Economics

Economics
Max and Stacy give you all the financial news you need as the Global Insurrection Against Banker Occupation gathers pace. Occupy Wall Street, Crash JP Morgan, Buy Silver and DEFINITELY visit MaxKeiser.com!
Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

[KR1040] Keiser Report: Cognitive Dissonance in US Stock Markets

4-Mar-2017

We discuss cognitive dissonance in US stock markets. In the second half, Max continues his interview with economic researcher, writer and trend forecaster, Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity.com about ‘the mother of all bubbles’ in US equity markets.

Why Is the Cost of Living so Unaffordable?

3-Mar-2017

The mainstream narrative is “the problem is low wages.” Actually, the problem is the soaring cost of living. If essentials such as healthcare, housing, higher education and government services were as cheap as they once were, a wage of $10 or $12 an hour would be more than enough to maintain a decent everyday life.

Here are some examples from the real world. In 1952, it cost $30 to have a baby in an excellent hospital. If we adjust that by official inflation as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator to 2017, the cost would be $275. ($1 in 1952 = $9.16 in 2017).

What does it cost to have a baby delivered in a hospital today? $5,000? $10,000? Who even knows, given the convoluted billing process in today’s sickcare system?

The pharmaceutical cartel jacks up medication costs per dose from $3 to $600, even when the medication has been around for decades: the Pinworm prescription jumps from $3 to up to $600 a pill Parents, doctors angry over drug price gouging (via John F.)

My father paid 1.8% of his wages for “hospital group insurance” in the early 1950s (for a household of four kids and two adults.) For someone earning $1,000 a week, the equivalent today would be $72 a month out of a monthly gross income of $4,000.

My spouse and I pay $1330 a month for barebones healthcare insurance in today’s sickcare system. Factor out subsidies paid by the employer or state, and minimal healthcare insurance costs tens of thousands of dollars per household annually.

Here’s a chart that illustrates the breathtaking rise in healthcare costs. Wages are the nearly flat line:

In the early to mid-1970s, my university tuition was $89.25 per semester (the University of Hawaii was a two-semester system), and student fees were $27 a semester, for a grand total of $232.50 per year. Books added another $170 per year, for a total cost of $400 to $450 for a university education.

$1 in 1975 = $5.51 today, so if tuition, fees and books had gone up along with official inflation, it would now cost $1,800 to $2,000 to attend a large state university annually–including tuition, fees and books.

An entire 4-year university education would cost $8,000. Instead, students now borrow $50,000 and up just to attend state university.

I’ve covered the skyrocketing cost basis of everyday life for a decade:

Lowering the Cost Structure of the U.S. Economy (August 29, 2008)

My recent exploration of soaring costs for everyday items, The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001 (August 1, 2016), received quite a bit of interest, along with the companion piece on the source of much of the higher costs: Inflation Hidden in Plain Sight (August 2, 2016) Can we be honest and say that many of the reductions in value, quantity and quality are actually instances of fraud?

No Wrongdoing Here, Just 6,300 Corporate Fines and Settlements (May 2015)

Here’s a snapshot of urban rents. Recall that wages for the bottom 90% have been flatlined for decades.

Apologists claim these services have improved greatly in the past 30, 40 and 50 years, but this is only occasionally valid; university education, housing, burritos and conventional preventative care have often declined in quality and quantity, not gotten better.

Other apologists claim that Baumol’s Cost Disease explains all these tremendous increases in price; while this may be a factor in some price increases, it is more an excuse than an explanation.

Here’s what’s going on: cartels that have government backing can jack up prices at will, year after year, decade after decade, while wages have stagnated. Cartels have zero pressure to raise wages, while their immense profits fund vast propaganda/public-relations machines that translate into equally vast political influence.

Have you ever seen a non-profit foundation or a politico that didn’t support “more funding for healthcare and higher education”? Of course not. The healthcare, defense industry, Federal Reserve/banking sector and higher education cartels are all entrenched and self-serving.

The cartels have unlimited power to raise their prices, while the average wage-earner has essentially zero power to create non-cartel alternatives or influence central-state/central bank support of rapacious, parasitic cartels.

The “consumer” is supposed to have power, but that power only exists in an environment that enables level playing fields and transparent competition.Cartels buy political influence so the central state protects their pricing power and funds their rentier skims.

Strip away the centralized power that protects and funds cartels, and prices would plummet. I explain how this would work in higher education in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education. The same dynamics would radically transform the cost structure of housing, healthcare, defense and everything else currently controlled by monopolies or cartels.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print). For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

Werewolf Silver Manipulators Win Battle – Bullion Owners To Win War With Silver Bullets

3-Mar-2017

Silver On Sale – 4% Fall On Massive $2 Billion of Futures Selling

Silver fell a very sharp 85 cents from $18.40 per ounce to as low as $17.65 per ounce yesterday for a 4.25% price fall soon after the London bullion markets closed yesterday despite no market news or corresponding sharp moves in other markets.


Silver had surged 15% in the first two months and had seen ten consecutive weeks of gradual gains. It had made convincing closes above the psychological $18 an ounce level and the 200 day moving average (DMA) at 18.155 and made 3-month highs only yesterday.

Silver Prices (LBMA)

03 Mar: USD 17.66, GBP 14.44 & EUR 16.76 per ounce
02 Mar: USD 18.33, GBP 14.93 & EUR 17.42 per ounce
01 Mar: USD 18.33, GBP 14.89 & EUR 17.40 per ounce
28 Feb: USD 18.28, GBP 14.70 & EUR 17.24 per ounce
27 Feb: USD 18.34, GBP 14.77 & EUR 17.33 per ounce
24 Feb: USD 18.27, GBP 14.56 & EUR 17.23 per ounce
23 Feb: USD 18.00, GBP 14.42 & EUR 17.06 per ounce

Silver investors were gaining confidence and dealers were experiencing robust demand for silver coins and bars. Suddenly at almost exactly 1630 GMT yesterday as European markets were closing, some entity decided to dump $2 billion worth of silver contracts into the futures market in minutes. A huge 23,000 silver contracts which is the equivalent of 1.15 million ounces of silver was dumped on the market:


Source: Zero Hedge

Read full story here…

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America is in Deep Trouble

3-Mar-2017

I hate to break it to you, but Donald Trump isn’t going to make America great again. He doesn’t have the insight or courage to stand up to the financial elite, and he’s insufferably authoritarian. This is not a recipe for greatness.

Democrats are even worse. At the most ideal moment possible, the party was gifted an energetic populist movement primed for activism thanks to a non-Democrat who unified tens of millions of Americans sick of the ways thing were going, but couldn’t get behind Trump. How did the party respond? By rigging its primary and forcing down our collective throats one of the most corrupt, unethical, political monsters in American history…

Read the rest here.

Bill Murphy Exposes Silver MASSACRE: “We Know WHO Did It, & WHY They Did It”

2-Mar-2017

GATA Chairman Bill Murphy Joined Us To Break Down Today’s $2 BILLION Paper Silver Massacre:

Murphy Reveals Shares Were Slaughtered Ahead of Today’s Silver BOMBING, and This Is Leading To Something Spectacular In The Silver Market…

Click Here For More Coverage On Today’s MASSACRE In the Paper Silver Market:

[KR1039] Keiser Report: Financial Toxicity in US ‘Healthcare’

2-Mar-2017

We discuss financial toxicity in the U.S. ‘healthcare’ industry. In the second half Max interviews economic researcher, writer and trend forecaster, Chris Martenson of PeakProsperity.com about ‘the mother of all bubbles’ in U.S. equity markets.

The Illusion of Progress

2-Mar-2017

The core narrative of politics everywhere is progress, i.e. “moving forward.” If progress isn’t being made, politicos and the system are failing.

In the past, “progressive” movements sought to advance both social and economic opportunities for marginalized groups.

For a variety of reasons, social progress has been decoupled from economic progress.

In broadly disintegrative eras such as the present, the stagnation of economic opportunity is masked by redefining progress in purely social terms: progress is defined as the social advance of a marginalized populace into the mainstream.

When the marginalized populace is comprised of many millions of individuals, social progress and economic progress are mutually reinforcing dynamics: opportunities for social advancement in the mainstream created economic opportunities, and vice versa.

Now that social/economic progress has lifted the major marginalized populaces–ethnic and religious minorities, gays–substantially into the mainstream, those remaining marginalized populaces are modest in size. Estimates of the trans-gender populace, for example, are generally less than 1% of the total population.

The marginalized groups’ advances that are markers for “proof of progress” have decoupled from economic advances. Few if any social-justice promoters of trans-gender rights, for example, claim any economic gains will accompany this social progress.

The reason why social progress has been effectively decoupled from economic progress is that the woeful lack of economic progress for the bottom 90% proves financial progress is now limited to an elite comprised of Oligarchs, Nomenklatura, the Technocrat Class and a relative handful of entrepreneurs.

Everyone else has been losing ground in wages, wealth and opportunity. If we measure progress in very broad terms such as participation in and ownership of the most productive parts of the current mode of production, then this chart forces us to conclude that movement for the vast majority is now backward, not forward.

To mask this disquieting and politically discordant reality, the status quo of the Corporate Media, academia, state functionaries and technocrats has redefined “progress” to exclude hard financial data that reflects widespread, systemic stagnation for the bottom 90% in favor of “feel-good” social-justice virtue-signaling.

This is precisely what you’d expect of a self-serving elite that is desperate to cloak the potentially explosive reality that the relative few are benefiting immensely at the expense of the many. So please take your social-justice “progress” with a grain of salt the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic: if we measure progress solely by participation in and ownership of the most productive parts of the current mode of production, a much different snapshot emerges: economic stagnation is not progress.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print). For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

Trump Avoid Debt Crisis ? “Extremely Unlikely” – Rickards

2-Mar-2017

Trump Avoid Debt Crisis ? “Extremely Unlikely” says Rickards

The upcoming March 15 U.S. debt ceiling deadline is something that is being largely ignored by markets and most media for now. Despite it being just 9 trading days away. This will change in the coming days and is one of the many reasons why we are bullish on gold.

Source: CNN

James Rickards writing for the Daily Reckoning today looks at the important ‘next signal to watch’ and explains that Trump and his advisors believe they can avoid a debt crisis through higher than average growth.

The Congressional Budget Office, CBO, estimates that inflation and real GDP will each grow at about 2% per year in the coming ten years. This means that nominal GDP, which is the sum of real GDP plus inflation, will grow at about 4% per year. Since debt is incurred and paid in nominal terms, nominal GDP growth is the critical measure of the sustainability of U.S. debt. 

Rickards warns that while this is “mathematically possible”, it is “extremely unlikely”:

“A debt-to-GDP ratio is the product of two parts — a numerator consisting of nominal debt and a denominator consisting of nominal GDP. In this issue, we have focused on the numerator in the form of massively expanding government debt. Yet, mathematically it is true that if the denominator grows faster than the numerator, the debt ratio will decline.

The Trump team hopes for nominal deficits of about 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) and nominal GDP growth of about 6% consisting of 4% real growth and 2% inflation. If that happens, the debt-to-GDP ratio will decline and a crisis might be averted.

This outcome is extremely unlikely. As shown in the chart below, deficits are already over 3% of GDP and are projected by CBO to go higher. We are past the demographic sweet spot that Obama used to his budget advantage in 2012–2016 (As I noted HERE – Obama Has Tied Trump’s Hands).”

Rickards explains in detail the challenges facing the U.S. in terms of the fiscal budget, growth of real GDP, debt to GDP ratios, inflation and how deficits are set to soar.

Read full story here…

Jeff Sessions May Hate Cannabis…But He Sure Loves Big Tobacco

2-Mar-2017

The good citizens of America can finally sleep well at night. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions has swept into the Attorney General’s office and vowed to save our youth from the horrors of reefer madness! Don’t worry everyone, it’s for the kids.

Here’s my question. Where was Jefferson back in the late 1990’s when it came to saving kids from the very well documented mass murderer known as cigarettes? He was shilling for the industry of course…

Read more here.

Gold & Silver ROAR Back After Smash, Is A Commercial Signal Failure Be Next?

1-Mar-2017

We suspect today’s trading action in the metals was NOT what the bullion banks had in mind, particularly after building up ALL-TIME-RECORD short commercial short positions in silver.
Will A Commercial Signal Failure and A Massive Short Squeeze Come Next?

 

Click Here For Full Gold & Silver Midweek Market Report:

Gold and silver prices have been under attack over the past 48 hours as the Fed is suddenly hell-bent on forcing a March rate-hike narrative down the market’s throat.  Odds of another rate hike by the Fed in March have surged from 20% last week to over 82% today. 

After breaking through the 200 Day Moving Average and reaching $1263 early Monday, Gold prices traded as low as $1237 this morning, but have rallied this afternoon all the way back above $1250! 

Silver was knocked from $18.55 Monday down to $18.15 last night, but has amazingly retraced the entirety of its losses in today’s session, with a last of $18.50!

Both metals’ refusal to break down in the face of what now appears to be an imminent Fed rate hike in March, along with Trump’s $1 Trillion in Infrastructure Spending comments in his Speech to Congress Tuesday evening are impressive, and signal that LARGE buyers are now buying ANY and ALL dips in gold and silver

Today’s trading action in the metals also gives validation to London Trader Andrew Maguire’s comments last week that a physical floor has been placed under the gold and silver markets due to massive outflow of physical bullion, and that the system faces a heightened risk of a price reset over the next 90 days.   Maguire went so far as to say that should $1232.30 becoming support materialise and gold head back towards $1250, such a stair step rise in PHYSICAL support poses a serious threat that threatens a commercial signal failure.

We suspect today’s trading action in the metals was NOT what the bullion banks had in mind, particularly after building up ALL-TIME-RECORD commercial short positions in silver.

Will a commercial signal failure and a massive short squeeze come next?

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The so-called “cashless society” should be called the “bank-payments society”

1-Mar-2017

My new essay on the dark sides of the cashless society has just been published in Aeon Magazine.

“The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge.”

These groups include the banking industry, “which controls the core digital fiat money system that our public system of cash currently competes with. It irritates banks that people do indeed act upon their right to convert their bank deposits into state money. It forces them to keep the ATM network running. The cashless society, in their eyes, is a utopia where money cannot leave – or even exist – outside the banking system, but can only be transferred from bank to bank.”

The next group is the private payments industry “that profits from running the infrastructure that services that bank system, streamlining the process via which we transfer digital money between bank accounts.”

The third group is the state, which is “united with the financial industry in forcing everyone to buy into this privatised bank-payments society for reasons of monitoring and control. The bank-money system forms a panopticon that enables – in theory – all transactions to be recorded, watched and analysed, good or bad. Furthermore, cash’s ‘offline’ nature means it cannot be remotely altered or frozen. This hampers central banks in implementing ‘innovative’ monetary policies, such as setting negative interest rates that slowly edit away bank deposits in order to coerce people into spending.”

To read the full article, see https://aeon.co/essays/if-plastic-replaces-cash-much-that-is-good-will-be-lost

Dear President Trump: If You Want to Lower Healthcare Costs and Stem the Opiate Death Spiral, Legalize Marijuana

1-Mar-2017

If there is anything the left and right, progressives and conservatives, and everyone in between can agree on, it’s ending the counter-productive, destructive “war on drugs” that has generated crime and violence, a “we’re number one in Gulags” prison complex and pushed people into harder, far more dangerous drugs (see chart of “legal” opioid deaths below).

Dear President Trump: if you’re truly serious about lowering healthcare costs and stemming the rising tide of opioid addictions and death, then fully legalize marijuana via executive order now.

The usual justifications for continuing the criminalization of marijuana have moved from threadbare to completely disconnected from reality. We’re told that marijuana is surrounded by violence–well duh–the violence is the direct consequence of Prohibition.

What happened when alcohol was prohibited? Crime and violence exploded around the production and distribution of the outlawed drug. What was peaceful when legal becomes violent when outlawed. This is so obvious, yet we have “leaders” who are blind to the dynamic.

By outlawing medical marijuana, we have pushed everyone with chronic pain into extremely addictive and increasingly deadly “legal” opiates. This is the height of insanity: outlaw natural substances with pain management potential while legalizing highly addictive and often deadly synthetic opiates.

Legalizing marijuana would eliminate the violence, lower the costs of operating the Drug War Gulag and lower healthcare costs by reducing the dependence on addictive opiates for pain management. Yes, there are circumstances that require opiates–but does it make sense to make opiates the next step above over-the-counter pain relievers?

The social, human and financial costs of the opiate pandemic are skyrocketing.Adding marijuana products to the spectrum of choices would reduce these costs and the death toll. Regardless of whatever critics may claim about the negative effects of marijuana, the truth is death by marijuana overdose is essentially non-existent.

Compare that to the tens of thousands of deaths caused by “legal” opiates and the millions of lives destroyed by the “war on drugs” and its American Gulag.While those benefiting from operating the “war on drugs” and the American Gulag propagandize a completely false pathway from marijuana to opiates, the reality is grandmothers are benefiting from medical marijuana and it is the sick-care/Big Pharma cartels that are the pathway to opiate addiction and death.

Dear President Trump: you say you want bold solutions that unite us: start by fully legalizing marijuana. Listen to your young advisors and those in law enforcement who see the counterproductive insanity of the “war on marijuana” first-hand. Listen to the elderly who are benefiting from medical marijuana.

Do the right thing and fully legalize marijuana. It’s time to move beyond addled fictions and deal with the ugly realities of a system that actively promotes “legal” opiate addiction and death while outlawing marijuana.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print). For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

Double Down: HSBC Gets Probed

1-Mar-2017

Once again, HSBC, the UK-based megabank, finds itself on the wrong end of a financial probe as US monitors ask whether or not the bank is doing enough to stop money laundering. Double Down talks to transparency reporter, Francine McKenna, to find out what has gone wrong with the bank and whether or not it is unique in failing to get a grip on the sheer quantities of financial mishaps and frauds happening within the complex financial system. They also ask whether Donald Trump can preside over a Department of Justice investigating Deutsche Bank for their own alleged money laundering when the President owes the same bank $300 million. The financial probes will continue it seems until the bankers improve.

CLICK IMAGE BELOW TO LISTEN TO SHOW

Art Market Bubble Bursting – Gauguin Collapses 74% To $22 Million

1-Mar-2017

– Art Market Bubble Bursting?
– Russian Billionaire Takes 74% Loss On “Investment”
– $85 Million Gauguin Bought By Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2008
– Christie’s auctioned the work at its evening sale in London
– Global art sales plummet, but China rises as ‘art superpower’
– China soon to dominates global art and gold market
–  Art price volumes doubled since 2009
– As currencies debase super rich seek out stores of value
– Gold remains accessible store of value for all
– Stocks, bonds and many assets at record prices
– Gold half it’s real price in 1980


Te Fare by Paul Gauguin – Source: Christie’s

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid €54 million or $85 million for a landscape by Paul Gauguin in a private transaction in June 2008. Yesterday, he incurred a whopping 74% loss on his store of value “investment” as reported by Bloomberg:

Gauguin’s 1892 landscape “Te Fare (La Maison)” fetched 20.3 million pounds ($25 million), including commission, at Tuesday evening’s sale of Impressionist and modern art at Christie’s in London. Rybolovlev will net about $22 million based on the hammer price. The auction house had estimated the value at $15 million to $22.4 million. The buyer was a client of Rebecca Wei, president of Christie’s Asia.

The Gauguin was one of four Rybolovlev pieces offered for sale on Tuesday. Another work, a Mark Rothko painting, will be auctioned March 7.

Rybolovlev — with a fortune of about $9.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — invested about $2 billion in 38 works, from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. They were procured privately by Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, known for creating a network of tax-free art storage warehouses in Singapore and Luxembourg.

Two years ago, Rybolovlev sued Bouvier, alleging he was overcharged by as much as $1 billion, Bloomberg reported. Since then the Russian fertilizer magnate has been unloading works he acquired, some at record prices. He has already sold three for a loss totaling an estimated $100 million. The five works at Christie’s, all estimated below their purchase prices, were expected to deepen the loss.

The art industry is closely watching the London auctions running this week and next as the year’s first test of the global market following a significant contraction in 2016. Christie’s sales fell 17 percent to $4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) last year, while Sotheby’s reported a 27 percent decline to $4.9 billion. Both houses saw steep declines in their two biggest categories: Impressionist and modern art, and postwar and contemporary art.

Read full story here…

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The Stupidity of Jeff Sessions Could Single-Handedly Bring Down Trump

1-Mar-2017

The corporate media would have you believe that the key to resisting Trump lies in the embrace of heinous individuals and institutions such as themselves, George W. Bush, and the CIA, as well as clownish figures manufactured by neocons such as Evan McMullin (formerly of both Goldman Sachs and the CIA). Ironically enough, though Trump supporters see these nefarious outside forces as the biggest threat to his administration, I believe that if Trump’s Presidency goes up in total flames it most likely will be the fault of the ridiculous fossil he chose as Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

Personally, I don’t think Trump cares one bit about recreational marijuana, but if he’s foolish enough to let Jeff Sessions run wild with his petty and moronic little Drug War, he runs a serious risk of having his administration destroyed from within…

Read the rest here.

[KR1038] Keiser Report: Breakdown in Liberal Ideology

28-Feb-2017

We Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunging and college endowments losing billions to hedge funds. Max interviews former banker Michael Krieger of LibertyBlitzkrieg.com about how the breakdown in liberal ideology gave us Trump.

Virtue-Signaling the Decline of the Empire

28-Feb-2017

There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, the status quo seeks to mask its self-serving rot behind high-minded “virtue-signaling” appeals to past glories and cost-free idealism.

Virtue signaling is defined as “the conspicuous expression of moral values by an individual done primarily with the intent of enhancing that person’s standing within a social group,” “the practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue” and “Saying you love or hate something to show off what a virtuous person you are, instead of actually trying to fix the problem.” Yes, yes and yes.

“Virtue-signaling” expresses two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and intellectual sclerosis.

Michael Grant described these manifestations of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009:

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.

This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance.

This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all.

What are those “resisting Trump” proposing as solutions to the profound structural ills afflicting the empire? Gender-neutral bathrooms? A continuation of a dysfunctional immigration policy? Blaming Russia to mask the catastrophic failure of the past 25 years of neocon imperial over-reach? Cost-free “virtue-signaling” proclamations in support of diversity? “Safe places” on college campuses paid for by student loans crushing a vast indentured class of debt-serfs?

These status quo policies and cost-free diversions are the acme of a profound complacency and intellectual sclerosis that serve to defend a self-serving, morally corrupt political and financial elite.

Virtue-signaling pronouncements lack any recognition of the moral, political, social and financial crises facing the American empire, and are devoid of any practical, politically/financially painful first-aid measures to staunch the decline.

Glenn Stehle, commenting on 9/16/15 on a thread in the excellent websitepeakoilbarrel.com (operated by the estimable Ron Patterson) made a number of excellent points that I am taking the liberty of excerpting: (with thanks to correspondent Paul S.)

The set of values developed by the early Romans called mos maiorum, Peter Turchin explains in War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, was gradually replaced by one of personal greed and pursuit of self-interest.

“Probably the most important value was virtus (virtue), which derived from the word vir (man) and embodied all the qualities of a true man as a member of society,” explains Turchin.

“Virtus included the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act in ways that promoted good, and especially the common good. Unlike Greeks, Romans did not stress individual prowess, as exhibited by Homeric heroes or Olympic champions. The ideal of hero was one whose courage, wisdom, and self-sacrifice saved his country in time of peril,” Turchin adds.

And as Turchin goes on to explain:

“Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome’s total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership. This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen….

The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion’s payroll….

The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen.”

Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity when

“an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no “middle class” comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor.”

Do you see any similarities with the present-day realities depicted in these charts? A self-serving class of Technocrats and bureaucratic Nomenklatura have garnered all the gains, while the bottom 90% have lost ground in wages, wealth and financial security.

This Technocrat/Nomenklatura class controls both private and public powers(media, finance, trade, industry, governance and institutions) which serve its own interests.

What we have now is a self-serving “virtue-signaling” technocrat class that works for a self-serving political/financial elite that avoids the imperial burdens of military service and taxes while imposing what amounts to an economic military conscription on the working class. This Imperial elite sends these military conscripts around the globe to defend their Imperial interests.

Virtue-signaling doesn’t signal virtue–it signals decline and collapse. Just as in 5th century Rome–an empire careening toward collapse–those reaping the gains are complacently confident in their moral superiority while their hubris-soaked intellectual sclerosis blinds them to the systemic banquet of consequences that will soon choke their precious self-serving status quo.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print). For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

Jim Willie Warns Gold & Silver Approach BREAKOUT POINT

28-Feb-2017

Is SILVER About to Send the Dollar into the DUSTBIN of History?

Hat Trick Letter Editor Jim Willie Reveals Gold and Silver Are Approaching A BREAKOUT POINT:    Click Here For Full Gold, Silver, & Dollar Collapse Forecast From Jim Willie:

Importance of Hiding Gold Creatively and Securely If Taking Delivery

28-Feb-2017
  • Why gold retains value?
  • Interesting unknown gold facts
  • “Prepare your jaws for a sizeable drop!”
  • History, finite, rare and peak gold
  • “It is beautiful to look at…”
  • ‘Heavy metal’ – Thud sound of a gold bar (kilo)
  • ‘Going for gold’ – Olympic gold medals to Chelthenham ‘Gold Cup’
  • Peak gold … “Hard work to get gold out of the ground…”
  • How much an Oscar is actually worth?
  • Importance of hiding gold creatively and securely if taking delivery
  • Owning a safe – “hidden away and bolted down”
  • Owning gold in secure storage in Zurich, Singapore and Hong Kong

Talking all things gold with @MarkTOByrne, the #Oscars statue is only worth €600! This gold bar however is worth €35,000! #DermotAndDave pic.twitter.com/nFrzrucDZS

It’s the day after the Oscars and we’ve got gold on our minds!

Mark O’Byrne from Goldcore Ireland popped in to chat to Dermot & Dave this morning.

Mark told us lots of interesting facts that we didn’t know and revealed how much an Oscar is actually worth…

The entire statue is actually only sprayed with gold and is therefore worth a measly €600.

Read full story here…

Interested in learning more about physical gold and silver?
Call GoldCore and speak with a Gold and Silver Specialist today!

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