The specter of world wide depression raises its head

specterWe are so self centered in the US! As our government’s military deficit spending collapses the American capitalist economy we seem to forget that the crisis is a global one now. The Democratic/ Republican team have dragged down the global economy and not just our national one.

Stock markets all across the globe have been crashing due to what is termed in the Big Business press as being a ‘credit crunch’. Look everywhere, whether it be China, Russia, Japan, Iceland, Germany, France, or wherever, and the Almighty Dollar is dragging them all down. Something much more than a ‘credit crunch’ is involved in this international meltdown of the global economy.

Actually, what we are seeing and experiencing is the normal global capitalist economic cycle in motion. The downsides are just not very much fun for most of us, and, in fact, neither are the ‘upturns’ either. There is no such thing as ‘regulated capitalism’ since the regulators always ultimately turn out to be the capitalists regulating themselves, and that is no real regulation at all. There has got to be a better way!

8 thoughts on “The specter of world wide depression raises its head

  1. AvatarMichael Slivka

    I think we all know what Tony’s vision of that “better way” would be, Marie: a glorious global utopian socialist state, micromanaged to the point of minutiae by some all-powerful economic bureaucracy, beholden to no one and nothing, not even the forces of the market. As if some politicians (who have never run a business, but know Keynes letter and verse from their days at Harvard) can determine how many pencils Office Max should ship to each of its stores, and at what price each should be sold.

    I found an excellent article on the real causes of the Great Depression, and why it lasted so long, by Ivan Pongracic, Jr. It’s at :
    http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=8132.

    The way out of this mess is clear, and it has nothing to do with government bailoutsor intervention in the economy.

  2. Avatartony

    I went to your article, Michael, and this is what I read….

    ‘The Great Depression created a widespread misconception that market economies are inherently unstable and must be managed by the government to avoid large macreconomic fluctuations, that is, business cycles. This view persists to this day despite the more than 40 years since Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz showed convincingly that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies were largely to blame for the severity of the Great Depression.’

    And so? Who in the world do you think runs the Federal Reserve, Michael? Is it not the Capitalist class and their government lackeys who do so?

    You, Friedman, and the author of this nonsensical Libertarian article act as if it is a group of Commies that ran the Federal Reserve back in the ’20s and ’30s! What’s with you guys? It’s like you don’t have a grain of honesty about you, or failing that, that you are merely willingly delusional?

    As to your question, Marie? I simply think that we need an economical system that is not dictatorial top down like the Capitalist System most certainly is. Your friend Michael seems to think that dictatorial Capitalism is the depository of all human freedom, ignoring all reality about us. Is that your take on our world, too?

  3. AvatarMichael Slivka

    Once again, Tony, you are only able to describe what you want the economic system “not” to be. True laissez-faire capitalism as espoused by Friedman is the very antithesis of top-down dictatorial programming. It is Eric having the freedom to run his counter-culture bookstore as he sees fit, to prosper or fail according to his own ingenuity and business sense. It is the small local savings and loan financing homebuyers based on its own assessment of local market conditions, and the risk presented by such homebuyers, without pressure from something like the Community Reinvestment Act to take bigger risks, or face the expense of discrimination suits.

    Huge multinational corporations do not define capitalism, no matter what Marx taught you. They function more like collectives, with the assistance of the politicians. If the local corner grocer provides a better product and service than WalMart, the consumer will vote accordingly, with his pocketbook (so long as government doesn’t stack the deck in favor of WalMart). But if Eric or the corner grocer succeed fabulously, neither should government interfere with their success. If they become lax, and fail to continue to provide better goods and services, new upstarts will emerge who will take their place. That is is essence of the kind of capitalism I espouse.

  4. Avatartony

    You think that Eric and the Middle Class small store owner defines what is capitalism, Michael, but you are wrong. It is precisely the multi-national business that is the essence of global capitalism today, and they only spread around your silly liitle ‘Freedom’ crap because it makes you and other followers into total suckers for the Real System as is, as you clap trap for your imaginary one.

