Blog

National Debt Officially Over $10 Trillion

Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 4:34 PM

Well, we've finally done it.

The national debt, which stood at just $5.73 trillion when Bush took office in January of 2001, is now more than $10 trillion.

This is a stunning 75% increase just since the day Bush became the first President ever to forgo the traditional walk to the podium, preferring to ride in his armored car (perhaps the object-throwing crowds had something to do with that).

Think about this increase for a minute.

By the time Bush leaves, it could easily amount to a perfect doubling of the national debt in the span of only eight years.

To those who now want to rescue the credit markets so we can "get back to how things were" are failing to observe that "how things were" was, most recently, not at all how things used to be.

There's nothing to return to.  A nation that doubles its debts every eight years does not really exist.  It is an illusion built on borrowing. There's no way to "get back to that," because it was just a crazy party, thrown at great expense. But now the rugs are stained, the lamps are broken, and booze is all gone.

Here's what it looks like from a historical view.  Bush's legacy (which is really the legacy of everybody in DC; I do not mean to pick on him alone) is circled in a color I like to call "rug stain yellow."

All of these wild attempts to "stabilize the markets" with a big government borrowing binge are most certainly destined to be ill-fated.

The only realistic way out of this, from a banking system and government standpoint, is to print, print, print.

There is almost no doubt left in my mind that the printing process is either already humming along in the background, or soon to begin.

Oh, by the way?  My mother-in-law reports that today that she went to take cash out of the bank, but greeting her at the door was a hand-taped sign stating that customers are now limited to $1000 cash per day.

Gold and silver were hit again today in the lightly traded access (paper) markets, but good luck finding any physical to buy. It's not impossible, by any stretch, but it's a lot harder than it was last week, and that was harder than last month.  The trend tells the tale.

Congratulations, America, you are now officially a $10 trillion debtor nation. Break out the party hats.

Endorsed Financial Adviser Endorsed Financial Adviser

Looking for a financial adviser who sees the world through a similar lens as we do? Free consultation available.

Learn More »
Read Our New Book "Prosper!"Read Our New Book

Prosper! is a "how to" guide for living well no matter what the future brings.

Learn More »

 

Related content

41 Comments

LifeisGood's picture
LifeisGood
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 27
WOW!
WOW!
affert's picture
affert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2008
Posts: 100
Buys party hats now...
before the price goes up
SwedishChef's picture
SwedishChef
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 5
Exponentially speaking...
So we can expect to see 20 trillion by 2012!! Laughing
Bengt Englund's picture
Bengt Englund
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 10
National debt vs GDP

Maybee a stupid question... why not measure the National Debt as a fraction/percentage of GDP?

That will give us another perspective.

ELIZABETH S.'s picture
ELIZABETH S.
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 15 2008
Posts: 23
Mourning....
Even more than this frightens me, it leaves me feeling very sad for the children of this nation.
tony452's picture
tony452
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 4
what GDP?!
Are we talking about the same GDP that's 2/3 consumer spending?! You want to talk about the current account deficit?
Kjalnot's picture
Kjalnot
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2008
Posts: 15
I fully agree with

I fully agree with backslash.

 US is actually famous for having a small national debt (compared to GDP).

 Was having lunch with a boss of a major bank the other day, and he told me that the US currently lownational debt is the only thing that is making this bailout possible. Quote "It will be expensive, but they can afford it".

 I'm not saying he can't be wrong, but these things have worked in the past, and the fact of the matter is simply that the US debt is not outrageous, but rather conservative. Although, that is changing I suppose...

srbarbour's picture
srbarbour
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2008
Posts: 148
To be fair

Do remember, that most countries that have collapsed economically also had a significantly large illusionary GDP. ;)

--

Steve 

jdb123's picture
jdb123 (not verified)
FDIC Increase--Advice for Chris

First let me start by saying the "rescue" American "buy in" will pass...as we all know.  I may be buying calls on dow spiders before the end of the day today or Friday-b/c i missed the boat thursday....the senate passing may create a wave i want to ride until friday or monday....???

Re: FDIC increase---WHO CARES!!!!  If/When the banking system fails they couldn't cover $1,000 per depositor....so why not increase to $250K to create illusion of confidence.  My goodness if Wamu alone went under the FDIC could barley cover those deposits insured---what if the "greater depression"comes---???.

Can you say dow 13K by Jan. 09 or Dow 15K by May 09......I know its almost unthinkable...but what they are fabricating WILL WORK to some degree and for a LIMITED period.....as Chris has said "the party on wall street goes on".....and......we MAY be ready to see the PARTY of all PARTIES....we all know where the DOW "SHOULD" be....that we are in a serious recession NOW....but nothing NORMAL seems to matter.

Chris--Unsolicited advice--with all due respect--if I may---

First-you are a most trusted and honest economic commentator....!

When you opened this "forum" I could only have flash backs of ALL the garbage I have seen on messgae boards....I am SURE your intentions were/are nothing but positive-----for the greater good  etc etc etc.....

However--I guess I have a few thoughts.....

1---when you give everyone access to YOUR web site forum....your entire vision..intellegence--direction etc etc gets diluted...to a degree and as you may have seen..and only the beginning  ( message board comment earlier ) this is ONLY the beginning---more nuts--------jackasssssss--and CHallengers to come...

2---I want Chris Martenson focusing on ---  the several reports out today...the indicators....the charts....the world economy...analyzing data....checking history and applying it to todays circumstances....finishing chapter 20.....not spending time to the " I don't agree with you" "answer this challenge" or "I dont understand" whiner ( when you've signed up for 3 days ( unpaid--thank you ) you may not totally understand--look listen---evaluate etc etc .....your NOT going to be 100% correct....you and I both know that....

3---Im finding ChrisMarteson.com....a lot less of Chris Martenson than I would like and I lot more of what I don't want or need......

JMHO

Thanks for all your hard work and giudence Chris!!!!

JDB 

rlee's picture
rlee
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 18 2008
Posts: 148
The "real" game being played here?
[quote=cmartenson]

All of these wild attempts to "stabilize the markets" with a big government borrowing binge are most certainly destined to be ill-fated.

[/quote]

 Could it be that the collapse "despite all the best efforts of the government and the industry" are really meant to fail after all?  Has it occurred to anyone that the crazy North American Union thing that Bush signed (without any input from the rest of the electorate I might add) might be right on track?  That the ultimate relief to this great financial breakdown might be the NEED to switch to something else - The Amero?

Why not?  We as a nation are, quite frankly, way too easy to fool. 

bsammut's picture
bsammut
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3
And..................

 

..............then we add the unfunded liabilities and get something like 60-100 TRILLION.  Starting to add up to real money.

My guess:  Fed will continue to monetize the debt increases as foreigners slow their buying.  Hyper-inflation is on the way.

 b

GlennO511's picture
GlennO511
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 11 2008
Posts: 5
Agree

I agree with jdb.

 

I would like to see a little more Chris in PeakProsperity.com.

 

Thank you for all of your work, I have been reading faithfully for sometime now.

 

GO 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Sanity
exactly - yet when I talk to my generation they think it will be just like it was in the last world war. A bit of a struggle but we'll pull through. Mostly its the young who know the rotten real deal.
Art Shulenberger's picture
Art Shulenberger
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 5 2008
Posts: 7
Real estate end game

Any comments on this (maybe crazy) idea?

1)  SOMEBODY (a government agency?) ends up owning millions of foreclosed houses and other real estate.

2)  China continues to sell to us on credit (ala Walmart) for a while.

3)  Baby-boom retirement and declining demographic pressures continue to drag down housing values.

4)  SOMEBODY gets the great idea to start selling these properties to China, either to reduce the debt or to simply continue with our phony "real estate economy."

5)  Wealthy Chinese are "allowed" to settle in the US - several million of them.

6)  The wealthy (and well educated) Chinese immigrants end up with all of the best assets in the country. 

7)  China ends up as the only world superpower, with the US being essentially a colony. 

What else could motivate China to lock its currency in a death grip to the US currency?

The US is in the Middle East because of oil.

China will be over here because of their population pressures, and the fact that they have just about "used up" their country (after 4000 years of continuous use).  We have a nice, "new" country ready for the taking, by way of globalization and "free trade."

