Hard Times and Trouble

First Posted 06-Aug-2015

I don’t want to be right about this. I want to be wrong. I want to be the idiot prophet who proclaims doom on a sign while walking down Market Street in San Francisco and becomes a photo-op. That way, what I fear, won’t happen. I’ll just worry as I do and find out my worries are baseless. Maybe things will work out as they have for 30 years.

Maybe I’ve read too many dystopian novels lately. The ones where the book starts after the apocalypse and the story is what happens after the world has gone to shit. I’ve seen my own life go to shit at least four times. And four times I’ve come back to something different, more stable than the last time. I’m in an up cycle lately, with a job that pays double what I am used to making, a car (ok, it needs work to be legal but it’s paid for), a leased house and a few toys. I’m missing a partner to enjoy this with but hope springs eternal.

There is no connection between my boom & bust cycles and the ill winds blowing through Washington D.C. The direction of my life says as much about what’s going on there as good old sheep ankle bones. So, fearing that we are hosed because of the idiocy currently playing out before us with our nation’s leaders as players in the farce, is perhaps emotionally comforting but no less rational than declaring things will work out just as they always have.

Afraid I am. Our government is its own tail eating snake. It exists for itself. Only by coincidence does it do anything to improve or damage our lives. It does seem, though, that its reaction to a growing awareness of its irrelevance is to increase its bullying and intrusion into our lives in random ways so we’ll be forced to pay attention. I am afraid our own government has become an enemy of those it purports to lead. Quoting Rustler:

“To start, there is some good news. The current system and its institutions, everything that has been coopted by the left, and that we have lost to them,  will collapse under their own weight anyway, and sooner than you might think. They are, to borrow a wonderful word that the environmentalist left taught me, unsustainable. There are many reasons for that, which include massive debt and other structural economic problems, imperial overreach, moral bankruptcy, resource depletion (and here I mean more than energy, look at California’s recent problems with not having enough water to go around), looming demographic crisis, loss of legitimacy and public trust, problems so numerous and complex that going into all of them in any detail would take me far beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice it to say that all of the institutions that make up the Establishment as it is presently constituted are living on borrowed time: they’re going to disintegrate, and it is probably for the best that the left will end up holding the bag when they do.”


It’s a stretch to say that the recent spotlight given to cops shooting unarmed civilians is connected to this. There is a fuzzy and irrational connection in my mind. Cops feeling afraid and thrown under the bus reacting to this additional stressor by pulling the trigger quicker than they might if they didn’t feel a general malaise and fear from the public and their superiors. Citizens being generally annoyed with the government and cops by inference quicker to escalate their encounters with police. All conjecture, sure, and probably without merit, but the thought is there.

I’d like to say I have some piece of pithy advice, some hope, something we can do about this. I don’t. Knowing that peril looms and it’s eye is centered over D.C. has me listening to Dave Ramsey’s, “Total Financial Makeover” and deciding it’s a bad time to be proud of asceticism. When the stock market collapsed in 1929 there were those who had enough wealth that they could invest in a down market and thrive while those forced to beg for pennies from Uncle Sam suffered. It’s time to get my fiscal house in order and make sure that if my fears come true, I’ll be among those who can invest rather than count the number of pocket lint fibers in Uncle Sam’s threadbare satin striped suit hoping to find something of value.

Featured Image Credit: The End of the World by Christophe Dessaigne