Final Word from Monday, April 17, 2023

Just as all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, as Leo Tolstoy famously wrote, all failing democracies waste their money in their own way. The U.S. primarily does it by waging wars it never wins. Germany does it mainly by shutting down energy sources it spent billions of euros to build, requiring billions more to decommission them and to replace them with less-reliable sources that won't sustain German industry. The Czechs have mostly avoided these two money-burners but, under the government of Petr Fiala, are rushing to make up for this lapse by adopting U.S. war strategy and German/Green concepts of energy dissipation. The Czechs wasted their own money at first mainly by allowing a select few to steal almost anything they wanted to, which had the side effect of speeding up the transition to a democracy. Much of this money still exists somewhere - it wasn't physically destroyed, as were American missiles or German nuclear-power plants. To avoid the fate of just another failing democracy, the Czechs "merely" need to recapture this money and correct their current course while they still can. [ Czech Republic United States of America Anna Karenina ]

Glossary of difficult words

to decommission - to make (a nuclear reactor) inoperative and dismantle it safely;

to sustain - to cause or allow to continue for an extended period or without interruption;

lapse - a brief or temporary failure of concentration, memory or judgment;

dissipation - loss of energy through its conversion into heat; the squandering of money, energy, or resources;

to recapture - to recover (something taken or lost).

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