My dear Aunt Louise's husband of 52 years was dying.
The oncologist called her and one of her daughters into his office. Louise, the tests have come back. Fred has terminal bone cancer and has between two and three weeks to live. For the better part of the next half-hour, he showed her medical charts and explained what was happening and what to expect. When he had finished giving her the terrible news, he asked, Do you have any questions?
Louise said, Yes, how is his blood pressure? She had not heard anything he had said.
During the 1930s, Winston Churchill warned everyone who would listen about Germany's ever-expanding war machine. As he continued his Johnny one-note message, fewer and fewer folks tuned in. But, when war came, that tough old buzzard became prime minister and resolutely led his nation to victory.
Nobody enjoys hearing earth-shaking, terrible news. Nearly all of us live close to Egypt's most famous river: De Nile. And America's economy is not is serious trouble -- it is terminally ill. There is no one who can fix it. The national debt will never be paid.
President Barack Obama must lie about the economy. If he really laid it on the line, really told the truth, there would be coast-to-coast panic. One of the major reasons, and there are many, Obama also exalts our nonexistent economic recovery is that he's running for re-election. But he has little to worry about. As the economy gets worse, Democrat jobs become more secure.
Well, Republicans, especially those who really want to solve our untenable insolvency dilemma, would reduce spending. For millions of once proud Americans who are currently on the government dole, feeding the kids, paying the mortgage or rent, and keeping the heat on are paramount concerns.
Democrats get it. Keep the checks coming and the economy be damned. If checks keep arriving, you see, the recipient will vote Democrat. In fact, Dems really want more needy folks.
Republicans, on the other hand, have an interesting dilemma that cannot be solved. How do you reduce spending and not outrage Americans who are actually in great need? I'm not speaking of the majority of freeloaders who drink beer and enjoy watching porno movies all day. Some fellow citizens, and there will be more, are actually hurting badly.
Bill Clinton's and Newt Gingrich's NAFTA and GATT moved millions of American jobs overseas. They are not coming back until Americans are willing to work for fifty cents a day, without benefits. Then they may return, but it's highly unlikely.
Of course, it's all George W's fault. Our money will soon be worthless. Eventually, as Ron Paul told Ben Bernanke a few days ago, our experiment with fiat currency is going to crash and burn. Hyper-inflation is on the way. Do you want to see what hyper-inflation looks like? Go to Google images and put German, woman, money, and stove in your search engine.
You will see a German woman kneeling next to literally billions of marks about to enter her stove in order warm her home. Five years before that photo was taken, a German postage stamp cost 4 marks. Eventually, 1 million marks were required to simply mail a letter.
That is where America is headed. I expect those in charge will do their best to keep a lid on things until after our president's re-election, and then all hell will break loose.
The Fed cannot indiscriminately print money without repercussions. Again, no one wants to come to grips with that. That topic has never been examined during any Republican debate. When Ron Paul begins to bring the subject up, the Party's bigwigs have a solution: stop asking him questions.
What does the individual American do?
1) Plan on leaving the country.
2) Buy some gold and silver from a dealer that delivers the stuff. Hold whatever you buy in your hand, and then put it away.
Move away from Egypt, quit living by De Nile.
Walt Osterman is the author of Not Home Yet: A Tale Concerning Israel's Rebirth. He served in Vietnam and is a Bronze Star recipient. He lives in Wyoming.