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A Dark Vision of Things to Come

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[ Erich Simon, author of jeremiad below, is a hard-core survivalist and the second most bearish person we know, out-doomsdayed only by a Nostradamian pen-pal who believes, for starters, that two World Wars will be fought within a generation.  Although we shudder to imagine a world in which all of Erich’s predictions have come true, we do not think his fear is misplaced that Americans will awaken one morning to learn that the banks have closed indefinitely. Our suggestion is that you keep a shoebox filled with $1s, $5s, $10s and $20s for that day, since “plastic” will be useless.  Much more elaborate preparations will be needed, however, if you share Erich’s very dire outlook. RA]

The financial vultures are all around.  Things took a sharp turn for the worse three years ago, when a wave of store-closings turned strip malls across America into eyesores.  In just one year, 42,000 manufacturing businesses in the U.S. closed shop. But the recent announcement by the Fed that it would “buy” $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities every month was a defining moment. What can it hope to accomplish?  Printing-press money no longer subsidizes anyone but fat cats – corporate VIPs who can flee in their Learjets to the Southern Hemisphere when troubles that have simmered for years finally reach a boil.

A generation ago, it took $2 of debt creation to generate a dollar’s worth of GDP. Then it took $5…and then $7 before Obama pushed the number off the chart.  Now, there is no longer measurable growth relative to each new dollar of credit “stimulus.” In fact, despite all the QE Bernanke can gin up, the economy is sliding backwards. Production is contracting and unemployment is poised to take off, even as new hires take jobs that will never pay them anything close to a living wage. The young are beyond disenfranchised: They are desperate and forlorn. We have reached the point where every newborn faces worsening odds of accumulating wealth to pass on to descendants. So much for the American Dream.

Synchronous Downturn

As for the global economy, it is slipping into a synchronized downturn that will make it far more difficult for the mass of newcomers to attain wealth.  The economy is past the point of inflection, nearing exponential collapse: currency, debt, food, energy, water, infrastructure —  all of it. That’s why there are so few jobs remaining. And The Government knows it. They understand that we are now a two-tiered population of haves and have-nots, as Bernanke acknowledged a year ago, with the have-nots skirting subsistence. This is the endgame of an economy based on credit and consumption: a slave class living from paycheck to paycheck; a middle class turned into federally subsidized debtors; and a shakeout, since 2008, of the top 1%, including the super rich (CEOs) and the ultra rich (dynastic property hoarders with dwindling cash flow).

It is at the level of the top 1% that the economic battle has been raging as the super rich, living off debt and beyond their means, fight to keep up with the ultra rich, even as the other 99% gets left in the dust, unable to sustain themselves.  Stressed to the breaking point and exposed to random violence such as the recent, homicidal spree at a Colorado move theater, they are suffering from a kind of profound mental fatigue. The economy, meanwhile, is completely hollow now. The Invasion of the Economic Body Snatchers is complete, with the U.S. evolving into a Third World Police State and the banks set to reclaim all real estate everywhere amid a epic upheaval of social restructuring.

An Extended Bank Holiday

We will awaken one day to learn that the banks have closed, perhaps never to reopen. This has seemed inevitable since the events of 9/11 altered the rhythms and routines of the U.S. economy. The banks may even be torn down, burned in effigy of a system that destroyed us all and enriched the thievery of the greedy and militaristic few, turning frontier dreams of prosperity into a dictatorship ghetto.

We are close now, very close. Every business I come in contact with is on the ropes – most recently, a corporation with rental properties in three states that has been deluged with vacancies and collection notices. There’s my medical insurer, which has taken nearly two years to pay a claim related to a shattered shoulder. Even worse, there are scam artists everywhere, and all too many businesses adopting flim-flam tactics. Meanwhile, prices for necessities continue to rise, fueling even more desperation on the part of businessmen.  It reminds one of the imploding USSR, where, corruption was pervasive and riches went not to the doctor or dentist but to political overlords.

Speeches Written

Like the Titanic, the economic ship is going to sink in a matter of hours. I’d bet that speeches are being scripted in preparation for this. We are that close. (Over the last decade or so, the Christmas holiday season has been squeezed into a shorter, manic shopping spree that has come to resemble a rush hour in the last couple of days.) One should expect gunfire from lone wolfs and organized groups in proximity to the upcoming bank holidays — quite literally men not just without futures, but without their next meals.

Things are going to get bad, and soon. The financial scavenger-vulture “bartenders” who short-change customers and swipe dollars off the “bar” are not the social disease, they are the symptom. The disease is a Fed misallocation of credit that has corrupted the economy, and with it the entire social order. The money-printing disease augurs a bottleneck of…everything.  We are facing a technological exploitation of a finite habitat overrun suddenly by a population blowoff. That is what everyone is preparing for, skimming and stealing across all levels of all businesses — a currency grab in the final hour, just before the dash for the exits, a mad scramble to buy safety and survival for themselves and their families.

A Sniper’s Fear

A member of my survival group, an Army Ranger sniper who retired after nine years’ service, has dug a hollow in the forest behind his house and fortified it with clothes, guns and food for his wife and two young children. I thought that it was to protect against civilian marauders. Imagine my surprise when he told me it is to protect against our own military. According to his sources who are still in the service ( in what is a very youthful military/National Guard), plans are being discussed that would have soldiers and Guardsmen go door-to-door confiscating food, wealth, guns, etcetera — all in the name of national security. Redistribution to keep the peace. Or is it going to be mostly spoils to weld soldier loyalty? The more things change, the more they remain the same.

***

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  • Erich Simon October 15, 2012, 12:23 am

    After dinner and drinks at the historic Continental Tavern in Yardley, Pennsylvania, the bartender dumped the bill in the garbage and the entire cash payment in the tip bowl. The owner, after watching the whole thing on closed-circuit, was astounded by the overlap of my above essay and the goings on under his own roof.

    Upon further audit of his cameras, he found such blatant theft to be rampant, and even asked me if I would care to take the reins as floor manager.

  • Marc Authier October 13, 2012, 1:50 pm

    And no hanging of banksters and politicians ? The event will ressemble to the end of ex USSR, but this time even Switzerland will go belly up. Even USA-UK naturally. The ex USA will maybe happen. But before that, we will see the end of European Union (USSR no 2).

    &&&&&&&

    Yeah, even the Swiss burghers are immersed in fiat corruption and moral hazard up to their eyeballs, having laid waste to a centuries-old tradition of sound money in less than a year. Looking ahead, it’s hard to see Italy, Spain and the deadbeats coming to war-like blows with Germany and the Northern Axis, especially now that Europe, like Yasir Arafat and Barack Obama, has a Nobel Peace Prize to live up to. War or not, the lending countries aren’t going to be happy when they get stiffed in the end, nor will they take much consolation from watching riots in Rome and Athens on their TVs. RA

  • Erich Simon October 11, 2012, 7:29 pm

    My Army Ranger sniper actually has 14 years service he told me after reading the essay above, then broke off to field a call from a Ranger still in service. And he most certainly thinks the new Police State turning Military State is a cold callousness that is lost on the average person.

    Ever been to prison? We are all transitioning into prisoner status right now. The rest are transitioning into ‘the guards’.

    The government has two militaries. The grunts and specialists. The grunts are to engage the citizenry, and eventually to fight and to kill each other off… then the specialists, a small minority outfitted with weapons that are unbelievable, will run clean up. We don’t stand a chance unless we act together and real soon, and that isn’t happening, nor will it.

    This is sovereign genocide, population control since the dawn of human beings… and it is cyclical, and it will happen AFTER the upcoming Currency Wars, now in progress but to get much worse.

  • Craig October 11, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Thanks for proving my point Polo, yet another Turkey who has only been on the farm for 10 months and believes the nothing will happen. So in 5-8 years when you are separated from your children, crying like alittle sarcastic baby and put into “reeducation camps” and “rounded by social security numbers” per the US Army Officers manual after they start “false flag” attacks to blame it on the enemy, we the people. Yes that’s what is says…Army’s response to inquires….oh that is for foreign countries like Syria….I will say it again as you appear slow…by “social security numbers”. The time to do something was 5 years ago…everything is set in motion (camps built, pensions ready to be taken away from cops and military that dont go along, foriegm troops trained and equipment in US training in US, treaty with Canada and Mexico signed to assist with “emergencies”, bush’s PPD signed making president dictator during “emergencies” signed, obamas PPD signed making all modes of transportation, food and water property of the gov during “emergencies”, NDAA signed allowing the President to detain ANYONE for ANY reason for ANY amount of time without ANYONE knowing, just waiting a few middle east wars a contested election (2016) and those 63,000 drones to be built (one for every 5 sq miles)
    and lazy uninformed programmed by TV idiots like you are the reason. We are already in Checkmate and your still arguing if we should move our first pawn one space or two or even sit down to play the game. Rick won’t take the time to watch one 2 minute video that proves 911 was done by elements within our gov. and says popular mechanics debunked it, whose editor was Homeland security chiefs freaking cousin. Spend 138 seconds of your life watching “this is an orange” on utube then start making jokes at your childrens expense.

  • Polo October 11, 2012, 8:10 am

    WOW,

    I’m so scared. I am not trying to be sarcastic.

  • Robert October 10, 2012, 7:24 pm

    Everyone-

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading ALL of your viewpoints on this topic- even those I vehemently disagree with…

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to don my cammo fatigues, grab my AR-15, and leave the bunker long enough to hit the local Domino’s to get the kids a pizza…. 🙂

    • Craig October 10, 2012, 10:52 pm

      Congrats Robert, your attitude and programed response by TV is why America is where it is at. Laugh at your own slow destruction and ridicule those that are informed enough to be trying warn you. Off shore banks have stolen 1% a year from us through inflation (that’s 98% in 98 years) due the the stupid masses joking about the theft and downplaying the Paul Reveres of current times. Go back to sleep….I call people like you October Turkeys, walking around the farm saying why would they kill us? They feed us really good! That story about them killing all those Turkeys last November is a conspiracy theory, that would never happen.

    • Robert October 16, 2012, 8:06 pm

      Craig-

      If my response is “programmed”, then I submit that yours is emphatically hysterical.

      You decry others who fail to share in your hysteria.

      Yes, bankers are thieves, and their theft is enabled by liars elected to public office.

      The truth simply is what it is. Via your dark, foreboding viewpoints and your panic inducing prose, you project a world where the liars and the thieves ultimately win. Therefore, YOU are lost.

      I understand TRUTH.

      You claim to be more “informed” than me, however, you expose no credentials that inspire me to acknowledge you as a leader, nor as a teacher, and most certainly not as a prophet.

      In short- I enjoy your crystal ball prognostications about as much as I so the similar diatribes of Alex Jones.

      I am entertained by you; but in time, I will surely wish to change the channel and see what else is on, or to turn you off altogether, so I may go outside and feed my chickens.

    • Craig October 16, 2012, 8:39 pm

      So in other words….you agree with everything but can deny the prepping and build up for take over because it may not happen for 5 to 15 years so why worry about something you can’t control when you can laugh it off and ignore it till then because you have too much invested in the current status quo and don’t want to admit you have been duped this whole time while probably working for the system until it’s finished…..you must have a pension tied up with the system and you must protect the system to protect your pension. When that evaporates, then you will gladly courtesy the guards before they run you into the pit….good plan…like I said, that’s how it got this far.

    • Robert October 17, 2012, 2:21 am

      Have you put ANY rational thought into what the “end game” of your fantastical depopulation scenario is?

      Thousands and thousands of square miles of empty houses. Unattended stores. Rotting food. Feral pets…
      Vehicles rusting away until the toxic contents of their fuel and oil systems spill onto the ground. Massive global pollution…

      ….and a super-rich, “global Elite” class of human being: leaning back in their chairs, toasting each other and saying “Here’s to a job well done” as they drink the last bottle of Bollinger…?

      Yeah- it would be a real Utopia for whoever was left, that’s for sure… a paradise of decay and pollution, enjoyed only until the ruling class suddenly discovers:

      “CRAP – there’s no one left to cook my dinner and clean my bed sheets…!”

      And- if the more barbarian and militant “round up” crew has been pre-conditioned to perform this great concentration camp exercise, then pray tell- what happens to THEM afterward? I mean, once the elitists no longer need the “useful idiots”, how do they dispose of them? (especially when the “idiots” will still be the ones with all the guns)?

      People see FEMA camps and endless acres of plastic coffins and they think “THEY ARE COMING FOR ME”

      What I see is basic, fundamental bureaucratic stupidity- the kind that ranks right up there with the US Postal Service and the FDA.

      Any nation-state that would appoint Janet Napolitano as it’s Chief of Domestic Security is completely INCAPABLE of executing the kind of nefarious plans you think are being cooked up by the Bilderberg brigade.

      I got news for you: Janet Napolitano ain’t no Heinrich Himler, that’s for DAMN sure. Himler may have been evil, but he was also murderously intelligent.

      Or- maybe I am indifferent to your doomsday scenario because I am actually a MEMBER of those who stand to benefit from this evil global conspiracy…

      Perhaps I secretly long for the day that I will stare out over the vacant remnants of civilization as I raise my own glass of Bollinger and cheer the EMP’s as they light up the sky…

      Seriously man, give it some critical thought. Meditate on it if you must, but give me a freaking break.

      Satan’s plan for humanity is nothing more than the rationalization of our own incorrigible stupidity, taken to its logical end.

      The Book of Revelations does not need to be understood verbatim in order to grasp the premise that Satan LOSES at Armageddon, and humanity is saved.

      So too will global human stupidity lose.

      Please, go outside tomorrow morning about a half-hour before dawn, and watch the sun rise… you may be amazed at what it could do for your peace of mind.

    • Craig October 17, 2012, 6:19 am

      I am not worried about if the end game is successful or not, I am concerned that they even try it. Which it appears they are. So you know alot of the plans yourself….you have lots of knowledge about what I speak..but you pull he disinfo and talk down to people that talk about it with your “camo, ar-15, bunker bullcrap” when all that needs to happen is people to start looking into these facts and NOTHING will happen if just 20% of the people look this stuff up and say not happening here…it ends (at least for a decade or so). I am hoping to wake up a few minds and let them decide for themselves….your as bad as Rick Perry, Bill O’Reiley and Brad Pitt that spoke out abou all this (because they did some research) and now work forthe bastards. Based on what you believe you should just say yes you are all correct but you believe the American people will prevail and to enjoy your life until that time comes. I believe it will never happen IF enough people wake up and people like you get out ofthe way with your pathetic dismissal of the facts which with every post you post past your kindergarten disinfo (ha ha ha, grab my Ar-15, camo crap) you show that not only is the info correct that also you know about it. Thank you, maybe just one silent reader that is following this will look up this stuff and decide for themselves, one more person awake can multiply and if enough people see what’s going on then this doomsday will never happen and hopefully never even start. You also like to paint everyone as miserable and in mamas basement waiting for the EMPs….ummm no, I appreciate every single day and live with the knowledge that these MAY be the best days, BUT also live like our best days are still ahead of us. Be part of the solution and stop getting the way of waking people up, as obviously the more you talk the more you prove all this is real and you have researched this, so PLEASE respond and tell us how the drones are not going to patrol the sky’s and one for every fives square miles isn’t enough to replace our airforce….maybe just one more person will look those facts up and maybe wake up someone else and it multiplies to 5 more people from another disinfo post from you…please do this.

    • Robert October 17, 2012, 5:48 pm

      Craig-

      NOW you are getting it. I see the same things you see. I simply don’t descend into the kind of sensationalism that incites radical aggression. That is simply not necessary to me.

      I “wake up” as many people as are willing to open their eyes and see what “could” come about as a direct result of their own indifference to what’s going on “out there”…

      But, I keep it REAL.

      There is a fundamental difference in perspective that inspires one person to look at things when they are bad, and surmise that they can only get worse. It takes a personal discipline of sorts to force your mind to remain open to the possibility that everything you think is going wrong, might actually be simply the pivot point that draws the curtain on the opening act of something refreshingly new; and far less whacko…

      Every end is simply the beginning of what’s next.

      Apocalypse Now.

      Drones, chemtrails, armed border guards, and uniformed TSA agents being trained how to “properly” invade another person’s personal space and accost their bodies. PURE INSANITY.

      Insanity is born out of FEAR. Conquer the fear, and you eliminate the need for insanity.

      What I object to is your method of taking circumstances, and using your dire prognostications to INCITE even MORE fearful response mechanisms (and therefore even more insanity) in the people who read your words and assume that they are somehow prophetic.

      There are two kinds of dog: those that are fearful and humble and allow themselves to be cornered, and then suddenly lash out in a vicious, violent and uncontrollable rage, and there are those dogs that NEVER have to bite- they walk among the other dogs and exercise their “alpha mechanism” simply with the look in their eyes… and they NEVER allow themselves to be cornered.

      Focus on how to be Alpha.

  • Erin October 10, 2012, 12:11 am

    Gary,
    Debt levels have to go down because people are broke, there is no more easy money for the average joe to take out of their home or second home or whatever. When people are pinched they cannot take on new debt because they can’t afford it. This is just the process of deleveraging happening which is normal and positive like you say and I agree with you! But as households continue to delever, the fed is piling debt onto the backs of every man, women and child in this country who is going to have to pay for all the pleasure of distorted markets and trying to make people feel all warm and fuzzy.

    I have never claimed a crash and I won’t because the fed is in the business of distorting the markets and prices. I also agree that some type of external shock to the system would really cause quite a bit of havoc. The fed is all about extend and pretend! Bernanke knows how important the wealth effect is and people will spend money they don’t have if they feel wealthy but that creates its own problems.

    What kind of leaders (people in power) would try to get the public to spend money they don’t have? Desperate people! The fed is desperate at this point.

    I am sure you remember at one point, a very long time ago when this nation was powerful and great and we had a strong dollar and we were the envy of the world. At that time, real growth came thru productivity and savings, where a transaction actually took place like goods for goods. Now it all about one-sided transactions. I give you some cheap money and you go spend it. Debt levels just keep piling up that way. There is no way that we can continue to do this by just trying to lower the cost of that transaction. We need to get back to productive exchanges. There is an entity in the way of us getting back to this and we all know who they are. Such a simple thing, productivity and savings and my personal fantasy, free markets!!!

    Politicians, congress, money center banks and any other government funded agency cannot spend money they don’t have. The fed continues to give them the green light to funnel money into unproductive sectors that distort the real economy. All the billions of dollars keeps getting misallocated into places it is not needed instead of places the market says it should go. That is why these statistics that come from government are so misleading. This is devious sh!t. (Sorry Rick)

    You seem to have a rosy outlook for the economy and the stock market from what I gather by reading some of your posts, but all I see is distorted data and manipulated markets trying to deceive people of the real problems out there.

    You may be right that the market will go up but the problems will not go away without a full reset. History tells us that an adjustment needs to happen in a free market world, but that is not what we are living with right now. Good luck to you.

    • gary leibowitz October 10, 2012, 2:54 am

      I never disagreed with your conclusions. I do disagree that the Fed/Govenrment is some evil entity. In truth they were trying to please everyone, all the time. The disregard for corporate greed and lax rules combined with the need to also satisfy the masses resulted in a bloated debt, even before the mortgage crisis. Tax cuts and increase social welfare does satisfy everyone. For the time being. Do you really think that people want to see the government debt level dropped and deal with the consequence now? The mindset is changing, and for the better. Corporations and individuals have been scared into reducing debt. To also reduce government spending at the same time is not a wise thing. In fact it would collapse the whole system. I don’t think it will work but any government in any time frame would do the exact same thing. It’s called hope. Time is the great equalizer. Given a new stricter fiscal policy in the future will bring balance back. I think it will take way too long with not enough will power to carry it out. I also see events outside our control that can easily derail it.

      I am not optimistic on the future. I do understant the reasons behind this policy. In fact had human nature tried to tackle this problem any other way would be very surprising to me. Had any government in any time period dealt with a fiscal crisis by allowing the failed institutions to disolve and also stand by while the system collapses? Even the mistake by the great depression was followed by government policy that lent a helping hand.

      Let me remind you that it was during Clintons term that we had the best fiscal balance sheet in 50 years. The result was a mad dash to spend our way into debt.
      It is possible to reverse this trend. It is not likely though.

      Throughout our short history we had fiscal crisis after fiscal crisis. This one is now global and is the biggest by far. Democracy and capitalism always swings from one extreme to the other. There would be no golden 50’s had we not experienced the 30’s.

      Not the end, just the end of another roaring hedonistic behavior. We will eventually go thru the same process. It is inevitable. The pain felt during this cyclical bottom will most likely be our greatest, but not our last.

    • Craig October 10, 2012, 3:50 am

      Gary,

      What branch of government is the Federal Reserve?

  • Erin October 9, 2012, 10:07 pm

    Gary,
    Refinancing mortgages multiple times, bailing out banks to try to hold the line on asset prices, pushing stock prices higher and having the fed buy its own bonds will do nothing to help this nation move forward. These are laughable statistics.

    Please address why we need to print phony money at the clip of 40+ billion a month now and next year at 85+billion a month and keep other countless billions moving around with the twist program and who knows what else?

    Whoops! There goes the falling debt levels. Let us not forget to add in stagnant and falling wages for workers because of real inflation, states and counties all strapped for money also because of real inflation and needing to cut back or be bailed out.

    I have worked in government for the last 27 years and the real cost of inflation is soaring…We (being government business in many forms) cannot adjust and raise our prices because of the official inflation rate which is reported to be less than 2% by our own fed. So our own agencies are being bled to death by this completely false inflation rate. How do you reckon that we solve that monstrous hole created by ourselves? This country is so screwed!

    • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 10:52 pm

      I don’t disagree with some of your points. Once again I merely want to point out that given enough time things can sort itself out. Reduction of debt is a reduction, and can not be construed as something negative. You site weak wages and the like, yet DESPITE that we are drawing down debt. Clearly we can’t draw down debt if the consumer had no ability to do so. Try and follow this logic. It is simple really. I also want to point out just why the immediate crash that people have expected for years now can be delayed even further. Logic would dictate if we held up this well this long, and a new influx of spending or borrowing were to take place, we could see the stock market go even higher longer.

      This is not some pie-in-the-sky supposition. Someone here has to try and explain away why we are still standing. Can’t rely on conspiracy theory for that long. You can’t dismiss the data that goes against your theory and hold dear the ones that do. Look at Jack Welch’s absolutely absurd statement that the recent employment/unemployment data is faked by this administration. Had he actually looked up how this data is collected he would have to conclude thousands of people, from the public sector and both parties conspired. A mass conspiracy with the sanction of the republican party? Yet that theory is more believable than the truth. Had he stated that the formula is misguided that everyone will agree, but even so, using the same rules in the past has relevence.

      Most here want to use the changes in rules and abuses by banks and politicians to explain why we are doomed to fail. You can site the massive world debt, imbalance of power, no true representation, etc… But that and 2 dollars gets you a cup of coffee. It doesn’t explain why earnings have been so good.

  • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Interesting article that has major implications for the future of our economic health.

    Everyone asks how it is possible for this economy to stay viable going forward. Well here are 6 specific points I extracted from this article:
    1 – US Debt at 6 year low relative to size of economy as homeowners, cities, and congress cut borrowing.
    2 – Totoal indebtedness fell to 3.29 GDP, least since 2006 at 2.59.
    3 – US Government sales of bonds hits record demand.
    4- Household wealth rose to 62.7 trillion at end of june, as opposed to 51.2 trillion in early 2009.
    5- Consumer debt fell 11.4 trillion at end of June, from peak of 12.7 trillion in 2008.
    6- Net US taxable debt issuance forecasted to fall to 821 billion in 2012, less than half the 2.2 trillion in 2007.

    So it seems that the reason our GDP is very mild has to do with less borrowing and more drawdown of debt. I would say that is a good thing. Would you? The fact that banks are now very restrictive in home mortgages is also a good thing. Good for long term future prospects.

    Given enough time, assuming we stay on current path, it will lead to a very healthy rebound. I think the time frame for everything to work will be many years from now, years I don’t believe we have. I stated a while ago that time is the great equalizer. Any major event or crisis going forward will derail this, as I believe is the most likely scenario.

    For now though there is enough change in borrowing habits, low mortgage rates, refinancing, steady ermployment and wages to suggest it is very possible for one more surge in economic activity. It can even be in the form of more borrowing.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-09/u-s-downgrade-seen-as-upgrade-as-u-s-debt-dissolved.html

  • redwilldanaher October 9, 2012, 6:37 pm
  • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:32 pm

    Hi Erich, some further arguments

    “The economy is past the point of inflection, nearing exponential collapse: currency, debt, food, energy, water, infrastructure — all of it. That’s why there are so few jobs remaining. ”

    I won’t say that there isn’t a global slowdown, yet skipping the part about blaming the govt/elites in control for a moment, I’m honestly just not seeing the depth of economic collapse you are suggesting is right around the corner.

    Let me say; the globalizing world and its major societies have gone through massive, transformational change and I would suggest that those “mega-trend” changes and transformations have caused a shift in what is “needed” to be purchased.

    Essentially, we now have a global-sized shift like “buggywhips” and “VCRs” The world simply doesn’t need them anymore. Ergo, those industries are gone, replaced by something else. Along the way, there simply aren’t any other jobs around to replace that lost productivity, those lost jobs. So then yes, this is leaving masses of people without jobs/careers as a consequence.

    I’ve been reading “history of the world” type books lately and the accelerating rate of change and progress is the problem, its not linear, its Ray Kurzweil exponential. Its “Moore’s Law” applied across society, not just to the doubling of speed/power in computer chips every two years, a law which is still holding true in tech. We’re seeing this rate of change f^%$#ng with the whole world in broad strokes across the main global societies (Asia, North America, Europe)

    Civilization changed extremellllllyyyyyy slowly for millions of years, then faster for hundreds of thousands of years, then even faster for thousands of years, but still relatively and really slowly!! Then one day, BAM, along came agriculture!!…farming and animal husbandry. Then in the tiny, short span of only 300 years, society blossomed across the world like crazy. Even good governments aren’t necessarily capable of handling how to respond to such massive trend/progress changes to insure the stability of its citizenry. Then let’s look at the date starting in our generations at 1900. That’s when the acceleration of developments/technologies really started taking off. The avg life span in 1900 was like 49!! Then the TV, the telephone, the aircraft age came along. Wow, huge stuff. Then the next shift to information and media storage technology – fax machines, VCR’s. Incredible that you could send a fax! Before that, how long did it take for a letter to reach a family member in another country? Then more BAM’s, with the computer age via IBM and Apple, then laptops, and finally baby computers called smartphones which are ten thousand times more powerful than a room-sized super-computer in the 70’s. I do 30 second video clips of our darling infant son and shoot them off to my parents and one minute later they are watching it and we are talking on video phone via skype for free!! Nuts.

    This is not a world that is collapsing Erich,it is a world that is changing; radically, massively, and surely yes this is causing large masses of people to lose in some way, in their abilty to find gainful careers in a world where because of these exponential shift driven mostly by unprecedented technological developments, what was needed in simply no longer needed.

    I am thinking we are the end of the “progress” line. We human beings at this point, after the discoveries of the past 100 years or so, how much more new stuff is left? We already know pretty much everything we could need to know about the world we live in, and not only that, it is easily at all our fingertips “googled” by anyone!! So what’s next in terms of the progress of human existence. Even via medical technology, we have plumbed the depths of the human body and brain. Frankly, it is all starting to make real life in the modern world feel very unreal. We are human, in the end, our existence is quite basic; we wish to keep busy, socialize, care for each other, secure shelter, eat, stay warm, stay cool, perhaps contribute some legacy or value, and then what? We die and onward the cycle of life goes. I love the Godfather movies; in the end, the old man is in his garden enjoying life with his grandchild, keels over and dies and that’s it. That is life, in fact.

    I’m just saying, the increasing rate of change and development we have seen in the past 100 years and ten years with the wireless/web age upon, it is mindbloggling, and is nearing its end game. So now what? I don’t know. But you suggest “collapse” or perhaps another cyclical societal descent across the world into collapse, anarchy, chaos. This needs further thought and expanding upon…I feel I haven’t even touched it here…Plenty of businesses are doing well, selling plenty of their stuff to plenty of people who need their stuff, the basics won’t ever change. What concerns me now more than anything as I am trying to make sense of the pieces to the puzzle is the hoarding of wealth and power by the elite few. I have to say, that is getting really scary. Enough. Just a rant…

    Cheers, Mario

  • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 3:24 pm

    We already went thru a scenario of financial collapse and depresion. I can’t recall anything near the stuff discussed here ever happening. Were there guns available in the 30’s? Did many banks go bust along with the citizens money? Did our government react by force? Did we not have corrupting in our governments in the 30’s?

    Gimmie a break! The most likely scenario will be played out like the last one. Our government will do everything possible to change laws and create jobs in order to rebalance the system. Thats the capitalist way. Greed is good for innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors. It also leads to power asnd corruption. And so the cycle remains. Just so happens we are at the apex of greed and corruption. The cycle will continue to move back and forth.

    The notion that “This time is different” is absurd based on historical data.

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Gary, lately I am pondering that we are not only at apex of greed and corruption, but also at apex of technological advancement and discovery in the world. Everything new and idetifiable and discoverable and inventable has pretty much manifested. What the hell is next?!

    • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 4:09 pm

      Mario,
      We are now at the cusp of major technical advancements. In medicine, artificial intelligence, nano technology, fast reliable transportation (driverless cars), unlocking how the brain functions, altering “target”genes, etc…

      It might seem like we are slowing down in technical advancements but given the extraordinary advancement in the last 50 years it trumped any time in our past history by a huge margin. The next stage will be as great as the discoveries made by Einstein. A huge leap, and in our lifetime.

    • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 4:15 pm

      On the market,
      Looks like we are about ready for a big move up. I have a target for AAPL at 620 or so. If that holds we should have a sharp rebound that will lead the whole market up. The IMF is now asking for constraint on the austerity programs. The EU will do exactly what we did 4 years ago. Put off the solution for another day. Lets see how Greece and Spain play out, the nations that are on the front line for default. Earning season is upon us. Expectations for this quarter will not disappoint since it is already so low. The future earnings growth announcments will drive this market going forward.

  • John Jay October 9, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Best comment on BLS sampling technique I have read.

    Curt W
    Curt W’s picture

    New Questions on the Household survey.

    1. Did you sell more than one item on E-Bay or Craiglist last month?

    2. Did you have a garage/yard sale last month?

    If you answered yes to either, you had a part-time job in Retail.

    Part-time for financial reasons.

    Now that’s comedy!

  • ms October 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

    By allowing such crap to be written on his website Rick is becoming unhinged by the “rapture” , doomsday crowd.

    • Rick Ackerman October 9, 2012, 7:10 pm

      Yeah, sure: unhinged. That’d be me, all right. Incidentally, MS, any time you’d like to contribute a ‘hinged’ guest commentary yourself instead of taking potshots, the editorial welcome mat will always be out. RA

  • ben October 9, 2012, 9:44 am

    Just an aside. For anyone who wants to read a good comic book, which came to my mind when I read this post-apocalyptic tale from Rick, check out “Crossed.”

  • Mike S October 9, 2012, 7:18 am

    Gold, silver, lead, tin cans….not Necessarily in that order. I can always count on a serious dose of reality here.

  • Phil October 9, 2012, 5:40 am

    Craig
    I lived through the Cuban missle crisis. You looked at the paper each day to see how close the Russian ships were to the US blockade. When the US pulled back time was up. Some people stopped going to work or school.
    That was the closest we came to the real end of the world in the last 50 years.
    The future hasn’t been written yet.
    Obama’s Executive Orders are his view of the world from the throne he sits on. He has Orders of Succession for every federal dept, and National security were he controls everything in the country. Of course a new president can delete all of them.

    • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Actually not. In 1983 the russians thought we launched an attack and it was one man that decided it was a false alram. This “false alarm” actually occured on 2 seperate occassions. The relationship between the two nations was at an all time low. Reagan had created such an atmosphere of distrust that the USSR was convinced we would strike first.

      “Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB chief of foreign counter-intelligence who knew Soviet chairman Andropov well, says that Andropov’s distrust of American leaders was profound. It is conceivable that if Petrov had declared the satellite warnings valid, such an erroneous report could have provoked the Soviet leadership into becoming bellicose. Kalugin says, “The danger was in the Soviet leadership thinking, ‘The Americans may attack, so we better attack first.'”

      &&&&&&&

      Still fighting the last war, Gary? Whatever the “atmosphere of distrust” that Reagan may fostered in the Russians, it was the result that mattered. RA

    • gary leibowitz October 9, 2012, 10:00 pm

      Rick not quite sure what you are getting at with this statement: ” Still fighting the last war, Gary? Whatever the “atmosphere of distrust” that Reagan may fostered in the Russians, it was the result that mattered.”

      The post was pointing out the last great chance of a nuclear war, countering Craig’s assumption that it was the bay of pigs incident. The reasons behind the possibility of a counter-attack from the “false alarm” was real. The cold war was at its worse. Tensions were heightened. If that one person followed strict procedure we might have had a neclear war.

  • Garret October 9, 2012, 5:17 am

    If the banks were to never reopen, why would anyone accept the paper currency I hid? When has the dissolution of government ever lead to anything other than hyperinflation? Yugoslavia did not suffer deflation, neither did Russia or the Slovaks or the Austro-Hungarians. Wouldn’t it be better to load up on cigarettes?

    I keep trying to figure out why the collapse of the USA would be more devastating than the collapse of the USSR? The US is the worlds largest gold holder and is short USD as it holds no reserves in dollars.

    Apocalypse views have been spoken since before Christ, with the Internet it has become an addiction like porn and when all the super pessimistic scenarios never happen, it’s been so, long since the warning nobody remembers.

    If everything shuts down the military will hunt down those with arms first, while I sit quietly with my supplies. Those battles will deplete the troops and munitions and I will thank those militants for providing a distraction from me.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:55 pm

      More genius emanating from Garret’s mind…

      Those who fear martial law can’t see past the fact that it is the FEAR which grounds the foundation of their viewpoints…

      Look AROUND the fear. Reality is a much more pleasant place than you give it credit for…. in spite of the “dog eat dog” nature of, well…. nature.

  • mava October 9, 2012, 3:23 am

    Funny. I thought I would never ever disagree with Robert. Tonight, I do.

    Of course the US military is going to do it. That and worse. Every other military did. But, of course, our is special. Funny.

    So many times I have rolled out the reasons exactly how and exactly why would it do it. I honestly don’t think anyone cares. This is a lot like explaining how and why your team would lose the championship. No one cares to hear that. What people want to hear is a confirmation of their desire. Nothing else.

    And so, I can’t say I am interested in retyping it all again. All I can say is “of course it will”, and that this discussion is funny. It is between those who know where all this is going and those wishing it doesn’t. Like the massive ammunition orders by the govt. on one hand and the HR6566(I think) which deals with near future “mass fatalities among civilians” and exact working approach of how so many can actually be buried, on another hand.

    That is why I do find this funny. I’s like talking to a teenager girl with her pink glasses about her special boy. Surely, he isn’t like the all others.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:53 pm

      Mava-

      It didn’t happen in the USSR.

      Instead, Gorbachev let the government fail.

      So will it be here.

  • Phil October 9, 2012, 1:53 am

    Bank holidays, inflation, shortages, a mess yes.
    In the late 60’s the cities were burning. In the military they asked for volunteers no questions asked. The caveat was you could refuse the duty once they told you what the job was. The job was training in riot control of US citizens on US soil. About 1/3 refused and they filled a squad from each company. The job was to clear the streets. Fortunately we never got a go order. I smelled a rat and didn’t volunteer.

    There are 25 million veterans today. There are god knows how many people that have guns. No one in their right mind would even think about trying to do a house to house search. Police, National Guard, Homeland Security, would all be wiped out, and I doubt they would even take the job.
    Would the military take the job? Think about it. If I’m blowing away your family near my base, someone else is blowing away my family near your base. Never happen.

    • Craig October 9, 2012, 3:17 am

      Phil,
      They are going to enlist gangbangers as the cannon fodder most likely for the foreign troops that will be on our soil why our troops are off in the middle east fighting a useless made up war. They won’t do all of this until everything gets sooo bad we ask for it literally. Throw in a pandemic (the reason for Obama care), give gangbangers in USA guns and pull back the cops and let them run free and we will beg for U.N. troops. None of this happens without a food shortage.

  • j October 9, 2012, 1:08 am

    Whats really sad is whats coming is what our sad global society deserves…we the people allowed the insane levels of corruption to succeed, from the street hustlers to all levels of government.

    We gave up our rights ALL in the disguise of protection from, who?, what? a perfect shell game!

    We truly are a sad sack of sh!t aren’t we….

    Beem me up Scottie!!

    • Erin October 9, 2012, 7:31 am

      Spot on… Nobody to blame but ourselves!

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 7:35 am

      We “allowed” it? I’m not buying that one at all J …. The people with wealth, control, authority may or may not choose to abuse their position, when they do there is little “we” can do about it and typically long after the fact….

      This is why I am not political, not anti nor pro-American nor anti nor pro-Chinese…. For exampe, two completely different approaches to govt yet analyze them for their ideals vs. their strengths and weaknesses vs. the reality they produce in the society. What is the common core link…the leaders in control making the decisions.

      Hey, for example, this crazy shit ain’t happening in Singapore is it? See my point? There, you’ve got a clearly defined government structure and people in those positions of govt and business leadership who are apparently not screwing their citizens Wall street / banking style with ponzi scheme bubbles, etc. From what I know (and by the way, I have not yetdone a deep analysis of Singapore) they seem to be quite a clear and stable and transparent place. The problems are not in the govt system, they are in the human beings making choices that are either with integrity or self-serving at the expense of others in some way… Cheers, Mario

  • Jan October 8, 2012, 10:33 pm

    I’ve heard this call since 2000, from dozens of people. Always the same line – my “inside sources” in the military say martial law’s coming. There coming for your guns .. blah, blah, blah. Maybe so, maybe not. Seeing how things are falling apart, I’m sure this broken clock has a chance of being right at some point. It’s on public record that the gov. has declared through exec order the right to confiscate pretty much everything in a declared emergency. However the whole “they’re coming any day now” meme has been beaten to death for years, and has become little more than background noise.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 7:19 pm

      Heheheheheh…

      true.

      true true true.

  • Jacques Redou October 8, 2012, 10:30 pm

    The Future of America –

    Part One:

    Republican – Democrat is the Illusion of choice.
    Like choosing between the bloods or the crips.

    Americans won’t riot. They are old and fat.
    The young ones have been raised on TV – educated
    to be passive.

    The rough spots will be handled under Martial Law –
    curfew.

    Gangs will run larger parts of the cities than
    they do now. Some of them will make deals with
    the police / politicians and become institutionalized.
    In some areas, you will pay the police.
    In other areas, you will pay the gangs.
    Bribery will flourish. Only those who do not
    share with the connected will be prosecuted.

    The Rule of Law is out the window.

    Private money will be seized, replaced by gov’t bonds.
    I used to think the future of the US would resemble
    the old USSR, but now I think it will be more like China.

    A kleptocracy with no real political Philosophy
    will be in Charge – of Everything.

    An amalgam of Marxism, Fascism and Capitalism.

    The illusion of Democracy will be maintained.
    Elections may be suspended periodically.

    Jobs will come back, at subsistence wages. Americans
    are about to experience their “Coolie” Period.

    If US Gov’t screws the Economy up Totally,
    very possible, then People will work Just for food.

    US Gov’t will eventually Claim FULL EMPLOYMENT –
    just like the USSR. The Babushka would sweep around
    the Statue of Lenin every day,
    then wait in line for a bag of rotten potatoes.

    Danger will be initially when the Powerful jockey
    for position. Control of the Courts and the Military
    and the Militarized Police will determine the victors.
    Prosecutions will be used to get Rid of Rivals.
    The businessman who is now buying Politicians
    will be out in the Cold. The Wealthy will start
    moving their Children into High Level government jobs.

    Politics will control Wealth more than Wealth
    will control Politics.

    Any real decision making will be behind
    closed doors.

    People on food stamps, welfare and SS will buy
    Red Tagged items in the store below cost. Fed.Gov
    will subsidize the price. Gov’t will pay the
    producers / distributors the difference between
    the real cost and the sales price.
    People with Money – meaning Connected – or
    Necessary – will buy whatever they want.

    All the jails and prisons will be turned into factories
    or the prisoners will be sent to work each day.
    A soft Gulag. Profits will flow to the Kleptocrats.

    Schools will get a new set of rules and the kids
    will be indoctrinated to the New System. They will be
    taught the Virtue of Servitude. Songs will be sung.
    Slogans will be Chanted. The uniforms will carry
    pins and medals for Meritorious Servitude.

    Drugs will be institutionalized. The Kleptocrats
    will cut deals with the Organized Drug Dealers:
    We leave you alone. We get a percentage.
    We get rid of your competition.
    DEA will be Drug Enablers of America.

    Health Care will be Nationalized. All doctors and
    Nurses will work for the National Health Care System.
    No one will tell Uncle Charlie he can’t have his
    Operation. He will be put on a list to wait his
    turn. His number will come up before his number
    comes up. This is how the Health Care will be
    RATIONED.

    Executives at Insurance Companies will be Mopping
    Floors for a living.

    • Craig October 8, 2012, 11:12 pm

      Oh no…we have one that can see here…. 🙂
      Pretty spot on…..Jacques

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:53 am

      Jacques, there is plenty of truth blended into your rant. I have always thought that as “foodstamps” become a more normal part of society, its just another form of currency. “Hey, how can we get some, why try to find work?” Its less and less an embarassment to be on the dole as the world is figuring out the game, that in fact, it is many of wealthy who are more than anyone who are on the dole!

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:30 pm

      wow…

      simply

      wow.

      And, I suppose those who know how to grow corn will do so at gunpoint, right…?

      The attitudes and outlooks of all you “doom-sayers” are blemished by the perspectives born from eyes that walk outside and see nothing but man-made edifice.

      I agree completely – YOUR world is going to suck big-time

      MY world, however, is going to be just fine.

      Since there will be no fuel, I guess there will be no way for your gangster-zombie hoards to make their way out into the real world, so I guess I won’t need all this ammo I stock-piled after all…. ?

  • ian October 8, 2012, 9:19 pm

    It might be “dark” but ignore his views at your peril.
    Here in Australia things are getting worse by the day and this is supposedly the best economy in the world.
    I can relate to everything Erich has written.

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:48 am

      Australia? Wow Ian, I had been hearing that’s a nice destination choice, Melbourne,great place to live, what’s the troubles down under mate?

      Cheers, Mario

  • Craig October 8, 2012, 8:02 pm

    And going house to house in the high and dry areas of New Orleans taking the guns out of these million dollar homes under force….that was NOT a one time event….that was a test run to see if we would put up with it, we failed, we did put up with it and it will happen nationwide under the next “emergency”.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 7:16 pm

      Geez…

      So, pray tell, how do all of you “door to door martial law” theorists resolve the fact that most military people join out of loyalty to the idea of protecting their families?

      How will they react to the order to seize one family’s assets in location A, while they concurrently harbor concern that their OWN families might be subjected to similar treatment in location B?

      NO. no, no, no. no no.

      What will happen is that the idea will be tabled in Washington, and the civilian authority will finally get the balls to say “go for it”, and the military eschelon will either:

      1) Do the exact opposite (ala the Soviet Union), or:

      2) Mass desertions as our fighting men and women return home to defend those people that are TRULY important to them.

      All of you in the “They will blindly follow orders” camp have lost sight of the fact that these are HUMAN BEINGS with base, inborn instincts to care FIRST for those they care MOST about…

      The Roman Army did not turn on the people. They went back to their farms.

      The Soviet army did not turn on the people – they went back to their vodka.

      The only militaries that have ever turned on their own citizens have done so as a result of an overwhelming genocidal movement born out of a psychosis wholly formed in government, and supported by the military leadership.

      NO ONE in the upper commands of the US military has ANY inclination to murder US citizens en masse.

      I repeat:

      NOT

      GONNA

      HAPPEN.

    • Craig October 11, 2012, 6:09 pm

      Naive spoiled uniformed American child (aka Robert)…the military does phychological tests on everyone and those that will follow orders and pull trigger when told will be here protecting the gov….the great American solders you believe in will be chasing CIA ran al quada all over the middle east. The battle hardened (trained via Iraq) foreign born US troops from guatamala and othe 3rd world dictatorships who are used to tyranny will be stationed in US….then things will get soo bad we ask Mexico and Canada with assistance here with Troops, after dumb spoiled idiots like you are saying everything is fine, we will need more troop to protect us from the unrest…in comes NATO troops from eastern Europe. This how it is done throughout history….pick up a real history book not your banker controlled high school history books that tell the fairytails you believe.

    • Craig October 11, 2012, 6:38 pm

      Robert…you are correct about most our great US born troops and the TPTB understand that…that’s why returning vets are the #1 terrorist threat according to DHS…CIA ran al quada is not mentioned. Vets are the ones to be rounded up first, not us. That’s why there are soooo many movies and TV shows showing “crazy” Ron Paul loving, gun loving UN hating vets blowing up American citizens and releasing bioweapons….this is to program you so when they spin that story in 4-6 years your weak mind will accept the idea of it….

    • Craig October 11, 2012, 6:48 pm

      You say it will never happen? IT DID in New Orleans during Katrina!!! Wake up!

    • Robert October 16, 2012, 7:52 pm

      Craig,

      I’d reply to you with something along the lines of “have a nice life”, but I can tell you are already living the American dream.

      Pity me on the day that you are proven right, and the CIA takes over Earth and critical thinkers like me are swept away into the vast UN run FEMA concentration camps.

      On that day, I will prefer to be dead. Enjoy your “life”.

  • Craig October 8, 2012, 7:43 pm

    I could respond to all the “never happen here crowd” with alot of evidence and facts but all you need to know is the president signed an executive order this year that in time of crisis all roads, farms, food, gas, modes of transportation, equipment that helps make food, seeds and even water can be seized……also homeland security has procured in excess of 1.4 Billion hollow point bullets and counting 200 mill more every couple of months (that’s just for the handguns)…since even numbers people grasp things that’s 1,400,000,000 bullets, 4 for ever person in America…that was not bought for “training”. Just think about that.

  • John Jay October 8, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Mario,
    The problem is the corruption is everywhere, in every country. Here is a link to an article about bridges in China falling down due to shoddy construction because the allocated funds were stolen.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-29/china-s-bridges-are-falling-down.html
    From the article:
    “Every time I walk down the street and see a new project about to break ground, I know that several billionaires are about to be made,” wrote Li Chengpeng, a well-known blogger and agitator, on Monday (as translated by Tea Leaf Nation, an English-language blog). “In this country, the completion of an infrastructure project lays the groundwork for the beginning of an anti-corruption project.”

    Even in skim city USA brand new bridges don’t fall down, the graft is included in the bid, so the work is up to code.

    Here is another article link:
    http://nyifund.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/article_WSJ_222.pdf
    From the article:
    “60 % of 960,00 of Chinese people with assets of over 1.6 million dollars were either thinking about emigrating or taking steps to do so. The US was the top destination.”

    Everyone everywhere is fleeing the same things because the world has been conquered by the US corporate/government debt based system.
    I have seen plenty of articles concerning protests by rural Chinese citizens whose land is being appropriated by some oligarch.
    My expectations have lowered now to where I no longer expect justice or due process from a fair and impartial legal system. Federal prosecutors in the USA have a higher conviction rate than Hitler’s infamous “People’s Courts”. It’s all Plea Bargains because even if you are actually innocent you don’t dare to go to trial because then they will really throw the book at you.
    Romney v Obama.
    That’s some choice we have before us!

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:45 am

      Hi JJ,

      Indeed, everywhere!! a downside of China’s central govt and history is that “corruption” in the western sense of the word, “payoffs”, exists at a far higher level here. Also, that the wealthy are in control and favor themselves is certainly a universal. There are two sides to that “corruption / payoffs” coin, in that, when you need to get something done, a payoff helps get it done, often regarding “victimless” type things here n a daily basis. Of course then that becomes too normal in the system and the corruption becomes larger in the hands of those with authority and its not “fair” and then the damages mount. All the known dangers of socialism easily understood. In China I would characterize life as “sheep or savvy”. Every person needs to become a bit savvy to survive, to get what they need and want to move along in their lives. The mercantile, wheel ‘n deal payoffs mentalit is alive and well, and it is for many, necessary to make it in this world. Often the “corruption” is on its face an encouraging “tip” to hurry up and get something done, no different than giving a bellboy a bigger tip and telling him to hurry up. Is that corruption? Of course not.

      In a more controlled society, you don’t have any options at all, much more a sheep, and therefore at the risk of being led to slaughter, exactly what has been happening to America’s lower/middle class, right? You can’t pay a babysitter cash? She asks for a check! Good grief, no one wants to do anything “illegal”. And then the FED bails out the incompetent bankers and doesn’t even ask them to cut their obscene salaries. Puke. Do you know that it is perfectly “legal” not to pay your debts if you can’t afford to? Yes, its legal not to pay. What does ethics have to do with it? Its just a business choice. Ah now we start learning how to game the system to our personal advantage, nothing to do with rewarding productivity, but rewarding cleverness and savvy. Yep, yep, yep…the end draws near

      Relative to the amount of construction projects happening in China; basically the entire country is being rebuilt from the ground up so try to imagine sitting in a tall city building and looking 360 degrees you see dozens of construction cranes in the distance, quite incredible. Collapsing bridges and buildings are pretty rare in that light.

      Your next item: ““60 % of 960,00 of Chinese people with assets of over 1.6 million dollars were either thinking about emigrating or taking steps to do so. The US was the top destination.”

      This is kinda obvious and doesn’t really matter what country we might be talking about. In China, for the first time in their generations since the 1940’s, the country opened up and created wealth. As I’ve mentioned before, there was no such thing as leisure shopping in China even 15 years ago. Now with wealth and freedom they have never had before, they are like kids in a candy store with a wad of cash bulging in their pocket. Of course many of them wish to explore the world overseas. If I had accumulated an unexpected couple million, I would do the exact same thing. I’d buy a modest country home somewhere in Italy, in Chile on an olive farm and somewhere in the tropics. Nice.

      Cheers, Mario

  • Mercurious October 8, 2012, 6:07 pm

    I am always interested in how the unconscious social mood is expressed in popular cultural expressions like movies. With that in mind, the film Loopers that is now playing across America offers a very unsettling look at a dystopian America of the future. While Asian cities are depicted as gleaming citadels of culture, aesthetic appeal and happy people, America’s heartland is one huge ghetto. Inhabited by multitudes of the dispossessed, it is a graffiti-scarred landscape of decrepit autos, collapsing infrastructure and Big Brother surveillance and policing.

    In other words, it’s pretty much what a lot of us are anticipating. In the posts above, we have seen the differing perspectives about the validity of that vision, but I have considerable difficulty seeing exactly how we get out of this without SOMEONE getting screwed royally, and that role is usually filled by those who don’t run things. That would be us.

    There are oodles and oodles of opinion about whether what we are experiencing is the product of a concerted effort, monumental greed, incompetency unlike any seen in human history or some combination. What difference does it make? I only care about two things…well, actually, in the long run, only one.

    Will I be the kind of person who stands for what is right no matter the consequences, thereby contributing one small spark to the bonfire I pray consumes those pathological few who seem to be eternally at war with healthy human life? No one makes it out of here alive, it’s just a question of whether you can depart knowing you at least were trying to preserve the best of what our species has produced rather than the absolute worst.

    • C.C. October 9, 2012, 7:28 am

      That was an excellent screed right there Mercurious.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:19 pm

      Wow-

      there is just a TON of high quality thinking and expression taking place in this discussion..

      Mercurious has his “super cape” flapping in the breeze, too 🙂

  • BigTom October 8, 2012, 5:36 pm

    Actually, it is quite surprising how thin the veneer is that seperates civilization from anarchy and how quick it is we can go into self preservation mode if necessary. If things do reach this point as described here, only those willing/capable of loading up the #00 buckshot so to speak, will survive…..Years back in a debate I concluded to my opponent with the statement….’yes, but that would lead to anarchy.’ The other person responded with….’Yes, I know. I could survive very well under anarchy.’ That statement immensely surprised me at the time, but I never forgot it….

    • Robert October 8, 2012, 6:32 pm

      BigTom-

      I believe you probably understand the difference, but since so few other here will, I will point it out in simple english:

      Anarchy and Chaos are not the same thing. Everyone should possess the confidence that they could survive very well with anarchy…

    • BigTom October 8, 2012, 7:15 pm

      Robert – I know what you mean and now that you point it out, it is an ‘wow, I cudda had a V-8’ moment because in my mind I cannot conceive of a world of anarchistic human beings without chaos. However, it might be an amazying world in which anarchy did not lead to chaos but hominoid development has a long ways to go before that happens, IMHO anyway….But you are right in how the mind does play such tricks. I, for a long time did confused ‘free trade’ with ‘fair trade,’ sleepingly assuming the two were the same….without conscious thought our mind I guess slips into our preconceptions. I suppose we should assume less and question more…..Robert, thanks for pointing that out…..

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:15 pm

      ” I, for a long time did confuse ‘free trade’ with ‘fair trade,’ sleepingly assuming the two were the same….Without conscious thought our mind I guess slips into our preconceptions. ”

      – That statement exposes pure, unadulterated, and unblemished genius…. {thumbsup}

      Critical thinking has been in a global bear market for decades, but we are now headlong into the early “wall of worry” phase of what will be an explosive bull-market in the power of rational, cognitive thought…

      The school that my wife teaches at is run by some of the most intellectually dense, politically left leaning do-goody prototype liberals I have ever encountered.

      But, for the past 2 years, these people are actually, finally SCRUTINIZING the fact that as a result of THEIR attitudes and actions; our children are graduating high school without the intellectual resources necessary to sustain and support themselves; and they are RAPIDLY adjusting curriculums accordingly.

      I have volunteered at my kid’s school more since 2010 than I had in the 5 years prior, and my way of thinking (which has traditionally been treated by society as the “statistical outlier realm of geeks and nerds” ) is suddenly becoming more “en vogue”

      Remember, the Renaissance actually began just as the Dark Ages really began to rage.

      The worse things get, the better they will ultimately be…

      You must have faith to carry you through the Valley of the Shadow of Death…. 🙂

  • John Jay October 8, 2012, 4:14 pm

    If you are interested, Zero Hedge just posted a great article, “The World’s Largest Money-Laundering Machine: The Federal Reserve” that does an excellent job of expressing the “Financial Reality” we are facing in the USA. It puts everything we have all been saying here in a very nice synopsis. A keeper for my cut and paste evidence of doom file.

  • John Jay October 8, 2012, 3:54 pm

    The world is thrashing about right now as it attempts to come to terms with social, political, and financial reality.
    I will cover some financial realities, you can imagine the social and political realities on your own I am sure.

    We have still not resolved all the issues that resulted from WWI and the destruction of the old Europe of Russian, Austrian, Ottoman, British and German empires.
    And that was almost 100 years ago!

    Financially, the reality is that every nation can’t be an exporting superpower to make up for the lack of a powerful domestic market.
    Financially the reality is that everyone can’t work at a high paying government job producing nothing but a pension and healthcare liability after 30 years of service.
    Financially the reality is that you can’t just conjure up money forever that is backed by nothing.
    Financially the reality is that there was never enough real wealth for everyone to have a well paying job and a huge government safety net to support you if didn’t have that job.
    Europe is is now embarked on a reconnaissance to financial reality in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and France.
    Our reserve currency and unmatched military will insulate us from reality for a while longer.
    But Erich’s “Dark Vision” could come to pass here if everything goes smash.
    I just hope it holds together at some level of, if not “Law”, then at least “Order”.
    Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. all demonstrate what life becomes when both “Law” and “Order” cease to exist.
    I am too old for the “Josie Wales” lifestyle of shootouts, life on the run, and sleeping in the woods.

    • mario cavolo October 8, 2012, 4:44 pm

      Hey JJ,

      Your “….life on the run” musing has reasonable alternatives; the ranks are swelling of overseas “expats” who realize that packing up and leaving can be a reasonable option. I just met a fresh graduate from Spain who had studied a few summers here in Shanghai. He decided to move here and look for “employment” . Just landed himself a reasonable, easy job teaching Spanish to plenty of interested Chinese at $30/hr for one on ones and $60 per hour for group classes.

      While I am definitely NOT saying the expat life is charming, lovely,simple and for everyone, it definitely offers a worthy list of advantages and options far more palatable than minimum wage retail employment in today’s America. More so, the internet makes it more reasonable, possible and relevant than ever as a choice.

      Cheers, Mario

  • gary leibowitz October 8, 2012, 3:18 pm

    “It is at the level of the top 1% that the economic battle has been raging as the super rich, living off debt and beyond their means, fight to keep up with the ultra rich, even as the other 99% gets left in the dust, unable to sustain themselves.” WHAT! Did you say top 1 percent living off debt? I suggest you actually show us some data that corroborates this outrageous statement.

    This whole article ignores facts and uses anecdotal evidence to suggest the end is either here or near. You could of course use Jack Welsh’s pronouncement that the employment numbers are faked. That gets all those that love conspiracies to jump on board. As for the economic data the worse segments, housing and employment, are not going further down, and in fact have shown clear signs of stability and upward movement.

    BTW, using my own town view, I see no vacancies, restaurant business booming, real estate prices once again hitting its prior peak.

    4 years after massive imfusion and bank stability and you think the money went nowhere? Even if it was at a cost of 100 to 1 that money got to stabilize a dire situaltion. The price tag to do so however is another matter. How it gets paid back, or if it ever will remains to be seen.

    When everything is coming together and our domestic economy is showing , at worse stability, at best signs of growth, how you suggest we are near the abyss is beyond me.

    All eyes should be looking at China. It is only there that our recent recovery could be in danger.

    • gary leibowitz October 8, 2012, 3:29 pm

      Jill,

      In regards to the general question on how to fix this economic mess I concur with your statement from yesterday: “I think that politicians do know the answer, but the question they are asking (How can I keep my job & keep myself & my friends feeding at the public trough?) ” Great point. In fact that is the whole problem. Not some secret few who conspire to rule the world. Make their job directly accountable to the public with full disclosure. Set tight rules while employed in the government and even stricter rules after leaving. It should be thought of as a sacrifice, not an avenue for a lifetime of richs and power.

    • mario cavolo October 8, 2012, 4:34 pm

      “It should be thought of as a sacrifice, not an avenue for a lifetime of richs and power.”

      That, Gary, is the coolest thing you have ever said. Brilliant. Political leadership is supposed to serve its country. Wow. We are in a heap of trouble.

    • Erin October 8, 2012, 6:39 pm

      Gary,
      You say….When everything is coming together and our domestic economy is showing , at worse stability, at best signs of growth, how you suggest we are near the abyss is beyond me.

      Stability? The fed can barely keep up printing enough money to keep the economy from falling off the cliff. Is that what you call stability? You remove the phony money from the fed and the game is over. No stability and no phony growth. Only the deflationary cycle which is exactly what this country needs to build a real economy.

      We almost got what we needed in the crises of 2008. But the government wanted to “save the system with the 800 billion dollars”. Remember that? Where did that money go? That was supposed to fix everything and here we are now many more trillions in debt. Phony money creates misallocated capital, Period!

      Shut the fed down and we can reset with the deflation we need.

    • gary leibowitz October 8, 2012, 7:15 pm

      Erin,
      Stability as defined by the last 4 years. I also noted that the future cost and ability to repay will probably come into question. The point is no one thought we would still be where we are 4 years ago. Will we eventually crash and burn? Unknown but most likely we will have another financial crisis.

      As for the stock market that depends on earnings and future expectations. While current earnings are very low that puts all eyes onto future expectations. This week starts the whole thing off. Stay tuned for the street reaction to this quarters earnings. It should give a “tell” for the next 3 to 6 month movement.

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 3:15 am

      Hi Erin,

      I woul argue that the “deflation” reset you suggest we need is not some relatively, mildly unpleasant event. It would not happen that way. It would severe in myriad ways and, while the big boyz are obviously overplaying their hand too, I can’t think that letting it happen is the most reasonable course of action.

      Cheers, Mario

    • Erin October 9, 2012, 6:28 am

      Hey Mario,
      First I would like to say that I really enjoy your posts and read them regularly. I find them extremely insightful especially because you are in another part of the world and have a much different perspective than what we see here in the United States. That being said, we will find no common ground on this issue.

      Here is what you say….”I can’t think that letting it happen is the most reasonable course of action.”
      Then you advocate printing money because the problem is debt and we cannot stop printing money or the system will collapse. Typical pyramid scheme stuff…Need more money coming in or the scheme is exposed. You can’t have it both ways. Even if the fed stops for a short time, things will begin to collapse from the massive debt burden all across the economy and it will not be fixed doing what we are doing. Time will not be healing these wounds! The debts just have to be liquidated! Incomes do not support this system. We have a zombie economy built on a never ending supply of easy money.

      I would argue deflation is exactly what we need. As in any Capitalistic system (which we used to have) there will be some losers but there will also be some big winners and that is why this country at one point was a great nation. In deflation, those big winners will be picking up assets at firesale prices and build real businesses and hire workers who at that point would be able to afford a home which would be correctly priced for workers income. Nothing like what is happening now…

      Thanks for responding and I look forward to more of your insights on this great forum Rick runs.

    • mario cavolo October 9, 2012, 7:27 am

      Hi Erin, you’re right! “You can’t have it both ways.”

      “In deflation, those big winners will be picking up assets at firesale prices and build real businesses and hire workers who at that point would be able to afford a home which would be correctly priced for workers income.”

      This is a key point, this is what John Templeton and many others did after the 30’s depression right?…and what happened at S&P 666 in 2008. In fact I did, but I acted like a short term trader and got out of them, stupidly… I knew I should have bought a crop of stocks then but I was ignorant, naive about it and didn’t do so. Meanwhile, now the Chinese are on a buying spree back in America buying up cheap real estate, etc….

  • BDTR October 8, 2012, 2:52 pm

    Let’s not spoil one of few the remaining pillars of business in retail gun sales, bottled water and freeze dried rations by denying apoca-lyric writers their moment with a rapt audience.

    Our capacity for pretense can carry us a long way down a crumbling road before we start sleeping under camo-tarps clutching a favored AK and whispering code phrases to our trench-mate, knife wielding children.

    It’s the thrill of maintaining a sense of marginal control over lives that never, even at their most giddy heights of delusion, possess the reality of self-determination beyond scheduling options of predestined fates, locational variants and, ultimately, sometimes fatally, opt-out scenarios.

    Mel Gobsonesque visions just don’t have the staying power required by parasitic oligarchs beyond convenient examples of chronic disenfranchisement like Detroit, West Philly and south LA.

    A slow sliding bleed with well placed glimmers of hope and inclusion-al enticement to the party will linger with stubborn duration outside the gulag awaiting the failures. So, don’t get your hopes up for survivalist drama too far beyond the wide screen.

    The smiling man with the plan will remain just prominent enough with one hand waving and the other behind his back with all the necessary tools of behavior controls, …including the tales of consuming, brutal darkness.

    • Robert October 10, 2012, 6:00 pm

      BDTR-

      Now THAT was eloquent….

      I do personally believe there is going to be civil unrest in the US, and I do believe that it will quickly devolve and take on a character of violent racial tensions, and it will be ugly. It is already happening in areas of Detroit where marauding gangs are simply over-running grocery businesses and shutting them down. Cops refuse to intervene (rightly so), and Washington remains mute.

      However, I do not see this trend going nation-wide. It will be focused in areas where inherent, existent attitudes of racism overlap with greater population densities…

      in other words – the former manufacturing centers of the northern mid-west, and within local regions up and down the East coast… and probably south-central LA

      As ugly as it sounds, and as disturbing as it is to think about, I believe it has already crossed the Rubicon of inevitability.

      The best option for the rational mind is to avoid such areas.

      In the story of the grasshopper and the ant, the only way the author could have improved upon the premise would have been if he had ensured that the ant was readily mobile, as well as prepared… 🙂

      The attitude of “digging in” and stocking a bunker with a lifetime of supplies suggests that “The Road” is going to over run the entire planet’s sense of what “home” is all about.

      If that actually comes to pass, then by God, my bunker will surely be located on a beach somewhere, with coconut trees nearby, and an offshore reef supplying me a lifetime worth of protein, and algae-born amino acids and vitamins.

  • Architekt October 8, 2012, 11:25 am

    Hyperbole. If you’re going to write such doomsday scenarios and present your ideas in a factual manner, please name you sources and present evidence to back things up. Even if you may believe certain things are common knowledge (in which case they should be easy to find a reference for). As written, this has no more credence than any other blogger with a web domain to pen behind.

    I would be much much more inclined to believe what you say if you showed a proof or documentation for each of the statements you present. Please rewrite with sources.

    • Rick Ackerman October 8, 2012, 6:09 pm

      Proof? In what form? Citations from the likes of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times? Keep in mind that when the latter trots out that ignorant leftist slut Paul Krugman, it is to make the case that The Guvvamint did not stimulate ENOUGH.

    • Robert October 8, 2012, 6:52 pm

      The name of his “source” in the military that says that the “wide-eyed, youthful” military is preparing to go door to door to confiscate the wares of our survivability would be a good start.

      There are no such plans anywhere outside the walls of the Pentagon. And even if such scenario planning DID filter its way out of Washington DC, every active duty officer knows where the breakline is between “following orders” and defending their oath.

      The entire line of reasoning that an order to conduct mass physical confiscation against the civilian population could survive the layers of hierarchical aquiescence necessary to make it from Leon Panetta all the way down to the daily boot patrol is farcical, fantastical, and ridiculous on its face.

      I mean, how would such an order even make it from Panetta past the Joint Chiefs? They all HATE Leon Panetta.

      This country has a 3 Million strong active duty and standby Guard contingent- versus 330 Million “other” citizens.

      That’s roughly 100 to 1, or about 4 domestic residences per military person (including all the military doctors, lawyers, and janitors)… You think each person could handle their job of knocking on 4 doors, and going in to “collect” the required resources…?

      Where are they going to get the trucks to haul all this ill-gotten booty away…?

      Not.

      Gonna.

      Happen.

      &&&&&&&

      I agree. RA

  • mario cavolo October 8, 2012, 9:38 am

    Indeed! Nice writing Erich, thanks for contributing at Rick’s site.

    Mixing dramatic fact with dramatic fiction. Way over the top, gimme a break. Far from true.

    “We are close now, very close.” I felt chills when I read it…!

    Cheers, Mario


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