Few May Imagine What Is Coming

[From self-described, “radical ol’ gloom-and-doomer” and frequent Rick’s Picks forum contributor Steven George Fair, here’s a tormented essay on why most of us are too far removed from the experience of the 1930s Depression to have any idea or imagination about what is coming. And make no mistake, he warns: Bears who think their timing and strategy will be good enough to gloat about are the most delusional of us all. RA]

There seems to be a single constant in the financial world, and those who play.  There are few if any perma-anythings, with most chasing the bull, or chasing the bear as a bear-bull in the moment.  It looks like the last of the Perma for Life people are dying off as the last of the generation that endured the Great Depression find their rest in the soil.

The generation who made roads in the dirt, flew paper airplanes, and dreamed the impossible dream are now gray haired, and either broke or millionaires.  There is little ground in between the extremes that was once a maxim 20-60-20 rich/middle class/poor.  What seems to exist today is a younger generation with no imagination, incapable of taking a block of wood and shoving it around the dirt pile in dreams of logging trucks, and crawler tractors.  Lost are the majority who created art, and music in its natural form.  There are no lifelong collectors of anything, only a headlong rush from contemporary to abstract, and back in hyper-realism.  Value is now replaced with greed, and get it now before the color fades.  Bringing a face to this reality was a conversation with a PhD, retired, from NASA, who spoke to me about the fear in NASA that the upcoming generation’s imagination has been lulled to sleep by fast TV, fast girls, and constant bombardment of stimulation instead of self-generated creativity.

A scene from 1932: Could things ever get that bad again?

To a more direct point.  Even the supposed perma-bears of today run helterskelter, seeking profit and gain first in that, and then in this, with no long-living devotion to any belief.  Most current Bears do not care about fundamentals and history.  None seem to care whether or not they are playing in a AntLion hole from which they will never escape.  The greed of gaining the last drop of blood from the dying carcass of both bears and bulls is foremost on the heart of the young and younger.  No person not directly from a Great Depression family is prepared for what will come. That means that unless your parents where born no later than 1920, you cannot have any basis to form an understanding for the potential pain of a real collapse.  There are a few foreigners who understand, but I read nothing of what they may have to say.

‘They Won’t Let It Happen’

It can never happen…Bernanke will not let it happen…the Government is not going to . . .. they will take care of us…I’ll make so much in the crash it will not matter. . .  I’ll be OK.  Please add your own reassurance to the list, as there are many more excuses offered by temp-bearbulls.  The pessimist rarely makes the big killing in the stock market like a tempbull will.  Someone who experienced the Great Depression does not act like today’s tempbull.  There is one great difference between the Great Depression and today where The People are concerned.  Nearly everyone in 1920 knew how to take care of him or herself.  They knew meat came from a cow, and milk did not come from a bottle.  And yet today, the young cannot imagine a milk bottle delivered to the door by the milkman.  Nor have they ever imagined a family coming together to butcher a steer and can the meat because there was no freezer.

I see no imagination in the pages, blogs, and opinions written by financial wizards, or the wizard bulls who are smarter than a non-emotional chartist who knows the pendulum slows, stops, and slowly speeds up to strike down everything past dead center.  There is only one thing that cannot be taken from someone, and that is knowledge.  And even here, I have seen hypothermia take my mind, my strength, and my soul into a black pit of nothingness.  The majority of bulls and bears today have never experienced hypothermia. Nor have the wishy-washy bears seen $1 million on the books that they will never eat, that they cannot turn into warmth or food.

A Rosy Filter

I guess that unless one has seen the valuelessness of gold while you shiver your way into darkness, there just isn’t a perspective to create a reality.  This is why I spoke of imagination and NASA as I wrote.  The generation born into the Sixties has not experienced loss in any form.  That generation is without understanding, or imagination to see through a mental filter created by pain and loss as past generations have.  The 1960s filter of democracy is a rosy filter of much, more, and always more.  Even in the annals of bear-market writers there exists temp-bearbulls looking to ride the next wave for an hour or a day.

Is it time for the Super Depression ? Probably, because the majority who have lived through that kind of pain are all dead and gone.  Will the greedy temp-bearbulls get trampled? Yes ! But not before they see the millions they’ve won by trading correctly fail to provide them with anything of value.  And what of us hard-currency nuts? You tell me!  But Steve, you say: there are so many suffering without jobs today.  True enough. But in 1934, there wasn’t any unemployment in the place where my dad pulled a crosscut saw for $1.00 pre thousand, part-time. (That’s about 50 cents a day, since there was someone on the other end of the saw).  There weren’t any government handouts in Sutherland, where the mill ran one day a week, or one day a month, and where the women rejoiced in their diary: “The men worked today!”  The more bears who think they are going to make a killing on the crash, the nearer we are to that crash.

I think Mr. Market is going to suck the blood out of nearly everyone — but especially from Bears who think Mr. Market is their friend in crushing the Bulls.  Imagine “Value” and imagine what value really is in its most basic sense.  I’d tell you what value is, but you either know, or will not listen to this ol’ radical gloom-and-doomer.

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  • Onsite Repair September 9, 2010, 8:17 pm

    Alot of what is going on morally and culture wise
    is explained in video by Yuri Bezmenov who was
    formerly of the KGB. He said it was intentional
    and it is Demoralization and Ideological Subversion
    and I tend to agree with him. You can watch the
    videos on youtube. This is all by design and
    another man wrote a book called “Confessions
    of an Economic Hitman” and you can google
    that and watch the one from the user called
    “talkingstick” on youtube.

    There is additional proof it was all planned and
    more of that evidence is found every day.

    Good Luck to you all !!!

  • Faith August 29, 2010, 6:31 am

    I read about halfway down the comments and realized… hey… wait a minute.

    I’m a Gen Xer trying to learn to garden, getting chickens, own my own house, paint and dance in my spare time, have no debt… I could take unemployment but instead I work 2 or 3 part-time jobs and make less than the unemployment payment, because unlike the Boomers sucking at the Social Security tit, I have scruples about taking taxpayer money unless I have to. I have a good marriage, dear friends that AREN’T on the internet, lots of money saved, lots of food put by, and just a generally good and useful life. I make money from the internet, and I get news from it… I don’t play games and I watch just a little TV.

    But somehow it’s MY generation that’s lacking? When the U.S. started this tax-and-spend mess, I wasn’t even born yet… in fact, my mother wasn’t born yet. As far as I’m concerned, this economic meltdown I’m preparing for is the fault of the “greatest generation.” I’d be more impressed by your advice if you hadn’t run up the credit card and saddled me with the payment, Grandpa.

  • GoneWithTheWind August 28, 2010, 6:20 pm

    To farang: You are blinded by your politics. Reagan didn’t put us on the road to debt congress did when they created a welfare state and put all those programs on auto-pilot. A president does not have the power to cut or eliminate the programs. Congress created this situation. The current much higher debt is 100% the fault of the administration. That is the welfare programs are still on autopilot and still borrowing money but Obama tripled the amount of money borrowed over and above those welfare programs. Our debt put us on an inevitable collision course with realty someday Obama’s accelerated borrowing brought that someday much closer.

    TPTB didn’t move manufacturing and other businesses off shore, the unions and our tax policies did. We could fix this problem and attract those businesses back but there are special interest groups that will fight it so we will not fix it. The special interest groups have the most appealing rhetoric (lies) so our undereducated population continues to vote them into office.

    My parents along with my aunts and uncles worked long and hard to get through the depression. It was a common discussion item at the dinner table when I grew up. I learned a lot from what was said but the most informative thing I ever heard was when my mother responded out of frustration over my inability to understand why they didn’t prepare better: She said “we didn’t know it was going to last so long and get so bad. We were told it would be fixed and the government would take care of us. No one knew it was a depression we just thought it was going to be a rough patch we would soon get past.” How could anyone have known in 1929 and 1930 and 1931, etc.? What did anyone have in their experience to tell them they were facing the worst economic collapse in the 20th century? Fast forward to today. In my opinion, how could you not know we are facing a depression today. This so-called “recession” has already exceeded every recession in our history since the great depression. All the indicators are pointing down. The government is having to borrow trillions and print trillions more to pump into the economy with little positive result. They simply cannot do this much longer. Probably after the election there will no longer be a reason to borrow money to hide the truth from the public. It is going to crash. IMO we have a HUGE advantage over the people going into the depression of the 30’s; we know it is coming and we have time to prepare. For political reasons the administration will move heaven and earth to prop up this economy (such as it is) until after Nov 2nd. You have two months, maybe more to prepare. Do it. It is later then you think…

  • TJ Jackson August 28, 2010, 6:21 am

    My parents both went through the “great” depression of the thirties. I was interested in history, macroeconomics and parapsychology from a young age. It is an esoteric mix of curiosities but it lead me to believe, many years ago that we were going to experience a tremendously difficult period of time in our world and in my life time. Luckily I have had the opportunities to act on my beliefs and fears. I am now prepared to survive the collapse of western civilization. It will not be easy nor fun but it is inevitable and we must be prepared. What we are seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out my site at (survivalrealestate.com) for information that may help you and your loved ones make it through this time of darkness that is just around the corner.
    For “Jim K” I agree that we are at the confluence of a number of cyclical events. I think that we are seeing the negative aspects of four cycles but I believe that the cycles are #1 Economic, #2 Social, #3 Geologic and #4 Weather. I developed this theory in the early 80’s but was unable to predict the timing of these cycles reaching their point of crisis. Like Yogi Berra once said, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. Now that these things are staring us in the face it is much easier to discern their timing. All I can offer regarding the timing is, be afraid, be very afraid. The future will definitely belong to the prepared and I fear that due to the MSM (ie, lying liberal press) there are very few prepared for the dangers that lie ahead. This will make the negative times much more negative. The time for preparation is over, it is time to panic. Good luck with your panic preparations..

  • F. Beard August 27, 2010, 1:18 am

    The greatest generation was David’s, imo. Individually some of his men killed hundreds of the enemy in hand-hand combat, in a single battle in some cases.

    David’s mighty men

    • RTS August 27, 2010, 10:59 pm

      Like the battle at Thermopylae was fought by 300 Spartans against a force of 1-million?

  • Chris T. August 26, 2010, 11:31 pm

    “There is a cycle to it all, and we appear to be late in the cycle parrallel of the last days of Rome”

    The analogy is apt, but they did get to do this over 800 years, at the rate our cycles are turning we will be lucky if we make it to 275, maybe 250 years. Even adding in from Jamestown, doesn’t much go beyond 1/2 of the Romans.

    As the future has turned into the past, things seem to have developed ever faster and faster on most areas.

  • richard August 26, 2010, 5:53 pm

    @Jim K
    Very eloquently put, thankyou. I will put some of the above on my reading list. Too many people have latched on to the Greatest Generation BS and believe it. I believe that we are all products of our environment. What we see in the psychology of families in dysfunctional terms is repeated in society. The arrogance, vanity etc.
    There is a cycle to it all, and we appear to be late in the cycle parrallel of the last days of Rome

  • donniemac August 26, 2010, 6:19 am

    This is one of the most interesting threads I have read in a long time. And none of the rude, tasteless comments I have seen other places. Don’t know if anyone has the key to the future, but y’all sure seem to be doing a great job of chewing it over.
    Carpe diem, tell those close to you how much they mean to you, and treat everyone else as you would like to be treated. The future will be manageable as long as we humans can adapt and remember that panic and fear does no one any good!

  • richard August 26, 2010, 4:28 am

    ZW and Jim K
    I am 57. There is no greatest generation. What about theAmerican Revolution generation, the early settlers, the natives who lived here in harmony with nature for thousands of years?
    Youth have generally been robbed of what Americans had in the fifties; namely a secure future, a job at the plant, a stable money system, the possiblilty of raising a family on one salary based on a manufacturing job.
    I think we boomers and the generation before us should look closely at what we have done or allowed to be done.

    • Jim K August 26, 2010, 4:48 pm

      Richard – “The Greatest Generation” is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation[1] who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war’s home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort. The generation is sometimes referred to as the G.I. Generation. It follows the Lost Generation of the 1920s who fought in World War I and precedes the Silent Generation of the 1930s. The Greatest Generation are the parents of the Baby Boomers. The term was used by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their book The Fourth Turning to describe the British generation that fought in World War II. – Wikipedia. I use “Great” to identify, not to extol… WND 2002, Walter Williams: “When the great generation was born, Congress spent only three percent of the GDP. Today, as the great generation dies off, Congress spends over a quarter of the GDP. There is no constitutional authority for at least three-quarters of that spending. … The “great” generation has transformed the electoral process from voting for those most likely to protect our God-given rights to liberty and property, to voting for those most likely to violate those rights for the benefit of others. There’s no question that the “great” generation spared the world from external tyranny, but it has outdone any other generation in destroying both the letter and the spirit of our Constitution, and as such produced a form of tyranny for which there’s little defense.” Strauss’ “Fourth Turning” book portrays a four generation philosophical cycle – but I’d like to think that Madison, Jefferson and company were a moment of sanity transcending the cycle and challenging future generations to take a broader view. I am similarly optimistic regarding the much longer cycle of Enlightenment/Renaissance (brief periods that you want to be born into)/Dark Ages (the longest cycle by far) expoused by Berman in Twilight of American Culture — I think we can transcend these things, rather than simply keeping the flame alive for future generations, as in Berman’s consolation to the Dark Ages. Our job, as I see it, is the very difficult task of building inter-generational empathy. It is worth such an effort to avoid so much more of the worst parts of the ‘human condition’ so as to bring out the best of what we’ve had during the bright spots. I don’t dread the physical market economy, trading with my neighbors for organic milk, eggs, and vegetables – without dictates from a ‘well meaning’ FDA – just as was done in neighborhood when it was built in the 1890’s. I think the current myth is the myth of scarcity – which is a result of over-regulation and taxation. By example – what if public health official’s job was to test and verify the safety of the food supply – and give their stamp of approval – but NOT to license farmers – let the market and the civil courts reward and punish them instead. To achieve this goal, we must face these realities without denial:

      Our Elections are Rigged with Computer Voting

      The Federal Reserve Bank is a Criminal Enterprise

      The 911 Attack Comprised Three Controlled Demolitions, in addition to the planes.

      The confluence of Four Global Emergencies: Environmental, Financial, Pandemic, Terrorist – all consolidating power to Global Authorities (WHO, Global Carbon Taxes, World Bank, War on ‘Terror’) – is too big a coincidence, it is not plausible – at least one of them is a fraud. We need to become skeptical, analytical and well informed and open minded regarding the ‘quadruple threat’. And the 2012 end of the Mayan Calendar ‘beginning a new era’ is just the icing on the cake… Let’s not be suckers – let’s make it OUR era – We The People.

    • RTS August 26, 2010, 9:14 pm

      As a 25-year old myself, I appreciate some mea culpa.

      Things are certainly murky with respect to the horizon, but the assertion that my generation is without creativity belies the fact that members of my generation are actively creating (from their own imaginations, no less) the pixel-stuffs entertaining their peers for hours on end. I won’t profess to sharing a fraction of Steve’s life experiences, but I will tell you that we aren’t all coddled, pathetic children. Some of us have felt out of touch with the materialism thrust upon us by our elders (as it was certainly not a product of our own devices) our entire lives; some of us even enjoy hard work and challenges. Moreover, some of us found ways to finance useful educations independently so as to not burden our privileged parents with debts made necessary by their promotion of a system founded on debt slavery.

      I agree with Steve that the future seems bleak when extracting a representative sample from those comprising my generation. I disagree with any notion that there are not those amongst us who will stand up and begin cleansing this mess left for us by those who know best.

    • Jim K August 28, 2010, 6:27 pm

      25 year old RTS, above – I have made generalizations here, but rarely pre-judge a person – I’m sure that you are among the bright, hardworking and community oriented 2% from your generation like the handful I feel grateful to have contact with and work with. Every Generation has a blind spot, and the Strauss theory in The Fourth Turning appears to me to be a never-ending cycle of four sequential blind spots in an endless loop. Mine (boomers) had ours – we got the double whammy of seductive advances + crushing disappointments (Kennedy, etc.), from which we resigned into materialism. I don’t know what your generation’s blind spots will ultimately be, but wrt to asking for a mea-culpa – which generation are you asking it from? – They go way back – and if I blame my Parents for the results of Viet Nam, accepting the Warren Commission fraud, and ending the gold standard, or my Grandparents for the Ponzi scheme of Social Security (which my generation will not collect on, after having paid into it all of our lives) there is no meaningful place to concentrate the blame – of course I can blame my generation + anyone old enough to vote for the last ten years for the current wars and just how bad this financial crisis is – none of the living generations broke out of the false Left/Right paradigm so as to prevent it – most voted Dem or GOP.

      I see it all in a broad context of some kind of reckoning regarding human development as a Civilization working out the issues of coexistence amongst groups who are not only religiously diverse, but trying to occupy the same territories while incorporating aspects of Hunter-Gatherer, Agrarian, Capitalist, Free Market, Democratic Republic, and Communist models – meanwhile, a concentration of Banking, Military/Industrial, Energy and Pharmaceutical/Agribusiness powers behind closed doors have their own power agendas and pull the strings of deception to keep the masses terrified, confused, disorganized and passive. In times of want, everyone seeks an advantage – that is survival behavior – one advantage is to disenfranchise some other group that one is forced to share with, and this is done by bigotry and generalization – such as blaming a generation or a race or an economic class, hoping to somehow squeeze them out of their share.

      So, I submit that all of us who are old enough to recognize our own humanity should admit to our failings to future generations, while those who are too young can make their own mistakes and humbly apologize to their own children for those when the time comes. The best outcome for the present and the future, of course, is to work really hard to ‘try on’ each other’s points of view and look for solutions. This is work, and difficult work during times of want – much easier to blame the parents – very, very long tradition of that. So, bust out of that pattern – and I will, too.

      The great myth, as I see it, is the myth of scarcity – people are wonderfully productive when free. But the great challenge will be stopping population growth: Wealth = (Resources + Production)/Population. Those couples who have more than two children diminish the wealth of the rest of the population by crowding and depletion, while enjoying a more secure retirement. I submit a solution in this corner of our dilemma: If it is to exist, Social Security should be paid for by all, but should only benefit those with less than two children – a childless individual should receive the most. Parents may choose which children receive a dependency write-off or how to share them, and each parent only gets to be dependent on one (which may be apportioned to more). In this way, those who burden society with a growing population will not further burden society by also collecting SS, while those who forgo the security of children will be taken care of by the general population who benefits from their restraint. This allocation would make SS easily support the most vulnerable sector.

      A related change in estate tax (if that is to be kept) would reward families with two or less children. Note that the Constitution does not allow for such unequal taxation or distribution of benefits from the Federal Government (including SS as it is now) – not sure how this applies to State and local taxation.

  • Chris T. August 26, 2010, 4:06 am

    Late post, no one will see:
    Some are decrying the lack of hope in this article, maybe true, maybe not.

    No matter how bad it could get here, it will NOT be as bad as it was in Europe, especially France, Germany, Austria, Poland, rest of Cent. Europe, some PacRim countries too.
    And ALL of them made it throuhg somehow.
    They all had as much ECONOMIC destruction as could possibly be conceived here, but they also had near-total physical destruction.
    That last one will not happen here.
    SO: we can survive this, as those countries did post 1945

    • Steve August 26, 2010, 8:31 am

      I read what your wrote Chris T. Let us hope Mark Twain as quoted herein is wrong. China has the manufacturing base today and though we have not been destroyed by war, we have been destroyed within by debt and outsourced manufacturing. The U.S. owns fiat banking, and accounting scams, game technology, and mercenary war as a private business that benefits the few.

