While searching for information about retirement in America, I was not at all surprised to find the situation was equally as desperate as the circumstances in which we find our economic system. How could it be otherwise?
With our total consent, if not encouragement, we have allowed Washington to lead us around by the nose, squander our wealth, endanger our security, feed the Deep State, and teach America to lie and believe a lie as easily as we breathe. In discussing the situation, I have asked any number of bankers and civic leaders around the country why we ever allowed ourselves, the richest country in the world, to be drawn into the position we are in.
Without fail, the reply has always been that our leaders are afraid if they tell the truth, they won't be re-elected. They are right, too. Wait until they see what happens when that fatal spark comes that sets the world aflame. Why, they will no doubt just kill the messenger! You can't have some idiot running around telling the truth when emotions are in charge.
It gives me no pleasure to tell you the truth while almost every talking head on TV and our elected leaders are saying otherwise, but when the gold support was removed from the American dollar, it spelled doom for democracy and the American dream. Democracy involves disagreement, and when disagreement becomes polarization, democracy falters and seeks a dictator, because everybody loves a dictator who will make those other guys shape up and do what you want them to do or think.
It reminds me of a story I once read in Reader's Digest, which explained how hunters were able to slaughter the huge herds of buffalo that once roamed across the U.S. The hunters could sit on a hill overlooking the herd, and one by one pick off the entire herd. The boom of the high-powered guns sounded like thunder, and as long as no other buffalo started running, the hunter could drop each animal with one shot and shoot all day. There always has to be someone to set off the alarm or the herd perishes.
Having said all that, let's look at some of the facts as I understand them. First, the country is living on counterfeit dollars. Do you want to start a war in the Middle East? Well, praise the Lord and print the dollars. Do you want to feed the Deep State? Print the dollars and pass them around in the military-industrial complex President Eisenhower whined about.
Well, hold on now. Maybe I'm exaggerating. America is the greatest country in the world. We're exceptional. We're going to be great again (as though we couldn't already bully the entire world with a military budget that dwarfs the war budgets of the next eight or 10 nations). What difference does it make that a third of Americans have about a $1,000 saved for retirement? That'll take them through next Monday, and the printing press is already running – for the rich guys. In fact, the printing presses are running so smoothly that thousands of college graduates are still living with their parents.
Seventy-three percent of our workers want to work until age 65, but 47 percent of current retirees were forced into early retirement. I cannot believe some of the numbers I am seeing in financial newsletters published by highly respected economists. Even under the best projections, the numbers should make your hair stand on end. I'll say no more. I certainly wouldn't want to scare anybody.
Fred Gibson, of Tahlequah, is a retired educator with an ongoing interest in U.S. and world politics.