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Old 04-15-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,718,727 times
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Jim says.....

"The Long Emergency is officially underway. Reality is telling us very clearly to prepare for a new way of life in the USA. We're in desperate need of decomplexifying, re-localizing, downscaling, and re-humanizing American life. It doesn't mean that we will be a lesser people or that we will not recognize our own culture. In some respects, I think it means we must return to some traditional American life-ways that we abandoned for the cheap oil life of convenience, comfort, obesity, and social atomization."

James Howard Kunstler :: Forecast 2010

Remember this forecast as you make you household and business plans and you might not suffer the decline in lifestyle so much.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,744,529 times
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Sounds about right. I too think we will see the Dow well below 10,000 by the end of the year and 4,000 wouldn't surprise me a bit. I think unemployment will hit 15% by year end, with real unemployment near depression levels of 25%. Call me on it later, but right now I predict a -10+% drop in GDP for Q4 2010. Question is, when will it get to the point where the American public can't take it anymore and people take to the streets with their guns? This is not the society of the 1930s.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:13 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 27,051,469 times
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I have been quoting Kunstler on C-D for several years now. There is much that he says with which I agree; there is some with which I strongly disagree.

A central theme of his was paraphrased by a friend of mine--a pretty conservative and successful businessperson--when we had lunch a few weeks ago. To paraphrase his comments:

We're pretty much living on borrowed everything now. We have borrowed money ourselves to try to sustain our unsustainable lifestyle, and we will neither be able to sustain our lifestyle nor pay back the money we have borrowed. As a society, most of us are functionally bankrupt.

Our government has borrowed money that every coming generation for a century to come will strain to repay and that will push them to or beyond the breaking point--all to sustain the same unsustainable lifestyle of us in the here and NOW that we are privately going bankrupt trying to sustain. Our nation is publicly bankrupt.

By our wasteful and profligate use of natural resources with no regard to the future, we are borrowing against all future generations ability to survive, just so we can continue to try to live our unsustainable lifestyle.

We are all guilty of one or more of these sins. Each of us, through our own lack of personal responsibility is guilty of the first. The liberals, who think that we can spend ourselves to prosperity, perpetrate the second without abandon. And, so-called conservatives champion the third like it is the Holy Grail.

It is like the three legs of sin, and it is going to send this country and all of us straight to Hell--along with generations unborn who had nothing to do with creating this mess. We should be ashamed--all of us.

Last edited by jazzlover; 04-15-2010 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,718,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I have been quoting Kunstler on C-D for several years now. There is much that he says with which I agree; there is some with which I strongly disagree.

A central theme of his was paraphrased by a friend of mine--a pretty conservative and successful businessperson--when we had lunch a few weeks ago. To paraphrase his comments:

We're pretty much living on borrowed everything now. We have borrowed money ourselves to try to sustain our unsustainable lifestyle, and we will neither be able to sustain our lifestyle nor pay back the money we have borrowed. As a society, most of us are functionally bankrupt.

Our government has borrowed money that every coming generation for a century to come and that will push them to or beyond the breaking point--all to sustain the same unsustainable lifestyle of us in the here and NOW that we are privately going bankrupt trying to sustain. Our nation is publicly bankrupt.

By our wasteful and profligate use of natural resources with no regard to the future, we are borrowing against all future generations ability to survive, just so we can continue to try to live our unsustainable lifestyle.

We are all guilty of one or more of these sins. Each of us, through our own lack of personal responsibility is guilty of the first. The liberals, who think that we can spend ourselves to prosperity, perpetrate the second without abandon. And, so-called conservatives champion the third like it is the Holy Grail.