      People should survive – the rest is Mark Twain – “IT” will be the least expected outcome, and “THEY” will not understand.

  • Sazelus August 26, 2010, 3:01 am


    Thank you for the article. I have come to believe the following :

    Any idea that you have … any philosophy that you have … will ultimately generate or encounter a set of circumstances … that will challenge that idea or philosophy …

    And the response to this thesis is crucial. Does one adapt or persist ? That is the question …

  • FRANCISCO August 26, 2010, 12:18 am

    Excellent points of view from everyone. I can tell that very smart people read the articles written by Rick. I want to express my view point about the market and the future of the economy if I may.
    The market will crash before 2010 is over! What or who will be ready to survive this collapse? Who knows! The government is so involved in the markets today that it is impossible to know what they will do to try and steel money from the very slim middle class left in this country! One thing is for sure though…the U.S. is bankrupt and there is no chance in the world that they can pay of their debt that runs at about 50 trillion dollars if you include social security and health care. Like I said before.. very smart people read these articles, but I doubt that many of you have a clue of how much a trillion dollars is? If you save 1 million dollars A DAY for 2010 years.. you won’t save 1 trillion dollars! The U.S. owes 50 trillion in total debt! That is impossible to pay no matter what they do! The U.S. will default from it’s debt sooner or latter, and who knows what can happen after that? The juniors market has a total of 1-2% of the total stock market invested in it. Nobody knows what’s going to happend, but you have to have a plan and stick to it no matter what! I’m sticking with my plan till the end, and I will wait for the market to correct to back up the truck and fill it with Junior Exploration Stock Companies.

  • Bradley August 25, 2010, 10:48 pm

    Oh, and Robert for co-President…

  • Bradley August 25, 2010, 10:45 pm

    Carol for President…

  • ben August 25, 2010, 9:57 pm

    Great Article. I too see both bears and bulls getting clobbered. The only people who have been doing better than treading water this year are gold bugs and treasury holders…and the latter is on borrowed time. Taking bearish positions using options in any triple hedged ETFs seems to me the only chance at playing the market and making a decent return short-term.

  • Jason Scharp August 25, 2010, 9:53 pm

    While I agree with Steven’s assessment that things are going to get bad…potentially very bad, I shudder at his lack of faith and hope. I understand that hope is a terrible strategy but it is also a necessity for survival. So Steven, have some faith that developed nations will make it through the winter of our discontent and know that we will be better for it. The alternative is to pick a tall building overlooking some soft concrete.

  • mario cavolo August 25, 2010, 9:50 pm

    Ok you two, be nice.

    Benjamin, I 🙂 never take offense at your comments even when you’re digging deep to de-construct a view I may have presented. Indeed don’t doubt that I am well aware of the gaps in what I put forth and debate is enjoyable for its own sake. This forum serves many of us well.

    Carol, forgive me for not remembering your name here before, you new around here? Your manifesto is, frankly, magnificent. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Now let me take a liberty: you can be nice to Benjamin, he argues aggressively in the higher sense of the word, never met him but I suspect his IQ is off the chart, he peels an onion quite deftly, he shows good character and respect when you engage his thoughts rather than jump his ass. 🙂 … bat guano…fabulous.

    The depth and breadth of thought in this particular article comment string is notable…a fresh depth of conviction and intelligence and thoughtfulness.

    We’re gonna need it boys and girls.

    Cheers all, Mario

    • Benjamin August 26, 2010, 12:32 pm

      I’m glad you don’t. I know that I can come off rather strongly, evert once in a great blue moon (who, me?!) 🙂

      Anyway, I can hardly do the complexities of things the justice they deserve. Which is why it irks me when anyone says this or that the American Way vs some other entirely different demographic, though who live in the same economic realities that always exist. I can’t possibly say all that needs to be said, but with so many slamming the U.S. in _everything_ we do, I must, if for no other reason than reason’s sake.

      It’s a full-time, thankless job 🙂

      And, irony being what it is… I bike for exercise. Sometimes, anyway. I much prefer boxing, though.

  • Kenny August 25, 2010, 8:08 pm

    In 1930s there were no such capacity for mass productivity as today. There was no mass motorized farming and manufacturing. The time it takes to produce an item today is much shorter and cheaper with the availability of technology and energy. In that sense, it is illusional to compare the nolstalgic 30s to the world we live in today. There will still be food lines but you won’t be out of carbohydrates with the kind of production we have today. The problems between the 2 eras may be the same – that of excess. The masses cannot control its own appetite for consumption and a crash/total collapse is due. But unless the supply of oil and other resources falls off the cliff, then we just might come close to the depression of the 30s. At its worst, one can mobilize the unemployed to drive a tractor and plow the fields. Or desalinate water from the ocean. Anytime you have a transitional period from a period of excess is sure to bring pain to most. The issue here is resource management – whether its monetary or resources. In terms of money, would you rather by a $1 pen for $10 and take out a $9 loan? Home prices are just too high and instead of making them affordable the govt raids the savings of responsible citizens to fund bailouts so that everyone can take out a big fat loan to make a home purchase. How crazy is that? As far as resources, Americans are just going to have to reduce their overall consumption and be more efficient in its management. We can dig it up faster, but some things you just can’t replenish.

  • F. Beard August 25, 2010, 7:55 pm

    Please add your own reassurance to the list, as there are many more excuses offered by temp-bearbulls RA

    Out short term problem is a shortage of money which these day is mostly just electronic bookkeeping entries. A sufficient distribution of new legal tender fiat by the Federal Government to the citizens would thus fix that problem. Longer term, our problem is the government backed banking cartel which needs to be abolished. Also, liberty in alternative monies such as common stock is needed to replace the current borrow-lend paradigm which is also a source of trouble.

    • Robert August 26, 2010, 4:05 pm

      “Making that choice is easy – it is all micro-second survival instinct fight or flight. ”

      Perhaps in the context of immediate self-preservation, but not when the human being who would be the death recipient is a mile away and has been reduced to an object- a “target” to use your own words. I understand that it is conditioning that enables men to see others as targets instead of people.

      It is conditioning that I would never subject myself to.

      And so as not to present myself as too bleeding heart on this- as a matter of survival, or in the interest of defeding those who can not defend themselves against evil (ie- children) I would have little challenge forming the moral justification to violently separate some whacko from their biological quiescence. To Quote Doug Casey “there are a great many people out there who could use a good killing”

      “Living with the aftermath of CHOICE is another thing.”

      -Agreed completely, and a testament to my argument that our choices are the most valuable (perhaps only truly valuable) thing that we can claim ownership of.

      Thank you for your dedication to service and defense. We all owe you for that.

  • Steve August 25, 2010, 7:38 pm

    I am a pessimist. While a police officer I was trained by the military in what they expect in civil disorder. I was taught a fist is more valuable than gold, a 1 cent 22 shell more valuable that 100 ounces of gold. Do you have it. I can take it from you. This is what I was taught. I have seen the depravity of men in good times, and the best of times. I have been trained to destroy populations to a subsistence level. I believe in the ability of man to adapt and to grow. The difference is what I know compared to what 99% of the population know today. A few of Mankind will adapt.

    At 28 years of age I believed I could survive anything anywhere because I had already been bombed, flooded, robbed of security, and witnessed my friend, and my leader’s death at my fingertips – all before I was 14 years of age. Wind, water, cold, take everything, absolutely take 28 years of training in survival.

    I believe as some above do that the people who are left will adapt, and grow, and become great again.

    Do you know the value of a 22 shell ?

    Every American thinks he will survive what is coming. Every Native American believes he will be the first to perish. Each lives according to his belief. Each is prepared in his own way for a reality that is the same factually.

    You do not know me, and I do not know you. Today I justify who I am to people who have no idea what I have seen. Today you know more of me than most, but; you have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Would, that I could understand Benjamin’s mental filter – his 35 years of experiences.

    • Robert August 25, 2010, 8:55 pm

      “Do you know the value of a 22 shell ? ”

      Do you know (or recognize) the ASTOUNDING VALUE of the choice presented to you at the moment you have to decide whether to pull that trigger or not? At that exact moment in time, WWJD?

      “Every American thinks he will survive what is coming. Every Native American believes he will be the first to perish.”

      Again- belief comes down to choice.

      “You do not know me, and I do not know you. Today I justify who I am to people who have no idea what I have seen. Today you know more of me than most, but; you have only touched the tip of the iceberg. ”

      Bah- this statement reads like self aggrandizement and simple posturing. I dare say I know enough about you to understand that you are better equipped than most people to endure whatever storm awaits, but I must ask- why then must you paint this self-ability as a negative commentary of others, if not to somehow elevate yourself to a higher plane of justification? Why not simply be thankful for your blessings?

      Sorry Steve- despite what you have seen, done, or experienced… You’re just a human being- a product of choromosomal confluence that has been subjected to specific environmental conditions to arrive where you happen to be at this particular point in time. In the grandest scheme of things, you are no better than anyone else as a result of your life’s experience.

      “Would, that I could understand Benjamin’s mental filter – his 35 years of experiences.”

      The timespan of experience is irrelevant. From your commentary, you clearly have faced and overcome hardship. Is it even remotely possible that this hardship has served to negatively shape your personal viewpoint toward all the “poor ignorant, talentless idiots” out there who, given the choice, wouldn’t really care to walk a day in your shoes?

      Adversity presents all of us with the same challenges. Some rise to these challenges, and some don’t. This is how we become stronger as a species.

      Those pre-disposed and equipped to overcome adversity must out of necessity look at those who are not so-equipped with emotional empathy, and with the intellectual confirmation that strengthening a species is a natural process, and an unavoidable one at that… we shouldn’t deform our talents or our ability to survive into a Temple Mount from which to rain down a vitriolic castigation of other people…

      all JMHO.

    • Steve August 26, 2010, 2:36 am


      Is this rhetorical, your question about choice ? Would you care to share your personal experience of CHOICE so that there is a level field to play from ? Do you wish that I tell another real story about a real experience ? Many, way too many have made that Choice Robert . Making that choice is easy – it is all micro-second survival instinct fight or flight. Living with the aftermath of CHOICE is another thing. Sometimes one must live with the fact that not expending a justified contact wound round into the right temple of a jerk caused many others to suffer criminal acts at later times. Sometimes one just has to live with what was required of them by pushing a button from 16,000 feet, or launching a shell to a target 50 clicks away.

      I have given you a window into what is being taught by this governmental form, and what the enforcement arm is prepared for.

      I do not now hold the complex social capability to communicate in aggrandized interaction speculation in regard to Choice. I respect you beyond understanding if you have made the choice not to kill another person while you look into their eye at 12 inches. I respect you even more if this is someone you grew up with. I respect you even more if you made the choice not to kill someone evil, and then lived to see that evil inflict unspeakable damage to a child.

      There are numerous errors in your assumptions Robert. It is better now for me to accept my choice to open up this conversation, and to close it. Make your choices to believe that Gold and Silver will save the day – they are yours to make. Make your choices that everything will be OK if one is just better trained, smarter, or has more than him over there. These are your choices to make. I do not know your gifts and blessings or the mental filter that creates dialectic truth for you. Someone better than me quoted Mark Twain in regard to what is going to happen.

      In this comment link there are many assumptions about food, fuel, and modern technology. Mr. Twain is quoted to create a reality. DNA / RNA creating equality in a living form of flesh and bones creates no acceptable theory. You are not equal to me Robert, and I am not equal to you in many significant ways. You may have the guts to play the market and get rich – I don’t. You think I survived what I did not choose – you are wrong. My brain is damaged from images I did not choose to see. Do you wish that admission Robert, you have it ! Blessings my friend, it is no blessing to have survived when others didn’t. We have a fancy term – it is called Survivor’s Guilt. It is no blessing to have made a choice not to take out a target, and then have that target injure innocent children.

      All of your DNA /RNA, and all of the training, desire, and experience in the world will not make a man or woman play a musical instrument and create magic from the inner self. There are a 1000 artists who can copy a photograph with watercolor. And there are a 1ooo players of violin that can follow the music. Few are the people who create directly from the mind, who write the notes on paper, and plays from memory a melody unspoken in time. It is Wakan – a mystery man cannot understand. We are not equal in biological morasses of soup creating the human norm. The theory is fatally flawed. I always believed that everyone could see the Blue Bird in the block if they loved as much as I love. I am wrong Robert, I just had no basis to come to that understanding.

      One either understands, or they do not. A study says that a newborn that has a kerchief placed over its face will either lay there and do nothing, or fight throwing the kerchief off. It would be fatal to assume that the fighter will not know the value of 22 shell.

      I only wish that you see Robert. You have read the posts of far greater minds, and greater people than me today. I do not know that you have been to the place where flight and fight occur. I do not know that you have been to the place where maggots are good fare.

      I guess I understand that all of this justification just gives more points, more chinks to assail. I hope you are right Robert, that the damage that comes is damage already found out and prepared for. I hope Mark Twain is a fool.

      As to the assumption presented by you – the error(s) is(are) great.

  • Stolp D. Fraser August 25, 2010, 6:13 pm

    Carol has gotten it right on the money; and Mr. Fair’s pessimism is well founded, and the reasons Carol cites for the current malaise in the country (and the world) can not and will not be addressed by our leaders until we have elections in this country that are free and fair…… and yes, that means publicly funded, with real spending caps, and FREE AIR TIME given to qualifying candidates by ALL the major media outlets. Anyone who thinks that our elections are any more free and fair than those in say, Moscow, is deluding him or her self in a country where the Supreme Court says that corporations have the right to spend any amount of money they deem to on the campaign of any candidate they perceive to be capable of furthering their interests.
    …….So with all the comments and words flying about over the various air waves, we are left with the dilemma that there is NO REAL VOICE speaking for all the people who have been systematically screwed, and those still to be screwed, which as Carol points out, will be legion…….or as they say in our hallowed halls of government…”Pass the Ammunition and, Praise the Champagne”……stolp

  • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 5:57 pm

    “As for America’s mode of transport, Benjamin, how sad that so backward a country as China is in headlong pursuit of high speed rail – ”

    And how sad it is for you to be completely unwilling/unable to make the association with sardine-can living, with that of biking AND centralized transportation. Beyond that, I’ve no good reason to waste any words with your stimulating intellect.

    • Carol August 25, 2010, 11:26 pm

      Okay, Benjamin. Let’s change the terms of the dialogue about government handouts and how we need to cut spending and substitute for it the question of: which of my government handouts am I willing to give up? Have you ever had a government-guaranteed loan? Or a direct government loan or grant? Do you have health insurance – before and after Romneycare (excuse me, “Obamacare”)? Both before and after health insurance “reform”, the health insurers got and continue to get government subsidies and pretty much monopolies or duopolies to furnish that insurance which really costs a human liver each to get. Giving that up? Do you like the fact that you still pay less than the rest of the world for gasoline? Today I filled up at $2.70 per gallon. Of course, with the government subsidies of the oil cartel, the true cost per gallon is about $15 per gallon, including all the blood and treasure we spend in the Middle East for our “war on terrorism” (I’d giggle if it weren’t so profoundly tragic). Do you or have you ever taken prescription drugs? All government subsidized for R & D, not to mention Bush II’s Medicare Part D which denied the government the ability to negotiate prices. Do you own a home and did you buy it with a mortgage? If so, how willing are you to give up the deduction for mortgage interest paid? Did you take advantage of the “Cash for Clunkers” program? Not exactly a jobs program, that…it was to clear inventory and, in a magical thinkng kind of way, to stimulate the economy. Well, one hopes that the vehicles bought were at least more energy efficient and a little greener than the clunkers it brought it. Did you take advantage of the same deal applied to household appliances? BTW, Whirlpool, the beneficiary of $19 million in that program, promptly shuttered its factory doors in Evansville, Indiana and sent the manufacturing jobs outside of the US. Do you write off your travel expenses and business-related meals? That’s another backdoor government handout. Do you have equipment that you recently bought that you can depreciate this year and years to follow? Another handout. All stimulating commerce. Did you get a government guaranteed student loan? And if you undertook further education, did you get either of the education credits the government hands out? Go through the entire tax return and see the panoply of government handouts denominated as tax credits or deductions. I’m absolutely certain, Benjamin, that Uncle Sugar’s been pretty damn generous to you. Meanwhile, unemployment and underemployment haunt every worker except the executive suite and their sweetheart boards in this land.

      One of the main underlying themes of Mr. Fair’s original thesis was that no one born after 1960 has experienced any serious loss. I would suggest to you, Benjamin, that the Austrian School or the Chicago School or any like-minded school has been and continues to be filled with the very well off of any age who’ve never experienced serious, profound loss…and it is that serious, profound loss that will, at best, turn people away from the harshness of the economic survival of the fittest that has been so in vogue for the last 30 years. We’ll see.

    • Benjamin August 26, 2010, 12:11 pm

      Carol, you asked…

      “Which of my government handouts am I willing to give up? ”

      I don’t know. Which ones are you? But if I may suggest… Give up all of them, and demand back your national treasure (gold) and your liberties. I can assure you, it would be no sacrifice.

      “Do you have health insurance – before and after Romneycare (excuse me, “Obamacare”)? ”

      I’m going to pick on this one alone, among the many questions you asked of me…

      I’ve written on many an occasion about the folly of health insurance. It’s a big waste of limited capital, quite unlike most other insurance one can have. Your house is not guaranteed to burn down; you’re not guaranteed to be in a car accident; you’re guaranteed to become sick and die. I even go as far to say that it’s on the list of most evil things that any human being can ever inflict unto another.

      Why? Think about this for a moment… What is the first expense to make a doctor? Education. How much is education? A lot! But does it ever occurr to people that that is the sign of straining limited resources, and therefore, perhaps why medicine and life in genereal is so expensive, all throughout the supply chain, so that we require insurance in the bloody first place?

      Malinvestment has no choice but to hurt, in all places, in all lands, across time. To err is human, but to overlook the obvious is downright vile; the worst part of this whole insurance circus is that it’s all entirely unnessecary. That I have it is only for the reason there’s been ramapnt force and intervention on the market over the decades (century?). In the limited context of the present day, it would be insane to be without it. But limited contexts are called that for a good reason.

      As for the government taking extraordinary care of me… See my response to ricecake, for a start. I have to pay into/for all their BS programs, one way or another, but damned if I ever got anything back out of them. And damned if I ever demanded any of it in the first place. They’ve no right just because some voted it so and continue to vote it so. Besides, not a one among them is any better at allocating capital than anyone else. The only difference is, with Liberty we’re not chained into one big plan in which one can do little to change things when needed or, heaven forbid, one doesn’t think everyone else’s idea of a good time is.

  • Carol August 25, 2010, 5:29 pm

    I find Mr. Fair’s comments compelling, truthful, more down-to-earth than most of the rest here. Benjamin? Forgive me but I find your entries to be pure bat guano. My parents’ parents made it through the depression with young children – my father’s dad was a Philly stockbroker. He stayed in that position despite the carnage, never threw himself out the window but they did have to downsize. My mother’s parents made it through and actually managed to employ some people. Both sets were virulently against the New Deal. I don’t know how I was born into such a family – certainly, I have been utterly gifted by the financial wherewithall their unflagging industry and their own sense of generosity towards their contemporaries to the best of their abilities while taking their hatred of FDR to their several graves. I, on the other hand, was born a New Dealer and will likely die one.

