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Is This The Future Of World "Growth"? (Or The iPad vs Indoor Plumbing)

Tyler Durden's picture


Back on December 23, we presented one of the past year's most disturbing reports, the BCG's "Ending the Era of Ponzi Finance" which explained, quite succinctly, why the economy of the developed world, which is nothing but one big ponzi scheme, is approaching its inevitable end, in which existing principles will no longer be applicable nor available to kick the can down the road. The drivers for this are numerous (and all listed in the report), with soaring public and private debt only one of the main forces behind the coming collapse into a Keynesian singularity. Yet perhaps the biggest threat of all has nothing to do with the world's balance sheet, but its income statement, and specifically the category for Research and Development, or, as it is better known in refined economic circles, "productivity" - it is here that things are rapidly turning from bad to worse, and why the chart below (which we felt a need to emphasize, hence the repost) is probably the best summation of what the world has to look forward to, or, as the case may be, not.

Why is productivity important? Simple - without major reinvestments in growth, be it capitalized or expensed, which serve to promote the betterment of all mankind, and not just fatten the bottom line of some mega multinational corporations, and their shareholders, the world's glory days are sadly and certainly behind us. And with more and more spending allocated to basic welfare programs and debt interest satisfaction at both the public and private ledger, there is increasingly less capital available to promote productivity improvement or boost corporate capital expenditures (a topic long discussed on Zero Hedge, and now even picked up by Bill Gross).

As for productivity, this also goes back to a long discussed topic: namely not the quantity of a given nation's labor pool, but more importantly its quality. And with America rapidly becoming a workforce consisting of gerontocratic, part-time workers, one can give up on all hope for future step-wise productivity improvements. Sadly jobs are now, more than ever, a political ploy by those bounded by a 4 year career horizon to preserve their grasp on power, which means that ever more job quality will be sacrificed to preserve the illusion that America is keeping up with its "trendline" growth of 100-200K jobs added each month. Which is also why the chart above may in fact be an optimistic assessment of what truly awaits the world as it mean reverts to a long-term growth trendlline, somewhere below the 0.5% GDP grpwth per year area.

This is BCG's brief and concise assessment on the issue:

Just as important as the number of available people in an economy's workforce is the productivity of that workforce. Consistent increases in productivity have made possible the economic transformation of the developed world over the past 200 years and of emerging markets today. There are signs, however, that the rate of improvement in productivity is in decline. In a provocative paper, the renowned growth research Robert Gordon, of Northwestern University, makes a compelling case that growth in GDP per capita has been slowing since the middle of the twentieth century. He argues that "the rapid progress made over the last 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history."


Of the factor Gordon cites for this phenomenon, the most important is diminishing returns from innovation. In the 1920s, the Russian economic Nikolai Kondratiev identified a pattern of economic growth consisting of successive "long waves" of economic development, in which periods of rapid growth were interspersed with periods of slower growth and financial crisis before a new cycle of growth began. Later, the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter showed how these long waves were associated with major advances in basic innovation - for example, the steam engine, electricity, and the automobile.


According to Gordon, the problem today is not merely that the incremental productivity impact of the most recent wave of innovation, associated with information technology and communications, has diminished in recent decades. Rather, he argues that the space for truly fundamental innovations that result in step-change improvements in living standards is getting smaller and smaller. As he puts it, the invention of indoor plumbing was orders of magnitude more important than the invention of the iPad, Twitter, and Facebook.

But not to those companies' handful of shareholders, which is precisely what happens in a world in which sovereign growth and stability is a needed sacrifice and trade off to perpetuate the corporate model of earnings above all.


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Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:02 | 3125362 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Hmm.  Maybe this has something to do with why the government is buying ammo by the trainload while mindless sheep are told they need to give up their guns because someone might get hurt.   

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:16 | 3125399 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

productivity? this is precisely why front running central banks for returns will only lead to ruin. investments for growth completely offset by ponzi malinvestements.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:04 | 3125493 centerline
centerline's picture

Funny.  I love it when things put in the perspective of GDP and perpetual growth.  The latter is all I hear on the radio... growth, growth, growth.  Don't need to know much else except to stop and examine the basis of the system.  Forward motion is not always growth and growth is not always forward motion.  Growth is a ponzi.  Forward motion is progress.  Sheeple don't know the difference.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:17 | 3125498 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

I would prefer .001% growth max.

Growth should not be measured with dollar signs on a balance sheet. Who thought up that scam? Money isn't everything.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:56 | 3125539 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Growth does not require greater consumption of energy and natural resources.  As an example, it can take the form of smart phones, cloud computing and wireless infrastructure that take the place (creatively destroy) VCRs, cable boxes, CD players, PCs, copper phone lines, brick and mortar retailers etc.

But productivity growth without economic growth equals fewer jobs - simple math.  Fewer jobs means higher unemplyment.  Higher unemployment means greater social costs as well as lower wages (that supply/demand thingy they taught us in school).

Hence we must either stop productivity growth - not a smart thing to do when in a global economy, or we must encourage economic growth sufficient to create jobs for full employment. 

If you are aware of any viable alternative approach, please advise.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:10 | 3125564 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Regaring the "diminishing returns" of productivity thesis, I suggest there are forces at play that will counteract this. 

For example, today the R&D efforts are more global in nature, where as in the past each nation essentially duplicated the R&D efforts of other nations.  Thus R&D investments are more efficient. 

In the past, R&D was performed by about 1/5th of the global population (the developed world).  Today, R&D is being performed at ever greater levels by the BRICs and other developing nations such as Korea.

Further, look at wind energy, solar efficiency improvement and horizontal drilling and fracking as examples where energy costs are rapidly falling in some instances and where energy production is rapidly increasing in other instances thereby enabliing a greater percentage of the world's poulation to achieve above the poverty line living standards and lifespans.

Maybe we haven't invented something as benficial as the crapper, but we are advancing technology and globalizing economic growth which allows more people on this planet to be able to afford one.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:18 | 3125578 imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

The slowdown in GDP growth in developed nations is primariily a function of demographics - aging populations that both make and consume less, and the disequalibriums associated with global economic integration that increases labor availability thus lowering developed nation job and wage levels.

China alone has a labor force that is double the size of that of the USA, Europe and Japan combined, with a wage rate that is orders of magnitude lower.  Hence jobs are flowing out of developed nations and into the rapidly developing, but still low cost nations of the world, particularly when these nations also manipulate their currencies in a way that further increases their competitive advantages.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:44 | 3125645 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

well US policy of calling $300k shack in California $1,000,000 by giving loans to idiots didn't do much for national productivity while other countries invested into education, infrastructure, and down right theft of industries and profits to go along with it.



Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:52 | 3125661 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

This is the meeting of Joeseph Tainter's thesis of decreasing marginal returns and Richard Duncan's Olduvai Gorge theory of declining energy per capita - right on schedule.

Better get your houses in order folks. . .

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 12:38 | 3127056 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

You can't fairly make that statement without a nod to Professor Antal Fekete, who makes the monetary case to go along with these gentlemen.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:04 | 3125694 Zone1
Zone1's picture

BRICs don't do R&D because R&D does not include copying and reverse engineering.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:56 | 3126055 tango
tango's picture

Not only do BRICS not do R&D anymore, hardly anyone in the world does it except the US and Japan.  The history or patents reveals 1) an overwhelming dominance by the US  2) The decline of Europe, 3) the rise of Asia. Of course the reason is profits - companies have enough to heavily invest in R&D.  The last thing that happens under centrally planned economies is experimental research and product development. 

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:11 | 3125727 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I think that what we're observing is a classical "Tainter Collapse."  Every facet of our aging society is getting more complex.  More and more time is wasted on corrupt laws, rules and regulations.  We're strangling productivity with needless overhead.  "Compliance" is the nemesis of innovation. 


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:54 | 3126050 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I'm reading a history of WWI. The author says that at the turn of the century "a law-abiding English gentleman could live his entire life without being aware at all that the state even existed". No income taxes or prying government eyes. No regulations to speak of. Able to travel anywhere in the world without showing any documents of any kind to anyone. Able to invest and move money freely anywhere he wanted without reporting it to anyone. Able to send any goods anywhere without answering any questions.

Instead today we have this insatiable Beast taking over every aspect of economic and personal life. It's disgusting, depressing, and terrifying. Remind me again why Ron Paul was wrong?

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 07:33 | 3126748 ft65
ft65's picture

I think your comment regarding 19th century "English Gentleman" is bogus. The masses lived in grinding poverty and servitude; the few that reached old age were destined for the Workhouse. These peoples main freedom were crippling hard work and constant hunger.

English Gentlemen (rich and powerful) still exist, and their freedoms even greater aside minor administrative inconveniences as they sweep through the VIP lounge on their private jets to the Kaman Islands. The masses temporary freedom from the yoke of poverty disease and hunger was a blip. Nature can only be fooled for so long - welcome back to serfdom!

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 16:47 | 3127616 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Growth does not require greater consumption of energy and natural resources."  - LMFAO!!!  Are smart phones edible now?  Can the be manufactered out of thin air like bernanke bucks?  Bah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:17 | 3125744 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

Productivity has nothing to do with it.

This is all about the global Ponzi scheme.

Americans can't compete with cheap labor.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 00:24 | 3126504 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

It has to do with cost of government, and what that cost entails: about 90% waste.

Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Cost of Government Center calculate the Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.

In 2012, Cost of Government Day falls on July 15.  Working people must toil 197 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government.  2012 marks the fourth consecutive year COGD has fallen in July.   From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:05 | 3125369 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Flush twice. It's a long way to the Federal Reserve Bank.

On a more constructive note, just spent a leisurely 54 minutes at Chris Martenson's site, the following discussion  is a reasonable, non hysterical summary for those of us who know we don't know the real dirt or even undertsand it to the level of the ZH afficiandoes, but at least don't have our heads in the sand.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:44 | 3125461 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

+1 to you, Hubbs.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:25 | 3125507 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

Thanks for the link.  +1

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:00 | 3125544 Zaydac
Zaydac's picture

My favourite snip:


"The commodity market pricing is being set by the futures market. Somehow it appears, and the commodity guys all understand this while I do not, but somehow the guys trading paper get to set the prices for the guys actually trading the hard commodity or soft commodity. If at some point the paper traders take the markets to someplace where the actual supply of the commodity cannot go, we are going to have this gigantic disconnect."


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:38 | 3125796 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

In our modern world one can play both sides simultaneously.
Both selling and buying at the same time if one wishes.
Gotta love that ponzi...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:06 | 3125370 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Oil Age.. 

Romans had plumbing, baths, ect.. the White House didn't have a bathtub until 1850!   My point is, civilization is prone to dark ages that can last a long time.

Without a new form of high energy flux density .. we go down into another dark age.  Once an adult, twice a child as the saying goes.  


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:17 | 3125402 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Paper age (see comment below)...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:18 | 3125403 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Great topic!  I tell my kids the same thing.  

When Rome fell, the Romans were still alive, so what happened???

A modern example would be Haiti.  How can the Dominican Republic have a decent society whereas Haiti is complete chaos and the two countries are on the same small island?



Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:23 | 3125419 Jason T
Jason T's picture

North and South Korea... Gobment plays a role.. free'er the society, the better.  

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:38 | 3125517 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Read the book "Why Nations Fail". It sums it up well. More free inclusive societies produce wealthy while less free extractive societies drain wealth. The US is going from an inclusive to an extractive society as time passes.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 00:35 | 3126520 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

A free society means protection from the dipshits that cause gain for themselves and suffering for all others.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:41 | 3125454 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

One wasn't raped beyond recognition by Shitibank? :p

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:40 | 3125451 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Yeah, but that was mostly Andrew Jackson's reluctance to bathe regularly. ;) 

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:33 | 3125511 MrTouchdown
MrTouchdown's picture

3D Printing?

The more  I look into it, the more I like it. Maybe this will cushion the blow.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:33 | 3126125 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Print me a rare Porterhouse steak with garlic mashed potatoes on the side.

And I don't want it tasting like plastic this time!


Sun, 01/06/2013 - 00:41 | 3126529 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Dark Ages occur because man occasionally breeds himself into a state of idiocracy.

Evolution is not a one-way street.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:05 | 3125371 billsykes
billsykes's picture

Can't devalue the dollar and expect everyone to produce more GDP. 

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:05 | 3125372 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

When the bankers vacuum the entire wealth of the world into a black hole, is it any wonder that innovation grinds to a halt? The most elementary rules of economics tell us that without a surplus to deploy to fund innovation, progress is not possible.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:42 | 3125456 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

its not a black is hookers, (er?) drugs, superhealth, gates communities and kitchens that cos 400,000 bucks, plus yachts...all we have to do is figure out how best to serve them ...\sarc off

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:38 | 3125630 Simplifiedfrisbee
Simplifiedfrisbee's picture

A lack of innovation caused by banking elites who master mined a voracious money vacuum according to economic theory. If innovation is strictly a money driven fanaticism, then righteously it shall implode. Let it be he who believes a half way truth a slave of lies.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:03 | 3126068 tango
tango's picture

Actually, the rate of technical innovation is steadily increasing in almost every scientific field.  Many ZHers forget that tomorrow will not be like today just as today is not like yesterday.   For the longest, Chris Martense played down the revolutionary role technology is has/will have in our lives. Lately, he has been more accomodating of the vast changes that are to come and how they will lead to sustainability.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:37 | 3126133 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Sustainability of the rather comfy Merkin lifestyle is iffy. The planet's resources are finite but the human ability to breed is apparently almost limitless. When the two meet, it seems to end in squalor.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 21:37 | 3126246 Simplifiedfrisbee
Simplifiedfrisbee's picture

Sustain whos ability? Tell me these scientific fields are funded by the scientists themselves and I will tell you the funded have been liberated.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 23:02 | 3126367 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

The issue is that the cost of innovation is an order of magnitude greater than the results.  We fast approach a time when the cost outweighs any benefits.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 07:42 | 3126756 ft65
ft65's picture

Inovation grinds to a halt. Feller, take a look at what the world was like 100 years ago. We have no problem with inovation, it's just that greed stopped progress for the masses in the west. It's back from whence we came - surfdom!

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:06 | 3125374 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

It's going to be a bit  worse than the chart shows...the projections don't go into negative territory.

Of course, that is if the same developed markets now are still considered the developed markets in a few years. As the current developed markets implode, Asia will boom.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:33 | 3125377 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

& remind me... The battle of Waterloo was when?...


 [Not to mention ~ The Opium Wars & the Federal Reseve Charter]... When did that Habsburg dynasty end again?...


You see... Someday WAAAAAY in the future... The 'few' who actually have the priviledge to learn how to read, will understand this period [the period during that curve 'bubble'] as corellating as the EXACT TIME that joo bankers wormed their way into the Monarchial structure of, what was, the Habsburg dynasty that had prevailed in Europe for over a half milennium...

The monarchs themselves were at a point that they were blowing their wealth at an alarming rate... Paper money changed all that [which they basically gave the jews the franchise to control]... All of these bubbles match perfectly:

- The final courts of the Bourbon's in France

- The battle of Waterloo [after which, Rothschild had control of the Bank of England]

- The Opium Wars [which allowed England to steal silver from China]

- The chartering of the Federal Reserve Bank [1913] in America

- & the final nail in the coffin ~ the start of WWI [which was a template for all future paper debt fueled wars, effectively ended the Habsburg dynasty, & introduced 'communism' to Soviet Russia & later ~ the ROW (which is why your life sucks right now & there is ZERO hope for growth because everything has been replaced by central planning that only benefits those in power)]...


For all who just think francis_sawyer is a puerile idiot, I breathlessly await your version of the story... To help you on your way I'll start you off on an idiot comment above... To wit: "Oil Age" [which received a bunch of 'up' arrows ~ but which is only a bullshit 'knee jerk' synthesis]... To try and match "oil" to the timeline of the chart is ridiculous... oil had been around for as long as anyone can remember... It had easily been used as weaponry in ancient times... To take it a step further, the only possible "tie in" of oil to the timeline would be the correlation to the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, which, is also a joke because the Industrial Revolution basically required iron & steel [both of which had been developed over 2,500 years prior]...

Therefore, the more appropriate catalyst was PAPER [aka: 'joobux']... Debt Money Systems... The 'WIMPY' strategy... The idea that you would gladly pay next Wednesday for a hamburger today... The Chinese actually invented paper money many millenia before, but the USURY aspect of it began to flourish in EXACTLY the same timeframe [in Europe] as is represented on the graph... Jews [who mostly operated the scam & still do], mezmerized the lazy inbred spawn of long standing monarchial dynasties throughout Europe [Habsburg Dynasty/Holy Roman Empire] as a way to perpetuate their crumbling dynasties [where the lazy spawn were blowing their REAL wealth held in physical things like gold, silver, jewels, & estates on frivolous things & lavish lifestyles in the aftermath of the Renaissance period, & otherwise silly territorial skirmishes or pie in the sky expiditions around the globe to find riches]... They promised a HAMBURGER TODAY for the promise to pay next Wednesday... "We'll handle all the nasty little things like your gold [for a fee], you don't need to be bothered with that nonsense ~ just go back to your party"...

Now it is time to collapse that system (as, undoubtedly, it is untenable)... In the process, they have managed to steal all the gold...

The fact is... The Jews themselves are no more nasty or vile than the previous monarchs (or their families)... But in the end ~ it's all the same story... After the French Revolution, you had people like 'Robespierre' [who was arguably more of a tyrant than the previous monarchs]... In the end ~ they all end up at the guillotine...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:37 | 3125513 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

I always look forward to your writings Francis. You are one of the few scholars of this subject. It doesn't matter what race in histories timeline has the stranglehold on you neck and wallet, the game remains the same. I find it easy to tell them to fuck off when they call us names. 

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 00:25 | 3125526 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Thanks for your comment...


I'm not as much as a 'jew hater' as people who read my comments would come to believe...

Instead ~ I hate 'lies', 'deception', 'usury', & 'tyranny'... So ~ whoever decides to fulfill those roles at any given moment in history will naturally be my enemy... Candidates may apply (or choose not to apply) on a case by case basis... Jews, by and large, have adopted the role on this particular spin around the merry-go-round & have even succeeded in taking it to outrageous proportions* by virtue of making it 'systemic'... [There are, of course, individual exceptions, but they are but mere & insignificant hemp thread frays on a very thick rope]...

* & I guess that's why they call it "fractional reserve"...


as always [above]... cowardly JUNKS which are 'unaccompanied' by a competing synthesis...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:57 | 3125942 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Francis:  Using Lateral Thinking, what came to mind when reading your post, was that this is the human equivalent of what is called Species Invasion in the Plant and Animal Kingdoms.

I would like to believe that, using this model, i.e. the "Human Invasive Species" can be discussed and analyzed clinically, objectively and fairly -- whether it's about (a) your British ancestors colonizing North America and large parts of the world, (b) the Jews leveraging the latter and doing the same, as you suggest, or (c) America's Manifest Destiny ambitions trying to dominate the world. 

But, given the nature of human nature, and the PC-dominated times and litigation-dominated culture we live in, I rather suspect that this is next to impossible in the case of the Jews.  Where the very mention of the word "Jew(s)" by non-Jews/Goyem evokes a 'Pavlovian' response into an Amber Alert level.  Even on ZH, it seems.  Makes honest and productive dialog difficult, if excessive emotional content is raised and maintained -- whether by accident or design.

Just to get the dialog going, I'd like to float the the almost rhetorical question: If a plant or animal/human species -- once introduced to an otherwise stable ecosystem -- manages to Survive & Thrive with such extreme success, then what does that say about (1) the Invader's success attributes, vs. (2) the same attributes of the the Indigenous species?  Do you actively seek to eradicate or limit  the Invader's presence and effects, or let it run its natural course until a new dynamic and natural balance is reached?  I'll wager that if you're the so-called 'successful Invader', you don't want anything impeding your success, and if you're the 'loosing Indigenous' species, you want to limit or eradicate the Invader -- if possible. 

In the case of my garden, once some Invaders start dominating (in this zero-sum game), as "God", I can use my "force-majeure" powers to keep that Veggie/Weed ratio at whatever level I choose.  Unlike humans, my (Indigeous) garden plants are incapable of adapting & overcoming, and the (Invader) plants can't do anything but be true to their nature either, as both are locked in their Prime Directive:  Surve & Thrive.

Food for thought.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:30 | 3125994 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

To my knowledge, the plant & animal kingdoms do not suffer from having to deal with 'rhetoric' (in the form of written text and/or the resulting propaganda all the way to the point that the recitation of history itself becomes skewed to the point where the fulfillment of 'karma itself' becomes postponed)...

I would argue that this is yet another area that the jews (who represent less than 1% of the human population), have achieved predatory success...

Gardening wise (in the present moment), I liken their influence to be similar to the "stink bug" infestation that has occurred in the Mid-Atlantic regions over the past few years... In some cases, the stink bugs have eradicated entire crops... In other cases, they're just a nusiance (& they are almost impossible to eradicate once they've gained admission)... In EITHER case, the plants have not adapted & in most cases, the stink bugs continue to proliferate because of the crop abundance... IOW ~ they gorge themselves on your hard earned 'wealth' [crop harvest], while being little more than an annoyance to you...

In any case... In the discourse regarding the need for a gardener to INTERVENE (on behalf a your crops) in an invasion scenario... That's purely subjective... I happen to do small scale farming myself... So I am keen to take measures to thwart invasions as I see them (but only to the degree that the WORK that I put into growing things is not totally destroyed)... I could leave the crops to "figure it out for themselves" [which they would undoubtedly do, over time], but that is unlikely to occur within the time frame I require for an annual harvest...

Setting all metaphors aside... If readers here could toss aside the 'Pavlovian' response to seeing the word 'JEW' on a printed page [which isn't a NATURAL response ~ it is simply some kind of response process that has been drilled into their minds]... If they could do that, & instead, just try to look at things objectively... They might come to similar conclusions as francis_sawyer has [based simply on probability matrices]...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:07 | 3125379 GMadScientist
Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:00 | 3125488 gould's fisker
gould's fisker's picture

But it's an "unfair situation," like all the other unfair situations that need attending by the do gooders--it makes one's head spin.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:49 | 3125528 Esso
Esso's picture

Talking about energy efficiency is all good & fine, but actually doing it steps on just about everybody's toes.

Solyndra wasn't about promoting solar energy, but rather driving a stake through its heart.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 22:04 | 3126285 spdrdr
spdrdr's picture

"Solyndra wasn't about promoting solar energy, but rather driving a stake through its heart."

Interesting comment.  Care to elaborate, or are you just going to reiterate that the Kenyan is simply a tool for Big Oil/Wall Street/Joooz......



Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:07 | 3125380 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

Its all about CONfidence and extending the collapse as long as possible with the "Hope" of a stick save from a "new innovation"......THAT my friends is one helluva "Hope" and teetering on the abyss are the peeps.....most have no clue the real cliff they are setting on......that is why the PTB lableled it the "Fiscal cliff" .....they know there really is a cliff, and they are obliged to "tell" you before you fall. 

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:09 | 3125386 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

the ipad mini will change everything

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:08 | 3125709 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

It's gonna get me laid.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 06:48 | 3126736 e-recep
e-recep's picture

well, your avatar did change at least one thing.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 07:03 | 3126740 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

well chosen avatar, it changed another thing

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:11 | 3125390 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Crony capitalism and the multi-nationals are the bain of real and available prosperity-- justice and a reckoning must be forthcoming.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:34 | 3125396 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

Innovation must be managed. We can't have unbridled innovation, or else we might get another Internet Reformation before the elite can stop it. In other words, innovation can empower the little guy and make him think he doesn't need his elite masters. It might even make him think he is smarter than the elites. Innovation can make the serfs uppity.

It is true that unbridled innovation would be necessary to support the exponential growth in serf population, but there were already too many serfs anyway. Slower innovation will thus make the final solution that was already needed to preserve the earth's limited resoures for their rightful owners will simply be more obvious and acceptable to those elites and their loyal serfs who were previously reluctant about what must be done.

Slower innovation is thus a GOOD thing.

Although we elites are right wing extremists, we spend much of our resources promoting progressivism, fascism, socialism, communism, collectivism, and political correctnes - not JUST because they make the serfs more dependent - but ALSO because they slow down innovation. It is not wrong because a majority of serfs freely support us in our promotion of all flavors of collectivism.

The serfs have known that the free market works best for them for at least 400 years, and they still choose to sacrifice their children's future for the short term trinkets we give them. It is their choice.


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:39 | 3125449 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

is going galt, innovation, or don't i care? :)

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:37 | 3125514 Jason T
Jason T's picture

IT's when the innovators don't care to be part of a society that loots their efforts and thus employes one self to serve one self instead.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:48 | 3125457 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

The serfs have known that the free market works best for them for at least 400 years, and they still choose to sacrifice their children's future for the short term trinkets we give them. It is their choice.

When we promise them other people's money, they have all the information they need in order to know that they ARE those other people. If they are blinded by their greedy lower class collectivist mentality, then that is still THEIR choice.

We reveal our plans because everyone must freely choose, and thus our conscience is always clear. We simultaneously offer powerful temptations that will only deceive those who willfully ignore reality and who thus have inferior genes.

We thus respect those who know that when we are all on the same page, we all benefit, and those who know that we have the right to implement any good idea, and those who accept their place.


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:11 | 3125726 Fields and meadows.
Fields and meadows.'s picture





Your above two posts succinctly reveal the horrible truth so often avoided even by the most sincere and intelligent analysis.


Rather like inviting the vampire into your home; the people have no defence to the elites once they start to (for example) vote for ‘free stuff’.

Hence the true role of mass democracy.

The coming genocide/extermination that you allude to; will indeed be demanded by the angry mob.


We reveal our plans because everyone must freely choose, and thus our conscience is always clear.’


Well, yes indeed.


One example.

Have you ever tried to show your friends or family the various speeches by Bill Gates whererin he declares (his) vaccines are for human de-population?


Even when their own children are next in line for their injection?


The realisation can be crushing. The realisation that false authority (here in England The National Health Service in this example) IS more powerful than the instinct to protect your own children.


Without The Faith we would join the elites in their exterminist agenda.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:12 | 3125868 Future Jim
Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:17 | 3125401 Cursive
Cursive's picture

The children's bedtime story, circa 2013, all the lazy farm animals kill the industrious Little Red Hen.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:25 | 3125427 Jason T
Jason T's picture

.. or on their ipad they can just watch it

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:37 | 3125447 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

The little red hen is a fatally flawed story. The liitle red hen gets all the credit, but did the little red hen buy the stove or the farm or the house? How do those just exist? You see, the means of production have been magically provided.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:50 | 3125471 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Or maybe the little red hen has access to these tools thanks to her past productivity .... I smell a prequel.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:19 | 3125503 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@Dr. Engali

Thank you.  I guess it is still hard for some to understand that hard work can improve lives and benefit future generations.  It is only when interlopers, such as our congressmen and their phony money masters, interfere and punish hard work that everyone loses.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 22:45 | 3126229 itstippy
itstippy's picture

Or when the hard workers fuck up and borrow vast sums of money from the money masters to buy trendy crap, putting them at the mercy of the money masters.

Wake up, people.  Get out of debt and quit buying dumb stuff with your hard-earned money.  Starve the damn bankers.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:58 | 3126057 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

You mean "The Little Red Hen didn't build that" !

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 21:15 | 3126208 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

I mean it is a story about how good communists should all work hard, but the state owns the means of production. No one is given credit for that. It is as if the animals killed the farmer, and then used his stuff, and the ONLY problem is that some of them didn't work as hard as others afterwards.

This could just as easily have been the "little black hen" and told to slaves in the South to make them feel more responsible about sharing the work and working hard while conveniently ignoring the fact that the slaves were dependent on the owner to provide the farm, their shelter, their food, their healthcare, etc. That is not praise for the owner. The owner would be the one who tried to hide the fact that the slaves were not allowed to own a farm or anything else - just as the state tries to hide that fact in the little red hen.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 02:42 | 3126653 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:18 | 3125406 Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

How to increase national productivity in broad swathes of the economy ? Just get Walmart greeters to speak faster, and install those robots in the McDonalds kitchens.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:20 | 3125412 oddjob
oddjob's picture

and granite countertops for homeless people.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:20 | 3125410 balz
balz's picture

Growth was only possible because of the era of cheap fossil fuel.

This era has ended.

So yes, it's the end of growth and the slow descent to the end of the Industrial Revolution as well.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 02:57 | 3126664 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

False dichotomy.

Growth occurred prior to the common availability of the means to exploit fossil fuels. Of course, it was at best, a couple orders of magnitude of slower.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:24 | 3125425 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

iShit - there's an app for that

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:32 | 3125438 Jason T
Jason T's picture

What if productivity goes negative?  Oil per capita goes down.. net energy per capita starts going down and not enough investment to keep pace with decline?  That's the scary scenario..

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:38 | 3125448 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

In 10 years, people will still need indoor plumbing.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:13 | 3125497 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"In 10 years, people will still need indoor plumbing."

The Dead people will not! Credit Bubble, Trade Wars, Currency Wars, WW3.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:41 | 3126145 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

If you're homeless, indoor plumbing is kind of pointless.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 22:14 | 3126301 spdrdr
spdrdr's picture


Just drill a hole in the floor of your car, and have a funnel of sufficient diameter, and plenty of water to flush it out...

Works every time for me.  You just have to keep moving every couple of days...


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:43 | 3125459 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

The Middle Class In America Is Being Wiped Out – Here Are 60 Facts That Prove It

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:52 | 3125474 PUD
PUD's picture

Proof of the failure of capitalism and global tribalism. The idea that someones gain must come at someone elses expense. That the self is more important than the whole. Imagine a planet where no tribes existed, where great ideas were shared for the benefit of all for benefit sake alone...the star trek model free of money, free to innovate, explore...where resources were not hoarded, where every single living thing wasn't assigned a monetary value to describe its worthiness.  The "Venus Project" as described in the Zeitgeist films where machines did the dirty work, humans thrived because resources and technology was shared and plunder for personal gain was a thing of the past.....first step...end markets thus ending market psychology that pits everyone against everyone else and makes every living breathing thing a commodity

boldy go where no man has gone before...aye

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:01 | 3125850 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The idea of machInes doing the dirty work is just sci-fi.

Complex machines need a complex society of financially interdependent players to support them. I'm still waiting for that flying car that everyone was meant to have by now.

If you want to muster a mob of sheep for example are you going to send a sheep dog or a robot?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:43 | 3126150 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I'd send another sheep with specific instructions on how to manipulate a mob of sheep.

Yes, you might have to send a few of them before one lives long enough to get the job done. But what the hell, they're just sheep.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:50 | 3126175 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

They might need to be dumbed down a bit to accept the old fake sheep trick, but I suppose more fake sheep could do that via a TV set in every paddock.

Gee this is getting complicated fast, one can see that soon enough there would be a need for teams of central planners to make it all run smoothly.

Hang on a second...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:00 | 3125487 adr
adr's picture

Innovation was sacrificed at the altar of the public stock exchange. Individuals innovate, corporations monetize and crush innovation that threatens thier cash cow. We now have planned obsolesence and controlled innovation.

Rockefeller and JP Morgan crushed all innovation unless they could control it. If they couldn't profit first, they made sure nobody would. It says something the Ford was a private corporation until 1956. GM used its leverage as a publicly traded corporation, along with stealing government contracts, to nearly bankrupt Ford in the 1940s. By the 1950s Ford had to go public to compete. We did get the Mustang, The Falcon, and some other great Fords out of te influx of cash, but the Company Henry Ford built ceased to exist.

Now we are being sold the scam of crowd funding and 3D printing as the next great growt industry. Not because of innovation, but another round of leading investment suckers to the slaughter. When does Kickstarter go public and make billionaires out of those scam artists? It is unbelieveable that a whole bunch of basement dwelling dropouts have become moderately wealthy by putting a crappy rendering of a product and having a blog hock the project as the second coming of Apple.

Two idiots recievd $100k in 30 hours for an Android game controller. There is no way to bring a tech product like that to market for $100k. The claimed company has no manufacturing or R&D set up, no marketing budget or business plan, in fact no infrastructure of any kind other than a shit video posted on Kickstarter with a crappy mockup. They can attempt to contact a factory in China, claim they couldn't obtain the resources and pocket $100k. In my book, that is called a scam and you used to go to jail for fraud for that kind of crap.

So I guess I'm a bit wrong. There has been a huge wave of innovation recently. The innovation of fraud as the standard legal business model.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:08 | 3125494 samsara
samsara's picture

Gee, that graph almost models the introduction and production of first coal in the 1800's and then oil/gas in the 1900's.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:24 | 3125505 Diet Coke and F...
Diet Coke and Floozies's picture

That was my thought too.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:40 | 3125515 FrankIvy
FrankIvy's picture



You beat me to it, you bastard.

Here's the basic math for anybody who lost the ability to think by reading too many econ books.




It doesn't get any simpler than that.  GDP per capita was stable throughout the world for several thousand years until coal/oil was discovered.

In essence, annual per capita GDP was about the physical labor that one man could produce in one year.  When Moses, Jesus, and Jefferson were walking around, that labor was about the same.

What changed was the discovery of a once-in-history deposit of fossil fuels that allowed one man's labor to be increased to the amount that he could do while running a machine fueled by fossil fuels.  Don't get distracted by folks making the argument that "innovation" led to "production gains" and that's why GDP/Capita went up.  That's true, but it ignores the fundamental connection between GDP and energy availability.  Let me know how those "innovations" do when you can't run them on diesel.

That's the key.  Understand that, and you understand why the GDP per capita growth MUST track available BTUs per capita.

What will GDP per capita be in 200 years, assuming people still inhabit earth?  Not very much different from what it was in 1000 BC.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:42 | 3125524 balz
balz's picture


I suggest "The Long Descent" from John Michael Greer for a roadmap of what is to come.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:58 | 3125537 samsara
samsara's picture

Sorry to beat you to it. You had the complete thought.

Peak Debt will crash us to the ground, but Peak Energy(Oil) will keep us there.

"Growth" is over for this large of a base (without also net energy growth).

Now if we had only 1 billion energy consumers (ie people).....

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 23:18 | 3126385 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture


GDP per capita was stable throughout the world for several thousand years until coal/oil was discovered.

While I agree with the concept overall, I'd like to add a couple of things.

Moses, Jesus, and Jefferson also had different energy levers, but nothing to compare with coal and oil.

Moses and the tribes pretty much only had the energy their bodies could create. Plus whatever minimal firewood they could find in their lush paradise.

In the time of Jesus, there were a few animals doing limited amounts of work for humans. If you were really rich, you could grab your own ass, load it up and head for the next burg. Lots more trade than if you had to heft it all yourself or pay for more backs to haul the merchandise.

By Jefferson's time, there were ships harnessing wind power to move freight up and down the coast and across to Europe. Also, early water power was helping to industrialize the Northeast. And fishing ships meant more concentrated protein was available to a growing American population.

So there has been a slow growth of external energy to aid human productivity.

But when they started finding uses for coal, things really changed for human productivity. All sorts of fixed installations could be easily fueled with coal. And even ships and railroads could be steam powered with the highly concentrated energy of coal.

Petroleum upped the ante because it's a lot more portable. Coal powered cars, trucks and cats could never deliver the kind of performance you get from gasoline and diesel.

Even the caveman had fire to help amplify his body's energy. But I don't think a campfire has the energy needed to produce everything needed to fabricate and raise a skyscraper.

We hominids have leveraged energy for thousands of years. But now we're really, really good at it. Just as long as there's raw material to work with.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 18:05 | 3127792 KnightTakesKing
KnightTakesKing's picture

You said in about 100 words what most folks can't say in 10,000. Well said, thank you.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:06 | 3125548 samsara
samsara's picture

The old(pre-revised) version of back around 2000-2008ish had a main page graph of the production of fossil fuels on a 1000 (?) year scale, the graph is nearly the same.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:40 | 3125520 ReptilianSlaveMaster
ReptilianSlaveMaster's picture

You won't need any hard metal for those newly installed FEMA concentration camps Obama has conveniently installed a mile away from your home, only 4 more years right?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:51 | 3125830 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Your sense of humour/irony aside, I would like to think that these are for some super-massive natural disaster they see looming on their horizon, but can't share with the masses.  Rather than them positioning for a draconian phase due to a 'man-made' (TBTF/TPTB/TBTJ-caused) disaster.

In the case of the former, the Q is:  Do they really know of some natural (space-based, space-alien-based) coming event?  Something right out of a Sci-Fi action film/series (e.g. Deep Impact, 2012, V, X-Files) -- but can't/won't share?  Even the Catholic Church is now openly admitting the very real possibility of (intelligent?) Alien Life.

In the case of the latter, i.e. man-made disaster, surely they aren't planning for a the next phase of (a) their NWO plan or (b) Pop. Growth vs. Resource Depletion mathematics, are they?

In any and all cases, I submit that it would be more useful/productive, to create a series of testable hypotheses, and use the Scientific Method to down-select to the 2-3 Finalists to keep monitoring (for Model verification). Rather than bitch, moan and blame -- no matter how 'therapeutic' these may be in the short term.


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:07 | 3125858 Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

Have you considered how easy it would be to fake an alien invasion, which would then justify ... well ... ANYTHING.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 20:44 | 3126159 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Fake them or cover them up as the owners find appropriate.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 09:50 | 3126825 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture



"Even the Catholic Church is now openly admitting the very real possibility of (intelligent?) Alien Life."


Ask yourselves why the Vatican/Catholic Church has it's own observatory...


The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. It has its headquarters at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, outside Rome. Its dependent research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group, is hosted by Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.


And what if instead of extraterrestial 'aliens' they are extradimensional?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 23:47 | 3131669 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

What if they look just like us, but have evil intentions and infiltrate our hierarchy?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:55 | 3125538 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

"Progress is our most important product"

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 15:57 | 3125541 Salon
Salon's picture

Growth always slows as economies become more complex and rigid with increased barriers to labor and capital flows.

Rome, Venice, the low countries, the UK, and one of the most rigid of all (if mostly by custom) Japan.

There is always a "good" reason to erect these barriers and the benefits to select groups are visible in the short term.

But in the long term it harms everyone.

We need a reset.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 16:15 | 3125572 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

I just got humilitated, totally crushed, by my 8 year old daughter in our first Monopoly game, just the two of us, which I bought for her for Christmas present. 

At one point I had  acquired  about 3/4 of the properties, but did not put houses/hotels on them, figuring that by owning most of the property even at low rent reimbursement, I would eventually nickel and dime her to death, so that she could not afford to put houses and hotels on the 3 properties she owned. Her strategy of acquiring just the three properties, but immediately devoting all her money to putting houses, thus raising the rent I would have to pay in the event I landed on them, proved devastatingly successful.

By bad luck (at least that's my excuse), I landed on her 3 properties several times in a row and wound up paying through the nose, and with each windfall she stacked more and more houses/hotels in those three places.  I wound up having to sell my properties, and she turned quickly around and bought up everything that I had to return to the bank to raise cash.

It gave me a new appreciation how quickly you can get behind the curve, and how quickly your whole financial strategy can be crushed, faced by the double whammy of exponential monopoly accumulation of property and wealth of your opponent (read: corporations, Wall Street) and the sudden vaporization of your assets to pay these monopolists.


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:00 | 3125845 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Thinking about this, and having experienced this myself (on both sides of the fence), I just coined a phrase that I think fits:

"CASHFLOW WARS" (C) Copyright, 2013.  All Rights Reserved.   Put another way: "The last one standing with CASH to support their revenue-generating assets, wins!"

Except, in the case of Monopoly, I found that the best statistical success seemed to be in the mid-price range.  I'm guessing that this reflects the optimal balance between Cost vs. ROI.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:41 | 3125912 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Her other Christmas present, which she will remember forever, was crushing her dad in Monopoly.

Priceless!  You are a very generous father.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:54 | 3126049 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

You should have bought the new Monopoly game available on an iPhone app. It has a Fed bailout square.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:10 | 3125717 q99x2
q99x2's picture

This has to do with corporations offloading their R&D onto government projects. Corporations get the same rewards and the taxpayer picks up the tab or the FED covers the cost.


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:11 | 3125722 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

A couple things about innovation.  If it adversely affected the fortunes of the 1%, it isn't going to happen.  If it does happen the 1% will siphon off most of the value.

Internet, you say?  LOL.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:31 | 3125777 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

In the interest of adding to the dialog, rather than venting or adding smart-Alec remarks...

