Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who Am I, and What Is This?

My name is Derek O’Donnell, and I live in West Jordan, Utah. I have a Masters Degree in Natural Resource Conservation and Economics, and Bachelors Degrees in Wildlife Biology and Economics. I am 24 years old, and I work as a Planner for the State of Utah Department of Natural Resources.

I wanted to make this blog to share an utterly horrifying reality with my friends, family, and anyone else who cares enough to pay attention to what’s going on in the world today. You see, as an economist, and now as a government worker actively engaged in the political scene, it is my job to do research of an economic and political nature. Over the past several years, I’ve been researching several topics that are very, very disturbing to me, yet despite the overwhelming significance and unfathomable consequence of some of the things I've been researching, these topics get little to no coverage in the mainstream media. Consequently, most people, even well-educated, well-informed friends and family members of mine, are completely unaware of their existence, or what they even are.

For example, can you think of a single American that hasn’t heard about the war on terrorism, or the war on drugs, or the swine flu? Probably not... but how many Americans do you think know about QE1 and QE2? How many do you think can explain the Federal Reserve Act, Fractional Reserve Lending, or even what Money -- yes, money, that thing we all worship -- really is? I’m willing to bet there aren’t too many, yet the irony of this is that these things pose a FAR greater threat to your quality of life and safety than any terrorist, joint, or mutant flu. These are just a handful of examples of some of the fatally flawed structures of our current economic system, and THESE are some of the things are responsible for our economic collapse. And things are only going to get worse from here on out. You might not be able to see it yet, but that’s the point of this blog.

This is a blog for any of you that have asked yourself “Why?” Why is the economy is in utter shambles right now? Why did we get here? Why did you lose your job,  or (if you’re in your 20’s) why don’t you even have a job at all, despite having a fancy degree and the tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt that goes with it? Do you wonder why some white-shoe boy economist at Yale or Harvard says things are getting better, yet everyone around seems to just be getting more and more worse off? The average American workers 401K has lost 40% of its value in the last 3 years. Real unemployment is 22%. More than 1 in 4 Americans are receiving food stamps. Wealth inequality is growing at an alarming rate, real wages have been falling for the last 40 years, and price inflation for real goods (including food and energy, unlike the official government calculations) is soaring off the charts. Does it sound like things are getting better to you?

This blog is a resource, for anyone who chooses to use it. Here I'm going to post several news articles, stories, and videos regarding current events going on in the world that simply don't get talked about anywhere else. Most of these will be factual in nature, designed to educate, but some may present ideas, theories, and opinions that simply ask you to think, and to come to your own conclusion. A fair word of warning, though:

I am not a Democrat, a Republican, a Tea-Partier, a Libertarian, a Socialist, Anarchist, Communist, or Capitalist… but I do think they ALL have good ideas, and they all have bad ideas too.  I might post some things that will offend you, or ask you challenge yourself or your beliefs. You might call me a conspiracy theorist, because yes, I do question authority, and I do believe that while the government is necessary and is capable of doing a lot of great things for its citizens, I also believe it (like anything) can be corrupt, secretive, deceitful, and self-serving. 

So come with me on a ride into truth. You'll never look at the world the same way again.

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