This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Interview With Charles Hugh Smith: Why Local Enterprise Is The Solution

Tyler Durden's picture


From Chris Martenson

Charles Hugh Smith: Why Local Enterprise Is The Solution

A growing number of individuals believe our economic and societal status quo is defined by unsustainable addiction to cheap oil and ever increasing debt. With that viewpoint, it's hard not to see a hard takedown of our national standard of living in the future. Even harder to answer is: what do you do about it?

Charles Hugh Smith, proprietor of the esteemed weblog, sees the path to future prosperity in removing capital from the Wall Street machine and investing it into local enterprise within the community in which you live. 

"Enterprise is completely possible in an era of declining resource consumption. In other words, just because we have to use less, doesn’t mean that there is no opportunity for investing in enterprise. I think enterprise and investing in fact, are the solution. And if we withdraw our money from Wall Street and put it to use in our own communities, to the benefit of our own income streams, then I think that things happen."

"We have to solve our own problems. The savior state and these institutions are not going to reform themselves and they are not reformable in any way that is meaningful. And so, I think what we’re talking about is taking your capital, which is your human capital, your skills and your experience; your social capital, the people you know and trust that you’ve created in life; and your financial capital and investing them in local solutions. Things that people need, like energy and food and shelter and a low energy lifestyle."

"There is opportunity for technological innovation in greatly increasing the efficiency of our appliances and the rest of our lifestyle, as well as tremendous technological improvements in productions and so on. But there’s also what we might call social and behavioral innovations, which the United States is really poor in recognizing. The simplest way to cut your energy is to live close to the things that you need to get to. And if you have your own enterprise, then we might benefit on a household and a social scale of just living close to your job. So being dependent on corporate America and a job a hundred miles away - that’s a really fragile, vulnerable lifestyle. So if you can relocalize your income streams and your enterprises and live close to work and school, you’re already tremendously more resilient and have a much more sustainable household regardless of what happens."

Also in this interview:

  • Why keeping capital in the financial markets puts you at increasing risk of mis-aligned Wall Street incentives as well as declining asset prices
  • How de-globalization, de-legitimization, de-centralization and de-finacialization will be major trends driving our economy in the future
  • How investing in your local economy can yield a higher quality of life, even if your relative "standard of living" decreases

Click here to listen to Chris' interview with Charles Hugh Smith (runtime 43m:35s):

Report a Problem Playing the Podcast


Or click here to read the full transcript on



Charles Hugh Smith  has been an independent journalist for 22 years. His weblog,, is a daily compendium of observations and analysis on the global economy and financial markets, as well as notable political, social, and cultural trends. Charles has authored a number of books across several genres, including Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation and his recent e-book An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times.



    - advertisements -

    Comment viewing options

    Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:03 | 1569092 anynonmous
    anynonmous's picture

    tune in to bloomberg tv


    good inteviews noon hour

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:14 | 1569145 Herd Redirectio...
    Herd Redirection Committee's picture

    double post

    "Who's Afraid of the Gold Standard?"

    Check out the latest from the Capital Research Institute

    "Japan has massive amounts of debt, relative to their GDP, but most of it is owed to the citizens of Japan.  In contrast, much of America’s debt is held by the Japanese gov’t, the Chinese gov’t, and financial institutions all over the world.  The difference is that not only does America still currently have the world reserve currency, their debt is owed in large part to foreigners.  Those two facts could very well create a perfect storm down the road, as foreigners liquidate their Treasuries (US gov’t debt)  and then look to buy tangible goods with the proceeds.   As America does not produce much in the way of goods they are unlikely to see much benefit.  In fact, that the US dollar still serves as reserve currency makes it more likely, IMO, that foreign dollar holders will use their dollars to buy commodities such as oil, wheat, timber, natural gas, copper, silver, and of course, gold.

    As a natural consequence, the price of Treasuries would drop, and commodity prices in general would surge higher.  When, well that is any body’s guess..."

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:17 | 1569155 spiral_eyes
    spiral_eyes's picture

    not just local enterprise. alternative energy infrastructure: 

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:50 | 1569281 bigdumbnugly
    bigdumbnugly's picture

    Smith is right.

    my local Enterprise will pick me up.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:04 | 1569345 potatomafia
    potatomafia's picture

    Are CHS & Larry David the same person?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:03 | 1569592 That Peak Oil Guy
    That Peak Oil Guy's picture

    I recommend anyone interested in urban or suburban food production check out aquaponics.  A relatively small greenhouse and solar power system for it could be an incredible investment for the future.

    The info tab on this site is a good place to start the research:


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 19:00 | 1570855 mkkby
    mkkby's picture

    "Going local" may be the solution, but only in a parallel universe where big business doesn't control government, and use it to put up legal and regulatory barriers.

    I suggest Charles Smith get in touch with reality and find a political solution first.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:01 | 1569094 OpenEyes
    OpenEyes's picture

    Hmmm someone's been reading James Howard Kuntsler!

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:06 | 1569106 carbonmutant
    carbonmutant's picture

    A bunch of us have been working on this model.

    We have to rebuild from the local level.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:08 | 1569122 whstlblwr
    whstlblwr's picture

    I like it, we need vision for future. This seems right.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:11 | 1569132 DeadFred
    DeadFred's picture

    We have to keep our fingers crossed. This is the right way to improve things but it's going against some really strong corporatist head winds. Everything TPTB are trying to do is the exact opposite of this.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:49 | 1569274 narnia
    narnia's picture

    the centralized death star has already been built through massive, unsustainable federal, state & local political intervention (through building codes & other legal protections, transportation infrastructure, public works, wars for energy control, and tons of other subsidies).

    the questions come down to:  are you vested enough in this beast & its local symbols to ride out the rocky fracture into a series of politically & ethnically diverse independent de-centralized societies... or is the cost of inevitable reform/collapse so overwhelming you are better off searching or creating the next plymouth rock?


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:18 | 1569407 Ricky Bobby
    Ricky Bobby's picture


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:22 | 1569427 MachoMan
    MachoMan's picture

    Call me a pessimist, but I don't think the natives are gonna go for the small pox blankets and fire water routine again.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:11 | 1570224 Hacked Economy
    Hacked Economy's picture

    "...centralized Death Star..."

    <chuckle> I like it!  A perfect way to start referring to the Fed.  An overweight behemoth with only one destroy the little people and rob them of their wealth.

    And now we picture the image of Ron Paul in a Rebellion flight helmet, zooming toward the trench in his X-wing fighter, torpedo trigger finger ready to go...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:34 | 1569210 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    Aye, that we have. Small as our voices are, my dirt digging, gardening, and farming are no small acts.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:08 | 1569366 carbonmutant
    carbonmutant's picture

    Very true...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:45 | 1569266 fuu
    fuu's picture

    I am a big fan of  John Robb and his work on resilient communities.

    Fri, 08/19/2011 - 01:24 | 1569270 carbonmutant
    carbonmutant's picture

    There are lot of different way to approach this but from the real estate perspective  "Walkability" is the key. And support your local Farmers markets.

    Check your walkscore:

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:56 | 1570145 onelight
    onelight's picture

    carbonmutant , you are right -- good to have Charles on board, and many have been working in this area for years, have developed useful ideas and templates, and are too busy building them out to be better known for it.

   is just one of many

    the whole local enterprise thing will likely become a leading social meme in decade ahead, for all the reasons described -- hopefully it will build up into a better national political economy ..

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:06 | 1569111 HonestJohn
    HonestJohn's picture

    I love is another interview as well, from last week

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:06 | 1569113 LawsofPhysics
    LawsofPhysics's picture

    Yes, but a localized economy is not something the NWO will permit.  Moreover, it eventually leads you to a system dominated by black markets and a sitiuation much like what you see in the Middle East, India, and Afghanistan.  Think about it, how much access to cheap energy sources do most truly local economies have?  The flux of cheap energy is the only thing that matters, period.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:20 | 1569160 whstlblwr
    whstlblwr's picture

    Instead of all your negative nellies, why not try to be positive? Where is can do attitude? Come on LawsofPhysics, put little smile on sour puss. We can find a way, there is always a way.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:22 | 1569171 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture


    The hopium just hit...

    Cue Pink Floyd:

    "There is no pain, you are receding...." 


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:16 | 1570556 Mad Cow
    Mad Cow's picture


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:23 | 1569173 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    Dare I say this is the best comment ever on Zero Hedge.

    (yes, the writing-style is a tribute to CompassionateFascist)

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:34 | 1569208 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    Here’s another one spacemonkeys…

    …it’s pretty obvious that whstblwr is a foreigner.  I mean, his English is shit.

    However, he has a pristine attitude, one I see a lot in the people I meet here in the USofA who were not born in this country. 

    Why are most of the cool people I meet in this country foreigners?  Why are so many of the cracka-ass-crackas who were born here either bitter or fucked up in the head (and I mean in a bad way)?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:38 | 1569224 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    Then I would conjecture your not looking hard enough.


    When I hear someone say "Everyone is lazy." I immediatly note to myself... that person is lazy.


    When I hear someone say "Imposible, can't be done." I note to myself... they will never atempt it.


    When I hear someone say "Your crazy!" ... "Your probably right... but I think I know who is more sane."




    Most people are good, moderately intelligent, and emotionally driven (Oh and opportunistic).

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:42 | 1569246 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    The poor, the unsuccessful,
    the unhappy and the unhealthy
    are the ones who use the word
    tomorrow the most. 

    ~Robert Kiyosaki


    OMG, I just quoted that Rich Dad/Poor Dad dude here on Zero Hedge! 

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:50 | 1569278 Bolweevil
    Bolweevil's picture

    Mutant Message Down Under

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:52 | 1569292 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    A positive attitude may not be 'all you need'...


    But a negative attitude will kill you.


    When lost in the woods, you chances for survival drop dramatically as soon as you sit down and say "I can't go on."


    As soon as you start thinking "Someone will find me, I don't need to try." Your about 80-90% more likely to die.


    Attitude isn't everything, but it is responsible for the actions we take, and 'pulling the trigger' on life style changes ahead of being forced to requires one hell of a attitude.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:01 | 1569333 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    I like it and agree.

