Friday, June 06, 2008

Not Your Grandpa's Depression

At this point, even Republicans are beginning to suspect that what's happening is not part of the normal "business cycle," i.e., the normal capitalist pattern that begins with recovery from collapse, then moves successively through boom, mania, panic and collapse. It's something different and completely unprecedented this time.

The price of oil and the onset of the Long Emergency are what's driving this fiasco, which has dovetailed with the off-the-chart foreclosures rate and its attendant evaporation of billions in imaginary capital. Bank failures loom, and we citizens of the World's Greatest Democracy are probably in for some real material hardship, although the truly rich won't suffer, of course.

Still, this is going to be worse than the Great Depression, because the only things in short supply then were work and money.

At Beliefnet/U.S. Politics, we haven't even seen any of those "the economy is really, actually great" threads from the usual suspect lately, although she's still around.

Republicans continue to try to put on a brave front, but secretly they're shaking like a bunch of dogs shitting peach pits.


Joe said...

Indeed. During the 1930s depression there were abundant resources just waiting to be tapped. The biggest problem was governance.

How were the plutocrats going to make so that the wealth from using those resources could get back to them? For the less imaginative, the task was getting as much of that wealth with as little mental and physical effort as possible.

Now it is apparent that the supply of resources is limited. Also, the effects of using them so quickly are becoming more troublesome.

Joe said...

PS. Most of the political discussion on bnet is quite superficial and vain. But it reflects the thinking of the general public.

Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer said...

Ken Deffeyes, a person I admire greatly, said in his book "Beyond Oil" that our biggest problem is not lack of resources, but lack of effectove political leadership.

Oil will have to be replaced by electricity, and if we had effective political leadership, an emergency progam to cleanly incrase our generating capacity would have begun five or more years ago.


Joe said...

Those points are true. The leaders have been diligent to oppress the people, propelled by such dark motivations as greed.