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Archive for November 9th, 2016

Nov. 9, 2016

There’s a game that people like to play or scenario they like to imagine–you see it in movies–that somehow they could go back to 1932 in a time machine and stop Hitler.

Americans were just given a time machine. They went back. And they joined Hitler.

The things we do around the world–the business we do, the stocks we buy and sell, the loans we make and take, as well as the alliances we have built and sign up for–have worked according to a vast social pact, and a compromise and an understanding among peoples since the end of World War II. Those pacts were fragile. You shift one of them, you shift a lot of them. You screw up the valuation of one country’s bonds, and other countries’ bonds follow suit. You destroy faith in the Federal Reserve, it makes people lose faith in the currency.

The pacts we have made to make a society are fragile. The agreements we make with people around the world are fragile. The ways we deal with one another are fragile.

In a fit of pique, with everything to lose and very little to gain–and without even horrific conditions under which Germans lived in the 1920s–Americans in their narcissism and in the arrogance decided to tear those pacts and agreements up as if they were tissue paper.

The people who thought they were being heard finally are going to be those hurt most by this. In the immediate future, however, the most vulnerable among us–immigrants, people of color, transgender people–are going to feel personally threatened and insecure. Those immigrants are among the most productive members of our society, by the way. They are among the biggest launchers of start-up businesses. They pay taxes. They contribute to the consumer base. That’s another thing about the social pact we’ve just thrown away. We used superficial prejudices to feel better about not understanding the most profound things about our country, its economy and its culture.

You, the non-elite (for this is how you implicitly brand yourselves), have decided to get even with elites by giving them a tax break. You, the non-elite, have gotten even with the elite by giving them an overwhelming amount of power to ignore you.

And at last, you’ve been rewarded for not being curious: for ignoring history, economics, science. You had an outside force validate your know-nothingism for his own reasons. I understand. It gives you a short shot of self-esteem horribly lacking in your lives.

It will be short-lived. What’s wrong with you is going to continue to be wrong with you tomorrow. And other people will be harmed for no reason other than your wounded pride.

Good luck.

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