I've been pushing the CC on everyone I know. Here's an odd response I got from a Facebook friend in response to Becca's recent post:
John Doe: I dug around and ended up sitting through every depressing hockey stick graph in Chris Martenson's 20 part Crash Course. At the end he asked for donations. Then I looked at his site. He has ads for Lincolns and Gold and Silver bullion. And I mulled over a couple of his points.
1. In part 12 he said that in 1952 the federal debt per person was $76,000. Today it is $183,000 per person. He didn't say if that was adjusted for inflation. If it is not, we are far better off. A car was a couple of grand back then. Now they are twenty grand. You get my drift here?
2. He made a big point of showing how the baby boomers were not going to have enough people in the workforce to support their retirement. Hasn't he heard of immigration? Hasn't he heard of Mexico? In other words, we will import the people necessary to support our Golden Years.
3. Brazil is making extensive use of ethanol derived from sugar cane. It has a 3 to 1 rate of return. We can grow fuel. It probably won't be corn, but we can grow something high in sugar, and we can replant our lawns with it. We might even build big aquariums to grow our own supply of gas producing algae.
4. Anyone can create money. I can write an IOU this very minute and it will work very poorly, but it will work in some cases. However, it fits the definition of money, which is, a medium of exchange. Insisting that money has intrinsic value is awkward and limiting.
The dude is a fear monger. He is in the business of selling fear. I do not need his fear. I have my own. Wednesday at 4:15am
String Larson Sorry you missed the point(s). Wednesday at 7:57am
John Doe: I watched the presentation very carefully. Sometimes I backed up the video repeatedly to make sure I got the gist. He glosses over some basic economic premises, like the ability of increasing scarcity to cause price inflation, and alternatives, and how markets solve problems. I just singled out the things that bothered me the most. Anybody who proposes a metallic backing of the currency loses me right away, but I will hear their whole argument. If we were on a gold standard, our society would grind almost to a halt during deflationary periods due to price stickiness like it did in the Great Depression. Also, using something as scarce as gold limits the potential for economic growth. We can't make more. On the other hand, he said that a dollar was a demand for future labor. Sounds kind of enslaving doesn't it? I've wondered why we are not on a calorie based system. Look up the definition of a calorie. I've been looking around and I haven't seen any such proposal, but it makes sense to me. It is a standard that I think could easily be applied to storing value and conducting transactions. Plus, people can actually make verifiable calories of equal quality. That would be very democratizing. How many calories are there in a gallon of gasoline? It's time to get our heads out of our mass, and put them on energy... where they belong. Wednesday at 4:06pm ·
String Larson Sorry for wasting your time then.
Wednesday at 5:32pm John Doe No, no, no. A good discussion is never a waste of time.
I just don't have the time or bandwidth to debate with anyone especially on FB as the format is too limiting. In any case, this one was pretty odd, and I thought I'd throw it out to the group.
Save your breath with some people. Use your energy on those that are interested.
2. We have had plenty of immigration in recent years, legal and illegal. I don't think that is our salvation. Jobs would be much handier than more people.
4. Sure he can create an IOU, but I don't think he has the power to force others to use it as a medium of exchange. Tell him to pay his next tax bill with one of his IOUs and see how it flies.
However, he was pretty close with the comment on enslavement.
Anyone who thinks we are importing legal, tax paying workers from abroad in quantity enough to offset Social Security and other entitlement programs is playing ostrich.
A significant portion are not only not paying in, they're drawing out illegitimately...
As to sugercane ethanol, where are you going to get the oil to grow the sugarcane in 20 years?
The person you're discussing with seems to have a credible, academic understanding of the superficial impacts, but not the macro-scopic integration of fiat based on oil energy's ability to produce infinite growth. Especially in a global Economy with an extremely uneven disparity of wealth.
Everyone's free to make their own decisions, but it sounds like John doe wants to cast doubt and pass the buck on doing the due diligence required by challenging a theory.
@Mark. Yes. I seem to have plenty of bandwidth for those who 'get it' and want to discuss ideas and options. And little/none to defend the CC concepts.
@Aaron I guess for me personally, the CC brings together many of the trends I started seeing in 1974 in IL when I was 10. The path we are on w.r.t. the 3E's is not new or surprising to me. To me hope is not a strategy.
String, Keep your eye on the ball... and the facts.
The immigration issue is a tough one that I believe requires a nuanced approach.
1) We need more skilled workers in this country - we are graduating too few engineers and scientists to populate our future.
2) We need less unskilled workers coming in and should enforce existing immigration laws.
On a factual basis, I think that Aaron's statement above is not true; On balance, illegal immigrants working on false or borrowed SS numbers end up putting more dollars into the system than any fraud may drain out. If someone can find better due diligence on this topic, I will change my tune here..
I might be wrong, but the sheer numbers of undocumented workers us staggering - estimates around 100,000/day is what I've heard. I'm not thinking of people working on borrowed SSN's, but rather under the table work for migrant families who pay no taxes and use emergency and community services (schools, hospitals etc). Especially emergency services which can't be 'denied', this presents a problem for the idea that the debt will be paid by immigrant workers. Domestic meth heads run about $300,000,000/yr in emergency medical services that go unpaid un Tennessee alone - according to a national geographic work I saw.
Bottom line - John doe is working on some seriously smoothed assumptions.
Aaron, No doubt illegal immigrants are very taxing to our emergency rooms, many of which must treat the indigent... this is a big problem in the economics of hospitals, and it probably works its way into the medical cost inflation you and I experience. I think on balance though, illegal immigration has played little or no role in the problems we face as a nation right now, and we have to keep our eye on the ball (spending more than we take in via taxes) vs scapegoating.
I think the monetary elite would love to have the middle class blame illegal immigrants for their troubles.... you are being played if you believe that IMO. Think about it.....
At the root of the immigration issue is this notion of "jobs that Americans don't want to do". Just the fact that this has become an acceptable meme in our society is unacceptable. With real unemployment pushing 25% there should be nearly no jobs available for those looking to immigrate. Things will change when the gov't cheese is cut off.
I'm much less concerned about the immigration issue than I am about how we, as a nation, rebuild a productive (manufacturing) economy in an age of diminishing resources (assuming reliance on wage/environmental arbitrage is finite).
Very well put String.. at some point, unemployment insurance becomes a perverse incentive not to work, and not to take a step down in pay from what you percieve to be acceptable.
fwiw, the only people who gather tobacco 'round here, are my friends,kids,and illegals.
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