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Chris Martenson: "The Trouble With Money"

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The Trouble With Money

A Broken Narrative

Recently I was asked by a high school teacher if I had any ideas about why students today seem so apathetic when it comes to engaging with the world around them. I waggishly responded, "Probably because they're smart."

In my opinion, we're asking our young adults to step into a story that doesn't make any sense.

Sure, we can grow the earth's population to 9 billion (and probably will), and sure, we can extract our natural gas and oil resources as fast as possible, and sure, we can continue to pile on official debts at a staggering pace -- but why are we doing all this? Even more troubling, what do we say to our youth when they ask what role they should play in this story -- a story with a plot line they didn't get to write?

So far, the narrative we're asking them to step into sounds a lot like this: Study hard, go to college, maybe graduate school. And when you get out, not only will you be indebted to your education loans and your mortgage, but you'll be asked to help pay back trillions and trillions of debt to cover the decisions of those who came before you. All while operating within a crumbling, substandard infrastructure. Oh, and by the way, the government and corporate sector appear to have no real interest in your long-term future; you're on your own there.

Yeah, I happen to think apathy is a perfectly sane response to that story. Thanks, but no thanks.

To understand how our national narrative evolved (or, more accurately, devolved) to become so unappealing, we have to take an honest look at money.

Money is Not Wealth

Money is just a marker for real things. As long as you can exchange your money for real things, your money represents value. Because we tend to conduct all of our most meaningful transactions using money, our perspective can become warped to the point that we think it is the money itself that has value.

The economy is measured in these units, these markers, which we call "money." But money is not the same thing as the economy. Far from it. And money has no value on its own, but only in relation to the things we can exchange it for.

The economy consists of real needs and wants being fulfilled. On one end of the spectrum, we have the basics like food, water, shelter, medical care, and other necessities. On the other end of the spectrum, we have 15-minute neck massages at the airport. Everything else lies in between 

Money, on the other hand, is simply a facilitator of exchanges.

When we reduce the economy to its simplest form, it really consists of a growing number of people trying to meet their needs and wants. More people (~80 million more each year) simply translate into increasingly greater demand for the earth's limited and ever-limiting resources.

Since our human desire to consume is virtually limitless, a key role of money is to provide the scarcity necessary to divvy up a limited amount of goods and services among the population. There has to be a balance between money and the things that humans can produce and distribute, or else prices get out of whack.

So now let's imagine a world where real things are in limited (and limiting) supply, and then compare this idea to our money supply in order to get a sense of where things are headed.

This is a chart of Money of Zero Maturity (MZM), which is the largest and most comprehensive accounting of money in the Federal Reserve system and has been ever since M3 was abandoned.

If that looks like an exponential chart to you, you are correct. Sure, there are a few wiggles and jiggles along the way, but the system of money we've been living under and setting our expectations around is an exponential money system. For it to remain in balance with resources that come from the earth, we need those to expand exponentially, too.  If they don't -- and they can't forever -- things will get out of whack. And it's probably no surprise to hear my view that money is what is increasingly out of whack in this story, not the earth's resources.

One feature of exponential systems is that the amount of accumulation of whatever it is that is being measured increases over time. If we draw a few arrows on the above chart, we can see that money is accumulating in our system at a faster and faster pace:

"Stage 3" in this chart shows what has been happening since 2008. Aside from the little hump there in 2008, MZM is accumulating at the fastest pace in history. Isn't that interesting? Even as employment is historically very weak, income growth is stagnant, the economy is limping along, and inflation is (allegedly) quite low, the US is manufacturing money at the briskest nominal pace in the series.

The reason that we've not experienced massive inflation (yet) is that the money that is being injected into the system is basically just piling up and not really doing anything. It's just sitting there. One measure of this is the so-called 'velocity' of money, which is not actually a measured value but an inferred one, derived by dividing the stock of money into GDP. The higher the resulting number, the faster each unit of money is racing around in the economy trying to do something (which usually means to spend itself before inflation steals its value).

In fact, the velocity of money is at an all-time low and seems to be headed lower. When this money all finally decides to go out and spend itself while it still has some value, it will be quite a process to observe. Just think of stored-up money like potential energy, the same as a massive snow cornice hanging precariously over a steep gully. It's not a question of if, but when it will finally release and cause the value of money to plunge.

And the point I am trying to make is that there are two sources adding to the pressure here. One is the amount of money being piled up, and the other is the dwindling quality of oil. Adding more and more snow to the situation (as the Fed and other central banks are busily doing) is not really helping anything, and neither is a decrease in the net energy returns of new oil discoveries.

Just for kicks, here's a chart of money in circulation (including cold, hard cash and coin) stretching back through time to around the creation of the Fed.

Is that a picture-perfect exponential chart or what?

Now the other side of the money situation is, of course, debt. Here we see something quite remarkable, which is that somehow the Fed has managed to achieve a new all-time high in total credit market debt.

I say "remarkable" because what really should be happening here is de-leveraging, not re-leveraging. We should be seeking to decrease the total amount of debt, not increase it. But of course, that is not the business of the Fed. Its business is strictly to keep the exponential money and credit systems growing exponentially.

Well, that and assuring that the big banks never have to have an unprofitable quarter.  But that's another story for another day.

Yet even with the heroic efforts of the Fed to push, badger, cajole, and horse-whip the aggregate amount of debt higher, its efforts are falling short. Note that we are still many, many trillions away from the trend line, which is what we'd need to get back to in order for things to return to 'normal,' as abnormal as those times really were.

Recall my other main point about debt, which is that it must double slightly faster than once every decade if we want the future to mirror the past four decades. This means that from 2008 to 2018, credit market debt will need to expand from $52 trillion to $104 trillion, or a bit more than $5 trillion per year, to keep us on the same "normal" trajectory.

Part of my skepticism about the odds of things returning to "normal" rests with the difficulty I have conceiving of what exactly it is that the US might find to suddenly go another $50 trillion into debt for.

If the US cannot find a way to go that much further into debt, then all of the many fine and subtle, overt and gross ways that we've come to expect the economy and financial markets to work will no longer apply. Many things will change and will simply operate very differently if no other reason than credit growth has slowed to a relative crawl.

As we are now four years past the 2008 crisis and we've only just managed to eke out a nominal new high in total credit market debt, this means that we are roughly $20 trillion behind the curve. You could do worse than this for an explanation as to why the national budget is such a wreck, why incomes are not keeping pace, and why the nation's infrastructure and capital investment are in such poor shape.

The bottom line is that, as expected and predicted here many times over the years, money creation with an eye towards keeping the credit markets expanding is the name of the game.

And the problem is that money is not wealth. It's only a marker for wealth.  Simply increasing the money supply without understanding where we are in the energy story is an incredibly risky, if not foolish, thing to do. 

That's the trouble with money.

Change Is Coming

Look, I hate to be the bearer of what many will consider to be bad news, but things are not ever going to go back to "normal" if we define normal as the period from 1950 to 2000 during which relatively constant economic growth and slightly-faster-than-that debt growth went hand in hand.

Everyone currently in a position of power honed their skill sets during a period of time when the pie was reliably growing and the skirmishes centered around how best to lay claim to one's own portion of the expansion.

Unfortunately for those with these skill sets, we have entered a brand new epoch, where, for a variety of inter-related reasons, old-style economic growth is no longer possible. These reasons are partly demographic, partly related to reaching the mathematical limit of growing one's debts faster than one's income (or GDP, in this story), and partly related to the end of cheap (and easy) oil.

It is this last part, the oil story, which has almost entirely eluded the intellectual grasp of our monetary and fiscal masters. I don't blame them, as mastery of the physical sciences is not a requirement of any classical economics departments in any of the universities that churn out our PhD economists.

This is very strange, when you think about it, because economics is entirely rooted in the process of extracting and converting natural wealth into material wealth. Without the primary inputs of the earth, there would be NO secondary or tertiary wealth for us to divvy up (via a money-driven rationing process) or develop exotic derivative products around.  Economics should be the study of energy and resource flows as well as money.

Imagine if medical scientists did not have to learn about digestion and nutrition as a part of their training. After such a course of study, they might come across an emaciated patient complaining of low energy and prescribe exercise because that's been proven to boost energy in most people. Of course, they would then be mystified by why the patient deteriorated and did not recover.

Today we find the world's central banks mystified as to why trillions and trillions of freshly-printed fiat units, be they dollars or euros or yen, are not resuscitating the world economic system. The answer might just be grounded in the observation that we are out of cheap and easy oil. The very food of the economy is no longer as packed with calories as it once was, and the patient is losing weight.

What I am describing here is nothing less than a complete and utter paradigm shift that is so profound and so large that it will, paradoxically, escape detection by most people. That's just how gigantic shifts seem to happen: They go largely unnoticed, perhaps because they are too big to internalize.

If an ever-decreasing net energy return is slowly starving our patient, which we might detect each and every time we spend $80 to $200 to fill our gas tanks (depending on whether we live in the US or Europe), then how should we position ourselves for this very different future?

What sorts of things will change whether we wish them to or not? And what is actually under our personal control?

A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Times of great upheaval offer a gift -- the chance to really sit down and rethink things. Certain fundamental questions can arise, such as Do I have the right job? and What should my kids study in college? and Should we really have increased total derivatives by $100 trillion after the financial crisis erupted in 2008?

When faced with the sort of predicament we currently find ourselves in, even more existential questions might dominate our thinking, such as Is there more to life than working hard, buying stuff, taking on debt, and getting older? or even What's the meaning of life? The primary narrative telling us that we are supposed to work hard, consume harder, and keep ourselves centered on the treadmill that we seem to have been born upon is beginning to unravel.

It's a mark of maturity to use a moment of crisis as an opportunity to engage in introspection and as a springboard for personal (or societal) growth and development. Unfortunately, there are virtually no signs that either our dominant culture or our leadership is that mature.

So our opportunity here is to really question ourselves and our actions, hold them up to the bright light of day, and decide what needs to change, what we should keep, and what new things we might start doing.

In Part II: True Prosperity, we explore what constitutes real wealth, both material and intangible, as well as what alternative aspirations we can consider as individuals and as a society if we find the courage to change (or at least step out of) our broken narrative .

With the certain change discussed above headed our way, how do you personally want to enter that future? What will your work be? What will your relationship be to those around you and the place where you live? Where will your happiness come from?

Is your strategy simply to do more of the same and hope for the best? Or do you plan to use the time we still have to reposition your priorities, your behavior, and your resources to meet that new future with as much resiliency as possible?

Click here to access Part II of this report (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access).


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Tue, 04/17/2012 - 13:57 | 2352129 CPL
CPL's picture

What is an ounce of gold worth in zimbabwe dollars?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:06 | 2352163 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture

Zimbabwe 100 Trillion Dollar Bill Banknote 2008 Uncirculated in Sequential Number 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:29 | 2352245 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

history repeats like this:


  1. spoiled sons of the briches take power and spend nation's wealth like their trust fund on stupid shit, rewarding cronies, neglecting real issues, short term idiocy intead of long term thinking.
  2. foreign creditors suddenly decide they have been irrationally exuberant and stop lending
  3. all of sudden country must pay back debt, but can't afford to do that and spend on her people
  4. printing press is on full power
  5. hyperinflation
  6. war to steal real assets and against lenders
  7. tons of people die on both sides, but that means less people to take care of (ie. pension obligations)
  8. repeat until one day you lose and you have foreign military on your motherland stealing away your own assets



Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2352329 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Instutions are attacked by radicals, in turn becoming institutions attacked by radicals.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:21 | 2352418 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Central Bankers mystified???


Everything is going EXACTLY AS PLANNED

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:09 | 2352881 Buzz Fuzzel
Buzz Fuzzel's picture

Wealth is the sum of unconsumed human productivity.  Wealth comes from the labor and creativity of human beings.  Money is a representation of wealth.  More money subdividing the sum of unconsumed human productivity does not equal more wealth, unless of course you have gone down the rabbit hole with Alice.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:21 | 2353671 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Martenson confuses simple concepts such as consumer goods price inflation, monetary velocity, and inflation (i.e. monetary inflation). 

First, there is a very large consumer goods price inflation under way because of the large monetary inflation:

Second, the money is not just "piling up, not doing anything".  Prices are rising despite monetary velocity being low.  Monetary velocity and consumer goods price inflation have no causal relationship.

"These rises or falls [in goods prices] may or may not be accompanied by an unusual volume of speculative transactions. But the volume of speculative transactions merely reflects the extent of differences of opinion or changes of opinion among traders in the market; it has no functional relation with either rises or declines of value. Thus a falling wheat market or stock market may be more active than a steady wheat market or stock market. But so may a rising wheat market or stock market.

Similarly, when we turn to money, increased exchanges (i.e., an increased V) may accompany a decline in the value or purchasing power of money. But there will be no necessary relation between the change in velocity of circulation and the extent of the decline in the monetary unit's purchasing power. In fact (though this happens less often), an increase in the velocity of circulation of money may be accompanied by an increase in the purchasing power of money, i.e., by a fall in prices. This can happen in a speculative collapse, as, say, in late 1929.

This bears repetition in slightly different words. Increased velocity of circulation is not, in itself, even a contributing cause of higher commodity prices. It is not even a link in the chain of causation. Increased velocity of circulation and higher commodity prices are joint results of a change in the value of money in relation to the value of goods. When people value money less in relation to goods, they offer more money for goods; when they value it more in relation to goods, they offer less money for goods. Any change in velocity of circulation is likely to be a result of these changed value decisions: it is not itself a cause of the change in value. The value of money does not decline because its velocity of circulation has increased, though the velocity of circulation may increase, when it does so, because the value of money in relation to goods has declined.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:51 | 2353082 Seer
Seer's picture


It's a shell game.  They con and move on...  Their cloak is in latching on to enough "believers" (folks who will attack the "disbelievers") to safeguard themselves: their minions will whack everyone else in order that they can get some crumbs from their master.

PLEASE, can we as a specie learn that we do NOT need "leaders?"  If we can establish this as a core belief then we'll have a chance to move on, otherwise it'll just be a return to what it always has been... look!  another shell game!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:06 | 2352166 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Same as in Confederate dollars.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:16 | 2352206 I think I need ...
I think I need to buy a gun's picture

by the currency chart looks like gold is 36k an ounce. 35 dollars in 1932 X 1000 billion.

It shows that our 20 years olds are a lost generation already by the news every night. ALOT of crime,,,,,,,

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:43 | 2352412 Normalcy Bias
Normalcy Bias's picture

Actually, Confederate Dollars are worth a helluva lot more than either Zimbabwe or Bernanke Dollars.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:11 | 2352173 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"The road will see so straight and fair to travel, you will kick yourself for stumbling through the brambles for so long, and wonder at your neighbors who still can't see the path, though it is truly a freeway."  --  Aristotle, the blogger

Sustainability, bitches... and gold, get you some.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:19 | 2352760 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $55,000

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:15 | 2352195 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

1oz = 16,508,273.42 ZIM dollars


country does not even use their own currency anymore since you can use foreign currencies.


"The regime is surviving by printing money: at this stage there is no other way."

“” ---Martin Rupiya, professor (war and security studies), University of Zimbabwe. sounds familiar?
Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:31 | 2352253 CPL
CPL's picture

Would anyone actually sell gold for ZIM-Bux?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:13 | 2352384 Au_Ag_CuPbCu
Au_Ag_CuPbCu's picture

What currency to they use now?  LOL, oh ironic, the joke is on them!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:27 | 2352239 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Here is gold and silver in Weimar  currency. May 1920 is interesting.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:45 | 2352299 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Nazis put their gold reserves in switzerland.


Even evil knows the value of gold and to keep it away from their own banks.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:55 | 2352334 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


You know if those Nazi's had won they would be considered something like the Chinese now, not evil.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:31 | 2352448 john39
john39's picture

like the Chinese? or more likely the United States government...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:03 | 2352557 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

They dug up quite a few things in abandoned mining operations... No wasting time searching blasted bunkers and all their other underground facilities: Part of the game and gaming taking place exclusively at their bankers in Switzerland. No gold for you, bunker diggers.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:14 | 2352592 Island_Dweller
Island_Dweller's picture

Something is seriously messed up with this chart.  Notice that the gold to silver ratio stayed at around 15 to 1 until Oct 16, 1923 and then it jumps to over 150 to 1 starting at Oct 23, 1923 and stays that way until the end of the chart.

I think someone left out a zero for the silver price or added one to the gold price. 

"But what's a zero or two amongst friends?"  Future Bernanke quote.



Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:39 | 2353441 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

I don't recall where the answer to this question first appeared but it is because of various putsches that began in 1923. There was at least one attempt by Communists to take power. Germans knew what happened to Russians (especially wealthy ones) in 1918.  Silver is a reasonable store of wealth until you suddenly realize you have to flee for your life in the night--then gold is preferable.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 15:06 | 2355668 Island_Dweller
Island_Dweller's picture

Thanks for the link!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 23:57 | 2353633 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

The ratio suddenly changed.

Historians have attributed it to a sudden change in psychology.  As people saw the need to be able to move their wealth, they traded silver for gold because it is more portable.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2352490 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

this Chris rocks , best ever guest post ever

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:52 | 2352528 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar on "Paper Money"...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:22 | 2353253 Acorn10012
Acorn10012's picture

I could go for some Rock Candy.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:03 | 2352131 bobola
bobola's picture

Why indeed...

Because we have become a lazy & mindless consuming society.

People drive half a mile to Quick trip for a pack of cigarrettes instead of walking or riding a bike.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:26 | 2352237 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

A lot of the country's infrastructure is set up to where you HAVE to have a vehicle that has to have gas, and you have to use dollars to purchase all the above including the smokes. 

If I want to Drive my fat ass to the store in my huge SUV I can if I want to.  This is the land of the free! Why U hate Merica?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:59 | 2352338 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Alcoholic Nativ.

Gee bunky could it be because we have a HUGE country where we actually need to DRIVE to get somewhere?

Could it also be, if you want to feed a family of four you require an automobile to haul all that food home?

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 17:59 | 2356311 snakeboat
snakeboat's picture

We need to evolve our cities and towns.  I bike to work every day in Denver (yup, even in blizzards and yes, that is a pain in the arse) one hour each direction.  It's not a problem, it's a benefit in my life.

My family of three (plus 3 cats and a big ole dog) get fed by food that's transported home in a trailer behind my bike.   I stopped buying soda because it's heavy.  The only liquids I truck around are beer n wine.

Anyone, including you, Gully, can do this.  People in general are lazy.  Be the change you want to see in the world.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:26 | 2352238 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Instead of not smoking.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:05 | 2352146 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

The advantage of deflating overpriced economy is that a new generation gets to participate in the next stage of growth.

The problem with Bernanke's plan to prop up the Status Quo means that the new generation of entrepreneurs don't get to own anything without committing to be slave labor to the old debts.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:54 | 2353088 Seer
Seer's picture

Next stage of growth?  What part of "declining PHYSICAL resources" did you not get?

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 16:11 | 2355900 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

The collection of assumptions based on old usage models.

Growth comes from new efficiencies.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:00 | 2352148 vmromk
vmromk's picture

The trouble with money is the planet's #1 ASSHOLE (a.k.a Bernanke) is printing too too much of it.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:02 | 2352353 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


No, the problem with money is that is an illusion.

It is an intemediary between labor and goods.

Much like attorneys are an intermediary between the citizen and law, or politicians are between citizens and government.

We so enjoy the hands off approach to life.

That allows us something to bitch about.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:25 | 2352627 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Upvoted you.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:04 | 2352156 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Economics should be the study of energy and resource flows as well as money.'

Economics exists as a narrative by rich white males about how they got to be rich. Spoiler alert: exploitation, also there is a twist ending.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:28 | 2352246 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I was watching some Internet video that made a fairly simple, yet profound point... so simple, in fact, that I was embarrassed that 40 years into my life, I had never given it any thought.  The word "economy" that we use to describe the strength of our existence... if the "economy" is growing, that's good... if it's not... that's bad.  But the word is derived from a word that means almost the opposite.  When we are economical with our resources, we do more with less.  If you look up synonyms to economic you will find, "economical - thrifty - frugal - saving - sparing" none of which has anything at all to do with how we value or measure our "economy".  Our enemy is growth.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:47 | 2352505 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Welcome to the .0001 percent club that understands that the "growth" system is the flaw.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:16 | 2352598 MunX
MunX's picture

It's more than just the system...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:01 | 2352700 Joeman34
Joeman34's picture

I've often wondered if we could experience similar 'prosperity' in a negative growth environment.  Why is growth for the sake of growth a prerequisite to happy and prosperous existance?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:24 | 2353140 Koffieshop
Koffieshop's picture

Outlaw interest.
You will end up with a system like Sharia banking. Borrowing money will still be possible in a way but only if you use it to buy stuff that will generate money in the future or to buy durable, resellable goods (NOT wooden houses, Ipads or cars).
This will cause a MASSIVE slowdown as everybody will mostly have to save before buying, but it will be quite flexible as there is no debt escalation.

Reverting to this can only happen after total destruction however as it goes against the interests of the... eh... currently established powers.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 19:50 | 2356654 mkkby
mkkby's picture

He doesn't understand anything except some words have 2 meanings. 

This should freak you out and provide another 20 years of nut scratching -- conservatives do not necessarily conserve.  Whoa!  Scary, eh?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:36 | 2352466 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

I told my nephew to read one ZH article every week and give me a short report on all 4 at the end of 4 weeks and I'd pay him $100 bucks.

At the end I asked him what did he learn from reading these articles?

He answered: "I don't want to be a surgeon anymore. I'd rather be Wall Street Banker."

Oi vey!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:42 | 2352482 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I saw a Michael Lewis interview where he spoke about his expectation that "Liar's Poker" would somehow cast a negative shadow on wall street and expose kids to just how wrong of an environment it is.  The response was almost exactly the opposite.  Kids on his speaking tour asking him for advice on how to get in.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:56 | 2353094 Seer
Seer's picture

"Economics," the Teleprompter of the rich...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:05 | 2352158 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

LLC will announce AMR purchase today or tomorrow. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:05 | 2352159 SilverTree
SilverTree's picture


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:07 | 2352162 darteaus
darteaus's picture

The problem is that people do not have to work or think and they still get to eat.

That goes for my relatives too.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2352494 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

It certainly goes for the top .01%, except it's a longer sentence:  "the problem is that people in the top .01% who control half of the nation's wealth do not have to work or think and they still get to eat, own giant yachts, consume massive resources, displace and trample other people in their way, start wars to further enrich themselves, leave all of their money to their equally lazy and self-obsessed kids who may as well be called Lords and Barons and Sir because they are our modern royalty, have laws written in their favor by the politicians they buy, etc. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:09 | 2352171 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Poor in America is having to work for a living, and all these adults are ENTHUSIASTICALLY ADVOCATING POVERTY TO TODAY'S YOUTH.

You fuckers outta be ashamed of yourselves.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:12 | 2352189 Bob
Bob's picture

Kids engaging?

Why is it that losing your iPhone has become more important than losing your virginity?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:10 | 2352377 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

How often do you hear of some young person speaking highly of someone for being a virgin?

It is a different world than when most of us grew up.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:00 | 2353098 Seer
Seer's picture

Because ALL of the stories we've programmed them with are fucked up.  I mean, really, the "Virgin Mary" gives birth? (like this was a unique piece of propaganda- used many times by different religions, just change the name...)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:02 | 2352554 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Why is it that losing your iPhone has become more important than losing your virginity?

I wish that was the case; less teen moms to deal with (and pay for via welfare!).

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:40 | 2352191 q99x2
q99x2's picture

'but you'll be asked to help pay back trillions and trillions of debt'

False assumption.

More likely: you'll be shot at while trying to put out fires (assuming you live through the blasts) long before anyone is going to ever ask about you paying them back anything.

We are currently in a revolution because "we" are part of Greece. "We are part of "PIIGS" Mexico, Canada as concerns Central Banks. And they the Central Banks have waged war on US. Our Cities are already in flames because to the enemy Greece and Spain are not separated from the US.

Germany lost WWII when they had to fight the war on all fronts at the same time. But until then even though the allies were unaware of it they were Hitler's targets. The same this time only now it is Banksters and they have already infiltrated each host country. 

Or is that too hard to see, admit and begin to do something about before they f'n kill us too?

Man you should have heard William Black giving out his chuckles of disbelief the other night on Coast to Coast when he mentioned how the Jobs Bill just gave the banksters the right to commit outright, unmitigated fraud in the stock market. He knows that a war has been declared and that legally there is not much chance of winning it.

Or like in class last night and when the teacher complained about the Playa Vista projects. I told him about the Pioneer Bakery on Rose Ave in Venice and how both projects were under UN Agenda 21 one started by Speilberg and the other by Harrison Ford. Of course Speilberg got out of Playa Vista. Don't know what Ford's intentions are with the Pioneer Bakery project. In any case how much evidence does the US need before uniting into real action against the Bankster's literally physical occupation and takeover.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:30 | 2352444 Bob
Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:10 | 2353120 Seer
Seer's picture

"you'll be shot at while trying to put out fires"

Fires are always started in an attempt to hide the bodies and other evidence.  AND, they'll be blamed on the "rabble."  Soon TPTB will be putting out bounties on the heads of "anarchists"...  "Look! a distraction!" (and people will look)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:13 | 2352192 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

central banks aren't mystified, all the new money is going to their maggot friends.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:19 | 2353133 Seer
Seer's picture

No, the "new money" is being used to paper over the HUGE holes in the books.  With the holes covered over they can continue to use/control "old money."

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:19 | 2352217 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

Any airline traders out there?


Wed, 04/18/2012 - 08:08 | 2354215 CPL
CPL's picture

Yeah...go short the entire industry. The end of air travel by proxy of a lack of fuel. My favorite thing is reading about the poor slobs off to Mexico getting stranded in an airport with carnival seating rules.


Or the ten people murdered for a seat in Ocho Rios Jamacia.


Or the five dead in Lima for the same thing.


Fucking funny shit.  Murdered for a plane ticket seat.  Personally I'm waiting for the inevdiable plane falling out of sky article because it ran out of fuel because of fuel pump shortages and a lack of proper replacement or measurements of filling up the planes wings.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:37 | 2352224 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Wealth destruction, capital controls, further encroachments on personal liberties, war, education - by all means young lads and lassies, start thinking. 

But the always soon approaching END OF OIL? - really, that's the least productive focus for your average high school kid's  concern and attentions right now.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:34 | 2352261 shortus cynicus
shortus cynicus's picture

And money has no value on its own, but only in relation to the things we can exchange it for.

Is that article about money or currency?

So far I know, money must have intrinsic value to be money at first place.

So now scrap down all that currency-bullshit and go forward to god working cow standard.

If someone doesn't like cows, may accept virgins also.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:33 | 2352263 Silversem
Silversem's picture

In the current situation you must be a trader, not an investor. Or it should be an investor in gold. But i stick to trading cfd

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:36 | 2352276 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

The commentary at the below website has similar considerations about the value of money and how resource and energy flows are really the structural support for the modern economy.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:40 | 2352284 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

I would say apathy is a sane response for anyone - or rather call it biding your time - waiting, saving, preparing and lets see what happens to this current mess.

There are frontiers to explore, inner and outer space, genetics, robotics - but there has not been any vision offered by so called leaders.  For people to have hope for the future, and look forward - they need a vision - but the visionaries don't get face time on the MSM I'm affraid, and are dismissed as crackpots by the state propaganda machine - visionary movements don't fill the coffers of the thiefs half so well as war and destruction do.


I pray that we are heading for a future where socialist democracies are wiped not only off the map, but also out of peoples minds.  The socialist democratic experiment was a failure before it began, riddled with insoluable cancers that are indivisable from a system that rely's on force to steal from one group to distribute it to another.


The future I hope for is filled with free societies, who sign and honor social contracts that are agreed and endorsed by all mebers of that society - where the unproductive parasites can no longer rent land or money to people and continue to concentrate their wealth - where an investment means equity and nothing else.

Where peoples courts create justice, which is accessible and comprehensible to all.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:51 | 2352313 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws! 

While I'm no fan of socialist democracies, they aren't root cause of what ails us.  Theirs is a very symbiotic relationship with the bankers, but one should never ignore where the real power resides.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 02:31 | 2353885 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

I agree - money as a monopoly is one fo the main social and political problems facing the world, but so is the monopoly of oil.  It is worth looking at how these monopolies are possible, what facilitated the monopoly?


The money of the people facilitated it - where money is taken and used to build military force, it can be used to increase police powers - this process of taking the peoples money reduces the wealth of the nation, weakening the peoples power - at the same time concentrating the power into the polical class.  Those who can control the policial class can push through laws for their own interests - including banking monopolies - once this control is established, reversing it requires a complete purge of the political class.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:52 | 2352320 pods
pods's picture

Hope to see you in that future!


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:29 | 2353151 Seer
Seer's picture

"I pray that we are heading for a future where socialist democracies are wiped not only off the map, but also out of peoples minds. "

Hear, hear!

Long live fascist democracies!

"Where peoples courts create justice, which is accessible and comprehensible to all."

And then you wake up from your dream.. You see, as soon as you elevate power in someone or some group it then takes off.  You HAVE to elevate power in order for their to be "enforcers" of "justice."  And, news flash: these "enforcers" DO NOT PRODUCE anything, which means that, at some point, they WILL find it necessary to overstep in order to keep their positions.

It constantly amazes me how people can think that this is somehow some stupid-assed label thing...  I suspect that those who do have their chips on the other color (still playing the same fucking game).

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 02:23 | 2353874 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

You incorrectly interpret my statements - you think that peoples courts of justice would be composed of 'certain' people - nope - they would be composed of a randomly selected jury through a process not administered by anyone except the parties involved.


The jury, and concerned citizens would enforce the verdicts and sentences.  You would have no judge or magistrate - the court would be composed of the people - once it had delivered its verdict, it would disappear again - and its sentence would be enforced by the people.


I can't really see what youare trying to say here other than rulers are inevitable - I have a contrary opinion.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 02:42 | 2353901 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

Also - I have an issue with both socialism and democracy - socialism is theft, and democracy is as evil as any other system where some people claim powers  or rights that are not available to others.


Many people believe that states are inevitable - that they need someone to rule over them - the idea of ruling over themselves is frightening to many, to others it is impractical - to those who crave to rule it is an idea that must be destroyed.


The state usually arises by peoples need to have rules and processes to resolve disputes - the idea of going to some authority to resolve disputes seems logical - I reject that idea and say that the people themsleves should be the ones to decide what justice is - with a written contract containing both the process and guidance as to how to determine justice could bve signed by any group and used as the basis to resolve conflicts without any need to refer to any authority but themselves.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:44 | 2352297 antidisestablis...
antidisestablishmentarianismishness's picture

Maybe it's because the impatient crybabys get all Armageddon all the time in their video games instead of real life where they keep hoping for the excitement of Armageddon but all they get are bright sunny days and blue boring is that?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:51 | 2352308 pods
pods's picture

Love the article.

Anyone who views our system from the outside would see how fucked up it truly is.

Yet we all sit inside and speak of GROWTH.

Sure, cause the interest is like a giant snowball about to run our ass over.

My only consolation is that someday when everything collapses people will NOT have anything to do but talk and think.

Then they will figure out who and why they set up this bogus system in the first place.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2352328 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Love everything by him.  His video from Spain is what finally got my wife to get her arms around the "predicament".  Chris Martenson is a hero.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:11 | 2352383 css1971
css1971's picture

Interesting. An optimist.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:34 | 2352455 pods
pods's picture

Collapse used to scare me. I went through the stages.  Now I realize that the only positive way forward (for my kids) is for this system to end.

In order for it to end and to have it be liberty positive, we need a collapse. 

Small currency crisis to supranational currency is frying pan into the fire.

Don't want that for them.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:36 | 2353164 Seer
Seer's picture

Derrick Jensen makes the point that it's perfectly reasonable to hold two conflicting feelings at the same time, that one can view things as being totally fucked AND that life is really good.

I used to say that I was one of the most optimistic doomer/pessimist that you'd likely run across.  I'm happy to say that I'm seeing more and more people who would make similar claim.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:52 | 2352317 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

the difficulty I have conceiving of what exactly it is that the US might find to suddenly go another $50 trillion into debt for.

We can all become convinced (sold on the idea by Wall Street) that AAPL is worth $2000 per share and that Facebook is worth a half trillion dollars and then borrow the money to go buy them.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:08 | 2352372 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Greatest con in the history of mankind:

Print yourself and your friends hundreds of Quadrillions of dollars for free then convince John Q Public that * he has to pay you back for it *

Figure it out

It's a scam folks

And you have been taken


Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:21 | 2353696 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

"Greatest con in the history of mankind:

Print yourself and your friends hundreds of Quadrillions of dollars for free then convince John Q Public that * he has to pay you back for it *"

Well said.

It really is that simple.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2352571 ToddGak
ToddGak's picture

World War III could quite easily cost $50 Trillion.

If the people won't borrow, the government will do it for them.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:41 | 2353174 Seer
Seer's picture

I don't know whether TPTB can paint fast enough.  That is, I don't think that they're making enough headway in demonizing China.  The Catch-22 is that they'll require China to do some mass-dumping of US Treasuries, but if China does this the US is likely going to go really unstable FAST; I don't think that there's enough folks who are capable of pushing the "it's China's fault" meme (more and more folks are seeing the "men behind the curtain" [Wall Street and the banksters]).

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:56 | 2352324 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Money is a total fabrication of man to selfishly control, manipulate the surroundings of, and oppress his fellow man.  Nothing else.

Students are apathetic because their parents are fucking pathetic, not because "they are smart."

The author makes a nice try at distraction, unfortunately, it's all bullshit.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:02 | 2352550 Belarusian Bull
Belarusian Bull's picture

I would like to see you trying to exchange your orator skills for some bread of a baker.

Money is a valuable commodity, which is accepted by majority of economic subjects for their goods and services and used by them either to cosume goods and services provided by others, or to save, thus building up capital.

There are 2 forms of transactions : direct (barter) or indirect (money). There is nothing else. You can even call it physics.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:58 | 2352335 vegas
vegas's picture

You can look at money all you want; the problems started in the 1960's when liberal Dems took power and opened the Treasury to the Welfare State. We are now officially fucked because of that; the math says so and it doesn't lie. Amerika is fucked and the only thing left to figure out is what year SHTF. I'm guessing 2015 - make sure you are John Galt before then and get the hell out of this retarded country.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:59 | 2352344 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

your narrative is off by 50 some years.  don't fall into the trap of making this political, it's not.  The math has never cared who controls the white house... never will.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:09 | 2352373 vegas
vegas's picture

Bullshit. It's all fucking political with both parties. Exactly when do you think they figured out they could give free shit away for votes en mass? Try the 60's, and each year the largesse gets bigger and bigger. Only now though, the math is starting to rebel. You can confiscate all wealth and it wouldn't fund gov't for a year. It's the spending stupid.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:23 | 2352423 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

gov't spending is only one part of the global debt bubble.  It's the monetary system that is focked... money=debt.  Virtually all money is created as debt with interest that begins to accumulate when the money is created.  Only money to pay the interest doesn't exist... so more debt/money must be created.  The monetary system doesn't care where that debt ends up... only that the aggregate continues to expand.  

It's interesting... we lemmings accept the financial news programs that report that things are turning around because banks are lending again, or consumers are borrowing, etc. etc. etc. but somehow we view gov't debt as some sort of separate entity.  It's ALL a part of the same corrupt immoral system.  Fiat money and fractional reserve banking are at the center of it all.  To blame some other entity is by design.  Don’t carry their water.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:40 | 2352481 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture




U.S. Citizens do not owe any debt because they didn't spend the money

The bankers printed and spent all the money on commodities and useless AAPL stock

Which means THEY need to get jobs and pay off the debt THEY OWE TO US!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:49 | 2352511 pods
pods's picture

I really hope you meant this as sarcasm cause if not, this is wrong on so many levels I cannot begin to sort them all out.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:48 | 2352512 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

money isn't created until someone or something borrows it.  Call it credit money or debt money or credit/debt money... it doesn't matter. - this is how it's broken down.  It's our people, our companies and our government.  Again, the system doesn't care.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:46 | 2352499 pods
pods's picture

Would give you +100 if I could.

Keep up the fight!


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:46 | 2352406 putaipan
putaipan's picture

i'll trust these guy's over both of you... well worth a listen-


update- this video is so germaine to the many currents running through this thread. someone please have a look-see.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:01 | 2352350 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

I would tell them what I tell my kids:

Permanently log out of Facebook

Get on Zerohedge and SIGN UP

Create more Zerohedge-like websites

Never watch main-stream news or TV

Stay focused on ending the Central Banking system and replacing it with honest money by the people for the people

Shut down all Nuclear power plants

Never join or support a military that caters to the 1%

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:04 | 2352359 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


So you want your children to be firendless loners?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:33 | 2352451 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

If you met my kids you would be stunned by how popular they are. It's nothing less than a miracle that I did such a good job. How are your kids doing Gully?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:49 | 2353186 Seer
Seer's picture

Yeah, if they don't have 2,000 "friends" then they should commit suicide, as clearly they're not viewed as being "valuable" (perhaps not doing a good enough job on FarmVille). </sarc>

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:34 | 2353726 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture


I was going to start a rant, but you said it better than I could.

Facebook friends are like a social form of fiat currency.




Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:45 | 2353180 Seer
Seer's picture

I'd tell them to develop USEFUL SKILLS.  All else is basically meaningless (and would likely only help perpetuate the same old shit).

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 02:49 | 2353912 Amagnonx
Amagnonx's picture

Don't really agree with shutting down nuclear power plants - I think we could certainly change to thorium - they produce basically no waste and can break down old waste from previous reactors and cannot melt down.

Perhaps nuclear reactors aren't the solution - maybe there are better solutions, but large energy density is required for high tech civilization and I like technology.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:05 | 2352357 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

It is this last part, the oil story, which has almost entirely eluded the intellectual grasp of our monetary and fiscal masters. I don't blame them, as mastery of the physical sciences is not a requirement of any classical economics departments in any of the universities that churn out our PhD economists.


I suspect that TPTB at the top are well aware of the oil resource issue but don't publicly comment.  Most corporations have a chief engineer, chief technology officer, etc, that are included in financial planning and risk/reward discussions that occur to support board room level decisions.  Having the smartest men from all disciplines (financial, engineering, R&D, etc) available to them in the room when discussing important issues would make good business sense.  Even though some of this discussion is over the heads of the general public, there are some very smart people at the top who have likely taken notice and are staying abreast of the conversation on these issues.  Wouldn't it be reasonable for the oil companies to be keeping abreast of materials presented at the websites like and to look for good analyses and insights that they should consider when making decisions?  And the banks are closely tied to oil wealth investors and powerful technical and engineering corporations so there should be some cross communication.   

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:26 | 2352428 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


Of course, you are correct, it would be a mistake to accuse TPTB of failing to look out for their own interests.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:31 | 2352629 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

Yes it is somewhat survival of the fittest out there, and looking out for one's own and number one is high on the agenda.  But it is an interconnected world, and there can be some benefit to scratching someone else's back at times, and live and let live"ing" too.


TPTB should read a sci-fi short story by Larry Niven called "The Fourth Profession".  It is entertaining and thought provoking in ways related to the predicament being faced with oil production issues.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:46 | 2352943 r00t61
r00t61's picture

I don't know; the former Soviet Union Politburo was packed to the gills with engineers.  People who had earned degrees in actual disciplines, like physics, chemistry, biology, and a variety of engineering-related fields.  And they couldn't, or didn't, or ignored the collapse of their empire, despite all the smart people in the system.

Many engineers were highlighting the danger of the O-ring seals right up until the Challenger exploded.  The people in charge - other engineers - decided that it was an acceptable risk, and went ahead with the mission anyway.

Pre-WWII, military experts lauded the Maginot Line as a work of absolute genius.  They were convinced that it would prevent a German invasion of France.

Groupthink goes a long way.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:59 | 2353205 Seer
Seer's picture

The US Joint Chiefs KNOW all about this.  And if THEY know you can be sure that this spreads out to all their influential friends (board members are a tight knight group).

Further, just read places like this site (tame compared to others) and you see people ready to start hangings in the town squares.

Just as each of us here didn't get born "getting it," none of these folks did either; and, I suspect, many actually think that they can do SOMETHING (call it a benevolent view); but, as is common in all populations, there are numbers of ruthless fuckers who would, even if there was some "solution," fuck it up in order to save their own assess.  ALL of this is human nature.  Nature works via deception... this is the disquieting reality.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:04 | 2352362 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture


"Even more troubling, what do we say to our youth...?"

The media tells them all time;

1. Watch TV

2. Eat some food.

3. Play some games.

repeat....over and over...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:59 | 2353209 Seer
Seer's picture

Number 1 should be: Go shopping!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:23 | 2352421 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

the trouble with money for martenson is he isn't getting mine to finish reading part 2.  so what is wealth?  here it is ...for free.  "true wealth is in a man's labor".  john locke

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:03 | 2353214 Seer
Seer's picture

Did John Locke warn us about there being limited resources?

BTW - I doubt that you paid for part 1, so it would only follow that you would not pay for part 2 (and, really, why the fuck should I or anyone else care, like I need to check with "jbvtme" [member for 9 weeks?] to endorse something?).

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:46 | 2353740 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Chris Martenson has devoted a lot of time and energy to research and write his reports.

And, since you already know that "true wealth is in a man's labor", you will understand if he sees the value in that time spent and is willing to exchange it for money.  While others who are unwilling to spend the time, or do not think they could organize the research in such a clear and coherent way, are willing to part with money for access.

Or, you can choose to stick with the free portion of his reports (and John Locke, of course).  Thats the beauty of voluntary exchange.  Its up to you.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:25 | 2352426 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Today's youth is more aware and their lack of understanding of how corrupt things have gotten leads them to ask logical questions like, why bother?


And today's youth are right.   $700T of unfunded liabilities.  Governments scamming taxpayers.  Protests that have no meaning.   Pensions that are really Ponzi schemes that won't be paying out to anyone younger than 60.


It's all about someone else's agenda and today's youth is saying it proudly - FU - I'm not in.


The youth is turning to stock markets to make cash - they see things simple.  Buy low, sell high.  For many, this is their chosen way to make money - a wonderful value add for any economy.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:05 | 2353215 Boop
Boop's picture

The youth is turning to stock markets to make cash - they see things simple.  Buy low, sell high.  For many, this is their chosen way to make money - a wonderful value add for any economy.


That's sarcasm, yes?


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:30 | 2352442 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

"kids" are too busy texting while driving....keeping abreast of Dancing with the Idols...and knowing what color Kim Kardashian's G-string is to be comcerned with Fluffy Stuff like...Constitutional Rights.....and Rothbard's Banking book...too busy on their IPads asking every friend:

"What are you doing now?"...and...


"Where are you now?"

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:40 | 2352476 Bob
Bob's picture

Sit down with a few of them and explore their thoughts on popular culture, consumer society and technology in depth.  You'll find very few of the top 50% who are not more aware of the meaningless trap they're caught in than their adult critics, as well as fully aware of the irony of their own drive to participate in it nonetheless. 

Most understand it as a literal addiction. 

In any case, however, look to the parents who feed it for the real cause.

Nobody can blame the kids for this one. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:33 | 2352457 RallyRoundTheFamily
RallyRoundTheFamily's picture

8 reasons young Americans don't fight back




Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:34 | 2352461 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The dollar is not money, it is currency.  Money must store value.  Paper does not have any intrinsic value.  Fiat is not money.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:35 | 2352464 spiral_eyes
spiral_eyes's picture

"Since our human desire to consume is virtually limitless, a key role of money is to provide the scarcity necessary to divvy up a limited amount of goods and services among the population. There has to be a balance between money and the things that humans can produce and distribute, or else prices get out of whack."


Martenson is such a fucken Malthusian. Last time a Malthusian prediction came true was....???? 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:43 | 2352580 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

Last time a Malthusian prediction came true was....???? 


Was when the yeast in that bottle of wine on your shelf finished eating all of the limited "sugar" that was available to it and the exponential growth track it was on turned tail to a Seneca cliff.

Yeast curves can be found here :

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:09 | 2353224 Seer
Seer's picture

Don't scare away my future compost!  It's people like dizzy eyes that will go postal on us when SHTF- don't agitate them!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:32 | 2353267 enoch_root
enoch_root's picture

And what is the IQ of the average yeast cell? ...and when did you last see a yeast cell husbanding a new food source (agriculture)?


Confusing yeast cells and humans in the name of Malthus is lame, bordering on retard ... no, actually it is totally retard.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 01:12 | 2353787 Seer
Seer's picture

"husbanding a new food source"

You mean GMO shit?  Don't fucking make me laugh!  The "Green Revolution" will have turned out to be one of the greatest tragedies of the human race.

Pure fucking hubris!

Humans ARE of nature.  Humans do not DEFY nature.  ALL populations in nature act the same (with minor differences).  Get over yourself...

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 03:51 | 2353991 enoch_root
enoch_root's picture

Humans have been defying "nature" (uselessly vague term) for centuries ... how many yeast cells are out there ploughing fields for food, or drilling for oil?


Besides abuse, the Malhtusians have got nothing. They have been wrong ever since the poor chap spouted his rot. You are not the first to hitch your failed thought processes to that particularly broken wagon.


We got Einstein's sea energy to plunder next ... join us? Or wallow in the mud of extinct species?

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 04:46 | 2354021 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

What sea energy?  Why hasn't it saved the bacon and prevented austerity, and the European crises, and the Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian crises and lifted all boats already?  Typical cornucopian hope for magical solutions you have.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:45 | 2352491 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Recently I was asked by a high school teacher if I had any ideas about why students today seem so apathetic when it comes to engaging with the world around them. I waggishly responded, "Probably because they're smart."

I lol'd pretty good at my desk when I heard this.  I feel the same way as those HS kids, and most of my generation (18-35) does, too.

That's why we really don't give a fuck about politics.  Why vote?  Doesn't benefit the populace, our wages are not going up, and it don't change shit (except for political referendums like gay marriage and pot legalization....which the federal government can go in and still override, anyways).


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:44 | 2352493 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

kids today seem to have their heads up their asses.  so do their parents. those who don't are farming, mechanicing, welding, carpentering, sewing...creating wealth.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:04 | 2352549 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

firemen, fishermen, lumberjacks, nurses, laborers, bakers, dressmakers, ranchers, teachers, drivers, pilots, scientists, inventors, trappers, gardeners, nursurymen, bartenders, maintenance dudes, janitors, ship builders, roofers, plumbers, divers, machinists...

Notice I did NOT include shameless cops or military personnel because they...

 use violence against the people TO PROTECT THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE 1%

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:16 | 2353233 Seer
Seer's picture

You were fine until you stated "creating wealth."  This entire wealth creation thing is shit.  It's no more than the same carrot and stick BS that the current crop of PTB are using.

The notion of "wealth" is something that can be as debated as religions/philosophy.

Amassing of "wealth" has been pretty much through the mining of earth's "resources."  And all This "wealth" will fade along with the decline of the earth's available "resources."

What matters is being of value to those around you.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:01 | 2352555 EvlTheCat
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Well a first step at teaching children value is make them understand where their next meal will come from.  It pretty much snowballs from there...

I was disheartened the other day when a teen was trying to get his father to buy some seeds, at Home Depot, so he could plant a garden, and all his old man was interested in was the $1000+ BBQ that could hold his cold beer, wipe his ass, and give him a blowjob.

