Thursday, November 10, 2011

Our meta-stable economic world

There have been now shortage of John the Baptists crying out in the desert about debt levels in the western world, and specifically the US & UK.

But there have been far more "smart" people saying debt doesn't matter, and that we need "investment". Its so happened that their approach is much less painless in the short term and helps you win elections.

So that's what we've had. But still our trajectory has been in a direction that we all knew would become unstable.

We all know the public sector pensions are a ponzi scheme, but that you lose the next election if you tell anyone.

No one asked too many question about the house price bubble or the credit splurge that financed it - as you could tax the wave and win the next election on the bribes.

Even the Euro bailouts are pointless in the long term, without harsh economic reform in the South and sacrifice in the North of Europe. ( And we know whilst "kicking the can down the road" is politically popular - and may allow you to win the next election. The reforms ( which will be very unpopular ) will cause you to lose it. )

We are asking political Turkey's to vote for Christmas.

They will fudge, delay, do the stuff that keeps them in office and not the stuff that will get them kicked out. ( Though that has its limits as Ireland, Greece and Italy have found out ).

And as the crisis develops we learn how little of how our world works our leaders really understand. They are experts in politics, getting elected and climbing the greasy pole whilst clubbing others off it. They're lives devoted to the mayflower type moment when they win office and cling to the glory for as long as they can.

They have had the dream, one in which they feature prominently by coincidence, but now reality can no longer be denied.

Democracy is starting to look like its failed.

Those who want to save it had better start rehearsing and making their arguments heard, because if this goes all the way there will be revolution in parts of Western Europe.


James Higham said...

It's the people failing to see the totalitarians they're up against. Clawing back powers? give me a break.

The Shaved Ape said...

Amen, brother. I'd LOVE to see the UK withdraw from the EU and get back to business.

I'm sitting over here with a very similar situation, and it's frustrating.

1. The US has $15 trillion in debt right now, and it's rising rapidly. How the F does a capitalist democracy, with 320 million people and an average unemployment rate of 6%, have $15T in debt?? It's a failure of leadership on a scale never before seen.

2. The current president spends $1.3 trillion PER YEAR more than he has available and when anybody suggest getting closer to a balanced budget, his party says publicly that the budget-cutters "want old people to starve."

3. NAFTA, the ill-conceived baby version of the EU, has Mexican trucks traveling throughout the country now -- costing US truckers their jobs.

Isn't the real problem the electorate? How can they be educated to stop supporting the entitlement system and re-learn the concept that hard work and self-sufficiency are virtues?