Watching this play out in Russia or China makes for grim theater, but it’s also playing out in the European Union, which is dealing with its own dieback by the usual methods of centralizing power and covering up the economic implosion with more fraud. Those are the preliminaries to a much uglier meltdown once the dieback properly kicks in and people start demanding to know why there’s no money and why their pensions are worthless.
America, being a backward country that was too slow in hopping on the bandwagon, isn’t hitting the worst of it yet. Despite the best efforts of a Canadian leftist magazine and some wannabe hippies, there aren’t any daily riots in the streets, and, for now, there’s enough fake money to cover the other fake money with which everyone is doing business.
The American economy is diversified enough that it can struggle on even when its financial sector is a disaster because its old growth plan was all about lending money to people who couldn’t afford to buy houses and wouldn’t be able to repay the loans, and its new growth plan is to lend money to people who can’t afford college educations and won’t be able to find jobs to repay the college loans, Its lower reliance on bribes means that Americans won’t be confronted with civil servants demanding twice as much bribe money. In a centralized system that’s what higher taxes are for.
But the dieback is still going to kick in. Our government mafia is one of the biggest in the world and getting bigger because there’s still money in the pot to finance new projects building underwater windmills in Ghana and solar food for Pakistan, but mostly office buildings everywhere, but the squeeze is already on in Rhode Island and California. And there’s only so much debt that can be assumed when the entire system is already built on debt.
A government that is incapable of controlling its consumption cannot stop gorging even when it becomes clear that it has outgrown the economy and that its food supply is endangered. Instead it speeds up its consumption, grabbing as much as it can, and through that course of gluttony triggers the very crisis that shows it to the door.