MASS DELUSION – AMERICAN STYLE (Featured Article)

140 comments

Posted on 14th August 2010 by avalon in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , , , , , , , ,

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” – Charles Mackay – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

 

The American public thinks they are rugged individualists, who come to conclusions based upon sound reason and a rational thought process. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans act like a herd of cattle or a horde of lemmings. Throughout history there have been many instances of mass delusion. They include the South Sea Company bubble, Mississippi Company bubble, Dutch Tulip bubble, and Salem witch trials. It appears that mass delusion has replaced baseball as the national past-time in America. In the space of the last 15 years the American public have fallen for the three whopper delusions:

  1. Buy stocks for the long run
  2. Homes are always a great investment
  3. Globalization will benefit all Americans

Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva ponder why people have always acted in a herd like manner in their outstanding book Mobs, Messiahs and Markets:

“Of course, we doubt if many public prescriptions are really intended to solve problems. People certainly believe they are when they propose them. But, like so much of what goes on in a public spectacle, its favorite slogans, too, are delusional – more in the nature of placebos than propositions. People repeat them like Hail Marys because it makes them feel better. Most of our beliefs about the economy – and everything else – are of this nature. They are forms of self medication, superstitious lip service we pay to the powers of the dark, like touching wood….or throwing salt over your shoulder. “Stocks for the long run,” “Globalization is good.” We repeat slogans to ourselves, because everyone else does. It is not so much bad luck we want to avoid as being on our own. Why it is that losing your life savings should be less painful if you have lost it in the company of one million other losers, we don’t know. But mankind is first of all a herd animal and fears nothing more than not being part of the herd.”

Stocks for the Long Run

The book Stocks for the Long Run was written by Jeremy Siegel in the mid-1990’s. The premise is that if you just buy and hold stocks over a 20 to 30 year period, you will always make money. This was exactly what the Wall Street witch doctors ordered. They pounded this message into the brains of every American incessantly in their advertising campaigns, literature and propaganda. It became an unquestioned truth. Just one problem. It isn’t the truth. Valuations matter. The Dow Jones was at the same level in 1982 as it was in 1966. On an inflation adjusted basis, the Dow did not get back to the 1966 level until 1990. That is 24 years of no return in the stock market. The American public ignored the true facts and piled into equities during the late 1990s. The result was one of the greatest examples of mass delusion in history. The internet bubble drove the NASDAQ market to a peak of 5,048 in March 2000. Today it sits at 2,180. Ten years after the bubble burst, the NASDAQ is still down 57% from its peak.

Delusional Americans all over the country believed in the new internet paradigm. Fools thought “bricks and mortar” retailers were dead. Morons quit their jobs so they could get rich day trading. Wall Street hucksters took advantage of this hysteria by attaching .COM to every ridiculous IPO they shilled to the American public. Wall Street knew these companies were pieces of crap, but they churned out the IPOs as quickly as possible while the getting was good. The Wall Street oligarchs made billions and the delusional American public got screwed. You would think that average Americans would have learned their lesson after this experience. They did not. They continued to buy into the Wall Street lies about stocks being a sure path to riches. The fact is that the S&P 500 is currently at the same level it was in March 1998. On an inflation adjusted basis, it is 25% below the level of 1998. You don’t hear this information on CNBC because the oligarchs that control the media need the delusion to continue in order to harvest more riches from the ignorant masses.

Chart forS&P 500 INDEX,RTH (^GSPC)

Home Sweet Home

“The continuing shortages of housing inventory are driving the price gains. There is no evidence of bubbles popping.”David Lereah – Chief Economist for National Association of Realtors – 2005

“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”Ben Bernanke – 2005

“House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.” - Ben Bernanke – 2005

Why was it that two supposedly brilliant, highly trained economists, with countless degrees and high paying positions could be so very wrong? Were they just mistaken or were they purposefully encouraging a national delusion? With the bursting of the internet bubble in 2000 – 2002, Americans immediately proceeded to the next bubble. Alan Greenspan was an almost God like figure in the early 2000s. He had “saved” the economy countless times during his 15 year reign of terror at the Federal Reserve. When he spoke, the American people listened. After the internet bubble and 9/11, he proceeded to reduce interest rates to 1% for an extended period of time. He then gave the all clear sign to Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages. Lastly, Mr. Free Markets decided that banks and mortgage brokers could police themselves. The result was the greatest housing bubble in US history and a near collapse of the worldwide financial system.

Sane economists like Robert Shiller saw it for what it was. He calmly pointed out that home prices had pretty much tracked inflation for over 100 years. A 100% increase in home prices over the course of 3 years was irrationally exuberant. He was scorned and ridiculed by the delusion propagators at the NAR, the cheerleaders on CNBC, the Wall Street money changers, the Federal Reserve stuffed suits, and the corrupt politicians in Washington DC. The usual drivel about positive demographics, low interest rates, strong income growth, and limited land to develop were spewed out by the corporate media complex. The beneficiaries of this mass delusion were the Wall Street banks that created mortgage products and derivatives faster than Obama spreads our wealth around.

Mass delusion is always encouraged by those who benefit most from the mass delusion. David Lereah has admitted that he lied about the housing bubble because he was employed by realtors. Realtors made millions in commissions. Appraisers made millions in fees by inflating appraisals. Mortgage brokers made millions by encouraging people to lie on mortgage applications. Wall Street whores made billions by creating toxic packages of mortgages and selling them to Irish nuns, old ladies and clueless municipal administrators. The ratings agencies made hundreds of millions in fees for slapping  AAA ratings on toxic derivatives. Politicians got rich from political “contributions” from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Wall Street, and the NAR. Any reasonable human being could look at the chart above and see that this would end badly, but Americans wanted to be deluded. They choose to believe. The housing market has now been falling for five years, with another five years to go. Ben Bernanke has reduced interest rates to zero. I wonder how that will work out.    

Who Benefited from Globalization?

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

From the time that Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA agreement in 1994, globalization has been touted by those in power as beneficial to all Americans. How could free markets and free trade be a bad thing? Corporate America, Wall Street, and the mainstream corporate media have blared the propaganda of globalization benefits from their loudspeakers. In theory, globalization appears to be a positive concept. It describes a process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a global network of communication, transportation, and trade. The truth is that globalization is not inherently good or inherently bad. The idea is that each country has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each country will take advantage of their strengths and rely on other countries to help mitigate their weaknesses. This will result in increased trade, a larger world market, and economic progress for all. One small problem. Trade is not really free. Every country on earth protects various industries. Every country on earth manipulates their currency in order to get an edge. Every country on earth invokes tariffs to protect their national interests.

Bill Bonner and Lila Rajiva address the difficulties of globalization and “free trade” in Mobs, Messiahs and Markets:

“Unfair trade is yet another of the dodgy slogans festooning the spectacle of globalization like tinsel slithering around a pole dancer. How can different regulations and practices in different countries constitute unfairness? Isn’t the essence of trade that different countries have different things to offer – whether cheap labor, or better technology, or more bountiful natural resources, or more welcoming business environments? If all countries had exactly the same things to offer each other, there would be no reason to trade at all. But what “fair” trade advocates are really advocating, of course, is unfair trade! They want to make sure their foreign competitors divest themselves of the very advantages that they bring to trading.”

“We notice, for instance, that when Americans in Detroit lose jobs to other Americans in California, they might grumble a bit. But, by and large, they accept it as part of the nature of things. They move, or retrain, or change jobs. But when they lose their jobs to Japanese in Osaka or Indians in Bangalore, then a cry goes up. Unfair trade, howl the trade unions; race to the bottom, scold the social activists; yellow – or brown – peril, shriek the xenophobes and racists.”

It seems the American middle class was sold a false bill of goods. They bought the Big Lie that globalization would benefit them. They bought into the delusion that even though their high paying manufacturing jobs sailed away to China and India, they could maintain their lifestyle through brain work, easy credit, cheap goods made in China by the people who took their jobs, and the ever increasing value of their homes. Noam Chomsky notes the fallacy of this delusion:

“The dominant propaganda systems have appropriated the term “globalization” to refer to the specific version of international economic integration that they favor, which privileges the rights of investors and lenders, those of people being incidental.”

Again, one must seek out who benefits from the delusion of globalization. The crony capitalists, Wall Street oligarchs, and corporate fascists who control the puppet strings in this country have benefited greatly from the Big Lie. Over 5 million manufacturing jobs have been off-shored since 2000. These good paying jobs are never coming back. Millions of service sector jobs continue to be shipped overseas. The global conglomerates like GE, HP, Oracle, IBM, and Boeing continue to rake in billions of profits, distributing millions to its high paid executives, while gutting middle class America. The ruling oligarchs convinced Americans to take advantage of cheap goods and easy credit, to buy electronics, cars, appliances, new kitchens, and take the vacations of their dreams. This Big Lie has left the American consumer with $2.5 trillion of non-mortgage debt and the lowest level of home equity in history. Retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, and Best Buy reaped billions in profits as Americans whipped out one of their 10 credit cards to buy HDTV’s, economy bags of tube socks, iPads, iPods, stainless steel refrigerators, and Dell computers. Small town America’s mom and pop economy was gutted by Big Box retailers selling the globalization delusion. The biggest beneficiaries of the globalization delusion were the Wall Street banks. They control 80% of credit card market and have reaped billions in interest at rates exceeding 20%, while sucking $20 billion per year in late fees from the clueless public. Wall Street bankers have rewarded themselves for their brilliance in destroying the middle class by reaping multi-million dollar bonus packages.

Vincible Ignorance

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.” - Aldous Huxley

Based on all available evidence, it seems the American public wants to be misled. They have chosen ignorance over knowledge and understanding. They want to believe their corrupt leaders. They want to believe that things always work out in the long run. They want to believe that the economy is about to get better. They don’t want to think about unsustainable debt, unfunded liabilities, saving for retirement, or Simon Cowell leaving American Idol. Americans desperately want to be deluded into another bubble, but there are no evident bubbles left to blow. The existing American delusion is that the current fiscal path will not lead to the utter destruction of our once great Republic.

  

America resembles a 40 year old aging baseball icon with two bad knees, a pot belly, receding hairline and delusions that he is still the ball player he was at 24. He doesn’t realize that his skills are shot, as he flails at curveballs in the dirt thrown by 21 year old kids. The rest of the league knows he is washed up, but he refuses to accept reality. America isn’t even running on fumes at this point. It is running on delusions. Politicians think they have saved the country from a Depression by adding $3 trillion to the National Debt and allowing  Wall Street banks to pretend they are solvent. Americans have been deluded by the ruling oligarchs that a $700 billion bank bailout, an $800 billion pork filled stimulus plan, the Federal Reserve buying $1.2 trillion of toxic mortgages, and the Treasury forcing taxpayers to pick up a $400 billion tab for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s bad loans has actually solved a problem created by too much debt.

The American herd has gone mad. A few people have regained their senses, but the vast majority still exhibits the behavior of sheep being led to slaughter. The ruling oligarchs have utter contempt for the average American, but they fear the masses. In order to retain their power and wealth, they gladly hand out two years of unemployment payments, food stamps, and welfare payments to keep the masses sedated. The working middle class foots the bill. Corruption abounds and is sustained by the passage of more laws and regulations. The sociopathic powers that control the levers of power in this country need to be brought to justice if this country has any chance at survival. The den of vipers and thieves have trampled on the Constitution, speculated with the country’s funds, risked blowing up the financial system, committed fraud on a massive scale, and continue to rape and pillage the American citizens. Vincible ignorance by the American people is no longer a legitimate excuse. The criminals on Wall Street and Washington DC must be routed out and Americans must awaken from their delusional state before it is too late. I weep for the liberty of my country.

