David Haggithis creating The Great Recession Blog
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When you're walking along the sidewalk and someone is playing the sax in a way you love, you drop a dollar in his tip jar. Sure, there will be others who will tip him, so you don't need to, but you do it anyway, just to say "Thanks." You get the benefit of knowing you have expressed your sincere appreciation.
By becoming someone who doesn't just endlessly receive for free, you become a blog member and will gain access to the member's-only "Discord" forum. You not only get to listen to the musician play, but you get to discuss the economic events of the morning with him and with the other regulars who hang around after he's done. The difference in the forum and the comments section on the blog is that you can create theme threads on economic topics that are of interest to you. Threads don't have to relate to any particular article, and a monitor will try to keep the discussion in your thread relatively on topic (though a little straying can be fun).
When you pass by that sax player on your way to lunch and have time to stop and listen, and you want to improve the likelihood that he keeps coming in the future, you drop $5 in his jar. You get that smile that comes to your face and his when you pass by the next morning and he's holding a cup of coffee that was on you; but most of all, he's still there.
At this level, besides joining the member's-only "Discord" forum, you get an added benefit. You are a serious patron. You've done more than express your thanks, so you'll be granted special access to articles that will be posted for serious supporters only. You'll be a Premium Post Patron. This is the action level of giving, and these are my meatiest articles.
Now you're more than a serious supporter; you're an enthusiast, and we share a love for the same music. So, we're going to sit down and have coffee and a breakfast sandwich together to talk about the music. In other words, in addition to the rewards above, I'll give you my personal email address so we can have one-to-one conversations once in awhile. If I produce any ebooks, as I hope to do, you'll also get a free copy as soon as they are available. The main reward, though, is not in what you are getting as a token of my appreciation but in how much you're helping put the message out to other people who most need to hear it.
We are about to see the same financial crisis happen to us all over again because the entire world apparently learned nothing from the collapse that we now call "The Great Recession."
My goal in writing The Great Recession Blog has been to help people see what we did wrong in order to avoid repeating it. I felt driven to write the blog because I saw the Great Recession coming in 2007, but real-estate agents I talked to back then thought I was nuts. I was surprised that no one appeared to see it coming even when I explained to them why we were about to enter a real-estate crash that would bring down global banks and devastate the entire global economy. People thought such a thing was ridiculous partly because it seemed too big to be true and mostly because people don't see the things they don't want to see.
When the housing market did collapse on as grand a scale as I said would happen, George Bush said he needed to give up his capitalist ideals in order to save capitalism; but it wasn't capitalism he was saving. It was simply capitalists. In particular the ones that are pigs. It turned out our bankers were only capitalists so long as they were rolling in massive profits; but they became socialists overnight when it came to spreading the risks from their losses on everyone else. The entire world readily accepted the risk of those bailouts because everyone was alarmed by the risk that those banks would crush everyone.
True capitalism would have let the dead wood burn away, but we don't practice true capitalism. Instead we did everything we could to avoid capitalism and save the falling giants. As a result, the forest floor around us is littered with more dead wood and standing rotten trees than ever before. Incredibly, the banks that were saved expressly because they were "too big to fail" were made by the Federal Reserve's recover plan into vastly larger banks! How does that make any sense? Yet, almost everyone is now living as if the problems were solved.
As I listened to mainstream television tell everyone everywhere that this absurd recovery effort was something that we simply had to do, I felt compelled to start The Great Recession Blog in order to talk about actually solving the underlying problems that allowed economic catastrophe to befall the entire world in the first place. No one went to jail. No one in the press was suggesting anyone should. They all actually believed the Federal Reserve's recovery effort would work! I couldn't believe how easily the masses rolled over, and yet I kind of could because all the experts were saying the same thing. "This is what we have to do."
The worst part of it all was that the plan I refer to now facetiously as "The Great Recovery" increased the size of all the problems our global debt-based collapse. How insane is that? But the world went for it because a true solution would be more painful! Our inept economic designers kept the old dinosaur economy alive by expanding debt everywhere in the world. They created vast amounts of free money out of thin air; they gave all the new money only to the richest bankers; they restored none of the sturdy banking regulations that used to curtail such greed; they continued to issue mortgage-backed securities (those financial black boxes full of tangled assets that even the experts seemed incapable of unthreading and understanding); they continued to allow adjustable-rate mortgages that had proven to be catastrophic time bombs in the last collapse (where we pretend people will be able to afford higher interest in the future that they cannot afford now); they continued the lax credit qualification terms that undermined financial security the last time around; and the worst part was they put the players who caused global collapse in government positions to solve it! That was all true under Bush, true under Obama and remains every bit as true under Trump.
