Friday, July 29, 2011

The Debt Ceiling

I really wanted to make some post about the debt ceiling, but I feel that this other blogger said a lot of what I wanted to say, so it'd probably be suitable to post that instead.  I will say a few things.  Ever since reading Kunstler's book and finding out about peak everything, I have obsessively been following the issue of economic collapse through blogs and message boards, and have posted about it almost exclusively.  But I always viewed it as something abstract.  Don't get me wrong, I'd say that I have felt the effects of a gradually worsening economy.  I have not had a job interview in 3 years, I still live at home and do not see any reason for that to change any time soon, at least not a good reason.  The degree(s) I have put immense time and money into are worthless.  These circumstances, in one way or another, are tied to a collapsing economy and society.  But in many ways, I'm pretty comfortable.  I eat my three squares a day, I come here to blog, I just cooked a delicious pasta yesterday, I play video games, the bills are getting paid, etc.  So, again, "doom" is something that I know exists, and is bound to hit all of us at some point, likely in our lifetimes.  But until now, I have not stared down the barrel at it.  But this is different. 

Many would say that we are already in a state of default, regardless of how this pans out.  The act of "QE", restlessly printing money (or typing in a few more digital zeroes), is just one example of this.  But the government acknowledging that there is no money to pay its bills, is pretty much making it official, no?  I could see the points of both the conservatives and the liberals in Congress; the conservatives that we can't just keep borrowing money, and the liberals that a fast collapse and a default would lead to a mercilessly quick chaotic situation.  But as Bill Hicks says, they are either ignoring, or are just completely clueless, that the rules of the game have changed.  Economic growth just is not possible where you have hit a wall in energy resources.  You may print money, but you cannot print oil, land, water, or any other natural resource.  They are applying outdated solutions to this problem, and they are doomed to fail.  Hicks knocks down a lot of liberal columnists who are writing misinformed articles on how to fix the debt crisis.  Many involve just throwing money at the problem.  But to this point, the various stimuluses and QE's we've had have only, at best, kept the economy level and prevented it from going into freefall.  No growth has been made as a result of these magic tricks.

To close, I do not know what the final result of this will be.  I thought this was just political theater (to an extent, I still do), designed to scare us so that massive cuts would be made to SS and Medicare, but the radical right (in the form of the freshman Tea Party congress) is persistent that there will be no more spending, no matter what.  Either way, I think this will damage us further in the eyes of the world, and will hasten our demise.  

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