The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Paul Craig Roberts ArchiveBlogview
Can Trump Fix the Economy In 2017?
In the West Junk Information And Junk Judgment Prevail
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
shutterstock_549546331
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

The Western world and that part of the world that partakes of Western explanations live in a fictional world. We see this everywhere we look—in the alleged machinations of Russia to elect Donald Trump president of the US, in claims that Saddam Hussein and his (nonexistent) weapons of mass destruction were a threat to the United States (a mushroom cloud over American cities), that Assad of Syria used chemical weapons against his own people, that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, that a few Saudi Arabians outwitted the entirety of the US, EU, and Israeli intelligence services and delivered the greatest humiliation to the “world’s only superpower” in the history of mankind, that Russia invaded Ukraine and could at any moment invade the Baltics and Poland, that the US rate of unemployment is 4.6%, that China’s trade surplus with the US is due to Chinese currency manipulation, and so on and on.

Allegedly we live in a scientific era of information, but what good can come from faulty orchestrated information? As long as fake news delivered by presstitutes serves powerful private and governmental interests, how can we know the truth about anything?

For example, consider the claim found everywhere in US government and US media statements that the massive US trade deficit with China is the result of Chinese currency manipulation, keeping the yuan underpriced relative to the US dollar.

This false claim, which is widely accepted as truth even by Russian writers on Russian websites ( http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/12/12/only-one-step-away-from-global-trade-war.html ), is nonsense. China’s currency is pegged to the US dollar. It moves with the dollar. China pegged its currency to the US dollar in order to create confidence in the Chinese currency. Over the past decade China has adjusted the peg of its currency to the dollar and permitted a rise in the value of the Chinese currency from 8.1 yuan to 6.9 yuan to the US dollar. (The yuan reached a strength of 6 to the dollar, but a rising dollar was pulling up the yuan, causing China to widen the float in order to avoid undue appreciation because of the US dollar’s rise to other Asian and European currencies.) How is a rising yuan “currency manipulation”? Don’t expect an answer from the presstitute financial media or the junk economists who comprise the neoliberal economics profession.

The function of the myth of Chinese currency manipulation is to hide from view the fact that the massive US trade deficit with China is due to US corporations offshoring their production for US markets to China. When US corporations bring goods and services produced offshore back to the US for sale, they enter as imports, thus swelling the trade deficit. The myth about currency manipulation shifts the blame from US corporations to China, while in fact it is the return of offshored production, such as Apple computers, for sale to Americans that swells the US trade deficit.

ORDER IT NOW

US corporations produce offshore because the much lower labor costs result in higher profits, higher stock prices for shareholders, and in performance bonuses for executives. One of the main causes for the high Dow Jones averages and the worsened income and wealth distribution in the US is the offshoring of jobs. In 2016 the richest people added $237 billion to their wealth, while the rise in student loan, auto loan, and credit card debt combined with stagnant or declining income left ordinary Americans poorer. During the 21st century, household indebtedness has risen from about 70% of GDP to about 80%. Personal income has not risen in keeping with personal debt.

The offshoring of jobs benefits only a small number of shareholders and executives, and it imposes massive external costs on American society. Former prosperous manufacturing states are in long term depression. Median real family incomes have fallen. Real estate values in abandoned manufacturing areas have fallen. The tax base has eroded. State and local government pension systems cannot meet their obligations. The social safety net is unraveling.

To get an idea of the external costs that offshoring imposes on the American population, go online and look at the pictures of decrepit Detroit, formerly an industrial powerhouse. Schools and libraries are abandoned. Public buildings are abandoned. Factories are abandoned. Homes are abandoned. Churches are abandoned. Here is one 4 minute video:

And it is not only Detroit. In my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism (Clarity Press, 2013), I report the 2010 US Census data. The population of Detroit, formerly America’s fourth largest city, declined by 25 percent in the first decade of the 21st century. Gary, Indiana, lost 22 percent of its population. Flint, Michigan, lost 18 percent. Cleveland, Ohio lost 17 percent. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania lost 7 percent. South Bend lost 6 percent. Rochester, New York, lost 4 percent. St. Louis, Missouri, lost 20 percent. these cities were once the home of American manufacturing and industrial might.

Instead of telling the truth, the presstitute financial media and the corrupt US economics profession have hidden the massive social and external costs of jobs offshoring under the totally false claim that offshoring is good for the economy. In my book, I take to task corporate shills such as Dartmouth’s Matthew Slaughter and Harvard’s Michael Porter, who produced through incompetence or complicity erroneous reports of the great benefits to Americans of having their jobs given to Chinese and American cities left in ruins.

Throughout its history the US has suffered from public lies, but not until the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes did lies become so ubiquitous that truth disappeared.

Consider the November jobs report. We were told that the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6% and that 178,000 new US jobs were created in November. The recovery is on course, etc. But what are the real facts?

The unemployment rate does not include discouraged workers who have been unable to find employment and have ceased job hunting, which is expensive, exhausting and demoralizing. In other words, unemployed people are being pushed into the discouraged category faster than they can find jobs. That is the explanation for the low official unemployment rate. Moreover, this reported low rate of unemployment is inconsistent with the declining labor force participation rate. When jobs are available, people enter the work force in order to take advantage of the employment opportunities, and the labor force participation rate rises.

ORDER IT NOW

The reporting by the financial presstitutes adds to the deception. We are given the number of 178,000 new jobs in November. And that is it. However, the data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows many problematic aspects of the data. For example, only 9,000 of the claimed 178,000 jobs are full time jobs (defined as 35 hours or more per week). October saw a loss of 103,000 full time jobs from September, and September had 5,000 fewer full time jobs than August. No one explains how an economy losing full time jobs is in recovery.

The age distribution of the November new jobs is disturbing. 77,000 of the jobs went to those 55 and over. Only 4,000 jobs went to the household forming ages of 25-34.

The marital status distribution of the jobs is also troubling. In November there were 95,000 fewer employed married men with spouse present and 74,000 fewer employed married women with spouse present than in October. In October there were 331,000 fewer married men and 87,000 fewer married women employed than in September.

One can conclude from these large differences month to month that the official statistics are not good, which might well be the case. For example, as I have stressed in my reports on the monthly payroll employment releases, there is always a large number of new jobs for waitresses and bartenders. Yet restaurant traffic has declined for 9 consecutive months. Why do restaurants hire more employees as traffic declines?

As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has informed us, the monthly payroll jobs claims might consist entirely of add-ons from estimates from a flawed birth/death model and manipulations of seasonal adjustments. In other words, the reported new jobs might only be statistical illusions.

John Williams also emphasizes that the claimed real GDP growth numbers might be entirely the products of the under-measurement of inflation. Some years ago the inflation measures were “reformed” in order to cheat those on Social Security out of cost-of-living adjustments. In place of a weighted index that calculated the cost of a constant standard of living, substitution was introduced. In the reformed index, if the price of an item in the index rises, a lower-priced item is substituted in its place, thus negating the inflationary impact of the price rise. Also, price rises are defined away as “quality improvements.” Clearly, this is an index designed to under report rising prices.

The bottom line is that the recovery allegedly underway since June 2009 might be a statistical illusion produced by a flawed measure of inflation.

What can Americans expect from the economy in 2017? First, some perspective. The defeat of stagflation by President Reagans supply-side policy gave the Clinton regime a good economy. The improved US economy was not entirely a good thing, because it masked the adverse consequences of jobs offshoring that began in earnest after the Soviet collapse in 1991.

The Soviet collapse encouraged the change in attitude of the Indian and Chinese governments toward foreign capital. Wall Street and big box retailers such as Walmart forced the relocation of much of US manufacturing to China, to be followed after the rise of the high speed Internet by offshoring professional skill jobs such as software engineering to India. These relocations of US economic activity to foreign locations hollowed out the US economy and reduced the job opportunities for Americans.

ORDER IT NOW

The growth of real median family income ceased. Without increases in consumer spending to drive the economy, the Federal Reserve substituted a growth in consumer debt for the missing growth in real median family income. But the growth of consumer debt is limited by the lack of growth in consumer income. Thus, an economy dependent on debt expansion is limited in its ability to expand. Unlike the federal government, the American people cannot print money with which to pay their bills.

Alone among those contending for political office, president-elect Trump has fingered jobs offshoring as a blow to the American people and the US economy. It remains to be seen what he can do about it, as jobs offshoring serves the interests of the global corporations and their shareholders.

For many years now the monthly payroll jobs reports show the US descending into Third World status, with the vast bulk of the claimed new jobs in lowly paid, non-tradeable domestic services. The BLS 10-year job projections show few new jobs that require a university degree. If high value-added, high productivity middle class jobs cannot be brought back to the US, the American economic future is one of continuing decline into Third World status.

Considering the constraints on the consumer, a large share of corporate profits has come from labor cost savings from jobs offshoring. For corporations such as Apple, whose products are almost entirely produced in Chinese factories, there are no more profits to be secured from jobs offshoring. To keep the profits flowing, Apple plans to replace the inexpensive Chinese labor with robots, which do not have to be paid any wage. What better shows the disconnect between capital and labor than to robotize Chinese factories in the face of an excess supply of labor?

Paul Samuelson’s economic textbook taught the fallacy of composition, what is good for the individual might not be good for the group. The Keynesian economists applied this to savings. Saving is good for the individual, but if aggregate saving exceeds investment, aggregate demand falls, pulling down income, employment, and saving.

This is the case with jobs offshoring. It can increase profits for the firm, but in the aggregate it decreases aggregate income of the population and limits sales growth. What jobs offshoring does in this respect will be done in spades by robotics.

When I read economists and financial presstitutes glorifying the cost savings of robotics, I wonder where their mind is or if they have one. Robots don’t purchase housing, home furnishings and appliances, cars, food, clothing, vacations, entertainment. When robots have the jobs, where do humans get the incomes with which to purchase the products produced by robots?

This unexamined question has extraordinary implications for property rights and the social organization of society. Ralph Gomory told me a few years ago that a handful of people hold the robotic patents. Therefore, in a robotized world, the distribution of income and wealth would be concentrated in the hands of a few dozen people. Indeed, would there be any income or wealth of any magnitude? The only way humans could survive would be to again become self-sufficient farmers with no monetary income to purchase products made by robots. As few would be able to purchase products made by robots, there would be no source for income and wealth for the patent holders.

I am convinced that if robotics is going to supplant human labor, the patents will have to be socialized, and income distributed on a relatively equal basis throughout society.

So, can Trump fix the economy in 2017?

ORDER IT NOW

There can be no fix unless the ladders of upward mobility that made the US an opportunity society can be put back in place. This will require bringing home the offshored middle class jobs or, assuming that new high value-added jobs could somehow be created, preventing the new jobs from being moved offshore.

There is a way to do this: Base the corporate tax rate on the geographical location where corporations add value to their product. If corporations add value domestically with US labor, the tax rate would be low. If the value is added abroad, the tax rate would be high. The tax rate can be adjusted to offset the benefits of lower costs abroad.

Despite the progaganda about globalism and free trade, the US economy was built on protection, and its strength was the domestic market. US prosperity was never dependent on exports. And as the US dollar is the world reserve currency, the US doesn’t need exports in order to pay for its imports. This is why the US can tolerate the trade deficits caused by jobs offshoring.

Globalism is a concoction by the neoliberal junk economists in complicity with the big banks, Wall Street, and multinational corporations. Globalism is a disguise for the exploitation of the many in behalf of the few. The alleged benefits of globalism were used to justify the offshoring of jobs and to enrich corporate executives and shareholders.

It is the domestic economy that is important, not the global economy. The suffering population in flyover America finally learned this lesson and elected Trump.

Can Trump script “The Escape From Globalism?” He could lose the fight. Globalism has been institutionalized. The large corporations that have offshored their production for US markets would oppose moves against jobs offshoring. So would all their shills in the economics profession and financial media. I don’t know the extent to which globalism has taken root in people’s minds in Asia, Africa, and South America, but in Europe—even some in Putin’s Russia—people are brainwashed in the belief that they can’t exit globalism without paying a large economic price.

Consider, for example, the Greeks. For the sake of the balance sheets of a handful of northern European (and perhaps US) banks, the Greek and Portuguese peoples have been forced into extreme austerity, resulting in such high unemployment and plummeting living standards that women have been forced into prostitution in order to survive. This totally unnecessary outcome has occurred because the Greek and Portuguese peoples and governments are so brainwashed that they believe they cannot survive as independent countries without globalism and the entry to globalism provided by EU membership. In the UK 45% of the population suffers from the same misconception.

Globalism is the latest technique by which capitalism loots and destroys. In the Western world it is the working and middle classes that are looted of their jobs and careers. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America self-sufficient farming communities are looted of their land and forced into monoculture as laborers who produce an export crop. Countries formerly self-sufficient in food become dependent on food imports, and their currency, which carries that burden, is subject to endless speculation and manipulation.

Was it universal ignorance or bribes that compelled governments everywhere to ransome their populations to globalism?

ORDER IT NOW

Frontline journalists, such as Chris Hedges, who have seen and reported a lot, have concluded that the fate of the world is in such few hands that act only in their narrow self-interests that only revolution can correct the imbalance between the interest of a handful of oligarchs and the mass of humanity. Hedges’ position is not an easy one with which to argue.

Trump descending into the snakepit that is Washington, D.C., needs to remember what happened to President Jimmy Carter. In fact, the best thing Trump can do for his presidency is to go spend some time with Carter prior to taking office.

Carter was an outsider, a principled person, and the Washington establishment did not want him. They reduced his effectiveness by framing up his budget director and chief of staff. The same thing can happen to Trump, assuming he is able to get his appointees confirmed by the Senate, members of which are allied with the CIA against Trump.

Reaganites had a similar experience in the Reagan adminisration. Reagan had political experience as governor of California, the largest state, but he was an outsider to the Republican establishment, whose candidate for the presidential nomination was George H.W. Bush.

Reagan defeated Bush for the nomination, but was advised by Republicans, who remembered the Goldwater wipeout when the Rockefeller forces turned on Goldwater for not choosing the defeated Rockefeller as his VP running mate, costing Goldwater the election, to select Bush as VP. Otherwise, Reagan would find himself, like Goldwater, running against both the Democratic and Republican establishments.

Reagan’s first term took place with George H.W. Bush’s main operative as chief of staff of the White House. This confronted me with problems as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy where I was the point man for Reagan’s supply-side economic policy.

