Sunday, February 27, 2022

Why So Few See the Last Chance to Exit

When the crash can no longer be denied, the drop is widely recognized as having been obvious and inevitable..

The last chance to exit is well-known in stock trading circles, but the concept can be applied much more broadly. The basic dynamic at work is a mismatch between the fundamentals (i.e. the real world) which are deteriorating due to structural changes and the psychology of participants which continues to be confident and upbeat.

A wide spectrum of emotions and human traits are in play, but the core dynamic is our desire to discount signs of trouble rather than deal with a long-term change in the tides. The long uptrend supports confidence that the uptrend will continue moving higher more or less permanently, and the desire to keep minting money by staying fully invested in the uptrend encourages cherry-picking data to support the idea that the fundamentals are still solid.

Selection bias, denial, complacency and greed all play parts in this continuation of the psychology of an uptrend even as the S-Curve has shifted from growth to stagnation as the fundamentals have deteriorated beneath the surface.

This asymmetry between the fundamentals of valuation and the psychology of valuation cloaks the change in trend so few recognize it as the last chance to exit. Participants, so well trained by years of profits to "buy the dip" and anticipate future gains, see the initial dip as an opportunity to buy rather than as a warning sign.

This complacency is reinforced by the prompt reversal of any dip and a new high in valuations. Again, this dynamic is not limited to stocks; the ascent of housing valuations feeds the same complacency and selection bias: housing can't go down because...the litany of supportive narratives is always long and illustrious.

The last chance to exit is also present in states, cities, industries, jobs, institutions, groups and neighborhoods. The decay is ignored as everything seems to remain glued together and the rot is papered over by various pronouncements and policies.

There is typically a period of consolidation that further supports a complacent confidence that the present is immutable: the uptrend is permanent. But this consolidation is misleading: it's not a continuation of the uptrend, it's the result of first-movers selling to True Believers in the immutability of the present and getting out of Dodge.

When the S-Curve rolls over, the rapidity of the descent surprises True Believers, who assure themselves that the rebound will start any day. They find reasons to ignore the acceleration down as those who had hesitated to sell suddenly hit the sell button, list the house for sale, etc.

When the crash can no longer be denied, the drop is widely recognized as having been obvious and inevitable. Hindsight is 20/20, but the damage done to those who didn't sell at the the last chance to exit cannot be repaired; the losses are too deep.






My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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Recent Videos/Podcasts:

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My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Friday, February 25, 2022

Geopolitics and Degrowth

The Geopolitics of Degrowth holds that real power flows not from waste, centralization and coercion but from decentralization, relocalization and the free flow of value.

Conventional geopolitics is all about more: more military power, more sanctions, more coercion, more influence.

The Geopolitics of Degrowth is all about the the power of less: wasting less, consuming less, needing less from other nations, reducing dependence on rivals, reducing coercion and centralized over-reach.

Conventional geopolitics concentrates wealth and political power in a giant dam on the biggest river. Centralized control of massed power is considered the acme of geopolitical strength. Everyone is coerced into funding and relying on the dam.

But this has it backwards: when the centralized dam bursts, the nation is in ruins. This vulnerability isn't power, it's weakness. The Degrowth model of strength is to make local use of every rivulet, stream and tributary, carefully shepherding its sustainability and use.

Unbeknownst to the mainstream, the world has entered an era of scarcity. The current abundance is a temporary flush of the last of the cheap-to-extract resources. Once this illusory abundance has been consumed, all that's left is hard-to-extract, costly resources.

In an era of scarcity, power flows not from coercion but from needing less by consuming less by eliminating the tremendous waste and friction that consumes resources, capital and time without generating any positive returns.

The conventional mindset is deadset on maintaining this waste and friction, as if it was positive rather than negative. By focusing on "growth" in GDP, our system optimizes waste, fraud, friction and a throwaway mentality. The reality that 40% of everything we consume is wasted is not even recognized. In the conventional mindset, the goal is to waste more by accelerating The Landfill Economy of buying some product that fails or is obsoleted even faster than the previous generation.

Consider food, which is rising in price. Yet we continue to throw out a staggering percentage of food at every stage of production, shipping and consumption. This is literally insane: by optimizing our economy for waste is growth, we're actually incentivizing waste.

The goal of conventional geopolitics is to stripmine the planet to support our misguided desire to continue wasting 40% of everything we touch. The goal of the Geopolitics of Degrowth is to eliminate the 40% waste and friction which then reduces our dependence on other nations and our need to coerce them to supply more resources for us to squander.

The goal of conventional geopolitics is to rely ever more heavily on centralized power and coercion. In this mindset, power flows from maintaining a waste is growth economy and coercing the rest of the world to supply us with resources we can then squander.

The Geopolitics of Degrowth holds that real power flows not from waste, centralization and coercion but from decentralization, relocalization and the free flow of value down 10,000 streams rather than damming up all the waste, capital and power in one centralized dam that destroys all when it decays and collapses.

The Geopolitics of Degrowth is the subject of my new book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States




My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Our Financial System Is Optimized for Sociopaths and Exploitation

Let's call this financial system what it really is: the MetaPerverse, a conjured world of self-serving cons.

We live in a peculiar juncture of history in which truth has been banished as a threat to the maximization of private gain, i.e. the hyper-pursuit of self-interest. Evidence that supports a causal chain has been replaced by cherry-picked data that supports a self-serving narrative: both the evidence and narrative are manufactured to serve the interests of the few at the expense of the many.

In this juncture of history, evidence is easily disputed because the process of manufacturing self-serving evidence has been perfected. Indeed, self-serving evidence is now a commodity which can be purchased wholesale: rig the sample size, massage the data statistically, conjure up a context that serves to frame the evidence in a slippery self-interested fashion, omit disinterested evidence and contexts, top with arcane math and voila, evidence and narrative are presented as "facts" rather than what they really are, an elaborate, well-staged con designed to maximize the private gains of the few by exploiting the many.

Organizing the entire system to serve the pathological greed of the few is best served by devaluing truth to mere opinion and causal chains to mere narratives. In this juncture of history, truth has been revealed as a chimera; there is only opinion, and all opinions are equal. Opinions are beliefs, and all beliefs are equal. All narratives are equal. All questions boil down to values: values are all equally detached, free-floating and of the same value: zero.

This con has reached perfection in our financial system, which is now optimized for exploitation and sociopaths. As Nassim Taleb has explained (referencing Adam Smith), markets only function if there are rules which are imposed equally on all participants. In our financial system, there are two sets of rules: one which we can summarize as anything goes for the super-wealthy and the well-connected, and another set for everyone else.

Shear the sheep of billions, pay a modest fine--and if all your bets go bad, get bailed out because you're too important to fail. Sneak a few thousand out of the credit union, go to prison. Sell a financial product that's designed to go bust as low-risk, oh well, buyer beware, haha, that's just the free market at work. Sell a nickel bag of drugs, get a tenner in the Gulag.

Two sets of rules: one simulacrum of rules for the rich--just another con, really--and punitive rules for everyone else.

Since evidence, causal chains and values have all been devalued, there is no longer any recognition that the desire for gain--greed--can be either exploitive or beneficial to the many. If your greed drives you to make a product that is faster, better, cheaper, more durable and efficient than what's currently available, your gain is the result of an advance that serves the interests of the many.

If your desire for gain leads you to misrepresent a shoddy product designed to fail (subprime mortgages, Landfill Economy products) or you raise the price because you can, your greed serves your interests at the expense of the many. This is the acme of exploitation. Kleptocrats and sociopaths, rejoice!

This system is optimized for exploitation, as the exploiters can exploit the many without the many even recognizing they've been stripmined. We no longer have the means to differentiate fraud from fact or exploitation from rules-based markets.

This landscape of wide-open exploitation and debauchery is Heaven on Earth for sociopaths who not only do not see any difference between gains skimmed at others' expense and gains earned by providing a superior product / service, they revel in exploiting the system and every participant: employees, partners, suppliers, depositors, borrowers and customers.

But in this desert of exploitation and the supremacy of self-interest, some things remain true and others remain false. Some truths remain self-evident. As I have shown here many times, we can look at the hourly wages and cost of essentials in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and the present and calculate how many hours of labor it took to pay for essentials such as rent, property taxes, healthcare, childcare, taxes, education, etc. These calculations reveal that the purchasing power of wages has declined for decades. This evidence cannot be made to vanish by declaring it opinion, belief or a "different set of values"--it is fact.

If we measure prosperity by how much labor can buy, all but the top few wage earners are less prosperous today. The evidence and causal chain are self-evident. The self-interested few who have reaped the vast majority of the economy's gains can hire shills to argue that since TVs now require fewer hours of labor to buy, we're all better off, but these obfuscations are nothing more than distractions designed to divert our attention from the mechanisms of exploitation that are operating 24/7 beneath the ceaseless churn of "news" and "market action."

Let's call this financial system what it really is: the MetaPerverse, a conjured world of self-serving cons that is optimized for exploitation, the perversion of justice, infinite inequality and the stripmining of the many to the benefit of the few, all securely protected by a cloud of confusion in which everything is equally valueless and truth no longer exists. All that remains is a babble of competing cons.




My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Monday, February 21, 2022

Our Leaders Made a Pact with the Devil, and Now the Devil Wants His Due

The unprecedented credit-fueled bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate are popping, and America's corrupt leaders can only stammer and spew excuses and empty promises.

Unbeknownst to most people, America's leadership made a pact with the Devil: rather than face the constraints and injustices of our economic-financial system directly, a reckoning that would require difficult choices and some sacrifice by the ruling financial-political elites, our leaders chose the Devil's Pact: substitute the creation of asset-bubble "wealth" in the hands of the few for widespread prosperity.

The Devil's promise: that some thin trickle of the trillions of dollars bestowed on the few would magically trickle down to the many. This was as visibly foolish as the promise of immortality on Planet Earth, but our craven, greedy leadership quickly sealed the deal with the Devil and promptly inflated the greatest credit-asset bubble in human history.

Rather than trade away one's soul, America's leaders traded away the future security and stability of the nation. By refusing to deal with the real problems exposed by the collapsing financial scams in 2008-09, our leaders--both the unelected Federal Reserve and the elected "best government money can buy"--chose to bail out the scammers who had greased their palms so generously and sacrificed the prosperity of the many to do so.

This is more or less the equivalent of sacrificing innocents at the altar of the gods to ensure the leaders' rule will continue to be successful.

The Devil was delighted to serve up the illusion of godlike powers to our corrupt, greedy leaders. The deal looked oh-so win-win: we enrich the top few percent and offload the costs and sacrifices on the powerless many, who were told that they would benefit from the trickle of cash leaking out of the super-wealthy's bulging pockets.

But now the Devil is demanding his due: the unprecedented credit-fueled bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate are popping, and America's corrupt leaders can only stammer and spew excuses and empty promises. All this amounts to begging the Devil to renegotiate the deal because now the downside is not just visible but inevitable. So sorry, America's leadership--the Devil doesn't respond to pleas or threats. Sorry about that; the deal stands as agreed. All your bogus gains and powers will evaporate, and then the destruction really begins.

How does all this end? In ruin, of course. Our craven, self-serving leadership may well bleat, "the Devil made us do it!" but that is not true: they fell all over themselves to sell the future stability and security of the nation for the quick-fix riches of bubbles and corruption.






My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Friday, February 18, 2022

The Winter of Our Discontent: Hubris Is Ascendent

Meanwhile, back in the wintry real world, everyone facing a dime in higher costs is jacking up their price by a dollar.

We're constantly assured everything's on the mend but this trying-too-hard marketing has the opposite effect: it confirms everything's unraveling. We're told inflation is transitory (you mean like terminal cancer is "transitory"?), the economy is opening up and growing smartly.

None of this is remotely persuasive. OK, we get it: the pandemic shutdown crushed supply chains and demand, and then trillions of dollars, yen, yuan and euros of monetary and fiscal stimulus boosted pent-up demand which then snarled creaky supply chains. Inflation is transitory because the effects of this massive stimulus is temporary and the global supply snarls will all be unkinked shortly.

But this happy story only accounts for a thin wafer of global supply issues. Yes, a few items may be restored to low-cost production and shipping, but all this rah-rah ignores the primary dynamics: all the cheap, easy-to-get resources have been extracted and consumed, and labor costs, crushed for the past 45 years, have reversed: after being stripmined by capital for the past 45 years, labor is now demanding some modest restoration of decades of diminished purchasing power, not just in the U.S. but in China and other production nodes in global supply chains.

Capital's screams of agony are laughable, as the top tier of capital has added trillions in wealth at the expense of the bottom 99.5%. The wealth of the few has metastasized into hyper-wealth--$100 million yachts and villas barely scratch the surface of the billions gained by gaming financialization and the Federal Reserve's financial fentanyl.

Although nobody benefiting from the Fed's financial fentanyl seems to have noticed, hyper-wealth has extinguished democracy and destabilized the economy and society. With trillions gushing into the wealthiest families and corporate insiders, "democracy" has been reduced to an invitation-only auction of political favors.

If you didn't get your desired favors, then increase your bid. Big Pharma, the "defense" (heh) industry, Higher Education, Big Ag, Big Tech, et al. are all willing to pony up millions in bribes--oops, I mean "donations"-- to multi-millionaire politicos profiting from insider trading (cough, Pelosi, cough). Revolving doors ensure the right people get fat speaking fees, cushy do-nothing slots in philanthro-capitalist foundations, etc.

The decay caused by hyper-wealth is systemic: the moral decay of a thoroughly corrupted "leadership," a sham facade of "democracy" (vote for whomever you want, the ownership of power doesn't change), an economy dominated by profiteering cartels and quasi-monopolies, a class system in which privilege is hidden in plain sight, a society of haves who have broken the rungs of the social-mobility ladder, leaving the have-nots unaffordable housing, unaffordable higher education, unaffordable healthcare, unaffordable childcare, etc., all to be paid out of wages that have lost purchasing power for decades and continue to lose ground as "transitory" inflation is embedded in essentials and fripperies alike.

Meanwhile, back in the wintry real world, everyone facing a dime in higher costs is jacking up their price by a dollar. "Inflation" is a handy cover for jacking up prices just to see how much the panic-hoarding, desperate consumer will pay: hmm, a used truck costs more than a new truck cost two years ago? I'll take it! A mattress-in-a-box has doubled in price? I'll take it! A fast-food burger is now 50% more? Give me four, and charge it to my credit card.

Oh, but wait--everything is being fixed by speculative bubbles that enrich everyone who bought assets long ago. That's obviously a solution that benefits everyone, right? So the newly enriched can buy overvalued assets from other newly enriched, all funded by the Fed's financial fentanyl.

Yes, it's time to distribute victorious wreaths to the purveyors and profiteers of financial fentanyl. Hubris is ascendent just before the fall.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.





My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Juggling Sticks of Dynamite: Our Fatally Distorted Sense of Risk

So when the gambler ends up juggling lit sticks of dynamite, he's confident nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has ever happened, no matter how much risk he takes on.

The problem with constantly being saved from the consequences of our actions is this fatally distorts our sense of risk. The foundation of the ability to accurately assess risk is the experience of real-world consequences: hardship and losses.

If you are sloppy about positioning the ladder securely, the ladder falls and so do you. If you survive the fall, you've learned that risk is real and that precautions must be taken to minimize risk. Precaution requires thinking through all the components of risk and taking steps to remediate or avoid each specific source of risk.

If you've never really been pushed to your limit of endurance, you lack the experience needed to realize you're dehydrated and in danger of succumbing to heat stroke. So when you run out of water on a shadeless climb exposed to the blazing sun, you fall into magical thinking: if we just push on, push harder, power through this, then we'll be fine. But powering on is the worst possible choice, and so the inexperienced hiker passes out and expires.

The Federal Reserve and the rest of the Savior State has saved us from the financial consequences of rampant speculation for decades. As a result, few of those in the casino have the necessary experience of hardship and losses to accurately assess risk. The vast majority have only experienced being saved: the most profitable response to a losing bet is to double-down on the next bet because the house (the Fed) will amply reward every "buy the dip."

After decades of being rewarded for "buying the dip," all the gamblers in the casino believe they are "investors": magical thinking at its most dangerous. Gambling is not investing, and every dollar, yuan, yen and euro being plunked down on a table in the casino is a gamble, because the entire casino is on unstable quicksand.

The gambler who's constantly been saved naturally reckons they're an "investing" genius. Having only experienced winning, the delusional punter attributes this grand success to their own brilliance and trading moxie. They feel invulnerable because they have the winning strategy: but the dip, double-down and ride the next wave of gains.

This feeling of invulnerability is exquisitely dangerous because the punter believes the experience of winning is the consequence of his brilliance. Having never experienced any real losses or hardships, the punter doesn't understand that the winning was the result of the Fed saving all punters from the consequences of speculation.

Having been saved at every turn, the gambler has no real-world experience of risk. Lacking the ability to accurately assess risk, the gamble keeps upping the size of his bets because this has been rewarded.

So when the gambler ends up juggling lit sticks of dynamite, he's confident nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has ever happened, no matter how much risk he takes on. This is the plight of all the gamblers who see themselves as "investors" in the Everything Bubble. Their experience has been artificially limited by the suppression of risk, but they are unaware of this and so their invulnerability exposes them to catastrophic losses they don't even recognize as possible, much less inevitable.

As I often point out here, risk cannot be extinguished, it can only be transferred. Risk has been offloaded from speculators to the entire financial system itself, and so rather than a few speculators going down in flames, the entire casino will collapse.

Although we pride ourselves on being so smart, we only learn from hardship, loss and failure. The Fed and the Savior State have deprived the speculators of the means to learn how to accurately assess risk. Making matters even worse, they've encouraged the delusion that rampant, disconnected-from-reality speculation is actually "investing."

As I also point out here, systems have their own dynamics. The Fed and the Savior State are not omnipotent gods. They have constructed a flimsy facade of marketing, magical thinking and artifice, and this system of falsehoods is manifesting dynamics that have escaped their control.

Every gambler prays for every bet to be a winner. As Oscar Wilde observed: "When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers."




My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Monday, February 14, 2022

Let's Talk "Fed Policy Error," Pushers and Addiction

Addiction is deadly, and no amount of artifice can obscure that this monetary addiction and collapse is the result of one Pusher: the Federal Reserve.

To talk about the Federal Reserve raising rates and reducing "easing" as a policy error is like saying the fentanyl addict who reduces his daily dose is making a policy error. In today's absurd extreme of denial, pundits never talk about starting the addiction as a policy error; only ending the addiction is a policy error.

In other words, that the American economy is addicted to monetary smack is just fine; it's the withdrawal from addiction that terrifies all the addicts. The financial punditry is beside itself with terror at the prospect that the staggering amount of monetary fentanyl being injected into the addiction-addled financial system might decline a tiny bit; oh please, Mr. Pusher (the Fed), give us a bit more smack every day, every week, every month, so we can feel the wonderful high of asset bubbles forever and ever.

Alas, just as the addict's shattered body eventually gives out as the Pusher increases the daily dose, the American economy is collapsing under the addiction stoked by the system's Pusher, the Federal Reserve. Whether the system is nominally "capitalist," "socialist" or "theocratic," capital must earn a yield above the rate of inflation.

