Capitalism

Millennials Turning To Socialism?

Early this morning I blogged about findings from a new Harvard University poll which suggest the U.S., with Millennials at the helm, could be headed “left” and towards stricter gun control.

Recent material I’ve come across in my research also suggests socialism is becoming popular among Millennials.

The AFP’s Maggy Donaldson wrote on November 10:

While working as an electrician Lee Carter received a literal shock, through one hand and across the chest, that jolted him into politics and turned him on to what was a dirty word in America for nearly a century: socialism.

His struggle to obtain compensation for the workplace injury inspired him to run for office, and this week Carter ousted a top Republican incumbent to nab a spot in Virginia’s House of Delegates, becoming one of over a dozen unabashed socialists newly elected to US state and municipal seats one year after Donald Trump took the White House.

The 31-year-old former Marine is part of a growing cadre of Americans, particularly millennials, pledging their allegiance to the Democratic Socialists of America, the nation’s fastest growing leftist group that was originally founded in 1982 as a foothold for Marxists.

Riding the wave of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’s spirited White House bid against primary rival Hillary Clinton, the organization is helping propel socialism out of the shadows.

In the years prior to the Sanders campaign, the DSA’s number of card-carrying members hovered around 6,500- and has nearly quintupled since 2016’s presidential race to more than 30,000.

Its median age has dropped from about 60 to 35, according to organizers, some of whom have playfully referred to the surge among youth as a “socialist baby boom.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

There’s also this November 2 media advisory from YouGov (international market research and data analytics firm) and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (D.C.-based nonprofit “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes”):

Annual Poll Release Shows Americans Still Have A Lot To Learn About Communism

New Poll Reveals Troubling Facts and Encouraging Trends About Millennials in America

This year’s centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution has caused many to reflect on the legacies that Marxism and communism have left on our cultural memory. It has been a full century since Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in Petrograd and communism made its bloody debut on the world stage. Authors, activists, and politicians alike are asking the question: what has America learned from one hundred years of communism?

When the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published our inaugural study on American attitudes toward socialism and communism last year, the results revealed some disturbing trends in American society.

We just completed our second annual study, tracking how opinions about communism among Americans have changed since 2016. The results aren’t very encouraging.

For starters, as of this year, more Millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country (44%) than in a capitalist one (42%). Some even said they would prefer to live in a communist country (7%). The percentage of Millennials who would prefer socialism to capitalism is a full ten points higher than that of the general population.

It seems that the majority of America’s largest generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communism society than in a free enterprise system that respects the rule of law, private property, and limited government. This is even more disconcerting when coupled with the fact that, despite Millennials’ enthusiasm for socialism and communism, they do not, in fact, know what those terms mean.

One remarkable finding of our study is that, to a high degree, Americans favor absolute protections for free speech, regardless of their views of communism or socialism. Communists and socialists more broadly have historically and ideologically favored state regulation of the press, speech, and popular assembly. Our results suggest that Millennials who favor socialism and communism have not thoroughly considered the implications of their political beliefs.

Communism isn’t back: It never left. We simply forgot about it. And as it rears its ugly head once more, openly and shamelessly, we seem far less prepared to meet the challenge in this century as we did in the last.


Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, “What is Socialism?”
YouTube Video

Before moving on to a different topic, I must emphasize these last two posts shouldn’t be construed as some sort of attack on Millennials, Democrats, or socialism. Rather, their purpose was to get an idea of where the country might be heading when “America’s largest generation” start flexing their collective political muscle. And what might be required for “protecting and growing self and wealth” when that happens.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Donaldson, Maggy. “Once taboo, socialism finds comrades among US millennials.” Agency France-Presse. 10 Nov. 2017. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/once-taboo-socialism-finds-comrades-among-us-millennials-051949477.html). 7 Dec. 2017.

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Jeremy Grantham Identifies 10 ‘Potential Threats To Our Well-Being’

Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $117 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2015), just released his latest investment letter on the GMO website. Writing about the second quarter of 2015, Grantham, whose individual clients have included current Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney, focused on ten “potential threats to our well-being” (echoing a Morningstar piece I blogged about on July 14). These threats are (in his own words):

1. Pressure on GDP growth in the U.S. and the balance of the developed world: count on 1.5% U.S. growth, not the old 3%
2. The age of plentiful, cheap resources is gone forever
3. Oil
4. Climate problems
5. Global food shortages
6. Income inequality
7. Trying to understand deficiencies in democracy and capitalism
8. Deficiencies in the Fed
9. Investment bubbles in a world that is, this time, interestingly different
10. Limitations of homo sapiens

Grantham talked about each threat in detail. I’ll be focusing on those items I think would interest Survival And Prosperity readers.

