The Causey Consulting Podcast

Are we in a Silent Depression?

September 21, 2023
The Causey Consulting Podcast
Are we in a Silent Depression?
Show Notes Transcript

a) if so, what does that mean? b) what could someone actually do at this point?

Key topics:

✔️ "Go woke, go broke" 😂 And then Bill Gates buys $95 mil of cheap stock. One of these days y'all gonna figure out that the system is rigged for the cronies and the elites, not for you and me.
✔️ Just because we're not in an agrarian society with people living in a room with a dirt floor doesn't mean it's impossible to have an economic depression.
✔️I go back to my original thesis: Gordon Gekko tried to tell you


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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host, Sara Causey.

Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to contemplate the question, are we in a silent depression? I'm seeing that term more and more nowadays. And, frankly, I'm glad that people are at least waking up a little bit. People or at least motivated enough to ask the question. Hey, you guys, do you think maybe there's been a lot of gaslighting in the media? Do you think maybe we're in an economic depression, but it's being papered over and covered up? Do you think that's possible? I mean, better late than never. As you know, I'm your friendly neighborhood contrarian. So in my mind, if somebody is only just now waking up to this reality, they're so far behind the eight ball. I'm not sure what they could do to meaningfully prepare. Now, I don't give you advice, and I don't tell you what to do. And I would never dissuade somebody from at least trying, trying to do what they needed to do for basic survival, trying to do what they needed to do, to preserve their family, to just batten down the hatches and get through this as best as they can. The point I'm really making when I say that is you have to be realistic with yourself. Somebody that's been prepping for this for 20 years is so far ahead of you, more than likely, somebody that's been prepping for this for the past two years is so far ahead of you more than likely, it doesn't mean you don't try. It just simply means you need to be honest with yourself. And if it were me, and I were just now waking up to this just now getting to the point of like, oh shit, maybe we don't have a 3.5% unemployment rate. Maybe the economy is not robust and resilient. And all these other terms we've heard ad infinitum, ad nauseam from the media. Maybe people are not flush with cash and doing great. Maybe this isn't the greatest job market in all of human history ever. Hmm. I think maybe I've been lied to my philosophy from that point forward would be never again, not for another day, will will I just swallow this pablum. I got caught with my pants down this time. But it's not going to happen. Again, if I can figure out a way to survive this to batten down the hatches and survive this, I'll probably wind up with some bumps and bruises from it. But if I can make it through to the other side, dammit, I will not do this again. I won't do it. To some degree, I feel that way about the Great Recession. Because whatever you had to do whatever boots, you had to lick, whatever you had to do to survive, and to try to not wind up unemployed you did it. Whatever you needed to do to stay in your apartment, or to stay current on your house payment, keep the lights turned on not have the repo man taking your car, you did it. And I was so so much less aware of how the world really works. At that point in my life. I was very focused on building up my career, and affording a house that I had just bought and just, you know, really establishing myself further into adulthood. I hadn't really had the blinders taken off the veil that not been removed from before my eyes about oh, so this is how the world actually works. All of these fat cats and central bankers and politicians work together in collusion. And they're not looking out for the little guy when they do that. I didn't really know about all of that at that point in time. But the thing is, I know it now. So it would be foolish in my opinion for me to not use that knowledge to its best possible advantage. As I said in last week's episode, the cronies and the Wall Street bankers and the corporations that are deemed too big to fail. They're the ones that get bailed out, not you and me. What did they do for those poor people in Hawaii? Give them like $700 the hell is that gonna do? Your house is burned down, you're left with nothing. Here's a check for $700 Now we've got all the money that we can find in the printing press to give to Karina so that they can build back better and do god knows what over there. But y'all can have $700 And good luck to you. What the hell? There's no safety net coming for me and you what whether you think we're in a silent depression or not, whether you think this is just a garden variety recession and it's no big deal and people are being panicky and Isn't that silly? There's no safety net coming for us. For John and Jane Q pub. Look, net, it's not gonna happen. Wall Street, the fat cats, their cronies, the politician to, you know always just seem to sell stock at the right time they only seem to buy stock at the right time. Remember all of that hoo ha about Bud Light. I don't even know how many Neo cons and Magga people I heard on the go woke go broke train that was so ubiquitous. And it's thinking of that lyric for MadWorld. It's like, I think it's kind of funny. I think it's kind of sad. Yeah, I think it's kind of funny. And I think it's kind of sad how many people still think that they think that the consumer has all of this power, and we're just going to boycott Bud Light and it's going to really matter. And I'm out here, you know, again as the friendly neighborhood contrarian like, yeah, huh. Sure. By the way, in case you didn't know, the Bill Gates Foundation bought $95 million worth of Anheuser Busch stock after the Bud Light fallout. Hmm. Do you think maybe that was planned? Do you think maybe that might have been orchestrated? Do you think maybe these fat cats and these hyperlinks can always find a way to take advantage and manipulate the system to their benefit? Because it kind of seems that way to me. Oh, well go broke? Yeah. Right. See, you thought we lived in a free market society? No, wrong answer. But you know, one of these days y'all go, y'all gonna figure it out? It's no bailout coming for us. It's not the onus is on you to take care of yourself. So are we in a silent depression? And if so, what does that mean? There was an article, I'm going to try not to butcher this name written by Emile kowski, which I would imagine in Cyrillic is probably Kalinowski. Anyway, I'll drop a link to it so you can check it out for yourself and it is dated from February 11 of 2020. The title of the article is the silent depression. trundling is the new booming. And he's written he kind of goes into this intro about the character of John blue Tarski from Animal House. I've only ever seen that movie one time, it wasn't anything that I really got into. So some of the references I'm going a little bit like it, all right. But he also talks about Jimmy Carter's address to the American people about the economic challenges and how it was considered tone deaf, it really wasn't very well received. But we get into this other heading. If you scroll below that, you'll get to this other heading titled Ignorance is strength. How is the US economy performing late last year? The Economist so were we in this situation when he is saying late last year, it's a reference to late 2019. How is the US economy performing late last year? The Economist offered three points on this question as the curtain closed on 2019. The first official data to be released this morning may show that America's index of industrial production a widely watched measure of economic health fell again. In recent months, weak oil prices have hit mining interests a strike at General Motors constrained manufacturing output. The trade war with China has hardly helped President Donald Trump who wants to give America's heavy dirty industries a shot in the arm may be disappointed with the latest numbers but fortunately, such industries only make up a small share of the whole economy in quote. What about the timeframe in question, industrial production is doing poorly, a consequence of a medley of issues in recent months found in the latest numbers. This author meaning me or not me, this author will will offer no disagreement. Industrial production has been poor for the reasons listed. But what about the proverbial elephant named Mastodon, the one standing unremarked upon in the room. And then he has inserted this chart that points to the Forgotten Depression, the Great Depression century long standard growth, and then you start to see the deviation running ha powering along an economic turnaround of historic proportions. But it's starting to already trend downward and this is way before the and the pandemic and the shutdowns I'll continue to read the index of industrial production was reported to be 109.7 at the time, that is only 4.1% higher than in December 2007. US industrial production has grown 4.1% Not per year, but in 12 years total. But no matter how many sofa cushions have been gored by the Paki derms tusks few acknowledge it. The US Federal Reserve tracks industrial production with monthly data stretching back to January 1919 in the last 100 years US industrial production fell well off trend growth and stayed there only three times from 1920 to 1921. During what James Grant dubbed The Forgotten Depression, and during the Great Depression The third time in the present day, of course, the first two instances were properly fussed about, but today there is only the sound of silence and quote, wow.

