Here’s The Problem: The Pie Is Shrinking

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
Tue, 03/12/2019

At that point, the only way to enable debt-serfs to service their debts is to give them free money, i.e. Universal Basic Income (UBI).

Scrape away the churn and distraction and the problem is simple: the pie of prosperity is shrinking, and the “fixes” are failing. The status quo arrangement is based on the endless expansion of “growth” and debt, which is the monetary fuel of more, more, more of everything: money, energy, resources, goods, services, jobs, wealth and income, all of which make up the elixir of prosperity.

Prosperity is shorthand for a positive return on investment (ROI), a.k.a. primary surplus. Prosperity is the result of there being a surplus which can be distributed after capital, resources and labor are put to work.

The higher the return on investment, the more surplus there is to distribute.When the surplus is bountiful, there’s enough to go around for everyone to feel that life is getting better.

But all systems eventually track an S-Curve of rapid growth, maturation and depletion/decline, and surpluses diminish: the pie stops expanding and starts shrinking. There’s less to go around, and suddenly the political squabbling intensifies as every elite and every constituency seeks to preserve their slice of the pie at the expense of others.

This means shifting the losses of purchasing power and prosperity onto others without appearing to do so. Openly ripping a slice from the grasping hands of another elite or constituency will launch a protracted political battle, as every group will fight to the death to keep its share untouched.

By far the best ways to shift the losses to others are 1) inflation (reducing the purchasing power of their income) and 2) creating phantom wealth that can be used to buy up all the income-producing assets. Unsurprisingly, this is precisely what we see happening globally.

Even as inflation eats away at the purchasing power of wages, the governments of the world carefully mask this reality behind bogus statistics of near-zero inflation. While real-world inflation is between 7% and 10% in category after category, official inflation is logged at 2% or less.

The Rest…HERE

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