Winter is Coming

Submitted by Barbara on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 18:17

Winter is coming and its going to be a long winter this time around.  How do I know?  I dont really know.  But in 2008 during the housing market & banking crash, the media said it was really really bad, but dont worry it will all be fixed right away.   I knew one of those two things was a lie because they cannot exist together.  I told everyone either it isnt really bad and it will get better immediately, or it is really bad and its going to take four to five years before it looks right again.  Many people chose to argue the media line with me, but now I get to say, "I told you so."

I dont claim to be psychic or magic.  I just pay attention and watch the news with a great deal of skepticism.  I observe things that are happening to the world around me right now, in real time and I tell you this is going to be a long hard winter.  The economy is a like bike.  Its powered by people but we are riding around on tires full of air.  The rich corporations have poked some huge holes in the tires siphoning off the air for themselves.  The government rather than patching the holes has equipped us with a mobile air pump and is trying to put the air back into the tires faster than it can be siphoned off.   Its working at the moment, but there are signs that the system is in trouble.

One of the consequences of absurdly low interest rates the government has set is that it creates inflation.  Cheep money leads to a devaluing of our currency.    The cheese I bought in 2010 for $2.79 now costs $3.68.   Our favorite creamed honey three years ago cost $13.99 and now costs $19.59.   Yogurt was $3.19 and is now up to $4.35.  Same margarine we have always bought is up 13%.  So inflation is going to be one factor moving forward. 

Even if they manage to reign in inflation, they can't prevent resource scarcity.  We can not live an endless jubilee.  We have consumed the surplus that either nature/God put here in a very short time and now every time we take, we take from some one else.  The forests are 80% gone and the polar ice is too.  We are greatly exceeding the rate at which the renewable resources can be replaced and as for the non renewable ones?  The desertification of crop lands and the pollution of the food supply by Monsanto and erosion though loss of diversity eats away at our food supply.  Concentrations of green house gases is exceeding projections and so is sea level rise.  The cheap and easily extracted oil is mostly gone.  Our nuclear power plants are aging and something that most people dont talk about is that we have also passed peek uranium production.  Mean while the number of people these dwindling things must be divided between continues to rise.   The earth has a finite capacity weather you want to think about it or not.   

Will there be another boom cycle?  There will be if the government and corporations can manage to pull it off but Im not looking forward to it.  Even if they do pull it off, the 1% will be in the best position to grab most of the wealth generated.  Not you or I so for most us us that will mean a new car or tv followed by the loss of our pensions and retirement funds.

We have been hearing a lot about austerity form the IMF and the countries that are struggling when its imposed upon them.  Not only is it flawed according to many, but austerity doesn't work when its enforced upon the poor by the rich.  Asking those who already live an austere life to become more austere doesn't really change the outlook.  Taking away 10% from those who dont have anything to start with isnt economically significant.  Any easing it creates is quickly absorbed by the wealthy who are free from their own rules meaning that their type of austerity isnt really austerity at all.  Its just another scheme to transfer wealth up the ladder. 

The short answer is, the system is rigged.  Like any casino, a few people will beat the odds and be held up for show, but if you keep your hand in game, you will loose in the end so my advice is to pull back.  Make a budget.  If it doesnt fit, dont buy it.  Im suggesting that you voluntarily engage in some real austerity.  That $100/ month cable bill has to go. Stop trading your money for every new gadget or fad and but avoid the race to the bottom.  Even if it saves you money, avoid places like Walmart that treat their workers badly  How you vote with your money DOES MATTER.   Even if it dosent happen for another generation, learn the skills so you can teach those who follow us.  Grow a garden and learn how to get along without the system as much as possible before its forced upon you.