The Arrogance of America*

by Joe Goodson
Mirror, mirror, on the wall: who's the most arrogant nation of all?

Is it that country where everybody thinks they own the world because
they have "perpetual" economic prosperity? Is it that place where
people think war is just a cool video game on TV, dropping bombs on
innocent civilians in an effort to "rid the world of evil-doers"? Is it
that enchanted land where "deficits don't matter," where anyone with a
pulse can buy a big fancy house and two brand-new Lexus SUV's with cheap
credit, and call himself "rich" because of it?

Yeah . . . you guessed it, ladies and gentlemen. That's America the
Beautiful: the Unsinkable Titanic and Invincible Mario of the world.
It's the nation where the pungent stench of arrogance emanating from it
has become so dense, you could stab it with a fork and eat green eggs &
ham with it while all the jerks on Fox News are blaring at your face
because the TV volume is up so loud.

In fact, if you step back in awe and get a good whiff of it, you'll
notice three main scents of pure pompousness: cultural, political, and
financial, which the U.S. emits voraciously with vigor and gusto.

Culturally, Americans seem to think the whole world should bow down to
them, speak their language, practice their predominant religion, and
worship their extravagant way of life. How else could Pat Buchanan have
made a name for himself if it weren't for this widespread
cultural-superiority complex?

In fact, I personally cannot count the number of times that someone
cringed when I played pop music that's sung in a non-English language.
"What the hell are they saying?" I would hear in an angry and
condescending voice. (Notice that people in other countries hear
American pop music in English and sing along joyfully, even if they
don't understand the language.) If you really want to catch a strong
whiff of this American cultural snobbishness, just tell a bunch of U.S.
citizens that you support the idea of open immigration, and you'll get a
huge haughty hailstorm of fun!

Moving on, the next arrogant American stench comes from the political

Let's face it: Most U.S. citizens today think of "freedom" as the
freedom of the government to do whatever it darn well pleases, and the
freedom of "society" to vote as a mob to increase the wealth of special
interest groups by stealing from productive, prudent individuals through
forcible redistribution. Furthermore, Americans also believe that an
invisible guy in the sky has endowed them with the collective divine
right to rule the world. Just ask Jerry Falwell if you don't believe me.

Not only are Americans a bunch of busybodies at home -- trying to tell
everyone from coast to coast whom they can and can't marry, and using
the power of the regime to stop people from consuming recreational
drugs, but they also wish to dictate to the whole population of the
world on how to live, too. Americans have deployed a million of their
troops in more than 100 countries -- propping up dictators who support
the economic special interests of politicians in Washington -- in a way
that would make ancient Rome and the Mongol Empire envious. Somebody
once bellowed at me, "We are number one in the world! We've got to show
everybody why we are number one! We've got to show the whole world with
our military might that we are BAD ASSES who nobody messes around with!!!"

And then, Americans wonder why much of the global population hates them,
and why terrorists threaten them more and more often. (Keep in mind
that since 1782, the federal government either provoked every war that
the U.S. has fought, or that Americans' individual liberty simply wasn't
at stake to begin with.)

Finally, the third and most deadly scent of pure pompousness emanating
from America is the financial form.

The U.S. inhabitants seem to think that their illustrious economic
prosperity is permanent, and that they have a natural right to success
in life, simply because they're Americans. They think the business
world automatically owes them high-paying jobs and cheap goods and
services, and that deficits don't matter because these have been
occurring since the early 1980s with no ill effects. Americans keep
asking, "Where's my nice new house? Where's my brand-new SUV? Where's
my new credit card with the cool design on it? Where's my big salary
with the financial firm or defense contractor? And where's my
multimillion-dollar retirement plan?"

Americans believe that they'll always have well-paying jobs (or a job,
period), that a strong economic recovery will always follow every
recession, that their paper assets and real estate will always increase
in value, and that their government and central bank will always have
the ability to bail them out when the nation is in financial trouble.

Never mind the fact that U.S. citizens have been enjoying these
extravagant privileges because their legal-tender currency -- the U.S.
dollar -- has been the world's "official reserve currency" since 1944.
The Federal Reserve can create an unlimited amount of inherently
worthless fiat money -- backed by nothing but blind faith in bureaucrats
-- by using its printing press or computers. Then, the central bank
(and U.S. government) can ship this money to foreign countries in
exchange for real goods & services! Americans as a result get to live
in luxury while finding themselves increasingly unemployed. They also
can pay lower taxes while living under the largest government enterprise
in the world. And then they wonder why "outsourcing" has become so
popular in recent decades.

