“The defining economic challenge of our time is secular stagnation. It is the risk of inadequate growth, leading to inadequate potential, leading to inadequate growth.”—Lawrence H. Summers, former U. S. Treasury secretary, now teaching at Harvard
Summers uses jargon familiar to those who make financial policy, teach at Harvard, and are in process of destroying more of the earth and its people for short-term private profits that guarantee long-term public loss.
Did you know that the signs of systemic breakdown we are experiencing were due to “secular stagnation”? You would have if you majored in the theological economics that are the foundational beliefs sustaining our global place of worship: the Vatican at Wall Street. Heretics understand it as a Ponzi Scheme but that ethnic and criminal sounding title is too close to the truth to be allowed in popular terminology.
Once we understand “secular stagnation” and other philosophic claptrap we can fully accept all gibberish explaining what is, at an ever-quickening pace, murdering greater numbers of people, degrading greater parts of the environment, spreading inequality at a faster pace and causing those who rule to sink into terminal mental disability while increasing physical, mental and moral breakdowns among those they dominate.
The day after our secular god, “the market,” had its biggest stock price increase of the year, it had its biggest stock price decrease of the year. Huh? People who act that way might be diagnosed as bipolar and given drugs, if they were affluent members of the professional class. If only workers or poor people, they would more likely be called deranged and imprisoned. But we have no class system in America. Santa and the Easter Bunny bring us secular stagnation, equally.
A booming market, when stock prices increase and the minority owners gain more wealth, is supposed to cause joy for everyone as that wealth trickles down to the great mass of the people. And when the market busts, as it always does after it booms, the loss also trickles down to that same great mass, who are told we are experiencing a “market correction” and not to worry. There will soon be another boom and there will be more crumbs falling off the tables of the wealthy minority and into the grateful hands, mouths and other body parts of the great majority who patiently wait. Sure.
There are signs that the majority is becoming more impatient and critical which makes the rulers more nervous and they begin saying things like the financial genius quoted at the top. Don’t worry, be happy. It’s just “secular stagnation,” a term beyond your understanding. But those losing their jobs, savings, homes and minds are beginning to understand that there is a system at fault and not, as they’ve been led to believe, their personal shortcomings. This makes the rulers and their servants more likely to kill even more people than usual, while they are rationalizing collective madness as “secular stagnation” and “market corrections” and other assaults on language and logic.
Further signs of structural collapse, both physical and mental, can be seen in the seeming outbreak of abuse upon women, athletes, reporters, whistle-blowers, and more innocent people unlucky enough to have their phones tapped by government or their lives intruded on by gossip pimps.
Highly paid athletes whose work involves physically abusing other highly paid athletes seem to be indulging in abuse of their mates, girlfriends and wives at epidemic rates. Who could have anticipated that rewarding violence might create more violence? Meanwhile more nerdy college students are said to be conducting a collective sexual assault on campus women. Even allowing for overstatement, distortion and the usual twisting of fact into fiction that makes money for corporate media, something terrible is going on here. If the NSA is frightening, what should we think about the invasion of privacy being conducted by non-governmental sources which make viral the innermost conduct and behavior of people being filmed, recorded, taped and photographed by devices either wielded by their mates or the paparazzi or public eavesdroppers supposedly fighting crime but often helping in its creation. Or maybe this is just “free speech”?
An allegedly liberal administration is assaulting those trying to report on government overstepping its bounds and has gone so far beyond the Bush gang of conservatives that so-called progressives are looking more like fascists. Freedom of the press?
So we have the current CEO of American capital threatening to “degrade and destroy” the latest alleged menace to Americans, as we watch that menace win more victories and control more territory despite our multi-trillion dollar military power killing, destroying and degrading all the wrong things, people and places. Hatred grows for all of us, the threat of terror—originally the rationale for slaughtering tens of thousands all over the Middle East—increases almost exponentially, and the CEO is thought to be a savior of freedom by a minority of those waiting for the crumbs to fall from the tables of wealth, while another minority, even more distant from reality, thinks the CEO of capital is a socialist or communist who means to take what little they have and give it to someone else.
Neither minority understands that it’s all due to “secular stagnation.” They are poorly informed and often tragically misinformed, but they are not stupid. That makes the rulers even more nervous.
While some claim that something called black power is destroying something called the white race, young black men are regularly shot and killed by the police and vigilantes for suspicion of being young black men. The first group is genuinely powerless and alienated enough to believe almost anything it is told, while the second is far more alienated and powerless while subject to the same rule of “secular stagnation” that makes both extremes sadly equal in one important area: being powerless against their social, political and economic rulers.
They, and we, will remain so as long as we swallow the foreign policy propaganda that has us up in arms and fear over apparitions and created monsters, and especially the economic fanaticism that rationalizes everything by calling capitalism’s collapsing reality a simple matter of “secular stagnation.”