Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Peak Oil "Grind" Continues...

Declining Oil availability in the U.S. continues to do its thing on the U.S.

I spent the weekend in New York at a family gathering - no fewer than 10 people stopped by my table to chat with me about preparing for "Armageddon". Not that anyone actually did anything yet... but at least they are coming around to the new realities of this emerging economic circumstance.

The crazy thing is that the Fed has been able to support financial asset prices with their QE*'s. If they had not succeeded at that Metro New York would have gone feral by now. How much longer can they maintain the illusion? Certainly longer than I would have thought possible. Just goes to show you.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau says that 1 in 7 Americans are living in "poverty". Such Bull Sh#!. 75% of Americans cannot say with certainty that they could come up with $2,000 an emergency!  (To be accurate: 25% said they definitely could not; another 25% said they probably could not; yet another 25% said they probably (but not definitely) could.) That's not poverty??!! Of course it is, but they were too busy watching T.V. or doing whatever it is that prevents these people from developing the skills necessary to avoid such a fate.

Read this tear jerking stunning bit of propaganda.

Clearly, neither the writer nor our hero and heroine have been to the countryside of Peru, Columbia, Morocco or any number of American cities for that matter.

Some Left Wing propagandist probably thought that this was the perfect couple to write about. OK. Now let me put my pointy and sharp cornered mind on them.

She is 41. He is 40. Their children are 5 and 8. Ergo, the adult female "educated" herself at great expense in money (she had to go into debt), forgone wages (one doesn't run a successful business or career while attending school full time), and put off child bearing and raising until she was 33 years old! She was lucky to be able to have babies - many women her age are not without great expense. Presumably she put off having children because of all of the wonderful outcomes attendant upon that "education".  The male put off working and childrearing for the same reasons. Now they are in their 40's, supposedly the "prime" earning years. So where is the benefit of forgoing income, going into debt, and putting off children while at the same time increasing the risk that they won't be able to raise their children (the older the parent the higher the probability that the parent will not survive until the child reaches adulthood).

(And what a load of sh#! that is! Statistically, that is true only because of the way that professionals - physicians and lawyers primarily - skew the data. Yea, for surgeons and trial lawyers, the 10 years between early 40's and early 50's are the whole ballgame. This is hardly the case for plumbers, carpenters, mechanics, etc... these folks are heading downhill in earnings after 45 for a number of reasons, i.e.,  they get hurt or sick more - or their spouse does. And sick spouses require care. So if people in their 40's get cancer, have heart attacks, come down with M.S., etc... where do their young children fit in? Look, I am an "older" dad - but that wasn't the plan. The plan was to marry young (check!) and have my children young (ehhh! Wrong! Thanks for playing!). Want to "put off" having kids? If you do you had better have a boat load of money as a result of that decision in order to raise those kids at a time in your life where your health, or lack of time remaining after a market disaster or economic tsunami, strips you of your ability to provide the "middle class life" you envisioned for your family.)

What if something goes wrong with the health of one, or both, of these adults? What then? The loonies on the Left have convinced people that they are better off putting off child rearing and marriage until their health is compromised and their incomes are falling. Did I miss something here? Look at their goal!! To pay down debt and then go to Disney World! Save money? Not on your life.

Worse, not only did the propaganda machine convince these people to put off child rearing until they were old enough to be grand parents, the propaganda machine convinced them to go into debt for a credential that has no associated training or skill. So how's it going for this family? Not so hot. But why? Because neither of these adults received a bit of training or developed a single life skill. He's afraid of his car breaking down? Wah. He had to pay $4000 to get his roof fixed? Really? For several hundred $$ in tools and $30 for books he could handle the car and the roof himself. Come on. He went to "college". Doesn't that mean he can read and then problem solve? Fixing a roof or changing the oil in your car ain't rocket science. He's 40 years old and he makes $27k sorting mail? He'd make more money cutting lawns and fixing roofs. Of course, in order to do those jobs he would actually have to know how to do something - and that is very different from handing your resume to a corporate "human resources" staffer with the credential from his alma mater certifying that he had, indeed, completed their approved reading list and is now therefore competent in the business of life.

What a load of Horse Sh#!.

The fact is this: Americans are poor. Most people don't own a set of tools, and wouldn't know how to use them if they did. Don't own productive land or real estate (worse, they own residential property that is "taxed" in order to payoff political debts to municipal employee unions). Do not own livestock. Have no skills - and have been taught to be helpless. To be in debt. To be insecure. To be DEPENDENT. (But they do own a car!)

Dependent people do not require freedom. They require free lunches.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.


tweell said...

It is sad that a mere 37k in college debt for two people isn't that high right now, they got their degrees before the education bubble really got going.

I put a second layer of shingles on my parent's roof last year. It cost me $1500 in materials, it would have been $10k to have a company do the job. I also did a better job than a standard roofing crew - I use a lot of tar, including tarring every nail. If I hadn't fixed it last year, it would have collapsed this year; that would have cost me $5k of materials or $30k for a crew. The old saw that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is very true.

We're not that much older than these folks; why do we have the can-do attitude and they don't?

Anonymous said...

Look at the y/y distillate fuel oil in the 4 week average in the weekly petroleum status report overview. DOWN 11.9%. The 2013 recession is going to be brutal. Or, is it the idle harvesters for the failed crops this year?


Coal Guy

jim rogers farmland said...

I agree about 2013. The entire plan appears to be to hold off the incoming train until the elections are over.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Our kitchen sink came undone today. My wife wanted to call the plumber. I was thrilled to get to play with some of my tools.

It cost me $9 instead of $159.

And I loved every minute of it.

Truth is, I don't do the major repairs on my F-350. Rotate tires and change oil? You bet. The roof, deck, barns, etc... It would break my heart to have to admit defeat and call someone in.

James M Dakin said...

Even if you are a complete moron you can do it yourself. I just built underground and have zero carpentry skills. It is literally true I can't pound a nail straight in. Looks like hell, but solid and the cost was material only. I dug the hole over one year for the cost of a pick and shovel. Perhaps some of the problem is every "professional" selling their services needs to pay their high costs of living. We con each other how important and needed all of our own skill sets are.

Dan said...

Sudden poverty syndrome: when you are living on the edge with no savings and something happens that pushes you over, even something completely foreseeable.

Anonymous said...

That family is in denial, and I don't mean a river in Egypt. It is easy to hope for an upturn when that has always happened in your past. Also, the media keep pumping out that an upturn is just a few years off. There are millions like them, spending their savings ( if they had any ), and running up debt in the blind faith that things are just about turn, and everything will be OK. Will reality set in when they are living in their SUVs?

This thing is just getting rolling, and we're already 5 years into it.


Coal Guy

PioneerPreppy said...

I don't know about everywhere but around here with the only jobs available are low end labor/warehouse positions doing it yourself becomes a real problem. When the company schedules you to work 10 hour days, six days a week and your only day off is dedicated to laundry and mowing the lawn you simply don't have time to do it yourself. These days you don't have the money to pay someone else either so not sure how anything is getting done.

Of course for those not in debt the falling dollar and stagnant low wages is making it almost not worth keeping the only jobs around these days.

dennis said...

Being one of those older construction guys who hit bad health and a economic blind alley. I've paid a lot of attention to what I can do myself. The handyman stuff is nothing new, but learning gardening, canning, and baking has been a joy. I always knew I'd make some lucky woman a good wife!

I wonder why so many people work minimum wage jobs that just cover transportation, child care, and fast food dinners. Cheaper to not work.

Anonymous said...

This is a conversation that I have had sitting in Ann Arbor at restaurants over the last ten yrs. Many times, having what could only be classified as girly men looking at me and my crew like we are aliens because of how dirty we are. They do not know self-reliance, perseverance or skills. They are almost uniformly unable to do the most basic of things. I constantly give tips to people about how to save money when I am selling Jobs. They usually say that is just too hard, holding their backs in perceived pain. Or another excuse is "I don't know how to use a chain saw or some other easy to use tool” I literally hear it every Job. I always think what the heck; I am trying to save you money.
Anyways you are dead on about this stuff. The key to all of this is the city aspect. I grew up in a rural environment, with barns, tools upon tools and land. I am the least mechanically inclined in the family and I can tear down a small engine in short order. It is all mentality; my dump broke down, and had 2 pistons go. Ford dealership said its junk! (Though later talked to lead mechanic later and he said they just say that because most guys in business will just pay for the new block) New shortblock7.3 diesel was quoted for 8000.00 bucks. So what did I do? Put off work a couple days and tear that thing down in our barn with some mechanically inclined friends. You know how? We watched free YouTube videos. We had the Cam professionally done because the variances are too tight. Had a shop in Detroit check all of the Injectors and replaced all of rings in the pistons and rebuilt the dam thing ground up. Cost of parts, cam and tests were around 2000. Saved 6000 over just the short block, remember that does not even include the labor that ford would have charged. Point is that I am not special, but I am not afraid to get my hands dirty.