The idea in the Bill Mahers video was that the government rescue of the financial system seems to pass the solution back to the people who created the problem, with just upping the ante. The government signs up for even more debt than ever before. Basically, bailing out people with inadequate income by increasing their debt is real “sorcerer’s apprentice” kind of solution, that seems to just multiply the problem.
But, *which* solution is it
that’s multiplying our problems??
Jack & O2,
When I said “The ‘silver lining’ is … how natural systems successfully stabilize within their constraints (rather than overshoot)” I’m talking about how natural systems are sometimes the active player in their relation with the environment (rather than just being pushed around by it).
If animals just used resources as fast as they could until they exhausted then environments ecologies would almost always be unstable. They’re not generally unstable though. What you observe in nature is living things using exponential growth only to get started.
When they stop their growth systems and then begin actively exploring their otherwise passive environments, being resourceful with what they find uncontested while watching out to avoid trouble. They respond to what they find, as an active learning partner in the relationship.
The almost never push their environments to failure and destabilize themselves. Science misses that self-control feature of individuals in natural systems because it would be too complicated to model, so they make up models that have rules that ignore that.
In our financial environment the people with the money are actively destabilizing their own wealth by offering only more debt to over indebted people. If they were responsive to the need to protect their own capital they could make a different choice.
Instead of “helping people” by making more loans that people can’t afford anyway, they could buy products and services from people and make everyone able to pay their loans again. That’s what “a rule for giving profits rather than taking profits” would do.
People who have money but no present use for it (the investment community) could save their own necks and not collapse the world around them by spending and employing others to make the world profitable again.
The “tragedy of the commons” we’re seeing is that people with money refuse to either lend or spend. It’s as if they ask us to all stop work because we owe so much money to ourselves that we can’t pay…. It’s a problem their self-interest could solve by ‘letting it go’ of their dreams of ever multiplying power that is collapsing the world, and spend it.
J M Keynes made much the same observation, but was ignored by people who thought history couldn’t possibly repeat itself yet again. It’s quite too late to fix the core problem without a hitch, of course, in that overshoots in nearly every resource use as well as in finances globally seems rather clearly collapsing already…
Still, I think it would be a good idea to try, if only for the moderate benefit and to get in the habit for the next time… ;-)