That Proverbial Rainy Day

Sitting in the car waiting for a client to open. Watching some pedestrians in tee-shirts and shorts crossing the street to get to work. Just after 8 am on a sunny blue sky Toronto morning. Some darker clouds loom off in the distance.

There is a problem with this picture. Yesterday they were calling for storms today. It may be sunny now, but with a decent breeze going this could change quickly. None of these pedestrians are carrying a raincoat nor umbrella. Admittedly, those with brief cases or large purses could be, but that means about a quarter of those watched are unknown…and odds are less than fifty percent of the unknown are packing.

Welcome to the proverbial rainy day.  The one everyone seems to worry about coming.  A certain sexist organization used to say “Always be prepared”…seems that humans have forgotten this mantra. One that is of much greater importance than a group of boys learning to tie knots.

Before continuing, a quick explanation…I am a political hybrid. The fundamentalist Liberals hate me because I am fiscally conservative. The fundamentalist Conservatives hate me because I am atheist and socially liberal. I believe that most people are like me in this sense…a hybrid, but each a different mixture. There is a big problem in that each wing’s fundamentalists are good at being the squeaky wheel and getting press microphones shoved in their faces for the next news sound byte.  Thus those that actually sit in the centre are usually ignored.

Both wings are necessary. If a plane is flying along and loses a wing it goes into a death spiral. Politics and economics are no different. Religion, being inherently left wing is dying due to this.

Back in the 1980s we watched communism fall in East Germany. We then watched it downgrade as the USSR broke up…though it could be argued it has been simply hibernating there. Communism is all left, all the time, and the government providing for everything is not sustainable unless they can annex new lands to help support the existing ones. Communism needs expansion to keep afloat.

Currently the American Empire…the United States of America has begun to fall. Key word is “begun” as this is far from even the middle point of this event yet. The populous elected a leftist (by American standards) president and then their right put a sock in his mouth and tied his hands. After years of extreme right, the capitalist movement is showing large holes in the armored flag it had wrapped itself in. Capitalism, to succeed, requires a ten percent market share gain annually…and not sustainable unless the population is growing to get new bodies to help support the existing ones. Capitalism needs expansion to keep afloat.

Communism is all about providing what is needed…not necessarily what is wanted. It tends to kill initiative. Vodka sales skyrocket as the people have nothing better to do. Welcome to social engineering.

Capitalism is all about providing what the consumer will buy and not necessarily what is needed. It tends to kill fiscal responsibility. Sales on work boats skyrocket as spending and inflation drives all to need two and three jobs to keep up with the Joneses. Welcome to conditioning through marketing.

S&P downgraded the US credit rating this past weekend. About bloody time. Regardless of Obama’s attempt to posture the firm, this should have happened during the Bush Jr. years. A radio head just stated that the US government is borrowing 40% of its own operating cost…he than said we have to cut spending on guns and butter, as well that we need to scrap the left/right wing concepts.

Welcome to the double dip recession. George Costanza would be proud.

So…be prepared. There are some who say we need to learn Chinese…being the Chinese hold most of the American debt, this may be premature. Places like Canada and Norway seem to have weathered this economic storm better than most…so perhaps Franglais or Norwegian may be a better choice.

Being prepared means that those in the “west” or “free world” need to be prepared for less government. Government should control defence/policing and roads/public transit. Outside of health, education, and assisting with unemployment, all other social programs should be cut.  With unemployment, it must be understood that government should only be there as a safety net and not as an employment creator.  This means no more special interest funding…whether that funding be for historical societies, unions, small business start up, faith based schools, and numerous others. In one sense it should lead, long term, to less taxes but more phone sales calls from charity cases.

Being prepared, in the “east” means exactly what Russia seems to have been doing since Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down a wall. Russia has begun posturing the US again…suggesting the Cold War did not end, it was just resting and licking its wounds.

Being prepared means that everyone needs to look at the larger scheme. Just because one’s eyes can only see the surrounding buildings does not mean that there is not something going on beyond those.

Globalization is failing when all involved are not running their economies from the same playbook. The western economies have fallen from losing business to cheaper countries where slavery is alive and well…the west never ended slavery, it simply exported it and is now suffering from it.  Again, with China holding most of the American debt, it may be suggested that the slave labour China greedily offers has bit the hand that feeds them and created a vicious circle caused by communist control taking advantage of capitalist greed.

So… to fix the economy? What can each one do to begin to repair this mess?

First, stop buying imports. In Canada, China or Timbucktoo…buy clothes with a tag saying they were made within those borders. Perhaps the old concept of countries will no longer work this way, but within North America…within Europe…within Asia…stay local and keep the money home.

Second, stop supporting banks. Not suggesting that people should keep cash reserves at home where robberies would go up…but remember that banks make billions due to a consumer’s want for “convenience”. Perhaps people need to allow themselves to be inconvenienced more so that these large conglomerates cannot siphon off our money in service fees.

On a grander scale, and conservatives will hate this, wipe the slate clean on national debts.  Start over completely so that this generation is no longer being held accountable for things that happened fifty years back…or more.  In addition, stop giving nations credit so they can only spend the money they actually have instead of holding everyone ransom with their debt interest payments alone.

Simple, really.  Unfortunately, too simple to actually work.

One thing that needs to be pointed out with this continuation of the recession that began in 2007 and 2008…this is not the fault of any one country or people.  Stop trying to lay blame at anyone other than the greedy.

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