Looking Past the Politics at Our Economic Future

Six people dead, 14 wounded. A congresswoman left in a medical coma. Our ensuing forecast for 2011: more mayhem to come.

Candlelight Vigil for Congresswoman Giffords

Not because the crazy SOB who did it was justified. Jared Loughner’s Facebook postings and YouTube videos were, to put it mildly, incoherent.

But the violence has already been turned into a political football…

Why are so many members of Congress, backed up by members of the media, holding not only Mr. Loughner responsible…but anyone who’s ever said a cross word about Congress or the government?

“They” reads a New York Times editorial this morning, “seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.”

“They,” in this case, refers to a nameless mob the writer identifies as “many on the right,” as if normal people without political affiliation or agenda couldn’t be justifiably incensed at the self-serving and irresponsible way in which members of Congress conduct themselves.

“They” – members of Congress and the media – are just not listening.

“In Congress, you don’t address the real problems,” we wrote late on Friday in a letter to the Honorable Harry Reid. “You talk around them, play politics with them and then make frantic appeals at the 11th hour to borrow more money to paper over the problems again for yet another year.”

The letter was suggested by our publisher Joe Schriefer as a response to yet another frantic appeal by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for Congress to raise the debt ceiling…yet again.

The response we’ve received has been overwhelming…

“The problem,” reads one response in particular, “is that the average American doesn’t know where he or she is heading. They are too busy with various sitcoms and social network sites.

“I originally came from Nigeria. Nigeria in the late ’60s and ’70s was one of the prosperous countries in the world. We are blessed with abundant oil and any solid mineral you can mention. Until the early ’80s, US dollars traded at 65% of naira (Nigeria currency). My father used to tell us how they enjoyed free meals in college at the expense of the government.

“After graduation from college, each graduate would be congratulated with a brand-new car and at least a job waiting. The government was totally in control of oil and almost all the resources. Nobody cared to ask questions about government expenditures because of free meals and easy life.

“However, in 1980, the then president discovered that the country was heading toward doom. He introduced austerity measures for the first time. People started shouting. The military dictators came in. Everything went downhill. In the mid-’80s, the dollar hit parity with the naira. Today, a dollar is buying 160 naira.

“Corruption became so endemic that the people were too helpless to fight. The unemployment rate is on top of the roof. We are not talking of poverty rate. There is total decay of infrastructures, which results in a high crime rate. The list goes on.

“The short story of my background is to encourage you and others that may call all sorts of names (conservatives, leftists, etc.) to fight for the future generations. It’s very painful to see that your children will grow up to learn from history that there was once upon a time a prosperous America.

“No chemotherapy today? The children will undergo the therapy. There will be massive breakdown of law and order, because they will not understand why they have to go through the pains they didn’t cause. Be courageous, bold and do everything you can. With God on your side, you will be remembered by future generations as a man that cared for them.

“God bless you.”

Addison Wiggin
for The Daily Reckoning