Balance is a central tenet of Buddhism, foundational to the four noble truths and the eight-fold way. Balance is a superb notion and I strongly support, for individuals at least, balance, moderation, and many other principles of Buddhism. Indeed, had Buddhism found roots in this country a couple hundred years ago, we probably would have avoided, or at least delayed, the series of catastrophes we now face. But with fewer than one percent of the American population dedicated to Buddhism, it’s a little late for balance and moderation to work their magic at the scale of this country, much less planet Earth.
I’m going to ramp up the Speculator™ with this post, notwithstanding the pathetic failure of my short-term prediction for the week just ended. Seems all my wishful thinking won’t push the teetering industrial economy over the cliff. I’m sure there’s a lesson here, but — in classic American style — I’ll pretend there’s not.
While I’m developing a post about the ongoing decline into negative territory beyond Hubbert’s Peak, today’s brief post satisfies two purposes: (1) shameless self-promotion, and (2) short-term prediction.
The many miles and frequent pauses reveal to any sentient animal the sheer lunacy of the living arrangements we’ve built for ourselves. Within the span of a couple generations, we abandoned a durable, finely textured, life-affirming set of living arrangements characterized by self-sufficient family farms intermixed with small towns that provided commerce, services, and culture. Worse yet, we traded that model for a coarse-scaled arrangement wholly dependent on ready access to cheap fossil fuels. Then we ratcheted up the madness to rely on businesses that use, almost exclusively, a warehouse-on-wheels approach to just-in-time delivery of unnecessary devices designed for rapid obsolescence and disposal.
The next case of $120 oil, assuming we get there before the industrial economy falls into the abyss, will be brutal for an already over-stretched American consumer. Banks are falling like dominoes on a mule cart over the bumpy terrain of declining energy supplies. When will the lights go out?
It’s rally time on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a positive day for the eighth day in a row to hit a year-long high amidst the longest streak since April of 2007. Before you get too excited about this bit of green-shoots news from the boys on murderer’s row, let’s consider the cause and consequences.