Philip II’s Lessons For America

If the United States continues to spend as Philip II did, a debt default is inevitable, probably well this side of 2050. Should that happen, economy in government will no longer be enough to restore the United States’ position. Just as Philip III ended his father’s wars but found Spain’s economic and military power continued to decline, so after a U.S. default the long term drain of international influence for the United States government will be matched by long-term drains in innovation for the U.S. economy and in prosperity for the U.S. people.

Philip II was one of the worst of monarchs. His country had built up an amazing lead in the colonization of an entirely new continent and had achieved an income from precious metals that was the envy of all contemporaries and could have been used to develop Spain’s economy and scientific potential and perhaps achieve the living-standards bonanza of industrialization 150 or 200 years before Britain. Because of pointless government overspending, in his case on a vain ambition to stamp out Protestantism and Islam, this happy future was denied to his people. Let us not, through equally pointless overspending on social programs and environmental boondoggles, force the same miserable long-term destiny on the United States.

It is time to balance the U.S. Budget and keep it balanced.

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(The Bear's Lair is a weekly column that is intended to appear each Monday, an appropriately gloomy day of the week. Its rationale is that the proportion of "sell" recommendations put ...

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