Saturday, September 10, 2011

"America America: Get Ready for Armageddon" -- A book review from the Washington Times

Bemoaning decline in a different time, George Orwell once said we “have sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” Happily for readers interested in the state of the nation, Mark Steyn has reported for duty.

As in his previous outing “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It,” in “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” Mr. Steyn has written a very serious book. Throughout, he braces readers with quite a lot that should be obvious, yet is overlooked by many who willfully avert their gaze. He advises us at the outset that “America Alone” was “about the impending collapse of all of the Western world except America.” In “After America,” he laments having to report that America “has decided to sign up for the same program but supersized.” And he hopes that Americans will rediscover their historic strengths, seize the throttle and pull their country out of its current tailspin.

Given that the downgrading of America’s credit score by Standard & Poor’s roughly coincided with the launch of this book, it’s amusing (but hardly surprising) that the prologue is titled “The Stupidity of Broke.” Upfront we are introduced to a raft of unhappy information about our nation’s unsustainable spending and borrowing habits. Soon our interest payments on the national debt will exceed what we spend on defense, and by the way, those same payments will fund the entire military (somehow I don’t think “defense” is the right adjective) budget of the People’s Republic of China. With characteristic understatement (well, not really) Mr. Steyn observes that when “the Commies take Taiwan, suburban families in Albuquerque and small businesses in Pocatello will have paid for it.” more