Coasting Towards Zero

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Howard Kunstler via,

In just about any realm of activity this nation does not know how to act. We don’t know what to do about our mounting crises of economy. We don’t know what to do about our relations with other nations in a strained global economy. We don’t know what to do about our own culture and its traditions, the useful and the outworn. We surely don’t know what to do about relations between men and women. And we’re baffled to the point of paralysis about our relations with the planetary ecosystem.

To allay these vexations, we just coast along on the momentum generated by the engines in place — the turbo-industrial flow of products to customers without the means to buy things; the gigantic infrastructures of transport subject to remorseless decay; the dishonest operations of central banks undermining all the world’s pricing and cost structures; the political ideologies based on fallacies such as growth without limits; the cultural transgressions of thought-policing and institutional ass-covering.

This is a society in deep danger that doesn’t want to know it. The nostrum of an expanding GDP is just statistical legerdemain performed to satisfy stupid news editors, gull loose money into reckless positions, and bamboozle the voters. If we knew how to act we would bend every effort to prepare for the end of mass motoring, but instead we indulge in fairy tales about the “shale oil miracle” because it offers the comforting false promise that we can drive to WalMart forever (in self-driving cars!). Has it occurred to anyone that we no longer have the capital to repair the vast network of roads, streets, highways, and bridges that all these cars are supposed to run on? Or that the capital will not be there for the installment loans Americans are accustomed to buy their cars with?

The global economy is withering quickly because it was just a manifestation of late-stage cheap oil. Now we’re in early-stage of expensive oil and a lot of things that seemed to work wonderfully well before, don’t work so well now. The conveyer belt of cheap manufactured goods from China to the WalMarts and Target stores doesn’t work so well when the American customers lose their incomes, and have to spend their government stipends on gasoline because they were born into a world where driving everywhere for everything is mandatory, and because central bank meddling adds to the horrendous inflation of food prices.

Now there’s great fanfare over a “manufacturing renaissance” in the United States, based on the idea that the work will be done by robots. What kind of foolish Popular Mechanics porn fantasy is this? If human beings have only a minor administrative role in this set-up, what do two hundred million American adults do for a livelihood? And who exactly are the intended customers of these products? You can be sure that the people of China, Brazil, and Korea will have enough factories of their own, making every product imaginable. Are they going to buy our stuff now? Are they going to completely roboticize their own factories and impoverish millions of their own factory workers?

The lack of thought behind this dynamic is staggering, especially because it doesn’t account for the obvious political consequence — which is to say the potential for uprising, revolution, civic disorder, cruelty, mayhem, and death, along with the kind of experiments in psychopathic governance that the 20th century was a laboratory for. Desperate populations turn to maniacs. You can be sure that scarcity beats a fast path to mass homicide.

What preoccupies the USA now, in June of 2014? According to the current cover story Time Magazine, the triumph of “transgender.” Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate sexual confusion as the latest and greatest achievement of this culture? No wonder the Russians think we’re out of our minds and want to dissociate from the West. I’ve got news for the editors of Time Magazine: the raptures of sexual confusion are not going to carry American civilization forward into the heart of this new century.

In fact, just the opposite. We don’t need confusion of any kind. We need clarity and an appreciation of boundaries in every conceivable sphere of action and thought. We don’t need more crybabies, or excuses, or wishful thinking, or the majestic ass-covering that colors the main stream of our national life.

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astoriajoe's picture

Starting at an altitude of 6 miles, a 747 can glide about 90 miles after losing engine power.

I'm not quite sure what our economy can do.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Like being in the middle of a crowd in the Bronx and shouting "YO MOMMA!".

insanelysane's picture

A 747 at an altitude of 6 miles high can "glide" for 6 vertical miles before reaching zero.

pods's picture

Can't wait till we are Less than Zero and are forced to give BJs to support a drug habit before dying in the back of a convertible.


elephant's picture

Nice... a convertible, huh?

max2205's picture

But Congress will take care of us.....that's why they make the big bucks

RafterManFMJ's picture

The rattiest beat-to-fuck convertible with the top down on a summer's eve. be it a LeBaron, a sunfire or what ever, is better than any 50K sedan.


And a stick 5 or 6 speed, rowing them gears is better than any 9 speed tranny you buy from GM or buy on Craigslist.

KnightTakesKing's picture

9 speed tranny?
Let's leave sexual identity politics out of this conversation.

Georgia_Boy's picture

I know it was a joke, buy you can't ignore it. because next up, the social justice warriors start lobbying for Obamacare to pay for the surgeries. The Chinese use their money to buy gold while American money goes to lawyers to break up marriages and surgeons to chop off d!cks, we'll see what happens in 30 years.

STP's picture

Better yet, a four speed, like a Muncie M-21 or a Borg Warner Super T10.  The T10 is in my '74 Corvette Stingray and I agree rowing the gears is a blast.  I'll say this though, 400 miles last weekend, though, left my neck and shoulders sore!  You better be a MAN to drive one of these or at least suffer like one!

THX 1178's picture

He means a refrigerator box converted into a shelter.

NidStyles's picture

Hey a can of expanding foam and a shiv and you can make that fridge into something pretty warm in the winter.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not to recommend storage of radioactive isotope in same refrigerator!

new game's picture

slap those veins and take one last speed ball and go out in a glazed eyed look, zombie style!

sugar, trinkets, and gas fumes- all on debt for fiat...

now that is exceptionalism (with drones flying over head taking out brown eaters).

can't wait...

Offthebeach's picture

You might be better getting a few sheets of chip board and latex paint.
I think board except were cut would last a year.
I've seen heavily waxed, coated cardboard.
Nothing beats a van down by the river. The new American log cabin.
used to be 40acres and a mule, but now EBT and a Section 8 Babymomma.
Oh, and a Obamaphone to call Dominoes for 2 for 1 large cheese and free 2 liter Coke and shoot and kill the delivery old white laid off fuk for $30 and street cred.


kridkrid's picture

I just learned last weekend that American Psycho was written by the same man (the books that the movies are mostly based on, not the screenplays). It was in a conversation about the kid out in Santa Barbara.

AUD's picture

I think that movie 'Fight Club' borrowed liberally from American Psycho, which I thought was a good read, even though I had to skip some pages.

debtor of last resort's picture

Well, with a transgender as head of the FED, you'll have nothing to worry about.

James-Morrison's picture

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Wait until trans-species takes hold of the collective.

BlindMonkey's picture

I ain't going like him.  

stuman's picture

Bet the stereo will be playing something about it being hazy and Winter ;)

SheepDog-One's picture

Seconds we've got, minutes...not so much.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

no seconds for anyone . we barely have firsts.

25% on food aid per Drudge and others.

grreeeeen shooooots popppping up everywhere, watch for trap doors though.

BuddyEffed's picture

That's a bullshit number pulled out of the arse.

At speed, a 747 is moving 9 miles a minute or better.  I'd give it 20 to 30 miles. 

NotApplicable's picture

Talk about bullshit numbers! 747's have never flown 20 to 30 miles high!


reading comprehension is your friend

BuddyEffed's picture

My code runs on several avionics boxes, including TCAS, Weather Radar, Antiskid breaking, etc.  I thought it was obvious 20 to 30 miles of coasting was implied.   

Below site implies it's even farther.

NotApplicable's picture

I think the word "VERTICAL" negates your implications, rendering your rebuttal moot, regardless of the fact that you're an avionics coder.

I even stuck my toungue out and everything so that you might notice.

Matt's picture

Without engine power, the 747 won't be doing 9 miles per minute for long. Probably slow to 50 miles per hour fairly quick. The link you gave, most people give an optimal range of 80 to 100 miles.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Hey "buddy"...comprende the difference between vertical and horizontal?
Now go back to watching "dancing with the stars".

OceanX's picture

Does it really matter?


Speed doesn't kill, impact does...

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Actually not impact as much as velocity on impact. Say you are going 200 mph and suddenly you aren't. all that energy has to dissipate and so your organs are turned to pulp.

you can walk into a brick wall and the impact is minimal because your walkingnvelocity is minimal. scale for speed and watch the damage accrue.

Velocity is like compound interest for matter.

Poundsand's picture

On a steep enough flight plan, the survival rate for all passengers drops to zero.

what's that smell's picture

guns don't kill; fingers doo.

Poundsand's picture

On a steep enough flight plan, the survival rate for all passengers drops to zero.

Mr Pink's picture

Clicked on article because I thought it was about silver

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Silver is dead, buried next to the Lone Ranger. Possibly murder/suicide. Proper authorities investigating. tonto to be on dancing with the stars. Likely dance partner Barbara walters or ben bernanke.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

In that case it can stay airborn like...forever.

Pitchman's picture

“The mind is like a parachute.  It doesn't work unless it's open” - Frank Zappa

Liberty vs. Tyranny: Psyops and Responsibility The Banality of "Willful Blindness"


disabledvet's picture

This might be true...but can Howie Baby here explain "frome whence do I become informed of said transgressions?"

By all means tell me "the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post" etc.

Right now we all get our news from "if the bone's sticking out of the skin it's probably broken" Zero Hedge.

An uninformed voter is, well...a non voter actually.
So what is the lie we're supposed to be parroting this time?

Don't tell me it's "victory on the battlefield" and "Hitler's phantom divisions" when we never really went to Battlestations to begin with.

Clearly this is not a case of "outreach" either.

Hmmmmmm. "Fe, fi, fo, fum....

Dr. Engali's picture

Is that before or after it disappears?

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

Yes, that's all well and good, but how about if it has to be remotely maneuvered into skyscrapers or military installations?

markpower49's picture

Kunstler is a progressive moron.

Hulk's picture

He's correct, we have lost our fucking minds. OT a bit, here is Kunstler on  depressive architecture in our cities. Very funny too.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Our elites have created a monster of a society for the simple reason they do not want to really lead us. They want to induge themselves in an endless manner. Everything of value is being neglected. This is the end result.