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Hello CollapseNet. I am proud to announce that I am a new commentator on matters of finance, economics and monetary systems. I feel very lucky to be given this opportunity and I will do my level best to make it relevant and worthy of a spot on these pages.
I thought I would use this inaugural article to introduce myself and give you some background history on who I am and where my point of view comes from. First off, I am not like the mainstream commentators you see on CNBC or you read in the Wall Street Journal. My point of view has been formed through years and years of self study and an unending need to challenge my own point of view. My foray into economics and matters of money started in 1993 when I was introduced to the works of Ludwig Von Mises and Murray N Rothbard. They formed the intellectual structure of the Austrian School of economics. At this point in time there were very few adherents to this school, as most colleges (actually all of them save 1) were teaching one of two basic theories as it related to economics. The most prevalent was the Keynesian school, which emphasized the use of public/government debt as a way to smooth over the vagaries of the market and capitalism. Less popular but equally well known was the Chicago school which emphasized the use of a Federal Reserve as a way to “goose” the markets and to keep them humming along in a state of “not too hot or not too cold”, but the so-called “goldilocks” perfect. The later school formed into many offshoots, but at their center was an almost childlike belief that a Central Bank was critical to free markets. The Austrian’s were different and I was drawn to this school because it just made sense to me on a visceral level. Ludwig Von Mises’ seminal work “Human Action” destroyed both the prevalent school’s thoughts regarding a managed economy. He stated that the millions of human actions and thoughts that go into a monetary decision are impossible for a bureaucrat to fathom and that their constant meddling and tampering with market forces (those trillions of Human Actions) would ultimately lead to unsustainable debt levels and an eventual collapse of any society that chose to follow that path. He correctly predicted the end of the Soviet Union decades before the Berlin Wall fell. But more importantly he predicted HOW and WHY. He stated that they would be destroyed from within and that the US would never have to fire a shot to make it happen. He further stated that the United States was on a path very similar to the USSR and that if we continued to slide towards an economy that was constantly tinkered with by economists, it would lead to ever larger and unsustainable bubbles. By 2002 I had read most of what I could in regards to Austrianism and I was convinced it was THE economic theory and if only everyone would embrace it, that all would be good with the world. I was convinced a hard gold/silver standard was the best thing to base a monetary system upon, and nothing was going to change my mind. Then in 2002 came a fateful set of events that led me directly to writing this article to you today. It was around the first anniversary of the attacks of 9/11/2001. I was online looking up one of those sappy memorial videos that people were making at the time. I, like everyone around me, had failed to see the significance of 9/11 and what it meant for the world. I viewed it in a one dimensional world where THEY attacked us and that we needed to get vengeance. I almost remember the exact date of my awakening. It was Sept 4th or 5th 2002. I was surfing around the net watching these sappy videos, when I came across a video called “George W Bush reads to school children on 9/11/2001”. It was a 6 or 7 minute video that showed President George W Bush reading a children’s book to a bunch of grade-schoolers. I didn’t understand the significance of this video and I did a Google search of why this was important. Obviously it was the video of our President on the morning of 9/11, the one they showed on TV over and over again. But they only showed the 10 second clip of his aide leaning in to tell him about the attacks on the World Trade Center. I went back and watched the video again and very early in the video I noticed the aid leaning in and whispering to the President. I didn’t notice it the first time because it wasn’t zoomed in like it was on TV. What astounded me was that the president just sat there and continued reading. Why hadn’t I seen this before? Why the hell did he stay there? Why didn’t the Secret Service whisk him away the moment the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center? These questions led me on a nearly 10 year quest for answers. Like many who woke up in those early years, we were left with few options. Either you tried to forget what you learned and go back to sleep, or you went down the rabbit’s hole of the 9/11 conspiracy theorist. I did the later. I spent more time than I care to admit reading every single fantastic story regarding 9/11. But the study left me feeling hollow inside. The overarching question that plagued my mind was WHY? Why would Arab men fly planes into those buildings? Why would the government let its guard down and allow it to happen (I am of the TLIHOP school). WHY? That led me to the term Peak Oil. That was in early 2003, and my life has never been the same since. The term led me to Fromthewilderness.com and Mike Ruppert. His site was exactly what I needed to help make sense of the world. I pre-ordered his Crossing the Rubicon and read it cover to cover in a matter of a week and suddenly the world started to make sense. It forced me to confront “truths” about this world that I had been completely blind to. It forced me to re-think my absolute belief in the Austrian School. I scoured the net for any economic system that accepted Peak Oil (or peak resources) as its base and I found none. Even the Austrian’s were completely blind to the implications of Peak Oil. I set out in 2003 to re-write my economic play book and I have been at it ever since. With the help of dozens and dozens of Peak Oil commentators such as Mr. Ruppert, Dimitri Orlov and Nicole Foss (aka Stoneleigh) I have pushed my boundaries further than I ever thought possible. I spent years at the now defunct LATOC (Life After the oil Crash) boards and its many offshoots, posting my thoughts on the current economic conditions in an on-going series called “The Daily Economic Update”. I feel that my thousands upon thousands of posts helped wake up a lot of people and saved many of them from economic catastrophe in the run-up to 2008. I hope you find my articles to be helpful and informative. I try not to scare people for the sake of just scaring them. I try to have a point and at least a few rays of hope when I write. My gift is in drawing analogies to help the layman (woman) understand the deep relevance of economics and our perverse monetary system as it relates to their own lives. I feel STRONGLY that understanding how our monetary system works, is the first step towards acceptance of what is coming. And here is the good news. You don’t have to study for 20 years to get to my point. The funny thing I have learned over the years is that economics is not about math, it is not about figures, and it is not about GDP. It is simply philosophy. And anyone can understand philosophy when it is taught in a kind and patient manner. So this is my promise to you. First; is that my posts will always be free and that I will always do my best to post something worthwhile. Second; is that I will never talk down to you and I will always do my best to explain the overly complex language of economics and monetary systems in a way that most can understand. I cannot wait to see how this adventure ends. Thank you CollapseNet for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and if I could ask one favor of you the reader…. I thrive on feedback. Be it good or bad. The more feedback I get, the more motivated I will be to keep writing. My plan is for this to be a weekly series. But this could change if circumstances warrant.
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