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Marc Faber To America: "Listen You Lazy Bugger, You Need To Tighten Your Belts, You Need To Work More For Lower Salaries"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Once again, the latest fire and brimstone sermon by Marc Faber is absolutely spot on, starting and ending with his "policy" recommendation for what the US needs: "I will tell you what the US needs.  The US needs a Lee Kwan Yew who stands in front of the US  and tells them, listen you lazy bugger, now you have to tighten your belts, you have to save more, work more for lower salaries and only through that will we get out of the current dilemma that essentially prevents the economy from growing." No money printing, no extensive protests, no excuses. Of course, this would have to accompany a global overhaul of the system, something Zero Hedge has been advocating since day one, as it is impossible to reform this broken system from within: "The problem i have with the investment universe is that i find it difficult to envision how the US and western Europe can return to healthy sustainable growth without a complete purge of the financial system and some type of catalyst. Something that restores some measure of social cohesion among people;  it could be hyperinflation, a complete credit market collapse, widespread sovereign defaults, civil strife, major military confrontation.”   Alas, in that he is also correct, and as we said back in early 2010, when the current episode of extend and pretend ends and the can kicking exercise finally fails, next up is war.

It is refreshing to see that Marc is a reader of Zero Hedge, and specifically the post that we consider one of the most important of the year, namely that from BSC, which laid out in black on white what the next steps will be:

I tell what you to do. I think a flat tax on everybody would be actually a good measure and i think to reduce the regulatory environment in the US. We have expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. But we have restrictive regulatory policies. And it curtails any initiative by the small businessmen., and the large businessmen, he doesn't employ and invest capital in the US, he does he that in China or somewhere else in the world where the regulatory environment is more favorable. If you look at net investments in the US, it's gone down for the last 20 years, and it's now negative. In other words, basically the capital stock of America is not being replenished. It's being replenished somewhere else. And at the same time, the policies of the Keynesians have always encouraged spending. “We're not going to get out of recession by saving. Spend, Spend, Spend.”  That is wrong. The lack of savings is the problem of the United States.

Faber on volatility and liquidity:

i think the volatility arises because we have the Nasdaq bubble and then we had the housing bubble and the stock market bubble and then a commodities bubble and usually when the bubble bursts like off the 29 or after the late '60s you have a period of very high volatility for about 10 to 15 years before the markets settle down and then reignite the uptrend. As far the dollar is concerned, the reason i'm actually quite positive is that global liquidity, despite of the fact that the ECB and the European governments will flood the market with liquidity to pay the sales out, that global liquidity is tightening. And whenever global liquidity is tightening, it's bad for asset prices but good for the US dollar as was the case in 2008.

On what the true target of #OccupyWallStreet, whose otherwise noble intentions are unfortunately being abused by higher powers, should be:

Basically we have the Keynesians and the Democrats and I'm not saying that all democrats are equal, but they want interventions and we have far too many interventions in the western world where the share of the total economy that goes to government and is government- sponsored has grown. And that essentially makes it very difficult for the western world to grow substantially. As to that huge level of debts, i don't see how the western world, including the US, japan, and Western Europe can actually grow. They're going to stagnate. And when you have stagnation over a longer period of time, people start to ask questions and then they go after minorities. And Wall Street is a minority – they are a minority and anyone else would have done the same. They use the system. But they didn't create the system. The system was created by the lobbyists and by Washington. So they should actually go to Washington and also occupy the Federal Reserve on the way.

 Finally, his conclusion is once again spot on: Wall Street's growth is merely a smokescreen for something far more insiduous and something repeatedly covered by Bill Buckler and other more insightful strategists: namely the infinite growth of central planning and the government apparatus. Wall Street's monstrous increase is merely a smokescreen by government to allow it to operate in its shadows and to pocket the benefits of the most mutated symbiotic relationship in the history of the world.

The problem is, governments in the western world -- and I'm not singling out the US  -- they have grown like a cancer. And now they protect themselves to stay in power and they have a variety of alliances, like, for instance Mr. Obama he has no clue, but when he sees the protesters in Wall Street he immediately says yes, yes, yes that’s a good idea so he can target the minority so can buy a few more votes. And of course the well to do people want to protect what they worked for and also what they're paying for because as you know in the US roughly 50% of the people don't pay federal income tax. So actually to say that the rich have not contributed anything is actually wrong.

The conclusion is that any systemic reset should not target just Wall Street: it should focus first and foremost on what is most broken in US society: its "government."

 

 

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Tue, 10/11/2011 - 14:55 | 1761965 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'Lee Kwan Yew"? Man, thanks Marc! Now I feel retarded! But thats OK....lots of tards out there livin kickass lives!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 14:58 | 1761992 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Was he saying she's my "Braud"?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:05 | 1762022 dlmaniac
dlmaniac's picture

Marc is exactly right. The reasons no one provides jobs in US is simply b/c people have too few skills and yet ask for too high a salary. In other words: Darwinism at work.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:10 | 1762036 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

There's a very simple solution to most of our problems - GET MONEY THE FUCK OUT OF POLITICS!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:18 | 1762071 Shocker
Shocker's picture

You are Spot on, Stop spending money in areas that will not help in economic growth. The road works ends unless it is necessary, all silly spending stops.

We are replacing good paying, good jobs with lower wages.Thats great and all but prices on everything had to come way the heck down.

http://www.dailyjobcuts.com

.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:25 | 1762100 Clorox Cowboy
Clorox Cowboy's picture

How does any of this matter, and why are we still talking about returning to growth when it is becoming more and more obvious that the world is facing the end of cheap oil?  Growth, in the economic sense, is not coming back. 

I like to read Zero Hedge to stay informed about the foolishness of the political/financial class...wasn't aware that any of the Tylers thought our situation was "fixable" though...that's troubling.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:35 | 1762160 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

"most", not all

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:50 | 1762264 CH1
CH1's picture

Nah, do the morally consistent thing and cosider all coercion to be evil.

Under that standard, State=Fail.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:34 | 1762604 o_rly
o_rly's picture

Yes, because Marc Faber works oh so hard. These financiers shift money around, it's not like they produce anything. What a fucking joke. Faber? Has that guy ever worked a day in his life? All he does is go on Bloomberg and make snarky comments. I work hard everyday, I just can't wait until the Wall Street nobility have to do the same. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:40 | 1762639 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Thanks o_rly, I read no comments before writing mine and I was sure I was alone in my thoughts. Fuck faber!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:02 | 1762782 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

-

North America, Europe and Asia are experiencing a fiat debt bubble collapse created by the central banks.

 

The choice is reform the currency or get annihilated.  In the meantime, paper is the most dangerous place to be.

 

JPMorgan and Goldman are voting with their feet while continuing to sell paper garbage to their customers:

 

Goldman and JPMorgan enter metal warehousing - Financial Times

 

Metal Warehousing Pays Off For Goldman Sachs - Forbes

 

Goldman's Secret Cash Cow: Detroit Warehouses Full of Metal ...

 

J.P. Morgan reopens vault amid gold demand: report - MarketWatch
Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:27 | 1763159 arby63
arby63's picture

That is utterly amazing. I had no idea how coniving all of these bastards are. They are everywhere and screwing everything up faster than it can be fixed!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:16 | 1764068 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

JPMorgan and Goldman both well know that we are facing worldwide currency chaos as this currency/debt bubble collapses.

 

Don't think they aren't position to fleece everyone during the panic and to be gatekeepers in the new real asset world.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:41 | 1762785 ratso
ratso's picture

Booooooo! Farber.  What a looser.  His recomendations are crap.  

I'll go with the old 'waves of creative destruction' economists. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:04 | 1763306 Market Efficien...
Market Efficiency Romantic's picture

only that it is not a contradiction. If we maintain the current policy, it is not a destrcution allowing for innovation here but in different regions. Creative destruction has moved to a global scale, isn't that obvious? It has alwyays been like that with the shift of world powers, long before the declaration of a globaliued economy. That only accelerates the process.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:56 | 1763992 ratso
ratso's picture

Thanks for the thought but I would refer you to the school of Austrian economics for a more cogent exposition of my meaning.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:03 | 1762798 Surly Bear
Surly Bear's picture

Work harder for less pay and save. Sounds deflationary, Ben.

I love Mark Faber. Speak truth.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:03 | 1763085 ZeroPower
ZeroPower's picture

Montreal!

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 05:08 | 1764794 Pondmaster
Pondmaster's picture

A good jobs Bill would reduce Gov't shovel leaners by 50% - CUT GOV'T LEECHES TO THE MAN 50% - Second don't allow Gov't unions to work against the taxpayers - Flat tax on ALL - Tariffs on all imports especially our "favored" crooks in China  - Prosecute and heavily fine the lying banks. Let the bansksters in prison make the road repairs , heralded by the 5k "Obama did this" banners along the roads  . Boycott the markets . End 401k's , Roths .    

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:22 | 1763143 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Robert O'Carlos. Marc Faber does not require a defensible position for stating reality for four years.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:27 | 1763842 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

''listen you lazy bugger, now you have to tighten your belts, you have to save more, work more for lower salaries"

Oh so the problem is the lazy over-paid working man?  What sh#t.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:14 | 1764054 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Wealth and income disparity is the problem.  Debt slavery, usury, fiat fractional reserve banking.  The gov't has become a corporatist oligarchy. 

I appreciate the people who think we will experience a prolonged energy crisis, I really do.  But surely even the most cynical of us figures there are some technological discoveries that have been suppressed by 'Big Oil' in the last 90+ years.   Even in spite of that, the universe is full of energy, our problem is harnessing it efficiently. 

Its not that I think human ingenuity will save the day, but rather that graft and dedication will overcome that which, from where we are currently standing, seems impossible.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:17 | 1764069 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

You forgot to mention he said "The people in the UK don't want to work."

I was sort of stunned; that was a ballsy statement. I assume he meant it, its kind of how he is. And he isn't stupid either. Thus, I am sort of stunned.

Regards,

Cooter

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:49 | 1762704 tiger7905
tiger7905's picture

Don Coxe Update on Dexia and Gold

 

http://goldandsilverlinings.com/?p=1693

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:16 | 1762869 CapitalistRock
CapitalistRock's picture

Marc Faber does not participate in Wall Street other than to simply put 30% of his assets in long term stocks, which is less than most 401ks. The rest of his savings are in gold and real estate. He is not a trader, financier, etc. To call Marc Faber a wall street guy is a joke and shows how ignorant you are. I subscribe to his newsletter. You need it more than me apparently. He's a gold bug that is further outside the system than most sheep like yourself.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:08 | 1763696 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

Then why blame the workers? Give me a fucking break workers REAL wages have been steadily decreasing since 1976 and it's THEIR fault? Huh, I thought it was moving factories over seas to our supposed enemies who are busy stealing our technology along with the fiat/fractional reserve ongoing heist of American wealth.

Faber may not be Jamie Dimon or Lloyd Blankfein but he really ought to place blame where it belongs on BOTH parties (cough cough Republican president and Treasury Sec. pushed for TARP and Bernanke was initially a Repub appointment, obviously Obama is more of the same fucking bullshit) and the FED + the "Investment" banks along with the entire concept of fiat currency and fractional reserve.

To blame workers for wanting some reasonable portion of the wealth THEY CREATE is just fucking class warfare rhetoric. Sorry Richy Rich turns out the RICH can and have been waging a class war since fucking Uruk and Ur, yet you only hear the words Class War when the poor/middle class resist in the slightest.

Fuck Faber I just lost all respect I had for him (used to have quite a bit actually). I'm a Gold Bug and I don't give a fuck if he shits gold Kruggerands, laying this at the feet of workers who want better wages than chinese children and prisoners is tripe of the most fetid kind. Fuck Faber.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:33 | 1764142 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I completely understand your frustration. I was bitching to conservative friends for YEARS (during Bush) about the loss of manufacturing jobs and wealth production (vs BS service economy crap ... like insurance).

However, the reality is, now, that if the US is going to stand back up, we must do it by producing things of value that people want/need. That means manufacturing, innovation, and all that happy horse shit.

We are not going to get it at high ball salaries; we need to take the fucking gloves off and whoop some ass. This is why trade/currency wars are such a likely outcome.

I am the first to demand the hanging of bankers in the streets (I prefer lamp posts myself - after a proper trial of course), but the reality is that the US must compete on a labor scale against the rest of the world ... because we let our jobs go overseas and now the competition has trenches dug, is trained to fight, and has the logistics necessary to sustain themselves.

We made/allowed this mess, so the price is fighting to win. So, you are right, but don't expect the price to be pleasant. In fact, expect that price to suck.

So in my mind, the real question, is are you part of the greater-est generation? Because it is going to be at least that rough, probably with a fat war on top.

Regards,

Cooter

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:09 | 1764255 SeanJKerrigan
SeanJKerrigan's picture

Well, that's what the Fourth Turning says, my go to book these days.

If I'm not mistaken, the book predicts that the Millenials are the next "hero generation" -- The spiritual equivalent of the 'greatest generation.'  Wow.

But yeah, I look forward to telling everyone I told them so as we enter a new MASSIVE war that we probably won't survive.

UPDATE/EDIT: By the way, its pretty clear Faber doesn't understand what he's talking about.   Everything we know about the problem indicates that if you want to increase growth, you have to get people to spend.  They can't do that because they're burried in debt.  So first, you need to clear that debt (either by paying it down or defaulting on it).  Since paying it down is very difficult, even with slightly higher wages, default would be easier.

Then you can have spending resume at sufficient levels.  So even if we assume things don't get worse (a foolish assumption), it'll still be years before people are done deleveraging to the point where they can begin to spend again.  With the baby boomers peaking in their spending habbits, it seems pretty clear to me we're pretty much screwed in that whole growth thing.

Jesus, when you write it all out, you see that there really is no way to engender growth... the best we can hope for is a soft landing on our way down to hell.

I go into some more detail here if your interested.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 04:58 | 1764789 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

"Everything we know about the problem indicates that if you want to increase growth, you have to get people to spend.  "

ok time to put down the crack pipe, mr. keynes.

first of all, you have to get over your insistence on GROWTH. that idea, growth at all costs, is an obsession that's plagued our society and degraded our quality of life planet-wide.

second, it's not a lack of spending that's a problem, if anything it's TOO MUCH spending (at least in america). as a society we need to spend less, save more, and invest more, that will creat a more financially healthy environment and a stronger economy.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:08 | 1763101 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Actually he's claimed to have worked hard at chasing all those bikini clad Thai girls. His criticisms might be misplaced but his eye certainly isn't.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:10 | 1763111 trav7777
trav7777's picture

exactly.  Another confettier complaining.  I'm sure he'd like a business but those fuckin workers are denying the confettier capitalist class the RIGHT to 100% of the profits.

Yeah, let's have wage parity with China where they are minting capitalist class billionaires by the truckload all of whom are connected to the Party and can get money for free.  Awesome idea.

I love how these idiots think it is really their money, that they borrowed from a bankster friend who conjured it out of his ass.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:20 | 1763374 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

yer old face it back!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:22 | 1763384 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

"Yes, because Marc Faber works oh so hard. These financiers shift money around, it's not like they produce anything. "

o_rly, if you're too dense to understand that efficiently allocating capital IS producing something, then you're too dense to be on zero hedge.

you have outdated notions as to what work is, you don't necessarily need to be a brute in order to do work.

 

"All he does is go on Bloomberg and make snarky comments."

yes, and they are absolutely BRILLIANT snarky comments, if there were a dvd compilation of BEST OF FABER, i would buy it.

 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:35 | 1763893 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Blaming American workers for this crisis is sh#t, pure and simple.  On that point Faber is full of it.  As for this nation's "capital allocators" it is they and they alone who are to blame.  They are incompetent and should be handed shovels.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:40 | 1764172 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I disagree. I have considered doing my own business and always come to the conclusion it isn't worth it. If I was going to do it, I would have to borrow or seek investors. So, my idea would have to be compelling enough to someone to float the operation and get the cash flow going. I am very talented at what I do and I could absolutely run a web software consulting firm. I would probably do pretty well, but the whole environment these days is caustic. It just isn't worth all the BS.

So, I opt for a decent pay check in a small town. I still have a great deal of satisfaction doing what I do, its just W-2. And I have all this free time, since I don't have all the responsibility of running a small company.

Regards,

Cooter

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:01 | 1764401 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Who is John Galt?"

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 04:26 | 1764770 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

since when did he blame american workers?

don't get your panties all in a wad.

faber *loves* workers, as do i.

if anything, he's critical of consumers, not workers.

he is commenting on a society that has been self indulgent for too long, living on undeserved credit, buying unneccessary consumer goods with money that would have been better saved. but that's instant gratification american culture for you!

did you even watch the interview? they asked him how we get out of this mess, he said, simple, work harder, spend less, pay off debts. it's not rocket science, but it's a bitter pill that people don't want to swallow, medicine is sometimes like that.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:46 | 1764740 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Efficiently allocating capital? Chinese Communist Party is doing a better job than Wall St whose idea of efficiently allocating capital is figuring out which partners should get it. Chinese average standard of living is rising US declining.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:43 | 1762211 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Right Clorox, the line that we're returning to growth is absurd, the country and is manufacturing and resources have been sold off for the promise of cheap loans, its all pure crap!

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:12 | 1762852 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

Indeed.  This advice from Tyler / Faber is pure crap: lowering wages (accepting lower wages) will exacerbate all of our problems, as people won't be able to afford houses, healthcare or most goods and services, which will harm all businesses and lead to ever greater deflationary pressures.

 

What we need to do is dump NAFTA and the WTO and stop trying to compete with China's slave labor on wages.  Stop the race to the bottom!

 

This advice from Tyler / Faber is good for the top 1%, and terrible for the 99%...  How much does Faber make?  I think he and his ilk are the ones who "need to tighten [their] belts, need to work for lower salaries"!  Nothin' like a rich puke telling the proletariat *they* need to take a pay cut - in fact, is that news?  We hear it every day from the MSM...

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:25 | 1763106 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

 

Christophe,

I agree cutting wages won't do the trick but please post your counter suggestion.  What are we going to do with the real problem which is the $50 trillion of US debt (Federal, State, corporate, consumer, municipal combined) that is crushing the economy?

Deficit spend and create inflation as we are now all doing?  That's been tried and it doesn't work.

