Here you will find observations about the ‘Waste- based’ USA- style consumer economy and its ongoing unraveling.
Our crisis is the endgame of modernity and associated industrialization due to resource/capital depletion. This is the consequence of a ‘culture of excess’ that refuses to accept limits: failures in credit- political- and production sector marketplaces are the manifestation of resource/capital depletion. What is underway is ‘conservation by other means’.
Modernity is a long-running process (400 years). It has been successful for too long a period for it to continue. Modernity cannibalizes its capital, as such our crisis is irreversible. Conventional marketplace remedies such as debt jubilees/write-offs, re-distribution, bailouts, stimulus, austerity policies, monetary easing, etc. have no effect on outcome other than to worsen conditions. These are efforts to reclaim capital that no longer exists. Consequently, remedies accelerate unraveling process by increasing gross debt (claims against capital) while exposing remaining capital to consumption at higher rates. The capital ‘pie’ cannot be redistributed, only a new and much smaller pie is to be had and carefully tended. Our smaller pie of non-renewable resources is what we have to make use of, to last us and the rest of the world’s creatures until the end of humanity.
Economists insist that the crisis is one of debt and out-of-control finance. Rather, the crisis is a decreasingly-productive physical economy which monetizes resource waste. Pop Culture promotes the process, management policy defends the process’ beneficiaries from any undesirable consequences.
Economists insist that capital is symbolic (money) rather than material. In the real world, capital is resources, all industrial money is debt. Abstract money is infinitely reproducible, material inputs are not. Existence of debt-money is incentive to waste capital even as input constraints unravel input-dependent enterprises (petroleum fuel, also topsoil, water and waste-carrying capacity).
The waste-based industrial economy depletes the capital it requires. Adjusting the waste-based economy to operate at greater efficiency depletes capital more thoroughly at a higher rate.
On a cash-flow basis the consumption economy is continually ‘underwater’: the gap between capital cost and system return is financed. When input prices are low, the amount to be financed is affordable. Scarcity reprices resource capital: it becomes more costly than what can be affordably financed. At some point both capital and necessary credit become fall out of reach (demand destruction). This dynamic of too-expensive capital plus too-expensive credit to gain that capital is what our crisis manifests.
That the industrial economy cannot afford itself is self-evident: if the enterprise was productive it would retire its own debts. Industrial productivity is a myth … promoted by industrialists themselves who use credit to effect economies of scale … to access greater amounts of credit.
The purpose of this site is to allow me to organize my own thoughts about what is underway. Some of what emerges is fanciful and sometimes contradictory and nonsensical. All points to an end of greater understanding.