Monday, October 26, 2020

How Systems Collapse: Reaping What We've Sown

Don't expect healthcare or any other hollowed-out, heavily optimized system to function as it once did.

A great many Americans will be shocked when our healthcare systems start failing because they believed the PR that "we have the finest healthcare system in the world." The ability to deliver the finest care to a few does not translate into an ability to deliver the finest care to the many, nor does it mean the system is robust enough to withstand a tsunami.

As I have endeavored to explain in recent posts, systems optimized for narrow envelopes fail when they slip outside that envelope. One analogy is an airliner that is optimized in terms of fuel efficiency to fly above 30,000 feet at around 540 miles per hour.

The optimized envelope allows for somewhat higher and lower flight paths, but if the airliner is forced to fly at 500 feet, it will no longer have the range it had at 30,000 feet.

America's healthcare system is optimized for treating a relative handful of severely ill patients. As costs (and profit margins) have soared, the system has been stripped of hospital beds, extra supplies, etc. because these hurt the all-important bottom line: why maintain redundancies and buffers when all that matters in America is "maximizing shareholder value"?

In the pathological pursuit of "maximizing shareholder value," Corporate America's healthcare complex tossed community service and employees overboard. Sure, there is endless glossy (i.e. expensive) PR glorifying the corporate simulacrum of "community service," but everyone knows it's just PR: if a hospital fails to produce the profits demanded by corporate HQ, it's closed, regardless of the negative impacts on the community.

Sorry, folks, it's just business. When the "store" is no longer sufficiently profitable, it's closed, just like Walmart closes underperforming stores.

The same sanitized, bloodless pursuit of maximizing profits (kneel before the mighty god we worship, Shareholder Value!) has stripped away the pretense that healthcare corporations care about their employees. Yes, the glossy PR about how much Corporate America cares about its communities and employees is endless, but it's all artifice: employees are treated just like factory workers in developing-world sweatshops.

Everyone is expendable, replaceable, just another cog in the machine, and woe to any employee in Corporate America's healthcare complex who runs afoul of the endless compliance and regulatory reporting.

We're about to reap what we've sown in worshipping "shareholder value" and stripmining communities and employees. The people in the sweatshop get it: we don't count, we're just here to make some rich people even richer.

The healthcare sweatshop workers will repay the absence of employer loyalty in kind: you had no loyalty to us, we have no loyalty to you.

When the tsunami wave hits, do you sacrifice yourself to save someone else, or do you conclude the better strategy is save yourself first? As I noted in This Is How It Ends: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (September 10, 2020): The most competent will realise the impossibility of keeping it glued together and so they will exit first. The most noble will try to keep it going but they will burn out and drop away, leaving the incompetent to oversee the final collapse.

System after system has been optimized to only function in a narrow envelope. Once it slips outside that envelope, it unravels very quickly and then collapses. Those outside the system are bamboozled by the hype and PR and recency bias ("but it worked fine last year"), insiders know better.

Many will try to keep it all glued together for the sake of the patients, but the tsunami will be so relentless that saving themselves will eventually take priority. After all, the "shareholder value / compliance is all that matters" system never cared about you; why should you sacrifice yourself so the executives can keep their multi-million dollar bonuses?

All you cared about were profits--well go right ahead and keep all the profits. We're gone.

Don't expect healthcare or any other hollowed-out, heavily optimized system to function as it once did. The fuel tanks are almost empty and we're still 1,000 miles from land.

COVID-19: Associated Hospitalizations Among Health Care Personnel (CDC)




My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisofEasy Salon #27: Will the Network State be capable of acting in the public good? (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Next Up: Global Depression

The belief that central banks printing currency can "buy/fix" everything that's broken, lost or scarce is the ultimate in denial, fantasy and magical thinking.

Let's revisit the pandemic projection chart I prepared on February 2, 2020, nine days after authorities publicly acknowledged the Covid virus outbreak in China. Wave 2 shown on the chart is now underway with a vengeance and next up is Global Depression.



This projection was based on two well-known dynamics:

1. History offers a basic template for viral pandemics in which the initial wave dies back in summer and then re-ignites in a second larger Wave 2 in autumn and winter.

2. Humanity's default responses to novel crises: denial, fantasy, magical thinking and manipulating data to support a simplistic, emotionally satisfying ideological position.

Each of these predictable dynamics has manifested in all their perverse glory.

A number of cognitive/logical errors are manifesting as well.

False binaries i.e. false perceptions of the situation being either/or. For example: you get the virus and either recover or die. We only count those two options. This false binary conveniently ignores:

A. the third category--you get the virus and become a long-hauler (a.k.a. Long Covid) who is debilitated for months by exhaustion and other post-viral conditions; (Long COVID slide presentation)

B. the fourth category--you get the virus and recover quickly but suffer major organ damage that isn't immediately visible/symptomatic;

C. the fifth category--you get the virus, recover, assume you're immune forever and then contract the virus again some months later--only this time the consequences are far more severe.

And so on. The same holds true for ideological false binaries. Those holding binary ideological positions--you are either With Me or With The Wrong Side--spend their time and energy cherry-picking and manipulating data so it supports their pre-selected ideological world view.

Those of us who simply want unmolested data so we can decide for ourselves have no recourse, as the ideologically motivated have poisoned the data (don't test don't tell, under-reporting, over-reporting, ignoring lag times in reporting, suppressing data, requiring data be reported to privately owned corporations rather than government agencies, discounting good data in favor of bogus data that reaches the "right" conclusion, and so on) in an endless profusion of manipulation for political purposes.

As with China's Communist leadership, if data that can't be gamed or manipulated enters the public domain, it's immediately suppressed. Skeptics of China's permanently miraculous "growth" statistics discovered electrical consumption figures did not reflect the miraculous "growth" in the officially sanctioned statistics, and so China moved to suppress this inconveniently factual data so it would not longer be available.

We're seeing the same politicization of data in the U.S. We're now down to public-health data collection that hasn't yet been suppressed or manipulated: hospital admissions and death certificates. Authorities suppressing Covid-related deaths can report any cause of death they want, but the peak of deaths far above the statistical norm tells us an important fact despite the suppression/obfuscation.

Confusing categories, correlations, causes and conclusions. It's widely held that the Covid pandemic is fundamentally a power-grab by elites. Fair enough; crises have long been the excuse given for "temporary emergency measures" that become permanent power-grabs.

But to accept that the pandemic is the cover for a power-grab by elites does not mean the Covid virus is a harmless chimera. The virus can be dangerous in ways that aren't measured by counting deaths and the pandemic can still be the excuse for "emergency powers" becoming permanent, i.e. a power grab. One conclusion (a power-grab) does not require a second completely different conclusion (the virus is not dangerous to anyone under the age of 70 and therefore it's no big deal).

The assumption that there's a correlation between an ideological position and wearing a mask (or other behavior) is ungrounded. An individual can reach conclusions outside rigid ideological boundaries. Personally, I found this study of which passengers caught the virus on a bus in China useful in my own decision-making: Coronavirus can travel twice as far as official 'safe distance' and stay in air for 30 minutes.

The most consequential falsity in my view is the belief that the global economy was robust before the pandemic and it will revert to that robustness once we: get a vaccine, end the lockdowns, seek herd immunity, etc. etc.

The global economy was teetering on the edge of recession and financial implosion long before the pandemic appeared. Ending the pandemic cannot restore an illusion of "growth" that masked a hollowed out, fragile, brittle global economy.

The Global Depression was baked in long before the pandemic. All the pandemic did was kick out the last rotten 2X4s holding up the fading facade of "growth."

As the global tsunami of Wave 2 sweeps away the sandcastles of denial, fantasy and magical thinking, it's worth recalling that the Covid-19 virus has four features that make it difficult to control:

1. It is highly contagious.
2. Carriers with no symptoms can infect others.
3. A significant percentage of older / compromised patients develop severe symptoms that require hospitalization.
4. Once the healthcare system is overwhelmed, the system cannot provide care to everyone who needs it. As a result, the death rate rises the moment the healthcare system is overwhelmed / breaks down.

We've drawn a gravely false conclusion from central bank money-printing and technology: we now assume that central banks can print up as much money as we need to buy whatever we need in whatever quantity we need. The magic of technology essentially guarantees that there will always be a substitute, "cure" or "solution" available whenever we need one.

Unfortunately, central banks can't "print" experienced doctors or nurses. When the front line of healthcare workers is depleted by illness and burnout, there are no substitutes or Big Tech robots-to-the-rescue. The healthcare system we've optimized for "creating shareholder value" (i.e. unlimited greed pathologically pursued by any means available) will break down and that will be that.

Central banks can't "print" creditworthy borrowers, solvent companies, real-world collateral, risk-free "investing," oil, jobs, trust in failed institutions, social cohesion or anything else of importance that is now scarce.

The belief that central banks printing currency can "buy/fix" everything that's broken, lost or scarce is the ultimate in denial, fantasy and magical thinking. All that was unsustainably fragile, corrupt and brittle is unraveling, and thinking that ending the lockdowns, approving a vaccine, etc. will stave off causality is the supreme indulgence in denial, fantasy and magical thinking.


My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisofEasy Salon #27: Will the Network State be capable of acting in the public good? (1 hr)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Martin C. ($10/month), for your outrageously generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.   Thank you, Marco J. ($5/month), for your magnificently generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Everything We Assume Is Permanent Is Actually Fragile

Masking the rot and fragility is not the same thing as strength or permanence.

The great irony of the past 75 years of expanding consumption is the belief that all these decades of success prove the system is rock-solid and future success is thus guaranteed. The irony lies in the systemic fragility that's built into the large-scale industrial production that generates endless surpluses of energy, food, fresh water, etc. and the global financial system that delivers endless surpluses of capital and credit to be distributed by public authorities and private owners of capital.

The key driver of increasing efficiencies has been scaling up production by concentrating ownership and capacity into a few quasi-monopolies/cartels. In industry after industry, where there were once dozens of companies, there are now only a handful of behemoths with outsized market and political power which they wield to retain their dominance.

For example, where there were dozens of large regional banks in the U.S. not that long ago, relentless consolidation has led to a handful of supergiant too big to fail banks which can take extraordinary risks (and undertake criminal skims) knowing that the federal government will always bail them out and leave the banks' corporate criminals untouched.

Two of these too big to fail banks recently paid fines in the billions of dollars, yet no one went to prison or even faced criminal charges. This highlights the systemic problem with concentrating capital and power in the hands of the few: too big to fail means corporate wrongdoers have a permanent get out of jail free card while the small-fry white-collar criminal will get a fiver (five-year prison sentence) for skimming a tiny fraction of the billions routinely pillaged by the too big to fail banks.

The net result is a two-tier judicial / law enforcement system: the too big to fail "essential" companies get a free hand and the citizenry get whatever "justice" they can afford, i.e. very little.

This concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few corporations is of course state-cartel socialism in which the public good has become subservient to the profits of corporate owners and insiders, and the skims paid to the state's insiders. The state enables and enforces this concentration of private wealth and power in a number of ways: regulatory capture, the polite bribery of lobbying, the revolving door between government and private industry, and so on.

The public good would best be served by competition and transparent markets and regulations, but these are precisely what's been eliminated by relentless consolidation and the paring down of the economic ecosystem to a handful of too big to fail nodes which work tirelessly to eliminate competition, transparency and meaningful public oversight.

This ruthless pursuit of efficiencies and profits has stripped the economy of redundancies and buffers. Production supply chains have been engineered to function in a narrow envelope of quality, quantity and time. Any disruption quickly leads to shortages, something that became visible when meatpacking plants were closed in the pandemic.

Supply chains are long and fragile, but this fragility is not visible as long as everything stays within the narrow envelope that's been optimized. Once the envelope is broken, the supply chain breaks down. Since redundancies and buffers have been stripped away, there are no alternatives available. Shortages mount and the entire system starts breaking down.

Quality has been stripped out as well. When markets become captive to cartels and monopolies, customers have to take what's available: if it's poor quality goods and services, tough luck, pal, there are no alternatives. There are only one or two service providers, healthcare insurers, etc., and they all provide the same minimal level of quality and service.

The moral rot in our social, political and economic orders is another source of hidden fragility. I'm constantly told by readers that corruption has been around forever, so therefore nothing has changed, but these readers are indulging in magical nostalgia: things have changed profoundly, and for the worse, as the moral rot has seeped into every nook and cranny of American life, from the top down.

There is no "public good," there is only a rapacious, obsessive self-interest that claims the mantle of "public good" as a key mechanism of the con.

As I discussed in Everything is Staged, everyone and everything in America is now nothing more than a means to a self-interested end, and so the the entirety of American life is nothing but 100% marketing of various cons designed to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

That America was a better place without endless marketing of Big Pharma meds and colleges hyping their insanely costly "product" (a worthless diploma) has been largely forgotten by those indulging in magical nostalgia.

What few seem to realize is all the supposedly rock-solid permanent foundations of life are nothing more than fragile social constructs based on trust and legitimacy. Once trust and legitimacy have been lost, these constructs melt into the sands of time.

A great many things we take for granted are fragile constructs that could unravel with surprising speed: law enforcement, the courts, elections, the value of our currency-- these are all social constructs. Once legitimacy is lost, people abandon these constructs and they melt away.

It's clear to anyone who isn't indulging in magical nostalgia that trust in institutions is in a steep decline as the legitimacy of these institutions, public and private, have been eroded by incompetence, corruption, dysfunction and the rapacious self-interest of insiders.

What we've gotten very good at is masking the rot and fragility. Masking the rot and fragility is not the same thing as strength or permanence. The nation is about to discover the difference in the years ahead.



My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisofEasy Salon #27: Will the Network State be capable of acting in the public good? (1 hr)

FRA Roundtable: Richard and I discuss Inflation (37 min)

Obsoleted Engineered Economic Relapse (with Chuck Ochelli, 1 hr)

What Could Go Wrong? (43 minutes, with Gordon Long)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Mike T. ($50), for your marvelously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.   Thank you, Matthew D. ($5/month), for your magnificently generous subscription to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Everything is Staged

All the staging is a means to an end, and everyone in America is nothing more than a means to an end: close the sale so the few can continue exploiting the many.

You know how realtors stage a house to increase its marketability: first, they remove all evidence that people actually live there. (Of course a vacant house is ideal for staging because there's none of the messy real-life stuff to deal with.)

All the clutter of everyday life must be moved elsewhere so the house can look like a bloodless furniture showroom. In other words, fake.

Then various tricks /cues are employed to activate the sense of "home": induce the "smell of fresh bread" in the kitchen, adorn rooms with vases of fresh flowers, and have a few fake "family" photos set on bookshelves.

We all understand homes for sale are staged for marketing, as are showrooms and any other space devoted to selling. The raison d'etre of the space is to close the sale, so exacting care is given to every signal, cue and nuance.

(It doesn't always work as intended. Apple Stores make me want to run screaming from the sci-fi white prison workshop to blessed freedom.)

The problem is everything in America is now staged with an eye on selling you something. Maybe it's just selling your attention to an advertiser or data-mining outfit. Maybe it's selling an ersatz slogan like "we're all in this together" to placate the herd being led to slaughter.

Maybe it's phony membership in a movement that masks the few taking advantage of the many with a bogus ideological rallying cry. Maybe it's a so-called "panel of experts" offering up soothing assurances that this highly addictive opioid is incredibly profitable-- oops, did I say that? I meant "safe." It's incredibly safe.

And so on. Since everything is staged, nothing is remotely credible. The 70-year old performer's deep-red hair (with a small splash of gray to make the charade "believable"): fake.

The Stepford automatons lining the stage? Replicas of a carefully coiffed "reality."

The entire financial system--nothing but an elaborate simulacrum of a real-world financial system.

"Democracy": --nothing but an elaborate simulacrum of a real-world republic.

"Fake" is now itself fake as the meta-marketers seek to undermine the concept of fake to sell the idea that what we recognize as fake is actually real: we're told that it's the real thing that's been hidden from view that's fake. The photo on the shelf of the fake family is real, we're told; what's fake is the actual real photo of the messy real-world family who actually lives here.

Given that everything is staged, trust has been completely destroyed. To trust anything being presented as a means to an end--i.e. a con, a scam, a sales pitch, a fake scent of fresh bread, etc.--is to be a chump.

The legitimacy of everything that's being staged has been irrevocably lost. Nobody tells the plain truth any more because telling the truth is straying off-message. Staying on-message is the Prime Directive in America. Stray from the message and the truth might leak out, and then we're all doomed because we can't close the sale.

There's no escape from this dependency on staging and staying on-message. The only hope of a return to the real world is the collapse of the entire fake, staged status quo, the collapse of every institution, every media outlet, every social-media platform, every single manifestation of marketing, cons, scams, pitches, gamed statistics, and all the frantic assurances that fake is real and real is fake because your belief in the fraud is the key to closing the sale.

All the staging is a means to an end, and everyone in America is nothing more than a means to an end: close the sale so the few can continue exploiting the many. If you can't stay on-message, you're gone--no wealth or security for you, bucko.

Staging is no substitute for reality. The frauds, cons and scams are failing to keep the simulacrum world glued together because no matter how expert the marketing and how great the desire to close the sale so the few can continue exploiting the many, reality intrudes right when the deal's about to close and the whole absurd contraption collapses in a heap.



My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisOfEasy Salon #26: Ben Hunt vs The Industrially Necessary Narratives (1 hr)

FRA Roundtable: Richard and I discuss Inflation (37 min)

Obsoleted Engineered Economic Relapse (with Chuck Ochelli, 1 hr)

What Could Go Wrong? (43 minutes, with Gordon Long)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Ezekial J. ($50), for your marvelously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

Thank you, Dan O. ($5/month), for your most generous subscription to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The New Tyranny Few Even Recognize

Clearly, the Fed reckons the public is foolish enough to believe the Fed's money will actually be "free."

It's pretty much universally recognized that authorities use crises to impose "emergency powers" that become permanent. This erosion of civil and economic liberties is always sold as "necessary for your own good." Of course the accretion of ever greater power in the hands of the few is for our own good. How could it be otherwise? (Irony off)

In this environment of "emergency powers", it's almost refreshing to find a power grab so blatant that its sheer boldness boggles the mind. I'm talking about the Federal Reserve's FedNow, a proposed system of instant payments and digital dollars.

This paper from the Cleveland Fed describes the system: FedNow paper from clevelandfed.org (PDF) (via Cheryl A.)

The rationale for the system is two-fold: The Fed sees the current ACH (automatic clearing house) payment system used by banks as too slow and limited. Payments need to be instantaneous and there must be a way to reach unbanked households, the roughly 9 million U.S. households without a bank account. In the current system, stimulus payments couldn't reach these households quickly.

The solution is a new payment system in which every household and business in the nation would have an account at FedNow, so the Fed can transfer funds directly and instantaneously into every household account (and presumably every business that the Fed has chosen to fund).

The second part of FedNow is the creation of a digital dollar which is just like the existing dollar with one tiny little difference: unlike cash (for example, a $20 bill), the digital dollars won't be anonymous. Each newly created digital dollar will be trackable.

The Fed's rationale is that panic-hoarding of coins and cash by households is a problem, as the Treasury has to go to a lot of trouble to mint more coins and print more cash. The FedNow digital dollars will be quick and easy to create and distribute--and, ahem, track.

Do you see the monstrous power grabs this we're-here-to-help system would institute?

1. The power to borrow and distribute money that is currently reserved for the elected representatives in Congress would be bypassed by FedNow. Why wait around for slow, corrupt Congress to agree on stimulus, Universal Basic Income (UBI), etc.? With FedNow, the Fed can create trillions out of thin air and distribute the dough to households without any Congressional approval.

What's interesting about this is that Congress has no power to stop the Fed from printing endless trillions and distributing the money however the Fed chooses. As an independent quasi-public agency, intended to be apolitical and outside the reach of corrupt politicos, the Fed is free to create and distribute as much new digital currency as it sees fit.

With FedNow, Congress has lost the government's monopoly power to distribute funds. Congress can still borrow and spend money, of course, but the citizenry's elected officials no longer have the monopoly granted by the Constitution.

2. The anonymity of the nation's money will be lost to the Fed's digital dollars. Perhaps the Fed will declare that only those who wear their underwear outside their clothing will avoid penalties. (Referencing the 1970s film Bananas.) Who's to say what the Fed will track, and for what purposes? The Fed, that's who.

There's a whiff of desperation in these FedNow power grabs. It's possible that the Fed has concluded that the elected legislative branch of government is now so thoroughly corrupt and dysfunctional that the Fed is forced to save the day, so to speak, by grabbing the power to create and distribute endless trillions to keep the increasingly impoverished and powerless citizenry from rebelling against the status quo.

The irony of course is that the primary source of the impoverishment of soaring inequality is the Fed itself, as the Fed's "permanent emergency powers" of sluicing trillions in free money for financiers has goosed the wealth of the top 0.1% while leaving 95% of the citizenry worse off as wage stagnation and rising inflation has eroded the standard of living / purchasing power of labor.

It's a nice trick, isn't it? First the Fed creates the inequality that makes rebellion inevitable and then it rides to the rescue with a power grab that nullifies the monopoly over governmental allocation of money the Constitution grants to Congress, and it destroys the anonymity of the "free money" it plans to distribute in the ultimate bread and circuses.

Clearly, the Fed reckons the public is foolish enough to believe the Fed's money will actually be "free." Check out what you've lost before declaring anything "free."



My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisOfEasy Salon #26: Ben Hunt vs The Industrially Necessary Narratives (1 hr)

FRA Roundtable: Richard and I discuss Inflation (37 min)

Obsoleted Engineered Economic Relapse (with Chuck Ochelli, 1 hr)

What Could Go Wrong? (43 minutes, with Gordon Long)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook coming soon) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Shawn A. ($50), for your marvelously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.   Thank you, Marcin R. ($5), for your most generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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