Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rat Race Or Human Race. Choose Carefully.

Kentucky Fried consumption zombies are this cycle's burnt offering to quarterly profit. The price of drinking the Kool-Aid. There is nothing as lethal as the American way of life...

The externally-directed corporate Borg lives in the vacuum of its own ad-sponsored lies, incapable of differentiating fact from fiction. Long ago eschewing the lucid natural world, for the comfort and "safety" of corporate-provided brain fog:

As I predicted when I started this blog over ten years ago, the great corporate job killing machine inevitably claimed me as a victim. Two years ago this month I lost my high paying job to a company merger. Being in IT I was used to changing jobs frequently earlier in my career, but this time the axe came fairly late in my career and my technology skills were obsolete. I didn't have enough to retire on yet, so I faced the worst case scenario: late career pay cut, retraining, and location move. So instead, I said fuck it and took my spend rate down 90% by going "full college student" - basically adopting a subsistence lifestyle. I can now get by on a nominal wage and I can take months off at a time whenever I want. I've never been happier. I don't fear the future, because I'm already living in the future. I've already learned what everyone else is about to learn. That the path of external ingratification is a massive liability...

There was only one real choice at the individual level post-2008, which was “less”. Subsequently during the 0% era, assets have morphed into liabilities. And reducing liabilities is the only way to withstand economic hardship. Which means that those still clinging to the consumption oriented competitive lifestyle have set themselves up for "disappointment" when the rat race ends with only a decade of warning, and they're not the winner.

Throughout this post-truth era, the Baby Boomers have continuously derided the Millenials for not aspiring to own things. What that speaks to is an unquenchable sense of entitlement. The Boomers are the quintessential ownership generation - new cars, big homes, vacation homes, boats etc. Millenials are the sharing generation - Uber, Airbnb, living at home with Mom and Dad. Taking one's liabilities down in the face of economic uncertainty is a rational decision. Moreover, avoiding asset ownership is an even more rational decision when living in a serial asset bubble. Compliments of 0% for way too long, there is now a colossal glut of everything on the planet. Meaning that today’s consumption asset values are an ephemeral delusion. Unfortunately debts collateralized by asset values are not a delusion and they don't get marked down just because asset values collapse. Which means that debts collateralized by consumption assets carry massive refinancing risk - the risk that the debt value will exceed the asset value at time of refinancing. And if not that risk, the risk that monthly debt service will eventually exceed income, due to "right-sizing".  

Glamour assets in particular will collapse in value - McMansions, fancy cars, yachts, jewelry etc.

The human race is about to find out that the rat race has a long tail (risk) which has increased massively throughout this cycle and much more so during the past year, compliments of post-truth hyperbole - what any intelligent society would call "denial". While financial asset risk awaits those gambling in risk markets, consumption asset risk awaits those betting on the indefinite “more”. Craigslist will be the wrecking ball that takes down both risk gamblers and consumption junkies combined. As the economic capacity gap blows out record wide. Picture Craigslist having 90% lower prices than Amazon, for the exact same thing. 

The biggest liability we face both at the individual and societal level is healthcare. Health is the ultimate form of wealth, and the only way to reduce healthcare liability is to protect the underlying "assets", our bodies and our minds. Those living the Kentucky Fried lifestyle are about to find out that they can’t afford the long-term liabilities attendant that lifestyle. Nor can society.

We can’t 100% control how we die, but we can 100% control how we live.

The latent mental health crisis and the manic consumption orgy are now coalescing late cycle into toxic Kool-Aid. Unfortunately there’s not enough Prozac on this planet to paper over the cognitive dissonance that will occur when Kentucky Fried zombies realize they were conned by human history's biggest con man. The moment at which the American Dream morphs instantly back to nightmare.

Life is a gift from God, not a corporate binge orgy.

Watch what happens to corporate profit when the birth rate and death rate cross each other going in opposite directions: