Saturday, October 19, 2013

Everybody Can Go a "Little Galt"

The most common criticism I received about Enjoy the Decline (as well as most of my writing and ranting) is that "not all of us are 30 year old, childless bachelors like you.  We can't just up and quit.  We have a house and a family to consider."

Which I understand.

But when I say "go Galt" or "Enjoy the Decline" or participate in minimalism, I'm not saying, sell the house, buy a trailer, quit your job, and then go work the occasional security shift (though I do say that) as much as I am saying, "work as little as you possibly can."  Because even if you don't go full Thoreau, if everybody "just goes a little Galt" the effect on socialists and leftists in the country would be devastating. 

Understand just how sad and pathetic our GDP and economic growth is.  A normal, healthy economy should be growing around 4% a year.  It is my opinion any economy is capable of 10% a year.  But we're happy with a measly 1.8% a year today (hell, as long as it's positive, that's fine by us and our new lowered affirmative action standards we're applying to our president).

But just because we're happy with 1.8% doesn't mean our creditors are.  Also, pension funds (which are dependent upon perpetually increasing stock prices which are dependent upon perpetually increasing profits which are dependent upon a growing economy) and the people who rely upon them are also not going to be happy with 1.8%.  In short everything we've promised ourselves and our creditors has to come from economic growth, and if it becomes very apparent we can't provide enough economic growth then they will....

are you ready for it?

cut us off and rush-sell their stocks.

This would bring about an immediate and required cutting of spending as the government would have nowhere else to go to get the money.  The economy isn't growing enough, the Chinese won't lend us more. They will have to cut spending.

But isn't this what we've been wanting?  To bring the system down?  To end the socialism and starve out the socialists and the parasitic classes?

The great thing is that because or economic growth is so low and sclerotic, it would only take a little bit of scaling back to bring economic growth into negative territory.  Since consumer spending accounts for 66% of GDP, if everybody just cut their budgets by 5% that would lop off 3.3% economic growth, sending us thoroughly into economic contraction and rattling markets.  If you could manage to cut 10% from your budget, that would send us into a deep recession and force economic reality and action on congress and the president.

The question is can you cut 10% from your current spending?  Most people can.

I visited a mall the other day and I my economic spidey senses started telling me to roughly estimate what percent of the stores were selling worthless crap women primary buy and have no practical use in the real world ("SWCWPBAHNPUITRW Stores").  After ballparking it I realized about 90% of the stores were SWCWPBAHNPUITRW Stores.

More clothing

You name it, we could nuke all of the country's malls tomorrow and we would get by just fine.

But that's what you have to realize.  You don't need all of that crap, ESPECIALLY YOU LADIES.

So if you want to get back at the socialists.  You want to make the welfare classes actually feel some pain.  You want to raze the economy so we have a shot at rebuilding it correctly the next time, then time to start going "A Little Galt."


Anonymous said...

I cut it by more than 10%. The wife too. But I just can't seem to curb my buying of ammo.

Maximo Macaron said...

As a government bureaucrat, I see my job as to work as hard as possible, since everything I do harms the economy, increases the debt and reduces GDP.

That's my contribution to heightening the contradictions.

Anonymous said...

that means no cigars or burbon for you!!!

og said...

This is why I market all of my little goods and services off the grid. Not a lot of stuff, but enough that it would allow me to purchase the things i can't grow or hunt or build for myself. Anyone with a few skills can make something to sell, or sell those services directly, for cash and away from interference- even if it's mowing lawns. For now it's ammo money for me- I use it for little luxuries I wouldn't want to take out of the household budget (Like, I just bought a really nice digital SLR) but I am prepared and already have a track record so if I DID need the money, I could turn up the volume on my "Personal" if the volume goes down on the "Professional" No, you don't have to sell the farm and live in a trailer, but you can be a lot better prepared for the decline when it becomes sharper, as it undoubtably will.

Just some guy said...

The president and his lackies might be happy with 1.8% but the central bank is not. That is why they are trying to hard to get some inflation.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would like to earn as much as I can, pay only the tax due, and salt the rest away in either hard currency of multiple types, precious metals, or stockpiles of supplies. I can also use the extra income to fund Manosphere work to further the decline, something not measured by consumer indices, I believe.

