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Guest Post: The Corruption Of America

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Submitted by Porter Stansberry of Stansberry Research

The Corruption of America

The numbers tell us America is in decline... if not outright collapse.

I say "the numbers tell us" because I've become very sensitive to the impact this kind of statement has on people. When I warned about the impending bankruptcy of General Motors in 2006 and 2007, readers actually blamed me for the company's problems – as if my warnings to the public were the real problem, rather than GM's $400 billion in debt.

The claim was absurd. But the resentment my work engendered was real.

So please... before you read this issue, which makes several arresting claims about the future of our country... understand I am only writing about the facts as I find them today. I am only drawing conclusions based on the situation as it stands. I am not saying that these conditions can't improve. Or that they won't improve.

The truth is, I am optimistic. I believe our country is heading into a crisis. But I also believe that... sooner or later... Americans will make the right choices and put our country back on sound footing.

Please pay careful attention to the data I cite. And please send me corrections to the facts. I will happily publish any correction that can be substantiated. But please don't send me threats, accusations against my character, or baseless claims about my lack of patriotism. If I didn't love our country, none of these facts would bother me. I wouldn't have bothered writing this letter.

I know this is a politically charged and emotional issue. My conclusions will not be easy for most readers to accept. Likewise, many of the things I am writing about this month will challenge my subscribers to re-examine what they believe about their country. The facts about America today tell a painful story about a country in a steep decline, beset by problems of its own making.

One last point, before we begin... I realize that this kind of macro-economic/political analysis is not, primarily, what you pay me for.

You rightly expect me to provide you with investment opportunities – whether bull market, bear market, or total societal collapse. And that's what I've done every month for more than 15 years.

But that's not what I've done this month. You won't find any investment ideas at all in these pages. This issue is unlike any other I have ever written.

I'm sure it will spark a wave of cancellations – costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars. I fear it will spark a tremendous amount of controversy. Many people will surely accuse me of deliberately writing inflammatory things in order to stir the pot and gain attention. That's not my intention. The truth is, I've gone to great lengths throughout my career to protect my privacy.

I am speaking out now because I believe someone must. And I have the resources to do it. I am sharing these ideas with my subscribers because I know we have arrived at the moment of a long-brewing crisis.

Our political leaders, our business leaders, and our cultural leaders have made a series of catastrophic choices. The result has been a long decline in America's standard of living.

For decades, we have papered over these problems with massive amounts of borrowing. But now, our debts total close to 400% of GDP, and America is the world's largest borrower (after being the world's largest creditor only 40 years ago)... And the holes in our society can no longer be hidden...

We've reached the point where we will have to fix what lies at the heart of America's decline... or be satisfied with a vastly lower standard of living in the future.

How do I know? How do I statistically define the decline of America?

The broadest measure of national wealth is per-capita gross domestic product (GDP). Economists use this figure to judge standards of living around the world. It shows the value of the country's annual production divided by the number of its citizens. No, the production isn't actually divided among all the citizens, but this measure provides us with a fair benchmark to compare different economies around the world. Likewise, this measure shows the growth (or the decline) in wealth in societies across time.

So... is America growing richer or poorer based on per-capita GDP? Seems like a simple enough question, doesn't it? Is our economy growing faster than our population? Are we, as individuals, becoming more affluent? Or is the pie, measured on a per-person basis, growing smaller?
This is the most fundamental measure of the success or the failure of any political system or culture. Are the legal and social rules we live under aiding our economic development or holding us back? What do the numbers say?

Unfortunately, it's a harder question to answer than it should be. The problem is, we don't have a sound currency with which to measure GDP through time. Until 1971, the U.S. dollar was defined as a certain amount of gold. And the price of gold was fixed by international agreement. It didn't actually begin to trade freely until 1975. Therefore, the value of the U.S. dollar (and thus the value of U.S. production, which is measured in dollars) was manipulated higher for many years.

Even today, our government's nominal GDP figures are greatly influenced by inflation. The influence of inflation is particularly pernicious in GDP studies. You see, inflation, which actually reduces our standard of living, drives up the amount of nominal GDP. So it creates the appearance of a wealthier country... while the nation is actually getting poorer.

The only real way to accurately measure per-capita GDP is to build our own model. The need to build our own tools tells you something important – the government doesn't want anyone to know the answer to this question. It could easily publish data far more accurate than the indexes it puts out. But government doesn't want anyone to know. And it wants to be able to say "those aren't the real data" when studies like ours produce bad news.

So pay attention to how we built our charts. You can see for yourself that our data are far more accurate than the government's figures. Our data are based on the real purchasing power of the currency, not the nominal numbers, which are completely meaningless in the real world.

The question we are trying to answer is: What would per-capita GDP numbers look like, if we used a real-world currency, like gold, or a basket of commodity prices, instead of the paper-based U.S. dollar? What would the figures be if we measured GDP in sound money instead of the government's funny money?

Here's how we figured it out. We took the government numbers for nominal GDP and measured them first against commodity prices, and later (after it began to trade freely) gold. We used a standard commodity index (the CRB) up to 1975 and gold post-1975. The result of this analysis shows you the real trend in U.S. per-capita GDP, as measured on a real-world purchasing power basis.

Our analysis shows you what's actually happened to our real standard of living. The results, we suspect, will surprise even the most bearish among you.

America is in a steep decline.

Americans Are Getting Poorer – Fast

Let me anticipate the "official" criticism of our study. Many people will claim that our numbers aren't "real." They will say that we "mined" the data to produce a chart that showed a steep decline.

That's simply not so. All we've done is convert the government's nominal GDP stats into a fixed currency value that's based on real-world purchasing power. The fact is, our data are far more accurate than the government's because they represent the real-world experience.

That's why our data are far more closely correlated to other real-world studies of wealth in America.

Consider, for example, annual sales of automobiles. Auto sales peaked in 1985 (11 million) and have been declining at a fairly steady rate since 1999. In 2009, Americans bought just 5.4 million passenger cars. As a result, the median age of a registered vehicle in the U.S. is almost 10 years.

Our data shows that real per-capita wealth peaked in the late 1960s. Guess when we find the absolutely lowest median age of the U.S. fleet? In 1969. At the end of the 1960s, the median age of all the cars on the road in the U.S. was only 5.1 years. Even as recently as 1990, the median age was only 6.5 years.

Rich people buy new cars. Poor people do not.

Most important, our data "proves" something I know many of you have felt or perceived for many years. You've seen the decline of your neighborhoods. You've gone years without being able to earn more money in your job. Or you've seen your purchasing power decrease to the point where you're now substituting lower-quality products on your grocery list for the brand-name products you used to buy.

You can see how much harder it is on your children to find good jobs, to buy good housing or a new car. As a result, few people under the age of 40 have the same kind of "life story" as their parents.

And because they can't "make it," many have decided to "fake it." The average college student now graduates with $24,000 in debt... and by his late 20s has racked up more than $6,000 in credit card debt. Meanwhile, median earnings for Americans aged 25-34 equals $34,000-$38,000. (Source: Demos.org, "The Economic State of Young America," November 2011.)

Can you imagine starting your life out as an adult with a personal debt-to-income level at close to 100%? What does this say about the state of our economy? What does this say about the state of our culture?

Who Suffers Most

It's not only the young that are having trouble in America. It is also the old.

Debt levels among households headed by people older than 62 have been rising for two decades. The average mortgage size for this population is now $71,000 – five times larger than it was in 1987 (adjusted for inflation), according to William Apgar of Harvard's Joint
Center for Housing Studies.

Older Americans are also more reliant on credit card debt than ever before... credit card debt. From 1992 through 2007 (which is the latest data available) older Americans took on credit card debt at a faster pace than the population as a whole. According to USA Today, lower- and middle-income Americans aged 65 and older now carry an average of more than $10,000 in credit card debt, up 26% since only 2005.
Given average interest rates of 20% for these debts, it's a fair bet that these obligations will never be repaid. But they will have a terrible impact on the standard of living of these older Americans.

What in the heck is going on? Don't Americans pay off their mortgages before they retire? Don't they work hard during their careers, save, and invest, so they can move to Florida and spend their retirement in comfort?

Older Americans living with credit card debt! This doesn't sound like America, does it? Or maybe it does.

My bet is that most of my subscribers know that something has gone terribly wrong with America. It's not easy to figure out how all of this happened... but you know from your own experiences that these numbers aren't wrong. It might not be pleasant to think about... but these figures paint a sad but accurate picture: America is not the country it was 40 years ago. These changes are warping our economy, politics, and culture.

In this month's issue, I'd like to try to define a few of the core reasons we're in this situation. I can't possibly analyze all the factors that have led to this decline. But I want to document the growth of graft in politics. I want to demonstrate – with real facts and examples – how public company leadership has deteriorated. And I want to document some of the things that are occurring in the broader society, all of which I believe are linked to this fundamental decline in our standard of living.

You see, I believe the decline of our country is primarily a decline of our culture.

We have lost our sense of honor, humility, and the dedication to personal responsibility that, for more than 200 years, made our country the greatest hope for mankind. I want to detail some of the factors that gave rise to the current entitlement society. We have become a country of people who believe their well-being is someone else's responsibility.

I've labeled these problems: The Corruption of America.

These problems manifest themselves in different ways across institutions in all parts of our society. But at their root, they are simply facets of the same stone. They are all part of the same essential problem.

The corruption of America isn't happening in one part of our country... or in one type of institution. It is happening across the landscape of our society, in almost every institution. It's a kind of moral decay... a kind of greed... a kind of desperate grasp for power... And it's destroying our nation.

The Ethos of 'Getting Yours'

Americans know, in their bones, that something terrible is happening. Maybe you can't articulate it. Maybe you don't have the statistics to understand exactly what's going on. But my bet is, you think about it a lot.

For me, a poignant moment of recognition came this month.

Bloomberg news published an article based on confidential sources about how Henry Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs and the Republican U.S. Treasury secretary during the financial crisis, held a secret meeting with the top 20 hedge-fund managers in New York City in late July 2008. This was about two weeks after he testified to Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "well-capitalized."
I knew for a fact that what Paulson told Congress wasn't true. I wrote my entire June 2008 newsletter detailing exactly why Fannie and Freddie certainly had billions in losses that they had not yet revealed to investors – $500 billion in losses, at least. There was no question in my mind, both companies were insolvent – "zeros," as I explained.

And yet, in front of Congress, the U.S. Treasury secretary was saying exactly the opposite. Either I was a liar... or he was.
Then... only a few days later... what did Paulson tell those hedge-fund managers?

He told them the same thing I had written in my newsletter. He told them the opposite of what he'd said publicly to Congress. He told these billionaire investors that Fannie and Freddie were a disaster... They would require an enormous, multibillion-dollar bailout... The U.S. government would have to take them over... And their shareholders would be completely wiped out.

Here you had a high-government official, explicitly lying to Congress (and by extension, the general public), while giving the real facts to a group of people who represented the financial interests of the world's wealthiest folks. The story didn't come to the public's attention for two years.

This was the most outrageous example of graft and corruption I have ever seen. Certainly it involves more billions of dollars in misappropriated value than any other similar story I can recall. These managers had the risk-free ability to make tens of billions of dollars, if not hundreds of billions, by using derivatives to capitalize on what they knew was the imminent collapse of the world's largest mortgage bank. Who picked up the tab? You know perfectly well. It was you and me, the taxpayers.

(One of the investment managers present at this meeting was Steve Rattner, who by that point was already deeply involved in another bit of graft, his efforts to bribe New York state pension-fund managers for large investments into his hedge fund, from which he earned perhaps as much as $100 million. He later settled the charges for a mere $10 million shortly after Andrew Cuomo was elected governor of New York.)
The Bloomberg story... about a crooked Treasury secretary handing a room full of crooked billionaires inside information worth billions of dollars... hardly caused a ripple. As far as I know, no actions are being planned against Henry Paulson or any of the hedge-fund managers involved. No other major media outlet picked up the story. I saw nothing about it from the Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What does that say about our country when even the most egregious kind of corruption – involving hundreds of billions of dollars – is simply ignored?

It seems like everyone in our country has lost his moral bearing, from the highest government officials and senior corporate leaders all the way down to schoolteachers and local community leaders. The ethos of my fellow Americans seems to have changed from one of personal integrity and responsibility to "getting yours" – the all-out attempt, by any means possible, to get the most amount of benefits with the least amount of work.

You can see this in everything from the lowering of school standards (revising the SAT) to the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional, college, and high school sports. Cheating has become a way of life in America.

I have an idea about how this happened... about the root cause of this kind of corruption and why it was inevitable, given some of the basic facts regarding how we've organized our government and our corporations.

Let me show you the numbers – the hard facts – behind what's happened to our country...

Read more here

 

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Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:29 | 1998482 wisefool
wisefool's picture

The only number that matters is 75,000+ pages of tax code. We are all apart of the soft corruption and there is no exit, as is being displayed in washington today.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:38 | 1998524 Hard1
Hard1's picture

And turbo Timmay cheating on his taxes also matters.  He set the example of what every single US taxpayer should be doing to it's corrupt government.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:43 | 1998540 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

The inflation tax isn't even in the tax code.

The third option is for the Federal Reserve to create credit to pay the bills Congress runs up. Nobody objects, and most Members hope that deficits don't really matter if the Fed accommodates Congress by creating more money. Besides, interest payments to the Fed are lower than they would be if funds were borrowed from the public, and payments can be delayed indefinitely merely by creating more credit out of thin air to buy U.S. treasuries. No need to soak the rich. A good deal, it seems, for everyone. But is it?

 

The “tax” is paid when prices rise as the result of a depreciating dollar. Savers and those living on fixed or low incomes are hardest hit as the cost of living rises. Low- and middle-incomes families suffer the most as they struggle to make ends meet while wealth is literally transferred from the middle class to the wealthy. Government officials stick to their claim that no significant inflation exists, even as certain necessary costs are skyrocketing and incomes are stagnating.

 

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul334.html

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:50 | 1998574 ratso
ratso's picture

Porter Stansbury is just anther pompous doomsday spouting moron.  He is just another voice in the right wing chorus screaming THE SKY IS FALLING AND OBAMA IS TO BLAME. 

Give me a break pleeease.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:52 | 1998580 redpill
redpill's picture

Well, the sky IS falling and Obama IS to blame.  But it's not a matter of being right wing.  Stansberry is just a huckster and this is the latest wagon he's trying to hitch to and merely regurgitating a bunch of crap he's read elsewhere stretched out into painfully long and vacuous sales pitches.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:05 | 1998628 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Well, the IS falling but Obama is not to blame. He is merely getting to be the man in the spotlight when it all goes down. Many more people carry direct blame than obama does. POTUS has been heavily rigged since Abe. Did you know Abe Lincoln's father was a Rothschield Frontman?

The tragedy of america's corruption is that is has been by design. By hollywood, By TV. By Pornography. By false dreams of manifest destiy, totally un-founded. By violence. And by too much meat. Mis and ill treated meat at that.

The purveyours of pornography rule. 

ori

/re-capitulation-collaboration/

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:33 | 1998750 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

like most collapsing empires, our leaders are getting progressively corrupt and progressively worse. It's math really

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:41 | 1998786 falak pema
falak pema's picture

its entropy; but there is always a reset, thats the natural cycle, like champagne cork, has to rise. Hubris, everything to lose>humility, nothing to lose>reset. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:36 | 1998984 IBelieveInMagic
IBelieveInMagic's picture

This essay is pure bullshit!

The reality is that we (USA) were able to establish a seemlingly unlimited credit card in the 70s that resulted in real stuff being provided by ROW in exchange for our promises (paper and digital) based upon our then trade surplus status -- this hugely advantageous arrangement allowed people in power (financial sector, MIC, politicians) to predictably recklessly take advantage of their pole position while keeping the rest of the populace quiescent by doling out entitlements, make-work jobs (TSA is the latest example) and easy credit. Now the ridiculous levels of debt (and non-performing debt at that) from this arrangement has become transparent and we are no longer able to pretend that we have a productive economy (we exchanged our productive economy for the right to acquire energy (and other commodities) and other goods and services in exchange for our paper and digits which gave us an artificial high standard of living far above what was justified by our economy). This arrangement is secured in place by our mighty military. Net net it has been a great arrangement for the country but the distribution of the gains has been highly lopsided with folks in power snagging a large part of the loot.

The challenge is how to retain this advantageous trade arrangement but at the same time create meaningful jobs locally -- the assumption was that US would be able to stay ahead of other economies in creating high value jobs and industries and we would be able to offshore/outsource industries where the 3rd world is catching up but this has not panned out in volume. Now we are in a place where the ROW has caught on in many areas but we have not been able to create new industries into which our population could be eased into.

Blaming politicians and others in advantageous position is just blame game (if we are honest with ourselves, most people would easily be corrupted if put in similar circumstances -- that is human nature). While we like to believe democracy provides the framework for checks and balances, in reality it has not panned out -- requires very active participation of populace which cannot be sustained over long periods (demands unreasonable attention span of populace that it is incapable of). My two cents.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:10 | 1999107 Voodoo Economics
Voodoo Economics's picture

Ibelieve: Great analysis! BTW to his simple anecdote of the autos - anyone alive in the 70's and early 80's remembers the CRAP that Detroit used to put out as a car and truck. Just because an car/truck lasts longer now, and that one doesn't neet to replace the POS every 2-3 years doesn't mean we are worse off, possibly the opposite.

Anyway, this article has more holes in it that than (you name the pun).

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:24 | 1999142 Arcturus
Arcturus's picture

Swiss Cheese? Peg Board?

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:01 | 2000005 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

America has always been corrupt.  That's not the problem.

The problem is punishment for the white collar criminal has never been more absent.  Loopholes get them acquitted, fancy lawyers get them off, and judges are political pawns used to stage the court room drama much like Hollywood TV.  The legal system has become a circus act.  Without punishment, corruption simply is more visible.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:58 | 1999510 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I'd rather take a truck from the 70's or 80's over all the electronic crap they put out today.

They rode rougher and (nominally) used more gas, but at least you didn't have to pay someone $300 to scan, replace and reset all them fuckin' sensors, including the ones in the tires/wheels.

Christ, you can't even fill a leaky tire or change your sparkplugs anymore.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:58 | 1999694 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

up forester - it was all part of the experiement.  partially it was a positive attempt.  can we improve on it?  partially it was an attempt to increase sales just on coming up with something new.  in the end - we got to try it.  personally - i'd just as soon have a volkswagen beetle with roll down windows and no AC for personal driving, now that i get to try everything - and dodge or chevy van or pickup if i needed to move things (with roll down windows and no power seats).  and the mileage really wasn't that much better or worse.  can we get back to that?

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:59 | 1999879 pakled
pakled's picture

Also less suceptible to EMP blast...

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:02 | 1999893 pakled
pakled's picture

gimme a classic Dodge Power wagon, and a lever.... and I can drive the lever anywhere it needs to get to.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:51 | 2000081 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Because the tankers that bring the gas or diesel that your P.O.S runs on won't be affected by an EMP?

Fail.

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:11 | 2000100 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

No, because corn + sugar + water, heat it up, add yeast, wait a week, heat it up = alcohol.

A lot easier to convert with a carb than TBI/EFI/SPI.

Or, conversely, squish a bunch of seeds for veggie oil, strain, and POOF!  Biodiesel.

 

What a concept.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 02:30 | 2000198 Katow-jo
Katow-jo's picture

That's not because the cars are harder to work on...quite frankily I'd rather work on a new car then the spaghetti emissions controls they had in the 1970s and 80's.  The reason its gotten more expensive is because the shops realised they could fleece customers by jacking the shop rates.  As I understand it all shops used to charge closer to $50 an hour...nowadays though...

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:53 | 1999986 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Voodoo, I am glad you picked up on it. The Detroit garbage would last maybe 100,000 miles including 2 or 3 overhauls in the mix. Modern cans can easily make 120,000 without any major work. Poor example.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 03:31 | 2000256 Troublehoff
Troublehoff's picture

Gadaffi?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:46 | 1999194 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

gaddafi came to the same conclusion but he was murdered........

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:52 | 1999219 r00t61
r00t61's picture

I agree, I think this essay has it backwards. 

In essence, the author's hypothesis is "decline in cultural values = decline of American economic system."

But I would argue the converse: that the "decline in American economic system = decline in cultural values."

People don't just wake up one day and say, "You know what?  I think I'm too moral, I think I'm too kind, I think I'm too generous.  I should stop being those things.  I should become more selfish, I should start thinking of ways to (quietly) screw my neighbors over, I should find as many loopholes as I can in the business and tax codes because I can."

Rather, over the course of months and years, as the economy continues to sink, peoples' mindsets change.  They start to think, "Man, I'm making less money, my savings account is shrinking, I haven't had a vacation in years.  I see actors, politicians, lawyers, and financial shysters making money fast without lifting a finger on TV.  They must be doing something right.  It isn't 'corruption', it's working smarter.  As long as I get mine, that's all that matters.  Even if 'mine' comes from working from some corrupt multi-national corporate like GE, or part of the MIC like Northrop Grumman, or even directly from the taxpayer's teat, like federal, state, or local government.  They're all doing it, so why can't I?"

Like the famous line from "My Fair Lady":

Colonel Hugh Pickering: Have you NO morals, man?
Alfred P. Doolittle: Nah. Nah, can't afford 'em, guv'nor. Neither could you, if you was as poor as me.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:05 | 1999259 Voodoo Economics
Voodoo Economics's picture

If your argument is correct, then the last 30 years should have seen society become the most morally just/high cultural valued system ever - Maybe it has been?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:14 | 1999416 Killtruck
Killtruck's picture

I have poor friends (like, real poor, not American poor) that are exceptionally moral. I personally think the original version is more correct.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:08 | 1999542 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Thats how you do it boys. Reminds me of hedgefund conference a couple of weeks ago sponsored by bloomberg. The order of battle was a stolid fed cheif with an old media jornalist followed by some statitiscians. Then they got a cameo from a hedge fund manager without his curtain: "The problem is that we need the less developed parts of the world, with solid balance sheets, to lever up."

I cant remember the dudes name but he was wearing douchebag eyeglases. Atleast krugman lets you look him in the eye.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:55 | 1999687 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

It's those fucling aliens. They fly here, poke and prod us, take some stuff and never buy any credit products.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:12 | 1999279 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Corruption is not the problem, it's the fact that we no longer hang the guilty.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:53 | 2000086 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Then what was all that clapping for Perry at the debates about?

Oh, you don't hang the rich guilty.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:12 | 2000102 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I love the sound of one hand clapping....

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:17 | 1999298 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

I think it's more accurately described as a circle--one feeds on the other. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:02 | 1999389 malek
malek's picture

No, the author has it exactly right. One day you will also come to the same conclusion.
But moral/cultural values, especially the really applied, not just the claimed ones, are very hard to measure, so their decay is only seen much later.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:59 | 1999701 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

you are either young, or were a sociopath from the beginning.

 

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 02:41 | 2000208 Katow-jo
Katow-jo's picture

r00t61 has it exactly right, you're deceiving yourself if you think the original authors premise is valid.  Occam's razor, people!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:30 | 1999321 johnu78
johnu78's picture

The whole country is going to sh*t, and the government and the people who control it are to blame.

Thank god for the Occupy Movement!!!

 

-John
http://www.youtube.com/carmarketer

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:01 | 1999890 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

It is about the blame game and if we can blame corrupt politicians and rich Wall Streeter’s great and more power to us! They know what’s headed their way and they’re preparing for bullets to the face. So enough with the psch101 BS lets go hunting!!!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:14 | 1998910 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

If you looks at history and old B&W movies, politicians were no better before.

 

It is just that people are more educated and information is more transparent thanks to technological advances.

 

They are discovering the lie that America is somehow innocent. In Russia everyone is aware of corruption. In America, people thought they were held in higher regard until the wave of economic boost goes away and the men behind the  curtain are exposed.

 

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:31 | 1998964 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

you're right that we were never innocent, but as things get more desperate, human beings both take and justify more desperate damaging measures. Maybe I'm biased by a background in criminal law, but that's all I see going on here. History, psychology and other things that end in y play that theory as well. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:49 | 1999034 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

humans are animals with survival instincts after all.

 

fairness and equalities are luxuries

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:57 | 1999065 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

nice

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:54 | 1999685 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture

 

 

Nature (instincts) is interesting - lions don't eat hyenas, they just like to kill them.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:55 | 2000088 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Hyenas threaten their cubs. Grow a brain.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 05:24 | 2000336 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

The attempt to attain fairness and equality = modern civilization. It will never be completely attained, of course, but do you think that isn't a worthy goal?  We are animals but we are can also be more than animals.

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 02:56 | 2003596 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

 

morality, lack of prejudice, equality, fairness are human needs at the very top of the hierarchy of needs.

Food, sleep, water come before more noble pursuits.

During economic depressions, everyone's focuses one level lower where as during booms everyone aspires a higher calling.

 

Most people have the capacity to attain the top level, but society is not optimal enough yet to develop them. Elites do not trust the society enough to share the power, so in turn force non-elites fight dirty over petty stuff to get some leftover power and benefits.

 

economics and capitalism sort of solved the bottom most material needs which is what the "American Dream" is all about because there is a price to each things and you can figure out how to produce them optimally with efficient capital allocation.

But there is no definitive price on other stuff like family time, respect, morality, creativity, etc. so most often times people will over hoard materials goods while lacking these and wonder why they are not happy.

 

In the long run, humans have progressed. It just sucks when majority are idiots and hold some early enlightened folks like ZH readers down.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:36 | 1998985 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

right. So there's only one _partial_ solution: Limit the central government to only constitutional functions. They're harder to corrupt, and this will move the corruption down the power scale, where it's often easier to identify and deal with. No hope for that except through collapse or perhaps Ron Paul.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:59 | 1999240 r00t61
r00t61's picture

Unfortunately, that's not really a solution at all.  Because who determines whether the government is stepping beyond the limits prescribed in the Constitution?  Oh, that's right, the government.  Why would the government willingly limit its own power? 

The Founding Fathers thought that their checks and balances system would prevent/limit this power creep, but clearly, this has not worked out in practice. 

Lincoln "destroyed the Union in order to save it." 

FDR's Supreme Court basically interpreted the Commerce Clause to mean "the Federal Government can do pretty much whatever the damn hell it wants." 

Our current court says that "Corporations are people." 

Our current Congress and Executive says that American citizens can be detained, indefinitely, without charge, if they're "enemy combatants."  The list goes on and on.

The government is its own arbiter of limitation, which means that it is no arbiter at all.  It's a classic case of "Who watches the watchers?"

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:55 | 1999369 wisefool
wisefool's picture

+1 This ^.

The interstate commerce clause was intended to avoid highway and river bandits. Even with the absurd interpretations over the years it was not enough, so they used the tax code to faustian implement their dispensations for lives not well lived.

As far as who watches the watchers, you could add up every scripture & tort from the major religions of the world. They would be dwarfed by our "secular" tax code that was created to catch Al Capone ....... snarc: Merry Christmas to the LLM's tax of the world! Sent from my "Pelosi inside" Ipad. /snarc

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:04 | 1999716 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

Imagine if you will that The Bernank pulls it off and his policies actually produce some sort of anemic growth for the next 3 years. Then we go through 6 more boom-bust cycles lasting 23 years. Then it finally all collapses.

What are you going to do in the meantime?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:44 | 1999847 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

Tend my gardens.

Love my wife and family.

Care for the less fortunate in my community.

Live as happily as I can each day until I die.

 

How about you?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:01 | 1999891 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

Smoke lots of weed brother. 25 blissful years.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:01 | 1999887 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Probably take the wrong side of the bet. I Think Cain was a Federal reserve plant to take the congress critters out of the equation. Fiscal vs. Monetary. Ben is an old truck driver with a manual transmission. He knows that 23 gears with a clutch is more efficient than a tax cut for days when the trafic was tough but the lunch was good.

Would buy gold, but too poor. And too smart to realize that they will tax it even if I could. What is your plan Mr. "youLilQuantFucker" ?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 02:32 | 2000200 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

You're right, if a system isn't defended it will unwind and the worst elements will take over. If things get bad enough, this iteration ends, and a new one begins, with another chance to be vigilant. Maybe it's effectively impossible, but what choice do we have?

Here's an element of hope: What if the founders had included some commentary in their constitution? We can do so in the new one. RE fiat, self defense, foreign intervention, police state tactics, etc.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:57 | 2000698 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Jefferson remarked that we needed regular resets to keep government in check, and I'm increasingly coming round to his way of thinking.

People consent to be governed because without some over-arching, organised force of coercion, anarchic predation runs rampant. But the sorts of people who are attracted to governing others just seem to do everything in their power to acquire more power; eventually, the overhead they create on the real economy means the citizens finally come to the conclusion that violent revolution and its concomittant risks of death and destruction are actually more attractive than continuing to labor under their current tyrrany.

I think we're quite a ways off this situation in most of the West, at least in terms of living conditions... but things could change quite rapidly if things get much worse.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:08 | 1999266 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

+1

Information is more transparent, as you say, but I've always expressed the view that dissemination and persistence of information on the net has vastly improved our understanding of complex issues, with the added bonus of combatting tptb who try to rewrite or spin historical facts for propaganda. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:39 | 1999465 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

A close friend of mine in the MIC world thinks the main problem with the US today is that information is shared too rapidly and there is not enough secrecy anymore.

Not sure whether to poison him or keep him around in the hope that he spills a secret.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:54 | 1999686 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1157709/ - watched this movie a year or two ago.  Both sides of secrecy.  While I'm 100% on the side of transparency, the film did a fair job of allowing the other side to be argued.  Worth a watch.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:51 | 1999859 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

A current dilemma for you from the Washington Post.....

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government paid scientists to figure out how the deadly bird flu virus might mutate to become a bigger threat to people — and two labs succeeded in creating new strains that are easier to spread.

On Tuesday, federal officials took the unprecedented step of asking those scientists not to publicize all the details of how they did it.

Thanks for the link.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:08 | 1999902 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Doc:  *cough*  Don't worry, it's just the flu.  *cough*  Good thing I took the vaccination.  *cough*  Now I'm protected from the flu.  *cough*  (puking sounds)

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:52 | 2000083 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

reposting the link from the UK's Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/alarm-as-dutch-lab-creates-hig...

in case others don't make it through the whole thread - I think this is very important information, and would advise folk read some of the "replies" for more information. . .

this was interesting to me:

Profile: researcher behind the science

Ron Fouchier

The Dutch virologist started as an expert in HIV, having received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 1995. After research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he began a new career in the virology department at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, studying the molecular biology of the influenza A virus.

At a conference in Malta in September, he described his work as something that was "really, really stupid," but ultimately useful for the development of vaccines.

as was this post from "previousdenial" in the comment thread:

It was Paul Wolfowitz who said in the PNAC report 'Rebuilding Americas Defenses' that "advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."
Bird-flu kills indiscriminately. The really dangerous research is being done to target ethnicities, families or individuals.  Everyone gets infected, only some die.

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 16:15 | 2002098 Jena
Jena's picture

Good link.  I've followed the news of this, too.  Creating a strain of influenza that is as contagious as smallpox and nearly as lethal:  It is sheer madness unless your aim is to destroy a big percentage of the human race.  But the blowback is completely unreliable, so whomever deploys this had better be prepared for the hell they unleash.  (Not to mention that it's about as fucked a policy as it gets.)  As for vaccines, well, they're not completely reliable so don't count on them and the antiviral pipeline is pretty dry.  And the job of viruses is to mutate so don't ever count on controlling one once you've unleashed that monster.

I've been a fan of Laurie Garrett's for years.  She is the author of Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health and The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.  (She's been right on the all fronts and it's so important to understand the global view.)  Garrett takes on the Dutch scientist creation in an article here: http://bit.ly/sYbvdl entitled, "The Bioterrorist Next Door", discussing the proliferation of Bio-Safety 3 Labs that are operating under higher security levels but without the actual security and the danger that means to surrounding communities and the world at large.  I think you'll appreciate the comments as well.

Another book that is a must-read for biowarfare worriers:  The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston, about smallpox.  If you like that one, read The Hot Zone, his take on the Ebola Virus.  Page turners.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:13 | 1999734 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

Don't ever do it yourself.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:39 | 1999828 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

+1 Thanks for the giggle! Poison. Always poison for anyone who supports the MIC. (Proviso for reading my posts - a sense of humour - I do not condone murder or violence of any kind). Government secrets have one purpose: To allow those who break the laws to keep power. 

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:44 | 2000064 merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

What's with all the timidity about espousing violence?  Ever watched National Geographic channel?  Those that have it coming, have it coming: the people who commit crimes against humanity are putting themselves in the line of fire of retribution.  There's no need to veer away from the forces of nature at work here.  That said, I'm a Taoist, and I view inevitability a bit differently that the standard theist.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:28 | 1999943 SystemsGuy
SystemsGuy's picture

Agreed. Corporations have been bribing public officials for as long as both have been around. In most cases, the consequences of these bribes were never made public - people simply saw the fallout and assumed that economies rose and fell in mysterious, unpredictable ways. Corporations saw bribery as simply doing business, and the politician usually came around to the idea about the time they faced their first stiff opposition from their district and needed a bit more campaign funds than they could raise stumping.

What's changed is that it has become much harder to maintain the veil of secrecy. Most people were not in the habit of reading pieces of pending legislation because to do so you needed expensive, difficult to get files from the government printing office. Now it's possible to read the legislation developing in real time, and this makes it harder for politicians to slip in favorable corporate legislation without someone somewhere raising a stink. It's taken a lot of effort from activists to make that happen, but it's actually beginning to pay off.

For Congress, however, this is a real problem, especially for those representatives who grew up before the Internet, or who generally do not spend a lot of time there (I believe this is more true of those who grew up in the television era). The same holds true for CEOs and other leaders in their late fifties and beyond, who do not understand how easy it can be to disseminate information about decisions or actions that they believed were effectively secret. TPTB are beginning to come to the realization about how dangerous the Internet can be to them, and I suspect are trying to get out while they still can before these secrets do catch up with them.

Regarding the original post, that's one of the biggest pieces of BS I've read in a long time. My belief is that the banks have been systematically hiding bad decisions (and probably embezzlement and fraud) through the process of papering over the true state of affairs for a long time - the fall of LTCM in the late 1990s comes to mind as a good example of that, where the losses were essentially socialized away behind closed doors. Greenspan more than likely kept interest rates low after 9/11 in order to help recapitalize the banks, with the decisions to effectively gut mortgage protection and oversight in 2004 as part of the "home ownership society" yet another backdoor grant from the Bush government. The problems there though was that the banks ran with it, made ever riskier loans and investments in order to recoup their losses from the last malinvestments, and the process snowballed out of control, aided and abetted by extremely loose money policy.

Corruption does frequently start with good intentions, but it feeds on itself like a gambling addiction where you go farther and farther in debt, while at the same time trying to make that one big "score" that'll get you out again. Eventually you're in so deep that there's no way out. However, to say that everyone is corrupt is disingenious, because it then makes it all too easy to blame the problem on society in general, rather than on the individuals who made the bad judgments in the first place, who were unable or unwilling to seek help, or were themselves so morally bankrupt that they encouraged the behavior in others so as to feel that society was filled with corrupt people. Austerity then becomes a suitable "palliative", since austerity is simply another word for living in poverty willfully because of someone else's corrupt decisions (usually while they reap the rewards).

