Thursday, August 30, 2012

I told you - "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"!

Peak Oil (Exports) looped its coils around the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and is in the process of squeezing the breath out of their economies, and the G7 begs for more oil.

It didn't come with a bang, but this ain't exactly a whimper, either. The cascading effects on state and local budgets are just getting going.

Peak Oil (Consumption/Exports) is NOT synchronous. It happened first in Greece, Italy, and Spain - take a good, hard, looooong  look at those economies.

The economic situation in the U.S. is pretty tough, but we are on easy street compared to much of Europe. The U.S. has substantial domestic oil production, and Canada will have excess production for some time to come. But these blessings will not change the outcome, nor delay it by more than a few years for the U.S. For Europe? I am afraid that Peak Oil is here in all its glory for the Europeans.

The fact is that for the first time the U.S. government is addressing this at their Energy Policy Information website.  U.S. Oil Consumption back to its 1996 level? Not to worry. That train has left the station. We will be back to 1960 consumption levels within the decade - with all of that outcome's concomitant effects. Though they try to spin this as solvable by increasing vehicle MPG efficiency, as I will address later in this article, individuals are far better off just driving less - it is the government (at all levels) that would be worse off when, not if, that comes to pass. Sorry... my bad; that has already passed.

The media keeps putting out these stories of the "Lost Decade" to come. Jeffers Media Theory says that all articles are bought and paid for by someone... so someone wants people to think that this is just temporary, that if we just hang tough through the end of the decade, everything is going to be back to "normal".

Look, maybe electric cars will come to the rescue of the American automobile-centric economy - but there is nothing in the market place that supports that contention at the moment.  See, the thing is, the economy has to produce something of merit that pays people enough to buy electric cars to commute with in the first place. I suspect that there is a great deal of low hanging fruit in the form of too many internal combustion engine ("ICE") cars and ways to cut down on their usage. Why buy a very expensive electric car when all one need do is buy a very inexpensive ICE car from the thousand year inventory we already have and on the road at this very moment - and then find ways NOT to use it? Look, there are enough ICE vehicles in existence right now to finish off the remaining Oil supply. As a practical matter we simply do not need to produce a single additional vehicle, ever. Americans do not need to each drive 15,000 miles per year. At 4,000 to 6,000 miles per year each, the Oil supply problem goes away... to be replaced by an incredible economic problem.  Of course, that was always the issue, wasn't it? People driving that little do not wear out their cars and tires, they do not get into accidents as often which cuts down fairly dramatically on hospital and rehab services for the hundreds of thousands that (soon to be) formerly were crippled each year in car crashes, not to mention those nice folks over at the Tort Bar. I could go on forever with this theme... and if you think housing is going to recover during this period of declining Total Vehicle Miles Traveled, then boy do I have a bridge to sell you!

The U.S. is already in a food shortage and a food glut. We have a shortage of EVERYTHING except corn derived processed foods and animal products (given the drought, we might want to reconsider that, too). The U.S. does not have enough broccoli, sweet potatoes, berries, wild salmon, nuts, etc., to provide each and every American with a healthy diet - and it shows.

But I digress.

Peak Oil is here for the West. Or should I say "Peak Oil Light", in the form of Peak Exports or Peak Consumption. Imports of Oil into the OECD peaked years ago, and they ain't NEVER coming back. Should get really interesting, given how FUBAR everything economic and employment is, when Peak Oil Production actually shows up.

Like I said: The Peak Oil Revolution will not be Televised. Look how the blogsphere has lost interest. People are too busy trying to make the rent and put food on the table. And speaking of food on the table: Look at the explosion of Food Assistance from the Government. Does the slope of those graphs look familiar? Exponential Function anyone? Every numerate person reading this knows what must happen here, yet our government continues to addict people to services and resources that absolutely, positively will not be there for them at some point. What then? And when is "then"?

Not too far off, me thinks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Abortionistas - By The Numbers

Today's quote: "We do not have a gender gap in politics. What we do have is an abortion gap." - Greg Jeffers

There are a number of very sad FACTS that need to be aired out that never seem to see the light of day in the mainstream media.

There are 157 million Females in the U.S. as of the 2010 census report. Of this number, roughly 125 million are over the age of 18.

In my last post I stated 60 million as the number of abortions since Roe V Wade (1973). While that is probably a little light,  as not all abortions are reported, hard data can support 54 to 55 million abortions Roe V Wade to date. That said, I am sticking with 60 million.

Since essentially all abortions are committed by women under the age of 40, with nearly half in their 20's, most of these women are still alive - and voting. If 55mm are still alive, and had an average of 1.5 abortions, leaves 37 million women alive today who committed an abortion. Maybe its more, maybe its less... but that is a reasonable estimation. Of the 37 million, perhaps 15 to 20 million vote. What do you think issue #1 is for this truncate?

To say that there is a "gender gap" in politics is hogwash. What we have is an "abortion gap", with the Abortionistas voting overwhelmingly for pro-abortion candidates. The landslide 2008 election had a popular vote difference of 9.5 million! (69,456,897/Obama vs 59,934,814/McCain). With at least 15 million Abortionistas voting?

Given the above demographic and numbers, it would take a miracle for Romney, or ANY abortion foe/non-panderer to win a presidential election (popular vote). In fact, no open presidential election popular vote since George Bush the elder in 1988 has gone to a pro-Life candidate.

The odds that it will this time? Slim and none. Slim hasn't left town yet... but it really is up to a very small group of independents from 8 states. What they say, goes. Given the state of the economy and unemployment, a pro-life candidate that cannot win in this environment I think proves my case - and that is a voting block of 37 MILLION Abortionistas, even with the likely voter discount, is simply an overwhelming number.

(Ron Paul would spank Obama in this election - but that is for reasons very unique to this moment, and the Republicans have decided to lose.)

So what should the Pro-Life/Republican/Non-Panderers do?

They should take the gloves off.

We are never going to win these people over. As I have said before they have some critical piece of their humanity missing from their personal makeup and they cluster in self-reinfocing groups that has the effect of relieving them of their responsibilities and forgiving them of their crime against their own child and against humanity. They dare not confront the truth. Therefore, I would suggest a strategy of "no more Mr. Nice Guy". That we take these people to the matt and grind their faces into the turf. They need to be humbled and their crimes outed. Don't worry about losing their vote - we don't have a shot at it. Do not worry about losing their friendships - they hate us. They are the ones denying science and killing human beings yet somehow we are the "fire-breathing lunatics". Go figure.

If knowing if a politician cheated on their spouse is important (and I don't think that it is any of our business) I think having full disclosure of a politician's or political appointee's abortion history is fair game - and much more indicative of their character (Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton could philander to their heart's content - as long as the Abortionistas could count on their support there would be no political consequences). But that's not the point is it? The point is smash these people with the very cudgel they have successfully used on their opponents. Embarrass them. Question them. Point out the inconsistencies in their silly and nonsensical belief systems (the Right deserves its fair share of that, too).

This is war, and we have been losing. It is time to fight back with the same brutal tactics the Abortionistas have wielded so successfully. We have absolutely nothing to lose. We are not going to convert the Abortionistas. They are psychologically damaged goods, having formed a rock hard denial system in their teens and early 20's that they cling to to avoid the overwhelming guilt that creeps in at night. We need to cut off their supply, and let time do its thing culling them out.

We need to do a better marketing job to high school and college women. We need to get between these young people and the lies and imprecations of the Abortionistas. And we need to embarrass and confront the Abortionistas with their crimes at every turn until they crawl back into their hole or admit their error and be welcomed back into humanity again.

Or, we can admit defeat, take down the flag, and accept that the U.S. will now be run by people selected by those that would kill their own children and then claim that it was the right thing to do, that it "empowered" them, and that given a second chance they would do it all over again. The same people that demolished the family, poisoned the well of personal responsibility, and who work daily to expand their empire.

It is time to take the gloves off.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Abortionistas

If you have been reading my blogs for some time you might want to skip this post - I am not covering much new ground. If you are linking here from Facebook or somewhere else in one of my previous manifestations of existence, and you have thin skin and sensitive ears - this would be an excellent time to navigate away as This is going to be brutal. You have been warned.

If, on the other hand, you decide to read on... feel free to debate the issue! However, insults and invective will be deleted forthwith... so don't waste your breath.

Before I begin I hope you will consider the parable, The Fox without a Tail from Aesop's fables:

It happened that a Fox caught its tail in a trap, and in struggling to release himself lost all of it but the stump. At first he was ashamed to show himself among his fellow foxes. But at last he determined to put a bolder face upon his misfortune, and summoned all the foxes to a general meeting to consider a proposal which he had to place before them. When they had assembled together the Fox proposed that they should all do away with their tails. He pointed out how inconvenient a tail was when they were pursued by their enemies, the dogs; how much it was in the way when they desired to sit down and hold a friendly conversation with one another. He failed to see any advantage in carrying about such a useless encumbrance. "That is all very well," said one of the older foxes; "but I do not think you would have recommended us to dispense with our chief ornament if you had not happened to lose it yourself."

Though a supporter of Ron Paul, I recognize that he is not likely to be on the ballot and that I have to come to a decision on the upcoming presidential elections.

To be fair, the Republicans would have to nominate a convicted child molester for me to vote for a pro-abortion/feminist supporting/Keynesian/Lawyer. Still, I was given to noodling the latest news - that Paul Ryan is Romney's VP pick.

So without further mealy mouthed Bull Sh#!:

While this election is about the future of the U.S. financial system, how we care and provide for our elderly, how we educate our children, the international bond market, the U.S. as the world's reserve currency, our place in the world as its current police man, and the management of the end of most of the U.S.'s Oil imports and the changeover from an automobile centric society, etc... while all of these monumental, staggeringly stark issues staring at us from an eye we can see just beyond the sites of gun...

While all of the above is about to fall upon us like a brick building collapsing from structural faults as plain as the nose on your face...

While people are dying in conflicts that are simply echos of past policies regarding the supply of Oil into the U.S., a supply that is vanishing right before our eyes...

While the world's central banks are holding the financial system together with bubble gum, band aids, and masking tape (they ran out of duct tape)...

While all of this is going on...

This election will be decided by The Abortionistas.

(Original to me. Feel free to use it early and often giving me reasonable credit, though I am concerned that one of these nut jobs will burn my house down.)

The Abortionistas put Bill Clinton and Barak H. Obama in office, and only failed in the case of Al Gore because of the electoral college system.

Since the land mark abortion case of Roe v Wade, U.S. women have aborted 60 million children! Most of these women are still alive - and they vote, for the most part, on one issue - ABORTION. These are The Abortionistas. Guerrilla Warriors for Abortion "Rights". Proud to support abortion rights, but not so proud to talk about the abortion they committed. They have done something so horrible that they have felt the need to censure it from discussion and examination everywhere. But then came the Web - and the end of censorship.

The Abortionistas maintain their anonymity. They are grievously ashamed of what they have done - and rightly so - yet, like the fox in Aesop's tale above, the Abortionistas stand ready, willing, and able to help another young woman murder her child and to live a life of depression, guilt, and regret, rather than admitting that what they did was an unspeakable horror, a crime against themselves, their family and ancestors, and their child - when they could be a positive influence to help today's young women not make the same mistake.

(NAFC. These strident miscreants blow B.S. and nonsense out of both sides of their mouths. Their explanation? "Its my body, my decision". Hmmm... Scot Peterson is on death row for a multiple murder - that of his pregnant wife and UNBORN son. That child even got a name along with his justice (Connor). Meanwhile, the same state, California, that granted UNBORN Connor human status and convicted his father in his murder and sentenced him to death allows 120,000 or so WOMEN to kill their unborn children at will every year.

The Abortionistas claim that the child is not human. That it is part of the woman's body to do with as she wishes. Yeah? Care to check the DNA on that? The DNA says that it belongs to someone other than the mother. Care to watch video of an abortion using today's incredible technologies? Care to see the after effects treated like medical waste lying bloody in a red bag? No? WHY NOT? Why don't you want to see the outcome of your "choice"?)

After all, If abortion is Right ethically and morally why is it that not a single philosophy or ethics (or, SNICKER, women's studies) class at ANY of the elite Ivy League schools or the elite private women's colleges in New England gives a single minute of class or lecture time to the most intractable ethical issue of our day? And that is: When, IF EVER, is having an abortion the ethical and moral thing to do? Can you imagine why it is that the philosophy departments of these Liberal bastions refuse to touch this question?

Why, if The Abortionistas are so convinced of the moral and ethical superiority of their decision to Abort a child, to terminate a pregnancy by killing a fetus, why do they not wear that righteous assertion on their sleeve? Why not a tattoo? We see tattoos all the time about people's children. Why not one proclaiming the freedom granted a woman by not having to deal with an unwanted child by killing it?

When these questions are posed, do you know what the inevitable answer is from The Abortionistas?

"Don't Judge."

Got that? As I stated earlier, here we are debating (or attempting to debate through the fire of Liberal censorship) the most intractable ethical and moral issue of our day, and how do the supporters of the issue respond?

"Don't Judge."

The most judgmental, critical, mean spirited, self absorbed, and self-centered sub-humans in the history of mankind - those that would kill their own child and then DEFEND it - respond to the accusation with an economy of words.

"Don't Judge".

These are the people that very well could decide the next election. It is very simple math. The vast majority of Abortionistas continue to support abortion. It is their only issue, far more than a litmus test. There are 10's of millions of Abortionistas. Any candidate that stands his ground and calls them on the carpet to explain how they arrived at their decision will have his eyes scratched out.

And he will lose their vote.

So every non-panderer (that is, non-Democrat) seeking high office is starting with a deficit of 10's millions of voters.

Here we are, the United States of America, the greatest experiment in freedom the world has ever known... and our fate might well be decided by a group of people that ended the life of their child simply because that child was not convenient for them.

Finally, while I am anti-abortion in the extreme, I would not fund government thugs to use force against women and physicians to prevent abortion. The true pro-life must admit to our glaring failure and stop fighting abortion by trying to use government force and instead save these babies one heart at a time. If you are an Abortionista its time to forgive yourself - and to help others not believe the lies you were told.  You cannot change the past, but you can save the future for these children.

So back to the presidential election.

It would seem that Romney has decided he's all in on the U.S. budget deficit and the overwhelming size and intrusion of our federal government. I hope they get to make their point as it will force the hand of everyone in office after the smoke clears, but I very sincerely fear that their point will be drowned out by the shouts of the people who were willing to end the life of their child for their own convenience.

 This is a group whose voice should not be heard.  Not now. Not ever. They are missing within their makeup some basic element of humanity. It is simply impossible for me to heap enough scorn on these people. The Great American Experiment is floundering, and the only freedom the Abortionistas concern themselves with is the "freedom" to murder their unborn children under the rubric "Reproductive Rights" (doesn't that sound ever so much more freedom loving than "killing my unborn child?),  and now I might well be stuck with them casting the deciding vote in an election that might well decide the future of Freedom and Self-Determination of mankind.

"We Hold these Truths to be Self-Evident". Indeed, what does America believe in?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Italy (and Europe/Japan) Revisited

I never miss a post by Stuart Staniford. I have the good fortune to speak with Stuart once in a while to pick his singularly excellent brain - and those conversations do not disappoint. One post, in particular, stands out in my memory.

Stuart points out that "Peak Oil Consumption" hit Italy in 1995 and Germany and Japan sometime after, and that these were still pleasant and civilized places to live. His post was dated June 28, 2011 - several months after the Fukushima disaster.

It has been over 1 year now since Fukushima, and Japan, despite "peak oil consumption" and Fukushima, is still a civilized and pleasant place to live (for the survivors... there will always be survivor bias).

It seems to me that the rate of change has been slow enough as to be handleable - even for Europe. Yes, Europe is an economic basket case... but that is the cure. It also seems to me that Europeans are making rational adjustments - not that they might prefer this, but it is happening. And that's a good thing. Of course, they still have a ways to go.

(I wrote this article about the rate of decline/change for Oil imports on November 20, 2009. Please note this passage:

I bring this up because IF Oil imports decline at the pace of the past 3 years, 2010 imports will be 9,157,500 barrels per day ("bpd"), 2011 imports will be 8,333,405 bpd, 2012 will come in at 7,583,398 bpd, 2013 - 6,900,892 bpd, and 2014 - 6,279,812 bpd.
So far, so good, though I am sure that the rate of change will not remain so consistent.)

It might seem that too many people are still focused on the "wants based" former economy rather than on the "needs based" economy that is taking hold. Not to worry. That issue will settle itself, mayhap with fits and starts - but it will happen. Survivor bias is very instructive here - its best not to be part of the fits and starts if you can help it, and I really, really think you, the individual, can help it.

Liquid fossil fuels are going the way of the dinosaurs. They are not going there so quickly that the world will end (depending on how you define that. The world will certainly end for the more unfortunate at the end of the food/healthcare/money/oil supply line. Its just that the end of that line does not lie in the U.S., Europe, or Japan). It then comes back to: how does the individual & family thrive during this evolution?

I read with interest articles by futurists in a number of quality periodicals that the answer to our energy dilemma will lie in cities (here is a link to "The City Solution" at NatGeo. I read the article in their journal, and did not read this web version so I don't know if it is complete) - that is, if everyone will move to the city our energy and environmental problems will be solved.

Perhaps (though I doubt it). What has been a "city" for millennia has morphed into something very different in the latter half of the 20th century. These futurists seem to think that the answer is jamming 20 million people into a soot covered, diesel clouded, odiferous, obnoxious landscape were they can all take the bus or tram to work moving bites around a screen. Other futurists see no need for the bus or tram as robots and computers will be doing most of the work leaving the 20 million denizens of these megalopolises to lounge around eating corn derived foods in their miniature man caves and powder rooms.

Somehow, this defies my sense of logic (says the guy that moved from the city to live on a self-reliant farm) though given the number of people living in cities doing absolutely nothing productive might indicate a flaw in my reasoning (I have traveled extensively in South and Central Americas, and not to and from a beach resort, and have seen the innards of the U.S.'s largest cities up close - there is no doubt that there is an element of mankind that is unable or unwilling to strive for anything. It is my sense that this element was created by government policy, therefore it is quite possible that government could expand this population).

It seems to me that to thrive in an environment of technological expansion of renewable energy for electricity generation but declining liquid transportation fuels one would either have to have the technical skills required of this new industry or own the land and means of production to support those bizzilions of lemmings/city dwellers. Being one of those lemmings may or may not bring comfort - but it won't put the juke & jive in thrive, either. That comes from owning productive land and productive capital - fisheries, forests, ranching, agriculture, mines, manufacturing, etc and the capital equipment to "exploit" these... the stuff of individual "thriving" (with the exception of manufacturing) are not found in these future megalopolises, me thinks. The imbalances in distribution of wealth and income found in professions such as Medicine and Law during the 20th century are likely to be corrected. Cui Bono? Will the new developments in technology from renewable energy expand or shrink government and/or the corporations? Good question. Get that right and you might get to score big.

Does the technological development of renewable energy production systems come fast enough to make up for declining Oil availability? I don't know (though I am very interested to see how that plays out in Europe). I do know that mankind can get very creative and motivated when he needs to be. I am just thinking out loud. Thinking of what opportunities might abound for my children. We will have to wait for more data to come in.

One thing for sure, Peak Oil Imports and consumption has hit the U.S., Europe, and Japan. As Stuart said in his post: "Peak Oil is not Synchronous". The Great Unknown is the impact on Credit, Politics, Money Supply, Productivity, etc... in these large, industrialized economies of declining oil consumption before the period in which renewable energy technology (allegedly) takes over. And if it doesn't take over? Az nischt is nischt (unsure of spelling using yiddish version not german).

"If not, then not".

Now back to Italy.

Italy experienced Peak Oil Consumption back in 1995, but was able to take in increased imports of Nat Gas. Too, the world had not experienced "Peak Exports" until at least 2005. So we don't know how much the world "subsidized" Italy's industrial needs, if you will, among other things.

To my mind, that would make Italy (and Greece and Spain) excellent petri dishes for declining availability of oil - far better than the U.S. Given that, at the moment, the respective economies of these countries are coming off of the rails a close monitoring of the situation is highly warranted. Particularly since Peak Oil Consumption appears to have hit Germany, Germany's industrial production appears to be contracting, and it was Germany that the world was depending on to act as patron-state to the Club-Med basket cases of Italy, Spain, and Greece (and Portugal).


Saturday, August 4, 2012

China Oil Imports

China has now broken the "6 handle" on Oil imports - over 6 million barrels per day in a single month (April, 2012) - for the first time.

Here is a graph of Chinese Oil import data for 1990 to 2010 (can't find 2011 year end data):

As of 2010 China had not cleared 5 million barrels per day, and in mid 2012 China's imports had risen over 20% to clear 6 million per day.

Keep in mind that gross world oil exports have declined by over 2 million barrels per day since 2005.

Since then China has increased imports by 3.4 million barrels per day, and India by an estimated 1 million. The picture for Europe, Japan, and the U.S. comes into focus - that is Europe, Japan, and the U.S. are competing with China and India for the world's oil exports - and they are losing ground in stunning relief.

Those nations that are efficiently using Oil for productive trade goods are apparently doing the beat down on the consumer nations (Japan is a sort of hybrid).

Back to China... even if world net exports have peaked I doubt China's imports have. That means more for them and less for everybody else to split up until some inflection point in the future. Not sure what that point is.

Friday, August 3, 2012

U.S. Net Imports of Oil and Petroleum Products

Since I put up charts showing the decline in net oil imports into Spain, Italy, Japan, Greece... I thought I should take a look at the U.S. given its status as the world's largest importer. Data from the U.S. EIA.

For those following the presidential election: Don't you think one of the candidates would have thought the above data/graph was important enough to speak on? For True Believers of the liars of either side, there is nothing much a president can do about 4 million barrels per day of petroleum gone missing at the import docks.

The U.S. is in the fortunate position of being able to increase domestic production somewhat (an increase of 500k to 600k bpd from the bottom in 2008, but only 300k increase in total crude and condensate from the Peak Total Year of 2005) of crude and condensate and to be able to go from essentially zero ethanol to over 900k bpd. (Depletion never sleeps: take a look at Alaska production in that link.)

Imports of petroleum and petroleum products declined by 4.1mm barrel per day, peak to trough. The astounding thing is that "peak to tough" is really "peak to date" - and that is only 7 years. This outcome I had forecast just about right. Of course, I very much underestimated the increase in Shale Oil production and ethanol which increased liquid transportation fuel by 1.2mm. While, this left the U.S. with a 2.8mm bpd liquid fuels deficit from the peak (not taking NGPL's into consideration here since they are not transportation fuel for the most part, but they increased about 300k bpd, see EIA link immediately above), fracking technology did wonders. Without the increase availability in Nat Gas this very bad recession might have been disastrous.

Of course, both the rate of change in declining oil imports should slow (if that rate of decline, averaging -600k bpd every year for the past 7 years, for imports doesn't slow you can expect economic armageddon of some sort) and the rate of change in the increase in ethanol and tight oil will slow. I will see if I can model that using EIA's projection of tight oil peaking at about 1.2mm bpd in 2030 or so and little increase in ethanol production (the U.S. is already consuming about 45% of the corn crop in the form of ethanol) with some guesstimate of future imports.

As I look at the above graph I have to say that I am impressed with how well the U.S. handled the decline in Oil imports. As I said before, I may have to change the name of my blog to the European Energy Crisis, because compared to Europe, the U.S. is in the pink.

I am putting up these graphs because I keep seeing articles about all of the Oil we have left, or have discovered, or will discover... I can't help but wonder as to the motivations of those behind these stories.  "Jeffers Media Theory" says that no story makes its way into the MainStream Media unless it is bought and paid for, so... who is behind this and what do they want? The graphs I have been putting up tell a story, a story in complete contravention to the stories in the media. I prefer hard data.

I will put up graphs shortly, if I can find data, of Oil imports into China and India. I guess some blogger in this space should do a calculation on total imports by all the importing nations and check the EIA and IEA data for accuracy, but between the farm and the kids I just don't have the time. Anybody want to tackle it? You can publish it here. I prefer data like California's taxable gasoline consumption or the U.S. Dept. of Highway's Vehicle Miles Travel Data to taking Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, or Iraq's word on their exports.

More soon.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

There Never was a Middle Class

The greatest snow job in the history of America was the propaganda that there was a demographic called the "Middle Class" ("MC").

In a capitalist/free market society (not that we have one of those anymore) you have those that own the means of production ("MOP") and those that sell their labor. Someone convinced a large demographic of Americans, this MC if you will, that because they had some savings and owned some stock in the MOP, that they were somehow a hybrid of the rich and the poor.

That lie is giving up the ghost as we speak.

