I’m sorry. If you’re reading this, you probably don’t want to be bothered by someone else’s troubles. Then again, you might be relieved to find that at least someone else survived as well. (Actually there are two of us, but more of that later.)
Please, if you have started reading this, please warm up your short-wave. Use the new International Protocol. Search for IRVSE-56795. And hurry! I know it could have taken years for this manuscript to reach you, but we may not make it that much longer…
Chapter 1 NATIONAL COLLAPSE
I was going to start by saying it began so simply. Actually, it didn’t. It was, it turned out, too complicated. All the geniuses in the world got it all wrong. All the idiots in the world got it all wrong. THEY ALL TRIED! THEY ALL FAILED!!!
Did it start with Johnson trying to fight wars and build a greater society? I don’t know. Did it start with Reagan sending us into crushing debt to fund a massive military while dismantling social supports? Did it start with the right-wing trying to “starve the Beast?” (Of course, the Beast they referred to was all the government programs designed to support people when they got poor.) Did it start when they succeeded but found out that along with the safety net (which they felt they didn’t need themselves) the security net also frayed? The military and police they loved so much and celebrated every chance they got didn’t have a chance once the rich coffers of the state were lean and bare. I guess those who starved the Beast hadn’t bothered to fully understand the Beast they were starving.
However it started, once it did, events happened fairly fast. The riots didn’t start that soon. It was discovering that a far-flung supreme military apparatus just couldn’t be sustained any more. And that getting them home and unemployed took all the resources that could be mustered. Hell, Congress had to take a one-month pay cut just to help bring the troops home. A lot of the equipment just had to be sacrificed.
And then the military – now unemployed, found that there just wasn’t any safety net to be found. Not even for Veterans. Without military or national or state or city workers in abundance any more, unemployment reached 50% almost overnight. Every proposal to raise the deficit in order to hire more public workers or at least build and repair roads and bridges got voted down. Most politicians despised deficits and considered any borrowing to be fiscally irresponsible.
Those who were employed didn’t fare much better, with all the desperate vagabonds attacking anyone who looked at all well off.
And the next election was a shambles. Everyone blamed the Republicans for slashing the government. But they also hated the Democrats for working harder for the Special Interests and Unions than for the poor. Despite talking a good game regarding the ‘Middle Class,’ they bought into the slashing philosophy of the conservatives, too. Just not as badly as the Republicans had. And as a result they stiffed the poor, too. Indeed, those badly off began to consider the ‘Middle Class’ to be wealthy, and were incensed every time the tone-deaf Democrats vowed to fight for the ‘Middle Class.’
Everybody seemed to care only about cutting taxes, especially for the wealthy or favored groups – those ‘Special Interests.’ But as the poor got poorer, and the Middle Class joined their ranks without much of a safety net, and with massive public layoffs, their buying power plummeted and that brought the whole economy down. So everybody, including the super wealthy, was so much worse off than if they’d had to pay higher taxes.
As a result, the masses became so alienated, only 10% showed up at the polls. That happened to elected bodies everywhere. 95% who won were idiots who had no business being there. Of course, another thing holding down voter turnout might have been the fear of stepping outside your own door… Hell, given the choices on the ballot, even I didn’t bother to show up. And I had previously considered voting to be a sacred obligation!
Those who did get elected were all over the map with no organization and no idea how to get us back on an even track.
Actually, there was another reason I didn’t vote either. Besides no decent politicians running, I, too, really didn’t want to put my life on the line just to cast a meaningless vote! We did know something about some of the candidates, given the ads they ran – and I wasn’t impressed. And the polling place was surrounded by deadly slums.
We all tried to withdraw to safe environs with friends and relations we knew and trusted. And those enclaves did offer some safety. For a while.
Copyright © 2015 Donald P.Gage, DMn.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American