You Say Recession; I say Depression; Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off



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The difference between a recession and a depression?

A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.

Old joke.

But who is laughing now?



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The layoffs keep on coming. Massive. Unprecedented. And they’re going to keep on coming. 6,000 here, 10,000 there, and when Ford and GM fold?

Retail sales are in the tank and retailers’ profits are in the toilet.

Meanwhile leaders of the 20 richest bankrupt nations meet in the capital of the world’s biggest bankrupt nation to plot a strategic withdrawal from capitalism made to look like an embrace of capitalism; but when it’s all said and done instead of a gloating fatcat smoking a Habana, you’ll see Karl Marx with a Cheshire grin of “I told you so.”

It’s very simple really: Labor is undervalued and Management is overvalued.

Labor creates wealth and management hordes wealth.

And yet, what all the bailouts have done so far is protect management and expose labor to the ravages of a dog-eat-dog world.

The longest living and greatest democracy in the history of the world, if you believe the hype, ranks #3 in the world in economic disparity – the gap, or abyss between the haves and have-nots.  Each day more than 42 million working adults and their children struggle for basic needs. 22% of all American jobs pay wages below the poverty line.

And of course we know 50 million Americans have no healthcare.

Meanwhile, the banksters, without oversight or accountability, give themselves hundred of billions in bailouts for their egregious mismanagement of funds due to unbridled greed – otherwise known as the modern American profit-motive where less than 20% yearly growth is considered failure.

Meanwhile each month another 250,000 folks lose their jobs because that’s what companies do when the economy slows down – cut expenses; jobs, further slowing the economy until the banksters print even more money and give it away for free, blowing up another balloon to burst.

Meanwhile, Americans hold a trillion dollars in unpaid debt on their credit cards.

The American Economic model is to dig a credit/debt whole so deep it goes all the way to China. Our national debt is now so large many expect the biggest economy in the history of the world to default on it promise to repay.

No one argues we’re in a deep recession. The question is when does it morph into a Great Depression?

Some of us are already in one. More of us will be in one by the end of the month. And many, many more in the months to come.

Our economy is now a giant snowball rampaging down a mountainside. The bigger it gets the more steam it has until it’s as big as the mountain and slams into little Whoville at the mountain’s base. The Grinch didn’t steal this year’s Christmas, but the reality of fantasy based economics waking up from itself.

The answers of course are not palatable to an America weaned on the Cold War between Capitalism and Communism. And drunk upon the myth of ‘free markets.’ The religion of neo-liberalism.

Do the “leaders” of the world have the courage to stand up to the ones who brung ’em? Do they have the will to re-capitalize and regulate the banksters and make them play by rules which benefit the common man over the fat cat? Do they have balls to forgive the debts of others as they have forgiven themselves? Do they have sense to hammer the swords of war into the ploughshares of a green economy?

Is there any wisdom whatsoever at play in the world today or will the winds of change construe as just so much wishful thinking on the part of useless eaters, labor units and disgruntled employees?

It is too early to say. Our civilization walks a precipice between dignity and barbarism; between decency and cruelty.

Will the FEW who have ruled the many for so long to the detriment of us all see the light of fraternity and equality, that all humans are created equal under the auspices of the Creator?

Or will they do what they’ve always done and protect their class at the expense of the many holding us down by force?

Our civilization is at a crossroads. The future is here. Will we emerge into a world of hope, progress and promise or will the unprotected many be sentenced to a laissez faire life left to the ravages of Darwinian survival of the fittest while the pampered few play croquet behind their walls of privilege and wonder at the nightly howls by those frightful beasts keening for their inalienable rights to food, clothing, shelter and basic human dignity?

Time will tell which way the wind blows.

But if we go down the road of history-as-usual, then it is an ill wind which blows our way.

 

3 comments

  1. Time will tell which way the wind blows.

    But if we go down the road of history-as-usual, then it is an ill wind which blows our way.

    And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?

    And what did you hear, my darling young one?

    I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’,

    Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,

    Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’,

    Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’,

    Heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’,

    Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,

    Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,

    And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,

    And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

    – Robert F. Zimmerman  (aka Bob Dylan)

    • Diane G on November 16, 2008 at 12:06 am

    This man can write, my friends!

    You are in the company of brilliance. And in fine company here!!!

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