Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Only Game in Town

On September 7, just as the Fed moved in on Fannie Mac, I wrote:

And perhaps the worst part? Aside from the fact that we're now laying the hugest pile of crap at the feet of future generations, if I had to bet, no one's going to lift a finger to stop the ongoing slaughter that's only going to be much more brutal now.

Boy, was I wrong. Not only has the brutality been much worse than I forecast, but they sure have lifted a finger, as we've seen with this disaster of an almost trillion buck bailout.

The thing that gets me is I'm sitting here listening to this blowhard Suze Orman on CNN, a so-called financial planner, who's wildly popular given the amount of tube time she gets. What galls me is how heavily invested she is in this ponzi scheme; all of her advice revolves around still staying engaged in this system. Where alternate methods would now seem to be the way out, she makes it seem as if this is the only way - to keep monitoring for good buys at fire sale prices, reducing credit card debt, etc. Basics that anyone with common sense should know.

But what about those alternatives? Localism is never spoken about in mass-media, nor is micro-finance, two ways communities can fight back economically.

Conglomeration is another. The only way economically disadvantaged communities have to fight back is by voting with their dollars. Buying from local merchants is only the beginning - for just as the empire of neo-colonial global capital extracts resources (ie: capital, human resources) out of communities and concentrates it in a very tiny percentage of the political donor class/economic elite is a system, so must localism be one.

But everyone's so invested in "the market" that they can't see anything else. The ones who may not have a lifestyle you or I would enjoy, such as communal living, are looked upon as wackos. I think a lot of them are nuts (for the most part, harmless nuts), but I also think the underlying premise - a non-mainstream way to opt out of this system - is valid.

From an economic standpoint, they've understood that conglomerating is a key ingredient. When will our local communities ever wake up? On the other hand, we can't ignore reality and say the communities are really "ours" until we fight economically, can we?