Economic Obesity With Resource Cancer – While Going Over a Cliff

(How about THAT for a title!)

Change is difficult. It brings uncertainty and fear. It requires extra thought and concentration. It brings decisions that have uncertain outcomes. And, it happens when you hit a limit. But, what if  you choose to ignore those limits and press on with your current course?

The result is always pain (and eventually, death).

A Weight Gain Example

Let’s take diet as an example of what we are talking about. For most of us, when we grow older, our metabolism declines, and we start to accumulate fat. For the purposes of comparison, we could call this ‘hitting our metabolic limits’. If we do not reduce our consumption of food we will become more and more overweight and eventually die (or, at the very least, suffer adverse health effects).

Changing our diets to accommodate a reduced metabolism is difficult. It often causes discomfort. It requires extra thought. It requires making different choices. But, it is a lot easier than the alternative.

I know this one personally. It is so much harder to become thin, than it is to stay thin. It would be far, far better (and healthier) to train my eating habits to stay within my limits – than to undergo the strain of weight reduction. (Unfortunately, I really, really like cheeseburgers.)

A Credit Card Example

Have any of you ever had to pay off a big credit card bill?

Not easy, right?

Think of how much easier it would have been to live within your means, and pay with cash. Think of the extra interest that you paid to the bank, instead of keeping it for yourself.

And, if you choose not to pay off your debts?

It could ruin your life.

Can you think of other examples? I can. We could go on for hours like this, but let’s get to the point.

Economic Limits

Our economy hit its limits in 2008, and we chose to ignore those limits and power ahead, pouring more and more debt into our economic engine. We printed more money. We rescued the banks. We bailed out big businesses. We did everything except examine the limits we stumbled over in 2008.

Would you believe that there really is a limit to how many houses we can build, without buyers to buy them?

Would you believe that there really is a limit to how much private and public debt we can accumulate, without GDP to pay for it?

Would you believe that there’s a limit to how much government we can support, without a growing and productive tax base?

We hit those limits in 2008. But, instead of allowing the economy to reset, we chose to overshoot those limits and power ahead. We chose the insane choice of doing MORE of the same and expecting a different result.

Resource Limits

But, those economic limits obscure a far more lethal problem – resource limits.

We’re like the poor guy dying from cancer who thinks that all of his problems are due to obesity. Yes, we are obese, but our biggest problem is cancer.

If we had allowed our economy to ‘reset’ in 2008, it would have hurt. But, it also would have uncovered a fundamental problem with resources that we could have started to address.

Instead, we chose to increase spending and increase debt, which also caused us to continue our ravenous consumption of limited resources (i.e., cancer).

This means that there is going to be a deadly change in resource availability. What could have been a manageable slope downward in resource availability is rapidly becoming a cliff.

You do NOT want to go over that cliff.

Are you ready for this?

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