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We are watching history. The collapse of a great empire is a rare event. To be able to witness it is an honor (most certainly the wrong word) few could claim.

I had thought the nation would be able to survive the presidency of George Bush. I was wrong. Seven years we survived, eight was too much. This once powerful nation is a feeble shell of its former grandeur

The United States can still reduce the whole of the world to radioactive rubble but we cannot liberate a single marketplace. Iraq was a nation the Ottoman Turks easily controlled and even an enfeebled British Empire mastered that land in the 20th century. Yet, a sadistic tinhorn dictator suffering under a global economic embargo was more successful than the powerful US at providing basic services. The world is right to fear our insanity, a madman president can still destroy the world with the touch of a button. But if the mighty US military has failed, in five years, to conquer a pissant collection of feuding warlords there is little in this world we could defeat.

When Alan Greenspan says that the nation's economy is the worst since World War II he means the worst since the Great Depression. The start of WWII marked the end of the Depression and the war years had a booming economy. The seeds of our current economic collapse were planted by the Clinton Administration but they have been fertilized into full fruit by George Bush.

In 1999, Bill Clinton signed into law the repealing the Glass-Steagall Act (note: this is an important link). Glass-Steagall was a Depression era law that believed a stable banking system was vital for a strong nation. By 1999, bankers like Sandy Weill at Citibank were bristling under a law that prohibited them from the kind of wild, cowboy finances that was making Enron such an exciting business. Banks had access to billions of dollars yet they were required to make dull, safe investments. How boring. Weill and his kin were orgasmic over the prospects of what they could do if the shackles were released. Now we know. The above link suggests Hillary Clinton be asked if she supports her husband's repeal of Glass-Steagall? She should.

The US is entering was has been called the Very Great Depression. The safety nets woven by FDR and the New Deal are tattered shreds. The repeal of Glass-Steagall followed by eight years of lax oversight has brought the nation's banking system to the edge of collapse. Bear Stearns is not an anomaly but only the first of what will be several bank failures.  The implosion of the dollar is a symptom of the economic crisis and the continued free fall of the dollar will suck more banks and businesses into the abyss. The massive budget deficits the nation has been running means that the government has no flexibility to help. The nation, like the banks, is nearing bankruptcy. I see no willingness by the rest of the world to help us.

The Future
Economically, we are in for a rough patch. Understatement, we are in for Hell. Although government statistics will try to hide it, unemployment is skyrocketing and will grow progressively worse. I expect runaway inflation, like Germany in the 1930's, rather than the deflation that roiled the United States during the Great Depression.

If the wrong person is elected president (John McCain), he/she may try nuclear blackmail to force the world's strong economies, China and Europe, to support us. The formula is simple, give us hundreds of billions of Euros, even we won't accept dollars much longer, or the United States will start bombing your cities.

It is a Brave New World we are entering.

Originally posted to Knighterrant on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  enfeebled? (0+ / 0-)

    Only cleared out becausde Eisenhower got windy about Egypt.

    "It's a race to decide who the British goverment will follow blindly for the next 4 years" Kennedy/Kerry '08

    by Salo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:36:25 AM PDT

  •  This is why we have to make a massive change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drbloodaxe, Johnny Rapture

    in how our politics is conducted.  We don't have the advantages we had 25 years ago to squander our prosperity with more shortsighted edicts handed down by corporate America and their lobbyists.

    "That's what killed Dennis Day-- contempt for the audience." -- Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra

    by Pangloss on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:38:08 AM PDT

  •  You know Xanax is good. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, sp0t, Salo, BoiseBlue

    So is Prozac.  Or maybe some Lexapro.

    Try some really it might do you some good.

  •  There is no such thing as a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, drbloodaxe

    ...great empire. Empires are only great for the people who benefit from colonizing and terroizeing the people that are being concurred.

    An empire (from the Latin "imperium", denoting military command within the ancient Roman government) is a state that extends dominion over populations distinct culturally and ethnically from the culture/ethnicity at the center of power. Scholars still debate about what exactly constitutes an empire, and other definitions may emphasize economic or political factors.

    Like other states, an empire maintains its political structure at least partly by coercion. Land-based empires (such as the Mongol Empire or the Achaemenid Persia) tend to extend in a contiguous area; sea-borne empires, also known as thalassocracies (the Athenian, Portuguese and the British empires provide examples), may feature looser structures and more scattered territories.

    •  Persia, the 1st empire, was a 'good' empire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, Dude1701

      or so says Prof Kenneth Harl in his lecture series on the history of Asia Minor.

      According to Harl, the Persians encouraged the people of the lands they 'conquered' to maintain their own religious systems, trade practices, customs, etc.  

      For example, under Persia, worship to Artemesia continued.   In contrast, the shrines to Artemesia were destroyed by pre-Constantinian Christians--destroyed save for one pillar, to remind the pagans that they were well and truly subjugated.

  •  its size!! (0+ / 0-)

    the bigger you get the more difficult to achieve greater efficiency! its a natural result or lots of power and big size!! the one point id like to make is that really we dont wish it on you coz no1 wants china or russia to be in that place and their need to be a superpower in the world to keep the peace!!

  •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

    I always thought that the US was strong enough to deal with any political fiasco.  I was wrong.  Right now people care more about what Obama's preacher said than the future of our country.  Regardless who wins the Presidency the country is facing a mess that will take a generation to clean up.  I feel like I am living in Rome in the fifth century.

  •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

    and there are those who believe that this has been the point of the whole neo conservative domestic return this country to pre FDR social stratification....the decimation of the middle class and the enhancement of the rich....and degradation of the poor.

    A question for me is how can we as grass roots democrats hold together to support one another thru this coming crisis?  But then...what good is the internet if you cant pay your electric bill?

  •  Disingenious (0+ / 0-)

    When Alan Greenspan says that the nation's economy is the worst since World War II he means the worst since the Great Depression.

    I noticed that eerie reference to "WW II" as well.

    The WWII economy was strong because of the war.  To tie today's situation of financial weakness with the strength of the WW II economy is illogical.  

    Typical Greenspan smoke and mirrors.  He could clearly state that today's economy is the worst since the depression or instead define a period using WWII and today as bookends. Both mean exactly the same thing but one is disingenious.

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