The United States of Delusion (January 4, 2013)
The irony is that clinging to delusion rather than face the necessity of deep cuts in borrow-and-squander budgets will lead to the involuntary reset of the entire system, depriving every vested interest of their share of the swag.
We are living in the United States of Delusion. The delusion has four key sources:
1. We can borrow-print-and-spend our way to prosperity when debt and fiscal/monetary stimulus are yielding ever more marginal returns:
The Dangerous Blindspots of Clueless Keynesians (January 2, 2013) The Keynesian model is a Cargo Cult, mired in a distant, romanticized past where Central Planning, intervention and manipulation were solutions rather than the root of the economy's fatal disease.
2. The risks of this fatal fiscal delusion are masked by a complicit Mainstream Media and a perception-management, manipulation-dependent Central State and Federal Reserve.
Spoiled Teenager Syndrome (January 3, 2013) Masking risk, cost and consequence creates an illusory world that eventually crashes on the unforgiving rocks of reality.
Is masking risk, cost and consequence a strategy that leads to success? No; it is a pathway to repeated catastrophic failure. What is the Central Planning strategy being pursued by our Central State and the Federal Reserve? Masking risk, cost and consequence.
3. The true costs of the Neoliberal Cartel State are cloaked, massaged and distorted by bogus budgets and wildly unrealistic projections.
Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation--And Soon (March 21, 2011)
Sickcare is fundamentally a system of interlinked politically powerful cartels.
If you really want a solution, then start by pinning down exactly who's getting all the money. Then find out if they're accountable for how it's spent. Nobody wants to admit the reality: our nation is dominated by cartels and fiefdoms serving entrenched constituencies whose budgets are simply not sustainable.
I have addressed these issues many times, for example in The Devolution of the Consumer Economy, Part II: Rising Costs, Declining Wages (April 8, 2011) and Complexity: Bureaucratic (Death Spiral) and Self-Organizing (Sustainable) (February 17, 2011).
I have highlighted the Education and Sickcare Cartels, but there are many others with exploding costs and zero alignment with accountability or performance. The Department of Defense, famous for routinely losing track of hundreds of billions of dollars (and does anyone lose their job over that gross mismanagement? No, everyone gets a promotion and raise for doing such a swell job), manages to triple the cost of every weapons system, regardless of the actual performance benefits (increasingly marginal, perhaps?)
The new F-35 fighter aircraft cost $150 million each, once we add in the overruns, replacing the Super Hornet F-18 E/F that cost $57 million each. (Once lifetime costs are included, the F-35 will cost upwards of $300 million each.) Is the F-35 really three times better than the F-18? Which would a commander facing 100 bogeys rather have, 30 F-35s or 90 F-18s? (I suspect they'd take the 90 F-18s, as long as they were loaded with the latest Sidewinder and long-range air-to-air missiles. As has been famously pointed out, at some point quantity becomes a winning quality.)
Will 100 F-35s prevail over 1,000 dirt-cheap drones? How about 10,000 drones? If the future of warfare is increasingly powerful unmanned networked drones (and it clearly is), why are we spending $1 trillion+ on hyper-costly aircraft that are essentially designed for a previous era?
4. The consequence of substituting delusion for reality is ignored or hidden from view, with the complicity of all the self-serving, entrenched vested-interests.
Is there any evidence that continuing to borrow and squander money on diminishing returns will magically cause a sudden return to productive investment? Of course there isn't; the magical belief that doing more of what has failed will eventually evade causality is delusional.
Does anyone seriously think that counterproductive "investments" in diminishing returns will "grow our way out of debt"? Of course not; everyone with a vested interest in the crumbling Status Quo is terrified that their share of the borrowed/printed swag will be cut. So the only alternative is to cling to a delusional state where belief in the impossible replaces a realistic assessment of risk, cost and consequence.
The irony is that this strategy of clinging to delusion rather than face the necessity of deep cuts in borrow-and-squander budgets will lead to the involuntary reset of the entire system, depriving every vested interest of their share of the swag. Is delusion a sustainable state? No. Thus we can confidently predict that causality, factuality and karma will eventually sweep aside delusion and all those who cling to it.
My new book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It is now available in print and Kindle editions--10% to 20% discounts.
Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:
1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy
Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).
We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of
the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.
To receive a 20% discount
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discount code SJRGPLAB. (This is the only way I can offer a discount.)
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