My ghost is here to tell Americans that we need to start tightening our belts and lowering the cost of living.
The Downside of Adversarial Approaches to Conflict
This is another example of how the two-party adversarial system prevents necessary change. Both parties make it impossible for the other party to talk common sense. Which ever party first brings up belt-tightening will be attacked by the other party for temporary advantage. There would be mantras like: “The other party wants you to believe the American dream is dead. They want you to start revising your dreams downward. That kind of pessimism can only lead America down the road to ruin.”
Self-Reliance and Sustainability
One of the main ways that nations and localities of world can protect themselves from the kind of world-wide economic wildfires we see looming because of Greece and Italy and all the other nations on the verge of bankruptcy, is for all countries to become as self-reliant as possible, to work toward sustainability in as many areas as possible and to whatever degree possible.
America Has Exported It’s Manufacturing Base
For America this means rebuilding our industrial base. A classic example of economics professors is that even something as simple as a pencil can be surprisingly difficult to make if you forget the centuries of learning that went into making them if you have to start from scratch. And when you think of how many products are no longer manufactured in the U.S., the prospects are be sobering.
We Can No Longer Produce Many Essential Products
Another example: all of our opiate-based pain medication is made from raw opium, mostly produced in India. An international currency collapse, especially if accompanied by a world war scenario or an oil embargo, could interrupt that supply chain, which would leave the U.S. with shortages of pain medication. These gloomy prospects are looming for an incredible number of products, including computers. If a major world crisis emerges, America will be poorly positioned to meet it’s needs for even the most common manufactured products.
High Standard of Living = High Cost of Living = High Cost of Everything
But if America returns to producing it’s own goods, like clothing, the cost of those goods will go way up because Americans have been spoiled by cheap products produced by cheap overseas labor for so long. The only way to mediate these effects is for America to start a wide-ranging effort to reduce the *cost* of living while trying as well as possible to maintain a reasonable *standard* of living. A tall order.
This Is the Kind of Blind Side Tackle That Results from Ignoring the Dynamics and Longer Time-Frame Cycles of Complex Systems Like the World Economy
Since the end of World War II Americans have been very wasteful. Big houses, big cars, big everything. Poorly designed cities that force us to commute long distances, wasting time and money. We’ve been living as if we would always be at the top of the economic pecking order. At the end of WWII we were the only major nation with an operational manufacturing base, and the whole world was our customer base. We could do no wrong. Those times are over and they will never come again. It’s time for us to face that hard reality and start dealing with it on a realistic level.
Phi Beta Iota: After Newt Gingrich brought down Speaker Jim Wright and destroyed what was a moderately functional bi-partisan system, he implemented the winner take all scorched earth model of governance, and also helped Ronald Reagan begin borrowing a trillion a year to cover federal largesse to campaign donors, while also keeping the public dumb and silent. The raw fact is that 50% of every federal dollar is fraud, waste, or abuse. 50% of every agriculture, defense, energy, foreign policy, health, intelligence, interior dollar. 50%. Cutting that fraud, waste, and abuse out of government, while holding banks and corporations accountable to their public charters and public stockholders. is a first step that no politician has had the brains or the balls to represent.