COLLAPSE IS A TAXING EXPERIENCE

32 comments

Posted on 6th February 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Dimitri and Ugo with a fascinating discussion about the collapse of the Soviet Union and how that compares to the coming collapse of the EU and the U.S.

The collapse clock is ticking. The ruling elite will tax the plebs until there is nothing left to tax. You can see it happening in the U.S. today. Income taxes, real estate taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, cigarette taxes, tolls, fees, and the tax on the stupid – state controlled casinos and gambling.

It’s just a matter of time. Europe will implode first. The U.S. will be next. We know we are already five years into this Fourth Turning, so we know this will all play out within the next fifteen years. The unraveling of the financial system could happen without notice. With trillions of derivatives of mass destruction out there, backed by nothing but promises from one insolvent bank to another, trust is waning quickly. Panic is only a default away.

I believe the collapse will proceed at a brisk pace within the next five years. And if I were a betting man, I’d take the under.

Enjoy some collapse doom from Dimitri and Ugo.

 

Submitted by Dimitri Orlov

How To Time Collapses

Over the past half a decade I’ve made a number of detailed predictions about collapse: how it is likely to unfold, what its various manifestations are likely to be, and how it will affect various groups and categories of people. But I have remained purposefully vague about the timing of collapse and its various stages, being careful to always append “give or take half a decade” to my dire prognostications. I wasn’t withholding information or being coy; I really had no way of calculating when collapse will happen—until five days ago, when, out of the blue, I received the following email from Ugo Bardi:

Hi Dmitry,

You may be interested in this post of mine.

Starting from this post, I’m trying to draw a parallel between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impending collapse of Italy. There are, as always, similarities and differences. In particular, the Soviet Union collapsed almost immediately after that oil production flattened out and started declining. On the contrary, the Italian government survives despite a loss of 36% in oil consumption.

My impression is that it is all related to different taxation methods. I understand that the Soviet tax system was based mainly on commodity taxes and on taxes on production. When production stalled, people had nothing to buy and the government had nothing to tax because most people owned nothing and had little or no savings in banks. So, the government had no choice but to fold over and disappear.

Instead, the Italian system is based largely on income tax and property tax. The government is losing revenues on commodity taxes (e.g. on gasoline) but it can compensate with property taxes. Italians, on the average, are “rich,” in the sense that they have savings in banks and most of them own their homes. So, the government can tax their properties and their savings. As long as Italians still have something taxable, then the government will survive. It will disappear only when it has managed to strip citizens completely of everything they have.

Do you agree with this interpretation? (BTW, Italy as a state may be even more culturally diverse than the old Soviet Union was.)

Ugo

I wrote back:

Hi Ugo,

Very interesting article. Yes, the entire southern tier of the EU is in some early stage of collapse, but so far it hadn’t occurred to me to draw parallels between it and USSR. Now that you mention it, the parallel is obvious: it is financial collapse triggered by something having to do with oil, but with polarities reversed, and delayed by a period of wealth destruction.

In the case of USSR, taxation wasn’t really a source of government revenue. The national economy was based on government ownership of everything, central planning and budgets, and a system of assigning ministerial contracts to enterprises owned by the ministries. The external economy was a matter of exporting hydrocarbons in exchange for foreign currency, which was used to buy grain—mostly feed grain for cattle, without which the population would become protein-deprived and malnourished. Over the so-called “stagnation” period of the 1980s the Soviet economy became hollowed out because of several trends. Too much spending on defense was one of them. Another was that investment in capital goods (machinery, plant and equipment) reached the point of diminishing returns, which is very difficult to characterize but not so difficult to observe. Lastly, Solzhenitsyn and the dissident movement had done irreparable damage to Soviet prestige, destroying morale. The coup de grace, when it came, consisted of two pieces. One was the inability to expand oil production given the state of Soviet oil extraction technology of the era. The other was the fall in oil prices, down to $10/bbl at one point, because North Sea and Alaska both went on stream, and the Saudis pumped as much oil as they could based on a tacit agreement with the US to depress oil prices and thus crush the Soviets. In this they largely succeeded. The USSR became heavily indebted to the West, and, at the very end, needed Western credit to keep the lights on in the Kremlin. One of the final scenes featured Gorbachev on the phone with [West Germany’s Chancellor] Helmut Kohl asking him to ask the Americans to release some funds.

