Episode-1358- Listener Feedback (Economic Edition) 6-2-14 — 73 Comments

  1. I read a while back that Wal-Mart was going to start same day home delivery to compete with Amazon, so hell they might do away with most people even having to come to the store in a few years if they perfect it…you never know

  2. For my political book club we watched *Money for Nothing*. It scared the crap out of me. I was thinking, man, I need to get a job now and start buying gold and other assets for a down turn (and yes, I know I need to keep quite a bit of cash too).

    I’m finishing a 4+ years hiatus from working and I was learning programming at the same time (trying to get some ideas off the ground, but learning to program took too long on my own and my ideas are a bit dated) and am now looking for work. But this has been a great time in my life to learn programming on my own and to have more time with the wife and kids. It will be nice to start making money again, but I’ll miss the time that I had with the fam.

  3. For Conflicted Monday, 6/2/14…..

    I’m thinking hit Warehouse/DC’s of any type. If not loaded with food, there will be barter items (Hell our totally unrelated manufacturing plant rents warehouse space to a coffee distributor – but that’s my emergency plan, so hands off!)

    Following that, Schools, Nursing Homes, and any other “Institutional” type places that tend to have cafeterias with bulk, non-perishable foods.

  4. Down here in East Texas it was kill the man with the ball LOL but we called it the other thing you said too LOL

  5. It’s funny you said they go to college but have no brains LOL my Dad calls my Ex-Brother-in law and Educated Idiot, I had to laugh when you said that, he used say yeah he has a college degree but couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel LOL! It’s so sad but so true today!

    • I always say that college doesn’t make you smarter, it just makes you know more “stuff”!

  6. Conflicted Monday: I bet there will be a bunch of vagrant cats and dogs roaming around. Detroit has about 60,000 feral dogs.

  7. The push for hire minimum wage is really a big push to automate low wage/skill jobs

    • We get to see now. Seattle just passed $15 an hour minimum wage. This will probably add to Jack’s decline in retail. All those stores that are close to break even will be shut down in Seattle.

    • Nope RockyMountainMike got it below, it was Sheldon Cooper. Good guess though, I could see that being a South Park episode.

  8. Jack- I don’t think we’re that far off on our assessment of the future, more a case of is the glass half full or half empty. Remember my investment style, I’m not buying and holding anything over the next 10 years, I reevaluate every day and adjust based on new information.

    Put me on your calendar for June 2, 2024- I want to buy you and Dorothy dinner…if the USA has imploded then we’ll do New Zealand or somewhere safe. Either way, my hope is that we’ll be eating in a restaurant that sources its food from a PermaEthos farm.

  9. I enjoyed today’s episode, especially John’s assessment and conclusions. I largely agree, maybe not the thirty years and a generation (or two) but certainly the next ten (without a catastrophic Black Swan).
    A very funny and coincidental thing, I listen every week to Econ Talk with Russ Roberts and the two shows were very similar in content and context. Laughably so when Jack started talking about his “automated experience” at Chili’s.
    What gets me about Jack is the way he will rail against the “Tea Cup” kid (and I’m not denying their existence) and their not going out to find the entry level part time jobs, then saying society (Him, in his Chili’s example) would be better with those entry level jobs were automated/eliminated.
    I encourage TSP listeners, of which I’ve been for four years and a MSB multi-year member, who enjoyed today’s good episode by Jack and John go listen to Econ Talk from the Library of Economic and Liberty with Russ Roberts for a very good, circumspect episode.
    Best regards,

  10. There’s a two-hour movie about technological unemployment that goes well with the theme of today’s podcast, called “Will Work for Free”:
    Besides the elimination of fast food, taxi, retail and warehouse jobs, it also covers pharmacies, manufacturing, and farms. After the initial strife and hunger, we could transition to a resource-based economy.

  11. If you got cheap energy……doesn’t that make it super cheap to manufacture overseas and ship stuff here and end up actually excellerating the outsourcing of manufacturing?

    How does it spur domestic production?

  12. One thing I wanted to add about energy getting cheaper, if you look at the news Obama just clamped down and signed a bill on the energy sector enforcing tighter regulations on the oil, gas and coal power plants, look it up he signed into law the carbon output of those plants must be reduced by 30% in the next 10 years so while we might get cheaper oil and gas the price of energy will go up because those plants have to revamp their entire facilities to meet government standards …So guess what the cost goes up for you and me!
    Yep saving the world from climate change!

    • Shannon, with all due respect where do you get this shit?

      Signed a bill? That is false there is no new law now, a bill would indicate congress sending him a bill to sign into law, never happened.

      What you say indicates that this law or what have you is now in effect, the clock is ticking. Claim, FALSE! What really happened? A proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rule that would reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030, compared to the levels in 2005.

      Okay first a proposed rule isn’t a rule, a EPA rule saying what should be done by 2030 without congress is something no new president is stuck with. Next you don’t even know what the rule is, how it works, what the particulars just emissions must be lower by 30% by 2030.

      You know what, taken in totality PER KILOWATT, that is already going to happen on its own. Note the start date is 2005, all coal plants have been forced already to improve emissions since then, they have already gotten at least half way there. Next likely this is per kilowatt total in the US. Guess what, Natural Gas is already far more efficient and releases less CO2 not to mention other actual POLLUTION emissions than coal or oil. A lot less, in fact more than 30% less.

      Obama isn’t crushing energy, he is steering it into the Natural Gas sector because it makes him look good to the greenie weenies and it appeases the big money that funded his bullshit campaigns that won over the Kardashian watching morons that put him in office. I mean there is more, Wind Power is already required to make up 20% of all power by the magical date of 2030 as well, has been since about 2002 if I remember. So that reduces “emissions per kilowatt”, etc.

      So we have a proposed rule, with a 2030 sunset date and we will have FOUR presidential elections before said date. The people running the EPA all gun ho about this right now will be retired by then. And this means according to your comment what?

      “One thing I wanted to add about energy getting cheaper, if you look at the news Obama just clamped down and signed a bill on the energy sector enforcing tighter regulations on the oil, gas and coal power plants, look it up he signed into law the carbon output of those plants must be reduced by 30% in the next 10 years”

      Please start vetting before spreading, by the way 2030 is 16 years away, not 10.

      See I did as you suggested and “looked it up”. Funny how that works. Again not picking on you but this is how bullshit spreads and how we end up looking foolish long term.

  13. Okay, Jack, while you might find Wal-Mart’s self checkouts actually useful I would argue most of the speed improvement is due to better queue efficiency not improvements in the checkout system. This observation is mostly based both on having to run operate the self checkouts and some mathematics classes on queuing theory and operation. The machines are not equipped with anywhere near the required level of AI to seriously replace a human checker. Given current technology it would be very irresponsible to the company to try equipping the machine with the required AI level.

    • What ever dude and it was irresponsible to talk about going to the moon in 1959 according to some too.

      • I can’t find my Operations Research book to show you the mathematical formula involved in the ratio of queues to workers problems. So I can’t prove the statement about queue effeciency in a mathematical sense right now. However, that isn’t the only major problem with automated checkout systems.

        The other major problem is: “The customer is always a thief.” To program an automated checkout in any other way is a major breach of responsibility that will eventually bankrupt the company. I can’t discuss anything more specific in public. We already have enough problems with theives attacking these automated checkouts at work as is and I don’t want to raise the sophistication levels of the attacks. For fast food this truism is and isn’t the major problem it is for regular retailer like my employer but it will still have an effect. As an example one of the McDonalds on the way to a family members house out of state was one of the first to add an automated ordering system. They moved it to requiring complete human authentication of the order, basically the cashier would reenter the order from the slip the automated system made, before it would be submitted to the cooking line and you could pay for the order. Would you like to guess why they did that a few months before they got rid of the systems entirely? I will give you a hint, it involved negative $.

        No guesses. Ok then, they lost a fairly good chunk of money to kids poking the screen and people ordering and then leaving. Basically every automated ordering system that I know of except for Chili’s has ended up with the exact same basic set of theft problems. Yeah, I know there are honest customers around but they don’t seem to make up for the losses caused by the dishonest ones who take advantage of every opportunity they can get. The automated checkouts work out to be nothing more than simply really big opportunities for theft.

        I am not classifying modified call in systems like Pizza Hut’s online ordering system as an automated checkout for this discussion. My guess is their create an account requirement gives them enough information about a possible theif to convince the theif they will not get away.

        • Well it seems like that has an obvious and easy solution, right?

          Require payment at the kiosk before the order is placed. Then if they leave, that’s all well and good, but they’ve already paid! Kiddie button pushers would have 0 impact because they wouldn’t be able to pay to complete the transaction and send the order off to the kitchen. Grocery stores do this now…

        • It is clear that you are talking about today’s tech vs. where the tech leads.

          Your points are largely moot, they really are.

          As I said Walmart just for one store is working hard to have in the future RFID required in every single item. Instead of a UPC there will be a tiny chip. The cost has been the biggest issue but that is being addressed.

          I know this for a fact because this company, was a client of mine at one time and I still have contacts with them. They have been working on this initiative with Walmart individually for a long time, at least since 2007. They already have major deals with many suppliers that use RFID for inventory management and control at the warehouse level.

          As I said on air, in the not to distant future there will not be a check counter. The self check out is an interim step only. You will present payment to your cart before you begin. The system will determine available funds and keep track. Every item that you put in your cart is going to be added up right on the screen. You will see a running total. When you remove an item, it will come off. When you are ready to leave you will click pay and be charged.

          This will be a voluntary thing at least at first just like check out lanes. When you leave the machines will do the job that many stores like Costco do now, an item count of items in your possession. Your bill will be in the system, your items will be mass scanned in one swoop and an alarm will sound if the two don’t match.

          This will quickly become the way to grocery shop! There will be issues at first and hiccups but they will be solved and fixed. Frankly do you know how many times I left items at a register and walked away and didn’t spend my money due to incompetent cashiers? A lot and a ton of people do it every day. Imagine just filing your cart, clicking pay and walking out the door, imagine now, but you will be able to do it tomorrow.

          What about tiny 25 cent items stuff like that. They will not be sold in individual sizes any more. Anything to small to be cost effective with a chip will be bundled.

          What happens to all the chips? Well they will be rewritable and hence in time methods will happen to recycle them.

          I know you think right now that this is all crazy talk, that the logistics are just not doable. Well, they are doable, this is being built right now. It is only a matter of time until it is implemented.

        • Oh and if you are going to ask how the system can tell when 7 people are walking in and out of the door way at the same time who is who and how many there are, etc. Who is a automated person and who paid at the register old school style.

          Well first when it is voluntary there will be a specific door to exit for automated. But the tech that counts bodies, identifies how many, who is going in and out etc. That system exists, it is old school really. I was installing them in Gymboree stores back in 1999

      • I was going to say the same thing Patricia said. Just have them enter a credit card or be verified by a worker. Pretty easy problem to solve. You buy things and then take off? Well, you’re charged anyways!

        • The problem was more of where the loss was happening at for the McDonalds. If I cook an item and then can’t sell it because the order is modified that item is costs me money.

          The problem with requiring a credit card to order was unique to where this McDonald’s was at. I asked the manager why they didn’t just do that. He said they did try but no one would use the kiosks anymore.

    • There is only one factor that determines if a company will adopt a technology.. does adopting the technology result in an increase in profits.

      In the case of low skill work, there are two opposing issues:
      – low skill workers are becoming MORE expensive (Obamacare, Minimum Wage laws, Disability Insurance (CA State disability insurance requirements have reached INSANE levels), etc.)
      – technological replacements for low wage work are becoming LESS expensive

      As soon as an automated system is debugged and proven in ANY large business (demonstrated increase of profits).. EVERY other large corporation, and any ‘small’ company that can afford it will adopt the technology.. fast enough to make your head spin.

      The only thing that will slow adoption is labor contracts and the passage of new laws (x employees per y dollars in sales).. and the companies stuck in those agreements will become NON-COMPETITIVE and be replaced with competitors without the legacy contracts.

      IMO of course.. 😉

      p.s. I replace people with systems for a living

  14. Having interviewed a lot of candidates over the past couple of years for adding to my team, here is what I have seen as the problem with this next generation:

    1) They feel that since they have gone to college, they are entitled to the job.

    2) Their professors have taught them that they are brilliant and although they lack any background information on a subject, or any relevant “Domain Knowledge” that their ideas are the best (because they were educated more recently than those around them).

    3) They lack, what can only be described as “The Hunger”. They want things, but not enough to motivate them, rather, they think that they deserve them because they are “special”.

  15. Conflicted: Don’t go where the stupid people are! Stay out of the grocery store, go to the pet store. Alpo is better than starving. Go to the local Seed & Feed, but anything that might convert to food. As a prepper you should be ahead of the curve, as a prepper your food supply should be expanding constantly and never low going into a crisis.

  16. I sooo want to disagree with you Jack, but no matter what point I chase down, I can’t. Dude, I hate it when you make predictions like this, it messes with my optimistic attitude.

    Thanks for being a realist, although I’m still not 100% convinced that it will be quite as bad as you say, maybe that’s just hope. I’m still preparing just in case you are 100% correct.

    Oh and to add to what you predicted as far as government not being able to afford to maintain the infrastructure, it was announced today here in Michigan that the Michigan Senate is proposing to raise our gas tax from a 19 cent per gallon gas tax to a 43 cent per gallon increase!

    Those who oppose that are instead proposing an increase to the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Either way, they both are tax increases. This comes after a year long campaign by the road crew union called “just fix the roads”

    It is almost like we in MI will never be out from under the boot heel of the labor unions.

    • Keep in mind the majority of highway work is done with FEDERAL funds meaning that money won’t go to Interstate Highways were most of the work is likely needed.

      Now check this, I was listening to Ed Wallace (a local car guy on weekend radio that goes into politics a little bit) this weekend. He was talking to people about fixing roads and everyone said the same bullshit (more fuel efficient cars, everyone has a hybrid and people driving less) He asked every caller how much gas use is down from its peak NOT ONE knew the answer.

      The answer, the huge drop? 6%, yep 6% so if we did need a gas tax increase at the Federal level to compensate for “the big excuse” we need to raise it 6%, hell call it 7% to be at par.

      Okay I don’t like taxes but doing the math is interesting. Federal Gas Tax is 18.4 cents, a 7% increase would mean the new tax would be 19.6 cents. I have to say if they would actually FIX THE HIGHWAYS (which they won’t) and it took making the gas tax 20 cents at the federal level I would not complain about it. We are talking less that 2 cents on the gallon.

      Filling my truck would cost me 60 cents more. The problem with fuel taxes is they are pilfered and not spent on roads.

      Makes you think of the prime libertarians are crazy claim with “but who would build the roads?” doesn’t it.

      • Yeah, that is the one thing most people that I talk to say we need the government for. They say well we have to maintain the roads, we need government for that right?

        I say, well what do you think businesses would do if they couldn’t ship products because of bad roads? They would hire some road construction company to fix there section of road.

        But what about the long stretches of road with nothing around, or the miles and miles of expressway? Well here are 2 ideas.

        Toll roads that are maintained by a private company who is paid by the tolls they collect.

        Public road sponsorship program that includes premium advertising billboard space on that road.

        I just thought of another.

        Niche road companies who will sell say a transportation policy (kind of like insurance but not quite) to people and businesses to maintain the smaller local roads. For a certain amount of money per month this company would insure that you would be able to drive where you need to go on existing roads without damage to your car caused by the road. Along with that you would get road hazard and maybe even full car insurance.

        What do you think would it be possible to fund the roads this way?

        • I don’t see why not. In fact the reality is we have no idea how many ways this could be done because we have never tried. I do know this though, if a road was shitty and people used it less and a company was making money based on use they would deshitify it really fast!

          I have to say the toll roads I have used that are privately managed, are BEAUTIFUL. I don’t like the toll, but it sure would mean less if I was paying 20-50 cents a gallon less for my gas.

          That said I really am okay with a minarchist state where the government builds roads and basic infrastructure. Could you imagine if we got rid of Homeland Security and the Department of Education, took their budgets and actually did “fix the roads” with no union requirements and open bids for the work? We do not need either of those monstrosities of waste and oppression.

  17. I believe “The Permaculture Handbook” had an interesting explanation for why some people thoroughly enjoy shopping. The act taps into the reward pathways of the brain the same way foraging did for our ancient ancestors.

    In other words, when the prehistoric woman rounded the corner of the large oak, she saw bright blue berries and got excited. Gives a whole new understanding to the reasoning behind the “blue light special” (I guess they still have those; haven’t been in a kmart in over a decade).

    • I buy that! Hell I think that is partly why people like to go find stuff. Like Dorothy and I enjoy finding shells, some like metal detectors or what have you.

  18. Positive forces may include re-industrialisation and continued immigration, but this will just feed a two-tiered society I am afraid. I dont see this as any reason to hope for a resurgence of a middle class in America, even if we don’t collapse economically. There will always be some who make very good money for highly skilled jobs, but the days of a large middle class are gone, immigration and low paying jobs for them are just a natural side effect. We didnt have large families and we didnt save for the future. We sent our industry overseas and we allowed industry to capture the regulatory processes. It is a done deal. What really scares me is that some force among our leadership will decide that the only way to wake up the average american is to cause or permit something very horrific to happen on our soil. Otherwise this slow grind into economic servitude will just continue until we have no quality of life left at all.

  19. I thought the replacement of our fast food staff would have been a lot further along. About 4 years ago I was at a Jack in the Box, standing in line like one of the sheeple and I saw this large red box next to the counter. As I kept looking at it I figured out that it was a kiosk for ordering your food. And noone was in line for it. So I stepped out of line and ordered my food, paid, and recieved a receipt . Then I waited off to the side just like any other customer and my food showed up on the counter. It was amazing this new technology (heavy dose of sarcasm)! I remember thinking at that time there are going to be a lot of unemployed people pretty soon. Looking back I am just as surprised more people weren’t in line to use the kiosk.

    I haven’t seen a kiosk like that again. Wish I could remember where it was and see if it was still there.

  20. Hi Jack,
    Just a heads-up, I believe Chili’s is now a gun free zone.
    (Which automatically makes it a Dan-free zone in my book.)
    On the conflicted monday point, we try to get family and friends to prepare, and some-if not most- say, “We’ll just come to your place. ”
    And that’s kind of insulting.
    So we the put the shoe on the other foot and tell them, “Well, just make sure you have enough food and TP for five of us if we have to show up at your place… And we may bring friends.”
    It makes them ponder a little on the financial burden of suddenly adopting another family.
    (Even though we will take them in, we can’t let them know it , or they will just not prepare at all. And that will screw all of us.)

    • Ours has a sign saying the “unlicensed possession of a weapon” meaning you can absolutely carry. Many stores have this sign, they don’t apply to licensed carriers and since we can’t open carry in this state or carry without a license, it is basically nothing but CYA sign because it doesn’t mean anything.

    • Dan –
      I like your reply to ‘we’ll just come by your place’.. I’m going to have to use that one.

  21. Jack,

    You mention an earlier episode that discussed incorporating to become your own self directed ira custodian. Can you point me towards that episode or interview? I have searched around and can’t find any clear explanations. The wife and I are paying through the nose for a custodian to send me quarterly bills to tell me how much money they are taking from me. Would love to cut them out of the middle.

    Thanks. Great show.

  22. I think the phrase “Jobs Americans just WON”T do” is largely inaccurate, and not a snobby/spolied American issue.

    The term should be, “Jobs Americans just CAN”T do.”

    It’s not the “menial job” itself , it’s the fact that “menial jobs” simply do not pay enough to live on.
    Which translates into a time issue.
    You would have to work 80 hours a week at minimum wage to equal a low paying 40 hour “regular” job at $15.00.
    And 15 bucks an hour is not enought to make headway these days either.
    There are not enought hours in a week to make it doing menial jobs 24/7.
    Because , as you well know, wages are FAR behind economic growth… add in inflation , and it’s even harder to make ends meet.

  23. One concern regarding China. I’ve read many times their problem with an aging population is worse than the US. If it plays out like we expect our problem here in the US to, their economy could be crippled worse than ours, before ours. But, if they decide to make a move and start commiting Stalin-like purges, things could go much differently.
    Regarding the hunger of the new generation, it’s there, despite society’s best efforts to squash it. I see it in my fiance’s son, whose interest in anything in life has been stomped down any time his desire to do something stirs. Recently, he wanted to take up archery, which has led to the first thing he and I have been able to bond over. I asked him if he was interested in hunting and surprisingly he showed unreserved enthusiasm for the idea, so I began to search for how to teach him a skill I myself was never fully taught, which is how I found this podcast.
    The battle on this is far from over, and I may not get him firing on all cylinders, but I can see that desire and hunger now. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to access it so he can see it’s there.

  24. I would point out one critique, although how big and how fast of a difference this might make is really up in the air.

    I have a hunch that manufacturing will become so much cheaper to do locally that it won’t make financial sense to do it overseas, for certain things.

    Like anything made of plastic, wood, or metal, or a combination of those because of desktop 3-d printers, cnc plasma and laser cutters, and cnc routers. These tools coupled with digital plans available online for LOTS of stuff will turn many people into mini manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

    Of course electronics might be more complicated but with the new materials they are developing you may even be able to print circuits and such at home.

    Now of course people will still need to know how to assemble working widgets out of all the parts they created so you will have specialized people doing different things out of their garage.

    Will all manufacturing be done this way? Certainly not any time soon, but it is growing, maybe, just maybe it will grow fast enough to head off economic disaster? Probably not, but I can hope.

  25. I would point out one critique, although how big and how fast of a difference this might make is really up in the air.

    I have a hunch that manufacturing will become so much cheaper to do locally that it won’t make financial sense to do it overseas, for certain things.

    Like anything made of plastic, wood, or metal, or a combination of those because of desktop 3-d printers, cnc plasma and laser cutters, and cnc routers. These tools coupled with digital plans available online for LOTS of stuff will turn many people into mini manufacturers and entrepreneurs.

    Of course electronics might be more complicated but with the new materials they are developing you may even be able to print circuits and such at home.

    Now of course people will still need to know how to assemble working widgets out of all the parts they created so you will have specialized people doing different things out of their garage.

    Will all manufacturing be done this way? Certainly not any time soon, but it is growing, maybe, just maybe it will grow fast enough to head off economic disaster? Probably not, but I can hope.

  26. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
    – Stephen Hawking

  27. Jack,

    I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped at a Sheetz fuel station convenience store in Pennsylvania but they’ve had touch screen ordering for 5 or more years. People still make the food to order, but it saves a lot of hassle getting a fast food worker to understand my husband’s NZ accent.

  28. Re: Conflicted Monday, 6/2/14, a few other places to scavenge food:

    – Amusement park food stands and food courts (amusement parks probably not as likely to be the first places most people would choose to scavenge)
    – Office buildings (vending machines, office store rooms, sometimes eateries in large office parks)
    – Breweries (well ok, the beer may already be taken, but they’re likely to still have raw foods like barley stockpiled in a storeroom somewhere)
    – Schools, at least those large enough to have a cafeteria (not my first choice, but if one was restricted to foot travel there are likely to be at least a couple schools in walking distance).

    One other advantage of schools, amusement parks, and some larger office buildings is they’re likely to have more comprehensive medical kits and supplies than the average home.

  29. For Conflicted Monday:

    One barter item that can never be taken away is your labor. I can only speak for myself, but I know how to garden, can, and preserve food, save seeds, teach skills, build some basic things…I’d bet that knowledge of how to preserve food would be worth something. My husband is an electrical contractor, but is also great at plumbing and general fixing type “stuff.” Someone is going to need a roof patched or plumbing fixed, I’ll bet!

    If I had to scavenge, I’d look at sporting goods stores – REI, stuff like that. They have lots of those energy / hiking foods, and gear that could be traded. I’m guessing “grocery stores” includes Costco / etc., so for food I’d also check around any abandoned horse barns – lots of grain / feed would be around, and that could be made into SOME kind of food!

  30. I noticed neither Jack or John used any of the terms that are actually relevant to any discussion of economic or market matters currently. Like, market top, all time highs, correction, false economy due to massive stimulus dependence and a few others, that are in fact underlying fundamentals that any chartist or trader would be very interested in and aware of . It is beyond obvious a serious correction will occur, but nobody knows exactly when ? So longer term trades like leaps or spread trades with Put options are the hand writing on the wall. It has all been obvious for years and here is a link to a very good analysis all based in reality. And an excellent comment on the article by yours truly . No rocket science in any of it really.

    I basically disagree with most of Johns analysis for many of the same reasons Jack mentions , but their are more as well. Most new CFAs are a bit bullish or naive and only see blue skies for reasons inherent in theoi trade ?

    As far as Russia ? I think the big picture was missed completely and that would be the new alliances being forged by China and Russia to completely get away from USD as world trade currency and petro dollar? That is well underway and has been for some time now and gaining serious traction with other members as well. Iran, India, Brazil, N Korea and a few others. The new agreements on NG between China and Russia are very significant and there will be more coming that will strangle much of Europe. It is all in motion as we speak. Mean while here in USSA we have a regime that keeps shooting us all in the foot? and worse . And of course Russia can and will say anything about their debt ? that is a given and nothing new or enlightening ? Our government does the exact same thing and worse everyday !

    I also agree with the comment above about your skills as a good asset in coming events. But not just work skills , all skill. Having the ability to fix anything or build anything is enormous an very beneficial. But just having a good grasp of the world we live in today is likely the best knowledge of all right now as well as “real” health and fitness. Many are some what clueless and still believe in the many illusions and control mechanisms !

    The above comment by insidious is right on !

    • Why would I or John use terms to try to sound smart like typical talking heads do?

  31. Thank-you John for the positive feedback. I’ve been feeling on edge the last few weeks and 10 days ago I moved my TSP account money from the international fund to the government bond fund. Hearing you say the smart money is moving to government bonds and the retail (dumb money) is driving the current upswing was reassuring.
    Thanks 🙂

  32. An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.
    – Laurence J. Peter

  33. Lost my 6 year job in the mining industry end of last year. Had been listening to the show for several years and was prepared and it didn’t cause any disruptions for my family. Filed for Unemployment thinking that it would pay the 99 weeks like I had always heard…not so. It only pays 26 weeks in California now because the unemployment rate is so low! That is laughable though with 1.2+ million people that have exhausted the 26 weeks and are still looking for work or have stopped looking.

  34. It has nothing to do with sounding like anything and everything to do with knowing what is really happening. Rather than put out poor or wrong information. John has the treasuries/bond thing exactly backwards from what is actually happening. Sorry to say but true, especially since recent gov reports came out . Not that gov reports are accurate but when interest rates are involved it sets the stage for certain transactions.

    • First you haven’t actually provided anything of substance in your claim that either of us are wrong. Second John and I are both more than capable of using so many buzz words (properly I may add) that it would confuse the shit out of most people on fricken Wall Street. Doing so proves nothing. I did this early on in the show and it created tons of questions. So I started explaining things in simple English, realizing that sounding smart doesn’t make one smart.

      Ironically John and I disagree here a LOT and you say we are both wrong. That in and of itself says something. I mean we can run on and on about PE Ratios and how some companies are currently highly over valued while others are undervalued by the same metric all we want, won’t change the “mega trends” that we are actually discussing in this look forward.

      Like our own aging population and the far bigger problem China has with the same thing for instance. The lack of our people to cope with any real trials any more, the unwillingness of our young people to really start at the bottom any more. The negative trend in immigration, yes it is going DOWN. The arrival and implementation of automation and what it means for many employment sectors.

      What many don’t get here is that well, screw it I was about to explain it with out a bunch financial terms and you’d just say that doesn’t matter than. Tune in to CNN Money, get the buzz words and see how it does for you. All I can tell you is in 2008 I saved a lot of people a LOT OF MONEY, while those idiots used buzz words like “momentary correction” and got people slaughtered by “investing for the long haul”.

  35. Whew I need something hopefull and uplifting to listen to after that eposide. Thanks as always for the truth.

    • Try Episode 1361 😉

      Something that makes me very hopeful is that we live in an age when there are tools of great power available to every individual.
      (knowledge, energy, communication, transportation..)

      Any one DOER, can accomplish MORE than at anytime in history. And DOERs can easily come together to share information, inspiration, and effort.. multiplying their effect. (‘If one can put 1000 to flight, two can put 10,000 to flight..’)

      This means we need LESS people to be ‘on board’ (aware/active) to swing things toward liberty.

      Not 51%.. in this day and age, maybe not even 4% (the 20% of the 20%).

      The first thing to shed is the belief/phrase:
      ‘If they (government/rulers/elites) don’t pull their heads out of their a**, we are SO screwed.’

      ‘They’ are not going to figure out how to keep the TITANIC afloat, and while some of them are trying to do so, others are just looting the ship as fast as possible before they jump into their own lifeboats.

      So.. its time to get off the ship, into our own lifeboats, and figure out what that life is going to be like. 10000 lifeboats instead of one big centrally planned ship.

      In other words ‘anarchy’.. get comfortable with it, it’s coming. But I don’t think its the scary thing its made out to be.

      There is nothing necessary on ‘the ship’ that isn’t available/possible in the lifeboats.

      To stretch this silly analogy a little further.. when the ship goes down.. people WILL DIE, people who won’t leave the ship. And some will CHOOSE to die, because the ship is the only life they’ve ever known. Some people in lifeboats will even get sucked down by the vortex.. (too CLOSE to the ship when it sinks).

      But the focus, for me, is after that.. do the survivors, lash all the rafts together and declare a king? Build TITANIC 2.0 out of a sense of nostalgia? Or do we do something different?

      Why not do that different thing NOW, so when the TITANIC goes down we’ve already gotten past the learning curve (think gardening), and frankly pretty much forgotten what life was like aboard ship?


      • LOVE this, Insidious. May have to print this and tack it inside the door of my new barn on my emerging homestead. Best nutshell description I’ve seen of why I do what I do. I had started on this path before I discovered Jack, and he has certainly helped me along. What was unexpected, though, is how I have “found myself” through the process. I had these inclinations 35 years ago, but was distracted from the pursuit by all the trappings of the Titanic. Cheers, Doug

  36. That is a lot or assumptions and I never said you were both wrong on every event . I just pointed out 2 separate things on more or less different issues . I clearly stated John was exactly backwards which is a definitive answer actually. And lastly nobody who knows anything about any economic/finance/market dealings would begin to watch CNN for their information. I completely agree nearly all talking heads have no idea what has transpired or what is happening now or in the near future. I simply do not like to see bad or wrong information being passed as something else.

  37. After my last two non-routine purchases at big box stores, I’m done with them. We bought a coffeemaker and a TV looking specifically for certain features. The products described on the shelf had those features, but the products we brought home from the stores did not. I never have this problem with Amazon.

  38. I was going to say if there is, for example, a run on food because of supply chain failures, Big Lots carries an awful lot of shelf stable food and it is not what people normally consider a grocery store.