OK, getting pissed
Now I was of two minds whether I was to write political things in this blog. I am generally a moderate pragmatic, and I don’t automatically assume I can say something more eloquently than many others out there. Or that I have any better ideas than a lot of political commentators out there. But then I remembered that this here blog is my bitch and what I want to write, I can. So here is my little political rant:
Basically I’m pissed off. Why? The economic crisis. What I will say here is something many people will tell you better than me (including several Nobel Prize winners in Economics), this is basically me letting off steam. Where to begin?
Let’s begin with my frustration of the wastage currently happening because of the crisis. Unless you live in a cave, fallout shelter complex or a sect with self sustainable food supply and isolation from the unenlightened world 8and if you are by the way, why are you reading this?) you know we are in a global economic recession. If you’ve read up on news and editorials on the net you know the deal: A lot of banks gave out loans they maybe shouldn’t have. A lot of governments spent money they should have spent on the banks who created it. Rather than starting projects to get people working ,giving them salaries to spend so the economy can get to work again. Somehow every economic lesson learned (and learned hard, I will add) from the great recession has been forgotten. It is like somebody wants a new one. We certainly aren’t steering away from one.
Now, I am not saying “FUCK THE SYSTEM”. Although i disgusts me to admit it, capitalism works. But only when combined with a set of rules. The rules have been eroded and in many cases erased, giving us a system that worked wonderfully… Until it broke. A dull, predictable system that gave profit and security at the same time was tweaked to the point where you had a roller-coaster with insane profits at close to no margins. And now it isn’t going anywhere because no-one dares taking risks again.
Well, the stock market is one thin, but the big picture is if anything gloomier. The news are reporting growth in the Wall Street indexes againg. Which is good. But the economy of, say the US is not just Wall Street, it is the ret of the country. The stock market is not just a blinking Las Vegas of indexes rising and sinking and magically spawning money. It is based on actual economies, every hing from raw resources to consumer spending. And guess what: The consumers need to make money before they can consume shit.
The US, to stay with my example has had a SHRINKING in actual wages when adjusted for inflation and price increases since the 70s. A lot of the crash in ’08 wa due to bad loans. Why all the bad loans? Home owners could not front enough cash to get good ones. The amount of credit card debt in USA is staggering, and not all will be able to pay it back.
So: Do I have a solution to this? Listen to the economists. People like Krugman, even Greenspan. The politicians dare not, it seems. In Europe the Euro has gone from magic cure-all currency to sacred cow: The individual countries need to give up some power to a central economic organ (politicians giving up power? Voluntarily? Not happening) and the banks sitting on national debts need to accept that they can’t have all of it (Banks letting go of money? Sure). The US needs to accept that the economy is unbalanced beyond what is healthy (given the narcissism of big movers like Trump or the late Jobs I can’t see a sudden rush of self-insight there), there needs to be a bigger emphasis on decent entry level salaries (McDonald’s and Wal-Mart didn’t grow rich by doing that) and US politicians needs to grow a pair and start some New Deal projects again (that costs money however, and the extra taxes would come from the big businesses… Who sponsor politicians aggressive, cash guzzling reelection campaigns). So. Slightly pessimistic there.
There was a movement long before the Occupy movement. The IWW, or Industrial Workers of the World, was an attempt of creating a labor union that wan’t just a guild. It was eventually squashed, but other unions took up thee slack. Today the labor unions are a shadow of what they were in the US, and dissimilarity in wages has increased at the same time. In clear spek: The rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer. OK, so far, so Communist Rantish. So, the problem: If some people hav all the money… Who’ll buy new stuff? Seriously, at this point the best friend of the world economy is not the captains of industry or the national leaders meeting in Davos. It is the angry guys outside waving placards. So, hopefully enough angry young unemployed people will organize, fight for decent jobs and pay, and say clear of “cash is the enemy of freedom” or “only Veganism can save Mother Earth” type ideas. At least I hope so. Because there are people with dangerous ideologies out there. Like the Neo-Nazis. or a lack of ideology at all, and a breakdown, like the Tottenham riots. I am not saying we’ll get a new Hitler, but poverty and hopelessness is a dangerous mix. So let’s hope for a turnaround soon, otherwise I fear we’ll get more and more ugly incidents…