    Benjamin, you are so beyond clueless regarding the benefits bestowed on this country and this world by the inventions that accrued from NASA’s race to the moon. The continual miniaturization of the transistor to semiconductor to personal computers and all the little bright, shiny gadgets that so clutter our time, our brains and leave us all obese from inactivity. God bless the children these days because I agree with Mr. Fair – they show no signs of the imagination required to see a truck in a block of wood. I am not so pessistic as Mr. Fair, though, because I’m sure that should the bottom drop out (and I am one who believes it will), they will learn. Humans do that sort of thing – they do adapt, no matter what their age.

    As for America’s mode of transport, Benjamin, how sad that so backward a country as China is in headlong pursuit of high speed rail – we’re talking in excess of 200 mph – isn’t even a dream here and the US is a pretty big country that just might need such transport if people in the midst of another Great Depression find the need to move. Already, municipalities (Colorado Springs comes to mind) have shut off municipal bus service after 6 pm. If you have no car then you’re out of luck. Of course, there is always shoe leather…but if you’re a woman, a child, have some kind of physical disability that impairs your safety or ability to walk, particularly in the dark, then you’re out of luck again because the same city is shutting off its street lights. Well, maybe everyone has a gun…so shootout at the OK Corral? I’m not against the 2nd Amendment but it does seem to me that this country has made a fetish of gun ownership – taking them to 1st Amendment events I find intended to be affirmatively threatening.

    As for your bland, obviously ignorant content of the Constitution and how it has been interpreted by the US Supreme Court for 200 years, the mind just boggles. I’ve heard from some of the Paranoid Partiers that the only mandated government activity is to maintain a standing army to provide for the national (military) defense. Curiously, the framers weren’t keen on standing armies – the 2nd Amendment, now that I’ve previously mentioned it, was couched in terms of militias. Of course, the framers had already gone through a 5 year mass bloodletting revolution (having already gone through the French and Indian war and all the wars of “pacifying” the previous occupiers of the land. Perhaps they weren’t so enamored of any more wars…at least while they were framing the Constitution. So may I suggest, Benjamin, speaking strictly as a lawyer, that you read Art. 1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution. But don’t stop there. Go on and put in the two semesters of law school required to see the actual history of how the Court has interpreted it in order keep it as a living document. Pay close attention to the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.

    Back to NASA and the quest for the moon… That particular race was part of the PR for gathering and keeping allies in the Cold War. Of course underneath that was the hidden military subtext not shared with the citizens of the US, the USSR or the world. Do you like your GPS? Thank NASA. I marvel at NASA’s and, by extension, every single astronomer’s and astrophysicist’s contribution to science. Of course, I don’t think much of another journey to the moon – at least until they figure out how to go into warp speed when we’ve finally destroyed this earth (if we haven’t already destroyed ourselves). Living on Mars? Filled with awe and admiration as I am for the aforesaid astronomers and astrophysicists, as well as the engineering panache magnificently displayed by JPL, NASA, etc., I don’t see it. I’m still stuck in that photo of Earthrise over the moon and the lesson we took then and we need to continue to take from that shot is just how fragile this planet is, how it hangs alone for light years between this world and any other possible habitable world anyone might someday find.

    So, let’s address my proud and enduring identification as a New Dealer. Simply put, there are not enough “do-gooders” like my personal forebears to take care of those who will be in dire need of help as we as a nation spiral downward. There were not at that time and there certainly won’t be this time enough churches, synagogues, mosques or what-have-you to minister to all the needy who will be begging. It would be worth your while to take out a few history books, or books written in the ’30s, to see the obliteration of all that people worked for and lost and desperation that resulted from another age when the debt bomb blew up and the stock market hucksters had wrung the savings of the ignorant who responded to the siren song of the riches the unfettered, unregulated, laissez-faire stock market could bring. It behooves you, as you show such profound ignorance of the political reactions at the time, to see the ferment on the extreme left and extreme right in this country. Somehow, FDR and the New Deal managed to preserve the US as both a democratic and capitalistic society. We didn’t follow those who wanted to throw in with Hitler, nor did we join the Communist empire. Much as I’d like to think that the New Deal alone saved us as a democratic, capitalistic society, it wasn’t. It was WWII and our particular, unique good fortune to have been largely left alone by the Nazis that restarted our manufacturing capability in order to become the Free World’s armory. And it was the Japanese, not the Nazis, that got us into the war on the side of the Allies – the side that FDR, unlike so many of his class, naturally chose.

    In the meantime, FDR laid the groundwork prior to our entry into WWII that electrified and brought into the 20th century the Southern States. There was no other source for the funds to plan and fund the construction of the Tennessee Valley. How curious that those same Southern States are still so vehement against any “government help” – until they get the checks, at which point they hand them out, smiling before the cameras as lords and ladies bountiful and take credit for the largesse when their Washington representatives of both houses voted against such help.

    Finally, I invite you to take a look at the mid 1970s and the false paths we’ve followed since then. In particular, you might check out the usury laws that used to exist until the high inflation of the mid 1970s – and there’s been no looking back since then. It was Carter’s Sec. of the Treasury, Paul Volcker, who broke the high inflation – but the usury laws weren’t even a memory by that time. In New York State, the old law stated that an interest rate over 8% was illegal as usurious (take a look, by the way, in any of the major religions’ sacred texts to see what they have to say about usury). Then I suggest that you take a look at a graph showing the debt explosion since 1981 and the fact that Ronald Reagan’s embrace of the Laffer Curve – despite Reagan’s many tax increases to blunt the outcome of following Mr. Laffer’s advice – tripled the national debt. Bush I continued that debt explosion. Bush II managed to double a debt that took 200 years to accrue in 8 short years. No one responsibly addresses the fact that this country was sold a bill of goods – and was dying to buy that bill of goods – when we all decided that we could get a free lunch AND pay now historically low taxes. Not to get too religious on you, but didn’t Jesus say that the poor would always be with us and whosoever feeds or clothes or houses the poor will have done so to Him?

    Then take a look at the bipartisan stripping of Glass Steagall, the Clinton administration’s gutting of the rest of financial regulation in cahoots with the Republicans and Republican-sponsored bills that step by step accomplished that dismantling, and the batsh** idea that, despite our growing trade deficit with the growing budget deficits, we sent our manufacturing capacity overseas. Those so arrogant as to think that this nation could exist as only a knowledge-based society – without the manufacturing that is the sustaining source of a nation’s wealth – should be adjudged as having committed economic treason.

    I’ve been around now for 62 years. We have one major party that is utterly spineless and the other that is breathtakingly cynical. We have an entire band of the radio and an entire network – whose major minority shareholder is a Wahabi Saudi prince – who daily grind out smokescreens in order to come up with a $26 billion bill to maintain a decent cohort of teachers, cops and firemen at the cost of half of the foodstamps program because the cynical party insists on welfare for the poor being paid for but their $360 billion tax breaks for the top 2% DON’T have to be paid for. Ever hear of the concept of “velocity of money”?

    Well, one should not be surprised. As our situation has grown ever more dire, the government has fudged the statistics more and more or just stopped giving them out altogether. Kabuki. Just Kabuki.

    I’ve just bought some bullion as some frail form of protection. But for those gold bugs out there who think that a good quick fix of our dilemma will be to go back on the gold standard – frankly (forgive me), you’re nuts. If you think that the wrench in the wheels of lending in 2007 that nearly took out the world’s financial system was bad, putting US back on the gold standard (and it was Nixon who took us off it) would finish us as a serious player in the world economy. Look at the effect in North Korea when Kim Jong Il exchanged the hard-earned money that probably took decades to acquire for the new money at an exchange rate of 10 for 1. But, he’ll just keep rattling that nuclear threat until he finally throws off the mortal coil.

    The problem as I see it, from having represented clients from the exceedingly rich to the no-nickle poor, you need to get out and see how the poor half of this country lives. The stock market is not the true measure of the strength of this nation’s economy – never was, never will be. The true measure of the nation’s economy can be found on Main Street where the middle class, such as it is and dwindling ever more daily, is trying to hold on my its fingertips. We’ve spent too much feeding the already fat and happy and nowhere near enough to feed those who worry if they’ll have a job next week…or the 99ers who are slandered everyday by hate radio and TV while the corporations spend their hoards in mergers or buying back shares instead of hiring which, in the best of all possible worlds without the necessity of looking to the government as a last resort is the only way to speed up the velocity of money and get this country ever so slowly back on track. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

    • gary leibowitz August 25, 2010, 11:03 pm

      While I agree everyone will adapt to the new order of things, I find the under 50 will flounder for a very long time.

      Empathy seems to be claimed by people that have either experienced pain and hardship or was brought up with parental teachings that valued universal moral behaviour.

      I do wonder if we will once again find a new FDR and a new deal. I suspect the political outcome will be turned on its ear this time around. Hate, mistrust, and a rigid moral meaness has infiltrated the large corporate news media. They are more powerful then you think. 5 minute sound bites is all this generation can tolerate.

      Perhaps I am too cynical. In this respect I hope I am totally wrong.

      BTW, my father is 88, lived a life in poverty conditions, had to work 2 jobs, respected the value of a dollar and refused to go into any kind of debt.

  • ricecake August 25, 2010, 4:39 pm

    “But in 1934, there wasn’t any unemployment in the place where my dad pulled a crosscut saw for $1.00 pre thousand, part-time. (That’s about 50 cents a day, since there was someone on the other end of the saw).  There weren’t any government handouts in Sutherland, where the mill ran one day a week, or one day a month, and where the women rejoiced in their diary: “The men worked today!”  The more bears who think they are going to make a killing on the crash, the nearer we are to that crash.”

