Debt Rattle Jun 10 2014: The Better It Looks, The Worse It Gets


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    Arthur Rothstein Drought refugees from Glendive, MT, leaving for WA July 1936 It’s common knowledge at this point, even if there’s never a shortage of
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle Jun 10 2014: The Better It Looks, The Worse It Gets]

    John Day

    Thanks Ilargi.
    Same truth again.
    How can this keep being so un-obvious to folks?


    “It’s not our wealth that increases, but our debt.”

    You got the debt ….
    I got the assets ….

    Possession is 90% of the (cough) law
    You keep your debt, I’ll keep the asset.


    I must confess some of the articles and graphs you quote are beyond me. The hocus pocus and jibberish is beyond belief. The almost forensic detail which you sometimes write takes me away from the big picture. The big picture is simply this. Let me tell it to you in a short story.

    I spent my early years in India. I watched villagers look after their patch of farm with an eye to the future. They struggled hard to produce rice and their other crops. Even so they toiled endlessly in between harvest and sowing to ensure the land remained fertile for the long term. Many of them would joke to me that they were doing it for me so I would be able to farm this land. I was just a six year old running around whilst they toiled. They often showed what they were doing and how I should do the same when I became older. Some of their stories were often about what the previous generations had done for the next generation.

    I told this story to an American who told me that at the Native American Museum in Washington there is piece about how the Natives required all their people to show they had done something for future generations. Whatver you did you then made your case to the tribe elders. It was apparently central to their way of life.

    A kiwi once told me a similar story about the Mauris.

    So there are many examples of cultures where caring for future generations is built in to their way of living. That often intertwined with caring for the natural environment. There was no disconnect between the two.

    Now, I have never heard anyone in southern England ever talk of doing anything for future generations in this way. The idea is totally alien to them. If I tell them the stories above they do not know how to respond. They even feel uncomfortable.

    Some do however feel they should pass on monetary wealth to their children. Or they may work night and day to send their kids to private school. One even does a 45 mile round trip twice a day to send their child to a top school in the area. In short if they do something for the next generation, it’s monetary, almost always disconnected from the natural environment and often to the detriment of it.

    And there for me is the nub of the problem.

    As a first step if western culture could embrace securing a future for the next generation that is more than monetary it might then be able to see the future is being siphoned off in so many ways as you outline, so often so well.

    But without that cultural shift it’ll be like banging your head on a brick wall. I should know. I do it all the time!

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