  5. AvatarThe 13th

    Mr. Slivka, ideally I’d like to believe the ideals of your definition. Yet even outside the context of Tony’s global perspective/opinion, I think there is still question in your own wording. As a former business owner myself, I don’t think we’ll ever find those ideals you express – especially the ones oriented around IFs.

    IF the government doesn’t interfere is easier said than done. Even local city councils often lend economic favoritism towards your collective/clearinghouse concept of larger enterprises. Consider the debatable effects of Walmart, a true retail clearinghouse, as model/example. Walmart is more than just centralized shopping efficiency. Their very presence changes small business to closed business in many a small town. This leads to a chain of debatable urbanizing events for small towns, near mandating less independance in communities and livestyles that once thrived (profited) by such.

    Undermining a farming community is not “good” capitalism. The collective is the price of your corn flake. The hardship is what inflates that corn flake to puffy krispy.

    Feed THAT to your kids. Bite for bite – they are eating more air, less content.

    I don’t know the answers, but I do know that using IFs in any statement is a form of questioning. So does our government meet those IFs? And can it? Capitalism has so many variant yet progressive reforms needed simply to keep balance within the systemizing, sizing. If commerce is ever-evolving, then somehow (and obviously) we need a government that’s capable of forward prediction. In this day and age, I wonder if yesterday’s graphs move too slow, or can truly encompass the changes under foot and work boot.

    Who holds the reigns for the little guy? And what’s more, why oh why should they feel or even be portrayed as “little” in the first place? Is this economic balance or mental cruelty?
    Eric maintains his own pride – but in most sectors of life “social” pride is derived by economics. Even education is a price tag, once you can’t afford to access to his bookstore or library.

    I’m curious. As a bankrupty lawyer – do you consider yourself second chance or broom of ignorance? I would think probably it’s a little of both. Does capitalism educate? Are the lessons of mistake fair? Should I choose bankrupty or dedicated anti-depressant therapy? Perhaps I just need something to eat. Which “commercial” is for me?

    I’ve seen the Colo. Springs library years ago. It strived to maintain access yet sweep poverty’s illiteracy away from “sight”. Tell me – how has that changed? Are the homeless allowed access still? And occasionally is there still “debate” on whether admission is free to those “deemed” harmless? Who deems that? Whether they own a comb and use it???

    Ask any part-time non-insured employee if they enjoy being part of the slaught, er, sorry, clearinghouse. Yes big business serves. Yet it also creates very vulnerable servants.

    Yesterday I had a long conversation with someone who did not want to vote a candidate for reason of skin color. It was a LONG conversation – because I believed this person was not a racist. Simply very very sheltered in thought and environment. All I had to do was suggest added pocket change – and my “friend” changed his opinion. I didn’t like that either, but at least I got him thinking about ignorance and prejudice. Bloody hell, I don’t enjoy the fallout of your clearinghouse eyeshades. It’s frightening. It’s tearful. Eats human minds. Thrives on want-ads. Rarely picks up the room it stands in.

    Here’s your comb back, Mackie. Sharkbait or bite? Keep smiling.

  6. AvatarMichael Slivka

    My Dear Mr. Baker’s Dozen:

