There is a country whose debt is rising, its population aging and job security fading. The country’s youth, especially, wonder when, and if , their country can bounce back. Most of its citizens do not have the security of lifetime employment enjoyed by their parents and grandparents. Low birth rates combined with longer life expectancy are thinning out its working-age population at the same time the ranks of retirees are swelling. Ultimately, its taxpayers will shoulder the burden of surging costs for health insurance, elder care and pensions. Its leader has tried to jump-start the economy by injecting it with huge sums of money, leading to the devaluation of its currency. He has promised sweeping and drastic overhauls.
Most in this country feel less well off than before due to long-term declines in wages and purchasing power. About four in 10 residents work in part-time or contract jobs that afford little security or benefits. For the country’s youth, permanent, career-track jobs are the exception, not the rule. Its manufacturers struggle to compete with rivals like China. Some think the nation is in serious, irreversible decline. This sure sounds familiar. The nation I’m describing?
Japan. (Ironic, as back in their 1980’s economic heyday, everyone thought that Japan was going to own the world).
Obviously, this sounds like a carbon-copy description of the U.S., but the same is true with many countries in the European Union and elsewhere. The West needs the emergence of a strong, principled leader or leaders who understand that socialism has never been, cannot and never will be…the answer to these problems, as it caused them in the first place. (Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, we need you now).
Even this won’t be enough to save us, if the people don’t understand or will not support what has to be done. If many don’t stop demanding more of other’s money, and few are willing to sacrifice any of their pensions or entitlement benefits, we will never come out of this economic malaise. And, if we don’t fully utilize all our energy resources, and if we continue to let pathetic dictators dictate to us, we- and the world- will eventually slide back into another Dark Age.