Saturday, September 27, 2008

There's a market there; don't get me started on the 12 steps

I was talking to my buddy the other day about the ongoing economic melt down in the US.

He pointed out that basically what happened was that people were selling the fact that a large percentage of the US population had no money.

Think about this for a second. Anytime there's a steady supply of something, someone is going to find a way to sell it. Our entire society is built on oil, not because of some kind of conspiracy or swindle, nor is it a result of not caring about the environment (all of which only makes sense if you're looking at history through the warped mirror of hindsight) but we make everything - big E everything - from oil for the sole reason there was so much of it, and for a hundred years it was cheaper than dirt. And I know this through my exhaustive research. They sell soil outside my Loblaws and it looks expensive.

So now for the past ten years or so, in the US there has been more and more poor people clinging to the idea of a middle class lifestyle. That means a mortgage and planning to spend most of your life paying for your home and yard. As people became less and less able to pay for this "rest of your life" lifestyle, finanacial institutions began to cater to this growing market, by accepting their debt and then turning around and selling it. A large amount of wealth was created - billions of dollars - by selling the fact that people had no money.

Anytime you have a supply of something, someone will find a way to make money off of it. Or otherwise exploit it.

A desperate hunger for a moment of celebrity? Reality shows.

A fear of "the other?" Neo-conservatives.

Trees in Canada? The British Empire. (I kid you not. Ask me about it sometime.)

A need for creative validation? Screenwriting contests and self-publishing.

Love? Celebrity perfumes.

Self destructive behaviour? The big L Liberal Party of Canada. (Hey, Stephan Dion. Do you cut?)

Vanity and narcissism? Facebook and meaningless, rambling blogs.

No comments: