Apparently, there are seemingly few moments in the span of a twenty-four hour period when my brain isn’t engaged. Ennui is rarely present. I point this out in a more or less tongue and cheek sort of comment as I’m not necessarily proud of this characterization nor am I completely at ease with confessing it! However, the level of depravity one witnesses in our present day world makes, as a source of commentary, for an extremely target rich environment. There seems so much to be concerned about yet there is so little time spent by the purveyors of social conscious (Media) devising a coherent and constructive query that has any discernable poignancy or prescience!
Point at issue, Money Politics. I could have easily mused as “Money Chasing Influence”, “The Politics of Money” or “The Peddlers of Change”. I’m fascinated by the images these titles animate in my mind particularly the last of the three. Particularly if you consider the use of the word “change” in two distinctly different forms. One being change as to “transform” or, change as to “currency” (coin)! Amusing!
There is so much going on around us and to be relevant, in this writing, I’m electing to provoke you with a series of brief commentaries which I may, for future discussion, reserve as many deserve greater inquiry than space and time permit in this forum. Try these on and see how they fit!
Election: We are nearing the end of the 2008 Presidential Election Cycle and let me just put the speculation to an end. Mr. Obama will be this County’s next President. Sadly, as has been in past Presidential Elections, he will be elected not for his qualifications, not for his vision, nor, for that matter, simply because he is so right! He will, however, be elected because the alternatives are so inadequate or dare I say, loathsome. Some might say that he will be elected to prove we can elect a “Black” for President as if to say, “…see how far we’ve come.” My response of course will be that if this (reason) is in deed the case then, in fact, it shows how much a part of the social equation the issue of race continues to be. Like many aspects of “Money Politics”, Race makes money and until Race can not be sold to the buying Public, it will continue to be that way. Just remember you heard it here first! At the conclusion of Mr. McCain’s concession speech, the fawning and/or “slobbering” love fest will commence. Don’t be concerned with the form it will take, just be sure it will all be about the form and NOT the substance. There will be gold embossed coins and dinner plates for sale and record breaking amounts of money will be spent for the coronation! Yes, most definitely, I am being sarcastic but for reasons you may never understand and if you do, then I’ll have no need to explain them!
Lastly, on this point, Mr. Obama will be my next President and I will offer him, his family and his Administration my constant prayers. I want, as we all should, that he be successful in terms that serve and benefit the People of the Country. He will be the President for Americans not for the World or World Interests and I pray we all, somehow, grasp the significance of this statement.
Economy: This is a tough one! Trying to fit it in so narrow a medium. I’ve got, and as you would expect – knowing my back ground, a great deal to say on this one. It is not that this issue is complex, strangely it is rather straight forward. It is, more so, that to correct the mass of mistakes the solutions are fairly pervasive/invasive and a successful resolution will have to be a series of strategic actions in concert with one another. For now, let us confine this present discourse to the following comments for your consideration and introspection.
The Economy is in its present condition for two primary reasons: Government meddling/micromanaging in the Private Sector (non-Governmental), that is to say, Governments dismal failure at engaging in its lawful and legitimate function. And, the Legal Systems unwillingness to sanction, punitively, predatory practices regardless of what segment of the Economy they may occur. I would target, as an example, the mercenaries of what we’ll simply coral, or otherwise broadly define, as the Financial Markets. The Government, as was clearly understood by our Founders, should NEVER be permitted to engage in Commerce, or better said, the Government should never cross the boundary between its stewardship of the Public Trust and Economic Gain! It’s important to call in to memory one of my favorite Thomas Jefferson’s warnings : “…a Government large enough to give you what you want is large enough to take what you’ve got!”
The Government will attempt to manipulate the Economy, once again, by doing what it only knows how to do which is throw money (Public Money) at the problem and to legislate increasingly insidious measures that further inculcate mediocre policy. It is the final and most pervasive image of sclerotic Government Policy and historically proven to be the equivalent of throwing money on a drowning man. There is not one single piece of Government legislation since 1913 that I can think of that has proven itself worthy of being hailed as a success. Yes, there have been noble ambitions, however I’ll simply refer you back to my Thomas Jefferson quote above.
I’ll offer a real world example of this failure. Monetary Policy in this Country operates from the premise that Debt = Growth (Economic Expansion). The Banking system thrives not on currency as a medium of exchange but the creation of debt and the machinations that this System engages in for this to occur. All along the way, the players in this System take their piece of the pie as it progresses through the food chain. For this System, as it is, to thrive, there must be ever increasing Debt whose companion is also an ever increasing Money Supply (Inflation) whose use you pay for. To grasp this concept one must simultaneously understand that the Debt, in this Systems language, is synonymous with Spending whether it be Government or Private. For various reasons, the details of which we’ll save for another time, as this Country’s Economy no longer creates the Wealth to feed this system (Manufacturing, Technological Innovation etc sustained by sound Monetary Policy/System) the only remaining vehicle (then) is Spending and lots of it! It is worth noting that Government spending, regardless of what you may think or have been told, is not Economically Viable. In other words, it is purely consumption spending, it neither creates wealth nor does it fan the flames of wealth creating practices. It is only and completely wealth consumption! It takes wealth away from (You) or out of the System and simply consumes it by redistribution practices and that’s all it does. That leaves the Country, sadly, with only Consumer Spending. The more prosaic example of this in action is the Housing Industry. The Government has manufactured the “one man one house” ideology. Why, well, because as is in the case with “Race”, Housing sells ( creates Political Equity) and quite handsomely. It looks something like this: Government mandates housing as an entitlement and Banks step up to fund (Debt) the development and construction of housing. State and Local Governments join in the fun by mandating absurd and punishing (expensive) requirements which neither truly serve the public but more importantly, actually are divisive and further exacerbate the nascent problem. Creating an explosion in Housing feeds all sorts of industries from timber right on down to your local Home Depot!
The System feeds itself by mandating ever increasing fields from which the harvest of would-be Buyers can be sourced and the stage is set., in effect, allowing them to strategically place their nets in the frenzy. With the increase in demand for housing the cycle of price inflation begins, prices rise funded by increased Debt and as we know, because this is how the System functions, Debt = Economic Expansion all of which is funded by the illusion of Wealth created by the Inflationary Spiral! Introduce, as an added component to Demand the ever present appetite for speculation and you’ve got “yerself” quite a barbeque! I shuttered to think what Consumer Spending, for the last 10 years, would truly have looked like for the most inconspicuous component of all and that is the portion of Consumer Spending that was funded by the Homeowners using home equity that was simply created by this inflationary spiral. You know them, you’ve seen them and wondered! How the dickens are they paying for the swimming pool, that Suburban, that Hummer, etc? Now you know, Debt = Economic Expansion.
There are several problems with this scenario as you can clearly see from looking at the number of foreclosures as well as other systemic financial hardships. What may not (also) be so obvious is the hidden poison and that is, more and more, the components used in the construction of the typical home are no longer (even) sourced from this Country! Timber is increasingly coming in to this Country from Canada, nails from China or Mexico not to mention the effects on the labor pool which is increasingly “undocumented” and the flow of their wages back to their “home” Country. The tragic comedy of this is that the U.S. Economy actually benefits very little from the process but reaps the severest of consequences. The Financial Burden!
What are equation now becomes is Debt = Economic Expansion, then Collapse!
*** More to come! This is getting good,…so stay tuned…!
Curtis Greco, Founder