Hey Joe

Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - 1:04pm

This essay was inspired by a deceptively simple question: At what point will people decide they have had enough? By this, I mean at what point will a plurality of citizens look around them, examine their situation, and come to the realization that the present system is not working to their benefit and indeed, is likely working to their detriment? Does the frog really sit in the pot while the heat is slowly turned up, content until the moment where it is too late and he cooks to death? Or does the frog in fact realize at some point that heat is on, he is getting extremely uncomfortable, and that he better jump if he wants to live?

Here’s why I wonder about this.

Just six short years ago, the median net worth of middle class US households was $120,000. Today, it has fallen a whopping 45% to just $66,000 (https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/business/americas-sinking-middle-class.html?_r=0). The number of working-age Americans stuck in part-time employment has more than doubled during the last six years from four million to nine million, and this number is about to take another major leap upwards as Obamacare mandates incentivize companies to cut previously full-time worker to below 30 hours per week, above which the government now requires companies to provide coverage. Speaking of Obamacare, its initial impact has been to raise premiums nationwide, amounting to a massive middle class tax-hike, while five and a half million people who used to have health coverage have now lost it. When the employer mandates really kick in next year, some estimate that based on numbers provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, between 50 to 90 million additional Americans may lose their current coverage (https://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/31/did-hhs-estimate-that-93-million-...). Hope and change!

So play along with me here. Pretend you are an average Joe. Joe has just seen his net worth nearly halved in the last six years. He just lost the health insurance that his employer used to provide, and because Joe has a spouse and kids he is suddenly looking at an additional 15% of his yearly salary to cover health insurance. Joe didn’t expect or plan for this. He starts doing the math and realizes that he already pays 1/3rd of what he earns in State, Federal, and various local taxes. Now Joe suddenly has all these additional health care costs, real inflation is making everyday items like gas and clothing more expensive, and at this point, he doesn’t honestly know how he is going to pay the bills… assuming Joe is able to keep his job. In the past, Joe managed to set aside about five grand per year because he foregoes expensive vacations and always buys used cars, yet he has seen the real purchasing power of the money he set aside ten years ago decline by 30% over that time… $1,500 of every $5,000 he managed to save has been confiscated via inflation and lower purchasing power. But the futility of saving doesn’t really matter much to him right now, because not only is he not going to be able to save anything this year, he may have to start cannibalizing what savings he does have. Joe starts to get scared because he just doesn’t know how he is going to make this work. He hasn’t done anything wrong, he is working harder than ever, yet he is drowning.

So how about it, Joe? Still think the system works to your net benefit? Just how long are you going to keep taking this? How much more CAN you take?


Joe may indeed be pissed. He might be mad as hell and isn’t particularly inclined to take it anymore. But here’s the problem: chances are that Joe doesn’t even know who he should be mad at for this. Depending on his previous voting history, he might blame one party or the other but he needs to understand that neither party is going to fix this thing under the present system. He might want to blame general groups like “welfare queens” or “greedy corporations” but he needs to understand that ultimately they both feed from the same trough- him and his labor, through the inherent wealth confiscation of fiat creation over time.

This is where, dear Turdite, you come in. Joe probably doesn’t quite understand the symbiosis between the Federal Reserve, big banks, and big government. He knows he is being screwed by the system in some way, but he doesn’t really comprehend that it is fiat money creation that is both causing his current difficulties AND is strengthening and enabling the Leviathan powers beyond his control to screw him at every turn. He doesn’t yet get it… but for the first time in his life, he might be ready to hear a few things and not dismiss them out of hand. Maybe, if you see him this Christmas, you can gently direct Joe to Mike Maloney’s series on money. Maybe you can buy him a copy of The Creature from Jekyll Island. Maybe you can just quietly talk about why these things are happening and how sound money acts as a check on both corporate AND governmental power, each of which is accrued at his expense. Who knows, maybe you can even sneak the word Liberty into the conversation.

Small things like this might just have a bigger impact than you can imagine. In his bestselling book The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell notes that social changes often take place with surprising ferocity, when an invisible but crucial point is reached that destabilizes the current paradigm. Everyone takes the status quo for granted… right up until the moment that a critical mass of people (nowhere near a majority, just a sizeable percentage) shift their behavior. Then a tipping point is reached and everything changes.

Gladwell notes three major factors that precipitate such tipping points. First, he describes the “Stickiness Factor”, referring to the power of a simple slogan or idea that distills the movement into a memorable and instantly comprehensible core. Additionally, he ascribes great importance to “The Power of Context”, outlining how such sweeping changes can take place only in an atmosphere fertile for change where people are receptive to new ideas or practices.

Finally and most crucially, he notes “The Power of the Few”. It doesn’t take many to precipitate a tipping point, but those involved have special skills that Gladwell breaks into three categories. Connectors are people who thrive on social information and interpersonal relations, and they have a unique capacity for making connections between large numbers of people with complementary skills. Connectors function as the social equivalent of a computer hub- they always know a guy who knows a guy, and are great at putting people together. Salesmen have the special knack for communicating a message and getting people to go along with them. Charismatic and persuasive, they are powerful negotiators and have an indefinable knack for influencing people to agree with them. Finally, Mavens are amazing repositories of information and knowledge. They possess a deep understanding of issues and facts, and are exceptionally skilled at solving problems.

It sure seems like we have a whole bunch of people who fit these descriptions perfectly, knocking around in the comments section at TFMR every day, doesn’t it?

Here's the deal: If the Great Keynesian Experiment really is in its death throes, if seventy years of malinvestment and easy money really are coming home to roost in a decrepit and dying system, then something is going to have to take its place. Maybe the motto “Prepare Accordingly” might not just be solely applicable to gold and silver investing. Maybe we should be out there trying to plant some memes and prepare some intellectual battlespace. Maybe we should do our best to talk to a few folks, if we have the opportunity. Maybe they’re ready to listen.

Hey, Joe.

. . .

Enjoy your holiday, my friends.

About the Author


Dec 26, 2013 - 3:34pm

Joseph K

We Are All Joseph K. Kafka in America by WILLIAM MANSON

In his novel The Trial, Franz Kafka conjured up the nightmarish, surreal yet strangely familiar world of an ordinary person trapped in a web of bewildering government interventions. Inexplicably, the eponymous protagonist “Joseph K” suddenly finds himself under relentless observation—and is then arrested on charges which remain undisclosed. (“Is it political?” gasps Jeanne Moreau, in Orson Welles’ film version; or, as Orwell’s Winston Smith would say, “is it a thought-crime?”) Seeking to uncover why (and for what) he has become ensnared, Joseph K will take a labyrinthine journey through the intricate legalisms and self-perpetuating contradictions of courts and bureaucracies–only to find himself, once again, back at the beginning of his quest.


Fred Hayek
Dec 25, 2013 - 7:15pm

10 year T bond at 2.98%

That's interesting.

But, try to imagine that you've got a lot of money and you give it to the U.S. gov't and you won't get it back for 10 years. But don't worry, you'll get under 3% interest per year on it.

What's that? You've noticed that prices in the supermarket seem to be going up a hell of a lot faster than 2.98%? You must be mistaken. Have you heard anything in the reliable, mainstream media corroborating this crazy perception of yours? If inflation was really much much worse than that, wouldn't gold be rising in price?

See, chump, I mean, sir. Everything's normal. Just give us your money.

Dec 25, 2013 - 12:14am

Phyiscal Commodities Will Rule

Materials stocks led market on 23rd. Yup, that includes Gold and Silver.

Why up now? I think this is the one area really not rising with the general momentum rally, so it is a "buy".

Nadaq - wow, facesmash, twit and goooble like 2001. Want some now?

Go to value, very low PE's, and contrary to popular opinions. Is the play for 2014 in Materials? I think so.

China has been happy to keep commodities down as they need so much. The Banksters like falling prices as they participate in the money printing orgy that will lead to inflation when the money starts to circulate out of the popular Nasdaq, NYSE stock markets into commodities. The PPT (president's Plunge Protection Team, aka the 'working group on financial markets') is very active, manipulation virtually everything possible.

The money the Fed pumped Banksters is putting into stocks is why they are up. Now this money may free itself from Bankster and Fed control. And it goes into value.

You bet cha!

Dec 24, 2013 - 10:38pm

Harvey's Up! (TFMR)

  • Harvey: Just the first month is in GOFO backwardation. GLD: Gold was unchanged at 805.72 tonnes. SLV: Silver was unchanged at 10,139.78.
  • Tyler Durden: one thing we have just learned is the pace at which the German Central Bank has been able to repatriate its gold. It would make a snail proud. Yesterday Buba head Jens Weidmann told Bild that gold valued at €1.1 billion has been repatriated so far. Putting a weight to this number: to date the Bundesbank has received shipments of a paltry 37 tons of gold from its existing storage place in either New York or Paris to Germany. The repatriated amount over the course of all of 2013 represents just over 5% of the total stated target of 700 tons, and is well below the 87.5 tons that the Bundesbank would need to repatriate each year if it were to collected the 700 tons ratably every year in the 8 year interval between 2013 and 2020.
  • Zero Hedge: Watching Indian bureaucrats attempt to halt more than one billion human beings’ desire for gold has been one of the more entertaining and pathetic stories of all of 2013. For example, Gold Smuggling Increases 7x in India and Surpasses Illegal Drug Trade and almost every passenger on a flight from Dubai to Calicut was found carrying 1kg of gold. If an Indian wants his gold, he will have his gold. It was evident last week when almost every passenger on a flight from Dubai to Calicut was found carrying 1kg of gold, totalling up to 80kg (worth about Rs 24 crore). At Chennai airport, 13 passengers brought the legally permitted quantity of gold in the past one week. “It’s not illegal. But the 80kg gold that landed in Calicut surprised us."
  • James Turk (via King World News): The monetary metals have had many years of increases against one bad year, he notes, and metal in hand still has no counterparty risk even as counterparty risk is growing throughout the world. Turk elaborates on counterparty risk in his new book written with John Rubino, "The Money Bubble." Introducing the book in an essay at GoldMoney's Internet site, Turk elaborates on this point. Payment in gold concludes a transaction, he writes, while payment in government currency is actually acceptance of a central bank's promise to pay, the liability of a central bank. DS: Promise to pay what? More devalued fiat?
  • Chris Powell: Sprott Asset Management CEO Eric Sprott has given what may be his best interview yet -- to USAWatchdog's Greg Hunter -- and it may be his best because he admits being a little aggravated by the counterintuitive action in the markets lately, particularly, of course, in gold and silver, where prices have fallen despite exploding demand. This can have happened, Sprott says, only because of central bank intervention in the markets.
  • J. S. Kim: Though gold will close 2013 lower in price than it started the year, gold had closed higher than it opened for the past 12 consecutive years in a row. Does that fact surprise you? If it does, there are two reasons for this. One, the global banking industry never once advocated purchases of physical gold during the 12 consecutive years gold closed higher than it opened from 2001 to 2012. Secondly, with the massive load of propaganda that global banks disseminate through the worldwide media.
  • Harvey: Your closing 10 year USA bond yield up 5 basis points on the day. USA 10 yr Bond Yield: 2.98% (extemely dangerous).
  • Zero Hedge: From its peak in October 2012, mortgage applications have collapsed 66% and this week printed at new 13-year lows. Since rates started to crack on Taper talk in May 2013, mortgage applications have fallen in a one-way street, but hey, rising rates won't affect the housing recovery, right? But hey, the Fed's economic-confidence inspiring Taper will fix all this and housing will rise once again... on the shoulders of cheap money Wall Street landlords.
  • Dave Kranzler: Today's New Home Sales Report For November: Complete Fiction. Mortgage applications fell by 66%, yet new home sales were up? That does not compute. The Government wants us to believe that new homes sales increased despite that sharp fall off in applications for mortgages used to purchase new homes, which finance 90% of all new home sales. Finally, interest rates have been climbing steadily higher since early October.
All this and more on... The Harvey Report! https://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/610834#comment-610834 DayStar
Dec 24, 2013 - 8:26pm

Net worth

of average Americans, is being slowly bled away, yep same with the pot of water slowly heating up over the fire, its been the plan all along. As for Ob's father, here is who many in AA circles think actually made the sperm donation, probably the biggest lie about this clown that will never be known. Merry Christmas

Dec 24, 2013 - 8:25pm

Ho Ho Ho

I need to wrap a gift for my sweetheart. Merry Christmas

Dec 24, 2013 - 5:59pm

There are frogs...& then there are "budgie smugglers"!...

I had a dream that Rob Ford...the illustrious Mayor of Toronto...was stopped at the airport!...

Mayor Rob Ford: The Colbert Report Toronto "I've got more than enough to eat at home."

Merry Christmas...everyone!!!...

Bag Of Gold

Dec 24, 2013 - 4:46pm

    95% of the population has

95% of the population has chosen to live in an illusion of what they think their country is. They refuse to look closely at how the financial system and the government operates. They do not want to know the truth about the medical and pharmaceutical establishment; about the food or agricultural system; the educational system; foreign policy; the military etc. I found that if you look very closely at any government run or regulated program, you will see the same fraud and criminality that has been demonstrated by our vaunted banking system.

One reason they don't want to know is that they might then be put in a position where they actually have to do something.

What seems to be generally agreed upon in this thread is that the poor will be bought off with gov aid programs. The middle class will be cooked like frogs and so there will not be enough people to revolt or even stand up for real reform.

Unfortunately, our best chance appears to me to be a military coup. It has been mentioned here before and the hope is that many in the military still believe in the constitution and can see the damage being done. The problem is that a total cleanout of tptb, politicians, and bureaucrats would almost shut the country down. If chaos resulted, it would be hard to call for new elections of citizens willing to reinstitute the constitution.

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Dec 24, 2013 - 3:28pm

Merry Christmas Pining

Truth or Consequences, and now Hey Joe. Boy you are the real deal; a lyric political philosopher. Can't wait for what's next.

I really empathize with the fat kid in the video. When I was in sixth grade there was a very large bully that would seek me out on the playground at recess and push me around. One day I had grown weary of this torment. For no particular reason I fixed him in a good stare and punched him in the nose with all I had. He promptly got up off the ground and beat the ever loving crap out of me. What made it all worthwhile was that for the next three weeks I would sit in class and watch him fiddle and twist his seriously rearranged nose. How sweet life can be. Oh, you should also know that the douche bag never laid a hand on me again. And so it goes . . .

Merry Christmas Turdville

Dec 24, 2013 - 9:36am

Navy Frog

that forgot to jump. I was wondering why we have not heard much about the USS Reagan, the most technically advanced aircraft carrier in the world floating the waters in the western pacific, and most in America do not want to inform themselves about the deadly radiation disaster that just keeps on spilling and spreading its plume around the world. Frogs prefer to swim around the pond and only jump when on firm footing to escape the danger, problem this danger has no footing and cannot be seen until it has you in its grasp.


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