A "Good" Forecast?
Late in December 2004 I published an article titled: Looking Ahead. If you havenít read it or if you did and have forgotten the content, please go to the web page: http://home.comcast.net/~mvent1/articles/LookingAhead.htm and read it before proceeding with this article. I didnít know at that time I would choose not to write any articles for the next year. I tended to average about one a month for the previous five years. Why the hiatus? Iím still not entirely certain. What I do know is the article "Looking Ahead" was so damn depressing and irritating I had no further reason to write if my assumptions and conclusions were correct. Why rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic when launching lifeboats is more appropriate?
I spent the year 2005 doing manual projects, like creating a large garden and growing/harvesting and processing foods. I was following some of my own advice in the article. I was preparing myself for the near future and sharing the experience with my family for their education. I hadnít grown and processed crops in large quantities for over 30 years. Back in 1973, the experience was one of curiosity and economics. I was not wealthy. Nor am I now, but I am also not poor.
The simple truth is that I could ignore our societal evolution and eat well for the remainder of my life without growing so much as a carrot. Our food supply in the USA is presently abundant and of high quality, and I do not see that reality changing during my lifetime. Food cost will inflate severely, but not availability; hence my gardening was purely an economic and independence consideration. I do not like manual labor, but I do enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of my work. So do other friends and family members, and it was a joy bringing pleasure to those I care about. One might say I am choosing to be an example, hoping that they become knowledgeably aggressive in their own survival in coming bad times.
Bad times? Surely I overstate the severity of our pending economic and health evolution as we experience the next ten to twenty years. The facts, however, speak otherwise. Much of what I had to say in "Looking Ahead" has come to pass even within one year. For example, consider gasoline prices. Accept the reality that our true inflation rate bears little resemblance to the published Consumer Price Index. Have gold prices also inflated rapidly as I predicted? Yes, for gold sold recently at $530 per troy ounce. If you look at the stock market, which we are told responds negatively to inflation, you see the opposite effect. Specifically, stock values are now reflecting the decline in purchasing power of the dollar.
This seems so simple on reflection. If hard company assets and a positive future sales demand environment exist, then the stock price will reflect inflation. Thus, at a time in USA history where the poor and middle classes are suffering, the stock market is advancing to reflect inflation. It is not advancing to reflect great future business potential within the USA as the buying power of the general public is and has been and will be declining markedly. It simply reflects the current dollar value of assets and established market, and decreased operation costs resulting from giving our manufacturing away to the Chinese, which is unbelievably foolish in the present and especially in the long term.
My article comments about inflation in "Looking Ahead" could not have been more accurate. My recommendation to the little people to buy gold couldnít have been more on target.
I also spoke about interest rates, chastising those with high credit card debt and high mortgages with variable rate interest. The proverbial "ink" was barely dry on my article before our credit card companies started a severe upward push in interest rates and applied nasty pressure on the Congress to change the personal bankruptcy laws. The latter subject has produced a most interesting result, for the poor folks who declare bankruptcy are overwhelmingly unable to repay their debt, hence the change in the law was irrelevant. The golden goose has been squeezed out due to declining wages and benefits.
How did you enjoy the powerful spikes in oil and gasoline prices during the year 2005? Can you actually believe that hurricane Katrina had anything to do with those spikes? If you recall, the spikes occurred quickly after Katrina, and within two months had declined to represent only severe inflation, a byproduct of a declining dollar value due to debt. The large spikes were pure opportunism for the petroleum companies, and anything they might say in their defense dishonest. Even if they used the windfall profits to search for new sources of oil, there is no way the USA public will benefit, for there is no new area for exploration that can produce oil in abundant quantity. Isnít that a bitch?
Do you think income and property taxes will be stable going forward? Didnít our glorious president give us really nice tax breaks? Ha! I strongly recommended in "Looking Ahead" that people become debt free as soon as possible and then reduce their standard of living if they own expensive properties. The reason is obvious. Property taxes will reflect inflation within a few years, and older people simply will not be able to pay those taxes from poor wages and salaries, and later diluted pensions and social security income. Further, conservative returns from conservative investments in 401K plans and IRAís, etc., will certainly not keep up with inflation. And on the tail end, the tax tables of the IRS let you know that you will lose an even larger percentage of your future income if the raw income numbers put you into the next higher tax bracket. Only the wealthy with long term dividend and capital gain income can shield that income from high tax rates. You cannot.
How about ambitious investments in 401K plans, etc.? If you learned nothing else from the behavior of the stock markets between the year 2000 and 2004, at least realize that stock value manipulation is the rule, and you are not in the driverís seat. Any stock can be and will be unreasonably inflated or depressed to incite greed at purchasing time and fear at sales time for the little people. Ambitious investments in the stock market are stupid for little people. That means they will either lose their assets within the market, or, lose the purchasing power of their conservatively placed asset investments due to inflation. Yes, the market will reflect inflation in segments, over time, and no one will provide the key to where you should be at any given moment. It is a crapshoot. The best of small investors stay somewhat ahead through time in absolute dollars due to conservative investing in the better mutual funds Ö but not in purchasing power.
Thus, in "Looking Ahead", I strongly recommended placing financial assets into things like property or gold that will more reliably reflect coming inflation. Of course, to do so means diverting of income away from 401K plans and IRAís to provide seed money for more sensible investments controlled by YOU instead of your government and Wall St. What have your government(s) and our lovely corporations done lately to help you financially? How about our financial institutions, the banks, and our credit card companies?
How about massive debt from war? How about massive balance of payments deficits due to moving our manufacturing offshore to China, and our continuing to consume massive amounts of ever more expensive oil? How about illegal immigrants depressing wages and increasing local and state costs for medical services for the indigent and education costs for children of illegal immigrants? These immigrants, as evidenced recently along the Mexican border and in California, are becoming criminally aggressive in their determination to invade us. So who is protecting us, the amnesty bullshit president?
One thing I failed to mention in "Looking Ahead" was the potential for continuing war of both conventional and biological types, for I was focused only on quality of life issues related to economics. Fortunately, there are other folks like Michael Ruppert, who have explored the war subject and have done the necessary research and analysis to indicate that we are in real trouble. To point, the probability of biowarfare designed to reduce human population from around six billion to about two billion is very high. That is a lot faster and easier than convincing billions of abominably stupid people to curtail their asinine reproductive habits. Why, even our problems with illegal immigrants go away!
All the early warnings about avian flu are most telling. It is the insidious gradual escalation of the spread of that disease that hides the reality of the planning behind the coming pandemic, and the continuing absence of a viable anti-viral agent. Well, perhaps there is or will be a suitable anti-viral agent for certain people. Oh well, look at the bright side. The world will stop using so much oil, such that we may not exhaust our supply. Uh, huh.
Note that the Chinese have been unwilling to share any of the avian flu virus samples from their own population with us. Note also that a disease that "gradually" mutates into a deadly human form and moves into different geographic regions can later be added intentionally to any geographic area without fear of discovery of wrongdoing. In the war of numbers, who wins?
Most recently, the news media has alerted us to concerns about migrating birds spreading the disease from Russia to Alaska and then South to us. If that happens, then no human agents need to do anything criminal to spread the disease. Those with the right avian flu virus mutation and corresponding anti-viral agent, both laboratory created, can spread the disease globally via Mother Nature, and protect only their people of choice. Who is to know in advance which of us might receive effective vaccine instead of a placebo (Well folks, the vaccine just doesnít seem to work for everybody. Sorry!)? How important are you to the progression of Humanity Ö or Inhumanity, as the case may be? Who in power agrees with your personal assessment of your importance?
Okay, I digress, with anger, and without confidence in our demonstrably bad leaders, governmental and corporate. I now conclude. "Looking Ahead" was a fine forecast of some things to come and of some use in offering steps for protection of the little people. I am one of the little people. So are you. Sit up and listen, and act on your own behalf before you become de facto part of the poor group, or the dead group.