America the Broke

Few such families reckon this additional burden when they allocate their already-stretched resources. Yet reckon it they should, for national governments -- despite our legal fictions to the contrary -- are not autonomous entities. The money they spend and promise has in the end but one fount -- the wallets and purses of individuals and families.

The government’s debt is our debt, and when our creditors at last demand their due, that heretofore unseen $45,300 per person in debt will suddenly surge to the surface and sweep all before it in a terrible deluge. Not one person in America will be unaffected. The rich will become less rich; the middle class will become, for all intents and purposes, poor; and the poor will see any hope they may have had of economic advancement disappear.

The deluge will come as a surprise to many. After all, cheap money and unlimited credit has given us the illusion of prosperity for all too long.

But ours is an inexcusable ignorance. For decades, the government has been spending our wealth -- first everything we made, then everything we are ever going to make, and now everything our children and their children will ever make. How future generations will judge us for the theft of their prosperity is not hard to guess.

America is not alone in this fiscally debased condition, of course. The rot is deep and widespread; it is civilizational. The entitlement promises made by national and local governments of the West are so vast that they can never be kept. When people finally and fully realize this, the capitals of the world will shake with the rage of masses which have come to expect everything, and will accept nothing less.

Indeed, it is already happening. The recent unrest in Greece, France, Britain, and elsewhere adumbrate our future rather nicely.

The reckoning is coming.  It will be swift, and it will be terrible, and we will have only ourselves to blame.