Monday, August 29, 2011

Week of 08/29/2011

How To Destroy A Person
– by David Matthews 2

This is going to sound very depressing, and I apologize in advance for making it so, but there are things that need to be said and they need to be said now and not later when most people would be asking. There are things going on right now that follow a certain pattern. That pattern needs to be recognized now so that others can try to do whatever they can to prevent it from running its full course.

And bear in mind this is really not meant to be a “how to”. Rather, this article serves as a warning to the actions going on in the here-and-now. These are not hypothetical situations. These are real, and some of the practices have been employed by some of our most well-known institutions.

Human beings are known for many things that no other animal on Earth could ever do. Some are great things. Some are really great and miraculous. We can invent some truly wonderful things. But some things we do are absolutely diabolical; an evil that would be far more lasting than any cardinal sin committed.

For instance we can destroy a fellow human being.

Now when I say “destroy”, I don’t mean kill, murder, or otherwise extinguish the actual life of another human being. No, that’s actually far easier to do. We don’t even have to do it intentionally.

But to actually destroy a human being… oh, that takes conscious thought. That takes intentional, malicious, and cognitive consideration.

When you destroy a human being, you don’t really kill that person. Not immediately anyway.

In fact, for the full effect of the destruction to be appreciated, you have to have that human being alive for as long as possible so you can relish in your handiwork and you can point others to it as well. Being able to gloat about it is part of the reason why some people cherish in destroying others. Yes, that person will eventually die, but they will do so with the knowledge that you actually destroyed them first.

Yes, to destroy a human being, you do so from the inside-out. You do so with their soul, with their spirit, with their will, with everything that makes them who and what they are.

You start with the little things. Find something they like. Something that they enjoy. Something that could define them. Take that away from them. Make them partake in the things that they would rather not do, and convince them that this would make for a good substitution.

Think for a minute about all of the things that a doctor or a special interest group suddenly told you was “dangerous” for your own good. “That morning coffee and Danish is bad for you! It’s clogging your arteries! Stop having it! Start eating these kinds of foods instead, and don’t add any extra seasoning to it. They taste bland, but at least you’ll live an extra year or two.”

It’s no coincidence that religious leaders are fixated on eliminating all physical and psychological pleasures in one’s life. It has nothing to do with spiritual rewards or living a “moral life”, and everything to do with being able to control their followers. Work harder with less, they say, and take pleasure in it. In fact, take pleasure in any kind of misery one is going through.

The next step is for you to take away who they are. Take away everything that defines them as individuals, as human beings. Reduce them to a number or a nickname. Don’t acknowledge dates that are important to them. Don’t value things that they consider important.

Put them on YOUR schedule, and refuse to acknowledge anything resembling a schedule for them. You need to DEMAND they be at your beck-and-call 24/7. Call them at all random hours. Eating dinner? Too bad. Doctor’s appointment? Reschedule it. Sleep? Tell them they’ll get enough when they’re dead.

Think of all of the dehumanization that goes on today. Think of the number of times you’re reduced to being an account number or your Social Security Number. Talk to a human being? Are you kidding? No, you need to go to a website or call an automated 800 number.

Personal information and privacy mean nothing to the almighty banking institutions. They whore our information out to telemarketers, who then feel perfectly fine to call us at all times of the day or night. Oh, but their own operations are classified.

Now this is the point when most people and most institutions stop. In fact, the elimination of things we like and also of who we are as individuals are two things done both in prison and in military training, and they’re done rather quickly, whereas everyone else does this gradually. And in those other instances, it’s done with a reason. The military does this to then build that person up into a soldier. And traditionally the penal institutions did this also so they could supposedly help rehabilitate the prisoners. Take away their names and all forms of identification in order to then build them up and make them better people. (Okay, it’s not how it’s used today, but that was how it was when the system was first thought up by the Quakers.)