Now, I can see parallels to this in what is happening now in the US and in the EU, but with all the polarities reversed: here oil flows in and money flows out, and the coup de grace [will be] high oil prices rather than low. Instead of failures of central planning, which failed to allocate production effectively, we have failures of the globalized market, where production is effectively globalized but consumption is ineffectively localized among the wealthy and the formerly wealthy, and has to be fueled by credit. Instead of diminishing returns from deployment of capital goods, we have diminishing returns from deployment of capital itself, where a unit of new debt now produces much less than a unit of economic growth. The damage to reputation and morale is mostly on the US side of the Atlantic, where in place of Solzhenitsyn and the dissident movement we have Abu Ghraib [scandal], [Wikileaks’ Julian] Assange and [Edward] Snowden. With the EU, most of the damage has to do with [the] experience of economic disparities between the rich core and the increasingly impoverished periphery, and the recent move in Ukraine to walk away from the EU, and the ensuing Western-financed mayhem in Kiev, show that the bloom is off the EU rose as well. The runaway military spending is likewise mostly a US issue, although epic failures in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, in which the EU is complicit, are likely to have some effect as well.

Comparing USSR to Italy is difficult because of the disparity of scale: 1/5 of the planet’s dry surface versus a smallish peninsula; an economy that slowly decayed in isolation versus an integral part of the EU; a country where the choice is between burning hydrocarbons or dying of exposure versus one where the choice is between riding a scooter or taking the bus; a country with a ravaged agricultural sector unable to grow enough protein calories versus a nation of foodies where corner groceries make worthy subjects for oil paintings. But I think that when it comes to the actual collapse, when it finally comes, there will still be identifiable similarities. Financial collapse always comes first: all sorts of financial arrangements unravel as the center becomes unable to float the periphery, and in response the periphery starts to withhold economic cooperation. The result is a breakdown in supply chains, shutdown of production, and, shortly thereafter, shutdown of commerce. In the case of the USSR, this unfolded in 1989-91 as the various republics and regions refused to cooperate with Moscow. I suspect that this will also happen in the EU, at some point. But I think that you are exactly right that whereas the average Soviet citizen could not be fleeced, Italy, and much of the EU, still have plenty of fat sheep that the government can shear to keep things running. Thus we are looking at a few more years of steady decline before the lights start going out. This, then, is the key distinction: the USSR collapsed promptly because it was already skin and bones, whereas the US and the EU still have plenty of subcutaneous fat to burn through. But they are, in fact, burning through it. And so, the conclusion is, collapse will come, but here it will take a little longer.

-Dmitry

Ugo responded:

I agree with you, of course. It makes perfect sense to me and it is the main point I was making: the Soviet government couldn’t tax Soviet citizens too much because they owned very little.

The Italian government instead has some luck in the sense that Italians have some savings and most of them own their homes. So, the government is progressively strangling their citizens to squeeze out of them all that they have—while they still have something.

The last round of tax increases in Italy is targeting homes and it is really, really hurting, especially the poor. You can be poor here, and still own a house that you inherited from your parents. Now the government asks you to pay as if that house were revenue! That is truly evil. People who don’t have the money to pay this property tax can only indebt themselves with banks (or worse). Eventually, they’ll have to sell their homes or give them to the bank (or to the Mafia)—the result is disaster for everybody, including for the banks, and even the government. But the whole thing has a perverse logic. It has the advantage that it generates some immediate cash which is badly needed, then the hell with the future.

The [next] phase will be to target bank accounts. Then, when there will be nothing left, the government will decamp and say bye to everybody. Hell, what a planet I landed in…..

All the best,

Ugo

And so here is the outline of the method for calculating the timing of collapses:

1. Find out when the collapse clock starts running by looking for a significant drop in energy consumption

2. Calculate how long the clock is going to run by dividing the total wealth of the citizenry by the economic shortfall of the shrinking economy

For any industrial economy the collapse clock starts running as soon as the consumption of fossil hydrocarbons starts dropping appreciably. It is sometimes difficult to tell whether this has already happened if the country in question is still a major hydrocarbon producer. Gross production numbers can still be holding steady or even seem to go up a bit, but once you subtract all the energy that is being expended on energy production itself, and on the unprofitable mitigation of its many undesirable consequences, you might be able see a decline sooner rather than later. Notably, the net energy yield, or EROEI, is very low for all the newer unconventional sources that have been trumpeted as panaceas in recent years, such as ones that require hydrofracturing and drilling in deep water, tar sands and so on. (The so-called “renewables,” such as wind, solar and biofuels, are an even bigger joke, because all of them with the exception of hydroelectric plants have net energy that is too low to sustain an industrial economy, plus they all depend on technologies that are “nonrenewable” unless the country maintains a vast industrial base which happens to run on fossil fuels.) And so the drop in net energy consumption is clear for Italy, which produces 7% of the oil it consumes and imports the rest, whereas the picture is somewhat less clear for the US, which still manages to supply around a third of its oil.

Since all industrial economies literally run on fossil fuels, lower energy consumption immediately translates into a lower level of economic activity and a shrinking economy. The gap between the expectations of economic growth that are dialed into all of the financial arrangements, and the reality of economic decline driven by lower energy availability, has to be plugged with the population’s savings. There are a number of ways of expropriating wealth, generally proceeding from various kinds of stealth taxation measures, to more overt measures, to outright expropriation. Taking the US as the example (since I am most familiar with it) the expropriation cascade is proceeding as follows:

1. Central bank policy of zeroing out of interest rates on savings combined with massive money-printing. This forces money into speculative markets (stocks, real estate, etc.) creating huge financial bubbles; when these bubbles pop, savings are said to be destroyed, but in reality that money has already been spent by the government or used to fill the private coffers of those closely associated with the government.

2. Government policy of canceling retirements or short-changing retirees. The federal government has worked hard to make its official measure of inflation all but meaningless so that it can justify its policy of making cost of living adjustments to social security payments that are far less than the the real increases in the cost of living. Another federal expropriation scheme is via guaranteed student loans, which cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, and which have created an entire class of indentured servants. At the more local level, state and municipal governments are curtailing or canceling retirement programs by virtue of going bankrupt.

3. Ever more onerous reporting requirements for financial transactions, especially for those who try to leave the country and expatriate their savings. All foreign bank accounts must now be reported, and people who work abroad are now forced to file voluminous annual reports that cost thousands of dollars to prepare. Those who decide to repudiate their US citizenship are made to pay a hefty exit tax. Nevertheless, record numbers of US citizens have been doing just that. Just having a US passport often makes it impossible to set up accounts in foreign financial institutions, which have little desire to comply with US demands for financial disclosure.

These are the measures that are already in place. Looking at what’s been tried before, here and elsewhere, we can see what other measures are in the works. Among them:

1. So-called “bail-ins” where insolvent financial institutions are rescued by confiscating depositor funds. We can expect the script to be similar to what happened in Cyprus: politically connected depositors get word ahead of time and yank out their money forthwith; everybody else gets shorn.

2. Limits on bank withdrawals. You might still “have” money in the bank, but that’s the only place you can “have” it. The semantics of the verb “to have” can be quite tricky, you see…

3. Ever-increasing taxes on property resulting in property confiscation. It works like this: government prints money and hands it out to its friends; its friends use it to temporarily bid up property values; property taxes go up to a point where the property owners can’t pay them; owners lose their properties. A staggering 63% of real estate purchases in Florida last December were cash purchases.

4. Various kinds of sudden, new, super-complex regulations, noncompliance with which results in very large fines. In turn, nonpayment of these fines results in forfeiture of assets. The US has some very curious laws according to which inanimate objects such as cars, boats and houses can be charged with a crime, seized and auctioned off. We can expect lots more of such property grabs in the future.

5. Gold confiscation, which happened once in the US already, so there is a precedent for it. Yes, I know that this will make a number of people upset, but I am yet to hear a convincing argument for why the US government would not resort to gold confiscation when that turns out to be one of the few remaining cards it can play.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you feel that I have missed something major, please submit a comment, and I will consider it for inclusion.

Now, it would be nice if all of these measures worked like clockwork, always producing the right amount of wealth confiscation to levitate the government, and the financial scheme on which it is based, for a little while longer. Alas, as with most things, something is bound to go wrong at some point, most likely when you least expect it. And it seems like a dead certainty that something will in fact go wrong well before every last American citizen is relieved of every bit of their accumulated wealth and is living peacefully in a roadside ditch, wearing an attractive loincloth and a stylish mudpack for a hat, quietly perfecting a nouvelle cuisine that features snails au jus and dandelion salad au chaume. Maybe you can imagine it, but I can’t. Beyond a certain point, I can only imagine reports of widespread “public disturbances” followed by “breakdown of law and order.”

Still, I hope that this framework will allow us to set an upper bound for how long collapse can be deferred for any given country. Once hydrocarbon consumption drops appreciably, the clock starts running. Then it is possible to estimate how long the clock can theoretically run by dividing the remaining net worth of the population by the size of the hole in the economy created by falling energy consumption.

But after that things get messy. Some countries will hollow themselves out quite peaceably, and go softly into the night, while others will explode and fast-forward though the financial-commercial-political collapse sequence. And so perhaps the most useful thing to know is whether the collapse clock is already running for any given country, because if it is already running, then it becomes a fool’s game to wait around for the inevitable outcome.

One reasonable approach is to get another passport and quietly relocate to another country. It is important that this country be one for which the collapse clock is not running and won’t be for a long time yet. Ideally this would be a financially secure, politically stable, energy independent, militarily invincible, underpopulated, non-extradition country which will be among the last to be severely disrupted by climate change and where you could have lunch with Edward Snowden. But this approach doesn’t appeal to everyone, and I understand that.

And so another approach is to adapt to what’s coming while remaining in the US, or in any other country for which the collapse clock is running, by making yourself, and your wealth, should you have any, illegible. Here is a very nice article by one smart cookie by the name of Venkatesh Rao on the concept of illegibility. And here is his very nice primer on being an illegible person. This kind of illegibility has nothing to do with bad handwriting; it is about hiding in plain sight. Please read these as homework, because I will have more to say on this topic in the near future. And I would love to see a list of countries for which the collapse clock is running, along with first-order estimates for how long it could possibly run for each one, based on their population’s net worth and the country’s economic shortfall. But since this post has just gone over 3000 words, I am leaving this as an exercise for the reader.

32 Comments
  1. dc.sunsets says:

    “when these bubbles pop, savings are said to be destroyed, but in reality that money has already been spent by the government or used to fill the private coffers of those closely associated with the government.”

    This is where Orlov nails it, entirely.

    The underlying effect of a debt-fueled mania is to allow people to maintain the illusion of wealth while they collectively consume all the capital that actually exists.

    It is basically One Big Accounting Fraud.

    Right to the end, people THINK they hold wealth (capital) but in fact all they hold are claims-on-capital, and in fact multiple people hold the same claims for each “unit” of capital (via the magic of rehypothecation and leverage-collateralized-by-other-IOU’s).

    Enron was the model for the future:
    1. Pundits claim the company (country) is sound even as its stock begins to sell off.
    2. The stock (the stock market) plunges but the “experts” still sing praises to the strength of the company (country).
    3. Employees (citizens) naively embrace the platitudes and leave their “assets” embedded in the company (country) even as the monetary value (exchange value) of those assets plunges.
    4. After the value of the company stock (stock market and bond market) is nearly fully collapsed, a scandal erupts, revealing massive malfeasance and criminality via accounting gimmickry.
    5. There is no value remaining to be sold to pay off creditors.
    6. People dependent upon what they put into the company (stock market, bond market, pensioners) are left with NOTHING.

    The truth was that at Point #1 there was already NOTHING THERE. The cupboard was (and is) already bare. 34 years of lies and binging on debt have left nothing but empty beer bottles and melting ice cream on the floor.

    6th February 2014 at 9:02 am

  2. dc.sunsets says:

    As Orlov notes, what happens to asset values when the political system gets desperate?

    Any asset (house, manufacturing plant, etc.) that CANNOT BE MOVED will be a sitting duck for TAX ROBBERY.

    Look at Argentina. Once the process got under way in earnest, the politicians colluded with overt criminals to steal from anyone who owned anything and give it to the criminals, who would then insure that elections only were won by their benefactors.

    The USA already has this system, only the criminals are sitting in Wall Street Law Firms and K-Street lobbying firms. They aren’t (yet) of the leg-breaking and skull-cracking variety…but when the markets start down and the illusions can no longer be maintained, I suspect that the cops and the crooks will become one in the same.

