: defective execution of a plan, or a failure to correctly/completely define the problem.
Tactical problems in attempting to implement a particular strategy are an inevitable byproduct of being imperfect creatures, living in an imperfect universe. It is the thinking behind the phrase “trial and error.” When we attempt to plot some new course of action we hope to “get things right” in our first attempt; but (rationally) we don’t necessarily expect to do so.
Conversely, the failure to correctly design a solution because we originally failed to fully/correctly diagnose the problem is unforgivable. It is proverbial cart-before-the-horse thinking: attempting to “do something” before we even understand what we should be doing.
It is the numerous, serial failures in properly diagnosing the problems facing our economies (and societies) which has brought us directly to the dismal state of affairs in which we exist today. Let’s first explicitly spell-out this current, economic catastrophe.
Most Western economies are hopelessly insolvent, and many are plainly bankrupt. Putting aside the monstrous, absolute size of these debt-mountains (such as the $200+ trillion in debts/obligations of the U.S.), and the terminal debt-to-GDP ratios of these governments; the behavior of these governments proves they are bankrupt.
Both the U.S. and the EU are now directly printing money merely to ‘pay’ the interest on their debts – i.e. “monetizing debt”. It is universally understood that monetizing debt is the last refuge of bankrupt sovereign debtors, before bankruptcy is imposed upon them by frustrated creditors.
Monetizing debt, and the currency-devaluation which always/automatically accompanies it is an open attempt to defraud creditors by “repaying” them with debauched currency worth only a fraction of what was originally lent to them. Since the Crash of ’08, it has ceased to be a question of “if” Western nations would be forced into bankruptcy (and Debt Jubilee), and become only a question of when. Debt-monetization is the exclamation point on this conclusion.
The major Western currencies (the dollar, pound, and euro) are already effectively worthless, which can be conclusively demonstrated in logical/mathematical terms. Sadly, however, these are only symptoms of the primary dilemma confronting us.
In the nearly 2 ½ centuries since the Industrial Revolution gave birth to the rise of the modern ideology known as “capitalism”, the theorists who have promoted its virtues have always attached a caveat of warning. We could never allow the existence of corporate, economic entities known as monopolies and oligopolies.
For centuries; it has been universally understood that monopolies and oligopolies are not only predatory and parasitic, but relentlessly corrupting influences on our governments and societies in general. It is why the “anti-trust” laws which have always existed in our societies have always been among the most rigidly and strictly enforced regulatory regimes in our entire system…at least they used to be.
Approximately a generation ago; a collection of foolish, corrupt, or simply weak governments across the Western world just stopped enforcing these laws – all in the name of the euphemism “globalization”. What was the driving force behind this globalization? The monopolies and oligopolies which had already managed to infect our economies.
The result of a single generation of globalization? The entire global economy is now almost completely overrun with monopolies and oligopolies. In an economic system where not one of these abominations should be allowed to exist; we have nearly total saturation. And what has this resulted in?
Unprecedented levels of structural unemployment exist across the Western world. Somewhere in excess of 60 million employable people in Western societies are not allowed to work. This is because our labour markets are deliberately structured to prevent these people from working. Proving the lack of good faith of our governments are the mammoth lies they tell us in providing their official unemployment “statistics”.
Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution our governments have faced several such episodes of rising structural unemployment. They have always responded by shortening the work-week – so that available labour was evenly/equitably spread-out among all the members of society, and “full employment” was restored.
Our Traitor Governments refuse to shorten the work week today. Why? Because the monopolies and oligopolies who pull their strings like massive unemployment. It permanently and relentlessly drives down wages (and working conditions); and with “job security” non-existent, “workers” are turned into loyal, unquestioning slaves.
Using U.S. data because we lack comparable data for other economies; in a little over 40 years we have seen the economic devolution now familiar to regular readers:
[chart courtesy of nowandfutures.com]
The U.S. standard of living has collapsed by more than half, as the average worker is now literally paid “Great Depression wages” (in real dollars). What was the Middle Class is now “the “Working Poor.”
This collapse in the standard of living; massive, structural unemployment; and the political corruption responsible for creating and now perpetuating these problems are also symptoms. They are symptoms of a global economy totally infested with the corrupt, predator/parasites known as oligopolies and monopolies.
It is a tautology that to genuinely solve any problem one must address the cause, and not merely the symptoms. Obviously, then, the starting point of any meaningful reform in our economies/societies is to smash all of the monopolies and oligopolies into little pieces. As long as mega-corporations are allowed to be so large that they can completely “buy” all our governments out of their Petty Cash drawer, we can be certain that we will get the “best governments” which their money can buy.
However, with no economists, no other commentators, and (obviously) no politicians having even identified the Primary Problem facing our economies and societies; solving this problem is not a practical goal over even the most-distant horizon. Yet with economic catastrophe already on top of us; we need to make positive changes in our economies (in general) and our monetary system (in particular) today.
We have made a tiny step in positively reforming our monetary system. We know we must have monetary reform today. We also (now) know that such reform must take place within a corrupt system – with no hope of eradicating that corruption over even the medium term. We must treat a symptom while acknowledging (for the present) that there is nothing which can be done about the “disease”.
Hopes of short-term political reform reflect nothing but the epitome of naivety. Successive different political regimes in the U.S., UK, and France have clearly and unequivocally demonstrated that both of the dominant political parties in these nations are absolutely under the control of the monopoly/oligopoly Oligarchs. We must suspect equivalent, saturation-corruption in most other Western regimes as well.
And where the corruption of the Oligarchs’ “dirty money” can’t buy the political outcomes they desire, they turn to the Iron Fist of coercion. Recall, how the people of Greece were forced to immediately conduct another election after electing a government which (at first) failed to kow-tow to the Oligarch financial hierarchy. The EU banking regime simply/publicly threatened todestroy Greece’s economy – if it didn’t elect a new (and more cooperative) government. Greece caved in.
Here, the “exception which proves the rule” is Iceland. Iceland was clearly under the thumb of the Western banking cabal. It’s economy was destroyed.
But Iceland is a small nation. It has a generally well-educated and affluent population. It was this combination of factors which provided both the political will, the popular support, and the economic stamina necessary to stand up to the Western banking cabal – as it tried and failed to bring Iceland to its knees.
It is a combination of factors which we see in no other Western society. There will be “no more Icelands” in the foreseeable future. We must reform our monetary systems not only within a framework of corrupt markets within a corrupt economy, but ruled by serially-corrupt governments.
It is obviously a formidable task. In Part II; we will see precisely how difficult monetary reform will be – given the current parameters of corruption – when we survey our options for such reform.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Jeff Nielson From Bullion Bulls Canada.