Sunday, February 28, 2021

What "Normal" Are We Returning To? The Depression Nobody Dares Acknowledge

Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality, social depression and the failure of the status quo.

Even as the chirpy happy-talk of a return to normal floods the airwaves, what nobody dares acknowledge is that "normal" for a rising number of Americans is the social depression of downward mobility and social defeat.

Downward mobility is not a new trend--it's simply accelerating. As this RAND Corporation report documents, ( Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018) $50 trillion in earnings has been transferred to the Financial Aristocracy from the bottom 90% of American households over the past 45 years.

Time magazine's article on the report is remarkably direct: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure.

"The $50 trillion transfer of wealth the RAND report documents has occurred entirely within the American economy, not between it and its trading partners. No, this upward redistribution of income, wealth, and power wasn't inevitable; it was a choice--a direct result of the trickle-down policies we chose to implement since 1975.

We chose to cut taxes on billionaires and to deregulate the financial industry. We chose to allow CEOs to manipulate share prices through stock buybacks, and to lavishly reward themselves with the proceeds. We chose to permit giant corporations, through mergers and acquisitions, to accumulate the vast monopoly power necessary to dictate both prices charged and wages paid. We chose to erode the minimum wage and the overtime threshold and the bargaining power of labor. For four decades, we chose to elect political leaders who put the material interests of the rich and powerful above those of the American people."


I've been digging into downward mobility and social depression for years: Are You Really Middle Class?

The reality is that the middle class has been reduced to the sliver just below the top 5%--if we use the standards of the prosperous 1960s as a baseline.

The downward mobility isn't just financial--it's a decline in political power, control of one's work and ownership of income-producing assets. This article reminds us of what the middle class once represented: What Middle Class? How bourgeois America is getting recast as a proletariat.

This reappraisal of the American Dream is also triggering a reappraisal of the middle class in the decades of widespread prosperity: The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?

Downward mobility excels in creating and distributing what I term social defeat: In my lexicon, social defeat is the spectrum of anxiety, insecurity, chronic stress, fear and powerlessness that accompanies declining financial security and social status.

Downward mobility and social defeat lead to social depression. Here are the conditions that characterize social depression:

1. High expectations of endlessly rising prosperity instilled as a birthright no longer align with economy reality.

2. Part-time and unemployed people are marginalized, not just financially but socially.

3. Widening income/wealth disparity as those in the top 10% pull away from the bottom 90%.

4. A systemic decline in social/economic mobility as it becomes increasingly difficult to move from dependence on the state or one's parents to financial independence.

5. A widening disconnect between higher education and employment: a college/university degree no longer guarantees a stable, good-paying job.

6. A failure in the Status Quo institutions and mainstream media to recognize social depression as a reality.

7. A systemic failure of imagination within state and private-sector institutions on how to address social depression issues.

8. The abandonment of middle class aspirations: young people no longer aspire to (or cannot afford) consumerist status symbols such as luxury autos or conventional homeownership.

9. A generational abandonment of marriage, families and independent households as these are no longer affordable to those with part-time or unstable employment.

10. A loss of hope in the young generations as a result of the above conditions.

The rising tide of collective anger arising from social depression is visible in many places: road rage, violent street clashes between groups seething for a fight, the destruction of friendships for holding "incorrect" ideological views, and so on.

A coarsening of the entire social order is increasingly visible: The Age of Rudeness.

Depressive thoughts (and the emotions they generate) tend to be self-reinforcing, and this is why it's so difficult to break out of depression once in its grip.

One part of the healing process is to expose the sources of anger that we are repressing. As psychiatrist Karen Horney explained in her 1950 masterwork, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Towards Self-Realization, anger at ourselves sometimes arises from our failure to live up to the many "shoulds" we've internalized, and the idealized track we've laid out for ourselves and our lives.

The article The American Dream Is Killing Us does a good job of explaining how our failure to obtain the expected rewards of "doing all the right things" (getting a college degree, working hard, etc.) breeds resentment and despair.

Since we did the "right things," the system "should" deliver the financial rewards and security we expected. This systemic failure to deliver the promised rewards is eroding the social contract and social cohesion. Fewer and fewer people have a stake in the system.

We are increasingly angry at the system, but we reserve some anger for ourselves, because the mass-media trumpets how well the economy is doing and how some people are doing extremely well. Naturally, we wonder, why them and not us? The failure is thus internalized.

One response to this sense that the system no longer works as advertised is to seek the relative comfort of echo chambers--places we can go to hear confirmation that this systemic stagnation is the opposing ideological camp's fault.

Part of the American Exceptionalism we hear so much about is a can-do optimism: set your mind to it and everything is possible.

The failure to prosper as anticipated is generating a range of negative emotions that are "un-American": complaining that you didn't get a high-paying secure job despite having a college degree (or advanced degree) sounds like sour-grapes: the message is you didn't work hard enough, you didn't get the right diploma, etc.

