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The Real Reason For The Recession – 2


In the last post we discussed the proposition that GREED was the underlying cause of the current world economic recession.  Not that the planet doesn’t providing enough goods and services to satisfy the needs of its population, that’s not what caused this crisis. 

It’s that the distribution of these goods and services is unfairly and inequitably skewed.  Aye, there’s the rub.  Rich people get richer, poor people get poorer, rich countries get richer, poor countries get poorer and with everyone taking a “me first, the hell with you” attitude, it’s no wonder the machine came to a grinding halt.  And it’s all based on the collective idea of the value of money.

Money is a very interesting thing.  You can’t eat it, drink it, or wrap it around you to keep you warm.  On its own it is absolutely worthless.  In fact, it’s only use is as a medium of exchange that tells you how much food, drink, clothing or other commodity you can lay claim to in comparison to the other guy.  Money is a measuring tool, nothing else. 

The late University of Chicago economist, Milton Friedman, once compared a recession to a man showing up at a construction site to find everyone sitting around idly on the ground.

“What’s the problem,” he asked.  “Why aren’t you working?”

“Sorry,” answered the foreman, “but we’ve run out of inches.”

“What?”, sputtered the onlooker, “you’ve got wood?”







“Yup.  But we simply don’t have any inches, so there’s nothing we can do.”

Sounds stupid, but that’s exactly the same situation our economy is in at the moment.  We have houses and people who want to live in them, factories and people who want to work in them, schools, shopping malls, raw materials, all the brain power and muscle power we ever had.  Nothing has changed in our society except the value we put on these items via our monetary measuring tool.  But as a result of nobody having any trust in the value of that tool because of the crazy way it’s skewed, our economy and the lives of millions of people around the world have been brought to their knees.  And no wonder it is so.  Were it not for the harm it has caused, the unequal distribution of money in our society would be an absolute joke.

Corporate executives are paid hundreds of millions of dollars in personal bonuses while schools close and teachers lose their jobs because a school district can’t meet a budget deficit.  Stock traders, who are really no different than gamblers at the race track, earn millions in commissions off of stocks they’ve touted while health and home care workers can’t afford to buy food for their families.  Pharmaceutical companies get rich while patients can’t afford drugs.  Star athletes earn outrageous incomes while kids growing up in the very neighborhoods where they honed their skills go without.  I recall an NBA star a couple of years ago turning down a $40 million contract because as he said, “I got mouths to feed.”  

It can’t just be about me any more.  It’s got to be about us.  Note that I am not promoting communism, or socialism, or some other form of government control.  As we have seen around the world and throughout history, government control is not the answer.  What is needed is a new type of individual behavior, a new way of seeing, feeling, and being, an understanding of reality that recognizes that the suffering of one is the suffering of all.

To those who say that Capitalism is too ingrained and cannot change I say “sure”, that’s what they said about Feudalism just before Capitalism took over.  When systems no longer work they get replaced, either voluntarily or kicking and screaming.  Capitalism, based on individual self-interest no longer works.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.

To be continued…


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