Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

It seems like a reset of an economy should work like a reset of your computer: Turn it off and turn it back on again; most problems should be fixed. However, it doesn’t really work that way. Let’s look at a few of the misunderstandings that lead people to believe that the world economy can move to a Green Energy future.

[1] The economy isn’t really like a computer that can be switched on and off; it is more comparable to a human body that is dead, once it is switched off.

A computer is something that is made by humans. There is a beginning and an end to the process of making it. The computer works because energy in the form of electrical current flows through it. We can turn the electricity off and back on again. Somehow, almost like magic, software issues are resolved, and the system works better after the reset than before.

Even though the economy looks like something made by humans, it really is extremely different. In physics terms, it is a “dissipative structure.” It is able to “grow” only because of energy consumption, such as oil to power trucks and electricity to power machines.

The system is self-organizing in the sense that new businesses are formed based on the resources available and the apparent market for products made using these resources. Old businesses disappear when their products are no longer needed. Customers make decisions regarding what to buy based on their incomes, the amount of debt available to them, and the choice of goods available in the marketplace.

There are many other dissipative structures. Hurricanes and tornadoes are dissipative structures. So are stars. Plants and animals are dissipative structures. Ecosystems of all kinds are dissipative structures. All of these things grow for a time and eventually collapse. If their energy source is taken away, they fail quite quickly. The energy source for humans is food of various types; for plants it is generally sunlight.

Thinking that we can switch the economy off and on again comes close to assuming that we can resurrect human beings after they die. Perhaps this is possible in a religious sense. But assuming that we can do this with an economy requires a huge leap of faith.

[2] Economic growth has a definite pattern to it, rather than simply increasing without limit. 

Many people have developed models reflecting the fact that economic growth seems to come in waves or cycles. Ray Dalio shows a chart describing his view of the economic cycle in a preview to his upcoming book, The Changing World Order. Figure 1 is Dalio’s chart, with some annotations I have added in blue.

Figure 1. New World Order chart by Ray Dalio from an introduction to his theory called The Changing World Order. Annotations in blue added by Gail Tverberg.

Modelers of all kinds would like to think that there are no limits in this world. Actually, there are many limits. It is the fact that economies have to work around limits that leads to cycles such as these. Some examples of limits include inadequate arable land for a growing population, inability to fight off pathogens, and an energy supply that becomes excessively expensive to produce. Cycles can be expected to vary in steepness, both on the upside and the downside of the cycle.

The danger of ignoring these cycles is that researchers tend to create models of future economic growth and future energy consumption that are far out of sync with what really can be expected. Accurate models need to include at least some limited version of overshoot and collapse on a regular basis. Models of the future economy tend to be based on what politicians would like to believe will happen, rather than what actually can be expected to happen in the real world.

[3] Commodity prices behave differently at different stages of the economic cycle. During the second half of the economic cycle, it becomes difficult to keep commodity prices high enough for producers. 

There is a common belief that demand for energy products will always be high, because everyone knows we need energy. Thus, according to this belief, if we have the technology to extract fossil fuels, prices will eventually rise high enough that fossil fuel resources can easily be extracted. Many people have been concerned that we might “run out” of oil. They expect that oil prices will rise to compensate for the shortages. Thus, many people believe that in order to maintain adequate supply, we should be concerned about supplementing fossil fuels with nuclear power and renewable energy.

If we examine oil prices (Figure 2), it is apparent that, at least recently, this is not the way oil prices actually behave. Since the spike in oil prices in 2008, the big problem has been prices that fall too low for oil producers. At prices well below $100 per barrel, development of many new oil fields is not economic. Low oil prices are especially a problem in 2020 because travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic reduce oil demand (and prices) even below where they were previously.

Figure 2. Weekly average spot oil prices for Brent, based on data of the US Energy Information Administration.

Strangely enough, coal prices (Figure 3) seem to follow a very similar pattern to oil prices, even though coal is commonly believed to be available in huge supply, and oil is commonly believed to be in short supply.

Figure 3. Selected Spot Coal Prices, from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Prices are annual averages. Price for China is Qinhuangdao spot price; price for US is Central Appalachian coal spot index; price for Europe is Northwest European marker price.

Comparing Figures 2 and 3, we see that prices for both oil and coal rose to a peak in 2008, then fell back sharply. The timing of this drop in prices corresponds with the “debt bust” in late 2008 that is shown in Figure 1.

Prices then rose to another peak in 2011, after several years of Quantitative Easing (QE). QE is intended to hold the cost of borrowing down, encouraging the use of more debt. This debt can be used by citizens to buy more goods made with coal and oil (such as cars and solar panels). Therefore, QE is a way to increase demand and thus help raise energy prices. In the 2011-2014 period, oil was able to maintain its price better than coal, perhaps because of its short supply. Once the United States discontinued its QE program in 2014, oil prices dropped like a rock (Figure 2).

Prices were very low in 2015 and 2016 for both coal and oil. China stimulated its economy, and prices for both coal and oil were able to rise again in 2017 and 2018. By 2019, prices for both oil and coal were falling again. Figure 2 shows that in 2020, oil prices have fallen again, as a result of demand destruction caused by pandemic shutdowns. Coal prices have also fallen in 2020, according to Trading Economics.

[4] The low prices since mid-2008 seem to be leading to both peak crude oil and peak coal. Crude oil production started falling in 2019 and can be expected to continue falling in 2020. Coal extraction seems likely to start falling in 2020.

In the previous section, I showed that crude oil and coal both have the same problem: Prices tend to be too low for producers to make a profit extracting them. For this reason, investment in new oil wells is being reduced, and unprofitable coal mines are being closed.

Figure 4 shows that world crude oil production has not grown much since 2004. In fact, OPEC’s production has not grown much since 2004, even though OPEC countries report high oil reserves so, in theory, they could pump more oil if they chose to.

Figure 4. World crude oil production (including condensate) based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy. Russia+ refers to the group Commonwealth of Independent States.

In total, BP data shows that world crude oil production fell by 582,000 barrels per day, comparing 2019 to 2018. This represents a drop of 2.0 million barrels per day in OPEC production, offset by smaller increases in production for the US, Canada, and Russia. Crude oil production is expected to fall further in 2020, because of low demand and prices.

Because of continued low coal prices, world coal production has been on a bumpy plateau since 2011. Prices seem to be even lower in 2020 than in 2019, putting further downward pressure on coal extraction in 2020.

Figure 5. World coal production based on data from BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

[5] Modelers missed the fact that fossil fuel extraction would disappear because of low prices, leaving nearly all reserves and other resources in the ground. Modelers instead assumed that renewables would always be an extension of a fossil fuel-powered system.

The thing that most people do not understand is that commodity prices are set by the laws of physics, so that supply and demand are in balance. Demand is really very close to “affordability.” If there is too much wage/wealth disparity, commodity prices tend to fall too low. In a globalized world, many workers earn only a few dollars a day. Because of their low wages, these low-paid workers cannot afford to purchase very much of the world’s goods and services. The use of robots tends to produce a similar result because robots can’t actually purchase goods and services made by the economy.

Thus, modelers looking at Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) for wind and for solar assumed that they would always be used inside of a fossil fuel powered system that could provide heavily subsidized balancing for their intermittent output. They made calculations as if intermittent electricity is equivalent to electricity that can be controlled to provide electricity when it is needed. Their calculations seemed to suggest that making wind and solar would be useful. The thing that was overlooked was that this was only possible within a system where other fuels would provide balancing at a very low cost.

[6] The same issue of low demand leading to low prices affects commodities of all kinds. As a result, many of the future resources that modelers count on, and that companies depend upon as the basis for borrowing, are unlikely to really be available.

Commodities of all kinds are being affected by low demand and low selling prices. The problem giving rise to low prices seems to be related to excessive specialization, excessive use of capital goods to replace labor, and excessive use of globalization. These issues are all related to the needs of a world economy that depends on a high level of technology. In such an economy, too much of the output of the economy goes to producing devices and to paying highly trained workers. Little is left for non-elite workers.

The low selling prices of commodities makes it impossible for employers to pay adequate wages to most of their workers. These low wages, in turn, feed through to the uprisings we have been seeing in the last couple of years. These uprisings are part of “Revolutions and Wars” mentioned in Figure 1. It is difficult to see how this problem will disappear without a major change in the “World Order,” mentioned in the same figure.

Because the problem of low commodity prices is widespread, our ability to produce electrical backup of all kinds, including the ability to make batteries, can be expected to become an increasing problem. Commodities, such as lithium, suffer from low prices, not unlike the low prices for coal and oil. These low prices lead to cutbacks in their production and local uprisings.

[7] On a stand-alone basis, intermittent renewables have very limited usefulness. Their true value is close to zero.

If electricity is only available when the sun is shining, or when the wind is blowing, industry cannot plan for its use. Its use must be limited to applications where intermittency doesn’t matter, such as pumping water for animals to drink or desalinating water. No one would attempt to smelt metals with intermittent electricity because the metals would set at the wrong time, if the intermittent electricity suddenly disappeared. No one would power an elevator with intermittent electricity, because a person could easily be trapped between floors. Homeowners would not use electricity to power refrigerators, because, as likely as not, the food would spoil when electricity was off for long periods. Traffic signals would work sometimes, but not always.

Lebanon is an example of a country whose electricity system works only intermittently. It is hard to imagine that any other country would want to imitate Lebanon. Lack of reliable electricity supply leads to protests in Lebanon.

[8] The true cost of wind and solar has been hidden from everyone, using subsidies whose total cost is hard to determine.

Each country has its own way of providing subsidies to renewables. Most countries give wind and solar the subsidy of “going first.” They are often given a fixed rate as well. Both of these are subsidies. In the US, other subsidies are buried in the tax system. Recently, there has been talk of using QE to help wind and solar providers lower their cost of borrowing.

Newspapers regularly report that the price of wind and solar is at “grid parity,” but this is not an apples to apples comparison. To be useful, electricity needs to be available when users need it. The cost of storage is far too high to allow us to store electricity for weeks and months at a time.

If we were to use intermittent electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels in general, we would need to use intermittent electricity to heat homes and offices in winter. Sunshine is abundant in the summer, but not in the winter. Without storage, solar panels cannot even be counted on to provide homeowners with heat for cooking dinner after the sun sets in the evening. An incredibly huge amount of storage would be needed to store heat from summer to winter.

China reports that it has $42 billion in unpaid clean energy subsidies, and this amount is getting larger each year. Countries are now becoming poorer and the taxes they are able to collect are lower. Their ability to subsidize a high cost, unreliable electricity system is disappearing.

[9] Wind, solar, and hydroelectric today only comprise a little under 10% of the world’s energy supply. 

We are deluding ourselves if we think we can get along on such a tiny total energy supply.

Figure 6. Hydroelectric, wind, and solar electricity as a percentage of world energy supply, based on BP’s 2020 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Few people understand what a small share of the world’s energy supply wind and solar provide today. The amounts shown in Figure 6 assume that the denominator is total energy (including oil, for example), not just electricity. In 2019, hydroelectric accounted for 6.4% of world energy supply. Wind accounted for 2.2%, and solar accounted for 1.1%. The three together amounted to 9.7% of the world’s energy supply.

None of these three energy types is suited to producing food. Oil is currently used for tilling fields, making herbicides and pesticides, and transporting refrigerated crops to market.

[10] Few people understand how important energy supply is for giving humans control over other species and pathogens.

Control over other species and pathogens has been a multistage effort. In recent years, this effort has involved antibiotics, antivirals and vaccines. Pasteurization became an important technique in the 1800s.

Humans’ control over other species started over 100,000 years ago, when humans learned to burn biomass for many uses, including cooking foods, scaring away predators, and burning down entire forests to improve their food supply. In my 2018 post, Supplemental energy puts humans in charge, I wrote about one proof of the importance of humans’ control of fire. In the lower layers of a cave in South Africa, big cats were in charge: There were no carbon deposits from fire and gnawed human bones were scattered around the cave. In the upper layers of the same cave, humans were clearly in charge. There were carbon deposits from fires, and bones of big cats that had been gnawed by humans were scattered around the cave.

We are dealing with COVID-19 now. Today’s hospitals are only possible thanks to a modern mix of energy supply. Drugs are very often made using oil. Personal protective equipment is made in factories around the world and shipped to where it is used, generally using oil for transport.


We do indeed appear to be headed for a Great Reset. There is little chance that Green Energy can play more than a small role, however. Leaders are often confused because of the erroneous modeling that has been done. Given that the world’s oil and coal supply seem to be declining in the near term, the chance that fossil fuel production will ever rise as high as assumptions made in the IPCC reports seems very slim.

It is true that some Green Energy devices may continue to operate for a time. But, as the world economy continues to head downhill, it will be increasingly difficult to make new renewable devices and to repair existing systems. Wholesale electricity prices can be expected to stay very low, leading to the need for continued subsidies for wind and solar.

Figure 1 indicates that we can expect more revolutions and wars at this stage in the cycle. At least part of this unrest will be related to low commodity prices and low wages. Globalization will tend to disappear. Keeping transmission lines repaired will become an increasing problem, as will many other tasks associated with keeping energy supplies available.

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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2,650 Responses to Why a Great Reset Based on Green Energy Isn’t Possible

  1. Erdles says:

    Gold in the last three months has flown through $1700, $1800, $1900 and now today $2000. Somebody is trying to tell us something surely.

    • Norman Pagett says:

      maybe theyve heard trump is going to reveal his tax returns

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Treasuries are trying to tell us something, too:

      “The 10-year yield hit a low of 0.513% in North American morning trade, the second-lowest yield ever recorded at that maturity. The lowest was hit on March 9th…”


    • Things aren’t going too well.

      • neil says:

        Many years ago, Tony Blair’s election theme song was “things can only get better”.

        “Things can only get badder”

    • Herbie Ficklestein says:

      Was on monument metals website last night with Silver at about $24.00 an ounce….looked at this 5 0unce silver rounds….thought about it …
      Just checked and silver is up about $2.00 an ounce tonight!
      If I bought a monster box of 500 ounces …..
      Oh well, these are indeed crazy times…you snooze you lose.
      But I feel in the unraveling of BAU most will be losers, only the lucky few will be around..but once their supplies run out, they will wish they were with the spirit world….
      Lord & Taylor and Virgin American Airlines just filed..that should cause the stock market to climb tomorrow.
      Up today 164 on the Dow…more stimulus….haha💥👇😀🤑🤢

      • adonis says:

        Gold and Silver will go up it will be inflationary as long as the money printing goes on and it will go on because remember Mario Draghi’s words we will do whatever it takes which means they will print for all their buddies not us the only way to get into this is to buy silver while its still cheap and available from one of my friends who stacks silver 6000 dollars an ounce will be the peak.

    • Tango Oscar says:

      Gold hit $2025 today, a new all time nominal high. I think we’re going to see $2300 by year end. Silver climbed 7% today as well. I ordered some silver eagles on Friday and by the time they reach me the price may have climbed 10-15%. Now that’s what you call an investment return, lmao.

  2. gold just jumped $30 in 8 hours

    Would anyone like to join me in screaming:

    DONT PANIC ????

  3. Harry McGibbs says:

    Poor Lebanon just can’t catch a break:

    “A massive explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut has killed at least 10 people, left hundreds more injured and ripped through much of the city including the home of the former prime minister…

    “Witnesses have stressed the sheer enormity of the blast, which was reportedly heard in Cyprus, and likened it to a ‘nuclear bomb’…

    “Beirut’s main airport – six miles away from the port – was reportedly damaged by the explosion, with pictures showing sections of collapsed ceiling.”


    • Lidia17 says:

      BREAKING: Lebanese Prime Minister says Beirut explosions caused by an estimated 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured for 6 years in a warehouse
      • Same chemical compound in Oklahoma City bombing
      • at least 70 people killed, over 3,000 injured; death toll rising by the hour
      • ten firefighters still missing
      • sprawling port area utterly destroyed
      • widespread damage observed across city
      • exact cause of explosion still officially unknown
      • Shockwave and explosion so large that terrified residents thought they were under nuclear attack
      • Countries sending international emergency aid
      • Large parts of city plunged into darkness this evening
      • Overwhelmed hospitals are treating patients in parking lots
      • Head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen: “There are victims and casualties everywhere – in all the streets and areas near and far from the explosion.”
      • Beirut City Governor Marwan Aboud said: “Beirut is a disaster city and the scale of the damage is enormous” and called the blast a “national disaster akin to Hiroshima.”

      Hiroshima deaths estimated at 66,000 according to this site:

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “The explosion destroyed the country’s largest port – which will now make it harder to import food and other aid – as well as silos that contain the national grain reserve…

        “About 85 per cent of the country’s cereals are stored in the facility.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “A fire broke out at an Iranian industrial area near Tehran on Tuesday, Iran’s state TV reported, the latest in a string of fires and explosions, some of which have hit sensitive sites…

          “There have been several other incidents at facilities in the past weeks, including a fire at the underground Natanz nuclear facility last month which caused significant damage…”


        • hkeithhenson says:

          > The explosion destroyed the country’s largest port

          Intentional or accident?

          I would guess accident since it is hard to see who would benefit. It seems to have been ammonium nitrate stacked up like it was bags of sand instead of high explosive. (When it catches on fire.)

          I got interested in NH$NO3 explosions many years ago. Storing it next to grain elevators is just incompetent. They had the same problem in a town in Texas some years ago, and there is a long list of places where this kind of fertilizer blew up, two ships at Texas City in 1947, and a whole town in Germany between WWI and WWII.

          They need someone competent to run the country. What was the name of that former executive who escaped from Japan?

          • Kowalainen says:

            Escaped? Rather told to leave with his french passport in the back pocket. It went something like this.

            Carlos Ghosn got a call from one of Abesan’s minions and was told to take a taxi to Narita and GTFO. End of story.

            The french was never going to own Nissan. When the Samurai descendants faces turns red its time to cut the losses and run for your life.

        • We are told, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Maybe the saying should be, “Don’t put all of your grain in one storage facility.”

          • Kowalainen says:

            An explosive allegory of rampant globalization. Hey, let’s manufacture all our frivolous jank in China. What could possibly go wrong. Oh well.

          • hkeithhenson says:

            > “Don’t put all of your grain in one storage facility.”

            That’s not as bad as putting 3000 tons of ammonium nitrate in one place. Around 30 tons, 1/100 as much ammonium nitrate, flattened a good part of the town of West, Texas in 2013. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Fertilizer_Company_explosion video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdDuHxwD5R4

            The explosion in Texas was the same, a fire leading into an explosion. Lebanon grows some of their food, so they will have to replace the fertilizer or suffer much-reduced yields.

            I hope they store the replacement ammonium nitrate in 100 ton or smaller amounts, well outside the city. But that probably will not happen due to the need to keep it under guard so it is not stolen.

            The expectations from evolutionary psychology are so bad I don’t want to talk about them.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Lidia, Harry, I watched several good reports on this incident, with clear videos and sharp commentary. It seems the fire started in the grain storage area, which is not surprising; a grain dust and air mixture can be set off by almost anything. One commentator blamed “fireworks”, pointing out some small flashes at the bottom of the scene. I doubt that; most fireworks are overdesigned for safety.

          My best guess (so far) is the incident started as a grain fire. This set off a few fireworks, but the climbed upwards, and became hot enough to trigger the ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3). It seems the explosive had been stored too long in an unsafe environment; that was bad enough, but storing it in a built up area was insane.

          According to the reports, the government had been warned several times over the past five years that they had a disaster waiting to happen, but (of course) did nothing. The Romans had a custom of throwing incompetent officials from the Tarpeian Rock; too bad the Lebanese didn’t copy it. (And too bad we don’t)

  4. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Me make you cheap charge up Kandi Car…take you back and forth to Walmart!
    Chinese automaker Kandi plans to bring a $13,000 electric car to the US this year, slashing the entry price of EV ownership
    tlevin@businessinsider.com (Tim Levin)
    Kandi Technologies Group, a Chinese auto company, announced this week that it’s launching two ultra-affordable electric vehicles in the US later this year.
    After federal tax credits, Kandi’s K23 and K27 hatchbacks will cost $12,999 and $22,499, respectively, the company said.
    According to initial details, the cars offer range that’s on par with many other budget-friendly EVs.
    Kandi America plans to start deliveries in the fourth quarter of this year, and will initially focus on selling the cars in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
    They’re set to become the cheapest EVs in the US, undercutting the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and other affordable options even before tax credits
    The tiny K27 model carries a retail price of $19,999, which comes out to $12,999 after federal tax breaks, according to Kandi America.
    That means one could nearly buy three Kandi K27s for the price of one Tesla Model 3.

    Elon best to start making only SUVs and pickups. like all the US car companies

  5. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study
    Oliver Milman in New York
    August 4, 2020, 3:00 AM
    Poorer societies that occupy the hottest areas of the world are set to suffer worst. As already baking temperatures climb further this century, countries such as Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sudan face an additional 200 or more deaths per 100,000 people. Colder, richer countries such as Norway and Canada, meanwhile, will see a drop in deaths as fewer and fewer people perish due to extreme cold.
    “You see the really bad impacts at the tropics,” said Jina. “There’s not one single worldwide condition, there’s a lot of different changes with poorer people much more affected with limited ability to adapt. The richer countries, even if they have increases in mortality, can pay more to adapt to it. It’s really the people who have done the least to cause climate change who are suffering from it.”
    Huge heatwaves have roiled the US, Europe, Australia, India, the Arctic and elsewhere in recent years, while 2020 is set to be hottest or second hottest on record, in line with the longer-term trend of rising temperatures. The deaths resulting from this heat are sometimes plain enough to generate attention, such as the fact that 1,500 people who died in France from the hot temperatures during summer last year.
    Within richer countries, places already used to the heat will have an adaptation head start on areas only now starting to experience scorching conditions. “A really hot day in Seattle is more damaging than a really hot day in Houston because air conditioning and other measures are less widespread there,” said Bob Kopp, a co-author and climate scientist at Rutgers University.

    • Robert Firth says:

      200 deaths per 100,000 people is just 0.2%. I suggest this is not high on our list of problems.

    • Tim Groves says:

      I’m no stranger to heat-related deaths. Last Saturday evening one of our precious cats, a fat but otherwise healthy ten-year-old ginger tom who loved playing and laying around outside, died of heat stroke. he came inside in the evening after spending too many hours in 30+ heat and laid down to sleep. At 11:30 pm he started having difficulties and developed rapid, shallow breathing, and by 1 am he was dead and I had to bury him on Sunday.

      Back in the summer of 2016, which was bloody hot in this part of the world, one of my elderly neighbors was taken to hospital and almost died of heat stroke as a result of working too long in the veggie patch. On the same weekend, another elderly local man who lived alone was treated for what was diagnosed as mild heat stoke at a hospital and asked to stay overnight. He insisted on driving home to do a few important tasks and collect some personal effects before checking in for his stay, but he didn’t return to the hospital. He was found dead in his car in his garage the following morning.

      So take very good care not to over-broil yourself in the hot season kids. Like crossing the event horizon of a black hole, you can effectively destroy yourself hours before you know you’ve done it.

      On the other hand, in the Land of the Rising Sun, cold remains a much bigger killer than heat. I could rattle off literally dozens of stories of people in my local community who have died of hypothermia, stroke, or other ailments during the cold season. A common method is to take a hot bath on a cold night in a poorly heated house.

      There are no two ways about it, inclement weather is a killer. But things were much tougher during the last glacial period, when it was so cold that even the polar bears got frostbite.

      Incidentally, this video on how the weather and the environment differs between glacial and interglacial conditions is absolutely brilliant and very educational.


      • neil says:

        I live in Ireland, so not really relevant.

      • Robert Firth says:

        Tim, as a cat person myself, I offer my condolences. I have been owned by several cats over the years, but my favourite was called Ramses, and he was both truly affectionate and absolutely fearless. He lived a good long life, before being summoned by Osiris. I understand why the Egyptians mummified cats; what better companion to have in the Field of Offerings.

  6. Herbie R Ficklestein says:

    Employees at Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard Inc., began circulating a spreadsheet on Friday to anonymously share salaries and recent pay increases, the latest example of rising tension inthe video game industry over wage disparities and executive compensation.
    Blizzard, based in Irvine, California, makes popular games including Diablo and World of Warcraft. In 2019, after an internal survey revealed that more than half of Blizzard workers were unhappy with their compensation, the company told staff it would perform a study to ensure fair pay, according to people familiar with the situation. Blizzard implemented the results of that study last month, which led to an outcry on the company’s internal Slack messaging boards
    Wage disparity has become a hot-button issue in the $150 billion video game industry as calls for unionization grow. A pro-labor group recently slammed Activision Blizzard for the pay of Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick. His 2019 compensation was worth $40 million at the end of that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the package has grown since then as the company’s stock has soared. Last year, the company also paid $15 million in stock awards and sign-on bonus to incoming Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin. In the anonymous spreadsheet, one employee listed the CEO’s annual salary, bonus and stock award.
    In internal messages reviewed by Bloomberg News, Blizzard employees said they were struggling to make ends meet while watching Activision Blizzard revenue grow year after year. Some producers and engineers at Blizzard can make well over $100,000 a year, but others, such as video game testers and customer-service representatives, are often paid minimum wage or close to it.

  7. I am curious about the renters and the landlords. if my monthly rent where 1,000 and I didn’t pay for 10 months my debt would be 10K. If I found a new job why would I not just move? No judgement attached; but I don’t see all this rented be paid. What is the total unpaid rent right now?

    • adonis says:

      you are right if the payers of rent have no job then the landlord will have no rent money to pay to the bank if there is a mortgage on the landlord’s property , so everyone loses including the bank because no money for them either .

    • The renter couldn’t move, because he would have a hard time finding any other rental unit that would take him, because landlords check payment history.

      Of course, if everyone has the same problem, this may change.

  8. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s state agency in charge of its strategic grain stockpiles has sparked concern over the quality of national grain reserves, particularly corn, after a local unit moved to ban all photo-taking devices from its granaries.”


  9. today’s bonkers watch

  10. Xabier says:

    It’s interesting to observe the rapidly hastening decay of the electoral process in the US: soon it may become like many African and Latin American states where the real battle for power occurs after the vote -which no party accepts as decisive and final. I’d be rather more alarmed about that than the virus.

    • Artleads says:

      I can see that happening in the Caribbean. A Mayor is relieved of his duties due to his wrongdoing. Then he rallies his thugs (still maintaining the Mayor title), presumably to intimidate and control his weak successor. A passive population play into that scenario.

      • Xabier says:

        Peaceful elections, or successions to thrones, the results acquiesced in by everyone, are a very great civil achievement, and (obviously) rare historically – so little appreciated when you have it, but so much to be regretted when gone.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Actually, an orderly succession to the throne is easy to arrange, provided you kill all the other pretenders. As Henry VII Tudor did to the Princes in the Tower, which history has wrongly blamed on Richard Plantagenet, largely thanks to that repulsive court toady Thomas More.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      rapidly hastening decay of the electoral process in the US
      You had 40% of “the public” voting for Trump.
      That would not be intellectually possible in a functioning democratic system.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Would you care to elaborate on that statement, Duncan?
        Or do you intend to just leave it standing there as a snide remark?

        By the way, the turnout for the 2016 US presidential election was 55.7% and of those votes Trump obtained 46.1%, which means he won the votes of around 25% of potential voters.

        Americans inherited a functioning democratic system from their ancestors, but over the years they have collectively trashed it as a result of a general abandonment of standards of decency, honesty, balance, and maturity in favor of employing aluminum siding, eating copious amounts of junk food, making snide remarks, and saying “whatever!”

      • Robert Firth says:

        It is hardly surprising so many people voted for Trump, when the alternative was a candidate who is probably the most evil woman since Elizabeth Bathory. But yes, the Democrat party is broken beyond repair: the fixers behind the scenes have effectively shut out all public participation in the selection process.

        • neil says:

          Not being American, I’ve no vote, but watching from the other side of the shining sea, the Republican Party doesn’t look great, either.

          • Phil D says:

            The Democrats have a candidate with some kind of neurodegenerative condition as their pick and they’re trying to hide him from the cameras, basically running on a “anyone is better than Trump” campaign.

            The party platform has moved away from its traditional working-class base and become riddled with ‘woke’ cultural Marxism…far left fringe politics (Black Lives Matter, 3rd wave feminism, green new deals, the seemingly unstoppable LGBTQ lobby).

            Republicans look like a shining beacon of normality and rationality in comparison to the Democrats’ demagoguery and ideological dogmatism.

            If you’d asked me 15 years ago (Bush Jr era), I’d say the roles were reversed. My, how times have changed.

          • Robert Firth says:

            neil, I agree. The Republican party is infested with weary old timeservers who seem to believe they are entitled to hold public office in perpetuity without actually doing anything for their constituents or their country. I believe they are called RINOs. But on the bright side, there is a new generation of activist, populist contenders who are beginning to realise that the old wolves are ripe for the gutting. Which gives me some hope, but not much.

  11. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The pandemic is still wreaking havoc and stimulus is running out before the rebound reaches self-sustaining “escape velocity”. Cliff edges are approaching: furlough payments for workers are being cut; and loan guarantees for firms will expire, as will moratoria on corporate layoffs.

    “”We’re going to hit a crunch in September and October,” said David Owen from Jefferies.”


    • As the article says,

      “The country’s job support scheme and the firing ban will expire at the end of September. Latent unemployment will then become real.”

  12. Harry McGibbs says:

    “The number of people fleeing from North Korea is increasing again and homeless children begging for money are seen even near Pyongyang amid protracted sanctions and the coronavirus lockdown.

    “According to a source on Monday, North Koreans are gripped by fears of a severer famine than in the 1990s.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “In Zimbabwe anti-government sentiment has been on the rise, with the economy in freefall and a growing food crisis…

      “The World Food Programme is warning Zimbabwe is on the brink of a starvation crisis as most of the population is threatened by hunger.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        ““We are more scared of food prices than of the virus,” says Ahmed Ali. Unable to find work and with eight children to feed, he and his family are struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic in Yemen…

        “Even vegetables, a basic dietary staple, are now a luxury for many displaced people and others who have lost their source of income since the arrival of Covid-19.”


        • Yemen, Zimbabwe, and North Korea are all places where famine is not far away.

          • hkeithhenson says:

            > Yemen, Zimbabwe, and North Korea are all places where famine is not far away.

            Add Lebanon now.

            It’s possible between the relatively minor deaths from COVID and the major effects of the economic mess related to COVID that this could be a peak human population year. It would not be the first time this has happened.

        • Slow Paul says:

          Almost seems like there is a force behind this. How can people justify shutting down the world economy to save a few fragile souls, indirectly causing famines affecting maybe a billion of the worlds poorest people?

          It will be interesting to see how the media portrays this disaster as it unfolds.

  13. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Italy enjoyed oversized purchases of its government debt by the European Central Bank in June and July, standing out as the main beneficiary of ECB efforts to support the virus-stricken euro zone economy, data showed on Monday…

    “Italy went into this crisis with already high public debt and meagre economic growth.”


  14. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, blaming the government for failing to act to address a financial crisis he said threatened to turn the country into a failed state.

    “…in my country there are many bosses and contradictory interests,” Nassif Hitti said in a statement. “If they don’t unite in the interest of the Lebanese people… then the ship, God forbid, will sink with everyone on board.””


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “As temperatures soar to record levels this summer — reaching 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad last week — Iraq’s power supply has fallen short of demand yet again, creating a spark for renewed anti-government protests. Iraq has imposed a strict lockdown and 24-hour curfew.”


      • Tim Groves says:

        As temperatures soar to record levels this summer — reaching 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad last week.

        For what it’s worth, Iraq’s official all-time high record temperature was set on July 22, 2016, when 53.8 °C (128.8 °F) was recorded in Basra. But you know the legacy media—they just can’t stop hyping globbly wobbly.

        • As far back as 2016???

          that WAS a long time ago

          • Harry McGibbs says:

            It was Baghdad’s highest temperature on record but not Iraq’s. Lebanon had a national record under that same weather system (45.4 Celsius).

            • Ed says:

              Baghdad at 125 in day and 111 at night!!!!! That is unlivable by humans without prefect and unlimited air conditioning.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Yes Norman, it WAS a long time ago.

            And as you may be aware, temperature records around the world have been systematically and progressively tampered with—”adjustments” NASA and NOAA call it—in order to give the impression that the past was cooler than it really was and make the present appear warmer by comparison. So it is possible there were hotter temperatures than the current official record among the original records for Iraq from the first half of the 20th century before they were adjusted.

            I haven’t checked the Iraqi records specifically, but the the 1930s were warmer than any decade since in the US, which is one of the few place that has reliable records going back that far. And Australia’s hottest day on record was in 1828, when the temperature reached 53.9°C. The scamsters tried very hard to get this record annulled because it flies in the face of their narrative.


            • Tim Groves says:

              Mea culpa! Another typo. The hottest day in the Australian record book was in 1928, not 1828.

            • yup

              there are temperature takers in every corner of every continent, their wages paid by every stripe of government and every school of thought in universities and industries

              and all—ALL their records have been tampered with, and not one of them has said a word about it.Those Russkies must be annoyed at their Arctic turning dark red everywhere. I thought the don only had a black sharpie.

              tampertales remind me of something


              It’ll come to me in a while.

              Maybe my brain has been tampered with—highly likely. I’m a heavy sleeper.

              I’ve had a lot of bids from med schools for it when I’ve finished with it.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              It would be more accurate to say that Australia’s hottest day on record was Wednesday 18th December 2019, with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C across the continent.

              The previous record, which it beat by 1C, was from the day before, ie Tuesday 17th December. 2019 was also Australia’s hottest year on record.

              The highest temperature recorded at any location in Australia was 50.6 Celsius, set on Jan. 2, 1960, in Oodnadatta.

              There was no measurement of 53.9C taken in 1928, annulled or not.

              Jo Nova’s blog talks about a temperature of 53.9C being noted by the explorer Charles Sturt in 1828 at Buddah lake but he would not have been using a Stevenson screen (in fact another temperature quoted in Jo’s piece was taken in a tent), and we cannot therefore take it face value.

            • JesseJames says:

              “Australia BOM Caught Tampering With Climate Data”
              “Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) ordered a review of temperature recording instruments after it was caught tampering with data in several locations.

              Meteorologist Lance Pidgeon watched the 13°F Goulburn recording from July 2 disappear from the bureau’s website, says a bombshell article on dailycaller.com.

              “The temperature dropped to minus 10 (13 degrees Fahrenheit), stayed there for some time and then it changed to minus 10.4 (14 degrees Fahrenheit) and then it disappeared,” Pidgeon said, adding that he notified scientist Jennifer Marohasy about the problem, who then brought the readings to the attention of the bureau.

              “A similar failure wiped out a reading of 13 degrees Fahrenheit at Thredbo Top on July 16, even though temperatures at that station have been recorded as low as 5.54 degrees Fahrenheit.”

              Here is an interview with Dr. Marohasy by Alan Jones, Sydney’s top radio broadcaster about the temperature data manipulation.

              John of Cloverdale, WA, Australia
              August 1, 2017 at 8:33 pm
              Here is a recent Alan Jones interview with Marc Morano (about (The Climate Hustle film), with a particularly scathing prelude on Al Gore.

              Yea, just trust the lefties….they are always honest.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Norman, it its getting increasingly pointless to respond to your comments because you are uninterested in getting at or debating the facts and would rather pontificate based on an unshakable confidence in your own certainty.

              If you are interested in how temperature records have been tampered with by NASA and NOAA, it is not difficult to find out because NASA and NOAA explain how and why they do it. I doubt you have any interest in the subject, but for those readers who may have, here’s a link to NASA.


              Rather than challenge your beliefs (on any subject), you prefer to sit on your high horse sneering at anyone who presents facts that don’t conform with those beliefs. That’s fine. You’re old enough to behave in a cranky and short-tempered manner if you think it helps you get through the day.

              However, this kind of behavior—insincere is how I’d describe it—tends to grate upon those of us in the realist community, even though most of the realists on this site tend to grin and bear it rather than reciprocating in kind.

            • Tim

              I’m prepared to discuss the pros and cons of what real and what’s not with almost anybody.
              In the grand scheme of things it makes no difference anyway. We all have our own crazy notions one way or another.

              The ‘almost’ kicks in with someone who tries to tell me that Helen Keller was a fraud.

              That reveals a mind I really don’t want to know about, a vacant space that can only be filled with frauds hoaxes and conspiracies. (WTC and Moonscams I could laugh off. Keller went beyond that)

              At that point normal exchange of views ceases.

      • A 24-hour lockdown when temperature are that high, without enough electricity, sounds bad. Perhaps what the lockdown does is allocate what scarce electricity there is to homes, rather than to stores, offices, and industry. If this is the case, maybe it is OK, if it allows at least some air conditioning. I expect the poor still will not have AC, however.

  15. Harry McGibbs says:

    “With federal unemployment benefits ended Friday and no deal in sight, some of the 32 million unemployed Americans are resorting to food banks for the first time in their life.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “One Utah congressman says the prospect of the United States taking itself down amid political, racial and economic divisiveness is greater than any threat coming from another nation.

      ““I worry a lot that we may destroy ourselves, that we may commit national suicide in a way,” Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said Monday.”


      • Robert Firth says:

        “I worry a lot that we may destroy ourselves, that we may commit national suicide in a way,” Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said”

        Ah yes: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men ‘worry a lot’.” Had George Washington “worried a lot” there would be no nation at all. Rep Chris Stewart, you are an enabler of national suicide. I suggest you start worrying about your life, your fortune, and your sacred honour.

        • Kowalainen says:

          George Washington you say? I guess “we” all need our “heroes”? 😉


          • Robert Firth says:

            Not my hero, but presumably his. My heroes are Asoka, Alexander, Cleopatra, Hypatia, Giordano Bruno, and of course Charles Martel, Andrea Doria, and John Sobieski.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Fair enough, great deal of self sacrifice among those people, however the trials and tribulations of historical figures might not be completely accurate.

              Actually you are one of my heroes, although I don’t always agree with you and I like my heroes to be alive and flawed. 😉

  16. Harry McGibbs says:

    No mention of energy/resource-constraints or environmental limits but FWIW:

    “Eight months after the novel coronavirus burst out of Wuhan, China, it has created unprecedented economic and social disruption, with economies cratering across the globe and more destruction to come…

    “The pandemic, which is mild as the great plagues of history go, demonstrates that the complexity of this global civilization has become a source of new vulnerabilities. And with the legitimacy of many institutions resting on their ability to solve problems quickly and effectively, Covid-19 challenges political leaders and institutions in ways that they cannot easily manage.

    “The world needs to get used to that feeling. The pandemic’s legacy will be crisis and chaos…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The coronavirus pandemic is worsening the humanitarian situation in the world’s deadliest conflicts and threatens to unleash economic devastation that will intensify violence, United Nations diplomats and experts warn…

      “”There’s a very high level of concern that its economic impact is going to spark more disorder, more conflict,” said New York-based UN expert Richard Gowan.”


    • This is an “opinion” article in the WSJ. It ends:

      Covid-19 is less a transient, random disturbance after which the world will return to stability than it is a dress rehearsal for challenges to come. History is accelerating, and the leaders, values, institutions and ideas that guide society are going to be tested severely by the struggles ahead.

  17. adonis says:

    On a separate note all these lockdowns look like there coming from policy recommendations from the top down so blaming the citizens of a country for all the economy destabilising actions currently on are false. So therefore there is probably a higher power remaking our economy they are trying to collapse the system so that they can bring in their version of a new system . Will it work or is this THE END.

    • Chrome Mags says:

      It’s a big conspiracy or everybody’s just trying to make it through this pandemic they best they can. You pick the former, I pick the latter.

    • Artleads says:

      Hang in there. Get well. Yes, “…their version of a new system,” and there is a righteous alternative. I guess a third alternative is what energy/natural/human/cultural resources (in a self organizing system) will allow.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Get well? He isn’t ill.

        Although for some people, a positive PCR or antibody test result these days is the equivalent of the witchdoctor pointing a bone at you.

        Don’t get ill, Adonis! Stay well!

        • Artleads says:

          I see your point. I would never volunteer, or willingly submit, to be tested or vaccinated.

          • check the history of polio, and what it does to the human body

            Check Salk, who made his vaccine freely availble

            Check the last remaining places where it exists in the world

            and yes i know about mistakes made in early phases of vaccination, all medication carries risk.—but it has been eradicated from everywhere except rural Pakistan and Afghanistan

            What used to be tens of thousands, is now down to double figures

            • Lidia17 says:

              The majority of polio cases in some places are a product of the polio vaccine.


            • Norman Pagett says:

              that is such patent nonsense i won’t grace it with an answer

            • Live oral vaccines are being used in Africa because they are cheaper and easier to administer than the injectable vaccine. According to the report:

              “Vaccine-derived poliovirus is moving across Africa, with vaccine-derived Type 2 poliovirus spreading uncontrolled in West Africa, bursting geographical boundaries and raising fundamental questions and challenges for the whole eradication process,” writes a report by WHO’s Independent Monitoring Board.

              The same reports notes that officials have been “failing badly”, while the attitude of WHO and other partners are “relaxed” as they try to execute their approved polio goal of stopping all vaccine-derived outbreaks within 120 days of detection.

            • Tim Groves says:

              Lydia is correct and Norman doesn’t have the grace to grace her comment with an answer.

              That speaks volumes about Norman’s intellectual honesty.

              Direct from the World Health Organization
              Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 – African Region

              Disease outbreak news: Update
              29 November 2019

              Outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported in several countries in West Africa, central Africa and Horn of Africa (for more information, please see the disease outbreak news published on 31 July 2019). This report provides a situational update on current cVDPV2 outbreaks in newly affected countries in Africa. No wild poliovirus has been detected on the continent since September 2016.


          • Robert Firth says:

            A wise attitude. The ensuing discussion about the polio vaccine is most interesting. The live vaccine (oral polio vaccine) was discontinued or even outright banned in many countries because it was unsafe. It is now being used in Africa. This is classic bureaucratic thinking: vaccinate as many as possible as cheaply as possible, and to hell with the risks. We get the credit for the vaccine, and can cover up the deaths. And if we use the cheapest vaccine available, why, all the more “vigorish” for us.

            Where there are troughs, there are pigs. Where there is public money, there is corruption.

    • Kowalainen says:

      Hey Adonis, just in case. Get one of these. Oh, well, you are not living in Sweden. Never mind.


    • Mosey says:

      Adonis the conspiracy theories are not your friend.

  18. adonis says:

    THANK YOU Ed, Gail and Xabier for your well wishes I really appreciated them I now have had the test I was told by the nurse it would take between 1 to 3 days of what the results were for the time being I’m in quarantine holed up in my bedroom my wife and son are keeping well away from me and they are not allowed to leave the house or go to work until my results are given so the entire household is on paid sick leave no wonder the economy is going down ,

    • Harry McGibbs says:

      Enjoy your quarantine, Adonis. Hope you have some good movies lined up…

    • Lidia17 says:

      Sincerely hope you get a negative result and get to rejoin your family, and that they, as well, will be released.

    • Robert Firth says:

      adonis, my best wishes for a good outcome to your ordeal. May Sekhmet, goddess of healing, watch over you, and cherish you as the lioness her cubs.

  19. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    “The United States reported nearly 49,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, marking the lowest single-day number of infections in four weeks, after seeing record levels in July.

    Echoing other sources, data maintained by the COVID Tracking Project revealed that the U.S. recorded 48,694 new cases this Sunday, the smallest number since about 28 days ago on July 6, when the country reported 41,600 infections.”

    sure, what goes up, must come down.

  20. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:


    “… election will take place as planned on November 3. He made the announcement during an interview on Sunday.
    Meadows suggested, however, there are serious concerns surrounding mail-in voting. Specifically, he said the results of the election could be delayed by several weeks if a wide-scale number of Americans decide to vote using mail-in ballots.”

    possible chaos could come with the weeks long delay in counting the mail-in ballots.

    • Kim says:

      “…the 20th Amendment says “the terms of the president and vice president shall end at noon” on January 20. Nothing could seem clearer. Yet the end of that paragraph provides that “the terms of their successors shall then begin.” But what if no successors have been elected? Does the president continue to serve as an interim officeholder? The answer is no because his or her term will definitely end at noon on January 20. If not reelected, the president becomes a private citizen on that day. So who then serves as president? The Constitution provides no solid answer.”


      This article is interesting because the issue of Presidential succession or non-succession is complicated by the fact that not just the term of the President will have ended by January 20, but before that (January 3) so too that of all of the Lower House representatives. Only the Senate would at that date still have currently elected representatives. So that’s a “no” for Mrs Pelosi.

      “But there would be no House speaker if there were no election, because there would be no House, all of whose members would be up for election in November. The terms of all members of the House would end, as stated in the Constitution, on January 3. There would, however, be a Senate, with a majority of its members not up for election in November and, therefore, still serving their terms. This is important as the next in line would be the president pro tempore of the Senate, which is Charles Grassley. However, if there were no election, there may be a Democratic majority among the remaining senators not up for reelection, unless sitting governors or state legislators were allowed to fill vacant seats, which is another issue.”

    • Chrome Mags says:

      Mail in ballots was never a problem in previous elections so why would it be this time, unless there needs to be a safety valve for Trump if he loses. Remember he’s a manipulator. He manipulates people’s perception of reality by insisting on things that are not true, but if he can convince enough people of his twisted alternate reality, then it works for him. He’s laid the groundwork for his followers to doubt the final tally so the final decision regarding who won can be made by the Supreme Court. Well, it worked to get Bush Jr. in office, so why not again?

      • Tim Groves says:

        Mail in ballots was never a problem in previous elections so why would it be this time, unless there needs to be a safety valve for Trump if he loses.

        Mail in ballots have caused lots of problems, actually. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it can lead to more voter errors or “residual votes.” When returning an absentee/mailed ballot there is no mechanism to inform voters of errors, so there tend to be more overvotes and undervotes. Damaged absentee/mailed ballots may be harder to correct as well.

        Mail delivery is not uniform across the nation. Native Americans on reservations in particular may have difficulty with all-mail elections. Many do not have street addresses, and their P.O. boxes may be shared.

        Low-income citizens move more frequently and keeping addresses current can pose problems. Literacy can be an issue for some voters, as well, since election materials are often written at a college level.

        Also, aren’t you just a teeny bit concerned that mail-in ballots increases the scope for election fraud? In 2005, the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James Baker, a Republican, determined that absentee ballots were the biggest source of election fraud.

        But giving Trump a safety valve in the event he loses is certainly another big strike against mail-in ballots. I agree with you on that.

        By supporting mail-in ballots, are you implying you’re in favor of election fraud as long as it’s in a good cause? If so, then once again, be careful what you’re advocating, because wrecking the election system will put another huge hole in the hull of the USS Titanic while you and 340 million other poor souls are sailing in it.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Mail in ballots are an open invitation to fraud. Any sensitive information must establish a solid “chain of custody”, to ensure it has not been tampered with in transit. The US Post Office breaks that chain of custody: it has essentially no security, no audited procedures for keeping mail safe, and an army of low paid workers who can easily be suborned by political operatives. Over and again, election results have been overturned by boxes of ballots suddenly “found” in strange places.

          Which of course is why the Democrats are so keen on them: Post Office middle managers can easily be enlisted in the fraud because, like most public sector workers, they are Democrats themselves.

      • Very Far Frank says:

        > He’s laid the groundwork for his followers to doubt the final tally so the final decision regarding who won can be made by the Supreme Court.

        You think the Democrats can’t be accused of the exact same thing? They never even held the 2016 election as credible (“Not my President”) and spent these past 4 years throwing anything and everything against Trump hoping it would stick. The problem for them was nothing was substantiated.

        Maybe it’s just a sign of the entropic times. We’re in the endgame now, so no one has credibility with the other side; they’re all ‘enemies’ rather than ‘fellow countrymen with different opinions’, and no election, despite how it’s run, will be ever be deemed legitimate by those that lose.

        • Robert Firth says:

          So the contending parties muster their troops, and prepare to refight the battle of Philippi, perhaps along the way wishing they had not assassinated Donald Trump. And on youtube we get to watch Nancy Pelosi’s speech: “There is a tide in the affairs of men …” (Julius Caesar, Act IV scene 3)

          And stay tuned for the sequel, when Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr get to refight the Battle of Actium.

  21. fred_goes_bush says:

    To answer Kim, the insiders and smart people know what’s coming and are acting accordingly i.e. trying to suck out max $$ while they still can.

    An interesting sidepoint: Gold was reclassified as a tier 1 asset in 2018. Central Banks and other people in the know front ran this decision by ~1 year and bought massive amounts.

    As countries go bankrupt from overspending and corruption, money you have in the bank becomes unobtainable and/or worthless e.g. Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon, Argentina etc. Many financial commentators think the US is well down the collapse track and that it will probably Balkanise into separate regions.

    100% of fiat currencies eventually become worthless – a perfect track record. E.g. what will a Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar note buy you? Stuff all. With the FED printing trillions, how long has the USD got?

    True believers in social justice, the green revolution, BLM, or whatever the frenzy du jour is are useful idiots aimed at various subplots.

    Mass vaccination is an obvious plan, remembering it’s hugely profitable. They’re indemnifying just about everyone involved in the COVID treatment process, so forget about safety and proper testing procedures.

    Would they like to chip everyone? Hell Yes. Sell it on health, safety and convenience to coax the sheeple to line up. No cash and chipped people means fantastic social control possibilities.

  22. Kim says:

    I will put some links below so that the interested can get a better idea of what the great and the good of the World Economic Forum have in mind for us. It is all the usual mix of racism, racism racism, social justice, ill-considered fluff, and fruitcake-nutty renewable future stuff along with schemes for UBI and – mostimportant – deepening global corporate communism… and so on. There is nothing in it that woudn’t be familiar to and approved by any current liberal arts undergraduate…except maybe the part that we are all microchipped by a Venezualan cattle company, but who knows?

    “In the post-COVID-19 world, there are three features that will need to be fully institutionalized as part of the new local and global social contract.

    1. Capitalism and socialism will need to merge (Used to be called “fascism”.)
    2. We must improve coordination between the public and private sector
    3. We must improve access to equal opportunities

    Of interest to us here at Finite World is that I have seen not a single word of recognition that – and there is no stopping it – fossil fuels are going away. There is certainly no mention or recognition that our modern wealth was created with fossil fuels.

    Another question is, does this stuff represent real high level thinking (in which case we are insane as well as lost) or is it just more playing-for-time eyewash?


    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      it’s an average level of thinking based on the iggnorance of standard academic economics.

      • Kim says:

        The Davos community have access only to average thinkers who are ignorant of standard economics? So it isn’t all just eyewash for the masses to advance their own goals for total global power in the hands of a very few? Even though every word of it explcitly lays out a path in that direction? And even though – as the COVID figures for Australia plainly show – the epidemic is a fraud.

        Huh. Who knew?

    • Tim Groves says:

      There is a plan, definitely. But unlike Q, I wouldn’t tell anyone to trust the plan. I would merely suggest that you trust that there is a plan. The same strategies to deal with the pandemic and the economic consequences are being rolled out in a host of countries.There is obviously a program and when countries don’t get with the program—such as Belorussia not locking down and India using HCL as a prophylactic—they are being publicly shamed.

      The program includes a strategy for reducing use of fossil fuels because, as you say, they are going away, but without informing the world of this unpalatable fact. Instead, the normies and Delusistanis will get to panic about a viral pandemic to take their minds off the far more serious intractable energy crisis that is going to leave most people bereft of what they have long been brought up to believe was a decent standard of living.

    • Robert Firth says:

      1. Capitalism and socialism will need to merge
      2. We must improve coordination between the public and private sector
      3. We must improve access to equal opportunities

      1. Its been tried. It was called “National Socialism”, and it did not end well.
      2. In other words, the public sector (the parasites and control freaks) will do the coordinating, and the private sector (the wealth producers) will be coordinated.
      3. Equal opportunity is code speech for giving opportunity to those who don’t deserve it, and denying it to those who do. The end result is obvious: people are hired for their chromosomes rather than their competences, and we all end up like Zimbabwe. Or like US Democrat vice presidential candidates.

      • Kowalainen says:

        Yes, it is of course a distributed means of production without the horrid centralization of machine shop floors like those in China. Some efficiency has to be sacrificed for robustness.

        It is classic feedback control theory (robust control) that needs to be applied on a global scale. A failure in one part cannot jeopardize the entire system.

        It is good that the means of production is brought closer to the customer.

        Next big trend: Pop up manufacturing with transportation of basically only raw materials. 3D printers are available and astonishingly competent CNC machines can be had for less than a couple of months salary.

        Yep, let’s go distributed. It’s the only way to be sure.

        • Maybe 3D printers work for a few things, but not for a lot of others. I doubt that most replacement parts for wind turbines could be made in this way. I doubt that replacement tires for cars or replacement batteries for cars could be made in this way.

          Missing toilet paper could not be replaced in this way. Lack of food likely could not be solved with this work around, unless one particular part of one machine with a problem could be replaced in this way.

          • Robert Firth says:

            I wonder, can a 3D printer make another 3D printer? This idea was explored in an amusing science fiction novel from 1959, “A for Anything”, by Damon Knight.

            • Good point!

            • Kowalainen says:

              Not really, the raw materials will be produced on-extraction site. It is madness to send raw materials to one site for refinement, then shipped across half of the world to be assembled by slave laborers, when most of that stuff can be manufactured locally, if not directly at home.

              Most carpenters rarely takes a swing with an axe at a tree. Rather buys planks. It has been this way for, I don’t know exactly, thousands of years perhaps. The same analogy holds true for 3D printers and CNC machinery.

            • But our modern devices require dozens or hundreds of different raw materials. Even if these are produced on-extraction site (in the middle of the Congo, for example), they somehow need to get to the 3D printer. In fact, they often have to combined, using a lot of heat, with other raw materials. These processes are not portable.

            • Kowalainen says:

              You are confusing consumer goods with tools of the trade. The means of production isn’t the produce.

              The produce of IC will inevitably become raw materials only.

              It is the ultimate JIT/artisan society.

  23. Kim says:

    No need any longer for anyone to worry about the future. The World Economic Forum has it handled.

    The Great Reset Dialogues
    In the run-up to the Annual Meeting, the Forum will host a virtual series: “The Great Reset Dialogues”. These dialogues are a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and HRH The Prince of Wales. During these dialogues, various key stakeholders will discuss core dimensions of The Great Reset.” https://www.weforum.org/great-reset

    People here at Finite World may be interested to see what the great and the good have in store for us, coming out of this COVID “emergency”. Well, if we go to the Great Reset “about” page, https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/about we find a list of personnages who will be the leading lights at the “The Great Reset” summit in January 2021, convened by the World Economic Forum.

    The first person listed as one of the livestream speakers is “Victoria Alonsoperez, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chipsafer, Uruguay, and a Young Global Leader.”

    What is “Chipsafer”, you ask yourself – with an unpleasant shiver of premonition – that its representative has such a prominent position in the WEF speaker list? Well, at the Chipsafer website we read as follows:

    Chipsafer is a “patented platform that can track and detect anomalies in cattle behaviour at any time and place.”

    “Do you want to know what your livestock is doing while no one is watching? Chipsafer will show you.”

    “We transform the data gathered with our sensors into actionable information. The farmer can access all the information through his personal account.”

    So, the first matter to be settled at this W.E.B Great Reset forum is how they should go about chiping and tracking the livestock.

    How does everyone feel about that? Still think that this Covid thing is not a plandemic?

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      yes, it obviously is not a plandemic, and with every passing week this is reinforced.

      • Tim Groves says:

        Not to me. Even if the virus is real, the pandemic is most obviously is a pandemic and a scamdemic.

        John Rappoport today:

        So once again, we don hazmat suits and enter the mad, mad world of basic COVID lies. For purposes of argument only, we assume a new coronavirus was actually discovered, the diagnostic test is meaningful, and case numbers are also meaningful.

        Within that mad world, the amount of fraud is still immense.

        As I’ve documented, all sorts of case-number cons are running loose. Little, medium, and large cons. Entering “COVID” on all test results from labs. Oops. Computer error. The PCR test itself spits out false-positives because it lights up like a Christmas tree when it encounters various irrelevant germs. And so forth and so on.

        But here is a superhighway version of fake number counting. By definition. Written in stone. Institutionalized. From the twinkle-toe mavens at the CDC, home of numbers, house of cards. Read on.

        The revelatory reference is: Children’s Health Defense, July 24, “If COVID Fatalities Were 90.2% Lower, How Would You Feel About Schools Reopening?” By H. Ealy, M. McEvoy, M. Sava, S. Gupta, D. Chong, D. White, J. Nowicki, P. Anderson.

        “Had the CDC used its industry standard, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting Revision 2003, as it has for all other causes of death for the last 17 years, the COVID-19 fatality count would be approximately 90.2% lower than it currently is.”

        The article is somewhat complex. It should be studied carefully. Here is my main takeaway:

        The special CDC guidelines for labeling patients “COVID” are absurd. These rules open the door to falsely inflating case and death numbers. This is more than fiddling with statistics. It’s an institutional and official invitation to create fake cases. Gigantic numbers of them.


        • Tim Groves says:

          Damn that auto-spell checker on my new PC!!

          The pandemic is a plandemic and a scamdemic.

          • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            new PC… cool.

            it must be…

            bAU tonight, baby!

          • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

            but okay, we all filter information through our minds in imperfect ways, so of course there are different opinions on such a complex web of information which we see in the pandemic and its responses.

            I see fummbling bummbling leaders/politicians, beginning with the Commmmies in China.

            no one has yet convinced me of their pre-planned role in the preplannedemic.

            to me, as an opinion, the plandemic theeeory falls apart without an acceptable side theeeory for how and why the Commmie response fits with the followup responses by the other countries.

            but I think we’ve batted that birdie back and forth over the net a few too many times.

            • Tim Groves says:

              The information we’ve been given is complicated and partial, and we can parse it and evaluate it and interpret it and draw conclusions from it in lots of ways. What we see depends on where we stand, what direction we are looking in, what kind of eyewear we’re sporting, and our ability to distinguish between fact and fiction, as well as on whatever clues we spot. And of course, those clues can be red herrings or misconceptions that cause us to jump to confusions or even contusions.

              Without wishing to bat the shuttlecock back over the net yet again, I’d like to say that there must be some objective tests that we could apply to all the data that would demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt whether anyone had a role in pre-planning the response to the pandemic. I’m thinking here of a close examination of the CDC’s instructions as to what constitutes a COVID-19 diagnosis (discussed by Rappoport in the article linked to above, a close examination of the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Lock Step” scenario from 2010, a close examination of Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on October 18, 2019 in New York, etc. Of course, any such evidence will be circumstantial, but in the absence of confession, information in the public domain is the best evidence we are likely to get.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Tim, I long ago turned off any and all spelling checkers. They are wrong 90% of the time. And “autocorrect” should be exterminated with extreme prejudice; it makes proof reading your text many times harder.

            Of course, you could always download grammarly, and learn how to “write smarter”. Yes, they actually said that in their advertising material. I mean, adjective, adverb, mixing them up is no big deal, right?

            • Tim Groves says:

              Robert, I write much better without a spell checker, let alone a grammar advisor. My problem is that I can’t figure out how to stop some program or other from auto-correcting what I type into the comment box. I’m not sure whether the function is part of the browser or the WordPress software.

            • Kowalainen says:

              The good thing about spell checkers is that when it goes awry it’s so horribly wrong that it is funny.

              A good reader does rarely even notice spelling errors. Bad grammar and wording, though.

              It is a challenge to write good English for the non native posters. I would say that the OFW crowd is very forgiving in this aspect and it is very good to read the well-written posts of the bookworm crowd.

  24. covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

    a new way of measuring job gains and losses:


    “One measure gaining popularity is the weekly Household Pulse Survey from the U.S. Census.

    The survey is a relatively new one but gives a rolling idea of how the jobs market is playing out. The numbers for the Labor Department’s reference week, which includes the 12th of each month, paint a bleak picture: nearly 6.5 million fewer people on the employment rolls from the same week in June.”

    oops, for July it shows a monthly loss of 6.5 million jobs.

  25. D3G says:

    Politicians tell us that things in the US are great and getting better all the time. Yet Forbes sees things differently. Out of 35 countries, they rate the US a solid 34, beating out Mexico as the worst place in the world to raise a family.


    • If I look at the listing of countries that are best to raise a family, this is the list I see:

      1. Iceland
      2. Norway
      3. Sweden
      4. Finland
      5. Luxemburg

      BP shows energy consumption per capita as follows for these countries:

      1. Iceland 647.8 gigaojoules per capita in 2019
      2. Norway 328.5
      3. Sweden 223.4
      4. Finland 198.4
      5. Luxemburg 276.1

      Worldwide, energy consumption per capita is 75.7 gigaojoules per capita. Having high energy consumption per capita seems to be a requirement for a suitable place to raise a family.

      I expect that these countries have a lot of other things in common, such as few black citizens in the population.

      • D3G says:

        What I noticed of the first four nations is that they are Scandinavian socialist nations, though I understand that available energy per capita is a more important determinant over economic ideology in their successes.


        • if Iceland didn’t have surplus energy practically coming up through the floors of every house, it would be a very unpleasant place to live and support 300 k people

          • D3G says:

            Maybe a little too much surplus energy coming up thru the floors for comfort, Norman.


          • Xabier says:

            Historically Iceland was really only a place for the desperate to settle on (and the original females were Irish slaves mostly – no choice!), and loved only by those who were born there.

            The clever Scandinavians, on the other hand, spread out to the rich and fertile, well-wooded, lands of England, Southern Scotland, N. France, and of course Italy

            For sheer energy, ferocity and intelligence they were a remarkable race, once they had acquired Christian civilisation.

            • Christopher says:

              When I studied icelandic I was taught that Iceland was colonized by norwegians in conflict with some norwegian king. They named the island Iceland to give the place bad pr in order for them to avoid vistors from Norway.

              Quite a few swedish vikings settled in Russia and even Constantinople. The first russian empire was founded by these Vikings. The russian rivers were used as a high way from the Baltic sea to the Black sea. The eastward bound ships were constructed to be dragged on logs between rivers.

              Sometimes I fear that the clever people were the ones leaving Scandinavia. Leaving the halfwits behind. Looking at the present situation in Sweden certainly makes you wonder…

            • Kowalainen says:

              Yes, and the mentally deprived and poverty stricken rabble stayed mostly in Sweden. The adventurers went elsewhere.

        • I am sure that they developed different types of economies because they very badly need energy to heat their homes. They also need substantial homes, and some sort of vehicles to ride in and transport their goods. They could not have the simple huts of Africa and India and depend heavily on walking for transportation.

          In these cold countries, families couldn’t just have a large number of children and expect them all to be able to find jobs. According to Google, the following number of people immigrated to the US and Canada:

          Iceland 140,000 immigrants; Current population of Iceland 364,000
          Norway 5.7 million immigrants; Current population of Norway 5.4 million
          Sweden 1.5 million immigrants; Sweden population 10.2 million
          Finland 780,000 immigrants; Current population of Finland 5.5 million

          Clearly, Norway has had the biggest problem with overpopulation and needed to move immigrants elsewhere. Iceland looks to be second.

          I am a grandchild of Norwegian immigrants, so I am aware of the large number of Norwegian immigrants.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Norway has been sending the world immigrants since the time of the Vikings.

            The Vikings sailed down from Norway, Denmark and Iceland to conquer Normandy, taking up speaking French and becoming the Normans, who then went on to conquer England and become the bulk of its ruling aristocracy.

            Word is they have blue blood.

            • Dennis L. says:

              Nope, red. Descendent(according to someone in the family who did the research) of a Norwegian King and one of the chambermaids(well, whatever.)

              We are very multicultural.

              Dennis L.

            • Robert Firth says:

              Nope: like Dennis, my blood is red. But a couple of my kinsmen are buried in Palermo Cathedral, thanks to my Norse ancestors and their adventures.

          • Christopher says:

            I think you made a mistake concerning the norwegian number. There were about the same amount of swedes migrating to north america as norwegians. The figure 5,7 million is way to high, it look more like the present day norwegian american population.



            • I combined the numbers of immigrants to Canada and to the United States in my North American figures. I used some figures I found with Google, but not necessarily from Wikipedia. I had read previously that the number of Norwegian immigrants exceeded the number of people living in Norway now. My guess is that my Swedish immigrant numbers may be too low.

              There is a question of how to count immigrants. Do you count the people alive today who say they are of a particular background, or do you count the people who occupied boats at that time? Different sites have different estimates.

            • Christopher says:

              The swedish emmigrant number looks correct. Figures I have seen should put the norwegian number slightly below the swedish. I have read that migration to north america if you look at per capita of country of origin, (number of migrants/population of country of origin) then Ireland is number one, followed by Norway. Sweden got the third place.

              These countries are all relatively small, in the end the most common ancestries of USA+Canada are german or english.

          • Lidia17 says:

            emigrants are those who are leaving; immigrants are those who are arriving.

        • Wolfbay says:

          Sweden and Denmark have successful capitalist companies and that’s where their wealth comes from. Socialism is defined as the state controlling the means of production. This is not Sweden ,Denmark or Finland.

      • beidawei says:

        These are also expensive, high-tax countries.

        There may not be many black people, but Sweden in particular has a large number of refugees. Besides that, there is a surprisingly large community of Satanic bikers who do things like, fight over drug territory and burn down churches.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          Remember a program featuring a high tax country, Denmark, 50% tax rate and interviewer folks randomly on the city block. The ones shown weren’t concerned because of what they were given in return, medical care, old age retirement, education, including higher college, ECT. So, suppose it’s all relative, one pays one way or another…the key is how it is applied…fair, equity, and with little exploitation of gouging.
          Currently. In the United States we are witnessing mindless virtual unlimitedly giveaways that are hidden and enrich the wealthy even more.

          Same as it ever was.

          • Tim Groves says:

            For those who don’t have time to listen to this, here’s a summary.

            Left gatekeeper Noam Chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, canny linguist and author, renowned academic who lectures everyone, everywhere on everything, all the time, is looking more like an actual garden gnome with each passing year.

            In this interview, right off the bat he remarks on Jeff Bezos (who looks more like an egg with each passing week) making billions of dollars in a single day and specifically blames Trump (who looks more like a buffoon every time he appears in public) for this outrage, for the pandemic, and for all the other disparities that are widening like an ocean ridge in the US these days. He admits today’s kleptocracy is the result of forty years of neoliberalism but blames Trump anyway.

            From six minutes in Noam starts attacking coal on account of the pollution caused by burning it. Then he goes on to attack Bolsanro (who looks like a Brazilian version of Carl Sagan) for his politically incorrect attitude to indigenous native aboriginal peoples such as the Yanomami, who have a charming time-honored cultural practice of raiding nearby tribes, killing the men and raping and beating any women they catch and bringing them back to their shabono to be kept in the tribe.

            And next week, Amy Goodman (played, some say, by the same actress who first achieved fame as Janice Joplin) promises to bring us yet more of Professor Noam Chomsky. Perhaps she’ll ask him about why he believes the US Government(s official line on nine-eleven and thinks everyone who doesn’t is a more-on? I can hardly wait.


            • We need a mixture of views on Our Finite World. Otherwise, we would never understand what is wrong with the conventional view.

            • Kowalainen says:

              From the speech recognition AI crowd it is rumored that the algorithmic performance increased by two orders of magnitude every time a linguist got booted out of the community.

              Never let the sanctimonious and hypocrite “left” decide anything of importance. Let them continue be the irrelevant and counterproductive laughingstocks of IC.

            • louploup2 says:

              What about the “sanctimonious and hypocrite” right? What about a conversation that acknowledges the complexity of the political-economic spectrum rather than a simplistic left:right, either/or dichotomy?

            • Kowalainen says:

              There isn’t any “real” left worthy of a rational debate. Even the Marxist “messiah” Slavoj Žižek threw in the towel and turned against the sanctimonious, hypocrite and pretentious “left”. I don’t blame him. It’s boring and dumb as a second coat of paint.

              I think the world had enough of the fakery, divide and conquer tactics of special privileges and hypocrisy. No, it is our show. It is called mankind with all our particularities and flaws. Deal with it. EOD.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Here is the second part of Amy’s interview with Noam.

            It’s entitled “The Gangster in the White House.” Norman will really enjoy this.

            We continue our conversation with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky. He responds to President Trump’s cuts to U.S. support for the World Health Organization and the surge in deaths in the United States to another record high, and discusses conditions in Gaza, the rise of authoritarianism around the world, and the progressive response. “This is typical behavior of autocrats and dictators. When you make colossal errors which are killing thousands of people, find somebody else to blame,” say Chomsky. “In the United States, it’s unfortunately the case, for well over a century, century and a half, that it’s always easy to blame the ‘yellow peril.’”


      • Lidia17 says:

        Iceland just got its first rabbi a couple of years ago, and his main order of biz. has been to ramp up immigration.


        Iceland was on track to adopt BDS and anti-genital-mutilation policies, so this is apparently their punishment:

        • Xabier says:

          The way things are gong he may be the first Rabbi ever to be eaten by Icelanders.

          • Robert Firth says:

            A fresh young graduate from a religious college decided that his first job would be as a missionary. He would go and convert a recently discovered tribe in South America, about whom he knew only what their discoverer had written in his journal: a map, a few pencil sketches, and a three hundred word phrase book. Being a modern graduate, he knew some science, mainly astronomy, had a grounding in natural theology, and of course a good grasp of his holy book. These three disciplines together, he thought, were bound to succeed. So he went into the tropical forest, with three hired bearers: one carrying food, one carrying the books, and the third carrying beads, small mirrors, and other trinkets for barter. He never returned.

            Two years later, the college decided to try to find him, so they hired a real explorer and sent him off. The explorer entered the forest, followed the map, and found the tribe. His two bearers were each carrying a freshly caught ground sloth, so he was warmly received and the tribe prepared a feast.

            While the sloths were roasting, the chief of the tribe invited the explorer to share a large gourd of palm wine. In the chief’s hut, decorated with many excellent local handicrafts, the explorer saw a small bookshelf, holding four books. “Where did you get those, sir?” he asked. “From a young visitor a couple of years ago. Would you believe it, he tried to convert us to his religion. Could his gods watch over the palm trees and the ground sloths? I don’t think so.”

            The explorer looked at the books, and remarked: “So he tried to convert you with science, philosophy, and scripture. But they didn’t work?” “No” replied the chief, “rather, we converted him.” “By what method, sir?”

            The chief gave a big grin, revealing his neatly filed, pointed teeth. “By gastronomy.” he answered.

            • Kowalainen says:

              Yes, the “left” is cannibalizing itself. The artificial construct of corruption, hypocrisy and sanctimony is soon a distant memory. Good riddance.

    • Duncan Idaho says:

      As a former resident of Mexico, I’ll take it over the States to raise a family.
      But it is probably showing my bias—-

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        surely you lived there when their oil production was vastly higher.

        good thing for you that you got out before the massive plunge.

        • Duncan Idaho says:

          Global oil production “peaked” in November 2018.
          We are not even close to that now.
          Will we ever surpass that?
          I would not hold your breath.

  26. Tom says:

    My wife and I own a little mom & pop retail store in Vermont. A week or so ago I received a letter from the state department of taxes that grant money was available for small businesses that experienced a greater than 50% drop in retail sales due to Covid in any one month since March. I filled out the application on line since we did have a more than 50% drop in sales in the month of May. Today I get another letter in the mail saying we have been approved for a grant of $41,786 which is 10% of our total reported sales on our monthly sales and use tax returns for the year 2019. I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

    We already applied for and received a forgiveable $13,000 PPP loan back in May. So now we are going to be receiving almost $55,000 of free government money. The thing is we don’t really need this. We actually having a decent year. Sales haven’t been down that much since we re-opened in June even though we are now only open five days a week. Our payroll and overhead have been much lower.

    My only conclusion about this is that the PTB want us to stay home, conserve fuel, not go to large gatherings, not travel. But they also don’t want us to starve to death, ri-ot, or otherwise cause civil unrest. That’s why they are handing out free money like its candy. They also expect the economic disruption to go on for quite a while.

    The grant actually comes from the federal government $1.25 billion coronovirus relief fund according to the form. How much longer can all this helicopter money go on I wonder?

    • We all wonder how long all of the helicopter money can go on. The value of the dollar has been dropping recently, perhaps related to the free money and perhaps related to the virus.

    • Tim Groves says:

      Take that money, Tom, and use it wisely!

      It’s your patriotic duty to do what you can to help keep the economy ticking over through the uncertain times ahead. If that means paying taxes, then pay your taxes. If it means accepting grants, then accept your grants.

    • Kowalainen says:

      Yes, some curtailment is necessary until there is viable alternatives to FF’s. If, that is an IF, with super duper capitol letters. Starvation and uprisings isn’t in anybody’s interest.

      Take the money, learn to play an instrument. If you’re going to buy something, make it something that will last or can be repaired ad infinitum. Fsck the mass produced el cheapo jank.

      • Lidia17 says:

        What’s your idea of the most sustainable instrument (other than the human voice)? Keeping baroque instruments going seems like an enterprise. I have an accordion, but that’s clearly a child of the industrial age.

        • Kowalainen says:

          For example, there are tube/valve and semiconductor amplifiers/synthesizers more than 60 years old still going strong. The strings will eventually wear out, but hey, steel wires is plentiful. The electronic circuits not so much. A copper trace and a properly designed semiconductor junction does not care if current flows through it or not.

          Signals from the voyager space probes are still detectable with modern radio telescopes.

          You will perish together with most of mankind before Gaia sends her synthetic offshoots into interstellar space.

          Your role as an useful consumer has traced its conclusion.

        • Robert Firth says:

          Lidia, my choice would be the baroque oboe, surely the most beautiful musical instrument after the human voice.
          Here is a sample, the aria “Schlafe mein Liebster”, with Anne Sophie von Otter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX8lJe8Nf-E

  27. JT Roberts says:

    The problem is utilization. The global economy is no different than a factory or refinery. If you reduce the quantity of a product or service you must proportionally increase the cost in order to cover you fixed cost. The entire system can not and will not work in a contraction.

    It really doesn’t matter what the politicians do or say. What can’t be done won’t be done.

    Curiously the last man standing will likely be the Federal Reserve. In essence they are the pawn shop to the world. Through the swap desk they are back stopping the global financial system as the lender of last resort in US dollars. The currency of the most demand.

    As I have said before this is a dissipative structure. At its core is the US banking system built on the Breton Woods agreement. Like a hurricane the strength of the core facilitates sub systems like China or the EU Once the energy starts to decline the periphery collapses. Starting with the weakest and rushing progressively toward the core. No matter how hard the center tries to keep the periphery at bay it eventually overruns the system.

    Rome called them Barbarians. We call them illegal aliens or migrants. The new cities of the world are refugee camps.

    Fundamentally the world is a socialist system. There is no such thing as free market capitalism that’s an illusion. The system is completely regulated and subsidized without any thought to whether something is profitable or not. Can we honestly say that the stock market is any different than the old Soviet Union? Or different than present day China? Value is commanded into existence. Perhaps not by a government office but rather a collective desperation.

    However as many of us have experienced a person often rallies just before death. This system is no different. In a last ditch effort to return to the glory days the world will unite in something grand. But the laws of physics are against them. As well as other laws. Very sad situation.

    • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

      “Fundamentally the world is a socialist system.”

      capitalism seemed to work on the upside of a few centuries of increasing FF and prosperity.

      on the downside, countries may very well be turning towards populism and a higher dosage of socialism, not that it will prevent the continuing decline in per capita prosperity.

    • Dennis L. says:


      Dennis L.

      • Harry McGibbs says:

        Thanks, JT. You have a knack for bringing a fresh perspective on these matters.

    • I think a lot of people miss the importance of economies of scale. The system works backwards with shrinkage. As you say,

      “If you reduce the quantity of a product or service you must proportionally increase the cost in order to cover you fixed cost. The entire system can not and will not work in a contraction.”

  28. Dan says:

    I am waiting to see what happens to the Texas economy that’s when you will see collapse!! I know that Wyoming is suffering greatly because they have no tax revenue coming in. When you try to google info on this you don’t get much! Fracking has got to be suffering greatly…

    • I found this article from January 2020. New Record: Texas Oil and Gas Industry Paid $16.3 Billion in Taxes and State Royalties in 2019, Most in Texas History

      Billions in oil and gas taxes and royalties directly support Texas schools, teachers, roads, infrastructure and healthcare facilities

      The way this is broken down is

      Property taxes = $4.0 billion
      Sales, state and local taxes = $3.7 billion
      Crude oil production tax = $3.9 billion
      Natural gas production tax = $1.7 billion
      Franchise, oil well servicing, and other taxes = $828 million
      Royalties to State Funds = $2.2 million

      Total Paid = $16.3 billion

      Texas’ state budget was roughly $250 billion for 2019, so this would suggest that the oil and gas industry accounted for 6.5% of the state budget.

      There is no state or local income tax. This is likely the result of the benefit of the revenue from the oil and gas industry.

      I am sure that Alaska gets a big benefit from the oil and gas industry. Other oil and gas producing states as well.

    • Dennis L. says:

      Dan, thanks for the reference. We have been talking about fracking for some time, most of the emphasis on the producers themselves, the below article gives a hint into what a less fossil fueled economy might look like. For Wyoming the general meme is get more from the wealthy, e.g. RE transfer taxes. The problem is there is only marginal wealth, e.g. stock market. No company would sell in whole for what the market has priced the FANGS none of these companies sell/make a “real product.”


      Note in Wyoming per the above article to balance the budget all state employees would need to be laid off excluding education if I am reading correctly. Does anyone think existing pensions might be “adjusted” before that happens?

      Dennis L.

  29. psile says:

    With 25% of Australia’s GDP, the state of Victoria heads into Stage 4 lockdown for the next 6 weeks as the number of new daily CV-19 cases continue to escalate. The fear is now palpable. This thing isn’t going away, and the economy isn’t going to recover, although there’s plenty of brave talk. There’s even discussion of a Stage 5! What that would look like is anybody’s guess. People shot on the spot for breaking curfew?


    Prospect of stage 5 lockdown in Victoria sparks fear

    As Melburnians reel from Monday’s announcement that Stage 4 COVID restrictions would include the shutdown of businesses and workplaces across the city, they were confronted with an even more distressing prospect.

    What would a Stage 5 Melbourne look like?

    • Chrome Mags says:

      That virus is relentlessly spreading globally. Meanwhile in our local rural grocery store in No. CA they just had to shut the store down for a few days while they scrubbed everything to try and rid the place of the virus, which had started to be a super spreader location.

      One reason for the recent uptick in number of cases are more and more people are throwing caution to the wind. Also in our area on Sat. night there was a huge party at a big house down next to the lake, and from the sound of the singing on the PA system, they were all lit up. A rousing good time had by all right past midnight, but likely there will be more people getting sick. Easy to be become impatient with the situation, wanting to live a little.

    • The article says that the Stage 4 lockdown is expected to throw another 250,000 people out of work. Don’t people think things through?

      • gpdawson2016 says:

        No, it seems they don’t. Isn’t that the point of Nate Hagens ‘Superorganism’ and your ‘Networked System’ approach?! What we as individuals’think’ is entirely beside the point, if it was your blog and others would have been shut down. Remember the t-shirt? “In America you’re free to think and say whatever you want- you’re just not free to KNOW”.

        • Right! In a self-organizing system, people tend to think from their own perspectives. Politicians think from the point of view of their voters. Voters think from the point of view of themselves and their immediate relatives. If they see the possibility of death or a long hospitalization from the illness, they will tend to stay at home and will want politicians who seem to keep them safe.

          The fact that this doesn’t really work in the aggregate is hard to see.

      • psile says:

        They figure that the magic money tree will continue to solve all problems.

    • beidawei says:

      Stage 5: “Bring out your dead!”

    • Kim says:

      – A whopping 208 people have died of the coronavirus in Australia. Virtually all of them have been nursing home residents.

      – The Australian government publishes every death. Eight people under the age of 60 have died and only 26 people under the age of 70 have died. A full 136 have been over 80.

      – The average lifespan of Australians is 82. The median average coronavirus death in Australia appears to be 85..

      Despite these facts, Australia is going into the most extreme semi-permanent lockdown of possibly any country, a lockdown that has every possibility of collapsing the economy.


      • GBV says:

        Because… reasons.

        I’ve seen others asking the same question as you Kim, and as of yet I really haven’t heard a satisfactory answer (whether realistic or conspiracy theory based).

        One thought that popped into my mind is that we might all be looking at the problem in the wrong light… there doesn’t seem to be any national benefits to any one nation shuttering itself and destroying it’s own economy, but perhaps there are benefits from a globalist perspective that aren’t as readily apparent?

        Another thought that occurred to me was the possibly that covid is actually incredibly debilitating / lethal, but in the longer run (i.e. get it now, die horribly in 5 or so years from immune system collapse… possibly reanimate as a zombie?). If that were the case, and the government was aware of it (possibly because they had a hand in creating it), they may come to the conclusion that the best way to deal with it is not to mention the whole “insanely lethal in the long run” bit and just try to lock it down now to stop the spread while they still can (better than having to admit they created and/or released something that may be responsible for the decimation of the species).

        Really, I’m just spitballing ideas here though…


      • psile says:

        I guess they want to prevent the hospital system from getting crushed. They also believe that printing enough money will solve the economic issue, eventually.

      • neil says:

        If you’ve already made it to 82, you’re statistically very likely to make it beyond 85. That’s the difference.

    • Kim says:

      @ psile

      “as the number of new daily CV-19 cases continue to escalate. The fear is now palpable. This thing isn’t going away,”

      Why this hysteria? In Australia, just 208 people have died of the coronavirus. Eight people under the age of 60, 26 people under the age of 70, and 136 over 80. The average lifespan of Australians is 82.

      So we are closing the economy? Have we all gone stark, staring mad?

      • Tim Groves says:

        Kim, a realistic con-s-piracy theory is that elite pirates are con-spiring to con everybody else out of their wealth, health and livelihood by stealth.

        This is controlled demolition with the virus as the pretext for shutting down great swaths of economic activity. Most people are going to get shafted and become a lot poorer and many people are going to suffer and die prematurely.

        Try crashing the economy on purpose without a good excuse and the masses would react unpredictably and possibly uncontrollably. But have a good excuse ready that they’ve been programmed to believe in and they will be as good as little lambs.


      • psile says:

        Yes, humans are losing their collective nut as industrial cilivilastion begins its terminal descent, and we’ve only just commenced. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

      • Xabier says:

        Exactly, crashing the economy and ruining millions of lives for the sake of a slight retardation in the deaths of the very elderly. Simply insane.

        I have to say I’d imagined that lock-downs would be dropped as a policy response once it had been seen what long-term damage they have done. The negative effects have become clear very early, too.

        I was neglecting the incontrovertible fact that governments tend to make more disastrous decisions than beneficial, as kind of general rule.

        • psile says:

          The economy was always going to crash. Going into 2020 things were looking very bad globally anyway. 12 years of non-stop money printing and malinvestment will do that. Coronavirus came along and burst the bubble, like a bazooka. It was simply the catalyst, or rather, the accelerant, in this case.

  30. adonis says:

    looks like i will have to be tested for covid19, i drive trams for a living and a positive patient may have infected me when she illegally travelled on my tram she appeared of asian origin so maybe she could not understand the warnings coming from the public address system continuously oh well at least i was forced to go home hopefully I have caught nothing wish me luck guys.

  31. Harry McGibbs says:

    “…the coronavirus-related collapse in world tourism, which represents more than 10 per cent of global economic output, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, may well trigger the next stage of this crisis, in which we move from a public health emergency and mass unemployment to widespread insolvencies in myriad industries.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “The collapse in tourism as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has left a gaping hole in Turkey’s finances. Foreign investors have fled, pulling out almost $13bn from the country’s local-currency bonds and stocks over the past 12 months.

      “In the face of those outflows, the country has burnt through tens of billions of dollars of reserves this year in a bid to maintain an unofficial currency peg.”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “With no American visitors to show around the D-Day beaches or the Loire Valley’s chateaux, and no work on the immediate horizon, Paris tour guide Linda Zenou frets about how she’ll pay off a loan and continue to care for her ailing mother in the achingly lean months ahead.

        ““My situation is going to become completely inextricable,” she said. “We have nothing to live on.””


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “The latest update from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) found travel restrictions during COVID-19 had seen a staggering 98 per cent drop in international tourist numbers in May, which translated to a loss of about 300 million tourists worldwide – and $448 billion in global tourism revenue.

          “That’s more than three times the loss felt during the 2009 global financial crisis…”


          • Yorchichan says:

            This weekend just gone was one of the busiest I’ve had as a taxi driver in York. Lots and lots of tourists. None of them the international variety of course. Seems like the Brits are sensibly foregoing their fortnight in the Med for breaks in their own country.

            As I wrote once before, international tourism is a huge net loss for Britain i.e. we spend far more abroad than foreign tourists spend visiting here. Therefore a drop in international travel is a good thing for our balance of payments and might well benefit our local tourist industry.

            • Harry McGibbs says:

              Yorchichan, it’s noticeably busier up here on Islay. I’m seeing the odd car with foreign number plates but the vast bulk of current tourists are “staycationers”, who, anecdotally at least, do not spend as much as overseas tourists.

            • Minority Of One says:

              Same in Aviemore, the main tourist destination for the Highlands of Scotland. My sister says it is heaving. I am not surprised. If 80% of Brits who usually go abroad for a summer holiday are not this year, there is not the capacity for many of them in the Scottish Highlands. Many hotels still closed.

            • I expect people spend more in total when they travel, because they buy new clothes before they go. They buy souvenirs when they are away. So their spending affects both their home country and the country that they travel to.

          • Wow! I was one of the people whose travel was cut off, too.

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Thanks 😌 for these on tourism..As everyone knows I live here in South Florida and the local media has had a few stories on the collapse of tourism and the resulting spike in related unemployment, business failures and dramatic drop in public revenue. This is all being overlooked by the Care Act and other Federal giveaways.
      The main news focus, day in and day out, is the Covid 19 epidemic, crime stories, and weather like the Hurricane storm that just past.
      Reality has yet to hit that this is the new normal. Tourism is NOT returning like it was, along with the money to pay for the jobs and revenue.
      Huge decrease in local revenue from Hotels and Airports.
      Read where Norwegian Cruise Lines won’t book for October and that means everything is on hold….during the winter season Airlines expect those cruises to bring people into the city on their planes.
      I see a panic crisis in the making…..
      Here is a link to an article of the same about countries hit hardest by Covid with tourism

      • The economies that are reported to have the highest percentage of tourism according to the World Council on Tourism are

        Mexico = 15.5%
        Spain = 14.3%
        Italy = 13.0%
        China = 11.3%
        Australia = 10.8%
        Germany = 9.1%
        United Kingdom = 9.0%
        United States = 8.6%
        France = 8.5%

        This ranking only lists big countries. We are left to guess regarding the impact on smaller countries, such as Greece, New Zealand and Bermuda.

    • I would agree: Cutting off tourism pushes the whole world economy toward collapse.

  32. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Shares in Britain’s “big four” — HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and the recently rebranded NatWest Group Plc — have all performed worse than their European peers this years. Lloyds and NatWest, the most exposed to the U.K. economy, have seen more than half of their market values wiped out, leaving them not far off the lows of the financial crisis.

    “Banco Santander SA, which runs Britain’s fifth-largest bank, last week wrote $7.2 billion off the value of its U.K. offshoot.”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “HSBC Holdings reported a 82% slump in second-quarter profit on Monday as it ratcheted up provisions for loan losses due to the coronavirus pandemic and warned of the fallout from mounting U.S.-China tensions…

      “The London headquartered bank expects provision for loan losses for the year to surge to between $8 billion and $13 billion. That would be the highest sum in a decade…”


      • Harry McGibbs says:

        “…the ECB continues to drive the commercial banks into the ground by forcing them towards yet higher ratios on the slimmest of margins in its quest to fund member government deficits.”


        • Harry McGibbs says:

          “HSBC is to accelerate plans to cut 35,000 jobs globally…”


          • The letters HSBC originate from “Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd.” Most of the bank’s business is China and Hong Kong related.

            HSBC is sometimes reported a “Europe’s Largest Bank by Assets.” I suppose this is worldwide assets, not those associated with Europe.

            According to an earlier article, big cutbacks in Europe and the US are planned, shifting more resources to Asia and the Middle East.

            I wonder who would bail out HSBC if it has problems.

        • One of the main issues seems to be, “the increasing support for zombie corporations to prevent national write-offs precludes other lending for economic benefit.”

          The author also says, “The collapse of the Eurosystem would bankrupt the PIGS, and possibly other member states, cutting off all monetary financing, and the “euro will be destroyed if, and when, the flawed Eurosystem falls apart.”

          I can see the pattern of lending to zombie corporation occurring in the US as well. With COVID-19, there are lots and lots of zombie corporations.

        • Robert Firth says:

          In other words, the centre is looting the periphery. Perhaps the one unequivocal sign of impending collapse.

  33. Minority Of One says:

    This is from June 15. I don’t think it was posted previously. From ConsciousnessOfSheep (UK). A pretty good summary of the situation we are in, but he does at one point optimistically refer to 10 years from now, ‘the next decade’:
    A rude awakening


    “…For all the guff about a faster switch to renewable energy, the BP announcement [that its assumed longterm price for oil has been too high] is more grounded in the realities of the post-pandemic economy than the nonsense being spouted in the establishment media. What BP is actually saying is that the collapse in discretionary spending which is only now beginning will lead to a crisis of affordability across the economy which will render oil deposits which require a return of more than $50 per barrel uneconomical…”

    Good analogy here:

    “…Forget about your dreams of a green new deal or the establishment media versions of the happy-clappy “new normal” and think instead about an energy-constrained future; a bit like the oil shock in 1973 or the fuel protests in 2000 but with no “normal” to go back to…”

    The following bit I disagree with:

    “Having seen giant corporations queuing up for multi-billion pound state handouts apparently conjured out of the ether, the public is unlikely to buy the “we’re all in it together” BS that they fell for after 2008. This time around voters will insist on a combination of additional public spending and tax cuts which can only be bought at the cost of a massive reduction in the state itself.”

    Voters in the UK do not have a good track record of demanding anything and getting it.

    “…Prudent governments – both local and national – would take the opportunity of the pandemic to reassess the various spending commitments made prior to the lockdown and based on the assumption that economic growth would continue forever. High speed rail links, additional airport runways and new roads have no place in an economy whose demand for transport was falling long before SARS-CoV-2 arrived. Investment in more mundane – but essential – activities like keeping the lights on, providing clean water and ensuring there is enough food for everyone is going to be far more important.”

    All true, but as of this past weekend, the UK govt is still going ahead with its £100 Billion+ fast rail link (HS2) between London and Manchester/Leeds. Such hugely expensive projects should be cancelled, but clueless govts seem to like them.

