Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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QUOTE O’ THE DAY
"You either fixed what broke or did without. It was excellent training for the future.”
Page added on October 30, 2011
My neat and tidy taxonomy of collapse, “The Five Stages of Collapse,” has been read more than 70,000 times just on my blog alone since I first published it in February of 2008. It continues to be popular: there were over 10,000 hits to the page in the last year alone. People must still be finding it helpful.
The government response to this could be to offer some helpful homilies about “the wages of sin” and to open a few soup kitchens and flop houses in a variety of locations including Wall Street. The message would be: “You former debt addicts and gamblers, as you say, ‘fucked up,’ and so this will really hurt for a long time. We will never let you anywhere near big money again. Get yourselves over to the soup kitchen, and bring your own bowl, because we don’t do dishes.” This would result in a stable Stage 1 collapse – the Second Great Depression.
However, this is unlikely, because in the US the government happens to be debt addict and gambler number one. As individuals, we may have been as virtuous as we wished, but the government will have still run up exorbitant debts on our behalf. Every level of government, from local municipalities and authorities, which need the financial markets to finance their public works and public services, to the federal government, which relies on foreign investment to finance its endless wars, is addicted to public debt. They know they cannot stop borrowing, and so they will do anything they can to keep the game going for as long as possible.
I thought that government interventions in private finance would prolong the agony somewhat; what I didn’t think was that they would prolong it even onto the death of the governments themselves! The effect of the interventions since then, in the US and in Europe, have been to knock down every firewall between public and private finance, to the point that now we are faced with two monstrous, and monstrously sick, conjoined twins, and the death any one of them is sure to spell the death of the other. Trying to separate them with a cleaver will be of no use: they will simply hemorrhage red ink and die sooner than they would otherwise.