Rod Dreher

The Prime Minister today gave a deeply gloomy speech laying out what Britons now face. Excerpt:

Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that Britain’s financial situation was “even worse than we thought” and that the country would have to make savage spending cuts to bring its swelling deficit under control.
Stern and grim-faced in a speech in Milton Keynes, just north of London, Mr. Cameron said, “How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society — indeed our whole way of life.”
“The decisions we make will affect every single person in our country,” he said. “And the effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades, to come.”

He went on to say that the UK now spends more servicing its debt than it does on its schools. More detail on the speech from The Guardian.
It will be interesting to see how Western democracies deal with long-term austerity. This is a place many people alive today have never seen. In his rave review of historian David Kynaston’s best-selling “Austerity Britain, 1945-1951”, Benjamin Schwarz observes that prosperity has made “this recent past a foreign country.” It will not be at all easy to readjust expectations and living standards — not in the UK, and not in other countries, such as the US, that will eventually have to reckon with the hangover from our years of debt binging. Will harsh circumstances strengthen civil society and social bonds — or break them? We have spent down a lot of social and moral capital in the past few decades, leaving us with fewer resources with which to contend with hardship.

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