Turbulent times

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The clouds today above this part of Western Canada were what might be described as turbulent. The bases were at, or above a mile and half and from their shape it is clear that winds aloft were substantial.

The forces of nature are pretty much like the financial and political condition we find here on the surface. Though it is easy to describe the clouds as they appear it is difficult, to impossible, to predict what they will look like in only a few hours. The science of meteorology has developed based on observation, detailed records and intense study of the governing conditions that form the patterns


we know of as weather

Oddly enough, we know far more about the weather and the factors that shape it, then we do about the affairs of financing and organising our activities and government. Though counting and keeping records of transactions has been around throughout recorded history, the study of economics is something that is really only two, perhaps three, centuries old. The confusion of politics and philosophy embodied economic theories and in some cases, propelled cataclysmic events. Even today our politicians really have no where to turn for the answers that are need as they are


faced with taking some responsibility for the conduct of government during a time when the order of economic activity is in disarray. Some basic premises that shaped our society are now being questioned and you will notice that the experts are looking more and more foolish with each prediction.

Yesterday, I read an interesting explanation of why we are in the financial trouble we are witnessing. Production and supply out of whack, the highest unemployment we have seen in decades and some predicting it is going to get better and just as many saying it will get much worse.

Yesterday, I was looking in the Asia Times and came across this article "Recession 'shape' points down". Two thirds the way down the first page, W Joseph Stroupe explains one of the most important aspects of this current recession. He points out that most of the world's economies are based on "income". That these economies, like that of our own, are based on the production of goods or the delivery of services and from that we derive wealth. He points out that the Americans have made a transition from income based economy to a "asset" based economy.

The idea being, that Americans increasingly are dependent upon owning stuff and are basing their economy on the value of stuff. Apparently, the contention is this is what has happened and with the foolishness and speculation with housing, the initial trigger of the problem has been met with the Government of the US printing money to bail out the stuff, thinking this response will cure the problem.

Essentially it looks like the recession is far from bottomed out, or even close to its low point, but just taking a breather right now, in its continued slide to oblivion.

This change to an asset based economy would explain quite clearly why Canada's economy is not failing to the degree of that of the US and it might not be just because of the stability of the Canadian banking system. Though a lot of wealth is thrown around in Canada on speculation of property in an "asset" way, we still solidly rely upon making and producing things we sell, or creating income from services we provide.

It is my troubled belief that we really are in the dark ages of understanding the way we as people should organise ourselves in the light of the technology and potential we have. Serious academic study and research needs to be done, devoid of faith and emotion so that constructive workable solutions be developed.

Before I leave you I must explain why, we need to look for solutions. Humanity is up against the wall of its own success. With the world population at 6.7 billion and steadily getting bigger the planet's ability to heal itself ecologically is being compromised. The consumption of non-renewable resources is going to end the global economy as we will have to make not transport the goods we want for the sort of life we know we can provide for each other. The base emotion of greed has to be somehow channelled so that speculation does not threaten the quality of life through periods of so-called boom and bust episodes. With all of our potential and our growing abilities with scientific advances we still have massive numbers of people who flatly condemn intellectualism.

In the movie starring George Burns in 1977 called "Oh God" George delivers the lines that echoed through time, we have what we need and it will work.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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