Enabling the Inevitable
and Glass Steagall
World Development or No Development
breakout from world poverty to world development is named
Glass Steagall is the name of an act of legislation (1933) by the US Congress, under the direction of the then newly elected President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt. It is the key legislation that enabled the USA to recover itself from its deepest depression to become the most powerful economy in the world. The legislation prohibited the nation's commercial banks and savings banks from becoming international gambling casinos by restricting their activities to the development of the local economies in which they were operating, instead of draining them dry with speculative investment swindles.
In the postwar period this protective firewall has been repealed to reopen the financial derivatives gambling casino that has so deeply bankrupted the financial system that there isn't enough money in the entire world to bail out the system that is now disintegrating and threatens to bring down the entire world if it is not terminated with a complete bankruptcy reorganization to save what is still left standing. For this reason a massive fight has been waged across the USA to reinstate Glass Steagall, which so far has failed as the bailed out money bags have bought the politicians, for as the Irish have put it, whoever has been bought once remains bought.
This is the scene that the NAWAPA concept has been drawn into in order to inspire a breakout from the logjam, which so far, in spite of enormous efforts has failed. What might be reason for this tragic failure that has so far not inspired mankind sufficiently to protect itself from a near certain tragic doom, considering that the economic collapse of the entire world and civilization itself, is at stake?
The failure in reinstating Glass Steagall project projects a tragic smallness in thinking that is also reflected in the NAWAPA project itself. It appears to be blocking the Glass Steagall effort, rather than aiding it. The NAWAPA promoters (of essentially the 1960s plan) say in essence to society, give us Glass Steagall that rids America of the financier parasites so that the nation can breathe again and develop itself a future. But then what? NAWAPA promises society, after Glass Steagall, that it will have 6 million jobs building the project, directly or indirectly, and with these, as a national effort, NAWAPA promises the nation a trickle in improved agriculture some fifty years down the line (a 5.6% increase). What a future would this promise offers? Would this be sufficient for people to get excited about to such a degree as to force a radical redirection of the economy of the USA and the world?
The 1960s NAWAPA project - the northern oriented NAWAPA project - runs contrary to the principle of economics as a recovery engine. It doesn't offers any tangible benefits (other than work) for society for fifty years, and relatively few benefits after that. Who would be inspired by that in a country were more than ten million families were kicked out of their homes, countless millions more live in slum conditions that are an insult to the human being, and this in a world where more than a billion people live in chronic starvation, with theirs numbers swelling rapidly as more and more food is being burnt in the form of bio-fuels, while no fundamental improvement in living conditions and food production is even remotely visible on the horizon, only increasing prices for housing and food?
How would NAWAPA, the southern option, inspire a breakout from the current status of horror?
Instead of promising society a slight return for its effort spanning 50 or 60 years, to be realized in the future, the least-action southern option would offer society a rapid return for minimal efforts, resulting from infrastructures that society would produce for itself with automated industrial processes running on the sideline by which its normal development would not be interrupted. This should have happened already all the way through the postwar period. Instead nothing was built, and the industries that existed were taken down with the numerous sideline attacks on civilization. If these historic tragedy had not happened, universal free housing, derived from efficient high-temperature automated production, would have been the standard already for decades. The high-temperature nuclear power technology had been up and running, and tested, in the 1950s with the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). With this technology applied, the deserts would be fruitful fields by now.
The thermal input of a single 1-gigawatt LFTR (burning one ton of thorium per year of the 900,000 tons the USA has) an efficient facility could produce complete housing modules for 15 million homes per year by simply reshaping basalt that the nation has in infinite supply. If the process was applied to automated production methods the labor component of the product would be so small that the housing can be given away for free as an 'investment' by society into itself. The entire world would benefit from this type of pioneering achievement, which all by itself would start an industrial revolution by applying the process to countless secondary industrial manufacturing and construction, including new types of automobiles, ships, trains, pipelines, bridges, bridges across the oceans, even floating agriculture on the oceans, all produced in automated manufacturing.
If this type of promise was attached to Glass Steagall, with NAWAPA leading the technological revolution as a southward oriented project, its promise would include a whole new renaissance in human, in a relatively short period. The LFTR is relatively easy to construct. It doesn't even require a pressure vessel to operate, while it offers 500 degree heat that can be pumped up to 1,400 for melting basalt efficiently. The potential to mass-produce houses on this platform has already existed for 50 years. Getting back to the industrial renaissance potential that the nation had fifty years ago appears to be the minimal that one would expect to be tabled as a driver for starting a new economy with a new renaissance.
