Wednesday: Popular American Culture and Politics

The Great Acquisition: Part 1

It seems to me the nation is facing the predictable ramifications of a sea-to-sea game of Monkey-See-Monkey-Do.

The credit bubble has burst, the collections agents are manning their stations, interest rates they are a-risin’.

Americans are faced with a very clear responsibility, and they’re shaking their heads as if they can’t quite grasp the idea: You have to pay for what you buy.

Be it credit card bill, student loan, auto payment plan, house mortgage… it’s all a drawn out, chutes-and-ladders board of eventually-we’ll-get-there.  But how many people don’t really have a reasonable plan for how to climb to square 100: fiscal solvency?  How many just signed by the x and persist in making decisions to get what they want immediately, with no consideration for what that means for their actual bank account – interest accruals and all?  Too many.

X is for X-Mark (Signature).

Here’s what bothers me most right now:  Our esteemed government has been doing this for generations.  When, oh when did it become reasonable to borrow on the future?  When did it become fair to allocate the GDP profits of 2020 to today’s Pentagon bill?  (Short answer: during Reagan’s Cold War anxiety attacks, but that’s a story for another time.)

Yes, American people are turning into Dodo birds – idiots with a flock mentality and a penchant for frolicking about the cliff precipice.  And there isn’t any excuse for it.  But really, if our non-commital Congress persists in paying out when there isn’t any money and chickening out when it comes to finding the money to meet the bottom line, we’re all just mimicking monkeys.

Remember Shakespeare’s villainous Shylock, the usurer in The Merchant of Venice?  What a scoundrel.  Pick up the King James Bible and it shouldn’t take too long to find disapproval of money-lenders who charge interest and tax collectors who collect for a government that doesn’t listen to its people.  It strikes me as a little funny how much Western society has changed.  Gideon himself would have a credit card if he were around today.  Shakespeare would be living on high interest rates while penning his next piece, begging his publisher for an advance.

When did society break?  When did we decide it was more important to have a thing than to own it?  When did we decide it was OK to default on loans and beg the IRS for forbearance?  When did America decide acquisition was better than honor?


Twitter: @nymoves
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