Talk about ceilings everywhere!
These days we are hearing the word ceilings everywhere. There is this big hue and cry about debt ceiling and a couple of years back about the glass ceiling that was purportedly preventing women to ascend to presidency in this country(USA) as claimed by Hillary Clinton. I was curious about the origins of ceilings and it traced me back to caveman’s days when they don’t have to worry about taking care of these or for that matter making them. The nature made them caves which automatically have the ‘ceiling’ and don’t have to worry about maintaining them at all. What a blissful life they had (even if some lions would have eaten them sometimes, haha!) Later on when humans started evolving to use tools, they started constructing artificial abodes and that led to the term ‘ceiling’, I believe. Well as much as ceilings are supposed to give us a secure feeling, they seem to have grown enormous in size and scope in some areas, they are now threatening huge sections of populations and going to cause huge turmoil, world-wide! You know the current ‘ceiling’ that was causing this, the ‘debt-ceiling’!
What brought this upon us?! Well, initially the primary needs of we humans are very simple. To be able to eat, wear clothes and have shelter during nights to be able rest in a protective environment (in Hindi we just call it roti, kapda aur makaan. In Telugu we can just call kudu, gudda and gudu). But later on our needs started growing. The requirements of human sustenance are no more just limited to those essential needs anymore. If it is just those, nature has plenty of it to cater to everyone barring the human manipulation and intervention that created the artificial scarcity of these. But the human requirements have grown like to be able move around, watch around, fly around (some in corporate jets), boss around, whine around and win around. This apart from having the three basic requirements to be done well, like eat well, wear well and live well in a good house. Nothing wrong in wanting to have these even though Buddha proclaims these could be the reason for the sorrow in life. These might be due to some of natural urges or rather traits in human behavior like vanity, modesty, curiosity, intelligence and in most cases to seek what they need. I don’t think everyone can be Buddha after all.
This is all fine as long as this is done in a sustained and well-recycled environment where everyone gets a fair chance to seek and achieve what they want without having the thief’s mentality to loot others of their toil and hard earned life savings in ways that are deemed honorable and as if they are doing a favor. But as the system gets more complex and people look to multiply what they earn in ways that look fairly innocuous, there come the sharks (it is probably unfair to compare to sharks as they do eat their prey only for their bare sustenance ) or rather shark hunters who look to exploit the folks who just spend most of the time working on making real things while these shark (hunters rather) work on creating artificial stuff lure the guys working into promising secure future and what not. Well there are many sharks who actually bait their prey showing as if they are creating them opportunities but in reality the prey wouldn’t know why the shark is giving the opportunity, but this article is not to talk too much about all this exploitation. It will be digressing from the talk on ‘ceiling’ so I will not go further on this, but we need to know this a bit as what happens when this kind of razzmatazz leads to when things get globalized! The ‘ceiling’ that we all strive to create tend to expand now globally and any place it caves in is going to affect anyone else on the other far corner of it! Shoot!
The moment people requirements changed from real needs of survival to needs that are perceived to be true, the dynamic of human evolution changed. Perception is now reality! Well, it can’t be entirely on fictitious grounds. It needs to be based on some grounds like having enough resources and so on. It happens in various facets of life. For example during childhood if the kid is brought up with a perception that he/she is seen as an achiever will result in achieving that in most of the cases. But he or she needs to be supported with the basic resources needed. In a marriage if the other half is perceived as someone who can really do what they want can do. But again the person needs to have the basic ingredients to be able to do that (again digressing from ceilings here, this makes up an entirely different topic). And economy is not impervious to that reality now. So what is going on now is that a lot it is based on perception and perception alone! There are no grounds or resources to support it and it is being made the reality! Banks create these funds which are based on other funds which are perceived to earn more funds. Damn it! And add to this we now have a globalized economy where countries, which used to be in somewhat a bubble in earlier days, are now forced to weigh each other how much they have the potential to pay for what they want to spend to enjoy what they need. Earlier when they are mostly in a bubble they have their own self-sustained economies to be impervious to outside effects but now that walmart online service can be catered from a place like Nicaragua, it has become apparent to know what a country is capable of in terms of paying what it owes or spends on. Sp there is a ceiling or limit on what a country can spend without falling into the danger of defaulting. That is the debt-ceiling.
Mohan garu quite well explained why US has this much of debt in debt-ceiling in his weekly talk show, MMGL. It prosecuted two wars without funding it and at the same time reducing the taxes on the guys who are expected create jobs. In my view we probably should have had a war-tax in addition to appropriate tax on individuals to make sure the wars are funded. In fact it that case the decision to go to war would have been scrutinized more (Many argue the wars could have been much more smarter than the blunt bulldozing mentality with which they are conducted). Anyway, here we are housed under this debt-ceiling, all sheltered. Only time will tell whether this will cave in due the torrential downpours of various factors that are lurking abound!
PS: By the time this article is completed there is news that US has reached an agreement to raise the debt-ceiling by about $2.4 trillions! While this is self-imposed, only the coming days will reveal this is based on reality or perception. If it is on the later, we can sure assume the hay days of US as superpower are behind for sure.