25/01/2016

Don't expect government to fix systemic problems - by Jeff Fitchett

I'm a political atheist.  Sadly, like many others, I strategically vote for the best of the worst options.  I don't believe any elected government in the world today understands the dire straits humanity faces.  Deep down I know that voting is a battle of futility.  Ruling parties come and go, but the underlying deputy ministers and career civil servants remain in place perpetuating an unviable policy regiment.  The system has been corrupted over a long period of time.  Most people working in government are unaware of the serious calamity we face and the general public is oblivious as well.  Vested interests shape policies that benefit the minority.

Short term rewards trump longterm strategic thinking.  Investors demand immediate returns on investments even though economic and fiscal conditions do not support this kind of mindset.  I was chatting with a friend of mine a couple weeks back and he mentioned that a client of his expected 10% rates of return every year.  Delusion is alive and well in our society.  Corporations use manipulative techniques to increase earnings per share that will benefit shareholders near term, but longer term the corporations will fail. Profits have been privatized while losses are covered by tax payers.

Trade deals that have been struck over the last 20 or so years supersede the laws of nation states in favour of multinational corporations.  In the West, we like to think that we live in a democracy, but truthfully we are governed by oligarchs.  There is no way to change the system from within.  I have contemplated these problems for years and I always come back to the same conclusion; opt out and control your own destiny.  I know that may sound a tad off-kilter, but I don't think it is.  How many times have you heard a friend or family member say: "the government should deal with that or the government should pass a regulation or law...".  I know I have heard lines like that often enough for it to stick in my mind.  I think it is imperative that everyone realizes that government pensions and health care are going to dematerialize.

According to Michael Snyder, 62% of all Americans have less than $1000 in savings.  Fewer than 10% of Millennials and 16% of Generation X's have $10,000 in savings.   65% of all households with children are receiving some form of government benefits.  46 million Americans are using food banks each year. Imagine what the majority of the population in the US would do if there was no government sponsored pensions, welfare and health care. The same goes for every other Western nation.

The problems we face as a civilization have spread throughout our society because of a sense of entitlement.  I often listen to people make comments that elude to the fact that they should be paid if they do not work or that wage increases should be mandatory even though economic conditions do not warrant an increase or that they deserve government benefits that pay out more than what they have put in. Government deficits and debt have long passed the point of no return.  It is impossible for economic growth to suddenly spike higher.  An economy based on debt has no future.  There are times when using debt makes sense such as a business financing an expansion that will lead to higher income, but not when our entire way of life is based on a debt paradigm.

Debt defaults are baked in the cake so to speak.  Consumers, corporations and governments have all binged on debt and now the piper is about to be paid.  You have a choice to take matters into your own hands and adjust your life accordingly or you will go down with the sinking ship that is our unsustainable way of life.






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