2022-2030: Transformation or Stagnation?

Some decades are easy and expansive, others are painful but necessary to lay the foundations for future progress. Many people reject the idea of historical cycles due to their imprecision. I understand the appeal of this objection, but it is nonetheless striking that transformative decades tend to manifest in cycles […]

Two Easy Predictions: Wealth Tax and Windfall Tax

Looks like we need another $500 billion or so. Hum baby! Predictions are hard, especially about the future, but two predictions are easy: 1) governments that do not yet impose wealth taxes will do so within the next five years and 2) governments will impose windfall taxeson all outsized unearned […]

Peering Into the Crystal Ball, We See… Instability Leading to Collapse

We can only choose one: open, dynamic stability (evolution) or autocracy (instability and collapse). When the fundamentals of life change, every organism must evolve or die. This is equally true of human organizations, societies and economies. Evolution requires conserving what still works and experimenting until something comes along that works […]

The End of Cheap Food

Global food production rests on soil and rain. Robots don’t change that. Of all the modern-day miracles, the least appreciated is the incredible abundance of low cost food in the U.S. and other developed countries.The era of cheap food is ending, for a variety of mutually reinforcing reasons. We’ve become […]

The Fourth Turn, Turn, Turn

The cycles of The Fourth Turning, Fischer and Turchin are all in alignment at this point in history.. The 1997 book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy proposed a cyclical pattern of four 20-year generations which culminate in a national crisis every 80 years.The book identifies these dates as Fourth […]

Why This Recession Is Different

All of these are structural dynamics that won’t go away in a few months or years. Let’s explore what’s different now compared to recessions of the past 60 years. 1. Deglobalization is inflationary. Offshoring production to low-cost countries imported deflation (product prices remained flat or declined) and boosted corporate profits. […]

The EU’s Crisis Is Global

The EU’s crisis isn’t limited to energy. It is a manifestation of the global breakdown of Neocolonialism, Financialization and Globalization. The European Union (EU) was seen as the culmination of a centuries-long process of integration that would finally put an end to the ceaseless conflicts that had led to disastrous […]

Why Some Cities May No Longer Be Viable

Any city whose lifeblood ultimately depends on hyper-globalization and hyper-financializationwill no longer be viable. The human migration from the countryside to cities has been an enduring feature of civilization.Cities concentrate wealth, productivity and power, and so they’re magnets to talent and capital, offering newcomers the greatest opportunities. Cities are efficient, […]

The Global Energy Crunch

If we insist on doing the transition the hard, slow, costly way rather than the easy, fast, cheap way, it’s going to be a needlessly arduous, soul-crushing slog. Let’s cover a few common-sense points and ask a few questions about the Global Energy Crunch.Let’s start with the high-tech, super-costly solutions […]

The System Is Busy Cannibalizing Itself

As the word suggests, cannibalism won’t end well for those consumed by the infinitely insatiable few. Cannibalize is an interesting word. It is a remarkably graphic way to describe the self-inflicted destruction of a system by stripping previously functional subsystems to sustain the illusion of system functionality. Here are some […]

Make Sure You Download the Latest Ministry of Propaganda Updates

While it’s fun to sort all the propaganda into various boxes, we would do well to look for what all the marketers / MoP players seek to mystify. It’s time once again to check for Ministry of Propaganda updates, which like Windows and iOS is constantly being updated to counter […]

Economies Can Burn Out, Too–And They Are

Economies can burn out, too, and they’re already sliding into the final stages of burnout. Burnout has a startling knack for sneaking up on us. We’re stressed and tired but still functioning at a high level, and then suddenly our capacity to keep going collapses. We are no longer able […]

What’s Worse Than Inflation? Depression + Inflation

If “markets” controlled by the rich are allowed to distribute essentials, the result will be civil disorder and the overthrow of regimes. What’s worse than inflation? Depression + Inflation. And that’s where we’re heading. As I explained yesterday in The Fed Can’t Stop Supply-Side Inflation, central banks are trying to […]

The Fed Can’t Stop Supply-Side Inflation

The Fed and other central banks have zero control of supply-driven inflation, period. America’s financial punditry is bewitched by four fatal fantasies: 1. Inflation is demand-driven. If the Federal Reserve (or other central banks) reduce demand with monetary tools like raising interest rates, inflation will cool. 2. Substitution of high-cost […]

The Real Story of America Abandoning the Gold Standard

Even currencies maintaining convertibility to gold are still subject to bond yields, interest rates, trade and capital flows. It’s widely held that all of our financial woes are the result of abandoning the discipline of the gold standard in 1971. The premise here is that if the U.S. had maintained […]

Deglobalization Is Inflationary

Price cutting is being replaced with price gouging, a substitution that consumers recognize as inflation.. Globalization was deflationary, Deglobalization is inflationary. The entire point of globalization is to 1) lower costs as a means of maximizing profits and 2) find markets for surplus domestic production. Both serve to export deflation […]

A Tale of Two Recessions: One Excellent, One Tumultuous

Events may show that there are no winners, only survivors and those who failed to adapt. Some recessions are brief, necessary cleansings in which extremes of leverage and speculation are unwound via painful defaults, reductions of risk and bear markets. Some are reactions to exogenous shocks such as war or […]

A Most Peculiar Recession

So what are conventional pundits missing today? I would start with three dynamics. Only old people experienced real recessions–those in 1973-74 and 1980-82. Recessions since then have been shorter and less systemic. In the good old days, a recession laid waste to entire industries which never recovered their previous employment. […]

Are Older Workers Propping Up the U.S. Economy?

Are 55 and older workers propping up the U.S. economy? The data is rather persuasive that the answer is yes. The chart of U.S. employment ages 25 to 54 years of age and 55 and older reveals a startling change. There are now 20 million more 55+ employed than there […]

Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control (“The News”), Focus on What You Do Control: What You Grow, Eat and Own

Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production. What exactly is “the news” other than an inducement to passivity, despair and derangement? Since we exert zero control over what happens in distant lands and global economies, why waste […]