Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Broken Social Contract

Greetings good citizen,

The distant pounding of the drums tells us that global financial system is about to collapse, resulting in the chaos I have already described many times.

(From the you walk into a store and nothing has a price tag, curious, you grab the item you came in for and walk it to the counter, the, er, proprietor picks up the phone and asks for a quote, price and delivery, on the item in question…)

[He can’t sell it to you if he doesn’t know how much it is going to cost him to replace…]

I sincerely appreciate how difficult it is to keep one’s eye on the ball when there are so many factors ‘in play’, literally, all of the time.

But that won’t prevent me from dragging out another tired old hobby horse of mine that has been absent from these pages for at least a couple of years now (although the topic is touched upon, tangentially, in almost every essay I post.)

What topic would that be, good citizen?

Why it’s the ‘Broken Social contract’!

Loosely put, the social contract contains the conventions that prevent us from killing one another on sight…so you can see what happens when it gets ‘broken’.

This will devolve into a novel if we were to spell out all of the conditions of the social contract and discuss why they are broken.

It would make you all smarter but not a single wit wiser.

Suffice to say the social contract exists because killing everyone on sight is terribly counterproductive and life is hard enough without any more enemies/competitors.

And it is the ‘competitor’ end of the diagram that brings us to why the contract is broken.

How many of you had your minds leap to ‘global wage arbitrage’ when you read the keyword ‘competition’?

Well, you’re on the right track, good citizen. The (now expired) social contract says, “I’ll leave you to your business as long as you don’t prevent me from going about mine.”

Up until a hundred years ago, good citizen, 98% of us were farmers (that’s why all of this ‘self-sufficiency’ NONSENSE plays so well today.)

You grew your own food and you raised and traded the livestock you ate. Usually you cultivated a ‘cash crop’ (or two, depending on how much land/ambition you had.)

But farming, hunting and fishing WERE your ‘full time’ occupations. Your time was yours and you spent it ‘as needed’.

Not so in our ‘modern’ world.

If you can’t produce huge quantities of food with extreme efficiency, you can’t ‘make a living’ farming. You may be able to keep the family fed but if you can’t scrape up the tax money you aren’t going to own the farm very long.

Why do you suppose that is, good citizen?

How many of you leapt to the ‘captive market’ theory?

I didn’t think you would.

Why would those who control the government be interested in driving others off of their land?

If you can’t grow your own food then YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BUY MINE!

These days good citizen, 99% of us are sitting in that leaky canoe.

Which is not to give the false impression that EVERYBODY once had their own patch of turf they used to farm themselves. There were a great many who merely ‘worked’ on larger farms…another bit of the capitalist’s favorite game known as ‘fuck-fuck’, meaning, of course, that you were fucked regardless of what you did.

Worse, good citizen, is the extremely false impression (created by the corporate funded media) that this arrangement was somehow ‘benevolent’, done out of the ‘kindness’ of the overlords hearts, it was not!

They benefited from it mightily!

Yet we have this example of our broken social contract

Why pay ‘unemployment benefits’ at all?

Remember, civilization is only 9 meals deep…cut off people’s access to food and you only have a couple of days before you have full scale riots on your hands.

Occupy Wall Street is a ‘demonstration’. Most of us have never witnessed a ‘true’ riot.

The 'Irresponsible government’ label that fruit-loops here is trying to hang on this is false:

Because “emergency” and extended-benefit benefits are paid to people only when they have exhausted the normal benefits, the fraction shown in the chart is a measure of how much unemployment benefits are paid pursuant to unemployment insurance rule changes, as opposed to payments that occur merely because more people were losing their jobs.

If we assume, merely for simplicity, that the expansions had no effect on the number of people unemployed or on the length of time they were employed, then setting “emergency” and extended-benefit payments to zero as they were in 2007 would have cut total unemployment insurance benefit payments by the fraction shown in the chart. In this case, it appears that the unemployment insurance program is at least twice as generous as it was in 2007, thanks to the federal changes in benefit rules.

The unemployment insurance program is a good example of how federal government spending has grown and how tough it will be to bring it back to pre-recession levels. People are now used to having well more than one year’s unemployment benefits available to them, and politicians will have a lot of trouble asking them to make do with just 13 weeks.

Casey B. Mulligan is an economics professor at the University of Chicago.

Mind you, this piece WAS NOT taken from the ‘op/ed section’ of the NY Times but the business section.

Anyway, Zippydick, (who, coincidentally, isn’t unemployed) is calling for an end to ‘reckless’ government spending…(and you know he’d be the first one to condemn cuts to the military budget because you know what a disastrous effect THAT would have on unemployment!)

The ‘real reason’ they don’t cut extended benefits is because it is an easy way to get people to pawn weapons bought during more prosperous times.

Funny that they’d stoop to pauperizing them first but it takes what it takes…

And they knew going in the ‘hardcore’ will never give up their weapons, so the tactic was just to disarm the disarm-able.

Which is to say that since benefits can’t go on ‘indefinitely’, the riots will begin any day now.

As it is they’ve staved off ‘D-day’ for a year longer than anyone thought possible…so when they do pull the plug, most people will be surprised.
Tell the truth good citizen, you seriously think we’ve ‘dodged the bullet’, don’t you?

Which is merely a testament to the power of the media.

I’ve got news for you good citizen, the collapse of civilization WILL NOT BE TELEVISED!

The news room itself could be on fire and they’d just go off the air without a word of explanation.

They exist to perpetuate the myth, NOT to keep you ‘informed’.

Which is to say you’re gonna feel mighty stupid once this is over but don’t beat yourself up too much, fresh starts always come at a steep price.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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