“Theory: there is an undetected force at work out there that is confusing and overwhelming a lot of us.” (Cox)

It is a pretty sad blogger who quotes himself but I thought I’d do a third in the series of the ‘Confusion’ amongst us. This time not from a general, human basis (i.e. me), but, rather, from the perspective of economics (sans the boring details). Of course, economics is simply human behaviours as manifest in data and numbers so it is still human behaviour, but it is spoken in the language of numbers. Being confused is human, being unreconciled is economics. Basically that is the same thing to me.

It is one thing to admit to my own confusion and another thing to note that others around the world also feel that same way but hard data and accurate statistics are supposed to behave in relation to one another and give us the bottom-line facts. We are either having a bad time economically or we are not.

And we expect that the ‘truth’ we seek will show up in charts and numbers, GDP, data, stats, interest rates and all that. But this time, not only are we confused, our metrics are as well. The charts and stats do not reconcile (Krugman). So, if you are wondering why you and all you know are confused, you can take some solace in knowing the economic data is just as mixed up as we are.

A few more confusions: Covid is on the rebound. It is surging somewhat up here in the NW corner of nowhere, too. What’s it doin’ in New York, Geneva or even Moscow? No one is reporting it? No one is addressing it? We are just gonna go to the pub?

We also got ourselves some kind of Monkeypox goin’ on and, tho not rampant, it, too, is slowly increasing. Then ya got yer new Marburg virus, a cousin of Ebola waiting on deck. As Andrew Nikiforuk put it: We are in the era of the Forever Virus. That may not be confusing but it is definitely disconcerting.

How ’bout them airports, eh? Can’t even find the luggage! Can’t fly on schedule. I dunno….seems kinda odd that something that worked then doesn’t work now and can’t seem to get fixed no matter what. Jus’ sayin’.

Two cops just shot another unarmed black kid to death (within 5 seconds of arriving on scene). Again. Like…number 350 or something so far this year. That may NOT be confusing since we are all getting used to it but it is very confusing that the PO-lice are still doing that sort of thing. Every day! After all this time, all those protests, all that ‘investigation’ and all that promising to do better, they are on pace for another record homicide year. Are they just stupid, or what?

Here’s something I find confusing: The US Supreme Court ruled some time back that police are not obliged to serve, protect, defend or keep safe anyone but themselves while enforcing the law. But they can and do kill unarmed civilians. So, all those women being stalked and assaulted are simply wasting their time calling the cops. Waddamysayin’...we are all just wasting our time depending on the Po-lice!

But remember: ‘do not take matters into your own hands lest they throw you in the slammer’. I dunno….I think that can get confusing….

Hmmmm…..Po-lice do not have to serve and protect, Conservation officers usually just kill the animals and lawyers are often the biggest criminals. And God knows, nurses don’t nurse, they just write in the file and go on stress leave (that has been my direct experience way too many times). And teachers may teach but the level of education in the US is beyond abysmal. That is all kind of confusing to me. Shouldn’t those folks be doing their jobs?

But all that general confusion aside for a minute…..waddabout the craziest lack-of-any-kind-of-logic to date? Trump. Four years of grifting, lying, incompetence and treason culminating in an armed insurrection and yet not one single charge has been levied. Not even one single subpoena to the Orange Moron. I know, I know, the DOJ is keeping all their cards close and tight but well, why? He was rotten from day one! They either have a humongous, Everest-sized case or they do not. Why not give us an hors d’oeuvres? Give us a taste. Prosecute him for illegal parking…whatever!

Nothing from the taxes?

One last crazy-making anecdote for ya. A male friend married a foreign woman. She lives in another country. They have been separated by Covid for over three years! This guy is wealthy. This guy is smart. This guy is healthy. This guy pays taxes in greater amounts than I have ever earned. In excess of 100’s of thousands a year!!!! Immigration keeps turning her down. Each application takes months. Each application demands information (and more taxes are getting paid). Each time, Immigration says no. They do not believe she will go back to her own country! Duh! Wives are not supposed to! This guy can and will support her forever. She is not a criminal. She is not a drain or a threat on this country. He cannot have his wife. His taxes help pay that bureaucrat’s salary. Confusing or just cruel?

Am I confused? Well, I am if I believe in logic, fairness and due uncorrupted process. But since I have not seen much of any of that for some time – anywhere, I am not as confused as I might be. You see, it is increasingly apparent the world (as I know it) is going to hell in a handbasket and, once that is accepted as a fact-in-the-making, it is no longer quite so confusing. Chaos has ensued. The end game is on. We are simply done. Game over soon. Fini!

No, I am not being negative. I am just ranting. Back to fiberglassing and dogs and whales and the Adventures of WonderSal coming soon to a blog near you.

15 thoughts on ““Theory: there is an undetected force at work out there that is confusing and overwhelming a lot of us.” (Cox)

  1. Well I still like you a little, despite your rants, or maybe because of them. As you are aware im not so concerned about the human future(it has none), you are starting to see it, it’s why I live such a happy life. I have accepted the failure of this human cycle, perhaps the next one will do better.
    Got my solar array working this afternoon, hit 44 amps(12volt) before I had the tracking system working. Still getting 38 amps. Fun to see what prime time brings tomorrow. Will get the last 3 rounds of that 34″ hemlock onto the boat tomorrow and then start salmon fishing Friday.


  2. Damn, I was expecting another lesson on economics….
    Heard again something really crazy…seems there is a shortage in Europe on mustard. You know why? There seems to be a huge lack of mustardseeds. Do you know who is the number 1 global supplier of mustardseeds? Canada! What is happening with you guys? Are you at war? with the US? Where are the farmers that used to grow mustardseeds?

    I simply can not grasp why the world is no longer capable of supplying even the most basic stuff. Everyone is complaining about a lack of workforce (like ALL sectors). So where are all these workers? Thousands of flights a day are cancelled because there are no pilots, no ground handlers, no luggage handlers. There are no waiters in the pubs and restaurants, no workers at the factories, no part, no energy,….
    Has the world been robbed of people and resources by aliens?
    I simply can not grasp it….
    An economics professor said, that the worst thing we can do is go back to local economy and production. Why is that? Where is the logic that we should rely on a Canadian farmer (no offence) for mustard seeds? Can’t be too difficult to grow this locally and produce our own mustard
    Or do they fear that if we start to produce locally, the whole system will fail bacause the big Corps will stop making huge profits?

    Come on JD, shed some light on all of this?


    • It seems mustard seed yields are down due to the drought and high temperatures in Canada. In Australia, lettuces were selling for $11 because growing areas were flooded yet again. I only got one tomato off five plants because the rodents, whose numbers exploded in our wet weather, ate them first. Meanwhile, varroa mite has got into the country and bee hives are being destroyed to try to stop its incursion. Our commercial almond producers are worried there won’t be enough bees that can be trucked in to pollinate their crops. Take that, vegans. Meanwhile there is an outbreak of FMD in Indonesia and authorities here in Australia are exceedingly worried about its impact on the cattle industry. The top 5 producers of barley are the EU, Russia, Australia, Ukraine and then Canada. Probably best to stock up on Scotch now. Have I mentioned bird flu?
      Planning on flying anywhere? Not sure there are enough aircraft maintenance engineers to keep those birds flying safely.
      Anyone for a cup of tea?
      Sorry to butt in.


    • A confused, old, grouchy man is not the source of clarity you should be looking to. Old geezers just tend to wander off on a colourful rant……however, before the inevitable outraged tangent kicks in, here we go – the term supply chain is not just a phrase. Like any chain, one link broken breaks the whole supply. The chain does NOT work at all if even one link is broken. And so we have 90% or more of the ‘supply’ available and 90% of the ‘chain’ intact but we have a link or two broken somewhere and DOWN it all goes.

      Then you have the ‘web’ of chains so that if a link in the transportation chain breaks, all the chains that rely on that one are effectively broken, too. In theory, we are so reliant on oil that any kind of kink or break in THAT chain affects hundreds of others. Russia is a link in that chain. So is that outpost of human generosity, the Middle East. Canada’s oil chain is broken, too. So is Venezuela’s.

      Half of Canada’s communication chain broke when Roger’s went down for a few days. The country ground to a halt. Two days down-time was all it took.

      And then there are the ‘chain-watchers’. Speculators. Commodity traders. These guys make money when chains break. Their commodities go up in price. So we have active link-cutters out there – whenever they can do it or at least CLAIM a link is broken, the prices rise. The greed chain is very much intact.

      But I suspect that there is another chain that many do not acknowledge exists: the human chain. For me to buy something requires all sorts of personal (but common) motivations. Desire, willingness, convenience, need, impulse, all those kinds of words apply. But, after Covid and stay-at-home thinking, a lot of that normal inspiration has waned. That phenomena has been notably recognized in the Millennial generation (they do not want to work, they do not want cars, they do not expect to be able to buy houses and, crude or not, they do not even have strong libidos!). And the Boomer generation is retiring!

      But, if I look at myself and Sally, we no longer window-shop, or even shop-shop. We get what we need delivered and stay home. No restaurants, no unnecessary travel, no vacations, no new cars, certainly no fashion that is NOT denim or rubber boots. Even tho you would expect geriatric OTG’ers to consume less, we are consuming much less than before. I may be the last link in the chain but if the last one breaks, the whole of the chain is useless, too. In other words, demand is down.

      And finally, there is the biggest chain of all: confidence. Economists talk of consumer confidence. It is mood, attitude, optimism or pessimism. Now think of the Trump-types vs the world. Russia vs the world. Cops vs the world. Dems vs GOP. Drug cartels vs the world. Climate vs humanity! Failing institutions. The list of conflict is endless and that erodes confidence a LOT! Look at yourself – and compare the Wim of 2015 to the Wim of 2022. How’s that lookin’? Even NonCon is stocking up on beans, bullets and bumwad – hardly the expression of confidence. We may NOT be officially in a numbers-defined recession but we are slipping deeper into a really bad mood. The chain of confidence in the ‘system’ is broken.

      Bottom line: for things to get better, things probably need to get worse. Right now, folks are ‘staying in place’, ‘hunkering’ and ‘storing’. But when they are out of their stores and they cannot afford the heat to hunker, when the folks get hungry, they will get going again (if the climate settles down). First step back from the bottom for humanity (historically), they do a lot of crime so that is not desirable. It is more desirable that depression, greed, anger, bigotry and inequality corrects before we sink to the bottom but, well, the chain of confidence is the most sensitive and looking at that, I do not see correction coming before chaos.


    • I thot the workers were away as they were let go, due to being of the filthy unpacks. All that time ‘off may have spoileda lot of folk who can join the welfare rolls and live a life of leisure. Hopefully some or most moved on to less judgemental roles in gigs they enjoy or prefer. Do you really eat that yellow stuff? 😉💛 The more this madness grows the more it seems that local economies are the best way… for the people. The corps can go hump a stump for all I care, and take the politicos with them. Mind I do enjoy their mechanical parts and gasoline n diesel,but I can’t wait to have a suitable electric powered boat (and truck). More battery power to the people, so to speak!😉


      • Pardon my minor corrections, DLW but no one lives a life of leisure on welfare. Life is hellish on the dole. Anyone long-term on welfare uses it as a supplement for being homeless, criminal or insane (often all three). Trust me. I know. I worked in that field for over a decade. Many people ‘dip’ into welfare for a few months. Nowadays too many live there for too long and welfare is just not enough $ to ever get off of welfare if you have been in too long. Neither group chose that trap.
        And yes, I eat that yellow stuff. Good mustard is great. French’s mustard and baby poo is ‘yellow stuff’.
        I am inclined to agree on the corporations and the stumps they might lust over. Corps are, like all ‘legal entities’ sociopathic. No humanity. And worse, they live forever. Some struggle mightily to do the right thing and try to overcome their DNA but, if their profits fall, so do their efforts. Greed is paramount. Still, in a capitalist world, what else do we worship? Your comments remind me of a New Yorker cartoon where Marie Antoinette is told that the masses can’t afford gasoline. Her response: “Let them drive Teslas!”
        I would LOVE to drive a good, electric 4×4 that somehow charges up deep in a remote forest but, as an old guy long out of the rat race, I cannot afford $100K for the vehicle and another $100K for a humongous solar array supplemented by (gasp) diesel.


  3. I could not agree more with almost all of it. So Our confused self’s duty then is to try and live and enjoy a good decent Life and not get ANY of all of that 💩 on Us. I believe I have that right… 🙄


    • Yep. I think it is that simple. Live nice and live long. Grow veggies, pet your dog, husband your scotch and love your wife. But that will NOT fix it. This global malignancy has now grown too big to fix quickly.


  4. Canberra in Oz where I am has the highest rate of covid in Australia. Everyone is off sick. Few people wear masks despite the pleading of chief health officers. My husband caught it a month ago from our youngest son who lives with us. My youngest son has caught Covid twice in the last 5 weeks. The fourth booster has only just been opened up to over 50s this week, except for those with chronic health conditions. We could get ours earlier. I had my booster six weeks ago. My husband has to wait another 8 weeks because of his infection a month ago. He hopes he doesn’t come down with the new variant in the meantime.


  5. we should put a ban on traders and Wall street punks. A trade should only be allowed to those who actually have the commodity in their hands. But no, now they have invented NFT’s, how crazy can the world get?
    The whole world market of grain is dominated by max 5 big traders who set prices and get richer by the minute. It’s those things that should be forbidden. I recently heard a famous economist say that we should NOT go back to local trade but that we should remain “global”


  6. And you are right JD, the Wim of 2015 is definitely NOT the Wim of 2022. My wife said it also yesterday, we have les “joy” then we did before Covid….there is just too much to worry about…maybe we are also getting depressed by this whole situation.
    But we leave tomorow for our remote little house in Brittany where we will try to forget our worries and live “simple” and “digitally detoxed” (I might have a peak at your blogs from time to time)


    • Warning! I am the very definition of digital pollution. An overdose is certain to warp your brain. Take a break from me…Sal does. Even the dogs wander off now and then. Go ‘hardcore’ simple and digital free. But, be careful, you might never go back (altho Brittany is hardly OTG, now is it?). One other little warning: OTG is not something you can go to or get to. It is a state of mind you grow into. OTG is a different point of view. Come way out here and you are technically OTG but, if your mind and heart are in business, city life, networks, schedules, money, well, you are NOT really here. Not yet. Doing it that way will eventually get you here but it takes longer. As you can see, I am still connected (blog, family, etc). But every year I am ‘further away’ from it all. Every year the ‘world’ seems more distant and foreign. And I am OK with that.


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