“The financial system as we know it is completely untenable, and there are gonna be big changes.” ~Dr Nathan Hagens
Economics is not my field. I write as a layman. I do not watch much TV. When I do have opportunity to flip channels, I find myself pausing at C-Span, Weather, History, Discovery, Learning (TLC), or Food Channel, muted with closed caption (CC); sometimes, News or CNBC-TV. Occasionally MBA Face-off. Strangely, I often know the answer when the MBA does not. I credit this to life-skills (experience)—it took me a long time to know everything I know—and common sense; viz., I am not without some understanding of finance. So trust me when I tell you that what is going on today is unlike anything that has occurred in my lifetime.
It is estimated that within a few years our 200-year-old currency will disappear. CNBC-TV speculates the dollar will be “utterly destroyed.” China, that the dollar will be replaced with the yuan. The United Nations (UN), that the dollar will be replaced with a new “global currency.” Imagine: “It may happen that you have $100,000 in your bank, and the next day, you wake up and you have 10,000 patriot dollars, or something like that” (Dr Nathan Hagens, economist).
Now, if you think things don’t happen overnight, you’re wrong. They do. Ask people who have lived through overnight twisters. They will tell you that they went to sleep in one world and awoke to another.
Years ago I worked with a young female refugee from Central America—still scarred by her experience in her native land. She was surprised by American complacency: that citizens had no awareness or anxiety that their lives might suddenly be forever altered by national or international events. She said, “Don’t they know their government could fall overnight? We went to bed in one nation and awoke in another. Our money and our leaders were all changed.” I thought, Yes, but you lived in a small country. Our country is big and strong. It won’t happen here.
It could. “In reality, there is no such thing as ‘Too big to fail’; there is only ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall'” (Eric Raymond).
Sudden, swift transition has taken place in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, the Balkans, the Baltics, France, Italy, the USSR, Central America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Libya, Syria … Why not America?
After the War Between the States, Confederate currency was worthless. Not long after World War I, a wheelbarrow of German Papiermark couldn’t buy a loaf of bread: the new Reichsmark was worth 1012 Papiermark—roughly, a trillion. After World War II the inflation rate in Argentina averaged over 200 percent, reaching a high of over 20,000 percent in 1990. One woman, knowing the price would be higher tomorrow, went to the store and cleaned them out of Kleenex. Runs on stores were so common that residents had to shop early or shelves would be empty. “There are 1011 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers” (Richard Feynman).
What is going on right now with our economy is unprecedented. America’s mountain of debt is proof that the system is falling apart. “We have built an entire industrial civilization on the assumption that there will be more every year. We now know that resources are harder to find and, in order to keep the system going, we’ve flooded the American economy—as well as the world economy—with more and more credit” (Dr Nathan Hagens). “The Titanic is going to sink, and there are some people that will not believe it until they’re under water” (Michael Ruppert).
Since, in the $1 trillion 2008 banking bailout, the USA was playing with taxpayer money, why wasn’t the “gift” applied to the national debt or consumer debt? Imagine: they could have liberated us all! The bankers would still have received the money, and some people would still be living in their houses. Instead, as always occurs with liquid handouts (eg Imelda Marcos), the recipients (in this case, bankers) pocketed the money, enriched themselves, then turned around and abused the very people who had helped them (we borrowers). How do they get away with this? We taxpayers were the philanthropists. Yet we are denied credit or are stiffed with usury. You know, you have to figure that someone is up to no good. That maybe this is a contrived crisis. “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it” (Ronald Reagan).
It reminds me of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:23-35). After he was forgiven a debt of $9.6 million (10,000 talents), he went out and imprisoned someone who owed him $16 (100 denarii). When the king heard about it, he rescinded the clemency and made the rich servant repay the original debt. We should be so lucky.
“If you put the Federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” ~Milton Friedman
Copyright © 2011 Alexandra Lee