Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Foot In the Grave

What on Earth Will It Take” is a question posed by a recent film produced and released by Foster and Kimberly Gamble. It’s the question paralyzing so many these days. Institutional and private money managers are beyond caring about return. They just want to know if a currency is going to be around tomorrow, next week, or next month. Unemployed and under-employed hear politicians tell them to get a job as though that’s a novel idea that hadn’t occurred to them as they were out golfing at the club. Peace activists call for an end to the military and the industrial complex feeding its yawning jaws while offering no solution to the fact that such an end would expand unemployment by over 20%. Occupites demand equitable economic power distribution without realizing that the object of their derision (albeit many would love a bit more money in their own pockets) is but one tired illusion in the overall scheme of wealth.

Tragically, the solutions that are promoted – End the Fed; Cut the Military; Shrink Government; Stimulate Employment – all are both structurally ill-conceived and untenably amorphous to the point of convincing many to give up because there’s nothing that an individual can do. Beyond the obvious impotence felt by the average citizen when encouraged to dismantle vaunted institutions, these suggestions are so outlandish that they actually lessen the resolve of individuals to engage in transformative acts. More egregiously, these recommendations are utilizing the very Keynesian tools (when fueled by consumerism) that architected our current quagmire.

We don’t need to ‘End the Fed’. We need to discontinue our use and abuse of debt as the primary means of transacting value. Actively promoting geopolitical, social and economic justice reduces our actual and perceived threats. After all, when the Goldman Sachs structured, World Bank-endorsed mineral and energy resource heists lead to sovereign indebtedness and domestic unrest, it’s our 401(k) and investment plans that are fueling the violence. Actually researching the companies into which each of you invest and moving your money from tyranny will disarm more conflicts than any placard-carrying marcher has ever done. When Australian apologists like Papua New Guinea’s Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Executive Director Greg Anderson threaten sovereign officials with lies about “foreign investment” fleeing equitable resource development, where is the Australian government or public outcry for integrity? We need governments that are accountable stewards irrespective of their size. Stimulating employment perpetuates the illusion of a humanity that is fodder for Adam Smith’s productivity illusion. We need purposeful, productive engagement – not anonymous ‘employment’. The inflated illusion of employment fueled property accumulation as a proxy for ‘successful development’ has enslaved the masses to enrich the few.

This blog has been my Sisyphean quest for years to open minds and inquiry into unconsidered topics. Through these posts, I’ve shone the light on several topics that require expanded awareness and action. However none is more important, more central to the core of our systemic crisis than the one that has evaded the attention of most if not all of my readers. And so, while I could expand on all of the topics above ad nauseum, I’m going to take another stab at what I see as the root of our problem – our fear of Death.

Now, having just dismissed ending the Fed or eliminating the military industrial complex as too big a bite to chew without the benefit of Dr. Heimlich, many of you probably just recoiled with the existential impossibility of tackling fear of death. Some of you are probably shouting, “Actually, I think I’ll work on the dismantling of the Fed as that’s more doable than Dave’s silly notion.” You may be right. But hear me out before you jump to that conclusion.

I’m not referring to the cosmological pretzel that enshrouds the hereafter, the there-before, or the ‘whatever’. I’m specifically referring to an innovation that was created by a bunch of cheap Protestant Christians (and I am circumspect of maligning the term with a capital “C”) in the 18th century who decided to force clergy to call their own bluff by taking smaller salaries in life with the assurance that a ‘widows and orphans’ fund would be established to care for their loved ones after they were ‘called up yonder’. This ecumenical poker bluff lead to the creation of life insurance. Not by accident, the collusion between the hell-fire preachers of the post-Civil War revival heartland and the emergence of life insurance was a match made in…, well, let’s see. What’s the adage? “By their fruits you shall know them.” And it was Life Insurance – yes that ‘investment’ you are encouraged to make so that you don’t stiff your family in death with your over-expenditures and indebtedness in life – that was the DIRECT JUSTIFICATION and ANIMATING MANDATE for the creation of the Federal Reserve.

As I’ve pointed out on many occasions, 30 year debt, the hallmark of our debt currency, was thusly termed not because a Charlton Heston character descended from a mountain with tablets engraved with this sacred duration. No, 30 years was the productive life expectancy of a laborer for whom life insurance was justification to swindle people’s income to line the pockets of folks in New York and Connecticut. And, since the ‘risk’ of insuring had an actuarial table that expired with your productive life – 30 years – an inventory of investments needed to be created to park the money. It’s no accident that the founding shareholders of Reserve Corporation were LIFE INSURERS, not solely the exclusive, shadowy, nefarious New World Order bankers (sorry to all the Rothschild Bank of England provocateurs) so many seem to think are at the root of the tree of the knowledge of evil. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that there aren’t overlaps in ‘interlocking directorates’ as they were called but, let’s face it. It would make more sense to ‘Occupy’ Greenwich, CT and Metropolitan Life than it would to harass Wall Street brokers with over-priced lattes. And who is calling out the brokers of pre-destination and its evil demonic minion, eternal damnation? Oh, now did I cross a line with that one? You bet I did and it’s a line that few are willing to discern but many more ought to cross.

You see, if you really want to unravel the noose that is choking our collective economic order, you start by confronting your life… and your death. If you don’t accumulate vast indebtedness, life insurance is largely irrelevant. Yes, this means that you start living (uh oh, here it comes) within your means. If you don’t fall for the siren seduction of ‘tax-deferred pensions’ – that lovely managed account that has lost MORE VALUE being mismanaged by ‘professionals’ than your tax bill could have ever mustered – and actually invest in yourself, your community, and enterprises that you endorse and support, you will find that your present and future are both understandable and manageable. In short, if you simply step into a relationship with your life that doesn’t presume that responsible stewardship means outsourcing your end of life and death you’ll notice a few very important, system altering things. The U.S. Treasury and Fed will have a diminished role. Your investments will follow your values and, in many instances, these will be less likely to support anonymous human rights abuses and injustice that support tyranny and violence. Your communities will become places where your engagement and that of your fellow citizens will reflect your values. And, you just may find that more people find purposeful engagement where their livelihoods are linked to their contribution to value being provided – actual productivity measured with all the dimensionality of integral accounting.

Putting your debt based currency into a credit union is not going to change the world. For the record, your deposit in Wells Fargo or BofA was booked by them as their liability and they weren’t deploying it anyhow. They didn’t use it and holding it for you was not the source of their profits. And, as I’ve reported on numerous occasions, the FDIC is neither insurance nor funded so your money wasn’t safe. Re-aligning your life insurance premium into investments in credit unions, community banks or enterprises aligned to values you hold will actually change your world and THE WORLD. Falling for the tax-deferred illusion will not stabilize your future. It will enrich those who are currently failing to outperform indexes. Investing (money, time, knowledge, technology, commodities, and culture) in communities – both at home and abroad – will render annuities and indices far less relevant. And, by the way, you may not leave hordes for future generations. Guess what? They’ll gain something that few of us have: evidence that humanity can wrestle itself back from the throes of collective destruction. And that, my friends, is something we can all start doing today. We may have to amputate the gangrenous limbs that have atrophied beyond repair, but better that than follow our feet into our insured and certain grave.

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Thank you for your comment. I look forward to considering this in the expanding dialogue. Dave