The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Month: June 2011 Page 1 of 2

One more note on the New York Gay Marriage, Cuomo and the Gay Rights Movement

1) The left sells each other out for either small tactical gains, or nothing at all (hello national NARAL) all the time, so why shouldn’t the gays promise to help Cuomo in his next election for giving them gay marriage, even if it screws unions and helps an austerity governor?

2) The reason gays get anything is that unlike the rest of the left, they did two things: they cut off the donations, and they got ugly in people’s faces.  They stopped playing nice.  They stopped playing by the rules.  They stopped worrying about whether people in power “liked” them (hello National NARAL) and started playing rough.

3) Given that the left doesn’t hang together, which means that the choice is “gay marriage + austerity”, or “no gay marriage + austerity”, well, why not gay marriage plus a shitty economy?

The fact still remains that the left doesn’t hang together well enough, and that that is going to cost a lot of people lives, jobs, health and so on.  More and more as time goes on.  There is only one cardinal rule to effective alliances, no separate peace.  Those who are making a separate peace with Cuomo because they got what they care about more than anything else, are not allies of the rest of the left.

But when rats are deserting the ship, when everyone would rather hang separately, because they won’t hang together, perhaps a separate peace is all that can be hoped for.  Let those few who think they can make it, do so, the rest can suck on the shitty economy, war and so on, that are coming down the line.  “Every interest for itself” can be the battle cry of the left, I guess, the ultimate repudiation of the foundational beliefs that give, er, gave, the left moral authority.

Basics: anyone who will sell you out is not on “your side”

Look, if a special interest that is nominally on the left is willing to sell out other parts of the left in order to get its little item, they are not on your side.  Period.  End of sentence.  An alliance, coalition or ideological movement’s first and most important rule is solidarity:



Anyone who is willing to do so is not your friend, is not on your side, is not an ally and is no longer due support, and should be run out of town, absolutely destroyed.  The only thing worse than an enemy is a traitor.

Any member of the left who is willing to make a separate peace is a traitor.

I’m too used to this sort of strategic and moral stupidity to cry, but the fact that people don’t understand this most basic of facts would make me weep if I had tears left.  It is beyond pathetic that so-called members of the left don’t understand this.

To be specific, it’s nice that Cuomo signed gay marriage legislation, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still an evil fuck who’s breaking unions, who are a core part of the left, and whose destruction will mean a significant decline in standards of living in the middle and working class because they are what pins wages at a higher level.

Cuomo is still putting the cost for the financial meltdown on ordinary people, rather than the bankers who caused it.  He is impoverishing people as a result, people will die as a result. People will lose their homes as a result.

The correct response to him signing the gay marriage bill is “good first step, but you still don’t have our support as long as you are attacking key parts of the coalition and protecting our enemies.”

(And if you don’t have the stomach to call bankers your enemies, you are a coward or a fool or your revenue stream comes from the oligarchy).

Less Cuomo Fellation please

Como’s still busy destroying unions and crushing standards of living in New York. I’m so pro-gay marriage I once didn’t talk to my father for 6 months because of an argument over it, but it is not the only issue, and it does not make Cuomo a good governor any more than any other single issue does.  He is still the enemy of anyone who believes economic justice, a fair wage or a good economy.

This, by the way, is another example of the shiny and how “progressives” get distracted by it.  The corporate financial interests, aka. the people who are destroying your standard of living and denying you universal health care, are cool with gay marriage and other socially progressive issues.  They don’t care whether you’re black, red, white, brown, pink with purple polka dots, or married to a man, woman, or someone in between, all they care is that you’re a debt slave or wage slave, squished firmly under their feet.  Cuomo firmly follows the policies of that class of people, he has nothing against gays, he has everything against making bankers and rich people pay for destroying the economy and intends to force the poor and middle class to pay the entire freight.

But hey, you’ll be married to the man or woman of your choice when you get kicked out of your house or apartment after you lose your job.


The Psychiatric Drug Industry

The New York Review of Books looks into the question of why there is an epidemic of mental illness, and if the drugs used to treat problems like depression actually work.

Short answer, no, the evidence for the drugs working is exceptionally weak.

Longer answer, the drugs mess with the patient’s brains, and in the longer term they make their condition worse.  The brain tries to neutralize the extra neurotransmitter, or to produce more of the suppressed neurotransmitter, but it eventually fails and burns out, creating what appears to be close to permanent damage (the brain is remarkably plastic so I hesitate to say it lasts forever, but Whitaker’s book, which I have read, includes evidence that even years don’t repair the damage.)

To put it simply, the psychiatric establishment has been corrupted by the pharmaceutical industry.  Shrinks, as a group, remind me of economists, most of them are frauds who follow an orthodoxy they never examine properly, highly credentialed fools who do more damage than good, prescribing medicine based on theories which have never been shown to match reality, or work.

The shiny

Some brief points, since apparently the shiny distracts people.

1) This is not the 60s and 70s. This is not then. Repeat after me, “this is not the 60s”. The US then was much richer and fundamentally much stronger and more prosperous. There were many complaints behind the Arab spring, but at bottom people were willing to put themselves on the line for one reason: food prices. Food prices for the laboring class.

2) When Americans can’t afford to eat, they’ll either starve or revolt.  And yes, you are going to get there.  Barring an unlikely turnaround of current long term trends, you will eventually be forced to choose: to live or die on your bellies, like worms; or to fight and in many cases, die, on your feet.

3) You’re not the only country in the world, and I am not writing just about or for you.

4) When you deny the legitimacy of people fighting for their rights, we’re not on the same side (that’s fine, just noting it).  That is true if you deny the rebels in India, the Palestinians, the Syrians or the Libyans.  Or Americans, for that matter.

5) Everything is about trade-offs.  People are dying right now because of the way the world and specific countries are being run.  People get distracted by explosions and words like violence, me, I look at the people dying for lack of health care, food and housing.  The people who commit suicide because of the financial downturn.  The wives and children being beaten because their husband or father cracked under financial stress that needn’t exist.  The trillions spent on bankers and wars which could have been used to make people lives better, healthier, and yes, save lives.  Westerners are already dying. You’re already dying. You’re already being killed. You or your friends or loved ones already don’t have jobs because of the oligarchy.  And you means Americans, Europeans, Arabs, Afghanis, and on and on.

Any moral calculus has to take into account the people already suffering, the people already dying.  Every year it goes on, the list of dead and walking wounded grows.  It is not a question of violence vs. non-violence.  The damage, the violence, is already being done.  And everyone who cries for incrementalism must understand that every year adds to the list.  “Try everything else first” condemns those people to die.  The longer we don’t fix our problems, don’t fix our elite, the more people die.  If 10X as many died in a revolution as the yearly burn rate (which is going up), would that be more than have died, will die, while we sit on our thumbs and rotate?

But my best guess is this.  The US will get a revolution, and it will come from the right.  I’m not even particularly concerned about it at this point.  The US is as close as a country gets to a write-off, because that’s what Americans want (for example, a majority not wanting to raise the debt ceiling) and a culture with majority approval for torture isn’t high on my triage list.  Sure, it’d be nice to save America, plenty of good Americans, but the culture is now beyond corrupt and into evil.  The question is whether everyone else goes down with America.  So far everyone else (except Iceland) seems to be chaining themselves to the Titanic.

So be it.  Plenty of folks knew WWII was coming and couldn’t stop it.  Sometimes what will be will just be, not because it couldn’t be stopped, but because people just refuse to do what it takes.  And there is nothing Westerners won’t do, no trouble or expense in blood or gold, to not solve a problem.

Strategies for Resistance and Change

There are multiple strategies for change in a corrupt and oligarchical society.  They aren’t all mutually exclusive.  Let’s run through some of them.

Showing Up and Playing Nice (aka. Demonstrations)

Demonstrations by themselves work when your lords and masters want them to.  In some time periods this is because your lords and masters have a moral system which allows them to feel shame.  Seeing demonstrators who believe in peace, or not being racist, or not ruling India for Britain’s benefit, triggers the morals they have, and they are moved.

In other time periods this is because they need the consent of the governed, and they know that the next step beyond demonstrations is something worse.  During the Great Depression there were occasions in which citizens took the police on, straight up.  Within living memory union members had fought the army straight up.  So when people started demonstrating in large numbers in the 60s, there were still people in power who remembered all that.  It didn’t make them give in, right away, but it did make them think.  At this point and time, no one in power in the US and much of the West, remembers the last time the population got uppity enough to go toe-to-toe with military or paramilitary forces.

Huge demonstrations could be, but haven’t been, as a rule, occasions to build real organizations.  When all those people show up, all their names should be being gathered, local lodges should be being created, and so on.  So far that hasn’t been done.  Why, I’m not entirely sure, but what I’ve seen is that the people who run the large national organizations like the national chapters of NARAL or NOW, for example, just want a mailing list, they don’t really want a lot of direct action.  They want to play the inside game, make deals and concessions, play like they’re Senators, not like outsiders.  They don’t want a vibrant organization full of motivated people who would call them on their sellouts, who would make them fight their friends in DC.

Remember, though, that demonstrations as just showing up, only work if the oligarchy wants it to.  If the teabaggers show up with a couple hundred people, that will get media coverage, because the oligarchy found them useful.  If anti-war protesters show up in the hundreds of thousands, yawn.  No media coverage for you.  Not only do you not get through to your lords and masters, you don’t even let the rest of the population know what’s going on.

Showing up and shutting things down

The next step up.  This is what the French unions often do.  Get the truckers involved, pull the trucks up, and shut the roads down.  Go to a refinery, in large numbers (not a couple dozen) and occupy it.  Don’t move voluntarily.  If the cops want to move you, make them do it the hard way.  (I leave the definition of hard way to each organizing group’s own conscience.)  Shut down commerce.  Shut down key facilities which are worth a lot of money to the oligarchy.  Don’t let anything move.  Cost them money.  Force the police to choose sides.  They won’t always choose yours, but sometimes they will.

This method applies costs to the oligarchy.  It changes their cost/benefit analysis.  And since cost/benefit is how the oligarchy has been trained to think, it can have some effect.  This method works best if you can get the blue collars on your side, in particular the folks who regularly use big equipment.  Miners, construction workers, truckers, and so on.  In Europe these people tend to be left wing, in the US they have been co-opted, an this is one reason why your lords and masters don’t care what you think, because you don’t have the big iron backing you up.  (A main battle tank can be taken on by the right construction equipment used in the right way.  The US army knows this.)


Of course I would never write that I think anyone should riot.  However, as a practical matter, sometimes people do, for example the Greeks, right now.  Maybe you don’t want to be impoverished for the rest of your life to pay off rich oligarchs who don’t pay taxes for a crisis they deliberately created so they could buy up state assets at cents on a dollar.  You’ve decided to fight, and not lay down.  Ok then.

So if you’re going to riot, let’s talk about how you do it.  First, don’t riot in your own fucking neighbourhood.  The oligarchy doesn’t care if you destroy your own assets, or if you fight the police where members of the oligarchy aren’t.  Cops are members of the servant class, the oligarchy doesn’t give one damn if a few of them get messed up, that’s what they’re there for.  If you are going to riot, go to where the oligarchs live.  March on their neighbourhoods, and fight the cops on the way there, or once you get there.  If the cops don’t fight you on the way there, feel free to set up your trucks and completely shut down the entire district so no one can get through.  Remember, while I would never tell anyone to be violent, if for your own reasons you’ve decided, like America’s founders, that you’ve had it up to here, and aren’t taking it anymore, do it where it matters.  Productive assets owned by the oligarchs are also good.  Or how about their yacht clubs.  Use your imagination.

Note also that Malcolm X makes Martin Luther King possible.  Everyone doesn’t have to have the strategy, what they must not do is what Arundhati Roy refused to do, they must not condemn others on the same side.

Shunning and Shaming

Simple shunning and shaming works great and doesn’t need to involve any violence.  Find out the schedule of every member of government, every oligarch and every senior bureaucrat who thinks the best way to deal with a crisis is to screw ordinary people and show up everywhere they do.  Heckle them, surround the building they are in.  When they come out, scream at them.  Make their daily lives miserable.  Make it so they can’t go anywhere without a police escort.  No violence necessary.  Just get in their faces and let them know what you think of their policies.  Ben Nelson being booed at a pizza parlor, a minor example, shook him up to no end.  Don’t do business with them.  Don’t shake their hands if you run into them.  Make it clear that most of the population considers them a moral leper.

The Difference Between Violence and a Willingness To Die

Two different things.  If you are a non-violent protester who wishes to have full effect, you must, at the least, be willing to be beaten, and to die.  The protesters in Egypt were willing to die.   To the extent they succeeded (and that extent is not yet known, since getting rid of Mubarak may not change much that matters) it was when they made the army choose between shooting them, and protecting Mubarak.  They forced the army to make that choice.  The army wasn’t willing to, though since then they’ve proved willing to shoot Egyptians for themselves.

