« Remedy du Jour -- April 28, 2012 | Main | Changing The Real GDP Number — It's Not Illegal! »

04/29/2012

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Don Levit

A sudden crisis makes all the difference.

Well, the crisis you spoke of in 2008 resulted in what kind of difference?

In my opinion, that was our moment to shine, as were the events of 9/11.

Unfortunately, we squelched the opportunities.

The only thing worse than having a crisis is having a crisis and not learning from it.

Don Levit

Dave Cohen

Don --

Of course you are right.

Did I neglect to say that human beings don't typically learn from experience?

Mea culpa. But from the DOTE point of view, which was the view I was taking here, it will take a sudden crisis to attract a wider audience.

-- Dave

Craig

I believe that the 'controlled demolition' of the economy by TPTB has an additional benefit (to TPTB) besides the boiling frog syndrome. Not only does a slow-motion crisis stay under many people's radar, it also tends to provide fertile soil for the misdirection of blame.

Because job losses happen one person at a time, I believe there is a tendency in individuals to focus only on their immediate, individual situation (e.g. I lost my job because my company didn't hit its numbers), rather than seeing that the numbers weren't reached because of resource limitations (accelerated by a broader and less noticeable funneling of money into the vampire squid).

As former presidential candidate Herman Cain so eloquently summarized: "Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!"

Dave Cohen

Craig--

Re: the 'controlled demolition' of the economy by TPTB

This attributes a level of control and intelligence to The Powers That Be that they don't possess, could never possibly possess, and will never possess.

Simple corruption, self-interest and lack of character (e.g. greed) explain it all. And self-serving opinions and ignorance.

You would like to believe there's somebody in charge. Perhaps that belief is comforting somehow. It makes things make sense. But nobody is in charge of this mess.

Go easy on the paranoia.

-- Dave

Bill Hicks

Great analysis as usual, Dave. In my own case, it took oil prices shooting up to triple digits in early 2008 before I finally woke up to the realities of peak oil.

Before that, I remember reading a newspaper article while on vacation in Canada back around 2004 or so asserting that North America's highway-centric economic model was not sustainable and it caused a "does not compute" reaction in my mind. It really does take a crisis to focus people's attention, even those of us who have a heightened sense of perception to start with.

S P

There's now a considerable number of blogs discussing similar themes: oil drum, zero hedge, automatic earth, orlov, charles hugh smith, john michael greer, daily reckoning, max keiser, kunstler, energy bulletin. Those are just the big ones that come to mind.

So even amongst the informed there are choices out there, and there's only so many you can visit. But I come here and I do appreciate what you do.

Dave Cohen

@S P --

Well, I'm going to get myself in some deep trouble now, but fuck it.

Re: "the oil drum, zero hedge, automatic earth, orlov, charles hugh smith, john michael greer, daily reckoning, max keiser, kunstler, energy bulletin"

One problem is that most of those websites suck. Or have a narrow focus. Or don't know what they are talking about. Or have a religious tone. Or offer false hope.

So much for informed choices. I like to think people can tell the difference. It's not an accident I mentioned Bill's blog, and none of the above.

And a special thank you for sticking me in the Generic Doomer category. Now I'm even more depressed than I was before.

And one more thing. Most of those blogs you mentioned don't want to have anything to do with me. And the feeling is mutual.

-- Dave

Ben

@Craig Our political and economic elite are just as unaware of the current state of the nation as the average American, case in point the recent exchange between Glenn Hubbard and Larry Summers in the financial press.

Hubbard initiates: http://tinyurl.com/7g6c9z2
Summers responds: http://tinyurl.com/7eaqpyj
Hubbard responds to the response: http://tinyurl.com/6tgy34b

Both haven't a clue what they are speaking about.

Ben

"And a special thank you for sticking me in the Generic Doomer category. Now I'm even more depressed than I was before."

Dave, if it is any consolation you've helped me greatly. Your honest and insightful blog entries have helped me to better understand the current state of affairs, and where the nation is trending. Thank you.

Lew Stewell

I pretty much hit all of the aforementioned blogs/sites as well as yours and TDS everyday. (as a software engineer, I spend an huge amt. of time at the computer). I'm a bit surprised at your reaction to them. I really don't see that large of a difference. Keep in mind, I'm an idiot.

FiniteResource

@ Lew Stewell. Ditto. And couldn't have put it better myself.

JM Greer's current series/next book about empire is excellent. Perhaps Dave will give it a pass for absence of overt religious content. Not that Druids are all that religious.

Dunno if it affects DoTE's page views but I read DoTE posts on my Kindle via Send To Reader - a delicious irony of terminal complexity.

Cab

I may be one of your dwindling number of page viewers. Round about 2007 (for in the UK that was when we experienced a real life bank run) and for the next four years I devoured 'left field' blogs obsessively. All my life, I had been baffled by 'normal people' who seemed to know something that I didn't: that it's OK to borrow money and splurge it on a new car you'll be bored with in a month, or a trip round the world, because somehow you won't notice having the loan hang round your neck until you die. And that it's more than OK to borrow yourself to the hilt and buy a house, then renovate it with very expensive fittings, because it's an investment that can't fail - even though everybody else has got the same idea.

The first signs of economic trouble were the most exciting news I'd ever read, confirming that my financial misanthropy and curmudegeonly-ness were, in fact, quite rational. Reading non-mainstream blogs also gave me the inside track on where things might be headed, and allowed me to impress my friends (and I did! - briefly.). Also it confirmed my lifelong suspicion that all this stuff we consume is just a temporary blip - just too good to be true. Basically, putting it all together, it was a revelation a bit like 'The Matrix'! I proceeded to gain some small understanding of where money comes from, how GDP is measured and what we really mean by "national output", and why people worry so much about GDP "growth". I was looking forward to a lot of formerly-smug people eating a lot of humble pie.

But what has happened? As time has gone on, it has become clear that virtually no one else understands any of this. The failure of the economic system is only seen as a temporary failure of the financial system. Its continued failure is seen as the result of policy blunders. People think that if only the politicians would impose more austerity/spend more, the inevitable recovery would already have happened, and if they don't get it right, there may be a 'lost decade' of low growth. If only.

In my personal circle of friends, the most intelligent don't even have the faintest clue beyond what the mainstream news says, but they do have strong views on party politics and politicians - which baffles me.

So, my reading of your blog and some others, has diminished because it's just easier to think about something else. I don't talk excitedly about radical economic ideas with my friends any more, because it's like banging my head against a brick wall. If the brightest people I know don't 'get it' then there's no point in my even thinking about it.

The comments to this entry are closed.