My life experience is that if you take a snapshot of what is occurring and it does not make sense then something is askew. Life balance occurs when life is working toward a laudable goal. Yet the direction the United States has been taking is not laudable. Something is amiss. Most of Americans know it.
So we know America is not well yet we do not look holistically at our systems to define the illness. This has been the purpose of my writing for the past two and a half years, to reach the inner workings of our systems and to understand the imbalances as they relate to each other. From this vantage, I have written my perspective of the path that America can follow to heal herself.
I have found no better economic system than capitalism in my search, for capitalism works with man’s nature to find balance, one man’s interests against the other’s. And when capitalism is rooted in a political system like America’s Republican form of government, it is even more stable. America’s Constitution was created to force stability amongst the classes and to ensure that neither wealthy elites nor poor mobs could easily take from the other using the law of the land.
Yet the Constitution was flawed in that its founders were not able to see all men as truly equal and so we struggled through the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement, resetting the boundaries of the Constitution through great sacrifice. In the process of our social reforms, we found that the economy also suffered greatly in large system cycles that engulfed the smaller business cycles. These larger, implosive cycles seemed to create crises every three generations or so.
These economic upsets were driven by America’s unique mixture of our form of capitalism and Republicanism that failed to curb man’s nature from greedy excess. So we struggled through the Long Depression and the Great Depression. FDR dragged the country left during the social reforms of the Great Depression, yet some of those leftward movements were necessary to curb the ills of capitalism. Financial reforms were installed that gave hope to disrupting the greater implosive economic cycles that had kept wreaking havoc on America.
Yet, from the Depression, the pendulum of affairs swung too far left and the power of unions became excessive. While their impact in assisting America’s racist institutionalism was great, their disruption to our economic system was too rapid and threatened America’s elite too greatly to lead to a stable conclusion.
Coming out of the 20th century wars, the world appeared America’s economic oyster. America seemed for the moment the hegemonic leader of the world. Rather than deal with the social disruptions occurring in the United States, our elite changed America’s laws to allow investments around the world (America was not unique in this regard. We raced East with the rest of the Western first world nations, similarly to how the Western world had rushed into colonialism prior to WWI)
The resulting rush to worldwide corporatism began to gut America’s manufacturing base, a base that had provided living wage jobs to millions of America’s working class. Without that base, many of our school children lost their incentive to continue. Our cities began to crumble from within. Crime rose. Debts rose. Unemployment rose. Our intertwined systems of capitalism and republicanism began to unravel.
Whenever, a complex system begins to fail, choices are made to either improve its health or to provide patchworks to keep it moving along. America chose patchworks. We were, of course, the world’s hegemony and the world’s money system relied on our dollar as its reserve currency, so we had ample capacity to take from the world to keep our patchwork economy going even as we gutted the sound economic system that had made our country strong.
So America skewed our financial systems and we skewed our political system to allow the skewing of our economy. Our system kept failing and being repaired by patchworks until the failures took on crisis dimensions. Just before the 2008 implosion we had the savings and loans crisis and the stock market crisis. Finally, we skewed both so much that both our economy and our political system finally broke under the weight in 2008.
A snapshot now of our economic and political systems has most Americans dismayed. We point to one faction or another as the culprit, yet our system has been under patchwork for decades. I wrote my last post denouncing the position of America’s elite, yet what about the static positions of the rest of our factions? A nation held together by patches can only arrive at this condition because all have accepted the patches leading to America’s skewedness rather than fighting to set our nation’s course anew.
Certainly, capitalism has always gone in cycles to permit the world’s elite to suffer the extremes of greed, and without corrections to capitalism the world’s implosive three decade cycles will continue. My admonitions in the last post, however, were not an indictment of America’s capitalists or of capitalism, only a pronouncement of our nation’s current skewed position that includes within it the excesses of our elite, which must be heartily corrected.
Sometimes, calling out the horridness of a static position must be done to wake up all that have accepted the patchwork, including our elite. Now the corrections of peeling away the patchwork and repairing the nation’s infrastructure will not be easy. And my advice to America is that the corrections must keep all whole including our elite. Allow our elite to reinvest in America and make a healthy profit. Bring back living wages. Repair our schools. Correct the imbalances that create crime and unhealthy communities. Restore America’s path toward prosperity.