I could float here forever
If you are reading this a stray mortar shell has not blown up a kebab restaurant in east Poland precipitating a Russian ICBM barrage aimed at reducing the war-making capacity of NATO by taking out ME and my POWERFUL WORDS.
Alright so Hell on Earth is unfurling like a lewd orchid in Europe, Russia killed 36 people or more really close to the Polish border, most of them Redditors, and NATO keeps sending rockets to Ukrainians so they can kill Russians. Those scientists who run the Doomsday Clock are probably pouring their most expensive liquor into a bath and telling their bosses what they really fucking think of them, you bastard. That’s not great! Flirting with nuclear annihilation seems to be the Hot New Thing right now, and watching videos of Russian Joe Rogan-types talking about how Ukraine is just “the first step” with a large white “Z” emblazoned on their black shirts is giving me hives. So oh god please lets talk about something else.
Inflation! When I was in junior high, I had a good social studies teacher that I liked. She was going through some basic economics and I had a lightbulb moment when she had a digression about the stock market. Profits, she mentioned off-hand, are not as important to a company as growth. There are always new people to buy products so a company has to be growing for shareholders to have confidence in the corporation. That confidence turns into people buying stocks, and the price goes up. A basic overview but it was eighth grade. It stopped me for some reason.
What if the company fails to grow? She chuckled and said that’s when people get fired, lose jobs, the stock price can tank. She rattled this off like it was the most sensical thing in the world. But what if, I replied like a perfect newborn doe, if they make a ton of profit albiet less than they did before? Well, said my teacher, they’re not growing the company properly so there’s consequences. I couldn’t wrap my head around the Ever-Growing Firm, the company that made a billion dollars one year was a bad company if it didn’t make a billion+plus+one the next? There had to be a floor, or a ceiling, or something. It seemed so obvious that the rules were begging for misery and fraud. The market forces and political exigencies make sense to our pickled minds, but I’m constantly repeating my naïve little refrain to myself in my cracking, adolescent voice. In my brain I’m all puffed up, I know the world, I’m desperately to impress the girl three desks down who I’m positive is my soulmate. I say: the prices are going up because the companies can’t and won’t accept extreme profit, even if their profits are still excellent. Whatever actions they have to take to clear hurdles we invented, they will and will have to do.
It’s pedestrian enough to sound ridiculous every single time it replays in my head, but the more I think about it, the more I understand it to be the dense little core of my politics, the throbbing fusion fuel floating in my Magnificent Brain Engine. Nothing is ever enough for capital, even if wealth and profits are world historic. Even if your indoor pool is solid diamond. Even if your commute takes you through slums.
You’re being punished, yes, for taking some time off to have COVID. But also this feels like the payoff for years of slow progress by capitalists. They know if they yank the jobs and the political donations they can topple governments. They know you need the things they sell. Most of all they know they’re in control and if they want to raise prices, they can. We see it all the time. If you missed it, ask a diabetic who needs insulin. Now the heat seems to be on and everyone is getting while the getting’s good. I don’t think they’re scared, they’re just starting early. Inflation has been morphed into the ultimate camouflaged so we blame ourselves for the price gouging visited upon us. Like so many things I write about in this space my rage is only equaled by my admiration and awe.
🦫Over 100 people have died of COVID since March 1.
🐸Western Canadian conservatives looking to build a new headquarters in Edmonton.
🦔CP Rail hogs are getting ready to lock out the Teamsters.
🐔Reddit mercenaries are getting to Ukraine and finding out that war is Not Fun. Russia immediately bombed a base where they were gathering for training and deployment.
🍮3500 teachers are on strike in Minneapolis.
🍻Russian citizens opposed to the war are stuck with hard decisions.
🌸Canada is determined to play their part in starting World War 3.
🍙Critical support to this Navy guy who prevents U.S. imperialism by not being vaccinated.
🤳The bad boy from that teen soap opera we all loved is a crypto-truther now.
🥑Turns out paying taxes is important.
🪳Private school is the devil.
📉Harbinger leveled up! Harbinger learned DEATHNOGRAPHY!
🎧Harbinger leveled up! Harbinger learned WORST CASE ONTARIO!
🔇Michael Janz joins the Progress Report to talk about secret planes and lists of names!
🎚️Remember when the podcast talked about our inflation fantasies?
🍄Calgary’s weekly counter-protest against the Omnidirectional Reactionary ChudS (ORCS) met at Lougheed House at 1PM on March 19. For the first time in months no reactionary protest harried the Beltline. Congrats to our comrades on their success.
☄️Send an email to University of Calgary hogs who are responding to provincial cuts by stomping on the poorest paid employees on campus.