Posted by: righthandblink | May 24, 2016

Dragons and Demons and Monsters

Dragons and Demons and Monsters

The realization of the importance of what you’re about to read blossomed while watching “The Force of Nature” with David Suzuki. Suzuki said that the challenge we face as a species is to get things right. We has been around for how many centuries, and yet he was implying that we still don’t get it? Why?

First we have to recognize that our world is shaped by such things as gravity, enthalpy, the speed of light, the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Those are forces of nature that impose limitations on the way that we can live. Another is the biosphere, the zone of air, water and land that is the source of all we need to survive and flourish. So protecting its health should be our highest priority.

How important is the air we breath? Most of the parents of this world wouldn’t put a plastic bag over the head of their children and seal it tight. Of course not. What a stupid comment? Right? But isn’t that what we’re doing with climate change. It’s the same thing.

It doesn’t appear to be any different from when they used to throw babies into the sacrificial fires at the temples to appease the gods. Speaking of gods, its really weird, a few centuries ago people believed in dragons and demons and monsters. We really believed in them. And if we thought that we pissed them off, we would do anything – giving them jewels and gold, sacrificing virgins (human beings) – we’d do anything to appease those things.

 

Well today, it may appear that we don’t do that anymore. We came to realize that they were figments of our imagination. But what we did was to go out and replace them with other figments of our imagination called the economy, capitalism, free enterprise, currency, the market, and now we bow down before them just like the way we did before with dragons and demons. Just read the financial pages. The economy is the bottom line . . . Well, it’s not. We ultimately have to face up to the laws or forces of nature.

We invented these things – the economy, capitalism, free enterprise, currency, the market. They aren’t real. So, if they are not working, then we’ve got a responsibility to change them. What a novel idea! And yet we act as though they are somehow immutable and we have to bow down to satisfy them. If they are not working, then we’ve got to change them.

Our great boast is our intelligence. Well, we are a clever animal, aren’t we? But what intelligent creature knowing that air and water are sacred would then proceed to deliberately dump our most toxic elements into them. We are air. We are water. Whatever we do to the air and to the water, we do directly to ourselves.

Our economic woes started here in this country just after we arrived. But they have been going on in Europe for centuries. It’s like we are carrying this “bad aura” around like a black cloud over our heads. It’s like it’s stuck on us, like a plague of sorts. It would be accurate to say that this problem on ours has been with us ever since our ancestors got kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Things may have improved somewhat when Noah was floating a tourist company transporting around bored couples while the rest of the world was in liquidation, but then it started all over again.

We have been in this country of ours over 270 years. Financial stress started here shortly after we arrived, way back before Ontario was a province and Canada was a country. Ever heard of the “Panic of 1837”, the deep economic depression of the 1880s, and the worldwide economic downturn of 1896. And that’s only a few.

It Still Continues Today

More recently, in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of Britain, initiated a massive program of privatization. She sold off the steel industry, water, electricity, gas, telephone, airlines, and oil. In 1986, financial and banking services were deregulated. It was called “The Big Bang.”

We all know that unregulated markets have been implemented globally. We have them here. The nature of unregulated markets is to be volatile; bubbles are allowed to inflated and then eventually they burst.

In 1987 there was Black Monday, markets fell spectacularly. It was the largest one day percentage decline in stock market history.
In 1992 there was Black Wednesday when currency speculators made fortunes against the pound.
In 1997 there was the Asian Contagion (Meltdown) where in one year $600 billion disappeared from the stock markets of Asia.

And then, in September 2008, the financial markets imploded. President Bush made a famous comment “The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence.” He compared the market to a person with feelings, someone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed and fell off, was having a bad day but tomorrow would be feeling better.

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Bros filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Yet only one week later it was announced that workers in their New York office would share in $2.5 billion in bonuses. It is estimated that wall street firms paid 18.4 billion in bonuses paid last year [2008], the year of the crash.

“Despite the court of populous rhetoric on taking on the fat cats and standing up to the little guy, saving main street and not wall street, we are witnessing a transfer of wealth of unfathomable size. It is the transfer of wealth from public hands, from the hands of government collected from regular people in the form of taxes into the hands of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world. Needless to say, the very individuals and corporations that created this crisis.”
— quoted from “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein

We’ve had over 270 years of politicians creating debt and pumping it into the economy. Ok, sometimes it worked. But only for a short time. Generally, it doesn’t work. In all the confusion, someone is getting rich. The only thing that improved or got bigger, was the government debt.

§ § §

RACE TRACK POLITICS

At one time, many years ago, I had a conversation with this politician about finances. He explained what it was very difficult to determine a budget and to manage the governments finances. He said that they wanted to spend the money where it would have the greatest benefit for the economy. But that was difficult to determine.

He then used an metaphor to explain the predicament. He compared the problem to going to the race track and not knowing which horse to bet on. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.”

I just stared at him in disbelief . . . Then I said, “When I go to the race track, I bet with my own money. When you go to the race track you aren’t betting with your own money. You are betting with my money. You’re not loosing your money. You’re betting and loosing the taxpayers money!” 

§ § §

So these “institutions” of the economy, capitalism, free enterprise, currency, the market, don’t work. It is understandable since we invented them without any respect for the laws of nature. We’ve got a responsibility to change them. If they are not working, then we should change them.

That money that the governments had borrowed increased the public debt and was originally borrowed, so we are told, on the premise of helping us. It had to go somewhere. We’re told that it gets invested in the “economy,” but the public is not getting rich from it. But someone is?

The privatization that Margaret Thatcher started back in the 1980s continues today. In Ontario, the latest public-owned company to go onto the chopping block is Ontario Hydro.

 

Renewable, Green and Healthy . . . for a Sustainable Tomorrow!
© 2016, Right Hand Blink

 

 

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