It’s the Economy, Stupid!

Yes, whenever I consider the economy I feel stupid. There’s not a lot of economic theory that makes any sense to me. There are many that argue on the positive side of immigration, for instance, for economic reasons. The rationale seems to be that ever increasing population is good for the economy. They say our whole system is based on ever increasing demand for goods – more people leads to a greater need for goods, which leads to more production, increasing jobs and general happiness.

I think back to when I was in elementary school and the shocking news then was that the world’s population was about three and a half billion people. Back then you could buy a house in Vancooler for about ten thousand dollars. These days it’s estimated the Earth has about seven and a half billion people and a modest house in Vancooler now costs over a million dollars. Obviously the demand part of the theory has been working overtime. Ordinary folks can no longer afford to buy a house in Vancooler, and most young people wonder who is making that kind of money. Are there really that many drug lords and millionaire investors from HonKonged living in Vancooler?

I heard some population expert on a program the other day saying, in passing, that there’s an expectation that population growth will level off. I was left wondering how that was going to happen. Are more people suddenly going to have less children or is there an expectation that the grim reaper is sharpening the scythe in a way that hasn’t been seen since the good old days during the black plague?

Well, the Earth is more or less the same size as when I was a tadpole and there’s more than twice as many people vying for the same set of resources. Of course we’re getting better at extracting and growing than we did before, but more people means more pressure on living and growing spaces. From my perspective it’s hard to believe that continually increasing population is good for the planet, let alone the economy – at least in the longer run.

The stock market is another place where I can’t seem to find any sense. The basis seems logical; you need money invested to put new ideas or products into reality. Investors fork out money and make big returns when it goes well and lose their shirts when it doesn’t. But if you watch the market you’ll see it rising and falling faster than a toilet lid’s placement, and with very little to justify the change.

And what is it about our economic theory that has resulted in so much wealth concentrated into the hands of so few? When I was small, people used to laugh at the ‘banana republics’ of South ‘Murica, where 3% of the population owned 97% of everything in their country. Here in North ‘Murica we had a middle class that bulged. I guess that was bad, because our current economic theories evidently decided that we needed a diet. The result is that North ‘Murica is growing ever closer to outdoing even the old banana republics, spurred by the ‘trickle down’ theory. You remember – Ronnie Raygun (former GHIT) of ‘Murica, convinced voters that if you enact policies that completely favor the filthy rich, there will eventually be a small yellow trickle coming down from on high onto the heads of the rest of us. This new theory still seems to have lots of supporters as we continue electing politicians that are devoted to fueling the race to see what lucky billionaire will become the world’s first trillionaire, while the rest of us watch prices spiral higher and faster than any increase in our wages.

Ronald Rump, the Grand Hight Imperial Twitterbug (the GHIT) of ‘Murica, argues that illegal immigration is bad because the only people that want to leave their own countries are the bad hombres, rapists and drug lords (if only the indigenous population of North ‘Murica knew that back in 1492). But when I look at the places people are fleeing, I find that the drug lords are already living like kings back home and don’t need to emigrate elsewhere. The rapists and bad hombres seem to be in charge of these countries and are also not among those fleeing. Perhaps the GHIT’s reason is really economic. I know, ‘Murica and Kanadoodle were built on the illegal cast-offs from other countries; the economic losers in their own countries who worked hard for a better life. But times change. Here in Kanadoodle we still welcome immigrants and diversity. We don’t care where they’re from as long as they bring lots of cash with them.

Yes, the economy – you see what I mean about feeling stupid?

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