cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
As the recent chain of events concerning our country's economy has unfolded, I found myself thinking about 'slippery slopes' and just how easy it would be for us to begin a slide that we'd be unable to overcome.
We have just partially nationalized our major banking entities. We have effectively nationalized the AIG insurance giant.
I have never felt so close to the point where it could become possible that our country would become the United Socialist States of America. There will be those among you who see this as pure and unadulterated blasphemy. There will be those among you who will nod your heads up and down in total agreement. There will be those among you who have not given this any thought; and among that group there will be those who now begin to think about nationalization/socialization, and there will be those who simply aren't concerned.
We have a candidate for President of the United States of America who has openly stated that he favors re-distribution of wealth so that those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder can enjoy the fruits of our nation's wealth. And, we have a mainstream media that seems to have missed this statement in its entirety...or we have a mainstream media that agrees with this stated position...or we have a mainstream media that doesn't care. This is a socialist mantra.
We seem intent on moving ourselves into government run and controlled healthcare. Our government has become our 'nanny' concerning all kinds of things from the food we eat, to making decisions for us because it knows better than each of us does.
While I have thought, until now, that the alteration of our country to that of a socialist state was so preposterous as to be silly to contemplate, I have come to see how it could happen in the comparative blink of an eye and just how close we have come to that possibility.
The presidents of the major banking firms in the United States met with the Secretary of the Treasury for about an hour, and then left the room having signed off on a deal that has the United States of America becoming the owner of preferred stock in each of those entities. These bank leaders didn't know what the proposition would be when they entered that room, and they didn't even consult with their respective directors. They felt as though they had no choice. This happened shortly after AIG was 'purchased' by the United States of America for $85 billion that was later escalated to just short of $125 billion. AIG felt as if it had no choice.
We have an automobile industry begging for similar treatment after seeing their stock erode to 1950s prices. These industry leaders feel as though they have no choice.
This is written in one of the last socialist strongholds of the United States...Milwaukee, WI. I know several people who prefer the 'good old days' under socialist mayors.
So, as much as you might suspect my sanity at this point, I would submit to you that we have already taken several steps down that slippery slope in the name of protecting our economy. Our economy got to this point through actions taken and not taken by our politicians. That was, I believe, simply coincidence...but it could've been part of a conscious plan. It makes little difference after the fact. We delude ourselves if we think it impossible.
Once we are at the bottom of the slippery slope, we'll not climb back in our lifetimes. We were warned years ago about "irrational exuberance". "Irrational panic" is a much worse taskmaster. Incremental erosion of our freedoms is insidious, and, too often, we aren't even tuned in sufficiently to comprehend what we're losing.
We drink the kool-aid and then wonder how in the world we got to the point we're at.