Friday, January 13, 2017

Personal Idiocy

    I seem to be a Fool.  It has finally occurred to me that citizens/voters don't care that the government can produce whatever money it needs and spend it on whatever it wants.   It is as if I had a neighbor who had a money machine in the basement that could produce perfect $100 bills.  He has a beautiful estate, all the latest appliances and beautiful furniture, late model expensive cars and so do all his friends!  I am jealous. 

  But I think to myself, it's not my problem. I'm an honest guy. Someone will inform the authorities and he will go to prison.  Then I notice that all the authorities seem to have their own source of extra funds!  So everyone knows and doesn't care! The authorities don't work for me (and maybe not you) anymore, they work for who pays them.

I can’t define what money is and yet I go to work every day to earn it.  I have missed a lot of chances to be rich but I have almost ended up there anyway due to steady work and good fortune.  In 2007 I just got fed up with the outright rank fraud of our government leaders and business leaders. Some people get to create money and everybody else has to use it.  It continues to irritate me. The whole "I can" but "you can't" is so fundamentally unjust.  The elite have this attitude; "I know best, you--STFU." Talking about "the deficit" for 30 years is just that, talk.  No action.  No responsibility. When you say audit the fed, they say crawl back in your Neanderthal cave.  When you say how about a real political solution for debt reduction, they say our debts don't matter.

There is a huge chasm in a rational thought process that considers debt repayment important in a fiat currency. The creators of money are in a different situation than those of us that simply use it. If I could make perfect $100 bills in my basement would I have to worry about "a job" or my credit card bills? Of course not! Governments are the largest debtors on the planet but get to create whatever money  they think is necessary.   Economists seem dismissive of the shattering fact that the government owes more than the country produces. No big deal they say, after you’ve spent the money you owe to yourself perhaps at some future time, you can just ignore it.  So they want me to SAVE money so they can use it.  Sweet deal for them.

How much is enough?  Travel, knowledge, experience,  intellect, wealth, military preparedness? Always more? I am neither Epicurean nor fond of austerity.   I have been given the Goldilocks place at the table.  On this whole collapse topic, I have been prepared for 40 years.  All good things come to an end—even my singles tennis game.   I agree with Yeats, the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.  So, who is driving the train?  Casey Jones?  What is to be done?  The question has been asked before and answered with various revolutions to no good effect for the majority.   When you knock off the big boys the edifice falls on the little people.  

 As a professional with a good business for 30 years, I could have made a lot more money than I did but no one could say I wasn’t “comfortable”.  My parents were well off, my brothers and sisters are doing well, my three children are healthy  and have their college paid for with no debt.  None are married or have “good” jobs yet but are seeking a place in the world that currently exists. I have cautioned them (but not persuaded them) that  “good times” are an illusion.  My wife and I are upper middle class bordering on rich without being in the 5%.

I have heard the suggestion that I should "collapse now and beat the rush".  I can afford 40 acres and a mule but have no clue how to farm so that is probably a poor survival strategy. I agree with the formulation that “collapse” is individual.  It just gradually happens to more and more people until finally America is a third world nation with a few mega-rich and everybody else poor.   I have considered running for political office to point this out but I am much too liberal to win in the South. I have been anti-military since Vietnam and pro-environment since Earth Day.  If I accidently revealed my opinion that Bush and Cheney should be prosecuted for war crimes and Obama should be immediately impeached as a tool of financial interests, I would be shunned.  I like quirky Ron Paul, I supported Ross Perot but have typically voted Democratic.  So where would I try and lead this Zombie nation?  A Constitutional approach of trying to exercise more power locally would be a start but a Southerner that argues for States’ Rights is racist before the words are out of his mouth.  I don’t mind the whole “less taxes” thing but I think we miss some real opportunities  to do some great things together as a society.  Suppose we really wanted a good public health system?  I am partial to education too, just not the current mandatory semi-incarceration, no child left behind idiocy.  And who wouldn’t want better infrastructure—cheaper power bills, low cost housing, public transportation?   

So where does Peak Everything fit in this worldview?  Suppose we do adopt a devolution strategy?  Jettison the cornucopia nonsense and aim for sustainability.  Motto:  Back to the 1950’s while avoiding war.  Our first requirement is trustworthy money.  A practical means of cancelling debt, removing the elites, without creating mayhem.  Old money has to go. What about a Jubilee?  (I don’t really like this solution since I have money BUT some sacrifices are required)  All money is invalidated and therefore all loans.  Banks become buildings.  Everybody owns the house or apartment they live in.  All contracts must be re-written in new money.  This reset would not be without pain for most.  The rich would strive mightily to protect their privilege.
There are steps that could make the transition less disruptive.  It is at this point that I am supposed to show my hard money colors and unfurl the gold as money flag.  It's an option.  The point of course is to define the idea of money so that it is tangible and fixed as a measure of value.  We want to limit its production.  We can only trust our leaders to the degree they are able to be good stewards of our social resources.  When they Midas-like produce unlimited quantities of what is supposed to be valuable then the value tends toward worthlessness.
    We have pretty good historical experience with the use of precious metals as money and I think it could be re-instated.  The criticism is usually that there is "not enough" gold and silver to underpin the financial system.  That seems naive to me because we have huge stocks of stored and hoarded gold that could be activated to flow and support the domestic currency and international trade.    Yes the nominative value would be higher but the point would be to hold the value of money to a defined "something".
    What most people don't seem to understand is that money should be a claim on some resource i.e. labor or some product or asset. But the creator of that "tool" can produce too many claims and suddenly invalidate a lifetime of "saving".  Governments have a tendency to do that.  Given the large mess they have made by running up debts they cannot pay with the tax revenues they currently have, we will suddenly get a new monetary system--one fine day. I am unsure how to prepare for that eventuality.  People with nothing will be unaffected because they will still have nothing but anyone with something will have their assets - revalued.  If debts are to be repudiated then a good strategy is to have a lot of debt and nothing as collateral.  Max out the credit cards and then claim insolvency.  The law could take a dim view of this and re-institute something akin to debtor's prison or simply garnishee whatever wages you make in the future. But it might be a brilliant business move.  I have heard of businesses that bankrupt leaving their corporate owners with the spoils. Of course some of the profit goes to pay the lawyers and legislators but it appears to be a viable enrichment strategy.  But it is not right to shaft your creditors.  That is not a viable economic system.  We want people working together.
   I do not have a clue the mess we are getting ourselves in to by electing Donald Trump.  Most of the people I know voted for him to "shake things up".  I have a bad Jerry Lee Lewis premonition about that as a solution to anything.  A narcissistic real estate developer that doesn't read suggests disaster to me.  As a thoughtful person, I seem to be an idiot.  I hope events prove that to be the case....

No comments:

Post a Comment