Increased Violence Reflects an Energy Problem

Why are we seeing so much violence recently? One explanation is that people are sympathizing with those in the Minneapolis area who are upset at the death of George Floyd. They believe that a white cop used excessive force in subduing Floyd, leading to his death.

I believe that there is a much deeper story involved. As I wrote in my recent post, Understanding Our Pandemic – Economy Predicament, the problem we are facing is too many people relative to resources, particularly energy resources. This leads to a condition sometimes referred to as “overshoot and collapse.” The economy grows for a while, may stabilize for a time, and then heads in a downward direction, essentially because energy consumption per capita falls too low.

Strangely enough, this energy crisis looks like a crisis of affordability. The young and the poor, especially, cannot afford to buy goods and services that they need, such as a home in which to raise their children and a vehicle to drive. Trying to do so leaves them with excessive debt. If the affordability problem changes for the worse, the young and the poor are likely to protest. In fact, these protests may become violent. 

The pandemic tends to make the affordability problem worse for minorities and young people because they are disproportionately affected by job losses associated with lockdowns. In many cases, the poor catch COVID-19 more frequently because they live and/or work in crowded conditions where the disease spreads easily. In the US, blacks seem to be especially hard hit, both by COVID-19 and through the loss of jobs. These issues, plus the availability of guns, makes the situation particularly explosive in the US.

Let me explain these issues further.

[1] Energy is required for all aspects of the economy.

Energy is required by governments. Energy is required to operate police cars. Energy is required to build schools and to operate their heating and lighting. Energy is needed to build and maintain roads. Tax revenue represents available funds to buy energy products and goods and services made with energy products.

Energy is needed for any type of business. Operating a computer requires electricity, which is a form of energy. Heating or cooling a building requires energy. Growing food requires solar energy from the sun; liquid fuel is used to operate farm machinery and trucks that transport food to the locations where it is sold. Human energy is used for some of these processes. For example, human energy is used to operate computers and farm machinery. Human energy is sometimes used to pick the crops, as well.

Wages paid by governments and businesses indirectly go to buy energy products of many kinds. Food is, of course, an energy product. The heat to cook or bake the food is also an energy product. Metals of all kinds are made using energy products, and lumber is cut and transported using energy products. With sufficient wages, it is possible to buy or rent a home, and to purchase or lease an automobile.

Interest rates indirectly reflect the portion of goods and services produced by energy products that can be transferred to parts of the system that depend on interest earnings. For example, banks, insurance companies and those on pensions depend on interest earnings. If interest rates are high, benefits to pensioners can easily be paid and insurance companies can charge low rates for their products, because their interest earnings will help offset claim costs.

Interest rates are now about as low as they can go, indicating a likely shortage of energy for funding these interest rates. The last time interest rates were close to current levels was during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Figure 1. Ten-year and three-month US Treasury interest rates, in chart made by FRED.

[2] When there is not enough energy to go around, the result can be low commodity prices, low wages and layoffs.

This is not an intuitive result. Most people assume (low energy = high prices), but this is the opposite of what actually happens. The problem is that the amount workers can afford to pay for finished goods and services needs to be high enough to make production of the commodities used in making the finished products profitable. When affordability falls too low, the system tends to collapse.

We are really dealing with a two-sided problem. The prices of commodities such as oil, wholesale electricity, steel, copper and food tend to fluctuate widely. Consumers need these prices to be low, in order for the price of finished goods made with these commodities to be affordable; producers need the prices of these commodities to rise ever-higher, to cover the cost of deeper wells and more batteries, to try to partially offset the intermittency of solar and wind electricity.

Most people assume that the situation will be resolved in the direction of commodity prices rising ever higher. In fact, commodity prices did rise higher, until mid 2008. Then, something snapped; commodity prices have been falling ever-lower since mid 2008. In fact, ever-lower commodity prices have been a world-wide problem, causing huge problems for countries trying to support their economies with export revenues based on commodity production.

Figure 2. CRB Commodity Price Index from 1995 to June 2, 2020. Chart prepared by Trading Economics. Composition is 39% energy, 41% agriculture, 7% precious metals and 13% industrial metals.

Even before the lockdowns, low commodity prices were leading to low wages of those working in commodity industries around the world. These low prices also led to low tax revenue, and this low tax revenue led to an inability of governments to afford the services that citizens expect, such as bus service and subsidized prices for certain essential goods/services. For example, South Africa (an exporter of coal and minerals) was experiencing public protests in September 2019, for reasons such as these. Chile is a major exporter of copper and lithium. Low prices of those commodities led to violent protests in 2019 for similar reasons.

Now, in 2020, lockdowns have led to even lower commodity prices. At times, farmers have been plowing their crops under. Oil companies are laying off workers. The trend toward lower commodity prices had been occurring for a long time; the recent drop in prices was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” If prices stay this low, there is a danger of falling production of commodities that we depend on, including food, metals, electricity, and oil. Businesses producing these items will fail, and governments with falling tax revenue will be unable to support them.

[3] Historical energy consumption data shows that violence often accompanies periods when energy production is not growing fast enough to meet the needs of the growing population.

Figure 3 shows average annual growth in world energy consumption, for 10-year periods:

Figure 3. Average growth in energy consumption for 10 year periods, based on Vaclav Smil estimates from Energy Transitions: History, Requirements and Prospects (Appendix) together with BP Statistical Data for 1965 and subsequent.

Economic growth encompasses both population growth and rising standards of living. Figure 4 below takes the same information used in Figure 3 and divides it into (a) the portion underlying population growth, and (b) the portion of the energy supply growth available for improved standards of living. During most periods, increased population absorbs over half of increased energy consumption.

Figure 4. Figure similar to Figure 3, except that energy devoted to population growth and growth in living standards are separated. A circle is also added showing the recent growth in energy is primarily the result of China’s temporary growth in coal supplies.

There are three dips in the Living Standards portion of Figure 4. The first one came in the 10 years ended 1860, just before the US Civil War. Most of us would say that was a period of violence.

The second one occurred in the 10 years ended 1930. This is the period when the Great Depression began. It came between World War I and World War II. This was another violent period of our history.

The third dip came in the 10-year period ended 2000. This was not a particularly violent period; instead, it reflects the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union, leaving the member republics to continue on their own. There was a huge loss of demand (really, affordability) on the part of countries that were part of the Soviet Union or depended on the Soviet Union.

Figure 5. Chart showing the fall in Eastern Europe’s materials production, after the collapse of the central government of the Soviet Union in 1991.

[4] The world is facing a situation in which total energy consumption seems likely to drop by 5% per year, or perhaps more.

If we look back at Figure 3, we see that even in very “bad” times economically, energy consumption was rising. In fact, in one 10-year period, the average increase was more than 5% per year.

If the world economy is reaching a point in which we consumers, in the aggregate, cannot afford the goods and services made with commodities, unless commodity prices are very low, we will likely experience a huge drop in energy consumption. I don’t know exactly how much the annual change will be, but energy consumption growth and GDP growth tend to move together. We might guess that GDP growth is shifting to 5% GDP annual shrinkage, and energy consumption will be shrinking by a similar percentage.

