Up And Over It twisted hand dance

The first 2 minutes are a bit of a self-promo ‘warm up’ (as if anyone didn’t already know who they were by now). Then they get a bit twisted and it’s, well, it’s… it’s compelling in a very hard to explain but I’ve had that much beer before kind of way ;-) I have to think they have real beer in those bottles…

They also have a “Hands and Feet” bit from “America’s Got Talent” that blends in feet with ‘hand dancing’ part way through. It really is a novel art form, IMHO.

The original, and still my favorite ( you never get over your first time ;-) for anyone who might have missed it or want to see it again:

So What Does Dance Time Teach Us?

In answer to the question of “Why are the PIIGS as they are?”, one might look to cultural references like language. (What? You thought this was just going to be an ‘all fun and games’ posting? No way! “My Problem” is that I just can’t ‘party’ enough; I’m always, to some extent or another. “on”, so data and understanding cross correlations WILL happen at all times and with all inputs..)

In the middle of ‘wasting time’ watching dancing music videos (and thinking I need to ask the spouse out to a dance floor somewhere…) I stumble onto a video that ‘splains it to me. It would seem that there is a word to capture a social / demographic trend.

“Nini”.

Little did I know…

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/nini-and-the-european-dream/article1642865/

Doug Saunders
Nini and the European Dream

Barcelona— From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jul. 17, 2010 5:00AM EDT
Last updated Saturday, Jul. 17, 2010 10:28AM EDT

Estudias o trabajas?” When young Spaniards gather around the bars and patios, that’s their traditional icebreaker line: “You study or work?” In the past year, it’s become almost mandatory to answer, with a self-effacing smirk: “Nini.”

It is half a joke, for nini is a way of saying “neither-nor,” and NINI is the Spanish government acronym for “Not in education or employment” – that is, lost to the economy.

But it’s not really a joke, because now almost everyone is NINI. The under-30 unemployment rate in Spain has just hit 44 per cent, twice the adult rate. Italy also has passed the 40 per cent mark, and Greece has gone even further. If you count all the people who’ve given up looking, it means the number of people between 20 and 30 who have any form of employment in these countries is something like one in five.

An entire European generation is leaving school to discover they have no place in the economy.

Oddly, I find myself realizing that I, too, am a “NINI”. Neither in education nor employment. Who knew? I have a label! AND it’s a bit of a “hip” one ;-)

Guess, given my new ‘trendy’ status, I need to move to more “trendy” links… like maybe even someone who “tweets” and has a cool name like “Claire” or “French” and can even name drop about cultural amabassadors…

http://clairefrench.co.uk/archives/1960

The Spanish cultural ambassador asked for my take on the nini generation a few months ago. Nini is used to refer to a young person neither in education nor employment. A generation thought to being doing nothing, nada, nini. Or NEETS (not in education, employment or training, to be precise), as the less loving Labour government called them.
[…]

NEETS was the naughties category used to define those not in work or education by national and local government,. Their chronic media depiction represents the same as the hoodies that Dave envisaged that giving a hug would help. But this pool of people is backing up. They are the ones who are fresh out of school, they are also the recently out of university or just out of a job.

Spain’s youth unemployment sails high at around 40 per cent – the highest in Europe. But this isn’t just ‘our’ problem. The nini generation is everywhere. Tunisia’s ‘jasmine revolution’ is said to have sparked off after a young unemployed man, Mohamed Bouazizi, set fire to himself. Tunisia’s unemployment figure too is concentrated to the under-24s, of which around 30 per cent don’t work.

Egypt, where 50,000 people have joined the Facebook page for a protest organised for Wednesday has seen a number of people set fire to themselves in recent weeks. As reported in the Observer today, a UN report described Egypt’s young people as being in “waithood” – forced to wait for their lives to begin.
[…]

Oooohhh…. I can even be a “Neet Nini!” I think I’m beginning to like the sound of this… Not liking the idea of everyone from North America through Europe and into Africa and the Middle East having economic collapse and social breakdown, but hey, what can I do about it? may as well go party… ( I think I’m getting the hang of this…)

With that, “our Anthem” (that includes some explanation with the dance video and cultural context and a useful phrase “Yo paso de todo” – I spend it all. Good to keep in mind when thinking of the PIIGS future…) Oh, and there is a bit of an ‘Easter egg’ after the end credits:

