Here are three youtube “videos” (basically mp3’s) of a Gerald Celente interview. From what I understand, this man works as CEO for The Trends Research Institute. He forecasts trends and has been rather successful at doing so. You’ll hear all about that in the interview. If you want something that claims to counter some of his claims, click here.The blogger edrants does not do a very good job at debunking Celente’s claims. He doesn’t really point to any false forecasts, but instead aims at saying Celente is a generalist and says things that anyone on the street could say.

Now, while I do not think Ed did a very good job of pointing out Celente’s missteps, I do think you should do some research on your own, maybe take a breath or two, before breaking into a panic and having a fallout shelter built in your backyard. Yes, our economic outlook appears gloomy, but he does mention certain things, albeit subtly and almost as unlikely, that could prevent an all out depression. In any case, never take anyone’s word for what they are saying. My dad would always say, believe a fourth of what you hear, a third of what you read, and half of what you see. I think he stole it from an Almanac he had around the house.

In any case, I am posting the videos because they point out some of the problems I see with the American system. Our economy is based largely upon consuming and services. We do little production. This seems somewhat unstable to me given the makeup of our population (e.g. fewer high school graduates, less emphasis on education, many taking easy college majors and large amounts of disdain towards intellectualism). But what seems even more unstable to me, and has seemed unstable to me for a very long time, is summed up in the fact that we, as a nation, are willing to pay $4 for a cup of coffee. Yes, it is delicious, but doesn’t this say something about how we value money? We are losing touch with reality and paying far more than we should for things that we give too much importance to in our lives. And you will find this in other areas of our economy as well: McMansions, impractical automobiles, unsustainable growth, pay scales that fail to reward in a sane manner, attraction to glitz, the superficial and the glib. Watch most any television show on business and you’ll see unhealthy decadence and outright misinformation.

Now, whether this leads to food riots, is something else entirely. But, I enjoyed the videos nevertheless: