November 15th, 2008

Why This Depression Will Be Worse


photo credit: alexdecarvalho

Our current economic situation is unsustainable. America’s prosperity—a transitory illusion if ever there was one—has largely been due to the fact that we have long enjoyed the status of being the producer (literally) of the world reserve currency. Through widespread international confidence and shady militaristic adventures, we have, up until now, been able to convince the rest of the world that the dollar is worth owning.

The gig is up.

America lives on credit. While our individual finances may be in order, we likely would not have gotten to where we are without artificial credit greasing the wheels along the way. The companies that pay our salaries have likely all enjoyed easy credit to fund their operations (and provide us with employment). The homes we live in are almost always tied down with a mortgage. The vehicles we drive sap our wallets through monthly payments. And with the holidays right around the corner, America will be pulling out its plastic to finance extravagant and unnecessary gifts.

We have gotten to where we are today only due to the risk others were willing to take. The world bet on America, and as recent weeks have shown, it was a bad bet. America’s wealth is nothing but hot air, as has been evidenced (if only in part) by the sharp decline in the stock market and peoples’ 401(k) funds vanishing into thin air.

A depression is coming, and it’s unstoppable. Why? Because the current system is absolutely unsustainable. The bubble, which is continually being inflated and expanded by the Federal Reserve’s printing press and an irresponsible monetary policy, will burst.

But how bad will it be? The upcoming depression will make the one we learned about in school look like a field trip to the zoo. Consider a few fundamentals which clarify the situation:

  • America is no longer a manufacturing nation. We have outsourced and offshored our factories, our jobs, our self-reliance, and our knowledge of basic fundamentals. We are a nation of consumers, as opposed to the nation of producers that existed in the early twentieth century.
  • Unlike during the last major depression, the dollar is no longer backed by gold. There is no restraint preventing either hyperinflation or massive deflation, no precious metal limiting the amount of money that can be created, and no opportunity for Americans to demand a wise monetary policy through threat of exchanging those dollars for gold on demand.
  • Our shopping habits and consumption rely entirely upon stocked shelves in the local supermarket. Our fragile network of merchandise delivery could snap as a result of any number of scenarios, the least of which is the lack of funds necessary to make the wheels turn. We don’t have gardens, we don’t have cows and chickens, we don’t know how to bake essential goods from basic ingredients, we don’t have wells, and we don’t know what to do about it. If the grocery store shelves are emptied, America will riot.
  • Self-reliance has been replaced with an overwhelmingly widespread entitlement mentality. America depends upon government and the dollars it creates, instead of finding a way to survive on its own. When the system collapses, the vast majority of Americans will have no idea how to make a living, nor where to get that evening’s dinner. Food stamps will be of little use in a barter economy.
  • America is up to its eyeballs in debt, with IOUs coming out of nearly every orifice. We have shirked the frugality and sensibility our grandparents were raised with, and have embraced a lavish lifestyle of unnecessary waste and frivolity. We try to reap what we have not sown, rather than planning ahead and living within our means.

Collectively, we lack the ability to cope with the sudden changes and life-changing circumstances that accompany any major economic collapse. The current course chartered by the federal government is only delaying the inevitable—and making it worse. Going through a depression is tough medicine, but it’s what the fiscal doctor has ordered, and if we have any hope of returning this nation to its previous strength and vitality, it’s imperative that we take that medicine and get it over with.

This depression will be far worse than any others America has seen; those who have invested their time, money, and energy into relevant preparation will soon see their efforts rewarded, as neighbors, friends, and Americans in general fall into a state of shock, panic, and desperation. When the nation wakes up to a world where the dollar is kaput, their credit cards don’t work, and the grocery store shelves are empty, we will see what we’re really made of. (Hint: quite likely, foolishness.)

37 Responses to “Why This Depression Will Be Worse”

  1. November 15, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    American rugged-individualism, personified and immortalized in the cowboy image and John Wayne, is LONG DEAD. Self-reliance is history. Logical preparation is classified as “hoarding”. The sun is setting on America and all the caffeinated, self-righteous “progressive” idealists that are suffocating her. Lenin is rejoicing in his grave.