But you’re not interested in building someone up, are you? No, you’re interested in destroying that person completely. So you don’t want to build them up after you’ve torn them down; you just need to keep that person torn down. And to do that, you need to take away the last thing that would keep them going… hope.

Let’s get brutally honest here… people can endure a lot if they believe that what they are going through is temporary. As long as people believe that help is coming, that salvation is at hand, that things will get better, that the torment they are going through is coming to an end, they will do anything they can to survive.

So what you do is you offer “hope”… and then take it away from them.

Dangle something they want, something that would make their suffering worth it. Offer help. Offer salvation. Offer the joy or love or pleasure that they’ve been deprived of all this time. Promise that promotion. Promise that “night of bliss”. Promise to recognize their actions or achievements. Then take it away. Claim that you never really “promised” these things. Forget you even made the “offer” in the first place. It’s business-as-usual.

It also helps if you can game the system to your advantage. Cheat. Rig the rules so that no matter what happens, you always win, and you always get away with everything. This is important, because if your intended victim believes that “the system” will help them, then that builds up hope for them, and that needs to be taken away as well.

Any of this look or sound familiar?

The banking systems get away with everything. Nobody goes to prison for screwing over America. The people that orchestrated our recession sit comfortably in positions of power and authority, immune from any kind of accountability. Political parties play this highly-orchestrated game of pretending to offer “change”, only to then quietly side with the status quo. They promise reforms that end up fixing nothing. Don’t like it? Too bad; it’s either this or “the other guy”, who is just the same and will play the same games.

Of course the hard part with this portion is that you have to do this constantly. You can’t really give them something to hope for. Once they’re down, you have to keep kicking them. They can’t be allowed to put their trust in anything except for more and more misery.

It takes time to implement, and obviously you can’t afford to let up for very long, lest those you’ve been tormenting decide to do something rather “tragic”, but after a while, you too can take pride in the fact that you’ve destroyed a human being.

Of course once you’ve started with one human being, you could then move up to a whole group of people. After all, that kind of ability is addictive. It’s like popping bubble-wrap… you can’t just stop at destroying one of them. Maybe you would want to destroy even a whole segment of the populace, easily segregated by social, religious, or economic differences. Then, maybe you could even set your sights on a whole nation. But by then, you might end up meeting with a few more people that are already doing that on that kind of large scale.

Remember… the purpose of this article is not to serve as a “how-to”, but rather as a warning to the changes going on in the here-and-now. There is some truth to the late Kurt Cobain’s saying “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week of 08/22/2011

The Repeat That Isn’t
– by David Matthews 2

Imagine you’re on a boat with your friends in the middle of the ocean and suddenly you realize that the engine has stalled and the boat is starting to sink.

“We’ve sprung a leak!” someone exclaims.

So everyone stops what they’re doing and they see a hole at the bottom of the boat full of water and it has waterlogged the engine. Everyone gets out buckets and they start bailing out the water. They bail and they bail and they bail, and then someone manages to start up the engine again and take the boat back to shore, and everyone cheers because they think they’ve gotten past the crisis and they’re heading home.

But then they discover that more water is coming in and the boat is starting to sink.

“We’ve sprung another leak!” someone else says.

But is that really a second leak? Or did someone forget something really important?

The word going about in the media is… “Second Recession”.

Standard & Poors dropped our debt rating, blaming Washington’s aggravated political dysfunction for not having the confidence needed to pay their debts. Everyone is making a big deal out of this. Wall Street is in an absolute panic. Markets are going up and down, up and down, up and down. Go ahead and make a sexual joke about it, because we’re all getting screwed anyway. Gold goes up, gold goes down, futures are falling faster than the sky and we have a whole new batch of Chicken Littles running about screaming “Second Recession! Second Recession! The economy is falling! The economy is falling!”

There’s just one little problem with that assessment of doom and gloom…

It’s not true. Not all of it anyway.

Oh the decline in the economy is true. It is happening.

What is not true is the belief that this is a “Second Recession” or even the threat of a “Second Recession”. Either of those things implies that America somehow got out of the first recession, and that just did not happen, despite the lies being spewed from Washington.

Let’s go back to that leaking boat analogy. You’ve been bailing and bailing and bailing out the water from the boat, someone got the boat engine started so you can head back to shore, and everyone cheers because they falsely believe that “the worst” is over with. Then you discover that you’re taking on more water and the boat is sinking.

What did you forget?

You forgot to patch up the hole at the bottom of the boat.

Now is that a “second leak”? No. It’s still the same leak and it is still the same crisis. You just never finished what needed to be done.

The same principle applies to this economy.

Let’s get brutally honest here… you cannot claim that we are in or approaching a “Second Recession” if the factors behind the “First Recession” were never really resolved. Yes we “bailed” and we “bailed” and we “bailed” out the banks and Wall Street, and the profits started to “move” again. But that does not mean that we fixed all of the problems with the recession.

Unemployment is still a major problem in America. That never went away. The only thing that happened was that over eight million Americans that lost their jobs were forsaken upon by Washington. Abandoned by the liberals, slandered by the conservatives, their gradual removal from the “official” unemployment numbers as they exhausted their benefits gave the politicians the excuse to falsely claim that the “danger had passed”, when in fact it still remains to this day. These people have lost their savings, lost their homes, lost their futures, and lost any kind of hope that things will get better for them.

But that’s not all that went unresolved. Bank failures continue unabated. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are still destroying families and whole neighborhoods, and that’s not counting the malicious damage being caused by the banks through their robo-signing scams. Not only are these not being addressed, but in the cases of out-and-out criminal activity, the banks are going to be allowed to get away with their crimes with just a pittance of a fine. And once that is a done deal, the foreclosures and bankruptcies will escalate yet again. The state and local governments are already dreading that moment, even as they are finalizing those get-out-of-jail-forever deals with the banks.

Had these problems been addressed before declaring the Great Recession “over”, then the economists and politicians could rightly claim that what we’re facing is either an actual or potential “Second Recession” or even a “double-dip recession”, but really this is the same recession covered over in political whitewash and media spin. The politicians literally wrote off over eight million Americans just so they could fly their “Mission Accomplished” banner for the economy.

The economic leak was never plugged on this ship-of-state. All the politicians did was waste their time and our money in bailing out the banks, bailing out Wall Street, and keeping things afloat just enough to stop sinking. But the leak continues, the water of misery continues to flow in, and now we’re sinking yet again. And it is the same leak, not a brand new one; so please stop insulting our intelligence and pretending that this is something that is either new or different, and just do what needed to be done in the first place to plug it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week of 08/15/2011

If They Gave A Dollar
– by David Matthews 2

“If I had a nickel…”

I was thinking about that little statement when the subject came up to the tired arguments being made by members of the GOP. If I had a nickel for every time someone said something over and over again… I could afford a latte at Starbucks.

Maybe it would be better if we updated that old saying. We gotta take inflation into account, after all. We use that excuse to justify high gas prices, so the opposite should also apply when it comes to that old saying that starts off with “If I had…”

So the thought occurred to me that maybe we’re taking the wrong approach when it comes to politicians and our economic morass. The politicians have pretty much been operating under the premise that they are immune from any kind of accountability for their actions, so they’ve been launching verbal mortar shells at anything and anyone they don’t suck up to them and their grand schemes. Maybe instead of criticizing the use of the verbal mortar shells, we should tax them on it.

There’s plenty of precedence behind this. The conservatives want the FCC to fine broadcasters for fleeting explicatives. The liberals want to force Americans to buy insurance whether they can afford to or not. So let’s give them both a taste of their own medicine and tax them for their overused and tired buzzwords and catchphrases and phony arguments.

The beauty of it all is that it doesn’t have to be THAT expensive. We’re not talking $250,000 or even $100,000 for a penalty. For their excessive use, it could be as small as a dollar.

