First, I have to preface this post as an “opinion” and not some thoroughly researched article on western economics although it jives with a lot of what has already been said by people like Dr. Paul, Max Keiser, and others. Last October Professor Roubini said something to the effect that the “real” unemployment rate, rose to 16.5%, the highest level of the year. He warned that the risk here is the “cyclical” problem of joblessness and it “can become permanent” for those out of work for an extended period of time. The ranks of the long-term unemployed rose to 6.24 million in September of 2011, or 44.6% of the total unemployed.” Today, the “U6” unemployment rate (the actual unemployment rate) is around 23% and the ranks of the long-term unemployed has swelled to around 53% (these rates are not stable and could have changed since the last time that the courageous among us discussed them in an open forum).
Professor Roubini would treat me with abject contempt as an unschooled amateur with no University Credentials in the field that I’m attempting to scrutinize. But, think about it; he’s making the same mistake that all of the academics make: they all obsess with the “technicals.” Metrics, they call them. They spark over “GDP” and “U6” figures. They rant about the “Consumer Confidence Index,” etc., so-on-and-so-forth. It’s all baloney! You can’t resolve this global dilemma by tweaking the values of a mathematical formula! For example, Roubini asserts that we should have a massive infrastructure program to “stimulate” the economy. Here’s why that’s so popular with Keynesian economists: maintaining a nation’s infrastructure keeps the labor force employed, yes, but it also keeps them healthy inasmuch as they have a reliable water supply and food and health care distribution system among other things. It also underwrites business in that it maintains the transportation required to move goods and services to market. More importantly (and from a cabalistic point of view), when BIG government does BIG projects, it keeps all that money under the control of the very people who are screwing everything up. You never hear anyone say something like: “Let’s use this 2 Trillion dollars to give everyone in America a $100,000 tax return!” No, the money is always funneled through government agencies who then pour it into the banking system where the money is excised a fee before it is released to BIG business who then hires the distraught for a pittance.
Fixing the “infrastructure” won’t do a damned thing if the government permits monumental fraud that promotes the massive, unbelievably gigantic theft of everyone’s accumulated wealth and disposable income. If people can’t afford the health care, food and fuel, what good is a brand new shiny infrastructure to transport all those goods and services? There won’t be any “markets” and isn’t that obvious now?
The problem isn’t with Obama’s programs for stimulating the economy. The problem is that as soon as the labor force gets paid, George H. W. Bush and his minions are waiting in the streets to rob every one of their money as soon as they cash their paychecks at the bank. So, as the people are deprived of their income, they see no value in the labor that produces it and therefore redefine productivity in ways that reduce their efforts to achieve. You’ve seen it before, I know it. For example, at MY job. The company continually reduces the rewards that the production people receive in order to increase profitability to the stockholders. Of course, for achieving these margins, the executives receive rewards in the form of ever-increasing bonuses. The employees see this and begin to work a little less; they put in a few minutes less time, they take a few more sick days each year, they involve themselves in less and less “creative” activity and focus on task management. The result is a social drama that produces nothing more than the objectives required to maintain, just barely, a system that converts a given input into a given output.
There is no vitality. Since the executives can’t see beyond the end of their own noses and have no “vision” for the future other than ensuring that their bonuses continue to expand in scope and grow in size, their monolithic thinking traps the business cycle in a closed loop of predation. The law of diminishing returns sets in, the company languishes, then it begins to fail, and then it finally dies. The executives sell of the remaining pieces and move on to the next “corporation” where their behavior will underwrite more predation, more failure, and more bankruptcy. As time goes by, the productive capacity of an entire world economy begins to whither and will eventually collapse. When it finally collapses (read: Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire), people no longer concern themselves with the previous organizational society. They just go off and build a new one from scratch.
That’s why economists lament the 1940’s and 1950’s so much—they miss the “vitality” of an eager, ambitious, well-paid labor force creating wealth from raw materials dug out of the ground. It’s just not happening anymore. All that’s being done now is moving one piece of paper from this drawer to that drawer for storage or this electronic byte of data from this hard drive to that hard drive. No one is inventing “change” anymore.
It’s a Communist society. We have quotas now and are constantly told to “get a job!” The 99% labor 10 and 12 hours a day, sometimes six and seven days a week so that Jamie Diamond will be permitted by the Government he bought and paid for to rob Gerald Celente of his investments—and get away with it. So, those of the 1% who would lift up their brothers and sisters are savaged by greed. But it goes deeper than that. As the labor force hunkers down to survive a desperate meager subsistence living, they also avoid paying for anything that isn’t necessary to sustain their pitiful survival. They won’t buy that new car; they won’t get that wide-screen T.V. They don’t go to the game. They don’t “shop until they drop.” They don’t go on that “Sunday drive” with the family. They won’t go to the movies. They don’t do a lot of things that a healthy, vibrant, ambitious labor force would normally do. They use less toothpaste and wear their underwear until it’s in shreds; repair their old shoes instead of buying new ones.
I’ve read a number of stories in the local paper about the booming business that the Salvation Army and other thrift, salvage, and recycling centers are doing. No more “new homes” are being built. Old ones are going to rot instead of being renovated. Cars on the road are averaging 10 years old now. There’s just no money left in circulation. The likes of Jamie Diamond and Jon Corzine stole it all and gave it to their “Godgie” Papa Bush (the word “Godgie” is the traditional “Bayonne, NJ” way of referring to “The Godfather). THAT’s the problem.
We can build infrastructure all god damned day long. We can go to college until we become the World’s Greatest Know-it-all. We can cut expenses until we’re living on the smell of bacon and a glass of water. But, if we can’t lay hold of the wealth that we labor for and use it to improve our lives on an individual basis, we’re just not going to amplify our presence by enhancing our life experience. And, that is that!
I really chafe when I listen to these pundits talk metrics and Mathematics about the human condition. In the end, the system collapses in upon itself. The 1% is just that—1%. They couldn’t save their ass when they owned the Roman Empire either. When the Goths, Visigoths, Mongol Raiders, Gauls, and Huns had enough of their bull shit, they just tore their “shining city on a hill” to pieces and murdered them in their beds in the dark of night. Have you ever asked why an everyday barbarian would burn down a perfectly good house instead of live in it? It wasn’t because they didn’t like the architecture or what it represented. It was because of the rage they had to vent against the abusive power that had subverted their humanity for millennia.
Sure, new “Royalty” sprang up to give birth to more bull shit but it took a 1000 years before that happened and why were they able to make such a come back? Because the common man just wants to live and be happy living! The common man really doesn’t concern himself with the nefarious plotting and scheming, fraud and thievery required to build empire, that’s why!
I don’t think the common man should change. I rather like living next to someone who just wants to mow his lawn and light up his barbecue on the weekend. I am thoroughly disgusted with people who think otherwise—especially those who think that abusing that innocence to maintain control is something that we must all accept as inevitable. The 1% are parasites and they’re killing their host. I’m right on this—why? Because these bastards like killing art, music, and literature. They love to destroy the environment and murder innocent people. They love destruction—war, disease, and human suffering and where it cannot be gained through natural means they create it! The pundits know this; they’re just trying to make a living like everyone else and they just don’t know what to do about all the graft and corruption so they bull shit.
Everyone thinks everyone is nuts! But they all know that no one who views their presence on this planet as anything but trivial is really crazy. You’re not crazy, Jean. THEY are! The bastards have to go, and there are a lot of people who are fed up with their bacchanalian, in-your-face life-style. If people like you and me didn’t do our jobs every day, they’d all die off in a month because they can’t take care of themselves.
In my twenties, I used to work for the New York State Department of Historic Preservation as a journeyman traditional woodworker and I was assigned as a draftsman to their architect because I understood how the old guys built stuff. Well, I had this crew chief who was a Mohawk Indian and a phenomenal metal smith. During lunch one afternoon in the field, he told all of us youngsters a story that I never forgot. Up in the Adirondack Mountains (the nation’s biggest and oldest public park and nature preserve), the State built “survival cabins” along the trails for people to use in their hiking expeditions (Canada has these kinds of conveniences as well). Each year, the state will hire a bunch of unemployed young people to clean up the dead wood from the surrounding forests and chop it up into fire wood, stacking it neatly on the front porches of these little cabins in the woods. Hikers—living by the “code of the hiker” often leave canned goods and freeze-dried meals behind in the secure cabinets of these modest dwellings.
Well now! Ken (my crew chief) and his wife wanted to visit their family on the Mohawk reservation one winter so they drove up to the park and left their car at a parking station then hiked in through the woods to reach one of these cabins by nightfall. When they entered the cabin, they found two people huddled together on the cot in the corner nearly frozen, dehydrated, and starving. Ken asked them what they were doing there and why they were in such desperate condition. They explained that they were doctors—a husband and wife team—who had thought that some winter cross-country skiing might be fun but they became lost and disoriented and had been in the cabin for three days without food or water.
Ken showed the husband that there was plenty of wood outside as he lit a fire in the stove with matches from an ample store in the cupboard. After he got the place warmed up, he showed them where the outhouse was. He showed them how to draw water from the nearby pond and showed them how to prepare a meal from the supplies left in the cabin. Lastly, he showed them how to operate the emergency radio by following the instructions on the card. He had these two evacuated to safety and never heard from them again.
Here, these 1-per-centers were awash in the necessities of survival and, had not the Father (who art in Heaven) sent Ken and his wife to rescue them, they would have surely died of exposure and deprivation. They weren’t bad people. And, as professional and wealthy people go, they had surely chosen a productive and meaningful profession. But, in the end, with all their wealth and influence—with all their education, they couldn’t strike a match, open a can of Chef Boyardee’s Ravioli, use an outhouse (or even ponder what the structure’s purpose was), or operate a simple emergency radio when the instructions were written on the wall.
These are the kind of people who are in control today. They make decisions for the rest of us that lead our civilization down the primrose path to destruction. They construct the fantastic closed systems of the parasite where sustenance is gained without effort and they thrive on the healthy until the healthy are sick and fall away into disease and deprivation. They swarm toward vitality and suck on it until it is consumed.
This is the problem. This is what must be corrected.
To make the world a better place, we don’t need a “National Infrastructure Renovation Program;” we don’t need more college education. To invigorate our culture and society, we don’t need “better, newer schools” or a stronger defense. To empower our citizens to achieve greater good, we don’t need more “morals” or go to the Mosque or Synagogue on Saturday or Church on Sunday.
As an example to amplify my point, we don’t need to ban the production of contraceptives or demand that our women consent to male domination to become baby-making machines. Listen to the rhetoric! How absolutely absurd is the dialog in the press that deals with women’s rights! Listen to what people like Santorum are saying! Where is the love required for a healthy relationship? Where is the tolerance and devotion to “the other” required for meaningful human congress? No, they don’t want to “contribute” to mankind. They just want to establish their dominance and their privilege; everyone must serve the “greater good” and the greater good is serving THEM! They’re on the TAKE! That’s it! Let’s be honest with one another; it’s bull shit!
What we need is a body politic who understands that we have to create an army of “regulators,” (not police, not bureaucrats, not soldiers or mercenaries) trained in constitutional law, seasoned by the ethics of our ancestors, and empowered by the people to work tirelessly to remove the parasites from our human condition.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a 1% in the future. There are lots of wealthy people who are able to maintain their wealth through their own productivity; they make significant contributions to the common welfare and such people should be left alone. No, I’m talking about the parasites and what is worse for the dialog is that everyone KNOWS who they are and where they live. We KNOW what they look like and how they behave. Their pattern of behavior is consistent and can be scientifically categorized (take that piece you posted about psychopaths on Wall Street).
We don’t need to go killing them off. We just need to remove them and the systems and foundations of their greed and avarice. Once reduced to the humble existence that their abject sloth, lack of vision, and poor judgment will provide for them, they might be able to see their way toward changing their attitude, but I doubt it. Those kind of people would rather die than get it right. The rest of us will just have to move on.