Americans still cling to the belief that father knows best even though their gut keeps shouting “Get out before it all comes crashing down around you!” Posted by James Randolph on September 19, 2011
If you are looking for a savior, stand in front of a mirror.
September 19, 2011 – Now that the 9/11 hubbub has died down, I would like to pass along a minor event that struck me as very odd that day and that I believe is strikingly relevant today. Shortly after the first tower had been hit some nervous people called security asking if they should leave the building. They were told to stay put, and they did.
I couldn’t understand why presumably rational adults would feel it necessary to get permission before taking themselves away from what they clearly sensed was a troublesome situation. How long would it have taken to go outside to see for themselves if it was safe to return? And having failed to secure permission, wouldn’t it have been prudent to at least send an emissary down to confirm your safety? Why would they risk their lives on the opinion of someone who most likely was not equipped to assess the risk of what had certainly been an extraordinarily unusual event?
I have brought this up many times in conversation and the typical response is, “It may not always work out in the best possible way, but we need authority to prevent chaos. And we have to trust authority to know what is best for us.” No, we do not. We should not. We dare not.
That’s how we got to where we are right now. We listened to authority, and we trusted it. But the problem is not with authority, per se. The danger lies in the assumption that the mere act of being in power somehow bestows one with special knowledge and wisdom.
For the past 40 years we blindly followed our economic sages to the point where it now takes four bucks of debt to produce one buck’s worth of growth. Yet the powers that be insist that leveraging debt even more is the appropriate action to take.
Americans still cling to the belief that father knows best even though their gut keeps shouting “Get out before it all comes crashing down around you!” But just as it was on that blackest of days, an irreversible chain of events has already been set in motion. All of the well intentioned efforts of the most brave and honorable men cannot prevent the inevitable.
Yet once again we’re on the edge of our seats in breathless anticipation of encouraging words from the bearded oracle. But to paraphrase an old saw, if what he says seems too nuts to be true – it probably is.
Senior Staff Writer – Certified Gold Exchange