Our status quo — the pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top — has failed and is beyond reform.
This failure is not rooted in superficial issues such as politics or governmental regulations; the failure is structural.
While each is a stand-alone book (Kindle ebook and print), the Essentials℠ shed light on the new socio-economic era we are entering.
The Essentials are compact (less than 30,000 words) and affordable.
“For those wondering why our present economic social order is in such a mess despite the glitzy surface prosperity this book provides many of the answers. It documents both the symptoms and the causes of the sensed malaise.
One area in which I disagree with the author, however, is his contention that continued borrowing will inevitably lead to runaway inflation. That might happen if resources actually became scarce. But so far the corporate "machine" has been able to produce more manufactured goods than the populace can consume, thus keeping inflation in check. Right now the main constraint in this area is on demand rather than supply.
The real inflation right now is in things like medical services and higher education. Though homes (including their attendant property taxes) in prestigious locations have also risen significantly in cost. Fine art and gourmet meals have also escalated in price, but these are intrinsically luxury items which tend to charge what the traffic will bear, so their effect on the general society is limited.
Where the inflation that currently exists is particularly evident is in areas that are cartel-controlled. Thus the availability of medical doctors in the U.S. Is effectively regulated by both medical school quotas and their costs, even though it's pretty clear that this particular profession will not soon be replaced by automation. (Notwithstanding the fact that some 90% of Dr. visits could probably be handled successfully by an app with legal drug-prescribing power. Would/could such a system be abused? Might it make mistakes? Yes, but that happens now with human doctors.)
So buy the book. You won't be disappointed--unless that is you're one of the status quo elite or aspire to be such.”
“I love Charles Hugh Smith's books, and have written extensive reviews of several of his prior works. This one was a bit tough. I agree fully with his premise, that the status quo is beyond reform. The broken political systems of the United States, Europe and Japan are on full display this August prior to the election.
Charles takes a rather antiseptic approach. He still believes in the perfectibility of man, in our ability to make intelligent choices if the alternatives are presented in a logical way. I think the evidence goes the other way.”
Graham H. Seibert
“An outstanding book the provides an outlook on many of the problems faced today with our corrupt government. I disagree with Mr. Smith on two minor points: One, technology will reduce the need for labor and increase productivity. This is a good thing and will not increase unemployment as other work will be created. Two, it is hopeless to try to save the United States as one country. Better to break up into smaller more homogenous nations. Other than the just stated points I give the book well deserved 5 star rating.”