Home » Economy » They’re Lying To Us, Part 4: Fake Pensions

They’re Lying To Us, Part 4: Fake Pensions

by John Rubino on July 16, 2014 · 27 comments

Most people learn by the age of 10 or so that making promises is easier than keeping them. That’s why really big promises like corporate pensions and national retirement/health care programs are so easy to screw up. Offering someone a cushy retirement or a lifetime of healthcare feels great and generates massive goodwill from the recipient. So elected officials and corporate executives tend to over-promise in the moment and leave the hard part — actually making good on those promises — for their successors.

Today, of course, we’re deeply into the hard part. Old-line US companies are hobbled by “legacy costs” of paying for the retirement of yesterday’s workers while state and local governments, after years of failing to put aside enough to cover the retirement of their teachers and cops, are being bankrupted by the burden. And now comes this:

This Road Work Made Possible by Underfunding Pensions

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run out of money in August. So, naturally, Congress is debating a temporary fix that involves letting corporations underfund their pension systems.

Of course, we could replenish the fund by raising the federal gasoline tax, which is its primary source of financing. That’s what Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, and Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, want to do. But increasing gas taxes is unpopular, so Congress hasn’t done so since 1993, which means that the tax on gas has actually fallen 39 percent over the last 21 years after you adjust for inflation. Instead, Congress has used a series of gimmicks and shifts to keep the fund solvent as highway construction costs have risen.

The latest proposal, which passed the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, works like this: If you change corporate pension funding rules to let companies set aside less money today to pay for future benefits, they will report higher taxable profits. And if they have higher taxable profits, they will pay more in taxes over the 10-year budget window that Congress uses to write laws. Those added taxes can be diverted to the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

Unfortunately, this gimmick will also result in corporations paying less in taxes in later years, when they have to make up for the pension payments they’re missing now. But if it happens more than 10 years in the future, it doesn’t count in Congress’s method for calculating budget balance. “Fiscal responsibility,” as popularly defined in Washington, ignores anything that happens after 2024.

Letting companies underfund pensions so they pay more taxes is a dumb idea, but it’s not a new one: A similar strategy was part of the last bipartisan highway bill, which passed in 2012. The new proposal would simply extend the underfunding that was already allowed in the 2012 bill for a greater number of years.

This idea has come up in the last few years because pension costs are heavily driven by interest rates — and lower rates mean higher costs. When rates are low, as they are now, the government tells companies to set aside more money to pay for future pension benefits because they can’t count on high returns on safe investments to cover pension costs. Some companies have complained that “artificially low” interest rates are forcing them to actually overfund their plans. The 2012 highway bill and the new proposal give companies relief on that front, letting them fund their pensions based mostly on a historical 25-year average of interest rates; essentially, they’re being allowed to calculate the cost of promising pension benefits on the basis of investments — safe, high-yielding bonds — that were once available to pension funds but can’t be found today.

This is wishful math. Low long-term interest rates are not artificial; they reflect an expectation that the Federal Reserve will keep rates unusually low for a long time, and that economic growth will be relatively weak and uncertain. That, in turn, means that returns on safe investments like bonds will continue to be below historical averages, and that corporate pension funds still won’t get the safe, high returns they used to enjoy. If companies are allowed to put less money into their pension funds in that environment, the funds will deplete over time, and the companies will just have to pay more later — unless they go bankrupt, in which case a federal agency (the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) will be on the hook to pay retirees.

Some thoughts
This is emblematic of so much of today’s world. If the reality we’ve created through our past choices is uncomfortable, just redefine the terms of the debate to make formerly bad things look good. If we borrow too much, lower the value of the currency in which those debts were contracted. If the resulting inflation numbers are problematic, change the definition of inflation to hide the increase. If jobs are harder to get because of rising debt and inflation, simply conflate part-time jobs (which are rising) with full-time jobs (which are evaporating) and say “employment” is growing strongly. In this context, redefining “fully-funded” pensions downward makes complete sense, right?

That it’s a bad long-term strategy should be obvious to pretty much any objective observer. But by the logic of Keynesian economics, maybe not: If people think everything is okay, then maybe they’ll behave in ways that actually make that hope a reality. At worst, they’ll borrow and spend for another year or two, which might be enough for today’s CEOs, congresspeople and Fed officials to retire with their reputations (and fully-funded pensions) intact, leaving tomorrow’s plan administrators and recipients to dicker over a shrunken pie.

By the way, if corporate profits are artificially inflated by lower pension funding requirements, then the stock market might be artificially inflated by those higher earnings. From a modern perspective, this is a highly-efficient piece of “macro-prudential” policy, killing two perceptual birds with one stone. Fooling us twice, in other words.

And a final philosophical note: Why is the federal government involved in road building in the first place? Washington’s money comes from the states, which means we tax New York investment bankers to pay for California highways, and tax California entrepreneurs to pay for New York mass transit. Why not just leave the money with the locals to manage their roads as they see fit, and fire the bureaucrats who currently shuffle the checks back and forth? The statist answer is that if Washington doesn’t do it, it won’t get done. To which most libertarians would respond, if something needs doing the states can do it just as easily — and more cheaply — than the feds.

  • systemBuilder

    This moron’s folly, “Lower my taxes and I’ll pay more!” is so stupid as to make me wonder if the people running the congress are smart enough to be descended from apes?

  • Fabian

    They are nuts to point of being dangerous.

  • leaping lizard

    Yes, they are psychotic and quite psychopathic, but they are far from stupid… unfortunately. When you think them stupid, it is only because you do not understand their hidden agenda.

  • Uncle Christmas

    The plan, as I see it, is to collapse the private pension system. This would give the government a great excuse to confiscate all retirement plans so that they cold be redistributed and managed by the central planners in a more “equitable” way. In reality it would be a boon to those in power, boosting Washington’s balance sheet for a time, allowing this shell game to continue. Never mind all those who have saved will be essentially robbed, it will be for the good of all, or are you just a rich fat cat who hates children and the poor? Crazy, maybe. But there is a whole lot happening I would have said was ludicrous ten years ago.

    • Antiehypocrite

      You are probably right – but the purpose is not to boost those in power rather it is to prevent a total economic collapse. They will throw everything at the cause which is the end of cheap oil.

      HIGH PRICED OIL DESTROYS GROWTH

      According to the OECD Economics Department and the
      International Monetary Fund Research Department, a sustained $10 per barrel
      increase in oil prices from $25 to $35 would result in the OECD as a whole
      losing 0.4% of GDP in the first and second years of higher prices. http://www.iea.org/textbase/npsum/high_oil04sum.pdf

      THE PERFECT STORM (see p. 59 onwards)

      The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary
      one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial
      Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of
      energy. But the critical relationship between energy production and the
      energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as
      we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf

      • Etanyo Agwayo

        Dude, I’m sorry, but are you suggesting that the end of cheap oil is the cause of economic collapse? Or the end of economic growth? I dispute both of these claims. How about out of control government spending? How about out of control government regulations? How about out of control governmental taxation? How about the government spending trillions of dollars on endless wars? There are others to be mentioned such as out of control housing costs (artificially created by monetary policy which created a massive housing bubble). An aging population too, with a declining birth rate, compliments of the birth control “revolution.”
        To suggest that the end of cheap oil is “THE” reason for the end of economic growth is just plain wrong, in my opinion.

        • Antiehypocrite

          Oil was $12 in 1998 — it started to rocket upwards in 2001 pushing towards $40.

          What happened soon after? Of course the easy money tap opened (which of course lead to the housing bubble) – ask yourself, why would the Fed do this?

          They KNEW full well what they were doing see Liar Loans.

          They did that to offset this:

          According to the OECD Economics Department and the
          International Monetary Fund Research Department, a sustained $10 per barrel increase in oil prices from $25 to $35 would result in the OECD as a whole losing 0.4% of GDP in the first and second years of higher prices. http://www.iea.org/textbase/np

          If they do nothing then we get deflationary death spiral — consumers consume less which results in layoffs — which means even less consumption and so on…

          They could NOT just stand by and allow that so the flood gates of easy cash had to be opened.

          Of course that was always going to end badly.

          Now remember that just prior to the big crash oil hit 147. If 25 to 35 cuts 0.4% off growth what does that MASSIVE spike do to growth?

          Of course it reverses it – big time.

          Again the central banks were not going to sit back and allow that to happen so what did they do?

          Unleashed even more money – QE and took interest rates down even further to 0.

          Why do that? Clearly anyone can see that such policies are economic suicide. Only a fool would believe they would lead to recovery.

          Central bank policy is primarily about trying to offset the massive hit to growth that $100+ oil causes.

          It has worked but of course it has toxic side effects.

          And of course the price of oil is not going any lower because if it drops much shale dies and tar sands die. And they are the only sources that are growing https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/us-crude-oil-production-including-tight-oil.png

          And of course oil cannot go higher because that hammers growth even harder.

          Of course they will eventually fail. There will be no recovery. There is no replacing expensive oil. Central banks know that.

          And they know what this means of course. It is the end of civilization when this busts up.

          That is why they are throwing tens of trillions of printed money at this.

          Look at this madness – QE is peanuts compared to this: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-15/cluster-central-banks-have-secretly-invested-29-trillion-market

          Like I said, they will do anything if it means delaying this another month or even another day.

          Because when this sucker goes, we are over.

          • pipefit9

            USA gasoline sales have been dropping more or less continuously since 2004. Improved fuel economy accounts for some of this, but it is mostly the lack of economic growth. No full time job, no need to drive much.

            The legacy cheap oil super giant fields are dying, and there aren’t any new ones to take their place. We are going to have to outbid the rest of the world for oil supplies, but we don’t have the economic output to support this, so we print unbacked fiat.

            In the coming expensive oil hyperinflation, the USA will be particularly vulnerable, since the far flung suburban concept is almost completely cheap oil dependent.

            If I’m right, and we get the hyperinflation ending, as opposed to deflation, we’ll have quite a few months of warning, maybe even year or so. Let’s say that gasoline moves up to $6 or $7 per gallon. People will adjust. They will cut back recreational driving and and stop buying starbucks and other frills. We could stabilize there for a year. The next jump to $14/gal will probably bring the house of cards down, though. Why wait? Start planning now.

          • Antiehypocrite

            I brought this up with a banking analyst and what he says is ‘we will adapt by reducing’

            Duh >>> that is EXACTLY the problem.

            We reduce driving – we reduce the amount of stuff we buy and you get — DUH x2 —- recessionary pressures on the economy — which lead to a deflationary death spiral.

            Which is EXACTLY what the Fed has been fighting with

            – low and now 0% interest rates
            – easy money now printing trillions
            – subprime home and auto loans

            The Fed is PURPOSELY blowing up bubbles because they have no choice — they need to keep consumer spending GROWING.

            But of course that is impossible when everything is more expensive and median family income is DOWN nearly 10% http://blogs.lclark.edu/hart-landsberg/files/2014/06/economix-28income-blog480.jpg

            When the consumer is deceased he is dead — but you can jolt him with heavy shocks (e.g. offering auto and car loans to the corpse) and he will bump up and down on the gurney.

            But eventually the shocks will simply turn him into charcoal and he will not respond at all regardless of the amount of voltage applied.

            Mark my words >>>> there will be NO recovery. When the QE and ZIRP and the trillions being poured into the stock market start to push on a string — life as you know it is over — your life is probably over — civilization is most certainly over.

            The world economy CANNOT run on $100 oil. There are no substitutes for oil at ANY COST.

          • Antiehypocrite

            Solar – After
            Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Subsidies and R&D and this is what we
            get?

            http://reneweconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/bernstein-energy-supply.jpg

            And before anyone says what about solar – what about wind — of course you can’t make fertilizer from either, but as we see they are complete and utter failures. Also in case you had not noticed, we are in a shit storm – we need new options NOW. Not in 2 years – not in 10 years. NOW.

            The German Solar Disaster: 21 Billion Euros Burned
            http://www.thegwpf.org/german-solar-disaster-21-billion-euros-burned/

            Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics
            http://energyskeptic.com/2013/tilting-at-windmills-spains-solar-pv/

            Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables (Wind and Solar PV) are a Problem
            http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/21/ten-reasons-intermittent-renewables-wind-and-solar-pv-are-a-problem/

        • Antiehypocrite

          You may want to read this research paper – and note that the paper was put out by a major player in the energy sector:

          “Tullett Prebon is one of the world’s leading interdealer brokers. Primarily operating as an intermediary in the wholesale financial and energy sectors, Tullett Prebon facilitates the trading activities of its clients, in particular commercial and investment banks.”

          Do you really think they would put that in front of clients unless they were damn sure of their findings? Think about what they are saying in that research — effectively they are saying the end of civilization is imminent.

          A listed company does not make that statement lightly.

          And the FT is not in the habit of publishing nonsense.

          THE PERFECT STORM (see p. 59 onwards)

          The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary
          one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of energy.

          But the critical relationship between energy production and the energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel.

          http://ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf

          • Etanyo Agwayo

            The government(s) will find any excuse or resource to make it look like it’s not their fault. “Peak Oil,” “the end of cheap oil,” and finding authors to blame it all on petrol is not surprising. I just found this inflation adjusted graph for oil, and although I agree that the price of oil is high now, so is the price of housing! Oil was also very expensive in 1980 and 1918, according to this graph.

            http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/images/charts/Oil/Gasoline_inflation_chart.htm

            I totally believe that the peak oil theory is an absolute fraud. In my lifetime, there has NEVER been a supply interruption for oil, other than the man made Arab oil embargo in the 1970’s.

            http://crooksandliars.com/files/vfs/2011/03/oil-embargo.jpg

            The fossil fuel theory is flawed. There never could have been enough dead dinosaurs, plants and other organisms to produce the amount of oil that has been extracted from the earth. Although petroleum is a very precious commodity, to blame lack of economic growth on petroleum is incorrect. The price of oil in 1918 was high according to the graph above, and the United States was an industrial shining star at the time.
            Respectfully

          • Antiehypocrite

            In the past oil price spikes usually resulted in recessions. Recessions dropped the price and we could grow again.

            This time is different. Oil went to $147 in August 2008 — the global economy was collapsing soon after — and oil quickly went back up above $100 — so no recovery.

            Back to crisis mode — with QE ZIRP and other stimulus to prevent 08 from happening again.

            You think the price of oil is artificial? Look at the chart – conventional oil has PEAKED. Without shale and tar sands we would have collapsed by now

            https://gailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/us-crude-oil-production-including-tight-oil.png

          • Antiehypocrite

            And here’s more on the global conventional oil supply situation – conventional oil (which is far cheaper to extract) most definitely peaked in 2005

            THE DECLINE OF THE WORLD’S MAJOR OIL FIELDS

            http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0412/The-decline-of-the-world-s-major-oil-fields

            Why the Oil Industry is Running Into Major Trouble

            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/joe-costello-oil-industry-running-major-trouble.html

            FORMER BP GEOLOGIST: PEAK OIL IS HERE AND IT WILL ‘BREAK ECONOMIES’

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/dec/23/british-petroleum-geologist-peak-oil-break-economy-recession

            THE TRUTH BEHIND SAUDI ARABIA’S SPARE CAPACITY

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/03/04/the-truth-behind-saudi-arabias-spare-capacity/

            WORLD IS SLEEPWALKING TO A GLOBAL ENERGY CRISIS

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jan/17/peak-oil-oilandgascompanies

            Again read the Prebon analysis — do you think a listed company whose clients rely on them for energy analysis is going to put bullshit in front of their investment banking clients????

            They would absolutely not do that because if it was not backed up with facts they’d be laughed out the door and that would be the end of their business.

            Sorry I can’t get this into a tweet or something shorter — but I will refer you to the relevant part… if you choose not to read this then you can spout on all you want about how this cannot be — but it is — and there is no disputing the facts of this research…

            There is however denial… cognitive dissonance… which is understandable — because we all know what this means … you — your kids — and everyone you know — well they are all ‘dead men walking’

            Because the end of cheap oil means the end of civilization – it means a massive die off — it means suffering across the world like nothing we have ever seen.

            So ya I can see why people would want to be in denial about this.

            However it won’t change things.

            THE PERFECT STORM(see p. 59 onwards)

            The economy is a surplus energy equation, not a monetary
            one, and growth in output (and in the global population) since the Industrial Revolution has resulted from the harnessing of ever-greater quantities of energy.

            But the critical relationship between energy production and the energy cost of extraction is now deteriorating so rapidly that the economy as we have known it for more than two centuries is beginning to unravel.

            http://ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf

          • Etanyo Aguayo

            “There is however denial… cognitive dissonance… which is understandable — because we all know what this means … you — your kids — and everyone you know — well they are all ‘dead men walking'”

            “Because the end of cheap oil means the end of civilization – it means a massive die off — it means suffering across the world like nothing we have ever seen.”

            The above two paragraphs are smoke and mirrors (not by the poster, but by the powers that be). It is mass deception. It is a massive LIE. The idea is to take the blame away from those who have gotten this world into the current economic disaster taking place.

            The following article briefly discussed the real reason for lack of economic growth. The 5th paragraph starts: “In a world with total debt of $280 trillion……” Bottom line is this – the world is drowning in debt, and debt must be repaid, until it cannot be repaid anymore, and the system implodes.

            Here are some excellent visuals to assist your understanding of how massive the debt of the U.S. is….

            http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

            http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/usdebt.html

            http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_debt/us_debt.html

            Note on this last one: those aren’t buildings surrounding Lady Liberty, they are pallets of $100 bills. Also, this is the “official” debt, which does not cover unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare…). Some experts say the total U.S. debt is over $200 Trillion. THE WORLD IS DROWNING IN DEBT. THAT IS THE REASON FOR OUR PROBLEMS, NOT PEAK OIL.

          • Etanyo Aguayo
          • Antiehypocrite

            Five-fold increase in costs slashes North Sea drilling in a further blow to Alex Salmond’s Scottish independence campaign

            Alex Salmond’s strategy of placing oil at the centre of his economic plan for an independent Scotland was shattered yesterday as it emerged that drilling of new wells in the North Sea has plummeted.

            The latest study from Deloitte has shown that exploration drilling in the area known as the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) fell by 58pc in the second quarter, with just seven new wells sunk compared to 17 wells in the same period a year earlier.

            The cost of extracting oil in North Sea has quintupled over the last decade discouraging companies from increasing their investments. The findings come as the Government prepares to review tax policies in the North Sea to help stimulate interest as international oil companies push for greater incentives to drill.

            The Office for Budget Responsibility has recently lowered its projections for North Sea revenues by a quarter, the equivalent to £21bn less revenue over the next 26 years.

            “It’s no secret that the costs facing oil and gas firms on the UKCS have been a significant issue for some time now. Understandably, it tends to be more expensive to operate in mature fields where oil is much more difficult to recover. Research suggests it’s now almost five times more expensive to extract a barrel of oil from the North Sea than it was in 2001,” said Derek Henderson, senior partner in Deloitte’s Aberdeen office.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10973213/Salmonds-oil-strategy-in-tatters-as-North-Sea-drilling-slumps.html

          • Antiehypocrite

            The world has been drowning in debt for decades. Debt is not a problem AS LONG as you can inflate your way out of it — which we have done many many times in the past.

            Debt does NOT mean that growth stops.

            So what is different this time?

            This time we are unable to grow our way out of this — because oil is TOO expensive.

            We are in an endless recession… and we would have already collapsed IF we were not offsetting the total collapse in growth by printing trillions of dollars — and ZIRP (there is no real growth from this — it is all smoke and mirrors – that is why debt loads are INCREASING vs being inflated away)

            You will note that both policies were initiated within months of oil hitting $147 per barrel.

            Do you not see the correlation?

            Oil moving from $25 to $35 after the turn of the century carved 0.4% off GDP — $147 oil absolutely destroys growth… it means everything becomes more expensive so people buy less stuff — which leads to a deflationary spiral

            QE ZIRP are the tools to fight the deflationary spiral caused by HIGH oil prices

            Tell me how you cannot see that this situation represents a massive crisis:

            The decline of the world’s major oil fields

            Aging giant fields produce more than half of global oil supply and are already declining as group. Research suggests that
            their annual production decline rates are likely to accelerate.

            http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0412/The-decline-of-the-world-s-major-oil-fields

            Also look at US production specifically:

            http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0412/The-decline-of-the-world-s-major-oil-fields

            You are looking at the symptoms and the medicines used to mask the symptoms.

            The disease is high priced oil.

            Of course the MSM is never going to tell you that — because as we know — there is no cure for that disease.

            When the QE ZIRP and other stimulus starts to push on a string — this will tip over — and civilization will end.

            Of course most people will still not realize the reason why — because they will know there is a lot of oil left in the ground — its just that it is too expensive — and that manifests itself in a massive financial calamity…

            The oil that is in the ground will remain in the ground — when the global economy unravels.

            Here are two outstanding articles on this topic

            http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/03/04/reasons-for-our-energy-predicament-an-overview/

            http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/02/why-a-finite-world-is-a-problem/

          • Etanyo Aguayo

            “The world has been drowning in debt for decades. Debt is not a problem AS LONG as you can inflate your way out of it — which we have done many many times in the past.

            Debt does NOT mean that growth stops.”

            Wow sir, it seems you pulled the above statements right out of the Keynesian Manifesto. This is economic nonsense. This is exactly why the rest of the world is saying “FU” to the U.S. and the dollar. Printing money, or “inflating your way out of debt” is counterfeiting. That is why the rest of the world is saying “enough!” They are selling us their oil and their manufactured goods and the U.S. puts it all on the credit card (debt). Inflating our way out of debt is counterfeiting and it decreased the value of the dollar. The world is being robbed by this They work hard and produce goods, and we are maxing out the credit card. We threaten other nations with war if they don’t go along with this evil scheme. Counterfeiting on the part of a nation does not make it right, nor is it without consequences. Getting back to your second sentence above, what happens when a country can no longer inflate its way out of debt? We shall soon find out. Hint: the system implodes, collapses. Then again, maybe it won’t. Maybe instead it will be World War 3.
            To say that debt is never a problem as long as you can inflate your way out of it, is like saying I can drink 10 bottles of vodka and drive my car as long as I’m careful. Actions have consequences. The rest of the world will not put up with this nonsense much longer.

    • MacFly1

      Yep!

  • Pingback: John Rubino - They’re Lying To Us, Part 4: Fake Pensions

  • Pingback: Prepper News Watch for July 17, 2014 | The Preparedness Podcast

  • MacFly1

    When the collapse happens, oil will be cheaper in world price, and massively higher in the USA.

  • http://PeterPalms.com/capital peterpalms

    A pessimistic scenario of future events includes a banking crisis, followed by a
    government bailout and the eventual nationali­zation of all banks. The
    final cost is staggering and is paid with money created by the Federal Reserve.
    It is passed on to the public in the form of inflation.

    Further inflation is caused by the continual expansion of welfare programs, socialized
    medicine, entitlement programs, and interest on the national debt. The dollar is finally
    abandoned as the defacto currency of the world. Trillions of dollars are
    sent back to the United States by foreign investors to be converted as
    quickly as possible into tangible assets. That causes even greater
    inflation than before. So massive is the inflationary pressure that
    industry and commerce come to a halt. Barter becomes the means of
    exchange. America takes her place among the depressed nations of
    South America, Africa, and Asia—mired together in economic equality.

    Politicians seize upon the opportunity and offer bold reforms. The reforms are more of
    exactly what created the problem in the first place: expanded governmental
    power, new regulatory agencies, and more restrictions on freedom. But this time,
    the programs begin to take on an international flavor. The American dollar is replaced by a new UN money, and the Federal Reserve System becomes a branch operation of the IMF/World Bank.

    Electronic transfers gradually replace cash and checking ac­counts. This permits UN agencies to monitor the financial activities of every person. A machine-readable ID card is used for that purpose. If an individual is red flagged by any government agency, the card does not clear, and he is cut off from all economic transactions and travel. It is the ultimate control.

    Increasing violence in the streets from revolutionary move­ments and ethnic clashes provide an excuse for martial law. The public is happy to see UN soldier checking ID cards. The police-state arrives in the name of public safety.

    Eventually all private dwellings are taken over by the govern­ment as a result of bailing out the home-mortgage industry. Rental property is also taken, as former landlords are unable to pay property taxes. People are allowed to live in these dwellings at reasonable cost, or no cost at all. It gradually becomes clear, however, that the government is now the owner of all homes and apartments. People are living in them only at the pleasure of the government. They can be reassigned at
    any time.

    Wages and prices are controlled. Dissidents are placed into work armies. There are no more autos except for the ruling elite. Public transportation is provided for the masses, and those with limited skills live in government housing within walking distance of their assigned jobs. Men have been reduced to the level of serfs who are subservient to their masters. Their condition of life can only be described as high-tech feudalism.

    There is no certainty that thefuture will unfold in exactly that manner, because there are too many variables. For example, if we had assumed that there will not be a banking crisis, then our journey would be different. We would not see long lines of depositors
    or panic-buying in the stores or closing of the stock market. But we would still witness the same scenes of despair in the more distant future. We merely would have
    travelled a different path of events to get there. That is because the forces driving
    our society into global totalitarianism would not have changed one iota. We still would have the doomsday mechanisms at work. We would have the CFR in control of the power centers of

    government and the media. We would have an electorate which is unaware of what is being done to them and, therefore, unable to resist. Through environmental and
    economic treaties and through military disarmament to the UN, we would witness the same emergence of a world central bank, a world government, and a world army to
    enforce its dictates. Inflation and wage/price controls would have progressed more or less the same, driving

    consumer goods out of existence and men into bondage. Instead of moving toward The New World Order in a series of economic spasms, we merely would have travelled a less violent path and arrived at exactly the same destination.

  • Pingback: Fed Chairman Yellen Speaks … The Death Of Fiat Money Commences … Turning All Fiat Investments Lower In Value | EconomicReview Journal

  • whateverdude

    The comments here are hilarious – >50% of the comments involve a debate about whether the “end of cheap oil” is the root cause of the economic malaise.

    Guys, get a clue please! This website is called “dollarcollapse.com” for a reason.

  • Bill Jones

    “Of course, we could replenish the fund by raising the federal gasoline tax, which is its primary source of financing.”
    Of course, pissing away 17% of the money on subsidies to non-road city transportation systems has to continue, right?
    And the Ferryboats?
    And nature trails?
    And bike paths?


[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]