Bubble Trouble…Pessimism for the New Year (With Apologies)

Perhaps the focus on the interpretation of doom in the Mayan calendar was misplaced & that the apocalypse was about the economy rather than the end of the world.

Don’t blame me for the pessimism herein as I am not the architect of the policies that have wrought such perilous conditions. Being the messenger of bad tidings is never a pleasant task….

As it is, the US economy (as well as many other industrialized & emerging economies!) is in the midst of a debt-fueled bubble that gives an illusion of prosperity whereby more wealth is being consumed than is actually being produced. The inevitable bursting of this bubble is likely to be followed by a long & very painful economic “correction” that could stretch to decades, much like what happened in Japan after its “bubble economy” imploded.

When I was younger, most of my most stimulating debates were with Marxist economists. I was always optimistic then, inasmuch as I was well enough informed about their models to know why it would fail. In most instances, this was a one-sided debate in my favor since I knew more about what their terms of reference than they knew about mine. This was a simple matter that I read much of what they read while they were woefully ignorant of what I read.

Yet now I feel a bit of despair as the forces aligned against the basic individual freedoms that underpin economic growth are more formidable not in their intellectual strength but in their slippery nature. While Marxists operated along a predictable logic defined by their models, “progressives” (social democrats) are a slippery amorphous group that treat economies as geese that lay golden eggs that they redistribute according to populist whims rather than principles.

It is my impression that the US economy is in a condition rather like a soldier struck by a bullet on the battlefield. As it has passed through the body, the serious damage may not be immediately clear.

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