Friday, August 30, 2013

These Are Disturbing Claims - With Implications For Our Nation's Cultural Kinetics

Commentary by Roger Erickson

"Over the past 20 years, Americans and Europeans have quietly gone about destroying these [economic] facts."
" In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible."  
Hernando de Soto

While de Soto may have missed the actual causality, he was accidentally right about the outcomes.

It is "sustained economic development that leads to pressure from emerging businesses and individuals for more secure [human] rights."
Milford Bateman [in a comment]

So social stability follows distributed Aggregate Demand, bottom-up? Who knew? :)

Nevertheless, the outcomes de Soto mentioned are, indeed, disturbing claims which certainly cloud our understanding of our present context. How are we to proceed, to map and master this context?

One standard rule for contingency management is to follow the 3I's,
Instigation (causality),
Intercept (intermediary agents)
Impact (surviving the moment).

Impact? In the case of domestic impact of things already hitting home, we're being saved primarily by Automatic Stabilizers, mostly enacted ~80 years ago. These are now under attack, as ~40% of our own citizens are routinely brainwashed into voting for policies which are clearly self-destructive.

Intercepting the agents promoting our most self-destructive propaganda? I'm not sure we're yet close to holding our own against the Koch Bros, Robert Rubin, Hank Paulson et al.

Instigation or causality? It is in that topic that the most information is being published, but, ironically the lowest population penetration is being achieved. It's a rare Jane or Joe Sixpack indeed who knows what MMT or Control Fraud means, or even that there are other beers NOT named Budweiser! We're stockpiling situational commentary, but the bulk of the population is still being diverted and distracted from orienting to these messages, for a variety of reasons, both active and passive.

Leaving response methodology aside, briefly, let's try to assess our situation, in order to evaluate our need for light, medium or heavyweight contingency-management tools and efforts.

How dire is our circumstance? It depends on an accurate assessment of both Adaptive Demand and our ability to scale up adequate responses on-demand. Americans have always been confident of their ability to construct as well as cross a bridge once they come to a challenge. However, what happens if we can't even build a bridge in time? If we don't pay attention to our metaphorical bridge-building capabilities, that time will surely come sooner, rather than later!

How are all our metaphorical bridge-building capabilities, i.e., what is our Adaptive Rate? Can we even measure it? How would we make a formal assessment?

In every field there is a constant ebb and flow of methodological excellence, in response to crisis, and intervening lack of Adaptive Demand. That is to be expected.

However, when Adaptive Demand returns in force. What Adaptive Rate can we muster when a context strikes? Whether we can adjust and adapt to new and unpredictable demands as fast as is needed ... or whether "Rome" will again fall, is always an open question.

When the first Rome fell, Darwin's theories on evolution and Adaptive Rate had not been explicitly published - although they may have been implicitly acknowledged by many, in many disciplines.

In terms of the factors determining whether the USA will or won't fall, are we any closer because Darwin published his explicit analyses?

Or, is our group context large enough, and changing fast enough, that it doesn't matter how much an insufficient number of citizens know?

There are no explicit expressions of either Adaptive Rate or Central Planning among known Roman-era literature. However, the many Greek and early Roman essays explicitly about Democracy versus Tyranny indicates that they were well aware of the relative strengths and weaknesses.

All this is likely to give some readers a distinctly uneasy feeling ... that few principles governing our social situation have changed in the last 2000 years. That despite all the details that have changed.

We're left with at least 3, key questions.

1) Are enough US citizens aware of our net context to adequately manage it's future course? Or are we as a nation flying blind?

2) Even if there are enough concerned citizens, are they possessing AND SHARING cultural-assessment tools adequate for guiding adaptive group actions that can address their growing concerns?

3) And even if we do have both adequate group intelligence AND adequate cultural self-assessment tools ... are we practicing enough to be able to meet looming demands when they arrive?

Our sorry history with the demise of Glass-Steagall, the subsequent MICC mis-adventures, and the ongoing TBTJ mortgage banking fraud and bailout all suggest that the opposite is occurring. As every challenge bigger than the S&L crisis has loomed, the USA has actively prepared to put it's tail between it's legs and run in a mal-adaptive direction.* 

Where did most of the citizens go when Rome fell? Where should we be planning to go to? Is there anywhere to go, other than drawing a line in our own, domestic sandbox, and fighting for progress rather than accepting regression?

How different is this from past national policy crises during your lifetime?

And are we improving or reducing our ability to adjust ... or even treading water?

Can we even assess things well enough to tell? Does our electorate still have the motivation to even want to?

* The Fed honchos, of course, claim that they are baffled and befuddled by the behavior of banks and hedge funds.  No wonder Jane & Joe prefer another sixpack.


Roger Erickson said...

weepin' Buddha on a decline!

In case you were wondering what Jane & Joe Sixpack get a weekly case of

PROPOSED AMENDMENT: “There shall be a flexible balanced budget whereby total outlays for a year do not exceed the median annual revenue collected in the seven prior years. A three-fifths supermajority of each house of Congress can declare a one-year emergency exemption. Additional one-year exemptions may be approved only by escalating votes in each house of Congress. The amendment shall take effect in the seventh year following ratification by the states. During the seven-year transition period the deficit would be reduced gradually each year until it reaches zero.”

and the comments don't get any better

Smart Conversation about the Constitution? quite the contrary!

Matt Franko said...

That amendment is a libertarian dream Roger they would LOVE that to happen...


Try to think about the connection between "fraud" and our current economic malaise... I dont see a connection there...

iow, yes, these "banksters" have worked the system to their financial benefit when possible, and yes you probably can call that "fraud" or I would prefer "corruption"... but how can these small "frauds" lead to mass unemployment of 10's of millions of people all across the west?

imo it cannot. No way.

How do these "bankster" frauds lead to President Obama declaring LAST WEEK, that "the govt may soon run out of money"?

How do these "bankster" frauds lead to bonehead Boehner to declare, LAST WEEK, that "we dont want to leave this debt to our children and grandchildren"?

sure there were frauds that should be prosecuted, and perhaps they are not being prosecuted, whatever that is small potatoes...

You talk about Rome, Augustus for one never thought he was "out of money" here are his EXACT WORDS etched in stone throughout the old empire for our information today:

"Four times I helped the senatorial treasury with my money, so that I offered HS 150,000,000 to those who were in charge of the treasury. And when Marcus Lepidus and Luciu Arruntius were consuls (6 A.C.E.), I offered HS 170,000,000 from my patrimony to the military treasury, which was founded by my advice and from which rewards were given to soldiers who had served twenty or more times.

From that year when Gnaeus and Publius Lentulus were consuls (18 Bc), when the taxes fell short, I gave out contributions of grain and money from my granary and patrimony,"

What has happened between Augustus and POTUS?

Why did Augustus know he could not "run out of money" yet our present era humans in positions of authority do not?

Execute all the "banksters" for all I care (hey, better yet, let's crucify them!) but after that spectacle is over, if Caesar still thinks he can "run out of money" we humans are STILL not going to get anywhere.

Our scientific inquiry should investigate what has happened between Augustus and POTUS...

One coincident indicator of what ever went wrong is libertarianism imo... that may be a good place to start..


Bob Roddis said...

Such amazing typical insight from this blog. Secure property rights for impoverished people in their things and bodies are unimportant and the inherently and purposefully thieving bankster fiat funny money system is "libertarian".

Brilliant as always.

Bob Roddis said...

If the "indigenous people" of the Yasuni preserve had secure property and contracts rights in their land, they could simply and easily JUST SAY NO to oil development. Or else they could negotiate contracts so that any pollution caused by oil extraction was fully cleaned up or fully compensated. These simple truths escape the mind of the Maoist MMTer.

Six said...


"Secure property rights for impoverished people ..."

Roddis has no idea how stupid he is.