Reality & Truth Divorced-James Howard Kunstler

Greg Hunter USAWatchdog.com 

Journalist/Author James Howard Kunstler says, “We have epochal divergence between reality and truth . . . When you divorce them from each other, you start to get a society that’s in trouble.”   Kunstler, who cut his teeth at Rolling Stone magazine in the 70’s, has seen plenty, but nothing like what’s going on now.  “The banking system has been kept going on accounting fraud since the crash of 2008,” says Kunstler.  He says the banks are “. . . holding leadership hostage in an attempt to desperately keep our economic system going at all costs.”  The big financial problem Kunstler sees in the not-so-distant future is “capital scarcity.”  Kunstler says, “The main problem is the money we hoped we would have to run our economy on really isn’t there.  It is increasingly notional fantasy money.”   You have been told repeatedly by the mainstream media that we are in a “recovery,” but Kunstler sees just the opposite.  “The problem with complex systems is they break down in complex ways, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing,” says Kunstler.  Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with James Howard Kunstler of Kunstler.com.

Comments
  1. Jim H

    Greg, this man understands little or nothing about how the monetary system works.
    It really gets a little old listening to people who really do not know how the system works making predictions about imminent collapse.
    There is not going to be an apocalyptic economic collapse. What there will be is a lowering of the standard of living in the US for the average working person.
    We live in a controlled economy in which the people at the top of the pyramid control the masses. They make the rules and they can change the rules as we have all seen in the past 4 years.
    Wealth never disappears; it only transfers from one person to another.
    Wealth is not money, money is simply a way to keep score, it can and is replaced by other scorekeepers from time to time.
    Wealth is mostly labor. It is the working class worldwide getting up every morning and doing whatever it is they do to keep production going. Even in what people think is an economic calamity, 80+% of the people are still getting up and going to work every day.
    What the ruling class is concerned with is, the management of the working class. They fully understand that people must have the dream of getting ahead, but at the same time realizing that if they are allowed to get ahead, they will quit working.
    Times of prosperity are always followed by times of depression because if they were not the most productive people in the workforce would reach financial independence and retire. Therefore austerity must be imposed. That austerity in time instills the hunger for prosperity that re invigorates the work ethic and financial discipline in the people that lays the groundwork for another economic recovery.
    This is not the first time the United States has gone bankrupt, and it will not be the last. Economies follow a cycle, the same as the seasons of the year. Where people begin to get off track, during good times and bad is when they begin to say “this time is different”.
    It is not different. Just go back and read the impeachment speech of Louis McFadden and tell me it would not be perfectly appropriate to be recited today.
    And yet, 20 years later the country entered another time of prosperity.

    • jay2

      Wow. Wow. Eye opening statements to research. thank you .

      • Greg

        Thank you Jay2.
        Greg

    • George Too

      You wrote,”We live in a controlled economy in which the people at the top of the pyramid control the masses.” Jim H., if you believe that the government, a cabal, or group of people can control an economy with efficiency and avoid disaster, please look at other attempts to control an economy (i.e. Soviet Union, etc.). I think you lack the imagination to understand the tremendous impact inflation and a contracting capital base will bring.
      You claim America has been bankrupt before. I agree we have had financial setbacks but we have never been insolvent until now.

    • chris1

      “And yet, 20 years later the country entered another time of prosperity.”
      And what was the debt, and middle america job status at that time?
      How many of our jobs were outsourced to Chindia?
      Your whole post is a romantic naive walk down memory lane.
      WAKE UP.
      “There is not going to be an apocalyptic economic collapse”
      Could easily happen overnight ,by many paths.
      Real debt of the USA is 200 TRILLION.Prof. L. Kotlikoff.

      • Chip

        Spot on Chris…

  2. Art Barnes

    I’m a big fan of Kunstler, have been since he took on the clean water establishment years ago and showed how clean water will become increasing scarce; among others. Society system(s) are unraveling at one level or another as we speak, take the power outages still in the east for one example. I firmly believe we are in a slide to third world status, which is in reality what Mr. Kunstler is really talking about. Banana republics have “funny money”, services which work on a sporadic basics if at all, make no or little advances in science & technology, and have vast millions who just survive instead of thrive. They are not in the dark ages in that they may have somewhat modern airports to land or take off from but may not have refueling capacity on any given day to service the planes as an example. Mr. Kuntsler is beginning see, as with so many others, a two year or so window. It will take longer but in about two years the incline will commence steeper and even the MSM will have to report on it. We can’t turn it around as long as we focus on sexual rights or whatever instead of debt which is the cause of all of the decline.

