Monday, July 12, 2010

We are Victims of our own Success

What does it actually mean to vote for or against extending unemployment benefits? In the context of seeking sustainable solutions, I'm afraid to say, almost absolutely nothing.

In practice, these stop-gap measures are indeed wasteful, as opponents cry, but only from the perspective of institutional denial of the fact that we are in the process of transitioning to the post Job Trance era.

Less than 65% of Americans (and dropping fast, due to ever accelerating increases in efficiency) current provide at least 100% of required goods and services for the entire economy. That means, 40% of Americans CAN'T BE IN THE WORKFORCE at all ... EVER.

We simply cannot, as bald pragmatic matter, let 40% or more of the population drift further and further into poverty and despair simply because of a deprecated, dysfunctional, nineteenth century industrial delusion about how the world used to work 100 years ago.

We suggest that it is time to open the floor to discussion and debate about economies as Circulatory Systems rather than distribution systems. Only hoarders and oligarchs amplify and defend the narrative of distribution, because it is their unsustainable resource skews that have gradually been the paramount unintended consequence of efficiency-addicted hyper-industrialization, thusly destroying the proper circulation of currency throughout the system as a whole.

In everyday practice, sustainable economies are like the body's circulatory system. We talk about how much currency is in circulation, not in distribution. It's time to open public solutions dialog on a subject that has been under careful study and analysis for decades: universal Basic Income, the most sustainable and adaptive means of maintaining a healthy Circulatory System, one that maintains the health of the capillaries of the economy first and foremost, where the transpiration of the real world economy takes place in everyday lives.

Without the exchange of oxygen, nutrients, and waste at the very fringes of our body's circulatory system, the heart can do no good whatsoever. To date, the measures taken to stimulate the economy have all focused on the wrong problem: shocking the heart to do more work. The moral problems and failures may be at the heart of the system, but the functional failures are at the edges and fringes of the system. Right here, in our everyday lives.

Let's be clear: nobody is demonizing free markets here; rather, we acknowledge that in the west, we are today a victim of our own particular brand of frenetic, neurotic success. As any alcoholic or drug addict who "made it to the top" will tell you, just because that dysfunction seemed to fuel success, doesn't mean that it actually helped. In sad fact, too often the very things that we thought were our best support structures can turn out to be the underlying cause of our greatest miseries.