March 14, 2009

Maybe a nice long depression is a good thing?

Recession Extends the Life of Dump Sites

Don't jump to a hasty conclusion, now. Hear me out and think seriously on this idea for a couple days.

When people criticize the modern era they always point to the same problems:

1) Excessive consumption
2) Excessive industrial pollution
3) Excessive dependence on petroleum
4) Excessive trash disposal

A massive downturn in the economy will see a lot of people out of work. Some of those people, quite frankly, deserve to starve to death and freeze to death. I know it's cruel, but some of those who are hardest hit by a recession are irresponsible, lazy, and wholly dependent on the generosity of others. It is not a coincidence that these are the same people who bury themselves in debt and by doing so, artificially fuel fake economic boom cycles and burden landfills with still useable consumer goods in need of minor repairs or just ordinary maintenance.

Dropping tax revenues will force the government to reduce social programs. People will suffer. I might even be one of them! My family is already feeling the pinch, especially my parents. On the other hand, all of the problems listed above will also decline. Reduced consumption means factories will close, coal-fired powerplants will use less coal, natural gas and gasoline sales will decline. All of those factors produce a very important side benefit: reduced pollution, reduced pollutants, and reduced particulates. Naturally, that's going to throw a huge brake on the "global warming" scare because reduced consumption means dramatically reduced production of the kinds of waste products that contribute to global warming.

Maybe, and I hate admitting this, maybe our society is too rich. Maybe a nice long depression, say ten or fifteen years worth, will help us relearn frugality, conservatism, discipline, and moderation.

People will eat less and work harder, even if it just means planting a garden in the backyard and doing their own automotive repairs. Some of that flab is going to be burned off, and the money for anti-depressants is not going to be available. As a nation it is entirely possible that if this depression lasts long enough, our emotional health might actually improve! Much of the isolation and depression driving the pharmaceutical nightmare that has become modern America is directly attributable to individuals at all levels of society having too much free time to sit around and think about how much better off their neighbor is then they are. Maybe this depression will get us off the couch and into the backyard.

The more I think about it the more I wonder if maybe a nice long economic depression, complete with massive suicides, people starving in the streets and freezing in the winter, is exactly what this nation needs. Too many of us have forgotten that real life is cruel, harsh, and unforgiving.

Maybe instead of demanding Pres. Obama fix the problem what we need to do is let him continue making it worse. Maybe it's time to let the bills come due and clean out the closet.

Life is cruel! Maybe it's time we relearned that simple reality.