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Guest Post: Peacock Syndrome - America's Fatal Disease

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Peacock Syndrome - America's Fatal Disease

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”  - Aldous Huxley


Researchers at the University of Texas recently published a study about why men buy or lease flashy, extravagant, expensive cars like a gold plated Porsche Carrera GT. There conclusion was:

“Although showy spending is often perceived as wasteful, frivolous and even narcissistic, an evolutionary perspective suggests that blatant displays of resources may serve an important function, namely as a communication strategy designed to gain reproductive rewards.”

To put that in laymen’s terms, guys drive flashy expensive cars so they can get laid. Researcher Dr Vladas Griskevicius said: “The studies show that some men are like peacocks.  They’re the ones driving the bright colored sports car.”

Lead author Dr Jill Sundie said: “This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks.” The male urge to merge with hot women led them to make fiscally irresponsible short term focused decisions. I think the researchers needed to broaden the scope of their study. Millions of Americans, men and women inclusive, have been infected with Peacock Syndrome. Millions of delusional Americans thought owning flashy things, living in the biggest McMansion, and driving a higher series BMW made them more attractive, more successful, and the most dazzling peacock in the zoo.

This is not a attribute specific to Americans, but a failing of all humans throughout history. Charles Mackay captured this human impulse in his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds:

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

The herd has been mad since 1970 and with the post economic collapse of 2008, some people are recovering their senses slowly, and one by one. The country was overrun by flocks of ostentatious peacocks displaying their plumage in an effort to impress their friends, families and work colleagues. What set the flaunting American peacocks apart was the fact they financed their splendid display of plumage with $0 down and 0% interest for seven years.  The lifestyles of the rich and famous miraculously became available to the poor and middle class through the availability of easy abundant credit provided by the friendly kind hearted Wall Street banks and their heroin dealers at the Federal Reserve.

The United States has experienced a four decade long “expenditure cascade”.  An expenditure cascade occurs when the rapid income growth of top earners fuels additional spending by the lower earner wannabes. The cascade begins among top earners, which encourages the middle class to spend more which, in turn, encourages the lower class to spend more. Ultimately, these expenditure cascades reduce the amount that each family saves, as there is less money available to save due to extra spending on frivolous discretionary items. Expenditure cascades are triggered by consumption. The consumption of the wealthy triggers increased spending in the class directly below them and the chain continues down to the bottom. This is a dangerous reaction for those at the bottom who have little disposable income originally and even less after they attempt to keep up with others spending habits.

This cascade of expenditures could not have occurred without cheap easy credit, supplied by Wall Street shysters and abetted by their puppets at the Federal Reserve through their inflationary policies. Real wages are lower today than they were in 1970. Coincidentally, the credit card began its ascendance as the peacock payment of choice in 1970. There are now over 600 million credit cards in circulation in the U.S. in the hands of 177 million fully plumed peacocks and peacock wannabes.

Monthly Payment Nation

“Consumerism re­quires the services of expert salesmen versed in all the arts (including the more insidious arts) of persuasion. Under a free enterprise system commercial propa­ganda by any and every means is absolutely indis­pensable. But the indispensable is not necessarily the desirable. What is demonstrably good in the sphere of economics may be far from good for men and women as voters or even as human beings.”  - Aldous Huxley



The country seemed to do just fine from 1945 through 1970 with no credit card debt and moderate levels of auto loan debt. In fact, this period in U.S. history was marked by strong economic growth created by capital investment, savings, and the American middle class realizing the American dream of a better life based upon their work ethic. Around about 1970, the intersection of Baby Boomers coming of age, the belief that social justice for all was a noble goal, and Nixon’s closing the gold window, opened Pandora’s Box and the evil released has brought the country to the precipice of ruin. Today, consumer credit outstanding totals $2.43 trillion, or $22,000 per household. It peaked at $2.6 trillion in 2008 and the storyline fed to the masses was that Americans had seen the light and embraced frugality by paying off their debts. As with most storylines spouted by the mainstream media, it was completely false. The Wall Street banks wrote off over $200 billion since 2008, while delusional peacocks continued to finance and lease gas guzzling luxury automobiles, while charging their purchase of an iPad2 and Lady Gaga concert tickets on one of their 13 credit cards.

It seems a vast swath of America refuse to shed their peacock feathers. This explains why you see BMWs, Mercedes, Escalades, and Porsches parked in the driveways of $100,000 houses. Automobiles are the truest representation of American peacock syndrome. Very few people look at a car purchase in a rational long term financial sense. It’s about impressing the neighbors, your peers and your family. Driving a brand new luxury car gives you the appearance of success. The neighbors don’t know you are in debt up to your eyeballs. This explains why 30% to 40% of all luxury cars are leased. A man could buy a $20,000 Honda hybrid with 10% down and finance the rest at 0.9% for three years. His monthly payment would be $500. After three years he would own the car outright, with the added benefit of getting 45 mpg. He could then invest the $500 per month for the next seven years in gold and silver or something else that benefits from Federal Reserve created inflation. In today’s society this would be the act of a doo doo bird.



Why drive a putt putt car when you can drive the ultimate peacock machine – a BMW 528i with 24-valve inline 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine with composite magnesium/aluminum engine block, Valvetronic, and Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s and front passenger’s seat with 4-way lumbar support, and memory system for driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, along with high-fidelity 12-speaker sound system, including 2 subwoofers under the front seats, and digital 7-channel amplifier with 205 watts of power. Plus it looks really cool. This materialism machine can be leased for the same $500 per month that the doo doo bird pays for his Honda hybrid. Of course, after three years of renting luxury wheels the peacock has to turn in the 528i and lease an equally luxurious auto because driving an economy car would now harm his reputation. Colorful plumage is everything to a peacock.

Sometime over the years Americans lost their bearings and began to ignore a basic truth. The only way to accumulate wealth is to spend less than you make and save the difference. Over a ten year time frame the peacock will have dished out $60,000 renting luxury cars, while the doo doo bird will have expended $21,000 during the first three years and then invested $500 per month for 84 months, leaving him with a net $25,000 asset, based on a modest investment return of 5%. The doo doo bird ends up $85,000 wealthier than the peacock at the end of ten years. If you peruse the car dealer advertisements in your local paper, the price of the car is rarely even printed, only the monthly lease payment or 0% financing offer. There is a reason why the average American lives paycheck to paycheck, has no emergency fund for a rainy day, and has virtually no retirement savings socked away. Status, reputation and the appearance of success became more important to millions of Americans than living within their means and actually sacrificing and doing the hard work required to succeed. Delayed gratification is an unknown concept in America.

In 1970, 37% of households consisted of 4 or more people and we somehow managed to get by with one four door car per household. Today, only 24% of households consist of 4 or more people. There are 113 million households and over 250 million passenger vehicles, or 2.2 per household. So, even though the number of people in our households has shrunk dramatically, we needed 120% more vehicles to transport our vast quantities of stuff. Not only do we have more vehicles, but the size of these symbols of gluttony has doubled and tripled, with fitting names like: Tundra, Navigator, Titan, Yukon, Suburban and Hummer. Every soccer mom with two kids needed a 20 foot long, 6 foot high Yukon with an 8 cylinder engine, getting 12 mpg to shuttle around little Aiden and Chloe to their ten scheduled weekly activities. It wasn’t only automobiles that Americans went gaga over. The average home size in 1970 was 1,400 square feet (we drive cars bigger than that today). By 2009, the average home size reached 2,700 square feet. God knows we need 12 rooms for our 2.4 person households. The expenditure cascade started as a trickle in 1970 but became a raging uncontrollable waterfall by 2008.


Delusional Americans have been slowly lured into the web of debt and living their lives based upon whether they can make the monthly payment on their debt. I can anticipate the outrage from those who declare it wasn’t them, it was the other guy. Everyone has an excuse for why they aren’t to blame, but the facts speak otherwise:

  • Non-revolving (auto & education) debt outstanding is at an all-time high of $1.64 trillion.
  • The average auto loan is now $27,000 with a loan to value ratio of 80% to 90%, down from 95% in 2007.
  • Auto dealers are now offering $0 down and 0% interest for 72 months on many models. Ask yourself how a finance company can make a profit with those terms.
  • There are 54 million households with a revolving credit card balance, proving that approximately 50% of Americans are attempting to live above their means.
  • The average credit card debt per household with credit card debt is $14,687.
  • The average APR on a new credit card is 15%, even though the banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve for 0.25%.
  • In 2009, the United States Census Bureau determined there were nearly 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the U.S. A stack of all those credit cards would reach more than 70 miles into space – and be almost as tall as 13 Mount Everests.
  • 76% of undergraduates have credit cards, and the average undergrad has $2,200 in credit card debt. Additionally, they will amass almost $20,000 in student debt.
  • On average, today’s consumer has a total of 13 credit obligations on record at  a credit bureau. These include credit cards (such as department store charge cards, gas cards, and bank cards) and installment loans (auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, etc.).
  • Over 90 percent of African-American families earning between $10,000 and $24,999 had credit card debt. What bank in their right mind would issue a credit card to someone making $15,000 per year?
  • Discussing credit card debt is highly taboo. The topics at the top of the list of things that people say they are very or somewhat unlikely to talk openly about with someone they just met were: The amount of credit card debt (81%); details of your love life (81%); your salary (77%); the amount you pay for your monthly mortgage or rent (72%); your health problems (62%); your weight (50%). I wonder why?
  • Penalty fees from credit cards added up to about $20.5 billion in 2009, according to R. K. Hammer, a consultant to the credit card industry. Don’t be one day late with that credit card payment. It’s good to be a bank.
  • The average late fee was found to have risen to $28.19, way up from $25.90 in 2008. Consumer Action reported that late fees reached up to $39 per incident.
  • The volume of gasoline purchases placed on credit cards jumped 39% last month from a year earlier, compared with a 21% increase in June 2010. Food shopping increased 5% after falling 7% last year. The value of an average transaction on credit cards outpaced the gain for debit cards, showing consumers are increasingly relying on borrowing to pay for gasoline and other necessities.

After decades of a debt financed contest to display the gaudiest plumage, is the average American happier? Considering more than 10% of all Americans are on anti-depressant drugs, I’d say not. The rat race for status, the appearance of wealth and visible faux displays of success do not increase well-being. If most of our earnings are spent on an empty game of status, we should not expect much improvement in our quality of life. There is something perverse about having more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. This is the attitude that drives the criminals on Wall Street and politicians in Washington DC to constantly seek more power and wealth. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes. Much of the debt financed purchases of consumer trinkets, baubles and gadgets is nothing more than an expensive anesthetic to deaden the pain of empty lives.

Based upon the facts, the average American has not benefitted from the decades long materialistic frenzy. They have sacrificed their futures for the fleeting glory of ephemeral riches. In fact, the average American could not have participated in the expenditure cascade had they not been enabled by the financial industry and cheap plentiful money provided by the financial industries’ drug dealer – the Federal Reserve. The financial industry complex used their power and wealth to utilize all means of propaganda and mass media outlets to convince Americans that debt was good and more debt was even better. I’ll address the insidious aspects of the unholy union of debt and propaganda in Part Two – Propaganda Nation Built Upon Delusions of Debt.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans cling to their borrowed peacock feathers as the butcher of reality bears down upon them. The end won’t be pretty. The brave conquerors of strip malls across the land can enjoy their toys, gadgets, and treasures for awhile longer, but they need to remember one thing – Glory is fleeting and death can come suddenly.


“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

Last scene from the movie Patton

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Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:23 | 1489319 HungrySeagull
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There are some who will hold steady through good times and bad times by retaining the fundenmentals that is necessary to a profitable monthly budget in the house hold.

My Two regret is that the United States has failed to adopt a Consitutional Amendment never to spend more than what they take in as a Nation each month.

The other is the abandonment of the Gold Standard which controlled the paper dollar.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:12 | 1489447 B9K9
B9K9's picture

There is an extremely easy way to confirm the veracity of Quinn's thesis that everthing changed in '70-71: go out and price and/or try to buy any 'preparedness' tool related to gardening, home economics, etc and note the pre & post quality, demand and prices. I think you might be amazed - in fact, you might find out you're a litttle behind the curve, since everything of value has pretty much been  scarfed up. Um, that would be those busy preparing, instead of snarking away @ ZH.

As for those who dispute my contention that the US neither makes nor provides any good/service desired/wanted by the rest of the world, please note that I didn't say it was impossible. All I said was we don't *currently* produce anything of value. If you start investigating the types of tools, machines, etc that were produced prior to '71, then you'll quickly realize that, indeed, the US used to mfg some pretty high quality shit. (Today, the only mfg done at any technical level is of course done in the service of the MIC.)

I've actually got my wife coming around. I've got a '49 machine that is so perfect, it was clearly made using precision machine tools from the aircraft build-up for WWII. I use it as Exhibit 1 to demonstrate just how far we've fallen from productive, sane people to hopeless addicts wed to the chosen's drug of choice. One I might add, that has been polluting socities for thousands of years.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:32 | 1489826 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

My little company makes molds for high precision rubber seals and such. My company has no debt of any sort. In my personal life I have no debt of any type other than the sub 30 day CC debt that always gets paid so as to make me a leech on the issuing bankk that misses out in interest.

 One tried to get me for a penalty fee and I told them if they wanted it they could close my accounts. They instantly relented.

 Guys like me are the ones that are supposed to do a Charlie Munger "suck it up" to fund the forthcoming tax increases and whatever some unresponsive legislator decides to nail me for.

 I pay cash for new cars that are half the price of his Honda example. I am a cheap SOB that even can live without A/C in my car and house.

 My problem is that I have never gotten a dime of any goo goodies apart from a lousy public skrewel education for a few years, yrt have to pay more than half of my income in taxes, fees and fines to support the parasite class.

 Some of my employees are finally getting the point about my rants of the past decade or so, and they are pissed too.

 This past Independence Day I mentioned the tax burden of the colonials and the horrid British tax laws. They dismissed it as an impossibility  because it had to be a factor of ten too low. It really is far worse than that.

 We are already at the point where anyone with arithmetic skills can see that the situation needs a reset to get the parasites off of our backs.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:35 | 1490250 steve from virginia
steve from virginia's picture


The parasites are your market.

Take away the parasites and you go out of business.

Not everyone can be a producer in an industrial economy, neither can everyone run a surplus, nor can all save.

Someone has to be the consumer, run a deficit, go bankrupt, be a knave.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:13 | 1490131 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"the veracity of Quinn's thesis that everthing changed in '70-71"

Except that he's wrong, Gentle Dog! I don't know if he's deliberately misinforming, as he has often done in the past, or whether he's just doing a superficial analysis.

This all started in 1958! In 1958, the head of the Russian KGB, Alexander Shelepin, headed a very large team of academics and other experts to analyse the communist failures to date and come up with a new strategy. The resulting plan was approved by the Politburo in 1959 and "endorsed by 80 nations" in 1960.

This 'Shelepin Plan' called for a complete reversal of the prior Soviet and Chinese failed Leninist approach of violent revolution and post-revolution oppression. Instead, it came up with a new strategy of openness ('glasnost') and reform ('perestroika') that would make the communist system "more acceptable" to the West and allow for much slower, but much deeper, integration into the West. A Marxist 'Trojan Horse', if you will!!

You may ask: What related actions - across a broad front - happened at that time?

Well, in 1958:

  • The Catholic Church suddenly started liberalising.1
  • The CIA came firmly under the control of Allen Dulles and his 'Skull & Bones' appointees.2
  • Robert Welch formed the John Birch Society in America and warned of (or outlined!) the communist 10-step plan to bring America to its knees. He either knew of the Shelepin Plan and opposed it, or he was a knowing 'antithesis' in the ultimate Hegelian 'synthesis' of a planned outcome.
  • Soviet Leader Nikita Khruschev demanded that several thorny post-war issues be resolved within a six-month period. 3
    • 1. The Catholic Church elected a new pope, Pope John XXIII -- an 'Illuminatus' and Patriarch of Venice. He was a very unpopular choice among conservative catholic cardinals.
    • 2. President Eisenhower issued a directive that superceded all previous intelligence directives and strengthened the Director of Central Intelligence's (Allen W. Dulles, CIA) role within the US intelligence community ... "the broadest and most comprehensive coordinating mechanism in the history of any nation’s intelligence activities.”
    • 3. The Soviets requested: negotiations on European security; an end to the four-power occupation of Germany; a final peace treaty signed with a reconstituted Germany; and the creation of a nuclear-free Germany to act as a buffer zone between the two superpowers. The Soviets threatened that if their demands were not met within those 6 months then they would sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany, officially splitting Germany in two. Summit talks were held in May 1959 and May 1960, but no agreements were forthcoming. When the failed April 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba still saw no agreement at the peace talks in June 1961, the Soviets sealed off West Berlin, overnight on August 12 1961, with 40 kilometres of barbed wire and shut off the flow of traffic and people. Yet Kennedy did nothing about it so, within the next few months, the soviets upgraded the barbed wire to a concrete wall.

    Then, in 1959:

    • The KGB ceased using assassinations as a political tool
    • Pope John XXIII called a General Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church for 'world peace'. A greatly enlarged Press Office was set up in the Vatican in expectation of much greater external publicity than normal. Among those who sent press representatives to the Vatican were the 'atheist enemies of the church': The Soviet news agency Tass, the Soviet Literary Gazette, and the editor of Izvestia -- Krushchev's son-in-law!
    • The German Socialist Democratic Party (SPD) adopted the 'Godesberger Programm' to broaden their voter base and move to the centre. This programme forswore all Marxist ideas and dropped hostility to capitalism!!

    Then, in 1960:

    • Televangelist Herbert W. Armstrong forecast the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years later. Was he prescient, or did someone tell him the Soviet plan?
    • America elected its first Catholic President, John F. Kennedy, son of bootlegger, gangster, diplomat and CIA insider, Joseph Kennedy. The election is very close and generally regarded as having been won only by rigged votes in Chicago -- arranged by Joe Kennedy's mafia friends and party machine.
    • Immediately after Kennedy's election, William P. Bundy, a chief of staff in the CIA and 'Skull & Bones' member, is appointed by Eisenhower as staff director of the "Presidential Commission on National Goals".

    But it gets even better in 1961:

    • On Jan 20, 1961, in his inaugural address, JFK utters his famous: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!" ... effectively declaring that instead of the government being your servant, you should become the servant of the government. IMO, the formal declaration of war on the American people!
    • JFK signs a number of Executive Orders giving the President and the Administration unprecedented martial law powers in the event of any declared non-wartime 'state of emergency'. Those EOs still apply today.

    Then, in 1963:

    • Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) becomes POTUS and, shortly thereafter, simultaneously begins escalating the Vietnam War and implementing the 'Great Society' social welfare programmes. Both of these policies together will bankrupt America by 1971.

    There are many more 'coincidences' in the 1960-63 period that relate directly to the dire---and well planned---situation that we are in today, but this will do for now. :)


    PS. I wonder why the 'footnotes' don't appear at the 'foot'?!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:19 | 1490222 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture




The resulting plan was approved by the Politburo in 1959 and "endorsed by 80 nations" in 1960.

This 'Shelepin Plan' called for a complete reversal of the prior Soviet and Chinese failed Leninist approach of violent revolution and post-revolution oppression. Instead, it came up with a new strategy of openness ('glasnost') and reform ('perestroika') that would make the communist system "more acceptable" to the West and allow for much slower, but much deeper, integration into the West. A Marxist 'Trojan Horse', if you will!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  Can you take us up to the present day, start with the Reagan years and especially Bush I with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the eventual implosion/collapse of the SOVIET UNION.

Esp, was the collapse of the SOVIET UNION part of the   'Shelepin Plan' ?

Seems like their whole plan kinda collapsed, but then, I don't have access to the resources you do to make that actual call ...





Mon, 07/25/2011 - 10:43 | 1490272 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"was the collapse of the SOVIET UNION part of the   'Shelepin Plan' ?"

Most definitely, yes. You should read Anatoliy Golitsyn's book 'The Perestroika Deception' for more details/confirmation.

Also note above that, in 1960, Herbert Armstrong foretold the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 (though he obviously didn't give, or know, a date). The complicity of the churches was part of the plan -- though, as with the Catholic Church, only certain well-placed moles at the very top were acting against the wishes of most of the senior clergy around them. The same situation applies within the Masons - and also within Skull & Bones - where not all members are 'in on it' - until after the more promising novices have been tested and assessed. The initiation ceremonies are just the first test.

As for your "start with the Reagan years ... up to the present" --- LOL! --- I'm just trying to respond in a forum thread to Quinn's puff piece, not compete with Will Durant with a 'History of the 20th Century"!! Some here will already respond to the above with "tl;dr". However, if you have specific questions that can be answered in a sentence or two, of course I'll try to address them.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:16 | 1489728 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

i keep hearing about this and i am telling you now that any constititutional convention in this political environment is total and complete lunacy.......i promise you.  if they ever convene this, it will be the death null of whatever liberty we have left.............ammending the constititution is not something to be done on a whim.........most if not all , of the ammendments that were added after the bill of rights have been total rubbish..........this one would be no different.........

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:43 | 1489765 macholatte
macholatte's picture

any constititutional convention in this political environment is total and complete lunacy

Yes. think about it. Think about all the groups that would have their desires converted into rights via government sanction.

Burning the flag - legal or not; slavery reparations; etc., etc., etc.

there's no end to it.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 03:52 | 1489920 Al Gorerhythm
Al Gorerhythm's picture

Far k'nell. 

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:24 | 1489324 john39
john39's picture

people wrongly assume that the matrix was a work of fiction.  on the contrary, most of it was true, if not a bit metaphorical.   the main diversion from reality is that the real matrix does not require wires jacked into the brain.  On the contary, and as Descartes pointed out long ago, none of the senses can be trusted, save for through the use of pure mathmatics.   the world, however, is about to get a wakeup call.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:30 | 1489346 contagiousNY
contagiousNY's picture

the govmint exists to fuel its own system. then theres the American people, a separate but not equal system. why arent we equal? we dont band together to confront it. Once that happens, nothing will stop us.the govmint exists to fuel its own system. then theres the American people, a separate but not equal system. why arent we equal? we dont band together to confront it. Once that happens, nothing will stop us.


Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:53 | 1489406 gwar5
gwar5's picture

More people are waking up and taking the red pill. 

The Matrix is a good metaphor for the illusion of existence going on right now. If the TPTB MSM told the truth there would be panics.

I don't blame people for not waking up faster. We had a good system at one time and it allowed people to be free to go about their business. Most still think things are still OK and on autopilot. Those days are over. 

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 07:46 | 1490076 MolotovCockhead
MolotovCockhead's picture

a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude


It's already here. Watch the video and see the presentation where they can use vaccine to totally change your behaviour! All they need is just to tweak a little before using it on all of us.



Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:56 | 1489543 AssFire
AssFire's picture
contagiousNY, let me correct that ending...

Once that happens, no one will work at anything but justifying their needs. Keep your hands out of my pocket, looter.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:24 | 1489325 Segestan
Segestan's picture

Go give this jackass high minded crap talk to the communist who want only what western idiots gave away.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:27 | 1489334 kito
kito's picture

can someone explain how the hang seng index is up over 2 pct right now? what news is feeding that?

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:29 | 1489343 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Hong Kong has just purchased Greece.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:42 | 1489376 Nedly66
Nedly66's picture

Seeing how Greece's net worth is -$400 billion, that would be the worst M&A deal ever... (well except for Countrywide)

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:18 | 1489601 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Best laugh this weekend. Gracias.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:27 | 1489487 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

They thought there was a deal. It's down 0.6%  (flat)

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:27 | 1489335 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

MethMan, the repo guy is here to take back the Ferrari.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:46 | 1489386 SovietCong
SovietCong's picture


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 04:37 | 1489942 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

MethMan better cough up some of that $20 Ag he promised us...

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:32 | 1489350 gwar5
gwar5's picture

We didn't ask for all this crap -- take it away!  They made us do it, honest!

The reproductive "big dick" status thing has always been around, it's biological, not just humans. The more horses a Sioux Indian had, the more squaws he got to bang. The more territory a lion has, the more he gets laid too. If lions could drive they'd have a gold plated Porshe.

But, the Money Trust banksters and creation of the Federal Reserve took it to a whole new level.  Give a guy a monopoly on making money out of thin air in secret and they can have anything they want, including control of everybody else's dick.

"I Drink Your Milkshake"  -- There Will Be Blood.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:33 | 1489352 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

Jaguar.  For men who want hand jobs from beautiful women they hardly know.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:02 | 1489430 flacon
flacon's picture

Volvo - Boxy but good. 

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:09 | 1489443 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture

Lol.  Someone remembers it.  "We know they're not sexy, but now's not a good time to be sexy anyway with all the new diseases around."

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:05 | 1489707 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Yeah.  All those who want to hasten the demise of the Boomers won't have long to wait.   I read that old folks homes are a breeding ground for STDs.   They don't use "protection" since they think all the old farts are safe.  Ha!  Just wait, the oldsters will screw themselves to death.

New idea:  Free Viagra to anyone over 65!  Yes, even the old hens.   They'll lace the lemonade with it.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:04 | 1489793 Hulk
Hulk's picture

It will keep em from rolling out of bed too, kind of a living kickstand!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 08:11 | 1490110 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

LOL +1

I knew there had to be a use for that damn appendage!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 11:05 | 1490512 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

having a hard time putting it up with my heel

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 16:06 | 1491828 andybev01
andybev01's picture

"At my age you need to take a cold shower just to get on an escalator."

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:37 | 1489354 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

It's not just that to get laid men make irresponsible decions, it is that they do so and get away with it that is attractive.  The alpha can do what it wants; it can take risk.  These people, the ones over credited:  Super-alpha pretenders.  And the one that pretends to be on the upper level and is not is at the bottom.  They are the first ones dead.

Of course, in Amerikah, due to free mortgages, and credit cards, we are all alphas now.

Or aphids, but either way.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:35 | 1489357 malikai
malikai's picture

Marx had a good term for it. He called it the fetishization of commodities. Meaning trinkets, bullshit.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:35 | 1489358 Western
Western's picture

When it comes to the pussy, yeah I'd pay for a gold plated car over the next 40 years.

I'm not married and I like the pussy.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:52 | 1489405 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

If a woman responds to the gold plated whatever then run, do not walk to the nearest exit...not worth fucking.  Most of the time I drive a Piaggio MP3 around town to save on I have to?  Nope but I do pick up a gold maple leaf here and there...and the best part...I get more nukie than I can handle.  Americans don't own shit...they rent or lease everything.  30K millionaires!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:35 | 1489643 snowball777
snowball777's picture

If you need a gold-plated car to pull chicks, you are the pussy.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:09 | 1489713 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I've seen more skaggy old bags in a Prius than I've seen in a Lotus.   But that is no testament to either of the skill levels of each group of females.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:35 | 1489825 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

I was kind of down the other night and by 2am could not come around. I put the top down on my German 2 seater and run the deserted interstate at 130/mph for 15 minutes blasting Maria Kallas L'amour est un oiseau rebelle. The adrenaline, the fear and the exhiliration turned me around. I could definitely not be able to do that with a Prious or a FIAT (pun intended.) No chemicals were used and no animals were hurt.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:59 | 1489848 Doña K
Doña K's picture

My hubby and I did something similar once. Needless to mention what happened when we got back home.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 05:24 | 1489951 falak pema
falak pema's picture

what happened? Did he burst a tire? Or puncture a tube?

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 07:16 | 1490031 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

I would guess you got an envelope in the post.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 03:51 | 1489919 madbomber
madbomber's picture

the best moments in luxury cars are when nobody is around but yet they are inherently used as misplaced hate for representative of all that is evil.  the discussion of the morality of our purchase decisions

is a sideways entry into something else.  


maybe they will create a high end luxury car, but destroy the body, or somehow make it clear the owner has no wish to be overpower any other human beings.

its for this reason my luxury car was purposely split in half on a pole.  it needed to be clear.


enjoy your ride!     apparently soon it will be to the gallows for anybody with property deemed unneccessary.






Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:38 | 1490255 snowball777
snowball777's picture

You can do that on a motorcycle at 20-50mph faster, 8% of the price tag, and 3X the gas mileage. Just sayin.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 16:27 | 1491941 andybev01
andybev01's picture

...and 100% more adrenaline.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:36 | 1489361 JohnG
JohnG's picture

“Although showy spending is often perceived as wasteful, frivolous and even narcissistic, an evolutionary perspective suggests that blatant displays of resources may serve an important function, namely as a communication strategy designed to gain reproductive rewards.”


Noooooooooooooooooo, say it isn't so!  That's some  brilliant research right there I tell's ya!  I wonder how many taxpayer dollars was spent on that?  These guys need to go work for the fed.  A fantastic addition to the crack research team.  Send them to San Fran, they'll fit right in.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:12 | 1489719 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I mean, really.  Ain't it the truth?  I hope my tax dollars didn't help with that brilliant conclusion.

I'd rather pay for studies on the breeding habits of the thatched what-the-hell-ever bird.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:37 | 1489364 lewy14
lewy14's picture

You know I've been reading this kind of shitcanning of American culture for forty years and frankly it's kinda boring. It's a target rich environment. But so what? For every fancy car I see on the roads I see hundreds of modest, 5 to 15 year old beaters. Is the news flow so slow today that Jim Quinn has nothing better to recycle? Or is this really just another informercial for his site?

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:57 | 1489418 r101958
r101958's picture

He's been writing about it since before it happened though.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:50 | 1489510 dukeystick
dukeystick's picture

But his current thesis here is bullsh!t.  Stanley and Danko's research outlined in the Millionaire Next Door found that the exact opposite of what he is calling a spending cascade was found among the "wealthy".  JCPenny suits, cheap watches, and keeping money secrets from the kids was more the rule.

There is a BIG difference between high net worth and high income, and the same goes for Madison Ave versus Main Street... he seems to have a real angst/ax to grind, and the sparks are clouding his objectivity.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:14 | 1489725 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I think a deeper or more thorough reading is in order.   Did you miss the part about leasing?   Real millionaires are not the peacock feather type to start with.   The article is correct, even if quite obvious in its conclusion.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:29 | 1489491 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Come to California where half of all cars on the road seem to be Mercedes or BMW. Only the immigrants drive old cars. Probably the only ones saving too.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:40 | 1489516 gall batter
gall batter's picture

Funny, when I logged on to read an article earlier this evening, a Mercedes ad was on the right side of the page.  So, we have the bling advertised.  Right now, there's an ad for a furniture store on the left side of the page--all stuff feeding the "Peacock Syndrome". 

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:35 | 1489642 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Move out of Newport Beach.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 08:02 | 1490104 molecool
molecool's picture

Not everyone can stand living in Bakersfield ;-)

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 09:40 | 1490257 snowball777
snowball777's picture amusement consists of watching the elderly attempt to find their SL550 in the parking lot.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 16:31 | 1491960 andybev01
andybev01's picture

Los Altos; ditto. :-)

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:38 | 1489366 Mongrel
Mongrel's picture

Covetousness is the new American Disease. Got to find something to fill that big empty spiritual hole--but enough is never enough. We are told to pray "Give us THIS DAY our daily bread." In other words, don't worry about accumulating enough "stuff" to get you through your life. But this probably makes no sense in post-Christian Amerika. . .

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:39 | 1489372 duncecap rack
duncecap rack's picture

Thorstein Veblen wrote about this 100 years ago. Same as it ever was. People are idiots.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:25 | 1489483 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

King Solomon wrote about it a few thousand ago. Same as it ever was. People are idiots. There is nothing new under the Sun. The vanity of it all...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:16 | 1489732 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Org the caveman wrote about it.  Those ostentatious cave paintings were just a ruse, like the more commonly known, "Come over and see my etchings" thing.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 05:17 | 1489950 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Bravo! Yes, who can forget "pecuniary canons of taste" and "invidious consumption". He was vastly more entertaining than this vacuous airhead!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 07:20 | 1490035 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

Tawdry feathers.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:39 | 1489373 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

<10% of americans are on antidepressant drugs>

And another 50% are on alcohol or other recreational drugs.

So most Americans are already medicated for the Big Brother state to come.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:55 | 1489411 nodhannum
nodhannum's picture

I'm on nookie, the orignal tranquiizer and spirit lifter.  No drugs never did...just nookie.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:00 | 1489425 Kali
Kali's picture

Had a county contract a few years ago, the admin I was negotiating with told me according to their insurance statistics, 50% of the county employees were on prozac.  Big brother is medicated.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:56 | 1489697 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"50% of the county employees were on prozac."...on the taxpayer's dime of course.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:42 | 1489377 stock trout
stock trout's picture

Well this post definitely throws cold water on my desire to buy a fishing boat right now. I need this boat to escape reality for a few hours, mainly on weekends. A man can't even go fishing anymore without feeling guilty.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:48 | 1489391 Mongrel
Mongrel's picture

If it ain't a big-ass, expensive bass boat, don't sweat it . . . Go have some good, clean fun (props to Gregg Allman).

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:50 | 1489399 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Stocked trout: Fuck guilt, go for wild trout, catch and release. Better than drugs!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:49 | 1489393 JustACitizen
JustACitizen's picture

An excellent article. Thank you for the reminder.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:49 | 1489395 lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

i read it all .   & what happens to those people who actually did save their money ?   what happens during these coming times of high inflation or even worse, hyperinflation ...... they are wiped out !     only peasants save paper money in a bank @ 0% interest & the education of gold & silver has been lost on the generations.     Take my Grandma Jo, for example.    (born 1915 god rest her soul.)   She saved & saved every damn penny over the years, denied herself everything, wouldn't even buy herself a damn pair of $10 velcro shoes when they first came out in the 1980's.    Well, she actually saved herself over $500,000, put it in a damn trust fund to be dispensed in another few years to her heirs.    She left this money in trust to a bank (criminal enterprise) for her heirs, & by the time these heirs ever get it, the fees & hyperinflation will have depleted it to squat. ............ so much for saving fiat money .  

now, is this true ?    is it true that we no longer are subject to "junking" ?    you know, i always lived in fear of being junked.    

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:25 | 1489616 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

You could've worn your junks like peacock feathers....

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:33 | 1489641 snowball777
snowball777's picture

An honest question: why should we reward savers? Aren't they just denying their capital to the system (by not spending and not investing in something less mundane than a savings account)?

Not trying to be mean, but where's the philosophical justification for heaping rewards on people who are electing not to participate in the economy in any meaningful way?


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:23 | 1489737 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I'm really shocked at your ignorance.   Savings is the engine of economic growth.   Setting aside wealth (the difference between what is consumed and what is produced) is what drives real economies.   Spending is a short-lived substitute only.  Spending is a drug that prevents savings and only generates debt, which is a claim on future labor.   Debt is not an asset, especially that which is secured by nothing. Consumption is the problem, not the solution.   I thought you were better than that.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:57 | 1489784 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I'd say that depends very much on how you do your spending. $5k on cocaine...or $5k on a computer that you make $10k...or $5k you invest in that you and Steve Jobs can make $10k.

What is saving but the creation of a liability on the part of the bank to you and a great enabler of their fractional lending cartel shenanigans?

Don't mistake my question for a desire for egregious inflation. I don't think people should be robbed of their purchasing power in the night,

but I don't see a great nobility in demanding a premium for a risk-free return either.


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 02:19 | 1489870 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Think of a savings account as really a loan you make to the bank. That's what it is.  It's safe with FDIC insurance, but not safe from inflation, taxes, or bank fees they charge you (for loaning them money!). If there were better awareness of the other alternatives people would use them more.

Savings accounts are for parking a little bit of money, not an investment. Banks take your savings account money, x10 through the miracle of fractional reserve banking, and reinvest your own money to make the real boodle while paying you pennies.   

It's just better to make real investments yourself and leave the banker middle-men out.  So, if more persons in China need geen tech, houses, and gotta eat --- you invest in Catipillar stock here so CAT can ramp up production = jobs here  --- and you get eg., 10%/yr and the Chinese get jobs and smiles on their faces. Efficient win-win-win with minimal government internvention. 

But free-markets are so screwed up now it's not working like it's supposed to. That's why Steve Wynn was bitching the other day about you know who.

The most excellent, ever, "The Pencil" by Milton Friedman, explanation how your investment in a simple pencil company helps people all over the world:

?Power of the Market - The Pencil?‏ - YouTube





Thu, 07/28/2011 - 13:09 | 1501530 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Exactly.   The Snowman assumed I meant putting wealth/savings into a bank or some financial institution.

That is NOT what I'd advocate and it is NOT what I do.

My savings is in a medium that has no counter party risk.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 06:10 | 1489965 falak pema
falak pema's picture

RR :

Your overall analysis is correct. However, in business cycles overall analysis has to fit the cycle phase. So as Keynes proved, to come out of an exceptional depression, after ensuring that the fallout from the previous asset bubble has been cleaned out by government regulation that redefines rules, consumer demand and deficit spending can be the accelerator to the economy. But only upto a point; when the civil society, once back on its feet, takes over again. Keynes was NEVER an advocate of massive government deficit spending. He just provided a cure to the previous asset bubble of 1929, including advocating government regulation measures. His bancor monetary system, neutral and not linked to a national fiat currency,  would have saved the US the subsequent USD-gold standard mess, in the wake of 'great society' and Vietnam war expenditures, that created the rush to globalisation in the 70's; after Nixon's decision to opt out of BW.

So the Keynesian bashers have that wrong by saying he loved big government deficits as part of his 'demand side' economic theory. But they LOVE bogey men, don't they : Blame it all on Carthage etc! It's very old hash from Roman imperial days! Those reactionary conservative talks about keeping the empire's core values pure and pristine. 

But coming back to the business cycle paradigm : In the good years, savings keep the economic pump primed to go through the next business cycle trough. But what Reaganomics has done is to destroy the business cycle model and to replace it with the bubble cycle, now decreed as never ending QE! So now all so called "advanced economies" are in deep shit. Somebody has to go bell the cat...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 10:00 | 1490303 snowball777
snowball777's picture

I understand bolstering aggregate demand to stave off collapse through the paradox of thrift, but the one part I've never been able to get a straight answer on is how you get off the train once you start. How do you avoid having a 1937 moment and get back to an economy which doesn't expect its 'fix' of stimulus?


Thu, 07/28/2011 - 13:12 | 1501539 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Real simple:  Because the source of the "fix" is from savings, not the creation of debt or more debt.

Basic theory being that debt is not wealth, and that is the common view of the holdings of many "savers".   Holding debt is not fixing anything.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:37 | 1489757 bluestaq
bluestaq's picture

Just because a person holds their money in a savings acct. doesn't mean they "are not electing to participate in the economy in any meaningful way".  They should be rewarded for saving when the shit hits the fan and they're the one's with capital ready to deploy on buying cheap assets.  This however hasn't been the case, with the government using homebuyer tax credits and the like to prop up housing and artificially low interest rates/QE to spur borrowing, 'ole granny's savings haven't been holding up too well. 

Think of this: if we had true long-term price stability and the dollar you saved today could buy nearly the same quantity of goods 40 years from now, you wouldn't even need S. Security or a 401k or pension, or even to invest in risk assets at all.  You'd just have to save diligently.  One can do this by buying gold..


