Tuesday, May 13, 2008

just thinking

Sorry, but no time to elaborate. Draw your own conclusions. As the NASA motto goes - "Don't let your pre-occupation with reality stifle your imagination"

(Clicky to make biggy) source

What if there never is another boom, but a steady decline to...well...who knows?

Life is changing. "Peak Oil" is a driver of that change (pun intended). Greenhouse gas(p) emissions/Climate change are another. The "Liberals'" carbon tax (or whatever) is 2.4 cents/litre this year, and by 2012, will be 7.8 cents/litre. Gas has gone up by about 70 cents/litre in the last couple of years, and will go up even more, so the "carbon tax" is comparatively negligable.

Tourism and travel will soon be out (as we know it). The 2010 boongoggle will be just that.

I recently read (sorry - no link) that Chinese manufacturers are no longer accepting USD, and our dollar is tied to the USD (soonly, even tighter). Iran is trading oil in Euro and Yen now. Time for another invasion, errr, liberation. Then you have our current lack of governance here at home.

There is a whole new paradigm forming, and it is one that we, as a society, are completely unprepared for. The future will not be like the past.

There is no bottom.


Anonymous said...

if you want to see more elaboration on these types of topics read, "the long emergency" by james allen kunstler

solipsist said...

"the long emergency"

Sounds good. I could be james allen kunstler (like Being John Malkovich), except that I am too lazy and unfocused.

Oh, the warm, sweet cocoon of The Dream. 0% down, 40 yr. amort. 3GB of RAM, 50" of plasma glory, 350 HP shopping buggies, and another one bites the dust.

In the 1970s, $23 of seeds grew $600 dollars worth of food in the home garden. Ammo was cheap. So was gold, gas and glory. The girls were glorious too.

Ah, but the days of yore are a sweet reminisce.

I hereby invoke The Peter Principle. Western Civilization has reached its level of incompetence.

Obliquely yours,


solipsist said...

more on james howard kunstler/by james howard kunstler

Billy TwoBaulz said...

Certainly all these changes in the world have profound implications, but the business of pricing oil in yen or euros much less so. Mish has a good piece explaining why pricing oil in a different currency has no practical consequences, even if it looks impressive at first blush and may be effective from a propaganda point of view.


Billy TwoBaulz said...

or Mish on oil pricing

vigilant said...

intereseting topic.....one factor you left out in my mind ...aging and overall declining population.....who is going to buy all those $1-2 million SFH on west side, north van, west van....10 years from now? The current condo dwellers I would say and at deep discount from today's prices. Operating costs and taxes for those places alone are very, very high, they are not "green" blah blah blah...and um...who then will buy up all those condos....? With a declining population? Maybe we will one day have lots of social housing after all... :-o

solipsist said...

but the business of pricing oil in yen or euros much less so

Good point, and I will address that further (but no time at the moment).

I think that my real point was the "collapsing" USD, and the way that the CDN $ is so entwined with it.

one factor you left out in my mind ...aging and overall declining population.....

Yes, that is a salient point as well, but a complex one. I think that perhaps...

I'll be back...

Tony Danza said...

one factor you left out in my mind ...aging and overall declining population

There's an excellent paper out of Harvard (or Yale?) on this phenomenon and it's possible effect on house prices. I'll try to dig it up and post the link here.

Tony Danza said...

Here's the article abstract with links to the full article:


It's affiliated with USC (not Harvard or Yale) but don't dismiss it due to it's link to Clownifornia.

solipsist said...

It is the geo-political-cultural ramifications of an Iranian Oil Bourse that I find more interesting.

The Evil Empire is becoming more like a Saturday Night Live skit - with Darth Vader suffering from emphysema, and riddled with HPV and Hep. C. Most unfortunately, our wagon is hitched to their wagon, while the rest of the world moves on.

vigilant - although our population is aging, by and large, it is not declining. As the world population continues to explode (it seems just a few years ago we hit 6 billion, and are well on our way to 7 billion) immigration will continue, and likely expand.

But, I believe that we will see a continuing erosion of wages (immigration will further that), and ever-increasing costs for everything (energy, food, health, education, etc.). Nobody will have the money to buy much in the way of housing. Perhaps a return to a type of feudalism, wherein the "rich" buy up all land possible, and the rest become tenant farmers, or such.

Who knows? Que en savait?

kris said...

The biggest problem I see with this "going back in time" scenario and the whole "history repeating itself" theory is that people used to be MUCH more resourceful couple of hundred years ago... Today hardly anybody could survive on their own, even if their life depended on it. We are lacking basic survival skills and our children are even worse at that...
Very, very scary.

solipsist said...

Well put kris. That is the truth.

'The meek shall inherit the Earth'

(the meek being those that live simply, and know the land upon which they live.)

patriotz said...

Perhaps a return to a type of feudalism, wherein the "rich" buy up all land possible, and the rest become tenant farmers, or such.

Well no. The reason feudalism ended was because once capitalism got going, the lords realized that they were getting too small a return on their land so they sold it off (or leased it) and put their money into business.

Historically stocks have returned much better than RE. The rich know this very well and this is why they put their own money into better investments and let the peons buy their own homes.