“In the present position of Europe,” Napoleon wrote to his ambassador in Constantinople, “all my thoughts are directed towards England. . . nearly 120,000 men and 3,000 boats. . . only await a favorable wind to plant the [French flag] on the Tower of London.”
That was written in March 1804. And to be in Britain at the time– knowing that Napoleon was planning an invasion– must have been terrifying.
Britain was already a complete mess by 1804 anyhow:
1) There had been a terrible currency crisis only a few years before, prompting the government to suspend the gold standard. The end result was several years of nasty inflation which topped out at nearly 15%. People were furious.
2) Britain’s defeat in the American Revolution was not only a national humiliation, but incredibly costly; the national debt had soared, and government spending was still out of control by 1804. Taxes rose as a result, including a new income tax that was introduced in 1798.
3) British banks, including the infamous Barings Bank, were found to have indirectly provided loans to France… essentially helping to finance Napoleon’s planned invasion of Britain.
4) And to cap it all off, King George III was widely viewed as insane by contemporary physicians and had multiple bouts of delirium.
A mad king. Inflation. Out of control deficit spending. Steep taxes. Idiotic bankers. A looming invasion. It must have felt like very dark days in Britain in the early 1800s.
And yet they did find their way out from the depths of despair to eventually achieve unprecedented peace and prosperity.
Britain’s incredible reversal took time. Years. But eventually they defeated their enemy. They paid down their debt. They strengthened the currency. They remained the world’s dominant superpower. And they enjoyed a massive economic boom that lasted for decades.
I’ve written about this before because, frankly, it’s one of the few examples in history of a country abruptly reversing course and going from almost certain decline to unbelievable prosperity.
And I think it’s clear that the US is in this position right now.
Enemies are swarming around the world… including passionate ignoramuses within the US who seem hellbent on making the country weaker.
Wealthy activists like George Soros, for example, fund the political campaigns of ‘progressive prosecutors’ who release criminals onto the streets and refuse to prosecute crimes.
Combined with the geniuses in many city councils across the country who have de-funded their police departments and decriminalized shoplifting, the unsurprising result has been an alarming rise in crime.
Meanwhile, the people running the federal government roll out the red carpet for illegal migrants at the southern border, creating total chaos in most major cities.
They constantly issue idiotic regulations and legislation which make life more cumbersome and expensive for average Americans and small businesses– like the Labor Department’s recent 800-page proposal to make sure that interns can use a toilet which conforms to their gender identity.
Enemies are at the gate. And in some instances, including through repeated cyberattacks and other incursions, enemies have already breached the gate.
Yet the people in charge have weakened the military between their vaccine mandates, the humiliation of Afghanistan, and endless diversity & inclusion efforts. Recruiting and mission readiness are now both at historic lows.
They weaponize the justice system against their opponents and soften it for their friends and family. Rule of law has become a total joke, especially now that even high-ranking judges have become social activists whose rulings reflect their woke fanaticism rather than Constitutional law.
They suppress intellectual dissent and denounce those who disagree with them as “cave men”, “white supremacists”, “threats to democracy”, or “science deniers”. And their propaganda machine masquerading as mainstream journalism constantly feeds us these lies with a straight face.
They refuse to even acknowledge the looming fiscal crises they’ve engineered through decades of deficit spending and expensive entitlement programs. The country is only a few years from a financial cliff, yet they’re not even talking about it.
And to top it all off, the guy in charge appears to have lost his mind… just like King George III.
These are the circumstances of America today. And in many respects, they are similar to Britain in the early 1800s.
Could there be a similar, miraculous turnaround for the US? Is it possible that, ten years from now, America is firmly the world’s superpower with a booming economy and negligible debt burden?
Yes, absolutely. There is still a very narrow path forward.
It would include a complete overhaul of Social Security, plus deep cuts to expensive welfare programs which cost over $500 billion dollars each year.
I’d also anticipate a major asset sale to raise cash (and avoid going further into debt), i.e. an auction of millions of acres of government land.
It would also require serious de-regulation, which, combined with AI, could radically boost the economy, and create a productivity boom. This would not only increase economic prosperity, but also increase tax revenue and reduce the deficit.
These are just a few, extremely high-level points to illustrate that it is possible for the US to reverse course, just like Britain did in the early 1800s.
But the path to recovery is very narrow. And short. There simply isn’t much time remaining.
I’ve written before that the US probably only has around five years, if not less, before the government reaches the end of its financial rope. The national debt and entitlement spending are simply too high.
By the early 2030s, the only realistic way to ‘solve’ the fiscal problem will be full-blown default… on the national debt, on Social Security, and on just about everything else.
So, yes, there is a chance this problem can be fixed. But at the moment, I objectively see very little evidence that there’s any appetite to even discuss these problems, let alone make the difficult decisions to solve them.
And this is why it makes so much sense to have a Plan B.