Monday, June 20, 2022

Bother Not the Oil and Wine - Bother First the Defense

As a mercantile republic - that is our natural state, don't forget that - our ultimate power is not our military. It is the byproduct of our system of government and the values we like to believe our nation was founded on. It is something that for too long was taken for granted.

Yes, there is much ruin in a nation, and the substance of that ruin is the hard work of generations that came before. Work to build a stable society, a vibrant economy where people who work hard are rewarded with the fruits of their labor. As secure society where people can plan their lives and that of their children in the knowledge that threats both foreign and domestic will be kept at bay.

Almost alone, no belay my last, unique to this planet, the United States of America was first blessed with its founding documents and the character of its founding fathers. They set the foundation for a great nation to be built on. We were second blessed with a fertile land, deep forests, water, minerals, and ultimately a large population of people who respected the first so they could best leverage the rest for their and their nation's benefit.

Our nation's blessings were then shared with the world by the example of its civil society, the inventions of its people and institutions, and then from Europe to East Asia - a security that allowed those societies to - in fits and starts as our nation had - prosper in similar ways.

As it is with all human institutions, the USA is imperfect. She has weaknesses. We have lasted so long because our founding fathers knew this and did their best to check ambition with ambition, power with power, interest with interest to stop humans from doing what they have a tendency to do from the Bronze Age collapse on - destroy themselves.

The problem came when petty, grasping, narrow minded people thought they were smarter, better people than the founders.

Though you can trace the drift to the Progressive Era two generations prior, the real decay came from when the WWII generation took power - their heads full of the arrogance of their victory. They then begat the largest generation who brought about the turmoil from 1965-80. Two generations who dominated our politics from 1960 on whose well meaning arrogance on one hand and entitled selfishness on the other consumed generations of hard work. Together, they begat the future we have.

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. - Revelation 16:1

Regulars here know The Terrible 20s that we warned of a dozen years ago. Recall, the warning was not so much geopolitical, but economic - specifically the budget.

Kevin Williamson outlines what is to come;

As it stands, interest on the debt already accounts for almost $1 out of every $10 the government spends. If interest rates go up sharply, so will federal debt-service payments. Under current conditions, the Government Accountability Office already estimates that interest payments will account for 15 percent of all federal spending by 2035 and 27 percent by 2050 — and those numbers could be much higher if there are big increases in interest rates, which is a real possibility. But I should emphasize here that the GAO already forecasts that interest payments will grow to 27 percent of federal spending in just a few years — which would mean that we’d be spending more on interest payments than we spend on Social Security, which currently accounts for a larger share of federal spending than any other program. Put another way, the thing we will be spending the most on in the future is previous spending.

It does not matter how big China gets. It does not matter how much those who understand the challenge west of Wake complain that we need to spend more. "More" simply will not be there. Heck, forget "will" - it isn't. 

An intellectually and economically isolated DC has to find a way to break the habits and institutions who brought us here and are invested in keeping things as they have been. The well is dry. The reserves of generations are depleted. The future is here. All is not lost, but it will take people of good will to move from passivity to action.

Do not ignore it. Do not despair. Think. Plan. We can do a lot with what we have - but do not plan for more. We have to get that right, because if we don't, that security we rely on will not be there. We will be at strategic risk to a degree not seen since the end of our civil war.

If you love our country and its promise, then be prepared to defend its stability. All else rides on economic prosperity. If not defended properly - specifically debt -  well, a brief review of history tells you what is in store.

Work harder. Make friends with those who understand. Accept that you will make enemies with those who don't. Build up the former, try to convert the later. What is coming will be no place for the squishy.

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