Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Monday, August 04, 2008

  The all-pervasive Gulag in the cartoon economy, part Z

"Suddenly all the professors and engineers turned out to be saboteurs — and they believed it? ... Or all of Lenin's old guard were vile renegades — and they believed it? Suddenly all their friends and acquaintances were enemies of the people — and they believed it?" - Solzhenitsyn

Idiots run the asylum, understanding nothing but power itself. Threaten that power and the response is harsh and immediate... And the true idiots run amuck, not knowing why their quality of life is declining, barely aware that yesterday was a better day than today, holding to power at the expense of reason...

Still the PR men spin... Win FREE MONEY! and no amount of counter spin can stop them. It becomes easier to believe outlandish conspiracy theories while the Jellyfish move in closer to the shore, their dumb stinging tentacles clinging to anyone that dares to swim.

The government builds warships as monuments to living men, contrary to 200 years of tradition, and prints money only to have inflation outrace spending. The only bright spot there was that rental income was up an astounding 14% for the month - shantytowns will be next.

Vampire books, and zombie stories dominate the reading lists, for those left that still read, and vaguely feel the malaise: the relentless mind-sucking tide of the moronic majority, turning on the one eyed men in the kingdom of the blind.

Others trap the competent men in a pecking party of clueless distrust and probable deceit.

There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no place left to think freely - more good men have quit fighting the copyright battle, too. (I despaired of fixing copyright when Costa Rica somehow voted for CAFTA, despite the fix being in.) In today's world, Harry Tuttle wouldn't have made it to the second act in Brazil.

And while some loonies contemplate destroying unused housing stock to prop up the prices of existing housing, when prices are still so high that millions can only rent, and others live in tents, Congress temporarily bails out Fanny Mae, as if half the housing stock wasn't already effectively nationalized. I can see the ad campaigns coming - Soon you can combine your mortgage and taxes into one brutal payment! Call now!

The young, already shackled by the debts handed down from the previous generations - and the costs of financing their own education, are gleefully proposed once again for national service by a supposedly independent media -

Oh, we reap the rewards of globalization, too: And one party debates about who to blame for the cartoon economy while the other turns the lights out.

I wish that I was writing about Stalin's USSR, or China's Cultural Revolution, but I'm not. The gulag is waiting, now, for everybody.

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Comments:
Well, I'd comment big and fat, but I just saw what I consider just about the most disturbing thing I've ever seen on the
internet thus far.

Of course, the 'invention' is obvious, but impressive none the less:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxBa5bQfTGc
 
Okay:

So “has effectively offset all the trade liberalization efforts of the last three decades.""

GOOD!

What 'trade liberalization efforts?

You mean where we throw our people out of work in this country who used to actually build things, so we can rip down our forests, tear up our public lands in order to come up with raw, raw materials to ship overseas on heavily, and I mean HEAVILY subsidized container ships so people will
'trade' with us?

Is that what is meant by "trade liberalization efforts" ?

Or would it be the idea that:
"Yes, mr and mrs redneck america, If you just give up your jobs, you too can save $6 on a toaster oven at WallMart!"

And the Waltons get richer, and the rednecks sleep in tents.

Does this mean I'm opposed to trade? No. Not at all. Folks make stuff, people want to buy it? Great.

Folks rip down our forests, tear up our mountains for fucking coal, rip out our streams and wild places, pave under our farms to build strip malls, while our factories rust into the ground. For what?
What exactly? So less than 1% of our citizens can get so stratospherically rich?
Why?

I heard on 'Marketplace' a few weeks back that our are out of balance on trade right now. Exports are growing, and imports are shrinking, and the talking head economist was explaining, (as if it were a fact) that imports/exports should be balanced?

Says who? Why? That's crazy talk. Make good stuff, folks overseas want to buy it? great.
Why on earth would anyone want anything imported? Because it's cool? Sure, great. I'm into it. contact that builder overseas, contract a shipper to ship you that new car, take a train to the port, meet the ship, chat with the stevedores while they unload your new imported car. That's fine. That's commerce. This isn't commerce. No miles and miles and miles of tax-deferred imported cars sitting at one port on the left side of the country, on top of land that would be better off as a happy place for critters, if nothing else.

No endless backdrop of big box stores, the same, always the same, just like the old cartoon backgrounds that have the same building over and over again, as Fred Flintstone runs his car to work.
Fridays, McDonalds, Bed Bath & Beyond, WallMart, Sheetz, Target, Lowes, Circuit City, Best Buy, Large Lots, Costco, Fridays, McDonalds, Bed Bath & Beyond, WallMart, Sheetz, Target, Lowes, Circuit City, Best Buy, Large Lots, Costco, Fridays, McDonalds, Bed Bath & Beyond, WallMart, Sheetz, Target, Lowes, Circuit City, Best Buy, Large Lots, Costco, Fridays, McDonalds, Bed Bath & Beyond, WallMart, Sheetz, Target, Lowes, Circuit City, Best Buy, Large Lots, Costco.

All imported, all of it, from overseas factories employing some of the lowest paid folks people ever thought of. The managers, the big shots living in 'securitized' 'Green Zones', with private armies protecting them from the proles.

pant,pant,pant,Take a breath, , okay.

But it's good for the consumer!

Who cares? What makes it good for the consumer? What the hell is a consumer anyway? What ever happened to citizen, or at the very worst, Taxpayer?

What about the free person? Living in a free country? What ever happened to that concept?
Yeah, some will say he was buried all over the world along with Joe Hill.

Liberal? Me? Heck no. If there is one thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal, it's a knee-pad conservative, always grovelling on their knees at the feet of the rich and powerful.

Oh, but all that growth is *good*!

Good? How so?
What makes it good?
can't drink ground water any more, anywhere without treating it. How is that good?
Food from the farms? What food?
You know that the Iowa farmer, the frakking bread basket of the once-world can no longer feed him/herself? that the crops grown there are no longer food,
but rather industrial feed stocks and other industrial raw material inputs? You can't even eat the frakking corn? It's all starch! Feed it to cattle and yeah, it makes them fat, really fast, but it will kill them? It isn't food.

This is good? Trichorothane in the drinking water? This is good? Antibiotics, and antibiotic resistant microbes amplifying in the sewage treatment that feeds our nations streams and rivers? This is good? How is this good?

Oh, but people need to live somewhere.

BS. Look at the numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_Population_Graph_-_1790_to_2000.svg

According to that chart, in 1920, there were 100 million people in the US, in 1970, there were 200 million people and in 2000, there were 300 million.

Okay, in 1920, I was alone at the water cooler. In 1970, I had someone to talk to at the water cooler, and in 2000, I had 2 people to talk to at the water cooler.

In 1920, I had the road to myself. in 1970, I saw one other car, and in 2000, I saw 2 other cars.

Okay, that's not a good model.
So, in 1920, there were 10 people at the 4th of July picnic, and in 1970, there were 20, and in 2000, there were 30. Cool!

I can live with that. But that's not what's going on. At all. Someone is bullshitting someone.

Okay, I have headache now.

Trade liberalization my ass.
 
That has got to be your best rant ever, cpm.

If I can say anything positive about the misleading meme "trade liberalization" and the article I linked to - it means that there is a natural cap to outsourcing manufacturing tightly tied to available energy for transport. With oil above 100/barrel more manufacturing jobs will come home...

If we unpave the parking lots, start growing actual corn, turn unsold SUVs into living space, sell unused housing/cars at absolute auctions, stop subsidizing the container ships, turn corporations back into unpersons with very limited rights, and clean up the rivers, what do we get?
 
What do we get?

I don't know, Let's Find Out!

Sounds exciting.
 
Heinlein's Juvenile Dystopia's? Corrupt officials being executed? The wealthy moving back into the center city?
 
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