Information about this site

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.

Please take the time to look over the growing list of reading materials.

One thought on “Information about this site

  1. rcg1950

    An extended quote from “Meditations on Hunting” by Jose Ortega y Gasset. Originally written (in Spanish) in 1942. Somehow seems relevant to the discussion re the idiocy of our current crop of rich people. Any way – for what it’s worth – an example of great thinking and writing in any case … enjoy:

    “…what kind of happy existence has man tried to attain when circumstances allowed him to do so? What have been the forms of the happy life? Even supposing that there have been many, innumerable, forms, have not some been clearly predominant? This is of the greatest importance, because in the happy occupations, again, the vocation of man is revealed. Nevertheless, we notice, surprised and scandalized, that this topic has never been investigated. Although it seems incredible, we lack completely a history of man’s concept of what constitutes happiness.

    Exceptional vocations aside, we confront the stupefying fact that, while obligatory occupations have undergone the most radical changes, the idea of the happy life has hardly varied throughout human evolution. In all times and places, as soon as man has enjoyed a moment’s respite from his work, he has hastened, with illusion and excitement, to execute a limited always similar repertory of enjoyable activities. Strange though this is, it is essentially true. To convince oneself, it is enough to proceed rather methodically, beginning by setting out the information.

    What kind of man has been the least oppressed by work and the most easily able to engage in being happy? Obviously, the aristocratic man. Certainly the aristocrats too had their jobs, frequently the hardest of all: war, responsibilities of government, care of their own wealth. Only degenerate aristocracies stopped working, and complete idleness was short-lived because the degenerate aristocracies were soon swept away. But the work of the aristocrat, which looks more like “effort,” was of such a nature that it left him a great deal of free time. And this is what concerns us: what does man do when, and in the extent that, he is free to do what he pleases? Now this greatly liberated man, the aristocrat, has always done the same things: raced horses or competed in physical exercises, gathered at parties, the feature of which is usually dancing, and engaged in conversation. But before any of those, and consistently more important than all of them has been … hunting. So that, if instead of speaking hypothetically we attend to the facts, we discover—whether we want to or not, with enjoyment or anger– that the most appreciated, enjoyable occupation for the normal man has always been hunting. This what kings and nobles have preferred to do: they have hunted. But it happens that the other social classes have done or wanted to do the same thing, to such an extent that one could almost divide the felicitous occupations of the normal man into four categories: hunting, dancing, racing, and conversing.”

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