Monetary Madness

Note: The Monday Taki post is up in the usual place. It is a different take on the post here today. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door for those who are in need of audio stimulation. There is a post on the war as well.

A half century ago, President Richard Nixon closed the gold window. American citizens had been prohibited from owning gold since the early 1930s, but foreign governments could exchange their extra dollars for gold. France tried to make a run on the US gold supply so the American government was forced to break the final link between the dollar and gold, thus ending the gold standard. This set off a chain of events that eventually led to what has been known as the petro-dollar.

Nixon was forced to break the gold peg because it was a fiction. In theory, the amount of dollars in circulation reflected the amount of gold held by the United States, but in reality, the American government had been printing as much money as they thought they needed. The reason the French were racing to redeem their dollars for gold was that they knew the peg was a lie. Once that lie was fully understood, a run on the dollar and global monetary collapse was possible.

It is a good lesson about the reality of the gold standard. It was an example of the old adage that if you need a gold standard to control a corrupt government, that government is corrupt enough to find a way around it. Much of the good living of the post-war years was due to expansionary monetary policy. The cost of that was paid in the 1970’s with spasm of inflation and finally a recession in the early 1980’s that supposedly put monetary policy back in order.

The thing is the money printing after the war was not a problem because those extra dollars could find a home in the expanding American economy and most especially in the rebuilding of Europe. The dollar was the world reserve currency so everyone in the world was willing to take dollars for payment. Europe was in rubble and needed rebuilding, so the demand for dollars seemed endless. As a result, the United States supplied as many dollars as was needed.

The monetary crisis on the 1970’s was due in large part to the fact that Europe had recovered and no longer needed a flood of dollars. The trouble was the American economy was dependent on the expansion of the money supply. The subsequent negotiations that ended with the petro-dollar and the Louvre Accords was supposed to solve this problem. Instead, it merely shifted the target for extra dollars to low labor cost areas like Asia and South America.

That has been the story of the last thirty years. American manufacturing, technology and services have been shifted to low cost areas. The extra dollars followed them in the form of investment, thus keeping inflation in the United States low. The dollars not soaked up in these countries came back in the form of investments in treasuries, equities and real estate. The system let the government expand and asset values to mushroom, without creating retail inflation.

Like the 1970’s, the place for the extra dollars is drying up. That means they are flowing back in the form of inflation. China is no longer the cheap labor economy desperate for investments, so they are not soaking up extra dollars. In fact, China is a maturing economy determined to shift from exports to domestic consumption. It is also not willing to accept inflation from the United States and Europe. The result is too much money in the West creating an inflation spiral.

It is not the only reason for inflation. Stimulus policies aimed at sustaining the standard of living against economic reality are a big driver. The supply chain crisis that is the result of decades of outsourcing is another driver. Then you have the berserk response to the crisis in Ukraine, which is creating havoc in fuel and energy markets. In a complex system like the global economy, there are always many contributing factors to the things we see in the marketplace.

One way to look at the current economic crisis is as a consequence of the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War. The half century long state of war in the United States and the West resulted in an economic system designed to wage global war without operating a war economy. When the war ended, there was no great demobilization and normalization. The cost was seen as too high, so American leaders found what looked like a cheap way to avoid it.

Unlike the 1970’s, the short term solution for the present inflation is not a contraction of the money supply. The Federal Reserve is carrying trillions of assets on its balance sheet which it has to unload. It will now be selling those into a rapidly declining market, as asset prices have been artificially sustained with the combination of free credit and the flows of extra dollars into assets. The Fed could easily set off a collapse in asset values and a global credit crisis if it is not cautious.

The biggest problem facing the country is the lack of competence in the decision making areas of the ruling class. The economic side is dominated by monetarists, who think an economy is just the sum of it money. The political class is full of carny weirdos selected for their entertainment value. Of course, the senior generation has been conditioned to seek good times, rather than make sacrifices. America lacks the human capital to tackle the problems we face.

The situation facing America is not unlike that which faced the Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The cost of terrible governance over seventy years came home all at once and they lacked the political leaders to manage it. The Russians not only faced an economic catastrophe, but a political one as well. They went through a decade of chaos followed by a decade of slow recovery. That is what most likely awaits the United States and its European dependents.

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183 thoughts on “Monetary Madness

  1. This article is conflating money with currency.

    Money has real value, as in bartering. Eggs, clothes, tools, skilled labor, precious gems, precious metals, etc. are money and have real value.
    Currency is fiat paper notes issued by Central Banks and Governments as a replacement for money. Fiat because there is no money backing up the currency.

    Non fiat currency at least has money backing it up, like precious metals, gems or resources. Real assets.

    This is an important distinction to make as we enter at best a major recession, at worst a Greater Depression leading to a Great Reset with CBDC.

    Communities can make their own currency to operate outside of the Central Bank Cartel system. Something they don’t want anyone to know about. Specifically and historically, German communities did this during the Great Depression.

    Basically people could come to the town center and trade eggs, meat, vegetables, etc. for currency. Then they use that currency to purchase what they needed, or to pay someone for skilled labor. That laborer could then use that currency to buy what they needed, rather than being limited to what the buyer had to offer.

    We will have to create parallel systems like this to avoid complete tyranny under CBDC linked to social credit scoring.

  2. Pingback: Monetary Madness – Understanding Deep Politics

  3. this is far from the 1970s = the US us 30 trillion in debt (that we know of)
    Blame all politicians, media and corporations for demise of the US..

  4. Pingback: Monetary Madness – Small Business Mall

  5. This is the inevitable end of Progressivism. The worst part of this is the malinvestment created by ever lower, “new normal”, interest rates that pushed everyone farther out on the risk curve. The Federal Government and nearly every municipal government is broke. It is bad enough that the pensions aren’t sufficiently funded to pay the pensioners. It is that what funds are there bid up risk assets when less risky assets no longer paid traditionally steady yields. The stock market and private equity have bid up prices on businesses that can’t generate the cash flows to justify the prices paid to acquire the business. Moreover, many of those businesses do not produce much real value. It is a game of the next greater fool. Eventually you run out of fools. “Old economy”, businesses borrowed money to buy back their stock. In ’19 the bond markets panicked and went on life support of unprecedented “QE-esque” “liquidity injections.” The Covid, “Emergency”, gave the Fed cover to buy up the massive corporate debt that had no market for refinancing on its own.

    In the meantime companies like Amazon could use their stock price to pay off their bonds as the money flowed into their stock. They then destroyed higher margin competitors knowing that as a growth stock they could fund their non-profitable retail business with appreciating stock price.

    When this ponzi blows every pension, 401K and municipal government will be toast. At some point the US government will make like Japan and buy up the stock and real estate market. Unlike Japan, we have no savings and produce few export goods. The Fed is stuck. The size of this Ponzi scheme is unprecedented in human history. The level and scale of capital destruction by the GAE’s monetary regime is, well a marvel of sorts.

    As if that isn’t bad enough, they want to transition to an energy system that is not viable. They don’t care that it doesn’t work. I think many of these aging 60s and 70s era hippies are bound and determined to put us on solar and windmill power as their final gift in their lifelong crusade to, “Change the World.” The Fed is talking about racial reckonings and, “fighting climate change”, while the Ponzi scheme is growing ever more unstable. This level of political class ineptitude is unprecedented. I think they will be swinging from lamp posts when this is all said and done. Sadly, the young generation believe in the elite class’ delusional Gaia worshiping project and are not equipped to deal with this. I think it will fall to Gen X to clean up the mess. That means the unraveling will have to take place within the next 5-7 years.

    • look on the bright side, none of the retired gov people deserve the pensions they *won’t* be getting.

  6. None of this is from stupidity. The destruction of the existing order was planned out , long ago. They like to reset, kill people, bankrupt and starve the rest. Nothin new under the sun.

    • All this was planned. Really. Sure taking their time doing it. Not to mention it was arguably easier to wipe the slate clean in the past; just initiate a nuke war.

      • Nuclear war would be messy. Dangerous for the elites. This way they will be able to hang out in their all-white gated communities with tons of armed security while the rest of us starve and kill each other for scraps.

  7. Few quibbles with today’s post. You note many things, including that the Fed has trillions of assets on its balance sheet. I think you’re wrong, however, when you say “…which it has to unload.” I admit I don’t know the details, but the Fed has very wide discretion to buy and sell those assets. To the best of my knowledge, it is under no obligation of duration or quantity it may amass. It may be theoretically restricted from buying certain assets, but some observers claim they have back-door ways to do so if the want.

    Overall your essay seems correct. I would also quibble about comparing the post-cold-war USA to the post-USSR. Russia was never a major contender in the world economy, nowhere near the scale of the hegemony the UK and later the US enjoyed for very long periods. Looked at another way, the US basically has slowly squandered its gold/good credit over a very long term (chose any base year you like; some use 1914 (Fed established), 1934 (gold confiscation); 1945 (Bretton Woods); 1970 (final pretend to gold cut). The US Dollar being the world reserve currency for 75 years (at least) gave us an unfair advantage over all other nations that traded with us. From one perspective, we effectively exported most of our inflation all those years ( = much foreign holders of our debt, public and private.) Such a long hegemony is, to the best of my knowledge, without any remotely comparable precedent in world history. How or when it will unravel is anyone’s guess. I gladly take your estimate of ten, twenty years as very optimistic.

    • Russia is certainly not an economy on the scale of the US or China, but I believe that their economy has been underrated by the West and international (Western-controlled) agencies for a long time.

      Just looking at how badly the US and EU sanctions recently applied to Russia have backfired, I think that, in realpolitk terms, there’s an argument to be made that Russia is a top 10, possibly top 5 world economy.

  8. You don’t think the Fed isn’t already cashing out yet? Feds are pulling money out of the Wall Street and depressing the market and big money has already responded by dropping out, opting to invest in the commodity markets. That’s why fuel prices are increasing. Expect this to continue until late August. At which point, fuel prices will reverse and speculators will be back in the stock market. That will give them two months of recovery until elections. All part of the plan.

  9. “The situation facing America is not unlike that which faced the Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Union… The Russians not only faced an economic catastrophe, but a political one as well.”

    Life expectancy was destroyed by the collapse:

    Alcohol consumption skyrocketed:

    US life expectancy is also stagnating or even decreasing. Drug related deaths have multiplied over the decades. And the US hasn’t even collapsed yet.

    • That is just Z’s playful optimism, we are no more trouble than the soviet could dream of. The young of the US have been educated to think the destruction of their culture and extinction of their people is the highest good . that exceeds even soviet level of indoctrination .

      • Yes. Many of the White young, especially women, have been working hard to lower their standard of living: climate change, Covid, Ukraine. It is seen as a moral imperative. On the other hand, they complain that they have a hard time buying homes and getting good jobs. Lowering your standard of living sounds more fun than it is

  10. The Fed has a Sophie’s choice to make over the next year. Option A, they can raise rates and temper inflation, (meaning going back to stealing 2-3% from us year after year instead of 10+%) or Option B, they can keep doing what they’ve been doing, keep the insolvent government liquid and thus functioning without a 50% budget cut. Should they choose the former, the government will need to drastically curtail spending across the board, and shrink to levels not seen in decades, while also causing a brutal recession out of the 1930’s, only without half the population on farms and not half the population being bastard children. Should they choose the later they will annihilate the middle class, and everyone’s purchasing power, and have a currency and banking crisis.

    Since they put a barbed wire fence around the Eccles building they’ll choose option B. Pretend to fight inflation while not fighting it, calling inflation the new normal, and keeping their benefactors liquid. Had they chosen option A interest rates would already be minimally a few points higher. The politicians will choose price controls out of desperation.

    The Fed may be hoping on a theoretical Option C. One in which they cause a recession, which eliminates enough inflation through demand destruction (this is theoretical in itself and not a sure thing) with minimal rate hikes. This is like attempting to catch a unicorn, because they’ll depend on a Congress that doesn’t fiscally stimulate to ameliorate the brutal effects of the recession. No build back better, no shovel ready, no PPP style handouts, no extra welfare, etc. These spending binges will bring inflation right back into they system. This option will also collapse tax receipts, just like option A, and cause even more public borrowing. Option C is just a slow burn of options A and B put together.

    • Option C is then starting a war with Russia, and maybe China, in the hopes of robbing them blind in order to keep the decadence going and get them back in line with globohomo.

      • That was the apparent original Option C but something changed dramatically that caused the Empire to back off. Maybe Xi and Putin would not commit to refraining from turning Manhattan and New Zealand into glass?

        I think JR has it about right but there is a lot of infighting starting to break out among the Clouds, so it is not off the table that the United States will default if the faction in that camp prevails over those who want demand destruction. I agree the latter is more likely but it is not a given.

        • Nah, they began to understand that the dirts were on to them and wouldn’t be the jannisaries, again. Hell No, we won’t go. Jew.

      • Don’t forget the third front against Iran and a fourth front prosecuting CW2 against the deplorables in the name of the Homeland.

        I wonder where they will get all the bodies they need to prosecute all those conflicts?

        • They will be unable to keep the Imperial City dindus in check when the food and fuel shortages begin…but, tomorrow the world!

    • We are very good at observation, analysis, and prognostication leading to doom & gloom prophesies, but piss poor at devising practical solutions other than bend over and smile. Whining is not a solution to anything. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Every normal (read sane) family is already belt-tightening (that’s an obvious reaction). But how many of us are eating better (and less), losing those extra pounds, getting fitter, conducting neighborhood reconnaissance (who can you trust), or have an escape plan if you live in a big city? November is a long way off and half of all the newly elected will be covert RINOs at the very least. Don’t let a muddle-through attitude keep you on the couch.

      • I don’t know what moron would downvote this. Though I am an absolute pessimist (there is nothing on the macro level for us to do), anyone who disagrees about personal preparedness for whatever insanity is coming is your typical keyboard warrior.

        • I have a couple of feds that monitor my posts. They can be a little touchy sometimes. Perhaps common sense will win the day eventually.

  11. “They went through a decade of chaos followed by a decade of slow recovery. That is what most likely awaits the United States and its European dependents.”

    If all it takes is 20 years, we will be lucky. I know that the 2nd Amendment has been under attack for more than 50 years. There is some truth to the statement that our leaders want to ban the 2nd Amendment because they are doing something they would be shot for. You see lots of Clown World politicians retiring because they see what’s coming and don’t want to be on the side that gets shot, or, preferably, hung.

    Jason Knight brought up canceling mortgage debt. This is a good suggestion, but one that would see a backlash from the debt merchants that own America and the rest of the world. They will not give up what they have rightfully stolen. They basically took over financial and political control of this country with the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. They have spent the last 109 years shoring up possible threats to their ownership. When you have a small group of people that own finance, politics, media, education, entertainment, religion, and the military and LEO, what are you going to do? An armed insurrection is the only option left. But, as Jay Gould said, “I can hire one-half the working class to kill the other half.” This will be made easier by the fact that they have imported non-Whites into this country (identity politics) and by outlawing guns for those that do not protect the status quo.

    I know there is a propensity for people on this site to consider the Bible to be irrelevant or useless, but a debt jubilee is actually required to make an interest bearing economy function at all. This prevents a small coterie of thieves from achieving what they have done in the West. It doesn’t give anyone an incentive to engage in long-term debt, except the borrower. Would that we were so wise.

    • I realize the ancient Hebrews did it differently (every 75 years?). But a runaway or hyperinflation reduces the value of money — and any debt payable in it — worth zero, or very close. This is a de-facto jubilee. Problem: how do you have any trade, much less collect taxes, when the money unit can’t be trusted? Having one’s debts erased through this process sounds wonderful if one is a debtor, and governments are by far the deepest in debt. But it kind of sucks if you were a present or future creditor.

      • Every 49th year. In answer to your last two sentences: Governments should never be a debtor (the borrower is the servant of the lender) and no one should be a usurer. The argument that debt based financing is the only way to quickly obtain the things one needs is a deception. There are historical precedents whereby people with a skill could finance a joint venture. They would need some startup capital. Say a boat captain wanted to buy a boat but couldn’t afford it. He could afford 10%. He could present his proposal to a bank. If his history was such that he was deemed a good prospect, the bank could loan him the 90% he needed. He could pay the loan off each year, the principle and a small administrative fee. Any profit the boat made each year would be split between the bank and the captain, according to the equity they possessed. If he was unable to pay it off, he would forfeit the boat, but he would still own whatever equity he had in it. If the boat sank, insurance would pay for it.

        We also don’t need debt based currency. Currency backed by gold or silver or physical assets is best, but the colonies used scrip as their currency. It was spent into circulation as needs determined, then taxed out of existence. As a side note, the use of scrip was one of the things the Bank of England wanted to scuttle, using the British Army and Navy in the 18th century. They wanted their cut of all transactions by the colonies and they had no control over scrip.

        If a group of people are serious about creating a nation, one without a ruling oligarchy, there are creative strategies to spread the wealth without creating slavery to man or government. The problem is man’s desire for rapid wealth accumulation. Why work for 40 years when you can take dishonest short cuts?

    • Yeah, and leaving the fields fallow every so often. These Jews really like to pick and choose. Maybe they’re not really “Jews” after all. Either way, a den of vipers.

  12. I was told by someone well-versed in MDMA that all we had to do was MMT.

    Being a bear of very little brain, these acronomicons confused me.

    But it sounded like MMT is the good money printing which, being good, avoids the problems of the bad money printing.

    • I did a dive into MMT the other night to try and understand it, but to anyone with a logical brain, it seems suicidal and in total ignorance of historical precedence. But as Thomas Sowell has remarked, it’s something so stupid that only a Harvard man can come up with it.

      • Not that they aren’t that stupid, but MMT was a pretext to keep the free money flowing.

    • MMT suffers the same problem as Keynesianism — you have to run a political policy that will get you tossed out of office. Keynes said government has to cut spending in the good times. Never going to happen. MMT says you have to set tax policy based on where you are seeing inflation, targeting those groups who are buying those goods.

      That is, if you see rent increasing, tax the people who rent. If fuel is increasing, tax the people who buy fuel. Absolutely the worst thing to do is cancel debt — that frees up money to drive price increases in the kinds of things those debt-holders would choose to buy.

      Tax the poor? Never going to happen.

    • MMT is essentially the economists’ version of those Looney Tunes clips where Wile E. Coyote chases the Roadrunner off the thousand foot tall cliff into mid-air.

      We all know how those end.

      • Except the little thud and small cloud of dust Wile E. Coyote made when he hit bottom will be more like an A-bomb when MMT goes splat.

    • MMT is high octane money because it bypasses the Fed. Just double the inflation for each dollar of MMT they create. Nothing would be trapped in inert bank reserves. There’s nothing worse than MMT and it would destroy this country in a heartbeat (after reading the articles recently on latest degeneracy, perhaps a bonus?).

      • I read a little while back (can’t remember where) that Russia is toying with the notion of MMT. Now I hear China is looking to move to a consumer economy.

        What is it about money? Can people not learn even as the US is circling the drain in front of them?

        If this thing ends up in neo-feudalism like people say, does that mean progress is taking it back 1000 years? Who knows, I might like it, but the spectacle is something to behold!

  13. De Gaulle was one of the greatest statemen of the twentieth. He started the war with nothing: renounced by the French and British establishment alike he managed by tenacity, duplicity and a great deal of that Gallic histrionics which he knew drove the British nuts, to have France enjoying equal victor status to Britain.

    As the Cold War fraught lines stabilized and it transpired that the joint US and Soviet battle plan was to fight a nuclear war on European soil, he build a sovereign nuclear strike force, making it clear that half of the missiles were aimed at America. He might well have saved Europe from complete destruction.

    So the Surrender Monkeys were (and are) the only people in Europe prepared to defend themselves. That is probably why France managed to recover its gold reserves and Britain did not.

    • Similarly, France left NATO under De Gaulle for similar reasons. As such, they’re one of the few Western European nations still talking rationally about Ukraine and Russia.

    • I almost forgot: after winning the Algeria war, he let them have their independence. He recognized that keeping Algeria would mean letting hordes of Arab into France, since French colonial subjects were French citizens, and that Algeria itself was a liability.

      Random fact: when under French rule, Algeria was the number one exporter of phosphate in the world. Phosphate, however is corrosive, so all the machinery has to be recapitalized every five years. Five years after the French went home, Algeria no longer produced phosphate.

      • Felix, that’s a good one—phosphate. One could point to practically every colonized African crap hole for the similar results. Few—if any—retained their standard of living after their White “overlords” left.

        • Phosphates? Hmmm…. Yes, that reminds me. Here’s an article on a similar boom & bust story [Edit: well no there’s not; it’s flagged as spam. Fine, just google Nauru if you want.]

          Although not a former French property, Nauru’s story is sadly typical of post-colonial life. But atypical in an important way: The tiny nation had a renewable resource that, if it had been intelligently husbanded, could have easily supported the citizens in comfort indefinitely. In lieu of the fable of the goose that laid golden eggs, Nauru’s wealth was not quite as precious nor aesthetically pleasing as solid gold, nor produced by geese, but it was produced in great quantities and highly marketable. Alas, human cupidity being what it is, incompetence/corruption led to mismanagement. Now the wealth is gone and Nauru is a third-world hellhole in “Paradise.” Similar stories can be found in Equatorial Guinea (oil), and perhaps more.

      • Morrocco still does, #1 export, # 2 is their educated young people.
        Kinda like the philipines..
        Don’t know much about economics, stock markets, banking etc..
        Frankly I don’t think the bastards in charge do either. Dosen’t seem to matter what schemes & scams they are pulling it all goes to shit sooner or later. My oldest son has an MBA & likes to play the markets. He was telling his brother & me about his latest roller coaster boondoggle & my younger son told him that there is a secret “Goy alert” algorithm shlomo sees what you’re doing and waits for the exact right moment & blam, got you sucka!
        I laughed until my ribs hurt.
        Lucky they have real jobs.

        • Spingehra-

          I believe your point about Moroccan phosphate production is why the US eventually recognized their claim to the Western Sahara disputed region, which also contains a great deal of phosphate.

          Algeria produces gas and some oil, but nowhere near the scale of Saudi or Russia. They are a country that substitutes could be found for.

          • I spent a year in casablanca, worked with the Moroccan army training some of their NCOs in maintainance, repair & overhaul of some of their stuff.
            Their history with America goes back a long way. They were the first country to recognize America as its own separate nation.
            In Casablanca there is JFK & FDR boulevards. Other american references such as Texas & California neighborhoods
            When you land in Casa & head to passport control you walk down a long hallway that is lined with photos of the Kennedy family.
            The king and Jack Kennedy were personal friends & actually vacationed together.
            Morocco has its problems for sure but I could live there.
            Could have stayed indefinitely longer doing what I was doing but decided to Chase more money instead. If I had known how screwed up our country would be now. I would have stayed.

      • You might wish to consult demographics statistics for France.About 40% of their current population traces ancestry to EARLY 20th century immigration. Nearly a million Algerians alone emigrated after independence (early 60s). You’ll note that most of that was long, long before the silly Progressive policies we have today, although the liberal ideals of even nearly a century ago were not very well-thought-out, judging by results.

        This seems to be a curse of any fading colonial power: the barbarians from the former colonies often conquer the Colonial power. Happened to ancient Rome, France, UK, now the USA…

        • Nearly a million Algerians alone emigrated after independence (early 60s).

          Yes, the Harkis – Algerians who’d fought on the side of France. I didn’t say de Gaulle’s plan worked, but he did what he could to prevent the deluge.

          • Similar to America after Vietnam defeat. We took in about 1.5M if I recall. Mostly among, but other officials as well.

    • True, de Gaulle developed independent nuclear and conventional forces, but to what purpose? The post-NATO forces remained in the Tubingen-Karlsruhe area, where their “Anciens” had been billeted since 1945.The Army was large but not particularly well-equipped for the heavy armored combat envisaged for Central Europe–should the Soviets crash through the legendary Fulda Gap, en route to the Rhine. The existence of a handful of IRBMs, around 20 Mirage IVs of very limited range (thus the purchase of KC-135s), a few IRBM-equipped submarines, and some Pluton tac nukes (for the Armee’ de Terre) DID please the career officer corps. And maintaining a large conscript force assuaged the Left somewhat; they had opposed a large career (read Rightist) military in favor of a less malleable force of citizen-soldiers. Kudos to de Gaulle for these accomplishments, and for his skill in healing the deep wounds in the Army after withdrawal from Algeria, but while the French Left and Right were often Anglo- and Ameriphobic, the French high command and admiralty were on good terms with the Pentagon and American contractors. The Mirages were supplemented with F-100 Super Sabres. The Marine Nationale opted for 42 F-8 Crusaders instead of Mirages. The Atlantic ASW aircraft were preceded and supplemented by Neptunes and Grumman Trackers. After de Gaulle’s passing, successive French regimes and military men assured their European allies that France’s nuclear “deterrent” was not ready to fire at “Tous Azimuts” but instead “oriented” eastward–pre-1991 at any rate. Since the Nineties, the French military has been a volunteer, force, an “Armee’ de Metier” as the saying goes, but there has been some talk about bringing back the draft. The late Alistair Horne has written well about the French military: The Price of Glory, about Verdun, A Savage War of Peace, about the Algerian War, and The French Army and Politics, about the military’s often tormented relations with their governments from 1871 to the Nineteen Seventies.

  14. I get a kick out of the Great Reset thing. I think it’s just tptb trying to convince themselves and everybody else they’re still in control. The truth imo is it’s going to happen because it has to happen, not because anybody is successfully manipulating society. Whoever is trying is only riding the tiger.

    There’s a lot of angst about it among the conspiracy-minded. They rightfully think it’s a malevolent plan to destroy us dirts, but I think conspiracism gives too much credit these days. There was a time when tptb could pull these things off, but their success didn’t depend on evil superpowers. The public’s ignorance and trust was crucial, and those are things of the past. It was simply how this wicked society operated.

    What’s keeping the plates spinning for now is habit, essentially. But the realization that the old days are over is spreading. It’ll be a change in mindset that sets off the fireworks, hopefully to a more virtuous or at least more honest one, and it won’t be long before it reaches critical mass. Maybe by the winter, I’d guess, but I tend to overestimate these things lol.

    • The Great Reset strikes me as a group believing they are setting out a controlled demolition but are instead lighting a forest fire. It may not go as planned.

      • Great, succinct way to put it.

        I’m just not seeing how they run their global digital panopticon on renewables.

      • I just replied on another blog on that literal subject. I pointed out that gigantic fires especially in the West/Southwest are due to decades of poor forest management practice. Because periodic smaller fires (natural or controlled burns) might inconvenience certain connected people, the net result is that brush and other undergrowth accumulates over many decades, until eventually the weather’s been tinder-dry, and any motorist’s flicked cigarette butt or lightning strike will do the trick. It’s a textbook example of the government preventing smaller problems (relatively small fires, that have the natural effect of clearing out the kindling), but it’s “paid for in the end by a firestorm worse than the sum of the smaller ones would have been.

        Ancient saying but bears repeating: You can pay a little now, or pay a lot in the end. The choice is yours.

  15. “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

    Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes

    • Debasing the currency has created a generation of renters and debt spenders, and then they have the gall to explain we should all live in cramped apartments for Mother Earth while Blackrock makes a killing in buying up available housing.

      It’s more or less becoming a state of neo-feudalism, sort of like working at a factory town where the company owns everything and you can only spend money at the company story. The difference here is the homes are lousier, the store items less durable, and with even less freedom of speech and movement.

      If this continues, the boomers will die, their homes will be sold off to massive firms, and they will start their acceptable use policies of no guns, no gardens, no hate speech. But, you see, it’s still Constitutional because reasons.

      • I can already hear what they are going to say “If you don’t like the rules of the new mega landlords then buy your own $2 million 3 bedroom 2 bath 1200 square foot house. It is free enterprise.”

  16. Fortunes will be made and lost over the next few years. Some of the losers will be:
    1). Anyone in ESG assets
    2) Anyone with a 60/40 Portfolio on Autopilot since 1991.
    3) Anyone with an Annuity
    4) Anyone who just bough a house in an over-inflated area.
    5) Anyone with a job dependent on government largess.
    6) Anyone with a job dependent on consumer discretionary spending.
    7) Anyone saving in cash.

    My prediction, we’ll hit rock bottom when some megachurch attending hick who listened to Dave Ramsey for years finds his “emergency fund” is useless. The house he was told to buy is upside down. The S&P 500 mutual fund he was told to blindly throw money into is down 70%, and he can no longer tithe his first fruits. He may have enough gas in the tank of his paid for car to head over to Ramsey’s with a shot gun.

    • When everyone lost their shirts in the boom of the 1920s and subsequent bust, everyday people learned the stock market is not for everyday people.

      Even while these people were still alive, everyone got lured back into the market. Now it is just taken for granted that stocks always go up.

      Now we have all these Boomers holding onto stock “wealth” and real estate wealth they think is going to fund their retirement. Nobody asks what will happen over the course of their retirement as they are trying to sell these assets to fund their retirements. Can Millennials and Gen-X buy these assets at the current inflated price? What happens when a large generation of people all decide they need to “downsize” their housing?

      • Also, keep in mind, that once upon a time, people expected something called “dividends” to own stocks. “You will pay me X to own your little share.’ What a novel concept.

      • There is the apocryphal story circa October 1929 about papa Joe Kennedy getting a stock tip from his shoeshine boy, and Joe immediately paying the kid before he even finished the first shoe, and running back to his office to sell everything.

    • I agree with all of that except for the “fortunes will be made” part, at least in the sense of the immediate. In the past that would be exactly what would happen, but the assets that will be snappled up such as real estate will have to be held far longer than any point since the early Thirties, and it might even be worse than then. We can also expect more and more government aggression on the seizure and redistribution fronts and the normal passes given will be fewer and further between. That’s where the real kinetic action will be.

      To return to real estate, I expect those holdings in the ESG houses to be targeted hardest. How many divisions does Larry Fink have? Either zero or all of them.

      • Fortunes will be made by people who own real assets such as farmland and commodities. Anyone who produces tangible goods and services.

        • I “liked” that comment but it is more “livings will be made” than “fortunes will be made.” As Falcone wrote, Southhampton beach compounds are about to become the abandoned Southern mansions of the post-Antebellum era (which is a great line).

    • Ooooossshh. I find Dave Ramsey’s smugness a bit hard to endure at times but I thought he was giving not-so-smart people good advice. Your criticism of him stings me but I am intrigued.

      You list all the people who are going to lose and it seems to include most people who tried to live responsibly and plan for the future.

      Who, if anyone, is going to prosper in the future that you foresee?

      (I’m grateful for the guidance of you guys who are more well-versed in finance and economics than me.)

      • Dave Ramsey is giving great advice if you live in 1990. Like so many other boomers he’s crystalized in amber from the late 80’s. Broad, sweeping underlying changes and cycles have eluded him.

        I also don’t like his every man a landlord mindset. Not everyone is cut out to be a landlord, especially in a country about to go through sweeping “tenants rights” laws. Most Americans are entitled, paycheck to paycheck scum that you would never want to rent to. He glosses over the costs of a new door because the tenant carved a phone number into it, the cat urine that seeped into the wood floor of the living room, or the half ton of dirty diapers that were hurled into the basement and left in a pile. Or even the “property management company” that takes your 8% and does absolutely nothing but bill you for an overpriced plumber every month that they get rake-offs from.

        • Anyone investing in rental property after the two-year moratorium, which likely will reappear very soon, probably doesn’t need to own a checking account.

        • If you could hijack Dave Ramsey’s show for an hour, John Galt style, what advice would you give to his listeners?

          • That’s a great question. I would say. Listen. First, I know it will upset a lot of you, but I find it inappropriate to use bible quotes out of context when giving investment advice. I would say, look, if you’re over 60 you’ll never listen to me anyway so please turn off your radio now. You will starve to death. For the rest of you, you have no business tithing unless you have assets and are already debt free. Tithe yourself first. God doesn’t need the money. Second, understand that the market didn’t emerge from a cocoon in 1985. It involves multigenerational cycles. Your emergency fund should be precious metals. It’s awful to have to own them and if we had a responsible government you wouldn’t really need them. A large chunk of your money should be in energy. You should have bought it during the Covid lockdown, but those companies will easily run for another five to six years. There’s a reason that Warren Buffett just went balls deep into Chevron. Stay the hell away from all Crypto.

        • Say what you will, one aspect of Ramsey advice is dead on—stay out of debt, or basically spend less than you make. As to predicting the future wrt investments, there are other voices.

        • With the exception of renting out a former home for about a year, I’ve never been (nor would I ever wish) to be a landlord. That said, there is an upside. Much of Dad’s wealth (and time) is laid to his being the owner/manager of several homes. It gave him something to do the last twenty years of his life. Not everybody’s idea of good use of time would be to drive two hours solely to inspect one or two properties, do minimal repairs, and return home. However, he was a tax wizard and know how to deduct everything.

      • ” I find Dave Ramsey’s smugness a bit hard to endure at times but I thought he was giving not-so-smart people good advice. ”

        Question is, should “not so smart” people be invested in the stock market and if so, should they be managing their accounts? I have to wonder what Vanguard thinks of Ramsey and if they help promote him.

        Staying out of consumer debt is great advice. Living within your means is also great advice. But thinking you are going to get rich buying mutual funds, maybe not so much.

        But you can’t really blame people either. Despite all the talk for decades of “low inflation,” saving money from 1980 to today was a losing proposition. Pushing people into risk is one of the evils of inflation. According to inflationcalculator, every dollar you put away in 1980 would now be 28 cents. And this is using the bullshit numbers of the CPI. It is probably 1/2 of that in reality.

        • That’s true, we have a gun to our heads to get out of cash, by design and since 1970. I would recommend not buying any stock that has a PE ratio of 50 however.

    • Ramsey’s basic philosophy is that debt is a prison, so pay off all your debts. He also doesn’t tell people to blindly invest.

      Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. A LOT of people paid off their homes and cars realizing they’d be better off not owing anyone anything. That’s real freedom.

      Some of your points are valid. But we should be encouraging really everyone to get out of debt and abandon the consumerist society. We can’t save everyone, but we can save a lot of people.

      The freest people you know have no consumer debt, no mortgage or rent (own their home straight up) and no car payments, don’t have a government job, and live well within their means each month because they make or fix things people need.

      Although I don’t listen to much talk radio these days, his show was one of the few I could stomach. I would make my kids listen to certain segments, and drive home the point that every penny they borrow whether on a credit card or for a car or a house or a student loan makes them somebody’s bi*ch.

  17. Back in my libertarian days, I remember reading about Charles de Gaulle from a Rothbard article.

    “And last but not least, de Gaulle’s admirable political independence
    has been matched by a healthy economic independence, best expressed by
    his firm refusal, in the face of maximum political pressure by the United
    State, to go along with Anglo-American policies of easy money and inflation. Guided by the libertarian economist and monetary expert Jacques
    Ruef , de Gaulle has fought the good fight, almost alone, for hard money
    and for a return to a genuine gold standard at a realistically valued rate
    (e.g., $70 or so per ounce instead of the current absurd rate of $35).”

    Rothbard probably got it wrong, de Gaulle probably didn’t believe in hard money but just wanted what was best for France at that time.

  18. I can’t understand why everyone is so negative on the prospects for this awesome (former) country. I just saw over on Sailer’s blog some Nigerian bint was accepted to every Ivy League dump. You just have to unshakable faith that creatures like her are the future and it’s gonna be glorious. She and her ilk are going to save the world – you just watch – LOL.

    • The Ivy Leagues have or more or less explicit “Whites need not apply” acceptance plan. A lot of the push to remove consistent grading in High School is probably to give the Ivies cover to enroll whoever they want.

      It’s a pickle though, since the most qualified are all Asians, and while Asians would make better elites in terms of the trains running on time, they aren’t exactly friends of white people.

      These institutions have reached the cargo-cult phase ,where they truly believe that the degree confers merit on the recipient as opposed to the degree expressing the merit in the recipient. The problem with this cargo-cult is it has the inertia of several generations of hyper intelligent grads who, while often still wrong, could at least express their theories coherently. That takes a long time to undo in the public consciousness.

      • The “consistent” grading in high school is already a total fiction. In the big cities, you can “graduate” high school having never taken anything more advanced than algebra 1 or having never taken a chemistry class or anything else you are supposed to learn in high school and still graduate with straight As. There are endless schemes to get around any academic standards. “Education” has turned into a cargo cult.

        • More and more convinced high school has zero value for 50% of the country. Half the students of most schools should have full-time apprenticeships starting at 15-16. Another 30% should finish high school and enter a high-skills trade. The other 20%, maybe, will find value in 4-year college.

          Do this, and you would see High School morph to what it was 100 years ago, about as much rigor as a mid-tier University.

          • There was a time when most kids left school at 14, either to go into apprenticeships or into work to help support the family. (Friendly reminder that child labor in the US peaked in 1918.) You had to pass a test to go on to high school.

          • Ivan Illich was extremely critical of the western educational system and advocated its entire abandonment.
            He said: “School divides life into two segments, which are increasingly of comparable length. As much as anything else, schooling implies custodial care for persons who are declared undesirable elsewhere by the simple fact that a school has been built to serve them.”
            And: “The American university has become the final stage of the most all encompassing initiation rite the world has ever known. No society in history has been able to survive without ritual or myth, but ours is the first which has needed such a dull, protracted, destructive, and expensive initiation into its myth. The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education. We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling. We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.”

        • I’m reminded of the black college football player at North Carolina (I think it was) who grew angry at the idea of having to go to class. He said, “I didn’t come here to read books! I came here to play football!”

        • When I graduated HS and then later on went to University, I was surprised to see that my first semester math book at my University was the exact same one as I used in my last year of HS. As I look back, I now see just how advanced but typical was my HS coursework (at that time) in a White HS where 90% went on to college. How we’ve declined in those 50 years since—thanks to the civil rights era and subsequent minority population expansion.

          • Compsci: In addition to the civil rights era and minority population expansion, add modern feminism. Very few women are intellectually fit or psychologically suited for college, not to mention the socially deleterious subsequent delay of marriage and childbearing. For every empty-headed young girl who headed off to college to become a woke, entitled sl*t with a degree in communications, a young man was denied the opportunity of an education and career and supportive wife and family.

    • I believe United Airlines has public stated that they have lost interest in hiring White male pilots. This will work fine as long as the flights are routine and the autopilot can handle most of the duties. However, when an engine is on fire with one of these new diverse crews, things could get interesting.

      • Nick Nolte’s Mugshot: Between the POX of the TSA and the covid mask theater and pilot vaxx heart attacks and the diverse melees that routinely occur on board, I’m frankly surprised how many idiot Whites continue to fly. Husband and I stopped years ago (I quit before he did). Employer wants to send him off for a few days to a shitlib city at the end of the summer and he reluctantly agreed, but they’ll be paying his salary plus gas, hotel, and and other expenses for the 2 days drive there and the 2 days back in addition to the 3-4 days work.

        Of course, driving has its own inherent dangers which will be worse in a few months’ time (possible gas shortages, car jackings, demonstrations on interstate highways, etc.). I already bought him a driver alert alarm (goes behind the ear) but I will worry nonetheless.

    • Back in 2005, I was accepted to Harvard Law. I lasted for a total of 9 days. What I discovered was three things.
      1) I didn’t belong, because of #2
      2) The people who did belong, academically speaking, were orders of magnitude better than me.
      3) The individuals who should not have been let through the front door, had difficulty the first week with organizational paperwork. I’m not kidding. I’m guessing they didn’t know how to write a simple brief/essay, but there they were.

  19. Is it fair to say that in the last 20 months the USD in the United States retail economy has lost at least 30% of its value?

    The Family Dollar Store in now $1.25 and then there is shrinkflation.

    We are double in the price of gas.

    We are up at least 30 – 40% in housing/real estate.

    The Russian Ruble this morning is at 56.43/USD down from 138 just 3 months ago.

    Currencies back by commodities are the future.

    • Probably so. I’d estimate one’s time buys about 25-30% fewer things then it used to. Gas isn’t a good comp though, because 20 months ago road traffic had dropped 50+%, so the price was artificially suppressed. But yeah, purchasing power is in decline.

  20. Best quote “The biggest problem facing the country is the lack of competence in the decision making areas of the ruling class”

    Thanks Mr. Z

    • I thought much the same, although it’s not just incompetence, but also a lack of will.

    • Not sure it’s true, though, @Raymond R.

      If it were pure incompetence, given 4 policy choices and choosing between them at random, they would be erring in our favor at least once in a while.

    • I thought vaguely that it was a lack of competency, up until a decade ago. Someone told me that it was intentionally being screwed, up. I didn’t believe it. With just a few days of diligence of searching and reading, I did see that it’s not just incompetency, it’s intentional.

      The people in congress, etc, aren’t really the ruling class, they are just the smoke screen.

      Pointing to the clowns while ignoring the ring leader, is a habit from which we need to disabuse the masses.

  21. The United States is trapped. Our total debt to GDP is ~275%, with fed debt at ~125% of GDP or close to 750% of govt revenues.

    That level of debt can only be sustained with extremely low interest rates. But inflation is making that impossible. Now, if the inflation was temporary, we might be able to get through this period, but the inflationary pressures are structural – deglobalization and under-investment in energy causing the end of cheap oil – so inflation will be a constant threat if fed keeps interest rates too low.

    If you want to see our dilemma in real time, check out Japan. The BoJ can’t let interest rates rise because 1) the govt can’t afford the higher rates and 2) rising rates would destroy the balance sheets of businesses and pensions funds which hold a lot of govt bonds. To protect the bond market, the BoJ is buying unlimited Japanese treasury bonds.

    What’s the result? The Yen is down 20% compared to the dollar. And the situation would be substantially worse except that the BoJ is using its stockpile of dollars to buy Yen to keep the Yen from completely collapsing. It’s a temporary solution, but it’s working somewhat for now.

    If the US was in the same spot, we’d have no backup like Japan. We’d either have to let the bond market get destroyed via higher rates or we’d have to let the dollar get crushed. The good news is that if that scenario was ever going to happen, the Europe and Japan would collapse first, so we’d have lots of company.

    • Driving down energy costs would be a boon to the government and everyone else, but the opposite is a boat anchor. Everything is getting way more expensive, which means way more government spending->”rinse, lather, repeat” as they say.

      • And then we circle back to not just the incompetence, but the raging madness of our trash elites. The rising price of energy is seen as being done in service of Gaia, therefore said trash elites think it’s a GOOD thing, in all of the short, medium and long terms.

        Therefore there will be no, absolutely no, pursuit of lower energy costs by any of our trash elites. The plebes just have to go broke, that’s all.

      • Inflation, as a matter of definition, drives up prices by lowering the value of money. When it does this it also increases sales taxes, spending more on a taxable item means a higher sales tax receipt. Thus states, cities and other government entities are seeing booming income from that source while one of their major expenses, public employee salaries, have yet to follow suit. Too bad that will be rectified.

    • “That level of debt can only be sustained with extremely low interest rates. But inflation is making that impossible.”

      Right, @Citizen of a Silly Country. I’m hesitant to claim that the economic advisors of the 80’s did it intentionally, but the way the Fed added money to the economy, through the top, put an excess of money in the hands of the top-end investors. So they bid up the price of stocks, because that is the kinds of goods they were buying.

      Contrast that with now, where they shoveled freight-car loads of cash into the bottom end. What kinds of goods do they buy? Food, gas, rent, exactly the kinds of goods we see inflation. Because too much money chasing…

      The MMTers might actually be right about this, but it would never happen — tax the poor.

      • Yep. People don’t understand that the Fed doesn’t print money; it prints bank reserves. They are different. Bank reserves are money for banks, not people.

        QE, without cranking up fiscal deficits, causes asset price inflation. QE to fund fiscal deficits causes inflation in the real world.

  22. “Of course, the senior generation has been conditioned to seek good times, rather than make sacrifices.”

    I hope you don’t think that younger cohorts have been conditioned to make sacrifices.

    • and this from Z’s Taki article:
      ” the money to do it will be eaten up by a swelling pensioner class that is not known for sacrifice. Like locusts, the baby boomers will leave nothing behind once they depart this mortal coil.”

      Extreme take I believe but not without some merit. Actually what are the olds doing (not just boomers) that is locust like? Spending their own money or expecting life to be what they were promised if they saved?

      No matter what, the younger generations will leave far less, contribute less and suffer more when these generations pass.

      All that said, don’t worry about ole Dave here the future will be harder to manage for me than my boomer cohorts.

      • “Actually what are the olds doing (not just boomers) that is locust like? Spending their own money or expecting life to be what they were promised if they saved?”

        Actually, where is the detriment or character flaw in my ‘Me First, Me First, Me First!’ philosophy?

        • Boomer in the ’90s:

          “Outsourcing is great because it drives up my 401(k) so much higher!”

          “You stupid discarded blue collar workers in our country need to retrain and all become web designers!”

          “I have a God-given right for cheap lawn maintenance!”

          I do understand that most of the Boomers couldn’t foresee the consequences of their selfishness and many would probably undo the past if they could.

          • A goodly number of us Boomers knew what Mr. Perot was saying about “giant sucking sounds” was quite true, and vited that way. But we were the cohort that could put 2 & 2 together, a cohort that was overwhelmed by: 1) all of the short-sighted, greedy fucks around us; 2) the shitheads on Wall Street for whom the consequences of leveraged buyouts and labor arbitrage on their “fellow Americans” (heh) meant precisely nothing so long as they were making bank; 3) the neocons and american exceptionalists.

            So thise of us who saw it did what we could. We wanted borders, FAIR trade, and non-intervention abroad. Foresight and prudence, in other words.

            To turn some lyrics,
            The joker tried to tell me, you weren’t nothing but a Boomer, when he tried to hang that sign on me, I said “Take it down”.

      • David Wright: “Actually what are the olds doing (not just boomers) that is locust like? Spending their own money or expecting life to be what they were promised if they saved?”

        Even though Social Security was a Ponzi scheme from the get-go, even FDR only promised it would ensure the old would have a roof over their head and enough to eat in their twilight years. For the past 30+ years Silents and Boomers (and my parents were Silents and I’m a Boomer) have tightly clutched the fantasy that their admittedly inflated SS contributions authorized them to buy a holiday condo or travel the US in a mobile home for 20+ years. Instead of retirement as a life of quiet but sufficient dignity free from hard labor, they envision a decades-long vacation that they think they paid for, when their actual contributions – even if they’d been legitimately invested instead of pissed away by the FedGov – would not cover more than a few years of the lifestyle to which they believe they’re entitled.

        • “they envision a decades-long vacation that they think they paid for, when their actual contributions…. would not cover more than a few years of the lifestyle to which they believe they’re entitled.”

          God yes. We can’t afford to replace all the hips and knees of all the Boomers. Let’s not even mention Viagra… They are so shamefully selfish.

          • If Joe Biden wanted to win again in a landslide, all that he would have to do was propose a new entitlement that all Boomers are entitled to a 3 month tour of some exotic country, all expenses paid.

            He’d get a majority of the GOP Boomer vote as well.

  23. Why is it that everyone and his brother is now on the internet screaming like a canary-in-the-coal-mine about the impending collapse of our society and economy with ever greater detail and erudition, but the only solution that may be uttered in the public square is . . . VOTE HARDER PEOPLE!!!

    Why can’t we openly talk about the the ancient tried-and-true solutions that historically have been the most successful means of restoring real accountability to those most responsible for creating this mess in the first place? Why do we have check & balance institutions like law enforcement organizations that only apply the law to the plebs and never the corruptocrats? And why do we ordinary citizens allow this pathology to continue unabated?

    It’s because we’ve become too fat and comfortable. Nothing will change until the environment changes, and that change will come on faster than you think. The collapse is the cure.

    • Suffering is a hell of a motivator.

      You’re right, times are still too good to foment change. My sister and brother-in-law, who do work hard for what they have, spent TWO MONTHS in the Caribbean with their two year old, at the beginning of the year. I asked them what they would do if they couldn’t get back,(due to Coof nonsense).
      They just shrugged and said they would stay. I’m guessing they don’t realize their assets can be frozen. Then what.

      The reality is that at this particular time in history, the United States is still the best place on the planet. It’s collapse will produce interesting times, to be sure.

      • I’ll continue to post that the Median Individual Income in the US is still ~$36K and the Median Family Income is ~$66K. Inflation and mass immigration are destroying whatever hope for getting ahead they had.

        • When I report this to my acquaintances, they dismiss me as a hater!

          Have you lost your optimism about American Exceptionalism?

  24. One upside of the collapse is that it’ll really put a dent in the human capital problem. Turd worlders come here and act as a huge anchor on the economy because there’s lots of gibs and no anarchy. When that flips — no gibs, lots of anarchy — there’s no real difference between here and Guatemala, so given the basic human preference to live among our own, lots of that anchor will start heading back to Guatemala.

    Digging out from under the rubble is a lot easier with a mostly White population of about 250 million (which is where it should be, if we could go back in time and shoot Hart and Celler), rather than “officially” 375 million, probably closer to 450 million.

    • Unfortunately, our government will protect the Guatemalans at the expense of us… Post

    • We will get a wall at the border as soon as these parasites start to flee this madhouse.

    • I’m not so sure. Most of the back-breaking work is preformed by the browns these days. Most of the whites i see are fat. A collapse will certainly be salubrious. But the exiting of the “anchor”, while aesthetically pleasing, will hurt short term. Of course, the Somalis aren’t going any where. I’m curious to see what happens when the mass famine in Africa begins.

      • When people can’t fill up their gas tank, or put food on the table, they’re not going to be paying cash to illegals to mow their lawns or raise their children.

    • It doesn’t work like this. I write from a country next to Guatemala where I have lived for more than 20 years.

      USA will never descend to the level of Guatemala, not even after the worst crisis and collapse. There will always be a welfare state superior to Guatemala and the security will be much better than Guatemala.

      Giving that most of the people we send you are the ones with less qualifications and studies, coming back here would mean a dramatic decrease in their salary. A Guatemalan woman cleaning homes in Guatemala earns only peanuts. A Guatemalan woman cleaning homes in USA earns what is considered a low wage in USA but it is a good salary in Guatemala. She can send money to their relatives in Guatemala and this money, which is peanuts in USA, has a good purchasing power in Guatemala.

      In addition, changing countries is a radical measure. They did it because they though USA’s streets were paved with gold. They were fooled by their families and acquaintances in USA. Believe it or not: many of them regret moving to USA because the money is good but they work as a slaves to survive: two jobs at the same time and a third job during the weekends. It is not uncommon that multiple families live in the same apartment (one family per room). They don’t live like this in Guatemala.

      Every time they go to Guatemala to visit the family (which happens very unfrequently), they like to brag about having money and living the American dream. “You know, in the country of the North, it is easy to succeed, bro”. Then they show a picture of the good car they say they have. “You know: look the big car I have, not like you guys, you losers”. After some couple of beers, they admit the car is not theirs but the bank’s and that they are starting to pay it and that they live a life of sh*t. This is a real story told to me by a Guatemalan friend about his cousin. But it is the same in the country I live.

      This is why people from Central America think USA’s streets are paved with gold. They believe their family in USA. This “saving face” mechanism is the engine of immigration. A Spanish lady (Spain being in Europe) managed to reduce the immigration of African countries to Spain showing videos in these African countries about the life of African immigrants in Spain. The African people in these countries realized that African people in Spain are losers and live a life of sh*t, instead of the glorious life their family living in Spain tells them they are living in order to save face.

      Now the immigrants have taken roots in USA and moving does not make any sense. They can’t admit that their adventure it in Guatemala was a failure and they are losers in USA. And they can’t admit the American people in Guatemala see them as losers and low-status people. They like to brag about being the same level as gringos and being higher status than the ones that stayed in Guatemala. This is why their children pretend not to understand Spanish and their grandchildren do not speak Spanish. They want to be considered gringos in order not to be low-status.

      So, in short, people will not come back to Guatemala in the event of a crisis or collapse. You are stuck with them. I guess they would return if they would be forbidden welfare and jobs, but this is not what is going to happen.

      • “. There will always be a welfare state superior to Guatemala and the security will be much better than Guatemala.”

        The current welfare state will be impossible to maintain, and Guatemalans are about to learn their position in the hierarchy as to Negroes as soon as the gibs get thin, which will be soon. A combination of fear and patronage will keep some gibs flowing to blacks, and even those will be diminished.

        I agree the false messages of hope lure people across the border, but in a digital age the pretense can be maintained only so long.

        • “The current welfare state will be impossible to maintain, and Guatemalans are about to learn their position in the hierarchy as to Negroes as soon as the gibs get thin, which will be soon”

          Even with all that, the gibs received by Guatemalans in USA will be superior to the gibs received by Guatemalans in Guatemala. It’s like the lion joke: “I don’t have to run faster than a lion, I have to run faster than you”.

          Let me tell you an example. In Central America, the gibs given to foreign people (for example, really poor people from poorer neighbor countries) are zero. As in “nothing-at-all”. Welfare for nationals is zero too except for a crappy medical assistance.

          In addition, and I forgot to say, if they have kids raised in USA, they are stuck. Even if they wanted to leave, their kids don’t like the old country.

          “I agree the false messages of hope lure people across the border, but in a digital age the pretense can be maintained only so long.”

          We have decades of digital age and I don’t see this thing going down. The poorest Guatemalan has a cell phone, Whatsapp and access to Youtube.

        • Furthermore, the idea of 1st generation sacrifice to put your offspring into a typical university-the next step from a shit government school will compound the failure of the illegals. I’m guessing that large family ethics, all in all, are better where these illegals came from than here at this time in history.

          I just watched a clip of the Tranny party in DC. It was part of the pride celebration. I can’t imagine seeing this as a potential immigrant and thinking this is a country on the right course.

      • You are thinking way too conventionally. You assume things will just continue on their current trajectory of endless welfare and endless free medical care for all, regardless of citizenship status. Things will get harsh and gov handouts will go away. It’s inevitable. The squats will leave of their own free will at some point. It happened in 2008 with a net return of south of the border immigrants when the economy slowed during the recession. It can happen again.

    • The problem wouldn’t have been solved if both Hart (b.1912) and Celler (b.1888) had been killed by lightning. The real problem began with Europe’s mass dumping of their impoverished, unskilled, and illiterate in the pre-screening days of the 19th century. How could they possibly assimilate? Give them a copy of The Federalist Papers? It was never going to happen. What happened was parallel, mutually suspicious, and sometimes hostile societies evolving in close proximity, yet still separate. And none of them ever gave SFA about the Founders.

    • For the immigrants, there are at least two (probably many more) categories:

      Those who are here primarily to work. They send most of their earnings home. This describes a large number of Latin Americans. They like the work opportunity here, but they may not intend to remain permanently, even if they could. Not every foreign nation is a cesspool: a family can live quite well in Mexico (by local standards of course) on an income a fraction of what a US family would consume.

      The second category of course, is those who are here for the gibs. Virtually anyone who shows up at the border gets free room, board, medical care and perhaps residency. These are the people who came here for the better life, even if someone else has to pay for it. They come almost completely from the true hellholes. There’s a reason that poor people walk hundreds of miles just for the chance to get in here. In my opinion, these people will never leave voluntarily. I speculate that’d remain true even if existing gibs were cut off.

      Of course the above is an over-simplification, but it gives you an idea of what we are up against.

  25. At a time like this, you’d really want the Chairman of the Fed to be some gimlet-eyed math dude who doesn’t know the earth revolves around the sun because who the hell cares about things that don’t matter to the job at hand. Instead, we have Yellen talking about all the current things and raising pervert flags because it’s the month devoted to perverts.

    But like someone said, God is not mocked. At least, not forever.

    • Powell and Lagarde are lawyers. The better “gimlet-eyed math dudes” are busy making serious money on Wall Street. The Federal Reserve System employs hundreds of PhD economists, including math dudes, who apparently could not see all this inflation heating up.

      The fact that two lawyers, one of whom has been found guilty of corruption, run the world money system says it all I think,

  26. We need to bring back manufacturing to our shores but as I look around me I see guys in their 50’s still with a work ethic, below them it’s spotty, some younger guys are hard workers but there simply are not enough of them.
    The feminization of our culture has given us a low birth rate of competent whites. We are left with a generation of soft men.
    I cant see much hope in rebuilding our economy in order to reverse 30 years of outsourcing with this crew of multicultural diversity hires we are bringing into our system, let alone the millions of peasants crossing our southern border illegally.
    Expect projects like the high speed train between LA and San Francisco.
    And we are indeed led by carny’s.
    That’s a great line from the Z.
    This looks very bleak to me.

    • I have said for a long time that the health and wellbeing of the financial elite must come into question before anything changes. When they start feeling the pinch, they will clear out the political class in a hurry. We are not there yet, but we are going in that direction.

      • You can sort of see outlines of this now. Fink, who ostensibly works for him, is sniping at Powell. Yellen has sniped at both but recently started with her mea culpas. Bezos is mad at all of them. Closing the economy and the resultant supply chain interruptions along with the psychotic Russia sanctions are doing something rare: trickling up to the people who actually matter on these things. The middle and working classes being devastated normally merits a shrug if not a celebration, but the Financial Class feeling the sting? That’s just wrong in their selfish minds.

        • Jack Dobson: Every time I read of a luxury car-jacking in LA or some Armenian in CA robbed of his high-end watch, I smile. But it’s still a very long way from these sort of material crimes to the elites genuinely fearing for their physical safety or the future of their spawn.

      • This is really an essay unto itself. The finance industry, for the most part, basically pays protection to keep the politicians at bay. The industry focuses on controlling the Fed. So far, the Fed has been able to bail everyone out of every catastrophe. When the final, uncontainable crisis comes and the Fed fails, we will get political reform.

      • It’s going to hurt at some point.

        The US, Europe and Japan will face the same choice: Save the bond market via yield curve control or save your currency via higher interest rates.

        They’ll all choice their bond market because losing the bond market means hard default. Losing the currency means soft default.

        • They think that they’ll be able to pull a Zimbabwe (who were able to export a bunch of people to SA) or Venezuela (who were able to export a bunch of people to pretty much everywhere), but they’ve no place to export their potential street rioters. Japan might be able to pull off a government collapse since any replacement Japanese government is going to be like the last one, but the Euros an Americans wouldn’t be able to pull off the same stunt. (Just to restate, not that they won’t try).

          • The US will try to run the game plan from the 1940s – financial repression, i.e. high inflation and low interest rates.

            But, at some point, the market may not go along. If that happens, look for the Fed to impose yield curve control at some point. At that point, the dollar starts losing value.

            Of course, if we ever reach that point, the Euro and Yen would have been destroyed already.

      • Z, they’re not that smart, speaking of the financial elite. Many have gotten there by being connected and during a period of easy money. They don’t have what it takes to make the tough decisions as to who gets to stay and who goes bye bye.

        These financial elites are not your grandmother’s finial elite. They are not nearly as shrewd, cold blooded, and capable. They suffer from the same problems as everyone else. And they are too deeply interwoven with the political class to make a clear break. They’re stuck in the same sinking ship. Good riddance. Their millions in fake money won’t save them, hence my vision of abandoned mansions in the hamptons to parallel the abandoned plantations when that economic model fell apart as our current one will to.

        When things unravel, it won’t be the financial elite there to keep it together. Their entire world will have failed. They’re toast.

        What will happen I reckon is what always does, the strong will thrive and prosper and lead the way.

        • This is essentially the bottom line. Take note of all the financial elites bitching about the free money in the form of below market interest rates starting to get tighter. These types never have conducted business in a reality-based world.

          As I responded to someone else, this will not be a repeat of the Great Depression wherein great fortunes were made as those with liquid assets snappled up devalued real estate and corporations. When everything is worthless, everyone is poor. Some just have better weaponry and gardening skills.

          • Also, “hence my vision of abandoned mansions in the hamptons to parallel the abandoned plantations when that economic model fell apart as our current one will to” is a great line and image and likely to prove the case.

      • “The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or, what is most important of all, the banker of the backer.”

        J.R.R. Tolkien

    • “but as I look around me I see guys in their 50’s still with a work ethic, below them it’s spotty”

      Agreed but the work ethic goes along with a whole different “way of being”, individually and collectively. It means investing in hard skills individually and collectively and putting off rewards years and decades into the future. That’s gone. As Bifo Berardi pointed out, the future died around 1976. Even if as an individual you invest in your own hard skills and subsequently find employment, you could be let go because of the decision of some 20-something or 30-something MBA bean counter. So you have the condition of today: the individual doesn’t invest in society or his own hard skills, and society — if indeed it exists — does not invest in the individual.

    • Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a blue collar employee? Management cares more about their pet goldfish than the people who work for them, regardless of what they say about the matter. Ergo, everybody wants to be a boss, one of the most basic tenets of the USA is employment and social upward mobility. A guy that’s spent a lifetime refining his craft and that of younger co-workers dies as a nobody to anyone but his immediate family. The only reason for embracing the Protestant work ethic is being able to participate in the consumer economy and get your own 4×4 diesel crew cab pickup that will never be driven off of asphalt.

      • I can’t see why anyone would be a blue collar employee, but I can think of over 100,000 reasons to be a blue collar contractor. To be honest, a lot of blue collar workers haven’t realized that, since the collapse of unions, it pays to be as mercenary with employers as it pays them to be mercenary with employees.

    • as I look around me I see guys in their 50’s still with a work ethic, below them it’s spotty, some younger guys are hard workers but there simply are not enough of them.

      The hard workers will soon be fired – they make the other guys look bad.

      • Perhaps, but in some organizations here, it’s the opposite. Hard workers are needed to do the real work and fill in the void left by the AA types. The problem is how to thread the needle—keep the valuable employees adequately compensated, while avoiding charges of discrimination from the worthless ones.


    Auda Abu Tayi: “Paper! Paper! There is no gold in Aqaba.
    No gold! No great box!”

    Lawrence: “Did Auda come to Aqaba for gold?”

    Auda Abu Tayi: “For my pleasure as you said, but gold is
    honurable, and Aurens promised gold. Aurens lied.”

  28. This idea would never be implemented by anyone in Washington, but what if we just canceled all mortgage debt? One day, a proclamation is issued saying “you no longer have to pay your mortgage. The banks just have to eat it.” That would wipe out 11.18 trillion dollars, completely reversing inflation, and freeing the middle class from 71% of their debt burden. I know it would likely trigger a recession, but we’re facing a massive recession either way. I need someone who’s good at economics to see this.

      • Exactly. Your better bet, albeit in better times, is a forgiveness of student loan debt is some form or another. What’s happening now are students leaving school with a burden equivalent to a house payment—but without the house. These people have been sold a bill of goods (BS) as to the value of a college experience which has caused higher education to expand artificially beyond all societal need, while dumping crippled “consumers” into the marketplace.

        • Most student debt is at the post-grad level. The people who got their BA or BS and believed (rightly or wrongly) that what they really needed was another qualification. If there’s to be a bailout, let it come from the Admitting Institutions’ endowments. When those are depleted, we can have another conversation. And if you still don’t believe there’s a scam do your preferred web search on either colleges/universities w/ lowest graduation rates.

          • “let it come from the admitting institutions endowments” Absolutely. If Dartmouth wants to clear the debt of it’s former students then it can do so, otherwise let them pay their debt.

            And, no , hell no, to mortgage debt relief. I still owe on a mortgage so I suppose I would benefit for a brief time but it would be a social catastrophe and as much as I hate banks, we still need them and this would take them out.

    • Mortgage debt is secured by an actual asset: The home or piece of real estate in question.

      If you want to contemplate insane debt jubilees, I would think you would be better off looking into unsecured debt (student loans, payday loans, credit cards with >20% APR, etc.), most of which preys on poor people and the young.

      • If it is a bustout of the whole society and we are moving from the “cooking the books” phase into the “steal the office air conditioner to sell to the scrapper” phase, why not push for getting some for our people too? I think the most hyperinflated asset is real estate – lets deflate that sucker by jubileeing all residential mortgages, and save America!

    • “That would wipe out 11.18 trillion dollars, completely reversing inflation”

      No, @Jason Knight, it would do the opposite, give runaway inflation. The consumption-inclined populace would not immediately switch to being investment- or saving-inclined. They would instead spend every penny they previously spent on mortgage to immediate consumption goods, bidding up prices through the roof.

      • Indeed. The paid off home is the single largest asset the retired have to draw upon. They have that asset only because payments are a “forced” savings for most people. Even then, we’ve seen inroads on second mortgages to pull out that savings for other “important” investments like new cars, and vacations. 😉

        • There are only two ways to draw on that asset – sell it (then you need to pay for alternative housing) or take a loan against it (incurring interest and payments or otherwise resort to option one to pay it off). Neither of those are particularly helpful as sources for ongoing g living expenses.

      • Ok, lets look at the reality there. If “inflation busting” is thr goal, its hard to gey better than wiping out residential mortgages. You destroy $12 trillion in currency, while redirecting a few hundred million in payments from (inflated) financial sector into retail goods, though probably a lot more into durable goods (cars, appliances, etc). Probably no mid-term effect from shifting those cash flows from the finance sector to retail sector, as that sort of action is not a money-creating course on the scale of the finance sector. But keeping to the first order, you get like a 45:1 tradeoff on reducing currency volumes, which trades financial sector pain for middle class boon. Win-win, they call that.

        • “You destroy $12 trillion in currency, while redirecting a few hundred million in payments from (inflated) financial sector into retail goods, though probably a lot more into durable goods (cars, appliances, etc).”

          It does not wipe out any currency. It simply transfers an asset from the current holder to the current debtor.

          And redirecting money that used to go towards mortgage is exactly the cause of inflation in all those goods. Look at how much destruction came from just suspending rent and student loan payments!

    • I can’t wait to see the buying spree everyone goes on – new cars, new homes, credit cards – once you arbitrarily decide that nobody is actually responsible for paying for anything. Car loan forgiveness! Student loan forgiveness!

      The issue isn’t the loans. The issue is STUPID PEOPLE being given consequence-free access to vast sums of money.

      We pay cash for just about everything. We could “finance”, but we save up and buy things instead. That has the added benefit of preventing us from buying stupid things we don’t need.

      My best friend got greedy in 2007, bought a crazy big house on 5 acres that he absolutely did not in any way need. Lost his job then his house in the ‘08 crash.

      For 10 years he and his wife rented because they got horse whipped for their stupidity. When they did finally decide to buy, they bought a much more modest house that they saved up for.

      Our desire to not slap people who desperately deserve to be slapped – HARD – is the problem.

  29. When I was in business school at a major university, 1981-85, we were force-fed the “lessons” from the Japanese ‘miracle’. Their auto industry was the shining example.

    I clearly remember being a young man and sitting in the auditorium, where the large group of us were being lectured, thinking, “this shit might work for the Japanese, never going to work for Americans…”

    At the same time, ‘marketing’ (the major) was being turned into a ‘science’, with all kinds of finance-style calculations. Invest this, increase sales by this. I also clearly remember thinking, “this shit is sales, a crock trying to make it a science…”

    I was wrong on the second account, with a caveat: the ‘science’ was psychology. On the first count, let’s just say ‘Japanese Management’ is likely not used in what passes for ‘business schools’ today.

    • “Management” in the USA and Britain is invariably about the shenanigans of marketing and finance, and never about engineering. Marketing and finance are crack cocaine while engineering is a hard slog. That’s why people like Deming never got any recognition in the USA. All about the fast buck and design, production, and long-term planning be damned.

    • I was also in B-school during this same period. The one major, lasting and important concept from the Japanese management stuff (most of which was crap) was “continuous improvement/six-sigma”. What’s left of American manufacturing definitely adopted and benefitted from this concept.

      The marketing science, as you suggest, ending up being much more important than anyone thought at the time. Today’s internet marketing concepts of customer acquisition cost, “share of voice”, lifetime customer value, target marketing etc. all rose to prominence in business schools and consulting firms in the late70s/80’s.

      The marketing case studies we did stand up pretty well over time. The finance stuff has changed almost entirely.

      • The one major, lasting and important concept from the Japanese management stuff (most of which was crap) was “continuous improvement/six-sigma”. What’s left of American manufacturing definitely adopted and benefitted from this concept.

        I want to say this first began spreading around US manufacturing in the mid-to-late 00s.

        In my little corner of the world I was tasked with doing some of the initial statistical analysis that attempted to make a credible extrapolation from a small population of cost-reduced prototypes to long-term production yields. I found Student’s t-test very handy for that effort.

        Outside my little corner, in the mid-to-late 00s, I noticed a marked improvement in US automobiles versus Japanese brands. This was because I was doing some college recruiting at the time and I was exposed to various makes and model of rental car during that era. Well, that and several botched attempts to leave my current location and employer.

        I wouldn’t say the US vehicles ever really surpassed the Japanese over that time frame, but the gap between them narrowed dramatically in just about every aspect of the vehicles.

  30. The market looks like it will crash starting today through the end of the month. For the first time, I will not buy a single share on the dip since this is going to last a long, long time and even that assumes the United States remains economically viable.

    • Looking at the 1 and 2 hour charts I think we may see a bit of a dead cat bounce today. It seems a little early for the Fed to start a 4th of July pump to keep the sheep docile.

  31. Beautifully written. The only detail I would add was that it was not only that Japan and Europe had recovered by the 1960s but that the costs of LBJ’s Great Society program and the Vietnam war necessitated deficit spending. People like de Gaulle saw this and felt they were being paid in increasingly worthless dollars. It wasn’t only the French. If memory serves even the British ambassador (Henderson?) turned up at the US Treasury with $300m, which he tried to convert into gold. So Bretton Woods went up in smoke. Ad hoc arrangements — such as the petro-dollar — were put into place, but probably everyone knew they were ad hoc and wouldn’t last forever.

  32. i think many people just want to see pelosi et als burned to the ground, regardless of the cost to the country. maybe the cloud people are the only ones with skin in the game, in which case most people will be happy to pour gasoline on the fire, once it begins. weird times right now, with all kinds of unusual motivations…

    • I know, if we don’t own anything or have any skin in the game, why should we care of all of their homes and vineyards get burned to the ground. Even in Italy the people would be too smart and wise to let a gangster’s daughter own a large vineyard as she does in Napa. That lady should be counting her blessings right about now. She’s going to need them. She’s played the aristocrat long enough. Reality check incoming.

      As my grandma used to say, it all comes out in the wash.

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