Thursday, October 02, 2008

reality bites!


It's been fun watching the markets the last few weeks. As an economist this has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, history as it happens. (It helps being debt-free, renting, out of stocks and into gold and silver!)

But what does it all mean? The USA's slide into socialism has been as surprising as it's been amusing, watching the rednecks having to confront the results of their love of debt and ignorance by using the tired old techniques of Lenin and Roosevelt. It's pathetic watching it.

Meltdown will not be averted no matter how much cash is thrown at the system. The old debt-financed globalised consumer 'capitalism' will die. In its place will arise REAL capitalism. Businesses funded by savings, run on a small scale from sustainable premises, sending their goods to market by train, tram and canal, utilising local currencies and hopefully not being taxed to the hilt by unimaginative bureaucratic self-appointed governments. That is what the post-Peak Oil world will look like. Who knows, this may even be the beginning of the end of global warming ...
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ. Of all the probable scenarios (varying between a few and few million depending on how you define a scenario) this is one of the least probable prophecies. There is no selfinterested impetus for the incredible rich (and after this crisis, even more incredible rich) to chose a small scale economy based on savings. It's a beautiful picture though

Sunshiner said...

I think you need to first understand how the incredibly rich got that way. Almost all of their fortunes have been built in non-sustainable industries, most of the rest from servicing those industries. Those industries will begin to fail as resource and energy limitations begin to kick in. They will probably throw good money after bad if they're a bit thick or hippies, further diminishing their wealth. just watch 'em.

Whether this will happen now, in five years' time, 20 years' time or 50 years' time is the only unknown.

It won't be the rich that choose anything - it'll be everybody else. I find that rather sad, but then I am an unreconstructed capitalist!

Anonymous said...

I salute you sir, for your bold claim to the gift of prophecy! I can only guess though, and I do believe that global warming arguments will be less popular as temperature cools over the next decades because of low solar spot activity. Drilling will be recommenced and the Peak Oil horizon will be pushed a few decades as new reserves will be found (Greenland ...), and as the drive for alternative (and more importantly, indigenous and hence trade balance positive) sources of energy is stepped up to replace a portion of the ever more expensive fossil fuel burning. During this time the search for more abundant supplies of energy will go on, and it will be probably be found in new ways of directly tapping the vast pool of geothermal energy (Nuclear energy is a cul-de-sac). This will serve the growing need for more energy for at least a few hundred years until ways of directly tapping the sun and/or dark matter etc is found. By this time everything will probably be administered by the global neuronetwork of superintelligent computers - still programmed by humans, but the distinction will be fine as to who is governing who (it already is). Or we could also be thrown into a nuclear war (by mistake probably) when tensions over diminishing resources will reach hysteric levels. After which earth will just need a few million years to wipe out the traces of that conceited species that once was ours.

I'd say both of these scenarios are more probable - but I suppose none of these are for us to pick, reality has a way of choosing it's own path ...