Upcoming Events

International | Anti-Capitalism

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Terry Prone: Water protesters are dumb

offsite link Conor Pope: Genuinely clueless Anthony

offsite link Conor Pope: Supporting Irish Water Anthony

offsite link Colette Browne chases Rabbitte back down his burrow Anthony

offsite link Irish media: Looking after their own Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link International Military Review ? Syria, May 2, 2016 Mon May 02, 2016 23:33 | The Saker
https://southfront.org/international-...

offsite link How Syrian Kurds dropped Marx and adopted communalism Mon May 02, 2016 17:58 | The Saker
by Claudio Gallo Debbie is not only the daughter of Murray Bookchin, the theorist of Communalism. She is a journalist and writer: in 2004, she wrote, together with Jim Schumacher,

offsite link The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm Mon May 02, 2016 17:13 | The Saker
by Pepe Escobar for Sputnik News Major turbulence seems to be the name of the game in 2016. Yet the current turbulence may be interpreted as the calm before the

offsite link Germany SITREP May 2nd, 2016 by C. Mon May 02, 2016 17:13 | Scott
Satire in Germany attacking Erdogan and Turkish politics Lately there has been a lot of controversy in Germany over the issue of political satire criticising Erdogan and his regime in

offsite link Nine theses about the war we are engaged in Mon May 02, 2016 01:35 | The Saker
by: Rostislav Ishchenko Translated by Seva Source: http://www.e-news.su/mnenie-i-analiti... On April 27-28, the Russian Defense Ministry held an international conference on security. I participate in a panel discussing ?color revolutions?. The

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link PhD studentships at DCU Fri Apr 29, 2016 17:15 | Eoin Daly

offsite link The Role of Sport in the Recognition of Transgender and Intersex Rights Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:54 | Eoin Daly

offsite link Call for Papers: ?International and Comparative Law in the 21st Century: Lessons learned?? Wed Mar 23, 2016 17:58 | GuestPost

offsite link Call for Contributions & Engagement #directprovision16: Direct Provision 16 years on, and on, and on... Tue Mar 15, 2016 13:08 | Liam Thornton

offsite link GSOC, the legislative process, and the privacy rights of citizens: what is the law?   Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:14 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Our beloved Taoiseach 06:30 Tue May 03, 2016 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Speaking of Senators? 21:10 Mon May 02, 2016 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link The new Seanad 19:25 Mon May 02, 2016 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link This took two months to cobble together? 11:01 Mon May 02, 2016 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Irish Left Archive: Unity and Freedom to the Irish People! Against the Fascist Divide and Rule Anglo... 03:56 Mon May 02, 2016 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Welcome to the downward spiral!

category international | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Sunday February 24, 2013 10:52author by Luke Eastwood Report this post to the editors

Despite the continued 'green shoots' talk, recovery seems increasingly far away.

It does not take a genius or even an economist to realise that we are in fact in the depths of a major depression, which is continuing to worsen. The mainstream media, especially the USA media 90% of which is owned by just 6 corporations, continues to talk up a recovery but this is pure hyperbole that an intelligent person should be able to see through.

Peak oil pundits have suggested that the effects of hitting the plateaux would be like a car that keeps stalling each time it gets into second gear. This crude analogy seems to be entirely appropriate – attempts to kick start the western economies have short-lived and limited effects because the underlying problem of relatively high production and employment costs will not go away. This is exacerbated by the high price of oil, which itself feeds into the increasingly high prices of basic commodities such as food and minerals.

So now rather than peak oil, we might be finding ourselves in a situation of peak everything! As prices rise and debt levels too the printing of more money (quantative easing) makes the situation worse by devaluing currency, making everything even more expensive, fuelling even higher inflation and continuing to reduce the buying power of every individual’s pay packet.

Economies with cheap labour and an abundance of resources (e.g. China) have done very well due to the imbalance between their production costs and those of western economies. However, as the western powers lose their buying power and people increasingly focus on necessities instead of luxuries, they too may well be affected. With a collapse in its export market China may not have a sufficiently strong local or domestic market to continue its expansion and any fiat currency based system of commerce that is not expanding is in crisis.

So what does the future hold? Simple household economics will tell you that if you don’t have enough money to cover your costs then you have to cut your spending until it is equal to or less than your household income. Using myself as a perfect example – I have relatively well paid professional employment but I have remained on the same salary to 5 years.

In truth my static salary has led to a reduction in income, in part due to inflation but also due to rises in taxes. So in order to compensate for this reduction I have had to reduce my household spending by finding better deals (e.g. cheaper insurance), providing essentials myself (food and fuel) or by simply cutting certain items from my monthly budget.

I’d consider myself fortunate that I am able to continue with my life pretty much as normal after accepting some cutbacks and adjustments. Many millions of people are not half so fortunate. In the western economies millions of people are defaulting on their debts, losing their homes and falling into poverty. Elsewhere the situation is far worse – in Egypt for instance most families spend 80% of their income just on food!

All indications are that this depression is far from over, in fact it looks set to become increasing severe in the years ahead. This situation may be exacerbated further by the currency wars that have begun and indeed by the real proxy wars between the main rival blocks (NATO and SCO) taking place in Africa and Arabia as I write.

Given this grim outlook I would consider it wise to be prepared for the worst, although I am ever hopeful that we might escape the worst case scenarios predicted by some commentators. If you can – pay off your debts; save some money as physical cash or metals; reduce your outgoings on unnecessary expenditure; become more self-sufficient. Even if things do not turn out as bad as predicted – cutting away self-indulgence and becoming more self-reliant are positive steps towards gaining more control over your own life – something worth doing even if a financial collapse is not coming.

Luke Eastwood is a writer and horticulturist living in Ireland,

Related Link: http://www.lukeeastwood.com
© 2001-2016 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy