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U.S. private employers shed 693,000 jobs in December, up sharply from the revised 476,000 jobs lost in November and far more than economists estimated, a report by ADP Employer Services said on Wednesday.

The above translates as 1 million 160 thousand Americans lost their jobs according to current official stats, just in the last 2 months.  As normally these days these figures get revised a month or two later, upwards, we can figure it was somewhat more.  That’s on top of the I think it was 2 million in the previous 11 months.  It’s just starting.

For a bit of plain lingo insight on what happened on Wall Street, K-Street, and in a rather different manner of “trickle down” economics and ethics, see The End of the Financial World as We Know It, which just might be more aptly titled as The Ends of the Financial World as We Know It, since when all is said and done, it is unlikely that the fundamentals of Wall Street are likely to change significantly: gonna get as much for #1 as possible and devil take the hindmost.

Back in my/our little corner of the world, a friend in Chicago just today sent me a notice he’d received from the Berlin Film Festival Market, letting it be known that there’d be a lot fewer folks showing “product” and surely fewer buyers to survey the stuff.  Hotel bookings are down in Berlin and surely almost everywhere else in the world except Washington DC for Jan 20th and around that time.  To say our little fiscal roller coaster is in a heavy-duty dip.   The so-called “markets” as symbolized by Wall Street welcomed the new year with a tiny rally, which now looks, if Asian markets today provide a hint of NY’s tomorrow, another swift downward zip.

Meanwhile in that cultural vortex of a particularly unhappy sector of the world, the nexus of one text and the arguments of 3 differing cults over it, once again spills over into violence and death:  in Gaza, a little strip of land some 15 miles by 3 to 5 miles wide (mostly the skinnier), occupied by 1.5 million Palestinians subjected to a long enforced debilitating embargo, Israel, in retaliation for rocket attacks which have killed about 20 people in the past years, has made a major attack by air and land, with thus far 600+ dead.  Israel hopes to delete Hamas, the democratically elected (to the cheers of George W. Bush), and formerly the invention of none other than Israel to counter Fatah.  It will, as did W with his illegal and illogical invasion of Iraq, merely produce more suicide bombers for the future.  It seems likely this action was taken to hamstring any changing US stance with the incoming Obama administration.

Obama, following the advice of numerous economists, plans to run the government printing presses at ultra-speed, cranking up a 1.2 trillion deficit for the coming year to concoct myriad ways to pump money into the universe’s biggest ever Ponzi scheme, otherwise known as the US economy since circa 1970 or so.  Since then it’s been a vortex of ever accelerating debt, and now we’re in a hole so deep we don’t really know where we are.   However, being US, the Pogo folks, the idea that we might, pressed against the doodoo so hard, stop and reflect just what it all means, is out of the question.  So, following the advice of those economists, and the path of least resistance, the idea is to pump in zillions of bucks and get us to resume consuming so this particular world continues to go ’round, or at least until the idiot logic of capitalism has destroyed the world.  What, us stop and think maybe hyper-consumption, gotta gotta gotta, is maybe not the right way?  American workaholics carefully trained in Pavlovian behaviors, ain’t gonna be happy unless I gotta gotta gotta have another gizmo, iSelf, whatever, are gonna stop and reflect that maybe there’s other ways to live and organize the world?  Not until we’re so deep in our own shit that that’s the only feedback we have left:  eat shit and you die.  We’re eating already, but didn’t notice.

Unfortunately this mad printing, which will perhaps temporarily alleviate the worst symptoms of a full-scale economic depression, will do nothing to cope with the real problem or the long term psychological depression that our current cultural values bring on.  For example, why does our culture need so many (corporate-made and patented, with high profit margins) drugs to keep us going?  Doesn’t take a genius to figger that one out.

One Comment

  1. Great post. It’s important people keep being reminded of the sheer number of people loosing their jobs. I’m one of the seemingly few people who believe we’re heading towards a global recession, or at the very least a Japanese style 15 yr recession. I very much hope I’m wrong, but I guess by being pessimistic (realistic?) I can only be pleasantly surprised!

    “…the idea is to pump in zillions of bucks and get us to resume consuming so this particular world continues to go ’round, or at least until the idiot logic of capitalism has destroyed the world.”

    – Lol, absolutely right! As Marx made clear about 140 years ago, it’s within the capitalist systems nature to go into crisis every so often (no one being able to to tell when) and suddenly and relies on constant movement. Each crisis creates a slow down, compounding the whole issue. I guess the best thing that could come out of a major economic crisis would be that more people realise they want to get off the ride as they’re not truly benefiting materially or spiritually. Sadly, the last time things got very bad, the ruling capitalist classes allowed powerful forces to exploit scapegoats and move a number of European countries towards facism.

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