Happy New Year?

Auld acquaintance can be forgot, for a while. But eventually even the most complacent and myopic societies get reacquainted with reality. For anyone who cares about the future of America and the broader West, the most important task in 2012 is to puncture the cocoon of denial. Instead, the governing class obsesses on trivia: just to pluck at random from recent Californian legislative proposals, a ban on non-fitted sheets in motels, mandatory gay history for first graders, car seats for children up to the age of eight. Why not up to the age of 38? Just to be on the safe side. And all this in an ever more insolvent jurisdiction that every year drives ever more of its productive class to flee its borders.

#ad#Tens of millions of Americans have yet to understand that the can can no longer be kicked down the road, because we’re all out of road. The pavement ends, and there’s just a long drop into the abyss. And, even in a state-compliant car seat, you’ll land with a bump. At this stage in a critical election cycle, we ought to be arguing about how many government departments to close, how many government programs to end, how many millions of government regulations to do away with. Instead, one party remains committed to encrusting even more barnacles to America’s rusting hulk, while the other is far too wary of harshing the electorate’s mellow.

The sooner we recognize the 20th-century entitlement state is over, the sooner we can ring in something new. The longer we delay ringing out the old, the worse it will be. Happy New Year?