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Why Our Currency Will Fail

Wednesday, February 8, 2012, 10:18 AM

The idea that the very same economic forces that are currently plaguing Greece, et al., are somehow not relevant to the United States' circumstances does not hold water.  As goes the rest of the world, so goes the US. 

When we back up far enough, it is clear that money and debt are there to reflect and be in service to the production of real things by real people, not the other way around. With too much debt relative to production, it is the debt that will suffer. The same is true of money. Neither are magical substances; they are merely markers for real things. When they get out of balance with reality, they lose value, and sometimes even their entire meaning.

This report lays out the case that the US is irretrievably down the rabbit hole of deficits and debt, and that, even if there were endless natural resources of increasing quality available at this point, servicing the debt loads and liabilities of the nation will require both austerity and a pretty serious fall in living standards for most people. 

Of course, the age of cheap oil is over. And as Jim Puplava says, the oil price is the new Fed funds rate, meaning that it is now the price of oil that sets the pace of economic movement, not interest rates established by the Fed.  

However, of all the challenges that catch my eye right now, the one most worrisome is the shredding of our national narrative to the point that it no longer makes any sense whatsoever. I'm a big believer that our actions are guided by the stories we tell ourselves. To progress as a society, having a grand vision that aligns and inspires is essential.

But when words emphasize one set of priorities and actions support another, any narrative falls apart. At a personal level, if someone touts their punctuality but chronically shows up hours late, the narrative that says "this person is reliable" begins to fall apart.

Likewise, if a company boasts about being green but its track record belies them as a major polluter, the "green" narrative fizzles.

And at the national level, if we say we are a nation of laws, but the Justice Department selectively prosecutes only the weak and relatively powerless while leaving the well-connected and moneyed entirely alone, then the narrative that says "we are a nation of blind justice and equal laws" falls apart.

I wish this was just some idle rumination, but I see more and more examples validating the importance of alignment of narrative and behavior. Because when there is a disconnect between words and actions, anxiety and fear take root.

Unfortunately, there is quite a lot to fear and be anxious about in the most recent State of the Union address and GOP response.

State of the Union

The recent State of the Union speech by Obama, and its Republican response, are both remarkable for what they say as well as what they don't say. The summary is this: The status quo will be preserved at all costs.

Here are a few examples of the sorts of disconnects between rhetoric and reality that are absolutely toxic to the morale of all who are paying the slightest bit of attention.

Obama

Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.

We've all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. That's why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior.

It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom? Is Obama aware of what Erik Holder is up to over there in the Justice Department? The robo-signing scandal alone has thousands and thousands of open and shut cases of felony forgery that can and should be applied to as many individuals as were directly involved, from top to bottom in every organization that was engaged in the practice.

Here's the reality. Under Obama, criminal prosecution of financial fraud fell to multi-decade lows during what is and remains one of the most target-rich environments in living memory.

(Source)

Obama

And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules.

So if you are a big bank or financial institution, you're no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers' deposits. You're required to write out a "living will" that details exactly how you'll pay the bills if you fail -- because the rest of us are not bailing you out ever again.

Has Obama checked with the Federal Reserve to assure they are on board with the new 'no bail out' policy? Because last I checked, they were the ones mainly involved in bailing out the big banks and providing swap lines and free credit to anyone and everyone that needed help, US or foreign. 

To be fair, Obama can make no statement or claim about what the Federal Reserve can or can't or will or won't do. It is not under executive nor even legislative control. If, or I should say when, the Federal Reserve bails out the next bank or country or whomever, it's "the rest of us" who will be paying the bill -- in the form of eventual inflation. 

Obama

[W]orking with our military leaders, I've proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget.

Let's review the proposals for military spending then. The language above is nearly impossible to decode. What is really being said is that proposed defense increases have been scaled back, and that this is what is being called savings.

In 2000, Defense spending was $312 billion dollars. In 2012, the proposed budget calls for $703 billion, a 125% increase in 12 years.  

What the plan he mentions really calls for is spending increases in 5 out of the next 6 years. The lone holdout is 2013, when the plan calls for cutting spending by a whopping $6 billion less than the amount already approved for 2012. 

Somehow that all translates into rhetoric that implies cuts of "nearly half a trillion dollars."

As Lily Tomlin used to say, "As cynical as I am, I find it hard to keep up."

GOP Response

“The routes back to an America of promise, and to a solvent America that can pay its bills and protect its vulnerable, start in the same place.  The only way up for those suffering tonight, and the only way out of the dead end of debt into which we have driven, is a private economy that begins to grow and create jobs, real jobs, at a much faster rate than today."

This platitude-laden set of ideas is blissfully blind to the role of energy in the story, the amount of debt in the system, and the fact that both parties have contributed equally over the years to the predicament at hand.

How exactly is it that the private economy is supposed to flourish here, with the Federal government borrowing more than a trillion dollars a year and oil at $100 per barrel? The simple truth is that the US government needs to begin borrowing at a rate lower than the previous year's economic growth. If GDP grows at 2%, then the total debt pile must not grow by anything more than 2%. That is the only way that the official debts can shrink relative to the economy. 

GOP Response

“We will advance our positive suggestions with confidence, because we know that Americans are still a people born to liberty. There is nothing wrong with the state of our Union that the American people, addressed as free-born, mature citizens, cannot set right."

Last I checked, the original vote tally in the Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which empowered the armed forces to engage in civilian law enforcement activities and selectively suspended the habeas corpus and due process rights (as guaranteed by the 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution), passed by a voice vote of 93 to 7 in the Senate.

It's kind of hard to swallow the idea that the GOP stands with Americans as "a people born to liberty" when their members are in perfect lock-step with the Democrats, chipping away at the most basic and cherished freedoms. There's no difference between the parties when both seem intent on limiting individual freedom and increasing the power of the government to reach into and examine our daily lives. 

When Words Hurt

The above examples are not meant to pick on any one person or party or set of ideas, but to illuminate the profound gap that exists between what we are telling ourselves at the national level and the actions we are undertaking. 

Again, it is the gap between what we tell ourselves and what we do that creates a sense of unease, anxiety, and oftentimes fear. When we hear words "X" but see actions "Y" over and over again, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that the words are meaningless; empty rhetoric designed with polls and focus groups in mind, but little else. 

It is the blind obedience to the status quo that worries me the most, as it raises the likelihood that nothing of any substance will be done until forced by circumstances, at which point, like Greece, we will discover that the remaining menu of options ranges from bad to worse.

Left Unsaid - Our Missing Narrative

In neither Obama's address nor the GOP response do we hear anything about Peak Oil, a stock market that has gone nowhere in ten years, or the fact that with two wars winding down there ought to be massive savings from defense cuts that we can capture. There's lip service to the idea of using more natural gas to begin weaning us off our imported oil dependence, but no commensurate trillion-dollar program offered to rapidly build out the infrastructure necessary to utilize that gas in a meaningful way.

A more honest set of messages would note that mistakes were made, opportunities squandered, and priorities misplaced. It would note that the US is on an unsustainable course with respect to spending, debts, and liabilities. There would be an explicit admission that having your central bank print trillions in "thin air" money in order to enable runaway deficit spending is a dangerous and foolish thing to entertain.

