A while back, I found myself in traffic behind a car with a sticker in the rear window which read, ‘People are going back to the old ways.’ The sticker was green and adorned with fetching pentagrams.
Those of you who find such sentiments attractive, will be delighted to know that you are going to get your wish. No doubt about that whatsoever, because the current austerity measures imposed by western governments; are just the beginning of the decline in life styles of abundancy, that so many take for granted.
Some current thinking suggests that there is no need for austerity measures, and that a return to true value, and sensible growth policies based on sound collateral investment will ensure economic stability. That could happen. But it won’t!
It won’t because it would mean that house prices would very quickly fall to the kind of levels that they were, before they quadrupled. And that is just unthinkable for so many people whose home is their only real asset. And even more unthinkable for politicians who would be blamed, so they are forced to massage the truth. for a while at least. House prices quadrupled because anyone, even unemployed people, could get 110% mortgages. Even street alcoholics were signed up for credit cards, giving their addresses as the salvation army hostel. Some cards, immediately allowed them to go to a cash machine and max out around two hundred pounds. The pretty girls with the clip boards in the shopping malls, who were pushing them to the cider lads, and anyone else they could, got twenty five quid for every one they signed up.
If you live in Britain, you may remember your bank, and maybe other banks you had probably never heard of before, mailing you almost daily with offers of unsecured personal loans. All of these loans were then treated as capital assets; which since they are never going to be repaid, are the last thing they are. And on the basis of these growing ‘capital assets’ further investments were made in financial service banks and companies which offered by far the best returns on any investments. On paper. So what’s happening now?
Well a week last Tuesday, a guy on Sky News, from the Halifax building society, told us that house prices in the UK, had risen by one and a half percent. Yippee! Good news for home owners, their asset is still rising. Not so rosy if you listened to the money program on radio 4 a few days later. When we were told that house prices in the UK had actually fallen by seventeen per cent. And that thirty five per cent of the people being kept in their homes by the government scheme to help mortgage defaulters, had double defaulted, and were not even meeting the commitments imposed by the scheme that is currently keeping a roof over their heads. In the same program it was predicted that at least a third of the people who are about to get the hoof from the public sector, won’t be able to meet their existing mortgage and debt commitments. The US economy, is being kept afloat by the US treasury busily printing money. Good money too, because the bond issues that are enabling the money to be printed are being bought up. The fact that it is the US federal reserve that is buying up the bonds, however; means that in reality the debt is simply doubling!
Now all that, means that when the shanty towns are bulldozed, and the impoverished are driven into the wilderness; stockaded communities of daub and wattle huts will spring up. Cave space will be at a premium too. But since; as those of you versed in history will know, religion is contingent on community surplus, it could be a while before anyone has enough free time from grubbing, delving, and crop growing, to put up a stone circle, or whatever.
This is really excellent news for those who dreamily long for a simpler way of life. Technology free, nature based, self sustaining societies. People who aren’t really serious about such idyllic scenarios however, had better be careful what they wish and pray for. Because the gracious gods, are about to deliver.
Joy and Blessings