Dreams and Delusions

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by Gary Christianson, Miles Franklin:

Economic delusions are like dreams while sleeping.

From Matthew Walker, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Human Sleep Science:

What Happens During Dream Sleep?

“Dreaming is essentially a time when we all become flagrantly psychotic,” Walker says. The reasons for this rather extreme-sounding diagnosis are fivefold:

“When dreaming, you see things that aren’t there, so you’re basically hallucinating.

While in the dream, you believe things that cannot possibly be true, which means you’re delusional.

While dreaming, you are confused about time, place and the identity of the people involved, so you’re suffering from disorientation.

Emotions fluctuate wildly while dreaming, a condition known as being affectively labile.

Lastly, upon waking, you forget most if not all of your dream experience, so you’re suffering from amnesia.

Any one of these, if experienced while awake, would be cause to seek psychiatric treatment.”

Dr. Walker wrote about sleep, but he could have used the same terms to describe our delusional financial system. Consider the similarities between dreams and financial delusions.

“You see things that aren’t there.”A few examples:

Enron profits: They weren’t there. Enron is gone.

Madoff investment returns: They didn’t exist. A Ponzi scheme, whether private or run by the government, ends in tears. Sovereign debt, Social Security, Madoff and more…

Argentina’s 100 year bonds: Investors deluded themselves by seeing safety. Those bonds have fallen hard and were issued one year ago. How much less will they be worth in five years? (Argentina has devalued by over ten trillion to one against the dollar since WWII.)

“You believe things that cannot possibly be true.” Examples:

Ever-increasing national debt: Official national debt has increased from $3 billion in 1913 to over $21 trillion in 2018, an exponential increase of 8.8% per year for 105 years. At that rate the official national debt will exceed $1,000 trillion by the year 2064. I doubt it.
Guaranteed jobs, a Universal Basic Income (UBI), free health insurance, free college tuition, and annual gifts from the Easter Bunny. I doubt them.

“Official” U.S. unemployment is 3.8 percent, and inflation is about 2 percent. I doubt both claims.

“You are confused about time, place and identity.” Examples:

Stock markets rise and fall, based on a century of market history. But like in 2000 and 2008, Wall Street and the media encourage us to believe this time is different.

In the 9-11 story: British press supposedly reported that Building 7 had fallen BEFORE it collapsed at “free-fall” speed. Did BBC have advance information, but confused the time? (No jet hit building 7.)

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