Are we repeating known mistakes over and over? » …

Are we repeating known mistakes over and over?

» Orion > Orion Magazine > September: “In 2003, a new generation is repeating the mistakes of the ’20s. We have an administration that calls itself conservative, yet countenances with equanimity a rising tide of bankruptcies and unemployment, and a deficit of more than six trillion dollars. We are allowing our state and federal legislators to borrow against pension plans and Social Security funds as if tomorrow will never come.

This fiscal nonchalance shows how little we remember the Depression and its grim teaching: All parties sooner or later come to an end, as many who put their life savings into high-tech stocks have realized.

Our party, like the revels of the carefree summer of 1929, is ending, too. Grave troubles concerning the environment, health, security, food, and water have already begun to arrive. But the mother of them all is the dwindling global supply of cheap energy, upon which modern civilization and global commerce utterly depend. Here is a fundamental problem that will not go away. All of the oil in Iraq, all of the oil in the Caspian region, all of the oil in Russia, all of the oil that may be under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and all of the potential supplies that have yet to be discovered and developed anywhere will not be enough to meet the increasingly ravenous demand of industry, transportation, agribusiness, consumerism, and other modern sinkholes for cheap energy, even in the short term.”

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