Thursday, December 17, 2009

Predictions for 2010 (And Beyond)

I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned this on the blog previously, but I'll mention it again anyway. One of the better books I've read in recent years, and which is a great companion piece for any "doomer" (someone who believes in peak oil and its economic ramifications) is "Reinventing Collapse" by Dmitry Orlov. An emigre from Soviet Russia, Orlov had the unique perspective of witnessing collapse in that other superpower, the USSR, and strongly feels that the U.S. shares many of the same attributes that led to collapse in the USSR. It's a very informative, humorous, and easy-to-breeze through little tome (around 160 pages, but totally engrossing).

Mr. Orlov has made predictions on the near-future, or more closely, the next decade, in this blog post, which go into further detail on what he had already expounded on in his book. More specifically, the woes of states and municipalities will grow steadily worse in terms of money, and to make up for steadily dipping tax revenues, the authorities will begin to charge outrageous fees for things such as licenses. States will raise and raise taxes, driving more economic transactions into the "black market". Any paper assets will largely lose their value, turning our economy into one based on bartering.

The whole article (which is brief) is worth reading. What I found striking (and this is something he touched on in his book as well) was his assertion that the U.S. will not have the resources to repatriate our troops from around the world when the shit hits the fan. While it's plausible, I think things would have to be really fucked up in order for that to be a possibility. As much as us Americans are willing to take it up the collective ass from the powers that be on a constant basis, I feel that if there were to be a final straw, our troops being stranded overseas would be it.

By the way, this is a presentation from Orlov called "Closing the Collapse Gap: The USSR was Better Prepared for Collapse than the U.S.", which is basically a shorter version of his book, in case you don't have the time or money to read it.

No comments: