The “In Crowd” Paradigm

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Behind Phoenix Republic, Current Events
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The theme of the Phoenix Republic is about decision making in the face of adversity and about one’s perception of the world.  Most Americans live more or less normal lives and progress through their day by doing routine activities.  There is comfort in having a stable environment, and I believe that most of us are willing to give up quite a lot to maintain a comfortable status-quo existence.  We go to work and pay our bills, and do our best for our families and friends.  We all hope for something better and do our best to avoid any of life’s pit-falls, but for good or ill, we live our lives within defined parameters that for the most part, make us feel reasonably safe.

In the novel, my characters, Kate, Megan & Annie, like most Americans, are living normal lives.  The crux of the story is about what choices they make when the course of events destroys the status-quo and their familiar routine is forever altered.  Like us, my characters have a reality-bias that colors their perceptions about what is happening to the world around them.

As I read news stories these days, I find that more and more, I am seeing the elements of a H.W. Bush’s “New World Order” fall into place.  Reading these articles I wonder if I am reading more into a story than there is or am I seeing a glimpse of what is to come?  I would like to think that I’m clever enough to accept my “reality-bias” and move on to judge what I am reading on its merits, but we are all only human.  Probably the best one can hope for is to be awake enough that one is able to recognize disaster before it visits tragedy upon us.  No one wants to be the tourist on that beach in Sumatra in 2004, who actually went to out onto the beach when the sea receded just ahead of the tsunami.  It’s a perfect example of reality-bias.  Tragically, so many of those lost that day just could not imagine what was coming.

Is it possible that so many of our politicians, like the tourists on that beach, are busy wondering why the sea (in this case, our economy) is behaving out of character?  It’s easy to look at the Ivy League credentials on the resumes of today’s elites from the political – industrial complex, and think that they surely understand the scope of our problems and will be able to fix them.  Today’s culture all but demands that we trust the so-called experts, regardless of what our own intuition may be telling us.  Furthermore, part of what seems to come with an Ivy League education and a progressive world view is a notion held by our leaders in government and those leading major corporate entities, that they know what is best for everyone.  In the view of many of these self-appointed elites, the average American is just too dumb to manage their own lives.

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Regardless of the paradigm popular culture presents, that the primary political battle today is between Republicans and Democrats, the real battle is actually between Statists, (Authoritarians if you like) and the Freedom movement, (Libertarians).  Progressives in both parties may quarrel on the surface about any number of issues, but it is becoming more and more apparent both of the GOP and DNC are about maintaining the status quo.  Parties are made up of human beings, and like any human being, they want to maintain their power at any cost.  Do you ever wonder that election after election after election, nothing really changes?  There is a reason for that.  The reason is that neither party really represents average hard working men and women.  While I am sure that they care to some extent, they are more concerned with winning the next election than doing what is right for the country.  They are more concerned with their party staying in control and paying off their supporters than they are with making smart decision for Americans.

Remember that arrogance I referred to earlier?  Many of our leaders today, in and outside of government simply feel that they are just too brilliant to ever risk the American people losing the benefit of their genius should they be defeated for doing what is right over what is popular.  This kind of thinking justifies all sorts of compromises and makes it all but inevitable that disaster will strike.

As the battle over the continuing resolution rages over whether or not to exclude Obama-care from funding, it is more than obvious that the GOP establishment is working hand in glove with Democrats to destroy anyone who opposed the status-quo.  Senator Ted Cruz of Texas along with Senator Mike Lee and a few others realize that America cannot survive unlimited spending.  We cannot retain our freedom if our rights are regulated, (for our own good, of course), more and more every year.  These brave men and women are making a stand and as a result the establishment politicians, down on that beach, are outraged.  How dare these people take it upon themselves, they say, to go against the collective wisdom of their elders?  It’s becoming obvious that the establishment power players in both parties enjoy their perks and are willing to destroy their own colleagues to maintain their power.  This is not a new story, but I think that it is becoming a more visible one.  Hopefully Americans understand what is happening and make political decisions accordingly.

Sara Palin said: “We’re now, once again, subjected to the “anonymous sources” backstabbing game.  The Capitol Hill cowards are rushing to anonymously denounce Senator Cruz to any reporter with a pad and pen.

The question in Phoenix Republic and for each of us is what decisions do we want to make?  Do we go down to the beach, believing what we are told, that the economy is recovering?  Or do we make our own decisions based on what we see before us.  Already businesses are cutting hours for their employees to get around Obama-care.  Americans, who are barely making it now, will soon face the ominous reality that Obama-care is making health care completely unaffordable. If you aren’t in one of the elite groups favored by the Political – Industrial Complex, or on the staff of a congressman who are exempted from this law you will be left to either pay more or do without.

Most of our political leaders in both parties are on the beach trying to figure out where the sea went.  Mr. Bush and now Mr. Obama have created trillions of dollars out of thin air to try and forestall economic disaster.  Perhaps they hope that they can regain people’s trust and get us all spending again.  Possibly Americans borrowing and consuming will reignite America’s economic engine and lead to job creation, but I believe that the truth is that they are just out of their depth.

When I was a senior in high school, in 1979 – the United States had faced a similar, although much less difficult economic challenge.  We had Stagflation…  Wages were not rising but goods and services were.  There were long gas lines and I recall constantly having to help to change prices on food at the grocery store where I worked as a checker.  Fed Chair, Paul Volcker raised interest rates to battle out of control inflation.  He was able to get away with this action because in the 1979 America was vastly stronger than it is today.  Americans were nowhere nearly as in debt.  Today, even without considering United States Government debt, Ben Bernanke is faced with the fact that private sector debt-to-GDP is dramatically higher today than in 1979.  With both government and private debt this out of control, rising interest rates would be very, very painful.  It is an open question if the government would survive this kind of inflation.  All that the Political – Industrial Complex can hope for is that they can continue to increase the quantity of money and pray that Americans are too asleep to notice dramatically rising prices that are vastly reducing purchasing power of our debased currency.

Personally, my plan, as Sara Palin would say, to “Woman up, stand my ground, and fight like a girl!”

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