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Revolution Vs "Turboparalysis" - The Real New Normal

Tyler Durden's picture


Excerpted from Michael Lind, originally posted at The Spectator,

The age of turboparalysis Why we haven’t had a revolution

More than half a decade has passed since the recession that triggered the financial panic and the Great Recession, but the condition of the world continues to be summed up by what The Spectator's Michael Lind calls ‘turboparalysis’ - a prolonged condition of furious motion without movement in any particular direction, a situation in which the engine roars and the wheels spin but the vehicle refuses to move.


The greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression might have been expected to produce revolutions in politics and the world of ideas alike. Outside of the Arab world, however, revolutions are hard to find. Mass unemployment and austerity policies have caused riots in Greece and Spain, but most developed nations are remarkably sedate.


By now one might have expected the emergence of innovative and taboo-breaking schools of thought seeking to account for and respond to the global crisis. But to date there is no insurgent political and intellectual left, nor a new right, for that matter.

But why hasn't this occurred?

Why has a global calamity produced so little political change and, at the same time, so little rethinking? Part of the answer, I think, has to do with the collapse of the two-way transmission belt that linked the public to the political elite.




But there is a deeper, structural reason for the persistence of turboparalysis. And that has to do with the power and wealth that incumbent elites accumulated during the decades of the global bubble economy.

How did they get that power?

In essence, the bubble economy was a dysfunctional marriage of export-driven economies like China, Japan and Germany and debt-addicted nations like the US and many of Germany’s European neighbours. As international trade imbalances built up, from the 1980s to the 2000s, so did the wealth and power of elites who profited from the system, from Chinese Communist princelings with a stake in overbuilt export industries to the financiers of Wall Street and the City of London.

And that broke...

A global economic system that relied on excessive borrowing by consumers, particularly in the US, was bound to grind to a halt when fearful consumers switched from borrowing to saving. But the crash was only the first stage of the adjustment. The second stage is rebalancing.


these reform agendas, from the downsizing of the overbuilt industrial sectors of mercantilist Asian nations to the pruning of finance in the Anglo-American world, threaten the very interests that profited from the preceding bubble and now glare defensively at a changing world, like Fafnir crouched upon his hoard. In the US, the wealth of the bubble-swollen financial sector has been transmuted into political power via campaign contributions.

So why no uprising against the elites? THIS IS CRITICAL

For their part, the masses seldom unite against the classes in democracies because they are divided among themselves. When nations realise that they will be collectively poorer in the future than they had expected, the usual result is not solidarity but rather civil war, by means of ballots and sometimes bullets. Confronted by a crisis like the Great Recession, each section of society uses its political influence to try to maintain its share of the national wealth, while forcing the cost of economic adjustment to others. The rich try to shift adjustment costs to the middle class, who in turn try to pay for their own subsidies and entitlements by cutting the programmes of the poor.

But is it coming?

History is sobering, in this regard. The Great Recession, which continues despite a technical ‘recovery’, can be viewed as the third great economic collapse of the industrial era, following the ‘Long Depression’ of the 1870s-1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. The earlier two episodes of global economic crisis witnessed setbacks for liberalism, democracy and free trade and the flourishing of illiberal nationalism, racism, imperialism and beggar-thy-neighbour economics. While slow growth combined with national rivalries have not yet engendered anything like the autarkic economics of the earlier two crises, it would be premature to predict the survival of present levels of financial and economic integration in a world that wobbles between feeble recoveries and renewed recessions.


Nowhere is there greater potential for conflict than in the relationship between the two poles of the now-collapsed bubble economy — the US, which specialised in exporting debt to China, and China, which specialised in exporting manufactured goods to the US. Since the Great Recession began, American attitudes toward China have grown strikingly more negative.

Is war coming?

The last global depression was brought to an end by the second world war. This time a ‘hot’ war is extremely unlikely and a cold war merely possible. Nevertheless, geopolitics may do what domestic politics has failed so far to do and free the world’s leading countries from ongoing turboparalysis.


The various national systems from which today’s leading global elites benefit, from hyper-industrial Germany to financialised Britain, grew up under the Pax Americana of the late 20th century. The US offered free security, a global currency, and the world’s largest open consumer market to allies — and potential allies — who were encouraged to specialise in non-military roles including industrial production (first Japan and Germany, later China) or finance (Britain and the US). The world order that resulted was well suited to East Asian and German industrialists and American and British bankers.


But while the US will remain the leading global military power for some time, the Pax Americana cannot survive the disappearance of a common Soviet threat and the diffusion of wealth and power to rising giants like China, India and Brazil. If, as many believe, the US will adopt a policy of moderate inflation in the future to help melt away the icecap of its public and private debt, the dollar as a store of value will be less attractive to foreigners.

If not, then what?

In the long run, regional hegemons, including China and Germany, may be compelled to take on some of America’s duties, from bailing out bankrupt countries to providing regional security. But that would require their political elites to focus less on economic statistics and more on their people and the world. The equivalent in the US would be a rebalancing of economic power and prestige away from financiers towards others — perhaps leaders of the fracking-driven energy renaissance or advanced manufacturing.


In some form or another, profound shifts like these are coming, because, as Mrs Thatcher would have said, There Is No Alternative. Going back to the pre-2008 world is not an alternative. Neither is the present state of suspended animation in politics and policy.

