America is $14 trillion in debt, with crumbling infrastructure, imperiled Social Security and Medicare programs, failing schools, high unemployment, massive trade deficits, no universal health care, and a rabidly partisan, dysfunctional political system.
What a mess.
Given the apocalyptic downgrading of America’s credit rating and the aforementioned gloomy conditions it is no wonder the American psyche is being haunted by fear that nothing will be the same again, that hopes, dreams and expectations are in jeopardy.
For generations Americans have enjoyed a comfortable level of affluence unprecedented in human history. Expectations for continuation of the good life have always been high — until now.
Now, the future doesn’t look so bright. Globalization and the increasing concentration of wealth among the insatiably acquisitive elite have made the American middle class an endangered species.
Today’s younger generation of Americans is the first since the Great Depression to contemplate the end of increasing affluence. They may well have lives with less prosperity than did their parents. Even their unconscionably expensive college educations no longer guarantee the good life.
Given these lugubrious conditions, having hope is indeed audacious.
A big part of our problem is that we have been the most inept imperialists in history.
What are we doing policing the planet with more than 700 military bases for which we pay rent to the nations that we are protecting? Duh. Shouldn’t we be exacting tribute for Pax Americana? And who is the enemy anymore anyway?
Close the bases, bring the troops home, shrink the Pentagon to a Triangle and save hundreds of billions of dollars. So what if Halliburton’s stock price drops? Dick Cheney already has enough money to keep him in artificial hearts.
Oh, and send bills to Western Europe and Japan for rebuilding and protecting them after World War II. Let’s see, with interest that should come to about $15 trillion. Coincidentally, just enough to pay off our national debt. We’ll demand payment in gold — none of that worthless paper currency. We only use that to pay the Chinese.
Why are we building roads and schools in foreign lands when our own are in such disrepair? Get out of Afghanistan — yesterday — and save $120 billion per year. On the way out, send a few drones into Islamabad as parting gifts for their duplicity.
Stay in Iraq, but only to confiscate and secure the oil fields for U.S. taxpayers. Recover the $800 billion the Iraq war has cost us so far and use the additional proceeds to take proper care of our wounded veterans.
We are teetering on bankruptcy, but we are still giving away money. End all foreign aid. Too much of it goes to corrupt tyrants anyway. Nearly 14 million Americans out of work and unemployment benefits drying up, but we are still giving $30 billion each year to other countries? From the River Styx, the ancient Romans must be snickering at our stupidity.
Let’s use our considerable military hardware to fill our treasury, not drain it. Send our huge Navy to secure the seas off Somalia and neutralize those brazen pirates. Charge the world’s maritime industries cost plus 20 percent for the protection services.
Now, legalize most drugs and tax them. End the insane, futile war on drugs and save $40 billion a year and billions more by reducing our burgeoning prison populations. Not to mention earning the undying gratitude of Mexico.
And speaking of Mexico, for every indigent citizen of theirs that sneaks across our border, they must take one of our impoverished retirees and provide them with affordable housing and health benefits. Fair is fair, and if they resist, we use our massive Navy to size their oil fields. They are mismanaging them anyway.
What good is being the world’s only “super power” if it bankrupts us? If we won’t be proper imperialists, better we give up the vanity title and, along with Canada, which still has an AAA credit rating, low unemployment and a healthy economy, retire to fortress North America. With the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, who is going to fool with us?
See, there is reason for hope if we are audacious.