Macroeconomic Trends

macroeconomic trends

submitted by jwithrow.trends

Journal of a Wayward Philosopher
Macroeconomic Trends

November 18, 2014
Hot Springs, VA

The S&P opened the day at $2,040. Gold is up to $1,193. Oil dipped just below $75. Bitcoin fell slightly to $379, and the 10-year Treasury rate is 2.32% today. All seems to be calm in the financial world for the moment…

In other news: little Madison is one month old this week!

I have spent many of the past twenty-nine evenings contemplating the intricacies of the infant experience. Maddie’s infant mind is as mysterious to me as this crazy world must be to her.

What does she see as she gazes out from those blue-grey eyes? Why does her attention seem to be drawn to the top corner of the room? How does she interpret all of the data received by her sensory organs? What can she possibly be dreaming of while in the throes of R.E.M. sleep? How can she tolerate her mother’s off-tune singing all day long?

Some evenings, when especially sleep-deprived, I can imagine an older Madison filling her father in on all the details. “I tried to tell mom to stop singing those ridiculous songs to me but I just couldn’t find the words”, future Madison would say. But then I come-to and accept that I will never have the definitive answers to my reckonings.

Not one to be discouraged, I then focus my reckonings on slightly more concrete topics.

What will the world look like eighteen years from now when Maddie is ready to go her own way?

Fortunately I don’t need to rely on future Madison to answer this question; I can make an educated guess by projecting current macroeconomic trends out to their logical conclusion. I have been tailing macroeconomic trends for several years now and no matter how close I follow behind, they always seem to lead me to one inevitable conclusion: the debt-fueled, fiat-driven, consumption-oriented, entitlement-laden, militarily-enforced Pax Americana is coming to an end.

Not a very popular thing to say in today’s hyper-sensitive politically correct world, I know. But I say this as a cold observation with no emotion attached. Just look at the prominent trends:

  • The U.S. government took more than 200 years to run up $1 trillion in debt. The national debt has since exploded to nearly $18 trillion in less than 30 years with $9 trillion of that coming from 2005-present.
  • The U.S. monetary base was relatively stable from 1781-1971. It has since exploded to the point where the U.S. dollar has lost 98% of its purchasing power.
  • Consumer debt has skyrocketed right along side public debt since 1971.
  • When calculated according to GAAP, the U.S. debt is actually north of $200 trillion and growing. This figure is predominantly made up of Social Security and Medicare unfunded liabilities.
  • Demographics show that roughly 10,000 people with celebrate their 65th birthday every single day for the next ten years. One can safely assume they will all be interested in signing up for Medicare and Social Security benefits.
  • The 10-year Treasury rate has been steadily declining since the late 1980’s with the help of the Federal Reserve. Despite record-low interest rates, the U.S. government paid out more than $420 billion in interest payments in 2013. Even a slight uptick in interest rates will dramatically impede the Treasury’s ability to service the national debt.
  • America was founded upon the principle of non-intervention. “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none”, said Jefferson. The United States has systematically morphed into a military empire with more than 300 military bases in over 170 countries. Militarism puts a measurable strain on the budget and a less measurable strain on the morality of society.

It doesn’t take much analytical skill to see that current macroeconomic trends are not slowing: they are growing exponentially. One only needs to utilize a sliver of common sense to understand that exponentially expanding trends are not sustainable. The trends don’t tell me what the world looks like in eighteen years but they do clue me in on what it doesn’t look like. And what it doesn’t look like is the world of the past seventy years.

Hmm. So, how best to to help Maddie prepare for adult life in a world that does not yet exist?

That’s the problem with philosophical contemplations: rather than answers they tend to lead only to more questions. Fortunately, questioning is the philosopher’s strong suit.

Until the morrow,






Joe Withrow
Wayward Philosopher

For more of Joe’s thoughts on the “Great Reset” and regaining individual sovereignty please read “The Individual is Rising” which is available at The book is also available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

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