Why don't they follow their "outsourced" jobs overseas? Or why don't
they offer to match the lower wages that immigrants are willing to work
for instead of just going on the welfare dole? They'll all say, "It's
because I'm an American and I deserve to live a better lifestyle than

Excuse me, but no one owes you anything in life. If you possess
specific things, it's because you've earned them. It's because others
want to supply you with particular goods and services in exchange for
what you are giving them. They aren't yours by birthright. Perhaps you
could learn some new skills and offer people something that they're
willing to pay you adequately for. But don't give everyone all this
crap about being a "victim" to outsourcing and immigration.

Anyway, because of all this financial arrogance, the U.S. debt-to-GDP
ratio is at its highest level in American history, and appears to be on
the verge of collapse. (Click here for an ominous illustration.) The
consumer savings rate is at an all-time low, real estate and the stock
market are far overvalued by all historical standards, and the U.S.
exhibits record trade deficits and government budget shortfalls.
Another Great Depression appears to be written in stone -- no matter how
the politicians and central bankers try to avoid it. And unlike the
last one, which occurred during the 1930s and '40s, the U.S. dollar
isn't backed by gold in any way whatsoever. And unlike Japan , there's
no large trade surplus to keep the fiat currency afloat.

Most Americans have never thought through what would happen to their
jobs, lifestyles, and retirement plans if foreigners altogether stopped
funding U.S. debt and liquidated their U.S. dollar holdings, and the
dollar lost its "world reserve currency" status. What would happen if
the dollar became practically worthless, as all fiat currencies did at
some point in history?

"But we're Americans!" they say. "We're endowed by God to lead this
world, and that could never happen to us!"

Well, since we have now examined all three of these arrogant American
stenches (cultural, political, and financial), let me pose a simple
question that very few U.S. citizens seem to be asking themselves: Are
you freer than you were 10, 30, and 50 years ago? Are you freer? For
most people, the answer is a resounding "No."

America 's prosperity used to be the result of the high levels of
individual liberty and the general respect for private property that
U.S. inhabitants previously enjoyed. But with the government now
involved in nearly every aspect of their lives, how much of their
present wealth can actually be attributed to freedom, and what amount of
their affluence can be ascribed instead to the unsustainable debt
bubble? Americans won't like the answer.

Next, what if we were to travel around the world, and ask everyone else
if they are freer than they were 10, 30, and 50 years ago? The majority
of them would probably say, "Yes," especially those in East Asia . The
United States used to be the undisputed freest country in the world, but
today, that figure is probably much more ambiguous.

Why did Americans become so arrogant? First, we must understand what
arrogance is. It actually has nothing to do with pride, which is
healthy. Instead, arrogance is really a cover-up for psychological
insecurity. Anxious people exhibit various ways of masking their
insecurity, and a snobby attitude is one of those false behaviors.

So the real question is how did Americans become so insecure? Maybe
they've forgotten how to enjoy the simple things in life, such as good
music, interesting books and articles, the pleasant company of friends
and family, and numerous inexpensive activities. Perhaps U.S. citizens
are worried about their careers. Maybe they're apprehensive about
slowly losing their individual freedoms during the past several decades
(and especially since September 11, 2001 ), while much of the world is
gaining ground on them. Who knows . . . .

As Americans look around and see the problems that are currently
plaguing the country, they've all developed their own little
scapegoats. Mainstream liberals (i.e., "neoliberals") point their
finger at "selfishness" and "greed." But people have been selfish and
greedy for millions of years. Mainstream conservatives (i.e.,
"neoconservatives"), on the other hand, are a real hoot. They like to
lay the blame on atheists, immigrants, gays and lesbians, and the 2004
Super Bowl halftime show. To this laughable neoconservative nonsense, I
must ask which is worse for children: reading Mark Twain and Carl
Sagan, playing with piqatas, listening to Elton John, and watching rap
videos on MTV? Or observing their parents overload themselves with
massive debt in an effort to keep up with the Joneses, while being told
to pursue the College Education Bubble
<>^* 1* and
to follow their parents' so-called "conservative" examples?

Of course, the real problem is a leviathan regime that smothers everyone
with draconian regulations and separates people from the consequences of
their own actions through the forcible redistribution of wealth, but
you'd never know it by listening to the claptraps in the mainstream media.

So ladies and gentlemen, if there is a time to be "bearish" on America ,
that time is now. The arrogance of America will soon be headed straight
down a nightmarish slippery slope of painful ruin and disgrace.

