When the world’s credit markets have no more money to lend the governments, because good money has been poured after bad, and soaking the taxpayers to the fourth generation wears thin, because nobody is quite sure that they will be any more able to pay than the current generation is, and we weep, and wail, and gnash our teeth for our friends who will be made jobless, like the populations they once had the job of helping, when all of this has come to pass, you must pause and answer one short question.
Who’s money were we borrowing all this time, anyway?
We needed to borrow the money because we were not making enough money to support our current levels of government spending. That war did not just fight itself. The banks, oh yes, they lent and lent and lent and lent, and in the good times it was all private profit, and in the bad times, the spineless governments bought the debt and asked future generations to pay it because it was the only way to keep the game running, to keep the illusion that we are the rich, and the poor are far away, and other, in far off places, in countries with hard-to-spell names, far from us and ours and our islands of might and money.
But the truth is we live in one world. We had no money because we were no longer colonial kings. If you think this tightening of belts is intense and difficult,
imagine if we had to live within our environmental means, not just our financial ones.
We have only just begun to see the start of limitation.
Our uncontrolled excesses are killing other people, and the planet. If this is how much reducing our financial deficit hurts, imagine how bad eliminating our environmental deficit is going to be.
It’s not an option. Just get ready to do it with grace, and without whining too much. I’m sorry.