Reading time: 3,080 words, 11 pages, 7 to 12 minutes.

Of the 260 articles on this blog, most were written by me, but a handful (maybe 5?) are ‘guest posts’ that are so well-written by other bloggers that I wouldn’t dare alter or condense them for fear of losing their impact. Below, I have shamelessly copied in its entirety Jim Quinn’s article CONSUMERS NOT FOLLOWING ORDERS from his The Burning Platform blog.

Although the Hilsenrath Wall Street Journal article that Jim trashes is tongue-in-cheek, Jim’s analysis of Amerika’s economy and oligarchic capture is scathing and applies to all Western nations to one degree or another. Lest Canadians get too complacent, be aware that Canada’s unprecedented real estate bubble dwarfs the U.S. bubble before it burst and we know what happens when big bubbles burst.

June 21, 2015




Posted on 14th June 2015

Store 1

Store 2

Last week the government reported personal income and spending for April. After months of blaming non-existent consumer spending on cold weather, shockingly occurring during the Winter, the captured mainstream media pundits, Ivy League educated Wall Street economist lackeys, and Keynesian loving money printers at the Fed have run out of propaganda to explain why Americans are not spending money they don’t have. The corporate mainstream media is now visibly angry with the American people for not doing what the Ivy League propagated Keynesian academic models say they should be doing.

The ultimate mouthpiece for the banking cabal, Jon Hilsenrath, who does the bidding of the Federal Reserve at the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal, wrote an arrogant, condescending, putrid diatribe, directed at the middle class victims of Wall Street banker criminality and Federal Reserve acquiescence to the vested corporate interests that run this country. Here are the more disgusting portions of his denunciation of the formerly middle class working people of America.

“We know you experienced a terrible shock when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 and your employer responded by firing you.

“We also know you shouldn’t have taken out that large second mortgage during the housing boom to fix up your kitchen with granite counter-tops.

“You should feel lucky you’re not a Greek consumer.

“Fed officials want to start raising the cost of your borrowing because they worry they’ve been giving you a free ride for too long with zero interest rates.

“We listen to Fed officials all of the time here at The Wall Street Journal, and they just can’t figure you out.

“Please let us know the problem.”

The Wall Street Journal was swamped with thousands of angry responses from irate real people living in the real world, not the elite, QE enriched, oligarchs living in Manhattan penthouses, mansions on the Hamptons, or luxury condos in Washington, D.C. Hilsenrath presumes to know how the average American has been impacted by the criminal actions of sycophantic Ivy League educated central bankers and their avaricious Wall Street owners.

He thinks millions of Americans losing their jobs and their homes due to the largest control fraud in financial history is fodder for a tongue in cheek harangue, blaming the victims for the crime. Hilsenrath reveals he is nothing but a Fed flunky who is fed whatever message they want the plebs to hear. His job is to obscure, obfuscate, spread disinformation, and launch Fed trial balloons to see whether the ignorant masses are still asleep. The Fed and their owners can’t understand why their propaganda hasn’t convinced the peasantry to follow orders.

A system built upon an exponential increase in debt, cannot be sustained if the masses stop buying Range Rovers, McMansions, stainless steel appliances, 72 inch HDTVs, iGadgets, bling, and boob jobs on credit. His letter to America reeks of desperation. The Fed and their minions have used every play in their Keynesian monetary playbook, and are losing the game in a blowout. With a deflationary depression beginning to accelerate, they have no game.

Despairing mothers, unemployed fathers, impoverished grandmothers, and indebted young people are supposed to feel lucky because they aren’t starving to death like the wretched Greeks. We do have one thing in common with the Greeks. We’ve both been screwed over by bankers and corrupt politicians. Did you know you’ve been given a free ride by your friends at the Federal Reserve? Did you know that zero interest rates and $3.5 trillion of Quantitative Easing (aka money printing) were implemented to benefit you? According to Hilsenrath, the Fed lending money at 0.25% to their Wall Street bank owners, who then allow you to borrow from them at 15% on your credit card, represents a free ride for you. Are the subprime auto loan borrowers, who account for 30% of all auto sales, paying 13% interest getting a free ride?

Hilsenrath is purposefully lying. Bernanke and Yellen have been saying they want to start raising interest rates for the last four years. Remember the 6.5% unemployment rate bogey set by Bernanke in January 2013? Unemployment dropped below 6.5% in early 2014 on its way to 5.5% today. Did they raise rates? In 2013 we had two consecutive quarters of 4% GDP growth, with no Fed rate increase. In 2014 we had two consecutive quarters of 4.8% GDP growth, with no Fed rate increase. We have added ten million jobs and the stock market has tripled since 2009, with no Fed rate increase.

We are supposedly in the sixth year of an economic recovery and the Fed is still keeping the discount rate at a Lehman “world is ending” emergency level of .25%. Six years after the last recession the discount rate was 5.25%. The last time the unemployment rate was this low the discount rate was 4%. The only ones getting a free ride from the Fed’s zero interest rate policy and QE to infinity have been Wall Street banks, the .1% who live off the carcasses of the dying middle class, zombie corporations who should have gone bankrupt, and politicians who keep running up the national debt with no consequences – YET. The Federal Reserve is a blood sucking leech on the ass of America. Their cure has been far worse than the original illness – Wall Street criminality. In fact, their cure has been to reward the Wall Street criminals while spreading cancer to the working class and euthanizing senior citizens.

Hisenrath and his puppet masters at the Fed can’t figure you out. For decades you have followed their orders and bought Chinese produced shit with one of your 13 credit cards. The Bernays’ propaganda playbook has produced wins for the ruling class since the early 1980’s. Their record is 864 – 0 versus the working class. Our entire warped economic system since the 1980’s has been dependent upon an exponential increase in debt peddled by Wall Street to citizens, government and corporations to give the appearance of a growing, healthy economy.
An economy built upon the consumption of iGadgets, Cheetos, meat lovers stuffed crust pizza, and slave labor produced Chinese baubles, along with the production of enough arms to blow up the world ten times over, and the doling out of trillions to the non-productive class, is doomed to fail. Maybe I can explain the situation in such a way that even an Ivy League educated central banker or a Wall Street Journal faux journalist will understand.

Maybe Jon and his Fed cronies could be enlightened by a look at the American consumer before the bubble boys (Greenspan, Bernanke) and gals (Yellen) at the Fed, along with the corporate fascist takeover of our political system, and the propaganda spewing corporate media monopolies, combined to deform our financial and economic system for their sole enrichment. The lack of spending by consumers might just be due to some of the following factors:

• Back in 1980 income meant money earned through working, investing, and saving. The amount of personal income made up of wages totaled 60% in 1980. Today it totals 51%. Interest earned on savings accounted for 14% in 1980. Today it accounts for 8%, as the Fed has punished seniors and savers with negative real interest rates. Since 2009 the Fed has robbed over $1 trillion in interest income from seniors and savers with their zero interest rate policy and handed it to the Wall Street banking cabal. Bernanke didn’t just throw seniors under the bus, he ran them over, backed up over them, and ran them over again.

• In a shocking development, government welfare transfers accounted for 11% of total personal income in 1980 and have risen to 17% today. Only the government could classify money which has been absconded at gunpoint from working Americans in the form of taxes and redistributed back to other Americans as welfare payments, as personal income. If you take money from your left pocket and put it in your right pocket, is that income? The replacement of wages and interest by welfare redistribution payments has not benefited society whatsoever.

• In 1980 consumer credit outstanding as a percentage of personal income totaled 15%. Today it totals 22%, an all-time high. It is higher than the bubble peak in 2007-2008. Real per capita disposable income has only risen by 88% over the last 35 years. Meanwhile, real per capita consumer debt has risen by 288%. Wages and earnings from saving have been replaced by debt. The propagandists for consumerism have convinced the ignorant masses to spend money they don’t have, while pretending to be wealthier and successful. Consumer debt currently stands at a towering all-time high of $3.4 trillion, almost ten times the $350 billion level in 1980. Hilsenrath and the Fed are upset with you because credit card debt still lingers $122 billion, or 12% below 2008 levels. It has forced them to dole out $900 billion of government controlled subprime debt to University of Phoenix wannabes and any deadbeat that can scratch an X on an auto loan application. The U.S. economic system is like a Great White Shark that must keep swimming or it will die. The Federal Reserve run U.S. economic system must keep generating debt or it will die. They are growing desperate and you are not following orders.


• Before the grand debt delusion overtook the populace, they were saving 11% of their disposable personal income. In 1980, Depression era adults still believed in saving for large purchases such as a house, car, appliance or home improvement. The young adult Boomers didn’t have the same experiential deterrent. They were convinced by the Wall Street debt peddlers, Madison Avenue maggots, and corrupt politicians that saving was for suckers. Live for today, for tomorrow may never come. Well tomorrow did come. Boomers are entering their retirement years with $12,000 in retirement savings, while still in debt up to their eyeballs. There have been 10,000 Boomers turning 65 every day since 2010. This will continue unabated through 2029. This demographic certainty was already depressing consumer spending, as this age demographic spends far less than 25 to 54 year olds. Factor in the pitiful amount of savings and you have an ongoing spending implosion.


• The propaganda machine was so well oiled, the savings rate actually reached 1.9% in 2005, as the masses all believed they would live luxurious retirements off their home equity windfall. How’d that delusion work out? The current level of 5.6% is seen as troublesome by the powers that be. They cannot accept the crazy concept of saving and investment when their entire warped paradigm is built upon borrowing and consumption. Banks don’t make money when you save and they despise when you use cash. They can’t sustain their opulent lifestyles without their 3% VIG on every electronic transaction, 15% compounded interest on the $5,000 average credit card balance, billions in late fees for being one day late with your payment, $4 on every ATM transaction, and the myriad of other fees and surcharges designed to bilk you and keep you from saving. The saving rate will continue to climb as people have no choice to make up for years of living beyond their means.

• Hilsenrath is willfully ignorant as he pretends to not understand why the American people will not or cannot accelerate their spending. It is really quite simple. Even a PhD should be able to understand. Real median household income was $52,300 in 1989. Real median household income today is $51,939. The median household has made no economic advancement in the last quarter of a century. And this is using the manipulated lower CPI figure. Using a true inflation rate would show a dramatic decline over the last 25 years. There has been virtually no wage growth during this supposed six year recovery. The industrial base of the country has been gutted, except for the production of arms to blow up brown people in the Middle East. Young people have $1.3 trillion of student loan debt weighing them like an anchor, and those Ruby Tuesday waitress jobs and Home Depot cashier jobs aren’t going to cut it.

US Census Bureau

• So we have the demographic dilemma of aging, under-saved, over-indebted Boomers who are being forced to spend less. We have an over-indebted, under-employed youth who don’t have anything to spend. And lastly we have the 25 to 54 year old age bracket who should be in their prime earning and spending years who are still 4 million jobs short of where they were in 2007 before the Fed induced financial collapse. The only age bracket to gain jobs since the crisis has been 55 to 69, as they have been forced to work to make up for their lost interest income. The only people making job gains are those least likely to spend.


• The spending crescendo in 2004 through 2007 was fueled by the Greenspan housing bubble and the $3 trillion of mortgage equity withdrawal used to buy BMWs, in-ground Olympic size pools, Jacuzzis, vacations to Tahiti, home theaters, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and boob jobs, by delusional, apparently brain dead Americans who fell for the Bernaysian propaganda spewed by the Wall Street criminal class, hook line and sinker. The majority of shell shocked underwater home owners have been unable to sell since the housing crash. A 35% price decline will do that. The Fed has created $3.5 trillion out of thin air, more than quadrupled their balance sheet with toxic mortgages from Wall Street, artificially suppressed interest rates to bring mortgage rates to record lows, and was a co-conspirator along with Fannie, Freddie, FHA, and Wall Street hedge funds (Blackrock) to delay foreclosure sales and pump home prices with their buy and rent scheme. The result has been unaffordably high prices, mortgage applications at 1997 levels (60% below 2005 levels), first time buyers at a record low, and a non-existent housing recovery – despite the MSM propaganda saying otherwise.