The "financialization" of everything created a huge class of financial and technology workers that temporarily felt like they had a few bucks - and they did. They did not, however, own very much of the MOP, and the moment their labor was no longer needed the precariousness of their existence became profoundly obvious.

What these people had was a "job". They sold their labor, bought into the financialization of everything by going into debt for nice houses and cars with plush leather seats to keep their cancerous colons (caused by an industrial life of no sunlight/vitamin D and a diet of corn based everything) comfortable while those debt payments were funneled to the 1% that truly owned the MOP but which in reality merely enslaved the MC with varying degrees of comforts...  Until their "job" was eliminated or they became too old to contribute at the pace required and "retired", at which point the truth of it all comes crashing down.

(An entire industry cropped up with millions of people that do not produce a f***ing thing but who are over paid in the capacity of absconding with a slice of the MC member's capital for each and every transaction - and there were a LOT of transactions - and keep them dreaming while skinning them alive. I should know, I worked there for most of my career. As I look back on the "contribution" of the banking industry that I worked for I realize that it was our job to help people get into debt while parroting the lie that financial freedom and a secure "retirement" was waiting for them at the end of the rain bow. Drek. Puke.)

This farce of a system could continue to pull the wool over the MC's eyes as long as growth in everything continued. Then Peak Oil Exports/IMports happened to the U.S., and the rest, as they say, is history.

The MC is coming to the realization that their house is a consumer item, not an asset. It must be maintained and the taxes must be paid. Same with their car. What else do they own? Several hundred thousand $$ worth of financial instruments (that wouldn't feed them and their family for very long) in a 401k or other retirement plan giving them a sense of participating in the "great growth of the economy".

Meanwhile 25% of Americans definitely could not come up with $2000 in an emergency; another 25% probably could not, and; another 25% probably could. Let me translate those 2 "probably's and 1 definitely: 75% of Americans cannot say with definitiveness that they would be able to come up with $2000 in an emergency.

Got that? 75% of Americans are so broke that they couldn't say with confidence that they would absolutely, positively be able to come up with $2000? Then WHERETF is this Middle Class at? (A brilliant kid from the Deep South was visiting Harvard. He was lost, and asked an older gentleman "Do you know where the library's at?". The older gent sniffed and replied, "This is Harvard. At Harvard we do not end our sentences with propositions." The young man thought about this a moment and said, "ya know, you absolutely right. Do you know where the Library's at, asshole?)

This was the Great Lie told to the prols to get them to work. There is no "wealth" within the middle class. Ask yourself: Do you own land? A machine/wood/textile shop? Do you have the tools necessary for the MOP on that land or shop? No. Then you are f***ing poor. Not Middle Class - POOR.

(Jiminny Crickets, I am starting to sound like a Communist! Not to worry, I am a stone cold free market capitalist in a world where the free market and capitalism do not exist.)

And The Powers That Be keep you in this state of complete insecurity with consumer nonsense and false comforts. Air Conditioned Malls/Breast Implants/Rhinoplasty/Fashion. Almost all of it targeted at a certain gender/age group (the incredible damage done to this demographic is simply tragic... "Do not read beauty magazines they will only make you feel ugly"). Look, I am not telling you what to do... but I am saying that you will be taking ownership of what you do - or do not do. Now, one of the other ways that The Powers That Be succeeded in this cluster f*** was in keeping fertility rates low and the number of childless people high (though I believe this to be inadvertent phenomenon, not some kind of conspiracy). Childless people LIKE government services. They have no children and grandchildren to worry about. Its all about THEM (this is just my assessment on my personal observations... you can think me nutty if you like... but discuss this with me, you might find that I have given this some thought and am not completely out of my mind). They are more than happy with cradle to the grave government assistance.

The once and future wealthy will be those that own land and the MOP in small cities and towns across the country, NOT the banksters in New York and London. All those future predictions on Urban demographics? Maybe, but I doubt it. In any event the vast majority of these people will be poor and will live their lives in precarious dependence.

I have just 2 words for living in precarious dependence, and it ain't Happy Birthday (rhymes with Duck Hat).

I realize that I tend to bring things back to finances and security - I spent my career thinking about how to help people become financially independent and providing for my family. My thinking has evolved, prodded along by my firm belief that the financial system/currency system is in the beginning throes of disaster. Its hard to be "financially secure" if the financial system is insecure. The system nearly collapsed in 2008, and is being held together by band-aids (not even duct tape) at the moment. The Keynesian loonies are still in control and will absolutely, positively blow it all up (and after the system does blow, the Keynesians will blame this outcome on everyone else! For not being Keynesian enough! "If we just spent a little bit more, everything would have been OK").

Have a family? Want the best for your children? Then own land and/or the MOP. I am not talking about overpriced corn land in Iowa. I speak of inexpensive farmland outside Ithaca, NY; Reading, Pa. Greensboro, NC; Springfield MO. It is not enough to own that land. Now you have to make that land produce (hence the MOP I keep mentioning). You will need the necessary equipment. "Capital" equipment. You know, the stuff that actually produces goods and services. Learn how to actually do something (besides filing out mortgage applications, real estate and insurance brokerage, and other financial services - there are too many people chasing too few jobs in that sector). Actually, a lot of things! Invest in the tools and the equipment to do these things and time to learn to do them well. Because, as I mentioned in my 3 or 4 previous posts, the days of coming out of college with a humanities degree and landing a job with full medical and a secure "retirement" are over. That period lasted less than a half century, yet we seem to have come to believe that those circumstances were sacrosanct (kind of like the "Leave it to Beaver" version of women) -  they are not. Oil imports will continue to decline and this will continue to cause economic contraction until it stops... likely very, very far into the future.

The Middle Class is not "disappearing". The Middle Class is not "collapsing". The illusion of a Middle Class is being stripped away by the truth of it - There never was a Middle Class. If you do not want to be poor, then don't be. The rules are what they are and they are unconcerned with our abilities to interpret them correctly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Economy Permanently Stuck in Slow Growth Mode"

"Economy permanently stuck in slow growth mode"?

No kidding.

Look at the graphs of Oil supply into California, Spain, and Italy in my 2 previous posts. Notice that the decline in Oil supplies into these regions came before the summer 2008 meltdown (the same meltdown that is still slowly melting despite the world's Central Banks printing and the government's "stimulus" spending). Some may see this as a chicken and the egg problem. I see this as declining Oil availability to these markets resulting in severe strains for their economies. That circumstance is the new condition and is not a problem to be "solved".

The never ending propaganda of the Main Stream Media and The Powers That Be will not be able to mask the fact that Peak Oil Exports are here; Peak Crude and Condensate is most likely here, and; Peak Liquids may or may not be here - but what the hell are we going to do with all of that Ethane (which at standard temps and pressures is a gas, but is calculated into the NGPL's production formula and which has little chance of contributing to transportation fuels), anyway?

The rate of change has not, to date, satisfied anyone. The doomers were hoping for societal collapse and the cornucopians just can't understand why the current Zero Interest Rate Policy is not working.

Dear Cornucopians: It IS working. This is what working looks like. We are in the beginning stages of energy "descent". The entire world doesn't have to end for this to make things very, very different from anything Westerners have come to call normal. Ethanol and "tight oil" have done wonders for the American economy, as presently constructed (making no accommodation for poor people and food). Now take a look at Europe. They don't have Shale Gas, Tight Oil, and Ethanol. Ironically, their dependence on imported Oil led them to force efficiency via taxation - and now all of the low hanging fruit in Europe has been picked. Declining Oil imports into Europe is cutting into bone and muscle.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. The Peak Oil community was somewhat shrill in their assessments, while the Peak Oil Light guys are looking rather smart at the moment. I look forward to seeing how this all works out. By the way... as of right now, as bad as it is... things are far better than I thought would have been the case, say, back in 2006. Back then, I thought that total transportation fuel supply to the U.S. economy would be down 30% peak to trough by the end of 2014. Given the incredible market response with Tight Oil, Oil Sands, and Ethanol, that prediction is likely off by half - perhaps it will be a 15% decline for U.S. transport fuels by end of 2014. However, my prediction might be somewhat closer for Europe. Time will tell.

Peak Oil Light is well under way. Unfortunately, peak sovereign debt has not yet arrived. The response from governments and central banks to all of this might have felt good in the short term. But as Rick Santelli of CNBC fame recently quiped - "What's the difference between Europe and the U.S.? About 6 years".

I think Rick is an optimist.