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The Freedom to Be Eaten
Competitive markets are not the same as "free markets." The difference is easy to spot: corporations and their shills will run like Hell from competitive markets; Republicans will never speak of competitive markets; and Democrats will slap any fixno matter how complicated, expensive, and ineffectiveon a problem to avoid modernizing and reforming antitrust law to crush the companies that have constructed non-competitive markets.
Competitive markets are brutal to the participants on the supply side.
Free markets are even more brutal to the participants on the demand side.
The bad news is this: now that the extremists of free markets are ascendant in public policy, you could very well get eaten.
The good news is thus: so could the imbeciles who put those Right-wing hoe-handles in power.
Lie low and avoid the chow line. The herd is about to be culled of its idiots.
Culling the herd of idiots sounds good to me. I would mean I might just make it to retirement, my kids might find a job when they are old enough, and I don't need to start finding recipes for Kibbles and Bits, though as near as I can figure, people food is much cheaper if you know how to cook than critter food. Owning a freezer and knowing how to shop is what allows me to serve gourmet meals to my family for less money than most folks would spend on eating beans and cornbread. Well, maybe a bit more.
I'll keep my head down as the meat eaters rampage over the plains, and hopefully emerge unscathed. I do love the picture though...
Hi Dark Wraith.
I like that picture. It's a great visual tool for the article. Yeah, I think it is a good idea to lay low and stay out of the way!
Hi Wild Clover.
It's amazing how many people don't know how to cook for themselves. I think the fast food business hasn't done them any favors.
We end up doing a fair bit of fast food, simply because of scheduling and bedtimes. Though if some FF restaurant comes up with something really tasty, (or regular restaurant for that matter) it gives me grist for my cooking talents at home. And it isn't so much cooking skills that have atrophied, but shopping skills. Last winter with everyone unemployed we got food stamps. Except one month,(Easter brunch/passover was involved) it was scramble to spend the last of the money before the end of the month - so time to buy the good stuff! Yet some reporters as a project tried to go one month on a FS allotment and failed....lasted them 2 weeks. Now the major expenditure is putting up staples, and I can see that cutting into their try to do this one month in a vacuum....but I think it was more a lack of a skill I imbibed at my parent's feet- shopping. A willingness to buy the lesser cut (which properly prepared is actually superior to the good cut), to work the sale items, to read labels. To actually buy food and not the giant bag of Odiva chocolate. Daddy got paid once a month so ALL the food had to be bought for the freezer before we ran out of paycheck. Memories of cutting up whole chickens and chopping stew beef, making hamburger patties, packaging pork chops.... I know how to do all those things we now pay for the grocer to do.
Working from home now, I get to cook most days, as opposed to when schedules meant a lot of restaurants. Dinner for 4 runs me $5-$15, the upper end means I got elaborate. Last night would have been under 5, but I splurged on some frozen apple pastry things, so was closer to 10. Tonight will be a creative use of the leftover stock morphed into a different soup. Or maybe a chili. Nope...I've priced canned cat food, and it would cost far too much when I'm starving on SS to live on. And the kibble isn't going to cut it on the number of teeth I have left.
""We get easily confused here. We see bad behavior being rewarded and the contempt that the practitioners hold us in and it shames us that we aren’t more like them. What’s wrong with us? Somehow we got stuck with a moral code that hinders our ability to mutate into full blown assholes that care about no one but themselves." -- Les Visible
DW, I think I've shared on this forum before, the reasons why I think our system would inevitably become what we see today. and it simply comes from the way we react to hard physical limits.
Now that worldwide energy supplies have essentially flat lined, global growth is over. Certainly not a healthy 3% across all markets. After all, growth is always fueled by growth in energy consumption. And when energy production is flat, energy consumption must also be flat. It's simply the way the universe works. Even the mystical imaginary powers of money can't undo physical laws.
In a zero growth environment, an entity can only grow, at a cost to others in the system. It's a zero sum game we're in at the moment, and the financial sector has legislative and enforcement powers enslaved to it's will, to allow it to destroy the other sectors of the economy to keep it growing. Our financial sectors are far to large, to earn an honest living. The planet is far too tiny for them to survive in harmony with our shrinking economy.
At some point, the dinosaurs must fall. They can only feed on the carrion, until the carrion runs out. Then they will starve.
It's my view that we a reaching a criticality. The growth in the financial sector has increased through fraud and by vacuuming of money from turbocharged money presses. But this growth is far past unsustainable. And our fearless leaders are working feverishly to speed it's growth.
Criticalities need a tipping point, an event to kick them over. Like a super cooled solution needs a seed for a flash freeze. but until that event occurs, the pressure for change continues.
We're about to transition to a world where energy production is in decline. We'll go from a zero sum game to a negative sum game. We may already be in this transition. The EIA has been releasing unusual reports lately admitting that Peak Oil is coming sooner than they forecast (evidence says it happened in 2005/2008 depending on what you're measuring). The EIA is a funny governmental beast, designed to produce happy reports. When they start publishing things like this, then you can assume that are still engaged in unbridled optimism.
The continued growth of the financial industry, coupled with a coming worldwide crisis in energy will lead to some exciting event. The criticality must come in the near future.
And to illustrate why, let's revisit a moment the riddle of the lily pond. It goes like this.
On the first day, the pond has one lily pad.
Every day the number of lily pads doubles.
On the fiftieth day, the pond will be completely covered.
On what day will the pond be half covered?
The answer is the forty-ninth day. Over night, the fish in the pond go from 50% dappled sunlight to complete cover.
50% * 2 = 100%
Our financial system will go from exponential growth to collapse, by the same mathematical laws.
Many folks tell me that our energy crisis will be solved in the future, or that it's already been solved and kept in top secret vaults. That's a fine and dandy way of thinking. But unless you insert time travel, and assume the future will save the present by traveling into the past, I don't see how it changes the present, or eliminates the negative trends we have today.
The dinosaurs are having trouble keeping fed to fuel their growth. Soon their food supply will be gone. What will happen next?
I should say they aren't publishing the monthly petroleum reports....
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