The Reality of The Economic Crisis

Danny Mendlow writes:

Here’s where we’re at folks. The end of the line.

“The end of free-market capitalism”

I’ve heard it called.

“The sub-prime mortgage crisis”

Some blame it on.

“A global economic meltdown”

Time for some major change.

So, our entire way of life is exposed as a rickety, weak, hollow, card house that collapses in a heartbeat, so what do we do? We throw money at it! We actually try and prop this mangled, pathetic card house back up with the exact cause of the collapse!

Kind of like tossing a bucket of water on a tsunami.

Kind of like throwing a candle at a forest fire.

Sort of the equivalent of throwing a snow ball at an avalanche.

Bail outs? Our solution is bail-outs?!?! And regulation? But please, don’t get me wrong, the other side of the coin is just as, if not more retarded. Tax breaks and the same freewheeling market that got us here? Those are the only two “solutions” on the table. Let me give you a hint. They are both wrong.

Here’s my solution. It’s time to re-think where we’re at and where we need to be going and what we need to do to get there. It’s time to realize that money got us to where we are, and it was helpful in doing so. The market pushed us to produce, innovate and it kept us waking up in the morning. It served a purpose at a time, but that time has long passed. And no government or bank or wall street finance expert or CEO will ever realize that. They will fight with every fiber in their being to defend the only thing they know. They will scratch and claw to keep themselves important.

They are all irrelevant.

It is up to regular people to figure that out and to do something about it. Don’t hold your breath for your senator and your congressman and your boss and your bank to get it. They won’t. Get it yourself, and then act.

The reality is this. The housing market crashed because a house is built so that people can live in it. Not so that real estate tycoons can buy and sell them like stocks and bonds pushing their ‘value’ into the stratosphere. A home is a tangible structure which at one time was priced according to what working people could afford. It was. Until, like everything else in our society, they became merely another pawn in the profit game, and all the humanity was squeezed mercilessly out of the house.

They stopped being homes, and started being ‘the housing market.’

I work full-time and couldn’t dream of ever owning a home. It cost me more to attend one year of school than my parents paid for a 5 acre property with a house on it merely one generation ago. That’s not inflation, that’s sucking the right to live in a real house out of an entire generation. My boss, a professional of ten years, can’t dream of ever owning a home. He lives with room-mates. Your boss shouldn’t live with room-mates. I don’t know a single person within ten years of me who can aspire to do anything other than inherit their parents or grandparents property. It’s like we’re all just sitting around waiting for them to die and hoping we were the good child. The beneficiary lottery. It’s a sad, demoralizing and completely ridiculous way to live. Why? Because houses aren’t built for people to live in any more. There is no correlation between real, human wages, and the price of a home. And you’ll never see a piece of legislation introduced that keeps those two interdependent things in line with each other. Ever.

Every year my rent increases, no questions asked. That’s just what happens. Well that’s just what’s been happening for too long. Now I’m paying $1000 a month for a one bedroom apartment. And not a very nice one either. I know people paying close to $2000. Two people working full-time jobs in a one bedroom apartment should not be living in poverty and barely making rent every month. How is a single mother supposed to survive in this world? We are all systematically being driven mercilessly into poverty where our only choice is to sign up for the credit being dangled at us. This is not frivolous spending. This is survival spending. This is rent and food and getting to work every day. That’s all I do. I don’t drink, I don’t party, I rarely leave my house. I don’t do anything. Not because I don’t want to. Because I can’t. Every single action costs money, and lots of it. Every year the price goes up. On everything. And every pay-cheque we’re going backwards. The credit card interest piles up, adding on to the already extortionist cost of simply having a place to sleep. This is the life that almost everyone I know in all walks of life is living right now. Engineers, doctors, barely scraping by. People who have done what they’re ‘supposed to do’ – gone to good schools, gotten good jobs. These aren’t deadbeats, so why are they forced to live like one and feel like one? You cannot sustain a society where every single person in it is perpetually plummeting further and further into debt. You cannot fix that issue by propping up those same credit companies with taxes on those same people who are already drowning in debt.

We cannot tax, subsidize, credit and bail-out our way out of this. We also can’t cut taxes, wage wars and let the free market run free to get out of this. BOTH ARE EQUALLY STUPID AND OUTDATED SOLUTIONS. They are not solutions, they are the cause of the problems.

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” — Albert Einstein

I see this quote thrown around a lot. But I don’t see it applied very often.

The economy collapsed because the same lack of forward thinking swallowed up our jobs too. A job is not just something you do every day to keep the stock afloat so that a handful of gamblers can buy and trade shares in your company. A job is a contribution to your society in which you are given a fair compensation, so that you can live in a home, eat food and purchase the goods produced by others in your society. At least it was. The extreme of this we are now witnessing. We have highly trained, well-educated, useful people being forced to work menial, pointless positions at the fifteen mega chain stores that dominate every town and every city to pay off their ridiculously expensive education. For what? For who? For Wall Street? For a couple of CEO’s?

Humanity has become a machine. There is no humanity left. And there won’t be until human beings realize it, and demand more of themselves, for themselves and by themselves.

Stop defending a system that ritualistically fucks you in the ass on a daily basis, suppresses your potential and denies your ability to live a respectable and decent life.

Stop pretending all is well and all will be made well through legislation and banking.

Start taking some pride in your existence and your self worth. Start caring. Stop shrugging your shoulder and saying “That’s just the way it is.”

It doesn’t have to be. And the only reason it is that way, is because you and me let it get that way, and continue to let it get worse.

Every day.

or you can leave it up to this guy to fix.

The above article was reposted from dannymendlow.wordpress.com.

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  • girlmachine

    Let's all sell our cars, move back to the cities, and establish local currencies. Relearn the meaning of the word “community,” and the responsibilities that entails. That's my plan anyways, but it will work a lot better if others are doing it, too. I see it happening a little here in Los Angeles. Santa Monica has a local currency now, as do other metropolitan areas. It's a good start!

  • girlmachine

    Let's all sell our cars, move back to the cities, and establish local currencies. Relearn the meaning of the word “community,” and the responsibilities that entails. That's my plan anyways, but it will work a lot better if others are doing it, too. I see it happening a little here in Los Angeles. Santa Monica has a local currency now, as do other metropolitan areas. It's a good start!

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    I'm sorry middle class but if you have an iPhone, an SUV, a 3000sqft home and a 42″ flatscreen HDTV its your own damn fault you can't pay your bills. The system gets you if you buy into it.

    You went to college? Great. Remember how you got by on pennies a day? Yeah… Save up money. Invest in yourself and your community. Drop off the grid. You don't NEED THEM.

  • overdramatic_anonymous_person

    well said danny, and this is something that needs to be said more often…drilled into the heads of everyone on the planet that doesnt already know that money isn't real and isn't necessary for people to live…sadly for the people barely hanging on its going to get a lot worse before it gets better, i think. I'd love to believe we can as a species even begin to address the problems we're having and facing by our dependence on money…its not just the distribution of wealth but the distribution of resources and the fact that the world has become too specialized and limited in what is available in most places people live to support the basic needs of the people that live there.

    the best solutions people are offering here (which are vastly better solutions than bailouts and the like) are steps backwards…going back towards a barter system being self sufficient smaller communities likely wont be feasible without knocking off a big chunk of the globes population…

    we need a paradigm shift and we need it now, or most of us may as well bend over and kiss our asses goodbye cause we are scheduled to be phased out.

  • http://notbuyinganything.blogspot.com/ Not Buying Anything

    Great post, and so painfully true. 99% of us are getting royally screwed for the benefit of the top 1%. Our politicians are part of the problem. My solution was to quit my job, quit the big city, and move to a beautiful rural location. Now at least when I can't afford to do anything in the money-based economy I still have abundant nature and peace and quiet surrounding me. I have drastically lowered my expectations, and am happier with less. The only viable solutions will come from the people after we wake up from our consumer orgy with one hell of a hangover, and say, “Fuck you, we won't do what you tell us to”. Then we can work on becoming self-sufficient, strong, and cooperative as we help each other create a more sane existence that reflects our needs, not the needs of big-bonus execs.

  • z0iid

    i agree with most of what you posted. but yo – move away from the coast. and the rest of us will welcome you to the real world. I live in Boulder County, Colorado – also very expensive. But I pay $500/month for a 500sq ft studio. And that is expensive here. Houses are finally coming down to mid 100's for 3/4 bedroom places. I'm in the market to actually buy now. I never went to college. I'm a computer nerd. I don't even make 75k/year. <—But, I still make within 5% of the most I ever made while living in California. So yes, while the system does need a complete overhaul – when you complain about paying $1000 – it is time for YOU to make a change and…. move.