Economics, And Questions Without Answers
Congress’ budget debates have brought up many unanswered questions because of ideologies and partisanship; but they have also brought up questions about contradictions that exist in the very definitions of government and economies that all parties are ignoring; like the structure of economic policies, and who controls them, the people at large, or the small groups who benefit from them directly?
Free markets are, and always have been, at the root of all discussions of capitalistic practices. Yet the absence of FREE markets is evident today everywhere we look – especially in the realm of gas prices and health care costs. The word monopoly means control from a single source, the monopoly; obviously, that isn’t freedom in any way at all; yet monopolies of one kind or another control every sector of industry today – is that what is meant by, “free markets”? Can private enterprise exist in markets that are controlled (in other words NOT free)?
But the neglect of these matters by our government, has led me to write this essay to try to answer some questions that, seem to me, need to be answered by those who really care about “free enterprise”, and the continued existence of a government whose society was formed on the principles of freedom and equality for ALL.
The first unanswered question is what I have described above: Why are our supposedly free markets NOT free?
The answer is evident, but just overlooked today: MONOPOLIES.
The second question without an answer is: Why is global not global?
Global economy? Yet markets, and money, and even labor are definitely not GLOBAL; can we talk of a global economy while this is the case?
We live in a world that is partially, if not wholly (in one sense), defined by us, yet the biggest problems we have are not the ones that fate brings us, out of the blue. But our worst nightmares come from what we ourselves have created; matters that are completely under our control, just because we ourselves have made them through our own definitions.
The problem is that definitions have motivations attached to them, motivations that serve only the particular minds that have created those motivations; in short: purposes, that serve only some, not all. But government and even economics was created to offset this “some” with the “all“; but somehow, the SOME, in both economics and government, has crowded the ALL out completely.
This has come about through the partisanship that ideologies breed. True believers cannot see beyond their beliefs. They cannot fathom thoughts that oppose purposes that favor only themselves. Somehow the ALL is suddenly replaced by the few, and losers are created as being apart from this new ALL, which has now become only the winners. But the winners become fewer and fewer, while the losers grow exponentially. Soon the winners control all the decisions and the purposes through which ALL live. They are no longer just winners, but Masters; and the losers become legion, without decision or purpose, they are the new slaves. Is this the result of true freedom? Or, is this the purpose of democracy, which was formed to favor the majority – what is now called the losers?
So lets get back to our previous questions. Why are free markets not free? And, why is a global economy not global? These two questions are tied together by a simple answer: because it benefits certain people to have it this way.
Obviously, those people are the same ones that control the markets, through the proxies known as monopolies. They control the supplies, and use this control to up the demand, and, in turn, the price. Suddenly freedom is not freedom; and free enterprise is not free enterprise.
But what goes around comes around, and these purposefully created paradoxes are coming back to bite their perpetrators. How?
Prices are rising; wages are falling; unemployment is rising and therefore taxes and entitlements are rising; the result: local economies are crumbling, and the global ripple effect in a “global economy” made up of “local parts” is producing a global catastrophe.
How does this come about? For one thing, the global, which isn’t global, has created a money supply that is itself traded, because the standard (money), which values wages and commodity prices, is itself local. Many monies have created many wages, and have created two supplies of labor: one expensive and one cheap. This has also occurred to the costs of raw materials, they too are cheapest where the labor is cheapest. But the sale of expensive commodities can only be where the labor is expensive; where people can afford them: in the developed world. So a global economy has brought about a third world of slave (cheap) labor that creates commodities that can only be afforded in the world of expensive labor where they can afford them. But what happens to the labor in that expensive world, where labor is so pricey?
Labor in the developed world is now disappearing; unemployment is rising as all the jobs and plants are shipped to the third world. So taxes and entitlements are also rising in a population that can no longer afford them because so many are out of work. Prices are also rising because unions are forcing wages even higher for the few still working. The few industries still viable are becoming so expensive (oil and health care), that people and even governments can’t afford them, so wages are falling and more jobs are shipped to the third world. Governments, caught in the middle, are going bankrupt; and the old fixes, like wars that once fixed things through creating new economies and new slave populations are only becoming a drain to spiral the coming catastrophe to its ultimate climax.
But governments are ignoring all of this, because the few have taken the place of ALL; and the benefit of the few outweighs the benefit of all.
But the few had better wise up, and fast! When the collapse comes, the many (the losers) will know who to blame; and history has never dealt kindly with that few who end up paying the price they have created for themselves. So we must ALL start to realize that economies and governments are created for ALL.
The solutions will be seemingly harsh; it will entail a single monetary standard that creates the same value for wages, and prices for goods all over the world. It will force a Global economy that supports all local societies that makes an economy that supports the local population it serves by hiring and selling locally.
Monopolies must become non-profit, or regulated, to be split up when a certain size is reached. No longer will decisions be made by those who will profit by them, but made by a majority who favor the ALL as opposed to the FEW.
Needed and scarce resources will be owned by societies for the benefit of ALL, not for the profit of a few who use them to blackmail society.
Will these changes be enough? That will remain to be seen; they can, at the very least, head off a global collapse; but it will require a mind shift of novel and vast proportions. A shift from the gambler’s mentality that today’s capitalism has pervasively created in society, both in the rich parasites at the top, and the greedy poor at the bottom, and even in the middle class, whose notion of the American Dream is wealth and power. Our forefathers, who conceived this country in liberty and justice for ALL, did not ever dream that this maxim would be perverted into a society of the “only I count” kind. Their sacrifices were what gave the impetus to American freedom, a freedom conceived in the ALL of a homogeneous and trusting society, where every loser was society’s loss; and the winners of society were benefits for that same ALL.
The difficulties lie at the core of the definition of what an economy must do. The most essential purpose of any economy is to support society, for without society an economy cannot exist. Instead we now have an economy that totally ignores its effects on society. It allows individuals to put themselves above society, and create effects that harm society. If we continue to create societies, primarily made up of losers, as we always have in the past, those societies will eventually self-destruct, as our present society is doing; and the economy that is causing this destruction will itself fall.
The present economy is literally eating itself up. It has fallen into a vicious cycle, where its growth depends on the existence of two incompatible worlds: the world of cheap labor, and the world of rich consumers. These two worlds are beginning to disappear. So what will happen to the economy?
When freedom is sold to the highest bidder, society becomes a chaos, and ALL lose. This loss can be good, if it finally clears the delusion that has made society a jungle, that only lets the strongest survive. Or it can be just another bump in the road that is ignored, and brings forth just another repeat of the same history that has plagued us for the last three thousand years. Which will it be?
If we keep fixing things the way we do now, with quick fixes and temporary expediency, we will only let things get worse. Putting off the inevitable collapse that is coming. But if we start to change the rotten foundation upon which the system rests, and create a new system that fulfills the true goal and purpose of an economy, we can finally create something that will allow all of us to grow together and leave no one behind.
Again, Which will it be?
We will soon be finding out!
Originally Published:July 21, 2011
Revised:January 2, 2014