Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded – here and there, now and then – are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”
– Robert Heinlein, “Time Enough For Love”
It was astonishing to read of Republican Sen. John McCain’s recent radio attack on Barack Obama. Displaying an energy and vehemence that he somehow couldn’t manage to muster during the 2008 presidential campaign, when it actually might have mattered, he accused the man who defeated him of “leading an extreme left-wing crusade to bankrupt America.” But if America goes bankrupt, it will not only be the extreme left-wing that is to blame. After all, one can’t go bankrupt without having borrowed money from someone, and there is no current politician in America who has been more closely affiliated with the financial institutions to which so much debt is owed than John McCain.