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Kunstler: When Collapse Goes Kinetic

Public Policy

I suppose many who think about the prospect of economic collapse imagine something like a Death Star implosion that simply obliterates the normal doings of daily life overnight, leaving everybody in a short, nasty, brutish, Hobbesian free-for-all that dumps the survivors in a replay of the Stone Age — without the consolation of golden ages yet to come that we had the first time around.

The collapse of our techno-industrial set-up has actually been going on for some time, insidiously and corrosively, without shattering the scaffolds of seeming normality, just stealthily undermining them. I’d date the onset of it to about 2005 when the world unknowingly crossed an invisible border into the terra incognito of peak oil, by which, of course, I mean oil that societies could no longer afford to pull out of the ground. It’s one thing to have an abundance of really cheap energy, like oil was in 1955. But when the supply starts to get sketchy, and what’s left can only be obtained at an economic loss, the system goes quietly insane.

In the event, popular beliefs and behavior have turned really strange. We do things that are patently self-destructive, rationalize them with doctrines and policies that don’t add up, and then garnish them with wishful fantasies that offer hypothetical happy endings to plot lines that do not really tend in a rosy direction. The techno-narcissistic nonsense reverberating through the echo-chambers of business, media, and government aims to furnish that nostrum called “hope” to a nation that simply won’t admit darker outcomes to the terrible limits facing humanity.

Thus, we have the Tesla saga of electric motoring to save the day for our vaunted way of life (i.e. the landscape as demolition derby), the absurd proposals to colonize distant, arid, frigid, and airless Mars as a cure for ruining this watery blue planet ideally suited for our life-form, and the inane “singularity” narratives that propose to replace grubby material human life with a crypto-gnostic data cloud of never-ending cosmic orgasm. The psychological desperation is obvious. Apparently, there are moments in history when flying up your own butt-hole is the most comforting available option.

I expect the collapse to pick up more momentum as we turn the corner around summer. The system that we have most willfully abused and perverted is finance. This monster that so many observers call “capitalism” is just a set of methods for managing surplus wealth — the catch being that nothing nearly this complex has ever been seen before in history and is a pure product of the 200-year-long industrial orgy driven by fossil fuels. That is, the world never before accumulated so much surplus wealth in such a short span of time. We commonly refer to this dynamic as “growth.” When that growth, as expressed in modern GDP terms, slowed dramatically after 2005, we launched an array of clever mechanisms to keep faking it for a while. Racking up immense debt was our way of faking it. If you can’t cover your costs in the present, just borrow from the future. Unfortunately, that works only as as long as there’s some reasonable expectation that debt can be paid back. We’re so far beyond that now, it’s not funny. And that realization alone will destroy the bond markets and anything related to and dependent on its operations to function.

This is a broad outline to the coming end of the Trump miracle economy. It was the after effects of the previous debt blowup — the phony-baloney mortgage bond market in 2008 — that mortally wounded the American middle class and put Donald Trump in the White House. His base is correct to feel swindled. That is exactly what happened to them, and the beat goes on now with securitized sub-prime auto loans. Throw in the horrific burdens of unpayable and non-dischargable college loans that will ruin millions of lives and pricey health insurance with $5000 deductibles and you have recipe for a complete loss of faith in the system.

The next debt blowup will be the end of Mr. Trump’s improbable credibility. It may also be the beginning of serious difficulty in being able to get many of the goods of daily life, because the producers of things will be very unsure of getting paid on delivery of just about anything. A freeze up of short-term lending would quickly lead to empty WalMart shelves and “no gas” signs at the filing stations. That’s when collapse finally goes kinetic, and becomes something more than just bad feelings inane ideas.

Kunstler



91 Comments on "Kunstler: When Collapse Goes Kinetic"

  1. Go Speed Racer on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 1:48 pm 

    Mr. K has such a way with words.
    “Our way of life is a demolition derby”.
    Awesome!
    Presumably everybody saw this road rage incident
    in Sacramento…..
    https://youtu.be/9z1sE6CGRVw

  2. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 6:58 pm 

    “…when the supply starts to get sketchy, and what’s left can only be obtained at an economic loss, the system goes quietly insane…. The psychological desperation is obvious…. a nation (US) that simply won’t admit darker outcomes to the terrible limits facing humanity.”

    That is a good description of the current Us situation.

    “The next debt blowup…may also be the beginning of serious difficulty in being able to get many of the goods of daily life,… A freeze up of short-term lending would quickly lead to empty WalMart shelves and “no gas” signs at the filing stations. That’s when collapse finally goes kinetic, and becomes something more than just bad feelings inane ideas.”

    Coming soon to a WalMart near you. Be patient! Or, better yet, be prepared!

  3. Ghung on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 6:59 pm 

    “The next debt blowup will be the end of Mr. Trump’s improbable credibility.”

    Trump? Credibility? What a bizarre oxymoron.

  4. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:08 pm 

    Madkat

    The mother of all credit crises is coming to China with over a quarter-trillion dollars owed by insolvent banks and state-owned enterprises, not to mention off-the-books liabilities of provincial governments, wealth management products and developers of white elephant infrastructure projects.

  5. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:14 pm 

    U.S. Sanctions Could Add $50 To Oil Prices

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/US-Sanctions-Could-Add-50-To-Oil-Prices.html

  6. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:18 pm 

    MM, you actually believe all of the Us MSM propaganda about China? Gullible aren’t you?

    You are comparing two DIFFERENT types of government and financial systems. But you are not educated enough to know that. Apples and oranges.

    YOU want what you believe to be real, but that does not make it real. Too bad. China will be around a lot longer then the Us. China plans many years in advance. The Us has no plans for tomorrow. No comparison.

  7. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:29 pm 

    Madkat

    Maybe they can build a few more ghost cities..China’s debt is a ticking time bomb..That is why India their neighbor wanted nothing to do with their silk road..

  8. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:52 pm 

    MM, I prefer ‘ghost cities” to nuclear missiles. They have plans for those cities. Does the Us have plans for the missiles? You need to get up to date on your current events, muddymind. You are way behind. Fewer drugs and more education is suggested.

  9. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:54 pm 

    “Maybe they can build a few more ghost cities..”

    China is buying up everything all around the globe, and building out infrastructure. At least they have something to show for their debt. OTOH, going further into debt to the tune of $500 billion per year on blowing shit up, is not exactly a great plan.

  10. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:55 pm 

    Madkat

    I think you might have early stages of dementia ..I bet it was all that lead you inhaled in your gasoline growing up..It lowered your IQ substantially..Good thing you worked with your hands doing construction..Your mind isn’t worth a shit..

  11. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:55 pm 

    China central bank chief warns of ‘Minsky moment’
    https://www.ft.com/content/4bcb14c8-b4d2-11e7-a398-73d59db9e399

    China’s grand plan hit by delays and debt fears
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Cover-Story/Is-China-s-Belt-and-Road-working-A-progress-report-from-eight-countries

  12. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:56 pm 

    Government Intervention is triggered by a Keynesian belief that aggregate demand can be increased by lower interest rates and by increasing government deficits thereby somehow spurring economic growth. Debt grows faster than income growth and eventually has to be restructured, i.e., everyone loses in the end. Since 2007, global debt has grown by US$57 trillion and it’s had disastrous results. Greece, Detroit, Puerto Richo, Venezuela are just the beginning of this trend. Soon, it will be followed by larger countries like China and United States.

    https://www.perchingtree.com/return-of-great-depression/

  13. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:57 pm 

    ‘WORSE THAN 2007’: Top central banker warns of looming wave of worldwide bankruptcies

    http://www.businessinsider.com/worse-than-2007-top-banker-warns-of-looming-wave-of-worldwide-bankruptcies-2016-1

    Cascading collapse in 3..2..1

  14. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:58 pm 

    “I think you might have early stages of dementia ..I bet it was all that lead you inhaled in your gasoline growing up..It lowered your IQ substantially..Good thing you worked with your hands doing construction..Your mind isn’t worth a shit..”

    Makati displays intelligence magnitudes above yours MM. At the rate you’re going, you should be pretty much a vegetable by the time you reach 40.

  15. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 8:59 pm 

    Greg

    Is madkat not able to fight his own fights now? Don’t you get tired of sucking him off?

  16. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:00 pm 

    “A NATION BUILT ON LIES”

    “The societal hollowness created by those pushing the delusion of a materialistic American Dream based on an ever growing pyramid of debt has left a society morally deadened, psychologically damaged, living lives based on deception, and willfully ignorant of the truth….

    Our economy, our currency system, our banking system, our political system, our mass media, and our public education system are built upon nothing but deception, lies, misinformation and falsity….

    The bubbles in the stock market, bond market and real estate market are all built upon a vaporous foundation of easy money debt….With government, corporate and consumer debt levels at all-time highs, a financial collapse is inevitable….

    The reversion to the mean will leave millions of delusional Americans destitute, dependent on the government, enraged, and looking for someone to blame other than themselves…I’m reaching the conclusion it is more than mass hysteria. It’s mental illness infecting a wide swath of the population….

    The Big Lie has worked thus far, as government controlled education has dumbed down the masses, people are told what to think by the media propaganda machines, and individuals have chosen to be distracted by igadgets, social media, and modern day bread and circuses….

    Anyone who dismisses the he possibility of bloodshed on a grand scale within our borders and the likelihood of a global “winner take all” war is ignorant of human nature, history, and the dynamics driving the course of events during this Fourth Turning.”

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/07/09/a-nation-built-on-lies/#more-177471

    Nuff said,

  17. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:05 pm 

    “America Is Now A 3rd World Nation”

    “What’s been lost in jettisoning the 1st, 2nd and 3rd world categories is the distinction between developing (2nd world) and dysfunctional states (3rd world), states we now label “failed states.”…

    3rd World referred to a nation-state which was dysfunctional and parasitic for the vast majority of its residents but that worked extremely well for entrenched elites who controlled most of the wealth and political power….

    Here are the core characteristics of dysfunctional but stable states that benefit the entrenched few at the expense of the many, i.e. 3rd World nations: (See Article for the 10 characteristics…)

    The USA is definitively a 3rd World nation. Read the list above and then try to argue the USA is not a 3rd World nation. Try arguing against the facts displayed in this chart:”

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2018/07/09/america-is-now-a-3rd-world-nation/#more-179468

    Nuff said.

  18. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:09 pm 

    Greg, Muddymind will never see 40. He cannot handle real life. I see a 22 hollow-point in his future. Although a 12 gauge would guarantee a killing shot.

  19. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:10 pm 

    Madkat

    You keep leaving out Europe and Japan..Who are in the same shitty shape..And china with its gigantic debt bomb..You only see the US in a vacuum..You are very narrow minded..

  20. JuanP on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:21 pm 

    MM “You keep leaving out Europe and Japan..Who are in the same shitty shape..And china with its gigantic debt bomb..You only see the US in a vacuum..You are very narrow minded.”
    Are you getting your identities mixed up again, exceptionalist? LOL!

  21. JuanP on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:36 pm 

    MM “Maybe they can build a few more ghost cities..China’s debt is a ticking time bomb..That is why India their neighbor wanted nothing to do with their silk road..”

    I see we are revisiting one of the exceptionalist’s favorite stories. Ghost cities filled up already, the USA’s debt is, by far, the worst in the world (and please no claims that don’t include unfunded liabilities), and that is not the reason that India is reluctant about officially joining the BRI (which hasn’t stopped them from joining in almost every project related to it that serves its purpose). Your comment is outdated, inaccurate, and false.

  22. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:38 pm 

    “Is madkat not able to fight his own fights now? Don’t you get tired of sucking him off?”

    You would be the only one here who considers an Internet forum to be a ‘fight’, oh battle hardened internet warrior.

  23. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:42 pm 

    “Muddymind will never see 40. He cannot handle real life. I see a 22 hollow-point in his future. Although a 12 gauge would guarantee a killing shot.”

    No doubt, he’ll probably fuck that up too. The guy isn’t even remotely smart.

  24. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:45 pm 

    Muddymind, Japan and Europe are NOT in the same class as the Us as for debt and insolvency. The Us is number one in those areas, but you would not know that because you are not open to such things. You are Amerocentric/Sinophobic like most deluded and brainwashed Americans along with being uneducated and unable to think for yourself.

  25. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:51 pm 

    “Two Sides to Every Coin: When “Security Measures” Become Imprisonment”

    ” Our rights as enumerated under the U.S. Constitution are being eroded on a daily basis. …

    … the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) provisions for indefinite detention both for American citizens and/or illegal aliens….

    …: our taxes pay for the cages being constructed around us and before our very eyes…

    The “foreign threats” of attack have not abated, but their focal points are changed from the Arab enemy to the Russians and Chinese….

    The shootings at schools and public places, and the bombings (such as in Austin, TX) have been used to structure more police presence, more surveillance, and an increased “feeling” by citizens of being unsafe. The CCTV cameras keep sprouting up, the technology increases to monitor, record, photograph, eavesdrop, and control the lives and movements of the average citizen…

    The walled fortress in the name of security becomes the fully enclosed prison. Only the direction of the top tier of barbed wire…inward or outwardly pointing…reveals the nature. We the taxpayers pay for the cage, a prison that expands by the day. There will no longer be a need to keep everything outside of the pasture. The cattle will be kept in, and the wolves are already inside as well.”

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/two-sides-to-every-coin-when-security-measures-become-imprisonment_07092018

    Nuff said.

  26. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:57 pm 

    “The Uncivil Civil War: Economic And Market Implications Of Political Transformation”

    “America’s populace is politically divided in a way that has not been seen in decades. (60s)…

    …consider the massive social changes that occurred in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s….

    The changes occurring in our political system are closely monitored by other nations…many nations want to unseat the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency….”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-09/uncivil-civil-war-economic-and-market-implications-political-transformation

    Nuff said.

  27. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 9:58 pm 

    Madkat

    All those other regions are worse than the US..The US has the worlds reserve currency which allows us to print unlimited amounts of money..The US can never go bankrupt..

    The world is drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11625406/The-world-is-drowning-in-debt-warns-Goldman-Sachs.html

  28. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:02 pm 

    “All those other regions are worse than the US..The US has the worlds reserve currency which allows us to print unlimited amounts of money..”

    “Us”. LOL. You just can’t make this shit up. You are without a doubt a total and complete moron buddy.

  29. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:03 pm 

    “…if it were not for a significant and consistent federal deficit, GDP would have been negative every year since the 2008 financial crisis….

    Triffin’s paradox simply states that with the benefits of the reserve currency also comes an inevitable tipping point or failure…

    … foreign investors have not only stopped adding to their U.S. investments of federal debt but have recently begun reducing them…”

    https://realinvestmentadvice.com/triffin-warned-us/

    Nuff said.

  30. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:05 pm 

    Goldman Sachs! LMAO! They are your master, MM. Their lies are so obvious only a dunce like you would believe them.

  31. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:09 pm 

    “Goldman Sachs! LMAO! They are your master, MM. Their lies are so obvious only a dunce like you would believe them.”

    You can’t fix stupid Makati.

  32. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:42 pm 

    Greg and Madkat

    Using ad homs isn’t an argument..

    Look at global debt levels they are at record highs..

    https://imgur.com/a/orwV36M

    Global debt rose to $237 trillion in 2017, highest level on record
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-debt-rose-327-trillion-2017-highest-level-record-130208754.html

    Why we should all be worried about the global economy
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/why-we-should-all-be-worried-about-the-global-economy-a7007296.html

  33. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:44 pm 

    ‘WORSE THAN 2007’: Top central banker warns of looming wave of worldwide bankruptcies
    http://www.businessinsider.com/worse-than-2007-top-banker-warns-of-looming-wave-of-worldwide-bankruptcies-2016-1

    That was the former economist of the worlds most powerful bank the BIS..

    Greg and Madkat you can easily tell never went to college..

  34. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:58 pm 

    Yes, MM, obviously YOU never did. You could not survive in college as you are too stupid and cannot comprehend English.

    You are a perfect example of the gullible American. So brainwashed you don’t even recognize your indoctrination. LMAO.

  35. Makati1 on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 10:59 pm 

    Totally agree , Greg. MM is a perfect example of “You cannot fix stupid”. LOL

  36. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:09 pm 

    “Greg and Madkat you can easily tell never went to college..”

    You can lead cattle to water, but you can’t make them drink.

  37. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:17 pm 

    I just let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom..

    Chuck Palahniak
    Fight Club

  38. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:18 pm 

    Greg

    Its lead a hoarse to water..Because hoarse’s are always thirsty..not cattle..

  39. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:20 pm 

    “Using ad homs isn’t an argument..”

    There isn’t any argument MM. We are both in complete agreement. You’re an idiot dude, plain and simple.

  40. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:24 pm 

    “Its lead a hoarse to water..Because hoarse’s are always thirsty..not cattle..”

    That would be horse MM, not hoarse, and the quote came from my great grandfather, who always referred to cattle, because they aren’t very smart.

  41. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:27 pm 

    Greg

    Your great grandfather was a liar just like you.. The apple doesn’t fall far, or should i say nut?

    LMFAO!

  42. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:28 pm 

    “I just let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom..”

    The only next logical step would be suicide. It would be a real shame if you fucked that one up too.

  43. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:36 pm 

    World Bank CEO Adds to Voices of Worry Over Global Debt Pileup

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-09/world-bank-ceo-adds-to-voices-of-worry-over-global-debt-pileup

  44. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:38 pm 

    “Your great grandfather was a liar just like you.. The apple doesn’t fall far, or should i say nut?”

    My great grandfather was a homesteader in the prairies of Alberta MM. No oil, no electricity, no running water, no modern industrial society, and no economy. He wasn’t a spoiled little useless crybaby like yourself.

  45. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:51 pm 

    Greg

    Did your granddaddy run naked through the woods like a wild savage? I bet he could read at a whole 4th grade level..if he could read at all..

    LMFAO!

  46. MASTERMIND on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:54 pm 

    Greg

    Resistance is futile..Because we know what happens when you take on too much debt..See Detroit, Greece, Puerto Rico, Venezuela..

    The US is fine and daddy though, thanks to our world reserve currency..

  47. GregT on Mon, 9th Jul 2018 11:57 pm 

    My great grandfather kept a diary MM, for his entire life. It is still in the family, and his literacy levels far exceed yours.

  48. GregT on Tue, 10th Jul 2018 12:00 am 

    “The US is fine and daddy though, thanks to our world reserve currency..”

    Fine and daddy? LOL.

    It isn’t your currency MM, and those who control it plan on bringing the world to it’s knees. The rest of the world has different plans.

  49. MASTERMIND on Tue, 10th Jul 2018 12:11 am 

    Greg

    We’ll see about that..Throughout history when a top dog is challenged it always has lead to warfare..And who has the biggest military? You don’t think we will just sit back and do nothing?

    Don’t make us George Bush this button, over nothing?

    LMFAO!

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