Well, I daresay that if the author felt like it was bad in February of 2020, the sound of silence It's almost like a waiter, you get a load of 2023 the gaslighting the bread crumbing the insane conflicting information that doesn't doesn't even jive, you can't you can't even make it make sense. So if we go over to Forbes, we read viral tick talkers claim the US is in a silent depression worse than the Great Depression, bump a bump. In this we read, while the United States does not have a 25% unemployment rate like the 1930s I'm going to be like the man in the main You sure about that. Many Americans feel like they are struggling worried about their deteriorating financial situation and are working harder and longer hours only to stagnate or fall behind. On tick tock. This Zeitgeist is called the silent depression. Comparing the current times to the era of the Great Depression. American households have incurred more than $1 trillion in credit card debt tapped into their 401 K retirement plans and many are unable to purchase a home as mortgage rates have soared past 7%. Even with all of the current challenges, the standard of living remains far ahead of the dire circumstances of the Great Depression won't be that way forever. I don't know. Although wage growth climbed point 2% in August. According to the recent jobs report data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is not enough to curb the impact of high inflation and the rising costs of living, housing, education and health care costs continue to appreciate leaving families with less discretionary money. Consequently, and attendant mental health crisis accompanies the stress and anxiety of constantly trying to keep up financially. There has been a notable downward shift in the job market and should particularly for white collar professionals competition to get a job is intense. The hiring process seems to take forever, uh huh. Jobs are being relocated to lower cost cities and countries and worker salaries are being cut by employers by 47%. Unlike previous but yet, you're gonna say there's not a silent depression, what the eff go read what you literally just said, Dude. Unlike previous generations, young adults face unlimited social mobility and difficulty getting established. High levels of personal debt from credit cards, loans and expenses, like medical bills can make it nearly impossible to save or invest money to build a nest egg for the future. And quote, yeah, but yet you're not supposed to. You're not supposed to even contemplate the idea of an of an economic depression. You're supposed to get into this mentality of, well, something like the Great Depression would just never happen again. We would never have another 2008 Great resent and remover. Again, I mean, sometimes all you have to do is laugh to avoid crying. Right, right. Right. Right. Right. Right. I think it's interesting that he, he calls these things out and refers to it as a Zeitgeist. But But before I get there, because I want to bring it back to Gordon Gekko before I get there, if you go over to shadow, because this guy has said, like, well, there was a 25% unemployment rate, like in the 1930s. But we don't have that now. Are you sure about that? If we go over to shadow stats, they actually do right now show the true unemployment rate as being about 25%. And to be honest with you, I don't think that's that far off the mark. I don't, based on what I'm seeing day in and day out in the job market, I think that it would be closer to 25% than 3.5%. If I were if I were guesstimating, I would probably say 15 to 20. That's probably the number that I would put it out. Again, closer to being 25% than 3.5%. But I do think it's interesting in this Forbes article that the author uses the idea of a Zeitgeist. People are working longer hours, they're stressed out, they're falling behind or they're stagnating and a best case scenario and it's like the zeitgeist now, it's being called the silent depression. In reading that my mind immediately goes back to Gordon Gekko in the second Wall Street movie. In that movie, he walks into a dress a group of college kids. And he says, Well, you're all pretty much effed. You don't know it yet, but you are. You're the ninja generation, no income, no job, no assets. I'm just you can't see me but I'm like, I'm like the the woman in emoji doing the shrug motion. Like, I mean, Gordon Gekko tried to tell you all his assets he did. He tried to tell you back in the 80s. And then he came back and tried to tell you again, after the Great Recession. Hello. Back in February of this year, I wrote a blog post called Gordon Gekko tried to tell you, because he did, yes, it's a fictional character from to Hollywood movies. But I think sometimes we can find real world inspiration from those sources. And I mean, it's right on the nose. It's sad that this is the reality that young people are being brought into. But it's true. No wonder there would be a zeitgeist of silent depression. And then even though this person is trying to make the argument of well, it's not as bad as the Great Depression, you guys and sort of be an apologist, in my opinion, look at all the things that he talks about a trillion dollars in credit card debt, people have had to tap into their 401 Ks, they're unable to purchase a home. They're stagnating, they're falling behind. They're worried. Right, but Hey, Pete, nothing to see here. People move along, move along. You know, and on that note, when we go over to Yahoo News, we find an article titled posts claiming US economy in silent depression use skewed data.

Right, right, right, right, right. Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics and your friendly government, they always use the best possible objective data. What a laugh. In this, we read social media influencers claim and videos viewed millions of times that the US economy is in a silent depression with income levels below those of the 1930s. This is false. The arguments are based on tax data from top earners in the Great Depression, not the wider population, and other figures show a massive expansion of economic activity in the subsequent decades. Okay. We are currently making less than the height of the Great Depression says an August 23 2023 Tick Tock video from Isabelle Brown, a conservative activist at Turning Point USA, with more than 3.6 million views. Another tick tock post from September the third claim similarly, we are currently experiencing what I like to refer to as a silent depression, a period that is arguably worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. Both videos refer to an Internal Revenue Service report showing the average annual income of tax filers in 1930 was $4,887, the equivalent of more than $80,000. Today after adjusting for inflation, similar claims circulated in articles and on platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Reddit rumble and X, formerly known as Twitter, the artist formerly known as Twitter. However, the IRS report archived here only reflects data from 3.7 million tax filers in 1930, a small fraction of that year's population of 123 million. That is because only the top income tiers were required to file returns at the time. In contrast, some 150 million tax returns were filed in 2022 out of a population of 330 million. As a result, the old figures are not a representative average and do not reflect the incomes of average Americans during the Great Depression. The average salary in 1930 was not $4,887 in 1930, the threshold to file taxes was $3,000 says Abdullah Al Bahrani and economist at Northern Kentucky University in a September 8 blog post, only 6% of the US population filed taxes, most had incomes below that threshold. Therefore, by looking at the average income for individuals filing taxes, the analysis relies on a sample of high income earners and quote, so basically, what you're supposed to do here is get into the nitty gritty of some statistics. And then say, well, there's no way that we're in a silent depression because the figures that these tick talkers are using are skewed. They're using fallible data, and therefore there's just no way we're going to love her. Okay, look, I have told the story before that Professor cow told me back when I was in cow College, about how his grandpa had a farm during the Great Depression. And this dude, that was his hired hand left. When the depression got bad, and Professor cows grandpa could no longer afford to pay this guy anything. The guy left and he said there's bound to be work somewhere and I'm gonna go and ride the rails and find it a year later. He comes back again. And he's dirty. His clothes are falling apart. He's just skin and bones. And he's just he's physically quite dirty. And he comes, comes back to the farm and he tells Professor cows, Grandpa, I have written the rails all over this country, north, south, east, west, all around the back again, there is no work. I will come back here and work for you for free. The only thing that I want is a room to stay in, in the bar won't food. And I want a new pair of blue jeans, because the only clothes I've got on are the clothes on my back and they're falling apart. And Professor cows grandpa agreed to it. And he stayed with him through the duration of the Depression. And then when he could start paying the guy a salary again, he did and that guy was a loyal farmhand from then on. Are we in conditions like that right now? No, I'm not saying that we are. The world is different mean how many people really live an agrarian lifestyle? You know, the the AAA and things that went on during the Depression, the depression to get people off the sort of bucolic family farm and let industrial agriculture take over. It really made sure that we don't live this remote agrarian lifestyle anyway. But no, I'm not saying that. That the circumstances now are identical to the Great Depression. Yeah, my grandpa would talk about in the in the 30. So he was born about one year before the stock market collapse. And he would talk about his brothers and sisters during the Depression, like their Christmas was one orange. And they were excited to get that. Then you juxtapose that with all these spoiled brat kids think that they're entitled to sell phones and iPhones and iPads and the newest gadget, and the parents feel like they've got to drop 1000s of dollars at Christmas. Yes, things are different. That does not mean that we can't be in a silent economic depression. Just saying things are different from the way that society was during the Great Depression does not mean that we can't be in an economic depression. Now, you can have two different recessions, you can have two different economic depressions. I don't know why this is so hard for people to understand. But to me, this is part of the gaslighting you get from the mainstream media. Well, because we're not living on farms and people are not in shotgun shacks, by and large, with dirt floors, and you have clothes and you have shoes, and you're not riding the rails like a hobo from the days of old, there's just no way that we're in a depression. And I'm like, that's, if you want to talk about using skewed data, and manipulated data? That seems like kind of a piss poor perspective to me. So are we in a silent depression? I think that's possible. I hope not. I pray not. But I think it's possible. I believe that we're in a recession at the minimum at the bare minimum or we're in a recession. And we have been for quite some time. I think that the media has just tried to cover it up, and like, weirdly breadcrumbed people into it. But I think we have been in a recession for quite some time now. I don't think churning and burning robust, resilient people are doing great. Oh, the consumer is only just now getting tapped out because their credit cards are gonna get shut off. People are people were flush with cash and living in grandma's basement and no men between the ages of like 25 and 55. Were working. They were all just wholesale, living on a girlfriend's couch and smoking dope all day. I don't believe any of that crap now. And I didn't believe it when they were trying to spoon feed it to us in the media. It just was freaking ridiculous. Use some common sense. I think I'm less afraid of what's happening right now and more afraid of what could happen. I'm thinking back to that documentary I've talked about before I recorded an entire podcast episode devoted to it the age of easy money. That PBS Frontline. Great documentary they did. It's on YouTube. If you have not watched it, please do. I think it's well worth your time. But one of the officials from the Fed that was interviewed in that documentary said the system died in 2008. All the veins, the arteries, the capillaries, they were all without blood and they died and we just had to try to pump some life support back into it. That's what worries me. When I think about what causes me to lose sleep at night over the economy is that what if the system goes off of life support? What if this is all part of agenda 2030? What if This is part of building back better. God knows what else. Again, I know, I know, we're supposed to leave on some kind of happy high. No, and I'm supposed to tell you, but don't worry, we're, the average human is going to rally back. Everything is gonna be okay. We're really socking it to those bankers, we're really getting to those hyperlinks. And I'm like, I don't know about that I tend to think and this is going to ruffle some feathers. This is a kind of a deal where I'm just throwing this information out, you're out at the end, and I'm about to sign off, throw in that cocktail and running from it.

I tend to think and this is just my opinion, and it could be wrong. I tend to think that people who get on the airwaves and they tell you, here's all the stuff that's bad, but don't worry, were really socking it to them. They're they're quaking in their boots. They know that people are waking up, they they know go woke, go broke. They know that the average person has a lot of power. I think people who do that are probably controlled opposition. Okay, I do. I think that's the reason why they're on the airwaves. And they're giving you kernels of truth. But they're commingling it with hot air and hopium to sort of lead people astray. Yeah, go won't go broke. And then the Bill Gates Foundation gets almost $100 million of Anheuser Busch stock when it's cheap. Right, but go broke. I just I'm sorry, I find it preposterous. I really do. I can't believe that people are still stuck in this red versus blue donkey versus elephant Orange Man versus senile man. It's like, What planet are you on? Really? Anyway, if we are in a silent depression, or if a silent depression is coming? Do I think that there's anything that a person could do at this point to meaningfully prepare? Probably not? I mean, probably not. Probably not. I think that people who've got it in their mind that there's going to be some Savior politician. Oh, this one's really going to turn it around, they're really going to drain the swamp, they're really going to make big changes. They're going to get rid of the corruption, they're going to stop with the cronyism bomb. I mean, that's just puts me to sleep. I can't help it. yawn, because it's like, right? Sure, of course, you keep on believing that you have fun. I don't give you advice. I don't tell you what to do. As I said, toward the beginning of this broadcast, if it were me, I would say all right, I got caught with my pants down this time. By God, it won't happen again. What do I need to do to get in better shape financially? What do I need to do to be prepped up better? Talk to a financial planner who is trustworthy. If you don't know how to pay off debt, if you're not sure what to do to save money and to get a good cushion put together, talk to a professional. You know, if you need to go see a credit counselor to get a plan to get out of debt. Do something in my mind, taking some kind of action doing some kind of prep work is better than sitting on the couch and just mindlessly binge watching crap on streaming media are going to see BB and Hymer because that's what the media told you to do. I hope I'm wrong about all this. I just, I'm really scared that I'm not stay safe, stay sane. And I will see you in the next episode.

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