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Charles Hugh Smith
At readers' request, I've prepared a biography. I am not confident this is the right length or has the desired information; the whole project veers uncomfortably close to PR. On the other hand, who wants to read a boring bio? I am reminded of the "Peanuts" comic character Lucy, who once issued this terse biographical summary: "A man was born, he lived, he died." All undoubtedly true, but somewhat lacking in narrative.

Charles Hugh Smith

Why Don’t Billionaires Pay the Same High Tax Rates the Rest of Us Pay?

The truth is America has lost its way if commoners pay a rate of 40% but its billionaires pay next to nothing. As with everything else in polarized America, billionaires proclaiming space tourism is the next big thing for humanity neatly divides opinion into two camps: those who laud the initiative, hard work and innovations of the billionaires as examples of the American Can-Do Dream, and those who wished the billionaire space tourists had taken a one-way flight to a distant orbit of...

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The Moment Wall Street Has Been Waiting For: Retail Is All In

The ideal bagholder is one who adds more on every downturn (buy the dip) and who refuses to sell (diamond hands), holding on for the inevitable Fed-fueled rally to new highs. Old hands on Wall Street have been wary of being bearish for one reason, and no, it's not the Federal Reserve: the old hands have been waiting for retail--the individual investor-- to go all-in stocks. After 13 long years, this moment has finally arrived: retail is all in. If you doubt this, just look at record...

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America Is a Moral Cesspool, and Student Loans Prove It

If America somehow managed to educate millions of college students without burdening them with $2 trillion in debt in 1993, why is it now "impossible" to do so, even as America's wealth and gross national product (GDP) have both rocketed higher over the past 27 years? Predators thrive on Americans' short memories. Student loans in their present scale did not exist prior to 1994. According to the Federal Reserve FRED database, the student loan balance was zero in 1993. From zero in 1993...

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America Has Lost the Trade War with China, and the Real Pain Has Yet to Begin

Corporate America sacrificed national interests in service of greed, and so did the U.S. government. As we all know, the source of Corporate America's unprecedented explosion in profits in the 21st century is the offshoring of manufacturing to China. If you doubt this, please study the chart below of corporate profits. Apologists claim many excuses in an attempt to evade the central role of offshoring production to China, but they all ring hollow: no, it wasn't increasing productivity...

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Have We Reached “Peak Self-Glorifying Billionaire”?

Perhaps we should update Marie Antoinette's famous quip of cluelessness to: "Let them eat space tourism." As billionaires squander immense resources on self-glorifying space flights, the corporate media is nothing short of worshipful. Millions of average citizens, on the other hand, wish the self-glorifying billionaires had taken themselves and all the other parasitic, tax-avoiding, predatory billionaires with them on a one-way trip into space. Have we reached Peak Self-Glorifying...

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Big Tech: “Our Terms Have Changed”

So go ahead and say whatever you want around all your networked devices, but don't be surprised if bad things start happening. I received another "Our Terms Have Changed" email from a Big Tech quasi-monopoly, and for a change I actually read this one. It was a revelation on multiple fronts. I'm reprinting it here for your reading pleasure: We wanted to let you know that we recently updated our Conditions of Use. What hasn't changed: Your use constitutes your agreement to our Conditions...

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How Breakdown Cascades Into Collapse

Maintaining the illusion of confidence, permanence and stability serves the interests of those benefiting from the bubbles and those who prefer the safety of the herd, even as the herd thunders toward the precipice. The misconception that collapse is an all or nothing phenomenon is common: Either the system rights itself with a bit of money-printing and rah-rah or it collapses into post-industrial ruin and gangs are battling over the last stash of canned beans. Neither scenario considers...

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Welcome to the 21st Century Sequel of the Catastrophic 1600s

As the chart below on 'how systems collapse' illustrates, the loss of stabilizing buffers goes unnoticed until the entire structure collapses under its own weight. Disruptive extremes of weather: check Rising geopolitical tensions with no diplomatic resolution: check Multiplying scarcities in essential commodities: check Domestic disorder accelerates as extreme positions harden into irreconcilable conflicts: check Welcome to the 21st century sequel of the catastrophic 1600s, an extended...

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Here’s Why America’s Labor-Shortage Will Drive Inflation Higher

Great swaths of the American workforce are already on strike or slipping away from the dead-end treadmill. America's labor shortage is complex and doesn't lend itself to the simplistic expectations favored by media talking heads. The Wall Street cheerleaders extol the virtues of "getting America back to work" which is Wall-Street-speak for getting back to exploiting workers to maximize corporate profits. Long-term demographics have combined with cultural changes and Covid-Lockdown...

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The $50 Trillion Plundered from Workers by America’s Aristocracy Is Trickling Back

As I often note here, when you push the pendulum to an extreme of wealth and income inequality, it will swing to the opposite extreme minus a tiny bit of friction. The depth of America's indoctrination can be measured by the unquestioned assumption that Capital should earn 15% every year, rain or shine, while workers are fated to lose ground every year, rain or shine. And if wages should ever start ticking upward even slightly, then the Billionaires' Apologists are unleashed to shout...

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