Monday, July 18, 2016


I am an old man
This is not the country I grew up in.
Nor is it the country I want my grandchildren to live in.

I read this good gentleman every day.  I enjoy his fellow-traveller, cranky old man personae immensely, as that is my personae as well, and he does it so much better than I do.  Multiple kudos are always in order.

But what is the country he wants to have his grandchildren grow up in?  I would hazard a guess that it is the United States of 1950 to 1975 era.  Life was pretty sweet then, we had full employment, a more-than-ample energy supply, and a set of competitors that were busy rebuilding economies destroyed by a war that never touched our shores.

Simply put, you can't get there from here.

This is a problem with my generation, and Jim is of my generation.  We had it so easy for so long that it is hard for us to believe that what we had wasn't real.  It was an illusion forged out of destruction that we didn't see and a reckless use of limited resources.

The world has returned to its normal fractious state of competing interests that we cannot control. Our foreign policy has been reduced to the Byzantine staples of destabilization and bribes.  Our industry has been gutted and the manufacturing jobs that once formed the core of our vibrant economy have been shipped to third world sweatshops where profits accrue to corporations and despots.

Our education has been reduced to a "drug and sequester" set of tests administered by a professional class more concerned with maintaining their monopoly, regular raises and privileged self-advertisement than the mundane challenge of teaching.

Our corprate and party leadership has become a class of rentier worthy of the title ancien regime.

No Jim, the country in which you wish to raise your grandchildren is long gone.  I am afraid that what we have, with all its warts,  is the best on offer though.

Time to get back to work and roll up your sleeves.  Your grandchildren will live in an environment smaller and less ostentatious than the one you so long to give to them.  It will be defined by the hard work that they and you and their parents put into the mix.  If it is good, it may very well be that they are the exception, not the rule.

In case you have forgotten.

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