Monday, May 7, 2012

The Big Picture: Our Curiously Failing Civilization

May 7, 2012
By Jack Curtis

Governments around the world are in various stages of financial failure, all seemingly trying to be Argentina.  Curious, no?  Look at debt and deficits; you see government spending issues; most of the few exceptions have other problems.  Look then at global migration patterns showing people leaving poor places for places going broke, an unhappy trend line.  Look anywhere; we can't seem to govern ourselves worldwide, while people protesting are multiplying everywhere.

The U.S. and the EU can't stop borrowing and spending, though no one can expect their stultified economies to bear the debt they've run up.  Arab riots and civil wars reflect those countries' corrupt dictators' inability to sufficiently subsidize the citizens.  Armed insurrections and massive demonstrations plague Russia, India, China, and Latin America; Africa has more than its share of failed and failing states.  The Global Incident Map shows worldwide terrorism and both underlines instability and helps explain the migrations.  Predictable civil order seems lost.

For "rich" Europe and North America, it's the famous doom of all democracies: the citizens have learned to vote others' wealth to themselves via a devil's compact with demagogues.  Once in place, such deals can't be controlled (Who's re-elected for shutting off the goodies?) until they outrun available resources and impoverish the economy.  "Kick the can down the road" (meaning past the next election) is the U.S. mantra for postponing the end-game; in the EU, it's quasi-austerity.  It's the same game in both places: Save the Banks.  The people?  Let them eat cake... Read More