Dec 062014
 
 December 6, 2014  Posted by at 10:39 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , ,


Arthur Rothstein Interior of migratory fruit worker’s tent, Yakima, Washington Jul 1936

We’re in dire need of fresh blood and smart new ideas to clean up the mess the present ideologies and their puppets and puppetmasters have created. The present crew has made a neverending series of ‘mistakes’, intentional or not, and they are dead set on making more, if only because they refuse to change the tack that led to all these ‘mistakes’.

I say mistakes because that’s what they are from the point of view of all those who live in the real economy, not because I think the puppetmasters are mistaken from their own point of view. After all, all they do, literally all they do, is take care of their own interests. Where they will find themselves mistaken is down the line, when there is no longer a functioning real economy, and they will of necessity end up going down with it.

However, even though you wouldn’t say it to look at America and Europe these days, we don’t need to be puppets to any masters. I know, I know, most of you don’t even recognize yourselves as puppets – yes, you -. You believe most of what you read, or at least enough to keep going on the beaten track. And they’re good at making you believe. They’ve gotten a lot better at it ever since you were born, whenever you were born.

You only need to listen to things like this week’s US jobs report, which has the media falling over each other and themselves to declare victory. But which, when you take a good look, declares no such thing. And we’ve been going on this road for many years now, a road defined by debt on one side and propaganda on the other, and we stick to it because we are promised on a 24/7 basis that it will lead to growth, which is always just around the corner. Growth is the magic word.

But why do we need growth, and do we even need it at all? That is a question which is considered blasphemous anathema by the current class of economists and leaders. Still, and maybe especially for that reason, it is a question that needs to be asked, perhaps THE question. Because the past 10, 20 or even 40 years have not actually delivered any growth, once you look beyond the propaganda, and the added debt.

And when you add that debt to the equation, they’ve brought the real economy the opposite of growth, while handing the puppet masters unequaled riches. In a nutshell, the past 40 years or so have given us added layers of gadgets at the price of unaffordable education and health care, the price of a deteriorating real economy. And that is just the start of the way down.

Growth is a topic I’ve written a lot about over the years, too much to even try and find it all back again. Here are a few samples. From November 14 2011:

The Growth Paradigm Has Become An Embarrassment

It’s high time to come clean, to stop the incessant lying. To stop pretending things are a bit hard right now, but otherwise just fine. They’re not. Extend and pretend works only so long. Then it snaps back in your face with a vengeance. That’s why the bond markets are so successful in bringing down Italy and Greece. Not because the ECB doesn’t step in, since that would only serve to cover up reality for a little bit longer, but because they’ve both lied for so long about their real predicaments.

No, just stop lying. The consequences and challenges will be formidable, but they’ll be that anyway. You can’t cover up the debt and the losses forever. And the chances of growing your economies out of the cesspit are zero, if not below.

One thing no more lying will achieve is this: it will re-establish confidence in the markets -or what’ll be left of them-. And isn’t that what you guys always say you want to accomplish? Well, I can assure you, it’s the only way to do it: cut the fairy tales. Take a breath of fresh air and get to work. Do something real and rewarding for a change, and for a living.

Oh, and one other thing that must stop something urgent: stop talking about economic growth. There ain’t none, and we need to wonder hard and loud why we still and always unquestioningly assume and accept that we need it. No, the Greek economy will not grow its way out of its misery. Neither will Italy’s, or France’s or America’s. There’s too much debt to grow out of.

But perhaps this is hard to fathom without resorting to more philosophical questions. For those of you who’ve never read or heard Professor Albert Bartlett’s work on exponential growth (since that is what we’re talking bout), get moving. Bartlett is a physicist. That means he’s an actual scientist, and capable of understanding the inevitable endgame of exponential growth. People like Papademos and Monti, as well as just about any political and economic leader on the planet, don’t understand the science involved. Either that or they’re willfully blind to it.

And there’s another layer to the question, one that goes beyond the easy to understand impossibility of endless and eternal growth. That is, when we look around our respective places on the planet, why do we think we need to grow more? Why do we feel we haven’t grown enough? And perhaps more quintessential: what is it that we want to grow into? At what point, if we do want more growth, will it be enough for us? Have we even thought about that?

We are fed the constant growth story because it is indeed a necessity in our present system. When all money issued carries interest i.e. is issued as debt, you will need to grow your GDP at least as much as that interest rate to play even. Just as easy to understand as the exponential growth conundrum. Or so you would think.

But that doesn’t mean that you can always keep issuing enough money to meet your interest payment requirements. Not when a huge part of it is issued as for instance mortgage loans, but very few people buy homes. Not when money is created when banks issue fresh credit to industries, but industries find no market for their products and instead contract.

In other words: if we don’t grow, we will shrink. And that, we are told, is the very definition of armageddon. But why couldn’t we shrink a little and still be comfortable? In theory we could perhaps, but first of all the human mind isn’t made for shrinkage, and second the money we create as credit is virtual, and can disappear as fast as it was created, and into the same nothingness.

If we would for instance consciously choose to shrink by 5%, we’d run a very real risk that we would cause 50% of the money to vanish. The system based on credit will have the tendency to go down like so many dominoes. It has very little resilience and is thus enormously fragile, something we don’t pay attention to when we have growth, and are therefore not prepared for when we no longer do.

And from April 22, 2013:

What Do We Want To Grow Into?

The only good thing about all this is that if and when it becomes clear that there is no growth left in the system, all its one-dimensional advocates, from both the Spend! and the Cut! parties, will disappear into a great void. They have no idea what to do without growth. There is no economics class that teaches them, and they don’t have the brains to come up with an answer themselves.

Indeed, perhaps it’s even true that a “not necessarily growth” situation, simply of its own accord, selects for other “leaders”. That power hungry psychopaths, in all the various degrees to which they float to the top of the dungheap, are wiped out and alienated by such a situation.

That could be a very good thing. It’s on the way there, however, that we will see unimaginable damage, mayhem and bloodshed. The forever and always growth classes have an iron grip on everyone’s lives. If only because everyone believes them. Still, just because they can’t change their ways and views doesn’t mean you can’t. You can see quite easily that, in a material sense, you have more than enough already.

And many of you have clued in to the destruction ever more growth brings to your children’s living world (not to mention their brains). Unfortunately, quite a few then fall for the “more growth, but more greener” delusion. Or some steady state one (we don’t do steady, we don’t stand still).

When you get down to the heart of it, the only reason we need more growth is to pay off our debts. Which we owe largely to the same small group of rich, psychopathic and powerful that incessantly repeats the “need for growth” message, and makes sure it’s the only message available out there. But we will have to have the discussion some day, and it won’t be initiated by the people and powers that rule our societies today; that one’s up to us.

It’s a very simple discussion. You can start it today with Krugman or one of his alleged adversaries: Why do you advocate economic growth? Why do you see a period of non-growth or shrinkage as a necessary evil that needs to be brought down to its knees at – quite literally – all cost?

And what is it you want to grow into? Can you explain that? I’ve never seen that properly defined. Isn’t it perhaps true that if you don’t know the answer to that question, you are by definition blindly chasing a mirage? If you don’t know where you’re going, or why you’re going there, why go at all? Or is that still the sort of issue that can easily be swept under the carpet as “commie”?

So it’s refreshing to see this week a German economist and banker, Dr. Ulrich Salzer, thanks to Tyler Durden, going down that same line of questioning. These questions are long overdue. It’s not just one school of economics or the other failing us, it’s the entire field. Any field that refuses to ponder its most essential questions is per definition dead and useless.

Physicists can explain any time of day why we need Newton’s gravity and Einstein’s relativity in order to make sense of the world, and if anyone can prove them wrong, they’d be welcomed. Economists cannot explain we we need growth, it’s simply assumed to be a given.

Deficit Spending And Money Printing: A German Point Of View

The leading macroeconomic Nobel-Laureates, the Central Bankers as well as most Politicians have reduced their economic judgment on how to get the economies in Europe and Japan back to sustainable growth on just two recipes: public investments in infrastructure to be financed by additional public debt and, second, an expansive money market policy based on printing more money and reducing interest rates to zero or even beyond zero to negative rates!