 

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:27 | 1764718 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

I don't believe that we have a responsibility to pay back debt that was fraudulently issued: the racket wherein the big investment banks directly bribed politicians (above and beyond the regular 'donations') in order to accept the crappy deals that generated that debt has been well covered by Matt Taibi and others, and in any case the general solution is fairly simple: default on the debt if it becomes unmanageable.

 

Let the big banks crash, let the massively rich take their losses (sadly, along with the retirement funds, which are basically screwed anyway).  Iceland is a good example of how to deal with massive ponzi schemes and fraudulent debt, while Greece/Ireland/Japan are good examples of what NOT TO DO.

 

In any case, increasing wages won't work so long as we have free trade with slave-wage nations.

 

In the long term, people who don't make enough to take proper care of their kids ('cos they have to work 2 jobs just to get by) and can't afford education are never going to develop the kinds of skills needed to truly succeed in life - it becomes (or remains) the purvue of the wealthy, and it is not good for our society to have such extreme wealth inequality.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:49 | 1764744 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Re-occupy Kuwait and surrounding oil producers.

Charge China $300/barrel for oil.

Massively nuke Pakistan/N. Korea in coordination with India/China (under threat of no more oil).

Iran surrenders next day or gets nuked.

US takes control of Chinese currency valuation.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:50 | 1763234 koperniuk666
koperniuk666's picture

a manufacturer friend who sources his stuff from China says that its getting much more expensive in China over last cple years and that China will shortly be too expensive for him. I dont manufacture - just pass on the gossip.....

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:53 | 1763247 BigJim
BigJim's picture

No.

If I, as a manufacturer, pay my staff higher wages, this will have to be reflected in the final cost of the product, won't it? The price will go up. Do you think there will be more demand, or less demand, for my product (assuming it's not some stupid Veblen good) if it costs more?

Don't like your shitty wage? Then acquire some more skills. Your labour is no different from selling anything else. Do you think the government should mandate a minimum price for, say, chairs? No? Well, what's the difference between your labor and its products? The 'correct' wage is whatever your skills command in a free economy. Admittedly, we don't have one of those, but getting government to slap tariffs on imports leads to trade wars and makes things even worse for the 99% (eg, Smoot-Hawley).

As for Faber, he makes his money (unlike those who are part of the state-imposed money-creating cartel known as the banks) as a private speculator and investor, who risks his and his (willing) clients' money. He's entitled to every penny he can earn... and every penny he loses if he gets it wrong.

Faber wasn't bailed out. Don't get your friends confused with your enemies.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:49 | 1763959 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

you, like many who hug this belief, forget about all the wealth the middle class helped to generate this great economy which has now been siphoned rapidly away to the lowest common denominator.

Why do you think Japan, and then China, sold so much to America??  Cause their workers couldn't afford shit.  And still can't afford shit. And soon, American workers won't be able to afford shit.

If the occupy wall street crowd want a purpose, they should organize massive loan & mortgage defaults as the nuke to end it all. 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:46 | 1764195 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Japan designed itself, at the highest level of government, to be a trade surplus country. The Japanese people have many very distinctive qualities when it comes to culture, which underpin this model. Being a trade surplus country gifts enormous influence to those who purchase the debt of the debtor.

It is the same faustain bargain China chose to make; the elite opted for power and influence with the semi-delusion it would be somehow sustainable.

But do not fret, the US was trade surplus to Europe after WWI. We had all that money rolling in the door. Worked out great for us I must say!

In case you missed the sarcasm, I have the personal opinion that any system with significant trade surplus/deficit imbalances is destined to blow up. Prepare accordingly.

Regards,

Cooter

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 06:20 | 1764821 BigJim
BigJim's picture

The Chinese outcompeted us on price, and the Japanese outcompeted us on quality. Meanwhile, our wealth was siphoned away on stupid wars that wasted untold value and blood, but enabled our overlords to become rich. Our overheads went up commensurately.

And the Japanese and Chinese are much, much better off than before they started trading. Trade has immeasurably increased the wellbeing of humanity.

The US did very well for most of the early 20th century because of a fortunate combination of natural resources, (relatively) pro-business government, and a hard-working populace. And after WWII, we had the advantage of not having our entire country laid virtually to waste, not having a communist government, the largest amount of gold, and the reserve currency that enabled us to inflate with relative little consequence. Well, sorry, we've expolited those conditions for as far as we could, but there is absolutely no reason why someone producing hamburgers in Chicago should be paid much more than someone producing hamburgers in Mumbai.

We are being choked by governance and its consequences - regulatory capture, an overbearing MIC, and a parasitic financial sector that legally picks our pockets through inflation or outright theft (eg, TARP). Slapping higher taxes on imports won't make us any more competitive, it'll just make stuff more expensive, government even larger, invite reprisal, and we'll all be poorer.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:53 | 1764747 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Faber produces nothing that can be used to feed, clothe or house your family.

He makes a lot of guesses , some of them come true, as would happen with 1000 monkeys.

No large group of humans on earth has had their standard of living improve as a result of basing their survival strategy on Faber's guesses and none will because even if he has been right before, this does not increase the probability of him being right now.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 05:54 | 1764811 BigJim
BigJim's picture

I have not (especially) followed Faber's advice. But clearly, plenty of investors have, and have found that he does indeed produce something that they can use to feed, clothe, or house their families. That is how he earns his money - that and through speculative investments.

He's not in the business of increasing our money supply (ie, a banker), or regulatory capture, or lobbying to get us to invade other countries to either steal their wealth, or enable the more efficient transfer of wealth from us to our overlords, or (to my knowledge) operating a ponzi scheme. His income comes from entirely voluntarily-given sources, and consequently he is entitled to every cent of it.

No large group of humans on earth has had their standard of living improve as a result of basing their survival strategy on Faber's guesses and none will because even if he has been right before, this does not increase the probability of him being right now.

LOL. How do you know how large a group of humans ('on earth' or elsewhere) have profited from taking Faber's advice? Furthermore, some people demonstrably have a better grasp of capital flows, history, macro economics, and politics than others. Clearly, these people's 'guesses' will be more likely to be right than, say, some fair-faced but lying internet troll. If people look at Faber's track record and think he is someone they are more likely to make money with, that is their business.

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 10:15 | 2348388 geoffb
geoffb's picture

"Don't like your shitty wage? Then acquire some more skills. "

In case you've been in a cave for the last two or three decades one's level of job skill and its correlation to pay is in an epic collapse. Labor's share of national income is in freefall.  Capital no longer has to pay for labor, period. Businesses are even complaining about Chinese wages now. Next stop, N. Korean wages for everybody!

http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/trends/2012/0212/01gropro.cfm

Until payper money goes bye-bye, its exploit or be exploited.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:59 | 1763277 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

If it is up with the protectionist barriers, personally stop buying any foreign made goods.   US made goods are out there, just generally more expensive, but it is worth that good feeling supporting the union label, the regulatory maze, and entitlements for nearly all.  Spread the wealth.  Redistribute to all.  Mandate wages.  Punish capital.  Protest something on Wall Street.  Pelosi, Reid and Obama in 2012. 

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 06:18 | 1763551 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

hahaha, you're funny.

but your troll-fu is a bit too transparent to be credible.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:12 | 1763554 daxtonbrown
daxtonbrown's picture

[Indeed.  This advice from Tyler / Faber is pure crap: lowering wages (accepting lower wages) will exacerbate all of our problems, as people won't be able to afford houses, healthcare or most goods and services, which will harm all businesses and lead to ever greater deflationary pressures.]

 

That's absolutely brilliant!  I am self employed too, so as CEO I've immediately raised my wage from minimum wage to $1,000/hr and am already seeing a boom in the economy at the local strip club I inhabit.  None of that savings crapola for me, I'm going to save the economy all by myself.

Tomorow I'm gonna give myself a big raise to $1 million an hour and see if that helps me pay my health care costs.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:35 | 1764727 Christophe2
Christophe2's picture

If you pay attention to what I wrote, you'll notice that I explicitly mention free-trade and wage competition with slave labor as key policies that need to change for wages to be able to go up without killing the businesses.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:16 | 1763569 oldman
oldman's picture

Chris,

i agree. I had never read or listened to Faber before this piece, but had only heard how smart he is.

I'm not impressed by anything he said in this piece; he sounds just like every other fascist mouthpiece I ever read.

The other thing is that the system was de-regulated in order to obtain 'market efficiency', but all we have had is price gouging and a new feudal system initiated. The only thing that was really de-regulated in my opinion, has been consumer protection. Put your phone bill from 1980 next to the one you paid last month and you'll see what I mean, and-----if you have a problem or want some service, 'Well, sir, I'm sorry we are not allowed-----------you understand, I'm sure. It's the government, you see----"

And if you want to speak to a manager then---and only then do you find out that you are speaking to someone in a call center in New Delhi.

Anyway, I'm disappointed in this fabled Faber----maybe another time           om

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:44 | 1762221 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

The end of cheap oil is actually a very good thing for the economy!
It can create jobs to create energy and those who are able will become the next worldpower.

And for now, only one is getting very close: france, suez with their fusion reactor that will go fully operational in about 10 to 15 years.

The rest is standing idle.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:08 | 1762369 Clorox Cowboy
Clorox Cowboy's picture

Wish I had your optimism SD.  I see the end of cheap oil as a very dangerous thing as it implies more expensive food and the imminent general failure of the debt/growth model.  I don't anticipate jobs as the outcome...war, poverty, crime, famine, disease, death...those would be my predictions.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:49 | 1762706 Janice
Janice's picture

Opportunities.  I was thinking about opening up a local hatchery to sell baby chicks.  Unless the government regulations are so vast that I ..never mind....everyone for themselves.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:08 | 1762821 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Janice,

I understand they just implemented some brand new regulations on hay rolls in the field as well...can't find the article.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:23 | 1763387 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Hay rolls? Aren't they those things that can be used to hide terrrrists?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:56 | 1763503 nmewn
nmewn's picture

LOL!!!...yes...these days a simple farmer trying to get by selling something people actually need...dried grass ;-)

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 01:21 | 1764555 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

I was thinkin', maybe something else would grow up here but spuds and rocks, and voila!  Mix of 75% hemp to 25% high-test, make oil to run the implements and rope and such with most of the rest.

It'd sure slow down the UP Speed Beef, they'd be feeding everywhere around the field....

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:27 | 1763597 michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

Faber is wrong on tax. They need less revenue since they cannot balance accounts so they need to be dismissed to core funtions. You never give incompetance a raise.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:44 | 1763208 Gold Man-Sacks
Gold Man-Sacks's picture

Dude, you serioulsy need to get off the Peak Oil thing.  Think about something else for a while (like Global Warming).  You can insert the same alarmist rhetoric - wars, famine, pestilence, poverty, cats and dogs living together; it's mass hysteria.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:02 | 1763515 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

Amen.

Clorox, I know it's hard, but try to avoid the temptation to always steer all conversations towards your peculiar obsession, especially ones which have little and/or nothing to do with it.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:29 | 1763414 zangs
zangs's picture

Bingo!  Famine, war, etc.  We're all going to be living very differently in 5-10 years. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:20 | 1763811 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Not more EXPENSIVE food, but more mouths to feed with not enough growth capacity on a finite planet! WE need to confront the  debt/growth model for what it is--a fraud in our prediciment. Withl the advent of the use of oil 2 hundred years ago the BIRTH/DEATH model is what we have lost sight of. Until we take care of THAT issue, all the rest is what comes out of a North end of a south bound bull.

I had a interesting discussion with several professors in Floripa (Florinapolis) Brasil years ago and the consensus was the caryring capacity of this planet would be about 2.5 Billion with the view of maintaining the current biodiveresity we had 30 years ago.

More oil and bankers will not solve those problems. We need a totally different paradigm for where we need to go for our survival. Where we were will not solve the problems facing us.

The first man came out of the ocean and in the book and movie the last man died in the ocean, and maybe taking dramatic license we may be "Standing on the Beach".      Milestones 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:32 | 1763433 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Hahaha!

What a joke. Energy can't be created. Iter is a giant money hole that suck billions and turns out waste. It will never produce a positve energy return on investment.  Fusion is 20-21st Century snake-oil. Fusion is always "10 to 20 years away".

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:23 | 1762522 anony
anony's picture

The majority of the people have children.  They cannot abide a future that is festooned with black crepe.

The truth, that there will not be for a very very long time,  a return to growth, is a scenario that they refuse to comprehend.  Won't even discuss.  Try it some time in a gatherin of people with children and you're likely to be disinvited from all future conclaves.

Those who realize it's unfixable have at least a head start on adjusting to a world they've never known and how to deal with it.

Count yourself among them.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:08 | 1764419 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Cancer grows a lot too -- don't see everyone volunteering for their share, though!

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 04:43 | 1764778 chindit13
chindit13's picture

Time for everybody to consider going Japanese.  With one of the world's lowest birth rates, Japanese are a dying breed.

Not having kids is a far more humane way of culling the population than the traditional methods of war, famine and genocide.

Nobody is so important that the world needs his gene pool.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:39 | 1763194 Gold Man-Sacks
Gold Man-Sacks's picture

Are you still whining about Peak Oil?  Geez, talk about a one-track mind. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:45 | 1763217 koperniuk666
koperniuk666's picture

Theres shit loads of oil.   980bn barrels or 41 yrs at current consumption and current prices.

Anyone remember the 1973 oil shock?  when the pundits said there was only 27 yrs  of reserves and that is would run out in 2000??  and where are we now? The wankers have renamed their bullshit 'peak oil'  but its still BS  - go do some due diligence.

Anyone remember the (UK) royal Commission in mid  19C that thought coal was running out??

or whale oil  just before that?

Theres always some doomster trying to scare (motivate) the sheeple.

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:56 | 1763255 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Ooooh, now you've done it - Trav7777 will be calling you a nasty name.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:11 | 1763326 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yep, it's remarkable how reasonable someone can sound and still be completely full of shit...

A Pop Quiz for you, explain the following:

Q does not matter, it is dQ/dt. If you do not know the difference between the two, then simply STFU and save your ass from getting deeply embarrassed.

And by the way, why don't you check when UK coal production peaked?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:51 | 1763492 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Anyone remember the (UK) royal Commission in mid 19C that thought coal was running out??"

To bad they didn't have that comission to monitor North Sea Oil production in the late 1980, or early 1990. Now the UK is a net importer of oil.  The UK economic troubles began when it became a net import of Oil.

"980bn barrels or 41 yrs at current consumption and current prices."

About half of that will have a negative EROEI. Meaning it will stay in the ground. There is a huge difference in the amount of oil in the ground and the amount of oil that can be extracted with a Positive EROEI. As EROEI declines the price of oil rises as more input costs are required. At best the global economy can sustain oil prices at about $90-$100 bbl. Current global median production costs are around $65 to $70 barrel. As the super-giant water out (Ghawar, Burgan, Cantarell, etc) the price will rise above the $90 bbl part and the global economy is finished. Oil production and Oil prices will see-saw as production declines and demand destrution interact. The long term trend will be falling production and declining production.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:56 | 1763733 BigJim
BigJim's picture

I must admit I know fuck all about this subject. But surely "At best the global economy can sustain oil prices at about $90-$100 bbl" is entirely dependent on how many USDs are floating around.... and it looks to me like there are going to be a lot more of them in the medium/long term.

Also - something that's puzzled me about this EROEI business - it seems that it assumes that the same source of energy (oil) is being used to produce oil. If, for instance, natgas is used to pump oil, because oil distillates are a more useful and portable source of energy than natgas, then why does EROEI have to be positive?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:51 | 1764214 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

EROEI is the ultimate limiting factor, but we are still some ways off yet.... Using Nat gas works now because the EROEI on the Nat Gas is still high enough and their is a financial premium for liquid fuels. 

Think of the EROEI in the following limit. You are on an island, the only energy source you have is coal but the seam goes off under the water and roof leaks worse and worse the deeper you go. You can keep it dry enough by burning a fraction of the coal you mine to power the pumps. What happens when ability to increase the "net coal" to power society flatlines and decreases? What happens when you have to burn all the coal you mine to power the pumps?

Currently by any reasonable analysis, net energy to society has flatlined and is turning over. The economy relies on transportation and transportation relies on oil....

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:10 | 1764267 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

BigJim,

Keep an eye on www.TheOilDrum.com for this subject matter. Just as easy to read as ZH for given subject complexity. Forums are much friendlier so don't be shy about posting with questions. They don't post articles nearly as often, but the TechTalk series are quite eye opening; I reccomend the whole series if you enjoy such things. Knowing how things really work enables critical thinking.

Peak oil is real. It is a world wide daily production issue. Folks like to get distracted with all the other stuff like different kinds of reserves. Think of it like this; if you had a company that produced a product and that product shot up 50% in a few weeks or couple months would you (1) produce the same volume (2) chain your workers to their machines?

The world is running at peak production. It is widely known fields have a depletion curve so maintaining production means new fields. Look at the places they are talking about drilling (e.g. Arctic). The do the production cost math.

Dark days ahead...

Regards,

Cooter

P.S. For anyone that likes dead tree stuff, Downey's "Oil 101" is indespensible as a reference. Leffler's "Petroleum Refining: In Non-technical Language" is very illuminating. Knowing how the products that drive the world economy are produced gives wonderful insight into many things that might be hard to explain otherwise (such as crude price movements/logistics/importance of certain fields/etc).

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:01 | 1764402 AGuy
AGuy's picture

$90-$100 at 2011 USD value. Of course if the dollar was to decrease or increase in value, inflation/deflation that would be a different matter.

"Or instance, natgas is used to pump oil, because oil distillates are a more useful and portable source of energy than natgas"

It already is, in the form of tar-sands oil. But NatGas is also extremely useful. Consider that 25% of North American Electricity comes from NatGas, Plus factor in demand Commercial/Residential Heating and Petro-Chemical production.

Currently NatGas is being sold below real market value ($4-$5 per mmbtu), on the assumption that NatGas is extremely abundant via Shale Gas. Unfortunately Shale gas is a big lie and drillers are falsifying long term production estimates in order to dump fields into naive investors to make big profits. The real market price for NatGas in North America is probably in the $11 to $14 per mmbtu. Once the shale game is up, Oil production from Oil sands will become too costly to produce unless the price of Oil goes up to $120-$140 bbl. I suppose Coal could be used to produced Tar-Sands Oil but it would be more expensive than using Nat gas.

Oil distillates, such as Diesel can be produced directly from NatGas, but its very expensive. Shell set up a Ngas to Diesel plant in Qatar for ~ $24 Billion (Pearl GTL plant) and its not been an economic success as promised.

Any Measures such as using other fossil fuels as replacements would delay the inevitable, and would not bring prices down.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:34 | 1763890 Milestones
Milestones's picture

When oil costs one barrel and one drop more to extract then its utility value; we have found how high the price of oil will go.      Milestones

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:53 | 1764223 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Not necessarily.....

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:38 | 1764344 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Can you explain your response? Because, to me, you make no logical sense. I am willing to accept I must be missing something, which is why I ask, so don't be equally as vauge.

Regards,

Cooter

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:18 | 1764443 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The price of oil, when used as an energy source, is self governing to a certain extent. Increase the price too much and demand drops; witness the aftermath of oil price shocks and the resulting decrease in demand. In the past it was possible to increase supply so that the stimulative effect of lower energy prices could result in overall increase in economic activity. What we have now, and has has been bourne out by two cycles is that once Brent gets to ~$125, the world econonomy starts shutting down. There is real demand destruction occuring at these junctures. So the world economy stumbles along, less oil available but also less demand, demand increases, overwhelming any spare capacity, price increases, stalling the economy, more demand destruction... rinse, repeat etc... 

  The point I am getting at, in an oblique way, is that the marginal value of oil is not a fixed concept, it is highly subjective. Using oil as feedstock for high value added petro-chemicals gives oil a different value than for moving a 2 1/2 ton SUV to to local mall....Each will bid up to a certain point for that oil, and you can guess who drops out first.

Forget dollars, look at the price of oil in Au and Ag. Suprisingly stable, ceteris paribus... 

 

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 01:33 | 1764568 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

In Canada, they've been getting ~30 barrels/acre from hemp seeds, with a record 100/acre, at around $35/barrel.

www.fuelandfiber.com/Hemp4NRG/Hemp4NRGV3.htm

 

From 2006, think anythings changed?

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 02:57 | 1764681 Milestones
Milestones's picture

You missed the entire argument. If the cost of extracting a barrel of oil exceeds the utility of of that barrel of oil you cannot extract it weather it costs $5.00 a barrel or $5,000 a barrel. Monerary cost has nothing to do with it. You are still using a drop more that you are getting in return!!! 

See are current money brains and where our economy is going. That is where your argument is at. We can get something for less than the cost of production. Forget money--whaT IS THE COST OF GETTING IT IN real TERMS. a BARREL AND A DROP IS more THAN A BARREL; REGARDLESS of 5 or 5,000 $$$$.     Milestones

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 08:14 | 1764996 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Please do not try to explain EROEI to me...you are oversimplying things to the extreme.

Oil as an input to high value petro-chemicals will always be produced, albeit at a lower volume.  

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 22:52 | 1768244 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Really? I don't give a F--- if the oil is used for burning in an SUV or other value added products. If that oil cannot be extracted for LESS than what it costs to get it out of the ground then the only way it can be done is by subsidizing that production. If that occurs in some very desirable product and is not in great demand then you can get away with your hare brained argument. But if you are depending upon it to fuel a world economy such as oil does today then you are as full of it as a Christmas Goose!!!     Milestones

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 00:54 | 1768483 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Late to the thread (as usual) ... Milestones has an exemplary response and I side with it in absence of my own rambling to the same effect.

Regards,

Cooter

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 09:21 | 1769031 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are talking about a nonsensical scenario....one that will not happen for a long, long time, millenia...

Hey, I can dig up some bitumen with a shovel and refine it on top of a stove if need be...

Don't misunderstand me (as you appear to have), by the time we get to your scenario we will have stopped burning oil for transportation....(whether we wanted to or not)

Oh, in case you are wondering, I am one of the original peak oilers here at the Hedge.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 04:01 | 1764753 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

I remember when it was 30 cents a gallon which would be about $12/barrell. Somehow we survived that times 8 increase. I believe in peak oil. Been betting on it since 80. Hasn't been profitable. Wish I bought gold instead.

After reading Griftopia, I'm giving up on making money on higher oil. Even the Exxon CEO thinks the price is 20% higher due to speculators.

Certainly we will run out someday but the rapidly declining USA incomes will put this off maybe for my lifetime.

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:01 | 1764248 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

Anyone remember the (UK) royal Commission in mid  19C that thought coal was running out??

Man, you are so right! The UK never ran out of coal! Man, its a good thing too, they might have lost their mining/manufacturing base and ... and ... ended up getting called out by some nut job with a creepy european accent as "not wanting to work" or some such.

You show em! <ShakesFist/>

Regards,

Cooter

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:14 | 1763559 blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

Zero interest rates, speculation with cheap money and the green movement is making oil expensive. Get rid of any one or all 3 and there will be the cheap energy needed to get this economy going.

As for a lack of talent here in the US...Bull Shit with a  capital B and a capital S. If people believe that then we are more screwed than I thought.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:23 | 1764306 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

I am bullish on the US; I wouldn't stay here if I wasn't. But I have no illusions about how bad things are going to get. Let us skip this hippy tree hugging kumbaya bullshit.

Let me share with you a powerful image of nature and her processes, to illustrate my point:

http://www.wildnatureimages.com/Forest_Fire_Regrowth_Photos.htm

Don't lament the trees; live with a greater purpose. This fucker is going to burn down, but it won't be the end.

Hopefully one day we can be old and refuse to talk about it like my grand parents wouldn't talk about the depression. Or maybe, just maybe, we will know better and gladly share stories with our grand children and grand neices/nephews and so forth.

I already put together a game designed to teach money; I gave it to my oldest nephew (almost 14). It is built around Mayburry's "What ever happened to penny candy?". For the 15 chapters there are 15 letters in resume quality envelopes, on resume quality paper, in my own personal hand writing. Most of them are quotes, by founding fathers, economists, historians, and businessmen. Words wise to guide him. Some of the letters cited a video (three DVDs across the batch). Some offered ASE's in various quantities for reading and reporting on specific books. Each envelope also contained a fiat note and a silver coin. Dimes, quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars. Only one form of money was allowed to be kept, the rest are forfieted.

What do you think the young man will choose when he can be a (zimbabwe) trillionaire or opt for a simple 1964 dime?

Not on my watch. Not this time.

Regards,

Cooter

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 23:43 | 1764337 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Never let ideology get in the way of facts....It has the advantage that you cannot be mistaken for a shill and demonstrates that you have some modicum of analytic ability.... 

Yep... the "Green Movement" caused the US to peak in 1970 and the North Sea to peak in ~2000... or Cantarell to fall off of a cliff...  Must have been those Commie Vegans that took over Texas in the 1960s....

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 17:04 | 1805955 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I like to read Zero Hedge to stay informed about the foolishness of the political/financial class...wasn't aware that any of the Tylers thought our situation was "fixable" though...that's troubling.

 

It IS fixable, its just not going to happen as long as the currently available polticians are getting paid to keep it broken.  Nothing is done that the politicians don't want done.  No matter, the course of whatever path we follow will be paved with pain.

 

Askng people to rise above their petty and particular needs just isn't what these people, this present society, are all about.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:01 | 1762781 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Money is simply influence. You can't take influence out of politics. Think about it. It's almost an axiom that some people will do anything for power. If they can't pay cash they'll find another way of 'persuading' our representatives. The only way to make a lasting change in this dynamic is to limit the power and scope of the goverment. Then the influence is less important and desirable. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:57 | 1763261 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Haha, someone junked you! The statist morons are clearly out in force on ZH tonight.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 00:26 | 1764463 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Funny how a few of those "statist morons" managed to notice that the growth of gubbmint shawdows the rise of the corporation and that all you anarchist-flavored wanna-be intellectuals never make the point that if you want small gubbmint you had better figure out a way to deal with the corporations. Otherwise you are pissing in the wind....

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 09:32 | 1765214 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Look, in EVERY economic system, the oligarchs wind up hijacking the polity. It's up to the citizens to stop it - by voting where possible, or revolution where not.

Regulatory capture isn't some weird thing that has happened despite big government's best efforts - it's inevitable because we have big government. Bureaucrats can't regulate complex modern industries without input from the very industries they're supposed to be regulating... and if they have any expertise they can be seduced with job offers for when they leave government 'service' - but only if they show sufficient understanding of the 'special needs' that company/industry has, by promoting legislation x/y/z.

Shrink the size of government, and you proportionately shrink both the ability and the rewards oligarchs get from hijacking it.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 11:51 | 1765988 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Nope.... look at your history, government increased in size to counteract the increasing power of the corporations, eventually the corps completely co-opted the government (mainly in the late 70's and 80's). 

And there was a "revolution" against the corps in the "good ol' days", read up on the strikes and associated violence that came with the labor movement. For shits and giggles, also review the standard procedure for the corps to deal with the strikers...

Rewrite the 14th admendment to include the word "natural" in front of person and we start on the road back to a functioning government....

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:29 | 1763803 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

Buyingsterling,  Your post is the most sensible thing I've read today.  Complete adherance to the Constitution would do it. The best chance to prosper is right before us, yet so few recognize it.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:51 | 1763967 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Right on, brotherman.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:35 | 1762163 redpill
redpill's picture

The only way you get money out of politics is to get the politicians out of the economy.  As long as our federal government is intrusively regulating and centrally planning every aspect of our economy, it is going to be endless corruption.  If we stopped our government from intervening so heavily, there wouldn't be such strong need to bribe the politicians.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:55 | 1762290 CH1
CH1's picture

So long as there are people with power over others, there will be bribery and corruption.

That's what people with power do... since before there was history.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:58 | 1762310 redpill
redpill's picture

Power corrupts... as the saying goes.  All the more reason it is up to a vigilant populace to make sure that power stays limited.  And since we're not a vigilant populace, we're pretty much fucked unless people really begin to wake up.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:32 | 1762595 FatFingered
FatFingered's picture

Unfortunately, to my limited knowledge, limiting government has never happened in the history of the World.  We could begin thinking outside of the box.  Do we really need government?  GW had a fascinating article this morning on the need for banks.  Do we need a monopoly on the instigation of force?  Has there ever been a government that has shrunk, not expanded, or existed without creating a politically connected class?  Is government just a plot to keep the money in the hands of the Oligarchs?  Is government a necessary evil that comes with the hierarchy of civilization?  I am not certain of the answers to these questions but I love the idea of no government.  Stephan Molyneux has an awesome ongoing conversation on this very subject at Freedomain Radio.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:40 | 1762634 trembo slice
trembo slice's picture

Here's a good essay for ya to look over by Gustave de Molinari.

http://mises.org/books/production_of_security.pdf

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:17 | 1762881 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

There's a gun in the room. There's _always_ a gun in the room. If we sit down peacefully with another sovereign citizen, there are still two guns in the room, people are deadly weapons. The existence of force isn't a fact that can be countermanded by wish.

Yes, there has been a time when government has shrunk, if you count by that a lessening of the public debt and little change in power, that has happened for several periods in our history. They had the right idea, and their idea allowed peope like you to live in peace. A fine definition of freedom is the ability to be unmolested by any authority while on the property you own. Even that is fraught with extant circumstances, such as polluting a stream that runs into an adjacent property. You can reach an agreement with the neighbor, but now you have a contract, and a form of government. And if your neighbor is uncooperative, you have a problem. A central government which defends the borders alongside states and localities that handle the rest is probably the best we can hope for, particularly in a nuclear age. You're going to have some kind of central authority merely because these and other weapons exist.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:29 | 1762943 ReadySteadyGo
ReadySteadyGo's picture

It's not like you can "set and forget" a political system and expect it not to slide toward collectivism eventually.  You say "never", but I think the Constitution and Federalism was a great start.  Hence the "Ever Vigilant" statements; watch it (gov't) like a hawk, and when it starts to get out of line, push/slap it back into place.  We all just got lazy, and greedy.  We can undo it, but it's at the point where it's going to be painful no matter what.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:08 | 1763103 FatFingered
FatFingered's picture

I am not so sure that the Articles of Confederation were so bad.  I think if the Founders and their Constitution were here today we would fight them like global government.  Switzerland is a good example of a decentralized government.  They seem to have kept it in check for longer than anyone else so far. 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:21 | 1763587 buyingsterling
buyingsterling's picture

Switzerland is just the least wormy apple (by a long shot in some ways). But they're essentially socialistic; I don't know much about their internal politics, but I'd guess it's fascistic like all the rest. They've traditionally respected hard money and privacy, but fiat has gotten to them; they can't afford the Franc they want, they're forced to dance to the bankers' tune now as well. More victims of the global banker occupation.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 06:37 | 1764829 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

then perhaps you should study the Swiss and their setup

they had the only successful 1848 liberal revolution aka radical revolution in Europe, all others were beaten down (for 'mericans, read "moderate libertarian" since you use liberal instead of social-democratic)

funnily, they modeled a lot of their constitution on what they felt "worked well in the USA", skipped the parts they did not like and added a healthy dosis of direct democracy, and their balance between the states and the federation WORKS - no, IMO it's the least fascist or socialistic country I ever have visited

the FED, by the way, is a BAD COPY of the SNB, which is, IMO, the only "healthy/workable" way to set up a currency in this international environment

went to Switzerland last week, nowadays lots of shops list directly EUR prices for direct import, just to remember that good currency is driven away by worse currency... for a while

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:08 | 1762826 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Since money=power, you would have to restrict the amount of money a person could accumulate to implement this plan. Not that I am against that. Somehow exceptions for the rare Steve Jobs types who actually produce something new. No way paper shufflers should be making hundreds of millions.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:04 | 1763305 BigJim
BigJim's picture

The vast majority of paper shufflers who make millions, do so because the government imposes 'legal tender' laws and then legislated a small elite cartel to own the production of money (ie, banks). End their cartel privileges, and the parasitic paper shufflers will have to work for a living.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:10 | 1763321 Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Ah, "rare exceptions" (those who "produce something new') should be rewarded and allowed to accumulate wealth and non-worthy wealth accumulators should have such be confiscated.  All non-rare exceptions put their money in a pot to split up among everyone.   Excellent.   Central planners unite.   Obama 2012 -- we need you.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:32 | 1764724 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Right. Paper shufflers who got wealthy from clicking on a mouse coupe times should be heavily taced. Their wealth came from no work of their own. Unless you count gathering insider info, manipulating govt regs etc as work.

Sent to Siberian salt mines would be better but this is a good first step.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:51 | 1763969 arby63
arby63's picture

I have come to believe that politicians are so heavily involved with the economy in order to support the failed welfare state. We have about a third of the nation who refuse to do much of anything but complain.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 03:30 | 1764721 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Are those compainers the wealthy people or the poor people cuz I pretty much only see the wealthy peope complaining on tv.

Mon, 10/24/2011 - 17:11 | 1805982 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Power corrupts... as the saying goes.  All the more reason it is up to a vigilant populace to make sure that power stays limited.  And since we're not a vigilant populace, we're pretty much fucked unless people really begin to wake up.

 

Indeed, we, the people, are supposed to term limit these careerist weasels. We don't because they bring the union guys fat contracts, the road pavers, everything is going great, until we run the costs of labor up to a point where it is unaffordable in a global economy and pay the rest to sit and spin.

 

If anyone wants to find the real villain, take a walk in a mall and look in the faces of the people who refused to learn, to be engaged, and failed in their duty to vote out the bastards on a regular basis.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:20 | 1762899 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Centrally  planned health care in Canada/Europe produces longer lifespan  than US at half the cost with much less stress and aggravation for almost all participants.

What do you want the government to get out of - food safety? water quality? child labor? Although we have many laws, virtually none are enforced regarding financial markets and all manner of white collar crimes. The regulation of finaincial markets is essentially just providing jobs for some tens of thousands of clerks who would probably be unemployed and causing trouble otherwise. Not a huge burden compared to the cost of one aircraft carrier.

Regulations on immigration? 11 million illegal aliens most of them working. I could identify a couple a day if anyone would be bothered to arrest them but the police aren't even allowed to ask...

Minimum wage is not enforced either. Companies routinely make people work longer hours either by intimidation or by calling them a 'manager'. Likewise overtime. I've been a 'manager' for a long time. Same job before that but I got paid overtime.

The only regulation I can think of that is enforced with great enthusiasm is busting people for pot or small amounts of other drugs. Countries that don't do this have less crime and less drug addicts.

 

 

 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 19:11 | 1763328 BigJim
BigJim's picture

..Centrally  planned health care in Canada/Europe produces longer lifespan  than US at half the cost with much less stress and aggravation for almost all participants.

LOL. You think US health-care isn't centrally planned?

And Government doesn't end child labor. Child labor exists in countries where if the children don't work, the family starves. They simply cannot produce enough wealth to afford to feed and clothe their children for 10 unproductive years. You think government can magically boost the wealth of subsistance farmers to that point? Government produces the conditions in which wealth can or cannot be created. It produces no wealth itself.

Don't like your wage? Then up your skills. Become self-employed.

Yes, the country is fucked, but it's fucked from the top down. Next time you pick up an economics text book, try reading the fucking thing.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:15 | 1763564 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Yes, it's centrally planned to maximize the amount people pay regardless of outcome. This is done by the providers not the government. The government's rule is to provide taxpayer money for some good treatment and huge amounts of fraud and unnecessary treatment.

Unions and the threat of socialism ended child labor.

Helping your family on a farm isn't regulated by the government anywhere. Done it myself.

I have two masters degrees and an armful of technical certifications. Still make less in real terms than when I just had a BS due to plentiful competition from H1-B.

I am self-employed also.

I read a couple dozen economics books a year and learned enough to make $50K/year from investing most years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 20:47 | 1763630 BigJim
BigJim's picture

..Yes, it's centrally planned to maximize the amount people pay regardless of outcome. This is done by the providers not the government. The government's rule is to provide taxpayer money for some good treatment and huge amounts of fraud and unnecessary treatment.

