Dave Hall sent us a Christmas card with a note quoting the old Chinese curse (not a blessing), “May you live in interesting times.” He then commented that it is almost a full-time job to keep up with the daily topics of global warming, overpopulation, health care, etc.
I absolutely agree, but at my age, I look on our country’s problems with a growing detachment. True, this is somewhat irresponsible, but I feel in any democracy, government policies should be decided by those who will have to live under them, and they are the younger generations, not mine. I cannot see how they will pay even the interest on the national debt, much less any of the principle, and we know how debt balloons when you have to borrow more to pay the interest. This doesn’t even include the more urgent financial problems that plagues the states. But, if that’s what they want, let them have it. It’s their problem. (See posting of September 14.)
I suspect there is a fatal flaw in a democracy. People are all for rugged individualism and a free enterprise capitalist system when the money is easy, but when times get tough everyone cries for the government to fix the problem, and there are plenty of politicians at the ready who will jump up and promise just that. The trouble is, every fix has consequences that are easy to ignore and often impossible to reverse. Eventually, the piper has to be paid, and all the politician needs to do is postpone that unfortunate inconvenience until the end of his term when someone new will promise to fix it. And so, the snowball continues rolling down the hill, getting bigger all the time.
Years ago, I would have been infuriated at today’s events, but aging brings peace. Whatever they decide will have little effect on me. I still carefully follow the events, but with the goal of profiting from them. Even total financial disasters present opportunities. With the experience of age, these are not hard to see.
Dave Hall’s career was as an architect specializing in designing jails. Now, there is a perfect example of a growing opportunity. Already 1 in 100 of our population is incarcerated. Soon, half of our country will be in jail and the other half will be guarding them. If history remembers any of our classmates as pioneers ahead of their time, I would bet on Dave.