NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- From the fiscal cliff to gun rights, from divisive social issues tomandatory health care insurance -- America is more divided between redand blue than even the 1860s. We are a nation that is trying tocompromise between driving on the right side of the road or on theleft side such as in the British Empire and Japan.In this chaotic mix of trying to drive a little bit on the right sideof the road and a little bit on the left, there is not only almostzero economic growth and legislative stalemate, but also eternalstrife ahead. Each side will not yield, and the result will continueto be societal unhappiness and massive waste of productivity.Gridlock defined. The creation of America in the 1770s was about freedom of choice. Theoptions to mankind were to be expanded from a few monarchies inEurope to a new form of a country on the other side of the AtlanticOcean. This birth of freedom ignited the greatest expansion ofeconomic activity, standards of living and average biologicallongevity in history. In those colonial days, however, the U.S. population was less than 1% ofwhat it is today. The U.S. population has increased more than 100-foldin 236 years. We often wonder why small countries with only 10 million or 30million people can exhibit so different social characteristics thanthe U.S. Well, one of those reasons is that they are so relativelysmall -- 10 million or 30 million people isn't 300 million. Trying to keep 300 million people of widely different ideologicalbeliefs together under an umbrella of ideological rigidity only lastsso long. We saw this with our Cold War adversary the USSR, which in1991 dissolved into a broad set of republics. Considering the current fundamental disagreements about taxes,government spending, regulation, government deficits and debts plusall the other socio-cultural issues, one can make the argument that wenow have the following three options in the years ahead:
- Hold hands in continuing economic paralysis, leading to theultimate bankruptcy and hyperinflation. No balanced budget ultimatelyresults in the government printing the difference. Withhyperinflation comes the total societal collapse, such as in Germanyin the 1920s. Civil War. Yeah, another one. Irreconcilable differences withoutdivorce can result in spousal abuse. Witness what happened inYugoslavia in the 1990s and in Syria today. Amicable divorce. This is what happened to, for example,Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. Two countries emerged without ashot being fired and they have both seen increasing relativeprosperity to varying degrees. It's a success story.