It is like the three legs of sin, and it is going to send this country and all of us straight to Hell--along with generations unborn who had nothing to do with creating this mess. We should be ashamed--all of us.
Since you are familiar with Kunstler's work do you see an upside in the years to come?
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:44 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 27,051,469 times
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Sadly, I'm not very optimistic. If all of our over-leveraged lifestyle could crash back to reality--in terms of everything from people not living beyond their means, stopping out-of-control population growth (much of it coming from immigration and much of that illegal immigration), stabilizing and then reducing both government spending and then the national debt, and embracing the conservation of natural resources as zealously as a religious crusade--then and only then, I think we could begin the process of rebuilding this country into a more respectable, albeit more materially austere place. But, to do that, would take the majority of Americans going back to some values long-discarded: the idea of community before self, the mantra of taking personal responsibility for one's actions and obligations, to doing what is necessary and right for the generations that will follow us, to embracing the idea that what you save is more important than what you spend and that what you conserve is more important than what you consume, and to be thankful for what we DO have and not be bitter or envious about what we don't have. Unfortunately, we seem to be eschewing those values more every day, rather than embracing them. That is the classic sign of a society in permanent and likely irreversible decline.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,362,728 times
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I like his humor and worship Kunstler's critiques of American architecture ( I loved The Architecture of Nowhere) , but his predictions for the end of the world are just slightly north of wacky.

He sees problem(s) very quickly but offers no good ways to fix them or show any confidence whatsoever that they even can be fixed.

He needs to be on happy drugs. The world is not THAT bad, Howie.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 18,718,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is the classic sign of a society in permanent and likely irreversible decline.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
I like his humor and worship Kunstler's critiques of American architecture ( I loved The Architecture of Nowhere) , but his predictions for the end of the world are just slightly north of wacky.

He sees problem(s) very quickly but offers no good ways to fix them or show any confidence whatsoever that they even can be fixed.

He needs to be on happy drugs. The world is not THAT bad, Howie.
I disagree that the world civilization is salvageable. Oil has caused humans to get greedy and lazy with world resources.

I invite both of the quoted posters to read "Collapse" by Jared Diamond to see how the worlds life style of today mirrors all the collapsed civilizations of the past.

Last edited by Grandpa Pipes; 04-16-2010 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,362,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
I disagree that the world civilization is salvageable. Oil has caused humans to get greedy and lazy with world resources.

I invite both of the quoted posters to ready "Collapse" by Jared Diamond to see how the worlds life style of today mirrors all the collapsed civilizations of the past.
Nothing is inevitable. Each collapsed civilization had options they either chose not to take or failed to recognize before they fell.

The problem is the old eternal truth that individual people are smart, but groups of people are stupid.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:02 AM
 
9,840 posts, read 20,486,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
I like his humor and worship Kunstler's critiques of American architecture ( I loved The Architecture of Nowhere) , but his predictions for the end of the world are just slightly north of wacky.

He sees problem(s) very quickly but offers no good ways to fix them or show any confidence whatsoever that they even can be fixed.

He needs to be on happy drugs. The world is not THAT bad, Howie.
For most people their appreciation of history only goes back to the day they were born. So for this economic depression/recession, to them this is the worst it has ever been, ever ever ever. However the USA has been through far worse as a country and we survived all that and no reason we will not survive this.

Everything is cyclical in the world and that is a good thing. To me I see the economic collapse as economic exhaustion on the part of consumers. For about 10 years, anyone that wanted a house could pretty much get one. Or a car or whatever. Now the bubble has popped and it's not the end of the world, but many people with large amounts of consumer debt are going to have to spend the next 5 to 20 years paying all that off. Party is over for now, time to retrench and begin again.

For me personally what happened in 2008 forced me into a slightly different field with new clients where the work is even more fun and pays better and ultimately probably suits me more than what I had been doing. I think rather than seeing economic recession/depression as bad, it can be turned to the good if people want to.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:21 AM
 
Location: San Diego
2,919 posts, read 6,860,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
Sounds about right. I too think we will see the Dow well below 10,000 by the end of the year and 4,000 wouldn't surprise me a bit. I think unemployment will hit 15% by year end, with real unemployment near depression levels of 25%. Call me on it later, but right now I predict a -10+% drop in GDP for Q4 2010. Question is, when will it get to the point where the American public can't take it anymore and people take to the streets with their guns? This is not the society of the 1930s.
I really doubt that. There are still a quality amount of people making massive amounts of money on this recession. The real estate market where i live (SoCal) is slowly recovering, consumer spending is high, and the unemployment rate appears to have stabilized. I honestly think for regular folks, we are about to get out of the hardest part of the recession. Once the unemployment improves which I feel is the most important indictor for a recovery, things will get better. 2010 will go down as the downfall for commerical property just like 2008 and 2009 was for personal property.
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