    The concept of life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it should be absorbed by more of those who comment here.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it, you’re not really angry but you keep coming here each day and saying the same things.  Think on it.

    However, since this is a ‘perma-doomer’ site, I’m willing to say life is 20% of what happens to you and 80% of how you react to it.  Paraeto Principle, bitchez.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:08 | 1569365 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    80/20 rule is a good rule... holds up 80% of the time ,and the 20% edge case can be applied to the 80% of the 20...


    When designing software, getting 80% of the good cases working is the first major hurdle... in the end, 80% of the code written is for the 20% edge cases

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:13 | 1569388 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    Nice to see you added a picture. :-)

    Speaking of designing software, I'm going to reply here to Tyler:

    Tyler I had a hard time sleeping last night.  No joke - I was soooooooooo excited about the possibility of being able to receive comments made on Zero Hedge directly to my email.  Yeah, I know I'm weird.

    In no particular order, this would be the first batch of people for whom I want to see everything they write.  Don't ask me to explain, the cognitive dissonance of doing so would be too painful :-)

    • RobotTrader
    • Mr. Lennon Hendrix
    • chumbawumba
    • slewie the pi-rat
    • baby_BLYTHE
    • janus
    • B9K9

    Please make it happen, Tyler.  Pretty, pretty please.  And if I'm too stupid to figure it out as the feature already exists, I'd appreciate a heads-up from anyone.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:18 | 1569408 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    Where's the love?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:27 | 1569439 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    I don't think anyone appreciates how badly I want to see everything baby_BLYTHE says and have it come directly to me on my iPhone.  I don't think anyone cares, either :-)

    I would sacrifice my first born, your first born, or anyone's first born to have this in my life.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 19:06 | 1570871 mkkby
    mkkby's picture

    I hope baby blyth blows your perv nuts off with a 12 guage.  Then you can whack off to something else.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:18 | 1570258 RockyRacoon
    RockyRacoon's picture

    Good lord.  Don't you get enough email?  I'd pay NOT to get more.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:35 | 1569468 InconvenientCou...
    InconvenientCounterParty's picture

    take away entitlements! ...for those that do not deserve it.

    Naturally, I deserve them because I've been here many years and my parents and their parents were here decades before that and they built this sumbitch.

    I don't mind a few immigrants, as long as they observe the conservative hierarchy and don't try to change anything.


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:40 | 1569498 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    Nice work.

    Come to think of it, between you, Flakmeister and about a hundred other people, the list of commenters that I enjoy seeing what they write is too long to list. 

    OK, Tyler: revised list - baby_BLYTHE, followed by about 100 others.  If the day comes where I can get these comments sent directly to me, it's going to be one of the greatest days ever.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:53 | 1570130 RichardP
    RichardP's picture


    The phrase get a life comes to mind.  I'd be tempted to utter it if I actually thought you were serious about what you are saying here.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:19 | 1570266 RockyRacoon
    RockyRacoon's picture

    I'm hurt 'cause I wasn't on the list.   Harumph.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:02 | 1570495 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    I have different reasons for noting that crew of commenters.  But to you Rocky I must say thank you.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1569233 LawsofPhysics
    LawsofPhysics's picture

    There is always a solution (I work on many everyday in biotech).  But there are also very real constraints to what the laws of physics and thermodynamics allow you to do.  Chance favors the prepared mind my friend, hedge accordingly.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:35 | 1570360 RichardP
    RichardP's picture

    Then there is the process of being in solution, where all of the malcontents precipitate out.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:23 | 1569172 EnglishMajor
    EnglishMajor's picture

    Agreed, although you should consider that the original diesel engine, as designed by Diesel himself, was meant to run off of peanut oil.  Diesel's vision was that farmers could produce bio-diesel (not to be confused with Ethanol or other bio "fuels") on a local level.  We cannot produce alternatives as cheaply and abundantly as we have produced petroleum products in the past, however we do have alternatives to develop if people are willing to change their thinking and their vehicles.

    Of course, back to your original point, Diesel mysteriously disappeared from a ship in the middle of the ocean, and shortly thereafter Mr. Rockefeller and Standard Oil introduced diesel fuel...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:53 | 1569299 Henry Krinkle
    Henry Krinkle's picture

    So we're talking about changing civilization so it can function without ever-increasing inputs of resources.  Reducing our requirement for energy to the point where non-fossil-fuel sources can satisfy it.  We're talking a massive psychological change to build a way of life that can run well on it.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:53 | 1570670 Cull Morgan
    Cull Morgan's picture

    Actually, if I remember correctly, Diesel's initial idea was to use coal dust as a fuel, not oil.

    The peanut oil in particular was suggested by the French hosts for some exhibition where Diesel demonstrated his engine. I think France had an African colony where peanuts were growing like weeds and they were looking for useful applications.

