[Paleopsych] Our imploding economy

Steve shovland at mindspring.com
Sat Sep 11 12:12:36 UTC 2004

For a few weeks this summer I had
a consulting engagement in Menlo
Park, on the fringe of Silicon Valley.

During my lunch hour I would walk
around the neighborhood.  

I was shocked to see that almost half
the buildings in this industrial area
were empty.  

There were new buildings that looked 
as if they had never been occupied.  

There were older buildings that looked as 
if they had been there for 20-30 years.

I suspect many of the jobs that
had been done in those buildings
are now being done in Mexico
and Asia.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of
mine told me that his brother who
works in the Valley has been told
to take 1 day a week off without pay.

Delta is planning to lay off thousands,
and there may be more layoff stories 
in coming weeks.

Job creation numbers have been falling 
short of the number needed to keep up 
with population expansion for a long time, 
and we are far below the rate needed to 
absorb the unemployed.

Those on the upper decks of our
ship of state have been insulated
from this pain for quite awhile, but
they are feeling it now in the form
of smaller bonuses and a wallowing
stock market.  Even Walmart is
posting soft results.

The health care crisis has hit the
front pages, and neither candidate
is offering anything like the structural
reforms that are probably needed.

There are a variety of causes for
this.  After years of being ridiculed
by some interest groups, we may
be approaching the limits of growth
delineated by the Club of Rome
oh so many years ago.  The notion
of Peak Oil is rapidly becoming
well known.

Growth in the supply of money has
failed to produce corresponding growth
in the economy because the distribution
of income funnels too much money into
the hands of those with a high propensity
to save.

All hands to the life boats?  What life

Steve Hovland

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