Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Economic Turbulence or Looming Disaster?

America has not crashed and burned like a plane flying into a mountain this year. Yet, all the economic numbers show that two full years since the market crashed in '08 (essentially sealing the Presidency for Obama), the economy remains weak with no end in sight.

That is of course if you are not in the top marginal tax bracket. Those making enough to be taxed the full amount allowed by law on the last dollar they make, are feeling great! Incomes are jumping for the rich like never before, even in a weak economy. How is this possible one might ask? It's possible when the poor people are making less money in absolute terms and relative terms.

Numbers coming out today show that the income gap between the rich and the poor has never been greater. Could the rich be conspiring to maintain and enhance their wealth at the expense of the worker-bees? I know how that sounds...like a crazy man talking.

Well the rich may and should enjoy the ride as this income gap continues to widen, because it won't last forever. Eventually, the super-rich will not even give the worker-bees enough food to continue working. And, that spells out revolution with the period spelled out as well, period.

Absolute power is always in the hands of the masses. Yet, the masses really just want to be left alone to diddle their wife, partner, beast, etc...and eat some cow meat. But, their comes a time in every republic, when the over-arching institutions of government start working solely for those with the money. And soon after, the masses, once done with their carnal pleasures start getting really pissed that there is no more cow meat on the table.

So once the masses start starving, they do what animals do: anything they can to survive. When the people have no food, all society flies out the window faster than shit through a goose. The next thing you know, your friendly neighbor of 25 years is slitting your throat to eat the last bag of Combo's in your pantry.

While America is no where close to this point yet, the signs are starting to emerge that we are indeed on the track where the railroad does crash and burn (see Back to the Future III for a visual example). This metaphor is used so often, and for good reason. You can't stop a train on a dime, it takes miles or a while to stop the momentum, just like with government. You can switch tracks, but they only come along every now and then, and once you miss them, you have to wait for the next opportunity which could be a long ways away. Perhaps the best metaphor is in the acceleration of a train. If you continue to increase the speed of a locomotive even along a straight track, at some point the rails will buckle under the stress of an ever increasing speed and we're Back to Future III again.

There is no sign of our society slowing down. In fact, we're speeding up as fast as possible. The only inevitable conclusion is that our society will break down eventually. In fact, everything breaks down. From a computer, to a car, to a house, to chromosomes in our own bodies as we age. It is really no leap of imagination to believe that at some point there will be a drastic change in the way Humans live.

I'm not saying go out and start stocking up on Spam, gas, and shotgun shells, but like everything in life, those that are prepared are most likely to succeed.

I'll try and cheer everyone up on my next post :-)

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