Sultan Knish on Mirrors

Go read it all.

One of my favorite bits:

Empires need resources. Wise empires expand their trade routes and tax their own people lightly. Ideological empires crack open the piggy bank and try to pay it back by nationalizing everything, including the debt and trying to work the people twice as hard to pay it all back. Obama cracked open the piggy bank, hammered it so hard that there are still shards from here to Shanghai. And it all still has to be paid for, one way or another. You can blame the kulaks or the rich or the sparrows, but it still has to be paid back. The great shovel ready infrastructure projects have gone nowhere. The bailouts meant payday for the oligarchy and franks and beans for everyone else.

Where China and Russia figured out that if you’re going to have an oligarchy skimming from the top and a vast bureaucracy beneath as their base of power, then you need a booming economy. Russia harnessed its energy exports. China its slave labor. America exports debt. The debt of countless homeowners was sold abroad. The debt of future generations is being sold overseas right now. And that’s slavery and serfdom. A less wise serfdom than the Chinese model. If the Chinese are expected to be slaves now in order to reap the benefits later, Americans enjoy the benefits now in order to be slaves later. It’s the ant and the grasshopper and it can only end badly.

So, what now?

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