Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ah... foresight?

I rememeber reading the news, reading the books, reading and reading and feeling this fear about what is going on in this world?! Thus, in May 2008, I wrote the following post:

It went by and large unnoticed, as would this, but reading back I feel that (ever so modestly) I was right. It did have to stop. We had to re-assess our priorities as nations and economies. I did not expect it to be as strong as the response that actually did occur however why did no-one in a place far higher and more powerful than I, not notice this?

I speak of 'experts' forecasting the price of oil to hit $200 a barrel by end of 2008? It barely hit $50! So are they really 'experts'? Half the great books out there are right now redundant. The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman - the world isn't flat. It is very much rounded, especially when self-interest gets in the way. China killed the Coke-Hyuiyuan deal not because globalisation is such a profound force, but because self interest overpowers all that.

The Buy American policy that may be present in the newly passed legislation this year? Again, far away from globalisation as it can get. We are all retreating into our respective shells and protectionism is the new word of the day. So the books will be written about that.

We consumed and we consumed. There was no lack of supply for oil yet the price rose and rose until boom! it crashed. We took loans out, we used credit cards, we bought a car, we bought a house, we bought another car, we bought clothes, we dined at fancy restaurants, we became obese, we bought more clothes, we incurred credit card debt, we bought that LCD tv - yes, we consumed and consumed. Now, we don't have a job, we can't pay our debt, our home is under foreclosure and we are pretty much stuffed! At least we won't die of malnutrition whilst that walk to the dole office makes us burn the 80 kgs of extra fat we had accumulated.

I mean really?!, as a people, is this what we are proud of? There's a fundamental flaw in this system and that is greed. We want more, we find ways to make more money, to buy more things and that is never enough. Till this fundamental cornerstone of our being changes, there will be many expansions and contractions of our economies. For once again, the belts that are now being tightened, will beg to be loosened. 


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