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Guest Post: Let's Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can't Afford the Future

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,

The American spirit is rooted in the belief of a better tomorrow. Its success has been due to generations of men and women who toiled, through both hardship and boom times, to make that dream a reality.

But at some point over the past several decades, that hope for a better tomorrow became an expectation. Or perhaps a perceived entitlement is more accurate.

It became assumed that the future would be more prosperous than today, irrespective of the actual steps being taken in the here and now.

And for a prolonged time characterized by plentiful and cheap energy, accelerating globalization, technical innovation, and the financialization of the economy it seemed like this assumption was a certain bet. 

But these wonderful tailwinds that America has been enjoying for so many decades are sputtering out. The forces of resource scarcity, debt saturation, price inflation, and physical limits will impact our way of life dramatically more going forward than living generations have experienced to date.

And Americans, who had the luxury of abandoning savings and sacrifice for consumerism and credit financing, are on a collision course with that reality. Like the grasshopper in Aesop's fable, they have partied away the fair seasons and winter is now on the way, which they are not prepared for.

The prudent thing to do here would be to have an honest, adult-sized conversation with ourselves about our level of (un)readiness and how best to use the resources and time we have left while the system still works more or less the way we're used to. There are certainly strategies and steps we can take in the here and now to best match priorities to needs, and meet the future as prepared as possible.

But you won't find this discussion in the national media. Our politicians insist on charting a course of more of the same, no matter how unsustainable, adamant not to touch any political third rails for fear of not pleasing the electorate and/or donors. Major media outlets have abandoned the investigative journalism that once held the mirror of truth up to power, and instead, run superficial puff pieces that conclude with platitudes for fear of not offending viewers and/or sponsors. The message is clear: The future will be better as soon as economic growth returns. Or oil prices come down. Or the iPhone 6 comes out. Or whatever the magic bullet du jour.

So it's up to the concerned and critical-thinking among us to look at the math, the hard data underlying the headlines, and construct what we can best calculate to be true. 

And the truth is: The three adult generations in the U.S. are suffering, and their burdens are likely to increase with time. Each is experiencing a squeeze that is making it harder to create value, save capital, and pursue happiness than at any point since WWII. At that point, we were a creditor nation with an economy exploding into dominance on the world stage. Now, however, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation and our economic hegemony is increasingly at siege across a number of fronts.

A continuation of the status quo is a decision to sleepwalk face-first into the constraints hurtling towards us.

Instead, shouldn't we stop fooling ourselves and ask: What should we be doing differently?

We'll address that after we walk through the numbers.

Seniors Woefully Unprepared for Retirement

In the late 1970s, the 401k emerged as a new retirement vehicle. Among its touted benefits was the ability of the individual to save as much as s/he thought prudent for his/her financial future. Companies loved the new private savings plans because they gave them a way out of putting aside mandatory savings for worker pensions. For a long time, everyone thought this was a big step forward.

Three decades later, what we're realizing is that this shift from dedicated-contribution pension plans to voluntary private savings was a grand experiment with no assurances. Corporations definitely benefited, as they could redeploy capital to expansion or bottom line profits. But employees? The data certainly seems to show that the experiment did not take human nature into account enough specifically, the fact that just because people have the option to save money for later use doesn't mean that they actually will.

First off, not every American worker (by far) is offered a 401k or similar retirement plan through work. But of those that are, 21% choose not to participate (source).

As a result, 1 in 4 of those aged 45-64 and 22% of those 65+ have $0 in retirement savings (source). Forty-nine percent of American adults of all ages aren't saving anything for retirement.

Of those with retirement savings, the numbers are not good. Over half of US retirees have less than $25,000 in savings:


(Source)

Most planners advise saving enough before retirement to maintain annual living expenses at about 70-80% of what they were during one's income-earning years. Medicare out-of-pocket costs alone are expected to be between $240,000 and $430,000 over retirement for a 65-year-old couple retiring today.

The gap between retirement savings and living costs in one's later years is pretty staggering:

  • As the table above shows, nearly 83% of retired households have less saved than Medicare costs alone will consume.
  • One-third of retired households are entirely dependent on Social Security. On average, that's only $1,230 per month a hard income to live on. (source)
  • 34 percent of older Americans depend on credit cards to pay for basic living expenses such as mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities. (source

As for Medicare, the out-of-pocket costs could easily soar over retirement. The Wall Street Journal reports that the current estimate of Medicare's unfunded liability now tops $42 Trillion. Such a mind-boggling gap makes it highly likely that current retirees will not receive all of the entitlements they are being promised.

And the denial being shown by baby boomers entering retirement is frightening. Many simply plan to work longer before retiring, with a growing percentage saying they plan to work "forever". 

But the data shows that declining health gives older Americans no choice but to leave the work force eventually, whether they want to or not. Years of surveys by the Employment Benefit Research Institute show that fully half of current retirees had to leave the work force sooner than desired due to health problems, disability, or layoffs.

Add to this the nefarious impact of the Federal Reserve's prolonged 0% interest rate policy, which makes it extremely hard for retirees with fixed-income investments to generate a meaningful income from them.

The number of Americans aged 65 years and older is projected to more than double in the next 40 years:

Will the remaining body of active workers be able to support this tsunami of underfunded seniors? Don't bet on it.

Taxes and Inflation Are Sucking Productive Workers Dry

To borrow from another fable, U.S. policy is doing its best to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Bottlenecked between retirees and the younger "millennial" generation is the current "productive peak" working class. As government, mired in debt and budget deficits, grows desperate to boost tax receipts and keep interest rates on its debt manageable, it is increasingly both siphoning capital and stealing purchasing power from those generating income.

History shows that this cannot continue indefinitely. Eventually you exhaust the incentive for working and your productive class goes on strike.

How close are we to that breaking point? It's not hard to find a litany of articles on the Internet these days warning that it's coming soon:

Personal Incomes & the Decline of the American Saver

If we put all of this together we can see a picture of the average American.  The chart below shows the annual change in personal incomes combined with the annual change in personal expenditures.  What is clear is that consumption has been supported by rising transfer receipts (welfare) and a drop in the personal savings rate which is now at the lowest level since just prior to the last recession.  The consumer is clearly struggling to maintain their current standard of living and all indications are that they are going to lose this battle.

Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That the Middle Class Is Running out of Money

Is "discretionary income" rapidly becoming a thing of the past for most American families?  Right now, there are a lot of signs that we are on the verge of a nightmarish consumer spending drought.  Incomes are down, taxes are up, many large retail chains are deeply struggling because of the lack of customers, and at this point nearly a quarter of all Americans have more credit card debt than money in the bank.  Considering the fact that consumer spending is such a large percentage of the U.S. economy, that is very bad news.  How will we ever have a sustained economic recovery if consumers don't have much money to spend?  Well, the truth is that we aren't ever going to have a sustained economic recovery.  In fact, this debt-fueled bubble of false hope that we are experiencing right now is as good as things are going to get.  Things are going to go downhill from here, and if you think that consumer spending is bad now, just wait until you see what happens over the next several years

Looking from a bird's-eye view, real wages have been falling in the U.S. for decades. The below chart includes numbers based on the officially reported Consumer Price Index (or CPI, the methodology of which has been changed many times to make the output "kinder and gentler"), as well as those from ShadowStats, which applies a standardized and less fuzzy methodology to try to get to a truer picture. You can see that according to ShadowStats (the dark blue line), real wages have been plummeting in recent years as the Federal Reserve has been running the money-printing machines at full tilt:

Meanwhile, the cost of living has soared as the Fed's liquidity has found its way into the commodities markets and driven prices of essentials higher:

So today's worker is enjoying paying for substantially costlier goods with a materially devalued income that is, if they are fortunate enough to have an income. Unemployment in the U.S. is still painfully high. Even the recently-celebrated declines are due to a jump in part time jobs as workers take on multiple jobs to simply get by. Full-time jobs are actually on the decline.

At the same time, in pursuit of greater efficiencies, U.S. corporations are investing more than ever in automation. Many of the less-skilled jobs lost during the Great Recession are simply not coming back, as human labor is increasingly replaced by robots and intelligent machines.

And yes, while the stock market is up nicely in the past year, the wealth gains from this are hyper-concentrated within the top 10% really the top 1%, as this excellent video visualizes. (Warning: viewing this may make the blood boil.) The mean U.S. household currently only has about $50k in savings (and that average is skewed upwards by the super-rich).

These workers have also been whipsawed over the past decade by several asset bubbles blown by central banks that have knee-capped their efforts to amass wealth. The S&P 500 stock index has just returned to price territory last seen in 2001 and 2007, and housing prices are only slowly beginning to rise again in the aftermath of the vicious correction begun in 2007. Sadly, it seems that new bubbles in stocks, bonds and housing are being inflated once again sure to take a large swath of wealth from these workers when they burst.

Perhaps the arriving cohort of younger workers will be able to support their elders once they hit their peak earning years.  We can hope.

But again, the prospects do not look encouraging.

Millennials at Risk of Becoming a Lost Generation

Pity the recent college graduate. The cost of higher education has been far outstripping inflation for years, largely due to that fact that most colleges have no exposure to their students' ability to repay their loans. So universities actually have an incentive to continue to raise tuition and other fees as high as the market will possibly bear.

The average graduate student has a student loan balance of over $27,000 (not including credit-card or other types of debt that many students also have). This puts them into a hole early in their adult lives that delays their ability to create families, buy a first home, or start businesses.

This challenge to capital formation is compounded by the frighteningly high unemployment rate of approximately 12% for those under 30. Not only are companies still hiring conservatively, but given the factors mentioned above, younger workers find themselves competing with older ones for entry-level positions to an extent not seen in living memory.

It's no wonder there's a growing perception that going deep into debt for a college diploma isn't a smart trade-off. A number of today's graduates will be finally paying off their balances around the same time their own children are heading off to college.

And along with the joys of debt-serfdom, younger workers are realizing they can't count on:

  • loyalty from the companies they work for
  • a national infrastructure that is the envy of the world
  • low oil prices
  • affordable healthcare
  • affordable home prices
  • easy access to credit
  • Social Security

...and a number of other elements of the "American promise" that preceding generations were able to take for granted.

It's no surprise that millions of young workers are giving up on searching for work.

Of course, the big danger for this generation's members is that the longer they go without work experience, the less appealing they become to employers when hiring does begin to pick back up. Tomorrow's new college graduates will be hired for entry-level positions, leaving many of today's unskilled seekers "unemployable" a lost generation.

Let's Stop Fooling Ourselves

In summary, if we're being honest with ourselves, the current narrative of recovery being pushed by Wall Street and the mainstream media doesn't make any sense. The American experience of rising standards of living and general prosperity have always rested upon a deep and healthy middle class. That middle class, by mos any available economic or financial measure, is steadily losing ground as a direct consequence of Fed and DC policies.

By forcing the stock market higher, the Fed has simply made a small minority of the country better off  By funneling endless amounts of free money to the biggest banks, the Fed has enriched the banking system. The Fed truly seems to believe that this is the right course of action: that a stable and profitable banking system coupled to rising stock prices will somehow generate the necessary confidence within the middle class required for them to once again go on a borrowing binge.

Because that's what the system has devolved into, for better or worse: our economy is founded on credit and borrowing, not earnings and savings. The problem is, outside of the manufactured statistics of government and the manufactured stock prices of the Fed, the median family has far less earning power this year than last. And it knows in its heart of hearts that DC will tax more and return less as time goes on, and that job security no longer exists as corporations ruthlessly pursue bottom line results. Quite rationally, many families are realizing that's not an appropriate environment for taking on more debt.

More profoundly, the big picture numbers just don't add up. A nation that's collectively in hock to the tune of 373% of GDP not including entitlement liabilities  which launch that figure to more than 1000% needs to seriously face the fact that it cannot make good on its current promises, let alone entertain making them larger. And yet here we are, with every outlet of the current power structure vigorously promoting that "all is well" while minimizing or completely ignoring those who would seek to open a dialog about the wisdom, or lack thereof, of ramming asset prices higher and supporting historically ruinous levels of deficit spending by printing money out of thin air.

Redefining Prosperity

As dire as the trends look, there is much that can be done to ameliorate their impact – and enter the future with grace and optimism if as a society we have the courage to do it.

There's no doubt that simply continuing along the status quo is a vote for digging ourselves deeper as the constraints of the future arrive. Behavior change is necessary in order to improve our chances.

At the core of the needed change is redefining prosperity. In modern society, it has largely come to be defined by material possessions, usually assuming that the more (and the more expensive), the better.

In the future, we'd do much better to define it by:

  • our health (both physical and emotional)
  • our purpose
  • our ability to meet our needs sustainably
  • our relationships
  • our level of happiness

In sum, all things that were once valued much higher in our culture.

It's important to realize that when the cheap energy and associated cheap-credit era arrived, the work of all those energy and liquidity "slaves" allowed us to disassociate ourselves from centuries-old customs and live a much more isolated, materialistic life. While freeing in ways, perhaps, we are beginning to realize that those values and norms evolved for a reason. We'll be on a journey of rediscovering their worth as we start trending back towards more historic baselines. 

The good news is the list of prudent behavior to adopt is long, and it's growing as we (here at PeakProsperity.com and related sites) work together to identify those with the most promise. This is by no means an exhaustive account, and I look forward to active discussion and additions in the Comments section below:

  • Live below your means Rather than pride yourself on what you purchase, pride yourself on what you don't. That doesn't mean you must live miserly or live in poverty. Learn the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can afford the things you do buy, and the confidence that comes from growing your savings. (Frugality is the #1 quality that all self-made millionaires share)
  • Buy quality and maintain it When you do purchase something, buy for utility and longevity. "Cry once" is a good motto: in other words, pay a premium if necessary to get what will meet your needs best over the longest time horizon (versus "crying often" and spending more $$ over the long run because you bought an inferior product that needed chronic repairs or replacement). Take good care of what you do buy to ensure it will be there as you need it when you need it.
  • Take control of your income Avoid being a wage slave for your entire life. There are innumerable reasons why your situation with your employer can change faster and more drastically than you think. Cultivate an income you "own", either full-time or on the side, so that you aren't left 100% vulnerable to a sudden change in employment. (I realize this is easier said then done, but it is doable by just about everybody. We have a guide we'll publish on this subject within the next few weeks.)
  • Cultivate resiliency Invest in your skills, your homestead, your health, and your community. These will all serve you well as economic growth slows further due to reasons outlined in the Crash Course and for the skeptics, these are solid investments no matter which way the economy turns. For those new to resiliency, our What Should I Do? Guide is a useful resource to start with.
  • Simplify Learn that less is more. Fewer things to deal with frees you up to focus more on those that matter most. In addition to being a good philosophy to live by, it also reduces the number of things to pay for and the number of things to be taxed on. Both of which leave more money in your pocket.
  • Apprentice/mentor Learn how to do important tasks yourself instead of becoming dependent on paying someone. If you can trade labor for learning, you may be able to avoid some or all of the excessive time and $ costs of academia. If you have expertise, pass it on to others around you. In this way, we create resiliency at the community level, improving the odds that an effective local support network is in place if ever needed. 
  • Shop & invest locally Keep capital inside your community to strengthen it and enable re-investment. So much is currently sent to multinational corporations and Wall Street banks never to return that even a small percentage redirection will make a big impact at the local level.
  • Prefer hard assets to paper ones In a world of runaway central bank money printing, paper currencies (like the U.S. dollar) are not a smart option for storing wealth. Nor are dangerously inflated paper securities like stocks and bonds. If possible, purchase physical assets you can tangibly hold and store, like precious metals, and for the rest of your investments, find a financial advisor who has a strategy that takes hard assets and depleting resources into account. (We know a few, if you're looking.)
  • Consider multi-generational living – The economics of the future may force this on us, and that may not be a bad thing. But it's better to adopt this lifestyle by your own choice, on your own terms, if possible. We have moved so far away from this model of living, at great cost both money-wise and socially. Knowledge transfer, chore sharing, child/elder care, emotional support, cost reduction, pooled purchasing power there are many advantages to co-habitating with close family or friends.
  • Get and stay fit The benefits of good health on quality of life, longevity, and net worth are just too numerous to ignore. The modern "sick care" industry over-focuses on treating what breaks. Instead, focus on achieving and maintaining wellness. Chris did it; you can, too.
  • Use your productive output as an alternative currency Much can be acquired without $, in trade for your support or skills. Both goods and services. Learn to ask: What can I trade? before asking How much does it cost? You'll save money while at the same time increasing your perceived value to those around you.
  • Pursue happiness Learn that pleasure comes from relationships, from having purpose, from creation, and having new experiences. All of these can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways, and few require spending lots of money. If you manage to simplify your life (see above) and find pleasure in doing so, you'll be much more likely to enjoy the future, whatever it brings.
  • Require awareness and accountability for the future Hold your elected officials to the same standards you hold yourself. Vote accordingly. Participate in the democratic process. It may not work as well or as fast as we want, but boycotting will only guarantee us disappointment. In a nutshell, hope for the best but don't plan on miracles. 
  • Trust yourself Always rely on your own good sense and intuition about what makes sense for you and your family in your unique situation.  Do consult with those who have insight and experience to share that will help you make the most informed choices you possibly can, but remember that your present and future are your own responsibility.  Do not ever fully relinquish this power to anyone else not the government, not a family member, not a professional adviser, not even "the experts."  Always, always trust yourself first and foremost.

There are other prudent behaviors to add to this list, but this is a pretty good start. 

And a good start is what we need, as a country and a global community: to stop denying the reality around us and start getting on with how we want to deal with it.

 

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Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:01 | 3323817 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Welcome to the Grand Illusion...

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:02 | 3323820 Banksters
Banksters's picture

You mean the exponential growth of credit as real wages fall isn't sustainable?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:07 | 3323829 max2205
max2205's picture

But ABC says the average 401k is $90k.  Lol

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:13 | 3323848 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

zh should post the recent Jeremy Grantham interview from Charlie Rose on this general subject, he can't be beat.

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12812

One of the best!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3323886 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Definitely easier said than done.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:29 | 3324100 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

America couldn't afford the future back in the 1980's, then the 2000's...Bubbles, HELLO?!

Bubbles cure all ills according to popular in-power control freaks...but they won't say that openly.

China want their own Han Bubble....Gold and Silver. They're aiming to get it too.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:26 | 3324242 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

 "But ABC says the average 401k is $90k."

 

More Americans delaying retirement until age 80 - Oct. 23, 2012

@CNNMoney October 23, 2012

As a result, there's a huge disparity between what people need and what they have saved. While respondents said they will need a median of $300,000 in total savings to support themselves in retirement,  **the average amount saved is only $25,000.

America's Retirement System Is Failing

Consider that only 58% of Americans are even saving for retirement, and that of this group, 75% have less than $30,000 saved, and that a full 30% have less than $1,000 in total retirement savings.

 

*These "retirement savings" do not factor the amount of outstanding debt such "savers" may have, which may be significant relative to, or even outweigh, their "retirement savings."

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:04 | 3324486 philipat
philipat's picture

"generations of men and women who toiled, through both hardship and boom times, to make that dream a reality".

Instead of doing nothing nothing and living off entitlements, might have something to do with the decline also??

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 00:36 | 3325010 Lost My Shorts
Lost My Shorts's picture

Costly foreign wars have nothing to do with it.  Don't even go there.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:48 | 3324627 prains
prains's picture

I'm not saving for retirement instead I look forward to some type of "The Road" meets nuclear winter/gulagian/orwellian nightmare while the 1% live in some type of suspended animation of hyper pleasural stimulation guarded by the co opted MIC but that's just me 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:15 | 3324376 american eyedol
american eyedol's picture

two short planks,,,,,,you got it

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:16 | 3324524 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

Reality is their illusion.

.

Their fiction is the reality.

.

It really is hocus pocus time...what else could it be?

The human race isn't this unlucky...this unfortunate for 1,000's of years...come on mannnnnn.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:10 | 3324505 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

For some reason, I feel like there is no USA as we know it in 2050 .

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:21 | 3324535 j0nx
j0nx's picture

For some reason, I feel like there is no USA as we know it in 2015. FIFY.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:16 | 3324223 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Fascism in America is really at centre of lack of savings as well

Americans don't save because they have mafias that regularly confiscate nearly all private assets -

- Lawyer and judge mafia (divorces, lawsuits, false charges by crooked cops)

- Business mafias backed by the above (MF global customer account theft, other types of fraud)

- Gov't mafia ready to 'transfer' savings into 'safer government bonds'

- Healthcare mafia seizing assets to pay for medical care not covered by Medicare etc. in America's one-of-a-kind bizarre system

Americans feel the above without verbalising it, they subconsciously know that if an American has savings then the thugs can 'legally' steal it, so why not spend it

No asset is safe for Americans besides what they have buried where no one can get it

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:39 | 3324430 Key-Rick
Key-Rick's picture

Oh, bullshit.  that's a convenient excuse for wasting all your money.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:40 | 3324722 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I tend to agree.  Being in the retirement business myself the VAST majority of people who fail to save say "I can't afford it" (a cop-out).  Only heard a very few who say "what's the point, the government is just going to steal it."  In fact, some have even had the lightbulb go on in their head and realize that government money isn't going to be there for them when they retire and they better get off their asses and do it themselves (still a rare breed, but growing).

Most who think they can't afford it are right- they're so hopelessly in debt for every penny they really have nothing left to save.  I have little sympathy for them if it's for their own consumption.  Those who are tapped out because they spent it all paying for their kid's college education get slightly more sympathy, but still no free pass with me.

Then there are the rare few who actually bit the bullet on a thing or two in their life and simply did with less (even including less education in some cases).  There's a name for those people.  Financially independent.

Growing up in a house with my depression-era grandparents in no way made me "cool" with my friends, I can assure you.  But it was a blessing in retrospect.  Every suggestion in the article was drilled into my DNA by them.  I hated it and rebelled against it as soon as I got out on my own.  3 years later I was broke.  Worse than broke- massive negative net worth, actually.  Turned it around, dug out of the hole and just kept going.  I've never made a fortune in yearly income, yet I have a modest fortune of my own now built ENTIRELY FROM MY OWN EARNINGS.  No lottery winnings, no inheritance trust funds.  College education for my two boys is pretty much covered, too.

It's not impossible (I'm barely above room-temperature-stupid and I still did it).  It's just easy to fall into cultural "traps" designed to hoover money out of your pocket for stupid stuff (keeping up with the Joneses and financing it with credit).  Once your eyes are opened to reality it's nothing that the average person cant navigate with reasonable success.

Or you can just bitch about it and never try.  Your choice. 

Yes, our government's profligate spending will crash someday.  Yes, it will be ugly.  Yes, you will lose money in many way.  But you will still be better off having done your best to be self-supporting than to throw your hands in the air and declare the situation hopeless.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:33 | 3323895 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

I do like the bullet list of prudent actions, but I see them more as a way of living a better life, now, than to prepare for the future. 

As dire as the trends look, there is much that can be done to ameliorate their impact and enter the future with grace and optimism if as a society we have the courage to do it.

Dire?  Really?  Maybe so, but it could be much worse.

Spend a few minutes looking through these photos of our collective past, then count your blessings. 

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:35 | 3323924 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

If you removed the fat from many people today they would look just like that.

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:28 | 3324144 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Old woman of 64 hacking at a tree stump with hatchet wrenching off splinters to keep her warm, Berlin December 1945, by William Vandivert

 

Looks like she was following the plan...

•Live below your means

•Buy quality and maintain it

•Take control of your income

•Cultivate resiliency

•Simplify

•Apprentice/mentor

•Shop & invest locally

•Prefer hard assets to paper ones

•Consider multi-generational living

•Get and stay fit

•Use your productive output as an alternative currency

•Pursue happiness

•Require awareness and accountability for the future 

•Trust yourself

 

Then we have this lady... 

Registered voter and consumer riding Medicare-funded scooter, age 74, at STUFF*MART to buy her Herbalife weight-loss supplements and pick up her water pills, USA, December 2012

Clearly, she is not following the plan.

 

Please, friends, do spend a few minutes looking through these photos of our collective past, count your blessings, and think about how the two women fit into history, and where this all may lead. 

Which woman is more of a historical anomoly?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:38 | 3324269 israhole
israhole's picture

More importantly, the first lady is not Jewish, like all Jewish controlled media would have us believe, ala the holoHoax scam. Goyim have suffered far more at the hands of Jewry.  Wake up assholes, you've been taken for a ride.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:42 | 3324435 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I thought the only people that suffered in WWII(and throughout history) have been the Jews?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:44 | 3324613 Deacon Frost
Deacon Frost's picture

Unfortunately HH, war will be the result of what the Fed and MMT theorists are doing.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:57 | 3324652 Professorlocknload
Professorlocknload's picture

HH, Thanks for that!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:01 | 3324662 bigrooster
bigrooster's picture

AMEN brother!  In the wild these fat disabled COWS would meet their end.  Yet we spend more on the old then the young 4:1.  When I get old I will put the bullet in my own head before I make my son's suffer.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:40 | 3324755 vjmali
vjmali's picture

One is poor so a lazy moocher and the other is rich so hardworking job creator.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:41 | 3323946 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Now that's what you call living below your means.........

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:45 | 3323954 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Read King Rat by James Clavell.  You will never look at an egg the same way again.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:54 | 3323988 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

I personally know someone who lived through those terrors. I am often ashamed of my own petty complaints........

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:39 | 3324116 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

"A thankful heart is a happy heart."

-Madame Blueberry

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:02 | 3324346 Boozer
Boozer's picture

HH - those are some powerful images you posted.  Fucking war.

Probably read King Rat 30 years ago, might be time for a reread.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:43 | 3324769 scrappy
scrappy's picture

Yeah,I read "king Rat"

 

Rukus Tukus - Yum!

 

Read many WWII books as a kid.

 

Very, very glad I did.

 

However today the truths that have come out on WWII (and all our wars) to this day and in the coming days, merit a serious review...

 

Basically history needs an enema.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 23:09 | 3324830 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Great book. Read it 30 years ago and still think about it and what it is like to live with less than nothing.  It's a movie, too.

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 01:00 | 3325054 toady
toady's picture

King Rat is a recurring theme in my life. Every time I managed to rise to prominence in an organization I'm 'King Rat', a low life taking advantage of a situation.

