Saturday, September 27, 2008

Problems Involved in Chowing Down on Lotuses

I am not without sin, let that be known first.

Let us begin this encyclical by referring to a recent post by Michael Panzer over at Financial Armageddon called "Red Ink Trickling Down". OK, now that we have all read the starting material, lets begin dissecting the article. In these sob stories, the businessman go out, gets greedy, and sees a way to make beaucoup money for his imagined future of golfing and pederasty. So he goes to the bank and says "lend me the money, and I will pay you more than you lend me". This is the way that the world works in the sadly flawed world view that is being discussed.

In the discussion, Michael Panzer seems to think that the act of taking out credit for this expansion is the most natural thing in the world to do in a business setting. There is the underlying current of emotion that the act of the print shop owner walking through the banks doors and signing a promissory note is a virtuous act. It is the bank squeezing the poor disconsolate shop owner that was evil.

Well my friends, the print shop owner was a greedy fuck who unwisely tried to hasten his access to the promised land of wealth. Why couldn't he make do with his old operation for a while, reduce costs, and save the money for the new operation? Why wasn't that discussed? Why didn't he implement a piecemeal plan of expansion by bits and pieces to achieve the production gains that he so obviously didn't need?

The take home lesson from this little morality play is that the entire system is tainted. The idea of incremental savings and slow organic growth is considered so hopelessly passé that it is no longer discussed by serious and thoughtful writers like Mr. Panzer. It is out of their realm of comprehension. The use of credit by industry is considered almost a sacrament. The use of credit versus savings has made nearly a total victory, with the adherents of savings being assigned to the same lunatic fringe that the phanatiques were assigned in 16th and 17th century England

This is where the problem truly lies. Our society is hopelessly addicted to the rapid and ultimately self-destructive use of credit. We feel that rapid growth is our birthright and the use of credit allows us to have things NOW. We seem to constitutionally incapable of slowing our growth and personal greed to a sustainable level. And it is only when we manage to learn to live within the organic limits of the world that we will manage to break out of the self-destructive cycle of credit-boom-crash that western societies have been engineering for themselves.

One of the standard responses that one hears to "how's it goin'" was, for a bit, "Living the dream".

Just remember what is the true substance of dreams.

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