Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My message is getting LOUDER

This coming Monday, March 2, 9-11 am Eastern time, I will be on "ThePowerHour with Joyce & Dave" — a three-hour syndicated radio broadcast Monday through Friday, 7-10 AM CST. Listen Live at www.GCNLive.com or www.ThePowerHour.com

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Anonymous said...

Now that you've made contact with GCN, you might want to give Alex Jones a call. While he's way too preoccupied with militarization, gun rights and the evil plans of the Bilderberg group, he is very smart and has the right intuition at the people level. He has a massive audience and he's very open to a discourse such as yours.

Ståle said...

Another one who might be interested is Max Keiser. I believe he has a fairly broad listenership, although many of them may be in Europe - I'm not sure. His show on BBC World, The Oracle, features a fairly diverse range of studio or call-in guests, although the unifying theme is the Economy. Like you, Dmitry, he has a very refreshing candour and a knack with words.

Boris Epstein said...


I second the advice by "anonymous" above.

Wow, looks like you are making it in the big leagues:) This is good, as yours is a very interesting perspective, though I can't say I agree with you on everything.

One thing I wanted to ask you was, do you consider leaving the US to avoid the uglier parts of the collapse, should it happen? Would you advise others to do so? This is just an angle which I don't think you have covered thus far.

Thanks for the good work. Keep it up!

subgenius said...

Listening to the podcast via GCNLive.com. Nice debunking of the New World Order they seem to insist on!

Anonymous said...

Working late today and I was able to listen to the Power Hour podcast. It was very interesting to hear a sampling of ordinary folks from all over. From somebody who wants to use biomass to fuel everything to somebody who thinks God will take care of everything, etc.

I think it's important that whatever improvised dumas emerge to deal with local problems, they don't become rigid or idealistic. You have to work with people as they are, and people come with notions.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this blog, it resonates with some of my personal gloomy expectations of the near term future and motivates to get ready. I actually lived in Russia through the Soviet Union collapse and the crisis of 1998 when the bubble of Russian state issued treasuries burst, that led to another spike of hyper inflation, huge unemployment and eventually forced me to leave Russia for US in late 1999.

However, some ideas that USSR was better prepared for collapse are debatable, and the actual gap indicating the country's redines to handle collapse may be smaller if at all exists. US has a number of serious advantages over Soviet Union that may help people to better survive the upcoming turmoil.

First, few notes on US vs. USSR comparison.

Public transportation:
Although metro continued to operate, only few Russian cities actually have metro, and even in these lucky cities a metro station was not within a walking distance, so even though many people relied on metro, most of them had to also use ground transportation and that state-run system has practically collapsed. You could wait for a bus for 40 minutes just to find out that it is so crowded that you can't even squeeze in. What happened next, almost immediately, is that individuals and small businesses started to run shuttle services, that were priced competitively to state owned, heavily subsidized transportation, so where the state system failed, the private sector took over immediately, created thousands of new decently paying jobs and I can say from my experience living before and during Soviet collapse - the collapse era public transportation system was the best I ever seen and the key point it was not due to government effort or durable soviet infrastructure, it was the new born private sector, new way of entrepreneurial spirit in people that helped to address this particular problem.

Although some bigger cities in the European part of the country stood well, there were many disturbing news from the eastern parts of the country where some houses, districts or even entire cities stayed w/out hot water or natural gas or electricity or verything together for months, so hundreds of thousands of Russians did experience all kind of long term energy outages, amplified by the fact that many of these cities were in the arctic or sub-arctic climate with winter temperatures falling below -40F. Most of US population lives in a warmer climate, and many people's houses have wood or coal burning stoves. Even if they don't have them these are still widely available and cheap, so the worst US freezing crisis will be softer then what people had to experience in Russia.

Kitchen gardens were big, and helped a lot but this can be easily picked up in US and many people I know already grow their veggies and fruits, as they find gardening healthy and meditative. The key point is that many people know how to do it, can scale up, lead and train their less practical community members if things turn really sour. In Soviet Russia small farms didn't not exists, all farmers ( who survived collectivization in 30s) were forced to join the huge industrialized "kolhoz"es that also collapsed, while in US there are plenty of small family operated farms, and even with the increase of energy, fertilizer, etc costs these will continue to operate. While many unemployed city living Russians had no other option but to rely on their "dacha"s as the primary food source, a large number of small US farms will make it much easier here.

