Orphan Panuk writes of the post imperialistic melancholy of Turkey in mid 20th century. Are we in the throes of a post capitalism melancholy?
This manifests itself in many ways.
We’re quirky outliers. How else to explain a “civilized” modern culture with almost as many guns as people; slavish belief in original intent, whether the bible or constitution; our “modernity” and fundamentalist religious beliefs–talking in tongues, biblical infallibility, belief in angels and miracles, disbelief of evolution, faux morality, biblical quotations on gun sights; our inordinate use of the world’s resources and thinking it can go on forever; our most “moral” “god” fearing types publicly justifying torture; our inefficient health care system–the only industrialized nation without some form of national health.
We are an inefficient society. In health care that’s manifested by the most costly health care system in the world. This phenomenon is driven by greed which in the case of health care is not good. We do too many procedures, pay too much for them, and use unbelievably expensive medications that have no to minimal efficacy. Our non-system thrives, in regard to providing obscene profits for suppliers and providers, on its inefficiency. And it’s not just health care.
The love affair with deregulation which is the single most important cause of the loss of confidence in our “governing’ system–both domestically and internationally. We readily accept booms and busts and say it’s really good for us because it weeds out the weak!?
We’ve a financial/business ethic devoted to maximizing profit and the extravagant incomes of the deal-makers while moving jobs and industry elsewhere to do so. Our economy appears designed to cut incomes of the very consumers we expect to spend to keep our largely consumer driven economy growing. A paradox or idiocy? It doesn’t add up and the result is our continuing tightrope act of living on the hot air of bubbles and increasing debt facilitated by bankers and government. Is it time to pay the piper? Can we have a growing economy without increasing consumer income? or debt?
In the past we’ve touted our legislative body as being the most effective, thoughtful and democratic in the world. Yet when seen in action it’s dominated by obscene deal making and paid special interests. They’ve failed with deregulation and now give every appearance of failing on health care.
We have what we could clinically call a delusion that we are number 1, have God on our side and the responsibility, no right, to project power. We’re in wars without end also financed by debt. Pay for it with taxes! Are you kidding?
The conservative revolution of the 80’s promoted the fiction that we can do everything without paying for it. Yes step right up here folks we can cut your taxes and government revenue will increase–the Laffler curve. But it is a fact that the only balanced budget in the past 30 years occured under a moderate democrat’s administration after a tax hike. At this point we are awaiting the magic of the “Bush” tax cuts and we may have to way until hell freezes over or until we’ve collectively bankrupted the country. In the last 10 years there has been no job growth, declining incomes and massive debt accumulation, so goes the American dream. Our great grandchildren will be paying for our folly.
The right’s solution appears to be the magic of more tax cuts and a return to the gold standard. One wonders which century they are living in.
Our citizens live in the deluded world that they are owed military protection, services, retirement income and health care, and I do mean everything that can be done. The only catch is that they don’t want to pay for it now, or apparently in the future.
Shame on us.
Strong stuff on Bernanke here. “A Colossal Failure of Governance: The Reappointment of Ben Bernanke
Medicynical Note: Where’s my antidepressant–which is oversold by phamaceutical manufacturers as being super-effective. Also the American way.