I don't even fight it anymore. I'm actually starting to revel in it.

I am King Rat.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:00 | 3324010 falak pema
falak pema's picture

you can see these guys have run the bloomberg marathon; its truly a 'race' like no other.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:12 | 3324052 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

TPTB should be forced to sit in a room, and stare at the picture of the Jap Kid who carried his brother to his cremation, until they all choke and die off their own vomit.

 

Power hungry greedy people fucking suck..

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:43 | 3324292 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

You'd be waiting an awful long time, Meat.  Those people, the ones you're talking about, find all manner of human suffering amusing.  It actually gives them pleasure.  They aren't like us.  If you want to make them choke on their own vomit you have to show them children cheerfully playing, mother's lovingly caring for babies, and so on.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:14 | 3324064 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

HH,

The guy on the right is wearing prison clothes. Is this from former Yugo land from 1990's.

My parants say that more than half of people look like that during and after WW2 in Central Europe.

This is not that long ago on the human time scale.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:16 | 3324070 spinone
spinone's picture

Given our current trajectory, we are destined to repeat.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:05 | 3324181 frankthomaswhite59
frankthomaswhite59's picture

who down votes that!

incredible!

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:07 | 3324676 bigrooster
bigrooster's picture

The down arrow shill scumbags are out in full force.  

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:55 | 3324796 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Well, there is the kind of bio-thing that in the face of all that is upright and truthful, will persistently go against the grain of the majority of sane thinking and discerning human beings. The primary goal is to disrupt and create division. There is no harmony in these actions, only violence in the division energy itself. The satanic mindset is on the hell bound train of denial and self destruction that wants to take everything sacred down with it. No greater poison is there, than that of out right ignorance in lies and deceit. The art of disruption is the way to the chaos of hate they seem to breed and multiply in. If you want to know what this specie is like, this story below might give the crew a clue. The particular actions of this bunch is of a most unique manor. The philosophy is, hate is good, and those we do not like are haters. So perfectly Orwellian, and old school Cesarian divide and conquer methodology. These kinds of seditious dissenters are hard at work in their un-American activities just before every world war. They all work for the rottenchild empire of lackeys and minions with out noodles.

For entertainment purposes only.:

http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/03/splc-letter-to-doj-dhs-patriot-groups-...

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:54 | 3324318 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

 

San Thomas Prison Liberation. (WWII in Pacific)

Two emaciated American civilians, Lee Rogers (L) & John C. Todd sit outside gym which had been used as a Japanese prison camp following their release by Allied forces liberating the city.

Location: Manila, Luzon, Philippines

Date taken: February 05, 1945

 

Photographer: Carl Mydans

Life Images

 

 

http://www.anglonautes.com/hist_us_20_ww2_pacific/hist_us_20_ww2_pacific...

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:07 | 3324675 prains
prains's picture

stay fit

stay fit

stay fit

stay puff

marshmallow

repeat 3 sets of 10

at least it's a start

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 03:08 | 3325180 Jugdish
Jugdish's picture

I caught some of that globalist English piece of shit last night. Fuck you and him and the pieces of shit that up voted you. You want to reduce the strain on resources like this piece of shit talks about then go kill your self first rather than a billion of innocent people that consume far less than your piece of shit role model. Go fuck yourself and drink bleach. "save the planet"

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:16 | 3323856 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

That is for those that have 401K's. I guess the author has never driven on Pacific Coast Highway and looked at how much money there is in SoCal. Going north of Santa Monica all through Malibu, the restaurants were completely full and traffic was heavy, asked some people and apparently there is no recession there. Multimillion dollar Houses for sale and still being built. 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:32 | 3323918 akak
akak's picture

Yeah, and I saw the exact same "prosperity" recently in Palm Beach, Florida.

What does that really prove, aside from the growing disparity of wealth in the USA?  When have the elites ever NOT lived well?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:59 | 3324165 SemperFord
SemperFord's picture

I am not trying to prove anything, merely communicating what I see, that there is still big money around.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:42 | 3324290 israhole
israhole's picture

Big money and getting bigger every day, unless you have to do the work for a living.

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 00:52 | 3325038 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Before they existed?

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:14 | 3324210 negative rates
negative rates's picture

And go a few miles north of there to see the coastal RV's packed up and ready to stay.

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 01:00 | 3325056 Bear
Bear's picture

Last week in the OC, a 350,000 house went for ... 36,000 above asking price. I live here and see this insanity enveloping us like a fog. Can anyone say 2007?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:06 | 3324185 johnnymustardseed
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:08 | 3323833 DJ Happy Ending
DJ Happy Ending's picture

The only future most Americans care about is when Dancing With The Stars is coming back and how much more free shit they will get next year.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:49 | 3323969 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

America is too stupid to survive.  There is no way this kind of dysfunction will continue.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:47 | 3324304 israhole
israhole's picture

No way in hell America survives, it's been dead for a long time now. Only a retard still wants in.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:41 | 3324130 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Wrong. We only care about when Walking Dead is coming on next. And the free shit? Hell yeah!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:09 | 3323839 espirit
espirit's picture

I'm sure open immigration policies are the only hope to keep this ponzi sustainable.  We need new taxpayers to replace revenues lost due to loopholes in the tax code.

/snark

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:48 | 3323916 rhinoblitzing
rhinoblitzing's picture

Will these immigrants be contributing or taking from the tax base? Anchor babies are touted as our hope for an aging demographic, yet look closely - and extrapolate to the future... another ticking time bomb - where will they work?

Part of the problem with the "we are an immigrant nation" assumption is that: Illegal Immigrants - Undocumented Aliens, along with their litters of anchor babies (mo money) that will neither assimilate nor, will they gain any meaningful education in the US school system (despite all the tax dollars flowing into the schools).

1 - Immigrants before the time of air travel - rarely if ever assumed they might see thier homeland, parents, and grandparents again.

2 - It took weeks of travel, and years if not lifetimes of savings to get to the US. Many risked thier lives to get to the US.

3 - The US was primarily of educated European descent. Even the least educated then would probably be considered literate today.

4 - Today's masses of illegal immigrants know how to work the system and have infiltrated all layers of government. They laugh at the laws of  the US, and know that they have no fear of punishment.

5 - Family and morality was once something that didn't have to be discussed. Just getting a divorce was a "Scarlet Letter" there were bad apples, but criminals were not turned into idols - and invited to the White House.

6 - It used to be when a visitor came into someone's house, they respected the rules of the house, and knew they could be thrown out...  Impeach Obama Now!

 

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:50 | 3323968 dolph9
dolph9's picture

Immigration to keep social welfare spending going is a ponzi scheme and those that promote it know it.

Immigrants do not magically remain 20-60 year old healthy workers.  They themselves get old.  Which means for this scheme to work, you need...infinite immigration!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:01 | 3324013 rhinoblitzing
rhinoblitzing's picture

Moar Ponzi!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:24 | 3324088 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

dolph9

Wow - Your really hit this on the head. Bravo

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:49 | 3324312 israhole
israhole's picture

You also nailed it, except the NWO is the JWO in truth.

 

Jew World Order owns you, goy.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:08 | 3324040 chubbar
chubbar's picture

There is another equally offensive trend going on. I'm beginning to think they are setting us up for a race war. Either way this is unacceptable.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/its-scuffle-with-dozens-of-people-guns/

Large groups of black people continue to create violence and mayhem at Indianapolis shopping malls. But many local people have no idea why. Or what to do about it.

The latest event of black mob violence was over the weekend at the Castleton Square Mall – the largest and some say nicest shopping district in the state.

Local media accounts were eager to downplay the violence and ignore the racial component of the mob.

The Indianapolis Star said there were two dozen people involved in a fight. The NBC affiliate called it a “teen scuffle.” The local Fox station reported a “fight breaks out.”

But people who were there say the crowds were bigger, more widespread and more dangerous. And everyone involved in the fighting, property destruction and mayhem was black.

The disturbances in Indianapolis are just the latest examples of more than 450 cases of black mob violence in more than 85 cities throughout the country, documented in the book “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it.”

The violence and lawlessness began early Saturday evening when police were called to quell a disturbance involving 20-50 black people at McDonald’s in the mall parking lot. Two guns were brandished during a violent confrontation.

However, unlike earlier examples of black mob violence in Indianapolis this year, largely focused in downtown malls, there were no gun shots, say police.

Soon after, police were called to the nearby Sears, where a large crowd of black people was rampaging through the store, knocking over displays and destroying property.

By the time police arrived, more than 100 black people were in the mall food court, fighting. Some were escorted out of the mall and ushered to a waiting bus to return them home.

Five black people were arrested on various charges related to violence, guns and resisting arrest.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/its-scuffle-with-dozens-of-people-guns/#5JD71fT1ffXMWbX0.99

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:43 | 3324133 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

What do you expect them to do, work?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:14 | 3324212 DOT
DOT's picture

Skilled enough to get work; education and english literate, no.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:20 | 3324538 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

US has started to resemble like  USSR and Mao's china. Repatriation will begin soon.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:03 | 3323822 Nihilarian
Nihilarian's picture

Not enough socialism.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:10 | 3323842 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Best (and most accurate) quote in the piece...

"...you won't find this discussion in the national media."

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:51 | 3323970 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

I don't have any children but I was bought up and told that you want to leave behind a better world than how you found it. 

How do I explain to a child, adolescent, teenager or any person that you found and were bought up in a Constitutional Republic with morals and vaules but I leave behind a Fascist Totalitarian Authoritarian Police State Tyrannical Government.

How?

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:39 | 3324126 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

Thats why i didn't have any children.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:44 | 3324136 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

There's still a lot of good in the world. Make sure they are exposed to the right people - folks helping folks. They'll figure out the rest.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:58 | 3324475 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

it's that or it's Idiocracy

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:01 | 3324173 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

There are two things you  can do to make life better for the next generation:

1) Don't have any children yourself. There are already too few jobs for the people who want those jobs. Automation and roboticization is increasing and will only make the problem worse. Right now the 30yo unemployment rate in the US is higher than Greece! Overpopulation is the single biggest cause of poverty in this world. Take China vs. India. China has a 1-child-per-family policy. Result. Almost no infant or child malnutrition--less than 10% anywhere in the country. India OTOH which has just the opposite policy: more than 50% infant and child malnutrition in most parts of the country and over 30% even in the major cities. You think that's mere coincidence? It's not.

2) Close the borders (and I mean with force) and shut down all immigration--H1B visas, all of it. Same reason as one. TPTB are lobbying hard to increase H1Bs. Why? Obviously to reduce labor costs, nothing more. We currently have more people with postdocs and masters than their are graduate level positions for them to fill (way more). We have Harvard MBAs driving taxi cabs. There are plenty of rational reasons to stop all immigration now--the Shadowstats U chart above being one of them. Every single new undocumented alien or legal H1B in the US drives down wages and lowers the standard of living for every single person in this country. When we get down to a 5% U rate then we can talk about opening up immigration again. Untill then, stop it all.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:44 | 3324611 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Very difficult to make them understand. Just teach them Chinese.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:38 | 3323935 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

@ francis,

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
? Frank Zappa
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:46 | 3323961 reTARD
reTARD's picture

You and I, we are told are crazy. Apparently, everything is supposedly just fine. We should not be such "survivalists" and "conspiracy theorists."

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:00 | 3324011 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Let`s just win back the past. Reverse the Enlightenment.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:56 | 3324799 David449420
David449420's picture

Good Luck with that.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:57 | 3324648 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The "solutions" offered in this article seem to retreat back to the grand illusion of individualism, when the whole country is caught up in a covert war against it, whereby the covert forces that have taken over the government of the country are by far the worst enemies, and they have no intention of allowing any individuals to opt out of that general take down, no matter how virtuous some of those indivduals may attempt to become!

Here is link to a relatively accurate article, regarding the history and the scope of the problems which are really facing Americans.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/03/07/killing-america/

Killing America By Preston James, March 6, 2013.

I tend to feel that that article underestimates how bad things really are, and therefore, is too optimistic about the solutions. However, at least, it is several orders of magnitude more realistic about the actual problem, and possible solutions, than this article above about American's "fooling themselves." Americans have become the victims of the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy, which has had an increasing intensity for more than a Century.

The PRIMARY PROBLEM that Americans face is that they have been losing a covert war against them for more than a Century. The best organized gangs of international criminals have effectively been able to take over almost complete control of the American government. Therefore, those problems are astronomically bigger in size than this article above reviews, and none of the individual solutions (which may well be good ideas in themselves, and also as much as any individual could practically do) amount to much against the degree to which Americans have been the victims of a home invasion, which has enabled criminals to take over their country, and therefore, the highest level domestic enemies of most Americans have become their government itself!

Although individual resourcefulness may well be the only practical thing that an individual could do in those social circumstances, I believe that intellectual integrity requires that we admit that the real problems are orders of magnitude worse than any individuals could cope with on their own!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 23:34 | 3324893 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Thank you RM.

As always, well said. Posted that very article here somewhere on the 9th.

In the snow storm every snow flake is unique and individual. Every snowflake is integral and part of the whole. Without one single snowflake, it would not be a snow storm.

In the future, the people will ring out this call:

United we stand...

Divided we fall...

Family and community...will save us ALL!

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:07 | 3323832 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Ku17CqdZg

This is life in the USSA.

Fun and games at DHS checkpoints.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 20:08 | 3324363 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture

 

 

 

Ha haha! Like me and my mom, when she was alive ...

 

"Am I free to go? Am I free to go now? Am I free to go?"

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:07 | 3323834 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

Americans can't afford the future? hell, I can't even afford today...

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:35 | 3323923 Freaking Heck
Freaking Heck's picture

And this is probably why

http://capitalistexploits.at/2013/03/the-left-is-wrong-obama-is-trying-t...

Obama is actually trying to destroy the economy

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:57 | 3324326 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Good article. In other words, obama is El Jefe.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:39 | 3323927 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Just be like the government and put it all on your grandchildren's tab.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:09 | 3323840 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

351...352...353......

Oh sorry. Just counting my stack again.

Now where was I.    354...355......

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:14 | 3323851 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Silver dimes?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:59 | 3324005 Dead Canary
Dead Canary's picture

OUNCES my friend, ounces!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:26 | 3324249 Room 101
Room 101's picture

Think OPSEC friend. 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:39 | 3324756 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

You should try stacking 5 kilo bars. Feels a lot better. Less likely to topple.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:12 | 3323844 algol_dog
algol_dog's picture

"War", "everywhere is War" ....

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:11 | 3323845 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

The Founding Fathers did not believe everyone should vote. Mostly, they were right.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:47 | 3324306 arby63
arby63's picture

Bingo. Therein lies the real problem: Probably 100 million idiots we have to drag along.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:14 | 3323850 jballz
jballz's picture

Oh bullshit.

I am so sick of hearing the "america is broke and in debt" fucking lie/myth.

We owe a bunch of money to a handful of cocksuckers who created the money to lend us at interest.

There is no way we could not be indebted given the rules of the game. It's designed that way.

Change the fucking rules.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:19 | 3323870 PianoRacer
PianoRacer's picture

Who the fuck is this "we" you keep referring to?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:12 | 3324056 THECOMINGDEPRESSION
THECOMINGDEPRESSION's picture

Exactly..who is we? the feds? thats thir problem, not ours..but the minions can't figure that out...YET

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:49 | 3323971 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Right jballz I'll agree...WE are not broke, the central banksters are just finding it more difficult to live for free off interest rate slavery, that's why they're treading water issuing debt....but 'I' don't owe them a fucking THING at all! 

FUCK U CENTRAL BANKSTERS!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:18 | 3324076 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Yet day after day, they continue to collect their pound of flesh in our reduced purchasing power.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:57 | 3324162 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

The more they Print the more we owe them.  Meanwhile all the Money they print goes to their Banking buddies.  What ever their excuse, more Jobs, etc.  It is designed to indebt the Country so that they Own us and all of our assets.

Bernanke keeps chugging out 85 Billion a month to hand off to the Banks while impoverishing the Country.  Thru inflation, future interest payments.  The intent is to OWN AMERICA.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:16 | 3323858 happycrow
happycrow's picture

Said the same things a week ago.  Including some of the exact same words: "consider multi-generational living."  I guess that's where we all get, right before the situation turns into "consider pet food as a valid nutritional staple."

He *should* have advised getting out from under rent/mortgage payments, any way you can.  Gotta minimize your "cost of existence."

http://happycrow.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/how-to-surf-the-boomer-holocaust/

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:59 | 3324337 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Most old people I know don't want to live with their kids. They just want to stay in their homes until they fall and have to be wheeled out to the nursing facility where they suck dollars out of the system/taxpayers. They are stubborn and selfish.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:18 | 3323864 secret_sam
secret_sam's picture

Another rehash of the same story we see every day without any reference to the underlying problem.

It's profits vs. wages.  That's all it's ever been.  Wages stopped increasing in the early '70s, and because of the closure of the gold-exchange window, the financiers were able to convince people that loans could bridge the growing gap between cost-of-living and workers' incomes.

That is what CAUSED the debt-saturation and much of the price-inflation.  (Resource limits, obviously, are independent of the value of the fiats used to trade for the resources, but properly-priced commodities allow the properly-compensated individuals to work out those solutions on their own.)

It's been *generally* good for large businesses, and whatever's good for large businesses is good for the top .00001% of the population that owns them. 

For the rest of us, not so much.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:21 | 3323865 PianoRacer
PianoRacer's picture

Participate in the democratic process.

Bullshit. Do not legitimize the evil, murderous system by participating in it.

 It may not work as well or as fast as we want, but boycotting will only guarantee us disappointment.

Again I say, bullshit. It does not work, period, save to enrich those who support the use of violence against peaceful people and those whom they bribe with trinkets and baubles.

Wake the fuck up, Neo. There is no State. Just a bunch of fucking assholes with guns and nukes and cages for the unwashed masses who dare defy their arbitrary, and ever increasing, rules.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:55 | 3323984 reTARD
reTARD's picture

What state? ;-)

"When I hear a person talking about political solutions, I know I am not listening to a serious person." George Carlin
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:31 | 3324106 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That quote needs to be on millions of T-shirts.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:27 | 3324097 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Now how did someone get a downvote in when the post led with a quote?

+1

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:18 | 3323866 maskone909
maskone909's picture

QUESTION Assuming financial markets are essentially comprised of a handful of investment banks, who juggle money between eachother- what the fuck is the point?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:21 | 3323878 maskone909
maskone909's picture

In order for these firms to squander wealth from citizens, they have to let the economy improve, right? This doesnt seem to be the case.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3323890 maskone909
maskone909's picture

So what is the objective? Who is the mark? What is the goal? You can only squeeze so much life out of the host untill it dies. Is that the goal? WAR?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:29 | 3324101 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Realize that these parasites are unable to avoid killing the host.

So, in light of this, they kill it to their liking.

War is their reset button.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 23:15 | 3324853 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

What did you pay for your most recent purchase with?? Was it USD/FRN's? The markets don't matter unless you personally have a few million to lose. As long as you keep using the worthless paper garbage that the elites keep printing for your use, it's all good in ponzi land. It's THEIR so-called money, it has no value, it is backed by nothing, it is worthless. Would you agree to be paid with postage stamps or Monopoly money? If not, why not?

By the way, if you can't spot the "mark"... you're IT!

I need moar beer...

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:43 | 3324771 Hohum
Hohum's picture

maskone99,

 

indeed.  Why just imagine what the money chasing stocks could do for the "real"economy?  At least, what it could do until inflation hit.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:20 | 3323873 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"...fear of not pleasing the electorate and/or donors" - particularly when donors are increasingly more important

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:22 | 3323881 Marty Rothbard
Marty Rothbard's picture

You forgot to advise people to flee large cities.  Particularly those in deserts.  In an economic, or ecological collapse, those in the cities always starve first.  Imagine trying to survive, in LA after the water stops coming in from the north, and the Colorado river.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:22 | 3323882 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"Hang the bankers and mammon-lusters" is missing from your list under "Redefining Prosperity".

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:46 | 3323959 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

what the hell do breast lovers have to do with it?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 21:37 | 3324597 Falconsixone
Falconsixone's picture

A personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity with big knockers.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3323887 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

and these are the people (employers) who are supposed to pay the taxes , that pay the benefits and pensions of the publics (employees)

 

Cant make the math any simpler than this = DOES NOT ADD UP !!!

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:32 | 3324111 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Which is why they have to multiply it by leveraging the future.

One of these days, were gonna run clean out of future.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:23 | 3323892 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

the author provided numerous prudent steps for living a chaste life, but they do nothing to address the national financial catastrophes awaiting this godforsaken united states of satan.....

and besides, how can a people who year after year vote for profligate wall street bankster whores possibly adhere to the sensible notions presecribed here-in?

Wed, 03/13/2013 - 00:22 | 3323893 The Heart
The Heart's picture

Shore enuff is hard to plan white picket fences, gardens, and having children when you know your own govt has declared war on every American in the NDAA. It is very difficult to see a future in a country that is now what the govt calls a "battleground" through totalitarian credos called laws. The babylonian bankster empire of dust has effectively declared war on the American people...on the world! This reasoning has divided up the country and now she lays, depressed, raped, pillaged, and ready to be conquered by a foreign army as well planned. History will reflect that we actually conquered ourselves. Pay attention to what is said starting at 4:50min in this interview with mccain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hgwEeDWlkM

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:25 | 3323896 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The US has a great past in its future.

You cannot have an adult conversation with adolescents.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:58 | 3324002 reTARD
reTARD's picture
Identify the dominant philosophy of a society and you can predict its future. Ayn Rand   Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:33 | 3324113 NMC_EXP
NMC_EXP's picture

'We can ignore reality, but we cannot escape the consequences of ignoring reality." ~ Ayn Rand

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:13 | 3324204 The Second Rule
The Second Rule's picture

The dominant philosophy of America is that we should live in Disneyworld and never see any of the problematic infrastructure that is required to keep life going (or have to think about it). Like DW which has an underground vaccum trash system to keep it out of mind, we should never have to see a power planet, power lines, garbage dumps, factory farms, oil pipelines, refineries, etc., etc. Mickey Mouse should dance down main street and every thing will be fine in the magic kingdom. That's the dominant mentality.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:28 | 3323911 Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

But America can afford the future. 

 

YOU JUST HAVE TO CHOOSE A FUTURE YOU CAN AFFORD.

 

Shrink welfare, shrink the military, shrink medicare and medicaid.

 

One day the bond market will precipitate a crisis and politicians will find themselves with the political capital they need to sort this shit out.

 

As a great man once said "you can always rely on America to do the right thing, but only after they have exhausted every other possibility"

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:34 | 3324115 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Bond market? LOL (His name is Bernanke)

Buddy, if you're expecting politicians to fix anything, you're already as good as dead.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:12 | 3324201 Black Markets
Black Markets's picture

No, YOU have to fix it.

The real problem is most Americans are too lazy to tackle these self inflicted problems.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:19 | 3324235 negative rates
negative rates's picture

You can't fix corruption, only the Gods CAN.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:45 | 3324780 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Just need a posse and some addresses.  Freeze assets, throw them in Gitmo, and start where we left off before Nixon took the currency off the gold standard...it's the only choice we have...that or face global tyrannical rule which, let's face it, will never ever be reversed if allowed to succeed (they are putting into place measures to ensure the banks will rule forever and a day).

They are unworthy...they are criminals, with clear pathology - and will kill anyone who gets in their way.  It's no secret they killed Kennedy and Lincoln.

According to Gordon duff of Veterans Today, men in high places are preparing to do just this (unless he is another tool).

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:36 | 3323931 Freaking Heck
Freaking Heck's picture

America will be just fine. I heard it on CNBC.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:43 | 3323950 MrNude
MrNude's picture

http://youtu.be/YWyCCJ6B2WE

Tyler pulling the curtain up.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:44 | 3323955 dolph9
dolph9's picture

I agree with everything here except getting involved politically.

I've given up all hope on the political process in America.  I've been burned too many times before.  You can only keep saying "next election it will be better" before you just give up and move on and concentrate on other things.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:50 | 3323975 MrNude
MrNude's picture

''if voting mattered it would be illegal''

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:52 | 3323981 rhinoblitzing
rhinoblitzing's picture

Everyone is waiting for Superman... and we get... Obama... Impeach him now! And run for office - It's not that hard to do - I'm considering it.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:46 | 3323960 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'The American Dream'...

It's called that....because you have to be asleep and dreaming to believe it!

 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:48 | 3323964 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

So - if I have an extra few hundred dollas, I should consider saving it instead of bying an iPad?

Seems counter intuitive.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:51 | 3323977 akak
akak's picture

Positively unpatriotic.  Subversive, even.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:52 | 3323980 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Passive resistance. So much power in just saying, "No."

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:50 | 3324790 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

At the very least you would have a physical iPad that you can hold in your hands... unlike the latest JPM "paper" iPad.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:55 | 3323991 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

another article rich in "truthiness" that won't be discussed by politicians, regulators or the MSM...bleh

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:56 | 3323994 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Saving for retirement at this point is a waste of money considering the whole system will collapse way before then making all fiat currency null and void.

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:57 | 3324000 yogibear
yogibear's picture

But Krugman says debt doesn't matter.

Bernanke and the Fed have adopted the Zimbabwe economic plan.

How's life in Zimbabwe?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:01 | 3324014 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

American Exceptionalism trumps all puny reality things. 

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:07 | 3324039 akak
akak's picture

Chant after me: "USA #1!  USA #1!  USA #1!"

 

(Yes, the USA is #1 ---- in military aggression and imperialism, in organized financial crime, in soul-sucking materialism, in shallow, misogynistic, degraded Hollywood 'culture', in the meaningless and diversional obsession with professional sports, in the mass consumption of artificial and unhealthy pseudo-foods, in pure material waste per capita, .....)

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 22:45 | 3324778 Angus McHugepenis
Angus McHugepenis's picture

 

mass consumption of artificial and unhealthy pseudo-foods

Soon to be #1 (or is that #2) in roadside shitting?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 18:03 | 3324026 reTARD
reTARD's picture

'Merica is always number 1! We'll beat Zimbabwe too.

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