Clearly, shrinkage of 5% per year would be far worse than the world economy has experienced in the last 200 years. In fact, for the 10-year periods shown in Figure 3, there has never been a reduction in energy consumption. Even if I am wrong and the shrinkage in energy consumption is “only” 2% per year, this would be far worse than the experience over any 10-year period. In fact, during the Great Recession, world energy consumption only shrank in one year (2009) and then by 1.4%.

History doesn’t give us much guidance regarding what impact a dramatic reduction in energy consumption would have on the economy, except that population reduction would likely be part of the change that takes place. If half or more of energy consumption growth goes toward rising population (Figure 4), then a shrinkage of energy consumption seems likely to reduce world population.

[5] What the world is really facing is a competition regarding which parts of the economy can stay, and which will need to be eliminated, if there is not enough energy to go around. It should not be surprising if this competition often leads to violence.

As I indicated in Section [1], all parts of the economy depend on energy. If there is not enough, some parts must shrink back. The big question is, “Which parts?”

(a) Do governments, and organizations that bind governments together, collapse? If countries are doing poorly, they will not want to contribute to the World Trade Organization, the United Nations or the European Union. Governments, such as the government of Saudi Arabia, could be overthrown, or may simply stop operating. In fact, any government, when it faces insurmountable problems, could simply stop operating and leave its functions to lower levels of government, such as states, provinces, or cities.

(b) Do pension plans stop operating? Are pensioners left “out in the cold”? How about Social Security recipients?

(c) Can international trade be kept operating? It is a big consumer of energy. Also, competition with low-wage countries tends to keep wages in developed nations low. Without international trade, many imported goods (including imported medicines) become unavailable.

(d) Which companies will collapse, leaving bond holders and stockholders with $0? People who formerly had jobs with these companies will also find themselves without jobs.

(e) If the world economy cannot support as many people as before, which ones will be left out? Is it people in rich countries who find themselves without jobs? Is it people who find themselves without imported medicines? Is it the ones who catch COVID-19? Or is it mostly citizens of very poor countries, whose income will fall so low that starvation becomes a concern?

[6] The violent demonstrations represent an effort to try to push the problems related to the shortfall in energy, and the goods and services that energy can provide, away from the protest groups, toward other segments of the economy.

In an ideal world:

(a) Jobs that pay well would be available to all.

(b) Governments would be able to afford to provide a wide range of services to all, including free health care for all and reimbursement for time off from work for being sick. They would also be able to provide adequate pensions for the elderly and low cost public transit.

(c) Police would treat all citizens well. No group would be so poor that a life of crime would seem to be a solution.

As indicated in Section [2], back in 2019, before COVID-19 hit, protests were already starting because of low commodity prices and the indirect impacts of low commodity prices. One reason why governments were so eager to adopt shutdowns is the fact that when people were required to stay inside because of COVID-19, the problem of protests could be stopped.

It should be no surprise, then, that the protests came back, once the lockdowns have ended. There are now more people out of work and more people who are concerned about not having full healthcare costs reimbursed. Social distancing requirements are making it more difficult for businesses to operate profitably, indirectly leading to fewer available jobs.

[7] Violent protests seem to push problems fueled by an inadequate supply of affordable energy toward (a) governments and (b) insurance companies.

In some cases, insurance companies will pay for damages caused by protesters. Eventually, costs could become too great for insurance companies. Most policies have exclusions for “acts of war.” If protests escalate, this exclusion might become applicable.

Governments of all kinds are already being stressed by shutdowns because when citizens are not working, there is less tax revenue. If, in addition, governments have been paying COVID-19 related costs, this creates an even bigger budget mismatch. Governments find themselves less and less able to pay their everyday expenses, such as hiring teachers, policemen, and firemen. All of these issues tend to push city governments toward bankruptcy and more layoffs.

[8] Dark skinned people living in America tend to be Vitamin D deficient, making them more prone to getting severe cases of COVID-19. Vitamin supplements may be an inexpensive way of reducing the severity of the COVID-19 epidemic and thus lessening its diversion of energy resources.

There are a number of reports out that suggest that having adequate Vitamin D from sunlight strengthens the immune system and helps reduce the mortality of COVID-19. Adequate Vitamin C is also helpful for the immune system for people in general, not just those with dark skin.

Dark skinned people are adapted to living near the equator. If they live in the United States or Europe, their bodies make less Vitamin D from the slanted rays available in those parts of the world than they would living near the equator. As a result, studies show that Vitamin D deficiency is more common in African Americans than other Americans.

Recent data shows that the COVID-19 mortality rate for black Americans is 2.4 times that of white Americans. COVID-19 hospitalization rates are no doubt higher as well. Encouraging Americans with dark skin to take Vitamin D supplements would seem to be at least a partial solution to the problem of greater disease severity for Blacks. Vitamin C supplements, or more fresh fruit, might be helpful for all people, not just those with low Vitamin D levels.

If the COVID-19 impact can be lessened in a very inexpensive way, this would seem to be helpful for the economy in general. High-cost solutions simply divert available resources toward fighting COVID-19, making the overall resource shortfall for the rest of the economy worse.

[9] Much more equal wages would seem to be a solution for wage disparity, but this doesn’t bring the wages of low earning workers up enough, in practice. 

There are a huge number of low-earning workers in many countries around the world. In order to increase commodity prices enough to make them profitable for producers, we really need wages in all countries to be much higher. For example, wages in Africa and in India need to be much higher, so that people in these parts of the world can afford goods such as cars, air conditioning and vacation travel. There is no way this can be done. Furthermore, such a change would add pollution and climate change issues.

There is a fundamental “not enough to go around” problem that we do not have an answer for. Historically, when there hasn’t been enough to go around, the attempted solution was fighting wars over what was available. In a way, the violence seen in cities around the globe is a new version of this violence. Governments of various kinds may ultimately be casualties of these uprisings. Remaining lower-level governments will be left with the problem of starting over again, issuing new currency and trying to make new alliances. In total, the new economy will be very different; it will probably bear little resemblance to today’s world economy.

 

 

About Gail Tverberg

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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2,617 Responses to Increased Violence Reflects an Energy Problem

  1. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Dust is gathering on our suitcases, and our overnight bags haven’t seen daylight in months. Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus crisis and the total collapse of international travel have consumed yet another victim – this time luggage brand Antler, which went into administration in May.

    “But as borders remain closed and quarantine measures are in place around the world, even rock-solid brands like Samsonite and Rimowa are in crisis.”

    https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/3087522/luggage-makers-travel-slump-creates-worst-case-scenario

  2. Harry McGibbs says:

    Wow – Brexit uncertainty is the gift that keeps on giving:

    “Failure to reach a Brexit deal with Europe will lead to much worse food shortages than the coronavirus panic buying crisis: this was the stark warning made to MPs today by Andrew Opie, director of food at the British Retail Consortium…

    “He said the UK would face a severe threat of shortages of fresh products. With 90% of lettuce, 80% of tomatoes and 70% of soft fruit shipped from Europe, Opie said these would be among the products hit.

    “Asked what the biggest message from the experience of the coronavirus outbreak was, Opie told the inquiry: “I think mine would be a warning that if we thought this was a problem, I think we should look forward to a disorderly Brexit in January.”

    https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/brexit/no-deal-brexit-will-cause-food-shortages-worse-than-coronavirus-panic-buying/645117.article

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      ““I don’t think we can go on like this forever,” said Michel Barnier, in some room or other in Brussels, as the latest round of Brexit talks proved as pointless as the last.

      “He then listed all the areas in which no progress has been made.”

      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-negotiations-boris-johnson-coronavirus-lockdown-a9551611.html

      • John eardley says:

        EU trade does not matter. If BAU is ending we need to do things ourselves without the EU. Best get on with it.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Absolutely! I would give up lettuce and tomato for the rest of my life if it meant my country could be free again.

          “Britain is a world by itself, and we will nothing pay for wearing our own noses” William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act III scene 1.

          • JMS says:

            Said the bard in a time UK’s population would be ~5 M people.
            UK is now, as most of world countries, way overpopulated. Most countries couldn’t be self-sufficient even if they tried it as hard as never, at least without a big cull.

    • I would be very unhappy if I lived in Britain. A shortage of fresh produce would be a big problem.

      I would expect that there would also be a problem for producers. With fewer buyers of their output, they would find it harder and harder to make a profit. Some would go out of business, adding to unemployment in places like Spain that supply fresh produce.

      • john Eardley says:

        “I would be very unhappy if I lived in Britain. A shortage of fresh produce would be a big problem”.

        Not as big a problem as living in Spain without fresh water.

      • Oh dear says:

        Just get frozen fruit and veg instead.

        (jangles jester’s bells)

        • Malcopian says:

          Buy yourself a 3D printer. It’ll give you whatever food you want, just program it in. I printed off an elephant tikka masala last week. It was gorgeous! Roll on the singularity.

      • Marco Bruciati says:

        Italia too i think. Marocco. And poor countrys

    • john Eardley says:

      Harry, we could do an awful lot better than we do in making our food supply more resilient. Importing out of season food from the EU leads to starvation eventually.
      – There is lovely tree in next door’s garden that is currently ripe full of cherries. Nobody is interested apart from the squirrels. People would rather buy imported ones from Sainsburys, crazy.
      – The local Isle of Wight greenhouses produce tomatoes for 11 months of the year, so why do we need to import 80% of our tomatoes from the EU; most of which come from the Netherlands with a similar climate, crazy.

      • Dan says:

        I’m sorry to say but Britain seems particularly vulnerable. Low natural resources and too many people on that Island is going to be a tough roe to hoe going forward. What does Great Britain export? Love the Brits and feel sorry for them and Italy and Spain and Greece too!

  3. Tim Groves says:

    I think the Saker’s got it! By george, he’s got it! He7s identified the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

    On the other hand, what is the real cause of that systematic breakdown?

    I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

    Racism or “White privilege”
    Police violence
    Social alienation and despair
    Poverty
    Trump
    The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
    The infighting of the US elites/deep state
    They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

    It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of “cause” and “pretext”. And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

    https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

    • Yoshua says:

      Miles Guo is saying that China has launched a 3F Plan against the US.

      Foment weakness
      Foment chaos
      Foment destruction

      First they release a virus, which led to lockdowns and economic ruin.

      Secondly comes the protests, riots, burning and looting.

      Thirdly comes the second wave of mass infections and a complete breakdown of the economy?

      There are talks about a million protesters coming to DC this weekend. Someone described as a biological bomb against DC.

    • Right! And Blacks are especially being marginalized by the systemic collapse that is taking place. They had had hopes that their status would gradually be rising, and recent changes make it look like their status is slipping away. This is especially disturbing. When there are too many people for resources, someone needs to be cut out. It is becoming clear that in the US, Blacks will be affected more than other races.

      • Kim says:

        Don’t you wonder, Gail, if you aren’t sometimes trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by linking violence to resource shortages?

        Of course we can see the linkage at some demographic scales, especially about the level of tribe or nation, but isn’t that tperhaps the limit of its explanatory power?

        Is there any place in your theories for the notion that some people are just evil, that they are greedy and selfish and willing to be violent to get what they want?

        Surely such people are all around us, like the man who has a good job but also robs banks.

        Plenty of people can have what they need by working but prefer the easy and psychologically self-aggrandizing life of violent crime. Some people will beat up the spouse even though on a salary of ten thousand a week. Doesn’t simple psychology or personality explain most or even almost all (at least interpersonal) violence?

        • Yes, a few of us are monsters

          but by and large we fit the entry for Earth in the Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy:

          Mostly Harmless

          • Kim says:

            The USA has 2.5 million people in prison. They have all committed felonies, which are very serious crimes like assault, DUI, robbery, rape, drug dealing, and so on.

            On top of that, there are millions more ex-prisoner felons walking the streets.

            In a sea of 330 million, it is true that by far most are harmless. But noone with any sense swims where the sign says “No swimming, crocodiles.” Although the occasional tourist does ignore these signs in Australia. They end up in the newspapers.

            It seems to me that one of the great failings of modern society is that people have been persuaded that there is no such thing as evil. That is like persuading sheep that there is no such thing as a wolf.

            • JMS says:

              46% of inmates in USA are in prison for crimes related to drug trafficking or consumption. Seen from Europe, the penal and prison system in the USA is a greedy insanity, it is a way to turn poor into prisoners and a BIG business opportunity for contractors.

              Besides in USA a black person is more likely to be charged and convicted of a drug-related crime than a white one.
              Have you take these facts into account in your conclusions?

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614457/
              https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

            • Kim says:

              “46% of inmates in USA are in prison for crimes related to drug trafficking or consumption.”

              So what? What is the point of this comment? Take them away and ou will still have 1.3 million in prison for an astonishing array of the most vile violent crimes. And the dispropostionate and vast majority of those felons will still be black! So, so what? What’s your point?

              But we should also note:

              1. First, very few-to-nobody is in prison in the United States for drug *consumption*. That is a furphy. Rather, many people are in prison for drug dealing *and related crimes*, as they should be, and in those cases, they are in prison for those drug crimes because they are the easiest to prosecute and the felon has been pled down. Nobody is in prison for just being a small time drug dealer. They are almost always also housebreakers and armed robbers, pimps and drunk drivers as well. Aside from being clearly against the law of the land – so one shouldn’t be selling drugs or shold accept the consequences – the drug business is the most degrading and socially destructive activity in the nation. Drug dealers are not innocents. They are consciously destroying people, families and communities. We should just let it all just run until it destroys us?

              2. Is it your idea that it should be “decriminalized”? How would that work? Could I still buy meth from people manufacturing it in their garages? Could I still use meth, cocaine, PCP, ecstacy and fentanyl to enslave and control my street prostitutes? Would China then cease importing fentanyl into the United States as part of her plan to destroy the United States? Who would be permitted to produce and sell these drugs? If I ignored any such strictures would I still be doing something illegal? Marijuana is legal now in some states. Guess what? There is still illegal production and distribution.

              Fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and meth are a deadly business backed by murder and funding a raft of other brutal industries. Along with pills like oxycontin, sold through pill mills, these drugs kill at least 50,000 people a year in the United States. The people who sell these drugs are responsible for those deaths. Is that okay?

              “Seen from Europe, the penal and prison system in the USA is a greedy insanity,…”

              As Europe has continued it’s immigration policies of recent decades what have we found? Well, amazingly, they show a pattern that is very similar to or even more extreme than what we see in the United States, in particular, a massive “over-representation” of brown and black people in crime and incarceration:

              “A Brookings Institution report says that “Muslims are greatly overrepresented in prisons and within the eighteen- to twenty-four–year-old age group in particular: they make up only 8.5 percent of that age cohort in France, yet 39.9 percent of all prisoners in the cohort.” \

              https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/are-70-of-frances-prison-inmates-muslims

              So apparently it isn’t just nasty old white America that has this problem.

              Maybe somebody ought to tell the criminals to stop commiting rapes, murders, assaults, burglaries, and to stop selling drugs to make their livings and thereby destroying people, families and communities.
              ,
              “Besides in USA a black person is more likely to be charged and convicted of a drug-related crime than a white one.”

              Indeed, blacks are proportionally over-represented in prison for every category of crime, including white collar crime. Guess why. Because they commit far, far, far, far more such felonies than any other section of American society. They are in prison because they commit crimes. It is as simple as that.

              Nothing to do with “white privilege”.

              Have you take these facts into account in your conclusions?

            • JMS says:

              Of course, drug use should be decriminalized. This was done in Portugal in 2001, considering that heroin addicts should be seen as sick and not as criminals, with the state now supplying them with a heroin substitute, just as it supplies insulin to diabetics. The result was far less petty theft, far less overdose deaths, far more street safety. In Portugal the judicial system works poorly, but at least it is not yet a machine to turn poor people into prisoners to give money to corporations. Did you get it at last?

              Second point. Prisons are mostly made for poor people., in USA as in Portugal and everywhere. If there’s if the percentage of poverty among blacks is higher than among whites, it is natural that blacks are overrepresented in prisons, right? I’m even ready to admit that blacks are generally more prone to violent crimes than whites, but I think your perspective is completely exagerated and quite antiblack skewed. Lifeis not a a good versus baddie movie. In harsh circunstances we are all potential monsters.
              End of conversation with you about this matter (fortunately in relation to other subjects you seem much more lucid and balanced)

        • I am afraid I don’t see some people as, “Just evil.” Some people have grown up in broken homes, amid violence. Their backgrounds make life difficult for them. Some people seem to have chemical imbalances in their brains, making them prone to mania/depression at intervals. Some people have different abilities than are demanded in today’s economy, making fitting in more difficult. Some people have grown up in cultures in which men are almost expected to mistreat their wives, if they do not do precisely what they want.

          I see a lot of alcoholism and drug taking as “self-medicating.” People feel depressed or inferior. They need to try to fix the situation any way that they can.

        • Yoshua says:

          Syria turned into a failed state due to oil depletion…poverty…mass protests…government crackdown…armed rebellion…war.

          Only a fraction of the population joined first the FSA and then Al Qaeda and ISIS.

          Most of the population remained civilians.

          Not everyone has to resort to violence for a war to break out.

          • Kim says:

            Just so. I find it out that people who usually subscribe to a very evolutionary-ecological way of thinking – e.g., certain animals have evolved to take advantage of ecological niches, some animals are more predatory than others, and so on – are not entirely consistent in applying it to the human animal.

            Of course, people today do not widely favor the idea that people might be – for the most part – born as they are – although on the psychologcal side it seems to be acknowldeged that people and in fact even entire groups are born with tendencies to sociopathy and psychopathy. But mostly, when it comes to human behavior, Lysenkoism is the dominant mode of thinking for teh man in the street. People can be anything, apparently. We just have to apply sufficent Soviet grit.

            This is where the title comes from for that movie “The Shape of Water” – it is Marxist idea, that humans, like water, merely take the shape of the container that holds them. A really monstrous idea in its implications.

            While acknowledging that people are influenced by circumstances (just as, analogously, there is epigenetics as well as genetics) from what I have seen in my own life, the basic structure of a human personality is born along with the person.

            Everyone has his own experience, but lots of readers here have children. My experience with my own children is that they were all their little selves from Day One and they never changed very much, except perhaps in amplification. The most outgoing and social of my children as a rugrat and toddler has stayed that way her whole life. The quieter and more thoughful ones stayed quieter and more thoughful. And that has been the same in my own life. I have a very vivid memory of myself at around teh age of four having exactly the same kinds of moods and feelings and thoughts that I have today, decades later. And I know very many children today and watch them grow. The bold little boy as a toddler grows into the bold young man.

            I knew a lesbian couple once who wanted a child (early 1980s). One of them enlisted the help of a friend, the deed was done, and a little girl resulted. Now, this couple was very politically aware and were sure that they were going to turn out a very politically aware and modern woman. Instead what they got was a little girl who loved tutus, dress-ups and makeup and with the most feminine of natures. A very beautiful little girl, she grew up to become a successful fashion model.

            The most ironic part of all this is in the issue of who was to educate whom, because over the years as they raised the little girl, the couple, originally so politically charged and sure on issues of feminism. sex roles and so on, ultimately abandoned – at the very least – all of the associated jargon and talking points and were very proud of their hyper-female young daughter.

            • DB says:

              That is an interesting story about the girl and her parents. Raising children taught me at least as much about human nature as all of my reading the scientific literature.

            • Xabier says:

              Teachers and educational experts just love the doctrine that they -and they alone, not families – can and should shape children according to some ideal pattern, the blank-slate worked upon by their expertise, to produce the perfect citizen – according to their ideology.

              Flattering to them, but nonsense.

              Both Nazism (with the addition of absurd theories of blood and race) and the Soviet system were based on this premise; Mussolini tried it in Italy but gave up claiming Italians were too corrupted by ‘impure blood’ after centuries of invasions!

        • JMS says:

          Oh for sure there’s plenty of evil people in this world, but if you want to find them, your are looking in the wrong direction. You must aim much higher than the black petty thiefs and burglers. Take instead a look at Wall street and thereabout..

          • Kim says:

            |”but if you want to find them, your are looking in the wrong direction. You must aim much higher than the black petty thiefs and burglers.”

            No one says Wall Street and the banks aren’t snakes. That is the topic 364 days a year. But can’t we look at all of the criminals? Isn’t the topic here physical violence?

            And why the attempt to diminish the reality of black crime with “petty thiefs and buglars”?

            You know, it is not petty if it is *your* car that has its windows smashed in a “petty” theft and your wallet stolen, putting you on a decade-long identity theft roundabout. And it is very common for burglars to graduate to murder. And you know that Chicago has 500 murders a year. mostly by black gangs. There are lots of other US cities just as bad.

            To tell the truth, this entire converstaion we are having here just boggles me.

            Please explain something: why does everyone insist on wriggling around this way, always refusing to acknowledge basic facts?

            Why does everyone seem to think that crime is okay?

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              “”Why does everyone seem to think that crime is okay?”

              You like to use a lot of hyperbolic generalisations, Kim, for someone who claims adherence to facts.

            • Xabier says:

              Again we come back to the fundamental doctrine of the Left, based on Trotsky’s definition of Revolutionary Violence: if a group is ‘oppressed’, it’s crimes are either to be justified -‘revolutionary’ in intention – or minimised as unfortunate consequences of their suffering in a corrupt system.

              The Left looks kindly on all crime by those who come from masses for this reason, but above all youth crime, riots and arson (‘rising against the System!’) and crime by favoured and ‘oppressed’ ethnic groups.

              Among the Left these days, black criminals are considered almost beyond reproach for this reason.

              The Guardian tried very hard to define the 2011 London Riots as a political uprising by marginalized youth, when it was all smash and grab, with some arson thrown in for fun.

              We an expect that they will excuse the violence at the protests in London as either caused in some way by the police, or as a legitimate strike against the System.

            • JMS says:

              We live in a profoundly violent world. The greatest (physical) violence is committed by gentlemen who have never taken up a weapon, but who are capable of reducing thousands of people to extreme poverty with a simple signature in a document. In view of this, my ability to be indignant at the brutality of criminal gangs is somewhat limited.
              I understand your indignation and your point of view about black crime, but it seems superficial and a little tedious to me.

      • Kim says:

        On the other hand, if we look at it all as just a remorseless thermodynamic process in which humans are simply part of the universe process of energy release, part of a process in which they have no agency, then that is something else, a different kind of theory.

        But we would still have to posit theories for why different agency-less humans act differently under what they each perceive as “resource constraints”.

        • JMS says:

          Maybe the answer is nobody acts differently. The circumstances in which you find yourself and your personal pluckiness is what determines your probability to break the law. And I suppose the average young black American has a lot more pluck than his white counterpart.

          • Kim says:

            “And I suppose the average young black American has a lot more pluck than his white counterpart.”

            “Pluck”? Maybe so. But how would we define it or recognize it when we see it? We can’t mean “bravery” because usually criminals or all kinds look for the weakest and most defenseless victims they can find. They have numbers, weapons, size, and attack suddenly and without warning. Is that “pluck”?

            Remember the video of that young man beating the old man in the hospital bed? Is that what we should call “plucky”?

            No, usually criminals are cowardly. Cowardly and vile and often very stup1d too. Although what they do can appear to be brave, what we are in fact seeing is their fecklessness, their uncontrolled impulsiveness, their inability to predict consequences and balance risk and reward, and their lack of empathy….they are never held back in the least by the idea that they might hurt their victims.

            So I am pretty sure that “pluck” is not the word we are looking for.

            • Xabier says:

              I agree totally, Kim.

              We’d have to praise the ‘bravery’ of Gypsy criminals too: somehow, threatening peaceful people with arson, shotguns and crowbars as happened here a few years ago doesn’t seem very bold to me, just thuggish and cowardly.

              Actually, they were faced down by a neighbour who had lots (no exaggeration) of illegal weapons and made it clear he was mad enough to use them – now, he was brave, facing a whole travelling gang on his own.

              And mugging frail old ladies as has become quite common in Spain recently? Does that require courage?

            • JMS says:

              Yours is a valid way of looking at the phenomenon of crime, but there are others. I always thought that choosing a life of crime, risking arrest, requires some courage. The courage is not in stealing an old woman, of course, but in the risk of being caught by the police and get a sentence of years in prison. Frankly, I see more cowardice in spending a whole life in a slave job, earning 600 euros month and enduring all the humiliations that a boss decid to inflict on you. I have no particular sympathy for small criminals, but seeing them only as lazy people who don’t like to work and have chosen the “easier” path is a very reductive way of looking at things. In a way, stealing is hard work, work without benefits, and with many associated risks (starting with social disapproval). If it were such an easy life, there would not be so many people choosing a life of poor but honest work.

            • Norman Pagett says:

              maybe non-theft is something ingrained with us throughout our evolutionary time

              yes there are habitual thieves, and they get punished, but if everyone stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, then the result would be societal chaos–unless of course the concept of property didnt exist at all

            • I understand predator animals generally cull the weakest (oldest, most lame) members of a herd. Perhaps criminals are doing the same thing. We don’t call lions cowardly and vile.

            • Lidia17 says:

              Self-domestication.

        • Lidia17 says:

          Europeans expressed surplus energy throughput in part by building cathedrals and writing music for symphonies (for example), because that was the best they could do (they also did a lot of warring and pillaging as well). Elon Musk ineptly makes cars and rockets that explode, because that’s the best he can do. Looters, rapists, and arsonists steal, rape, and burn because with low IQs that’s the best they can do in contributing to the Energy-Throughput-Fest. Earthly impact-per-individual may very well be greater in summation, according to intelligence and degree of “civility.”

          We already see Garrett having come up with the CO2/GDP constant. GDP is not just a measure of good things that raise our quality of life, but also of bad “broken-windows” expenditures.

          • That is an interesting way of putting it:

            “Looters, rapists, and arsonists steal, rape, and burn because with low IQs that’s the best they can do in contributing to the Energy-Throughput-Fest.”

            I was juror on a trial quite a few years ago. I remember hearing one of the police testify that in the fall, some people would commit some minor crime, so that they could have a nice warm room in the jail to live in, for a few months, until warmer weather came around. People aren’t necessarily stupid.

            Also, you are right that any kind of broken-windows expenditure adds to GDP. You reference to Garrett is Dr. Tim Garrett at the University of Utah.

    • Dan says:

      Not so sure about the poverty part….if people were truly rich and not suffering the effects of inflation and deflation at the same time I think things would be different. The frogs don’t know that they are being boiled in the pot yet.

    • CTG says:

      I tried to share this link out via Facebook Messenger to my friends. It was blocked. FB states that this is not a good link to share and denies the share.

      Talk about personal censorship

      • I have been a little cautious about how I title my articles and how strong the statement I make are. People (and censors) get upset when the story is too “strong.”

  4. Lorraine Sherman says:

    Cycles are the real tell in this story. Big dips in energy consumption result in larger violent fractures in society and little dips result is smaller, less violent fractures in society. The little dip in 2008 created the Occupy Wallstreet Movement in the US, the big dip during Covid lock down created the current events. I imagine it was rough living in Russia during its restructuring.

    I wish more people could see and understand these cycles and I wish more people understood how important oil and gas are to our system. I never understood how ubiquitous oil and gas are in our society until I watched Michael Rupert’s “Collapse” interview. This is the real story.

    Instead, what I’m hearing from very intelligent and educated people is: we have to vote for Biden – as if that’s gonna do anything!

    Our only hope? Develop a personal Energy Descent Plan in line with the Transition Handbook.

    As always, great article, and great comments.

    • I am afraid the current dip in energy consumption will be the “gift that keeps on giving.” It is giving the current violent protests. It will give us cuts of government employees next. Broken supply lines will cut back on the goods and service we can access. Things will tend to change for the worse.

  5. Rodster says:

    Dr. Nafeez Ahmed rarely writes but when he does, it’s usually brilliant. He gets it and connects the dots by zooming out and taking a snap photo of converging problems. But then he usually ends things by thinking there is a way forward from this mess. Maybe there is maybe there isn’t. We really don’t know and won’t know because we won’t be around when or if the change does happen.

    What we DO KNOW is that EVERYTHING we have built including our current population of roughly 7.8 billion humans and counting was made possible by fossil fuels. Without it, it’s like trying to thread a needle, it gets tight just to get it right.

    It’s a long read but well worth it.

    “White Supremacism and the Earth Systeme
    The protests, the pandemic, and the planet: from systemic decline to civilizational renewal”
    View at Medium.com

    • Tim Groves says:

      I’ve read the first few paragraphs. And Dr. Ahmed has informed me that the US is a racist state with a racist police force and that we’ve just witnessed the racist murder of George Floyd.

      Sorry, I can’t willingly take 27 minutes of this sort of brilliant analysis. Dr. Ahmed was brilliant two decades ago when he collated and analyzed what was going on before and after nine-11 in his two excellent books, The War on Truth and The War on Freedom.

      Since then, his brilliance has failed to impress me. He got into promoting clim-mate alarmism, de-carbon-ization of the economy and trusting our collective future in renewables. Now he seems so be blaming white supremacism for our predicament.

      Do we really need an article that takes 27 minutes for a college educated person to read in order to say that, or are there some important nuggets of wisdom and common sense buried it this article that will amaze and astound us with their brilliance if we persevere?

      • Xabier says:

        The ‘earth system’ is being destroyed by the global application of the civilizational model developed in Ancient Mesopotamia, not white supremacy.

        Urban areas established by destroying local eco-systems; intense and excessive exploitation of resources through farming, fisheries and forestry; enhanced by international trade in commodities and warfare; resultant degradation and over-population, etc. We all know the drill. These people were in current parlance ‘BAME’.

        Well, poor old Ahmed needs to get published,and no doubt looks for grants, so his ‘white supremacy’ spin on the issue is no surprise.

    • Kim says:

      More White Supremacism? Again? Really? Whites are responsible for the chaos of Pakistan or Bangladesh? The tyranny of China? The tribalism of Africa? The narrowness of Islamic theocracy? Black family disintegration and criminality in the United States?

      I was watching an old “Yes Minister” today. Minister Hacker’s daughter was going to stage a nude sit-in to save threatened badgers. This is of course embarrassing for Hacker. His private secretary Bernard asks “Can’t you reason with her?” and Hacker answers “Don’t talk nonsense, Bernard. She’s a sociology student!”

      It seems that half the world today have the minds of sociology students: information poor or entirely misinformed, confused by poorly understood undergraduate concepts, pushed hither and thither by adolescent peer pressures and a slavery to current trends, personal insecurities and overwrought emotions.

      A rational and informed or thoughtful person might as well try to discuss matters with Fido.

      • Xabier says:

        There is certainly very little sense around at the moment, and a great deal of embarrassing emoting.

        As for trying to reason with anyone in such an irrational state, the Persian proverb applies:

        ‘A word to a fool is as good as silence’.

        • DB says:

          Thank you for that proverb, Xabier. It’s full of insight.

          • Xabier says:

            Persian proverbs, in fact most proverbs, are generally pregnant with hard-won experience.

            Worth keeping in mind when you get exasperated with some nonsense someone is spouting.

            Just keep silent and pass on, because you won’t change them.

            One of the ironies of life is that it takes a smart person in the first place to seek and appreciate good advice…..

            • Lidia17 says:

              One comment I read, regarding covid-mask-obsessors (who seem to be highly-correlated with knee-takers), said ““Do not try to teach the Karens that the lockdown was a mistake. That is impossible. Instead, only try and realize the truth. — The truth is that the lockdown has turned fear into a virtue. Those that are afraid think they are better than those who aren’t, and will subconsciously look for ways to multiple that fear, because it’s their virtue.”

            • Artleads says:

              Like the local gallery owner who came up to us at the pop up food stall today, asking what we know about “testing” in the village next to us. I can now see that he expected us to be concerned and must be disappointed at our polite coolness. He was bewildred about where/how/when to get the results from his recent test, and I told him others had complained about getting the results as well. It was like he wasn’t REALLY accepting this disclosure. It wasn’t quite on program.

    • Adam says:

      Thanks for the link Rod.

  6. frankly step-by-step says:

    Part 1 again.
    Afterwards part 2

    Nothing is for nothing part 1

    The world is upside down. Not only since the Corona crisis. Enormous efforts are required every day to maintain this condition.
    Those who practice yoga and practice standing upside down, in yoga the exercise is called Shirshasana, know what I mean. The smallest gust of wind, the slightest carelessness, Kawumm … – landed rudely on the yoga mat.
    But practice makes perfect. The Kawumm …, in the figurative sense of the crash, occurs less and less. You have learned to keep your attention.
    But not even a master of yoga would come up with the idea of ​​keeping this state endless. The exercise actually only serves to change the perspective. Serves as a training of the mind.
    But afterwards it is always necessary to return; that is: to get up again.

    But our world is always upside down. The condition is chronic. Even more, standing upside down is now considered a natural state.
    But since he is not, there are a lot of people who feel it. They feel increasingly uncomfortable, feel overwhelmed, insecure people look for the mistake in themselves. Some despair so much that they brutally elude standing upside down.
    But anyone who manages to stand on their own two feet will shortly thereafter feel excluded. Is no longer understood. Is an outsider.
    The majority, however, tries to come to an arrangement. Believe the elites, the politicians, the economists, leading media representatives and the company bosses who assure that the situation is completely normal.
    And even the critical voices (yes, there are), who feel the fallacy, deal endlessly with the statements of the elites.

    Hi! Don’t switch off now. Hold on.

    Now it’s about getting everything back on its feet. With the help of the Bible.
    The Bible?
    Yes, hard to believe.

    It goes back in time. Quite far. Roughly three thousand years. To the old testament. To the book Genesis. To Abraham and Melchizedek to Genesis chapter 14, verse 18-20.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis+14&version=CSB

    It follows that Melchesedik is the high priest of God. Abraham, as a blessed one, is a believer in God. And as such, he hands Melchizedek the tithe of the loot.

    If you want to know where the spoils of war came from, just read the verses in front of it.

    Genesis Chap. 14, verses 18-20 is, to my knowledge, the first mention of tithe in the Bible.
    Since there is no previous text, it can be assumed that tithing was handed down orally before the Bible. And thus must be accepted as the first obligation of a believer in God towards God.
    Except for the commandment in Genesis chapter 8, verse 4, “However, living flesh, still connected to its blood, you should not eat.” A commandment that I think is related to the tithing.

    There is also further evidence of voluntary tithing, which affects Jacob. Mentioned in Genesis chapter 28, verses 20-22.

    I now come from the first obligation of a believer in God to put this obligation in writing, and thus to the law.

    As the law, tithe is first mentioned in Leviticus, chapter 27, verses 32-34, in the third book of Moses.

    The most interesting thing about this text is the precise definition of the procedure for the survey. Since it is mentioned that animals are not allowed to be exchanged, there were probably people who circumvented the law and wanted to circumvent it even before it was written down.
    Even more interesting is the mention that a twenty percent surcharge was due when paying with money.
    So those who paid with money had to give up twelve percent a year.

    The tithe collectors were the temple servants, the Levites, who in turn received ten percent of the tithe for their work and again had to give ten percent of this tithe to the priesthood (Aaron and Aaron’s descendants).

    The question that now arises: what actually happened to all the remaining eighty-eight to ninety percent of the cattle that were brought in, all the fruit and vegetables, all the money?

    The answer to that is really startling. There was a festival at the tithing site. A huge festival where everyone was allowed to eat it all. Always with the proviso of thanking God for his benevolence.

    Benevolence? That is the question now. What should tithing be if people got a good portion of it back, according to God’s will? Why this strange construct?

    Perhaps this thought will help.
    The priesthood, as well as the Levites, were in the former God state (I am the Lord your God), the elite of the state and could therefore decide on the direction in which the community should steer.
    So the Levites and priests were at the same time something like the central banker and government in one.

    In any case, if you follow his mention in the Bible, the tithe shows a logical development. And is always the focal point of the action. It is not for nothing that the prophets repeatedly urge them to keep God’s laws. Which suggests that tithing, as God wished, usually did not work. Which was probably also due to the kings that God had appointed at the people’s request (they wanted a king, like all the peoples around them).
    OK, you can have it, God said, but be aware that the tithe is no longer due to me, but to the king.

    So once again the question at the end of the first part of the post “Nothing is for nothing”: why did God so urgently and so emphatically demand tithing?

    • the world is only upside down because the Australian aborigines didn’t sail to europe and discover it

      Simple when you stop to work it out

    • frankly step-by-step says:

      Nothing is for nothing – part 2

      Actually, the answer to the question asked: why is tithing? Easy to answer. But believe me, the answer is difficult to get into your head.
      We are all shaped by what surrounds us, what we have been taught and what we have our own experiences with. And none of us can say that he has no experience in dealing with money.
      Money moves us. Don’t leave us alone.
      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes in Faust: Everything is pressing for gold, everything depends on gold. Oh poor!
      The whole Faust of Goethe is permeated by the money topic. In the second part also of the impending state bankruptcy. And of course caught by the moral struggle of men between Mephisto and God.
      We all know the fight. One way or another.

      Many of the problems that mankind currently has could be solved with a completely different kind of money. And as God promises in the Bible texts, we would then have him on our side. With rich harvests and peace in the country. And with justice between people.

      That’s why I’m a fan of God, even more a supporter of God.

      One does not have to be a believer for the following solution. Reason is enough.

      It was in 1994 when I noticed a book in a three-hour nightly broadcast on public radio, the author (Peter Kafka) of which brought up thoughts that really upset me at the time.
      I then started reading. Thought. Read more. And at some point I knew that’s it.

      Another book, written by Margrit Kennedy, was published in Germany in 1995 and, in my opinion, is the best work I know as an introduction.
      And for most readers here, not to be scoffed at, it also appeared in English.

      Attention: 58 pages

      Click to access GeldbuchEnglisch.pdf

      findable:
      https://www.kennedy-bibliothek.info/home/

      Unfortunately, Margrit Kennedy is no longer alive. But her CV does exist in Wikipedia (engl.).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margrit_Kennedy

      The book – Interest and Inflation free Money – suggests that central bankers should charge an annual fee for all cash and any deposits in simple bank accounts. She speaks of about 5-6%.
      So it differs from God’s demand, who demanded 12% when the tithing was paid.
      The difference is serious, but not nearly as big as that between zero and minus five to minus six percent. Whereby I would rather be for the divine specification.
      Result of this central bank operation: the basis of the interest calculation would change.
      More specifically, the rate of return.
      Result of this central bank operation: the basis of the interest calculation would change.
      The basis for calculating the interest is then not 100% but only 94-95%. With the divine application only 88%.
      And that would have tremendous effects. It would be a matter of huge amounts of money worldwide, which would be distributed differently every year.
      The losers in this central bank action would be today’s winners, the money elites.
      Which also explains that apart from central bankers (who have been working intensively on it since the 2008/9 financial crisis), hardly anyone knows about it. And the few who report about it and get attention face the violent headwind.

      It is not an easy matter. But once understood, a real eye opener.

      Margrit Kennedy referred to the work of Silvio Gesell.

      His CV also at the English-language Wikipedia.
      Suggestion: Read the “Opinions of Gesell”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Gesell

      And now also the link to his main work

      Silvio Gesell  (1929)

      New Economic Order (translated by Philip Pye). Berlin 1929.
      zum PDF-Download

      This is reading material for many, many hours.

      And imagine; in this system it is even possible to shrink without breaking it down. What is unthinkable in our current system. Keyword: system crash.
      System crash because everyone is involved in the game, all pay tribute to the same system that has to grow at all costs so as not to cause any distortions as we are currently experiencing.
      Individual countries have been hit countless times in the past. State bankruptcies without end.

      Only this time, because everyone is intertwined, it will ultimately affect everyone. Unless we humans in democratic countries stop this madness. And get back on our feet.
      A huge number of the current problems could then dissolve into nothing and create space for a new way of thinking. A way of thinking that also respects the limits of growth and resources.

      I don’t want to hide the fact that I doubt that this will happen. If the Vatican and the Vatican Bank do not abide by God’s laws, then what can be expected from other, more secular institutions?
      But at least I wanted to inform you about the alternative. Our media haven’t done it so far or I’ve overlooked it … it can be.

      • frankly step-by-step says:

        The link in the text doesn’t work.
        Here is the link to silvio Gesell’s book

        https://www.silvio-gesell.de/the-natural-economic-order.html

      • milan says:

        Thank you very much sir. you may like this:

        “Where does it end?

        With taxes, of course. The need for cash will be insatiable. And enduring. Some believe we’ve crossed the Rubicon, thanks to this virus. Now we all get a pony.

        Well, this is a profound problem. These days four in ten households pay no net federal income tax, thanks to benefits like the cash-for-kids program. That leaves the other six to fund it all. But most of them (90%) earn less than $81,000. Hmm, so the top 10% of us – anybody earning $96,000 or more – currently bring in a little more than a third of all the income but already pay 54% of all the taxes.

        Let me repeat. Ten per cent of Canadians pay 54% of the income tax. Of those, just a sliver are ‘rich’. The top 1% (earning $235,000 or more) number only 271,000. (Of those, 120,000 live in Ontario.)

        This is why ‘taxing the rich’ won’t work. We don’t have enough to milk.”

        https://www.greaterfool.ca/2020/06/02/the-inevitable-4/

        • Adam says:

          Maybe Garth would like it if canadians were having even fewer children per family?

        • frankly step-by-step says:

          “With Taxes, of course…”

          Take note: The opposite is currently happening.

          In Germany, income tax (employer) in 2012 was 6.2% of total tax revenue.
          The income tax (employee) was 24.8% of the total tax revenue.

          Yes, yes the rich are really being ripped off excessively. When they keep the whole economy going. Think of something better as an argument.

  7. Dennis L. says:

    Frankly ,
    I did not read much/most of your post but this caught my eye, “System crash because everyone is involved in the game.”

    I have posted at length about education, it is changing, and it is networking, it is happening in plain sight and the lock down has hastened the inevitable. Home schooling is very effective for those able to learn and for many trades it has been from father to son, mother to daughter for centuries. Now it is moving from a few outliers to mainstream and very fine college education is possible without going to a campus.

