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Guest Post: The Last Christmas In America?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The end of work and the end of mass affluence: welcome to The Last Christmas in America (TLCIA).

As unemployment rose toward 10%, the January 1975 cover of Ramparts magazine blared: The End of Affluence: The Last Christmas in America. (TLCIA)

The government responded quickly to unemployment, high inflation and rising budget deficits: it started manipulating data to mask the politically inconvenient realities of rising inflation, unemployment and deficits by playing switcheroo with Social Security Trust Funds, inflation data, etc.--games it continues to play to cloak reality from the media-numbed public.

The Bear market, and thus the "real" recession, lasted 16 years: from 1966 to 1982. Now statistics are echoing that last great recession: rising prices for essentials, systemically high unemployment and stagnant wages.

We all know the 16-year recession/malaise had a "happy ending": huge new oil fields were discovered in Alaska, the North Sea, West Africa and elsewhere, ushering in a renewed era of cheap, abundant petroleum. President Reagan "saved" Social Security for a generation by raising contributions paid by employer and employees, and he heralded a "lower taxes, higher permanent deficits" ideology that is now accepted as the norm: deficits don't matter, even when they reach the trillions, because our good friends the Gulf Oil Exporters and Asian exporters will buy all our debt forever and ever, keeping interest low forever and ever.

(And if they drop the ball, then the Federal Reserve will print money and buy the Treasury bonds. Sweet! We don't need any external buyers, just the Federal Reserve.)

Then the U.S. created and launched two revolutionary technologies which both created new wealth around the globe: the personal computer (microprocessor and cheap RAM) and the Internet (TCP/IP, Ethernet, and the commercialization of Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web with free browsers) spawning the generation-long boom of the 1980s and 90s.

But when the wheels fell off that boom in 2000, the U.S. did not create a new engine of wealth: it opted instead for a devilishly insidious simulacrum of wealth: debt which rose at an exponential rate throughout the economy.

Borrowed money and phony financial legerdemain (mortgage-backed securities, derivatives based on the MBS, etc. etc.) from 2000-2007 created what I have termed a "bogus prosperity": no actual new wealth was created, only a brief and doomed bubble of debt-based housing valuations was inflated which followed the classic model set down by the Tulip Craze in Holland hundreds of years ago: insane boom, crushing bust.

We have to revisit the early 1970s for a reality check. In post-industrial America circa 1970, a huge surplus of food was grown by a mere 2% of the workforce. The cornucopia of manufactured goods was produced by about 20% of the workforce (hence the phrase "post-industrial"), and other than essential government services like the Armed Forces, police and the courts, the rest of society's work was either service-oriented paper-pushing relating to affluence (insurance), do-good selfless work (Peace Corps, churches) or leisure-related: entertainment, films, travel, amusement parks, stereos, clubs, etc.

This was not all fantasy. A friend of mine supported an entire house of hippies in late-60s Pittsburgh on his union steelworker job, and had plenty of money left to save for his trip to San Francisco. (As I recall, the rent for the big old house was less than $200 per month.) Hippies were the first ardent dumpster-divers/scavengers, driven not by poverty but by the idea that since that our society generated so much waste and surplus, why bother working?

As noted here many times before, the purchasing power of American workers' wages reached a plateau around 1973 and has been declining ever since.

One key point which is usually overlooked when comparing "The Last Christmas in America" circa 1974 and TLCIA circa 2012: the wealth distribution in the U.S. was much flatter then. CEOs of financial institutions did not earn $10 million each; there were no hedge funds with chiefs pulling down $600 million each (yes, that was the average "compensation" for the top ten fund managers at the hedgies' glorious peak), and even minimum wage ($1.60/hour in the late 60s, I know because my wage stub recorded it) bought far more goods (purchasing power) then than minimum wage does now.

Not only was gasoline cheap, but housing was far and away cheaper than it is today. Just about any G.I./Vet could buy a house with his/her V.A. benefits (3% down), and anyone else could scrimp and save for a few years and then buy a house for 2 or 3 times their annual wage at an interest rate around 6%.

Even in the the most expensive city in the U.S. in terms of cost-of-living, Honolulu, I was able to rent an old studio apartment in 1973 for $120/month--$525 in today's dollars. My tuition and student fees at the University of Hawaii per semester in 1971-75 was $117--$514 in today's dollars. Can you find an apartment in a high-cost city for $500 and go to a four-year state university for $500/semester (not including books of course)? No. Was the state or Federal government running stupendous deficits to provide this education? No.

Meanwhile, in TLCIA circa 2012, obscene "compensation packages" are defended as "free enterprise." Well, what did we have in 1973? Unfree enterprise? Amidst all the ideologically convenient defenses of heavily skewed "compensation," we have to admit that the dream of affluence combined with leisure was based on the presumption of society's wealth being distributed somewhat evenly, not by a Communist central state but by the "free enterprise" system and modest common-sense government regulation (limited work hours, overtime, minimum wage, etc.) which protected employees from the excessive exploitation of the late 19th century and early 20th century Monopoly Capitalists.

Now we face a future which might well be called the End of Work for up to a third of the current workforce. Since agriculture employs about 2% of the workforce, industrial/factory production about 11%, essential transportation and essential government each a bit more, we have to ask: in an economy in which 70% of GDP is consumer spending, how many jobs are actually essential? How much actual wealth is being created/produced in the U.S. and sold overseas? Is giving people with Medicare coverage 13 costly and often ineffective medications and endless MRI tests actually creating wealth, or it mostly squandering it?

 

 

We might also ask: how much of the consumer economy is superfluous if wage-earners shift values and decide saving is more important than consuming? How many malls, storefronts, internet retailers, restaurants, fast-food joints, etc. can a newly-frugal economy support? How many dog-walkers, derivative salespeople, nail shops, carpenters, financial planners, realtors, etc. does an economy need if the FIRE economy (finance, insurance and real estate) is shrinking?

Based on the tremendous size of the service/FIRE economy and government, I have estimated that 30 million jobs out of the current 142 million-strong workforce are superfluous (114 million full-time, 38 million part-time). Many government positions are essential: police, meat inspectors, rangers, tax collectors, meter maids, etc., but dozens of agencies could be eliminated without any visible effect on the economy except to the wage-earners who lost their jobs.

If 10 million more jobs disappear, so do all the taxes those wage-earners paid; if the 5 million homes in the pipeline go through foreclosure, the inflated property taxes the owners once paid will disappear, too. Once businesses close, it's not just wages which disappear: all the junk-fees governments levy disappear, too: the business taxes, the licensing fees, the permits, transaction fees, etc.

Does anyone think all these taxes and levies can fall and government employment will be funded by some other source? Yes, the Federal government can borrow money for a few more years at low interest rates; but soon, the surplus money which has piled up in exporters' accounts will be gone, and the endless borrowed trillions will actually start costing real money--money that will be diverted from government employment to pay the interest on all that wonderful debt everyone loved when they got a piece of it.

So how does a society deal with the End of Work when it also means The End of Affluence, even for many of those with jobs? How does government deal with declining tax revenues and rising interest rates?

The death throes of the debt-based consumerist lifestyle are already visible beneath the glossy propaganda of "rising revenues this Christmas season."

The Fed is desperately attempting to re-inflate the debt bubble by lowering interest and mortgage rates and buying up all sorts of semi-toxic/impaired debt. What the Fed dreads is the reality we all feel and see: fear of the future due to diminished wealth and shaky incomes. If your assets have been slashed, you feel poorer because you are poorer. Borrowing more at any interest rate will not make anyone feel wealthier.

People who fear their income may plummet due to layoffs or their hours being cut are not in the euphoric mood to borrow more, and banks which cannot dare to lose more money loaning to people who will default have cut off credit to millions of previously rabid consumers of debt.

And let's not forget that much of what is purchased in this frenzy is needless, superfluous crap. My wife saves the most egregiously gift-buying-frenzy advertising circulars, and one from Bed, Bath & Beyond caught my eye.

There is no difference between this "1001 Best Gifts" from BB&B and a parody of consumerist excess. Hmm, how about an "executive standing valet" rack of wood and plastic for $99.99.

To make this poor-quality contraption, a forest somewhere in a Third-World kleptocracy was cut down and precious, irreplaceable oil was burned shipping the lumber to China and from that factory to the U.S. across 6,000 miles of Pacific Ocean.

We know this spindly piece of garbage will break in a matter of days, weeks or maybe if the owner is especially careful, months; then the legs will break loose of the base, the towel bar will pull out, etc. and the "we cut down a priceless rain forest to make this" piece of human handiwork will be put on the curb where a diesel-burning garbage truck will haul it to the landfill along with all the spoiled food Americans throw out.

The 16-bottle wine cellar/cooler from China (labeled Cuisinart for your consuming pleasure) for $199.99 might come in handy storing something once it's unplugged--but a cardboard box will probably do just as well.

I for one will not mourn the last Christmas in America. Good riddance to the flaunting of borrowed money and the heedless, desperate purchase of valueless "goods" as gifts for an insolvent nation awash in too much of everything but common sense, integrity, gratitude, accountability and healthy living.


My new book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It is now available in print and Kindle editions--10% to 20% discounts.
 

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Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:18 | 3084723 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

The end of the COMMERCIAL side of Christmas, perhaps.  Not the end of Christmas.

My wife is out right now doing another 3 hours of "last minute shopping" while I'm watching the kids.  I got the better part of that deal.  (Until I look at next month's statement!)

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:30 | 3084824 IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

so there will be some debt.......

 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:55 | 3085132 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

This isn't the last Christmas in America.

This is simply the last Christmas with presents and food.

This year, I'm giving my children tree bark and chili.

Now that's good eating.

http://www.angrysinner.blogspot.kr/2012/12/yesterday-i-hiked-ten-miles-through_20.html

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:06 | 3085897 mkkby
mkkby's picture

Well, I've been around since 1975 too.  Every fucking year it's the same thing.  Boo hoo hoo, Christmas sales are going to be down.  The world is coming to an end.  And every fucking year sheeple spend 2-5% more than the previous year.  Now according to this writer, the gig is up... no more santa. 

Well, I'd like to short that idea.  Even in 08-09, people went out and shopped, hoping to make their pitiful, empty lives a little less painful with some cheap Chinese made crap.  Why?  Because sheeple never learn.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:24 | 3085438 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

one thing is gauranteed nodebt,... she will have saved more than she spent...so she is making you money, ..i am told...

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:19 | 3084730 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

but it will not be the last Hannukah

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:41 | 3084871 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

fuck yeah, jews aren't stupid.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:55 | 3085128 squexx
squexx's picture

Stupid, no. Evil.............?

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:51 | 3084897 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Hannukah isn't really even a holiday. It was only promoted as one because it fell around Christmastime every year, and there was an untapped market for consumerism to be exploited.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:14 | 3085400 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

 "..there was an untapped market for consumerism to be exploited." 

I always wondered why the progressive holiday Kwanzza begins on Dec 26 and ends on Jan 1st.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:27 | 3084784 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Wow. That rocked.

I am reminded of the song "What do you want from life" by The Tubes. Some crazy shit is going down. Down and it ain't coming back up is my worry.

Well maybe not worry as such, since it mostly sucked. But I sometimes worry about what people in my town are going to do with their anger when the Sacred American Way of Life goes off the rails over the side of the bridge and into a chasm. These crazy mo'fos  all have closets full of guns and I don't have even one.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:36 | 3085271 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

You might consider buying one.  It serves as home defense weapon AND the ultimate "hard asset", even if you can only stomach a purchase based on it being to "diversify your portfolio".

Anything with a big clip and semi-auto capability will do.  Gun stores can't keep them on the shelf, esp after the school shooting.  I know.  I was at my local gun shop just this morning.  I was looking for a model 4595 carbine made by Hi-Point (a cheap-ass rifle that shoots cheap-ass 45 cal pistol ammo).  In front of a store full of people all 3 guys behind the counter LAUGHED OUT LOUD at me.  Guy said "yeah, you and everyone else!  Get outta here.  We're not even taking orders any more!"  I ended up buying one on-line and having it shipped to my friend who has a FFL to take legal delivery of it for me.

When they outlaw everything semi-auto with a pistol grip ("assault weapons") you'll be glad you got in before the lock.  This won't be gentle like before under the Brady Bill.  They're coming for EVERYTHING this time- guns, ammo and clips.

I thought it was crazy watching this stuff get gobbled up at gun shows a few months ago.  Since the school shootings demand's gone parabolic for them.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:47 | 3085288 SilverFish
SilverFish's picture

Dont worry.

 

If the time comes when people actually start going berzerk and shooting each other, just pick one up off a freshly hole ridden corpse who lost the shootout. Money saved.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:09 | 3085384 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Okay now that made a lot of sense. I feel better having a plan. But I'm still going to pick up a little something sized "12 gauge" for Xmas.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:34 | 3084841 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

You forgot to define "Christmas."

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:37 | 3084857 becky quick and...
becky quick and her beautiful mouth's picture

cast iron, bitchez.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:55 | 3085782 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Had a wet dream about this babe after watching C FLEM BC udda day; you know that " you know you want too look " she seduces you with. Anyhows in the dream she says " bet you wanna feel your twins slap against my arse ". . when i opened my eyes i was lying on top of Joe ( aka mr magoo ). then i woke up in a cold sweat. . . thought what the fuck; coulda been Wossy Sorkin and Jamie Dimon threesome. Am kinky but not that kinky!

buy the dips

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:53 | 3085878 Livingstrong
Livingstrong's picture

OUCH, that hurts! It used to be: SLV bitchez!  

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:42 | 3084877 Pejorative Requiem
Pejorative Requiem's picture

Whatever...... party till it's gone I say. There's no stopping it at this point anyways. So next year we'll burn furniture to cook over; just like the good old days, all full of charm.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:46 | 3084884 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

I'm just happy they put Gold and Silver on clearance sale just before the Holidays!

I was wondering what I could buy to clear out investments that will be taxed next year. Thank you(!) to whoever dumped the entire worlds production of paper Gold and Silver on the market today.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:00 | 3084909 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

I did all my Christmas shopping tonight in under 5 minutes and I didn't even leave the house. Just went to the safe and started wrapping silver coins in some recycled plain brown paper. Fuck being a consumer. I'm not even going to the store and buying gift wrap. The silver coins are going to be the best dam presents my family and friends get anyway so I don't care if I skimp on the wrap. 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 20:55 | 3084899 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

It is all bullshit. None of it is real and I don't take any of it seriously. I stay out of debt and save in silver and gold. What else is a sane and prudent person supposed to do when presented with all this fake bullshit?

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:54 | 3085880 Livingstrong
Livingstrong's picture

Excellent! Very well said, Dr. Gonzo.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:00 | 3084907 AllWorkedUp
AllWorkedUp's picture

Excellent, excellent article! I won't miss the commercialized part of Christmas either, but the Black Friday voting class will and they'll be pissed.

BTW - I don't think rangers or meter maids are essential. :)

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 09:32 | 3086321 madcows
madcows's picture

Not even Lovely Rita?

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:03 | 3084911 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

The vast military industrial security complex in America is one of the great jobs creators. Not just our folks in uniform, but all the contractors and all the defense industry employees, then there are the TSA folks, the CIA folks, the NSA folks, State department folks, dept. of energy folks, people employed by the Veterans administration, and all the many off the books black operations, estimated at well over 50 billion dollars a year in spending.

America's last great growth industry is the prison industrial complex and the vast DEA and local police war on drugs forces. All told a million minor drug offenders are in jail, and surely hundreds of thousands of law enforcement are engaged in the drug wars.

The USA is becoming a vast gulag and police state. Just look at the state's reaction to some minor protest during the so called "Occupy Wall Street protests. Very minor compared to past protests, like civil rights, womens rights, Vietnam war and some big labor disputes, yet the giant security state came down hard on a handful of kids protesting the wall street rip offs that brought about the 2008 collapse.

Look at the military and security and police employment figures. They must be a major American employer. And all funded by taxing us few people left going to work for wages. No wonder 1/3 to 1/2 of every dime I can get from my employer ends up going to one or the other of the government taxing authorities.

The USA is really a sick entity at this point. Making new laws every day and starting new wars every month. Recent wars? Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq I, Afghanistan, Serbia, Iraq II. The government is planning to start wars in Iran and Lebanon soon. More good employment opportunites???

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:00 | 3085153 forwardho
forwardho's picture

JB, agree with all except,

And all funded by taxing us few people left going to work for wages.

This is a fallicy, it is being funded by debt, phony dollars, bogus script.

It. is. not. being paid for.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:03 | 3084912 hannah
hannah's picture

funny...but show me a solution to our current financial problem that DOESNT involve cutting the income of 60% of americans...! we cant pay welfare or soc security or unions. we cant print money forever. so what happens when we crash...? comparing the past at this point is kinda like being a jew in the colesium and the lion has a hold of your leg and you are thinking about how nice your 12th birthday was...?! kinda pointless.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:38 | 3085036 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Been sayin it for months.

We are living in the last days of Pompeii.

This may very well be the LAST PEACEFUL Christmas this country has.

Well, lets hope it is peaceful.

The nation is sinking faster than anticipated. The rats are jumping off fast.

What are those Mohicans doing lining up in Syria now?

Live well and in quality. Everything and every breath counts now as the clock ticks towards destiny unchained.

Babylon dances at satanic firesides as they ready for the beginning of the march towards next years Christmas.

Pray, there might be a few left to comment here then.

Live well, and in purity. It is the only Way!

.

---Be thou Faithful until death and I will give thee a Crown of Eternal life

.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:38 | 3085482 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

What are you smoking ? be hopeful amigo; there's lots of wonderful life to be lived. maybe you quoted someone else but still, the nation is not sinking. this is the greatest place in the world to live even though the Latinoamericanos are the happiest. Let's be thankful this holiday season. Let's love each other.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 21:59 | 3085146 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

"The Fed is desperately attempting to re-inflate the debt bubble by lowering interest and mortgage rates and buying up all sorts of semi-toxic/impaired debt."

The Fed is trying to orchestrate a soft landing for the world; it's never been done b4. I'm no Fed lover but we would be in deflationary HELL if they were not doing what they do. Sure nobody would buy the toxic MBS and other crap and the markets would find their " natural " clearing points but we ALL would suffer catastrophic hardship, and that includes all you guys who write financial "advice".

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:04 | 3085370 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

jmeyer - your rant does not require Caps. Deflationary hell? Catastrohpic hardship? Yeh for maybe 2 years, and best of all banksters would have been sent to jail (possibly Barney Fwank and Chris Dodd). Bwarney would have felt right at home after the first fisting.

It would have been a sharp, short contraction after the 2008 Credit based crash. Yes MBS, equity, and gold prices would have collapsed, however, all would have realized who was responsible.

The equity of the quoted banks would have gone to zero (all stock options and stock awards owned by CEO = 0). Corpoarte bonds would have gone to 30% of face. But guess what ? The conomy would have chugged along.

CEO's at the banks would have been fired / penalized / jailed, the controlled bankruptcy process, however, would have maintained 100% of depositor funds and brought in a whole new management team.

After 2 years the new price level would have been established, and equilibrium maintained. Imagine that 5 years later in 01/13, we would have been growing again....while Jamie Dimon, Sandy Weill, Robert Rubin, etc...would be just getting out of jail.

Oh yeh...there would not have been a "Corzine" for the MF Global customers.

 

 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:15 | 3085402 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

Thanks, but I think you have idealized the process and posted the best outcome which I think would have been worse. We have a " situation " here in which the leverage has been massively over-extended on top of a period of extreme debt accumulation. I think it would've taken a lot longer than 2 years to clear markets and either war or starvation or both would have appeared. And it could still happen ( yeah, I know it's the night B4 doomsday and all through the house ...... )

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:39 | 3085480 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

I don't think I idealized the process, however my outcome could have been "worse" for the short term only. That is how the system is set up to work. You would be surprised how quickly the US economic system would recover, when those at the helm of money center banks have just seen their predessors go to jail, minus a lot of their wealth.

And yes....it could still happen...but now the Fed has printed Trillions of USD, bought 50% of the outstanding US Bonds, disjointed the International equity, bond, swaps, and PM markets.....so if "it" does happen..... the catastrophe indeed will be even worse.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:12 | 3085580 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

Thanks. If no one had intervened in '08 when the feces hit the fan we would have had a financial collapse; not just a " correction " but a real mess; but the gov't and it's insiders did the right things including the nationalization of AIG. AIG was the keystone of the derivatives markets and ( like Long Term Capital ). It's failure would have collapsed the house of cards creating a situation no one could could initially deal with. The ensuing mess would have had a cascading domino effect on everything ( except maybe people in Botswana ). The money center big banks who ARE the fed might have collapsed too, taking the meager US peoples savings and confidence with them; the 30's on steroids. That would have taken longer than 2 years to fix. I agree with you that we could have recovered faster than others could have recovered because we're agile Americans but we would've had hell to pay.

Because of the existence of the Fed and it's 100 years of "meddling " with the economy, and central banking in general, we are going to still have hell to pay when the bill comes due. They can manipulate markets and all but they can't change people and in the long run people reap what they have sow.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:14 | 3085591 jmeyer
jmeyer's picture

Thanks. If no one had intervened in '08 when the feces hit the fan we would have had a financial collapse; not just a " correction " but a real mess; but the gov't and it's insiders did the right things including the nationalization of AIG. AIG was the keystone of the derivatives markets and ( like Long Term Capital ). It's failure would have collapsed the house of cards creating a situation no one could could initially deal with. The ensuing mess would have had a cascading domino effect on everything ( except maybe people in Botswana ). The money center big banks who ARE the fed might have collapsed too, taking the meager US peoples savings and confidence with them; the 30's on steroids. That would have taken longer than 2 years to fix. I agree with you that we could have recovered faster than others could have recovered because we're agile Americans but we would've had hell to pay.

Because of the existence of the Fed and it's 100 years of "meddling " with the economy, and central banking in general, we are going to still have hell to pay when the bill comes due. They can manipulate markets and all but they can't change people and in the long run people reap what they have sow.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:24 | 3085658 IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

I have minimal debt, so personally I would be perfectly happy if all the dollars etc. that I hold were worth more. I would love to see some deflation so I could jump into a house for next to nothing, but the Fed can't allow it because it would destroy the current status quo.

In the end, we all have to wait and see what flavor of cake they are baking. I believe that the system is probably run by gourmands even if they are not straight with us about what's in the oven.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:34 | 3085841 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

jmeyer unless your the illegitimate offfuckingspring of benny or timmy STFU!!

mind you there is a lot to be said for "loyalty" ; looking after your own even under the greatest provocations. . . witness the pleas of the mother as the son is handcuffed and bundled into the cop car . . and forensics load the last of 6 torsos from the basement into the meatwaggon.

Picture this Eric (bagman) Holder diviing up this months spoils with his boss. Yea man sweet, think we should stash summa dis in t bills; fuck that bro get your skinny little ass in AF1 and drop this off in Cayman.

" when that poppy money foldin clear cunt? "

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:00 | 3085155 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"But when the wheels fell off that boom in 2000, the U.S. did not create a new engine of wealth: it opted instead for a devilishly insidious simulacrum of wealth: debt which rose at an exponential rate throughout the economy."

Part of killing the boom was a flood of high tech H1B visa workers.  After the high tech crash destroyed the portfolios of high tech workers, the visa workers took their good paying American high tech jobs.  Many of these displaced workers turned to debt to make ends meet.

The government did that, obviously on prupose.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:03 | 3085165 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Get rid of the parasitic FIRE economy and prosper. The US is like Germany in that it can provide all of the world's services and manufacturing without having to import much of anything if it could get rid of the banksters. As long as those deviates are around you better run for cover.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:48 | 3085869 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Thank God there's a few " sceptic tank yanks " left with a sense of humour!

It's a bird, no wait it's a plane, sod me its Blue Ice.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:19 | 3085219 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Carefull there, you could go off on a rant!

Seriously, you nailed it pretty well.

My Christmas shopping totalled $25 this year and took me about 5 minutes.

 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:41 | 3085289 Peachfuzz
Peachfuzz's picture

"Many government positions are essential: police, meat inspectors, rangers, tax collectors, meter maids, etc., but dozens of agencies could be eliminated without any visible effect on the economy except to the wage-earners who lost their jobs."

   Let's take this a step further. Let's say that if you can't tell the difference between perfectly good locally raised by your neighbor meat and the shit that they scrape off the floor of the roach coach that the damn buzzards won't eat that you be allowed to buy either one until your dumbass learns the connection between what goes in and what comes out of your body all on your own.

   This way, we can adopt a philosophy of informed consumerism and employ the people around us to manufacture the goods and services required for basic living, and people will produce because they are not regulated to death by a government that should be there to serve them anyway.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:37 | 3085477 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

I remember after the BP oil spill the govt was sending experts to teach locals how to check if the seafood was good or not.    They were teaching them to smell the food.  If it smells good, must be good.   Couldn't do it without our benevolent govt...

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 22:58 | 3085352 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

 

LOL!!!

"Hippies were the first ardent dumpster-divers/scavengers, driven not by poverty but by the idea that since that our society generated so much waste and surplus, why bother working?"

Yeah, exactly.  Then the spoiled brat fucks went in to the financial services industry.  Ha! 

Bringing it ALL down!! Just like they said they would!

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:13 | 3085393 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

this essay is a classic.....thank god paganmas comes but once a year...

"...how much of the consumer economy is superfluous if wage-earners shift values and decide saving is more important than consuming?..."

not until yahushua returns will such crapulent abominations disappear......however, higher savings incubated by free market interest rates would raise everyone's boats because it would create large capital accumulations which is why america once had high living standards.....

but the rockefeller axis of evil despises prosperity for the masses and has pursued a scorched earth policy to destroy it....all in the name of one world government and hitler's new world order....

it is long passed to elevate labor over capital and dismantle the fire economy....capital is good but labor is better (aided by capital of course)....low wage labor is a living hell....but capital investment is the sine qua non of prosperity....

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:22 | 3085432 Printfaster
Printfaster's picture

The increase in the poverty in the US economy is that since 1974 the price of energy has necessarily sky-rocketed.

The deviants who hold public office want to restrict access to energy to convert the world into city dwelling serfs that can easily be exterminated when the powers perceive there to be a reason to limit the human population.

People get in the way of dirt.  Best to put them under it.  Agenda 21 is Lebensraum for Green movement.

 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:56 | 3085531 Lost Wages
Lost Wages's picture

We won't even make it to Christ-Mass because tomorrow is Mahapralaya.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 23:58 | 3085542 respect the cock
respect the cock's picture

CHS said this same shit about Christmas last year.

He said Japan's chicken was cooked 10 years ago..."any day now Japan is going to collapse" (c.a. 2001).

I like some of the guys work...but lets be honest, he's a bit of a windbag...

 

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:40 | 3085734 AgShaman
AgShaman's picture

Allow me to translate....

The last xmas to buy cheap gold and silver

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 00:56 | 3085783 JohnG
JohnG's picture

"Many government positions are essential: police, meat inspectors, rangers, tax collectors, meter maids, etc."


My brother was a park ranger.  Dreamed of that job since high school.  Liked the outdoors.  He was laid off last year (January, happy new year) at the age of 53.  The park now has a "Enter at your own risk sign."

 

He still patrols it, at his own risk, and his own pay.  No salary, pension gone. Essential job my ASS.  Essential yes.  Paying job, not so much.


I congratulate him for kepping the people as safe as he can.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:08 | 3085805 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

My $125k Masters degree in Basket Weaving is solid as the axiom: "House prices never drop."

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 01:40 | 3085850 dunce
dunce's picture

Consumerism is not a problem debt is the problem, mainly government debt. The private debt problem has a government cause by forcing banks to lend to all comers to buy houses and the government gaurateeing the loans.The real problem is the de facto reparations in  social programs.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:11 | 3085907 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

The Private Debt problem as such is that the Securitised Debt can be sold as an ASSET when labelled by S&P. In the old days Debt stayed on the issuers's Balance Sheet

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:05 | 3085896 Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner's picture

I refuse to buy anyone anything but books for Christmas.   And if they don't like it - they can get fucked.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 02:13 | 3085911 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

You forget the 1968-69 RCA decided Colour TV had no future and Felix Rohatyn got RCA to diversify into hotels and car rental (Hertz) to become a financial conglomerate........in 1969 SONY entered the colour TV market with Trinitron. It was the 1960s when Us corporates moved into becoming banks not makers

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 04:11 | 3085965 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Last month my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said NOTHING! Because I am buying nothing for anyone this year, not even a card.

 

Not even anything for me. No Christmas decorations, NOTHING!

 

HAH! Beat you all on this one. 

 

Christmas? What"s that?

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 09:29 | 3086305 madcows
madcows's picture

It's the celebration of Christ's birth.  But, the Sales industry hijacked it long ago.  That's the reason why all the non-christians celebrate it, by loading up the credit cards with the purchase of cheap chinese plastic crap.  Quick you must run out now and buy a lexus, otherwise your spouse might get hurt feelings.  Oh, and you must purchase that really expensive engagement ring, otherwise she might leave you. 

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 05:41 | 3086088 katchum
katchum's picture

So the savings rate will go to zero next year as the fiscal cliff talks aren't getting resolved.

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