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Wall Street’s Hemorrhage

September 15th, 2008 by Alison · 1 Comment · sustainability

A short post on this morning’s headline before I head out to meet my carpool. Wall Street is bleeding, Lehman Brothers is folding, Merrill Lynch is collapsing into a Bank of America purchase, and the housing market remains on its knees.  Carnage all around. Why is all this happening to all these hard-working people?

I see lots of writing and reporting and editorials on this topic, but mostly myopic and micro-level, little that penetrates to the core of our economic unsustainability.  When a culture (the modern civilization we’re living in) operates on principles of greed and endless expansion, the natural consequences are the things we’re experiencing now. Endless expansion is a great strategy — IF you’re a cancer cell.

Our nation overconsumes, compulsively. You can work hard in the wrong direction, and that’s what America excels at. The capitalist ‘free market’ is a misnomer, both because it is subsidized by natural resources (water, soil, air) that are limited and absurdly underpriced, and because it actually restricts freedom sooner or later for all but the most aggressive human players.

We’re living now in the later, and will be for a long time.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Rachel Molzen

    I work for an insurance company and everyone at work is hoping things ‘get back to normal,’ but I don’t - simply because this economic/lifestyle crisis will only rear its ugly head again - and it’ll be worse if we haven’t learned anything and made changes the first time. You are correct in my opinion - we excel at working hard in the wrong direction and I want to see this economic decline not as pure hardship, but as a U-turn to a better, sustainable future.

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