By Eric Janszen
Most reasonably aware North Americans have, like me, watched this mess develop for over 20 years. Credit was substituted for savings. Two incomes were substituted for one. Other people's savings were substituted for our own.
These past 20 years have been like a long bus ride into the middle of a desert without food or water, with the driver all along telling us that, no, we are not heading into a desert but traveling along a long stretch of beach that leads to an ocean with palm trees and swimming pools, we just can't see the water yet.
All along the way the skeptics look out the window and say, "We're going the wrong way," and, "Shouldn't we turn around or at least stop to pick up drinking water in case you're wrong?"
"Stop being so negative," yells the driver over his shoulder. "You don't understand neo-classical geography."
Meanwhile, the rest of the passengers in the bus sit watching Survivor on portable DVD players or reading about Britney Spears's hairstylist in The National Enquirer.
One day the bus runs out of gas. The driver gets out, looks around and says, "How about that. Here we are in the middle of the desert without food or water. Who could have known?"
He pulls out a cell phone and shortly a helicopter rescues him and his friends, leaving everyone else behind to fend for themselves.
Postscript: Our leaders have driven our economy to the place economies eventually wind up that run on credit, discourage savings, and sold off productive capacity needed to generate new savings. Our readers have not listened to them but have saved their own food and water, metaphorically speaking, by staying out of debt and increasing their savings, even if this was not what everyone else was doing. Good for you. On the other hand, readers who are expecting a Mad Max world need to get a grip and re-read Are You a Doomer? Law abiding citizens do not turn into criminals overnight. Your town will not be run by warlords. There will be no wandering hoards of looters or ox-drawn Rolls Royces. That's Y2K stuff. Try to keep it in perspective, folks. Everything is going to get really, really slow for a while.
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