If they each gave a dollar…

… for every time a member of the GOP accused President Obama of having “no plan” for any subject.

… for every time a member of the GOP complained about runaway spending when their own party contributed to the vast majority of it.

… for every time a member of the GOP shows up on the cable news channels and proclaims that tax cuts equals job creation without explaining how that has not worked in the past ten years.

… for every time a member of the GOP complained about President Obama getting “a blank check” after mindlessly authorizing one for Obama’s predecessor year after year after year.

… for every time a member of the GOP or a member of the talk radio/Fox News circuit throws around the words “socialism”, “Marxism”, “communism”, and “fascism” as though they are all interchangeable.

… for every time a member of the GOP complains about “war-mongering” from the White House while also accusing the White House of “sabotaging the War on Terror”.

… for every time a member of the GOP or a member of talk radio/Fox News circuit complains when Wall Street numbers go down after President Obama speaks but then says nothing when Wall Street numbers go up following another speech from Obama.

… for every time a member of the GOP complains about someone else’s “wasteful spending program” while at the same time bellying up to the same pork trough themselves.

… for every time the members of the “Tea Party” movement call themselves “independents” while still supporting GOP candidates.

… for every member of the GOP or a member of the talk radio/Fox News circuit that complains about the lack of jobs, but then feels that “wasteful spending” is far more important when the discussion turns to jobs.

You guys noticing a pattern here?

Oh, but wait… If they each gave a dollar…

… for every time a Democrat complains about filibuster rules but then tables any attempt to reform them.

… for every time President Obama talks about jobs without actually addressing the problem.

… for every day that President Obama goes on vacation.

… for every time some Department of Labor official or a member of the media refers to people who have exhausted their unemployment benefits as “given up looking for work”.

If they each gave a dollar for all of those things, then we’d probably have a booming economy and a balanced federal budget.

Now, there is no chance at all that we’d actually get even one red penny from any of the politicians or the blowhard egomaniacs in the talk radio/Fox News group, but let’s get brutally honest here… they certainly appear to make money every time they do these things. In a country that refuses to admit that we are still in a recession, the only real growth industry seems to be in obstruction and obfuscation.

And if it seems like I’m targeting the GOP (and their friends and buddies) a little bit more than anyone else, it’s only because they’ve been the most vocal of the groups in this growth industry of gab, and not without good reason. After all, they wouldn’t want the masses to remember just how they got into this situation, would they?

The problem here is relatively simple… we need to raise revenue. It’s not enough to just slash spending and expect the economy to just “reset” itself. If the politicians refuse to raise taxes and also refuse to coax their friends in Big Corporate to live up to their half of the “tax cuts equals job creation” argument, then the politicians and the media people themselves should be the next logical turnip to squeeze for that government lifeblood.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week of 08/08/2011

Meanwhile In An Alternate Universe…
– by David Matthews 2

In the world that is Joe Blue’s America, everything is beautiful.

There is no debt to worry about in Joe Blue’s America. Everything is fully-financed, paid for though generous tax contributions from the business community, who are more than eager to give their fair share and then some. Businesses work hand-in-hand with government agencies to provide the best benefits for all employees, from the CEO on down to the mailroom clerk. Everyone has the best insurance coverage, the best salary, and the best retirement programs, all provided without question or complaint.

The elderly don’t suffer in Joe Blue’s America. They live their final years in comfort, surrounded by the best medical care that tax money can provide.

There are no homeless in Joe Blue’s America. Everyone has a home, be it a house or an apartment, and that home is always well-stocked with all the right kinds of healthy food. The playgrounds are always well-maintained and made safe for the children.

There is no illiteracy in Joe Blue’s America, because everyone has free access to education to further themselves as much as they wish. They can be doctors or lawyers if they so choose, without worrying about whether they can afford to do it, because they know that government and private businesses will bend over backwards to help them achieve their goals.

And, best of all, there is no hate in Joe Blue’s America. All races, all creeds, all genders, all religions and preferences, they all live happy and peacefully in Joe Blue’s America. They don’t bicker or fight. They don’t show bias or play preferences. They all get along, and everyone is happy.

Meanwhile, in another universe…

F. Red Smith is enjoying his third parade of the month. He enjoys watching the soldiers march in the parade amidst the cheers and patriotic displays. It makes him feel proud to be in an America where soldiers are idolized and praised for their service.

Yes, in Red Smith’s America there is war, but war is a necessary evil, and Red Smith’s America has a responsibility to make sure that all threats, real or imagined, are dealt with swiftly and decisively. And the people in Red Smith’s America support the troops fully and without question or hesitation.

There are no protesters in Red Smith’s America. Sure they could protest if they want to, but why should they? There is no reason for people to exercise that particular “privilege” in Red Smith’s America. The government does only what they are told to do, nothing more and nothing less, so the people have no reason to complain.

There is no debt in Red Smith’s America, because there are no “wasteful” government programs that need to be funded. Everything is paid for in trade tariffs from other countries, the way Red’s forefathers intended. And the government only does what it is supposed to do. The Congress passes a balanced budget, each and every time, and the President signs it without hesitation or fanfare.

There’s also no political animosity in Red Smith’s America, because there is only one political party to worry about, and everyone in government knows their jobs. The legislature passes laws, the executive signs them, and all the judges have to do is judge people on the laws. Easy, simple, and somewhat boring.

Sure there’s some diversity in Red Smith’s America, but not too much to cause trouble. Sure there are a few differences in opinion or color or belief, but not too much, and those that aren’t “normal” know their place in Red Smith’s America and they stay silent, or else they just disappear, never to be seen or heard from again.

There are poor people in Red Smith’s America. After all, someone still needs to clean the toilets and serve the fries in this glorious state. But there are no homeless people, or people needing government assistance in Red Smith’s America. Such a concept doesn’t even exist. Sure the people could exist, in theory, but somehow they just disappear, never to be seen or heard from ever again.

Everyone pays their way in Red Smith’s America. Everything is provided by a private entity, which people eagerly pay for. People pay for insurance, they pay for medial costs, they pay for education for their children, they pay for their living, they pay for their retirement, and they even pay for their own death. And they only get what they pay for. They know that not everyone will get the same amount of service if they can’t afford to pay for more of it. It’s not perfect, but that’s the way that it is in Red Smith’s America, and people just accept it.

Meanwhile in OUR universe…

Our America is not working. Our economy has degraded into a malicious predatory state that is cannibalizing itself and then pretending that it has somehow “recovered”. It is being further exasperated by a political system that has failed the American people because it is mired in two groups that have their heads firmly entrenched in those two alternate universes.

One group is apathetic because they refuse to see the problems in this world. Instead, they have convinced themselves that things have already been fixed and they are in that perfect world of Joe Blue’s America. The other group is bitter and angry because this world is nothing like their Red Smith’s America, and they are doing everything in their power to drag the rest of us into how they think things ought to be.

And the end result of this continual dysfunction is misery. Millions of Americans have been literally forsaken by these two groups. They have been abandoned by the people stuck in Joe Blue’s America, and systematically shut out by the mechanizations of those with their heads in Red Smith’s America. How can the Forsaken Americans be expected to revitalize the economy when they have no money because of the apathy in one group and the malicious mechanizations of the other?

Let’s get brutally honest here… it is high time that both of those political factions get their heads out of those alternate realities and come back to our universe, to our America, and accept the reality that they created either through their malice or through their negligence. The longer they stand on platitudes, the worse things will get for the rest of us.

And to those who say that government can’t do anything to resolve our economy, I challenge you to truly read the history of this America. The Americans of this world have gone through this before in the 1930’s, and it took drastic measures to come out of it. But it took people living in this world making the decisions that help out every American, even those that were forsaken.

