Saturday, January 05, 2013

Profits of Doom

Not a whole lot to say about current events lately, although I suspect that I may have a meta-post lurking about why that is; in other words, I may have something to say about why I don't have all that much to say.

But as far as the "fiscal cliff" guff goes, well, it is what it appears to be -- mostly a media-fostered landscape of hype, because doom-hype is what sells pharmaceuticals and cars and hemorrhoid cremes. Obama's handling of it thus far has been just fine; one almost wonders if he feels slightly sorry for the disarray and near-mutiny that Boehner has on his hands with an increasingly fractious teahadi caucus mucking things up for him. Whatever the case, yes it sucks that working people lose about twelve bucks a week or so, but it was a payroll tax holiday, by definition a temporary measure.

The bigger picture that neither Obama nor any other pol will ever touch is the exceptional and increasing inequities underpinning the economic picture. It is not just that the money is mostly smoke and mirrors, as Kunstler points out on a weekly basis, it is that it is hoarded to no end, and globalization puts that excess hoarding elsewhere. It's not just your job that went to China, but also the profit that your former boss made by sending your ass home. This has created a stasis mode, for the most part. All else is merely posturing and scrambling for purchase.

One thing is always certain, and that's that there is money to be made prophesying economic cataclysm. Unlike the god-bothering variants of fire and brimstone, there's always a nugget of truth to dismal economic forecasts; when entire industries and fortunes are built on studiously ignoring the obvious, things really are one catalyzing event away from disaster.

That must be what we want, in the aggregate anyway. If we didn't, we would vote accordingly, not just at the ballot box, but with our dollars. Everyone who shops at Wal-Mart, to use just the most glaring example, is complicit in their own economic problems; you get the town you pay for when you support a multinational conglomerate that gutted all your local merchants, and you get the country you pay for when you support six people who are worth as much as the bottom 30% of Americans. It is not a question of "fairness", but an issue of basic math:  a healthy society cannot exist where an elite few own just about everything.

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