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The collapse of the U.S. reveals strange and bizarre pathologies never seen before

By Umair Haque

You might say, having read some of my recent essays, “Umair! Don’t worry! Everything will be fine! It’s not that bad!” I would look at you politely, and then say gently, “To tell you the truth, I don’t think we’re taking collapse nearly seriously enough.”

Why? When we take a hard look at the U.S. collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history. They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline  —  shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on — we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Let me give you just five examples of what I’ll call the social pathologies of collapse — strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days. That’s one every other day, more or less. That statistic is alarming enough — but it is just a number. Perspective asks us for comparison. So let me put that another way. America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world, even Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, the phenomenon of regular school shootings appears to be a unique feature of American collapse — it just doesn’t happen in any other country — and that is what I mean by “social pathologies of collapse”: a new, bizarre, terrible disease striking society.

School children being escorted out of a school following a shooting.

Why are American kids killing each other? Why doesn’t their society care enough to intervene? Well, probably because those kids have given up on life — and their elders have given up on them. Or maybe you’re right — and it’s not that simple. Still, what do the kids who aren’t killing each other do? Well, a lot of them are busy killing themselves.

So there is of course also an “opioid epidemic”. We use that phrase too casually, but it much more troubling than it appears on first glance. Here is what is really curious about it. In many countries in the world  —  most of Asia, Latin America and Africa  —  one can buy all the opioids one wants from any local pharmacy, without a prescription. You might suppose then that opioid abuse as a mass epidemic would be a global phenomenon. Yet we don’t see opioid epidemics anywhere but America  —  especially not ones so vicious and widespread they shrink life expectancy. So the “opioid epidemic” — mass self-medication with the hardest of hard drugs  —  is again a social pathology of collapse: unique to American life. It is not quite captured in the numbers, but only through comparison  —  and when we see it in global perspective, we get a sense of just how singularly troubled American life really is.

Why would Americans abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world? They must be living genuinely traumatic and desperate lives, in which there is little healthcare, so they have to self-medicate the terror away. But what is so desperate about them? Well, consider another example: the “nomadic retirees”. They live in their cars. They go from place to place, season after season, chasing whatever low-wage work they can find  —  spring, an Amazon warehouse, Christmas, Walmart.

Now, you might say  —  “well, poor people have always chased seasonal work!” But that is not really the point: absolute powerlessness and complete indignity is. In no other country I can see do retirees who should have been able to save up enough to live on now living in their cars in order to find work just to go on eating before they die  —  not even in desperately poor ones, where at least families live together, share resources, and care for one another. This is another pathology of collapse that is unique to America —  utter powerlessness to live with dignity. Numbers don’t capture it  —  but comparisons paint a bleak picture.

How did America’s elderly end up cheated of dignity? After all, even desperately poor countries have “informal social support systems”  — otherwise known as families and communities. But in America, there is the catastrophic collapse of social bonds. Extreme capitalism has blown apart American society so totally that people cannot even care for one another as much as they do in places like Pakistan and Nigeria. Social bonds, relationships themselves, have become unaffordable luxuries, more so than even in poor countries: this is yet another social pathology unique to American collapse.

This revolution will be broadcast on social media.

Yet those once poor countries are making great strides. Costa Ricans and Ecuadorians now have a longer life expectancy than Americans  —  because they have public healthcare. American life expectancy is falling, unlike nearly anywhere else in the world, save the UK  —  because it doesn’t.

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the others above. American appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways mentioned above. They just don’t appear to be too disturbed, moved, or even affected by the four pathologies above: their kids killing each other, their social bonds collapsing, being powerless to live with dignity,or having to numb the pain of it all away.

If these pathologies happened in any other rich country  —  even in most poor ones  —  people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

So my last pathology is a predatory society. A predatory society doesn’t just mean oligarchs ripping people off financially. In a truer way, it means people nodding and smiling and going about their everyday business as their neighbours, friends, and colleagues die early deaths in shallow graves. The predator in American society isn’t just its super-rich  —  but an invisible and insatiable force: the normalization of what in the rest of the world would be seen as shameful, historic, generational moral failures, if not crimes, becoming mere mundane everyday affairs not to be too worried by or troubled about.

Perhaps that sounds strong to you. Is it?

Now that I’ve given you a few examples  —  there are many more  —  of the social pathologies of collapse, let me share with you the three points that they raise for me.

These social pathologies are something like strange and gruesome new strains of disease infecting the body social. America has always been a pioneer  —  only today, it is host not just to problems not just rarely seen in healthy societies  —  it is pioneering novel social pathologies have never been seen in the modern world outside present-day America, period. What does that tell us?

American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesn’t put any of its problems in global or historical perspective  —  but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.

Seen accurately. American collapse is a catastrophe of human possibility without modern parallel. And because the mess that America has made of itself, then, is so especially unique, so singular, so perversely special  —  the treatment will have to be novel, too. The uniqueness of these social pathologies tell us that American collapse is not like a reversion to any mean, or the downswing of a trend. It is something outside the norm. Something beyond the data. Past the statistics. It is like the meteor that hit the dinosaurs: an outlier beyond outliers, an event at the extreme of the extremes. That is why our narratives, frames, and theories cannot really capture it  —  much less explain it. We need a whole new language  —  and a new way of seeing  —  to even begin to make sense of it.

But that is America’s task, not the world’s. The world’s task is this. Should the world follow the American model  —  extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue  —  then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food  —  junk media, junk science, junk culture, junk punditry, junk economics, people treating one another and their society like junk  —  that America has fed upon for too long.
__________________

Umair Haque is an economist and the Director of the London-based Havas Media Lab and heads Bubblegeneration, a strategy lab that helps discover strategic innovation. He studies the economics of the future: the impact that new technologies, management innovations, and shifting consumer preferences will exert tomorrow on the industries and markets of today. His website is https://eand.co

69 thoughts on “The collapse of the U.S. reveals strange and bizarre pathologies never seen before

  1. Wow, I’m not sure that I’d use the word “collapse”, but Mr. Haque makes many good points.

    I often tell my Ecuadorian friends that the USA is a great place to earn money (certainly compared to Ecuador). However, too much of humanity seems to be sacrificed in the quest to have more and more material things and wealth.

    Examples abound–In the interest of earning more money, I moved multiple times within the USA. Each time, I lost more and more contact with old friends and family. So, I was a part of what I now decry. Too soon old, too late smart . . .

  2. Typical liberal “Armageddon” speak. Umair needs to get out more. If President Trump began spreading this same b.s., they would lock him up. Sorry Umair, your resume’ doesn’t feed the bulldog. In fact, the only thing you got right is that you are definitely a “Bubble-head” Go spread your dark cloud in North Korea. Or is that where your office actually is?

      1. In reading many of your posts, it is obvious that you’re not well read, so I can’t just toss out a term and assume you will understand it. However, if you look up the legend of Faust and the figure of Mephistopheles you might come to realize the price you will have to pay for the trumpian benefits you want to tout.

      2. Ahhh. Finally I find someone on this site with common sense and logic. Thanks Larry. Kinda tough sometimes, trudging through this liberal mud, isn’t it? jajajaja

    1. “If President Trump began spreading this same b.s., they would lock him up.”

      Only in my dreams. trump lies virtually every day, yet he still runs free. For now, anyway.

      1. You lost. Things got better fast even if you want to look the other way. You choose to look the other way at Obama and all the illegal crap he pulled but now all the pearl clutching and hysterical crying is music to my ears.

        1. If I thought it wouldn’t be censored, I’d tell you what a schmuck you are for assuming that I am an obama supporter or apologist. I wouldn’t have (and didn’t) vote for trump, obama or clinton if you put a gun to my head and I have written those very words many times on this very forum. Try to pay attention.

          I didn’t lose, the USA lost. Do you deny that trump tells lies daily? Sure, I know you trump apologists can pull your whataboutery and trot all the things that you think trump has done that make his lies okay, but most people with values actually think integrity matters ————– and trump has none.

      2. Lying is NOT the most distinctive feature of Donald Trump..as any rational observer simply dismisses what he says. But his childish over-the-top reactions to any person that does not agree with him are his salient feature and the most dangerous. He will destroy any and everything to get in his way.

        You and he are sad doppelgangers in this area.

        1. I really don’t care if you see me in the same light as trump, despite the fact that my disdain for him is intense. Nor do I care to debate the relative danger in his dishonesty and his over-the-top reactions to those that disagree with him. What is the value of deciding which of those onerous traits is more onerous?

    2. If it’s so great in the good ol’ USA, why are you here, taking advantage of everything socialism has to offer? Same question to Larry

      1. The reason(s) I am here have nothing to do with my point of view. Do you have anything of substance to add or are you just trying to spin the conversation?

    3. Perhaps you could say exactly which part you find offensive? The opiod crisis exaggerated? Pursuit of the Almighty Dollar? (Bearing in mind that the U.S. is actively insulting all former allies in pursuit of it) The frequent shootings and suicides? Yes, not all U.S. citizens have succumbed to these issues, but it is certainly a cause for great concern and deserves more attention than “building a wall” or tax breaks overwhelmingly benefiting the rich, Trump amongst them. And let’s add the largest portion of incarcerated citizens.

      1. Could it be that CNN is your only news media source. If so, check out FOX NEWS, for fair and balanced reporting. You’ll see the difference immediately.

          1. Ok, listen up! My reference to Fox News being fair and balanced had nothing to do with their previous slogan, and everything to do with the way they conduct their business—-reporting the news in a fair and balanced manner. Gee, stop being such a liberal. Read what is written and try to refrain from stuffing it into some b.s. narrative.

            1. “Ok, listen up!”?

              I listen to reason, Big One, not agitprop.

              Anyone who swallows what is fed them by FauxNews is *not* receiving news reported “in a fair and balanced manner.” Same goes for CNN, MSNBC or even PBS.

              Sure, listen to all of those but realize that you have to dig deeper to hear all sides of the story. Just for starters [there are many, many more than these], try reading Glenn Greenwald, Consortium News, Ron Paul Institute, or Seymour Hersh for some differing perspectives. Question *everything,* especially broadcast news.

              As for your admonition to “Gee, stop being such a liberal,” unless you’re referring to the fact that libertarians historically were known as “classical liberals,” you obviously have not read anything that I’ve ever written.

              If supporting the non-aggression principle, radically smaller government, personal freedom/responsibility, non-intervention, and total elimination of the surveillance state makes me a liberal, then I’ll wear that badge with pride.

              And oh, BTW, you’re still evading Cathy’s legitimate question.

        1. Actually, I stopped rotting my brain with t.v. many years ago. Again, which part do you find offensive? Which part do you disagree with? Perhaps respond with facts, rather than name-calling . . .

    4. Apparently you didn’t see Trump’s inauguration speech. It was basically the same thing.

      Why do your opinions always seem ridiculous when compared to objective facts?

  3. Yes, great to see such an honest perspective of a true collapse. And interesting that I have asked my closest friends in the US why they don’t leave as I have done. They honestly share that they would rather suffer and die with their families (children and grandchildren) than thrive and enjoy their retirement years in the relative paradise that exists here in Ecuador. A sad commentary on a dying culture. But as one truly a part of the solution, I celebrate those brave enough to join me in creating a new earth.

    1. I have friends and family who recognize what is going on and claim they want to get out but experience such anxiety when they contemplate shedding possessions, learning a new language and doing the work of moving that they never follow through. Is this inability to grow and move beyond a symptom of the collapse or a cause of the collapse?

      1. This, in my opinion, is simply a symptom of the collapse, the masses in denial and projection (defense mechanisms of the ego). The cause is a rigged system called capitalism in which, as expected, the end game is the few uber capitalists owning everything.

  4. The pathologies described are not mysterious at all. They are the result of each of us pursuing what we see as the most advantageous for our happiness. We are all self-centered, but we hate the idea that represents. Anyone who pretends to be shocked by the results of this behavior is himself in denial of his own nature. The manifold problems in the US are most visible because we are simply further along on the path this condition creates. North Americans are the leaders of the campaign for the war of each against all. Each honestly facing the truth of his nature would be the only path leading to any hope of correction, but it won’t happen, for we are all too busy reassuring ourselves how nice we are.

    1. Self interest has brought you your smart phone, all the fantastic medical and technological innovations, and an improvement in the global living condition.

      1. HUH? Have you not paid attention to the “help” that is being currently given to the USA’s poorest and weakest? Removing their access to healthcare? Taking food from hungry children? Raising the price of lifesaving/life-prolonging medication so that the bottom 50% cannot afford it? Enacting policies that continue and exaggerate the taking of money from the bottom 90% and driving it to the top 10%? Cutting all programs that help the poor, disabled, and mentally ill? Are those the “acts of selflessness” you are referring to?.

      2. interesting you include smartphones among the good things we have today. I consider them part of the problem with children. as for medical innovations, such as trans-gendering operations??

