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Prison of Debt Paralyzes West

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Be it the United States or the European Union, most Western countries are so highly indebted today that the markets have a greater say in their policies than the people. Why are democratic countries so pathetic when it comes to managing their money sustainably?

In the midst of this confusing crisis, which has already lasted more than five years, former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt addressed the question of who had "gotten almost the entire world into so much trouble." The longer the search for answers lasted, the more disconcerting the questions arising from the answers became. Is it possible that we are not experiencing a crisis, but rather a transformation of our economic system that feels like an unending crisis, and that waiting for it to end is hopeless? Is it possible that we are waiting for the world to conform to our worldview once again, but that it would be smarter to adjust our worldview to conform to the world? Is it possible that financial markets will never become servants of the markets for goods again? Is it possible that Western countries can no longer get rid of their debt, because democracies can't manage money? And is it possible that even Helmut Schmidt ought to be saying to himself: I too am responsible for getting the world into a fix?

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Vote for me and I will balance the budget but I have to take free stuff away from YOU also. When was the last time anyone heard a pol say that? I don't even blame the pols since I became an adult - not really. I gripe and moan sometimes but I'm still well aware that everyone - including me - wants or needs something from government that others would object to me having. Everyone wants to keep what is theirs and let others fend for themselves UNTIL they become one of the ones who cannot support themselves for whatever reason. And on the other end of the scale, the wealthy want to keep everything they feel they've earned and feel they already pay too much in taxes. Pols buy votes with OPM and have now promised so much that it can NEVER be delivered. If we still have traditional politicians around in a decade I'd be curious about how they will induce people to vote for them. Perhaps on serious issues of freedom? Nah....

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Excellent article which basically points to the fact that we are soon doomed to fall off the edge of a debt cliff. There is no going back to the good old days - we either come up with a new system or admit that we are all working for a banker who doesn't give a **** about society. That would be the end of democracy as we know it and the beginning of perpetual slavery to a faceless banker who never has to be accountable for his actions.

The problem here is that the financial system we live in has made about a 1/4 to 1/2 of any western population totally superfluous to the functioning of the system - in effect it has disenfranchised them and turn them into parasites on the productive fraction of the economy. They are no more at liberty to take back control of their economic destiny than I can turn back the tide on a beach.

Is it fair and proper to blame the victims of a system which has made them redundant rather than the system which did it ?

If we want a world that works we have to stop worshipping money as some abstract thing which can be used to make more of itself and recenter our priorities on things that matter - giving people productive and secure roles in a self sustaining societal network. We have to stop outsourcing everything to the cheapest place because it serves the interests of money rather than society. We need to stop treating people as wage slaves to be picked up and discarded at the slightest jerk in the mad markets rush to profit.

We need to put society back at the center of things and rest control from sociopaths who parasite off the infrastructure and sweat of the population. We need to bring the capitalist market back under control and back into service of the needs of society - rather than the other way round.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius
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Excellent article which basically points to the fact that we are soon doomed to fall off the edge of a debt cliff. There is no going back to the good old days - we either come up with a new system or admit that we are all working for a banker who doesn't give a **** about society. That would be the end of democracy as we know it and the beginning of perpetual slavery to a faceless banker who never has to be accountable for his actions.

The problem here is that the financial system we live in has made about a 1/4 to 1/2 of any western population totally superfluous to the functioning of the system - in effect it has disenfranchised them and turn them into parasites on the productive fraction of the economy. They are no more at liberty to take back control of their economic destiny than I can turn back the tide on a beach.

Is it fair and proper to blame the victims of a system which has made them redundant rather than the system which did it ?

If we want a world that works we have to stop worshipping money as some abstract thing which can be used to make more of itself and recenter our priorities on things that matter - giving people productive and secure roles in a self sustaining societal network. We have to stop outsourcing everything to the cheapest place because it serves the interests of money rather than society. We need to stop treating people as wage slaves to be picked up and discarded at the slightest jerk in the mad markets rush to profit.

We need to put society back at the center of things and rest control from sociopaths who parasite off the infrastructure and sweat of the population. We need to bring the capitalist market back under control and back into service of the needs of society - rather than the other way round.

Br Cornelius

The fact is that the world revolves around money and that's just how it is and always has been. Before or without currency there is always a trade off. The connected and highly populated world just can't function with a bartering system these days. I'm not actually knocking anything you're saying but what would you suggest?

Also, businesses sole purpose and only means of survival is in the interest of money. Society will determine if the business beholds its best interest and it will fail if it doesn't. There are no true monopolies in America anymore so if a business sucks we don't have to deal with it. Maybe the government is a monopoly though. They get money from everybody and every business every minute of every day and don't always return the favor in our best interest and none of that money is even theirs. Anyway, a capitalistic market doesn't need to serve the needs of society unless it wants to. The government does. The market only needs to serve what society wants. Wants and needs are different. And those "parasites", aka job creators, pay for that infrastructure every bit as much as the population and usually much more through rents, mortgages and any number of taxes. Business did help build the roads, bridges and infrastructures and the more successful they are the more they pay into it.

The prison of debt is the fault of irresponsible government leadership, not capitalists. Capitalists know how, where and when to spend and/or save money and if they don't then they fail and fall into debt just like these irresponsible governments. It's quite apparent that governments don't do well with the how, where and when. Why can't governments budget themselves purely on tax revenues of the previous year? That way there can be no budget projections, no guessing games, no what ifs. Just look at the last years bank account, figure out what needs funding and appropriate the money from there while at the same time leaving an accumulating rainy day fund year after year for those big inevitable uncertainties.

Edited by -Mr_Fess-

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Which ignores the fact that the real root cause of the problem is that banks are private businesses (even Fed Reserve banks) and it is in their interests for Governments to become more indebted.

The financial markets were the primary cause of then inflation of the money supply.

The root cause of most of these problems is the false belief that markets will find the best price for products when the reality is that they manipulate markets in pursuit of quick profits. Businesses themselves live and die by competition - but real productive businesses are a tiny proportion of the real economy. Confusing the markets with real productive industry/services blinds the advocates of market economics to the flaws in the system.

By analogy, is Las Vagas a productive place or a parasite on the real productive economy.

We need to rain in the speculative markets and direct investment into real productive sectors through real strategic investment banks. We need to slow down and regulate purely speculative trading because it generates money through destroying productive capacity.

There are many things we can do to change the system and rest control back from the gamblers who currently fix the markets and dictate transnational policy. The failures of Government are largely a consequence of backing the wrong horse in the wrong race at the wrong track.

Br Cornelius

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Considering almost every institution (private or governance) that has power in the world is set up so only those who actively pursue power will ever achieve leading roles means that it will be forever corrupted by people who want more. Politicians are partly to blame, but we keep voting them in so it's just as much our fault as theirs.

The main problem is we haven't discovered a system that can both run a country and actively prevent corruption. The closest I personally can come up with is our current system where every leading form of office(elected or appointed) has strict term limits. Unless you flush out everyone in power every once in a while corruption will gradually build up.

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I don't think Vegas is a parasite unless less you're a compulsive and degenerate gambler who lives nearby and I don't think parasite is the right word. Since the beginning people have sought to be entertained. It's the entertainment capital of the world and entertainment is good for us. Vegas is a 24/7 job creating machine with countless service jobs, technical jobs, managerial positions, entertainers and more and don't forget the constant construction taking place. So what if the house always wins? You know that going in and sometimes you get lucky. I go to Vegas hoping to win and expecting to lose and lose I have. It's not a parasite if you seek it out.

Edited by -Mr_Fess-

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The greed of mankind is part of the human condition.

One of the purposes of law is to deal with the question of greed in a civil and thoughtful judiciary.

In this case the law has been both poorly crafted and poorly enforced over many years now. What we have now could have been predicted--lousy laws WILL be counterproductive to society's best interest.

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Considering almost every institution (private or governance) that has power in the world is set up so only those who actively pursue power will ever achieve leading roles means that it will be forever corrupted by people who want more. Politicians are partly to blame, but we keep voting them in so it's just as much our fault as theirs.

The main problem is we haven't discovered a system that can both run a country and actively prevent corruption. The closest I personally can come up with is our current system where every leading form of office(elected or appointed) has strict term limits. Unless you flush out everyone in power every once in a while corruption will gradually build up.

If "Politicians are partly to blame, but we keep voting them in so it's just as much our fault as theirs."

how would "term limits" have any effect?

Term limits won't flush out the problem until the mindset of the status quo changes first.

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If "Politicians are partly to blame, but we keep voting them in so it's just as much our fault as theirs."

how would "term limits" have any effect?

Term limits won't flush out the problem until the mindset of the status quo changes first.

Just less time for corruption. I'm sure there are some who go in with good intentions but corruption grows with time.plus it might keep voters on their toes more as to who's who if they have to make a new choice every so often.

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Just less time for corruption. I'm sure there are some who go in with good intentions but corruption grows with time.plus it might keep voters on their toes more as to who's who if they have to make a new choice every so often.

Pretty much. The only logical reason I can come up with for so many incumbents constantly getting reelected in our current state is people simply voting in a name they recognize. Term limits also put a hamper on "business as usual" to some extent since new ideas and approaches will constantly be added in.

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