Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When Worlds Collide

You know, knowing what's going on all day everyday, even on holidays, frankly, sucks. Today, another family gathering ends with political disagreement. Or is it political? I don't even know anymore. For myself, and I would imagine many others, it's much more than just 'political'. Opinions on current events, for me, or more rooted in matters of survival. Having the ability and opportunity to provide a good life, a better life, for my children is much more than just political. Some people can simply write off the long term effects of decisions being made to 'remain competitive', I can't.

There is a persistent cognitive dissidence in our society, more so I find within those plugged more completely in to the system. While dealing with the baby boomers of my family for instance: they can admit all of the facts, they just can't admit them all at the same time. Partially, it's because the life they live and the life my generation lives (not to mention the lives those younger than me are going to be living) are completely different. A small example from my own experience is from a few months ago where I was laid off from my job. My dad at the time looked at me (all serious like) and asked me, did you get a severance?

I thought it was a joke. Severance? Unheard of for myself and those I know. Hearing similar news from my friends this question has never even entered my mind. This question doesn't need to enter my mind as I already know the answer: no. This is beyond just some generational gap, a clash of cultures, the two generations are living in completely separate worlds. This isn't an extreme example but it shows the thought process; the first question he asks is a question not even on my radar.

This thought process I encounter over and over in different forms all of the time. It is extremely irritating to hear from a generation whose buzzword of hope is "stimulation" about how lazy a generation they've brought up while putting their unknown results of horrible greed oriented mismanagement on that very generation. There's justification and excuses to go with every irreversible policy made during the reign of this generation spun into stories about how they've had to walk uphill to school both ways. I'm so tired of seeing this shit spread all over the internet like butter; an utter disrespect and disregard for the generation who will be left with the greatest known economic fuck-up to ever hit the earth.

Barack Obama may cut vacation to deal with fiscal crisis

Can you believe that's a headline? What irony. Oh no! The U.S. might 'go off the fiscal cliff'! What exactly does that mean though? What can be done to avoid 'going off a fiscal cliff'? Nothing people! Are we as a society so fucking stupid we don't remember how this whole thing got started? The 'debt ceiling'? To increase the 'debt ceiling', a deal had to be made to cut the deficit (not the debt, there is a difference), and if no deal was made before January 1st 2013, a set of automatic cuts would kick in. There are only three outcomes to this entire scenario and all of them can be considered to be going 'off the cliff' in one aspect or another.
  1. No cuts, raise debt ceiling.
  2. Cuts, raise debt ceiling.
  3. Cuts, don't raise debt ceiling.
Seriously, that's it. With option 1 the result is simply the same as we have now: a perpetual debt downwards spiral as the U.S. government loses credibility worldwide. This scenario will likely climax with a sudden loss in international confidence in the USD. Option 2 is really just a more brutal and direct version of option 1, with no exaggerated pretence about the situation. Option 3 is really the only 'solution', however it would likely be carried out in a way which does not favour the population thus making it the most brutal. They're all cliffs, folks.

Post-Hyperinflationary Zimbabwe Welcomes The Holidays With 80% Unemployment, Empty ATMs And Paralyzed Transport

The general inaction and complete lack of responsibility from the baby boomer generation in regards to the current situation is just frankly, astounding. It is simply astounding to me that many of the young adults fighting now and in the last few decades fight alone, getting beaten by 'riot police' as their parents look on (from their living rooms) with disgust at the framed protest. I know this isn't true of the entire baby boomer generation - and for those fighting for their children, truly, I am sorry if this post offends you - but I am just tired, so tired, of the repetitive cliches.

I am so tired of the persistent cognitive dissidence we live under. The simultaneous idea that somehow bringing in temporary 'skilled workers' will result in more prosperity, not less. More prosperity, for them; those with the assets, the credit, the investments, in short: largely the baby boomer generation. For my generation this is just a race to the bottom, being 'more competitive' for my generation means quite simply: less money. For a generation who has largely sold out the means of their own wealth... well.. it's great! Those dictating today's policy are largely baby boomers, those with the influence to halt it who are not are also largely baby boomers. I'm upset at the entire generation (and in many ways my own generation) because even if they are not directly involved in the creation of such policy, they are not opposed to it either. The promise of a pension and retirement outweighs the horror of modern slavery many of my generation will have to endure to 'remain competitive'.

All signals point to a good Alberta economy in 2013
After an expected 3.4 per cent gain this year, real GDP is forecast to advance by three per cent in 2013 and 3.3 per cent in 2014, just behind Saskatchewan’s pace, according to the board.
Oh yea, things are great. That's why we're in debt, right? Seriously, what fucking growth? Does no one notice the government having to go heavily in debt just to maintain and provide the needed infrastructure while completely destroying industry diversity? It's not growth if the government is going in debt providing subsidies, and highways, and gas credits, and all sorts of shit just so these fucking things can exist. Our whole idea of prosperity is completely scewed, turned into growth for growth's sake.

However, as always, people are going to buy it. Latching on to a false hope of prosperity while selling an invisible, intangible asset: their children's future.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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