Wake up, O sleeper. Rise from the dead
Well, I am awake. It is 5:50am here in AZ and I just looked at the AU charts. Who says no manipulation? In the middle of the night when US markets are closed? Moving down on technical pressure? No. easing global tensions? No. this is why I should stop trading! Things were looking fairly bullish Friday afternoon and I decided to stay in my long position. Those criminals! All I can say is “Wake up, people.”
At the risk of preaching to the choir… perhaps you’ll want to forward these musings.
Wake up, O sleeper. Rise from the dead.
As people begin to awaken from their slumber—awakening from a dream that all is well, that the economy is recovering, that the government statistics are correct and employment is improving—these people are seeing a grim reality that is not pleasant to look at. No wonder they want to stay asleep.
But even as they sleep, people know in their soul that something is wrong. A feeling they cannot shake.
Our good friend Keg told us about a conversation with colleagues the other day, and how that conversation turned to the economy and politics:
“So I challenged them by asking what they were doing to protect their families and their assets. Dead silence. Complacency to the max from people that are intelligent and successful in business, know in their soul that something is wrong, yet choose to ignore it and just go on as they always have.”
These people are asleep and afraid to awaken from their dream.
Indeed, those who trust in this current economic system—a centrally planned, manipulative, Keynesian rip-off that stacks the deck against you—are already dead. They will have no chance to prosper in the economy that comes. Their paper wealth will be wiped out, bailed-in or both. The equity in their home will evaporate. But do you think the bankers will forgive the debt out of pity for you? No! They will not. In a deflationary environment, nothing you have purchased with debt will be worth more than is owed. Not your home, not your car, not your new appliances. Those who owe money to banks are debt slaves. And when the economy is so damaged that most cannot continue to make their debt-slavery payments, what will they do? Bankruptcy? Many will consider their lives over.
If they really do wake up momentarily, they sense a monster in the closet, and know they ought to open the door and verify that there is no monster in there so they can relax again. But the problem is that there really is a monster hiding in the closet. Everyone knows it but nobody will talk about it. Except in places like this—and then we are called out as cult members or conspiracy theorists.
If I may set the table a bit here…
I earned a MA and PhD, mentored by several internationally recognized scholars in my field. My programs brought in big names from around the nation for guest seminars with the graduate students. I have been taught by teachers who made my brain turn upside down and challenged my core beliefs to the point of personal crisis. But the puzzle pieces have all settled into place. I won four awards for research while a student. In 14 years as a professor I held an endowed position, been a department chair, and published two peer-reviewed academic books in my field, along with a number of essays. I got burned out from all the responsibility and administrative work. These days I simply teach, review books by others in the field, go to occasional conferences and write incoherent articles for an obscure economic blog.
My field is Rhetoric. As one of our top minds, Michael Calvin McGee put it "What is rhetoric?" ... "Rhetoric is lies and bullshit. Every department in this university is devoted to the search for truth, except us. We search out lies and bullshit. Now I put it to you, which are there more of?" We look at speeches, to be sure, but also at public relations campaigns, political campaigns, advertising, and the media--specifically we analyze media products designed to shape and steer culture: movies, & music. Our researchers have confirmed that our entire culture has been transformed by the puppet masters of advertising into a “consumer culture” where we are all simply consumers—not sheep so much, but trained to consume products and enrich the corporations and their lackeys.
I received the best mainstream education possible in a very difficult and profound field. Both eyes are wide open. I like to think that my spiritual eyes are wide open as well. I belong to no cults. I don’t entertain groundless theories.
(Hold on… I am getting a text on my smart phone … Oh… just letting me know that they have a zero % sale at the car dealer. Hmmm maybe I should get a new car?). Now where was I?
Point is… I am not from the fringe. I am not ignorant. I am no longer asleep. I have looked in the closet and have decided to take action based on what is in there, cause I see criminals who are running this economy into the ground with their algorithms and derivatives and banking schemes.
I claim that most people are still asleep. They are in bed, dreaming. The dream has this unsettling element—something your subconscious is trying to explain to you—strange events and words, symbolic, and you are grasping at the meaning. So you keep dreaming to see what happens. You know you are dreaming and that you probably ought to get up because the alarm will go off in a few minutes. Then you awaken, ponder the dream for a minute, baffled, unable to make sense of why you dreamed of a train wreck, and finally sit up and swing your feet to the floor and say “I better get moving.” And you go right back to sleep. The dream is trying to tell you the truth, and your awakening, unfortunatley just put you back to sleep, commuting, working, socializing, getting paid and wondering why the paycheck doesn’t seem to go as far.
As you participate in this consumer culture, you are not rally awake. In Jean Baudrillard’s view, reality is just something within in layers of possible socially constructed realities of what he calls “hyperreality.” These layers of reality were created from thin air by propagandists and advertisers, telling their stories that make their products a logical thing to desire. These stories and images are whispered repeatedly in your ear so many times that they become a reality of their own. (link) I used to think he was a post-modern nut, but now… (Hold on… another text … wow, that Old Spice guy can really get around … I think I’ll buy some and smell like him.) I agree with him. But I ask, "Which is the “real” reality. And which are the fake ones?"
The dreamer knows. Your gut feeling is still in touch with truth.
You read the news—mostly fluff and scandals. So you turn to the “Business” page and read a lengthy encouraging article about a local craft brewer who is now selling beer to neighboring cities and hiring 3 more workers. You notice a small article that a large national pharmacy is closing their local distribution center and laying off 345 workers. (the placement and length of the articles sends a strong metamessage about which story is more significant in the mind of the publisher). You see the bank ads to refinance your home, again. They come in the email and appear in the sidebars of your webpages. And the dreamer knows that something isn’t right.
But as you lie there in bed, half asleep, you also notice the other signs—the soft scrabbling, grunting, and clawing of that monster in the closet—easy to notice, once you tune in.
Prices are going up on your favorite chips while the contents shrink. More balloons, but fewer cars in the lot. Only four businesses left in that strip mall down the road. More people working temporary jobs at the few factories left. That empty industrial building? I never knew what they did there, but the parking lot used to be full. Today it is empty except for weeds & graffiti. When did the fast food restaurant become a senior center? Hamburgers just like grandma used to make—Hey! That is grandma working back there at the grill.
The clues and signs are everywhere you look. In every town, in every country—some worse than others. But not in the newspapers or other media. Nothing of import is discussed there. Maybe that is why news organizations are failing. And since when did a new product line by an international corporation become a news story? Since when did our sleepy little town of 20,000 begin to need an armored personnel carrier? Is crime that bad? And why is the US government providing grants for local police departments to arm up like that? Who are they afraid of? A handful of violent rioters?
I can smell that propaganda stuff a mile away.
Wake up! Don’t go back to sleep as you shower and commute to work. Smell the coffee. That smoke detector battery died last year and what you smell is the house on fire. Good thing there is still time to save your family.
Yes, something is terribly wrong. There really is a monster in that closet. Every time he speaks, the Fed and other central banks jump into action, the US decides to bomb somebody for humanitarian purposes, a 253 page law gets passed in congress, with most house and senate members not even reading past the first page, and a sex scandal is splashed across the front page to try to divert my attention.
“But Dr Jerome, there is nothing I can do about it?”
Nor can I. But I have a “contingency plan” that doesn’t cost me a dime. In fact. It is already saving me money. I am transferring my wealth and energies into things and activities that will survive in tough economic times.
- We keep our savings in precious metals and try to save more than we used to. (I know, gold & silver don’t pay interest. But neither does the bank pay interest anymore. Both metals are currently priced (9-1-14) cheaper than their mining cost.)
- We bought some food stuffs for the pantry—just in case. It is nice to always have a supply of rice, sugar, and canned veggies & fruit in the house. Buying in bulk saves. My Mormon neighbors have been doing this for years.
- We purchased a side of grass-fed organic beef from a local rancher for much less than at the corporate grocer.
- We are learning to garden. Those were sure good tomatoes last night. More to pick today. And have you seen the price of these things in the store?
- We are installing a solar electric system.
- We are planning a debt free “vacation house” to go have fun with the family, but also for a refuge if Ferguson MO comes to Anytown, USA. (hey—it could happen… just one aggressive kid and a trigger happy cop is all it takes).
Now tell me, where is the risk in all of those actions? What am I losing if I am wrong about the monster in the closet? Tell me how that makes me a tin-foil hatted conspiracy nut job cult member who had gone crazy due to too much education.
Perhaps the bad times will not be set in motion by a kid and a cop, but rather by a bank failure and a trigger happy margin caller that set a worldwide banking failure chain in motion.
Or maybe, we just slowly get poorer as jobs evaporate and bankers repossess more and more homes.
Something is definitely wrong. You know it.
Wake up, take action, and save your life.