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Guest Column: A greater depression

July 1, 1993

Guest Column: A greater depression

By Rick A. Lewis

The market crash has already happened. Did anyone blink and miss the worst September since 1937? It would seem so, as people kissed their retirement funds goodbye while investing in new cars at a record pace.

This is just fine, according to government policy which prompts people to consume without heeding debt or savings. If voodoo economics are good enough for big business and the government, then it should be good enough for the average Dick and Jane. But the hypnotism of that economic black magic is wearing off.

Now the layoffs begin. The fat cat corporations have to slim down to maintain their fortunes, and it won’t be their fat they cut. Take the automobile industry, for example—the market is saturated, and it won’t be the executives losing their jobs because of it. And then, when those relatively well-paid auto workers are let go, they will consume less—forcing job cuts in other sectors. The downward spiral of supply and demand becomes rather obvious as workers buy less. This effect spills over into the holiday shopping season and then beyond.

In the high-tech sector, this will cause the type of deflation already seen in Japan and California’s “Silicon Valley.” On the other hand, the price of basic commodities will creep and lurch forward (inflation). This will be due, in no small part, to the ever-dwindling world supply of petroleum. Transportation and industrial “ghost acres” agriculture depend most heavily on this highly versatile gooey, black muck (known as the blood of the Earth to Native Americans). And, since peak production is already behind us—never mind global warming. The primary fuel source of Western civilization is running out and non-renewable.

And consider, in 10 years, the post-war baby boomers will start getting sick and too old to work. The Earth’s average temperature will be one degree higher. Deforestation and desertification will be more widespread. Water will be fought over nearly as much as oil. And consider, in 50 years, your grandchildren.

For more information, please check out www.dieoff.com and Running on Emptiness by John Zerzan.

Rick A. Lewis is a local resident.

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