One week ago, Standard and Poors lowered the rating of our United States from the top rate of AAA to a rating of AA+. The pundits are all doing their thing, but rather than creating a hullabaloo about the downgrade, they are for the most part downplaying it. I, for one, am shamed, totally shamed that this happened to my America. Like the emperor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”**, the Ponzi scheme of being an overly generous nation on a modest income is now revealed. Make no mistake this affects everyone from the child born today to the oldest person alive. We sat by and watched the waffling debacle of the latest debate about our current national financial situation. There are some irrefutable facts.
Fact number one is that as a country and individually we have overspent year after year under both Republican and Democratic presidents and Congress. With every crisis, another government agency was formed and within no time became bloated with employees running around accomplishing very little, but looking very important. We decided that poverty in America should be erased by assisting Americans in need from cradle to grave. In the 1950’s, we derided a communist system that tried to put all their citizens on the same economic level. Now, we do the same thing. What brought down Communism will, if it hasn’t already, bring us down.
Second, we walked away from every principle and tenet that made our country strong. We took the notions of individualism, strength of character, do-it-yourself and neither a borrower or lender be and deliberately turned our back. Rather, we touted stuff by buying bigger and bigger houses, cars, and owning the biggest and best of everything. We made being just like everyone else into a false idol. We stuck our noses in the air paying alms to the poor to prove how munificent we are.
Third, we walked away from the morals and beliefs that gave us our collective and individual strength. We have become so tolerant and politically correct that we allow unthinkable human and intellectual degradation. What’s worse is that we not only allow this, but our justice system, which used to be fair and just, is a mockery of what is right. We sit and watch as our nations falls deeper and deeper into a depletion of spirit.
Politicians who centuries ago sought what was best for our country now seek what is best for themselves. A couple of years ago when our financial system was in dire straits, there were murmurings that projections like the unemployment figures were manipulated to make them more palatable. Which translates into the fact that we can’t trust what we are told by those who lead us. Now, there are calls for leaders to be replaced with someone better. There is no one better. That is a fact.
Of those in power, no one has the backbone to stand up and do what is right to get us back on course. Several young couples I know had the strength to buckle down and do without or postpone purchases in order to rid themselves of their accumulated debt. They are nearing the end of their indebtedness. They have faced the consequences of their actions, made a plan and followed it to be free, to keep what they earn. They have bought security and a brighter future for themselves and their families. If only our country’s leaders had that same courage.
Our nation needs to stand up and take notice of what individual people are doing. What our nation owes in debt interest alone cripples America just as surely as debt cripples a family. The debt we, as a nation, now owe will not be paid off for generations. We must have the courage to do what is right individually and as a nation to suffer the short-term pain for long-term gain. There isn’t any other choice. The fun is over, we must pay the piper.
As a child, I remember hearing the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes many times. Here is the link for you: http://deoxy.org/emperors.htm