There is something very relevant, though, about Paine's admonition about not passing on our troubles to subsequent generations, for that is exactly what we are doing, and in the most grotesque manners, too. No people in history have so mortgaged the future. We're indebted beyond salvation, and as our currency becomes debased through reckless money creation, or quantitative easing in current parlance, we won't just sink ourselves but condemn our offspring to a much degraded existence. In this, Paine also had plenty to say, for he warned against the abuses of fiat money, as controlled by a greedy elite. He would be astounded to see that not only have we allowed paper money to breed unchecked, we've come up with the dodgy innovation of paper gold. Soon enough, even the still smug among us will find out that we're rich in paper only.
In Paine's time, the enemy was a distant and easily identifiable king, but in ours, the enemy is within and mostly invisible. Our public officials are only the cabana boys and girls, or waiters, of this sick system, and they're certainly not serving us. In fact, we can't even press our noses against the glass to see who are dining within. Standing out back, we fight among ourselves for the discarded scraps and that, for now, is our only battle. We're sad.
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Linh Dinh's Postcards from the End of America has just been published by Seven Stories Press. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.