    When I originally read your reply, I thought of calling you a “knave”, in the Shakespearean sense. But upon review and reflection of what you said, I can see that you are a thoughtful, intelligent person, who grieves for the common man when he is trodden upon. So do I, coming from a background of mill-working, union-member parents who always paid lip-service to the Democrats, even if they were too lazy to actually vote. But the Democrats, and even the unions themselves, long ago abandoned that common man, and what would actually benefit him, in favor of their “progressive” agenda, i.e., what they THINK would benefit him, in spite of his base desires. Tony and I are not really that far apart, if we could actually define our terms. What I believe in as the real capitalist ideal is definitely not that whoever has the most capital should call the shots. People with more power and money have always run the governments for their own purposes, back even prior to Babylon and ancient Greece. This is not capitalism. Pick up a copy of “Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal” by Ayn Rand, and you’ll see what I mean, the ideal that has NEVER existed in this earth in pure form, and never will, until enough people understand and appreciate the philosophy. In a true capitalist society, government would have an extremely limited role, only to protect against the initiation of physical force (from outside agitators, like foreign countries, and from internal criminals, such as murderers and thieves, and even those who would defraud, which is but another form of physical force). Governments should not undertake to force economic equality (such as redistribution of wealth); neither should it favor those who happen to have wealth.

    I’m not sure about the distinction between “second chance and the broom of ignorance”, with regard to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is the logical extension of the exemption laws, previously discussed, under which there are certain things that your creditors cannot touch, no matter what they do. It is a necessary safety valve that allows risks to be taken, which risks could allow one to prosper, but if one doesn’t, that allows an orderly means to square things up with the world, and start over fresh. The “broom of ignorance” is just too poetic for my feeble mind to fathom.

  7. AvatarThe 13th

    Dear Mr. Redirect,

    “Knave” is proper. The rest of your redirected “compliment” was mostly to yourself and/or assumption.

    Granted, I don’t think I’m very far apart from Tony either or anyone else that writes here. As said many times – we all may differ in style and some opinions – but there is no one at Not My Tribe whose hand I wouldn’t shake with deep respect. Some connections in life are longer than time itself yet shorter than words can describe. I also don’t think I’m that far apart from some of your opinions either, Mackie.

    From your suggest to further my Ayn Rand reading, you’ve confirmed that you are not defending any specific current practice of capitalism – but the idealism of capitalism’s principals. From that, I guess we might as well be discussing religion, idealism, and all mythological utopian concepts.

    My mistake: I thought you were actually referring to real corporations like Walmart – not imaginary ones. I like idealism. Thanks for the clarification. A reference to WaffleMart would greatly assist these differentials next time.

    Yes, I know what bankruptcy is as far as the basic “advantages” and service. However when you promote your bankruptcy services as a chance to “stick it to the man” as you wrote/advertised upon this blog a few days ago, it raised some questions on my part. Yes, for business and individuals – bankruptcy is an efficient accounting strategy/option of empowerment if not relief. However I think the “stick it to the man” concept when applied to bankruptcy seems irreverant of those who come to financial crisis by mishap, tragedy, disaster or economic overturn.

    Most backruptcy lawyers sweep clean for all sides – not just “the little man”. Your blog-vertizing sounded all too eager to portray yourself as such a “protector” of the little guy. So tell me, sir, just WHO IS THE MAN that you want your clients to STICK IT TO? The “broom of ignorance” to which I referred is systemic distortion – by such terms.

    Everyone has some associations about misuse of power and wealth thus such phrasing as “stick it to the man” make for a nice bumper stickers. It’s much like Sarah Palin “speakin’ directly to da people” – when she really means “peephole” – an appeal loaded by sentiment, rather than definition.

    That’s ok, I’m sentimental too and obviously write using such measure as well. I just tire easily of buzzword cliches – like “stick it to da man” and “think outside of the box”. All too often those who rut such phrases actually aim to corral diversity into their unilateral opinion or stick it to nothing except the back pocket wallet.

    I’m also not sure if you meant kindredness or political tactic when sharing your parental “common man” history. Personally I’m not so common, nor my parents. We’re as unique as our neighbors, and each with name, talents, and traits. About the only thing commonness in the common man – is that we are easily grouped by those who sing their moritats.

    I’m sorry for my feeble poetics, my dear Mr. Messer. They are my caveat lector, if you will, from a knave. A few clever word twists and the courts would gladly hail the red queen’s beckoning…. “Off with their heads!”

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