Thursday, September 3, 2015

James Howard Kunstler; "Say Goodbye to Normal"

"The tremors rattling markets are not exactly what they seem to be.

...You can forget the supposedly “normal” cycles of the techno-industrial arrangement, which means, in particular, the business cycle of the standard economics textbooks.

Those cycle are dying.

They’re dying because there really are Limits to Growth and we are now solidly in grips of those limits. Only we can’t recognize the way it is expressing itself, especially in political terms. ...There is not going to be more of everything, especially profits, and the stock buyback orgy that has animated the corporate executive suites will be recognized shortly for what it is: an assest-stripping operation.

What’s happening now is a permanent contraction.

...the contraction is one phase of a greater transition. ...we’re going medieval, and we’re doing it the hard way because there’s just not enough to go around and the swollen populations of the world are going to be fighting over what’s left.

...All the grand movements of stock indexes and central banks are just a diverting sort of stagecraft within the larger pageant of this contraction. The governors of the Federal Reserve play the role of viziers in this comic melodrama. ...You can tell from their recent assembly out west — “A-holes at the J-hole” — that they are very much in doubt that their “powers” will continue to be taken seriously. This endless hand-wringing over a measily quarter-point interest rate hike is like some quarrel among alchemists as to whether a quarter-degree rise in temperature might render a lump of clay into a gold nugget.

What they do doesn’t matter anymore.

What matters is that a great deal of the notional “wealth” they conjured up over the past decade or so is about to vanish...

...The sad truth being it was never there in the first place. It was just an hallucination induced by the manipulation of markets and the criminal misrepresentation of statistics, especially the employment numbers.

...[publicized] data is contrary to what is actually happening in the pathetic Rube Goldberg contraption that the so-called US economy has become (Walmart + entitlements)...

...prepare to get smaller and more local.

Things on the grand level are not going to work out.

Get your shit together locally, and do it in place that has some prospect for keeping on...