Category Archive: 5.) Charles Hugh Smith

Why We’re Doomed: Our Delusional Faith in Incremental Change

Better not to risk any radical evolution that might fail, and so failure is thus assured. When times are good, modest reforms are all that's needed to maintain the ship's course. By "good times," I mean eras of rising prosperity which generate bigger budgets, profits, tax revenues, paychecks, etc., eras characterized by high levels of stability and predictability.

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Our Simulacrum Economy

In the hyper-real casino, everyone has access to the terrors of losing, but only a few know the joys of the rigged games that guarantee a few big winners by design. Readers once routinely chastised me for over-using simulacrum to describe our economy and society.

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A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall

The status quo is about to discover that it can't stop the hard rain or protect its fragile sandcastles. You'll recognize A Hard Rain Is Going to Fall as a cleaned-up rendition of Bob Dylan's classic "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall".

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Things Change

Things change, supposedly immutable systems crumble and delusions die. That's the lay of the land in the  The Empire of Uncertainty I described yesterday.

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The Urban Exodus and How Greatness Goes Bankrupt

The best-case scenario is those who love their "great city" will accept the daunting reality that even greatness can go bankrupt. Two recent essays pin each end of the "urban exodus" spectrum.

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The Empire of Uncertainty

Anyone claiming they can project the trajectory of the U.S. and global economy is deluding themselves. Normalcy depends entirely on everyday life being predictable. To be predictable, life must be stable, which means that there is a high level of certainty in every aspect of life.

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Helicopter Money and the End of Taxes

Rather than right the ship, the "easy fix" is to distribute "free money"--not just to billionaires and corporations but to everyone.

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The Silent Exodus Nobody Sees: Leaving Work Forever

The "take this job and shove it" exodus is silently gathering momentum. The exodus out of cities is getting a lot of attention, but the exodus that will unravel our economic and social orders is getting zero attention: the exodus from work. Like the exodus from troubled urban cores, the exodus from work has long-term, complex causes that the pandemic has accelerated.

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Inflation and “Socialism-Lite” Are Just What the Billionaires Want

After a bout of inflation and "socialism-light", we could end up with even more extreme inequality when the whole rotten structure collapses.

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“Inflation” and America’s Accelerating Class War

Those who don't see the fragmentation, the scarcities and the battlelines being drawn will be surprised by the acceleration of the unraveling. I recently came across the idea that inflation is a two-factor optimization problem.

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Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me

The banquet of consequences for the Fed, the elites and their armies of parasitic flunkies and factotums is being laid out, and there won't be much choice in the seating. Words can be debased just like currencies. Take the word sacrifice. 

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The Four D’s That Define the Future

When the money runs out or loses its purchasing power, all sorts of complexity that were previously viewed as an essential crumble to dust. Four D's will define 2020-2025: derealization, denormalization, decomplexification and decoherence. That's a lot of D's. Let's take them one at a time.

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This Is How It Ends: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air

While the Federal Reserve and the Billionaire Class push the stock market to new highs to promote a false facade of prosperity, everyday life will fall apart. How will the status quo collapse? An open conflict--a civil war, an insurrection, a coup--appeals to our affection for drama, but the more likely reality is a decidedly undramatic dissolution in which all the elements of our way of life we reckoned were solid and permanent simply melt into...

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Intolerance and Authoritarianism Accelerate Disunity and Collapse

Scapegoating dissenters only hastens the disunity and disarray that accelerates the final collapse. Authoritarianism is imposed on us, but its sibling intolerance is our own doing. Intolerance and authoritarianism are two sides of the same coin: as intolerance becomes the norm, the intolerant start demanding that the state enforce their intolerance by suppressing their enemies via increasingly heavy-handed authoritarian measures.

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Deflation of the Citizenry’s Hard Assets Will Be a Huge Buying Opportunity for Insider Power Elites

The gravy train will have to stop at some point, but right now the global elites have pushed their chips on to the U.S. dollar and stocks. Editor's note: This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D., who has contributed essays to Of Two Minds since 2009.

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Nihilism Embodied: Our Lawless Financial System

Not only have the billionaire class made money, they have tightened their monopolistic grip on the levers of money supply and distribution, turning a global rigged casino into a global company town.

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America’s Metastasizing Class Wars

Class wars are the inevitable result of an economic system in which 'anything goes if you're rich enough and winners take most'. The traditional class war has been waged between wage-earners (who sell their labor) and their employers (owners of capital and the means of production).

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Will Skilled Hands-On Labor Finally Become More Valuable?

The sands beneath what's scarce and what's over-abundant are shifting. On a recent visit to the welding shop where my niece's husband works, I asked him if they had enough welders for their workload.

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Our Systemic Drift to Collapse

Thus do the lazy complacent passengers drift inexorably toward the cataracts of collapse just ahead. The boat ride down to the waterfall of systemic collapse is not dramatic, it's lazy drifting: a lazy complacency that doing more of what worked in the past will work again, and an equally lazy disregard for how far the system has drifted from the point when things actually worked.

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The Empire Will Strike Back: Dollar Supremacy Is the Fed’s Imperial Mandate

Triffin's Paradox demands painful trade-offs to issue a reserve currency, and it demands the issuing central bank serve two competing audiences and markets. Judging by the headlines and pundit chatter, the U.S. dollar is about to slide directly to zero. This sense of certitude is interesting, given that no empire prospered by devaluing its currency. 

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