• The last data point which might help the math challenged Hilsenrath understand why you aren’t spending is total U.S. vehicle miles driven. The chart below shows a relentless climb from 1982 through to the 2008 collapse. It coincides with the debt fueled consumption orgy over this same time frame. The unrelenting expansion of retail outlets and importing of cheap Chinese crap required a lot of trucks to haul the crap. It required a lot of trips to the mall in the minivans and SUVs by soccer moms living in our suburban sprawl paradise. In case you hadn’t noticed, the fastest growing retailer in the U.S. since 2008 has been Space Available. The well run retailers like Home Depot and Wal-Mart saw the writing on the wall and stopped expanding. The badly run retailers like Sears and JC Penney have been closing hundreds of stores. And the really badly run retailers like Radio Shack have gone bankrupt. Vehicle miles have essentially flat-lined for the last six years as retailers are closing more stores than they are opening, job growth has been non-existent and commerce within the U.S. is stagnant. If we were experiencing a real economic recovery, vehicle miles would be surging.


So this concludes my little tutorial for the Ivy League educated central bankers at the Fed and the Wall Street Journal Fed mouthpiece – Jon “I don’t understand” Hilsenrath. I know it is difficult for people to understand something when their paycheck depends upon them not understanding it, but this is pretty simple stuff. Pompous, arrogant, egocentric assholes who write for the Wall Street Journal, run JP Morgan, or control monetary policy for the world, know exactly what they have done, what they are doing, and who is benefiting. We all know the benefits of ZIRP and QE have gone only to the .1% who run the show. We know income inequality is at all-time highs. We know TPP will be passed, because the corporate fascists control the purse strings of our political class. We know the status quo will be maintained at all costs by the Deep State.
We know mega-corporations continue to ship jobs overseas and replace us with cheap foreign labor. We know the current administration actively encourages illegals to pour over our borders, swamp our social safety net, increase crime, and take jobs from Americans. We know the government has us under mass surveillance and will not hesitate to use all of that military equipment in the hands of local police against us. The will of the people is nothing but an irritant to those in power. They might not have us figured out, but a growing number of critical thinking, increasingly pissed off people, have them figured out. The debt expansion days are numbered. A deflationary depression is in the offing. The coming civil strife, financial panic, war, and overthrow of the existing social order will rival the three previous tumultuous upheavals in U.S. history – American Revolution, Civil War, Great Depression/World War II. Fourth Turnings are a bitch.

Hopefully I’ve explained the situation to the satisfaction of Jon and Janet. The mood in this country is darkening by the day. There is no going back to the good old days of yesteryear. They are long gone. No amount of debt issuance and propaganda is going to work. The system is overloaded. The people are angry. The politicians are captured. The banking elite are ransacking the nation for every last dime they can get their grubby little hands on. The military industrial complex is itching for war with Russia and China. The world hates us. If you can’t see it coming, you are either blind, dumb, or an Ivy League educated economist. So go out and spend to make your slave owners happy.

About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I'm back in stocks. I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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15 Responses to Oligarchic Capture – CONSUMERS NOT FOLLOWING ORDERS

  1. Paul says:

    I wonder if you have considered the role of entropy in all this?

    Entropy, randomness, tends to lead to chaos. Yet, it seems many actors on the world stage are ignorant of this fact…They are probably trying to reduce it, but whatever they do tends to increase it. It almost seems like they are pawns…

    • gerold says:

      That’s an interesting question, Paul. As much as I’ve always admired the shadowy presence of entropy and our all-too human propensity to gradually learn to accept declining standards, it is difficult to write about entropy directly without ascertaining the intentions of the characters involved.

      Even then it becomes a ‘chickens or eggs’ question. Did the characters act within the constraints of their understanding of the time they live in, or did their wills overthrow those constraints, or a combination of both? That discussion is too complicated.

      Instead, I write about what people did, not why I think they did it and so entropy is woven into the narrative.


  2. Paul says:

    Several things:

    1. According to Buddhism, people see different parts of a metaphorical elephant. Those at the bottom do not see what is on top, while those on top do not see what’s underneath. This is the problem for leaders, as they assume that their problems are also everyone’s else’s. Of course, that is also what the French Monarchy thought. “Let them eat cake.”

    2. Perception: When you give someone something, over time it becomes an expectation, rather than seen as a temporary thing. Those who benefit from the low interest rates now come to expect it, since they had it for so long.

    3. The propaganda is not working because it has been used for so long. It is well-known as a supply of something increases, its value decreases. Or, with things like drugs, the more use, the less effectiveness. The propaganda has over-saturated the field and now virtually no one trusts anything from the government (Well, at least those who know how to think at least a little).

    3. I recently read Adam Smith’s and I discovered something interesting. He described three types of economic development: Agriculture leads to manufacturing leads to trade. He described nothing after the trade type. Does this imply something interesting? He also found that those of agricultural-based nations have a more brotherly and cooperative personality versus those of of trade nations, which are selfish and destructive.

    4. I think everything are symptoms of a system in decline. No one wants to admit it because they are in denial. Too many years of “The West is #1” has caused this. Such notions lead to less development, because if one believes they are number 1, then there is no reason to reform. The Romans never admitted their own errors and never saw the outcome until the barbarians were in Rome. In the meantime, everyone was busy watching sport.

    A person falling is already dead.

    • gerold says:

      Good comments, Paul. Numbers 1 to 3 are very perceptive.

      You’re right; the implications of Adam Smith’s ‘three stages’ are scary. What comes after trade? I suspect collapse and the survivors starting over with the 1st stage: agriculture.

      Your last point hits a nerve. I’ve been studying the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD where Germanic tribes obliterated 3 Roman legions (10% of Rome’s military). Historians are reluctant to admit it, but it so demoralized the previously proud and hubristic Romans it marked the decline of the Roman Empire. It also altered the future of Northern Europe since Rome abandoned any hope of ever conquering it. It’s no coincidence that the European nations previously conquered by Rome are today economic basket cases whereas the unconquered countries of Northern Europe are economically strong. Again, no one will admit this. And a fie on those pacifist pansy Germans for refusing in 2009 to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. How can you learn from history if you ignore it?

      Something similar to Roman Karma happened with the Neo-Assyrian Empire centuries before Rome. They too conquered the “known world” and with loot and slaves filling up their empire, they too were toppled when pride and hubris weakened them until they were overthrown by an alliance of their enemies.

      Sounds like Amerika is following the same path. Those who don’t learn from history …


      • Paul says:

        No nation from the past has survived into the present. So it only makes sense that America is no exception…


        In an interesting part of the Wealth of Nations, A. Smith admired the Chinese system. Unlike the western systems, which valued gold and silver, the tartar rulers of China valued livestock. The Chinese also valued land, which was good, as land was finite. Thus, their system was sustainable, unlike the western system, which sought gold/silver (And the more produced reduced their value, creating instability). The west relied on exploitation of foreign lands, while the Chinese relied on what they already had. Of course, the Opium Wars proved the weakness of this system…

        Still, while the Roman Empire collapsed and never returned, the Chinese system did. The basic system was always the same, for over two thousand years until 1911, though the hands changed. It is an interesting study as why this occurred.

        Smith mentioned that the Romans relied on slavery for farming, while the Chinese relied on free labor. The Romans had a two-tier law system (US law is based on Roman law), which separated the poor from the rich (Whom had certain privileges the poor did not). The Chinese system treated everyone equally and unlike the medieval western system which based everything on bloodlines (Until the French Revolution changed this), the Chinese based rank on merit. More specifically, generals were promoted according to how many heads they collected in battle.

        You may want to look up Chinese legalism for more info. They were the ones who did all this. They were among the first to advocate “rule of law” that was truly equal. Their argument was purely rational – If all are treated equal, all will strive their best. If people are treated unequal, people will not strive their best.

        They also seemed to understand systems. For example, they argued that a complex law system would lead to few punishments (Thus, advocating simple laws). This would lead to officials serving their own personal desires. Does this sound familiar today?

        But I digress.

        • gerold says:

          Excellent ‘digression’, Paul. There are many similarities between the Roman Empire and the U.S.A. which is why their fate will likely be similar also. And, in this world of instant communication, it will happen far sooner and faster.

          From my limited understanding of Chinese history, the Opium War was instigated by the West in an attempt to weaken China (they did get Hong Kong back after 100 years). Also, for many centuries, China was the a world super power far longer than any other either before or after.

          – Gerold

          • Paul says:

            I was thinking about Smith’s three systems and came to realize some interesting things:

            1. Education is in decline, despite information being so widely available.
            2. Everything is based upon electricity.
            3. All technical capabilities dependent on calculators and other machines.
            4. These machines, as well as all information storage devices and communications, depend on electricity.
            5. Everyone has specialized themselves so much that they know nothing outside their field.

            If we were to examine this in a situation where electricity disappeared (Economic collapse), what would be left after a few decades? Answer: Not much. The world would resemble what it looked like over 2000 years ago, with tribes, small, local populations, and barbarians who have no skills, no information, and everything would have to be invented again.

            Speculation: Has this cycle occurred before? Perhaps this is why we have little to no information of time before the Pharaohs, as they stored their information on similiar devices?

            The Chinese, along with Martin Armstrong, believe in cycles. Could we be stuck in a perpetual cycle of history as well? Is there anyway to avoid this outcome?

          • gerold says:

            Good comments, Paul. We are indeed totally dependent upon electricity and micro-circuitry. Cars, trucks, machinery and aircraft built after 1972 have numerous computers to make them start and operate as does much of our technology.

            We don’t need economic collapse to destroy our electricity-dependent way of life. A massive solar flare like the Carrington Event in 1859 would set us back to the Stone Age in the blink of an eye. A small geomagnetic storm blacked out Quebec in March, 1989.

            An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP); a nuclear device detonated high above the atmosphere could take out the U.S. Canada and Mexico. Several, would take out the world.

            We wouldn’t even feel or hear it. Everything would simply go dark. No more cell phones, digital watches, cameras, car ignitions, electrical switching stations, etc. There are usually about 10,000 aircraft in the sky at any time globally that would fall out of the sky. Do you think it’s coincidence that the U.S. military has moved back into the previously abandoned Cheyenne Mountain facility? That’s because it’s hardened against EMP.

            During the Carrington Event, thick copper telegraph wire melted, some telegraph stations caught fire and a few operators were electrocuted. Massive solar flares hit the earth on average every 150 years. Do the math. We’re overdue for the next one. Another possibility is terrorists with small suitcase EMP nukes. The devastation from each would local but a number of them could cause widespread damage.

            In 1859, there was virtually no electrical power grid other than telegraph. Today, the earth is covered and the grid acts like a giant antenna. Small micro circuitry would be fried instantly. It takes about a year to build a large electrical transformer and that’s assuming the manufacturers had power. Diesel generators also depend on micro circuitry and so do the oil tankers that refuel them. They’d need to rebuild hundreds of them world-wide.

            And, yes you’re right about education being dumbed-down. Ever see some of those Grade 8 exams from the 1800’s?

            And, yes you’re right about specialization. Today we know so much about so little, we almost know nothing about anything. As Robert Heinlein said, “Specialization is for insects.” In future, the jack-of-all-trades stands a better chance of survival than any specialist.

            It’s said that history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme. Although there is scant evidence about past advanced civilizations (Atlantis?); that might be more wishful thinking than anything else. Don’t forget that Ice Ages last many hundreds of thousands of years whereas ‘interglacial’ periods last only about 10,000 years. Which reminds me; the last ice age melted sometime between 10,000 years and 13,000 years ago and despite the enviro-nuts and their enviro-religion, there hasn’t been any global warming for 18 years now.

            I hope I live to a ripe old age because I guarantee life is going to get a lot more interesting than most people can imagine or handle.


          • Paul says:

            Whereas things like an EMP are possibilities, I say economic collapse, because that is virtually guaranteed at this point. I expected that banks and financial institutions would do the same things they did before 2008 and they are, only in a much greater magnitude. I had expected they had at least learned a little, but no, they are still going full speed ahead. They say insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result…Of course, if such actions are considered normal and such actions are considered sane, does this make outside thinkers insane?

            Perhaps it will start with a singular event, but then spiral out of control as disease and other things hit as our luck (Which we have been dependent on thus far) runs out.

            This whole situation shows a gross neglect of foresight. If things go down, all wealth will be meaningless, for leaders and the wealthy alike. Unless, of course, they plan to act like pirates and pillagers, taking what they can and then fleeing. They better hope, in this case, that a inquisition does not come for them. Though, again, they might not even have thought this far ahead.

            I don’t know about global warming, but I do know that when you’re in a city and a grey fog encompasses the city (Occurred when I was in Beijing), that can’t be healthy. Likewise,if the sky is brown, neither can that.

          • gerold says:

            Oh, I’m not ruling out economic collapse. That’s not just a certainty; that’s already underway and has been for years. I’ll leave it to future historians to determine when it started. My feeling is it started in the year 2000 with the Dot Bomb burst and Greenspan lowered interest rates that started serial bubbles everywhere and encouraged runaway debt creation. The point I was trying to make is that economic collapse is not the only factor that could send us back to the Stone Age. There are many others that could, too.


          • Paul says:

            “Oh, I’m not ruling out economic collapse. That’s not just a certainty; that’s already underway and has been for years.”

            That’s why I used the falling person metaphor. A falling person is already dead, what matters is the initial push/pull and the subsequent impact.

          • gerold says:

            Good point, Paul.

            I’m sometimes asked when will the collapse I’ve predicted happen. I say it already began.

            I suspect it will end not with a bang, but a whimper and so gradually some people won’t even notice so that when the electricity finally goes off it will just be another in a long series of disappointments. Whatever remnants of government or warlords there’ll be will have convinced the sheeple it’s for their own good; the ‘green’ thing. “Don’t sweat it; embrace it” or so some such nonsense.

            People don’t like sudden change but we’re very malleable to long-term change.

            – Gerold

          • Paul says:

            I have to disagree with this point here about people not caring. I think people are like rubber bands, they can stretch a lot, but eventually will break. It has already broken in the Middle East and their is unrest in Europe. The problem is that western civilization is spoiled and like children, will complain when they don’t get something they want. Perhaps they won’t fight, but as Ferguson has shown, they won’t go down without at least a few riots.

            Although, I describe a minority above. The majority just go with the flow like fish, completely unaware if their is a waterfall up ahead or not. History was never made by the majority. This is why Lenin and his small group of Bolsheviks triumphed where the larger Mensheviks failed. Hitler rose without a full majority, the American Revolution occurred without a majority, etc. Hell, even the Chinese Qin legalists did not have a majority. The thing these groups all shared was will, determination, and loyalty to their cause. The minority causes the flow of history, the majority are stuck in their currents and often drown in them.

            This discussion about people reminds me of an interesting revelation I had.

            Today, zombies are popular in culture. They represent creatures that consume others, turn all they touch into the same, not very aware, and have no understanding of resource conservation, etc.

            I went to Las Vegas recently to visit family. I did no gambling, but the situation showed me that the majority are already zombies.

            1. Everyone is encouraged, through propaganda, to become a zombie (To gamble, to consume). Everyone it touches tends to become its victim and it takes great fortitude to resist its temptation.

            2. People on cell phones or doing other things are not aware of their present. As such, they move around, much like zombies, looking for the next thing to consume (Whether it be food or television).

            3. People have no idea of how vulnerable their system is. Lake Mead supports Hoover Dam, which powers the area, and its at its lowest level ever. Does anyone care? No, they continue to consume, without worry, without doubt in the system.

            4. When push comes to shove, given their consumption nature, will eat each other, when there is nothing else left to consume.

          • gerold says:

            Excellent points, Paul.

            – Gerold

  3. Don and Elize Berryman says:

    Great article. Thanks so much.


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