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Charles Hugh Smith writes the popular Of Two Minds blog (at and is the author of many books, most recently Will You Be Richer or Poorer — Profit, Power, and A.I. in a Traumatized World.) He lives in the world capital of Wokesterdom: Berkeley, California.

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I’m introducing a new piece of intro music to the podcast this episode: Larry Unger’s lovely Two Rivers Waltz.
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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

43 Responses to “KunstlerCast 321 — Chatting with Charles Hugh Smith” Subscribe

  1. mrmiller October 25, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

    I really appreciated the podcast, as I normally do every time an episode is released. Just wanted to add some perspective, having listened to as many opinions as I possibly can on the world at large. I have no expertise in economics or resource usage. However, it seems as though most corporations are not very concerned with imminent resource depletion, and if anyone should know about resources, it’s them; they have the expertise.

    However, according to Chris Nelder of the Energy Transition Show and one of his guests, although there will not be a problem over the long term, there may be short term shortages. But the solution to high prices and shortages is….high prices. There are also some problems in terms of the opacity of markets, since many resources are secondary or even tertiary products of extraction.

    Having said all of this, I am no real optimist. Most corporations are actually concerned that the rich veins in the Earth have been tapped out, and thus, resource extraction will take a lot more energy and more pass-through cycles to get at copper, for instance, among other resources.

    But the truth of this all is that none of this really matters to me that much. It would be much more beneficial in my mind to create a transportation system that carries more than one person per vehicle and where cars and other vehicles have a utilization rate of above 3 percent or so, and also to create cities in a completely different way than what we have done previously, that aren’t complete basket cases of extreme car dependency and traffic jams for miles. There are all sorts of things that can be done to make our world not only more efficient, but more enjoyable and healthy for the average person. For instance, I know a guy that switched back to a flip phone and I am thinking about doing the same thing, and I really, really, really don’t like cars, and would truly prefer to not own one in the first place.

    On to computers, I don’t particularly think that it makes a whole lot of sense to demonize computers that much. There is a whole lot of lower hanging fruit that can be plucked in the world, (I’m talking about cars), and don’t forget that computers actually replace a whole lot of other devices that have existed in the past, so in other words, computers promote minimalism. However, there is WAY too much fragmentation that truly makes no real sense to have. But if you try and raise any of these issues to people in America, you will be called a socialist or a commie. Sad times we live in that trying to change our world for the better makes you some kind of pariah in America. And who pushes this kind of thinking? Well, although it may sound nice to demonize the upper classes, (and certainly they are to partially blame), there is also the group of people in the flyover states that have taken the demonization of communism and socialism to heart as a carryover from our past. We are victims of stale thinking and held hostage to the Boomer generation. Some of this might make sense, I guess. I mean, how would it feel to experience defcon 2 and think that the world was about to end because of the Russians? Does it really make sense though that the Boomers continually conflate having a responsible economic system with the threat of nuclear war? Not in my opinion, but I encounter Boomers in my city that in reality do think this way, (not the least of which include my parents).

    So, in other words, I’m just trying to highlight some of the reasons why we can’t fix things in this country. If we get to the heart of why we can’t do economic planning of the type that Kunstler and his guest would like, our country will continue to flounder until collapse.

    Thanks for the episode, it was a good one.

    • Finnstan80213 February 7, 2021 at 10:54 pm #

      Supposedly we’re all getting richer, but many of us feel we’re becoming poorer. Why?One reason is our economy doesn’t even measure many kinds of wealth and ignores many costs.

  2. Dubs October 28, 2019 at 8:54 am #


    Great interview. You two are temperamentally and philosophically well suited. In my opinion, this was one of your best podcasts.

    To the poor, verbose commenter above. A polite suggestion. Get out of the city and into “flyover” country. There are folks in the hinterlands who know how to grow their own food and mend their possessions, both ‘consumable’ and otherwise. They mostly don’t rely upon corporations, and, if they need to get to town, they do so in a vehicle they can repair. There are mountains of ‘consumables’ city dwellers have been casting off for years. They’re quite easily fixed with a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity. Get out of your apartment, out of your navel and lift a hand to something needing actual physical labor.

    Again, Jim, great work.

  3. venuspluto67 October 28, 2019 at 11:38 am #

    I can’t help but imagine Republicans in 2021 impeaching President Elizabeth Warren for pretending to be a Native American. 😉

    • pokercat November 4, 2019 at 10:04 am #

      I can also imagine President Warren at the end of her second term being so popular that she can basically pick her replacement.

      • rhys12 November 7, 2019 at 5:32 pm #

        Whoever the next president is, and whatever party they are from, they are going to be anything but popular by 2024, because major collapse is coming and there is nothing whatever they can do about it.

  4. Chris at Fernglade Farm October 29, 2019 at 6:17 am #

    Hi Jim,

    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the new intro music. It was extraordinary.



  5. TiredOfTheTreadmill October 31, 2019 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks for the podcadt Jim. This was one of your best podcasts yet. The discussion covered many of the thoughts I’ve had bouncing around in my head, and helped me bring them together into a more cohesive bigger picture. Much appreciated.

  6. Joe Thomas November 2, 2019 at 11:56 pm #

    Good interview Jim. I enjoy both your and Charles’s opinions on various issues and have for years. I will disagree with his thoughts on what is causing the homeless. Don’t think the majority are economic like in the depression. If you are willing to work and show up on time even if not totally sober, there is work out there. Illegal aliens have no problem finding work in this country. I worked as as a landscaper for quite a few years making around $8.00 per hour. Today anyone can find a job here in the midwest making twelve to eighteen an hour working on a landscape crew. But if you are suffering from mental problems or drug addiction the desire to show up and push a wheelbarrow of mulch or run a string trimmer, or shovel snow probably is not going to work. Same thing in construction or agriculture. A good rule to live by is “He who does not work does not eat”.

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      Hello. I listened his podcasts few times, read a book about rich and poor. I can’t say it changed my life but i got some usefull tips and little tricks, that can be used in real life. I’m still young and i can try to implement his advices in my daily things. I am also a writer, doing freelance and Genuinewriting gives me this possibility

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