Nothing lasts forever. At some point today’s extended intermission in domestic and world affairs will give way to a new act. But for now the vehicle remains stuck in the ditch, while the wheels continue furiously to spin. The age of turboparalysis goes on.


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Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:30 | 3129850 idea_hamster
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Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:34 | 3129866 So Close
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Borrow and spend, or die.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:43 | 3129897 NotApplicable
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I lost track, is this article stupid squared, or cubed?

(I hit a divide by zero error upon reading that the Great Depression was ended by WWII.)

Speaking of stupid...

Krugman for Treasury Secretary!

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:47 | 3129910 knukles
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(this shit is really egtting hard to take)

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:49 | 3129914 Michaelwiseguy
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You Can't have job creation in the USA because virtually all the factories that produce consumer products have been removed from the USA by the trade treaties, NAFTA especially thanks to Bill Clinton.

What is coming is an Armed Civil Insurrection against the Federal Government if necessary. Most people of all races get along pretty well, so race doesn't divide us, except in the mainstream media news reporter circles minds. When was the last time you heard non-blacks screaming to remove Labron James and black people from professional sports teams?

Peoples voice in the MSM press is stifled, so people have given up on that avenue of expression.The police state apparatus is so strong, we just don't bother to get out in the streets anymore to get beaten and pepper sprayed.

When the time comes, our triggers will be pulled in a timely fashion, if that's what it takes.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:00 | 3129953 HedgeHammer
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All must understand the difference between LAWFUL money and LEGAL TENDER. Once you all understand this then and only then will be be able to repair the damages done.

12 U.S.C. § 411 : US Code - Section 411: Issuance to reserve banks; nature of obligation; redemption Federal reserve notes, to be issued at the discretion of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the purpose of making advances to Federal reserve banks through the Federal reserve agents as hereinafter set forth and for no other purpose, are authorized. The said notes shall be obligations of the United States and shall be receivable by all national and member banks and Federal reserve banks and for all taxes, customs, and other public dues. They shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank.
Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:07 | 3129977 SamAdams
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We would also do well to pass a law that forbids dual citizens from serving in US Congress.  Wonder who is attacking your constitution and bill of rights?  Who is going after your 2nd ammendment? 

I think you will find these people listed here:

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:18 | 3130020 francis_sawyer
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The USA is each person standing in a circle giving the person next to them a hand job... Each person PAYING for that hand job... & the government taking taxes off the transaction [after requiring you to perform the service in the first place]... Oh, & by the way, the annual CO[HJ]A 'increase = 10%...

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:54 | 3130164 Anusocracy
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The Circle Jerk Economy?


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:08 | 3129988 walküre
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The issue is debt and wealth. Debt = wealth. There is too much debt, they say. That means there is too much wealth. It cannot be serviced they say unless we print more money. Culling the 1% is far more effective than culling the 99% where the productive class derives from. The 1% should understand that and voluntarily default on their wealth. Just give it up. There's no free lunch in this world.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:53 | 3130158 SamAdams
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Wealth is an actual asset like manufactured or agrarian goods.  Debt is a claim against wealth.  Howerver, banks count debt as both an asset and a liability since they do not have a real asset to back the debt.  They are the only ones allowed to perform this accounting trick.  I cannot give you nothing in exchange for your house, but a bank can.  Sweet gig and a total free lunch if you happen to be born into the right circle of life!

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:04 | 3130215 Anusocracy
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There is a solution to all of this.

Deny psychopaths access to power.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 17:26 | 3130724 CH1
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The solution: STOP OBEYING THEM.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:46 | 3130127 chart_gazer
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"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."  -- Henry Ford

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:00 | 3130450 Herd Redirectio...
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First the media must be taken back (TV and Print, incl. Online), then the schools, the money will be a mere formality if one can 'merely' educate society.  Wish me luck.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:28 | 3130050 Shell Game
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"You Can't have job creation in the USA because virtually all the factories that produce consumer products have been removed from the USA"

This is truly the most horrific outcome of central planning as there will be no legs to land on when the inevitable collapse comes.  I have alt-skilled with shoemaking, one solitary example of a craft that has been completely hollowed out. Not just the craft but ALL underlying intrastructure and supplies:  shoe lasts (huge, huge loss), soleing machines, finishing machines, hand tools, heel/toe caps, and on and on.  The globalists must hang for what they have done to this country and world at large.


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:23 | 3130051 trav777
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huhwtf?  People of different races don't freakin get along...they self-segregate, always have and always will.  Maybe you should attend a beat whitey night and get your head out

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:20 | 3130881 knowless
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django unchained was a pretty good movie.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:57 | 3129945 ForWhomTheTollBuilds
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I am actually in favor of this.  Krugman's ideas are winning and will continue to win out anyway.  The results will be disasterous.


If Krugman's hand is on the wheel he can at least be blamed.  Right now he is nothing more than a talking head who can always weazle out by claiming his advice was not followed properly or that he only advocated the trillion dollar coin in jest. 

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:00 | 3129956 Michaelwiseguy
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Me too. I want the federal government bankrupted as quickly as possible. I'm not getting any younger.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:15 | 3130013 Snakeeyes
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Amen. Krugman is winning!!!!!!

And spending, deficits and debt continue at unsustainable levels.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:58 | 3129948 Stoploss
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I wont waste everyone's time though.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:32 | 3129856 kliguy38
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This is all a "shocking" revelation......

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:32 | 3129860 Banksters
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Modern finance is simply a way of transferring capital from producers to parasites.  



Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:55 | 3129938 1100-TACTICAL-12
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I alaways read comments first. Therefore I assume this article is safe to passover.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:47 | 3130126 centerline
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Yup.  Is pretty much a waste of time.  Misses the target right out of the chutes and goes downhill from there.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 18:50 | 3134383 laboratorymike
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Me too. The comments are often the most interesting (and informative!) part of every article!


Makes me wonder when they are going to get the forums under control from the spambots.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:33 | 3129861 SheepDog-One
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Cocktail napkin scribblings that really don't say much of anything of use.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:47 | 3129903 cougar_w
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But this is the second writer I have read in less than a week saying the same thing; we never solve our large problems, instead we hit them like a wall and whoever survives gets to start over.

I have been of the same mind for about a year.

Either we're all reading each other in some sort of literary echo chamber -- or the global collective unconscience is waking up to an extremely grave situation.

I vote for the latter. But I fear our awakening will have proven too little too late.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:05 | 3129974 walküre
walküre's picture

sounds like you're "turbo" paralyzed

Either there's an app for that or a prescription drug. Hit the Apple store and if that doesn't help, see your doctor.



New Normal

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:23 | 3130896 knowless
knowless's picture

your comment reminds me of oct/nov 2011.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:29 | 3130920 cougar_w
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Would you care to elaborate on that?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:45 | 3130111 Dick Buttkiss
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Agreed, SD1, as the author fails to understand that the state per se has peaked -- -- and isn't just heading into long-term decline --; it's heading toward outright extinction, and faster than anyone might think.

A victim of its internal contradiction, no matter what form it takes, the state is collapsing even as the individual, via the Internet revolution and the technology revolution as a whole, is being empowered as never before.

Yes, it's going to be a helluva battle, but as the state can only win by killing its host, the outcome stands to be all or nothing, or very close to it.  Meaning another Dark Age, at best, if the state, in its inherent insanity, tries to take humanity down with it, or a Golden Age so beyond any prior age as to eclipse the appearance of our species and even of life itself:

"An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history."

Meanwhile, the state can kiss my ass.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:37 | 3130359 Chewybunny
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Except that it was written in 2001 with the assumption that based on past technological growth it will keep growing exponentially, mainly because the sudden rise of computers and the amount of advancement in those computers. For example, hard drive space. In 1997 when I got my first home PC, it had 2G harddrive space, which at that point was considered fairly okay. By 2001 i had a DELL computer that had about 100 G of hard drive space. That's insane growth in less than 5 years. It was until 2007 I got a terra byte hard drive, and you know what, that's where it's been since. Most standard computers still have terrabyte harddrive. More advanced 2. Technological advancement has for the most part started to slow down. The silicon chips can only handle so much heat, before they stop functioning.

Modern tech firms are capitalizing on this. Apple releases a new Iphone or Ipad every year, with only minor enhancements to the previous model. These enhancements already existed way in advance, and could all be used and put into the recent most version. But they won't do that, because if they did, they wouldn't have a new ipad or iphone that would come out next year.

Technological "advancement" has rapidly slowed down. We are instead seeing more and more innovative uses of the existing level of technology, expanding it, and making it more versatile, giving the illusion that technology is rapidly growing.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:36 | 3130938 knowless
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raspberry pi, if the major firms want to planned obsolescence themselves out the the market, then so be it.

going back to a harware patching reality, like they envisioned in the eighties (based on limited memory requiring hardware attachments), until a new configuration is achieved which supercedes the current pc/"phone"/laptop/tablet what have you.

interchangeable parts, think legos.. camera outdated? don't buy a new phone, just a new camera insert..


whatever, i don't get payed for this shit.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:00 | 3130447 slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Exactly, the state is so far behind its citizens and so far up its own arse, it has no idea what's going on.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 17:00 | 3130665 cougar_w
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Kurzweil is delusional on the topic of technological change. I've been doing technology since the 70s and was an early innovator, I can tell you with as much conviction as he can that while chip performance and network bandwidth have improved leaps and bounds, what people actually can do with technology has hardly gone beyond electronic typewriters. The Internet replaced paper and an envelope. Well gosh darn ain't that special.

Most of the actual innovation in technology has actually been in data collection and mining. It's a very very ugly business and I worry that we've blown ourselves up on that one.

The next round of great innovations in technology will be utterly invisible, by design. Personal proximity security, privacy assurances, 24/7 electronic personal counter-intelligence measures, disappearance services, life hacking/hardening, personality hacking, real-time image/surveillance negation and spoofing. That's maybe half of it. And notice, all of it devoted to undoing and unwinding the extremely dangerous implications of being constantly watched watched by our own technology, always-on, and even periodically tracked by law enforcement.

My current startup is actually moving into this avenue of technology work. I'm gonna fuck with The Man as much as I can, in part as penance for having helped create a soul-destroying monster.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 19:23 | 3131084 knowless
knowless's picture

security is a business that never goes away.

but the human/machine integration will always continue ahead of security (naturally) for the average person, those in positions of knowledge will be veiled before the masses.

still waiting on neurology to get me a gui in my minds eye, hoping it doesn't go flying car status. achievements in neural patching with prosthesis is pretty awesome, glad it went that direction before military, as far as i know.

the real key is anonymous access, which has been subverted in it's current form, as links require constant access points (ethereal or hard line), if cloud networks could be created, and transmitted without the current infrastructure, then networks more closely resembling family and tribe structures could form, as opposed to the current push for a hive mind.


that being said, the hive mind will always exist, as the majority do not wish or seek for anything which they would hide, but for those who want to develop ideas without interference it would be indispensable.


platitudes and hypothesizing for all!

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 20:23 | 3131175 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"the real key is anonymous access"

You cannot have anonymous access in a digital world, not on the Internet nor via phone. Packet switching won't allow for it. You can dump your info requests into an "onion router" network and obfuscate the hell out of things, but that's about it.

The real problems though involve behavior tracking and this extends beyond your on-line persona. For example, using a credit card for purchases of goods or services is probably out of the question these days. You can revert to cash-only transactions with good results, but unless you get your paycheck in cash you will still need a relationship with a bank.

It's a long way down the rabbit hole.

Your interest in prosthetics is unfortunate. For a glimpse of the hell that awaits us there I recommend any of the several "Ghost in the Shell" series but in particular the 1995 anime movie. They run deep but if you stick it out you may find you end up reevaluating the digital augmentation phase of technological fascination.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 03:20 | 3132112 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Check out this little gizmo:

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 19:49 | 3131131 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

[W]hat people actually can do with technology has hardly gone beyond electronic typewriters. The Internet replaced paper and an envelope. Well gosh darn ain't that special.

Well, it is special, Cougar, just as innovators like yourself push that envelope, "undoing and unwinding the extremely dangerous implications of being constantly watched by our own technology, always-on, and even periodically tracked by law enforcement."

Thanks for your support, in other words, in undoing the "law enforcement" that has nothing to do with the law other than to pervert it in the furtherance of human oppression and domination.

We'll figure out how, Cougar, not to watch ourselves but to watch out for ourselves, that we might begin, at long last, to realize our all but limitless potential.   

Meanwhile, the state can kiss my ass.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 20:21 | 3131201 cougar_w
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"that we might begin, at long last, to realize our all but limitless potential."

Not to be a spoil sport, but humans are actually extremely limited in the grand scheme. They are neither very large, nor terribly fast, nor particularly strong, nor exactly fearless, nor inordinately intelligent, nor consistently honest. What makes humans special is they exhibit a knack for elevating abstraction to a very high degree -- even such that abstraction can take on the characteristics of physical reality -- and then agreeing to unify all purpose, meaning and being around that which they choose to adore. But I find that more a curiosity of nature than any long-term salient evolutionary potential. Limitless imagination perhaps. But there is not a great deal of actual potential until one can tame the demons of the id.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 20:36 | 3131248 Dick Buttkiss
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Well, to complete the Kurzweil quote above:

"The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

You have a rather stilted view of human, in other words, being stuck in the duality of man and machine and therefore blind to the transcendence thereof.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 21:27 | 3131394 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Implications indeed. Well I did say he was delusional and I will stick to that. Sells a lot of books I suppose, but I notice he hasn't solved any interesting problems for all that. Nor is he going to ever, because that kind of untethered thinking cannot move anyone or anything forward.

There are things which cannot be transcended no matter how hard we wish it so. Knowing what these things are forms the basis for sound adult thinking, of which sadly we see little in evidence these days. Kurzweil has a brilliant mind and I enjoy his musings but he shows little self-restraint. His thinking is typical of any group that holds the power of unfettered human imagination above the less interesting but very real limitations of the universe.

Limitations that are set to murder us in our sleep, if I'm not entirely mistaken.

We stand at the rail of the human bridge spanning the river of time, and I notice that the era for ignoring the real limits of the universe is about to pass below us. Probably, it already has and will now fall from sight down stream. We cannot follow our fancy where that river goes. There will always be a place for fiction (I certainly hope so, I'm a fiction writer) but claiming that some new invention will solve more problems than it creates (or will run ahead of the laws of thermodynamics, or summon down miracles, or some other such) is not helpful going forward. We move forward now with what we have at hand, or through neglect we fall away and are lost into our own terminal history. Being required to "transcend" that sort of thing seems to me like a very sad end for what was otherwise a very interesting race of being.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 22:13 | 3131488 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

Implications indeed. Well I did say he was delusional and I will stick to that. Sells a lot of books I suppose, but I notice he hasn't solved any interesting problems for all that. 

Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal, and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison,” and PBS included Ray as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America,” along with other inventors of the past two centuries.

Nor is he going to ever, because that kind of untethered thinking cannot move anyone or anything forward.

"Google hires Kurzweil: A look at his returns":

There will always be a place for fiction (I certainly hope so, I'm a fiction writer) but claiming that some new invention will solve more problems than it creates (or will run ahead of the laws of thermodynamics, or summon down miracles, or some other such) is not helpful going forward.

Science fiction is barely able to keep up with science "faction" nowadays, so good luck. But if you're going to tell me that, say, the wheel created more problems than it solved, then human endeavor itself is a fiction, and we would have been better not to have left the savannah.

We move forward now with what we have at hand, or through neglect we fall away and are lost into our own terminal history. Being required to "transcend" that sort of thing seems to me like a very sad end for what was otherwise a very interesting race of being.

We move forward as best we can amid the relentless depredations of the state, the question being whether we will overcome them:

You're playing catch-up, Cougar, and at the rate technology is advancing, you're going to be left on a savannah of your own, your dystopianism as desolate as that of the state and destined to meet the same fate.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 03:17 | 3132110 StychoKiller
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Get thee hence into Cryptography...

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:37 | 3129877 Super Broccoli
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China leading the world ? After america default on their debt and dollar goes bust ? LOL no way, that would mean huge internal problems for China ! That's the only reason why they  haven't shorted US-bonds and dollars so far

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:00 | 3130194 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

China will [hegemony's... 'King Me', glancing and glaring down at the yellow wett'd`queen!] lead the world in 3-5yrs. max.,  with a formidable military to back it up, period!

Russia and Germany will most definitely take sides with China-- it's already happening!

Fuck the British [UK] and Europe's, France!!!

Ps. What's Australia to do? Answer: Go Long China!


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:41 | 3129881 Azannoth
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Well Greeks discovered that they cannot(or will not) break out of the System neither peacefully(sit-in demonstrations) nor violently(violent demonstrations) so they simply started to opt-out of it with barter trade. Thus depriving the State of VAT-tax and any control over the commerce.


"Going back to the pre-2008 world is not an alternative. Neither is the present state of suspended animation in politics and policy." - the only question is how long till Wille E. Coyote discoveres he's over the cliff.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:21 | 3130043 trav777
trav777's picture

greasy greeks have "opted out" of paying taxes and working for decades and "opted in" to lounging in cafes pretending to how exactly is this soft revolt any different from status quo?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:35 | 3130072 Banksters
Banksters's picture


I guess you missed this headline


ECB wins case to conceal Greek debt secrets Secret documents revealing the extent of the European Central Bank’s knowledge of Greece’s concealed debt issues prior to its €240bn (£195bn) tax-payer funded rescue have been withheld in a "disturbing" EU court ruling.



Spend more time thinking and less time jacking yer noodle.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:45 | 3130116 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

That's like pulling the pin of a Granade and putting it in your pocket hoping nobody will notice, .. they are only buying time nothing more.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:41 | 3129886 Cognitive Dissonance
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"....following the ‘Long Depression’ of the 1870s-1890s and the Great Depression of the 1930s. The earlier two episodes of global economic crisis witnessed setbacks for liberalism, democracy and free trade and the flourishing of illiberal nationalism, racism, imperialism and beggar-thy-neighbour economics."

Like Kyle Bass said (considering all of the about) isn't it obvious that war is coming.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:45 | 3129899 knukles
knukles's picture

Am I missing something, for I'm under the impression that Our Leadership is at war with half the globe, including us, the peasantry.


(Here Kunks, I got a platinum coin I can sell ya', speak right into the hidden microphone.)

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:48 | 3129913 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

Good point knukles!  I just wish they'd say the money they spent on defense was

spent on offense, afterall it is they that are the ones launching the war against

the globe and us the peasantry.  This one is for all the marbles folks, please fasten yer seatbelts.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 19:26 | 3131094 knowless
knowless's picture

didn't you guys hear that they got bin laden?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:54 | 3129937 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I suspect Bass was referring to (as well as I) massive world war rather than the smaller one or two small countries at a time the US has pursued over the last 40 plus years to extend/maintain its hegemony.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:02 | 3129965 knukles
knukles's picture

Fair enough.
Like enough anecdotal evidence ultimately becomes statistical fact, enough small wars likewise aggregate taking a less than Apocalyptic form....

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:20 | 3130039 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The Banking/Military Industrial complex doesn't care about the number of wars, just the total Pentagon budget. Thank God that wasn't changed as part of the "great Congressional compromise" of 2013.

<See March 1, 2013 for the next installment of "As the Fiscal Stomach Churns".>

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:42 | 3129896 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Isnt it striking how everyone is so trained today that 'down' days aren't even commented about anymore, I guess since everyone just assumes we'll get all that back plus more within hours?


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:53 | 3129931 fuu
fuu's picture

It's a down day?

The sun is up, the sky is blue, and the ground is a hazy shade of winter.

Oh you meant the markets, fuck the markets.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:44 | 3129900 Hayabusa
Hayabusa's picture

While "they" are busy attempting to get me to "absorb" or adjust to doing with less and less in lieu of themselves (for problems they caused) I will be adjusting by stacking and opting out of their decaying fiat system.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:41 | 3130099 Salon
Salon's picture


Weimar Republic went thru a period of turbo paralysis too

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:45 | 3130107 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

+1 for sure!


“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything, with nothing!”
Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:45 | 3129904 tickhound
tickhound's picture

In the meantime... wish for storms and floods and more of those precision hurricanes called military strikes.  Force some balance back into the system.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:46 | 3129909 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

Here's another chance to BUY a dip. Silver platter profits... profits that can be reinvested into gold, silver, or even more dips.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:48 | 3129912 agent default
agent default's picture

We haven't had a revolution because 20+ years of easy money policy and unearned standard of living, and non existent education have effectively broken all social and national cohesion. We have been reduced to a soup of individuals who are by definition incapable of organized resistance.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:45 | 3130112 Arbysauce
Arbysauce's picture

Ya. Easy money, stupid schools, and ubiqitous mindless entertainment means no revolution. Until the money runs out. Then it will be fun to watch.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:36 | 3130352 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

+ lots of pharmaceuticals...

I'm waiting for the day a pill called Soma comes out.



"..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon..."

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:48 | 3129917 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

I keep telling folks- the revolution will not start until Billy Bob can't afford beer and smokes or if the statists try to get Billy's guns. That's when the shit hits the fan- when Billy Bob starts feeling some pain.

Anyone interested in making a bet?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:59 | 3129951 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I agree. There will be a lot of bitching and moaning but that is about it. If there hasn't been one by now after all the blatant fraud , there isn't going to be.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:50 | 3130110 LouisDega
Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:52 | 3130153 centerline
centerline's picture

When EBT cards no longer work, supply chains break at some critical juncture, etc.  The entire system gets more fragile by the day.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:50 | 3129926 Banksters
Banksters's picture

How does one quantify the violence incurred by the economic warfare waged by the banksters?   How many suicides, broken relationships, and untold stress is the byproduct of their system?  

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:01 | 3129961 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Quantified as EXTREMELY PROFITABLE... stunt growth where you don't want it, stimulate growth where there shouldn't be any....

It's a solid business plan as long as people play along.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:57 | 3129946 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Great now I have to get in with Greece to get my student loans from Gernany. Well I can tell you right now that Greece ain't got nothing over California. Just let em try to get my money first.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:05 | 3129972 knukles
knukles's picture

Over my cold, dead, natural, organic, sustainable, equal, rainbow avacado, sprout and arugula salad wrap (on whole grain)

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 19:04 | 3131033 CPL
CPL's picture

I'll put you down for definitively maybe then.   Excellent.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 13:58 | 3129949 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

what did everyone think of last nite's episode of downton abbey?

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:20 | 3130026 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

I was watching (or rewatching) the highlights of Seattle's rise from the dust of being down 14 in the first quarter to finish off the Redskins.

Go Seahawks!!

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:03 | 3129966 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

50 years from now, people are going to look at Bush/Clinton/Obama as the captains who ran the ship into the Iceberg, thinking that becasue they had a big enough boat, they could slog through it.

I agree with lunaticfringe; however, there is a more complex reason I think why we haven't risen against our "elites" yet (although Billy Bob plays an important role).

We are a relgiious country; most ppl grow up in religious house holds.  We are taught that violence is bad, that it is much more noble to be the Quiet Man with the Big Stick, rather than to be a Gorilla. 

"Turn the Other Cheek".  "That's the Way It Is".  "Life Sucks."

The corportized media message, which started in churches, then found it way into royal houses and parliments, is WHY people haven't lost their shit yet: the fear that is set in by the message into the minds of the people CONVINCES them that staying quiet and not rocking the boat, is better than to inspire and question. 

Look at the consumer situation.  The majority of our populace is in debt.  Some of these people have families.  They worry that if they were to take on the power structure, that theiur wage/benefits will be taken away.  People don't like uncertainty.  The majority of people aren't willing to "gamble" what comfortable shitty life they have, for a better one. 

Like our "elites", people want the spoils, and not the slog.  People feel bad when their neighbor gets laid off because the shareholders wanted a little extra scrilla before the holidays, but they in the end, just worry about themselves. Until SHTF.....AND in their face.

Riots. A great Natural Disaster.  Anonymous "Leaking It All".  Another War.  Market/dollar collapse. 

This system has SO many reasons on why it's so close to falling down.


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:03 | 3129967 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'm sorry , but if you think that we are going to avoid a large scale hot war then you are kidding yourself. The resource wars will hear up and become a global conflict. You can't have infinite growth on a finite planet.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:23 | 3130052 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

Who's looking for infinite growth?

I would settle for 2% on my money market accounts.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:05 | 3129975 three chord sloth
three chord sloth's picture

An interesting read. But the author left out a rather large defender of the Status Quo: the taxeater alliance.

Both government employees and welfare recipients will defend the debt-fuelled status quo to the bitter end because any change in "the system" will mean a hit to their income.

People sometimes don't realize: the median pay of a full-time private sector worker is only about $39,000 per year. Meanwhile, government workers average around $70k (plus bennies)... and even welfare recipients bring home the equivalent of around $50k. Neither of those numbers will be sustainable when the current regime fails. In fact, if I had to guess, I'd say both the average gov. employee and the average welfarian will have to take a roughly $20,000 per year hit to bring them back in line with what the private sector can support.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:16 | 3130016 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

Large Cities All Over America The Rest of The World Used To Look At In Envy Are Degenerating Into Gang-Infested War Zones

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:23 | 3130017 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

The major reason that 9-11 happened, along with a thousand other grievances, AND the reason perpetrators have escaped with complete impunity, is because current Americans have no knowledge of the law and principles employed by American Founders to conduct the American Revolution.

For example, Founders repeatedly declared that “no man was obligated to obey any law or pay any tax that he had not personally consented to.”

Did they really mean that?  Of course they did.

Every “law” and every “tax” was a result of a particular petition for redress of grievance.  For example, a group of men would present such a petition to a local assembly to build a road from point A to point B.  The assembly and petitioners would negotiate terms and money payments.  The result was a contract between assembly and petitioners; terms and money payments were sometimes referred to as “laws” and “taxes”.  Only parties to this contract were bound by it.  When the redress was completed, such “laws” and “taxes” expired.

Such petitions were a daily occurrence in the English colonies from the very beginning to the Revolution.

Such is the origin of English/American law.  And who knows it?  Hardly anyone today.

It is opposed to Persian law; sometimes known as ecclesiastical, maritime, admiralty, law of the conqueror, mouth law, see Deuteronomy, xx, 10-18.

What is the difference?  With American law, only those who petition for redress are bound by the resulting contract.  With Persian law, petitioners receive benefits of redress while expenses (taxes) are laid on non-petitioners.

Today, banks, for example, petition Congress for benefits while banks’ losses are laid on taxpayers, that is, on non-petitioners.

And more, the basis of an American Revolution, as opposed to a Bolshevik revolution, is the redress of grievances – nothing more.  Hence, the American Revolution was a continuing affair from the first English settlement to 1783 – then the counter, Bolshevik, revolution set in, which has given us rule by Persian law.

As noted, Americans have lost knowledge of how to petition, of what a petition is; they do not know they have a right (actually, it’s a power) to do so.

Criminal and useful-idiot classes have, and use, this knowledge.

Thus, it is the ignorance of Americans that allow criminal and useful-idiot classes to perpetrate genocide and general plunder with complete impunity.  Their major fear is that their victims will some day cleanse their minds of propaganda and replace it with real facts of the American Revolution.

It is a right all men have; but only English-speaking men have made use of it.  I estimate that the next few years will tell if criminal and useful-idiot classes can exterminate it completely.


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:20 | 3130041 Wanton1
Wanton1's picture

To quote "1984" Orwell:


"A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its sucessors. The Party is not concerned with perpetuating its blood but with perperuating itself.  Who wields power is not important, provided its enduring hierarchical structure prevails."

(Our banking elites may squabble among themselves, but they remain one in their efforts to wipe out the world's still unconquered middle class.)







Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:22 | 3130047 Banksters
Banksters's picture

Hank Paulson said it, "If you don't pass this bailout, there will be martial law and tanks in the streets".

Apart from the accounting fraud and life lines-QE4eva, nothing has materially changed since the collapse of 08.  In fact, in many ways they are worse.   No wonder they want our guns.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:00 | 3130198 centerline
centerline's picture

Here's something for ZH to chew on...

Just to play the other side of this gun thing.  Let's assume for a moment that the public is doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing - buying guns and ammo (the big stuff) hand over fist.  That the goal is actually to get more weapons out into homes instead of take them away.

I know.  This is less likely.  But, makes for interesting thinking when you turn subject around and look at them from a different angle.  Generally, at any point in time, the public is doing what they are supposed to be doing.  When they are not, en masse, the S has HTF.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:31 | 3130071 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

People complain about the French; that they are lazy and surrender easily. Well, at least some French have the balls to do something about it.

They may do it clumsily but at least the do it. Name me one fellow American that has the money and stood up to the plate.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:20 | 3130269 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture


Americans beat the French any day.

We have electric cars that burn themselves.

Modern American efficiency.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:37 | 3130089 Salon
Salon's picture

There are too many PhD's out there now and not enough positions.

Another property of the contraction phase of the business cycle.

Only certain subjects and certain research topics will get funded in the social sciences such as economics. Get with the program! If you dont research and write about those few things that get funded and follow the philosophy of the department you wont be hired.

Mavericks are a luxury only afforded in good times

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:49 | 3130139 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

The last four years have been a retracement of the drop that ended in 2009.


The next leg down we be must slower and far more painful.


PS:  The recession never ended.  Depression would be a better word.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:58 | 3130186 linrom
linrom's picture

The world economy is structurally unbalanced. How long can they exploit Chinese wage arbitrage and continue to rake in obscene profits before concentrated wealth's Achilles Heel: debt becomes too big to even service.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:06 | 3130224 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

The US was a really grand idea until the jews took over.

Same as happened everywhere else in history (until they were eventually kicked out, which became known as "pogroms", which happened repeatedly in many European countries).

They day Americans kick the hebes out of the country will be the day she returns to her true form.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:53 | 3130635 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I thought it was those socialists called Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR  who screwed it up. No jews there. 

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:14 | 3130249 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Relax folks,

The paralysis will end pretty soon.

Financial claymore mines are set around the global perimeter, fully wired and waiting for Charlie Bankster or Thug Govt. to trip the wire as they stumble around in the dark.

USA, China, Japan, Germany, Pigs, Iran, Syria?

Doesn't matter who trips the wire, or if the bullets fly before or after a crash...

But the paralysis is only temporary.

Then the big show is on and there will be a renaissance of 'shovel-ready' jobs.

Stock up on quick-lime.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:28 | 3130312 toomanyfakecons...
toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Soap box, ballot box, jury box, ammo box. The first three aren't getting the job done and the last one is out of stock.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:08 | 3130477 Towgunner
Towgunner's picture

Indeed, history has us overdue for a revolution. In addition to the elites becoming richer and more powerful, so has the sophistication of their methods to keep us down. Consider the evolution of controlled propaganda going from static paintings to high-def movies and tv. It has an impact. Don't believe me, agenda items such as free contraception, gay rights, weed legalization and the election of a empty suit who never did anything in his life but is really cool dominated and not the real issues i.e. fiat currency, the fed, what did we really vote for in the last election? Isn't it obvious - sex, drugs and rock and roll. And you wonder why there hasn’t been a revolution yet.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:08 | 3130478 Towgunner
Towgunner's picture


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 16:51 | 3130621 falak pema
falak pema's picture

turboparalysis : american neo liberal capitalism looking for its navel.

Its not me thats screwed up, its my navel that has grown a socialist worm. 

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 17:02 | 3130671 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

IMO the only way out, short of total some spectacular technological break.  Perhaps something that renders oil worthless, providing virtually free energy (fusion?) or even more spectacular.....invention of the Star Trek transporter to move goods and people. Either way.....long shot.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 17:23 | 3130717 I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we've been doing." "A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"   Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

That Red Queen, she is a B!tch!






Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:00 | 3130821 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

It is all about the math and fantasy business models and the inept members of Congress who don't get it...yet one more fine video from Cathy O'Neil here in this post about the inability of lawmakers to model and understand that if they want to pass privacy laws, they better include some type of regulation in there, otherwise we are right back to Wall Street. 

Laws with no balls as I called it.

Again we are all Algo Duped and none worse than those in Congress as they can't model anything worth a darn and the moment it passes the business factions are already running thier business intelligence on how to game the laws. 


Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:12 | 3130852 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

Scapegoating is the ultimate parachute of the elites and the mask of anonymity that allows them to operate with impunity.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:17 | 3130869 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

It's true: the Great Depression was substantially ended in North America by WWII. The US economy was already starting to recover after the 1937-38 recession. But the recovery was weak. While that causal relation is not in doubt, many (like the NYT's resident kook, the K-man) don't understand the reason why.

It wasn't because of some mythical surge in consumption. On the contrary, WWII was a period of private consumption austerity (rationing) and, most crucially, private sector balance sheet cleansing, debt write-offs, and forced saving. When the postwar era started in 1946, the private sector's balance sheet was clean, supporting a long period of strong growth without excessive debt or high inflation. Of course, there was inflation after the war for a while. That was all about reducing the public sector's debt load. If the Kook-man were right, the end of the war would have brought about another depression. Nothing of the sort happened, although it was feared at the time. This was one of the first decisive refutations of Keynesian economics. The second major refutation came later in the 1970s, with the failure of "Phillips curves" and "output gaps" to explain or cure stagflation. (Hint: the inflation, in its mature phase, was a supply problem, not a demand problem. Extra points if you figure why the Keynesians were wrong!)

That period came to an end, not in 1980, but in the late 1960s, the era of "guns and butter," trying to pay for the Great Society and the Vietnam War at the same time, with no adjustments to compensate. That's when the US started running chronic fiscal and current account deficits -- in other words, living beyond its means -- printing the money to make up the difference, forcing a departure from the gold standard. The first result was the Great Inflation of the 1970s. The early 80s were an important turning point, but for a different reason: high inflation was ended, but a new strategy emerged: an apparently endless expansion of debt, with surplus countries (oil countries, Japan, later China) funding the deficits. This fit those countries' proclivities nicely, as they had no interest in consumption- and import-led growth at home, but rather suppression of consumption, forced saving, and high export growth. So while they lived below their means, the difference allowed us (and a few other countries, like the UK and parts of Europe) to live above ours.

Rebalancing is a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for changing and getting out of the trap were currently in. That means China must move more toward interal, consumption, and import-led growth. The same must happen for the oil countries. I'm not sure this can happen, absent a cataclysm. It's already too late for Japan, which is so indebted and now running deficits, that it must move back to an export-driven strategy, with poor demographic prospects. The US, the UK, and parts of Europe must move toward higher saving and exports.

But can China and Germany, for example, make the mirror-image, corresponding changes? It seems doubtful. All the world's deficits and surpluses have to add up to zero. So something has to give somewhere. The emerging countries are no longer willing to run large deficits, because it frightens them, the loss of macroeconomic control implied.

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 18:54 | 3131005 ramacers
ramacers's picture

hone the blade for the smug, elitist, theivin' political master classers.

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 09:56 | 3132485 Neo1
Neo1's picture

Use federal reserve notes and incur an Irrecusable obligation. The puzzle is complete!!!

A Banksters defeatism (realization of defeat) nightmare, Being forced to Return to Real Money=United States Note=Lawful Money, Use the Remedy within the Federal Reserve Act. Redeemed 12USC411, Refusal Penalty 12USC501a  Stop being a Slave!!!!!! This is Tax Free Money!!!!!! Convincing Congress to Abolish the Fed

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 04:59 | 3135617 lmile61
lmile61's picture

Now its real or normal!!! ecommerce web development

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