Watching the news is a bit like watching a bad opera. You can tell from all the shrieking that something very important is supposed to be happening, but you don’t quite know what it is. What you’re missing is the plot.
Let us begin by noticing that this is a comic opera that seems as though it might veer into tragedy at any moment. The characters on stage are familiar to us—consumers, economists, politicians, investors, and businessmen. They are the same hustlers, clowns, rubes, and dumbbells that we always see before us. But in today’s performance they are doing something extraordinary, they are the richest people on the planet, but they have come to rely on the savings of the world’s poorest people just to pay their bills. They routinely spend more than they make—and think they can continue doing so indefinitely. They go deeper and deeper in debt, believing they will never have to settle up. They buy houses and then mortgage them out—room by room, until they have almost nothing left. They invade foreign countries in the belief that they are spreading freedom and democracy, and depend on lending from Communist China to pay for it.
The United States Constitution is almost exactly the same document with exactly the same words it had when it was written, but the words that used to bind and chaff have been turned into soft elastic. The government that couldn’t tax, couldn’t spend, and couldn’t regulate, can now do anything it wants. The executive has all the power he needs to do practically anything. Congress goes along, like a simpleminded stooge, insisting only that the spoils be spread around. The whole process works so well that a member of Congress has to be found in bed “with a live boy or a dead girl” before he risks losing public office.
This is a book that will challenge your beliefs. And.... that's a good thing.
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