    2. They are the result of an economy based on trading labor for goods and services in a time when machines are doing most of the labor. America is winning . . . the race to the bottom. The change was inevitable. Unfortunately, nobody bothered to plan for it. The work week should be 20 hours by now, instead we squeeze more and more out of fewer people. The logical result is an economy that produces more than ever with ever more people unable to offer the labor to enjoy that production. It will all settle out in the end, but the transition is going to be ugly.

  5. This is true that the U.S. is the only country with serious opioid addiction. In Ecuador you can buy some opioids over the counter and a pharmacist told me that there’s not too much demand. You wonder what the difference is. Something’s obviously wrong north of the border

    1. Thank you for these thoughtful arguments. Yup, think about that. The terrible toll of shot-dead schoolkids in January 2018 , this month –is BEYOND BELIEF, literally, for many of us who work in the helping professions. These professions include the ministry, education, incl higher education, medicine, psychology and social work, etc.. The U.S. society’s highest values are not about valuing people and maybe have never been. If the media is any gauge, opioids and stealing the family weapons to take to school is what kids think and fantasize about. I was a teacher in public schools across the U.S. for many years…when there were stronger norms and not the accelerating collapsing state –By the way, with a massive armamentarium of nuclear weapons and a very scary, lying, cheating leader… think about it. Let’s discuss openly with others and not simply dismiss these ideas, they are Importantto consider.

    2. The difference is a healthcare system that treats pain as an outcome then incentivizes physicians to prescribe opiods over proper physical therapy and rehabilitation. Add in a paltry 10 minutes per primary care consultation and the outcome is inevitable. Once the insurance company cuts people off (and they have arbitrary guidelines to do so), people end up on heroin. I find it more than suspicious that the onset of the current opiod epidemic coincided with the US occupation of Afghanistan and the reboot of the poppy production that the Taliban had completely wiped out. Using addicts in the US to finance secret wars Congress won’t pay for has a long and well-documented history. Just ask a Nicaraguan.

      1. Heroin addiction was raging in the 90s. Baltimore, MD was the heroin capital of the US. Middle class white kids were the addicts…not surgery patients prescribed pain killers. Kids were bored. Now it has changed due to pharmaceuticals. I worked in the addictions field at that time and the reasons for addiction were totally different than today. Not only is it a pharmaceutical issue it is also a reason to incarcerate more people into the private prison system where corporations have access to free labor. It’s about profit!

  6. Perhaps this dark description of the social state resonates with elements of truth, but little is said about the structural causes for the malaise. I would point to the “deep state” and the shadow, self-enriching government and the mountains of debt heaped on our children and grandchildren (all a world-wide phenomenon). I do not agree that “extreme capitalism” is to blame. I would point more to the failed social experiments that undermine incentive, personal responsibility and individual freedoms. If honestly practiced, capitalism is the answer, not the problem. Regarding the opioid epidemic, I would point to Iceland’s successful record at combating the sense of dislocation, disenfranchisement and despair in their youth that led to massive use of alcohol and drugs. Granted, Iceland’s homogeneous and small population makes it difficult to compare to that of the US, but if history is to be a guide, then it is well worth a look. I worry much more about a global financial collapse, an EMP attack from North Korea or a terrorist strike on the electrical grid.

    1. I also need to say that the altruistic human spirit, especially in times of catastrophe, runs deep through any society. I have faith in my neighbors and they have faith in me. The examples of selflessness are rampant. Regardless of race, gender or any other division you want to make, it is also in man’s nature to help his fellow man.

      1. It is okay to “have faith” in your neighbors and to believe they reciprocate, but to put your faith to the test, try seriously interfering with anything your neighbors consider fundamental to their well being. They will soon be at your throat.

        Altruism is alive and well as long as all essentials(or what we imagine to be essentials) are in abundance.

        1. Darrell wrote: “It is okay to “have faith” in your neighbors and to believe they reciprocate, but to put your faith to the test, try seriously interfering with anything your neighbors consider fundamental to their well being. They will soon be at your throat.”

          Exactly right. For the perfect example just look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Or the current situation in Venezuela.

    2. Nat, stop upvoting your own posts. It is terribly tacky. I was going to up-vote the post myself, but now that I see you have done it for me, I won’t bother.

