Home » Posts tagged 'baby boomers'

Tag Archives: baby boomers

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Ben Hunt: Prepare To Get Burned

Ben Hunt: Prepare To Get Burned

Society is pretending its actions don’t have consequences. It’s badly mistaken.

History teaches us that there is no free lunch, reminds Dr. Ben Hunt, publisher of EpsilonTheory.com.

And science informs us that even the most simple systems become nearly impossible to predict or control with 100% precision as time and variables change.

But our society today is ignoring these lessons. It’s betting that the increasingly excessive distortions required to keep the status quo continuing will succeed, and come at no cost.

That’s a losing bet, warns Hunt:

Society burns itself on a really hot stove every three or four generations.

I think we’re at that point where the Millennials coming of age who are having to wrestle with what the Baby Boomers have done to the world. They’re going to end up burning themselves on this hot stove. The hot stove of looking to government as the answer for everything that ails you. Of looking towards your political leaders as somehow able to provide never-ending exponential growth in comfort and standard of living.

And ultimately, they’ll burn themselves — there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You’ve got pay for these things in one way or another — in terms of resource extraction, in terms of taxation, in the form of sacrifice of individual liberties.

There’s a price to be paid, though. That’s the hot stove that I’m talking about. That hot stove can manifest itself in war. That’s certainly happened in the past. It could manifest itself in the subordination or forfeit of individual liberties. That’s certainly happened in the past.

There are any number of ways in which that burning on the hot stove could happen.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

David Holmgren: A Baby Boomers’ Apology

David Holmgren: A Baby Boomers’ Apology

Raphael The miraculous draught of fishes 1515

There are days, though all too scarce, when very nice surprises come my way. Case in point: yesterday I received a mail from David Holmgren after a long period of radio silence. Australia’s David is one of the fathers of permaculture, along with Bill Mollison, for those few who don’t know him. They first started writing about the concept in the 1970s and never stopped.

Dave calls himself “permaculture co-originator” these days. Hmm. Someone says: “one of the pioneers of modern ecological thinking”. That’s better. No doubt there. These guys taught many many thousands of people how to be self-sufficient. Permaculture is a simple but intricate approach to making sure that the life in your garden or backyard, and thereby your own life, moves towards balance.

My face to face history with David is limited, we spent some time together on two occasions only, I think, in 2012 a day at his home (farm) in Australia and in 2015 -a week- in Penguin, Tasmania at a permaculture conference where the Automatic Earth’s Nicole Foss was one of the key speakers along with Dave. Still, despite the limited time together I see him as a good and dear friend, simply because he’s such a kind and gracious and wise man. 

In his mail, David asked if I would publish this article, which he originally posted on his own site just yesterday under the name “The Apology: From Baby Boomers To The Handicapped Generations”. I went for a shorter title (it’s just our format), but of course I will.

Dave has been an avid reader of the Automatic Earth for the past 11 years, we sort of keep his feet on the ground when they’re not planted and soaking in that same ground: “Reading TAE has helped me keep up to date..”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The News About Fake News Is Fake

The News About Fake News Is Fake

 

Johannes Vermeer Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window 1657-59

In the last few days I was looking around for stories that could illustrate what fake news actually is, and I had a nice collection, but then last night Robert Mueller of all people clarified what exactly fake news is better than I could have. At first the BuzzFeed crew that was caught staring straight into the headlights has a feeble response (what exactly was untrue in our article?), but was silenced by the WaPo of all publications: Mueller’s team said every bit of the article was false.

And still I wonder if people now understand better what fake news is. Which I think has a lot to do whit the fact that the term was monopolized by a section of US media as meaning things that had to do with Trump, more or less exclusively. That way, when Trump accused these same media of publishing fake news, they knew their loyal readers wouldn’t believe him. 

But in reality they’ve been at it ever since Trump entered US politics, and they dug in ever deeper into their anti-Donald trenches, first for political reasons, later for profit (nothing sells like Trump in America today). And in the process, especially since they published umpteen pieces a day on the topic, they had to use unproven and biased allegations and innuendo. There was never enough real news to go around to feed the monster they created. That’s how we got Russiagate.

Still, of course, like me, you want to know how fake news is recognized, how ‘experts’ tell it apart from real news. Well, despair no more. An actual professor researched it, and was quoted by the New York Times last week, which doesn’t publish fake news, it says. I got to say, personally, I found this highly enlightening. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Did Baby Boomers Ruin America?

Did Baby Boomers Ruin America?

boomers1.JPG

Referring to someone as a sociopath is strong language. After all, just between 3 and 5 percent of Americans are really sociopaths , people who initially seem charming, but, due to bad neurological wiring, lack a conscience and are unable to feel remorse. They are exceptional liars and cheats, and have no capacity to feel guilt.

But according to author and multi-millionaire tech hedge fund manager, Bruce Cannon Gibney, anyone born between 1946 and 1964 (baby boomers) that are still living are sociopaths.

“There is something wrong with the Boomers and there has been for a long time,” writes Gibney in the forward to A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America and the author’s beatings continue for 400-plus pages.

He doesn’t let any of us Boomers off the hook, but really focuses on “generational representatives like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Dennis Hastert–a stew of philanderers, draft dodgers, tax avoiders, incompetents, hypocrites, holders of high office censured for ethics violations, a sociopathic sundae whose squalid cherry was provided in 2016 by Hastert’s admission of child molestation, itself a grotesque metaphor for Boomer policies.”

Gibney’s point being us Boomers are molesting younger generations because Social Security and Medicare might remain solvent just long enough for Boomers, but no one else, to collect. And, the author preaches from the environmentalist good book every chance he gets. Any skepticism about climate change is viewed as having “negative feelings about reality and science” because, for Boomers, sacrifices for the environment are, “incompatible with sociopathic desires.”

Boomers didn’t have a chance because their moms read Dr. Spock, were too easy on their kids, and parked us in front of the television. “TV’s essential characteristics make it the perfect education for sociopaths, facilitating deceit, acquisitiveness, intransigence, and validating a worldview only loosely tethered to reality,” the author opines.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Your Retirement Efforts Achieve Escape Velocity?

Will Your Retirement Efforts Achieve Escape Velocity?

Sadly, most of us will outlive our savings

The concept of ‘retirement’, of enjoying decades of work-free leisure in your golden years, is a relatively new construct. It’s only been around for a few generations.

In fact, the current version of the relaxed, golfing/RV-touring/country club retirement lifestyle only came into being in the post-WW2 boom era — as Social Security, corporate & government pensions, cheap and plentiful energy, and extended lifespans made it possible for the masses.

But increasingly, it looks like the dream of retiring is fast falling out of reach for many of today’s Baby Boomers. Most will outlive their savings (if they have any at all).

And the retirement prospects look even worse for Generations X, the Millennials, and Gen Z.

A Bad Squeeze

While the US enjoyed a wave of unprecedented prosperity throughout the 20th century, the data clearly shows that halcyon era is ending.

Real wages (i.e., nominal $ earned divided by the inflation rate) for the average American worker have hardly budged since the mid-1960s:

Yet the cost of living has changed dramatically over the same time period. Note how the rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) started accelerating in the late ’60s and never looked back:

Squeezed between stagnant wages and a rising living costs, perhaps it should be little surprise that so many Americans are having difficulty finding anything left over to save for retirement.

We’ve written about this extensively in our past reports, such as Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can’t Afford The Future and The Great Retirement Con. But as a way of driving the point home, here are some quick sobering stats from the National Institute On Retirement Security:

  • The median retirement account balance among all working US adults is $0. This is true even for the cohort closest to retirement age, those 55-64 years old.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Importance Of Knowing

Without insight, action is useless

At Peak Prosperity, we strive to help people advance in three key areas: Knowing, Doing and Being.

Doing and Being are the resilience-building steps we recommend. Helping folks develop their own personal action plans in these areas is the main focus of the seminars we run.

But Knowing? That’s the essential first part to master. Without sufficient understanding and insight to guide you, any action you take is merely groping in the dark.

That’s why Chris and I spend the majority of our time info-scouting: following the data and analyzing where macro trends are likely to head next given the latest developments.

