If a clerk at H and R Block sat down for an hour with Uncle Sam, he’d surely be reaching for the Pepto-Bismol after five minutes. We’ve been able to play games with ourselves for a whole year about the true state of our capital resources.
It is a mighty big system, kept chugging along on little more than inertia, as things will when they are headed downhill and gravity exerts its influence. But it begins to seem now like a great reeking freight train of toxic waste out-of-control on the downgrade and headed for a very nasty smash-up.
The Green Shoots crowd â€” a sub-category of identity maniacs, who think the USA is immune to the laws of history and physics â€” has made common cause with the oil and climate deniers to proclaim that we are returning to normal, back to the “consumer” orgy, the suburban sprawl nexus of McHousing and miracle mortgages, and new frontiers of corporate profit-raking.
They are tragically wrong.
Instead, we’re headed into the wildest king-hell debt workout that the world has ever seen, which will propel a lot of people used to working in air-conditioned cubicles into a world made by hand. We march day by day into the great holiday season with mortgages going unpaid and the credit cards getting cancelled and money disappearing and the fears and grievances mounting.
Pretty soon, the folks doing “God’s work” at Goldman Sachs (and their tribal kin on Wall Street) will announce their annual bonuses (because they are publicly-held companies, which have to do so).
Won’t that be a galvanizing moment for us all?