Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

2010, Economics  -   141 Comments
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Ratings: 7.94/10 from 124 users.

Overdose: The Next Financial CrisisWhen the world's financial bubble blew, the solution was to lower interest rates and pump trillions of dollars into the sick banking system. The solution is the problem, that's why we had a problem in the first place.

For Economics Nobel laureate Vernon Smith, the Catch 22 is self-evident. But interest rates have been at rock bottom for years, and governments are running out of fuel to feed the economy. The governments can save the banks, but who can save the governments? Forecasts predict all countries' debt will reach 100% of GDP by next year. Greece and Iceland have already crumbled, who will be next?

The storm that would rock the world, began brewing in the US when congress pushed the idea of home ownership for all, propping up those who couldn't make the down payments. The Market even coined a term, NINA loans: "No Income, No Assets, No Problem!" Enter FannieMae and FreddieMac, privately owned, government sponsored. Want that vacation? Wanna buy some new clothes? Use your house as a piggie bank! Why earn money to pay for your home when you can make money just living in it? With the government covering all losses, you'd have been a fool not to borrow.

The years of growth had been a continuous party. But when the punchbowl ran dry, instead of letting investors go home to nurse their hangovers as usual, the Federal Reserve just filled it up again with phoney money. For analyst Peter Schiff, the consequence of the spending binge was crystal clear: we're in so much trouble now because we got drunk on all that Fed alcohol. Yet along with other worried experts, he was mocked and derided during the boom.

Have you taken out a mortgage, invested capital or bought shares? If you have, likelihood is you lost out in the latest bust. Governments promised decisive action, the biggest financial stimulus packages in history, gargantuan bailouts: but what crazed logic is this, propping up debt with...more debt? This documentary brings an entirely fresh voice to the hottest topic of today.

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Jon
Jon
9 years ago

Think positive. The system suffered with the collapse of Lehman Brothers due to toxic assets overload. But funds shifted to derivatives trading.

There was no capital flight. The system gained trust, but money supply got stuck in futures contracts. Thus, it was imperative for the host market to print money and replenish the funds locked in contracts.

It is like having all chips of the casino in one table. Unless more chips are made available, the other activities offered in that casino would stop.

But this awkward remedial measure is poorly thought by other countries as a signal to create money supply, and this weakened their domestic conditions instead. This is the real problem, but that is another story.

FundamentalClue
FundamentalClue
10 years ago

Pretty decent documentary but it still fails to point out or recognize the root of the problem. The financial crisis is an intrinsic and inherent defect of the monetary system itself. The system cannot fix itself, as it in itself is the problem. The most imortant detail to understand in this, is that the system is a ploy - currency is a FICTION, NOT REAL, FABRICATED. When money is printed to create bailouts and stimulus packages, it is not coming from any existing value. It's not like the institutions printing the money actually have this money as something they own. It is simply printed arbitrarily as needed. Meaning, the money we use to run the economy is really no different than the money used to play the Monopoly board game. And if you haven't realized it yet, that basically means we are all paying debts to people who loant us money that didn't have the money. Meaning we're all being scammed and haven't the slightest clue it's a scam. You and I are paying debts that aren't given to us by someone who had the money previously. They didn't give us THEIR money, they printed new money into existence. So if it wasn't their money before, what makes it their money now? It seems we owe our debts to the money Gods because as far as I know Gods are the only things that can create. And since money has been created, out of thin air so to speak, no person on this planet can be the true owner of that money - it didn't belong to anyone; it didn't exist.
So as for solutions... Well, it's pretty simple, although, getting everyone informed in order to be onboard is the difficult part. Since money is a fiction and the creation of money happens arbitrarily as needed, it is just as simple to place arbitrary parameters or policies to ensure stability. For instance, there was an ancient practice in Judaism and Christianity known as a Jubilee year in which all debt was erased every 50 years. That could solve a lot of problems but it's no real solution, because it assumes that this pardon will be needed in 50 years time. A real solution will create stability without the need for intervention. I recommend we as a democracy enforce the government take control of money printing and we start printing our own interest free money, effectively making the current note in use, useless. This means all debts will be erased automatically since the old note (which we use right now), wont be valued anymore as money. And that holds no weight against anybody, because as I've stated previously, the money we owe didnt belong to anyone before it was printed and given to us as a loan. That's the short version in a nutshell. More tasking and community changes should probably take place as well but that's a long discussion, so I'll save it for now.

Dave Price
Dave Price
11 years ago

Mark: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

disqus_DckmtFvCrE
disqus_DckmtFvCrE
11 years ago

why are the George bush spech extracts in black and white when we had colour when he was in power, and when these speeches were broadcast in colour ? Editors do this all the time and I hate it.

Glen Hale
Glen Hale
11 years ago

Every 80 odd yrs they is a depression we are over due thanks to money printing.

awful_truth
awful_truth
11 years ago

An excellent documentary, but..... several important items were missed, and here they are.
1) People were unable to pay for their homes, (sub prime mortgages) not only because they had lost jobs, but because their payments were not fixed. If your monthly mortgage payment goes from $600 to $2,000 a month after the fine print kicks in, you won't keep your home. This doesn't mean people were not lent money they couldn't afford, only that they were suckered for a short term money grab. (the new American dream) All the talk about keeping interest rates high in this documentary is a joke. Since the economic collapse of 1929, money is now based upon your own labor. (debt) Since no one is backing the currency with any 'real' investment, why would anyone pay interest on a loan to begin with? Interest is the ultimate inefficiency in economics, and reinforces the status quo for the elite. (Rothschild family - estimated value 500 trillion dollars)
2) The word 'derivatives' is entirely absent from this documentary. These 'puts', 'calls', hedge funds, etc are the black box(no paper trail) of the banking industry, and empowered the corporate world to make short term profits, at long term expense to those they had sold them to. (taxpayer investment) Ironic that taxpayer money is now used to bail out the very banks that robbed the people to begin with. Just ask how many billion dollars of bailout went to pay bonuses to executives who help plunder the people for their own greed.
3) 'greed' is the reason that capitalists resist the idea of regulations, because it might impede their level of insanity regarding what they want, from what they need.
Ultimately, capitalism will only lead to global slavery. This is why the corporate manufacturing moves to countries like China, India, and Mexico, where they will work for 10 cents an hour just to put rice on their table so their family doesn't starve. If capitalism is so great, how does 1st world countries expect to compete paying $30 an hour? Either China gets unionized, or North American, and Europeon people will take a major cut in wage. (take note of the destruction of unions already occuring in the U.S.)
In closing, anyone who truly studies the history of money soon learns that humanity must change our collective value from greed to enlightenment, (wisdom) and that a paradigm shift in thinking is needed, or humanity as a whole will continue to suffer the same mistakes repeatedly, because we are unwilling to learn from them! Live long and prosper everyone.

Nalin Premaratna
Nalin Premaratna
11 years ago

Scary .... but this is happening all over the world, who is responsible???? The corrupted politicians all over the world !!!

if this bubble bursts the whole world will go in to depression, let hope and pray it will not happen.

stepitup_onenotch
stepitup_onenotch
11 years ago

This is a decent film, a good introduction to the financial crisis and should give most people the impetus to start questioning the whole global system. Questioning the whole system is hard to do though because there is so much propoganda in the mainstream press and media

Personally I think we should apply the reganism and thatcherism that was so successful in busting up all the unions and apply it to the banking and finance industry, break them up and put them into public service where they belong.

fnertz
fnertz
12 years ago

10.000 billion dollars in bailouts - more than the US cost for the first world war, the second world war, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Marshall Plan, The New Deal AND the moonlandings..

The next time anyone says "Capitalism is the only thing that works!" - I'm going to tell them this and then punch them in the face.

Samuel Gallop
Samuel Gallop
12 years ago

It's really sad for me to see how much ignorance there is still around.
Please guys, take the time to educate yourselves in free market economics, philosophy, history and so on. It is hard, I know. And it's kind of embarrassing to go back and read your old comments once you have educated yourself and see how naive, puerile and plain wrong you were. But it's worth it.
I am not going to comment on the many idiocies I have read here so far.
That would take me a life time, which I can't spare, sorry.

Just one thing for the RBE guys. Hopefully you will learn about real life and individualism and recover your senses before you feel compelled to "dismantle" ( AKA known as mass murder ) "society" just because you feel it is too inflexible and in need of a change in paradigm ( forced by lunatics like you, of course ).

Sad, really sad.

Marcelo Fourcade
Marcelo Fourcade
12 years ago

all the answers tried - I have seen them in Argentina during the 90's. I have lived them. what happened there in the year 2000 is going to happen in a global scale - because it was tested and it was succesful. Argentina - a land with incredible quantities of inmigrants . a small europe from Buenos Aires to the south. - You still have to witness the reconvertion of debt to new believers. people that had to live in the streets for a few months or years and now is given the opportunity to RE-insert themselves into the system. the worst converses. and even if they had to eat **** for some time. they will believe it was because of ''bad luck'' not because they were manipulated and treated like **** without knowing.
2012: the year when power shifted from ****heads profiting on financial speculation to the REAL PEOPLE that do or perform REAL PRODUCTIVE WORK.

Mark Stouffer
Mark Stouffer
12 years ago

This is one of the few documentaries that expose the truth. The tragic thing is the facts are not some hidden conspiracy, they are the topics of nightly headlines. The government told us they were going to do this. We all knew the economy was sucking after 9/11 and that the government was boosting housing to 'stabilize' the economy.

What is tragic is that everyone would rather think it is some secret trick by a few bankers that has brought the world to it's knees. It's not a conspiracy, it's stupidity. That is the frightening thing. And all the people in the public who viciously attack this viewpoint in defense of their dear leaders who they have never dared question. Barney Frank is a predatory lender. And he was doing it on behalf of the public.

Now people are giving the government another free pass. They are saying that it doesn't matter what laws banks had to follow. It only matters what they did in response to those laws. No one is willing to question the effect of the government intervention in the market itself. And then... they ask for more government intervention to fix the problem that government intervention caused. The crisis is in our minds. That is what makes it so dangerous.

mike jones
mike jones
12 years ago

this looks like it was the project of some film student. One with an IQ of about 90, and a drug problem. If you want to see a good documentary about the debt crisis watch I.O.U.S.A ...its also on this site.

ericthefool
ericthefool
12 years ago

This is a white wash documentary....warning!

Matt Kukowski
Matt Kukowski
12 years ago

TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT

Why does no one talk about this? Robotics and Computers AKA automation is replacing all our traditional AND service economies!!! The old jobs WILL NOT RETURN... they are now in CHINA. Besides, why would ANYONE want to be a robot in a manufacturing plant, when we have robots to do it ( This the automotive industry, remember all those robots building cars? Google ROBOTS on youtube and you will be BLOWN AWAY by how incredible automation have become.

You can throw money after unemployment, but the point is all those jobs are now AUTOMATED or in CHINA...

So, we can either start thinking about TECHNOLOGICAL UNEMPLOYMENT or ignore it and wonder why the world is falling apart.

I think automating everything BORING is a blessing not a curse !

But, there is still REAL work to be done... like Solar Panels, Wind and gardening and connecting with nature again. Humans act like ALIENS and think they are not part of nature... this is crazy!

Michael Blair
Michael Blair
12 years ago

I'm an under-educated pseudo-intellectual (which means I'm dangerously stupid instead of JUST stupid) but it seems to me that one of our most overblown fears could just as easily be a convenient solution to a baleful of current economic woes: Social Security & the Baby Boomers.

1. Repay what has been borrowed from SS.

2. Encourage retirement with the use of incentives (2 to 5 years of modest tax breaks) so the Baby Boomers on the cusp (those who still feel financially unable to retire) can retire NOW!

3. Millions can get back to work as a result of the newly created job vacancies and start paying taxes again.

Oh yeah, and legalize weed...

Brendan Downes
Brendan Downes
12 years ago

The comment feed below is wonderful! I encourage anyone (regardless of the above documentary that I haven't even watched yet because this dialogue was so engaging) to read/scroll through these comments. Many commenters are incredibly educated and what's most important - their differences in opinion are genuinely smart and well-thought out. Any reader will be allowed sort through not just one smart mind in regards to our economic situation, but many!

