Posts Tagged ‘GDP’

A New Bretton Woods?

August 1, 2016

We were in Rome about a year and a half ago, as part of a traveling celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary.

One evening as we were lollygagging through the busy rain-slicked streets and sidewalks, we passed in front of a very special building. It was the Rome headquarters of the European Union, or “EU”.

I wanted to take a picture of the building’s entry, because that is what tourists do–take pictures of important places. Seeking a broader view, I crossed the street. While positioning myself and the phone to snap a pic, the guard across the street noticed my activity. He started waving at me frantically, indicating that what I was doing was not permitted.

Excuse me. I was taking a picture of a public building.

In America, we take pictures of .gov buildings, because we have, you know, a government of the people, by the people and for the people, which means, among other things that the people can take pictures of their headquarterses (as Golem might say.)

Is this not the way you do it in Europe? No pictures of the RomeEU headquarters?

Nevertheless, here is my smuggled pic:

EURomeHdq

If you squint at my little jpeg here, you may discern the guard’s upraised right alarm, a gesture of command intended to communicate a stop order on my touristic activity. It vaguely resembles another raised-arm signal that was in use in Europe 75 years ago, during the regime of Mussolini and that German guy who considered the Italian dictator to be his own puppet.

Or maybe I’m being too cynical about this incident. Maybe the guard was saluting me in some way, acknowledging my importance as an American tourist in the city of Rome.

Now, a year and a half later, this morning, seated comfortably in my own humble domicile, back in the USSA . . . I was pondering the idea of government–whether it is truly “of. . .by the people”, or is it something else? Is it, as many citizens insist during these times of tumultuous societal change, actually an institution through which the “1%” (or as they said back in the old days, the “rich and powerful”) project their oligarchical manipulations upon the rest of us?

I was thinking about this after reading online an article about how the worldwide financial system that has evolved.

  http://seekingalpha.com/article/3993559-back-square-one-financial-system-needs-reset?ifp=0

In this Seeking Alpha blogpost, Valentin Schmid, as “Epoch Times” examines our international monetary system. His analysis appears to be generated from  a well-informed position in the world of money, assets and power.

Mr. Schmid raises the question of whether  the current (worldwide) debt load can ever be repaid, because there isn’t enough “real money” to go around.

This got my attention, because I have been thinking for a while that there isn’t enough “real money” to go around.

Haha, as if I knew about such things. I don’t know much about money; if I did, I would have more of it.

Anyway, Mr. Schmid’s question is answered by his guest interviewee, Paul Brodsky, in this way:

   . . . “I would argue central banks lost the ability to control the credit cycle. Some relatively minor event could trigger a series of events that creates the need for a sit-down among global monetary policy makers who finally have to acknowledge publicly that their policies are no longer able to control the system, the global economy, which is based on ever increasing demand through ever increasing credit.

And what might occur is a natural drop in output. So you’ll see GDP growth begin to fall. Real GDP growth across the world maybe even be going into contraction and that would spell doom for these balance sheets. And this is not something I’m predicting or trying to time at all, but the natural outcome of that would be a sit-down like a Bretton Woods where arrangements are reconsidered.”

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton_Woods_Conference

So what is coming is, perhaps, this:

To compensate for a stalling of global productivity, the movers/shakers of the world may  construct a new,  top-down rearrangement of the world financial system. The purpose of this revision will be to fix the problem of not enough money to go around. Such an extensive reconstruction as this would be has not been done since the Bretton Woods agreement that was promulgated by delegates from 44 Allied nations in 1944.

In a 21st-century world inhabited by billions of inhabitants, our  accessibility to natural resources has heretofore been determined by how many holes we could drill in the ground to extract natural resources; and how many acres of crops we could plant to produce food; how many factories we could build, and so on. . . building an economy to work toward  spreading the bounty around.

In the future, however, we will be moving to a “knowledge” economy. Wealth creation will not be about how much you can dig in a day’s time, nor how much you can plant, nor what you can cobble together in your back yard or over on Main Street.

Wealth generation in the future will be determined by what you know, so start learning now.

The first three essential  things to know are these:

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic.

Well gollee, maybe it won’t be such a brave new world after all.

However this thing plays out, if enough of us can master these three skills, .gov of the people, by the people and for the people will not perish from the earth, we hope.

Glass half-Full

Growth is good, or bad?

September 8, 2012

When I was a young man, I found this seed inside myself, and I wanted to plant it, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what to do, so I cast my seed on the ground; I flung it all around.

Then I met my woman, and she received my seed from me and made it into something beautiful–another human being.

And this was good.

Then we made another one, and another one after that.

And these were good.

Life is good, yes?

So we discovered, my woman and I, that working and loving together, we could make the world a livelier place, by bringing new life into it, children, who would grow, and bloom like beautiful, tender flowers, and then grow up to make the world a better place.

Growth is good, yes?

And considering all the stuff we bought along the way, we did our share to contribute to GDP. And considering all the stuff our kids bought and built along the way, they did their share to contribute to GDP.

GDP is good, nest ce pas?

Now along comes my g-generation and makes an announcement to the world. My g-generation announces that, along with all that great prosperity-building GDP–all that good, coveted, economic growth that keeps everybody fat n happy,  or lean and mean as some prefer, there is something else coming out of it all–something that is bad, not good, spewing forth from every exhaust pipe and every flue and chimney, from every power plant and from every rhetorical mouth and every bipolar human heart and indeed from every anus that requires wiping on the planet:

Carbon.

Carbon, which is at the core of every living thing. Carbon, which we send up through the chimney as waste, or spread on the ground to make our roads, or put in our steel to make it stronger. Carbon, that we use to write messages to each other, or to connect our marvelous social networks together. Carbon, which, in its purest, most dazzling form, we cut into a precious gem, and place it on the ring finger to signify fidelity and fertility and creativity and all that is good in this life.

Carbon is good, nest ce pas?

It is as good as life itself.

Life is good, no?

Yes. Life is good. It is for us; how about you? Life is so good that I rejoiced at the revelation of its unique DNA identity– its miraculous beauty, when my errant seed found its destined place of fertility and joy, deep within the love of my woman.

As for the GDP thing–and how good or bad that is–that may change as more men choose to cast their miracles into dark crevices of carboniferous death.

Glass half-Full