The Scary Truth About Living in Big Cities During the Turbulent Times Ahead

International Man

International Man: Amid the Covid-19 hysteria and global shutdown, the drawbacks of living in a big city have become more apparent. Sure, cities can offer more career opportunities. Still, they are also more expensive, dirtier, have higher levels of crime, crowded, have fragile supply lines, and infrastructure that can get easily overwhelmed. How do you view the value proposition of living in a big city today, given what is transpiring? Jeff Thomas: Well, in my college years, I found cities to be very attractive. Lots of social opportunities, lots of shops, a greater variety of goods, etc. But, during that time, I was very fortunate to have experienced two city crises from which I learned valuable lessons. The first was an oil crisis in the winter of 1973. It was bad enough that many people had to abandon their cars, some out on the highway, in the snow. Some people died from exposure.

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The Top Banana

International Man

The United States emerged from World War II as the top banana. Having entered the war late, it not only was in the enviable position of expanding as a manufacturing nation to supply the allies with war materials, it also insisted on being paid in gold for whatever it shipped. (Pretty nice deal.) At the end of the war, it only had to switch from building tanks and radio equipment to building cars and televisions for the peacetime population. The icing on the cake was that it had not been invaded, so, in 1945, it was poised to take off as the world’s foremost supplier of goods. For several decades, the US reigned as the top banana, and indeed, that’s still true in many ways, except the peel of the banana is rapidly turning brown. The US has, in recent times, devolved from being the world’s greatest creditor nation to becoming the world’s greatest debtor nation.

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The Enslavement Of Infinite Money

Alt-Market

The phrase “don’t fight the Fed” is an unfortunate but popular delusion. It presupposes that the central bank has limitless power to direct the economy because it can print limitless money. I’m not sure where this idea comes from, but consider the fact that anyone today who is under 30 years old was barely old enough in 2008 to understand or care about the credit collapse. These people spent their formative years knowing only stimulus and QE. In their minds, this is the norm, and they think it always works because they haven’t yet witnessed a collapse. I would say a better phrase for the 2020s is “The Fed is not going to save you”; the Fed is not a superhero and it does not have the power nor the inclination to protect the little people from economic folly. This should be readily apparent today, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and the central bank can’t seem to cure it with Quantitative Easing.

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The Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy

International Man

Every four or five years, throughout the former Free World, it’s election time and those who live in what passes for a democracy get to vote – to choose a poster boy who will play the role of leader in the farcical stage show of politics. I don’t really pay too much attention to political elections, as the outcome has minimal effect on the actual agenda, which is ongoing – independent of political party success. I described my take on the modern political structure several years ago, in “Political Pizza.” Whether the reader is from the US, Canada, the UK, EU, etc., it’s essentially the same. Any government is parasitical by definition. It does not produce any product; it takes from the electorate by force and unilaterally decides what it will dispense to them.

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Pandemic And Economic Collapse: The Next 60 Days

Alt-Market

The news cycle moves so quickly these days writing analysis on current events becomes difficult; the moment you publish an examination of the situation people have already moved on to the next disaster. So, today I’m not going to do that. Instead, let’s look at current trends and project what is likely to happen in the next couple of months. In my article ‘How The Pandemic Crisis Will Probably Develop Over The Next Year’ published in early March, I outlined what I believed would be the major developments on a longer timetable. Some of these predictions have already occurred. Now I would like to tackle a shorter timetable and focus more specifically on the economic side of things, along with the effects of government lockdowns and how they will continue.

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The Lesson of a Crash that Cured Itself

The economic disruption caused by the government’s coronavirus clamp-down may lead to a deep recession or depression; arguably, it already has. President Trump’s $2.2 trillion relief package indicates what his answer to such an economic disaster will be: mega-spending on hand-outs and social projects. Trump is setting himself up as a modern version of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) whose New Deal programs defined 20th century America by diverting it from a largely free-market path down a largely statist one.

International Man

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The New and Improved Propaganda

International Man

Adolf Hitler and his Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, took great pride in their campaign to instill fear in the German people between 1933 and 1945. They understood that the strongest and most renewable emotion in mankind is fear, and that, once a people have been won over by fear, there’s very little that you can’t get them to do.

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