Thursday, 3 November 2011

Are we at the boiling point yet?

So many things seem to be converging on a point of oblivion that I am not even sure what I should be talking about anymore. Maybe this post will just be a number of rants and questions that I can't seem to answer in my own head... Bear with me, it might get confusing.

The Economy
Well, I've watched this problem for many years and am surprised that it has trended in this direction as long as it has. Companies reduce their costs by outsourcing or off-shoring their best and brightest employees to attain a higher profit margin... They do not consider that, while all companies are doing the same exact thing, their overworked/underpaid employees can no longer afford to buy as many products, and their unemployed former workers aren't buying anything at all... All this cycle of greed does is lead us to a consumer goods market with no consumers... And where do the profits come from when there's nobody left to buy anything? I don't understand how highly educated business owners, CEOs, COOs, and CFOs cannot understand this simple principle of economics and supply and demand? Since I am one of those who's salary has been in steady decline for over a decade, my only recourse has been to stop playing their game.

I do not spend money on anything if i can avoid it, I do not desire the latest and greatest new and improved whatchamacallit, and I bear no loyalty to product names for things I actually need to survive, and I avoid predatory market-monopolizing local-economy crippling mega-chain stores when I need to make those purchases. I suppose it helps that I've always hated the mall anyway.

The Euro-zone
Just collapse already. Bailing out Greece is not making things better, in fact, it is just making the economic recovery even more difficult, and here's why: Money, if it is to be assumed of any value whatsoever, needs to have a limit to it's availability. Again, a supply and demand issue. Limitless currency is more worthless than the paper it is printed on. So assuming that there is a limit to the total available currency within an economy, those nations in the euro-zone without debt, and actual cash or gold in their vaults are pissing away their rainy-day funds by lending more money that they will never get back... Besides, I am hearing Italy and Portugal are teetering on the same precipice.

Quite simply put: I cannot give my landlord a $600 IOU from my buddy Jack in lieu of money if Jack died 3 years ago, had no surviving family and $75k in gambling debts... The IOU is totally worthless, and needs to be removed from having any possibility of being repaid; chalked up to one of life's lessons: don't lend money to people with gambling problems, they'll never have the money and might 'get dead' sooner than I think.

The War on Terror Islamic Nations Oil producing nations whomever Israel thinks is a threat this week... Who the hell is the war against this week? I've lost track and given up trying
It was bad enough with Afghanistan, then Iraq, but the fact that it has escalated from being a 'coalition of the willing' "fighting terror" to NATO on humanitarian bomb runs is making me crazy. Less and less of the general population (of the planet, not just any specific country) is supporting these wars, and yet more and more of the political machine is endorsing them... It is becoming clear that the population no longer has any control over the political machine.

But can we fix it without an uprising? That possibility seems to be getting much slimmer. I have a list of a few things we can do beyond the visible protests of the #Occupy movement at the end of this posting

Another financial fraud and corporate banking theft that just had $8 million of taxes thrown at it?!!
MF Global tries to file for bankruptcy, but gets $8 million instead? Obviously this must have something to do with Jon Corzine (former Chief @ Goldman Sacks, a name that comes up far too often and former Governor of New Jersey) and his connections with the mafia (read: the administrative branch of the USG)... They not only lost their own money on big gambles, but they were keeping their customers money in the same pot with theirs despite regulations to the contrary. Above all of that is the fact that $8 million is .0126% of how much they owe their customers so I fail to see what this does other than pay the electric bill for a couple of weeks to run the paper shredders.

I am actually speechless with this gross mockery of my sense of justice. I really cannot find the right words to express my feelings here... I might have to make up a word.

The U.S. 2012 Presidential Race
Ok, I am not a citizen of the U.S. so I am not going to rant too hard here, but I do catch all the prestitute media coverage of this. I am just wondering if anybody in the U.S. actually thinks that the dog-and-pony show makes any difference in the long run? Many could not believe Bush won, more could not believe he won again. Now many can't believe they were wooed into voting for Obama and through this whole time I don't think anything has improved for the 'average American' at least not based on any statistics I have seen. And in the end of this coin-toss between dumb and dumber (let's face it, the media does not want Ron Paul, so that probably will not be on the ballot) Big-Corp will be crowned the winner (and undefeated champion).

Can any single U.S. election make any difference anymore? Other than the face on the 3-dollar bill?

Don't get me wrong, I've lost faith in the 'supposed' democratic system as a whole on a global scale. I don't find I have to dig very deep to smell corruption in any 'western-style democratic nation' anymore. On the plus side, that means they are getting complacent and sloppy, and much easier to find guilty should we decide to exile them.

Are we running out of Oil?
I have no concrete data here, just a suspicion. Sure the ongoing wars all seem at least partially motivated towards keeping the oil flowing. According to supply and demand rules in economics (again this rule, funny, I paid no attention in economics in school, yet there it is again) when supply is low, and demand is high, prices are high. And when I look at the price of gas, it is high, and continues on an upward trend. Well, obviously, this would mean that demand is higher than supply, and the upward trend means that supply is dwindling while demand is either relatively the same or increasing.

But we've known that the oil supply was not limitless since the 70's. What have we done about it? Deep well drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? That has proven to be a bit of a problem. Tar sands are expensive to convert to anything usable, but again, these sources will not prove limitless.

Alternative energy sources: Well, wind and solar are not advancing to anything on a scale that works to cover our actual consumption, and I don't think there have been any changes in Nuclear fission since World War 2... and to look at Fukushima, there may not have been any proper inspections since then either. So, this 'Industrial Age' that we've enjoyed for a bit over a hundred years is likely coming to an end. And with all our technological advancements, and greater knowledge and science base we've been too short-sighted to find an 'Age' to replace it with. Some have dared to state that we entered the 'Information Age' some time in the 90's... But that is not possible while we are reliant on the catalyst that started the last age: oil.

Looks like it's light's out (quite literally), and back to the stone age (maybe bronze, I'm pretty sure we'll still understand melting metals using fire as a concept).

while our options appear to be shrinking, our protests can hurt them where they feel it most
  1. Forget our loyalty to brand names: these corporations that have us so brainwashed into thinking there is any difference between Coke and Pepsi are the very same ones controlling Governmental policies. Also, the argument was created to keep us busy looking the other way while they hijacked the system.
  2. Do as little banking as possible: yes, this means living within your means and paying down your debts. Or declaring bankruptcy if the first option seems impossible. But it also means carrying as much cash as you are comfortable with and making as few withdrawals as possible to cut them out of their fees. Remember, many, many banks were complicit in the mortgage bubble, and the mortgage securities fraud. But rather than take their losses, and commit suicide in the parking lot like many do after a bad night at the casino, they felt entitled to steal taxes to pay out their bonuses. These banks certainly do not deserve loyalty, nor our extra pennies.
  3. Keep a score card: maintain a handy list of anything that has pissed you off about every politician you may someday have to vote for, also keep a list of politicians that seemingly stayed true to their word. Then when the time comes to vote, find the one who's pros outweigh the cons, if there is one, otherwise find the one with the most pros (the least cons could be deceiving, maybe they were in suspended animation for 3 years and did absolutely nothing, this is not better than doing a lot of things wrong). 
  4. Don't succumb to the propaganda. We as humans take pride in a great many things. Our pride should not be commandeered for the use of others. Take pride in your accomplishments, take pride in yourself. Do not grant your pride on those who would claim they deserve it. Much of that nationalistic rhetoric is centuries outdated and was hijacked a long time ago. Give pride where it is due: Anyone who stands up for their rights, for the rights of others, who gives aid to someone in need without thought of personal gain especially if these actions are at their own personal risk: these people are the real heroes of this world.
  5. Open dialog with others in your community, open dialogs with other neighboring communities, write about it. The more dialog there is, the closer we get to figuring out the solutions to all these unanswered questions.
  6. Learn everything you can, while the internet is still readily available: read anything and everything. We should be prepared for the worst and learn as much as we can to survive, and we don't want to loose all the progress we've made in the past couple of centuries
  7. Free your mind. we've fallen into many mind-traps these past several decades. Pollitical correctness: incorrectly pacifies topics that otherwise would be considered a problem, i.e: Shell-Shock sounds much more dire than Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... Call things for what they are, we really don't have time to beat around the bush trying not to hurt everybody's feelings I for one am debating swapping the word 'Politician' for 'two-bit-lying-fucking-whore', but that might be a little over the top, and I am not sure everybody will catch my meaning. 
  8. At the same time, we cannot allow race, or background to play into this. We are all people (except maybe for bankers and corporate fat-cats), we all have similar problems, and none of us is perfect. The less time we spend bickering over petty differences, the more time we have to devote to finding our way through this mess.


1 comment:

  1. These videos are well worth some time and consideration, even if they mock my simplistic view of economics (as I said, I didn't really pay attention to economics in school)