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    i feel betrayed..., 2007-09-18 18:51:06 | Main | self-identity is a strange construct..., 2007-09-20 17:11:32

    chewin on life's gristle:

    August wasn't pretty, but as they say in the theatre, "break an arm". After an extended jobless recovery it's always nice to be punched in the face by a job loss lead into a recession. Nouriel Roubini bears down at the IMF. And as the housing construction slump snowballs you might imagine the impact on remittances to Central America. That's going to hurt.

    Unorderly thoughts:

    • Somebody ought to be strung up for our collective failure to get broadband into rural communities and the pathetic penetration even in urban households. Distributed p2p trade networks could be crucial to maintaining living standards while reducing the consumptive waste of buying new widgets when there's a massive glut of perfectly re-usable widgets going unused. The general impression one has from press coverage is that this is far too much a cosmopolitan experience among lowgrade starter yuppies on craigslist, but that assumption deserves more thorough inspection.
    • Sane people might applaud a significant recession in consumer spending if it meant a corresponding boom in consumer recycling. Less individual driving to retail fronts and a greater utilization of efficient delivery networks (FedEx and such) implied by increased online trade would be an additional bonus. I'm curious, anyway, about how balance would work out with fewer people facing shelves and more people delivering goods door to door. Probably a net loss in bullshit jobs, I suppose, which ought to be of some concern.
    • Does the combination of financial crisis and falling dollar on the balance help or hurt the buy local movement? Falling dollar good, rising oil prices good, credit crunch bad, particularly for the recovery of communities wiped clean of local business by a deeply entrenched process of walmartization, financed by subsidies from inflated exchange rates and, in a particularly clever way, the remains of the welfare state.
    • Um, just how far is that fucker gonna fall? A precipitous fall, you might say, could result in a bloodbath, and the pegs steadying the decline are arguably loosening.
    • If only we could expect the federal government to do nothing, rather than bail out the people who created the problem and shaft their victims. After that bankruptcy "reform" anybody forced to run out from under an unpaid mortgage might as well be debt bonded for the rest of their lives.
    • There's all manner of related economic solidarity networks that might have an opportunity to expand and help rebuild lives destroyed by a serious downturn. If the debt bondage turns out to be a particularly insidious and massive institution, but I'd need to go back and read that law again... The necessity for the project's expansion takes on a particular tone of desperation in light of the fact that the fed appears intent on doing less than nothing for anybody with net assets under seven figures. Then again, all the disparate efforts might remain lesser than the sum of their parts by remaining disparate. Isn't there an online clearing house for all this stuff yet? Maybe it's time to start building shop.flagrancy.net. :p
    • What's especially dastardly is that while congress closed access to the escape hatch of bankruptcy to millions of Americans suffering under crushing burdens of debt (primarily to a "private" medical insurance system heavily subsidized and thus reinforced in its irrationality by generous federal subisidies), lending agencies are going bankrupt left and right and compounding the insult by going after employee retirement funds in the process. At that they're on the lone receiving end of generous Federal bailout efforts. Subsidized bankruptcy for we, but not for thee. We should be fucking rioting in the streets over that shit.
    • General strike! General strike!


:: posted by buermann @ 2007-09-20 12:21:14 CST | link





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