Guest Post: A Future View Of Post-Bubbledemic America

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Ben Tanosborn

A future view of post-bubbledemic America

Balancing the budget in 2032 is going to be a rather easy, mechanical task for future American politicians.  A constitutional amendment requiring balanced budgets will be enacted by then, and Congress will only need to tackle projected deficits by adjusting variable pension and Medicare rates – for those retired – which will have replaced the current models for Social Security and Medicare.  And if worst comes to worst, there will be room for additional cuts from the budget of an already octomated military which by then will lack any hegemonic designs as other major world powers claim their legitimate stakes and defend their grounds. 

That’s my prognostication as we close 2011, a year of much turmoil around the world, and one with a hopeful spark for change in the United States of America, as Wall Street’s macabre face slowly becomes unveiled.

It will be the younger generations’ payback to the current generations for leaving them with an inherited debt approaching then twice the gross national product; a debt they will only be able to amortize on the backs of the retired population… the people who thought nothing of creating this burden for them, their children and their grandchildren.  Such prediction does assume capitalism, in whatever form, remains in our midst; a likely occurrence, as “owners” of the current system will enforce it from the top down via the capitalists’ police force: the nation’s military. But that remains a questionable, not a sure thing.

As I see it, we are still in for a decade of social and economic turmoil in a nation of proud yet disposed people, with much economic juggling continuing to be performed by never-learn politicians as we march to do battle with a few more economic bubbles.  Our capitalist and prolific economic motherland will birth a few more bubbles before bubble-hysterectomy is finally forced on her; a little too late, I am afraid, with only symbolic significance and little else.  The housing bubble, only partially deflated during the past four years, will continue to lose air and new bubble-twins will make their entrance in the form of state and municipal debt which cannot be repaid; not to forget the ugliest sibling of all yet to be birthed: government guarantees on student loans which, as they become uncollectible, will sooner or later become part of America’s national debt.

This projected educational debt through guarantees, legislatively imposed on the taxpayers by a deranged, lobby-connected, pseudo-democratic system, has bestowed incredible wealth on both for-profit and non-profit businesses and institutions, at a cost to taxpayers likely to add yet another trillion dollars to an already unmanageable debt.  They will become cashable-guarantees from the federal government which have had a double negative effect: first, by hiding the true unemployment and underemployment rate, as it allowed millions of unemployed and “professional” students, to attend both traditional and for-profit sham schools, where skills/knowledge acquired – if such took place – will be in most instances irrelevant to society since there won’t be any jobs or positions for them as they attain their certificates, diplomas or designations.

Could it be that the United States is entering a brand new era when the discussion switches from “illegal immigration” to “brain-drain and American migration”?  Will our best and brightest people find hope and refuge in other shores… those of Brazil, parts of Asia and new Liberia’s in Africa?  Will future American ex-pats be sending money to feed and care for their impoverished old back in the States?  That picture may not be so unreal, certainly not outrageous; by the time Americans come to de-celebrate the centennial of the Great Depression… just a score from now.

Whether it takes a decade or a score, the term “economic stimulus” will finally disappear from the lexicon of fully developed, mature economies such as the United States; and the people in those nations will be forced to live within their current productive means.  And that productive citizenry will not consider it amoral to have their elders pay for the debt they inherited from them.  When you think of it… it does seem equitable and fair.

A sad but realistic outlook as 2011 comes to an end in an America of many past accomplishments… now confronting an uncertain and gloomy future.

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Hohum's picture

Not to worry.  This guy's a pretty good candidate, but he's out to lunch on energy.  He should increase the federal gas tax and use the proceeds to build liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTR).

Marco's picture

Except commercial designs are two decades out and there's decent odds it would be money wasted by then.

earleflorida's picture

Wake Up!!!!

China's has a lock on the world's 'rare-earth-elements', and is literally eating the world's high tech lunch.

scroll down to James Kennedy and listen-up,... before it's to late

T.E.A.Conference May 3, 2011

Ps. I ain't got no skin in the game other than having my children's future at stake

Rynak's picture

What? Thorium reactors are like 1960's! They are about as old, as the current reactor designs. The only reason they were not built en-masse, is that one cannot create nuclear bombs from them. The absence of thorium reactors has nothing to do with technology - not even with economic considerations (there are a few other quite cool modern reactor designs, but making them commercially viable requires some one-time costs.... not so with thorium reactors, which are as old, as the "normal" reactors in use now).... but rather purely is based on military and political considerations.

Buck Johnson's picture

I totally agree, also we should build these type also.


I totally believe that article, whene the babyboomers and Generation X are close or in retirement they will tax us more and take away more.  I'm also waiting (it's being hidden big time) for the implosion of the municipal debt and it has already happened in some counties.  In one what they did was to just stop paying pensions pure and simple.  The student loans is helping to increase the costs of College.  But to be honest with you if the govt. would finance it's peoples education we wouldn't have so many people with tens of thousands in debt and without jobs.

GMadScientist's picture

Sure, and we'll let the free market decide where they dump the resulting actinides.



Hugh G Rection's picture

2032? Let's make it through 2012 first.

HardlyZero's picture

Ah yes...between here and there.  Or, there and back again.

How to do it while surviving the collapses.

Military may play a role if unrest occurs.

Its hard to predict how we make it to 2020 without major issues arising.

YBNguy's picture

Terrible article. Thanks guys above for pointing out the time inbetween which for most will be hell on earth. I was speaking to my grandpa over Christmas and he was talking about how he made it during the depression: a family member owned a farm which he learned to work. I then read a statistic that back then chances were out of every 5 people you closely knew one owned a farm/farmland, I wonder what the number is today...

r00t61's picture

And I thought some of these articles that tried to project out to 2015-ish were already an exercise in pointless mental self-gratification.

But 20-effin-32?

This post should have started with the subheading: "Completely unfounded and ridiculous speculation.  For entertainment purposes only."


Sudden Debt's picture

By 2032, America will be renamed "the conquered states of new mexico"
A mexicn president
With spanish as the first language
The eagle will still be the national symbol but it will br holding a snake and no more arrows.

ISEEIT's picture

I doubt that but I am inclined to believe that America in it's present form will not exist 20 years from now.

CPL's picture

In 20 years I'll either be flying around with my jetpack


I'll be riding a horse as my primary mode of transportation.


In 20 years, I'll say I'm riding a horse.

Errol's picture

I concurr; I think it's VERY unlikely the USA will survive in anything close to its present form by 2032.  I'm thinking either a severly authoritarian state, or (more likely) a weak to non-existant central government, depending on how steep the backside of the oil production curve is.

my puppy for prez's picture

I would prefer the latter, but I really think the authoritarian state is much more likely.  They have invested too much in its infrastructure, and, after all, we have a never ending "war on terror" to fight!

pine_marten's picture

A nuclear armed state never goes quietly into the night.

ultimate warrior's picture

Fuck.  None of us Zerohedgers will be alive by 2032.  The gestapo will have rounded most of you up well before then and for the few stragglers left they will be near death starving, picking government issued corn out of their feces only to consume it once again.  Oh the good times to come :)

Irish66's picture

Wall Street’s macabre face slowly becomes unveiled.


Manthong's picture

I don’t know if I want to be disposed of an octomated military or dispossessed of an automated one.

And there is no such thing as not-for-profit in “public” education.. education is just another bureaucratic government indoctrination and pilfering scam.

gangland's picture


"a nation of proud yet disposed people"


proud yet disposed to WHATTTT exactly? freedumb? demockracy? icrap? drones? nukes? derivatives? financial innovation? NASCAR? the fed? institutionally sanctioned terrorism? technology death kill? crocs? mario battali? douche bags on ice? kardashians? jersey shore? groupon? linkedin? facebook? GM? GE? monsanto? s&p zero change over ten years? Obama? Bush? clinton? CONgress? jaime dimon? vikram? Lloyd? the military? the edumacation system? YAWN. the shitty on the hill. 

I'm sorry but you just cannot decouple the politicians and wall street from the lay people you CANNOT do that.

ows is a joke, more worried about a live feed and their icrap and 'the whole world is watching' what a fucking cop out. the whole world is watching ows be little spoiled bitches.

a nation of proud yet disposed people ignoring the shit smell while waiting in line on black friday.



gangland's picture

the existence of fundamental similarities between the Soviet Union and the United States was for me a vague intuition, but I was unable to draw up a detailed list as Dmitry has done.

One must have lived in two crumbling empires in order to be able to do that.

I must say that my enthusiasm was not shared by those around me, with whom I have shared my translations.

It's only natural: who wants to hear how our world of material comfort, opportunity and unstoppable individual progress is about to collapse under the weight of its own expansion?

Certainly not the post-war generation weaned on the exuberant growth of the postwar boom (1945-1973), well established in their lives of average consumers since the 1980s, and willing to enjoy a hedonistic age while remaining convinced that despite the economic tragedies ravaging society around them, their grandchildren will benefit from more or less the same well-padded, industrialized lifestyle.

The generation of their children is more receptive to the notion of economic decline—though to varying degrees, depending on the decrease of their purchasing power and how lethally bored they feel at work (if they can find any) .


Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics.

European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States, it does not seem completely brain-dead.

At least I hope that it isn't completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level.

In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal.

In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonetization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

Europe is ahead of the United States in all the key Collapse Gap categories, such as housing, transportation, food, medicine, education and security.

In all these areas, there is at least some system of public support and some elements of local resilience.

How the subjective experience of collapse will compare to what happened in the Soviet Union is something we will all have to think about after the fact.

One major difference is that the collapse of the USSR was followed by a wave of corrupt and even criminal privatization and economic liberalization, which was like having an earthquake followed by arson, whereas I do not see any horrible new economic system on the horizon that is ready to be imposed on Europe the moment it stumbles.

On the other hand, the remnants of socialism that were so helpful after the Soviet collapse are far more eroded in Europe thanks to the recent wave of failed experiments of market liberalization.

it bears mentioning that fossil fuels are really only useful in the context of an industrial economy that can make use of them.

An industrial economy that is in an advanced state of decay and collapse can neither produce nor make use of the vast quantities of fossil fuels that are currently burned up daily.

There is no known method of scaling industry down to boutique size, to serve just the needs of the elite, or to provide life support to social, financial and political institutions that co-evolved with industry in absence of industry.

It also bears pointing out that fossil fuel use was very tightly correlated with human population size on the way up, and is likely to remain so on the way down.

The level of alienation in developed industrial societies, in Europe, North America and elsewhere, is quite staggering.

People are only able to form lasting friendships in school, and are unable to become close with people thereafter with the possible exception of romantic involvements, which are often fleeting.

By a certain age people become set in their ways, develop manners specific to their class, and their interactions with others become scripted and limited to socially sanctioned, commercial modes.

A far-reaching, fundamental transition, such as the one we are discussing, is impossible without the ability to improvise, to be flexible—in effect, to be able to abandon who you have been and to change who you are in favor of what the moment demands.



Manthong's picture

I think he meant "proud but dispossessed" and I do agree with that sentiment.

I also agree with the automated military concept. It is frightful to think about what is being done with robotics, AI, miniaturization and weaponry.  It is a specter straight out of the scariest of science fiction.

Combine that with the militarization of civilian law enforcement and the developing posture on "Homeland Security" and you have a CF of the highest order.


my puppy for prez's picture

Your statement about lasting friendships is NOT accurate, and is painting with WAY too big of a brush.

rufus13's picture

"disposessed" changes the meaning quite a bit. 


Having property taken is not as awful as becoming fertilizer or reformed Diesel fuel. 



dwdollar's picture

"Could it be that the United States is entering a brand new era when the discussion switches from “illegal immigration” to “brain-drain and American migration”? Will our best and brightest people find hope and refuge in other shores… those of Brazil, parts of Asia and new Liberia’s in Africa? Will future American ex-pats be sending money to feed and care for their impoverished old back in the States?"

