I’m struck by how quickly ‘fear’ can grip a population and itself becomes the medium for mortal anxiety. I was musing today with my wife that if I were deaf and blind, would I even be concerned about this ‘pandemic’ that has gripped the world in fear? That is not to say that 335,157 cases (at this time of writing 11:27 am mountain time March 22, 2020) increasing about 8-11% per day), 14,437 death for a 4.31% mortality rate with 95,958 recovered (30% of cases have recovered or returned to good health) is not a crisis (source:https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Even one death from a virus whose origins (patient zero) remain unknown and veiled in mythology is one too many.
The real pandemic now is fear especially of an economic catastrophe that is gripping the world. GDP has had a heart attack. When the money pump (heart) stops the house of cards collapses. Presidents are stunned; look at their faces. They don’ know what to do or what to do next, on Monday?
But if we pause for a moment as we work in the quiet of homes, take a deep breath and begin to ponder the fundamental question: why did the economy have to keep growing and money moving as it had been? What happens when the music stops in the musical chairs game of debt money? Is there pearl of opportunity in this crisis?
But first biology. What is a virus anyways? Rudolph Steiner the Austrian economist and philosopher in after he outbreak of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that killed at least 50 million people said when asked what was the Spanish Flu was all about said ‘ viruses are simply excretions of a toxic cell viruses are pieces of DNA or RNA with a few other proteins they butt out from the cell they happen when the cell is poisoned they are not the cause of anything.’
Dr. Bruce Lipton, a US-based epigeneticist and who has studied cellular health notes:” A virus is neither a living or metabolizing organism, they are simply membrane-bound protein capsules containing genetic programs.” As described in his book The Biology of Belief, “a cell is the equivalent of a programmable computer chip, with the cell nucleus representing a hard drive containing gene programs. A virus is the equivalent of a computer flash drive (memory stick) downloaded with gene programs. When receptors on the viral membrane complement receptors on a target cell, the virus plugs into the cell and downloads its memory, the programs that hijack control of the infected cell.”
As an economist one might argue that humanity itself may be reacting to a world too-long addicted to money and economic growth (an attack on the human soul and spirit) that both Mother Nature and human bodies are now responding world economy is experiencing a ‘release of toxicity from the economic growth addiction and what I call the cancer of debt.’
Part of me has been waiting for such a ‘crisis’ as the excuse for markets to announce a ‘bear market’ (when a market falls 20% or more is considered the tipping point; that threshold was eclipsed this week).
What few people don’t realize is that a 20% market collapse simply means 20% or more of the ‘value’ of the stocks (the S&P 500 was valued at $28.1 trillion in December 2019) which traded at all-time highs in January is now sitting in cash (that would be about $5.6 trillion in cash equivalent as someone had to sell the stocks to realize their gains (or impose losses on the rest of our equity portfolios. $5.6 trillion is 30% of the US GDP of $19.4 trillion in 2019, And that only counts the S&P let alone the DJIA and other publicly traded stock markets (let alone the value of shares in private companies who are getting hammered by the pandemic).
So one question is why can’t the government simply take those cash sale proceeds and use it to compensate households for their 2-6 week loss of earnings; if every household in the US needed to be compensate for 6 weeks of unemployment this would total about $7,290 per household given that average US household income in 2018 was $63,179 average income then the total payout would only be $933 billion one-time or a mere 15.8% of all the cash that is sitting on the sidelines ready to be reinvested when the stock market casino games re-open.
Another point I will be making is watch for the helicopter money bailouts from government which presumably will be financed yet again by selling more government debt (bonds) to the markets. This would be completely unnecessary if Governments under the terms of an economic national emergency simply grabbed those cash ‘earnings’ (termed “losses”) to compensate all Americans or Canadians. We would simply be recirculating money within a system where the creation of money should always be a form of utility rather than being artificially scarce.
There is already talk about a guaranteed income for all to save our economic souls from certain near economic death. Millions are not working and many were already within one or two paycheques away from personal or business insolvency. I would challenge economist to rethink the notion of guaranteed income since it does not get to the heart of the issue which in my mind and based on my analysis has everything to do with the nature of money and credit which is all based on debt. You see debt is the real epidemic as it acts like an insatiable cancer cell taking more and more of our oxygen or life energy (time) to service ever growing mountains of debt. In December 2019 before the Coronavirus outbreak, the average American I’ve estimated was spending about 53% of their household income paying for the hidden interest charges on over $73 trillion in total outstanding debts in the US economy. The impacts of the Coronavirus on household incomes is still far less than this hidden cancer of debt. Yet there is still no discussion about how we might now in this moment when the world economy is on ‘pause’ to rethink the entire global financial system and eliminate debt money all together; essentially emergency surgery to remove the malignant tumour of debt.
Economist Michael Hudson has been writing about how ancient cultures including Sumeria and Babylon practiced regular debt forgiveness; every seven years all debts were wiped out under their so-called Clean Slate Laws. The ancient Israelites adopted this model after their return from Babylonian exile calling this Jubilee. What if we restored the Sumerian Clean Slate Laws now in this moment of financial terror?
By eliminating the cancer of debt we would ensure the average American household a work life 50% less intensive in terms of work hours than today. That would mean effectively a 2.5 day work week or less; more time to spend with family, friends, working from home and spending time with nature. It would give Mother Nature a break by immediately reducing our CO2e (hot air!) emissions that are, according to scientists, one of the key drivers of climate change.
We now witness what is possible when the economy takes a pause from its torrid growth run! We see clearer air, more time to walk the dog or spend time in nature, time to work from home (even comedians and talk show hosts are broadcasting from their homes as the kids run around the house). More importantly it is a time for deep reflection about our very souls and our spiritual nature. I believe we are all hardwired for compassion and unconditional love.
So this crisis is an opportunity to rethink everything most importantly the financial architecture of the world. We might be tempted to think that a global integrated financial system of digital transactions is the answer eliminating the need for cash (which is already being maligned as a career of the virus). I would argue that this is not the answer. Consolidation of the power over money creation into even fewer hands or run by artificial intelligent ‘smart technology’ is not the answer in fact it is the greatest threat to humanity in my opinion. The answer is a distributive money creation system where each of us become each others bankers. We are all the same in the sense that we all have only 700,000 or so hours of life to live given a statistical life expectancy. What if every hour of every human being were valued on the same basis? We all have something to contribute to the world; no one is more valuable than another in the sense of time. God sees us all through the same common sense of love. So can we then construct a new money system where money is created in whatever sufficient supply necessary to meet our individual and collective needs for a life of well-being by ‘we the people’ on a new kind of economic platform. That is a distinct possibility that I and some of my economic colleagues are working on; it will become a new narrative or what we might call ‘a story waiting to pierce you.’
There is another aspect of this ‘pandemic’, which is both biological and spiritual, is an opportunity for humanity take the time to discover our own true nature; an examination of our conscience and exploration of consciousness. Rudolph Steiner in 1912 wrote the following prophetic thoughts:
Rudolph Steiner in 1912 (quoted by Dr Thomas Cowan) said “People will say it is pathological for people to even think in terms of soul and spirit. Sound people will speak of nothing but the body it will be considered a sign of illness for anyone to arrive at the idea of any such thing as a spirit or a soul. People who think like this will be considered to be sick and you can be quite sure of it a medicine will be found for this. At Constantinople the spirit was made non-existent. The soul will be made non-existent with the aid of a drug people will invent a vaccine to influence the organism as early as possible preferably as soon as it is born so that this human being never even gets the idea that there is a soul or a spirit.”
We stand at important juncture in human history. We will either return to the same old economy of growth and debt money or strike out on a new path, more loving, more compassionate, more in union or harmony with Natural Laws and ultimate one in which human flourishing based on joy and unconditional love may triumph over fear.
The Chinese symbol for love is shown here. Ai,” the traditional Chinese character for love (愛) consists of a heart (middle) inside of “accept,” “feel,” or “perceive,” which shows a graceful emotion. It can also be interpreted as a hand offering ones heart to another hand.When you pay close attention to the Chinese character, or hanzi, for Love you will notice a heart right in the middle of it! Amazing, isn’t it? Also, it is very easy to pronounce. It sounds like the English word “I” or “eye”, in both Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.
There is one truth I know: LOVE is who we are!