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:29 | 1489821 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Savers are the lifeblood of the economy. They put their deposits into a bank and it gets reinvested into the economy so poor people can buy houses and businesses can grow and create new jobs. If savers pull their money out, or there's a run on the banks, the economy dries up, eg., 1929.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:51 | 1489403 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

The problem I have is that most of the idiots that were abusing the system with easy money have now defaulted and now the system is fucked, which is causing people that had good jobs and could afford all the cool crap to get laid off and default on their obligations. I have been one of the good sheeple and paid my mortgage on time and sat and watched the value of my house plummet. Now what? I built my own house, and put into it 80,000 of my own cash. Vanished, gone. All because of these worthless idiots that took interrest only loans then defaulted. I blame them but I also blame the banks for giving anyone that could walk through their front door a mortgage. What is the purpose of a credit raiting? What a crock of shit. I hope the entire system implodes. See you all in hell bitches!!!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:25 | 1489482 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

I too am routing for implosion, right after i exhaust my unenjoyment! Call it, my FU to this screwed up, immoral society!

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:34 | 1489829 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

right on Jnaps!  I think everyone should quit their jobs and go on Unenjoyment. See how long that last.....damn I am drunk.....Greece here we come!!!!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:35 | 1489644 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

What do you mean, vanished?

You still have the house, right?

I understand the anger, and I feel it too- but what does it really mean if the nominal value of your house goes down, when you need a place to live and raise your family, and it is still there?

Now if you actually lost your house, I'm sorry to hear that.  If you just lost equity, try not to sweat it.

I really liked this article- when I was young, I watched how the rich people acted and what they did- not the flashy ones, but the ones who never seemed to want for anything, no matter what happened.  This helped when I was a contractor, and knew how to speak to and act around old money, and it gave me the chance to look at that world even more.

The wealthy don't "peacock," and neither do I.  Glad to hear my observation is not mine alone.

People think I'm poor, and I'm happy enough with that perception- but everything I have is mine, not the bank's.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:29 | 1489822 NumNutt
NumNutt's picture

To fill in the blanks, I have lost the equity, and now I am losing the house. I have never owned a BMW. I drove a honda until it had 364,000 miles, I now drive a Toyota truck with 174,000 miles. I always paid my bills off. I don't owe anyone shit! Except the bank note on my house. I still have a job, but have not had a pay increase in 3 years. Last year I took a pay cut as they had to increase the amount they took out of my paycheck to cover the wonderful healthcare law the fucking assholes in washington passed. Well you know the old saying of making 'the ends meet"? Well that is not happening anymore! FUCK OBAMA!!!!!!!! FUCK THE FEDERAL GOV!!!.....maybe I should not have drank all that beer....

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:53 | 1489407 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Yeah, the showy baubles are a waste. One has to keep priorities straight. Dancing With the Stars season 13 starts September 19th!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 21:54 | 1489410 r101958
r101958's picture

kito - something us plebes are not privy to.

Very good article and very true. Looking forward to part 2.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:01 | 1489427 Talleyrand
Talleyrand's picture

Baboon metaphysics apply.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:01 | 1489428 oogs66
oogs66's picture

i thought you wrote, toys, gadgets, and treasuries    must have been a freudian slip on my part, but probably as good as treasures

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:03 | 1489431 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Well, probably won't run out of material if you keep pointing out how stupid people are, but it's worth remembering that there's not a multi-trillion dollar industry devoted to pushing the mantra of sensible spending and the long-term rewards of honest work and slow accumulation.

People will eventually believe something if you repeat it enough.  Our marketing/advertising industry tells us that spending makes us happy, beautiful, and rich.  It's not every mind that will resist that majority of stimulus indefinitely. 

We built this for ourselves.  Maybe it kinda sucks we have to pay for it too, but it's about time.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:04 | 1489433 Slipmeanother
Slipmeanother's picture

This is another dumb artical. Its not just an American thing to buy flash cars etc. Just go take a look in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo or any European city and you will see plenty of flash---If they got it on debt they dumb, if they earned it---good for them!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:13 | 1489434 Henry Hub
Henry Hub's picture

***There is something perverse about having more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. This is the attitude that drives the criminals on Wall Street and politicians in Washington DC to constantly seek more power and wealth.***

There is a story that Kurt Vonnegut and Ken Kinsey (both successful authors) were at a party given by a very successful hedge fund manager.

Kinsey said to Vonnegut: "Do you know that this guy makes more in a day than we ever made with our most successful books?"

Vonnegut replied: "That may be true, but I have something this guy will never have"

Kinsey: " What's that?"

Vonnegut: "Enough!"

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:28 | 1489489 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I get your point, and it's well taken! But I still like the Kurt Vonnegut with the Harrison Bergeron character. 

The "Handicapper General" shall make everybody equal in every way. The ballet dancers that jump too high are given weights to weigh them down until they can jump no higher than anyone else. So there they are, theatre of the absurd, ballet dancers jumping around on stage with weights a-dangling.

Life is graded on a curve. For those who insist on diversity, there it is, it never left. 

No saturation of "stuff":  If you put a baseball next to a chicken sitting on an egg, they will get off the egg and try to hatch the baseball because it's bigger and better. If you put a softball next to the chicken it repeats the process. People simply have the same sorts of drives with houses and cars.

If people equate "stuff" with getting laid, then that's what happens. But if people equated happiness with gettting laid --- then they just go to Costa Rica!

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:06 | 1489437 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Hey, wait a minute... that's my car, the arctic silver 528i BMWi. Nice driving ma-cheen, for sure. I'd swear it gets better mpg at 90 mph that at 60 mph. The 750s are purely for show offs on viagra.  I'll keep mine until it hits 200K. 

But it's me the chicks want, I'm sure of it! I'll even take the foam dice down to prove it.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:29 | 1489630 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Colorful plumage is everything to a peacock.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:14 | 1489807 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Absolutely.  But this I got it as a 3 year-old (never buy new) at a commercial auto auction to flip, but the damn thing drove so good I decided to keep it. It's not even really a chick car, it's four door family thing.

For chicks, hard to beat the old reliable banana in the pants routine. Works fine and doesn't make the insurance rates go up.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:08 | 1489440 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  I thought you were talking about { CNBS } Proud as a peacock!! Please bring back the JUNK button... I don't care if some worthless Mongoloid that has been a member for 5 minutes junks me!!!!


     It gives me ( SOLACE )...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 10:38 | 1490402 i-dog
i-dog's picture

I seem to recall you often saying that you never junk anyone. Why out yourself?

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:25 | 1489448 AssFire
AssFire's picture

" There is something perverse about having more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach."

Marxist drivel, written by someone who has never been poor or worked hard enough to enjoy their reward.  There is not equality because we are not equal.

I live well by my own efforts without any guilt. I do not derive my happiness from the injury or the favor of others.

I do not consider the pleasure of others as the goal of my life, so I do not consider my pleasure as the goal of the lives of other taxpayers.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:08 | 1489580 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Absolutely damn right AssFire. +100

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:41 | 1489761 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  Hey "ASS FIRE" You have officially graduated to [ Bottle Rocket].... POOfff?

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:12 | 1489452 vegas
vegas's picture

As I have stated before, most Amerikans are complete dumb-asses. That 53% of us elected Obama is proof enough. Most teenagers think the Middle East is Ohio. I see another 13 year-old with 3 cell phones and I am going to puke.

great article TD.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:12 | 1489586 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture


Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:13 | 1489453 Arch Duke Ferdinand
Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

12 Things That The Mainstream Media Is Being Strangely Quiet About Right Now...

OT: Hilarious 2 Min Vid...

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:13 | 1489456 IslandMan
IslandMan's picture

Nice article.  But missed the "elephant in the room" - energy.  US oil extraction peaked in 1970/71, OPEC realised the power it had, and the energy crisis plunged the US economic system into recession.  It never really recovered, and kept going only through the illusion of credit-based "growth".

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 07:41 | 1490072 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

Exactly, the point of the peacock analogy is supposed to be that the scarcer recources become more desirable. That humans would eventually drive a species to extinction BECAUSE it was scarce. Where's the sense in destroy a valuable piece of biotechnology for peacock feathers?

In other words free market ideology is dumb because it doesn't properly reflect humanities short sighted hunter gatherer nature. Because it can't explain the price of an original Picasso over a perfect replica, annoying.