We dedicate so much time and energy to this because it’s not the domino that’s falling today that matters. What’s much more important is: Which dominoes will fall tomorrow as a result?

And make no mistake, the pace of falling dominoes is accelerating. From the geo-politically destabilizing regime change in Saudi Arabia, to the ending of the central bank liquidity bubble, to the largest species extinction wave in millennia, to the bursting retirement dreams of the Baby Boomer generation, to the fast-worsening net energy predicament — change is afoot. The relative calm of the false ‘recovery’ that the world’s central planners engineered in response to the Great Financial Crisis has reached its terminus.

Now, more than ever in recent years, understanding where events are headed next is critical to preserving your wealth and well-being.

Being keenly aware of this, Chris and I have been working for months on solving the question: How can we better arm people with the insights and answers they need to take informed action in their lives?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Grant Williams: “History Is About To Repeat Itself Again… And It Might Get Ugly”

Grant Williams: “History Is About To Repeat Itself Again… And It Might Get Ugly”

Real Vision’s Grant Williams believes that the 76 million retiring Baby Boomers will trigger a major pension crisis.

“With that potentially bad situation we could face,” the seasoned asset manager and co-founder of Real Vision TV said in a recent extended Metal Masters interview (full interview below), “holding physical metal, somewhere safe, somewhere outside the banking system, is just a sensible precaution to take.”

His outlook has changed drastically since he started his first job trading Japanese markets in 1986: “What I walked into at that time was one of the greatest bull market bubbles the world had ever seen, in the Japanese equity market and real estate market.” During this heyday, precious metals weren’t on his radar at all—until a year later, when he witnessed his first stock market crash and started asking some inconvenient questions.

“I’ve always been a fan of history,” says Williams, who also writes the wildly popular macroeconomic newsletter, Things That Make You Go Hmmm… “So I read financial history and I just kept reading. And it was clear to me that at this point in time, I needed to buy some gold.”

Until then, the gold price didn’t mean much to him, except as an indicator of other things, so he considers the crashes he witnessed in his career wake-up calls and blessings in disguise.

The 1987 crash, he says, was more like “a bad day at the office; it came and went so fast… The bounce-back was quick, but it was a real shock to the system that that could happen.” When the dotcom bubble burst, he was well prepared. “I recognized the madness for what it was much sooner… and so that taught me that markets can reverse and just go down.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Signs Of Distress

The need to change is becoming more obvious than ever
The world is edging closer to the final moments after which everything will be forever changed. Grand delusions, perpetuated over decades, will finally hit the limits of reality and collapse in on themselves.

We’re over-budget and have eaten deeply into the principal balances of all of our main trust accounts. We are ecologically overdrawn, financially insolvent, monetarily out past the Twilight Zone, consuming fossil fuels (as in literally eating them), and adding 80,000,000 net souls to the planet’s surface — each year! — without regard to the consequences.

Someday there will be hell to pay financially, economically, and ecologically as there simply isn’t any way to maintain these overdrafts forever. Reality does not renegotiate. Its deal terms aren’t compromisable.

For those who have the neural plasticity to actually see what’s happening around us, the changes are already here, blatant and frightening. Younger folks, with their fresher eyes and fewer ties to the past, can see them a lot easier than their elders.

The prosperity enjoyed by the past few generations — especially the Baby Boomers — was stolen from future generations. All the while, they pretended as if their borrowing-heavy standards of living were the result of sheer genius and intelligence; like trust fund babies who mistake being born on third base for hitting a triple.

Young people have sussed this out; and are now pulling back from many of the principal occupations of their forebears — like marriage, babies and buying homes and cars. This perplexes older folks, who are beginning to find themselves increasingly at odds with the generations following after them.

Humans can be very very smart, but the flip-side of our ingenuity is our capacity for self-delusion. We’ve very consistently preferred to look past our faults. That can work for a while, but eventually an incomplete view will lead to a complete disaster.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Baby Boomer Survival Guide (Part II)

The Baby Boomer Survival Guide (Part II)

A Lehman Moment for Commodities?

LONDON – Today, we continue our philosophical look at what you should do if you are running out of time and money. (You can catch up on Part I here.)

