AuthorTopic: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler  (Read 122 times)

Offline Golden Oxen

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When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« on: July 12, 2018, 06:13:47 AM »
I suppose many who think about the prospect of economic collapse imagine something like a Death Star implosion that simply obliterates the normal doings of daily life overnight, leaving everybody in a short, nasty, brutish, Hobbesian free-for-all that dumps the survivors in a replay of the Stone Age — without the consolation of golden ages yet to come that we had the first time around.

The collapse of our techno-industrial set-up has actually been going on for some time, insidiously and corrosively, without shattering the scaffolds of seeming normality, just stealthily undermining them. I’d date the onset of it to about 2005 when the world unknowingly crossed an invisible border into the terra incognito of peak oil, by which, of course, I mean oil that societies could no longer afford to pull out of the ground. It’s one thing to have an abundance of really cheap energy, like oil was in 1955. But when the supply starts to get sketchy, and what’s left can only be obtained at an economic loss, the system goes quietly insane.

In the event, popular beliefs and behavior have turned really strange. We do things that are patently self-destructive, rationalize them with doctrines and policies that don’t add up, and then garnish them with wishful fantasies that offer hypothetical happy endings to plot lines that do not really tend in a rosy direction. The techno-narcissistic nonsense reverberating through the echo-chambers of business, media, and government aims to furnish that nostrum called “hope” to a nation that simply won’t admit darker outcomes to the terrible limits facing humanity.

Thus, we have the Tesla saga of electric motoring to save the day for our vaunted way of life (i.e. the landscape as demolition derby), the absurd proposals to colonize distant, arid, frigid, and airless Mars as a cure for ruining this watery blue planet ideally suited for our life-form, and the inane “singularity” narratives that propose to replace grubby material human life with a crypto-gnostic data cloud of never-ending cosmic orgasm. The psychological desperation is obvious. Apparently, there are moments in history when flying up your own butt-hole is the most comforting available option.

I expect the collapse to pick up more momentum as we turn the corner around summer. The system that we have most willfully abused and perverted is finance. This monster that so many observers call “capitalism” is just a set of methods for managing surplus wealth — the catch being that nothing nearly this complex has ever been seen before in history and is a pure product of the 200-year-long industrial orgy driven by fossil fuels. That is, the world never before accumulated so much surplus wealth in such a short span of time. We commonly refer to this dynamic as “growth.” When that growth, as expressed in modern GDP terms, slowed dramatically after 2005, we launched an array of clever mechanisms to keep faking it for a while. Racking up immense debt was our way of faking it. If you can’t cover your costs in the present, just borrow from the future. Unfortunately, that works only as as long as there’s some reasonable expectation that debt can be paid back. We’re so far beyond that now, it’s not funny. And that realization alone will destroy the bond markets and anything related to and dependent on their operations to function.

This is a broad outline to the coming end of the Trump miracle economy. It was the after effects of the previous debt blowup — the phony-baloney mortgage bond market in 2008 — that mortally wounded the American middle class and put Donald Trump in the White House. His base is correct to feel swindled. That is exactly what happened to them, and the beat goes on now with securitized sub-prime auto loans. Throw in the horrific burdens of unpayable and non-dischargable college loans that will ruin millions of lives and pricey health insurance with $5000 deductibles and you have a  recipe for a complete loss of faith in the system. :-[

The next debt blowup will be the end of Mr. Trump’s improbable credibility. It may also be the beginning of serious difficulty in being able to get many of the goods of daily life, because the producers of things will be very unsure of getting paid on delivery of just about anything. A freeze up of short-term lending would quickly lead to empty WalMart shelves and “no gas” signs at the filling  stations. That’s when collapse finally goes kinetic, and becomes something more than just bad feelings and inane ideas.  :'( :-\

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/collapse-goes-kinetic/ :icon_study: :icon_study: :icon_study:

Offline Surly1

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 06:56:04 AM »
GO, FYI, there is a Kunster thread under "favorite dishes" which might make a better home. I would move it but I don't exactly know how and don't want to fuck it up.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Online Eddie

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 07:11:20 AM »
Rumors of dissatisfaction among Trump's base are overstated by JHK. Wishful thinking.

If we have a run on the bond market as JHK predicts, I think the bail-outs will be fast and furious, and the cut-out foreign bond buyers like Belgium will load the boat. Belgium?  They ain't foolin' me with that shit. But it works, so far.

The Euro will die before the USD.

Trump and the religious right have made a Faustian bargain, and it isn't clear to me how that plays out. Once the Catholics and Evangelicals get Roe repealed, what comes next? Probably a full frontal assault on Affirmative Action and Medicaid and Medicare.


My wife starts Medicare this year, and her monthly premium looks to be $428 per month. Hardly free care. We only pay $750 now for our private pay, down from about $1000, but the bennies are a fraction of what the higher premium once allowed.

Get ready to see SS privatized and your money put into...you guessed it....US Treasuries.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online Eddie

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 07:13:51 AM »
And I think the trade wars will be the accelerant that finally lights a fire under real double digit inflation. Get ready to pay more for everything. That's why I'm trying to accelerate some expenditures I've put off, like going solar on the roof.

The days of cheap Chinese everything are going away.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 07:51:24 AM »
GO, FYI, there is a Kunster thread under "favorite dishes" which might make a better home. I would move it but I don't exactly know how and don't want to fuck it up.

Understood Surly, Feel free and any time. Have a great deal of difficulty now and then deciding where to post something of this nature. Decided since he was talking the economy soon collapsing this would be a good spot, but as long as it gets attention is my only real concern. 

Posting in it's proper place is always a good idea, especially if we are being visited by newcomers who don't have a feel for the new environment.   :emthup:

Offline Golden Oxen

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 07:55:29 AM »
And I think the trade wars will be the accelerant that finally lights a fire under real double digit inflation. Get ready to pay more for everything. That's why I'm trying to accelerate some expenditures I've put off, like going solar on the roof.

The days of cheap Chinese everything are going away.

Agreed as long as we understand inflation is a monetary phenomenon.

"Money makes the mare run" is an old race track expression that fits here as well.


                                 

Offline Surly1

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Re: When Collapse Goes Kinetic - James Howard Kunstler
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 08:08:10 AM »
GO, FYI, there is a Kunstler thread under "favorite dishes" which might make a better home. I would move it but I don't exactly know how and don't want to fuck it up.

Understood Surly, Feel free and any time. Have a great deal of difficulty now and then deciding where to post something of this nature. Decided since he was talking the economy soon collapsing this would be a good spot, but as long as it gets attention is my only real concern. 

Posting in it's proper place is always a good idea, especially if we are being visited by newcomers who don't have a feel for the new environment.   :emthup:

Yeah, that's why I mentioned it. It is becoming like RE's attic in here. It is hard as hell to find things in here, or decide where to put them. I have this problem regularly.
I am not going to try to move it because I don't want to screw it up. I might try later. With RE on the DL, and only available for spot duty, I don't want to bother him with board mechanics.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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