When it all Comes Tumbling Down

There will come a time when today’s attitudes are regarded as suicidally short sighted. People will be amazed that an entire population — an entire civilization — could be self-deceived on a scale comparable to ours. Each generation has its own blindness. Ours is a blindness towards the fiscal inevitabilities of Ponzi-scheme politics.[1] Gary North.

It’s always a very dangerous thing to get yourself isolated from the truth about yourself, and the world you are living in. And it can happen to any of us. It’s happened to much of the West now, over a generation; maybe longer.

As young people, my parent’s generation had to deal with war. My mother was nearly 17 in England when the Second World War began, while my Australian father was nearly 21. During the London Blitz of 1940, Mum came in to work in London on a Monday, but her office had been destroyed by a bomb on the weekend. No work today thanks, dear.

Her brother Dick was killed, when his Wellington crash-landed returning from a bombing run into Germany. My father only survived the war through being able to ditch his shot-up, stricken Beaufighter in a Norwegian fjord in 1945, to be captured by the Germans.

They both experienced hard things in that time, and their generation expected little from government. But so much is different today, and there’s government money (courtesy of the taxpayer) for everything.

Henry Ford (who died in 1947) was no Christian, but after Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s, he understood something of where government was going. He said,

Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.

And that’s our problem. When we’ve heard the promises of governments, we’ve believed them. Despite the fact that the twentieth century (and the rest of human history) should have taught us much about the crass, self-centred, power-driven people who mostly inhabit the corridors of political power around the world, we’ve learned nothing, especially from the Bible, which teaches this:

Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear, is a wicked ruler over a poor people (Prov.28:14).

On the contrary, we’ve wanted to believe all the promises. We wanted to believe in the perfectibility of human nature, that science and medicine could solve our problems, and that political programs enacted by our political leaders really will be some kind of social panacea.

Bu this is the essential fact: when people depart from God, they inevitably choose political manipulators and liars to lead them. They choose people like themselves. Just as Jesus predicted, they say (in relation to Him):

We do not want this man to reign over us (Luke 19:14).

But all of life is founded on the notion that actions lead to consequences, and there are consequences to this kind of thinking. As William Penn (1644-1718) famously said,

Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.

I understand that the U.S. government today has unfunded liabilities of around $200 trillion. I can’t imagine what a trillion dollars is. I guess I don’t need to know, because it’s not going to be my problem. Well, not directly, anyway.

Sometime fairly soon, this debt issue will lead to a crisis, and the reputation of the U.S. government going down like a bag of potatoes, along with a lot of other governments. That will be stiff medicine for a trusting, foolish electorate that believed its government’s promises. Then, someone will be saying, “What went wrong?” Well, we attributed infallibility to fallible people, and this is where it’s gotten us; into a dark economic hole.

So, what’s the solution? Ludwig von Mises commented that

Whoever wants lastingly to establish good government must start by trying to persuade his fellow citizens and offering them sound ideologies…There is no hope left for a civilization when the masses favor harmful policies.[2]

The beliefs and ideologies that people hold to are very important, because they always lead to attitudes and behavior. When people expect much from government, it shows they have implicitly rejected a Biblical view of human nature, for the Bible repeatedly shows us that man is a fallen creature who cannot save himself. The Bible, along with history, show us he needs the only One Who can change human nature, the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Conclusion:

These two programs [Social Security and Government Medicine] are the Achilles’ heel of modern governments. These two programs, neither of which is amortized in any industrial nation, will prove to be the great unraveling of the modern welfare state. There will be a great default in these joint programs, and when it happens, the legitimacy of the modern welfare state will be called into question by tens of millions of the victims, who trusted the politicians’ promises, and who became dependent on these two massive wealth-transfer programs. Gary North, 2015.

 

 

 

[1] Gary North, (www.garynorth.com), “Married to a Medicare Recipient,” 26/3/2015

[2] Ludwig von Mises, “Omnipotent Government,” 1944, p.120.