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The Illusion of Getting Rich While Producing Nothing


By incentivizing speculation and corruption, reducing the rewards for productive work and
sucking wages dry with inflation, America has greased the skids to collapse.

Of all the mass delusions running rampant in the culture, none is more spectacularly
delusional than the conviction that we can all get fabulously rich from speculation while
producing nothing.
The key characteristic of speculation is that it produces nothing:
it doesn’t generate any new goods or services, boost productivity or increase the functionality
of real-world essentials.

Like all mass delusions, the greater the disconnect from reality, the greater the appeal.
Mass delusions gain their escape velocity by leaving any ties to real-world limitations behind,
and by igniting the most powerful booster to human euphoric confidence known, greed.

Lost in the mania of easy wealth from speculative trading is the absence of any value
creation in the rotation-churn of moving bets from one table to the latest hot game:

in flipping houses sight unseen, no functionality was added to the house. In transferring
bets on one cryptocurrency to another or from one meme stock to another, no value to the
economy or society was created.

In the mass delusion that near-infinite wealth can be generated without producing anything,
creating value has no value:
the delusion is that I can get rich producing
nothing but speculative gains, and then I can buy all the stuff somebody else is making
.

The fantasy powering the speculative frenzy is once I get rich, I’ll stop working
and live off my wealth.
It’s interesting, isn’t it, how everyone can get rich
via unproductive speculation, quit their jobs and then live off the productive work of
somebody else who failed to get rich off speculation.

Maybe that’s why all the container ships are lined up at Long Beach, waiting to unload the
goodies made in China for American speculators to buy.
This is what happens when the
incentive structure of the economy decays so that being productive has little upside
(i.e., working is for chumps) while speculating is all upside (get rich quickly and easily).

Everyone knows great empires became great by transferring their critical supply chains to
competing nations, living it up on borrowed/printed money, exploiting the highest bidder wins
regulatory/governance system and incentivizing speculation while pushing wage earners into
debt-and-tax servitude. Bone up on your history, Bucko; all great nations got there by
quitting boring, tiresome productive work to speculate on illusions of value with borrowed money.

This is the result of monopolies and cartels becoming the financial and political power
centers of the nation.
Maximizing private gains is all that matters in this
incentive structure, and so treating employees as chattel to lower costs, offshoring critical
supply chains to squeeze out a few more dollars of profits, engineering products to break down
(planned obsolescence), buying regulatory barriers and “free passes” and tax breaks
galore with all the billions showered on financiers and other fraudsters by the Federal Reserve:
in a word, a system that optimizes corruption.

This is how you hollow out a nation and guarantee collapse. The most rewarding
“skillsets” are a sociopathological obsession with maximizing profits by any means available
and speculating with Fed free money for financiers. The millions of “retail” speculators
are simply picking up the cues being given by the billionaires who gained their wealth by
issuing debt to fund stock buy-backs and other financial manipulations.

Working for monopolies and cartels is for chumps because monopolies and cartels have zero
incentive to share profits with mere employees.
Their profits are made not by taking care of their
workforce but by regulatory capture, artificial scarcities and financialized
destruction of competition
: first, borrow billions thanks to the Fed and Wall Street,
destroy the competition (for example, the taxi industry), then once the competition has been
wiped out, jack up prices because now consumers have no choice other than another member of
the cartel.

Speculative “wealth” is phantom wealth, a flickering illusion of prosperity.
All speculative bubbles pop, and all speculative bubbles inflated by borrowed money and central
bank manipulation pop even more ferociously than bubbles funded by actual savings.

By incentivizing speculation and corruption, reducing the rewards for productive work and
sucking wages dry with inflation, America has greased the skids to collapse.
As with all
mass delusions, the incentives to continue believing are immense and the incentives to
reconnect with reality few.

So in conclusion: the speculative gains to be made in the collapse of the mass delusion
will be spectacular.
There’s nothing like the collapse of a hollowed out, completely
corrupt economy to generate outsized profits for nimble speculators.
Just keep your speculative winnings on number 22 on the roulette
wheel. (A Casablanca movie reference….)


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