Sunday, February 22, 2009

so that's the problem...

While listening to a podcast some time ago I heard the following comment: "the economy is suffering from a global savings glut", what struck me as odd was the use of the terms suffering and savings in the same sentence. I can think of many things I (we) suffer from, but a savings glut is not one of them. As I began to ponder that statement a few thoughts stuck in my mind:

  • America doesn't save so our suffering must be limited to the effects of other nations saving.
  • if we are in fact suffering because other nations saving their money, why?
  • aren't we supposed to "save for a rainy day"?

I came to the conclusion that saving is only bad if your entire economic system is based on the expansion (artificial inflation) of money and credit (which ours is), but this is only partially true as someone will eventually benefit from all the spending and end up accruing some savings. In fact this does happen and it has a name: The Cantillon effect after economist Richard Cantillon. It turns out that the people who get the newly minted money and credit first are disproportionately benefited over those at the bottom of the barrel, in other words inflation hasn't set in for the first few recipients of the money (typically the politicallly well connected), however by the time the average citizen receives the money prices have already increased and at best any raise that may come from inflation will be to break even with the already inflated costs. Either the leadership of our country has been incredibly stupid the last 80 years or it was known that through the artificial expansion of credit and money supply, an increasing number of people would become dependent on the government. As it stands right now the primary political parties have no incentive to make the necessary long term corrections, especially if the citizenry remains largely ignorant.

The time for action is at hand, being a passive citizen will no longer suffice. We need to:

  1. Learn. Education leads to awareness.
  2. Share. Contribute to the knowledge of others.
  3. Unite. Together we can stimulate change.
  4. Act. 1-3 are irrelevant unless something happens.

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