How do you-or a nation-arrive at a point of financial breakdown? Does arrogant entitlement and over-extension beyond one's means resonate with today's news headlines?
Few Americans realize that when you shop at such stores as Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Kohl's, Home Depot and Target, you slit your neighbor's and your own financial throat.
James Howard Kunstler, author of, The Long Emergency, said, "Americans failed to recognize the essential fraudulence of the idea that this destruction was 'creative' and would lead to a higher good, that the end justified the means, even as they watched their towns die around them. Wal-Mart and its imitators used their wealth and muscle to set up 'superstores' on the cheap land outside small towns and put every other merchant out of business, often destroying most of the town's middle class. They also destroyed the local capacity to produce goods. The public enjoyed this bonanza of 'supercheap' manufactured goods without reckoning any of the collateral costs, which were astronomical."
While Congress dismantled our manufacturing and construction base, and millions of necessary jobs, Congress exacerbated our vulnerability by borrowing (selling), unknown to average citizens, $1.3 trillion in Treasury Bills from (to) China to prop up our moribund economy. On a national level, the average credit card runs a $9,240.00 balance (debt) according to NBC's Brian Williams. Total consumer debt exceeds $2 trillion. National debt tops $10.1 trillion! Ahh, the abundance of unsubstantiated bailouts flow from a Monopoly Board checkbook!
"After all, this is America!" Paris Hilton, prominent and highly sought-after Hollywood authority, said. "Limits are unacceptable!"
The day approaches, likely 2010, supported by the Hubbert Curve analysis-when galloping population expansion collides with declining oil extraction.
Similarly, we falsified home values with escalated appraisals cradled in vacuous, lofty ideals. We allowed millions of poor borrowers without down payments or viable financial histories to purchase homes clearly outside their range.
"No problema amigo," Wells Fargo bankers said. "We can work the numbers to make the American Dream yours!"
Surprise! The real estate bubble burst! Millions of foreclosures strangled American citizens and poor migrants who lost jobs while they watched interest rates rise beyond their means.
Can you guess the next bubble to burst? What can we see exploding in our faces? What crisis long denied by our presidents and Congress zeroes-in on our civilization like a stealth missile?
While, according to President Bush, 573,000 manufacturing jobs vanished in November, the United States imported 200,000 job- seeking immigrants from third world countries. It doesn't end there! Our myopic Congress proposes doubling legal immigration to 2.4 million annually and giving amnesty for 20 million plus illegal migrants! Watch for that political torpedo in 2009.
U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) promoted an H-1B bill to add 550,000 foreign workers.