It can't be the system that's failed, right? I discuss this in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform: the top 10% who are benefiting mightily dominate politics and the media, and their assumption is: the system is working great for me, so it must be working great for everyone. This implicit narrative carries an implicit accusation that any failure is the fault of the individual, not the system.

The inability to express our despair and anger generates depression. Some people will redouble their efforts, others will seek to lay the blame on "the other" (some external group) and others will give up. What few people will do is look at the sources of systemic injustice and inequality.

Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality and the failure of the status quo that avoids polarization and the internalization trap (i.e. it's your own fault you're not well-off).

We need to value honesty above fake happy-talk. Once we can speak honestly, there will be a foundation for optimism.



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisOfEasy Salon 38: Should social media platforms be open source public utilities? (56 minutes)

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




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Saturday, February 27, 2021

They Can Always Print More Money But We Can't Print More Time

Is that really what you want to spend your time doing, paying higher taxes?

"No matter how much money I make, they will always print more. I can't print anymore time."

The source of this quote is correspondent T.D., who shared the story of an acquaintance of his who was offered a high-paying and very demanding corporate position that would have left him nominally wealthier in terms of money but much poorer in terms of time and energy remaining after trading away the bulk of his time and energy for the higher pay.

The acquaintance turned the position down and cut the number of hours he was working, with this explanation: "No matter how much money I make, they will always print more. I can't print anymore time."

The point here is that central banks and state treasuries can always print more money, a process which reduces the purchasing power of the money they've issued. We can trade more hours for more money, but this extra money buys less.

No matter how much more of our time we trade for more of this created-out-of-thin-air currency, we will never be able to overcome their power to create near-infinite currency, which put another way is the power to devalue the money we trade our time for and thus devalue our time.

This is an asymmetry that should inform our decisions going forward: They Can Always Print More Money But We Can't Print More Time.

In other words, they can devalue the money we trade our time for at will but we can't create more time.

As catalogued in the monumental history, Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the 17th Century, the history of governments' response to crisis is depressingly repetitive: virtually without exception, every government devalues its currency in response to the soaring costs of conflict (and placating elites) and the concurrent plunge in tax revenues.

The common experience seems to be that the government-issued money loses 90% or more of its value.

In the era before central banks could create trillions of dollars with a few keystrokes, this was accomplished by recalling silver or gold coins and replacing them with coins with little intrinsic value.

In the case of the mighty Ottoman Empire of the 1600s, the empire recalled all copper coins ("small money" used for everyday transactions) and restamped it at a face value triple the old value, in effect wiping out two-thirds of its purchasing power.

Diaries of commoners in every regime not shredded by war record that the 90% devaluation of the money was just as devastating as the floods, droughts, food shortages and soaring taxes that were all part and parcel of the official response to crisis.

That money is losing purchasing power faster than we can earn more of it is a fundamental transformation. In the good old days of two generations ago, making 25% more money still added purchasing power to our incomes, even after deducting 5% for inflation (laughingly estimated at 2%) and another 10% in higher taxes paid because the extra income pushed us into a higher tax bracket.

We still netted an additional 10% of purchasing power.

But if history is any guide, then we can anticipate 20% inflation (grossly underestimated by authorities to avoid outright revolt) and 20% higher taxes (often hidden in higher "user taxes" and other flim-flam) on our additional earnings, leaving us with less purchasing power even after we traded every available hour for the additional income.

Stuck with trading our time for devaluing currency, we will be poorer in what really counts-- our time and energy--and poorer in the purchasing power of our income.

This increases the temptation to gamble whatever money one has to outrace the authorities' devaluation, and indeed, 2020's rampant speculative bubbles generated a widespread illusion that the agile gambler could easily outrace the devaluation.

For example, take $2,000, gamble it all on the highest-volatility stocks, and turn it into $200,000. Oops, and then run the fortune to zero.

That's the problem with relying on a hot hand in the casino to avoid trading time for money: the vast majority of punters lose in the casino, especially when the tide that's been raising all boats ebbs away.

(Governments love gamblers who win, of course; if you live in a high-income tax state, add 9% to the federal tax rate of 32%, and be prepared to "share" 40+% of your casino winnings.)

The other approach is to reduce our need for money to a very low level so we're not forced to trade what we cannot create more of--time--for something that's rapidly losing value.

A second related approach is to trade our time for time-honored forms of money that have intrinsic value. While I have been on record since 2016 as saying positive things about cryptocurrencies, including my own proposal for a labor-backed cryptocurrency (A Radically Beneficial World), the historic stalwarts in the intrinsic value camp are gold and silver.

But anything with intrinsic value will do: grain, tools, nails, shelter, etc.

Having the skills to generate goods and services of intrinsic value is very much like "printing money with our time" because our skills make our time valuable, not in terms of what government currency is worth but in terms of the value others find in the goods and services we generate with our skills and time.

History informs us that governments inevitably respond to crisis by devaluing their currency and by raising taxes. In the current era, the more money commoners earn, the more taxes they pay, as taxes are progressive. The less we earn, the less taxes we pay.

Politically, this cannot change much, for as people become poorer, their ability to pay taxes diminishes. So taxes will rise on high earners, not on those earning relatively little. It may well be that every dollar of nominal gain in income will simply pay higher taxes. Is that really what you want to spend your time doing, paying higher taxes?

They Can Always Print More Money But We Can't Print More Time. So what do we spend our precious time doing? Running the Red Queen's Race with devaluing currencies, or lessening our exposure to the theft of our time by currency devaluation and taxes?

It's not an asymmetry we will have to address tomorrow, but the time will come when it presses on us like gravity itself.



This essay was first published as a weekly Musings Report sent exclusively to subscribers and patrons at the $5/month ($54/year) and higher level. Thank you, patrons and subscribers, for supporting my work and this free blog.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

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Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

AxisOfEasy Salon 38: Should social media platforms be open source public utilities? (56 minutes)

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




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Friday, February 26, 2021

Trapped!

Kill authentic price discovery, you also kill markets, and in killing markets, you kill allocation of capital and risk management, and in killing those, you kill the economy.

Back when prosperity was authentic, the Federal Reserve had little need for public relations. But now that "prosperity" is an illusion that must be managed lest the phantasm vanish, the Fed's public relations pronouncements are a ceaseless flood as the The Babble-On 7 are the spokespeople for a propaganda machine bent on "managing expectations."

Managing Expectations is the code phrase for "front-run what we say and your profits are guaranteed." When the Fed says it's going after X, then simply buy whatever will benefit from X happening, and for 12 long years, X unfolds and those who front-ran the FedSpeak reaped billions in essentially zero-risk profits.

Managing Expectations is part of the Fed's shadow nationalization of key markets. If price discovery of credit and risk is allowed to live, the Fed's carefully inflated speculative bubbles pop. And so the Fed's Job One is killing all price discovery via shadow nationalization.

The first market shadow nationalized was the mortgage market, the foundation of the housing market. After Wall Street's epic swindle (subprime mortgages) imploded in 2008, the Fed printed trillions of dollars out of thin air and bought hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgages. The federal government nationalized the quasi-governmental mortgage issuers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the net result was virtually the entire mortgage market was government guaranteed or owned.

Since Wall Street's fraud had nearly vaporized the entire global financial system, the Fed also shadow nationalized the stock market, which had imploded once the house of cards collapsed. Thus the S&P 500 has advanced from 667 to 3,850 with just enough brief wobbles to maintain the semblance of an organic market.

This shadow nationalization has been the most well-promoted PR campaign in the history of central banking. The flood of FedSpeak and trillions of dollars in direct purchases of assets over the past 12 years has relentlessly trained the Wall Street and retail rats to buy the dip because the Fed has your back, meaning the Fed will never let its nationalized stock market decline for more than a few weeks.

The profits from front-running FedSpeak are in the trillions of dollars. No wonder the Wall Street rats scurry over and frantically press the buy button--the rewards and have been both reliable and immense.

Now the Fed is in the process of shadow nationalizing the entire bond market. It signaled its intent long ago with quantitative easing, i.e. strangling price discovery in the Treasury market, and recently it began buying corporate bonds (proxies come in handy here).

Fed chair Powell and the rest of The Babble-On 7 have opened the floodgates of PR supporting the notion that the Fed will do "whatever it takes" to generate inflation--the higher the better. And so the Wall Street rats have been joined by millions of retail rats front-running the Fed's pronouncements by chasing everything that will benefit from rising inflation.

The irony here is that this front-running is now overheating the very inflation the Fed has been saying it's seeking. The Fed is getting the high inflation its PR claimed it seeks--laughably, the reason given is "to promote higher employment," hahahaha--and so now it's trapped by its very success in triggering front-running that unleashes a self-fulfilling feedback loop.

Fed says it will do "whatever it takes" to generate inflation, the well-trained rats front-run inflation, thereby creating the inflation they're front-running.

Alas, inflation is the Monster Id of central banking: once you create it, it breaks free of your control and rampages through your technocrat-managed financial empire. The Fed can claim godlike powers of yield management but shadow nationalizing the bond market won't stop the vast misallocation of capital or conjure creditworthy borrowers out of thin air or enable profitable lending opportunities.

The Fed is now trapped by the very success of its PR. The Fed wanted inflation, now it's unleashed self-reinforcing feedback loops based on front-running Fed management of expectations, and so now the Fed will have to shadow nationalize the bond market with brute force.

