Ever and Always
Chapter 33: Trust the Government? – July 2024

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

Trust between the government and its citizens had been falling for the last twenty years. As one late night comedian had put it, it was a draw between the government hating its citizens and its citizens hating the government. They just didn't know how to live without the other. A divorce by violent revolution or other means had been forecast for years, but things just kept limping along.

The entitlement rate had exceeded fifty percent but the country did not fall apart. The national debt kept growing to pay for everything, but it had become a joke. The official unemployment numbers were sky high, but people were not starving on the streets.

The reason was the underground economy. The consumer Ponzi scheme was finished. People did not spend a fortune on the latest pair of Air Jordan's. They did barter or use bitcoins for what they made and the services they provided.

It was not a life of ease but one of earning rewards for hard work. Because of this four distinct classes were emerging, the elites who had their fortunes and lived like they always had, the welfare class who were supported by the government debt, the disappeared middle class who had opted out of the above ground economy and finally those in the middle class still with jobs and treading water.

The last two groups worked hard, lived well but not richly and had become incredibly politically incorrect (at least according to the elites and the government, whom they cheerfully ignored.)

The revolution had occurred but they forgot to inform the U. S. government. As state legislative and executive branches became more conservative they realized they did not have to follow federal rules if they gave up federal funds. The citizens were sending money to Washington.

Washington was skimming off the top for their bureaucracy and special interest groups. Of course the income tax was not lowered. However by the states giving up the federal money they did not have to spend on federal programs, so they could keep their taxes down or in some cases even lower them. This made the Feds out to be the bad guys and the States the good guys.

Teachers unions hated when administrative jobs disappeared, but few missed the unions when they started to disappear! Unions had their place but they had become big business interested in the business of the unions, not the wellbeing of the actual teachers.

Texas started it when they upped teacher's salaries but required them to have a degree in what they were teaching, not a degree in teaching. A teaching certificate became a three month course. They really got an uproar going when they decided that to teach a business course in a college you had to have run a business!

The federal government was still getting its money, they could pay off their constituents (welfare and big business) so they were happy. Administration types had a choice join the underground economy or go on welfare. It turned out that most administrators were already in the underground economy, nobody said they weren't smart.

The ones that were not smart went on welfare and joined the underground economy. They went to jail when caught. The old middleclass was not in a very forgiving mood these days.

With life expectancy's growing all the time, health generally improving, the economy shifting it was not a question was something major going to happen, just a question of what and when. The whole country was hunkering down to survive it and what would replace the current governments.

During all this the shining star as usual was the U.S. Military. They did their job and made it very clear no tin pot dictator would take over the country as long as they were on the job. They would not interfere with the Constitution and by god no one else would either. They took no actions, but as in chess, the threat was worse than the execution.

This was the attitude of the members of The Valley Group as a whole and very much the attitude of Ricks inside group. They just referred to themselves as a local working group as they all lived close together. They did not formalize their group and never published their minutes.

The General brought and left with Rick equipment to sweep for bugs. When not in use he kept it locked in his enormous safe. The safe itself had little in it. The gold and silver he had bought was still buried!

The following Monday was the Valley Groups regular meeting. All were in attendance. Rick opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and followed by the Lord's Prayer.

He believed in both but he also wanted word to get back to the DHS that he was patriotic and religious. Of course to some people that made him a terrorist.

Previous discussions with the General had resulted in him not being present. They wanted open and free conversation tonight. Rick kicked it off with a recap of his charge, a high level plan of how to achieve survival after 'The Fall'.

"I went back to my old rolodex card file to see who might be around that could help." I made about a dozen calls (he had made none) and I finally called my last commander, Lieutenant General Robert King.

Yes, we are related but the connection goes back to the Revolutionary War and our only contact was professional. When I explained what I was calling about, he gave a reply that knocked my socks off."

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