Economists… Gotta Love Em

Did a commenter over at Cheap Chalupas just shit all over their bloated jargon-fest? Why, yes, yes he did!

Steven Kopits

This is moronic. If you[‘ve] been unemployed, your unemployable! I know any number of investment banker types who have been unemployed a long time. None of them are unemployable.

What we have here is an old-fashioned oil shock. Not more, not less. We called the recession for the fall in April, based on the historical relationship of oil prices to the economy. To date, that call is looking pretty good.

It’s not that these folks are unemployable. It’s that–on average–they aren’t allowed to use any more oil when they’re employed. We’re supply limited, just as I said we would be in my October 2009 piece for Oil & Gas Investor. There is nothing obscure going on. People are not unemployable. We are unable to form new jobs because we haven’t got the energy to do so.

I’ll add that the migration of millions of low skill peasants hasn’t exactly been a boon to the employability ranks, now has it, TCCC? Perhaps you should consult with open borders fanatic scott sumner on how best to muddy the waters for the nativist layman.

Happy Labor Day!


  1. on September 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm Who gives a crap

    What the fuck is this shit.


  2. that has got to be the dumbest economic argument I have ever seen.


    • You 2 above gotta be some of the dumbest morons I have ever run across. Generation Y – by any chance?
      “In 1989, I concluded that the life-expectancy of Industrial Civilization is horridly short. This hypothesis was defined in terms of a measurable index, world energy-use per person, and named the “transient-pulse theory of Industrial Civilization.” I sketched its maximum point at 1990, followed by a persistent decline (see Note 1). Back then, however, I had no data to support this claim”

      Most of you have no chance of survival in a post-peak World. After one week of no electricity – you will be committing suicide en-masse, or begging others to do it for you – because you are too cowardely to do it yourself.
      I could waste my time by trying to educate you, or open your eyes – But that may compromise my own survival. Good luck.


      • Hahaha, spout more bullshit please.

        All of these peak-oil theories are a crock of shit, none of them are grounded in reality. We have plenty of energy to go around, it’s called nuclear.


      • Totally agree peak oil is total BS we have enough natural gas to last for a very long time domestically plus solar and nuclear to supplement if needed.


      • Natural gas is… a gas. Gasoline & diesel engines can’t run on natural gas without a costly conversion, which also reduces their effective range because the tanks are so big.

        So you shell out $2k to convert your 4Runner to Compressed Natural Gas. Great. In most metro areas of 2 million people or larger, you may have 2, maybe 3 filling stations, at the most. In a town of a hundred thousand? Shit out of luck.

        Infrastructure, people. Natural gas is great to heat homes, make hot water for bathing, and make relatively clean electricity. It ain’t shit for driving cars, trucks, freighters, trains, or aircraft.

        One more time for the ‘tards in the house: THE ECONOMY RUNS ON LIQUID FUELS.


      • Look outside the U.S. Natural Gas at the pump is a reality in my country and quite a few others.

        It does require an infrastructure upgrade by the industry, but not much of one. Certainly nothing they have not done before.


      • I’m sure the Japanese are loving nuclear power stations at the moment.


      • Lesson learned: don’t build nuclear power plants on the coast or on fault lines.

        Other than that, it’s unlimited energy.


      • You have to build a Nuke plant near water for cooling, and not much of Japan is not on a fault line.

        That said if they had built this reactor on the other side of the Island there would not have been an issue, the plant failed under stress of a quake AND a giant wave very close to one another.

        Modern reactors are safe. The Fuki plant was 40 years old, in the wrong place and put under unreasonable stress and a total of 0 people died.


    • Of course, but stupid business people at mediocre companies that hire most people (and especially their dimwhitted politically-correct HR types whom they don’t question) believe it.


    • Maurice, How would you know? Steve Kopits is an energy economist. He’s an expert. He’s not just some random dude posting in the comments. He’s gotten a lot right. You can also find him on UCSD energy economist James Hamilton’s site posting in the comments. Here’s a good starting point to reducing your ignorance. Hamilton’s research on the effects of energy price shocks is very worth reading too btw.


  3. If you are unemployed all you need is a little Employment Game.

    The latest installment now available in today’s Spearhead Labor Day Extravaganza :


  4. The storm of regulation, epitomized by Gibson Guitar, would, I think, have more to do with it.

    The biggest job killer is Sarbanes Oxley. The intent was to compel accountants to tell the truth, but the effect was to create a million accounting jobs at the expense of real jobs, and to force accountants to lie.


  5. Or it might that we’ve been consuming more than we’ve been producing, or that public and private debt dwarf wealth. Just sayin


  6. There are real hindrances to employment.

    In no particular order

    o Unemployment compensation: why look hard when you can do OK
    – and without the cost and hassle of going to work – with the gov’t check?

    o Minimum wage laws – if you are worth less than the minwage to most
    employers, you are indeed unemployable, at least by them

    o Countless pro-employee laws. That’s right. An employer will hesitate
    to hire you if he knows it can be REALLY expensive to fire you.

    o Welfare – see unemployment above

    o government regulations of various kinds, beyond protecting employees.
    Protecting the snail darter cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in Central
    California, the darter got the water, not the farmers. (See rotenin for
    a possible solution.) Limitations on shale oil, offshore drilling, cracking
    for natural gas etc. Real jobs that don’t happen.

    o unrealistic expectations. Maybe the $100 000 a year job you had was the
    anomaly, not your current offers.And maybe the $100 000 + job at GM,
    including benefits, for a job that takes little or no skill was the anomaly.
    (Actually, that is not a a maybe)

    o Taxation of more kinds than can be fathomed, of employer and employee
    both, discouraging work.

    Etc, you get the gist.



    • “And maybe the $100 000 + job at GM, including benefits, for a job that takes little or no skill was the anomaly.”

      True, but join the UAW and vote hard for Democrats they support like they tell you and you won’t have to worry about that.


      • Actually, you do have to worry, or you should. Salary levels at GM are largely holding up, but fewer and fewer jobs at that pay are on offer.

        Reality has a pesky way of re-asserting itself.



    • “Unemployment compensation: why look hard when you can do OK
      – and without the cost and hassle of going to work – with the gov’t check?”

      First, GFY. Every person who does not own the business, or get paid on a 1099 pays 15% of his pay into unemployment insurance. On average, making $30K per year, that comes to $4500 per year going to unemployment. Most depressions that make jobs scarce come around every 30 years, but to make it simple, let’s say 20 years.

      So, the average person pays $90-100K to unemployment before needing to use it. Any fucking idea how much one can get on unemployment? ~$12K…and that is if you made A LOT more than that to begin with. It is roughly 25% of what we make in our paychecks. So, those who go on unemployment are now reduced to an amount that barely puts food on the table and gas in the car to get to interviews with hopes of getting a job before the next house payment comes due. Now, if the government allowed us to get back what we paid in, each of us who loses our jobs could start our own business.

      So, before you start blaming unemployed people for being on unemployment, take a step back, and FUCK YOUR OWN FACE!

      Given the choice, sure, I would rather there not be unemployment insurance, and just allow me to set aside a portion of my money to help myself, but that isn’t where we are, and isn’t part of the rules we are required to play by. Stop cursing the player and change the rule.


      • Get a fucking job hippie and stop hanging out on game blogs.


      • Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s the company that pays the bulk of unemployment insurance. The 15% of which you speak is for Social Security tax. If you are self-employed you must pay this also and you get no unemployment benefits.


      • You are dead wrong. You’re talking about the 15.3% FICA tax, half of which is paid by the employer and half of which is paid by the employee. FICA tax has zero relationship to unemployment insurance – the FICA payroll tax is the fund source for Social Security and Medicare.

        Businesses do pay separate state and federal unemployment taxes, of which the employee (directly) pays none. It’s true, of course, that all payroll taxes ultimately cost the employee wages, because all the taxes increase the employee’s total cost to the employer. But the 15.3% payroll tax has nothing to do with unemployment insurance. Actual unemployment taxes typically cost an employer $300-500 per worker per year, varying by state.


  7. It’s true, the world’s oil supply is on the decline, and has been since at least 2005. According to the International Energy Agency, oil production peaked at around 86 million barrels per day, and has remained flat or declined slightly since then. The Saudis no longer have enough spare capacity to make up for shortfalls. When Libya fell, the Saudis claimed that they could make up the 2 million BPD Libya produced. They couldn’t. Oil prices spiked.

    In order to make up for losses in production from well depletion, we’d have to find the equivalent of 6, count ’em, six Saudi Arabias by 2020. Only one has been discovered, the Tupi oil field off Brazil, and that’s 15,000 feet down.

    So there’s no question we’re in an oil shock right now, and oil will continue to climb in cost. Eventually we’ll see supply disruptions, spot shortages, more resource wars, (Iraq–only about oil. Period.) And, since really we’re on the top of a ‘bumpy plateau’ in oil production, it’s said in the business, we’re really seen nothing yet. The meconium has yet to strike the rotary airflow oscillator with any force just yet.. we’re only seeing the little pre-dump farts from the asshole of civilization.

    The illegal immigrant discussion is both relevant and interesting, because both oil and illegal immigrants represent cheap ways to perform tedious labor. It’s estimated that each of us, through our use of modern technological devices, has the equivalent of 60-100 “energy slaves” that do the work for us that would have been done in man-hours in the pre-industrial revolution era. Or, put anouther way, a gallon of gasoline has 300-400 man-hour’s worth of labor stored in its chemical bonds.

    But more germane to the discussion of game, the oil age really gave rise to feminism by bringing the mechanisation of the household. Because women no longer had to milk the goats and string the laundry on the clothesline, and men didn’t have to haul firewood or shovel coal to heat the house, the division of labor was no longer relevant. As the household division of labor disintegrated, it freed up women to agitate for their “rights” to act like men.

    With the slow-motion economic collapse already taking place, we’re seeing a slow return to traditional values. Hipsters are already taking up knitting, home brewing, and backyard chickens–and of course these activities skew along gender lines for the most part.

    Also relevant to game, the men who’ve made arrangements to continue their lifestyle in the post-carbon era will be seen as much more attractive, and those who don’t adapt will wither on the vine, lose economic power, and possibly slide into omegadom. It’s already happening–look at all the men who’ve lost jobs in construction and other male-dominated fields. They either adapt, or get sucked into the backwash of a collapsing megalith.


    • All of your nonsense rests on the assumption that no new sources of energy will be discovered. Keep being dogmatic, and reality will humiliate you.


      • I hope you’re right. I wouldn’t mind being wrong in that case. That would be excellent, actually.

        But what if you’re wrong?

        All energy is essentially solar energy. Oil is simply solar energy captured in chemical bonds by plants several million years ago that got trapped geologically. We found all the easy, cheap-to-extract oil, and all that’s left is poor quality and/or hard to get. The supplies we do have are depleting at about 5% per year, with very few prospects for replacing those depleted fields. The Saudi’s Ghawar field, one of the oldest and largest, is now being pumped with seawater to improve extraction rates. There is a report that many wells in Ghawar are now putting out a 90/10 mix of seawater/oil. Not good.

        Unless you are correct, we’re going to have to learn to live on the solar energy we get daily, because we’re running out of the fossilized stuff.

        Here’s the real crux, Sammy: Even if you are correct, and another energy source, or several, are discovered, the problem is infrastructure. Our whole system is built on liquid fuels. More than 90% of the energy we expend to run society is in liquid form, and all supply lines, from refining to liquid fuel distribution, to turning liquid fuel into heat, light, movement, whatever, are all based on moving vast quantities of liquid around.

        Even if we had all the free electicity in the world, say from Tesla’s machines that captures ambient electrons from the ionosphere (or whatever), there isn’t enough battery capacity in the world, not even close, to convert it all to electric.

        There’s a reason you don’t see electric semi trucks & tractor-trailers–the batteries are too large and you’d have no cargo capacity with all the battery packs. With the best present technology, it takes 900 pounds of battery capacity to store the on-demand energy in ONE GALLON of gas. Which is why the Toyota Prius and others like it, all suck donkey balls.

        Bottom line is, the chance of finding a new energy source to replace oil in any reasonable timeline, is very slim. But hey, miracles do happen.


      • Your stupidity stems from the poverty of your imaginations.

        “Here’s the real crux, Sammy: Even if you are correct, and another energy source, or several, are discovered, the problem is infrastructure. Our whole system is built on liquid fuels.”

        This is all false. If we created electric cars, powered most of our shit with nuclear, and did just about everything with re-chargeable batteries we’d be fine. As we move to nuclear (or some other alternative) and reduce the amount of oil we consume, then the remaining oil supplies will last twice or three times as long.

        Hell, we’ll never run out of oil. We’ll be replacing our need for it as soon as oil reaches the $200 a barrel range (adjusted for inflation).

        And that’s not even scratching the surface of what we could do. There are still hundreds of ways to improve existing oil usage, oil production, oil discovery, etc.

        Peak-oil is a sham, it’s like discussing whether or not aliens exist in outer-space.

        “But what if you’re wrong?”

        Then we all die, seriously, why give a shit about something like that? What if a giant comet hits earth tomorrow? What you die from a brain spasm tomorrow?

        Why worry about uncontrollable stupid shit?

        But the existing pattern for the last 2000 years:

        – Resource becomes expensive.
        – Alternatives to resource are found.

        This has been true for EVERY SINGLE resource, and I do not expect oil to be any different.


      • samseau you are unimaginably fucking retarded.


      • Samseau is dead right. The human race can devise a technical solution to nearly any problem, within a decent time frame.

        All the peak oil people remind me of the folks in the 70s predicting mass starvation and the sky-rocketing price of all key metal commodities such as copper.

        Sure enough, food production increased, and fibre optic cables replaced copper wires.

        And with nuclear, there is a ready made solution to the energy problem. And other evolving technologies (such as wave) are feasible (if more expensive). Oil will be replaced, eventually.

        The Malthusians and doom-sayers have been wrong for over 250 years: They are like a cult leader who’s predicted doomsday for the fiftieth time.


      • More like the boy who cried wolf.

        I could use some copper, you got any? Wait, it hasnt skyrocketing in price, right?


      • Twenty years ago, copper was critical to world infrastructure. Now it’s just another valuable metal. It’s scarcer so it’s more valuable: But the increasing scarcity ain’t an issue since most of it’s former applications are no longer used. Same will happen with oil


      • Yeah oil will be replaced – with grain for horses, mules and oxen . . .


      • I’ve often been fascinated with alternative energies, as it dovetails nicely with my independent streak, and makes for fun homesteading and seasteading fantasies.

        My hobbyist research came to the same conclusion as did rEvolutionize. There are other forms of energy, but some energy needs, especially transport and especially transport by sea and air, require liquid fuels.

        You can take electrons and a bunch hydrogen and carbon and wind up with gasoline. And you can use sunlight to grow algae which will give you liquid fuels. And we can create a transport grid where rechargeable batteries are dropped off and traded out at recharge stations for your personal auto. And there are enough alternative energies to keep industrial society going.


        The costs are higher, and we have not been moving fast enough in building up a replacement infrastructure. You can absolutely expect more resource wars in the future – for oil, and other resources as well.

        Cheap oil has a different economic impact than bio-fuels or liquid fuels we might create using solar or hydrothermal electric power in an industrial process. You can still keep the machines running with the later, but more man hours go into that.

        Regarding energy density for storage, it’s been proposed we could burn boron, and reprocess the boron ash. You can do the same with aluminum and other metals. There are ways to keep machines working without a need for a new technology – the question isn’t really CAN we re-tool, it is ARE we re-tooling at the speed needed to avoid an oil shock.


      • And of course the obvious solution to this problem – a solution I mentioned on this blog two or three years ago – is to use surplus cheap labor to plant glass in the desert. Just throw the trillions in stimulus fully into solar, desalination, and water pumping projects. Put those Mexicans and blacks to work growing fig trees in the Nevada deserts.


