Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

FUTURE LIES AHEAD, Brief View of Truths and Lies

Prediction is fun because no one expects it to be accurate. Complex systems like cultures and economies are especially difficult to predict. But if we lower our standards and don't take our musings too seriously, we might glimpse what future lies ahead.

The current `economic' crisis receives plenty of attention. Let's try to describe what is happening and what might be done. Imagine several levels or dimensions of the current economic meltdown in the context of world cultures.


First a look at the management of society. Generalize three major management systems: the Elected government, E, the Business government, B, and the Military government, M. Usually the E serves the other two since the elected representatives of the people are beholden to their constituencies, mainly the lobbied businesses that support their campaigns. Similarly, M coordinates, covertly of course, to maintain the global economy. But through outlandish events, E has some slight independence from the BMs, perhaps through the internet-root support, the breakdown of the economy, the horrors of war, or just luck.

The brilliant Mr. Obama holds his cards close. I suspect he will change the game in subtle, deep and long lasting ways without common attention to the depth of our cultures reforms. It must be this way, as studies have shown: change happens by `laws', then behavior, then conscious thought, rather than the more common and egotistical way of imagining change. (Staufer)

Let's consider what has happened and what might happen:

FUNNY MONEY, FM, is what happened as the credit - debit bubble collapsed. Be sure that the some of the best minds in the world attend to how to make a buck, or a billion, as we have seen with the S & L, internet, Enron, and other bubbles. (New Yorker - Bubbles) Current bail out programs strive to keep the game going. The financial Bs extort public money or threaten to take away their marbles. The auto Bs want to keep making cars that do not sell - perhaps build a recycle plant next to each assembly line to handle the surplus. [HOMES]


America has been living on borrowed money for a long time. True, the world's wealth has been pouring in as usual, but that was not enough. A decade ago, US, owned about a quarter of the world's capital and used about a quarter of the world's resources. However, much of that capital has been squandered. Even though individual savings rate was zero or negative, business savings rate accumulated capital at almost twenty percent.

But all that has changed, lost through accumulating debt and funny money evaporation. Not only did US FM wealth evaporate, but the wealthy of the world who got suckered into buying the FM also took a huge loss. Alexander Hamilton began our high financial repute by backing the Colonies debts, and the bail out may try to repay the FM with real wealth, but tens of trillions is a bit too much to print.

The current mass print to cover FM may cause proportional inflation, the classic way to escape debt. But looming depression threatens deflation, at least for a while. Lowering the manipulated price of petroleum helps a lot, but now that its down near its `objective price', this `subsidy' boost may or may not last. And the rage of the suckered buyers of our FM will not accept their victimization and will seek devastating revenge in ways barely noticed or understood.

IMPERIALISM is ending. For many decades foreign investments have poured into the `developed' wealthy nations, as they gradually shifted from production to consumption. Granted the United States still produces plenty, enough for a good life and enriching culture for all. Interestingly, the more prodctive and crucial the job, the less it pays, but uncountable immigrants from the colonies are willing to work. But mostly, U. S. wealth comes from investments in the "developing world".

Whatever it's called, it's deteriorating. For example, Venezuela has nationalized some assets of the international oil companies, and the CIA coup is failing. The plantations in Somalia, and many other places continue to ship their wealth to their owners, but Islamic and other `socialist' movements are usurping step by step. With modern technology, even the M's secret billions cannot maintain this system.

Worse yet, China has made contracts with Kabila's Congo for the vast mineral and other wealth, but instead of paying off the elite who invest it in the ICs, China and Kabila have gone over the heads of the corrupt bureaucracy. They offer not just infrastructure to extract the wealth, but over a hundred health clinics, a dozen hospitals, several universities, and other profound upgrades to the quality of Congolese life. The current U. S. China proxy war in eastern Congo may delay, but probably will not preserve BM's advantages. The new contract concessions may be smaller that what Fluor and Bectel have had for many decades, but they actually benefit the Congolese and begin economic reformation.

Ecological Economics

So the "American way of life" cannot continue. The essentially parasitic and useless employment in our complex of money making ventures, including much of the medical industry, can no longer be supported. The suburb and auto system cannot be sustained. Solutions can go either way as outlined in PROGRESSIVE STAGNATION and SUSTAINABILITY, etc. (in letsprehend.com) Does the new administration know this. If they do, they had better shut up about it.

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