On the national scene, the same attitude toward social and economic disparities prevails. High earners are now regarded as disreputable parasites living off the fat of others’ labor; at the same time, the poor — or the “unequal” — are not considered responsible for their comparatively disadvantaged situation in life. It follows from this species of logic that the rich, the so-called 1%, must do their “fair share” — code for punitive taxation measures and a business-strangling regulatory apparatus — while those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder must be boosted upward, even if they happen to be afraid of heights and incapable of climbing.
The results of this invidious policy should have been predictable long ago and are now everywhere to be seen. The U.S. is beset by debt so astronomical only the Hubble telescope can focus it. America’s productive business community is shrinking by the day, entitlement programs are in runaway, and bankruptcy looms on the fiduciary horizon. Nanny-state Europe with its corporative approach to social issues and unsustainable expenditures is also imploding. France and eight other nations have recently had their credit ratings downgraded (as occurred in the U.S. last year), owing to what Standard and Poor’s calls “ongoing systemic stresses in the Eurozone”; many countries are nearing default, and a major banking crisis appears inevitable.
This is the crater that our political rulers and their economic advisors, supported by decadent and flaccid populations accustomed to unearned gratuities, have dug for us all. Admittedly, most people’s lives are circumscribed by immediate interests and desires so that their lack of foresight can to some extent be understood. But one requires more from presumably credentialed and perspectival experts, who have generally turned out to be sore disappointments. We may wonder if Hanlon’s Razor does not apply here: Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. A strong case can be made that our leaders are possessed of profoundly uneventful minds, pursuing ideas so obsolete they resemble snails in carboniferous stone. And as usual, the nuances and intricacies of complex social structures give way to the political maneuvering and windy bloviations of a morally compromised elect.