      • “The question isn’t really CAN we re-tool, it is ARE we re-tooling at the speed needed to avoid an oil shock.”

        Exactly. In order to retool to keep the current system going, we would have needed to get started during the Carter administration. Ol’ Jimmhy the Peanut farmer tried, but the political will wasn’t there, and we all know what happened.

        So there’s no avoiding an oil shock, because we’re already in one. Samseau is essentially in the Titanic (as are we all) arguing that a better life boat or more resilient ocean liner will be developed, when the one he’s in is already leaking, listing, and gurgling towards the bottom.

        At this point in history, all glory and honor rests in our individual responsibility to adapt.


      • Most people, like sammy, are too stupid to comprehend the true value of fossil fuels…heads too full of techno-fantasy bullshit to wake up


      • Xsplat,

        Ever heard of a Nuclear Submarine…


      • Ya, and they can shoot down satellites now. And they have been known to cut undersea telcom/internet cables.

        Useful for smuggling, I’d imagine.

        You can spend weeks fantasizing and researching submarines, and building personal subs. Anyone with cash can commission a monster of a sub to be built for them in China.

        Why do you ask?


      • Oh – you are suggesting nuclear fuel for maritime marine.

        Strange I’d never heard that suggestion before. And it never occured to me. I’m guessing there are disadvantages to that solution.


      • Merchant marine.


      • Nuclear propulsion costs more. The USN hasn’t been able to justify it for any surface ship smaller than a large carrier. They used to operate smaller ships with nukes and gave it up.

        Are there substitutes for oil? Sure. One problem: they cost more.


  8. wake up white man.


  9. Thor,

    You are partially correct, but as an “employer” myself, the key to negotiating this minefield is to farm out as much of possible the work to independent contractors. With IC’s, you can structure the deal in any way you want. It doesn’t have to be hourly, it can be a per-piece job, negating minimum wage considerations. IC contracts can have any number of termination clauses built-in. IC’s get no unemployment insurance.

    Finally I will say that with IC’s, I get a much better quality of worker, because they are intrinsically people who can handle risk and uncertainty, contrasted with those who need the ‘security’ of having a wage-slave job. And because I get a better quality of worker, I get better work, more value, the company profits more, etc.

    There are creative ways around just about any of the bullet points you mentioned, and many more.

    Etc, you get the gist.


  10. wat.. where da gurlz??? lolz


  11. Dammit, other comment in moderative hell. Fuck the cheap chalupa, the underlying issue is far more interesting than that turd!


  12. Look for them to keep exporting the jobs that can me done more cheaply overseas, and keep importing immigrants to do the jobs which can’t be moved overseas.


    • They are importing immigrants to vote, rather than to work. An illegal comes to America, he cannot legally work, but he does legally get food stamps and so forth. So the Mexican underclass, the lowest human scum of Mexico, come here and breed like mad, Once a thirteen year old mexican girl pops her welfare ticket out from between her legs, she is eligible for citizenship, and shortly thereafter, voting for more welfare.


    • As long as we have a minimum wage, tons of regulations and rediculous taxes on busnisses – ‘they’ (the people who have to make a profit and compete) will move jobs away.

      Why is this so fucking hard to understand? Make taxes low, simple and get rid of 90% of regulations and government departments… whoa we might just get the economy going.


  13. @revolutzione
    “With IC’s, you can structure the deal in any way you want. ”

    Absolutely, no argument there. Up to a point.

    This works fine if you have a small handful of people working for you.

    But the big G frowns on this, and there are various ways they
    can snare you and argue that your IC was REALLY an employee.
    Or, an IC you have used for a year you suddenly need to discontinue.
    He can turn around and sue you, claiming that he “really” was an
    employee etc etc, in order to collect unemployment. OR some labor union
    will hit you up and insist you make your ICs into employees.

    For an operation bigger than your garage, this becomes difficult. It can
    work best if many of your ICs are physically at a distance, even in
    another country.

    I have never used ICs, but I have been one and I am one. Many of my
    clients live in Europe or even India (outsourcing stuff to me
    in the US, hehe).

    This is an ongoing battle.



  14. Oil is at $83 a barrel. If I remember correctly it was just shy of $100 over a month ago. If anything, the ratio of oil prices to the economy has gotten considerably favorable, so I don’t understand the argument.

    The reason we still are in recession is because the government still hasn’t let us hit bottom yet. You have to remember…the boom period is the disease and the bust (recession) is the cure. We need the recession to purge the malinvestment and misallocation of capital (mostly into housing) from the boom period.

    However, the government wants to soften the recession and delay the painful correction until their next reelection, and that’s why they’re always calling for more stimulus.

    Some examples of government stimulus:

    Greenspan low-interest rate policy during early 2000s to fight Sept. 11 recession
    Bush’s $150 billion stimulus package of January 2008
    $15 trillion of capital injections into domestic and foreign banks
    Auto company bailouts
    Cash for Clunkers
    Bernanke 0% interest rates since early 2009
    Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package
    Homebuyer tax credit

    And more stimulus coming this week in Obama’s speech this week.

    The point is until the economy and housing hit rock bottom, we will be building this economy on a house of cards and not a solid foundation. That means no more stimulus from the government. Let’s go cold turkey and take our hits but soon we will be able to start this economy over again from scratch. Unfortunately since our politicians can only see until the next election, more stimulus will be forthcoming to keep the phony facade going.

    The sad part is if we’d have done this back in 2008, and had a very painful one year in 2009, at least in 2010 the economy would have come roaring back at a 5%+ growth rate. Now we’re fucked.


    • Leif,

      Your problem is that you are too logical. That’s why are not getting the message. According to the elders:

      1) Unemployment is caused by White Racists and Islamofascists
      2) Anyone who disagrees with #1 is an Anti-Semite

      Nuff said.

      Now go back to watching TV while you get raped in the ass by banksters.


  15. on September 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm Obstinance Works

    And yet skilled labor is in such demand many companies are understaffed. Unemployment is not really an economic issue. It’s a Get Real America issue.


    • The problem is systemic failure of our government education system not producing workers smart enough, or with enough skills, to land these jobs.

      [Heartiste: Myth of equality. Some people … a lot really… don’t have what it takes to learn those in-demand skills.]

      Our schools teach kids to take tests when they should be teaching kids business and engineering skills.

      Do you know kids in Vietnam start learning Excel in 2nd grade? That is our fucking problem (along with over taxation and regulating).


      • What heartiste said should be obvious to anyone with two eyes who’s spent two minutes in the modern education system. What a GD joke…like were going to “educate” our shit-people conquerors to run post-industrial civilization…


  16. on September 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm Days of Broken Arrows

    I hate to have to be the one to say this, but here goes:

    The American people deserve a recession, if not a depression. Fat, stupid, complacent and unaware of the larger reality, the populace has gone from being the pride of the Western world to a disgrace.

    Citizens didn’t save, spent themselves into oblivion, allowed advertising to deceive them, Big Pharma and Big Agri to control them and actually believed in the two-party system. Men let their wives control them into buying too-expensive houses and needless bullshit trinkets. Meanwhile, women married the stupidest, most bloated men they could find. And their ugly arrogant fat kids are beneath contempt.

    Go to a shopping center. What do you see? Hordes of freakishly obese, poorly-dressed undereducated-but-arrogant minions. This country’s people are a disgrace. Stupid bottom feeders.

    We allowed this to happen. We believed politicians were real and refused to see how Big Oil and Wall St. controlled the puppet show because it’s more fun to root for the “teams.” Now we pay, as corporate profit soar yet wages decline.

    Thank god I’m able to lived outside of this system. I saw this coming when business leaders started using words like “transitioning” and “impactful.” Any country that abuses language like that doesn’t have long.


    • Yeah I hate to agree with you, but, it’s there, for anyone with eyes to see.

      Maybe a big, fat, long recession/depression, or outright collapse of the current system will cure things.

