I rarely listen to Sean Hannity on the radio. He’s a bit too intense and in your face for me. However, I heard him mention talking to the author of this article and tuned in to listen: The Great Recession of 2011-2012 (Wayback Machine).
It is very interesting reading. The most important bit I took away from it was the fact that there is no going back to the way things were the past 50 years. It simply isn’t possible.
A few good snippets:
The new certainty that both men would have recognized, and that we must confront, is that the era of cheap resources is over. The plentiful and extremely profitable supplies of everything—petroleum, metals, minerals, water, yes, and even air—have been exhausted. While we had them in abundance for a period of nearly three centuries the world was an ever-expanding place, a cornucopia that human ingenuity fashioned into ever more wonderful machines and the human spirit used to subsidize the expansion of opportunities and entitlements we call “rights” to all mankind.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY the lights are suddenly going to go out all over the world. Those who use the “peak oil” argument to say we have exhausted the globe’s oil reserves are wrong. It does not really matter whether there are two trillion barrels left or (more likely) 10 trillion barrels of petroleum still lurking under polar ice caps or offshore Brazil or in the South China Sea. We will have petroleum energy supplies aplenty from shale and other high-tech processes too. But it will be expensive and hard to get, and it is that extra expense of the getting that robs us of the subsidy that made so much of the industrial West’s prosperity—and indeed its political culture and civil promises—so possible.
It will get ugly, make no mistake. How ugly? Wait until those things we consider “rights” start to get squeezed in the interest of what our ruling politicians decree as the national interest. The uproar that greeted the mere suggestion that health care resources for the elderly might be circumscribed was genteel debate by contrast with what’s ahead. The notion that rights can be rescinded as easily as they have been obtained is not a happy thought. Case in point: my mother recalled that she and my father had to marry in secret and she continued to live with her parents throughout 1936 because the New Dealers who controlled the Pennsylvania state legislature had decreed that no married woman could be a public school teacher or hold another state job when a jobless married man could take her place. Try that out on the next dinner table debate you attend and see how many bread rolls get thrown at you by women who are convinced that it can’t happen again; times have changed, they’ve come a long way, baby. Well, yes. Nowadays most women don’t have the option not to work.
What boggles my mind is that so much of this info is news to someone like Hannity. Average people with blogs and websites have only been writing about this stuff for years. Same thing with the housing bubble. Anyone in any related business who says they never saw it coming is either an idiot or lying. I can understand why the average Joe on the street might not have seen it coming. But government, banking and other officials? You have to be joking.
Anyway, the guy on Hannity was interesting and sounded very level-headed. His piece is long, but well worth a read.
Then after you read that, consider these:
- Nationwide Strike Paralyzes Greece (This is what is down the road we are headed)
- A quick tour of hyperinflation and the possible consequences for America (a good, easy to understand primer if you don’t understand hyperinflation)