Grant Williams: The End Of The Road

I worked in mines and heavy industries all my life.  On my last job I loaded ships with iron ore for China. Chinese fellow asked me how old I was.  (60 something.) He was incredulous.  They retire at 50 supported by the state.
Do I enjoy having the sky above my head and the ground below?  You  betcha . The best part. I sleep when the sun goes down and wake when it rises.

Do I miss " meaningfull work"? No. Let the machines do it.

The worst part? Making light conversation  with young barmaid about using a fan to flirt with and being snubbed. Dirty old man. Heartbreaking how completely unaware she is of her good fortune and the human sacrifice it takes to make her comfortable.

People don't know how to vote in their best interest. Good little robotniki. That is why  the government takes children away from their mothers.  They have to be trained to harness. Or be viscous dogs of war. 

I'll spell it out for you. Your interests lie in free beer and all the other delights of civilization. We have to be clever enough to make them free. Not grizzle about it.

Anyone else here love Carlin? (RIP Brother).



Carlin just got better and better with age.

Michael Rudman might have something  to say about Marx. I am sure my own views are distorted. 
As far as I can tell he was on about how Capitalism was doomed to fail. Capitalism has responded by ensuring that there is no cohesive body politic and what politics exist is tightly controlled.

Sounds like the Soviet to me. 

At it's core, Capitalism relies on growth, as in - I will only put my Capital at risk (invest) if I think that there is a return on my investment. That works find until you hit Limits to Growth, which seems to be where we find ourselves. My guess is that the people with Capital figured out what was going on and decided it was more prudent to lock in those profits rather than put them at risk. In doing so they expended a little of it to buy governments and institutions (regulatory bodies and such) to protect the rest of their wealth. Of course this is only me second guessing the Narrative but it helps me follow what is happening.
Did Marx foresee Limits to Growth? I doubt it, I think he was more concerned on the disparity between classes and the tension it breeds. Marx believed in the Hegelian dialectic - that the only way forward was the removal of contradiction which happens as society learns from its previous mistakes - in short, a linear progression, not a cycle which I believe is what we actually experience.

Just my 2 pence.

Waterdog14 wrote:

Let's change our definition of work.  Work doesn't have to be factory work for the "borg".  I'm only halfway through Charles' book, but am already thinking about how to implement it in my community.  We can change the system - we have to change it - and we must begin now. 
The borg word triggered a thought - the phrase from the Borg on Star Trek: "resistence is futile".

I see guaranteed income as being the next rung in the mollify the masses ladder. It might be slo' mo' helicopter money, if we want to call it that. Either way, it is meant to keep people further pacified, to quell any possible uprisings from those who smell something stinky.

Reality tv, sports overkill, food stamps, cheap booze, soon to be widespread legal marijuana, and a basic income to give people some jingle in their pockets = lazy contentment & acceptance with a who gives a damn about what is going on out there anyway! Just the way TPTB want us. Hello modern day serfdom! Resistence is futile - why bother when life can be easy?




I agree. My thing is that I disagree that all meaningful work necessarily has to be profitable in the private sector. Instead of giving free money away to people for nothing, couldn't the government instead pay people to clean up polluted rivers and restore endangered habitats and populations? Nobody can make a profit off of doing this in the private sector, yet I think anyone with a basic understanding of ecology appreciates how important those things are – these "externalities", as economists like to compartmentalize them into their models as. I find that word highly ironic because I argue that far from being "external", those things are actually at the heart of how the economy works and it is actually our economies piled on top of those ecological foundations that should really be viewed as being "external".

