Part 3

Aug. 15th, 2007 06:33 pm
angstzeit: (Default)
We have a few problems.

You've probably all heard about the housing downturn and rising loan defaults. You may have heard something about the $763.6 billion trade deficit the US carried last year. You may have even heard that our real national debt is actually $49 trillion or more. You probably haven't heard that a chunk of the debt of America is held by China. China has a lot of US bonds. It also has a huge amount of US currency. China has already threatened us with this massive leverage if we don't stop trying to make them send us safe food and products. What is the threat? Well, if they start massively selling off bonds and currency both become worth less (and worse case, worthless). Interest rates would skyrocket. Probably not enough to offset inflation. We would go into a “recession.” That's a nice word for depression. All of the things I've described pretty much lead to the same conclusion. If the dollar is worth less, then imported goods cost more—and most of our goods are imported.

(And BTW, what is China doing with all that money? Building their economy and military. Both mean they need more oil; and that means oil is only going to get scarcer and more expensive.)

And where do you think all this “prosperity” has come from over the last 20 years? Computers. Our economy has been surfing Moore's Law. Defying inflation by increasing productivity as the economy grows. Yet, while some experts are still optimistic, many think Moore's Law is going to hit a wall at some point. What then?

And think about this. The bottom falls out. Wages fall. Interest rates increase. And most of the people are up to their ears in debt already. As I said previously, I'm no economist but I'm pretty sure the outcome will be catastrophic. A domino effect of economic woe.

Lets face it: Economies are a shared illusion. And when that illusion is shattered, what then?

Part 3

Aug. 15th, 2007 06:33 pm
angstzeit: (Default)
We have a few problems.

You've probably all heard about the housing downturn and rising loan defaults. You may have heard something about the $763.6 billion trade deficit the US carried last year. You may have even heard that our real national debt is actually $49 trillion or more. You probably haven't heard that a chunk of the debt of America is held by China. China has a lot of US bonds. It also has a huge amount of US currency. China has already threatened us with this massive leverage if we don't stop trying to make them send us safe food and products. What is the threat? Well, if they start massively selling off bonds and currency both become worth less (and worse case, worthless). Interest rates would skyrocket. Probably not enough to offset inflation. We would go into a “recession.” That's a nice word for depression. All of the things I've described pretty much lead to the same conclusion. If the dollar is worth less, then imported goods cost more—and most of our goods are imported.

(And BTW, what is China doing with all that money? Building their economy and military. Both mean they need more oil; and that means oil is only going to get scarcer and more expensive.)

And where do you think all this “prosperity” has come from over the last 20 years? Computers. Our economy has been surfing Moore's Law. Defying inflation by increasing productivity as the economy grows. Yet, while some experts are still optimistic, many think Moore's Law is going to hit a wall at some point. What then?

And think about this. The bottom falls out. Wages fall. Interest rates increase. And most of the people are up to their ears in debt already. As I said previously, I'm no economist but I'm pretty sure the outcome will be catastrophic. A domino effect of economic woe.

Lets face it: Economies are a shared illusion. And when that illusion is shattered, what then?

Part 2

Aug. 13th, 2007 08:36 am
angstzeit: (Default)
For nearly six years now, various people in power have kept a great many of us horribly frightened of another terrorist attack like that on the World Trade Center. Many people go about daily with horrid visions of planes crashing into their workplaces, cars blowing up in crowded areas, “dirty bombs” irradiating their neighborhoods. But what I think most people don't realize is that the possibility of any single person being directly involved in any terrorist attack is very small. However, the chances that any person will be negatively affected by such an attack is quite high. Why? Because the economic repercussions would be extreme. They were severe after 9/11, but future catastrophes could be much worse.

And the even more frightening part is that terrorism is only a small part of the many dangers facing our nation. Why is America where it is? Our economy. I think one of the main reasons we “won” the Cold War is that the Soviet economy simply couldn't keep up. Throwing good money after bad into weapons and the military has some excellent immediate benefits—but in the long run leaves a country with little to show for all its work.

Our economy allows us to toss trillions of dollars into a pointless war. It allows us to ignore certain realities that sooner or later will catch up to us and take us down. In future posts, I'd like to look at some of those realities. Well, I wouldn't like to but I will.

Part 2

Aug. 13th, 2007 08:36 am
angstzeit: (Default)
For nearly six years now, various people in power have kept a great many of us horribly frightened of another terrorist attack like that on the World Trade Center. Many people go about daily with horrid visions of planes crashing into their workplaces, cars blowing up in crowded areas, “dirty bombs” irradiating their neighborhoods. But what I think most people don't realize is that the possibility of any single person being directly involved in any terrorist attack is very small. However, the chances that any person will be negatively affected by such an attack is quite high. Why? Because the economic repercussions would be extreme. They were severe after 9/11, but future catastrophes could be much worse.

And the even more frightening part is that terrorism is only a small part of the many dangers facing our nation. Why is America where it is? Our economy. I think one of the main reasons we “won” the Cold War is that the Soviet economy simply couldn't keep up. Throwing good money after bad into weapons and the military has some excellent immediate benefits—but in the long run leaves a country with little to show for all its work.

Our economy allows us to toss trillions of dollars into a pointless war. It allows us to ignore certain realities that sooner or later will catch up to us and take us down. In future posts, I'd like to look at some of those realities. Well, I wouldn't like to but I will.
angstzeit: (Default)
As a preamble, a couple of things from my past and present.

Back when the Soviet Union collapsed I made a snide pronouncement of my observations. The old way of controlling people is dead; the new way has triumphed. The old way—to point a gun at people and tell them to obey had given way to telling people if they don't obey they'll lose their microwave oven. It was a simplistic notion, but the basic idea that world struggle was becoming more economic than military wasn't far off.

To be sure economics were always a serious part of war. And it is not new to wage economic wars. But the unprecedented globalization of economies has introduced a complex interdependency such that effects in one area of the globe can have repercussions everywhere.


Paranoia then. Time was I got rather into conspiracy theories. Worked out varied ways the government would take over and rid the country of its enemies. Looked for the hidden cabals behind the sinister happenings that most people ignored. It was fun. A new reality grid to work with. But I was never tin-foil hat into it. It was a way I chose to think for a while. I largely left it by the wayside but still have a part of my brain that examines what I receive from the world through that filter.

Paranoia now. As I said, it is secondary in my life but definitely still there. I am much more skeptical of people suggesting specific theories of martial law or anarchy or the evil of the powers that be. But I still watch out for patterns. I watch to see when the balance of things seems to be tipping one way or another. And I am willing to take the things I know and feel and speculate about possible outcomes. I am no sage, and (thank God) no economist (the only profession as mystical and faith based as religion). But when I see someone jump off a building I don't expect them to fly.

In future posts about my thoughts I will be putting forth things I've noticed and my worries about them. Possibly they add up to something; possibly not. I will make my judgments but ultimately you will have to decide.
angstzeit: (Default)
As a preamble, a couple of things from my past and present.

Back when the Soviet Union collapsed I made a snide pronouncement of my observations. The old way of controlling people is dead; the new way has triumphed. The old way—to point a gun at people and tell them to obey had given way to telling people if they don't obey they'll lose their microwave oven. It was a simplistic notion, but the basic idea that world struggle was becoming more economic than military wasn't far off.

To be sure economics were always a serious part of war. And it is not new to wage economic wars. But the unprecedented globalization of economies has introduced a complex interdependency such that effects in one area of the globe can have repercussions everywhere.


Paranoia then. Time was I got rather into conspiracy theories. Worked out varied ways the government would take over and rid the country of its enemies. Looked for the hidden cabals behind the sinister happenings that most people ignored. It was fun. A new reality grid to work with. But I was never tin-foil hat into it. It was a way I chose to think for a while. I largely left it by the wayside but still have a part of my brain that examines what I receive from the world through that filter.

Paranoia now. As I said, it is secondary in my life but definitely still there. I am much more skeptical of people suggesting specific theories of martial law or anarchy or the evil of the powers that be. But I still watch out for patterns. I watch to see when the balance of things seems to be tipping one way or another. And I am willing to take the things I know and feel and speculate about possible outcomes. I am no sage, and (thank God) no economist (the only profession as mystical and faith based as religion). But when I see someone jump off a building I don't expect them to fly.

In future posts about my thoughts I will be putting forth things I've noticed and my worries about them. Possibly they add up to something; possibly not. I will make my judgments but ultimately you will have to decide.

March 2016

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