Thursday, October 08, 2020

A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall

The status quo is about to discover that it can't stop the hard rain or protect its fragile sandcastles.

You'll recognize A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall as a cleaned-up rendition of Bob Dylan's classic "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall". Since the world had just avoided a nuclear conflict in the Cuban Missile Crisis, commentators reckoned Dylan was referencing a nuclear rain. But he denied this connection in a radio interview, stating: "...it's just a hard rain. It isn't the fallout rain. I mean some sort of end that's just gotta happen...." ( Source)

Which brings us to the present and America's dependence on the sandcastles of monopoly, corruption, free money and a two-tier legal/political system. You know, BAU--business as usual. A hard rain's a-gonna fall on these sand castles because, well, the end of unsustainable stuff has just gotta happen, as the man said.

Here's the problem with monopoly, corruption, free money and a two-tier legal/political system: they impoverish and diminish everyone who isn't an insider or in the top 10% Protected Class, as these are institutionalized forms of legalized looting: monopolies and cartels raise costs by smothering competition, corruption is a hidden tax on everyone not at the feeding trough, free money devalues the dollar, robbing everyone forced to use it, and a two-tier legal system enriches the few (corporate criminals never go to prison) and undermines the social contract via blatant unfairness and lack of justice.

As for the two-tier political system: monopoly, corruption and Fed free money have undermined democracy. Regardless of who wins the election, lobbyists and billionaires will still dominate the day-to-day business of political pay-to-play.

By enriching and protecting the few at the expense of the many, America's business as usual has eroded the social contract and trust in institutions and authority. When everybody's on the take and has an insider skim, then denying a conflict of interest simply confirms the ubiquity of conflicts of interest.

The pendulum has swung to such extremes of unfairness, corruption and inequality that the swing back will be monumental in scale and duration.

Another reason a hard rain's gonna fall is America's core institutions have been obsolete for years or decades, but those feeding at the trough refuse to allow any change that threatens their place at the trough.

Peter Drucker explained how tectonic shifts in the economic order obsoletes entire sectors in his 1993 book Post-Capitalist Society. Drucker mentions higher education and healthcare as sectors ripe for the plow, yet these politically sacrosanct sectors have ground on unchanged for decades, vacuuming up trillions in borrowed money to keep from being obsoleted.

Despite the best efforts of self-serving insiders, sand castles still melt in a hard rain. Speaking of sand castles, consider the vast number of sectors teetering on massive excess capacity: commercial real estate, retail space, restaurants, etc. Two generations ago, going to a restaurant--even a fast-food outlet--was a rare event. Since then, it somehow became a birthright to eat out once or twice a day.

A hard rain's a-gonna fall on over-capacity and debt-dependent spending. Free money for financiers constructed a fragile sandcastle of too much of everything but actual value, so now the status quo frantically seeks to protect every melting sandcastle of over-capacity.

The status quo is about to discover that it can't stop the hard rain or protect its fragile sandcastles. Whatever piles of sand are left after the rain will be swept away by the karmic tide as the pendulum swings back: the way of the Tao is reversal.



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