Sunday, July 18, 2010

Of debts and deficits

Here's a somewhat refreshing article from Christopher Hayes in The Nation, concerning our national economic crisis.

Given its complexity at that scale, how can the average American ever hope to understand national economics? Most folks can barely balance their checkbooks or manage mounting debt, let alone comprehend a system that operates and relies on deficit spending and an uneasy, ever-shifting relationship between public and private capital. We are forced to trust (or fear, or both) the brilliant economic minds who appear to guide the system (whether they actually do so is a disturbing question for sleepless nights), such as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.

And they, being products of the system they help to maintain, mired in its profound complexities, cannot be expected to see its deepest flaws, nor to see beyond it to a necessary successor-- for this system is ever more apparently doomed to collapse. None of these top economists, for example, would dare suggest we develop some sort of steady-state economics; they all, in a bizarre shared delusion, continue to parrot the absurdity of infinite growth. I suspect Peak Oil will change a few of the younger, more supple of these deluded minds; others will end in despair and blathering insanity ("But--but it should work! It has to work!").

At least Hayes properly squares away the blame: our ongoing twin wars of imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's disturbing how many pundits decry the Obama administration's deficit spending as the cause of all present economic woe, and completely ignore eight or nine years of arterial bleeding that has sent our national treasure into the shifting sand and sun-baked rock of the Mid-East.

Well, honestly, I have little hope for Obama's plans, given that they merely seek to restore the system to its former track of insanity: that is, toward "economic prosperity" and "a bright future"-- all based on the lie of infinite growth.

When an entire system of thinking is based on a false premise, it can only get so far before its inevitable collapse.

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