My analogy was hijacked and the point was totally missed.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:17 | 1489465 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

There's nothin' wrong with drivin' a gold plated phallus symbol in order to get your knob bobbed on a Friday and Saturday nite.

The only real question is how to kick the whore out the door without scuffin' the interior.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:27 | 1489481 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  As a well known " Man Whore" once said... You don't pay them to be with you! You pay them to LEAVE...

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:49 | 1489531 gall batter
gall batter's picture

a real man doesn't have to drive a gold plated phallic symbol to get his knob bobbed.  i don't like junking people and that's no longer an option anyway but, Pure Evil, you are puerile.  and your second sentence convinces me that your knob must be a nubbin.  

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:04 | 1489571 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Thanks for your help on the " New Site " protocalls earlier Gall... Much appreciated, and I left a note over there for you as well... Trade well this week Yen.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:42 | 1489662 gall batter
gall batter's picture

Yen, I'm thrilled I could help since I'm a luddite.  Thanks for leaving a note and for wishing me well with trading.  Same to you.  I have a little here, a little there, good friends, good children, a cozy space, music, and enough to pay my bills. I've had to sell some sentimental items, but that's okay. Holding some nice pieces.      

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:48 | 1489776 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Good on you and your family. We are watching the Pumpkin blossoms start to open... Thanks again.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:58 | 1489468 Nate H
Nate H's picture

Here is a related essay on the origins of addiciton and conspicuous consumption:

(some of the same pictures even....)

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 10:34 | 1490344 schizo321437
schizo321437's picture

Ah yeah, `Collapse` and the grave goods. I forgot where the idea originated. Annoying, I thought I arrived there independently.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:22 | 1489474 km4
km4's picture


David Stockman: I think the Fed is injecting high grade monetary heroin into the financial system of the world, and one of these days it is going to kill the patient."


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 18:33 | 1492290 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

i prefer the alcohol analogy, makes me feel a bit better the next day.
Looking at the Keynesian model it reminds me more of monetary cristal meth.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:24 | 1489478 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

This was a very good read. It's unfortunate that is so true. My biggest regret is that my kids have to pay such a hefty price thanks to the baby boomer greed.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:39 | 1489509 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Hey Dr. BUG-EYE... Teach your kids to think for themselves.  They will be Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise! They will share that wealth, in all 3 ways... There is nothing wrong with aspiring to better yourself financially or personally... matter of factly they, they generally run in tandem.  I employ people and treat them very well. I donate large sums of money, and my company is considered small...


     Let your kids run, and run with them....

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:43 | 1489521 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

+++ Yen.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:55 | 1489548 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's a phylosophy I deeply embrace. I expose my kids to everything from theater, working in charitable organizations,sports, political thought, and the normal every day bumps and bruises( I believe in letting them take risks much to their mother's chagrin). I try to provide them the best education I can and I work with them on a one on one basis. I don't have a problem with them enjoying the luxuries in life as long as they come from hard honest work. I just know as messed up as things are right now that it's going to be a lot more difficult for them than it was for me.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:18 | 1489595 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Thank you {Both} " Gentleman"...   I read both of your post's.  Watch out for month end flows... The Quarter ended 6-31, but the real slush is coming late this week. The month end is on a weekend... I'll be around for FX stuff.  [GOIN FAWR]  I have special respect for you... Just Like Slewie.  Yen

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:35 | 1489755 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

That's all well and good, but you blamed the kid problems that may arise on the the old people.  If your kids don't turn out right it won't be some old lady in a nursing home that did it.   For sure.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:55 | 1489783 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Rocky, what are your winter plans?  Out of curosity, Humm? I am already studying Pan Pacific shipping, For 2012 Feb-May.?

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 12:42 | 1501455 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I must be dense as hell.   My comprehension of your comment failed.  Sorry.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:15 | 1489594 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Don't blame boomers. Boomers told them not to. MSM propaganda isn't wasted on you.

Look no further than the greedy welfare statist, and racist, dems who set up all the Ponzi systems and "Great Society" to buy votes back onto the plantation after being forced to pass civil rights for blacks in 1964.  MLK was marching on the democrats in 1963 --- not "Washington".  In 1963, dems controlled everything and were threatending to roll back school integration post-Eisenhower.  Southern Manifesto included: Al Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, and Bill Clinton's mentor Wm Fulbright, et al.

The first civil rights act was passed by the GOP in 1875, after they abolished slavery.  The 1964 act was just a carbon copy dems were forced to sign and accept. Jefferson Davis, Woodrow, FDR  and the Confederacy were all racist segregationist dems. One third of all the people lynched by dems btwn 1885-1935 were white republicans still fighting for civil rights for blacks. (tuskegee inst). To turn the votes around the dems were desperate.  

The welfare statist Ponzi Schemes were dems buying votes so they wouldn't go extinct. We live the results 47 years later.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:48 | 1489679 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Don't try to main street media me pal. Before you try to comment about an individual you better know what you're commenting on or else you just look like a fool. I do my own research and formulate my own opinions. The msm doesn't enter my house hold.

The fact of the matter us the baby boomers sucked the life out of this country because they either wanted welfare of any sort. Or they felt they were entitled ,by any means , to have it all. The worst of the lot are the rich boomers who want all the government hand outs. They are the ones who really make me sick. I'm all for being wealthy and self reliant, but the rich welfare pigs who stand in line with their hand out disgust me.
Another thing that makes me sick is a "party" person who believes the bullshit coming out of either party. It tells me that there is an apparent lack of critical thinking for ones self.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:37 | 1489759 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

The vast majority of those old people will be dining on dog food soon.  I'd look elsewhere for your villain.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:58 | 1489786 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Rocky you are a bit "Rabbid " in this post. What is bothering you? You are normally placid, and well thought...

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:09 | 1489800 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Its his dogfood they will be eating...

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 12:44 | 1501464 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Not much nastier than a rabid coon.   Hell, they are ornery when sane.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:01 | 1489789 gwar5
gwar5's picture

No problem, It's just that "boomer" is a MSM mainstreet intergenerational slur. It seemed to roll off your keyboard so easily. It's a diverse group and all the ones I know are self-reliant who paid into the system for years thinking their retirement was safe and and are now sick they will have nothing. Agree, the rich can take care of themselves. 

But the notion that all boomers are rich spoiled brats is bewildering. I'd like to see some research on that.  Agree, those "rich" enough should be mean tested out of social benefits, adn plenty would not object.  Also think we can't afford to pay illegals social benefits when we're clearly broke.

Not a party guy, but gotta call 'em as I see 'em. There's not many major initiatives (M/Care Rx noted) for Welfare State Ponzi schemes by GOP. It's a dem thing.  The root cause of most  massive government giveaways are to buy votes, and  The "Great Society" was no exception, and the biggest ever --- Medicare, Medicaid, & Welfare -- to keep the dems from going extinct. It was passed by old white men who are now dead, not boomers.

Medicare is our biggest unfunded liability. Boomers paid into it for decades like drones and they will also get ripped off the most. Those who set up these Ponzi schemes have left us all fighting each other over scraps as the end result becomes clear. 

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 01:21 | 1489810 snowball777
snowball777's picture

In the United States alone, over 50% of the discretionary spending power rests with the baby boomers and they are responsible for over half of all consumer spending. In the area of health care, baby boomers buy 61% of over the counter medications and an astonishing 77% of all prescription drugs. Even their vacation habits play a big role in the economy with boomers accounting for about 80% of all leisure travel.


Too bad they did it all with HELOCs and plastic. Chumps. Who do you really think Dubya's Medicare Part D was aimed at, as long as we're talking about 'buying votes'?

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 05:36 | 1489954 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Hey, that's good stuff snowball. Seriously.  And I agree with Dubya's cheesy ploy, duly noted above. You nailed it alright. He had to go.

The boomers are post-1945 WWII and are just hitting M/Care as of 2010. Do your numbers also reflect we might still be finishing up their parents gobbling meds?

Behind those numbers, it doesn't surprise that older people spend more money. Is not counter-intuitive. They tend to make more, and pay more taxes, especially as the older persons hit their peak earnings years. They also tend to buy fewer bigger ticket items, having delayed gratification on such things for years. They're not buying school supplies or baby food.

College kids will pile into a used KIA to drive to Florida for spring break, while middle-class Grandpa/ma finally splurge on a Cadillac after all these years so Grandma's bones don't hurt on the drive down to meet the Cruise Line to go see the Carribean for their 25th anniversary. But Grandpa and Grandma once piled into a car with their pals back in the day, too, or hitchhiked.  

They're older and sicker and are going to need more meds.... Those rebels. On the plus side, they are not likely to show up in the ER for free treatment of gunshot wounds by getting into a shootout with a rival granny gang. Chances are good that Grandpa/ma boomer are the 50% that are not only paying their own way, but paying the taxes that pay for the gangbangers free treatment and his million dollar free homicide trial and free appeals. 

In fact, the cost of USA crime was estimated by one economist at $1.5 Trillion per year. Not a typo. I even find that high.  But he included costs of locks, higher insurance rates, repairs, medical care, police, security systems, training, lawyers, incarcerations, food, jails, clerks, buildings, parole ofr, rehab, theft items, courts, jury time, labs, etc. etc.  Whatever the number, the point is that it is shockingly high, and crime does not produce any real benefit ,and is a huge cost drag on everything else. 

Over a criminals lifetime he will cost about $1-2 million --- but the real average cost is actually double that amount. Since they're costing money instead of producing $1-2 million of benefit to society over the their lifetime, the real cost is a swing double to total  about $2-4 million --  average of all criminal types. And I'm being conservative, here -- so if they just got a regular jobs, no college.  $2 million x 5 million career criminals in the USA = about $10 Trillion lifetime cost, due to only about 5 million career criminals amongst us.

Just think of the potential government savings by just stomping on 5 million young low-lifes. They cost us big money, they hurt people, and dont't contribute. Now that's where the real money is at -- and they're perfect scapegoats.

The absurd -- The government could just make guilty pleas compulsory for capital offenses to save money and send them straight to lethal injections. Chances are they are guilty, and probably of many other things too, and will commit many more crimes throughout their lives anyway, so why not?  That's the sort of attitude the Chinese already have. Outrageous?   

Not so absurd -- Obamacare does the same thing to grandpa and grandma and they haven't done anything but pay into the system. If grandpa gets prostate CA and has a 50% chance (guilty/not guilty?), the government could make denial of his treatment compulsory.  More, the doctor will be fined $200K first offense for treating the patient against gov orders, and the doctor goes to jail (plus fine+/-?) the second time he disobeys the government. I'm a physician, it's in there --  b/c Govco thinks it's a misallocation of doctors time if we were to decide who to treat, and how, even if the patient wants to pay out of pocket.  Another reason Obamacare has been kept hidden. This is what government control of health care means.  

Just imagine the national outcry if the trial lawyers were just informed that a ObamaJustice.Gov bureaucrat would hencefoth decide the criminal cases and make the lawyers decision biding and compulsory  -- or the lawyer goes to jail too -- in order to save money. So why not? Saves us big money and they're criminals! Everybody hates them anyway.

Thing is, what we are not even willing to do to murderers, we are willing to do to grandpa and grandma.  And it's not because they're just boomers, it's that they're all demonized as being "rich" boomers --- and somehow that's seems to be their real crime.  It's as if people have all been brainwashed into thinking they spent their whole lives dumping toxic waste into rivers to get ahead, instead of just running the corner store. And this is straight out of the marxist/fascist playbook. 

See, anybody can pick a demographic and scapegoat them. It's too easy. That's exactly what totalitarians like Castro and Hugo Chavez do to divide the people and motivate them to participate in their distracting crackdowns and confiscations instead of just fixing their dysfunctional economies they like to wallow in.


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 10:38 | 1490405 trav7777
trav7777's picture

yes, but in places like NYC, nice and racially diverse, 90% of the homicides and 96% of the shootings are done by blacks and hispanics.  Of those, the LION'S SHARE are by blacks.

And these are protected minority groups.  White racism is responsible for their actions.

Thu, 07/28/2011 - 12:52 | 1501492 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Sorry to have been late to catch this comment of yours Gwar5, but it's the best comment I've read on ZH in some time.

The fairness and level of objectivity is rare for these Fight Club pages.

I'm copying/pasting it to some folks by email.

You should consider a ZH article with this as the theme.   Anything to reduce the level of factional warfare would be welcomed!

Sad that I only had one thumbs-up to give you.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 02:43 | 1489882 Ponzi Unit
Ponzi Unit's picture

1965 Great Society was the fulfillment of the 1935 New Deal.

Medicare and Medicaid pegged at 2 Billion. 

They were close...


  • Medicare spending grew 7.9% to $502.3 billion in 2009, or 20 percent of total NHE.
  • Medicaid spending grew 9.0% to $373.9 billion in 2009, or 15 percent of total NHE.
  • Nationally, we spent, or should I say squandered, $2.5 Trillion in 2009, or $8,086 per person, and accounted for 17.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).


Mon, 07/25/2011 - 02:47 | 1489890 Ponzi Unit
Ponzi Unit's picture

Sorry, Doc, but don't you mean "Mainstream Media"?

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 05:43 | 1489958 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

You could be right, but of all the boomers I know and work with, we all work our asses off and our kids have gone on to successful careers. I never participated in "boomer culture" myself--the drugs, etc of the sixties and seventies. I don't know anyone who isn't paying his or her own way, but then I don't associate with the idle rich or near rich. I associate this peacock garbage Wall St or DC types. I guess I've been shielded from a lot of vulgar consumption patterns. I see nothing wrong with driving a high-end car. You're practically forced to all but live in the damn thing, after all, but I bought mine because of the durability, engineering, and safety. Those little Asian crackerboxes are your worst enemy in an accident.

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 06:02 | 1489974 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Whoops, meant to hit the edit button!

Regarding luxury items and nice cars, let's not be puritan. If I had the money, I could easily go for a Jag roadster, for example. Some of these high-end cars are works of art that are some of the most beautiful things people can purchase for themselves in this spirit killing modern world. Beauty is what keeps the heart young, even as the body ages. In a way, these beautiful things are wasted on the rich who basically appreciate nothing. That's why these Wall St and DC power grabbers are so acquisitive. They are incapable of appreciating the beauty in the things they already possess. They're basically empty souls who want to parade around like Louis XIV, who built the most magnificent palace in the world on the Loire and stayed there all of 32 days.


Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:31 | 1489495 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

my beef has always been "if you're gonna go down this road you need to do it right." Here's the master--I know if i were called to testify before Congress for "you know what" here's how I would make my entrance:

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:41 | 1489515 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"Considering more than 10% of all Americans are on anti-depressant drugs,"

If some 10% are on drugs what is to be said of the other 90%?

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.

-Mark Twain

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:43 | 1489519 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

  I think that figure is much higher, " In reality"... Personally I don't take aspirin. I like a snort of a nice drink once in a while, and a nice cigar. Other than that I have better things to do! Namely "ONE"... Living live AWAKE.

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 22:46 | 1489526 gwar5
gwar5's picture

UT study = another waste of money.  We already knew that! 

And, the more grant money these idiot PHDs are given to do stupid studies, the more coeds they get to bang.

Don't these turds have anything better to do with taxpayer dollars?

Sun, 07/24/2011 - 23:28 | 1489628 snowball777
snowball777's picture

You mean like buy a 528i, fag?

Mon, 07/25/2011 - 00:23 | 1489743 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Fag? ...this, from a saliva soaked Obamabagger named... snow-balls?? You must still be mad. Sorry about the drubbing you got last night, I wasn't even trying, but crying is good for you. But it's not good for your glue-sniffing health to hold a grudge -- it's all about the blood pressure. Why don't you just let your parents move in with you? They can baby sit both you and your 2 year-old when you fire up the bong. That is, when you're not using them as human shields to hide your obvious goodness.

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