Abandoned Factories Litter US Landscape

 

 

Today I took some pictures at a dead factory in Albany, NY.  The state of dilapidation we see here is a constant in this country.  Many, many factories from the same era, the WWI to Vietnam War decades, lie in similar ruins.  The entire US system is in ruins and this was due entirely and totally to two things: free trade and the need to hide inflation via shipping jobs to cheap labor countries and then importing goods formerly made here in the US.  The process depressed wages and turned 20%+ former working class people into the criminal class.  So we have fewer factories and many more prisoners than any previous era.

 

 

 

Broken windows, rusted mechanical ductwork, our factories were once the envy of the world and it won us two world wars.  Now, we have a very expensive but surprisingly small military which is gold plated and totally misused so it spins its wheels in Afghanistan, digging us deeper and deeper into a yawning grave there.  Meanwhile, the production of military materials is sinking our government under a mountain of debts.

 

This odd looking photo is an abandoned road and ditch grader machine.  The concave rearview mirror looked interesting to me so I photographed it.  This is what much of our expensive, gold plated cost equipment we used in Iraq and Afghanistan looks like after a few years of abuse and neglect.

 

 

But pollution is down.  It was moved to Asia.  The chimneys in US production systems are draped in vines and are silent sentinels to our industrial past.  We can be grateful for the clean air but we have to realize, we pay a stiff price for this air.  That is, when our industries vanished, we lost the positive capital accumulation they created.  Instead, the US printed money and shipped this to where the factories moved, mainly to Asia.

 

This brings us to an article in England.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:  Five years on, the Great Recession is turning into a life sentence – Telegraph

 

But why did the credit bubble happen in the first place? You could argue that it is merely the flip-side of too much saving. The world savings rate has crept up to a modern-era high of 24pc of GDP. That is the most important single piece of information you need to know to understand the great economic drama we are living through.
There is nowhere for this money to go. The funds flood into investment —now a world record 49pc of GDP in China — or into asset bubbles.
So my candidate for chief cause is Asia’s `Savings Glut’, and indeed whole the structure of East-West trade under globalisation.
The emerging powers built up $10 trillion of foreign reserves — ie bonds — in a decade. They flooded the global bond market. That is why spreads on 10-year Greek debt fell to a wafer-thin 26 basis points over Bunds in the bubble.
They also flooded Western markets with cheap goods, driving down goods inflation. Western central banks — in thrall to inflation-targeting — cut short-term interest rates ever lower. They set the price of credit too low, forcing pension funds and insurers to hunt frantically for yield to match their books. The central banks compounded the effect.

 

None of this was accidental.  I noticed way back in the Reagan Presidency that Japan finally figured out how to evade US inflation when we sent our money there to buy Japanese goods.  If Japan circulated this money back to the US, it would lose value and inflation would rage here and markets here would lock out the Japanese to fix things.

 

So, Japan began to squirrel away all their trade profit capital in their FOREX holdings!  I explained this to the Chinese who decided it was a very clever idea and so they openly and directly imitated the Chinese methodology.  Warnings to our own government about both Japan and China doing this fell on deaf ears.

 

This pile of loot has lain about in various export-hungry countries now for nearly 40 years.  It is gigantic.  This is the ‘savings glut’ which has fueled cheap interest rates, falling incomes in first world nations, housing bubbles in every possible place and so on.  And this lopsided system which has the US at the dead center being the country with by far the most trade deficit damage, pumping endless money into a system bloated to blowing up with US trade dollars, this is unsustainable.

 

Eventually, it will break down as the US desperately prints more and more money and now that it can’t sell it all to China, will hoard it all at home in the Federal Reserve.  ALFRED Graph – ALFRED – St. Louis Fed

 

We can see the Reagan peak and collapse along with the Bush Jr. smaller peak and collapse.

 

We see from this graph that the recovery during the Reagan Years was stronger than later recoveries and these grow increasingly feeble and shorter as time passes due to hollowing out our industrial base.  As with the many wars we are being inflicted to participate in, the two main candidates support the same bad actions.  That is, they are both free trade and pro-wars with Muslims and a confrontation with China and presumably, Russia.  Sad, isn’t it?

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45 Comments

Filed under Free Trade

45 responses to “Abandoned Factories Litter US Landscape

  1. What’s sad is that these factories were stolen from America. What’s sad is that our children will grow up in a wrecked nation. The little town I grew up in lost two factories; one before I was born and one while I was in high school. The factory I made my first money in was 30 miles away in Joliet, Illinois. It’s still there, but the strike is an example of what’s trending in the social order now:

    http://tinyurl.com/dypgrgc

  2. CK

    Old factories like old cars and old women can’t really compete.
    Inexorable technology made
    those factories non competetive. Regulations, OSHA, EPA, death by a million regulations and a thousand rules and another million government thieves with their hands out wanting the cream before there was any milk. So instead of updating the outdated, wasting money on investing to be exporpriated in the USA, folks left manufacturing and went instead to money wrangling and derivative building and stock manipulating. Free trade didn’t destroy those pre-war factories, taxes and regulations did. The production went where it was rewarded and desired. It didn’t help that skilled labour priced itself out of the world market. Didn’t much hurt either, no one wishes to be blue collar today, so no one works to learn a trade or apprentice to a trade. Why bother, on the ignorant side of the bell curve Uncle Sugar will subsidize your whelps and you provided you don’t marry the slag you knock up. On the almost ignorant side of the bell curve, everybody gets to go to college and get so far in hock before they graduate that they will never have two coppers to rub together or a pot to piss in. And when they graduate they can always go to work for the Government writing regulations to make sure that no one bothers to try to open a new factory or employee any labour or trades.

  3. Christian W

    Isn’t this ‘savings glut’ yet another glut ultimately fueled by the money printing?

  4. Christian W

    CK

    So it’s taxes, government thieves and regulations that forced the CEO’s and power Elite to cannibalize the US?

    I can’t believe people fall for that garbage, but it is evident millions of Americans do. Just look at the fucked up US political landscape.

  5. Christian W

    Poor, poor CEO’s and power elite. They are such pitiful victims of the brutish socialist government aren’t they.

  6. CK

    @Chris:
    That factory has no CEO, its managers might have been the upper middle class of its community but they are not any more.
    They did not cannabalize that factory. When it became unprofitable for the owners to upgrade the operation, the operation was closed. Whatever stuff the operation owned was sold to someone who would pay for it. Apparently no one wanted to buy the factory so there it sits.
    It is a good bet that government regulations, tariffs on imports that the factory needed to produce its output, special ( stealings ) taxes for this that and the other useless multi-cultural hogwash killed the profitability there in sweet ol new yawk. Maybe the products are now made elsewhere, some part of the world that doesn’t steal as much, doesn’t hamper as much, isn’t as meddlesome and nosy.
    Working stiffs, and wealth producers are always the victims of government thieves, why ever would you think elsewise? Government thieves are not going to be stealing from the poor — the poor ain’t got any shit let alone productive shit worth the effort to steal.

  7. ” … I noticed way back in the Reagan Presidency that Japan finally figured out how to evade US inflation when we sent our money there to buy Japanese goods. …”
    Japan is not the first one – Saudies did that in ’70 (oil crises) when we print the money to by oil cheep.

  8. larry, dfh


    One
    for the anti-regulationists. And GE had a god-given right to poison the Hudson River, just like Chesapeake has a god-given right to poison the aquifers in PA. In my state, the government robs the property owners and wage earners to give economic incentives to the industries, who flee the minute these bribes run out.

  9. Joseppi

    Elaine’s revealing insight of how QE of the central bank buying government bonds should be inflationary, but because the FED holds the bond credit instead of circulating it, while at the same time paying the TBTP primary dealers to do the same with their bond purchases – QE is sterilized and non-inflationary – for now.
    Replacing productive capital with digital debt to feed a hungry GDP is exponentially growing and is criminal financial manipulation masked as this-time-it’s-different financial innovation. And the clock ticks on…..

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: And it is worse than that. The Chinese plan to throw outwards all this ‘money’ when the time is ripe! It is a trap for us. The Japanese are already nervous about this since China now holds lots of yen, too. This is why the yen is suddenly strong and is killing Japan’s export powers.

  10. mile

    oddly tho GE had rights AND PERMITS AND ORDERS to clean the Hudson, top to bottom and a rail system to move the polluted clays to processors enough to make ge mining and manufacturing viable away from finance frauds like genworth ect..ect…making its share price stay collapsed and tax incentives on lands taxings near zero or in other words work, and the work that created products that lasted well and trouble free for a greater part of a century…..quality…. the lawyers bled both sides into useless trash……

  11. DeVaul

    Is this not the inevitable outcome of every civilization that is based on massive exploitation of scarce resources or human beings (as slaves)?

  12. Paul S

    @CK: What utter and complete GARBAGE. Pinning the blame for America’s decline on Unions and Big Government, along with regulations is something only a Fox viewer still believes. American management has ALWAYS been very hostile to Labor; competing in the new economy almost NEVER popped up on their corporate radars. Managmenet could, if they had wanted to, chosen to upgrade and modernize; they didn’t. This is what a true free market management would have done: modernize, adapt, compete, SUCCEED in the new competitive economy they found themselves in.They didn’t. Management’s bitter hatred of Organized Labor is not in dispute; people right here in the good ol’ USA have died fighting for worker rights. GM was building cars in the 1980′s in factories that hadn’t been significantly modernized since the day they were built–60 years earlier. American auto manufacturers’ management had NO answer to Toyota and Nissan along with the rest of the new, fuel efficient competition. Blame the Unions? Pure Fox propaganda! Example: the biggest UAW Local in Michigan had, at its height, around 20000 members. It now stands at about 800. Germany is the #2 manufacturing powerhouse in the world and it allows (mandated by law) Union representation on company Board of Directors. You seem to also forget CK that the 1980′s saw the rise of sleaze like Michael Milken and his junk bonds.The 80′s were also the era of the LBO’s, leveraged buyouts. Morally bankrupt sleaze such as Cark Icahn could buy up comapanies using debt and then parcel out bits and pieces of the target acquisition. That happens to also be Mitt Romney style “job creation”, btw. The 80′s was also the era of the Savings and Loan scandal. All this stuff was enabled through DE-regulation, not those evil, liberal governemnt bureacrats. Also, why blame government? There were PLENTY of Republicans in government during the time: Nixon-Ford for 8 years. Reagan for 8 years. Bush I for 4 years. Bush II for 8 more years. Geez, those liberal elites–along with thiose pesky ‘guvmint’ bureaucrats sure are powerfull. Can you name any, by the way? One last thing. check out the condition of the Hudson River sometime. General Electric has been fighting a $2+ billion pollution cleanup bill for decades. I guess there really are limits to government bureacrats powers. Shocking I know. Applying even basic logic would have to make a person ask, with Republicans in control of government for so many years, why haven’t they been able to get at least something done to combat those evil, liberal elite meanies? Answer? Republicans are the Party of the Wealthy; transferring wealth from the lower classes to the upper classes is what the GOP is all about.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: Couldn’t say it better. Thanks.

  13. Paul: “This is what a true free market management would have done: modernize, adapt, compete, SUCCEED in the new competitive economy they found themselves in.They didn’t.”

    Yes, they didn’t. But the idea that a “true free-market economy” would have is mostly cold war-era propaganda. Counterintuitive as it sounds, free markets are fundamentally conservative. Investers don’t like risk, and innovation is risky. So if investers are left alone to run the economy they’ll try to do things like mass-produce the same car forever and ever, maybe changing the door handles and paint job every few years just to entice people to keep buying.

    Computers came out of the world wars, and their early development was funded through the Pentagon giving contracts to IBM, and universities buying them with research grants. Airplanes were much the same; substitute Boeing for IBM, more or less. Satellites weren’t invented by private industry. Industries rely on infrastructure, which investers are unwilling to build… and on and on. The idea that innovation comes from brave entrepreneurs risking their private capital to research and develop new ideas is essentially bullshit.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: Henry Ford: ‘They can have any color they want so long as it is black.’

  14. N00b

    Given this situation, as Elaine wrote:

    “This pile of loot has lain about in various export-hungry countries now for nearly 40 years. It is gigantic. This is the ‘savings glut’ which has fueled cheap interest rates, falling incomes in first world nations, housing bubbles in every possible place and so on. And this lopsided system which has the US at the dead center being the country with by far the most trade deficit damage, pumping endless money into a system bloated to blowing up with US trade dollars, this is unsustainable.”

    How does a US citizen protect themselves and stay fed and housed? Let alone prosper?

    Note–I don’t think buying gold is the answer here. When the SHTF, to whom would it be sold?

  15. N00b

    @ CK:

    Re
    “Old factories like old cars and old women can’t really compete.”

    Just because you can’t compete doesn’t mean others can’t compete.

  16. larry, dfh

    How does a US citizen protect themselves and stay fed and housed?

    Become a Mormon.

  17. melponeme_k

    “How does a US citizen protect themselves and stay fed and housed? Let alone prosper?”

    Learn a trade and learn Mandarin.

  18. “…shipping jobs to cheap labor countries and then importing goods formerly made here in the US.”

    Everyone likes a deal, and I don’t suppose Elaine or anyone else here pays more for something than they have to. I bought a backup hard drive the other day. Seagate, 1 TB, Best Buy charged me 90.00 for it. If it had been “Made in USA” it would have cost several hundred.

    “Oh, no! $90.00 for a terabyte is too cheap. I’ll pay you $450.00 for it.”

    Not. Bloody. Likely.

  19. emsnews

    And that, in a nutshell, Smith, is what devaluation of our currency does. Things cost a lot when made here due to money printing here. Ship the money to China and it becomes cheap again.

  20. Dana Hegna

    “Old factories like old cars and old women can’t really compete.”

    There are a few old women who have compounded-knowledge and know how to plant the right seeds in the right minds. They give the future to those who will be the future.

    Obviously, no one else is married to an old man drag-racer who continually and creatively hones an old car to increase the power.

    Old factories? Re-tool.

    And the word for the day is INDUSTRY.

  21. DeVaul

    “Old factories like old cars and old women can’t really compete.”

    This was a remarkably bad comment.

    @JSmith,

    Yes, things are cheaper from China, including simple pencils, but the price of all this crap from China does not include the environmental damage of shipping junk across the world on large container ships. (Who plans to clean up the whirlpool of trash in the middle of the Pacific?)

    If you add in the cost of cleaning up environmental damage to anything produced abroad, it becomes cheaper to make pencils — and most anything else — right outside of your own town by several orders of magnitude.

  22. Joseppi

    Elaine,
    I have this “feeling” or hair brained theory that China will be forced into using it’s FOREX reserves before the optimum strategic hour to unload their insurance reserves. Without the FOREX reserves China is a mess with too much artificial government stimulus, a huge property bubble, income inequality, corruption, and capital flight into the grey economy.
    This is an excellent article by Andy Xie and if you could comment please.

    http://english.caixin.com/2012-08-13/100423159.html

  23. 90404

    Devaul………..those ships from China, the USA pays for, in that we pay to keep the seas safe.
    Think about that. We pay.

  24. Christian W

    The US pays to keep it number one in military terms. The US wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s part of the plan.

  25. CK

    @Noob: How many old women won Gold this past week?
    How’s that 30′s era car doing for you today? Getting the mileage and the useful life of the cars made last year?
    Observations of fact are so rarely personal but it was nice of you to try to make it personal.
    @DeVaul: It was an accurate observation, if accuracy offends then one should not go to Detroit.
    @Paul: In 1946, China, Japan, Germany and Italy were physically devastated, no productivity because they had rubble instead of factories.
    So they build new. The US did NOT build new cause we were exceptional.
    Today no one can build a factory in the USA. Try it. Try to get anything built without being impeded for years and years by OSHA, EPA, FDA, and a thousand other useless agencies. The compound growth of non-productive government employment has indeed killed any new american industry. As I said, the Unions priced themselves out of the world market, and so did the companies that allowed those hourly wages to become acceptable. If someone is paid 5x what someone else is paid for doing the same job, the someone getting paid 5x had better be at least 5x more efficient. The US workers and factories were ( in 1947 ), today the efficient factories are in China ( all built since Madame Mao exited this mortal coil ) and Germany ( built during the Marshall plan years and upgraded/rebuilt in the 80′s, and coming on strongly Vietnam and Malaysia all built since the 70′s. More efficient factories and less labour/ unit of output … that is known as a win win situation.
    You suggest that management could have chosen to do something, not if that something was demonstrably unprofitable. It an investment is not going to make a firm more profitable, the investment is not going to be made.
    Milken, Icahn and Romney found ways to eliminate dying firms and make some value for the owners. Milken could sell junk bonds because he paid out the dividends that kept the bonds afloat. Icahn could make more profit buying on borrowed money and selling the non productive waste that he bought to others; the productive parts he kept and made even more valuable, Romney I have not followed; his old man was a manager type not a creator type I assume that Mitt is the same with some thieving politician thrown in for the beta personality.
    As to whether the white house is held by one or the other wing of the American bird of prey is not really relevant, both wings support one large body of thieves and drones. Both wings love to write laws and create criminals — that is the only product a legislature creates the production of new crimes and thus of newly minted criminals.
    The S&L scandal was allowed by regulators being bought by the regulated they always are for sale and they are always purchased wholesale and cheap. Check out the history of “Maverick John McCain” and the Charles Keating savings and loans. Prior to WWII a company didn’t really need to buy too many pols, since then it has become mandatory to purchase them, if you don’t your competitor will. ( Aipac comes to mind as a smart purchaser of pols much smarter than Iran or Saudi Arabia or Turkey although each of those have tried )
    I am gladdened that you personally find republicans repugnant, they are easily as repugnant as any other pol.
    Although I am confused at how much wealth you think there is to be syphoned from the mass of EBT recipients, unemployed college grads, retired pensioners, and ex union members. Of the 360,000,000 million americans, 240,000,000 have actual wealth amounting to less than $200 each. CHUMP CHANGE. The money is always syphoned from the productive to the bureaucrat elite. You might want to check the employment numbers for government drones vs factory mine and farm employees.
    The government bureaucrat has the power of the gun behind him. Which does explain why so many want to work in government, you get to wave a gun and be a little power hungry drone and you simultaneously get to have your hand out for the “favours” from the people your ruling affect. This too is known as a win-win.

  26. CK

    Paul Ryan has never earned a penny in his life, nor has he ever created anything of value. He is a life long pol, a thief. He is the prime example of the government welfare drone.
    A pol SAYS shit and people swallow what it is reported that he said and never bother to look at what he does.
    The character of Wesley Mouch in Atlas Shrugged is indeed the ideal to which the Paul Ryans aspire. So it is quite possible that he was influenced by Atlas Shrugged.

    To continue from the previous post:
    Surprisingly, in the 80′s and 90′s silicon valley and Redmond Wa suddenly became hot efficient entrpreneurial places. And equally surprisingly, MSFT the best and fastest of the bunch had not one DC lobbyist. In 2000, Orren Hatch ( republican wing bird of prey ) and Janet Reno ( democrat wing same bird ) decided that MSFT needed to be taught a lesson in civics. Billions of dollars being reinvested to make a bigger and more efficient company instead of being doled out to the many mouths of DC could not be allowed to stand. The Anti Trust suit thrown at MSFT in 2000 killed the dot com development dead. And it also succeeded in making MSFT employ several hundred ex congressment and bureaucrats and dole out billions in “voluntary contributions” to other thieves.
    Those billions going to the parasite class are not invested in improving products or creating new products; So today MSFT does most of its brain work in China, and most of its scut work is done at wherever the lowest cost DVD pressing plant is. Expansion is not in the cards. Bill Gates knew this and took his retirement and is now actively giving his wealth away OVERSEAS. He is such a charitable man — to people who did not try to screw his life’s work into the ground and destroy him personally in the process.
    But Orren Hatch and the Clintons and others of that criminal ilk have grown fat beyond the dreams of the gilded age creators and “malefactors of great wealth”.
    So let me make it clear, the parasite class knows that it is easier to steal from one productive person/company than to try to syphon the depreciated pennies from the great mass of “exceptional” americans.
    Gates is but one example, Milken was jailed for his creativity, IBM was hamstrung, AT&T was split and stripped and nearly destroyed, Standard Oil was split and resplit and finally the Rockerfellers decided to become real thieving pols and get out of any productive businesses.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: Microsoft was a monopoly. They abused their power. I despised that corporation so much, I was delighted when Apple suddenly improved under Jobs so I use Apples ever since due to a far nicer interface and above all, not being hounded by hackers. Apple is the one that broke the Microsoft monopoly.

    Now, Apple has to watch out and not abuse its powers and curbing this is important, competition is great, it is good, I love competitive corporations and this improves products.

  27. CK

    @JSmith
    At one time, Elaine tried to make money in the sheep and wool business, the folks in New Zealand and Australia could raise sheep and make wool and import it to and sell it here more cheaply than she could. So she loves her some lamb and wool tariffs to raise the price of imports so that the aussie and Kiwi products could not be purchased by folks trying to maximize their individual happiness. So you either pay more to EMS for her stuff or Pay a tax to the government over and above the price of the imported stuff to get what you want; or you buy a good Steak and an imported chinese silk suit.
    If you wanted a wool suit or a good leg of lamb for dinner you should have had to tithe your potential savings to EMS so she could have her business success.
    The magic of maps at work, a line drawn on a piece of paper. If that hard drive is produced somewhere over the line it is bad. Just imagine how miserable a world it would be if Florida oranges were still an owned product of spain. We would need tariffs to protect the american consumer from the evils of florida oranges versus the delightfulness of our own home grown New York oranges.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: The artificially strong dollar killed my business. As my money lost value at home, it gained value overseas so the US was flooded with imports. This was PURE INSANITY and has destroyed farming in the NE (90% of the farms here in my community went bankrupt). It was relative value of money that killed things here.

  28. Christian W

    @CK

    It is not the ‘bureaucrat’ elite. How can you not see this? Government is just a tool. Used properly, as it is designed to be, it is collective tool for everybody. When taken over by the ‘rich’ elite or the power elite, it becomes a tool to siphon wealth to the top, because the rich, using money, simply bend all the rules to favor them. That is why there is one law for the rich (do what you want) and one law for the poor (lift a finger and go to jail). However, one thing the even the rich cannot do, is to break the internal codes within their own group. That is the real crime for them.

    Even you seem to see that the real problem in the US is corruption, but why do you blame the government for that? Isn’t it just as much a cultural problem (‘always look out for number one’) that facilitates corruption. All the ‘temporarily embarrassed’ millionaires that can’t wait to finally get their piece of the infinite dollar cake? Isn’t the real problem a lack of feeling for collective responsibility, and instead there is a drive to be ‘succesful’ (ie ‘rich’)?

    Why is the US divided along so many lines and stratas; cultural, racial, religious, geographic, political, social, nationality etc? Where is the sense of the collective ‘we’? Why are these differences reinforced at every turn, instead of the sense of ‘we’? You have been divided and conquered and shattered and sliced and diced into a million tiny little pieces. The collective, when together, is strong. That is the defensive strength of herd against the predators. But the herd is broken into tiny pieces and the predators are feasting. And the vulnerable have been thought it is bad to join others become a herd, so they remain easy to pick off and eat. The weak cannot become strong, because they cannot unite and create strength in numbers. The predators have thought their prey well.

    A properly run government is the solution to all these problems. To kill off the government is the dream of all the rich crooks who will feast on the carcass of what remains of the US.

  29. CK, Microsoft didn’t succeed by writing great programs. They negotiated a monopoly where their operating system would be shipped with PCs by default. Then, whenever someone else came up with a better product, they bought out the company, or tried to copy the product. They’ve been striving to stifle innovation for ages: the Microsoft dream is a world where they announce “We’re going to quit updating Windows XP in six months, so all you peons had better go out and buy Vista before that happens! Ha ha ha! Don’t like Vista? Don’t think you need a Sidebar full of gadgets? Too bad! If you want an operating system with security updates, then you’d better do as you’re told!”

    What Microsoft has been really good at is making sure that older versions of mS Word can’t open files written by newer versions. Stuff like that. They were a clear target for antitrust legestlation

  30. CK

    @Chris W
    I am not a we. I am me; you are you. If we each have something that the other values we can trade for it. Otherwise there is no necessity for a “weness” between us, You will not be diminished by any success I might have nor I by any you have. We might find a meaningful voluntary relationship, a voluntaryist society but I do not think that that is what you want. The heart of the collective is that membership is mandatory. I dislike mandates, they are never for my benefit but they are always out of my pocket for some one else’s benefit. Yet that is all a collective has to offer: mandates and force
    It appears that you believe in the collective, I recognize the mob. There is no difference. The collective is the mob. A successful collective can not allow a successful non member of the collective. A successful mob is as smart as its dumbest member, a meritocracy of zeros.
    Also, I am fairly sure that neither you nor I are herd herbivores. Why would you want a world of weaklings masquerading as the lord high muckety mucks of the universe? That chain being as strong as its weakest link and all of its links being zeros should give you pause.
    Not all the tears of the weak and greedy nor all the guns of the bureaucrat elite will cause one grain of wheat to grow, one ounce of gold to be mined, one tennis racket to be strung, one car to be assembled. The collective can only feed on the productive for so long and then it must feed on itself. You might wish to re-examine the great successes of the USSR over the last decade as their collective greatness has boomed —. Oh drat that collective ate all its seed corn and then the real predators appeared and ate everything else. The harvard eductated bureaucrats gave Russia a distinct and wonderous kleptocracy, it’s what they do.
    A efficiently run government is an abomination and a thing to be abhored and avoided.

  31. CK

    Steve:
    I said nothing about the quality of MSFT’s OS or programs. The US government’s anti trust suit against MSFT had nothing to do with their programs or OS. It was launched to prove to MSFT and others that one must tithe to the government drones one way or another. The suit succeeded. MSFT now pisses away millions a year to K street drones and contributes mightily to the re-election campaigns of various pols.
    I would point out that XP is now 12 years old. What other products do you have that are kept current for over 12 years from the date of introduction? Easy to find all the parts you needs for your 2000 Ford? I would also point out that Vista was a market place failure, but Win7 looks to be good for another decade. So win7 Ultimate edition will have had a yearly cost to me of $25 a year. For which I will get security updates, OS updates, and program updates every second wednesay of every month for free.
    Funny thing about that shipping with every PC deal, if you wanted to, you could install one of the many successful free OS’s and just ignore the MS OS. OpenBSD has always been a good choice. MSFT didn’t hold a gun to Dell’s head, they offered a good deal. Without MSFT, the era of cheap computing would never have happened. IBM did not believe in the PC until after MSFT made the PC useable. Apple was and is just as proprietary as MSFT and it is always more expensive. I am old enough to remember when members of congress ( mostly from states that never won world series
    wanted to apply the anti trust laws to the New York Yankees not because they were a monopoly ( there were three teams in the NY market at the time ) but because they too were TOO successful. It is ever thus.

  32. CK

    Small correction, Windows XP was launced just after 9/11. It will be 11 years old this October. And it is still the most successful and used OS in the world.

  33. emsnews

    Baseball IS a monopoly. You can’t simply start a team somewhere. The price of the existing teams, owned by billionaires, can only go up and up even if they are the Dodgers. This is due to them conspiring to keep it a certain limited number. This is how they force cities to pay for new stadiums, threatening to move if not happy with goodies.

  34. Christian W

    @CK

    “I am not a we. I am me; you are you. If we each have something that the other values we can trade for it. Otherwise there is no necessity for a “weness” between us, You will not be diminished by any success I might have nor I by any you have. We might find a meaningful voluntary relationship, a voluntaryist society but I do not think that that is what you want. The heart of the collective is that membership is mandatory. I dislike mandates, they are never for my benefit but they are always out of my pocket for some one else’s benefit. Yet that is all a collective has to offer: mandates and force [etc]“

    And who are you? Daniel Boone running around with a flintlock looking to shoot a few squirrels to trade for a bottle of whiskey? Society is ALL of us. You are the fireman, the plumber, the farmer, the police officer, the bank clerk, the doctor, the nurse, the road worker, the cook etc depending on circumstances. We need a full spectrum society with healthy people working in healthy jobs or we degenerate into some third world hell hole (take your pick), or capitalist shit hole (like Japan), or totalitarian shit hole like North Korea. A healthy society is your best shot at freedom.

    My point with using the word ‘herd’ instead of a sexier ‘wolf pack’ or something, is simply that there is strength in numbers and that is a survival technique (among many others) as good as any. But if the predators eat up all their herd prey they destroy themselves as well.

    The heart of the collective is not that membership is mandatory, you are part of a collective whether you want to or not simply by belonging to a nation or a city or a state (which supports you even now), or even this planet by extension, but that the collective strength makes the whole infinitely much stronger. If you split the collective up into pieces you become easy prey, like now. You can play Geronimo all you want, but you have no chance against a collective effort anymore than the brilliant guerrilla warrior Geronimo did, once they draw a bead on you. And history shows that big enough hordes always sweep away the little guys, just look at US history.

  35. CK

    I do not belong to anyone. I am not the property of the state of some city of some line drawn on some piece of paper.
    I do agree with you that a voluntary society of productive people is the best of all worlds. Unfortunately the collective does not accept voluntary and the parasites and drones have always outnumbered and outvoted the productive ( that’s why the collective always loves democracy ). You did catch that just living on the planet does not make one part of some planetary collective, living on the North American continent does not make one a part of some North American collective. But the MAGIC of lines on a map is supposed to make one a member of the USA collective or the NY collective of the Fairfax county collective.
    I have not had the pleasure of visiting Japan so I have no way of knowing what kind of shit hole it is. Nor have I visited North Korea. I do know that I am supposed to believe without having any personal evidence that North Korea is a bad place, that Iran is more evil than Nazi Germany, that Japan is going to die any day now, that China is evil for banishing the collective and allowing folks to become rich, and that Israel is a democracy and a peaceful influence on the middle east.
    I have also noticed, that the vaunted “strength in numbers” meme is sorta WRONG. A huge bunch of folks is just a juicy target of opportunity for whoever has the drones or the nukes. Revisit the numbers for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Huge numbers of folks suddenly incinerated by one bomb each from one bomber each.
    Why did you suddenly switch topics to guerilla warfare? War is the least productive of mankind’s many pre-occupations. But I do recall the American history of using guerilla warfare to defeat the RedCoats, and in turn having the American asses handed to themselves by the guerillas in VietNam. Selective history is an easy game to play isn’t it.
    You asked: “And who are you? Daniel Boone running around with a flintlock looking to shoot a few squirrels to trade for a bottle of whiskey?”
    That’s it? That is the only alternative you can posit. No I am more like the early peddlers going from place to place trading stuff. Like the early caravaners on the silk road bringing wealth from one place to another and taking back other wealth. Practicing the varieties of economy of Time and Place. Make some stuff sell some stuff trade some stuff, go to sleep wake up and do it over again. I am not a willing part of any mandatory collective, just a conscious voluntary member of various voluntary societal groupings.

  36. melponeme_k

    “But I do recall the American history of using guerilla warfare to defeat the RedCoats, and in turn having the American asses handed to themselves by the guerillas in VietNam.”

    Yes, America used guerilla warfare during the revolution. But it didn’t win the war. It was the professional military troops, advice and money from France that was the deciding factor. Vietnam experienced the same thing.

    Whoever had the deepest pockets. wins.

    Like Elaine says, it’s all Trade War.

  37. CK

    Without it the war would have been over long before the professional Hessians and Frogs and Spanish and Dutch involved themselves.
    Please do not try to denigrate the ability of the Vietnamese, they handed the USA its ass just as they had handed every other invading grandee throughout their history. Money will not buy you victory. Money will just allow you to bleed slowly and deeply into the foreign sands.
    Money did not buy any victory in Iraq nor is it buying victory in Afghanistan.
    Elaine says much that is debatable and much that is foolish. She is a statist at heart, a believer in the magic of BOGSAT with crayons.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: Strong, sane, healthy empires are wonderful. Sick, in debt, delusional ones are a catastrophe. The ‘little nation’ stuff is illogical. History is clear! We have either good empires or bad ones or chaos.

  38. melponeme_k

    “Without it the war would have been over long before the professional Hessians and Frogs and Spanish and Dutch involved themselves.”

    We were going broke, desperately needed weapons, training, food, and shelter. Many of the volunteer guerrilla fighters were going home. The desertion rates were frightening. The involvement of France infused the war with cash and allowed us to go on. There is no denying that fact.

    Vietnam had money from the Soviet Union and China. Otherwise they would not have had the money for AK-47s, medical supplies, training etc.

    We paid Afghanistan during that conflict with the Soviet Union.

    Who is paying them now?

    Money is everything.

    Elaine has turned out to be right more than I’ve ever seen the regular media being right. That is why I read her blog.

    What is wrong with thinking that a strong government should extend protections and act as counterweight between the elites and masses? Get rid of it and you have the elites stealing resources or the Masses having guillotine parties.

  39. emsnews

    The Hessians were hired by the King of England who came from Germany where these guys came from. They were ‘privatized’ soldiers who cost the English tax payers a pretty pound to fund. The war was very unpopular in England at that time and the English were happy to finally pull out only to face Napoleon who replaced the bankrupt French king who funded the US revolt. While not taxing his own nobles, of course. The 13% rich tax solution we see today here in the US.

  40. Christian W

    CK: I do not belong to anyone. I am not the property of the state of some city of some line drawn on some piece of paper.

    Still, you do not live in a bubble, what you do does affect those around you. It is better to have a cumulative positive effect of the collective’s actions, rather than a destructive attitude of hogging wealth and resources to the top few on behalf of the collective.

    One in ten houses in the US is now within a gated community. That is a disastrous development for the US. The US has replaced the collective with the dollar and has attempted to fix all problems by fixating on the dollar and using the dollar to pretend it can trickle down to everyone, thus undermining the feeling for the collective (the left in politics and the balance it represents through unions etc) and substituting it with an attitude of individual entitlement.

    Elaine: The artificially strong dollar killed my business. As my money lost value at home, it gained value overseas so the US was flooded with imports. This was PURE INSANITY and has destroyed farming in the NE (90% of the farms here in my community went bankrupt). It was relative value of money that killed things here.

    The dollar is “artificially strong” because it is the world’s reserve currency (the world currency hegemon). That is the downside to having the world reserve currency, still it enables you to have cheap gas and cheap imports (at least superficially) and keep living costs down. This also drives Wall Street etc and is a, if not the, major reason the US economy is so much larger than other nations. When this world subsidy of the US living style ends, all costs will sky rocket. But what is clear from even a cursory look is that the majority of Americans have been shafted out of their share of the ‘world reserve currency subsidy’ goodies by the rich controlling this scam.

    This link has some very interesting graphics showing the US debt burden:

    http://www.hangthebankers.com/economic-collapse-is-inevitable-heres-why/

  41. Christian W

    The debt is so large even China cannot be bank for this super dollar caldera. Since the dollar cannot sustain it’s reserve currency status and nobody can underwrite so much large debt, the US has to take control of the ME oil fields in order to control world trade. Oil control is the only thing that can remotely sustain a viable US economy. That is a major reason the US has turned totalitarian (and adapted Saudi Arabia and the Gulf autocrats as major allies to go with Israel) and it will only get worse as the financial ground starts shaking more and more as the caldera gets ready to blow.

    And that is the reason the UK and France are so desperately attaching themselves to the US/Israel adventures in North Africa and the ME. Germany are still prepared to reach a hand out to Russia I believe (which is why the US has been courting Poland with nuclear missile goodies).

  42. CK

    @Chris:
    Sometimes I am more involved sometimes less, but what does voluntary and mutually beneficial involvement with others have to do with your contention that I am the property of some abstraction? I reitereate that I am uninterested in affecting the collective and unwilling to be effected by it.
    There is nothing destructive about creating wealth, nor is it destructive to do with your wealth as you see fit. If your sight is incorrect someone else ends up with your wealth if your sight is correct you create more wealth. War destroys wealth.
    Living where one wishes and being in the company of people who wish to also be in your company is not “disastrous”, it is actually quite desireable and certainly a much more trusting environment among those lucky enough to be allowed to associate freely.
    There never was a collective in the US to be replaced. When the US was lucky enough to have real dollars, it enjoyed almost 100 years of economic growth and betterment for all the citizens. The betterment of all the citizens stopped with the abolution of real dollars. That was the past; the past is interpretable many ways and the interpretations are revised often.
    When there is abundance, the consumer benefits.
    When there is scarcity, the producer benefits.
    For most of the history of the US, most of the citizens were simultaneously consumers and producer and thus schizophrenic in their desires.
    Oh to see the competitors in my line of work disappear but to see the competitors in your line of work multiply. I want the cheap clothes and the cheap computers but dear lord let me be the lamb and wool monopolist and get rich on the scarcity.
    Today, 1 in 6 is a producer but 6 in 6 are still consumers. And it is becoming obvious that the desire for abundance is running into a slight roadblock as there are fewer and fewer willing to sacrifice to create that abundance.
    Not all the guns of all the collectives’ killers nor all the tears of all the collectives’ whiners will make one ear of buttered corn jump magically onto their plate.

  43. 90404

    Elaine: The artificially strong dollar killed my business.
    And yr Business was Farming?

  44. emsnews

    Yes, it was. This killed all the farms here.

  45. Pingback: Bonds Plummet And Stocks Rise This Week On The Failure Of Neoliberal Finance … Competitive Currency Devaluation Is Once Again Underway This Time On The Failure Of The World Central Banks’ Monetary Authority « EconomicReview Journal

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