That's one of the reasons why I argue that government spending isn't necessarily bad or "unproductive" (sure it's productive, in the truest sense of the word, if it helps ecosystems be more productive), even if it causes the government to go into debt, because that is simply how the monetary system is set up – it's all debt based. Base money comes from government deficits. I remember reading something from a right wing think tank a few years ago, lambasting Alaska for all the programs the government "wastes" money on. In that list was a few million dollars on a program to understand the reproductive dynamics of crabs. Well, considering the size of the Alaskan crab fishery and all of the economic benefits in brings to the state, I'd think a few million dollars of government money to study that fishery and hopefully help manage it sustainably would be a good thing, wouldn't it? Is the private sector going to fund that sort of research? Based on what I've learned about resource industries, nope.

Yeah, there are a few different versions of this as I see it but they all amount to human engineering.

  1. Utopia version - Automation saves us all from 'work', profits handed out to all more or less evenly so our standard of living rises and we all spend our plethora of free time on creative tasks and arts yielding the golden age of humankind…cough, cough.

  2. Serfdom - more or less what we were saying where people are kept in a debt peonage. Given enough to get by reasonably well but never enough to escape the system. The few hold power and the rest go along with it or pay the price. Dissent isn't well tolerated. Getting ahead means being favorites of the new feudal lords and receiving patronage. Some thrive, many survive while others try to escape via any means possible. The unlucky become slaves in the prison for profit system doing things that are too low for automation to be profitable.

  3. The Matrix (aka Rise of the Machines) - Watch the movie. People kept passive by the perfect bread and circuses approach while all vestiges of real life are taken from them.

There are undoubtedly any number of variants but what I am curious about is how people respond in reality. There is the 'ideal' control but then there is the real response where people do any number of things to escape being faceless parts of the machine. You mentioned a great one, gardening. We put up a bunch of tomato sauce for canning again this year ourselves with our minimal efforts. Even in a world where we were all homogenized under a single 'basic income' there would still be ways to get ahead. If you couldn't 'make more' then your main alternative would be to 'spend less'. Grow your own food, make your own clothing, fix your own car or get rid of it completely. The Black Market thrives. Instead of being controlled by having to depend completely on your government hand out you would instead withdraw more and more from that system and use those funds for discretionary expenses, perhaps helping other escape servility…

Ultimately I think any such arrangement that tries to force servility through a system of handouts would face the maxim of live by the sword, die by the sword. Whether they realize it or not the powers that be would be bound just as strongly by the handout contract as those who receive them. People's subservience would last just as long as the payments kept coming. Come the day that those arrangements get broken, for whatever reason, there would be hell to pay for the overlords. Picture the French Revolution. More than 1 of every 7 people in the U.S. are now on Food Stamps, what happens if their EBT card balances aren't topped up one of these months?



Diminishing Marginal Utility . . .I wonder?

I say, don't give people free money, just forgive their mortgages and allow the average person to have a house free and clear, a positive net worth. But alas, the banksters will fight that to our deaths because mortgages are one of the main ropes around our necks they use to gain ownership of pretty much all "productive" assets in the economy; it is the way the banksters enslave us. The mortgage is the biggest purchase a person makes in their life and it generally takes their whole life to pay it off. So while the average person is fighting all the other average people in the housing market for an opportunity to go into debt for the rest of their lives, the bankers are busy manipulating insider trading of the greater markets using derivatives to get dollars out of the system. They then use these dollars to buy up assets other than houses (land, factories). This is what impoverishes everyone and ultimately is why the net worth of the average person is probably near zero. "Let them fight over their mortgages, FOOLS", they laugh at us.
Now, some will object to my proposal of letting people just get a house for free (never mind how unfair it would be to people who already worked 30 years to pay off their mortgages, but I'm sure that unfairness could be addressed somehow), but in principle, some people just object to people being given ownership of something for nothing. They question why anyone deserves to get anything for free, and that we should have incentives in the labour market to go out and be "productive" to earn that money to buy a house. Then society as a whole benefits.

I largely disagree. Firstly, as I said above, the bankers are stealing our wealth via insider trading and they are getting "something for free". In essence, this devalues the dollar worth of everyone else's labour because everyone else's labour is what brings wealth to the economy, and if the bankers are stealing most of it, then it means the average person should be getting more monetary purchasing power for our work than we currently do. In other words, just divide up all the bankers' ill gotten profits and add that to the wage of every worker.

Secondly, ponder this: I am guessing that the same people who object to people being given a house for free would also defend receiving unhindered inheritances from their parents (i.e. you get your parents' stuff, tax free). But isn't that getting something for free as well? Why is it that Little Richy Rich should have the right to inherit his parents' mansion when they die, yet Average Joe shouldn't be allowed to "inherit" the forgiveness of his mortgage? What's the difference? Is Richy Rich somehow being more "productive" to the economy than Average Joe? Does he "deserve" it more? Is it because inheritances are passed down privately whereas mortgage forgiveness and giving everyone a house would have to go through the government coffers? I don't buy that argument, a house is a house and a person is a person. Fundamentally there is no reason why Richie Rich deserves to get a free mansion and Average Joe doesn't.

We all know there's an oversupply of houses out there and its really not expensive to build a house these days with modern technology. There is no reason why every westerner could not live in a decent house, mortgage free, right now. Then we start over with a new monetary system. We as humans have inherited the earth, just like Richy Rich inherited his mansion. Let the average person own free and clear a house so they can maintain their dignity as a human and not have to go into debt for their whole life just to survive. This fits perfectly with the job losses from automation and stagnation of economic growth – people can sit around in their house and do nothing if they want, big deal. Then, above and beyond this, if people need / want more from life (oh, for things like food? Vacations, cars, children?) then let them go work for that.

Anyways, I'm not seriously proposing this because I think there are better ways of addressing wealth inequality and of course the banskers would never allow it to happen while they are still in control because they would then lose their main theft vehicle, but an interesting thought exercise to think about certain issues of what wealth is, where it comes from, and how much wealth the average person is "owed" simply from being a citizen of the world and an inheritor of one 7,000,000,000th of that wealth.

Unfortunately, I won't live enough to see the result. I am really curious.

Aloha! We all act as if our government got "suddenly stupid"! If you watch even minimal TV and switch from CNN to FOX or whatever, you hear two words a lot. One is "fear" and the other is "hate". The one word media rarely ever uses, as if it has been  stricken by censors, is the word "trust". It is not that we "fear" terrorists or "hate" the 1% it's instead that we now do not "trust" our form of morphed Republic to ever resolve any of our social ills. It is a global lack of "trust" in government. To ask government and to "trust" government to guarantee us a carefree happy life with no financial worries is absurd. Almost like asking Obama and Merkel to control the Earth's temperature forever! I was born in the late 1950s and I do not recall being issued a USDA stamp saying I am 100% Grade A first class anything … Yet how did we get here?
Look where you may but over the past decades there has been a huge lack of "accountability". The Big "A"! It seems the last major public figure to have suffered the wrath of  real "accountability" was Richard Nixon, but then he got pardoned by Ford so … hmmm … Nixon still got a Presidential Library out of the deal. He was never really held accountable the way an average US citizen would have been for stealing and fraud. But he got a library!

If there is nobody accountable in government or banking then what incentive is there to reform? NONE! Imagine if George Washington were running for President today. He would be shouted down for having no "career politics" experience like Hillary does. Yet his Presidency did not have the luxury of failure! None of our Founding Fathers would ever be elected today. Not only did they lack career political credentials but they lacked "lawyer credentials". They were mostly farmers and merchants back then. They were slave owners too, but who's to say slaves are extinct. What is the American Dream, but being a slave to debt? The last US President farmer grew peanuts in Georgia! Look how that went …

Perhaps that is why there is no "accountability" today in politics because it has been overrun by the "lawyer class"! If you have a law degree and you open a practice you assume the mentality of  "payment for failure". You get paid whether you win your case or not. What better place for that mentality to thrive than modern politics? When there is no incentive to "win" then you get a class of corrupt politicians who only strive to stay in power as a demented career path. They only want to ride the gravy train. Add in all the other perks of high office that domino to your family and even once you leave office you get rewarded with $325,000 one night stands. As I have said many times … nobody lobbies Washington DC out of altruism!

Here we sit with a wealth of experienced politicians and bankers who have never been accountable and probably never will be in my lifetime and we have the audacity to be surprised that the world is "suddenly stupid"! Stupid has been on a long low simmering boil since the other Hillary first said, "It's the economy STUPID!" This wealth of "experienced lawyers" has pretty much ruined the "global planet" into one mass of consumable arrogance that was once in earlier days called "Empire"! But that's not very PC of me. It flatters few 99%ers. Lets just pretend we aren't Empire!

Livable wage? We had more of that in 1968, before "Stupid" was all the rave! As Shark Tank shows we would have been better off with SubSBA than SubPrime! An empty McMansion employs nobody!

Basic Income? That's a slap in the face to all those Fourth World children who labor to provide our basic iPhone needs! The unmitigated hubris of European and North American citizens to call themselves the 99% when the rest of the world, the Third and Fourth and Fifth ones, call our beloved 99% the 1/2 of 10% of Planet Earth!!! The 10% of the planet who consume 99% and then complain they aren't the 1%!!! Feel the Bern indeed! Still we must haggle over what resources are left, but let us at least be honest with ourselves and say that our "Empire" has had it the best of any Empire since Rome. We have squandered the riches of Earth at an unprecedented pace yet have this unprecedented global entitlement to be paid to fail. Not JUST LIKE A BOSS … JUST LIKE A LAWYER!!!

In the end "stupid is as stupid does"! Oh … and one more … all our best thinking got us here!!!

As the latest Star Wars movie comes to a TV near you all I can say is, "IT'S THE EMPIRE STUPID!"


It sucks even more if you can't eat.
Catherine Austin Fitts ( if that's not an appeal to authority, nothing is ),  says that the economy is being milked.  And that there is enough for everyone to live la dolce vita. But how  would I know? Rock Apes aren't known For their mental horsepower.

All I ask for is the price of one cruise missile. But they probably want to use it to sink an aircraft carrier. I'm guessing that an aircraft carrier would be a big ticket item? Just one teeny tiny cruise missile? No? How about the cost of one good burst of 20mm ammo? Please? It's probably going to go to the bottom with the aircraft carrier anyway, so how about it?

Us Rock apes may be thick but we shine in comparison to our leaders. Truly we are led by the least among us. ( Terrance McKenna ) 

Edit I just ate some Tasmanian smoked salmon.  I think that I have just blown out the pleasure centers of my brain. Civilization is Good.

Hop over to Mish:
He shows some nice charts of the recession signals caused by inverted yield curves and the tightening of the spreads.
If you look at the 2008 bubble, you’ll see that by the time the recession even began, before Lehman even died, the yield had already risen, tightened, and crashed. Look over to today, and it seems that the yield curve has only begun to tighten: we’re still two years out or more.
Now, if you look at the third graph he presents, the yield curve distribution, you’ll see something else interesting: before the tightening has significantly begun, it has started to spread back out. So that implies to me that the Fed may be working for a soft landin, a longer, drawn out, less sudden crash. So we may be looking at even longer, maybe four years, before we see that 2008 crash.
So is Chris Martenson right in calling the crash on the last premium article? Well, technically, I guess you could say yes… and I even basically believe it. But this is one of those cases where the clash may be more slo-mo than you can stand, hold out, or prepare for.
It’s kindof like the saying that a bear market crash wants to hurt everyone for maximum damage: the bear traps for the bears, the bull traps for the bulls… something for everyone.

