The current state of the economy is a parable for non-reality. It isn’t even a proper metaphor, it’s in itself a poetic allegory or allusion. Probably not even children’s rhyme. Economy is a pretense, a figleaf, a back alley theater making drunken show that has no bearing on reality. Still the notables court it’s smudged halls and drink it’s watered down beer, and take great consolation in what it states. The economy is still in authority.
What the economy espouses is that it grows, and clearly it doesn’t. It doesn’t grow, because several wheels came off. For this incarnation of the economy beast to take on added bulk it must, like a dinosaur, engage in forward motion in its feet and a grinding motion with its jaws, paired with a ruminating gurgle of its many stomachs. None of these are occurring. The beast lies still, its massive elephant trunk paws twisted and bent, its head resting down and its stomachs faintly burbling. The digestion of the beast has become the economy, in a state of stand still, with no digestion happening, no intake, no output, no growth, no expansion of added bulk, no internal heat, no external attempts
at cooling and certainly a sharp decrease in metabolism.
Why is this? Why this crumpled up behemoth has engaged in nothing of value? The scarabs in its wake cry foul and blame the lack of forward momentum on all the wrong actors, and induce its bulk with all manner of stimulation to make it stand up and engage in much needed progress again.
My guess? The economy can’t operate with insufficient consumers. Insufficient consumers take part because they don’t have access to money. Insufficient consumers don’t get money because there isn’t any work for them. There isn’t any work because for at least two decades we have been experiencing an upwards tick in more economy without gaining more work, the benefits of this fata morgana growth accruing not to anyone except for those who gain no benefit to actually spend it. All the time while the unmistakable engines of economy – petrochemicals – rise to high in price, savaging the economy with inflation, or the petrochemicals drop too low in price, savaging the economy with deflation.
We have literally walked the dinosaur of any beaten path and it broke its ankles. We have guided the train beyond where we bothered to lay tracks. We sailed the ship where the maps tells us there’s be blue skies and wide oceans and instead the rusting hull lies moored deep inland in what used to be a large inland sea.
The economy will soon be replaced with smaller, more agile actors. Raptors and rats instead of that dinosaur. Small agile technicals instead of that outdated train. And small pirate dingies instead of that bloated rusty carcass of a boat. The new agile economy will move on, and leave billions stranded,
Limpfooted, desoriented, futureshocked, alienated, impoverished. And primarily useless.