18 December 2008

Of recessions, depressions we choose depression

About recessions and depressions, Daphne and I are hoping for a Depression. You know, spread the poverty. A depression would be one way - perhaps the only way - of levelling things out a bit. Perhaps others, in tightening their belt, might come to some conclusions we poor people are well aware of. For example, one can live with less, a lot less and continue to have a satisfying life.

According to Warren Jestin, Scotiabank's senior vice president and chief economist, "global economic activity is receding rapidly, despite unprecedented government actions to support credit markets and inject big doses of monetary and fiscal stimulus to revive consumer, business and investor confidence."

In other words, had the damn governments left well enough alone, had they not spent trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars on bank and stock market bailouts, with industry bailouts to follow, had they let mismanaged corporations, banks, whatever, go bankrupt, then the global economy would have been no worse off. Likely there'd have been short(er) term pain, but that pain wouldn't have lasted so long.

If the market capitalists are so gung-ho about their ideology, then they should damn well let the market correct itself.


If we all fail together, we MAY come up with a better way to live on our shared spaceship!

Contrary to hype, the philosophy of "share the wealth" doesn't occur. The wealth in a market-driven economy only gets hoarded by an increasingly narrower group of the elite and powerful. But if a depression happens, then more people will get to "share the poverty" - whether they choose to or not.

And now we read that "powerful people are less compassionate." Which bolsters our point that perhaps, just perhaps, sharing the poverty could expand the extraordinarily scant amount of empathy we have in our society currently.

Some might say our approach is simplistic. We disagree. Once everyone realizes that capitalism is failing, we will all be looking for alternatives. Steady state economy is one idea that has been touted for some time. Why not take steps to grapple with that concept? Or the Venus Project.

Many minds have been offering solutions. Why does it take a looming disaster before we begin to take seriously our precarious position?

[Co-authored by Daphne and Ocean.]

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