According to Clarey, the answer is yes. This is the point where you, gentle reader, should consider removing any sharp objects within your reach.
The author asks why Clarey recommends we lie back, think of Norman Rockwell, and let the wave of Doom wash over us?
“What else are they supposed to do?” He asks. “If they try to stop it, they’ll waste their lives on a problem that cannot be fixed. Instead I’m much more practical. I recommend people take inventory of their lives and find out how to benefit the most from it, regardless of what’s happening in the public sector.”
OK, that's advice, but not necessarily what I wanted to hear. Certainly, What Has Been Done can be Undone? Right?
Oh, it's not just economics?
Beyond economics, Clarey claims that “Kim Kardashian and the fact rap is more popular than jazz” lead him to believe American social values are crumbling.
I have no particular animus towards either KK nor rap. I prefer art with a bit of substance and celebrities with some depth and I find neither in those examples. We've already seen people famous merely for being famous before. And popular music has always been more about marketing than talent (I'm looking at you, Bay City Rollers).
So how did we arrive at this sorry state?
“The Baby Boomer Generation. Without a doubt. When you go from Frank Sinatra to Jim Morrison in 8 years, that’s not a slow transition from musical tastes of society, that is an immediate change purposely forced by a generation determined to ignore wisdom, taste, culture and value just for the sake of doing so.
“But music is only one aspect. Fashion turned hideous, divorce became an Olympic event, the idea of outsourcing your children to daycare became standard, nearly every aspect of work, effort, and ethic was thrown out the door and every non-economic aspect of society shows it.”
Purposely forced upon us, you say? Do you mean by, oh, an enemy who wished to defeat us without firing a shot? Like the old Soviets of the 1960's?
Gain control of key positions in radio, T.V., and motion pictures.
Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.
Break down culture standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and T.V.
Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."
So, this wasn't a normal progression of American society, Mr. Clarey? Tell me more.
“People, going back to FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and more recently the Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y Generations actually believe they don’t have to work,” he explains. "The concept of Keynesian economics where we just “shuffle money around and POOF” economic growth occurs, not to mention it’s MAINSTREAM economics is proof as to just how stupid, naive, and gullible the average American is.
Ahh, Free Market Economics. I can almost remember what that was. That was the arcane idea that innovation, quality, and merit were to be rewarded. A rising tide raises all ships.
Surely our state of affairs can be reversed. But how?
“Eliminate all income taxes and replace it with a single sales tax at state, federal and local levels and make a constitutional amendment limiting the total amount to less than 20% GDP,” he states. “This would assure productive people and businesses their labor would not be confiscated as well as send a signal to the parasitic classes that they will have to work.”
Oh, I get it now: bad governmental policy lies at the root of our problems. Who could've guessed that a bunch of politicians with little to no experience in the private sector crafting ill-thought-out laws could have such a negative effect on everyone's life?
Gosh, it would be nice if we could somehow reacquaint our society with positive values once more. Even nicer would be to gain some control over our government again so we could look forward to a better tomorrow for ourselves and our families and have our elected representatives do the most good for the most people. More freedom, not less.
I'm with Aaron Clarey: I just don't see this happening.
Pardon me while I draw a warm bath. Now where did I put that razor blade...