Sunday, March 11, 2012


The "mileuristas" (those young people that earn one thousand euros a month), or the "nimileuristas" (those that don't even earn that much) blame "others" for the excesses that have now condemned them to a very high unemployment rate, low salaries and limited prospects to improve in the near future.  In Spain, with the unemployment rate for young people hovering around 50%, even the nimileuristas are among the lucky ones.  However, when they talk about excesses they mainly have in their mind economic excesses.  They still don't make the connection that the real excesses of the past 200 years have been environmental, more than just economic ones.  In the past, the Earth was so big with respect to the global economy that all economic systems essentially regarded it as infinite and thus all economic issues were just economic issues.  Not anymore.  Today the global economy is as big, or maybe even bigger than the planet itself.  The result is that there will not be any more economic growth in a global scale.  Maybe some countries might have spurts of growth (while others shrink) but globally, economic growth is over.  Government leaders and economists (20th Century economists, that's it) are puzzled no end that in spite of all the "stimulus" spending, low interest rates, bailout after bailout of Greece, and all other conventional economic measures to jump start the economy, the "recovery" just doesn't materialize.
And it won't happen.  Things will only get worse before they... get even worse.  Let's face it: economic growth on a global scale is over.  
It's going to take some time for governments, economists and the people in general to accept this new reality.  Things are thus going to get ugly in the short term in many places.  People are going to blame the government (incumbents all over the world will continue to get replaced just like it has been happening at an accelerated pace sine 2008), the "one percent", the Jews, what have you... but the fact is that through our irresponsible past economic growth (and in China they are still embarked in the most irresponsible economic growth ever) we have essentially reached the physical limits of planet Earth.  The "indignados" and "occupy" movements will look extremely mild in comparison with the social unrest that is coming our way.
We have reached the day of reckoning.  Our material expectations have to be tamed and tamed fast.  Our children and specially grandchildren will have a much more limited economic outlook.
On the other hand, it doesn't mean happiness has to suffer.  No, if we reduce our expectations to something very, very modest, then anything we receive will be a real gift.
It was good while it lasted, but we have entered a new stage in humanity: an era of vastly reduced expectations; an era of zero economic growth.

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At 1:45 AM, Blogger Annette Engelsgaard said...

Well said !


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