Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Who Stays, Who Goes.

You know, almost like Clash (who I never liked, frankly) who asked in 1981 this existential question on if they should beat it and fade into obscurity or stick around a while longer. 
We may now start answering partially (I underscore it) this question in terms of who should stay or who should go, now(c). My answer starts with "expertdom", most, not all, though (that is very important to keep in mind)  modern "experts", are not really experts in anything at all. The first and most massive layer of this "expertdom" are all kinds of social media "influencers" from all continents who do not know shit from shinola, but because being "educated" in fashion design, theater, "economics", philosophy, political "science", marketing, media and financial "analysis", among many other things of similar nature, the only application of their lack of any useful skills is in the emotion-driven "influencing" of the same kind of impressionable losers like themselves in social media. While "influencing" a fairly large strata of humanity (primarily from "developed" countries where, mostly, youth is addicted to exposing themselves on social networks) through their "expertise", this cabal of ignoramuses can sell only personal smugness and serve as a good conduit for rumors, stupidity, conspiracy theories and wholesale detachment from reality, sometimes aided with a very specific political agenda. This army of "experts" is vast--it spreads across a number of platforms, from Youtube to blogosphere, and it is precisely a category of people who are, generally, unemployable in any serious field, other than adding to the numbers of amorphous office plankton.  This "army" is doomed and it should go, despite their inevitable desperate attempts to stay--a whole day worth of honest work, are you kidding me? Those people think that they are too good for that. 

As journalist Dmitri Olshansky warns (in Russian) about Russia in this particular case and possible upheaval:
Все эти люди, из которых состоят Москва и Питер, Московская область, а отчасти уже и Казань, Нижний, Сочи, Екатеринбург, - эти кафе и турфирмы, дизайнеры и пиарщики, эти бесконечные сервисы, торговые центры, апартаменты и их арендаторы и владельцы, магазинчики, торгующие не лекарствами и не гречкой, а чем-то вроде бы второстепенным, кинотеатры, охранники офисов, ремонтники, строители и таксисты, в конце концов. Что будет с ними? В отличие от военных заводов и газопроводов, эти люди не воспринимаются как необходимый, жизненно важный элемент нашей жизни.
Translation:  All these people, who constitute Moscow and Piter, Moscow Region, partially Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi, Yekaterinburg--all those cafes and tourist firms, designers and PR specialists, all those endless services, shopping malls, apartments and their renters and owners, all those small stores which sell not the buckwheat, not medicine but something of secondary importance, movie theaters, office guards, repairmen, construction workers, can drivers, in the end. What is going to happen to them? Unlike military plants and gas pipe-lines, these people are not perceived as an essential element of our life.

Well, Olshansky himself is, obviously, an "expert", albeit of a more privileged kind--he gets paid for his "expertise"--and he immediately shows us his level of understanding of the problem. It is not a good level. For starters, who said that "repairmen" and especially "construction workers" are not essential elements of out lives? Olshansky? I have some news for him: electricians, plumbers, let alone contractors, will be needed ALWAYS and they always existed and will continue to exist within the "corridor" of fluctuation of economy--sometimes easy going, sometimes tough--but these professions are not going anywhere. PR specialists, however, together with many (not all) realtors should go--these are largely useless occupations, together with most "marketing" specialists, stock brokers and other financial "analysts" who are in the business of driving primarily useless wants and add nothing, other than adding to the tax base, of real value to society other than erecting massive self-licking ice cream cone. 

Olshansky is worried that if not supported by Russian state those people may become a good fuel for "opposition" (which primarily itself is the same type of "service economy" so called kreakls) or even go into criminal business. I hear him, my question however, including understanding of a fact that people's lives and livelihoods must be the center of government's concern, is if he looked outside lately to see what is going on globally? In the end, Russia has next full week off (all of it paid), next 6 months automatic extension of benefits and privileges (in Russian), and we are just beginning to see what measures Russia is undertaking to weather a global geopolitical, medical and economic hurricane. I am pretty sure we will hear more, much more, from not only Putin himself, but last time I checked this new guy Mishustin increasingly looks like a real professional and people's man against the background of former Prime Minister known for his inadequacy to his position. So, Olshansky's piece is one of those "expert" opinion pieces which is written in haste. I, as an example, wouldn't mind to see Moscow's High School of Economics dissolved with its "professors" taking always in demand jobs of sweeping streets in Russia, while most of its students transferred to colleges to study metal-works, modern welding, tool and die making, you know--skills which are in high demand even today in Russia. No? Of course. This is not to mention the fact, which Olshansky MUST know if he considers himself an "expert", that it is precisely THIS strata of secondary, if not tertiary service economy young people who are the fertile ground for operations by the so called "opposition" and liberal (a euphemism for radically Russophobic) media in Russia. They are also a MAIN driver in support for oligarchy and import of the most insane cultural practices from the West.  So, let's call them what they are. Marxists called them lumpen. I can remind Olshansky what lumpen is:
There is a reason that this type of public goes in Russia under insulting condescending term Kreakls, even when they nominally are not from the creative field of arts. Nobody needs PR "specialists", last time I checked (10 minutes ago), St. Petersburg alone needs a shit load of tool and die makers, lathe and machining CNC centers operators (in Russian). Sure, for some financial "analyst" going from doing nothing in office and BSing people into buying useless financial "instrument" over a nice meal in a fancy restaurant getting his (her) income cut and going to shipyard or machine-building plant to perform actual work may seem as a cultural shock, but those jobs pay, large companies provide excellent and really cheap (sometimes free) meals in plant's cafeteria. So, what's not to like? So, they do not want to change their life and learn real skills and contribute to society? They want to join "opposition" (much of it financed from the West) and demand themselves to be allowed to the power (and resources)? For that, there is OMON and FSB. Jobs for people who want to work and learn, and improve their skills and are ready to take risks are out there and they are plentiful. Jobs of PR "specialists', media "experts" and other Kreakls are not coming back, because nobody needs them. 

But that is Russia, in the US same class of Kreakls (American ones) decided to go for broke and unleashed printing of money. It may help, initially, for a very little while but then...Well, we all know what this "then" is--(whispering) high, very high, hyper....ooops, inflation. But in the same time--what would one expect? This is the ONLY option the United States currently has. That, plus attaching some strings to new bailout package:
It is essentially 2008 TARP with some, I would say, welcomed modifications for people who already lost and many will lose their jobs. This is good, however, not going far enough. Will US economy "recover"? In some sense it should, it is just that it will find itself in an uncharted territory of economic reality where US GDP will finally be measured for what it is ($9-10 trillion at best) and new geopolitical reality will take hold. Like a complete revision of US global military posture and expenses--a process many US "experts" (with zero real expertise) on a payroll of all kinds of fraudulent "think tanks" tried to avoid for decades. Most of those "experts" should go--they have zero expertise. So, many those "creative" types with degrees in "conflict resolution" or political "science" should go, together with "educational" programs preparing those. New reality is upon us and, as I said, we may yet thank fate that it all happens this way.

In related news, Russia accelerates sea trials of 3M22 Zircon (in Russian) with a number of submarine and surface ship launches planned for this year. It makes sense, since under present global circumstances, considering who runs the United States today, combat deployment of these (M=9, officially, now there is a rumor that their speed is even higher and range is much longer) missiles will provide a very serious deterrent factor against any attempt by crazies to "export" US inflation and other economic problems abroad by only means US know--unleashing military aggression. Especially around Europe or China. So, buckle up--we are in uncharted territory. 

UPDATE: On Putin's address. Sadly in Russian only (for now). Well, welcome back to... well, you know;) Phrase at 06:44: "I Request the Government and Central Bank to ensure stable financing (lending) of the REAL sector". 
Massive increases of payments for unemployed, for multi-children families, 6 months tax and loan vacations for all small and middle-sized businesses, simplification of bankruptcy process. Long to list it all. The most rewarding one is increasing (from 2 to 15%) taxation of all capital transfers out of Russia. Boy, talk about world changing like crazy, not to mention a creepy (not really) similarity of measures by the.... ahem, US Government. It is obvious that Russian State will be happy to acquire many more juicy real sector enterprises from some overly nervous "owners", as was the case in 2008. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, it is all about people--no people, no capital. You don't take care of people, you are screwed--no matter how high Dow Jones is. If US will be able to weather this shitstorm and not spiral down into a complete economic collapse--Trump has just won 2020 elections. The rest could be settled later. We may not grasp yet a significance of this historic moment. But it is significant, very. Even Financial Times begins to suspect something, LOL.

Central banks must evolve to help governments fight coronavirus

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