Trust and the System

Tue, Sep 24, 2013 - 8:26am

At this very moment there are legions of analysts, bank executives, traders, government policy coordinators and data gatherers working as a part of the complex machinery of the modern super-state. At the behest of those at the top of the public and private leadership hierarchy, these people work daily to craft, calibrate, and adjust the economic-political-media environment. Whether it is a mid-level functionary at the Bureau of Labor Statistics being told to "adjust" certain criteria so that the unemployment rate will provide a suitably positive headline for the media to tout prior to an upcoming election, or a desk trader being told to dump 2,000 contracts into a thinly-traded market at 2:00 am to keep the price of the primary "store of value alternative to the US Dollar" under control, all of these specialists have their role to play within the most complex operational system human being have ever created- the modern economy.

The problem with all this comes from the contradictions inherent between what those trying to control the system want to achieve (and hence order these specialists to carry out) and the constraints that reality enforces on such operations, especially the fundamental laws of economics. Without getting into too much detail, suffice it to say that when you have "X" as your goal, but achieving "X" necessarily causes "Y" to happen and “Y” directly undermines your goals, then you have a contradiction. The primary solution to this, it seems, is to lie. Artificially cause "Y" not to happen, or simply lie and pretend that "Y" isn't happening, and you are then free to ignore the contradictions achieve your goal "X". Or so the theory goes.

The reality is that it's not so simple as merely "X" variable and "Y" result. The modern economy is a massively elaborate and complex entity, so much so that the variables and relationships involved probably number in the millions and are beyond the ability of any single individual to identify, let alone to understand and perfectly control. As more and more aspects of the system require “adjusting”, the need to mislead becomes acute. The lies required to hide the contradictions and maintain control over the system become obvious and threadbare as time passes. Whether it is the lie that unemployment is only around seven percent (when labor participation rate is just 63%, the lowest ever recorded) or the lie that inflation is only around 2 % per year (when people see the costs of food, gasoline, clothing, and other necessities of life double in just a few short years), people inevitably begin to notice that reality does not match up to what they are being told. The big lies and small lies slowly take their toll and what is undermined, ultimately, is trust.

"So what?" you might ask, "So people slowly but surely realize they are being lied to or occasionally cheated, what is the big deal with this?" Well, the big deal is simply that, at the core of it, the modern economy relies on trust to function. When you destroy trust you destroy the foundation of the entire system and you undermine its ability to perform its most basic, existential functions. This, I suspect, is not something that the central planners, media spinmeisters, and their legions of bureaucrats have accounted for. Someday, they may well wish they had.

Trust in a Market Economy

A state-level society can only exist when there is a very high division of labor; that is, when the majority of the working population are specialists in one particular job. The reason for this is that by having most individuals do one small but highly specialized job, through practice and repetition they become quite skilled at that task, far more skilled and effective than someone who merely dabbles occasionally at it. People become, and train to become, professionals- and over time through many different people doing many different jobs at a high level of skill, tremendous efficiencies are possible. The surplus thus created spurs productivity and ultimately raises the standard of living over time.

The key to this type of system, however, is that all of the various parts of a complex society must function together so well that individuals are free to specialize. One cannot train to be a specialist in maintaining power lines, for example, if they do not have a reasonable expectation they will be able to purchase food, clothing, medicine, housing, etc. (all of which must be produced by many other skilled specialists in different fields) with the wages they earn. In other words, the foundation of a functioning state-level society is trust; the core belief of the citizenry that the rest of society will function well enough to produce all the necessities of life that the specialist, by definition, cannot produce for himself. Without this trust, there can be no division of labor, and hence no efficiencies resulting from highly skilled specialization, In other words, without a strong underlying degree of trust in the system, the central attributes that allow such a system to function are undermined or lost.

Trust in Finance, Tax, and Currency

We don’t usually think about it in these terms, but trust is the single key ingredient allowing the advanced architecture of the world’s financial system to function. People have to trust in the stability of the currency, have to trust that laws protecting investors will be enforced, and have to trust that when they purchase something with their hard-earned capital that instrument (a stock or bond or fund) is exactly what it purports to be. They have to trust that when they participate in the system they do so under equal protection of law. Indeed, the only reason they will put their hard-earned saving into retirement funds or ETF’s or Bond funds is that they trust all of these aspects of the system. When trust is undermined in any of these areas, whether it is MF Global illegally trading with and losing client funds (a 1.5 billion dollar crime for which not a single person has faced charges, let alone done jail time) or virtually every major bank in the US committing serial mortgage fraud, then at some point people become aware that they are not really market participants themselves, they are merely morsels waiting to be gobbled up by some "too big to jail" entity. When this realization comes, the only rational decision left to them is to withdraw from participating in the market. Obviously, without participants there literally is no market, and hence no market economy.

When trust in currency is lost, people choose to withdraw from storing their saved value in that currency, as much as possible. Contrary to popular misconception, hyperinflation is not simply ‘lots of inflation’. Rather it is a psychological phenomenon whereby people lose faith in the currency (ceasing to believe that it will store the value they have earned) and thus they try to get their wealth out of that currency as quickly as possible and into tangible items that will store value better. The Weimar Republic was merely one of 31 nations during the twentieth century to learn what happens when the citizenry no longer trusts the currency they issue.

Additionally, the tax system -the only means of revenue for government- is largely dependent on voluntary compliance, requiring that the vast majority of citizens (who, in bulk, cannot be checked or investigated by a limited number of tax officials) to honestly record and pay what they owe. The citizenry must voluntarily choose to follow the law, as they are far too numerous to be policed or forced to comply with the law in any real way. When trust in a fairly administered tax system is lost, people may no longer feel compelled to voluntarily comply with laws that they can often skirt with a little effort. A fine example of this is Greece, where the government is truly desperate for revenues but it is estimated that 1/3rd to ½ of the overall economy is an off-books “grey market” economy operating under the radar and not paying any taxes whatsoever. I read a comment once from someone who lived and worked in Greece for many years that “For most Greeks I have known, tax avoidance is akin to a national pastime”. Failure to treat everyone equally ultimately caused people to no longer trust the system and to realize that paying taxes was a sucker’s game. The loss of trust in this one institution cripples Greece and its entire economy to this day, a stark lesson in why the current IRS scandal may have more profound long-term consequences than might be apparent at first glance.

Consequences and actions

For these reasons and more, trust is the very foundation of our present system. I find it puzzling that the loss of trust in basic institutions (financial, governmental, legal, etc) is treated so cavalierly today. In areas as diverse as trading and interest rate manipulations, hypothecation and re-hypothecation of investor funds, “too big to jail” mortgage fraud, devaluation of the currency, and of course the obvious deceit of various government actors, it seems that trust is being eroded at nearly every turn. I suspect that, aside from rising cynicism, most folks have not really realized the broader significance of what a loss of trust in these things means for the system as a whole.

When enough people cease to trust financial markets and withdraw their savings, those markets will fail. When trust in currency is lost, people invest in gold and silver, and when enough people cease to trust the currency to hold their stored value we call this hyperinflation (a psychological phenomenon since the viability of a fiat currency rests ultimately on the faith of its users). When trust in the system as a whole is lost, people look to survive outside of the system, and take steps to produce their own food, see to their own security, etc. In short, they turn their productive effort away from a participatory “I will specialize in this one thing and use my wages to buy everything else that I need but do not produce myself” type of strategy and turn instead towards a generalist “I will produce essentials myself” strategy. Without mass participation, however, the division of labor economic system cannot function.

Given all this, I find the rise of the prepping phenomenon to be very, very interesting. At the core of it, this phenomenon represents a growing mistrust in the ability of the modern nation state to perform its most basic and vital function- ensuring the conditions that allow for a specialization of labor.