What US has that USSR didn't:
- Warmer, more livable climate. The USSR collapse resulted in separation of the southern territories. With loss of Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova USSR lost a great deal of it's fertile lands. What my fellow ST Petersburg citizens did on their dacha's growing everything from tomatoes to watermelons! was beyond what any 'agriculturist' ( if there is such profession ) can imagine. Luckily US population is in much better shape here.

- Better population mobility. Yes, in Russia people lived in state assigned free apartments but it was almost impossible to move to the other city. They'd had to find one of these very lucky citizens who managed to have more then 1 state owned home that was semi-legal to rent ( State would expect you to live there or return it back to the state) Another alternative was the state owned dormitories that were created for workers by some organizations, but with the collapse these seized to exist ( were converted into something else ) almost immediately. One good outcome of the bubble is that US has plenty of vacant housing in many urban areas plus there are plenty of rental complexes, that didn't exist in Russia. This will allow workers to travel more freely. Many think they won't move being chained to their current place by their mortgages, but if it will be question of survival, people can just walk away and start over in new place. This was not an option for many Russians.

- Freedom of leaving the country instantaneously for those who are desperately unemployed. Unlike in US, it was ( and still is for the fact) extremely difficult to move out of Russia permanently to many parts of the world. In the last years of USSR the Soviet government made it somewhat easier but other countries didn't automatically open their doors to former Russians. My move to US took about 2 years, and it was based on work visa. If things turn out to be terribly bad here, many unemployed recent immigrants with ties back home will simply leave, thus freeing up government subsidized resources and potential jobs. Many of them are not even eligible for social security or unemployment benefits anyway, so they will leave.
Despite of inflation, US dollars will continue to worth something at least in Latin and Central America, who's currencies are likely to follow the dollar path anyways as they rely heavily on US for tourism, cofee, cane and fruit exports. So if finding a job is not an option and the only concern is physical survival this can as well be done in Costa Rica or Panama.

- SIze of government corruption
US government may seem corrupt, and it is most likely corrupt to an extent and noticeably inefficient but nothing compared to Russia ( and USSR in its last years ). The only priority for soon to be gone authorities and new "democratic" rulers was to stuff their pockets at everyone else's expense. State employees, that were pretty much the majority, would not see their salaries for months, while their bosses were collecting interest on these salary funds from the private banks. The extremely corrupt government clans have slowed down the post-collapse recovery of Russia, and continue to do so. With Putin's party "United Russia" that has all senior level buractats and business tycoons among it's members the corruption has almost official.

- Entrepreneurial spirit or lack of it
3 generations of USSR people were raised and trained to perform certain state provided job, and planned on having one or very few similar jobs till they retire. Consequently, many mid-aged people were not able to adopt to new realities after doing the same job since college, and thus became a burden to the state, a mass of lost, pessimistic, sometimes heavily drinking people rather then a force that drives country towards recovery. Yes, there is a decent amount of "dead wood" occupying US office space, who have lost "their defence mechanisms" after forwarding each other's emails for years, but at the same time there is a huge number of small business owners, freelancers and even office workers, who are prepared for change and capable of exploring new opportunities. pre-collapse USSR didn't have this pool of entrepreneurs, so many factories were creatively turned by their state assigned communist leaders into warehouses and other commercial, generating enough income for the upper management but leaving everyone else without job and pay.

To summarise, I do believe we are heading towards some nasty times ahead and it would be naive to realize that we hit the bottom. With this debt and trade deficit - not even close. But I don't see why this will be worse then what USSR had to go through.

Dmitry Orlov said...

Thanks, Pavel! YES WE CAN collapse slightly better than the USSR. But will we?...

Bill Real said...

Hi I missed the talk on the radio - has anyone got a link to an archive of it-couldn't find one. :/