Our Slow-Motion Crisis

Becca and I just went through the process of buying the house that we have been renting for the past few years.  The experience has given me another distasteful brush with state laws and regulations.  Over the years, new laws have only been added, never subtracted, making this house purchase entirely different from the one I conducted only ten years ago.

Yesterday, a backhoe came into the yard to completely expose the septic tank covers (three of them), along with an element of the leach field, which took a lot of digging to find.  Why?  Because the state now requires an inspector to peer into these contraptions to assure that they are working, as part of something called "Title V" regulations.  Once everything was dug up, it took only a quick glance from the inspector, who had to sign off on a piece of paper before the sale could go through.

On the surface, how can one argue that having an inspected and functioning septic system is a bad thing?  However, the way the law is written, it only has to pass inspection at the time of sale.  Every sale.  If we decide to sell the house a week after we buy it, the whole process would have to be repeated.

This entire septic system was professionally designed and installed six years ago.  It has been pumped every year, with full documentation of every step.  But no matter.  The law requires the state inspector to be able to peer into the septic system's innards every time the house changes hands.  No exceptions.  So heavy machinery was brought in and the yard torn up.

We could live here for 25 more years, and we wouldn't have to go through this process again.  Or we could sell it in a week and have to do it all over again.  Never mind the fact that if a septic system is not functioning properly, the homeowners will undoubtedly be highly motivated to get it fixed.  And never mind that there are non-invasive ways to tell if a system is functioning properly.  Those factors are apparently irrelevant in the eyes of the law.

This tale is just a small, state-level story in one person's life.  But it is being replicated a thousandfold in a 2,200-page health care bill, a 1000-page Disability Act bill, a 340-page Patriot Act, and numerous other documents combining into more than 72,000 pages of rules and regulations to go along with more than 60,000 pages of tax code (up 44% in nine years). 

And that's just at the federal level.

How large is large enough?

All of these regulations represent a cost to administer and ensure compliance with.  A cost that we might do well to reconsider as this crisis unfolds.

Even as the federal government runs a magnificent 13% of GDP deficit, state governments are experiencing wrenching difficulties.  Such is the difference between having a printing press and not having one.

We'll cover some of the more compelling stories here at the state level, but I want to note that the larger story is nearly universally ignored.  Perhaps the time isn't right - hey, we're in a crisis, you know? - or perhaps the subject is too painful under any circumstances. 

But it needs to be discussed.

The fact of the matter is that state and federal governments are bloated and are entirely too large to be supported.  It would be a mistake to think that they've been viably supported up to this point and that if we could just get past the crisis perhaps they could be again.  The truth is that the current size of government has been significantly bought and paid for using debt financing.

Money has been borrowed, bonds have been floated, future tax receipts have been pre-sold, and so forth, and the proceeds have been used to create a larger government than could have been bought using tax receipts alone.

If we were to set a definition and agree that over the long run that government expenditures and tax receipts had to balance out (which is a very reasonable definition), then we'd have to conclude that either taxes have to go up a whole lot, or the size of government has to shrink.

Once we factor in a shrinking net energy surplus and our current debt levels, the outcome is all but assured - one way or another, more people will have to be productively employed.  But most government jobs either consume or redistribute wealth.  This is not casting any judgment on those jobs.  I like having clear water and safe workplaces.  But I am merely noting that with declining surplus energy and sky-high debt loads, the fact of the matter is that more people really need to be working in wealth-creating jobs than before.

How much of a shift are we talking about?  A very big one:

How the Government Is Swallowing the Economy

November 9, 2009

You know about the bailouts, the stimulus plan, cash for clunkers, and moola for mansions. But for all the anxiety they've caused, those government giveaways are just a tiny part of a mushrooming problem.

By one measure, the government already plays an outsize role in our so-called free-market economy—and it has little to do with the recession. Economist Gary Shilling has calculated that 58 percent of the population is dependent on the government for "major parts of their income," including teachers, soldiers, bureaucrats, and other government employees; welfare and Social Security recipients; government pensioners; public housing beneficiaries; and people who work for government contractors. By 2018, Shilling estimates, an astounding 67 percent of Americans could be dependent on the government for their livelihood. The implications aren't comforting.

If that happens, more than two thirds of the nation will owe their livelihood to the government, which is unsustainable for a number of reasons. It will require federal deficits far larger than the $1.4 trillion bogy we've got now, which is already alarmingly high. If irate voters don't rein in America's debt binge, market forces will, perhaps because foreigners will stop lending us the money or the rates they demand will rise and effectively bankrupt the country. Higher taxes would help solve the problem—and are probably inevitable—but enacting them on rich people alone won't be enough. At some point not too far off, the U.S. government will have to close the vast gap between its income and its spending, and the pain will be widespread.

What this study says is that if we remain on our current path, in less than ten years fully two-thirds of all Americans will be directly dependent on the government for their livelihoods.  I guess that leaves one-third working really hard and paying a lot of taxes.  Somehow I doubt that's going to fly without some sort of a revolt on the part of the remaining taxpayers.  Or our foreign creditors.  Or both.

Twice as Many Administering as Making

I think this chart, which compares the growth in government workers to the decline in manufacturing jobs, illuminates the entire situation perfectly:

Government employees now outnumber all manufacturing employees by 2:1.

Across all workers, for every 4.8 workers in any occupation, there is a government employee.

Said another way, if there were six houses on a street, five of them would have to earn enough to support the sixth plus pay sufficient taxes to cover all the public infrastructure and operating costs (roads, government vehicles, diesel, etc) for their neighborhood.

I imagine that if you were one of the five houses paying these expenses, and the family living in the sixth house showed up on your doorstep each week to collect their salary from you, you'd probably be pretty keen to know what they were doing for you during the work week.  But in our system, the true cost of this situation is deeply repressed by the fact that so much of the cost of carrying a 4.8:1 ratio is obscured by borrowed money.

The Underpaid Public Servant

Recently, the pleasant myth of the underpaid public servant was punctured by a study from the Commerce Department revealing that public servant average total compensation was twice as high as the average for civilian employees - nearly $120,000 compared to $60,000.

Myth of the underpaid public employee

Consider the lucrative lot of the men and women who work for Uncle Sam. In 2008, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the 1.9 million civilian employees of the federal government earned an average salary of $79,197. The average private employee, by contrast, earned just $49,935. The difference between them came to more than $29,000 - a differential that has more than doubled since 2000.

Take account of total compensation - wages plus benefits - and the disparity is even more striking. In 2008, total federal civilian compensation averaged $119,982 - more than twice the $59,908 in wages and benefits earned by the average private-sector employee.

Again, without casting any particular judgment on this arrangement, I want to illustrate that such a system is thoroughly unsustainable.  If something is unsustainable, it will someday stop.  It is simply not possible to forever have twice as many people working in government as in manufacturing (while earning twice as much as average) and paying for the gap using debt financing.  Sooner or later, the mounting debts become unserviceable from the meager profits from the productive economy.

And the longer-term trend leads to two-thirds of all people in the land becoming dependent on government wealth redistribution policies by 2018.  Again, this is unsustainable.

Paying For It All

How does the government propose to pay for all this?  With new debt, of course:

$4.8 trillion - Interest on U.S. debt

Unless lawmakers make big changes, the interest Americans will have to pay to keep the country running over the next decade will reach unheard of levels.

November 19, 2009

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Here's a new way to think about the U.S. government's epic borrowing: More than half of the $9 trillion in debt that Uncle Sam is expected to build up over the next decade will be interest.

More than half. In fact, $4.8 trillion.

Since it really is not sustainable, advisable, or even possible to run up debts to higher and higher levels forever, it's only a matter of time before the issue gets decided by some sort of a funding emergency.

The question before us is this:  Do we want to work out a gentle resolution or a wrenching adjustment brought about by default and failure?

States of Distress

So far, at the state level, the answer seems to be, "Wrenching, please!"

Paterson: NYS Will Be Broke Before Christmas

Governor David Paterson called an unusual joint session of the Legislature Monday to implore recalcitrant lawmakers to close the state's huge budget gap before New York runs out of money.

To some lawmakers it's nothing more than a photo op to help Paterson get re-elected. But the governor is dead serious. He said if the Legislature doesn't cut the budget now the state could run out of money by next month.

"We're going to run out of cash in four and a half weeks. We are going to run out of money. Unless we do something about it, (it will) threaten generations," Paterson said.

Christie may declare a financial emergency

As he seeks concessions from state workers to balance his first budget, Gov.-elect Chris Christie is examining the possibility of declaring a financial emergency in the state, according to an official familiar with his plans.

Such a declaration -- invoking the same law as if New Jersey were hit by a natural disaster -- could give Christie broad powers, such as suspending rules governing state worker layoffs. With many state workers due to receive two raises in the next fiscal year and a no-layoff pledge in place through December 2010, Christie's transition team expects to tackle the issue before he takes office Jan. 19, two of his advisers said yesterday.


10 states face looming budget disasters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In Arizona, the budget has grown so gloomy that lawmakers are considering mortgaging Capitol buildings. In Michigan, state officials dealing with the nation's highest unemployment rate are slashing spending on schools and health care. Drastic financial remedies are no longer limited to California, where a historic budget crisis earlier this year grew so bad that state agencies issued IOUs to pay bills.

A study released Wednesday warned that at least nine other big states are also barreling toward economic disaster, raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs and deep cuts in services.

The report by the Pew Center on the States found that Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin are also at grave risk. Double-digit budget gaps, rising unemployment, high foreclosure rates and built-in budget constraints are the key reasons.

Through all of these recent articles, I cannot find a single mention of the idea that the size of government has outgrown the economy.  Certainly there are aggressive actions to slash spending to bring it in line with revenues (states have to do that by law in most cases), but where is the deeper conversation about how much is enough, or whether we perhaps have too much?

Instead, I sense the same sort of bewildered confusion that one might expect at the end of an age where the participants cannot see any other way but the past.  A past defined by an ever-increasing number of regulations, incrementally boosted each year with new bodies hired to administrate them, often without any seeming regard to the costs imposed upon the productive (tax paying) side of the economy.

My preference here would be to seek savings, not by trimming a little from each and every state and government function, but by asking the harder (and better) question about whether there could be entire departments or functions that have outlived their usefulness.

Are there no laws that we can trim or eliminate?  Do we need 150,000 pages of rules and taxes to administer ourselves?  Could we do it with 'only' 100,000?  How much would we save in both compliance and administration if we judiciously axed a few rules?  Are there no government functions that are the responsibility of citizens?  Does it make sense to have a tax code so massive and convoluted that even the IRS often has no clue how it works?

It seems to me that the federal government, along with every state, ought to periodically scrub through the books to see what can be eliminated.

My Proposal

Part one of my proposal is to cap all the rules, and their costs, at their current levels.  No more rules can be added without subtracting some others.  Call this part "Cap 'n Trade," which already has some brand essence floating around the halls of power.

This part is quite simple.  If a new rule about, say, inspecting every septic tank at the homeowner's expense is deemed desirable, then an offsetting rule, or set of rules, covering the home sale process need to be scrapped to bring the overall burden of governing ourselves down to its current level.

Part two of my proposal calls for eliminating old, unnecessary, and arcane rules.  Call this part the "Good Housekeeping" proposal.  The idea here is to scrub out all the rules and regulations that made sense in a past world, but not the current one.  This should be relatively quick and easy.

Part three of my proposal calls for shrinking the role of government back to a level that appears to be affordable over the long-haul.  A well-run company would never dream of having a management and overhead structure that consumed 40% of all revenues.  Why should the cost of government be any different?  The level I propose as a starting target is that government should consume no more than 20% of revenues.


The benefits to adopting these proposals run far deeper than saving a lot of money.  First, they will create a more livable society, where the average person could at least reasonably start a business or run their life without potentially unknowingly being in conflict with myriad laws.

Second, we'd be more competitive on the global landscape.  It is not reasonable to expect US businesses to compete with countries that choose not to adopt a 40% regulatory and overhead burden structure.

Third, the notion of competing priorities would return to the legislative landscape.  For now, there seems to be no restraint at all on spending.  Health care?  Sure, we'll take a trillion more of that.  Afghanistan?  Sure, send in a bunch more troops.  Deficit spending?  Absolutely, can't live without that.  Military bases in 140+ countries?  Yes, we'll do that too.

The idea of having to cut out old rules and regulations to make way for new ones would create an entirely different sort of conversation and return the concept of setting priorities to the discussion.  For far too long, we've had neither restraint nor active debate and discussion in our decision making.  (Ever watch C-Span and see the nearly empty chambers during each 'debate'?)


We are heading towards a massive funding crisis.  Our self-imposed administrative and regulatory burden is too high.  We can solve both by developing a more rational and cost-sensitive approach to both the number of regulations and the overall size of government.

If we do not, then two out of every three Americans will be dependent on the government for their livelihood in ten years or so.  That is not a sustainable situation and could easily lead to a revolt of sorts among the remaining few being asked to carry the whole weight.  For now, those 'bagholders' happen to be future generations, because we've chosen to mask the true costs with debt.

But debts must always be eventually repaid.

A first act of 'good faith' would be for the state and federal governments to develop a sensible plan for bringing the cost of government into alignment with our actual productive economy.  Capping and then reducing the enormous sets of rules would be an excellent first set of steps.

I would vastly prefer to avoid a massive funding crisis, especially if it's obviously coming and we can head it off at the pass. 

If it's clear that we need to reduce the size and cost of government, isn't now a better time to begin addressing that than later?

I plan on asking all of my representatives, now and on the campaign trail, what they are doing to reduce the size and cost of government.  I encourage you to do the same.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/our-slow-motion-crisis-2/

If nothing is done then the solutions are limited: en-masse default or “Jubilee” or inflate it away. Then my children get to deal with the fallout.
I’ll be asking my representatives what they are doing to reduce the size and cost of government as well.

Thanks Chris!


Good read - for someone who was going to be out of touch for the weekend. Hmmm, you wouldn’t be a work workaholic?
Hope they found it all by dousing, but still sounds like a mess.

Only our 530+/1 geniuses could come up with something this preposterous. Wonder if the local governmental regulators are exempt from this insanity like Congress is from health care.

Can’t wait to see Uncle Buck flat line after the stealth vote.

Thank you Chris for the excellent read!


Great post !
I knew the government bloat was big, but I must say I am appalled at how big. When you outline the facts and show the comparisons, a sick feeling comes over me in the knowledge that not only are our debt and energy problems nearly insurmountable, but our entire societal system is spinning out of control. Shuffling paper to cut some cost here and there will not get the job done. I shudder to think what the effects will be when a significant portion of the government workforce hits the streets in search of gainful employment
To me it is even more mind boggling to realize that the excess “overhead” as you put it, extends to much of our private sector. The non-productive overhead contributed by our financial sector has doubled in recent years to encompass (as I understand) something close to 20% of our GDP. Add in other mostly non-productive activities such as insurance, legal costs, massive nightmares of accounting for tax purposes, military forces and arms suppliers and I have to wonder who is left  doing anything of real productive value to keep us afloat. We’ve been measuring increased productivity for years based on fictitious production – all the while patting ourselves on the back. It is now coming home to roost, and it is my opinion that not many of us even know how to be productive in a real sense
Back to the farm, I guess …


Excellent article Chris.  I remember reading someplace that in 1900, America’s population was 76 million and we are now over 300 million yet our federal government has grown 300 fold during that same time!  We definitely need to trim the fat.

I’m a municipal employee.  Public employes are a popular target lately, so this makes me feel a bit defensive.  One of the things I work on is maintaining water and sewer infrastructure.  Unfortunately for government balance sheets, the private sector claimed all activities that make a profit, and left behind all the unprofitable-but-essential ones.  Its hard to make a profit on water and sewer, fire, police, etc.  Much of what we do is fulfulling the demands of unfunded federal mandates.  Don’t lump all public employees together, or throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Chris, et al:

Glad you’ve come to this reality and posted this…I’ve made this point many times over the past year (recall…am a government employee).

However, your suggestions are too limited, and just scratch the surface.   To reiterate…the government is a “special interest”…that builds empire(s) and consumes power like any entity.

We need more than just what you state, a proper governmental check and balance is missing.  If there was a proper check and balance, we never would have allowed ourselves to get into this predicament.

Your post is welcome, but is a very, very small start…do your 3 proposals require more?  

Our system is not only broken, its busted to pieces…requiring more than just new folks. It requires a process or system of real accountability toward efficient and effective problem solving.

Again, will reiterate, my past experiences at highest levels of executive and legislative branches clearly demonstrate this.  The key decision makers can and almost always do succumb to self preservation versus doing what is right for the people. 

Chris, you refer to the a curve in the road, how can you/we change direction without making real, substative changes?

All readers, please at least consider this point.

2 cents…



(30+ Year military and civil service employee…and consciencious objector to “the system”)

“Parkinson’s Law works everywhere” – Michail Gorbachev

In the early 90s I read material from “Neo-Tech” who’s then fanatical rant was that all politicians, clergy and those in administrative positions are financial dead weight (in part because there is more to it than that). I’m sure they are still around as some of thier material made sense. The problem was how franatically they presented it (it was angry at those who “drain” society of all its ability for forward movement). Neo (meaning “new”) Tech (meaning technology) has transformed how we live but they wanted to use it for more- to make a “collectively run” 100% transparent government (everyone votes instead of having a senator or representative . . )  It makes more sense now than it did then . . .EGP

I’m curious, do you intend to take the $8000.00 tax credit on your new home purchase and add another drop to our federal ocean of deficit?

