Just at the time that modern humans are given unprecedented technological tools for free expression and for empowering our creative imaginations, governments are rapidly shutting down the avenues of opportunity and freedom of economic action we will need in the near future.
Anyone can now publish books and journals, record music, create sophisticated feature-length videos, run his own TV network, operate an online university — and market them all to large markets using very little capital. Until recently these industries were protected by the high cost of entry, limiting large-scale public communication to just a few viewpoints.
… what really broke the left’s control over media was the Internet. Before its advent, one needed a large investment in a printing press or a broadcast tower to engage a mass audience; afterward, all one needed was a few hundred dollars for a basic computer and Internet service. The web shattered barriers to entry and, suddenly, pent up demand for information free of non-progressive bias met an onrush of supply.
The left began its stranglehold over the knowledge industry with patronage under the New Deal [1930s], and from that time to the present we have seen government spending balloon from around 10% of GDP to 40%, and the amount the government spends on transfer payments has gone from 30% of the budget to around 66%. _Federalist
The graphic below shows how government policies are shutting down the paths of future opportunity, by destroying economic vitality.
In their recently released annual Economic and Budget Outlook (PDF) CBO lays out the four costs of higher debt (page 7).
“Federal spending on interest payments will increase substantially as interest rates rise to more typical levels;”
“Because federal borrowing generally reduces national saving, the capital stock and wages will be smaller than if debt was lower;”
“Lawmakers would have less flexibility … to respond to unanticipated challenges;”
“A large debt poses a greater risk of precipitating a fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose so much confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget that the government would be unable to borrow at affordable rates.”
… Government debt is twice as large a share of the economy as it was before the financial crisis. In addition to increasing the risk of another catastrophic financial crisis, high government debt squeezes out other functions of government, creates pressure for higher taxes, leaves policymakers less able to respond to future recessions, wars, and terrorist attacks, and lowers future wage growth. This problem will only increase as entitlement spending growth kicks into high gear a few years from now, but simply stabilizing debt/GDP in the mid 70s is an insufficient goal.
The level of government debt under Obama is more than high enough to “create its own weather.” Even a very small upward shift in interest rates can have catastrophic effects on any economy that depends upon such a massively indebted government. A careful analysis of this massive runup of dept will show that large-scale corruption and nepotism has been at the root of it.
These issues are too large and too abstract to draw the attention of mass minds, who are conditioned to focus on trivialities. Which means that people inside governments that pull such shenanigans which put their citizens’ futures at risk, will most likely get away with it. They will walk away from the disaster with the booty, and with clean hands — as far as the public is able to determine.
Can this debacle — this destruction of our futures and our children’s futures — be stopped? Can the guilty parties be punished? Not likely. Who is even trying to reverse government corruption and nepotism? Almost no one. Rather, most people just want to get in on the action.
And that is why a choking off of opportunity and a widespread impoverishment of freedom of action appears inevitable. And it is why the development of broad-based competencies and skills in our children is so crucial.
It is possible that certain technological developments will reverse much of this decline into irreversible debt expansion — even under current forms of government. But since modern governments are working overtime to shut down private economic opportunity, such disruptive technological developments become less likely. They need to happen soon.
A much better chance for avoiding the economic debacle of debt and demographics, is for modern humans to learn how to disengage from their hopeless entanglement with government. Learn to do the things for yourself which governments claim to do for you.
If technologies are developed which help humans become more independent from corrupt, piratical, and tyrannical governments, modern humans stand a much better chance of creating a prosperous and open-ended future.