Thursday, December 26, 2013

Some Themes to Watch in 2014

Propaganda, phony fixes and more debt can only cover the widening gap between fiscal reality and official fantasy for so long.

So what else besides the potential for another global financial meltdown bears watching in 2014? Here are a few worthy prospects. Continuing our end-of-the-year tradition of exploring themes that have disruptive potential in the coming year, Gordon Long and I discuss a half-dozen such topics in 2014 Themes: CHS with Gordon T. Long(28 minutes).

My short list is centered not on one-time crises or potential black swans but on long-festering systemic problems that cannot be fixed within the current status quo, and thus they are destined to continue eroding systemic resilience. Kicking the can down the road and phony accounting "solutions" fix nothing, and so these systemic problems will eventually explode into crises that cannot be tamped down with the usual fiscal and monetary tricks.

Student loans and the impossible-to-solve conflict between skyrocketing local government pension and healthcare costs and delivering services to taxpayers/residents are both prime examples. Something's got to give in both of these bubbling pressure cookers, and propaganda, phony fixes and more debt can only cover the widening gap between fiscal reality and official fantasy for so long.

Five years of phony fixes have gotten us to 2013; I doubt the same illusions and tricks will get the global economy through 2014-2015 unscathed.

Gordon did an excellent companion "Themes for 2014" program with John Rubino which I highly recommend; you can find this program as well as other recent shows on the the Macro Analytics home page. 



The Nearly Free University and The Emerging Economy:
The Revolution in Higher Education

Reconnecting higher education, livelihoods and the economy

With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down? College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market.

It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren?

go to Kindle edition
We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work - and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages.

The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen, and offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.

Kindle edition: list $9.95 




Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Kindle: $9.95       print: $24

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