Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Debt Monster

The economy has an insatiable appetite for debt...and it's eating us all. We all know the cookie monster. He's a big blue hairy guy who lives in a garbage can and just can't get enough cookies. There's another monster with an insatiable appetite. He's the Debt Monster. We created him, and now, like the Frankenstein monster, he's turning on us. This monster is similar to Frankenstein, because we made him with spare parts, like our own lust and greed. We feed him with things like carbon-based fuels, which have been more or less eaten up here at home, and are now only available to us from foreign countries that don't share our best interests. In order to keep feeding it, we've had to start imperialistic wars with to satisfy the monster's addiction. Unfortunately, instead of satiating, this creates another appetite in the monster called the military industrial complex. This is not only fed with oil, but with lots of money.

We used to tax ourselves to feed the monster, but now we have to borrow from countries like China. The monster has eaten over 10 trillion dollars, and still wants more. We tried to figure out how to somehow create more money to feed it, even though we didn't have any, so we invented funny money, complicated things like mortgage-backed securities, and derivatives, along with insurance, if the debt monster ate them. We created a quadrillion (a thousand trillion) dollars worth of those, but he was still hungry, so the debt monster went to Wall Street and ate all that up along with the banks and investment companies that they came from, as well as the insurance companies that backed them (AIG), which just received another 30 billion dollars. After it was finished downtown, it went to Main Street, then into the suburbs, eating one house after another. This is Godzilla on steroids.

Now people are losing their homes, and their jobs. It is a disaster of worldwide proportions. What to do? Maybe we should confront what caused it - our own lust and greed?