By Frosty Wooldridge
In this second of a three part interview, Michael Folkerth’s book: “THE BIGGEST LIE EVER BELIEVED” exposes America’s greatest crisis—growth. He epitomizes a humorous economist and the “King of Simple.”
Folkerth states this nation resembles a group of people boarding an airplane that expects a six hour flight to the destination, but the ground crew only pumped in four hours flying time of fuel. Everything will ‘appear’ normal until the fuel runs out two hours before destination. From that point, all hell breaks lose and sheer terror overwhelms the passengers—with an unknown crash ending.
Last week, Dr. Condi Rice, much lauded cerebral administrator in the Bush administration gave a speech in which she said, “The American economy is solid, vital and growing…it moves forward with healthy growth.”
In reality, that means adding 3.1 million people to the USA annually of which 2.1 million arrive via immigration.
Rice like McCain, Obama, Romney, Edwards, Giuliani, Huckabee and Clinton predicate their campaigns for the presidency on population growth to gain economic growth. What they don’t admit nor will any of them come to terms with--stems from the fact that ‘growth’ creates our ominous unsustainable future.
Walter Youngquist said,“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9.2 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.”
“I’m going to break out that old saw of growth again today for those who may have forgotten what the real problem is,” Folkerth said. “The U.S. economy and your paycheck are based on this outfit growing every year in relation to what it grew last year. The term for this type of growth is “exponential” or ever expanding. In a world that stays the same size, the other word for our growth model is: impossible!
To paint a vivid picture of this misguided venture, shall we take a look at a microcosm of the U.S. economy?
“Once upon a time, a small town was founded on the banks of a large lake,” Folkerth said. “A stream fed the lake that averaged 100 gallons per minute of water flowing in. On the other end of the lake, a stream flowed out and the trees and critters downstream benefited from that outflow.
“The new town bought a pump that produced 50 gallons per minute in order to feed the needs of the growing community. At that point, the outflow stream slowed, but continued to flow at 50 gallons per minute and minimal negative effect was noticed.
“The “New Town” proved a popular place and followed the coveted U.S. model for growth, which has historically been unhampered by such restraints as math, reality and long term planning. Stores and subdivisions popped up like spring dandelions, lawns watered and cars washed. Managers purchased a second 50 gallon per minute pump to meet the growing demand.
“The two pumps now equaled the total inflow, and the outflow stream stopped flowing. The trees, plants and aquaculture downstream died off, but…the lake remained full. The town thrived and the builders and store keepers made handsome profits; the American Dream materialized on every new street. The dead trees downstream were cut for lumber and everything in nature balanced out.
“New Town continued growing and the public works director requisitioned a third 50 gallon per minute pump. One bright member of the town council, who had demonstrated exceptional skills at 8th grade math, pointed out that the three pumps were now pumping 50 gallons more per hour than the inflow rate of the stream.
“Naturally, a committee was formed comprising of the town’s most successful merchants, builders and manufacturers to study the problem. It was determined that under the present rate of growth, the lake would not go dry for 50 years. The average age of those on the committee was 50.”
The final findings and recommendations of the committee were; we don’t have a problem, it’s a big lake!
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