I took three classes in economics when I was in college. I realized then that it was just like mathematics: if you can easily learn everything by heart, you can get a perfect score of 100%. Yes, I excelled at economics, and yet, I was the only one who stated out loud that none of it made any sense, that I could not understand how it could all work. I think I was the only one still based in a world of reality and logic.
"How is capitalism to work," I asked my teacher; "Why is there a recession every 10 years or so, and a big crash at least every century? What causes them?"
I never found a satisfying answer. And today, I wonder, are recessions just a transfer of money from many poor and rich alike to the billionaires controlling the markets? Are these recessions and stock market crashes artificially created? Dear me, what a thought! This thought could annihilate the world as we know it.
That would explain a lot; finally economics could make sense. None of the identified factors affecting the economy truly affect it, and all those elaborate equations and diagrams to explain how markets evolve, are false and explain nothing.
Those courses I took are way in the past, and today I know next to nothing about money matters. Perhaps it is good that a layman should question what might be really going on, since, can we really trust economists?
Most people in my college class were puzzled indeed about what the world of economics was all about, and never questioned anything. Forecasting the markets is like predicting the weather: they often get it wrong. They get it wrong more often than usual, as if suddenly statistics and probabilities were not operating as they should be in those markets. They don't. It seems all random, but is it really random?
It is as if, somehow, pretty much everything is controlled at a distance, by governments first, then by powerful financial institutions, then by very powerful corporations and then by very rich men. Who could predict what any of them will do next, how powerful they truly are and how badly it will affect the markets? No one can reliably forecast anything, I thought, especially when a small war between two unknown countries somewhere can affect the markets so much. Who can predict wars? The ones planning and ordering wars, of course.
Not so long ago, it was prohibitively costly to send a shuttle into space; Nasa could not spend two billion dollars just like that on a whim. This was how I actually understood what was really expensive and what was not. If you spent a billion dollars on anything, I thought, you are mad.
Twenty years later we are spending 100 billion dollars on a space station, we are spending 500 billion dollars and counting on a war in Iraq, as if none of it mattered. Is it really worth it?
I understand about inflation and other financial mechanisms, and that a billion today is worth much less than a billion a few decades ago. However, I will not believe that spending a billion today is like spending a million less than 20 years ago. Something is wrong here, really wrong. I am not a fool.
Our salaries have not multiplied by any such factor in the last 20 years. Quite the contrary: the standard of living keeps getting lower and we are getting poorer.
Where once a man alone could support his entire family, now both the husband and wife are working like crazy and can barely make the ends meet.
Moreover, they are being completely alienated at work under such pressures of today's corporate structure designed to send us all into deep depression, if not driving us to suicide. No one can think anymore, that much is certain.
A quick calculation of what we are spending right now on just about everything, will show you that we are certainly spending at least two if not three trillion dollars we don't have! How is this possible? How can capitalism still work under those conditions?
Is this just adding to a huge debt somewhere, kept hidden as much as they can, and one day America will declare bankruptcy, like, next week? Is this what this big recession coming is all about? The one no one wishes to make quite official yet, when economists have known for a quite a while that we are already there, and the worst is still to come?
In that case, you can see that I may feel justified in questioning if recessions are not actually artificially created, and if they don't profit someone. Trillions of borrowed money and unknown amounts of printed currency going up in smoke.