Technocrats Rule: Democracy Is OK as Long as the People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class’s leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their […]

The Grand Irony of RussiaGate: The U.S. Becomes More Like the U.S.S.R. Every Day

When the Soviet regime exiled Sakharov in 1980, everybody assumed the USSR was permanent and impregnable to collapse. There are many ironies in the RussiaGate drama, but none greater than this: The U.S. becomes more like the former U.S.S.R. every day. Longtime correspondent Bart D. sketches out the irony: I look […]

The Fantasy of “Balanced Returns” Funding Retirement

Consider how a “balanced portfolio” yielding “balanced returns” worked out for middle class retirees in Venezuela. The fantasy that a “balanced portfolio” yielding “balanced returns” will fund a stable retirement for decades to come is widely accepted as a sure thing:inflation will stay near-zero essentially forever, assets such as stocks […]

We’ll Pay All Those Future Obligations by Impoverishing Everyone (How to Destroy Our Currency In One Easy Lesson)

The only way to pay all these future obligations is by creating new money. I’ve been focusing on inflation, which is more properly understood as the loss of purchasing power of a currency, which when taken to extremes destroys the currency and the wealth/income of everyone forced to use that currency. The […]

Here’s Why Rip-Roaring Inflation Is Inevitable

The stability of America’s status quo is illusory. One of the enduring mysteries of the past decade is why inflation has remained tame while the central bank and government have pumped trillions of dollars of newly created money into the economy. Millions of words have been written about this, and so […]

The 21st Century Misery Index: Labor’s Share of the Economy and Real-World Inflation

Isn’t it obvious that those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid don’t want us to know how much ground we’ve lost while they’ve gorged on immense gains? In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an era of stagflation, the Misery Index was the unemployment rate plus inflation, both of which […]

Here’s What We’ve Lost in the Past Decade

The confidence and hubris of those directing the rest of us to race off the cliff while they watch from a safe distance is off the charts. The past decade of “recovery” and “growth” has actually been a decade of catastrophic losses for our society and nation. Here’s a short list […]

Here’s How Systems (and Nations) Fail

These embedded processes strip away autonomy, equating compliance with effectiveness even as the processes become increasingly counter-productive and wasteful. Would any sane person choose America’s broken healthcare system over a cheaper, more effective alternative? Let’s see: the current system costs twice as much per person as the healthcare systems of our developed-world competitors, […]

When Long-Brewing Instability Finally Reaches Crisis

Keep an eye on the system’s buffers. They look fine until they suddenly collapse. The doom-and-gloomers among us who have been predicting the unraveling of an inherently unstable financial system appear to have been disproved by the reflation of yet another credit-asset bubble. But inherently unstable / imbalanced systems can stumble […]

The Imperial Naivete of the American Public

The nation’s premier corporate profit engines / social media giants are the ideal platforms for undermining the U.S. via the sowing of disintegration. Whether it’s stated or not, one source of the inchoate outrage triggered by Russian-sourced purchases of adverts on Facebook in 2016 (i.e. “meddling in our election”) is […]

The Schizophrenic Deep State is a Symptom, Not the Disease

If we understand the profound political disunity fracturing the nation and its Imperial Project, we understand the Deep State must also fracture along the same fault lines. If we consider the state of the nation from 40,000 feet, several key indicators of profound political disunity within the elites pop out: 1. The […]

Solutions without Historical Templates: Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains

Crypto-blockchain technologies are leveraging the potential of computers and the web for direct political-social innovation. We’re accustomed to three basic templates for system-wide solutions or improvements: 1. an individual “builds a better mousetrap” and starts a company to exploit this competitive advantage; 2. a company invents something that spawns a […]

Our Institutions Are Failing

Our institutional failure reminds me of the phantom legions of Rome’s final days. The mainstream media and its well-paid army of “authorities” / pundits would have us believe the decline in our collective trust in our institutions is the result of fake news, i.e. false narratives and data presented as factual. If only we […]

Big Pharma and the Rise of Gangster Capitalism

$8 per vial in competing developed-world nations and $38,892 in the U.S. That says it all. Thanks to decades of gangster films, we all know how gangster capitalism works: the cost of “protection” goes up whenever the gangster wants to increase revenues, any competition is snuffed out, and “customer demand” is jacked up […]

Will AI “Change the World” Or Simply Boost Profits?

The real battle isn’t between a cartoonish vision or a dystopian nightmare–it’s between decentralized ownership and control of these technologies and centralized ownership and control. The hype about artificial intelligence (AI) and its cousins Big Data and Machine Learning is ubiquitous, and largely unexamined. AI is going to change the world […]

The USA Is Now a 3rd World Nation

I know it hurts, but the reality is painfully obvious: the USA is now a 3rd World nation. Dividing the Earth’s nations into 1st, 2nd and 3rd world has fallen out of favor;apparently it offended sensibilities. It has been replaced by the politically correct developed and developing nations, a terminology which suggests all developing nations are […]

We Are All Hostages of Corporate Profits

We’re in the endgame of financialization and globalization, and it won’t be pretty for all the hostages of corporate profits. Though you won’t read about it in the mainstream corporate media, the nation is now hostage to outsized corporate profits. The economy and society at large are now totally dependent […]

The Gathering Storm

The gathering storm cannot be dissipated with propaganda and bribes. July 4th is an appropriate day to borrow Winston Churchill’s the gathering storm to describe the existential crisis that will envelope America within the next decade. There is no single cause of the gathering storm; in complex systems, dynamics feed back into one […]

Keynesian Economics Is an Artifact of Cheap Energy

Printing / borrowing money to generate the unsustainable illusion of “growth” sets up the collapse of the entire Keynesian edifice. Of the many delusions of modern economics, perhaps the greatest is that the dominant Keynesian model reflects permanent dynamics of advanced economies. Economics, along with other social sciences, makes an implicit […]

Could Germany Fracture?

All sorts of centralized organizations that appear rock-solid may well melt into air as the disintegrative dynamics gather momentum. Rising political and social discord that is generally being attributed to “populism” may actually be the re-emergence of ancient geographic and cultural fault lines. An often-overlooked manifestation of this might be the […]