Both political party establishments are more interested in controlling the party than in doing well for the country. During President Carter’s four years, the main concern of the Democratic establishment was in regaining control of the party from the forces that had sent an outsider to the White House. During Reagan’s eight years, the main concern of the Republican establishment was in regaining control of the Republican party from Reaganites.

It is likely that Trump will now experience in spades what presidents Carter and Reagan experienced. The effort will be made to force him into compromises and to neuter his agenda. Ironically, this determined attack on Trump is being aided by the leftwing, progressive forces that stand to gain by Trump’s standing up for the working and middle classes and for peace with Russia. Many of the liberal, progressive, leftwing websites are already soliciting donations in order to fight against Trump.

So, even when we get a president who might try to represent the interests of the American people, those who claim to speak in behalf of the people join in the oligarchs’ attack on Trump. The left side of the spectrum seems always, like the extreme rightwing side, to defer to their hatreds: Trump is a billionaire = hatred. Trump appointed an energy magnate = hatred. Trump appointed two 3-star generals = warmonger and more hatred.

ORDER IT NOW

The liberal, progressive, leftwing cannot get beyond their bogeymen. Of course, they might be correct. However, as I have emphasized, Trump has chosen mavericks who have gone against the establishment. Moreover, these are strong men, like Trump, which is what it takes to bring change from above. The Exxon CEO wants energy deals, not war, with Russia. Gen. Flynn is the one who exposed on TV Obama’s use of ISIS to overthrow Syria against the recommendation of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Gen. Mattis is the one who challenged the effectiveness of torture.

Trump’s main appointments are people who have challenged the Establishment. The usual assortment of establishment-approved appointees cannot bring change to Washington.

The liberal, progressive, left-wing should be happy at the prospect of a government on the outs with the Establishment. Instead, the liberal, progressive, left has aligned with the Establishment in opposition to Trump.

Every day I receive a half dozen requests for donations to “help us fight Donald Trump.” What are these people thinking? Why do they want to fight someone that the entire US political establishment opposes? What they should first try is to gain Trump’s confidence and win him to their agenda, as General Mattis did.

I cannot assure you that Trump is not another fake like Obama. But it is a mistake to begin with this assumption. Why write off in advance the only person with the courage to put his life on the line and take on the corrupt and evil Washington establishment?

Why help the Establshment defeat Trump? If Trump sells out Americans, we can turn on him then, or we can decide whether Chris Hedges is correct that only revolution can rectify the situation.

(Republished from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)
 
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Hmm. I haven’t read the whole peace (a bit long), so maybe this was addressed somewhere in it, but somehow I’m pretty sure that currency manipulation is part of it. If the peg was, say, 2 yuan for a dollar, then perhaps all the labor cost advantage would disappear and the Chinese economy collapsed. So, why are you so sure 6 yuan/usd doesn’t amount to currency manipulation?

    On the other hand, currency manipulation is perfectly common, everyone does it. The US does it. But then, some are more successful than others…

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /proberts/can-trump-fix-the-economy-in-2017/#comment-1716003
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. Can Trump Fix the Economy In 2017?

    Well no. First he would have to restore the rule of law. What he can do if his enemies do not prevent it is avoid nuclear winter and negotiate a soft landing for a collapsing empire.

    Obama is the last overseer of the American Empire. Trump is hated and feared by the establishment precisely because he is not an imperialist. A better question would be what sort of economy will be possible in post imperial America?

    Read More
  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Nope.

    Only thing Trump can do is steer the ship.

    The ship is headed to go over the waterfall. Disaster.

    But if the ship is turned to suddenly, it will tip over.

    So, Trump has to adjust the steering so that it goes near the edge of waterfall without going over and then straightens out and heads for calm water.

    Read More
  4. Old fogey says:

    Thank you for another insightful post. I hope that people with the ability to influence government policy and the political process are taking advantage of your knowledge.

    Read More
  5. When robots have the jobs, where do humans get the incomes with which to purchase the products produced by robots?

    The leftist answer is the federal government is the primary provider of income.

    The US’s primary commodity of exchange with the world is the brokerage of US military and federal police power.

    Any peon who wants to acquire a decent income will be required to serve the US military or federal police, either as a soldier, a policeman, a civil service lackey, or a defense contractor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CK
    Robots can build the tanks and planes just as well as they build the cars and trucks, the Turks have already begun installing robot machine guns along their new border fence with Syria, and DARPA already has prototyped field robots with self actualizing weaponry. No government can provide an income the only wealth a government has is what it can steal from societal elements weaker than itself. Theft is not a wealth increasing mechanism.
  6. I’d be happy if he didn’t do anything to further hobble it, better still, if he took off a lot of the current hobble.

    Read More
  7. “The offshoring of jobs benefits only a small number of shareholders and executives, and it imposes massive external costs on American society. Former prosperous manufacturing states are in long term depression. Median real family incomes have fallen. Real estate values in abandoned manufacturing areas have fallen. The tax base has eroded. State and local government pension systems cannot meet their obligations. The social safety net is unraveling.”

    This, BTW, is the nub of the problem, and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, I wonder if they are actually in touch with their own audiences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E Newman
    " ... and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, ..."

    Alarmist, I'm not sure if you're implying that constitutionalism is somehow connected with free trade or not. The US Constitution, of course, says nothing about it, and, as I'm sure you know, the majority of money used to run the (small) Federal Gov't back in that day was from tariffs.

    You may just have meant that you like Levin otherwise, and don't like his free trade talk, so if that's the case, I don't have any argument with you.
    , @MarkinLA
    People who make a good living providing nothing of value like Levin get a lot from free trade. He is simply talking his book as they say.
  8. Ironically, this determined attack on Trump is being aided by the leftwing, progressive forces that stand to gain by Trump’s standing up for the working and middle classes and for peace with Russia. Many of the liberal, progressive, leftwing websites are already soliciting donations in order to fight against Trump.

    These people are not liberal, progressive or left wing. They have no ideology, only identity. They hate anybody who is not like them. They are blaxx, queers, radical feminists and social justice warriors (snow flakes). They hate Trump because he is white, hetero, and male. And they are FURIOUS because he ignores them. We should ignore them too. They are so weak they had to steal the Democratic nomination and they lost the general election to a political amateur.

    Read More
  9. eD says:

    While long, this has got to be the best Paul Craig Roberts essay of the year! No seriously, this is an excellent essay and has raised points that I haven’t considered before. Apart from all the data, the point about globalization running into diminishing marginal returns once companies have finished off-shoring everything is a good one.

    Read More
  10. A well-written piece on the whole. My main criticism is you characterise off-shoring as being at the behest of domestic American companies. The truth is rather different.
    In 1967-8 , America agreed to the Kennedy Round of GATT which to all intents brought in Free Trade. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, their was massive import penetration of American industries. Thousands of factories closed, whole sectors of American manufacturing disappeared. The Japanese, German etc firms who benefitted often opened up American factories to secure their positions in the American marketplace. These factories did employ fewer workers and a high proportion of imported parts were used. Now these companies are using China to assemble their high value parts. If China is tariffed, then they’ll move their assembly operations elsewhere.
    As Eamonn Fingleton has mentioned elsewhere, getting back Advanced Manufacturing will be very difficult, especially as many fields formerly dominated by American companies are now dominated by Japanese or German companies.

    Read More
  11. edNels says:

    Craig Paul Roberts should be assigned reading for all students. Tells the truth!

    Read More
  12. The nonwhite population in the US is growing…and growing…growing….any jobs Trump creates will go-for the most part-to nonwhites.

    It is physically impossible for Ttump to create enough high paying jobs for The Native Born White American Working Class. Not that Paul Craig Roberts would mind….since he wants to flood US Labor Markets with nonwhite scab labor from abroad.

    Soon…very soon…there will be one billion “Americans”….no end in sight. There will be a 100 year waiting list to take a 5 minute peek a Yellowstone in the summertime.

    If Trump brings back jobs to majority nonwhite blue state California….0 benefit to Whitey.

    Trump=rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    I agree. All the talk about the economy ignores government imposed affirmative action for everything but White.

    Someone mentioned that soon the only jobs would be government jobs but those jobs are forbidden to Whites because of affirmative action

    Roberts mentioned waitresses. In California, except in the very high end dinner houses White waiters have been totally replaced by male illegal hispanics who speak almost no English. The cooks dishwashers managers etc are also illegal hispanics, one reason why I refuse to eat in restaurants.
    Most racially conscious Whites, of whom there are far too few, blame affirmative action on government, the EEOC, the 1968 affirmative action law and vicious anti White judges.

    But apply who benefits, and the only conclusion is that affirmative action and massive non White immigration were a capitalist initiative all all long.

    Combine liberal hatred of Whites with employers endless search for cheap cheaper and cheapest labor and the result is the economy of today.
    The best career option for Whites since about 1980 is growing weed.
  13. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Offshoring jobs? Sorry but it is a mixed bag.

    Inshoring unskilled labor? Unequivocally evil.

    The former includes jobs that will go away via automation. Jobs that will move from China to Vietnam or Bengelidesh. And stuff that we could reshore. And stuff that Americans won’t do at wages that make a product economically viable.

    However, unskilled labor inshoring can’t be undone. It breeds. It increase inequality. It destroys social capital.

    The good news? Bush and Obama left the F***ing gate open. The later by executive decree. So it can be undone by simple decree. Close the gate.

    The spread of radical Islam? Just say no to the Neo Cons.

    This Luddite flavored essay is unduly pessimistic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    And stuff that Americans won’t do at wages that make a product economically viable.

    The two are connected. However, when you let in cheap foreign products you have a problem. When you have a high wage economy people can still buy vise grips made in the USA. When you let harbor freight bring in their low priced knock-offs vise grips has to move offshore as well and the now unemployed vise grip workers can no longer afford made in America tools.
  14. In the West Junk Information And Junk Judgment Prevail

    True dat. But what amazes and fascinates me is that it’s been going on for decades if not centuries. I can’t wrap my admittedly weak and tiny mind around the fact that a sewer society can manage to limp along practically ad infinitum.

    We’ve long had junk information, junk schooling and junk entertainment as well as junk morals. Hollywood? Pure slop, forever.

    Many have written about it and most of them are unknown. Mark Twain was a master of mockery but most people don’t have a clue and don’t want to.

    Upton Sinclair wrote about the junk schools and “news” sources back in the ’20s and is well worth a read but next to none will make the effort. ( The Brass Check, the Goosestep and the Goslings).

    Then we have the brilliant Mencken, Bourne, and Murray Rothbard to name a few relatively unknown truth tellers, and hosts of others even more obscure which is a tragedy.

    Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.

    Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs29.html

    The Western world and that part of the world that partakes of Western explanations live in a fictional world.

    It’s worse than a fiction;it’s a downright fraud and has been from the beginning.

    Collectively, “we” will never wake up; it’s too much to hope for.

    Read More
  15. CK says:
    @Joe Franklin

    When robots have the jobs, where do humans get the incomes with which to purchase the products produced by robots?
     
    The leftist answer is the federal government is the primary provider of income.

    The US's primary commodity of exchange with the world is the brokerage of US military and federal police power.

    Any peon who wants to acquire a decent income will be required to serve the US military or federal police, either as a soldier, a policeman, a civil service lackey, or a defense contractor.

    Robots can build the tanks and planes just as well as they build the cars and trucks, the Turks have already begun installing robot machine guns along their new border fence with Syria, and DARPA already has prototyped field robots with self actualizing weaponry. No government can provide an income the only wealth a government has is what it can steal from societal elements weaker than itself. Theft is not a wealth increasing mechanism.

    Read More
  16. The jobs were already here…in America. However, the 1965 Immigration Reform Act was passed+52 years of post-1965 Immigration Policy+the nonwhite US born geneline of nonwhite legal immigrants=globalization of US domestic labor markets.

    Trump has made it very clear what he intends to do:1)pave the US over…2)poison the Delaware River to death via fracking(I remember very well when Trump attempted to poison Mount Kisco’s water supply)….3)full speed ahead with importing China’s youth population…India’s and South Korea’s also. This is POTUS Trump’s economic revitalization program….BE VERY SCARED!!!

    GROWTH DOES NOT PAY FOR ITSEL!!!…Trump’s Steven Moore economic program will be very expensive.

    We are dealing with a biophysics problem….If you don’t understand this very obvious point…then you have a brain capacity does not exceed the size of the scrotum of a housefly…Perhaps your brain is the scrotum of a housefly….

    Read More
  17. Agent76 says:

    November 10, 2016 Who Will Be In Trump’s Cabinet? A Few Possibilities

    After a stunning win that upended the American political landscape, President-elect Donald Trump and his top advisers now must put together a White House staff and Cabinet — a group that may well include some of those same advisers.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45818.htm

    Read More
  18. Agent76 says:

    Jul 23, 2016 Trump Exposes Trump

    In his own words, Donald Trump reveals his hypocrisy about Iraq, immigration, health care, abortion, Libya, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and more.

    Read More
  19. Daruma says: • Website

    PCR is absolutely correct about the wealth-concentrating effects of robotics.

    YT put together a web page on this subject as well, it might be considered a depressing or enlightening read – depending:

    http://hirocker.com/r-economy/replicator-economy.html

    Read More
  20. Art says:

    There is much to discuss in this article – but where the rubber meets the road is if Trump is going to use the government to get the global US corporations to actually invest in America. Nothing else matters.

    All that corporate money in foreign banks has to be invested in American productivity.

    Building the latest robotic manufacturing in America has to be a giant plus. Building the robots is an industry in itself. There are many subsidiary jobs that go with any manufacturing process. Now we have ZERO jobs – building robotic manufacturing is a total win-win.

    Fearing robotics is fools business.

    Peace — Art

    Read More
  21. @The Alarmist

    "The offshoring of jobs benefits only a small number of shareholders and executives, and it imposes massive external costs on American society. Former prosperous manufacturing states are in long term depression. Median real family incomes have fallen. Real estate values in abandoned manufacturing areas have fallen. The tax base has eroded. State and local government pension systems cannot meet their obligations. The social safety net is unraveling."
     
    This, BTW, is the nub of the problem, and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, I wonder if they are actually in touch with their own audiences.

    ” … and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, …”

    Alarmist, I’m not sure if you’re implying that constitutionalism is somehow connected with free trade or not. The US Constitution, of course, says nothing about it, and, as I’m sure you know, the majority of money used to run the (small) Federal Gov’t back in that day was from tariffs.

    You may just have meant that you like Levin otherwise, and don’t like his free trade talk, so if that’s the case, I don’t have any argument with you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "You may just have meant that you like Levin otherwise, and don’t like his free trade talk, so if that’s the case, I don’t have any argument with you."
     
    It is this case ... I'm all for a restoration of Constitutional order (though I am not holding my breath). Levin is unfortunately slavish in extolling the virtues of unfettered trade, which is fine in a hypothetical world not dominated by Randian brutes.
  22. In the category of probably false is the received account of 9/11. But the 9/11 account is likely the truth, that 4 airliners were highjacked, and that 2 hit the WTC. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator program is used in learning to fly airplanes. The last iteration was FS X in 2004. The highjackers learned on FS9 released in 1994. Flying little planes by hand is jiggly and hard. Flying airliners by autopilot is easy. Once up in the air, having slaughtered the pilots, and knowing where the autopilot controls are, setting a compass course is as easy as moving the bug on the heading display to the desired compass heading, setting the speed and setting the altitude of the plane to fly at just needs imputing the numbers. When NYC hove into a view against a cloudless sky, just disable the autopilot and steer the airplane by hand. There is CCTV footage of the Mohammed Ali and the other Arab booked for 2 fully fueled transcountry flights as they passed through security at Logan Airport where the airliners were in fact highjacked. As the event was to the advantage of al Quaida, not to an unidentified cabal, the cui bono rule of thumb should obtain.

    Read More
  23. Miro23 says:

    Unlike the federal government, the American people cannot print money with which to pay their bills.

    And, as of today, the total Federal debt is $19,948,472,988,335, so with a US population of 337,762,018 ( end of 2016 US Census Bureau), this gives a debt per person of $59,060, or by family (taking an average of 3 people) $177,180. The idea of debt is to make productive investments for the future (of these families) but in fact the “investment” has gone to fund welfare payments and a whole range of 0,1% favoured activities like overpriced health care, overpriced military procurement etc., useless Middle East wars and speculative bubbles (including the bailouts).

    If high value-added, high productivity middle class jobs cannot be brought back to the US, the American economic future is one of continuing decline into Third World status.

    They don’t care. The US is running a Philippines style system where every kind of elected leader allies with a permanent oligarchy (in the Philippines case offshore Chinese), engages in protecting their monopolies, and gets a generous cut for family and friends + a jet set lifestyle. Meanwhile , the World Development Report (2006) states that, “15% of Filipinos were living in absolute poverty, and 47% subsisted on an income between US$1 and US$2 a day. Half of the 12 million population of Manila lives in shanty towns that line the expressways, rail tracks and waterways of the metropolis. After 25 years of repeated economic crises, the Philippines economy is now critically dependent on the overseas earnings of an estimated 10 million, mostly female workers – out of a population of 80 million – employed as child carers, nurses and more in richer states around the world.”

    I am convinced that if robotics is going to supplant human labor, the patents will have to be socialized, and income distributed on a relatively equal basis throughout society.

    Martin Ford goes into this in his book “Lights in the Tunnel”, https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Tunnel-Automation-Accelerating-Technology/dp/1448659817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483807218&sr=8-1&keywords=lights+in+the+tunnel%2C+martin+ford
    and comes up with the not very convincing idea of a new government run welfare system taxing successful automated business and returning the automation surplus to the unemployed in return for attainments in education and protecting the environment (his green lights in the economic tunnel). He briefly looks at the idea of letting the owners of automated businesses keep their surplus but obliging them to spend it rather than taxing it away. The direct effect on demand would actually be enhanced as the government is removed from the equation but you could describe the recipients as purple lights in the tunnel as they may be supporting a new feudal system around the vast spending of a few technology “aristocrats”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E Newman

    ... this gives a debt per person of $59,060, or by family (taking an average of 3 people) $177,180.
     
    Hey Miro23, I (and tons of people at zerohedge.com) have done this arithmetic also. No question about your number, but many times people try to look at these numbers with respect to trying to actually pay off the money. Well, in that case, your $177K goes upwards of $300K per family that is actually paying taxes to the Feral Gov't - by paying I mean, not just filling out a return coming out ahead (like many millions of Mexicans that go to HR Block, etc. to get an instant few thousand bucks by claiming dependent kids that are either in freakin Guatamala or non-existent - HR Block comes out way ahead with this program, and the IRS doesn't care, as they'd rather go after you, Miro, for a questionable deduction on your business*).

    Wow, I got off the subject there for a bit!

    Think about how many families could afford the $30K a year (on a 10-year plan, say) as their portion of the payback each year in ADDITIONAL INCOME TAX!. It's not possible, and there is no easy way out of this hole.

    I'm not saying this is my (or any kind of a) plan, but it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former - but there's no point in betting anyway, right, unless it's with Silver or Gold.)

    * Anarcho-tyranny, bitchez!

  24. MarkinLA says:
    @The Alarmist

    "The offshoring of jobs benefits only a small number of shareholders and executives, and it imposes massive external costs on American society. Former prosperous manufacturing states are in long term depression. Median real family incomes have fallen. Real estate values in abandoned manufacturing areas have fallen. The tax base has eroded. State and local government pension systems cannot meet their obligations. The social safety net is unraveling."
     
    This, BTW, is the nub of the problem, and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, I wonder if they are actually in touch with their own audiences.

    People who make a good living providing nothing of value like Levin get a lot from free trade. He is simply talking his book as they say.

    Read More
  25. MarkinLA says:
    @anon
    Offshoring jobs? Sorry but it is a mixed bag.

    Inshoring unskilled labor? Unequivocally evil.

    The former includes jobs that will go away via automation. Jobs that will move from China to Vietnam or Bengelidesh. And stuff that we could reshore. And stuff that Americans won't do at wages that make a product economically viable.

    However, unskilled labor inshoring can't be undone. It breeds. It increase inequality. It destroys social capital.

    The good news? Bush and Obama left the F***ing gate open. The later by executive decree. So it can be undone by simple decree. Close the gate.

    The spread of radical Islam? Just say no to the Neo Cons.

    This Luddite flavored essay is unduly pessimistic.

    And stuff that Americans won’t do at wages that make a product economically viable.

    The two are connected. However, when you let in cheap foreign products you have a problem. When you have a high wage economy people can still buy vise grips made in the USA. When you let harbor freight bring in their low priced knock-offs vise grips has to move offshore as well and the now unemployed vise grip workers can no longer afford made in America tools.

    Read More
  26. Art says:

    Why help the Establishment defeat Trump? If Trump sells out Americans, we can turn on him then, or we can decide whether Chris Hedges is correct that only revolution can rectify the situation.

    Please a little sanity here – please some facts!

    Chris Hedges hates Trump! Hedges would replace banker oligarchs with government force using intellectual oligarchs.

    In the aggregate, free enterprise always works. There is no better system of human organization than private business. The problem with our economy is not business – it is corporate big money financialization.

    Financialization is oligarchs making money being money changers. They skim money of the economy and use it to make more money. They make money off of trading money instruments that have nothing to do with producing goods and services. Producing goods and services suffers in the process.

    Trump is not a financialization oligarch. He is not a corporate creature, you cannot buy stock in Trump. He is a successful small businessman with many unconnected enterprises.

    He is exactly what America needs! Will he stay true to his roots – time will tell. We will know right away, if he is going to take on the big money corporates financialization oligarchs.

    Peace — Art

    Read More
  27. @Miro23

    Unlike the federal government, the American people cannot print money with which to pay their bills.
     
    And, as of today, the total Federal debt is $19,948,472,988,335, so with a US population of 337,762,018 ( end of 2016 US Census Bureau), this gives a debt per person of $59,060, or by family (taking an average of 3 people) $177,180. The idea of debt is to make productive investments for the future (of these families) but in fact the "investment" has gone to fund welfare payments and a whole range of 0,1% favoured activities like overpriced health care, overpriced military procurement etc., useless Middle East wars and speculative bubbles (including the bailouts).

    If high value-added, high productivity middle class jobs cannot be brought back to the US, the American economic future is one of continuing decline into Third World status.
     
    They don't care. The US is running a Philippines style system where every kind of elected leader allies with a permanent oligarchy (in the Philippines case offshore Chinese), engages in protecting their monopolies, and gets a generous cut for family and friends + a jet set lifestyle. Meanwhile , the World Development Report (2006) states that, "15% of Filipinos were living in absolute poverty, and 47% subsisted on an income between US$1 and US$2 a day. Half of the 12 million population of Manila lives in shanty towns that line the expressways, rail tracks and waterways of the metropolis. After 25 years of repeated economic crises, the Philippines economy is now critically dependent on the overseas earnings of an estimated 10 million, mostly female workers - out of a population of 80 million - employed as child carers, nurses and more in richer states around the world."

    I am convinced that if robotics is going to supplant human labor, the patents will have to be socialized, and income distributed on a relatively equal basis throughout society.
     
    Martin Ford goes into this in his book "Lights in the Tunnel", https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Tunnel-Automation-Accelerating-Technology/dp/1448659817/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483807218&sr=8-1&keywords=lights+in+the+tunnel%2C+martin+ford
    and comes up with the not very convincing idea of a new government run welfare system taxing successful automated business and returning the automation surplus to the unemployed in return for attainments in education and protecting the environment (his green lights in the economic tunnel). He briefly looks at the idea of letting the owners of automated businesses keep their surplus but obliging them to spend it rather than taxing it away. The direct effect on demand would actually be enhanced as the government is removed from the equation but you could describe the recipients as purple lights in the tunnel as they may be supporting a new feudal system around the vast spending of a few technology "aristocrats".

    … this gives a debt per person of $59,060, or by family (taking an average of 3 people) $177,180.

    Hey Miro23, I (and tons of people at zerohedge.com) have done this arithmetic also. No question about your number, but many times people try to look at these numbers with respect to trying to actually pay off the money. Well, in that case, your $177K goes upwards of $300K per family that is actually paying taxes to the Feral Gov’t – by paying I mean, not just filling out a return coming out ahead (like many millions of Mexicans that go to HR Block, etc. to get an instant few thousand bucks by claiming dependent kids that are either in freakin Guatamala or non-existent – HR Block comes out way ahead with this program, and the IRS doesn’t care, as they’d rather go after you, Miro, for a questionable deduction on your business*).

    Wow, I got off the subject there for a bit!

    Think about how many families could afford the $30K a year (on a 10-year plan, say) as their portion of the payback each year in ADDITIONAL INCOME TAX!. It’s not possible, and there is no easy way out of this hole.

    I’m not saying this is my (or any kind of a) plan, but it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former – but there’s no point in betting anyway, right, unless it’s with Silver or Gold.)

    * Anarcho-tyranny, bitchez!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    ...it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former...)
     
    I agree with you, but I see the three possibilities 1) Regular inflation 5-10% 2) Serious inflation 10-25% 3) Chaotic inflation 25-1000's%

    For example, in the first 6 months of 1975 British inflation reached a peak of 30% p.a. which nicely reduced government debt from 76% to 56% of national income (wiping out Sterling bond holders) with the trigger being a loss of confidence in the Pound Sterling.

    Also, the Weimar government of the early 1920's couldn't pay Germany's war reparations to the French, saw the occupation of the Ruhr industrial region, couldn't pay government workers and saw a loss of investor confidence in the D Mark leading to hyperinflation ($1 = DM 4Trillion in December 1923) and the consequent evaporation of government debt.

    An interesting point about hyperinflation is not just evaporating government debt. A country's real assets don't disappear, they just change hands.

    British historian Arthur Bryant made this point in his 1940 book "Unfinished Victory", writing about Weimar Germany:


    They merely did what others in their position would have done. And since the sun does not shine often on their race, they made hay as fast as they could. They did so with such effect that even in November 1938, after five year of anti-Semitic legislation and persecution, they still owned, according to The Times correspondent in Berlin, something like a third of the real property in the Reich. Most of it came into their hands during the Inflation.
     
    This is 1% of the population ( non ethnic Germans ) owning about 33% of Germany's real assets.
  28. Alden says:
    @War for Blair Mountain
    The nonwhite population in the US is growing...and growing...growing....any jobs Trump creates will go-for the most part-to nonwhites.

    It is physically impossible for Ttump to create enough high paying jobs for The Native Born White American Working Class. Not that Paul Craig Roberts would mind....since he wants to flood US Labor Markets with nonwhite scab labor from abroad.


    Soon...very soon...there will be one billion "Americans"....no end in sight. There will be a 100 year waiting list to take a 5 minute peek a Yellowstone in the summertime.


    If Trump brings back jobs to majority nonwhite blue state California....0 benefit to Whitey.


    Trump=rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic...

    I agree. All the talk about the economy ignores government imposed affirmative action for everything but White.

    Someone mentioned that soon the only jobs would be government jobs but those jobs are forbidden to Whites because of affirmative action

    Roberts mentioned waitresses. In California, except in the very high end dinner houses White waiters have been totally replaced by male illegal hispanics who speak almost no English. The cooks dishwashers managers etc are also illegal hispanics, one reason why I refuse to eat in restaurants.
    Most racially conscious Whites, of whom there are far too few, blame affirmative action on government, the EEOC, the 1968 affirmative action law and vicious anti White judges.

    But apply who benefits, and the only conclusion is that affirmative action and massive non White immigration were a capitalist initiative all all long.

    Combine liberal hatred of Whites with employers endless search for cheap cheaper and cheapest labor and the result is the economy of today.
    The best career option for Whites since about 1980 is growing weed.

    Read More
  29. Agent76 says:

    December 27, 2016 The shantytowns of America: Inside the shacks, cars, tents and boxes that America’s homeless call home

    From Florida to Louisiana, photographer, Mary Lou Uttermohlen, has captured these captivating images of homeless people across the US, who have organized their lives in shantytowns.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4069570/The-shantytowns-America-Inside-shacks-cars-tents-boxes-America-s-homeless-call-home.html?ito=email_share_article-bottom

    Read More
  30. @Achmed E Newman
    " ... and when I hear otherwise cogent constitutionalists like radio host Mark Levin get misty eyed about the benefits of free trade, ..."

    Alarmist, I'm not sure if you're implying that constitutionalism is somehow connected with free trade or not. The US Constitution, of course, says nothing about it, and, as I'm sure you know, the majority of money used to run the (small) Federal Gov't back in that day was from tariffs.

    You may just have meant that you like Levin otherwise, and don't like his free trade talk, so if that's the case, I don't have any argument with you.

    “You may just have meant that you like Levin otherwise, and don’t like his free trade talk, so if that’s the case, I don’t have any argument with you.”

    It is this case … I’m all for a restoration of Constitutional order (though I am not holding my breath). Levin is unfortunately slavish in extolling the virtues of unfettered trade, which is fine in a hypothetical world not dominated by Randian brutes.

    Read More
  31. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E Newman

    ... this gives a debt per person of $59,060, or by family (taking an average of 3 people) $177,180.
     
    Hey Miro23, I (and tons of people at zerohedge.com) have done this arithmetic also. No question about your number, but many times people try to look at these numbers with respect to trying to actually pay off the money. Well, in that case, your $177K goes upwards of $300K per family that is actually paying taxes to the Feral Gov't - by paying I mean, not just filling out a return coming out ahead (like many millions of Mexicans that go to HR Block, etc. to get an instant few thousand bucks by claiming dependent kids that are either in freakin Guatamala or non-existent - HR Block comes out way ahead with this program, and the IRS doesn't care, as they'd rather go after you, Miro, for a questionable deduction on your business*).

    Wow, I got off the subject there for a bit!

    Think about how many families could afford the $30K a year (on a 10-year plan, say) as their portion of the payback each year in ADDITIONAL INCOME TAX!. It's not possible, and there is no easy way out of this hole.

    I'm not saying this is my (or any kind of a) plan, but it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former - but there's no point in betting anyway, right, unless it's with Silver or Gold.)

    * Anarcho-tyranny, bitchez!

    …it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former…)

    I agree with you, but I see the three possibilities 1) Regular inflation 5-10% 2) Serious inflation 10-25% 3) Chaotic inflation 25-1000′s%

    For example, in the first 6 months of 1975 British inflation reached a peak of 30% p.a. which nicely reduced government debt from 76% to 56% of national income (wiping out Sterling bond holders) with the trigger being a loss of confidence in the Pound Sterling.

    Also, the Weimar government of the early 1920′s couldn’t pay Germany’s war reparations to the French, saw the occupation of the Ruhr industrial region, couldn’t pay government workers and saw a loss of investor confidence in the D Mark leading to hyperinflation ($1 = DM 4Trillion in December 1923) and the consequent evaporation of government debt.

    An interesting point about hyperinflation is not just evaporating government debt. A country’s real assets don’t disappear, they just change hands.

    British historian Arthur Bryant made this point in his 1940 book “Unfinished Victory”, writing about Weimar Germany:

    They merely did what others in their position would have done. And since the sun does not shine often on their race, they made hay as fast as they could. They did so with such effect that even in November 1938, after five year of anti-Semitic legislation and persecution, they still owned, according to The Times correspondent in Berlin, something like a third of the real property in the Reich. Most of it came into their hands during the Inflation.

    This is 1% of the population ( non ethnic Germans ) owning about 33% of Germany’s real assets.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E Newman
    I'm guessing they must have traded their currency for real money at some point when you could still do so. Then, when the hyperinflation hit, they were the only ones with real money to spend.

    According to zerohedge commenters (I've read it for some years, so I think of the information as an aggregate of what's been said), hyperinflation happens when there is a loss of confidence in the currency. Nobody wants to really have any of it for longer than it takes to get from the bank after cashing his check to the store.

    Because most people aren't getting checks, and the money is not in paper form but 1/2 the time, and not usually on big items at all, I think things would happen differently in this age. I believe it would all go down a lot faster.

    As far as asset transferring this time, I could see Chinese people owning a lot of our stuff. By stuff, I mean land too - imagine a Chinese owner of the High Sierra National Park. Goodbye scenic hiking trails and cougars - hello lumber for chopsticks.
  32. @Miro23

    ...it gives you a feel for the impossibility of getting out of this without massive inflation or a default (my money is on the former...)
     
    I agree with you, but I see the three possibilities 1) Regular inflation 5-10% 2) Serious inflation 10-25% 3) Chaotic inflation 25-1000's%

    For example, in the first 6 months of 1975 British inflation reached a peak of 30% p.a. which nicely reduced government debt from 76% to 56% of national income (wiping out Sterling bond holders) with the trigger being a loss of confidence in the Pound Sterling.

    Also, the Weimar government of the early 1920's couldn't pay Germany's war reparations to the French, saw the occupation of the Ruhr industrial region, couldn't pay government workers and saw a loss of investor confidence in the D Mark leading to hyperinflation ($1 = DM 4Trillion in December 1923) and the consequent evaporation of government debt.

    An interesting point about hyperinflation is not just evaporating government debt. A country's real assets don't disappear, they just change hands.

    British historian Arthur Bryant made this point in his 1940 book "Unfinished Victory", writing about Weimar Germany:


    They merely did what others in their position would have done. And since the sun does not shine often on their race, they made hay as fast as they could. They did so with such effect that even in November 1938, after five year of anti-Semitic legislation and persecution, they still owned, according to The Times correspondent in Berlin, something like a third of the real property in the Reich. Most of it came into their hands during the Inflation.
     
    This is 1% of the population ( non ethnic Germans ) owning about 33% of Germany's real assets.

    I’m guessing they must have traded their currency for real money at some point when you could still do so. Then, when the hyperinflation hit, they were the only ones with real money to spend.

    According to zerohedge commenters (I’ve read it for some years, so I think of the information as an aggregate of what’s been said), hyperinflation happens when there is a loss of confidence in the currency. Nobody wants to really have any of it for longer than it takes to get from the bank after cashing his check to the store.

    Because most people aren’t getting checks, and the money is not in paper form but 1/2 the time, and not usually on big items at all, I think things would happen differently in this age. I believe it would all go down a lot faster.

    As far as asset transferring this time, I could see Chinese people owning a lot of our stuff. By stuff, I mean land too – imagine a Chinese owner of the High Sierra National Park. Goodbye scenic hiking trails and cougars – hello lumber for chopsticks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    The process took place through awarding themselves very large DM loans in the early stages of the hyperinflation, which they used to buy whole sections of city centre property and hard currency (US Dollars) which were later "paid back" in worthless DM's in 1922-23 (i.e. the property was essentially gifted to them through their DM contracts).

    They were well placed to set this up with a dense and high trust social network focused on banking and finance that by the early 1920's extended into every influential sector of German society. For example, by 1923, 151 of 161 private banks were Jewish owned, the Berlin stock exchange had an almost entirely Jewish membership and there was a similar situation in the professions (e.g. around 75% of lawyers were Jewish).

    German legislation was being manipulated to favour the financial sector and once the loans were in place there must have been an incentive to have them inflated away.

