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Guest Post: The Devolution Of The Consumer Economy

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Devolution of the Consumer Economy

The U.S. transformed into consumer economy that is exquisitely sensitive to debt and the costs of servicing credit. In other words: the bill is finally due, Baby.

One of the foundations of modern economics is the belief that insatiable demand for more goods and services is a permanent feature of humanity. This is also the basis of that other foundation of modern economics, the extension of credit so consumers can buy more now than their savings would otherwise allow.

It was a match made in Heaven--insatiable demand and nearly unlimited credit. Want a shiny new car, but have saved no cash? Not a problem. It will only take a modest monthly payment for 5 years (or longer) to indulge your impulse to have a shiny new vehicle to reflect your individual glory and unique personality (never mind the vehicle is mass-produced; it was "customized" just for you).

The "invention" of mass-marketed credit was one of the great innovations of capitalism. In the Depression, my grandfather paid $1 a week toward my Mom's first bicycle. The town's shopkeeper extended the credit, took the risk of non-payment and earned the interest.

Credit in modest amounts has positive features; with cash in short supply, the storekeeper probably had to extend credit just to book enough orders to keep the doors open.

On the consumer side, if servicing credit costs $1 out of a weekly paycheck of $25, then it's a modest tradeoff with substantial benefits.

In the late 1960s, a new innovation appeared: credit cards, a magical rectangle of thin plastic which enabled consumers to buy virtually anything they desired right on the spot. "Impulse buy" became a reality for anyone who qualified for the magic card.

There is of course a "marginal return" aspect to consumption. The first piece of chocolate cake is heavenly, the second is rewarding, and the third, hmm, no so amazing. Each succeeding piece carries a higher cost and a lower reward/return.

Thus is consumer ennui born. After a steady diet of continuous buying and consumption, the consumer finds less and less satisfaction from the ownership; soon, only the act of acquisition/purchase creates the "high" of satiation and excitement.

Alas, this hit of self-renewal and self-expression via consumption is also prone to habituation. The satisfaction of buying something new only lasts a brief time, a period that becomes shorter as the purchases pile up. Like the rat on the wheel in the cage, it becomes increasingly difficult to buy enough to keep the high going.

There are also some practical limitations, such as where to put all the crap you've bought
. Luckily, ever-resourceful capitalism has the answer: self-storage units, which act as "cheap" extensions to store your valuables.

Maintenance costs are another bedeviling practicality. The fun boat must be moored or stored, the third car/truck's insurance must be paid, the vacation home's water lines froze, and the languishing spec house's property taxes--mysteriously higher every bill--must be paid lest the investment to date be lost entirely.

So there are two problems with the consumerist paradise that is the foundation of the U.S. economy. One is that people slowly awaken to the realization they don't really need additional goods and services, as their attention becomes focused on preserving their access to those they suddenly value, such as shelter, food and electricity.

In moving (out of a foreclosed house or on to another job, etc.) they suddenly feel the great freedom of no longer being enslaved to all their stuff; they realize it owned them, not the other way round.

In having to come face to face with their mountains of "cute blouses," old electronic toys, busted Ikea furniture, bicycles nobody rides, etc., then they slowly realize the return gained from buying all that stuff was increasingly marginal.

They might also awaken to the reality that partly why they have no capital or assets is that they squandered much of their income on instant gratification and marginal-return toys of various sizes and shapes, and costly "experiences" such as fine dining and cruises.

It is perhaps no coincidence that the wasting disease tuberculosis was once known as consumption.
A single-minded focus on consumption is wasting to assets, income and the soul, and it eventually hollows out the economy built on its reedy, rot-riddled pillars.

Eventually, the costs of servicing the ever-rising debt and maintaining all the stuff exceeds the income of the consumers.
I think we're approaching that point as housing declines in value and the costs of credit are rising, despite the Fed's claim that it can hold interest rates near zero forever ("Away, tides, I am Ben Bernanke and I speak for the mighty Fed!")

So what happens when demand stagnates and credit is denied or renounced?
For one thing, all the stuff which people can no longer afford will be dumped, as correspondent E.P. recently noted in an email:

Debt/credit is such a distorter of the reality of value and economy. It is so hard to find realistic sellers. I just offered $15k on an older boat to which the seller laughingly responded 'you know the asking price is $50k?'. I nicely mentioned asking prices mean nothing these days and there simply aren't enough uberrich to buy all the luxury assets floating around. Its been sitting there for nearly a year...along with several homes we've made appropriate bids on that often eventually sell for less, or are still sitting there, empty. Simply amazing.

Do you foresee stockpiles of cars/boats/planes in the coming years? A colleague mentioned if we remain patient and wait long enough these things will be available at no charge, simply to be able to afford the maintenance and operation costs....

Presciently said, E.P., thank you. I would add houses to the list.

Everyone who is currently confident in high-inflation-hyperinflation is recommending buying tangible assets. Perhaps that should be narrowed somewhat to tangible assets with a positive return on investment. It seems very likely that the U.S. will be awash in surplus boats, yachts, cars, trucks, houses, exercise machines, etc., as the "owners" (if you bought on credit, and it's now worth less than you owe, then what do you own?) will no longer be able to pay the slip fees, registration fees, insurance premiums, mortgages, property taxes, storage unit fees, etc.

No, conventional economics, demand is not insatiable or permanent, and neither is credit expansion.

The endgame of consumerism is one of the many topics explored in my book Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation.

 

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Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:40 | 1143521 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

You mean I really don't need to spend $799 on an ipad2 along with an additional $40 per month data plan?

No shit?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:10 | 1143620 prophet
prophet's picture

"... hold your member ..."

Michele Bachmann at 1:27

or John Larson

"so small they could drown it"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#42462560

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:32 | 1143858 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

Posturing - all those @ss clowns are playing out this drama for their masses, meanwhile kids, women and men get to go defend America in Afgahanistan, Iraq, Libya, and every other place but America. So Bachman, Larson, and everyone else in that clip can sit on it and rotate

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:13 | 1144306 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

HeeHeeHee yes, just the other day I witnessed Afghan MIGs strafing my small town. How lucky I was they didn't spot me, hiding in the foothills of Western PA.

Oh, and BTW I'm pretty sure our military is voluntary so if you have to get some trigger time in, don't whine about having to hump the bush. K?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:45 | 1144715 snowball777
snowball777's picture

True enough, they cling well and often in PA, but how many of those 'volunteers' are doing it for citizenship or access to college? There are a number of reasons one might find oneself deployed like the peeps who get stop-lossed into extra time after having done their duty.

Blame the CiC and the guys with the stars and bars, but not the damn troops. Mmm'K?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 02:17 | 1144378 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

I recommend the bare bones model. No data plan, wifi is all you need and minimum memory. Buy it extra gigabytes and you will fill it with more junk.

Same goes for everything else, skip the data plan and forget the extra space.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:51 | 1144729 pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Good riddance to consumer capitalism.  It doesn't fit well with our 'service' economy because you can't fix the junk produced by it.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:23 | 1144490 BorisTheBlade
BorisTheBlade's picture

I'll maybe buy one if AAPL puts a Geiger counter in it.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:48 | 1144607 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

iIodine

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:50 | 1144732 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Much like calibrating and nulling out the compass, it will involve swinging the expensive AAPL product of your choice violently around your head in a Dr. Gonzo homage to swatting imaginary bees.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:42 | 1143526 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

I am deliberately purchasing less as a protest.   Any xtra money I get goes straight into metal or foodstuffs.    ......... funny, we were good enough to buy all the stuff that corporate america peddles, but, we're not good enough to be employed by them anymore.     they want that entire spread for themselves.     On that note, I protest.    No more nothing !   I'm extricating myself from the system.    I'm even going to start a garden for the first time in my entire life !! ~~~ & coming from me, a person who hates dirt & bugs, well, that's really saying a lot.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:27 | 1143672 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Me too. I'm buying PM's with my spare money and growing a "victory garden"

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:18 | 1144005 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

Me, too.

I'm buying ham seeds. 

I'm also taking tmosely's advice and filling every crevice in my house with dried pepperoni. 

 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 10:58 | 1145231 pods
pods's picture

Okay, Ham Seeds is funny.

pods

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:02 | 1144131 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

u guys are g*d d**n right!!!!!!!!!1

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:41 | 1143882 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Same here. Only neccessities and alcohol (which in this crazy world is a neccessity). No more voting for me either.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:19 | 1144317 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Just picked up a copy of The New Pioneer magazine, main article "Buy and build your own 10 acre Dream Farm." Can't wait to read it. I disagree with the no voting as I've decided I will vote for the most criminal trash I see on the ballot, all the faster to bring this demonic Ponzi down. Vote Obama, or whoever gets trotted out; let's auger this fraud of a nation into the ground!

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 04:10 | 1144443 Blue Vervain
Blue Vervain's picture

......... funny, we were good enough to buy all the stuff that corporate america peddles, but, we're not good enough to be employed by them anymore.

Well put.

And stick to it long enough, you get used to the bugs.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:02 | 1144511 SilverBoy
SilverBoy's picture

I feel the exact way and you have worded perfectly.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:01 | 1144625 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

I feel exactly the same. Stocking up and not buying junk is a form of protest. It's also anonymous and silent but deadly.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:58 | 1144753 Monday1929
Monday1929's picture

Same here. Boycott the economy.

No settlements for the mortgage fraud- PROSECUTE the bankers and servicers.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 10:45 | 1145140 Huskybritches
Huskybritches's picture

"It's also anonymous and silent but deadly."

 

Somewhat like an economic fart of sorts.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 15:43 | 1146592 konputa
konputa's picture

Make sure you buy with cash. They might come after you if they notice a pattern change with your card purchases. It's one thing to see a decrease in purchase volume but it's another to see a shift in behavior.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 09:22 | 1144847 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

+1. Couldn't agree more and started thinking that way several years ago. And if you don't like dirt then do hydroponics or aquaponics. No dirt, fewer bugs. You can do it cheaply, reliably, and don't need expensive chemicals. Everything from ph control to nutrients can be done with cheap or free, natural resources, you know, like nature does it.  Getting back to fundamentals of growing food, preparing it, making your own stuff, fixing things that broke, etc. is really much more relaxing than watching another episode of Dancing With The Idgits(DWTS; Don't Watch This Shit). Funny they call it 'survivalism' or 'homesteading' or something along those lines now. In the country or most other areas(50+ years ago) most people just called it 'living'.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:43 | 1143529 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

p.s.  CABLE T.V. DISCONNECTED & GONE ! ....... . & it feels great !

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:53 | 1143824 Michael
Michael's picture

Good job LynnyB,

Virtually all TV reporters are card carrying members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR agents). They are defacto employees of the globalist international banking cartel pushing the new world order/one world government, and doing it in a very sneaky way. I prefer to keep USA national sovereignty and the US Constitution in place thank you. Stop watching TV people.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:33 | 1144046 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

No doubt about it, you're a paranoid schizophrenic. 

Is this a requirement for all libertarians, or is this just specific to many of the libertarians around here?  

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:54 | 1144114 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

So fucking what?

Junked and claimed.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:01 | 1144125 Michael
Michael's picture

It's specific to people who understand the mechanics of how things really work. Put whatever label you want on us. Those labels go in one ear and out the other with no effort whatsoever.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:23 | 1144196 Mark McGoldrick
Mark McGoldrick's picture

Those labels go in one ear and out the other with no effort whatsoever....

Not surprising. 

No roadblocks on that route. 


Thu, 04/07/2011 - 02:41 | 1144272 Michael
Michael's picture

I love rattling your kind of peoples cages. Your egos are so easy to play with. Thank you for doing exactly as I intend. Please don't change a single thing you are doing. I fully intend to make history repeat itself to the letter. Don't forget to cross a single t or dot an i. It would be very disappointing to me if you altered my time line. Thanks.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:06 | 1144142 DEA
DEA's picture

is Mark McGoldrick one of those pentagon sock puppets I keep hearing about?

http://www.infowars.com/pentagon-sock-puppet-trolls-attack-alt-media/

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:42 | 1144428 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

i thought "ham seeds" sounded suspicious on several levels.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 02:50 | 1144396 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

just cuz you are paranoid doesnt mean they arent out to get you.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:41 | 1144067 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

......... ditto to what you say ..... i'm always in agreement with you, Michael (truth-teller) .

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:54 | 1144113 Michael
Michael's picture

Even though I don't post much anymore, I do read comments and enjoy your input Lynny B. Thanks.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 00:05 | 1144224 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Michael hits the nail on the head again and again and again.

Funny, as fast as I tried to reply, you got flack from the defender-brigade ahead of me.

Edit Re. Funny, as fast as I tried to reply, you got flack from the defender-brigade ahead of me.

There was and it's gone??  How does one delete a post?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1143850 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 Another plus is when they constantly call you to hook it back up, and you tell them you don't watch t.v.. There is usually a pause then "you don't watch t.v.?". Its so unbelievable to them. I stopped watching all t.v. 15 mo. ago. Its liberating and an automatic boost to your intelligence.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:06 | 1144152 DEA
DEA's picture

I've been off the box for two and a half years. When these box watchers tell me what they spend their time watching its hard for me to believe, and to think I was once like them, but now I see.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:41 | 1144234 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

I could not agree more.  Turn off the box.  It can only harm the viewers remaining cognitive abilities.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:51 | 1144250 TemporalFlashback
TemporalFlashback's picture

It truly is a rewarding experience... Almost hard to describe because some people cannot imagine life sans television.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:25 | 1144331 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Been off the box for 4 years now, typical conversation with a friend goes like this:

"I know you don't watch TV, but there is this show..."

I marvel how much time people watch the idiot box, and also how much time they discuss what they watched. Only a lunatic would discuss fictional programs again and again...yet most 'mericans do just that.

Oh, and by the way, we won WWII; you really don't need to watch the 53rd show or History Channel piece about it; I begin to think it's intentional, to keep Americans thinking we still are relevant and powerful...colorful dope for the dopes.  If you're keeping track, I'd say we are about 0-11 since WWII...

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:42 | 1144429 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

are you forgetting glorious granada?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 11:48 | 1145504 tired1
tired1's picture

I'm waiting for a History Channel show about the glorious Khazarian Empire.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 04:58 | 1144467 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I haven't owned a television since 1984, when my dad gave me one. In turn, I gave it away a few months later. I have to confess, though, that I didn't give it away because I didn't like TV. I did so because I liked TV too much. I would still be awake at 4:00 a.m. watch Gilligan's Island reruns if I had one. I did kinda miss it now and again, at least until the internet finally matured. Now? Meh.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:31 | 1144685 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

"A man's gotta know his limitations."  -- Dirty Harry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VrFV5r8cs0

 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:01 | 1144468 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I haven't owned a television since 1984, when my dad gave me one. In turn, I gave it away a few months later. I have to confess, though, that I didn't give it away because I didn't like TV. I did so because I liked TV too much. I would still be awake at 4:00 a.m. watching Gilligan's Island reruns if I had one. I did kinda miss it now and again, at least until the internet finally matured. Now? Meh.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:02 | 1144471 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I haven't owned a television since 1984, when my dad gave me one. In turn, I gave it away a few months later. I have to confess, though, that I didn't give it away because I didn't like TV. I did so because I liked TV too much. I would still be awake at 4:00 a.m. watching Gilligan's Island reruns if I had one. I did kinda miss it now and again, at least until the internet finally matured. Now? Meh.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:56 | 1144752 snowball777
snowball777's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80zkcGiYv9Y

"...so I just stare at the stain on the wall where the TV'd been,

but ever since we've moved in it's been empty."

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:04 | 1144476 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I haven't owned a television since 1984, when my dad gave me one. In turn, I gave it away a few months later. I have to confess, though, that I didn't give it away because I didn't like TV. I did so because I liked TV too much. I would still be awake at 4:00 a.m. watching Gilligan's Island reruns if I had one. I did kinda miss it now and again, at least until the internet finally matured. Now? Meh.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:23 | 1144489 dearth vader
dearth vader's picture

It's the blind who watch t.v.

When they stop watching they begin to see.

Amazing grace...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:44 | 1143534 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Stick a fork in us, we're done, bitches!

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:46 | 1143539 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Stick a fork in us, we're done, bitches!

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:45 | 1143544 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Stick a fork in us, we're done, bitches!

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:37 | 1144343 TemporalFlashback
TemporalFlashback's picture

Third time is the charm.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:43 | 1144431 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

this site sometimes seems too popular for its system.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:59 | 1144759 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Donated?

I have.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:55 | 1143570 TJW
TJW's picture

The points of this essay are obvious, at least to me and probably to just about every other reader on ZH. Nevertheless, the essay is well-written and a pleasure to read. It gets to the philosophical foundation of why the US economy is such a mess.

Nicely done.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 04:39 | 1144456 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

well, i think the guy overstates his case.

somebody wants to simplify, and they actually apply time, energy, focus, whatever, and...(ta da!) they simplify!  praise craig's list!  praise garage sales!  praise consignment stores!

they get rid, and others get a boat at a good price, or a sewing machine, or an old car, or an archery set, or some wearable clothes, or books, or music, or tools.

sometimes, at a certain stage with a partner, you each want to keep so many things, you just end up laughing!

sometimes, after a loss, you start working thru stuff and the memories start.  there's nothing you can do.  nothing.  they're your memories.  who the hell coulda ever conceived of so many?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 20:58 | 1143577 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Yes Houses.  For free if you promise to mow the lawn.  We'll see it.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:21 | 1143649 Sancho Ponzi
Sancho Ponzi's picture

Soon there will be towns offering free houses to generate property and sales tax receipts. 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 10:44 | 1145110 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

What's the property tax on a $20 house, lol?  Seems to me that we're just creating more government dependents given the administrative costs would outweigh the tax collection...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:00 | 1143589 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

It is perhaps no coincidence that the wasting disease tuberculosis was once known as consumption. A single-minded focus on consumption is wasting to assets, income and the soul, and it eventually hollows out the economy built on its reedy, rot-riddled pillars.

 

HA!

Mrs. Smith-Sixpack:

Hissing with envy:   "Those Joneses, with their new cars, furniture and flat screens, their vacations, lawn care service and catered parties.  What's wrong with them?

 

Mr. Sixpack: "They have the Consumption, Dear."

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:05 | 1143608 Josh Randall
Josh Randall's picture

The day banks started bulldozing empty houses was the day the worm turned, 2012 may end up being that Mayan Bulldozing Catastrophe I've been reading about

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:13 | 1144170 Seer
Seer's picture

I think that it's been over a year now that Detroit's been doing it.  Not the banks, the city.  But... same thing really.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:45 | 1144242 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

The Wall Street/CB/GMIC is the cosmic agent acting out the Mayan prophecy of destruction?  Maybe.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:19 | 1144528 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Here is a video of the banksters tearing down new homes in Kalifornia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsgOaCZ2Lag

Guess they weren't willing to pay the carrying cost of ownership?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:05 | 1143614 Moe Howard
Moe Howard's picture

Just saw a BBC video about the Amish, a former Amish had a sign that said

Need Help?
1. Burn TV
2. Read Bible

It won't be long before we go to them for the answers to living simply. To people on the hamster wheel, they look crazy. To them, the people on the hamster wheel look insane.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:13 | 1143630 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

++ ~~ it's back to the basics, family, guns, gold & jesus .......... the way of the 1800's, the past 30 years was just a blip in time that future generations will be reading about.    

 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:31 | 1144336 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Chorus:
Blow up your T.V. throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own 

Spanish Pipedream, by John Prine.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 10:30 | 1145042 Ben Fleeced
Ben Fleeced's picture

lynnybee,

Look for a book of compiled articles called "The Complete Tightwad Gazzette"

http://zenhabits.net/the-cheapskates-bible-the-complete-tightwad-gazette/

10 years in and I'll never go back.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:19 | 1143647 LibertyIn2010
LibertyIn2010's picture

Need Help?
1. Burn TV
2. Read Bible

Two of the best ideas and even more powerful when taken together.  Stop watching and listening to the propaganda of your controllers.  Instead, read the word of God. 

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:36 | 1143695 TIMMAYYY
TIMMAYYY's picture

i sometimes wonder about which one has more propaganda and conditioning material?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:09 | 1143807 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Non-belief in a higher power is to be a pinball inside an isosceles triangle.

But if it works for you...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:33 | 1143860 Antarctico
Antarctico's picture

Because belief in a higher power is to be beholden to its preconceptions, laws, and power hierarchy, I am going to have to flip your analogy around and say the believer is the ball trapped in the triangle while someone who is without superstition and myth is the ball that rolls free.

But whatever works for you...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:57 | 1143944 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

dont believe in "a higher power." believe in the one true God.

everyone worships and everyone believes, in something - even the atheist

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:54 | 1144108 Antarctico
Antarctico's picture

dont believe in "a higher power." believe in the one true God.

Believer or not, I think anyone who wants to have the conversation is going to have to admit that, of the multitudes of Earth's gods, either past or present, which one is the One True God has been a violently contested point for as long as there have been people.  Even when groups of people agree amongst themselves which one is the true god, they frequently feel compelled to kill each other over the procedures of how that god is worshiped.  So when you say the one true God, I am going to be mean spirited and assume you mean the god you believe in and, literally, to Hell with everybody else.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:15 | 1144179 Seer
Seer's picture

Pleased to see that you have a functioning brain.  Thanks for the comments!

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:54 | 1144262 rocker
rocker's picture

My functioning brain ask: Which religion is the best. Which one does one use to fight wars, to kill children and women.

I heard a past president who said his faith told him to bomb Iraq with Shock and All. I here those we bombed think that we are evil and their religion says so. So they want to kill us back. Eye for a eye or something like that.

Religion is as bad as politics, both are worthless fucks when used to manipulate those who know no better.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:05 | 1144478 KickIce
KickIce's picture

There is something real, just because you can't "see" it doesn't mean people are being manipulated.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:36 | 1144494 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Even those following the same religious practices kill each other at times. During the US Civil War northern catholics killed southern catholics, southern methodists killed northern methodists, etc. It is the same everywhere. If religion is supposed to prevent people from killing each other why is it not working?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:27 | 1144526 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Religion makes people choose.  Even Christ said he had come to divide households through that choice.  Bottom line, it is meant to polarize.

Most religions are peaceful (see 10 Commandments and 2 great Commandments) and wars usually come as a result of the threat religious freedom being taken away.  How many extremists has the US created because Muslims see their religious freedom being threatened?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:31 | 1144535 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Religion always reminds me of a big roulette table, lots of numbers to choose from, not much chance of winning by betting on a single number.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:23 | 1144568 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Christ taught the doctrines and ordinances as well as outlining church organization.

-  Faith in Jesus Christ

-  Baptism by immersion

-  Gift of the Holy Ghost

-  Temple ordinances

-  Prophet with 12 apostles

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 09:46 | 1144835 snowball777
snowball777's picture

All This Time

Men go crazy in congregations they only get better one by one"

Eh Hee

Problem is

someone will try to convince you

that they know the answer

no matter the question

be wary of those

who believe in a neat little world

cause it's just fucking crazy

you know that it is

Afterlife

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:31 | 1144004 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

Your "flip" flops if the said higher being has infinite dimensions... Explaining, one cannot be trapped while conceiving an infinite source of any conceivable subject.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:13 | 1144168 Antarctico
Antarctico's picture

Your "flip" flops if the said higher being has infinite dimensions...

I am sorry, but it really sounds like you are indirectly describing Q from Star Trek: Next Generation.

Explaining, one cannot be trapped while conceiving an infinite source of any conceivable subject.

If you want to have a discussion about the philosophical and spiritual constructs of Hinduism or Gnosticism, then, in a very broad sense, you would have a valid vantage point, but the specific terms of my "flip" were that the individual mind was the ball and the constrictions of religious ritual and dogma were the sides of the triangle restraining that mind.  And, on a personal note, in all the Sunday and summer bible classes I went to growing up, I don't remember anyone bringing up infinite dimensions, but maybe this was a Southern Baptist failing.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:17 | 1144485 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

wow, antarctico!  you have carefully defined terms to yer "flip" but you also seem to realize the ritual and dogma (the form) do not contain the Hinduism (abstract, meta-, all-containing) or the gnostic perception of the substance.

keep in mind that it is ok to know the answer and not yet understand it.  stay with yourself. 

yes, you need to free the symbols from dogma.  i wouldn't worry about too much else for a while.  remember excalibur, the "sword" which only the hero can free from the "stone"?  same deal.  enjoy!

 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:57 | 1144271 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

The true religion of the West is Newtonian/Cartesian rationalism, aka science.  Science has encountered quantum mechanics where strange things happen, like the observer affects the outcome.  Some say there's a small world and a big world and they behave differently, but that's absurd, as the Schroedinger cat thought experiment demonstrates quantum effects in the real/big world.  That events happen that our '5-senses' cannot normally detect is by now self-evident.  So now, 'science' must consider consciousness.  Just like the new way of seeing reality that we call 'the Enlightenment' led to political upheaval at the time, society will adapt in response, this time as well.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:18 | 1144529 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The industrial age brought in Consumerism, no doubt about it. But this paradigm is hitting at least three asymptotic limits : 1° artificial creation of material needs and consequent mega accumulation of 'junk economy', waste disposal/pollution problems. 2° Limitations of RM in earth's crust and limitation of gaseous stratospheric blanket eco-systemic capability 3° Population increase and consequent requirement to feed, insert into global economy 9 billion people through a dangerous "global labor arbitrage" mechanism, causing tsunami size societal problems.

A new paradigm now has to emerge that resolves all these problems, globally, in a rational way using Newtonian/Cartesian rationalism based on eco-sustainable and economic solutions. 

But this construct requires two preconditions : world government on resource allocation rules, world integration (via Internet etc.) allowing global entrepreneurship. This means local governance should be open system not close system on human contribution basis.

No individual barriers to entry, but social constraints are OK provided each individual respects them. Exciting times if we learn to abandon hide bound prejudices without going through Armageddon process, as in past...

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:57 | 1144273 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

I read the word of GOD, I read The old testament , do you know how many people God kills its like everyone, no joke , so go spead the word of God , O that's right we are ,Iraq ,afghan, Syria ,Ivory Coast ,Pakistan , Yemen,

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:25 | 1144674 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

If you gave someone a loan, would you feel entitled to get paid back?

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:50 | 1144716 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do.
When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

 

  ...Stephen F Roberts
Thu, 04/07/2011 - 08:49 | 1144725 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture
.
Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:27 | 1144334 Armchair Bear
Armchair Bear's picture

remember when the "fam" used to sit around and play "Monopoly" or Spades - when reading a book was something you really looked forward to?

People got together to play cards and went to church?

 

Doing puzzles?  Crossword, jigsaw, word search...

 

No Ipod.  No Computer.  No computer games!!

 

No email.  No cell phones...

 

Writing letters...

 

No Amazon.com

 

No Ebay

 

Moms sewed their kids' clothes?

 

People rarely ate out - only on special occasions...

 

Kids RARELY had birth day parties...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:07 | 1143616 EconomicFreedom
EconomicFreedom's picture

There is a new book out called "Surviving Off Off-Grid" by Michael Bunker.  There is a video trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRGhDGlmzq0  or you can find it on Amazon.com and read some of the reviews.

There is no doubt consumerism will die a painful death and probably take a lot of people with it.  Hopefully people wake up and realize they need to become independent of a failed system of debt slavery that is built on lies.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:09 | 1143618 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Enter American advertising ingenuity to save the day.

Can't pay your mortgage? Turn your house into a billboard and we'll pay it for you!

Really...this is not a joke:

Would You Turn Your House Into A Billboard If The Advertiser Paid Your Mortgage?

Having trouble making your mortgage payment? Think the paint job on your house could use some splash, color and branding? Then there's an ad agency you might want to talk to.

Ad firm Adzookie claims that, for people willing to turn their homes into billboards, it will make their monthly mortgage payments.

According to the Adzookie CEO, the company has already received over 1,000 applications from people willing to have their houses billboard-ified.

"It really blew my mind," he tells CNN. "I knew the economy was tough, but it's sad to see how many homeowners are really struggling."

FULL STORY HERE:
http://consumerist.com/2011/04/would-you-turn-your-house-into-a-billboar...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:11 | 1143621 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

Kill your TV connection. Grow your own veggies. Mow your own yard. Wash your own car. End the gym membership; jogging, pushups, and situps can be done for free. Cook your own dinner. Don't get an Iphone or Crackberry; a base-model cellular WITHOUT TEXTING FEATURES will do just fine. Clip coupons. Provide your children's "day care" your damn self. Handload your own ammo. Read books. Use the money you save to buy gold and silver... while you can still FIND it.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:16 | 1144185 DEA
DEA's picture

hold on now, the only place I can stare at the young woman in the spandex short shorts in front of me with out looking weird is when I am on the treadmil at the gym. I'm keeping the gym membership.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:15 | 1143631 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture

Will only work for houses in high traffic areas, lots of cars/people passing by.

 

Low value real estate to begin with.

 

Not a bad idea, necessarily, but no mcmansion owner with house in deep suburbs need apply.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:34 | 1143685 cosmictrainwreck
cosmictrainwreck's picture

well, hate to say "I told ya so..." but 10 or 20 years ago I was asking people, receiving the standard glazed-eye reaction: Hey, after everybody's already got 3 cars, 6 TV's, 40 gazilion CD's & DVD's, 42 portable gizmo's, etc., etc. what the fuck ya gonna do then? not to mention where ya gonna put all that shit? running out of landfills... response: duh? 

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:40 | 1143705 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Even if you achieve success, you might still become intoxicated and fall out of your 5th floor apartment window. Sucks to be this guy.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373240/Wall-Street-executive-Ke...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:38 | 1143710 NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

2 Chronicles 7:14

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:40 | 1143717 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

I recommend watching the Century of The Self, a great documentary. Particularly important the section on Edward Bernays, the grand daddy of public relations. He figured out how to get people to fulfill desires rather than buy based on utility. This was the problem facing industry -- overproduction.

The documentary is available on YouTube. Watch it.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:27 | 1143849 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I'll second that. I should watch it every month to remind myself of how manipulation and propaganda work. Valuable in this day and age.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:21 | 1144188 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I'll third it.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:17 | 1144160 Two Face
Two Face's picture

+ 1 silver $

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/

It was kind of sick to see how Bernays helped trick women into taking up the predominantly male habit of smoking.  He used this as a pilot test for his theories in order to prove to the tobacco industry (and other big businesses) that he could boost their sales by helping people subconciously overcome their resistance to social taboos.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 01:36 | 1144340 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

+40

Let us all consider that in the decades since this Bernays character, the bar has been raised considerably.  Hence, the near comatose American public.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 03:11 | 1144415 duckduckMOOSE
duckduckMOOSE's picture

“Democracy consists of choosing your dictators after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear”

 ~Alan Coren

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 21:47 | 1143741 PulauHantu29
PulauHantu29's picture

I recently looked at some new (but still overpriced) houses. The sales person was smooth...he said,"Don't look at the entire house cost, lets talk about what you can afford monthly and we can work around that. We have our own loan company."

BOOOYAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Consumers Beware....the fraudsters are still out in droves.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:13 | 1143814 uOptOut
uOptOut's picture

Ha! Sounds like a used car salesman

Real estate agent = used house salesman

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:03 | 1143783 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

For those of you who haven't read 'Walden' by Henry David Thoureau, it is highly recommended.

I can't possibly do it justice with a brief summary, but one of its main reflections is that by reducing the itemized list of things we need, we realize the superfluous crap we don't, and thus don't have to painfully slave away time and energy on unpleasant experiences to obtain such unecessary things.

 

As for credit, the advent of credit cards, home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages - all of these things fuel irrational consumption and create hundreds of millions of debt slaves in the U.S.

Commercial advertisements, slick and glossy, appealing to Id & Ego of man, tapped the 'want' culture, driving people to lives of misery in order to worship the new religion of staying ahead of or at least keeping up with the Smiths and Jones.

Debt slaves. We are a nation of debt slaves. Most people have but one or two true passions and talents, and instead of cultivating them and pursuing them, we expend time and energy on anti-passions in order to obtain shit we don't need and that only makes us more unhappy and distant from our passions, so we're not perceived as falling behind based on the subjective, and mostly incredibly irrational/superficial opinions of others.

 

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:13 | 1143818 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Well said, thank you.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:53 | 1143926 IQ 101
IQ 101's picture

USA = Obese children of government workers riding $5000 quads and dirtbikes out of the back of the toy trailer, towed behind the family RV. The parents are the imbeciles you must war against in your battle to open a hot dog stand or sell cabbages and carrots in the town square,no permit for you without large $$$.

Ma and Pa will vote with the union while the little fat bastards are educated to believe that Sponge Bob started the civil war to free the slaves.

Democracy is proven a failure because of the willfull ignorance of imbeciles,

A Republic demands intellect, therefore,a social Darwinistic revolution is eventually inevitable, idiots will drive the train down the drain, how many meals has Bernanke missed? the school of hard knocks is under rated.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:23 | 1144201 Seer
Seer's picture

"A Republic demands intellect"

Fuck the "republic!"  And fuck all other schemes to socially engineer people for TPTB!

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:37 | 1144596 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Seer, it is queer that a man of "avatarial" wisdom condones violence both in language as in conceptual nihilism...in form, as in substance...the hindu gods would disown you as mis-incarnation...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:13 | 1143821 i_dont_see_no_bubble
i_dont_see_no_bubble's picture

They tell us that we lost our tails....Are we not men?  We are DEVO

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:19 | 1143831 Kat
Kat's picture

Yes, well the Keynesians don't like you selling stuff, they like you buying stuff.  So, here's a warning - if you don't continue to spend like drunken sailors, Krugman wants congress to do it for you. 

Sickening.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:32 | 1143855 nscholten
nscholten's picture

I had to put it somewhere.  Presenting Jim Willie taking on Ackerman.

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/jim-willie/deflationists-and-...

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:35 | 1143865 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

soon, only the act of acquisition/purchase creates the "high" of satiation and excitement.

I would go one step further and say that anticipating eventual ownership of most things (without debt) is even better than ownership itself. That’s why I save and pay cash for things I want. It prolongs the best part of the consumer experience. I’ve owned six different cars in my life and I never borrowed money for any of them.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:54 | 1143905 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Not discussed above: consumerism was an integral part of globalization. 

The role of the US is to consume so as to keep developing economies afloat. And it's the role of developing economies to keep the golden goose alive. Hence America lost it's industrial and manufacturing base. 

But the vexing problem was always the ocean of dollars exported to foreign countries as a result of eternal trade deficits. The risk was always a plummeting dollar versus other currencies and inflation. So the central bankers invented "re-cycling" of all those dollars into debt instruments, mostly US debt. Turn an IOU into an IOU. Eventually that game is up when the debt far exceeds the ability to repay ie exceeds GDP. 

So here's a modest proposal: instead of dollar/debt masochism why not resolve it all with one broad stroke? Make everything FREE! It's a simple mathematical relation: as money printing approaches infinity, the price of goods approaches zero. If everyone has unlimited funds the effective cost of purchases is zero. No more money printing, no more phony debts, no more need to get out of debt by cheating. Then the only limitation on consumption is how much people are willing to produce. 

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:14 | 1143996 wretch
wretch's picture

You had me at free.  Seriously, this was nicely put.  Lux ex absurdum.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:29 | 1144032 JohnG
JohnG's picture

I hope that I am correct in that this is sarcasm?

Money printing to infinity = hyperinflation obviously.

Dollardestoyed barter economy is analogous to your last sentence.

Not that I am against it by any means... this is subtle sarcasm, yes?

In the end, were all fucked anyway...

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:33 | 1144228 Michael
Michael's picture

If people just decide to keep using their Istuff for 3 years or more and update the firmware as revisions become available, we will collapse the Apple Company model of introducing new models every year in no time. I'm still using an original 2 year old Itouch and it works perfectly. I expect this kind of product to keep preforming for at least 5 years or I wouldn't buy it.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 22:57 | 1143947 Yohimbo
Yohimbo's picture

does this mean we might lose .99 cent triple cheesburgers?

I can hack the dollar going to zero, I can hack squatters throughout my mcmansion neighborhood

I can hack homeless families in tents in the park, but by god if I lose the 99 cent triple CB we are going to burn this

mother down.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:01 | 1143950 mmlevine
mmlevine's picture

Let's just say I decide to cut off my cable TV (I wouldn't miss it a bit but the wife likes a little TV now and then) and everyone else in my state - New Jersey - decides the same.  No more cable.  What happens to the 35,000 employees of the cable company?  I'm sure they are quickly fired.  Now, they need to find a job.  In short order, these fired cable company employees pull back on spending and only buy necessities.  No eating out, no movies, no new car - whatever.  Then what happens to the waitress, bus boy, short order cook at the diner?  Or the car salesman, mechanic, new car hauler?  Etc., etc.  I could go down the line ad infinitum. 

Cut back on consumption and someone, somewhere will get screwed.

I am certainly not advocating consumerism. But, we've created a massive and frankly unsolvable problem of interdependence.  Like it or not, my prosperity is dependent on you and vice versa.  If we all decide to go "Off the Grid", eventually, there will be no grid left and where would the leave us?  Back in the Stone Age?

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:10 | 1143977 Misean
Misean's picture

You are describing another version of the broken window fallacy.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:59 | 1144509 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Also describing division of labor. Without division of labor the consumerist world would not exist. People opting out of consumerism are, unfortunately, sometimes destroying their own jobs as well as others. Division of labor now includes the spread of robot assembly lines. How long till wall mart employess and those at MacDs are mostly replaced with robots?

Destroy consumerism, liquidate them all, this model is broken.

Let's journey to a place where we will be in touch with our families and friends and not encumbered with consumerism.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:10 | 1143988 wretch
wretch's picture

Don't be daft. Like it or not, you and everyone you know will need to occupy themselves differently. You don't get no status quo no mo. It won't be the stone age and it won't be the Jetsons. Use your imagination.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:28 | 1144211 Seer
Seer's picture

Great slap!  Some people just need to get woken up.  Really, how do people figure all of this could continue?  Yeah, it's going to be a shock to a LOT of people, but welcome to reality: 2/3 of the world's population lives on $3/day or less, not because they want to, but because that's what works, what's closer to sustainable than the "American Dream."

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:36 | 1144055 IQ 101
IQ 101's picture

I will wash your car if you clean the windows on my house?

That is not an economy! IE nothing is produced, that is our economies present path, If i will trade a sword for your plough then we have a transaction of needs,

If i wash your car and you do my windows, it is a transaction of desires.

Credit transactions are transactions of desire, and when the non product scenario meets the reality wall, you, the tax payer will be paying for my rapper mansion and BMW that i used to impress my neighbours .

No we will not be back in the stone age, we will sort the wheat from the chaff, bring it,i say.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:54 | 1144099 JohnG
JohnG's picture

"I will wash your car if you clean the windows on my house?

That is not an economy! IE nothing is produced"

 

I beg to disagree.  VALUE is produced; the product of work.  That value is exchanged.

At  the present time, we use dollars as a proxy for value; an accounting system.  A convienence only.

 

BTW: I do inf fact need my gutters cleaned, and windows washed.  A few other things too.  Do this, and I will fix your cars engine.  An exchange of VALUE. 

Ponder that.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:22 | 1144488 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Before a sevice is rendered a product must be produced, aside from housing we build very little in the private sector.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:47 | 1144541 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

We build good bombs, and we are not afraid to use them.  WW3 will be their last ditch effort to keep the ball in the air.  Endless wars like in "1984" (a great book, ahead of it's time).  Bombing Arabs, Asians, Africans, etc.... from air conditioned cubicles outside of Las Vegas clocking out by 5 pm in time to catch a buffet and show.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:16 | 1144564 KickIce
KickIce's picture

That's government though.  Even with the addition of "private sector" jobs in the latest BLS reports I wonder how many are for defense contracts.  Even though they are counted as private they still end up hitting the average tax payer.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:37 | 1144058 JohnG
JohnG's picture

This "change" will not happen suddenly, if at all.  Few are really aware of the reallities of what is coming for now.  The dumb masses, sheeple if you prefer, will awake slowly.  Most certainly there will be economic consequences, devastaing eventually.

I just can't buy into the idea that society stops "functioning" overnight.  It's too big.  Perhaps it takes months, I think years as people adapt.

On the other hand, it could happen suddenly, so I do not exclude that possibility, to do so would seem imprudent.  That's why I prepare now.

Stone age, no.  Hard times, yes.  Prepare, do not panic.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:31 | 1144221 Seer
Seer's picture

'This "change" will not happen suddenly, if at all.'

You have a crystal ball?  No, you don't know this.  History, however, tends to favor more rapid shifts than gradual.  But, believe how you want, if that's what comforts you (but don't be surprised when you find out you were wrong).

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:50 | 1144091 UninterestedObserver
UninterestedObserver's picture

LOL MY prosperity is NOT depedent on you - if you get fired from the cable company tomorrow you're fucked and I'll still be OK because I, like many others here have already left the herd of lemmings racing for the cliff.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 00:43 | 1144239 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd be careful about feeling all smug.  There's lots of the herd yet to stampede.  The distance to the cliff is long.  Don't figure you're out of the woods: actually, one should NEVER believe this, as this is dropping one's guard.  Remember: the meek shall inherit the earth.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 02:36 | 1144388 D.M.
D.M.'s picture

When have the meek ever inherited the earth? When will this prophecy ever be realized? Nothing is fair in this world. Good and evil are human concepts, not actual laws of the universe. Everything must be fought for and even then it can all be lost in an instant.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 07:20 | 1144572 augie
augie's picture

please post more. You clearly posses the insight others glimpse but to not understand. Namaste.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 04:05 | 1144441 James
James's picture

mmlevine - answering your post specifically.

As suggested above, read thoreaus' on golden pond.

That is exactly why i'm going "Off-grid"

I've said - to myself - for years now that we live in a false economy.

You meen to tell me I must work so the cable guy can live?

That I must consume so Wal-mart gets so big they drive out the ma-pa?

That i need a thirty year mortgage so tellers,loan officers, and the owner of that bank can survive?

That I should shit where i sleep polluting this planet so it is no longer viable for plants,animals and sub-humans to exist?

 

No, I will be spending my remaining years enjoying myself off-grid, probably making modest money beyond my savings of increaingly worthless fiat dollars and i know,having lived off-grid previously for 3 yrs., that i will finally be happy.

No more will i chase after a devalued currency in quantities (Remember, it's lost 95% of it's value since it's inception in 1913),listen to evil people that are politicians and bankstas,and allow anybody w/a evil intent into my life that would only seek to defraud me and deny me my happiness.

Look, once a year a guy likes to ,if he has time and money, to go hunting,fishing or whatever, right?

I'm going to do that all the time! And not worry for one minute about the cable guy. Maybe he can become a comedian.

I got news for you.

When living off-grid you don't live in a cave.

I have friends off-grid who have beautiful homes on mountain tops w/100-200 acres - all paid for.

Property is cheap because, well, it's remote.Nobody to steal your shit and if you catch somebody there their is no mistake that they don't belong there and are dealt with accordingly.

Perhaps we'll see a social Darwinism kick in. I suspect 2/3 of the U.S. won't be able to handle the obvious coming attractions, and that's just too damn bad. For them.

For those that choose to play this current game of utter bullshit - have at it. I wish you the best.

It's a game I no longer choose to play. Don't have to.

Remember always, The lesser of two evils is still evil.

 

 

 

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 06:55 | 1144547 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

One of my favorite songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_bIzP3Nytg

Finishing up my new digs on 2.5 acres this month.  No mortgage bitchez!  Still have to deal with the tax assessor though.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:03 | 1143965 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Not to worry. We got future generations of yuppies in the pipeline, and a media/advertising machine ready to indoctrinate them.

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:15 | 1143992 Guarded Pessimist
Guarded Pessimist's picture

There are a lot of great comments here.

Here is a though provoking documentary on where we are and how we got here (and what to do about it)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

(over 5 million views in a little over 2 months)

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:29 | 1144022 Unlawful Justice
Unlawful Justice's picture

The indoctrination starts with religion and then makes a tiny jump to government.  I have to laugh at the rhetoric on religion in fight club.  Your denial of reality is astounding.  

 

Facts are objectively verifiable-and thus indisputable-data. But dogmatic religious beliefs depend instead on subjective impressions of personal preference, erroneous assumptions, and assertions of logical fallacies.  We could rationalize a few of the facts differently. But mere facts don’t qualify as evidence until or unless they collectively indicate, or can be accounted for by, only one scenario over any other available option.  By definition, the same evidence cannot imply two mutually-exclusive opposing positions.  Assume your conclusions while ignoring everything that proves them wrong.  If there’s no evidence for a particular notion, then there’s no reason to believe it either. It may as well have been imagined out of nothing because it has no basis in fact.  We can only proclaim a positive belief if we have sufficient evidence to support only that, and no evidence at all against it.  Even then we can only accept it tentatively. Because, if future evidence ever confirms that we were wrong all along, then we’ll be forced to change our minds accordingly even if we didn’t want to.  

Defense of faith doesn’t work that way. It relies instead on apologetics; the branch of theology concerned with the mandatory promotion and reinforcement of faith in a particular religious doctrine, and the obligate defense of that belief by systematically rationalizing or denying any or all arguments that may ever be laid against it.  

Let me explain how it works.  It’s really quite easy: “Goddidit” explains everything by explaining nothing. Since magic is exempt from all rules of nature or logic, they think that means that anything that seems impossible somehow proves them right.  Conversely, anything and everything that might imply otherwise can be immediately dismissed as a knee-jerk reaction with the phrase, “that doesn’t prove anything”.  Virtually all anti-science apologetics are composed of variants of these two thoughtless comments, in addition to the usual propaganda of  inflammatory emotional pleas, tall tales, petty bigotry, incredulity, and appeals to authority.  No matter how scientific, how commonly believed, or how apparently workable or logical it may seem, no evidence of any sort can even be considered if it contradicts their sacred stories –which they insist must take priority in the event of any apparent conflict. Their position is wholly dishonest, and it’s everything science isn’t; because it’s an a-priori position which must never be seriously questioned, corrected or rejected.  They have to defend their preconceived notions because they’re forbidden, on pain of a fate worse than death, to even consider that they could be wrong, and they must maintain that belief no matter how wrong they obviously are. Even when they know they’re wrong, they still have to make-believe anyway.  Their position is the definition of a closed-mind. It is not a search for truth!  

 

 

 

 

Wed, 04/06/2011 - 23:49 | 1144088 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

But dogmatic religious beliefs depend instead on subjective impressions of personal preference, erroneous assumptions, and assertions of logical fallacies.

 

What about non-dogmatic religious beliefs?

I suppose "subjective impressions of personal preference, erroneous assumptions, and assertions of logical fallacies" does not apply to you, right?

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