The most critical topic of our age, despite what the mainstream media wants you to believe, is clearly the relationship between economics and morality. Only when observing and analyzing this relationship can the most pressing and weightiest issues of our time be understood in their proper context.
The United States of America is in the last stages of a terminal fatal disease known as moral collapse. With each new financial catastrophe we take one step closer toward the day when America devolves into a failed state. And in this case, it won't be a failed state like Somalia where everyone belongs to one ethnic group and a strong traditional culture thrives despite years of State hegemony. (In other words, the statist 'tradition' had taken very shallow root in Somalia.) In this polyglot, multi-ethnic, atomized culture that had long ago disposed of its traditional values and moral fabric to chase the gilded mannon that is something for nothing, the absence of the State - the last and most terrible fabric which holds us together - will bring nothing but chaos.
But let this not be an ode in support of the State. Hardly. (Anarchy, even chaotic anarchy, is far better than dictatorship.) Indeed, it is only because of the evil of the State and all its dark works that we have arrived at this point as a society. The State lulled us with the siren song of subsidy; provided massive incentives to spend our incomes and then some, as opposed to savings and investing which a truly moral people would be doing; devalued our currency and debasing our stores of wealth and value, thus favoring immediate gratification to an even greater extent....I could go on but this has been said countless times before by greater men than myself.
The culture has turned with the perversion of economic policy. To-day we see investors who have lost their shirts in the current implosion of this fiat money regime praise the gods on even the slightest hint of additional government intervention designed to "save" the financial markets (like there hasn't been enough already). People have been trained like pet seals to look to the government with awe and wonder, as the solver of all problems, as the bearer of all gifts and honours.
Witness the success of government schooling at work, folks.
I want to shake each and every one of these dumbasses and say to them, "You really think the greasy, slimy politicians in Washington are going to actually save the country - a bunch of the most corrupt, economically ignorant, immoral, rotten bastards that ever deigned to call themselves our masters? REALLY???"
The State has perverted morality for its own ends, plain and simple. And for that we are poorer, and now we stare into the yawning abyss of material desolation and starvation as the almighty Imperial State subsumes everything under the sun and appropriates everything it touches for its own purposes.
Once upon a time, when money was sound and the State played but a tiny role in people's lives, attitudes toward prosperity were far different. Money was precious; it held its value and could be trusted. People saved for the future and against the prospect of a worse tomorrow. Capital was freely available to invest and expand the economy. Titans of industry and were given free reign to innovate, create, and employ capital and labor to its highest and most productive ends.
The economy was based on production of goods, stores of value in their own right - what was traded was largely material goods, the product of the effort of labor and the employment of capital to add value to objects beyond the mere raw materials that comprised them. Society was geared around the production of items of value and the principle of an honest day's work. There were 'service' industries then, but they played a far smaller role in the economy than they do today.
There was a name for this system. It was called laissez faire. As a system employed in Europe and America, it led to unprecedented rises in living standards and quality of life, and made Western civilization triumphant and ascendant throughout the globe.
But in every age there are dark characters. The primitive beat of tom-toms seduces the most malevolent and evil of us. The worship of death, the desire to make a living off the wealth produced by the efforts of others, and the impulse for power have been constants throughout human history. It is the morality of savages. The complacency that often is a byproduct of golden ages is a key opportunity for primitivists to seize the moment, to sell the false counterfeit prosperity of something for nothing - a "prosperity" that, as many thinkers found, can only be "managed" by the State.
Western civilization died in 1914. That was the year in which the primitivists became ascendant. Their dark works actually commenced in 1913 with the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the personal income tax in the United States. The first of the modern primitivists to occupy our Presidency was the disHonorable Thomas Woodrow Wilson (though his immediate predecessors, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, were also primitivists, but of a more antiquated stripe).
The primitivists were, and are, for the most part comprised of the nation's most powerful and well-connected individuals and those institutions which house them: the Federal government, Wall Street investment firms (witness "Hank" Paulson's [dat's a name out of an Ayn Rand novel there] jittery leaping to save his hi-finanz buddies), top placed executives of the nation's most powerful companies, elite (read Ivy League) academics, the Federal Reserve, various power playas in Washington, and other nefarious miscellaneous elements. In concert with their counterparts in other countries, they strive to achieve their hard won goal of a unitary OneWorld, a world dominated by the total State, in which the subsidy pit will be so deep and endless that the gravy train orgy can be sustained for a thousand years.
No remorse here that in their efforts, they are tearing down and draining the wealth built by preceding generations, evaporating the proverbial savings account to finance their lives of high wealth, high ease, and high privilege. Working - the task of actual wealth generation - is for "little people" - heaven help us if the dickhead class would actually have to lift a finger of effort to sustain themselves! Their message to you is to shut up and pay your taxes (or they'll otherwise kill you - they care nothing about the individual unless that person happens to be "one of them").
Intellectual, moral, and financial bankruptcy is the only end result that this profligacy can produce. A society which produces nothing, which spends every dime earned, which consumes the seed corn year after year, has no future and is doomed. There is no other way to put it. Doomed, doomed, doomed.
When all is consumed, when the very last scrap has been mooched and the bill comes due, what say the politicians then? By that point, presumably they will have fled to their smuggled stashes in some distant part, to leave the remainder of us to face inevitable starvation.
To better understand the crisis of our age, I suggest that you read the full library of the writings of Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, et al. But if economics texts are over your head, I suggest that you read Atlas Shrugged. It is a long tome, but quite worth it. Atlas Shrugged is prophecy. I did not understand that when I first read the book, but now it is clear that Ayn Rand was a prophet. (Actually, she merely understood exactly what would happen when society reached the stage of socialism. In her own words, the events of Atlas Shrugged take place when this country has achieved full socialism.) That volume is perhaps the ultimate word on the topic of economics and morality.