Africa? Haha... Seriously... Sounds like Simon Black ramblings. That kind of ridiculousness does nothing to convince the masses of their impending fate. There will be no place to hide. If your dumb enough to go to Africa in the middle of a depression, then good riddance to your sorry ass.

AnAnonymous's picture

No brain drain. The smartest, the most educated, the most intelligent will stay in the US.

Now, as the conditions that enabled the rise of the US middle class are waning, a new wave of colonization is being triggered.

The poor and the rich are not the issue. The issue is that fat bulk named the US middle class, born out of the largest governmental transfer(id theft) whose requirements on aggregated demand is way too big for the Earth to sustain.

Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Paradise...

Once again, that much of people will be poured over weak nations in the citizenish dream of restarting 'America' (hint: peak theft is reached so goodluck to restart a project based on farming the poor and extorting the weak)

All these parts of the world, South America, Africa will be used to ease the growing tension in the West as retirees will face the 'choice' of living off a $1500 pension per month or liquidate everything they have in the West, buy a villa in some poor holes of the world, near the sea, have servants, sex services etc on the back of the locals.

US citizens nature being eternal, the decision is already made.

CH1's picture

The smartest, the most educated, the most intelligent will stay in the US.

Actually, the smartest will escape onto the Internet and into black markets. Their bodies may stay in North America, but they will "live" elsewhere.

pine_marten's picture

Oh, I get it.  Like"back to colonialism" or something.  Do you get to take a Delorean?

Ag Star's picture

The best and the brightest did not stay in Nazi occupied Europe so why would they stay in the US under the same conditions?  They are already leaving as well as those with good sense.  Why would you stay when you know it's going to get very  ugly when the dollar dies, or gasoline at $8 per gal, or food shortages.  Look at people fighting over shoes and electronics in the last month.  This country never did anything for me except enslave my people and are now on the rampage in my (I mean everyones) homeland.  So I say "fuck it", time to get the hell out of this bitch before they make it impossible.  The US was built on rape and pillage and will go down the very same way.  See ya!

Snakeeyes's picture

It is what the Austrians like Von Hayek have been arguing for decades. We are in a post government induced credit {housing) bubble and it will take a long time to heal.

Hence when I go on Fox Business at 11am on Janaury 3rd, I am going to be guardedly optimistic about 2012, not a cheerleader.

YBNguy's picture

We are creating more bubbles to deal with and education is the next card house to fall. 'Guardedly' optimistic, wow be sure not to mince any words; ride that bull gently... How does that old saying go: between optimists and pessimists, pessimists a generally better informed.

fbrothers's picture

You first need to understand. There is only one party. And you are not in it. 

UP Forester's picture

Can I still get drunk?  Do I have to make my own wine/shine/beer?  'Cuz I can, ya know.

Ag Star's picture

"one party and you ain't in it" --the late--great George Carlin.

Misean's picture

He forgot to mention The Crisis, the military crack down, the generals taking control, and the civil wars.

Meremortal's picture

The most important thing he 'forgot' is the demographic change which will be evident by 2022 and beyond. The writer is also a victim of static model fallacy. The ongoing exponential tech changes will speed the return of good times. We are in for a difficult 10 years, not a difficult 20.

PMakoi's picture

and... the jackboots working for those "paper" owners of wealth which is all your stuff, whatever you have left.  Whatever it becomes, it will NOT be capitalism as depicted here, more so just the image and some jingoism that these bums should have worked harder.  I'm going with Maslow on this... famine, disease, pestilance, war...

The Alarmist's picture

The generals don't want control over the civilian populace... too big a pain in the ass. If they can't keep a moderately armed insurgency of non-English speaking people who are readily identifiable because they don't look like us suppressed, how are they going to suppress a heavily armed populace of english speakers who are related to our own troops?