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

                                          Pink Floyd – Time

140 Comments
  1. bloodworm says:

    Interesting that you mention Jeremy Siegel because he just wrote an article endorsing further QE and more from the fed.

    It seems anyone who works in wall street or has an interest in it wants the govt and fed to bail everyone out. We used to think of these people as free marketers, but they are showing their true nature. They are snake-oil salesmen.

    Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business all feed off wall street. They need people to buy stocks to survive.

    Cramers rant on TV after the crisis was specifically aimed at the fed to lower rates.

    The stock market is dead until those hucksters can lure in the next generation of suckers.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-

    The Fed Is Not Out of “Silver Bullets”
    by Jeremy J. Siegel
    Friday, August 13, 2010

    The Fed’s move on August 10 to “keep the balance sheet of the central bank stable” and offset the run-off of mortgage-backed securities with Treasury purchases was just a baby step. Much stronger measures can and should be taken to combat the economic slowdown.

    As readers of this column know, I am a strong supporter of Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. I think his bold measures to insure the liquidity of the banking and financial system saved us from repeating the misguided policy that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s. This is why I was disappointed in the Fed’s move on August 10 and Bernanke’s testimony July 21 before Congress, one of the Fed’s ritual semi-annual appearances that go back to the 1970s.

    During his meetings before Congress, Bernanke responded to a question by Senator Bunning of Kentucky asking whether the Federal Reserve “was out of bullets” in its fight against the faltering economy. Bernanke responded, “I don’t think so.” Later he noted other measures the Fed might use to stimulate the economy, but only said “there is some probability they will be effective.”

    Bernanke should not hedge. When you are the head of the world’s most powerful central bank, expressing doubt about the Fed’s effectiveness is a mistake. It is mandatory that the policymakers and central bankers display confidence in their policy tools. And the historical evidence is that Bernanke has every right to believe the Fed can still be very effective.

    Quantitative Easing

    In last month’s column I recommended that the Fed consider reducing the interest rate it pays on bank reserves to zero and engage in quantitative easing to help the economy emerge from the current soft patch. Quantitative easing, or QE as it is often called, occurs when the central bank expands the quantity of Federal Reserve credit by increasing the reserves in the banking system. QE is employed when the normal policy instrument of the Fed, the Federal Funds rate, is at or near zero.

    In fact, Bernanke had already engaged in significant quantitative easing during the financial crisis in 2008 by supplying the banking system with over $1 trillion of reserves in excess of the banks’ statutory requirements. These reserves were far more than are required to bring the Fed Funds rate down to its current 0% to 0.25% level, a range that the Fed adopted in December 2008.

    Some argue tha,t since banks already hold more reserves than required, additional reserves would not have any further effect on lending or economic activity. But that conclusion is not warranted. Banks hold large excess reserves because they wish to show regulators and investors a high level of liquidity.

    This does not mean that banks would hold unlimited excess reserves. In fact, banks are not happy earning near zero interest on these reserves, nor are investors satisfied with similar rates on their money market funds. Placing more zero-interest reserves into the banking system will tempt more banks to make loans where the profit margin is much higher.

    Although the Fed’s main policy tool, the Fed Funds rate, works on short-term interest rates, QE has the potential to lower longer-term rates, especially if the asset purchases are concentrated in long-dated securities.

    In a recently published article, Taeyoung Doh, a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, gives evidence that asset purchases may be a much better instrument in lowering long-term rates than giving guidance in the FOMC directives, such as the “extended period” language which Wall Street watches so attentively in the statements following Fed meetings.

    Japan’s Experiment

    Those who object to quantitative easing point to Japan’s alleged failed experiment with QE from March 2001 to March 2006. During that period the Bank of Japan increased reserves markedly, yet that did little to improve Japan’s economic prospects.

    But a close look at the Japanese data does not support this pessimism. Between 2001 and 2006, deflationary forces were arrested in Japan, the economy-wide price level remained constant, and annual GDP growth did increase by about 0.5% from the average of the previous decade. I admit QE did not lead to robust growth, but Japan’s slow growth over the last two decades is more related to structural problems in the Japanese economy and the rapid aging of the population, not to a bubble that burst more than 20 years ago. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the Bank of Japan’s QE policy was reduced by its implementation that began well over a decade after the markets collapsed in the 1990s. This lag allowed deflationary pressures to sink much deeper into their economy than now exists in the U.S.

    One of the reasons the Bank of Japan finally abandoned QE was that the Japanese public was very uneasy about unlimited expansion of the money supply. Most Japanese still remember the post World War II inflation that devalued the purchasing power of Japanese yen by more than 100 to 1, and they feared that QE could bring about another inflationary episode.

    The U.S. economy is far better suited to QE than Japan’s. Serious deflationary forces have yet to take hold, while inflationary expectations have been held well in check. Adding reserves will induce banks and investors to buy longer-dated and higher-yielding assets, reduce long-term rates, and spur more lending by the banks.

    Summary

    The Fed is far from out of silver bullets. Fed Chief Bernanke must be confident in the potency of all the Fed’s policy tools, not just the Fed Funds rate. Quantitative easing is a viable policy and, when combined with a reduction in the interest rates on reserves and the continued support of the asset-based securities markets, the Fed can deliver a potent combination of policies to stimulate the economy.

    14th August 2010 at 12:58 pm

  2. Steve Hogan says:

    You state that there are no bubbles left to blow. I disagree. The bubble forming now is the government bubble. It is the one from which there is no recovery.

    Unlike a biological parasite, which is intelligent enough to know when to stop sucking from its host, the elite in this country will keep bleeding the country dry until there is nothing left to suckle. They’re too stupid and too full of themselves to ponder what awaits us all if we don’t change course.

    Having a mansion and a fat bank account won’t mean much if the pissed off masses that have been impoverished by the largest wealth transfer in history end up breaking down the doors and dragging their well-heeled hides into the streets.

    14th August 2010 at 2:14 pm

  3. Kill Bill says:

    Curing stagflation gave America twenty more years. Ironically, the good times started to erode when Reagan’s other goal was accomplished and the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990. “The end of history” resulted in India and China opening their labor markets to American capitalists, who began producing offshore with foreign labor the products that they sold to Americans. The labor costs savings pushed up corporate profits, shareholders’ returns, and managerial bonuses. But it deprived Americans of middle class incomes and wrecked the balance of trade. The US income distribution and the trade deficit worsened. -=paul craig roberts=-

    14th August 2010 at 5:52 pm

  4. Smokey says:

    Ignorance is typically a chosen response. Sometimes it’s consequences can be dire. The root word of ignorance is ignore.

    14th August 2010 at 6:24 pm

  5. Smokey says:

    I still remember listening to a financial radio talk show in the Washington DC metropolitan area in the late nineties. The host was a charismatic young stockbroker in his mid thirties. I knew he was full of shit, but I also knew that the vast majority of listeners bought his story hook, line and sinker. His major theme that he harped on in every program was that this country was benefiting from an astounding three part dynamic–(1) the coming of age of the baby boomers (2) the restructuring of corporate America (you remember the mantra–sell off the assets and shrink the equity base to drive up earnings) and (3) the collapse of the iron curtain. —According to this guy, this three part equation virtually assured prosperity for those with the intelligence and discipline to buy good companies and hold for the long term.—–What a fucking crock of discredited delusion. I hope that fucker is pumping gas at a gas station, changing oil, and sucking the farts out of seatcovers.

    14th August 2010 at 6:37 pm

  6. KaD says:

    I have to disagree with “Every country on earth protects various industries” and levies tariffs. If America does this will someone please let me know on WHAT exactly?

    As for who benefits:

    http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/massive-wealth-shift-in-full-swing-39836

    14th August 2010 at 6:38 pm

  7. StuckInNJ says:

    Excellent article … as usual!!!

    My only quibble is the implication that being a “sheeple” or having a lemming-like herd mentality is an American phenomena. It is not. It is the human condition.

    Looking at the world in a binary manner is often simplistic. However, I feel confident in saying that the very route of human existence shows humanity has two basic relationships; leader and follower.

    In my informal study of human nature for the past 30 years, I submit the following axioms;

    Axiom 1: Human beings are easily led.

    Axiom 2: Human beings are easily MIS-led.

    Axiom 3: The majority of humans believe they are leaders.

    Axiom 4: Contrary to Axiom 3, the majority of humans are followers.

    Axiom 5: This leads to a Cognitive Dissonance for followers, — that most uncomfortable feeling in the gut when one holds contradictory ideas simultaneously.

    Axiom 6: A person aware of Axiom 5 can use that disconnect to his or her great advantage.

    ============ =
    Axiom 1 & 2 brief discussion.

    We should not be surprised by this. Just look at how easily human beings can be made to respond to commercials, and how they believe what they see on TV or hear on the radio. One of the mortgage companies I worked for would run a radio ad during NY Yankee games during the 3rd and 7th innings. They were total bullshit commercials typical of a mortgage company … lowest rates, everybody gets approved, fast and easy approval, etc. ad absurdium. Let me tell you, the phones rang off the hook!! Easily 200+ calls within 15 minutes.

    Man’s will is so darn easily manipulated and controlled; by commercials and other advertising lies delivered by Madison Avenue, by the media, by the “news”, by “education”, by peer pressure, by religious leaders, by pressure from family members, by pressure from friends, by evil lawmakers terrorizing the public in the name of “safety” and “security”, amongst others.

    For example, just about everybody trusts the judgment of an “expert”. Why? Because we are generally afraid to trust our own judgment. That’s why people trust doctors for the treatment of their diseases. Or, ministers for their salvation. Or, newspapers and television for their “News”. Or, their President for their political and economic stability and safety from threats – even fake ones — from other nations.

    From an advertising company web site;

    “If a person is spoken to by a T.V. advertiser as if he were a twelve year old, then, due to suggestibility, he will, with a certain probability, respond or react to that suggestion with the uncritical response of a twelve year old and will reach into his economic reservoir (wallet) and deliver its energy (money) to buy that product on impulse when he passes it in the store.”

    Bottom line: They got our number …. and most of us are screwed because, again, people are easily controlled. Why is this? Even though most people would not like to admit it, repeated sophisticated studies have revealed that there is a desire in each human being to be taken care of from the cradle to the grave.

    ============ =
    Axiom 3 & 4 brief discussion.

    Everybody wants to be a leader. That’s why there are literally thousands of books and hundreds of thousands of books on “leadership”. I have yet to find even one seriously written book titled, “I want to be a follower”, or something similar. If you find one, please forward the link.

    Does your company’s Performance Report have a category for “Follower Capabilities”? Of course, not. But, I’ll betchya an el Grande Starbucks Latte that it has categories for leadership. No one advances up the food chain because they are a good follower.

    Calling someone a follower is actually an insult. Isn’t it?

    But, as Jim’s article clearly points out, and as you observe life in action, what you actually see is lots and lots of followers. Even Jesus said, “Follow me.”

    ============ =
    Axiom 5 & 6 brief discussion.

    I’m looking at it from a sales perspective. We are ALL salespeople. I learned that from Robert Ringer’s book, Looking Out For Number 1, a very long time ago. We are all salespeople whether we are selling a product for a living, or whether you are a mom trying to convince little Joey to do his homework.

    So, there are a gazillion books out there on the topic of selling, influencing people, knowing how people buy, what motivates them to actually listen to you vs. someone else, and on and on it goes. Much of it is bullshit. Much of it is contradictory. Most of it is not useful.

    So, I learned my own sales “technique”, and it is based on the simple axioms above.

    It is so simple … just two general “rules” … that I’m almost embarrassed to mention it.

    Rule #1. Stop trying to control the outcome. In fact, give up “control” all together.
    So many “experts” give so much advice on how to say the right phrases, or mimic the buyers behavior, or use closing “tricks” like that horse-shit Presumptive Close — “So, Mr. Jones, do you want us to deliver your full body condom on Thursday or Friday?”. ALL of it is an attempt to manipulate or control the buyer. It was a great “Eureka!” moment for me when I realized that I don’t really control anything. Whatever I think I control, is just an illusion. People don’t like being controlled. At the end of the day, they are the ones who control the checkbook.

    Rule #2. Let the buyer BE a leader. Let THEM make the decision ON THEIR OWN.
    Yes, of course, I do what I can to lead them down the path of making a “yes” decision. But, whether I was selling computer software/hardware or mortgages I always told people up front that I was there simply to help them facilitate a decision — whether “yes” OR “no”. EITHER was OK by me. This alone took pressure off both of us. For me, I didn’t NEED to make a sale. For them, they didn’t HAVE to buy.

    I found that by giving up the illusion of power and control that I had, in a sense, more than ever before.

    14th August 2010 at 6:50 pm

  8. Administrator says:

    KaD

    Here is a partial list:

    http://internationalecon.com/Trade/Tch10/T10-1A04.php

    14th August 2010 at 8:19 pm

  9. KaD says:

    Thank you! I do appreciate knowledge. Doesn’t seem like a very big list though.

    14th August 2010 at 8:32 pm

  10. jmarz says:

    Jim,

    Great article as usual. Keep up the great work. You have a young following and we all seek the truth and appreciate your wisdom. (I’m 23 years old) It’s sad where are country is heading. We are accustomed to an artificial standard of living that will continue to erode and cause this nation to drop on its knees. I love this country and it hurts for me to continue to witness absolute stupidity and greed among politicians and Wall Street and practically many others. Our code of ethics and principles have been trashed. What happened to integrity and rationality. We are so caught up in the Get Rich Quick mode and Rat Race that we forget what is most important in life. It’s not about how many worthless dollars you have in your account, or how many cars or boats you own, or how big your house is. It is about spending time with the people you love and doing something you enjoy in life. Wealth is great and everyone should strive to achieve greatness but their must be a set of principles and boundaries that one must accumulate wealth and greatness according to. I believe in second chances but I fear our country will have to suffer badly before we wake up and realize that our Founding Fathers were right all along. Sorry for rant but I had to get it off my chest.

    By the way, I do believe there is one more giant bubble that will soon pop. It is our debt. US treasuries are in a gigantic bubble being inflated by the one and only FED. I believe shit will hit the fan when the world no longer gives the FED credibility. When that happens we will be flooded with dollars.

    Thanks again.

    14th August 2010 at 10:33 pm

  11. StuckInNJ says:

    “It’s not about how many worthless dollars you have in your account, …”

    Every quarter we get a property tax bill for almost $2,500. Love won’t pay that bill. However, the tax office is very happy with my worthless dollars.

    15th August 2010 at 12:25 am

  12. Apollo says:

    Ah Jim you missed the greatest delusion of humankind in your short list. This is the absolute greatest, biggest, deepest, dumbest, longest, most devastating and destructive delusion ever.

    HUMAN BEINGS ACTUALLY BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD, OR GODS, IN THE BIG UNIVERSE WHO HAVE TAKEN AN INTEREST IN ALL ASPECTS OF HUMAN AFFAIRS AND REQUIRE ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE AND FOLLOWING BY DAILY WORSHIPING

    But of course such gods do exist. Because we invented them. Deluded by your own invention! There is a word for this circular delusion and it begins with the letter ‘r’…

    15th August 2010 at 12:57 am

  13. StuckInNJ says:

    Apollo ………….. hmmmmm …. A-P-P-O-L-O ……… ah-pah-low ………huh!

    A God in Greek mythology

    I trust you see the irony in your anti-God rant.

    15th August 2010 at 2:53 am

  14. Administrator says:

    jmarz

    You are really throwing off the demographics of the site. I’m only supposed to appeal to crotchety 60 year old men holed up in their bunkers with a computer, their guns, ammo, gold, and pictures of Ayn Rand.

    15th August 2010 at 6:21 am

  15. Administrator says:

    Apollo

    This could take the thread in a whole different direction. I do believe in God. I can’t possibly believe that this complex world is just a cosmic mistake.

    15th August 2010 at 6:29 am

  16. Pirate Jo says:

    For the record, I don’t believe in deities either. We are on our own.

    15th August 2010 at 8:43 am

  17. Viet Vet-70 says:

    Now troubles are a many, they are as deep as a well, I swear there is no heaven pray there is no hell, but I will never know by living only my dying will tell, yes only my dying will tell,

    Blood Sweat and Tears, And When I Die

    15th August 2010 at 10:04 am

  18. overmedicated says:

    Just dropped in from Zero Hedge were they posted this article..spot on ..the word is getting out..the big question is What the F**K do we do about it?? the end is still the same
    the mass of Americans is due for a major period of hardship.

    15th August 2010 at 11:42 am

  19. Mark Ruby says:

    Interesting and scarry to contemplate. How long can it go on?? Nobody knows. I feel it coming like a freight train way down the tracks, the rumble is growing stronger. This week all the animals where I live began acting in a very strange way; this year has seen a massive volcano threaten the worlds airwaves, a massive oil leak that is far from over, hundreds of thousands of dead fish and more to come, a massive flood in Pakistan with one third of the country underwater and 20 million people affected, large earthquakes in many places, increasing threats of war. I take these things very seriously, I stay in tune with my creator and I feel something large is on the way. Ignore signs at your risk. For me, its time to get ready for whatever is heading down the road, get prepared because something big comes our way. Get your house in order. The powers in place now will not give up their positions easily, without a fight. They are too well imbedded and empowered by elite groups with the mighty force of GREED behind them. But the ageold forces of honesty, fairness, truth, belief, faith will prevail, they always do. If that were not the case, mankind would have self-destructed long ago.

    15th August 2010 at 11:53 am

  20. America, Heal Thyself (before it’s too late) | Selland Capital says:

    [...] Freedom requires responsibility – responsibility that too many Americans have abdicated in their rush to spend their home equity at the strip mall. The question now is whether we still have the time – and the discipline – to regain that responsibility and turn things around. Amplify’d from theburningplatform.com [...]

    15th August 2010 at 12:08 pm

  21. Expat says:

    According to a CBS poll, at least half of Americans believe in ghosts. The other half believe in politicians. We would be better off with 100% belief in ghosts. Or God, for that matter, as long as it was some sort of detached, rational God upon which everyone agreed..

    The only good part about Americans, and humans in general, working so hard and so ignorantly to destroy themselves is just that, they are working to destroy themselves. Unfortunately, they will probably fuck that up as well.

    15th August 2010 at 12:21 pm

  22. Joshua Pritikin says:

    There are only two ways of earning a living − by labor and by productive capital ownership (= binary economics). Humans are usually assumed to own their labor, but not necessarily the other productive factor – capital.

    As capital efficiencies ramped up over the last hundred years, capital ownership has become vastly more valuable than labor. Full employment is just not possible anymore because supply of labor vastly outpaces demand for labor.

    To re-balance the economy, we need to diversify capital ownership. Employee stock ownership programs (ESOP) were a step in this direction. We need to go much, much further.

    15th August 2010 at 12:51 pm

  23. Ed says:

    Jim Quinn,
    You wrote “The American herd has gone mad.” — and this is surely the cure: real asset price histories ONGOINGLY WELL-APPARENT to the people. Such as:
    “Real Homes &Real Dow” at
    http://homepage.mac.com/ttsmyf/RHandRD.html

    “Serial Herd Behaviors” is absolutely fair, and ‘catchy’.

    RHandRD.html

    15th August 2010 at 12:52 pm

  24. Smokey says:

    God is in the DNA of the nuclei of every cell of your body.—-“In a reality that is inconceivably multidimensional, the old concepts of God are relatively meaningless. Even the term, a supreme being, is itself distortive, for you naturally project the qualities of human nature upon it. If I told you God was an idea, you would not understand what I meant, for you do not understand the dimensions in which an idea has its reality, or the energy that it can originate and propel. You do not believe in ideas in the same way that you believe in physical objects, so if I tell you that God is an idea, you will misinterpret this to mean that God is less than real–nebulous, without reality, without purpose, and without motive action.”—From Seth Speaks—-Another description of the divine is as follows—–“Value fulfillment is most difficult to describe, for it combines the nature of a loving presence–a presence with the innate knowledge of its own divine complexity–with a creative ability of infinite proportions that seeks to bring to fulfillment even the slightest, most distant portion of its own inverted complexity. Translated into simpler terms, each portion of energy is endowed with an inbuilt reach of creativity that seeks to fulfill its own potentials in all possible variations–and in such a way that such a development also furthers the creative potentials of each other portion of reality.” “…………I do not mean by such a description to minimize the importance of physical life, for All That Is endows each portion of its own transformed reality with a unique existence that is duplicated Nowhere Else, and each spark of consciousness is endowed with a divine heritage that is never extinguished, a spark that is apparent in all other corners of the universe.” And also, “The one All That Is is aware not only of its own nature and the nature of all consciousness, but it is also aware of its infinite probable selves. We go here toward subjects in which words become meaningless. The nature of All That Is can only be sensed directly through the inner senses, or in a weaker communication, through inspiration or intuition. The miraculous complexity of such reality cannot be translated verbally.” God is love expressed. Love is God expressed.

    15th August 2010 at 1:49 pm

  25. Apollo says:

    @Jim

    I made a statement but don’t wanna take this thread to a new direction, and off topic. Unfair to you.

    15th August 2010 at 2:20 pm

  26. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    Were you smoking some of that wacky weed?

    15th August 2010 at 3:17 pm

  27. Administrator says:

    Apollo

    No problem. The thread can go in any direction people want to take it. I was hoping God might intervene in our mass delusion.

    15th August 2010 at 3:19 pm

  28. Smokey says:

    How’d you know I was tripping?

    15th August 2010 at 5:15 pm

  29. yes says:

    god doesn’t give a shit of our violent monkey race.
    there will never be peace nor stability, and we will last shorter than the dinosaurs.
    if things go south on a regular basis,It’s because of human nature.
    this ensure we will let less relics than the next dominant race after us

    15th August 2010 at 5:19 pm

  30. Mass Delusion – American Style « Phil's Favorites – By Ilene says:

    [...] Mass Delusion – American Style Mass Delusion – American Style [...]

    15th August 2010 at 5:41 pm

  31. Caryl Johnston says:

    Some good points here. But economic realities cannot be separated from social realities.
    The American MALE has been dispossessed from fatherhood and responsibility by a government that supports feminism and “alternative sexualities” at every turn. There is a constant confusion of “freedom” with “sexual liberation,” of liberty with license, and a constant polarizing of society with these stupid and self-defeating issues. Where’s the community that would be able to cohere sufficiently to oppose the corruption that has become endemic in all departments of American society? I think the real issues are moral and spiritual and have to do with the love of truth and honor. A big step toward overcoming the passivity and ignorance of the American populace would be to reinvigorate the PATRIARCHAL IDEA (the Legitimacy Principle) and for good women to support men with honor and truthfulness. That is the beginning of community and solidarity. Nothing is going to happen until men and women recognize their common enemy. Because Big Government (Caesar) will continue to Divide and Conquer in this realm and render the people impotent.

    15th August 2010 at 6:29 pm

  32. Caryl Johnston says:

    Some good points here. But economic realities cannot be separated from social realities.
    The American MALE has been dispossessed from fatherhood and responsibility by a government that supports feminism and “alternative sexualities” at every turn. There is a constant confusion of “freedom” with “sexual liberation,” of liberty with license, and a constant polarizing of society with these stupid and self-defeating issues. Where’s the community that would be able to cohere sufficiently to oppose the corruption that has become endemic in all departments of American society? I think the real issues are moral and spiritual and have to do with the love of truth and honor. A big step toward overcoming the passivity and ignorance of the American populace would be to reinvigorate the PATRIARCHAL IDEA (the Legitimacy Principle) and for good women to support men who have honor and truthfulness. That is the beginning of community and solidarity. Nothing is going to happen until men and women recognize their common enemy. Because Big Government (Caesar) will continue to Divide and Conquer in this realm and render the people impotent.

    15th August 2010 at 6:32 pm

  33. Lorne [email protected] says:

    MASS DELUSION – AMERICAN STYLE

    American-style, I don’t know what that means. The writer of the article appears to be alluding to a country called America. Since there is no such a country, I had some trouble reading the entire article.

    If the writer is trying to suggest that our continent has a particular style then I think I would take umbrage with his comments. If the writer is attempting to portray that there is a country called America and then I certainly would disagree vehemently. It is only necessary to read the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of the continent called America to be immediately convinced that there is no such a country as America.

    I do wish that the Yanks would finally recognize and admit that in trying to call their country America they are referring to a mythical country that does not in fact exist in reality or in law. This is typical of Yanks psychology.

    I remember around 9/11, someone practically moaning on television and asking the question, “why do they hate us so much”? Articles like this outline with great clarity, at least one reason why the rest of the world absolutely hates the United States. Here is a country which has decided, without permission from the rest of America, to usurp the name of our continent as the name of their country without making changes to the constitution as would be required. No matter though, this country called the United States will cease to exist before very long. I am already 69 years of age and I would not be surprised to see this country go broke, oh just a minute, they are already broke, and then eat themselves from the inside. The Chinese practically own the country anyway and maybe one day soon they will come calling to take possession of their property. That would be very interesting indeed.

    If the GOP has its way, it won’t be very long before women in the United States will be wearing burqas. A country which has so much potential and has squandered that potential because of religion and politics. The senators therefrom, remind me of nothing so much as senators from ancient Rome. What a sad ugly society.

    15th August 2010 at 9:15 pm

  34. Lynda Scott says:

    Such an excellent article. I read every word & loved it. As an older person I knew something wasn’t right about ten years ago (mid to late 1990’s) . My kids couldn’t find jobs except at stores !! Corporations took advantage of the young people, degraded them by putting them in either a red polo shirt or a blue polo shirt & paid them $8/hour. The American citizen has been degraded & taken advantage of, unfortunately, it will take a long time to rebuild the country. I have just two words to leave you with: ROBERT RUBIN .

    15th August 2010 at 9:23 pm

  35. Administrator says:

    Lorne

    Your post was much ado about nothing. I nodded off during paragraph 2. I’m sure you think your beloved Canada is in much better shape. You are delusional.

    15th August 2010 at 9:38 pm

  36. LLPOH says:

    Lorne Babcock – Citizens of the US are known world over as Americans. Canadians, which you appear to be one of, are often known as pretentious asswipes. Why don’t you take your soiled tissue and fuck off.

    15th August 2010 at 9:47 pm

  37. LLPOH says:

    Joshua Pritkin – People can always save up, put their asses on the line, and buy capital anytime they want to. It sounds like you are proposing legislation of some kind that will mandate capital diversification. Good ol’ socialism at its finest. Fuck that.

    15th August 2010 at 9:54 pm

  38. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    DP is over on Zero Hedge posting his usual insanity. He is telling them we are one in the same.

    15th August 2010 at 10:04 pm

  39. GodSend says:

    I just talked to God and He says: “The fool says in his heart: “There is no God””. So there you have it!

    Jim Quinn, despite his otherwise brilliant analysis of the American (and global) economic condition, failed to mention the most important attribute of the nasty oligarchs who are ruining America. Can you guess what that attribute is?

    HINT: Visit my website for a slightly edited version of Jim’s brilliant article (and the missing link).

    15th August 2010 at 10:07 pm

  40. Lynn D. says:

    “Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare; So the sons of men are trapped in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.” Ecclesiastes 9:12

    “And those who earn wages, earn wages to put into a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:6

    “Those who lead you cause you to err, and those led by them are destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16

    15th August 2010 at 10:28 pm

  41. therooster says:

    The FED is part of the supply driven side of an unbalanced equation, also known as “the stick”.
    People are creatures of habit. Do you really think they’ll move over to precious metals without the incentives of the stick when keeping in mind that a move to a commodity money must be driven by the market and CANNOT be top-down ? Wake-up. The ole boys are following the script. I suggest that we all do the same. Better to accept the carrot than linger around and feel the effects of the stick.

    Gold is being monetized exactly as it should, by the market and one person at a time ….. in real-time.

    15th August 2010 at 10:36 pm

  42. LLPOH says:

    Admin – just had a look at DP posts at Zero Hedge. He is loony tunes. Funny to see the other posters just skip around him. He isn’t worth the time of reply, other than for a bit of target practice. Amazing anyone could be so stupid.

    15th August 2010 at 10:38 pm

  43. GodSend says:

    Lynn D

    “The Word of God is living and powerful” :)

    15th August 2010 at 10:45 pm

  44. tambaekhan says:

    Mundus deceptionem invitat.

    15th August 2010 at 10:56 pm

  45. Apollo says:

    Jim – Writing about delusion now is about 20 years too late. Too late to change history. Too late to reverse course. Too late to repair. Just ask the desperate people of the Soviet Gorbachev era. They too talked a lot about delusion in 1990 as I clearly recall. People talks delusion after they have been fooled, when it is too late. For them it’s too late to fix the Soviet system. Things will continue to unfold as if on auto-pilot. And in about 5 years you and I won’t recognize the country. I look forward to this upheaval. Because it’s the only way to clear the landscape of mass delusion.

    16th August 2010 at 1:46 am

  46. Reverse Engineer says:

    Perhaps a portion of the population bought the idea that “free trade” was a good idea, but anyone with any sense of economics certainly never bought that idea as beneficial unless they themselves were the beneficiary of it. At least for the duration of my lifetime, I have consistently been against the system being run by the Oligarchy, and have never voted for a single one of the assholes responsible for this mess. Although I think most folks are pretty ignorant with respect to the myth of capitalism as it has been pursued since the time of the Medici, I really do not think most people are particularly enamored of the idea of the rich getting ever richer while the average J6P takes it up the ass. Howevr, there really never has been a means to stop this from happening, and the concept that we could ever get “good industrial jobs at good wages” back here in the FSofA is sheer fantasy. The REASON those jobs went offshore is because in places like China and Mexico impoverished people will do the same jobs for pennies a day. Bring said jobs BACK to the FSofA, and with global wage arbitrage they would be just as low paid here as they are over there.

    Haven’t commented in a long time on your diatribes Jim, but you still present all the problems without really addressing the underlying source of the problem, which is fundamental to the monetary system, capital formation and the charging of interest. Until you address those problems , you are just pissing in the wind.

    RE

    16th August 2010 at 1:49 am

  47. Links 8/16/10 « naked capitalism says:

    [...] Mass Delusion – American Style Jim Quinn [...]

    16th August 2010 at 2:02 am

  48. Dale says:

    The only lemmings I see are the idiots who read this garbage and actually think any of it has any merit other than to have a good laugh!

    16th August 2010 at 4:25 am

  49. Nonananymous says:

    It’s curious why Jim is such a contrarian when there’s so much to focus on that’s positive. Where Jim’s attitude belies him is he gets so wound up about all that’s wrong that he conveniently omits proposing any solution. It’s one thing to whine about everything, but entirely another to be part of the solution. Jim is perfectly within his right to be part of the problem. I continue to read him because I have nothing better to do, but when you make statements like, “The sociopathic powers .. need to be brought to justice” and “The criminals … must be routed out” without proposing by what mechanism, and what laws beyond those of common decency have been broken then this post is much ado about nothing.

    Americans aren’t deluded, a con has been perpetrated with the complicity of their elected representatives. The proper response is to throw the bums out. If that doesn’t fix the problem, a proper general revolt may be in the making. And we’re not talking about malcontents burning a few city blocks of downtown LA, but more along the lines of the 60’s civil rights riots.

    On another note, It’s heartening to read about God in the comments, and make no mistake, the leaders of the synagogue in time of Jesus Christ were a pit of vipers, as Jesus told them to their faces, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.” (John 8:44, ESV). There is no doubt in my mind the top levels of government and finance are similarly corrupt today.

    To Jim’s last pessimistic point, “before it’s too late”. Too late for what? And, of course, Jim offers no solution. The simple matter is that with $52T in unfunded federal entitlements, it’s already too late, yet the seeds were sown in the 1960’s with Medicare and Welfare. Medicare hid the real cost of health care in the federal deficit, Insurance companies must have paid a pretty dime for that one. Welfare effectively paid recipients to procreate, so they procreated. Fast forward 50 years to today, and when you pay people to not work, they don’t work. America is on a road where the bridge ahead is out. There are a number of scenarios that could play out, but I have faith in the indomitable spirit of man, and in the goodness of God to preserve his remnant. Call it delusion if you will, but as surely as the sun will rise, God Almighty, the God and Father of the Lord, Jesus Christ, will not forsake his own. The devil doesn’t take a day off, and neither should anyone who cares about the future of our country, and our children.

    16th August 2010 at 6:40 am

  50. Daniel E Smith says:

    Sometimes I feel like an alien from another planet as I watch the willfully ignorant blissfully run our once great country down the rabbit hole. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, not much you can but get out of the way and hope you don’t get run over. Dan.

    16th August 2010 at 6:48 am

  51. Brain says:

    The U.S. has been pandering to its own self-righteous hubris and appetites for far too long. What’s “bad” for America is good for the greater world, in general.

    16th August 2010 at 7:44 am

  52. Administrator says:

    RE

    Holy shit. I was just thinking about you the other day. How’s Alaska treating you? Say hi to Sarah for me.

    16th August 2010 at 8:02 am

  53. Administrator says:

    Apollo

    20 years ago I was part of the ignorant masses who believed everything my Government told me.

    16th August 2010 at 8:05 am

  54. Administrator says:

    Dale

    Back to your desk in the basement of the White House!!!!!

    16th August 2010 at 8:16 am

  55. Administrator says:

    Nonananymous

    Read some of my older articles you douchebag. I have proposed plenty of solutions. Do you type for the exercise? Propose your own fucking solutions.

    16th August 2010 at 8:20 am

  56. Daniel says:

    Jim, You explain that “Globalization will benefit all Americans” is a delusion. You site tariffs, currency manipulation, job loss and other gov’t interventions as the reason why free trade is damaging. Yet if we dispense with tariffs and gov’t meddling, won’t free trade grow even more rapidly? I don’t understand your logic here – if you want gov’t to get out of the way, why shouldn’t I place my factory where I choose? Why won’t that increase the liquidity and transferability of the labor markets?

    At the turn of last century, the majority of Americans worked in farming. Today, that number is under 2%. Do you want to turn back the clock? My great grandparents worked in sweatshops and collected rags to sew cloths together. Do we want to be assembling trinkets?

    16th August 2010 at 9:06 am

  57. Daniel says:

    “The American herd has gone mad.” Your rage and hatred of your fellow countrymen is disconcerting. You claim to be a patriot, but turn on your countrymen with such vitriol and anger, one might mistake you for a Penn college professor. All humans can fall victim to the ‘mob mentality’. We are social creatures and Americans are not immune. We might be simple, but we are not simpletons. One can be a rugged individualist, but nobody lives in a vacuum. You can get your retread message of tulip bulb prices (Europe’s lemmings btw – Just make sure to site Malkiel) across without spitefully bashing America over the head.

    16th August 2010 at 9:18 am

  58. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    It seems you interpreted my words through your own prism. I clearly stated that globalization is not inherently good or bad. You are delusional if you think trade is free. You can set up your plant anywhere you like. The result is that Asian standard of living will increase and the US standard of living will decrease. That is a fact. You really have bought into the delusion that Americans will do the brainwork and let the Asians assemble the trinkets, even though our schools turn out morons. The really really smart people at my school graduate and head off to Asia where opportunity abounds.

    16th August 2010 at 9:28 am

  59. liberal says:

    Joshua Pritikin wrote, “There are only two ways of earning a living − by labor and by productive capital ownership (= binary economics). Humans are usually assumed to own their labor, but not necessarily the other productive factor – capital.”

    Nope. There’s a third way—by collecting economic rents. Note that the classical economists understood that there are three factors of production—labor, capital, _and land_.

    Land doesn’t require any investment at all—you just sit around waiting for it to appreciate.

    Of course, sometimes land gets overvalued, as we’ve seen. But they ain’t making any more of it.

    16th August 2010 at 9:36 am

  60. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    I must be hitting one of your delusional nerves. It is good to live in a delusion of free markets and Republicans coming to the rescue in November. Keep believing.

    16th August 2010 at 9:36 am

  61. liberal says:

    Weird—it ain’t “August 14th”.

    16th August 2010 at 9:38 am

  62. Daniel says:

    Jim, Please reply to my comments without name calling. Address the fact that you are arguing against free trade, yet supply no alternative. I’m feeling a cognitive dissonance here that I’d like you to address.

    Apologies if I misinterpreted your words. Perhaps I mistook the arguments for those oft repeated misconceptions on the left – that capital is finite. That the pie is fixed and every millionaire created has impoverished scores of “workers”. It is a wonderful theory, a perfect assist, if you want to spout bromide, cliché, comments like “haves and have-nots” or “mal-distribution of wealth”, etc, etc. This is the way some like to tee up policies of control.

    If you are arguing against crony-capitalism, mercantilism, and government intervention, please do so. That is the target – not you fellow countrymen (“sheeple”).

    I like it when everybody’s standard of living increases. Now, I’m not going to debate economics with you, although I will say that arguing against free-trade, because you fear for American standard of living is mighty un-libertarian of you. How would we have developed without the production-possibility frontier (PPF) or the opportunity cost saved in trade? Conjecture like that is outside my wheelhouse, but perhaps you can tell me how we turn back the clock?

    16th August 2010 at 9:53 am

  63. Reverse Engineer says:

    Alaska has been very wet this summer. In the event we flood out and I have to take to the sea, I have been boning up on my celestial navigation skills so I can find my way to Tristan de Cunha after Da Goobermint encrypts the GPS signals when the Nukes start flying :-)

    In other words, same old Doom, different Day.

    RE

    16th August 2010 at 10:12 am

  64. Tampa Gold says:

    Sheeple suck. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Because Americans have been lulled to sleep by their stuff, they’re blind to what’s coming.

    Those that are paying attention to the follies of our feckless leaders know what’s coming and are preparing accordingly.

    Obama hates America and is doing his best at subverting the system until it crashes down around us so that he can implement the codex alementarius and adgenda21.

    So are you getting ready for the fight of/for your life, or are you going to be hearded like sheeple onto the FEMA trains and then head off to camp?

    16th August 2010 at 10:29 am

  65. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    You have a little cognitive dissonance going big guy. Telling me that I hate my fellow countrymen? That is a total ASSHOLE statement to make. So go fuck yourself buddy.

    You are so blinded by your delusional belief that you live in a free market capitalist country, you can’t even see that the American middle class is being systematically wiped out by Wall Street and Washington corporate fascists who control all the power. BOTH PARTIES.

    Keep believing Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich are going to save the country. Now that is delusion times ten.

    16th August 2010 at 10:34 am

  66. Daniel says:

    Jim, It looks like I hit your nerve, and deep. Read your own article again, and tell me with a straight face that it does not drip with distain for your countrymen. The whole article is an essay in how Americans have been suckered over and over again, and we are too stupid to figure out with are the mark in the room. You see America as an over-the-hill, washed-up ball player. I don’t see it that way despite our problems. You’ve even quoted Noam Chomsky for fuck sake! Who is the asshole here?:

    “The American public thinks they are rugged individualists, who come to conclusions based upon sound reason and a rational thought process. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans act like a herd of cattle or a horde of lemmings.”
    “Delusional Americans all over the country believed in the new internet paradigm… You would think that average Americans would have learned their lesson after this experience. They did not.”
    “Based on all available evidence, it seems the American public wants to be misled. They have chosen ignorance over knowledge and understanding.”
    “America resembles a 40 year old aging baseball icon with two bad knees, a pot belly, receding hairline and delusions that he is still the ball player he was at 24. He doesn’t realize that his skills are shot, as he flails at curveballs in the dirt thrown by 21 year old kids. The rest of the league knows he is washed up, but he refuses to accept reality.”
    “The American herd has gone mad. A few people have regained their senses, but the vast majority still exhibits the behavior of sheep being led to slaughter.”

    You still won’t answer my question. Why are you avoiding it? Your free trade argument is closer to Reverse Engineer then Newt (Noam Chomsky! I can’t believe it). At least you guys can both agree on the evils of capitalism. This has nothing to do with political parties – how is restricting free trade going to benefit our nation, and how is that not at odds with your libertarian ‘ideals’?

    16th August 2010 at 10:58 am

  67. Ethan Allen says:

    Excellent piece overall however I must insist we can reverse course and regain real economic growth in the States.

    First we have to end control of our money by the private Federal Reserve banks. The US dollar is a fiat currency so why is the US in growing perpetual debt? Because the US Treasury prints Treasury Bills & Notes it has to to sell to the private Fed in order to get dollars, so every new dollar printed is a debt instrument.

    Second we must repeal both GATT and NAFTA. Repealing both would begin the return of domestic mfg. to the States.

    Third we must demand that ALL TARP funds, which are not $800 billion as incorrectly mentioned in this article but well over $21 trillion be returned immediately. This money which has been secretly allocated to banks without disclosure should then be applied to pay off every mortgage and credit card balance in the US. This would not only help real people but also help strengthen banks that want to operate honestly. We must revere the planned concentration of money in the hands of the top 4 or so banks.

    16th August 2010 at 11:09 am

  68. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    Did you ask a question? I didn’t notice. You can continue to believe you live in a country that has free markets and that is not being raped and pillaged by mega corporations supported by criminal Wall St bankers and crooked Republican and Democratic politicians. You remain one of the sheeple. What country do you live in. Do you ever go out into the world and observe? Evidently not. Your comfortable in your little Republican beliefs that America is the shining beacon on the hill.

    Your delusion is so complete that you think the US should attack Iran to protect your beloved Israel from another false threat. Watch out for those bogeymen behind every bush Daniel. Keep giving away your liberty for protection.

    Usually you don’t enter the fray without your wingman Freesmith. It looks like I really pissed you off with this article. I know I’m firing on all cylinders when I can get the neo-con apologists like yourself into a lather.

    16th August 2010 at 11:28 am

  69. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    Sorry for the slowness of the site today. The article has gone viral on the web. My site is being overloaded with visitors. Google the name of the article and you will get 6 pages of links. Zero Hedge has over 400 comments on the article. It appears that there are a few Americans who have awoken from their stupor. You don’t appear to be one of them.

    16th August 2010 at 11:33 am

  70. GodSend says:

    Could it be that Jim Quinn is not a Zionist Shill, after all?! His latest comment to that Republican Zionist Israel-loving Daniel (“Your delusion is so complete that you think the US should attack Iran to protect your beloved Israel from another false threat.”) is VERY encouraging! :)

    Jim, I apologize if I wrongly accused you of being a Zionist Shill and secret lover of the Satanic State of Israel (“New Khazaria”) – and its sayanim and katsa agents throughout America!

    The Republican and Democratic parties are nothing more than the 2 sides of the same Zionist Party coin (shekel) which is being dumped on the American (voting) sheeple!

    Daniel, I suggest you exercise your “Right of Return” while you are still at liberty to do so.

    16th August 2010 at 11:43 am

  71. Daniel says:

    Jim, You didn’t piss me off, and I have no idea what this has to do with Iran or the GOP for that matter. You blather on about lemmings and the damage of free trade. You were being incoherent and textbook leftist and I pointed it out. You then (predictably) lash out about something not related. How about more Milton Friedman and less Noam Chomsky so I won’t have to publicly spank you in front of your loyal worshipers, who more and more these days sound like the sheep you rail against.

    As far as my bogeymen – you are the blogger that posts about Wall Street hucksters, oligarchs, elitists, conspiracies, secret societies. There is a common error conspiracy theorists make: they see the world as ill-informed, led, sheep. Only they and “a select few” know “the truth”, and they will be forever frustrated by their inability to lift the veil from “the masses”.

    The enemy is not hidden, and there is no big secret – limit government, control spending, reform the system and educate a new generation of Americans on the wisdom of our Constitution.

    To be honest, I did invite Freesmith for a laugh. Jim, haven’t you learned yet – I can’t leave you all warm and fuzzy in your comfort zone. We can still be friends. Stop attacking your natural allies – the conservatives.

    16th August 2010 at 11:46 am

  72. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    Yeah I did piss you off.

    “The American herd has gone mad.” Your rage and hatred of your fellow countrymen is disconcerting. You claim to be a patriot, but turn on your countrymen with such vitriol and anger, one might mistake you for a Penn college professor.”

    You are evidently a little slow on the comprehension scale as you seem to equate globalization with free trade. Your reaction is the usual Republican monkey like response of FREE TRADE GOOD. These tired old platitudes are no longer believed by those of us who chose to think rather than operate using slogans. The slogans of the right and left are great propaganda for the non-thinking masses. There I go again.

    Your immediate Pavlovian response to a quote from Chomsky reveals your true character. Us versus Them. Despite the fact that he has hit upon a truth, you scorn the messenger of the truth. I know it is difficult for you to see the truth laid out in front of you so clearly and you chose to not acknowledge the facts. Delusion is difficult to overcome.

    Your slogans (limit government, control spending, reform the system, educate a new generation) are so very comforting to you. Why do we need to educate a new generation of Americans on the wisdom of the Constitution? Aren’t they already educated? They couldn’t be ignorant masses, could they?

    I will continue to speak the truth. You can stay deluded in your conservative vs liberal talking points. Newt in 2012!!!!

    16th August 2010 at 12:10 pm

  73. GodSend says:

    To those of you who are sick and tired of the Dueling Duo (Jim and Daniel), I suggest you move on to discovering what is really tearing America to pieces behind the scenes and behind the BS being flung at you daily by the Zionist-controlled MSM and Zionist Shills who masquerade as cyberspace economic bloggers. The truth is readily available for those who have eyes to SEE! – just click on my name on this comment (GodSend) and be prepared for SHOCK & AWE!

    16th August 2010 at 12:27 pm

  74. Daniel says:

    I did notice the site was snail slow. Perhaps you should hire some Chinese developers from you computer science program? :)

    Any Noam Chomsky quote should be taken within the true context of his politics – socialism, statism. The quote you inserted actively attacks investors and lenders. Are these particular investors you and I or the vaulted “elites”?

    OK, I say Free Trade = Good. You say, I’m blinded or ignorant. Tell me then, what is the solution then? What regulations, laws, controls, and various centralized management efforts would you put in place to squash it? I prefer to get gov’t out of the equation so currency and tariffs are minimal considerations. I keep asking it. You are just bitchin’ in the wind about it. What do you propose?

    16th August 2010 at 12:36 pm

  75. Daniel says:

    Jim – I purchased an end-table at Ikea yesterday. I asked them if they knew Jim Q and the guy said, “yeah, I know that dude. He got fired for stealing.”

    :)

    16th August 2010 at 1:11 pm

  76. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    I propose eliminating the Federal Reserve, breaking up the 6 Too Big To Fail banks into 60 Too Small To Matter banks, outlawing corporate lobbying, eliminating the IRS, getting rid of the tax code, term limits on politicians, a balanced budget amendment, cutting the military in half, and going to a currency backed by gold, silver and a few other commodities. These solutions would put a little crimp in your desire for the US to police the world.

    You must selectively read this site Daniel. I have proposed these ideas and many others put forth by smarter people than me. Just because you don’t like the solutions I propose, doesn’t equate to not having solutions.

    Here was an article of solutions DANIEL. You might not like them, but tough shit. Get your own fucking website called The Everything is Alright Platform.

    http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/07/22/why-we-need-a-3rd-party-in-2012/

    16th August 2010 at 1:31 pm

  77. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    My tech guy is in India. Globalization is good.

    In case you hadn’t seen my article on my natural allies, here you go:

    http://theburningplatform.com/blog/2010/07/22/why-you-shouldnt-vote-republican-in-2012/

    16th August 2010 at 1:42 pm

  78. Administrator says:

    Email sent to me by a reader on another site:

    I’d offer up for your list of mass delusions a few others that I feel are equally significant from a societal standpoint:

    Super ultra delusion numero uno: “Kids don’t learn to be violent/slutty/inappropriate from watching TV or video games featuring the same”. This is the purest example of cognitive dissonance you will ever hear. Anyone with a brain knows that kids absolutely, from the day they are born, learn their place in the world by mimicking. And if you put a kid in front of a TV or Xbox 6 hours a day and show them gang and gun violence, THIS IS WHAT THEY WILL DO! And the proof of that is our current reality. But of course the TV is the delivery vehicle for so many delusions so we can’t have people resistant to it can we?

    And what about the 40 hour workweek? You’ve shown that once Americans HAVE money they squander it or give it away willingly but unwittingly to thieves. But what about how they make it? I commute to work every day 30 miles. I see incompetent people who cannot even grasp the rules of driving, completely on autopilot, and trudging en masse to what is effectively adult daycare. I work for a leading edge biotech company. Yet even here between the coddling, political kowtowing, and decision driven datamaking, I feel that 90% of our workforce is just here being babysat. They get to make up their own goals, then get a nice pat on the head if they accomplish 2 whole mundane tasks in 6 months. I have had many jobs, all with the “best/leading” companies in their respective fields, and all I see are adult children with no real drive, no real creativity, and no ambition beyond getting checking a few mundane tasks off a checklist so they can get today’s gold star and be a “contributor” in their own minds. Then it’s back to Facebook.

    This is why perhaps the greatest delusion of all is that we are a productive people. I witnessed Firestone tire’s legendary breaking of the Rubber Workers’ Union growing up in Akron Ohio. For literally years, fat, unkempt, poorly groomed men sat on the side of the road, leaning against walls and newspaper boxes lazily waving signs demanding premium wages, benefits, spotless factories, and of course lots of paid days off. And none of them was enterprising enough to just go pursue a different better job. They were willing to waste years of their life waving signs demanding something they didn’t deserve from someone who wasn’t going to give it to them. And they didn’t even have the motivation to stand up straight to do it. It was the picture of shame. If we ever brought all those outsourced jobs back from China, they wouldn’t get done as well if at all. We are delusional for thinking we are our parents and grandparents children. We’re not. We have become a lazy, weak minded mob of entitled freeloaders waiting to be lied to because it’s just easier that way. Any belief to the contrary is the greatest delusion of all. Sad but true.

    Thanks for your article. Good to know there are a few thinking minds scattered amongst the wasteland…

    16th August 2010 at 1:46 pm

  79. Daniel says:

    Jim Q,

    Always the diplomat! Lighten up Francis.

    I get it now! Free trade, but only in the US. If I want to buy a TV made in Asia, I’m outta luck.

    Jim, I actually think some of the ideas you listed were decent. None of those solutions however would resolve labor force transfer (my original point to you). Some might run up with the constitution (like outlawing you or I being able to lobby our elected official), You can’t expect I’ll read everything you write. I do read selectively, and when I see something that doesn’t add up, I call you on it. If you don’t like it, don’t run a blog. Don’t get all thin-skinned on me.

    3rd party? Good grief! The sure-fire recipe for liberal rule! Fat chance. At least you are guaranteed to have a place in anger for your blog. Forever disenfranchised. In the end, that just tactics anyhow. We’ve already done that dance.

    Daniel

    PS. I see all the usual nuts are back. Tell Senator Russo (“GodSend”) to peddle his crap and his link-away somewhere else. I came back for a visit and somebody let the bigots loose.

    16th August 2010 at 2:13 pm

  80. GodSend says:

    Please note that the Burning Platform is populated by around 6,000,000 innocent Jews (including a few hundred guilty Zionists) . Pretty soon, that Burning Platform is gonna consume all who are standing on it – guilty or innocent! Check out the “Museum of Tolerance” for the meaning of that prophecy.

    Daniel, I’m not kidding about your “Right of Return”! All the clever Jews in Nazi Germany exercised it BEFORE TSHTF. OK, some of them got sidetracked to America and Canada (NYC, Miami, LA, Toronto, etc.).

    16th August 2010 at 2:42 pm

  81. Stelios Theoharidis says:

    Lets see how many delusions can I list:

    Buying more consumer goods will make you happier. Men like super-skinny women. Rational behavior in general. Diamonds are valuable. The last oil price spike was not a speculative bubble. The Latin American currency crisis did not make a number of US banks completely insolvent in the early part of the 90s. Early western industrial expansion happened through industrialization and not on the backs of cheap resources from third world countries. US post-war growth happened because of US exceptionalism and not because of the utterly decimated industrial sector in every other developed country in the world. US entry into Vietnam was provoked. We have not destabilized a number of third world countries in order to pave the way for US corporations which has resulted in blowback. Marriage traditionally had something to do with a man and a woman and not horse trading and political arrangements. Money has value other than what we agree to confer to it. Most epidemics are not caused by the fact that we have domesticated animals and diseases jump from them into humans. There is no cancer epidemic in the USA. The notion of a “global warming hoax” is not a public relations stunt with front organizations and paid scientists. On the converse you can’t off-shore green jobs and there isn’t a bubble in clean technology venture capital because VCs thought it was the same model as the dotcom boom. Rational self-interested behavior amongst multiple individuals will result in the best outcomes. There is no ‘iron law of oligarchy” and differences in power and capital accumultion are not self-reinforcing. Upward mobility isn’t lower in the USA than in Europe. There isn’t a greater intra-“race” genetic difference than the inter-“race” genetic difference. Homosexual behaviors are not present throughout the different animal kingdoms. They are trying to build a mosque on ground zero. Social security is insolvent. The minerals extraction and nuclear industries aren’t heavily subsidized by the government. Free markets exist. The top .1% don’t have the lowest effective tax rate due to reliance on capital gains. The Chinese economy is strong and not another speculative bubble. Rich people in developed countries don’t completely abuse their poorer counterparts based upon ethnic and religious relations. Social security, unemployment, and welfare weren’t first passed as an attempt to keep the US population from revolting. Millions of poor mexicans didn’t stream into the US after NAFTA utterly destroy rural peasant agriculture in that country.

    We haven’t been piling onto one delusion after another for the history of humanity see build a pyramid for your king sun god, divine right of kings, religious wars for aristocratic gain, shes a witch, infalibility of the pope, the sun circles the earth…ect….ect

    Nothing has changed it just a sequence of delusions.

    16th August 2010 at 2:43 pm

  82. Administrator says:

    GodSend

    No one wants to read your racist bullshit. Go back to your cave.

    16th August 2010 at 3:17 pm

  83. GodSend says:

    Jim

    I believe you are a SLY Zionist Shill, after all! Pretty soon, my “racist bullshit” will be all over your face! Bon appetit!

    16th August 2010 at 3:30 pm

  84. Diane says:

    Indeed, the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God– Psalm 1:53.

    By nature, man hates God and his neighbor, as evidenced by the vile curses and language used when people disagree with each other on this forum, for example. The hatred that burns in their hearts as they complain of their “fate,” under this policy or that circumstance, this politician or that corporation comes across in their speech. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringth forth evil things. But I (God) saith unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Matthew: 12:34-37

    Why should we complain against God and His judgments upon the world, when ALL have sinned and come (fall) short of the glory of God? (Romans 3:23) We deserve nothing but eternal damnation. That God has given time to repent, is nothing but pure mercy! We were created for ONE purpose only, which is to glorify God, and be His image bearers (Genesis 1:26.) By nature, man does neither. Since the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden, man has sought only to glorify himself. live independently from his Creator, and be a law unto himself. Instead of submitting himself to the laws of his most glorious, wise and loving Creator, he has believed Satan’s lies. Thinking he is free from God’s rule, man has enslaved himself through sin to Satan. If he does not repent and take refuge in the substitutionary life and death of Jesus Christ, he will earn his wages (eternal death) along with his evil taskmaster.

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (suppress what they know in their hearts to be true)

    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of HIm from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal Godhead; so that they are without excuse (rebellious humanity refuses to acknowledge his Creator, even though all of creation screams there is an intelligent Designer, but God will hold them accountable for what they clearly should know).

    Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves wise they became fools…..who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (ourselves, money, anything other than the true God) more than the Creator…..for this cause God gave them up to vile affections…..and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…. being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, whispers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death….Romans 1:18-32

    For we know Him that hath said, VENGEANCE BELONGTH UNTO ME, I WILL RECOMPENSE, saith the Lord. And again, THE LORD SHALL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 9: 30-31

    For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:20

    And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened…..and they were judged every man according to their works…..And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:12-13, 15

    And it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement. Hebrews 9:27

    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

    The Lord Jesus Christ repeats in Luke, chapter 13, verses 3 and 5, “I tell you, Nay: but , except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

    Mr. Quinn, God, in His infinite mercy, HAS intervened into our MASS DELUSION. He has spoken through His prophets (think Old Testament) and in these last days He has spoken through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (think New Testament.)

    For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on HIm is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. John 3: 17-19

    This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him, is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

    Don’t like all of the above? Here is God’s reply to you: Nay, but O man who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay……. Romans 9:20

    Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgement , and taught him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…..All nations before him are as nothing; and less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare Him? Isaiah 40: 13-18

    It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth (we didn’t need Columbus to know the earth was round!) and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers…..That bringth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of earth as vanity (emptiness)…..To whom then will ye liken Me, or shall I be equal? Saith the Holy One. Isaiah 40:22-25

    And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed (to be considered) as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay (stop) His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou? Daniel 4:35

    Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors (of His holy law, the ten commandments) Remember the former things of old (worldwide flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc): for I am God, and there is none like Me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done saying, My council shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 40: 9-10

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomsoever shall believe on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

    HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE, IF WE NEGLECT SO GREAT SALVATION…..Hebrews 2:3

    16th August 2010 at 3:36 pm

  85. Administrator says:

    Godsend

    Go fuck yourself, you lowlife piece of shit.

    You’ve joined our other resident nutjob conspiracy theorist David Pierre on the blacklist.

    You should be proud. It is extremely difficult to get on this list. Only the craziest racist motherfuckers can make it. Well done!!!

    16th August 2010 at 4:05 pm

  86. Nonananymous says:

    Just posting my website, maybe generate some traffic. Will have to start cross posting to Zero Hedge if your servers can’t keep up:)

    I found you again this morning on naked capitalism. Gotta love Google Reader! Keep up the good work! Oh, wait, was that too positive?

    16th August 2010 at 5:16 pm

  87. Frank says:

    Great article. One minor point, the Salem witch trials were instigated by the Lutenant Govenor of Massachusetts colony to try to break the power of the colony’s democratic institutions. A new king had taken the throne in England to replace King James Stewart of King James Bible fame. King James had also written a book on witchcraft and the Salem witch trials were an attempt to use his techniques to break the colony and impose royal rule. The trials ended when enough precident of injustice had been created that the governor’s own wife was put in jepardy.

    16th August 2010 at 5:36 pm

  88. Gaffer says:

    Are we mass-deluded sheeple? The most current Gallup presidential approval poll puts Obama at 44% approval. Which means 44% are clearly either deluded sheeple or in on the scam. All they need is trick/bribe another 6.000001% and they stay in power. That’s why they don’t care about unemployment rates – this is where they hope to buy that 6.000001% with generous UE benefits. The Free Shit Army is on the marh!!

    16th August 2010 at 5:48 pm

  89. Smokey says:

    Administrator—-Davis Pierre pulled this same shit a couple of weeks ago on ZH, telling the bloggers that you and I are the same. Of course, the lie was transparent and everyone on ZH knew he was lying, and several posters even told him so. That deranged fucker is so eaten up with that 9/11 conspiracy shit that it is sad. If he slanders you much more, it would not surprise me if he gets his ass booted off Tyler Durden’s site also. That is one sick puppy.

    16th August 2010 at 7:21 pm

  90. Smokey says:

    Reverse Engineer—–You and I are destined for a showdown. I cut you plenty of slack over on TBP #1, but I have no intention of EVER giving you the benefit of the doubt over here. I am one bad motherfucker. Cross me over here and you will rue the day we met. Ponder carefully anything before you post it here, because it doesn’t take much to piss me off. Until then.

    16th August 2010 at 7:33 pm

  91. Nomad says:

    Gaffer

    I’ve enjoyed your posts in the past and I would request in all seriousness for you to tell me how things will change for the better if we do get this incompetent President out of office only to replace him with another individual who will most likely still be another parties shill. Only the next time the cash will not have to take such a circular route through the welfare armies to get to corporate Americas coffers. I’m serious, how do we improve our position by electing anyone representing either major party? What difference does it make if Obama and the Dems. screw us, or if Neocon Newt gets in and screws us? I’m asking for help and would appreciate a honest response.
    And to the guys who went on the pious rants about the salvation creeds. If I’m not mistaken their main spokesman said some 2000 years ago, “Verily I say to you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste death, til they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.” They died and no one came back, so why are we still debating this issue?

    16th August 2010 at 8:04 pm

  92. Nomad says:

    Sorry for the extra post, but I waited ten minutes and nothing showed up!

    16th August 2010 at 8:12 pm

  93. Gaffer says:

    Nomad,

    I don’t think even the greatest leader can fix the problems of a country filled with frivolous, narcissistic fools. Conversely, a country of strong, resourceful, enterprising people with values won’t need much leadership as they will solve their own problems. I’m still trying to figure out where we are on this spectrum. I agree about Neocon Newt and would rather have 4 more years of Obama than another neocon.

    Personally, I’m fighting to avoid the conclusion that it may be too late to save this pig. Even if we get a leader who’ll tell the Free Shit Army to fuck off, the media will crucify him and, way WAY too many Republicans within the 66% who disapprove of Obama like their free shit too!

    16th August 2010 at 8:18 pm

  94. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    Admit it. You are me.

    16th August 2010 at 8:26 pm

  95. LLPOH says:

    Admin – at least I find some of DP’s stuff amusing. Godsend, on the other hand, just pissed me off. Good riddance.

    16th August 2010 at 8:36 pm

  96. SSS says:

    Admin

    Great post. Enjoyed it.

    My marijuana post got hit with skim milk and bananas. That’s nothing compared to this post’s anti-Semitic rants from GodSend and the bible lesson from Diane.

    The duel you had with Daniel (welcome back, Daniel) was classic. Reverse Engineer checked in, too. Smokey issued a stern warning to RE. There’s blood in the water.

    Just to spice things up even further, I’m working on another article entitled “Trapping Hummingbirds. How to Cut Your Cat Food Bill in Half.”

    16th August 2010 at 8:55 pm

  97. Administrator says:

    SSS

    Did you like my secret photos from your peach festival?

    16th August 2010 at 9:08 pm

  98. SSS says:

    Yes, but the photo of Maxwell Smart and the photo of the baby covering its face were tops.

    I didn’t like the fact that your agents followed me to the Peach Festival. My wife and I were with our 16-year-old granddaughter. Both of them saw several men wearing hats, suglasses, and trench coats following us around in 100 degree heat. They scared them. Shame on you.

    16th August 2010 at 9:25 pm

  99. Diane says:

    Nomad,

    If one looks at the beginning of the chapter of Scripture you quoted, you will note that the disciples had asked the Lord when and what would be the signs of the destruction of the temple. The Lord describes the then future destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Truly a powerful display of God’s judgement on the unbelievers of that city. The temple and it’s sacrifices were no longer needed. The One to Whom all the animal sacrifices pointed, Jesus, the Lamb of God had already come.

    His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), but is set up in the hearts of His people when they are spiritually born again (literally from above) by the regeneration and indwelling of God, the Holy Spirit (John 3), for without this work of Grace, all are dead (spiritually) in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1

    Being spiritually dead, an unbeliever cannot understand spiritual Truth.

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1st Corinthians 2:14

    Their attitude is predicted and described by the Apostle Peter.

    Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep (died) all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 2nd Peter 3:3-4

    The Apostle goes on to say that this was the same attitude of the antediluvians in Noah’s day. The Lord predicts it will be as in the days of Noah before his return. Matthew 24:39-39 By the way, the ark is a type or figure of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only those who will be found “in Him” by faith will survive the terrible day of the Lord’s wrath.

    For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written the just (those that will be found not guilty) shall live by faith. Romans 1: 17

    16th August 2010 at 9:48 pm

  100. LLPOH says:

    Diane -what is your point? Can you make it without the quotes?

    16th August 2010 at 10:30 pm

  101. Nomad says:

    Gaffer

    Once again thank you for your considered response. It is comforting to know there are other ‘seekers of a more sensible way” coming along on this journey. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    16th August 2010 at 11:48 pm

  102. Gemini says:

    That was a great article, though I miss your usual pop culture themes and additions.
    If econ 101 was a mandatory high school course the country would be a very different place today….

    17th August 2010 at 12:00 am

  103. Diane says:

    LLPOH,

    In my last post, I was responding to a comment by Nomad relative to my earlier post. My first post was in response to earlier posts about the nature and existence of God, including Mr. Quinn’s comment that he hoped God would “intervene into our mass delusion.” My point is that God has done exactly that in the Incarnation. That is, God the Father sent His only begotten Son, who condescended to take upon human flesh, dwell among us to reveal God the Father to us, render unto His father the perfect obedience we each owe Him in our place, suffer and die as a propitiation for the sins of those that His Father had given Him, and the application of this vicarious atonement being applied by God, the Holy Spirit to the hearts of God’s elect. The quotes were to verify that this is God’s Word, not mine. There are Scriptural references for all of the above, as well. Though being an unbeliever for 35 years, I am fully aware that the Bible means nothing to an unbeliever. Yet a believer is to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the Gospel to every creature. It is up to the sovereign good pleasure of God, who will receive His Word as Truth, obey the Gospel, and be saved, and who will be left in his trespasses and sins, which is what we all deserve.

    Another point I may make is that the affairs of this world will seem very inconsequential on one’s deathbed. This life is very fleeting. We each have a never- dying soul. Eternity is a long time to regret that one’s priorities were misplaced. Redeem the time, for the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16

    17th August 2010 at 12:02 am

  104. Reverse Engineer says:

    Smokey, I haved no idea who you are, nor do i have any intention of “crossing you” on this website. I responded to JimQs diatribe, that iis all. When you writ something completly stupid, I might drop on a comment, but so far that has not happenned. I just showed up here to let Jim know I am not dead yet. If you want to confront me, hit me on Reverse Engineering. I’m not going to play games with you on Jim’s website.

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 12:53 am

  105. Derek says:

    The United States has been meticulously targeted, infiltrated, and subverted in a gradual process – by a certain world maritime and financial power whose representative, Admiral Howe, held phony “peace talks” with Ben Franklin and John Adams on Sept. 11, 1776 on Staten Island in New York Harbor: where the revolutionaries were invited to rescind their recent Declaration of Independence. In 1814, this foreign power set the White House ablaze. Now we hear endless propaganda about a “special relationship” that exists between the two nations: and indeed, it is “special”. Curious readers will find it enlightening to examine the text of Cecil Rhodes’ will (which established scholarships for such future luminaries as Bill Clinton and Franklin Raines); then to reflect on the ramifications of this will’s mandate as it relates to the Jeffersonian republic, and ask themselves why an outfit called “Crown Agents” has an office in Washington, DC.

