While driving around Berlin, NY, today, I noticed a new sign next to an older ‘for sale’ sign.  It looks like one of the more expensive new vacation houses in Berlin is being auctioned off on January 15th.  300+ acres of prime hunting land.  This is yet another sign of the collapse of the wealthy class.  


Here is a shot of the fancy house, standing alone in the middle of what used to be a hay field.  The house is a modern ‘cabin’ style building with a stone basement treatment as well as a double-wide stone chimney.  The wrap-around porch goes all the way around.  Its view isn’t nearly as spectacular as the view from my own mountain for this house sits in the Taconic valley and the house is several hundred feet lower than my place.  I can see it with the binoculars in winter when the trees are naked.


There used to be a Victorian house much closer to Rt. 22 but it burned down due to carelessness when contractors were rebuilding it for the new owners.  They collected money from this and built a fancy house further inside the property.


Here is the backyard.  They had very small children.  They bought the best playground equipment possible.  I might even suggest, the best in town.  But unlike most of the richer vacation homes, there was no swimming pool.  I suspect, this was due to the children being very young.  


Here is their mega-huge super-cyborg grill.  Everything in America is now so utterly oversized or over-elaborate.  I cook nearly constantly outside in summer, a habit from living in a tent for ten years.  My grill is extremely simple.  I found it when someone tossed it out.  I added some volcanic rocks to it and it cooks perfectly fine.  This thing is one of the grills that cost more than $1,000.  It has been, like the backyard playground, been abandoned here.


One window had no curtains and I saw that all the expensive furniture was left behind, too.  Overstuffed leather couches, not just one but several.  Granite countertops all over the place.  Lots of stuffed deer and antelope heads adorned the walls of the Great Room which is two stories tall.  


Outside was all sorts of expensive equipment such as a tractor-pulled grass cutter that cost around $2,000 and I bet the tractor was in the garage.  And a snow plow.  It is all rather sad to see.  They didn’t even bother to disband their property.  It was simply dropped like an overripe fruit.  This is how things are today: dropped.  The lack of interest in keeping things going is startling to me for I am a survivalist.


It was a serious temptation to remove the abandoned equipment but that is illegal.  I do hope it is auctioned off, separately.  I could use some equipment on my own mountain.  


The main lesson here is, buying fun stuff with debt is a very bad idea.  We can understand people taking on debt to start a family, to have a home and so on. But going into debt to go fishing or hunting is downright stupid.  Going into debt to play around can be fatal.  Living within one’s means is important.  Once the debts are paid off and one is free and clear, one can then go off and buy more stuff for fun.  But just like going into long-term debt to go on vacation is short sighted and dangerous, so is any overreach spending.


There is some honor in thriftiness.  Thrift with no savings that moves markets is poverty.  But saving money and then using it in capitalist ventures is how more money is made.  And more employment that leads to a better community.  This very fancy and expensive vacation house was built in Berlin during the housing bubble.  During this time, our town began to seriously die as an economic machine that made capitalist value-added systems which enriched the entire community.  


Thanks to free trade, this is nearly totally dead now.  Our town is slowly dying.  Businesses are folding.  And houses are being abandoned.








Filed under .money matters


  1. Gary

    I grew up in a town much like Berlin,NY. Uxbridge Mass was
    a mill/machine shop town and we lived on the outskirts. Outside town were several dairy farms where the farmers did everything. Grew hay and corn. Milked the cows. Then Pasturized the milk Bottled it and delivered it with their own truck. Then cleaned and sanitized the bottles and filled them again. Yikes. A real economy. Farms on the outskirts and machine shops down in the valley.
    The old town now is God what I dont know. People mostly go to work in the nearby cities as some kind of paper shufflers with the insurance industry.

    The last time I went back all the farms but one were gone and
    Pasture Palaces much like that Log Cabin of your area sprung
    up like mushrooms in the fields and woods where I used to
    roam. Sad.

  2. Zorro

    Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, wrote in 1934:

    We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. 5

  3. OC

    Might be a good place to retreat; if I have money (which I don’t and have no intention of borrowing) I might buy it just to pester Elaine all day…yes, that will give Elaine ample opportunity to ‘look down’ on me…ha ha ha

    The place is so last century…it is not sustainable once the USD takes a dive in 2009/2010.

  4. OC


    Thought u might be interested in the list of Madoff’s clients:

  5. Zorro

    Thanks OC

    Great info. More to come no doubt.

  6. I lived two years in Patterson NY, a microscopic “town” with two or three stores, just south of Pawling, walkable to Rt-22. (Just about 100 mi. south of Berlin.) This was about 1983. There was a “recession” (as per always), and things went slowly downhill. The same thing was happening then. Maybe not the abandoned housefuls of valuables, but we used to sit out at night and watch a trillion bats pour out of old chimneys of abandoned houses. This was very rare in most parts of Connecticut, though I hear it’s quite common in the rural areas now. I think the causes are fairly “obvious.” (“Obvious” is such a funny word.)

    First, there’s the NYC “slide.” Some would perhaps think NYC was about eight million inhabitants, or 18 million taxicabs. But that eerie steam was always rising from all the manholes. The city always consumed vast quantities of energy! And water! We used to marvel at the vast reservoirs up north. The real meaning of this was that the city was a vast light manufacturing center. Mix water and energy, and you can have production! Then along came “free trade.” NYC became essentially unprofitable, and thus the rest of the state, plus Connecticut and New Jersey, took a huge hit. “Upper New York” is really super-rural. But it still had a lot of manufacturing, which was sacrificed to the free trade fiasco.

    Another thing was present: farming. The Northeast is “blessed” with zillions of rocks in the soil, courtesy of the Ice Age glaciers. So it could not compete with the easy-to- work soil of the Midwest. That will change when the vast Midwest aquifer system is drained. New England will still have its water.

    I think the country folk should get to work on “micro-windmills,” maybe five feet in diameter. They could be planted in fields, along with vegetables! If you have food, water, and energy, maybe you’re in business!

  7. David

    Your pictures look familiar…kinda like around home down here in the South:
    Small houses and large McMansions sitting empty, some with windows broken (anger is rising).
    Lakefront luxury vacation property…a “for sale” sign on every 7th house, many signs are old.
    Lots of nice bass fishing boats and family pontoon boats for sale…No corporate sponsored bass fishing tournaments anymore.
    Nice restored classic cars (old muscle cars)for sale…cheap. Same with Harley Davidson motorcycles. Also some big diesel dually pickups and lots of SUVs…cheap.
    Worn out Honda Accords still bringing premium prices. Even old Chevy S-10s and Ford Rangers and small American cars bringing good prices.
    Public schools the largest employer here, just warehousing kids. Majority of children sign up for free lunches.
    5,000 people at the local flea market on Tuesdays…many single ladies and poor folks with worthless household junk on the hood of cars–sad. Everything is dirt cheap except guns. Used gun prices are still high.
    Not very many cars on secondary roads…
    Local sawmill shut down until lumber is sold. It is stacked row, upon row, waiting for a buyer.
    Brick buildings and former furniture factories and warehouses of our little industrial town sitting empty…all machinery is gone…sent to China by slick corporate raiders (those cheap Japanese loans) Those “Christian” raiders once organized company “prayer breakfasts” and promised everyone they were working to make life better for us all.
    A relative just earned a four year college degree (magna cum laude from a top school)…still sitting at home with no job. Sent out over two hundred resume’s with 1 “no thank you” response. Only jobs available pay hourly wages, just enough to keep gas tank of a small car filled…stupid to drive 75 miles per day to earn gas money.
    Pawn shops filled with builder’s tools, televisions, everything…selling for 30 cents on the dollar. Still, the shelves are full. Many pawn shops now owned by banks.
    Buyout discount warehouse stores are full of merchandise…these buy out failed businesses and overstocks…even they are filled to the brim with unsold merchandise, but still selling cheap items.
    Bars doing a booming business. Drinking, smoking, eating and trying to get laid is the new pastime.
    Many single girls available…a lot of them already have one or two kids who are the “light” of their lives, but no husband…they are desperately looking for someone, anyone with a full-time job. In today’s environment, these women stand little chance of success.
    Local taxpayer-built hospital has been sold to a larger regional medical center, and is now a “for profit” facility.
    Walk-in clinics are the new method of getting medical treatment…no doctor, just a physicians assistant available to see you.
    I’m going to stop now. I’m getting depressed.
    Oh! Now I know why they call it a “depression!”

  8. GK

    After the US economy is systematically collapsed, the US which previously used 25% of the worlds oil will cease burnings so much oil causing plunging oil demand. The will allow cheap farming labor in Central America, South America, and India to produce food to be flown/shipped to the US with all the freed up cheap oil.

    I think it is a great idea for the Northeast to be self sufficient in energy and food, but if you think that they can seriously compete against starving people working for a few pesos a day, and enormous trains, planes and trucks owned by the free-trade multinationals, then I would like to see your spreadsheets that can prove this business model.

    Unless Americans wake up, all your food will be grown in the cheapest labor location, with absolutely no environmental regulations against Monsanto chemicals sprayed on their Monsanto terminator seeds harvested by mega-machines or starving labor.

    There is no conspiracy here, it is just business logic.

  9. criticalcontrarian

    GK you are spot on regarding the US decline in oil consumption. Check out: Car Market Total Collapse @
    The deflationary spiral is just getting started. A totally new and different profit regime has to come into being. One that is more equitable and socially responsible. But its going to be many years of blood, sweat and tears all over again. This generation has forgotten the difficult times and took everything for granted. Time to pay the piper.
    The greed, dump and pump, to-hell-with-tomorrow style of Wild West capitalism has run its course. Too many opportunists without any brains running the show. They’ve sold the future of their children’s children to greed and stupidity. Destiny will surely give them a front row seat to view the misery that will visit their kith and kin.

  10. No matter what happens, the oil will all be used up! Once it takes two barrels to extract one, it’ll be gone. There will be no trucks, trains, or planes. So free trade will cease. It’ll be horses and sticks and stones.
    Maybe some windmills, and Golden Giant Amaranth.

  11. Future generations shouldn’t have to “pay” for the foolish behavior of a few “elders” – even if they are kith and kin or even ilk. These individual elders and their immediete cohorts need to be called out systematically for a fair and open hearing in their communities, and then let justice be served. If you are suspect, then you ought be charged. If you are innocent then it ought become evident.
    In 20 years (a generation) an amazing amount of changes can happen especially with the communication capabilities we have now unlike ever in the past. I’m not sure we have a choice of dragging this process out and suffering through a bunch of boring time-wasting plot twists and turns cause the choices have narrowed and continue to narrow rapidly (exponentially). Time is…..hopefully you know.
    I get real annoyed with the status quo sometimes, but even so, I’m always trying to search for a “practical positive possible” future for the “proud peasants” and such – for all of us basically.
    Attitude certainly is a string from the brain that affects perception (the 5th dimension) – 😉 sorry, I couldn’t resist that last teeny weeny tidbit idgit.


  12. Blues – I want to know what the “Golden Giant Amaranth”, but it seems the link returns an error.
    I’m all for windmills. I love em – :mrgreen:

  13. You’ve got to laugh at Laura Bush and “Black-Hole Condi” who seem to only care about legacy…as if that is all that matters.
    Meanwhile, at the global ranch, innocent babies and children are being blow to smithereens by human-haters flying planes and dropping bombs.
    I consider most of the current administration, most of congress, and most of the current justices suspect.
    What the hell, I’ll do it again – I call for a Constitutional Convention. Ha. Ha.

  14. Hey, did any of you all catch either of the following games:
    Hometown Carolina ekes out win in New Orleans despite the amazing Brees: 33 – 31 – this game was a thriller.
    But even better, the proud Philly Eagles dismember the romo-led hapless cowboys from tejas: 44 – 6 or something like that. I enjoy watching the cowboys get beat.

  15. billibaldi

    to GK,

    If the US economy collapses, how will the average citizen afford the “cheap” food grown for example, in Mexico?

    In all honesty the economic model of food production that you describe is not the future but the current model. This current model is based on cheap oil. How long will this cheap oil last?

    I do have to point out that the North East of the United States has a long history of agricultural production. This may have declined but it hasn’t gone.

  16. David


    You are so right. I like your “dump and pump” description of what our capitalist systems became.
    Nowadays, children are not being prepared for practical survival by parents or public education. Globalists cut off funding for vocational education and agriculture training because jobs and industry were being outsourced to other nations. Now large segments of our population are ignorant and helpless as far as basic survival skills are concerned, and will need retraining in practical skills. This is a life and death matter.
    Just before the Great Depression, my grandfather died at age 39 of the Spanish flu. He left grandmother pregnant with 6 children. There was no Social Security, but the family owned a small farm. Grandmother organized the kids and they raised food, processed it and stored it. Dad, the oldest at age 14, quit school and went on the road, working at sawmills, farms, small factories, anywhere that a person could earn a little hard cash, often at $.50 to $1.00 per day. This money bought the family food staples and necessities like tool repairs, shoes and clothing and the few manufactured items the family used. The family survived. All of these children were very thrifty for the rest of their lives.
    Nowadays, as you say, people have forgotten such lessons.
    I think to survive, our communities will have to form into small, commune type entities, where farmers and landowners rent out garden plots in return for money to pay taxes, and people will have to organize and produce something that earns hard cash for necessities, maybe in those abandoned factories. Maybe communities should look at the Pennsylvania Amish for some lessons. Also, Elaine might be able to give us some pointers learned back in her younger days.

  17. criticalcontrarian

    Ken, I hear what you are saying. My forecast is that out of this economic debacle there will be a decoupling of the police, military and intelligence agencies from the elite. A few “real American patriots” in uniform will step up to the plate and be counted. It could get a bit messy before that happens though. Bottom line, only the armed services can really take back America for its people. The clowns running the show have been running this “terrorist act” for too long to keep honest Americans from noticing that the real terrorists are homegrown. Most are in Washington D.C.
    Blues, oil is yesterdays tech. It is not tomorrows answer. The future is in renewable and alternative energy. Once the Pax Americana boys go down, the energy tech they have been suppressing all these past decades (to keep their oil monopoly scam going) will surface. It has to. The game is up..
    David, I have great confidence in the American spirit, and the bountifulness of your country as a whole. The real secret to agricultural success is not in owning the land, but in maximizing its productivity. When Russia opened its doors to investment in the agri sector, as a communist state that did not allow ownership of land to investors. They would instead give long term leases instead. The East German farmers quickly learned that by leasing land their capital outlay was a fraction of what it would cost to own, and that they could lease even larger tracts of land while allocating the money otherwise earmarked for buying land to buying tractors and combines. The result was huge bumper wheat crops in Russia. It is a great success story.
    The bankers in the U.S. promoted land ownership to feed their usury business. Little by little the farmers have lost out to the huge corporates who manipulate the commodities markets and then use the banks to squeeze play the farmers. This too has to be corrected.

  18. emsnews

    Owning land is very important. Good barking grief! The ruling elites are rulers because they own land. Period. They also own TRADE POWERS. Namely, they set the tariffs and barriers. Ditto with guilds: they had many barriers and controls and thus, gained wealth. When the guilds were broken by capitalism, many centers of production collapsed. The earliest centers of capitalist production were small rural areas with easy access to water power.
    Towns like Berlin, just for example. This town became an industrial base back in 1850.

  19. Paul S

    Owning land may be important, but it sure as heck doesn’t guarantee safety. The rulers, powers-that-be, call them what you like, will take your land if they feel like it. It’s called eminent domain. “Dubaya” used this when he conned the taxpayers into building him a stadium for the Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush got the local pols to invoke eminent domain and then they went around to the affected landowners and gave them lowball offers. Some had the financial resources to fight back–and won. Similar situation with owning gold. If the rulers want it, they will just confiscate it and they won’t worry about legalities.

  20. openly hidden

    i am an old man now from iowa. i remember the 1980’s “farm crisis” very well as we lost everything. wife and i came back, made horrible adjustments, now own two farms, no debt now to speak of. for the ag expert above, the irrigated cropland begins west of iowa in nebraska. iowa on east does not depend on underground water for crop irrigation. and i was very interested in the house for auction. please go and report what it brought at sale house and land. around here, land has went up way more than it can pay its own way because of outside investors and big farmer speculation ethanol is the future.

    anyway, in my opinion, there is no feeling like losing everything you thought you had and were and was going to be like we little farmers did in iowa in the 1980’s. to wake up at night and realize you are a completely worthless failure on the way to becoming a joke. and me and the mrs were reasonably young then. i have no idea how those of my generation who have assumed they were entitled and smart and privileged can take this attitude adjustment. but looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me i think. before i was full of entitled feelings and opinions and false sense of worth. but of course this is looking way back. back then, you just wanted to die but for your fetters. loss. what a teacher.

    and what the army will give us is a fascist state run by a military industrial complex. how is that going to be saving anything. better to nationalize the banksters and the fed and elect huey long to clean house. in my humble opinion, of course.

  21. openly hidden

    more. and i remember voting for ronald regan … two times and not making the connection between what happened to me and my little rural community which growing up had a lot of small unionized little factories and back then, i didn’t know a kid in school with me (290 kids in my class)whose parents were divorced or whose mom worked unless she was a teacher or nurse and the factory workers and the little farmers owned their own homes debt free eventually, drove great american made automobiles, and went to the same churches on sunday and socialized at the same places on the weekend. and the banks knew where their money was in that same town i bet and i still want to know what the hell was wrong with all that.

    oh yeah, my point. i still remember when ronald regan got into office, and his kind of people who took over running around all over the news announcing “america doesn’t need to make anything anymore”….cause they were so darn smart i guess all we needed to know was to give our money to them to “invest” for us.

    so now in town, i don’t think there is a union job left and abut half dozen real big crop farmers left now in place of lots of small farmers in 1965, each one mostly with paid for 160 acre farms who could support their family, send their ambitious kids off to college, pay for that education, and retire with a couple hundred thousand dollars which easily could support them in their old age.

    “progress”. i don’t know who i hated more. the viet nam protesters who spit on the returning veterans and seemed to be against everything i knew, or now the financial capitalists who crapped all over everything. i suspect both shared the same goals. anyway, i don’t vote for the last 4 elections as i suspect neither party wants anything for ordinary people.

  22. CK

    “Real American Patriots” what a load. Patriots until the first paycheck is missed. Standing armies are a dumb thing. Costly and dumb. But they do syphon off a % of the otherwise non-productive products of Patriotic American Education.

  23. David

    Openly hidden:

    I noted that you said that there are now only a few large farmers left in your area, and that the small unionized factories are now gone.

    This somewhat confirms my notion that ever fewer, ever larger wealthy capitalists cannot spend enough to sustain a large economy. Sure, those big farmers and big corporations are seemingly more efficient, but if they end up selling their products for ever cheaper prices, there is less and less monetary wealth being moved around in the overall system, and the citizens in the lower tiers of the system slip into poverty and are then unable to buy from producers…no matter how cheaply those products are made ,or in the case of farming…So, everyone suffers from deunionization and mergers and unregulated capitalist consolidation in the long run. When this continues unchecked, the overall system finally winds down into nothingness. Buyers without money cannot buy and producers cannot sell because retailers don’t order products, so production must cease…then the system stops. When this occurs, the only way out is to reset everything and start rebuilding from the ground up. Does this make sense to anyone?

    I don’t know who will stop the greedy capitalist financiers and officials in Washington who are still chasing their tails and the windmills in their minds. However, it seems that they are outsmarting themselves and are crumbling pretty fast without much help from anyone.

    Enjoyed your post Openly Hidden. Reminded me of my early years. Life was not perfect, but things were moving along a little, and we had a sense of goodness about us that lasted until the beginning of the Vietnam War.

  24. OC


    Sorry to ‘depress’ you (as we are moving glacially into global depression), we still have to pay our bills to other nations else US will wind up like Argentina..for decades with no light at end of tunnel. After the bill have been paid off, then it is possible to speak of recovery. Any profit you make off the land or commerce would likely be rip off by the politicians to pay the ‘piper’ so bear that in mind when u prep!!

    Elaine is mostly likely right; once the gold standard is re-established, the gold confiscation will begin in order to pay off the bills. Perhaps the savings will be safer in countries that do not have to pay any bills such as those with large SWF.

  25. DeVaul

    The auctions signs are cropping up here in Lexington, Kentucky too. Huge homes that were never for sale publicly and often were simply inherited by other family members are now either for sale or actually being auctioned off. I have never seen this in my lifetime.
    As I pass by them, I cannot help but wonder what happened to them. Did they lose their shirts in the stock market? Are they trying to retire to Florida? What is going on?
    Even my dream home is for sale and probably will soon be auctioned. I know the price is far beyond anything I could hope to pay, but I cannot help thinking what will become of all these abandoned homes — right in the middle of the wealthy areas of town.
    I suspect they will become run-down slum flats like the older mansions in the north part of town. That will be sad because they are awfully close to my home.

  26. nah

    and they critizize the EU central bank in every first rate publication of trying to make sure thair money is not just traded paper as this destroys jobs. queer world queer money what manifestation of equitable value are we being presented with mr paulson, or you mr bernanke is it as simple as debt based prosperity driving infinate magins. queer money.
    suck the money down bury your fear

  27. criticalcontrarian

    Elaine, my point exactly. Who has benefited most from this ownership of land? The farmer? The homeowner? A little out-of-the-box thinking is in order. If we keep playing their game (the bankers) then it’s history repeating itself again, is it not? Aren’t you tired of reading history and watching it repeat itself over and over again? Talk about Groundhog Day!
    Check out this 3,500 sq.ft. 5BR 3.5 Bath home for $8,925 or $40 a month in Detroit! or if that is too steep there are over 180 homes for $1,000 here:
    And this is nowhere near ending. Where are these “owners” now? Farmland must be much cheaper. First they con you into buying it at inflated prices, then they steal it away from you by deflation. Sounds familiar? Leasing is the way to go, you do not pay property taxes, and you can walk away lightly. Your social security is in your hands, not in “their” land.
    As said earlier, the East Germans are doing very well in Russia without ownership. They are thriving so something is right. Watch the commodity traders drop the prices to wreck that party. Rule of thumb, if they do not like it, that is a sure sign it is the equitable way to do things. Countries, and people have to learn to live symbiotically. As Hendirx so aptly put it, “when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
    If government cannot properly enforce the laws and regulations that protect investors and farmers, but instead protect bankers, then its time to change the game. Let them play the game by themselves. No one can force you to play. You know this better than anyone here Elaine.
    CK, may I suggest the American people hire Hugo Chavez or Lee Kuan Yew as their political consultant for Presidential oversight? Hugo didn’t work out well for the corporates but the Venezuelan people have more equity in thier country than ever before. He may not be 100% honest but he serves his people before he serves himself. Lee’s successes are historic, no need to add what he can bring to the table. And adding a performance clause with riders to growth, inflation and debt, might be a good idea too.
    Blues, the Germans believe the demand for oil will drop by 1 Million barrels a day next year, read:
    DeVaul, hang in there, by end of 2009 you just may find the price is right on your dream home.

  28. David


    I did reconsider what I said in light of what you explained, and you are exactly right. Elaine has explained over and over to us that much of the private debt our corrupt financial elites have borrowed from Japan and China and Europe has been moved over onto the backs of the US taxpayers and has become public debt.
    Now, as far as paying it off, perhaps the government will drive up the price of gold and then will confiscate gold from citizens to pay off our debts…I don’t know. What do you think?
    I’m not so certain that we should plan to pay off all debts owed to our trade partners who have flooded our markets while protecting their own. Elaine says we will lose 3/4 of our oil imports if we default on these debts.
    Still I wonder. The entire world economy is in a precarious situation and our trade partners are also in difficult situations themselves. Should they be pressured to write off at least some of this debt…Sure, they want to collect every penny owed to them and then keep right on flooding us with more imports, but I don’t think that will happen. As we (the US) economically winds on down, we will buy less and less imports because of our lack of capital. Still our creditors know we probably will be a somewhat important market in any future recovery of the world economy, so, it is in their interest that we recover as quickly as possible so trade can resume, even if it is very limited.
    All of this considered, the US should be able to at least get some concessions on the massive debt we owe…possibly if we demonstrate that we are getting our economic house in order and are prosecuting the criminals who brought down our banking systems. I know some of this is talking about apples and oranges, but the point is that the US needs to restore its internal credibility. Then, it might be able to work for some concessions on the debt it owes. What do you think?

  29. criticalcontrarian

    David, you have raised some very salient points. My view as far a debt is concerned, separate the private from the public. Private companies who do not pay taxes or minimal taxes let them implode. The people and the government owe them nothing (they do not even give adequate health benefits and pay next to nothing unless you are at executive level), except for the politicians who are on their payroll c/o the free ride.
    They want to be treated like the religious institutions or churches, who feel entitled to be a part of the political decision making process but do not want to pay their share of taxes. Did God give them this right? I know you and I didn’t.
    Public debt, Japan is already talking of forgiving US debt. As Mikuni said, “It’s difficult for the U.S. to borrow its way out of this problem,Japan can help by extending debt cancellations.”
    I can think of at least 6 countries that were not extended this courtesy when the shit hit their fan. In fact, the IMF and WB nailed them with all kinds of draconian measures that impoverished their people. You can still count your blessings.
    A possibility is that all nations will devalue their currency to soften the impact of a dollar devaluation, which is a fait accompli, just a matter of when exactly. This will take place after dollar devaluation, which will allow all other countries with dollar debt to delever at a discounted rate. Two can play the game, right?
    You hit the nail on the head when you said, “the point is that the US needs to restore its internal credibility”. The world is watching, and it is also between a rock and a hard place. All other nations need to help the US as this alleviate their problems temporarily as well. However, if the US government continues to coddle, protect and support the behavior that brought us to this point, once the dust settles in a year or two, there will be next to nothing left to talk about. Once the international markets finally absorb the fact that the US can no longer buy their products (it can’t buy its own products) everything will become moot and academic.

  30. emsnews

    Criticalcontrarian: owning land is hyper-important. And one doesn’t own squat if one is in debt, of course. Outright ownership is fabulous. I have been a landlady who owned land outright and rented it. This meant, I had a money stream. Those who rented gained nothing but did have my services as I took care of the property. If there was a hole in the roof, I had to fix it. If the faucet broke, I had to fix it. But then, I was paid a sum every month. This matters a lot.
    There is no fantasy world where we get rich by not owning things or paying off debts. This fantasy world is crashing down around our ears right now. The rich were in debt or playing games with money they could ill-afford to lose.

  31. criticalcontrarian

    Elaine, I agree with you on owning property, if the property is purchased outright without debt. Even better if purchased below the rate of inflation. But not when it comes to farmland. I have seen too many farmers who owned land through land reform, or who bought land with loans loose it all to traders and corporates they owed for fertilizer and equipment. Better they own the equipment and have money for fertilizer and instead lease or share pro-rata in the harvest, rather than tie up their capital in land.
    Property is much like gold, if you live in it, it gives you no income, but unlike gold it is prone to natural disasters, maintenance costs can be prohibitive, and it is harder to secure. If you earn rental income well and good, that is if the rental you are earning is above or at least at par with the inflation rate. On the other hand rental is completely tax deductible, incurs less expense and maintenance is on the owner. At the end of the day one has to weigh carefully what best meets their individual criteria. Ownership is good if you have excess cash.
    Rampant and unregulated speculation is really at fault in all this. Making tons of money by paper shuffling, without real labor, and peddling overpriced property to suckers. See how so contemptuous of factory workers they are, the greedy morons. Elaine, you always harp on productivity being the key to growth. The bankers and economists running the show forgot this very fundamental part of economics. Send them back to school, better yet, confiscate all their property, use it to pay down the debts they created and then export them as servants to Third World countries so they can experience first hand their handiwork.

  32. criticalcontrarian

    Elaine, I agree with you if ownership is outright and debt free, and even better if purchased below the rate of inflation. But farmland, no way. I have seen too many farmers loose their property to corporates and traders due to owing for fertilizer and equipment. Better they keep their money in equipment and working capital than it sleeping on land. The minute you get a loan you are working for the bank and they do not care either way whether you live or die.
    Land is like gold, if you hold on to it brings no income. If you are able to rent it out you earn, assuming your rental rate is at par or above the rate of inflation. Then of course, there are property taxes and the like, maintenance costs and my favorite, deadbeat tenants. Ever try evicting a tenant from a brownstone in New York City? Good luck.
    Renting on the other hand is completely tax deductible, no maintenance costs, and if you work out a deal for rent-to-own this is best. It really depends on what your individual need is, and most importantly your CASH position. Lets not forget that you purchase outright when you have excess cash. Right now, if the neighborhood in Chicago is acceptable you cannot go wrong for a thousand bucks! But then again as the man says, it’s Chicago.

  33. OC


    Sorry for the late response. My view is that the Chinese are likely to give US time to pay off provided that the US leadership demonstrate their sincere efforts to do so…but can’t say the same for other creditors from ME. However, most likely action the Chinese will take is to put their house in order and move to secure energy & commodities.
    Historically, they always provide an out for their opponents rather than drive them to the ground (US approach) – no reason to expect otherwise given their actions so far.
    However, do not assume that since the Chinese + Japanese is so ‘generous’, we will get the break; US elites will rip u off whatever handouts the Chinese + Japanese give to the US public aka Reagonomics..and that u can count on..given their track record to date!

  34. Wow. This is a great story. Look at all the things that they left behind!!! I would live there…lol

  35. vacation homes that are near quite beaches are the things that i sought after _

  36. you can always buy cheap foods on any supermarket these days because food production is mechanized already ;*:

  37. ‘I am a survivalist’…………….obviously!

    And CritC….whod want a house in detroit for free?
    Unless one is black….detroit, pontiac..once the ebt stops…forget thiose war zones…they are already war zones.

  38. ‘It was a serious temptation to remove the abandoned equipment but that is illegal.’
    Yes, its called stealing..its not their neighbors concern what they do with their property..also going there is trespassing.

  39. I believe that in the case of Angela, you definitely get
    what you pay for.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s