Monday, February 23, 2009

'Batman' series of movies provide a glimpse of a more desperate, recessionary America for long term; today's drop in Dow is proof of difficult truth

The "Batman" series of movies, while greatly entertaining, actually are more prophetic in nature.

They actually foretell the kind of America we'll be living in for quite a long time.

The desperate underbelly to the Gotham Citys of these movies will be reflected in communities across America and in sections of those communities once thought secure.

Yes, all major urban centers in real-life America already have sections set aside for the dispossessed and desperate acts. But the Gotham City of the movies has an underbelly that affects the rest of the city and its survival. And that is the kind of darkness -- which equates to an absence of hope -- facing America as a whole.

Yes, there will be pockets where things are better. But on the whole, a heavy, demoralizing rain will fall on the good and the bad in our land for longer than anyone expected -- even among the most pessimistic economists.

I became convinced of this conclusion today after watching the stock market fall a shocking 250 points after a terrible week before. I predicted the market would close at 7000 by the end of this month. But the plummet has been more dramatic. Now the Dow sits at its lowest point since 11 years ago. And there is no floor below.

Wny? The confidence of this nation's Main Street investors and consumers has declined even further than the Dow -- due to bad policy moves from Washington and the President's intent tomorrow night in his State of the Union address to commence a class war of taxation.

In addition, the nation continues to move toward nationalization of the country's biggest banks -- as with Citigroup and next, Bank of America -- and we'll assume an amount of bad debt that no one still can measure.

Our departure from capitalism and toward socialism in corporate America is astounding. I now see the Dow falling toward 5000. My 6000 prediction was too optimistic.

But the most stark evidence of coming darker times came this afternoon in a fascinating interview CNBC's Erin Burnett conducted with an Asian financial analyst following the beggar-like visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to convince the Chinese to keep buying America's debt through T-bills.

The analyst rightly predicted that the Chinese and the world will tire of buying America's debt. What's more, they can't afford the amount of America's new spending, he said. The result will be the federal government printing a whole bunch of new money, then having to buy its own debt, the analyst said.

That will force inflation up t a terrible pace and interest rates to 15 to 20 percent, ala the days of Jimmy Carter in the White House. No one will be able to afford to buy homes, cars and other big-ticket items. No spending, no new jobs.

America then will face a lingering recession as the Japanese have endured the past two decades. People will be unemployed for years, raising stress in the homes and crime in parts of cities once believed secure from such behavior.

And that brings us back to a society living on the edge of the abyss, on the dark edge, as in the Batman movies.

Some people consider it un-American to say this nation won't bounce back and be like it was before. But you can't cheat economic cycles and move so far away from disciplined spending and good behavior. If the people of Israel could be sold into bondage when they turned away from God, why should America consider itself immune?

So many Americans don't understand or want to face hard times. They want an immediate solution and reversal. And Obama promised as much. Instead, he has made things worse, much worse.

We are going to face public corruption and betrayal along the scale of the Batman movies. We are going to look for a savior such as the Dark Knight, but there is no savior except the person we look at in the mirror and the one on the crucifix.

America will never be the same. We must prepare our lives for this truth now, if not for ourselves, then our children. Our challenge is to survive -- economically, spiritually and amid leadership in both political parties that doesn't get the dire nature of the times.

No comments: