“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability –  problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning – 1997


In December 2010 I wrote an article called Will 2012 Be as Critical as 1860?, that pondered what might happen with the 2012 presidential election and the possible scenarios that might play out based on that election. Well, 2012 has arrived and every blogger and mainstream media pundit is making their predictions for 2012. The benefit of delaying my predictions until the first week of 2012 is that I’ve been able to read the wise ponderings of Mike Shedlock, Jesse, Karl Denninger, and some other brilliant truth seeking analysts regarding what might happen during 2012. The passage above from Strauss & Howe was written fifteen years ago and captured the essence of what has happened since 2007 and what will drive all the events over the next decade. Predicting specific events is a futile human endeavor. The world is so complex and individual human beings so impulsive and driven by emotion, that the possible number of particular outcomes is almost infinite.

But, as Strauss and Howe point out, the core elements that created this Crisis and the reaction of generational cohorts to the implications of debt, civic decay and global disorder will drive all the events that will occur in 2012 and for as far as the eye can see. Linear thinkers in mega-corporations, mainstream media and Washington D.C. focus on retaining the status quo, their power and their wealth. They believe an economic recovery can be manufactured through monetary manipulation and Keynesian borrowing and spending. They are blind to the fact that history is cyclical, not linear. In order to have an understanding of what could happen in the coming year, it is essential to keep the big picture in focus. As we enter the fifth year of this twenty year Crisis period, there is absolutely no chance that 2012 will see an improvement in our economy, political atmosphere or world situation. Fourth Turnings never de-intensify. They exhaust themselves after years of chaos, conflict and turmoil. I can guarantee you that 2012 will see increased mayhem, riots, violent protests, recessions, bear markets, and a presidential election that will confound the establishment. All the episodes which will occur in 2012 will have at their core one of the three elements described by Strauss & Howe in 1997: Debt, Civic Decay, or Global Disorder.

Debt – On the Road to Serfdom

The world is awash in debt. Everyone is focused on the PIIGS with their debt to GDP ratios exceeding the Rogoff & Reinhart’s 90% point of no return. But, the supposedly fiscally responsible countries like Germany, France, U.K., and the U.S. have already breached the 90% level. Japan is off the charts, with debt exceeding 200% of GDP. These figures are just for the official government debt. If countries were required to report their debt like a corporation, their unfunded entitlement promises to future generations are four to six times more than their official government debt.

Any critical thinking person can look at the chart above and realize that creating more debt out of thin air to solve a debt problem is foolish, dangerous, and self serving to only bankers and politicians. The debt crisis took decades of terrible choices and bogus promises to produce. The world is now in the midst of a debt driven catastrophe. At best, the excessive levels of sovereign debt will slow economic growth to zero or below in 2012. At worst, interest rates will soar as counties attempt to rollover their debt and rolling defaults across Europe will plunge the continent into a depression. The largest banks in Europe are leveraged 40 to 1, therefore a 3% reduction in their capital will cause bankruptcy. Once you pass 90% debt to GDP, your fate is sealed.

“Those who remain unconvinced that rising debt levels pose a risk to growth should ask themselves why, historically, levels of debt of more than 90 percent of GDP are relatively rare and those exceeding 120 percent are extremely rare. Is it because generations of politicians failed to realize that they could have kept spending without risk? Or, more likely, is it because at some point, even advanced economies hit a ceiling where the pressure of rising borrowing costs forces policy makers to increase tax rates and cut government spending, sometimes precipitously, and sometimes in conjunction with inflation and financial repression (which is also a tax)?”Rogoff & Reinhart

The ECB doubling their balance sheet and funneling trillions to European banks will not solve anything. The truth that no one wants to acknowledge is the standard of living for every person in Europe, the United States and Japan will decline. The choice is whether the decline happens rapidly by accepting debt default and restructuring or methodically through central bank created inflation that devours the wealth of the middle class. Debt default would result in rich bankers losing vast sums of wealth and politicians accepting the consequences of their phony promises. Bankers and politicians will choose inflation. They believe they can control the levers of inflation, but they have proven to be incompetent, hubristic, and myopic. The European Union will not survive 2012 in its current form. Countries are already preparing for the dissolution. Politicians and bankers will lie and print until the day they pull the plug on the doomed Euro experiment.

The false storyline of debt being paid down in the United States continues to be propagated by the mainstream press and decried by Paul Krugman. The age of austerity storyline gets full play on a daily basis. Total credit market debt in 2000 was $27 trillion. It skyrocket to $42 trillion by 2005 as George Bush and Alan Greenspan encouraged delusional Americans to defeat terrorism by leasing SUVs and live the American dream by putting zero down on a $600,000 McMansion, financing it with a negative amortization no doc loan. Paul Krugman got his wish as a housing bubble replaced the dotcom bubble. Debt accumulation went into hyper-speed in 2006 and 2007 as Wall Street sharks conducted a fraudulent feeding frenzy by peddling their derivatives of mass destruction around the globe. By the end of 2007, total credit market debt reached $51 trillion.

In a world inhabited by sincere sane leaders, willing to level with the citizens and disposed to allow financial institutions that took world crushing risks to fail through an orderly bankruptcy process, debt would have been written off and a sharp short contraction would have occurred. The stockholders, bondholders and executives of the Wall Street banks would have taken the losses they deserved. Instead Wall Street used their undue influence, wealth and power to force their politician puppets to funnel $5 trillion to the bankers that created the crisis while dumping the debt on taxpayers and unborn generations. The Wall Street controlled Federal Reserve provided risk free funding and took toxic mortgage assets off their balance sheets. The result is total credit market debt higher today than it was at the peak of the financial crisis in March 2009.


Our leaders have done the exact opposite of what needed to be done to address this debt crisis. The country is adding $3.7 billion per day to the National Debt. With the debt at $15.2 trillion, we have now surpassed the 100% to GDP mark. The National Debt will be $16.5 trillion when the next president takes office in January 2013. Ben Bernanke has been able to keep short term interest rates near zero and the non-existent U.S. economic growth and European disaster has resulted in keeping long-term rates near record lows. Despite these historic low rates, interest on the National Debt totaled $454 billion in 2011, an all-time high. The effective interest rate was approximately 3%. If rates stay at current levels, interest will be between $400 and $500 billion in 2012. Each 1% increase in rates would cost American taxpayers an additional $150 billion. A rapid increase in rates to the 7% level would ratchet interest expense above $1 trillion and destroy the last remaining vestiges of Bernanke’s credibility. It can’t possibly happen in 2012. Right? The world has total confidence in pieces of paper being produced at a rate of $3.7 billion per day. Confidence in Ben Bernanke, Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress is all that stands between continued stability and complete chaos. What could go wrong?

Debt related issues that will likely rear their head in 2012 are as follows:

  • A debt saturated society cannot grow. As debt servicing grows by the day, the economy losses steam. The excessive and increasing debt levels will lead to a renewed recession in 2012 as clearly detailed by ECRI, John Hussman and Hoisington Investment Management.

“Here’s what ECRI’s recession call really says: if you think this is a bad economy, you haven’t seen anything yet. And that has profound implications for both Main Street and Wall Street.” – ECRI 

At present, we observe agreement across a broad ensemble of models, even restricting data to indicators available since 1950 (broader data since 1970 imply virtual certainty of recession). The uniformity of recessionary evidence we observe today has never been seen except during or just prior to other historical recessions.-  John Hussman 

Negative economic growth will probably be registered in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2011, and in subsequent quarters in 2012. Though partially caused by monetary and fiscal actions and excessive indebtedness, this contraction has been further aggravated by three current cyclical developments: a) declining productivity, b) elevated inventory investment, and c) contracting real wage income. In summary, the case for an impending recession rests not only on cyclical precursors evident in productivity, real wages, and inventory investment, but also on the disfunctionality of monetary and fiscal policy. – Van Hoisington 

  • The onrushing recession will send housing down for the count. With 2.2 million homes already in the foreclosure process and another 13 million homes with negative or near negative equity, the recession will push more people over the edge. As foreclosures rise a self reinforcing loop will develop. Home prices will fall as banks dump houses at lower prices, pushing millions more into a negative equity position. Home prices will fall another 5% to 10% in 2012, with a couple years to go before bottoming.
  • The recession will result in companies laying off more workers. It won’t be as dramatic as 2008-2009 because companies have already shed 6 million jobs. The working age population will increase by 1.7 million, the number of people employed will go up by 1 million, but the official unemployment rate will drop to 7% as the BLS reveals that 10 million people decided to relax and leave the workforce. Surely I jest. The government manipulated unemployment rate will rise above 9%, while the real rate will surpass 25%.
  • The American people rationally increased their savings rate to 6.2% in the 2nd Quarter of 2009. When you are over-indebted and the country heads into recession, spending less and saving more is a sane option. Consumer expenditures accounted for 69% of GDP in 2007, prior to the economic collapse. The “recovery” of 2010-2011 has been driven by Ben’s zero interest rate policy, the resumption of easy credit peddling by the Wall Street banks, and consumers convinced that going further into hock to attain the American dream is rational. Consumer spending as a percentage of GDP has actually risen to 71% and the savings rate has plunged to 3.6%. The 20% drop in gas prices since April bottomed in December. This decline temporarily boosted consumer spending, but prices are on the rise again. With the State and local governments reducing spending, do the Wall Street Ivy League economists really believe consumers will increase their consumption to 73% of GDP and reduce their savings rate to 1%? If you open your local newspaper you will see the master plan. Car dealers are offering 0% financing with nothing down for 60 months. The GMAC/Ditech/Ally Bank zombie lives as subprime auto loans are back. The “strong” auto sales are a debt financed illusion. Ashley Furniture is offering 0% financing for 50 months with no payments through Wells Fargo Bank. When the Federal Reserve provides the Wall Street banks with 0% funding, banks are willing to take big risks knowing that Uncle Ben and the naive American taxpayer will be there to bail them out when it blows up again.


  • With recession a certainty as fiscal stimulus wears off, home prices fall, employment stagnates, and consumer spending grinds to a halt, what will happen to the stock market? The Wall Street shills paraded on CNBC and interviewed by the multi-millionaire talking head twits assure you that stocks are undervalued and the market will surely be up 10% to 15% by 2013. It’s a mortal lock, just as it has been for the last twelve years, with the S&P 500 at the same level as January 1999. The fact is the stock market drops 30% on average during a recession. The talking heads declare that corporate profits are at record levels and will continue higher. Not bloody likely. Corporate profit margins are at an all-time peak about 50% above their historical norms. Profits always revert to their mean. These profits are not sustainable as they were generated by firing millions of workers, zero interest rates for banks, fraudulent accounting by the banks, and trillions in handouts from the middle class taxpayers to corporate America.


In a true free market excess profits will draw more competitors and profits will fall due to competition. When corporate profits exceed the mean by such a large amount, you can conclude that crony capitalism has replaced the free market. Government bureaucrats have been picking the winners (Wall Street, War Industry, Big Media, Big Healthcare) and the American people are the losers. Corporate oligarchs prefer no competition so they can reap obscene risk free profits and reward themselves with king-like compensation. Mean reversion will eventually be a bitch. Real S&P earnings have reached the 2007 historic peak. To believe they will soar higher as we enter a recession takes the same kind of faith shown by Americans buying a $600,000 McMansion in Stockton with no money down in 2005. The result will be the same. Do you ever wonder how corporations are doing so well while the average American sinks further into debt, despair and poverty?

The brilliant John Hussman captures the gist of an investor’s dilemma in his latest article:

“With 10-year Treasury yields below 2%, 30-year yields below 3%, corporate bond yields below 4%, and S&P 500 projected 10-year total returns below 5%, we presently have one of the worst menus of prospective return that long-term investors have ever faced. The outcome of this situation will not be surprisingly pleasant for any sustained period of time, but promises to be difficult, volatile, and unrewarding. The proper response is to accept risk in proportion to the compensation available for taking that risk. Presently, that compensation is very thin. This will change, and much better opportunities to accept risk will emerge. The key is for investors to avoid the allure of excessive short-term speculation in a market that promises – bends to its knees, stares straight into investors’ eyes, and promises – to treat them terribly over the long-term.”

Ben Bernanke, Wall Street shysters and Barack Obama want you to be drawn in by the allure of short-term gains based on hopes of QE3. The stock market will be volatile in 2012 with stocks falling 20% when it becomes evident the country is going back into recession. Ben will try to ride to the rescue with QE3 as he buys up more toxic mortgage debt. Wall Street will do their usual touchdown dance celebration, but the bloom will fall off this rose fast, as quantitative easing has proven to be a failure in stimulating economic growth.Gridlock in Washington D.C., chaotic national conventions, and the implosion of Europe will contribute to the market finishing down by at least 15% for the year.

  • Even though the U.S. economy has been stagnant for the past year and Europe is back in recession, oil is trading at $102 a barrel (Brent – $113 a barrel). This is a classic Catch-22 for Bernanke and his central banker buddies. The higher the price goes, the more recessionary economies become as energy and food costs rise. This would normally decrease demand and lower prices, but the massive money printing by the Fed and ECB artificially inflates the price of oil. The Canadian oil sands are only viable at $90 a barrel. Saudi Arabia needs $90 oil to balance their budgets. The onset of peak cheap oil, lack of Libyan supply, possible war with Iran, and increased demand from the developing world (China, India) will put a floor of $80 to $90 a barrel under oil. A shooting war with Iran would result in $150 a barrel of oil overnight. The trend in gasoline prices over the last three years is not your friend:

January 2009           $1.65

January 2010           $2.57

January 2011           $3.04

January 2012           $3.29

Gas prices are rising during the lowest usage time of the year. The average price of oil will exceed $100 during 2012 resulting in the highest average gas price in history for American drivers. These high prices, along with various weather related issues will keep food prices elevated, with 5% or higher increases likely. This should spur a few more peasant revolutions around the globe.

  • The question of whether gold can keep its streak of 11 consecutive positive return years in a row intact is an easy one. Will Obama and Congress spend $1.3 trillion more than they bring in during 2012? Will Ben Bernanke and other central bankers around the globe keep printing pieces of paper and calling it currency? If the answer to these two questions is yes, then gold will finish the year higher. As always, it will be volatile and manipulated by the powers that be. A drop below $1,500 in the beginning of the year is possible, but when Ben announces QE3, it will be off to the races. I expect gold to reach $1,900 by year end. Silver will be more volatile, but will likely reach $40 by year end.

Civic Decay – Occupying, Plundering, Capturing

Civic decay revealed itself dramatically in 2011 as millions of young people across the country occupied parks and town squares in a fruitless effort to correctly point out how the ruthless oligarchs inhabiting Wall Street bank executive suites, Mega-corporation boardrooms, the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, and the hallways of Congress had pillaged the wealth of the middle class through inflation, taxation, fraud and outright thievery. The majority of over-medicated, lethargic, uninterested, ignorant Americans yawned at this selfless display of courage and civil disobedience as they chose to occupy lines for hours to get the latest iPad or $3 waffle-maker at Wal-Mart. Delusional, non-thinking dolts across the land watched on their 60 inch HDTVs as young protestors got clubbed, beaten, tear gassed, tasered, maced, and brutalized by paid mercenaries for the ruling oligarchy. They treated the horrific scenes of brutality as if it was just one of their 30 favorite reality TV shows like I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant or Toddlers & Tiaras. They thought this was a new show called Mace A Millenial.

Despite controlling the media, the money and the levers of power in Washington D.C., those in power cannot spin the reality of a middle class being systematically wiped out by the policies put in place by the corporate fascist oligarchs running this country. As Wall Street profits and bonuses flow like honey, the lines at food banks look like the lines at Best Buy on Black Friday and homeless shelters overflow with former members of the middle class. The ministry of propaganda (BLS, BEA) reports improving economic conditions while the number of Americans in the food stamp program has jumped from 38 million when the recession officially ended in late 2009 to 46.3 million today. Having 15% of the population surviving on food stamps is surely a sign of economic recovery.


The mainstream media methodically spews misinformation and happy talk about increased consumer spending and retail sales above expectations as if Americans borrowing to buy another laptop, TV, Kindle, or Rolex proves we have a real recovery. Meanwhile, old line mall based retailers like Sears and J.C. Penney die a slow agonizing death as they stagger into the sunset like Montgomery Ward, Circuit City and thousands before them. There is a disconnect in society as high end retailers like Saks, Tiffany, and Neiman Marcus report record sales as the 1% feel confident and flush with cash. Meanwhile, real median income is lower than it was in 2001. It seems tax cuts didn’t lift all boats, just the yachts. The average Joe pays twice as much for a gallon of gas and 50% more for food since 2001 while taking home less pay. The ruling elite can’t figure out why the peasants are getting restless.


The wealthy elite have been out in force over the last few months broadcasting their storyline about 50% of Americans not paying taxes. They and their media mouthpieces pound this message home unceasingly. They portray themselves as job creators, when the facts prove they have destroyed jobs here in America. They successfully painted the Occupy Movement as a bunch of lazy good for nothing socialists who needed to get a job. Then they unleashed the full fury of their brute strength upon these citizens practicing their right to assembly and free speech by crushing them with their hired police thugs, while the ignorant by choice public looked away. Controlling the message is essential for the oligarchs to retain their wealth, power and control. Aldous Huxley’s understanding of the American people is as true today as it was eighty years ago:

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

It is time to not choose ignorance. The storyline peddled to the masses is false. The ruling oligarchy will do everything in their power to obscure and manipulate the truth. It is true that 50% of American workers pay no Federal income tax. It is also true that 50% of American workers make less than $25,000 per year. If these workers are employed in Philadelphia they pay 4% city income tax, 3% state income tax, 7.65% Social Security and Medicare tax, 6% sales tax on everything they buy, 15% state and federal taxes on gasoline, and they pay city and county property taxes whether they own or rent. They also pay the various sewer, trash, and myriad of other fees inflicted on them by government drones. Maybe someone should inform multi-billionaire hedge fund guru Steve Schwarzman that lower income families actually have most of their skin in the game. They can’t hire hoards of high powered lawyers and tax accountants to minimize their tax burden while contributing millions to politicians who write the laws to protect the oligarchs. I wonder why hedge fund managers don’t pay taxes on their profits.

Asked if he were willing to pay more taxes in a Nov. 30 interview with Bloomberg Television, Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman spoke about lower-income U.S. families who pay no income tax. “You have to have skin in the game,” said Schwarzman, 64. “I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

We are all part of the system, and the system is rigged. The middle class is systematically being obliterated as high paying jobs were shipped to low paying countries by mega-corporations. Their huge cost advantages have driven small domestic “job creating” firms out of business. The middle class has the majority of their wealth tied up in their homes, and they continue to see that wealth decline on a daily basis. The culprits in the housing collapse – the major Wall Street banks – have seen their profits skyrocket as they held the middle class hostage to a multi-trillion dollar banker bailout. Americans don’t hate the wealthy. Wealthy men like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have been admired and emulated by Americans because they exhibited the true admirable traits of entrepreneurship, creativity, hard work, taking chances, and creating a better society. Wall Street shysters create nothing. They exhibit the worst traits of greed, avarice, and non-existent empathy for their fellow man.

 Gains and Losses in 2007-2009, Average CEO Pay vs. Average Worker Pay

Matt Taibbi summed up how the system is rigged rather succinctly in a recent article:

“And in the bigger picture, of course, you need the state and the private sector both to be functioning well enough to provide you with regular work, and a safe place to raise your children, and clean water and clean air. The entire ethos of modern Wall Street, on the other hand, is complete indifference to all of these matters. The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live on gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government.

But citizens of the stateless archipelago where people like Schwarzman live spend millions a year lobbying and donating to political campaigns so that they can jump the line. They don’t need to make sure the government is fulfilling its customer-service obligations, because they buy special access to the government, and get the special service and the metaphorical comped bottle of VIP-room Cristal afforded to select customers.”

The wealth inequality in this country did not occur because half the population is lazy and stupid. It didn’t happen because the 1% is intellectually superior, more highly motivated, or more entrepreneurial than the 99%. If any of these statements were true, the inequality would be consistent across decades and centuries. But, as the chart below details, the phenomenon has happened since 1979. Interestingly, it also occurred just prior to the 1929 stock market crash and Great Depression.  


The chart reflects the results of three decades of crony capitalism based upon phony tax canards; delusions of a debt based American dream peddled by bankers, politicians and the media; and complete capture of our economic and political system by a self selected wealthy few. Jesse captures the essence of how it happened in a recent article:

“Anyone who has seriously studied applied macroeconomics knows that crony capitalists hate free markets, with all the fairness and transparency that they imply. Competition is a serious drag on enormous profits and introduces significant uncertainty and risk. As soon as the game is underway, successful capitalists are constantly pushing the envelope of the rules, seeking to establish rents, monopolies, unfair advantages, and debt traps to snare the bulk of the players and stifle the profit-eroding tendency of real competition.

This is the basis of all aristocracies, which are merely the institutionalization of privilege.  Once they make it they bloody well want to change the rules to hang on to it, and take the risk out of their equation. They foster a culture of two sets of books, two sets of rules, and two systems of justice. They are given over in their personal and professional lives to the benefits of hypocrisy and cheating, with little conscience to restrain them. There is a predatory class that is nationless, without allegiance to anything, any principle, but their own greed and lust for power.”

What has happened over the last three decades is not particular to the United States. It is a flaw in all humanity. The majority of humans are inherently honest and if raised by good parents will do the right thing most of the time. When society allows psychopaths and evil men to attain high status in government and business through chosen ignorance, lack of vigilance, casting aside the rule of law, or admiration for wealth attained by any means, then wealth disparity reaches extreme levels. The fatal defect of the Wall Street psychopaths is their hubris. Too much is never enough. They are like sharks, always needing more to satiate their hunger. They will eventually go too far and collapse their crony capitalist system resulting in revolution and ultimately their demise. We are very close to the tipping point and 2012 is likely to reveal deep cracks in the foundation of our warped dysfunctional corporate fascist economic system. These are a few things I expect to happen in 2012:

  • The Occupy Movement will become more extreme with more disruptions of the economic system with less warning so the authorities don’t have time to prepare. I expect more cyber hacking into Wall Street, government, and media computer networks, causing disarray and uncertainty regarding financial information. I expect the Democratic and Republican presidential conventions to be overrun by protestors. The authorities will respond with excessive force, resulting in further violent protests in other cities.
  • Two simultaneous trends will eventually result in a domestic conflict. The Federal government grows ever more panicked by the knowledge that its ponzi scheme economy is going to collapse. This is why passage of the NDAA and the future passage of SOPA are so important to them. Imprisonment of citizens without charge and shutting down the only remaining means of truth – the Internet – are essential to retaining their power and control over the masses. At the same time, gun sales are at record levels. Critical thinking Americans can see the writing on the wall and no longer trust corrupt politicians of either party. Arming yourself and buying physical gold and silver is a prudent act in today’s world. If the financial system implodes in 2012 and an MF Global like stealing of customer funds from IRAs, 401ks, and bank accounts happens, all hell could break loose.
  • The ruling elite hand selected puppets for the 2012 presidential election are Obama and Romney. They are virtually interchangeable and both are acceptable to the Wall Street oligarchs. The monkey wrench in the gears is Ron Paul. His message of freedom, liberty, non-interventionism, living within our means, self reliance, and a sound currency are poison to the establishment. His message appeals to young people and a growing number of realists who understand we are already bankrupt. He will run as a 3rd Party candidate and focus a light on the crony capitalism that passes for free markets in America today. He will be vilified by both parties and their media mouthpieces, but if he gains traction I fear an unfortunate accident will befall him. Either way, he will have a dramatic impact on the debate and the outcome of the 2012 election.

The question for 2012 is whether the gaping multitude will come to their senses and respond accordingly against the ruling oligarchy.

“Modern fanaticism thrives in proportion to the quantity of contradictions and nonsense it pours down the throats of the gaping multitude, and the jargon and mysticism it offers to their wonder and credulity.”William Hazlitt

Global Disorder – War, Oil, Religion

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Disorder is an understatement when describing what is happening on the global scene. It seems like the inmates are running the insane asylum. The beauty of globalization, sold to Americans by the corporate oligarchs, is being revealed for all to see. Besides seeing millions of jobs shipped overseas by mega-corporation executives and our industrial base gutted beyond repair, the other “benefits” are aplenty. The interconnectedness of the global economy insures that a recession in Europe and the U.S. will spread across the world. The producing countries will fall when the consuming countries run out of fiat currency to spur consumption. Federal Reserve created inflation in the United States instantaneously spreads around the world creating revolutions across the Middle East and social unrest in China as food and energy prices surge to levels of pain which cause the poor to revolt against the ruling establishment. People lose it when they have nothing to lose.

But, the biggest gift of globalization has been provided by whom else – the Wall Street banks and the large European banks. The European banks did their part by loaning hundreds of billions to PIIGS that could never pay them back. Next, they leveraged their balance sheets 40 to 1, insuring that a 3% loss on their capital wipes them out. When their losses clearly exceeded 40%, the bankers employed their politician puppets running the insolvent countries across the continent to dump the losses on the taxpayers through austerity measures that insure a deep European recession. Since derivatives of mass destruction link the insolvent Wall Street banks to the insolvent European banks, the Federal Reserve has now stepped into the breach with American taxpayer money by providing swap lines to European banks. The oligarchs are perfectly willing to destroy the lives of hundreds of millions of citizens across the globe to insure their wealth and power remains intact.

The other crucial component of global disorder is oil. The storyline currently being peddled to the masses is the return of energy independence for America. The political class and their lapdog media pundits blatantly lie to the American public with stories of 100 years of oil supply under our soil. GOP candidates declare we can be energy independent in two years if we just drill, drill, drill. Meanwhile, in the real world 33 billion barrels of oil are consumed every year, with the U.S. consuming 7 billion barrels per year, of which 3.3 billion barrels are imported. Total U.S. oil production continues its 40 year decline, despite the shale oil boom in the Dakotas and the massive fracking hype touted by the gas industry. If Americans used some critical thinking skills they would conclude that our oil dependent society is balanced on the head of a pin. The chart below paints a picture of current and future global disorder.

One look at this chart and you begin to understand the War on Terror cover story. The average person in these Muslim oil rich countries wants a chance for a better life, food, clothing, and hope for their children’s future. They are not the evil, freedom hating, religious fanatic terrorists portrayed by the neo-cons and war mongers like Santorum, Gingrich and Romney. American troops are stationed in or around the countries with the most oil. Any dictator that fails to play along with the U.S. and its oil demands isn’t around for long. Hussein and Gaddafi learned the hard way. It’s just a matter of time for Ahmadinejad. Expect the rhetoric about the dangerous Chavez to escalate in the near future. Controlling 300 billion barrels of oil will be essential to keeping our suburban sprawl society functioning. Soccer moms will become irate when they can’t fill up their GMC Yukon with 39 gallons of precious fuel. Our own military clearly documented why the War on Terror will never end in their 2010 Joint Operating Environment report:

 A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India. One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest. By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.

The likeliest global events which will make 2012 a year to remember include:

  • The disintegration of the European Union with outright default by Greece and the exit from the Union by Italy, Spain, and Portugal. A default and currency devaluation would bankrupt banks across Europe and would guarantee a worldwide recession and possibly depression.
  • It seems more likely by the day that someone will do something stupid in or around Iran and the Persian Gulf will explode into a virtual hell on earth. The unintended consequences of such a development will far outweigh the intended consequences.
  • The revolutions, protests, and brewing civil wars in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Iraq will flare up even if Iran doesn’t explode into a shooting war. The tensions in the Middle East will keep oil prices above $100, despite a world plunging into recession.
  • China’s hard landing will arrive in 2012. Keynesianism on steroids has failed as they’ve built more than enough vacant malls, vacant cities, vacant condo towers, and bridges to nowhere. Property prices will plunge, exports will decline, and peasants will revolt as food and energy prices push them over the edge. Chinese leaders will look for a foreign bogeyman so they can rally their 1 billion peasants around the flag. With 11% of their oil supply coming from Iran, it could get very interesting.

Just as no one saw the most significant events of 2011 (Arab Spring, Mubarak & Gaddafi overthrown, Japanese earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown, and Occupy Wall Street) in advance, 2012 will surely have some surprises. Possibilities include:

  • An earthquake on the New Madrid fault or off the coast of California causing a tsunami to hit the west coast.
  • One or more hurricanes entering the Gulf of Mexico causing widespread oil rig destruction and causing oil and natural gas prices to soar.
  • A new bird flu or swine flu pandemic that spreads around the world.
  • An actual terrorist attack in the United States in a mall, hotel or public venue that provokes a massive over response by our government could change this country forever.
  • The assassination of political leaders and prominent bankers around the world as radicals take retribution into their own hands.

We have now entered the fifth year of this Fourth Turning Crisis. George Washington and his troops were barely holding on at Valley Forge during the fifth year of the American Revolution Fourth Turning. By year five of the Civil War Fourth Turning 700,000 Americans were dead, the South left in ruins, a President assassinated and a military victory attained that felt like defeat. By the fifth year of the Great Depression/World War II Fourth Turning, FDR’s New Deal was in place and Adolf Hitler had been democratically elected and was formulating big plans for his Third Reich. The insight from prior Fourth Turnings that applies to 2012 is that things will not improve. They call it a Crisis because the risk of calamity is constant. There is zero percent chance that 2012 will result in a recovery and return to normalcy. Not one of the issues that caused our economic collapse has been solved. The “solutions” implemented since 2008 have exacerbated the problems of debt, civic decay and global disorder. The choices we make as a nation in 2012 will determine the future course of this Fourth Turning. If we fail in our duty, this Fourth Turning could go catastrophically wrong. I pray we choose wisely. Have a great 2012.          

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse – or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.” – Strauss & Howe


  Source: www.williambanzai7.blogspot.com

138 thoughts on “2012 – THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY”

  1. I really do hope that people start waking up and realize what we have been slowly losing over time, and what we are still in danger of living. Technology can make wonderful change possible, but it can also lead to increasing violations of privacy and places ever more power in the hands of government.

    We cannot continue down the same path. I only hope that the changes can take place in a peaceful and voluntary manner, but I am not entirely optimistic that that will be the case.

  2. Great article, Jim. It deserves to be picked up and circulated..

    I have a few stats to contribute..

    Since 2008, home canning suppliers report an increase of over 40% in the sales of canning jars, pressure cookers, lids and seals and other hardware associated with putting up veggies at home. A definite uptrend in Americans looking ahead and preparing for worse times.

    In 2012, CONgress gave themselves a 23% wage raise. Social Security recipients got 3.2% less additional deductions for higher costs of Medicare.

    In 2012 CONgress critters will average $1,510 a day for each day spent in session on Capital Hill.

    In 2012 CONgress critters will “work” an average of 3.6 days a week which includes NO Fridays at all.

    Over 30% of CONgress critters will actually spend more time at home than in Washington, flying into Washington to vote, then flying back home that evening (all at the cost of the taxpayer).

    It is estimated that 62% of CONgress critters are overweight with almost 35% classed as obese. Must be all that free food in the CONgressional feeding troughs.

    I could go on for an hour or two here, but I begin to bore myself with all this publicly available data. I’d report some non-publicly available secrets if I could but I’d invite a drone hit on the house and my neighbors wouldn’t appreciate it.


  3. Great post.

    I am beginning to wonder whether it would be naive to think that perhaps Huntsman is in the same category as Paul – namely a politician with insight and integrity. The more I learn about him, the more I am impressed. In particular, his debate performance this morning was excellent.

    Is it time for his moment in the sun? If so, it will be the first boomlet for an anti-Romney candidate who is not fundamentally flawed a la Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Cain, Bachman, Trump etc.


    1. I think Huntsman is a decent human being. If Ron Paul wasn’t running, I would choose Huntsman as my second choice. He is too moderate and non-hawkish for the neo-cons that run the GOP. He will drop out after NH.

  4. Here’s your statement: “What has happened over the last three decades is not particular to the United States. It is a flaw in all humanity. The majority of humans are inherently honest and if raised by good parents will do the right thing most of the time. When society allows psychopaths and evil men to attain high status …” then, you say, trouble appears.
    You’re among the very few I’ve been able to find who see there’s a human socio-cultural cause beneath the econ. mess. Paul’s said nothing about this. What is this flaw? How does it work to cause this trouble? The answer’s important for two reasons: (1) as part of a program to moderate or mitigate the crisis (we’re all for minimal fear, loathing and death) (2) but, more importantly, so we humans can learn what we’ve done wrong, where we’ve lied to ourselves and others so as to ignore reality.
    My take on the basic flaw is that it’s something along the line of men not believing that they are going to be held accountable, that they are utterly autonomous and that this life and the observable material world are all that is. What’s yours?

    1. S. Petersen

      These human flaws are not fixable. They are permanent in humanity. This is why conflict and war and revolutions have been seen throughout all human history. It will require enough good people to stand up and defeat the evil people. There is no other way.

  5. @Admin: That damn picture at the start of the piece gives me nightmares.. That was 2004 and I assumed the position for atomic attack three times that year when we had three hurricanes all pass within <75 miles from us! Francis, Jean and Charlie. We had trees knocked down in three different directions after that one..

    All we lost was trim and shingles but blue tarps blossomed like fungus on house roofs around here.

    Of course, (knock on wood) we haven't had a storm even fart on Florida since but I have a bad feeling our good luck is running out!

    Maybe 2012 will reward us with multiple black swans of multitudonus size that will hopefully flatten the District of Columbia first. Then Manhattan followed by the entire state of Illinois as the crookedest state in the Union.

    Florida might be third because here we have Governor Scott who wants to privatize all public restrooms and an State Attorney General Pam Bondi (hot blonde!) who's goal is not to prosecute a single case during her four year term. She and Eric Holder would be a match made in Hell.

    I await a drone hit on my carport..


    1. Muck

      Sorry about giving you nightmares. I thought it was perfect symbolism for the three core elements of our Crisis – debt, civic decay and global disorder.

  6. Unfortunately, all the things disussed in this article are accurate.

    I’ve been searching for the best way to prepare for the inevitable (short of stockpiling food, water, guns, ammo and supplies).

    Would all others readers please advise us on what we might be doing to mitigate what’s coming?

    Knowing what’s on tap is easier than understanding what can actually be done to survive it.

  7. Don’t do the rich man’s DIRTY WORK ! There comes a time when “we were ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS” becomes an unacceptable position to take.Unless of course we collectively want the “Terror” ? Their Power resides with the OBEDIENCE of the state’s military and intelligence services.They persist in CHOOSING to maintain an ever more sinister political reality.People have to listen to their inner voice and realise that evil must be stopped.How can the U.S.A. with its “Christian Beliefs” possibly reconcile that with the appalling REALITIES of the wars in the MIddle East and the likely imminent attack on Iran,not forgetting the endless criminal activities of the C.I.A ? Well their media constantly tell them “They fighting Terror” ! Really ? In terms of damage to the human race and cultural artifacts-who has inflicted more murder,destruction and terror.White phosphorous,depleted uranium bombs etc.Ever seen pictures of mutant Iraqi children in Fallujah ? Pieces of Palestinian children in Gaza-severed heads,limbs,etc.THIS IS A SATANIC MOCKERY OF CHRISTIANITY ! It is beyond belief that Americans can apparently digest this terminal travesty of the Prince of Peace.For Christ’s sake-wake up and stop doing the bidding of criminal psychopaths.You have draw the line somewhere-otherwise its the road to the Satanic Gulag.They’ve done it before in Russia.You can see where all this going-despite the rhetoric.The Obamanation has turned out to be the predictable con-man and shortly the fall-guy and the show rolls on,but maybe……. ?

  8. Vegetable garden
    Solar panels and/or wind turbine
    Rainwater capture and filtration system
    Strong local community
    Precious metals

    I’m no expert, but these are the things I’m doing to sleep better at night.

    Check out this guy. He’s pretty darn inspiring amidst all the doom:

  9. most likely will be printing out a hundred copies of this to give to people at my school. This article is Thomas Paines Common Sense circa 2012. The bit about NDAA/SOPA was well placed and downright frightening.

    1. student

      You and your classmates are our only hope. You will need to do the heavy lifting in this 4th Turning.

  10. Dr. Paul Price

    I once told a relative: What will you do one morning when the pantry is empty, only change in your pocket, the car is low on gas, ATMs and EFT won’t work? My short-term recommendation, enough cash stashed to get through a few days.

    We cannot predict whether there will be a small breakdown, a Collapse … or Mad Max. If you’re not ready for the entire specturm of Maybe, that could be a problem!

    Most here have done the things you haven’t: food stockpiled, guns and ammo, alternative money, barter supplies, garden seeds, learned new skills, know which of our family, friends and neighbors can be relied on. It’s always good have someone watch your back.

    Bear in mind, when something goes wrong, a big city is about 3 days from empty shelves. I saw this first hand last February — we had the mother of cyclones, Yasi, and locals who’ve lived here all their life were unprepared. It was amusing and depressing watching the panic in the nearest country town in the supermarkets.

    And yes, even with preps, things still go wrong. Power was out a week and $1K of food in the freezer was a casualty. Fortunately, I had a gas stove installed to replace the electric one long ago, so it was not a complete bummer for me. {hones were out for about a week, too. And town water.

    Back in 2010, there was an example of technology failure, one bank went down due to “a corrupted file” with contagion to interbank transfers (pensions and so on). That was on a Wesnedsday and by the weekend, branches all across Australian were opened so people could get currency to live on.

    If that wasn’t enough of a lesson, last year more than one bank had ‘technical glitches’ and indeed, the Australian Stock Exchange went down for about four hours one day.

    “We have the technology!” Or does it have us?

    I can tell you this: if you have natural disaster — and cyclone Yasi certainly qualified (800 km in diameter), the government is all talk and most of that is _lies_. Mitigation is up close and personal.

  11. Mr. Yardfarmer Shill sir, your vocabulary and “Ivy League” style of delivery belie your overwhelming hubris.You are quite obviously either a highly paid Troll or one of those ” Evil Minions of Wall Street”.

  12. This didn’t take long. Who is at the top of that oil chart?

    US orders expulsion of Venezuelan diplomat Jim Mannion
    January 9, 2012 – 11:29AM


    The United States has ordered the expulsion of Venezuela’s consul general in Miami amid reports linking the diplomat to an alleged Iranian plot to target sensitive US facilities with cyber attacks, the US State Department said.

    The US action comes as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was to kick off a Latin American tour in Caracas later on Sunday.

    In Caracas, President Hugo Chavez made no mention of the consul’s expulsion in his Sunday radio and TV program but accused Washington of “inventing” Iranian plots to attack the United States from Latin American countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

    Advertisement: Story continues below For the United States to say “no country should get close to Iran really is a laugh,” Chavez said.

    The Venezuelan embassy in Washington was notified on Friday that Livia Acosta Noguera, the consul general in Miami, had been declared persona non grata and had until Tuesday to leave the country, said State Department spokesman William Ostick.

    “In accordance with Article 23 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the department declared Ms Livia Acosta Noguera, Venezuelan consul general to Miami, to be persona non grata. As such, she must depart the United States by January 10,” he said.

    “We cannot comment on specific details behind the decision to declare Ms Acosta persona non grata at this time,” he added in a statement.

    The State Department had said last month it was looking into “very disturbing” allegations that Acosta was a participant in an alleged Iranian plot to launch cyber-attacks on sensitive US national security facilities.

    The allegations were made in a documentary that aired on the Spanish-language television network Univision, which said Acosta was taped discussing the alleged plot with a Mexican computer expert who said he was among a group of students recruited for the plot.

    The contacts reportedly took place in 2007 while Acosta was serving as a second secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico City.

    An excerpt of one conversation has Acosta demanding information that the student, Juan Carlos Munoz Ledo, had passed on to Iranian diplomats about the locations of US nuclear power plants. She was quoted as later telling Munoz that she had passed the information to the head of Chavez’s presidential security unit.

    Univision said Munoz said he was recruited for the Iranian plot by a leftist professor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, but then recruited other students to secretly videotape the Iranian and Venezuelan diplomats they met with.

    According to Univision, the students then sent or personally turned over the material they gathered to US embassy officials in Mexico, the FBI, Pentagon and US MPs. Several of the students were reportedly seeking asylum in the United States.

    On December 12, a State Department spokesman said the department could not corroborate the Univision report, but said, “We’re looking into it and continue to assess what additional actions we might take.”

    Chavez has long been a vociferous opponent of Washington, siding with Iran and Syria against US-led efforts to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program and Damascus on human rights abuses.

    Ahmadinejad’s trip to Venezuela and three other leftist-ruled Latin American countries — Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba — comes amid spiking international tensions over Iran’s nuclear program.

    A preliminary agreement by the European Union to embargo Iranian oil shipments has drawn Iranian threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance of the Gulf if it does.

    US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned on Sunday that the United States would not tolerate the closure of the strait and would respond to reopen it.

    In October, the United States accused Tehran of plotting to hire Mexican drug traffickers to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, which Tehran dismissed as “baseless and unfounded.”

    © 2012 AFP

  13. @Admin: No sweat, Jim. The reason I live where I do is that it is 65 miles from each coast and while I benefit from the lovely Florida climate, I minimize the risk from hurricanes. (which is why I live in the direct middle of the state!).

    @Dr. Paul Price: The first order of business is to purchase a fire safe. Then stock it with as many low premium gold coins as you find comfortable. The smaller the coin, the better. American Eagle 1/10th ounce, 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce coins are good. In general buy the coins with the lowest premium.

    I have done business with Liberty Coin Service, East Lansing, Mich., for 35 years. Check out their website . They publish coin prices with premium on a daily basis.

    Include three or four $500 bags of circulated US silver coins (ask for “premium” silver coin and you will get dimes and quarters), which are better for small transactions in the event barter in required.

    At this time, I’d recommend a minimum of 30%- 35% of investment funds in gold and silver and 20% in pure cash. How you secure this is up to you, but don/’t use a bank. There is no penalty for holding cash, gold and silver with interest rates at 0% and inflation is running 12%. Conventional investment is a guaranteed path to confiscation buy inflation and there is nowhere to “invest” cash for a reasonable return above inflation. You may as well hold hold your investments in gold and silver and stuffed in a mattress.

    Next, if you live in a big city, consider getting the flock out of there – quickly. Big cities will not be a comfortable place to live when the credit collapse finally happens.

    Find a nice group practice in a small mid-western town where, when you’re established, you have _friends_ around you, not acquaintances. Depending upon your age, the sooner the better. You may take a hit financially, but you’ll benefit tremendously in the long run by establishing yourself in a community that can join together in tough times and you have a lovely portable skill that is in demand anywhere, anytime.

    Timing this sort of thing is tough. You hate to give up a thriving practice, the big home, nice car and all the toys but let me tell you, our national problems of debt, inflation and rape of the middle class is increasing in both speed and scope faster than you can imagine.

    Do it now or set in motion the actions required to accomplish your move into self sufficiency and start it NOW.

    You are very fortunate to possess a skill that will be in demand anywhere you go. take advantage of it.

    None of this is easy and you may have a problem convincing the wife or the necessity of it. Do it anyhow. Economically, we, as a nation, are on the path of destruction and there is NO WAY to avoid it. therefore, modify your personal situation so that you will be in the best possible possession to defend yourself economically and personably when the bad times come along.

    Jim Quinn (our Admin) has my email address and you may feel free to contact me through him should you feel I can be of any help. By way of full disclosure, I received nothing from Liberty Coin Service or anyone else for recommending their services.

    Good luck and don’t waste time …


  14. The one thing that i remember the most clearly over the past 39-40 years of my school days at Brandeis University in1970’s are my student adviser’s words that when he was growing up that his grand parents and parents used the term “‘goyishe kup,’” meaning that the “Non-Jews are Stupid”

    Later in life I learned that the exact translation of “GOYISHE KUP” means that the “Cattle are STUPID”..

    I remember him recalling whatt his father told him when he was growing up in Eastern Europe. One of them being that when his father was in high school he and a group of friends would skip school early on Fridays and go over to his friend’s father’s butcher shop. That they would buy at cost any cows , that had not been butchered by the end of the day on Friday before the begining of shabat . They would take the cow home and wash it and then the boys would procede to “beat the udders of the cows so that they would swell up and turn pink” so as to sell them to the “GOYISHE KUP” as milk producing cows.

    The part that I remember him asking me if the East Europeans are so naive, so gullible and so stupid to buy old “non milk producing cows” from a bunch of young Jewish Boys.

    So thinking of it now I agree with the Jewish saying that the “GOYISHE KUP” are indeed” Stupid” as they believe that a Bunch of Arab Muslim Kids who were not able to Fly a Cessna Airplane took it upon themselves to FLY a Boing Jumbo Jet outwitting the US Military and Civilian authorities. The “Jewish Lightning Insurance Scam” of the 1960’s is still alive and well has been put to good use by Larry Silverstein with the help of his sayanim jews made a financial killing in imploding wtc by putting 15 million down and comming out with 7 billion dollars for buidings that no one wanted to buy because it would have cost a billion dollars to remove the asbestos from. Then on top of that the people in America actually believe that they actually decide who is elected President or for that that actual VOTE is really counted and makes a difference in deciding who represents them in the White House and congress. http://www.bollyn.com/index.php
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVTXbARGXso http://www.911missinglinks.com/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxnpujfanUM


    Yeh I agree that the AmericanNon-Jews are indeed American “GOYISHE KUP” or “STUPID CATTLE”!

    The Israeli Defense Firm That Tallies The Iowa Caucus
    By Christopher Bollyn

    The Iowa caucus is only a few days away and the nation’s attention will be directed to the results, which signify the beginning of the U.S. presidential race. But does anyone watch who tallies the results of the Iowa caucus?

    The Iowa caucus results were tallied in 2004 by a company that is headed by a man whose company was bought by Elron Electronics, the Israeli defense firm. I suspect that it will be the same this year. Don’t expect to see any grassroots political activists doing the tally in Iowa. The Israeli defense establishment takes care of that part of the American “democratic” election process.


    In the summer of 2004, I first learned that a foreign and out-of-state company using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology tallied the Iowa caucus results.

    The system used to tally the 2004 Iowa caucus results was provided by a company called Voxeo, which was apparently based in Orlando, Florida. (Yellow flag goes up in the mind of those familiar with Orlando and electronic vote fraud history

  15. Beautifully written analysis, Admin.

    Thanks for bringing the Big Picture back into focus. During this Fourth Turning – a record number of events will occur – all beyond our control. It’s how we react, that will make the difference.

  16. Good article as always Admin. I don’t have that “loven feeling” about 2012.

    Dr. Price,

    # 1 Thing. You need to get serious. Short of stockpiling (WTF), that is just common sense.

  17. It isn’t just the CIA doing dirty tricks, wars on communism, poverty, drugs, terrorism, and the American people are pretexts for spending vast amounts. The federal bureaucracy has taken on a life of it’s own, and exists solely to perpetuate itself. Carter was the last POTUS to take on the bureaucracy, and he was tarred and feathered. Ron Paul is the only viable anti-establishment candidate for 2012. It’s up to every right minded individual to support his campaign.

    Here’s a link to highlights from the 1/7/2012 GOP debate in NH, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK1dDce_LwA

    The look of shock on the faces of the other candidates when Paul exposes one hypocrisy after another is priceless. In evoking MLK and civil disobedience, Paul has established himself as the leader of a movement to dismantle big government peacefully, and a movement that will not die should misfortune befall him. I know little about the Tea Party, so I looked it up. Read the 15 Non-negotiable Core Beliefs at http://www.teaparty.org/about.php There is nothing there that any right minded person will not agree, except those getting a free ride at other’s expense.

    The status quo will stop at nothing to maintain their way of life, including making all of us “the enemy”. It’s up to each and every one of us to stand against the tyranny and injustice which has become representative of our federal government. With one voice, we can elect Ron Paul who will take that message to Washington, and begin the process of disarmament and restrained government.

    Are there those who will be pricked by a change in leadership philosophy in the oval office? Surely there are, and they will stop at nothing to protect their interests. It is up to the other 99% to see to it the interests of all are protected, even the little.

    Admin, thanks for a great post and a great start to a new year. God help us all.

  18. Thanks to Wendy McElroy

    “Overtaxed, sometimes homeless, unemployed, hungry, and deprived of any hope of justice, the vast majority of French citizens were not blind. They saw their own children starve while stolen riches bought velvet outfits for children of the elite. When their desperation erupted abruptly into unbridled rage, the French Revolution had arrived.

    Are you angry yet?

  19. Great article. Don’t understand why you don’t also see that Ron Paul is a political joke and a gas bag. Do you think he could be a permanent member of Congress from a silk stocking Republican
    Texas district if those who matter thought his Libertarianism was a threat to them?
    Going to Ron for salvation is akin to the Russian peasants going to the Czar for relief.
    We need to hope Americans Elect come up with a person who can show the seriously flawed nature of Obama while representing the interests of the 90%.
    Don’t know who; maybe Nader, Sanders, Kucinich, Huntsman, Roemer, Powell???

    1. Robert

      You clearly have no clue about Ron Paul’s ideology, history, or ideas. Do some research before spouting bullshit on this site or you will be kicked in the balls. I’ll let you off easy this time.

  20. Admin:
    Sorry, didn’t mean to offend you.
    Always enjoy your posts and more than share your enthusiasm for Mr. Hussman.
    Really do think that throwing the malefactors of great wealth to Ron Paul would be like throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch.

    1. joey

      The chart says Crude Oil. They have tar sands that requires massive amounts of energy to convert into crude oil.

  21. Planning, causing and managing crises is the way to consolidate power over the populace. The apex elitist organization on earth, The Pilgrims Society, whose members comprise the management of much more widely known organizations, has its tentacles in all these fields, and is keenly interested in using the medical field to “seize the wealth necessary” (their own words), meaning selective denial of treatment, cartelizing vitamins along with “harmaceuticals” and revving up their prices so as to soak consumers, and advanced life extending treatments such as telomerase. Food distribution is also key “if you can control the food you can control the people” states Henry Kissinger, Rockefeller operative and a vice president of The Pilgrims Society, the “Hic Et Ubique” (“Here And Everywhere”) World Money Power launched by diamond cartel operator Cecil Rhodes, who was financed both by the Rothschilds and by The Crown. The Pilgrims Society exists to return the world to feudalism under The Crown, which controls the United Nations and is planning World War III. This is the ONLY major elitist group refusing to issue a roster into the public sphere. We are not to know who these 700 or so high Crown agents are in North America, managing a grab for absolute power by such Senators as John Cornyn, whose 2 largest supporters are ExxonMobil and JPMorganChase—both Pilgrims Society entities; and John McCain, whose father was the Navy admiral who covered by the attack on the Liberty, and appeared in the leaked 1969 list of The Pilgrims. This organization always controls the President and Secretary of State (all our military forces and foreign relations) and can order forfeiture of gold and silver from Americans as did Pilgrims Society member Franklin Roosevelt, who conspired with his “Pilgrim Partners” in England to drag the US into World Wat 2.Image29.jpg

  22. Another factor not mentioned that has had a big impact on the economic stress we are feeling today between the haves and the have nots is the massive population explosion that has occurred in the world in the last six decades. Since my boyhood the world and United States population has increased three times.

    Thanks to the industrial revolution and the computer we are using up the worlds natural resources faster than they can be naturally and technologically replaced. We are fishing out the oceans and this alone is alarming.

    We can no longer produce enough jobs to keep up with demand. The quality of the food we buy becomes more inferior each day and that is showing up in the poor health of many Americans. Clothing sold in the stores in general is of low quality as is the gadgets we purchase for our everyday use; compared to the 1960s.

    In fact, the quality of service for everything has been decreasing as populations have increased. This includes education, medical care, and even housing. We are running out of space with no place to run for a better quality life.

    This has caused a lot of stress in the population as stronger countries are invading weaker countries for the last of the natural resources that the earth has to give. The many wars going on, on this planet is no accident. Populations are growing and pushing on other populations.

    Populations are now living in urban concentrations so great that the stress of these concentrations of diverse realities (cultural and religious differences) is having an effect on the application of the “rule of law” to govern all these different realities. This is causing a breakdown in the normal application of the law. Insanity is setting in as new arbitrary laws made by clueless legislatures, city councils, and administrators do not address the issues properly; but rather inflame them.

    We seem to be on the verge of a collapse of civilization. The police state is emerging as result of the emerging collapse. But what is going to happen with a police state remedy is a more rapid collapse as the affected populations rebel against the State and their police actions.

    Where all this is leading, in my opinion, is disease, that will result in the death of perhaps billions of people. When the financial system supporting all these people finally goes into collapse the political system will go with it. This will lead to a collapse of our institutions, food distribution system, and medical services. With this collapse disease will set in. This will lead to a domino effect of deaths and disease that will escalate to horrible levels.

    This will lead people who can, to evacuate the rural areas for survival.

    This fourth turning encludes a factor that perhaps comes with longer term cycles, and that is population reduction. It seems that nature is going to show her hand as a balancing agent for this planet. Man has run his course.

  23. Kicked in the balls? Really? Spoken like a true revolutionary and exactly why some people are arming themselves. Even Ron would not react to disagreement as you do.

  24. Through time we have lacked innovation. As now we throw money at all innovation dart board style.
    When money is tight let evolution weed out the worst products. The best then get looked at carefully.
    Yes it does slow down everything until we evolve the best items to fit our needs.
    Some times we have to slow down. Quantum leaps just do not exist .

  25. The crude oil reserves chart does not include Canada, from whom the US imports the bulk of its oil. The inclusion of these statistics tends to weaken your dire outlook for energy.

    Your “black swan” list contains items whose probability has not increased going forward.. they remain the same as the past… i.e. remote

    There is absolutely no chance of an Islam-terrorist on a provincial mall. The targets of Al-Queda type terrorism are icons of american imperialism… military facilites, embassies abroad, wall street connected. Local targets such as malls, federal buildings, post office etc. seems to be the arena of domestic terrorists(gun nuts, violence as a political tool,etc.).. you need to make a case that they will increase especially in face of the suspension of cilvil liberties and the increased “security” imposed on us from the meritocracy in Washington/Wall Street

    1. DaveP


      Read for comprehension. Tar Sands ARE NOT Crude oil.

      Ever heard of EROEI?

      It takes almost as much energy to convert tar sands into crude oil as the energy produced. Do some homework.

  26. DaveP:

    First, you had better draw clear lines between easy Canadian oil and tar star sands. Second, you are proposing that expensive oil is not a major drag on our economy as it exists…

    Second: You propose that reactions to past swans will remain the same…. linear thinking. Would you react to even household issues the same as your parents or even grandparents would? In economics and politics alike, drawing conclusions from past performance is precisely what a black swan is born from.

    Third: Terrorism, foreign or domestic has about the same effect…. not only on the victims but the psyche of the public… and the reaction demanded of the government.

    Last, but not least, what YOU need to do is pull your head out of your ass and re-read this bold and wisdom-filled post.

  27. John Adams:

    Yur full of shit. If a little ale-house talk bugs you, go back to your tea and crumpets with the grannies and try not to play too much pocket-pool.

  28. Hi!, Readers:

    Our worldwide economics look mighty formidable don’t they? Have we forgotten what Jesus has taught us that “except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved?” He added: “for the sake of the elect; those whom God has chosen, those days shall be shortened.”
    Somehow, since man began living on this Earth he has thought himself ‘above the law’ which for my purposes her is the law of love. We make up all kinds of rules and regulations encluding wealth infringements thinking we can literally get away with murder (war) but then we surrender our sense of peace don’t we? What a price to pay; especially when it’s not necessary. He counseled us to love one another and to have peace thereby within ourselves. He also guided us wholeheartedly when He said: “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me or back to the law of love instead of additional loss of peaceful moorings from trying to live ‘above the law” of love. So far, in my estimation anyway, nobody has succeeded in eliminating the law of love anymore than eliminating the law of gravity have they?

    [email protected]

  29. “The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way.” -Strauss & Howe

    We dont know whats going to happen, forget the details, its all unknowable, but something will happen. Cars will crash, hurricanes will wreak havoc, the earth will quake and the people will fight. Whats the F is new here?



  30. Kill Bill: I will assume you haven’t even read the book or even absobed the various summaries of the ideas therein yet.

    Because of my concern for your frail health, I will assume the blood thinners combined with your modified rascal has rendered your boomer brain drained of oxygenated fluids.

    Because of these assumptions I’ll just leave you with one little retort:

    Quit being so crabby, ya wrinkled old scrote!!!

  31. Kill Bill: I will assume you haven’t even read the book or even absobed the various summaries of the ideas therein yet. -CR

    You ever start to read a book, get a little way thru it and throw it down? Thats how this Krabby patty old mentos deficient codger felt when reading it.

    Besides that Im not making a claim that these two think tank floaters are correct. Its up to those that make the claim they are correct [though they digress about what or when] to prove what they say is true.

  32. Great article.

    Civic decay. Is that like when the government pays people to reproduce out of wedlock (Welfare)? Or they write laws the supersede the founding principle of the country (NDAA)? Or when grotesquely obese people don’t even bother to wear clothes to Wal Mart any longer (instead wear pajamas, or even just underwear)? Or people get paid not to work (unemployment)? Or people rely on the government for everything, including food (SNAP)? The death of self-sufficiency in favor or the nanny state. Americans are going to get what they deserve.

  33. AWD: Draft dodging but beating the drums of war…. latch-key kids…. deferring charity to an inefficient machine… outsourcing… treating veterans like shit… nursing homes… letting them “eat cake”… looking the other way…

    On and on. It all comes to a head, people react and the pendulum swings in favor of civic regeneration. That’s a broad term as well. Unfortunately, libertarians, having their traits picked and chosen from for years as has been seen fit, will find that what transpires will most likely NOT be pleasing.

    There is no cause without effect and vice-versa. Will we get what we deserve? Perhaps. At the end of the day, we will get exactly what’s passed and that’s for certain.

  34. All,

    I am a 22 year old married college student in Nevada. I am studying Mining Engineering and I will be graduating May 2013. I am very blessed to have a family in Oregon that has begun farming, stock piling, and has been investing in gold silver and bullion since 2006. As a college student I really do not have money to “prepare” like you all suggest. Me and my wife live debt free, and pay cash for everything. Since I will be in the mining industry ( $1500+ gold makes me happy in the pants) should I need to worry as much as other people? The mining towns here always joke ” what recession” because most people who work in the mines make $85k plus per year. Do you think I really need to worry about preparing since I have family and friends in Oregon my wife and I can go to if shit gets super bad before I graduate? Also post graduation do the same rules apply to me, since I will be in one of the only prospering industries?

    Thanks and God bless,


  35. Wonderful commentary, and I certainly hope folks (not in the choir) to use it as a point of reference to learn about what’s REALLY going on. Since there was an Aldous Huxley quote used above, I’d like to add my favorite below. Today, an individual’s natural self-defenses has been slowly dis-armed by the “Ultimate Revolution” strategy expressed in Aldous Huxley’s 1962 presentation at a Berkeley, California conference:

    “That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude.”

    You really can’t make these things up.

  36. Admin-Kudos, another great piece. And well worth waiting for.

    Andy-Welcome to TBP, and to the exciting world of mining engineering. I left the mining biz in 2000 (with gold in the toilet @ $250) to work in the public sector (i.e., I am a gov’t drone. At least I work for the state of AK, not the Feds). I am tempted to get back into private sector sometimes, but it gets pretty comfortable on the gov’t tit, and the fact is, I’m not sure I work hard enough anymore to make it in the real world. Sad, but true (a man’s got to know his limitations-C. Eastwood). Maybe if the right opportunity comes along.

    Read Doug Casey’s report-Casey & Co seem pretty bullish on mining, but nothing is a sure thing-it can be boom & bust. I see “boom” for the for-see-able future-gold & silver are stronger (by far) than in the 90s, even relative to fuel & inflation, and I did OK back then. Regardless, yes, you need to prep up. If your family is doing that for you, great. I hope you contribute enough to pull your weight. I try to take care of myself, and to do some good for my grown kids (most older than you). They mostly don’t have a pot to piss in, but they at least know basic gun handling and marksmanship. I’ll take them in if it comes to that, but they’ll need to carry some water.

  37. Akanon:

    Thanks for answering to the miner…

    Miner: Never rely solely on the boom prospect… though PM’s are a pretty good bet. I’ve been laughing at the naysayers who dis on the geologically interested. When it comes down to it, what is ripped from the earth is what we call wealth in this system we live in.

    If you plan on “falling back” to your Oregon family, simply prepare for a haul from Nevada to Oregon. Light, quick and well fed… then you will also be prepared for a haul in your boom town should things not go to plan. My best wishes to you and your family and hopes that your education is fruitful.

    Kill Bill:

    You hit the nail on the head. Sexual skullduggery will not matter one bit to the voting public of the electorally strong public. In fact, I’d wager such would even benefit one who dropped the bullshit and instead of whimpering and bending the knee simply said “I’m a man, I fucked up, so what”.

    Just a wager.

  38. “Having 15% of the population surviving on food stamps is surely a sign of economic recovery.”

    Tongue in cheek statements like these made this article a joy to read.

    You incorrectly spelled “hordes” as “hoards” and left out Canada in the list of countries with proven oil reserves. But on the whole an excellent, excellent article.

    It’s just weird that most people don’t see what’s going on. I don’t know when that will happen. At what point do we all pull an Ann Barnhardt and say to hell with the system, I’m done paying income taxes to a corrupt government?

    1. DMiller

      The chart says Crude Oil Reserves. Canada has tar sands. Big difference. Subtract the energy required to get crude from tar sands and you have a much much lower number for Canada.

  39. Continue to admire your writing, Jim. This was one of your best. Deeply appreciate your support of Ron Paul and your thorough, accessible, real world assessment of our national dilemma. I agree about the need for Paul to run 3rd party – our best hope of real reform.

  40. If the elite were so anti-socialist as you say, why did they pick Obama to orchestrate their transition to global government. Why is every force under their control protecting him while he rapes the Constitution. The occupy movement IS a bunch of deadbeats who think that those who can should give those who cant or wont (thats them), that is socialism

  41. Admin and others,

    Nice job on the whole of condemning the right people, but you seem to let the pols off easy compared to their sources of funds: big business, Wall Street, unions, factions, the rich, and the middle class (voters). If the pols had not the power they have grabbed while distoring and ignoring the Constitution, lobbyists would have nothing to lobby for and all those sources of funds would have no powerful representatives to give them to.

    As it is, when pols can deliver favors like tax preferences and anti-competetive regulations, what choice does business have but to lobby? Lobbying becomes de rigeur in a hurry in such an environment so that Boards of Directors hire the best crooked people they can find to gain favor with the pols. In the fullness of time, CEOs all look alike and all have the same intent: to screw you and me.

    So, who you gonna blame? Forget about Wall Street, for example. All those guys are doing is gaming the system that has been put in place by the pols and particularly by the Fed, which looks out for banks, not you and me. Put horse in front of cart please.

    As for peak oil and whatnot. Not. This country is about to become a net exporter of energy. Can you spell G-A-S? Texas, Pennsylvania, North Dakota are three prime locations for enormous supplies through the new technology of fracking. We are talking huge supply, enough that LNG terminals are being built right now to ship natural gas overseas. As for the Canadian tar sands being energy inefficient, you are not looking at price in the right manner. When oil is $90 and higher, Canada is in the catbird seat. When oil goes to $150 and then $200, a lotta Albertans are going to be very rich and the loonie will shine like burnished steel compared to the Fed-tarnished almighty US dollar.

    Can we sit and hope for Ron Paul to win and turn it all around? Noooo. It is too late. The unfunded liabilities of this United States is like $120 trillion. Even if RP knocks off a trillion here and a trillion there, there is no there that can be contrived from here as things now stand without big time inflation and a failed currency, which just happens to be the reserve currency of the world, so that when the fiat fails as all have done throughout history, the world goes to chaos and revolution. The bakeries are going to burn.

    The one hope that I have is that RP will have put a kernel of economic and political sense in enough people by the time things fly apart that this kernel will be enough to reconstruct a proper society based on minimal local government and maybe even one without a Federal government at all. After all, technology is getting so that even a small state could have cheap but fiercesome weaponry with which to defend itself. No aircraft carriers or stealth bombers needed.

    I have thought about preparing for the bad times by stocking up and weaponizing and so on. But lately I have quit that kind of thinking beyond the minimum of wanting to avoid being tortured to death in my home or to run out of water and food after a couple of lousy weeks. I figure that lving life in a real honest to goodness shitstorm is not worth the trouble. Gotta know when to fold ’em. Millions upon millions are going to starve and die or be killed for their goods. In a bigger city, the food runs out in three days at the grocery store and all those people who have stocked nothing and have kids to feed are going to come knocking. How are you going to stop them? Only in your dreams.

    Ever wonder why the Great Wall of China was built? Or why there are so many castles in Europe? Or why the Vikings raided Europe for several hundred years? Well, one reason might be that it is easier and a lot more fun to rape and pillage than to toil on a farm and pay homage to the feudal lord who allows you a pittance to live on while he and his military live high on the hog. Subjugation and raiding go hand in hand and is the natural state of man since agriculture allowed people to amass goods in static locations. We have that condition still. A farm in the middle of nowhere sounds great until the zombies arrive and you begin to realize you should have built a castle and hired mercenaries to keep the peasants in line while defending them against harm from other than you. Maybe put in church as well to provide a little hope for them that needs it.

    You voters for the Rs and Ds all these years might want to take some responsibility. You have ruined our society, but now you are pointing fingers everwhere but at yourselves. Nice.

  42. http://lewrockwell.com/rep3/34-shocking-facts-about-us-debt.html

    The article starts off with this paragraph:

    We have all been lied to. For decades, the leaders of both major political parties have promised us that they can fix our current system and that they can get our national debt under control. As the 2012 election approaches, they are making all kinds of wild promises once again. Well you know what? It is all a giant sham. The United States has gotten into so much debt that there will be no coming back from this. The current system is irretrievably broken. 30 years ago the U.S. debt was a horrific crisis that was completely and totally out of control. If we would have dealt with it back then maybe we could have done something about it. But now it is 15 times larger, and we are adding more than a trillion dollars to the debt every single year. The facts that you are about to read below should set America on fire with anger. Please share them with as many people as you can. What we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is absolutely nightmarish. Words like “abuse”, “financial rape”, “theft” and “crime” do not even begin to describe what we are doing to future generations. We were the wealthiest nation on earth, but it wasn’t good enough just to squander all of our own money. We had to squander the money of our children and our grandchildren as well. America has been so selfish and so self-centered that it is hard to argue that we don’t deserve what is about to happen to this country. We have stolen the future of America, and yet we strut around as if we are the smartest generation that ever walked the face of the earth.