    Any visible asset will be plucked until it’s worthless.

    Local governments will undertake a tsunami of tax foreclosures on homes that won’t end until either everywhere looks like Detroit’s abandoned neighborhoods or there’s a populist backlash and thieving politicians begin to disappear.

    If the latter happens, the country will devolve into a Zombie Apocalypse.

    6th February 2014 at 9:09 am

  3. Roy says:

    dc – E-mail me, the third time my computer crashed I lost all my Outlook E-mail addresses as well as needing a new computer. The new computer from Best Buy came with Windows 8 with Verizon as provider. It will not recognize Outlook. Windows 8, Best Buy and Verizon suck.

    6th February 2014 at 9:39 am

  4. Econman says:

    When your monetary system is based on paper money backed by nothing & has a central bank, collapse is only a matter of when, not if.

    6th February 2014 at 10:21 am

  5. dc.sunsets says:

    “When your monetary system is based on paper money backed by nothing & has a central bank, collapse is only a matter of when, not if.”

    This is true, but full FIAT has been the case in the USA since 1971, a full 43 years ago.

    Fortunes were made, lost, made, lost, made, lost….since then.
    Marriages occurred (some followed by divorce.)
    Babies were born.
    Above all, SUNSETS WERE ENJOYED by the thousands!
    And at least the ILLUSION that all is normal still remains, for the majority of people.

    My point is that, we can absolutely know that the future will be “something,” but not knowing WHEN that “something” will occur makes the entire exercise valueless.

    Mises irrefutably showed why all forms of socialism were doomed, and he published it in 1922!

    The USSR outlived him, and today every Western country is operating under large degrees of socialist central planning.

    Central planning will lead to catastrophe. Money divorced from value production will lead to catastrophe. Democracy above the level of 5 people deciding what toppings to get on the pizza they’re ordering predictably leads to catastrophe.

    When?! And what SPECIFIC events and paths will the process take? These remain unknown in advance, and are sadly the only two questions that really matter.

    6th February 2014 at 10:51 am

  6. indiatlantic says:

    No need to complicate things. Let’s cut to the chase. All the US government needs to do is disarm or kill 100,000,000 heavily-armed, pissed-off Americans and then take anything/everything they want. Piece of cake.

    6th February 2014 at 11:02 am

  7. dc.sunsets says:

    No need to complicate things. Let’s cut to the chase. All the US government needs to do is disarm or kill 100,000,000 heavily-armed, pissed-off Americans and then take anything/everything they want. Piece of cake.

    545075_10150632691680432_1662110089_n.jpg

    6th February 2014 at 11:26 am

  8. KaD says:

    JPMorgan Loses 44% of Gold Inventories in 4 Days!: http://www.silverdoctors.com/jpmorgan-loses-44-of-gold-inventories-in-4-days/

    U.S. Mint Gold-Coin Sales Jump 63% in January; Silver Triples: http://breakingdeception.com/one-world-currency/u-s-mint-gold-coin-sales-jump-63-january-silver-triples/

    6th February 2014 at 11:33 am

  9. exarmyguy says:

    you guys are funny with your panzy ass AR pictures
    you need to see what a Vulcan can do to a concrete building
    not only is the fire rate high enough to drop missiles from the sky, but it will chew a building to shreds in moments
    from your cold dead fingers?
    yep
    with a smile like a kid with an awesome new toy
    and you will make the evening news, labeled as a terrorist

    I may not know what the correct solution is, but I certainly know what it isn’t

    6th February 2014 at 11:58 am

  10. exarmyguy says:

    actually, I know exactly what the correct solution is
    but only the CIA can pull that kind of shit off

    6th February 2014 at 12:03 pm

  11. dc.sunsets says:

    exarmyguy, I do not doubt your comment about the Vulcan.

    Hell, even a GE mini-gun (a toy by comparison) makes civilian small arms look like slingshots.

    People arming up to fight the 2nd American Revolution are fools. The “government” only exists as it does because it enjoys the consent of your neighbors.

    500 years ago Etienne de la Boitie showed conclusively that all political systems exist ONLY as long as they have popular consent. This is true in Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, and will be the case even if there’s a military coup in the USA and US troops are deployed to slaughter US civilians and herd the rest into concentration camps.

    Thus, it is inescapable that to “fight your government” is like declaring war on your neighbors. It is stupid, anti-life, and doomed to fail.

    All successful revolutions are not fought with weapons, they are a battleground of ideas.

    The USA is in decline because “bad philosophy” pollutes our friends, neighbors and countrymen. The decline cannot end until people adopt better ideas, and that’s not going to happen any time soon.

    If the country goes “Full Stalinist,” the only choice is to flee it. The trick will be to find a safer place to wait out the spasm of collective insanity until it eventually runs its course.

    6th February 2014 at 12:08 pm

  12. dc.sunsets says:

    Sorry, I misspelled: Boetie.

    https://mises.org/store/Politics-of-Obedience-The-Discourse-of-Voluntary-Servitude-The-P529.aspx

    Boetie absolutely nails WHY people obey their rulers, who are often reprehensible, vicious demons.

    6th February 2014 at 12:12 pm

  13. Thinker says:

    Not sure where to put this, so it’s going under “collapse.”

    February 6, 2014

    U.S. Payroll to Population Rate Falls to 42.0% in January

    Labor force participation rate rises to 66.2%

    by Ben Ryan

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Payroll to Population employment rate (P2P), as measured by Gallup, continued its recent decline in January, dropping to 42.0% from 42.9% in December. This is the lowest level for P2P since March 2011, when it was 41.9%.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/167336/payroll-population-rate-falls-january.aspx

    6th February 2014 at 12:28 pm

  14. exarmyguy says:

    dc sunset nails it
    though from something I read here earlier and pursued, perhaps making ones self illegible is preferential to flight

    6th February 2014 at 12:46 pm

  15. exarmyguy says:

    now that I’m thinking about it, an example of an illegible revolutionary might be the unibomber guy

    6th February 2014 at 12:48 pm

  16. card802 says:

    Speaking of Argentine banks and crooked politicians.

    “While we are sure it is a very sad coincidence, on the day when Argentina decrees limits on the FX positions banks can hold and the Argentine Central Bank’s reserves accounting is questioned publicly, a massive fire – killing 9 people – has destroyed a warehouse archiving banking system documents.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-05/argentine-banking-system-archives-destroyed-deadly-fire

    6th February 2014 at 12:57 pm

  17. ragman says:

    No, indialantic nailed it. Millions of highly armed, pissed-off Americans are not going to turn their weapons, ammo and accessories in at the next gun buyback. They did not spend billions of dollars to “give “em up Mr and Mrs America”

    6th February 2014 at 1:05 pm

  18. dc.sunsets says:

    All our ruling despots need to do is uproot people (even claiming there’s a nuclear “event” upwind would do it, if TV/Radio/Phone/Cellphone are turned off except for the “government message,” and HAM radio locally jammed), get them on the road, and run them through a checkpoint under the watchful “eyes” of soldiers manning mini-gun turrets.

    “In the interest of public safety, all civilians in possession of unauthorized weapons are, under immediate penalty of death, to surrender all arms as directed. Thank you and have a nice day.”

    Add in a couple shredded corpses for visual encouragement and no one will have so much as a spit-wad shooter on the other side of the checkpoint.

    If they get you uprooted from your home, separated from your extended family and cut off from any source of information other than their propaganda, you will be completely in their control.

    I’m not “telling” our rulers anything they don’t already know. If this plan is not already written into FEMA ops manuals I’d be astonished.

    If I see implementation of this coming, I surely hope to leave for an extended vacation somewhere sunny and reasonably comfortable and watch from a safe distance.

    There is no fixing or avoiding what is already baked into the cake. Being “somewhere else” is the only defense, just as intelligent Germans left Germany before Poland was invaded and the deathly dominoes began to fall. Smart ones went to South America. Less lucky ones maybe went to the Philippines.

    6th February 2014 at 1:36 pm

  19. Billy says:

    exarmyguy

    I’m a retired Lifer. 11B for half my career.

    All respect to your service, I cannot agree with you. You sneer at those who dare contemplate opposing the Federals and use a Vulcan as an example of comparative firepower.

    Yes, it is true that a Vulcan can demolish a building, but let’s look at the larger picture and a little bit of history.

    We brought the entire might of the United States to bear against Vietnam. We killed them by the hundreds of thousands and they killed us right back. In the end, after 50,000+ deaths, we abandoned the country. They won. They’re STILL THERE. Their will is unbroken. They beat us with sticks and rifles.

    In Iraq, the story is the same. We slaughter them wholesale, but all we do is create MORE who oppose us… we’re leaving, but they are STILL THERE, their will unbroken. We didn’t ‘win’ anything…

    Same thing in Afghanistan. We’re leaving, and they are still there, will unbroken. They beat us with rifles and roadside bombs cobbled together from disassembled ex-Soviet artillery shells.. The Government tries to put a lid on what info comes out of theater, but the internet is full of images of the burned out hulls of our “invincible” Abrams tanks… and that was accomplished by a bunch of motivated, illiterate goat herders living in the Hindu Kush…

    In conventional battle, it would be suicide to take on the American military… but, we’re not talking conventional battle, are we?

    All of those countries I cited are a miniscule fraction of the size of the US. If we take only 3% of gun owners (not even counting ex-servcemember patriots), that is still a force MILLIONS strong spread out over the entirety of CONUS.

    If you count everyone in the army, from burger flippers to gas pumpers, you got what? Maybe 1.5 million troops, give or take? CONUS is a gigantic area of operations for such a small number of troops, who will be opposed by a force many times their size. Yes, the military has a technological edge, but once you get past that, our guys aren’t really all that great… AND, not all of them will side with the Federals. How many will go over the hill and take their shit with them? Not only that, but those who DO side with the Federals, well, they got family right? That family has to live somewhere, right? Do the math.

    Ain’t no such thing as a fair fucking fight…

    Here’s to hoping you set aside your dismissal of the millions of patriots in this country…

    6th February 2014 at 1:49 pm

  20. dc.sunsets says:

    Billy, you are describing a real, honest-to-goodness civil war of the kind spreading now throughout the Mideast, coming soon to Europe and (ugh) probably the USA (although I still think it’s a couple decades away at the earliest).

    During the English Civil War a man could be stopped in the street by a group of others who would demand if he was “for Parliament” of “for the Crown.”

    The wrong answer, INCLUDING “I don’t support either of them” got that man killed.

    I fear this is the direction we may be headed, arriving some time in the middle of this century.

    6th February 2014 at 1:58 pm

  21. bb says:

    You guys seem to forget what a good sniper can do at a 1000 yards with the right rifle.Many of those in military would have a hard time fighting a sniper ,gorilla type war here in america.The problem will not be the military as much as ethnic groups turning on each other .In war there are no civil or human rights so it be real hard to enforce any rule of law.

    On one side I look forward to seeing the look on their faces (blacks ,women and white liberals) when they realize there is nothing for them to hide behind and talk their shit.Especially blacks,cant wait to see
    Their G-damn faces when they realize whitey no longer has to play the game and be nice.Then we’ll see how bad they are.

    6th February 2014 at 2:26 pm

  22. card802 says:

    Billy: “How many will go over the hill and take their shit with them? Not only that, but those who DO side with the Federals, well, they got family right? That family has to live somewhere, right? Do the math.:

    DC: “Billy, you are describing a real, honest-to-goodness civil war of the kind spreading now throughout the Mideast.”

    Top notch gloom and doom there.

    6th February 2014 at 2:56 pm

  23. bb says:

    Billy, come on out and play you half breed Mongolian.I gots the rest of the day off.I am ready to take your hillbilly wisdom and twirl you like a good hillbilly kills a chicken.Know what I mean?

    6th February 2014 at 3:00 pm

  24. Billy says:

    “Billy, you are describing a real, honest-to-goodness civil war of the kind spreading now throughout the Mideast, coming soon to Europe and (ugh) probably the USA (although I still think it’s a couple decades away at the earliest).” — dc

    Yes, I am.

    However, I do not want it to happen. The last time we threw down, it was 600,000+ combat deaths and multiples of millions more dead as a result of predation, rapine, starvation, disease, suicide, etc.. and the economy destroyed for a generation. Even to this day, there are sore feelings over the matter. It is a blood debt, and those do not get set aside.

    I don’t fear its coming. I know it’s coming. There isn’t a day that goes by where our benign rulers don’t act in some new and egregious way against us. The (un)PATROT Act and the NDAA effectively gut the Posse Comitatus Act and set us up for turnkey tyranny. All it will take is the right event, either staged false flag, man-made or natural, and that will put the ball in play… and it will be a free-for-all. People will go looking for payback for any hurt ever done them, real or imagined, and overarching the whole mess will be the Federals trying to hold the lid on everything using any and all means at their disposal (which won’t win them any friends).

    It will be one ugly, drawn-out, smashmouth fight to the end… and I have no Walter Mitty fantasies about surviving it. I prepare as best I can, try and arrange a Plan B or two to get my wife and son out of the country, and hope the Almighty lets me get clear of the wrath when it comes…

    6th February 2014 at 3:31 pm

  25. Billy says:

    “Top notch gloom and doom there.” — card802

    Yep.

    I’m just being realistic.

    In other places under similar circumstances, if a LEO got whacked, he was replaced. You didn’t get anywhere. But they learned they could leverage LEO’s by letting them know that their families were known and that, if they didn’t want bad things to happen, then that particular LEO best walk a fine line. They learned fast that eliminating one did nothing, since they would be replaced. But leveraging them effectively neutralized them.

    I’m not advocating this type of dirty assed fighting, just saying that it’s what happens when shit goes pear-shaped elsewhere in the world. When things go pear-shaped here, I see no reason why it would not happen here as well.

    6th February 2014 at 3:41 pm

  26. Billy says:

    “Billy, come on out and play you half breed Mongolian.I gots the rest of the day off.I am ready to take your hillbilly wisdom and twirl you like a good hillbilly kills a chicken.Know what I mean?” — bb’s Dopple

    Nah… ain’t buying it Dopple-bb… probably Stucky (given your first post… could be Llpoh too).

    You want a chew-toy to amuse you? Go elsewhere.

    6th February 2014 at 3:59 pm

  27. dc.sunsets says:

    Enough doom. I want a nice beach with a cool drink and plenty of pretty ladies strutting by.

    A man’s got to enjoy the scenery.

    6th February 2014 at 4:42 pm

  28. Wood Burner says:

    exarmyguy

    All the Vulcans in the world can not subdue a bunch of ragtag Arabs. What the fuck chance do you think you have against white men with 2000 yard rifles? You’ll be dead and we’ll have the Vulcans. Bring your shit, communist asshole.

    6th February 2014 at 5:17 pm

  29. KaD says:

    How weak is this recovery? A modest pullback on food stamp funding in November took a big cut into Wal-Mart’s bottom-line in Q4. In other words, the nation’s largest retailer is depending on revenues from 47 million Americans funded with EBT debit cards. Isn’t the unemployment rate dropping? Sure, but many of the new jobs are in the low wage economy. The biggest users of food stamps are the working poor: http://www.mybudget360.com/food-stamp-americans-ebt-recovery-food-stamps-and-walmart/

    http://alt-market.com/msm/1976-us-manufacturing-sees-biggest-slowdown-in-years

    6th February 2014 at 7:54 pm

  30. Thinker says:

    Brandon Smith has a great article this week:

    The Final Swindle Of Private American Wealth Has Begun

    I have never had any doubt that the U.S. economy as we know it was headed for total and catastrophic collapse, the only question was when, exactly, the final trigger event would occur.

    The financial crash of 2008, the same crash which has been ongoing for years, is NOT an accident. It is a concerted and engineered crisis meant to position the U.S. for currency disintegration and the institution of a global basket currency controlled by an unaccountable supranational governing body like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The American populace is being conditioned through economic fear to accept the institutionalization of global financial control and the loss of sovereignty.

    It’s a good read, as always.

    7th February 2014 at 11:58 am

  31. KaD says:

    A primer on hyperinflation: http://crisistimes.com/hyperinflation.php

    8th February 2014 at 11:44 am

  32. gilberts says:

    I’m surprised anyone would NOT think of the USSR collapsing. I consider the USSR collapse, Yugoslavia, Argentina, East Germany’s end, Zimbabwe, Wiemar Germany, and the US Depression when I try to envision what our collapse will look like. Oh, and I have a new-found respect for the better among us after the GA snowstorm. I don’t expect much from people, so the expression of brotherly love after the snowstorm was impressive.

    8th February 2014 at 3:59 pm

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