Alan Greenspan, long-time apologist for corporatist interests and recently reborn Bush neocon lackey, has had an epiphany: He’s now decided that staggering deficits and debts are a good thing in times of low interest rates. As long as ‘consumers’ can be ‘persuaded’ to keep buying the low-quality, over-priced crap that corporatists foist upon them, and as long as the currently wildly overpriced housing and stock markets can be kept at their artificially inflated levels, “balance sheets will remain in good shape”, he says, and hence interest rates can be kept low. And as the Chairman of the US Fed, Greenspan is the guy who single-handedly determines what interest rates will be.
It’s a house of cards, of course, a total fraud and extremely dangerous. It’s Enron accounting at its most deceptive, the kind of self-delusion that led to the absurd run-up of stocks in 1929 and the subsequent collapse that produced the Great Depression. Here’s the shaky foundation upon which the entire distorted economy now rests:
I’m sure, gentle reader, you can see the folly here, and all the things that can, and ultimately will, go wrong. Just as Enron’s profits and stock value were based on fraudulent overvaluation of assets, the ‘balance’ of everyone’s balance sheet — individuals’, corporations’, and governments’ — is fraudulently overvalued because the stock prices and real estate prices that constitute most of the assets are absurdly inflated.
If any of the following things occurs, the whole house of cards collapses — stock markets will plunge, housing values will plunge, the US dollar will collapse, and interest rates will soar — we’re talking the worst global economic collapse since the Great Depression:
So what do we do to prevent it? We’re so over-leveraged now that the best we can hope for is a ‘soft landing’.
Individual citizens can reduce their exposure to the collapse by paying down high-interest and variable-rate debts and short-term mortgages, selling US stocks and bonds (and getting your pension money out of these investments, too), and preparing for the likelihood that housing prices will plummet.
We also need to get rid of Bush and Greenspan, and ensure that Kerry has a program for dealing with the astronomical US debt and foreign payments deficit. And we need laws to reduce the power and influence of corporations, electoral campaign finance reform, cancellation of ‘free’ trade agreements and vastly strengthened anti-combines law and oligopoly regulation.
But I want to get back to my ‘pusher’ analogy. It’s really insidious. Just as rats in the laboratory have been ‘trained’ to push a button to get a ‘shot’ of addictive pain-killing drugs, and start pushing the button more and more often, we’re being trained — by our education system, by advertising, by the media, and by the entire oil-fueled corporatist economic machine — to want and ‘need’ to buy more and more stuff, to throw things out instead of fixing them, to get stuff done for us instead of doing it ourselves, to buy an endless stream of flimsy $5 doodads made in China instead of one $20 doodad made domestically that will last a lifetime, to undervalue our time and overvalue possessions, to buy overpriced ‘brand names’ for status, and to be terrified of not having enough. And to pay for our addiction to all this overpriced crap, we’re encouraged to borrow more and more money now (“no interest!”, “don’t pay a cent until 2005!”, “zero down!”) so we get as addicted to debt and as dependent on low interest rates as the big corporations and the Bush government.
By encouraging this reckless excess, Alan Greenspan really is the ultimate drug pusher, and he damn well knows that this, like all addiction, must ultimately end in tragedy. The corporatists, like all drug pushers, depend on reducing the people, the citizens, to mere consumers, mindless zombies. It’s irresponsible. It’s destroying our social fabric, wrecking families and causing irreparable damage to the environment. It’s shameful. It has to stop.
You know I smoked a lot of grass. Oh lord I pumped a lot of pills.
But I never touched nothing that my spirit it could kill.
You know I’ve seen a lot of people walking around with tombstones in their eyes.
But the pusher don’t care if you live or if you die.
God damn the pusher. I say god damn god damn the pusherman.
You know the dealer, the dealer is a man with a lot of grass in his hand.
Well lord if I were the president of this land you know I’d declare total war
– Hoyt Axton
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My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 145 Posts, by category, from newest to oldest ---
Dying of Despair
Notes From the Rising Dark
What is Exponential Decay
Collapse: Slowly Then Suddenly
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Making Sense of Who We Are
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Post Collapse with Michael Dowd (video)
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
If We Had a Better Story...
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
A Short History of Progress
The Boiling Frog
Our Culture / Ourselves:
The Lab-Leak Hypothesis
The Right to Die
CoVid-19: Go for Zero
The Process of Self-Organization
The Tragic Spread of Misinformation
A Better Way to Work
Ask Yourself This
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
May I Ask a Question?
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
Learning From Nature
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
Republicans Slide Into Fascism
All the Things I Was Wrong About
Several Short Sentences About Sharks
How Change Happens
What's the Best Possible Outcome?
The Perpetual Growth Machine
We Make Zero
How Long We've Been Around (graphic)
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self, and Free Will:
Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark Bark
Healing From Ourselves
The Entanglement Hypothesis
Nothing Needs to Happen
Nothing to Say About This
What I Wanted to Believe
A Continuous Reassemblage of Meaning
No Choice But to Misbehave
What's Apparently Happening
A Different Kind of Animal
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
Reminder (Short Story)
A Canadian Sorry (Satire)
Under No Illusions (Short Story)
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
The Wild Man (Short Story)
Flywheel (Short Story)
The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
The Horses' Bodies (Poem)
Distracted (Short Story)
Worse, Still (Poem)
A Conversation (Short Story)
Farewell to Albion (Poem)
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