Healthcare is one of our most regulated industries (along with banking), with laws that dictate minimum levels of cover, no intra-state cover, etc, etc. ie, it's not a free-market system, ie, it's government policies that make it the disaster zone that it is. Yes, in some countries, it is less of a disaster zone. But even then, their spending is unsustainable. Hoping that more government intervention in our health-care system will make it better flies in the face of empirical evidence.

Unions and the threat of socialism ended child labor.

I see. So the reason you don't send your child out to work is for fear of unions and socialism? No, it's because you can afford to send your children to school... a school that exists because the society you live in had sufficient excess capital to build it and employ teachers. Where child labor exists now, none of the aforementioned factors exist to allow children the luxury of not working for 10 years. Unions and 'fear of socialism' won't change these basic facts. And child labor in the West was already almost entirely gone by the time governments got round to legislating on the subject... because parents were already sufficiently productive that they had the excess capital to send their kids to school.

Helping your family on a farm isn't regulated by the government anywhere. Done it myself.

Really? There are child-labor laws demanding you send your children to school... unless they happen to be working on the family farm? But... but... you said it was government that ended child labor, didn't you *confused* or is child labor on a farm not child labor in your book? Or is it only child labor (miraculously eradicable by divine, sorry, government intervention) when children are working in a factory for enough money to buy 10 turnips a day, in preference to staying on the family plot, subsistence farming for 6 actual turnips a day?

I have two masters degrees and an armful of technical certifications. Still make less in real terms than when I just had a BS due to plentiful competition from H1-B.

I am self-employed also.

Well done. But I thought you said you were earning less than previously, because your employers made you a manager and expected you to work longer hours without overtime?

I read a couple dozen economics books a year and learned enough to make $50K/year from investing most years.

That's interesting. Economics books? Not books on trading? I'd be interested to know the titles of some of these economics works, they sound very informative.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:09 | 1763774 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

"That's interesting. Economics books? Not books on trading? I'd be interested to know the titles of some of these economics works, they sound very informative."

 

Try this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Griftopia-Bankers-Politicians-Audacious-American/d...

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:13 | 1764049 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Interesting book, I agree, but how did it help you earn 50k per year investing? Did it persuade you to become a banker?

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 01:35 | 1764572 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

So far it hasn't helped me since I just read it couple weeks ago . Maybe in the long run it will. For decades, I have believed in peak oil and invested accordingly. Not very profitable.  I gave up on most oil stocks after reading this except for the French one TOTAL which I bought only because it was cheap relative to others due to frenzy in European markets. Likewise the French equivalent of Pfizer plus EWG German Index Fund. All of these I already sold at 10% profit and will buy again during next crisis which could be tomorrow. I don't believe Europe is failing. Greece is a failure yes. But Europe is not failing until a couple decades from now when Muslims take over. The every couple days crisis is sparked by bankers/hedgers making a buck.

Also, it let me to heavily discount Jim Rodgers theories on commodity bull market since it led me to believe increase in commodity prices is due more to speculation than shortage. Consequently I will not bet on this.

It also led me to increased despair about USA future since the control of the banksters seems to be unshakeable. Like oil, betting on other places to do better hasn't worked for me. China's one of the best growth stories of all time but if you as a westerner buy Chinese stocks to profit from this you'll probably just get robbed. I have a Chinese gf, I lent her  $5,000 3 years ago to buy something like a stall on a road between a college and town. Now it's worth $30,000 and she rents it for $2,000/month. She can do that because her relatives are CP members and control that type of stuff. Also, she lends money there at 2% a month. OK so long as you have CP to collect for you.

I am not a genius investor. At first I invested in mutual funds. After getting MBA, I believed I could do better by reading company reports. Not true. I went back to index funds plus heavily diversified other assets like australia, canada, oil, mining. All crashed at once when Lehman failed and I gave up on that. Now I only buy what appear to be very safe companies with high dividends and sell when they go up slightly and buy back later. I don't believe in long term investing in stocks. Executives have figured out how to capture the wealth creation for themselves. If I was smarter, I would have just bought gold instead. Or AAPL. One of my friends is a seemingly idiot high school teacher. He only bought one stock in his life - APPLE and he bought it every year. Has couple million now and retired. Another friend is high school dropout. I tried to teach him math for GED but never suceeeded even though I did with his mom and brothers. He went bankrupt three times before making millions with self storage company. Not much correlation with book IQ and success.  I worked for an employee owned company for a while, that stock went up 400% in a couple years and I bought heavily. I would have panicked and sold it sooner but we were only allowed to sell it occaisonaly. Later i read most of the appreciation was due to basically fraudulent government contracts (not what I worked on, we sell software to India/Brazil). That's the only EZ money I made.

 

Also, from this book confirmed my belief to never invest anything in bank stocks as it's impossible to tell what they are worth. But that belief was pretty firm already.

I wish I could find a book that painted bright future for US that would get me excited to invest in everything. The OWS is the only positive thing I have seen lately. I been giving them $100/day except when their site was down. Wish they had guns.

I busted my ass for decades to save some money to make money in stocks but still it doesn't seem right that I can just click on a mouse once in a while and make more money than recent college grad in a major harder than mine (comp sci) can make working multiple jobs. The system is seriously screwed up. I have three sons. Although we all have triple citizenship (UK/Ireland/US), they probably won't move. I don't know what the hell kind of life they are going to have but it's looking pretty grim even though they are smarter than avg. Don't care too much about my own future. I already had a good time and paid for their college.

 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:17 | 1763799 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

"Really? There are child-labor laws demanding you send your children to school... unless they happen to be working on the family farm? But... but... you said it was government that ended child labor, didn't you *confused* or is child labor on a farm not child labor in your book? Or is it only child labor (miraculously eradicable by divine, sorry, government intervention) when children are working in a factory for enough money to buy 10 turnips a day, in preference to staying on the family plot, subsistence farming for 6 actual turnips a day?"

 

Almost every family was living on a farm and making their living from it when mass schooling started. The school schedule was set up for this. Farm work isn't a 24 hour operation. Feed the animals in the morning and at night. Plant in spring, harvest in summer/fall. It's possible , and has been done hundred million + times, for a child to get an education while still helping on the family farm so correct this is not child labor. I worked on my familys farms and as a dishwasher while going to school. Still had free time.  It is not possible to get an education when working in a factory 12 hours a day. If there is no family farm then the parents are presumably working at some other job for which they get paid for their own labor not requiring the assistance of their children. Now, if as you suggest, societies organized themselves so children worked in factories until capital was accumlated, there would never be a critical mass of educated people to make an advanced (richer) society possible so it is much better for a government to make that illegal and take a short term hit for a long term benefit of having an education population. Unless the ruling class doesn't mind an undeducated population because they find it easier to control.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:27 | 1764109 BigJim
BigJim's picture

You're comparing apples with oranges. In a rural society that is sufficiently productive (read: wealthy) to have spare time to do things other than farm, then parents send their kids to school, either because they've grouped together to set up a school house, or government has taken over the existing private school systems (and extended them).

In a society that has subsistence farming - where the kids ARE working all day, parents are faced with a choice - have your child laboring (and yes, it is labor) all day out in the fields, or watch him starve. Unless the nasty 'exploiters' come along and set up a factory and offer to pay the child more than his farming is worth. Then you send him off to labor in a factory, because he brings home more wealth than his farming did. And you take this money and pay for his brother to go to school, or maybe some new shoes, or, if enough wealth is being generated, the government taxes everybody and there's enough capital to build a public school system.

In either case - without the excess capital required to build schools (public or private), all societies start off with child labor. Government can't just magic up some 'short term hit' to get around the problem if its populace is dirt poor. And if they're not dirt poor, they can afford to send them to school. Ergo, unions and child labor laws did not end child labor.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 02:13 | 1764618 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Wow, you are tireless yet calm - thanks for the good argument.

What kind of subsistence farming are you thinking of that requires working all day? Like I said, I grew up on a farm first in UK then USA. Except for my dad being a crazed workaholic there wasn't that much work involved. I lived on a 30 acre farm - much larger than you would find in most poor countries. We had pigs, steers, chickens, rabbits. Grew hay, wheat, corn, barley. Big vegetable garden. Rented some land nearby most years so it was more like 100 acres. It took me an hour to feed everything in the morning. An hour to feed them again at night. My sister collected the eggs. The pigs had babies every 4 months or so which took a couple hours. Planting took a week. Harvesting hay took a week. Harvesting everything else took a week. And my dad was a crazy Irishman who had a dim believe that farming made people wealthy (even at 10 it was clear to me he was losing money) and wanted to do everything the traditional stupidest possible Irish way. He had the whole family out in the field with pitchforks all f*cking day even though we had machines to do everything better and faster. 95% of the work was useless projects of no value like moving rocks from one hedgerow to another or sorting 100 year old rusted bolts. My mom was making a profit greater than his total farming revenue making chocalates by herself and he made her shut it down to help. If he didn't have a regular job, we would have been on welfare or starving. Despite this massive waste of my time, I was still going to school as the top student, highest SAT score, skipped 2 grades while working as a dishwasher. It doesn't take that much time. If you are a subsistence farmer with one acre, how could it possibly require the labor of your kids?  In the poorest countries like most of Africa, the MAN doesn't normally work. The woman does the farming. The kids don't do anything.

