Thursday, December 12, 2019

"Good News, We Have Achieved Terminal Idiocracy"

Useful mythology has pushed us inexorably towards collapse. Because the alternative was "unthinkable"...

There's a reason why the stock market is all-important right now, at the expense of the economy. It's because the wealthiest people in society derive their income from capital not labour. Hence return on capital is paramount over return on labour. Historically, there has always been a labour movement to counterbalance the political dominance of money. However, Globalization obliterated the labour movement. Unions were systematically decimated. Not to say that I advocate for return to unionization, only to say that there needs to be a counter-balance to big money. Otherwise you end up in the situation we're in currently wherein big money takes over the entire system. The backlash against corporate dominance will be global in scale. As people finally realize that their local economies have been plundered to the sole benefit of a handful of ultra-wealthy oligarchs. 

Over the past forty years, the U.S. economy has skewed more and more towards return on capital. To the point that if we rolled back even to ten years ago, that would now be considered "socialism", in the minds of today's useful amnesiacs. The 1950s Goldilocks era of the U.S. middle class, would be considered hardcore socialism by today's standards. In other words, those who say they want to return to the past are the reason we can't. They've bought into the well-marketed mythology that to rebalance the economy back towards the worker is anathema to American values. Which is why the economy has become more and more Darwinian. Any step back would implode corporate profit growth and hence the all-important stock market. The wealthiest people all view their financial well-being primarily through stock market values. Which of course, are now entirely a central bank managed fiction.

What was learned from 2008? Nothing

"One of the last vestiges of the financial crisis crumbled Thursday as financial stocks in the S&P 500 briefly surpassed their previous closing high, eclipsing the record they touched in February 2007 before losing more than 80% of their value"

Paul Volcker is dead and so is the Volcker Rule

The mythology is an entire load of bullshit of course. It speaks to the fact that an entire generation can't remember last week much less last decade. They can't remember how we got here, and what worker protections were shed along the way. At all times under the auspice of capitalism. If anything, today's historical illiterates would argue that the U.S. is less capitalist today than it was fifty years ago. Those were the glory days in their minds. And yet, in terms of job security, real wages, pensions, healthcare, trade protections - all of labor "benefits" were better fifty years ago. This is by far the most Darwinian hunger games form of capitalism we've ever seen. But you can't tell that to amnesiacs clamoring for the past by making the exact same mistakes that painted them into this corner of the future.  

The strength of narrative and story-telling at this juncture is overwhelming. It's a con man's paradise. Facts and data can't compete with appeal to emotion. The weakness in democracy is fully evident in today's circus. Desperate voters search for which ever village idiot will tell them what they need to hear. They don't stop until they find the next notch down in incontinence. Constantly searching and finding the lowest common denominator. 

Until they hit rock bottom.

And finally realize they've been useful idiots all along.

Brace for impact.