Posts Tagged ‘production’

Green Money

March 20, 2019

It has been about 200 years since our great American expansion picked up enough steam to really get going full throttle.

From Maine to Miami, from Seattle to San Diego and everywhere in between, in our humongous exploitive thrust westward, southward, and  every whichaway you can think of— we went bustin’ through the Adirondacks, the Appalachians, across the  wide prairies, over Big Muddy, up the Missoura and all the way down to the Rio Grande, through Sierras out to Pacific shores, even leaping oceanward and skyward to Hawaii.


Back in the day, when we got into the thick of that vast continental expedition, we moved over and through rolling virgin landscapes of living green.

Green were the great evergreens of the North. Green were the hardwood forests on coastal plains, on Appalachian slopes, on heartland grasslands. Green were the piney woods of the South. Green were the grains of the far-stretching prairies.

And the certificates by which we assigned value to our works—these too were green.

Dollars—we designed them in green.


So, green were the dollars that transacted our nation through thousands of ventures, millions of contracts, compelling trillions of working hands that were capitalized by investing hands, then driven upward in value by speculating hands and traded cleverly by arbitraging wallstreet whizzes.   

Some newly-immigrating Americans moved independently, others collectively, across the continent. All along the way they cultivated green crops and earned green dollars wherever they settled, digging, mining, organizing co-ops, forming companies, building roads and bridges, collaborating, accumulating capital, incorporating, expanding, growing, thriving, burgeoning and burdening.

Burdening the earth. Extracting to the max all along the way. Tow that line; tote that bale. Milk it for all its worth.

By the time mid-20th century rolled around, ole mother earth was bursting at the seams, displaying scarred hillsides, scraped-out open-pit mines, hollowed-out insides, chemicalized sores, oozing green slime. . . but enabling us thereby to whiz along on continent-wide  interstate rides. Hey, let’s pull over for a song break: Green.mp3

We grew up with stock-green scenery whizzing by outside the windows at 65 miles per hour— seemingly insignificant landscape sliding through the view on our way to wherever our best-laid plans of mice and men might propel us.

At ramping exits we egress to fill-up on the American dream, then cruise control at 78 mph in our lean dream transportation machines. Green, green is just a tucked-away scene behind the gas station.

Still yet are the the dollars green, but only in our minds, because now we’ve digitized them so we don’t actually lay eyes on them $$ any more.

And then, lo and behold, a new thing happened. Motivations morphed. The politics that drives our nation states began to turn green.

Whereas, before, red, white, and blue were the colors that motivated us.

Now we find that the ole faithful red, white and blue of Liberty has run its course through world history. Those other nation-states that had followed our galavanting, capitalizing lead. . . now they have fueled their engines with our money-green currency, and they did park billions of our little federal reserve notes into every marketplace and bank vault across the globe. . .

But what goes around, comes around, and when it recycles, it morphs as something different.

Alas, so now what new Green through yonder Continent breaks?

Turns out that some Keynesizing technocrats have devised a means to turn the whole financialized world around so that the new motive—the re-greening of earth—becomes society’s great purpose and goal. On the old economic scenario of Supply and Demand, Sustainability arises as the new Remand.

Instead of the profit motive! Instead of Go West Young Man, now we find a new clarion call: Go Green Young Band!

Will it work?

Glass half-Full

Extraction contraction

January 5, 2013

When the industrializing European culture hit American shores half a millennium ago, there wasn’t much here except what God and the native peoples had made.

This was a virgin continent for sure.

Our English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian et al forebears got busy developing the unspoiled continent, slowly metamorphosing raw earth into commodities and products useful for civilization.

This development process required extraction.

For a few hundred years we were busily pulling stuff out of the land. We planted crops, harvested them, ate the food thereof. We chopped down forests and converted all that wood and pulp into houses, furniture, and paper. We dug and drilled the ground, pulling out water, oil, gold, silver, and iron.

We melted and we smelted; we forged and we gorged; we built and built, strove and drove; we ate and drank. Then while we slept, the wheels of commerce kept rollin’ on, while profits an paychecks rolled in.

We woke up on Monday morning and did some more; we toiled in the day, we worked into the night.  We manufactured, fabricated, alternated, generated; we designed and aligned, we account-padded and value-added. We sold and rolled. We were productive and we were bold ; we were young and now we’re old. Now it’s time for reflection in the evening, perchance goodbyes in the evening. May old acquaintance be not forgot, and always brought to mind.

By God’s grace, we shall rise tomorrow morn.

But in in our human wake, the earth is torn.

So nowadays we’re phasing out all the extractive stuff, or at least thinking about it.

We’ve discovered the terrible price of tearing up earth in order to pull resources out of the ground for further development. Slowly we convince ourselves that our planet can no longer afford to supply, with its raw investiture, the extractive extravagant carbon-spewing, fracking-cracking excesses of our past. It seems we can’t keep going like this without depleting Earth to death.

So we begin to pull back on all the extraction. We outlaw clearcutting timber. We pooh-pooh open pit mining, criticize deepwater drilling, wail over crude oil spilling, regulate rapacious milling and legislate 24-ounce overfilling.

We convert our economies to service industries. Now we’re cutting each other’s hair, laundering each other’s clothes, keeping the books, complimenting the cooks, filling the nooks, filling the crannies, taking care of each other’s grannies.

We develop software, digitize hardware; we’re playing whack-a-mole with malware, while whacking at the cost of health care; now we’re virtualizing virtuosity, corralling creativity, curtailing suspicious activity. Let us now securitize mortgages, consolidate storages, collateralize the debts, take vacations in the sunsets. Surely It’s time to securitize airports, containerize  seaports, and spectate the extreme sports,  while we salivate to tip a few,  or sip a brew, and channel-surf on cable, while we’re still able. We used to surf the net; now we milk it for all we can get.

For the best deal possible.

It used to be we sweated out holes in the ground to pull stuff out; new we’ve come to cruising the lanes of cyberspace, California-style, and exploring the overstocked waters of Amazon. Sometimes we still have to roam the aisles of China-mart to find what we’re looking for.

But we may never find it until we ourselves are extracted from this present arrangement of things.

Glass Chimera