Or what I THOUGHT I had memorized… If you want some expansion on my thoughts on some of this, read the lengthy post I wrote just before this one on the main page…
It’s the End of the World As We Know It:
And it’s about $#@&% Time!!!
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Uriah Zebadiah, and I am here to talk about the economy. You’ve probably heard a thing or two about it by now, and I’ve got to tell you, yes, it is as bad as it seems. There’s a thousand things wrong, and we have every reason to believe that nefarious forces in the financial industry will push us farther and faster toward inequality and injustice. These fascist financiers in their gilded glass towers have done and will continue to do everything in their power to control government. And thus far, they have been enormously successful.
What you’ll see here shortly is a chart showing the decline of American asset profitability over the last 40 years. How does this happen? It’s primarily the massive increase in corporate debt, slowly shifting an ever greater percentage of the economy into the pockets of the financial industry.
On this slide you can see stagnant wages over the last 15 years, with corporate profits rising about 100 percent in the time. And yet share prices and executive compensation has more than tripled. Why? That’s the power of leverage. That’s the power of speculation, destroying the long term stability of large corporations while making it nearly impossible for small businesses to compete. But you won’t hear that on television, since fewer than twenty companies own and control almost the entirety of traditional media, and they don’t want to talk about it.
And speaking of difficult conversations, let’s talk climate change. It’s not off in the indeterminate future, it’s happening now. And it’s not just rising sea levels we need to worry about. It’s drought, specifically affecting much of the best farmland on earth. All of the american southwest lies under the harsh spectre of impending water rationing. The central valley of california is drier than it’s been since the advent of irrigation. There are people killing each other for water in India. Record droughts in China are forcing them to import more food than ever before. Across the board, food prices are set to skyrocket in the near future.
While on the subject of China, who has so graciously financed our deficit spending thus far, they’re now in talks to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. And that’s a problem, because we’re still spending money like we were king shits of the world.
How much money? If things continue to deteriorate and we are forced to pay to the full extent of our current commitments, we’ll have spent enough money to buy ten thousand truckloads of a thousand cheese pizzas to be delivered every single day for the next three hundred years. And you just can’t spend that kind of money without having an effect on the value of the dollar. Since Bush took office it’s lost a third of its value. And if the reputation of the fed continues to drop, potentially causing a run on the dollar, we are all going to have a giant festival of suck.
Now, we are not Weimar Germany, we’re not going to see that kind of hyper-inflation. Even so, double digit inflation combined with stagnant wages is gonna make it real expensive to provide the necessities for life, not at all helped by speculators in commodities. But yes, there are opportunities to be had. The reduced value of american labor in the world market might drive up our manufacturing industry and make labor intensive organic agriculture more competitive. Not to mention the opportunities for wealthy bastards buying up beleaguered assets on the cheap from bankrupt businesses and struggling governments. Which of course leads me to the ongoing threat of wealthy fascists manipulating the angry masses for their own end. They already own and control the popular media, they’ve already installed a corrupt and nearly tyrannical surveillance state, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine them expanding their efforts. And to set the record straight, Obama’s not gonna fix things. The wealthy elite paid for him to get into office. His financial advisors are all Goldman Sachs executives, He’s a corporate shill who does as he’s told. He’s politics as usual.
So where do we go from here? We need to build the infrastructure necessary to live in self-sustaining communities. We need to learn to crowdsource business and industry. We need a new way to rapidly fund job growth that actually reflects the needs of all stakeholders. Because you can’t have underemployment rates of 25 percent and expect to have a healthy economy. Without jobs, any meaningful recovery is impossible.
So in the meantime, what we can do is learn to appreciate frugality. There’s a lot you can do to improve your quality of life, regardless of what you can afford to buy. Most of all, get together with your friends and neighbors. Get out and improve your community. Do what you can, because this is the end of an era. There’s no road map to follow, and things are likely to get worse before they get better. Portland is strong because of its communities. And it’s all of you who make that work so well. Thank you and good night.