NAWAPA could be the leader of the new renaissance, starting with the diversion of the outflow of rivers over long distances, flowing within the oceans in woven arteries made of basalt. With this simple principle, widely applied in natural water movement, the NAWAPA objective could be achieved in five years instead of fifty, with minimal cost and immensely greater volume. Diverting the outflow of the Columbia River to the coast of southern California could provide 2.5 times the NAWAPA projected volume for the southwestern region, and the similar diversion of the outflow of the Mississippi River to the dry regions to the East of the Continental Divide for increased irrigation there, could increase food production in the USA by at least 20% if nor 30%, in less than a decade, and some of it in even less time. In this manner NAWAPA could open up hitherto unproductive regions, complete with brand new cities and new industries operating in them.
Not only would such a breakout into a new renaissance, that the USA had the capability for, for five decades already, create a new world for its people with the utilization of efficient production, materials, and technologies, it would also create such a demand for manpower as the new-technology creates new industries and new application for products, that a vast ripple effect would begin in creative production, so that the current goal of 6 million new jobs for NAWAPA would be far superceded, almost from a standing start.
This kind of promised jumpstart would be of a power that would inspire the needed breakout from the empire trap, and would get Glass Steagall back almost immediately.
Compared with the new NAWAPA-22 option (for the 22nd Century), the old NAWAPA-21 plan offers almost nothing. It represents a denial of the power that we have within us. Why would a nation wish to labor for fifty years to build giant dams that are twice as high as the Great Pyramid of Giza, or even three-and-a-half times a high, as in the case of the 1,700 foot high dam across the Copper River, when quadruple the result can be achieved in a tenth of the envisioned timeframe?
NAWAPA-21 isn't an incentive, therefore. It is a disincentive. The incentive begins with the least action option of automated industrial production powered by nuclear energy. Sure, the NAWAPA-21 task is huge. It is impressive. This does not mean it is efficient. It took China 12 years to build the 'little' Three Gorges Dam (600 feet high) in the most perfect climate, in an ideal terrain, and with easy accesses from the site to one of the largest industrial engines in the world. The original NAWAPA-21 estimate, ranging up to 50 years in construction time, for building the 900 and 1,700 foot-high dams, seem to be quite reasonable, considering that these dams would have to be exponentially more massive, especially when they are to serve in one of the world's premier earthquake regions, and considering further that the entire construction region is frozen up for seven months of the year.
The point for the efficient options needs to be raised again, asking, why would anyone, or any nation, labor for fifty years, when four times the result can be wrought in five years with almost no effort?
Who would choose to travel from Washington to New York via Tokyo? The NAWAPA-21 that is currently advocated is a blocking factor rather than a driving impetus. What incentive would anyone find in this type of an option to develop the political will and motivational power to break out from the empire regime? The solution that NAWAPA-21 offers isn't a dynamic match for the scope of the challenge. It doesn't meet the deep needs in society, and falls short in offering even a minimal foundation for a new renaissance. And worse than that, by being northward focused, the current NAWAPA plan would misdirect the nation's resources into a direction where it would not contribute to protecting its food resources against the coming transition into the ice age glaciation cycle in the near future, in possibly 30 years, but would in fact prevent the preparations for it and expose the nation to the greatest potential catastrophe in its history.
And so Glass Steagall comes into focus as a logjam that small-minded thinking will not likely overcome. The NAWAPA-22 option, as a part of meeting the Ice Age challenge, will have a much better chance to break the empire-log-jam against world development. Then the great moment that is now before us, which may be the most critical moment in history, will not once again find society a small people so that the impending tragedy will happen, but will find society gigantic in spirit and in vigour, and productive to meet the greatest challenge. However, this point has not yet been reached. Still, the opportunity remains for us to enable ourselves as human beings to implement the potential that we have within us to claim the gold that lays at our feet. The current world should not be used as a yardstick with which to measure our capacity to develop the future. The graveyard should never be used as a yardstick to measure the vitality of living. Once the focused is shifted to living, the way will be open again to restore Glass Steagall and implement NAWAPA-22 as a first small step for meeting the Ice Age challenge in 30 years.
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, BC, Canada - (C) - public domain - Rolf A. F. Witzsche