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Bacevich: let’s get our affairs in order

Maybe I’m a conservative, after all, because I was listening to Andrew Bacevich earlier today and nodding. Bacevich is a real conservative, not a neocon, and I’m thinking he’s got the right message … I was pretty excited by all he had to say:

  • The U.S. has become in empire of consumption, not production.
  • We assume that business must be built on credit, and not on productivity.
  • Americans (and others) are participating in a de facto Ponzi scheme, borrowing with the underlying assumption that the bills will never come due.
  • No one in politics seems to offer a politically plausible solution.
  • Trade imbalances are larger each year. Jimmy Carter was the one president who recognized the challenges awaiting if we refuse to get our house in order &ndash check out his “malaise” speech.
  • Freedom does not equal, or depend on, materialism. Quite the contrary.
  • We might have to modify what may be peripheral to preserver the core of the American way of life. Focus on the way we live and order our affairs.
  • At our best, we have focused on community, harmony, and the future. That last is important: we now think too little of the extent to which we put our children and grandchildren at risk as we squander our resources, which is the same as squandering our freedom.
  • We’re using military power to conceal the real implications of U.S. profligacy. Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, and Bush 2 all assumed that power can “fix the world” to sustain our dysfunctional system.
  • We have created an imperial presidency, and congress no longer articulates a visoin of the common good.
  • The National Security State build around the president doesn’t work – it didn’t predict 9/11 or plan effectively for the war in Iraq.
  • No one in Washington DC knows what they’re doing.

At least, that’s what I thought I heard him say… and I’m ready to work on solutions. My business partner, David Armistead, and I are already working on something that might be helpful.

Check out the Bacevich interview on Bill Moyers’ Journal.

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