Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gazing at Economic Doomsyear: 2012?

In general, the parts of Canada that are producing energy are doing well economically. The same is true for US states such as North Dakota and Texas, and parts of Australia and Norway. But the overall global economic picture for 2012 is not so bright -- if looked at without the rose-tinted glasses. Here is a decidedly negative look at the near term economic future:
The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Although, even here, their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises, there are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system.

Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline. The new centers of growth, China, India, Brazil, Russia, which for a ‘short decade’ provided a new impetus for world growth have run their course and are de-accelerating rapidly and will continue to do so throughout the new year. _Infowars

The viewpoint above paints with a broad brush, but is in many ways correct. The US under Obama is in full energy-starvation mode, which starves industry and commerce, and adds unnecessary economic burdens to every household. Europe after Fukushima is likewise in energy-starvation mode, which further hampers the debt and demographic decline which was already sinking the continent. As for the BRICs, the picture is quite uneven and in rapid flux, but the early rosy predictions are beginning to fail.
China ’s economic growth, which is largely dependent on real estate speculation, will be adversely affected when the bubble is burst. A sharp downturn will result, leading to job losses, municipal bankruptcies and increased social and class conflicts. This can result in either greater repression or gradual democratization. The outcome will profoundly affect China ’s market – state relations. The economic crisis will likely strengthen state control over the market.

...The world recession will weaken the Russian economy and will force it to choose between greater public ownership or greater dependency on state funds to bail out prominent oligarchs.

...All indications point to 2012 being a turning point year of unrelenting economic crisis spreading outward from Europe and the US to Asia and its dependencies in Africa and Latin America . The crisis will be truly global. _Infowars
All predictions must be taken with a grain of salt. Infowars is a political activism site with many rigidly held viewpoints which do not always mesh with each other smoothly. But by looking at the world through a variety of eyes, one can better understand the wide range of perceptions -- and better predict how people will react to changes and events.

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