Regarding pressure on U.S./developed world GDP growth, Grantham wrote:

Factors potentially slowing long-term growth:
a) Slowing growth rate of the working population
b) Aging of the working population
c) Resource constraints, especially the lack of cheap $20/barrel oil
d) Rising income inequality
e) Disappointing and sub-average capital spending, notably in the U.S.
f) Loss of low-hanging fruit: Facebook is not the new steam engine
g) Steadily increasing climate difficulties
h) Partially dysfunctional government, particularly in economic matters that fail to maximize growth opportunities, especially in the E.U. and the U.S…

On “plentiful, cheap resources” being gone:

All in all I am still very confident, unfortunately, that the old regime of irregularly falling commodity prices is gone forever…

On oil:

Oil has been king and still is. For a while longer… Now, as we are running out of oil that is cheap to recover, the economic system is becoming stressed and growth is slowing…

Grantham added:

The good news is that with slower global growth and more emphasis on energy efficiency and a probability of some carbon tax increases, global oil demand may settle down to around 1% a year for the next 10 to 15 years. At that level of increase in demand, even modest continued increases in recovery rates will keep us in oil even if no new oil is found for the next 15 years.

Beyond 15 years, the resource and environmental news gets better because cheaper electric vehicles and changes in environmental policy will enable steady decreases in oil demand…

On global food shortages, Grantham referred to some recent research. He wrote:

I was completely gruntled by a report last month from the Global Sustainability Institute of Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. This unit is backed by Lloyds of London, the U.K. Foreign Office, the Institute of Actuaries, and the Development Banks of both Africa and Asia – a grouping with a very serious interest in the topic of food scarcity and societal disruptions to say the least. The team of scientists used system dynamic modeling, which uses feedbacks and delays, to run the business-as-usual world forward 25 years. Without any new and improved responses from us, the results are dismaying: Prices of wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice were all predicted to be at least four times the levels of 2000. (They are currently about double.) The team concluded, “The results show that based on plausible climate trends and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.” And you thought my argument on food problems of the last three years was way over the top!

Grantham is still not impressed with the Federal Reserve. He predicted:

And what of the current Fed regime – the Greenspan-Bernanke-Yellen Regime – that promotes higher asset prices and lower borrowing costs, which facilitate stock buybacks amongst other speculative forces? Well, this regime, too, will change. Regression of regime, if ou will. Painfully, politicians, the public, businessmen, and possibly even some economists will recognize the current regime as a failed experiment.

And on the “limitations of homo sapiens”? Grantham observed:

Not only does our species have a strong predisposition to be optimistic (or bullish) – it is probably a useful survival characteristic – but we are particularly good at listening to agreeable data and avoiding unpleasant data that does not jibe with our beliefs or philosophies. Facts, whether backed by 97% of scientists as is the case with man-made climate change, or 99.9% as is the case with evolution, do not count for nearly as much as we used to believe. For that matter, we do a terrible job of planning for the long term, particularly in postponing gratification, and we are wickedly bad at dealing with the implications of compound math. All of this makes it easy for us to forget about the previously painful market busts; facilitates our pushing stocks and markets on occasion to levels that make no mathematical sense; and allows us, regrettably, to ignore the logic of finite resources and a deteriorating climate until the consequences are pushed up our short-term noses.

The take-away from all of the above?

• Grantham forecasts U.S./developed world GDP growth to slow to 1.5 percent
• Investment opportunities may exist in commodities, agriculture, and other things food-related
• The outcome of the Fed’s current monetary policies will be painful
• Human nature- in particular, our unbridled optimism and focus on short-term gratification- will continue to result in asset bubbles and longer-term problems outside of the financial markets/economy/larger financial system

You can read Grantham’s latest investment newsletter on the GMO site here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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GoldSilver.com’s Mike Maloney: Potential Fallout From Unpegging Swiss Franc From Euro

Regular Survival And Prosperity readers may recall that GoldSilver.com used to be an affiliate marketing partner of the blog. Great company (specializes in the instruction of precious metals investing and providing world-class gold and silver dealer services and products), but they pulled the plug on their affiliate marketing program not too long ago. Anyway, I still receive e-mails from the Santa Monica, California-based operation, and yesterday I watched a video by Mike Maloney, the precious metals expert, advisor, and author who heads up the firm. Maloney has been an advisor to Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad-fame, and even wrote a book about investing in gold and silver under the Rich Dad’s Advisors series.

