I gave up television in 2002 to help free my mind from corporate marketing terrorism. There’s no entertainment worth trading my mental freedom for.
But I do talk to people who expose themselves to the media. I get bites from the scariest of the scary. Then, last night, I wandered the internet to learn more about the latest fear-mongering puppet strings being pulled.
So. Ebola made it here to the USA and we’re being terrorized with this information. But we directly kill close to a hundred Americans each and every day with cars. And this is not in the news.
Ebola is not new. (Neither are automobile deaths.) But America seems unprepared to contain or treat this virus beyond using it for marketing terrorism to sell survivalist supplies. Terrorism-boosted shopping seems to be both our marketing and coping strategies as a nation. We tremble with fear and then buy buckets of dried food, bottled water, gas masks, rubber gloves and insurance schemes.
Perhaps news of the ebola virus will cure our country’s lagging corporate profits and take our minds off our endless wars. Instead of hula hoops, I should be selling ebola survivor blood and hazmat suits.
The stock market is crumbling. Again. It seems that stock prices and profits have been held irrationally high by invisible forces. Again. Now, the big boys have taken their marbles and profits and gone home. Again. This has left individual retirement investors and 401K plans emptied. Again.
The question is not “Why did the market fall?”. Again. The real questions are “Where did the fake stock market steam come from?” and “Whose pockets is the money in now?”
Most people I know are still under-employed, unemployed and uncounted. And those who have low-pay service industry jobs live in rental sheds and garages, closets and campers. Kids don’t grow up, leave home and start families of their own any more. They stay home or join the military or borrow money for endless school or slide down to the streets or get sucked into prisons.
The interest I’m paid on my savings is still barely higher than zero. It’s almost as if our corporate puppet masters don’t want people to save money in Federally-insured and protected venues. Hmmm.
Housing is over-built and sitting empty but prices waft ever-higher and are still beyond the reach of 95% of the population. Foreclosed homes from the last housing market collapse have not yet been released for sale. Even though housing sales have stalled in all but the loftiest of prices ranges (1-5 million dollar beach cottages for the world’s wealthiest), by some magician’s miracle, ordinary home asking prices continue to rise.
During a time of reduced consumption, world oil glut and gas prices in free-fall, the price at the pump in my home state of California is being artificially held high by unseen puppet-masters. I suppose Californians haven’t been pumped dry enough yet.
The only answers I’ve come up with to personally manage our financial life in this weird manipulated California financial bubble environment (besides moving away) is to keep our life overhead as low as possible. Since just the property taxes on a two-bedroom 800 square foot termite mound can run ten thousand dollars a year and list prices are near $800,000, we must keep being renters (we are). We must not shop other than the barest of essentials (we don’t). We must eat home-cooked beans and rice and vegetable soup every day (we do), keep our kids at home with us (we do) and drive as little as possible (we do). We must make things and try to sell them (as we are). Our energy and water conservation tactics have been keeping our utility costs down as well.
But everyone had better not do as we do.
If everyone decided to adopt these frugal financial management approaches to living under the thumb of our profit-driven corporate oligarchy, this would be really bad for corporate profits.
Less consumer shopping, driving, burning, using, eating and pack-ratting means the tsunami of consumer stuff sits unsold. Less consumer buying means less profits for the ultra-wealthy few. And when corporate profits fall, our overlords start more wars.
And those newly minted Chinese rich blamed for our California housing bubble have vanished. Without their chi to keep the investment housing kite in the air, it should all fall down. Right?
I read that the Chinese government had a morality shakedown and imprisoned a bunch of their homegrown financial criminals. And imprisoning the wealthy for wrong-doing smells of the Chinese cultural revolution. It could have happened. A maneuver like this is not a bad idea if you still have the government power to do it. But perhaps this is simply a cover story for an American-style takeover at the helm of the Chinese industrial complex by bigger corporations with rougher hands and bigger guns. Or perhaps this is the Chinese way to thin the ranks of their very rich so wealth can be ever-more focused among a very few.
The sky is falling all around. But, in California, we’re left with housing prices that no one with an ordinary job can afford, buying expensive imported food while living in the world’s largest and most productive agricultural zone and buying corporate bottled water from our own drought-ridden municipal water systems.
Like our ever-high California gas prices in the time of a fuel glut, our ever-higher housing prices are only an investment-fool’s paradise held in place by invisible wizards beyond our control.
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Thanks for reading.