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The Great Devaluation
#21
(03-12-2017, 03:23 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: 500 years ago? That's about the time of the Thirty Years War, one of the most dehumanizing wars of all time.

Uh...you're off by a century.  The Thirty Years War was between 1618 and 1648.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

500 years ago the Reformation started.  Probably why some boomers insist that we can't possibly be in a Mega-Unraveling because apparently this 500 years pattern is supposed to be a hard fast rule or something.  (Saeculum B probably throws off his astrological calculations or some such nonsense.)
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#22
(03-12-2017, 05:42 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 03:23 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: 500 years ago? That's about the time of the Thirty Years War, one of the most dehumanizing wars of all time.

Uh...you're off by a century.  The Thirty Years War was between 1618 and 1648.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

500 years ago the Reformation started.  Probably why some boomers insist that we can't possibly be in a Mega-Unraveling because apparently this 500 years pattern is supposed to be a hard fast rule or something.  (Saeculum B probably throws off his astrological calculations or some such nonsense.)

I mark it from the time effective,about 1500, firearms and cannon started reducing castles and other fortifications to rubble because that is when the logic of violence changed.  The political institutions of any society will reflect the logic of violence since those who can wield force can not simply be ignored.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#23
(03-12-2017, 11:00 PM)Galen Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 05:42 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 03:23 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: 500 years ago? That's about the time of the Thirty Years War, one of the most dehumanizing wars of all time.

Uh...you're off by a century.  The Thirty Years War was between 1618 and 1648.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

500 years ago the Reformation started.  Probably why some boomers insist that we can't possibly be in a Mega-Unraveling because apparently this 500 years pattern is supposed to be a hard fast rule or something.  (Saeculum B probably throws off his astrological calculations or some such nonsense.)

I mark it from the time effective,about 1500, firearms and cannon started reducing castles and other fortifications to rubble because that is when the logic of violence changed.  The political institutions of any society will reflect the logic of violence since those who can wield force can not simply be ignored.

Possibly, but the political institutions naturally change more slowly than technological applications.

I have a thread about large spreads of history (and unlike Mike I'm unlikely to change my views with the next documentary I watch).

http://generational-theory.com/forum/thread-712.html
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#24
One problem with shopping over the Internet is with clothing -- how can you tell how something will look on you without trying it on?  (I realize this is more of a concern for women).  And how can one tell whether the pumps that you wear to the office will pinch or not without trying them on?

I have trouble understanding women who purchase many of their clothes on line.  Some things you can certainly get away with, but a suit or a dress or shoes?
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#25
(03-12-2017, 11:00 PM)Galen Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 05:42 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 03:23 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: 500 years ago? That's about the time of the Thirty Years War, one of the most dehumanizing wars of all time.

Uh...you're off by a century.  The Thirty Years War was between 1618 and 1648.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

500 years ago the Reformation started.  Probably why some boomers insist that we can't possibly be in a Mega-Unraveling because apparently this 500 years pattern is supposed to be a hard fast rule or something.  (Saeculum B probably throws off his astrological calculations or some such nonsense.)

I mark it from the time effective,about 1500, firearms and cannon started reducing castles and other fortifications to rubble because that is when the logic of violence changed.  The political institutions of any society will reflect the logic of violence since those who can wield force can not simply be ignored.

OK. The main events of about 500 years ago were the Spanish conquests of the Aztec and Inca empires... until you reminded me of how firearms and cannons started making rubble out of fortifications. Castles became impractical as defenses. That of course changed the way people did war and what political entities were possible.

So what changes in warfare? Do enemies win because they are able to jam the weapons of the other side?  Or because they are able to break radio communications? It is telling that the Armed Forces of the USA are putting much effort into cyber-security. I can imagine an army retreating or surrendering because a fake video by a leading general tells troops to do so. Control of communications will be essential to military command.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#26
And getting back to Strauss & Howe's concept of a Great Devaluation...here's a bearish prediction from one of the stock market's hottest technicians.  (His time horizon largely squares with my own.)

Disclaimer: Nothing here should be construed as trading or investment advice.  Consult your financial advisor for guidance:

"Crash guru warns the Dow could plunge to 14,800 — and today’s a date to watch"
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crash-g...2017-03-13

Of course, anyone here who has lived--and invested--for several decades, today's "hot hand" is tomorrow's flameout.  I'm thinking of past market gurus, like Joe Granville with his "on-balance volume" barometer, and Robert Prechter (perma-bear!) with his once-popular Ellliott Wave theory, the latter approach of which still has its practitioners.

What the market technician predicts as a "worst-case" is about a 29% drop in the Dow, hardly a Great Devaluation.  My rhetorical question, should even that bear market come to pass, who will get the blame?  Obama? or Trump?  Which leads to my next question:  At what point will Trump have to shoulder the blame for any recession/bear market that might materialize in 2017-2018?  He has already taken credit for the post-election stock rally, as well as the solid employment report released last Friday.  Is it all "his baby" now?
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#27
(03-13-2017, 12:56 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 11:00 PM)Galen Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 05:42 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 03:23 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: 500 years ago? That's about the time of the Thirty Years War, one of the most dehumanizing wars of all time.

Uh...you're off by a century.  The Thirty Years War was between 1618 and 1648.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

500 years ago the Reformation started.  Probably why some boomers insist that we can't possibly be in a Mega-Unraveling because apparently this 500 years pattern is supposed to be a hard fast rule or something.  (Saeculum B probably throws off his astrological calculations or some such nonsense.)

I mark it from the time effective,about 1500, firearms and cannon started reducing castles and other fortifications to rubble because that is when the logic of violence changed.  The political institutions of any society will reflect the logic of violence since those who can wield force can not simply be ignored.

OK. The main events of about 500 years ago were the Spanish conquests of the Aztec and Inca empires... until you reminded me of how firearms and cannons started making rubble out of fortifications. Castles became impractical as defenses. That of course changed the way people did war and what political entities were possible.

So what changes in warfare? Do enemies win because they are able to jam the weapons of the other side?  Or because they are able to break radio communications? It is telling that the Armed Forces of the USA are putting much effort into cyber-security. I can imagine an army retreating or  surrendering because a fake video by a leading general tells troops to do so. Control of communications will be essential to military command.

Only if you want an Americas centric approach.  Myself I'm primarily Western Civilization oriented which means that until at least the last half of the 19th century the Americas are a backwater.  For much of that time period where resources came from and where surplus population was shipped off to.

As such I'd maintain that the main events of 500 years ago were not the conquests of Peru, and New Spain (Mexico) but rather the Reformation and Counter Reformation.

However this doesn't take into account the fact that the upcoming saeculum will not be a Mega-Awakening like the Reformation Saeculum was.

I would liken cyber technology most akin to the printing press.  The concerns you listed were similar to dropping leaflets from aircraft during WW2.  I have a feeling that not many troops are going to lay down their arms without a direct order from their superiors.  That is the way they have been trained for centuries.  To lay down one's arms without an order to do so is desertion and punishable (still) by death.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#28
(03-13-2017, 01:19 PM)TeacherinExile Wrote: And getting back to Strauss & Howe's concept of a Great Devaluation...here's a bearish prediction from one of the stock market's hottest technicians.  (His time horizon largely squares with my own.)

Disclaimer: Nothing here should be construed as trading or investment advice.  Consult your financial advisor for guidance:

"Crash guru warns the Dow could plunge to 14,800 — and today’s a date to watch"
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crash-g...2017-03-13

Of course, anyone here who has lived--and invested--for several decades, today's "hot hand" is tomorrow's flameout.  I'm thinking of past market gurus, like Joe Granville with his "on-balance volume" barometer, and Robert Prechter (perma-bear!) with his once-popular Ellliott Wave theory, the latter approach of which still has its practitioners.

What the market technician predicts as a "worst-case" is about a 29% drop in the Dow, hardly a Great Devaluation.  My rhetorical question, should even that bear market come to pass, who will get the blame?  Obama? or Trump?  Which leads to my next question:  At what point will Trump have to shoulder the blame for any recession/bear market that might materialize in 2017-2018?  He has already taken credit for the post-election stock rally, as well as the solid employment report released last Friday.  Is it all "his baby" now?


This article smells of BS.  The stock market is likely due for a correction, but if we're looking at just the stock market then the "Great Recession" ended in the middle of 2009.  Main Street certainly doesn't feel that way.  In fact in many cases Main Street asks "Recovery?  What recovery?"

Indeed had Obama not been running against  an extremely weak GOP candidate he'd likely not been re-elected.  Further that GOP president would have left after 4 years to be replaced by someone else.  Is that fair?  I don't know.  It is what it is.

The simple fact of the matter is that the real economy (you know the one that isn't centered on a couple blocks in NYC) is steadily improving, and that any profit taking on the market would be made right back up.

That being said I've been shorting my stocks since the middle of last year.  Not because I expect a recession but because I expect a market correction.

But do not take what I'm doing as investment advice.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#29
(03-13-2017, 01:49 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-13-2017, 12:56 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: OK. The main events of about 500 years ago were the Spanish conquests of the Aztec and Inca empires... until you reminded me of how firearms and cannons started making rubble out of fortifications. Castles became impractical as defenses. That of course changed the way people did war and what political entities were possible.

So what changes in warfare? Do enemies win because they are able to jam the weapons of the other side?  Or because they are able to break radio communications? It is telling that the Armed Forces of the USA are putting much effort into cyber-security. I can imagine an army retreating or  surrendering because a fake video by a leading general tells troops to do so. Control of communications will be essential to military command.

Only if you want an Americas centric approach.  Myself I'm primarily Western Civilization oriented which means that until at least the last half of the 19th century the Americas are a backwater.  For much of that time period where resources came from and where surplus population was shipped off to.

As such I'd maintain that the main events of 500 years ago were not the conquests of Peru, and New Spain (Mexico) but rather the Reformation and Counter Reformation.

This is the correct view of the matter.  Once the logic of violence had changed then the institutions which depended on that had to change.  You can always tell when the preeminent institution is bankrupt which at the time was the Church which is very significant in a world saturated by religion.  The widespread use of the printing press also aided in the dissolution of the Church's monopoly on religion.

Fast forward five-hundred years and what do we have.  It would appear that defense is regaining the upper hand since it would appear that it is becoming increasingly harder to project power from the center.  Consider that in 1914 the number of nations in the world compared to the number that exist now.  Then there is the small matter of computers of which the internet is only one small facet of that technology.  It is not only the internet but 3-D printing and other manufacturing technologies that are derived from computers which are going to change the economy is ways that the state will find hard to control.  Then there is the small matter of living in a world saturated with politics and preeminent institution, in this case the state, is bankrupt.

Sounds like a very similar set of conditions to those of the sixteenth century now exist.


(03-13-2017, 01:49 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would liken cyber technology most akin to the printing press.  The concerns you listed were similar to dropping leaflets from aircraft during WW2.  I have a feeling that not many troops are going to lay down their arms without a direct order from their superiors.  That is the way they have been trained for centuries.  To lay down one's arms without an order to do so is desertion and punishable (still) by death.

This is a good analogy and you are right about how troops are likely to react.  A more important question is does the twenty-first century mark the demise of the nation-state in the way the sixteenth did to the Church?
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#30
(03-13-2017, 03:08 PM)Galen Wrote:
(03-13-2017, 01:49 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(03-13-2017, 12:56 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: OK. The main events of about 500 years ago were the Spanish conquests of the Aztec and Inca empires... until you reminded me of how firearms and cannons started making rubble out of fortifications. Castles became impractical as defenses. That of course changed the way people did war and what political entities were possible.

So what changes in warfare? Do enemies win because they are able to jam the weapons of the other side?  Or because they are able to break radio communications? It is telling that the Armed Forces of the USA are putting much effort into cyber-security. I can imagine an army retreating or  surrendering because a fake video by a leading general tells troops to do so. Control of communications will be essential to military command.

Only if you want an Americas centric approach.  Myself I'm primarily Western Civilization oriented which means that until at least the last half of the 19th century the Americas are a backwater.  For much of that time period where resources came from and where surplus population was shipped off to.

As such I'd maintain that the main events of 500 years ago were not the conquests of Peru, and New Spain (Mexico) but rather the Reformation and Counter Reformation.

This is the correct view of the matter.  Once the logic of violence had changed then the institutions which depended on that had to change.  You can always tell when the preeminent institution is bankrupt which at the time was the Church which is very significant in a world saturated by religion.  The widespread use of the printing press also aided in the dissolution of the Church's monopoly on religion.

Fast forward five-hundred years and what do we have.  It would appear that defense is regaining the upper hand since it would appear that it is becoming increasingly harder to project power from the center.  Consider that in 1914 the number of nations in the world compared to the number that exist now.  Then there is the small matter of computers of which the internet is only one small facet of that technology.  It is not only the internet but 3-D printing and other manufacturing technologies that are derived from computers which are going to change the economy is ways that the state will find hard to control.  Then there is the small matter of living in a world saturated with politics and preeminent institution, in this case the state, is bankrupt.

Sounds like a very similar set of conditions to those of the sixteenth century now exist.


(03-13-2017, 01:49 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: I would liken cyber technology most akin to the printing press.  The concerns you listed were similar to dropping leaflets from aircraft during WW2.  I have a feeling that not many troops are going to lay down their arms without a direct order from their superiors.  That is the way they have been trained for centuries.  To lay down one's arms without an order to do so is desertion and punishable (still) by death.

This is a good analogy and you are right about how troops are likely to react.  A more important question is does the twenty-first century mark the demise of the nation-state in the way the sixteenth did to the Church?

Revolutionary changes bring to an end social orders with serious weaknesses. I'm thinking that the political orders that do least well in meeting basic human needs are most likely to die. I'm guessing that the most vulnerable countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, where national boundaries are colonial boundaries set at the latest in the aftermath of World War I with no reference to ethnic divisions. 

....

We are going to see big changes in economic practices. I can imagine much of retail becoming irrelevant, limited to items of high perishability (groceries), hazards that make personal storage inappropriate (motor fuels -- unless car go all-electric), fragility (some housewares)  and need for a close fit (clothing -- I certainly wouldn't buy shoes on-line).

... back to the military: ruses have worked in the past. Soldiers are obliged to follow orders to retreat, too. I can imagine an enemy army creating false orders even down to faking the voice and image of commanding officers and heads of state. Jam the communications within an army and that army might even start firing on its own, let alone quit shooting. If the Soviets could jam Radio Free Europe, then why could they not jam communications within NATO?
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#31
(03-13-2017, 03:08 PM)Galen Wrote: This is the correct view of the matter.  Once the logic of violence had changed then the institutions which depended on that had to change.  You can always tell when the preeminent institution is bankrupt which at the time was the Church which is very significant in a world saturated by religion.  The widespread use of the printing press also aided in the dissolution of the Church's monopoly on religion.

Fast forward five-hundred years and what do we have.  It would appear that defense is regaining the upper hand since it would appear that it is becoming increasingly harder to project power from the center.  Consider that in 1914 the number of nations in the world compared to the number that exist now.  Then there is the small matter of computers of which the internet is only one small facet of that technology.  It is not only the internet but 3-D printing and other manufacturing technologies that are derived from computers which are going to change the economy is ways that the state will find hard to control.  Then there is the small matter of living in a world saturated with politics and preeminent institution, in this case the state, is bankrupt.

Sounds like a very similar set of conditions to those of the sixteenth century now exist.

I thought it most correct to take a look at the Reformation. In my thread Wheels within Wheels I have discussed how the Reformation was the major event of the Mega-Awakening. From he nailing of his theses on the door down through the end of the mega-saeculum in the French Revolution the whole period was filled with religious violence and an obsession with Protestantism vs Popery.

It was mostly contained within the Reformation and New World saecula, but by the Enlightenment the two had been at stalemate long enough for a new order to take shape. That new order of course required much blood letting to be set up in the years between 1789-1815.

Galen Wrote:This is a good analogy and you are right about how troops are likely to react.  A more important question is does the twenty-first century mark the demise of the nation-state in the way the sixteenth did to the Church?

I'm not entirely sure. The Catholic Church still exists though in a much diminished form. As for Europe, Nation-States are formed on the basis of Nations (See Stalin's Marxism and the National Question), and it is unlikely that mankind has evolved to a point where a state is no longer necessary so I doubt it.

Will the nation-state be greatly diminished? Probably.

(03-13-2017, 08:10 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Revolutionary changes bring to an end social orders with serious weaknesses. I'm thinking that the political orders that do least well in meeting basic human needs are most likely to die. I'm guessing that the most vulnerable countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, where national boundaries are colonial boundaries set at the latest in the aftermath of World War I with no reference to ethnic divisions. 

Sub-Saharan Africa is most likely to revert to its natural state of tribe, tribal warfare and subsistence agriculture. At the risk of being accused of being racist, civilizations typically only advance as far as they need to. In Africa, there was little demand to advance past subsistence agriculture and working with iron tools.

In the West the current order arose out of labor shortages caused by the black death. And as is their general disposition, Whites pushed those solutions to the furthest extreme. In short I think it likely that without a demographic winter Western Countries are doomed to collapse. That they are choosing to try to avoid that by importing incompatible persons to their countries will result in the demise of the current nation states.

That assumes of course the populist movements don't turn violent.

....

Quote:We are going to see big changes in economic practices. I can imagine much of retail becoming irrelevant, limited to items of high perishability (groceries), hazards that make personal storage inappropriate (motor fuels -- unless car go all-electric), fragility (some housewares)  and need for a close fit (clothing -- I certainly wouldn't buy shoes on-line).

Retail is already largely irrelevant. I don't go to the store if I can avoid it. Which means I'm limited to grocery shopping, farmer's market for veg (I get better deals there), cloths purchases (need to fit the kid--still growing, but I could buy my cloths online since I know my size) and shoes.

I imagine some housewares would remain in retail as would motor fuels. All electric cars are a fantasy--by the time they are implmented there won't be enough oil energy to manufacture them, and unless the Boomers suddenly die off we're not setting up new nuke stations any time soon. I suppose we could use coal for a while but that's a stopgap at best. Coal is very dirty and people don't like the particulate.

Quote:... back to the military: ruses have worked in the past. Soldiers are obliged to follow orders to retreat, too.

They do. And orders come from an established chain of command and are typically written except for orders given close in field. In which case the radio operator is expected to learn the voice of the other radio operators. In order to do such a ruse one would have to practically kidnap at least one radio operator, ideally one close to the general in the field. They are well protected.

Quote:I can imagine an enemy army creating false orders even down to faking the voice and image of commanding officers and heads of state.

You could imagine it sure. But imagining something and doing something are two different creatures.

Quote: Jam the communications within an army and that army might even start firing on its own, let alone quit shooting. If the Soviets could jam Radio Free Europe, then why could they not jam communications within NATO?

Jamming radio communications only causes the radio frequency to become filled with static. The military would change to a different predtermined frequency (and the enemy even with good spies can't know all of them).

Jamming only works so far. For example in Florida they used to be able to jam Radio Havana but if you go four miles out into the Atlantic you can pick it up clear as a bell. Even then, they didn't jam it all the time. Radio Havana would broadcast in English and Spanish on bouncing frequencies. Often the air force targeted the wrong frequency.

Since normalization of relations has started, they're no longer jamming Radio Havana.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#32
(03-14-2017, 12:54 AM)Kinser79 Wrote:
Galen Wrote:This is a good analogy and you are right about how troops are likely to react.  A more important question is does the twenty-first century mark the demise of the nation-state in the way the sixteenth did to the Church?

I'm not entirely sure.  The Catholic Church still exists though in a much diminished form.  As for Europe, Nation-States are formed on the basis of Nations (See Stalin's Marxism and the National Question), and it is unlikely that mankind has evolved to a point where a state is no longer necessary so I doubt it.

Will the nation-state be greatly diminished?  Probably.

Exactly where I was going.  As Lord Rees-Mogg and Davidson might have said, "The rituals of citizenship in the future will regarded as irrational as the religious rituals of the Middle Ages".
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#33
The rituals of citizenship are more or less regarded as irrational now.
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
Reply
#34
(03-14-2017, 03:46 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: The rituals of citizenship are more or less regarded as irrational now.

Exactly, because they offer no or limited upside and a huge downside.  We have an out of control government that treats citizens as tax livestock.  This is a perfect recipe for people to walk away and I would suggest that the rise of the informal economy in recent years is a symptom of the process I describe.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
Reply
#35
(03-14-2017, 03:57 AM)Galen Wrote:
(03-14-2017, 03:46 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: The rituals of citizenship are more or less regarded as irrational now.

Exactly, because they offer no or limited upside and a huge downside.  We have an out of control government that treats citizens as tax livestock.  This is a perfect recipe for people to walk away and I would suggest that the rise of the informal economy in recent years is a symptom of the process I describe.

We have exchanged that for a government in the service of people that it designates to be collectors of the biggest rents possible, much like feudal magnates, who see the rest of humanity as livestock at the most flattering and as vermin to be exterminated at the harshest. We have a government full of people who see a Marxist critique of capitalism and think 'can we make it even more exploitative for our sake?'

In such an order, there are but two classes: the elites and subjects.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#36
Despotism can meet basic human needs only by chance.  At that one has the unlikely phenomenon of the Benevolent Dictator or Wise King. Most dictators and kings prove crassly selfish.

We need democracy to make the biggest decisions, including how to introduce the post-post-modern era of robotic production that can outdo any mass manufacturing. Maybe we let the robots do the factory work and the farm labor and tax such heavily, People will get to do their own handicrafts and creative activity... but are we up to it?

People may see the End of Work as the end of their way of living and find Donald Trump, who promises a return to the 1920s (when America really was great -- if one was part of the economic elite) in which people really worked 70-hour weeks. What opportunity!

It was also ruinous to people who did such work. Electrification of factories created more potential for production while wages lagged. The consequence was an economic imbalance that brought about the Great Depression. So we solved that problem by cutting the workweek to 40 hours.

We will have to do much the same in an era of extreme automation. But what do we do with the much-vaunted Work Ethic that kept people believing that work was enough to life?

I have a suggestion: why don't we dedicate that Work Ethic to the fullest possible enjoyment of life?
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#37
Probably the best civics lesson I have ever found -- brief, simple, profound, universal, and somewhat cynical.





It applies as much to Lenin and Pinochet, to Tito and Trump, and to Lincoln and Satan Hussein alike.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#38
The USA is going  all Soviet.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/11/...lprit.html

From https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/11/se...cies-.html

...  Slightly edited.
["decadence" on the individual, personal level taking the form of "my life is shit and X is the only (physical, tangible) pleasure i have so i'll just do as much X as i can until i die" where X = any combination of (cigarettes, food, opioids,booze,meth,sexual promiscuity, debting etc. ) ] is the direct result of neoconservative and neoliberal policies.

I do think though, our elites are hopelessly blind to all manner of anomie because economic growth and cut, cut taxes and social programs are their bread and butter.
---Value Added Cool
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#39
It's  official. We have entered a bear market. Five years ago I would have been confident that the bottom for this bear market would be in the 7000's on the Dow (750-900 on the S&P 500). My confidence would have come from the apparent success of my stock cycles model which predicted a secular bear market lasting for about 20 years after 2000 (see link). 

https://www.amazon.com/Stock-Cycles-Stocks-Markets-Twenty/dp/0595132421


Secular bear markets are a period of sideways action when the market makes no progress like in the 1930's, 1970's and the 2000's. Over the 2000-2014 period the action of the market corresponded to past secular bear markets as shown in the first figure in this article:


https://safehaven.com/article/44403/stoc...2017-06-13


The graph shows the market trajectory since Jan 1999. In 2014 (year 15) the market rose above where it had been in secular bear markets, indicating one of two things: 
(1) that the secular bear market had ended in 2009, at a level higher than the last three secular bear markets, but above the one from the 19th century.
(2) the structure of the secular market had changed.

At its September peak, the market reached a level consistent with the start of a secular bear market. That is, the end of what is called a secular bull market. The term "secular" refers to a trend that lasts longer than a single business cycle. The 2000-2009 decline contains two recessions and one expansion as so still is secular because it extended beyond a single business cycle. However this entire post-2009 rise has been within a single expansion, so it's not really a secular bull market, but an ordinary bull market. However we are fully as high as a typical secular bull market level end (e.g. a bit higher than 1929).

With the bear market call, the bull is over, it ran from March 2009 to September 2018, longest in history. Typically the end of the bull market occurs 3-9 months before the associated expansion, so I expect the NBER to call the start of the next recession in 1Q to 3Q 2019.  So this bear market will be a recession-linked bear, as all the bear markets since 1990 have been. And it will be a bear from a high level so the declines will almost certainly be more than 50%. Therefore I believe you can *probably* from here profitably and get back in lower, if you are on a short (less than a decade before you retire). If you have more than decade, no problem, the market will recover, even if it tanks 70% (which it might) DON"T sell at the bottom.

Ok, disclaimers in, How low can we go? Well it depends on whether to treat this as an "orthodox" secular bear market, in which the levels I mentioned above would apply, or whether you consider the 2009 bottom as the "new normal". My gut feeling is, the lower levels (7000-10000) are only likely if we get another financial crisis AND there is no TARP-like effort to prevent a collapse in asset prices (i.e. a potential Wall St bailout fails to pass). If we get a crisis and a TARP II then the 10000-13000 range is more likely. And if there is no crisis at all then we could be bottoming around 15000-18000.
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#40
I predicted the start of this bear market to the month. I still say the recession which I think will follow will not be as severe as 2008-09.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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