#30 – The Disintegration of the American Economy

Economic man dominates, even though for years research has been able to show that he has very little to do with reality.  –Katrine Marcal

Economics is far from an exact science but the principles of Simple Reality must still be applied there. Meredith Crowley an authority on international trade at the University of Cambridge in England understands the importance of unity in avoiding the problematic issues unfolding on our planet today. “You would need all of these countries to agree on those issues, which requires a tremendous amount of cooperation and trust.”  (1)  Crowley has just referred, consciously or not, to the principle of Oneness which reveals that all of the world’s economies are interrelated, interdependent and interconnected.

Our current president (2018), although he fancies himself a businessman, fails to grasp the importance of globalization in building “cooperation and trust.” Instead, his policy agenda is fragmenting an already shattered human community. “Now Trump himself might be O.K. with large-scale deglobalization. But as we’ve seen, his beloved stock market hates the idea, and with good reason: Businesses have invested heavily on the assumption that a closely integrated global economy is here to stay, and a trade war would leave many of those investments stranded.”  (2)  This is the analysis of award-winning economist Paul Krugman.

Among the Americans who are going to suffer most from the ignorance of a U.S. Chief-of-State gone rogue will be his supporters in rural America. Trump says that a trade war with the rest of the world would be “easy to win.” Think again oh omniscient one. Because, “a large share of our agricultural production—including almost two-thirds of food grains—is exported.” A tariff-war would obviously be “easy to lose.”

Expressions of human behavior that cause the disintegration of the human community are caused by the fear generated by the security energy center of the false-self survival strategy. The American city that serves well as a metaphor for those self-destructive behaviors is New York. “‘The tip of the tongue that laps up the cream of the commerce of a continent’ was how Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. described the New York money center of his day.”  (3)  In short, it is fear-driven greed that is preventing the creation of a sustainable human community.

Mehrsa Baradaran, a University of Georgia law professor, supports our theme of the dangers of a disintegrating world economy in her book How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy. “Baradaran argues persuasively that the banking industry, fattened on public subsidies (including too-big-to-fail bailouts), owes low-income families a better deal. She recounts the slow but steady demise of ‘banks with souls’—the community-based banks and credit unions that have been displaced by larger institutions better positioned to take advantage of economies of scale. The six largest banks in the United States, she notes, now hold almost 70 percent of all the assets in the financial system.”  (4)

Forget the “trigger” words that tend to cause fear-driven emotional reactions; words like globalization, socialism, immigration, integration, trade agreements, trade imbalance, race, etc. Among the key words that our species must come to profoundly understand and which can provide the foundation for a sustainable economic community are integration and disintegration. We are one human community and one economic community, it’s that simple.

Insight # 30:  The principle of Oneness calls for the integration of the world’s peoples and gives the lie to perceived fundamental differences of any kind including the illusion of religious differences.

Links:

References:

  1. Goodman, Peter. “In Getting Tough on Chinese Trade, Trump Risks Alienating Allies.” The New York Times. March 23, 2018, page A10.
  2. Krugman, Paul. “The Art Of the Flail.” The New York Times. April 6, 2018, A23.
  3. Heller, Benjamin. “Banking for the Few.” The New York Times Book Review. October 11, 2015, page 14.
  4. Folbre, Nancy. “And the Many.” The New York Times Book Review. October, 11, 2015, page 14.

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