Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Goddamn Economic Outlook

So am I crazy, or has Bush pretty much completely messed up the economy? Let’s face it, the tax cuts were a give away to the rich, and the Bush/Cheney (failed, illegal & immoral) war is driving the deficit over the cliff. The dollar is taking a serious pounding, real serious. The Chinese lend us money to buy more stuff from them.

This, my friends, has bankruptcy written all over it. Looks like the United States of America has been driven to the brink of bankruptcy by the moronic moves of the Bush / Cheney junta. The only thing I can see propping up the U.S. economy for awhile longer is the possibility that the Chinese will keep buying U.S. treasury bonds, and lending us money to buy more stuff from them, because they never had such a good customer!

Meanwhile, author Barbara Ehrenreich has published Bait and Switch, the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. Ehrenreich illuminates the current corporate thinking about it’s white collar employees, as expendable liabilities. Time was, a company was only considered as good as it’s staff, but no more. Here I quote from promo copy for the book from Ehrenreich’s web site:

“Today’s ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their “surplus” employees -- plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers -- and little security even for those who have jobs.”

All the preceding is a preamble to today’s screed on the Goddamn Economic Outlook. I hope for your sake you are not in the market for a white-collar job! If you are, perhaps you should avoid Ehrenreich’s book! No, go ahead and read it, at least you will know to trust your own counsel in a job search, rather than hire some phony high priced asshole “career coach” to make you feel shitty about yourself for doing things like engaging in critical thinking (they prefer you embrace herd mentality, so it’s easier to take the stick up your ass a corporate job gives you when you are hired).

As usual, my advice would be to carve out a niche working for yourself, doing work that is close to your heart. I’ve written a lot about self employment in this blog, I’ll just send you digging through the archives for my nuts & bolts advice on working for yourself, and how to get started.
But what if you prefer to work a regular job? The core of my advice is the same, take a hard, honest look inside your head and heart, and identify what you love to do. Track down work related to the best impulses of your soul (If you like to smoke crack, on the other hand, you may want to detox first, you probably won’t be getting paid for that. On the other hand, if jacking off is your thing, you may indeed be able to find work there).

It is necessary at this point for all of us to think, where are we going to be in three, five, ten, twenty years? Where will the earth be? Where will the human race be? It’s time to take Thoreau’s advice to advance in the direction of our dreams, trusting that more open and liberal laws governing events will emerge as we embrace our faith in our own best selves. Okay, so I didn’t quote verbatim, but trust me, there is indeed a fine passage echoing those very sentiments in Walden.

I advocate pursuing careers in Alternative Energy, perhaps the most promising field. Wind, Solar, Hydrogen, Efficiency, there will be a growing mega-industry there. Hell, I frankly believe the hope for the human race will be in clean energy technology that is so spectacular, so unprecedented that we don’t even know what it is yet; some genius kid out there is already brainstorming on it.

There will be lots of careers in Clean Energy much sooner than we now imagine. Remember, even that knuckle-head Bush talked about Alternative Energy in his State of the Union Address.

Whatever else happens, the price of oil will continue to rise as the demand increases. Meanwhile the supply will be shrinking. I am confident that Clean Energy will be cheaper than oil in a relative blink of the eye. Don’t buy this crap that we need to return to building nuclear power plants either—that’s just another old school, big money crock of shit that leads down a dead end alley. Frankly, people like Bush and his gang of big money/big oil goons will cease to matter at the point when, due to it’s poor cost/benefit ratio, no one wants to consume oil anymore! Clean Energy will have evolved technically and marketwise to the point where the oil greed creeps will be out of business.

We will need engineers and overtly smart techies for sure, but we’ll also need business innovators, sales people, mechanics, and the whole range of support staff. Of course, visioning the future isn’t just based on one industry; farming and food production will no longer be based on petrochemical fertilizers, you can bet your behind on that. The demand for organic food is already huge and growing fast. As with Clean Energy, there will be technology and market models we can’t know, because they have not been envisioned yet. Trust you heart, your head, and your intuition. Move confidently forward in the direction of your dreams, towards your best self. Isn’t life too damn short to do anything else?

Media is changing too. Hey, that’s what I’m doing here and now, standing up shouting like a maniac from a new kind of soap-box! Now, if I could only get free burritos for mouthing off like this…


Paul said...

Only two possible reasons for the Neocon's actions: 1) They are a bunch of idiots, or 2) They are doing it on purpose. If you want to start to get an insight into they workings of the Neocons, I suggest two books, both by Shadia Drury: 'The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss' and 'Leo Strauss and the American Right'. Warning - scary stuff.

Paul said...

By the way, Steve, don't you have a birthday around about now? Just wondering.

Steve Lafler said...

I'm ready for scary stuff, so I should look up Drury's books.

Paul Krugman, who writes about economics for the NY Times, has opined that the Neocons are doing it on purpose; they view themselves as a revolutionary group changing the rules, come hell or high water.
Wonder what these morons think now that they are up to their elbows in both?!?

Yes, it's my birthday soon! I will be 37! I know that means I was only ten when I graduated college, but I am really, really gifted and smart... and I'm taller than I look too!

Paul said...

The Neocon philosophy is sort of Nietzschian in that it is fueled by the "will to power." Yes, read the books, you will be surprised. They are into a sort of continual revolution. They believe in a ruling elite who have the right to do and say anything to control the masses and increase power. But I oversimplify.

Another book I just finished reading which you might find of interest is 'The March of Folly: Troy to Viet Nam' by Barbara Tuchman.

I'll be 58 soon. Sigh. Getting old is all it is cracked up to be. It's like cracking up. Speaking of cracking up, I remember "Binks."

Congratulations on raising a family. No easy thing these days. I'll bet you are a great dad.