Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paradigm Shift: October 2009

So I watch the change of season unfold with the usual mix of wonder, joy, and melancholy that is Autumn, and continue to monitor the more human events Beyond the Edge of my little Naith.  This week is seeing the price of gold flirt with $1050 and ounce, nearly two hundred dollars above what it was just a few months ago.  Silver, after settling somewhat around $14, is pushing $18, very respectable and a much more healthy growth in value than gold.  Meanwhile, the stock market continues its mad climb upward as investors, apparently eager to put recent economic history behind them, pour money back into stocks.  There is much talk of recovery and an end to the recession, mixed with babble about the Gosselins and some people named Kardashian who I have never heard of otherwise, and the micro-pig pet craze currently sweeping the UK.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Baltic state of Latvia is on the brink of joining Iceland and Ireland in economic collapse, and possibly going beyond that to a political collapse as well.  So who gives a shit about Latvia?  Regional banks, including those of Sweden and Germany, and the IMF, too.  I wonder what the Russians are thinking; the sizeable Russian minority of unemployed youths in Latvia will be the ones to watch.

There is much talk of the death of the dollar, especially since the meetings among China and Russia and Japan with a coalition of Arab states to replace the dollar as a conduit for the international oil trade.  India and Brazil are very much in favor of it; nobody seems to give a damn what the United States thinks.

Our national unemployment rate is pushing 10%.  I personally turn away several prospective applicants a day at the business I manage.  I don't even give them an application any more, or tell phone inquirers that we are only taking applications; I simply tell them, bluntly, "We are not hiring."  No sense giving them false hope, especially when it will lead only to futile follow-up phone calls that distract me from tasks at hand.

So what am I doing, aside from enjoying the fall?  Buying silver, still.  I also put in 8 blueberry bushes over the past month, which will constitue the only viable agriculture that my mostly forested acre and a half will support.  I've also pressed on with a poultry yard, despite the wife's stance firmly against having chickens.  She did not say, "Do not build a poultry yard," so I will prepare for a time when she is more receptive to the idea. 

What do I think is going to happen?  In short, America will continue its long, slow slide down.  Much of the country will continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear, while real unemployment levels off at a permanent 20%, credit continues to be reined in, the deficit spirals onward and upward, and the dollar drifts down the abyss.  The current market bubble will pop, the gold bubble will pop; silver will press onward and upward.  Oil will rise as China's demand increases, the dollar's value decreases, and world supplies shrink as we slide slowly, inexorably off the Peak Oil plateau.

Circle the wagons, friends.

Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"