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Guest Post: Why Things Are Falling Apart... And What We Can Do About It

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Gordon T. Long of,

To understand the reasons why our financial system, our economy and our present policies are unsustainable, we need to come to grips with two simple truths. First, the economy and government are an interconnected system. As such the party attempting to steer it does not have controlling power over it. The second fact is that “faster, better, cheaper” always wins, replacing the inefficient and unsustainable. This is the reality within which the system operates.

The present foundation of the system, and our economy, is Financialization. This is not by design but rather by Darwinian evolution. It has unfortunately, become the basic engine of consumer growth through its' leveraging of collateral into debt and phantom assets, such as derivatives and bubble valuations. The limiting fact to this system is that ever-rising debt and leverage is unsustainable, once household assets and incomes stop rising.

Uncontrolled financialization & unsound money, without historic exception, consistently leads to:

  • Malinvestment in the Private sector - In the private sector cheap money will naturally flow into high-risk, low-return investments. This leads to “McMansions in the Middle of Nowhere”
  • Crony Capitalism in the Public sector - In the public sector, crony capitalism secures low risk, high-return investments. This leads to “Bridges to Nowhere.”

The system in its present form has become too complex, fragile and insufficiently robust, that it is realistically unsustainable and un-governable. The unsustainable will collapse and be replaced by an arrangement that is sustainable. Creative destruction and “faster, better, cheaper” is the only sustainable system; the alternative is to cling to failed models until the system collapses.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (Albert Einstein)

Additionally, our economy and state are unsustainable for converging and disruptive systemic reasons, that go beyond the financial:

  • Demographics—our aging populace and the impossible entitlements promises made
  • Decline of Paid Work—automation and the Web are destroying more jobs than they create
  • Diminishing Returns of Centralization—the more power the State grabs, the more broken the system becomes
  • EROEI (energy returned on energy invested): energy may be abundant but expensive
  • Healthcare in Crisis—our health declines as we spend 2X more per capita than our competitors
  • The End of Consumerist Growth—if debt and income aren’t growing, neither can consumption
  • Globalization—the genii cannot be put back in the bottle

What We Can Do about It

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries… and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience  of it.” (Machiavelli, 1532)

The better choice is to embrace technological and social innovations and “faster, better, cheaper.”, since it eventually wins, regardless of our preferences.

This means GLOBALLY accepting and INNOVATIVELY moving RAPIDLY towards a DATA System:

    D- Decentralized

    A- Adaptive

    T- Transparent

    A- Accountable

We don’t get to choose, it is the natural order!


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Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:19 | 3075842 Debtless
Debtless's picture

A watched pot never boils.

Stop watching everything and let it collapse while you're in some other room.

You can't wish it you know.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:27 | 3076379 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

The Ivy League Mafia are pretty smart.

They can keep the balls in the air for a long long time.

Look at Japan.

They got a 200 percent debt to GDP.

Yet they haven't collapsed.

I don't see a collapse in the future.

I see a death by slow cuts.

Then again, what do I know?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 04:19 | 3077764 vato poco
vato poco's picture

I don't want to agree with you, B-and-C. I really, *really* want to disagree; call you a dumbass; junk your comment; all that.

Unfortunately, I think you're right. I have more respect for the integrity and IQ of the banking/political class of Japan as a nation that I do the USA.....and those sorry little scumbags have been stealing from & lying to & fucking over their own people for at least the last 20 years. (assuming we save for another time the discussion of how eagerly they used their fellow citizens as cannon fodder in their little Imperial Adventure back in the '30's and '40's.) Hell, now they got 'em embracing and/or ignoring the ongoing radiation poisoning of the entire country - mustn't lose face! Very bad to lose face! Result: the dumbshit Mr. & Mrs. Watanabes just keep right on voting. Just as if it mattered. Party 'A' for a coupla years, then Party 'B'.....never seeming to understand they're all the same guys. Who are gonna do exactly the same thing as the party they just replaced. Forever, apparently.

So if *Japan* will pull this shit for a generation and show no signs of even slowing down.......I guess we can all predict how the profoundly wise & thoughtful American voters, and the Banksters, and the Wall St. scum, and their bought-and-paid for politicians will do. Death of a thousand cuts: we're fucked.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:22 | 3077084 ramacers
ramacers's picture

absolutely. the only solution is no solution. steel yourself ( if you want to hang in there), and let it go. from the ground up.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:22 | 3075859 -1Delta
-1Delta's picture


what can we do?


If PPT cant do it, gun laws !

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:22 | 3076105 CH1
CH1's picture

what can we do?

We let the sucker crash. I wouldn't save it if I could.

We need a full flush - an utter failure of the stinking, rotten state and the stinking rotten money system that empowers it. (Or is it the other way around?)

Once people get over the insane superstition that the state is God Almighty, we have a chance.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:38 | 3076952 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The best things in life have been summarised in a Bloohound Gang song ....

The roof is on fire

We don't need no water, let the motherf*cker burn,

Burn Motherf*cker, burn!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:22 | 3075860 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Falling apart???

Shit, we're nearly at 14 fucking 50.

Thanks for the fucking recovery Bernanke you fucking cock tool.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:54 | 3077157 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

She and Dick Bove... what a pair!  Bank whores.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:26 | 3075871 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Merideth Whitney says you should buy the banks. buy them bigtime. that, according to her, is what u can do about it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:26 | 3075874 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

We are falling apart because honesty and morality are nearly non-existant in our society now.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:43 | 3075951 JailBank
JailBank's picture

Playing by the rules in the US today just gets you ass blasted by the protected few. Look at the folks who placed money with Crorizine, they worked, they saved, they got ass blasted by a criminal that is protected at the highest levels of government.

If there is one thing the last 5 years in this country has taught us is that honesty and playing by the rules are for suckers.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:26 | 3076118 CH1
CH1's picture

honesty and playing by the rules are for suckers.

Playing by the rules IS for suckers; amen to that! But I would like to hang on to that honesty bit, if only for my own sake.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:37 | 3076726 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture


Like a dog that can sniff it's quarry through 5 counties, but then rolls over when it's finally in sight, commentators in the so-called alternative media bark n bay about suitably abstract concepts like 'crony capitalism.' oligarchies, fascistic statism and the like, then roll on their back and beg for a pat when the real perps come into obvious view...

who are 'the suckers?' - that should now be clear - it's those who don't take nol kidre at Yom Kippur...and who are the 'protected few? - it's those that do. There's never been anything more hidden in plain sight~!.

Do we really need long and fabulously intricate explanations of why the West is going to hell in a handcart? Not if we are sincere in looking for the reason, and finding a way out of the train wreck! It's been the long and patiently guided project of a cabal of conspirators who find a place to hide within the cloak of the three monotheistic religions, and then spin their webs from within to ensare their hosts with the dark magic of usury banking, ideological hocus pocus, and social devolution.

Babylonian talmudists who corrupted and hijacked original torah judaism rule every aspect of your lives...failure to see through their lies and take action to preserve those who you cherish will result in their extinction or enslavement. While it's still not too late to jump out of their boiling soup pot, a few more hits on the snooze button and you will be surely well done.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:22 | 3076889 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

So, I guess that's a hold on the Hannukah gefelte fish for you, eh?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:58 | 3077009 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

I'll admit to a dangerous fondness for knishes.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:06 | 3076028 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Without God, all things are equally permissible.


-- just saying

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:12 | 3076317 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

Haven't you heard the news?  There is no such thing as god - as the late great Carlin said 'Religion is Bullshit'

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:47 | 3076455 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

With God, things are equally permissible on earth.

Freedom of will. One's judgement comes when leaves their physical being on earth.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:49 | 3077331 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Ah, the 'Judgement'.  One of religion's time-tested mind-control techniques. 'Love' is a good word to use, too.  'Guilt', as a concept, works wonders, as well.  Don't forget dualism.  Need lots of cognitive dissonance if this thing's gonna work!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:04 | 3076827 margaris
margaris's picture

Han Solo preaching about god.

This is just wrong.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:24 | 3077251 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

well he did claim to have covered the galaxy

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076038 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The people I interact with on any given day mostly all seem pretty decent and honest to me.  Seems it's just a few guys in really privileged positions who do the majority of the harm.  I don't think people en masse have changed so much.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:30 | 3076139 CH1
CH1's picture

So long as they obey authority as a default position, they are the big problem.

The endless, small abdications of responsibility by 'normal' people cause FAR more destruction than the occasional monster.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:53 | 3076481 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

How do you know if someone is "obeying authority" though?

I don't shoplift, for example.  Is that because I'm "obeying authority," or because I'm a decent human being who doesn't want to rob my neighbors?

MOST of the time, you'll end up doing what "the authorities" want you to, but it's NOT because you're obedient--rather it's because what you PREFER to do happens to be within the sphere of actions that "they" declare acceptable.

There's nothing wrong with that.

The problem comes in when people obey authority to do things they PERSONALLY KNOW ARE HORRIBLE, and which they would never otherwise do.  You have a valid point there, but you have to pin it down pretty specifically.  Drone pilots or cops tear-gassing nonviolent protesters are decent illustrations.  Most people rarely (if ever) find themselves in circumstances like those.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:27 | 3077255 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

couldn't agree more

except, I can't decide which, in the end, is more evil, those who are, or those who allow it for too long.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:51 | 3078004 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

People en masse have changed!!! I mean how many go to ZH each day to learn about truthful news? How many sheeple do you talk to on a daily basis, that have their heads completely up their asses? How many idiots voted this evil jerk and his successors back in office? Come on, this whole society is begging for servitude and oppression. I don't know about you, but this weapons ban thing has me pretty nervous. I am lying awake at night wondering when they will come for the guns. How many sheeple sympathize with me.......NOT MANY!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:18 | 3076091 CPL
CPL's picture

The Road


...The ancestral deed is thought and done,

And in a million Edens fall

A million Adams drowned in darkness,

For small is great and great is small. 

And a blind seed all.

- Edwin Muir

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:30 | 3075891 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I am confused because the Machiavelli quote from almost 500 years ago would indicate that this time is not different so why does the author say there is something that can be done.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:10 | 3076046 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

mac' only advised-- his perception of reality concerning the human psyche was just that... human nature is what it is!

ironically, he would chuckle inside his head-- that he himself, cared not for his advise... were it not for his masters sword-- but only as a creature of limited existence,  or better said, a surreal survivalist today would care about his family's next meal.  

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:16 | 3076082 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Because it's more comforting to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the titanic than procure a seat in a life raft and improvise floatation devices.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:20 | 3076095 CPL
CPL's picture

Because talk is cheap.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:37 | 3076350 e.blair
e.blair's picture

We are all used to the ubiquitous tiresome window dressing quotes where the author says P and then quotes some great thinker from the past who also seemed to say P.  But here, what we get is a quote from Machiavelli where he explains why it is difficult to change a corrupt regime (many profit from it while those who don't aren't willing to stick their neck out for something unfamiliar) and then just a glib assertion that there is a better way.  That's it.  No explanation for why what Machiavelli said is incorrect or doesn't apply.  I don't know if I have ever seen a more superficial confrontation with a great thinker.  They return to in the video with the same superficiality. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:14 | 3076860 CPL
CPL's picture

I would have made the video different as well.

Laser fade in

<Power guitar with 80's synth power melody>

Start a video with an introduction with a quote about individual vice, pull camera back.  

Chick in a teeny bikini bouncing around waving a sign "god is dead".

<laser beam fade out!> 

Then pull into a shot of a regional sketch of Florence Italy at the time with a tight shot on a woodblock print of one of the many fountains.fountain.  

Green screen two hotties in bikini's walking around either side of the fountain shot.

Then watch the two chicks splash each other and describe the pros and con's of post feudal empiricism followed with jello shots from their asses.


Oh and a spokes-dog done by snoop-dog reading the prince with a steady bass line in the background in a little circle split screen in the upper left hand corner.

...sponsored by Gatorade.

That's how you have to sell Machiavelli today

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:31 | 3075895 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Things are falling apart because citizens no longer believe in God, and, thus, there is no reason to obey the 10 commandments, follow the Constitution, not rip off everyone at every opportunity, etc.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:34 | 3075914 blabam
blabam's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:54 | 3076244 CH1
CH1's picture

It's not enough to disagree; you are compelled to ridicule.

And you wonder why people say atheists are hateful.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:51 | 3076468 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

And not to say I am better. I will probably go to hell. But if blabam is to confront the Pearly Gates, I'd love to have some popcorn as Blablam explains this one. Won't be with worth an eternity in hell, but I'll get a kick out of reminding Blabam of it everyday for eternity. LOL

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:28 | 3076917 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


Eat yer heart out.


Get out of jail card.

Bought those indulgences cheap many years ago.

It only hurt the first time.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:47 | 3075963 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I think someone should pull the troll alarm...

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:52 | 3076474 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

No need, it goes off everytime you come to ZH.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:02 | 3076018 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

It's Christianity, specifically.  The islamists belive in God, but communism with a God really isn't any better than communism without.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:07 | 3076031 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

And what about those rat bastard Quakers, huh? They call themselves Christian. What a load. And Catholics. Don't get me started on enumerating all the different groups of people who suck.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:25 | 3076367 tickhound
tickhound's picture

I thank the Lord everyday for choosing me to be born into the population of 2 billion saved Christians.  30th day Adventist here with a touch of Lutheran and Catholic sprinkles. 

The rest of you?  Fucked.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:31 | 3076393 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Oh, shit: I'm Catholic! Yeah, strike Catholics from the list I'm not going to enumerate.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:30 | 3077260 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I'm a recovering Catholic

I'm on mythadone now

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:35 | 3077285 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Very good!

Careful with the mythadone; it can be a bitch if you don't follow your doctor's recommendations.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:13 | 3077382 tickhound
tickhound's picture

I'm off that shit.  I re-pledged my allegiance to the Pope err King James, and I'm ready to get back to spreading some Christianity.  Where's my gun?  Who's with me? 


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:38 | 3076381 livid levity
livid levity's picture

Look up the 99 names (or titles) of Allah in the Quaran and then look up the names (or titles) of YHVH in the Bible (Old and New Testament -NKJ is my pref.)  Not describing the same "G-d"

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:38 | 3076422 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Makes sense; I've not studied it enough to be fully up to speed on Islamism. "A god" would probably be a better way to put it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:15 | 3076599 livid levity
livid levity's picture

What becomes readily apparent is that the titles for Allah are antithetical to the titles for YHVH.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:13 | 3077932 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

Surely God or G*D which ever you prefer, is only what you think it is.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:19 | 3076092 Element
Element's picture

I'll see your God and raise you a burning-bush, let's call him 'George'.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:35 | 3076164 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

darteaus is correct. When morality goes the society follows.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:52 | 3076236 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I thought the highest expression of morality was the unhindered pursuit of self interest. I read a book about it a long time ago.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:37 | 3076413 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Then, the female preying mantis has it about right.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:43 | 3076425 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

True, but in a world with other people you can't maximize your own self interest without leveraging the standards of morality, the rules of the road, so to speak.


"Happiness", in the Western civilization sense of it, refers to wisdom and virtue - not the primitive post-Western-civilization notions of "happiness" as the satisfaction of primitive animal instincts.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:54 | 3076475 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture


As Jesus said:

Love first yourself, and don't forget to leverage the standards of morality when necessary.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:42 | 3076744 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

To keep it simple, for the masses:

"Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Lev. 19:18) = Individual Altruism

"Hope and Change" (Des. 20:08) = Egotistical Collectivism


Altruism opposes egoism.
Individualism opposes collectivism.

Four possibilities, not two.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:48 | 3076771 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Thanks for picking two passages and conflating them to produce evidence for your world view, whatever in fact it is. It's good to break things down like this for we in the masses.

Very helpful, thanks again.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:24 | 3076903 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Even more helpful would be to focus upon what the Nazarean actually did, instead of what he supposedly said...then it becomes extremely hard to obfuscate...

I find this quote instructive...

A minute later, in an event which was to alter the course of human history, he fashioned a whip out of something he had found along the way, and drove those out of the Temple who had desecrated its holiness through their love of money and ambitious designs.

There's a time and place for everything; but the time for turning the cheek to the moneypower is long a weapon, and drive them out, of your house, for they have done just that to you!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:32 | 3076911 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

dup...Great Firewall of China strikes again.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:08 | 3076927 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:09 | 3077205 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:02 | 3077364 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Theeeeeere it is:  DUALITY.   I knew it wouldn't take long.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:47 | 3076219 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

They believe in Blankfein. For 2012, that's enough.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:17 | 3076331 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

George Carlin 'Religion is Bullshit'

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:45 | 3076442 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

That's a pretty dogmatic explanation. Even more dogmatic are the atheists and marxists who virulently defend their primitive, animistic, counter-Christian superstitions.

Religion, in whatever form it's found, is one of the key differentiators of mankind.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:57 | 3076500 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Especially Islam. And the LDS. And the Scientologists.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:00 | 3076502 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

Up arrow for you. In another way to say it for you atheist and liberals, it is one of the key differentiators between man and animal. Humans are masters of animals for a reason (talking about productive human purposes such as horses and oxen for farming and transportation, dogs for hunting and companionship. Chickens, pigs and cows for food).

Atheist, often without knnowing it or wanting to deny it are saying that they (the atheist) is no better then any animal on earth. And that is fine with me. You're a monkey if you want to be.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:19 | 3076556 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Atheism's essentially a religion, at least in the absolute most primitive form of it. There are certainly myriad dogmas and rituals that go along with attempting to deny God and those dogmas and rituals must be virulently defended. As almost any atheist will do. 

Marxism, while related to atheism, is certainly a far more developed counter-Christian religion. Of course, atheism is only one tenet of marxism, but it is perhaps the most important tenet of it.

For better or worse, Christianity is a blueprint for civilization, the superstitions of Marxisim are a recipe for its destruction.

Some things really are that simple.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:14 | 3077397 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Some things really are that simple...+1.

It does take a lot of faith to be an atheist, they can't provide any proof for their faith ;-)

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:29 | 3085944 e-recep
e-recep's picture

where the fuck is dogma in asking for evidence of god?? i am asking for evidence and you can't provide any. how does that make me a believer??

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:06 | 3077377 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Wow!  You can cut the fog in your mind with a knife. Thanks for the look inside. 



Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:14 | 3077064 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture


There is "evidence" to support/confirm/validate every single religion, political persuasion, ideology, superstition and conspiracy theory in the world.

For that reason I believe they are all as wrong as they are right, or visa versa (cant remember).

I have a personal belief system that works for me most of the time.  I would never expect anyone else to adopt my belief system.  But you see, my belief system only has to work for me and no one else.  So, for me, my belief system is perfect (for me) like yours is for you.

We are probably both as right as we are wrong.  I guess we'll find out when we are dead, or not. I dont know.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:45 | 3077322 GCT
GCT's picture

Darteaus +1 for standing up for your beliefs.  I see alot of junks.  I am going to take this a tad further all and you can junk all you like.  What we have strayed from is good morals and values in society. I do not care how you learned them. The morals and values of our country, the rule of law, and for the most part the world are going into the shit hole for a long time to be honest.

Although a local church does indeed teach and preach high moral standards they too have strayed.  Almost all the commenters come here daily to read about corruption, crooked politicians and bankers that break the law with some brilliant articles and comments.  People see the system failing and make the call day and night to put the culprits in jail, we know the government wants to legally steal from a producer to give to someone else and we call it bad.  You just made a moral or value judgement based on wherever you learn them.  I honestly do not care where you learn them, but you are making a moral or value judgement 

We now live in a world if you produce your the criminal and need to sacrifice more , basically telling us we need to give up even more money to support alot of people that choose not to work because they do not have too or want too.   In my small mind it does not matter where you learn them but that you see the shit we are fed daily as mostly fraud.  I would prefer to have an honest person to dscuss issues with no matter what they believe.  Having good values and morals, and getting back to them, would actually help solve alot of these problems.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:22 | 3078614 darteaus
darteaus's picture

I knew I was going to get slammed, but if we can't speak our minds on ZH, why are we here?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:32 | 3075901 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Long - complaining do-nothing whiners

Short - people with skills and work ethic

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:33 | 3075905 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

We have twin dictators: Ben the Bald, and a wannabe Stalinist, and free markets have been revoked until further notice.  Other than that, things are just ducky.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:40 | 3075936 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

Sorry......they are only mid level ops. The real power resides in the owners of the Fed and you need to do some deep research to find the families. Now the power resides in their bloodlines and the names have been shuffled through marriage to some degree.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:37 | 3075920 madcows
madcows's picture

How about we all just stop working and live off the system? Or, let the bots do all the trading and make us mo' money.  Or, vote ourselves a chicken in every pot, or a McMansion in every lot.  Why not rig up the Christmas lights to Unicorn farts.  Maybe hire some Mexicans to do all the work and they could pay us to sit around and get fat.  Or, go all starwars like and get me some robots to farm for water while I play with my light saber and watch scantily clad women on tv.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:41 | 3075937 madcows
madcows's picture

Shit!  What?  Rollers.  Naw!  yeah.  Shit!.

Man, I ain't been pulled over in 6 months.  I bet they got SCMODS. SCMODS?  State, County, Municipal, Offender, DATA System.

Dude  DATA has been around since the Blues Brothers.  Way before gay Wesley was playing with him on the New Star Trek or you had some new world economic solution.

you want a solution?  Put the fucking bankers in jail and execute the kleptocrat politicians.  There, fixed.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:42 | 3075940 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture

Falling apart?!

Are you mad?  have you seen the market?  Are those sleigh bells I hear?  My statement is freakin' awesome!  I'm going to Sizzler.


Dumb ass 401(k)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:45 | 3075944 akak
akak's picture

The author repeatedly harps on the theme of "faster, better, cheaper", as if the three factors were positively correlated.  What happens, however (as is usually the case) when "faster" and "cheaper" are diametrically opposed to "better"?  In almost every facet of modern life, and much to my ongoing disgust, I continually see the first two winning out over the latter.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:19 | 3076340 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

Harder Faster... that's what she says

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:45 | 3076448 livid levity
livid levity's picture

I thought it was Faster, Harder...SCOOTER!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:42 | 3076438 livid levity
livid levity's picture

There is hardly
anything in the
world that some
man can’t make a
little worse and
sell a little cheaper,
and the people
who consider price
only are this man’s
lawful prey.”
(John Ruskin, 1819-1900, English art critic and social



Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:47 | 3076458 darteaus
darteaus's picture

The olde project triangle:


Pick Two:

  1. Better
  2. Faster
  3. Cheaper
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:07 | 3077196 CPL
CPL's picture

And the client response:

It better be faster and cheaper.


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 23:18 | 3077414 Galway Bay
Galway Bay's picture

That's not just the client's response.  I hear it just as often from executive management.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 11:14 | 3078593 darteaus
darteaus's picture

No problem - it just won't be better.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:44 | 3075946 Undecided
Undecided's picture


SEC Revokes Registration of Toronto-Based Broker and Bans Two Executives from U.S. Securities Industry for Allowing Layering
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:45 | 3075956 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Things will continue along their trajectory until they can't....

Well they can't anymore for a whole bunch of reasons, though it is  primarily because we ran out of cheap oil to enable paying off all that debt from artificial demand brought forward by financialization...

Did anyone really think that a McMansion and a SUV for damn well near everyone was going to become reality?

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:06 | 3076035 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Define "everyone."

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:07 | 3077201 CPL
CPL's picture

Ignorance is bliss.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:53 | 3075981 Iam Yue2
Iam Yue2's picture


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W B Yeats.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076040 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

William Butler Yeats = +1.

Even if he was kind of a loopy fascist.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 16:58 | 3075991 Boilermaker
Boilermaker's picture


Watch them bang the hell out of the close here.

Honestly, who gives a flying shit now?  This is so pathetically comical and sad that it's just flat out entertainment now.

Let's go 20 handles just for shits and giggles.  You know...high of the day...buying in the close...confidence...all that fun shit.  Hell, let's just do it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:01 | 3076010 Anglo Hondo
Anglo Hondo's picture

Sounds like the simplification needed is Building Bridges to the McMansion.  Then Nowhere becomes Somewhere closer.

Have I got that right?


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:33 | 3076159 marathonman
marathonman's picture

You're definately getting outside the box. Reminds me of the Terry Tate Office Linebacker commercials back in the 90's.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:01 | 3076011 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Actually, Christianity is the foundation of Western civilization.  Without that foundation, the structure implodes upon itself.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076047 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Don't you mean collapse? A foundation has little to do with preventing an implosion.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076268 CH1
CH1's picture

Snarkiness is not a contribution.

Grow up.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:00 | 3076279 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Sorry - I didn't know the ZH Comment Value Committee was watching. I'll be more careful next time. Thanks.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:00 | 3076280 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Forgive him, he knows not much.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:03 | 3076278 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Implosion paints a better visual picture, methinks.

There's no real visual that can be painted with vague, imprecise, meaningless words like "collapse", "capitalism", "society", etc.

Lack of language precision, resulting from slovenly thinking, is but one of the challenges facing the remnants of Western civilization.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:05 | 3076293 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

OMG. Best comment all day. +1

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:08 | 3076048 darteaus
darteaus's picture

It becomes a bunch of feral materialists ruled by an aristocratic elite playing demographic groups off against each other.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:01 | 3076281 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

That's certainly close to being a correct description.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076059 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

If you're correct, "Western civilization" is already over, and it has been for centuries--we're just savages in fancier cars.  There's nothing wrong with Christianity, but it does seem a pity none of the current power-institutions have any use for it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:00 | 3076276 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Probably peaked in the late 18th, early 19th centuries.  What we're in now isn't "Western civilization" per se, but something else. Modern barbarism, perhaps. That's not exactly it, but it's closer to the truth than Western civilization. Post-Western-Civilization, Ameritopia - as some like to call it.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:06 | 3077033 rustymason
rustymason's picture

What we are living in now is called, "Idiocracy." Watch the movie again. It's not funny anymore -- it's all too real.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:33 | 3077108 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:10 | 3077209 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

It's definitely not funny. It's serious fucking business.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:06 | 3076298 nufio
nufio's picture

nor did they ever in history.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:59 | 3076512 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

You're right, I should amend my "none" to "almost none" above.  There have been a few virtuous organizations which have existed here and there over the centuries.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076067 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I think you are stretching things a little to say that Christianity is the foundation of western civilization. One of its pillars perhaps and even then the breakdown of many churches is evident despite the beauty of the Christian message. Consumerism, money and something for nothing are the new gods.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:33 | 3076397 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

I did not up-vote myself on that.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:07 | 3076552 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Keep in mind, just because MOST of the pre-selected for Heaven are successful, it doesn't logically follow that they ALL are.  So even some black hobo with an iPhone may be predestined for eternal paradise after subsisting an entire lifetime on the fruits of others' labors.

Karma's a bitch, that's fo'SHO.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:10 | 3076569 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Hey, blunderdog: thanks for the Calvanism refresher!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 19:26 | 3076679 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

We need SOME kind of cultural memory, now that we've abandoned books.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:46 | 3076212 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

I don't think it's a stretch. It's a message from the Bible. When a society falls away from God, it goes downhill. The only way to "fix" things is a return to God. 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:56 | 3076257 akak
akak's picture

Yes, I pine for the days of public hangings, witch burnings, Inquisitions and the torture of heretics.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:03 | 3076287 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Well, as long as you're not a witch, or heretic... what's the problem?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:00 | 3077915 Cloud9.5
Cloud9.5's picture

It's all in the labeling.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 01:53 | 3077692 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Yes, I pine for the days of public hangings, witch burnings, Inquisitions and the torture of heretics.

And did that society survive? No. I rest my case.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:08 | 3076303 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

It's the foundation of the ideas and institutions.  The scientific method, which arose in Christendom, and applied science are the other two key pillars.  Reference JO Gassett's "Revolt of the Masses", for one.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:42 | 3076402 e.blair
e.blair's picture

Where did you go to school?  Are you unaware that Homer, the Greek tragedians, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, really all of Western philosophy, Thucydides, Athenian democracy, the Roman Republic, Roman Law all came before people started worshipping a god who looked like a man and who had been nailed to a cross?  Maybe Western Civilization went wrong when it took such a wimp for a god.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:34 | 3076887 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Plato has nothing to do with Western civilization, silly. 

In fact, Plato's superstitions are the tenets worshiped by counter-civilization totalitarians the world over.  Reference Popper's "Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume I", (The Spell of Plato) among others.  Igor Shafarevich has also done brilliant work in/on the "Socialist Phenomenon".

Similarly, Thucydides simply established a method for historical narratives. He didn't actually make any contributions to the ideas and institutions of Western civilization.

If your going to make silly claims, at least make plausible ones.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:49 | 3076975 e.blair
e.blair's picture

"Plato has nothing to do with Western civilization."  This is the most astonishing and easily the stupidest thing I have read in a very long time.  Plato wrote more than one dialogue.  And for better or worse he was more influential than Shakespeare.  Indeed, Plato had more to do with Western civilization than any other thinker.  As for Thucydides, if all you can say about him is a four word platitude about historical narrative, then I doubt you have read him.  You better quick run to Wikipedia and find a bit more detail because you really look extremely foolish.  What else can we say about Thucydides?  Come on now.  Hurry up.  You might still be able to fake it.  What's Thucydides lesson?  

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:12 | 3077005 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Look, I'm not claiming that Plato wasn't influential - Plato's notions were the basis of the superstitions conjured up by Hegel and Marx.  What's not clear to me is how you're equating Plato, Hegel, and Marx with Western civilization.  They're the counter-civilization yin to Western civilization's yang.

Reference Popper's work, cited prior, along with Igor Shafarevich's brilliant works "Socialism in our Past and Future" and "The Socialist Phenomenon".

Here's a link to some of Plato's work, as documented by Shafarevich in "The Socialist Phenomenon":

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:23 | 3077078 e.blair
e.blair's picture

Nice duck on Thucydides.  So pretty clearly we have established that you haven't read him.  Just like to pretend so on forums.  I couldn't care less about your links.  You've taken a few sociology courses.  Woopty doo.  I really don't need a sociologist to explain Plato to me. 

And Plato was just one of a list of people and things I mentioned.  Do you even know whom I was responding to?  You do know I was responding to somebody don't you?  Maybe you don't.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:39 | 3077123 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Well, I can lead you to information but I can't make you think.  I'm not that impressed by Thucydides, frankly. Other than his method, which was revolutionary at the time.  I doubt Wikipedia's going to change my mind about that.

What's shocking, but perhaps not surprising considering the dilapidated condition of education today, is that you're implying Plato, Hegel, and Marx to be the key pillars of Western civilization. No wonder we're in such a pickle.

We may agree, however, that "Politics and the English Language" should be required reading. Along with "The Gods of the Copybook Headings".  There's more useful information in the 512 words of TGotCH than the entire body of work conjured up by Plato, Hegel, and Marx.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 22:42 | 3077298 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Keep on digging.

edit: I'm sorry, that was uncalled for.

all the freaky people make the beauty of the world

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 21:29 | 3077098 booboo
booboo's picture

Only if you are a trinitarian does God "look(ed) like a man, well, most of chritianDUMB. The Unitarians, like many of the founding fathers thought he was the Son of God, go figure. It was a pretty good trick to get the pagans and the christians all wrapped up in one neat ball and stop fighting. "ok guys, you can have your female goddess shit, we make jesus a man god and you can worship his mommy, badda boom, badda bing, everyones happy, lets go screw some women and furry animals and drink some vino"

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:04 | 3076020 mdtrader
mdtrader's picture

The only thing falling apart is the bear's argument!

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:15 | 3076079 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Time will show that the bull is full of bull......

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:15 | 3076866 Pareto
Pareto's picture

This is a true statement.  Too often we hear on ZH how bad the fundamentals are, and that this market has only 1 direction it can go.  Well, ater the fib retracement and 3 years later, we're still hearing the same mantra.  Shorting this market has led to only 1 meaningful event: having your hat handed to you every time they blow out your stops.  Since the Mays highs, if you were not nimble on the short side, you got creamed plain and simple.  Just ask anybody trading the vxx.

I am in total agreement with ZH and its readership on most analyses.  However, sometimes you have to change your strategy when the story changes, even if the story is fucked.  Right, or wrong, there is still too much negativity in the market place.  Have we reached a market top?  ZHers will tell you "hell ya".  But this, in and of itself, is a losing proposition.  Negativity has to all but disappear before calamity or market events can cause a material move in the market.  Deep corrections depend on no more buyers.  But, so long as CB's keep expanding their balance sheet, means there will always be a floor and the vxx goes to zero.  Negative real rates (soon to be negative nominal) will only accentuate and acccelerate what seems like a contradiction.  The Bernanke "put' is on, and since this is all one big fucking science experiment in various carry trades, you have to go with what you know, and not with what you think you know is right, IMO.

One day, this will end bad; on this there is no doubt.  But, since we don't know when that it is, I think an open mind is warranted.  I appreciate the ZH position.  Always have.  Its why I come to this site.  ZHers are the smartest people in the world.  However, I think I have personally frittered away a number of opportunities on the long side because of a bias that is materially not justified.  At least not yet. cheers 

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:07 | 3076033 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

People have through debt built themselves bigger treadmills which have now become mouse traps with the loss of well paying jobs.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 20:48 | 3076978 Abrick
Abrick's picture

You cannot possibly trust someone on a treadmill. Working harder and harder to stay in the same place is, by my definition, insanity.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:09 | 3076053 booboo
booboo's picture

I thought all good things come from the beenviolent er I mean benevolent) government.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:12 | 3076061 Element
Element's picture

Entropy and jack-shit

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:44 | 3076206 tickhound
tickhound's picture

I find your use of entropy here confusing, yet stimulating... fucking chemists.  ;)

Back in the day, wasn't it systemic equilibrium or somethin'?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 08:35 | 3077970 Element
Element's picture

Not a chemist ... geo ;)

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:13 | 3076062 tickhound
tickhound's picture

How the hell can "faster, better, cheaper" fix anything under the same faulty money creation premise in which we currently operate.

The author sees most of the problem, but his solution is just a "faster, better, cheaper" way to the same result.

He doesn't come close to fixing shit.  He just wants to TIDY UP a faulty money creation premise that he actually freaking thinks is NATURAL!?!? 


Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:24 | 3076115 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

I agree. We both noticed this statement as a problem about the same time.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:58 | 3076263 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Yeah and I don't even want to go this far, but as one of our fellow bitchez recently said regarding "natural".......

"Nature doesn't need money, money needs man."

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 17:24 | 3076107 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

"The second fact is that “faster, better, cheaper” always wins..."

This is a mantra from most economic dogmas of our time. However, I am not sure the "better" part of this phrase is always true. The other parts might not be true either. As for "better" the owners have been able to manipulate a higher tolerance for lower quality, the sheople have become more tolerant of it on their own. Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class also proposes that image is more important than "better". The superficial lives many attempt to lead, by perhaps buying more than they can afford, can lead to where we are now.

Anyway, I am not sure this assumption always holds true and other factors may be at play. I also know that speaking against any of the mainstream economic dogmas is blasphemy to the true believers.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 18:33 | 3076396 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

For many who subscribe(d) to socialism, nuclear armageddeon is considered its triumph.  Igor Shafarevich has done brilliant work on the topic:

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!