  7. never have so many children/adults been on mind altering pharmaceuticals, never has there been so much toxic pollution in the air (aluminum/barium etc), the water (fluoride—creates passivity….)), the food (pesticides etc) and the medicine (synthetic filled with heavy metals to create so called immunity) with depleted soil, constant violent images, and wifi frequencies that are damaging to the human biology– now headed to G5 which is very concerning. the human body can only take so much assault and when the nutrition is very poor…..the mind goes with it. and the non stop propaganda/advertising and deception/lying doesn’t help. however socialism is not the answer as noted below and proven by the incredible suffering in the 20th century by those who promoted it.

    1. Actually, prior to the 20th century, most people were drunk on alcohol almost every day by noon.

      And for the record, the most highly developed countries are all run on a socialist model. Argue with the scoreboard if you want.

  8. The “collapse” of America goes right along with a Mark Twain quote . . . “The reports off my death have been greatly exaggerated.” The eleven shootings include a discharge of a firearm, not necessarily someone shooting at someone. The opiod crises stems primarily from people who became addicted, not by depression, but by doctors over prescribing pain killers. Any addiction is a terrible physical disease. Glad to see that freedom of speech in Ecuador is no longer suspect as it was during the former administration.

  9. I am a Canadian who lived right on the border of Canada and US until I moved to Ecuador in 2017. It took me minutes to walk across the border into the American border town. I’m just an average person who spent 56 years living in that area.

    The Canadian dollar was worth more than the US Dollar up until November, 1976. Our Canadian town did not charge an exchange rate until the rate was 10% in our favor. The Americans, on the other hand, started charge exchange rate as soon as their dollar got stronger! We saw it as being ungrateful and greedy.

    That’s just one example. The Canadians were extremely upset, stopped going to the US town and half the businesses failed! To this day, their saving grace was they put in a Walmart.

    I have always said, “and Rome fell too!” I am sad to see such a great nation allow themselves to get into such trouble and then deny it. It is scary for Canada, too! We have a lot of border towns. What’s going to happen to them?

  10. Aside from a skewed and biased article that is riddled with false assumptions, it violates cuenca high life promise… to never run a negative article. So much for promises.

    “The Cuenca Dispatch has one simple rule, we don’t publish negative news. We want you to ENJOY your time spent with us.

    We believe there are more than enough places to find news that will ruin your day! So we publish the paper you grew up with. Relax and remember how much you used to enjoy the newspaper.”

    1. Loren,

      The Cuenca Dispatch started with that promise and works hard every week to hold to it. An Opinion article from a London-based Economist is hardly what I would call negative NEWS.

      Also, CuencaHighLife has never promised to not print negative news. Just because both are owned by the same business does not mean they have the same restrictions across platforms.

      Please don’t accuse us of breaking promises without being honest about what we said.

      If you don’t like the Opinion piece, than say so. And offer a well-thought out rebuttal. But please don’t accuse us of breaking promises without being honest about what we said.

    2. Your own words betray you. You have conflated Cuenca High Life with Cuenca Dispatch. How embarrassing for you.

  11. To all the Trumpbots who have commented here, you might want to read Charles Hugh Smith’s recent article on a similar topic:

    The Pie Is Shrinking for the 99%

    [see https://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan18/pie-shrinking1-18.html?fullweb=1%5D

    Here’s an excerpt:

    “In this new era of a steadily shrinking pie, the sources of inequality and related social problems have also shifted. As a result, the social movements that were effective in the past are no longer effective today.

    “Attempts to address rising inequality with the old tools are fueling frustration rather than actual solutions.

    “In Part 2 — Social Unrest: The Boiling-Over Point, we examine why our existing models for social change have slipped into ineffectual
    symbolic gestures that fuel fragmentation and frustration — and why
    that will lead to a dangerous boiling over of the 99% against the elites controlling the system.

    “When that happens (inevitable on our current trajectory), the ensuing social disunity and disruption will be of the sort many alive today have never seen.”

    ==============end of excerpt========

    There is no way that anyone can deny the bubbling cauldron of social pathologies that Haque describes. The only thing keeping the cauldron from boiling over explosively is the illusion of wealth that has been created and artificially sustained by the financialization of virtually every aspect of the economy; printing trillions upon trillions of dollars of funny money [and the dollar-for-dollar of debt that accompanies each funny-money dollar]; and the insane financial engineering of ZIRP or even negative interest rates paid on savings and bank balances.

    When–not if–the powers-that-be are no longer able to keep all the financial plates spinning, the incipient social pathologies that Haque describes will explode into a raging and dangerous pandemic.

