Fred Reed does it again.... "A Brief History of the United States"Submitted by elviejo on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 11:40
.."Many things had changed since the arrival of Columbus and smallpox. Americans still imagined themselves as Marlboro Man, rugged individualists, though many had never actually seen a live horse. In fact the country had become a society of mass conformist consumerism with its tastes designed at corporate. America was still a land of opportunity, if you were an Ivy techy with an IQ in excess of 180, but everybody else was pretty much screwed. Most people lived in velvet serfdom, afraid of the boss and imprisoned by the retirement system. Few young males could any longer meet the physical requirements for induction. The Army softened training so they could appear to get through. So much for Davy Crockett.
Americans had become the Frightened People, afraid of terror, of Moslems, of an outside world they couldn’t find or, in many cases, spell. The government used this bounty from heaven to justify rapid elimination of civil liberties, telling the public that it was to protect them. They still prided themselves on their democracy, without any longer having one, and on being a light to the world, which hated them. “The whole world hates us. What is wrong with the whole world?” they asked, deeply puzzled.
The looters came. In the past there had been an element of noblesse oblige, of concern for the nation, a sense among the upper classes that they ought to pay some slight attention to keeping the country alive while picking its bones. This changed. The country was now ruled by the tightly interlocking directorates of Wall Street, Congress, the upper reaches of the executive branch, and the big corporations, none of whose members had ever worked a night shift at Wal-Mart while living in a rented trailer. The worst and brightest went to Harvard and then into i-banking. Thus the sub-prime adventure. This catastrophe was regarded as a cyclical correction instead of as the first notes of the knell...."