Saturday, April 07, 2007

Embrace the Good News

John Markman always looks on the bright side of life, asking himself, "how can I make lemonade from this gigantic steaming pile of dung?"

He has a reason to appreciate the massive, conspicuous overconsumption that is leading this planet to the brink of disaster on several fronts. The emergence and spending of more and more mega-millionaires and billionaires around the world has led to fewer and more shallow recessions. That's because
According to research by Ajay Kapur, an analyst at Citigroup, the wealthiest 1 million people in the world account for as much spending as 60 million other households.

This is useful to know at a time of fears that a decline in U.S. home prices could sink the U.S. economy, for it only takes one new free-spending Mumbai or Moscow zillionaire to make up for tens of thousands of faltering Americans missing their mortgage payments.
Isn't that comforting?

Economically, we don't need to adjust to accomodate inflation or bad business practices so the "little guy" doesn't get crushed. Crush away, because just one zillionaire in Mumbai will cover the loss of thousands of little guys. And it's not like anyone's getting sent to debtor's prison. You get to rent your own crappy overpriced apartment while you work past your retirement until you die.

Ecologically, there's no need to worry about squandered resources spent on private jets, yachts and huge friggin' cars; the pollutants caused by maximizing profits through lax regulation; the suppressed innovation of cleaner technologies that would infringe on already established dirty industries. If the wealthy can't bail us out of Global Warming by purchasing a new atmosphere, at least they can build space stations and domed cities to protect themselves and horde resources. And there are so many plutocrats now, the gene pool will be deep enough that they won't have to include any of those inferior people who couldn't bother themselves to behave like locusts and consume everything in their path and yet demand equal rights and representation. The human race will survive, albeit in black and white jumpsuits and mini togas.

The only trouble are those pesky, messy, disruptive resource wars that are and will continue to be fought. Of course there are always plenty of little guys with missed mortgage payments for cannon fodder who are made up for by a couple of Moscow gas magnates. And even for the losers, the wars are still profitable.

So, as John Markman says,
Rather than being resentful of the superrich, perhaps we should all be grateful. The next time you run into a superrich guy at your local Bentley dealer, give him a hug.

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