I am not an economist. Ordinarily I have very little interest in the movement and plunges of world business. The idea that a rising or falling stock market has a serious impact on everyone is absurd. However, the arrogance or panic that these clicking numbers may cause with the public is very real. When people are uncertain about whether tomorrow will come, terrible things are bound to happen.
Why does the stock market not affect us, you may ask me, a smug grin on your face as you marvel at my ignorance. How many of you own stock? Tech stock? Corporate stock? Oil? Mining? Drugs? I understand that several of you probably do, or you have a 401K or any other sublimated pension plan that assures your employer they do not have to pay you after you’re gone. But is this the foundation of your personal wealth? Or is it like a trip to the casino, with the same false pride or compulsive irritation when things don’t go your way? As for the 401K, those investments tend to be in the most essential, stable and everlasting–things that will never go away, will never rise, and barely ever fall. They amount to cash in a low-interest yielding savings account, so long as the bank remains in business.
But we must consider potential disaster. What will happen to me if the market completely collapses (and do not think otherwise, presently, regardless of the recent wild recoveries the Dow Jones Industrial Market has achieved)? A wild fluctuation over just a few days of 2000 points is terrifying, regardless of whichever direction the finally tally takes. Such a zigzag is terrifying. Imagine your heart beating at such an erratic pace. It spells a coming heart attack. Or a stroke. Perhaps even a complete physical shutdown. Why do we believe a man made pressure cooker like speculative investment is any different?
Going back through history (my strong point), I would like to direct you to first 1927, and then 1931. In 1927 corporate greed was at its all-time peak (until today, that is). Money was being pissed into the wind with the expectation of a shit storm of green coming back our way. Wild investments meant either drastic pay-offs or utter ruin. But we were a rich nation, weren’t we? We could afford to gamble. Nothing could possible touch us!
The wealthy investors did not consider the impact their uncertain gambling might have on their employees, or on their customers, their small-time investors, or anyone else who might have had a peripheral connection to the company. But those people were happy, they were making money on risky moves. They would even root the bosses on like a favorite sports team going all the way.
1931. The teams were losing. The stock market had already collapsed due to greed and stupidity. Formerly wealthy people who had tied up their entire fortunes in the clicking time bomb of want versus need, were now bankrupt and leaping out of thirtieth story windows. Add to this an environmental disaster, killing the crops, transforming the heartland of America into dust. Those last few stable products are suddenly off the market. Literally no income is coming in, other than the weapons scattered out to every warring nation in the world. But even the weapons were drying up, because iron and steel became increasingly harder to come by. The munitions factories could no longer afford to pay their workers livable salaries, and this discontent gives rise to radicalized political movements–in the case of 1931 the Communist and Fascist contingents (and fuck you, Dinesh D’Souza–today’s Republicans are not the party of Lincoln–Dinesh presently has yet another revisionist documentary conspiratorial lie in the theaters claiming that Donald Trump is the second coming of Abraham Lincoln, and that the Democrats haven’t changed at all from the segregationist scumbags they used to be. Sure, Democrats are still scumbags, but they have switched ideology, the Republicans now the older Democrats and the Democrats–or liberals–what the party of Lincoln actually was in the 1850s).
All of this background is just stating some parallels we likely have to look forward to. We can call 2018 1928 without any exaggeration. As the year ends and we enter 2019, it seems like we have another 1929 blossoming, ninety years later. Stay away from the fits and gasps of the stock market. Keep a tight eye on your bank account. There is a storm coming, truly. A market so unstable cannot remain liquid. The dam will burst. And social chaos–paranoia and finger-pointing makes us that much more nervous.
It is nearly reckoning day.