There can be no political solution to our economic problems. Politicians are too deep in the trough to give up their power and plunder. They have created constituents dependent upon bribes in exchange for votes. Non-voters like corporations benefit from the economic rent derived from legislation tailored for their benefit and reciprocate with financial and other political support.
Some recipients believe that the current system of bribery-for-votes is sustainable. Too many believe they are entitled to live off the productive. The non-believers are willing to accept the-manna-from-heaven approach so long as they receive their “fair share.” Some in the plundered class believe this system of bribery both necessary and compassionate. Others recognize it as a small price to pay for the benefits they receive. Increasingly more are likening such a system to the extortion practiced by a criminal gang.
The current situation with its massive deficits is unsustainable. Yet neither political party is willing to jeopardize their tenure in the political feeding trough we know as Washington by tackling the issue. Neither believes it can benefit by taking the lead in what is necessary for the nation. The retention of office is more important than the salvation of the nation.
Only an economic collapse will afford the opportunity to address the underlying problems that caused our current and deteriorating condition. Charles Hugh Smith explains why:
That which is painful to those collecting free money will be avoided, and that which is easy will be pursued until it’s painful. Borrowing $1.5 trillion a year from toddlers and the unborn taxpayers of the future is easy and painless, as toddlers have no political power. So we will borrow from the powerless to fund our free money spigots until it becomes painful.
It won’t become painful to borrow from our grandkids for quite some time, and it will probably not become progressively painful, either, because we will suppress the pain with superlow interest rates and other trickery. The pain will more likely be of the sudden, unexpected, “this can’t be happening to me” heart-attack sort: the free-money machine will unexpectedly grind to a halt in some sort of easily predictable but always-in-the-future crisis.
“Solutions” that turn off the free money spigots are non-starters, not just from self-interest but from ideology. Any attempt to tighten the spigots steps on ideological toes, as each spigot is ideologically sacred to one political camp or another.
The “solution” to our current problem is now beyond political science and/or economics. The days of politicians and economists claiming that 2 + 2 equals 5 are gone. Political obfuscation and expediency is over. There is no more faking it (although the political class knows no other way). Simple, unemotional and uncaring arithmetic is now in charge.
What is unsustainable eventually stops. No amount of wishing, “compassion” or “fairness,” crackpot economics or political “needs” can alter reality. Physical and natural laws trump political needs, wants and wishful thinking. Hoping is not a solution. But that is all the political class has left.