In keeping with this international flavor with a Latin Beat, a link to a Spanish Language report:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/sociedad/Generacion/ni-ni/estudia/trabaja/elpepusoc/20090622elpepisoc_1/Tes

REPORTAJE: vida&artes
Generación ‘ni-ni’: ni estudia ni trabaja
Los jóvenes se enfrentan hoy al riesgo de un nivel de vida peor que el de sus padres – El 54% no tiene proyectos ni ilusión
JOSÉ LUIS BARBERÍA 22/06/2009

Here we can see the progression of time, too. 2009 in Spanish. 2010 in the UK. 2011 in a Trendy Tweeter. And as we near 2012, to me… Not bad, I figure, just a couple of years into it… Still time for me to be ‘new and trendy’ in the USA…

El sociólogo de la UNED se pregunta hasta cuándo aguantará el colchón familiar español y qué pasará cuando se jubilen los padres que tienen a sus hijos viviendo en casa. A su juicio, el previsible declive de la clase media, la falta de trabajos cualificados -“el bedel de mi facultad es ingeniero”, indica-, el becarismo rampante, la baja natalidad y el desfase en gasto social respecto a Europa están creando una atmósfera inflamable que abre la posibilidad de estallidos similares a los de Grecia o Francia. “Podemos asistir al primer proceso masivo de descenso social desde los tiempos de la Revolución francesa”, augura.

Roughly:

The UNED sociologist wonders how long the [social safty net] will hold Spanish families and what will happen when the retired parents have their children living at home. In his view, the expected decline of the middle class, lack of qualified work [work of the right qualifications]- “the janitor of my faculty is an engineer,” he says-the rampant scholarships, low birth rates and social spending gap in Europe are creating a flammable atmosphere that opens the possibility of explosions similar to those of Greece or France. “We attend the first massive process of social decline since the time of the French Revolution,” he predicts.

I say that about covers it… But, can’t worry about that now, I think I’ve got one last bottle of red wine left and a few more bucks in my wallet for some beer (as long as I don’t pay the credit card this month) so I think maybe I’ll throw a party for a few friends and “Nini On”!

I’m beginning to like the European Envy Socialism Lite lifestyle… As long as I get my share of the “stimulus” or “guarantee” or “social safety net” or whatever we’re calling it these days: “What? Me worry?” ;-)

After all, clearly it’s not MY problem as it is global and cross generational (especially now that I’m officially joining the Nini’s) so it must not be my issue to ‘fix’. It’s up to the government to fix it, clearly. So at best all I can do is enjoy the wait while those fine professionals in high office take care of me… (Hey, this Nini thing is easier than I thought… now all I have to do is find out what ‘dole’ line I belong in…)

SO: Party On, campers! This Nini has a beer run to make ;-)

And, for reasons I can’t even begin to figure out, I’m rather fond of this one too. But it’s not hand dancing at all… Heck, it isn’t even in color and I’m not even sure what language it is:

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Update

The group is Vaya Con Dios and the language is English… I found this original version (sans special effects editing and with the lyrics understandable…) but now I find I like them both, just for very different reasons…

Amazon says they are Belgian…

1990 album release for this Belgian lounge/jazz act. 12 tracks in all, including ‘Nah Neh Nah’, ‘Something’s Got A HoldOf Me’, ‘What’s A Woman’ & many more. …

Strange world… A Belgian group doing a song in English with a Spanish / Latin theme and name… For ’50 something NINI’ ;-)

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to Up And Over It twisted hand dance

  1. “I don wanna study … I jus wanna potty.”

    That is what it sounds like to me. Somehow that sentiment seems appropriate for the “ows” … movement.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith DeHavelle:

    It kind of makes sense, given the economic circumstances they are in (we are in?). I find it instructive that there is now a cultural reference, a name, an anthem, and it would seem a group identity. Doesn’t say good things about the economic condition, the prospects, the cultural direction, nor the future…

    Then again, maybe I’m just worrying too much about it still… I had to fix a problem with the car instead of doing a party thing… Clearly it’s going to take me a while to break all those ‘old bad habits’ like being responsible and productive and trying to fix things. It’s proving harder than I’d thought to make this transition, but maybe if I’m diligent and work at it a couple of hours every day… ;-)

  3. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. From a pragmatic point of view, why shouldn’t NINIs party?

    If there were 3% or 5% NINIs, one could make a plausible argument that they were just lazy, just selfish, but when the percentage reaches 30% or 50%, maybe the problem is more systemic than individual bad character. Consider yourself. You fixed your own car? Why? Why not pay some other person — give them a job! — to do it? The obvious answer is that YOU (being a brilliant person!) made the economic calculation that the effort of bringing in extra income (so that you could pay someone else to do what you can do) is not worth the effort. If auto repair were cheaper — or if income were easier to come by — you would obviously choose to pay the mechanic. Why are more and more people (myself included) struggling to do for themselves things that they would in the past have paid others to do? Why have the jobs and business dried up?

    It does not take a lot of inspection to see that increasing taxes, inflating prices, and (perhaps most of all) more intrusive regulations destroy the division of labor. While the concept of different people specializing in different functions may seem simple, I would propose (at least provisionally) the the rate of labor division is a direct reflection of economic efficiency.

    NINIs party because the direct benefit to them is more than the longer term benefit of working within a system that offers few opportunities and sucks up most of the wealth that should be their reward for labor. People shrugged during the days of the Soviet Union. People shrugged during the days of the Maoists. People shrugged whenever the king raised the taxes too high. Centralized control always leads to inefficient markets. NINIs shrug for the same reason that John Galt shrugs, just on a smaller scale.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    Exactly so…

    Though I like the food analogy better. Most folks are quite able to cook their own food. Restaurant business is very cyclical with the recession / boom cycle.

    When I have a job, I eat, typically, one or two meals a day “out”. (One if living at home, two if living on the road). Less economic activity, fewer “business meals” and fewer lunch breaks at the fast food place. More noodles at home.

    When economic activity is high, AND folks get to keep the money, among the first thing we do is ‘go out to dinner’. Why cook after a long day at work if you have the disposable income to go out for a fine meal? Rich people eat out a lot more than poor folks

    When there is no job, or when the government takes more of the money, the first thing to go is the expensive high end dinner out. Folks move “down scale”. Eventually reaching the “fast food joint”. Then they drop even that and just cook at home. (The trend continues even there as beef steak gets dropped in favor of chicken, then ‘beans and rice’…)

    I can make a home cooked meal, decent to eat and balanced nutritionally, for about 50 cents per person. Half that if pushed and folks are willing to go vegetarian. High end dinner out can run $50 per person, easy. That’s 2 orders of magnitude I have to work with.

    At that point it’s pretty easy to see that any increase in minimum wage rates or taxation will be reflected into reduced consumption. I’ll just slide down the scale to where my available disposable income covers the price of the bill. Be that Steak at Emil’s Swiss Affair or “beans at rice on the stove”. The more money (real value – not just currency…) that I have to spend, the more goes into wages at restaurants. The less I have the less goes to restaurants. It’s really that simple; and that proportional.

    At Emil’s I have 2 waiters, a bus boy, a receptionist, a head chef, sous chef, and various other hangers on. At Taco Bell I’ve got 1 minute each of a cashier and “gruel shoveler” at minimum wage. At home, I’m the gruel shoveler and there is no cashier… In all cases, I’m full and fed after the meal…

    This is NOT a hypothetical. A decade or so ago when “on the road” I mostly ate at ‘middle higher’ places for dinner. This last “on the road” trip I mostly ate at “middle lower and fast food” places, plus did come cooking in the hotel. Now that I’m at home again, I’m in the kitchen. A decade or so ago we went to Emil’s at least once a year, often twice. It’s now been ‘a few years’ since we went… and we’ve moved from dinner out at Anderson’s Steak House to Taco Bell with the occasional Red Lobster as a ‘special treat only’… and there’s a local low cost good Mexican family place we like too…

    That same process works through the whole economy, not just food, with greater or lesser degree based on relative skill levels needed and degree of “economies of scale” in any given industry. And yes, it directly reflects the relative efficiency of the economic allocation of labor. I’m not nearly as good nor as efficient a cook as the full on restaurant cooks and buyers, and an even less efficient mechanic. But “you do what you have to do”…

  5. R. de Haan says:

    I hate this, I couldn’t watch a single video due to copy right issues.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Fascinating information though, most of it completely new to me.
    Never thought such a world existed and I certainly never have given any thoughts to social habits related to available income, study and work. Let alone that I heard about a Ni-Ni generation.

    The Spanish I know from Madrid are very hard working people who not even take the time to eat properly. They’re always in a hurry. They behave like the Dutch behaved thirty years ago. They send their kids to school and if there will be any obstacle that prevents them from going to school I am sure they will find another way to educate themselves. When I’m in Madrid (I love Madrid) my friends tell me I am a gourmet and a bon vivant although I don’t think of myself that way. All I do is take my time, enjoy the moment and create quality time by organizing my life in an efficient manner. I just mention this to put matters in perspective.

    I know there is a great difference between the people from the Madrid region and the North (Catalunya) The people in Catalunya are more social and I would say more civilized and relaxed but from personal observation they are hard workers too and they show lot’s of initiative. I think you have to have a passive attitude to call yourself a Ni-Ni or live the NI Ni life as life style.

    Maybe this comes as a surprise to you but I have a similar experience with the Greek and Italian people I know.

    So I really think we’re falling back on some old prejudgemental characterizations like “Spanish are lazy”, “Greek are unreliable”, “Italians are corrupt”, etc., read “PIIGS Mentality” that took on a life of it’s own resulting in this NI-Ni cult. I can’t explain it in any other way.

    I really don’t share any of those experiences apart from the fact that creating a cult could be regarded as an economic activity too.

    Italian entrepreneurs just like the Greek, the Spanish and the Portugese have worked with corrupt governments for generations now and the italians also also had to deal with the Mafia.
    As a result these entrepreneurs have developed this unique mode of survival which is in their blood. It allowed them to handle the most extreme governments and the destruction of war. These are people who know how to built companies, lose companies and start with nothing more but the rubble.
    They never could count on the currency because their state went bankrupt time after time.

    We now see the Greek strike and protest in the streets fighting for their rights and their freedoms which is understandable if you know where they came from and what they went through under the Colonels Regime. The same goes for the Spanish who lived under the totalitarian rule of the Franco regime. It’s them against the corrupt system now but this struggle won’t take forever. The moment their government has nothing more to offer they will get rid of it. No doubt about that.
    Still many North European and Americans are annoyed in my opinion without merrit.

    We now see communities starting their own currencies establishing a new basis for an economy that allows them to survive difficult times and some of them are quite successful.

    We see similar initiatives happening in the US and Northern Europe.
    Even Lord Monckton of Brenchley is working on electronic money concept to replace a failed system of fiat currencies and corruption.

    Such a system has the potential to put people back to work and allow others to follow an education no matter the economic circumstances.
    I heard about systems that work with points.
    People do jobs for points that they can swap for services or material things or put their points in a bank. If a community is completely self supporting in terms of food production and services they can grow and expand no mater what the official currency does with or without inflation.

    Such a community can simply disconnect from the existing financial system and eventually make it obsolete, especially if the system keeps people in a permanent state of severe poverty with no way out.

    I see the upcoming crises as an interesting experiment as long as we continue to enjoy the blessings of the internet to exchange knowledge and information and rally people to take on the new challenges especially if we see a collapse of our government institutions that are taking our money anyway.

    Maintaining our freedom of course is crucial for any concept to flourish but if our freedom is taken we will have totally different maters to attend to.
    That’s where the Greek are fighting for. They still remember their past.

    So in my humble opinion a Ni Ni generation will only emerge if people want to be part of a Ni Ni generation and can allow it.

    I really don’t think people want that.
    Too much brains, potential and energy to waste.

    Interesting times if you ask me and although I am pretty well prepared for almost any situation I always take a total loss of assets and property into account.

    This is because I have spoken with to many people who lost everything in a fortnight due to natural disasters, economic disasters or war.

    Most of them were simply glad to be alive, simply rolled up their sleeves and simply made a new start, just absorbing what faith threw at them without a complaint.

    Nobody knows if one can handle such situations and hopefully we won’t descend to such levels in the near future.

    But the fact remains that it can happen to anybody and you really know what you are worth when you find yourself in such a situation.

    As long as you’re healthy, don’t have to struggle alone and you have good friends you can rely on there is really not much that can happen.

    Ni Ni’s, no way.

  7. adolfogiurfa says:

    @R. de Haan Do you know what cancer cells tell the healthy ones?: “Come on, you don´t need to work to be wealthy”….We all know where that advice ends.

  8. Jason Calley says:

    @ R. de Haan “If a community is completely self supporting in terms of food production and services they can grow and expand no mater what the official currency does with or without inflation. Such a community can simply disconnect from the existing financial system and eventually make it obsolete, especially if the system keeps people in a permanent state of severe poverty with no way out.”

    I mostly agree with you, but there may be one important exception. many nations (including the US) have legal tender laws which force individuals and communities to use the official currency. Those who wish to drop out of the official system will be (in extremis) shot. A recent case involved so-called Liberty Dollars http://coins.about.com/od/coinbuyingadvice/qt/libertydollars.htm

    Even though the company creating them got preliminary approval from the US Treasury before issuing them, the Federal government later prosecuted, and seized company holdings, and arrested and convicted the company owner. The point being, that while what you describe is true for communities allowed to withdraw from the game, not all areas allow that.

    You say: “We see similar initiatives happening in the US and Northern Europe.
    Even Lord Monckton of Brenchley is working on electronic money concept to replace a failed system of fiat currencies and corruption.”

    That is encouraging! We have the technology to run a parallel system, if only it will be given a chance!

  9. Pascvaks says:

    Life is hard enough without two, or more, BIG problem areas weighing you down and kicking you if you slip and fall. As a result of sending a tremendious amount of Western jobs to China and making many stupid, socialist, financial mistakes, the West is under-employed and broke. At the moment the “System” is the problem and, other than grumbling, nothing is being done to lighten the load of all the poor, undernourished camels; indeed, our Commie Party is bent on ignoring it and saying that this is a temporary downturn and we need to move farther and deeper into Marx’s playbook on Utopian Socialism. Stupidity seems to have a lot to do with inactivity too.

    One way of putting the matter: Demobilize Now! The centralization that occured in Western Governments to cope with the Great War (1914-1989) must now be reversed. Unfortunately, far too many think that it can’t be done. They’re freightened. They literally have no idea about what I’m talking about. I’m not trying to convince anyone to vote for anyone, I’m only suggesting that this next election will play the role of being the camel’s salvation or demise. The only way forward is to lighten the load, if we don’t elect someone who know’s how to correctly VETO waste and stupidity, we’re toast.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Well, one of the remaining uses of the ‘dial up’ provider is that you can dial into a spigot in another country… (I have to presume your country was tagged as having some more restrictive copyright issue, since they are working for me in the USA). Yes, it’s slow, but you start the play, hit pause, and go get coffee while it loads… Effectively you can change your ‘country’ any time you like. And yes, it’s even possible to tunnel the telephone line ‘dial up’ through your existing high speed… but that’s a bit harder for the average person to set up… unless you buy one of those “Magic Jack” things…

    Glad you found the info interesting….

    FWIW the explanation that I saw which makes the most sense is pretty simple. The older generation already has the jobs, and in a stagnant overall economy there are no new jobs for the kids. So they are queued up behind the Boomer Era folks waiting for them to retire. Not lazy so much as no place to go (and a rule bound system that makes being entrepreneurial harder to do without all the right permits, licenses, funding, union members, … )

    We are seeing the same thing in the USA, though to a lesser extent. The lower end / entry jobs are evaporating (either shipped to China as manufacturing moved, shipped to the third world as mining / drilling for oil gets quashed, or simply demanding experienced people since minimum wages are so high that hiring trainees is low on the ‘to do’ list. Union rules of ‘first in first out’ mean a lot of ‘new teaching’ jobs dry up when school districts cut back (as they are now). Though here we get a bit more of ‘over 50 hard to get hired’ even though ‘age discrimination’ is supposed to be forbidden.

    Doesn’t have anything to do with how ‘industrious’ the folks are or want to be. Has a lot to do with the rule bound and lethargic system around them.

    BTW, just about anything can be ‘currency’ (and to greater or lesser extent money), even ‘points’. However it still has exactly the same needs and behaviours as all the other currencies. You need a banker to keep the accounts. You need controls on the creation of new currency or you get inflation. Folks will spend or hoard at different times so you have velocity of money impacts on economies. Nothing really changes, just the folks running the central banks of the system.

    So yes, any community could use points, or carved rock doughnuts, or shells or beads or ‘standard hours of labor’ or…even shiny disks of metal. And if your national currency is really crappy, it might even make sense. If you’ve got a better ‘central banker’. But when national currencies are good and stable, the local system does not allow trade over borders well and usually atrophies. BTW, those ‘Airline Points’ are in many ways a currency. Just one that you can only spend at the ‘company store’…

    There was even a local artist who made a living by making beautiful drawings of US Currency. He was very honest about it and clearly told folks they were hand drawings and not dollars; then asked if they would take his artwork in exchange for {food, rent, whatever}. Fair number were traded.

    @Jason Calley:

    That is just so wrong about the Liberty Dollar. Who would be upset over being given a chunk of silver instead of our ‘clad coinage’. Oh Well. In reality, they ought not to have made it look at all like a US Dollar (even the old silver ones).

    The Legal Tender laws say you must accept the USD, but they do not prevent accepting other things of value. That would have to be the counterfeit laws, and these folks were specifically NOT counterfeiting. One more abuse of power, IMHO….

    @Pascvaks:

    Well said. Yes, a lot of this started with FDR and the mobilization of W.W.II (never let a disaster go to waste…)

    Unfortunately I’m seeing exactly ZERO ability by our congress critters to even make a tiny little shave off of the exponential rate of growth, so expecting them to actually shrink government is a bit daft (IMHO). Maybe a new crop will do it; but there I see us approaching the point where 1/2 the people WANT more ‘government goodies’ and don’t pay into the system to fund them. Most of the population (I’d actually guess closer to 90% of them) have no clue how the economics actually works, either, so are happy to endorse known failed systems like the various flavors of Socialism that have hit the dust bin of history over the generations.

    So, sadly, I’m pretty sure we’re going to ride this wheel of economic life on the same old cycle. I’m just hoping that the collapse phase takes longer than my remaining life span. I know, being dismal. Have I mentioned lately that Economics is called “The Dismal Science” for a reason?….

  11. R. de Haan says:

    I am waiting for the Big Crash.

    Goldman Sachs said December the 9th would be D-Day for the Euro.
    And when I see how much time Timothy Geitner spends in Europe lately I think they could be right.

    That will mean ton’s of tar and feathers for the EuroFascists.

    So hopefully before Christmas.

    And if the Bg Crash doesn’t bring it, escalation of conflict will.

    The Pakistani’s are backed by the Chinese just like Iran and China just let us know they are prepared to risk WWIII if the West or the US attacks either of these countries.

    Let’s see how quick those “Chinese” jobs return back home if that happens.

    Not only the Euro, the EU and the US Federal policy of QE has failed.
    The entire concept of fiat currencies and lean mass production at the lowest possible labor costs has failed.

    We need the well paid jobs and the a flourishing middle class, not only to make a better country with better services but also to preserve our freedoms and democracy.

    That’s why we have to say goodbye to the current crowd infesting our Governmental bodies, the Administration, the Senate and the White House ASAP. On the other side of the Atlantic it’s the same medicine.

  12. R. de Haan says:

    And last but not least, a whole lot less Government.

    The only only one with the appetite to take on the job is Ron Paul, if he was given the chance.

    However, Americans will continue to let themselves get crossed by hack’s like Gingrich and Romney.

    Such a pitty.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Sir, I’d like to tell you just how bogus and wrong you are!

    I’d like to, but for the life of me I can’t figure out a way to do it that does not involve lying,…

    Personally, my ‘best guess’ is that we get a nuclear war in the Middle East inside 10 years with a good shot at inside 5 years. We have a collapse of the EuroZone (either into a New Reich or a fiscal collapse into ruin) one way or the other. And we get a Great Depression II if we don’t truncate it into a World War III first.

    Then again, I am a student of “The Dismal Science”… so who knows…

  14. @R. de Haan (Hmm. Are we related?)
    You wrote, “The entire concept of fiat currencies and lean mass production at the lowest possible labor costs has failed.”

    I agree on the fiat currencies, but I don’t see the “lean mass production” aspect. The market is driving production overseas, but this is because the concept in the US (and the West) is for fat production at high costs, from labor to litigation. Hence concepts such as minimum wage.

    When people have a choice, they disagree with this approach and take their business elsewhere, and avoid hiring uncompetitive people as much as possible.

    We have set about, intentionally, to make ourselves (the US in particular but the West in general) uncompetitive, because we had the wrong concept. And we seemed to have expected that people would not have a choice.

    It seems to me that it is not the fault of people whose concept is to reduce costs, it is the fault of those who think that it doesn’t matter if we are uncompetitive.

    The use of “lean” here is a little problematic as well; it implies a scramble for jobs that does not properly characterize the US, I think. Over the past century, the percentage of adult males working for a living has dropped from around 90% to around 60%; work is no longer so “fashionable.” That concept is part of the problem.

    Because we have driven less-skilled job creators overseas, we put less-skilled workers here into other categories. But at the same time, we teach them that “the world owes them a living, tra-la-la-la-la” and pretend that winter will never come.

    Perhaps it will take a nuclear winter. It will be a grim lesson.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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