Reading past commentaries about former times leads one to believe that each generation had its problems, and each generation produced optimistic and pessimistic observations.
Perhaps today is no worse, but it seems to be.
Part of our morose may be due to the comparison of present generations to the “Greatest Generation.” These folks had some real problems, not the self-inflicted ones we have to deal with today, but they rose above the chaos. The 20th Century was, indeed, the American Century. America saved the world at least twice -- more if you count stopping the North Koreans and dismantling the Berlin Wall.
Unfortunately, the “war to end all wars” -- World War I -- only served to sow the seeds for World War II -- but Americans stepped up to the plate both times expending blood, sweat, tears, and treasure.
For untold centuries the “rules” of war dictated “to the victors belong the spoils.” The winning side would savage and pillage the defeated and defenseless, or, at the very least extract unrealistic war reparations. America changed all that.
America conceived the Marshall Plan to rebuild our enemies and ultimately turn them into friends and business associates, and, our government developed the GI-Bill for returning soldiers who had sacrificed schooling and so much more. The original GI Bill established hospitals, helped with tuition, and provided low interest mortgages; assisting nine million veterans from 1944 to 1949.
The GI Bill, the Marshall Plan, and many other factors combined to make the United States the world’s foremost example of what a strong country with a strong work ethic and strong belief in God could be.
In the years since the end of WWII, we seem to have lost our way. Our Christian symbols are frowned upon. After all, a manger scene at a public building might offend someone.
Thanks largely to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” we are increasingly becoming a civilization of entitlements, subsidies, disability, and government giveaways.” Too many of us expect a free ride. Vote hungry politicians are eager to grant these gifts in order to secure re-election.
The national press is afraid to speak out for fear of not being “politically correct,” or, worse yet, missing out on that invitation to the White House or an interview with a top official.
Washington pays for the current false prosperity -- in which the super-rich get richer and the middle-class gets poorer -- by printing over $75 billion a month. This money has no backing, other than the paper it is printed on. Printing worthless money has falsely pushed Wall Street to dizzying and unsustainable heights, while crushing the dreams and labors of small businesses and residents across Main Street America.
By the time you read this, the national debt will be over $17.7 trillion -- over $55,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child in the country. This is not sustainable.
Financial judgment day will come.