Most obviously missing is a national narrative that is coherent and comports with the facts. Both parties basically imply that if we elect a few more of their type, do a little of this and then tweak a little of that, then we will get our nation back on track. 

There is no call to a shared sacrifice for something greater. There is nothing to rally around except a laundry list of disconnected programs; a little something for everyone. There is no overarching theme under which everything else can be hung, such as a space race, a civil rights movement, or a massive upgrading of our national infrastructure.

A good narrative is one that inspires people and is based in reality but also asks something larger of us that we can share in. What is our vision for this country? Where do we want to be in ten years? How about twenty?   How will we get there, and what will be required? What should we stop doing, what should we start doing, and what should we continue doing?

None of these things are on display, and all are badly needed if we are going to make the most of the next twenty years.

The Troubling Facts

Of all the facts that got skimmed over or avoided in the State of the Union extravaganza, the fiscal nightmare in DC was probably the most glaring. Yes, both parties have decided to talk about the deficit, but neither is giving the appropriate context. 

For FY 2012, the federal government is projected to run a $1.1 trillion deficit.   Let's compare that number to the projected revenues:

(Source

The $1.1 trillion deficit is 42% of total revenues and 73% of all income taxes. That is, in order to spend what the US currently spends without going further into debt (i.e., to have no deficit), income taxes must immediately increase by 73%(!).

This is the sort of territory that, were the US any other country, would have already landed its debt markets -- and likely its currency, too -- in very hot water.

Historically, countries that have run deficits 40% greater than revenue for more than two years have experienced profound financial and political crises. The US is now in its fourth year of inhabiting this rare territory.

How can it keep doing this when every other country that has tried has gotten into trouble? Simple. The Federal Reserve has enabled such egregious deficit spending by buying up mind-boggling amounts of government debt. This has both kept rates low and created a lot of additional buying demand for Treasuries.

Exactly how much US debt is the Fed buying? Under Operation Twist, the Fed has bought anywhere from 51% to 91% of all gross issuance of bonds dated six years or longer in maturity. 

(Source

It is quite obvious that the Fed has been a major participant in the bond markets and a major reason why Treasurys are priced so high and offer so low a yield. 

It seems that it is well past time to speak directly to the enormous fiscal deficits in a credible way, not merely bemoaning them being too high. And we're also overdue for an adult national conversation that it's unwise and unsustainable for a country to lean on its central bank to print up the difference between receipts and outlays.

Oil and Recoveries

There is a clear relationship between high oil prices and recessions, confirming the idea that the price of oil has the same impact on the economy as higher interest rates (perhaps even more so nowadays). Both are a source of friction. With higher interest rates, less lending and less consuming happens. With a higher price of oil, more money gets spent on energy, much of it sent to foreign producers of oil, and thus less money is available for other consumption.

Both higher oil prices and higher interest rates cause people to think a bit more before pulling the trigger on either ordinary spending or a big capital project.

Note that all of the six prior recessions were preceded by a spike in oil prices. In the case of the double-dip 1980's twin recessions, oil remained elevated after the first recession was (allegedly) over. Don't be fooled by the logarithmic nature of the chart below -- note that the typical decline in oil prices between the recession-inducing peak (blue lines) and the recovery-enabling trough (green lines) was a substantial 30%-50%:

(Source

Also note in the most recent data that oil prices happen to be at roughly the same level that triggered the first recession in 2008 (the purple dotted line). 

If we needed one simple chart to help us understand why trillions of dollars of stimulus and handouts are not causing the economy to soar, this is the chart that explains the most. High oil prices and recessions are highly correlated, and it's not too much of a stretch to postulate that economic recoveries and high oil prices are inversely correlated.

Note also that the above chart is not inflation-adjusted. If it were, it would show that there have been exactly zero recoveries when oil prices are near or over $100 per barrel. 

For those counting on an economic recovery here to lift all boats and assist the bailout efforts, the burden of history is upon them to explain why this time we should ignore the price of oil. 

I say we cannot. Policy planners and citizens alike should be ready for disappointing market and economic activity in response to the usual bag of printing, borrowing and delaying tricks.

Dead Ahead: A Currency Crisis

The State of the Union speech and GOP response neither accurately portray the true fiscal condition of the US, nor present a compelling narrative that speaks either to the realities of today or a future we might like to head towards.

The US is simply on a fiscally ruinous path, and neither party seems up to the task of laying out the story in a way that is mature, clear, and direct. 

No recovery has ever been possible from oil prices this high, nor with debt levels this extreme, and it is quite improbable to think that both conditions could be overcome with anything less than a completely clear-eyed view of the true nature of the predicament faced.

Decades ago, Ludwig Von Mises captured everything discussed here elegantly:

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.

The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

Our current dire fiscal condition, our leaders' dysfunctional unwillingness to address the flawed behavior that caused it, plus many other recent events both in the US and in Europe, point to the idea that a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion is just not on the menu.

That leaves us with some final and total catastrophe of the involved currency system(s) as the inevitable outcome.

In Part II: Surviving a Currency Crisis, we explain what a currency is, what happens when a currency collapses, and, most importantly, how to position yourself prudently in advance.

At this point, time to prepare is your greatest asset. But as we can see from the precarious global economic situation described above, time is running out. Use what remains wisely.

Click here to access Part II of this report (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access)

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49 Comments

Jessica's picture
Jessica
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Premier Post

Chris,

I just wanted to write in appreciation of the work that you do.

Jessica

Whiskeyjim's picture
Whiskeyjim
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Economy

Two points:

1. Civilization depends on cheap energy (not just cheap oil). As technology advances, we may see the price of oil drive conversion to natural gas, which is arguably the next best fuel in the evolutionary energy chain (we have yet to figure out how to make cheap, safe nuclear). In that context, oil's days of confing economic growth may be coming to an end.

2. Two forces keep propping up American debt and government spending. They are technology, which drives outsized productivity gains, and the dollar as world currency, which allows export of our profligacy. Without either, the country would have been forced into a restructuring long ago. BTW, government spending (as opposed to ROI generating investment) now usurps all productivity gains and more, stagnating lower and middle class income.

As it is, the USA may be able to soldier on in denial for a surprisingly long time, since Europe is in even worse shape; capital already flees to USA as safe haven. And, there is no escape from the dollar anywhere.

It may well be that the USA can float along in some Keynesian fairy tale until a) other countries start trading in gold; or b) annual US debt rollover begins eating up 20%+ of world GDP (this day is only a couple decades away), which of course is impossible. In either case, subsidy and taxes will balloon.

If one agrees with these suppositions, then the place to begin any discussion is with the macroeconomists. For it is they who are providing the story for guilt free deficit spending, and as with all calamities, it will be the expert theorists that bring us to ruin. The Fed does not even track debt in its economic models.

maceves's picture
maceves
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like

looking for that "like" button again.....well written.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Ditto on Jessica's comment,

Ditto on Jessica's comment, well said.

AWR's picture
AWR
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Just a reminder who is in charge

And at the national level, if we say we are a nation of laws, but the Justice Department selectively prosecutes only the weak and relatively powerless while leaving the well-connected and moneyed entirely alone, then the narrative that says "we are a nation of blind justice and equal laws" falls apart.