A final note - there is nothing wrong with being rich in and of itself. Where it is wrong is when that wealth is used to corrupt the political process, when it is used to harm people without a greater good being realized, when it is used to facilitate the theft of wealth from people who are otherwise innocent, and where it is used to reduce the rights of others. What's happening now is that the system is becoming transparent enough, despite the efforts of these people to keep it occulted, that the actors and the actions that they are taking are becoming obvious. Their response is to blame and try to destroy the credibility of the whistleblowers, the rabble-rousers, activists and trade unionists, because once these people are generally the ones most likely to shine a light on the business-as-usual world. 

 

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:06 | 1999397 11b40
11b40's picture

I don't think that is exactly right.  People once had a sense of shame if foiund to be corrupt, or even dishonorable. Of course, society was not so mobile, and things like reputations mattered a lot and stayed with you. 

On the other hand, I think it was Mark Twain who said long ago "the more I know people, the better I like dogs."

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:23 | 1999590 gmj
gmj's picture

"People are a problem."    

       Douglas Adams

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:56 | 2000089 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

You believe this because it comforts you, but that alone isn't sufficient to make it true.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:10 | 1999109 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

like most collapsing empires, our leaders are getting progressively corrupt and progressively worse

Yes. US gov will progressively resemble an old Southern European government where the only influence that matters is corruption. Very little of anything else

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:22 | 1999778 constitutionalist
constitutionalist's picture

I can't agree more with this story. Unless you walk around with a red and white cane, you can see as you drive that the US is starting to look alot like a 3rd world country. If you dont see it, you might be retarded, too busy texting, too busy watching tv. You can also see the decline in society. Just how people behave towards each other. I notice that people have just become somewhat "celebrities" i like to call them. They think they are extremely important because they are wearing some sort of chinese knockoff designer shirt or pants and have there 500 dollar phone and they now think they are important. You may be laughing, but I have called a few of these people out, and they really do think they are important. But all you see on commercials are "ME, I, YOU" not "us, family, together" our media is breeding us to become narcicists.(sp). But I have a few friends who come from Cuba and as it may not be the same society, but hte same mentality, trust people less, look out for you. I think its all part of the big plan, if youre not friends w your neighbor you will spy on him for the govt. (just like in cuba, n korea, china, etc, etc) The result is that people in my opinion wont revolt, because we're being breed to be govt servents. people are too stupid to understand that fear is a tool and it can be used. people are going along with everything. I spoke to someone and they told me, " i am just happy to have a job" I responded, "that is the most unAmerican thing I have ever heard" and it is. its fucking pathetic. its pathetic that our citizens have fucking laid down. but, there isnt too much more i can say other than i wish people could wake up, but I am still getting credit cards coming in the mail and would expect that everyone else is too, and as i may just tear them up, others may run them up, therefore they will go with the system, because they are too scared of being broke, but i guess not scared of being broken. i love this site, good to see that i am not alone. And just to make it clear to all you, i love my country, im 30 years old, have good credit and live within my means, because I am a true fucking patriot, and yes, history will and already has set the pace for the US. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it sure came down in one. 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:03 | 2000007 SystemsGuy
SystemsGuy's picture

Constitutionalist,

It actually took about 450 years for Rome to fall from its days as a Republic.

That you are living within your means and have good credit is a wonderful thing for you, I'm proud of you. However, you're young. When your company has just let you and 999 of your closest coworkers go with a two week severance because the company's stock was tanking in the middle of a recession where the AVERAGE time to get a job is ten months, where you have three kids in school that have to be fed, housed, clothed and transported, then watch how quickly that good credit rating disappears. When the company that let you go pays their CEO a bonus of $50 million dollars that year (which works out to roughly $50,000, curiously enough almost exactly the salary of the thousand or so people let go) then you have to start doing some serious mental math about how "American" the society really is, and what it means to be in a society where a thousand people lose their lovelihood so that one person can go vacation in their third house on the Riviera three months of the year.

You're asking the right questions, but don't blame the people who are in the system now - most of them (most of us) want off this hamster wheel desperately, but obligations are used as hostages to keep us there. The way to change the system is to work towards getting money out of the political process, to become informed, aware and involved, and to question all the subtle invisible chains that are used to entrap people into servitude. Voting helps, but moving beyond the vote to get people to run (or to run yourself) to change the system. The political process is flawed, no question there, but its not so corrupted as to be unusable - and the biggest way to make a change is to fight to insure that EVERYONE's vote does count. I find those who argue most strenuously that a single person's vote doesn't matter are usually those who do vote regularly but want to insure that others don't. 

The US goes through these periods. the 1890s was one such, when the Rail Barons reigned supreme, the 1930s, even the early 1970s. Those people who have power overreach, the system comes crashing down, and it's usually up to everyone else to clean up after them. For a while, people become dilligent again, then the process cycles all over again. I'm expecting that we should go through much the same in the 2050s or thereabouts which will likely spell the true end of the Republic. We'll be close to the edge this time around, but I think we'll muddle through.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:19 | 1999926 Last_2_Sense
Last_2_Sense's picture

Can someone pst a link to the trader that offed himeslef in that press confrence??

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:51 | 1999984 candyman
candyman's picture

this market does not respond to reality

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:51 | 1999985 candyman
candyman's picture

this market does not respond to reality

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:14 | 2000024 Real Money Wins
Real Money Wins's picture

If anyone has read the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and thought that is was incredible that  it could happen to what was a totally modern system of which many others in history we're patterned after. Stay tuned, you Ain't seen nothin' yet. The fall of the American and by extension global or European Banking Empire will make the Fall of the Roman Empire look like a historical Footnote. Or to quote  a movie line "get ready little lady hell is coming to breakfast".

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:35 | 1998758 HowardBeale
HowardBeale's picture

"He [Obama] is merely getting to be the man in the spotlight when it all goes down."

If you know the collapse is coming and you're going to buy a President, buy one that will help you turn the country on itself: I've thought from the first day I heard the name Obama (Who? A black guy? Now?) that he was put in the office by racists, knowing that Obama would be the perfect scape goat, and perfect tool to start a race war that would take all attention off of the guilty. The Goldman Sachs fascist Nazis are tactical and strategic...

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:01 | 1998849 economics1996
economics1996's picture

McCain deliberately lost.  Look how he panicked when he was in the lead in September hooking up Palin with Couric.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:08 | 1999100 walküre
walküre's picture

Well orchestrated. Only a narcissist of Obama's caliber would take this job and being either ignorant of himself or ignorant of the collapse (or both). But the one term wonder got to ride Airforce One a few times!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:20 | 1999304 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

No that was just Moochele wearing a blue and white dress.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:15 | 1998916 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

both scapegoat and race card shield which would give any criticism (of wars, theft and every other destructive lie) an insecure pause and diversion. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:51 | 1999215 optimator
optimator's picture

He was hired to be the "Fall Guy", but he's being handsomly rewared for four years.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:23 | 1999589 Hugh G Rection
Hugh G Rection's picture

Helter Skelter! Manson may finally get his race war.

Sadly I think most people will buy into the division.  I see a lot of hatred aimed at Judaism when the truth comes out, 9/11-Mossad, Fed Reserve/Bailouts, don't see people distinguishing corrupt zionists (jew, christian, or atheist), from everyday jewish folks.

 

The hatred directed at Islam after 9/11, will be nothing compared to the rage at Israel and the complicit traitors in our own country.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:32 | 1999947 trav7777
trav7777's picture

everyday jewish folks have net worths and per capita income that would make people go WTF.