Those living with their heads stuck it the fictional worlds of either Joe Blue or Red Smith need to make a choice. They need to choose which world they will live in. Will they work with the people of this world, or will they continue to operate with their heads in those alternate universes? If they continue to favor the latter, I would strongly suggest that they be the ones to go away so the rest of us can fix the problems they helped to create.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week of 08/01/2011

Maybe We Should Pull The Trigger
– by David Matthews 2

Once upon a time the nail-biting story in the movie would always involve a last-minute save. No matter how bleak things seemed, no matter how harrowing the stakes, somehow the hero would come in right at the last minute to make the save.

James Bond used to stop every doomsday plan with “007” seconds left. The bomb would be diffused with maybe 1 second left to the timer… or if the timer reaches zero, it’s because the bomb was a dud, or it was already disabled. The world is saved, civilization goes on, life continues… roll the credits.

But then came along a different kind of ending to the story. Timer counts down, people are biting their nails, prayers are made, breaths are held, and then the hero… fails. The bomb goes off. Armageddon arrives. Civilization grinds to a halt. It is the whole world itself that fades to black along with the film as we go to the end credits.

Sometimes this failure is by accident. Sometimes there’s a hidden trap or a second device that lays in wait for the first to fail. Sometimes the hero is prevented from stopping the pending doom from happening. Maybe the hero is killed before he can save the day, so we’ll never know if his guess was right about the red wire or the black.

And then… every so often… you have a situation where the hero doesn’t just fail to save the day, but intentionally causes the doom to happen. He actually presses the button. He drops the bomb. He triggers the apocalypse. Civilization as we know it comes crashing down, and it’s all because he made it happen.

Of course the reason why the hero does it would differ from the villain’s. He’s not allowing the world to come crashing down in a quest for power or glory. Quite often the decision is done for more altruistic reasons. Maybe because the crisis itself that led to this moment was just too extensive. Maybe the system had become too corrupt, too far gone for people to be able to step back. Maybe Armageddon, as horrific the consequence, is the only thing that can save a world that refuses to save itself in that case.

Lately we’ve been repeatedly driven to the precipice of ruination. We’ve been told that the world would come crashing to a fiery end unless drastic and bitter action is taken.

First it was bailing out Wall Street because it was supposedly “Too Big to Fail”. Then it was the stimulus package. Then it was the federal budget, and then the Bush Junior tax cuts. Every time, the danger would be get larger and larger, and the precipice would get closer and closer. Fingers would be pointed, rhetoric would be raised, and eventually a consensus would be made at the very last minute that would give everyone a moment to pause and reflect.

But it would be for only a moment, because the next crisis would always be just around the corner.

And now we’re at that precipice again. Now it’s the so-called “debt ceiling”; an artificial creation of the Congress and the White House to supposedly “control” their spending. The Congress and the White House are playing their games once again, pointing fingers, amping up the rhetoric, threatening world-wide doom should we fail to raise this artificial limit.

At stake, supposedly, is nothing short of the global economy itself. The debt limit is supposedly keeping us from paying what we owe on the overall federal debt. That’s money that has been already spent and we’re just paying the interest on. Failing to pay that means that we’re in default. Our precious credit rating - which is another artificial creation, and admittedly so according to Congressional testimony in recent years - would be sunk, and the world markets would start to collapse. Interest rates would soar for everything. The money that Big Corporate has been hoarding for the past few years would supposedly “dry up”. Recession, Depression, financial Armageddon, the world we know would supposedly come to an end if we don’t up that limit and keep the money bleeding out.

And it’s not like there aren’t any plans to address this. Oh, Congress and the White House have come up with plenty of plans, especially of late, to deal with this and to supposedly lessen our burden. The problem, as always, boils down to partisan egos. One plan would keep us solvent until 2013, but would hit the upper-incomes with higher taxes. One plan would spare the higher taxes, relying on deeper cuts and a vote for a Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget, but would only last until the middle of Election Year 2012. Despite these sharp differences, both of these plans have some similarities, and yet nobody wants to come up with an unhappy medium. Everybody’s screaming bloody murder over not having “their preferred” plan pass through Congress and are demanding that their favored plan go through as is.

And all the while the artificial deadline looms closer and closer.

So here we are… nail-biting, holding our breaths, waiting at the edge of our seats to see if the Congress and the White House can get their respective acts together and come up with a solution that everyone will go along with, even if it’s not a solution that they like. And they are supposedly ready to let the world go to hell if they don’t get their way.

And this is going to sound somewhat extreme… but maybe it is time that we finally pull that trigger and let it happen.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that the right thing in this situation would be for the politicians to come up with a solution, even at the last minute, and keep the money flowing. But then we would be right back to square one with the overall problems stemming from our continual social, economic, and political dysfunctions. The ongoing excuse from Big Corporate for not hiring people as promised is because the economy is too unstable, and yet the reason why the economy is too unstable is because Big Corporate refuses to live up to their part of the tax cut deal. Political egos continue to operate under the delusions that they are right and they can do whatever they want without any consequences and that they can blame everyone else for the misery that we are going through. Essential services are being slashed not just to the bone, but to the marrow, forsaking the people who need those services now more than ever. And our “precious credit rating”, which I need to remind you is just an “opinion” according to the people in the know, could still be turned to junk and we could still end up in the same situation as Greece, no matter the deal we strike.

In other words, the misery continues unabated.

And then there is the reality that even if an agreement is struck in time that there will be another similar crisis looming over the horizon. Maybe not tomorrow; maybe as we get closer to the end of this year another similar deadline will be cooked up and whipped up. Another “looming crisis” for us to worry about and for politicians to point fingers at each other as we all wish that they would all just spontaneously combust and put themselves out of our collective misery.

Maybe it is time for the “Hail Mary” pass to be missed. Maybe it is time for the economic bomb to go off and the money to come to an end and the people with the power to finally have a reason to worry.

Yes, I am well aware of the consequences of saying that. I am well aware of the disastrous effects that would befall markets in this country and also around the world should the “unthinkable” happen. Wall Street would collapse, although it did just that in 2008 before we gave them that bailout they never deserved to have. 401K programs would supposedly become worthless, although that was always the “second shoe” just waiting to fall even before 2008. Interest rates would skyrocket, although they were already on the verge of doing that. More foreclosures, although they never stopped, more bankruptcies, although those never ended, and even more bank closings, although that never stopped either.

Yes, it would make things worse, at least in the immediate short term, but things have already been getting worse anyway. We’ve only been sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that things were getting better. Now we would be forced to admit that they clearly weren’t getting better.

And then there is that wild card… the angry masses. What happens when the masses realize that things have finally broken down? What would they do? Who would they go after first? I would strongly suspect you’d see a quick exodus of “the elite” once those masses start mobilizing.

Plus, once you’ve reached bottom, not only is there no place to go but up, but you also take away the fear of reaching bottom. The threat of failure at that point would lose its power, and the games being played right now would have to come to an end, because the fear would no longer be there to motivate people to do your bidding.

Let’s get brutally honest here… maybe we need to have this fail on us because it is the only way that we can really deal with the problem and confront the real sources of our misery. There would be no getting around it at that point. Anything short of that only continues the status quo, and that does not bode well when the status quo is sustaining the misery and doing absolutely nothing to remedy it.

Sadly, as this commentary was being finished, it was revealed that a deal was struck among those in government that would once again keep the money flowing from the federal coffers. It still must get Congressional approval, but, baring partisan arrogance, it appears that we once again have been pulled back from the figurative cliff. Once again we are free to live in fear of the next impending doom, the next cliffhanger moment, and the next ticking clock. Once again we are free to wonder when the people in power will do what is right, or if they will finally fail, and bring us down with them. Only time will tell.