HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Economy (Group) » When Collapse Is Cheaper ...

Wed Nov 4, 2015, 09:41 PM

When Collapse Is Cheaper and More Effective Than Reform, Charles Hugh Smith

When Collapse Is Cheaper and More Effective Than Reform
November 5, 2015

Collapse begins when real reform becomes impossible.

We all know why reforms fail: everyone whose share of the power and money is being crimped by reforms fights back with everything they've got.

Reforms that can't be stopped by the outright purchase of politicos are watered down in committee, and loopholes wide enough for jumbo-jets of cash to fly through are inserted.

The reform quickly becomes "reform"--a simulacrum that maintains the facade of fixing what's broken while maintaining the Status Quo. Another layer of costly bureaucracy is added, along with hundreds or thousands of pages of additional regulations, all of which add cost and friction without actually solving what was broken.

The added friction increases the system's operating costs at multiple levels. Practitioners must stop doing actual work to fill out forms that are filed and forgotten; lobbyists milk the system to eradicate any tiny reductions in the flow of swag; attorneys probe the new regulations for weaknesses with lawsuits, and the enforcing agencies add staff to issue fines.

None of this actually fixes what was broken; all these fake-reforms add costs and reduce whatever efficiencies kept the system afloat. Recent examples include the banking regulations passed in the wake of the 2008 meltdown and the ObamaCare Afforable Care Act (ACA).



It's a bit disconcerting to say the least, but I fear, collapse is going to become another "normal" since what we have on way too many levels and in way too many cornerstones of our lives is in dire need of reform. When huge corporations and banks can play the system, knowingly disregard law, knowing all too well, what they will face at worst will be fines, nothing more. I'd have to say I'm very much in agreement that it may be cheaper to build anew. Collapse, a word that we may come to appreciate rather than fear. I don't ever remember a time so volatile. The mere thought that collapse might be the better of two possibilities, with two roads before us, this blog "Of Two Minds" becomes almost prophetic. Read the article and see if you agree. Is real reform impossible?

8 replies, 2152 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply When Collapse Is Cheaper and More Effective Than Reform, Charles Hugh Smith (Original post)
mother earth Nov 2015 OP
Demeter Nov 2015 #1
mother earth Nov 2015 #2
Hotler Nov 2015 #3
DemReadingDU Nov 2015 #4
Punx Nov 2015 #5
antigop Nov 2015 #6
magical thyme Nov 2015 #7
mother earth Nov 2015 #8

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 07:27 AM

1. Real Reform is happening


It is a generational thing. This reform is the second wave. The first wave was triggered by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and damped down by the FDR new Deal reforms. That's 30 years!

Now that TPTB have eliminated and canceled most of FDR's reforms and are still working on Social Security and Medicare, we have Bernie.

Bernie is the Second Coming of FDR, in response to the Second Great Depression (although nobody officially calls it that) of 2001, 2008, and continuing....

and while I am hoping it won't take 30 years (thanks to the Internet), I cannot guarantee faster results, sorry!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Demeter (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:10 AM

2. Bernie is indeed our FDR, and while I do agree this is our 2nd GD, real reform will take place

only once we have him nominated and elected, two things that are not yet in place.
Everything relies on that.

I daresay TPTB will hold on to power as tightly and as long as they are able to.

We need real reform, and we do need Bernie Sanders in order to accomplish that. It won't happen any other way.
We have lots to accomplish to set that in motion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 08:22 AM

3. I do not think reform will happen unless....

we the people take to the streets by the thousands fighting mad. Revolutions are not pretty, they are nasty and ugly, but it is the only way to purge this country from the shit stains at the top. (TPTB)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Hotler (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 09:28 AM

4. Desperate people do desperate things

People generally are not desperate, yet

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Hotler (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:26 AM

5. Unfortunately

I think things are going to have to get much worse before they get better. Too many brainwashed and clueless people who will need to have every last thing taken from them before they wake up. For instance, my right-wing coworker is complaining about her rent increase, after losing her home to a bank.

Hope I'm wrong.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Punx (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 5, 2015, 10:54 AM

6. I've been saying that for some time...things will get a lot worse before they get better.

There are still too many people who

1)benefit from the status quo
2) have not been harmed (yet)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to mother earth (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 01:11 PM

7. collapse is ongoing and global...


one individual, one family, one community at a time.

Those who resist reform are comfortably status quo; not yet touched by collapse.
Those who want reform are losing status quo benefits, and touched by the collapse they see around and closing in on them.
Those who have already collapsed have long since ceased to exist to the status quo.

Reform will mitigate the collapse, but not reverse it.

We are in population overshoot. Earth cannot support the status quo with current population levels. Nothing will stop the collapse. Best to embrace it if you can, and, to quote the Archdruid, beat the rush.

I'm down to cleaning up my garage and barn, and then my mini-farm goes on the market and I start looking for a new p/t job to supplement SS. If I'm able to sell in time, before the next leg of the housing crash, I'll be able to pay off student loans and do my likely final big downsize to a place where I will be able to grow more food and need less utilities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to magical thyme (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 6, 2015, 07:45 PM

8. I think Demeter is right about this being the second great depression & will be acknowledged as such

many years from now. I think it's hurting people in various ways, thank you for sharing your story, magical thyme. The new normal is really about what's hitting everyone on a personal level, the bigger collapses have started with big businesses we thought would be around forever, that are now drastically downsizing or folding altogether. All of this taking place while the l%. the wealthiest are thriving and becoming more powerful and wealthier. Assets are at yard sale prices for them, globally.

It seems like we are at a crossroads with the upcoming election, and Sanders 2016 is more crucial than ever.

You may not know it, but Michael Hudson describes your story as the way things are headed, with people resorting to becoming more sustainable and off the grid as much as they can be since it's something they can count on. It's all predictable, but we are the ones living it.

So many lives are on hold, generations of lives, really. Older people put off retirement, those who are retired are forced to work part time to make ends meet, younger people put off marriage, buying a home, car, etc., so many have taken on debt with the hope it would somehow pay off.

TY for sharing, I hope you are successful in your plans and find your way, I hope it's a better life than the one you thought you wanted. Sometimes detours can be that way, I hope it is for you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread