02-end-is-near-vert-largeHere’s an uplifting text conversation I had with my sister earlier today.

Sister: What do you think about the doomsday talk about what would happen if we default on our debt?

Me: Absolutely 100% chance that our economy and the entire global economy would collapse in a way not seen since the Great Depression.  The exact magnitude is impossible to gauge but you can be assured that it would be catastrophic.

Here are some examples of things that would happen:  Countries would yank their money out of treasury bonds (where most countries stash a lot of their money); the stock market would crash to a degree far beyond 2008; all of the credit rating agencies would downgrade their assessment of the stability of our debt; inflation would skyrocket; tens of millions of people would be thrown out of their jobs; credit markets would seize; home mortgage rates would shoot up; property values would plummet; consumers would stop spending; banks would curtail lending (and even find themselves unable to borrow money); some supposedly too-big-to-fail banks would indeed fail and/or get bailed out; federal and state government tax revenue would tank; and a cornucopia of government services would be crippled, leading to more numerous and prolonged disease outbreaks (CDC), compromised national security (CIA), plummeting food and drug quality (FDA), millions of poor children left with no desperately-needed pre-school or child care (Head Start); our ailing higher education system would be pummeled, which is already struggling to produce enough engineers, scientists, etc. (Dept of Education).

And so on.  Tens of trillions of dollars in value would be lost and it would take a decade or more to climb out of the chasm.

Sister: Wow. Longest text ever. Likelihood?

Me: Likelihood of republicans shooting the hostage?

Sister: Yes.

Me: I would like to say very low because of how catastrophic it would be, but because so many republicans have become certifiably insane — and they truly do think that Obama is worse than Hitler — then my assessment of the risk of catastrophe could not be anything less than moderate.  After all, if you were fighting against Hitler, what terrible things would you not do to defeat Hitler?

I am appalled at what our country has become.

It is one thing to disagree with the President on his policies. It is quite another to irrationally hate him and go so far as to consider him evil, a destroyer of our country, and patently illegitimate to occupy the office.  It is nihilism and moral relativism taken to the extreme.  Like they say, all’s is fair in love and war against pure evil, right?

This is the same kind of irrational, unthinking, fundamentalist mindset that gave supposedly loving Christians license to slaughter millions in the Inquisition and the Crusades. After all, killing a neighbor is generally a pretty nasty sin… Unless of course he’s a witch possessed by Satan or an infidel trying to keep you out of holy Jerusalem.

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