Sunday, September 22, 2013

The US as a banana republic

President Obama gave a speech recently in which he declared that the United States was not a banana republic. For once, I can agree with him, but only on the technicality that banana republics aren't usually able to print the world's reserve currency ad infinitum. I'm with the inimitable Mark Steyn in thinking that this fact means that we're well on our way to becoming something worse.
“Banana republic” is an American coinage — by O. Henry, a century ago, for a series of stories set in the fictional tropical polity of Anchuria. But a banana republic doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a sensibility, and it’s difficult to mark the precise point at which a free society decays into something less respectable. Pace Obama, ever swelling debt, contracts for cronies, a self-enriching bureaucracy, a shrinking middle class preyed on by corrupt tax collectors, and thuggish threats against anyone who disagrees with you put you pretty far down the banana-strewn path.
In related news, our Hunger Games economy is forming according to plan, and you'll be arrested if you question what they want to teach your children.