That's what happened in Germany...even kids notice this shit, "why are jews always rich?"

Everyday jews are as pro-israel as anyone and are like these imaginary "moderate muslims" who are always lecturing white people on how bigoted they are but have NOTHING AT ALL to say about "real islam" in places like Saudi Arabia where such a message is needed.  They also aren't calling for heads or reformation when some muslims shoot or blow shit up.

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 11:05 | 2003981 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

last time I checked, we blow more shit up than them.  Is that our "real" democracy, our "imaginary moderate" christianity, or our "everyday" skin pigment?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:43 | 2000142 Joseph Jones
Joseph Jones's picture

 

Yes.  Hatred and violence exhibited toward common Judaics is not only sin, wrong and immoral, it is the single greatest tool the Rabbis use to further their evil causes.  The people most likely to suffer under the hands of the Rabbis are of course the common Judaics.  Who the hell do you think has to pay the price most often to the Rabbis for their god-forsaken "Kosher" certifications?  This is a corrupt tax paid to Rabbis and absolutely nothing else. 

Some Judaic newspaper published a head shot of smiling OBL wearing a Rabbi's hat and looking exactly the part.  The point is that OBL furthered evil cause of the Rabbis by being a tool to elicit sympathy for the Rabbi's causes.   OBL still illicits sympathy for Judaism, whether he even ever actually was a real person.  I'd not be surprised one whit to find out he was never an actual person, a complete figment of the CIA's fertile imagination. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:54 | 1999364 WhiteNight123129
WhiteNight123129's picture

The sky is not falling, hyperinflation is business as usual. It is just that our mice-like short  lifespan makes it appear unusual, while it is not. That does not make it less catastrophic though. People like to think that catastrophe happens elsewhere, that there is progress (the only progress is scientific, the rest is 100% no progress stuck in circular motion), that time is linear (while it is circular, some of your genes have been mixed by you parents grand parents, but some could have been going from birth-child-adult to old 20 times over backwards before you meet the first mix, actually the Y gene is exactly like that), so it behaves in circular motion in different people. We are just a conduit of life, not life itself. Days are circular, years ae so, Sun moves in circular motion in galaxy, light uses curves to travel etc... If you could live for five centuries or more and move from one economic hotspot to another you would see again and again and again the same rise and decline in different parts of the world to rise again and decline across centuries millenaires. I like the quote from Middleton: Banks have gone bust for more than 2500 years and the sun has always risen ever since. As for OBAMA , he is irrelevant. There is very little anyone can do at this point.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:01 | 1999704 Don Keot
Don Keot's picture

That is a very big picture.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:39 | 1999467 LeverShort
LeverShort's picture

Don't forget a massively corrupt news media

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:06 | 1998632 narapoiddyslexia
narapoiddyslexia's picture

True, true.

 See the link.

A federal judge said, "Stansberry's conduct undoubtedly involved deliberate fraud, making statements that he knew to be false."

Tsk, tsk, Porter. Bad boy.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:30 | 1998740 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Tylers,

Did Porter pay you to "Guest Post" this?

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:52 | 1999043 Yamaha
Yamaha's picture

He must have - get on his mailing list once and Poter becomes 50% of your mail......!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:08 | 1999401 Inibo E. Exibo
Inibo E. Exibo's picture

But at least you only have to watch a half-hour viedo before he tries to sell you something.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:29 | 1999794 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

"pay you to Guest Post"?

I doubt it. The schwag store is on fire during Hanukkah season. Cups, shirts, man-thongs and some such items.

Retail bitchez! It creates generational wealth.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:04 | 1998864 clymer
clymer's picture

Because we all know that Federal judges have become the beacon of hope is modern America.

 

Take the name "Porter Stansberry" out of the article, and substitute with another name.

 

Is the message wrong?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:12 | 1998899 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

At times I wonder he isn't just an agent provocateur working to discredit the message (given how well he does it).

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:01 | 1999075 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Who the hell names their kid Porter, anyway? Was he fucking born wearing starched, creased khakis and boat shoes?  Do the really want them to grow up dabbing the tip of their willy with a single folded square of toliet paper after they make water?   I bet this guy is so fucking prim and uptight when he swallows pennies he shits copper wire. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:45 | 1999344 brettd
brettd's picture

Stansberry's complaint is that our moral decline has led to our ecoonomic decline since the '60's.

But there is a disconnect.  Since the '60's we have:

Codified racial equality.

Codified gender equality.

Codified the erasure of sexual orientation bias.

Codified the defense & protection of those with disabilities.

Codified the rights and safety of workers in their jobs.

Improved access to college for the poor/disadvantaged.

Poured trillions into our schools.

Spent Billions to protect and restore our environment.

Codified and enforced the rights of people of all faiths.

Converted our military from conscription to all volunteer.

Could someone please explain to me how we are in "moral decline" when 

we have courageously addressed the above issues?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:57 | 1999379 Sheriff Douchen...
Sheriff Douchenik from AZ's picture

Is 'codified' your special term for entitlement?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:31 | 1999613 dark_matter
dark_matter's picture

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Therefore the sage says:
     I take no action and people are reformed.
     I enjoy peace and people become honest.
     I do nothing and people become rich.
     I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:35 | 1999953 trav7777
trav7777's picture

trillions into our schools and kids don't do measurably better...LOL.

the rest of it is mostly a waste of time.  Codifying something that nature didn't grant us...LOL.  Let's just codify no rain on weekends and pat ourselves on the back even harder.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 00:10 | 2000015 SystemsGuy
SystemsGuy's picture

Yup, and you can bet that the Porter Stanberry's of the world would roll back every one of these as being immoral and wrong if they could. 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:07 | 2000095 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

You forgot:

 

- codified the right to buy a home regardless of ability to pay off a mortgage

- codified the implicit backstopping of insane gamblers

- codified the deferential taxation of the top < 1%

- codified the right to torture and indefinitely detain

- codified the right to grope and scan

- codified the right to spy on american citizens domestically

- codified the right to pre-emptively attack our enemies abroad

- codified deregulation to allow stealing from customers

Sat, 12/24/2011 - 23:13 | 2009734 brettd
brettd's picture

Clearly, you got my point and have emellished on it!

Our public policies are at odds with our values.

But rather than grouse about it, we have to find people who clearly and passionately articulate the wonderful, simple, core values that made America great.

 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:15 | 1999122 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Frankly, given that WE KNOW the real financial crooks NEVER get prosecuted in this country, I think it's safe to assume that those who ARE prosecuted are either being "taught a lesson" and "being shown who's boss", or are collateral damage in a "justice" (Just Us?) system that is completely upside down.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:42 | 1999469 LeverShort
LeverShort's picture

Corzine is a whore

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:57 | 1999873 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

But the REAL question is . . .

 

Who is his pimp?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:58 | 1998839 economics1996
economics1996's picture

You are the maestro.  Obama and Bush.  Obama is Bush on steroids with 10 less IQ points and dark skin.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:35 | 1998982 sullymandias
sullymandias's picture

Obama has lower IQ than Bush? Yeah, okay.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:53 | 1999047 economics1996
economics1996's picture

95 IQ affirmitivve action hack.  

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:24 | 1999781 Arrowhead
Arrowhead's picture

His free throw percentage is good for 15 IQ points.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:44 | 1999341 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Seen his grades Sully or are you perhaps ranking the teleprompter vs Bush..  Now thats a little different..

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:26 | 1998954 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Well, the sky IS falling and Obama IS to blame.

How is Obama to blame?  As Bush proved, the POTUS has about as much political clout and pull over policy as I do planning what the Victoria's Secret gals wear during their annual lingerie (made by slaves in Africa) show.

Wall St/London IS Washington.  Washington IS Wall St/London. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:29 | 1999153 ratso
ratso's picture

redpill - You have Stansberry's number right.  And, you're obviously not just a mindless member of the ZH chorus. So, how does it happen that you are so short of insight into the truth about Obama? Puzzling.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:40 | 1999335 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I would love to give you a break ratso where would you like it?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:20 | 1998600 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

:(

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:23 | 1998943 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

You are a moron. Either come up with some facts that contradict the piece, or shut up. You're welcome!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:56 | 1999060 ugmug
ugmug's picture

Apple will just create another 'iToy' so every liberal will stand in line waiting for Santa Jobs to come back from the dead while the world plunges into Obama led anarchy.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:39 | 1999831 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

I hope they do it quick. Before applefanboy Rush starts snorting Oxy again to calmhimself.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:27 | 1999149 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

You've lost the arguement and your audiance when you resort to name calling.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:25 | 1999310 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

Same to you when you can't spell.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:58 | 1999236 hairball48
hairball48's picture

Crawl back in your rat hole you moron.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 19:16 | 1999294 Dirtt
Dirtt's picture

Fuck off ratso.  Thankful for Stansbury to have the time and balls to publish REAL DATA.

What amazes me most is that they couldn't find a better liar than Obama.  Say what you will about Bush without question he is the better liar.

Paulson should have his head chopped off.  After a fair trial of course.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:00 | 1999520 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

You have the right name Ratso

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:02 | 1999525 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

 

 

THE SKY IS FALLING AND OBAMA IS TO BLAME.

And 4 years from now we'll blame Ron Paul?

Presidents are puppets on strings held by bankers.

Bush and Obama are willing puppets.

If Ron Paul refused to be a puppet he would be run out of office one way or another. 

He won't even be elected.  TPTB will make sure he isn't.

 

 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:16 | 2000105 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Truly awesome red arrow score! Kudos.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:44 | 1998551 redpill
redpill's picture

Porter Stansberry? Really Tylers?  Of "Pirate Investor" infamy?

Wonder if that $1.7M SEC fine is paid off yet...

If I have to hear another "end of America" commercial someone is getting punched in the face.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:51 | 1998576 ratso
ratso's picture

This time I am in 100% agreement with you!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:01 | 1998608 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That commercial makes for some interesting conversations during Monday Night Football. I've received his pamphlet version, unsolicited twice now.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:02 | 1998613 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

End of end of end of Teh EnD.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:03 | 1998621 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

For those unaware... http://briandeer.com/stansberry/stansberry-investment-1.htm

I actually know Porter from another life.  A fairly dishonest sort from an honest family.  I feel bad for his mother.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:38 | 1998772 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Oh, holy freakin'god...this guy gives carnival barkers a bad name.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 18:48 | 1999202 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Yeah... that's always been the MO.  He's good at it.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 21:47 | 1999666 smiler03
smiler03's picture

Thanks for the link. I did something I don't normally do and downgraded the score I gave on this article.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:24 | 1999936 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

About time somebody pointed out that Stansberry is a hack.  I've watched him for years and wondered why he's not behind bars, or fined out of business.   Reflects upon the efficiency of the SEC as well. 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:21 | 2000109 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

The title might have been a clue, although sometimes a con is the best way to spot a con.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:45 | 1998556 wisefool
wisefool's picture

As the article eluded to. Timmy is bad but a small timer compared to Hank "They forced me to be treasury secretary so I should not have to pay cap gains on my $400M GS shares" Paulson. Or TAX FREE corporations that Nancy Pelosi Inside trades on.

As long as the manipulative tax code exists, there is nothing, not even Big Ben can do to fix this. And thousands of John Gaults are being trained in tax law instead of physics. But its okay, hank is going to donate his billions to "nature" charities.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:01 | 1998609 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

TODAY'S RALLY IS COLLUSIVE MARKETWIDE FRAUD BASED NOT ON "GOOD" EUROZONE NEWS, BUT RATHER ON INSIDE INFO THAT EUROZONE WILL COLLAPSE SHORTLY. IT'S CALLED ILLEGAL INSIDER PROFIT-TAKING.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:11 | 1998652 Potemkin Villag...
Potemkin Village Idiot's picture

If you got caught in a short squeeze today then consider yourself "NOT IN THE CLUB"... Then again, if you trade paper as opposed to "stack" physical, you're basically a moron and deserve what you get...

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:05 | 1999899 Crisismode
Crisismode's picture

It's a BIG CLUB,

 

And he is not in it.

 

Well, neither you nor I for that matter.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 01:35 | 2000131 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

The signs were there yesterday, prices dropped but the VIX was low. Options weren't keeping up with the drop. BAC went below 5, did you really think 'they' would leave it there? Really? Still, despite the signs I had my face ripped off because I guessed the updraft would be tomorrow (and smaller). Seeing the signs and STILL getting caught, I wonder where that ranks on the moron scale? LOL. Thursday the unemployment numbers disappoint and some of the rise will disappear I think.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 17:47 | 1999029 LoneCapitalist
LoneCapitalist's picture

I dont think cheating on your taxes is the solution. Thats the same mentality of the folks that say "walk away from your mortgage" and "negotiate your credit card balance". The solution is to wake up your neighbors and get them to help to change things with the use of the ballot. If that doesnt work, revolution. Seriously.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 22:12 | 1999735 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change aka trickle down poverty with the Islamic.  The trickle down poverty is now a giant firehouse.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:37 | 1999960 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

America is Fucked period! Just log onto Facebook right now and all the stupid fucking people care about is how many NBA stars gang banged the useless, talentless Khardashian Cunts during pre season! The ignorant who choose to ignore what is going on America today and not to educate themselve, deserve to lose their shirts and more!

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:38 | 1998525 jdelano
jdelano's picture

Time to buy a JEF put?  Thoughts?

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:41 | 1998542 Michael
Michael's picture

I've decided the only thing that'll save a small shred of what America was, is a complete and total economic collapse of the USA.

I just thank God the collapse is a 100% mathematical certainty. 

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 15:44 | 1998553 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

Ron Paul: A doctor for the U.S.A.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 20:49 | 1999483 LeverShort
LeverShort's picture

Ron Paul, the Howard Beale of US politics:

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 23:17 | 1999921 pakled
pakled's picture

Timeless shit man. Timeless. Bravo.

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:07 | 1998633 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8709914622502707611

 

do you think it needs to go this way?    make no mistake about it.  if resistance here take effect it will probably be even worse here than it was in chechnya.  because we are the last ones to fall.  they will put out all the stops. they will do whatever it takes or they will try to do whatever it takes...........again...make no mistake about it. there is a lot at stake here. a lot.......

Tue, 12/20/2011 - 16:21 | 1998695 whstlblwr
whstlblwr's picture

There you go creepy again. Why would anyone click any link you offer?

New Years Resolution for you:

I will not be creepy in 2012

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!