act rich even though they’re poor. They live as if that check will arrive tomorrow even though no one can give a reason why it should.
and quotes from various articles what America has become
So I am as worried about the elite upscale yuppie as the poor illegal alien. The former have lost almost all connection with physical labor, the physical world, or the ordeal that civilization endures to elevate us from the savagery of nature.
While many were fit, and seem to work out, bike, ski, and hike, none understood the mechanics that lie beneath the veneer of the good life — the chain-sawing, hammering, drain-unplugging, tractor-driving, irrigating, and welding that allows a pleasant afternoon Greek salad and cappuccino on University Avenue — the disconnect between those Pennsylvania “clingers” and Obama’s arugula-eating crowd.
Than turns to the UK reality:
Britain, at least, is not coming up for air. Blighty’s tomorrows have arrived. And there’s no check in the mail. Its public indebtedness has reached the point where interest charges alone are unsustainable. Like Jefferson County, the UK can’t pay the interest charges let alone the principal.
And the policy response:
When there’s no money left in the till talk inevitably turns to what color of the garbage bins should be or whether Christians should be allowed to wear crucifixes to work. The really important public issues like carbon trading take center stage. Across the Atlantic in California, Victor Davis Hanson was noticing the same obsession with irrelevant forms in a state facing the same challenges as Britain. As the actual poverty rose in California the “socially conscious” turned in upon themselves, living in overpriced, politically correct communities, seeking solace in “ambiance — that is, living among people like themselves … Why? I have a theory. It allows them to be liberal and progressive in the abstract, without having to live the logical consequences of their utopianism, or deal with the underbelly of American life.”
Very good read throughout.