Off the keyboard of RE
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So here we are now, on the cusp of another Auld Lang Syne. Pretty much every year since I started Blogging the Collapse in 2007, I have written some sort of paean to the New Year, and this one will be no different. Sometimes I write Prognostications for the Future in such posts, other times I write Nostalgia for the Past. I suspect this one will contain both also.
We got through the big Mayan Date of 12/21/2012 without a Planet Killer sized Asteroid hitting, and without Global thermonuclear Warfare also! So I guess we are SAFE now? Of course not, and pinning your prognostications on any given day is pretty much like picking out the right numers in the Lotto, your chances of being precisely correct here are quite small.
What we do see inexorably are incremental changes in the way we live, and the way our economic system functions, or does not function as the case may be. So this leads many in the Collapse Blogosphere to conclude that our spin down will continue to eb incremental, long term “Boiling Frog” or “Long Emergency” in Jimmy Kunstlers terminology.
At this point, after witnessing 4 years of various Kick the Can methodologies undertaken by the CBs to keep the system floating another day, Iexpect more of same in the coming year, but to ever less success all the time. The “Fiscal Cliff” bullshit playing out over the next week looks likely to give a good Kidney Punch to the Markets, and all the liquidity in the world won’t get commercial banks loaning to credit exhausted customers.
The main CBs of Da Fed, the ECB, the PBoC and the BoJ are basically now in the Bizness of directly funding their respective Goobermints by buying their bonds, since nobody else will. Thus, any outflow of currency to J6P basically has to come from Da Goobermint now, dribbled out in SNAP Cards and SSDI and other Transfer programs. The number of people who can afford to Happy Motor around continues to shrink, with an ever widening gap between Haves and Have Nots here.
Juggernauts don’t stop on a dime of course, and this is a BIG Juggernaut. It remains unlikely the Dollar fails first in the currency warfare, so I don’t think we will see HI this year again in the Dollar, much to the consternation of John Williams of Shadow Stats and Speedy Gonzalo Lira.
I do think some Goobermint over in Eurotrashland will topple this year, repudiate odious debt and try flying their own new currency. The Spanish or Portuguese seem the most likely candidates, more than the Greeks who are just mired in Political Corruption on a vast scale and probably could not even figure out how to issue Drachma and make it work at all at this point. Like Zimbabwe, they are a Failed State now and cannot administer their own currency without it turning instantly worthless right off the Printing Press. Far as International Trade goes, getting Gas to run their cars and trucks and food staples they no longer grow enough of there for the population, the Greeks are basically dependent on the Kindness of Strangers, basically Krauts who historically are none too generous a people. LOL.
Trying to predict the future here even on the short term though is pretty much a losing proposition, we’ve been teetering on the Precipice since 2008, and we could teeter a while longer here. Here in the FSofA, I don’t see Mad Max likely this year or even next now, but I do see ever increasing social disruptions and a Tipping Point will come eventually. We’ll get a Canary in the Coal Mine window on a lot of how it will play out here just by watching Europe and Japan.
In Japan, the Radiation Poisoning around Tokyo is even greater than in Fuk-U-shima itself, and already there are reports of increasing Thyroid Nodules and Cancers occuring. I cannot imagine how any Nipponese with means to get out of Tokyo would not do so at this point. The new Goobermint is talking about restarting their still functional Nukes, as I am sure J6P Salaryman is getting tired of Brownouts and says Fuck IT! Nuke till we die! Kamikaze!
For myself sitting here in my perch on the Last Great Frontier, I can only look back and wonder at the STUPIDITY of all of it now.
I remember back to going to school at Stuyvesant, taking the Number 7 Flushing Line every working morning at Rush Hour. I was fortunate to be at the first stop on the line so could wait for an empty train most of the time and get a seat, but by the time the train left the station, it was already Standing Room Only with every “Strap” hung onto sometimes by more than one person, so you got the grubby cooties of whoever it was hanging on the same strap as you. By the time we got to Junction Boulevard station, there weren’t even straps or poles left to hang onto, but no worries about Falling Down, since everyone was packed shoulder to shoulder inside the Tin Can like Sardines.
This is a way for Human Beings to LIVE? Even if you have a “good job” in the Big Shitty with a decent paycheck that allows you to have a decent apartment in Queens, 3 hours a day every day of your work week you are a Human Sardine.
Not a whole lot better for the next tier up of peoples either, living in McMansions in Nassau and Suffolk counties commuting in their Carz on the Long Island Expressway either. Traffic Jams, your own Flat tires running over a discarded Switchblade, an Accident at least every couple of years driving up you Insurance rates and forcing you onto the LIRR for a week while the car got fixed…etc.
For those at the Very Top though, in Penthouses on Park Avenue, gee it was all WONDERFUL. Doorman greets you with a big smile when you arrive, makes sure none of the Hoi Polloi get thru the door of the building. No Parking Issues, walk out the door of your building and the Limo is there to pick you up and take you down to Wall Street.
These of course are the people who were running the show through it all, going right back to the Robber Barons (and before that!), and they Invested their BORROWED money on building out the system for their own further Comfort and Enjoyment, hell with the fact that somewhere down the line it was polluting Love Canal or setting the Cuyahoga River on fire. Later of course to be moved over to China where now the Rice Paddies in Guanzou Province are irrigated in Sewage.
Going way back to my early years in Brazil, I was always irritated by the vast discrepancy between the people living in the Favelas around Rio and those living inside the “Bubble” on Rua Joachim Nabuco where I lived. Some folks living very well, others in desperate poverty. Why? Made no sense to me as a 7 year old, makes no sense to me today.
Along the way between then and now, I’ve been subject to the same Propaganda everyone else has, that everyone has Opportunity to Bootstrap themselves up and Poor people are Poor because they are Lazy & Stupid. Which in fact many of them are, but so are many Rich people! In fact I think Rich people are Lazier & Stupider on a statistical basis than Poor folks are! As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the Great Gatsby, “The rich are different from you and I. They have more money.” LOL.
Anyhow, as I have discovered in the interim, the monetary system as it is constructed is a Control Conduit, a mechanism by which the powerful in society stay powerful and subjugate the weaker in the society. Moving between the Castes here was briefly enabled in the FSofA as there was so much resource base to go out and Plunder after the First Nations people were decimated by the Smallpox and Guns, that it created just a ton of Nouveau Riche folks here, particularly in the post WWII era.
The Nature of the Monetary system though is to perpetually sieve wealth back to those who have the POWER to issue credit, and who will issue it to themselves endlessly. They only issue the Credit out to J6P though as long as it behooves them to do so and betters their own lives.
In today’s world as we march forward into 2013, it no longer behooves the elite in society to issue more Credit to J6P, because the resources upon which said credit is based are rapidly diminishing in availability and EROEI. So entire Nation-States like the Greeks and Spaniards are being Triaged off the credit bandwagon to buy the Oil that a very few people hold control over. As they get triaged off, their Jobs disappear, and so do their Pensions. It is happening over there across the Pond already, it will arrive at our shores also in the Bye & Bye.
This has not been a good way for Homo Sapiens to live and inhabit the Planet for a long time now, certainly anyone who was ever packed like a Sardine into a Tin Can subway Car should know that. Anyone who ever sat in a two hour Traffic Jam with their car burning gas at Idle while moving about nowhere should know that. Anybody who ever had a bullshit, go nowhere job (which almost all of them are for the Hoi Polloi) should know that.
Being real smart leveraged some folks out of this during the growth period, anybody who either could figure a way to get others working “for” him or could jump through the University Hoops to get into a Gate Kept profession could make some decent buckolas and become an FSofA member of the Upper Middle Class. Doctors and Lawyers, Insurance Agents, Real Estate Developers and Costruction Contractors, any number of people did this in the Salad Years of Growth of this sort of economy.
It even was possible for some 2nd Generation people in the FSofA to leverage into the Elite of the Society, Billionaires like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates jumped on the bubble of Computers and Information Technology as vast sums of credit were poured in this direction. To this day, Wall Street makes Billionaires out of nerds like Suckerbug from Facepalm. HUGE quantities of debt are issued, a few Banksters and “Entrepreneurs” get filthy rich, then over time it all colllapses because in fact it is not really producing anything at all, merely it is just another way to burn energy.
So now we cross the threshhold into 2013 in the early stages of the vast collapse of all the debt accumulated to drive Industrial and Technological civilization. Nowhere in the Industrialized World does anybody want this to end really, other than a few real Doomers. No Pensioner wants to accept that his Pension is Worthless. Nobody working in any end of the automobile economy wants to accept that people simply cannot afford to Happy Motor about anymore. Nobody who wokrs even as a Starbucks Barrista in a Mall somewhere wants to accept that not enough peole will make it to the mall to buy their overpriced coffee so they can keep their jobs either.
Above all, nobody in the Industrialized world wants to accept Lights OUT. For anybody born inside these cultures in the last 50 years, Electricity at the Flick of a Switch is a God Given RIGHT! To give up Electricity is to give up the GHOST here, the end of the meme of ever improving Techology, the end of the Jetsons and Star Trek Dream.
The Japanese won’t give it up, even in the face of Nuclear Toxins in their environment, they wanna go ahead and restart their Nukes. “If you are Going through Hell, keep Going” as Winston Churchill said. The other side option is a collapse of their economy, and with the 100M plus on those Islands, more will die faster without the electircity than will die from Radiation Poisoning. Cannot STOP till you are DEAD!
So it goes here for the culture at large, but that does not mean as an Individual you cannot seek your way out of the mess. Here on the Diner, we SEEK the ways out the individual can muster up here. None are foolproof, none are perfect. Any one of them though ups your chances of surviving the Zero Point by orders of magnitude. Just UNDERSTANDING what is going on does that.
As we move forward here into 2013, I know it will get worse, perhaps much worse and quickly too. At the same time, I know it is important to reach out to others, deliver the TRUTH, and hunker down to make it through the Zero Point. When Toba went Ballistic, some people made it though that Bottleneck. Some can do it again. Diners.