"Resistance is Fertile!"  There's a book by that name (which I haven't read) and an amorphous movement (which I consider myself part of).  I never envisioned myself as a revolutionary…
Peaceful revolution might mean giving up a lucrative dollar-based income to grow food and barter.  That's my plan.  I'm tired of paying 6-digit sums in Federal income tax just because I grew up poor, hustled, built a career and a small company, work hard, and have zero tax shelters.  I don't want my tax dollars going toward tanks, drones, and artillery.  I do believe in paying taxes for schools and streetlights.  But the sooner I can reduce my participation in "the system", the better. 

 "We live like kings of old."  I don't want what the 1% or 0.1% have.  But I sure like hot showers on a cold winter morning.  How long will these luxuries last? 

I could be wrong, but:

If the issues were "only" monetary policy, the Fed might be able to engineer a 4-year soft landing (to an unpleasant and inevitable hard bottom).  But the current energy glut is expected to last only 18 months.  After that, oil price and availability might accelerate the crash.  Or sooner, might the junk bond crisis be larger than what the Fed can control?

Do we have 18 months of "business as usual" to continue our preparations?  I don't think we have 4 years…  

I don't know if there is a real comparison between European and American attitudes to state welfare. The American working classes have been the beneficiaries of land grabs, whereas in Europe, or particularly Britain, land grabs are remembered as abuses by the upper classes and the capitalists - clearances and enclosures.
The simple answer to complaints about free money is "well, we had free, common land before you took it away from my ancestors, and made us dependent on your factories."

Dependent on the state, or dependent on the owners of assets like land or factories - a lot of people don't really see much difference, even though one dependence might yield more money nowadays.


The Enclosures of the 18th Century


Well, at least he still has a funky outfit cheeky

The big hole I am hearing in this discussion is the assumptions that those who hold political power CARE about the well-being of others outside of their in-group.  I am sorry to say that this does NOT look accurate.
It looks to me that TPTB come from an intensely ethnocentric world view and a pre-moral developmental level.  And they are committed to power through deception (Machiavellian) approach.

If that understanding is correct, then they will permit / arrange / induce / trigger / allow / cause the masses to die off.


And Merry Christmas.  smiley



I agree with you in the sense that TPTB don't 'care' about the rest of us in any sense of the word that we would use - as in the sense of being caring of others. However, they do care that we remain tranquil and productive generating more income for their coffers.

The problem that I see with the triggered mass die off meme is that it also would mean the end of the entire system that currently exists. Money, debt, power are now built on endless exponential growth. If we lose population then all of that unravels since population growth is the keystone to all consumption/debt growth. A significant die off would be a major deflationary event for existing assets (like housing and 'debt') though maybe inflationary for consumables if the entire just-in-time delivery (food!) system collapsed.

Perhaps a kill-em-all strategy exists as a nuclear option for when/if the TBTB do lose control of their stranglehold on the economy just to protect themselves from us but wouldn't they have to have a follow up plan?

They'd have to:

  1. Somehow protect assets in a form that wouldn't evaporate.

  2. Have a plan to quickly re-establish something like the current money-making/control the masses scam, post die off.

  3. Have a plan within the plan to sort out the real from the perceived winners. If they kill off the great unwashed masses then a lot of the people on their rich and powerful life boat are going to have to take over lower rungs on the power ladder… Without the lower groups there is no support for the elite. Put another way, if they kill the host (us) then the parasites (TPTB) die too. Less of us means less of them can exist. Going to be fun watching them fight it out to see who sucks the blood out of whom.

Given the displayed inability of the TPTB to plan out much further out than their toes, I'd be surprised if they have a significant long-term plan beyond 'do whatever it takes to keep the current system alive'. Several may have bunkers but that is an individual fear-based strategy because they don't think there is a viable plan B.

The human race likely has some unhappy days ahead. A pandemic or global economic crash will send us down the road of population crashes with or without intent by the TPTB. Depending on how bad the collapse is, there may no longer be the capability to re-establish 'globalism' again.

Merry Christmas…