Category Archive: 5.) Charles Hugh Smith

Stock Market Cheerleading: Why Do We Celebrate the Super-Rich Getting Richer?

It's not too difficult to predict a political rebellion against the machinery of soaring wealth and income inequality. The one constant across the media-political spectrum is an unblinking focus on the stock market as a barometer of the national economy: every major media outlet from the New York Times to Fox News prominently displays stock market action, and TV news anchors' expressions reflect the media's emotional promotion of the market as the...

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Now That We’ve Incentivized Sociopaths–Guess What Happens Next

As long as central banks create and distribute trillions in conscience-free credit to conscience-free financiers and corporations, the incentives for sociopathy only increase. "Sociopath" is a word we now encounter regularly in the mainstream media, but what does it mean? Here is a list of 16 traits, many of which are visible in lionized corporate and political leaders and entrepreneurs.

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The Middle Class Is Now The Muddle Class

The net result is the muddle class has the signifiers but not the wealth, power, capital or agency that once defined the middle class. The first use of the phrase The Muddle Class appears to be The rise of the muddle classes (Becky Pugh, telegraph.co.uk) in January 2007. The "muddle" described the complex nature of defining "the middle class," which includes education, class origins, accents, and many other financial, social and cultural...

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The Political Parties and the Media Have Abandoned the Working “Middle Class”

Where is the line between "working class" and "middle class"? Maybe there isn't any. Defining the "middle class" has devolved to a pundit parlor game, so let's get real for a moment (if we dare): the "middle class" is no longer defined by the traditional metrics of income or job type (blue collar, white collar), but by an entirely different set of metrics:

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The Unraveling Quickens

Even if we don't measure the erosion of intangible capital, the social and political consequences of this impoverishment are manifesting in all sorts of ways. The central thesis of my new book Will You Be Richer or Poorer? is the financial "wealth" we've supposedly gained (or at least a few of us have gained) in the past 20 years has masked the unraveling of our intangible capital: the resilience of our economy, our social capital, i.e. our ability...

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Prying Open the Overton Window

If you're truly interested in finding solutions to humanity's pressing problems, then start helping us pry open the Overton Window. The Overton Window describes the spectrum of concepts, policies and approaches that can be publicly discussed without being ridiculed or marginalized as "too radical," "unworkable," "crazy," etc. 

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What We’ve Lost

This is only a partial list of what we've lost to globalism, cheap credit and the Tyranny of Price which generates the Landfill Economy. A documentary on the decline of small farms and the rural economy in France highlights what we've lost in the decades-long rush to globalize and financialize everything on the planet-- what we call Neoliberalism, the ideology of turning everything into a global market controlled by The Tyranny of Price and cheap...

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Welcome to the USSR: the United States of Suppression and Repression

We're all against "fake news," right? Until your content is deemed "fake news" in a "fake news" indictment without any evidence, trial or recourse. When propaganda is cleverly engineered, people don't even recognize it as propaganda: welcome to the USSR, the United States of Suppression and Repression. 

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Economic Decay Leads to Social and Political Decay

If we want to make real progress, we have to properly diagnose the structural sources of the rot that is spreading quickly into every nook and cranny of the society and culture. It seems my rant yesterday (Let Me Know When It's Over) upset a lot of people, many of whom felt I trivialized the differences between the parties and all the reforms that people believe will right wrongs and reduce suffering.

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Let Me Know When It’s Over

Maybe it's my cheap seat or my general exhaustion, but the whole staged spectacle is beyond tiresome; I've had my fill. Let me me know when it's over: yes, all of it: the impeachment, the trade dispute with China, U.S. involvement in Syria, the manic stock market rally and the 2020 election.

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The Ultimate Heresy: Technology Can’t Fix What’s Broken

Technology can't fix what's broken, because what's broken is our entire system.. The ultimate heresy in today's world isn't religious or political: it's refusing to believe that technology can not only solve all our problems, it will do so painlessly and without any sacrifice. Anyone who dares to question this orthodoxy is instantly declared an anti-progress (gasp!) Luddite, i.e. a heretic in league with the Devil.

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Will the Clintons Destroy the Democratic Party?

History is full of ironies, and perhaps it will suit the irony gods for The Donald to take down the Republican Party and the Clinton dynasty to destroy the Democratic Party. Let's start by stipulating my bias: I would cheer the collapse of both self-serving, venal political parties, which have stood by for decades as the rich have become immeasurably richer and the politically powerful few have disempowered the many.

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Our Time/Labor Is Finite, But Money Is Infinite

Once we understand this mechanism, we understand that labor can never get ahead. I've been pondering a comment longtime correspondent Drew P. emailed me in response to my post, What's Holding Up the Market?: Our time/labor is finite, but money is infinite. Drew explained that creating new fiat currency and injecting it into a closed system (our financial system) controls and restrains the value of our time and labor, past, present and future.

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What’s Holding Up the Market?

The Fed's nearly free money for financiers policies in support of the Super-Rich do not exist in a vacuum--the disastrous consequences are already baked in. What's holding up the U.S. stock market? The facile answer is the Federal Reserve but this doesn't actually describe the mechanisms in play or the consequences of a market that levitates ever higher on the promise of more Fed money-for-nothing injected into the diseased veins of the financial...

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Could Pricey Urban Meccas become Crime-Ridden Ghost Towns?

As the exodus gathers momentum, all the reasons people clung so rabidly to urban meccas decay. If there is any trend that's viewed as permanent, it's the enduring attraction of coastal urban meccas: despite the insane rents and housing costs, that's where the jobs, the opportunities and the desirable urban culture are.

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Pets Are Now as Unaffordable As College, Housing and Healthcare

Like so many other things that were once affordable, owning pets is increasingly pricey. One of the few joys still available to the average household is a pet. At least this is what I thought until I read 5 money-saving tips people hate, which included the lifetime costs of caring for a pet. It turns out Poochie and Kittie are as unaffordable as college, housing and healthcare (and pretty much everything else).

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Here’s How We Are Silenced by Big Tech

This is how they silence us: your content has been secretly flagged as being "unsafe," i.e. "guilty of anti-Soviet thoughts;" poof, you're gone. Big Tech claims it isn't silencing skeptics, dissenters and critics of the status quo, but it is silencing us. Here's how it's done. Let's start with Twitter.

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Financial Storm Clouds Gather

The price of this "solution"--the undermining of the financial system--will eventually be paid in full. The financial storm clouds are gathering, and no, I'm not talking about impeachment or the Fed and repo troubles--I'm talking about much more serious structural issues, issues that cannot possibly be fixed within the existing financial system.

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Automation and the Crisis of Work

Technology, like natural selection, has no goal. When it comes to the impact of automation (robots, AI, etc.) on jobs, there are two schools of thought: one holds that technology has always created more and better jobs than it destroys, and this will continue to be the case.

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The New Orthodoxy: Blasphemy, Heresy and the New Inquisition

A corrupt Orthodoxy devoid of new ideas, an Orthodoxy devoted to maintaining the wealth, status and power of insiders regardless of cost, is a brittle, fragile, unstable system. When the ruling Elites sense their control of the populace is waning, they seek to regain full control via the imposition of a strict Orthodoxy, enforced by an Inquisition. We are living in just such an era.

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