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America: Don't Turn Your Back on Capitalism


Greatest nation on Earth must remember its own greatness.


Blame the Sumerians. That's right: I finally figured out who started all this and instead of saying we should all look in the mirror I'm going to begin to say: "Blame it on the Sumerians." I was helping my son with his homework last night when it dawned on me that these are the guys that opened "Pandora's Box."

Back then stuff was paid for "in kind", meaning that goods were traded for other goods but at some point the Sumerians got hip and said "Why we are always dragging sacks of wheat around to pay for the exchange of goods or services when we could take a clay tablet and record the purchase and offer a promissory note?" These notes were promises that must have meant something back in the day. Anyway, these notes became a form of currency traded for other goods and services and, as they say in sixth grade social studies, the rest is history.

Regarding the current crisis, I'm behind the eight ball because only a few folks are focused on the blame game anymore these days, like politicians worried about affixing blame. (Of course the only person that could genuinely say they didn't play a role in the current turmoil is someone that lived on Mars.)

Now the focus is on individual survival. We are in a period of insidious fear compounded by a layer of distrust that hangs in the air like smoke from a burning tire.

You know, we might not be too far off such a scene, actually, which would be reminiscing of mass protests in third-world countries under similar circumstances. When things go wrong in those places people pour into the street and take justice in their own hands. It's uncivilized but it's real.

Civility is being tested here at home but also on the global stage. When the world's largest economies meet next month it could be a dogfight and it will be a gathering aimed at seriously altering hearts and minds: There could be more than mental arm-twisting. History could be made.

I feel America is going to be pushed hard to abandon the free market system that took it to the top of the heap in a fraction of the time many European nations have graced the earth. America became great in part to that one element that played a role in the growth of Rome. Beyond military might, Rome had Civis Romanus, which made people want to be citizens under the prosperous and peaceful umbrella of the republic.

In my opinion, there will be a lame duck President with a country ready for change that means leveling not the playing field but the reward system. This scares me more than what's happening in the market.

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