But that will release rogue waves of unintended consequences that will sink the Fed and the economy. Kill authentic price discovery, you also kill markets, and in killing markets, you kill allocation of capital and risk management, and in killing those, you kill the economy.





If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Rouel B. ($5/month), for your superbly generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Oil and Debt: Why Our Financial System Is Unsustainable

How much energy, water and food will the "money" created out of thin air in the future buy?

Finance is often cloaked in arcane terminology and math, but the one dynamic that governs the future is actually very simple.

Here it is: all debt is borrowed against future supplies of affordable hydrocarbons
(oil, coal and natural gas). Since global economic activity is ultimately dependent on a continued abundance of affordable energy, it follows that all money borrowed against future income is actually being borrowed against future supplies of affordable energy.

Many people believe that alternative "green" energy will soon replace most or all hydrocarbon energy sources, but the chart below shows why this belief is not realistic: all the "renewable" energy sources are about 3% of all energy consumed, with hydropower providing another few percent.

There are unavoidable headwinds to this appealing fantasy:

1. All "renewable" energy is actually "replaceable" energy, per analyst Nate Hagens: every 15-25 years (or less) much or all of the alt-energy systems and structures have to be replaced, and little of the necessary mining, manufacturing and transport can be performed with the "renewable" electricity these sources generate. Virtually all the heavy lifting of these processes require hydrocarbons and especially oil.

2. Wind and solar "renewable" energy is intermittent and therefore requires changes in behavior (no clothes dryers or electric ovens used after dark, etc.) or battery storage on a scale that isn't practical in terms of the materials required.

3. Batteries are also "replaceable" and don't last very long. The percentage of lithium-ion batteries being recycled globally is near-zero, so all batteries end up as costly, toxic landfill.

4. Battery technologies are limited by the physics of energy storage and materials. Moving whiz-bang exotic technologies from the lab to global scales of production is non-trivial.

5. The material and energy resources required to build alt-energy sources that replace hydrocarbon energy and replace all the alt-energy which has broken down or reached the end of its life exceeds the affordable reserves of materials and energy available on the planet.

6. Externalized costs of alt-energy are not being included in the cost. Nobody's adding the immense cost of the environmental damage caused by lithium mines to the price of the lithium batteries. Once the full external costs are included, the cost is no longer as affordable as promoters claim.

7. None of the so-called "green" "replaceable" energy has actually replaced hydrocarbons; all the alt-energy has done is increase total energy consumption. This is Jevons Paradox: every increase in efficiency or energy production only increases consumption.

Here's a real-world example: building another freeway doesn't actually reduce congestion in the old freeway; it simply encourages people to drive more, so both freeways are soon congested.

Setting aside the impracticalities of replacing most or all hydrocarbons with "replaceable" energy, the real issue is all debt service / repayment is ultimately funded by future energy.

On the face of it, future income is used to pay back borrowed money, but all future income is nothing more than a claim on future energy.

"Money" without access to affordable energy is worthless.

Imagine being air-dropped into the Sahara desert with a backpack of gold and $100 bills. You're wealthy in terms of "money" but if there's no water, food and transport to buy with your money, you'll die. The point is that "money" is only valuable if the essentials of life are available at affordable prices.

Right now the average fulltime wage in the U.S. is about $19/hour, and the average cost of a gallon of gasoline is $2.25. So a mere 7 minutes of (pretax) labor will buy a gallon of gasoline.

But what happens if inflation increases the cost of oil but wages continue stagnating? What happens to the economy if it takes one hour of labor to buy a gallon of gasoline instead of 7 minutes?

Economics claims that cheaper substitutes will appear to replace whatever is expensive, so cheap electricity will replace costly oil, or transport will switch to cheap natural gas, etc.

But these proposed transitions are not cost-free. The cost of replacing 100 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is non-trivial, as is building the "replaceable" energy infrastructure needed to power all these vehicles.

The true costs of "replaceable" energy have been fudged by not counting external costs or replacement costs; the full lifecycle costs of "replaceable" energy are much higher than promoters are claiming.

There are supply constraints that are also not included. For example, all the plastic in the world is still derived from oil, not electricity. (Note that each electric vehicle contains hundreds of pounds of plastic.)

As I explained in a previous post, energy in any form is not magically pliable. Just as we can't turn electricity into jet fuel, we can't turn a barrel of oil into only diesel fuel. Coal can be turned into liquid fuel but the process is non-trivial.

All of which is to say that the cost of energy in hours of labor is likely to increase, possibly by more than the global economy can afford.

There may also be supply constraints, situations where the energy people want and need is not available in sufficient quantities to meet demand at any price.

As "software eats the world" and automation replaces costly human labor, it's also likely that the erosion in the purchasing power of labor that's been a trend for 20 years will continue and accelerate.

