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The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off ... way off.

Thursday, October 16, 2008, 1:15 PM

As the US government and Federal Reserve work tirelessly to assure that the engines of a debt-based economy (the banks and lending institutions) remain well-supplied with capital and liquidity, the wheels are falling off.

First, retail sales and store traffic suffered some of the most pronounced drops on record in September, indicating that a consumer-led recession is upon us - which would make this the first one since 1991.

...the number of people in U.S. malls and department stores declined 9.3% year over year in September. The U.S. Commerce Department this morning reported that retail sales fell 1.2% in September, marking the biggest decline in three years.

Next, a measure of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia and NY regions and a different measure of nationwide manufacturing capacity utilization both took very sharp turns for the worse:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Turmoil in the credit markets has spilled over with a vengeance into the factory sector in the Philadelphia region, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said Thursday.
The Philly Fed index plunged to a reading of negative 37.5 in October from a positive 3.8 in September. It was the sharpest one-month decline on record and marked the lowest level for the gauge in 18 years. On Wednesday, the New York Fed reported that factory activity in the Empire State region also fell sharply.

In addition, about 43% said the recent turmoil had forced them to scale back their capital-spending plans.

The region's manufacturing executives expect no growth over the next six months. The index of future activity fell to negative 4.2 from 30.8 in the previous month.

Earlier Thursday, the Federal Reserve reported a stunning 2.6% drop in industrial production in September, the biggest one-month drop in 34 years.

The data "make clear that the factory sector has taken a powerful turn for the worse," Action Economics said in a note to clients. "In total, since August, the economy has shifted from a profile of remarkable resilience to one of freefall at a pace that is consistent with a sizable, rather than mild, recession," Action Economics said.Meanwhile, the four-week average of unemployment claims moved to its highest level since October 2001.

For the week ended Oct. 11, the number of initial claims declined to 461,000, down 16,000 from the prior week, according to the government. The four-week average of those claims rose 750 to 483,250 -- the highest level since October 2001.

Also today, we found out that the August data for international capital flows showed a second straight month where foreigners sold more US investments than they bought.  Luckily US residents sold even more foreign assets than that and brought the money home so the Treasury still got to report a very modestly positive number.  This report (called the TIC report) is one I follow closely because it gives us some indication of the willingness (or ability?) of foreign banks and private parties to continue to fund our excess borrowing needs.

Net foreign purchases of long-term securities were $14.0 billion.

* Net foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities were negative $8.8 billion. Of this, net purchases by private foreign investors were $1.5 billion, and net purchases by foreign official institutions were negative $10.2 billion.

* U.S. residents sold a net $22.7 billion of long-term foreign securities.

The important figure here is the final balance of $14 billion as compared to the need of the US to fund (borrow) roughly $70-$80 billion a month to keep things moving along.

Unless this capital flow improves - a lot - the dollar is going to be under additional international pressure.

Okay,  that's it for now....back to working on Ch 20.

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54 Comments

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Time to take a bite out of the reality cookie!

Whoa!  I guess the folks trying to give things a feel-good spin on tv need to take a bite out of the reality cookie!

-C

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off. Way off

Maybe they are vectoring us right through a recession/depression by not mentioning that we are going through one - that'll keep the market propped up a while longer.

Perhaps pharmachutical companies will come out with a line of meds transforming  hunger into nirvana.

 

 

FNKRoue's picture
FNKRoue
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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off. Way off

I was laughing pretty hard at this off of bloomberg.com worlwide today:

[quote]

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank will consider discarding its long- standing aversion to interfering with asset-price bubbles and warned that the banking business may be concentrated in too few companies.

Officials should review how supervision and interest rates can minimize the ``dangerous phenomenon'' of bubbles in housing, stocks and other assets that risk bringing the financial system and economy down with them when they burst, Bernanke said.

[/quote]

Link here  

 

Back assward,

 enough said. 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Grief; Please consider placing the awareness process

in a very prominent position on your site.

Most people coming here are working their way though this process and have partners and family who are themselves at other stages. I know I have been almost paralised by fear and have panicked most days until recently. This is behaviour that is very hard for other people to deal with. As time goes on they will need a lot of help. Your Kubla Ross derivative is invaluable.So, in my opinion, is humour.

Keep up the good work, thanks Chris and Eric

Don

Davos's picture
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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off. Way off

Ugh, so he spends $2,000,000,000,000.00 of our tax dollars to shore massive companies up and then says oops?

FNK - I think you can drop the Back and ward off  

One guy (Dr. Ron Paul I think it was) in I.O.U.S.A. says that the Fed. Chairman is more powerful than the president, you'd like to think that he is smarter than this.  

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davefairtex
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the TIC report

That TIC report is really interesting.  Check me on this: so to keep things neutral, we have to have net inflow of foreign investment about equal to the government budget deficit each month.  Is that right?

I am guessing that the flight to quality has seriously clouded the impact of all this government borrowing that's happening now.  Where does Paulson get his $250B?  He borrows it, and that's easy right now because everyone wants T-Bills.  But as soon as the credit crisis calms down a bit, people will move back into higher yielding commercial paper, and then the impact of all this new debt issuance will become more apparent.

Add to this a possible continued unwillingness of foreigners to buy treasuries, and then mix in a Bretton Woods 3 possibly impacting the dollar's reserve currency status, and that's a recipe for some serious impact - not sure if its just an interest rate increase, or a drop in the dollar - maybe both.

We've just seen what de-leveraging Lehman and some hedge funds can do to a stock market.  I can just imagine the global unwinding of a reserve currency.  No wonder you watch the TIC report so closely.

 

reistr's picture
reistr
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Re: the TIC report

On the Breton Woods 3 topic...

My guess is that foreign banks will try to come up with a neutral currency (country independent) for international trade - Initially having it's value arbitrarily based on a basket of currencies. That would better shield the international community from any given country's economic follies. This would be in the best interest of the international community who, at this point are unwillling partners with the US economy.

I believe currently the only thing holding the US dollar together is literally that the country owes so much money that there is a lot of vested interest in keeping it together - China won't simply give up on it's 1/2 trillion of US debt they own. The old saying holds true, "If you owe the bank a little money, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a lot, you own the bank".

The problem here is that at some point certain countries WILL be willing to count their losses and cash in their dollars. Probably starting with the ones holding smaller amounts of dollars (US debt). Then we will see the dominoes coming down.

All the rumblings about a new Bretton Woods is, in my opinion a sign of the above coming true. Nobody is too happy about the possibility of the US simply printing money, instead of selling dollars, but (as Chris has demonstrated) that's inevitable since there is only so much debt other countries can or want to buy. Also, I'm sure that the international community remembers that the US can change the rules at any moment.

I wonder if it will be French that will cash in and check out first - They did it during Vietnam, remember? Gimme my gold!

My vote is to call the new international currency the "Bob", so 1 bob will be equal to about 99 dollars pretty soon... ;)

T

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Re: the TIC report- fantastic response
Well said... I've said a few times that the stability of a currency under distress can be measured by 1.  economic diversification, 2. debt/gdp, 3. relative size and 4. the amount of foreign investment it has or in other words, how many different people it owes money to.  I don't think just because the US has a lot of debt that they are holding up, I think it's because they owe so many different countries and that they have been the world currency to date.  You bring up an interesting solution about a basket of currencies, one of hte problems with this is the same reason why the Euro can't be the new world currency... there's difficulty in managing fiscal and monetary policies when it comes to manipulating the world currency.  Hmmmm, hey, how about the Loonie??!  The Cdn $ is resource based, has a puppet Prime Minister, banks are only 11:1 levered, in all seriousness, the C$ is cheap in my opinion.
Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
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The Silent Fear
I know I have been almost paralised by fear and have panicked most days until recently. This is behaviour that is very hard for other people to deal with.
I'm sorry to say I see this all around me in family, friends and co-workers. No matter how I try to get their interest, they either change the topic or their minds go blank. On the few occassions I'tve tried to keep the topic going, they get more resistant. There is a defense mechanism at work here. It's frustrating and sad to see so many people refuse to take the time and effort to know what they are dealing with and how to protect themseves. This is a financial holocaust in the making.
pir8don's picture
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I vote for the buck
ooops
pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Re: The Silent Fear

Thanks hewittr

I'm over the moon at getting a response! I guess there is no answer. I've nearly convinced my brother, my partner is getting better but my two sisters, one caught in Perth with an unservicable mortgage, the other a church and state believer, hate me with a vengence. 

The parrot and the bunny believe me though.

Don

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Re: the TIC report
[quote=reistr]

My vote is to call the new international currency the "Bob", so 1 bob will be equal to about 99 dollars pretty soon... ;)

T

[/quote]

Ok T

If a Bob is worth $99 US we cold just resurrect the old Aussie Slang for a defunct currency.Recycling is all the rage now.

That would mean that 

Two Bob would be worth $200 US (rounding up of course)

A   Dinna would be worth $100 US

A   Zac would be worth $50 US 

A   Tray would be worth $25 US

And all us OLD Aussies dont need to learn new Slang.

and we could also resurrect all the old terms Like "Not the full Bob" and "A Tray short of a Dinna" or "I havent got two Bob to rub together" There is a million of them.

All the best John

 

ds's picture
ds
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Re: The Silent Fear
[quote=hewittr]
I know I have been almost paralised by fear and have panicked most days until recently. This is behaviour that is very hard for other people to deal with.

I'm sorry to say I see this all around me in family, friends and co-workers. No matter how I try to get their interest, they either change the topic or their minds go blank. On the few occassions I'tve tried to keep the topic going, they get more resistant. There is a defense mechanism at work here. It's frustrating and sad to see so many people refuse to take the time and effort to know what they are dealing with and how to protect themseves. This is a financial holocaust in the making. [/quote]

[My reply is not directed at any one person. It is as much a reminder to myself about priorities as it is a response to the comments above.]

There is another perspective. You cannot absolutely know for sure that this will end in a financial holocaust. None of us know for sure how this will turn out. However, by creating an environment of resistance, frustration and sadness, maybe you are damaging something real and something far more important than money -- your relationships and your health.

You believe you are right about the financial holocaust and you believe anyone who doesn't listen to you deserves your scorn. I suggest that you consider the possibility that a financial holocaust may not occur in our lifetimes.

Also consider that inner peace and happiness mean more than money to a lot of people (as they rightly should). Therefore, when you attempt to force your view on others and your view makes them feel a lack of inner peace and happiness, they will tune you out. That doesn't make them wrong. They simply value the present moment more than they value a future that may or may not materialize the way you think it will.

The present moment is all we ever have. If you waste it in a state of sadness or frustration, then something nearly as bad as a financial holocaust has already befallen you. If you don't believe this, simply go to your doctor for a very detailed physical exam. Bring along your friends or relatives who refuse to buy into the fear of a financial holocaust. Have the doctor check levels of stress hormones, heart rate variability, brain wave patterns, key measures of oxidative stress and many other measures. (Some of this is called "allostatic load".) You will find that your obsession with the financial holocaust, which may or may not ever happen, is already damaging your physical health along with your relationships.The people who choose to be happy and who refuse to buy into the worst scenarios about possible future outcomes will show more healthy measures on many key health biomarkers.

I think CM needs to list "A New Earth" on the recommended reading list.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
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Re: The Silent Fear

DS

I get the impression you are new to this subject. I developed an interest in this topic over forty years ago. So I can't tell you what I know about economics, history and human nature on this site. I'll stand by my assertion that the US government will destroy this economy tryng to save itself. Many other fiat currencies are going down with the dollar. Too many people are in debt over their heads, with pensions, 401Ks etc. soon to be worthless. Too many people leaving themselves too vulnerable. The more power government has to intervene in the economy, the more damage they are going to do. And the scale of government intervention is unprecedented by several orders of magnitude.The details will become more apparent with time.

I'm confident that I know what I'm doing. I sleep well at night knowing I've made some essential preparations and I'm enjoying life day by day. I don't go around preaching the end of the world. And I don't push this topic on people when they are not receptive. Please don't play amateur pychologist. You don't know me. If you think I'm exaggerating, that's your business.

 

 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Diversity is our greatest strength

DS - I don't agree but that's fine.

Humour is my best guage of my state of mind. I enjoy predicting the plots of movies and books to check that I'm doing OK interlectually. I only want to persuade the ones I love to have a look and a think for themselves. If and when I succeed then I can rest. Satisfied.

Lots of people think it will be like it was during the 30's. I don't. I made a list of the differences but the one that matters is population. I live in a beautiful valley that could feed about 20 families tops. There are many thousands. Putting it bluntly; if and when oil stops so do we. Should we have traded for what we need.

cedar's picture
cedar
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Canada's election
I have voted Conservative all of my life but this week I voted Green. The Conservative victory is a clear indication of the future we can expect. Canadians are enjoying the highest material standard of living in the history of human civilization. Nevertheless the majority are primarily worried about maintaining and/or improving their standard of living today rather than modifying their lifestyles to address energy and climate problems that will seriously harm them and their children in the future. I am now certain we won’t see material changes in behavior until a crisis develops. The problem is that avoiding an energy or climate crisis will take 20-50 years to address assuming we deploy a World War level of capital investment now. That capital however was just blown by the world governments to bail out insolvent irresponsible banks. Our grandchildren will be very disappointed in us.
pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Re: Canada's election
What grandchildren? Many of us "buy" clean drinking water, how long before clean breathing air? (already happening for some near the top of high rise appartments) Where is the food coming from? The worst collamity would be if money doesn't precipitate a huge die off to below sustainable population levels. Because then something else will have to. Climate change? Sea rise? Global conflict? How long do we have? If diversity is our greatest strength then maybe conformity is our greatest weekness.
pinecarr's picture
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Re: The Silent Fear

hewittr and pir8don,  I know what you're talking about.  I cycle through scared-to-death, depressed, acceptance, and back to somewhat in denial (pushing the whole idea away, which I think is a psychological resting place).  My husband "doesn't discount" the possibility of what I am afraid of, but goes on living (enviably joyfully!) in the moment, while I worry and do all I can to try to prepare/protect my family from this possibility.  I don't push the idea hard on other people, but find it difficult to even talk about this to others as I see the same types of reactions hewittr described.  It does make you sad not to be able to help people you care about.  While I agree with DS that we don't know "for sure" that this financial holocaust is going to happen,  we DO know that the possibility is very real, based on the evidence we've been presented, and on history.  And so while I may hope for the best, I am taking the personal responsibility to plan for the worst, since my family's well-being may be at stake. 

-C

 

Davos's picture
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Don, the world is square

Don:

A friend of mine is a licensed stock broker but works as a computer programmer (he got the lisc. so he would be an educated investor.) He told me this would happen when I met him in 1995.

He didn't lay it out like Chris did with charts and video, he told me the indicators were off but I didn't know how off they were, he said it would take years to play out. We made life changing course adjustments then and after seeing Chris's videos I'm glad we did for I think the years have pretty much played out.

When I first heard what my friend said, I remember thinking, this guy is telling me that the world is square. I mean it is as if I am still standing in his side yard today, that is how clear my recollection of it is.

I can so relate to what you encounter with your friends family and loved ones. On one hand, to not tell them is almost criminal aside from the moral issues.

 

 

 

 

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WOW WHAT GREENSPAN ON GOLD (when I was 3 years old)

I read in IOUSA that Ron Paul got Greenspan to autogrpah this article.

 http://www.321gold.com/fed/greenspan/1966.html

Here are some highlights:

...gold and economic freedom are inseparable...

It was limited gold reserves that stopped the unbalanced expansions of business activity, before they could develop into the post-World War I type of disaster. The readjustment periods were short and the economies quickly reestablished a sound basis to resume expansion. 

But the process of cure was misdiagnosed as the disease: if shortage of bank reserves was causing a business decline-argued economic interventionists-why not find a way of supplying increased reserves to the banks so they never need be short! If banks can continue to loan money indefinitely-it was claimed-there need never be any slumps in business. And so the Federal Reserve System was organized in 1913. 

When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage.

The "Fed" succeeded; it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, [my own note here, I'm sure this time Ben will succeed!] in the process.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process.  

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The big question

The questions I have after reading this are: 

  • If he knew this then why did he partake in creating this chaos? 
  • What order will arrise from the choas this will create? 
  • How could he let Ben think that the gold backed dollar was a cause of the depression when he says, "But the process of cure was misdiagnosed as the disease"?

 

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Re: the TIC report- fantastic response

What are the chances that a new currency called the "Amero" would be issued to replace the dollar?  It is mentioned on a number of "alternative" news sites, but I have no reference to it in mainstream media.  I heard a friend reference a news article stating that the US recently sent $800 billion "Ameros" to China because China refused to accept USD in payment.  I did a yahoo search on "amero" and "China" and found the same article (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3f5_1223308293) posted on a number of websites.  I am interested in any response that can verifiy this article is fact OR fiction. 

 

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"The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal

DS, It's not scorn we feel for our friends and family who won't listen, it is great concern. There is a huge difference between the two emotions.

Two old sayings came to mind here.

1) You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
2) Better safe than sorry.

Back in August after taking the crash course, I begged my husband to sell his stocks and buy gold. He refused. He insisted there was nothing wrong with the economy. He didn't want to pay capital gains tax on the sale of his stocks. Gold was too expensive.  He insisted the market always goes up. He also asked me where I was hiding my tinfoil hat. When I told my mother to get debt free and stock a pantry, she insisted I was over-reacting. Oh yes, smile and be happy, after all, my health was at stake.

Three months later, our market losses are huge and physical gold coins are difficult to come by. Let me tell you, watching that kind of money vaporize was not happy. Nor is it good for my health. Nor is it good for long term survival. But of course, smile and be happy -- appreciate the loss -- wish it back into existence. After all, the market always goes up, right?

My husband now kicks himself daily for not listening to me back in August. My mother now has a fully stocked pantry. The friends who still won't listen fall into category one. Despite my falling level of popularity, I continue to ‘lead them to water.’ It’s not about scorn or who’s right or wrong. I’m deeply concerned for their future well being.

And if the S doesn’t hit the fan, there’s nothing wrong with having been prepared. I would much rather eat a huge dish of crow in front of my optimistic friends, than have nothing to eat in the midst of an economic meltdown.

Which would you rather your friends be; safe or sorry?   

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Re: The big question

My guess is that Greenspan had to tow the "fiat is king" line to get promoted.

Gold backed money isn't popular with governments. It forces fiscal responsibility.

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Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal

Nicely put, Eclectic Dilettante! 

   I also like your comment re your husband asking where you were hiding the tinfoil hat!    -That's precious, and boy can I relate!  That's the other aspect of trying to help make people you care about aware of the potential situation: getting treated like you are a "perma bear" or an eccentric fear-monger.  It would be nice to be treated with a little respect for caring enough to try to be aware of the situation and to practice prudent risk management, but oh well!  I still agree with you that it is "better to be safe than sorry"! 

-C

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Re: The Silent Fear
[quote=ds][quote=hewittr]
I know I have been almost paralised by fear and have panicked most days until recently. This is behaviour that is very hard for other people to deal with.

I'm sorry to say I see this all around me in family, friends and co-workers. No matter how I try to get their interest, they either change the topic or their minds go blank. On the few occassions I'tve tried to keep the topic going, they get more resistant. There is a defense mechanism at work here. It's frustrating and sad to see so many people refuse to take the time and effort to know what they are dealing with and how to protect themseves. This is a financial holocaust in the making. [/quote]

[My reply is not directed at any one person. It is as much a reminder to myself about priorities as it is a response to the comments above.]

There is another perspective. You cannot absolutely know for sure that this will end in a financial holocaust. None of us know for sure how this will turn out. However, by creating an environment of resistance, frustration and sadness, maybe you are damaging something real and something far more important than money -- your relationships and your health.

You believe you are right about the financial holocaust and you believe anyone who doesn't listen to you deserves your scorn. I suggest that you consider the possibility that a financial holocaust may not occur in our lifetimes.

Also consider that inner peace and happiness mean more than money to a lot of people (as they rightly should). Therefore, when you attempt to force your view on others and your view makes them feel a lack of inner peace and happiness, they will tune you out. That doesn't make them wrong. They simply value the present moment more than they value a future that may or may not materialize the way you think it will.

The present moment is all we ever have. If you waste it in a state of sadness or frustration, then something nearly as bad as a financial holocaust has already befallen you. If you don't believe this, simply go to your doctor for a very detailed physical exam. Bring along your friends or relatives who refuse to buy into the fear of a financial holocaust. Have the doctor check levels of stress hormones, heart rate variability, brain wave patterns, key measures of oxidative stress and many other measures. (Some of this is called "allostatic load".) You will find that your obsession with the financial holocaust, which may or may not ever happen, is already damaging your physical health along with your relationships.The people who choose to be happy and who refuse to buy into the worst scenarios about possible future outcomes will show more healthy measures on many key health biomarkers.

I think CM needs to list "A New Earth" on the recommended reading list.

[/quote]

DS:

You seem to think that making basic or complex assumptions about our future is necessarily always negative.  I beg to differ with you.  I don't think CM "needs to list 'A New Earth' as required reading material.  I have read the book and it has some profound messages in it.  I do not, however, believe that everyone needs to read this book to have a sense of reality whether that reality is positive or negative.  In fact I believe if we are not careful we can take this book, litterally, and accept everything that comes our way as "good".  Clearly there are some very wrong things going on, in this world, that directly affects us today.  I hope that, by reading this book, you haven't started to delude yourself into thinking that our current crisis, whatever that may be, is "good".  If you believe everything is good, at face value, then good things are things we shouldn't be worried about.  Basic logic tells me that if all things are good, or they bring about goodness, then it follows that it is not necessary to improve anything!  That surely cannot be the case right now.  The issues surrounding this may not directly affect us this week, but it will, for our lives are integrated with the lives of the riches CEOs of the world.  After reading this book, I do not believe Eckhart Tolle would condemn Chris for his action of informing the masses about current events or future predictions.  One of the greatest abilities we have, as humans, is the ability to communicate.  Communication allows everyone the opportunity to make decisions, themselves, with the information they have been given.  We can either accept/reject or decide to be apathic towards this information.  If Chris decides to put up information that is 100% "negative (if that is what you call it), does this diminish the factual information that has everything to do with our livelyhoods?

The reason I ask this is due to the nature of the information Chris provides.  It is only positive or negative according to the person, reading this material, who makes that decision.  There are many responses people may have, to this information, such as:

1. This is all new to me!?  How does this affect me? I did I not know this before? (neutral)

2. This is horrible!  I have to prepare for the worst! (negative)

3. This is horrible!  What can I do now that will prepare me? (positive)

4. This is all B.S.!  We have the strongest military, the most power, and pretty much run the world! (negative)

5. How can I protect my savings?  What are some steps I could take so as to prevent losing my house? (positive)

and on and on and on....

DS:

You are presenting a false dichotomy argument.  It is clearly not the case that one either increases his risks of health due to negative mindsets about our present/future lives or that our health risks will remain unaffected by the current "infatuation" with the crisis.

It is surely plausible that we can remain informed about the current crisis through Chris' work AND be healthy and portray a positive image of what our future entails.  We may all know, in the back of our minds, that we will experience a lower standard of living, BUT that does not necessarily mean we reject this standard of living as good.  I, for one, believe a lower standard of living IS good.  It does some good, I think, for people to get a heads-up on what seems inevitable.  I think allowing people to ponder on ideas, such as these, are healthy.  If you had to make the choice between these scenarios, which would you choose?:

1. informed now about the present & future outcomes and 75% ended up being accurate, and because of this information you receieved now, you have stored away some food, learned how to garden and preserve food, learned about currency, learned about "systems" and worked on proposing new systems of monetary governance or policies that might be better than our current one, better educated your children about values...even if the worst-case-scenario never happened, you still learned invaluable lessons and information that you could hand down.

2. not informed now-- always remain positive, i.e., believe the market will do just fine and found that you had no back-up plan, needed to rely on friends and neighbors which imposed upon their own resources-- always remain positive, didn't know the history (which also includes economic history) which ultimately got us here...

If you're in camp #2, AND I knew you had the opportunity and time to obtain this information, and condemned it, then I would be very reluctant to help you out in dire situations.

My son goes to W. Bloomfield Elementary schools (he's 5) and the school sends out fliers regularly to prepare for the worst.  It gives us a list of materials we should have stored, or on hand, in case of an emergency.  I do NOT take him to school every day thinking "today's the day".  I stay positive, informed, and live my life the best way I can.  It doesn't mean I have to send him to school with a gas mask.

Lastly, you're right!  Stay postive but also stay informed.  One CAN do both!!  Thank you CHRIS MARTENSON!!

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ds
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Re: The Silent Fear

caroline_culbert - I think you greatly misunderstood my comment. You said, "You seem to think that making basic or complex assumptions about our future is necessarily always negative." That isn't true. I had trouble reading most of the rest of your comment after that. Sorry, I tried to read it all, but the way you twisted my comment made me lose interest in reading yours. Maybe I'll come back to it later because parts of it looked interesting.

I finally skipped down to the end. I see we do agree about staying informed and staying positive. But postive thinking is only one very small (and unimportant) part of being present. My next recommendation -- for you -- is to read "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie.

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Re: The Silent Fear

DS,

I can actually appreciate a lot of what you're saying, but I think it's only the mirror image of the gloom & doom that you're reacting against.

Yes, I fully agree that how we experience the present moment is of the utmost importance.  One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Cheri Huber, has a saying: "the focus of our attention determines the quality of our experience".  If we are exclusively focused on a financial holocaust that may occur at a future time, then our experience is likely to be defined by fear, anxiety and despair. 

On the other hand, if we simply put our heads in the sand and ignore the very real indicators that we are heading for economic and environmental collapse, we are virtually ensuring that the "present moments" we will experience in the "future" will be more painful and difficult than they would have been if we had planned accordingly.

I think there is a middle path here, and that is to fully accept the reality of our circumstances (which includes the possibility of financial holocaust) without being consumed by it.  Acceptance of the situation allows us to take meaningful steps to protect ourselves and the ones we love.  It leads us to individual and hopefully social and political action that directly addresses the challenges we face and seeks to find lasting solutions.  It inspires us to connect with our local communities, to work together with our friends, families and neighbors to become more energy and food independent, to create networks of support and cooperation, and to raise national and global awareness of the "three Es".

In my experience, getting involved on these levels has actually reduced my stress levels and contributed to my physical and emotional health and well-being.  The danger you point to - getting stuck in fear - is only one possible response to accepting the real possibility of a financial holocaust.  But there are many other responses, including those I've listed above, that can move us beyond fear to a greater sense of meaning, purpose and connection to those around us.  In my opinion, this is the "silver lining" of peak oil and the economic and environmental challenges we face.  Yes, they will likely cause tremendous hardship and pain, but I think in the end many people will actually find more satisfaction and reward in a localized, less energy-dense way of life.