Figuratively speaking, the U.S. resembles Invincible Mario from the
classic video game Super Mario Brothers. The Starman character, which
gives Mario his invincibility, represents the "official world reserve
currency" status of the U.S. dollar. So many Americans seem to think
they can have it all, that they can run all over the world with flashing
colors, bumping into everything and wreaking havoc with impunity, while
"buying" fancy new houses and cars on cheap credit. Too many naive
Americans believe that Invincible Mario can just do whatever he wants.
But what if he falls down a bottomless pit? Or what if the time runs
out? Likewise, what if foreigners decide to stop buying U.S. debt and
start dumping their U.S. dollars, and what if the dollar becomes

As Richard Daughty (a.k.a., the Mogambo Guru) wrote several months ago
in an article on, " America is living on borrowed money, and
therefore, borrowed time." (Click this link
<>*^2 *to
hear the memorable Mario sound warning illustrating this excellent point!)

Time has truly been running short on the U.S.A. these past few years.
Now, the Mario game music has been playing faster (since the Y2K
stock-market-top warning). The Federal Reserve's monetary printing
press, along with the U.S. government budget and deficits, and military
interventionism abroad have all sped up and are hyperdancing to this
faster Mario beat in an effort to keep the system alive for a little

But soon, Invincible Mario's haste will cause him to stumble and fall
down a bottomless pit, or the time will expire. Either way, click here
<>^*3* are
comin' home (to an impoverished nation, I might add).

Well, let's move on. The good news for the Arabs (and other foreign
U.S. loathers) is that they don't have to defeat America . America will
defeat itself. The U.S. will fall on its own sword of monetary
inflation and debt, and will suffocate on the super-dense smell of its
own arrogance, just as every empire did throughout history. What goes
up must come down...and the bigger they are, the harder they fall!

But if you think about it, America truly needs another Great Depression
-- that's correct -- it needs one.

Americans need to learn some simple lessons in life. They need to learn
that they cannot get away with taking more from life than what they put
into life.

They need to learn that a person's financial net worth is not determined
by the size of his or her mortgage or car loans, or credit-card debt.

Americans need to learn the virtue of saving, and the importance of not
blindly following the crowd and mainstream press when investing.

Americans need to learn firsthand about the financial and cultural
fallacies of big government -- especially when it starts to collapse in
the coming years. This includes government-business partnerships,
socialistic welfare handouts, draconian healthcare regulations,
government-run schooling, and the insidious War on Drugs.

And finally, the U.S. military-industrial complex (i.e., the worst
polluter, the most ridiculous waste of money, and biggest provoker of
terrorism in the world) needs to go bankrupt in order to restore hope
and dignity for the future of humankind.

Another Great Depression would negate the need for a libertarian
revolution, since the corrupt government would simply collapse unto
itself instead of the bloody alternative! Remember the U.S.S.R.'s
demise in the 1980s? It, too, was a healthy and necessary event, wasn't
it? In fact, the lyrics from the rock group Queen's 1984 hit song,
"Hammer to Fall," could easily apply to the United States as well:

/Here we stand or here we fall

History won't care at all
Make the bed light the light
Lady Mercy won't be home tonight yeah

You don't waste no time at all
Don't hear the bell but you answer the call
It comes to you as to us all
We're just waiting
For the hammer to fall

Oh every night and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face the Western Way
Build your muscles as your body decays yeah

Toe your line and play their game yeah
Let the anesthetic cover it all
Till one day they call your name
You know it's time for the hammer to fall/

I am hopeful that someday, after Americans have had a chance to cleanse
themselves of their stenches of arrogance and folly, the time will come
to be "bullish" on America once again -- possibly starting around the
year 2020. After U.S. citizens have learned their lesson the hard way,
and have rediscovered what freedom really is, and when America is once
again the undisputed freest country in the world -- full of prudence,
modesty, and peace -- will the U.S. be a great nation again.

In the meantime, the chips will fall where they may. Throughout history
when a wealthy nation's economy collapses, its new technology usually
gets dispersed to all the other nations -- especially the "up and
coming" ones. Asians and Latinos could very well be driving America 's
repo'd vehicles in a few short years! Imagine that!

During the "Greater" Depression, Americans could be watching their
favorite Fox News show on world economic events, and will point at the
TV screen and bellow at the top of their lungs, "HEY!!! THAT'S MY FORD

Not to mention that this person would be sitting inside his repo'd house
with a sign on the front lawn that says, "FOR SALE BY YAO & YOSHIKI
BANK," along with most of his neighbors' homes, too.

The time has come for the United States of Arrogance to pay --
culturally, politically, and financially. Americans will be getting
exactly what they deserve and I don't want to hear anyone whining about it.