“Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.” Richard Heinberg, November 2010.
Even with the current growth in the world economy (not including the U.S. and EU), the era of “never-ending” economic growth is coming to an inglorious end and a new era of trying to survive the unsettled times ahead will be the priority for American citizens.
The world, led by a growing middle class in China, India, Russia and Brazil, will continue to put demand pressure on the global supply of oil. The problem is that many of the older wells have reached peak output of oil but the demand is going to continue to rise, causing the price to rise and a supply crunch to develop, followed by a recession.
“Organizations, including the International Energy Agency and the US military, have warned that another supply crunch is likely to occur soon after 2012 due to rising demand and insufficient production capacity.”
According to a report by the New Zealand Parliament:
“Forecasts indicate that oil production will not grow or fall in the next five years while demand will continue to rise. There is a risk that the world economy may be at the start of a cycle of supply crunches leading to price spikes and recessions, followed by recoveries leading to supply crunches.”
If the financial system hadn’t gone off the deep end in 2008, we would be facing a shortage of oil now because of a growing global economy and an inadequate supply of oil. Then we would be in that cycle described above. These cycles, according to Heinberg, will be occurring over shorter intervals as the demand pressure increases. In this new world, with a rapidly growing population demanding declining resources, including oil, there is an end to economic growth “as we have known it.”
“This is not to say the U.S. or the world as a whole will never see another quarter of growth relative to the previous quarter or year. However, when the bumps are averaged out, the general trendline of the economy (measured in terms of production and consumption of real goods) will be level or downward rather than upward from now on.
“Nor will it be impossible for any region, nation, or business to continue growing for a while. Some will. In the final analysis, however, this growth will have been achieved at the expense of other regions, nations, or businesses. From now on, only relative growth is possible: the global economy is playing a zero-sum game, with an ever shrinking pot to be divided among the winners.”
The American citizens, of course, will be the losers.
Corporations will continue with business as usual in the belief that economic growth can go on forever. The fact is that everything we need to function in the current society is in a state of decline while the earth’s population keeps expanding, with over two billion more by 2050. This means that we are heading for a period of increasing depletion of resources while nine billion earthlings keep shouting, give us more. Now consider that oil is used in the manufacture of 6,000 products, including medicines (antihistamines) and there are no substitutes for many of these items.
“But we are, and will be, seeing a cavalcade of environmental and economic disasters, not obviously related to one another, that will stymie economic growth in more ways. These will include but are not limited to climate change leading to regional droughts, floods, and even famines.” There will also be shortages of “water and energy.” And of course “waves of bank failures, company bankruptcies, and house foreclosures.”
They all relate to the problem “in that they are consequences of growing human population striving for higher-per-capita consumption of limited resources (including nonrenewable, climate-altering fossil fuels), all on a finite planet.”
The year 2010 brought more unusual weather to the planet. This change means that weather was enhanced. Droughts were worse, floods in Pakistan and Central America dropped rain of biblical proportions, and heat waves were hotter.
“Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Lemanthe said global water requirements will be 40 percent greater than what can currently be supplied.”
“While the world is rightly moving to address the challenges presented by climate change and depleting supplies of fossil fuel, the same awareness and consensus does not exist when it comes to addressing our usage of water. Yet the harsh fact is that we will probably run out of water long before we run out of fuel.”
Water shortage will be a much larger problem for the United States because of the impending population overload the next 40 years.
There isn’t enough water in the Southwest U.S. to support the present population. So how will we provide for 60 or 70 million more residents in, essentially, a desert? Think massive water shortage, energy shortage, and food shortage. I leave you to your imagination.
The U.S. Census Bureau predicts the United States will have 100 million more people before 2040 and a large number of the new people will be Latino, mostly Mexicans and their children born in the U.S. Many of our jobs are still being sent overseas through offshoring to cheap labor but the Mexicans are ready to step in and help the corporations make America competitive with the third world.
With an integrated North America, corporations will now have a large pool of cheap labor from south of the border. With that source of cheap labor, the Mexicans will happily drive down wages here as American employers opt to hire the new arrivals over American citizens.
Unemployment in the U.S. by that time will go much higher for American citizens, who, in many cases, will still be treated as an enemy of the corporate/government state.
As I have said before, any comprehensive immigration bill that is signed by President Obama and has provisions for the construction of a common security perimeter around North America, will allow all citizens of the continent to “live and work” in this North American Community. The 105 million Mexican citizens will eventually be able to travel throughout this Community without being checked. They can live and work anywhere they desire. The outer perimeter system is the model used by the European Union (Schengen Agreement) and will be emulated by the North American Community.
So integration of the continent, amnesty, and a high birth rate could result in up to 205 million more Mexicans who might want to live in the USA by 2050, with total freedom of movement throughout the continent. That adds up, potentially, to over half a billion citizens with access to the United States. That’s a 65 percent increase in population.
How are we going to acquire the funding for energy, food and water, medical care, welfare, and education for up to 500,000,000 people when America is broke many times over. For rational people the answer is “We won’t be able to.” For everyone else, it’s the same answer. But no one in government and certainly on Wall Street is considering anything else but how to make a quick buck and grow that (global) economy forever. But the resources won’t be there.
Cartels by that time will have added North America to their business logo (why not?). The new people, though, will continue their efforts to move white Americans (ethnic cleansing) from the Southwest. All levels of government in this area will be controlled by Mexicans.
Mexicans by law can have dual citizenship. They then can vote in the U.S. and Mexico. They can run for office in both countries. Some are currently exercising these rights. Spanish will be the primary language spoken in Aztlan ( Southwest U.S.) and traveling to Mexico will be like going from Florida to Georgia. Yes. Through open borders. This part of America will be Balkanized and violence will be in vogue as Mexicans try to force Americans from their land. This is the same way black Americans have been evicted from the Los Angeles area. See Ethnic cleansing in L.A. Also see more here.
But for now our corporate/government partnership is working on the project to replace American workers with Mexicans, plus Indians (India) and others through more work visa programs passed by Congress (for a lobbying fee). And many companies will continue to move their plants to other countries where the demand for products is high and the labor pool works cheap.
What about Americans? Read a few snippets from this report:
Many U.S. companies are hiring, but not here. “They’re hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders are fat.”
“All but 4 percent of the top U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown…But the jobs are going elsewhere.”
“American jobs have been moving overseas for more than two decades. In recent years, though, those jobs have become more sophisticated – think semiconductors and software…”
“Companies will go where there are fast-growing markets and big profits,” says Jeffrey Sachs, globalization expert and economist…”
Remember the talk about small business hires most of the workers in the U.S.:
“The strategy isn’t restricted to just the largest American companies. Entrepreneurs, whether in technology, retail or in manufacturing, today hire globally from the start.”
But what about American workers? Americans are still being hired but higher numbers of foreigners are taking part in the job recovery. CEOs and large investors have no plans other than to lower wages by demographics and getting rid of these workers who make too much money, which slows down their quest for obscene profits. Read this and consider finding a plan B for your survival in a hostile, alien nation.
Lurking just below the surface is more bad news, especially for unemployed Americans. That is the certainty that many of the resources, including oil, will fail to keep up with the expanding economy. The prediction is that we would need to have two earths to satisfy the population of 9 billion people that will be here over the next 40 years. But we don’t.
The last decade has witnessed the scenario of peak oil, which has occurred (2005-2007) and now many of the oil wells have reached their maximum output and are in decline.
The crux of the New Zealand report, including input from the United States, is:
“…there are many risks that supply will be inadequate to meet demand-rising demand from emerging economies, inadequate investment, and oil that can’t be pulled out of the ground fast enough, even though the appearance is that there is plenty of oil available. The result is likely to be high prices leading to (another) recession. Alternatives are not scaling up quickly enough to be likely to be very helpful for a very long time – 25 years according to Art Berman.”
But over the next 20 years, oil supplies and many other resources, will shrink as a growing middle class from Asia as large as the United States and Europe together, will demand what isn’t there, including the basics of food, water, and energy. For many it will be a survival economy. The consequences of this demand will be tragic, especially for the United States, as we will then be a haven for desperate refugees from the Caribbean, Central America and South America.