Neal Klomp
Neal Klomp
12 years ago

First, just because people are right once doesn't make them right for everything in future, that is the ridiculous fallacy underlying the argument of this film, appealing to the authority of the past and over generalizing based upon one anecdotal data point (BRING MORE DATA OR SHUT UP!)
The issue is that the bail outs have been so small in comparison to the kind of money it takes to create a bubble that the claim made by this video is pretty much just stupid; if the bailouts happened every year or more, then you'd have something, but they haven't. (Worth noting, the US military spending might easily be seen as the main bubble that has been driving the US economy for 50 years.)
To create a new bubble that would move the economy like the housing market did we're talking about several trillion dollars in one shot or a steady, as in yearly, boast of say a quarter of a trillion to a trillion dollars a year for a few years running; to move the world economy, maybe $5-10ish trillion a year.
The issue with the logic here is the misunderstanding of the scale of the economy. US GDP is about $13-15 trillion a year, to get it to notice something is going to take more than one or even two $700 billion bumps, one every year or two every year for a few years, now your talking about something, world GDP is like $60 trillion, btw.

The truth is that this video is a libertarian polemic against the debt. Which is fine, but it is dishonest about it and inaccurate.

Here's the problem with libertarian arguments about the debt: The argument is that national debt is a risk, it is a drain on the government (that is tax payer dollars) and must go away.
True enough.
The problem with that is that most of that debt is held in the US and is part of the economy. The loss of it would be like closing a bunch of factories. People would lose their jobs. Sure, I agree that is a pretty messed up thing, making taxpayer interest payments the source of profit for corporations -- but that is less than a half the debt, maybe around quarter actually, but it gets complicated, so let's stick with half. (Incidentally, less than 1/3rd of the debt is foreign owned, but that is also pretty messed up, no matter how much the amount, because US taxpayers, in paying interest, are paying it to foreign investors/governments: Not exactly cool.)
BUT, the majority of the debt is either retirement investments (so we are paying interest to retirees who invested in the US) or actually owned by the US government.
Yes, that's right. Read it again, it's true.
No one talks about this last part, but the Federal Reserve and other government entities own about half of the US debt.
Look it up, I'm not lying and I'm not wrong.
So, we're actually in debt to ourselves, like we're borrowing from our own accounts.
THIS IS WHY ALL THE HUB-BUB ABOUT THE DEBT IS A LITTLE BIT SILLY; we have more important things to worry about, sure we're 50% of our GDP in debt, but at this point we need to get the economy booming again, we need education, 1st class infrastructure, national optimism, etc. not a decade of paying back money. If the economy, and by that I mean the middle class, gets to cruising again, GDP will go back to raising $500 billion per year like it used to, and our debt problems will become much easier to deal with. So, to heck with the debt, we need a job, then we can pay off that credit card, until we get good work, we need to eat, take care of our health, our house, etc. To worry about the debt now is like worrying about the hospital bill while you're laying in the road dying.
Besides, no foreign government owns more than 20-25% of US debt, and remember we have like 11 nuclear aircraft carrier fleets, nobody else has more than 1, so no one is going to come knocking on our door trying to collect anytime soon.

Essentially, here is what is wrong with libertarian ideas in general:
This is not the 19th century and even in the 19th century when things were as unregulated as they want to make it there were problems.
These folks might point to earlier and earlier, the problem there is the economy of say the 17th century England is certainly less complex and less regulated (although, there were all sorts of regulator forces that I doubt any of these people know anything about--livery companies). However, the monarch had enough power to make the economy a state run economy. But also, those cultures were very very different. Lots of things do not match up, to say nothing of the fact that the scale of things don't map onto each other at all.

Also, you want to know about the last time conditions were like what the Libertarians are calling for, just before the Great Depression and before that it was the era of the Robber Barons in the last half of the 19th century. Both periods of great poverty for most and great wealth for a few, the funny thing is today, in some ways, things are WORSE.

Listen, the world is too complex. Going back is simply not an option.
The market DOES NOT WORK UNREGULATED. It does not work like Darwinism and we can't simply say that God will see to it that fair is fair.
If there is a God, he clearly isn't giving us what's fair but seeing if we'll produce it for ourselves out of what he gives us. And if there is no God, well same difference, we need to help each other out or when we ever need help we have nothing to say.
All a wide open, unregulated market will do is let the rich and powerful become more so. It will stifle creativity as monopolies form and destroy the middle class as most are forced into poverty and a few manage to escape into the wealthy nobility. It's like letting your cat have free reign over your fish tank or letting a lion lose in a roomful of children or letting a dumb, spoiled by privilege, greedy bully do whatever he wants.

Sorry, but I know some stuff, obviously, and Ron Paul is wrong, and worse, he has followers who don't know what they should know, but think that they do.
Study history.
Study politics.
AND study economics.
It is about what makes sense, not what we wish were real.

Stop oversimplifying in service of your ideology.

Richard Southall Cape Town
Richard Southall Cape Town
12 years ago

wow just watched this video .....and been folowing the latest on USA bailout s*** happening with Obama
ITS HAPPENING ALLOVER AGAIN BETTER GET YOUR MONEY OUT OF THE BANK INVEST IN SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT AND RUN TO THE HILLS TO WETHER THE STORM THE S*** WILL HIT THE FAN

NellaPamukov
NellaPamukov
12 years ago

I just finished watching this video and my personal opinion about it is that this video makes a lot of sense. It describes what we face up in todays days...recession coming mainly from Bush's actions and furtheron carried by Obama's actions. There are other parts not mentioned like the credit cards debt, the black money market and etc...but the things said in this documentary make sense. I also read some of yours posts and I respect all of yours opinion but theres no why offending some posts or similar to that; each person perceives things differently. As far as I saw, there was a post from a persona who was not familiar with economics studies but did a very good apolitical point. I would also say that this world would have to melt down before a new world would come. It is really sad to face up with the current situation happening in Greece, Portugal, Iceland, Spain and GB also. I live 30 min far from Greece and believe me, when I go to Thessaloniki, it doesnt look like these guys are in deep recession. It is just foolish... and I would stop here :)

Nella

Clayton William Swanepoel
Clayton William Swanepoel
12 years ago

I've watched a total of about 0 minutes and I think it's one of the most interesting Docs I've ever watched!!!!!1

Anders Adrielsson
Anders Adrielsson
12 years ago

This is obviously a Swedish documentary, hopefully it won't be as uncomfortably bias as other doc's on this site :s

Carol Sterritt
Carol Sterritt
13 years ago

The big problem with this information is the huge amount of information that is so conveniently left out.

It is not ONLY that we had a "housing bubble."

This film doesn't mention how in America, we had thirty years of "Reagan" -era trickle down. With Americans seeing that the best paying jobs went overseas. Even people with double Masters' degrees saw it happen, as research positions went over to Singapore and other Pac Rim countries.

Meanwhile we had massive immigration from people from the nations south of our border.

Americans were not seeing an uptick in wages, and they were faced with unemployment and living on the margins of their credit cards. And the things that someone as conservative as Eisenhower did back in the fifties, building the infra structure, building bridges, building community hospitals and community educational centers -that is now considered to be "socialistic." But in the Fall of 2008, our government was loaning nine to thirty trillion bucks to the Big Financial Firms - who have used worthless collateral to "pay it back."

MarkSalerno
MarkSalerno
13 years ago

I love all this financial crisis cos i got no money anyway so the only way is up biatch!

odogg51
odogg51
13 years ago

Not the best doc I've seen on this, or other related topics, with that said it's not bad either. It does not come to a nice conclusion, it's a bit choppy in the connections it makes.
Nick there is a lot there, but the last paragraph says it pretty good.

Sunglasses
Sunglasses
13 years ago

The world has to melt down before a new world can grow up.
We MUST realise that the world is "dead" and the only way to get on from here is to start on a fresh!
So kill the financial system today and lets build a new world!

Nick
Nick
13 years ago

I haven't watched the doc(yet) and don't know the details of an RBE. However after reading through all these enlightening comments I can at least put forth an opinion...
People can be motivated to do things in a society where things are provided to them. I wouldn't ask to be given a luxury house, fine cuisine, a great car, or anything of the like. Absolute basic needs should be the only things guaranteed to people. Living quarters, food, healthcare, etc. And when I say basic I mean basic. We live in an age where that at least is possible.
Most people wouldn't be happy with living in a small room and eating bland food even if it could at least sustain them. They would work for more. If you want a big house...work for it. If you want more than basic food. Work for it. Even if you don't want that...if you want any of the commodities in life like TV, computers, smartphones, all of our fun little gadgets that everyone has nowadays - you would work for it. No one would be happy sitting in an empty room all day not doing anything....but at least people basic needs would be met. That alone would nearly be a utopia compared to what we have now. So what if taxes are higher because of it. If I made more than enough to provide for myself I'd be happy to help others...call it socialism if you will but I for one don't hold any negative connotations toward socialism if implemented correctly.

It's just unfortunate that, with the *real* powers that be, it would take nearly a revolution to see any actual change like this without the levels of corruption and greed we have now. And there's nothing say that anything new that even comes from that wouldn't be just as corrupt.

At religionisntallbad said....the best we can do right now is make smart personal choices and educate those we know and love to do the same. I may not have a lot of money, a nice house, a high tech phone, or anything like that but at least I'm not in debt and more importantly - I'm happy living like this. Anything I want...I'll work for the money and then buy it. My actions don't have an impact on society as a whole but the economic issues over the last few years have barely scratched me because of it.

I'd rather live like I do now than get into debt for material possessions.

I guess the point I'm really trying to make is that it's almost impossible for any of us to make an actual considerable change in society but I commend the people that do try. For the rest of us who see that there is a problem but feel powerless to do anything. Just live up to your own ideals and don't let yourself fall into the system any more than you have to. That alone impacts the views and actions of people close to you and the same will hold for them and the people they know. It may not be much but it's something.

Mike Elzey
Mike Elzey
13 years ago

This piece means less than nothing. Other than the film maker, who is the authority for these assertions?

freddie may not
freddie may not
13 years ago

all you foreigners should go to third world countries your money is worth more there your not only living the american dream there but a rich arabian prince! lol.

Jer.K.
Jer.K.
13 years ago

I watched a total of about 7 minutes of this doc before skipping around - there is nothing in it. Save your self an hour - this is really useless stock image fill with like maybe 9 minutes of dialog - in which there is like 2 salient points. Fluff.

ReligionIsntAllBad
ReligionIsntAllBad
13 years ago

’Hey rich people ... an RBE is better for you’ is not going to work. I am not telling you not to try that approach, although I *could* tell you why not to try ... who wants or needs my flimsy explanations. In fact, I am telling you to try it and understand exactly why it wont work in your own terms so you can move on to something that might :)

ReligionIsntAllBad
ReligionIsntAllBad
13 years ago

Yeahhhh .... everyone keeps trying to sell the RBE to me as if I didnt get a degree in economics, or cant imagine how things ’ought to be’, or havent read any literature on RBE. It always starts like ’Imagine a world where’ ... and then describes a system that isnt possible with limited altruism, or indeed without a revolution in the average individual level of consciousness in order to truly and properly implement an RBE as the idealists envision.

’Imagine choosing where to live not based on finances, the market, or jobs’. Yeah because someone at the Central Ministry of Valuation is going to judge my societal worth and determine in which apartment complex I get to live and how nice my groceries can be. There is a word for that type of economy: planned. And the concept is not in any way new. If you feel mankind is ready to properly manage a planned economy without corruption, I think you are being naive. It isn’t a secret that industry directly funds political parties and candidates to a degree that the public does not. We have a political system corrupted by industry that is not even hiding its corruption, and we have all of us given it our tacit approval by not shouting it down or running for office ourselves. I think that is proof of a kind that we are not ready to properly manage a planned economy. You will be hard pressed to force an RBE on an unwilling public ... but eventually as our mean level of consciousness increases I believe our society will organically trend towards mechanisms that eliminate the corruption and unfairness that is apparent to us all in our current society. Whether it is an RBE or not ... does that even matter ... of course not :)

There is no pot to jump out of not because there are no new options to choose, that isnt what I meant. The pot of boiling water is your country and the temperature controls are your political engine and you and all your fellow citizens are the frogs. Dreaming about jumping out is not of particular benefit to the frogs in this scenario; however, having dreamt of jumping out, some frogs could convince others to let them fiddle with the temperature controls in an effort to realize their dream. Or at least to entertain ideas of adjusting the temperature controls in a national froggy debate. I encourage you all on this path of reptilian joy :D

Alex B
Alex B
13 years ago

Every system designed until now has expected humans to behave a certain way, and the beauty of the proposed RBE is that it doesn't expect people to do or act in any particular way. It only provides a free environment where we are all free to choose our lifestyle and not forced to conform. Imagine choosing where to live, not based on finances, the market, or jobs. Chances are we would relocate to communities of like interests. This would certainly reduce conflicts. Imagine choosing what occupation you wish to practice, regardless of finances or job opportunities. This would surely make people happier doing what they want. And the most beautiful part of all is that we ARE diverse and we all want different things. So not all of us will be lazy, or want the same occupation, or want the same kind of house, or car, or whatever. A RBE uses this diversity to its advantage, and rather than mold people into perfect citizens, we consider everyone perfectly unique, and they can bring as much or as little to society as they see fit.

Alex B
Alex B
13 years ago

@ ReligionIsntAllBad

Well, it's refreshing to see that you haven't completely rejected the idea of a RBE. I appreciate all the smiley faces :D

For the "jumping out of the pot," there IS an outside because life will continue to exist with or without capitalism or human civilization. It's a matter of if we will have another pot to jump into I think. A RBE could be that pot, but people have to know the pot exists. Not saying it will, but the possibility is there, and we can build on that.

You said "First of all …. an RBE would require a great deal of altruism on behalf of its participants." Actually, when you really understand a RBE, it's not dependent on EVERYONE to be altruistic. It actually doesn't expect anything from anyone. Now, that is to admit that if everyone decides to do nothing, then the system fails, but you may be surprised to see how many people would be willing to put in their time to provide abundance for all. Wouldn't you? Why should a few or even a lot of lazy people hold us back from progressing and keeping everyone warm and fed? And who are we to punish these people who don't want to participate? Let's design a system that requires little human effort to support everyone on the planet, and then we wouldn't need so many people to be "good citizens."

When you look at our current system, (government and capitalism) in order for this to work, this system demands people to follow the law and participate in the economy. So it is no different than the argument against any utopian vision. By this logic, we can safely say WE live in a utopia, or at least the means to one.

It all starts with expanding our realm of possibility. We have to envision a future before we can create it, and right now people are convinced that this is it. I've considered politics, as was suggested to me once by a complete stranger after a short conversation, but see it as an overcomplicated process that really is bent on keeping things as they are, though it might be refreshing for people to see a politician that advocated removing government and money, thus eliminating my own job and income.

I think there are two scenarios. One is where we somehow convince the rich and those in power that they will be better off in a RBE (which they will), or a financial collapse and the global discontent with government policy. The latter is sadly what I see right now, but who knows? Even if I die and nothing gets done, hopefully I've inspired at least one individual to want to make change. We just need a critical mass of volunteers and/or the right opportunity.

ReligionIsntAllBad
ReligionIsntAllBad
13 years ago

A resource based economy is possibly the greatest idea of all time. Sadly, I feel that one may possibly never be fully realized :D

First of all .... an RBE would require a great deal of altruism on behalf of its participants. Second of all ... the political structure would have to actually CAPTIVATE THE INTEREST of its participants or else be susceptible to corruption even worse than we know now. I think you will find overwhelmingly that an RBE is not what America wants. (America as defined by the generalization of individual americans as best as possible). Maybe it is what is best for individual Americans, but I'm not even convinced it would be best for America as a whole.

Perhaps you could run for political office and simultaneously convince all of the other capitalist economies of the world which are now interconnected with each other to all implement a RBE at the same time. Again ... I will be watching for this on CNN ... I am not joking :D

Failing that, I suppose we will wait a very long time before moving away from capitalism of one form or another :)

ReligionIsntAllBad
ReligionIsntAllBad
13 years ago

It hurts me so much to agree with you, Ron. It seems that the best we economists (yes I actually studied econ) can do is make smart personal choices and counsel friends/family to do the same. We are caught in a fiscal crisis caused by political choices :/

Alex, the problem with the boiling pot and the frog is that it assumes that there is a non boiling place to jump to ... there is no 'jumping out of the pot'. Not trying to rain on your parade ... quite the opposite. I think you should consider public service, and try to sell people on the idea of tightening their belts to get out of a bad situation. In the very least you will see how incredibly difficult that task is ... but at the most you will succeed and I will get teary eyed remembering when I told you to do this as I watch your story on CNN :)

ron
ron
13 years ago

It is a very deep and complicated subject so I understand peoples confusion.

To the people who say there was no one saying what the next problem will be here is the short synopsis.....Either the US dollar looses its status as reserve currency and interest rates go up....or A Euro nation defaults on its debt....or countries who need to print more money must raise interest rates to attract the bond buyers of their debt. Either one of those scenerios will do it. And it will happen just a mater of time for one scenerio.

Take Canada or Australia for instance. They still have housing at ridiculous prices because people can finance 300k to 1,000,000 mortgages for 3 % or there abouts. If the gov'ts need to raise money for their deficits but the market is drying up for bond buying they will have to attract with higher rates. 2-3% increase in mortgage rates will stop housing dead in its tracks when we are talking about the leverage people have in their homes.

So those are some of the things that this documentary suggested as outcomes. What you do with that is up to you. I am not so sure why people would still be in the stock market with it at the levels it is now. It was a gift to get back here. take the money and run.

The original solution to the problem was to give a 3 year tax rebate to every american household. They should have given that money to the taxpayer and not to the banks. People would have spent the money on what they needed or wanted and it would have fed into those institutions that were soundly based on a operational level. But maybe none of them were soundly based which would mean that even today they are not soundly based because all that the financials hvae recieved is a pile of money to cover crap debt that may never increase in value.

There is no pretty outcome here. Our children will curse us economically and environmentally. We are ignorant and stupid when it comes to finance and economies.

PARTY ON DUDES!

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

@ Alex...your absolute foolishness is scary.

Alex B
Alex B
13 years ago

@ jimmschimera

Great comments. Glad that change is at least an option for you. I would say change is inevitable, whether we are willing to endure it or not.

I see our situation as a frog in slow boiling water. Slowly, the heat has been increasing (social tensions, crime, war, poverty, etc) and we've continued to adjust to the climate of our surroundings. So we've grown quite comfortable, made simple lives for ourselves and our families, convinced that this is just the way things are and will always be. At what point do we notice the temperature of the water getting too hot, and do we choose to jump out or ride it out?

The fate of the poor frog is up to his/her ability to notice when it is time to get out, and for those that choose to either ignore the problems or wait for something to change, unfortunately, they'd be cooked alive. You say change must be gradual, as most others do, but who controls the stove's temperature? Clearly, we are not the ones in control of our society, no matter how much we vote, purchase, or protest, so to try and work our way out of the system confined to the rules of that system is naive.

The best way to wake someone from a dream is not to gently nudge them, but to splash a cold bucket of water on them. The only way we can get through the change is to get through it. Like puling off a band-aid. It'll hurt for a moment, but that moment will pass. I'm not so naive to think there won't be casualties or suffering, but we're suffering right now. Let's get it over with. People will only seek change when they see the system the put so much faith in, collapse around them.

WWII after the great depression is a great example of people motivated for change, however, the people were duped into NAZI beliefs and relied too much on their leaders rather than themselves. When you look at history, all great change happened over short periods of time. Agriculture, industrial revolution, aeronautics, electricity, computers. All these things came about almost overnight and were implemented into society because of the huge benefits. When you chart these changes over time, you notice an exponentially rising curve as to how fast these innovations spread throughout the globe. Just look at what we've done over the past ten years compared to the last hundred years compared to the last thousand years, compared to the last ten thousand years. Change is happening faster and faster, and it's time we embrace it rather than hold firm to outdated beliefs.

In response to being motivated after a Utopia is formed, you assume that after this change from capitalism to humanism, all will be perfect. I make no assumption, but rather see a new society that is designed for change, because the universe is too large to reach any pinnacle of civilization. As we evolve, so will our beliefs and understandings, and a proper society would be one that reflects the consciousness and intelligence of those people. I think Utopia must be redefined, because Utopia to 21st century man may be drastically different from 1st century man. There will always be new things to discover and explore, and our motivations will likely center around the unexplored areas of science and the universe. The aim, right now, would be to start laying a more flexible foundation, capable of supporting all life on Earth, so that we can ask bigger questions.

Right now, we are so worried about feeding and sheltering ourselves, that we really don't have the time or energy to worry about much else. When we can generate a more sustainable society, we all grow together and free ourselves from drudgery. We will shift from a society built on scarcity to one built on abundance. From there, who knows? There will be flaws and there will be problems, but that's never stopped us before from taking the next step. I just believe that the problems we face today, most of them can be very easily solved. From a very simplistic and logical understanding, there is no reason for people to be homeless or hungry. We have the technology and the resources, but we've given those to "higher" authorities in trust that they will take care of things. Time to take back what belongs to everyone and not just a select few.

I hope I've been clear. Change is probably best served right away as exemplified by our dear friend Mr. Frog caught in the cooking pot. And Utopia really is a myth, but I prefer to see it as more of an event horizon. The point at which light cannot escape, but is always striving towards.

jimmschimera
jimmschimera
13 years ago

@ alex B
I agree with you that this is high time to change or at least start feeling the intense urge to change, but there are some very ground issues or factors that cannot simply be erased or deleted by a click of a mouse. It is true that humanity is at the verge of something drastic whether we may ever come to realize it or not since the efforts are so tactfully orchestrated that people don't accept to see their own silent decay and surprisingly demand the same thing that caused it. However, no matter how urgent is the issue, sudden or instant change will not be viable but if so then this will come with an extremely heavy price. This trend is very much evident from history.

Now see, if we are talking about change then lets give it a very practical and rational outlook. For the sake of it, lets divide 'change' into stages. First, for the change to happen, majority of the citizens of the world have to realize and understand the truth.Next, motivate themselves for an action, which has to be a huge public movement. All these are very foundational changes that takes a lot of time, which, I believe you won't disagree. It is evident and you will still find millions of people who refutes all these conspiracies and believes that everything is fine. My own close friends disagree to all these and are happy with the illusive wonders of the world. Therefore, changing peoples mind is the most important,time consuming and difficult of all.It will certainly take time.And then,watching all these, there will be resistance from the governing class and actions will be taken to suppress it. Many will hold back due to fear and some will become ignorant. Therefore, this change comes inclusive with time and many losses. I don't discard the risks of gradual change but also don't underestimate the extreme dangers of sudden change. Meanwhile, I somewhere tend to believe that sudden change is not practically possible.

This system is so much ingrained in our lives that to get rid of it we have to first act within the limitations of this very system and then redesign ourselves all over again.

'..I don't know somewhere I am pulled to silently believe that this world has been evolving from ages and every century is a new chapter in its evolution. And every step in its evolution is a positive change. So may be we are already a part of a positive change which is doomed. This may be my optimism which is speaking and I don't bet on this"............

But again I think, though little abstract, let say that humankind and society has achieved the dream of living in the reality of Utopia. Now, if so then what will motivate people and the world to keep going in such situation, since utopia is the ultimate without any flaws but the final?...........what will drive mankind for the next,the better since there cannot be anything better than utopia?...........It will be a complete stop then, which to me is unlikely. So there cannot be utopia and every system that we think better will come with certain flaws which will later in time demand change and so on. uncertainty is inevitable which has entropy at its core.

But whatever it may be, I seek change.

David S
David S
13 years ago

After watching this documentary, I have to say that I'm honestly concern and worried about the times to come and my own safety and the safety of those to whom I hold love for. Having watched a lot other economics, political, war, 9/11 and conspiracy documentaries news and books; I can start to see a series of events that are not randomly produced but deliberately produce by a handful of people who have one objective in mind.

I think they have deliberately created the war on terror to seek a broader control of people activities, diminish social rights, and created a controlled society which will be unable to organize to o oppose the changes to come or fight back; they are also putting the right sets in place to control food/medicine/water/energy supply globally and create society in starvation which is easily manipulated and controlled.

They are seeking to redistribute the worlds wealth into the hands of a few hundreds of families that are economically and politically powerful enough to endure the up coming events and harness all the opportunities created by the meticulously made crisis, and at last I think their final movement its the destruction of local governments, creating an economic crisis around the world, that will bring governments to its knees once they pull the plug of the money supply and starts rising interest rates.

All of those bailouts bubbles would explode, and governments would not have enough money to pay back its huge debs and tax payments would rise exponentially just to keep the governments going, there would be the biggest depression in history of humanity, people would turn against their governments, and governments would turn to the only ones that would be able to lend them, the richest families in the world (by this time, 1000x richier) just like the Rothschild lent money to Napoleon and England, governments will use this money to contain its populations under the new approved terror legislations, dictatorships will rise everywhere, and nations will fight for the very basic necessities such as food and water, that would scares by that time.

At the end there would be just one way of stopping the war, hunger, and economic recession, that will lead to ultimate destruction of the concept of nation and to a global government. But this would be no democratic government, this would be a dictatorship of an aristocratic-plutocracy that will rise in the mist of all of the chaos they have created with that sole purpose. Local governments would be to much in debt with their new owners to oppose, they will use the new authoritarian laws to suppress dissidents populations and individuals.

Every one that opposes this new regime would be called a terrorist, resistance would be the new Al-Qaeda, and they will use all the technological advantage and with no privacy rights or social rights they would be able to stop them, event before they begin. If I where to read this without knowing all the things I've learned by researching information, I'll think this is just crap, but after all of this, it just makes perfect sense to me.

Alex B
Alex B
13 years ago

Can anyone give me a POSITIVE example of a product or service that could ONLY be brought about via money?

Alex B
Alex B
13 years ago

@ jimmschimera and anyone else who wishes to read.

I couldn't have put it better myself. I think your last paragraph shows great understanding of what a RBE should be and doesn't make broad assumptions. The way I see it, we need a system that is fluid and open to change. Capitalism is very rigid/solid and very difficult to make change which is why most people expect slow gradual change. Like trying to move a mountain, though it is possible, takes an extremely long time of gradual erosion. But what if this mountain we call capitalism is a volcano? Can we move it in time before it erupts?

I don't expect a one stop shop for this wonderful utopian society, but I do see that things can be much better than they are now. We need a system that is open to change so that we may easily make adjustments as problems or issues arise. We can't predict how everything will turn out, so why do we insist on building society and our economy as if it's the final solution?

Like Bruce Lee said "Be water, my friend." It's the only way to adapt to your surroundings, and by this method, we can never be defeated.

People may think me naive, but I feel the true naivety is thinking we can sustain a capitalist society. And by capitalist, I don't just mean the American economy, but any system that puts artificial values for goods and services. As long as we've traded or bartered or purchased, we've been capitalists, seeking to gain from a scarcity-based economy. So, as long as we can remember, we've always been capitalists, and it's going to be very hard to break the paradigm.

I refuse to believe we CAN'T change, or that it HAS TO BE slow and gradual. History shows that all change has been sudden and culture shocking, and when you look at how we've developed computer technology in the last decade, the culture shift curve has gone from linear to an exponential curve.

Films like this are great for exposing the inherent flaws in a monetary system, but I've seen enough of these to know that we now need solutions. When we can break the paradigm of needing materialism and hierarchy to motivate society, we can begin rationally discussing ways of creating a functioning economy that provides for our most basic needs and morals, without imposing particular cultural beliefs on any individual or group.

We are smart and very capable. It starts with believing we can, and then we make it so.

jimmschimera
jimmschimera
13 years ago

@ez2b12
I think your comments are grounded to reality and they quite depict the real picture of the state of the world. I agree that you were not trying to present a solution to the situation rather present anomalies that are more serious and cannot be solved by utopian imagination. Here I am talking about the greed and rest which follows.Just like you I am not a staunch proponent of RBE nor a devoted critic of capitalism, but I certainly see lot of loop holes in it. Yes,it is also not possible to save the dilapidating state of human civilization by catching a flight out of it and hence RBE is not a one stop solution.But your comparison of RBE with socialism was little out of the lid!

Capitalism is not the sole culprit but it is a major deteriorating factor behind many issues. Capitalism is an economic system where productivity is privately owned for private profit, as defined. Now this nature of capitalism clearly extrapolates to competition and competition further leads to greed. This is rather a black hole of all problems. So capitalism certainly has this inevitable flaw and it has turned dangerous,as evident all around. It has indeed become a strategic move for few influential people to exploit the vulnerability of this economic system and continue the age old practice of dominance. The prime importance of life is to survive adequately and peacefully, supported by the resources around us,to which all human has the equal right for survival. But when this right has become prerogative to only few then unequal distribution and exploitation of the weak is unavoidable. So in this context I would like to call greed not exactly as a by product of capitalism but capitalism rather as a catalyst to greed which was already existent from before. Long before capitalism came into existence man were on rampage around the world to conquer civilization's in the greed of power.

RBE also cannot be the answer to all of it. Since history various economic and political philosophies were put into practice and have failed to stand upto expectations; RBE is one of such philosophies presented to the modern yet evolving world. If we look at RBE from the present spectrum of knowledge and understanding then it may look like a world which can exist only in fiction. But the evolving nature of human and this world leaves the possibility open for RBE. Equality and free access to resources has been the anthem of all the economic and political system which came in the past and so for RBE, but the difference lies in its assertion that there won't be state to regulate or control.

That is the intriguing part of RBE. The element of technology is also important and without it society will not prosper but the idea of technology taking over instinct is little outrageous. However, it is an interesting concept and may reduce errors. Despite the criticisms as being too forward of time and impracticable, I somewhere tend to support it because of its unique approaches and failure of capitalism. But if this shift has to come then it cannot be abrupt but slow and gentle. RBE in itself cannot be a solution but if allowed to evolve then may be humankind would live in a better world,if not utopia.

Andrea Edelman
Andrea Edelman
13 years ago

This documentary is a bunch of b@##$%^&, poorly put together.

The economy is going to collapse because the Italian immigrant barber thinks so ?

Well I don't think so. Don't get me wrong I love Italians and barbers but apart from the biggest bears on wall street and an Italian barber this thing didn't have much.

Greece is collapsing under the weight of its social system, not debt or interest. If the Greek did not retire with full benefits at 50 then they could pay their way.

Italy, Spain, Portugal none of these countries required a bailout, showing the strength of the major economies is enough to deal with 80% debt AND 20% unemployment, that's pretty impressive, not bad at all.

And I love how they complain about the borrowing and complain about taxes in the same breath... Big news mate: it wasn't your money in Beverly hills, it was Saudi oil money, that WE gave the Saudis in the first place.

The rich world pays the poor world for labor, resources at ultra low rates and then they lend us all the money back... at even lower rates (that WE set) what more do you want ?

Reasons Voice
Reasons Voice
13 years ago

As EZ said, We are far from ready. What is repeated by this theory is that humans would play the role of inventor and technition perpetually striving to advance society. Well guys one in ten people cant reset the clock on their dvd player so not exactly pioneering minds. What of all those who quite simply lack the ability to assume that role? Will they just be the dependants while the gifted take care of them all? If so there will evolve a social stratification no matter how hard you hope there wont be. The only way to avoid that stratification would be through genetic modification to ensure that all of society are MIT grads. Not my idea of a positive future.

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ Bernie406

You said: "On the case, to most the only solution is a Resource Based Economy and personally Im in the same boat."

That's not true, though I don't think you intentionally tried to mislead. Most people do not even know what a resource based economy is and when they find out they do not support it. It's too much like socialism and you see how people have attacked Obama just for making some vague comments that sounded sort of socialistic. Resource based economy should be called what it really is, a technocratic socialism.

You guys should read A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, this is just one example of the cold indifferent ways of a technocratic socialistic society. A repeated phrase in the book is, "Every one belongs to everyone." which reflects a socialistic thought process. People are no longer born or allowed to be whom they wish. Instead they are engineered in a factory by scientific methods and conditioned through out infancy to fit perfectly into a certain class group that has a predetermined role to play in society.

I realize this is an extreme and not what you guys are proposing, but its not too far off. The technocratic socialistic society you are suggesting could easily evolve into this distopia. Besides i don't believe for one second that you guys know what you are asking for when you say we need a depression or total collapse to show people things need to change. Once again you are ignoring human nature and established history. Depressions of the past and collapse of other nations has rarely if ever brought about positive efforts or coaxed out the better nature of people, so what makes you think it would happen this time. Besides what do you guys know of real hunger and desperation? Do you realize how many economies around the world depend on the US? Have you thought of the fact that world war would almost certainly ensue? Is it worth this much death and suffering to try out your experiment?

Another thing to consider is that we do not have the technology you are talking about as of yet. So if a collapse or serious depression hits who will event this technology, how would they actually produce it? How would we decide where and why a "Fresco city" should be with no organization or government to lead the way? Don't tell me you think we would self organize and be able to come to consensus, thats just niave. Its much more complicated than you guys are letting on, and will only get more so after a depression or collapse.

Don't get me wrong I think some of the ideas in zeitgeist are wonderful, just not the plan as a whole. Yes computers and technology in general should play a larger role in assisting us with the worst jobs, helping us keep a running tab on what resources are available, maybe even have more input into our decision making processes. That said they should/will never be in control. And no, all our problems are not technical in nature. Crime is not a technical issue, nor is addiction, or failure to inspire our youth. I mean we still have creationism versus evolution going strong in this country and you guys think we are ready for a resourced based technocratic socialism, nope not yet.

Svenneman
Svenneman
13 years ago

I actually agree with Alex B. Since the beginning of the crisis I have been saying that now is the time for things to go really bad so people can see that things need to change. This epyphany has'nt arrived yet, I'm afraid.

SimonTheSorcerer
SimonTheSorcerer
13 years ago

@Bernie
Very thought provoking idea . So I would start with this perspectives . Bear with me :) So first it was local then we went global now the next is exo (greek word means outside, external it is used to mean interstellar, space-oriented ). Necessity drives evolution and development. Imagine a moon base with resources ( or a Mars colony if you will but that's too far fetched) scarce and transportation extremly expensive they have to use and develop state of the art technology and resource managment systems. In my humble opinion that will "retroeffect" Earth and as a new wawe (one company uses it gains competetive advantage the others have to compete so they use it too ). We need only the trigger that will set fire to the whole world . Efficency and waste mangment is key to sucessful resource managment. By chance how do they fight one of the most pressing issues of today climate change? (of course it's a myth :DD) With increasing efficency and better waste managment solutions. of course they talk a lot about sustanability and renewable energies but thats not where most money goes...

Leonardo
Leonardo
13 years ago

@ Bernie

We are slowly but surely taking the edge off from human life:

1) First we removed the burden of going hungry, by hunting.

2) Then we removed the burden of having to look for food and move around because of it, with agriculture. We could now just chill at home.

3) Then we got to have easy knowledge, with the printing press.

4) Now we can move around easily and cheaply with gasoline.

5) Then came contraception, sosex meant play times instead of baby cries.

5) Communication is now universal and free.

I say, we are moving forward, despite greed and control freaks. When petroleum fails to give us all these freedoms, somebody will figure out something else, because there is too much money to be made and humans love to compare clothing and cars so they can get the best mate. Why stop now? Things will improve, pollution will be reduced, medical advancements will continue to make ways. I don't think we stop here. I say we will continue to try to have as much fun for as little effort as possible. The various 'evil' forces will continue to be evil, because unfortunately not everybody can be rich and famous.

I think there won't be a transition, there won't be a collapse. There will be more people not being able to get cheap houses and change their cars every 6 months. Change and wealth will come more and more for those that study harder and that develop their social skills to become more and more connected to good ideas and good people, in whatever their fields of expertise. The word team is more relevant than ever.

The efficiency of it all, as in, how fast we can all living in a world that feels like that Venus Project idea from jacque fresco... well... that seems to be a long ways away.