Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fish or cut bait?

Greetings good citizen,

What should we do tonight, good citizen, fish or cut bait? Not only does the MSM cut bait for us but they feed it to us as well.

If this scenario conjures a mental image of tank of pirahanna devouring schools of minnows, I’d say that was a pretty apt description.

Our culture has become used to a steady diet of ‘cannibalism’ where we are fed a steady diet of the foibles of public figures to keep our minds occupied to ensure we don’t make other, um, ‘less interesting’ connections that aren’t easily explained.

One of these disturbing issues is ‘opposition’. If we’re all in this together, then who is the ‘opposition’ and why do they prevail so often?

Is this a ‘flaw’ in our collective decision making process or are our decision-makers just too corrupt?

One is tempted to brand our decision-makers as stupid…but they continue to get away with playing both ends against the middle…which sort of ‘reverses’ the accusation, doesn’t it?

Sadly, this ignores another inconvenient fact. If our decision-makers act contrary to our collective wishes, there isn’t a thing we can do about it. So yet again, intellect is spared from ridicule.

Perhaps more perplexing is the fact that this problem has existed for over 230 years and no one has even attempted to solve it...well, no capitalist has ever proposed a solution, Anarchists have at least formulated a potential solution that works on a small scale.

I’m sure with a little refinement, a workable solution can be devised. But like most things political, it’s one of countless problems that incumbents aren’t particularly interested in solving.

Here’s another piece of ‘bait’ that nobody seems particularly interested in chewing on even though the fate of our nation depends on how we ‘solve’ this problem.

‘Competition’ within our cooperative society. Who the hell are we ‘competing’ against and why?

Bizarrely, this boils down to patented rights and processes that instead of producing a single superior product, provides us with multiple ‘competitive’ products, each with a unique feature but the products themselves are ‘redundant’.

Then we have the ‘other’ kind of competition that has nothing to do with unique features because it is all about price.

This is the ‘competition’ globalization is based on. Where ‘quality of life’ issues are totally ignored because the focus is on how little the worker can live on.

In a nutshell, the crisis we are currently experiencing is based in workers that aren’t paid enough to buy the products they produce, doing the jobs of the people expected to consume them.

0 + 0 = 0

Worse, 0 – 0 still = 0.

Are you ‘hoping’ for a ‘recovery’ good citizen? Well, you should rest easy because a recovery is already underway. The problem is that it is doubtful the ‘recovery’ will alter your dire circumstances a single iota.

We’re already headed for the ‘New Normal’ which, in essence, is an economy much smaller than we previously enjoyed.

Just like the last two recoveries, the economy will ‘shrink’ to a new ‘sustainable’ level of activity and ‘victory’ will be declared.

If you can’t find a job that pays you enough to live on, it’s not their problem; it’s yours!

If there is a ‘fatal flaw’ in capitalism (and its forebearer, feudalism) this is it.

Capitalism has ‘roots’ good citizen. Feudalism ‘begat’ capitalism because both are based on ‘property rights’.

Which is to point out that feudalism wasn’t so much ‘abandoned’ as it was ‘revised’.

No irony should be lost on the fact that the banks replaced the feudal lords in the role of ‘oppressor’. Sort of puts the public bailout of the banking system in a new light, doesn’t it?

Didn’t the system used to ‘sort off’ work?

For a while, debt produced something that kind of resembled prosperity but the problem with capitalism is the same as the problem with feudalism, it’s never enough.

Once the elite get a taste for wealth, their ‘appetite’ for more becomes unquenchable; and they cease to care who they have to crush to add even a little more to their stack.

It’s hard to feel sympathy for Bernie Maddof’s victims because they suffered from precisely this ‘disease’. It’s the same ‘disease’ that created collateralized debt obligations which lead to outrageous bonuses on Wall Street.

What is it I’m point to here good citizen?

The ‘definition’ of ‘economic recovery’. If we let the same people who put us in this position define the outcome it will be only a short period of time before the crisis is repeated, and it will be even worse than this time. (Albeit, I’m reasonably sure things will collapse before there is a ‘next time’.)

What should absolutely terrify you good citizen is the prospects of a declaration of economic recovery that isn’t accompanied by any economic ‘stabilization’.

Neither the ‘housing boom’ nor the ‘dot.gone’ era were ‘stable’ by any stretch of the imagination. For all of the insistence of the ‘economic robustness’ of our economy coming out of Washington, we were in fact living in a ‘hollow land’…and this hasn’t changed.

Soon, as soon as the beginning of next year, the ‘drumbeat’ of how ‘robust’ our economy has become will once again flood the airwaves. Only this time there will be a different tune in the background. The twin ‘armies’ of the homeless and the unemployed being rounded up as ‘domestic terrorists.’

You won’t be able to ‘see’ this robustness, but they will insist it is there. You’ll drive to your job (if you’re lucky enough to still have one) in incredibly ‘light’ traffic. Don’t be tempted to take advantage of this new ‘running room’ because the flip-side here is how the main roads will be bristling with police. Some of them on ‘revenue enhancement’ details and the others will be on the lookout to head off potential ‘disruptions’ to traffic flow.

Yes, the recovery will bring with it new events that will, for a while, become routine.

For example, it will be uncommon not to encounter at least one burning vehicle on either side of your commute that was rolled down an on ramp onto the highway during ‘rush hour’.

Cell phone and landline service will become unreliable due to the activities of ‘domestic terrorists.’ Um, I’d even be willing to bet there will be sporadic power outages from time to time. Add to that the semi-regular reports of mass breakouts from ‘terrorist’ detention facilities to the list…followed by reports of bloody gun battles between police and the terrorist’s not yet incarcerated kin…

Are these raving the product of a deranged mind? I’m sure some think so. I tend to find more disturbing the notion that the tens of millions of displaced will sheepishly enter the camps too small to accommodate them and remain there…pretty much until they die.

The US economy isn’t going to get any larger. They may insist that we still have a 13 trillion-dollar GDP… but 13 trillion already isn’t what it used to be.

Like the parable of the horse, good citizen, I can lead you to the water but I can’t make you think!

Nothing will change unless we take an active role in changing/fixing what is broken in our nation.

The principal thing that needs repair is the economy that pays too few, far too much, for doing too little.

Like the banking system, the ‘incentives’ are all wrong.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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