Friday, May 12, 2023

Invisible Wars

 Economic Contributors,

​  ​Anticipating the societal ultrashock  ​We really are at war, and internalising the full consequences of that is hard​.  Martin Geddes
 The societal divide is between those who acknowledge we have lived under conditions of deception, and are seeking truth (even if reluctantly), and those who cling on to ignorance, so they do not face the pain of change. At some point this chasm will collapse, and reality will forcefully intrude. Part of the agony of (partially) knowing what is going on is the anticipation of the hurt to come for those we love, but who carelessly went along with the collective psychosis. Regardless of the scale of the actual or attempted murder of the masses, there is a psychological ‘ultrashock’ to confront, which is itself dangerous if not sufficiently contained.
​  ​One observation is that many people I consider awake end up in quite a depressed state, and become “black pilled”. They forget the paradoxical nature of the art of war, where things look bleak when they are actually rosy, but at a deeper strategic level. They lose their faith in actors and actions unseen by forces for good who will stop at nothing to protect the innocent. The mind engages with the perceived reality, but the spirit lacks faith, and the end result is dispiriting and demoralising. I can now see why this is called spiritual warfare, and not critical thinking warfare. The spirit is what truly drives the outcome; everything reconciles in the end, and if it isn’t reconciled, it isn’t the end.
​  It is the essential nature of fifth generation warfare that the conflict hide itself from its victims. The ubiquitous recognition that there is a war going on defines the end of the conflict, because the targets no longer acquiesce with the plans of the perpetrators. While mind control may misdirect people into acting against their own interest in the short run, “spirit control” is what makes them seek untruth and unrighteousness in the long run. It is easy to focus on the misdeeds of police, courts, councils, doctors, educations, etc. — but the pastors, priests, and prelates carry the greatest burden of shame for misdirecting their flocks.

​Michael Hudson has an interview out. Thanks Christine. I'll excerpt it sparsely:
Hudson: I’ve described in a number of my books how I was working for Chase Manhattan in 1967.
  A former State Department person came to me and gave me a document explaining that the United States wanted to become the new offshore banking center, the new flight capital center, saying that, well, what if America could become the Switzerland?
  They asked me to calculate how much the United States could get if it provided safety to the world drug dealers, to the world’s criminals, to the world tax avoiders, to the world dictators.
  They said, — If we can have the United States set up banks offshore in the Caribbean and other countries, then we can have Chase Manhattan and other banks set up offices in these countries to take the deposits, and then they will take these deposits and they will send them to the head office.
And that is how we’re going to finance the Vietnam War and foreign military spending.//
​..​And there was a book by Tom Naylor of Canada called Hot Money, where he describes exactly how it was the United States that sent up the offshore banking centers, making America to be the safe haven for criminals throughout the world.
​  ​And Paul Krugman says, this is what’s saving the dollar. Criminals are us. If we can attract all the criminal capital to the United States, there’s so much crime that we support by supporting our dictators and calling them democrats, that we can stabilize the dollar by criminalizing the entire dollarized economy...
​..​For instance, the Americans report the trade deficit of oil, huge trade deficit. And yet most oil is imported from U.S. firms.
​  ​And yes, it pays a lot for the oil, but very little of this payment for oil is paid in foreign currency, because the firms remit their profits to the United States.
They buy the imported capital goods that they need in the United States. They pay U.S. management in the United States.
​  ​I’ve written a monograph on distinguishing the financial flows of the balance of payments from the GDP approach as if all of these things were monetary.
So Krugman deliberately leaves out the fact that America makes an enormous amount of money on capital account.
​ ​For instance, the fact that most of the global majorities’ foreign debts are in dollars, not their own currency.
This is why the IMF forces them to depreciate their currency and impose a chronic hyperinflation on Latin American and African debtor countries.
​  ​It’s because if you look at the capital account, including the enormous inflow of the world’s criminal capital through the offshore banking centers, then you’re going to understand that the balance of payment is something utterly different than the fictitious picture that Mr. Krugman states.
​  ​And you can look very simply. You can look at the Treasury Bulletin, and you can look at U.S. liabilities to foreigners.
​  ​Look at U.S. liabilities to their own branches in the Caribbean countries and the other offshore banking centers, and you’ll see an enormous inflow of foreign currency from these offshore banking centers into the dollar accounts of the head offices of these banks.​..​
​..​Currency values are not determined by trade.​​They’re determined by capital investment, by debt service especially, and by capital flight and crime.
​  ​And if you don’t realize that capital flight, crime, warfare is the key to the balance of payments, but only goods and services, then you’re under the same illusion that Krugman is in in the American economy, that the financial sector is all about banks lending money to factories to pay workers to produce the goods and services that they buy, leaving out the stock market, the bond market, the real estate market, the commercial banking system, the private capital, and everything else that is a blank area to Mr. Krugman.