I do not agree with you that people who refuse to acknowledge the problems we're facing right now do so because they value the present more than the future.  I think they do so because they seek to avoid the pain and fear that inevitably comes with recognizing the reality of our current situation.  So they choose denial instead, which is the predictable response of most humans when confronted with potentially life-threatening news.  This is not a healthy response, however, because it prevents us from taking action that could not only protect ourselves and our loved ones but also contribute to finding solutions to these problems on a national and global scale. 

I believe it is imperative for those of us who have moved through the denial stage to help others to do the same.  That is ultimately the most compassionate action we can take on their behalf and on behalf of human civilization as a whole. People like Chris M. are well aware of this and have dedicated their lives to the task.  Others, like myself and other participants on this site, are playing whatever role they can.  I suggest you join the team!

 

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Re: The Silent Fear

DS,

One more thing: I suspect I have read many of the books you are suggesting we read.  I've read all of Eckhart Tolle's books and listed to all of his CDs.  I enjoy him tremendously and think he has a lot of wisdom to offer us during these challenging times.  I've also read Byron Katie's work.  I'm a practicing Zen Buddhist and I prior to that, I was involved in the Advaita Vedanta tradition (which is the core spiritual philosophy that Tolle and Kate's teachings is based on).

I feel compelled to point out a fundamental misunderstanding I have witnessed in these spiritual communities.  Many people, when they first learn about "acceptance", confuse it with "submission".  Acceptance is simply the recognition of what is. Acceptance doesn't imply action or inaction, approval or disapproval.  For example, I accept the reality that there is a war going on in Iraq.  Yet at the same time, I can strongly disapprove of the war and take every possible action to stop it from continuing.  

Submission, on the other hand, means "giving up" or "submitting" to something.  This is closely connected to the "depression" phase on Kubler-Ross/CM's "stages of awareness".  

So how is this relevant?  When Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie speak about the importance of acceptance and of living in the present moment, that does not mean they are suggesting that we sit on our hands and do nothing.  It doesn't mean that we don't recognize challenges we might face in the future and avoid taking action to address them.  After all, any action that is taken is taken in the present moment!  How could it be otherwise?  

I've heard Tolle speak in person and have been reading and listening to him for years.  I happen to know that he is very concerned about the state of the world and urges people to take action to address the problems we face.  Acceptance is what actually allows us to begin taking that action.  Acceptance isn't denial, it isn't submission, it isn't repressing what you call "negative" emotions and it isn't even cultivating inner peace and happiness.  Inner peace and happiness come from acceptance of what is; not the other way around.

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Re: The Silent Fear
[quote=hewittr]
I know I have been almost paralised by fear and have panicked most days until recently. This is behaviour that is very hard for other people to deal with.

I'm sorry to say I see this all around me in family, friends and co-workers. No matter how I try to get their interest, they either change the topic or their minds go blank. On the few occassions I'tve tried to keep the topic going, they get more resistant. There is a defense mechanism at work here. It's frustrating and sad to see so many people refuse to take the time and effort to know what they are dealing with and how to protect themseves. This is a financial holocaust in the making. [/quote]

I agree, hewittr.  I'm having the same problem, but think about the number of days and and years this apathy has mired itself into.  Think about the number of commecials america watches on a daily basis.  Worsely, think about how many children do the same.  Children under the age of eight, according to the APA, should not watch TV/movies.  I feel if they have to they should be educational.  Television, and thus commercials, geared towards consumer growth has a profound affect on us.  It has even a bigger affect on children, under the age of 8, who believe what they see on tv live in their tubes.  They think, somehow, the people and "things" flow into their tv by way of the chord.  It's deceiving, to me, to see a commercial about a toy that can do amazing things but when a parent purchases this toy, for their child, the child thinks this toy can do the same as what they saw on tv.  They are disappointed that it doesn't but AT LEAST they got the toy nevertheless-- which is sad since this seems like false advertising (the marketers integrating products with creative animation)!

We, as adults, do the same.  Rather than research product ourselves, we tend to purchase things depending on our familiarity with this item.  If we see a great commerical involving this product 1000 times we somehow get the notion that we are now familiar with the product and therefore will more likely purchse this product over others similar in nature.  This is also strange.

Adults and children, alike, have deluded themselves, with the help of the advertising industry, by giving us information we cannot remove from our brains without surgery.  Psychologist know this.  The advertising industry probably knows more about psychological affect on humans.  They have the highest paid scientists working on experimental trials which only aims at one thing:  What can they do, within a commericial, that will glue you to it.  As long as they've successfully gotten you to watch it-- they succeeded.  T.V. shows and sitcoms were invented soley for the purpose of gathering as many people to the tv TO GET THE AUDIENCE TO WATCH COMMERCIALS.  In order for us to sit down and watch commercials, they must keep our attention by attracting us with sitcoms!

Most people, especially in this country, live in a fantasy world.  Take a look at what they wear.  Then take a look at the BRAND they wear.  Take a look at all the women with purses.  Then take a look at the BRAND.  Branding and logos are so important to our country.  Without them, some of us would think ourselves worthless.  Those are the sick people we are dealing with.  They don't see themselves as "sick" if everyone around them are the same.  They will think it's the norm.  How did we get ourselves into this mess of CONSUMERISM.  The advertising industry has done such a good job of tying together our sense of worthiness and pride with that of what we wear and have.  We forget about the values, ethics, and morals we should stress upon each other and our children.  Most of us feel bad if we can't get those new and popular tennis shoes for our kids!  We should be thinking the other way around.  Be a friend to your child and educate them about how wonderful it is not  to be enslaved by the consumer pressures surround us!

Above is, what I think, the root problem to this apathy and rejection to information contrary to our current way of living.  We still have to keep trying to educate those who are resisting the information that may help their lives for the better.  Keep trying!!  And again, thanks to Chris Martenson who has done so much to help us help ourselves and others!!

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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off ..

DS:

If I responded to your thoughts wrongly, please clarify them so I can better understand.  I apologize for this misunderstanding.  It may be that we ARE on the same page with minor disagreements.  Maybe I don't clarify my thoughts well.  If you have the time and/or interest please give me your feedback.  I would really appreciate it.  Thank you.

caroline_culbert

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The 'Amero' shown there is a private collectible

The amero dollars references in that article were struck by a private individual, not any representative of any government anywhere.

http://www.dc-coin.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=8

A currency union, similar to the European Union "Euro" has been proposed for North America. The name of the new currency is the "Amero". The Wikipedia encyclopedia article has additional details about the "Amero" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amero). This has been the source for many conspiracy theories tied in with other proposals such as the Canamex Corridoor (http://www.canamex.org/)

...

