Brazil's finance minister, Guido Mantega, offered sharp words in a thinly veiled attack on the United States. 'Ironically, some of the countries that are responsible for the deepest crisis since the Great Depression, and have yet to solve their own problems, are eager to prescribe codes of conduct to the rest of the world,' he said.As Eric S. Raymond observed in mid-March politics as usual is over:
The Group of 20 countries agreed on Friday to a plan that could put more pressure on the United States to fix its deficits as well as push other leading economies to address their own shortcomings.
The political system I have been criticizing all my adult life is fast approaching the point of “no choices left”. And not just in the U.S., either; the same problems of political overcommitment and structural insolvency are playing out in advanced nations all over the planet.Regardless of this reality, the American Left still doesn't get it. That's why we're being lectured by Brazilian leftists. It's also why Wisconsin unions continue to harangue Tea Partiers. They just don't understand that the sun is setting on big, expansive governments. Eric Raymond gets this and perfectly sums up our present reality:
Politics as we know it has had a structural problem for a long time; the self-destructive interest-group scramble that Mancur Olson identified in The Logic of Collective Action continually makes parasitic demands beyond the capacity of the underlying economy to supply, and the difference has to be papered over by massive government borrowing.
This is all very well until, as Margaret Thatcher put it about socialism, “you run out of other peoples’ money.” The system is reaching that point now. Bond investors are figuring out that the debt load has become impossible and are increasingly refusing to either purchase new debt or roll over existing paper.
Insolvency is no longer a sporadic problem, it’s become pervasive at all levels of government everywhere. This is why the recent brouhaha [union protests] in Wisconsin was so surreal. The public-employee unions weren’t just rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic, they were fighting to preserve their right to bore more holes in the hull.