RETAIL, CONSUMPTION & DEBT

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The viability of retail as a business depends on massive consumption by the multitude, the large numeric multitude, not the few of monetary genre! In turn, widespread consumption very much depends on the availability of broadly dispersed discretionary income. If the sheeple (human mass) is without sufficient income, then consumption will be severely curtailed. In other words, retail is predicated on the multitude having plenty of money to consume whatever is available, products or services. For example, in places like the United States, over 70% of the economy is mere consumption. In short, the retail sector looms large in the western societies. To be sure, even emerging economies are heading towards useless and wasteful consumption. In fact, in late modernity, consumption is not propelled by pressing need, but rather by narcissistic greed, to accentuate Gandhi’s phrasing!
Real income growth (minus inflation) is a function of productivity. If productivity is stifled, then the supposed increase in income is, by and large, the result of understated inflation. In essence, productivity is the making of things or the delivery of services with meaningfully less-resources than before, including the major one-labor. Since increasing productivity is a real challenge, particularly in the absence of major breakthroughs, nation-states use alternative/fictitious figures/numbers to impress upon a sense of wellbeing on the sheeple, even though the whole thing is actually a charade, a mirage! Such gimmicks help states subjugate their peoples into frightening political submission! Without being able to hide the bitter truth from their subjects, states would in turn lose their hides, so to speak. After all, states are mostly in the business of hoodwinking their sheeple so that economic, political, cultural, etc., benefits accrue mostly to their real handlers-the oligarchy or the crony capitalists, not genuine entrepreneurs! If truth be told, this is the actual mission of 21st century capitalism!
Debt propelled growth is always a highly precarious undertaking. When massively incurred debt results in no productivity gain, or no additional increment in GDP, etc., a country will end up in hock and that is when the global oligarchy aggressively demands flesh and blood. The so-called institutions of global economic governance, (IMF, WB, WTO, ECB etc.) always at the service of dominant interests, are largely used just like the infamous ‘debt collectors’ of the loan sharks. Various tactics are employed to get states to cough up what globally entrenched dominant interests really desire, despite nationalistic state’s protestations. Frankly speaking, it is not the prompt payment of debt that lenders actually want, but rather the privatization of lucrative enterprises with massive assets. This is the real prize behind the mask of ‘structural adjustment programs’. All the noise about private sector ‘efficiency’, blah, blah, is just that, empty talk, just review and analyze the various privatization programs across the world!
When a country is afflicted with mediocre leadership on a continuous basis, the result is either debt slavery or a hyperinflationary reality! It seems the simple and obvious choice is between a rock and a hard place. As they say, it takes two to tango. Lenders are always eager to lend and the politicos are always eager to acquiring debt, (private or otherwise), so that they can satisfy their limitless cravings for the temporal gratification of wining elections, to say nothing about their greedy objective of criminal accumulation! After all, the painful task of repaying debt can always be postponed, just kick the can down or putting it more politely, endow it to the next administration. In the final analysis, the time of reckoning will be upon us and thereafter the sharks will only demand the family jewels or else! Once the jackals are let loose on the so-called intransigents, things will be quite difficult to reverse, just ask Zimbabwe or Venezuela! Like it or not, this is the case of many African countries, not excluding ours truly! See the articles next column.
‘The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States. “So we make this big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically become our servants, our slaves. It’s an empire. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a huge empire. It’s been extremely successful.” John Perkins of ‘The Economic Hit Man’ fame. Good Day!