Doug Casey: “It’s a Dead-Man-Walking Economy”

Friday, March 23, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Doug Casey, Casey Research
GoldSeek.com
Friday, 23 March 2012

Doug Casey: “It’s a Dead-Man-Walking Economy”

— Posted Friday, 23 March 2012 | Share this article| Source: GoldSeek.com

By Doug Casey, Casey Research

In an interview with Louis James, the inimitable Doug Casey throws cold water on those celebrating the economic recovery.

[Skype rings: It’s Doug Casey, calling from Cafayate, Argentina. He sounds tired, but pleased with himself.]

Doug: Lobo, get out your mower; it’s time to cut down some green shoots again, and debunk a bit of the so-called recovery.

Louis: Ah. I have to say, Doug, the so-called recovery is looking more than “so-called” to a lot of smart folks. Even our own Terry Coxon says the recovery is real, albeit weak.

Doug: Terry’s probably looking at it by the numbers, some of which are reported to be improving. But let’s come back to the numbers later and start with fundamentals. The first order of business, as usual, is a definition: a depression is a period of time in which the average standard of living declines significantly. I believe that’s what we’re seeing now, whatever the numbers produced by the politicians may seem to tell us.

L: I was just shopping for food and noticed that the bargain bread was on sale at two for $5. My gas costs almost as much per gallon. That’s got to hurt a lot of people, especially on the lower income rungs. I don’t need to ask; a member of my family just got a job that pays $12 per hour – about three times what I made working for the university food service back when I was in college – and it’s not enough to cover his rent and basic bills. If his wife gets similar work, they’ll make ends meet, but woe unto them if anyone in their family crashes a car or requires serious medical treatment.

Doug: That’s just what I mean. Actually, the trend towards both partners in a marriage having to work really started in the early ’70s – after Nixon cut all links between the dollar and gold in August of 1971. Before then, in the “Leave It to Beaver” era, the average family got by quite well with only the husband working. If he got sick or lost his job, the wife was a financial backup system. Now, if something happens to either one, the family is screwed.

I think, from a very long-term perspective, historians will one day see the ’60s as the peak of American prosperity – certainly relative to the rest of the world… but perhaps even in absolute terms, even taking continued advances in technology into account. Maybe the ’59 Cadillac was the bell ringing at the top of that civilizational market.

My friend Frank Trotter, president of EverBank, was just telling me that the net worth of the median US citizen is only $6,000. That’s the median, meaning that half of the people have less than that. Most people don’t even have enough stashed away to buy the cheapest new car without going into debt. It used to be that people bought cars out of savings, with cash. Now they have to finance them over at least five years… or lease them – which means they never ever have even that trivial asset, but a liability in the form of a lease.

The Rest…HERE

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