    The Diesel engine is one of my absolute favorite inventions ever! At high compression ratios the efficiency is outstanding and they can use almost any type of oil as fuel. Hell, at high enough compression ratio you could probably run them on gravy...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:25 | 1569181 Bolweevil
    Bolweevil's picture

    You speak of this "black market" like its a bad thing. Black is not the absence of color, it is all the colors combined.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:46 | 1569258 LawsofPhysics
    LawsofPhysics's picture

    Er, incorrect sir.  The electromagnetic spectrum that we can see (white light) is in fact made up of all colors.  Black is what you get when a substance adsorbs ALL those colors leaving NOTHING for anyone else or you to see.  When a substance adsorbes all color except for say green, then you "see" that wavelength with your eye.

    So to be precise, black is a substance that sucks in, adsorbs, and retains all frequencies of electromagnetic radiation that you eye can percieve. Educate yourself before making such statements.  

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:52 | 1569295 Bolweevil
    Bolweevil's picture

    Nerd alert! I was quoting the Beastie Boys. Thank you for your reply.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:24 | 1569952 caerus
    caerus's picture

    there is no dark side of the moon really...matter of fact it's all dark...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:22 | 1570285 RockyRacoon
    RockyRacoon's picture

    Hence, black objects are hotter because they absorb all the energy (and white conversely).   Woopeee!  I'm a physicist now.   Where do I pick up my diploma?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:39 | 1570388 RichardP
    RichardP's picture

    Hence, black objects are hotter ...

    I always knew Mick Jagger was on to something with that Brown Sugar song.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 22:21 | 1571285 Hulk
    Hulk's picture

    You can buy your PHD from the same place the California Air Resource Board Scientists purchase their PHD's

    Thornhill University. $5k for a PHD. (Hien Tran,

    2 to 3 Maples and you are in the club, Racoon's are accepted!

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:08 | 1569115 Everybodys All ...
    Everybodys All American's picture

    Very much agree and might I add how stupid it is for the US stock markets to raise capital for Chinese IPO's.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:07 | 1569117 gunsmoke011
    gunsmoke011's picture

    Sounds like Back to The Future - Which is a good Thing

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:07 | 1569118 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    hey chuckie, the problem is that most of the available capital and wealth is concentrated in a small group of men.  charles , go read the committee of 300 by coleman...........


    so your ideas about small enterprise are plain elephant gray bullshit...........


    this is another guy that just doesn't get it and probably never will. he like so many thinks he can see but is totally blind.  i certainly get tired of sounding so negative ,but what can you say about stuff like this?  damn it, i am going to keep preaching this word to the day i die.......


    this is hpd, and i approve this message....;)

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:09 | 1569124 whstlblwr
    whstlblwr's picture

    That's right, you get it. LOL.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:21 | 1569168 SheepDog-One
    SheepDog-One's picture

    Yep HPD, and how do we set up local economies when DHS is now busting down doors over reports of a tomato plant in your yard? 

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:19 | 1569411 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    that's right dog, where has this guy been in the last ten years?  has he ever heard of the patriot act or the homeland security act or the suspension of the right of habeas corpus or unlimited inprisonment without charge without benefit of counsel? what does the Good Book say about wealth?     arable land, cattle, sheep , goats, oxen, children, wives, grandchildren, gold, silver, precious stones. what do we have as wealth?  paper investments for the most part, guaranteed by paper promises. does this sound like real wealth to you?  i hope not because it is not. this country has no wealth in it. most of it has been stolen. we now have debts  that can never be paid. yeh maybe chuck ought to go talk to people living in tent cities and under highway overpasses, and tell them that the real answer to our problems is that we ourselves must pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and reinvest in ourselves and small business. yeh i am sure they would listen to that without so much as a answer. the problem is that the amerikan people do not have any money to do the things he suggests. it takes money to make money. the answer is get rid of the fed and repudiate these false debts we have, and start over with sound money, whatever that is and recall all military from all over the world and guard our own borders and prepare to meet the whirlwind. because it would come most haste. the cost would be high, but the victory would be so sweet................

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:38 | 1569225 Sophist Economicus
    Sophist Economicus's picture

    ...Don't know about the 300 men concept, but Chuck is naive.   He grabs for 'intuition pump' ideas that sound great to the disgruntled and the frustrated, but, have no basis in reality.   Any simplistic thought experiment would raise lots of questions with no answers.    More tripe from chuck the schmuck

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:40 | 1569236 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture



    Sounds like you want to bitch and not lift a finger, Arm chair Revolutionist...


    Fucking twat, you add nothing.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:51 | 1569285 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    That's a tad bit mean, don't you think :-)

    High Plains is doing what he needs to do to get through the day.  As we all are.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:55 | 1569311 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    Aye your right, 


    Just pisses me off to see people so self defeated that they can't seem to grasp that its not a centrally directed plan, but an actually organic and grown plan.


    The beautiful flowers & harmonious societies can be found in the ruins of empires.


    At the berkley protests the Dean of students said "We know what your against.  What are you For?"  


    Bitching an moaning gets us no where, and when I see real solutions being presented and someone bitches about it, time for a punch to the face.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:24 | 1569433 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    hey slick, its a information war right now, in case you are interested. one day it may be something else. i will hold up my end. believe me.  i call them as i see them. it is my opinion. if my opinion pisses you off, then i say to you, so what?  if you believe what he says is true, then this is part and parcel of the problem. i can only say that as time goes by, more and more sheep stand in the way of progress. the enemy stands behind the lines and in front of him are thousands of useful idiots.............such is life.............

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:45 | 1569516 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    I believe we are in Violent Agreement!!!!!!!


    I keep planting the garden, feeding the chickens, chopping wood, hauling water.


    I can see your points about investing in local companies, I wouldn't do that, I've invested in the community around me, trading eggs for metal working, silver for labor, etc.




    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:50 | 1569534 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    correct. the black market is very useful and will be more useful as time goes by. i have been working on the black market myself. i know who has what and where. i of course do not talk to these sheep like i do here. it would spook them. but these sheep who have things i need and are willing to trade for them are useful people to know. even though they are blind as bats, but nevertheless...........

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:01 | 1569593 malusDiaz
    malusDiaz's picture

    You might try starting a conversation up =)


    Youd be supprised how many eyes are already WIDE OPEN.  For everyone that opens their mouth... 9 have open eyes and ears.


    Then'll you know who is even closer & on page, walking that fine line between the cliff edge of insanity, and ocean of complacency.


    If you think people are blind as bats.. then all you'll find are people who are blind as bats...

    If you think their eyes are wide open and their actions speak for their words... you'll find people of like mind.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:07 | 1569624 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    Great stuff here.  Nice work malus.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:49 | 1570431 RichardP
    RichardP's picture


    I see in this small exchange the form of the problem in the larger exchange.  Who cares whether they are blind or not.  They are trading.  They are solving problems.  As they get better at it, more traders will be drawn in.

    I always cringe when I hear folks saying yeah, you've got the solution, but your attitude ain't right.  Who cares what their attitude is or what they can or cannot see if they have the problem solved?  They maybe don't even know there was a problem to be solved.  They just have it solved and are getting on with their life.  Trading is where it all started.  Trading is probably where it will all eventually fall back to.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:06 | 1570516 Vic Vinegar
    Vic Vinegar's picture

    And I'd tell you to get a life but I'm a nice guy :-)

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:58 | 1571207 RichardP
    RichardP's picture


    Lucky me.  ;-)

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:45 | 1569259 Koffieshop
    Koffieshop's picture

    hey chuckie, the problem is that most of the available capital and wealth is concentrated in a small group of men.

    That is only true as long as long as some paper is worth more the its utility value.



    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:25 | 1569437 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    can you tell me one asset that does not have a lien on it?  name one or two ?   

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:31 | 1569459 fuu
    fuu's picture

    Intelligence and attitude?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:44 | 1569515 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    but, but , but, you can have that and still live in a fema camp.....nope., not the correct answer....

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:25 | 1569586 fuu
    fuu's picture

    Then please teach us the correct answer as you see it.


    In the meantime I will try again, using my Alex Jones addled brain.


    The good book you mention above has a great story that I am reminded of from time to time. That would be the story of Job. After losing all his wealth, family, and health he never lost his faith.

    Faith is an only asset that is not encumbered by a lein.



    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:26 | 1569721 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    You must be new here...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:28 | 1569730 fuu
    fuu's picture

    Yeah 2 years 6 weeks new.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:32 | 1569741 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    You may be a member but you haven't been reading too closely then....

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:52 | 1569824 Koffieshop
    Koffieshop's picture

    Liens are also pieces of paper.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:07 | 1569120 JW n FL
    JW n FL's picture

    Jeff Rubin, the former Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets and the author of Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller built his reputation as one of Canada's top economists based on a number of successful predictions including the housing bust of the early 90s and the rise of oil prices. In his recent book, Mr. Rubin predicts $225 per barrel oil by 2012 and with it the end of globalization, a movement towards local sourcing and a need for massive scaling up of energy efficiency.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:29 | 1569449 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    i am not buying it for a  minute . globalization is the game and the game is not going to ever change unless we change it. either we print our own money and control it or we are doomed as a nation and a people. it is just that simple. someone asked me above what is the answer. i tell them that one must control one's own money systems. i say this over and over again, yet it simply does not sink it. presidents and parties and politics mean nothing. i ask this. why would the prime minister of israel visit our country and get to speak in front of our congress and get 29 standing ovations from these bought off slaves?  therein lies the secret, does it not?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:50 | 1569816 JW n FL
    JW n FL's picture
  • [PDF]

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    Army Energy Security Strategy Industry Day Forum - After Action Report, December 2008. United States Air Force Infrastructure Energy Strategic Plan, 2008 ...

  • [PDF]
    U.S. Army Energy Security and Sustainability 

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    Apr 15, 2011 – April 2011. Torchbearer. National Security Report. U.S. Army Energy Security and . Sustainability: Vital to National Defense ...

  • Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:51 | 1569820 JW n FL
    JW n FL's picture

    U.S. Energy Infrastructure Investment: Long-Term Strategic ...

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    U.S. Energy Infrastructure Investment: Long-Term Strategic Planning to Inform Policy Development. A PSERC White Paper. PSERC Publication 09-02. March 2009 ...


  • [PDF]
    White Paper on Large-Scale Integrated Smart Grid Solutions

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    U.S. Energy Infrastructure Investment: Large-Scale Integrated Smart Grid ...

  • Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:15 | 1569913 Stax Edwards
    Stax Edwards's picture

    FYI - .gov has already identified all potential "Sustainable Agriculture" areas within major metropolitan areas.  They have created GIS layers and distributed them to the local governments. Visit your local government GIS website to view the locations near you under "Land Development" or something similar.  I thought of the potential use of such information but dismissed it as typical .gov tax and spend waste. Maybe this is what they have in mind for the long term planning for high dollar fuel?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:09 | 1569126 gwar5
    gwar5's picture

    Localism is always the answer. It is closer to the people and their immediate needs. It also creates real diversity derived from the locality, not through the artificial construct of skin pigmentation.

    Larger, more centralized governments are distant and require more power and central planning, and can only do this at the expense of individual liberty at the local level.  Levin's book, "Liberty and Tyranny," is an excellent primer on why larger is not better, it is terrible. 


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:42 | 1569508 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    money is power and power is money. one can lived in a gated community and try to survive but if the state wants to mount an attack on you to make you submit to its power then it will.  they say politics is always local and the problem is that we cannot own anything anymore. property, cars etc all have liens on them.  paying for items with fiat money furthers this problem and spreads it. the owners of this world own most of the gold and the means of production. the picture is dim. i wish i could be more positive about it all but i can't. my premise is this. all i want is liberty and to be left alone. but this simple request is too much trouble for control freaks. i am sure this country will balkanize per the plans in place. but trying to survive in small groups, etc will work until one day the state comes a calling and ask that you submit and then you have a choice. either submit or die.  

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:55 | 1570452 RichardP
    RichardP's picture

    Or move deeper into the forest.  Men used to sustain themselves there.  They can do so again.

    Oh, wait ....  What forest?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:29 | 1569136 Mercury
    Mercury's picture

    We have to solve our own problems. The savior state and these institutions are not going to reform themselves and they are not reformable in any way that is meaningful.

    Oh yes they are. It's called total financial collapse.

    When the parasitic, leviathan state becomes too large and wastes too much human capital, people do not become incentivized to improve their own efficiency and dream up novel ways to build capital, they are incentivized to either A) live off the government teat in a state of semi-human dissipation or B) consider themselves amoral bags of chemicals with no purpose in life other than to entertain themselves until those chemicals stop reacting.

    See: European fertility rates, social chaos, welfare state, banking and debt crisis

    Enterprise may be completely possible in an era of declining resource consumption but its not (and more importantly, not worth it) in an era where pretty much everything in life is subordinated to the tolls, requirements and needs of the state.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:58 | 1569578 High Plains Drifter
    High Plains Drifter's picture

    well take the concept of unions. unions were useful until they aren't useful. now all you hear is how its the union's fault about this or that. look i am not a big fan of unions but please. to put so much blame on unions is just plain wrong. if it weren't for unions we would not have as big a middle class as we do now or had in this country. so now the unions are problem because the internationalist non nationalistic capitalist want everyone to work for 5 dollars a hour or 2 dollars a  day or whatever. now unions are a problem because  they are no longer useful, just like the united states is slowly now becoming expendable............

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:13 | 1569140 Herd Redirectio...
    Herd Redirection Committee's picture

    "Who's Afraid of the Gold Standard?"

    Check out the latest from the Capital Research Institute

    "Japan has massive amounts of debt, relative to their GDP, but most of it is owed to the citizens of Japan.  In contrast, much of America’s debt is held by the Japanese gov’t, the Chinese gov’t, and financial institutions all over the world.  The difference is that not only does America still currently have the world reserve currency, their debt is owed in large part to foreigners.  Those two facts could very well create a perfect storm down the road, as foreigners liquidate their Treasuries (US gov’t debt)  and then look to buy tangible goods with the proceeds.   As America does not produce much in the way of goods they are unlikely to see much benefit.  In fact, that the US dollar still serves as reserve currency makes it more likely, IMO, that foreign dollar holders will use their dollars to buy commodities such as oil, wheat, timber, natural gas, copper, silver, and of course, gold.

    As a natural consequence, the price of Treasuries would drop, and commodity prices in general would surge higher.  When, well that is any body’s guess..."

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:13 | 1569141 Snidley Whipsnae
    Snidley Whipsnae's picture

    I read CHS too... but he isn't being very realistic here...

    "So if you can relocalize your income streams and your enterprises and live close to work and school, you’re already tremendously more resilient and have a much more sustainable household regardless of what happens."

    What about the 40 something million Americans that are living on food stamps? What funds will they have to relocalize (relocate) with? Can the millions living in subsidized city housing relocalize?

    They have but one 'income stream' and that is from Uncle Sugar.

    If Uncle Sugar's checks stop coming they won't have 'sustainable households'.

    Most of them don't have a job so they need not concern themselves about living close to work.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:19 | 1569167 SheepDog-One
    SheepDog-One's picture

    Yea really, topic of the article is fine and all but what about the nearly half of americans that would starve to death if not for the steady stream of checks from the govt? 

    Im all for it, but can americans seriously live like its the early 1900's again? Besides that, massive govt regulations are making it unlawful to even have a tomato bush in your backyard without getting tazed by a DHS agent enforcing Agenda 21 we've got far bigger problems than getting re-aquainted with your local neighbors.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:30 | 1569195 Snidley Whipsnae
    Snidley Whipsnae's picture

    In 1900 a huge part of America were still 'truck garden' farmers or working a big cash crop farm operation that had a small garden for those on the farm... In 1800 97% of Americans were farmers...

    Almost all of that is now gone... About 3% of Americans are now farmers... Exactly the opposite of 1800...


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1569229 SheepDog-One
    SheepDog-One's picture

    Today people have 'Farmville' on Facebook...but would starve to death if not for a gubment check.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:24 | 1569175 LawsofPhysics
    LawsofPhysics's picture

    Do not go there.  You know very well how it ends for most of them.  They become the fertilizer in the gardens of those who have put their capital into physical assets that increase a persons chances of survival.  Don't kid yourself, there are many like-minded neighborhoods already forming alliances.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:30 | 1569196 gdogus erectus
    gdogus erectus's picture

    40 million?  I have one word for you - Cuba.  Read up on what happened to them after the USSR collapsed and their teat dried up.  Sure they went with one meal a day for a while, then they got off their asses and planted gardens in their side yards and eventually got back to 3 meals a day again.  Powerful motivator.  Of course the US is armed and highly trained at first person shooter games ... maybe all that fluoride really is a good idea....

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1569230 Stuck on Zero
    Stuck on Zero's picture

    The one thing you get from subsidizing 40 million Americans with welfare and food stamps is 80 million Americans on food stams and welfare. 

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:14 | 1569148 stiler
    stiler's picture

    I don't invest in the local economy or work on that model for any other reason than that I want to put food on my table. Pray for your daily bread...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:18 | 1569157 ian807
    ian807's picture

    At the moment, localization is next to impossible. The necessisities of life, even the trivial ones, are probably shipped in from California, or China or the Phillipines and transported by oil-based means.

    You may live close to where you work, but the odds on that work being something that will survive an economic collapse is fairly low. Our society is made up of paper pushers, advisers, counselors and the like. The number of people who know how to do anything practical with water, electricity, building or farming is now vanishingly small.

    In other words, if there's a sudden oil and or economic shock, what do you expect the insurance adjustor, the secretary, the financial advisor, the guidance counselor or the lawyer to do?

    Your better bet is to prepare. Have gold and stored food and water ready and have the means to get more. And get some real skills. The guy who's smart enough to wire up a few dozen car alternators to a wind or water mill to charge a few dozen car batteries that runs the local doctor's office is going to win friends and influence people.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:25 | 1569178 LawsofPhysics
    LawsofPhysics's picture

    Yep.  The good news around in any economic collapse is that compensation returns to people with REAL skills.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:25 | 1569180 whstlblwr
    whstlblwr's picture

    All our shopping from the local farmer's market. All local farmers, buy soap, all food, some paper.

    For transportation, fuel, water, instead of thinking no, start thinking yes, and your head change, you will see it's not as hard as think.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:19 | 1569164 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    CHS, of all the fin-types that I am aware of, really gets it on so many levels...The first step is recognizing the problem, he is head and shoulders above the field, the hard step is the solutions, or perhaps a better way to put it, is the amelioration of the problem... There is a lot of misguided ideology to overcome first

    Jeff Rubin also gets it, but no one likes what he has to say.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:22 | 1569170 azengrcat
    azengrcat's picture

    But you can't live the American dream unless your are in a 5 BDRM 4BA McMansion in a gated community 100 miles from work with monoracial suburbian school for your children.  Mixing with those other people is just illogical.  

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:23 | 1569174 Dapper Dan
    Dapper Dan's picture

    Why did the markets just dive?


    Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:02pm EDT

     CARACAS, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo

    Chavez said on Wednesday he plans to nationalize the gold

    sector -- including extraction and processing -- and use the

    production to pad the country's international reserves.

     Chavez, speaking on state television, said he would carry

    out the nationalization through a decree in coming days.

     (Reporting by Caracas newsroom; Editing by Dale Hudson


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:27 | 1569184 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    Read up Crystallex.... Lost a few grand on that play.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:33 | 1569206 Snidley Whipsnae
    Snidley Whipsnae's picture

    This should be the boost that the mining stock peddlers are looking for... /sarc off

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:35 | 1569216 Stuck on Zero
    Stuck on Zero's picture

    Great idea Hugo!  The smart gold extraction management and engineers will flee the country, the workers will unionize, production will collapse, and Hugo will have to subsidize the whole operation.  Great move.  True to the standards of banana republics.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:26 | 1569182 PaperBear
    PaperBear's picture

    “removing capital from the Wall Street machine and investing it into local enterprise within the community in which you live.”

    Oh yes indeed. Decentralisation, in other words.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:28 | 1569188 PaperBear
    PaperBear's picture

    At least allow people to choose a medium of exchange.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:29 | 1569193 greyghost
    greyghost's picture

    wait one minute. isn't what is wrong already, is to much central planning? now we are told that we must redirect capital to the hinderlands and over the hills to grandmothers house. again who is going to do all the directing? we already have tooooo much of this nonsense. how is any business or for that matter any private person supposed to make any plans for the future with all this clap trap control freak dung????

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:43 | 1569252 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    How the fuck do you get "central planning" out of all this? Your ideology is showing...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:32 | 1569203 Stuck on Zero
    Stuck on Zero's picture

    The best way to localize is what my wife and I did.  We put our "Wall Street" IRAs into self-directed IRAs and purchased some local rental property.  Instead of collecting negative interest and letting Wall Street thieves have our money we are actually turning a profit.  We love it and it's tangible. 

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1569231 august west
    august west's picture

    @#1569157, I hear you ian807, you make a good point about "real" skills.

    in the meantime, regarding the notion of localization, CHS omits that local politicians are often worse in terms of running things for their own benefit and to the detriment of long term common sense. so, if you're serious about investing capital at a local level you need to be able to negotiate the minefield that is local political savants that just don't get it. that can be very painful.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:39 | 1569232 Gully Foyle
    Gully Foyle's picture

    Amazingly Automatic Earth mentioned localization in one of the primers years ago.

    Funny old world innit.



    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 12:43 | 1569253 tradewithdave
    tradewithdave's picture

    Within such a scenario the value unit would be fresh water as opposed to petro dollars. There is plenty of energy available on the static local level/non-transport.

    CITI suggests 20-30 years before Wall Street can offer a fresh water dsrivative as a measurable unit of value. Consider the clock is ticking in your watershed.

    Yes, Charles vision can be realized, but not with fiat or gold or tree hugging. Look up. You may have to wait a week or two but the answer will leave you all wet.

    Dave Harrison

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:06 | 1569351 Conax
    Conax's picture

    I ought to buy a house, make the first floor a tavern and live in tha apartment above it.


    Anyone have a liquor license they can spare?

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:20 | 1569421 caerus
    caerus's picture

    i frequent my local brewpubs...uh, frequently...

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:31 | 1569455 JohnFrodo
    JohnFrodo's picture

    I spent most of a decade in Austria and assume the same is true of Germany and all the Nordic countries, jobs have to move to people, not the opposite. It works great, no comutes and if you need to travel more than 40 KM to work you get a subsidy.

    Wake UP Zombies.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:41 | 1569504 adr
    adr's picture

    when a few select corporations control the vast majority of available resources there can be no future. I have a local farmers market but they can't supply food for my entire town. Out of every person on my street I am the only one with a job that actually builds things for consumption.

    the problem is education and knowledge. 90% of the people who live in the USA do not posess any skill that could b put to use after an armageddon style collapse. How many people can even do basic plumbing repairs anymore?

    I actually have an illegal hot water heater becuase I put it in myself. I was supposed to go get a permit and have it signed by a licensed contractor. I wasn't going to pay $500 to intall a $350 hot water heater when I can do the work myself.

    That is ho the decentralization plan will never work unless governmnt is destroyed at all levels. The problem is during the period of complete anarchy that will follow the collapse of our government very few people will be left alive.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:08 | 1569642 stiler
    stiler's picture

    yeah, I put in my own water heater after the first one leaked. It was free because I put it in myself. We built our own house and after almost ten years we have a nice house with three flu chimney and a fertilized farm. Here in Maine people just buy newborn animals and slaughter after 9 mos. w/o keeping over the winter because the cost of hay. Property taxes have killed local farming bec you can't afford to pay for a lot of land to get the hay.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:28 | 1570598 Escapeclaws
    Escapeclaws's picture

    I like CHS mostly because he comes across as an adult. That's a rare commodity in the baby boom generation, where most of us want to be friends with our children rather than be their parents. Actually a lot of what we complain about on this blog comes down to the immaturity of the baby boomers. I don't think it was a big transition to go from the hippy movement to Wall St greed. The focus for both is on personal satisfaction and getting ones way. For the hippies it was drugs and sex; for the Wall Streeters it's money and power (and drugs and sex).  Adults, by definition, are able to think about others besides themselves. Self-centeredness is what you expect in children who refuse to grow up. Spoiled brat narcissism.

    So CHS's big draw is his maturity. Children also get mad and stomp their feet and accuse when they don't get their way. If they are mal élevé, they also use a lot of four letter words and every argument becomes ad hominem. They always want to be the center of attention and will provoke to get attention. You'll never see CHS behaving that way.

    We elect our representatives based on personality (how good they make us feel) and what they will give us. They are wealthier reflections of ourselves and naturally use their office for self-aggrandizement. Very short term oriented, unable to see the big picture, in it for themselves, just like we would be if we had their opportunities.

    In better times, Charles could be correct to emphasize going local. However, it seems more practical to learn how to make the best of living in a police state, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. We don't hear much about that. The Russians could have a lot to teach us.


    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:36 | 1570618 Flakmeister
    Flakmeister's picture

    Very nice post...don't agree with everything, but that doesn't matter, it is so nice to see some people really thinking about what they write here.

    Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:55 | 1570674 Escapeclaws
    Escapeclaws's picture

    Thanks, you're very kind.

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