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Saturday, February 10, 2018

indifference pays 2 of 3


INDIFFERENCE PAYS 2
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note: JJ, got your gifted Kindle book.  What a pleasant surprise, thank you.  I'll get started on it today.
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We have been in economic collapse for fifty years, over twice as long as we enjoyed the surplus of winning the Oil War ( WWII ).  Granted, that petroleum production control allowed the collapse to last much longer than it should have, but it’s days are severely limited now ( we’ve been losing the war to continue the PetroDollar reign.  Libya was the last win.  We couldn’t even stop Venezuela from dumping the thing ).  It is pretty much all over but the crying now.  But, that aside, you need to keep in mind that the financialization of the entire economy has been going on for almost as long.

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This is important-I don’t dwell on it just to rant against the bankers.  Finances are a racket for a reason.  As is globalization and petroleumization ( I know, that shouldn’t even be a word ).  Trade feeds us.  Even if it is only from one state to another in the Union, without trade we would have a nation of small hold farmers ( which would then immediately be invaded and consolidated.  Trade allows for a military defense ).  That might be a Libertarian wet dream, but it isn’t how things work since the Agricultural Revolution.  If you don’t Go Big, you Go Home.

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Without finances there is no trade and without trade there is no food, so without the bankers we couldn’t eat.  That said, yes, the nation was overthrown by the bankers through a coup, as you merely need finances by the government, not bankers.  But you DO need bankers to have a functioning empire.  In return, they got our entire economy.  The empire is still, barely, returning on that investment by getting colonial oil to keep the food flowing.  For now.  But when resources started contracting so did the economy and so the bankers went from living off the profit to needing to start cannibalizing the economy, and THAT is what you’ve been seeing for fifty years.  Stripping the wires out of the walls.

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Cannibalizing the economy isn’t JUST about taking more money.  It is reducing all institutions of their profit, then their investment capital, then their skeleton.  Look at the military.  It gets more and more money every year but is decreasing in ability at the same time.  Because it isn’t about the money.  Money being hyper inflated just buys less and less.  It is about the resources the institution gets.  The military being hollowed out in effectiveness is a reflection on our failing schools and our dysfunctional culture and our corrupted politicians, not because of the money given ( or not ) to it.

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And why are schools failing, even with more budget?  Why are politicians, even with more and more bribes, becoming less effective?  They too get more money but less resources.  One resource completely lacking is cultural unity.  A culture not in decline doesn’t allow schools teaching the teachers to teach nothing but political indoctrination.  It doesn’t allow the majority of the budget to go to administrators.  It doesn’t have dysfunctional students ( and etc. ).  Politicians cannot change any failing system, but to NOT elect them causes the status quo to be interrupted with brings about FASTER collapse.

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( Remember, no matter how bad a system, it is relying on the infrastructure of that system.  To change it won’t solve the problem, it will just ruin the infrastructure.  You can’t go smallholding organic farms to get off our addiction of petroleum because we’ve already populated to the point we need industrial farming to feed everyone.  You can’t go home schooling because both parents need to work and school is a hidden cost babysitter.  You are stuck with the schools as is.  You can’t replace fracking gas fired electrical generation, even though that gas is going to collapse in supply, because you don’t have the resources to replace them with anything )

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One consequence of the financialization of the economy is that to survive and keep the system functioning, more and more goods and services had to be brought under the control of the elite.  You can’t have stay at home mom watching the kids and cooking and washing clothes.  You need to turn all that over to the financial sector.  More consumer demand by doubling the need for cars and business clothing and bought lunches, as women were put to work ( wages fell by over supply of labor, so you double consumption at the same cost-and since wages fell you had to bring in debt financing so supply wouldn’t match demand falling with wages ). 

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As homemaker skills were outsourced to the money economy, more wages were demanded for once otherwise “free” ( in terms of money, not labor ) goods and services.  Why do you think half the meals eaten now are at restaurants?  It isn’t because the food is cheaper or tastier.  It is because we are all working and don’t have time or mental energy to replace money with labor.  What we don’t eat out for, we buy frozen convenience versions thereof, so even home cooked meals are just another type of restaurant food.  What is a clothes drier if not a very expensive financialized alternative to hanging wet laundry on a line? 

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As this was occurring, one item seemingly inconsequential at the time after another ( car wash instead of washing the car, more commercial laden channels to pick from to numb your mind after a twelve hour work day through cable or satellite than through over the air broadcasting, take out coffee costing as much as a weeks worth of home brewed, etc. ), slowly but surely the cost of living, of what was perceived as bare minimums ( you “need” $500 a month to go out enough to restaurants or coffee to enjoy or treat yourself or save time, instead of $100 for all cook from scratch meals ), made everyone’s cost of living get out of control ( yeh, don’t forget all that debt servicing making up for falling wages ).  And once the norm became that extremely high level, each household became an island, incapable of being helped.  It got too expensive to help others financially, even, or especially, family.

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Continued next time.

END  ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2EBXUjX )
 
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7 comments:

  1. OFF TOPIC but what's your opinion on a small permanent hovel vs mobile camper?

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    Replies
    1. For weather and frugality reasons, the hovel is probably preferable. Unless you lose nothing and can go with the camper of ease and comfort.

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    2. Speaking from personal experience, unless you need the portability for some reason, go with the well insulated hovel. Unless you can afford to keep the heat going 24/7 in a trailer, in the winter time, you’re really going to suffer.

      Sometimes you can find a gutted travel trailer, or a utility trailer, or possibly even a moving van, and then you have the option to frame it and insulate it properly. If you can find such a project, then it wouldn’t be quite as bad to live in one.

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    3. I think that is climate question, and depends on where you live. If I'm in the Southeast trying to save on housing cost and have a piece of land I would go with the camper (a cheap one). If I'm in area's where there are days below 10 degrees and weeks below freezing, I'm going with a inground or partially dirt covered place like Jim.

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    4. The one good thing about the crowded South is the abundance of cheap used trailer. Park under a tree with the solar poking out, with a rotary fan, and you are golden.

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  2. "Without finances there is no trade and without trade there is no food,"
    Not true - there is trade. Just not on the scale our society currently relies on. Think 10 times worse than the great depresssion. But farmers will still trade with the guy who can fix their equipment, or the company that can provide them the heat to keep from freezing over the winter. Those trades just might not involve (much) cash money any longer.

    "One resource completely lacking is cultural unity."
    Maybe. I think the cultures of most countries are seriously damaged by immigration, globalization, and political correctness run rampant. But I think there are enough people who remember what the culture WAS to reclaim it if they choose. Another generation of two and it would be gone for good, but if the crash hits hard enough soon enough I think we will see much of the culture reclaimed.

    I agree that it is probably too late to 'fix' anything with the whole of any country or our global civilization due to the built in infrastructure costs. On an individual basis though every family to become smallholding organic farmers, homeschooling their kids, or community powered by alternative sources increases the opportunities for others to get into similar life boats (taking the strain off the failing systems as everyone scrambles to get into their lifeboats - or others lifeboats). Eventually though if the systems dont collapse for other reasons too many people will be abandoning the system for their 'lifeboats' to keep the primary systems running right - that is when the collapse will be forced upon everyone, in sudden and total fashion.

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    Replies
    1. The primary system is just oil, and in general that isn't going to run out any time soon. We've already seen what decreasing supply brings as far as systems degrading, and at this point with fracking being up to one third our supply, we've seen rapid falling EROI and how that is crushing our system. So, perhaps, just perhaps, it is business as usual, with the only wild card the food system. We can fall quite a bit more as long as the Soylent Green continues. I guess my point is, we are already in systems failure ( the death of the growth paradigm ) and it might surprise us by not failing all at once. Nothing to count on, obviously, there just might be a lot more unwinding. We all look at the stock market, but perhaps the derivatives counter parties won't be allowed to fail. It is easy to call Chicken Little or BAU, but does anyone really know for sure? Darn these interesting times.

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