You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 06, 2016, 02:24:59 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?  (Read 6178 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline IniquitousTopic starter

Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« on: July 06, 2012, 03:34:08 PM »
I first found out about this book from my mom when we were doing our usual sharing of books that we have read recently and Ill admit that when it comes to anything dealing with numbers and economy, I am far from being even competent to participate in a discussion. But this book was something my mother kept insisting that I read despite the fact that I told her it seemed like fear mongering to me.

Now, whether it is fear mongering or not, the guys that wrote this hit everything dead on and that is what makes me a little - alright, very - uneasy about their coming predictions for the economy. I found the interview online and thought Id share here to see what other people think of what this guy is predicting.


Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 03:51:42 PM »
My computer's a little futzy with videos these days *shakes fist at Comcast* - is this the one by Robert B. Reich?  I read his blog online, and I have to say, the man impresses me.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 03:52:04 PM »
Anything that comes from Newsmax, I take with a pinch of salt.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but Newsmax are doomsday pimps. 

Having said that, I do believe the U.S. is headed for a fall.  We can't go on borrowing one out of every four dollars we spend indefinitely.  It would be different if we were borrowing those dollars to invest in things like thermonuclear fusion power, space exploration, curing disease, geoengineering, and other things that would pay long-term dividends.   But we're mostly just pissing the money away.  And that can't continue.

The fall could take any of a variety of forms.   We could undergo a couple decades of stagnation, where our GDP growth has an interquartile range of 0.5 to 2% rather than the 2.5 to 4% we took for granted for the last half of the 20th century.  There could be a sudden panic in financial markets.

I think the $64 trillion question here is the oil supply.  If Peak Oil theorists are right and we've tapped out all the easy-to-get energy and oil hits $200/bbl by the middle of the decade and $350/bbl by the end, we're headed for real trouble.  Financial shortages and business-cycle recessions are one thing, but when an industrial civilization is starved of energy, it goes into depression, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  The Fed can't ease our way into finding another Ghawar.  Central banks can't print more barrels of oil.

If, on the other hand, the Republicans are right and it's just a matter of shooing the tree-huggers away and drilling more holes to bring gas back to $2.29 a gallon and put fins back on our cars, then we'll probably just undergo a period of austerity and adjustment...or inflate our way out of the debt and keep on trucking.

Offline Vitiseek

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 04:07:46 PM »
I don't know if it's true or not whether there will be an economic collapse (my opinion is we'll see a lot tighter governmental control for a long while before any "revolution" -- 1984 instead of Mad Max) but it could make for some interesting roleplay scenarios.

Offline IniquitousTopic starter

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 05:22:13 PM »
Anything that comes from Newsmax, I take with a pinch of salt.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but Newsmax are doomsday pimps. 

Having said that, I do believe the U.S. is headed for a fall.  We can't go on borrowing one out of every four dollars we spend indefinitely.  It would be different if we were borrowing those dollars to invest in things like thermonuclear fusion power, space exploration, curing disease, geoengineering, and other things that would pay long-term dividends.   But we're mostly just pissing the money away.  And that can't continue.

The fall could take any of a variety of forms.   We could undergo a couple decades of stagnation, where our GDP growth has an interquartile range of 0.5 to 2% rather than the 2.5 to 4% we took for granted for the last half of the 20th century.  There could be a sudden panic in financial markets.

I think the $64 trillion question here is the oil supply.  If Peak Oil theorists are right and we've tapped out all the easy-to-get energy and oil hits $200/bbl by the middle of the decade and $350/bbl by the end, we're headed for real trouble.  Financial shortages and business-cycle recessions are one thing, but when an industrial civilization is starved of energy, it goes into depression, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  The Fed can't ease our way into finding another Ghawar.  Central banks can't print more barrels of oil.

If, on the other hand, the Republicans are right and it's just a matter of shooing the tree-huggers away and drilling more holes to bring gas back to $2.29 a gallon and put fins back on our cars, then we'll probably just undergo a period of austerity and adjustment...or inflate our way out of the debt and keep on trucking.

If you had watched the video you would have seen that it is an interview with one of the authors of the BOOK, Robert A. Wiedemer. The website is hosting the video since it was repeatedly pulled down from other sites.

And not to sound too bitchy, but it is things like that which irritate me. You seen the link and made an assumption based on what the site was instead of actually checking anything out. If you had watched the video, you would have learned that this man accurately predicted *everything* that has happened to date and is telling us what is in store instead of saying what you think could happen.

@Oniya, I haven'd read his blog. Do you have a link you could share?

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 05:42:00 PM »
Certainly:  http://robertreich.org/

He's not quite as doom-and-gloom, but he cuts through a lot of the B.S about the numbers (especially the unemployment numbers that both sides keep pointing to and spinning in their favor), and has some pretty good ideas about what needs to happen to turn things around. 

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 05:50:12 PM »
If you had watched the video you would have seen that it is an interview with one of the authors of the BOOK, Robert A. Wiedemer. The website is hosting the video since it was repeatedly pulled down from other sites.

And not to sound too bitchy, but it is things like that which irritate me. You seen the link and made an assumption based on what the site was instead of actually checking anything out. If you had watched the video, you would have learned that this man accurately predicted *everything* that has happened to date and is telling us what is in store instead of saying what you think could happen.

 

I've seen the video before.  Contrary to Newsmax, it hasn't been censored.  It usually appears on sites alongside ads for everything from stopping the New World Order to Art Bell to survival supplies to rants about chemtrails.  And only for a limited time before "they" come take it down.  Funny thing is, if you go back to the site weeks after "they" were supposed to take it down, it's still there...but you better hurry up and watch it, because "they" (presumably riding in black helicopters) will be along any day to take it down.

None of which is categorical proof that what he has to say is false.  But I think you can understand where that kind of "packaging," if you will, makes me skeptical.  It has the aura of a used car lot.  And I stand by my assertion that Newsmax is a doomsday pimp.  Its credibility is dubious at best...maybe a notch or two above the supermarket tabloids, but well below what I consider to be reputable news sources.  To them, the sky is always falling.

So is the world coming to an end?  Yes.  As time approaches infinity, the odds of survival for anything--you, me, America, Western civilization, Elliquiy, rock and roll, even Lady Gaga--approach zero.  But I'm not holding my breath.  And I also believe the biggest threat to America is energy (oil) shortages, not the housing market or the Federal Reserve or Barack Obama.

Offline IniquitousTopic starter

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 05:53:03 PM »
If you say so. But since I started this thread to discuss what Bob Wiedemer is discussing in the video, I'd like to stay on topic.

Offline Serephino

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 08:23:35 PM »
I take anything like this with a grain of salt.  He could be right if every piece of data he looked at holds true, but the economy is so fragile at this point, who can really say.  There is also the law of chaos.  Who's to say several leaders of the GOP don't hold some little get together, eat something bad, and all get violently sick and drop dead (I can dream, can't I?).  That would certainly change things up a bit.  China could erupt in civil war, and want their money.  Any number of random things could happen.  That is why it's nearly impossible to accurately predict the future.

I seriously doubt taxes will be raised on the wealthy in the near future if Republicans keep or gain more control, especially not with Citizens United continuously being upheld.  The conservatives in office seem pretty consistent in bending over and spreading their cheeks for their corporate backers.  I think it's fairly safe to say they won't give up that gravy train without one hell of a fight.  They haven't done or said anything to suggest otherwise to me.  So, yes, it does matter who is in the White House in 2013.

Since I admittedly am not that well versed in economics I don't know if raising interest rates will help any, but I do agree it won't be done any time soon.  He is definitely right that it would be an unpopular decision.  It's an election year, so the goal is to make as many voters and backers as happy as possible, no matter what it does to the country in the long run.  See, that's the problem; everyone always thinks in the short term.  Politicians want elected, so they do anything and everything they think they need to.     

 

Offline Shjade

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 08:46:47 PM »
I take anything like this with a grain of salt.

How can you afford to waste salt in this economy? :o

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 08:49:48 PM »
How can you afford to waste salt in this economy? :o

Who says he wastes it? Take that grain of salt and throw it over your shoulder and it'll ward off evil spirits. ^-^

Offline Shjade

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 08:55:24 PM »
Oh sure, deny evil spirits their right to work. That'll definitely help swing money back into the system.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 08:58:43 PM »
Oh sure, deny evil spirits their right to work. That'll definitely help swing money back into the system.

The LaVeyan plan was economically unfeasible, I tell you! The souls of the innocent are not a viable export good, and if they were, China would have an unbreakable monopoly.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2012, 12:01:03 AM »
If you had watched the video you would have seen that it is an interview with one of the authors of the BOOK, Robert A. Wiedemer. The website is hosting the video since it was repeatedly pulled down from other sites.

And not to sound too bitchy, but it is things like that which irritate me. You seen the link and made an assumption based on what the site was instead of actually checking anything out. If you had watched the video, you would have learned that this man accurately predicted *everything* that has happened to date and is telling us what is in store instead of saying what you think could happen.

@Oniya, I haven'd read his blog. Do you have a link you could share?

The same Robert Wiedemer claiming 50% unemployment and 100% inflation before 2012?

Umm yeah. I know where to file this guy's opinions.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 10:23:27 AM »
I'm waiting for my dystopian future so I can live in some skyrise above all the pollution with the rich and their most trusted minions, while everyone else lives on the ground under the 'cloud'.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 10:28:07 AM »
I couldn't find much at all about Robert Wiedemer that didn't look like his own press cuttings.

I'm waiting for my dystopian future so I can live in some skyrise above all the pollution with the rich and their most trusted minions, while everyone else lives on the ground under the 'cloud'.

Unfortunately, this isn't going to happen anytime soon.

And when it does, some kid with a sword bigger than he is, and a Mr. T. look-alike will screw it all up for you.  ;D

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 01:01:36 PM »
The same Robert Wiedemer claiming 50% unemployment and 100% inflation before 2012?

Umm yeah. I know where to file this guy's opinions.

You mean you evaded the black helicopters and the Reptiloids to unearth Wiedemer's previous predictions from the memory hole?   ;D

I think the core problem here is, in an age of disaster movies where the world's major cities get torn apart in CGI-land, people have a "zombie apocalypse" perception of collapse: one day we're going to wake up and there'll be anarchy and rioting everywhere.

That's not how collapse works.

Actual collapse of empires the size of America is generally a much slower, "sea-change" sort of affair.  Note that during the decline of the Roman Empire, few people of the day actually realized what was happening.  It wasn't until historians could look backwards and view things in context that the pattern became clear.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
You mean you evaded the black helicopters and the Reptiloids to unearth Wiedemer's previous predictions from the memory hole?   ;D

I think the core problem here is, in an age of disaster movies where the world's major cities get torn apart in CGI-land, people have a "zombie apocalypse" perception of collapse: one day we're going to wake up and there'll be anarchy and rioting everywhere.

That's not how collapse works.

Actual collapse of empires the size of America is generally a much slower, "sea-change" sort of affair.  Note that during the decline of the Roman Empire, few people of the day actually realized what was happening.  It wasn't until historians could look backwards and view things in context that the pattern became clear.

Many local rulers, when they came to power also attempted to emulate the Roman empire as much as possible to keep the people calm.

Offline Moraline

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2012, 12:43:54 PM »
The same Robert Wiedemer claiming 50% unemployment and 100% inflation before 2012?

Umm yeah. I know where to file this guy's opinions.

Unfortunately Robert is correct.  Most people have stopped being able to find work. I know at least one person here on this site that lives off of doing odd jobs (all under the table.) It's the only income he has and he is barely able to get working doing that.

The bulk of people in the US (nearly 50%), no longer have Employment Insurance (EI).  EI ran out for them years ago.  They are not eligible for any form of welfare, and the ones on welfare don't count in the EI unemployment stats.

A couple of fairly reliable sources, I'd find actual gov't stats for you but I'm not that familiar with American gov't stats places. In Canada we have StatsCan for all our gov't census info.

Forbes 2/09/2012 - "...the labor force participation rate had plummeted to 63.7%, the most rapid decline in U.S. history..."
Read More:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/02/09/dont-be-fooled-the-obama-unemployment-rate-is-11/

Business Insider January 24, 2011 - "Only 47% Of Working Age Americans Have Full Time Jobs"
Read More:  http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-01-24/markets/29974517_1_part-time-unemployment-labor-force


America is in trouble. Hard economic lessons need to be learned - not by the people, but by your Government. Unfortunately, it's the people that are suffering.

What the guy in the interview says is the truth. Things need to change and they need to change fast. You can't avoid what's coming, but you can make hard choices and lesson the blow of it.

If I was living in the US right now I'd be preparing for this. As it is, I live in Canada and our situation is nothing like yours and I'm still prepared because your economic bubble burst is going to hurt us again, just like it did last time.


My suggestions:

Get out of real estate while you can, land is good, houses/property is bad. But keep in mind that the government makes money off of land taxes so it's best just to get out of the real estate game right now while you can. 

Keep investments minimal and easily affordable. Also get out of any investments that are tied to the government at all (gold, bonds, gov't businesses, any business that's received a gov't bail out package - financial institutions etc...) 

I'm not saying stuff your money in a mattress, just invest money wisely. 

Keep your portfolio versatile and don't over invest.

Trim all your expenses now before you are forced to do it.  It'll help you out in the long run.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2012, 08:31:11 PM »
That's a bit of a silly figure to run your numbers on. Was unemployment over 50% back in the 50's when only one member of the household tended to work?

The employment to population ratio needs to be taken in context - yes, these days, it's a better number to look at than unemployment. However, there are more reasons for not working than being too young to legally work.

His inflation claims are the really ludicrous figures, however. The US is in a liquidity trap - people are burdened by debt, and don't have enough money to spend. High inflation in the US at this time would by definition mean low unemployment.

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2012, 07:56:48 AM »
Greece's latest move in the euro feud is supposed to be to sue Germany to demand WW2 reparations to the cost of many billions - seventy years after the war ended (in 1945, the Western allies were agreed to forget about claims on any massive war reparations because everybody understood that it was more important to get the economy and basic livelihoods working again; no one was gonna repeart the mistakes of the Versailles treaty and its huge claims for war damages). Never heard of a better way to get back on the countries that have been lending oceans of money to a crisis-stricken economy... ahem...

It's becoming increasingly clear that Greece is heading for a state default or a fast exit from the eurozone - either option could shake up the financial system badly.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 07:58:34 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2012, 11:39:33 AM »
That's a bit of a silly figure to run your numbers on. Was unemployment over 50% back in the 50's when only one member of the household tended to work?

The employment to population ratio needs to be taken in context - yes, these days, it's a better number to look at than unemployment. However, there are more reasons for not working than being too young to legally work.

His inflation claims are the really ludicrous figures, however. The US is in a liquidity trap - people are burdened by debt, and don't have enough money to spend. High inflation in the US at this time would by definition mean low unemployment.

Thinking about this for a time, I believe one of the biggest unsung problems America is facing is the definition of "work."  And how our economic system rewards it--or doesn't.

There's still plenty of work out there.  Everything from bridges that need fixing to kids that need teaching to homeless people who need food and shelter to a thousand and one other socially productive ventures that would add value to people and things.  Trouble is, our economic system doesn't reward people for doing any of this.  So it doesn't get done.  So cue the crosstalk between Left and Right:

Right: "Look at all these lazy kids with their pants half off, and college grads living in their mothers' basements and going to Occupy protests.  They need to get off their asses and work for a living!"
Left: "Yeah, maybe so, but there are no jobs for them, so what are they supposed to do?"

Both are right--and neither.  Yeah, there are a lot of unproductive people out there.  Yeah, maybe extended unemployment insurance does encourage dependency and discourage people from seeking work.  But all cutting off unemployment insurance would do is make it so Wal-Mart and McDonald's and the gas station around the corner get 14 applications rather than 11 for every position open.  It's not going to put anyone back to work.  For that, you need paying jobs.  And we don't have them.  And we won't, for a long time, if ever.

So, what's the way forward?  I think we're going to need to re-localize.  This is something we will need to do anyway, as the collapse of the United States unfolds in earnest in the last half of the 2010s and the 2020s.  A few towns have already come up with their own local currencies, exchangeable for goods and services produced by local merchants.  The next step is for communities to hire the unemployed, and pay them in local currency.  Put people to work building houses for the homeless and growing food for the hungry.  As state education budgets spiral downwards and public pensions collapse, offer room and board to teachers.  The federal government and big corporations (which are increasingly one and the same anyway) are going to be increasingly useless to actually get anything done.  Both require large amounts of cheap energy and endless economic growth to function--and those are exiting stage left.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2012, 11:48:35 AM »
There's still plenty of work out there.  Everything from bridges that need fixing to kids that need teaching to homeless people who need food and shelter to a thousand and one other socially productive ventures that would add value to people and things.  Trouble is, our economic system doesn't reward people for doing any of this.  So it doesn't get done.  So cue the crosstalk between Left and Right:

So, why not start rewarding people to do these things?

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2012, 12:13:48 PM »
So, why not start rewarding people to do these things?

Because doing so doesn't make the Forbes 400 any richer.  The money we would spend would be money the super-elite could use to buy more islands, yachts, and other toys.  In the eyes of American conservatives, that's a much better use of the money than building roads, bridges and homes for the homeless.

That's the logic of the Big System.  And, ultimately, it will be that system's undoing.  So we need to have local systems in place when the Big System falls apart.

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Aftershock - Impending Economic Collapse?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2012, 12:19:46 PM »
So, why not start rewarding people to do these things?


I think he's got a point - the crisis isn't about dozens of millions of individuals being lazy or unwilling to work (for an illustration of where that view ultimately ends up, check Gina Rinehart's insulting comments about work and wages in Australia earlier this week). There is a huge amount of work that needs to be done, but the market as it's set to function now doesn't allow people in on a broad scale, neither for to hire anyone to do the work, nor to enlist for it.

Ultimately I think we need some other means than money (as in: purely monetary wages, prices or dividends tied to a supposedly fixed currency system) to act as exchange vehicle  for work, goods, rights and so on. Not saying we should give up money, but we need some other yardstick that's also given the status of exchangeometer and which you'd actually be able to trade, pay and hire in. The setup we have now - all over the world really - imposes money as the only value that can express a price on anything (excepting stuff that is recognized as not being possible to put on the market, like the Mona Lisa or, in solemn moments, justice). There's so many people now who have lots of technically free time, ambition and skills - and will to learn new things - but no marketable way, where they are standing, of using that time or capacity, to sell themselves. Why not? Because the system only allows that kind of hiring for a limited band of people.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 12:25:16 PM by gaggedLouise »