I get flack for being a tad melodramatic with regard to the imminent threat of our economic and political systems giving in to pent up stresses not scene since the run up to World War 1 and after a brief respite, World War2…
While you might roll your eyes at MY visions of doom and gloom there are plenty of prominent voices out there that echo my sentiment…they are simply more polite about it.
Now do understand that I am trying to scare you out of your complacency. What harm is there in being deeply worried, if not downright scared about what unpleasantness History might have waiting for us around the next bend? After all isn’t the collapse of the system what every honest person hopes for? An end to this incessant rat race based on environmental genocide and cultural degradation?
We are on the brink of enormously transformative times… The end game that we have reached is one where the retail investing class, entrepreneurs of all stripes, regular citizens and even economists themselves are losing faith in the stock market system. For many the severe, and yet to be fully explained, 1000 point drop in the Dow Jones on May 6th was the wake up call that markets world-wide are rigged in the favour of mega banks and that graft and collusion run rampant throughout the halls of economic and political power.
Here is what economist James K. Galbraith had to say in a written statement to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee delivered this May: (Full text: http://tinyurl.com/347m9xr)
“Some appear to believe that “confidence in the banks” can be rebuilt by a new round of good economic news, by rising stock prices, by the reassurances of high officials – and by not looking too closely at the underlying evidence of fraud, abuse, deception and deceit. As you pursue your investigations, you will undermine, and I believe you may destroy, that illusion.But you have to act. The true alternative is a failure extending over time from the economic to the political system. Just as too few predicted the financial crisis, it may be that too few are today speaking frankly about where a failure to deal with the aftermath may lead.
In this situation, let me suggest, the country faces an existential threat. Either the legal system must do its work. Or the market system cannot be restored. There must be a thorough, transparent, effective, radical cleaning of the financial sector and also of those public officials who failed the public trust. The financiers must be made to feel, in their bones, the power of the law. And the public, which lives by the law, must see very clearly and unambiguously that this is the case. Thank you.”
“Or the market system cannot be restored”….Think about that for a bit and then tell me we’re not walking a tightrope without a net… There are so many ways for things to go wrong. And even if they go right we are setting a course for an INEVITABLE protracted economic readjustment. Call it The Great Recession, Depresion 2, The Great Austerity…you can call it Bob if you like. But there is no avoiding it.
It is irrresponsible for anyone to think that this will all blow over and that life will resume as it was in the roaring decades that hit the wall in 2007.
In any case who really wants to go back to that? Cowards. That’s who!
The coming decades will test our beliefs and what we are willing to sacrifice to defend them. My plea is simply that you try and get a grip on the fact that we in the West live in a fantasy World and reality is steadily clawing its way back to the forefront. The degree of hardship this will entail will depend much on where you live, but if the market system as we know it ceases to function all bets are off. An expression that I’ve been seeing more and more these past weeks is not one that gives me comfort. “We’ve seen this movie before. And we know how it ends.”
But our world has become so sickened by distorted priorities that it is difficult for any sane person to believe that incremental change can bring about anything meaningful.
For only through a massive upheaval can we even begin to dream of a society where trust in institutions reigns and hope for a future we can believe in becomes possible.