Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Poverty's Black Hole

"Poverty is like literally being held back from enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe."

"an initial report out Tuesday finds that 37 percent of New Yorkers faced a severe material hardship over the past year, even though the city's official poverty rate is 21 percent. Even more striking is that many people with incomes well above the poverty line also face such hardship"

The Short Fast Emergency
Now I remember why I blog. There are parts of this fiasco - like the past five years - that will seem to go extremely slowly almost glacially, like Kunstler's "Long Slow Emergency". However, there are parts of this clusterfuck that will go extremely quickly and violently. Volatility is mean reverting and periods of extreme complacency are always followed by periods of panic. To not have perspective and some state of "preparation" going into the time of panic, will be perilous indeed.

"It Can't Happen to Me"
Human wealth has never been greater in history and already poverty rates are skyrocketing and claiming ever more victims. The dying economy's ever-dwindling income is being hoovered straight into corporate profits to satisfy Wall Street's insatiable appetite for profit growth. Again, this underlying Faustian Assumption - "it can't happen to me", is all critical to maintaining this delusional Extend and Pretend. Without that assumption, then the powers that be and the yuppy class would have to admit that poverty is spreading and the status quo is to blame. 

The Poor Don't Exist
Foodstamps, unemployment extensions, welfare, are all just band-aid solutions to cover up an ever-deteriorating economy. They are excoriated on the right by the very people who made them necessary. And they are championed on the limousine liberal left, because they're "feel good" gimmicks that forestall meaningful reform of the all important status quo. Meanwhile, the poor are shunned by this fake society in favour of Kardashians and vacuous infotainers, so the real story of what it's like to live under the full weight of Ponzi Kapitalism, never gets told. Success is venerated, while hardship is swept under the rug as if it doesn't even exist.

"Excess breeds hubris when great wealth follows men who do not have a complete mind" (Solon)
Great wealth is not freedom. The ability to live within one's means is the only freedom. Yet Ponzi globalization has created massive debts, wage deflation, Fed-ignored price inflation for everything that really matters (food, energy, tuition, healthcare), all of which make living within one's means a quaint habit of a bygone era.

A Lethal Manic Feedback Loop
Human Ponzi wealth lingers ever more tenuously at all time highs supported by the thinnest thread of fabricated contrivances. Central Banks, over-confident buffoons, massive doses of prozac, and HFT bots have generated a lethal manic illusion. It's a social mood reverse feedback loop. Instead of social mood engineering markets, markets are engineering social mood. HFT bots don't have emotions, so they didn't get the memo that this was all supposed to end a long time ago.  This resulting manic state of epic false confidence that attends today, must be resisted at all costs. It's all premised upon a Faustian Assumption.