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Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Obama Inherits Chaos Theory

This is my first article of an Obama presidency. We have entered a new time in many ways. Unfortunately, the old time is still very much dominating our lives. I was present during the inauguration, and stood along the parade route for 6 hours, and got to see President Obama, and Vice President Biden drive past and wave. The day brought hope to me and to those all around. The crowd was peaceful, respectful and happy. I felt blessed to have had the chance to experience a day where millions had hope and were so excited to have the regressive neo-fascists finally exiled from Washington.

The work Obama needs to do has just begun. He has parted ways with Bush in that HE, the new president, will take off his suit jacket when working at his desk. I guess, that could symbolize the rolling up of the shirtsleeves, as opposed to just wanting the appearance of an important job being done.

I am a skeptic by nature. And, continue to be one today, too. Chaos theory has dominated our economy for some time now, but appears to have become more dynamic over the last few years. The methods use by the previous administration, the Fed chairman and Hank Paulson have created chaotic disorder within the economic system. Their attempt at managing the collapsing financial system, most specifically, the “too big to fail” financial institutions with their bail out programs, auction facilities, which handed out Treasury cash, and the lack of transparency, accountability and trust moved our system away from order toward disorder. Chaos has prevailed, and that is clear.

Within the evolution of complex systems, from organisms to the creation of things to economies lives order and disorder. This is the yin and the yang. One cannot live without the other. Order and disorder must find a level of equilibrium so as to stay in a state of balance. It is not unlike two kids on a teeter tauter. They work together to keep their play in motion. One child does not dominate the other, otherwise the state of play no longer works and one child dismounts sending the other crashing to the ground. Within such systems one finds the Second Law of Thermodynamics. As an example of this let us look at the production of energy, which nations need in order to make things to use and to trade. The use of energy is basically the life’s blood of an economy. Without it there is no economy, nor a civilization.

Most of energy used today is a perfect example of chaos theory. A power plant uses energy in order to improve a way of life, as well as for further production of things, such as to power machines and computers. On one end, we have the useful purpose of energy, yet on the other, we have disorder, or, in other words, global warming, pollution, the depletion of natural resources, and the use of the military to protect the economic values placed on the useful “assets” involved in the creation of what has ultimately led to the state of disorder.

This continuum of energy is moving toward entropy, or the measurement of disorder within a given system. It measures the imbalance that exists within a given system’s equilibrium.

We saw the lack of orderliness, a move toward more randomness and “chaoticness” with every waking day of the Bush administration. It stretched out following 9-11, past Katrina, through Iraq and Afghanistan, and culminated at the doorstep of our economy. We watched Bernanke, Bush and Paulson act in a chaotic manner, full of disorder and out of balance when trying to explain without success, but then, following through with their solutions to reverse the economic meltdown, the crashing mortgage values, the toxic derivative explosion, and the consumer spending implosion. A total lack of faith and trust blanketed the nation. Distrust overwhelmed opinion polls. Yet, the last administration proceeded on their trajectory toward chaos in order to further those plutocrats who wanted to hold on to their stolen wealth.

Our nation went from generations of evolution toward devolution in only 8 years. The nation moved backwards from one progressing to one falling behind. A nation falling into more and more debt without anything to show for it, a rising un/underemployment rate, a collapsing worker safety net, an evaporation of personal wealth, and opportunities. This is devolution. This is Homeland Security raising the entropy color code to red. This nation has been in a national security alert for 8 years.

The principles of greed, dangerous power grabbing, and corruption in order for a small number of very, very rich people (less than 20%) to own 80% of nation’s wealth no matter the consequences or outcome, often voting Republican, was the order of the day inside the walls of Wall Street finance, and our government. When all of this was shiny and sparklingly new and exciting during the days following the end of World War II, when we were told that there would be a rising middle class able to ramble down the smoothly paved new superhighways in their glistening automobiles, our entropy was low, or, one could say, the HLS color code was only green (lowest). Over the decades, and as entropy began to show more disorder, and more imbalances, the color code rose to red. As our roads began to be overly crowded with commuters, our farmlands began to disappear and sprout mega-homes and shopping malls, as our commutes ran longer and longer, our expenses climbed, our financial sector carved out fake and fabricated risky investment vehicles to sell to any buying sucker so those at the top of the world’s biggest pyramid Ponzi scheme could get richer and richer, as our environment became more polluted and our national security became less safe and more paranoid, the nation slipped further and further into a state of decline. We grew closer to chaos and not many working class people even noticed or were warned of it, but there were those in government and in finance and at the top of the corporate pyramid who knew more than the rest of us.

It did not take very long for the destructive nature of a nation out of balance and equilibrium to share the disorder with the rest of the of the world, either through force or through their con games, such as the selling of fake derivatives to anyone in the world who would buy them to the tune of $1000 trillion, only to find their “investments” self-destructing to an amount of $400 trillion and falling. Also, as our greed-based corporate capitalists found slave laborers around the world to make the consumer stuff people wanted to buy, more of the orange (just below red) color rated entropy turned red. A blazing and fiery red colored entropy has engulfed the world.

Here is another example. Let us say that 400 people are invited to a delicious gourmet dinner party in a room that just about fits everyone moderately well. The food is prepared with care, which all humans love. That would be low entropy. We all need to eat, and it is being done together at a lower cost than if we all had to go out and find our dinners on our own all over town. But, once this pleasant meal is almost finished, one person passes a silent gas plume. This event is only noticed by those sitting next to the perpetrator. A blue (mid-level) colored entropy alert goes up to warn only those few, but the rest of the room stays green (low level alert color code). Yet, within 10 minutes all 300 begin to pass gas. The room must be evacuated because the level of methane gas becomes deadly. Not only is that a red level entropy alert, but worse.

You might say it did not take long for the room of 300 to reach a breaking point requiring a mass evacuation. The guests began to produce energy and matter to such a degree that the closed system of a party room’s ventilation system could not handle the decay of the air quality. The ventilation system was not powerful enough to handle what had not been planned for during the development process, and it, ultimately, failed those occupying the room, or system. The system was not prepared to handle the chaotic mess of a room full of gas! Now, there was a point in the 10 minute timeframe where the air could handle the expelling of gas and was not too destructive to the air quality, yet was still noticeable. That is called a threshold. The threshold was that at one moment in time the air quality crossed into a hazardous zone. The crossing of the threshold was a single moment when a crisis entered the system.

Today in our economy we are reaching a point where our financial, as well as social system is reaching a crisis level----code orangey red. President Obama has inherited this breaking point in our system. If he does not act in a way that will positively respond to the economic chaos that is occurring, and the high level of entropy that has ensued due to a massive amount of “gas that has been passed into the room, whereby those inside must evacuate”, in other words, where a large number of citizens will find their entire lives caved in resulting from foreclosure, bankruptcy, economic failure, etc., then he will, no doubt, lead us toward a red hot collapse of the dollar, Wall Street, Main and Side Streets, and much more. The stresses pressing on the crisis are strong, yet dynamic.

President Obama has begun to articulate his formula that he hopes will move us away from crisis but toward a new national development process, in spite of the overwhelming challenges that will act as friction against the economic lubricants he wants to inject into the system to get it moving toward prosperity and development. If he fails to act in a manner of “smart growth development”, to take a phrase used by communities using sustainable development principles, while using the nation’s resources wisely, efficiently and with effectiveness, the overwhelming challenges creating enormous friction eroding away at any amount of growth and development will overtake it, such as hyperinflation, which may turn into a national, or even, a worldwide depression; this could lead us toward a war we should not and would not want to fight. That would be entropy and chaos at its worst!

What makes this moment in time, this threshold, so fragile, although extremely complex, is that one wrong decision, or series of them, one act leading toward further economic instability could take the economy, and our society, into the flaming red entropy zone, and further economic chaos.

A decision or series of decisions, which leads toward growth and development, will create new challenges that would bring about a new level of chaos and entropy if not managed properly and with transparency, intelligence, and balance, would bring about a repeat of what we have today and drop into the laps of a future generation.

Currently, our greatest level of national entropy has to do with the evaporation of personal wealth and wage/income growth, the thievery allowed by the top tier fraudulent financial corporatists, the hording of cash by the top financial institutions handed over by the taxpayers in exchange for their worthless toxic debt, rising un/underemployment, the selling off of manufacturing, and the importation of massive amounts of energy to fuel the country, just to name a few. These are the losses the country has experienced, and President Obama has inherited.

This is why President Obama cannot make mistakes. This is why he must use every ounce of his intellect to invite the smartest and most capable experts into his cabinet meetings and discussions to thoroughly analyze and plan for a sustainable, efficient, and effective recovery plan, even though it might be painful in the short run. To label decisions as capitalist, or socialist, or whatever is feudal. It is irrelevant. No doubt, a collective set of ideas and proposals must be use without having to label their intent. Ideologies and dogmatic beliefs must be discarded and pragmatism must prevail. He has no choice, unless he makes the wrong choices in order to please the very people that created this mess in the first place.

Thanks for reading, Jerry