Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Acronyms Attack - the GDP

Products of domesticated value - these are the things we consume, eat, swallow, throw out and die for. These are the products that Miley Cyrus, General Electric and Walmart push on us. These are the products that were soaked in by the throw-away culture - these are the products that corrupted the culture of quality assurance and quality control for the ever lasting growth and sustenance of the profit margin, and these are the products in which we were told to shop. We were told to go shop while a war was waged, we were told we could support our troops by continuing to spend. We were told this to proliferate and keep the growth of domesticated products at the bursting seams of a bubble - but we were never told that we were all grown up.

Cesarean Section
The industrial revolution literally paved this country grey - amidst all the natural green, amber, red and blue beauty that Canada beholds, we paved the trees so we could live in freedom - but we never clued in to the fact that the industrial revolution paved the way to a throw away society. Trucking routes opened up paths to stores, paths to cash registers, and a path to your kitchen garbage can. A Sony product I once bought went on the fritz 4 days after my manufacturer's warranty had expired - they recommended a variety of replacement products, all I had to do was work a few days to earn it... and throw away my old one... As technology grew, so did the concept of throw away ideals and principles, the GPD would never have bulged it's twine from the core without these ideals. I recall in my early days of University, I had heard that John Henry Ford blueprinted the perfect automobile that could last a lifetime - and he threw it all away to sustain the ideal of 'throw it all away' - the Ford family would never have reached it's wealth otherwise. The death of the electric car came too soon in our technological taste tests.

Terrible Twos
The principles of GPD growth relies on two things - an increasing population, and an increasing debt-to-income ratio. I grew up in the days of hand-me-down sweaters, sock-puppets and soccer balls - but as I grew, the Reaganomics of the GDP growth became ever-increasingly skewered - and the hand-me-down traditions of our past generations vanished - I grew up in consumerism - the isms of all holy isms. As the fridges hummed and toilet bowls flushed, CDs replaced tape decks, and DVDs replaced CDs, and Blurays have replaced DVDs - all in a similar tribal fashion to Window 95 replacing MS-DOS, only to be replaced by Windows 98, only to be replaced by XP - and now by Vista - each edition brought more powerful stations - and powerful information at fingertips, and the ever-increasing powerful garbage heap. But as I've peaked to the precipices of my purpose - I've always wondered - how can technology advance any further - and I tell myself - technology should hold back it's reigns on consumerism, and dart back down from the ism, to science.

Growing Pains
But as things bulge and burst to it's seams - we have become ever increasingly more aware of our status and place on this earth than ever before. I do realize environmental enthusiasts have been spouting off about global warming for years and have yet to show any progress, but the '80's were the start. Generations removed from the first sparks of the industrial and consumerist revolution, we started to see the effects on our health, our environment and our Gross National Happiness index - they all began to deteriorate - all while the oil drum resonated the constant beat of the GDP - it grew. We have now passed another generation since the '80's, entering a generation currently lost in the mix of what to do, how to fix things, and how to restructure. Wikipedia may never come up with these answers, but it is the simple fact that the population boom of the North America has peaked - we've finally conquered the World. Growth, in the terminology of global population, has started to hit the apex of the turn - humans are beginning to level out their spread of catholic practices.

Africa is a continent, for the most part, considered undeveloped. The G20's of the growth curve have hit their peak - they can't possibly stuff any more sardines into this can. So to ensure growth in a closed system, G20's begin to segregate wealth and opportunity to those that are left in the dust, those that are left in Africa. And the situation is beginning to get dire in Africa - upheavals, destruction and genocide of a continent lost in the mix of our idiosyncrasies and ideological nightmares. The stratification of income in our own countries of North America don't come close to the stratification if we superimposed the continent of Africa on our charts and chants.

So through all this, North America came up with another solution - China. The super-rapid-cagilistic expansion of the Chinese Empire gobbling up Western traditions fueled our fires during the onset of our Y2K fears. They, the Chinese, ate - and when you eat Chinese, you're always hungry for more - but the Chinese provided discounts on merchandise, materials and matter - discounted from the equations of GDP growth - discounted as a trade surplus for them, and at a trade deficit from North American labourers and drones. What was hidden in the Chinese firecracker was that deficit of trade trickling through the cracks. The Walmart shelves are actually a goldmine of material, and if each element and compound of the trinkets and Hanna Montana dolls were weighed by their individual worth on the world wide web of trade, we would find that wow - what a bargain shopping at Walmart is! And then we throw it out. The Chinese trade deficit is rumored to be floating around $1.8 trillion US dollars. That's $12,000 for every US citizen. And now the US has lost it's marbles in the sack of sorry upper tier echelon-ic aristocracy - the rich got richer, and the poor are bailing out the miserable executives. The US can no longer grow. They paved their lands from ocean to ocean, and are facing immigration concerns - the US no longer wants to grow. So how is GDP sustained? President Obama is trying to find those answers right now.

Generation X-ing
If we float across the great lakes of Ontario, we can also see what Ottawa is doing - what the stools of black biscuit tar pucks are contemplating as a recipe for disaster. For some reason, the Stool of the stead openly invited one of the curators of the crisis meltdown into our country - and with a pat on the back, as if we were saying, way to go buddy - ata commit a war crime - we let him go. But perhaps the Stool had other things on his mind - the flush of the toilet is perhaps sending this Stool into the depths of Lake Ontario - Canada is on the brink of finding out how impervious to growing pains we really are - we are about to find out how we can survive now that our kid sister, the US, is having it's dollar devalued and is having its entire economy crash to a halt. Recessions are never easy, they are never fast, and now that the once-appointed leader of the Bank of Canada, another car enthusiast in Dodge, has said that Canada is become a pasture of poop and manure so stench-worthy that even Stool won't be able to find a home, perhaps we'll find out how clueless the leadership of this country truly is... and yet they continue to lie - Canada hasn't been impervious to the crisis - we've had our own sub-prime mortgage mess ready to rear it's ugly head - all on cue after the ungracious meltdown of our kid sister - Canada's on the verge of feeling puberty rear it's ugly head and flood hormones of angst and misery across the nation...

All Grown Up
Canada faces the biggest challenge of all - keeping our GDP growth sustained. But GDP growth to a country that has burst at it's seams is only self-serving to the executives at the top. Perhaps the new wave of politics and puppeteering should focus on a new acronym - GPI - or Genuine Progress Indicator. The GOP, DEM, PC, NDP, LIB, CON and all parties should grow up and be genuine - perhaps review, analyze and project this concept to the general public. By finding the answer right there in Wikipedia, the GPI accounts for growth in a country, but measures how the growth has actually helped welfare and environmental protection systems. The Swedes, the dutch, the french, heck even jolly ol' queen mum uses the GPI. The GPI offers a transition from GDP to actually account for welfare (health) and the environment. It offers a solution to truly ensure the population that exists in a country to be accounted for, from lower class right to the upper. Instead of stratification, we become closer to the shape of a circle. But, in full circle, Canada refuses to employ this calculation in the Country's strength - Canada attempted (but not adapted) the ESDI - an initiative cleverly disguised with the words Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators to match the principles of the GPI - but at the behest of the MPs and the CON, the ESDI was never tabled again as we continued to focus on GDP and debt payback.

Domesticated and Produced
On the threshold of the global turmoil, our leaders pander the motions of a great actor - miming the monkey's movements, these Stools act political strategies and lobby for the support of like minded corporate stools who live in a world of consumerism and GDP growth. We need to wake up and realize that growth is not sustainable in a developed nation. Growth and development lead to independence, and Canada is currently an independent nation - the leadership should focus internally into our National structure - Energy, Health, Environment and Safety - all with the mind of ESDI, GPI, SRDC and whatever acronym we can think of that begins focus our attention to our real neighbours in this country - we're experiencing brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and neighbours all caught in the plight of our government's reluctance to give up the reigns on consumerism and GDP growth. We've all grown up and peaked on consumerism, environmentalism, capitalism, communism, fascism, absurdism, optimism, pessimism, fanaticism, geocentrism and all the isms that accompany it. Growth cannot occur in our age - we've overpopulated ourselves - GDP strength translates into slavery and fascism in some form - whether it be being stuck in debt for your entire trip around the sun and 700 moons sightings - or whether it be restricting a developing nation from ever truly developing - the GDP cannot work in our global technological age of education. We must find the right solution - or we'll watch the anarchic nature of human beings really attack. The acronyms won't save us then...

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