Many people have expressed surprise at our current 'economic meltdown. If anything, I've been surprised that the meltdown has taken this long to happen. I very much agree with an article "Why the meltdown should have surprised no one" written by Peter Schiff (recently referred to by Scipio in his post "Have A Bad Day"), that the economic meltdown should have been no surprise to anybody. Schiff is apparently of the Austrian school of economics, most widely associated with Ludwig von Mises. The Austrian's are far and away the best of the recognized 'economic schools' out there, I think they still miss the mark in some areas, especially as they move away from von Mises original ideas, but not but not by much, especially in comparison with their competition.
The worst part of all this discussion of the economy and the economic meltdown however, is that people seem to think that the economy is some separate machinery which operates independently of 'we the people', and that it can be tinkered with, adjusted, 'reset' without such actions affecting or having anything to do with those who make the economy run - you and me.
Talk about fantasy.
Sidestepping all of the economic schools and the issues which divide them, I can give a short summary of an economy, as being dependent upon three factors:
1 - A moral, rational people,
2 - at liberty to make their own decisions (economic and otherwise),
3 - under a government of objective written laws, directed towards preserving their liberty and property
Add those 3 factors together, and the result will be productivity - economic and otherwise.
Such a system and such a people are able to unleash previously undreamt of wealth from the same nature that all the world has experienced nearly unchanged over all of human history. But only because they are able to command nature to obey them, because they obey it, they are in conformance to reality, to truth, externally and internally; and the industrial, technological fruits of the last 200 years are a testament to that.
However, any interference or contamination in any one of those three factors, will dilute and disrupt the other two, reducing productivity - economically and otherwise. Such actions introduce a disconnect between the people and reality and their ability to be in conformance with what is true, and then more and more so, error becomes the product produced.
Such interferences are introduced, in economic terms, through abandoning tangible values such as Gold from the currency(see Richard Salsman's "Can fiat money be managed effectifely?"); in political terms, by moving away from the principle of being a nation of laws, towards being a nation of men; and in societal terms, by moving away from the importance of integrity and character, towards a therapeutic concern for compassion towards flaws and a demand for fairness in outcomes.
The 'Error' such an economy produces, is referred to in economic terms, as inefficiency, waste; political terms, a loss of rights and freedoms moving towards tyranny, and in societal terms, immorality, sin and even evil.
Willingly or unwittingly, their ability to act rationally is reduced. Even those who still try to be moral and rational, are working with contaminated goods, information and tools, and so their output cannot be in accordance with reality, and the system becomes unbalanced.
Each attempt at correcting such a situation by adding more and more counter balances instead of by finding and removing the accreted errors, only makes the situation worse, the vibration intensifies, and eventually the entire machinery will all come to a crashing halt.
I have zero faith that any solution will be found by any party - if it involves anything less than removing the gunk that has caused us to wobble off into such a violently unbalanced situation as we find ourselves in at this time.
But that gunk is not just in Washington D.C., it is in us, in, as that article so well points out, in our unwillingness to perceive what is real. Of those three factors of the economy I mentioned above, the first, a rational and moral people, is the most necessary, and as long as we discard that, or seek to evade that (which amounts to the same), it will all come to a crashing halt, unable to make a proper connection to reality, to truth, and all that will be produced is error - inefficiency, waste, a loss of rights and freedoms, tyranny, immorality, sin, or in a word: Evil.
As a result, all that is good and all that is beautiful, and all that is true, will we remain unproduced, and the 'market' will be flooded with nothing but shoddy knock-off substitutes... and the world will have to wait until another people comes along able to be moral and rational and able to perceive what is real, and what is true and what is good and what is beautiful; and being willing and able to see and respect them, is once again able to produce them.
Even if our constitution were purged tomorrow of all of the progressive accretions slopped onto it by the progressives since the late 1800's... it would still be a long and slow process of purging our own minds and souls of those same accretions, before we are again able to interact, unimpeded, with reality and what is true.
Such a legislative and judicial purge would certainly help, it would at least be a start. But unless we intellectually, and spiritually degunk as well, a cleaned up constitution would only be ignored - as indeed our non-representing-representatives in Washington D.C. have recently discovered they are to do at will right now.
There is no existing law giving the president or congress the ability to do any part of what they are doing, right now.
They are just doing it.
They are doing it, because they know that the people have willingly allowed themselves to be no longer concerned with what is real and what is true - everyone is quite content playing make believe. This video is a prime example of this,
We look at the utter insanity rehearsed in this video, and in disbelief, we shake our heads "It can't be real, they can't be serious", well it's true, it can't be real - not in the sense that it could ever be successfuly implemented in a nation expecting to remain a nation, undivided or otherwise - and yes, they are serious.
It is a game they play with the utmost sincerity. Not because it can be possible, but because they want it to be, which is easily done, if you aren't too concerned with reality in the first place.
The source of our pervasive willingness to play make believe with reality, will be the subject of my next post, looking at Descartes and the philosophic game of rationalism, which with the introduction of his "Cogito Ergo Sum" and his Critical Method of Doubt, we've been using to play games with reality ever since.
The game will soon be up however. There can be only so much rampant error before a system experiences a massive crash. And after such a crash, you have two choices, fix the problem, or ignore it and pretend it can't get even worse.
I'm not seeing many of those attending to the crash that are paying much attention to reality.
I'll make my own prediction here, our current mess, and cleaning it up, will not remain confined to mere economic matters, and recovering from both the mess, and the blinkered attempts to clean it up, will be... very... very... messy.