US Jobs and Buying Power Blown Away
As Americans come to realize the full scope of the now global economic crisis, the instability it causes is being seen as a bigger security threat than terrorism.
Every sector of the US economy has been negatively impacted and layoffs are being announced almost daily.
The roots of this crisis can be traced back to the economic policies of the 1980s.
For a generation the growth of the US economy has been disproportionately driven by the availability of cheap consumer goods and investment credit.
This system, which peaked with the rise of the securitisation of highly risky sub-prime mortgages in the last few years, enabled an investment system to emerge in which the debt to equity ratio was an outstanding, and totally unsustainable, 100 to one. [Read More]
The current crisis is rooted in a culture that encouraged consumer borrowing and demand for cheaper products. Gluttony became a way of life for anyone with a credit card. The power of mass producing consumables, moving away from a culture of permanence into a culture of disposable, was more than the economy and environment could withstand. The cost of disposal for all those packaged products has been phenomenal. Count the billions of tons of waste material we cannot flush. Billions of tons of flushable waste is economically and environmentally unsupportable.
Our throw away society has met its nemesis. The hypnotic grip marketers use to entice and influence consumers have overloaded the system. By hypnotizing foreign populations into lusting after the ‘sweet life’ enjoyed by Americans, they were lured into the same unsustainable mind set. Americans flaunted their lifestyle everywhere they went. It was inevitable that as role models, only American ‘luxury’ gleamed through. The ‘Streets of Gold, Land of Plenty’ image went everywhere. The logistics of reality was never considered.
Now that the error of short sight has gripped the wallets of workers, the domino effect of tens of millions of jobs lost globally.
Jobs, with companies, make the products Americans have stopped buying.
Companies cannot stay open if their products don’t sell enough to support employees.
Employees earn wages to buy products to sustain them and to entertain them.
No wages. No buy. No buy, no company. No company, no product. No product … then we have slipped back into an era where we must make do with the resources at hand. Much of the land and water is contaminated or unfit for private use. Shelter is relative to exactly you are when no other options are available, like transportation.
“… a long-term drop in global consumption is one of the few conceivable ways to stop the slide toward the tipping point of global warming and environmental degradation, not to mention the increasingly violent resource wars and global poverty, that are the inevitable outcome of a world economic system premised on limitless growth and consumption.” Mark LeVine is a professor of Middle East history at the University of California, Irvine
Everyone has an opinion, either they think they understand what is happening, or they admit they haven’t a clue. People are so focused on their own survival, how can they see the big picture? Cause and effect at the personal level creates mental distress and sometimes fatalism. People can feel betrayed by the only system they know. Today, in America, the social support system is broken and not sympathetic. The government’s resources are running on empty. If individual attitudes are allowed to dissolve into total despair, they will do anything to survive. Some have already lost their mental stability and devolved into murder-suicide. This is NOT where we want millions of people to go.
It does not have to be global catastrophe where the human population embraces extinction at its own hand. It can be a realignment, which is never easy or without casualties. Realigning humanity toward sensible behavior which accepts that more humans occupy a finite space, than ever before Planet Earth.
World governments must enforce some drastic economic priorities to accommodate survival of the species. Business as usual is not an option. Borrowing from other countries is the only option on the table. Trade with other countries is necessary for our species to share the same planet. Unfortunately, some leaders are bent on reducing human numbers as an option. War is especially not the answer. Humanity will never be on the same page economically, politically or religiously. But, we must be on the same page about saving humanity … whether we deserve it or not.
Humans have the power of will to struggle through the most difficult times and prevail. History has taught us that. History has also taught that difficult times change us all. Humans are an adaptable species. Those who embrace the challenge of change with creativity and perseverance will save the human species.