Back in college, I used to tutor business majors in economics and history. They came to me with an F and left with a C or better. I read their textbooks and spoon fed them the material. The more they learned from me, the more arrogant they got. “I can’t believe you want to be a teacher,” they’d eventually say. “You’re never going to make a living doing this for the rest of your life. Why don’t you major in business? It’s easy.”
They had a point.
A lot of them would go on to land cushy jobs in finance or STEM, where all you ever had to be was average. Meanwhile, I would spend the next ten years killing myself to become the top 1 percent in my profession, only to end up barely making enough to get by.
Here’s my point:
The overconfident braggarts of the world always need more help than they’re willing to admit, and they always pretend to know more than they do. It’s time to stop letting them fool us. These guys couldn’t pass basic economics without help from an English major.
Now they’re juiced on crypto.
Whatever practical purposes lie in blockchain technology, it’s getting swallowed up in mania.
There’s always a flashing red sign.
It’s the clearest sign of impending economic doom. Throughout history, frenzy precedes disaster. Tulips. Gold. Tech companies. Housing. Now it’s meme stocks and cryptocurrencies.
Everyone gets excited when there’s a chance at easy money. The talking heads make bigger and bolder promises. They hold up a shiny new object. They talk about market caps in the trillions. They fuel wild, reckless speculation. They trick people with little or no money into dumping it all into the latest hype. They talk about equality, when they mean the opposite.
It inevitably busts.
Some people come out on top. Everyone else loses everything. In the end, we’re all much worse off than before. Nobody learns anything. Instead we look for the nearest scapegoat.
The cycle repeats.
Mania often pretends to be logical, but it does a bad job. Take cryptocurrency, for example. It does absolutely nothing different from fiat. It does nothing different from gold. Its decentralization is a myth. If you understand currency, then you know anything can be controlled and manipulated, regardless of how “scarce” it is. This is exactly what happens when a crypto whale unloads their wallet onto the market, tanking the price.
The fact that everyone’s so excited, the fact we’re hearing such sparkling promises about transforming society, that’s mania.
It’s a warning sign.
Cryptocurrency is driven by mistrust.
Mistrust in our institutions is soaring.
Half the world no longer holds any faith in public education or health. They don’t trust the government. They don’t trust scientists. They don’t seem to trust experts in anything. They’re reluctant to take vaccines or wear masks. They believe elections are fraudulent, unless they win.
The next step is to stop believing in money.
So it makes a weird kind of sense for more and more people to become convinced they need to divest from real currencies, and sink their worth into new ones not backed by any government. They think it’s going to somehow replace the current world order and solve all of our problems, just like some believe in letting a deadly virus spread unimpeded.
This is what happens when society begins to break down. People lose their trust in institutions and blame them for problems created by the enemies of functional government. They go looking for alternatives. They embrace deregulation. They endorse survivalism.
They opt out.
Finance guys will take all your money.
Never trust a finance guy.
Finance guys don’t understand economics. When an economist speaks, they plug their fingers in their ears and sing.
La la la.
Behind every bubble is a cavalry of finance guys. They know a lot of jargon. They know how to make you feel dumb. They know how to say just the right things to convince everyone to hop on the latest bandwagon. They know how to manipulate your deepest, darkest fears.
One of those fears is missing out.
Finance guys don’t want to fix the economy. They prefer it broken, because it helps them promote things like bitcoin as a solution.
An economy that actually worked would put most finance guys out of a job. Fair salaries. Living wages. Universal basic income. Affordable healthcare. That kind of stuff gives them absolute nightmares. It eliminates the urgent need to invest. And if nobody needs to invest, then finance guys have nothing to do. Your health and comfort is bad for them.
So don’t expect a finance guy to ever suggest we hold billionaires accountable for the deplorable measures they employ to obtain their vast, obscene wealth. Don’t expect them to promote social justice or equality, except in the most superficial, self-serving sense.
It’s against their nature.
The finance guys are all cheerleaders for cryptocurrency now. Suddenly, fiat is the devil. That doesn’t make you suspicious at all?
Not even a little?
Everyone’s desperate to invest.
It’s easy to understand why so many people are falling for cryptocurrency mania, especially those of us under 50.
Millennials aren’t a bunch of 20-somethings anymore. We’re approaching middle age, with little to show for it. If we don’t have kids and their futures to worry about, we’re plagued with anxiety over retirement on a planet ravaged by climate change and cascading pandemics.
It’s not looking good…
Maybe you’re not a millennial, but one thing’s true for just about all of us. We’ve been beaten up by forces beyond our control, and blamed for problems we didn’t cause— including every busted bubble since the year 2000. The average millennial barely has $5,000 in savings. Just as we were getting on our feet again, a pandemic hits. We lose jobs and income streams. Our savings once again get sucked dry. Our leaders do nothing. Some of them use their power and influence to make profits.
The real economy swims in the toilet. Meanwhile, the fake economy of stocks and bonds is doing better than ever. Fear of missing out has gripped us hard. Even if a part of us knows we’re in the middle of a bubble, we still want to participate. We want to ride it as long as we can, and time our exit so we come away with at least something in our pockets.
That’s the logic of desperation.
Cryptocurrency is a gimmick.
Investing in cryptocurrency isn’t the answer to our broken economy. The real solution isn’t sexy or exciting.
It never is…
The real solution would be to pass legislation that holds the world’s billionaire’s accountable and forces them to pay their fair share of taxes. It would be to raise minimum wages, and stop tolerating the nonsense arguments that fair pay kills small business.
Every respected economist in the world has told us that trickle down voodoo economics doesn’t work. Worshiping mega-billionaires doesn’t work. Philanthropy theater doesn’t work.
Gimmicks don’t work.
Cryptocurrency is the mother of all gimmicks. It’s a distraction from our real problems, and the real solutions we need. That’s exactly why the banking world is jumping on it, urging everyone to invest.
The last thing we need is an unregulated, “decentralized” market dominated by elites with the resources to manipulate prices at whim, anytime of day. This is not a safe place to keep your cash. A lot of people are going to repeat the mistakes of the past, and learn the hard way.
At least tulips are pretty.