My oldest child has his own raised bed garden he has to maintain.  Does a pretty good job at it, since he is only 6.  Plus he gets to catch the bugs and lizards for his terrarium.  Hours of entertainment and education, and at a value.

He just found a mantis the other day and went online himself to find out what type it was.  Got him so interested we made a trip to the library to get a book all about them.

He just went on a "wood raid" with me on trash day.  Picked up the lumber people were throwing out on the curb after making a new kitchen for themselves.  He "helped" by banging on boards with a hammer, while I put the new raised bed together.

We just finished canning some pickles together this weekend, and it was a hoot.  

I think for the most part if parents involved themselves in their childs/children life/lives instead of selfishly squandering their time on self gratification, value would be passed on in the home.  Life isn't perfect, but your children are!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:18 | 2353242 Seer
Seer's picture

Thanks for being out there!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:46 | 2353432 EvlTheCat
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I appreciate it Seer, especially coming from you.  As my 92y/o grandfather always says, " lead by example".  His example taught me the value of family, friends and appreciating the good Earth between my fingers.  I can't say I understood this in my youth, but somewhere along the line it finally clicked.  The man still gets outside and push mows his front yard.  He is my hero!

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 01:23 | 2353807 Seer
Seer's picture

What matters is pretty simple, isn't it?

"Lead by example" (I got this message in the Marine Corps, though it didn't really matter that it came from there) gives you the power/motive to act.  It also keeps you from being hypocritical.

You can never really get it, or "there," unless you question everything, unless you are curious.  It's all about learning, and learning/understanding needs lots of data...

I plan on never "retiring."  I have too much to do.  And that's the real essence of life, that there has to be new things, challenges.  But only do those things that you can get behind (otherwise why bother?).  When everything is old to us it's time for us to go away.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:07 | 2352569 Jonbutterfly
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ARE WE RUNNING OUT OF SILVER? Great Presentation from Silver Guru David Morgan

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:15 | 2352595 blu
blu's picture

I made this same point in a comment a few days ago.

The PTB are trying to use growth in more money to make up for the lack of growth in more oil.

But you cannot replace a "work" unit (oil) with a marker for work (money) and expect any actual work to get done as a result. This is simply not going to happen, folks. The fundamental laws of themodynamics won't allow it. Fact. You may as well wave a magic wand and mutter incantations, for all the good it would do.

And another thing --

Millions of people simply do not get this one. Here I don't mean millions of ignorant farmers in the undeveloped world, who despite their lack of formal education in fact understand the problem perfectly because they are among those doing actual work, from the power of sunlight. Increasing velocity of money means almost nothing to them. No I mean the soft-handed, untried elites at the top who never did a day of actual production in this century, least of all their own lives, simply do not understand the importance of real work. They survive sucking on fossil fuels and as those inputs drop off they will find less to eat.

Real work is real. And no I do not mean a real job. Jeezuz people. There are real jobs that don't produce anything. Not jack. Most "real jobs" suffer from this. Dog groomers, nothing. Bankers, squat. Government workers, nada. Atheletes ... oh god don't get me started on atheletes and other entertainers. It's a really long list actually, the jobs that don't count as work. Real work (in the sense used in physics) is work from raw materials that produces increasingly finished materials with added value. As my example, farmers and ranchers. And you can add, carpenters and other crafts. Maybe teachers, I don't know. But unless you are a primary producer you are not working in any real sense, you are consuming energy (fossil fuels really) without converting it into value, and nothing about you or your existence will be missed when the Earth finally eats you. Simples.

The world rightfully belongs to the producers of things, as they are closest to the sun. Everyone else is a parasite along the value chain. And that chain is about to become radically shorter as oil inputs drop off.

So get your game on, work the sun somehow, or prepare to evaporate from the pages of history along with the ready supply of cheap oil.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:08 | 2352728 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

But you cannot replace a "work" unit (oil) with a marker for work (money) and expect any actual work to get done as a result. This is simply not going to happen, folks. The fundamental laws of themodynamics won't allow it. Fact. You may as well wave a magic wand and mutter incantations, for all the good it would do.

You're basically correct, but realize that if oil cost $150,000/bbl, you'd "replace" it by hiring a crowd of servants to perform the work that you would have previously extracted from the oil.  Aside from plastics, most of what comes from oil is mechanical energy, which can be derived from other sources.

It's not as if we didn't already design technology which enables a more efficient application of resources.  It's just that the folks with the most political power (ie: the very rich) are mostly beholden to the currency-trafficking systems which made them rich in the first place.

The logic is inescapable and the solution is obvious.  With an unskilled labor oversupply, you stop paying for resources to burn in your gas-tank and start paying for renewable energy.  That "renewable energy" is mostly food-calories expended by the poor in productive labor, which many folks would be happy to perform.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:33 | 2353268 Seer
Seer's picture

Made me think of this:

"Golgafrincham Ark Fleet, Ship B"

Careful, the "useful" folks might end up being wiped out by a "virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone."

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:21 | 2352608 Gamma735
Gamma735's picture

When the world revolts I am sure the peasants will hang the bankers, lawyers and politicians.  But not necessarily in that order.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:22 | 2352615 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

We all become part of the circus, even the young people, when the "carnival comes to town".

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:31 | 2352618 jimmyjames
jimmyjames's picture

This is a chart of Money of Zero Maturity (MZM), which is the largest and most comprehensive accounting of money in the Federal Reserve system and has been ever since M3 was abandoned.


The explanation of MZM is a flawed definition of money supply-

It is not all money- MZM contains credit transactions and money equivalents such as institutional funds/t-bills etc which is not actual money-but rather money equivalents-


"M2 less small-denomination time deposits plus institutional money funds.
Money Zero Maturity is calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis."

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:28 | 2352632 Island_Dweller
Island_Dweller's picture

Great article, only one thing mad me laugh.

"Imagine if medical scientists did not have to learn about digestion and nutrition as a part of their training."

Chris, doctors don't know anything about nutrition.  They just fix symptoms, never causes.  I'm sure you can find a better example than this one.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:22 | 2352763 Heroic Couplet
Heroic Couplet's picture

I know a surgeon who practices but doesn't collect the six figure salary that goes with the medical profession. Doesn't pay taxes to support US warfare. Lives small.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:35 | 2353273 Seer
Seer's picture


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:22 | 2353254 enoch_root
enoch_root's picture

Bitcoin is money. Money is whatever the market decides is money.

The Internet discussions of what is money and how the banksters screwed society over so completely by exploiting ignorance of what is money, and the history of money is great. The awakening has begun. Someone needs to post a hit list of people who have abused positions of power to perpetrate crimes against humanity using money-power. Then let the witch-hunting begin.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:38 | 2353281 Seer
Seer's picture

"Money is whatever the market decides is money."

And the "market" is what, exactly?  And, HOW does "it" "decide?"

"Money" is anything that two parties agree that it is, period!  No magic "market" need exist, no brain-trust, no govt.

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