An economy rigged for the rich
Cryptocurrency may be the only thing that can save us
When Richard Nixon pulled the US off the Gold Standard in 1971, he gave up the one tool we had to deal with inflation. Fixing the dollar price of gold left no escape hatch for the wealthy, better yet the emerging one percenters, to protect their cash positions except with investments in commodities and real estate whose increase in value counterbalanced the decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar. But now the liberation of the fiat money system (central bank printing presses) from the restraining effects of stable gold prices puts us all on the brink of inflationary collapse as never before seen.
Except for the one percenters. Without reliable gold, their money could just vanish into thin air - hence the introduction of BitCoin. Cryptocurrency - the product of data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence - is the new measure of value, whose ups and downs reflect the ratio of buyers to sellers at any one time. Fiat currency systems can’t move value fast enough in the newly globalized environment. There will come a time when crypto value will not depend on being expressed in terms of dollars. Then hyper inflation will sink fiat currencies, render the International Monetary Fund useless as a tool of empire, and push governments to the brink.
According to Wikipedia, ‘The Nixon shock was a series of economic measures undertaken by United StatesPresident Richard Nixon in 1971, in response to increasing inflation, the most significant of which were wage and price freezes, surcharges on imports, and the unilateral cancellation of the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold.“
I believe the economy is managed by a small coterie of professionals drawn from or attracted to the one percent lifestyle. A basic principle is that inflation is the primary economic process by which central banks squeeze every last drop of profit out of the economy and move value or wealth into the hands of the upper upper classes. The rest of us are left with a pittance of growth, just enough to keep the Ponzi economy going.
The pandemic was the eyeopener the one percenters were not counting on. People finally had time to stop, think, observe. And they learned that the American dream was a sham - work has no value; home ownership is out of reach; retirement accounts are in reverse. They see the apocalypse coming. Capitalism -as we know it- is on the way out. Ditto for democracy. Ditto for individual freedom.
Where have our elected representatives been and executive appointees been? Off getting rich. They are not about to tinker with a system that enabled them to turn government service into a license to steal. Every day they sell our patrimony to the corporations that stand in for the one percenters.
The response to this predatory environment is populism, which manifests itself as craving for autocratic leadership, even dictatorship. Republican populists seek a leader who will reverse the liberalization of society and education, protect the wealth of the rich, and leave corporations unfettered by financial and environmental regulations. Democratic populists want to redistribute wealth more equitably at the expense of the one percenters and big corporations and humanize governance with guaranteed annual income, decent housing for all people, free healthcare and other social services, and reparations to illegally deprived groups.
This great divide is expressing itself more frequently in calls to separate the country into Red and Blue nations. There is a hate between the camps that has been growing for 150 years. There is no negotiating such deep hate away. Violence becomes the only solution. So maybe a peaceful separation now will avoid the inevitable. My choice is really for a third Purple nation that can use new technologies and artificial intelligence to upend the two-party system and create a democracy rooted in the classical values of the great Greek philosophers as administered by a governing class committed to the welfare of the people.
At my advanced age my vision is too dim to see the specifics of the coming realignment. But I believe we are headed for a world that will be more equitable