Sunday, September 28, 2014

Status quo economics leaves you busy, tired.

The typical North American approach: Get a mortgage to buy a house, then get a credit card to fill it with stuff. That approach locks you onto the economic treadmill where you're working for the bank.
As dual income families became the norm, the price of houses rose to match what these dual earners could borrow and ostensibly repay.
If this reminds you of your situation, then to make that mortgage payment you'll have to work pretty hard and make choices based on serving your creditors first, rather than your family or your goals.
The 'health' of the economy depends on the continued expansion of the money supply, based on peoples' promises to repay it, with interest.
Note: The economy doesn't have a health. It's a bad metaphor. Continued growth is good for the status quo because that means the music's still playing. In musical chairs, there are no losers until the music stops.
The machines and electric servants that are the result of human ingenuity should have made our lives much easier.
Instead, we're as busy as ever. 'Busy' and 'tired' are all-too common answers to the 'how are you doing' question. Busy and tired are symptoms of having bought into the system where you work for the bank.
If you didn't owe any money and had a free place to live, you wouldn't have to work so hard. Instead, that interest treadmill makes sure you're running as hard as you can so you don't fall behind the rest and lose the house.
Economic growth is the smokescreen that allows global winners to stay on top while still promising the global poor a dream of prosperity.
Continuing to feed the banks record profits while plundering the resources of the world and exhausting your personal energy is not a worthy goal.
Unfortunately, understanding the precariousness of the current economy is still a long way from successfully restructuring it to a steady state system, like you'd see in a climax ecosystem.
A solution would involve a deeper understanding of value separate and distinct from money. More likely a combination of vibrant relationships, clean water and the time and energy to do as you please, even if that means less stuff and a small house.

Good luck taking that to the bank, that is - if you can find the time and energy.


  1. Agreed to all of this. Hope is all that is really required for us to keep on the treadmill. When the poor have risen up, it was when the world was so fundamentally and obviously unfair that they saw no better option. Whether you believe in a ruling power structure or not, the "system" has figured out just how to keep us down while maintaining hope. Credit and the constant drive to increase sales by 1% is such a beautiful marriage. So, what are our solutions? Part of me wonders if the best idea is to work for a conservative thinktank to hasten us to the "no better options" point. A few of my friends suggest that life is by nature unfair, so we should revel in the fact that we lucky few can buy shoes and eat shrimp. I wish I resisted that notion because of some altruistic reason, but I resist it because it annoys me that there are people in the world who make more in a day than I do in a year. They have no more merit than I do. They are simply higher up on the lottery chain than I am. I suppose it's not even that part that bothers me. It's the suggestion, by my culture, or perhaps the ideology of my culture that I can move up that chain if I just want it enough. That's probably what hurts me the most. Sure, it's an effective ideology for keeping us on the treadmill, but it is a sad and hollow and CLEARLY false ideology. Rambling now...great post, Holmes.

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