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

Tyler Durden's picture

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LouisDega's picture

This is not porn. I cant get a woody

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.

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?

economics1996's picture

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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].

StychoKiller's picture

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

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?

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.

Widowmaker's picture

Shut up and sell -- everything.

silverbullion's picture

... and buy physical gold and silver.

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!".

11b40's picture

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

pine_marten's picture

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

grunk's picture

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

I'm going to miss that.

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.

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.........

Taint Boil's picture

All is well, we have sausages - life is good

Esso's picture

Well, that's just weird.

Chuck Walla's picture

All is well, we have sausages - life is good


No wonder the evil little mass killer is dead!

Chuck Walla's picture

'scuze me, just a  little gas....

Jason T's picture

need to update charts.. 

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?

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.

Esso's picture

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

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. 


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.

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.

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. 

Mercury's picture

Maybe the music will get better.

dick cheneys ghost's picture

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

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.

RSloane's picture

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

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... 

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.

Snakeeyes's picture

And then comes the additional bad news.

1 Unit Housing Starts Actually FELL -11.25% in November


Crispy's picture

Reversion to the mean is a bitch aint it? 


Alcoholic Native American's picture

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