UP Forester's picture

The good ones that have kids want them to grow up, and those under them are waking up, quick.

my puppy for prez's picture

RFID chips which will be read by each soldier who has a "reading machine".

Facial, iris, arterial, voice, and gait recognition machines which are cross-referenced with their accumulated historical data-base....and then there are the "home visits"....

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

We should do all we can to encourage TPTB to become utterly dependent upon RFID. If you understand on a physical level how it works, its Achille's Heel becomes obvious.


rufus13's picture

+1. RFID allows total morons to "do their job", until the system crashes and they have no idea how to take inventory or make change. Military supply is close enough to MAL-WART in a lot of ways.'s picture

When you have pile of shit and a fan blowing, you can only delay the inevitable for so long.

kevinearick's picture

Happy New Year / Salem Witch Trials

So, a proton is an inelastic / programmed wave/string that will perform the same way nearly every time. It seeks order. A nucleus is a compilation of protons that further reduces disorder/elasticity. Corporation is a Historical nucleus/wave/string. Ascribing individual merit to it gives it more credit than it deserves. Left to its own devices, it will implode every time, until there is no time, due to algebraic reduction. It is inherently reductive, which is why it must be ponzi viral, producing a bang.

The proprietors have reached the point where they must choose between K-12 robot replication and releasing the prisoners, and bringing home the troops. Do you really think that they do not have a martial law option ready to go?

If 90% of the prison cells and 99% of the Family Law non-persons are male, by design, in the most expansive system ever built to house non-conformers, who do you expect the system operators to offer up as sacrificial scapegoats, before and after? Why would you expend resources to attack ponzi robots when the system can replicate them faster than you can dismember them?

You have empire and non-empire input to your community enterprise system, which delivers an output, to an empire enterprise system…at the churn pool (a little more complicated than AD/DA). Remember, the ponzi robots are impulse controlled. They cannot contemplate an original future because they are overwhelmed with the addictive anxiety of recursive History, the positive feedback signals supporting their own event horizon, which sets their limits.

Relative housing prices will continue to fall until they intersect with rising returns to those willfully excluded, regardless, which is when organic growth will ignite again. Agency shifts the demand/supply curve, incrementally and then quantumly because it may only measure itself.

pine_marten's picture

Ponzi Robots - I like that.  It is more elegant than Meat Based Profit Units.

Optimusprime's picture

Have you written a work of fiction along these lines?  Sounds promising.

Mr.Kowalski's picture

 It's my opinion that after Sept 2008, the US Gov't has a plan in place for just such an emergency; they obviously are'nt letting me in on it, so this is my best guess. I'd wager that "The Plan" is to nationalize vital utilities and companies. I think there will be no choice but to hit the "reset" button on the financial system, which does two things.. first it wipes out any debts owed by anyone anywhere.. including home mortgages, which is a way to ensure that 100 million families don't become homeless and it'll make them kinda glad in a way for the collapse, thus ensuring political stability. I believe that states will then issue ration cards for all the unemployed, which will be at least half the adult population. I believe the state will take all foreclosed properties and give them to families; hotels will be siezed by states and used. The second part of this is that anyone with money, bonds or stock are wiped out, even if you are saving the money in your mattress. Retirement is now a pipe dream, as is a job.

Pondmaster's picture

Isn't Ben Tanosborn really Wanklord in disguise .

I don't appreciate being blamed for the excesses of the Big banks nor the Gov't . I have had precious few good choices to vote for in the last 40 yrs since turning 18 . I have lived within my means in spite of a cosumeristic system of propaganda .  I have done all I can to make things better . I resent being blamed for this . Kids ..grow up , get a life and stop blaming.  Father and mother haters , that'll solve the US problems. Oh I see , its becuase you are ruing not getting that special 500 $ Christmas present when you were 12 , or the Dodge Stealth when you graduted in 2000 . Whining brats all !!  Again , weapon ownership is a good idea with all the generational hate being spread here . Even if disquised in soft language .