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5734
Debt to GDP

Two things about the 'argument' that the US has plenty of borrowing power because "we haven't gone as far as other countries yet".

 

1) How much do you trust our GDP measures? As I show in Fuzzy Numbers the US GDP measure is heavily larded with various suspect non-cash additives such as "the value of free checking" and "the value of not paying yourself rent".  When we strip out these items, plus hedonics, to put ourselves on an apples to apples comparison with ourselves in the past and other countries today, we find that our debt-to-GDP vaults by a factor of nearly 50%. Now instead of a pleasing 70% number we get something closer to 125%. How does this feel? Different?

2) The debt-to-GDP is actually only federal debt to GDP. That is a red herring. More important is the total debt of the country because that is actually the debt we are collectively on the hook for, not just the federal debt. Think about it, why should we only track and obsess over the federal debt component only? What about your local muni debt? Does that count in your life? Sure it does. What about your state debt? Yep, that too. What about your personal debt? OK, I guess that too. What about the corporation you might work for - does it matter to you if they hold debt or not? It should, because it will only be through your efforts that it gets paid off eventually.

In short, when someone says "but debt-to-GDP is historically low" they are dodging the issue in a couple of important ways.

Deficits (and debts) do matter.

Best,
Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

ike's picture
ike
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 19
Agree also and usabililty tweaks

I also agree with JDB. Well stated.

Towards that end - a few usability suggestions:

- Getting RSS up and going would save a lot of page reloads to see if there's anything new.

- I want to easily know/see which comments are from Chris. A list on the left, just like recent comments, but only recent comments from Chris would do the trick.

- I like being able to see what new comments were posted, but end up doing a lot extra clicking b/c it doesn't say which topic they're in so I don't know whether I've already read them. Lately I've resorted to looking at the status bar on the mouse over to identify the topic. It'd be helpful to have the topic listed underneath along with how long ago it was posted. Alternately you could display comments sorted by topic rather than by time posted.

- As commenting increases, it may become helpful to have a way for readers to very simply vote whether a post is useful. Posts voted not helpful are 'collapsed' - they're still there but you have to click to expand/read them. See digg.com for an example.

Thanks, Chris!
john50's picture
john50
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 74
27 Billion per day debt increase

That equates to about 27.4 Billion more debt per day currently, and increasing exponentially.

(10,000 B/365 + 000,000,000 = $ 27,400,000,000 per day)

Yell OUCH!

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Physical gold & silver growing ever more scarce

Another report from the precious metals front:

A friend who has been involved in the gold & silver market for years now said he recently went to his favorite bullion dealer in Vancouver.  The dealer did have a very small amount of junk silver left; however, he said that not only is supply tight on the retail side, but he is also getting almost daily calls from silver refiners who service the industrial sector with offers to buy any silver he has.  This would seem to indicate that the shortage goes beyond retail and includes industrial/wholesale as well.  Translation: get it while you can, if you can.

 

jrf29's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
The Site

 Dear Chris,  

Two nights ago I was talking with a friend who has also been a close follower of you and your web sites since 2005---as have I---and we found we both had noticed that something has changed about the site. The focus seems more minute-to-minute, less academic, less objective, and less ‘big-picture.’  Notice I said the "feel." Perhaps the increased focus on the blog, combined with the influx of many empassioned people as the economic crisis becomes manifest has resulted in an attenuation of the detached, academic, objective work of the site.  I think the public noise on the blog is scattering and diluting your message.  And none of that work is archived into a useful form, so every week it is like throwing water into the sea.  

Not that the blog isn’t a great place— I love it — but I think that your message is being isolated behind a curtain of noise.  When an interested but neutral person comes to the site and one of the first comments on a news story that they read is "Buy a flaregun because it has almost as much knockdown at close range as a pistol and you can get around the gun license,"  they are guaranteed to go "WHOA!  Not my cup of tea.  These must be the kind of people that this site is intended for" and go back to reading investment pamphlets from Merril Lynch without ever reading your own careful analyses and taking the crash course, all of which is very high quality work.  If it should ever become impossible for you to respond to a high percentage of commenters on the main forum personally (say, because you’re spending more time on an “inner forum”) this effect will be intensified, and the site will begin to appear to the first-time visitor as more of a "club" which will not win minds, but merely become a congregation spot for like-minded people, like all of the hundreds of other economic and peak oil blogs/discussion boards.

 

 The are plenty of doomer/peak oil/economic collapse/survivalist/gold bug discussion sites out there, and they are very popular.  Intelligent people post there and have many interesting discussions.  I'm sure you could just be one of these and have a great following.  It would be easy.  But this *isn't* just a doomer/peak oil/economic collapse/survivalist/gold bug discussion site, as stereotyped, and that image must be clearly projected: a beacon of reason and big-picture thinking.  Many sites just become banter among like-minded people, and do not often win over new people who will then be able to convince other thinking people.  In order to have the best chance of conveying your message, your best work (i.e., crash course and other articles) should dominate.  More Chris.  Less noise.  Just my 2 cents.

oldmanspammy's picture
oldmanspammy
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 4
National Debt Owed to Us

First post here, and a basic point that I don't see yet. All the debt is someone’s asset as well. Last I checked the figures about a week ago, 23% of federal debt is owned by foreign entities (from US Gov site). So 77% of the debt is owned by us. It is money we owe to ourselves. The interest we pay on that 77% comes back to us. Both the Democrats and the Republicans like to overlook this fact and equate public debt with private debt. The  Republicans do it so they can say we don't have enough money and the Democrats do is so they can say we need to pay more taxes. I was told in econ 101 that the debt is not paid by future generations, it is paid by us as we forgo other more productive uses of that capital. When the debt is paid by "our grandchildren" someone else’s grandchild will get the payment.

Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
I was beginning to feel lonely out and stupid that I wrote that
first email about the feeling I had about the site in the past few weeks.  Chris, I hope you don't take these comments in the wrong way, we really do appreciate what you do and the time you take to write about your views.  If anything, we're all saying that we'd like More Chris and less others.  I would love to see more encouragement for and responses from you to those that want to argue the other side of your points because only through debate can we really understand the issues.
joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
touchy touchy

hi folks

i am the guilty party who wrote about the flare guns you can visit my post of 9/30 at the mid game sec thread. that about sums it up. but maybe i should elaborate. i have a friend who lives in ashevile he has witnessed several fist fights over gasoline, i have several friends who rode out katrina, a friend was murdered on his sailboat this year, in india where i live half the year if you get in a car accident ou better get out and run as fast as you can because the mob will beat you to death even if you are the passenger. the world is not a very safe place. i live in rural arkansas many of my neighbors are armed to the teeth. there are a lot of angry people in this country right now. i am not willing to assume that polite society will last a whole lot longer. my information was meant to be of assistance for those who mignt feel the need to defend themselves, such as people living in the inner city where gang violence is not something on tv. or single women or anyone who might appreciate it.

i would love to think that you will be able to continue to gamble oh excuse me invest and manage your portfolio in the the safety of your comfort controlled 21st century control room. and i would like to believe someday i will be able to go back to renovating houses that are falling down and providing a home for someone who needs one. but you know i just dont think that is the world we live in anymore . so i will just

go ahead and work in my garden put up some food and firewood for the winter. write as many emails as i can to the worst congress in the entire history of this country. call till my fingers are numb from pushing the buttons. tell everyone i know that there is an international cartel who really owns this country . and is intent on reducing us to serfs and transferring every last bit of wealth they can geat their lily white hands on. and whether you mind or not i will continue to read this site for the 4 hours or more that i have been and share the crash course with as many folks as i can. and realize that though i may not particularly like the guy in the foxhole with me we are really on the same side. and the last time i looked we still have freedom of speech.

jrf29's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
No need.
Joe2baba, please there is no need to defend what you wrote.  People are free to take anyone's comments at face value and agree or disagree as they wish.  I also happen to agree that there might be a greater need for self-defense than is currently recognized.  Your post simply struck me as a way to illustrate a point, not because of what you personally wrote or think, but because the mental image that it conjures (shooting somebody with a flare gun at a gas station) makes the distracting effect on the main message clear.  It's not about you, or your ideas, which I would like to hear more of in the future.  Its that the forum is located right across the street from the public library, and the noise is making it difficult to concentrate.  The forum is a great place, in which comments including yours should be welcome equally with all others.  The problem is that people enter "Martensonburg," the first building they see and hear that personifies the place is the rowdy forum, not the university or the library or the museum.
admin's picture
admin
Status: Administrator (Offline)
Joined: May 6 2007
Posts: 346
ike -- Some good ideas you

ike -- Some good ideas you and others are suggesting.  I'd recommend posting them in the Site Comments and Feedback folder so they can be prioritized.

Also FYI, there is RSS for the blog and forums.  All that's necessary is to click the small RSS icon next to each title.

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Thanks for your feedback guys

jrf29 and Xfiles:

Thanks for your candid feedback, guys. By way of introduction, I have recently joined forces with Chris and will be focusing on helping take workload off Chris' shoulders so he can focus on the content that you're calling "more of Chris". Expect an announcement about my role soon.

Since I'll be working on how to resolve issues like this, I'd like a little more feedback. I agree with you that we need to liberate Chris from reading and responding to the blog comments. I'll take that up with Chris. But what do you think we should do about blog comments? I think we'd lose a lot if we disallowed them. How would you solve the problem? Would a policy change advertising that Chris will not read or respond to blog comments be sufficient to address your concerns?

Erik

 

cwixom's picture
cwixom
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 44
debt and promises

Good points Chris but you left out the amount of debt that will be incurred as a result of the huge obligations contained in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  The ratio of future obligations to future revenues means that we have a lot more debt to be incurred and when you start out in the hole you can only keep digging a short while until the walls collapse and you are buried alive.

 

 

 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Hi Erik,Glad to hear you'll

Hi Erik,

Glad to hear you'll be helping Chris out with the blog.

One of my main requests is a way to "subscribe" to comments or to an RSS feed for a particular comment.  Chris mentioned further down in the thread that there is RSS for comments, but I don't see any RSS icon in the comments area or at the top of the blog post (am I missing something)?  

I do see that it's possible to subscribe to an RSS feed for each forum.  That's very helpful.

Thanks for your help! 

admin's picture
admin
Status: Administrator (Offline)
Joined: May 6 2007
Posts: 346
Hi switters, actually this

Hi switters, actually this is Ron, I'm helping Chris with many of the technical pieces of the site.  Sorry I had thought the comment at first was about RSS for the overall threads.  Actually as of right now there is RSS for the forums and for the blogs themselves, but not yet for the comments.

I'd certainly recommend commenting about this in the Site Feedback & Comments forum so we can keep track of these ideas.

Caasi's picture
Caasi
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2008
Posts: 23
Blog comments

Suggestion: Separate the comments from CM's posts, possibly adding a few select ones which amplify the topic. Leave the bulk of them on a different page which we can access as interested.

 

Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Site Feedback

Hi Erik,

 Thanks for taking the time to help out and get Chris' message out and thanks for taking the interest in hearing more from your readers.  I don't partake in many chatboards, in fact, other than this one I only contribute to one other.  I have rethought my position on limiting posts and admit that I was reacting to wanting to see more content than reader opinion.  Now that I've had more time to think on it, here are a few suggestions:

1.  Add the ability for readers to put some posters on 'ignore'.  This is in NO offence to anyone including the person that posted on flares (sorry, I can't look up your post while writing this to address you properly, my apologies) who was good enough to post his response and I truly appreciate his views.  However, what jrf29 wrote in response about viewers seeing the riot in front of the museum and library was so well written that I won't even try and re-write what he was trying to say... it was a great point.  Another version of this is the other post's suggestion about rating or endorsing a post so that people can quickly scan which ones are worth reading.

2.  If it's possible, I think it would be good to hear Chris take up some well written responses and debate them a bit.  I personally learn a great deal when there are 2 intelligent people discussing a particular issue.  Chris can pick and choose which posts are well written and deserve a response but it would be just nice to see a healthy debate.  It's a 'style' thing so of course if that just isn't what Chris wants to do, then no biggie, that was just my personal suggestion.

3.  I would actually move the New Forum Topics and new posts off the main welcoming page and focus on the concepts and the Crash Course that has served to educate so many people.  Move the forums deeper into the site where people who are familiar with the site, can easily navigate to.  I'm not try to hide anything here but I do recognize that those who really should be getting the 'message' and want to educate themselves may be turned off by the posts (including my own) and view this site as being something that it isn't.

 If I think of any others, I'll definitely post on them but I'd like to express my gratitude once again for all the work you guys are doing and my respect for the posters on this site.  This is what the internet was made for, this is the type of work that can make a difference.

admin's picture
admin
Status: Administrator (Offline)
Joined: May 6 2007
Posts: 346
Site Feedback & Comments

Hi everyone, this is Ron.  I'm working with Chris and Erik to help deliver the technical aspects of the site. The more feedback we can get from everyone the better!  Please take advantage of the new Site Feedback & Comments forum so we can capture all the thoughts and ideas in one place and hopefully spur more discussion among site members.  Thank you!

jrf29's picture
jrf29
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 18 2008
Posts: 453
IMHO

Hi Erik,

I never meant to imply that blog comments should be disallowed, or that Chris shouldn't participate in the discussions.  I think the blog comments are great, especially running discussions on more fixed issues like peak oil. Furthermore, I think that Chris' participation in the discussions is also great. It energizes the discussions, fosters a feeling of community, and I would love to see him continue to respond to posted comments, whenever he finds the spare time to do so.

I think part of my critique has to do with site design, which has a big impact.  After the redesign, the blog and comments now dominate the main web page.  I understand that this was done intentionally, but I think that it detracts from the more important material on the site, especially for the first time visitor.  The blog diverts the attention of the visitor away from the excellent material that is available on the site, such as the Crash Course and other articles written by Chris, which should be showcased and viewed first by the reader, perhaps after an appropriate introduction page.  Furthermore, the great effort made by Chris in responding to comments cannot be archived, searched, or stored in a useable way, and therefore doesn't form anything of enduring value for other readers.  This is, to an extent, a deflection of Chris' energy.  When I say "more Chris", I mean more of Chris' pure thinking and writing about important and big-picture issues, rather than just responding to some other guy's opinion (be that guy a newswriter or a commenter).

My personal thoughts:

 (1) I agree with Xflies.  By all means keep the blog, but move it off the main page.  You should have to click a few times to get to it; it is for veterans of the site.  When a new user with a fresh mind and no idea what "peak oil" or "exponential money" means visits the site for the first time, and starts to click around, the first thing they should be drawn into is the crash course, or else some incisive introductory articles written by Chris.

(2) I really think that the blog itself has the potential to become an unhealthy drain of energy for you guys.  This is my uninformed opinion.  But to an extent I think the site should be careful about being drawn too much into the frenetic pace of the day-to-day news.  Not that the news of the day doesn't deserve comment, but Chris and the rest of you guys have bigger, more important things to think about.  Like what peak oil will mean in practical terms ten years from now, conducting experiments in low-energy living and reporting the results, and interpreting graphs, statstics, and data which are released by reliable scientific sources and would be overlooked by the average reader.  What makes this site and Chris' best work so unique is that it cuts beyond the day-to-day noise.  It reveals the bigger picture. It frames current issues in a way that allows readers to step back from the deceptive noise of the world and see the broad sweep of history as it relates to their experience now.  Seeing the inflation graph in the crash course as the post-1970 section was revealed was just that sort of crystallizing moment for me.  As the writer Benjamin Hecht said, "Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock."   There are hundreds of sites out there that do that, and comment very adroitly on the news of the moment.  But very few that are willing to expend the intellectual energy to go beyond that, and cut deeply into all available information on the past and future to make bold predictions.  There are enduring problems which this site addresses, and these efforts should be given the space and emphasis on the web page that they deserve.  This webpage deserves the look and feel of an objective, intelligent, and trustworthy source of profoundly important information that will continue to be relavent even as the truths in the crash course are made apparent by rapidly unfolding events.  This site can be an important and influential think-tank in the making.  The crash course is already influential.  Don't shortchange it by allowing it to appear to be just another economic collapse/doomer/peak oil/survivalist/gold bug/the president is a moron blog.  There are plenty of those.