My goal with these coins is not to endorse a Union of North America or a common "Amero" currency. ... I expect that these coins will help make more people aware of the issue and the possible ramifications.

...

These private-issue fantasy pattern coins [emphasis mine] will be struck as an annual series (until such time as it is no longer legal to do so), starting in the latter part of 2007.

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Re: The real economy - take a little survey

I agree with Caroline comments for a couple of post ago -  the bottom of her post she says the problem is apathy -

I have been taking a survey of people as I talk to them about this current problem and the problems our nation faces - I ask them is the biggest problem we face ignorance or apathy and most of the time I get the response - I don't know and I don't care -

Case and point!

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Re: The 'Amero' shown there is a private collectible
[quote=Bookrat]

The amero dollars references in that article were struck by a private individual, not any representative of any government anywhere.

http://www.dc-coin.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=8

A currency union, similar to the European Union "Euro" has been proposed for North America. The name of the new currency is the "Amero". The Wikipedia encyclopedia article has additional details about the "Amero" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amero). This has been the source for many conspiracy theories tied in with other proposals such as the Canamex Corridoor (http://www.canamex.org/)

...

My goal with these coins is not to endorse a Union of North America or a common "Amero" currency. ... I expect that these coins will help make more people aware of the issue and the possible ramifications.

...

These private-issue fantasy pattern coins [emphasis mine] will be struck as an annual series (until such time as it is no longer legal to do so), starting in the latter part of 2007.

[/quote]

 ---I just emailed this, last night, to my friends regarding the Amero & North American Union!  Thanks for bringing this up.  There are a couple of youtube videos that explain this relatively clearly.  I do not like this person in the first video nor do I like his religious messages but I do appreciate his primary message surrounding the Amero.  Please Watch.

What was emailed is below:

 

 

You may or may not like/understand what you see and hear but:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JILYnJI8TiU
 
 
it was also on CNBC:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMheiBvCjqU
 
 
The first video has religious quotes that I don't care for, but I fully agree with the video info. even if he incorporates religion!  It's too important!  Watch the first video, then watch the second!  I don't have any advice for you but at least you're aware.... about the "Amero" and the North American Union.  Whether that's good or bad should depend upon the intentions of the people putting forth this law.  I don't know what their intentions are but I cannot imagine they are good if:
 
1. if...We have little to no information prior to this "North American Union"
2. if...Our currency will be demonetized
3. if...We don't have a say regarding the merger of our country with Canada and Mexico
4. if...Our Constitution becomes worthless due to the merger
5. etc.
 
PLEASE WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!  I DID AND IT WAS A CRUDE AWAKENING BUT AT LEAST I KNOW WHERE I'M HEADED!!!

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Re: WOW WHAT GREENSPAN ON GOLD (when I was 3 years old)
i dont know where i read it but greenspan was ayn rand's #1 disciple. she was at his side when he was sworn in for his first gov post. somewhere the train left the track.
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Re: The Silent Fear

[quote=hewittr] I'm doing. I sleep well at night knowing I've made some essential preparations and I'm enjoying life day by day. [/quote]

Such as? What are the essential preps you've made?

 

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Re: The Silent Fear
[quote=TechGuy]

[quote=hewittr] I'm doing. I sleep well at night knowing I've made some essential preparations and I'm enjoying life day by day. [/quote]

Such as? What are the essential preps you've made?

 

[/quote]

 

If I may, I'd like to respond to this question in case hewittr does not show.  I don't know, exactly, how much preparation I have done relative to the what is.  I cannot predict the future.  I may be wasting my time learning about economics, global warming, overpopulation, peak oil, and etc. if there is no crisis to be met, but I do not believe I am wasting my child's time when I pass this knowledge onto him.  Crises may not happen within my generation but it may happen to the next.  Some of the knowledge that I have learned and preparations I have made are as follows:

1. learned/learning how to garden efficiently (...also read the book "Collapse" by Jared Diamond regarding the exhaustion of minerals due to excessive gardening...so I'm trying to gather all issues surrounding gardening/crops/and etc.).

2. attempting to learn how to can/preserve food (...which my child will also be helping me with)

3. learned how to argue/debate successfully to tease out the solutions to our problems (...I also encourage this in children of all ages, especially my five yr. old son, as this elevates critical thinking stills). 

4. learned many things from authors and/or intellectuals such as: Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Tim Flannery, Derrick Jensen, Sam Harris, Kevin Phillips, Thomas Friedman, and Chris Martenson's and many other books and articles not mentioned here (...and of course I read just as much non-fiction to my child as fiction)

5. trying to gather enough money to store enough fresh, clean water, flashlights, batteries (expensive), dry foods, canned foods, fuel for fire, compost, etc.

6. I'm also sending out mass quantities of emails to friends and family advocating the importance of Chris' website, specific books to read, and videos to see.

7. Tonight I'm getting together with my friends to gather more information from them and they will do likewise with me (sharing information is crucial).

8. Having fun.... especially with my child.  U of M 's Student Astronomical Society is offering free observations through their telescopes... and kids can come too!  I'm very excited to take him to see how small earth is!  "We" have a very skewed notion about our planet home and how we treat is should be with the utmost care since earth is the only home we have!!

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Re: The Silent Fear
Yes Caroline. Just woke up on the other side of the panel (I was already there). I havn't been able to watch TV for more than a month and have cut out all news sources, after I did this I improved a bit. Listening to music has been great and then I finally got my humour back. Yes consumerism has been our lifeblood. We will be so lost without it. I remember reading that it didn't matter what we did, work or not, the only thing that mattered to consumerism is that we watched or read the adds.
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What happened
The biggest fiction is civilisation. We have many others - I call them "fictional aberants" but there is probably a better term. Once most of us were in tribes and our population was controlled by our local resource base. We traded but not for our food and shelter, the things we really needed but for the things that made life easier like special stone that could cut better than any other. Or items of adornment that had beauty. We only traded for what we wanted. To those people (and almost none of us) to trade for what we need would be the most unsafe (foolish) thing anyone could ever do.
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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off ... way o

Joe2baba:

Wow, talk about a derailment! Sounds like that train went from NY to South America with no tracks. Makes me wonder about Greenspan's moral compass. Makes me wonder why he would do such a thing.

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Re: The 'Amero' shown there is a private collectible
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.  I have watched U-tube postings on this subject until I am scared straight.  Still, I am skeptical.  I guess time will tell.  Again, many thanks for your time and consideration.
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Re: The Silent Fear

Techguy asks me: Such as? What are the essential preps you've made?

1. I started loading up on silver coins four years ago. When my last shipment arrives this weekend, I'll have ample amounts for myself and my daughter and her family. I couldn't convince her and her husband how serious this, but at least I'll have enough to give them when they need it. My son heeded my warnings and is well stocked in silver. My brothers don't want to talk about it. I'm concerned about them, but I can't help them.

2. I need about a year to pay off my remaining debts while interest rates are low. We don't know exactly when inflation will get bad, so this is the time to get rid of debt, leaving more money for essentials as prices escalate. I keep two months cash on hand.

3. I resisted the urge to buy real estate, renting instead. I have no money in stocks, or any other financial assets.

4. I'm fortunate to have a job in a strong company and my job is essential to company function, so I'm not at risk of a layoff.

5. I haven't stocked up on food. There is plenty of time for that. If I'm caught by surprise when food supplies get cut off, I'll have the cash to buy supplies before the shelves empty should credit and debit cards become useless.

There is a lot of uncertainty about how and when events unfold. This is the time to get prepared as my means allow while everything appears normal to the masses. Nothing I've done will hurt me if the worst does not come to pass.

I used the term "financial holocaust" as an analogy to Nazi Germany. So many Jews behaved the way we see family and friends acting now. The survivors got out becuase they took charge of their lives rather than leave their fate to chance.That's why I don't live in a state of catatonic fear as so many around me do.

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Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal

The tinfoil hat can't keep up a lid on the rising tide of discontent. It's one thing to swallow propaganda blissfully unaware (or pretending to be) when "times are good" (whatever new normal we've gotten used to) but quite another when the ponzi scheme behind the myth finally falls apart. The question then becomes how honest we're willing or able to be about the nonsense in which we've all been complicit; we have been able to free mankind from material want and heal a ravaged planet for two generations now and have chosen instead to go along with the swindle of "free trade" because we were busy working and amusing ourselves to death...in order to any avoid uncomfortable questions about the strange discrepancy between what is and what's possible.

We have in fact put far more energy into affirming some small part of our broken worldview--namely in explaining why things must be this way, fearfully describing the serial crises contributing to this man-made perfect storm so as to forget, conveniently, that it is man-made, that we created the whole mess in the first place. The only inevitability was the long delayed accounting that even now is still incomplete because the most fundamental questions require a level of honesty that we have not yet demonstrated.

The great good news in all of this is that some of us have been asking those uncomfortable questions for a long time and have discovered, to the surprise of many who had become cynical about the possibility of fixing anything, that the solutions to this perfect storm have been sitting right under our noses the whole time. Chris Martenson's work is spot on, as far as it goes in describing the racket that the tiny, privileged elite have been running, but this notion of hoarding gold & generally stocking up for the Apocalypse doesn't have much of a future in it.

If we have to defend what's ours--the result of our prudence & industriousness--from the hordes of have-nots, whether newly bankrupted through their own greed & stupidity or the much larger group that never had any wealth to begin with, then we have joined the ranks of the survivalists, about whom the less said the better. Like it or not, we are all in this together; to pretend otherwise is madness, the same madness, in fact, that's at the root of the dog-eat-dog, every man for himself worldview that has gotten us into this mess.

There is, of course, a paradox at the center of all this. Our way of life is unsustainable, inherently destructive of the world and, therefore, of itself because of its motive force: dominion. Contrary to the view of man's long history that has prevailed since the Enlightenment, the reason we survived for hundreds of thousands of years was because we didn't view ourselves as separate from and pitted against "cruel Nature" in an indifferent universe. The steady accumulation of archeological and anthropological data can no longer be made to conform to the old model, confirming instead the heresies of "anarchists" and "radicals" like the Luddites who were so hated (and feared) that the very word has been twisted and distorted into a weapon to be used against anyone who challenges the Owners.

Chief among the data about our forgotten past is the following. Before the rise of dominator cultures like ours, which happened in response to a sudden, widespread and devastating climate change in 4000 BC-the drying out of Saharasia-there is no evidence of:

  • warfare and, even more tellingly,
  • hierarchy

No difference in status, class or wealth: truly egalitarian societies where everyone worked, but not much, an estimated average of 10-12 hours a week (even after the transition from a nomadic existence to settled agriculture, for another 4000 years until the rise of the newest barbarians.) The original affluent societies. And this is without the advantage of anything like the technology we have today. Why is it that we can produce a surplus of food (not to mention everything else we could possibly need or want) from the labor of 2% of the population and yet the job culture mandates that we work 40 hours a week?

Where's the peace dividend from the war, long won, against cruel Nature?

The same place every peace dividend goes: right back into the war chest of the strongman who "protects" us from the scarcity he has created.

"The very notion of the domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human." (Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom.)

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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off ... way o
my only guess would be money corrupts absolutely
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Re: The real economy - manufacturing and sales are off ... way o

[quote=joe2baba]my only guess would be money corrupts absolutely [/quote]

yep... I agree...Innocent

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Re: The Silent Fear

 

5. I haven't stocked up on food. There is plenty of time for that. If I'm caught by surprise when food supplies get cut off, I'll......

 

You will go hungry. In a panic, shelves can empty faster than you realise, or stores could easily start "rationing"

 Read a news item recently that mentioned that world food reserves were down to 35 days. Ithink it was 90 days a year and a half ago.

Laying up a stock of emergency store of food does not cost that much. My wife was concerned I would be worried about it but I told her that the effective rate of return on the "investment" was better than having money in the bank because food is going up faster than the interest rate. You will eat it anyway so think of it like futures in commodities, but where you physically hold the commodity!

Hamish

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Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal
[quote=wortschmerz]

Chris Martenson's work is spot on, as far as it goes in describing the racket that the tiny, privileged elite have been running, but this notion of hoarding gold & generally stocking up for the Apocalypse doesn't have much of a future in it.

[/quote]

While I agree with many of the things you said in your post, I do not necessarily agree with this.  I believe that the collapse of the US and western civilization will be a long and gradual descent, happening over a period of 100 - 250 years.  The history of the fall of other civilizations in the past certainly supports this, as John Michael Greer points out in his book "The Long Descent".  

That doesn't mean there won't be periods of intense disintegration and upheaval, but they will be followed by periods of partial recovery and relative stability, when civilization limps on for a time albeit at a smaller, poorer and less energy dense level before the next round of upheaval begins.

In this scenario I do happen to think that precious metals are the best long-term store of value, and that having some food on hand to weather the periods of crisis and instability makes a lot of sense.  Ultimately, when the skyscrapers are empty and rusting, the world population has been cut in half and is still shrinking, and people have returned to living in small villages with localized economies, gold and silver may not have much value.  But there's quite a long way to go between now and then.  

Let's say a bank holiday is declared for a week and the grocery stores are gutted.  The government is likely to come up with a solution, however temporary, to get things moving again and return food to the stores.  But if I had a bit of food on hand, it just makes my life that much easier during the crisis.

Clearly we're headed for a long-term depression.  The dollar will likely fail, as will other fiat currencies around the world. Eventually we may get to a time where barter is the only method of trade, but for a long time before that we'll still need money.  There is a long history of using gold and silver in this way, and these are likely to be the first choices for the foreseeable future.  If someone has savings they wish to preserve over the next ten years, gold and silver are not a bad choice.

Perhaps you mean to suggest that "hoarding" will be unsuccessful because of the violence and social unrest that may result from the coming catastrophes.  Well, that depends on how bad things get, how quickly, and how stupid the holder of the precious metals and food stores is.  During the Great Depression when many people were going hungry, most citizens obeyed the law.  25% of people were unemployed, but that means 75% still had jobs.  Life was very, very hard; but it still went on in mostly the same form.  I think that's also likely here, at least in the short-to-medium term.

If I have supplies of precious metals and food, I certainly won't be advertising that.  In his book about the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Dmitri Orlov says that the trick to protecting your savings is to never appear to have much more than the next person.  That's useful advice for the coming years.  I won't be going down to the grocery store and shelling out silver and gold coins for potatoes; I'll be using them to acquire a productive piece of land and a house once the market has bottomed out and inflation has begun in earnest.  That's what silver and gold are for. 

 

capesurvivor's picture
capesurvivor
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 12 2008
Posts: 963
Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal

Well,

 

We are agreed on Dmitri's perspective. My take, though is, that is the significant variable is the civility of our cultures. You note"Depression when many people were going hungry, most citizens obeyed the law. " That was a different time. Privation was part of the norm; no one saw supermarkets with unlimited bounty daily or watched morons on tv acquiring wealth without work. We have grown used to privilege, not reality, when people actually starved or got sick and no one was there to help. Orlov doesn't think that we'll weather chaos as well as the Soviets and I agree with him. Why starve  if your neighbor has food and you have no food but have a shotgun? Socialism was collectivized misery:"we're all going to suffer together" (though, of course, the animals that were more equal than others" didn't suffer at all.) In the U.S., greed is still good and I deserve what I can take. 

A poor model for collaboration in an extended crisis, IMHO.

 

I admire Chris's optimism but don't agree.

 

SG

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal
[quote=switters][quote=wortschmerz]

Chris Martenson's work is spot on, as far as it goes in describing the racket that the tiny, privileged elite have been running, but this notion of hoarding gold & generally stocking up for the Apocalypse doesn't have much of a future in it.

[/quote]

While I agree with many of the things you said in your post, I do not necessarily agree with this.  I believe that the collapse of the US and western civilization will be a long and gradual descent, happening over a period of 100 - 250 years.  The history of the fall of other civilizations in the past certainly supports this, as John Michael Greer points out in his book "The Long Descent".  

That doesn't mean there won't be periods of intense disintegration and upheaval, but they will be followed by periods of partial recovery and relative stability, when civilization limps on for a time albeit at a smaller, poorer and less energy dense level before the next round of upheaval begins.

In this scenario I do happen to think that precious metals are the best long-term store of value, and that having some food on hand to weather the periods of crisis and instability makes a lot of sense.  Ultimately, when the skyscrapers are empty and rusting, the world population has been cut in half and is still shrinking, and people have returned to living in small villages with localized economies, gold and silver may not have much value.  But there's quite a long way to go between now and then.  

Let's say a bank holiday is declared for a week and the grocery stores are gutted.  The government is likely to come up with a solution, however temporary, to get things moving again and return food to the stores.  But if I had a bit of food on hand, it just makes my life that much easier during the crisis.

Clearly we're headed for a long-term depression.  The dollar will likely fail, as will other fiat currencies around the world. Eventually we may get to a time where barter is the only method of trade, but for a long time before that we'll still need money.  There is a long history of using gold and silver in this way, and these are likely to be the first choices for the foreseeable future.  If someone has savings they wish to preserve over the next ten years, gold and silver are not a bad choice.

Perhaps you mean to suggest that "hoarding" will be unsuccessful because of the violence and social unrest that may result from the coming catastrophes.  Well, that depends on how bad things get, how quickly, and how stupid the holder of the precious metals and food stores is.  During the Great Depression when many people were going hungry, most citizens obeyed the law.  25% of people were unemployed, but that means 75% still had jobs.  Life was very, very hard; but it still went on in mostly the same form.  I think that's also likely here, at least in the short-to-medium term.

If I have supplies of precious metals and food, I certainly won't be advertising that.  In his book about the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Dmitri Orlov says that the trick to protecting your savings is to never appear to have much more than the next person.  That's useful advice for the coming years.  I won't be going down to the grocery store and shelling out silver and gold coins for potatoes; I'll be using them to acquire a productive piece of land and a house once the market has bottomed out and inflation has begun in earnest.  That's what silver and gold are for. 

 

[/quote]

 

I agree with your analysis for the most part.  You may be right to point out that most citizens obeyed the law, during the Great Depression, but I don't think we should.  Those of us who know the system is bankrupt have the duty to stand up against it.  Why should we have to fight for what is ours?  The food is ours since we are the laborers that ultimately exchange/d our labor for it.  We also have the duty to educate those that don't understand the system we live in.  We have the right and the opportunity to reject this system if the system is, itself, corrupt (the people running it).  Even the founding fathers expounded this.  By hoarding and engaging in activities similar to past history, we resign ourselves to inviting the same catastrophes again.  We should learn from history, not repeat it.  If the system of this quasi-capitalism / super-capitalism we live in is unregulated and unquestioned then we shouldn't have qualms about our way of life.  If, on the other hand, we regulate capitalism (which I don't think is a contradiction), then I think we could have capitalism.... Because, at what point is capitalism not capitalism?  And if it's not capitalism, what is it?  If it is capitalism and this system is insufficient to sustain the wonders of a good and prosperous society, then is capitalism good?  We must ask ourselves, since the start of the industrial revolution until now, has our country as a whole, prospered to the ideal of the "American Dream".  I think the answer is no.  At least that is what I think.  If the "American Dream" means fighting for resources, fighting to get a job, fighting to keep my job, fighting to pay debts all my life, working my ass off until I'm 70, worrying about my child's inadequate education, excessive television viewing, paying taxes to police the world, competing, competing, competing... then my answer is no.  When we compete we ultimately declare a winner.  If there is a winner, then there is a loser.  In the "World Game" we play approx. 39% of the world population are losers.  Those losers will not eat, drink clean water, have shelter, or education to barely sustain themselves--if that.  I'm not sure I can support a system that does that.  On the other hand I don't have a solution.  Are we still living in a world of "survival of the fittest"?  If yes, then Darwin/Dawkins is right.  If they are right then I should not feel bad for those that lose in the game of survival.... Right?Cry

 

ajparrillo's picture
ajparrillo
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 72
Re: "The Silent Fear" -- A Rebuttal
All you need to do is close your eyes and tell yourself that the losing 39% of the world's population are all lazy degenerates....maybe this will relieve your conscience; it seems to work for many others.Wink (and yes, I know this is hyperbole)

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