Edward Gibbon listed various causes for the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Amidst his voluminous words one will discern the crippling effects of: military expansionism, currency debasement, massive public spending and debt, cultural contamination, and loss of character amongst the citizenry.
One who has lived long enough and with eyes open and awake will surely notice a similar trend in the United States over the past few decades. In 2015 levels of political or social excess which would have been considered a crisis in 1970 or 1980 don’t even raise eyebrows now.
In America today anything goes. Anything, except common sense, decency and responsibility. A huge percentage of the populace, probably a majority, has turned their lives over to the government and Bacchus. All of the deadly sins are on prominent display day after year after decade.
Leaving aside social decay, sloth, and criminality, the economic collapse is alarming enough. The old American dream of a home, a job, and improving stability is now just that – a dream. The new economy of debt, more debt and endless paper “money” is still wrapped in a semblance of the traditional America. However, the facade is beginning to crack and fall away.
Bill Bonner warns the funny money expansion has reached its end. The Fed and their employed fools in government have nothing left with which to prop up the ruins of the Superpower.
That flood of EZ money created the delta of plenty in which we live today.
Unfortunately, it’s not likely to continue, because funny things happen when you do funny things to money.
Former, honest officials in the know, like Paul Craig Roberts and David Stockman, warn the game is over.
In the last two days we posted the latest data on two crucial markers of global economic direction——-export shipments from Korea and export orders coming into the high performance machinery factories of Germany.
In a word, they were abysmal, and smoking gun evidence that the suzerains of Beijing have not stopped the implosion in China, and that their latest paddy wagon forays—–arresting the head of China’s third largest bank and hand-cuffing several hedge fund managers including the purported “Warren Buffett” of China—-are signs not of stabilization, but sheer desperation.
So it is not surprising that Korea’s October exports—–the first such data from anywhere in the world—were down by a whopping 16% from last year, and have now been down for 10 straight months. Needless to say, China is the number one destination for Korean exports.
Likewise, German export orders plummeted by 18% in September, and this was no one month blip.
The new American fiscal model depends on taxing profits and income to keep the funny money above water. It depends on sheer faith in a system of criminal corruption. There have to be incomes and profits. The system has to be faith worthy, at least at a basic level.
The rubber band of debt can only be stretched so far before it snaps. Families are mired in debt. So are businesses and the state. The phantom obligations of society have passed the point from which they could ever be satisfied.
The paid salesmen at CNBC and the idiot politicians still repeat the lie that everything is fine, improving even. Off camera they admit a tragedy is brewing. Thus, the occasional talk about reform. A reform keeps the underlying system in place, tweaking it slightly in order to artificially extend its days. A reform is temporary. We need something permanent.
Charles Hugh Smith hypothesizes that a collapse is much better than a reform. He provides plenty of evidence. A crisis which destroys the status quo works in our favor because it accelerates the inevitable. It moves us into a new and real rebuilding phase.
The reform quickly becomes “reform” –a simulacrum that maintains the facade of fixing what’s broken while maintaining the Status Quo. Another layer of costly bureaucracy is added, along with hundreds or thousands of pages of additional regulations, all of which add cost and friction without actually solving what was broken.
The added friction increases the system’s operating costs at multiple levels. Practitioners must stop doing actual work to fill out forms that are filed and forgotten; lobbyists milk the system to eradicate any tiny reductions in the flow of swag; attorneys probe the new regulations for weaknesses with lawsuits, and the enforcing agencies add staff to issue fines.
None of this actually fixes what was broken; all these fake-reforms add costs and reduce whatever efficiencies kept the system afloat.
The end of the Western Roman Empire brought turmoil only to a very few; it was largely ignored by the majority. And, it ushered in, or forced, the re-definition of the state, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the modern ages. It’s time again.
Morning is coming. Google.
The coming fall of post-modern Amerika, if allowed to follow its natural course, will bring a rebirth and happier times. A short time of shortage and confusion will really lead to better lives for good people, both here and across the West. Let the good times roll.