  2. Tim Malone
    November 15, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    Connor, the only thing missing from this bleak picture is the threat of anarchy coming with and after the riots. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the loss of civil control and formation into tribal units. What is your projected time frame for all this?

    On the other hand, how can this possibly happen when the gospel has not spread to all the world as has been prophesied? Without the social structure intact I’m not sure that could roll forward. Is there no hope for America to be restored to greatness?

    By the way, I’m not saying I agree with the essay or even with the additional points I have raised here. I’m only throwing out a few things that I’m sure you’ll get hit with in much stronger language. There wasn’t much hope raised in this essay. Can you project the short-term impact into long-range vision?

  3. Connor
    November 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Connor, the only thing missing from this bleak picture is the threat of anarchy coming with and after the riots.

    I believe that anarchy will be quelled by the powers that be through some form of martial law. We’ve already seen Northcom deploy three military units in America (contrary to the Posse Comitatus Act), there are a slew of executive orders giving the President the power to do so, and our government is increasingly entangling itself into alliances with our neighbors, making a regional currency (the Amero) and economy a likely replacement for the dollar. The G-20 is meeting today to discuss plans for global action, so who knows what the leaders of nations have up their sleeves…

    But I don’t think there will be anarchy; I believe that like the depression in the 30s, this one has been orchestrated by powerful men who are always looking for ways to centralize power and control. We’re more likely to get regional/global government as a result of an economic collapse than we are to get tribal anarchy, in my opinion.

    On the other hand, how can this possibly happen when the gospel has not spread to all the world as has been prophesied?

    I don’t think that an economic collapse in America would prevent the gospel going forward. Duane Crowther, in his book Prophecy: Key to the Future draws a pretty clear timeline by compiling scripture and prophecy. In summary, the economy collapses, war kicks into high gear, the Saints flee to safety, much of the world crumbles around them, out of the “ashes” of society, so to speak, the Lamanites convert in mass numbers, the ten tribes return, missionary work continues with great speed and ease (since governments around the world are far less structured and protective), and then all the rest of the pre-second coming stuff occurs. Can’t say for sure that that’s the exact time line, but it’s the best I’ve read thus far in putting things into the order that seems logical.

    Is there no hope for America to be restored to greatness?

    There is always hope, but unless we boot out of office nearly everybody that’s there now, remove the Gadiantons from power, and drastically change course, then there’s little we can do to prevent what’s coming. I think the Book of Mormon clearly illustrates the direction we’re heading, and what we can expect.

    There wasn’t much hope raised in this essay.

    For hope, I’ll point the reader to the archives of this last session of general conference. There were very frank and direct warnings and admonitions of what is in our near future, as well as some masterful discourses instructing us how to have hope and faith regardless of what’s to come.

    You’re right—I haven’t painted a flowery picture. For hope and positive outlook, I simply read my scriptures. In the end, we win. But my purpose here is simply to point out that all is not well, that hard times are ahead, and that we need to buckle up for the ride…

    Can you project the short-term impact into long-range vision?

    The book of Third Nephi, chapters five through 11 does a good job at just that. The world will go on, as will the Church’s work, but it’ll be very, very different.

    As I advocate to everyone I talk to: it’s imperative that we have a solid food/water storage system in place, not to mention medicine, money (not in dollars), defense equipment, gardening supplies, extra clothing, etc. I’m sad that so few seem to have heeded the continual prophetic call to prepare. Any long-range vision depends heavily, I think, upon the extent to which the Saints obey the counsel they’ve been given. So far, it’s not looking too good…

  4. November 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    Connor,

    While much of my rationale is tending to agree with you, I continually look back on how many times in history we’ve had false alarms.

    Buchanan’s Blunder.
    The American Civil War.
    The Great Depression.
    World War II.
    The panic of the 70s.
    9-11 (which, admittedly might be linked to today’s activities).
    And now, the economic problems of today.

    We’ve constantly been told to be prepared and watch. While I understand being prepared, I have to wonder why we’re supposed to keep an eye out for the signs fo the times when we keep having these false alarms.

    To my knowledge, all of the difficulties we see today as signs of the times were also present during the great depression. In addition we had severe drought in much of the US.

    Every generation has to have it’s major catastrophy. It is a sad truth in life that each generation builds on past knowledge in the physical and mathematical sciences. But the social sciences seem to re-invent themselves every generation.

    I recall a line from Star Trek where Data asks,”How is it that the Q can handle space and time so easily, but handle us so badly?”

    Picard responds,”Perhaps someday we will find that space and time are simpler than the human equation.”

    So, while there is no doubt in my mind that there are difficult times ahead, both economic and political, I’m still on the fence on whether this is the “final countdown” or just another false alarm.

  5. Connor
    November 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    Great points, Carborendum. I’ve discussed this very thing quite a bit with friends and family, touching on the following points:

    First: history is cyclical. As you note, we’ve been through many similar situations before. However, in each “cycle”, things are progressively more fragile. In this post I’m comparing our circumstances with those from ~75 years ago, to note the stark contrast between the two societies. But we’ve never had as much debt (for the nation and for individual families), we’ve never had so many troops spread out across the world, we’ve never been a predominantly service-oriented economy, and we’ve never been so dependent upon the system’s network for our basic needs. There are echoes of history, but this time is different. Whether it’s the “last time” or not remains to be seen, and I certainly make no claims to know such.

    Second: patience is a virtue, and obedience yields its fruit regardless of intended and expected consequences. Just as Zion’s Camp ultimately became a testing ground for future Church leaders (while its primary mission was a failure), so too might our obedience to basic (and oft-repeated) commandments be a test of our faith and commitment to the gospel, whether or not we end up living on our wheat and beans.

    Third: the ten virgins slumbered and slept while the bridegroom tarried. This next economic bust may not be “the big one” leading to the calamities foretold by the prophets, but we must be awake (prepared and supplied) at all times, since we don’t know when the bridegroom will come. The fact that our food storage hasn’t been needed (in a widespread and general sense) thus far does not mean that the same holds true for tomorrow.

    Fourth and final: Preparation is as much about provident living (hence the name of the Church’s website on the subject) as it is having enough stuff for when shortages ensue. We’re not supposed to just stock up supplies and then go about our business—rather, we’re supposed to learn basic skills, rotate through our supplies, live frugally, and save for a rainy day. These things should affect our lives right now, instead of putting them aside until Armageddon strikes.

  6. Kelly W.
    November 15, 2008 at 5:58 pm #

    I’ve been reading Internet news and avoiding MSM news for the past 6 years. It seems all the readers of alternate news sites, and the listeners to Internet Radio have known the financial crisis was coming since way back then. In 2004 Cheney made his famous quote: Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, and since we won the election, we deserve what is due to us.” This was like the final straw that sealed us on the path we now look in our rear-view mirrors at. Yet, even though alternate sources warned Americans (those that would listen), the MSM sources were still spouting the rhetoric of “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” McCain was using this line in his campaigning as late as September 15th 2008.

    Late last winter and into early spring of ’08, I commented to a few different people that this spring is the day to dig up your lawn and replace it with gardens, because you’d need it this year. Well, I was right.

    People who think they’ll dig up their lawns in the spring of ’09 to get some kind of production will find that their soil under their lawn is woefully inadequate to support the growth of vegetables. To get a soil into tilth will take about 5 to 7 years of working before the modern-day super vegetables would survive. The soil under your grass would only be suitable for weeds. But this is not all bad. Weeds are full of nutrients and are very edible. Yet, would anyone know how to use them nowadays?

    Even the growing of gardens is only a small portion of the solution. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is only suitable for the growth of plants for 4 months of the year. One would have to raise a sizable portion of his crops expressly for the purpose of storing it away for winter-time consumption.

    Self-reliance is NOT self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is when one is NOT dependant upon others for his support. When one is self-sufficient, he tends to neglect others’ needs. On the other hand, self-reliance is our goal as LDS. If we are self-reliant, we seek to take care of those who are around us, and we all cooperate and work together to ensure there are no poor among us. We have all things in common, and don’t rely upon outside sources for our sustenance.

