I just read the Vierte Berliner Rede (4th Berlin speech) of the German Federal President Horst Köhler. It answered some of my questions regarding global economic foundations and principles of function, but only some. I’ll elaborate here on some stuff that I got inspired to when reading that speech.

Köhler said that all industrial nations where national debt increased in times of increasing welfare are nations where all the people lived beyond their means. He called national debt a draft on the future: something that has to be paid back by future generations. (And I would add: either by state bankruptcy with its negative bye-effects on economy, by inflation or by indeed paying the debts.) Köhler gave a cool and simple explanation of what national debt means. But to me, at least one question remains:

Calling national debt a draft on the future hides the fact that this money got distributed as salaries in the whole nation. The naive judgment would be that people profited from national debt by either getting the stuff the state bought (streets, schools, unemployment benefit, …) and / or salary for working for the state.

A basic creed of our economic system is: the needs of man are infinite, but the means to fulfill them are finite. That should be rather: the greed of man is infinite, and the means to fulfill his greed are finite. But the needs of man are finite, and the means to fulfill his needs are infinite. How that? Because the world is full of ever-renewing resources like fresh water, wood, energy from the sun etc.. These resources are enough to give a mankind of limited size what it needs, for all eternity long (i.e. at least 5 billion years, as our sun will last as long).

Need is a wish that’s justified, while greed is a wish that is not objectively justified. Wanting water, food, protection, social community, a nice workplace and health is justified, as this is what human nature needs. Nature can afford all this for us all, and even adds bonus on top of that. As nature is made by a God who gives freely and richly to all. But wanting to be mightier than all other people, or to own a luxury ship, or to jet around the world all life long is greed: it’s motivated by a defective mind in the sense that it lacks something very basic (some say, God) that it tries to cover up by materialism. In terms of need, greed can be recognized by the fact that somebody owns something that he cannot peruse: a billionaire can never use his ship to the extent that a travel business can use theirs. The sad thing here is: potential welfare is lost here, as it’s lost wherever a resource is not used to its full potential, that is, wherever something is bought that is not needed. That way, greed takes the resources that other people on the planet need (and causes poverty), and that future generations need (as in the case of oil, coal etc.). Put another way round, greed can be recognized by the fact that nature could not provide this stuff to all people. Luxury is not necessarily greed, as I said above that nature adds a bonus. But wanting excessive luxury, on the cost of the current and future generations, is greed.

Now, back to the national debts and the financial crisis. The problem is that both the state and individuals were able to utilize the money system to fulfill their greed. That’s possible because of credits (as a general option, or, because of way too much volume for credits). A credit means that money can go where it does not fulfill people’s needs, just because it fulfills the business owners’ and / or money owners’ greed by means of the rate of return. With every share of an automotive business, shareholder accepted over-production just because they got their rate of return.

Put another way round, credits increase the speed of economy. Without credits (or with credits only for very special cases), the speed would be way slower: companies would have to be in business for decades and save money before they can build their own building. But every company that is in business while having debts did increase the speed of economy beyond what’s sound and healthy. Unhealthy speed means “freedom without personal responsibility” (to use Köhler’s words), and this is enabled by credits. Now, we need to ask, if money is just a means of value exchange, who did give the credits to companies, and that way enabled them to build up an unhealthy economy that fulfills our greed (but not even our needs, e.g. our social needs, because we work way too much). The answer: in industrial nations, the value comes from the millions of small and big investors, of people like you and me, who deposit their money at a bank, in shares or in a fund, to gain from the rate of return. These people allowed others the freedom to use their money without any responsibility, i.e. they gave the might that’s associated with money away, which led others to concentrate that might by means of credits!

So, basically, the economy’s crisis is the fault of a greedy public. People wanted a rate of return just for their money, without being personally responsible for what’s done with the money. They were too lazy to move its ass for a rate of return. Ok, many have worked for the money they saved (ironically, in a company that probably lives on credits itself). But the next step would have been to found an own zero-debt business that ethically tries to fulfill the need of people, and refuses to fulfill greed.

One of the things, that the current so-called “world-wide economic crisis” teaches, is this. That this world is a brutal one, where every nation thinks of its own first. Crisis time makes it obvious, while good times conceal it.

For example: the media represents that we in Germany are currently worried about ourselves. And our allies in the EU and overseas, but only because we think that it’s easier to go through crisis together. We care about saving our car industry and the financial sector … .

But a plenty of nations is in much worse a crisis for decades. Nearly all of sub-Saharan Africa, for example. And we simply don’t care any more. Not that we really did before, but now it’s obvious. We let Africa die from AIDS, poverty and corruption, and care to secure our own wealth, blessings they never had. That’s brute. Which does not mean that there’s an obvious better alternative (spreading efforts all over the world is in danger of just going phut). But its brute nonetheless.

I dunno who they are, I don’t even like their music or the YouTube live videos of this song. I jus’ found these catchy lyrics by them on a blog that I read. They seem to really understand about geekyness! Which is something very rare, and a geek’s solace. Here they go:

Wir sind Helden – The Geek

Bist du zu schlau
Um nicht unangenehm aufzufallen?
Und nicht schön genug
Um damit durchzukommen?

Weißt du genau
Wie es ist, immer rauszufallen?
Nur nicht weit genug
Um woanders anzukommen?

Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du solltest
Es tut weh, zu sein, wie du bist
Aber wenn der Quarterback kommt
Um dir die Brille abzunehmen
Sag ihm: „Danke, die bleibt, wo sie ist!“

Ich weiß doch:
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Sieh es ein: the meek shall inherit the earth
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Die Ersten sehen als Letzte ein:
The geek shall inherit the earth

Nicht deine Zeit, nicht deine Füße
Nicht dein Beat, nicht deine Leute
Deine Welt nicht und nicht mal dein Schmerz

Du musst hier nicht dazugehören
Aber such dir, was zu dir gehört
Du musst nicht tanzen
Aber beweg dein Herz

Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du denkst, dass du solltest
Es tut weh, so zu sein, wie du denkst, dass du bist
Aber wenn die Homecoming Queen kommt
Um dich wach zu küssen
Sag ihr: „Danke, ich hab nichts vermisst!“

Ich weiß doch:
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Sieh es ein: the meek shall inherit the earth
Die Verletzten sollen die Ärzte sein
Die Letzten sollen die Ersten sein
Die Ersten sehen als Letzte ein:
The geek shall inherit the earth

I leave out the rest as I really have no idea what they mean there …

In L.A., approx. 8% of the population is living on the streets, sleeping in their cars [source]. Which is, to a significant part, an effect of the financial and economic crisis. (The L.A. numbers are the highest in th U.S. … I’m not writing here that this is a nation-wide phenomenon in the U.S.)

Wait a moment, what’s wrong with sleeping in your car? 😉 Hey, of course, I pity those who need to do and don’t want to. Some however, including me, want to do so deliberately. It takes you to a higher level of spatial mobility if your house has wheels. And to a higher level of financial mobility, as you can drastically reduce the running costs.

Reading the L.A. numbers of homeless people makes me think that those crisis effects might come to us also. Perhaps 1-3 crisises [uh … sic?] later than the current one. And, it made me think: I’m not gonna fall in crisis if I’m living already as if I had fallen in crisis. Noone will drive me out of my home to sleep in my car … I’m doing this already! (Well … at that time. The motorhome project is not yet through, you know.)

The static reach of the world’s exploitable Uranium is 70 years. Which means it’s fairly easy to solve the problem of nuclear weapons once and for all.

A state would have to devote itself to consume as much nuclear material in reactors as possible. They’d build new reactors and buy nuclear material worldwide. That way we’d get rid of all consumable Uranium worldwide within 15-30 years. Nobody could build a nuclear weapon again. Forever.

Start date: 2009-01-19
Post date: 2009-01-19
Version date: 2009-01-19 (for last meaningful change)

Don't invest many people's lifes and much money by fighting war against terror. The war Iraq war caused 4500 US soldiers and ten thousands of Iraqi to die, and did cost 480 billion USD. That's wastefulness. And in addition, personal rights of of the people have been sacrificed to a state that assumes that general surveillance would be a good anti-terror measure.

Instead, build up special forces like the Israeli Sajeret Matkal. They'd operate behind foreign lines and in secrecy. They'd arrest commanders of terror groups, execute strikes to hinder assassinations and hijacking etc..

They'd also operate on foreign ground. There should be a UN agreement that allows such forces to mutually operate on foreign ground, if necessary.Even better: a UN anti-terror organization, made from professional soldiers that are contributed by the member nations according to their population and financial means.

Start date: 2009-01-10
Post date: 2009-01-19
Version date: 2009-10-19 (for last meaningful change)

A jailhouse is probably one of the worst places to be, as an inmate, and one of the least positive places, for the society. The more interesting is an example of what can be made out of such a calamity. Here’s a documentary video of Mr. Garcia, manager of the CPDRC prison in the Philippines, and what he made out of his prison.

Just wanted to share this as a motivating example of an ingenious idea what can be done for society even if the starting situation is one of the worst possible ones. I’d like to see such ideas in more men of this world, in men of our country, and in me 🙂

If you liked to watch the dancing prisoners in the clip above, here are all the videos from Mr. Garcias official YouTube account.