Analyst Gail Tverberg has done an excellent job of explaining that it's not just the availability of energy that matters, it's the affordability of that energy to the bottom 90% of consumers. 2021: More troubles likely.

"Money" is nothing but a claim on future energy, because energy is the foundation of the global economy. Without energy, we're all stranded in the desert and all our "money" is worthless because it can no longer buy what we need to live.

Central banks can print infinite amounts of currency but they can't print energy, and so all central banks can do is add zeroes to the currency. They can't make energy more affordable, or guarantee that a day's labor will buy more than a fraction of the energy that labor can buy today.

The global financial system has played a game in which "money" is either printed or borrowed into existence, on the theory that energy will be more abundant and more affordable in the future. If this theory turns out to be incorrect, the "money" used in the future to pay back debts incurred today will have near-zero value.

The question is: how much energy, water and food will the "money" created out of thin air in the future buy?

If the lender can only buy a tiny sliver of the energy, water and food that the "money" could have bought at the time the "money" was borrowed, then it won't really matter how many zeroes the "money" will have. What matters is how much purchasing power of essentials the "money" retains.

Borrowing trillions of dollars euros, yen and yuan every year expands the claims on future energy at a rate that far exceeds the actual expansion of energy in any form.

This has created an illusion that we can always create money out of thin air and it will magically hold its current purchasing power for ever greater amounts of energy, food and water.

The monumental asymmetry between the staggering rate of expansion of "money"--claims on future energy-- and the stagnant supply of energy means this illusion is only temporary.



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Chris C ($5/month), for your superbly generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Anatomy of a Bubble and Crash

Needless to say, few are expecting bubble symmetry to manifest now, because, well, of course, "this time it's different." Indeed. It's always different and yet always the same, too.

Let's indulge in some basic logic:

1. All speculative bubbles pop, regardless of source, time or place. (100% of all historical evidence supports this.)

2. The current "Everything Bubble" is a speculative bubble.

3. Therefore the current speculative bubble will pop.

Now that we got that out of the way, the question becomes: how will the crash play out? There is no way to forecast precisely when or how the current speculative bubble will crash, but history offers a few potential templates.

The dot-com bubble offers a classic example of bubble symmetry and scale invariance. (See chart below.) Note how the bubble arose in two legs of X duration and it crashed in two symmetrical legs of X duration. In both legs, the crash returned to the same levels from which the bubble took off.

Scale invariance: this same symmetry is visible in bubbles that soar and crash in 6 days, 6 months or 6 years. The symmetry also holds whether the instrument soars from $1 to $5 or $100 to $500, or whether it is in index, commodity or equity. (See charts of Cisco Systems (CSCO) in 2000 and Tesla (TSLA) in 2020 below.)

If bubble symmetry holds this time around, the explosive rallies visible in the charts of the Russell 2000 (IWM) and Global Nasdaq (NOGM) will crash back to their lift-off levels in an equally explosive collapse of similar duration to the explosive rise.

Needless to say, few are expecting bubble symmetry to manifest now, because, well, of course, this time it's different. Indeed. It's always different and yet always the same, too.











If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



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Monday, February 22, 2021

The Babble-On 7: The Fed and Yellen

So babble on, Babble-On 7; it won't change anything. The forces in motion are like tides, and you can't talk the tide into reversing.

Allow me to introduce the Babble-On 7: the six board members of the Federal Reserve and Treasury chief Janet Yellen. (The Fed board has seven slots but one is vacant at the moment, so 6 + Yellen = 7.)

These seven lackeys of the Financial Aristocracy babble on, endlessly repeating the same disconnected-from-reality fantasies and delusions, apparently on the premise that if they repeat "you can fly, you can fly!" often enough, people will jump off the cliff actually believing the Fed and Treasury gave them super-powers to sprout wings at will.

Alas, denying reality does not stop reality from intruding, typically with great force. The Fed is not all-powerful, and wings will not sprout from believers' shoulder blades. They will impact the rocks at the bottom of the cliff with the devastating force known as gravity.

The short list of endlessly spewed disconnected-from-reality fantasies and delusions by the Babble-On 7 are:

Fantasy/Delusion # 1. The Federal Reserve's policies of free money for financiers and speculators did not cause or exacerbate the skyrocketing wealth-income inequality that is undermining America's democracy, social order and economy.

If the Fed governors were Pinocchio, their noses would have now crossed the Grand Canyon. Please examine any chart of wealth-income inequality in the U.S. and note how it took off as former Fed chair Greenspan destroyed market discovery of the price of credit and risk, and the Fed chair servants of the Financial Aristocracy who followed (and who were each well-rewarded for their abject servitude) only accelerated and amplified the wealth-income inequality that has fatally undermined the nation.

The chart below reflects how each of the three Fed-inflated speculative bubbles enriched the Financial Aristocracy at the expense of the bottom 90%. The Fed's most recent spew of free money for financiers and speculators enriched the billionaires by a cool $1 trillion.

Fantasy/Delusion # 2. This is not a bubble, it is merely plain old normal investor activity. At this point, the Babble-On 7's noses are in the troposphere, threatening low-orbit satellites, as even the most cursory glance at the charts of equities such as Tesla or the Russell 2000 index (IWM) reveal GBOAT: The Greatest Bubble of All Time.

Fantasy/Delusion # 3. The next trillion will make it all better--and if $1 trillion isn't enough, we'll go big and create $5 trillion, $10 trillion, $20 trillion, whatever it takes, to prop up the sad, pathetic distortions that have brought America to the precipice.

Because the one thing Yellen and the Fed Six cannot allow is for those they serve so diligently to lose any of their bubblicious wealth. Since the bottom 90% own near-zero of the nation's income-producing capital, the karmic collapse of the Fed's latest and greatest bubble won't have much of a direct effect on those who actually work for a living--but it will remove the immense hoard of phantom wealth the Fed has bestowed on the financiers and speculators that make up the Financial Aristocracy.

For the Fed, supposedly blessed with god-like powers, cannot eliminate diminishing returns on its delusional tricks. Lowering interest rates to zero--done. The sugar high from the Fed's spew of trillions is diminishing faster than they can babble on.

The Babble-On 7 would do well to study the meaning of their moniker: Babylon:

Babylon has achieved considerable prominence throughout the ages as a symbol and by-word of wealth, luxury, decadence, vice and corruption. The city owes its fame (or infamy) to the many references the Bible makes to it; all of which are unfavorable.

So babble on, Babble-On 7; it won't change anything. The forces in motion are like tides, and you can't talk the tide into reversing.















If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




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Friday, February 19, 2021

Next Up: Global Depression

This madness is now global, so next up: global depression.

A few days after the Covid pandemic was officially announced last year on 1/23/20, I prepared a chart projecting the course of the pandemic. In my view it still stands, with two updates: "vaccines months away" has been updated to "mass vaccinations months away" and "Wave 2" has been updated to "Wave 4." (see chart below)

The end-point--global depression--is up next. Very few are prepared for this eventuality because they put their faith in 1) central banks pursuing an insane folly and 2) a fragile, brittle global economy that was already teetering on the edge of destabilization before the pandemic.

Here's the central banks' insane folly in a nutshell: to create new enterprises and jobs, we'll blow the world's greatest speculative bubble into an even greater speculative bubble. So in other words, we'll further enrich the top layer of the Financial Aristocracy who own the vast majority of the assets we're pushing to the moon, and by some inexplicable magic, adding trillions of dollars, yuan, yen and euros to the wealth of this elite will somehow launch a thousand new thriving enterprises which will magically hire 500,000 new workers every month.

Can we be honest for a split second and admit that the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus look plausible compared to this insane proposition? Since there's a tiny window of honesty open, let's also admit that adding a booster rocket to the wealth-income inequality that is undermining democracy, society and the economy is exactly what we'd choose to do if our goal was destroying America. Yet this is precisely what the entire Federal Reserve policy sets out to do: boost wealth-income inequality to new extremes.

What Poisoned America? (2/18/21)

Meanwhile, global supply chains that were optimized for Globalization Heaven are incredibly brittle and fragile as a result of the optimization. Optimizing for maximizing profit means getting rid of redundancies, buffers, quality control and ramping dependence on offshore suppliers to 100%.

If you set out to design a global supply system that would fail catastrophically, creating self-reinforcing shortages of essentials and key components, you'd choose the system now teetering on the edge of implosion. Optimization is wonderful for boosting profits when everything is priced to perfection and functioning to perfection, but when reality intrudes, you find you've stripped out all those costly, unnecessary bits that enabled the supply chain to deal with a spot of bother.

Unfortunately for the central bankers, their policy of giving trillions in free money for financiers and speculators is suffering from diminishing returns: where $100 billion once had a significant effect on financial markets, now $1 trillion no longer has any effect at all, and so the only dose that causes the patient's eyelids to flicker briefly is $3 trillion--no wait a minute, make that $5 trillion, nope, not enough, make it $10 trillion, yikes, still not enough, pump in $20 trillion!

I prepared a chart (below) which depicts how diminishing returns on inflating speculative asset bubbles leads the global financial system to a cliff from which there is no return.

Though few seem to be aware of it, we're tottering on that cliff edge. The final manifestation of central bankers' insane folly is the promise that endless wealth can be yours if only you join the speculative extremes racing over the cliff. Maybe the immense herd of speculators will all magically grow wings once they're in free-fall; that's no more insane than counting on speculative asset bubbles to magically create real enterprises and jobs.

This madness is now global, so next up: global depression. The story of the past year hasn't changed: blowing an even bigger speculative asset bubble is the sure cure; the latest "fix" to the pandemic will make it go away forever and ever, and everything that was broken before the pandemic will magically be restored by the magic of ever larger and more precarious speculative asset bubbles.





If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

What Poisoned America?

America's financial system is nothing more than a toxic waste dump of speculation, fraud, collusion, corruption and rampant profiteering.

What Poisoned America? The list of suspects is long: systemic bias, special interests dominating politics, political polarization, globalization and the offshoring of productive capacity, over-regulation, the rise of rapacious cartels and monopolies, Big Tech's gulag of the mind, the permanent adolescence of consumerism, permanent global war, to name a few.

The question boils down to this: what problems cannot be addressed by the status quo? Most of the ills listed above can be addressed with existing mechanisms of governance and adaptation. For example, consider systemic bias. The U.S. Armed Forces have demonstrably led the way in dramatically reducing systemic bias via performance-based advancement. The rest of America would do well to copy these organizational improvements.

Many of the other ills could be addressed within current systems of governance--antitrust, etc.

The two that appear impervious to reform are 1) soaring wealth-income-power inequality and 2) the dominance of special interests. In both cases, the corporate foxes are guarding the hen house, so any reforms with real teeth are watered down to PR by those reaping the vast majority of the financial gains. Corporate profits are in the billions while you can buy elected officials' cooperation for mere millions. There is no way to get around that asymmetry.

I would propose an even deeper systemic poison: zero-interest yield on capital. For a variety of reasons, the yield on capital is either zero or less than zero if we factor in inflation. We now earn (heh) 0.1% on our cash while inflation is somewhere between the "official" rate of 3% and more real-world measures between 5% and 10%.

This is a significant change from the days when savings (in savings and loans institutions) earned 5.25% by regulation.

While ordinary capital earns nothing (or less than zero), the capital and income of the top 0.01% has rocketed to unprecedented levels. This vast asymmetry is poisoning America, and the financial system, from the Federal Reserve on down, is incapable of addressing it other than making it even more distorted and destructive by doing more of what's failed spectacularly.

To understand why yields on capital have fallen to zero while wealth-income has flowed to the top elites, we need to look at wages share of the economy and capital's share of the economy. Wages share (i.e. labors' share) has been falling for the past 45 years, while corporate profits and the wealth of America's top tier has soared. (see chart below)

It is not coincidence that as interest rates fell to zero the wealth and income of the top 0.01% soared while ordinary wage income fell 10% when adjusted for the purchasing power of the earnings.

A recent report prepared by the RAND Corporation, Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018, documents that $50 trillion in earnings has been transferred to owners of capital from the bottom 90% of American households in the past 45 years.

What happens when the purchasing power of the earnings of the bottom 90% declines for decades? (Even high-earners such as doctors have experienced a decline in the purchasing power of their earnings since 1975.) Households cannot borrow as much money as they once could because their earnings simply don't go as far; there is less disposable income to support more debt service.

What happens when corporate profits skyrocket as jobs are offshored and corporations arbitrage all the goodies of globalization? The corporations don't need to borrow as much money as they have trillions in profits to work with.

In other words, demand for credit stagnates while at the same time, the Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with near-zero rate credit. Demand has stagnated along with wages while supply has rocketed into the trillions thanks to unprecedented central bank credit creation.

The reason why central banks have slashed rates to zero is obvious: if the bottom 90% can't borrow more money at 5% to consume more goods and services, they can certainly borrow more at 1.5% because the interest part of their monthly payment drops significantly.

And sure enough, crushing rates to near-zero has triggered refinancing/housing bubbles and generated high auto-truck sales based on a few dollars down and 1.9% auto financing.

In other words: as the purchasing power of wages has relentlessly declined, the "fix" is to substitute debt for earnings. The fact that eventually stagnating earnings cannot support more debt at any rate of interest is inconvenient, so it's been ignored.

Zero-interest rates has played out differently in Corporate America: since capital is so cheap to borrow, why not borrow a few billion dollars at 1.5% and use the money to buy back shares of the company's stock, which generates a hefty 10% annual increase in the share price? Indeed, why not?

And why not use that cheap capital to automate tasks to reduce costly American labor and move even more staff overseas to low-wage nations? Indeed, why not? Maximizing profits demands it, and the near-zero cost of capital incentivizes it.

The net result of near-zero yields on capital? The top 0.1% own more wealth than the bottom 80%. Roughly 75% of all income gains have gone to the top 0.01%.

This extreme asymmetry has poisoned American society and its economy. This immense distortion in the cost of capital can best be understood by asking: what happens when a resource is free?

The answer is that it's squandered. But the squandering is only part of the problem.

Consider what happened when air and water were "free". Both the air and water became toxic waste dumps, and American rivers infamously caught on fire. The same is true of "free" capital: America's financial system is nothing more than a toxic waste dump of extreme speculation, fraud, collusion, corruption and rampant profiteering.

The rivers are on fire but the Federal Reserve's plan remains the same: keep the cost of capital at "free" so the extremes of speculation can run to failure. The run to failure will be as extreme as the asymmetries that have poisoned America.











If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Kim J. ($10/month), for your outrageously generous subscription to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

GBOAT: Is This the Greatest Bubble of All Time?

The lifestyle you ordered in the euphoria will be out of stock in the panic.

Humans running Wetware 1.0 (which is all of us) love to gamble, and we are entranced by the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. When there's a market for speculation, these wild swings of emotion manifest as euphoria (I'm winning!) and fear (I'm losing).

Thus the soaring price of goats due to speculation in 1740 B.C. Babylon so vexed Hammurabi that he ordered the execution of those he deemed responsible for profiteering off their clever speculative manipulation.

Speaking of goats, let's ask a GOAT (greatest of all time) question: what's the greatest bubble of all time (GBOAT)? The easiest way to measure speculative bubbles is the starting price and the peak price, but that may not do justice to the question. Perhaps the number of people drawn into the speculative frenzy is a better measure of GBOAT: after all, if only a handful of speculators lose their shirts, how that can be the greatest bubble of all time?

To even qualify, a bubble must drawn the masses into the euphoria and then slaughter them as mercilessly as Hammurabi massacred the goat profiteers.

Another qualifying factor is the scale of disconnect from reality. Even if you overpaid for a goat in a speculative mania, at least you can still milk the goat and make cheese. But tulips, which drove the remarkably excessive speculative Tulip Mania in 1636 Holland, are not even edible.

At least tulips offer a bit of beauty in a world besmirched by speculative ugliness, but the shares of the South Seas Company that sucked in the best and brightest in 1720 Britain and proceeded to lay waste to their wealth did not even have that saving grace.

Another qualifying factor is the power of the delusion driving the bubble. To qualify as a contender for GBOAT, the mania has to be utterly convincing and persuasive to everyone involved. In other words, it isn't even speculation to invest all your money in the bubble, it's simply common sense due to the dead certainty of the proposition fueling the mania.

The 1999-2000 Dot-Com Bubble is a good example of the universality of belief in the obviousness of the gains to be reaped: the Internet was changing the world and would expand for decades, so obviously the companies involved would grow for decades, too, as would their profits (obviously!).

The chart of the dot-com bubble offers a textbook example of how a bubble gathers momentum, spikes to insane heights, falters as the smart money exits but soars to a lower high as true believers buy the dip. Once the buying is exhausted, the bubble collapses back to its starting level.



But not all bubbles follow this trajectory. Here is a current chart of IWM, the Russell 2000 index, courtesy of NorthmanTrader.com. (I added the black box and the red line in the center panel to indicate the previous bubble top.) The violence and amplitude of this speculative mania over the past year makes the dot-com bubble appear quaintly staid in comparison.



So let's make the case that we're experiencing the greatest bubble of all time in real time. The magnitude of the price movement is extreme: check. The number of people sucked into the mania is extreme: check. The power of the delusion is extreme: check. (The Fed will print trillions forever, federal government will borrow and blow trillions forever, the world is about to enter Roaring 20s, technology is changing the world, etc. etc. etc.) The gains to be reaped are extremely obvious: check.

History leaves no doubt that all speculative bubbles pop, and much sooner and more violently than the euphoric participants believe possible. Before Hammurabi shut down the mania in goats, a rare goat with distinctive markings could be traded for an entire house. After the bubble popped, it was just another goat.

The lifestyle you ordered in the euphoria will be out of stock in the panic. Everyone running Wetware 1.0 is prone to getting caught up in a mania in which a tulip or goat can be traded for a house. But then euphoria flips to fear and after the mania fades and the losses have crushed spirits, hopes and dreams, a tulip is once again just a tulip and a goat is one again just a goat.

NOTE: I made up the story about the bubble in goats and Hammurabi. That is fiction, not history.



If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

My new book is available! A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet 20% and 15% discounts (Kindle $7, print $17, audiobook now available $17.46)

Read excerpts of the book for free (PDF).

The Story Behind the Book and the Introduction.



Recent Podcasts:

Local and Decentralised Economies: The Start Of A New Environmentalism (54 min)

AxisOfEasy Salon #37: The Tension Between Nation State Conformity and Network State Cacophony (51 minutes)


My COVID-19 Pandemic Posts


My recent books:

A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF).

The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF).



Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.




NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Michael B. ($5/month), for your gloriously generous pledge to this site -- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

 

Thank you, Mark H. ($50), for your marvelously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

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