Capitalists will achieve communism before communists do.

Row of green rental bikes

Just to be clear, “capitalism” is not synonymous with “free markets”, much less “honest money”. It’s always been a nebulously-defined concept. It seems to have started out as an ideal of banks as aggregators and guardians of capital. The banks were supposed to aggregate little bits of capital from many clients, and lend it only to those with the best ideas for putting it to productive use. What happened instead is that the banks became creators of credit on-demand. The ability to literally print money on demand and bail out cronies created moral hazard. The banks ended up loaning it out to cronies to create networks of oligopolies and interlocking directorates, and also loaning it to the government to squander on wars, welfare, and boondoggles, the unproductive use of the money being a short-term advantage because it guarantees repeat business.

I’m opposed to the latter regardless of what you call it. Interestingly enough, it does have an actual historical tie to communism as we’ll get to shortly. You can read more about it in the book The Creature from Jekyll Island, regarding the origins of the Federal Reserve bank.

I’ve found a pilot project for radical changes the capitalists have in mind for our economy. There are numerous bicycles parked around this city, mostly lime-green but they also come in yellow and orange. If you have a specific app on your phone, you can rent them out for $1/hour by scanning the code on the bike.

I don’t think anybody’s making any money on these. My guess is that this venture is subsidized by someone with deep pockets—probably the city government, but only after being put up to it by someone much higher up the power hierarchy. The purpose of the project is to train us to get used to the idea of renting equipment as we need it, for only as long as we need it, rather than buying it and letting it sit unused most of the time.

Smart phones can be used to pay for goods, and they can be used to summon self-driving cabs to pick us up, drop us off, and drive off to the next customer. So you won’t need a bike, or a car.

This article was posted on the World Economic Forum. I strongly suggest reading it, to understand an economic trend that is being encouraged by the world’s central economic planners:

Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better

The system described should remind you of communism. The real points of communism, that the communists didn’t openly disclose to their dupes, were that

  • Prole’s don’t own property.
  • The prole’s ARE property.
  • They don’t get to decide what their own standard of living is; someone else makes that decision for them.
  • You can’t opt out. There are no alternatives anywhere on the planet. It’s a global system, ostensibly to prevent war, but more likely to prevent challenges to the power structure.

These are still the goals, communists just don’t call the plan “communism” anymore. This is the real reason communism was always bankrolled by big investment bankers and money-center bankers.

It’s a historical fact that the Bolsheviks were financed by big banks, and even Marx himself had a few friends in high places. In politics, everything is always a pretext for something else.
In our city we don’t pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.
This one was parked in front of a swamp where there is little pedestrian traffic. Might be a while before anyone rents it.

I’m skeptical of the free rent or for that matter, free anything else. If money is still flowing, then my guess is she still pays rent. All her expenses will be automatically deducted directly from her account. Regardless, the implication is that she doesn’t own her own home. It’s been “digitized” in a blockchain. That’s why she can’t decide whether or not to allow her living room to be used for business meetings. Ownership means that you get to make choices about your own property. If you own nothing, you don’t get to make choices.

This is very much the outcome that communists had in mind as regards abolition of property.

Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy – the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily.

This part really is a benefit: there are no longer incentives in place for planned obsolescence, and resources don’t sit unused most of the time; they’re moving from user to user.

Choices: most of them are green but they come in orange and yellow too.

Unfortunately, tho, there’s a cost: since you don’t own them, you have no control over them. Your major appliances at least are spying on you. Of course, that has already started, even though you still nominally own your television, computer, and refrigerator. But already, the vendors of those devices are starting to insist that you really just own permission to use them. That’s because they’re insisting on controlling the appliances, or more precisely, the data about you and your habits that the appliances are collecting.

The title of the WEForum article even admits that you won’t have any privacy. It’s not a secret because they want you to get habituated to the idea like a frog to water slowly coming to a boil. You’re already getting used to the idea insofar as you’re probably aware that you’re constantly being spied on already. As long as it’s unobtrusive, you won’t think about it much and eventually will give up resisting if you haven’t already.

Someday, instead of paying a flat fee for permission to use appliances, you’ll be paying rent in perpetuity. The point is to move from an ownership model to a rental model.

An alternative model that’s already in place is when you rent out things you own so that other people can use them too, the “shared economy“. My guess though is that the current implementation of the shared economy is just a stepping-stone and will be replaced wholesale; prole’s will be discouraged from owning anything.

Shopping? I can’t really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.
So far this is the first one I’ve seen parked in a spot that suggests it’s actually been rented.

Prole’s will be encouraged to turn their choices over to an AI. They might not even have any other option or in other words, any choice. You just tell the AI what you need, and it will deliver what it decides you are allowed to have. If you’re lucky, maybe you get to rate its choice so it can do better next time.

She has claimed that she gets a lot of benefits like rent and transport for free. I already stated that my guess is that she pays for them, directly or indirectly (delivery might be included with the cost of the item), through automated deductions from her account. Another guess would be that the AI budgets for her, since she’s not consciously making choices for herself; since the money is deducted automatically from her account she probably loses track of how much money she’s spending. So the AI takes over. It decides what she can afford, and that probably has more to do with the item that shows up at her door than her own tastes, contrary to her unrealistic expectations.

The AI can manipulate her “choices” by controlling what information is shoved in front of her face when she turns on a computing device. This isn’t theoretical; manipulation of choices is already happening. This might be the plan to prevent her from over-consuming relative to her productive capacity. “From each according to her ability, to each according to her needs!” The AI will decide what your needs are.

If they can get the system to work as I suspect it’s intended, they might make her spending account invisible to her, so that from her point of view, it seems as if everything really is “free”, and that “money” has been abolished; the book-keeping will be hidden from view just like the real decision-making processes in our so-called “democracy”. At that point, the system will achieve the appearance of Star-Trek level Communism. My guess is that it will be just as big a nightmare as the original version of communism.

One more side-effect, probably the most sinister of all:

Making conscious choices is one of the most advanced functions of the human brain. It entails running simulations of the future in order to weigh as-yet unseen costs and benefits. To give that function up to a machine is to give up your humanity, and devolve into domesticated livestock.

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
―Frank Herbert, Orange Catholic Bible, Dune

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don’t really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

What do you suppose happens to people who aren’t smart enough or creative enough to think, create, and develop? Collecting UBI and banished to virtual reality? I wouldn’t count on a happy ending.

Poverty & homelessness exploding in USA. Here’s the surprising thing you can do to help!

This is along the Santa Ana river trail in southern California. This is a recently uploaded video; you can find a similar one that was posted last year along the same trail. The situation is getting worse:

The largest number of homeless in the country is in Los Angeles, where the next video was recorded:

Notice the huge numbers of apparently un-used buildings. Those were built for businesses that no longer exist. It’s impossible for their owners to attract new tenants to rent them, because it would be impossible for the tenants to attract paying customers.

The worst homelessness problem relative to the population of a US city is reputedly in Portland, Oregon. I couldn’t find any video clips that didn’t have distracting commentary on them, but I can imagine the situation, having stumbled onto shattered streets with grass even shrubs sprouting in the gaps from long-term neglect, looking very much like in a 3rd world country.

Here’s a relatively modest camp in Tacoma, WA (“City of Destiny”, “All-America City”):

Seattle does not have any particularly gigantic camps, but they start at the urban core and spread for many miles. The chilly, damp winters discourage people from trying to live out in the open like they do in southern California, so they are scattered wherever overpasses and bridges provide shelter. The feature image in this article was taken just south of the downtown area. The next photo is adjacent to Chinatown.

In the USA, the problem is concentrated in the cities on the west coast, but it occurs in the southeastern states too, and is creeping up the east coast.

It’s also hitting Europe hard and fast. Here’s footage from Paris:

Here are a few results of this phenomenon:

  • Increasing crime. Some of the homeless are perpetrators, and some are victims. People living nearby or passing through are also getting victimized.
  • Brush fires in southern California being started by camp fires.
  • Increasing health hazard from lack of enough sanitation.
  • Businesses having to relocate or go out of business as the camps spread and scare away customers.
  • Higher taxes under the pretext of “doing something” about the problem.

Now for some friendly advice about what YOU can do about exploding homelessness and poverty:

If you’re a regular reader of this e-zine, you’ve probably been trained to be self-sacrificial, both economically, and in terms of military services, by people who do not have your best interests at heart.

“A viler evil than to murder a man, is to sell him suicide as an act of virtue. A viler evil than to throw a man into a sacrificial furnace, is to demand that he leap in, of his own will, and that he build the furnace, besides.”Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Here are some more tips:

  • Most people who tell you to sacrifice yourself are not sacrificing themselves; it’s empty virtue-signalling.
  • Some of the encouragement for you to sacrifice yourself starts with billionaires who live decadent, hedonistic lifestyles.
  • Some of them are upper-middle-class people, or people with “gravy train” employment, who have resources to take exotic vacations, drive nice cars, or live in “exclusive” suburban neighborhoods.
  • Some of them are losers who don’t contribute value to the rest of us, so they virtue-signal as a means of obtaining approval.
  • If someone tries to shame you into sacrificing yourself to save “the poor”, or “refugees” (most of whom aren’t really refugees), ask that person what’s stopping him or her from doing so.
The problem is completely out-of-control; there’s no point talking about “solving” it. Real unemployment continues its long-term rise. If you do not stay focused on staying employable, you could end up homeless too. That helps no-one; it would actually make the problem worse by spreading resources for the impoverished and homeless ever thinner.

Business slow? Here’s why.

Almost empty interior of convention center in downtown Seattle.

If you’re self-employed and have to look for your own business, you might be having a tough time right now. If you depend on wages, you might be having a hard time finding or keeping a job.

The feature photo for this article is the interior of the Washington State Convention Center early afternoon on a business day, while it was hosting the Seattle Home Expo. The convention center is located in what usually is a thriving downtown. Its corridors are lined with small meeting rooms and retail commercial space. My guess is that with the traffic flow as low as it is, the few shops and cafés it hosts aren’t going to be able to survive much longer.

My wife and I got free tickets in the mail to see the home expo, even though admission isn’t usually free. The expo is full of vendors who sell to home-owners. We frequently need repair services to maintain our rental properties, and our own home has some deferred maintenance that needs attention.

We were a little startled to arrive at the convention center and find it empty during peak business hours. Even without hosting any particularly big event, normally it would still have plenty of traffic through it. The home expo alone would be expected to draw a decent crowd. Most of the huge complex is in fact empty.

We passed through the empty corridors to find the expo. Even there traffic was sparse. I shot a photo over my shoulder to show how little traffic the booths are getting:

All of them are this sparsely-visited. Maybe a third of the booths were temporarily abandoned by bored or frustrated vendors out looking for a bite to eat.

It’s a symptom of a bigger problem for business. Roughly 75% of the US economy revolves around consumer sales. However, sales are down so much that the phenomenon has a name, and even its own wikipedia entry:

The retail apocalypse refers to the closing of a large number of American retail stores in 2015[5] and expected to peak in 2018.[6] Over 4,000 physical stores are affected…Major department stores such as J.C. Penney and Macy’s have announced hundreds of store closures, and well-known apparel brands such as J. Crew and Ralph Lauren are unprofitable.[8] Of the 1,200 shopping malls across the US, 50% are expected to close by 2023.[9] More than 12,000 stores are expected to close in 2018.[10] The retail apocalypse phenomenon is related to the middle-class squeeze, in which consumers experience a decrease in income while costs increase for education, healthcare, and housing. Bloomberg stated that the cause of the retail apocalypse “isn’t as simple as Amazon.com Inc. taking market share or twenty-somethings spending more on experiences than things. The root cause is that many of these long-standing chains are overloaded with debt—often from leveraged buyouts led by private equity firms.Wikipedia entry 'Retail Apocalypse'

The wikipedia article contained a claim that I omitted as distracting that internet sales have displaced brick-and-mortar sales. The degree to which that’s true would not account for the volume of lost business. It’s not just shopping malls; it’s the whole economy. If you run a business on the internet, it’s probably hurting too.

Real estate prices & rents are falling in a number of big markets. Apparently they started falling in New York and San Francisco over a year ago. Now they’re falling in London and Seattle.

As of December 2017, average rent for an apartment in Seattle, WA is $2071 which is a 1.45% decrease from last year when the average rent was $2101 , and a 0.43% decrease from last month when the average rent was $2080.Rent Jungle, Seattle

Falling rent implies rising unemployment.

The rate at which money changes hands is called “monetary velocity”. It’s been falling in Japan for a long time now, and in the USA since our last big investment cycle related to the rise of the computer and software business.

Data and chart from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Notice that it peaked in the late 1990s. There are reasons to expect it to get stuck in a long, downward trend. For one thing, we’ve probably hit “peak economy” as we’ve hit resource limits to expanding the global economy.

When business is bad, the first companies and individuals to go out of business are the ones with cash flow problems or lots of debt. To last longer, cut your own expenses as much as you can, and make a plan to improve cash flow.

I’m going to keep most of my rents where they are, and cut the asking rent on my best unit. We have no debt, just operating costs and need for income. We’ll have to keep our expenses as low as we can.

Look for business in lines of business that are still growing or at least thriving. Good luck; it’s easier to figure out which ones are in trouble. Even a lot of “hot” new businesses will find venture capital drying up. Do the best you can; doing something is usually better than doing nothing. If you’re clever and nimble, you can usually find economic niches created by the economic decline itself.

If you saw this coming (I did), you’re sitting on a lot of cash, and you might be able to buy up discounted productive assets at bargain prices when businesses go bankrupt.

There are ways to make money even when asset prices are falling instead of rising. Unfortunately they’re a little risky because of the possibility of counter-party default, but it’s probably still early enough in the game, and I’m only going to risk money that I can afford to lose. Good luck to all of us!

Bad news about this common over-the-counter drug you’ve probably used!

A bottle of Ibuprofen

Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen all have anti-androgenic effects. Ibuprofen is the worst.

There seem to be a lot of chemicals that disrupt male hormones. Ibuprofen is very commonly prescribed by doctors, and it’s also commonly taken without a prescription. It’s so commonly used, it makes me wonder if THIS is one of the main culprits in the war on testosterone. I will do more research and add it to the list of chemicals to beware of in my free report.

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility, study says

Original research paper here.

Highlights:

  • Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.
  • Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Jégou and a team of French and Danish researchers had been exploring the health effects when a mother-to-be took any one of three mild pain relievers found in medicine chests around the globe: aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen.
  • Their early experiments, published in several papers, showed that when taken during pregnancy, all three of these mild medicines affected the testicles of male babies. (Ibuprofen the worst)
  • For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
  • This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.
  • …”in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro” — in the living body, outside the living body and in the test tube — …ibuprofen has a direct effect on the testicles and so testosterone
  • …of the three mild analgesics examined, ibuprofen had “the broadest endocrine-disturbing properties identified so far in men.”

This is what happened to global warming…

Some people are convinced that global warming is a hoax. They’re right. But the vast majority of them don’t realize why the hoax was constructed. It was a scheme to regulate hydrocarbon use without drawing attention to the fact that we’re running out of petroleum.

Global warming is marketed to the political Left. As a result, people on the political Right are more likely to be skeptical of it. Instead, the political Right tended to fall for hoaxes marketed to themselves, like “oceans of oil under North Dakota and Montana”, and “the War on Terror”. The former was designed as a scheme to find suckers to finance oil discovery and recovery operations in North Dakota and Montana. There is oil there, but not enough to pay off all the debt that was incurred finding and delivering it. The latter hoax was designed as a pretext for stealing oil resources from Shi’ites after supposedly Sunnis staged 911. Some rational people realized it didn’t make sense to punish Shi’a for the crimes of Sunnis, but most didn’t connect all the dots regarding why there was so much urgency for grabbing the oil.

“Global warming” was rebranded “Climate Change” at the advice of Frank Luntz, who sets up focus groups to test people’s reactions to buzzwords. “Climate Change” is harder to argue with, because the climate IS changing. In fact, as anyone with a reasonably calm, rational, scientific mind can tell you, it’s always changing.

The bad news is that we’re entering a grand solar minimum. That’s why we’re having news reports like these:

ERIE, Pa. — Bitter cold weather has taken hold of much of the northern United States and is expected to stay put for days to come. This, as two Minnesota cities have already set records for low temperatures and a city in Pennsylvania continues to dig out from a record snowfall. Forecasters warned of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central U.S. and spreading east.Bitter cold across much of northern U.S. turns deadly CBS/AP

Another blast is on its way:

Brutally cold weather will soon be refreshed as another blast of Arctic air prepares to dive through the central and eastern United States. The new frigid blast will reach the northern Plains on Saturday, then sweep southeastward over the balance of the New Year’s Day weekend. Temperatures in Minneapolis are forecast to fail to exceed zero F on Saturday and Sunday. “Bitterly cold arctic air will settle in across a large swath of the U.S. as we turn the calendar from 2017 to 2018,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.Another Arctic blast poised to usher in 2018 ―By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist December 28, 2017, 2:34:22 PM EST

The biggest impact will be on food: it’s easier to grow food when the climate is overall warmer and wetter, than colder and drier. The next biggest impact will be on disease, for crops, livestock, and—humans. The slight decrease in ultraviolet radiation encourages higher environmental levels of bacteria and fungi. Some are beneficial, of course, but most, especially those that don’t have symbiotic relationships with us, are potentially harmful when their levels get high enough, or when our bodies are weak from malnutrition.

More reading about the problems, but not an endorsement of the author’s proposals:

Bitcoin bubble, or not?

What idiots don’t understand is that Bitcoin can’t be in a bubble, because it’s a whole new paradigm.Prominent Bitcoin celebrity

I don’t see where the explanation is. Someone just called it a “new paradigm” but never explained what makes the new paradigm bubble proof. At the moment, Bitcoin operates a lot like other markets, except it’s not regulated and as far as I am aware there are no mechanisms in place to keep it from crashing. Once derivatives and other financial instruments that create leverage come into play, it seems to me that players with deep pockets will control the game more than 20-somethings wagering their life-savings.

Crypto Chaos – Bitcoin Price Swings Signal Futures Fiasco Ahead Of Launch
Bill Blain: Bitcoin Futures Could Be “A Clusterf*ck Of Monumental Proportions”

DISCLAIMER: The following are only observations based on life experiences, and do not constitute advice to buy or sell securities, cryptocurrency, or any other type of asset; do your own due diligence after consulting with a qualified financial professional:

If Bitcoin goes up, when do you decide to take some profits off the table? Several people have said “NEVER! You just don’t understand!” They seem to have a belief that Bitcoin is money, or will be, despite it not being fungible at the moment (they’re certain it will be soon). The IRS, by the way, considers Bitcoin gains to be capital gains and wants you to pay taxes on them.

If you sell bitcoin to take some profit off the table, will you feel like a fool if it keeps going up? Will the thought of that possibility keep you from ever taking a profit off the table?

If Bitcoin goes down, what will you do? Hold it and wait for it (hope for it) to go back up? What if it goes down more? How do you know what it’s going to do next?

Bitcoin is going up at the moment because it’s gotten a lot of publicity, and a lot of people are rushing to buy “before they miss their chance.” I don’t have a survey of who is “investing” (speculating) in Bitcoin versus who isn’t, but anecdotally, none of my friends who are particularly sophisticated about investing are interested in “investing” in Bitcoin at the moment, whereas a lot of my younger, poorer, and financially unsophisticated acquaintances are lecturing me about why I’m an idiot for not “understanding” Bitcoin.

To me, it’s a red flag that someone who has no great financial successes in life, and has all the symptoms of “gambler’s fever”, is being dismissive of and condescending to someone who does have some successes under his belt, and understands something about how irrational emotions impact decision-making. Ironically, I’m trying to look out for the best interests of the very people telling me off. Some lessons in life are best learned from others, rather than having to pee on the electric fence yourself to find out what’s going to happen next.

What the article after the next link is about is volatility, or in other words, a price that is fluctuating a lot. You can make, or lose, money really fast when prices are volatile, and it’s usually more experienced people who make the money, and less experienced ones who lose it:

the Bitcoin blowout

All those rapid ups and downs require decisions to be made, without knowing whether it goes up or down next. Most people will react emotionally, and will lose money.

The rational way to speculate on Bitcoin would be to observe the following rules:

WAGER NO MORE THAN YOU CAN EASILY AFFORD TO LOSE! Only a small fraction of your SAVINGS (it’s usually a good idea not to gamble with borrowed money), which assumes that you have any. Most Americans have negligible savings if not negative net worth.

Take some profits off the table from time to time, and diversify them into something more tangible.

Something MORE REAL:

If you double your original investment in something—anything, not just Bitcoin—and then sell half, you have your original investment back, and so “can’t lose” holding the rest and letting it run. Of course, then you’ll still need a way of deciding when to take profits.

Fortuna imperiatrix mundi (Lady Luck, Empress of the world)

In case it’s not obvious, it’s a song about gambling.

Personally, I prefer to make investment profits by knowing something about cycles of credit expansion and contraction, and the effects that they have on economies and investments. Not as thrilling, I suppose, just slow but accelerating, somewhat predictable, accumulation of wealth.

Mainstream media is warning you about this threat to your job. Are you listening?

As a skeptic regarding the integrity of mainstream media news, I’m probably not the best man to ask why people believe the mainstream media’s lies about Syria, or who’s really behind terrorist attacks, or fabrications about Russia, but they don’t believe it when the media warns them that their jobs are on the line, which is one thing about which I actually DO believe them.

Robots Are Coming for Jobs of as Many as 800 Million Worldwide

The consulting company said Wednesday that both developed and emerging countries will be impacted.

It’s a global phenomenon. The USA was hit with job losses early, because of domestic economic policies that encouraged offshoring of jobs, but now the job losses are hitting countries like China and India that the jobs were offshored to. The USA will still get a lot more job losses, because unlike Germany and Japan, our industries have only just begun automating.

Machine operators, fast-food workers and back-office employees are among those who will be most affected if automation spreads quickly through the workplace.

My guess is that machine operators will be impacted because the machines will operate themselves! Fast food workers will be impacted because fast food is by nature relatively easy to standardize and therefor to automate. You’ll order from a kiosk. There might be one guy running around in the back taking care of the machines that prepare the food, though eventually one robot will feed supplies to another robot, and the robots will make their own service calls when they need service or maintenance. Your order will pop out the chute.

Another reason fast food jobs will be one of the first to disappear is because rising minimum wages are forcing franchises to pay higher labor costs despite market wage pressure going the opposite direction. I noticed a long time ago that wages have been stagnating for most professions, and in many cases not keeping up with rising costs of living, which is effectively the same thing as going down. But rising minimum wages mean that the jobs that contribute the least to profitability being forced up against the tide. That guarantees that minimum-wage jobs will be among the first to disappear.

Minimum-wage jobs won’t be the only ones to be automated, though. Jobs that require skill, but no creativity, can also be automated. That will take out a lot of what had been high-paying jobs.

The good news for those displaced is that there will be jobs for them to transition into, although in many cases they’re going to have to learn new skills to do the work. Those jobs will include health-care providers for aging populations, technology specialists and even gardeners, according to the report.

By “health-care providers”, they mean people doing routine care for elders. I wouldn’t count on that, since most elders will be broke! Gardening is hard to automate (gardens are too variable), but I would guess that as urbanization continues, and people become less interested in nature, and more interested in virtual realities, that gardening jobs will be sparse. I suspect there will be jobs for doing personal services for the rich, but I wouldn’t count on being one of those people; there won’t be enough openings, and seemingly modern rich seem to like to leave plenty of distance between themselves and the hired help. There was a reason that in the book Brave New World, 90% of the population are low-intelligence gammas, deltas, and epsilons.

By the way, I am NOT predicting that a highly-automated future, with mass unemployment, is going to happen. There’s another possibility that I think is rather more likely: system crash due to running out of resources, financial breakdown, and other problems all coming to a head. But it’s almost certainly one fate or the other.

Subscribers can talk about how to plan for either case.

What self-driving cars mean for your future…

Revised destination: officeCar computer announcing over-ride of destination, Minority Report

The movie Minority Report isn’t really about mutants who have nightmares about future events; it’s about predictive AI (artificial intelligence). My guess is that the mutants are a way of making the AI seem sexier than something intangible that’s hard to visualize. Or, maybe the author didn’t want to tip you off any more than necessary to prime you for your future. Unlike in the movie, it won’t go away after being abused.

“Fully Self-Driving Cars Are Here” – Waymo To Begin Testing Driver-Free Autonomous Taxis In Phoenix

For most of civilized history, personal mobility has been a luxury. Most people never strayed far from where they were born, and travel was an ordeal. The whole concept of owning a car and driving wherever you want within a huge territory would have seemed like an impossible luxury.

For most of civilized history, you needed permission to travel from one place to another. In some empires, like Old China or the Inca Empire, most people were not allowed to travel except between home and work; in other words, you couldn’t just ask and get permission; the answer was a standing “NO!”. Nowadays, although there are some registration requirements left, more in some countries than others, you don’t need to ask permission up-front to travel or change residences.

Nowadays, most middle-people in the “western” countries take that level of personal mobility for granted. Now I have some bad news: it’s going away.

  • In the relatively near future, the cost of transportation will be relatively high compared to now.
  • Owning cars will be a luxury.
  • Positive and negative incentives will motivate people to give up owning a personal car.
  • Car transportation will be a rented service. You’ll call up a car you don’t own, it will take you to your destination, then drive itself away to the next customer.
  • As you lose control over your own vehicle—which is already starting—someone else will have the authority to over-ride your travel plans. This is already starting. Eventually you will be able to travel only with permission, just like in the old days.
  • Your transportation habits will be monitored. This has already started; chips in your car and your cell phone are already informing on you.
  • Once enough people go along with the plan more-or-less willingly, it will start being imposed and enforced through regulations and taxes.
  • Anyone whose job is primarily driving will probably lose it.

Personally, I accept loss of ownership of means of travel. What bugs me is loss of freedom of movement. My guess is that most of the time, we’ll get implicit permission to move around where we want to go, but live under the threat of having it taken away if we step out of line. And our smart gizmos will constantly be watching us.

How do I know this? I’m tuned in to the right channels and can read between the lines.

It will take some intelligence to come up with counter-strategies to go about our business, tip off the AI as little as possible, and make the best of our remaining choices. Subscribe and pick my brains.

Current state of financial system explained

This is X22 interviewing Jim Rickards. It’s a year old but still relevant, and in fact covers some important topics. Rickards’ claim to fame is that he was legal counsel for Long Term Capital Management when the hedge fund went bankrupt. As a result, he has a deeper understanding than most of the vulnerabilities of financial markets.

In the interview, he mentions some financial crises that didn’t crash the markets. The markets dropped a little, but recovered quickly. That’s only because of market interventions by central banks and their banking partners. Arguably, each of those market interventions made the whole system more fragile by creating moral hazard for taking on too much risk. Eventually something is going to happen that will overwhelm efforts to intervene.

What we don’t know is when it will happen. We don’t even quite know exactly what will happen, though we can make an intelligent guess of a rough approximation. The right way to approach those unknowns is to make yourself less fragile against known hazards of

  • default: someone owes you money and doesn’t pay you back. That somebody could even be a bank or a broker.
  • falling asset prices: the market price of assets you own falls, but any debt you have will still be worth the same! You might end up owing more than you own.
  • price inflation: the buying power of your money is falling. Sometimes quite rapidly.

The way to deal with the hazards of a doomed financial system is to keep some of your net worth in precious metal, because it has ZERO counterparty risk (assuming it’s physical coins or bars that you have in your own possession, not an intangible promise), some in ready physical cash in as safe a place as you can keep it away from hazards like fires, floods, pests that chew paper, and theft, and whatever you need for routine transactions in the safest place you can put it–probably an “insured” account at a bank. Check your bank’s credit rating. It’s no guarantee that your bank won’t fail, but at least you can do due diligence to make sure that yours isn’t the first domino to fall!

Someone complained in the comments under this video that Jim Rickards carries the party line about Russia invading the Crimea (for those who aren’t aware, Russia did not invade the Crimea. They have treaty rights to it, and the locals even voted to remain under Russian rule, partly because there are many local Russians, but also because they don’t want to be part of the heavily-indebted and hopelessly corrupt Ukraine). Unfortunately, someone as well-connected as Mr. Rickards is under intense pressure to tow the party line. You burn bridges by speaking truth to power. We’re just lucky that someone as well-connected as he is, is willing to talk to the serfs like us. Most people at his station in life would dole out bad advice through one of their hirelings.

Flynn…Mueller…Russiagate Hoax…Gülen terrorist network: Sibel Edmonds connects the dots!

There is a lot of back-story here. Here is my executive summary for those of you who need it:

 

  • There is a gigantic black-ops network operating primarily in Central Asia, but ultimately worldwide.
  • It doesn’t have an official name but is variously known as Gülen Movement, Hizmet Hareketi, or Cemaat.
  • They operate under the cover of a network of “moderate” Islamic schools which they use for recruiting. It’s a model similar to Muslim Brotherhood but Turkish not Arab.
  • The CIA hires it to attack Russia’s “weak underbelly” along its border with central Asia.
  • Sibel Edmonds stumbled onto it during her work at the FBI, but when she tried to blow the whistle on it, she got fired and hit with a gag order! She has hinted that it has operations in the USA involving US politicians, but she can’t tell us the details. This is at the heart of what is popularly known as “the Swamp”.
  • Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn got involved when the Flynn Intel Group was hired to investigate Gülen. This isn’t a secret and he did not hide his activities; Flynn openly published an editorial on the topic.
  • The Deep State struck back with an “investigation” designed to harass him and force him to resign, and a media smear campaign.
  • Harassment under the cover of an “investigation” has caused a financial burden not to mention a great deal of stress to Michael Flynn and his family.
  • Edmonds has discovered conflicts-of-interest that require Robert Mueller to immediately resign as special counsel on the so-called “investigation”.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The connection to Russia is that Gülen is used to harass them in a part of the world that is rich in mineral resources. The whole Russiagate thing is nonsense which is why the “investigation” hasn’t come up with any credible evidence of wrongdoing. That’s not its purpose; it’s real purpose is harassment and a pretext for a soft or possibly even hard coup. None of this is in our national interests; it funds corruption and terrorism.

SPREAD THE WORD. MAKE THIS GO VIRAL. MAINSTREAM MEDIA WON’T COVER THE REAL STORY BECAUSE THEY’RE ON-CONTRACT WITH THE DEEP STATE.

Subscribe to Newsbud and support independent media!

Help out Michael Flynn and his family under the duress of legal harassment.


Background reading:

Yes, they really want to abolish marriage & family. Here’s why.

I recently spotted a post about Israeli politician Merav Michaeli and her advocacy of forcibly abolishing marriage and family.

Equality, by the way, is a bad meme. Evolution towards higher and higher levels of biology requires distinguishing between failure and success.

I’d like to respond to the numerous astonished and scandalized reactions to her proposals.

  • This isn’t a joke. She’s serious.
  • She and her feminist lobby have made some progress towards their goals. Israel now has mandatory schooling for 3 year olds, and the law is scheduled to be enforced nationwide this year and the next. They’ve got more agenda items in progress. The point of mandatory “schooling” for 3 year olds is to shift child-rearing from parents, and particularly mothers, to the state. Ms. Michaeli is on-record for advocating that child-rearing be a government function.
  • This is nothing new. She’s not the first to advocate abolishing marriage and family, and her predecessors go back hundreds if not thousands of years. Plato at least advocated abolishing marriage and family among the ruling class.
  • It’s been tried on an experimental basis. In the early Soviet Union, some peasant families were forcibly dissolved, the members being sent to different collectives.
  • In Israel, the experiment was performed on a basis that was voluntary at least among adults in the Kibbutzim (Israeli communes). Children, however, didn’t have a choice to grow up in one. The collective child-rearing practices of the Kibbutzim mostly died out in the 1980s.
  • Ms. Michaeli and her feminist organizations are openly lobbying to turn the whole country into one big Kibbutz, with no right to opt out.
  • Ms. Michaeli is not the first or only politician who favors abolition of family and marriage; she’s just one of the few who openly admits it. They exist in other countries too.
  • Outside of Israel, politicians like Ms. Michaeli are still in hiding. However, they’re already lobbying, and they’re getting help from the Hollywood and public schooling indoctrination machines.

Here are some notes on her TEDx speech:

I want all secular states to totally eliminate all registration and regulation of marriage. I want to cancel the very concept of marriage.

It’s all about her. Why should the rest of the 6.5 billion people on the planet care about what SHE wants?!

“Simone de Beauvoire”

Why should a woman who was sexually repulsed by and sexually jealous of men, whose only relationship with a man (ironically, a marxist gigolo at that) was one of a platonic room-mate, decide what’s good for women who want to have relationships with men?

More generally, why have so many women thrown their lots in with the lesbian mafia?

De Beauvoire was, by the way, as radical as Ms. Michaeli. She was adamant that women shouldn’t be permitted to marry or raise children even if they wanted to.

“…HIS children…”

She keeps saying that over and over. HIS children (not “ours” or even “mine”). She seems to be repulsed by the whole concept of motherhood. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon among some other feminists too.

“Unpaid work”

She means “untaxed productivity”. When women work at home, or on a subsistence farm which is the case in many parts of the world, their transactions aren’t easily taxable. Getting women into wage-paying transactions was the real reason that governments began subsidizing and promoting feminists. It was (and remains) an economic scheme, not really a philosophical or ideological idea motivated by some sense of what really is for the better.

The real motivation for abolishing marriage and family is the same that farmers have for separating hens and roosters, cows and bulls, and artificially raising chicks and calves instead of letting their parents raise them. We are human livestock.

It just so happens though that there is some small fraction of the population that are keen on the idea because of their own personal psychology or sexuality (among other things, they’re losing their parenting instincts just like highly domesticated animals do), and willing to promote it.

…We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.’

George Orwell, 1984

The world that Merav Michaeli and her allies are creating will be an ugly and unhappy one. Even for the “farmers”, that is members of the ruling class, since they have nannies to raise their children and so are already imposing the bad idea on themselves.

I don’t have a solution, just a warning. My only suggestion is to resist.

This is a contrary indicator

At the risk of being Captain Obvious:

Morgan Stanley: “Client Cash Is At Its Lowest Level” As Institutions Dump Stocks To Retail

—Zero Hedge

Two bad signs. Lack of ready cash means investors might be forced to sell securities to raise cash. It also means excessive optimism. Institutions selling and retail investors buying means that securities are flowing from stronger hands to weaker hands.

I’m not claiming that the stock market is either about to crash, or to enter a bear market. It might, or might not. I suspect it’s more likely to than not, but there’s always something I don’t know. I wouldn’t know if the Federal Reserve were about to inject a lot of liquidity into the market, for instance. By the way, the graphic of a chart that I used as a feature image for the article is purely symbolic and doesn’t refer to anything specific! As of this writing, nothing has crashed (yet).

But I do know there are other ways to invest, and there are smart ways to manage risk. I’ll go over them in a report I’m working on for subscribers. I hope I finish it before anything does happen!

Warning for November 4th, 2017

These handbills, and a similar version, are all over riot-prone neighborhoods of Seattle. I ran into them coming back from lunch to pick up my wife.

Newsweek calls reports of the events a “right-conspiracy theory” (sic). If they mention them at all after they happen, they’ll be construed as “peaceful protests” even if they turn into riots as is likely given that Antifa has been caught distributing information about makeshift weapons, and some members caught on camera showing off firearms.

Here is a list of cities where events are planned.

The posters and the organizational website explicitly state that regime-change is planned. There might actually be one, but it won’t be events in the street that overthrow the current administration; it would more likely be a high-level coup, and it will take a while to materialize. Roger Stone is on record in several broadcasts saying that a plan is afoot for staging a coup via a phoney indictment from Robert Mueller (in order to set the president up for an impeachment), and Stephen Bannon was recently quoted as saying that he estimates the president has about a 30% chance of finishing his term.

The purpose of having Antifa AND OTHER GROUPS on the streets is to create the illusion that the coup is actually a popular revolution. This is standard operating procedure for staging what are popularly known as COLOR REVOLUTIONS.

Stay away. Mixing it up with Antifa and its allies won’t help the president, the country, or anybody else; it will only get spun by the media to create sympathy for the RIOTERS.

If you live in one of the cities where events are planned, plan any and all travel to avoid likely locations for riots. Warn your family and friends. The news media is covering up and misleading.

STAY SAFE. KEEP YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAFE.

No good jobs, no good help

Most of you are younger than I am, so you might not have as much personal experience watching job opportunities dry up over time. I think most people are vaguely aware of the trend though, because I’ve seen internet “memes” like “Old Economy Steve/Steven”, which typically claim that the late baby boomers had an easy…

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Breaking…mass shooting in Las Vegas

UPDATE

Shooter named as Steven Paddock. Had multiple shooting tripods set up. His companion has been captured or at least located.

UPDATE

Fire department scanner:

25 transported & 1 DOA

16 transported & 1 DOA

50 transported & 20 DOA

UPDATE

Reports of casualties at the Tropicana.

UPDATE

Suspicious events elsewhere in the city and more reports of multiple shooters. Possibly evidence of an organized attack.

Multiple shooters. You can hear it clearly multiple streams of fire (or echoes, but most people seem to think it’s multiple shooters, 2 or 3) in the videos shot from cell phones. Fully automatic weapons, aimed at crowds attending an outdoor concert at the Mandalay hotel on the strip.

Multiple casualties. “People being hauled off in backs of pickup trucks”. “Girl shot in head”.

My sad condolences for the grievously wounded and family-and-friends of victims.

I’ve been dreading this. No reports of who did this or what the motive was as of this writing, but things like this didn’t used to happen. We’re clearly in a social breakdown situation, even while the economy is relatively intact. Too much social tension and animosity. Too many loose cannons. And they inspire each other.

It’s going to get worse. Stay safe!

Someone else’s take on the post-employment economy

I’m not the only one who thinks you and your kids need to be prepared for a future that will be harsh and brutally-competitive. Here’s a documentary worth watching: Obsolete, on Amazon Video http://amzn.to/2kFn0qL If you have Amazon Prime, which is how I stumbled onto it, you can probably watch it for free. As of…

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Will unemployment levels really get THIS high?

The news is full of scary stories and dire warnings. Some scientists claim that carbon dioxide emissions will turn the earth into a Venus-like inferno. There is evidence of comets and asteroids hitting the earth in the past, and every once in a while you read about another one getting really close. News articles warn that sooner or later a super-volcano like Yellowstone or Campi Flegrei will erupt, or a massive earthquake will hit one or more of the big urban centers on the west coast of the United States.

How are you supposed to respond to a warning about a problem that will happen some time in the indefinite future, described in very general terms?

The answer is that you don’t do anything about problems you can’t do anything about, and you do what you can to mitigate risks that you can do something about. You have some emergency supplies, you strap book-cases and other heavy furnishings with a high center of gravity to the wall, and then you go about life again.

There are some problems that we know approximately when they will strike, but nobody does anything about them, because they’re in the future, and a little too abstract for most people to be able to run an accurate simulation of what s likely to happen.

I wrote this article as a chapter in a book about a problem I anticipated decades ago, because I was part of the bleeding edge of the trend. Unfortunately at the time, I failed to come up with a good counterstrategy, because I was distracted by more immediate needs. Since then, the problem has transformed from a hypothetical risk to a clear and present danger, so lately I’ve been giving it more of my attention and problem-solving skill.

The mainstream media has been covering up some of the evidence, like rising real unemployment rates. Instead they report the official BLS unemployment statistics, which stop counting unemployed people as “unemployed” once they’ve been unemployed long enough, based on the rationale that they’ve “left the workforce”.

Presumably some of those people want to work; the most common problem is probably that they don’t have marketable skill sets, and don’t know where to get them or can’t afford the training. If someone wants to work, and can’t find a job, that’s a problem worth knowing about. Even worse is that the number of people who can’t find jobs is accumulating and has been for a long time. You can see it in the “Labor Force Participation Rate”, which is more-or-less the inverse of the unemployment rate, or in other words, the employment rate is trending DOWN:

Headlines from news specifically covering economic trends and forecasting shows that the rising unemployment rate is concentrated among young adults. They’re either not finding jobs at all, or are relatively under-employed compared to their potential. They’re not getting experience that will help them get or stay employed.

News headlines:

7 Out Of 10 Millennials Are “Disengaged” From Meaningful Employment
posted by “Tyler Durden”, Aug 31, 2016 6:35 PM, at Zero Hedge

Millennial College Graduates: Young, Educated, Jobless
“This spring, an estimated 2.8 million university graduates will enter the U.S. workforce with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees just as America’s unemployment rate hits its lowest level in nearly seven years. Cause for celebration, right? Not so fast.

The millennial generation is still lagging in the workplace, just as it did last year. It makes up about 40 percent of the unemployed in the U.S., says Anthony Carnevale, a director and research professor for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.”
Newsweek,
By Leah McGrath Goodman On 5/27/15 at 6:22 AM

“Now hiring class of 2016.”
Sign in front of a strip club in Harrison, Michigan

Americans have a tendency to maintain an optimistic sense of what is “normal”. If things go wrong, they expect things to eventually “get back to normal”. This is analogous to the situation of people sitting around the tables at a nightclub, sipping their drinks, while the room is filling up with smoke, because they have unreasonable expectations that their experiences should always be “normal”. This is a failure to notice or adapt to change. That’s how species end up going extinct.

To put this into perspective, unemployment is not the employer’s problem. No employer has a self-interested motive in hiring people because they need jobs; employers only hire when they can make enough additional profit from someone else’s labor to offset the cost. In fact, any relatively compassionate employer would go bankrupt trying to compete without making an effort to trim labor costs as much as the competition.

So employers are always trying to CUT labor costs, or in other words, they’re always looking for ways to REDUCE their hiring, even if they’re hiring at the moment.

Potential employers currrently have at least two alternatives to hiring you:

Labor costs tend to be cheaper in countries whose national currency is not a major global trading currency. The reasons are complicated to explain, so I’ll skip them, but you can empirically derive that it’s true just by noticing the differences in pay-scales between India and the USA. The bottom line is that your employer wants to fire you and replace you with someone in India, China, or wherever else they can find a cheaper replacement for you.

Another option your employer has is to fire you and hire a machine in your place. Computing systems and robotics are replacing humans for many tasks. The conventional wisdom is that “new technology creates more jobs in the long run”. There might be some truth to that, but I wouldn’t count on it being an invariate law of economics. The only thing that’s consistent is change! The problem at the moment is that technology is accumulating faster than people can be retrained for new jobs. They can’t even predict where the new jobs will be or how long they will last accurately enough to avoid jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

The government is even less of a friend than a private employer. The government’s goal is to maximize tax receipts. Some people assume that if more people have jobs, then the government’s take of taxes is greater, because more people would be paying income tax.

It’s true that most of the US federal government’s income comes from taxes related to wages, but in most comparable economies, income tax is a smaller percentage of total tax revenues. The US federal government could easily shift the tax burden.

According to the Tax Foundation, about 45% of adult Americans don’t pay income tax per se (but many of those do pay social security tax and medicare tax). And, because of progressive tax rates, high wage earners end up paying a disproportionate share of income tax–over half.

As a result, the federal government’s tax haul from low wage-earners is relatively negligible. Profits retained by keeping headcount low, particularly for low-wage earners, can generate more corporate tax receipts. The federal government therefor has no incentive to protect lower-paying jobs; instead, it has a perverse incentive to encourage more automation and offshoring.

In fact, it’s quite likely that the US government is INTENTIONALLY pursuing policies that increase unemployment, because they have incentives to do so:

  • Profits retained by companies are likely to end up as taxable corporate income.
  • The standard of living of unemployed people goes DOWN, thereby reducing the rate of resource depletion.
  • Dependent people have an incentive to obey their governments

Now to put the problem into a historical perspective: until the Industrial Revolution, most people in Europe worked for members of the nobility as peasants or servants, or for the church, or were skilled laborers who worked for themselves. More to the point, nobody worked for private corporations until such things existed.

There was a time before the concept of private corporate employment. Given pace at which the economy is changing, it’s reasonable to conjecture that private corporate employment will dwindle down to a relatively minor source of employment opportunities.

We may very well be on the cusp of a post-employment economy.

I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Headline news:

The End of Employees
By Lauren Weber, Wall Street Jounal
…Never before have American companies tried so hard to employ so few people. The outsourcing wave that moved apparel-making jobs to China and call-center operations to India is now just as likely to happen inside companies across the U.S. and in almost every industry.

Bill Gates: Yes, robots really are about to take your jobs
Brad Reed @bwreedbgr posted March 14th, 2014 at 2:04 PM on BGR tech and entertainment news

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
Catherine Clifford posted Friday, 4 Nov 2016 | 2:19 PM ET on CNBC

I wouldn’t count on collecting. And it’s not really “wages” if you’re not working. That’s a euphemism for a government welfare program.

Robot Economy Could Cause Up To 75 Percent Unemployment
Max Nisen posted Jan. 28, 2013, 10:42 AM, Business Insider

We are entering a new phase in history – one characterized by the steady and inevitable decline of jobs. Just as the steam engine replaced slave labor in the 19th century, the new intelligent technologies of the IT, biotech, and nanotechnology revolutions are fast replacing mass wage labor in the 21st century. Worldwide unemployment is now at the highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The number of people underemployed or without work is rising sharply as millions of new entrants into the workforce find themselves marginalized by an extraordinary high-technology revolution. Sophisticated computers, robotics, telecommunications, and other cutting-edge technologies are fast replacing human beings in virtually every sector and industry. In the past seven years alone, 14% of all the manufacturing jobs in the world have disappeared, as more and more human labor has been replaced with intelligent, automated technology. Similar technology displacement is occurring in the white collar and service industries.

Many jobs are never coming back. Blue collar workers, secretaries, receptionists, clerical workers, sales clerks, bank tellers, telephone operators, librarians, wholesalers, and middle managers are just a few of the many occupations destined for virtual extinction. While some new jobs are being created, they are, for the most part, either highly conceptual, knowledge-based and boutique, or low paying, and generally temporary in duration. The world is fast polarizing into two potentially irreconcilable forces: on one side, an information elite that controls and manages the high-tech global economy; and on the other, the growing numbers of underemployed or permanently displaced workers, who have few prospects and little hope for meaningful employment in an increasingly automated world.
Jeremy Rifkin, author of The End of Work

Notice Mr. Rifkin’s comment about “boutique” jobs. My guess is that he means they are in specialized niches. That means there won’t be many of them, and they won’t last long. Notice what he didn’t say. He’s not trying to reassure you that all your kids need is to go to college, and they’ll be able to live the “American dream”. That advice was never good, and now it’s obsolete.

Regardless of whether robots, offshoring, and onshoring make it hard for your kids to find jobs after they grow up, the global economy is changing faster than most people will be able to adapt to it.

For one thing, it’s shrinking. We’re running out of natural resources. And, on top of that, as of this writing, the financial system that allocated resources is broken beyond repair. Even if your job weren’t offshored, onshored, or automated, it might cease to exist anyway when your employer goes bankrupt. If the “pie” is shrinking, then most people’s share decreases, and some people don’t get a piece at all.

One way or another, the future is going to be harsh and brutally-competitive.

The problems are all related. One reason for rushing to automate more and more jobs out of existence is to reduce the number of people needed to keep the economy running. My guess is that your descendants are less likely to be targeted for culling if they continue to be indispensable despite the possibly intentional effort to render them superfluous.

Subscribe to get access to premium content with tips and ideas for thriving in a brutally-competitive environment. It’s inexpensive and worth the price, but if you’re not ready to commit just yet, then you owe it to yourself to at least sign up for our FREE newsletter and receive a bonus report.

What’s stealing men’s mojo?

There’s been a lot of bad news for men about plunging testosterone levels. That’s the hormone that makes them manly, and gives them a healthy appetite for sexual activity.


News headlines:

Men’s testosterone levels declined in last 20 years

JANUARY 19, 2007 / 3:32 AM
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A new study has found a “substantial” drop in U.S. men’s testosterone levels since the 1980s, but the reasons for the decline remain unclear.

Modern life rough on men

August 18th, 2011 07:30 AM ET
(CNN Health) Didn’t men use to be more masculine? …studies show that testosterone levels in men have been on the decline for decades.

Today’s men are not nearly as strong as their dads were, researchers say

By Christopher Ingraham August 15, 2016
Washington Post

Why don’t Japanese men like having sex?

By Gareth May11:41AM GMT 22 Jan 2015
(The Telegraph)

The Japan Family Planning Association interviewed 3,000 subjects about their sex lives (both men and women). The study revealed that nearly 50 per cent of those quizzed didn’t have sex in the month previous to the interview. 48.3 per cent of men had not had sex for a month (an increase in 5 per cent from 2012).
Most startling of all, however, was that 20 per cent of men aged between 25 and 29 – the period of a man’s life usually dedicated to the spreading of wild oats – expressed little interest in sex at all.


There is also the probably related problem of plunging male fertility. The same organs that produce most of a man’s testosterone also produce sperm.

Male Fertility Countdown

Dec 8th 2012
Yet another study suggests sperm numbers are falling in rich countries
(The Economist)


The problem is so bad that that it may very well contribute to the demise of entire countries where birth-rates are already well below replacement level. It’s also causing pathological imbalances between the ying and yang of several cultures.

The problem has actually been going on for a long time, but it’s been getting worse at an accelerating pace in recent generations. My geeky personality is not one to let a problem go unsolved if I can help it, not if it might impact me, my sons, or anyone else I care about. So I decided to collect information, follow leads, and come up with a list of lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to the most common known and suspected endocrine disruptors.

Then I wrote up what I discovered into a report. Enter your name and email address, and an answer for the bot trap, and you’ll receive the report and a subscription to our newsletter. Don’t worry, there’s no catch, and no spam involved; the newsletter is just an occasional summary of recent articles from my online magazine. That way, you don’t have to keep visiting to find interesting articles to read; they’ll come to you by mail. If you decide it’s not for you, you can just unsubscribe.

  • Discover how something you probably do every day might be damaging your man-parts (no, not that…).
  • Learn about the class of endocrine disruptors known as phthalates, and what the biggest source of ingesting them is.
  • Find out what to do about the endocrine disruptors in your food and possibly your drinking water.

Disclaimer: this report is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. This report is about lifestyle changes designed to reduce environmental hormone disruption and promote natural hormone production. It’s not about diagnosing or treating any medical condition. Consult with a physician before starting a diet or exercise program.

Your free report should show up within an hour of submitting the form, as an attachment to an email.

Ready or not, here comes Sociofascism

Michael Snyder states the obvious for the benefit of people still in denial:

40 Percent Of Americans Now “Prefer Socialism To Capitalism”

This was inevitable for many reasons. For one thing, the United States already has its productive infrastructure built-up. The powers-that-shouldn’t-be set their livestock loose on the continent and left them relatively alone (except when drafted for seizing land or resources in wars) to build up the infrastructure. Now that it’s built, they want to switch to a combination of Socialism and Fascism (also known as “corporate Socialism”) because that gives them more direct control over people and other resources.

So, the public and private school systems (including college and university) have been set up to indoctrinate for socialism for decades now. Propaganda disguised as commercial entertainment helps too.

Instead of the government directly managing the means of production itself, the government sets up partnerships with cronies in private corporations, which is Fascism, except that unlike classic Fascism, Sociofascism is hostile to small business and private property for the serfs, and it openly embraces big government. The cronies in private corporations affect a superficial “progressive identity”.

Oddly, the powers-that-shouldn’t-be regularly knock over socialist regimes overseas, like in Venezuela. I don’t have any insider insights, but my guess is that there is a rule that Socialism is for developed economies only; in countries with less infrastructure, they want more productivity first. Another issue might simply be that socialist economies are more vulnerable to trade embargoes; Iran, Syria, and Russia have withstood trade sanctions but Venezuela was an easy target. One factor is undoubtedly fear of seizure and nationalization of assets owned by US government cronies. If and when countries like Venezuela are absorbed into a super-state comparable to the EU, things might change, and if they do, the Venezuelans won’t have any choice!

I have no idea how to stop the tide; at this point my options appear to be to swim or drown. I don’t like the idea of throwing in the towel and joining the forces of evil, though the very wealthy, and in particular a lot of software company executives, have done exactly that. Aside from being the path of least resistance, which is how ruthless people end up on top, socialism helps to protect them from up-and-coming competitors.

Even if I were tempted, I don’t profile correctly to get past the gatekeepers. And the parasites have reached the point of saturation anyway.

In the mean time, you and I have a living to make. That will get harder and harder as the economy contracts, and more and more of the remaining jobs are with companies and government agencies that have hiring preferences for someone else.

Here’s what my plan is counting on: Socialism is Socialism, even when it comes packaged as progressive Fascism. It’s inefficient, and fails to adapt to change. Even to the extent that Socialism is imposed on the rest of us in the form of higher taxes and more regulation, the socialists have to tolerate at least a small sector of private businesses to take care of details they can’t. Even the Soviet Union winked at some black market activities. I don’t think it will be necessary to go black market except for a few services like medical—imagine going to see some guy who isn’t a doctor but knows how to set a broken arm, because you don’t rank high enough in the socialized medicine system to get to see a doctor within any kind of reasonable time-frame. Mostly it will be grey-market and tolerated as long as you don’t give someone in the system reason to come after you. Watch your back! Tolerances will be low and gatekeepers on the internet are already watching your every move.

Watch for my mailing list subscription, which is about ready for roll-out, then sign up for my newsletter so you can follow the discussion.

Secure your kids’ unfair advantages NOW!

When the media want to express a potentially controversial opinion, they turn it into a question:

Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?

What the headline editor actually means is

Having a loving family is an unfair advantage.

This is an opinion piece published by ABC in Australia. Australia, like the rest of the Anglosphere, is culturally messed-up. It’s basically about how families should be abolished because they create “unfair” advantages for children growing up in nurturing families, as if it were the fault of good parents that some other parents can’t or don’t provide as many advantages to their own children.

For the record, abolition of the family has been tried several times. The Communists (you know, the biggest all-time mass murderers on the planet, in all of history) intentionally broke up at least some families in several countries, and the Zionists tried it on themselves on their Kibbutzim (agrarian or semi-agrarian collectives in Israel). Kibbutzim still exist, though collective child-rearing was apparently mostly phased out by the late 1980s. It is extremely taboo to criticize Kibbutzim in Israel, but apparently some people who grew up in one didn’t appreciate the “favor” and would rather have had a nice, normal family.

Back to the editorial:

Some still think the traditional family has a lot to answer for, but some plausible arguments remain in favour of it. Joe Gelonesi meets a philosopher with a rescue plan very much in tune with the times.

Beware of media references to anonymous authorities. Beware of people who tell you that they’re trying to save something from itself, especially if its none of their business! That’s typically a pretext for a controversial change, or getting rid of it altogether.

So many disputes in our liberal democratic society hinge on the tension between inequality and fairness: between groups, between sexes, between individuals, and increasingly between families.

The power of the family to tilt equality hasn’t gone unnoticed, and academics and public commentators have been blowing the whistle for some time. Now, philosophers Adam Swift and Harry Brighouse have felt compelled to conduct a cool reassessment.

‘One way philosophers might think about solving the social justice problem would be by simply abolishing the family. If the family is this source of unfairness in society then it looks plausible to think that if we abolished the family there would be a more level playing field.’

The editorial goes on with some kiss-off suggestions for “rescuing” the family as opposed to just abolishing it outright, that entail parents doing less for their own kids, and more for kids collectively, presumably through government institutions.

  • Why should these people get to decide what’s best for the rest of us?! By what right?! Who died and left the philosophers God?!
  • They claim to be motivated by a desire for equality. If that’s even true, which I doubt, so what? Equality isn’t a value. It doesn’t make the world a better place.
  • People aren’t equal, and you can’t make them equal. Whoever has the power to take away from one and give to another is obviously above the peasants who don’t have that power. That’s presumably rather the point!
  • More likely, they want to abolish families for the same reason that farmers don’t usually let their livestock raise their own broods anymore. This is an assault on your personal autonomy. Do not allow this!
  • Aside from thinking of the rest of us as their livestock, the real reason the rich and powerful are open to ideas like these is that they don’t raise their own children anyway; nannies do. It sounds like a good idea to them because it’s similar to something they’re already doing.
  • These philosophers want to take something away from you. The correct response is to defend what’s yours.

What would really happen if these philosophers got their way would be:

  • The wealth gap would INCREASE, not decrease, because you wouldn’t be allowed to make choices for your own benefit.
  • The winners would be cheaters and sociopaths, like in the former Soviet Union where a few high-ranking members of the Communist party ended up as billionaires through mafia activity, and everyone else was a peasant living in squalor.
  • This scheme creates a backwards dependency chain. Quarks do not depend on electrons to maintain their integrity. Electrons do not depend on atoms to maintain their integrity. Atoms do not depend on cells to maintain their integrity. Individuals should not depend on collectives to maintain their integrity; that’s not sustainable. This scheme and others like it are already destroying the integrity of the system.

Obviously, don’t feel guilty giving your children every advantage that you have earned through your own effort!

Coming soon: tips for subscribers from a book about how to help your children, and yourself, survive in the post-employment economy. It’s full of ideas about how to learn marketable skills faster and cheaper than conventional ways.