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I am a farmer and really appreciate this article Dr. D. I would only add that our modern, industrialized version of agriculture runs not only on fossil fuel, but massive amounts of unpayable debt. I would estimate that 50% of the milk, meat, and grain produced in this country is produced by concerns that are technically insolvent. And, when faced with bankruptcy they follow the old prescription: “When more of the same hasn’t worked, try more of the same.” In other words, borrow more money, put on more fertilizer, and buy more expensive seeds and chemicals from Monsanto. A recipe for disaster.
“I’m going to get the best and brightest!” Hasn’t happened yet, more like the mediocre and questionable. Kavanaugh is first, and foremost, a corporate stooge with the added benefit of being anti-abortion for the religious types. The worst part of the Trump regime is the unlimited and accelerated transfer of clout to the Predator class.
Trump does himself no favors by being a pathological liar and surrounding himself with “the best and the brightest” grifters he can find. Nothing new for Washington DC.
Who could have predicted Trump would turn out to be a carnival barker, surrounding himself with the “best and brightest” scumbags known to man (Bolton, Kudlow, et al). He is a charlatan, at best.
And yet we expect a President, who could easily be a used car salesman, to rescue us from our demise. Wishful thinking.
Thank you for this Bitcoin tutorial! It’s the best I’ve seen so far.
Funny that all the voices heard on the list of RT commentators would not receive a second of airtime on MSM outlets. Their ideas must be corrosive to TPTB.
Massive, systemic corruption. Why should Saudi Arabia be any different?
Frickin’ used car salesman with big red clown shoes. Diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain. Our money infused, corrupt system vomited up two candidates that represented NO choice.
Definition of free trade: The ability to steal labor and natural resources worldwide. Also, the ability to move capital and use as a weapon worldwide.
I have learned to enjoy the benefits of cheap, poorly made crap.
It’s the “skimming and scamming economy.” Where the only profits to be made are from extracting a percentage for doing little or nothing.
Thanks for remembering Tom Petty, some of the little decent rock music from the 80’s.
The healthcare bill won’t pass because it’s a horrible bill. Both ObamaCare and TrumpCare will do nothing to address the underlying issues of affordability and cost control. Recently a bill to allow importation of cheaper drugs from Canada was defeated with just enough Democrats voting against it and just enough Republican senators voting for it to make it look legitimate. This whole legislative mess is a result of massive, systemic corruption and is a certain sign of our dying empire.
Wow. I don’t know where to start. Trump may in fact be a centrist personally, but he is governing as a far right president. Gorsuch is not only socially conservative, but a corporate stooge as well. Tax cuts for the 1%, everybody else can suck the hind teat. 54 billion more for the war machine, etc., etc.
What the American electorate was given for a choice was a center right Republican (Hillary) and a fake populist who is now governing from the far right. A similar choice was given France this past weekend.
The corporate media is complicit, but Trump and his minion’s incessant, bald-faced lying is a rich target indeed.
In a paper money system backed by debt you must continually compound the debt or you get a nasty thing called a Depression. Trump will have no choice but to keep increasing the debt, unless TPTB have decided now is the time to hit the wall. It will happen eventually. My beef is that until that time the right wing will spend like crazy for their donors building a wall, more nukes, more tanks, tax breaks, more pollution, etc. Anything to favor the already wealthy in a massively corrupt system.
POINTING OUT TRUMP’S MANY FLAWS DOES NOT MAKE ONE A FAN OF OBAMA OR THE CLINTONS. Why is this the knee jerk reaction of most people? Why can’t we admit that there was only a choice between two really crappy candidates? Or, can’t the system be held up to a mirror for fear of what will be seen.
So we need to rely on a pathological liar who wants to give another 54 billion to the MIC and reward corporate America with tax advantages and regulatory reform while the populace faces the Republican version of austerity? I don’t think so.
so called east,
Several years ago I attended a church conference that my wife was invited to. Just by accident we were seated across the dinner table from a Lutheran minister from the former East Germany. When he mentioned where he was from I said, “My God, how terrible for you!” He looked at me like I had lobsters coming out of my ears. He proceeded to educate me on both the benefits and disadvantages of living in East Germany. Among the advantages were freedom from economic worry-as you so eloquently described. Of course, we all know about the lack of personal and economic freedom there, but do we really have freedom here?
Another one pounded out of the ball park Ken!
The Predator Class will do whatever it takes to maintain their position at the top. However, it may not come to physical slavery. If it is still financially possible, robots will replace enough workers so that there will be a massive surplus of labor and thus continued strife for the working classes. Population control by war anyone?
If you look at the situation from a distance, we are not much different from the animal kingdom, where the most powerful always rule the clan and Mother Nature determines the population carrying capacity. In my weaker moments I sometimes wonder if religion wasn’t invented to smooth this fact over.
An economist actually refers to the physiocrats. I knew there was a good reason to like this gentleman.
The physiocrats have been mostly mocked and derided for decades when in fact they may be correct. I often wonder if it is because their beliefs put much value on those who actually get their hands dirty as opposed to those who merely shuffle paper. I thought I was the only person who had ever heard the term physiocrat. Thanks for the reminder.
To all you younger posters: You are wise beyond your years and more than welcome to share your thoughts anytime IMH 62 year old O. It is a joy to have conversation with different age groups here @ TAE.
Thank you for your thought provoking article. I sometimes look at the health of the surviving car companies after WWII as a bellwether to the shape of the economy. Hudson, Nash, Studebaker, Packard all were struggling mightily by the mid 50’s.
For the farming community the peak was about 1952. After the post war demand had been met, and greatly exceeded, farming declined into a real recession during the middle and late 50’s and never was quite the same. Since then, machinery and technology, mostly purchased on credit, has kept production up and prices down for farmers, typically at or below the cost of production. Many of these labor saving and production enhancing tools stand unused, but are still being paid for. The only exception to this situation is massive drought, or massive flooding which can temporarily insert profitability to those not affected.
I am somewhat surprised by the reaction to Trumps election among so-called independent thinkers. His nominations, so far, have been extreme right wing conservatives of the Pence mold. No new ideas or thinking among the lot of them. The same old Republican and New Democrat trickle down economic dogma, disguised as a new populism. No war with Russia is a positive, but we will need to attack somebody to keep the military machine well oiled and happy. Iran, perhaps North Korea?
In my rural neck of the woods, and I am as rural as they come, the somewhat prevalent opinion was: We put up with 8 years of that AFRICAN and we’re not about to let them shove that haughty WOMAN down our throats. Not so much fear as the want for revenge. People are not as nice as we would like to think. I am not a Hillary fan or voter.
The people chosen to run the new administration will tell you all you need to know about the direction to be taken. So far it doesn’t look good. If John Bolton is selected for any position your relief about avoiding war is way off. Same crap, different shovel. only possibly worse. IMHO
Agree 100% V. Arnold. The whole world has become Las Vegas-fake everything and with it’s grimy hands in your pockets attempting to separate you from your money in any imaginable way possible. Legal or not.
Greatly miss your editorials. Hope you are OK.
Parity pricing? Surely you jest. That would make too much sense, and besides, than you couldn’t increase the “skim” on nearly stolen commodities.
I am certainly not an economist, but my theory is that you cannot starve the raw materials sector (farming, mining, fishing) without doing severe damage to the whole economy. The raw materials sector is where the only renewable wealth resides. Almost every other activity is merely shifting payments back and forth and trying to skim some profit off of the transaction. What we have now is what I refer to as the “skimming and scamming economy” where profits are generated off of the people who produce real wealth from basic materials.
This can last for quite some time, but eventually enough producers go bankrupt that supply diminishes and pricing returns to normal. In the 30’s at times farmers could not give away their production at any price. There was no money to buy commodities, even at ridiculously low prices. The low prices and the accompanying economic depression lasted almost 10 years.
So, my theory is that starving the raw material sector will assure a depression as there will be no profits to “trickle up” to everyone else. Just the opposite of accepted economic conventional wisdom.
I believe you are correct. This plunging oil price is a clear signal we are entering a worldwide economic depression. The world is choking on unpayable debt.
I believe you hit on something: Only the insiders who continually use information to front run events and maybe a few lucky individuals will come through this mess unscathed. The rest of us will be financial cannon fodder, maybe even real cannon fodder.
You have no need to provide a solution. It is enough to be a visionary who has an excellent track record.
Unfortunately, you are correct, people who are filled with fear will turn to right wing authoritarians when the collapse comes. A few percentage points shift is all that is needed in many countries.
Thanks so much for the background information on the Great Depression. Bankers always come first, it seems. Have you heard of the Physiocrats?
You and Nicole have been 100% correct about deflation taking place and predicted it way before most other people. Good on you! I’m wondering if you believe there will be another deflationary depression as in the 30’s? Being a farmer, I’m somewhat concerned as my Dad stated often, “The farmers were the 1st to enter the Depression and the last to escape it.” He knew from firsthand experience that the Depression started in rural America well before Oct. 1929.
Why is it getting so hot? And what is this basket we seem to find ourselves in?
In regard to capitalism, capital is the ultimate “weapon”. Those who have capital become the victors and those who don’t become the slaves. Permitting the free flow of capital worldwide allowed the Predator class to pillage the whole world. This is what so-called free trade really is: the ability to shift capital with no boundaries.
The criminals that advocated for free trade should be thrown in prison. Or worse.
Imagine that! Deception from some of the same corporate predators that brought you WWII. Oh the irony.
You are the kind of son that all people hope for. My thoughts are with you and your family.
My heart goes out to you in regards to the life journey of your Mother. It is never easy to witness a loved one’s passing.
The world seems to be suffering from an even greater lack of compassion than usual lately. That is probably to be expected as everything begins to decline. Not a very pleasant future, I’m afraid.August 19, 2015 at 3:39 am in reply to: The Boundaries and Future of Solution Space – Part 4 #23291
You’re hitting on all 8 cylinders, as the old timers used to say.
Do not look to the government for any help, solutions, answers, or accountability. It will react as any and all bureaucracies always react: circle the wagons and protect itself-at all costs. As my now departed next door neighbor said about his WWII experience, “Your life ain’t worth a plug nickel to the higher-ups”. Advice well worth listening to.
I believe you might have a slight perfectionist attitude toward economic thinkers. TAE is correct about 90% of the time, IMHO. Nobody else comes anywhere close. If I only associated with neighbors, friends, and relatives I agreed with 100% of the time, I’d be pretty damn lonely.