Anyway, in that GoldSilver.com video Mike Maloney discussed the potential ramifications of the Swiss franc being unpegged from the euro last week- among other things. Maloney warned viewers:

Back when we were filming Hidden Secrets of Money, when we started filming it, we did the opening sequence. And in there I said, “We’re entering a period of financial crisis that is the greatest the world has ever seen.” And that is happening today. These shockwaves that could cause the Russian- this could cause another Russian Revolution to happen. We have no idea what’s going to happen. But the shockwave of all these things- the deflationary pressure, the Russian crisis that’s going on, commodities falling, and then the Swiss unpegging from the euro- all happening at once. And by the way, there’s bank runs happening right now in Greece, and four of the largest banks in Greece have asked for assistance from the European Central Bank. So, this is all happening at once. What I think is going to happen is this will smooth out for a short period of time, but then it’s going to get worse again. So these shockwaves, this all undermines the trust in central banks and the trust in fiat currencies…

The central banks are now backed into a corner, and everything that I’ve been predicting is starting to unfold here. It’s unfolding very slowly, and on a scale that’s huge. But it’s not going to be slow forever. There’s going to come a day when slow turns into very fast. And a lot of this stuff happens overnight. For instance, the currency unpeg. Nobody knew it was coming- it happened immediately. And so, these things always end up eventually being good for precious metals. I don’t look forward to the economic chaos that we’re about to go through. But, we’ll get through it, and it will be a different world when we come through the other end. Hopefully, what ends up happening, is free enterprise, free markets, capitalism, and sound money win. That would be the best outcome.


“Global Shockwaves To Come From Swiss Currency Bombshell – Mike Maloney.”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Latest New York Times Article On Preppers

“It would be easy to assume that a prepper convention would be peopled with right-wing zealots with a taste for guns and gold, or what survivalists like to call ‘the bullet-and-bullion set.’ But while there was one man standing at a booth handing out business cards for Operation American Spring, a movement to impeach President Obama, there was also a countervailing element of organic gardeners, homeopathic healers and publishers selling books on the commercial uses of hemp…”

-Alan Feuer, The New York Times website, April 6, 2014

Yesterday I came across an article about the third annual National Preppers and Survivalists Expo- a 2-day event focusing on the preparedness, self reliance, supplies and survival skills that are crucial when a catastrophe strikes- on the website of The New York Times.

It was an interesting piece by Alan Feuer, who also wrote “The Preppers Next Door” for the Times back in January 2013.

I blogged back on January 31 of last year:

I was all prepared to read a hack job about modern survivalism, but came away impressed by Alan Feuer’s effort.

This could have something to do with the fact that Feuer himself is a prepper…

“Capitalism of Catastrophe” also seemed to be quite fair.

Which may be surprising to some.

As I mentioned in that January 31 post:

Articles by mainstream journalists in which preppers aren’t portrayed as somewhat to full-blown kooky are few-and-far-between…

You can read Feuer’s April 6 article here on the Times’ website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Peter Schiff: Obama ‘A Socialist At Heart’

One last mention of Peter Schiff before I move on. Last Friday RT interviewed Schiff, in which the “crash prophet” talked about the political aspect of our current economic woes and what he sees down the line. From the exchange:

The truth is, Obama is merely continuing and expanding the failed policies of George Bush. And unless Romney understands that, and articulates it- you know, I don’t think there’s much hope that a President Romney is going to alter our fate either. I think it’s going to be more of the same. I do believe that Romney will be less bad than Obama, and I think that we have a better chance of when the next crisis hits- when the real crash comes- I think it’s better to have Romney at the helm than Obama. Because I think Romney at least philosophically is in favor of free markets and capitalism- even if he doesn’t completely understand how they work. I think Obama is philosophically opposed to it. I think he’s a socialist at heart, and he likes it when he believes the free market is failing, because he sees that as an excuse for more government, to try and reshape America in this socialist utopia that lives in the fantasy of his mind.

Accusing the U.S. president of being a “socialist at heart” on RT, “the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news.” Kind of funny.

Of more interest to this blog, the author of the recently-released The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy— How to Save Yourself and Your Countryicon talked about the perception of the U.S. dollar as a “safe haven.” From the interview:

I think that the dollar and the Treasury market, when it comes to safe havens, are going to be the Facebook of safe havens, because a lot of people wanted to buy Facebook on the IPO. They were really excited about it. They thought it was great. But once they owned it, and they took a look at what they owned, and they looked at the fundamentals, they realized it wasn’t so great. And they wanted to get out. The same thing is going to happen to people who are buying dollars, because they think it’s a safe haven from European debt.

America is more deeply in debt than Europe, and less likely to repay without resorting to massive money printing.

And if you think there’s going to be a lot of money printing, that is not a reason to want to own Treasuries or dollars. That is a reason to get as far away from the U.S. dollar and the Treasury market as you can.


“Peter Schiff RT America Interview – 01 – 06 – 2012”
YouTube Video

(Editor’s notes: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein; info added to “Crash Prophets” page)

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Survival And Prosperity
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Christopher E. Hill, Editor

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