    That’s exactly what I wonder all the time. In the US you have this large group of unemployed people sitting at home collecting unemployment which extended again and agin. On the other hand, you have all these illegals doing all the yard work gardening baby sitting, house cleaning, etc in California. There are many other low dirty jobs too, like in agriculture, almost all done by foreigners. The people in Hong kong exclaim: ” Wow, I want to go to America become a US citizen because people there don’t have to work.” (the unemployment benefits.)

    However, I have to point out Hong Kong is a lot different than America. In Hong Kong people are not allow to have gun. But in the US everyone has gun(s). Should there are social unrest….. you know what what will happen. The government is just as scared as everyone else. Those with lots to lose (the wealthy) fear the most. So They pay more taxes is a very natural things. They shall pay!

    • alastair August 25, 2010, 5:06 pm

      here in australia we pay are kids whats called a youth allowance thats the goverments name the rest of us call it a running away from home allowance they recieve approx 400 dollars a fortnight and all they have to do is get a letter from home saying they can not stay under same roof as family so these little shts have learnt to get money for nothing and spend it all on drugs or such other non social attivaties it is time these goverments stopped handing out money and teach the next gen to stand up for themselfs and earn the old fasion way honestly but hey we are talking about the goverment the most corrupt of them all

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 5:54 pm

      “That’s exactly what I wonder all the time. In the US you have this large group of unemployed people sitting at home collecting unemployment which extended again and agin.”

      There’s nothing to wonder, ricecake. We imported Mexicans that, as it “unexpectedly” turned out, really can’t afford to work for pennies, especially in this “recession”. Come over here some time and take a trip to the local welfare office and tell me what you see. I know what I’ve been seeing. No need to become a citizen, of that I can assure you.

      Hell, not even in the “best of times” (the down-size years) could many actual, working people get any unemployment when they needed it. A lot of DECENT people don’t even apply, because the answer is certain to be no. We’ve been long since been conditioned to that. Anyone in American knows that, too. You have to be an illegal, a union worker on temporary layoff, or a single mother. Everyone else can get bent. Or work for the government, but that’s not the stay-at-home type you mentioned (even though they’re the largest segment of the welfare class).

  • alastair August 25, 2010, 4:38 pm

    pps teach your children to buy renewable energy shares now

  • alastair August 25, 2010, 4:35 pm

    ps im 43 -60s baby and thankfull to my elders

  • alastair August 25, 2010, 4:34 pm

    every generation goes through the same cycle of up and down if you really want to survive in a volital point in this cycle it is easy stop being so dam greedy i own plenty of precious metals when i say plenty i mean that i have enough to survive without pain or restictions on my spending but that is not the issue the issue would be the greed that drives others to own more than they need or can affford to pay off to others think about this the only reason you go to work is to pay other peoples wages thats right every cent you labour for goes towards the people you buy from and there staff and so on down the line stop being greedy and paying others wages with your money save 50% spend 40% and hold 10% for that rainy day that is about to come to your door step soon

  • ZW August 25, 2010, 4:07 pm

    As a young member of the aforementioned “entitled of the world”, I’m a young person, and by young I mean younger than the vast majority of subscribers here as it’s obvious the majority of traffic here is boomers. Rick himself I envisage as the same. That being said I’ll toss in a view from the perspective of one looking forward to a lifetime of dealing with fixing problems for which I can only imagine what the entitlement mentality of the boomer generation’s justifications were. Distinctly narcissistic to be sure then as well as today ( pensions ). I know, I know, you don’t like this kind of talk at all and I would liken this rant to farting into the wind when talking to a room full of boomers. Never the less…
    I find it hilarious that the previous generations see this newest one as lacking the ability to adapt that was somehow inherent in the past. Take one good hard look at your children and tell me that in the final absence of your “shepard over the flock” mentality that when you’re gone they will immediately wither on the vine. This mentality is born of the environment it was given to grow in. i.e., the ability to enjoy the leisure that this most recent prosperity has brought to not only America but the world. In the same respect it is equally probable that in its absence there will be an adaptation to the outcome that, believe it or not, may just be a melding of the best principles of old being revisited and the technology and endless possibilities of the new becoming what no one can possibly envision as of yet. Hey, I’m a glass half full guy and problems or not, I think we’re collectively more intelligent than we were at any other time in the past. Long live optimism! Cheers!

    • Jim K August 25, 2010, 8:39 pm

      ZW – Your generation and mine (end of Boom) as well as the Great Generation (your grand parents, my parents) all started with the same potential, inherent altruism, vision, etc. – If I had been born when you were, I’d probably be more like you, and vice versa. The Great Generation was born into the New Deal – a perversion of altruism, which set the stage for our current bankruptcy – and then had WW2, which laid bare the spectrum of insanity humans are capable of – they gave us Nixon, who ended the Gold Standard and hastened our road to ruin. The Boomer Generation was born to emerge from the shadow, and was forged between the impossible optimism of technological advance and the sexual revolution, and the impossible despair of the Kennedy and MLK assassination – and then the hideous Viet Nam war – we were not prepared for the onslaught of Federal corrupt agencies that were created to save and protect us from ourselves and we allowed the bloodletting to accelerate. Your generation carries the pious indignation of inheriting a huge mess, but not equipped with a decent education – read Morris Berman’s “Twilight of American Culture” to get a glimpse educational ‘inflation’ – note that the SAT scores have been substantially ‘dumbed down’ to accommodate the current crop – Boomer’s can take the rap for dropping the ball on their children’s education – and with ‘no child left behind’ we are in worse shape, yet. Now that we’re here, our job is to transcend these generational differences and focus on the problems and seeing things as they are, rather than bickering – we must listen, think and raise the level of vigilance wrt the Federal government – we are on our own now, they can’t save us – not from ourselves, or from their own waste and abuses.

  • Darren August 25, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Maybe I should move back to Venezuela ‘cuz it sounds like the US will look a lot like it soon. I hope the author is wrong, of course, but I suspect he’s on the right track.

    One thing about the Venezuelan situation, even in recession they always have inflation 😉

    • ricecake August 25, 2010, 4:46 pm

      Ah that’s because Venezuela can’t export their inflation to other countries while keeping the “deflation or stagflation” to itself like the US does because of the Dollar world reserved currency status. No one want the Venezuelan money but they want the dollar which backed by USA the world super power. At least for now and the time being (10 – 15 years. may be.)

  • JohnJay August 25, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I’m no expert on Japan, FranSix, but from what I’ve read, the days of liftime employment over there are over, just like here. They have legions of young and old who survive on temporary jobs now with no benefits, right where we’re headed. The USA is not the only place where the average worker has been sacrificed on the altar of “Globalism”.

    • Rich August 25, 2010, 5:24 pm

      Even in 1987 there was no full or lifetime employment in Japan, yet another myth. Vividly recall the early AM stench of urine soaked beggars sleeping in the Skinjuku Subway station before the police rousted them. The big thing there, like here, seems to be many of the new generation preferring Fast and Furious Tokyo Drifting to a lifetime of work. Isn’t that what some of those who day trade on margin are attempting? As Mr Fair suggests, it may not end well, and gold is no cure for hypothermia, let alone hypoxia or toxemia from corporate tainted air, food and water…

  • J Gary August 25, 2010, 2:23 pm

    My father came on a cattle boat from England in 1922. He bought a business in North bay, Ontario, Canada in 1928. Good timing eh?
    Well, he saved every week in the 20s and his main investments were shares og gold producers. When the depression started to hit hard he opened businesses in the places where people actually had jobs – gold mining towns.
    Today the government makes it unnecessary to move to get a job. Just sign a few forms and get food stamps, welfare, school breakfast & lunch, and unemployment insurance checks like manna from heaven. But it won’t last and the aftermath will likely cause riots and deaths.

    So what’s the cure? Shred the income tax laws and regulations (if there’s a shredder big enough) and have one tax only – sales tax. Why is it fair? Because rich people spend more money than poor people and consequently they pay more tax. Top that off with the fact that poor people can save and become rich themselves.
    Check out any income tax free jurisdiction if you don’t believe me. I lived in the Cayman Islands for 10 years and saw it first hand.
    And one last thought – gold is the only money that has universal acceptance at market price. In 1980, US cash was not accepted in many European countries because it was devaluing so rapidly.

  • Jeff Kahn August 25, 2010, 1:50 pm

    My kid is 9. She comes home and reads for 2-3 hours every night. Not because i make her, but because she wants to. She reads novels for kids like Harry Potter – books of fantastic imagination. She watches TV too – the science channel, discovery, the animal channel. Good Stuff the didn’t exist 10 years ago. (the Disney how-to-be-a- whore shows are off limits.) Her friends are much like her. Bright kids with great imagination. Kids who will find their way through whatever is coming this way. Maybe this is just Brooklyn. I don’t know. I hope not.

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 2:44 pm

      Sounds like a good kid you have there! And I can assure you it’s not just Brooklyn 🙂

      But, yeah, Disney… I remember when that channel first came out. Wasn’t the “MTV junior” that it is now. No, they played the classics… Mickey, Donald, Goofy… Gumby, too, I recall. Showed movies like Old Yeller, Darby O’Gill, Marry Poppins… and a host of others.

      But I also grew up watching pretty much everything else R-rated. Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Gallagher… Conan the Barbarian (lots of nudity in that one, and, um… was one of my favorites), all the blood and gore movies, and even ones like ‘Last House on the Left’…by time I was a mere 8 years old.

      And yet, I find Disney today to be highly offensive. There’s just something about conveying _kids_ as rich, stupid, slutty, snobs that will never be right!

  • Oliver August 25, 2010, 12:19 pm

    …and the Titanic is unsinkable…

  • C.C. August 25, 2010, 8:23 am

    In 1968 East Germany, or 1972 in the Soviet Union, were there any such people as ‘Bulls & Bears’?

    We’ll be lucky if we break on through to the other side of this mess, and still be able to play bull or bear – with our liberties in tact. That is my chief concern. And judging by the freedoms lost here since the aforementioned era, I’d say it might ought to be a concern for everyone.

    Ask your friends and associates what the top priorities are for their families in the coming years. Perhaps mentioning something as uncomplicated as Liberty, might get them to think. Liberty will be the commodity in short supply as the people demand that their political leaders ‘Do Something’.

    That ‘something’ will mean a trade, because nothing ‘free’ comes from government.

    Good night –

  • DanX August 25, 2010, 8:02 am

    The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for.
    –Mark Twain

    Both my parents went through The Depression as kids. The families worked together and scraped by — they adapted and eventually prospered when they came out the other end.
    In the next 20 years, being able to adapt may be significantly more important than “being prepared”. Maybe you make a killing in the market, maybe you don’t, or maybe something so unforeseen happens as to make those things with extrinsic value today become worthless tomorrow. Can you adapt? Can you “shed your skin” willingly and move on to whatever the future brings? If you can live simply (or simply live) with a sense of equanimity, then you’re probably going to be OK regardless of what comes down the road.
    And Mario, as an expat in living in South East Asia, I understand what your saying dude!

  • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 5:52 am

    “Nearly everyone in 1920 knew how to take care of him or herself. They knew meat came from a cow, and milk did not come from a bottle. And yet today, the young cannot imagine a milk bottle delivered to the door by the milkman. Nor have they ever imagined a family coming together to butcher a steer and can the meat because there was no freezer.”

    Steve, I normally like reading your posts, but I had to stop reading at this point and get nit-picky/belligerent….

    Kids don’t know that beef and milk comes from a cow?
    Then, after you slam kids for not being to tell that milk doesn’t come from a bottle, you use the milkman who sure as hell didn’t deliver cows in his time. And then there’s the overly imaginative family… that couldn’t imagine the beneficial impacts that a refrigerator would have for man. It’s one of the reasons that so many people live as long they do. But they hadn’t received that benefit yet.

    You’re all over the place, and it’s just not making any sense!

    And no rant would be complete without a blamming TV for all of this. It’s funny, though, how motion pictures were invented back in that era of Eden otherwise known as the late 1800s. And speaking of _fast_ TV, why couldn’t those darlings of the Eden past ever manage to shoot something at _normal_ speed? I mean, really… Why does all that old footage jump and move so damned fast?! Heh… Before there was Japanese anime to give American kids seizures, there was Charlie Chaplin injecting the opium of laughter into our veins (damn him!).

    But that pales in comparison to the comments made by a NASA engineer. Well, you tell him that I’d like five minutes alone with him! Imagination… Oh, how rich, and that’s almost literal! Ask that C-sucker (c-note, but the other shoe fits as well) if the going rate for that is friggin’ billions for accomplishing next to nothing! We never needed NASA, especially the dim-witted children that he’s so hypocritically concerned about.

    On imagination itself… Look, I don’t like the system either, but let’s not blow this out of perspective. Fact is, only one aeroplane design among the scores ever made it. A handful of individuals over centuries are responsible for electricity. It is for the reason that genius is so rare that we especially don’t need the parasitical machinations bearing down on us. And it’s for the best that it is limited. If we were all overly imaginative creators, nothing else would be done and we’d die. Seems the middle ground is probably not the most creative and imaginative. Nature couldn’t have it otherwise.

    Off to read the rest. I hope it gets better.

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 6:34 am

      Well, Steve, I think I can see what Rick meant by “tortured essay”. You make some good points, admist all the other sensless rantings, that I can’t disagree with. Most of all…

      Bear or Bull, the useless cogs and gears in the machine don’t make the machine more productive. We have lots of those spare parts, and have had them for so long that it’s all destined to catch many, many people by surprise. And right through the wringer, at least twice.

      That said, I still contend that it’s avoidable, even at this late stage. If one hasn’t already, they need to read the works provided by Antal Fekete…


      He takes it a step further. Not just hard money, but real bills as well. I don’t think gold and silver would do nearly so well without those.

      Then there’s the matter of taxation. It’s a practice that is always destined to fail, to either drain real money away or to increase the demand for credit in order to cope with that archaic practice. And that, I think, is true no matter what the rate. I’ve written amply on that, so I won’t reiterate.

      The “unthinkable” will have to be thought, or the unimaginable will be the real for generations yet to come.

    • Steve August 25, 2010, 6:53 pm

      Maybe it is all perspective Ben. I went to the movies by walking into town about a mile on Saturday, and paid my nickel to get in for a little over an hour in a 168 hour week. Of the week spent awake, approximately 112 hours, I was in front of the silver screen 1 hour every other week. Showing reality – what was on the silver screen was wholesome – that is until the Graduate came out – which I was not allowed to go see. TV did not exist within my memory, and I remember staring at the test pattern because that is all that was on. I do not need to justify my reality based upon the truth that existed before 1975. Taking a narrow view created since 1975 is exactly the problem faced today. Thank you for making my point much better than I did in regard to the minds of American X gen.

      I’ll give credit, where credit is due. Without a doubt X gen has hand eye co-ordination superior to any other generation. One only gets that skill by spending 10 hours a day playing games and getting mental stimulation from electrons on a TV screen. Try to imagine what I was telling you -. My skill is finding danger where others see smooth water. My skill was developed by being first hand part of floods, of town destroying “Blast of 1959”, death seen at my fingertips, the loss of my ability to function by hypothermia, and 10 years on the street cleaning up the messes created by men, boys, mental children, and; putting them in prison. Understand my skill was thrust upon me by life. If one listens, one will be safer.

      I can look into a solid block of wood and see in color a perfect Blue Bird down to every scale and vein. I can then take clay, wax, or wood and create that bird in sculptural form. Can you do that Ben ? And if you can you are about 1 in 1,000,000. If one cannot see the Blue Bird one will never understand what I understand. I read and write here to learn things from others that I cannot understand of myself.

      I accept you cannot understand because there is no basis from experience for you to understand.

      I hope you get the point – if you have not seen the Milkman bring the glass bottle to the door you cannot understand. One can learn to have empathy for what is taught by others, but; one can never feel and experience that reality.

  • FranSix August 25, 2010, 5:07 am

    Strange to say, but the Japanese, despite their deflation, managed well as the direct beneficiary of Chinese growth, which also spread trade around the world.

    And the U.S., as well as others may have actually benefitted from the derivatives trade, much as people have cast them off as evil.

    And, I no longer see a $5000/oz. gold price as being a horrible outcome. Gold would be devaluing currencies at that point and going about its job of soaking up excess liquidity during an era of low interest rates.

    The thing that bothers me in all this is that nobody, but nobody takes in inflation-adjusted charts, or even considers that measuring against gold might be a good measure of things:


  • mario cavolo August 25, 2010, 5:05 am

    A thought:

    Circa 1960:

    Buy a home: $20,000
    Quart of Milk: $.25
    Gallon of gas: $.20
    Haircut: $1
    Government borrowing: $100 billion

    Today: multiply everything by 15 including the amounts of debt.

    $1.5 trillion today is 100 billion back then. Feel better?

    The problem of course is if profits and wages don’t keep up and that’s where America’s current mainstream generation is in the wrong place at the wrong time in history.

    Economies will expand and contract over long periods, 10-20-30-100 years. We can observe this on a macro level and on a more local level. If you happen to be born at a particular time and place, that’s the cards you’ve been dealt in this mysterious thing called life. Some people find enough combined vision and will and fate to transcend their circumstances, to make a difference, to lift the world. Most make do as best they can where they are.

    A funny thing about the photo of a Depression Era food poverty line. I really don’t get the American attitude toward minimum survival requirements anymore. What they view as “poverty” is perfectly comfortable and normal in Asia. Dirt cheap street food is a lifestyle here, not a problem; you grab a quick bowl of rice or a steamed bun stuffed with either meat, green veggies, or beans on the way to the bus stop and you get on the bus or ride your bike to work! And you go home and eat with your family and you do it again the next day.

    What’s the problem with that? Geez, I think I can get rich by helping by coming back to America offering the workshop I put together for $10 a head to Americans like: Preparing For The Future: How To Enjoy Living The Asian/Chinese Way On A Budget.

    50-100 million Americans need a radical mind shift to pave the way for how to live in their future.


    Cheers, Mario

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 6:23 am

      “What’s the problem with that? ”

      That’s pretty much how it goes here, Mario. Work, home, eat dinner, some evening entertainment (or more work), sleep, wake up… Really, you ought to consider coming out from behind the Great Wall some time to have a look around. We’re not all THAT different. Well, that’s not entirely true…

      If it weren’t for the strange American ways, a lot more of the world would not be able to do those things you describe. I couldn’t help but notice bikes in your post, and I’m going to use that as a prime example as to what I’m talking about. Not that I hate bikes, but any mention of them anymore, where it is not outright preaching, is a veiled jab at automobiles and, vy extension, “backwards” America. Intenional on your part or not, though…

      Do you know why they called this the new world when the Spanish first discovered it? Aside from the fact that no one knew it was there before, there weren’t really all that many people here. It wasn’t like the crowded old countries, including Asia. The population density is still low compared to those, in fact. And it’s all spread over much more land because there isn’t a need to cram.

      Population density matters when it comes to choice of converyance, because economics is a force that of course never stops. It’s demands are constant. The choice of conveyance matters when it comes to other resources that the world depends on. Again, economics. So why not take advantage of these natural features and make the best of it? Besides, it’s not like ignoring those natural advantages would be for the betterment of anyone. And it’s not like there are other choices. So few people, for all they bemoan a lack of imagination… can’t see reality for what it is. America is going to be America for a long time because it has to be. This is not negotiable. It can’t be done without, unless we have much more pollution and/or more dead people littering the ground.

      So if we American’s are so damned wrong-headed about every damn possible thing (un)imaginable (if the author of today’s commentary has a point), I, for one, I’m glad we are. As for the rest of the butt-backward of the world, they can stay crammed in their little cubicle countries and continue to let officialdom of one sort or another work hard to keep them there like sardines, for all I care. The new world doesn’t need the old world, when all is said and done.

      In terms of food, however, if it weren’t for the demand for better from that dastardly American Way, the Green Revolution quite possibly never would have happened.


      Then where would your precious China be now?

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 7:12 am

      I hate to just throw things in peoples’ faces and run, and you surely don’t deserve that anyway, Mario. So I’m going to concede that you made good points as well. This one in particular…

      “The problem of course is if profits and wages don’t keep up and that’s where America’s current mainstream generation is in the wrong place at the wrong time in history.”

      Absolutely, 100% correct, sir! The parasites slipped in during a time when man’s productivity was sharply increasing. And that’s the ONLY reason they were able to slip in. Prior to that, it would have been so noticeable that their heads would’ve been handed to them, severed and plucked out of the body, like that of a tick on a dog.

      Sigh… It’s really not surprising that so many look at America as backwards today. The more technologies have been ushered in, the more frenzied the parasites became. It makes it all look a bad idea. That wasn’t the point, at least way back when, but today that’s what the parasitcal elite is always bemoaning; they can’t be parasites, and have paradise too. So they rant, nonstop, about the “stupid, senseless travesty” of all things American. Americans needs to do this, needs to do that… It’s no surprise that so many the world over think so as well.

      But it’s all bullcrap malarky (yes, the dung of dung). They bemoan what we have, in the desperate hope that we will somehow invent those perfectly impossible technologies that would allow them to have everything and more, without ever contributing.
      It’s not 50-100 million Americans. Quite a bit of the world needs to, for the first time ever, perhaps, open their eyes as well, to evaluate beyond the typical criticisms and see just how screwed they’ve been over the centuries. And, as always, the more the sooner the better!

    • farang August 25, 2010, 2:59 pm

      Circa 1960:

      Buy a home: $20,000
      Quart of Milk: $.25
      Gallon of gas: $.20
      Haircut: $1
      Government borrowing: $100 billion

      In 1967 in San Jose California, one could purchase a 1600sqft 4bd, 3 bath house w/1/4 acre yard for $12,000. I drove across the US summer of 1972 my jr. year in high school: 17 cents a gallon.

      $20,000 in 1967 in Santa Clara got you a home worth even now at least $400,000. My folks bogut a house in Los Altos, 2 bd, 1 bath, in 1972: $38,000. Brother lives there now: $1,100,000.

      Speaking of NASA….The difference now is the last item: the Debt rocket ride Reagan started us on, and we are still climbing (sinking.)

    • Rich August 25, 2010, 5:04 pm

      Speaking of riding bikes:
      Struck in Carson City yesterday how many people are now riding bikes with grocery bags…

    • Robert August 25, 2010, 6:41 pm

      Yup, Mario- you nailed it (as usual)

      I haven’t spent much time in Asia, but I do spend quite a bit of time in Central America, and it is still easily possile to secure sufficient calories to get to the next day from street vendors for about 2 US bucks per day- and the food is actually quite good (at least to my unsophisticated pallette :)) If you reverse-inflation adjust this daily cost to 1930- you’re looking at about 30 cents per day.

      My kids always want McDonalds, not for the food, but for the Chinese mass produced plastic gizmo included (for free) the $5 Happy Meal… If the day ever comes that their daily sustenence is in jeopardy, then I assure you- the calories will come first, and the plastic second.

      To Steve’s commentary- I completely agree with his assessment of vanishing creativity, but I can not draw the same correlation between declining creativity (or spirit of adventure) with a general decline in prosperity. I know many young people today who are financially poor, but they still possess the prosperity of vitality, and self assuredness… they simply don’t need money to be happy.

      Look at the modern day crop of young dare-devils (the X-Gamers like Travis Pastrana for example, or the crew from Jackass) – To people in their 60’s, these guys are just intellectually challenged morons who have no business being alive- they are wasting the air they breathe. But before passing this blanket judgment, just WATCH them acting the way they do- they ENJOY taking these crazy risks, and they are having FUN- the same way the barn-stormers did.

      These are the guys of the type that would (and will) be the first to sign up to go to Mars.

      Circumstances change- people don’t.

      Fear of the unknown is what motivates the Depression argument, and I agree that in the US there are more fearful people today than at any point since the 30’s, and this fact suggests a self-fulfilling prophecy, but no change in the social fabric will alter my perspective that life is offers its greatest opportunities when we (as individuals) have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

  • gary leibowitz August 25, 2010, 3:50 am

    Forget the 60’s child. What about the childen OF the 60’s. I call them the entitled. This awesome crew that lives in a world where empathy has been replace by facebook and chatting by texting. Daddy and Mommy has supplied everything for them except a sense of community. What a rude awakening they will have.

    I suspect, like in the 30’s, there will be winners. Holding onto cash, enough where you can purchase real estate at 10 cents to the dollar.

    I have had a macro view of the world that hasn’t changed for over 20 years. I saw assets being replaced by debt instruments starting with the credit card and I never looked back. I just marveled at the exponential growth of debt and couldn’t have imagined it possible to grow this large. A bubble that comes along every 300 years.

    • Rich August 25, 2010, 5:02 pm

      Rosie’s comment on whether the bond bubble is ready to pop: Ask a room of traders how many own bonds (or cash)…

  • JohnJay August 25, 2010, 3:27 am

    It is already very bad for the 99’ers, who, if they are in their 50’s or 60’s may now have to work multiple McJobs forever, if they can find them.
    How bad it gets collectively depends on whether enough citizens hit the skids to trigger economic implosion.
    How TPTB did not see the consequences of a vaporized tax base when they championed the off- shoring of our manufacturing is beyond my comprehension.
    As to the NASA “lack of imagination” today let’s face it.
    NASA has been running on fumes since the last of the old Nazi scientists like von Braun etc. died off.
    They were incapable of remorse, but had the relentless genius to make the Saturn V flawless, and space flight a reality.
    The Space Shuttle was their last gasp, after they passed on NASA has been clueless!

    • Benjamin August 25, 2010, 8:44 am

      Sorry to sound like I’m ranting at YOU, JohnJay, but it’s really about NASA. I hate them with a passion!

      They were always running on fumes. That’s why we have the problems with credit contraction today. And honestly, so what if the Russians had put a man on the moon and we simply didn’t delude ourselves into thinking that Big Government Science was an unavoidable nessecity of our “modern day”? Russia had plenty else wrong with it that a man on the moon would’ve been an embarassment to the price tag of putting him there, and the whole world would have seen that plain as day. Now, thanks to a lack of responsibility in the past, it’s we who have much shame because we said yes, allowed ourselves to be provoked, allowed ourselves to see kids as heading down the wrong path unless we “did right” and provided “good examples”.

      And frankly, I don’t care if NASA has managed to accomplish anything. It’s still less than nothing because of how it was achieved. There is absolutely no reason why the pursuit of science must ever be the domain of the State. The lack of imagination didn’t start with TV. It started because so many people said yes to State sponsored science, including those white coats who refused to employ themselves otherwise, those very same who bemoan the lack of imagination “today”, who themselves couldn’t imagine science making progress WITHOUT government sponsorship.

      So many scientists today believe it a simple matter to rid the agencies of their varying corruptions and the bad science that they tend to promote. They won’t drop the idea that there is no other outcome when government is involved in the first place. They even twist the Constitution in any way they see fit in order to justify their delusion that government is obligated to create and provide scientific budgets.

      “National defense!”; “Public health!” ; “Our future generations need to be encouraged to be smart so that our economy can remain at the top of the world!”

      It’s all hogwash. The Constitution and free market principles both lay out all that science will ever need from the government. Scientists will have to fend for themselves, like everyone else. They’ll just have to relearn how to sell themselves in a market place devoid of spurious obligations.

  • mark August 25, 2010, 3:15 am

    How’d you get hypothermia that badly? And what saved you?

    • Steve August 25, 2010, 5:59 pm


      I tried to save a 1200 Appy Mare in Resurrection Pass Alaska. She and I took a tumble. She hooked the saddle horn on alders putting the saddle under her belly and she tumbled into swan lake. Rocky lake shore 6′ deep 6′ off shore and getting deeper fast. She was up to her neck and then on her side blowing through one nostril. I never thought I just dove in thinking I could use the lifesaving skills I’d learned from the Red Cross. I barely made it back to shore. I came out shivering into 30 knot wind at about 45 degrees ambient. I had just gone through the best cold weather survival school by the Coast Guard in Alaska. I knew what was going to happen as I began to convulse. My ex got to me about that time and I told her what was going to happen to me. I drank a partial bottle of honey from another saddle back/pack. I got on a dry coat. There was a small cabin at the North end of Swan Lake. My story of picking Blue Berries to get more sugar in reality was me clutching a blue sleeping bag I got off the horse and bobbing like a bobble head. I awakened somewhere about a day later in the cabin. Every inch of my body was on fire with pain like some have felt in their fingers when the cold gets us and we put those fingers into the heat of the car defroster. Three days later I was able to walk out and get help for the horse.

      I lost 30 pounds over the next month. I also lost the belief that I could be let out anywhere in the world with a pocket knife and survive. Even after the ordeal I though it would not change me. Now, I guess my perspective and mental filter have been warped by the experience.

  • jj August 25, 2010, 1:44 am

    Maybe I’m a rare old gold bugger, but I don’t want to wake up in a world of $5000 gold regardless of how much gain that may represent, for me that means something major has gone wrong in the world.

    The equity markets have become a circus, FASB use to mean marked to market “true values” now its FakeAccountingStandardsB

    Good luck to us all…..