Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to Kill the Zombie Economy

To kill a zombie, you must destroy its brain. To kill the zombie economy, we must exorcise its unrelenting pursuit of economic growth and its insatiable lust for capital gains.

Zombies eat live humans to continue their existence. In the zombie economy, the speculative economy cannibalizes the real economy to enrich the lost souls who have given themselves to Mammon.

The realm of the living is much different from the realm of the undead. In the real world, ordinary people are loosing their jobs; they are loosing their homes; they are loosing their pensions; and they are loosing hope. In the realm of the undead, the US economy grew by over 3% in the third quarter. Bankers and fund managers celebrated and welcomed the return of their million dollar bonuses.

Clearly, good fortune is not being ferried from one realm to the other. On one side, the undead relish the great wealth that has been amassed; on the other, real people are having their life-blood sucked out of them and are facing the prospect of having their children enslaved to pay down the debt brought on by the pillaging of the public purse.

How is it that the ghoulish speculators have made off with the so much of the common wealth and left such misery behind amongst the real folk?

We were fooled. We were seduced by our own desires to have more than our fair share, and we allowed the undead to take control of the helm.

We believed the ghouls of finance who told us we could become rich by producing less and by trading more. So we flipped our houses and hollowed-out our companies (paying a handsome fee for each transaction) and placed huge bets on the outcomes of games we did not understand.

All the while, we took comfort in being told that the economy was still growing. We believed that the zombie pulse of the nation, the GDP, indicated continued health and prosperity.

But, we were wrong. We could not distinguish between the sound of our collective heartbeat and the sound of the drum egging us on to place more and more of our wealth in the hands of those who run the zombie economy.

When we had spent all that we could spend, we were then told that our world would come to an end unless we agreed to hand over a large part of our future earnings to keep the system in place. Apparently, even the zombies can’t help laughing amongst themselves that we fell for this one.

So, now we toil longer for less, under conditions much less favourable, and the zombies continue to tell us stories, hoping to entice us to return to the gaming tables of financial speculation.

But now, for the sake of the unborn, we must break the zombie spell. Even the zombies know that no real thing can grow forever. Eventually, growth slows and comes to rest. We must learn to ignore the shrieks from the zombies that would have us take any action, at any price, to keep their zombie world from contracting.

There are those who know what measures need to be taken. Let us heed their counsel and stop our ears to the sirens song of unsustainable wealth.

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