I think that this article begs the question:  Given how we have evolved as a species, how does Hi-Tech and 'Hi-Finance' (MMT, HFTs) incrementally help our fundamental & 'natural' needs? Are we not living in a high-energy, hi-consumption and hi-cost 'Bubble World' which exceeds the lifestyle of past monarchs and gets close to that of 'gods'?

How much more science, tech, and medicine do we actually 'need' to improve the quality and longevity of our lives, before we realize: (a) the world pop is growing exponentially, so that (b) natural limits to resources are being reached, and (c) our hi-tech, hi-energy-consumption lifestyle, increasingly expensive health care is artificially adding those to the population pool and keeping them there, where they otherwise could not survive if Nature were allowed to run its course at a more basic level of, say, the 1800's, maybe early 1900's?  In other words, using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model, how about we as a society allocate less to the upper levels of 'needs'?

Point is... where is the Tipping Point where Nature reels in man's hellbent plans to outsmart Natural laws?  If "war can't be left to generals", then perhaps planning a country's 'long-term' future (even for the next 20-50 years) cannot and probably should not be left to the current generation (worldview/mindset) of Politicians, Central Bankers and Multinational Oligopoly Giants?  

Q to ponder:  If Geriatrics is the study of old people at the individual level, where is its study at the collective level, i.e. at the level of a Country/Nation, Civilization, Species?  And how do these dovetail the above article?

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:42 | 3125907 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

There are amazing things called "free and open markets" and "honest money" that sorts stuff out in no time with all parties in agreement.

Imagine that -- peace, honesty and clarity without PhDs!

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:47 | 3125924 One of these is...
One of these is not like the others..'s picture

AgAu_Man. I totally agree with your post, having worked it out for myself.

I think we actually need a crash program of, reducing public demand for energy and resources whilst ending the "throw away society" and replacing it with one that is a wee bit more sustainable and real.

Luxury living ought to be redefined as being able to maintain or update yoru existing car, rather than buying a totally new one.

Etc. Of course people queue up to tell me it couldn't possibly work, but my personal lifestyle says different.

However, it;s proving hard enough to control my own lifestyle, and until I am both unenslaved and productive by means of my own efforts, you should probably carry on buying a new car every five years, tumble drying with yer nuclular powered appliances and generaly contributing to "growth" and ignore me.

Or maybe I speak sense, will be interesting to see if I get any up or down arrows...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:57 | 3125943 What you talkin...
What you talkin about Willis's picture

Hey AgAu, this podcast is somewhat related to what your are talking about

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:40 | 3125801 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Without farmers, we ain't getting past breakfast...

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 22:15 | 3126305 itstippy
itstippy's picture

There are very few traditional farms left; it's all agribusiness now.  Large corporate operations with monstrous tractors equipped with air conditioned cabs & GPS, etc. have taken over.  Small family farms cannot compete and sell to the corporates.  The corporates are leveraged to the hilt to the banksters, and would be in a world of hurt without Big Ag subsidies. 

Without diesel, fertilizer, hybrid seed, herbicides/pesticides, and high-capacity irrigation wells we ain't getting past breakfast.


Sun, 01/06/2013 - 10:03 | 3126843 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture




"The corporates are leveraged to the hilt to the banksters, and would be in a world of hurt without Big Ag subsidies."


Translation, food supply is controlled by guess who. Except for the relatively small in numbers folk who are striving to be self sufficient. But those folk who are going that route have some sort of property(arable land mostly I'd guess) that is subject to taxation. Guess who will be subject to arbitrary taxation schemes when TPTB set their sights on those who are trying to be self sufficient. Then what?


Independence is a no-no in bankster world.

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:56 | 3125939 Schacht Mat
Schacht Mat's picture

To continue an earlier thread

Energy = Money

Money = GDP

What is missing is

Innovation = Efficiency at which energy is converted to GDP

This is why economic

"history does not repeat, but it does rhyme" Mark Twain 

However, unless our innovation can, in the next 50 years, provide a leap to a new foundational energy source (as coal and oil are/have been), then all our innovation will have done is extend the inevitable.  In this equation, innovation is multiplicative, not additive; thus, as our net energy dwindles, our innovation would have to approach infinity to maintain current GDP - not gonna happen.

Add in our societal predisposition for consumption over thrift, and the result is the chronic underfunding of innovation.  Next, add in our societal predisposition for monopolistic (and/or oligopolistic) behaviour, and NIMBY innovation is stifled, as our financial and industrial moguls would rather see all of us (well, except them) sink in the boat, than have an innovation come forth that would float us all higher, but from which they could not profit.

In other words, good luck with that "innovation" thing.  Yeah - we're done for .....

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 19:10 | 3125962 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  As we ponder the litany of reasons why [Planet Earth] has out grown it's diapers, perhaps this article may offer some insight.

 This is over a year old, nontheless it offers an interesting introspective on (P/L and industry demand). Not much has changed over the last 12 months, other than a box of { Barilla pasta} has doubled in $ cost...  A little stagflation anyone?

Most and Least Profitable Business Types - Tracking 2010 Profit Margins in 97 Industries - Businessweek


Sat, 01/05/2013 - 22:31 | 3126326 carambar
carambar's picture

blabla, what is new in the BCG paper?

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 01:21 | 3126576 azengrcat
azengrcat's picture

Those who speak and listen to the language of the machines shall inherit the earth.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 01:31 | 3126584 Absinthe Minded
Absinthe Minded's picture

Yeah, fracking is great. I guess you haven't seen the 2010 documentary,
"Gasland" yet.
edit: I just logged in, don't know who I was replying to. Time for a highball.

Sun, 01/06/2013 - 05:14 | 3126712 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The world only needs more growth if its intent is to destroy itself.

It needs better TV shows to reprogram the masses into revolution against bankster occupation.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 17:25 | 3130722 Paulson Bazooka
Paulson Bazooka's picture

Here's Gary North's reaction to that article: "I want to discuss an article. I may be exaggerating, but I regard this article as the most sophisticated exercise in terminal naiveté that I have ever read."



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