And if the capital markets don’t swallow additional public debt, then the Central Banks will step in eagerly as Investors – regardless if this is in line with their statutes!

The expected results, backed by the leading macroeconomic wisdom, should be to kick-start economic growth, to induce private industry to invest and banks to lend to private investors, and thereby to reduce unemployment, and get deflationary tendencies back to an inflation rate that is now officially regarded as ideal if it oscillates around 2 % p.a. When and why this “two-percent” benchmark was introduced for the first time I can’t remember, but everybody today takes it for granted and repeats it like as an undisputed target of Central Bank’s money market policy. Included in this assumption is ever more public debt as the guarantor for lasting GDP-growth!

I never understood why macroeconomics should be regarded as an academic discipline if it is in practice reduced to these rather simple theories of how to handle a recession or even deflation! Maybe Alfred Nobel was just as clear-sighted as I am, and consequently never introduced a Nobel-prize for economics. That was done after his death by the Central Bank of Norway, which also contributed the required funds. It still does so, and not the Nobel foundation!

My personal advice is to stop handing out any more Nobel-prizes for economics to any more American professors on any new theory how to steer economic development and sustainable economic growth, because none of them has ever worked.

There is a lot of blame offloaded onto Maynard Keynes by critics of the present ruling opinion of more deficit spending by governments. But I don’t believe that Keynes would approve any of today’s Nobel-Laureates who saw no other way out of recession than by money printing in unlimited amounts and years of deficit spending by already over-indebted economies. According to Keynes public investment on deficit could be regarded as an “ultima ratio” to re-kick-start a slow economy, but he would never have advised any government that is already highly indebted to increase this debt even more!

In his theory, deficit-spending should be a limited action in time and amounts, and directly afterwards this debt should be repaid by the additional tax income from the stronger revenues of industry and private individuals who have profited from the intervention of the State.

But what our economists and central bankers are recommending nowadays is completely different from “short-term-kick-starts” – our systems are so full of the sweet drug of government deficit spending that (like a drug-addict) it constantly needs heavier doses of the same drug!

It was not long ago that the American Treasury Secretary publicly blamed Germany for not using its remaining credit standing for another round of deficit-spending in order to help Italy, France and other Southern European countries. As if more public debt and burning straw in Germany would have any impact on the southern countries’ economies without any serious political and economic reforms in those countries themselves to fight the weakness at its real source!

As long as our “economy doctors” don’t know anything better than to prescribe more drugs instead of getting the patient off the needle and help him to abandon the ever increasing drug doses, we will never get our economies “back to normal”!

We should never forget that at least the European economies had no real problem as long as the public debt to Gross National Product ratio remained within the Maastricht limits of 60% and before liquidity in the banking sector was multiplied without limit, thereby creating big bubbles in the financial assets of the banks which finally led to the financial crisis of 2008.

Japan is the very best example to prove that the therapy of deficit spending and money printing is dangerously wrong: it is now 25 years since Japan has adopted this cure. If anybody needs proof that the prescription was unprofessional and ineffective, he should look at the results to the Japanese economy and its public debt. Although hundreds of billions of Dollars have been spent during this period on programs to stimulate the Japanese economy the effect was that Japan fell from one recession into the next depression and the public debt ratio to GNP has meanwhile reached the astronomic bench mark of 230% (!!), which is double that of Greece and four times higher than the Maastricht criterion!

I am certain that Maynard Keynes would turn in his grave if he knew to what extent his theory was misinterpreted and misused! Of course it’s a big temptation for every politician to utilize the sweet but toxic medicine of deficit spending and more public debt rather than to introduce hard reforms on public budgets, on social spending and other benefits to their voters.

It’s also a big mistake that European governments have disregarded the traditional role of the European Central Bank as the watch-dog against inflation. In creating the ECB, Germany never consented that it should have more responsibilities and more authority than the Deutsche Bundesbank ever had.