The minute the taxes make the income not worth it, I drop out onto a relatively nice cushion. If the decline turns violent, I will have a well protected fortress that can be laid siege to for years.

Also, I would pull money out of the system and keep it out by being a high earner. This would keep the economy that relies on the flow of money from working, and drain it that way.

Now, I am no way going to earn megacorp exec income, but I will be that upper percentage that will hold onto things.

There are two ways to starve the beast: Reduce the amount of food it can take from you, (our minimalistic approach,) or take as much food away from it and keeping for yourself (my thought of approach.) Short term, my taxes will be used against me, but long term, I will be well off when it does die.

Fred Z said...

The economy is growing faster than you think. It's not going Galt, it's going underground. Which is a result just as satisfactory.

The Bechtloff said...

I used to be a total mall rat when I was a kid and teenager. But that's because back then malls usually had decent book stores and arcades. Now they don't even have those half the time. Sometimes I go to the mall to look for a movie at FYE but half the time I don't even do that anymore. Malls suck these days.

dannyfrom504 said...

guess who just secured a 32ft 5yth wheel and 350 deisel dually to pull it. cousin wants me to park it on her 60 acres just outside of hammond, la.

5 more months and i'll be damn near off grid. sleeping late, hunting and fishing.

Anonymous said...

You young guys need to work 60-80 hours a week to support princess and her dreams just as I did. Plus I WANT my Social go out and bust some ass. It is the American way.

leeholsen said...

i just cant figure out why this doesnt happen, the usa is 5 only years away from a time where it looked like all financial hell was going to break loose and here we are 5 years later and while most people have yet to get a raise, they are still defaulting on mortgages and running up their credit cards like that could never happen again; when in reality we're probably within 5 yrs from it happening all over again.

its quite simple, you dont need a car that parks for you and a watch that makes phone calls and a house with more bedrooms than people. if youre going to spend money, do it on something lasting like a memory or a job skill like i do.

when this storm hits again, i'm going to be sitting on enough cash with low enough expenses that i can go 20 yrs without another job and if the usa becomes greece, i just may have women lighting my cigars and holding my beer glass for me because every other guy they know is in debt up to their eyeballs standing in line for a job as a repo man.

Donttreadonmatt said...

Women are responsible for 80% of purchasing decisions, so yes, women are the ones to reach when advocating going a little Galt. Easiest way to do this, men, is quit your job and have her become primary breadwinner for the family. It is amazing how frugal they become when everything depends on their money.

Second thing: pay off your house ASAP. Not having to pay a mortgage allows you to make much less money, and making less money means less taxes and in some cases, depending on how far you want to go, qualifying for government bennies. I call this plan "going galt Cloward-Piven Style."

Third: give shit away. Someone who takes free shit you don't need isn't buying new shit. It's amazing what people will take off your hands for free. I recently replaced my front door. This included installing a new screen door. I took the old one, which still worked but would've looked terrible on a new front door, and set it out at the curb with a free sign on it. I live on a fairly busy road. It was gone in about six hours! I hate throwing stuff away that is still serviceable, and the door was good enough for a garage door, shed, etc. Whoever took it saved about 100 bucks buying a new, basic storm door. Plus, I didn't have to pay the dump to throw it away.
Win win.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to do my best El Capitan.

I would expand on that, but I'm at the point I do not trust any politician or bureaucrat, and I see them as the enemy...period.

And as for big business...there is the second hand/underground economy...


Aurini said...

I was chatting with our Geologist friend after driving to his place during rush hour; neither of us could understand the insanity of subjecting yourself to that torture on a daily grind.

If the price of his condo were the 9-5 with the rush-hour grind, he'd happily reduce his lifestyle to actually enjoy life - instead of trying to keep up with the rats.

I can't imagine driving through 2 hours of traffic a day, for forty years, and being accepting of that. People are insane.

Suggestion: I'd love to see some Charty Goodness predicting when economic growth is likely to become negative. "The trend is your friend," after all.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Incidentally, I just got banned by the Market Ticker for trying to discuss _Enjoy The Decline_. Man, Denninger is touchy :/

Anonymous said...

What did I not buy today?

That's starting to become my mantra. A sort of reverse consumerism.

Instead of what do I need, it's what can I do without.

Jeff said...

Much agreed. Even going just a little galt is tremendously satisfying. It's Mich better than typical consumerism.

By the way, I'm eagerly anticipating your next book captain.

Pete Brewster said...

Even the 1.8 percent official growth rate is a lie. Much of the growth is in services, most of which tends to be stuff that in pre-feminist times women did for their husbands for nothing. Living standards haven't increased at all.

Seriously though---women are responsible for eighty percent or more of the consumption in the US economy. Like you said, most of it is wasted on crap that nobody needs and even the women tire of as soon as they get it. Imagine where we'd be today if men hadn't been assessed an 80% or higher effective income tax on their earnings, and could have saved and invested it in research and development. A twenty hour week, retirement at forty and a lifespan of a hundred or more might have been common place by now. Even taxes might be old hat.

Anonymous said...

Why does it have to be one extreme or another? Either live off the grid or be a mass consumer? How about a happy medium of living like people did in the 70's?

Have a normal dit-dot for a car. One advantage we have now is that cars aren't dead from defect or rust after 3 years/30K miles like then. Home cook 6 days, eat out one. Learn which off brand foods from Aldi taste as good as the frou-frou premium name from Whole Paycheck or Trader Joes. Instead of buying OSB frame furniture that is dead after 5 years, be like my folks and save up to buy hardwood you'll have for a lifetime, then reupholster when it wears down. Instead of an empty McMansion, have a bungalow that feels full when you have a couple of people over, and homey when it's just the family or yourself. Have ONE or TWO Hollister hoodies or other cool brand things to rock being a style conscious cool person, but basics like dress shirts or underwear, there's Costco!

You never know how much pure and useless crap you amass until Moving Day. Who needs a new Wii every year? The worst are people who use money they don't yet have to buy things they don't need to impress people they don't know. The only thing I can justify paying the premium for it being leading edge/bleeding edge is medical treatment.

Anonymous said...

The cities will riot. Go a week with no EBT cards and you will see empty shelves, then rioting.

Anonymous said...

"Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the West Coast ..."

Nobody gave Billy Joel any shit for having penned that lyric.

Anonymous said...

I have absolutely no compunction about torrenting anything. That's been a major source of spending reduction. I don't pay for "filmed entertainment". I DO pay for apps, software, etc as I make a distinction between "entertainment" and tools I need to use to do my own work. Proly thin moral line there but no $ for the Weinsteins et al...

Ancient Woodsman said...

It's not "sell your house, buy a trailer, quite your job." It's "blow up your TV, throw away your papers, move to the country..." which was as I recall a hippie anthem way back when.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the hippies in the White House want to make it a crime to blow up the TV and throw away the papers. God forbid you go to the country and find Jesus on your own.

BlountTruth said...

Loved the article, but the problems I see are the same tools that put us in the financial mess we are in today will be calling the shots after the dollars demise. These same players will move in and already have their next fiat scheme drawn out for the sheeply masses to digest, all in the name of saving them, and like lambs to the slaughter they will come a running, and the cycle of Central banks, and the IMF world bankers will start again to destroy future generations based on the exact same greed and mismanagement we have been cursed with. Go Galt is right!

FishOrMan said...

Remember the advertisements! If you are exposed to ads, your ears and eyes are being bought and sold in another "underground" economy. Keep going Galt until you are no longer considered a commodity. If anyone wants my time to give their new whiz-bang product a look-see, they should be paying me. I haven't seen a TV ad in years, minus time visiting family. Ad-blocker, flash-blocker, etc. control 90% of internet ads. Websites that continually invade my space and time stop getting visits.

A HUGE side-benefit to this lifestyle, is I don't care about the next-big-movie/game/IPhone/product release date. And it is so much easier to continue to not want these items, when you first hear about them after they're six months old. I don't have a drawer full of old cell phones or garage full of exercise equipment