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NewChief
05-05-2006, 07:59 AM
I just read the entirety of this article last night. This is pretty nutty stuff.

http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200605/james-howard-kunstler-oil-1.html
[quote]
James Howard Kunstler
Oil Spiel
President Bush says Americans guzzle too much petroleum, and James Howard Kunstler would certainly agree. But the flamethrowing author of The Long Emergency—a wickedly entertaining and terrifying look into a future without cheap fuel—thinks the world isn't doing nearly enough to get ready, and nobody is safe from his wrath.

By John Galvin

"You're not going to run Walt Disney World and the interstate highway system on ethanol or hemp! Or biodiesel! Or hydrogen! Or solar power, or all of them together," booms the man at the podium in the conservative khaki suit. "That isn't going to happen!" he continues in a staccato blast of invective. "We are going to have to make other ar-range-ments for how we live!"

James Howard Kunstler, a stout, bald 57-year-old author from Saratoga Springs, New York, is in the throes of his modern-day hydrocarbon jeremiad. He's pacing. He's yelling. He's livid. And just in case you missed his point, he's jabbing his fingers downward to show the direction of things to come.

America, Kunstler argues, is about to become one fantastically miserable place. Why? Because our entire standard of living is propped up by cheap oil, and the days of cheap oil are over. "No combination of alternative fuels is going The Peak Oil Debate
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to allow us to run the United States the way we've been used to running it," he tells the Dallas crowd. And though tonight he'll resist calls to pinpoint when the nightmare will begin, he's told the online environmental magazine Grist.org that "we're going to be feeling the pain" in as little as three years, and suburban collapse might start in ten.

Sounds preposterous, on the face of it. But Kunstler bases his predictions on a geoeconomic concept called "peak oil" that is gaining credibility even within the petroleum industry. The theory holds that humankind has nearly, if not already, tapped 50 percent of the world's fossil-fuel reserves—the half that's highest in quality and easiest to pump out of the ground. Once we hit "peak," as the halfway mark is called, the global supply will decline and extraction costs and gas prices will skyrocket ($7 per gallon by 2010 is one ballpark figure that gets thrown around) while demand continues its inexorable climb. This doomsday scenario—along with what Kunstler calls the American propensity for "sleepwalking into the future"—is the basis for his hot-selling 2005 book The Long Emergency, now in its tenth printing.

Kunstler, meanwhile, has been on what might be called an "eve of destruction" speaking tour. Tonight's stop is Dallas's Southern Methodist University for an event called "The Unfolding Energy Crisis and Its Impact on Development Patterns." Even with a stultifying title like that one, the auditorium is packed.

Hanging on Kunstler's every caustic word are students, enviros, urban planners, and fans like Jeffrey Brown, 49, a native Texan and concerned independent oil producer who helped organize this peak-oil talk.

A clutch of buttoned-up oil-biz men sit in the front rows, among them the legendary tycoon-turned-hedge-fund-manager T. Boone Pickens, who invests in oil and gas futures and alternative-energy firms. Nearby are some execs from Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy, which, like Pickens's firm, kicked in $5,000 to SMU to help pay for the event. The petro-professionals mainly showed up to hear the first speaker in this doubleheader, leading oil-industry investment banker Matthew Simmons, whose book Twilight in the Desert concludes that Saudi crude is running out. Stockbrokers, lawyers, traders, and Herbert Hunt, of the famous Texas oil clan, are all on hand. Although, at the moment, they probably wish they weren't.

"We are going to have tremendous problems!" Kunstler is shouting. The crowd sits erect, at attention, looking somewhat wan. Without cheap crude, Kunstler declares, the earth can't support six billion people, and so a lot of us aren't going to make it. Modern-day agriculture, with its gas-guzzling infrastructure and natural-gas-based fertilizers, will collapse and be replaced by enraged waves of citizens forced into hardscrabble lives of subsistence farming. "The long emergency is going to make a new, large group of losers," says Kunstler, holding his fingers up in the shape of a capital L. "And they will be very angry about that!"

Suburbs—which Kunstler believes have turned Americans into depressed, overweight blobs—will become ghost towns once exorbitant gas prices make commuting unaffordable. Wave goodbye to the swingin' big-city life, too, Kunstler says—we'll survive only in small towns where we can grow our own food. Wal-Mart? Big-box stores? Doomed. And say ciao to the U.S. as we know it: While the nation battles China (and others) for access to the remaining oil overseas, the states back home could likely Balkanize into fractious mini-regions.

Nuclear power can't help—nobody wants a plant near them, and even if they did, it takes too many years to get one running. Fuel cells, biomass, whatever techno-fix you favor—nothing, says Kunstler, is ever going to be as plentiful, practical, and scalable as oil, and no amount of positive thinking and good ol' Yankee ingenuity can save us.

"History is merciless," he says, sounding like a Yale philosophy prof while he reloads the flamethrower. "History doesn't care if we pound our society down a rat hole. It's up to us to make more intelligent choices about how we live!"

The crowd starts clapping—resoundingly. As if to concur, Yes, most absolutely, we are screwed!

"We have created thousands and thousands of places in America that aren't worth caring about," Kunstler continues, "and when we have enough of them, we're going to have a country that's not worth defending."

And if the audience was applauding before, now they're really putting some muscle into it. Even the oilmen join in.
[quote]

That's the first page. Click the link to read the rest.

Otter
05-05-2006, 08:01 AM
That's the first page. Click the link to read the rest.

tap,tap,tap,tap,tap,tap,tap...

NewChief
05-05-2006, 08:22 AM
tap,tap,tap,tap,tap,tap,tap...

Hrm?

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 08:34 AM
I'm not sure I hang my hat on the Peak Oil theory anymore.
There is a recent book book out that says it's renewable as new fossils get created continuously. Nevertheless, when prices get too high....someone somewhere will create something that fulfills a need in the market. The rest is history. Don't forget there wasn't enough sperm whale oil to satisfy the 19th century, hence we go oil.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 08:38 AM
I'm not sure I hang my hat on the Peak Oil theory anymore.
There is a recent book book out that says it's renewable as new fossils get created continuously. Nevertheless, when prices get too high....someone somewhere will create something that fulfills a need in the market. The rest is history. Don't forget there wasn't enough sperm whale oil to satisfy the 19th century, hence we go oil.

I'm not completely convinced either. Even if the estimates are correct about peak oil, I'm not sure we won't adapt. The question is how painful that adaptation will be. BTW, I don't think that sperm whale oil was quite as much of a lynchpin of their society as crude is of ours. When you think of how the use of oil absolutely touches so many facets of our lives and economy, it's pretty scary to think of what it's scarcity could bode for us.

That being said, the internet and our information tech driven economy could certainly ease some of the commuting requirements that he predicts as being so problematic in an oil-scarce society.

Iowanian
05-05-2006, 09:00 AM
Its a good thing A country boy can survive.


I'm feeling better and better every day about buying into bioD.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 09:05 AM
Its a good thing A country boy can survive.
.

No doubt. He actually says something about that, claiming that during times of upheaval the countryside is a bad/dangerous place to be. Ummm, I think I'll take my chances.

ct
05-05-2006, 09:15 AM
It will be painful, and it will be expensive, but industrial society will adapt.

Convert your autos and plant your gardens now, and you could either be genious on a Noah scale, or the biggest idiot around. Could go either way...

Iowanian
05-05-2006, 09:16 AM
The fact is, if the shat ever really hits the fan, its the "country folk"...the "mindless rednecks" the urban elitist make so much fun of, who will be fine.

They can grow food, have livestock/food sources, fish, hunt, usually have access to weapons they are skilled in the use of, and there is alot less competition per square mile.

I don't think the bio products are the cure....but they'll definitely help. I think Biomass(grasses that can be grown on unsuitable farmground currently in CRP, pelletized and used for Electricity), Ethy, BioD and Wind energy are all good choices for alleviating the oil pains.

patteeu
05-05-2006, 09:18 AM
Nuclear power can't help—nobody wants a plant near them, and even if they did, it takes too many years to get one running. Fuel cells, biomass, whatever techno-fix you favor—nothing, says Kunstler, is ever going to be as plentiful, practical, and scalable as oil, and no amount of positive thinking and good ol' Yankee ingenuity can save us.

I don't know about the rest of you, but if this guy's peak oil catastrophe predictions are true, they can build a nuclear reactor in my backyard right next to my tool shed if they want to. I'd rather that than have to plow my lawn by hand and grow all my own food.

jidar
05-05-2006, 09:23 AM
Peak Oil is a reality. The question is just how much it will affect us.
Oil is not renewable, these people arguing that are crackpots.

That said, these doomsday predictions are most likely overblown. The wasteful society we live in today simply cannot continue, but that's fine really. The truth is we're so wasteful now that a reduction in energy by 50% or more is absorbable.
Probably electricity is going to be mostly replaced by Nuclear, and transportation is going to become much more difficult than it was, beyond that I doubt it's going to be all that bad.

Brock
05-05-2006, 09:29 AM
Tax breaks for motorcycles.

Brianfo
05-05-2006, 09:34 AM
When the media starts blowing about running out of oil, that means we are getting close to a peak in the price of crude oil. You can mark my words. If I had any balls, I would sell a couple contracts of crude oil on the board. Crude Oil is due for a correction. I'm not saying the top is in, but we will have a set back.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 09:35 AM
Tax breaks for motorcycles.

I'm considering getting some kind of Vespa-type scooter for commuting and intown use.

Brock
05-05-2006, 09:38 AM
I'm considering getting some kind of Vespa-type scooter for commuting and intown use.

Personally, living where you live, I'd go ahead and spend just a little more and get an enduro-type motorcycle. Street legal, yet good for getting out to the boonies.

Iowanian
05-05-2006, 09:38 AM
I'll just hire a couple of Illegal aliens from the parade to pull me around in a rickshaw.

jiveturkey
05-05-2006, 09:39 AM
I'm considering getting some kind of Vespa-type scooter for commuting and intown use.
I thought about that as well.

I figured that I could trade in my cock and balls. :)

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 09:41 AM
Peak Oil is a reality. The question is just how much it will affect us.
Oil is not renewable, these people arguing that are crackpots.

Oh they are? Gee that was said about people who said the earth was round too.
Dr Semmelweis who said washing hands prevented childbed fever was ridculed by his colleagues. Yet 100 years later was accepted practice. Meanwhile thousands more women died.

Think about...aren't fossils being continously created? The earth continues to age, crunching down more organic matter. It makes sense.

My best friends husband is a former oil industry exec from Australia. He is in this camp. That being said, he also claims that there is lot of oil in this earth to last for a very long tim...like more than 100 years.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 09:41 AM
Personally, living where you live, I'd go ahead and spend just a little more and get an enduro-type motorcycle. Street legal, yet good for getting out to the boonies.

Yeah, that would be cool. There are a ton of good places to ride around here as well.

Cochise
05-05-2006, 09:43 AM
I don't think anyone here is qualified to make a judgement on the state of the world's supply of oil, but I definitely don't think this oil price thing is all bad.

For one thing, it has helped adjust our bloated tastes as consumers. For the first time ever, people are thinking seriously about fuel economy. I know more and more people with 'work cars'. More of my friends are sharing rides when they are going to the same place. More of them are rethinking their SUVs.

I know that personally, my shortlist of next car possibilities won't contain anything like that.

It's not all bad. We needed something to correct the out of control waste. I don't like paying $15 more a tank than I was before, but it's not like we shouldn't have seen it coming.

ROYC75
05-05-2006, 09:49 AM
The worlds oils supply is disappearing at an alarming rate, has for years.

We all need to do our parts to do what we can for our kids sake......

el borracho
05-05-2006, 10:00 AM
This isn't new information:

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/

SNR
05-05-2006, 10:11 AM
No problem. I'll just join an amish colony

jidar
05-05-2006, 10:17 AM
Oh they are? Gee that was said about people who said the earth was round too.
Dr Semmelweis who said washing hands prevented childbed fever was ridculed by his colleagues. Yet 100 years later was accepted practice. Meanwhile thousands more women died.

Think about...aren't fossils being continously created? The earth continues to age, crunching down more organic matter. It makes sense.

My best friends husband is a former oil industry exec from Australia. He is in this camp. That being said, he also claims that there is lot of oil in this earth to last for a very long tim...like more than 100 years.

Of course oil is being renewed. Very very slowly.

A little common sense is going to go a long way here.
The whole world is drilling for oil, there are thousands of oil fields. There are fields damned near everywhere, and many of these fields have been prospected for well over a century. Most of the ones that were in the continental US (yes we used to produce a lot of oil here, then we used it all up) are now dry. If the oil were renewing in any meaningful way, it would be common knowledge.
Now that's not to say there aren't places where it might be renewing very quickly, like say decades instead of millennia, after all we can make oil ourselves in machines using organic matter in a matter of weeks, but the keyword here is "meaningful". If it were refilling fast enough to matter on a large enough scale, everybody would already know it.

As it stands now we have a few fields out of thousands that seem to slowly replenish themselves, but at a much slower rate than they are pumped. Maybe oil is being made by an accelerated process in those fields, or maybe it's just some side pocket slowly filling in. Either way, there is very little reason to think oil is replenishing on a global scale.

el borracho
05-05-2006, 10:19 AM
I'm not sure I hang my hat on the Peak Oil theory anymore.
There is a recent book book out that says it's renewable as new fossils get created continuously. Nevertheless, when prices get too high....someone somewhere will create something that fulfills a need in the market. The rest is history. Don't forget there wasn't enough sperm whale oil to satisfy the 19th century, hence we go oil.
Are you high? There is a very specific set of geological circumstances and sequential events required for natural oil production which occurs very infrequently. Additionally,even when all of these circumstances and events occur, it takes virtually forever for the earth to produce oil naturally.

patteeu
05-05-2006, 11:26 AM
Oh they are? Gee that was said about people who said the earth was round too.
Dr Semmelweis who said washing hands prevented childbed fever was ridculed by his colleagues. Yet 100 years later was accepted practice. Meanwhile thousands more women died.

Think about...aren't fossils being continously created? The earth continues to age, crunching down more organic matter. It makes sense.

My best friends husband is a former oil industry exec from Australia. He is in this camp. That being said, he also claims that there is lot of oil in this earth to last for a very long tim...like more than 100 years.

I haven't done much reading about the emerging school of thought about renewable oil so my question might be naive, but even if the earth continually produces the stuff by "crunching down more organic matter" can it possibly keep up with the rate at which we consume it? Maybe so, but that's an issue to consider.

On your last topic, I think it's likely that there is still a lot of oil to be discovered and exploited. I don't think anyone knows enough to say for sure, but OTOH, I don't think they know enough to know we are running out either.

patteeu
05-05-2006, 11:28 AM
For the first time ever, people are thinking seriously about fuel economy.

Or at least for the first time in 30 years, newbie. ;) :p

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 11:38 AM
Are you high? There is a very specific set of geological circumstances and sequential events required for natural oil production which occurs very infrequently. Additionally,even when all of these circumstances and events occur, it takes virtually forever for the earth to produce oil naturally.

No I'm not. But please note exactly what I said: "I am not sure....". What part of that sentence did you not understand?

I didn't say it was fact. But that theory is out there.I think you should google the idea, and locate the author for questioning.

Demand, as patteeu points out, may very likely far outstrip it.

Demand that cannot meet our needs, will simply be reflected in the price, which will lead to some cheaper alternative. No one can predict exactly how that will come to be...but I have faith in markets and believe it will. That's how we improve.

Simplex3
05-05-2006, 11:48 AM
This reminds me about an article I read from a New York newspaper from the mid-1800s I believe. They were bemoaning the end of the world in NY City because in 100 years there was no way they'd be able to deal with all the horse poo. Looks like we found a solution to that one.

Cochise
05-05-2006, 11:51 AM
Or at least for the first time in 30 years, newbie. ;) :p

Alright, sorry, I'm not old enough to have been buying cars in the 1970s, gramps :p

Uncle_Ted
05-05-2006, 12:05 PM
No I'm not. But please note exactly what I said: "I am not sure....". What part of that sentence did you not understand?

I didn't say it was fact. But that theory is out there.I think you should google the idea, and locate the author for questioning.

Demand, as patteeu points out, may very likely far outstrip it.

Demand that cannot meet our needs, will simply be reflected in the price, which will lead to some cheaper alternative. No one can predict exactly how that will come to be...but I have faith in markets and believe it will. That's how we improve.

OK, so it's not a fact then, it's a theory -- a theory that makes very little sense. The earth won't "make" any new meaningful oil supplies within our lifetime.

But two factors will increase future supplies to some meaningful extent: (1) the rising price oil allows for the exploitation of less-profitable sources of oil (i.e., Canadian oil shales), and (2) mining technology continues to improve, allowing us to locate previously undiscovered oil deposits and make them more accessible for drilling.

patteeu
05-05-2006, 12:07 PM
Alright, sorry, I'm not old enough to have been buying cars in the 1970s, gramps :p

I was actually a little young to buy a car in the 70's too, but I was old enough to watch TV and be aware of my parents car purchasing decisions. :)

This reminds me about an article I read from a New York newspaper from the mid-1800s I believe. They were bemoaning the end of the world in NY City because in 100 years there was no way they'd be able to deal with all the horse poo. Looks like we found a solution to that one.

Cochise called me "gramps" but you must be a modern day Methuselah. :eek: ;)

Cochise
05-05-2006, 12:15 PM
I was actually a little young to buy a car in the 70's too, but I was old enough to watch TV and be aware of my parents car purchasing decisions. :)

Well, I only arrived in time to catch the last 6 months of the 1970s so I don't remember much ;)

ct
05-05-2006, 12:40 PM
This reminds me about an article I read from a New York newspaper from the mid-1800s I believe. They were bemoaning the end of the world in NY City because in 100 years there was no way they'd be able to deal with all the horse poo. Looks like we found a solution to that one.

Maybe their problem is our solution? :hmmm:

el borracho
05-05-2006, 12:54 PM
Demand, as patteeu points out, may very likely far outstrip it.
1) Sorry, I meant the "high" comment to be funny but re-reading my post it just appears rude- not my intention. I apologize.

2) It took literally millions of years to form all of the oil on earth. In the last 100 years humans have used more than half of all the accessible oil. Some estimates have all accessible oil gone by about 2050. It is possible that we can look to what is now considered inaccessible (currently too expensive to extract) oil reserves for an additional number of years but at some point we will have to either produce our own (not currently cost effective) or find a substitute. In no case will the earth's natural production of oil meet current or future demand.

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 03:11 PM
1) Sorry, I meant the "high" comment to be funny but re-reading my post it just appears rude- not my intention. I apologize.
It's okay.

2) It took literally millions of years to form all of the oil on earth. In the last 100 years humans have used more than half of all the accessible oil. Some estimates have all accessible oil gone by about 2050. It is possible that we can look to what is now considered inaccessible (currently too expensive to extract) oil reserves for an additional number of years but at some point we will have to either produce our own (not currently cost effective) or find a substitute. In no case will the earth's natural production of oil meet current or future demand.

I don't know for sure about this is all I'll say. I'm not a geologist.
I don't remember the entire thesis in that guy's book, it had a lot more in it than how or what I posted. I went to find it again but couldn't remember it.
I will continue to find for my own benefit.

But my gf's husband who was in oil industry in Australia, says there is plenty of oil left and more than enough to meet demand. I am just not sure about any or all of these things is all I am saying.

patteeu
05-05-2006, 03:20 PM
Well, I only arrived in time to catch the last 6 months of the 1970s so I don't remember much ;)

Ya, I knew you were several years younger than me, you little tyke. I can't blame you for not having first hand knowledge of the first wave of gas-price-driven, compact car purchases.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 03:33 PM
It's okay.



I don't know for sure about this is all I'll say. I'm not a geologist.
I don't remember the entire thesis in that guy's book, it had a lot more in it than how or what I posted. I went to find it again but couldn't remember it.
I will continue to find for my own benefit.

But my gf's husband who was in oil industry in Australia, says there is plenty of oil left and more than enough to meet demand. I am just not sure about any or all of these things is all I am saying.

According to the article in the OP, we don't really know for sure how much oil is left because the ME countries won't let us do surveys to find out.

Calcountry
05-05-2006, 03:57 PM
Peak Oil is a reality. The question is just how much it will affect us.
Oil is not renewable, these people arguing that are crackpots.

That said, these doomsday predictions are most likely overblown. The wasteful society we live in today simply cannot continue, but that's fine really. The truth is we're so wasteful now that a reduction in energy by 50% or more is absorbable.
Probably electricity is going to be mostly replaced by Nuclear, and transportation is going to become much more difficult than it was, beyond that I doubt it's going to be all that bad.Now I know why Ariana Huffington drives SUV's and fly's in private jets. She wants to accelerate the depletion of oil so that she can be RIGHT about the environment. :rolleyes:

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 03:59 PM
Another reason for high gas prices....INFLATION (http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul322.html)


Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation. Inflation by definition is an increase in the money supply. The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, and responds to the deficits Congress creates. When deficits are excessive, as they are today, the Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy Treasury bills and keep interest rates artificially low. But when new money is created out of nothing, the money already in circulation loses value. Once this is recognized, prices rise-- some more rapidly than others. That’s what we see today with the cost of energy.

Exploding deficits, due to runaway entitlement spending and the cost of dangerous militarism, create pressure for the Fed to inflate the money supply. This contributes greatly to the higher prices we all claim to oppose.

If we want to do something about gas prices, we should demand and vote for greatly reduced welfare and military spending, a balanced budget, and fewer regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels. We also should demand a return to a sound commodity monetary system.

All subsidies and special benefits to energy companies should be ended. And in the meantime let’s eliminate federal gas taxes at the pump.

Oil prices are at a level where consumers reduce consumption voluntarily. The market will work if we let it. But as great as the market economy is, it cannot overcome a foreign policy that is destined to disrupt oil supplies and threaten the world with an expanded and dangerous conflict in the Middle East.

Simplex3
05-05-2006, 04:00 PM
Now I know why Ariana Huffington drives SUV's and fly's in private jets. She wants to accelerate the depletion of oil so that she can be RIGHT about the environment. :rolleyes:
ROFL That's gonna leave a mark.

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 04:01 PM
According to the article in the OP, we don't really know for sure how much oil is left because the ME countries won't let us do surveys to find out.
Her husband did a most of his work in Russia.

NewChief
05-05-2006, 04:06 PM
Now I know why Ariana Huffington drives SUV's and fly's in private jets. She wants to accelerate the depletion of oil so that she can be RIGHT about the environment. :rolleyes:

That's one thing that's great about the subject of the article. This guy goes after everyone, including the limousine liberals preaching conservation while they roar around town in their motorcades.

Calcountry
05-05-2006, 04:25 PM
Another reason for high gas prices....INFLATION (http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul322.html)


Third: We must remember that prices of all things go up because of inflation. Inflation by definition is an increase in the money supply. The money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank, and responds to the deficits Congress creates. When deficits are excessive, as they are today, the Fed creates new dollars out of thin air to buy Treasury bills and keep interest rates artificially low. But when new money is created out of nothing, the money already in circulation loses value. Once this is recognized, prices rise-- some more rapidly than others. That’s what we see today with the cost of energy.

Exploding deficits, due to runaway entitlement spending and the cost of dangerous militarism, create pressure for the Fed to inflate the money supply. This contributes greatly to the higher prices we all claim to oppose.

If we want to do something about gas prices, we should demand and vote for greatly reduced welfare and military spending, a balanced budget, and fewer regulations that interfere with the market development of alternative fuels. We also should demand a return to a sound commodity monetary system.

All subsidies and special benefits to energy companies should be ended. And in the meantime let’s eliminate federal gas taxes at the pump.

Oil prices are at a level where consumers reduce consumption voluntarily. The market will work if we let it. But as great as the market economy is, it cannot overcome a foreign policy that is destined to disrupt oil supplies and threaten the world with an expanded and dangerous conflict in the Middle East.This is why I advised all my clients to be in real assets, e.g. real estate, gold, and other commodities 3 years ago. lmao.

You can't eat money.

Fat Elvis
05-05-2006, 05:40 PM
This is why I advised all my clients to be in real assets, e.g. real estate, gold, and other commodities 3 years ago. lmao.

You can't eat money.


Is it too late for the party in your opinion?