Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Big Brother, Fascism and Bankruptcy

There is so much news and such exciting things going on, I can’t always be sure what I want to spend time blogging about.

President george bush is going to meet with select (hand picked) lawmakers and explain his illegal program to spy on Americans without probable cause, or a search warrant. The records they collect, including phone calling records and recordings of actual phone calls are property of the US Public. They are being kept safe for the government, by private corporations. We can be sure that records will be leaked and sold. Eventually I believe it’s certain that these records will make their way into financial databases, and will be a part of the credit reporting service. Local police departments will likely gain access to this system, and your neighbors working in local government will be able to snoop through these records to find gossip on you and anyone else they find interesting.

Over time, the government will find it necessary to release these recordings and records to the public under the FISA act. This will occur after administration changes when a new set of politicians sees the value in using these records to embarrass their opponents.

On the National Animal Identification System front, I’ve become recently aware of this marvelous Short Film by Chris Oakley. I’ve read industry articles that describe how using Radio Frequency Identifiers in the livestock industry, is a way to develop the technology, the tools and prove the safety of the system, for use with humans.

The idea being, that people will no longer need identification or carry credit cards to make purchases. When you walk into a store, your entry time will be recorded. As you wander about the store, your motions will be tracked and analyzed by marketing software that will help the store own better place products they want you to buy, to help you spend more. When you cash out, the register software will know you by your RFID, and the purchase will happen electronically, without the need for cash, credit cards or a wallet. Eventually, if you don’t have an RFID, you won’t be able to buy things. You won’t be sold food.

They plan to put this technology into cars, so that the car can recognize everyone in it and record the time spent in the car. The car won’t need keys, because it will know who is allowed to use it. With built in digital cell phone technology and GPS, your movements can be recorded all through your lifetime. Your home appliances will also recognize you and will customize their settings to your liking. When you walk in and out of the house your movements will be tracked so that the house can configure itself to your needs, readjusting thermostats and setting answering systems automatically.

But I’m too worried about these advances over the long term. These things require a wealthy society and continued technological and energy growth. I don’t think we’re going to make it that far.

Financially, our monetary system run amok and I believe this train is running out of track. It is so screwed up, it will take decades to fix, if Congress, the Senate, Presidency and the Supreme Court all agreed it needed to be fixed.

Right now, world oil production and by extension world energy production is quivering on a plateau. Is this the peak? I think so. And I think it is, because I believe that there are no super giant fields that can stand up to higher rates of sustained depletion.

If we are not at peak, we're certainly on a shoulder near the peak. And that means no significant production increases. No more growth.

No energy growth means, no industry growth. So now we're in an industry reshuffling phase.

And how does the finance industry deal with no growth? Well, they panic and create lots of money. Raw numbers mean profits, right? Print more money, and obviously you have more money.

The US government is dealing with the same price inflation the rest of us are. And inflation in simple terms is an increase in the money supply. To put it in perspective though, think of it as an increase in the supply of money as compared to goods and services. If the money supply rises at the rate that goods and services increase in volume, we see no price changes. If the money supply grows faster, then we have more money per goods or service and thus rising prices.

So the US government is dealing with inflation, by borrowing and thus creating more money. This leads to rises in prices, which leads to the need of the government to create more money to buy stuff with. This puts the US government in direct competition with private industry.

And the US government can’t stop. First, the corporations feeding off of it have powerful lobbies that own both political parties. They will not allow their hand puppets to change these policies. Secondly, the US government would have to stop increasing spending. A new way of looking at budget reductions would have to take hold. Right now, a budget reduction is a reduction in the rate that the budget is increased. We need to go the other direction; we need to have a budget that is smaller every year.

This would reduce the government’s competition with private industry. It would reduce the need for the government to be an economy unto itself. It would reduce price inflation so that people do see their monetary value diluted, month by month. People could save in safe financial instruments and not worry that inflation will make their savings worthless.

But this won’t happen. We will stay on course, stoking the boiler, going ever faster until the US Economy can no longer compete with the US government and the dollar becomes worthless.

So though the RFID, NSA spying and all the rest is really scary fascist stuff, being implemented right now, in the long run, these policies are taking the US on the same course the USSR took. And that’s right into bankruptcy.

Hang on! You can put a bag over your head if you like, but it won’t help.

4 Comments:

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Donna said...

Wease,

There's a long article about RFID to be attached to everything we buy in the June 2006 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. Scary shit indeed, but I tend to think the issue will go away when TSHTF--the entire RFID system is too energy-intensive and high-tech. Same with all the electronic surveillance, right? If just about everything stored electronically becomes (essentially) irretrievable when the grids go down, well, I don't believe the feds will waste precious alternative-generated electricity on surveillance maintenance. Or am I being overly naive here? I realize we could all be in American gulags well before the grids go down, of course.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Yes essentially, this just adds more cost to everything about daily life.

If energy and products continued to remain cheap, then this technology would be a money saver. With RFIDs, shoplifters would almost always get caught. Or they would get charged as they carry RFID products past the sensor.

One of industry promises of RFIDs is that a person can just push a shopping cart past a sensor and it do the transaction from there. No need to hire cashiers to sort and bag products.

But as we go over the peak, shopping itself will be a declining pastime, and RFIDs and tracking systems would be just one more expense to add to declining profits.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Jim Robb said...

Wease,

Of course, If the RFID is inplanted, It can be removed, hacked, sold, stolen and otherwise fucked with, even by Big Brother who wants ti "frame" someone.

I think it would take a government who could actually pull something like this off but lets take a look at some relativly recent events in government and business. How about prescription plans for seniors? How about EPA standards? How about No Child? For business, think of Betamax?
The fed would bungle any sort of implementation, and the (excuse my stereotyping ( Persons who have a certain hue of neck color) would not sit still for any sort of implant.
They would not be able to pull it off.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

This system is already sold to identify pets.

Some businesses now require that their employees be implanted. Potential employees that won't accept implants, don't get hired.

For the public at large, it can be marketed as a way to protect children.

I think the key to this, like any fascist movement, is in marketing. They need 100% saturation to gain critical mass.

Think of this possibility. Instead of giving your kids a credit card or cash, log into your bank and enter your kid's RFID number. From there, pick from a list of approved merchants for that RFID and the limit for purchases. When your kid goes out, they eat where you want them to eat and buy stuff at the stores you select. They can't overspend their budget.

I bet this would be an easy soft sell to latchkey parents.

 

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