Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on May 22, 2020

Bookmark and Share

Kunstler: When Giants Fall

Business

It was only a few decades ago that Walmart entered the pantheon of American icons, joining motherhood, apple pie, and baseball on the highest tier of the alter. The people were entranced by this behemoth cornucopia of unbelievably cheap stuff packaged in gargantuan quantities. It was something like their participation trophy for the sheer luck of being born in this exceptional land, or having valiantly clawed their way in from wretched places near and far ­— where, increasingly, the mighty stream of magically cheap stuff was manufactured.

The evolving psychology of Walmart-ism had a strangely self-destructive aura about it. Like cargo cultists waiting on a jungle mountaintop, small town Americans prayed and importuned the gods of commerce to bring them a Walmart. Historians of the future, pan-frying ‘possum cutlets over their campfires, will marvel at the potency of their ancestors’ prayers. Every little burg in the USA eventually saw a Walmart UFO land in the cornfield or cow-pasture on the edge of town. Like the space invaders of sci-fi filmdom, Walmart quickly killed off everything else of economic worth around it, and eventually the towns themselves. And that was where things stood as the long emergency commenced in the winter of early 2020, along with the Covid-19 corona virus riding shotgun on the hearse-wagon it rolled in on.

We’re in a liminal, transitional moment of history, like beach-goers gawking at the glassy-green curve of a great wave in the throes of breaking. Such mesmerizing beauty! Alas, most people can’t surf. It looks easy on TV, but you’d be surprised at the conditioning it takes, and Americans are way, way out of condition. (All those tattoos don’t give you an ounce of extra mojo.) And so, in this liminal moment, the people still trudge dutifully to the Walmarts with their dwindling reserves of cash money to get stuff, going through all the devotions that we took for granted before the wave welled up and threatened to break over us.

Which is happening. Despite all the fake-heroic blather from the Federal Reserve, from Nancy Pelosi, from Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin ­— from everybody in charge, to be really fair ­— and in the immortal words of another recent president — this sucker is going down. Specifically, what’s going down is the aggregate of transactions we call “the economy.” Meanwhile, the people in charge struggle to prop up the mere financial indexes that supposedly represent economic activity, but more and more just look like a shadow play on the wall of some special slum where the street-corner economists peddle their crack. Eventually, the people don’t even have money for the crack, and to make matters worse, whatever money actually remains on the street is worthless.

The wave is breaking now, and a lot of things will be smashed under it — are getting smashed as you read. As in any extinction event, it will be the smaller organisms that survive and eventually thrive and that’s how it will go in the next edition of America, whether we remain states united or find ourselves organized differently. Accordingly, the giants must fall. When the communities of America rebuild, it will be the thousands of small activities that matter, because they will entail the rebuilding of social capital as well as exchanges that amount to business. Social capital is exactly what Walmart and things like it killed in every community from sea to shining sea. People stopped doing business with their neighbors. It took a cataclysm for them to finally notice

If you think Walmart will survive the same cataclysm that’s killing chain-store retail generally, you’re going to be disappointed. Everything about it is over and done, including the Happy Motoring adjunct that allowed the cargo-cultists to haul their booty those many miles home. (And, ironically, it wasn’t the oil issue that determined this, but the end of the financing system that allowed Americans to buy their cars on installment loans, when it ran out of credit-worthy borrowers.) Amazon will be the last giant standing perhaps, but it will go down, too, eventually, on its ridiculous business model, which depends utterly on a doomed trucking system. It will be like the last dinosaur roaring at the dimming sun — while the little proto-mammals skitter to their hidey-holes beneath it.

One thing remains constant: human beings are very adept and resourceful at supplying each other’s needs, which is what business amounts to. Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful others in exchange for a livelihood. The earnest and energetic will find a way to do that at a scale that makes sense when a new order emerges from the wreckage. After a while, it won’t matter much what any government thinks about it, either. Like all the other giants, it will fall, too.

Kunstler



66 Comments on "Kunstler: When Giants Fall"

  1. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 22nd May 2020 9:56 am 

    “whether we remain states united or find ourselves organized differently”

    Don’t take it from me, take it from your peak oil collapse hero of many years.

    “ironically, it wasn’t the oil issue that determined this, but the end of the financing system that allowed Americans to buy their cars on installment loans”

    A well hidden “I-was-wrong”

    “human beings are very adept and resourceful at supplying each other’s needs, which is what business amounts to. Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful others in exchange for a livelihood.”

    Indeed, there will be life after “collapse” (of globalism). The death of Walmart will also have severe consequences for China as the one time world’s manufacturer. America will be forced to abandon globalism, and revert to protectionism in order to rebuild its industrial base. Will take a couple of decades before “made in USA” will be potent again. Expect income-level to nose-dive during the initial decade, exactly as happened in Russia 1990-2000.

  2. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:08 am 

    Corona, everybody lost except for the billionaires, errr trillionaires:

    https://www.rt.com/business/489466-billionaires-wealth-growth-pandemic/

    Top US 5: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison

    For insiders, 3 out of 5 are from the 2% and the other 2 from the 60%. Good mirror image of the true power distribution.

    It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. Now crawl back under your stone sucker and wait until it is time for you to walk to the voting boot and vote for one of the Big Club. And no, DJT isn’t really in it either. Otherwise he would be treated nicely in the media and that is not the case.

  3. asg70 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:15 am 

    A well hidden “I-was-wrong”

    Just like he was wrong with his Y2K doomerism 20 years ago. Kunstler wants doom and hence like a hammer, sees everything as a nail.

  4. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:21 am 

    Nobody is better or worst than everyone else.

  5. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:27 am 

    Those who protest the quarantine have made themselves laughingstocks of the world.

  6. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:28 am 

    Kunstler is a optimist.

  7. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:30 am 

    People need to learn from history (ex: learning how to make do with what they have, stay indoors, help out their families and neighbours in a time of need).

  8. Sock Buster on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:31 am 

    Richard Guenette is JuanP

  9. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:43 am 

    Sock Buster is one of Davy’s sock puppets.

  10. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:44 am 

    What’s the matter Davy? Too afraid to look in the mirror?

  11. Shortend on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:55 am 

    Jesus was a failure too. He failed with his Apostles, failed with his people and as we see today failed in saving us all

  12. makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 11:05 am 

    I wish I had a Walmart in my shithole neighborhood.

  13. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 11:16 am 

    We like to dress up in are Captain America pyjamas when we go to Wally World. It makes us feel real strong.
    Sometimes we even have a bath first.

  14. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:08 pm 

    “I wish I had a Walmart in my shithole neighborhood.”

    “We like to dress up in are Captain America pyjamas when we go to Wally World. It makes us feel real strong.
    Sometimes we even have a bath first.”

    Sometimes thieves are funny… and involuntarily provide cover for political incorrect messages, since this board is “down the sitter anyway”.

  15. JuanP on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:17 pm 

    I like to dress up in are Captain America pyjamas when we go to Wally World. It makes us feel real strong.
    Sometimes we even have a bath first.

  16. REAL Green on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:25 pm 

    We only needed to tell everyone that once Davy.

    They get the picture.

  17. IHate JuanP on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:29 pm 

    I only needed to tell everyone that once amegows.

    They get the picture.

  18. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:31 pm 

    “Sen. Hawley Lays Out Super-Nationalist, Anti-China Vision”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hawley-lays-out-super-nationalist-anti-china-vision

    “In his Wednesday speech, Hawley said that Americans cannot be both prosperous and secure in a world where China’s influence and economic power have dwarfed America’s.”

    If it’s a real war we want. It’s a real war we’ll get.

  19. IHate JuanP on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:45 pm 

    “Sen. Anti-China Vision It’s a real war we’ll get.”
    https://www.zerohedge.com/super-nationalist-anti-china-vision
    world where China’s influence and economic power have dwarfed America’s.”
    “In his Wednesday meltdown, JuanP said that South Americans cannot be both prosperous and secure being ugly and lazy

    If it’s a sock war we want. It’s a fake war we’ll get.

  20. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 12:56 pm 

    If I can change the topic just a little.

    Wall-mart is having a sale on bud-lite everyone.

    A 30 pack is going for only $19.48. Holy shit.
    That works out to. Really cheap per can. I’ll be back in a little while.

    JuanP, I hate you.

  21. IHate JuanP on Fri, 22nd May 2020 1:01 pm 

    If we can change our ubderwear just a little.

    Wall-mart is having a sale on butt-plugs everyone.

    A 30 pack is going for only $191.48. Dios mio.
    That works out to. Really cheap per butt pack. I’ll be back in a little while.

    JuanP, I hate you.

  22. SocialRevolutionComing on Fri, 22nd May 2020 1:39 pm 

    Was watching BBC news COVID hoax press release. Is UK now a colony of Pakistan ? Sure looks that way.

    Cunstler is too optimistic. There will no be any rebuilding at all. Just violence, death, murder and eventually end of human life on earth.

    Whites people are basically extinct. Lot of old Whites people few young Whites. Who is going to rebuild it, Pakistani, Iraqi.

    Give me a break

  23. Sock Buster on Fri, 22nd May 2020 2:09 pm 

    SocialRevolutionComing is an ignorant JuanP sock

  24. Button on Fri, 22nd May 2020 3:09 pm 

    Great insights. Loved it keep up the good work.

  25. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 3:34 pm 

    I would never want to live in Amerika. I would be an easy target.

  26. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 3:37 pm 

    If someone carried a concealed weapon in a public place, I would flee (Flight Or Fight Response).

  27. Abraham van Helsing on Fri, 22nd May 2020 3:55 pm 

    Demand e-bikes in Italy explodes after government offers to pay 50%

    https://nos.nl/collectie/13841/artikel/2334762-vraag-naar-e-bikes-in-italie-door-subsidie-geexplodeerd

    Italy is the 2nd most motorized country in Europe (600 cars on 1000 inhabitants, more indications that Italians are not poor, just tax dodgers with hence money to spend).

  28. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 22nd May 2020 4:14 pm 

    Coming back to ‘Merika is always a bit unsettling.
    When you hit the border, it is a shock. You come to realize the cultural and political oppression you are stepping into.
    I moved back from Mexico, and after years I’m still adjusting.

  29. Outcast_Searcher on Fri, 22nd May 2020 4:41 pm 

    First, in the real world, Walmart is effectively competing against Amazon online.

    I buy a LOT of stuff online for both. And Walmart is doing a better job re keeping online prices reasonable re price gouging — at least for things like food.

    Now, maybe Walmart B&M will fade away. But for people like me who don’t want to fool with returning stuff, being able to go into a store and, say, try on some blue jeans to sanity check one’s current size (whether from gaining or losing weight), you just can’t do that at Amazon, without fiddling around with potential returns.

    And overall, for people who want discount pricing for a LOT of staples, Walmart beats Amazon overall by a pretty good margin. For higher end stuff, more variety, etc. Amazon wins — so there’s PLENTY of room for both competitors.

    And of course, overall, we need competition to keep Amazon honest re pricing, and competitive over time.

    Also, in the real world, pretending Amazon needs no trucks re shipping is ludicrous.

  30. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:04 pm 

    Richard JuanP, I am carrying a concealed weapons right now.

    Its a 30 pack of Bud-Lite! Only $19.99. Im armed and dangerous, with the great taste of Bud-Lite that is. So you better get out of my country amigo.

  31. JuanP on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:16 pm 

    Richard, I am carrying a concealed weapons right now.

    Its a 30 pack of Bud-Lite! Only $1999. Im dumb and harmless, with the great taste of Bud-Lite that is. So you better get out of my country amigo.

  32. Richard Guenette on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:17 pm 

    I am a JuanP sock

  33. makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:34 pm 

    Juan, will you stop this insanity and go back to being my friend?

  34. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:16 pm 

    davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:16 pm
    davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:17 pm
    davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 5:34 pm

    I am a davyskum socker

  35. makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:21 pm 

    Good morning all! I see that the children are already posting in my name. They need psychiatric help.

    BTW: Hawley is a typical Missouri Jackass and should be sent to the from lines in Iraq to get HIS ass shot off. But then, Missouri is the Jackass state full of uneducated, arrogant, brainwashed jackasses. LOL

  36. makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:30 pm 

    Outcast, Walmart is the reason why the US cannot cutoff China imports. It would be an empty store in minutes. Not to mention that farmers would have no buyers for their produce. There would be no new electronic gadgets produced, etc. Trump is nothing more than a huckster blowhard who is destroying Amerika and isolating it from the rest of the world. GO TRUMP!

    As for Amazon, I hate Bezos, but I will use Amazon to get the things I want from the US that I cannot buy here like certain books and canning supplies, etc..

    BTW: There are no Walmarts in the Philippines as they cannot compete with the local chains. The Chinese/Filipinos have that market covered.

  37. makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:32 pm 

    I might add that there are over 4,700 Walmarts in the US. A lot of people out of a job if they had to close. But they would survive outside the US with their ~7,000 other stores. lol

  38. Not makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:35 pm 

    makati1 said I might add that there are over 4,700 Walmarts in…

    makati1 said Outcast, Walmart is the reason why the US cannot c…

    makati1 said Good morning all! I see that the children are alre…

  39. More Lunatic Davy ID Fraud on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:09 pm 

    Not makati1 on Fri, 22nd May 2020 6:35 pm

  40. Davy on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:12 pm 

    Pink Poodle is us. But y’all already new that already.

  41. REAL Green on Fri, 22nd May 2020 10:20 pm 

    We need to see the docter Davy.

    REAL Bad like. Our schizophrenic disorder is getting REAL worse.

  42. joe on Fri, 22nd May 2020 11:47 pm 

    Sweden Failing?

    As with everything to do with this outbreak of mass hysteria, the devil is in the detail.

    Ive taken the liberty of fact checking the basis of this claim in the lefty pro lockdown/proChina/proHousearrest media. SWEDEN EXPECTED THESE RESULTS. They are from early April, not end of April as claimed by the msm.


    First results from ongoing study of antibodies to covid-19 virus
    PUBLISHED MAY 20, 2020
    It is most common for people between the ages of 20 and 64 to have an infection with covid-19, compared to people in other age groups. It shows the first results from the Public Health Agency’s investigation of the presence of antibodies against the virus in blood samples.

    The Public Health Authority has launched a survey to measure and estimate how many in the community have had covid-19. Blood samples are collected from laboratories in clinical chemistry and clinical immunology in nine regions: Jämtland, Jönköping, Kalmar, Skåne, Stockholm, Uppsala, Västerbotten, Västra Götaland and Örebro.

    The collection takes place during eight weeks in the spring of 2020. A total of 1,200 samples are collected each week for analysis of antibodies. Antibodies show that the immune system recognizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

    The analyzes for week 18 (a total of 1,104 analyzed samples) show, as expected, the largest proportion of positive antibody tests in Stockholm. A total of 7.3 percent of the blood samples collected from people in Stockholm were positive in the antibody study, which can be compared with a total of 4.2 percent in Skåne and 3.7 percent in Västra Götaland.

    The numbers reflect the state of the epidemic earlier in April, as it takes a few weeks for the body’s immune system to develop antibodies.

    Regarding age differences, the results show that it was most common with antibodies to covid-19 among people between 20 and 64 years. In total, 6.7 percent of the samples in this group were positive, which can be compared with 4.7 percent in the age group 0-19 years and 2.7 percent in the age group 65-70 years.

    The antibody analyzes are done in collaboration with SciLifeLab / KTH.

    Note the bit AS EXPECTED. That means their modeling worked. Immunity will likely trend upwards.

    “https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-press/nyhetsarkiv/2020/maj/forsta-resultaten-fran-pagaende-undersokning-av-antikroppar-for-covid-19-virus/”

  43. Abraham van Helsing on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:27 am 

    Again, you spend 20 minutes on writing a post and then it doesn’t get posted. Very frustrating, so I need to split up.

    ——–

    Please joe esquire, as a service to your avid readers, do NOT place your links between quotes, it’s ridiculous. It is not difficult, goes like this:

    https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/nyheter-och-press/nyhetsarkiv/2020/maj/forsta-resultaten-fran-pagaende-undersokning-av-antikroppar-for-covid-19-virus/

    Easy does it.

    Sweden is a very interesting case. There was no lock-down, although they followed, more or less, the usual distancing rules, hand washing, etc. It is thinly populated, it is isolated, with little foreigners (apart from the Muslim “refugee” trash), little traffic, no foreign cars, no tourism in the winter, no skying like in Austria (one of the most important sources of infection in Europe). It is Protestant, so no carnaval, the reason why my catholic Noord-Brabant province in Holland was the hardest hit. So it took a little longer for the virus to invade. Sweden now has the highest death rate per capita:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/20/sweden-becomes-country-highest-coronavirus-death-rate-per-capita/

    [part 1]

  44. Abraham van Helsing on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:31 am 

    I give up. Lot of time wasted.

  45. claes on Sat, 23rd May 2020 1:34 am 

    Joe, you are a lot of words and no facts.

    What we want to know is:
    1: How many are or have been infected
    2: How does the results relate to age, ethnicity and social/work circumstances

    We don’t get the answers to those questions, because somebody doesn’t want us to know
    You Joe ,are one of those who doesn’t want us to know.
    Please Joe: THE NUMBERS

  46. makati1 on Sat, 23rd May 2020 3:31 am 

    There are no “real” numbers anywhere about the lock-down flu bug. None! All lies and fear mongering.

    It is impossible to see reality as there is nothing to compare any of them to except more fake numbers.

    Do the math: ~100,000 US deaths that had a ‘positive test result’ at time of death, divided into the total US population of ~330,000,000 people = a 1 in 2,600 chance of dying from the virus. I’ll take those odds to get my freedom back.

    The numbers of “infected” people is meaningless as less than 1/2 of one percent of the total population of the US have actually been tested.

    This is more than just a virus. This is a plan to take down the world economy and install that fabled “One World Government” if the lazy asses in the world don’t get off their couches and riot. We shall see.

  47. joe on Sat, 23rd May 2020 4:16 am 

    Pretty clear there cleas. They test a sample every week. Result in early April (some lefty msm claimed late april). If you cant read plain english you need a better education. 7% of Stockholm was immune by early April. By the end of June it should be between 40-60% this will flatten the curve during second wave next winter until a vaccine can be produced. Thus no need for the type of common cold hysteria that have done way more harm than the virus itself ever could.

  48. joe on Sat, 23rd May 2020 4:27 am 

    Cleaes it’s simple enough. The younger you are the less you catch it (probably cause kids immune systems are better generally), the older you are the less you can fight it (cause generally old peoples immune systems are responding through this cytokine storm mechanism rather than an antibody production mechanism, since diabetes is present in a high portion of deaths this makes sense as well). Vitamin D is also a factor and white skin is a native adaptation to living in Europe which minorities dont have. This is the reason Higher latitudes people are lighter skinned, Europeans and east asians etc. Undiagnosed cancer will kill more people than this common cold. Mass hysteria is the enemy. Political opportunism by carpet bagging politicians is the real invisible enemy….

  49. Abraham van Helsing on Sat, 23rd May 2020 10:02 am 

    Brexit for ever:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8350305/Labour-leader-Keir-Starmer-says-NOT-try-rejoin-EU.html

    “Labour leader Keir Starmer says he will NOT try to rejoin the EU if he wins the next electon because the Brexit debate is ‘over'”

  50. Abraham van Helsing on Sat, 23rd May 2020 10:05 am 

    Most British have more money now than before corona:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8349223/Coronaphobia-grips-nation-Britons-fear-lockdown-eased-rapidly.html

    “Coronaphobia grips the nation: Britons shun Boris Johnson’s back to work plea because they fear lockdown is being eased too rapidly as a survey reveals most have MORE money in their pockets – especially the public sector”

    Reason: most had still their salaries paid but no opportunity to spend it on travel, booze, hookers or anything else can’t buy in a super market.

    Most people seem to like the lock-down a little too much, except for the employers of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *