Guest Post: 2011: The Last (Debt-Consumerist) Christmas in America

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Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:33 | 1997989 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

CHS = Gloom porn.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:39 | 1998012 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

This is not porn. I cant get a woody

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:14 | 1998171 economics1996
economics1996's picture

This guy always fails to omit the size of the federal, state and local governments have grown from 26% of the GDP in the 50s to 45% today.  He kind of hits it with the 30 million useless government hacks sucking up resources but needs to be up front and center with it.

He also fails to point out the increase in transfer payments from 5% of a workers check in the 60s to almost 16% today.

And the role of inflation after 1971 and Nixon's removal from the Bretton Woods agreement.

I mean taking about bull shit debt levels and leaving out the movement to 100% fiat is a little weird.

I understand where the guy is coming from, but ZH should have me write one of these.  I do better.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:32 | 1998266 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

You'll have to join Bloomberg and sneak around to the secret office in the broom closet. Are you OK with that?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:38 | 1998773 economics1996
economics1996's picture

If I had Bloomberg’s data I would write a novel.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:35 | 1998273 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I wonder what "Free Enterprise" he sees these days. The one that bought GM and bailed out banks?  Or the one that is attempting to take over health care?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:35 | 1998276 flattrader
flattrader's picture

CHS is running out of things to write about.

He's recycling (VERY) recent charts he lifts from other websites without links or due credit.

So much for his No Santa Claus Rally call.

Tylers, does he pay you to allow him to post here?

That would at least explain why this nonsense appears on ZH.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:05 | 1998377 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

No, CHS is a good guy. A true synthesist, and those are desperately needed and in short supply. It's possible to quibble with anybody who does the Jared Diamond here's-how-the-whole-world-works thing, and in an article format, he can always be accused of leaving something out. But I find the dude invaluable.

Perhaps the only perspective I would grant him would be to ponder Adam Smith's quote about doom prophecies for America: "There is a lot of ruin in a nation." The countervailing trend of 300-million problem-solving brains humming away - however hobbled by junk-culture assaults - is more potent than many, including lots of ZH folks, are willing to credit. I'd like to see CHS discuss this "damping" force.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:50 | 1998061 Cursive
Cursive's picture


No, it's not "gloom porn," it's a hat tip to the proper functioning of society.  We've created our own financial Tower of Babel.  It's not sustainable.  Best to be prepared for what comes after this stupidity.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:52 | 1998062 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

No, it's the end result of 30 years of destroying ones manufacturing base and compensating through the accumulation of massive amounts of debt to preserve a false prosperity.

The bill is now due and there will only be two results.  If all of the right choices are made at every step by bankers and politicians, there will only be a very deep and very long economic recession.  If everything isn't done perfectly, and it won't be, there will be a catastrophic domino effect economic collapse triggered by any one of many possible triggers.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:20 | 1998195 economics1996
economics1996's picture

To restore the manufacturing base we need;

1.  Flat or fair tax with zero corporate tax.

2.  Energy policy of liaise fair.

3.  One set of environmental regulations for all 50 states.

4.  Tort reform.

5.  A education system that educates (as opposed to indoctrinates).

6.  Stable currency, gold, and silver.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:03 | 1998618 potatomafia
potatomafia's picture

and end copyright laws, and "intellectual monopolies."

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:41 | 1998785 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Why do you donkeys keep talking about tort reform...  we've had tort reform since the 70s...  what is it you think will be solved by tort reform?  What is the effect you want to create through tort reform?

PS, there are "due process" ceilings to punitive damage awards...  and many states have implemented statutory ceilings to punitive damages...  although, my state declared ours unconstitutional last week.  [I strongly suspect you would change your tune on the concept if you read the basis for our constitutional adoption of a blanket prohibition on any legislation limiting damage awards...  which was adopted from Pennsylvania's same amendment].

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 04:19 | 2000295 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The best reform would be "Loser-pays," and you know it.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:35 | 2000819 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Not at all...  we've made the policy decision that (unlike our father state) we want to hear close cases...  in the pursuit of justice, close calls get a day in court too.  However, for the risk averse, when loser always pays, any close case doesn't have its day in court...

Further, we don't have a pure "loser doesn't pay costs" system anyway...  there are a myriad of generally accepted types of cases (contract for example) in which the loser pays court costs/attorneys fees/etc.

What exactly is your argument?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:27 | 1998239 OneLessZombie
OneLessZombie's picture

It doesn't take a lot of math to figure out that were the massive increases in .gov spending post TARP to be eliminated from GDP we would probably see a BIG NEGATIVE NUMBER which is, don't say the word, DEflationary.

In essence DEflation is being openly MASKED by .gov deficit spending pretty much everywhere.  And we wonder why the private sector is languishing? 

The private sector is on .gov life support.  Don't be expecting them to pull the plug because then they might have to be accountable for the mountain of debt being piled upon our backs currently, with the only beneficiaries being .corp and .mil

At some point we'll realize we're expendable.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:33 | 1997993 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Shut up and sell -- everything.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:41 | 1998022 silverbullion
silverbullion's picture

... and buy physical gold and silver.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:06 | 1998125 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Worst yet, TPTB will do everything to postpone the crash after the GOP nomination process is settled in favor of another clueless, smooth-talking statist. Only after this is done, and when the real crash comes, will the people realize the mistake they made by ignoring Ron Paul and falling for the media propaganda. And on top of the ruins will be a smiling Ben Bernank, in a scene reminiscent of Saddam Hussein in the South Park movie, telling everyone "YOU ARE REALLY FUCKED NOW!".

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:30 | 1998254 11b40
11b40's picture

Now you tell me......I should have sold my shorts yesterday!  Oh well.  I'll just wait & sell them later ;-)

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:36 | 1998514 pine_marten
pine_marten's picture

You can't get shit for yer shit these days.  Sell my eye............

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:38 | 1998007 grunk
grunk's picture

What about that Christmas tradition of shoppers getting trampled on Black Friday?

I'm going to miss that.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:58 | 1998353 Floordawg
Floordawg's picture

You think the Wal-e-World security cameras had entertaining footage before? Wait until the repercussions of this grand fiasco REALLY start to sink into the masses reality... except this time, they wont be paying customers... PARTY TIME!

And as always, "Walmart level" consumers will be the unfortunate first shoved through the economic meat grinder ahead.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:38 | 1998526 pine_marten
pine_marten's picture

Yeah, the security cam shots of the cops looting with the looters in New Orleans after Katrina was really far out.........

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:42 | 1998024 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

All is well, we have sausages - life is good

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:10 | 1998152 Esso
Esso's picture

Well, that's just weird.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:39 | 1998287 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

All is well, we have sausages - life is good


No wonder the evil little mass killer is dead!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:40 | 1998288 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

'scuze me, just a  little gas....

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:44 | 1998035 Jason T
Jason T's picture

need to update charts.. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:45 | 1998038 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Why would we kids want to just use surplus cash when Daddy Ben and Mommy Pelosi spend 2x their means every day, month, year?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:46 | 1998043 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

All I've seen is a bunch of pissed off people this Christmas season. People freaking out in parking lots, giving people the finger over parking places. Mothers telling whiny kids "If I buy this piece of crap, will you shut the hell up?" Florid-faced middle agers buying 1/2 gallons of Popov vodka and big bags of pork rinds. Really puts you in the mood.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:12 | 1998160 Esso
Esso's picture

Criminy, I need to get out more. I'm really missing out.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:42 | 1998302 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

No, no your not. I went into wally world a few week's ago to stack more ammo. First time in wally world in over a year, it is no wonder we have such a huge bill coming due. 


Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:18 | 1998190 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

Solution: Don't go to those places. Malls and department stores are for the instant gratification peeps. The real deals are online.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:47 | 1998051 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Even minimum wage ($1.60/hour in the late 60s, I know because my wage stub recorded it) bought far more goods (purchasing power) then than minimum wage does now.

This. So this.

It's funny that Gerald Celente predicted that NYC or other big cities would become like Mexico City in the next 3-5 years.  In the 1970s, as documented by the films, "Summer of Sam" and "The Pope of Greenwich Village", New York City WAS a very much like a 2nd World city, where the divide of well-to-do and shit holes were often only a few blocks seperated from each other.

Now with central planning, gentrification, and the fascist police state....this is covered up a bit and more isolated......but once shit hits the fan, the facade will end, the curtains will lift....and what you will see on TV will NOT be pretty.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:14 | 1998420 11b40
11b40's picture

As someone who lives in the country, works from his home office, and can't see anything but woods in any direction, I pay pretty close attention when I do venture out to the big cities.  Over the past 35 years, I have traveled to NYC from 2 to 6 times a year for business.

Manhattan was getting downright scary in the 80's.  There seemed to be fewer safe neighborhoods every trip, and as I frequently had responsibility for 4 to 6 female sales reps, safety was a big concern.  It reached the point where I would only book roomsw in the Murray Hill district, and the city was grittier and seedier by the month.

Gradually, that changed, and N.Y. began to blossom.  By the end of the 90's, it had been re-born as a great city, and I felt comfortable walking around at night in most of the areas i frequented.

Fast forward to 2009 & and once again I started to feel the decline.  Like so much of the rest of America, there were empty store fronts; entire blocks becoming more stressed, with for sale signs popping up everywhere.  I understand that CRE values have plummetted.

Third we come. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:48 | 1998054 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Maybe the music will get better.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:50 | 1998060 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

"Grandma got run over by a reindeer..." BLAM BLAM BLAM!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 04:25 | 2000299 StychoKiller
Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:49 | 1998057 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

How long can The Fed protect the big banks?.........

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:51 | 1998064 Cranios
Cranios's picture

Bubbles' endings are notoriously hard to predict, so I'm not sure how he could know that this is the last one.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:55 | 1998072 RSloane
RSloane's picture

Maybe he sees the Big Needle of Fate approaching the bubble.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:55 | 1998075 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Actually I expect a well known Democratic paleontologist to unearth an astounding set of tablets, probably from the sands of Santa Fe or maybe from a cave in the Rockies...these tablets will without a doubt signify that Jesus was not born just once but 3 times...once on Dec 25th but also in April and August...we will then need to celebrate the holidays THREE times a year, stoking a massive consumer binge that will eliminate most of the debt in this country... 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:55 | 1998076 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

A critical question not asked enough, thank you.

Where, in a 70% consumption economy, do the productive careers come from to fund the consumption?

It is another suit in our house of cards ponziconomy.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:57 | 1998082 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

And then comes the additional bad news.

1 Unit Housing Starts Actually FELL -11.25% in November


Tue, 12/20/2011 - 13:59 | 1998091 Crispy
Crispy's picture

Reversion to the mean is a bitch aint it? 


Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:01 | 1998103 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture


Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:16 | 1998178 Crispy
Crispy's picture

oh SNAP card....

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:49 | 1998571 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

Awesome work +++

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:03 | 1998110 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

I just went out and splurged with my EBT card.  Doing my part to help the economy.

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