An American Christmas Carol: Part II; A Ghost of America’s Present

Today, we are a people that would best be characterized as sheep. Having taken control of our money as well as the most important functions of our Government, the banking sector is fulfilling its traditional role in support of it by creating all the money it wants to spend. The two major political parties of our nation have lost any meaningful distinction, and both favor a strong central government that oversees most areas of American life underneath layers of bureaucracy. They only differ in terms of how that power should be used: Republicans favoring the traditional fascist agenda of allowing government to work closely with large corporations to enhance their profits, while leveraging the military to open up and further expand the influence of both. Democrats favor using the power of government to reallocate wealth and correct for the errors of a free market. Both seek to expand government powers that were never granted by the US Constitution to begin with.

Instead of being outraged at the continual depredation of the American Government and way of life by moneyed powers and power-hungry politicians, Americans look to television to tell them what they should care about and how they should feel. Television serves to do little but distract them from what’s going on around them; even the news channels do little outside of featuring infotainment designed to titillate our infuriate its viewers regarding some contrived controversy epitomized by Fox News’ “War on Christmas.” And so Americans have come to look at politics much as they do sporting events: they have the team they’re rooting for and sympathize with, and the opposition they love to hate. They don’t seem to care whether the party sticks to its principles or not. Sometimes they don’t even know what those principles are.

In the midst of these sheep, the banking industry is content to make itself the power behind the curtain. Let Americans look to their government for guidance; they’re happy to just keep creating the money and lending it at interest for all of our ridiculous wants.

And why shouldn’t they? It’s not their money, after all. It’s ours.

The US Dollar is our obligation, and the bonds we take out to finance the whole circus are our childrens’. Why should the banking industry care if we spend it frivolously? It didn’t cost them anything — and they’re happy to make the interest.

At every turn in American political life, the banking industry is there to guide us. And, when it turns out that they’ve loaned Americans money they can’t afford to pay, they’re ever quick to exert their influence with Washington politicians to receive a bailout — courtesy of the tax payers, of course.

The game bankers play reminds me a bit of how parents pacify children; they know that children have short attention spans and a primitive understanding of the world, and so are happy to play on both in order to mold their behavior towards the parent’s own ends. And so it is with bankers and the American people: bankers know that Americans’ eyes roll into the back of their heads when they mention interest rates or the mathematical models of Keynes and his almighty multiplier effect, so they make what they’re doing artificially complicated as to purposefully misdirect everyone away from the obvious scam being perpetrated against us. And when they need to translate it out of economistspeak and into ordinary terms, they always do so with the most dire of warnings: Ben Bernanke himself told Congress that if they did not act to save the economy this week, that there might not be one to save come Monday. Of course, there was, but people were still scared enough to grant the Treasury and the Federal Reserve additional powers.

This can only go on for so long before we lose our prosperity and complete, in the words of FA Hayek’s book, The Road to Serfdom. And here we are, at the end of the road. Looking to our shepherds for guidance as we face a crisis that they previously promised us would never happen. Today our shepherd is Barack Obama and the Democratic party, and they are convinced that they can spend enough money to stimulate us out of the hole that naturally resulted from all the previous efforts at stimulus. As if to somehow show solidarity with Socialism, Dick Cheney recently scolded Congress for not bailing out the auto industry.

And so, we again are ready to rally around the leader and follow whatever plan he outlines to get us out of these dark times. We march forth, not really understanding the problem we are facing, but determined to do our best to fix it anyhow. Ben Bernanke has said that we have to lower the value of our money in order for us to beat this recession, and he has offered to do that for us by creating money out of nothing and loaning it out until interest rates fall to absolutely nothing. I’m sure that the average American feels somewhat suspicious of that course of action, just as they were somewhat suspicious of the Wall Street bailout, but they figure that the middle of a crisis is no time to question the orders being handed down. If the plan is to devalue the dollar, then here we go:

Printing presses: maximum warp!

This can only lead to one inevitable destination. We’ll look at that in the final installment of this series, when visited by the Ghost of America’s Future. Until next time.

2 thoughts on “An American Christmas Carol: Part II; A Ghost of America’s Present”

  1. Hi Preston,

    I like the series so far. I take issue with one statement, but it’s such a tiny trifle it may not even be worth mentioning.

    You’re correct when you say that “Americans’ eyes roll into the back of their heads when they mention interest rates or the mathematical models of Keynes and his almighty multiplier effect”, but only if you’re talking about average Americans. Average people, as defined by IQ tests as being those souls within 1-2 standard deviations from 100 on either side, are not especially bright or curious.

    The intelligent folk are probably curious in passing. They’ll never get to the point of blogging about the subject every single day, but they’ll Google “Keynes multiplier effect” and nod and add it to their stored worldview. Their eyes wouldn’t roll back if you talked about it, but at some point (if you got pushy) they might say, “Dude, listen. I don’t have time enough to learn all the specialist knowledge there is in the world. You’ve got your specialties and I’ve got mine. At some point I just have to let the people like you do your work, you have to let me do my work, and we both have to hope the other REALLY knows what they are doing.”

    Anyway, a minor point!

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