Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaint.
——————————————William Osler ——————————————————
In addition to the straws that aid in the drinking of a liquid, and the those that are used to refute an argument different from the one in question, as well those used in agriculture, there is also the last straw, and the one that broke the camel’s back. It is the finality and abruptness of the last two that is the subject of this dive into the byproduct of cereal plants.
Obviously, the ultimate straw or the one that broke the dromedary’s spine was preceded by a large number of its fellows. Thus, what seems a sudden event is in truth the end result of a long process. Mr Creosote’s thin wafer and its immediate sequala was not an isolated event. It took a lot more than a succession of thin wafers to make Creosote burst. What’s all this palaver got to do with the US?
Well, let’s start with Proverbs 16:18. It’s the one about hubris and its consequences. It pretty much depicts what’s happening all over the world with the US assuming pride of place. Start with debt. The outstanding loans, both private and public, of the world’s largest economies are presented in the chart below in below – as percent of GDP. We’re in the middle of an ugly list. These numbers are estimates; the exact percentages are hard to know with precision. Total world debt is said, by the IMF, to be 235 trillion dollars.
• European Union: 254%
• United States: 298%
• Japan: 490%
• United Kingdom: 272%
• China: 422%
Everybody is in a world of trouble. Japan will soon have no one under the age of 60. The true state of the Chinese economy, like everything else in The Middle Kingdom, is shrouded in darkness. But as the US has the most, it has the most to lose. When you’re number one, there’s only one way to go.
Having been at the top for about a century, the American elite has assumed the country’s position to be permanent. Who belongs to this deluded elite. The professors and their administrators, the bureaucrats, the leaders of the professions, and those who have been educated sufficient only to recognize the suffering in the world but insufficient to understand the complexities of life and their resistance to rapid untangling. Perhaps the most dangerous human impulse is the desire to make thing better accompanied by a lack of understanding of the intricacies of the task. Education, like youth, is wasted on the young. If you’re reading this, you’re likely not one of them (the elite). They’ve archly pledged allegiance to a succession of looney tunes that they’ve convinced a lot of elite wannabes to be real. A prime example is the fiction that a man can become a woman and vice versa. When you can get someone to believe this marvel, they (the wannabes) can be convinced to believe anything. Accordingly, they’ll believe what they’re told if so directed by an elite whose approval they seek.
Invented craziness as a technique of population control may reap short term gains, but lunatics on the loose inevitably results in a society as stable as a tango contest on a dance floor strewn with marbles. Ultimately, the crazed will have to be cured or restrained. An interesting phenomenon is that the mechanism of crowd control just adumbrated seems most common in those countries that claim to have representative governments. The only restraint on total chaos in the US is federalism which the elites are trying to dissolve.
Consider the US military. It purports to exist solely for the defense of the nation. Its budget exceeds the sum of the expenditures of the next nine militaries combined. Yet it claims that it lacks sufficient funds to meet its defense mission. It must be expecting waves of invasions from space in addition to aggression from at least half the countries on Earth.
Closer to home the same government that supports our underfunded military also employs 2.5 million bureaucrats who oversee every aspect of human, animal, and vegetable life in addition to controlling the weather, the waterways (defined as anything the size of a puddle or bigger), while spending more money than existed yesterday and even more tomorrow.
Grow a fabulous debt while denying the possibility of an untoward reaction. Then assume that your country’s resources are infinite. Act as if all the world’s problems, at least the ones that you find interesting, are yours to fix. Crush any local dissent by branding dissidents as unpatriotic. Ignore reality because your covered by a cloak of infallibility that would make any Pope purple with envy and you’re sitting on top of the bubble.
We’ve declared some institutions as too big to fail. We, and our fellow fabulists, have invented a new superlative – too big not to fail. Who belongs to this new club? The above paragraphs should give an indication of the membership requirements. First, and most prominent, is going broke while doing good or pretending to do so. Next is borrowing more money than is possible to repay in several millennia. Interfere with the inner workings of society and the exchange of goods and services until this interchange slows as though oiled with glue. Sign a lot of alliances and pick a lot of fights. As it says above things cannot always go your way and eventually you’ll lose. Adhere to this pattern indefinitely and a blade of grass or a wisp of dandelion seed will light on your back like a Himalayan avalanche and crush you as if you were made of straw.