If capital earns a yield less than inflation, the purchasing power of that capital trends toward zero as it loses value every hour of every day. When the capital has been eroded by inflation long enough, the system collapses, regardless of what label you slap on it.

The entire point of the Pusher / Fed's monetary addiction is to reduce small-scale capital's yield to less than zero, i.e. a yield less than inflation. Faced with savings losing value every day, the owners of small-scale capital are then forced to either spend the capital on consumption or place it on the gambling tables in the stock market casino, where the House always wins.

Large-scale capital wins big in the Pusher / Fed's addictive scheme: corporations can borrow billions for next to nothing and use the Fed's free money for financiers to buy back their shares, boosting the wealth of insiders and major shareholders.

Financiers can borrow billions at rates lower than inflation and use the billions to take over companies, break them up, sell off the pieces, take some chunks private and then take those pieces public, reaping huge gains for doing nothing but using the Pusher / Fed's free money for financiers.

Banks and lenders make out like bandits, creating money at near-zero cost and loaning it to debt-serfs for student loans, auto loans and credit card debt at high rates of interest. Thanks to the Pusher / Fed, large-scale capital can borrow billions at 1% (lower than inflation) and then buy bonds yielding far more.

With 30-year fixed conventional mortgage rates close to 4%, we have to ask: if real-world (i.e. un-gamed) inflation exceeds 4%, then why would capital accept a yield lower than inflation?

The answer is the Pusher / Fed's monetary fentanyl. Now that the Pusher / Fed has completely distorted risk, yield and asset valuations, assessments of risk are no longer connected to reality, and neither is the cost of capital (yields).

The real policy error was made long ago, when the Fed addicted the financial system and economy to monetary stimulus that completely distorted risk and yields to stripmine small-scale capital and sluice all the gains to large-scale capital.

In summary: the Pusher /Fed's fat-cat pals made trillions while the economy has reached the point where cold turkey withdrawal is too dangerous to contemplate. Addiction is deadly, and no amount of artifice can obscure that this monetary addiction and collapse is the result of one Pusher: the Federal Reserve.










My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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Friday, February 11, 2022

The Cost of Financialization-Globalization: You Lost $500,000 and Gained $137.13

Ponder what a clawback of the $50 trillion might entail, and the immense benefits of returning to producing quality goods and services by completely unwinding financialization and globalization.

The happy story that's been ceaselessly promoted for 45 years is that financialization and globalization have been wunnerful for all of us, boosting wealth and saving a small fortune as the cost of products fell.

This is a remarkable distortion of reality. The fact is your household lost $500,000 in earnings and gained essentially nothing in supposed "cost savings." The facts are presented in a study by the RAND Corporation: 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..

B-b-but wait, didn't we all save a fortune on cheap jeans and TVs? No, you lost on that, too, as every product was crapified by globalization. I discussed the uncounted losses of the U.S. economy being crapified in my post The "Crapification" of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete.

Let's start by defining financialization and globalization. Financialization is the reaping of profits not by creating value by producing goods and services but by exploiting credit and leverage to reap unearned profits.

Here are two examples. Borrow $1 billion and then use this to do a leveraged buyout (LBO) of a $10 billion company. Break the company's divisions into separate companies and sell them off or take them public via an IPO (initial public offering). Make $10 billion in pure profit from breaking up a company and selling its pieces, all from $1 billion in borrowed money. Note that this LBO didn't generate any gains in productivity or any new goods and services, nor did it create any new jobs. All it did was greatly enrich a few financiers and Wall Street banks.

Here's another example. Borrow $1 billion and use the money to buy back the shares of the corporation. The market value of the company's shares rise from $10 billion to $15 billion. The top management exercises its immense hoard of stock options and skims billions of dollars in profits. Note that this stock buyback didn't generate any gains in productivity or any new goods and services, nor did it create any new jobs. All it did was greatly enrich a few at the top of the heap.

This is the financialization of the U.S. economy in a nutshell. Financial games using other people's money and leverage make the big money, producing goods and services that create jobs is for losers.

Globalization is the process of moving production of goods and services overseas to reap the gains of cheap labor, no environmental standards, corrupt politicians and the crapification of goods and services. Globalization is the process of exposing much of America's labor force to 1 billion new workers who will work for next to nothing since they have no other means of earning cash.

Developing nations have limited means to enforce environmental regulations, so they are the convenient and cheap dumping grounds for global corporations maximizing profits by dumping toxic waste in landfills, rivers, etc. Should there be any spot of bother, comparatively low-cost bribes and payoffs to corrupt leaders insure the labor and land will continue to be exploited without any problems with labor unions, environmental standards, etc.

Globalization also means making the product look nice but strip out all quality as needless expense. Thin the paint so the steel rusts out in months, use the shoddiest materials so the veneer peels off, the screws snap, the commodity chip fails, taking the mother board and entire appliance down with it, and so on, in an endless and oh-so-profitable parade of crapification.

Well-paid shills tally up all the "savings" generated by crapification but they never look at the immense losses in utility and durability. An appliance that cost $500 and lasted 20 years without any repair is far less expensive over the 20 year lifespan than a $400 appliance that fails in 4 years and can't be repaired, or the repair costs almost as much as a new appliance. The hapless consumer of crapified goods ends up paying $2,500 over the 20 years for poorly made junk that falls apart in a few years or mysteriously fails as cheap electronic components blink off.

In other words, I was being extremely charitable in granting $137.13 gains to each household in 45 years of globalization--in reality, each household lost thousands of dollars in utility and durability. No wealthy financier funds research into how much each American household lost in utility and durability because the financiers who fund their philanthro-capitalist foundations all made their fortunes by stripmining financialization and / or crapifying goods and services and establishing monopolies and cartels to exterminate any competition. (Cough, Gates Foundation, cough.)

The well-paid shills tout the $100 savings but ignore the $2,000 in costs added by the collapse of quality and durability. Who makes out when consumers have to buy five appliances over 20 years instead of one? The shareholders of the financialized, globalized corporation, that's who. And since the top 10% of households own roughly 90% of all corporate shares and bonds (and the top 0.1% own 40%), the gains are highly concentrated in the top, as the graphics below show.

If the labor force had retained its 1975 share of the economy's income, each household would have $500,000 more in income than they ended up with in the fully financialized, globalized, crapified economy we're stuck with. Let's do the math: $50 trillion divided by 100 million households (the bottom 90% of households) is $500,000. Divide $500,000 by 45 years and that's $11,110 a year for 45 years.

We can quibble about inflation and purchasing power and so on, but however you reckon it, $500,000 stripped from every household is a lot of money when we're talking about 100 million households.

Next time you're on hold with a crapified Corporate America or government service, and the next time your globalized, crapified device fails, ponder all the costs of financialization and globalization that have yet to be tallied. Ponder what a clawback of the $50 trillion might entail, and the immense benefits of returning to producing quality goods and services by completely unwinding financialization and globalization.

We could completely unwind financialization and globalization if we chose to. I explain how in my new book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States.










My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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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Wednesday, February 09, 2022

The "Crapification" of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete

The crapification of the U.S. economy is now complete. The only thing left is the tiresome waiting for the implosion of the entire travesty of a mockery of a sham.

The U.S. economy has fundamentally changed, and not for the better. There are numerous dynamics behind this decay, and I'll discuss a few of the more consequential ones this month.

One consequential dynamic few mainstream pundits dare discuss is the "crapification" of the entire U.S. economy. That isn't my description, "crapification" is now in common use. If the word offends you, substitute terminal decay of quality, competition, utility, durability, repairability and customer service.

One aspect nobody seems to notice is the transformation from a society that once drew its identity from producing quality goods and services to a society that draws its identity from consuming crapified goods and services. Now that Americans define themselves by consuming, they are enslaved to consumption: to limit consumption is to disappear--and 'spending time" on social media is a form of consumption, even if no goods or services are purchased directly, as one's attention / time are valuable commodities.

In other words, Americans have been trained like Pavlov's dogs to consume, no matter how poor the quality and service. We just buy it anyway, and grumble over the decaying quality and service--but we won't take the only action that would impact corporations and the government: stop buying the products and services. Opt out, drop out, make it at home, cancel the service, just stop buying abysmally made junk and pathetically poor services.

Corporations and the government are monopolies or quasi-monopolies, and so they don't have to care whether customers are appalled by poor quality and service: they know the customer has to consume whatever is offered, no matter how crapified.

Go ahead and issue worthless warranties, products designed to fail, products designed to be unrepairable, software that is routinely declared obsolete so we have to buy the new crapified version that demands insane amounts of memory and processing power--go ahead, because the herd will continue buying the same garbage products and services because to stop consuming is unthinkable: I consume, therefore I am.

Governments know we have no choice and since we continue electing the same "best democracy money can buy" politicos, nothing will change. Those in power know the grumbling is just background noise because the herd will dutifully vote for the same crapified, corrupt, dysfunctional system every two years.

Consider the IRS, the agency with a monopoly on collecting taxes. I am sympathetic to the employees of the IRS, those tasked with the thankless task of collecting taxes, a task made more arduous by underfunding and understaffing. It seems the super-wealthy decided that if the IRS was starved of funding, the odds of their tax evasion being caught by an audit would plummet, and so voila, the IRS has been starved by the Demopublicans - Republicrats for decades, as Demopublicans - Republicrats all answer to the same small pool of super-wealthy donors and corporate sponsors.

Meanwhile, the average powerless taxpayer suffers the terminal decay of service and accountability. I am sorry to report that my Kafkaesque experiences with the IRS are also shared by many others. Our tax payments are immediately deposited (surprise!) but our tax returns that were delivered with the payment are declared non-existent-- the agency reports no record of the return being received.

This has happened to me year after year. And of course the crapification of the nation's core record-keeping-- taxation--then bleeds into other agencies and crapifies their records. So the Social Security Administration reports my 2020 income as zero, meaning I get no credit for the immense sum I paid in Social Security taxes (being self-employed, I pay 15.3% of all earnings in Social Security taxes--both the employee and employer shares).

Since the IRS claimed it had no record of my 2020 tax return, I wrote the IRS a letter asking if they wanted me to resubmit the return. Some months later I received a reply to my previous address--despite the fact I'd submitted an official IRS Change of Address form--saying "we're working on it." Uh, sure. Fine.

After repeated tries, I finally figured out that the only tax year in my file the IRS system recognizes in 2016. If I want to pay my quarterly estimated taxes online, I have to enter the data from 2016. Any other tax year data will draw a blank. In effect, I only exist in the year 2016, six years ago.

My estimated tax payments are duly deposited, and my payment attached to my return is duly deposited, but my tax return doesn't exist. Others have reported the same circumstance. News items report the IRS has a backlog of 10 million unprocessed returns, and you'd think our elected officials might show some modest interest in the crapification of the nation's tax and Social Security agencies, but no--they have zero interest in the crapification of the nation's core record-keeping as long as their super-wealthy donors and corporations can continue evading taxes via armies of tax attorneys and special giveaways slipped into several-inches-thick congressional bills.

Since Corporate America is now nothing but a collection of rapacious cartels and quasi-monopolies, they don't care about the terminal decay of their quality or service, either. They know we're going to show up and buy their garbage anyway because we have no choice, and they know the quality of their "competitors" (hahaha) products and service is equally noxious.

They can count on well-trained Americans continuing to fly, eat out, sign up, and buy, buy, buy no matter how wretched the quality and service because consumption is all we have.

In the Technicolor fantasy of corporate promoters, enterprises gain sales by making higher quality products than competitors. Two generations ago, this was still a cultural / economic dynamic.

But then everyone with a line of credit bought everything, and so now everyone owns everything. This saturation of all demand means sales can only decline, since durable goods last a long time. The only way to juice sales higher is by making insecure consumers crave the latest fashion, but this artifice has limits.

The solution was to crapify all products and services via planned obsolescence and endless loops of lousy, over-priced service. Products are now designed to be impossible to repair (eliminating cheapskate do-it-yourselfers) and by using the lowest-quality, lowest-cost components, manufacturers guarantee that the entire product will fail once the lowest-quality component fails.

And since many components are now digitized, the cheapest electronic component failing will cause the electronics to fail--a $1 chip fails and the entire $600 product fails--and so the entire product is then destined for the landfill-- what correspondent Bart D. termed The Landfill Economy, a term I now use to describe the entire global economy of planned obsolescence.

Discerning consumers have long noted the crapification of ingredients and the accompanying decline of value via shrinkflation. Discerning DIYers have noted how products are sealed, warranties voided, and simple maintenance jobs like changing the oil in a vehicle are now complicated by various perverse means.

As for service--Corporate America doesn't have to care about poor quality because they know we have no choice. All the members of the cartel offer the same rapacious pricing and pathetically poor service, so no corporation or institution (hospital, university, local government agency, etc.) has to fear a competitor might disrupt the cozy profiteering--there is no real competition in healthcare, higher education, defense contractors, telecom providers, pharmaceuticals, fast food, agribusiness, etc.--none.

I discuss the end-game of these dynamics in my new book, Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States.

The crapification of the U.S. economy is now complete. The only thing left is the tiresome waiting for the implosion of the entire travesty of a mockery of a sham.




My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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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Monday, February 07, 2022

How Empires Die

When the state / empire loses the ability to recognize and solve core problems of security and fairness, it will be replaced by another arrangement that is more adaptable and adept at solving problems.

From a systems perspective, nation-states and empires arise when they are superior solutions to security compared to whatever arrangement they replace: feudalism, warlords, tribal confederations, etc.

States and empires fail when they are no longer the solution, they are the problem. As the book The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization explains, when the dissolution of the state / empire becomes the pain-reducing solution, the inhabitants withdraw their support and the empire loses its grip and expires.

As I explain in my new book, Global Crisis, National Renewal, states and markets are problem-solving structures. These structures solve problems by optimizing adaptability and beneficial synergies that reinforce one another as evolutionary advances.

The rise of the middle class is an example of beneficial synergies: as this new class gains access to credit, expertise, trade, enterprise and pricing power for their labor, they have the means to transform their labor into capital by saving earnings and investing the capital in assets, new enterprises, etc. which then generate income from capital which fuels synergistic increases in credit, expertise, assets and income from investments.

States / empires fail and expire when they elevate the fatal synergies created by self-serving elites. Rather than encourage the dynamics of adaptation--competition, transparency, accountability, experimentation and dissent-- the elites suppresses these forces as threats to their monopolies, cartels and wealth.

Stripped of adaptability and beneficial synergies, the state / empire is no longer able to solve problems. It becomes the problem which cannot be resolved.

A key dynamic fueling fatal synergies is the hubristic confidence that low-cost abundance is a birthright bestowed by the state /empire, so resources can be endlessly squandered on excess and extremes of consumption and waste. The state / empire no longer focuses on securing the material sources of security (food, energy, etc.) or the accountability, competition, dissent and transparency required to solve systemic problems.

Instead, the state / empire dissolves into divisive camps seeking to protect their petty fiefdoms and expanding their wealth at the expense of the populace. The super-wealthy build $500 million yachts and palaces, politicians trade on their positions to accumulate fortunes, and corruption replaces governance.

Markets spiral into fatal synergies as low quality products and services, speculative excess, extremes of grotesque consumption and blood-soaked entertainment become "growth industries" while blackouts dim electrical grids and store shelves empty of essentials.

The market solution to everyone already owning everything is to engineer planned obsolescence into every product and form service-sector cartels that then strip services to the bone to juice profits, a.k.a. the crapification of all goods and services.

The state / empire also fails to maintain basic security and functions such as tax collection and a fair enforcement. Petty crimes are exploited by those in power (civil forfeiture) while resistance to the state is severely punished. There are two legal systems, one for the commoners and another for the elite.

The state / empire protects those profiting from the status quo and then calls this profiteering a "solution." But this profiteering doesn't solve any problems; it is the problem, as self-serving profiteering protects its privileges by corrupting the state, finance and the economy.

For its part, the market seeks to maximize profits in excesses of consumption, predatory lending (student loans), the wholesale destruction of quality by monopolies and cartels and extremes of speculation. Maximizing profits by any means available has no moral foundation; predatory student loans are profitable, obscure medical billing is profitable, selling products designed to fail is profitable, declaring software outdated is profitable, deceiving consumers is profitable, and so on, in an endless array of shoddy, unhealthy products, rapacious services, fraudulent overcharges, etc.

Since problems go unresolved, things fall apart and the masses veer into extremes of derangement and magical thinking: fanaticism is substituted for friendship, cults abound, common ground vanishes and all the failures of the system are papered over with Bread and Circuses, free money, gaudy entertainments and lifeless displays of conspicuous consumption that reveal the decay and degradation.

Protecting the few stripmining the system at the expense of the many is not problem-solving. It adds a layer of problems that the state /empire is incapable of resolving. Ossified, sclerotic, self-serving, corrupt, focused on virtue-signaling and the appearance of tackling problems rather than actually solving problems because some sacred cow would lose its privileges and income stream, the state / empire is the problem, not the solution.

When the state / empire loses the ability to recognize and solve core problems of security and fairness, it will be replaced by another arrangement that is more adaptable and adept at solving problems. Artifice, fantasy, magical thinking, excuses and absurd cover stories are not part of problem-solving. Problems can only be solved if reality is faced directly.

When reality is unacceptable because it negatively impacts those stripmining the system for private gain, the state / empire is already on its fatal spiral to collapse.






My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)

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.



Recent Videos/Podcasts:

Charles Hugh Smith on Why Many are Resigning From Their Jobs (35 minutes, with Richard Bonugli)


My recent books:

Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $9.95, print $25) Read Chapter One for free (PDF).

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



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, John C. ($54), for your marvelously generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

 

Thank you, Matthew W. ($400), for your beyond-outrageous generous contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.


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Correspondents' email is strictly confidential. This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative). If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly. Websites and blog links on the site's blog roll are posted at my discretion.


PRIVACY NOTICE FOR EEA INDIVIDUALS


This section covers disclosures on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for users residing within EEA only. GDPR replaces the existing Directive 95/46/ec, and aims at harmonizing data protection laws in the EU that are fit for purpose in the digital age. The primary objective of the GDPR is to give citizens back control of their personal data. Please follow the link below to access InvestingChannel’s General Data Protection Notice. https://stg.media.investingchannel.com/gdpr-notice/


Notice of Compliance with The California Consumer Protection Act


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by a third-party advertising network (Investing Channel) may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising. If you do not want any personal information that may be collected by third-party advertising to be sold, please follow the instructions on this page: Do Not Sell My Personal Information


Regarding Cookies:


This site does not collect digital data from visitors or distribute cookies. Advertisements served by third-party advertising networks such as Investing Channel may use cookies or collect information from visitors for the purpose of Interest-Based Advertising; if you wish to opt out of Interest-Based Advertising, please go to Opt out of interest-based advertising (The Network Advertising Initiative) If you have other privacy concerns relating to advertisements, please contact advertisers directly.


Our Commission Policy:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I also earn a commission on purchases of precious metals via BullionVault. I receive no fees or compensation for any other non-advertising links or content posted on my site.

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