Some people told our leaders Osama was out to get them, but they just didn't get it. They ignored warnings. Leaders of the “intelligence” establishment who are paid to be professionally paranoid were fat, dumb, and asleep at the switch.
We can believe that, or we can believe there was a widespread conspiracy in the military-industrial complex to create an incident to avoid having to pay the peace dividend that the public was expecting after the end of the cold war. We can also believe a lot of other things if we like.
I avoid believing anything if at all possible. It saves a lot of problems. I am especially cautious about believing anything said by a government official.
Most everyone believes the government ignored a lot of warnings. They should have been paying more attention. Personally, I think most members of federal “intelligence” agencies were more interested in seizing cash, drugs and property from the drug trade than anything else.
Naturally, the commission didn't explore ways not to make everyone in the world mad at us. We would have to give up our imperial privileges to do that, and none of these establishment figures is ready to give up such a great source of income and political power. But for those of us who aren't benefiting from the empire, it wouldn't be hard at all. We aren't benefiting, but we are paying. Empires don't make a profit. Like any other criminal enterprise, they always go broke. Empire is a negative sum game for most of us but, extremely profitable for some.
There are even some of us who wouldn't want to participate in imperial wars for profit because we think it is morally wrong, regardless of the economic consequences. We don't need the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on poverty, the Afghan war, or the War in Iraq. We just want to get along.
Crime really doesn't pay whether it is holding up the local 7-11 or war crimes committed by the World's Greatest Superpower.
Today our elites are also ignoring a lot of warning signs about the imminent collapse of the dollar. We have added so many zeros to our many types of debt that our eyes glaze over even at the thought, so we ignore the subject. Currently China and Japan and others are bailing us out, but many experts think that these economies will soon be having their own troubles, and will no longer be able to carry our load.
Taxes are high and going up. The government lowers the percentages of the progressive tax rates, but inflates the currency, so that everyone gets into a higher bracket, and the tax rates actually go up. The government also tries to hide this racket by fudging the inflation statistics.
The underground economy and the government's black budget are expanding. This expansion amounts to an increase in the “black tax” every American pays to support these rackets. When the government seizes the assets of a “drug kingpin”, a “racketeer”, or a “terrorist”, it is, economically speaking, a tax. Just as it is a tax when a government official accepts a bribe or when a citizen pays a traffic ticket, child support, or a license fee, or spends all day and lots of money looking for drugs that would be really cheap in a true free market. We have little idea of the size of this black tax. It's probably a lot bigger than most people think. That is if most people are aware of the black tax at all.
We do know that governments admit to getting up to 50% of our incomes, but what we don't know is how much they get by drug racketeering, extortion from foreign economies, from inflating the currency, and from other criminal government enterprises we don't know about.
All Americans pay for damage done by poorly made illegal drugs. Without the drug war all drugs could be manufactured openly and safely. There could be research on how to give people the effects they wanted from drugs with minimum side effects. We pay for the negative health effects of home brew crank. We pay in taxes, and we pay in insurance premiums. If we don't have medical insurance, we pay directly in medical bills because the doctors will charge those who do pay to cover the cost of servicing those who don't.
Possibly the real tax take is as much as 80%. Whatever the real numbers are, the situation is not sustainable. Something has to give. The few left actually doing honest work are getting really tired. Some just stop working, others join the criminal majority in some criminal enterprise. Then they stop being part of the solution and become part of the problem.
Can we look forward to an “Economic Collapse Commission”? Will they say, “We weren't paying attention, but it wasn't our fault. That's just the way the system works”?