Today’s debt-ridden nations must hit rock bottom before seeing Bitcoin’s incorruptible recovery guidelines.
Addicts go through three stages: active addiction, rock bottom, and recovery. It is not required that these stages occur in order. In general, every recovering addict follows this path.
In this author’s opinion, addiction is a major public health issue. Second, our money-creation and debt-creation systems are rife with addiction. Third, we’re nearing the abyss Finally, this will allow for a chance for recovery, with Bitcoin playing a key role.
A PANDEMIC OF EPIC SIZE
Most people’s perception of addiction is a junkie with needles in their feet. Of course (and unfortunately). That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Most addicts are functional addicts. These are people who can maintain a false sense of normalcy while slipping into a downward spiral of addiction.
Dr. Gabor Maté, one of the world’s leading experts on addiction, openly admits to being a shopping addict who couldn’t stop buying classical music records. So much so that he had no room for them in his house. In this video, he discusses his experience treating the most extreme cases of opioid drug addiction and how this led him to realize that his own behavior (despite its apparent normalcy) was fundamentally similar to that of his patients.
Many people have obsessive-compulsive traits. The list goes on and on. Any external stimulus that alters the brain’s chemistry can (potentially) lead to addiction. Addiction is far more pervasive than commonly perceived if defined by behavioral patterns rather than societal perception. In fact, some addictive behaviors, like shopping, are encouraged by society. Despite the fact that it can be as compulsive as drug use.
TO DEBT AND MONEY GENERATION
By 2020, total global debt would be 355 percent of global GDP, with household debt-to-income ratios in the Eurozone, the US, and China all equal to or exceeding 100%. While the world’s largest governments in America, Europe, and Asia struggle with debt. The US continues to add to its massive debt of nearly $30 trillion, with no budget surplus since 2001 and only five surplus years since 1969. Japan has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest national debt-to-GDP ratio at 266%. Germany’s inflation is at its highest level since EU harmonization in 1997, and its government debt is at its highest level in over 25 years. While governments in many other developed countries, including Canada, France, the UK, Italy, and the Netherlands, are approaching (or exceeding) 100% of GDP in debt. China, on the other hand, has become the world’s largest creditor, with claims exceeding 5% of global GDP, while its largest property developer is in default. This is significant given that real estate accounts for 25% of China’s GDP.
During this time, central banks worldwide have seen record balance sheet growth. In 2020, the US Federal Reserve alone added over $4 trillion to its balance sheet, equal to 40% of all money printed and the largest one-year increase in history. This is understandable given that debt issuance and money creation are inextricably linked in our modern financial systems.
It’s no surprise that the world is caught in an endless cycle of borrowing and spending. It is easier to borrow from the future to pay for what we want now than to save for the future. Spending or any other behavior that causes chemical changes in the brain can easily develop into a compulsive behavior in a subconscious attempt to alleviate the circumstances. So both governments and citizens are addicted to quick fixes, with little regard for long-term consequences. The urge to use is never stronger than just before the final collapse.
This is what separates those pushed into recovery from those who remain functional but addicted. It can be found, as with Dr. Maté, but this is rare. Addicts rarely recognize their own dysfunction unless their addictive behavior is extreme.
Those in recovery do not choose to do so. They are usually used as a last resort. Survival issue. Compulsion is so strong and destructive behavior so destructive that the obsessive obsession eventually causes a collapse, bringing the problem into stark contrast and becoming undeniably obvious. While it’s difficult to draw clear lines, the rate of progression is often a defining factor. Enter the world’s largest borrower, the US. With a projected debt level of $50 trillion by 2030, the underwriter for the global financial system’s accelerating trajectory seems undeniable.
Denial is what keeps the addict going until there is no other option. Until their world crumbles. Until they have nothing and nobody. Until annihilation threatens their existence. Most addicts must reach rock bottom. It takes awe at the problem’s enormity. Then recovery is possible.
Because the addict’s mind is the problem, it is also incapable of solving it. Recognize that the addict cannot solve their own problem. Surrender is the first step. Surrender to a higher source of wisdom and power than the addict. A source of wisdom whose words cannot be manipulated by the addicted mind to find an excuse for using. Uncorrupted guidance is required for recovery. A source that can be internalized but not fully contained.
What is Bitcoin if not a set of monetary rules that no single person, group, or government can change? Yet, Bitcoin is a system whose fate is in the hands of both anyone and everyone.
Addicts in recovery refer to this as a higher power, which non-addicts often misinterpret as religious. Recovery is not dogmatic like religion. So long as the addict submits to a system of guidance that is not solely their own creation, any framework will do. It doesn’t matter if it’s religion, a human mentor, or the promise of technology-enabled decentralization of power.
In the end, the endless money printing and debt issuance will lead to a rock-bottom collapse and the world will not take the opportunity to adopt a system where the levers to change the rules are beyond the control of any individual or group of people.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.