​  Hudson/Desai discussion: De-Dollarization Is About More Than Just Currencies
MICHAEL HUDSON: One thing about this, the Federal Reserve, by doing the quantitative easing, has painted itself into a corner...
​..​And so the Federal Reserve has a problem. And it seems to have just discovered this now, that if you have a zero interest rate, then people are going to buy stocks and bonds.
​  ​And one of the reasons that the dollar has remained strong is that the American stock market has gone up so fast and compared to other markets, including Japan and Europe, that foreign investors, the billionaires all over the world, are putting their money into riding the stock market rise.
​  ​But if the Federal Reserve now decides, wages are beginning to go up and we’ve got to ​[raise interest rates to] create unemployment and bring on a depression so that we can lower the wages and make even bigger profits, then you’re going to have the banking system here and in Europe going insolvent. And that’s what you’re seeing right now.
​  ​So the system has reached an insolvable crisis. It’s not a problem. It’s a quandary. There’s nothing the Federal Reserve can do. And the whole dollarized system is breaking right now in the United States. It’s paralyzed.
MICHAEL HUDSON: Argentina’s debt cannot be paid. Zambia’s debt cannot be paid. Sri Lanka’s debt cannot be paid. And the American debt cannot be paid.
So what’s broken is not simply the dollar as a political currency, that it can grab your money; the whole financial system in the West has reached its limit. The debts can’t be paid. And the question is, how are they going to be paid? ...

RADHIKA DESAI: Now you can have as full a picture as we can draw of the mounting contradictions of the dollar system. So the dollar system is collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions. On the other hand, alternatives are emerging.
​  ​And we’ve talked off and on about the various alternatives, bilateral arrangements between different countries to trade in their own currencies, multilateral arrangements like the Chiang Mai Initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement, the New Development Bank, the [BRICS] Contingency Reserve Agreement, the creation of new payment systems like the MIR systems and the SIP systems of Russia and China, respectively.​..​
​ ..So as these things multiply, what is increasingly going to happen is that the dollar and its value will matter to an ever-narrowing circle of primarily US-based dollar holders. So that’s where we are at.
​  ​And in this context, what we then have is the possibility that the rest of the world will fashion a completely new financial system.​..
MICHAEL HUDSON: That’s the whole point. It’s not a de-dollarization as such. It’s a de-neoliberalization.​..​
​..​So the solution is obviously going to be: you create an artificial currency. We’ve said before, it’s like paper gold, except it’s not gold.
​  ​It’s something that will be politically defined by the member countries as something like Keynes’s bancor or a kind of credit that can only be used among central banks, among governments for their own purpose. And this is what the United States is really afraid of.​..
​..The problem is for other countries to create an alternative. And to create an alternative, you need to have an ideology.
​  ​You need to have an idea of: What is an economic system? How does the world economy work in a way that is going to benefit us and be mutually beneficial without being centered on any particular economy benefiting at the expense of the others by just printing its currency as a free lunch?​ . ...
..RADHIKA DESAI:​ ​So as Michael pointed out, the way to think about what will replace the dollar system, one of the best ways to think about it is to think about the principles underlying Keynes’s proposals for bancor and the International Currency Union (ICU), which is why we discussed it at some length in a previous episode.​..
​...The US government essentially acts as the representative of big private corporations. It is their power that it seeks to advance.
​  ​Whereas if you accepted the principles of bancor and the International Currency Union, the idea is not to add to the power of big private corporations, including big financial corporations, but on the contrary, to underline the fact that economies are supposed to be run to focus on production, productivity, and the creation of a broad-based prosperity, full employment, et cetera, which is exactly the opposite of what the US wants to do.
​  ​So the United States’ pursuit of the interests of big corporations is not served by agreeing to such a system. So we will not see that.
​  ​But we will see regional equivalence of that, partial equivalence of that, and the principles involving the bancor system are very important. One of the first ones is, the whole issue of balanced economic growth and investment and trade versus imbalance
MICHAEL HUDSN: You have to maintain some way of keeping economies solvent, and under finance capitalism, under any financialized system, the tendency is for the financial sector to take over the real economy and the only solution, Keynes said, is to wipe out the debts that are built up by the financial creditors.
​  ​You wipe out the debts and at the same time the creditors’ claims on others, and that’s what the bancor systems did, and that’s why the United States rejected this claim in 1945, because they said, — Well, wait a minute, over the next five years, by 1950, we’re going to increase our holdings of gold, as indeed they did. — We’re going to increase other countries’ debt, of England and Europe, as indeed it did. — We don’t want to wipe it out. We want to use this to consolidate our power. That’s what our power is.​..
RADHIKA DESAI​..​I would say that Keynes, of course, knew that imbalances could not be entirely wiped out. But what he did was he ensured that imbalances would not persist. There would not be persisting imbalances.​..​
​..​He proposed to correct that, essentially, by focusing on the productive economy. It was not merely a financial correction.
​  ​He basically created incentives for countries that were accumulating surpluses. Remember also that one of the key principles of Keynes’s system was that adjustment should not be imposed only on the debtor and deficit countries, but also on the surplus and creditor countries, so that [both countries are always involved].​..​

​ ..The fact is, if you had a bancor, this would mean that if China becomes a major investor in the major economy, yes, it can continue to develop, to build up credits, but at a certain point, the accumulation of Chinese financial claims on other countries, namely other countries’ debt to China, will simply be wiped out.
​ ​And Keynes had a mechanism to wipe this out after a given number of years.​..
​..And key, another very important principle of this for Keynes, I think it was practically sacrosanct, was the institution of capital controls or what we call capital account management.
​  ​Because without capital controls, the type of productive economy that Michael is referring to, and that we both believe should really be what all countries strive for, is not possible.
  I​f you allow the rich people of your country to take money in and out of your country whenever they like, you are tying yourself to a form of economic management, which is the opposite of economic management for productive expansion, for egalitarian economies, and so on and so forth.​..
​..​I always get so intrigued that people don’t get things. Every other day you will read a story saying, — Oh, the yuan will never replace the dollar because it will never be internationalized like the dollar.
​  ​Well, you’re darn right it won’t be internationalized like the dollar, and it should not be. Because if it were internationalized like the dollar, the Chinese productive economy would suffer the fate of the American productive economy, which is essentially going down the drain.
​  ​So internationalization of the yuan will proceed, but on very different principles.​..
MICHAEL HUDSON: Well, changing a financial system requires changing the whole economic system. And if the purpose we’ve been discussing is: How are you going to make the countries that today are indebted, the Global South countries, how are you going to enable them to get to the future?
​  ​Well, there’s only one way that you can have them revive, and that is to create a mixed economy. Government is going to have to play a major role in reviving these economies through government infrastructure.
​  ​The key is that basic natural monopolies, transportation, communications, health care cannot be financialized. They’re going to be done by the government. That is the reason. That is how China has been able to make the amazing gains that it’s made over the last 30 to 40 years.​..​
​..​Well, you’re going to have to have government taking a lead. This is why the United States is fighting so viciously to prevent this from happening. It’s not simply preventing an alternative to the dollar as a currency. It’s preventing the financial system from being outmoded and replaced by a mixed public-private economy.​..
​..In the last few days, you’ve had the Korean president meet with President Biden, who said, — We want to make sure that you are not going to sell computer chips to China. We are trying to prevent China from having technology.
​  ​That’s how the dollar system works. The dollar system is based on concentrating all natural monopolies in the United States, the monopoly of ownership of oil and gas reserves, the monopoly of computer technology, the information technology, pharmaceutical and health technology.
​  ​The dollar system is really a concentration of monopoly rents in the United States dollars, which is supposed to create a huge increase in the stock market value of Amazon and Google.​..
​..You can’t understand the financial system of dependency without understanding the trade dependency that America has tried to create for oil and gas, for food exports, blocking Russia, for technology exports.
​  ​T​​his is the whole system that has to be taken on.

​  ​Janet Yellen delivered some great news today​...​
​  ​“If Congress fails to do that, it really impairs our credit rating. We have to default on some obligation, whether it’s Treasuries or payments to Social Security recipients,” Yellen said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “That’s something America hasn’t done since 1789. And we shouldn’t start now. So we’ve not discussed what to do.”

​  ​Congress Leaves Town With No Debt Deal As Biden, McCarthy Postpone Meeting
​  ​According to Trump, while he doesn't think a default is likely, "it’s better than what we’re doing right now because we’re spending money like drunken sailors," adding that the effects of a default might not be as disastrous as everyone expects, suggesting "it’s really psychological more than anything else," and adding "maybe it’s, you have a bad week or a bad day."

​  Moon of Alabama (Germany): ​Ukraine SitRep: Delayed Counteroffensive, Russian Defense Lines, Weapon Efficiency
[Once again pointing out that US/NATO is merely renting a narrative of Ukraine predominating, at the very high cost of Ukrainian lives, civilian lives in Donetsk and Luhansk, and the deep depletion and exhaustion of expensive western weapons systems, in lots of small batches, being used by inexperienced new Ukrainian recruits.]
  Two weeks ago the Biden administration had recognized that the announced Ukrainian 'counteroffensive' will fail to make much progress.
The operation has still not started and Zelensky has moved its launch further into the future.

Christine sends this speculation by Gilbert Doctorow.
UK Shipment of Long Range Cruise Missiles to Ukraine Radically Changes the Conflict​  
  ​First you had Boris Johnson, who ruined the nearly agreed peace accord between Russia and Ukraine back in March 2022. Boris threatened to put a stop to Western assistance to Kiev if Zalensky took the draft treaty through to signature. Zelensky then backed out of the negotiations and went all out for war.
​  ​Now we have Prime Minister Sunak sending long range cruise missiles to Ukraine supposedly to help them succeed with their counteroffensive and recapture lost territory from the Russians. The missiles are to be fitted onto existing Ukrainian Soviet era jets and have a 250 km range. This will theoretically enable Ukrainian forces based in Kharkov or Zaporozhie to deliver highly destructive warheads to anywhere in Crimea, for example.​..
​..​I can easily imagine the popular reaction in Russia of a Ukrainian rocket attack on Sevastopol that killed, say 400 civilians.  There would be a great public uproar and it is hard to see how the Kremlin could avoid responding with its own devastating counter blow. But counter blow against whom?  Against the Ukrainians or against those truly responsible for the atrocity, namely the British? Here is where the current strong dislike for “Anglo-Saxons” in Russia may come into play. It comes on top of the recent Russian outrage over delivery of depleted uranium artillery shells to Ukraine by Britain.
​  ​In effect, by delivering these weapons to Ukraine Britain is wrecking the hitherto generally accepted notion that the war between Russia and Ukraine will be decided on the battlefield. That is precisely how the EU’s foreign policy and security chief Borrell put it more than half a year ago. Instead the outcome in Ukraine may now be decided by a war between Russia and Britain. This is a war that Britain is as likely to lose as the ongoing war being fought by Ukraine.  And what comes after that?  A full NATO-Russia war?  A nuclear war?​  [Hey, what if Russia sells carrier-killer hypersonic missiles to Iran and North Korea, or Argentina?]​

As Donetsk civilians live in constant fear of Ukrainian shelling, a reporter on the ground details the terror , Eva Bartlett​
Documenting Kiev’s attacks on residential areas is becoming a horrible, tragic routine
​  ​I was outside of Donetsk interviewing refugees from Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut) when both rounds of intense shelling occurred, the first starting just after 11am. I returned to see a catastrophic scene, with a burnt-out bus – still smoking – and some of its passengers’ charred bodies melted onto the frame. This tragic picture was sadly not a one-off event.
​  ​The attack also targeted a major hospital, apartment buildings, houses, parks, streets, and sidewalks. All civilian areas – not military targets.
​  ​According to the Donetsk People’s Republic's (DPR) Representative Office in the JCCC (Joint Monitoring and Co-ordination Center on Ukraine’s War Crimes), Kiev's forces fired high-explosive fragmentation missiles “produced in Slovakia and transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries.” Regarding an earlier shelling on the same day, the JCCC noted that US-made HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

​  ​The FBI is stonewalling Congressional investigators over an informant file (form FD-1023) which allegedly contains evidence that President Biden took bribes while he was Vice President, the NY Post reports.
​  ​After House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) hit the FBI with a subpoena last week demanding the document by noon Wednesday, the bureau responded with a six-page letter full of objections.

​Good for CNN; good forTrump, potentially good for America. Top Ten Moments From Trump's CNN Town Hall

​  ​RFK Jr. says he will ‘make the border impervious’ if elected as Title 42 is set to expire
​  ​"I will make the border impervious," Kennedy said. "We cannot release people, illegal aliens across the border."
"But we also need to recognize that this is a humanitarian crisis, and we need to fix the policies that have caused this mass migration, including decades of U.S. foreign policy that have imposed austerity on those governments, neoliberal policies that have encouraged the rise of the Junta military dictatorship that has trained and supported death squads in countries across Central America," Kennedy continued.
​  ​Kennedy warned that "we are now reaping the whirlwind of years of misguided foreign policies, of warmongering foreign policy."

RFK Jr. doubles down on allegation CIA involved in JFK's assassination: '60-year cover-up'​ (He does not believe that Sirhan or Oswald were assassins.)
Kennedy addressed differences with Biden on the border, Ukraine, COVID and transgender sports policies in wide-ranging 'Hannity' interview
​  ​Kennedy – the son of Bobby Kennedy, who was '​assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan​'​ in 1968– claimed on "Hannity" Monday there is strong evidence the Central Intelligence Agency had a role in a plot that led to President John F. Kennedy's ​'​assassination at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald​'​ in 1963.
​  ​"There's millions of pages of documents; CIA documents, of transcripts, of recorded conversations from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City -- it's hard to summarize the evidence," he said.
​  ​Kennedy said one of the Warren Commission's leaders was ex-CIA Director Allen Dulles – brother of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles – who was notably fired by JFK.
​ "[Dulles] insinuated himself onto the Warren Commission and essentially ran the Warren Commission and kept this evidence from the Warren Commissioners. Either way, when Congress, 10 years later, investigated the crime with much more evidence than the Warren Commission had at its disposal," Kennedy claimed.. "Congress found that, yeah, it was a plot. It was a conspiracy [and] there were multiple people involved."
​  ​"And most of the people in that investigation believe that it was the CIA that was behind it – because the evidence was overwhelming to them."

​  ​RFK Jr. recalled being in the White House East Room while his uncle's body was lying in wake. He was with his father, Bobby, and aunt Jacqueline, and his mother Ethel.
​  ​President Lyndon Johnson came in to inform the group that Jack Ruby had just killed Oswald.
​  ​"I said to my mom at that point … why did [Ruby] kill [Oswald]? Did he love our family? – You know that is a lingering question – what was Jack Ruby doing there?" he recalled.
​  ​Kennedy said his father, the attorney general, had investigated Ruby and discovered alleged mob ties, including a mob leader he claimed was "recruited by the CIA in the [Fidel] Castro murder plot – so they were all working together in cahoots with the CIA."
​  ​He also claimed his father called a CIA desk officer in Langley, Va., the day JFK was shot, and asked ,"Did your people do this?" Bobby Kennedy also called then-CIA Director John McCone and posed same question.
​  ​"It was my father's first instinct that the agency had killed his brother," Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said​ ​

​Thanks Christine: 
​  Megyn Kelly is joined by Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to talk about his decision to run for president, the truth about the "misinformation" and "disinformation" of RFK Jr., ABC News' censorship of him, how the media is supposed to work, RFK's evolving views on Tucker Carlson, coordination between government agencies and the press related to the Hunter Biden laptop, Trump's war in Ukraine comments, his relationship with Roger Ailes, whether Tucker Carlson fired due to Big Pharma criticism, if the DNC should have debates, Biden's mental competence, the support of his wife actress Cheryl Hines, Fauci's latest comments about masks and EcoHealth Alliance getting more millions, and more.

Iraq welcomes new agreement to expand energy ties with Iran
As a result of US sanctions, Iraqi payments for Iranian fuel face multiple complications​  
(Where there's a will...")
​  ​The meeting between Sudani, Owji, and Abdul Ghanni “resulted in an agreement to establish committees to discuss the development of joint fields under international agreements and cooperation in refining, petrochemicals, as well as oil exploration and infrastructure development,” an Iraqi Oil Ministry statement reads.

​The inside rumor is that all plans and individual responsibilities were laid out last summer. Explosive devices are prepared to be placed, armed and detonated.
Taiwan Says Its Military Won’t Let the US Blow Up Semiconductor Factories
​  ​Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) recently said the US should “make it very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we’re going to blow up TSMC,” referring to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which produces the majority of the world’s advanced semiconductors.
​  ​When asked about Moutlon’s comments, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the military wouldn’t let that happen. “It is the military’s obligation to defend Taiwan and we will not tolerate any others blowing up our facilities,” he said, according to The South China Morning Post.
[Oh, I see how this works. The Taiwanese military performs the tasks, not the Americans. Perfect.​ Less evacuation of personnel.​]

​  This populist nationalist is by far the most popular Pakistani politician ever, has already been deposed and has taken a bullet for his principled stands against CIA objectives in his country. The Pakistani military is accustomed to running all of the politicians, but not Imran Khan. 
​  ​Pakistan Top Court Orders Immediate Release Of Imran Khan, Declares Arrest Illegal
​  ​Khan was taken into custody when he appeared in the Islamabad High Court Tuesday, and was filmed being whisked away in an armored vehicle by dozens of anti-corruption task force agents dressed in Swat gear. The scene sparked outrage, and was interpreted by his opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) as a political ploy to block him from challenging Shahbaz Sharif. Top military commanders have also come out against Khan.

​  ​Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu (of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party/AKP) on Friday charged that the United States is meddling in the country's elections, set to take place Sunday. The national election is shaping up to be the biggest challenge to President Erdogan's grip on power in years.
​  ​"The United States is meddling in these elections... Everyone in this country already knows this, US President [Joe Biden] himself declares this. The attack on [presidential candidate of Turkiye and leader of the Memleket party] Muharrem Ince... it is clear where it came from, it is clear where it was coordinated. This is America. In recent days, Biden has stepped up his people in Turkiye​.​"

​Charles Hugh Smith: ​ Doom Loops Are Multiplying
​  ​Doom Loops are being used to describe big-city downtowns gutted by remote work, the closure of small businesses and the rise of property crime and chronic homelessness. Once the workforce commuting to downtown fell sharply, the businesses catering to this workforce no longer had a customer base large enough to support them all and so many close.
​  ​This mass closure makes the district less vibrant, further weakening commerce.
​  ​At the same time, politicians and district attorneys have mandated non-prosecution of non-violent property crimes such as auto break-ins, shoplifting, etc., giving the green light to the criminal class that specializes in property crimes. This increase in property crime forces the closure of flagship retail outlets stripmined by blatant shoplifting.​..
​..The closures of downtown businesses cause tax revenues to plummet, leaving less for policing and other essential services. Criminals quickly catch on and so break-ins occur when police patrols are absent.
​  ​Meanwhile, the decline in commuters has crushed transit agencies' revenues, creating giant holes in billion-dollar budgets with few realistic solutions.​..
..Another doom loop is gutting rural villages and towns globally. You've probably seen media reports of houses in Italian or Japanese villages that can be had for $1 or some nominal sum, for example: Why Japan is Giving Away 8 Million Free Houses (13 min) (via J.F.). Note: the 8-million number is click-bait.
  Left out of these chirpy accounts of $1 houses in charming villages are all the realities that generated the doom loop that hollowed out the villages in the first place: their remoteness, absence of jobs, the dominance of an aging populace of pensioners, decaying, outdated housing requiring costly renovations, the depreciating value of such properties, and so on.
  Once the post office closes due to a decline in the populace and the elementary school closes due to a decline in enrollment, the village is doomed. Families with children move away, further reducing the populace, pushing it below the thresholds needed to support a local temple/church priest, a local cafe, etc.
  Doom Loops are difficult to reverse. The current zeitgeist, which seems to only have two poles, complacency / denial and panic, is not conducive to practical, realistic appraisals or plans of action, all of which require painful sacrifices and reductions in unsustainable spending to align with reduced revenues and prospects.

​Elderly Gardener​ (pictured with increasingly-tall corn)


  1. You are young in spirit doctor. Dennis Boston

    1. Thanks Dennis. I don't feel old (quite yet).