  3. LD in SF

    So, what’s new? Let’s petition the government to prosectute and throw the rascals in jail (and throw away the key). If you guys are so smart, why aren’t you running things?

  4. Scot

    Read between the neo-keyensian body language lies. James Howard Kunstler does not believe the words exiting his mouth. His body language of touching his ear, rubbing his face, squirming in his seat and more all speaks to his non-belief of his own words. He wants to support the socialist administration, but at the same time he can see the writing on the wall.
    The only intellegent words came at minute 14:10, we need to bring the interest of the country back to the local community, not the central planners.

    • Chip

      Decentralization, constitutionally limited federal government, and local planning and networking are key….

  5. Johnny Dangereaux

    All great points. Except I disagree with conspiracy denial.
    Maybe James might read up on the Council on Foreign Relations and the Power Elite…
    Sure there are competing elite factions…but they ALL conspire against US.
    For example, I thin Mr. Kuntsler points out how GM bought up and destroyed much surface transportation in this country in order to sell more buses. If you had pointed this out at the time I betcha they’d call you crazy…
    Clusterfuck Nation Baby!

  6. jay2

    Greg,Good report. However I differ with James on the conspiracy theory.
    Its not a theory when one has eliminated the impossible..What is left is possible. Looking at the msm lies,congress cover ups,judicial lack of judgement,and the fed bail out/fraud untold.ect…How can there not be a conspiracy? Its a no brain-er…We are being controlled by the powers of an oligarchy. That’s how I see it.

  7. European American

    Kunstler is a diehard liberal, a progressive…a Socialist. It’s in his genes. And because of that, he’s unable to see outside of that particular box, he is so submerged in he’s unable to connect the dots and see the bigger picture. For SO long he was thinking Obama was the man. He probably still wants to “believe” that the Lying Bolshevik Mulatto is going to save us. Peak Oil was his claim to fame, but peak oil is no where close to “the” peak, as many have been brainwashed to believe.

    No conspiracy? He said that back in ’02 in an email he sent to me personally while replying to my email.

    Kunstler is old news , He’s still caught in the 20th century.

    However, he is correct about living within our means on a local level and the importance of agriculture, in that regard.

    • Ph.T

      you speak dismissively of Liberals, Socialists,
      and then Peak Oil is a mirage?
      what do you think the Socialist fight is about?
      the same thing Peak Oil is about:
      it’s overpopulation as measured by
      oil and wealth per person .
      . Peak oil is quite upon us, even if we have plenty:
      we have plenty more people who can’t afford it;
      people who demand sharing the wealth,
      — that’s the socialism you despise: overpopulation .

  8. Saq

    Hi Greg. Not a conspiracy? Really? Considering what happened in Argentina, Iceland and is now happening in Ireland, Spain,Greece, etc…. There is no way this is not a conspiracy.

  9. BOB D

    We need to lay off those investors cut back the board members and down size the insurance companies. Send them to the FEMA CAMPS and retrain them in the art of apple picking Don’t worry we have the jobs and housing.
    I think the investors and Bankers have eaten the whole pie and they will need to pick and cook a pie, if they want one.

  10. frosty

    Greg,

    I appreciate your interviews with informed people and always find them interesting. Many of the interviewed seem resigned to the inevitability our nation’s economic destruction and are now guessing at timelines. This is a terrible situation and my heart aches for the nation that seemed to have it all, but then threw it all away in the short time span of one easy-come-easy-go generation.

    I don’t think there’s a disconnect between truth and reality but see these as the same things. The disconnect is merely between the truth and our wish that the reality of it was somehow different. This situation manifests itself for one specific reason that no one seems to identify. It can’t be inherited or purchased at any cost and it flies far above mere knowledge of facts. It’s wisdom, or the ability to see the proper relationship between the facts and to act on them in a way that manifests the desired result. Wisdom is what’s missing from the national equation.

    So where does one find wisdom that touches on practically all aspects of life? That’s a question we once knew the answer to but have apparently forgotten now.

    Regarding destruction timeline, what does the book of wisdom, our owners manual, say about that? It doesn’t tell it in hours or days or years but describes the process of destruction poetically as a fire. I think its alluding to an accelerating process in which a spark becomes a flame which grows slowly at first and, if not stopped, burns ever more rapidly as more and more fuel becomes available to it. Accurately timing an exponential process like that is not humanely possible so we are left with guesses.

    The good news is that, especially in nations that once held an honored position on the world stage, there are usually a few left after the fire has burned itself out and these become the seed for the future.

    I know that my comment does not add to the interview directly. But I also know that you allow spiritual thoughts to be expressed here and appreciate that because, to me, these are the ones that make the most sense in a world predictably gone so mad.

    There are clear and correct answers to our nation’s problems that can predictably bring truth and reality into the proper perspective. At the core however, our national problems are spiritual ones and no reliable answers are available in any other realm than that. Don’t steal. Don’t covet. Don’t kill. Treat others as you would have them treat you. Act with justice and reject bribes. Help the poor. Don’t give a man a fish; teach him to fish instead . A forgotten book is full of such pearls of wisdom and it even teaches that ignoring them is equivalent to creating sparks that grow into flames and consume whole nations. Truth and reality are never disconnected.

    • Greg

      Frosty,
      Your comments always add something to think about and this is what this site is about. Thank you for weighing in here.
      Greg

  11. Ambrose

    Greg,

    Thank you for sharing with us another great interview.

    I do think a lot of people see the truth that the U.S. economy is heading to a disaster but there is nothing they can do about it. After all, most people I know are struggling with their jobs these days. If you have to work 10 to 12 hours a day, even on weekends, you would prefer to get enough rest than wasting time on politics.

    Look at what we had in the presidential election – a president who is a lemon and a contender who tried-to-be a lemon. Whom do you expect to lead us away from the next economic collapse? With the same people in charge of the Treasury and the Federal Reserves, zero interest, unlimited money printing and QE infinity will continue. Nothing has been done to really help to stimulate job growth. Everyone in the Congress cares about his/her pet projects. The Feds encourage fast investments in the loosely regulated Wall Street casinos for fast payouts. There may be lights in the tunnel, but the tunnel is flooded at the moment – much like the NY subways.

    I wonder why there is no other country learn from Iceland’s successful recovery. “Fighting Recession the Icelandic Way” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/is-remedy-for-next-crisis-buried-in-iceland-view-correct-.html). Any idea?

    Ambrose

    • Greg

      Ambrose,
      Notice how very little has been talked about in the MSM about Iceland. This would be a great and uplifting “60 Minutes” story. We will not see an Iceland recovery story for a very long time.
      Thank you for the comment and link.
      Greg

  12. Matt Skelton

    Greg, Thanks for your great website & insight. I throughly enjoy reading the stories & listening to your updates. I also follow Andrew Gause, who does “The Real World of Money” program on Wednesdays. The program is on Patrick Timpone’s One Radio Network. I think it would a good interview for you to hook up with Andy Gause. He is an expert on The Fed & has tremendous insight on monetary policy. It’s always nice to remind your readers that The Fed is not Federal nor does it have a Reserve. Keep up the good work.

    • Greg

      Thank you Matt,
      Always looking for new and interesting folks.
      Greg

  13. James Lanier

    Greg, I’ve read two of his fiction books “A World Made By Hand” & “The Witch of Hebron”. They were both good books and I respect his commentary on the world situation.

    However, I felt that he seemed distracted during your interview with him. I’ve watched many other interviews between you and others that were more in tune, such as John Williams & Rick Ackerman. I’m not blaming you as an interviewer but I was a little disappointed by WHK.

    Just my two-cents.

    • Greg

      Thank you James for the feedback. You have to admit though, the truth divorced from reality concept was pretty thought provoking. However, your point was well made and well taken.
      Greg

  14. Jan

    We keep expecting everything to blow up, how long can the debt system hold up? I keeping wondering when the American people will wake up to the reality of debt, their own as well as the nations. I think Americans are spoiled and lazy. They choose to draw every dime of unemployment the government is willing to give them. Some act as if they are on a three year paid vacation and they can just get a job when Uncle Sam ends the extended benefits.

    I saw this in the 70’s and again in the 80’s. People who had been making good salaries refusing to work for a dime less than they had been making before the recessions. When they money ran out, they couldn’t find a job at any pay rate, they had been taken by those not too proud to work or start their own businesses with while they were drawing unemployment.

    I think we will see just how creative the American people can be when the checks finally run out soon. Some will protest in the streets, but most will kick themselves for having wasted so much time and get busy. That is when America will get its’ mojo back.

    • Greg

      Jan,
      Love the comment. I want people to be solvent so they can help rebuild and get that “mojo back”!
      Greg

  15. Don Johnson

    Hello Greg
    Here is a common sense link you will enjoy but it is now the very hand of government themselves that write this story.
    http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EW5IdwltaAc?rel=0
    Sobering questions but no real answers. Could it be that government would rather have a Greece than face up to the problems of the kind of trouble future generations will face?
    Do those with wealth expect to escape the carnage, hunger, political
    uncertainty. They may believe that some well armed Island will provide security while the rest of the world fights it out, controlled by the strings of the Plutocracy.
    Decency, honesty and compassion do not stand easily in the face of hunger, anger and injustice. But, they must in order for there to be any change to what we have seen for centuries.
    We have given in to complacency, greed,instant gratification. These have taken out the backbone of society. Only when we replace these qualities with honesty, integrity, compassion and fellow feeling will society be able to stand on it’s own two feet.

    • Greg

      Thank you Don Johnson for the comment and link.
      Greg

  16. George Too

    Greg,
    I think that he is understating the LNG situation. There is so much that prices dropped to make drilling unprofitable. We have plenty of resources. What we need is a good round of deflation

    • Greg

      George,
      What!? Things getting cheaper for poor people? Our leaders will not allow that! Thanks for the comment. I am being sarcastic. I agree.
      Greg

  17. DJohnson

    Ron Paul and others believe many of our problems stem from too much debt. Since every $$ in existance was created out of debt (and the $$ go back into the ether when debt is paid off), we seem to have gotten into the situation of total $$ held are not sufficient to service the debt that created those dollars. The interest required to service any particular debt, of course, was not created when a loan is taken out, but must come from productivity and the principal of other new loans taken out in the future. Dr. Paul has stated many times that our problems in the economy is the result of our fraudulant currency system, and those problems cannot be solved by “tinkering around the edges.”

    Mr. Hunter, it would be very interesting if you interviewed someone that is involved with BitCoins. Having only recently discovered BitCoins, I know very little about them, except that their supply is determined by a mathematical formula that is not subject to the whims of corrupt politicians or central bankers. And, all buy/sell transactions are out of sight of gov’t regulations and spying eyes. In fact, BitCoins are very similar to cash — but unlike cash, can be instantly transfered to another party anywhere in the world with little or no transaction fees, no social security numbers, nor bank account information.

    BitCoins seem to provide a monetary system that supports monetary freedom, liberty, privacy, right of contract, et.al. that is perfectly in line with our Constitution.

    I only found out about BitCoins from an Adam Kokesh video. The link: http://www.quora.com/Jon-Matonis that is titled “Iran: Can BitCoin save you?”

    What do you think?

    • Greg

      DJohnson,
      Seems like BitCoins are another form of fiat, but I have to admit I do not know much about it. If someone wanted to pay me in gold or silver coins or BitCoins I would hands down choose Au and Ag. Thank you for your comment and question.
      Greg

  18. pdog

    Greg:

    Kunstler is still the man.

    Pdog

    • Greg

      Pdog,
      The “Red Queen” concept is priceless. Very smart!! I really like him too.
      Greg

  19. Chip

    Awesome again Greg!!!

    You need to get some playing time on some of the networks…

    • Greg

      Thank you Chip. I hoping folks will just come here and bypass the old media.
      Greg

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