2014 – An Uneventful, But Prosperous Year

2014 will go down as one of the least eventful years in history – both economically and politically. The left was titillated by the prospect of crisis – Ebola, Russia, ISIS and a stock market plunge in October – but all failed to deliver the goods. Zerohedge and Market-Ticker readers are refreshing their websites, awaiting the next financial crisis that will never happen. The editors and contributors, in keeping the faith of the religion that is doom and gloom, will take any insignificant news (trading irregularities, SEC fines, youth unemployment in Europe, earnings misses, and other minutia) and editorialize it as some sort of harbinger of the next 2008.

The stakes are too high for Putin to do more than prevaricate. China would rather trade and buy debt than be ornery, and the great China economic slowdown never became the Cultural Revolution that many on the left hoped it would become. To paraphrase Irving Fisher, we’ve reached a permanent plateau of American economic prosperity and geopolitical stability. America’s economy is like cruise ship on autopilot, embarking on an era unending prosperity for some, the best and the brightest at the wheel, not an iceberg in sight, and the pre-2008 era of boom-bust cycles and instability left behind. The great moderation has become a greater moderation. This era of unending prosperity that Pinker calls ‘The Long Peace’ is inimical to the left, who want crisis so that the rich lose money.

One of the themes of 2014 has been the perpetual rise of web 2.0 valuations, along with large-cap stocks and expensive real estate. No bursting of the supposed web 2.0 bubble, as many on the left wanted to happen. No slowdown in consumer spending, even though the consumer, according to the libs, is supposed to be ‘maxed out’. Despite the media attention, the policy advice in Picket’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century went unheeded, and rightfully so, as economists later debunked much of the book. There is no empirical evidence rising wealth inequality is bad for the economy or will lead to crisis; it’s just wishful thinking by the left in that they hope wealth inequality will doom the economy, and this hope has transcended facts. The anti-establishment left, whether they be on Zerohedge or the New York Times, want a day of reckoning where the rich lose everything, but it will never happen. They want Facebook to become Myspace, for America to become Europe, and Apple to become Sony. Boring is good for high net-worth individuals, the economy, and the status quo – but not so great for the media and bloggers, who need to convert fear into profitable page views. Even I’m kinda a victim of the monotony because I need stuff to write about and if nothing happens that means less writing. When choosing between two outcomes: things getting worse or optimism, optimism tends to prevail 99% of the time (but the left will go to great lengths to latch on that 1% and scream, ‘we told you so!’).

I, the curator of the Grey Enlightenment, put my undivided, unrequited faith in the cognitive elite – that the smarties will always prevail, and by riding the coattails of the prosperity they create, I too can become more prosperous. I put my faith in IQ, Web 2.0, STEM, and the meritocracy – that in the free market the smartest, most talented people will solve world’s most pressing problems, proving the the doom and gloomers wrong time and time again.

You are not special. All that shit your parents told you about being “special” and able to do anything you want with your life is wrong. The sky is not the limit. Your intelligence, that is innate at birth, is the limit. Biological determinism is one of the uncomfortable, unmovable realities of the post-2008 economy. Between Uber, the stock market, and real estate there has been so much wealth – especially in the past five years alone – created in Silicon Valley and Wall St., yet in relatively few hands. We’re in a techno aristocracy of some sort. The voices of the masses have no say in these matters, and everyone’s job is at risk unless you’re in the highest echelon. As the economy becomes more automated and competitive, what will happen to low/average IQ people?

The left is waging war on nerd culture, gamers, IQ, free markets, and success. Science, the pursuit of the truth, and empiricism is more important than picking up on vague/arbitrary social cues. You look at some of the biggest successes of the post-2008 economy (Uber, Tesla and Facebook) and they all involve people who are better at creating than reading other people. The left says social skills are as important as talent, and while this may be true for lower skill professions, not amount of people skills will get you a good paying job at Google or Facebook if you don’t have the technical skills, sorry. Making matters worse, one you become a ‘people person’ it will be harder for others to take you seriously should you try to transition to a more technical domain. That’s what happened to Tony Robbins and his new book MONEY: MASTER THE GAME, not because the book is wrong, but no one could suspend their disbelief of the extroverted Mr. Robbins becoming a financial guru – a field typically dominated by nerdy types. Consequently, the smart people on Reddit and elsewhere panned the book. In an era of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit, internet libertarianism, Reddit, 4chan and The Daily Show, cynicism and skepticism is the new earnestness. If you think you are going to impress upon the smartest, most empirically minded generation ever with your bold proclamations and other wizzbangery, you will be eviscerated mercilessly. They, the smartest generation, are immune to sales pitches, hype and demagoguery – especially in the post-2008 era where facts, data and logic rule.

Thank Bush, Bernanke and Paulson. Obama just taking credit for the work done by the prior administration in fixing the financial problem that the libs wanted to get worse to get Obama elected. Thank the tireless US consumer – the consumer that the libs constantly insist are ‘maxed-out’ – for the post-2008 economic boom. The consumer, free markets, web 2.0, the GOP, and the fed helped create this new era of prosperity that Obama and the rest of the dems are not only wrongly taking credit for, but at the same time seek to undermine.