      Social darwinism–the survival of the fittest/most adaptable will rule.

      Those who’ve stocked up on red pill-ism, ejected from the system, and made arrangements, will survive to propagate their genes.

      Those who continue to feed from the corporate trough will fall through the cracks. “Darwinian deselection,” as Mike Ruppert put it.


    • DOBA,

      I could’nt have said it better myself. The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.




    • on September 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm old guy, lower case

      BINGO !!!


    • You are one of the oldest and highest quality commenters around in the manosphere. I wish you’d make a blog or join some forum somewhere so I could have discussions with you.


  17. on September 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm Obstinance Works

    The US dollar is strong faggots. Ya’ll really don’t understand. Just vote for Mitt Romney. He’ll set is right.


  18. on September 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm Obstinance Works

    Happy Birthday Charlie Sheen. 13 Warlock years Win accomplished.


  19. The Myths of the High-Tech Worker Shortage
    Date: Aug 05, 2011
    Is the U.S. really in need of more scientists, engineers?


    • Businesses are sitting on 2 trillion dollars. If they had any shortage they’d spend that money raising wages, training unskilled workers(to the extent that they are trainable) and investing in new capital and technology to replace labor.

      In lieu of all that they are waiting for the next batch of foreign workers, and making money angels.


      • Companies don’t want to invest much, at least not in the US,
        when we have the most employer-unfriendly government ever.

        Undo all the federal laws since Teddy Roosevelt (that’s right,
        he and especially Wilson and various supreme court decisions
        started to do a lot of damage early) and watch the US economy SOAR.



  20. Imagine…

    a country were business owners can run their businesses as they see fit, restrained only by the need to get consent from those with whom they do business…


    a country were environmental protection stops at regulating actual pollution that causes health hazards or are actively unpleasant, not abstract models engineered as power tools…


    a country where people get to keep what they earn…

    …and decide for themselves how to spend it…


    a country where large office buildings in the capital get vacated by the tinpot kings…

    …and sold to retire government debt…

    …except a few left as museum pieces…


    schoolchildren traipsing through those museums laughing at the foolish belief that some government “experts” knew how to run things better than the people …who run things…

    Imagine adults walking through these Mausoleum-like buildings, feeling a frisson at how bureaucrats could once run the country any way they wanted…

    …and how some of them would gleefully brag “stroke of the pen, law of the land, kind of cool”…


    a world were these things slowly recede to become historical nightmares, to be contemplated only occasionally, like world wars, millions of people killed by governments – usually their own governments –, mass starvations and other horrors.




  21. You constantly manage to depress me.


    • Better to be depressed and seeing reality as it is, than be happy but deluded.


      • Comment got erased by a browser error.

        Short version – it seems some people are g e n e t i c a l l y inclined to prefer comfort over truth.

        Some people will clearly explain to you that their beliefs are chosen due to their value for comfort.

        Others will tell you that they don’t have the ability to choose comforting beliefs.


      • “Some people will clearly explain to you that their beliefs are chosen due to their value for comfort.”

        One of the most obvious reasons women, and people in general, shouldnt be allowed to make their own decisions.


  22. 12 million illegal immigrants are a problem for the low-skilled labor market. Deporting them could create work for 100,000 INS people, and at the same time improve the supply of labor in favor of our own black minority.

    Then, let’s put a fat VAT on China as retaliation for their currency manipulation. American consumers would end up footing a good part of the bill, but all we’d be doing is making WalMart sell less crap. China’s exports would take a hit, and the government could earn a few hundred billion a year and start paying off our debt.

    Top it off with income tax reform eliminating all deductions and all taxes on capital and corporate income and a flat-rate tax on every dollar above the first 10,000 earned. A tax code of 300 words, max.

    Granted, this would suck for the DC lawyer chicks, thought… boohoohoo.


    • The US has manipulated her currency, too. We deflated our dollar to make it far easier to attempt to pay our debts and then had the balls to go even further into debt. Politicians are Fuckers. ALL of them.


  23. Great Books for Men, where’s your lolzlozloz at?


  24. Oil prices spiked due to money creation by central banks, which was designed to cover up the root cause of the economic malaise: too much debt. The debt is a problem on multiple fronts. First, it pulled demand forward. Debt always does this and it means the “real” economy is smaller than we think it is. This isn’t a big deal if the debt is cleaned out of the system and the economy can grow again. But, second, the debt was used to create massive bubbles that distorted the economy. Way to many people were and are in financial and real estate jobs, but they don’t even hold a candle to the over employment in government. The federal, state and local work forces need to be cut by 20-30%, healthcare and education spending need to be slashed. This adjustment is being blocked by government policy, with bailouts to banks and deficit spending to prop up the government, so the economy is stuck with lots of capital and labor getting destroyed in unproductive sectors, while the government adds massive dead weight. Finally, the debt is so large that it destroys trust in the banking and international financial system, including fiat currencies.


    • All of what you’re saying is true, AND it’s due to hard-limits on production capactiy.

      Fiat dollars are essentially oil dollars, since we have to import so much of the stuff to run the economy. So the dollar is gettting slammed on 2 sides–one by the banksters farting out so electronical currency through bailouts, T-bill purchases, and outright money-printing, and on the other side, by diminishing production capacity.


      • We say that alternative energies are not yet economically competitive, however this can be re-envisioned as that alternative energies don’t give as much man hours out of energy per unit of man hours in used to create it.

        Since we don’t have a man hours deficit, we don’t have an energy deficit.

        What we have is an inability to re-tool, due to political (read people who already have money want to keep their money) issues.


      • “What we have is an inability to re-tool, due to political (read people who already have money want to keep their money) issues.”

        Bingo. The status quo has the system on lockdown, which they have achieved through the wholesale purchase of regulatory agencies. A handy term for this: “regulatory capture.” As in the regulatory agencies have all been captured by their respective industries.

        Banking reform will never be achieved (until after a collapse) because Goldman Suchs alumni fill the SEC, White House, etc. Just as pharmaceutical reform will never be achieved because big pharm has stacked the FDA with drug shills. Same with energy, and every other industry.


      • Or another way to state the problem is that we need alternative energies that can be created with unskilled surplus labor.

        Again – planting glass.


      • Human labor does not, by any stretch of the imagination, scale up to the work done by fossil fuels…how many mexicans are you going to feed to push your car around?


      • Please re-read the comment you responded to.


      • You can’t create energy…one of them laws bro


      • Ya, that’s very cute.

        You know exactly what I mean, and aren’t arguing against anything I”m saying, but are… are what? Snarking it?


      • I think xsplat want to have his car replaced with a rickshaw powered by Mexicans.


  25. i am disappoint


  26. Great post.

    The Great Depression of our era is filled with the Unemployables.

    Very Sad.

    I noted this factor somewhere between 2005 and now there is a growing crop of pple who cannot function in the work environment. Why?

    In the 2008 banking and finance collapse, legions (basically good people) of desk jockeys are unable to find work or are NOT willing to accept the new wal-mart model of life. The wal-mart model of life is: low wages, prole surroundings and no future. China for America, if you will. Sitting around for a few years unemployed means their skills and references become degraded or obsolete/unavailable. Their unemployment cash (UI) runs out and they eventually have to figure out a way to support themselves. 2 problems prevent them from getting back to work: the border Situation: we have around 30 million unemployed Americans who are not paying into the system due to unemployment/low wages. But a open border with endless social welfare goodies for people who work under the table/or for cash is a recipe for planned failure.

    Secondly, stagnant unemployment: That situation ensures we going to keep our unemployment in the 9’s if not higher. Of course, I say our real unemployment stat is around 15% to 30%. But I am NO economist.

    In recent news, the insolvent Soc. Sec system was reporting its disability fund will be broke by 2017 or something:

    1. SSI: There is a insane increase of pple applying for soc.sec. disability benefits, (now of course I mean no harm, but those are basically called crazy checks) and millions of apps are being refused. Those few millions of pple are unemployed for a reason; a perfect storm of real illnesses, a mental illness or a serious injury, etc – so there is a correlation or trend of sorts (totally above my pay-grade) that the unemployed are with us forever and they have some sort of malfunction that employers will not hire them. They are not poor yet or poor, per-se, but they are totally unemployable and about to lose their homes, savings and everything in the soon coming tax of inflation or state instituted VAT. Or whatever the super unconstitutional congress is going to impose upon Americans (see European austerity).

    I have been self employed for nearly 10 years due the obvious; jobs aren’t out there (which is code for working at least 4 jobs during the year). It is nearly impossible to compete the other resumes then attempt to comply with the endless HR nut cases trolling about seeking to underpay me. I simply have zero tolerance for their questions, their paperwork or their protocols.

    2. Drug tests: Many good pple cannot pass the police state styled drug tests. (A bit of snowflaking here, the LP is a drug free health nut. Here’s is how bad it is; last Christmas I wanted something else to do so I can avoid my family for the holidays. So I applied for a cashier/stock girl gig at Macy’s. I got a few hours, the discount and a lesson: Out of 20 applicants I was the only one who could pass the urine/blood test.)

    3. Hardened thieves run the show: I sat on grand duty for 4 months and the corporate crime is so intense that it must add at least a few thousand people are very intelligent thieves, so intelligent, no one catches them until they steal in the 6 figure$. The law, of course, acts ever so swiftly….

    4. Aging populations, see baby boomers and fatness: The unemployable are going to increase as the baby boomers refuse to retire, those jobs won’t be freed up for younger pple and the fatter pple get. A correlation? Dude, its above my pay grade. But I am claiming there is something seriously wrong with the health of Americans and their ability to get their asses to work everyday like the rest of us, as obesity rates go up.

    Tying all this back to Game could look like this: we ladies have damaged the labor pool – we entered it, taking the jobs from the men, so our men sit around at home doing nothing or have their souls sucked from them thanks to the sh-tty labor market. Feminism, portions of free trade and a suicidal immigration system wrecked us. But the system was created to conquer and divide, and so it did; we are fighting each other for jobs instead of linking up for our very survival.


  27. Automation, Outsourcing, De-Industrialization, Workforce Deskilling, and a One Million addition to the population each year. Gee whiz, I wonder why there are no jobs! Must be that sludgey stuff.


  28. Government payroll is way too big. No question. Government subsidized bubbles in housing and higher education have created unneeded workers in those areas…

    My concern is this: it looks like our unemployment rate should be something like 40%. without massive wealth redistribution, how is our society going to remain stable without these gov’t-created jobs? I’m not advocating for this, I’m just struggling to see a solution.

    With technological advancements and more and more mechanized labor (which are good things and efficient), how do people continue to make themselves valuable to society? If not some bs gov’t job, whaat are we going to do with all these unemployed people?


    • beats me…

      but my tea leaf consultation regarding a related issue has informed me that we are screwed. with workers desperate and the predictable corporate exploitation of such to drive down wages, i see a world of well educated but poorly paid serfs unable to afford to marry let alone start families.

      what stake do they have in the rotten system? add to that number the many iraq veterans, _well-trained in the use of arms_, coming home to a dismal job situation perhaps _very annoyed_ that they had been sent on a fools errand.

      why not bring the whole rotten structure down? imagine a thoroughly alienated, embittered and very bright bachelor IT guy who engages in planting viruses to disrupt vital systems for fun. what’s to stop him?

      what happened in england won’t hold a candle to what’s coming here.


    • Forest people have MORE free time than do people living in industrialized societies who benefit from machine labor.

      They don’t consider too much free time as an unemployment issue.

      For us city livers who must trade for food rather than gather it, as long as the food is being produced somewhere and there is an overall surplus of it, the capitalist economy works things out such that we are able to gather it through some sort of labor. Painting houses, massage, hair braiding, computer programming, plumbing, merchandising, manufacture – there are always endless things other people want us to do for each other.

      Only if the wealth is so concentrated that the wealthy have no need for any more labor (a person can only get so many massages and manicures) would there be a distribution of resources problem in our capitalist forest.

      So in my understanding a lack of employment opportunities is equal to lazyness and is based on the mistaken notion that jobs are what other people give you. Go to any slum and you’ll find entrepreneurs making shit. You can go to your hardware store and buy some PCV, install it on the sides and roof of your hovel as a high density hydroponic vegetable garden, and sell cucumbers on the street. Then go door to door selling the garden system. You can create a backyard glass blowing furnace. You can trade in junk. I saw a documentary about Lagos the other day – a whole city of uneducated blacks, trading small tasks. Ok – so without a good gig this can be subsistence level living – but it’s not unemployment. Jobs are not what corporations give, it’s what individuals do with their time in trade to other individuals.


  29. troll

    [Heartiste: You’re trolling. Stop trolling and you’ll be allowed to post again.]


  30. Part of the decay of the west is how the best and brightest are penalised (in income and social prestige) when they get into sciences and engineering: High job instability, no social prestige and being mocked/ignored by women and Nerds (a toxic word if ever there was one). American (and Western) society used to lionise the engineers and scientists.

    Instead, they’re encouraged to join hedge funds, law firms and other instruments for wealth manipulation, rather than wealth creation.

    As for the energy issue: If there was a bit more political courage, the West would have solved its energy problems years ago, with old fashioned nuclear power. It even solves the transport fuel problem since with vast quantities of cheap electricity, you can produce hydogen fuel from catalysis in near infinite quantities.

    Paideia makes a good point about the flat tax and using a stealth tariff to encourage US industry.

    I’m a hard-right conservative, but I don’t see why we have to support globalisation. Our economic policy should put American jobs first.


  31. I agree with most everything you say, except when it comes to economics. saying that cheap, unskilled labor is BAD for the economy is almost a form of the broken windows fallacy, where you think that breaking all the windows downtown would be good for the economy because it’d stimulate jobs (window repairmen, street cleaners to clean up the broken glass)… what you don’t see is the cost of those jobs. the money to pay them comes from somewhere, and that money could be more productively used elsewhere… Just like with cheap labor. If we have cheaper labor, then more money canbe used for more productive things like NEW jobs in NEW areas.

    It’s the “make-work bias” that most people have. They think that more jobs equals more better, when in reality, more productivity equals more better. In the 1800s, most of the country was employed on farms, now a small fraction is, yet we produce more crops. Yours is a Luddites argument.
    The real problem is the stranglehold the government has on small business via regulations and red tape. Loosen the regulations, and you’ll have more jobs.


    • Small businesses are over regulated and over taxed.

      In some countries small business are not taxed or regulated at all. And there is no safety net.


  32. I can honestly see where you’re coming from… when you come from a social standpoint. You don’t want throngs of unskilled browntypes entering in hordes… for SOCIAL reasons… but don’t couch it in economics. Because being anti-cheap labor is exactly the same as being anti-mechanized looms… aka a Luddite. both are a form of increasing productivity (getting more done with less money). Both are GOOD for the economy.


    • but they are paid so poorly they don’t contribute enough in taxes to offset the govt services they consume. and that’s when they’re _on_ the books. in the case of illegals paid under the table, it’s an even more extreme case of the employer internalizing the benefits and externalizing the costs, i.e. onto the taxpayer.


      • that’s a problem with the welfare state, not inherent in cheap labor.


      • true, but if it’s a _problem_, it’s one i’d rather not jettison for the alternate dystopia we’d have with no social safety net in place.

        keep in mind too that there are many benefits only available to citizens and illegals don’t even generate enough in the way of taxes to offset those few.


      • …to offset those few they can receive.


      • A social safety net is a great idea – IF you have a cohesive society that mostly wants to be and can be gainfully employed.

        Otherwise the safety net can not be offered equally to all.


      • the fact is that it’s offered to all,but some groups take more benefits overall than others is absolutely true. there are some folks who are not up to the rigors of naked capitalism or are temporarily down on their luck. that’s our system and there should be some balance to help people out.

        the lack of social cohesion in the usa is a fact and, true, it won’t work as well as it would in a more homogenous society. these were the cards we were dealt. is it our fault that the people running this country back in the day let every immigrant in to keep down labor costs or kidnapped africans for the same reason? now we live with the consequences and for the sake of living in a humane society a safety net was established.


  33. The decline of the west is largely due to the rejection of traditional family roles. When women retired from work, upon marriage, this ensured that more jobs were available for men. In turn, the women could count upon their reliable provider husband.

    As a result, it was a golden time for the normal, beta male. The hypergamous tendencies of women were kept in check by the knowledge that too much pre-marital hi-jinks would permanently impair their ability to attract a decent husband. Furthermore, they were more appreciative of the importance of a man being a good provider. So alpha deadbeats had to stick to the brothels.


    • I don’t believe that women take jobs from men. There is no set number of jobs to be done.

      You can increase the labor pool 10,000% and have full high paying employment. It’s not zero sum.


      • on September 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm Days of Broken Arrows


        It might not be zero sum but enough damage is done economically for it to matter. Plus, there is a sociological factor. Women date and marry up. When a lot of women have prestige jobs, who is left for them to date an marry? An ever-decreasing pool of top-tier Alpha power brokers. Hence, our society gradually slipping into a harem culture inadvertently. The average guy in the 1950s who could snag a decent wife is considered the outcast Beta loser of today.


      • The sociological factor I agree with.

        The zero sum, or whatever sum you are suggesting, I disagree with.

        I’ve always advocated keeping your woman financially down. DON’T look for an economic peer!

        Would it be rude to repeat that twenty times, in all caps?

        Keep your woman financially down. DON’T look for an economic peer!


      • on September 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm Days of Broken Arrows

        LOL. You don’t have to repeat that in all caps because some of us actually learned it the hard way. (Ahem!)


      • Also keep in mind that female lead households usually produce more criminals and less educated people.


      • you may be confusing cause and effect. the cause is a social pathology which is a situation where the dad is unemployed and probably unemployable as well as disinclined and _unqualified_ to be the family head. the mom is stepping up to the plate to substitute for him. her efforts though aren’t enough to avoid the results you mention.


  34. America’s decline into unemployment can never be explained away by adding more unnecessary complicated jargon; if it were, those with real power would have both explained it then fixed the problem.

    The Problem is circular: America no longer makes products of value that other American workers buy.


  35. Gay.


  36. on September 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm Betondo Fuchatuch

    What a miserable, fucking shame.

    For generations, American school factories have been churning out employee-minded people looking for bosses to obey and enough cash to get by (almost assuring that they’ll toe the politically-correct line and do exactly as their told or risk being fired), all the while not knowing or ignoring the fact that great success comes from risk-taking, back-breaking fire-pissing men with a frontier spirit who can make mistakes, endure numerous disappointments and persevere on their way to what they hope will be the mega-sweet fruit of all that hard-assed labor in a capitalist economic system. Like a farmer.

    The BSDs of our time (Disney, Ford, Jobs, Dell) had to leave school to get an education. And look how many lives they’ve helped enrich by providing employment. It’s true – A students wind up teaching and B students work for C students. And then once they make it, the BSDs get awarded honorary degrees years later from these same hyper-prosperous employee mills! Unbelievable!

    I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to work for myself, solve people’s problems by building products, and developing a persuasive proposal for companies to give me their money for the best, most secure job in the world and all the whiskey in Ireland. There’re goo gobs of competition for the good job, and no competition for creativity and self-reliance. No cap at all.

    I just wish that more men wanted to live in the danger zone more.


    • What kind of products do you build?


      • on September 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm Betondo Fuchatuch

        Online personal protection services, floor covering solutions, confidence classes for kids and a few others. I beg for capital for some projects, donation of expertise for others.

        What I find is that it almost doesn’t matter what I choose to build. If I’m passionate about it, willing to work hard (whether I get help or not) and can show data that the customers are at least WILLING to drop their cash for it (whatever IT is), it almost doesn’t matter what the IT is.

        People are funny. They’re more likely to drop cash if their neighbor says it’s good than read and research the actual facts. To me, that’s a very useful piece of information and (I’ll prove later) a sellable commodity. Pet rocks and bottled water should have been laughed out of the board meeting.

        Long answer, but the point is to find an acute need, build a product that meets the need (whether tangible or intangible), prove that people are willing to buy it (crack surveys) and ask for the cash to take it forward. Most times I lose badly, but sometimes I win.

        Still hunting for The Big One.


    • Entrepreneurs don’t get fired.


  37. I would like this post better if, at the end, it did a sorta surprise jink around and turned out to actually, somehow, be about helping dorky men meet, seduce and f**k cute girls.


  38. Cheap labor is NOT the same as mechanized looms.

    The former will come back at you and maybe vote.
    Or organize
    Or insist on free (to them) medical care
    Or riot in the streets

    Mechanized looms don’t do these things.



    • Cheap labor is a valuable resource, if you are not that cheap labor.

      Income disparity is a good thing if you are on benefiting side of the trade. If you pay one hour of labor to get 100 hours of labor, cheap labor is the same as gasoline, to you.

      From a social standpoint – it’s the same. There is no society. There are only people trading labor, at various exchange rates. If you get low man hour exchange, the deal is setup against you. If you get a high exchange, then it’s good for you.


  39. @senseiren

    Actually, no. Self-employed people do NOT pay into unemployment insurance.
    Unless they form a corporation, in which case the rules change. They
    can now deduct medical expenses to the “employee” (themselves) from
    income tax. BUT they have to now pay unemployment. Irony is, they pay
    but it is practically impossible to collect, even if they go out of business.



  40. all,

    most of these theories are barely coherent, nevermind entertaining. major fail.

    always stay within the ambit of your knowledge and experience when speaking and writing with seriousness. add substance or wit or shut the f up.


  41. OT, but has anyone read this really, really disturbing article on the end of college sex as we know it:

    Who will stop the “rape industrialists”!


  42. Sure, but the days of Cheap Chalupas mentioning CH seem to be long gone. The name change over here has harmed the brand. This blog is so 2009.

    [Heartiste: You came running.]


  43. @senseiren

    Sure, your description of unemployed people
    fits lots of people on this blog,
    including me. Yes, if I got back all that has been paid in for
    me on unemployment, that would be a nice grubstake.

    But there are people who work for three months (or is it
    a year? Might vary from state to state) and then draw 99 weeks
    of unemployment. This is a little different from people like me
    who pay in (via various employers) for 30 years, and over a life
    time might draw at most one year of unemployment.

    If I got back all that has been paid in by and for me in
    Social Security, and used to buy the Dow Jones average
    at the end of each year, guess what, I would have about
    a million bucks. Seriously, I did the spreadsheet, assuming
    reinvestment of dividends.

    So when our President says “would you rather trust
    your GOVERMENT with you pension money or Wall Street”,
    I say “don’t I wish – I would trust Wall Street anytime,
    but I was not allowed to do that’.

    Oh, and I would have an MSA (medical savings account)
    of about USD 300K if that had gone the same way.



  44. @that guy

    Some college “players” videotape their encounters secretly, not to
    embarrass anybody nor to be perverse, but if anybody yells “rape”
    after the fact, she is shown the tape of her begging for it….



  45. Wait…does the OP mean that there is a bad recession predicted for the fall due to oil prices?


    • It may happen in the fall, when most of the Northeast buys their heating oil for the winter, or it may happen next May/June when people are travelling a lot, and the farmers buy their diesel for the summer. Or it could delay for a year or two. But it is a certainty, sooner or later.

      Fuel prices are cyclical, influenced by seasonal surges in demand based on use. Of course, China’s the wildcard, their fuel usage has been surging by 10% per year. If they have another big year, it will push the onset of another price crunch. Or if Asian demand softens, it may delay price surges for a year or two, tops.

      Either way, we’ll see more big price surges, followed by a collapse of prices to a new floor when industry balks at buying more fuel at inflated prices. The market stays on the floor for a while, until demand picks up again, then it rockets up again.

      The last floor, in 2008-2009, was around $40/bbl. Today’s floor is about where its current 2-year average trading, about $80 or so. Most certainly we’ll see price surges of some magnitude in the fall and again in early summer, followed by prices dropping back to new floor. Who knows where it’s going, but…watch food prices. Look at corn, wheat, and pork bellies. They follow oil prices, because in a way, they’re made from oil (application of fossil-fuel based pesticides & fertilizers, total mechanization of farms with diesel power, etc.)


  46. @xplat
    on gardening and blowing glass in your back yard.

    Fine, I am all for this. And so it works in Nigeria.

    But try it in any city in the US and a host of federal, state and
    municipal busybodies will descend on you.

    Where I live, one of the few practical solar energy devices are
    outlawed. Mainly, clotheslines.



    • Being an entrepreneur is difficult, anywhere. If you are willing to live hand to mouth for a few decades, you MAY eventually find a stable payout. I can understand why most people are not constitutionally suited for it.

      And I agree with you that the restrictions in the US are outrageous. It’s as if big companies pay the government money to deliberately stop competition!


    • Oh, and I’ve been descended upon for a garage business in the US. And have come up against other anti-competition bureaucracies. The government is the mafia strong arm of big business.


  47. Reality check. Nuclear submarines.

    Nuclear reactors can be fitted in fairly LARGE vessels, especially
    military ones, where risk is part of the deal inherently anyway,
    enemies will ensure that.

    But nuclear reactors on cars, trucks or airplanes are not

    Yes, you can use a nuclear reactor to produce other fuels,
    or charge batteries, but this is a fairly lossy and expensive



    • re: lossy and expensive fuel production:

      Compared to fossil fuels, the alternatives are lossy and expensive. Or they have a return on investment that is a few decades longer. A trough solar electric plant pays for itself in about 25 years, compared to what – 5 for a coal fired one?

      Which again is best visualized as man hours of labor spent into producing energy versus the equivalent to man hours of energy that come out. Nothing is going to beat oil – but that is not our problem. We don’t HAVE to get a 300 man hour surplus for every man hour of labor we put into energy production, in order to have an economically viable industrial economy.

      We merely have to use our surplus low skilled labor pool to be able to produce that energy. Then the energy remains cheap and abundant.


      • And I don’t mean by having mexicans run on treadmills. I mean by having them create energy producing equipment and infrastructure.

        High tech energy producing equipment and infrastructure that requires highly skilled labor has a higher per hour labor cost.

        But if instead of doling out welfare, we had some good old fashioned cheap government jobs on offer, we could harness a huge pool of near slave labor to go live in desert encampments, building up an infrastructure that would serve for decades into the future. Enough surplus energy to desalinate water and grow crops in the desert. Food, water, energy – the basis of domestic security and prosperity.


      • And even if the cheap labor isn’t as cost efficient as the skilled labor, if you divert welfare into energy production, then it’s still a win.


      • You could also tackle some social problems with this plan. Imagine ghettos emptying out as blacks populate the deserts to take up work in energy production and farming. Ten free acres and a mule!

        There is plenty of low skilled labor to be done.


      • Even nuclear, solar, and wind power are oil-powered, to varying degrees.

        Nuclear power requires mining & extraction and refinement at the front end of the process, and cooling and disposal at the other end of the life cycle of nuclear fuel rods. Every one of those processes requires heavy use of diesel fuel. I don’t care what any of the other knuckleheads here or elsewhere say, it’s not economically feasible to run a D9 Caterpillar motor grader or power shovel on batteries and electricity.

        Solar power, and to a lesser extent, wind power, require the mining and extraction of rare earth metals to use in their circuitry and components.

        Previous cornucopian posters are correct in that we’ll never run out of oil, however it will become a drastically expensive commodity that will be reserved for “official” and “necessary” uses. See the fuel rationing that took place in WWII in the US and elsewhere. It can happen, and will happen again.

        At some point, there will be oil left in the ground, but it will be too expensive to extract feasibly for market use. So again, we’ll never run out of oil.

        The only real solution is to orient our lives, our homes, our neighborhoods, our farming, around less energy-intensive ways of life. Walk to work, grow veggies in your backyard, raise chickens & goats, and get whatever else you need at local markets that buy from local growers and producers. Cars will get used a lot less, people will ride bikes more. Horses will come back.

        The cool thing is, the Internets is a fairly stable commodity, because for the most part, it’s already built & invested in, and Google et al are doing a lot of research on powering the net via solar. Lots of power plants in the US are natural gas, which are fairly autonomous from liquid fuels. Coal, however, is resource-intensive to extract and move around, requires a lot of diesel.

        Again, personal responsibility. The less you rely on the grid, the more autonomous you are. Game on a grand scale.


      • Yes, we rely on diesel for manufacture, so even reflective solar concentration/turbine electricity relies on oil, however you could at minimum offset that oil power with what you plug back into the grid, and run your glass making factories from it. And eventually even create a more expensive man made hydrocarbon with the electricity to close the loop.


      • Photovoltaics are not yet as cheap as solar concentration, for large plants. Solar concentration uses mostly sand and steel – no rare earth metals.


      • Correct me if I’m wrong, X, but my understanding of the high-yield solar panels, the real state of the art stuff, requires stuff like neodymium, praseodymium, iridium, etc. Even in trace amounts, the stuff’s got come from some god-forsaken mine in Chile, China, or Chad.

        But I agree with what you’re saying, build the stuff now, invest in alternative infrastructure now while commodities are relatively cheap, and then close the loop later. It IS possible. But as you said above–“we” as in the collective US & world citizenry “We” are not moving fast enough or soon enough.

        However “WE” on an individual level, as in the unique posters on this blog, can individually and with family & friends, take steps to create resiliency. I mean, what else have we got?


      • There are different types of solar power. The kind you refer to is photo-voltaic. I’m referring to solar concentration, using mirrors, to gather heat which is used to power a turbine. The cheapest forms of this are the tower and the parabolic trough. Another cheap one uses more glass, but uses flat panels instead of a parabola to also aim at a collecting tube, and claims to be cheaper to build than the parabolic trough solar heat collection system.


      • if only… the picture you paint is would be the one produced only by a wiser more prudent species. homo sapiens isn’t it. the more likely scenario is widespread violence to corner resources. it will not be pretty. i’m so glad i’ll be dead by the time it plays out. i fear for my 5 kids who were born when i was more optimistic.

        look at the timeline graph of human population from paleo times to the present and shudder. that spike at the end is the last 60 years when the population _doubled_! it’s become a whole different ballgame in the lifetimes of early boomers. you can say people who have lived since fossil fuels and particularly oil came into widespread use are like bacteria cultured on a petri dish and you know what happens when it runs out of nutrients.


      • What else can we do but keep pushing for individual sustainability?

        Yes, it’s a petri dish running out of fuel, but some of the individual bacterium evolve a solution–they learn to run on different growth medium, they escape the dish, they grow wings, whatever. They go on to propagate their genes.

        Which is why I’m reading this blog. I plan on having at least 4-5 kids with 2-3 different women. Gotta waft those seeds across the fertile valleys that remain.

        Plus, since social security’s gonna be busted, and I need labor for my farm, a guy’s gotta stack the deck in his favor.


      • of course there’ll be survivors, and you’re right, many if not most will do whatever it takes to prevail. that probably will include a total breakdown of the social contract and when things die down some terribly brutal social arrangements will be set up. to say nothing of the miserable standard of living and the vast culling of the population. don’t take for granted the best and the brightest will survive. do you want to live in that kind of world?


  48. @Xsplat,

    Yes, but these peasants are going to have 6 kids each, and a 20 year-per-generation breeding cycle, so in 40 years more they will have outbred you by a factor of 10.

    Where will the millions of unskilled jobs of the future be??


    • Well, you could make government handouts and government funds contingent upon taking norplant or using a spiral or having your tubes tied, up until you petitioned to have a deliberate planned baby. The idea isn’t that you can’t have babies while on the dole, but that you are not allowed to have accident babies while on the dole.

      Would that help?

      There are also bio-engineering solutions to the problem. If you can identify a gene marker for a race, you can CURRENTLY release a virus that will sterilize all people of that race.


      • the norplant idea is a humane solution and one that just may fly in the current political environment. after all it wasn’t so long ago public charges deemed ‘feeble-minded’ (love that word) were sterilized, sometimes w/o their knowledge. then the nazis gave it a bad name but people are now forgetting that.

        i heard that mossad is trying to come up with an arab gene marker to keep that population under control. seemed a particularly fiendish type of research but i wouldn’t put it past them.


  49. Well, now that that has been thrashed out, who do you think was hotter in her prime, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, or Kate Beckinsale?


  50. One the nameless post with obscenities:

    It is so refreshing to see detached cool rational arguments….


  51. You peak-oil faggots.
    Buy crude oil futures contracts. Buy oil in the ground futures- which is cheapest. Borrow all the money you can and sink it there. I mean, how can you lose? It would be like stealing from a baby or a retarded person, right? Since you know (better than the worldwide oil marketplace) that oil prices are pre-ordained to spiral ever upward – act on it.
    Or maybe you already have more cash than you know what to do with and would be burdened by having any more.


    • “act on it.”

      You betcha. Bet on: Natural resource funds, emerging markets, precious metals producers, energy companies:

      Avoid: ETF’s, pie-in-the sky alt-energy plans, municipal bonds.

      “oil….pre-ordained to spiral ever upward.”

      Not exactly. Volatile markets will always have rocketing highs and decapitating (heh) lows. Key: buy on the dips, sell in bubble-land.

      Should be self-explanantory. It doesn’t have to be so emotional (but usually is.)


  52. Chateau posts a comment from an economist who claims that unemployability is not an issue in this recession, it’s an oil shock.

    Then Chateau claims that unemployable Mexicans are contributing to the recession.

    Um, which is it?

    Stick to game. Cheap shots at Tyler Cowen are not the strength of this blog.

    [Heartiste: It is both. Imagine that!]


  53. @xplat

    On social safety nets.

    The problem is simple, people voting themselves their income.

    The solution is simple in principle but hard to achieve, and the
    devil is in the details.


    Net tax eaters MUST NOT be allowed to vote.

    An alternative espoused by Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
    and one or two other Sci-Fi authors is that only veterans
    get to vote.

    Either way, total layabouts are excluded.



  54. on September 7, 2011 at 4:13 am learn some economics

    The US doesn’t have open borders dude. It has 11 million illegals of which a large number of them are part of the work force or unemployed because of the recession.

    I don’t understand how you could blame this on open borders?

    The crash happened and would have, even if every last one of these people were never here.


    • Fallacious argument. If 50 % of illegals are still working, that is 5.5 million jobs non-illegals don’t have and I don’t believe the argument that these jobs aren’t wanted.

      The recession affects Canada too (though thanks to a sane policies of Bank of Canada, we weathered the derivatives instruments crisis well), but this problem (illegals) is missing–thus the unemployment figures are lower here and the recession is relatively mild.

      The Sept 2008 crash was inevitable not because of illegals but because of insane financial instruments policies, but the precise timing is another matter. Nonetheless the illegal immigrants is a serious problem, and a contributing factor of the overall economic situation.


  55. on September 7, 2011 at 4:15 am learn some economics


    you always taking pot shots at libertarians, however you need to good arguments to refute their points, not just silly assertions.


  56. “If 50 % of illegals are still working, that is 5.5 million jobs non-illegals don’t have and I don’t believe the argument that these jobs aren’t wanted.”

    Lump of Labor Fallacy. Look it up.


    • Illegal immigrants, not legal ones. Lump of labor fallacy concerns legal immigration.
      Or do you think that if the illegals went home today, there won’t be a sizable chunk of jobs becoming available?


      • these morons believe that illegal peasants actually create jobs and purchase goods to offset their drain on our society and labor force. they don’t.


  57. Economics is a pseudoscience, at best.


  58. @gil
    on nuclear power stations


    A freak earthquake and tsunami killed thousands. Some were drowned,
    some were smashed against a hard object, and MAYBE one or two
    died of radiation.

    And we babble about the dangers of nuclear power plants…..



    • Post-Fukushima cancer rates will kill and maim hundreds of thousands. Look up the post-Chernobyl bump in northern Europe. Chernobyl was a glow-in-the dark hiccup compared to Fukushima. Total released radioactive material to date (it’s still releasing) is now equal to 180,000 Hiroshimas. We’ll see amazingly disgusting disfigurements, children born incapable of ever having even remotely normal lives. A revolting shit show, to say the lease.

      Yep. Nuclear’s not worth it. Never has been, never will be.


      • Nuclear built near fault zone is not worth it. It was truly mindbogglingly stupid idea. But take France, for instance, 65% of their energy (and they export it too) is generated by nuclear plants. How many accidents they had thus far?


  59. @carolyn

    “Arab gene marker”. Not bloody likely, as Jews and Arabs are genetically
    similar. Maybe some Ashkenazim are different enough.

    The important differences are in culture, not genes.



  60. @revoluzione
    About liquid fuels.

    There is actually a hierarchy (mostly, size of molecule)

    1) Natural gas. Mostly methane, CH4, will NOT liquify at room temperature,
    no matter how much you compress. (Critical temperature, check it out)
    For vehicles, means big nasty tank, with plenty of steel. Heaven forbid
    the tank ruptures in a crash, you DON’T want to be anywhere near
    there when it happens.

    2) LPG or liquid petroleum gas. Generally, propane, C3H8, will liquify
    at room temperature, if pressurized. Propane tanks at most gas stations.
    But for vehicles, special filling stations.
    Not sure how much propane mixed in with natural gas, might depend
    on source. But not such a bad option. Works poorly at below -40 degrees,
    as it no longer is under pressure then, and needs to be pumped like
    gasoline. BP -42°C

    3) Gasoline, a mixture, such as heptane, C7H16 and similar.
    (NOTE to those who care: The smaller the molecule the less
    energy from the carbon, thus less CO2 per kWh)



  61. Why shouldn’t businesses employ mexicans when they work more than half a payroll than americans demand ?.

    Why shouldn’t businesses outcource jobs where there is cheap labour and workers work for 12 hours a day without demanding “anti free market” things like child labour regulation , overtime pay rates , holidays etc etc

    Are you afraid that after they outcource/immigrate labour the low maintanance jobs it would be the turn of your high finance/law/white collar jobs?.Are you afraid of that one day you will be replaced by an skillfull Indian financer who would gladly work for the quarter of the sallary you are having right now?

    You are defending free market / capitalism until it hits you in the butt and right.
    Of course you’ll rather bitch about the employees than the employers who adopt to free market principles
    No one would be wanted to be labeled as a hypocrate.

    [Heartiste: Externalities are a bitch.]


  62. @Trion

    What I like or don’t like, and what I am afraid of or not
    does not amount to a hill of beans.

    The reality is, borders are extremely porous, and the internet
    has made it in many cases unnecessary to move people or
    even goods.

    Thus, in the long run, being wealthy (or even not_starving)
    decreasingly becomes dependent on where you are
    (mainly, in which country you live), and increasingly
    dependent on what you do. So, develop hard-to-duplicate
    skills – you might be competing with smart Indians, but
    at least you CAN compete. (I get jobs outsourced FROM

    OR, do something that is VERY unlikely to be outsourced,
    such as surgery or plumbing. Or classified defense work.

    Or outsource yourself, i.e. move to a low-cost jurisdiction
    where getting an Indian-style professional salary is
    sufficient to live fairly comfortably. Hint: You must live
    – mostly – like a native, NOT like a Western tourist.

    For starters, read the book “The Sovereign Individual” by
    James Dale Davidson and William Reese-Mogg (pub ca 1997).