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Rate Your Worries About Peak Oil

If you are through speculating, this is the place to discuss actions you are taking.

What worries you most?

Losing my income
Losing my home
Going Hungry
Civil unrest/violence
Social safety net failure
Govt. repression
Living in Mom's/Son's Basement
No votes
Car Pooling
No votes
Overdue Library Books
Other - describe
No votes
Total votes : 130

Re: Rate Your Worries About Peak Oil

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sat 17 Sep 2011, 14:55:06

re: plutonomy..

That is certainly true of some markets, like say luxury cars, boats, fancy rifles, SLR cameras, home accessories, jewelry, clothing; it doesn't work to well in others, say food, commodity electronics, suburban residential property, general home appliances. It depends on whether the product requires extremely high volumes in order to manufacture cost effectively. Take a Nintendo DS for a moment, it has a sophisticated CPU and a pair of pretty fair resolution screens. If I went to manufacture those CPUs and screens, with the idea of only selling a few ten thousands, I'd have to charge many thousands of dollars per unit, just to break even. Rich or not, the upper 20% aren't idiots, and they generally won't spend thousands on just any ole toy; and then at those unit volumes, you, as the manufacturer would have to seriously subsidize the production of games for the platform because the unit count is just too low.

Food, same deal, try to produce quality food for just the top 20%, and you get "Whole Foods" prices, mediocre end user quality (time on shelf too long), and not much profit. Stick with producing grains by the square mile, and the price is lower, but the quality is decent, and the profit / hour is also good.

Or take a refrigerator, yeah, I can put stainless steel doors on it, and some flickering LED lights, and perhaps a readable thermometer, and call it "Elite"; but it still won't sell for all that much more than the generic version with the white doors.. because in the end, it doesn't do anything interesting, it sits there and is cold.

On the other side, say a fancy watch, or home generator system, or that new BMW, or Armani dress, buying a sailing yacht new instead of used, sure, that sort of thing CAN be pushed to gain business from the nobility at enhanced profit margins. Those are good business models, but the NUMBER of vendors who can successfully pursue this will be limited by the total number of patrons. Walmart and Target will fill the need for the rest of us. Is that so bad? The middle class here live so much more comfortably than most of the humans who have ever existed, why complain? Is one harmed by some guy who wants a $40,000 watch? Does the image of a new beamer bother people that much?
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And so shall we remain,
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Re: Rate Your Worries About Peak Oil

Unread postby Loki » Sat 17 Sep 2011, 18:33:46

Agent wrote:Those are good business models, but the NUMBER of vendors who can successfully pursue this will be limited by the total number of patrons. Walmart and Target will fill the need for the rest of us. Is that so bad?

It's bad because it undermines equality of opportunity and the republican ideals that the nation was founded on. A vastly reduced middle class, a large permanent underclass, fewer and fewer small businesses (unless they serve the ultra-rich), republicanism perverted into plutocracy. And why? So the economic royalty can get even filthier rich than they already are? I don't think that's an acceptable compromise, even if the peasants do get Xboxes and Twinkies.

Besides, who says this system of total reliance on the welfare state and big box stores filled with foreign goods that you've outlined is sustainable long-term? All indications are that it is not. If current economic trends accelerate I think poor Americans in the decades to come will be eating a lot fewer Twinkies and a lot more stale bread from the bread line, and maybe a block of commodity cheese if they're lucky. At least it'll solve the obesity problem.

This obscene wealth inequality will make it a lot harder for the average American to weather the storms that peak oil, climate change, and our Ponzi economy will be throwing our way in the decades to come. The Great Recession is the tip of the iceberg, all bets are off if real unemployment reaches 30%+ as it did in the 1930s. I imagine that will trigger some real changes. Whether those changes will be good (pulling back from globalist policies) or bad (World War III) is beyond the capabilities of my crystal ball (purchased at Wal Mart, damn Chinese crystal balls).
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Re: Rate Your Worries About Peak Oil

Unread postby papalegba » Thu 29 Dec 2011, 02:13:24

'Civil unrest/violence' is the number one fear - not surprising, and for the most part, though there will be the odd outbreak here and there, I don't think it will be dramatic mob violence.

In the future most of us will be a lot poorer, and with poverty comes violence - most of it petty property crimes, but occasionally against person. The best defence against that isn't more guns, it's a strong community where people look out for one another.
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