An Economic Yellow Fever Is Headed Your Way
by Gary North
Financial columnists of the sky-is-sagging perspective have searched for an accurate metaphor to describe the current economy. We have all failed.
“A slow-motion train wreck” doesn’t work, because train wrecks as bad as what we are facing are high-speed.
Then there is the “car without brakes.” But at least the driver can take his foot off the gas pedal. Congress is accelerating.
I have promoted “the burning trestle.” But, again, the engineer could put on the brakes. No such luck. Congress is accelerating.
How about “the Titanic”? That’s closer to it. But there was a specific timetable available. The ship’s designer knew how long the ship had. There were some lifeboats. “Women and children first!” (Actually, the boats were not all filled. If a person had leaped off the deck, he might have swum to a half-filled boat. A few did.) The male passengers knew they were doomed. They adjusted mentally to reality. There was no yelling and screaming. There was no blame-shifting, since the captain planned to go down with his ship. There was a dull acceptance of reality. That’s surely not Congress.
So, I have tried once more. I have dug into American history to come up with something plausible. I fear that it is too plausible.
In early summer, 1878, telegraph reports announced that yellow fever had broken out in the Caribbean. On July 27, it reached New Orleans.