Chris sounds like that septic tank situation got under your skin…I don’t blame you the Govt is so idiotic & you can not begin to reason with them. They create some stupid system & you have to deal with it like it or not.
I had a septic tank problem at my house & rather than deal with all the Govt BS I bought my own Backhoe & did it myself. Helped pay for the backhoe which I still have in service…what a great machine.

I basically work for myself but I am getting so burned out on dealing with the entire mindless BS in medicine now that I am looking at throwing up my hands & just work for someone else. This way I can spend more time covering my backside which is totally unproductive but will keep me from possible getting sued or breaking some law I didn’t even know existed.

Side benefit would be I would make less & therefore pay fewer taxes. I would put in fewer hours & spend more time with the wife & kids. I guess the sick people can wait another day or two.

Our current system is failing in so many ways it blows one’s mind. Sad part is the cast of characters that are in charge of this mess have no clue IMHO what is causing the problems so there is no hope of them understanding how to fix it. Really there is no fix IMHO because it has already run too far in the wrong direction.

We could start to do things in a sustainable direction which would help but I just don’t think they could do enough fast enough to halt the inevitable. Just wait til all those baby boomers land squarely on Social Security. That would be a big load by itself in a good economy let alone what we are faced with now.

Looks obvious to me that the clueless running this show will continue to take the wrong paths. It will be management by crisis as always where it should be management by truly good leadership… that would be unpopular as there would be more pain than people like in the beginning.

Really your last few reports have been fantastic & confirm what I have felt for a long time. I knew this system was unsustainable by the direction we were going. I am just disappointed in myself in feeling this that I didn’t act on this with collecting Gold & silver much earlier than the last year few years.

Chris, you refer to the a curve in the road, how can you/we change direction without making real, substative changes?
We will all be making real, substative changes in a big way IMHO....the economic tsunami from horrific managment will see to this.

For the first time in my 27 years i am ready to join the workforce. As i posted earlier i passed the California Bar Exam and will be recieving my license to practice in a few weeks. Its pretty damn scary out there as im hearing alot about layoffs in the public and private sector. Its also frustrating as i have knowledge that my “profession” is saturated beyond belief and has actually become a burden on the economy. Too much litigation taking place has slowed business and has added a “tax” on businesses as lawsuits are flying galore. I decided to go into the legal field 5 years ago, and now that the journey is over i have realized in how big of a pickle i am in. I dont want to be a leach in society, making money off of other people by bringing BS lawsuits. I want to help business owners do business quickly and efficiently. I do understand that many attorneys drag out litigation as long as possible to bill as much as they can. This is wrong and i will not do this in my practice.
Bottom line: i want to use my license as a benefactor for the economy and not be just another leach attorney.



RE: the septic system.When we bought the lake place, the new then system was compliant but within a few years it was obsolete. We wanted to remodel so the only thing I could think of to do was put in a Kyoto Prtocol compliant system and be done with it once and for all (or so I thought).
The county took us to court 3 times in front of a judge over putting in composting systems (which no one but us knew was a composter since the toilt flushes to directly below). It was eco-friendly and since we cared about the water quality of the lake place - we were happy with not being part of the problem. Anyway - it took 3 times in front of a judge to tell the county lawyer it was compliant. . go figure. On top of their outrageous pay - I have to do their job fior them.

If I had it to do over again, I would go with an even cheaper system - goBar! EGP

I too am employed in a quasi-governmental job working as an electrician for the largest water utility in the nation.
The concerns of many that government has become too large is not unfounded, however, my particular job is necessary and vital as I perform a valuable service for a huge water treatment plant which, if privatised, I would shudder to think of the repercussions ala Enron.

We need to make sure that government is efficient and that basic public services do not fall into the hands of privateers who, as has been seen, will seek to profit before the needs of the citizens.

Simple oversight in these matters is all that we need.

Fair wages and pensions is not an unreasonable request. Racing to the bottom is not a better long term strategy.

For what it’s worth, I see a third worldization of America coming and it will not be good for any of us (although the environment may fare better as we reduce our consumption and impact on the biosphere).

Prepare people, dark days ahead before the New Sunrise.


I think that the problem within our society has more to do with non-productive “overhead” activity in general. It just so happens that government  has a strong leaning towards more than their share of non-productive activity. I don’t think that water/sewer, police, fire and the like fall into that trap and from what you say, you are providing essntial service to the people in your area – and for that, here’s a pat on the back.

Chris mentioned “most government jobs either consume or redistribute wealth.” which is valid in many areas of governmental activity, but not in the essential services area. I think that in the private sector, the financial services area may offend as badly if not worse that the government at this point in our history as do a number of other private sector activities including a bloated military industrial complex as well as an unwieldy legal system.

My thoughts, anyway


Chris, glad your becoming Libertarian. Cool
For those govenment employees that have spoken up and stated that their jobs were critical, I ask why does it have to be done by government? You bring up water, sewer, police - I would counter that there are many private versions of those sytems in use today in the US. Also you said you can’t make money on these systems, I would venture to say that get government out of the way and all of these would be the most profitable systems in the world.  Everyone needs them, what more do you need to be profitable?  Some one else brought up Enron, but things like Enron, Fannie, GS, AIG only ended up where they were because of government interference in the first place.  You can’t look at those situation at the end and say oh look, we need government to fix them, it’s important to go back to the start and ask why were they able to get into the situation in the first place, and I would bet in all cases you find some government regulation at the root of the problem.

And for everyone looking for a solution, we all ready have one.  The Constitution was very carefully worded to limit government.  The federal government has very few responsiblities, states get whatever else the people of each state decide, the rest is left to the people.  This places responsibility on the people, not in government…  I encourage you all to read it if you haven’t in a while.

The other thing that would quickly put an end to this is to move to a sound money non-fractional reserve banking system.  If you actually have to tax directly for benefits and people have to put their savings at risk, borrowing and government would be much more limited and serious risk/reward consideration would be given by every citizen.

For everyone that hasn’t read Ron Paul’s book “The Revolution, A Manifesto” I highly recommend reading it.  It’s a short read and if nothing else talks about the ssues of a large government.  I would also recommend reading articles at the Campaign for Liberty.  I have found many of the articles challenging some of my core beliefs. 



Hello from the UK
For those important government employed people whom are providing essential works Chris most certainly is not implying that infra structure support such as water, sewerage, fire services, essential medical help are not important.

These services are without doubt essential for survival, and are indeed highly valuable.

The horror that presents itself to people when they turn on the tap and nothing comes out is immediate. Panic quickly ensues. So many times you never really know what you have until it’s gone (or even just interrupted)

The insane burden of useless, non productive and totally invaluable bureaucracy eats away large parts of ones income. You have to work that much harder to support such a parasitic system.

As ones ultimate survival is dependent on the survival of ones fellow man. Perhaps the analysis of ones work should be in its very ‘final valuable product’.

If all our activities were arranged on the basis of providing a valuable final product which accomplished the greatest good for the greatest number of people then by default we should be on the right track.

Reward those whom works are contributing to the survival of not only themselves but also to some greater or lesser degree their fellow man. Penalise those whom works are not contributing some way in the measurable survival of their fellow man.

Selfish non productive works without a measurable social benefit and/or results in some destruction or harm of ones fellow man should be discouraged and most certainly should not receive reward.

Prove to me that the financial crisis in my country the UK (now proven to actually have been engineered) has a social benefit, and I will eat this laptop I am currently using.

Prove to me that our leaders are acting in our best interests. Prove to me that our leader are NOT either satisfying their own selfish interests or conversely just pathetically wallowing in their own abhorrent ignorance and I will eat the table that this laptop is currently resting on.

When these energy crisis phenomena truly hit our economies, these aforementioned items may be the only thing I have to eat.

It has been stated that society is three meals away from riot and revolt.

I consider myself to be very fortunate to have come across Chris’ Crash Course. It enables one to understand, confront, prepare and help oneself and others, to foresee and hopefully overcome the difficulties ahead.

Thank you Chris.


The UK

Water and sewer utilities have been privatized in other countries.  They are run essentially the same way as they were publically, often by the same employees.  The difference is that excess revenue generated by higher-than necessary user fees (rates) is not used to reduce rates as they must in a public utility, but distributed as ‘profit’ to shareholders.

I spent years getting an education and sharpening my skills. I went to work for a very large corporation, doing IT work. Over the years, I realized that upon my broad shoulders sat layer upon layer of useless trash who produced nothing. I grow lettuce for the farmers market now. I shrugged.
In response to the government employees who visit this site, your paycheck is provided for you by thugs with guns. If you offered your services in the market most people would gladly pay the true cost of those services. As it stands you are “providing a service” to people whether they want it or not, that is very much like the “protection service” offered by the other criminal syndicates that operate in so many of our large cities here in the U.S.