    Manufacturing is moving back into the home, incredible products can be manufactured, there are some areas that require scale, but many do not. The tax advantages of working from home are incredible and in a way it is very Marxian, the worker gets a return on his capital and there is no employment tax on capital. This was one of the tenants of Marx if I understand correctly, he saw the state owing the capital, more and more it is the individual owing the capital he personally uses.

    Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses.” Maybe he was right, but it works and it adapts to the surroundings in which humans find themselves. It is much less destructive than fentanyl.

    Secular humanism has been extremely destructive to the masses, indeed it seems very “racist” to me. That is not a cheap shot, it correlates well with anecdotal observation.

    All the best to you in your search,

    Dennis L.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Reply to myself:
      The idea is change is happening, they system is already changing before us and two examples were sited. For some change is a crash, for others it is change, returns on capital are changing, some is obsolete and will crash, some is rising.

      Perhaps a “Facebook” type of change is right infront of us and is happening, at some point it becomes a “network effect.”

      Dennis L.

    • frankly step-by-step says:

      Silvio Gesell really had nothing to do with Karl Marx. He wanted a free economy. Free entrepreneurs. With fair conditions for everyone. By eliminating the positive interest.
      Marx, on the other hand, wanted to control the negative effects of interest rates on the economy and the vast majority of employees by nationalizing companies.
      Keyword: Expropriates the expropriators (expropriate the expropriators). See communist manifesto.

      It’s really not compatible with each other.

    • Good points, Dennis!

  8. Chrome Mags says:

    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86482

    COVID-19 Sequelae Can Linger for Weeks
    — Even patients with mild cases describe persistent fatigue, trouble breathing, cardiac issues

    The problems with Covid-19 aren’t just those who die, but also for recovered patients the fight to feel good again goes on for weeks, even months. Here’s a few examples:

    “DeSanti:
    “47 days after first testing positive for COVID-19, his symptoms have yet to completely subside. He still suffers weakness, a daily low-grade fever, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and the constant anxiety that his illness will worsen yet again.”

    “More than 230,000 people in the U.S. have recovered from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. But like DeSanti, Mixon & Perlo, many have lingering symptoms long after their initial infection — ranging from fatigue and muscle aches to rashes and heart issues.”

    Mixon:
    “Chest pressure prompted Mixon to return to the hospital. An x-ray revealed ground glass infiltrates on her lower left side, but doctors said it looked like whatever she had was clearing up. The pressure remained. “That lasted about 3 or 4 weeks,” Mixon said. “The chest pressure was just still there lingering, and it wouldn’t go away.” Mixon says she has not fully recovered, suffering dull, persistent headaches that she didn’t have before.”

    Perlo:
    “Still another patient with prolonged symptoms is Evan Perlo, a 36-year-old psychotherapist from Los Angeles. Around the time that he was tested for COVID-19 on March 16, Perlo experienced fatigue, body chills, and nausea, a wooziness he had not felt before. It became difficult to breathe on his daily walks, his ability to concentrate was impaired, and it took a toll on his mental health, he said.”

    “Around 8 weeks after he first felt symptoms, Perlo told MedPage Today that those symptoms are finally starting to subside. Yet, the sense of uncertainty around how long it will take to return to full physical health has been a challenge. “That in itself became like a source of grief,” Perlo said.”

    There’s a divide on how people see this virus, with many in a cavalier way tossing caution to the wind, while others are rightfully, I think, very concerned about getting something potentially deadly or taking a very long time to recover from with uncertainty about whether or not they will ever feel like they did before contracting Covid-19.

    • avocado says:

      Yes, but only one out of 10 or 20 infections are detected and counted as cases, and most of them are more or less benign. Ugly situations could be between 2 and 5%, and deaths are between 0.5 and 1%

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        “Ugly situations could be between 2 and 5%…”

        2 to 5 % therefore means that this virus is a hugely significant health risk…

    • Xabier says:

      I had those symptoms in late January/early February – not very nice, but not that bad either. It was the feverishness which really stood out as odd.

      But Evan Perlo needs to get a back-bone: ‘Grief’? Good God! He hasn’t lost a leg or something, he’s not in a wheel-chair or blind.

      What’s happened to men these days?

  9. psile says:

    BLS alters jobs report, changes data, and hides millions of job losses. Colour me surprised. It’s all about jamming the stock market, that’s the only trick left to those at the top.

    Jobs Report Was A Lie, Record Business Creation While Most Were Closed Millions Of Job Losses Hidden

    There was much fanfare over yesterday’s Jobs report from the BLS yet this was one of the worst alterations in BLS history as they hid millions of job losses using a few tricks and even added extra for good measure. We attempt to break down the report yet we’ll begin with the addendum on the report itself which detailed some major changes they were instructed to make which are clearly performed to soften what was supposed to be one of the worst jobs reports in history expectations were for 8 million job losses.

    So how did we end up adding jobs well it has to do with the way they typically calculate business opening and closings and the changes resulted in record business creation the reason being they just removed most of the businesses whos employee counts went to 0 meaning almost all of the businesses that were shut down.

    Funny how just ignoring all of the effects of the actual economic realities can make it appear like the economy was on a firm footing. This is a plain lie and it’s crazy they even called a press conference in advance to celebrate what was called amazing numbers. I think this is immoral and is actually encouraging risk based on lies.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

      this is his take on the BLShit:

      “Not So Happy, That News Was Not Particularly Credible, Given: Major Prior-Period Downside Revisions; Unusually Low Response Levels; Revised Methodologies and Seasonal Adjustments; Counting 4.9 Million May Unemployed as “Employed” (the Third Month of Acknowledged Misreporting); and details Running Meaningfully Counter to New Claims, Irrespective of Definitional Conflicts”

      his calculation:

      “May 2020 ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment is 34.0%, 36.5% net of BLS errors”

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “As millions of Americans return to work amid the worst economic crisis in a generation, they’re unexpectedly discovering their old positions are far more burdensome than they used to be.

        “Their hours have been cut, their pay has been slashed and their responsibilities are now magnitudes greater. And their job security — despite President Trump’s recent proclamations about an economy on the mend — remains anything but guaranteed.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/06/workers-pay-cuts-coronavirus/

      • The Shadow Stat numbers show very much higher numbers. The thing that people have been rejoicing about is that fact that the latest numbers show a change in trend. This is true, even on the Shadow Stat numbers. Other people ignore how terribly high the numbers are.

    • Xabier says:

      Really the US seems to be almost in what one might call a Soviet state of propaganda and faked statistics.

      • Xabier says:

        ‘No statistician can be trusted to report with honesty and accuracy that on which his job depends’.

        • psile says:

          Obviously, the BLS had a gun put to its head to “get the job done”, and not for the first time lately, because a lot’s at stake, not least of which is Trump’s re-election prospects, but also for the continuation of the status quo, which was already on very shaky ground economically, heading into the pandemic. However, they hid their statistical manipulations in plain sight, I guess out of feelings of guilt?

  10. Dan says:

    Finally! Thank you Psile!

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