The Last Christmas in America? Rising Prices For Essentials, Systemically High Unemployment, Stagnant Wages, Profound Behavioral Issues, Debt & Liabilities Set To Increase $70 Trillion, Central Banking Measures Have Lost Their Effectiveness, And ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Reckoning Day Is Near
December 23rd, 2012
CHARLES HUGH SMITH: The Last Christmas in America?
The end of work and the end of mass affluence: welcome to The Last Christmas in America (TLCIA).
As unemployment rose toward 10%, the January 1975 cover of Rampartsmagazine blared: The End of Affluence: The Last Christmas in America. (TLCIA)
The government responded quickly to unemployment, high inflation and rising budget deficits: it started manipulating data to mask the politically inconvenient realities of rising inflation, unemployment and deficits by playing switcheroo with Social Security Trust Funds, inflation data, etc.–games it continues to play to cloak reality from the media-numbed public.
The Bear market, and thus the “real” recession, lasted 16 years: from 1966 to 1982. Now statistics are echoing that last great recession: rising prices for essentials, systemically high unemployment and stagnant wages.
We all know the 16-year recession/malaise had a “happy ending”: huge new oil fields were discovered in Alaska, the North Sea, West Africa and elsewhere, ushering in a renewed era of cheap, abundant petroleum. President Reagan “saved” Social Security for a generation by raising contributions paid by employer and employees, and he heralded a “lower taxes, higher permanent deficits” ideology that is now accepted as the norm: deficits don’t matter, even when they reach the trillions, because our good friends the Gulf Oil Exporters and Asian exporters will buy all our debt forever and ever, keeping interest low forever and ever….