When the Law of the Jungle Meets the Law of the Land

Gird Your Loins

George Carlin was right - it’s a club that you and I don’t belong to.

"You know what they want? Obedient workers people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."

Can anything be 'done' at this point to save the financial system?

Deutsche Bank, the world's most systemically dangerous based on it's derivatives exposure is about to fall to single digit stock prices, while it's chief economist is now begging for bailout. 

After all, EU banks didn't get the bail-out/re-cap enjoyed by US banks. 

To be sure, they will do 'something'. And blame on the unwashed as the chaos unfolds. 

To pull the rug out now would likewise result in disaster and confusion.

The vacuum left behind will most likely usher in even more draconian measures - as the citizen pays even more.

We’ve past the point of no return. Doing “more” simply made us more vulnerable. We are collectively less aware, and less prepared. Not that the constant intervention had any thing to do with you or I.

There is a storm coming. The powers that be have known about it for quite some time.  While they have convinced the majority that it will never come. Or that it can be forestalled.

To admit that the storm lies just off the horizon us all in it's twisted manifestation. It reaches down a deep and collective layer of guilt and shame. Most of us will naturally defend it. And we seek to kill the messenger. Over and over again.

The information age has made it simple for anyone to see. We are bombarded with daily evidence. Most of it is filtered by a natural dissonance.

We are moved by tragedy that happens across the world. And yet if we knew that tomorrow we would have our left toenail removed, it would consume us with distraction. Suddenly nothing else would matter.

Who would chose life without a little anesthesia now and then? No one, especially politicians. They are bought and paid for. 

The “Frank Underwoods” of the world care for themselves, and power ultimately. They feel sentiment as an intellectual exercise or a self-serving reflection of their power, just as the modern investment banker does not measure success. 

The Best "Democracy" Money Can Buy: For Every Dollar Spent Influencing US Politics, Corporations Get $760 Back

According to the foundation's analysis, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion (with a B) on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion (with a T) in federal business and support.

Putting that in context, the $4.4 trillion total represents two-thirds of the $6.5 trillion that individual taxpayers paid into the Federal Treasury. Said otherwise, by "spending” a paltry $6 billion to bribe the U.S. government, or just a little more than what GM will spend on stock buybacks alone, U.S. corporations are getting the direct benefit of two-thirds of U.S. taxpayers' labor!

For every dollar spent on influencing politics, the nation’s most politically active corporations received $760 from the government, which translates into an Internal Rate Of Return of--hold on to your hats folks--75,900%!

The full analysis is here.

Certainly, the activist in all of us — acting from the pure joy of contribution — will also be crushed. The more we intervene, the more abstraction we create.  The most dangerous person can be the one who will do anything to prevent the war, including start a war of their own.

It's Brave New World - just not yet 'perfected'.

So it becomes Orwellian instead.

Harder, colder, darker. Big food, big pharma fixes the pain for the elite. The rest go to actual prison. And yet, what Orwell saw early obscured his view of the full cycle.

Government and the blunt, ultimately lifeless, character of central planning have never fully broken the spirit of humanity.

Call it optimism.

But there will always be a few who figure out ways of getting around the system. Those who stand up to the reality, willing to explore the pain and make it impersonal.

We see it in the children. A child that has no story about how cold the water actually is…he is too busy celebrating the glory of the river.

While our natures predispose us to repeat the mistakes of our fathers, the law of the jungle and the law of land go on and on.

We are just not there yet. Buckle up. 

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