Think about the central aspects of prepping- from home food production or storage, to personal security and defense of property, to off-grid living, to stacking items for barter… each represents the individual taking responsibility at home for specialist functions that normally would be done by others, or by the state itself, in a functioning society. Under normal conditions, the specialists of law enforcement provide for a secure and safe society and ensure the conditions under which personal property is protected - the prepper may not trust this will always be the case and hence might choose to arm themselves. Normally, food production and distribution specialists (from farmers to store owners) participate in a system which allows citizens to purchase food for their families without ever growing a single vegetable on their own- the prepper may not trust this system will always function as it has in the past. The prepper may not trust that the financial system will preserve their capital, or that laws will be fairly enforced to ensure they are not preyed on by well-connected market participants, or that the currency may not always be a viable store of value- so they stack PM’s and invest in productive farmland and other tangible assets. In short, preppers no longer trust that they can rely on the system to perform its many traditional roles indefinitely. They are voluntarily moving from the role of wage-labor specialist to generalist, to the degree they are able. They are doing so because, at the heart of the matter, they no longer trust that state-level society will always successfully perform its basic functions under all conditions.

Is this a rational approach for people to take? That depends on whether or not you believe the institutions of the state, the employees of the state, and the economic and financial infrastructure of the state, have earned your trust through their actions. If you feel they have, then there is no need to do much of anything. If you feel they haven’t… well, you might want to prepare accordingly.

About the Author


Sep 24, 2013 - 8:27am
Sep 24, 2013 - 8:30am

Don't know if this has been posted

I have been away for a few days.

Finland recently became the latest nation to initiate action to pull its physical gold reserves back within its national borders. As WealthCycles has reported over the past year or so, the gold repatriation movement is steadily growing, as country after country moves to retrieve their gold. The announcement by the Finnish repatriation movement states the rationale most succinctly:

Venezuela and Germany recently have made the decision to bring their gold back home and many other countries are seeing initiatives to do the same. This tells us that governments are getting ready for a currency crisis.

Much of the world’s sovereign gold reserves have been stored for safekeeping for many years in the vaults of bullion banks and other international financial institutions, largely in London and the United States. The reasons the world has stored its gold in the bastions of Western democracy vary:

2nd Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Sep 24, 2013 - 8:46am

Morning TF!

Cool hand Turd, sliding in with the "First"!

Sep 24, 2013 - 8:56am

I'll take the 5th

Nice post


Gold Dog
Sep 24, 2013 - 8:59am

"That's the ticket!"

Tommie Fla Na Gan

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:01am

Turd. loooooooooool That is

Turd. loooooooooool That is downright manipulation of the "first"

HappyNow TF
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:12am

Hahaha Turd.  Looks good on

Hahaha Turd. Looks good on you.

Pining - excellent piece of work. Churns up thought.

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:14am

To comment on Pinings

To comment on Pinings Musings, I would also add that deflation would mean that people had a lot of debt and that the means to pay it (cash) were a much sought after thing. I see a lot of debt at the moment. Currency being created is going into those mega debt promises to prop them up with sufficient funds in case things go pear shaped and to shore up "trust." (think Basel III etc).

Either way, debt requires currency to pay it off and and this makes cash important (currency), even if it requires the selling of assets to get cash - think Greece selling off its assets when it got smacked).Just some no doubt ill thought out off the cuff remarks to balance things out as so many people are expecting hyperinflation or some such thing. That will only occur if total loss of faith in the currency occurs in combination with money printing. ala The Weimar Republic. I can't see that coming down into mainstreet for quite some time yet personally which edges me more towards deflation (the thing The Fed is supposedly more scared of).

So, how are those jobs going ? How are those taxes coming along ? how are the pensions looking ? Afford to send the kids to private school or college as easily ? What about the price of things these days compared to wages - got a pay rise recently............?

One track for the mega money and a second track for the ordinary man it seems to me.

Mr. Fix
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:22am

Trust the system?

Not likely.

I trust that it will fail.

For all of the reasons you outlined in your article, (very nice job by the way), I live with an absolute certainty that not only is our system going to collapse, but the fact that they do not even pretend to be trustworthy anymore, tells me that the planned collapse is imminent.

Once all the trust is gone, there is only one other option, coercion.

The system will continue under martial law, a total police state, before it inevitably loses its ability to enforce its laws.

It's going to get very messy, once you take away trust, it will be every man for himself.


Sep 24, 2013 - 9:24am

Something fishy about that first

It happened only 2 milliseconds after the post but the time taken to reach Turds computer is known to take 7 milliseconds


Once trust is lost it can be very hard to earn it back. The parasites that be will learn this one day.

When my trust in banks and fiat money disappeared I promptly took much of my savings to alternatives, PMs and bitcoins. Despite PMs being down a fair bit since, I still have no trust in banking and hence happy to sit tight with the metal.

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:32am

Good Morning Good Morning!

Another thought provoking write up , thank you sir!

Interestingly enough, I have been pondering similar concepts recently, though not as in depth.

I was in the process of making pickled beets from my Grandfather's extra beet crop. ( only the 2nd time I have ever done this) It is very rewarding, though very time consuming! It has been an ongoing battle in my head, what is more valuable for me to place time and effort into on a daily basis? My recent work and income has allowed me to have more 'free' time... a scarce item in the modern specialized State. With this, I have worked to broaden my skill sets, after formerly working in a highly productive/ specialized area.

I agree with the idea of specialization leading to high efficiency, though this concept seems to have been tilted and warped to favor a select few who have made it their 'job' to further tilt and game the system. This breeds mistrust, then to a decline in quality of products and services.

So am I wrong to be teaching my niece and nephew how to work in the vegetable garden? Or how to care for the chickens? Not at all! At their young age, they could grow up to become high end Organic Gardeners! Certainly a benefit for society!

So the concept of 'Jack of All Trades, Master of None' comes to mind... It may not be productive, for ME to attempt to learn how to build the Space Shuttle... though by using skills and time that I have wisely, learning how to live within the system, being a productive member, though all the while developing refined skills to fill in the gaps.

( i would continue, though want to get out and about for a bit!)

The Doc
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:33am

Eric Sprott: The Fed Has Lost

Eric Sprott: The Fed Has Lost Control of the Bond Market!

In his most explosive interview with SD ever, CEO of Sprott Asset Management Eric Sprott discussed his thoughts on the Fed’s no-taper, why he believes the cartel took down gold this spring, the evidence that a bail-in is coming to the US and Canada, and the US fiscal debt crisis. Sprott stated the Fed could not taper QE because it has lost control of the bond market!
We have never printed on a daily basis more than we are printing right now, and all the while, interest rates doubled!
Just the talk of tapering moved the rates significantly higher. I happen to believe that they have lost control of the bond market. Just by talking the talk the rates doubled and if they walked the walk, I think we would see a dramatic increase in rates here and severe carnage in the bond market.

Sprott went on to claim that the paper gold market was crushed by the Western Central banks this spring in order to free up gold supply from the ETFs as a massive gold shortage threatened the banking system, and that this is a battle the Western Central banks are doomed to lose as global physical demand will soon overwhelm Central bank supply.

Gold Dog
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:34am

Dog's receipe for good health and wealth-

50% Tangibles in case of inflation.

50% Cash or equivalents in case of deflation.

In summation, I have no clue what is going to happen.

Thanks for the article Pining my friend!



PS- Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work I go!

Green Lantern
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:35am

There are tons of studies on

There are tons of studies on lying. A majority of the public compulsively lies. However, the older people get the less likely they will lie. there was even a study recently that said you can tell if a person is lying when you are texting if they delay replying to you. I disabled texting so I'm an outlier.

I can't even get friends to show up at the time they agreed to. Courts are back logged with all sorts of civil suits and obviously criminal.

Trust in goverment? NO WAY. NOt when you can't expect the average person to be diligent with their agreements.

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:44am

Thanks P4

I see you've given the subject a lot of thought over time and many of those points you bring up are trust based issue's that most people never give thought to regarding the system in place around them.

I guess the reason why most people don't give it any thought (or if they should?) is the crux of your post. I think avoidance of the negative aspects of life (or govt etc.) is something most people aren't comfortable discussing for any great length of time due to the negative and insecure feelings that the subject generates. People generally don't like discomfort especially if they have a choice to discuss it or not.

Who wants to dwell on the possibility or consequences of something extremely negative happening when it appears that many or most of the system around you is functioning efficiently enough for that person's own good in their small sphere within their daily life? Most people don't want to even think about it let alone embrace the idea that they need to prepare for something uncomfortable in life long term that they've never experienced on any level even in the short term.

I can only speak from an American citizens viewpoint from where I live and I know your post can take on a different meaning if someone was from Pakistan or Egypt as opposed to Canada or Sweden or the US. where the appearance of daily life (and the outlook on one's future) is vastly different.

I can't say that I trust govt. to the point where I feel it's infallible or that I don't see the need to have a contingency plan just in case. But I can also say that I don't fear govt. either and I'm not real worried about "them" taking my way of life away or anything like that. I do however recognize the precarious financial position that our US govt is in and that it could effect my life in some measure at some point if it got really bad in an unimaginable and unprecedented way. Therein lies the pretext I believe for a person to either have trust or instead to be wary of the system around them.

If their system has always been fairly consistent and relatively orderly and it functions to the degree they feel comfortable or safe with then their fear or mistrust of that system is almost non-existent and out of their mind. Here again, it depends on where you live and what level of lifestyle you live and your comfort within your own small sphere of existence. Those of us with a broader range of concerns or observations see the problems that others are facing across the planet as potentially happening in our own backyard at some point.

The question mainly becomes..."How long might that take to happen here or is that even possible and should I even worry about something that probably won't happen because it never has? That rhetorical question being subject again to where one lives and what they've experienced.

Personally speaking, I'm not worried about a whole lot if I were to merely observe the immediate small world around myself and my daily lifestyle and the events in it at this time or even previously going years back. It appears fairly stable and 'feels' fairly safe and modestly comfortable and it's been (fortunately) pretty consistent and reliable as far as important functions go. I would categorize these available basic necessities as food, fuel/energy procurement, shelter, clothing etc.

Luckily, none of those has ever been in short supply or available and the most important thing is that I have never experienced a shortage or absence of those items or their availability. I consider myself very fortunate and blessed in life in that regard.

I also recognize that I live in a relatively comfortable sweet spot on the planet where my modest but comfortable lifestyle might be more of an aberration then what most people get to live and enjoy in life on a daily basis.

I think this overall question of yours is subjective to what one has experienced in life or where they live. Right now my preps aren't anywhere near what they 'should' be but that's because my housing situation is about to change to a new location and I honestly don't feel the urgency to do so around me at this point to the degree I know some folks engage in.

That could change when a more permanent change of address happens soon but I'll still be living in the same area where I feel safe and comfortable. Hopefully that doesn't change too much in the near or far away future but if I were to judge my need to prep based on what I see or feel around me because I'm not real concerned and filled with fear or anxious trepidation. That's a choice people choose to feel and embrace or disregard without further thought or preparation.

That doesn't make me blind to everything I realize and see around the world in the news I pay attention to. I realize that many of us live within an aberration of relative comfort and security based on our geographic isolation between two oceans and that most of the rest of the world lives on the other side of the planet.

Right now I don't feel the need to prep for something that has little probability of happening based on recent geographical history BUT I also realize that something severe and unexpected is always possible. Once I move to another residence I'll be more apt to start stockpiling some essentials but I'm not sure how deeply I'll get into it.

Situational awareness and where you live can go a long way towards feeling more secure without possibly having to secure lots of potential necessities that might never come into play anytime soon....hopefully. It all depends where you live to some extent while recognizing (and somewhat accepting) that there is no shortage of big events out of our control that could blow our daily normalcy out of the water.

"Normal" takes on many definitions depending on where you live or what you've already experienced and expect to happen again. I choose not to live in fear and the emotional weakness that results from the constant anxiety of being hyper-vigilant about things which I don't see a rational need (based on where I live/what I've experienced) to engage in right now.

Rational in this sense being a totally subjective and personally experienced choice or reactive necessity.

ancientmoney Hammer
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:52am

@Hammer, Pining re: hyperinflation . . .

Pining, this is as good an outlay of the trust factor I have ever read. Very succinct and spot-on, in my opinion. Nice work!

Hammer, your idea is that the debt carried throughout the system may well cause deflation. On a monetary basis, this could happen if QE were to stop--if the government caused or allowed it to happen.

So, there is your trust issue again. The people now know that the government controls deflation/inflation. If the govy chooses deflation, the people will lose all trust, stop paying their bills, and use whatever monies they have to buy their needs (and wants) rather than pay off debt.

This would mean deflation of debt, and inflation or possibly hyperinflation in needed assets/goods.

The people, when crushed by debt, lose faith, lose trust in the system. They will abandon their debt and do what they must to survive.

Are we there yet? No. But, we are on the path, for sure. Unemployment worsens as the FSA grows. Debts grow as income shrinks. We are on a glidepath to breakdown, with no solution in sight.

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:57am

Hmmm only 15 km deep that 7.8

Hmmm only 15 km deep that 7.8 in Pakistan and possibly a strike slip......73% USGS model chance of 1,000 plus fatalities.

@CNBCPAKISTAN : Deputy speaker #Balochistan Assembly says upto 40% houses collapsed in urban areas of Awaran, 90% collapsed in remote areas #earthquake 17 minutes ago

John Galt
Sep 24, 2013 - 9:58am

Thanks Pining re: Lies and Trust

Thanks Pining for another highly relevant post.

Perhaps it goes without saying that the State is compelled to lie to its citizens in order to maintain some semblance of the illusion of trust.

Back in the days of Nazi Germany this was fairly easy to accomplish (because of State control of virtually all forms of media), and Joseph Goebbels once had this to say about the importance of lies to the success of the State:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” In today's world the State has less control of the flow of information and, hence, the truth is more difficult to hide with the lies. Those who are noticing the lies appear to be ones who are losing trust in the system. However, there are many former professionals who are no longer able to earn and income from there system. As they become displaced and, inevitably, dependent on the system they end up having little choice but to trust the system, because their ongoing stream of government checks is now dependent on the continuation of that system. Perhaps forced dependence on the State is designed to demand trust (misplaced though it is), based on the premise that true freedom would result in starvation by severing the dependants from the government teat.

Sep 24, 2013 - 9:58am

Levels of awareness

DPH, you make a great point that in our daily lives, (superficially) things look more or less normal and people who aren't news junkies or follow the markets the way we do just don't see all the cracks in the system and the rank dishonesty that we see. There is very little doubt that the public is still unaware of most of this when 73% cannot correctly define what the Fed's program of Quantitative Easing is (link). Doesn't that stat blow you away? 3 out of 4 people surveyed didn't even know what QE is? They need a Turdville education!

But that is why I started with the section about lies, and the increasing "need to mislead". I firmly believe you can only keep the contradictions hidden for so long. People are already aware that inflation is much higher than officially stated, and as other aspects of the truth creep out and seep in to the public consciousness, the process will accelerate. We clearly aren't at the point of widespread understanding yet, but given the volume of stuff, from MF Global to the Cypress Bail-in model, there will be a tipping point.

When enough people in general understand what we here know now, then the stuff I talked about in the article will start to kick in. Extend and pretend is not a viable long-term strategy, or to put in another way, you can only carry-out a con for so long before the marks start to get wise.

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:05am

Before I take the 5th

let me sit here and make a statement in regard to my innocence and that evil nasty tea party.... good riddance to the woman who deserves a good flogging. You cannot trust anything even remotely associated with goob and the csm for that matter as they were part of the crew that gave us the current regime in DC

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:08am

On the Gwadar coastline, the

On the Gwadar coastline, the earthquake created a small island about half a kilometre into the sea near an area called ‘Jhanda’, according to Express News. The newly appearing island is said to have a mountainous terrain rising up to a hundred feet. A large crowd was seen gathering at the site to see the new island.

Whoa if this is true.

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:29am


You nailed the superficiality of what I was getting at.

My cocoon has always been safe and comfortable and the branch of the tree I reside in always stable.

I have more trepidation at this point about the safety of the US banking system and where (or if) I should park some capital in it when I do so. That's my biggest concern right now.

I see where this is headed controls.

When does "eventually" happen is the question for myself?

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:36am

Assuming this isn't

Assuming this isn't photoshopped of course. But for now, here it is apparently

John Galt
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:41am

More Lies re: Prepping

While typing my earlier comment I heard Mrs. Galt cursing in the background.

She has been planning to can some apples soon, and was phoning around to various orchards to shop for prices.

Last year was a terrible harvest for apples, and prices of Cortlands shot up from roughly $17 per half bushel to $25. This year there is a return to normalcy in terms of supply, but everywhere she calls is saying that the prices will remain at $25 per half bushel.

One orchard actually argued that Cortland prices have been this high for each of the last 4 years. Not a chance...Mrs. G keeps records, and knows exactly what she has been paying for each of those years.

Earned trust, these days, would seem to be priceless.

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:42am
Sep 24, 2013 - 10:52am


We traveled from the NW to Georgia for nine days to check out the southern lifestyles. I have several NW VIEWS that are not connected but here they are: The people in Ga. were very friendly. Almost everyone just comes up and talks. There is a sense of morality that one will not find on the west coast. It was very noticeable. 2. We have eaten BBQ ribs across the nation including Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and the yearly BBQ cook-off at Sparks but found the best at Hawg Wild BBQ in Clarksville, Ga. 3. We paid $3.12 for gas. 4. We stayed in Northern Ga. with my two old sisters. As soon as we arrived, they began to ask if we had a bug-out home in the interior of the NW. They have stored food, thinking about stacking, and have purchased two guns. I told the one who is 88 that her 22 rifle could hit someone a mile away and to be careful. They go to the door with their gun in hand if the doorbell rings after dark. 5. I asked them for their favorite meal. They said squirrel with mashed potatoes and okra. 6. I knew Mr. F and Katie Rose did not know how to prepare them properly so I asked for their recipe as follows: Shoot at least two squirrels-- clean and remove head and tail -- clean out innards -- cut into sections -- salt and pepper -- put on wax paper and turn pieces over several times in flour -- fry them in one cup of oil until golden brown -- take out and set it aside while you make a milk gravy -- when gravy is finished, put the squirrel pieces in the gravy and bake in the oven at a low temp. for 30 minutes. Make sure gravy starts with enough liquid so it does not dry out. Eat and be happy because Ga. is full of squirrels.

Sep 24, 2013 - 10:58am


like respect has to be earned......

The feds have neither......TPTB have neither.....the banksters have neither...

Sep 24, 2013 - 11:20am

It's funny how

the quality of photos are always rubbish when there's something REALLY amazing and new happening. Everyone's camera suddenly stops taking decent pics.

Same with aliens.

Oh well.

Down Range
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:22am



100+ Hat Tips.....Thank You


القراع عصفور
Sep 24, 2013 - 11:26am


"Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to dismantle what he calls a system of creating false online reviews for products and services. On Monday he announced that he has settled cases with 19 companies that included $350,000 in penalties. The fake plaudits are sometimes called "astroturfing," a reference to the synthetic grass used on sports fields."

"Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing," Schneiderman said. "This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution."

oh, and 10,ooo hat tips Pining! you are awesome!


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Key Economic Events Week of 4/22

4/22 10:00 ET Existing Home Sales
4/23 10:00 ET New Home Sales
4/25 8:30 ET Durable Goods
4/26 8:30 ET Q1 GDP first guess

Key Economic Events Week of 4/15

4/16 9:15 ET Cap Util and Ind Prod
4/17 8:30 ET Trade Deficit (Feb)
4/17 10:00 ET Wholesale Inventories
4/18 8:30 ET Retail Sales (March)
4/18 8:30 ET Philly Fed
4/18 10:00 ET Business Inventories (Feb)
4/19 8:30 ET Housing Starts and Building Permits

Key Economic Events Week of 4/1

4/1 8:30 ET Retail Sales (Feb)
4/1 9:45 ET Markit & ISM Manu PMIs
4/1 10:00 ET Construction Spending (Feb)
4/1 10:00 ET Business Inventories (Jan)
4/2 8:30 ET Durable Goods (Feb)
4/3 9:45 ET Markit & ISM Services PMIs
4/5 8:30 ET BLSBS