John Kerry’s extraterrestrial delusions of grandeur, the middle-class gets whacked and more readings from the Church of “The Science”…
Bill Bonner, reckoning today from Normandy, France…
Earth to John Kerry: yes, you are a lunatic.
Mr. Kerry is in Davos, Switzerland with the rich and the famous. We will return to him in a minute. First, an update.
The middle class is getting crushed. It has only two major assets – time and houses. It earns its living by selling its time. It keeps its wealth at home, under its own roofs.
For the last 22 months, real wages have fallen. Over the last year, for example, the average working stiff got a 5% wage increase. But adjusted for inflation of 6.5%, the gain turned into a loss.
Meanwhile, his store of wealth – his house – is in the early stages of a sell-off. It goes like this: first, houses become too expensive, so the typical middle-class family can no longer afford the typical middle-class house. Then, naturally enough, sales fall. Builders stop building. And finally, prices drop. We are just in the beginning of the final stage. Here are the figures:
At the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, the median family spent 42% of its income on housing. Now the figure is 46%. And two years ago, you could get a 30-year mortgage at 2.77%. Today, the rate is more than twice as high.
We have collective insanity that’s being blessed by something called “The Science,” which has only a tenuous relationship with real science. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
Questions du jour: Can the US government make itself even more untrustworthy? Has it become an enemy of the people? Just wondering. What would be worse, actually, is if we learn that American culture is untrustworthy, since politics is downstream of culture. It would be the equivalent writ large of a human personality at war with itself, unable to trust its own thoughts and actions.
Which perhaps explains the seeming psychosis raging through our society at the moment. The hallucinatory delusions of the day are exactly what you’d expect in the kind of personality undergoing a psychotic stress fracture, like the character Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s classic horror movie, Psycho. Poor Norman (or “Mister Bates,” as Hitch playfully had the other characters call him), developed the unfortunate habit of dressing up like his deceased Mother and slashing to death any other female for whom Mister Bates had impure thoughts. That was the 1960s version of the Transsexual Story Hour. We’ve come a long way, baby, since those innocent days.
In today’s day, another part of the collective personality is suddenly coming apart: science, or The Science, as the lingo has it these days. The Science is the system of hypotheses and proofs that normally plays the hero’s role in the task of determining reality, especially about things that are dangerous to mankind. The Science is supposedly behind what we know about the Covid-19 pandemic that has turned America, and much of the whole world, upside down. The Science has become so untrustworthy that an awful lot of people harbor suspicions that it has been running a number on them for the past year.
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