    “Across the economy, things that seemed essential in February are going to be increasingly unaffordable luxuries in our energy-constrained future. Meanwhile many of the things we have been encouraged to think of as “essential” – continuous electricity and broadband, out of season and pre-prepared foods, multi-channel television, car ownership, etc. – will rapidly become the new luxuries.” [Mobile phones are not in the list. A few homeless people I have seen here in Aberdeen have nothing, except a mobile phone]

    Last paragraph:
    “It will be a rude awakening for all. But, ironically, those at the very bottom are better prepared than most for the shock that is coming. Those who have been forced to endure a decade of pin balling in and out of various under-paid, part-time, zero-hours and gig economy jobs, interspersed with periods on the wrong end of a toxic social security system have already given up many of the “luxuries” that the metropolitan liberal class still views as essential. The poor will suffer too, of course. As the price of food, clean water, heat and lighting increase there will be little if any income left over. But the big psychological shock will be to a middle class that rapidly finds that its employment is surplus to requirement and that everything it took as certain in life is collapsing around its ears.”

    • Your link is indeed to a very fine article by Tim Watkins. He writes about the situation in the UK. The situation in the US is only a little bit different.

      One point he makes is that governments will be squeezed. He feels this is likely to lead to rising taxes. I expect it will lead to a reduction of spending. (I am not as certain about the rising taxes.) For example, school may be online, simply because it is cheaper to do it this way. There will be no need for school busses, free breakfasts and lunches, and a school nurse anymore. In fact, online lessons can be sent out by just a handful of teachers. They can be on television, instead of over the Internet, to make them more accessible to students. There will be more and more disparity in educational results for students. Rich parents will pool together to hire a teacher to tutor a small group of students near their home. Poor parents will see their children get a much worse education.

      • Lidia17 says:

        There are still some constraints there, as we have been giving out meals despite childrens’ not attending school (they have set up drive-through pickups). Also, teachers’ unions still seem to hold a lot of power: in some cases refusing to go back to the classroom but also balking at working online.

        Teachers Are Wary of Returning to Class, and Online Instruction Too
        Unions are threatening to strike if classrooms reopen, but are also pushing to limit live remote teaching. Their demands will shape pandemic education.”

        Your larger point is correct, of course, but I think we also risk throwing good money after bad and paying effectively double (eg. the costs of homeschooling while also paying idle teachers, janitors, etc.). In my state, there is a patchwork of bad ideas. Some schools plan to physically operate one day per week, others four days per week. The worst of both worlds. I think that ends up being more in line with the Maximum Entropy Production Principle.

        • Tim Groves says:

          These teachers may be protesting themselves out of a future career.

          Remember Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controllers?

          Or Rupert Murdoch and the Fleet Street printers?

          If and when the tables turn and the pendulum swings back to right, this reluctance to do their job may provide a perfect pretext for firing public school teachers en masse and asking all who want to keep teaching to re-apply.

          • kschleunes says:

            Most public schools find it nearly impossible to staff their schools with qualified teachers. If the teachers don’t show up, there really isn’t anyone that will replace them. Not like the air traffic controller situation at all.

            • Robert Firth says:

              What sane teacher would want to teach in a public school anyway? Unable to innovate, shacked to a ridiculous dumbed down “Common Core” curriculum, and faced with severe punishment if they ever fail a protected racial category of pupil or dare to discipline a feral teenager. The public schools should be abolished, and replaced by charter schools paid for by parents and staffed by those who love to teach. As Andrew Carnegie proposed over a century ago.

      • GBV says:

        No education may be better than the indoctrination that passes as education in the western world today.

        And if a parent really cares about their child’s / children’s education , they could educate them themselves…


        • Lidia17 says:

          GBV, of course you are correct, but the majority put great stock in their dysfunctional schools and will double-down in this case just as they have doubled-down over and over again for the last several decades of public-school decline.

  34. This is a 1.5 hour podcast from ADV Podcasts, called “The Floods in China Are Worse than You Think #31.


    Actually, it is about how things really work in China. It does talk a little about the floods, but about a lot of other things as well. The level of corruption is incredibly high. I saw some of this when I visited China. People don’t come with the same expectations that we have.

    • hkeithhenson says:

      > The level of corruption is incredibly high.

      I *think* this would be subject to a technical solution. Something like a police body camera and an AI that watched for corrupt behavior.

      This would not fix corruption at the top, but the people at the top don’t want corruption lower down.

      • Corruption seems to be self-organized into the system. I am doubtful body cams would fix the situation.

        One example given in this video is of a guard taking a bribe from a thief (in the form of part of the goods stolen) to make certain that the output of the videocamera guarding the area mysteriously disappears during the time when it would show the thief in the output. I know that back in 2011, a Chinese tour guide told our group, “Don’t worry about your luggage being overweight for a local airline. I have “cousins” everywhere.” We were also told that bribes by the tour company were needed to get through locks on the Yangtze River in an expedient manner.

        The existence of the culture of corruption allows what appears to be very low wages for a wide range of occupations, including many governmental occupations. The workers “earn” the rest of their wages through bribes given to them by those who are somehow (often illegally) making more money than average. People who have high incomes, perhaps from accepting bribes, can use their higher incomes to get better services than others obtain.

        There are two different practices that allow this culture of corruption. One is the extremely widespread practice of gift giving. Gifts are expected, whenever people meet. The size and type of gift can vary. Food is one form of gift. I also received jewelry and other types of gifts from the Chinese. I know I was offered part of the “take,” if the department received a monetary award for an academic article I helped them write. I did help them with several articles, including two that likely led to monetary rewards, but I never accepted the monetary offer. I also didn’t ask that my name be put first on the articles.

        The second practice is that there are an awfully lot of payments in cash. I know that I received payments in cash for my services in China. The department that hired me paid me in cash. When other groups asked my to give a presentation, they paid for my services in cash. Also, when I bought souvenirs, there were times when the only type of payment that could be made was cash. With so many payments in cash, the government cannot collect taxes on these transactions. Citizens don’t want to fix this situation.

        • Robert Firth says:

          “With so many payments in cash, the government cannot collect taxes on these transactions. Citizens don’t want to fix this situation.”

          Sensible citizens! Hide as much as you can from the government; and not just the Chinese government, every government. At school we all learned about “Morton’s Fork”, the ruse by which Henry VII’s tax collector John Morton relieved people of their wealth, whether they had it or not. Of course I doubt that is taught nowadays. School children probably learn how Henry VII was a slave trader and kept a stable of dancing pygmies from Zaire. And refused to date trans women.

          • Tim Groves says:

            Anne of Cleves may have been a bloke, Robert.
            Henry and Anne never consummated their marriage so who really knows?


            • Robert Firth says:

              Anne of Cleves was large, big boned, swarthy, and ugly. A century later, she was dubbed “The Flanders Mare”, because the horses of Flanders (much prized as war chargers) were of similar build. Holbein’s portrait depicts her as female, but I suspect his portrait of Michael Jackson would have been similarly ambiguous.

              However, the theatre of the time boasted many “trans” actresses, because women were not allowed to act. A situation gently parodied in Episode 4 of “Adventurers Masters of Time”, which has one of the obviously female Adventurers complemented on how well she acts the part of a girl.

        • hkeithhenson says:

          > Corruption seems to be self-organized into the system. I am doubtful body cams would fix the situation.

          I don’t know either, it’s just a proposal. Your thoughts on how it might go wrong are appreciated.

    • Minority Of One says:

      I have seen a few of their YT videos over the last few months, and your comment Gail “it is about how things really work in China” sums up their videos pretty well.

      Their videos go back quite a few years. Both the blokes lived there for 10-15 years teaching English, and are fluent in Mandarin, then they managed to make a living from posting videos on YT from their travels around China, and showing daily life.

      Both married a Chinese woman (I mention this because I have seen them labelled as being anti-Chinese) and had to leave China quickly about a year ago, the authorities were not happy with the content of their videos, because they tell like it is. Not allowed!

      Both now live in the USA hiding from the Chinese authorities, but still manage to post informative and interesting videos re China.

      • Thanks for the additional information. I didn’t know how to introduce the video. I saw earlier videos of theirs at the time of the virus outbreak in Wuhan.

  35. Merrifield says:

    For those saying “it’s just the flu–everyone is over-reacting” I offer this JAMA article: https://www.newsweek.com/most-recovered-covid-19-patients-left-heart-damage-study-shows-1521456

    • This is indeed worrying. This is a link to the underlying study. It takes 100 people who recently tested positive, and follows them. It also has 100 controls, matched for age, sex and underlying conditions.


      • Hubbs says:

        I hear all this and all that about cardiac damage. Yes MRI is a better test than ECHO for the heart but what exactly are the symptoms and findings? Enlarged ventricular size? Decreased thickness? Decreased ejection fraction? Hypokinesis? Valve damage/insufficiency/stenosis? Pericardial effusions? Compromised coronary circulation? etc. etc. And are these survivors being measured against age/sex/ matched controls ? Getting MRIs on asymptomatic people for baseline studies would involve a huge expense.
        This whole thing stinks to high heaven.

        • Hubbs says:

          To clarify, get MRIs of thousands asymptomatic people BEFORE any of them catches COVID. Then analyze the changes in their MRIs and the natural hisotry of the disease, not by some analysis of “controls” To clarify, I’ve seen these “comparison” to “age matched controls” fudged. I want to see prospective, randomized, double blind studies, with Class I evidence.

          • doomphd says:

            since the underlying concern is the Covid-19 is being hyped to cover for economic downturns, other questions to raise about these studies is context with similar studies (or not) of other influenzas, and even the common cold. surely there must be other, similar studies by now, and their results published. what are the conclusions? the underlying conceit here is Covid-19 is somehow unique in producing these medical problems. there must be lots of “easy grant money” to be had now for such studies. where’s the honest and ethical treatment of context?

            • I think the issue is that we now have devices that can detect minor temporary heart inflammation problems. They don’t necessarily cause the person with them any problems. If they do, they are likely treatable. Or perhaps they will go away with time. The fact that we are beginning to understand the problem is helpful, because now we can figure our appropriate treatments for the problem.

              I know that when I have had my EKG taken, I have had some doctors indicate that the EKG is “abnormal.” When I asked about it, the doctor said, “It doesn’t really matter. It is the same as before. It was a little abnormal before. It is the same now. It has never caused any problem.” Maybe there is a little of this issue as well.

              Our machines are very, very sensitive.

          • nikoB says:

            Damn you and your scientific methodology 😉

            • doomphd says:

              you sound like some of my lab help.

            • doomphd says:

              sometimes, waiting for these studies and their media coverage to sort things out is like waiting for paint to dry. patience is not my long card.

              adding new technology to these studies can complicate matters. when they came up with advanced mass spectrometer analysis of water, even drinking water started to look like poison. recall the natural levels of benzene found in Perrier sparkling water? the question is how much is too much, and does it bioaccumulate? Is it safe to fill your car with gasoline (loaded with benzene)? I guess it’s gotten safer.

          • Robert Firth says:

            Exactly. The JAMA article commits the traditional logical fallacy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc”. The patients had heart problems after coronavirus. But did they have those same problems before the virus? Unless that is known and analysed, the JAMA article is just more gratuitous panic spreading.

        • Look at the JAMA article yourself. Also see my comments in another comment below.

        • May Hem says:

          It could be simply more fear spreading by those who will profit from the lockdowns and the magical vaccine – whether the vaccine is of any use or not. Its difficult the know what is really going on but i suspect this is largely a fear virus with the aim of getting as much control of populations as possible.

          This is well on the way as the state of victoria in australia has just imposed laws that enable police to seize property, arrest and/or fine any who object, suspend acts of parliament, have a curfew in the city. Most frightening, the power to extend these regulations if deemed necessary.

    • I looked at the JAMA Cardiology article a bit more. The article is about heart impacts caused by COVID-19, on a group of 100 people who tested positive for COVID-19. Adverse heart impacts were found on 78 of the 100 people in the analysis.

      The timing of the analysis was after any lung issues were past and the patient had tested negative. The median length of time that had passed since the positive test result was 71 days, so a person would expect these people to be pretty much recovered.

      Regarding symptoms, the article says (regarding the 100):

      On the day of CMR [Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance] examination, direct questioning about symptoms revealed atypical chest pain (n = 17) and palpitations (n = 20). Compared with pre–COVID-19 status, 36 patients (36%) reported ongoing shortness of breath and general exhaustion, of whom 25 noted symptoms during less-than-ordinary daily activities, such as a household chore. Only 4 of 25 patients (16%) were previously hospitalized. No patient reported typical angina symptoms [chest pain, pain in arms, dizziness, shortness of breath] or a recent syncope [an episode of fainting from low blood flow to the brain].

      The researchers tried to figure out what was going on. According to the article, “Endomyocardial biopsy in patients with severe findings revealed active lymphocytic inflammation.” When I searched on “lymphocytic inflammation,” I discovered that the condition is, at least in some cases, treatable with steroids. So this may partly explain why steroids seem to be helpful in severe COVID-19 cases.

      The article also mentions “perimyocarditis.” I found an article called, “Good Prognosis for Pericarditis With Without Myocardial Involvement” by Imazio and others, written in 2013. The primary treatment seems to be aspirin or other NAISD. A study of 486 patients over 36 months showed over 90% got well with this treatment.

      So these conditions may be treatable, or may go away by themselves. But of course, we don’t know for sure at this point.

      It is disturbing that the article indicates that even the asymptomatic group seemed to have heart issues referred to as “cardiac inflammatory involvement.”

      One thought I had is that the cardiac inflammatory involvement condition may explain the large number of people in China who seemed to faint on the sidewalk. In fact, quite a few of them died. It is not clear to me that the version of COVID-19 we are seeing in the US is having as much of this problem.

      Another thought I had is, “I hope that vaccines do not provide this same kind of effect.” It seems like something researchers might want to consider.

      • Dennis L. says:

        Regarding the conclusion of the publication I have no idea. The problem with medical(even science) is a quote, “A minority of critical care practices with research published in high-profile journals were evaluated for reproducibility; less than half had reproducible effects.”

        The only certain method of determining damage to the heart would be a pre disease MRI of the heart and a post MRI of the same heart.

        Follow the money and one can get a good answer most of the time. In Texas a number of Covid deaths have been reclassified, hospitals were paid more for Covid cases. It was not a mistake, it was money, diagnosis have a standard code for insurance purposes, miscoding is fraud and that is plainly stated in insurance filing documents. Some or one coder was pressured, the boss should be prosecuted for medical billing fraud.


        A number of years ago at UCSD there was a very well known MD who published an article a week(exaggeration), was held up us an outstanding physician. A number of years later an attempt was made to duplicate his research which involved some very serious care issues. His publications were made up, people lost their lives having been treated by his published methods.

        To become a professor at a major university in medicine it seems one needs an MD, a Ph. D, a law degree and also be an accomplished concert pianist. A number of years ago I knew such an individual, at a party with a very fine pianist as entertainment she was invited by this musician to sit down and give her interpretation of a piece of music. She sight read it and nailed it, physician at Mayo. I don’t believe she had a law degree however.

        If these abilities do not come naturally, there is great pressure to fudge. Too many elites, too few chairs at the table, Turchin writes about this.

        Dennis L.

      • Duncan Idaho says:

        So this may partly explain why steroids seem to be helpful in severe COVID-19 cases.
        Actually, in the second week of infection, the virus is almost gone, but one has a raging immune response, causing major damage to some.
        The steroids dampen this response.
        The second week is the most damaging, if you can avoid the shut down of circulatory system in the third.

  36. Norman Pagett says:

    Excellent comment piece by Joseph Stiglitz on BBC radio today:


    Stiglitz Starts 22mins in

  37. Harry McGibbs says:

    “China’s ‘dark fleet’ now targeting Sea of Japan:

    “It’s been a gruesome mystery for years: the wrecks of wooden boats crewed only by skeletons found adrift in the Sea of Japan.

    “But these ‘ghost ships’ have become a macabre spectre: More than 150 washed ashore last year alone…”


  38. Tango Oscar says:

    For those looking to hedge yourself against a loss in purchasing power in US dollars I still believe there is time to buy gold and silver but that that door is rapidly closing. Bullion dealers across the US are in short supply with sky high premiums and the US Mint just announced last week that they are only going to be putting out 1/2 of their normal supply going forward (12-18 months) due to social distancing requirements. They will only make gold coins or silver coins each day but they can no longer do both. Obviously this exacerbates supply issues and pushes prices even higher.

    The Comex is another developing story. I’ve never seen so many buyers of futures contracts stand for real physical delivery. Normally less than 1% of paper contracts ever stand to have the metals delivered but we’re clearly going into the Twilight Zone now. This also pushes big players who want to short the metal out of the market since they would be on the hook for physical delivery. Once force majeure happens I believe it’s going to send the price of gold/silver into the ionosphere and it might even have the potential of destabilizing the monetary system quite rapidly all by itself. Think about what just the ramifications are of an investment bank like Goldman Sachs putting out a $2300 price target of gold means considering their government ties and knowledge.



    Previous gold bull markets were brought to an end by bringing inflation rates up 20% or massive lies being told by the Federal Reserve making people believe QE was temporary or it could be unwound somehow. Rates at 3.1% a year ago seems so distant now and I loaded up on 5 year CD’s at the top as I saw the financial collapse happening long before the coronavirus entered the picture. Inflation rates will never go above 0 again unless the Federal Reserve stops buying bonds somehow, which I don’t believe they can ever stop doing. As the debt of the government and their balance sheet expands ever higher, a rise in interest rates would be akin to putting out a fire with gasoline. I expect them to expand one more QE wave before the election, probably in unison with equities attempting to revert to the mean.

    I still believe the best way to play this is through gold and silver mining stocks and options. Some of the stocks I own have doubled or tripled since April, providing returns far higher than the metals themselves or any other stock on the index for that matter. Stocks like PAAS, EQX, AEM, NEM, KL, and GFI have seen ridiculous gains with higher gold prices, even with reduced mining volumes from Covid shutdowns. I plan on riding the market as high as it will provide returns for and then when it starts dumping again en masse I’ll close my positions and buy more physical gold/silver with the profits. Obviously there might not be any gold/silver available at that time and I already own plenty to maintain my standard of living. I’m just taking advantage of the current situation to stack away more money in case we don’t have a full collapse somehow.

    I’m also hedged very hard against a downturn in the market by shorting individual companies that are for all intents and purposes bankrupt the instant the government tit is pulled away. Things like airlines, banks, and cruise ship companies should all be bankrupt and I don’t think the government is going to be able to hide the real damage for too much longer. Carnival Cruises isn’t even allowed to sail stateside until 2021 yet somehow they just keep being fed billions to burn through. Airlines are in a similar situation because airport traffic has hit a ceiling of about 25% of 2019 levels. United and American are both going to fire 10’s of thousands of people the moment October 1st happens. As for financial institutions I think European banks in particular are subject to collapse like Deutche Bank and HSBC with their Hong Kong exposure. Buckle up and get your popcorn ready, we ain’t seen nothing yet!

    • Hubbs says:

      Things have a nasty habit of sneaking up. I have already mentioned a 19.8% price increase in Renogy 100 watt compact solar panels on Amazon two weeks ago. Mountain House, the gold standard for freeze dried food, had sold all its bundled 5+4+3+2= 14 day boxes on Amazon @ 9 months ago at the beginning of the COVID mess. I see no more 6 month or 1 year supply “mega packages” with 6 number 10 cans per box sold by the pallet.

      I see creeping substitution of starch for meat. Packages that used to be meat-based are now advertised as “Protein.” A closer look shows that they are substituting more plant-based protein, which admittedly if balanced can provide the essential amino acids and has positive aspects as animal protein is indeed more energy-intensive to produce, but is also indicative, as are higher food prices, of what lies ahead.

      The only price reversal I have seen is 1 gallon of milk going for $1.73 at Wal-Mart in Western NC, down from $1.97 several months earlier, but I wonder if this is due to the diversion from all the closed down commercial buyers and dumping by Borden and Dean foods who are going bankrupt. Dairy farmers were literally pouring the milk out of the truck into the storm ditches.

      Once the cows are culled and the surplus milk runs out, we might see a very sharp snapback increase in price.

    • Minority Of One says:

      Deutsche’s downfall has been coming for a few years now, but it seems to struggle on. Until it can’t.

    • Ravi Uppal says:

      Tango, correct on most items except interest rates . Read the article ,you will find it interesting . The CB’s have lost control .

      • Tango Oscar says:

        I disagree. I called the top on interest rates and took advantage of it while I could buy parking cash at 3.1% rates. Rates are now at 0. How can anyone think central banks have lost control with equities at all time highs? Everyone will know when the Federal Reserve loses control but it’s definitely not right now. When stocks crash 50% and inflation starts going up 10% then I’ll concur they’ve lost control, but until then the party goes on.

    • May Hem says:

      I don’t see the point of buying gold. You can’t eat it!

      • covidinamonthorayearoradecade says:

        I think I will go to the supermarket tomorrow and buy about $300 of groceries with one of my (hypothetical) one ounce gold coins.

        I suppose they will have to give me my $1,700 in change in cash, although a store credit would be okay.

        • Dennis M says:

          I think you’d find they would not accept a gold coin as payment, anymore than they would accept a gold chain or diamond ring. You’d have to sell the gold to a gold dealer first.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          Buy fractional gold of say 1/20 ounce or in grams….and also constitutional silver US coins of dimes and quarters pre 1964…

          • Dennis M says:

            Gold coins are not legal tender. A silver dime is worth 10 cents in a grocery store. My point is that if you hold gold, you will have to convert it to local currency at the then prevailing rate in order to use it. You’re banking on it’s value holding up when all other asset values are collapsing. Maybe?

      • ElbowWilham says:

        People in collapsing economies that have gold usually do better then others. Look to Venezuela. Gold has a long history as currency. Sure you can’t use it right now at your local store. But if they attempt a currency reset they will use gold to back it.

        But have plenty of backup food also.

  39. Ed says:

    I am getting scared. Is this “The Collapse”? If so, how long will it take to see major decline, 1 year, 1 years?

  40. Minority Of One says:

    A few items of interest in this weekend’s ‘i’ newspaper:

    “Rail Operators ‘effectively in public sector’ ” (public sector – means nationalised)
    All the rail operators are currently funded by the UK govt,.£2.3 B since March. I cannot see how the rail operators can ever make a profit again. Anti-social distancing means they can never have enough passengers to make money. Oddly enough, a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Scotrail (the only rail company mainly operating in Scotland) telling me not to travel by train unless essential.

    “Swinney (education politician) reassures teachers as they voice anxiety over return to school”
    All children, primary and secondary (high) schools, are going back to school in Scotland, starting 12 th August. Looks the teachers / unions are not keen.

    “British Airways seeks £2.5bn from shareholders”
    Enough said.

    “Edinburgh Airport to cut third of its workforce”
    Link is to the same news in ‘i’ but from ‘airportwatch’, that article contains more info.
    Edinburgh airport losing £3.5 / month, to reduce number of employees by a third, from 750 to 500. Staff to leave on 31 Oct. Given the huge fall in passenger numbers, I am surprised it is just a third. Presumably all airports will follow suit and lay off staff.

    “Dentists back in business but struggling to survive”
    UK dentists were allowed to re-open on 8 June.
    Dentists are operating at a lower capacity due to anti-social distancing regulations, causing financial issues. The one in the article, one third of pre-Covid levels. Difficult to see how they can make a profit. They are looking for more govt help.
    Private-clients-only practices get loans only, no grants.
    Supplies becoming more expensive.
    Dentists are not allowed to see another client for at least an hour after any drilling work.
    Only 50% of dental workers returned to work as of 12 July.

    End of furlough
    I cannot find the article now, but the beginning of the end of furlough in the UK started yesterday, 1st of August. This article on the BBC website explains the details.
    Coronavirus: What happens when the furlough scheme ends?

    Starting yesterday, employers have to start paying some of their employees salaries again, to be phased up to all of it by sometime in October. Presumably unemployment figures will now rise.

    • The UK and many other countries have benefitted from the furlough scheme, but it can’t go on endlessly. The US has “unemployment insurance,” but this is much smaller in quantity, varying by state. Independent contractors are generally left out.

  41. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Chile’s $4.5bn stimulus boost follows months of mass protests.

    “The demonstrations of discontent from lower-income areas are becoming increasingly violent.”


  42. Harry McGibbs says:

    “A police officer was injured during clashes with youths after Eid celebrations in east London, as police leaders warned they had been given little time to prepare to enforce new social distancing restrictions.”


  43. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Riots. Radicalism. Corruption. Trump and Biden supporters turn to apocalyptic themes in campaign ad wars… the middle of summer has seen a barrage of aggressive ads…”


    • Harry McGibbs says:

      “Gun sales are booming as the Covid-19 pandemic wrecks the economy and volatile protests dominate the news. Handguns are flying off the shelves. And ammo is so hot, it’s hard to keep in stock.”


      • New investment opportunity. Better than gold or toilet paper.

        • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

          I’m all in on Tuna Cans because already have my stash.
          One thing folks are missing is location, location, location!!!😳
          Seems there is a half hearted faith in a weakened BAU and one can wiggle through with the right mix of investments.
          Gail has stressed having a extended “family” of sorts.
          That’s imperative and one needs to realize the supply chain may be rather shortened.
          I’m not a Farmer at all, and doubt I’ll be able to feed myself.
          Have a place in Central Florida that is agricultural productive and able to provide amenities of modern life and culture.
          Hedging my bets, but one only do so much and put ones money down and let the wheel roll.
          Yeah, gold silver are good, mining stocks are OK, shorting Airlines and Cruise Lines, seems likely they will go bust…but as Gail foresees, there is no functioning financial system and we have a makeshift reset!?
          George Gammon just posted a video on the World Elites and their plan for such a global revision…
          Doubt there will enough of energy/resources to hold it all together 🤣.
          Anyhoot, 2020 has proven so far to be a tipping point in many ways.
          We shall see, said the blind man

  44. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Young Chinese struggle to find jobs despite recovery:

    “The world’s second-largest economy may have rebounded sharply from a historic virus-induced contraction, but its young graduate jobless rate in June was more than three times that for urban unemployment.”


  45. Harry McGibbs says:

    “Economic crisis fuels exodus of Tunisian migrants – and their pets.

    “Middle-class, educated Tunisians are part of the exodus to Italy – including one group that brought their pet poodle… a new wave of migrants from Tunisia that has the Italian government deeply worried.

    “The exodus is being fuelled by a social, political and economic crisis in the country that was the birthplace of the Arab Spring…”


  46. Lastcall says:

    What surprises me most is that people are still confused by the actions of the US and don’t see that it is basically a Military Industrial Hegemon;
    Hollywood and CNN etc are the PR arm
    Washington DC is the executive/admin arm
    The Fed and the petro-dollar are its foremost negotiating weapon via sanctions etc
    Big Pharma is the soma dept
    Education is for misinformation
    The prison system is its carpet to sweep things under; this includes special rendition sites
    The elections are its circus
    GMO is what remains of its bread for its circus
    Terrorism has been its MO (I believe 67 countries have suffered militarily at the hands of the US since WWII?)
    Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel/country

    The fact that big pharma will be exempt from any vaccine liability seems to parallel the US not accepting any International Criminal Court rulings.

    I live in a vassal state and have probably benefitted undeservedly from this arrangement. But like most sensible people in the US, have little influence on the direction events will take.

    • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

      Scott Nearing couldn’t have stated it any better if he were alive today!👍😜

      Yep, we are pawns in a corporate vessel military state….best be a cog in it’s wheel or be crushed

    • Very Far Frank says:

      Are you running for student government or something? If so, I think you’re a shoe-in…

      You can interpret everything about the United States in the worst possible way, or you can recognise that most of what you describe could be applied to any other country. When is military action not terrorism? What democracy doesn’t engage in political circus? When is education delivered objectively and without partiality?

      The United States is always judged against an abstract utopian ideal, and I’m not sure how sensible that is.

      What we do know is that, per capita, it was once one of the most energy and resource-rich nations in history, and therefore one of the best places to live. This is no longer the case, so it’s unlikely things will get better.

      The systems these nations devise are deterministic, along with the eventual failure of their systems.

      • Herbie R Ficklestein says:

        Actually, Frankie, I was in Student Government and voted Senator of the Semester back in the day. The Government of the United States just has prettier window dressing than other oppressive imperial Nations.
        You can see what you wish, it does not change it so.

    • Norman Pagett says:

      neat summary lastcall

    • Kim says:

      All of this was hardly invented by the United States. In fact, there have been no exceptions to this arrangement anywhere on earth since people gave up hunter-gathering and settled in and around cities.

      Peoples who don’t prepare for war are killed or enslaved and what they owned becomes the property of someone else. Running a war-state entails all of the other stuff you mention.

      Of course, you are free to stump for some other kind of arrangement. Good luck with that.

    • Kim says:

      I live in a vassal state and have probably benefitted undeservedly from this arrangement.

      Suggestion: You can give up everything you have, all of your ill-gotten gains, any time you like and send it all to the deserving needy.

      Alternatively, you can stop grandstanding about how wonderfully virtuous you are and admit that you are in fact quite happy to have been the recipient of these supposedly so repugnant historical arrangements.

      The choice is yours.

      • Very Far Frank says:

        Robustly put.

      • Ravi Uppal says:

        Kim, I agree with you . I learnt about peak oil from Matt Simmons,Campbell and Dreyfuss in 2004 . I knew we were going to hit the wall ,only my timing was 2010 and not 2008 . The FED then did the QE 1 and continued to QE infinity .It started ZIRP and NIRP and other alphabet soups . I do not approve of such actions because they caused harm to more people and enriched the few . I am as you pointed out quite happy about there actions because it has given me an extra 12 years of the good life and no apologies because I did not ask for this . I was very prepared to quit the living arrangement in 2008 . No grandstanding but make a continuous effort to educate the crowd in understanding our current predicament . That is the best all of us on this forum can do ,I guess .

    • Of course, the US has benefitted greatly from this arrangement. It imports of goods and services have exceeded its exports of goods and services since 1982. Recently, both imports and exports have fallen, but the US has remained a net importer of goods and services.

      The US thus has a huge way to fall, if it loses the benefit of this arrangement.

  47. Rodster says:

    No surprise !

    “Red Flags Soar As Big Pharma Will Be Exempt From COVID-19 Vaccine Liability Claims”


  48. He