 

The American Indians , and others including in Europe, were doing subsistence farming with some hunter/gathering. The estimates I've read say they usually worked 10/20 hours week. It's not that much work. Plant/harvest. OK, there's some weeding and bug killing in between but compared to the computer stuff I do now it's like a vacation

 

 

 

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 08:01 | 1764838 BigJim
BigJim's picture

What are we arguing about here? We're arguing about child labor, and whether it takes unionization and/or 'fear of socialism' to end it.

Thus long (if generously-offered) anecdotes about your (relatively recent) childhood in the UK and US are irrelevant, as are observations about any society/milieu where there isn't child labor. We have to look at countries where there IS child labor - and what do we find there? The alternatives are subsistence farming where they're actually out in the fields, or utter urban destitution if they're not working in small family-run businesses or out begging or stealing. Maybe they get a morning here or there in school, if they're lucky.

Establishing laws that make it impossible for children to pay their way via third-party employment in societies that cannot afford to feed them to be unproductive is just forcing them into a life of greater poverty, not less. You think you're being kind. But you're not. Yes, it would be nice if their societies were wealthy enough to send their kids to school. Alas, they are not, and you cannot legislate that wealth into existence. It comes from decades of wealth creation (or wealth transfer).

If you're arguing for governments to spend their money on education rather than (say) wildly unnecessary militaries, then fair enough - where that is the case. But most of the time, it isn't.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:28 | 1763851 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

"

I have two masters degrees and an armful of technical certifications. Still make less in real terms than when I just had a BS due to plentiful competition from H1-B.

I am self-employed also.

Well done. But I thought you said you were earning less than previously, because your employers made you a manager and expected you to work longer hours without overtime?"

 

In 1980 I made 100 times the monthly rent of rather crappy but tolerable 1940 built apartment in suburban NYC. Medical insurance was free. Generous pension plan.

Having been promoted several times, much experience, more degrees, etc and doing much more difficult work for longer hours and being constantly on call, I now make about 60  times the monthly rent of that same apartment which is now 30 years older and a worse neighborhood. I pay 3 months rent for that apartment for medical insurance which doesn't seem to cover much when I use it (another month of two of rent there). Pension plan disappeared long time ago so I save as much as I can. College costs huge relative to 1980 - of course I didn't need to have kids.

I make up most of the difference with my own rather simple business which I enjoy for the relative ease of work. It has to do with used books which is why I read so much. Employ three people part time. Contrary to what I always read on here, I don't find the regulation that onerous. About 40 hours a year of various forms and minor taxes. Also, contrary to what I read on here, there is almost no tax if you use self employed 401K and can deduct home/car  since I already max out of SS from my other job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:42 | 1763922 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

"Healthcare is one of our most regulated industries (along with banking), with laws that dictate minimum levels of cover, no intra-state cover, etc, etc. ie, it's not a free-market system, ie, it's government policies that make it the disaster zone that it is. Yes, in some countries, it is less of a disaster zone. But even then, their spending is unsustainable. Hoping that more government intervention in our health-care system will make it better flies in the face of empirical evidence"

 

Sounds likie you want an imaginary health care system which doesn't exist anywhere in the world but you believe it would be good. I'm looking at the ones that do exist and I like the ones that produce the highest life expectancy with a reasonable cost. Maybe those systems won't work in 20 years or 5 years but they have worked for the last 20 years.

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 09:00 | 1765100 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Well, for a start, it's not health-care we're talking about; it's medical care.

It's difficult to compare the results of medical-care systems' outcomes intra-nationally because of demographic differences that have major impacts on longevity. For example - Asians (as in Chinese, Japanese, rather than Indians or Pakistanis) eat a lot of vegetables and fish. They consume very little long-chain animal fat. What fats they do consume come cheifly from nuts or vegetables or fish and are high in Omega3. They are not obese. Whereas Americans are eating themselves to death, have high rates of diabetes, and don't exercise, and eat foods that trigger inflammatory responses. To suggest that thier respective medical systems are to blame for their differring morbidity and mortality is is easy to do but wrong.

And like any kind of socialism, you also have to look at when such culturally-altering, moral-hazard-encouraging social programs are put into place. Are they recent? Have they had time to destroy the values that made them possible in the first place? For example, when Sweden turned leftward, in the '60s, it was one of the richest countries on earth because in the 19th century it adopted extremely laissez-faire policies, and, over the succeeding decades, these produced a hard-working populace with excess capital. Since the 1970s Sweden has been slipping down the league table, which is hardly surprising. The more you destroy price discovery, the less able people are to make rational decisions concerning how to invest their capital. Instead of studying a company's economic prospects to estimate its likely success, you're better off studying a company's political prospects. Does it produce something our overlords like? Is it sufficiently influential that it'll get bailed out? etc, etc.

And yet you repeatedly call for more government intervention...

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 07:07 | 1764844 BigJim
BigJim's picture

You don't find 40 hours a year directly meeting government regulation onerous? On a part-time business?

And that's only the direct cost of government regulation.

So, for instance, there is practically no tax to pay if you're a moderately successful self-employed person, because there are so many deductions written into the tax code... which you either have to spend half your life keeping up with, or pay a tax attorney to winkle out for you. Both of which are costs in themselves, unless you enjoy spending time reading tax law, or like giving money to tax attorneys.

And of course, most of your costs have risen in line with the degree to which the non-productive financial sector has expanded, both in terms of its size relative to the rest of the economy, and its inflationary credit-creation... both of which are a direct result of government regulation which has enshrined a money-making cartel at our expense.

You are a patient, long-suffering man indeed.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:43 | 1762210 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Bravo! Now the $64Tn dollar question: Can we burn politicians/bankers to heat our homes this winter? Or is it better to burn FRN's?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:48 | 1762246 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Probably just me...but somehow working the same job for less money to pay down a mountain of public debt foisted on the common man by incompetent boobs (economic professors, politicians & corporate fascists) just doesn't have much appeal to me.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 15:50 | 1762263 redpill
redpill's picture

I think this was the point of a lot of the Greek protesters as well.  If you are going to be force fed austerity, the bankers and politicians shouldn't get a free ride.  Might as well default first, since austerity is coming anyway, and then at least the next generation will have a clean slate to start from instead of the mountain of debt and excess the boomers are leaving behind.

 

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:07 | 1762360 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Ed Zachary. I want to see the invoice where I owe all those $10k's after paying in 6 figures just to SS/Med over my working lifetime. I mean I don't actually own an F22 or a destroyer and it seems like I'm buying alot of $16 muffins which I'm not eating either. Burn it down, take the pain, and start over with some real rules carved in the hides of flayed politicians. It's gonna suck, but if we burn down the 'houses' of politicians, the banks, and throw in some lawyers, I think it'll be worth having some kids one day. At least I think it will. Right now I prep for close friends and family and coach the neighbors...

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:13 | 1762410 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Feel the same way...burn it.

In the meantime...I'm puttin a lien on a destroyer of my choice ;-)

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:47 | 1762691 RobertC
RobertC's picture

$16 muffins? Come on! Do you really think that the DOJ paid $16 for muffins? It's obvious that someone quite carefully calculated the amount they were allowed to spend and then gave the hotel a budget. The hotel agreed, but for some reason decided to divide up the charges into just a few categories instead of writing a detailed invoice for every single piece of food they provided.

This type of invoicing happens All. The. Time. Civilian and Federal. I've been involved in what feels like a thousand conferences of this kind, and I'd be shocked if it happened any other way. It's all prepaid based on an estimated number attending.

.02

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:40 | 1762981 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Well regardless of what the invoice said it's obvious that the DOJ overpaid and wasted our tax dollars.  By the way, didn't we buy the DOJ a nice building with a conference room in it?

This is the problem with our fooking government.  Too much fooking waste.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 21:27 | 1763839 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Think of this in terms of 6 "muffins" = 1 "hooker" and since you can't put "hooker" on the invoice raise the price of "muffins" -if you know what I mean :0

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 17:11 | 1762838 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

US actually had and produced huge amounts of wealth at one point. Greece hasn't done that for a couple thousand years. Their new found wealth came almostly solely from borrowing money and giving it to each other with the ruling class knowing very well they would never pay it back. No sympathy for them. I feel sorry for Europe getting tricked into taking them in by GS.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:15 | 1762426 unnamed enemy
unnamed enemy's picture

working more for less money sux - but look at it from the bright side - the CEO of your company will be able to afford another yacht - much nicer than the old one.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 22:57 | 1764235 Caggge
Caggge's picture

They want the people to work more for less yet have the CEO's work less for more. Trickle down economic is just wonderful.

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:20 | 1762486 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

say what?

lower wages are hitting lower lows and the staples for life in the US are hitting higher highs - takes ~$25/hr to stay in a rat infested block where most if not all are relocating to the nearest (street lighting free for your security/ and drain water on the house for your daily hygiene, and an occasional stray dog or cat for dine-in,... i mean come  on, life is grand?) underpass - meanwhile the serfs are asked to get real and stay competitive with a population 20% -/- of China getting by on $8 bucks a day salary - works for China and MNC stationed under the military complex machine which by the way the serfs foot the bill - but how long before were all shoeless?

Tue, 10/11/2011 - 16:40 | 1762638 Rick64
Rick64's picture

Exactly.

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