Taoist mythology, Lanna history, mythology, the nature of time and other considered ramblings

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Location: Chiangrai, Chiangrai, Thailand

Author of many self-published books, including several about Thailand and Chiang Rai, Joel Barlow lived in Bangkok 1964-65, attending 6th grade with the International School of Bangkok's only Thai teacher. He first visited ChiangRai in 1988, and moved there in 1998.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Short-selling Wall St. Wolf-packs and economic recovery

Newspapers have lost my trust, interest and attention, but I still glance at a few reports when doing my e-mail and other internet activities. Today I was amused to see one on the “Wolf-packs” of Wall St. – war profiteers, they weren’t only equated to, but actually called. Almost quite rightly, except that this economic calamity, fiasco or whatever, isn’t really at all the same as war. There are casualties, sure, and bad guys, but I find no reason to exaggerate.
Now, many will find what I’m about to suggest as extreme beyond exaggeration, as I intend to suggest conspiracy. And despite clear, readily-available evidence, many simply chose to deny conspiracy. Or maybe they don’t chose, but rather, are just scared…
The division between rich and poor, as has often been noted, has been growing. This is not good for the economy, as rich people’s money moves around less, and less quickly, than poor people’s, and less economic activity means a slower economy (you with me?). And yet, the “wolf-pack” who, through informed speculation, short-selling, futures trading and information manipulation, help create the growing divide, may well be doing themselves out of jobs – in the near future, even – by ruining the market. And though they might be rich by the time they’re out of work, I don’t think they’d much like the situation they’d find themselves in. I think the short-selling for large stock-market players is mostly over; the desired results have already been achieved. People can’t expect as much from pensions, or, indeed, from old age, anymore, won’t be using as much fuel or wasting quite as much of our precious, dwindling natural resources, or, it seems, be expecting as much from life, in general! The rich have won – they have control, needn’t answer for misdeeds or even correct the system that allows those misdeeds.
Or so they think, at least.
The house of cards gets somewhat rebuilt now, but can’t last. Without responsibility, there is no power, and those who have manipulated things for so long now don’t even know what responsibility is, anymore.
How long is ‘so long’? A century, at least. A century of clever advertising, cleverly instigated wars and revolutions, of propaganda and brain-washing, prisons and –
Well, I’d go on, but I know it wasn’t so great before, the Noble, er, Honorable Hunter-gatherer didn’t have it all good, with constantly dirty feet, need for strong clan affiliation and pecking orders, little awareness of much outside of their quite limited world, or horizons, society or however one might wish to refer to their general context… Though, on the other hand, there were cities of good roads and plumbing, with adequate storage and who knows what all, long, long ago. It seems likely they didn’t have great art, dance and theater, but just maybe all that’s not quite of the value it’s often cracked up to be, either.
The consequences of the manipulations to lower our expectations haven’t all been noticed, or tabulated, yet, and there are sure to be unpleasant surprises. Some more giants will fall. Then, I’m sure, the conspirators expect things will return to normal. They can’t really be hoping to leave for another planet, where they’d need to actually work. But neither will they allow us a reasonable system, with sufficient choice, real decentralization and local decision-making, or the transparency and accountability to power necessary for it not to be misused. It doesn’t take much intelligence to KNOW this. But most of us aren’t using much intelligence…

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