Speaking of perceived reality, this is one that’s been brewing in drafts for a while. Not sure there’s much more I have incentive to say, so here goes…
There’s been this running list of things I’ve wanted to get out of my head and into this thing, but one of my biggest weaknesses is being distracted by stuff that’s not important and from stuff that is. The other excuse is spending a good amount of time oscillating between indifference and denial about news. Indifference because it seems like there’s nothing any one of us can do. It’s like “ok, my eyes are open…wow ok, seeing is about all that can be done?” Denial because that conclusion doesn’t feel right.
This is what was on my mind when I started this–the ‘Brexit’. Some of the same pitfalls in thinking patterns are in full effect, and the disparity between them and the totality of what’s going on is just mind-blowing. When I say pitfalls, what I mean is that chronic process we tend to ignore but still tend to follow where when we hear a certain idea that connects with our belief system, we merge it in, reinforcing the system. I think we all do it by default. The problem is that it’s self-fulfilling, and if the belief system is sufficiently narrow versus the totality it’s aimed at then the reality that it paints–a reality that we live and so are greatly affected by–is going to be mis-representative. That’s actually one of the things I wanted to bleed off of my mind, so I’ll leave it with this one idea. Listening (I mean truly listening) is a good way of warding off those limiting types of thought.
There are a lot of sides to the situation, but I want to focus on just one right now–the sheer departure from reality in economic discourse. Case in point:
…by Paul Krugman, which likely explains a lot.
The entire pro-exit contingent is almost irrationally blasted here by a professional who doesn’t even understand the mix of motivations involved. The ideology touted here shouldn’t surprise anyone, but it’s still hard to believe people take things like this out into public.
There are all of these “tools” that many economic thinkers believe were validated by the “Great Recession”/”crisis”. Yet no one has seemed capable of explaining why spending has been in such a depressed state for such an extended period of time. There’s no research into causality to discredit here because there are no direct links beyond “this occurred within a timeline that supports correlation”. And there’s no mental room to entertain the possibility that the extended spending ‘slump’ may have been in part due to the use of the very tools many experts vehemently claim to work.
Still, the inability to identify a plausible cause is dwarfed by the mental disconnect regarding credit in all of this. When an economy tanks and credit is overextended, attempts to stimulate the economy may not only be ineffective in making a connection with spending, it may also cause even greater damage if they actually succeed. Conservative views would tend to suggest that if you are over-extended in credit that you work to pay back debt–otherwise your spending ability becomes eroded by service fees on that debt. And while modern economic policy claims to effectively foster increased spending, especially during a ‘recession’–there is no room to acknowledge a reality in which spenders are better off not only employed but using some of the resultant earnings to pay off debt instead of assuming more. There is no attempt to consider a timeline beyond the now in this mindset much less the past. And that’s a danger with these policies: they rewrite the past and fabricate a guaranteed future. Observing these signs in an actual person, many would likely suspect gambling disease. And that’s because it is.
When you hear something like this…
“It’s true that you can’t run big budget deficits for ever (although you can do it for a long time), because at some point interest payments start to swallow too large a share of the budget. But it’s foolish and destructive to worry about deficits when borrowing is very cheap and the funds you borrow would otherwise go to waste.”
…it’s hard not to hear something different: “Yes, eventually I have to address my debt (and not my underlying problem because I don’t have one), but I feel a hot streak coming…now. No wait, it’s coming…not now, now…” etc. And the same kind of non-logic that addicts use to justify their actions is employed. Rates aren’t low because people are dying to lend, it’s because policy has artificially forced them to be so. The climate isn’t ripe for spending because people are dying to sell things, it’s artificially created by the same policy that’s being defended here.
And the reality being clutched to here is so intent on rolling the dice that they’d rather the government to spend on people’s behalf than let the ‘opportunity’ slip by. The departure of this mindset from reality mirrors that of the financial sectors on the lead-up to 2008. And these are our “leaders” of economic thought.
The bottom line: you cannot guarantee psychological results. This scares supporters of “modern economic policy” because they make their living on demonstrating effective economic control. On a wider scale, this kind of thinking is extremely black and white, there is no acknowledgement of concepts outside of the realm that these instructions live within. The people that promote this type of thought also direct the management of value earned by our society. This is an example of the impact of closed-minded thought.