Where do we begin? With how to add wealth? Or how to lose it? The way to lose it is simple. You buy something that is not worth the money you paid for it. You are instantly poorer, whether you know it or not.

fat_spies_by_jdeer69-d60927gThe pleasingly plump.
Illustration by jdeer69

DJIADJIA, daily – still unsettled – click to enlarge.

That is what is happening today to stock market investors. The stocks they bought were not worth the money; now Mr. Market is letting them know. On Monday, the Dow dropped almost 2% to 16,002 points. Next stop: 15,000.

“It’s a bear market,” says Jim Cramer. It will be a “bloodbath,” says billionaire investor Carl Icahn. We don’t know. But our guess is that 10 years from now your stocks will be worth no more than they are today.

The biggest losers on Monday were in the commodities and biotech sectors. Well, Glencore – one of the world’s largest resource companies – is one of the companies not buying them.

Glencore shares have lost 75% of their value so far this year. If commodities prices stay at these low levels, it could be worth nothing by the end of the year. Glencore could be headed the way of Lehman Brothers…

GlencoreGlencore, daily. On Tuesday the stock recovered a bit, after Glencore tried to refute speculation about its imminent demise with a press release “responding to speculation”… click to enlarge.

Biotechs dragged the Nasdaq down yesterday. But the sector is still up more than 425% since 2009. Plenty of room left on the downside, in other words. Icahn, by the way, seems to have signed on as an advisor to Donald Trump. This is a good thing. The presidential hopeful needs advice.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Baby Boomer Survival Guide (Part I)

The Baby Boomer Survival Guide (Part I)

The Yellow Machines Go Silent

PARIS – What should you do if you are running out of time and money? This is the question we get from readers over 50… over 60… and sometimes over 70.

We baby boomers were famously “na… na… na… live for today.” Now, it’s tomorrow. And many of us – often through no fault of our own – are having trouble making ends meet.

At the Diary, we write about the world of money. About economic policy and how it affects you. But what if, in your world of money, you are running short? What should you do to get more? Check under the seat cushions? Rob a bank?

We’ll come back to this question in a few moments. First, let’s take a look at the big picture.

It appears that the world economy is headed for recession. An economy makes and takes. Whatever you make – whether it is an apartment building or a plastic toy – you have to begin by taking dirt out of the ground.

Fleet_830X240Caterpillar-made fleet of mining trucks
Photo credit: Caterpillar

You need to dig a hole before you can put up a building… or even make a parking lot. And you need to scrape up raw materials – copper, iron, oil, etc. – before you can make anything at all.

This requires machines. Yellow machines. When economic activity goes down… so do sales of these machines. Yellow machines move dirt. They are used in construction, mining, and every sort of resource industry. We’re talking about backhoes… tractors… forklifts… excavators… bulldozers… and loaders.

Ominously, demand for these machines – along with the stuff they move – is collapsing. Two of the biggest suppliers are Caterpillar in the U.S. and JCB in Britain. Both report catastrophic drops in sales.

Caterpillar says its sales have fallen three years in a row. And it expects a fall of another 5% next year. This marks the first time in its 90-year history that sales have fallen four years straight.

CAT retail sales 2CAT’s worldwide sales have been declining for quite some time (via Zerohedge) – click to enlarge.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Baby boomers getting wealthier, young Australians saving more but still poorer: Grattan Institute report – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Baby boomers getting wealthier, young Australians saving more but still poorer: Grattan Institute report – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Baby boomers are hoarding the nation’s wealth and depriving their children of future living standards on par with their own, a new report from The Grattan Institute argues.

The think tank has crunched the numbers on the growing wealth gap between generations, and found that while older Australians have never had it better, adults aged under 35 are poorer than they were just eight years ago.

“There’s a real risk that we’ll end up with a generation in Australia less well-off than its parents,” Grattan Institute CEO John Daley said.

The report has found households whose main residents are aged between 55 years old and 64 years were $173,000 richer in real terms in 2011-12 than the same cohort was eight years earlier.

A household with residents aged 65 to 74 was $215,000 better off.

Meanwhile, householders with people aged 25 to 34 saw their wealth fall.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase