Running Downhill (2011-03-13 in Thoughts)
It is sad to see how more and more houses become empty, with a sign “For Sale”, waiting to be occupied again.
We could compare the economy of a society with walking. When times are complicated and the economy is bad for the majority, it’ll be like walking uphill -lots of efforts to cover very little ground.
But for the past several decades in the US the economy was at continuous growth, becoming a slight but increasing downhill walk for the people.
“Only a slight amount of energy is required to get in motion when walking in a flat, level surface. Once in motion, the amount of energy required is even smaller”
By the simplification and increased efficiency in many areas of work by the companies leading the economy, more and more was imposed the “learn at the job” structure and mentality. It worked well for several decades, but the price tag is a society that doesn’t consider or even hold, the need for a strict and pushing educational system.
“A downhill walk requires us to reduce the amount of energy applied in order to remain in motion. Less energy to acquire the same original intended result”
By consuming, thus generating movement in the market, the economic growth became independent of the production needs. A system that feed itself in its own circular motion, based in buying and discarding to buy more. The temptation of reaching dreams by credit became the flag and promotional tactics of corporations in search for bigger profits.
“Walking in a downhill, taking more and more ground at a faster speed becomes a temptation due to the very small amount of energy required”
Having the possibility of acquiring more and expensive items no longer was a privilege of the wealthy. Every one with a decent credit could “afford” by credit the possession of luxury items that would reinforce his/her image and self esteem.
“At first, gaining speed and covering more ground faster becomes intoxicating and motivating for having more”
By the time momentum has been gained, the elements of luxury became a standard need, rather than the luxury they suppose to be. The need for reaching then the next step became the norm in a cycle repeating itself time and time again.
But the economic system, relying in the continuous movement of a circular process of consuming, like a wheel spinning faster and faster until it reaches speeds that set it out of control, started to fall apart, disintegrating the basis of the economic system.
“Running downhill then becomes scary and the realization for the need of slowing down to a safer speed takes in”
The level of expenses incurred in became too much for the capabilities of the transforming economic system, so people had to adjust to new standards already forgotten, or simply considered “sub-standard”.
The amount of credit taken, based in an economic system that didn’t suppose to change, created a burden on people living at a dreamed social level. But credit incurred in (mortgage, car payments, etc) couldn’t be discarded so easily.
“Running downhill we realize we are going too fast for safety, but it’s too late to regain control, and only the attempt of just not falling while running scared by the situation is the only option”
The once high life by credit became a continuous struggle for survival. Deterioration of the luxury elements by not being able to renew as often as the economic system suggested, became the first signs of the end of the party, the awakening from the dream.
From then on, for many it has become just a continuous fight to remain “alive” financially, not knowing when the personal situation will finally collapse, and throw them into the unknown.
“Running downhill at an uncontrollable speed, waiting for the moment were we know we will fall and get badly hurt, but also know it’ll be the only way to stop this runaway situation. We just don’t want to face the moment, so we keep trying harder to keep up, until we succumb by exhaustion and total lack of control”