Kicking the Can Down the Road
Documenting the Driving Philosophy of our Country
I believe that future historians will look back at this time in American history and call it the Period of Kicking The Can Down The Road. Kicking The Can Down The Road is a two part philosophy:
1. Ignore and put off discovering and investigating difficult confrontational issues that have the possibility of showing something isnít working.
2. After these issues can no longer be ignored or remain hidden, put off for tomorrow the hard choices that we know should be made today to solve these issues.
In other words, pretend and extend. This is a cousin to the philosophy of style over substance, a brother to the idea that people canít handle the truth, and a sister to the notion that the role of leadership is to exude confidence so as to impart this on the governed at the expense of hard truths and difficult decisions. This is the grandson of bread and circuses. Kicking The Can Down The Road is at the heart of all Ponzi schemes, on both sides of the trade. Kicking The Can Down The Road is when you are told, there is nothing to see here so just move along. Kicking The Can Down The Road is see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. And in the immortal words of Shultzy from Hogan's Heroes, "I know nothingĖNOTHING!" who also used to say, "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" Who knew that so many of our leaders today would trace their beliefs on leadership to such a TV show character.
At the heart of Kicking the Can Down the Road is F-E-A-R. While the mechanism of kicking the can down the road may be extend and pretend, the foundation is fear. It is the fear of the unknown, the fear of the possible, the fear of the potential that causes us to continually turn to kicking the can down the road. This allows us to prolong what we are used to as long as possible without having to take on, much less overcome our fears. Since we have become a nation whose guiding principle is Kicking the Can Down the Road, we are a country which is guided by fear. We kick the can down the road because we fear what our economy is doing, what our enemies are doing, what is happening to our lives and the world around us.
Kicking Down the Road philosophy also dictates that the problems and solutions are presented in two obvious and simple choices. A maximum of two choices, that is very important. Why? Because limiting the choices to two makes framing one's FEARS much easier. It also makes framing solutions to those FEARS much easier as well. For instance, in keeping with Kicking the Can Down the Road philosophy we either give the banks Trillions OR we do nothing. There is no other option presented to us. Remember Secretary of the Treasury Paulson came to our Congress and the American people with a one page "Give me (so I can give to the banks) what I want, no strings attached or else everything collapses and we go back to living in the Stone Age" piece of paper. Remember, you are either with us or you are with the terrorists. Choices are always in two, never more than two.
What about me? I am insignificant. I know there is a fine line between truth and fiction, faith and delusion. I am no truthsayer other than I give my opinion on the truth while knowing that truth and opinions are entirely different species. I always remember that Cassandra was rightÖthe Trojans died, their giant walls overcome, their women and children turned into slaves but that she too ultimately fell victim to the same tragedy. And finally accepted and welcomed the end and found comfort in it.
The purpose of this website is to document simply the reasons I feel the United States of America is in decline and how it feels for a common person to live in such times. Each day, Iíll present a single headline item that I feel exemplifies the philosophy that drives our country, Kicking The Can Down The Road. These will all be major news items that are familiar to anyone who reads the news (both mainstream and financial), nothing obscure. I'll then add some comments that show my feelings. Some of the headlines might be older than the posting date but that's only because, well, I get busy and have to catch up on the news at times. I'll mention that if it werenít for the Great Recession and the path taken by our government in dealing with this issue, I canít imagine that this website would have ever come into existence. Others have commented on this event and still others will comment on it far better than I ever could. Rather, I feel that if I patiently record one item every day, the power of the facts presented over time should be clear enough. Please follow links at the top or the top right of the page to go to specific periods of time. The first entry is 3/30/11. We'll see how long it lasts.
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