Money is Debt, is American Economic Collapse Imminent? 8% Inflation, 15% Unemployment, 47M Poor, Deficit >100% of GDP
If you want to understand how the modern world may end as we know it, the odds-on favorite to study is economic collapse. The only people who could argue some sort of collapse hasn’t already happened are either hopelessly optimistic or well compensated by the multinational corporate interests consolidating the wealth. To bolster that sweeping generalization before I start a Keynesian flame war, some statistics:
47 million U.S. citizens live in developing-world conditions today. We’ve seen 8% inflation on everyday goods over the past year. And while political leaders would lead you to believe unemployment is around 8% too — it’s really closer to a whopping 15% with fully 1 in 5 americans reporting they are underemployed, not making enough money to make ends meet.
The truth is, it isn’t difficult to understand why we’re in this collapse. It’s almost intuitive — the obscenely wealthy consolidators of power and wealth have really knocked it out of the park this time. Media and politicians obscure the fact that paper money has ever-decreasing value for the same self-serving goals as the multinational corporations who profit from selling the Doritos that just went up in price. Mass-produced snack foods are essentially bite-sized subprime mortgages on one’s health and wallet. But I digress…
I believe most of us have a general sense that our country is in deep debt. I think if you asked most people they’d metaphorically think of it as a few maxed out credit cards. Which is a very apt metaphor if you have a credit card with a $15 trillion credit limit and make, oh, let’s say $15 trillion per year. Try getting a 1:1 loan on your salary at the local credit union! Yes, U.S. debt officialy overtook our GDP last year.
To understand how our economic wealth is essentially imaginary, you could do no worse than to watch the famous (on the Interwebs) feature-length animated documentary Money as Debt.
As you sit back and watch this mind-enriching video (admittedly no Pixar blockbuster) it won’t take long before you begin to understand that the modern concept of currency value is essentially imaginary and based on an infinite abyss of debt.
The optimist in all of us wants to believe the economic recovery is real — that our elected officials and corporate-appointed economic overlords have our best interest in mind. A recovery is certainly not out of the question. After all, the next value-injecting tech bubble could be just around the corner with a breakthrough in hardware, software, nanotechnology, genetics or quantum physics. But it’ll still be another bubble.
It doesn’t take a quantum physicist to see that this gargantuan credit bubble will burst one day. If we don’t proactively adjust our system of currency and valuation to a more realistic scope, the force of the market will do it for us, and may crush more than our economy in the process.
You won’t find News for End Times making any political endorsements in this Presidential race (we’re anti-authoritarian like that) but you might be surprised that one of the candidates — Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) — held forth earlier today about this very fiat currency crisis to none other than Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Fed.