    The sad side of the situation we are faced with is the simple fact that many will die. If one loses his job, he likely loses his access to the US health care system because he no longer has health insurance through his employment. If he loses his job and health care, he likely is also defaulting on his mortgage. We already know from the MSM news that hundreds of thousands of homes are being foreclosed on. Where are all these people going? We don’t see the results of peoples’ lives in this condition, because the MSM news won’t show us the gory stories, much in the same way the MSM won’t show us any caskets coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Much of this crisis is generated by the Secret Combinations that rule the world. We are taught in the highest University of Mormondom, that Satan is the God of this world. He is trying very hard to gain the upper hand over the work of the Lord. The Book of Mormon tells us over and over again that the land is blessed if we will serve God, not Satan. But, the Book of Mormon is also very clear about this promise – – that if we don’t serve the Lord, we will be cursed. It is now apparent to all who think about this Book of Mormon promise logically, we are now experiencing the cursing side of the Book of Mormon promise.

    In theory we could turn it around if we would start preaching the Gospel to the Gadiantons. But the Gadiantons are not going to listen to Christ’s gospel. Heck, even the gays in California won’t listen to the missionaries. I assume it will take a total financial collapse to humble some of those Gadiantons into listening to the Gospel.

  7. November 15, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    You stated:

    “The companies that pay our salaries have likely all enjoyed easy credit to fund their operations (and provide us with employment).”

    Just to clarify, there is no such thing as “easy credit’ for businesses. It *might* have gotten easier over the last couple of years but for a business to obtain credit is still difficult and necessary. Due to cash flow cycles, most businesses need lines of credit to support operations. Because of covenant restrictions and contracts companies aren’t over leveraging like consumers out borrowing for the sake of borrowing and blowing cash on stuff they don’t need. Businesses borrow for expansion and for support of cash flow.

    Corporate leveraging is a standard practice, its a necessary part of business, and it looks nothing like consumer debt.

  8. November 15, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Connor & Kelly,

    Depression or financial collapse will not cause those in power to come around.

    You see this economic weakness as a sign that their foolish/irresponsible/evil behavior is causing our current state. I agree.

    They, just as surely, view our current state as PROOF that capitalism doesn’t work and the Constitution is an obsolete document that no longer applies to us. Thus we need a NWO to save us. This is not fear mongering or conspiracy theories. This is what has been said out loud in the MSM in the past month and past week.

    I once had a problem with mice in our house. I set out the old fashioned snap-type traps with some peanut butter as bait. After several rather gruesome captures, I heard a snap and went directly after it.

    I found the mouse with the trap on its neck. It was almost decapitated. The body was dead, but the head was still intact-moving. It was lying there, still trying to eat as much peanut butter as possible. Does this sound like the behavior of US politics/economics lately? (have I told this story here before?)

    It’s not just our leaders that do this. It is the 53% that voted for Obama; the 46% that voted for McCain. They all are so bent on doing business as usual that they never consider whether we should REALLY change. We just need to change enough for the next election.

    That remaining 1% that actually cares and thinks and hopes and refuses to compromise for the lesser of two evils is all that is left to save the world.

    I find it curious that the active population of the Church in the US is about 1% of the total US population. Unfortunately, I have not found that the active members of the Church are any different than the 53% or the 46%. I find a small minority in the Church, just as there is the small minority outside the Church, that would fit in that 1% that is actually aware.

    Is this enough?

  9. Connor
    November 15, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Just to clarify, there is no such thing as “easy credit’ for businesses.

    Good point, Chris. But I am referring more to the existence of artificial capital in the system that these companies are able to obtain (through loans, funding, etc.) Were it not for the heavily-inflated fractional reserve system, there wouldn’t be as much capital to be leveraged by companies to begin with. Would you agree?

  10. Kelly W.
    November 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    Carborendum, you say:
    Thus we need a NWO to save us. This is not fear mongering or conspiracy theories. This is what has been said out loud in the MSM in the past month and past week.

    Interestingly enough, since I made my last comment, I read a phrase from a news article that said: demonstrate his statesmanship in the dying days of his administration has in effect passed over to president-elect Barack Obama’s White House efforts to steer the international community to a new financial world order.

    Has the phrase “new financial world order” become a code word for something to come? I suggest it has.

    When the government goes bankrupt next February, all of us will probably be begging for a new financial world order.

    How do you pronounce Amero?

  11. November 16, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    The only way out of this mess is to somehow increase productivity. We have largely become a service-based pyramid-scheme economy that doesn’t produce anything. We have been riding the innovation of silicon valley for some time now and need to find something new to boost the productivity of the marginal worker.

    On the bailout side of things, we can really see how dire our situation with the evolution of the TARP. We went from purchasing bad assets, to purchasing equity to trying to find a way to issue credit to consumers. Yes, we need to solve the current deflation process caused by over extended credit by issuing more credit to put off til later what should happen today.

    Economic weakness is supposed to happen. Economic weakness is from where future profits are supposed to come. By playing God and privatizing the profits while nationalizing the losses for the last several cycles, we have artificially inflated our economy under the guise that this is capitalism.

  12. November 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    @connor on #9

    Yeah – I’d probably agree with that.

  13. November 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    great we are all going to die. I am worried enough as it is and now all this………HELP!!! LOL

  14. November 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Connor,
    The writing is on the wall. We are a a nation and people who have disobeyed the council of our prophets and must reap the rewards of our actions, thus the great and terrible day of the Lord.
    It will be great for those who have followed the Lord and his commandments, and terrible for those who have rejected the prophets, his commandments and who have not laid up in store.

  15. Sean
    November 16, 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    Connor,

    Right on as usual. I have found that most people I have been talking to the past few years about the coming economic struggles thought I was nuts, or all “doom and gloom”. Well, I suspect many may look at their condition in November 2008 with regretful longing sometime in the next few years. The time for preparation is passing quickly.

  16. David
    November 17, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    The fiscal doctor may have ordered a depression to cure us of our monetary-policy malady, but the cure is a change of policy. in other words, we can have all the depression we can survive and it won’t help if we return to the same (or worse) policy.

    Unfortunately, like many comments above, I don’t think we are going to learn the lesson we actually need. We’ll just suffer through and stay on our current path (only, we might start running faster).

  17. Janet
    November 17, 2008 at 7:37 pm #

    There is so much doom and gloom in the news but God said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Fear comes from the devil. Yes bad things will happen to good people but remember God is in charge. He will teach his lessons and all will suffer (learn). The wicked will suffer and hopefully repent. The suffering of some of the righteous will be relieved by death while the suffering of other righteous people will be relieved by the comforter as they endure to the end of the trial.

    Does it really matter what happens to the righteous in the next few minutes of God’s time? The coming events are a lesson with a test affixed and when the test is graded everyone will know if their answers were right or wrong.

    In the near future, we will all be called to put on a sorting hat (Harry Potterly speaking) to see which family or kingdom we will belong to in eternity. If we keep our eyes (and hearts) focused on our goal of eternal life, and if we are obedient to God’s commandments, every thing will be well for us in the end. DO what is right then let your personal consequences follow…Don’t worry, be happy, have faith and get your lives, houses and pantries in order it’s just that simple! Really:)

  18. Blake
    November 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    I agree we’re heading into Depression 2.0, having studied the causes and similarities of the Great Depression when compared to current events. But unless you’re clairvoyant, it seems you’re speculating a bit.

    Some counterpoints:

    1) “America is no longer a manufacturing nation.” I think you’ve undervalued how our intellectual capital, which is still the strongest in the world, may offset any manufacturing deficit.

    2) “Unlike during the last major depression, the dollar is no longer backed by gold.” But neither is global currency, and a crumbled U.S. dollar is still more trusted than anything else, as proven by the recent rise of the dollar as world financial markets crumble. It’s not sustainable, but it does buy more time to get our fiscal policy in order.

    3) “Our shopping habits and consumption rely entirely upon stocked shelves in the local supermarket.” No counter argument there. You are right on, but we still live on some of the most fertile land in the world. Take comfort in that, after at least one season of starvation of course.

    4) “Self-reliance has been replaced with an overwhelmingly widespread entitlement mentality.” True. But when push comes to shove, I still think humanity can pull together to help one another, even if it’s not as admirable as it was in the 30s.

