COMMENTARY: To the Winner; Good Luck, You’ll Need It
To the next president of the United States, you face a living nightmare of a financial Katrina combined with ecological Sandy. Our country stands $16 trillion in debt while we wade further into deeper waters at $1 trillion more annually. It’s a debt so deep and so wide, it can only be solved with a miracle if we expect to avoid collapse.
Our second president John Adams said, “There are two ways to defeat a country: by the sword or by debt.”
While Obama inherited Bush’s incompetence, he passes the same debt and unemployment on to either himself or Romney. As Einstein said, “Our problems are so enormous that they cannot be solved with the level of thinking that created them.”
On December 31, 2012, the U.S. government races toward a fiscal cliff. It must tax the rapidly vanishing Middle Class while it rages further into an exploding majority welfare state.
Congress must raise the debt ceiling past the moon or the next president will be the first in history to default on Treasury bonds. Either way, we all face a Faustian Bargain.
Secondly, today, one in seven American workers suffers unemployment. A mind numbing 47 million Americans subsist on food stamps. A full 23 percent of prime working-age men or 14 million lack full time jobs. Another 7 million work at 20 hour per week low paying jobs.
For 20 years, Congress outsourced, insourced and offshored jobs to third world countries. China, India, Mexico and Bangladesh gladly employed their billions at slave wages and sold us goods that none of our factories could make at such rock bottom prices. Every product we buy from China kills an American job.
While countless millions of Americans lost their jobs for the past 20 years, our Congress imported 20 million green card holding immigrants and continues this practice (1 million immigrants imported annually) in 2012. No one connects the dots. No one points it out. The Main Stream Media censors any discussion of this predicament. The bankers laugh and high five each other as their wallets grow and ours get vacuumed into bankruptsy.
Thirdly, we must look at 80 million baby boomers retiring. Medicare and Social security cannot survive those numbers. Most of the boomers did not prepare themselves for retirement. The next president inherits a growing old age poverty class.
At some point, the Congress must raise the retirement age for Social Security benefits. At some juncture, Americans must take care of their health better throughout their lives, i.e., over 60 percent of them suffer obesity, which they will pay a severe price in old age.
Fourth, the debt transcends anyone’s imagination. Consumer debt exceeds $2 trillion. Credit card debt runs at over $9,600.00 per credit card. Our Congress keeps borrowing $1 trillion annually. If lenders raise their interest rates, we cannot survive the consequences. We find ourselves limited to Hobson’s Choice. Not pretty on any level.
Fifth, and again, our Congress fails to deal with the China equation. Their 1.3 billion workers make mince-meat out of our measly 300 million citizens. They own $1.3 trillion of our Treasure bills. We cannot compete in “Free Trade” so we hobble toward our destiny like the “Old Woman in the Shoe.”
While we may continue our military exploits around the world, we cannot pay for endless military expenses. We must lean-up our military and must stop fomenting and participating in foreign wars.
According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s output in 2017 will exceed $20 trillion. They will bury us unless we demand “Fair Trade” instead of debt-laden “Free Trade.”
Finally, while journalists and politicians eschew in-depth discussion about this subject, it commands our attention. Christopher O. Clugston, author of Scarcity: Humanity’s Final Chapter, addresses the fact that humanity depletes the non-renewable resources on this finite planet at an ever accelerating rate of speed. We add 1 billion humans every 12 years. The USA races on course to add 100 million people by 2035 and 138 million by 2050. So much so, the costs of energy, water, food and resources will continue to climb. He says, “The natural resource utilization behavior that enables our current “success” (our industrialized way of life) is essential to perpetuating our success. It is simultaneously undermining our very existence. Neither our natural resource utilization behavior nor our industrial lifestyle paradigm is sustainable. This is our predicament.”
In other words, we are outstripping, raping and depleting this planet’s ability to sustain us as to minerals, metals, oil and arable land. We face “overshoot” of our resources.
One last thought: Hurricane Katrina wrought catastrophic mayhem. Hurricane Sandy ripped up the East Coast. If we, as a species, continue cooking up the planet with our fossil fuel burning, along with accelerating overpopulation—we face Mother Nature’s growing wrath as to climate destabilization. She always bats last and could care less who cheers or who lives in her path. (www.350.org)
Good luck to the next president. You’re going to need a Pacific Ocean of it if our civilization is to survive what’s coming.
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, click: