Friday, December 12, 2008

Clap on, Clap off ...

Mark Fiore animation
Click on the image to link to the animation.

A little clear-eyed cynicism, from the pen and mind of Mark Fiore, formerly a print political cartoonist but now an embedded presence and force on the worldwide web.

No point in snark from me. The work speaks volumes all by itself.

But to the wider issue of the Mess We Are In, economist Joseph Stiglitz has a short, to-the-point article that explains the causes well.

... What were the critical decisions that led to the crisis? Mistakes were made at every fork in the road—we had what engineers call a “system failure,” when not a single decision but a cascade of decisions produce a tragic result ...

The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.

Another way of looking at it: You let two ice hockey teams play without referees, you're going to get a lot of blood on the frozen water.


Anonymous said...

Very funny stuff. Thanks for sharing.

I highly recommend Paul Grignon's 47-minute animated presentation on what money actually is today. For eternity, for that matter. It's the foundation and the destruction of all empires. Socialist or capitalist, union or non-union, someone in the end controls who makes the money to keep our collective 'standard of living' humming along at 3% yearly. The 'global economy' will continue raping Mother Earth with or without band-aid regulation.

Also, our American roots with money. What is happening is not new by a long shot. It is the core the American Revolution.

And for a current play-by-play of the current de-leveraging.

Socialist or capitalist, the central bank is always there. The concept is so simple you scarcely believe it could be possible. Our founding fathers unfortunately did not learn enough from history.

Anonymous said...

Also, more rules enacted in the name of control won't change the fundamental equation that has created our nations wealth. They are mere props for politicians to wave about to grab more votes. The same central banking system will thrive despite political changes in national governance. I find it tragically ironic that a call for more central power will merely translate into more debt, exactly what banks need and thrive upon. In the end, central government is always central capital. They are fused together in the US Constitution.

The only thing governance eventually can and will affect upon the populace is a national effort to expand the empire through force or face collapse by internal revolution. We go through these dances over and over again.

Watch the relationship between oil and the dollar very carefully in the coming years. It has been the key factor in determining our national direction since the 70's. It would be nice that this empire could transition away from our addiction to oil, but we have tried many times and the bottom line of our need to retain our 'standard of living' and to sustain rampant consumption trumps us time and time again. Even the Berkeley hippies sold out to selling everyone energy-sucking Information Age consumer electronics. It's a sad affair, this thing called usury. It's been going on since Babylon. Baghdad. Whatever.

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