    The networking also extended to German industry. Paul Windolf investigated German corporate networks existing in 1914:

    Table 1: The German Corporate Network 1914 (big linkers)

    Name Firm Pos
    C. Fürstenberg (B,J) Berliner Handelsgesellschaft 22
    C. Klönne (B) Deutsche Bank 22
    W. Rathenau (J) AEG 19
    L. Hagen (B, J) Bankhaus A. Levy (Köln) 15
    M. Klitzing (B) Bank für Handel und Industrie 14
    W.Müller (B,J) Dresdner Bank 14 E. Rathenau (J) AEG 14
    A. Salomonsohn (B,J) Disconto-Gesellschaft 13
    E. Gutmann (B,J) Dresdner Bank 12
    O. Oliven (J) Loewe & Co. AG 12
    Note: B: Banker; J: Jewish origin; Pos.: number of positions in the corporate network (management/supervisory boards)
    Source; The German-Jewish Economic Elite (1900-1933), Paul Windolf, University Trier 54286 Trier/Germany

    There were a lot of bizarre financial relationships at this time. US economist Lyndon Moore recalculated the famous claim of Bresciani-Turroni that Daimler's equity capital reached the equivalent of only 327 of their cars during the hyperinflation, and concluded that they got it wrong. At the minimum market value of Daimler in November 1922 he found that the company could have been bought for the value of about 94 of their cars.

    In any event, the German public saw it as the end of the world.

    In his book, "Culture and Inflation in Weimar Germany", Bernd Widdig describes a chaos of gambling, hoarding, gluttony, hunger, riots, psychosis, jazz, prostitution and drugs overwhelming the German middle class. He suggests that Fritz Lang's 1922 film "Dr Mabuse the Gambler" captured the public despair as did the satirical magazine Simplicissimus' covers from 1920 onwards http://www.simplicissimus.info/index.php?id=5 (click Blättern)

  33. I feel sorry for the Trumpzombies, their messiah is a fraud, ahahahahahahahaahahahhah =)

    Read More
  34. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E Newman
    I'm guessing they must have traded their currency for real money at some point when you could still do so. Then, when the hyperinflation hit, they were the only ones with real money to spend.

    According to zerohedge commenters (I've read it for some years, so I think of the information as an aggregate of what's been said), hyperinflation happens when there is a loss of confidence in the currency. Nobody wants to really have any of it for longer than it takes to get from the bank after cashing his check to the store.

    Because most people aren't getting checks, and the money is not in paper form but 1/2 the time, and not usually on big items at all, I think things would happen differently in this age. I believe it would all go down a lot faster.

    As far as asset transferring this time, I could see Chinese people owning a lot of our stuff. By stuff, I mean land too - imagine a Chinese owner of the High Sierra National Park. Goodbye scenic hiking trails and cougars - hello lumber for chopsticks.

    The process took place through awarding themselves very large DM loans in the early stages of the hyperinflation, which they used to buy whole sections of city centre property and hard currency (US Dollars) which were later “paid back” in worthless DM’s in 1922-23 (i.e. the property was essentially gifted to them through their DM contracts).

    They were well placed to set this up with a dense and high trust social network focused on banking and finance that by the early 1920′s extended into every influential sector of German society. For example, by 1923, 151 of 161 private banks were Jewish owned, the Berlin stock exchange had an almost entirely Jewish membership and there was a similar situation in the professions (e.g. around 75% of lawyers were Jewish).

    German legislation was being manipulated to favour the financial sector and once the loans were in place there must have been an incentive to have them inflated away.

    The networking also extended to German industry. Paul Windolf investigated German corporate networks existing in 1914:

    Table 1: The German Corporate Network 1914 (big linkers)

    Name Firm Pos
    C. Fürstenberg (B,J) Berliner Handelsgesellschaft 22
    C. Klönne (B) Deutsche Bank 22
    W. Rathenau (J) AEG 19
    L. Hagen (B, J) Bankhaus A. Levy (Köln) 15
    M. Klitzing (B) Bank für Handel und Industrie 14
    W.Müller (B,J) Dresdner Bank 14 E. Rathenau (J) AEG 14
    A. Salomonsohn (B,J) Disconto-Gesellschaft 13
    E. Gutmann (B,J) Dresdner Bank 12
    O. Oliven (J) Loewe & Co. AG 12
    Note: B: Banker; J: Jewish origin; Pos.: number of positions in the corporate network (management/supervisory boards)
    Source; The German-Jewish Economic Elite (1900-1933), Paul Windolf, University Trier 54286 Trier/Germany

    There were a lot of bizarre financial relationships at this time. US economist Lyndon Moore recalculated the famous claim of Bresciani-Turroni that Daimler’s equity capital reached the equivalent of only 327 of their cars during the hyperinflation, and concluded that they got it wrong. At the minimum market value of Daimler in November 1922 he found that the company could have been bought for the value of about 94 of their cars.

    In any event, the German public saw it as the end of the world.

    In his book, “Culture and Inflation in Weimar Germany”, Bernd Widdig describes a chaos of gambling, hoarding, gluttony, hunger, riots, psychosis, jazz, prostitution and drugs overwhelming the German middle class. He suggests that Fritz Lang’s 1922 film “Dr Mabuse the Gambler” captured the public despair as did the satirical magazine Simplicissimus’ covers from 1920 onwards http://www.simplicissimus.info/index.php?id=5 (click Blättern)

    Read More
  35. Handled says:

    How is a rising yuan “currency manipulation”?

    Well, if the Chinese were to peg their currency to say- the dollar- and let it rise or fall as it may, that’s not currency manipulation.

    However, if they were to peg their yuan to the dollar but continually change the rate it’s pegged at in order to fix their trade, that is currency manipulation.

    Which of the above does China do, and regularly?

    Read More
  36. Interesting reading, Miro23. 2 questions:

    1) Are you an American – just wondering nothing to do with our discussion.
    2) Do you read zerohedge.com? (from what you write you either do, or you would really like it – the commenters are the best on the internet, no offense to youse people)

    BTW, I don’t comment on there myself, but there is sure a lot to learn from them just by reading for a year or two (that’s probably all we got before SHTF, IMHO)

    I don’t blog on Sundays, and I shouldn’t even be on the web at all today.

    Thanks for writing me back and have a good day, sir.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    I'm not American (was educated in the UK) and I have read Zerohedge a few times and liked it.

    What got me onto the Federal debt was an article talking about the Dow closing in on 20.000 while the US national debt has almost reached 20.000.000.000.000 - just an interesting coincidence. Which one gets there first?
  37. Miro23 says:
    @Achmed E Newman
    Interesting reading, Miro23. 2 questions:

    1) Are you an American - just wondering nothing to do with our discussion.
    2) Do you read zerohedge.com? (from what you write you either do, or you would really like it - the commenters are the best on the internet, no offense to youse people)

    BTW, I don't comment on there myself, but there is sure a lot to learn from them just by reading for a year or two (that's probably all we got before SHTF, IMHO)

    I don't blog on Sundays, and I shouldn't even be on the web at all today.

    Thanks for writing me back and have a good day, sir.

    I’m not American (was educated in the UK) and I have read Zerohedge a few times and liked it.

    What got me onto the Federal debt was an article talking about the Dow closing in on 20.000 while the US national debt has almost reached 20.000.000.000.000 – just an interesting coincidence. Which one gets there first?

    Read More
  38. Halber says:

    We dedicated Trump supporters know one thing, we will save as much of our economic activity for Trump’s presidency as we can.

    That means withholding spending for the rest of this month.
    Consumer spending is a closely watched metric and when it jumps in the spring, that will be a sign of renewed confidence. Not one more cent of tribute to Obama’s consumer economy.

    Read More

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Paul Craig Roberts Comments via RSS