Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Fwd: Looking at 2017 . . . and beyond

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John Hemington

Attached is a 2017 New Year's prospective by James Howard Kunstler.  For those of you who are not familiar with Kunstler he is an American author, social critic, public speaker, and blogger.  He is best known for his books The Geography of Nowhere, a history of American suburbia and urban development, The Long Emergency, and most recently, Too Much Magic.  Kunstler is an interesting character on the American scene and can probably best be characterized as a progressive-libertarian to the extent that any characterization is possible.  Whatever else one may say Kunstler is always provocative, opinionated and, more often than not, pretty much on point with his assessments.

I send this article along with a couple of caveats:  (1) it is rather long – 16 pages but well worth the time and effort; (2) it almost certainly contains viewpoints that will offend some of you; and (3) he does not, in my opinion, have a good understanding of sovereign money, credit and debt as I note where it occurs in the piece.  This, however, is the norm in American society as most of us still believe that the country operates on a gold standard (at least in principle) and as far as the Congress and the President are concerned so do they – at least insofar as they are willing to let on to the public.  But whenever more funds are needed for the military or for corporate/financial subsidy there is never a problem.  What it means, however, is that some of the dire predictions about the U.S. not being able to pay its debts or that the interest on the debt will become a crushing burden is simply a delusional fiction used to justify devastating austerity policies intended to crush federal social safety nets and justify their privatization. 

What should be clear to most, but it is always ignored, is that the enormous increase in the national debt over the past 40 years should have, according to the debt alarmists, caused the U.S. to have fallen into a Zimbabwean-type hyper-inflation and nothing could be further from the truth.  This should be particularly obvious given the massive multi-trillion dollar spending required to sustain our endless wars in the Middle East and elsewhere and the $29 trillion allocated to bailout the banks and insurance companies following the 2008 financial crisis.  Having said this much of what Kunstler suggests might happen in the new year is highly probable and should be taken seriously. 

Also attached in support of Kunstler's concerns is today post from Wall Street on Parade dealing with the risk of the U.S. money center banks to European banks through derivative holdings which should be taken very seriously given the extreme weakness of numerous European banks particularly in Italy, Germany and France.

With that, welcome to the Orwellian world of 2017!


Links (to a number of articles from the past year)

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