Leadership or Lack Thereof
There was a fascinating article in the Washington Post this weekend by a vet & a Penn State grad on the scandal of Jerry Sandusky and the general failure of American leadership. Thomas Day writes about how our leaders have, for the last decade, consistently told Americans they can have the good life without making any sacrifices and without having to invest in any kind of collective responsibility. The end result is an elite that’s only looking out for itself and taking advantage of the prerogatives of power at every available opportunity. I do suppose that every generation feels this way.
I would note that while “America as Greece” parallels are usually quite stupid, this is one way in which they ring true. Like the Greeks, Americans have been told that they can have the good life without paying taxes. Like the Greeks, America’s elites have loosened governmental oversight over their businesses and their personal finances, and have used the opportunity to shield themselves from taxes or accountability for their various financial shenanigans.* Like the Greeks, profligacy and an unwillingness to pay for government have created a deep hole for the next generation to climb out of. At least unlike the Greeks, it is still eminently possible for America to do so.
*: This word is fun to use.