What the world needs now is war sweet war.
Another goody by David Bullard. David Bullard (a reformed liberal from South Africa) uses witty sarcasm to write about the state of South Africa and the world. Enjoy.
So here’s how the balance sheet for Planet Earth Inc. looks as we approach the half year reporting period. An unprecedented number of natural disasters have cost the world’s major economies a fortune at a time they can least afford it. Mother nature is clearly not in a good mood and while the insurance boys might wriggle out of a claim by calling it an “ act of God” that doesn’t really sound convincing does it? Besides, whose God….yours or mine? And does he pay compensation? The micro economic comparison of what has happened in Japan and the US these past few months is the equivalent of you losing your job, having your car repossessed and then your geyser bursting, your garden wall falling down and a large tree falling on your children’s bedroom all within the same week. What is generally known as “bad shit”.
Then there’s that cucumber e.coli thing in Europe to worry about. The problem with this one is that none of the boffins have seen this before so this really could be the new bubonic plague. Nobody knows what causes it, how it travels and where it comes from but you can bet that the UK tabloids will be predicting widespread death within a few days. But look on the bright side…they were all wrong about avian flu and swine flu which were supposed to wipe out a third of the world’s population a few years ago. They may well be wrong this time. Or they may not.
And what about the Arab Spring? I’m not sure how long spring is supposed to last but at the beginning of the year that name was given to the early uprising in Tunisia which spread to Egypt and ousted a couple of leaders who had overstayed their welcome. The theory was that the Arab people were fed up with being told what to do and think by despots and now wanted good old US style democracy. The only problem is that a 40 year tyranny doesn’t encourage opposition politics and so there is now a power vacuum in many Arab states. The Libyan leader, mad Col Gaddafi, fights on but even if he goes who takes over? The Brits have now bombed all the big targets so have now resorted to using helicopters to bomb whatever is left standing. But the Michael Jackson of Arab politics is, in the words of the Elton John song, still standing and doesn’t seem welcome anywhere. President Zuma dropped in for a few hours last Monday and who knows what was said. Maybe he was offering him safe haven in Randburg but whatever it was he said it didn’t work.
OK…that’s natural disasters and Middle East politics dealt with but what about the global economy stupid? Well, that is even more of a poser than all those earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados , volcanoes and angry Arabs. Here’s a brief rundown as I see it. Europe has, by and large, gone the austerity route which has resulted in mass protests in Spain recently and a great deal of unhappiness among the citizens.That unhappiness is unlikely to go away and demonstrations will probably spread. The US went the Mugabe route except for the fact that they coined a new phrase for printing money. They called is “quantitative easing” which sounds almost philanthropic. The idea is that you lend people who are already in debt more money at low interest rates to buy thing they don’t really need at reduced prices, thereby stimulating the economy. Except that it hasn’t worked because the US economy is showing few, if any, signs of recovery.
There’s also the spectre of inflation stalking the world, caused by the new money from places like China chasing goods and commodities and pushing up prices. But hold on a moment. China is also a major producer of goods and needs to sell those goods. The US and Europe are the world largest consumer markets but they don’t have any money, only debt. So how does any business get done? Well, as far as I can make out, the Chinese buy US Treasury bonds so that the Fed can pump money into the system via quantitative easing in order for the US consumer to be able to buy Chinese goods. But surely if they keep doing that the worth of a US Treasury bond will diminish and the Chinese will be the ultimate losers because it’s only funny money. On the other hand, if the Americans stop buying things with money that isn’t theirs who will step in to replace the world’s greatest consumer? By this point you should have a headache. Discussions on the existence of a god are so much simpler to follow.
Clearly, none of this can continue without some major financial catastrophe taking place. It’s all smoke and mirrors stuff. How, for example, can the President of the US or the Prime Minister of the UK offer financial aid to countries like Pakistan when their own countries are bankrupt? Other than being an elaborate book entry it simply cannot happen.
Which is why we urgently need a war. Not a small skirmish but a real megadeath war to end all wars. We need to wipe at least 2 billion people off the face of the planet and only then will we be able to start with a cleanish slate. If a global e.coli virus can lend a hand then so much the better. The hard reality is that times of great prosperity have often followed major wars and outbreaks of disease. My money is on one of the usual suspects hitting the green button and sending up a mushroom cloud over the northern hemisphere within the next few months. Not a pleasant prospect I know but one must put aside selfish considerations and think of the greater good of the planet. My only regret is that I may never get to know who wins the next Britain’s Got Talent.