    5) “America is up to its eyeballs in debt, with IOUs coming out of nearly every orifice.” My understanding is that our national debt is less than half of the percentage it was at its peak after WWII, as we followed Keynesian deficit economics to jumpstart the economy. Granted, our debt will grow exponentially as baby-boomers start demanding social security and medicade, but I take comfort that we haven’t yet surpassed our biggest deficit ever.

  19. Connor
    November 19, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    I think you’ve undervalued how our intellectual capital, which is still the strongest in the world, may offset any manufacturing deficit.

    Intellectual capital doesn’t put food in your belly. We’ve become a service-oriented nation which has worked well in recent years where nations to which we’ve outsourced a good portion of our commodity production continue to take our dollars. But once the monetary system falls flat and food prices skyrocket (as they have been—an estimated 40% in the past year), service will take a backseat to basic staples.

    But neither is global currency, and a crumbled U.S. dollar is still more trusted than anything else, as proven by the recent rise of the dollar as world financial markets crumble. It’s not sustainable, but it does buy more time to get our fiscal policy in order.

    Agreed. The dollar has “risen” in value in recent months when compared to a basket of currencies, but beware the deception. The value of the dollar is not increasing, but is simply decreasing more slowly than foreign currencies. All fiat currency is diminishing in value through massive inflation, and the dollar in recent months has done so a bit more slowly.

    …we still live on some of the most fertile land in the world. Take comfort in that, after at least one season of starvation of course.

    Yeah, I think we’re going to see a lot of people ripping up their lawns to put gardens in.

    But when push comes to shove, I still think humanity can pull together to help one another, even if it’s not as admirable as it was in the 30s.

    I agree. The short-term implications of a crashing economy are scary and chaotic (riots, robbery, physical violence, etc.), but there is always opportunity to reorganize and find the right way out.

    My understanding is that our national debt is less than half of the percentage it was at its peak after WWII…

    See figure 4 on this page (the whole thing is worth a read). After you add our obligations (social security, medicare, etc.), we absolutely skyrocket past WWII levels. IOUSA has some good charts showing this.

  20. Connor
    November 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm #

    Correction: I was reading that graph wrong. You were right, Blake: current debt levels are about half of what they were (in terms of a percentage of GDP) during WWII. Still, the unfunded obligations greatly increase the official numbers being admitted right now…

  21. Blake
    November 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    “Intellectual capital doesn’t put food in your belly.”

    It does if there are buyers. If knowledge is power, I suspect there will always be buyers of intellectual capital. I’m not saying that’s the savior, but as I said above, it may offset any manufacturing deficiencies.

  22. Connor
    November 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    In the 30 minute version of IOUSA, starting at 26:30 and ending around 28:30, former Comptroller General David Walker shows that our unfunded obligations add to what in 2040 is estimated to become a national debt that is twice the percentage of GDP that it was at its highest point during WWII.

    Um, yikes.

  23. Kelly W.
    November 19, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Agreed. The dollar has “risen” in value in recent months when compared to a basket of currencies, but beware the deception. The value of the dollar is not increasing, but is simply decreasing more slowly than foreign currencies. All fiat currency is diminishing in value through massive inflation, and the dollar in recent months has done so a bit more slowly.

    Connor is correct. I have been watching the exchange rate of the dollar vs. Euro religiously since 2001 when I went to Europe. One of my 2001-dollars would buy 1.15 Euros. I went again in 2004, but my dollar would only buy 0.85 Euro then. I went again in 2007, and my same dollar only bought 0.74 Euro. As I talked to different Germans about the exchange rate, they all told me their Euro was sinking fast in value. I was puzzled, and asked them why to me it appeared their Euro was strong compared to my dollar. They told me the sad explanation, which I later found out was true. Their Euro was indeed falling in value, but my dollar was falling even faster. I only was comparing the difference of values between the two currencies, and it had never occured to me that BOTH currencies were devaluating.

    We now can plainly see in hindsight these Germans were correct. We now see the Eurozone in a financial crisis that has been coming on for a long time. The current rise in the value of the dollar against the Euro simply means that Europe’s situation is a smidgen worse than our situation.

  24. Connnor
    November 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    In an interview of Peter Schiff by Lew Rockwell in this podcast, starting around nine minutes, Mr. Schiff makes the case for the same argument I’ve presented here—namely, that America was in a far better situation during the 20s and 30s compared to today, and thus the depression we face in our generation will be much, much worse to bear.

  25. Connor
    November 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    Boston.com has an interesting article that speculates on a few things we might see during the coming depression.

  26. JP
    October 5, 2009 at 8:26 am #

    It has been almost a year now since this post, and I wonder if you still feel the same or have anything to add to this. It is one of my favorite posts from you that I have shared with many, many, friends and relatives.

    Keep up the good work!

  27. Kelly W.
    October 5, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    If you go back and read my comment #23 from a year ago, you will see how I documented the decline of value of the dollar vs. the Euro since 2001. You can now see the value of the dollar has dropped an additional 6 cents since then. I will quickly summarize:

    2001 $1 = 1.15 Euro
    2004 $1 = 0.85 Euro
    2007 $1 = 0.74 Euro
    2009 $1 = 0.68 Euro

    I don’t think the outlook is that our dollar will turn around in the near future, either.

  28. Connor
    October 5, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    It has been almost a year now since this post, and I wonder if you still feel the same or have anything to add to this.

    Good question…

    Well, some might contend that we’ve had a steady dose of stimuli, bailouts, subsidies, and other spending programs that have helped some “green shoots” pop up.

    This, in reality, is utter, complete, and deceitfully inaccurate nonsense.

    Honesty requires the realization that we have inflated our currency beyond repair (and this is not unintentional), increased the balance sheets of a corrupt central bank with all sorts of “toxic assets”, propped up our new Zombie banks with billions in government guarantees, and have placed a “made in China” band-aid on our gangrenous wound eating us away from the inside out.

    Austrian economists talk about how centralized planning leads to the creation and persistence of bubbles, and how more government spending simply increases the size and intensity of the bubble. Since we are being led down the same path that got us here, we are doing two things: 1) increasing the size of the bubble which means a far more painful collapse when it comes, and 2) tossing the hot potato to the next person, hoping not to get burned ourselves.

    This is dishonest, immoral, and ironically, the exact opposite of the most beneficial (and less painful) thing to do at this point. The net result of these actions is one of the largest transfers of wealth in the history of our nation—a coordinated theft of the middle class and the enrichment of the elite aristocrats in power.

    Before our very eyes, America is being pick-pocketed by the individuals claiming to help.

    What do I have to add to this post? Well, with each passing day and with each subsequent theft program enacted by the federal government, I believe that the problems coming our way compound themselves. We’re in for a bumpy ride, despite what the talking heads and political buffoons claim.

    Makes you all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it?

  29. April 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Connor, do you know who Alex Jones is?
    Do you know this depression is being inflicted upon us on purpose in order to bring about a world government (new world order). We all need to come together and take out government back, and move towards something like the utopia in the zeitgeist movies. WE ARE LIVING IN TIMES OF GREAT CHANGE, THE DOLLAR WILL DEFINATLY DIE BY THE END OF 2012, MOST LIKELY THIS YEAR THOUGH.

  30. March 11, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    D&C 19:29–

    the key word is “permitted”–

    in other words, the idea that the gospel must be preached to every living human is not what is being said in this verse.

    “permitted”.

    Those who have permitted (those nations, rulers, etc.)–

    have been taught.

    In other words, it’s almost done.

    I find this very heartening. I have my own personal belief about numerous of those people who have not been ‘permitted’ to have the gospel preached to them joining the church in staggering numbers–

  31. March 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    The Gospel can be preached to people around the world by members of different Christian religions, it needn’t be done by just our Church.

    For instance, the Baptist Church in Georgia, that put out the movie “Fireproof”, is standing for & teaching more powerfully about the true essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ better then any other Church right now, including ours. For having true Charity, the unconditional true love of Christ, especially for our spouse, is the main purpose & message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And they are teaching that better than any other Church right now.

    Anyone in the world can learn about, accept & live the Gospel, by merely reading the Bible & possessing true Charity, especially for their spouse, even if they never heard of our Church.

    Gospel & Priesthood ordinances are all just technicalities which can be done for people in the Millenium, as long as they lived the Gospel of Jesus Christ during their life.

    I believe there are far more non-members of other religions living the Gospel valiantly then there are LDS members. The few valiant LDS there are in the Church are probably a tiny fraction of the many truly righteous souls throughout the world.

  32. March 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I agree with you, AV. That is an amazing movie–and a profound movement–

    Your last paragraph, indeed.

    Sometimes I fear that some LDS use the ‘gospel must be preached in all the world” literally, meaning that an LDS missionary must see every human being . . . as an excuse not to prepare for Jesus to come in other ways and pray that He come.

    And, yes, we know that Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ love everyone, not just those who are living or those who have ‘accepted’ the “gospel”; provision has been made for work to be done for the dead, and resurrected beings will come and go during the ‘millennium’–

    so . . . yes.

  33. March 11, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    otc,

    I believe as you, that many LDS use that idea to not awake to how near Christ’s coming is & how we need to be ready for it today. I believe that the righteous throughout the world, whatever religion they may be, are awake & praying for him to come, as you said.

    And thanks! I’m so glad to hear someone else loves & appreciates that wonderful movie, for it teaches how to save any & every marriage.

    For as long as one spouse, of any religion, has Christ’s unconditional true love, it’s impossible for that marriage to completely fail or ever disintegrate, in time or eternity, no matter what the other spouse may do in this life in the mean time. Some day they will finally return & repent to their spouse who had true love & who saved the marriage & family for all eternity.

  34. March 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    OTC,
    Thats one thing I have come to find very strange, the idea of a universal religion. A few major religions have that as a central theme, that there is only one true religion that the whole world must taught, and be converted to. Islam, christianity, I am not so sure about Judaism. The eastern religions are not quite as adamant about this, and pagans actually think that particular religions might be more situable for time and location for a particular group of people, no need at all for a universal religion. In fact some see that as inherently harmful.

  35. March 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Still waiting for unemployment rate to pass depression-era levels of 25% – we’re at 8.3%. And where’s that hyperinflation, which would be a minimum of 26%? It’s currently at 2.3%. How about the record high interest rates on our national debt? Currently at 2.03%. And last of all, that worthless dollar. The Euro hit $1.44 last year, now it’s $1.31. (Though I wish the dollar would go down it’s good for the economy.)

    http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/25/opinion/strong-dollar-advocates-make-a-weak-case/

    How many things do Austrian economists need to get wrong before we stop listening to them?

    Oh well, it’s only been three-and-a-half years.

  36. March 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I should say, Connor’s predictions were fairly sound in 2008. To an Austrian economist, this was good economic reasoning. But they were basing this reasoning on the inflation/stagflation/money-printing fiasco of the 1970s, and that was the completely incorrect model to use in 2008.

    Also, being a libertarian, he couldn’t have counted on a competent government worker by the name of Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman.

    First, some definitions: there are two types of economic downturns – a recession and a depression. A recession is a downturn with inflation. A depression is a downturn with deflation (negative inflation).
    Now, printing money (quantitative easing) is foolish almost all the time. If you have 5% inflation and print enough money to raise it 5% you now have 10% inflation and usually high unemployment. (Like what happened in the 1970s.)

    But if you have deflation – say -3% inflation – and do the same thing, then you have 2% inflation. And you have turned a depression into a recession.

    Why would you want to do that? Because depressions are far worse. The last one had 25% unemployment. The worst low-inflation recession had less than 11%.

    See, in deflation people see everything getting cheaper so they wait to buy. (‘Cause it should continue to get cheaper.) Hence spending nose dives. Once there is inflation, people are more likely to buy because prices are only going to go up. Also, a person’s debt increases in deflation. This is why the gold standard is so bad – with it comes deflation.

    Ben Bernanke knew this and printed enough money to keep us out of deflation but not too much so we didn’t have bad inflation.

    We Keynesians have said this all along. Paul Krugman said it in 1999.

    http://www.amazon.com/Return-Depression-Economics-PaulKrugman/dp/B0042F1BVG/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1331868585&sr=8-15

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  1. Latter-day Commentary · And its numbers were few - March 10, 2012

    […] Boyack has an intriguing essay over on Connor’s Conundrums about why the coming depression will be worse than what was […]

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