It’s just like with deficit spending Keynes had recommended under certain conditions: it may be acceptable if the Central Bank acts as “Lender of last resort” in case of actual liquidity crisis. But this should be strictly on short-term basis. What we experience today is completely contrary to the German (maybe not the U.S.) understanding of the role of the Central Bank. The ECB has now assumed a role not only to protect the value of our common currency against inflation but also to take action as if it is responsible to create economic growth and full employment with instruments like money printing, zero interest rates and unlimited investments in bonds which the free market is rejecting.

We pay a high price for the chimera that we need constant economic growth and that it is a stigma if our GDP-growth is only 1.5% p.a. Can’t we accept that after 50 years of undisturbed peace and continuous prosperity we have reached a certain degree of personal satisfaction where we don’t need a new car every year, another cell-phone, additional furniture, more TV-sets, more laptops etc, etc. Why do we insist upon economic growth, if we don’t actually need the products which are additionally produced every year?

Is it really worth it to increase the already heavy burden of public debt, which our children must service someday, by accepting even more debt in a vain effort to increase public demand? Let’s instead be happy with zero GDP growth, zero inflation and zero growth of public debt! That could be a more rational solution. Why don’t we consider it?

You almost have to step outside of economics, even out of the financial world as a whole, to pose what is the most elementary question about our economy today. That can’t be right.

The most elementary question is not how we can achieve growth, it’s whether we need growth, and what we would need it for that is important enough to destroy our entire societies and economies for. As Salzer says: “Why do we insist upon economic growth, if we don’t actually need the products which are additionally produced every year?” The most elementary question is as simple as that.

I can finish this the way I started it: we need new ideas, new paradigms, to replace the ones that have gotten us the cesspool we find ourselves in, despite the false signals debt and propaganda provide us with. We’re in dire need of fresh blood and smart new ideas to clean up the mess the present ideologies and their puppets and puppetmasters have created.

Home Forums The Most Elementary Question Must Not Be Asked

This topic contains 25 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  owatica 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #17222

    Arthur Rothstein Interior of migratory fruit worker’s tent, Yakima, Washington Jul 1936 We’re in dire need of fresh blood and smart new ideas to clean
    [See the full post at: The Most Elementary Question Must Not Be Asked]

    #17223

    huckleberryfinn
    Participant

    “Because the past 10, 20 or even 40 years have not actually delivered any growth, once you look beyond the propaganda, and the added debt. ”
    Yes we are identical to where we were 40 years back. Absolutely zero growth. GDP is the same, advancement of health care, technology, is all the same. You know, I can recommend a good psychiatrist friend of mine. He can hook you up with some strong anti-depressants for whatever ails your brain to make such stupid statements.

    #17224

    jal
    Participant

    Arthur Rothstein: Interior of migratory fruit worker’s tent, Yakima, Washington Jul 1936

    Since that picture, The fruit workers have been living in “macmansions”.

    Times up!

    Everyone will move back to living under the overpass.

    One step forward 2 steps back.

    (huck is not allowed to live under “our” overpass) 😉

    #17226

    ejanea
    Participant

    The Australian treasurer has just asked us to “spend for Father Christmas, and spend for Australia” despite having just announced huge cuts to government jobs, support for industry and the signing of international agreements that will threaten still more jobs. People are already afraid. The exhortation to spend, spend, spend is almost unbelievable, but I heard it myself!

    #17227

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Yep, I’ve never understood the growth mantra either.
    I wonder how many know what its like to live a self directed existence?
    Consumerism is a form of insanity…

    #17228

    rapier
    Participant

    Economics itself is an ideology. Before there was Economics, capital E, a stand alone social science there was a more wide ranging study of what was called the political economy which by its very name embraced the idea that economic outcomes were heavily determined by politics and government. Pre big E economics the only pure market based study of economics was relegated to agricultural economics the study of which entailed supply, demand, credit and importantly the earth itself and the vagaries of weather and soil.

    The first job of capital E economics was to absolutely reject, by ignoring, the above fact that government is a primary determinate of economic outcomes, winners and losers. The second job was to reject, by ignoring, that natural resources, the earth itself, made any contribution to economic outcomes. For capital E economics there were only two major forces that determined economic outcomes, those being capital and labor. Thus the profound alteration of the entire biosphere is to this day not considered a cost at all. Nor by extension is growth itself in question. Any questioning of the purpose of growth cannot possibly be considered by big E economics since nothing outside economics is deemed worthy of question which comes back to economics being an ideology. We live in the age of economics. Big E’s victory is total so then too is its destruction. Nothing humans can do is perfectible for all can and will be corrupted and so it is with economics.

    #17229

    Jef Jelten
    Participant

    Huckleberry – Most of those “magical” advancements you list are nothing more than attempts at solving past problems generated by prior “advancements”.

    That and these latest rounds of advancements have mostly only succeeded in making many more problems and we are begining to enter into the realm of the solutions being worse than the problems.

    “We May Have Reached The ‘Apocalyptic Scenario’ With Antibiotics”

    Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/antibiotic-resistant-superbugs-are-causing-bacterial-infections-2014-12#ixzz3LAaHAMUx

    #17230

    John Day
    Participant

    @ilargi: More fine work, sir.

    @huckleberryfinn: Something is eating you, amigo, eating you from inside.
    You will know no peace as long as you keep pointing the finger at others.
    Peace, Brother.

    #17231

    NooBoob
    Participant

    Oil demand and supply have never strayed more than 3% since before WW1.
    Economics is a fancy word for hoping thing don’t change more than 3% per year.

    #17232

    jjhman
    Participant

    While aware of the insanity of endless growth, I think the author should have mentioned that to maintain an average “standard of living” growth is necessary to accomodate a growing population. Unfortunately we seem to have in the US a growing population, growing GDP and shrinking median income and shrinking median wealth.

    I think this explains a lot of the hysteria about cabals of bankers and CEOs gobbling up all the new “wealth”. Whereas is seems they are only consuming the benefits of public and private debt.

    #17233

    huckleberryfinn
    Participant

    “@Huckleberryfinn: Something is eating you, amigo, eating you from inside.
    You will know no peace as long as you keep pointing the finger at others.
    Peace, Brother.”
    That is riot coming from a blog that spends its entire time criticizing everything and everyone except those that believe we are all eventually completely doomed and begs for donations while at it. Yes out of Illargi and I, I am the one that is more despondent and “spends time pointing fingers”.
    Kudos on having a firm grasp of reality.

    #17234

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    huckleberryfinn, get a life. It’s not like TAE is the only blog out there that accepts donations. Take a look at all of the highly rated financial blogs and you will discover that virtually ALL of them accept donations. Virtually ALL of them. Let that sink in. You might not like the message on this site, but don’t complain that the blog accepts donations. Next point: you bitch and moan that TAE believes that “we are all eventually completely doomed.” I don’t think that any of the regulars around here understand that to be the take home message. But I think most of us accept the premise that the global financial system is on an unsustainable course, that there has not been enough organic growth to sustain the course, and that the system has relied on debt for decades to make up for the shortfall. Eventually something has to give, and on that point the world generally divides into the deflationist camp and the hyperinflationist camp. Ilargi is a deflationist and I am a hyperinflationist. But do I think the systemic collapse is going to be the end of the world? Of course not. Just a stormy transition to a new system.

    You can dismiss this out of hand and say we’re all nuts and we do not know anything about finance. Fine, go about your business and take your venom and personal insults with you. If you think that everything is just great, the economy is fine, the BLS numbers prove we’ve turned the corner, real estate can never go down, the world will continue to get better and better, the markets are well regulated (or need no regulation), the Fed has masterfully managed the economy, wealth will trickle down from the overclass . . . if you believe all that, then why are you here vandalizing the message board? Go back to your MSM sources, keep drinking the kool aid, and remember to say a prayer for all of us lost souls.

    #17235

    adrian144
    Participant

    Presumably the people who insist upon growth do so because they realise that if they didn’t, they’d have to talk about redistribution, and that would make them feel *really* unfashionable.

    #17236

    polistra
    Participant

    Growth itself is not a bad goal. The problem is that we’re seeking growth in the <i>wrong variables.</i>

    Corporations aim solely to grow share value, which leads to crime and destruction. Before 1980 when corporations were trying to maximize <i>profit</i> instead of share value, their behavior was less atrocious. You have to keep real customers and real employees happy to maximize profit.