Shutting things down in ways that really hurts the oligarchy, even if done in a completely non-violent way, is going to be met with violent response quite often.  You must know, upfront, what you will do in that case.

Opting Out and Creating a New System

Be clear, the financial oligarchs don’t make most of their money directly from you.  They make their money by packaging revenue streams (or what appear to be revenue streams) and selling those streams.  So , mortgages, debt of various kinds, parking receipts, rent on public buildings sold to investors and then leased back, and so on.  That’s how they make their money. Other elites may sell you things, but they too are in the financialization system.  Everyone is looking for a locked in stream, which is why there is the huge push to make sure you own nothing.  Put your data in the “Apple Cloud” and that’s great, as long as you can make your monthly payments.

Opting out is about finding a way to live which puts you on the hook for as little of this as possible.  You lose a ton of convenience by opting out (tried to travel without a credit card?)  But to the extent you refuse to be on the hook for monthly payments, whether mortgage or credit card, or anything else, you both increase your freedom and you decrease their power by decreasing the revenue streams they want to monetize.  Their key focus is “must have”.  You must have a phone, you must have internet access, you must have food, you have housing,  you must have health insurance (because you will be forced to buy it).  What you must have, what you must pay, is what can be securitized, what is a reliable revenue/rent stream.  Every part of the oligarchy wants to lock this down, that’s why they make it harder and harder to go bankrupt, that’s why they try and make things which aren’t property (ideas) into intellectual “property”, that’s why they make unpatentable drugs illegal and patentable drugs massively expensive.

To the extent that you can get yourself and other people out of the system, you are directly hitting the oligarchy, not just because of revenue, but because the less dependent people are, the more they can oppose the oligarchy.  This means growing food among small groups (something they are trying to make illegal).  This means figuring out how to provide local energy without going through the utilities.  This means creating your own financial institutions, by hook or crook.  This is the work of creating ground based power.  The right wing does this through their churches, the left has lost its lodges, the unions are in disarray, the co-ops have not caught up the slack and so on. There is a ton of room here for real social entrepreneurs (ones who don’t want to cash out).

It is important to have a market of markets.  That is to say, right now, the only way most people can make a living is to work for someone else.  That’s it.  In the old days, if things didn’t work out, you could go back to the farm, or in the even older days you could just go homestead.  It might not be that great a life, but it was an alternative to the system.  As a result, the system had to treat you enough better than the alternative (family agriculture or subsistence agriculture), to keep you away from it.  Even as that went away, there was the spectre of communism.  The Western world felt it was necessary to treat their population better than the Communist world.  When the Communist bloc fell, the oligarchs shrugged and said “so, where are they going to go?”  With no other options, they no longer had to treat their own population well, or so they felt.

Opting out isn’t just about hurting the oligarchs directly, it is about creating that other economy.  Call if the slow economy, call it “off the grid”, whatever.  A place where people can get shelter, food, clothing and basic healthcare without being involved in the mainstream economy.  What that world, should it be created, will offer, is autonomy.  It will offer not having a boss riding you 40 hours a week and emailing you at home.  Your material circumstances may be lower, but autonomy is worth a lot of happiness and peace of mind.

This certainly isn’t easy to do.  The counterculture tried, and to a large extent failed. It is still necessary, because without the threat of an operating alternative system which people can go to, the current system sees no reason to treat people well.

Concluding Remarks

This certainly isn’t exhaustive, nor is it meant to be.   The point is that there are a variety of different strategies, and different strategies are suitable for different times, places and circumstances.  If you’re drawn to one strategy, that’s probably what you should be working on.  At the same time, recognize that some strategies may prove more successful than others, depending on the circumstances.  No strategy works in every time and place.

And for God’s sake, don’t imitate your idiot masters.  If at first something doesn’t succeed, and if you try and try and try again, and it still doesn’t work, try something else.

Stephen Moss tells us the powerful do as they will and the weak can suck it up

So, here’s Stephen Moss interviewing Arundhati Roy:

    I want to talk more about Mary Roy – and eventually we do – but there’s one important point to clear up first. Guerrillas use violence, generally directed against the police and army, but sometimes causing injury and death to civilians caught in the crossfire. Does she condemn that violence? “I don’t condemn it any more,” she says. “If you’re an adivasi [tribal Indian] living in a forest village and 800 CRP [Central Reserve Police] come and surround your village and start burning it, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to go on hunger strike? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.”

    Her critics label her a Maoist sympathiser. Is she? “I am a Maoist sympathiser,” she says. “I’m not a Maoist ideologue, because the communist movements in history have been just as destructive as capitalism. But right now, when the assault is on, I feel they are very much part of the resistance that I support.”

    Roy talks about the resistance as an “insurrection”; she makes India sound as if it’s ripe for a Chinese or Russian-style revolution. So how come we in the west don’t hear about these mini-wars? “I have been told quite openly by several correspondents of international newspapers,” she says, “that they have instructions – ‘No negative news from India’ – because it’s an investment destination. So you don’t hear about it. But there is an insurrection, and it’s not just a Maoist insurrection. Everywhere in the country, people are fighting.” I find the suggestion that such an injunction exists – or that self-respecting journalists would accept it – ridiculous. Foreign reporting of India might well be lazy or myopic, but I don’t believe it’s corrupt…

    I question her absolutism, her Manichaean view of the world, but I admire her courage.

Could Moss be a bigger sack of sanctimonious shit?  Calling her Manichaean for allowing that people have the right to self defense, while not recognizing his own Manichean thinking that only the state should engage in violence, no matter what it does?  Thinking that his business is not corrupt, the business which repeated the lies which lead to the Iraq war, and that he knows better what’s going on in India than she does.  Thinking that what journalists think matters, as if such injunctions can be disobeyed when they are enforced by editors neither assigning such stories nor running such stories if submitted without being asked for.

There has been a major insurrection going on in India for a long time, it’s true that newspapers like the Guardian don’t cover it, but a cursory google search brings up plenty of information: entire provinces are in dispute, this is not in question.  Moss hasn’t even bothered to do any research before dismissing Roy.

The sanctimony of Moss, where ordinary people who might kill people fighting back should just take it and always engage in peaceful protest, while the nations of the world, including India, kill far far more people than those guerillas do, ever day, is staggering in its immensity.  The willful ignorance, the assertion of moral superiority, the smug judgment is all immense in its self-absorption.

It’s such a pity that the Glorious Revolution and Founders of the US, and so on, didn’t have people like Stephen Moss around to tell them that non-violence is always the way to go.

Non-violence works when you are dealing with people who give a fuck what you think.  When you’re a bunch of dirt-poor peasants whose only value is the land you’re living on, you have no leverage.  None.  There is nothing you can do that outweighs the money that is to be made by moving you out of the way, and if moving you means getting you dead, that works too.

This lesson, of the sharp limits of non-violence, is one the world’s effete leftists are going to have learn, and learn the hard way.  At the very least you have to be willing to make life unpleasant for your enemies, to get in their face, to shut down their hotels, their factories, their airports, their refineries, their businesses.  That is at the least.  Modern elites are selected for their ability to do make decisions based on cost-benefit analysis, taking into account only money, the possibility of harm to self or the immediate family, and the possibility of going to jail (minimal).  Everything else is irrelevant to their decision making calculus.  If the cost of moving you aside, to them, not to you, or to the environment, or society, or to the children, or to God, is less than the benefit of doing so, for them, they will do so. End of story.  Morals and ethics do not come into it.  Period.  The communications industry runs on minerals out of the Congo, which is a region ruled by mass systemic rape.

There used to be some in-groups.  That is to say, if you were American or European, you could expect to not be treated like a black African.  You could expect that the benefits of hegemony would be spread around.  And as Asian nations joined the club, their governments took care of them too.  If you didn’t have a government capable of or interested in looking out for you, well, too bad (see South America, post-war decline).

Those in-groups are fading.  In the Western world they are gone or going in major nations.  American elites do not think they need share anything with Americans.  The Brits are heading down this road.  The French still will share with whites, but dark immigrants can suck on it.  Harsh austerity is being pushed on Spanish, Portuguese, Irish and so on, and their own elites are have their hand on the pointy end of the stick, driving it into their citizens throats.  “Cough it up,” they scream, “we know you have more blood to give! More!  More!  MORE!”

This is the modern world, where in nation after nation the elites have become unmoored from any concern, not for general humanity, neither they nor the populations they rule have ever had that, but even for concern for their own populations.  The disease is not at the same stage everywhere, the Chinese still care for the Han, the Indians take care of non-aborigines, but the in-groups are shrinking, and what is shared with them, what they are seen as deserving, is being reduced, step by step.  I remember when I was in England, being told by a friendly ex-Pol that of course austerity was no big deal, and those multi-generation welfare bums had it coming, as if welfare had anything to do with the financial crisis, and if the amount of money which could be saved by screwing the poor would be enough to make a difference.

As Thucydides said, “the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.”  I don’t think he approved of that maxim the way that Moss appears to.

Instead men like Stephen Moss are there to justify the abuse of the weak by the strong, to denigrate the right of people who are having everything taken from them to fight back, to spew their bullshit about how violence is only justified when it’s the state bombing someone, but never in fighting back against an unjust state.  The world has many Stephen Moss’s, the world will have many more, and the world has always had Stephen Moss’s, the moral apologists of corrupt systems, the men who wring their hands and tell the powerless they should stay powerless, that they should never fight their enemies with the same violence their enemies use against them.

The Depression and the future

Ok, everyone’s talking about the oncoming recession.  What it is is the second downleg of the depression we’ve been in since the financial crisis.

All of this has been baked in since 2009.  Since January 2009, when Barack Obama announced his stimulus, which was not just too small, but put together so badly that it was evident it would not kick the economy out of the doldrums.  The stimulus would be seen to fail (it doesn’t matter how many jobs it “saved” what matters if it created a good economy.)  Meanwhile Obama made it clear he had no intention of restructuring the economy, shutting down any of the major banks or of disrupting the paper for oil securitization game.

So, anyway, what’s happened since 2009 was baked into the cake.  What is happening is what anyone halfway competent should have expected to happen and that includes the massive wave of austerity in the developed world, the high commodity prices, and the continued liquidation of public assets to feed private greed.  If anything it’s slightly worse than I expected.  I would have hoped that some nation other than Iceland would prove to have enough guts to tell the vultures to fuck themselves, but apparently we’re all eunuchs or morons these days, and the Greeks still aren’t rioting amongst the mansions of the rich, I notice.  So who cares what they think, anyway?

I suppose it’s tiresome to keep saying “I told you so”.  Certainly I’m tired of it, but the point is that this could all be predicted, was all predicted (well, not all, I didn’t get the revolutions in Arab countries, though I know someone who did and the clues were there.)  Assume that what is happening is, essentially, what your lords and masters are at least ok with having happen.  If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be happening.  This isn’t a case of incompetence, they didn’t even try to make this stuff not happen.

The future you’ve got coming from you is a future of unconventional oil extraction: aka fracking.  The play is to get back to cheapish oil and make that run for as long as it can.  That is what WILL happen.  That is baked into the cake.  The only economy these people want to run is an petro economy. They will do whatever it takes to run one and continue to use their position in control of legacy capital to extract rent and tax the future.  There will be more controls on so-called intellectual property (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one).  There will be more security theater.  There will be more austerity, which means taking public assets and turning them into what appear to be revenue producing private assets.

This will go on until the last drop of cheapish conventional oil has been pumped and the last suburb built.  Americans, and apparently the developed world, will do whatever is required to see this happen.  They will kill whoever they have to kill.  That’s what the developed world is, now.  This is only compounded by stupidity like Germany going off nuclear without a clear plan of how to replace the energy.  Remember, boys and girls, yes, there is blood mixed in with that oil.  A lot of it.

This the future, the next goodish economy will come from unconventional extraction.  Not sure how long that will last.  It will come at great environmental and health costs, but Americans will give up anything to keep the petro-economy going, so, so be it.

What’s this gonna mean for you?  The good jobs are going to keep getting scarcer, and if you aren’t willing to do evil (work for any insurance company, anything defense related, most good paying education jobs, most good paying healthcare jobs, virtually all financial industry jobs, etc…) then they will essentially non-existent.  Real wages after real inflation will continue to trundle down.  Even inflation adjusted wages as measured by the BLS may show declines.  Employment WILL NOT recover in your lifetime if you are over 40.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and down, but it won’t have a long sustained up.  Financial markets will continue to be a rigged game, and if you want to play, realize you need to play as if the game is rigged, not as if you’re in a free market.

Unless you can pay premium, the quality of everything you buy will continue to go downhill. Want a good burger?  Closing in on $8.  Want a shitty fastfood burger?  $2 or less.  Public transportation will get worse, more libraries will close.  The cops will make less calls and be less helpful.  The schools will be worse in most places and keep getting worse.  Eventually Medicare will be slashed to the bone, and so will SS.  Not necessarily destroyed, but so weakened they might as well be.

It’s gonna be a long 20 to 30 years folks.  Does this have to be the future?  In theory, no.  In practice, well, yes, apparently it does.

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