    17th August 2010 at 3:53 am

  106. llpoh says:

    Derek – Did you forget your meds? Or take one too many of something? Crackpot conspiracy theories really aren’t helpful to these debates.

    17th August 2010 at 6:30 am

  107. Nonananymous says:

    Nomad,

    Mine is not a pious rant about salvation creed. There is no hope in the world. Everything that has been written here is proof enough of that. Our hope comes from above. If you want to call that a salvation creed, so be it, but I don’t see anyone else here offering any words of encouragement.

    “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). The converse of that is also true. You asked for help knowing which way to turn. I perfectly understand that. I’m offering it. Whether you accept what I say is entirely up to you. Please see my post in response to Jim Q’s DEBT TRAIN IN THE TUNNEL for a discussion of why it’s important for our nation to set a different course than the only we’re currently on.

    Why are we still debating the efficacy and reality of God’s word? Why, indeed!

    17th August 2010 at 7:52 am

  108. Administrator says:

    Gemini

    The next article is centered solely around the Talking Heads song Nothing But Flowers.

    17th August 2010 at 8:03 am

  109. Daniel says:

    Jim, How about Psycho Killer instead?

    17th August 2010 at 8:15 am

  110. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    That is a future article about David Pierre.

    17th August 2010 at 8:49 am

  111. Administrator says:

    Daniel

    I’ll try to make the next article as hate filled as possible.

    17th August 2010 at 8:50 am

  112. Robmu1 says:

    Daniel – good to see you again…how’s it going?

    17th August 2010 at 9:32 am

  113. The Entropy Report › says:

    [...] MASS DELUSION – AMERICAN STYLE [...]

    17th August 2010 at 11:49 am

  114. Daniel says:

    Rob, Doing well. 3rd kid due in Oct. Its getting interesting. I had to put in my 2 cents. I mean, if reverse eng is back, what hope do you guys have without me? You need somebody here to represent FOX News!

    Did you ever buy that place on the NJ shore?

    17th August 2010 at 1:53 pm

  115. Reverse Engineer says:

    I’m not really “back”. Cameo appearance :-)

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 2:37 pm

  116. SSS says:

    RE

    Stick around for a while. I want to see you and Smokey get into it.

    17th August 2010 at 2:54 pm

  117. Robmu1 says:

    Daniel – the 3rd kid is the one that makes you look at jumping from the bridge as a possible exit strategy – best of luck. RE is here to pontificate and allow us someone to scorn until David Pierre shows his ugly, stupid ass. I did not buy a place at the shore – despite Jim’s multiple real estate collapse warnings, Sea Isle prices haven’t budged. I did do the kitchen though – it makes you realize why contractors didn’t get jobs working for other people.

    17th August 2010 at 2:57 pm

  118. Reverse Engineer says:

    Sadly, this forum format doesn’t support more than one pontificator, so I’m just returning to do some sniping :-)

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 3:08 pm

  119. Robmu1 says:

    Cha-ching…good work RE. Do you know David Pierre?

    17th August 2010 at 3:17 pm

  120. Reverse Engineer says:

    Only by his reputation, and he occassionally gives me a High Five when he reads something I write which matches his perspective. I haven’t actually read any of his stuff, so I am not sure exactly why he is the object of so much oprobrium? I gather that the general consensus is that he is a Communist?

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 3:33 pm

  121. Anonymous says:

    Reverse Engineer says:

    “Sadly, this forum format doesn’t support more than one pontificator,”

    Pardon my curiosity , but what happened to your posting over at RD?
    It went out like a light.

    BTW …..turns out my idea of a Louisiana Doomstead wasn’t such a great idea after all.
    Good to see you posting somewhere.
    I can’t say I agree with all your views on Capitalism/ Free Markets , but I do respect your view and enjoyed reading your posts.

    17th August 2010 at 4:04 pm

  122. Reverse Engineer says:

    I had a few “disagreements” with TPB on RD regarding how the site was being managed. The disagreements led to my progressive demotion on the site from Featured Writer with Admin priviledges to Persona Non-Grata. LOL. I elected to bow out of writing for that website as a result.

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 4:15 pm

  123. Robmu1 says:

    RE –

    Nobody would care if he was just a Communist. He is a draft-dodging weasel, a bonehead 9/11 Truther jackass who does nothing but steal other people’s stuff and post it as his own. On ZeroHedge, he lifted an entire post of mine and just changed a few names and posted it as his own. The guy is one of the most loathsome individuals you’ll ever come across. Thus, the near total acrimony you see for DP is well-earned.

    17th August 2010 at 4:42 pm

  124. Cynical30 says:

    Good read Jim.

    Call me cynical, but I really do think you hit the nail on the head here, and your point was definitely corroborated well by Stuck’s axioms. We are totally ruled by the desire to be carried on someone else’s back. We deify higher powers in hopes that they will be shining beacons that will lead us out of our times of distress. Then we are crushed by the cognitive dissonance inflicted by the failure of these leaders (God, Lebron James, the Kenyan in Chief, ad nauseum) to meet our individual needs in all of their Massianic glory. I’m admittedly a little young to the game, as I was raised by Boomers, but I’m truly curious: has this country always been like this? Just like Stuck said, we pride ourselves on our “rugged individuality” as a nation, but more and more it seems to me like we’re an amalgamation of pussies jammed between Canada and Mexico. Whenever anything goes wrong, candy ass liberals and chickenhawk “conservatives” scream bloody murder for the Feds to wave their magic wand (it’s made out of $100,000,000,000 in bills of our tax dollars rolled up and glued with sparkles) and make it all better. Even though all of their solutions leave is with less rights, less wealth and that much closer to default.
    Before I go on an angry rant, I really want to pose a couple questions to you good folks who frequent this and other sites that take off the spin filter:

    General question:

    Do you really think that the sedated masses in this country will ever have cause and motivation to make any real changes? I mean other than the total non existence of cheap oil, I don’t see anything snapping folks out of the delusional world where the grocery store always has food on the shelves. I just can’t see the revolutionary spirit in the eyes of the “free shit army”. By the way, I live in Atlanta. They estimated 30,000 people in the free shit riot the other day.

    Daniel:

    Been reading TBP 1 long enough to know your stance on Iran, but don’t you think attacking another major oil producing nation might help catalyze some of the things i mentioned in the general questions? Iraq is producing less oil than they were before we fucked everything up in their country. How much longer do you really think the aging Islamo-grey beards are going to be able to hold onto power when demographics are clearly stacked against them? I read somewhere that Khameinei used to babysit Fidel & Raul…

    Diane:

    When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: 12 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

    Deuteronomy 25:11-12

    Quotes are fun!

    Smokey:

    Choke on a fat, veiny one you fuckwad!

    17th August 2010 at 4:43 pm

  125. Administrator says:

    Reverse Engineer

    If you sign up as a member, I can change your profile to a contributor and you can post whatever you like, just like my old site.

    SSS just had one of the most commented articles ever.

    17th August 2010 at 5:11 pm

  126. Smokey says:

    RE—-To jog your feeble memory, I may have posted as neocon when I annihilated your lame, rank amateurish posts on TBP #1. Prepare for the same if you should deem it appropriate to post your sadly misguided views on this forum, which, until Cynical 30 arrived, was a platform of unrivaled integrity.

    17th August 2010 at 6:07 pm

  127. Reverse Engineer says:

    I’ll give it some thought JIm. Clearly “Smokey” is spoiling for a fight, and such nonsense always ups the site hits, lol. However, these days I have no internet connection from the cabin, so keeping up with the online doom analysis is pretty tough. I’m on vacation at the moment down in the lower 48 and doing a little net catch up.

    RE

    17th August 2010 at 6:48 pm

  128. Administrator says:

    Smokey

    Cynical 30 just toasted your ass.

    17th August 2010 at 8:01 pm

  129. Smokey says:

    I’d be EMBARRASSED to launch an insult that puny. I’ll toast ass worse than that on my way to go toast some ass. Cynical 30 is not in my league.

    17th August 2010 at 9:24 pm

  130. Kill Bill says:

    Do you really think that the sedated masses in this country will ever have cause and motivation to make any real changes? -=c30=-

    no. politics has become a sort of football to them. they cheer for their team right or wrong and believe what a politician spouts simply because they agree with it when that politician is just saying crap to get elected and start on their career to be a duplicitous lobbyist to give the greatest return possible to those that hire them.

    and given the current system of ‘tons of money’ to get elected i dont expect any changes from those pols who claim to want or make change.

    17th August 2010 at 9:48 pm

  131. Kill Bill says:

    To jog your feeble memory, I may have posted as neocon -=smokey=-

    so your admitting to being a troll?

    17th August 2010 at 10:06 pm

  132. Phoenix says:

    We have a Greed Bubble. The first priority of gov’t clerks as well as merchants is to shear the sheep. Do an end run by buying guns, traps, fanning mills, churns, pellet mills, fishing equipment, machine tools, tractors, windmills, canoes, beehives, Mopeds, rakes, chainsaws, solar power equipment, milking machines, forklifts, etc.etc. You cannot fight these bastards head-on. Buy the tools of production now while they are still available. Use them.

    18th August 2010 at 9:00 am

  133. jmarz says:

    Jim,

    Have you written any articles that focus on the future of job growth? I see no real job growth opportunities and I’m curious on what sectors or fields you think have potential for job growth throughout this economic crisis. Government job growth is not real job growth and from what I see, they are the only one expanding during this crisis. How the f@#$ are we going to get out of this crisis if jobs aren’t created? Thanks for such a great website. It’s nice to have a source that I can read that isn’t associated with MSM and says how it is.

    18th August 2010 at 10:48 am

  134. Administrator says:

    Jmarz

    I wrote this article before my new site was live.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article16818.html

    18th August 2010 at 11:01 am

  135. Apollo says:

    @Diane,
    Thanks for confirming my statement. Indeed, your delusion exceeds all that in Jim’s list combined. Once in a bible-washed black hole, it is not possible for the mind to escape. The tube worms living in the deep sea volcanic fissures, bath in super-heated sulfur waters, is absolutely convinced that life and a different mind is not possible elsewhere.

    18th August 2010 at 2:48 pm

  136. Kyle2012 says:

    General consensus, just about everyone how likes this website will love http://www.worldwidewakeupNOW.com. Spot on info, it’s good to see so many truth blogs coming to the surface at the time we need them the most

    19th August 2010 at 12:32 am

  137. Chris101 says:

    I told a friend that the entire system was corrupt because ALL politicians (Dems and Republicans) work for the same people – the super rich! I’m burning my voter registration card. It is worthless.

    Chris

    19th August 2010 at 10:54 am

  138. Joe demagio says:

    The 1% of the truly rich of this country are setting the United States up for a fall and once the United States falls it will no longer be a super power and will not be a ble to be a police state for the world. So then the USA will fall into place just like all the other countries that we control. It won`t be long now get ready…..

    19th August 2010 at 5:32 pm

  139. JackStrap says:

    There are 2 gs in DiMaggio Joe. Comment disqualified.

    19th August 2010 at 7:49 pm

  140. Weekly Round Up August 19 – 2010 | Personal Patterns says:

    [...] Mass Delusion – American Style – Which is the most delusional: A. Buy stocks for the long run; B. Homes are always a great investment; C. Globalization will benefit all Americans; D. All the above. [...]

    19th August 2010 at 8:06 pm

Leave a comment

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.