  43. Major:

    Your comment really made me think… and I must thank you for your grim reminder to me…

    That gullible blowhards like yourself, with the memory of a banana slug actually believe that horse-poop you spout. It’s a pity you even have a vote as this fact engenders a strong feeling that a poll tax and literacy testing might be necessary to shield our world from soft-headed imbecilles with sophomoric opinions laying further ruin to the republic.

  44. @Dr. Paul Price:

    What you need depends on how far down society collapses. In the book “60 Seconds After” which describes a post-EMP United States, the author puts the price of a rabbit in terms of a number of 22 bullets. During the Vietnam war, medicine for malaria would get you better results than gold. Gold and silver are only of value if society is at a level high enough that basic needs are met. If that’s not the case, then social interactions reduce to barter – you can’t eat gold.

    With that in mind, I suggest that most of the ‘store this’ lists are woefully inaccurate. Consider the things you have in your house every day that will last for months or years without replacement. Obviously, you don’t need to store them. Consider instead the things you don’t use on a regular basis that would become incredible important.

    For example, your toothbrush will last a long time and you already have it, so it’s not a priority. On the other hand, you might have a few matches around that you use once in a while. How much more valuable will matches become when you have to use them every day because you have no power?

    Some things to consider: enough land to plant a garden, heirloom seeds so you can replant, mature fruit trees in your back yard, a root cellar for storage, matches, candles (or better yet, a way to make candles), firewood, bullets (for self and barter), medical supplies, etc. It’s a good thought exercise to consider what you would do in a typical day and what you could manufacture/contribute without electricity, natural gas, gasoline or running water.

  45. You paint a dark picture, Admin.

    Do you think Merideth Whitney’s call, that large numbers of municipalities will go through bankruptcy, will come to fruition this year?

    Any chance that public employees all over don’t have raises in the pipeline demanded by union contracts? From other things I have read, states and local governments are not collecting too much in taxes. Seems like we are ripe for a public unions battle, on a local scale.

    “Delusional, non-thinking dolts across the land watched on their 60 inch HDTVs as young protestors got clubbed, beaten, tear gassed, tasered, maced, and brutalized by paid mercenaries for the ruling oligarchy. They treated the horrific scenes of brutality as if it was just one of their 30 favorite reality TV shows like I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant or Toddlers & Tiaras. They thought this was a new show called Mace A Millenial.”

    You crack me up. Season two starts this summer. Get your helmet on.

    1. Punk

      I love how the MSM has been out in force condemning Meredith Whitney. Her timing was off, but she will be right. States, municipalities, and localities continue to lose tax revenue while stuck with union contracts. The issue that they can put off through fake accounting and false assumptions is their unpayable pension obligations. The unfunded liabilities will bankrupt hundreds of municipalities just like Meredith has predicted.

  46. Splendid post. You write with Kunstler’s lucidity and penetration, but without his excess of venom. I suggest local action – fill every empty seat on every local board (zoning, planning, police commission, etc.) so that you can help to be part of the solution, or at least a brake on bad policy. (I took my own advice and am now on city council.) Don’t avoid jury duty – juries are one of our only chances to de facto vote on laws by refusing to enforce unjust ones, and a panicked gov’t may become even more over-zealous with prosecutions. Block clubs and neighborhood watches are also excellent ways to coordinate local efforts to secure the home-front against crime and disorders of all kinds.

  47. Admin – I have just now had time to read the article reasonably closely. Nicely done. I would have a couple of minor quibbles, but nothing of consequence, and generally concur with your positions.

    I do want to comment on the graph that shows productivity/wages. I made mention of this a few days ago, and was roundly booed. Basically, what I said in response to a comment by AWD re the reduction in manufacturing as a percentage of workers was that the reduction was driven by 2 factors – increased productivity and global competition vis a vis lower labor costs in developing countries. The graph highlights the point quite effectively.

    If productivity has improved by 80% since 1979, in order to make the same number of widgets requires significantly fewer manufacturing employees. This is similar to what happened with agriculture – once upon a time a huge proportion of the population was required to work in agriculture order to grow enough food for society. Today only about 1.5% of the population works in agriculture – and the US is a large exporter of food.

    So, the only way that the US manufacturing base could have maintained itself would be to export in large quantities. That was made impossible by the low wages of the competition. The low wages resulted in consumers buying large quantities of foreign product, which further eroded the US’s manufacturing base. And this is continuing.

    Manufacturing was the cornerstone of the middle class. It was what provided the middle class their livelihood by and large. As the percentage of manufacturing worker dropped, so did wages. First, in order to compete internationally, companies were forced to tighten compensation to workers. Second, companies found themselves in a buyer’s market – the jobs they had for sale had a lot of potential buyer – the displaced manufacturing workers.

    So wages began to drop. Unskilled workers – which to a large extent is what manufacturing employees are – began to transition to service industry (i.e. McDonald’s). Service jobs pay poorly. This cycle is continuing, and the middle class jobs are disappearing, and wil continue to disappear.

    Manufacturing can possibly recover somewhat as labor rates increase overseas – although I am not optimistic. However, there is no overcoming the productivity issue. Manufacturing will never recover its position of a few dacades ago. Never.

    So in order to obtain a middle class lifestyle, people wil need to possess high levels of marketable skills – skills valuable in a world marketplace. But people do not have the skills, and the US educational system is so horrific that it will take generations to rebuild it. Americans as a whole are very poorly educated at this time. Even if major shifts were undertaken today, it would take perhaps 60 years to populate the workforce fully with skilled people – say 20 years to get all graduates from the system coming out educated, and another 40 to fully populate the system from young to old. That is not good. Plus, it is extremely uncertain if a majority of the population can even be trained sufficiently to be able to compete in a global market given the high skill levels required, and natural limitiations (ie half the population having IQs under 100).

    So you are truly correct when you say that the standard of living will fall. Indeed it must fall. I ee no way out. The middle class jobs are gone by and large. I do not kow where a mass of jobs providing a middle class lifestyle will come from. skilled people will do reasonable well. The unskilled or semi-skilled are going to suffer mightily. It has taken decades of neglect for the country to arrive at this point. It will take decades to reverse the situation – if it is even possible.

    It will be trying times indeed.

    1. It seems that the comforting storyline about college students who get worthless humanities degrees getting what they deserve isn’t quite true. Recent college graduate unemployment rates show this storyline to be false. Architects have the highest unemployment rate by far at 13.9%. Computers and Mathematics majors have a higher unemployment rate than Psychology & Social workers.

      Who has the lowest unemployment rate? – TEACHERS.

      It seems the ideologues are wrong again. Read it and weep.


  48. SSg:

    Awesome. I hope you give some dignity to the council. I was just re-reading the 4th Turning. Read it in ’99, I believe, and it has a whole new dimension.

    On a phone now, but towards the end it speaks of working WITH the push towards civic responsibility as an unraveling preperation… I take it as the whole “swim WITH the current” idea. Well, I don’t know your region, but I hope you can set a great example for others you sit with.

    A government that governs, not a government who delegates to others.

    It’s a’ coming.

  49. Admin/Punk – the property tax declines as revaluations occur are going to really hit revenue streams nation wide. I concur with Admin + Whitney – municipalities are going down for the count. At least they will be able to reset local government labor rates and pension entitlements when that happens.

  50. Llpoh: Oh, it will fall, the “Middle Class Standard”, make no mistake.

    Yes, foreign lands will increase their costs or the alternative…. which is really ugly.

    So we don’t drive new cars every two years… so we have to live with roomates and/or family. Ehhhhh…. not so bad, considering the reality of the alternative.

    Shit happens.

    Hope you short your muni bonds in time.

  51. Admin:

    Yeah, I haven’t bought the “unskilled” story line. The girlie’s my real-life example… extremely skilled mathematician. Graduated a year ago.

    Well, the Navy wants her… ugh.

    Other than that, the story line is “No skills willing to work for less than tending bar or waiting tables” at a dead-end.

    Don’t get me started, dammit…

  52. Admin – I saw the report yesterday. My take was a bit different. The highest unemployment rates were architecture, arts and humanities. Education was a surprise. Science, health and math degrees generally had what could be considered low unemployment rates. Arts had unemployment rates of around 1w percent. The areas you mentioned – education for instance – seem to be unique and related to current demographic issues. But overall, math and science and engineering fields are the way to go, and certainly not humanities. Architecture is being hit by the reduction in building. Go figure.

    1. llpoh

      Is the unemployment rate for recent grads in computers and math higher or lower than the unemployment rate for psychology majors and social workers?

      We all see the data through the prism of our preconceived beliefs.

      I just observe the data and report it.

  53. but the ows dialogue is socialistic…

    and if you think there are ‘ruling elite’ (which i dont doubt there are) having obama and romney be the candidates…. then it would would naive to think that these ‘elite’ couldn’t just kill off paul if they had to, or he is controlled opposition anyway.

    also, though US doesn’t need to be in hundreds of countries, or fighting illegal or pointless wars….. still due diligence needs to be taken. if US cuts and runs in strategic locations, someone else will just take their place… China? Russia? and how will those changes effect the US?

  54. Admin – I just report it too. Humanities and arts overall are doing poorly.sciences and maths. And engineering are doing much better. I am not sure what your point is re psych and sociology.

    1. llpoh

      The picture is clearly mixed and doesn’t support your contention. The fact is that degrees you consider worthless like Psychology and Social work and education have lower unemployment rates than those with degrees in math and computers.

      Those is the facts. They don’t fit your storyline, so you ignore them.

  55. PS – not looking for a fight here. Just not sure what point you are making. As I said earlier I read the data much differently and seemed to me that it pointed a whole different direction than what you seem to be indicating. There are some statistical blips. Sorry about the typos.

  56. So sorry admin. I thought that was your point. I didn’t ignore anything. Humanities and arts had unemployment levels around 11 plus percent. Sciences and maths around 7 percent by memory. I didn’t really pay much attention to subsections like psych and soc but previously these had very high unemployment rates. Perhaps thhere is pent up demand. I do not know. What I’d do know is that for some time now math and science has beat humanities by a substantial margin, and the forecasts of where jobs will be in the future are concentrated in those fields. You seem to be looking at smallish subsets while I am looking at a big picture.

    Are you suggesting we need more humanities in preference to scientists? More. Social workers? More psychologists? I am of the position that build it and they will come. Graduate more math and science majors and jobs will come. I doubt many sociologists will create jobs. Who is getting hired this instant is of little consequence, as there is a great many other factors.

    You say it doesn’t fit my view of things. There are too many variables to tell. How many grads were there in sociology? What jobs did they fill? How many were there last year? This year? Next year? How much do they earn today? Do they work for governments or for privates? (We sure do need more government workers!).

    Do you really disagree with my belief we need scientists, mathematicians and engineers in much larger quantities?

    1. llpoh

      You have continually made the point that manufacturing has left the U.S. and won’t be coming back. Technology has made employees obsolete. How can you then proclaim we need more scientists, mathematicians and engineers and the jobs will come? All three of those jobs can be done remotely from India or China at one tenth the cost of employing them in the U.S.

      The best students in these three areas in the best colleges in the U.S. are foreign. They graduate and head back to their countries.

      You need to stick with a consistent storyline.

  57. Admin – you are a right mean SOB. You in fact did finally get the spurs in. I have been trying to be a kinder gentler LLPOH and see your many good points and disregard those few areas where we differ, not on what needs to be done but on why it needs to be done.

    Happy New year to you too!

  58. Perhaps I should say we will lose fewer or perhaps stabilize. Manufacurturing is doomed. But without those sorts we have no chance of developing new anything – whatever it may be. I do not kniw if there is an answer – not for the unskilled in any event. If there is a hope it lies in science and math not in humanities. New tech may not work either.but I do no without those sciences there will be no manufacuring left – not even the ten per cent of the pop we currently have will remain in manufacturing if we do not skill up.

    1. I agree we need more engineers, scientists, and hard science graduates. But, I think getting a college education is a worthy effort in any field.

      People’s brains are wired differently. I started in engineering. I was a dumbfuck in this major. I could have never become an engineer in a million years. My brain is not wired to understand physics and calculus. It is wired to understand numbers.

      Other people’s brains are wired to help people. Avalon has a psychology degree and she worked in social services placing mentally disabled people with families when we got married. I consider that a worthwhile profession.

      Neil Howe got an undergraduate degree in literature and a masters in economics and history. I think people who write books like the 4th Turning have done something worthwhile.

      I don’t think we can scorn people who have gotten degrees in humanities. We need to scorn any college or high school graduate that chooses not to think critically about what is going on in this country.

      The people that have ruined this country have the most education. Its the Ivy League MBAs (just sayin) and PhDs that have destroyed our economic system.

      We agree for the most part, but I think it is a little more complicated than you prefer.

  59. I must say that I enjoy the hell out of llpoh v. Admin battle royals.

    You aren’t gonna let him dis you like that now, llpoh?

    I was trying to be nicer to the nubes too. I even said “horse poop” earlier.

    Following llpoh’s example, I am a kinder gentler Colma…

  60. Back to municipal debt and bankruptcy in 2012…

    The ratings agencies have municipalities in their cross hairs and are downgrading.

    The first was Illinois – many more to come.

    The idea is to force conversation between municipalities and public unions – where they will renegotiate pensions, benefits.

    The goal is to stave off total and complete collapse…

  61. Llpoh, Admin:

    Who’s the most likely major to smoke cigarettes and wear pinky rings? Huh…huh?

    Riddle me that, smarty-pants’!

  62. Admin – as before we agree on the what needs doing but not entirely on the why.

    Here is the story on manufacturing. Every manufacturers goal is the same – to be perfectly efficient. And that means no labor whatsoever. Pour raw materials in one end of a system and collect the car at the other without adding labor. And the day is coming when it will be like this – not only in the US but worldwide. So ultimately no one in the US will work in manufacturing. No one save a very tiny percentage. There is no going back.

    Where will jobs come from? I do not know. But wherever they come from will require skilled people to develop them. That I believe.

    BTW as an example of disappearing jobs, I used to make file cabinets. In my first year it took 1.4 hrs per cabinet. Three years later it took 1. So it goes.

    Colma – glad we keep you amused.

    1. llpoh

      I think we need more Ivy League MBAs to create new and improved derivatives that will fix our $100 trillion debt predicament. Now that would be value added.

  63. @Llpoh, Colma and Admin

    Damn it – if you guys are going to start playing nice, then how am I going to get entertainment? It’s not like I can join in the bun-fight. Unlike you silly USAnians, I live in the future! By the time I comment on something, you’re all asleep or something.

    Besides, I can’t use phrases like “horse poop”. “Thrice accursed son of a motherless goat” yes, “sucker of satan’s warty disese infested cock” also yes, and the classic “pile of feotid dingo’s kidneys”.

  64. The best students in these three areas in the best colleges in the U.S. are foreign.

    Not completely true 😉

    Biotech and other medical manufacturing is very strong in this country partly because it is mostly machines and the engineers that “run them” not labor.

    Say what you want but there is still a decent automotive manufacturing sector here. VW recently opened a plant here in TN. And BMW wants to expand in the US. All of Toyotas audio amplifiers are made in KY.

    I agree with the general sentiment about STEM education in this country. I recently read a Fareed Zakaria piece where he cited stats that demonstrated a doubling in the number of college grads since the early eighties however the number of STEM grads was about 1000 less. That’s disturbing considering what China churns out. But I was also thinking, what can you do with a math degree other than teach, be an actuary for insurance company or wall street.

  65. Mikey: You’re right…. but I never tangle with llpoh or Admin.

    Yet I must say that those who disagree with my last posts, anonymously for fear of being penciled in my infamous TBP Punk Book, thumbs-downed not on the obvious merit I iimparted, but solely because I ruined their sex live after giving their bitches and hoes a fond memory and a newly-tapped hot spot.

    There. Much better…

  66. @Colma


    sure, you talk big here – but there’s a reason that the US was the first country to market impotency pills. How many of your country men can even see their pubic hair without the aid of at least one mirror. And as for the women…… *shudder*

  67. Mikey – never fear. Resolutions are meant to be broken not followed. I have already broken my kinder gentler resolution. Let the wars begin.

    Petey – not 100 percent true but generally true. Take a walk around a campus and see. My son had to drop out of his actuary course as he was getting murdered by Asians. He is perhaps top one or two percent in math. But he sucked hind tit against the Asians. And of course they grade on a curve. So better an A in accounting than a C in actuary. I can’t really argue with him there.

  68. Mikey: You’re trippin’. California women, especially my girl, are awesome… and they don’t have that god-awful accent.

  69. llpoh

    The sadder part is that employers tell us our grads can’t write a coherent sentence.

    I’m thankful for one thing only. At least I don’t work at Dartmouth. I understand they pump out the lowest, crudest, vilest MBAs on earth.

    Dartmouth’s most famous MBA Grad


  70. Hey – leave my frat buddies out of this! But I am sure you are right. But at least they are fun to drink with. If you’ve never seen the Grinch hammered you haven’t really lived. Chicks love him.

  71. @Colma

    My girl’s a Ruski ex-pat of viking descent – not the god-awful ‘tractor women’. Long legs, tall, blond, ex-underwear model, and quite a mean uppercut too.

  72. Long time reader and ponderer of 4th Turning. Please to find this blog.
    Tell me please why you believe that 2007 was the beginning of the crisis period.
    Thanks, SP

    1. Saintpaulia

      2007 was when the housing market really began to crash and financial firms started to go under. They covered up the facts for awhile, but it all collapsed in 2008 with Bear Strearns, Lehman, Merrill, Washington Mutual, etc. I see the 2007/2008 as the 1929 moment for this Fourth Turning.

  73. @Saintpaulia

    Basically, that’s when the world’s global currency markets collapsed due to the massive dodgy loans and loan derivitive tradings through the US markets.

  74. Saintpaulia

    I’ll add:
    1970 – asset securitization was spawned
    1971 – Nixon closes the gold window
    and the US$ starts on the long, slippery fiat slope
    even the S&L crisis was a lesson soon forgotten
    add in the doc-com bubble
    Greenspan’s ‘fix’ for that which led to the housing bubble
    throw in the CRA effect for good measure
    by 2007 the unraveling was complete — the global financial system is broken

    That’s a Crisis and smoke & mirrors will not fix it.

  75. Yikes – this post is so much more literate than the the scribblings in my blog about similar material, that it is sort of discouraging to be competing with it for readers’ attention. A factor that could be added to the list is the impact of extreme weather events and the likelihood that they will revitalize the environmental movement. I suspect that 2012 will bring more droughts and flash floods.

  76. Hey Mikey:

    Does your pasty waif have a combo of annoying accents or does she just sound like a flustered Texan like the anchor on RT?

  77. Since the rich aristocratic psychopaths send their kids to Ivy league universities to prepare to run the world…Administrator are you not a little like the drill instructor complaining about the army?

    Personally I think working at a psycho training factory makes you part of the problem.

    P.S. I like little boys, so I drive slowly past schools in my neighborhood.

    1. Bradley Parkes

      Why do Canadian pussies hide behind new aliases rather than act like a man and reveal yourself?

      Go fuck yourself.

  78. Where I disagre with you is your comments about the middle east. You obviously know nothing about Islamic end-times theology. Islam is not the religon of peace the liberals and media portray it to be. Don’t get me wrong there are millions of peaceful muslims, but their religion is a conquering one that whose goal is worldwide domination. they don’t hate us just because of policy but because their Koran tells them to convert or kill invidels. Iran will nuke Israel and the US when they get the chance because they believe it will bring thier messiah The Maudi or 12th Imam. It doesn’t matter what we believe, they believe this. The Arab spring is the beginning of an islamic caliphate like the Ottoman empire. I agree the US is after oil and I am against any more occupations. We don’t have the money and it’s not productive, but thinking like Ron Paul will get us nuked. We must take out Iran’s nuclear capability. the reality is there will be war in the middle east with 2 years because Israel will hit them preemptively.

  79. Your agenda would be more believable if you had begun by saying you had lived in the middle east, and were a scholar of comparative religion. Instead you throw out the Islamophobe standard talking points. It’s parallel to those who say the Christian bible is _literal_.

    And why must ‘we’ take out Iran if Israel is (going to try) to do it with (sic) two years?

    Why not just wait for their arsenal of benign nukes, as opposed to the evil Iranian ones?

    Maybe you can also explain why, if Islam is so monolithic, why the Wahabi version is so extreme, why Shia and Sunni would rather fight one another and … well, never mind, I learned the answers in Saudi.

    Have a nice day.

  80. @Colma

    nah – I had to teach her how to sound like proper James Bond-grade Ruski spy woman.

    And after having lived here in QLD with sunny nude beaches for 10 years, she ain’t pasty! I’d post a picture up here of her, but the shock would probably give an old man like you a heart attack.

  81. Mikey the Tiger:

    I applaud you, though it be a few days later, but I assure you I’m at least seven years young of your old ass.

    Skinny bitches and sunshine notwithstanding, do not underestimate yoga studios next to gunshops in the U S of motherfuckin’ A.

    It’s high time you emigrate. To California.

    I swear there’s a lotta Russians park side… as well as software giants.

    Whadevs, I wouldn’t know, because my girl”s fucking AWESOME and it aint my problem. Cha-ching.

  82. Stiglitz = FDR-lite

    Fucking progressives. I don’t suppose he’d like to discuss the negative multiplier of stimulus.

    QE1, QE2, stealth QE3. Cash for Clunkers. HAMP. and and and

    A thousand criminal referrals after the S&L crisis and zip for vampire squids. But wow, the Feebs are dropping the hammer on a few hedge fund managers for insider trading. Why haven’t they indicted those invertebrate congresscritters for same?

    Hey, stiglish, fuck the taxes, just go for asset forfeiture. It works for ordinary people, just as your local thugs … umm, police. Start with the Forbes 400. Of course, their combined wealth would only be equivalent to 10% of the national debt. Arhitmetic is easy.

    But what stimulus would you find next year?


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