    Governments aim solely to grow GDP, which leads to crime and destruction. If they were seeking instead to grow <i>stored value</i>, their behavior would be less evil. By stored value I mean stored resources, stored money, preserved culture, and above all human capital (healthy and well-trained workers). When you maximize these stored values, you are attracting decent employers and insuring that you can survive tough times.

    #17243

    Golden Oxen
    Participant

    Just an opinion, but I was always under the assumption we need growth to provide goods, food, clothing, shelter, jobs, for an ever expanding population.

    It always seemed reasonable to me.

    When I was born there were 3 billion people or so in the world, now there are over 7, i’m guessing.

    How else do you provide a living standard for all those additional folks with stagnating economies?

    Perhaps that is the root of Japan’s seemingly severe problems. a shrinking population might require shrinking growth, same with Italy. I am so confused at the current financial system that these are both questions and answers simultaneously.

    Of course it is not my wish to close this posting by not acknowledging we hardly need 5 TVS and 5 cars in every home, swimming pools in a great many of them, A WallMt and three fast food joints on every corner. That is not the slow steady productive type of growth I am talking about.

    #17245

    Variable81
    Participant

    @ Everyone,

    I recommend you NOT feed the trolls (i.e. talk to them, flame them, acknowledge their existence). Ignore them and let them starve to death – with the social skills / manners they present here, it’s quite likely that’s what will happen to them anyways in a post-collapse world where social capital is once again something of true value.

    Oh, and on an unrelated note, to continue on my (trolling?) plight against those horrible, horrible Greeks:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-06/drivers-40-billion-uber-face-death-threats-greece

    I wonder how long before North American unions start threatening violence? I was at an Ontario government union rally a few months back and the leader of OPSEU, Smokey Thomas, made a tongue-in-cheek joke about how dangerous it would be for everyone if government employees went on strike and that Premier Wynn should be careful, as of course everyone would hate to see someone get hurt because the union folks were on strike…
    Not threatening direct violence of course, but I found it tasteless none the less.

    Cheers,
    GBV

    #17246

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ Variable81

    Even Ghandi didn’t eschew violence. As distasteful as it is, there are times when it’s unavoidable. It’s never the best outcome.
    The violence against the citizens of America, Britain, Spain, Greece, Canada, and on and on and on, in the name of austerity by those respective governments and the IMF is just overwhelming and criminal.
    Violence back at that is not unreasonable, IMO.
    It may be “our” only effective reply…
    That last sentence may be a bit disingenuous given I left more than 11 years ago…

    #17248

    GO2, jjhman et al, no confusion on the usefulness of economic growth vs population growth, but we haven’t had any of the former other than the borrowed hence virtual kind for along time. You can’t buy growth, let alone with money borrowed from your kids. And in that light it would be wise to at least have the discussion of what to do in the absence of growth, instead of exclusively pretending we must, will and can find our way back growth. We haven’t grown in ages, and it matters little whether you link that back to the 60’s or early 80s – there are arguments for both -. That in all these years no-one has been permitted to even ask the simple question, other than Bartlett from a pure physics point of view, is as ridiculous as persecuting people for claiming the earth is round.

    #17249

    Variable81
    Participant

    @ V,

    I’m not opposed to violence, just against overpaid/overcompensated government unions and their leaders hinting at violence (even jokingly) to extort more compensation from the government, which of course comes from taxing the citizenry.

    I say this as a public-service unionized individual myself; any attempt to raise these sorts of discussions with my union brethren was met with either a lack of comprehension as to what I was suggesting, or strange looks of distrust which suggested (to me) they were questioning my loyalty to the union/collective and whether or not I actually belonged there in the first place.

    The politicians/law makers are, without a doubt, corrupt as well. If (when?) the people stand up to government through the use of violence as a last resort, I won’t condemn them – but I’m sure by that point the unions of the bureaucratic public sector will likely have been gutted, and rightfully so.

    Before I’m accused of disliking unions as much as I (apparently?) dislike the Greeks, let me add that I would support a unionized work environment – but one where members could join or leave at their own accord. Basically (as a Canadian example, where I live), a “Canadian Workers Union” that works to protect/uphold the rights of all workers and to push for higher wages and less income inequity across the nation. No union seniority or complex hierarchies either – those just allow the unions to be captured/compromised and results in the older/senior members sacrificing the younger members at the alter of wage/benefit increases when economic downturns strike.

    Unfortunately, that might actually result in better working conditions/wages for the majority of people in a society, so it’s like a pipe-dream that will never be realized…

    “You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one”

    Cheers,
    -GBV

    #17250

    huckleberryfinn
    Participant

    “Take a look at all of the highly rated financial blogs and you will discover that virtually ALL of them accept donations. Virtually ALL of them. Let that sink in.”
    I dont know where you get your blog ratings, is it doomerporn.com, or bastardizationoffinance.org?
    Here I will prove your bullshit is just that.
    What is the total global debt, the one your batshit crazy apes harp about?

    #17251

    Mike Twain
    Participant

    Please don’t be too hard on ol Huck. As a true friend he never failed, tho it was his want to see life from a fairly pragmatic point of view.
    That said, it would seem important to value the relationship between life as we know it and a Dutch auction. As I sit here, a short walk from the mighty Mississippi, it occurs that so much of what we all say and feel is lost in the vagaries of terms. Animals don’t use money. In the wild, somehow they survive. Animals don’t fight wars, but a lot of killing goes on. In any discussion the three terms 1) humans 2) money 3) war can’t be separated. They are intertwined like dna. Any examination of economics that leaves one or two of these necessaries out is purely academic (unrealistic).
    In America we have learned to outsource war and money (the Civil War taught us that much).
    Money doesn’t change! The number of buyers at the dutch auction changes.
    War (the killing) doesn’t change! The theater of operations and technical armaments change.
    Humans don’t change! Any in depth study of history will show the common themes: Murder, mayhem, rape, pillage, rinse and repeat.
    When it becomes apparent (as it is for Ilargi, Nicole and others) that this isn’t a game (We are playing for keeps) you can begin to see how far down the rabbit hole we have yet to climb. My grandparents had a good life in downtown St.Louis in 1926. New car, nice place. In 1934 they lived in a shack on the bank of a small creek in North Missouri when my grandmother gave birth to my father. It wasn’t the end of the world. As my grandmother said ‘they never went hungry’. More than many could say. As Bob Duvall’s charachter said in ‘Second Hand Lions’ “you could just learn to do without”.
    From a former car man’s perspective, I watch the bubble being blow in subprime auto lending. At $40,000 per vehicle it only takes a few cars to equal a mortgage, but from the financial wizard’s perspective it equates to shorter length of term and much easier to repossess (all the good without the problems inherent in mortgage bubbles) Watch the government and big banks next push to ‘nationalize’ the banking business (steal the assets of small banks). Yeah, a ‘single payer’ system for banking, if you will. A ‘New Deal’ if you will, a’la FDR.

    #17263

    Diogenes Shrugged
    Participant

    Ilargi:

    The reason we desire growth is because there is theft.

    That’s THE answer to your question, and it is “elegant.”

    You can’t realistically expect to change people’s motives, much less the world, by shouting down growth. You can have a profound effect on both, though, if you join those who earnestly seek an end to the Ponzi schemes via vigorous and thorough criminal prosecutions.

    To be clear, taxes, price-fixing, front-running (HFT), fraud, extortion, blackmail, false-flag events, wars, and national debts to banks are all forms of theft. An exhaustive list of the different forms of theft running rampant in the world today would stretch to the moon and back several times. (Note: That lie didn’t constitute a theft — a robbery of the truth – – because we all recognize it to be hyperbole. In reality, the list would only stretch from Brussels to Tel Aviv.)

    And speaking of growth that I’m sure even TAE would embrace, you presently have TWO articles posted on page one of ZeroHedge, and even sport a bitter-sounding troll on this comment thread (!) Bullish TAE!

    #17280

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    The reason we desire growth is because we have a debt-based monetary system. There is not enough money in existence to repay all of the existing debt with interest. For that reason every year the economy must expand to cover the existing interest payments — it’s part of the architecture of the system. Otherwise we enter into a deflationary cycle of cascading defaults. There is no avoiding it.

    When growth is insufficient, we can mask it with debt. But when the debt grows too large, the choice is either debt collapse or monetary collapse. I am betting on the latter, but right up to the very end I think it will look a lot more like the former.

    #17286

    Diogenes Shrugged
    Participant

    Boogaloo:

    Please endure my restatement of what you wrote, but with a little embellishment:

    “EVENTUALLY we enter into a deflationary cycle of cascading defaults because over time, exponential debt ALWAYS outruns exponential growth. There is no avoiding it.”

    But we’re not talking about the inevitability of deflationary collapse at the moment. We’re talking about the desirability of growth. I insist we in the 99% need growth to help compensate for all the theft going on. Bank-issued currencies are intrinsically the most lucrative forms of theft ever perpetrated, followed closely by taxes (or is it the other way around?) The parasites are doing everything in their power to render YOUR property rights (but not their own) obsolete.

    We need to demand harsh justice, an end to the long-entrenched systems of theft, but not an end to growth. We are not facing the last barrels of oil, the last few tons of phosphorus, or the exhaustion of timber at this point. We still have a little time – – with a waning abundance of resources – – to rectify the systems that have brought us to this cliff-edge. With harsh justice, the thriving systems of theft and murder could be stopped. We’d all rapidly become much more affluent – – surprisingly so – – and wouldn’t need to assume debt for purposes of consumption. And wouldn’t feel so desperate for growth!

    If others can legally steal well more than half of what we produce, complaining about growth isn’t going to improve our lot. But if we end the thievery, I assure you, the clouds will part.

    Not saying any of this to be adversarial. Just trying to enlarge on your points.

    #17295

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    I do not disagree!

    #17308

    owatica
    Participant

    After reading this article; “..Elementary Question…”, a couple of new questions spring to mind instantly! Why do we call it the “national debt” when if FACT there is NO debt at all? You mention the psychopaths but maintain the fiction we owe them when in FACT we owe them nothing for the counterfeit “money” they conjure up out of thin air. It’s ALL a scam right along with the completely illegal personal income tax which we absolutely do not need for financing government activities but is simply used to keep the Sheeple in line. How can you fail to make note of that? I believe we need to recognize we have no debt and start over.

    The other oft; and incorrectly, stated issue regarding the necessity of making “hard choices” about social spending is disgusting. Once again we need only return to the global central banking cabal and tell them we are not going to continue to enrich them with trillions of dollars by funding endless wars of conquest and profiteering. There is PLENTY of money to fund our social obligations to each other voluntarily. Don’t get me wrong. I want tiny government, sound money backed by gold, free markets and honest price discovery based upon supply and demand. I could never support taking the earnings of one person by force and having a politician take those earnings and give them to someone else in order to buy a vote. Such a system has never failed to fail.

    I believe your article, while making a good point in questioning what we’re doing to ourselves, is fundamentally wrong or perhaps simply vague and indirect. In addition to what I have already said, socialism has always failed not only because you eventually run out of other people’s money to steal but MOST importantly because it goes against human nature. There is no utopia and there never will be. Humans want things and need goals. To suggest we should stop wanting is impossible. The real question would be to define what it is we REALLY want and how to achieve that goal. To undertake this endeavor, we would need a well informed public, therefore I believe this to be a very unlikely proposition because the general public has been made both deeply ignorant and dependent. I have heard several people complain they did not know what to do because the “experts” offered contradictory “advice”… as they are paid to do…. by whom? Ah, back to the bankers. People are generally no longer able to figure very much out for themselves and common sense has become singularly uncommon indeed. You might want to focus on the MOST fundamental of all human problems. How to rid ourselves of the subhuman psychopaths among us? Before we can even ask that question however, we must educate the public about the existence of this deadly subspecies that looks human but is not fully so. I think this is a very tall order, don’t you? But probably an imperative is humanity is to survive….

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