My track record of reliable information
Along this path of fake recovery, I have predicted each of the major setbacks the economy took. (My blog stands as a track record to prove it.) I predicted the timing of the United States' first-ever credit downgrade during the Obama Administration and of the stock market plunge caused by the downgrade. I warned that the spine of the bull market would break in late 2014. It did, and market went nowhere all the way until November 2016. The market's troubles only ended when Trump was elected and the Trump Rally began, but I also said during the summer of 2017 that the Trump Rally would end in January, 2018. From there, I predicted the next big leg down for the stock market would start in the summer, which is when the always reliable high-tech stocks crashed 40%. I said things would get much worse in the fall, likely beginning as an October surprise. All of that happened exactly as I laid out and for the reason that I gave: the Federal Reserve's insane belief all along that it could ever reverse the things it did to create "recovery" without undoing its recovery.
These times of turmoil were predictable because the Federal Reserve gave "forward guidance" to everyone about its schedule for ending its recovery efforts and then even reversing them. With each promised change in the Fed's life support, I laid out how the economy would degrade at that point. The failure of the Fed's recovery to sustain itself each time has never failed to prove me right. The Fed's recovery plan was guaranteed to fail because it perpetuated those flaws I laid out above.
The establishment's plans are now breaking the global economy ... again
We are now about to enter the Second Great Recession or Great Recession 2.0 as the Fed struggles to figure out what it should do now that everyone knows it cannot ever reduce its balance sheet or raise interest rates any higher. The fracture lines are a second housing collapse that is starting to form, a return to closure of automobile factories (Carmageddon), and major signs of a forming recession.
We paid for the recovery by not actually paying for it but pushing it ahead for others to deal with because we didn't want the pain from our own failures. (Remember hearing "kick the can down the road" a lot?) We sucked economic strength out of the future to keep propping ourselves up a little longer, but that future is now sitting on our doorstep.
Because we did not make the huge changes required to build a stable economy, we are about to repeat the crash all over again bigger and better than ever. We will even repeat our failed recovery ideas on a grander scale unless some voices somewhere raise awareness to the fact that we have to make major changes in how our economy operates if we are ever going to escape these increasingly widening cycles of debt collapse.
As it becomes evident that the bankers, economists and politicians that govern our world -- "the establishment" -- has failed miserably ... again ... ... and is back to begging for bailouts ... again ... I hope ordinary citizens will start looking for new answers. The establishment already has its ready answers (excuses) about how no one could see this coming, but you could see it coming! I saw it coming, and The Great Recession Blog laid out how it would come so that its readers stand as a witness to the fact that you could see this failure coming.
I hope you'll help me expand awareness as to why we are failing all over again so we can end this relentless cycle of failures seen in the dot-com crash, the Great Recession and in what is now waiting on our doorstep.
Here's the deal:
I'm willing to continue bashing the banksters and poking their pocket politicians in the eyes and lampooning the lunacy in the media with your support ... but not without it.
Even thoughThe Great Recession Blog averages around 20,000 readers for each article (with a high of 100,000), people don't respond to online advertising much, so the ads bring in less than I made back in Middle School mowing lawns. Clearly I needed patrons to sustain this mission -- readers who genuinely believed in the cause enough to want to see the articles continue who would support the effort. To my great respect and admiration , readers of The Great Recession Blog rose to my call for support, quickly reaching the initial goal that matched the high rewards of my lawn-mowing days ($500 a month). Now, I'm looking to take support toward my higher goal that will enable me to give this mission my full-time attention in both my writings and public speaking.
Unless you want to experience an endless rinse-and-repeat of recession cycles, someone outside of the mainstream media needs to force our fundamental economic flaws into light with strong, rational arguments and persuasive writing because it serves those establishment banksters best to keep repeating the cycle!
Who do you think keeps their money when the entire economy crashes while taxpayers back their failed enterprises? Who got bigger bonuses when their corporations failed? Who got to keep all the real-estate when foreclosures went crazy? Who got virtual vaults of free make-believe money from the Fed stuffed directly into their reserve bank accounts? Who is in the one percent that became VASTLY richer during the recovery efforts from the Great Recession while everyone else stagnated or declined?
Big banksters get paid obscene bonuses because it takes a special kind of person to be CEO of a major bank these days. Consider: You have to be able to take a titanic institution that has weathered every economic problem for a hundred years and break it in exactly such a way that the government will bail it out with tens of billions of dollars while you convince the citizens of the nation to let that happen. Doing it right assures you and your shareholders end up richer than ever. It takes pure evil genius to pull that off while smiling at the general public as you ensconce your proteges into presidential cabinet positions so you can make sure the nation does it all over again!
We saw all of that happen. Do you think that is going to be any different next time around without a multitude of people rising up to make such a loud noise against it that politicians won't dare take that route again and banksters will know they dare not even try?
Who do you see cheerleading that effort?
CNN? Fox? The New York Times? Bloomberg? Fortune? The Washington Post? The Wall Street Journal? Of course not. They all love Wall Street, and they are enamored by credentials and celebrity! That means it is impossible for me to get my articles to run in those paying publications. My articles run on a lot of alternative media sites, bringing in another 100,000 readers or more for each article; but none of those sites will pay a dime for my writing. So, without financial supporters at a grassroots level, these articles would have stopped happening because I reached my limit of being willing to push this message without support. Fortunately, support rose to the call here on Patreon. More importantly, it takes the committed company of others to move a nation. It takes teamwork.
If you don't want to go through another fake recovery that leaves you poorer (because the set-up is starting to happen right now), then you need to take action right now. No one is going to stand up for us, except ourselves. One action you can take is supporting this insignificant David who is willing to take these Goliaths on with his little stone-like articles shot from his little sling of a website. I'll make all the effort I can if I have a committed band of fighters.
Here are my goals:
Outstanding readers reached the foundational support level of $500 per month, so I continue to write the website and hope to improve it (with the help of some committed volunteers if some will step up). I chose Patreon because it is a highly trusted platform used by numerous writers, which allows commitments of monthly support where other sites are only set up for one-time contributions. I need a solid base of monthly support to continue, even if it comes in small amounts from each individual, each as they are able.
Currently, I spend about 80-100 hours a month publishing my economic articles on The Great Recession Blog and on several other economic websites. That means $500 in monthly donor support comes to about $5/hour for my time. (So, I actually did a little better mowing lawns in the '70s.) That's not much pay for an English major who has been writing (for pay) for newspapers, magazines and book publishers, such as Putnam, for 35 years on other topics as an avocation to my main career; but I've chosen to focus on this topic as one of the most important topics of our time so long as support keeps building. Those publications also had support; they called them subscribers; but I want my site accessible to everyone, or how will it accomplish its mission?
At the $500 level of total support, I'm still charitably giving my time to this topic solely because I believe passionately in the importance of this message. Reaching my first-level goal here on Patreon, however, was essential to my continuing because it said to me there are enough people who passionately believe in the importance of my continued efforts to battle the establishment for me to build on. One cannot win such a battle alone; so, if there was not that much support, I would have discontinued the blog. $500 a month said to me, "We're genuinely with you! We may be a small group, but we're committed."
My more hopeful second-level goal is to get to $5,000 per month because then I can quit my day job and focus entirely on beating the establishment before it beats us all over again. I made more than that at my career profession (resort property management), but I semi-retired a few years ago in order to focus on this writing project. I don't have a pension as of yet (because I'm only 60), so I do other part-time work. $5,000 a month would be enough for me to quit my other work and focus full-time on writing and public speaking in order to try to make an even bigger difference. To me, this is a vital mission.
Now is the only time we have to beat the establishment before they take us into another round of bailouts and other selfish behavior. I hope you'll join me, and I also need you to help share this fundraiser if we're going to reach these goals. I could also use some technical IT assistance from anyone with those skills to volunteer.
If you haven't read my articles, you can find them at http://thegreatrecession.info/blog
My continuing goal is to reach a level of support where I am able to quit my day job and dedicate myself to working full-time at beating the establishment with articles and public speaking that keep a spotlight on the greed, corruption and Fed errors that perpetuate our economic weakness.
Thank you to those who have enjoined the battle and taken up the journey so far. I hope more will jump in to empower this pursuit to a much higher level!