Down the tubes. That is where we are headed, and that is the message embedded in this recent CNN Money piece about the US reaching its debt ceiling. As of late, I’ve become increasingly intrigued about the inner workings (or failures) of our financial system. To pick it apart in its entirety requires advanced degrees in finance for certain, but at a rudimentary level, its not so different than managing one’s personal finances.
The financial complexity that has evolved since the start of our country came about through a creative means to leverage assets to increase purchasing power for increased ‘economic growth opportunities’…i.e the ‘opportunity’ to go into more debt. And as the world turns here in the US, we thrive on excess, and haven’t been afraid to spend, spend, spend for our wants – without a balanced assessment of our actual needs. Because of this drive to ‘want’, our needs are now compromised, and we are subject to a severely threatening level of risk. Our (the US’) creditors – other countries – are facing the realities that they may not be paid back in a timely fashion, or possibly not in full.
What happens to you and I when we default on a credit card, loan, or mortgage payment? Well, our credit goes bad; then if we don’t fix things fast, assets can be frozen or repossessed, and our entire lives fall to the mercy of someone else. This would be detrimental to the US and our future as a free country.
We’ve been in a critical state for years, and things like the housing crisis are just indicators – they are not the end of the mess. Who is responsible? All of us…for thinking that more is better, and interpreting the American dream of free enterprise as one of personal greed and selfish intent. And now we’re going to pay for it.
We need some seriously radical change. My message to Congress – face the facts people. Our current system DOES NOT work in nay way shape or form. In fact, it is the root of our problem. But, we have an opportunity to make change in this country. We need to look to a new future – one with frugal habits, a holistic relationship with our environment and each other, and capitalize on a greener (and bluer) innovation global economy…and we need to keep it here at home.
How to start from scratch? Well, we need to look at the Planet in its entirety and find the unsought niches…it’s obvious to me – these are underwater, where 95% of life on this Planet thrives, and 0% of humanity has settled. Frontiers await my friends, and the time is now…