“Get busy living or get busy dying.”
— Stephen King, Shawshank Redemption
There’s a lot on our plate today… most of our colleagues have been scoffing at Ben Bernanke, printer-in-chief – he that made the “helicopter theory” a bundt – getting awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. We’ll leave that to their fantastic wit.
First, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and The World Bank (The World Bank) meet this week in Washington, D.C. You’ll recall these two entities were set up during the same 1944 meeting in upstate New Hampshire that set up the Bretton Woods exchange rate system.
We’ll be juxtaposing the points made by our Wiggin Sessions guest, Gale Pooley, and the plethora of negative comments coming from the mainstream media (and, I might add, some of our readers too).
“The global economy continues to face steep challenges…” the IMF’s Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas writes in the foreword to the latest World Economic Outlook. “…shaped in part by the lingering effects of three powerful forces: the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a cost-of-living crisis caused by persistent and broadening inflation pressures, and the slowdown in China.” The train rumbles on…
Statista, a cabal of data scientists we happen to like, provided this chart to coincide with what’s expected from the IMF and World Bank’s latest findings:
All this really shows is a consensus of declining optimism for Old World institutions… a boom and bust cycle they can’t control… plus, credit and debt coming home to roost.
Some reader mail I’d like to reveal and engage with.Thomas G comments on our YouTube:
Wake up already! You need to read Chris Martenson’s The Crash Course book. Technology is not equivalent to natural resources. Peak oil is real. Every barrel coming out of the ground is costing more than the last barrel.
“Rearranging atoms” as you put it, requires energy and currently that comes from non-renewable sources. All the libt*rds running around with their electric cars and solar panels are only hastening the demise of the planet, as there are plenty of non-renewable resources, not least of which petroleum and coal and rare earth minerals, that are required as inputs to that foolishness. Things are going to get decidedly worse, and all the starry eyed projections to the contrary can only be made because people have been dumbed down to the point where they cannot make a rational response to a frankly idiotic premise.
Yes globalism has made stuff cheaper, we are getting to the end of that horrid chapter in human history, thank God! How much oil has been wasted carting junk items from China all the way across the planet so they could wind up in our landfills?
Chris Martenson is a good dude, don’t get us wrong. An adherent to the Peak Oil Theory (heck, why not “Peak Everything!”). But that’s just it… we’ve developed the world’s abundant energy on biofuels.
If oil and gas are running out, then we have three issues to take up instead of two:
1) The “peak oil” thesis – in which the world runs out of sustainable carbon-based energy and we’re screwed because it will rear its devil-horned supply-side head
2) A “sustainable energy” thesis – in which we magically flip the switch to wind, solar and hydro – one that will have to be articulated and put into action on all levels of society
Or 3) Realistically, unemotionally – apolitically! Sacré bleu! – we’re going to require any and all solutions
Climate change doomers are worried about the same things as Martenson – too much fossil fuel is killing the planet v. too little production of fossil fuel will kill the economy…
Let’s stick to Pooley.
Since Robert Thomas Malthus critiqued the Industrial Age in England, the premise of the peak thesis has been true. Unless, you just want to limit the number of people on the planet… then we have a whole ‘nother Handmaid’s Tale on our hands.
The argument Gale, our guest this week, is making, is that technology always rises to the challenge. Here’s how reader Chef N greeted that idea:
One more pile of academic gobbledygook! Abundance “analysis” with no control for population growth, increases in arable land or technological advances that increase productivity. To apply “time price” … WTF … You have just realized that economics is a subject where you can win bets without even knowing what you’re betting on. Listen close… “a pizza bought with time”!!! No, the economic principle is “labor” … Talk about navel gazing!
“A pizza bought with time! Talk about navel gazing,” writes in reader Chef N (Source: Pix Click)
Chef is obviously even more emphatic about denying Mr. Pooley’s thesis.
I’ll admit we do engage in a fair bit of navel gazing on the The Wiggin Sessions. It’s a guilty pleasure. But that doesn’t mean our guests are just full of it. If you actually watch the Session, Pooley and his coauthor, Marian Tupy, take on this very criticism in their work. It’s not all Pollyanna for the thinkers.
Rather, Pooley and Tupy’s optimism is what the politically disposed American thinker lacks these days. I urge you to listen.
It’s worth pointing out, too, we select guests to our Sessions for a reason. We want to know what people from all over the world – and all over the spectrum – think.
What do you think? Reply to us by clicking here.
P.S. We’ll take up the “time-price” theory of economic progress tomorrow. I believe I asked Professor Pooley three times to explain why he believes that despite inflation, the war between Ukraine and Russia, supply chain issues and a “sudden” collapse in asset prices is historical bunk.
Pooley’s answers are his own and worth a listen. You can click here to watch the interview in its entirety.