With a strong dollar and weak oil prices, boom should overshadow doom, but gloom is gathering for the new year.
There is an arguable ambivalence at work supported by available ambiguity. A strong dollar and low oil prices should increase consumer spending, but these are deflationary signals. The IEA, for example, says demand for oil will be low, long term. That means there is less consumer, discretionary spending available, not more. What accounts for that is most income going to the top 1%. Instead of being expansionary like capitalists say it is, it is deflationary.
Capitalists refer to the ambivalence as the paradox of thrift. Most income going to the top 1% is “capital formation.” Even though it is not necessary for a surplus to form, and be possessed, at the top, capitalists transact its formation with an elite interpretation.
Everybody knows capital is naturally owned and put to work by the best and brightest people. Everybody knows it, capitalists argue, because it is objective reality, tested by practical experience. Even though capital is owned by a small number of people, gaining more capital in return can only happen if the economy is always expanding, which affords a public benefit without the tragedy of the commons.
Naturally, as capital accumulates in the form of “all new income goes to the top because that is its natural identity,” there is a tragedy (paradoxically, capitalists contend) that defines a common existence, which is the difference between elite and non-elite, unemotionally derived by nature utilizing mechanical, free-market devices.
Nature really does not care if you suffer or not. In a free market, however, it actually does!
Divergence of the real and the actual is the rate of repossession. Rather than being alienated, it is being actualized on demand, activated with growing anxiety, measuring convergence of the values because, actually, nature does not care what you think, or say, objective reality really is.
In a free market, the consumer possesses you!
Just as soon as you make the consumer suffer, the consumer quite naturally cares. You will then suffer by your own devices and nature (the on-demand, risk dimension in which the consumer cares) will not care (repossessing the risk “spent” to do business with you). It appears to be paradoxical but, really, it is not. (Caring and not caring to do harm converge to be the same measurable thing, on demand; but it is divergent, ambiguous and ambivalent, on command.) It is logical, positive, and thoroughly consistent with an objective understanding of a natural existence (having natural symmetry).
To recover your market share, and confirm your natural existence, you are likely to induce customers with an equivalent coercive value (ECV-symmetry) because, naturally, you care! The values (caring and not caring) converge to form a risk ontology that has (paradoxically) a teleological Transactional Interpretation, conforming to the natural symmetry of Equivalent Coercive Value.
(Other articles on confirmed conformity and risk ontology by griffithlighton can be found on the World Wide Web.)
To reduce the rate of repossession, capitalists consolidate industry and markets. This forms efficient-markets theory, which is the theory Bill Clinton’s Presidential Working Group used to rationalize the utility (the general benefit) of repealing Glass-Steagall. Bernie Sanders was right there, railing against its repeal because it consolidates economic power into a catastrophic, TBTF dimension that has been tested and confirmed to be generally detrimental–commonly tragic!
Mrs. Clinton continues to support its repeal, which makes her the perfect Wall-Street recruit (what elite theorists call a sub-altern of executive power), conforming to the common tragedy that always serves to falsely confirm the natural identity of the Iron Law existing from the top down, which is exactly what a free market is not.
That we have a free market, by not really having it, to make it more efficient, is not paradoxical at all. It is a deliberate fraud (an effective business model) perpetrated to unnaturally hoard all the risk. Hoarding risk is inherently unstable. It is irrational. It creates a systemic-risk environment so complex (too big to jail) that TBTF CEOs say they don’t even know what’s going on half the time–which (lo and behold!) just happens to be the half that does most of the harm most of the time, and “We” can’t change that because it violates the natural symmetry of objective reality–it is a moral hazard.
To avoid the moral hazard is really simple, capitalists say. Just do what they say: keep taxes low for the rich, and wages low for everybody else. Yes, Americans have been doing that, but the median income is falling, and income is consolidating at the top.
Reagan said America is still a place where a person can get rich…and most everybody else goes busted by default? There is a lot of gloom that goes with the boom. It is inherently unstable–a moral hazard–because it lacks utility (the objective reality) of the numbers.