2009 Top-Ten List for Boys Crying WolfSubmitted by cooper11 on Fri, 01/02/2009 - 13:35
Obamageddon and Other Disasters
by Edgar J. Steele
Every year brings with it a fresh barrage from Spiro Agnew's "nattering naybobs of negativity," screaming about impending disasters that never seem to arrive.
For example, Gary North first showed up on my Apocalypse radar screen a decade ago with his endless screeds about how the "Y2K" computer glitch spelled the end of Western civilization. Mr. North seems to shout "wolf" of a different color each and every year.
And Gary North is not alone, though he has moderated his alarmism somewhat in recent years.
Global warming, the coming mini-Ice Age, Planet X, gamma rays, financial derivatives and so on. You know the drill. Well, maybe derivatives shouldn't be in that particular list, come to think of it.
Just now, the sleeping Yellowstone "super" volcano is burbling well beyond normal, leading some to conclude that its overdue once-every-600,000-year eruption is about to wipe out most of the North American continent once again. Me, I think it is just the Reptiloids, who built their main Earth base beneath Yellowstone, up to no good once again. I swear that I think I have seen trucks full of pods on the Interstate. Come on now - what else possibly could explain George Bush, Dick Cheney and all their henchmen? Clearly, English is not Bush's native tongue. No? Then you come up with a better explanation for the Bush Administration of the past eight years.
Thus, it is easy to discount the apparent danger still lurking within the already-littered social and financial landscape of the world. After all that happened in 2008, how much worse could it possibly get?
Most forget that, at the end of the fable about the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf, the wolf actually did show up and eat the villagers. Or, to paraphrase a popular optimistic saying: Always, it is darkest just before things go completely black.
You want to know how bad it can get? Well, listen up, my little chickadees, because, like the little girl with the curl, things can get very bad, indeed.
Anybody with a full complement of fingers upon which to count and a word processor can generate a "top-ten" list these days. Predictably, I am no exception. What follows is how I see 2009 shaping up.
Problem is, some things can be put off for a time by even Plunge-Protection Pod People, such as the inevitable and long-overdue trip to the Moon by the prices of gold and silver. Thus, while I firmly believe that each and every one of the predictions below will come true, some might be delayed for a year or two. However, rest assured that 2012 is the absolute latest that I see any of these outcomes occurring, with 2009 being more likely.
And now, without further ado, fresh from the hermetically-sealed mayonnaise jar I keep on my front porch:
2009 Top-Ten Disasters
Number 10: Massive Price Inflation
Total Government Spending - will accelerate under President Obama, producing an official $2 trillion deficit in 2009, despite increased taxes and reduced services in many sectors. The unofficial (real) figure will surpass $10 trillion for 2009 alone, once unfunded liabilities are added.
The Mother of All Bailouts - Surely you didn't think they were over? Why, the bailouts have just begun, grasshopper. Despite massive bank failures throughout America as 2009 winds down, Congress will authorize bailout after bailout of the financial industry. If you thought $800 billion was a lot of money (actually, closer to $8.5 trillion by most accounts), you ain't seen nothing yet. And we haven't yet discussed the collapse of the derivatives house of cards that now has begun but been masked by all the recent major bank acquisitions and mergers. Even though most of the bailout dollars go into the pockets of insiders and fat cats, all that money eventually has to go somewhere and that means tons more dollars chasing the same level of goods and services extant in the world economy. Can you say "hyperinflation," boys and girls? Do you have your wheelbarrows yet? I can let you have mine for, say, $34,000, but you must act today.
Price Deflation - will burn out as deleveraging finally runs its course, thereby fully unmasking inflation, already in full flower as 2008 came to a close.
Price Inflation - on the order of 20% by year's end (12% in 2008, though only 3% per official government figures, which probably will be upped to 6 or 7 % in 2009), increasing through 2010 and turning into true hyperinflation during 2011/2012. Remember that price inflation is the inevitable offspring of monetary inflation, with about a one-year gestation period involved. Monetary inflation is the uncontrolled increase in the supply of a nation's money without consideration to any increase in goods and/or services. In the face of America's unprecedented monetary inflation the past year, her Gross Domestic Product actually declined by 2 or 3 %.
Number 9: The Incredible Shrinking Dollar
The Dollar - will fall by 50% of its current value by the end of 2009, though dropping only to 60 on the dollar index because other Western currencies also will continue their declines, just not so badly as the dollar's. True hyperinflation will take hold late in 2010, leading to adoption of the Amero, then the all-electronic Globo by 2012. Current government overprinting of dollars would be sufficient to guarantee hyperinflation, but consider that the US dollar has been the world's reserve currency for generations now, with that distinction now ending as one country after another flee's the dollar peg. Arab countries have just announced an agreement to create their own, common currency. China, which could alone crater the dollar by selling off its US Treasury positions, has begun seriously to reduce its reliance upon the dollar and signaled aloud its intent to buy US Treasury obligations in the future only if they are much cheaper than today. All that has saved the dollar so far is the rest of the world's fear of losing the US as its prime customer for toasters and TV sets - a role that is ending by necessity now that the consumer is running on empty.
Gold and Silver - Commodity Prices (oil, grain, precious and base metals, etc) will increase, with gold and silver launching skyward as investors flee from government bonds and pour funds into the perennial safety of precious metals. Gold will surpass $1500 per ounce in 2009, then $3,000 in 2010 (figures to be restated upward for prevailing inflation). The always-more-volatile silver will see $27 per ounce in 2009 and $50 in 2010. The hyperinflation of 2011 and 2012 will render dollar valuations of commodities meaningless.
Number 8: Depression II
The Big One - The Big Three automakers will become The Big One as Ford absorbs both Chrysler and General Motors. Hundreds of thousands more Americans will lose their jobs in the resulting consolidation, plant closures and product-line reductions forced by market shrinkage and declining market share.
Stock Market Crash Continues - The market will sag again and again, with intermittent "recoveries," finishing the year with the Dow under 6,000, enroute to 4,000 in 2010, possibly dipping as low as 2,000 by 2012. Again, figures to be restated for prevailing inflation.
US Government Bonds - Now at the very upper reaches of a classic bubble, Treasury bonds and bills will be downgraded for lack of creditworthiness, with their effective interest payments forced upward as a consequence, adding to the unpayable national debt that foreign nations finally will balk at underwriting for America. The crash of this latest financial bubble will be impressive, though not nearly so impressive as that coming in the arena of financial derivatives.
Gross Domestic Product - will decline by 5% in 2009 and another 10% in 2010, leading many economists finally to admit we are in Depression II.
Real Estate - will continue to decline precipitously as the subprime debacle finally reaches its pinnacle and even more layoffs lead to even more foreclosures. Between actual price declines and devaluation of the dollar, real estate finally will hit bottom at about 10% of 2006 highs, equaling depths plumbed during Depression I. Bankers finally will use their hoarded taxpayer-funded bailout funds to acquire farms, factories and homes for their own accounts, exactly as they did during Depression I.
Unemployment - will rise to and surpass the Depression I level of 25% (12% will be admitted by the government).
Extended families - once again will occupy single houses, as both children return home and parents are rescued from unaffordable nursing homes and their own unpayable mortgages. Gardens again will be "in." Laundry again will flap in the breeze on lines in back yards. People will learn to save string, rubber bands, wax paper and tinfoil - everything, in fact.
Bankruptcy - will become endemic to state and local governments and, by extension, to their dependents, such as schools and colleges. Tax increases will have no effect as more and more citizens are unable to pay even their current property tax bills and rising unemployment and business and shopping mall closures savage state and local tax revenues. The ensuing federal bailouts of state and local governments will add to a billowing national deficit that foreigners finally decline to underwrite.
Number 7: Health Care Goes on Life Support
Universal Health Care - will become a reality in America as the tsunami of worker layoffs gains force, raising the current 25% of Americans without insurance to 40% and forcing government action. This will add to the unpayable national debt, of course, and relieve corporations of the massive expense of employer-paid healthcare plans. Loser: You, as delivered benefits decline, bureaucratic costs climb and the middle class still cannot afford even the reduced copays, deductibles and prescribed medicines.
Number 6: Hunger
Food Shortages - will take place throughout the world, even America. Already, massive price increases have caused some to stock up, big time. This will increase directly in proportion to inflation's increase. They will be called hoarders in the fullness of time, as grocery store shelves grow increasingly bare. Stores increasingly will be unable to finance their inventories due to decreased profitability and the unavailability of credit from banks hoarding all those taxpayer-provided bailout funds. The recent commodity price crashes, partially engineered by America's banking elite, already have induced many growers not to plant in the face of increasing costs, decreasing crop prices and a lack of bank credit. The implications for next year's food availability and pricing are not good. It will take a couple of years for individuals once again to get the hang of basic gardening. It is a rule of thumb that it takes ten years to become a decent farmer.
Soup Lines and Food Stamps - The private social welfare structure of the past long ago was eclipsed and made irrelevant by government programs - government programs that will not stretch to cover the mushrooming need nor the ballooning cost of programs such as food stamps. Increasingly, children throughout America and the rest of the world will go to bed at night hungry.
Number 5: Social Insecurity
Social Security Benefits - will become even more meaningless as ever-growing inflation increasingly savages the infirm and the elderly in the face of "official" government-announced CPI of only 2 or 3%.
Private Pensions - those that survive the coming massive corporate bankruptcies, will suffer the same fate: made irrelevant by massive price increases in the basic necessities of life.
Savings - those denominated in dollars, similarly will be decimated by inflation.
Number 4: Disease Pandemic
A Disease Pandemic - probably Bird Flu, will run rampant through America, providing part of the justification for the imposition of martial law and killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Those who accuse the government of engineering and aggravating the effects of the pandemic will be marginalized and dismissed as "conspiratorialists," just as always.
Number 3: WWIII
World War - The universal, time-honored response to and cure for domestic strife and economic dislocation, not to mention a quick and easy solution to the problems of massive unemployment. Too many useless eaters? Simple. Kill them. Better yet, have them kill each other. If the Bird Flu doesn't get them, a bullet will. A well-placed tactical battlefield nuke will take care of those who are left.
Number 2: Civil Riots and Gun Control
Government Fascism - will replace corporate fascism as the prevailing social order, provoked in part by random "lone wolf" attacks upon the establishment in retaliation for perceived injustices such as the coming Internet crackdown, needless hunger, lack of medical care, homelessness, the engineered disease pandemic, the conscription and pointless death of our children in overseas hellholes and ...
Gun Control and Confiscation - a topic close to the heart of Barack Obama and all Democrats, which will be enacted in the face of massive civil unrest throughout America.
Patriot Act - Finally, we will see the real reason for implementation of Patriot Acts I and II and their draconian progeny. Finally, we will see that we were the targets all along and not foreign terrorists.
And...the Number 1 disaster of 2009: Obamageddon
Assuming he is inaugurated, that is. The court challenges to his Constitutional qualification to run for President are not yet over - not by a long shot. Fact is, he fails the basic qualification of being a "natural-born citizen of America." Obama was born in Kenya, adopted in Indonesia by an Indonesian citizen and naturalized as a citizen of that country. Just ask yourself this one question: Why has Obama spent over one-half million dollars and employed three law firms in preventing his original birth certificate, on file in Hawaii, from coming to the light of day?
By coining the term Obamageddon, I do not mean to imply that Obama might be the Anti-Christ, as so many seem intent upon casting him. On the contrary, I believe that Barack Obama fundamentally is a decent, intelligent and capable fellow, intent upon doing the best he can for America.
Problem is, despite his campaign rhetoric about "change," already Obama has demonstrated that he believes in business as usual, just more of it. That will accelerate America's downward spiral, I fear. Or, perhaps that is just what is needed in order to get the unpleasantries over as quickly as possible. Regardless, the outcome is inevitable. Actually, it was inevitable anyway, as there now is nothing that anybody could do to forestall what is baked into America's cake.
I foresee Obama's approval ratings taking a nosedive by the end of the year as, increasingly, he is credited for the already-occurring fall into the abyss caused by his predecessors at the direction of America's ruling elite. Of course, if Obama dances to the same tune, is he not just as complicit as are Clinton and the two Bushes?
I also foresee the strong possibility of Obama's assassination, particularly if he decides to buck the elite and tries to do the right thing for the common man. It is that latter possibility that makes me think that Obama might well be the best hope that America has for its own survival. Well, who would you have, after all? McCain? Hillary? Palin? Please... Recall that you proved incapable of voting for Ron Paul when you had the chance.
So, Obama either follows the path he seems to be charting and America hurtles ever faster to the rocks below or he tries to do the right thing and pays for it with his life, just as did John F. Kennedy. Either way, from both his point of view and ours: Obamageddon. Incidentally, it may take a couple of years for Obamageddon to take place. In fact, it may not occur until 2012, but it still deserves top honors on 2009's list by virtue of its overarching significance.