A nice segue to remind us who is really in charge:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46251755

Even as the Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped up its investigations of Wall Street in the last decade, the agency has repeatedly allowed the biggest firms to avoid punishments specifically meant to apply to fraud cases.


An analysis by The New York Times of S.E.C. investigations over the last decade found nearly 350 instances where the agency has given big Wall Street institutions and other financial companies a pass on those or other sanctions.
ewilkerson's picture
ewilkerson
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I Absolutely Love This

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS QUOTE.  iT SUMS OUR ENTIRE MONETARY SITUATION RIGHT UP.  CHRIS, I'M NOT SO SURE YOU WANT TO PUT IT IN.  YOU MAY LOOSE A JOB!!!!

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.

The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.

Cheers,

Ernest

heffe's picture
heffe
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Ego attachement to collapse

After four plus years of visiting this site, I can now see that extreme emotional attachements exist towards the idea of collapse.

After promoting the idea of collapse, your ego does not allow you to admit fault; your too stubborn to admit that collapse may not happen as you expect it.

The thing is, there are unknown variables lying within your hypothesis of collapse. These unknowns mostly rely on human decision making, as newly found environmental triggers will illicit new found behaviors.

The profound amount of certainty that exists within the members here demonstrates they are essentially 'hoping' that collapse comes soon.

Its not that you want the world to collapse, its that you dont want to be wrong, you don't want to appear foolish for having accepted a hypothesis that turned out to be incorrect.

I know we are in a state of collapse, what I don't agree with in regards to this site is the degree and speed at which you expect collapse. This 'collapse' is a fundamental changing of our culture and understandings, it will span decades, perhaps continuing for many more decades after your death.

My goal is fostering stronger community resilience, by supporting local farmers, as well as, sharing information on economics, game theory, psychology, anthropology, societal evolution, and the basics of energy extraction/conversion/useage. For the last five years all of my electricity has come from 100% renewable sources, I've begun farming indoor crops like wheatgrass, spinach, cilantro, and parsley, and sought means of sustaining myself through whatever conditions present themselves to me.

What I do not do, is sit around, preaching the collapse with absolute, religious certainty. I merely express the possibilities that exist, and hope to better my self interest through bettering my community. I hope you all will do the same.

Heffe

Travlin's picture
Travlin
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Outstanding

An outstanding analysis Chris. I particularly like the chart on oil prices and recessions. I became aware of the critical role of oil via your work. My life experience since 1973 confirmed that role as I made the connection between oil prices and recessions. In addition, I noted the stagnation of median household wages and income that began in 1973 or 1979 depending on how you run the numbers. It is more than a coincidence that those were the years of enormous rises in oil prices. The chart makes a good tool for educating people who don’t have that personal experience. 

It is critical that you lay out the brutal truth of our predicament, however unpleasant it may be. A clear vision of reality is crucial to coping with the situation now, and especially in the future.

This is impressive work and I expect more of the same in part 2.

Travlin

JeanBaptiste's picture
JeanBaptiste
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Thomas Wolfe Quote

Jessica.  Unbelievably unsettling to read the Thomas Wolfe quote you posted.  This is precisely what I am in awe of at this very moment in time - at this very chapter in my life.  Please feel free to email me.  I would very much enjoy hearing from you.

J.Barrett

jcbarrett2003 (at yahoo dot com)

615* 975*1015

JeanBaptiste's picture
JeanBaptiste
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Loose versus lose

Ernest you meant to write, LOSE a job. You used the word Loose in place of the correct word LOSE.

This is very common these days but I don't know why.

JB

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brjohnson789
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Ego attachement to collapse

heffe, regarding this comment: "This 'collapse' is a fundamental changing of our culture and understandings, it will span decades, perhaps continuing for many more decades after your death."  If history is any guide, big collapses or big changes can come quickly.  I would highly recommend to you and everyone the book "The Fourth Turning", which is an analysis of recurring patterns in history (mostly about in the US/new world). The authors found there is a recurring 85 - 100 year cycle, with 4 distinct parts that repeat each cycle (like the seasons in a year).  The 4th part, or 'turning', is always a crisis, and according to their calcs when they wrote the book in '97, a crisis period was due to begin within 10 years and it lasts about 20 years.  It almost always ends with a global war.  But after that things 'get better'.  

So its possible this time things are different; unfortunately in the past that has never happened.  The 4th turning comes and makes big changes on the world, and we're just now in the middle of the crisis period.

JeanBaptiste's picture
JeanBaptiste
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Thanks Heffe

Brilliantly written Heffe and I agree with you whole heartedly.  The collapse is coming, but as Kunstler wrote, it is The Long Emergency and will most likely take many decades before this "total collapse" happens.  If we look around us, signs of this long emergency, this collapse are everywhere.  But, because we are living in it and the changes have taken place over decades to date, most of us are completely unaware of the significance and permanence of many of these changes.  Listen to Heffe, people.  Building up communities and working toward sustainability in all that we do - THIS is the way to ASSURE a better future for all of us as we each travel our own road in this long emergency.

JB

Bheithir's picture
Bheithir
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No need to be insulting.

Heffe,

You may very well be right, it may be slow and drawn out. I HOPE you are. Being insulting isn't the best way to make a point though. I agree that collapse doesn't have to happen the way Chris has stated, yet I tend to strongly agree with him. His way is highly probable, but agian, not certain. The speed at which a Hyperinflationary scenario could come upon us is worhy of his warning. Yes we see oil running out, but it won't run out tomorrow. Yes we are experiencing climate change, but that too is gradual. An asteroid strike, X9 Class CME, Nuclear war and Hyperinflation would be sudden game changers to our life style. When you do risk management you look at probability vs impact. Even if it is a low probability, you need to consider the impact if it does happen and possibly the effort and expense of mitigating it. Hyperinflation is high probability with a high impact. It is worthy of much attention.

I'm glad you have chosen to mitigate collapse in cool way, but I for one don't have that option right now. One day maybe.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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a free online copy of

a free online copy of When Money Dies cane be found here, as  PDF file.

Reading it now.

JeanBaptiste's picture
JeanBaptiste
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not insulting!

C'mon, we're all adults here (I assume), so enough with the name calling.  Heffe wasn't insulting in the least.  He was pointing out the obvious - that many people are actually PLANNING for a collapse.  Sure it's good to have food stored and water, but consider this, People all over the world - especially Americans - have been storing food and calling for a collapse for many, many years.  Back in the 1970's this was big business - the business of building bomb shelters, selling storable food, etc.

Heffe isn't saying "don't worry", Heffe is saying that HE has decided to get busy living and to make some REAL AND CONCRETE changes in his life, his community, his world RIGHT NOW.  I think he's wise. 

Also, a lot of people DO want to see a collapse.  They want to see the wealthy suffer and the guy down the street with the SUV, the big house, the boat, the parties . . . people want to see this kind of person suffer, because it looks like they have "it all" while so many people (me? You?) have so little.

People are also sick of the dull routine of life and long for a survival situation or a scenario that no longer requires them to go to their same old, boring, dead end job . . . believe me, I know the feeling : )

But if a person spends all their time preparing for when the shit hits the fan or preparing for the end of the world, HOW are you going to be able to make a difference in the here and now?

I say YES to being prepared, but a stronger YES! to helping out other people and making the world a better place overall.

And in conclusion, PLEASE don't write about probabilities as if by "probable" you imply "definitely going to happen but just a matter of weeks versus years".  That's not probability, that's you misusing the word "probability".

It's a very complicated world and this high unemployment, crappy housing market, inflation, etc. could conceivably go on at an even pace (a little worse every year) for decades before the shit hits the fan.  In the 1970's the shit was supposed to hit the fan any day, but it didn't happen.  Yes it seems like it might be a bit overdue, but don't put all your eggs in one basket, because it can make you crazy and excessive worry leads to health problems. If you're not enjoying your life, you cannot blame the economy for 100% of your problems.  Sometimes it feels better to have something to lay the blame on, however, most of life's problems are created by THE SELF.  Want the problems to stop?  Just find a way to stop the negative loops that play in your head 24/7.  Two solutions:

1) Fill your days with positive thoughts and positive affirmations.

2) Work your ass off.

JB

JB

Bheithir's picture
Bheithir
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No I used it right

If your refering to me using the word probabilities. I used it in the correct context. Collapse may not happen at all. With this I am assuming no one here is a Phrophet that can see the future. I may be wrong here to. If I am please speak up and tell me for 100% certain how the future will turn out, whoever you may be. 

Heffe's argument was, don't think collapse is going happen as Chris says, that it might be slow, is spot on if I interpreted that right. I'm saying it may not happen at all. There is that possability. Small though I think it is. I felt that he was a bit insulting and that it wasn't productive. That's all. IMO

heffe's picture
heffe
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Posts: 95
I apologize Bheithir

Bheithir wrote:

Heffe,

You may very well be right, it may be slow and drawn out. I HOPE you are. Being insulting isn't the best way to make a point though. I agree that collapse doesn't have to happen the way Chris has stated, yet I tend to strongly agree with him. His way is highly probable, but agian, not certain. The speed at which a Hyperinflationary scenario could come upon us is worhy of his warning. Yes we see oil running out, but it won't run out tomorrow. Yes we are experiencing climate change, but that too is gradual. An asteroid strike, X9 Class CME, Nuclear war and Hyperinflation would be sudden game changers to our life style. When you do risk management you look at probability vs impact. Even if it is a low probability, you need to consider the impact if it does happen and possibly the effort and expense of mitigating it. Hyperinflation is high probability with a high impact. It is worthy of much attention.

I'm glad you have chosen to mitigate collapse in cool way, but I for one don't have that option right now. One day maybe.

Im sorry for the tone, other members here know that I tend to be brash with my comments, Im 24 and still working on politeness.

Some thoughts on your comment,

I understand why folks like John Williams of Shadowstats.com are concerned about hyperinflation; the charts they assess dicate that M3 supply has been sky rocketing due to zero percent interest and quantitative easing. After becoming convinced of their argument, I purchased gold and silver. That was over two years ago; Williams then believed hyperinflation would've arrived that year (2010). What I failed to consider was alternative scenario's, as well as, unknown variables that I could not have access to. Regarding hyperinflation, what I failed to realize was how powerful deflationary forces can be. There is also the fact that all past examples of hyperinflation occured with isolated currencies; the dollar is a globally traded currency and the decisions made by foreign investors (unknown variable) has tremendous influence on our dollar.

The other examples you'd listed, like asteroid strikes and the recent coronal mass ejection, I consider to be irrelevent. If natural events on the cosmic scale snuff us out, there's nothing to be done. If collapse occurs to this level, (complete shutdown of economy with billions of newfound starving folk) all the preparation you'd done would mean nothing. A collapse to that point is anarchy, at which the stock piles of food and ammunition you'd saved are going to the first successful group of thieves. That's why I so strongly advocate getting your community as self sustaining as possible, as your self interest is tied to everyone around you.

Again, Im not saying 'dont prepare at all'. We very well could see some wicked changes this summer, I guess my main point is in how folks think about 'preparation'. Most assume stockpiling goods, but in my opinion, it should be creating a resilient community with the ability to provide for itself.  

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Poet
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Perspective From The Tree

Think of it like a tall tree that falls down in the forest.

At the base, a porcupine is still upright, there is a huge thud sound and some vibration, but the creature survives intact.

A little bit above where the separation point is, the trunk moves, but in slow motion, taking a few seconds to traverse 90 degrees, but perhaps the total travel distance is a few foot or two. An squirrel there has a good chance of landing right side up and relatively unshaken.

At the tip of the tall tree, a bird's nest travels a far distance in only a few seconds. The sleeping bird in the nest will be dashed to pieces if it cannot awake and fly away in time.

All along the length of the trunk, however, are creaturess that just happen to be in the impact zone. It just can't be helped.

Collapse will occur at different speeds for different people, and each will experience a different level of impact.

Poet

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aggrivated
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collapse

Heffe

I agree with your perspective on collapse.  One should not wish  for it just to prove a stated theory to be true. I, for one, believe that I would probably die after jumping off a 15 storey building.  I have no desire to test this with myself or someone else. A few on this site may wish for collapse, but not all of us. 

It is my view that we can live in such a way that we are more prepared for some form of collapse and can at the same time improve our  life in general right now.  It sounds as if you are in that camp.   You state: "My goal is fostering stronger community resilience, by supporting local farmers, as well as, sharing information on economics, game theory, psychology, anthropology, societal evolution, and the basics of energy extraction/conversion/useage. For the last five years all of my electricity has come from 100% renewable sources, I've begun farming indoor crops like wheatgrass, spinach, cilantro, and parsley, and sought means of sustaining myself through whatever conditions present themselves to me. "  It would be wonderful if all of us were this far along!  Thank you for your encouragement by action.

One area I would like to clarify is that different types of collapse may occur.  If you are talking about 'economic' collapse then it can and probably will occur very quickly.  If you are talking about societal collapse, in the sense of 'fundamental changing of our culture and understandings', then I agree that this may take time, and may even result in a more desirable society after the collapse.  The author Dmitry Orlov has done a nice job of thinking through some of this based on his experiences as both a Soviet Russian citizen and now an American one.  I recommend his book 'Reinventing Collapse'.  The more clarity we have in our discussions the better we will be able to assist each other in our planning and actions.

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Bheithir wrote:  Heffe, You

Bheithir wrote:

Heffe,

You may very well be right, it may be slow and drawn out. I HOPE you are. Being insulting isn't the best way to make a point though.

Bheithir, I don't believe Heffe was being insulting at all. Offering a contrasting opinion is healthy debate. I personally think that Chris' views may be on the extreme side but if you've ever watched one of his presentations you'll realise that he welcomes justifiable arguments in contrast to his own.

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Poet wrote: Think of it like

Poet wrote:

Think of it like a tall tree that falls down in the forest.

Poet

Well said, Poet. 

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ao
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patience young padawan

heffe wrote:

After four plus years of visiting this site, I can now see that extreme emotional attachements exist towards the idea of collapse.

After promoting the idea of collapse, your ego does not allow you to admit fault; your too stubborn to admit that collapse may not happen as you expect it.

The thing is, there are unknown variables lying within your hypothesis of collapse. These unknowns mostly rely on human decision making, as newly found environmental triggers will illicit new found behaviors.

The profound amount of certainty that exists within the members here demonstrates they are essentially 'hoping' that collapse comes soon.

Its not that you want the world to collapse, its that you dont want to be wrong, you don't want to appear foolish for having accepted a hypothesis that turned out to be incorrect.

I know we are in a state of collapse, what I don't agree with in regards to this site is the degree and speed at which you expect collapse. This 'collapse' is a fundamental changing of our culture and understandings, it will span decades, perhaps continuing for many more decades after your death.

My goal is fostering stronger community resilience, by supporting local farmers, as well as, sharing information on economics, game theory, psychology, anthropology, societal evolution, and the basics of energy extraction/conversion/useage. For the last five years all of my electricity has come from 100% renewable sources, I've begun farming indoor crops like wheatgrass, spinach, cilantro, and parsley, and sought means of sustaining myself through whatever conditions present themselves to me.

What I do not do, is sit around, preaching the collapse with absolute, religious certainty. I merely express the possibilities that exist, and hope to better my self interest through bettering my community. I hope you all will do the same.

Heffe

Heffe,

Any particular reason you consistently paint everyone here with the same brush, assuming you understand what they are thinking and how they are thinking when, in fact, a tremendous diversity of opinions have been expressed, discussed, and debated here on the nature and form of collapse?  I think if you weren't so quick to jump to conclusions and took the time to peruse the archives in depth, you'd see that your assumptions are a bit hasty and in error.  Perhaps you'd gain more knowledge and wisdom by listening a bit more and preaching a bit less.

P.S. It's "elicit", not "illicit".

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ao wrote:Heffe,Any

ao wrote:

Heffe,

Any particular reason you consistently paint everyone here with the same brush, assuming you understand what they are thinking and how they are thinking when, in fact, a tremendous diversity of opinions have been expressed, discussed, and debated here on the nature and form of collapse?  I think if you weren't so quick to jump to conclusions and took the time to peruse the archives in depth, you'd see that your assumptions are a bit hasty and in error.  Perhaps you'd gain more knowledge and wisdom by listening a bit more and preaching a bit less.

P.S. It's "elicit", not "illicit".

+1

I do think heffe does have a good point that people preparing for "collapse" can develop an emotional interest in that outcome, and I think that's something everyone here should reflect upon if they haven't already.  Where heffe went wrong was throwing it around as a blanket assumption on all, as opposed to presenting it as a point to consider or at least as a question to the host and/or the audience.  Just because we take precautions for a collapse doesn't mean we necessarily develop a strong attachment to the outcome, or that we consider it a certainty, or that if it occurs that it will all happen in one quick, fell swoop. 

Anyway regarding the article itself, I have to say I winced a tiny bit at seeing it go more into politics than CM usually does... not because it didn't assign responsibility where it belongs (it did a good job at that), but more because I'm finding many people I know still as politically partisan as ever.  But there really isn't a way to address the situation and narrative without mentioning the political players involved in creating it, and I have to say I'm happy and pleasantly surprised to see there aren't any political partisan arguments popping up here.

- Nick

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Similar observations to heffe

I've been reading here for a few years and I have similar observations to heffe.

Although my understaning of the factors of collapse, depression, etc, is very limited, I do sense an overall bias towards giving more credence to events that confirm the possiblity of these things happening and happening soon. I look at the headings of the daily digest and see this or the topics of most threads. Good news stories are seldom dwelled on here.

Of course, the belief in the likelihood that the SHTF is a given, otherwise we wouldn't be hanging around here, right? But I would guess that there are observations and indicators that warrant being published and discussed, even if non-confirmatory of previously held ideas; but I don't read much of that here. I'm not saying that everyone sticks to their guns, but I just don't seem to see much non-confirmatory talk in the discussions I've read.

I've also thought that significant events, such as the Gulf oil spill and the Japan nuclear situation, tend to be discussed at great length as if there is an expectation of greater catastrophe. It reminds me of the tendency of news reports these days (at least in Australia) to publish ongoing counts of, say, the number of deaths in an earthquake with a seemingly dramatic appeal to the event and almost as if to say "Keep going up - let's make this a record!" The point of this example is obviously not to say that we want more people to die - it's to say that worsening negative consequences tend to be talked up.

These are not statements about particular people here - opinions clearly vary, as shown by many great emotive threads. It's just a general observation by someone who thinks this site and its users are very cluey about the three E's and what it may mean for me and my family. 

Don't hit me too hard.

John

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Collapse and expectations

First, of course, thank you Chris for a fantastic article.  At the risk of heaping too much praise, I'm really glad to have someone like you that can sift through all of the data and trends, connect the dots and present such articles that are insightful, balanced and full of clarity.

Regardarding the "collapse"; this is a rich topic and I'll leave the fray to others.  But, I would provide a few tangential thoughts.

First, there are things that are "different" this time as history does repeat, but events always have a certain unique flavor as well.  Same here.  We don't need complex theories or racking of our brains to understand what is happening, how and when.  Sure, if you want details and "to the minute", then you're dreaming as no one has such knowledge.  That said, the fundamentals of what is occurring right now has many precedents.  As Chris mentioned and I'm glad he's familiar with "FerFAL", one only needs to look at Argentina on how their event happened a decade ago.  What is especially interesting is that their event also mirrored many other events that happened to other countries and at other times.

I don't know when the "collapse" is going to happen (I keep putting that word in quotes, because I do not believe it is a singular event), but the series of events that will mark the time period that will accuartely describe it must be close, due to the variety of dimensions and factors we all keep reading about in our non-mainstream news and analysis sources.

Here's what is more interesting in my mind and that I have strong conviction; once the end-game events of the collapse start, the process will acclereate and slingshot into amazing speed.  Doubt this at your peril.  Look to not only other's experiences or countries, think about your own events in your country where some event accelerated things to a breakneck speed and crashed things into a wall immediately and without time to prepare (if you weren't already prepared).

One final thought that I also feel strongly about; that is --- be careful what you wish for, as you may not have a clue to the reality that comes with it.  I don't want to be overly critical, but the people that are all "prepared" and ready for the "zombie apocalypse" are in for a rude awakening.  If and when a more violent version of the collapse takes place (which, by the way and unfortunately, I believe is a 100% guaranteed outcome at least in pockets and at least for a period of time --- again, read your history, I simply can't believe those analysts that think it will be orderly), you will not like what you see.  What I mean is that it won't be a boy scout trip or a camping adventure like some "survivalist" types are thinking.  That's not reality and how it will actually happen.  Again, pick up FerFAL's book from Amazon, it is worth the money and your time to read it if you are interested in this topic.  Things will get ugly, very scary and not be fun.  Unless you are a sociopath, sadist or some other type of person that has real emotional problems, this is not an outcome anyone of us want to experience.  Trust me.  Those that have been confronted with elments of a society collapsing and the anarchy and violence is spawns can attest this is not something you should think that you are "ready" for and would welcome.  It doesn't matter how much "gold, guns, goods" you have.  I'm not saying you shouldn't have those things, you definitely should.  Just maintain perspective.  It won't be a "Mad Max" existence or "back to stone age" scenario nonsense, but it will get really scary for a period of time (which will vary widely based on your geography).

I'll wrap by saying that Chris' advice on reaching out to your community and doing whatever preparedness you can do for yourself and them is a great way of approaching all of this.  We are not alone in all this and we're not going to be, whether we like it or not or if it's good for us or not.  So, the clearer we are on this concept and focus our preparations at least in part on the community, then the better we all will be for it.

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SingleSpeak
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One of the best...

                   ... articles you've written Chris, IMHO. 

By pointing out the inconsistencies between words and actions, the breakdown of the rule of law, the ties between oil prices and recessions, etc. I think you hit it out of the park.

We can debate when or how a collapse will occur, but the fact that it will occur can hardly be argued.

Also, I don't think it hurts Chris's credibility when he calls Obama or any other politician out on deceptive or evasive language.

SS

PS. Poet, the tree thing was .

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m111ark
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Our debt money system

I've watched Damon Vrabel's videos on the ponzi nature of our monetary system that has made the events of the past 100 years make sense.  Curiously, he recommended this site in his final remarks in which he stated he didn't think anything could be done to awaken the people to the train wreak in our future.  Curious because I don't see any mention of THE problem confronting we the people. 

Does anyone remember the phrase, "until you change the way money works, you change nothing."  I first heard it from Mike Rupert.  At the time I didn't realize how right he is; it took Damon's videos to make clear to me why we're in this prediciment. 

While I can appreciate Chris' efforts here, the real problem is that banks have been given the power to create money.  That's one way new money enters the system; banks create new money out of thin air when they make a loan.  The FED does the same thing when they "buy" treasury debt, however, an interest component is still created. 

There's the problem.  The only way for new money to enter the system is to create debt.  But that means  there must always be credit worthy individuals to borrow new money.  When those individuals aren't around, the FED steps in to create new money (those wishing to end the FED should realize that under a debt money system, without the FED - game over). 

Austerity, in any debt money system is a sure road to bankruptcy.  It's impossible given the fact that new money can only be created with new debt. 

So, why are all these smart people, all over the world, talking about reducing government spending?  It's mathmatically impossible when every single dollar must be borrowed from a bank with interest attached?

There is an answer and Damon makes it clear.  If you can find his vids, it will suddenly make sense.

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heffe

I was surprised at heffe's comments until I saw that he was 24 years old.

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Poet
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Age Is Not The Factor

jonesb.mta wrote:

I was surprised at heffe's comments until I saw that he was 24 years old.

Jonesb.Mta

Well, the elderly can also count amongst their ranks those not insignificant many who are arrogant, intractable, and stuck in their ways. Aren't they one reason that we're in the predicament we're in?

Poet

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Pandering = the end of democracy

Maybe this time Chris deliberately mentioned a political event because our political system is no longer working.  We don't really have leaders in Washington anymore, just demagogues, pandering to their constituencies.

They are giving us platitudes - because to talk about what is really happening and what they are or are not doing would not appeal to most voters.  Some will say that the exception is Ron Paul.  Maybe they are right, but what are his chances of being our next president?

The media panders to us in the same way.  If the MSM would cover the same news that the CM Daily Digest covers, our democracy would still function.  Instead, the airwaves are controlled by makers and sellers of SUV's and our political parties are controlled by big banks and billionaires.  

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Age is not the factor

Poet,

I agree 100%. The young haven't been voting long enough to have caused any of this. My comment was pointing out that he hasn't been around to watch gas go from $.10 a gallon to $3.84 a gallon and doesn't realize how fast things are moving now, comparatively speaking. Obviously I could go on and on with the changes that have happened in my lifetime but most young people don't really care and the older ones already know or should already know. Heffe is to be commended on his having enough sense to realize that something is wrong, he sure wasn't taught that in a government school. My generation has completely screwed his generation and possibly more generations to come. It amazes me how many young people work for Ron Paul, their education doesn't point them in that direction. I'll still vote for Ron Paul as I have since he first ran for President on the Libertarian ticket.

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shawns333
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jonesb.mta wrote: I'll still

jonesb.mta wrote:

I'll still vote for Ron Paul as I have since he first ran for President on the Libertarian ticket.

Good to know you and have you in the forums.  I went over to the LP since the 2008 election, after I was able to finally "get it".  RP isn't just a candidate or even a good one, he's literally one of the very very few politicians that isn't morally/ethically/constitutionaly bankrupt.

It saddens and disheartens me to see how society always looks for that knight on a white horse --- some "leader" to bring us out of our misery.  Much (almost all?) that is wrong with things is due to a lack of leadership and the results of the same of the last handful of decades.  But, that's not because we're missing some mythical heros or "great presidents".  It's because everyone has a leadership role in society --- as a parent, as a teacher, as a family member, as a police officer, as a doctor, etc. --- and much of that has sadly been taken for granted and not been done by too many and too often.

I hate that people think so lowly of themselves that there's always the need of this greater-than-us hero that is needed.  Yes, RP will get my vote, support and dollars.  Beause not that he's a hero (which, actually, given the decades-long struggle he's had in the Washinton cesspool does qualify him as a real American Hero), but because he's "one of the good guys".  Which one can always hope we'll get to a time when a worthwhile majority of the population will again exercise greater leadership and be "heros".  That time is here and the stage is set, I believe.

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earthwise
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Posts: 824
Damon Vrabel aka 'strabes'

m111ark wrote:

I've watched Damon Vrabel's videos on the ponzi nature of our monetary system that has made the events of the past 100 years make sense.  Curiously, he recommended this site in his final remarks in which he stated he didn't think anything could be done to awaken the people to the train wreak in our future.  Curious because I don't see any mention of THE problem confronting we the people. 

Does anyone remember the phrase, "until you change the way money works, you change nothing."  I first heard it from Mike Rupert.  At the time I didn't realize how right he is; it took Damon's videos to make clear to me why we're in this prediciment. 

While I can appreciate Chris' efforts here, the real problem is that banks have been given the power to create money.  That's one way new money enters the system; banks create new money out of thin air when they make a loan.  The FED does the same thing when they "buy" treasury debt, however, an interest component is still created. 

There's the problem.  The only way for new money to enter the system is to create debt.  But that means  there must always be credit worthy individuals to borrow new money.  When those individuals aren't around, the FED steps in to create new money (those wishing to end the FED should realize that under a debt money system, without the FED - game over). 

Austerity, in any debt money system is a sure road to bankruptcy.  It's impossible given the fact that new money can only be created with new debt. 

So, why are all these smart people, all over the world, talking about reducing government spending?  It's mathmatically impossible when every single dollar must be borrowed from a bank with interest attached?

There is an answer and Damon makes it clear.  If you can find his vids, it will suddenly make sense.

Hey m111ark,

Just as a heads up, most of us who have been following CM.com for a while know about Damon Vrabel quite well. He was a regular here for years. He posted under the name 'strabes', and his input was always valuable. It's no surprise that his videos have likewise been helpful. We miss him 'round these parts.

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Heffe, we are not doomsday sloggers, we represent truth...

...been there done that bullshit. Heffe, it's the math, the numbers, that you are missing my little Brother. Hope is no strategy, it isn't. Let me be blunt, for your own good, and I hope it gives you pause for some concern. A collapse is reality, we have hit that fork in the road, and as Yogi Berra once said, "when you reach it, take it". It isn't that easy. The road right or left leads to some horrible place. We have not prepared for an energy crisis in this country. This energy is in short supply, and is an absolute requirement for our country. When, not if the free flow of oil is interrupted then this country will call on its young bucks, like it or not, to defend our way of living until we do something. Whether you have served or not you may want to prepare. Get an edge, be ahead of the herd because, well, it may just help you. 

Heffe, this could be a long talk but I am done for the day.

Heffe, take a look at a world map, and tell me what you see.

Heffe. this is serious shizit, and my focus is to hear these folks on this site, and apply everything I haven't thought of or need too. We are not wishing for a collapse you knucklehead (not meant to antagonize), but numbers don't lie... Respectfully Given...BOB

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There is no "k" in "Criminal"

cmartenson wrote:
Is Obama aware of what Erik Holder is up to over there in the Justice Department?

I apologize for picking what is surely the most trivial of nits, but the Attorney General of The United States of whom Chris speaks is Eric H. Holder, Jr., not Erik Holder.

The thing that really strikes me was my own emotional reaction to having my own name confused with one of the most senior ranking officials in the United States government. When I was a kid, that would have been an honor. Suffice it to say that "honored" was not my emotional reaction I experienced to seeing my own name confused with that of Atty. General Holder's.

In a post-NDAA world, I think I'll refrain from saying what emotion I actually experienced...

Erik

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Erik T.
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Keep the faith, Heffe!

heffe wrote:

Im sorry for the tone, other members here know that I tend to be brash with my comments, Im 24 and still working on politeness.

Don't be too hard on yourself, Heffe... I'm 46 and still seem to piss everyone off every so often. :-) In fact, most of the times I've done so on this forum have been precisely because I agree with many of your arguments, and find that some of the users here are so wrapped up in their Doomer stories that they can no longer see reality in front of them.

So I do think that several of your points have merit. But rather than dwell on the negative, I'd rather focus on offering some constructive suggestions for how you might find the discussions that are more in line with your thinking.

First, I want to point out that Chris Martenson is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met - a true genius. If you look carefully, you'll see that Chris' writings are generally very level-headed. He and his family are not "Doomers", and they have not lost touch with reality. The Martensons have found that a lifestyle focused on resiliency has benefits regardless of whether major social breakdowns ever occur or not. They are superbly prepared for the worst, but they don't let "Doomsday Thinking" interfere with enjoying full and rewarding lives. True, Chris uses words like "Collapse" frequently, and I have to confess that I find that habit a little annoying myself. But I am confident that he aims only to get through to people that an outright collapse is an entirely possible scenario. Whereas most people dismiss such ideas as nonsense, it's easy to see how Chris could be drawn to empahsis of how bad the worst case could actually be.

My point in all this is that I get the sense you may be mentally blending together Chris' perspective with the attitudes you see in the discussion forums. In my not-so-humble opinion, the public discussion forums on this site have become a favorite hang-out for Doomers and Conspiracy Theory afficionados. They have their right to their opinions, and the site posting guidelines allow them to banter about this stuff all day long provided that they are polite to one another. For this reason, I and several other former regulars here have given up on posting in the public forums, and participate exclusively in the forum discussions behind the paywall, where a much smaller percentage of participants seem inclined to bring up conspiracies and sky-is-falling doomsday discussions in every other post. I made an exception for this post, because I think you brought up a very important issue and wanted to offer some ideas on where to find more informed discussion. Again, my suggestion is to purchase enrolled membership if you can afford it. I find the discussions on the other side of the paywall to be far more informed, but your mileage may vary.

I also want to suggest that strong viewpoints (and Chris' views certainly qualify) are of greatest value when considered in direct contrast to opposing views. Chris really stands out in my mind as a champion of enlightened learning in this regard - rather than treating smart people with differing views as enemies or "competitors", Chris does everything he can to embrace relationships with them. For example, enrolled members are treated to a weekly podcast with Chris and Mish Shedlock, a blogger who is as devout and outspoken a deflationist as Chris is an inflationist. The list of other blogs on the homepage also includes several where you can find opposing views.

Heffe, if you're not already familliar with iTulip.com, I strongly suggest you check out Eric Janszen's work. Janszen sees many of the same issues Chris does, but comes to very different conclusions. He tends to dismiss "collapse" scenarios as infinitesimally small risks not worth worrying about, and does an outstanding job of refuting the assertions of John Williams and the other hyperinflationists who constantly cite what has happened in Zimbabwe and Argentia, without bothering to acknowledge or consider how the marked differences in circumstances between those countries and the USA tend to discredit U.S. hyperinflation predictions.

My point is, I don't think any of these guys is "right". Janszen has a view that calls for many very painful years of very high inflation, but no hyperinflation or currency collapse event. He's a smart guy who makes good arguments. Chris and John Williams are smart guys, too, and also make excellent arguments. To really understand this stuff, you have to absorb as many different perspectives as you can.

I think you'll find it useful to consciously separate Chris' views from the consensus attitude found in the forums, and also to read Eric Janszen's work for what in my opinion is probably a "too far in the other direction" viewpoint - one that doesn't anticipate any collapse scenario, but rather a long and slow inflationary depression in which societal systems continue to function normally, for the most part.

All the best,

Erik

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Posts: 1
Where

I note that Chris lives in Western Mass.

As a lawyer I'm beginning to wonder if I can live in America any longer.  I don't recognize it.  I may not be Clarence Darrow, but I know when the Constitution is trashed.  The National Defense Authorization Act is an obamination.  And to think 84 out of 100 Senators voted for it?  It's impossible!  But it happened.  Patriot Acts I and II made it possible for government to do whatever they wanted to do to any of us -- individually or as a people.  What the NDAA was about -- I have no idea -- except very broad control.

I've been through Chris's course three times now.  I get it.  It makes sense.  it's helps explain quite a few bad decisions in my life.  But I do not feel good about spending my remaining years in fear, watching the government slowing take over all.  Chris puts it nicely, as he always does, as a disconnect between narrative and deeds.  But the deeds, or the right to do the deeds, are becoming more Orwellian than Orwell imagined.

And i can't see any trend to cut it back.  Dems and Repubs are the same.  No one gets it.

I don't want to "run" somewhere else, but I can't watch the news any longer.  And it doesn't seem rational to retire to a rural farm and just wait for the Barbarians to show up at MY gates.  What is happening politically, spawning from failed political ecconomics, is so like the rise of authoritarian fascist nations that it can't be over looked.  

I don't want to overreact.  But I don't want to miss the last train out of Berlin, either.  Or put less dramatically, I don't want to plow my remaining life and capital into a country that is heading for very nasty times.  And yet, where else does one go?

Zero

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
You are in good company

Zerocoupon

I noticed that you enrolled today. Just in case you have not been lurking in the forums awhile, I want to reassure you that some people here have views similar to yours. Government repression scares me much more than economic turmoil. You are not crazy and you are not alone. Welcome to the forums.

Travlin

RJE's picture
RJE
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 1369
Hey Heffe, and there you have it...

...a diverse group of people, sharing life's experience, Erik has a perspective that is his, and his alone. No more valid than anyone else but relevant.

Erik spoke of Eric (not to be confused with Erik and certainly not Rik) Janszen. Janszen wrote a book that I have read twice, and reference often, (The Postcatastrophe Economy, Rebuilding America and Avoiding The Next Bubble). Note the word as he wrote it, "Postcatastrophe". Mr. Janszen commented that if you think the Great Recession (of 2008) was bad, just keep doing what you're doing and it will end up much worse. Well it IS much worse. That's not a negative, doomsday, sitting here all day revelation. Just look at a world map. 

So, to get to my point, we have done NOTHING to change things since 2008, if anything, we have done all the wrong things. So I guess you have to decide if a Great Depression or a new Greatest Depression is a bad thing. Mr. Janszen, respected by Erik, and I, has stated something to give you a message that can be researched. and It isn't pretty. So if you were to prepare for negative things to happen I would think it would serve you well. History books would indicate it is, very bad, and very violent that the society is violent. People are without jobs, are hungry, and hope, the human spirit are broken. Often these period leads to wars. Rogoff and Reinhart are clear in their book "This Time Is Different" that history really doesn't change all that much  So what do we have really but histories lessons.

If you buy Gold it is probably because history has determined that Gold as well as Silver is what you buy as a hedge against fiat currency. Why? I don't know, don't even understand really. i know you can't eat it. I just know if you prepare, you are better off.

As far as someone respecting you, how many times you write or visit a trusted site often, well that's up to you. If you have something to say then say it, someone is reading, and maybe will get something from what you say. That Erik prefers spending cash for the privilege to be with better people, I say everyone has value, and you'll know it when you read it.

Personally, I want diversity not cookie cutter views. I piss people off too Heffe, no problem with that, Never Lady's, and never little girl bank tellers. I prefer however to treat people as I wish to be treated. I've read everybody Heffe, all the experts, all great minds, and not one is alike. I have been around, and friends with multi, I mean really big dollar people. Have met so many, met the elites in their respective fields, and the ones I valued, that made their marks on me were the ones who didn't take themselves seriously. They were approachable, and willing to share. What I find remarkable in individuals are their self righteous mantra that serves them well but not everyone are impressed all of the time with the words, and nuances of their writing style. No big deal either, I'm quite certain this applies to me also... Be Good but be unimpressed until you know that person. Because their lips are moving don't make them right...BOB

shell's picture
shell
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 10 2011
Posts: 2
your faulty premise

is that you think there is a 'united states', a country--there is not--at least not a single country--there is the country of the 'owners', the banking cartel ---and the country of you and me.

forget about exposing hypocrisies--they re straw men put there to drain your energy fighting them---they have dozens waitig in reserve when you finish with these.

power concedes nothing

do you imagine there is redress thru the election process, the political system?!

Retha's picture
Retha
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2011
Posts: 65
Excellent commentary

Excellent commentary as usual...

There are many in my neck of the woods who are walking around with a feeling of constant nausea in their stomachs.  The feeling that something just isn't quite right, but cannot pinpoint the exact problem.  Yet, most choose to ignore it, complain about it and go one with their day/week/month/year.  

Of the many reasons I joined PeakProsperity.com, the primary reason is this...

Chris provides indepth analysis of subjects crucial for society.  He presents the facts.  He presents them in a way that provides the reader (or listener) with enough information for the reader (or listener) to decide for themselves how they want to interpret the information.  There are many blogs out there, that scream doom & gloom and end of the world stuff, but rarely provide any useful facts other than their personal ranting and fear mongering.  There are a few that are good, but none like this one.  

In addition to Chris' thoroughness of subjects, he also has involved a tremendous team who provide a well rounded conversation for most (if not all) issues that are imperative for each and every one of us to learn and know - even if there is no shtf scenario.

In addition to that....include many member posters and we have most everything a person needs to educate ourselves, assist us in determining if the data presented requires action and a plan of action if we so choose.

In addition to that...he recommends you do your homework.  Learn it, understand it, then make your decision based on the facts as you understand them.

The situation we face is not one that has been taught in school.  I think the people 'in charge' are winging it.  No one knows exactly how this will play out.  It's anybody's guess.  The longer it drags out, the worse 'it' will be...whatever it is.

I still have that feeling of nausea...it's getting stronger now.  Unlike some of my friends and family, I will not be caught like a deer in the headlights - wake up one day, look around and everyone is asking 'what the heck is happening?' 

I am very thankful to have whatever time is available to continue educating myself and making preparations for whatever may come our way.

A big thank you to Chris & friends for sharing your knowledge, ideas and common sense approach - I sure find it helpful and a calming factor on days when I feel like my head is going to explode.    

---

On a side note...the passage of NDAA and other homeland security 'rules' being implemented, you have to ask yourself (at least I do)...why?  It almost seems like the government is anticipating and preparing for civil unrest.  What do I know, but it sure seems that way.  Our county just purchased a drone...yippee.  

jpitre's picture
jpitre
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 3 2009
Posts: 366
Videos by Damon Vrabel (Strabes)

 mark11ark wrote:  I've watched Damon Vrabel's videos on the ponzi nature of our monetary system that has made the events of the past 100 years make sense. ...............  There is an answer and Damon makes it clear.  If you can find his vids, it will suddenly make sense.


 His videos are still up at    http://www.csper.org/renaissance-20.html    and worth the time to watch
 
Jim
RJE's picture
RJE
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 1369
Absolutely the essence of this site...

Retha, in a nut shell just a very well written posting.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 1024
Great Myths of the Great Depression

PastTense's picture
PastTense
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2010
Posts: 47
Natural Gas Will Only Last a Few Years

The U.S. only has 23 years of consumption of natural gas if used at existing rates. Thus it is a poor idea that Chris has of massively increasing its use:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8914

ffkling's picture
ffkling
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2010
Posts: 2
You want the truth

The last time a politician spoke truth to the American people- Jimmy Carter- he was lambasted by the media. Yes, Carter addressed the American people as adults and he was a man of results. Under his presidency, foreign oil imports were reduced by a whooping 1/3, which in turn caused the price to plummet just in time for Reagan to claim credit. By the way, the first official act of the Reagan presidency was to remove the solar panels installed by Carter on top the White House. The Reagan administration claimed that Carter's focus on conservation was "a moral virtue that had no relevancy to government."  Be careful what you wish for............

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 2302
The Council of Foreign Relations.

Damon Vrabel quotes the Council of Foreign Relations as the de-facto owners of the USA and by extention the rest of the world.

So I had a sticky beak at our putative Owners . Here is a list. Do you see anyone of interest?

xkguy's picture
xkguy
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 13 2011
Posts: 46
 heffe I think you are

heffe

I think you are mistaken. It is not that so many 'want' collapse, but that they see that it SHOULD be the result IF THE RULES ARE FOLLOWED.

What you are observing is not a disappointment at the failure of early collpase but anger that the rules are bent toward the benefit of a few and at the expense of we many. I doubt any here would be disappointed with real growth caused by actual creation of wealth. What riles us is that we see the inflation game book being opened and used (as it always is) to benefit the big and important and the connected and at the expense of the weak the old and the average.

The people are not stupid but rather trusting and what good person would not be angered by the betrayal at hand.

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