  (3)  I love Xflies' idea of structured debates.  I think abother great idea would be a collection of common arguments against the message of the crash course, accompanied by strong refutations.  As new questions or arguments come up in discussions, they can be addressed in this way which is enduring and useful to future visitors, rather than being dispersed among disparate, non-searchable comments that will not be read for more than a few weeks.

I have never written close to this much feedback about a website before, and would never do so if I were not deeply convinced of the value of the work presented here.

machinehead's picture
machinehead
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2008
Posts: 1077
New checking account benefit: CASH ON DEMAND!

"My mother in law reports today that she went to take cash out of the bank but greeting her at the door was a hand-taped sign stating that customers are now limited to $1000 cash per day." -- Dr. M

Converting deposits to cash? What is she, some kind of wingnut?

Just kidding. I had no problem cashing a $3,000 check at MonsterBank the other day. But then, they're an officially-sponsored 'government errand boy.' Sort of like Waste Management, MonsterBank is always there to take out the financial garbage -- for a price.

In fact, I usually greet the tellers with a cheery, "Bought any banks today?" They laugh ruefully -- but then they glance at their watches, knowing that the serious gorging on bankster roadkill starts after dark.

As for the debt doubling in 8 years -- the bailout bill justed passed in the Senate is about equal to the entire federal budget of 1986.

All of this insane exponential expansion points toward one thing: PONZI SCHEME. Democracy and paper money mix like teenagers and whisky -- HIC!

Senator Biden: "Dude, I just wrecked my dad's Thunderbird."

Senator McCain: "No problemo! Just make him raise your allowance to $50,000 a week, and buy him another one. He'll never notice!"

Senator Biden: "KEWL!" Cool

The title of the bailout bill which the Senate passed last night is -- sweet Jeebus, I am not making this up --

"The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007"

http://tinyurl.com/53t5b4

salvadorveiga's picture
salvadorveiga
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2008
Posts: 3
WHERE TO FIND GOLD AND SILVER ?

Hello everyone... This is my first comment in the site although I 've beem following the site for quite some time.

 

I've been trying to obtain some gold and silver but it seems rather impossible. The premiums are outrageous related to the SPOT PRICE.

While silver is around $12 most dealers like www.directcoininvest.com are selling for $17... almost a 50% premium.

Gold is at a $95 premium regarding the SPOT PRICE. 

I've heard from these guys as well it seems they have the better prices : http://bullion.nwtmint.com/ but the waiting list I think goes up to 2 months when you first order and then you receive the material.

 Anyone can help me find a good dealer, that is trustable and has good prices ?

 

Thank you so much

 

Best,

 Salvador 

Erik T.'s picture
Erik T.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 5 2008
Posts: 1234
Thanks, and expect more opportunity to give your inputs...

Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed replies, guys.

I'm just getting involved and need to be in sync with Chris and Ron before taking this discussion further, but you can expect me to be posting some feedback-seeking forum posts. 

I do face the challenge of helping Chris prioritize the demands on his time so as to be most effective. I really like the feel of the forum conversations as well, and that includes having Chris' personal participation in all of them. But something's gotta give here. The consensus feedback seems to be that Chris' unique and differentiating value is his thought leadership and educational skill at taking complex things and explaining them in plain English. If we're going to focus on that area of leadership, something else has to suffer. We can't finish Chapter 20 AND have Chris continue to participate in all the blog discussions AND write and produce new thought leadership material AND promote the Crash Course. Too many ANDs.

I want to get in sync with Chris before taking this conversation any further here. I'll be posting new forum topics to solicit your feedback soon. I want this conversation to occur in plain view so all readers can participate, and not have it buried in comments about the $10T event.

Thanks, 

Erik

 

Lemonyellowschwin's picture
Lemonyellowschwin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2008
Posts: 561
My $.02 for Erik

Hi Erik,

I was a devout reader of Chris's site before it exploded in popularity and was motivated by one of your earlier posts to throw some $ support Chris's way.

 I love Chris's site, but I like it because of Chris.  He has a unique means of pulling together and explaining data.  I have come to trust Chris because although I am interested in these issues and think about them a lot, I simply do not have the background or foundation to trust my own analysis.

This site should not be allowed to degenerate into a free-for-all.  Somehow, Chris needs to be quarantined from having to deal with the explosion in readership.  He needs to stay grounded and focus on the basics or the site will lose its value.  Period.

 I think Chris is probably at his best when he is sitting in his pajamas pouring over data and succintly explaining his conclusions unclouded by the ramblings of me and the rest of the riff-raff.  I am sure he knows this.  He's got to stay true to the mission.  This is particularly important given the pace at which events are unfolding.

Thanks for helping him.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3159
debt service
How much are we paying in debt service, i.e. interest on the national debt?
joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
thanks

i for one appreciate the info and commentary which chris provides. i do not feel it necessry to have him answer my questions directly. i have gotten many of them answered by the people on the blog. i am all for an open forum. i think the folks who wish to carry on econwonk discussons in a private place could very easily start a linkedin group or perhaps have a list that has a moderator so there will be no one from the unwashed masses bringing the "noise" from the forum into the library.

i am chalking the noise up to the rate at which events are proceeding and i think once they have finished with us things will settle down on this site and we will go back to being the disenfranchised serfs we are. but if it had not been for the noise on this site i would not have written the hundreds of emails (which contained info from chis and others) i probably would not have spent untold hours on the phone trying to get thru to the toadies who are carrying out the wishes of the master in whose employ they really are. i would not have sent the link to everyone i know to watch the crash course. i think the noise could not be contained when people are seeing their retirements destroyed and the futures of their children and grandchildren sold down the river. jobs lost careers ruined and a not too rosy future on the horizon.

as for chapter 20 i am also interested in seeing what advice it contains but i have been involved in these types of discussions since the 60's i moved to the woods in the mid 70's. we always would share  all the info we could to help each other. i have a feeling knowing a  little about the life chris seems to have chosen that much of what he will share i have already heard or have implemented but if there is one new idea i will treasure it. my own read is that the closer you are to the land the better off you will be. i have been asking my friends "what do you think the amish  have to say about all this ?" community will be extremely important we will need each other more than ever.

i really really appreciate the humor dark as well as lite it helps me tremendously to get as much laughter right now.

i especially wish to thank again machinehead i get hysterical just thinking about "zimbenwe" i am laughing right now. so if some consider that noise well it has kept me sorta sane .

in the end i guess we are all sorta in the same boat and looking for some answers. some may be more emotional than some wil be comfortable with and some may be too intellectual and detached for others. but i just figure you take what you need and leave the rest.

love you all and chris you are an amazing human being i can not thank you enough

romulanale's picture
romulanale
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2008
Posts: 3
Would not recommend NWT

 

I have personal experience ordering from NWT mint. Yes, their prices are very good. But they take WAY too long for delivery. I have only ordered from them once back in 2006. At that time, there was no physical shortage of silver. It still took 6 weeks for delivery. I can't imagine the wait now.

 

Bad-Robot's picture
Bad-Robot
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 25 2008
Posts: 1
http://www.golddealer.com/

Salvador, and anyone looking to pick up some bullion.

 California Numismatic Investments (http://www.golddealer.com/)

Has metal in stock and will ship quite quickly. Plus you can avoid all of the silly premiums that I've been hearing about.

After waiting 3 months for an order to arrive from NWT, I placed an order with Sal at CNI. I had delivery in about a week.

 CNI has a free shipping policy if your order is over $2000.00 I believe. They also have a lower minimum than NWT and some other sites. NWT requires a 5 Ozt on gold orders, CNI will allow orders for 2 Ozt of gold. So if you are not ready to buy $5000 worth, you can start a bit smaller.

 I have no affiliation with CNI, but I have been happy with all orders placed with them. I've heard good reports from others that I have directed to them as well.

 Regards,

jonesb.mta's picture
jonesb.mta
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 11 2008
Posts: 126
Gold Bullion
I've dealt with CNI and Blanchards at http://www.blanchardonline.com. They both are very customer oriented and usually if one doesn't list the price for 1 Oz Eagles, the other will. I would call and check prices with both  before I ordered. Blanchards - 1-800-880-4653, CNI(California Numismatic Investments) - 1-800-225-7531.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments