Author Archives: Charles Hugh Smith

25 Years of Neocon-Neoliberalism: Great for the Top 5%, A Disaster for Everyone Else

One unexamined narrative I keep hearing is: “OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was less than ideal, but Trump could be much worse.” Let’s start by asking: would Syrian civilians agree with this assessment? The basic idea in the “OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 12 Comments

Does a Rogue Deep State Have Trump’s Back?

Suddenly everybody is referring to the Deep State, typically without offering much of a definition. The general definition is the unelected government that continues making and implementing policy regardless of who is in elected office. I have been writing about … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Trump as Lightning Rod–Not Just for Disaffected Progressives, But For Panicked Insiders

Political agnostics who are skeptical about Big Government “solutions,” left or right, view the current hullabaloo about the Trump presidency with some detachment. What’s remarkable to us is the extremism, not just of those bitter about Clinton’s loss, but by … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Will Our Grandchildren Wonder Why We Didn’t Build a Renewable Power Grid When It Was Still Affordable?

Anyone seeking clarity on the energy picture a decade or two out is to be forgiven for finding a thoroughly confusing divide. On the one hand, we have reassuring projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that assume current … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s Truly Progressive?

We know what fake-Progressives support: neocon-neoliberal policies and narratives that enable elite privilege, power and Imperial pretensions. So what’s truly progressive? We can start with four things: 1. Focus on developing skills that build capital, not on issuing costly credentials … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Path to $10,000 Bitcoin

As my colleague Davefairtex observed recently, the paint isn’t quite dry on bitcoin and the expanding host of other cryptocurrencies. Initial enthusiasm for the latest cryptocurrency that’s going to eat bitcoin’s lunch generates outsized returns for early investors, but as … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dear Self-Proclaimed “Progressives”: as Apologists for the Neocon-Neoliberal Empire, You Are as Evil as the Empire You’ve Enabled

Dear Self-Proclaimed “Progressive”: I love you, man, but it has become necessary to intervene in your self-destruction. Your ideological blinders and apologies for the Establishment’s Neocon-Neoliberal Empire are not just destroying your credibility, they’re destroying the nation and everywhere the … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

We Can Only Afford One, So Choose Wisely: Social Security/Medicare, Cartel Cronyism or Inflation (Central Banking)

It’s easy to quantify the annual cost of Social Security/Medicare, and not so easy to calculate the cost of Cartel Cronyism and Central Bank-created inflation.Cartel cronyism is a hidden tax on the entire economy, as is Central Bank-created inflation. That … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Trump Aims to Cut the Neocon Deep State Off at the Knees

I have long held that America’s Deep State–the unelected National Security State often referred to as the Shadow Government–is not a unified monolith but a deeply divided ecosystem in which the dominant Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy is being challenged by elements which … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Why Profits Are Faltering

The bedrock assumption of the Bull market is that corporate profits will keep rising indefinitely. Hiccups are allowed, but current stock market valuations are implicitly based on profits expanding. The fly in the ointment here is corporate profits have been … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 4 Comments

Prosperity = Abundant Work + Low Cost of Living

If we seek a coherent context for the new year, we would do well to start with the foundations of widespread prosperity. While the economy is a vast, complex machine, the sources of widespread prosperity are not that complicated: abundant … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 1 Comment

Fragmentation and the De-Optimization of Centralization

Many observers decry the loss of national coherence and purpose, and the increasing fragmentation of the populace into “tribes” with their own loyalties, value systems and priorities. These observers look back on the national unity of World War II as … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 51 Comments

Fake News, Mass Hysteria and Induced Insanity

We’ve heard a lot about “fake news” from those whose master narratives are threatened by alternative sources and analyses. We’ve heard less about the master narratives being threatened: the fomenting of mass hysteria, which turns the populace into an easily … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Housing Markets: Hot and Not So Hot

Though housing statistics such as average sales price are typically lumped into one national number, this is extremely misleading: there are two completely different housing markets in the U.S. One is hot, one is not so hot. Just as importantly, … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grab-Bag of Resolutions for 2017

Here’s a grab-bag of resolutions with something for just about every persuasion. 1. I resolve to never utter or write the word “Trump” in 2017. (Good luck with that…) 2. Having watched bitcoin rise from $250 (or perhaps from $25 … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 1 Comment

When Assets (Such as Real Estate) Become Liabilities

Correspondent Joel M. submitted an article that struck me as a harbinger of the future: In Greece, Property Is Debt: “At law courts throughout Greece, people are lining up to file papers renouncing their inheritance. Not necessarily because some feckless … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Why I’m Hopeful

Why am I hopeful? the Status Quo is devolving, and a better way of living lies just beyond the corrupt, wasteful, ruinous consumerist debt/financial tyranny we now inhabit. Readers often ask me to post something hopeful, and I understand why: … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Crisis of Meaning = Crisis of Work

Allow me to connect two apparently unconnected dots. Dot #1: The last sugar plantation in Hawaii is closing down, ending more than a century of plantation life in the 50th state. Dot #2: a new study found that Nearly 95% … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Why the Massive Expansion of “Money” Hasn’t Trickled Down to “The Rest of Us”

There are numerous debates about money: what it is, how we measure it, and so on. In recognition of these debates, I’m referring to “money” in quotes to designate that I’m using the Federal Reserve’s measure of money stock (MZM). … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Will Tax Cuts and More Federal Borrowing/Spending Fix What’s Broken?

Not to rain on the new administration’s parade, but one question needs to be asked of any new administration: will tax cuts and more federal borrowing/ spending fix what’s broken in the U.S./global economy? The short answer: if tax cuts … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 5 Comments

What Have the “Experts” Gotten Right? In the Real Economy, They’re 0 for 5

The mainstream media continually hypes the authority of “experts,” i.e. people with a stack of credentials from top institutions. But does the mainstream media ever check on whether the “experts” got anything right? Let’s compare the “experts” (conventional PhD economists) … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Are You a Deplorable? Take This Quiz to Find Out

Are you a Deplorable? The answer might surprise you. Take this short quiz to find out. 1. If you agree with this characterization of American Elites: “The self-satisfied cosmopolitan culture that sprang up among the affluent 20% or so of … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 14 Comments

Recovering America’s History of Progressive Populism

There is only one narrative in the mainstream media about populism: it destroys democracy and leads straight to fascism. This is an ignorant and false narrative. Here’s a typical example of the mainstream anguish that the elites’ preferred narratives are … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Why the Democrats Can’t Let Go of Losing

The Democratic Party has become everything it once was against. Let’s get one thing straight right at the start: criticizing the Democratic Party and its ruling elites is not the same as “supporting Trump.” The either-or accusation is a classic … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 1 Comment

U.S. Census Bureau, I.R.S. and St. Louis Federal Reserve Added to Washington Post’s list of “Russian Propaganda” Websites

In case you missed it, The Washington Post’s criminally careless publishing of “fake news” about purported “Russian propaganda” created a backlash–and the Post’s attorney-approved bleating to sidestep responsibility for publishing “fake news” failed to calm the waters. Here’s The Washington … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Populism in America: “Follow the Money”

One of the most disturbing failures of the mainstream media in this election cycle was its complete lack of historical context for Trump’s brand of populism.If you consumed the mainstream media’s coverage of the campaign and election, you noted their … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Our “Gaslight” Financial System

The terms gaslight and gaslighting are entering the political media lexicon, with partisans of both parties accusing the other side’s candidate of gaslighting in the presidential election. The terms refers to the 1944 film Gaslight in which Charles Boyer subtly … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A Disintegrative Winter: The Debt and Anti-Status Quo Super-Cycle Has Turned

How would you describe the social mood of the nation and world? Would anti-Establishment, anti-status quo, and anti-globalization be a good start? How about choking on fast-rising debt? Would stagnant growth, stagnant wages be a fair description? Or how about … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Beyond Income Inequality

Judging by the mainstream media, the most pressing problems facing capitalism are 1) income inequality, the basis of Thomas Piketty’s bestsellerCapital in the Twenty First Century, and 2) the failure of laissez-faire markets to regulate their excesses, a common critique … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Corporate Media’s Gulag of the Mind

One of the most remarkable ironies of The Washington Post’s recent evidence-free fabrication of purported “Russian propaganda” websites (including this site) is how closely it mimics the worst excesses of the USSR’s Stalinist era. Those unfamiliar with the Stalinist era’s … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Engine of Inequality: Privilege

We all know wealth/income inequality is soaring. I’ve published many entries on this topic (please see the three charts below as a refresher), and it’s clear there are multiple sources of rising inequality: globalization and technology, which concentrate gains in … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Washington Post: Useful-Idiot Shills for a Failed, Frantic Status Quo That Has Lost Control of the Narrative

I was amused to find my site listed on the now-infamous list of purportedly Russian-controlled propaganda sites cited by The Washington Post. I find it amusing because I invite anyone to search my 3,600-page archive of published material over the … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Why Is the US Dollar Rising?

On October 3rd I asked Is the U.S. Dollar Set to Soar? It seems the answer was yes. Here’s the weekly chart of the USD I posted on October 3rd: And here’s the current weekly chart of the USD: Note … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Reshore Manufacturing? It’s the Only Way to Avoid Defective Pirated Parts

There are two basic arguments against bringing manufacturing that was transferred overseas (offshored) back to America (reshoring): 1. It’s too costly 2. The supply chain is now in China/Asia and it’s not possible to source the parts needed to bring … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The Age of Disintegration: Political Disunity and Elites At War

Historian Michael Grant identified profound political disunity in the ruling elite as a key cause of the dissolution of the Roman Empire. Grant described this dynamic in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire. The chapter titles of … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pressing Problem Nobody Dares Discuss

The list of pundits jostling for air time to add their two cents to discussions of hot-button issues such as immigration is endless. The airwaves and social media are overflowing with people wanting to comment on hot-button social issues, but … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Now Is the Winter of our Discontent: Our Era of Rising Discord

Mao Zedong supposedly said, “There is great disorder under the Heavens and the situation is excellent.” For those seeking to replace the existing social and economic order, chaos is a good first step. Those with a stake in the system … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Nobility Uses Political Correctness to Fragment the Precariats

I have long held that our economy is, stripped of propaganda, nothing but an updated version of feudalism, i.e. neofeudal: a vast class of precarious laborers (i.e. precariats–precarious proletariats) who own little to no wealth-producing capital ruled by a New … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Fearmongering Propaganda Is Immensely Profitable–and Distracting

Let’s start by asking: if Trump had lost and his supporters had angrily taken to the streets, destroying private property and threatening police officers while proclaiming “not my president,” would the mainstream media have characterized the rioters differently than it … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Suggestions for President-Elect Trump

Though I am just another powerless peon, I’d like to offer seven suggestions to President-Elect Trump and his transition team: 1. Make sure your administration is as diverse as America. No single act will give your enemies more ammo than … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged | 31 Comments

Who Lost: A Biased Media, Pundits, Pollsters, Political Parties, Warmongers, the Corporatocracy, Pay-to-Play Grifters, Neoliberals

Sometimes who lost is more important than who won. Let’s review who lost the election: 1. Let’s start with the Corporatocracy, which expected to once again wield unlimited influence by funding political campaigns with millions of dollars in contributions and … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 11 Comments

The Source of our Rage: The Ruling Elite Is Protected from the Consequences of its Dominance

There are many sources of rage: injustice, the destruction of truth, powerlessness. But if we had to identify the one key source of non-elite rage that cuts across all age, ethnicity, gender and regional boundaries, it is this: The Ruling … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Now That the Presidential-Election Side Show Is Finally Ending…

Though it has been billed as the main event for months, the presidential election has always been a side show–or from one point of view, a freak show. As I write this on Monday, I have no idea who will … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

America’s Ruling Elite Has Failed and Deserves to Be Fired

America’s Ruling Elite is freaking out because a significant percentage of the American public is trying to fire them. The Ruling Elite has failed and deserves to be fired, and deep down, they know it–and this awareness of their self-serving … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 7 Comments

“Nothing Good Can Come of This Election”–and That’s Good

The overwhelming consensus of the punditry across the political spectrum is that “Nothing Good Can Come of This Election”–and that’s a very good thing.The handwringing goes like this: The country is deeply divided by schisms that cannot be bridged, every … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Hillary Is The Perfection of a Corrupt System

Let’s set aside Hillary Clinton as an individual and consider her as the perfection of a corrupt political system. As I noted yesterday, Politics As Usual Is Dead, and Hillary Clinton is the ultimate product of the political system that … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Politics As Usual Is Dead

Hillary and Trump are symptoms of a fatal condition: politics as it has been practiced for 70 years is dead. As my friend G.F.B. observed, the key development was not the nomination of insider-Hillary or outsider-Trump–it was the enormous success … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hillary and the Ghosts of Watergate

The parallels between Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon are not legal–they are political: specifically, how can a leader crippled by scandal and cover-ups govern? In even blunter terms: how can a crippled politico deliver the goods to the special interests … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , | 2 Comments

These Blast Points on Hillary’s Campaign… Only The Deep State Is So Precise

Back in August, I asked Could the Deep State Be Sabotaging Hillary? I think we now have a definitive answer: “These blast points on Hillary’s campaign… too accurate for the Mainstream Media. Only the forces of the Imperial Deep State … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

The Disaster of Inflation–For the Bottom 95%

Central banks are obsessed with boosting inflation, but the “why inflation is good” arguments make no sense for households being ravaged by inflation. The basic argument is that inflation makes it easier for debtors to service their debts. But this … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments