Sunday, May 9, 2010
By Nick Sorrentino
Bill Clinton said it. “The era of big government is over.” Of course that was a laughable statement even then, and seemingly even more so now. That the government would be the one to declare that the era of big government was over is ludicrous. The government continued to grow under Clinton and beyond and with that growth the rights of the individual continued to diminish.
We now however may actually be seeing the twilight of the Leviathan. Though most people don’t know it yet, the era of big government may soon be over.
How can you say this Nick? Obama and company are seizing industry after industry and hell bent on turning the USA into a European style welfare state. Surely big government is on the march, not on the wane.
To which I say that this is the very reason why the era of big government may be approaching its end.
What we are witness to right now is basically the wholesale looting of the American system by every interest that can loot it, be they the banks, the military industrial complex, the government worker unions, you name it. If you have a way to tap the fiat money machine, you are tapping it.
Now I don’t mean to disparage all the people within such institutions. Most people just want to make a living and go with the flow. The fact that they perpetuate this looting by remaining employed by the system is not their fault in most cases. Everyone has got to scratch for their meat, and pay the mortgage. Believe me I understand.
But the truth, in my view, remains that the American system is very quickly becoming overwhelmed. The Feds have tried to prop the system with fiat money, and they have succeeded to date. They have even sought to expand the government with new entitlements during this time of crisis.
Yet the clouds of the debt storm approach. The barrier islands are already being overrun by the tempest. Iceland, Greece, and then what? Portugal? Spain? Italy? Ireland? And then…
Then the storm hits the mainland. UK. Germany. Japan. The USA. Even China. There is the very real possibility that everyday things that we now take for granted will either disappear, or morph into very new things. Simple things such as trash pickup in your neighborhood might stop. The groceries that you are used to buying might no longer be available, or much more expensive. Even that nice fat government funded pension you’ve been counting on might turn out to be a pittance as inflation takes hold.
This is why I say that the era of big government may be rapidly ending. The mistakes of an arrogant aristocracy may actually bring down the system that they most benefit from. In its wake everyday individuals will be forced to do much more for themselves.
My sense is that this is already happening. There is a renaissance of gardening happening across America as we speak. Nothing beats the recession blues quite like a home grown salad.
Often when people talk about the current system collapsing there is a sense of dread- that chaos will ensue and that without the current order a Mad Max like reality will take hold.
This is not necessarily the case. Indeed even with massive and rapid collapse, I think this is an unlikely situation.
What I think is far more likely is that people will begin to look to their immediate community for solutions. Neighbors will leverage each others strengths. New ways of dealing with problems will be devised. How about a neighborhood compost heap that next season can be used for soil in community gardens, for instance?
I don’t mean to be Pollyannaish. There are going to be issues with order and safety, we are not destined for some “libertopia,” at least not without coming to terms with the fact that millions who are used to getting a check in the mail will no longer be getting one.
But I believe that without the central planners many may find their lives richer and more interesting. Then again, I don’t get any government checks.