Saturday, March 27, 2021

There's A Hole In The Bucket

The United States and the World are in a poverty trap. And the assholes who got us into it, can't get us out of it. Why? Because they are what's wrong with this economy. They've fully embraced Third World values...

The only book I am reading right now is called "Evil Geniuses", by Kurt Andersen. (This is a New York Times excerpt). For me even that book is on a slow burn, because he basically says what I've been saying since 2008, except far more eloquently. And there were many who were warning about the decimation of the middle class well before 2008. Bruce Springsteen has been lamenting the obliteration of blue collar workers since the early 1980s. During the early 1990s we were told that "knowledge workers" were the wave of the future. However, when the Dotcom bubble boomed and busted, the future exploded amid mass Tech sector layoffs. The protesters at the Seattle WTO convention in 1999 warned what was coming from accelerating globalization, but they were roundly derided as anarchists:

"The way it has used its powers is leading to a growing suspicion that its initials should really stand for World Take Over"

The U.S. was the primary advocate for China's ascension to the WTO in 2000. That event combined with the Y2K/9/11 corporate Shock Doctrine led to the wholesale outsourcing of U.S. factories at a rate of 17 per day on average over the next decade (2000-2012). 

In 2008 the massively levered American Dream exploded. So what to do, this infinitely corrupt society bailed out the exact same criminals who caused the financial collapse in the first place. It was a fatal mistake that has led to over a decade of ever-increasing fraud, now culminating with this epic end-of-cycle con job: A combination Dotcom Tech bubble in a 2008 credit bubble, ending with a 1987 stimulus-driven melt-up, into a 1930s job market. A ludicrous level of blithely ignored risk invisible to those who are no longer capable of recognizing fraud in broad daylight. One constant throughout these decades has been America's inexorable moral decline which has always remained a step ahead of what would have been recently considered criminal activity. Those who don't see this coming are more than happy with this path of least resistance descent into Third World depravity which is now one margin call away from biblical revelation. 

My synopsis of Evil Geniuses from what I've read so far, is that the Reagan revolution was essentially a post-1970s born again fantasy. A nostalgic recycling of the past that conveniently rewrote America's greatest era of middle class prosperity 1950 - 1975, with Third World values:

"Of course, Ronald Reagan didn’t cheerfully announce in 1980 that if Americans elected him, private profit and market values would override all other American values; that as the economy grew nobody but the well-to-do would share in the additional bounty; that many millions of middle-class jobs and careers would vanish, along with fixed private pensions and reliable healthcare; that a college degree would simultaneously become unaffordable and almost essential to earning a good income"

Rather, when we were promised in 1980 the wonderful old-fashioned life of Bedford Falls, we didn’t pay close enough attention to the fine print and possible downsides, and forty years later here we are in Pottersville instead, living in the world actually realized by Reaganism, our political economy remade by big business and the wealthy to maximize the wealth and power of big business and the well-to-do at the expense of everyone else"

Evil geniuses indeed.   

The only real problem I have with the book is that I'm not stuck in the past anymore, I am more interested in what happens now and in the future. Personally I found Andersen's epiphany that styles and fashion haven't changed in 30 years, to be the most shocking and compelling:

"During the twentieth century, each decade had its own signature look and feel. By the late 1960s, the 1950s looked so ’50s, and by the early 1980s, the 1960s looked so ’60s. But then, starting in the 1990s, that unstoppable flow of modernity— the distinctly new continuously appearing and making styles seem old— somehow slowed and nearly the 1990s we also stopped creating the fundamentally, strikingly new, perfecting a comfortable Matrix illusion that in some sense the world wasn’t really changing all that much"

Clearly the corporate Matrix didn't want us to be overly shell shocked by the relentless descent into debt penury and squalor. 

Trump ushered in a hail Mary era in which the used car salesmen who got us into this predicament promised they could get us out. My blog is a testament as to how that is working out. The same old greedy assholes recycling the same old false promises. When Sean Hannity is your beacon of truth, you know your best days are long behind you. AC360 a circle jerk of like-minded morons. I watch Bloomberg Asia to get an objective look-back at the U.S., because you can't get the truth anymore in this country. It's all opinionated bullshit. Pablum for weak minded dunces. 

With the advent of Biden we have a turn back towards compassion. However, at the same time as Biden's State Department is promulgating Trump's signature Anti-China strategy, Biden has assigned VP Kamala Harris to oversee the nascent #StopAsianHate movement.

See any connection?

America's accelerating racial balkanization is primarily driven by the fact that the economy itself is inherently biased towards the rich. Those facts are very well documented in Kurt Andersen's book or many other places on the internet. There will be no coming together of the masses until the inherent bias against the working class is eradicated. Only then can this toxic race war that is tearing the country apart be ended. Pitting white trailer parks against black ghettos is merely a useful diversion.

Per the title of this post, the U.S. is now in a poverty trap. Which means that low levels of income preclude investment in long-term economic growth. The country is consuming not only the entirety of current domestic production, but in 2021 20% of consumption is now borrowed from the future. What is left to give back is corporate profit which is running at a record % of GDP. That reversion to reality will be detrimental to stock prices. There is a hole in the bucket, and at present we don't have the will or resources to repair it, so the lying will continue until EVERYONE is on the same page.

And that event is pending. 


To be continued...