Thursday, April 18, 2019

Something Funny Happened On the Way to the Depression

In the beginning they were given two choices.

They took the easy way out. They always do. The politicians bailed out the banks, the bankers, and stole a cool trillion from the treasury which they used to make fractional loans.

They didn't avoid a depression- they simply postponed it.

Wall Street survived in some zombie fashion- inflating real estate and stock markets to astronomical levels. That is where we've been since the fall of '08 and the beginning of the Mar. '09 bull.

Every one has been playing along because there isn't much else you can do. Go to work, grind out a bunch of taxes for the government and take out ridiculously sized loans on property to maintain the banker's profit margins. The American dream. Or nightmare depending on who you ask.

This winter I spent six months touring the south. I traveled through Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I spent time on the beach, ate at nice restaurants. What I didn't do- is look for one of these pathetic, miserable, crappy jobs with no benefits. I giggled every time I went to a restaurant or a bar and saw a "help wanted" sign. I can't tell you how many "help wanted" signs I've seen. Maybe 100 or so. I saw signs offering 11 bucks an hour- well over minimum wage- with no takers. Truck trailers with placards offering sign up bonuses. Outdoor billboards asking for help.

This has been going on for months.

I am part of the 100 million workers who dropped out. No more shitty jobs without benefits. No more immature, ego maniac bosses telling me what I can or can't do. You can have some measure of free speech just so long as you don't whore yourself out to some crappy job. The employer over reach in this country has never been worse. The government can't steal more from me. I don't have to meet deadlines, beg for time off, work overtime, or bite my tongue. 

What all of this amounts to- is a strike. No union. No dues. Just 100 million people who have figured out a way to survive- and who know that taking one of these crappy jobs is simply not worth all of the headaches it generates. There is virtually no upside and 11 bucks ain't gonna make a difference.

The best part about the crash of '08- the unintended consequence- was that 100 million of us learned that we cannot depend on these jobs. We became self sufficient.

I'm sure you can still get a decent trailer house and a used car for 1100 a month. After taxes that should leave workers 300 a month for utilities, health care, gas, food, and maybe a t-shirt or two. The next step is labor camps- ya know the kind where you eat, work, and sleep on your employer's property.

Wages in this country have not really budged in 40 years. The talent pool is drying up and the people with any sort of know how aren't coming back.

When the Depression finally arrives- that day when debt levels go supernova and the dollar collapses- we can finally restructure our society. In the meantime, let's enjoy watching these bullshit artists try to repeal the laws of mathematics. Maybe they will offer us 12 dollar an hour jobs next.