The end of the american century?
I had a lovely depressing chat with a CowOrker who grew up in the UK, and who's visions of the wonders of the Thatcher years are free from the unpleasantry of thinking about the complications that comes about as one transitions from the Age of Empire, to the time when the US can yank Anglo-French policy in the Suez by clarifying who has the nuclear arsenal to defeat the soviets.
But of course one does not talk in those terms, one should be polite and point out the problems of transitioning from an overly financialized society that no longer had the stand alone industrial capacity, as the race to invest abroad had been far more profitable before the great war, part dieux, and, well the end of the industrial policies of a nation obliged to sort out what the world will look like trying to lord it over merely the Welsh and the Scottish.
So while my housemate warned me that the RSA has a chat about how it was the radicals of the sixties who were the death kneel of the labor unions in the UK. Well, perchance somewhat, and mostly like, not really. One of the oldest maxims in that game is that Capital can move faster than Labor. A reality check that some of the folks facing Structural unemployment
are starting to understand in more ways than merely a quick wiki look. Why it might even be useful to some of our friends to ask themselves what Structural Unemployment would mean in our modern era. Why what if the problem is not that the ungrateful riff raff have opted out of being employed. But that there is a mismatch between skill mixes. You know, when there are persons who know how to write device driver code, but there are only jobs in factories that are offering say $7.25 an hour, and without any form of beni. Or, gosh, one of the gigs that I have been trying to pimp, that would require a skill mix on par with my own, but that would mean someone who has actually stayed abreast of various pieces of technology and the end to end tool chain issues, and not merely chanting that the revisionist running dogs of ideological deviationalism have stabbed our troops in the back.
Don't get me wrong here. I love the idea of ranting on the internet about the collapse of western civilization. But that is because I have been listening to my S9, and when cutting new tools, find out that Majikally, by some Miracle of Divine Intervention, my code is already ipv6 ready. Ok, so no, really, honest, I had to spend a whole lot of time getting us into the ipv6 space. Like changing the documentation to say that the test cases showed that we were ipv6 ready, and then writing the test case to prove that we were ready. So I have been planning ahead, well, maybe only for some parts of the whole ipv6 collapse of the internet. But since I save that design, development, and testing time, I have more time to focus on how the correct implementation of ideological purity means ... well, gosh, that part where we use the scientific method, plan ahead, plan the tests to prove it...
But again, that also means that some of us were on the lucky edge of the combination of factors. We had the mental acumen, the basic skill mix, including the ability to self re-train, and that would also include the social skills, to find a safe place to play while the economy tanked. Not to mention, should I be rude here, that the economy was tanking. Unlike, unfortunately, so many americans who bought into the thesis of American Exceptionalism, that meant that they need not establish any of the scientific methodology, nor inclination to the adaptability issues, nor the messy bits of embracing the various technology shifts. Let us please banish Paradigm Shift
to the land of fluffy bunnies and majikal best friends. That myth of 'game changer' is, well, fine, if you are pimping the products you want to sell as a part of the 'paradigm shift'. But back here on planet earth little if anything makes those types of shifts, and rarely is it really a real live honest to god Paradigm that shifts. But that way does require that americans understand the difference between science and technology, which is hard.
I will be honest, I am not going to be all squish wishy upset about the fine folks in glennBeckIstanian who are wondering why it is that the economy tanked, their mythological right to an american exceptionalist world crapped out. They loved their happy place of being so ideologically pure at heart, and that they were a part of the correct ideologically pure at heart, who were clapping their hands at the right time to keep tinker belle flying, and now... Now they have to find out which of the evil liberal demons is the one that must be put on the spit and burned at the public auto-de-fe, because, well, the American Exceptionalism of the American Century was SUPPOSE to be the majikal moment of it all. They were Suppose to be entitled. Unlike those welfare queens, whom ever they are, at this moment in the five minute hate.
Yes, I know. We should not be rude and remind americans that some of us got lucky with regards to the housing bubble, which of course, at one time was a mere scary story that liberals waved because they were all al qaeda terrorists. I guess we should also say that when we were hoping that Obama would do the right thing, and that he would listen to the rational economists that said we needed a bigger economic stimulus, because, well, we would only have one chance. But of course he was not the first cautious president looking at a Keynsian Economic Model. But for those of us who were scared by the rising wave of revisionist ideological deviationalism about how FDR had always been a class enemy, there is that unpleasant consolation prize - they really did mean to not only distort the actual american history, in the grand art of the Liars For Jesus
but would do it in an effort to try to re-write the actual history of the great depression.
Now that we are on the other side of a part of the problem, but remain 'hard up on zero' at the fed funds future rate, and the optimists are trying to pimp us that there is technically an economic recovery, never mind the real politik, one has to wonder how much longer we will get to play this game before the 'Skorpion King' opts to arrive and share with us all how he has the special majikal ring of annubis
- since that would be just an elegant play in the game as it lays. We would be able to see, as the first mummy movie taught some, that hebrew is 'the slave language', and that therefore the devout fans of American Christian Zionism would have a place in this new world order, and, would, well, Beni Gabor, and his stunningly brilliant:
It is better to be the right hand of the devil than in his path.
[ cf Beni Gabor Quotes]
which would be a great place for our friends in TeaTardia to come to ground.
For those who have been wondering, why yes, now that you mention it, the absurd american marriage of capitalist extremists and religious fundies has always been a bit of an amusing side show. Yes, there had been that time at the start of the 20th century in which the fundamentalists were willing to 'go galt' and walk out of the industrial society. Most folks forget that fundamentalists at the start of the american century were the mostly mainstream churches. That they would abandon politics to retain their morality says much about the real courage of their convictions.
That their so called heirs are no longer willing to take those risks speak to the true change in america. But that would also be true of the Children sucked into Gordon Gecko's Land, where greed is no longer a SIN, it is a way of life, and is imputed to be a moral good.
But where will we be when we have taken on the twenty plus years of the deflationary spiral. Or worse yet, if we learn from Japan that it will take more. Will we take the time to learn from Japan and the problems of the liquidity trap. Or will we be able to make up a new game to play?
It worries me, but then again, life is full of Irony. Governator Schwartzenegger who was bounced from the Austrian Army for going AWOL winds up flanked by six generals to see an american MP Brigrade come back from the battle front. I mean, uh, hello - Six Generals and a Draft Dodger? for an MP Brigade, you know, as if the problems of international terrorism were, well, gosh, a law enforcement issue, as Ronald Reagan had declared it!
What will it be like when it is safe to reason in america again?