    Politicians and talking heads will point the finger at convenient diversionary bogeymen du jour– Russian hackers, North Korean threats, Chinese belligerence, Iranian terrorists, Syrian warriors, immigrants, radical islamists, corruption, drug gangs–anything other than the REAL cause, i.e., the delusional belief that there really is a free lunch and that “you can have it all” by just continuing to charge everything on the credit card of future generations.

    When the financial bubble pops, the ensuing panic will make 2008 look like a walk in the park. The ride is likely to get bumpy.

    And, no, Trump droning on interminably as he horribly butchers reading his teleprompter while making repetitive ridiculous hand-gestures won’t make the ride any softer.

    1. This says it all:

      “And, no, Trump droning on interminably as he horribly butchers reading his teleprompter while making repetitive ridiculous hand-gestures won’t make the ride any softer.”

      But I heard trump is a stable genius. I thought all stable geniuses could read.

      1. Actually, Trump professed himself to be a “stable genius.”

        I think what he meant by that affectation was that he has an above average proficiency in mucking manure from animal barns.

  12. You are full of it! Ch3ck out the truth of the “eleven school shootings” you talk about. That report includes things like a suicide, a BB gun against a bus window, and two adult drug dealers in a school parking lot. We do have major social issues but you, Sir, are an alarmist and you don’t even live there. Why don;t you write about the Muslim problem in the country where you live… England.

    1. Yeah, the truth is that in the span of less than one month only a few people were killed and a just a few more critically wounded [https://www.npr.org/2018/01/24/580433745/a-look-at-all-11-school-shootings-that-took-place-in-the-first-23-days-of-2018]. Just business as usual– nothing to see here.

      Your reaction is exactly what Haque is writing about, i.e., we’re doing just fine (the Donald said it; I believe it; and that settles it) and please don’t confront me with reality. In fact, why don’t you just STFU and go write about your own bleeping country? [BTW, he does, if you had bothered to check out his website, books, and articles.]

      Do you honestly deny the social pathologies that Haque describes? If your answer is “yes” then you, sir, are the one who is “full of it.”

  13. About 5% of the US thinks things could not be better.. Unfortunately this includes most of the rich people The US reminds me of South Africa, if you have ever lived or worked there, then you will know what I am talking about.

  14. this is an amazing, amazing article. thank you for sharing it. it is not news to many of us, it is a confirmation of what we have seen. beautifully, kindly, coherently put to words. thank you.

    1. yes, exactly the kind of article that might help those clouded by their own “success” to see the endemic problem and its consequences…..on a positive note I love to share a quote from Eckhart Tolle “what the caterpillar consciousness sees as the end of the world is actually the transformation of the butterfly.”

    2. yes, exactly the kind of article that might help those clouded by their own “success” to see the endemic problem and its consequences…..on a positive note I love to share a quote from Eckhart Tolle “what the caterpillar consciousness sees as the end of the world is actually the transformation of the butterfly.”

  15. It’s end-stage capitalism and it’s inevitable. Like every major paradigm shift in human history, we’ll react to the situation instead of planning for it.

  16. There is definitely a collapse in progress and it is seems it is finally nearing its conclusion. (shiver). But it did not start with Trump, who is merely a very accurate expression of the USA today.

    (There is a varying amount of Trump in every American.) The thread of the collapse can be traced throughout the ENTIRE history of that nation. It is part of US culture and cannot be fully recognized or admitted if one is part of that culture. If one is trained from birth to denial on all matters that might considered negative to anything “American” how can anything be improved or cured?

    And sadly, issues based in cultural “norms” are not curable in under 2-3 generations and that assumes forced re-education starts tomorrow..as was the case in Germany. So whether anyone denies or accepts the collapse is irrelevant at this point. I imagine there will be those discussing whether it will happen long after it has happened. All collapsed cultures have been like that, they keep gong through the motions long after. British Royalty, Roman Empire, White Russians..that list is endless and soon they will have more company.

    It would certainly be more instructive and healthy to discuss what comes after. For example, if one looks now to moves in the most powerful state, California, separation (non-bloody) into a number of new nations could be a result.

  17. well there certainly is a litany of opinions here, but Umair head of bubbleheads takes the cake ! Isolated cases he takes to be the norm? Sheer hockey puck ! Economist? Really ! wondering whee he gets the information?? or does he just make it up as he goes?

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