Ten Years Later—Al-Qaeda Wins! War on Terror Over!

2011 September 7
by Carl Watson

Anybody who has listened to the radio lately and has heard Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum promoting their new book,That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, knows that America is facing the reality of its decline in the world. These “public intellectuals,” or “talking heads,” seem to believe that is was the Baby Boomers who have to answer for American decline. The “Boomers” are dubbed the “borrow and spend” generation and they have brought the country to its proverbial knees. Friedman and Mandelbaum compare this decadent idea of public commitment to the “work and save” ethic of the “Greatest Generation.” I am not saying that “borrow and spend” is a good idea. However, I would argue against the idea that “work and save” and “borrow and spend” are somehow moral choices that groups of people consciously make because they have a choice between them.

After all the Greatest Generation (as they are called by those who worship them—we could also call them the Racist Generation, or the Sexist Generation, but these are issues for another discussion)—this generation could afford to save, they got 5% interest on a savings account for god’s sake. You can’t get that kind of rate from a Mutual Fund anymore. Saving was a good investment for them. Today it is very definitely a bad idea. In fact you can’t get ahead at all or even stay even if you don’t put your money at risk.

We might also note that the “Greatest Generation” didn’t have to buy anything. What was there to buy? A radio? A refrigerator? A house was 25 grand. A Volkswagon was less than a thousand, you didn’t really need, and most people didn’t have a TV until the 60s, and there was definitely no need for a $2,000 computer or a $300, a $250 iPhone or an answering machine or any of the other crap that people “need” these days.

I had this conversation with a friend the other day. It was about mugging. In the 70s if you mugged somebody on the subway you might get $30 in cash and a $20 pair of Frye boots. Today the average person on the subway is carrying a thousand or more worth of stuff. Their clothes probably cost several hundred; they are carrying a two thousand dollar laptop, and three hundred dollar phone, several credit cards, maybe an iPad, hell their shoes are worth at least a hundred.

Another comparison between the greatest and the Boomers: for the greates there was also no competition for America. We invented the system and were only ones using it. (Note the title of the Friedman/Mandelbaum book.) Sure America was on top—there was no one else playing the game. That is definitely not the case now. Both of my parents didn’t even have to apply for jobs, the burgeoning American economy was offering them great jobs before they even graduated (no competition from minorities or foreigners). Is that happening to you?

And these great jobs came with a boat load of entitlements. Friedman and Mandelbaum fail to mention that it was (and is) the generous entitlements (thus the Entitlement Generation) that was part of the draw of being a stable money saving sacrificing citizen—you got paid for that in the form of full pensions, full health care, the certainty of Medicare and generous Social Securiry, even to those who didn’t need it. The boomers watched those promises dissolve and Gen Y doesn’t even comprehend the idea. Freidman and Mandelbaum also fail to mention that it is generally considered precisely those entitlements that are breaking America’s bank and back right now. But we don’t hold it against them, we hold it against the people who were/are hoping to have the same deal—the New Deal.

And what about jobs? While the Greatest Generation could earn a nice middle-class existence working in manufacturing, the boomers had to be increasingly satisfied with lower and lower paying service jobs that could not keep up with the rising inflation. Ditto for X and Y.

Boomers were forced to get into the borrowing cycle as inflation in the 60s and 70s drove up the cost of living to several hundred percent of what it had been. Not to mention the concocted bubbles in real estate, increased taxes, and the cost of education, all while salaries and wages (remember “wages”) had declined. Working more and getting less became the norm, whereas for the greatest, working less and getting more was their norm.

We might also question the so-called unconditional courage and dedication that drove this “Greatest Generation” to win World War Two. They didn’t even enter the war till it had been raging for several years, and were certainly not soon enough to prevent the death camps. However, once we were in it, it is right to credit that generation with the ability to sacrifice and their sense of patriotism that did kick in during the war effort. They were praised and loved for it.

The Baby Boomers had the Vietnam War, an exercise in futility, deceit and shame, and it was this that molded thier collective consciousness. They were spit on and jeered. They fought back by deciding not to go to war no more.

Now I am no fan of the Boomers (or Doomers), the glorification of ego is not my thing, and I am less a fan of Generations X and Y. And this is not even the real subject of this diatribe. Because I don’t want to get into some kind of nit-picking over the characteristics of the American Generations.

The real subject and true point of this article is that the decline of America is due to the fact that Al-Qaeda won! They beat us and we don’t even know it yet. In fact if you read the news, most Americans tend to think that they have won the war. (See my upcoming article “When Failure Poses as Success.”) Al-Qaeda’s intention all along was to force America into bankruptcy (they have even said as much), while goading and manipulating Western liberalism into a petty catfight. They got us involved in two wars that we can’t afford or win and can’t get out of. Homeland Security costs us trillions a year, even as our infrastructure collapses. And, they were smart enough to pick Bush as their flunky, knowing that he would not fund the wars with taxes on his rich friends but would continue to borrow the money from China. All they have to do is send some emails to each other and America spends trillions trying to figure out what’s going on. The plan was genius. America collapses under its debt, while its partisan politicians bicker and quibble.

uh, no, we are

If you want evidence of how America has been defeated, tune in to the Republican debates tonight. You can see that we are going nowhere fast.

One Response leave one →
  1. 2011 September 26

    Who knows what Al Qaeda had in mind, their overall strategy? But whatever it was, you’re right about the consequences of their actions to our economy.

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