In a gloomy, but penetrating analysis of world prospects, Raúl Ilargi Meijer makes some sobering points about the wider implications of the current US election campaign.
It’s over! The entire model our societies have been based on for at least as long as we ourselves have lived, is over! That’s why there’s Trump.
There is no growth. There hasn’t been any real growth for years. All there is left are empty hollow sunshiny S&P stock market numbers propped up with ultra cheap debt and buybacks, and employment figures that hide untold millions hiding from the labor force. And most of all there’s debt, public as well as private, that has served to keep an illusion of growth alive and now increasingly no longer can.
These false growth numbers have one purpose only: for the public to keep the incumbent powers that be in their plush seats. But they could always ever only pull the curtain of Oz over people’s eyes for so long, and it’s no longer so long.
. . .
‘Leaders’ such as Trump and Le Pen can only be seen as intermediate figures necessary for nations, and indeed the world, to adapt to an entirely different paradigm. One that is at best based on consolidation, on trying not to lose too much, instead of trying to conquer the world.
But also one that is likely to lead to warfare and mayhem, because nobody’s been willing to address even the possibility of no more growth, and therefore everyone will be looking to squeeze growth out of any available place, starting with their neighbors, and the globe’s weakest. It’s the Roman empire all over again, where the core strangled the periphery ever harder until the Barbarians and the Visigoths decided it was enough and then some.
That is the meaning of Donald Trump, and of Brexit. You’re not going to understand these things without taking a few steps back, and without looking at history, and especially without acknowledging the possibility that, in economics, perpetual growth may indeed be what physics has always said it was: an impossible pipedream.
Trump has a role to play in this whether he wins the election or not. He’s the big red flashing American warning sign that the increase in poverty that has so far been felt only among those who it has hit, will shake the familiar political landscape on its foundations, and that this landscape will never return.
There‘s more at the link. Recommended reading.
I read that the other day, and I believe he's correct.
While true, perhaps on some points, I'll disagree. Brexit was the UK taking its sovernty back, from the know-it-all Masters of the Universe©™ in Brussels. The conservative effort to regain the sovernty of the States from an over-bearing Federal Beurocracy, to allow businesses to function without being strangled by regulations that would stop Bill Gates from building Microsoft today. Economics is not a zero-sum game, wealth and value can be created by imagination and determination to make a better widget. I don't believe there are any boundaries to that kind of growth, except Gov't greed.
I agree with drjim, I ran across that a couple days back and it's dead on.
I suspect Trump will be both an interim step – assuming he gets elected – toward potential restoration of our Constitutional Republic; if granted the opportunity he will demonstrate that attacking the Forces of Evil, eg., The Massive Media-Supported Liberal State, is not the end of the world.
I doubt he will have more than moderate success in that endeavor because everyone who has climbed aboard that train will do anything to keep their seat, but he will have the opportunity to set the tone for reformation. It is entirely possible that, again, should he be elected, the left's efforts to derail him will provoke such citizen anger that whomever follows Trump may come from the Attila The Hun School of Government Management. Which, if one follows history, is frequently where societies really go off the rails.
I'm still of the opinion that, eventually, application of a certain degree of force may be required to get our country back. I'm eager to be proved wrong, but it's still on my list of possibilities.
There is huge potential for growth. If we as a nation start taking care of our own and start employing our own again. If we reward savers with actual interest, the reward for using their money. 0 interest rate and high domestic unemployment are killing productivity and growth. Growth isn't dead, but when we outsource our jobs overseas and kill our own currency – well, what do you expect.
It is our choice.
I want to take exception of Raúl Ilargi Meijer's assertion/premise that a constantly expanding economy is as impossible as perpetual motion.
As long as the population is growing, people will need more stuff – food, clothing, shelter to start. As long as there are people who want to improve their standard of living, there will be growth in the economy. It is only when the population is stagnant or shrinking that the economy stagnates – or when people stop having asperations of a better life.
Take a simplified example: John has a freehold where he raises a variety of crops and animals sufficient to meet the immediate needs of his family, plus he does a bit a metalwork for members of his community. However, it takes him about 60 hours per week to stay even or occasionally save a bit of money against future needs. His wife would like to keep her car in a garage, instead of parked under the old elm tree, but he has neither the time nor money to get one built.
Talking with some neighbors after church, he learns of some techniques that would increase his crop yield and allow him to live the same on only 50 hours per week. He gives it a try and, soon, he has an extra 10 hours to do other things, such as study, do more metalwork or grow a bigger crop. He splits it up among all three and saves the extra money to buy lumber, nails, and roofing materials. Then he backs off taking orders for metalwork and studying and uses those 10 hours each week to put toward the construction of a two-car garage. When he's done, the wife is happy and John hasn't just improved his own standard of living, but he's contributed toward improving the lives of those who sold him the wood, roofing and hardware.
Rinse and repeat as John discovers more ways to improve his crop yield; builds an addition on the house, so each child can have his or her own bedroom; passes on his agricultural discoveries to his neighbors; and so on.
Someday, each of those children will need their own freeholds. But some government agent comes along and says building your own house, barn or garage is too hazardous for an untrained citizen to do, so they will have to hire "certified" carpenters and roofers to do it for them.
Then one day a government agent comes along and tells John that he's confiscating 15 hours worth of his production, every week. Moreover, no matter how productive John gets, they will take 15 hours worth – every week. He soon figures out that he can just barely get by on 30 hours a week and the government doesn't take as much. The neighbors figure out the same and most of them act similarly. But now, no one has the wherewithal to improve their standards of living.
Now, do you see why the economies of the European nations have gone sour? Why ours is headed the same way?