Chinese farmer just outside one of China's empty cities built to meet future demand.
"Those upper classes, to rule, needed to make concessions to the middle class, without damage to their own wealth or power, at the expense of slaves, Indians and poor whites." wrote Howard Zinn near the end of chapter 3 in A People's History'. Zinngoes on to explain how by using the expectations of this emergent middle class the elites in the 'colonies' managed to "unite just enough whites to fight a Revolution against England, without ending either slavery or inequality."
Since then the global elites have used this mirage of allowing a small group access to enough crumbs so that their bourgeois dreams appear achievable [though always just out of reach]. The most effective tool in the deceiver's toolbox these last decades has been the stock market. Watered by the never ending inflow of mandated dollars from the defined contribution pension plan flim flam, fed by the boundless bullshit of swindlers and manipulators and shined on by banksters worthless fiat currencies, the mirage appeared to be working.
The ease of believing in 'magic bullet' solutions is built into the way our brains work. Consequently, behind the Wizard's curtain, the illusion of market growth has been maintained in recent years while in reality capitalism is self-destructing. The elites are in trouble and they know it. One group is busy loading their booty into the lifeboats they've built. The other, still not admitting the iceberg is just feet off the starboard rail keep praying that version 1.0 of the grand stock market divide and conquer tactic that had worked so well, so long, isn't floundering
Check it out, during this last day China unexpectedly cut interest rates because the demand for needless crap has fallen and continues to fall along with China's own goiter like 'growth'. Japan has too. Europe and Japan admit they are in recession and the US economy shrank 2.9% in the 1st quarter of 2014 despite QE and accounting gimmicks. The Europeans and Japanese, now that the U.S. Fed has made its last QE buy of worthless mortgage backed securities from the banksters and is no longer buying up stocks and bonds, have jumped into the stimulus game along with the west's Central Banks by announcing their own money printing QE crap..
It all adds up to the fact that the 'markets' whose indices appear on your TV news nightly, are controlled and manipulated by the elites [for your dining and dancing pleasure] so as to keep the bourgeois hopeful that their material dreams are just around the corner as long as they each individually and collectively continue consuming, continue believing that the cancer of endless growth is their ally.
"No one wants to incorporate everything we actually know about our predicament, into the assessment of solutions to our predicament, because it keeps coming around to stopping mass production of consumer crap, stopping burning fossil carbon, stopping industrial agriculture, and making our living with the sweat of our brow." Tyler Durden, 0 Hedge
The fact is that without all of the trillion$ wasted on convincing the rabble to continue shopping , without all the gimmicks to avoid degrowth, here we are. And, if we're real lucky, it'll begin a long era of slow deflation that'll prove the middle-class stock market buffer only serves the very rich and that slow, mild deflation is the best plan for the rest of us.