Are We In For An Economic Catastrophe?

Posted on July 23, 2011
Posted by Jim Sher


As the Sun enters Leo and we prepare for the 4-month cycle of Mercury going retrograde, the U.S. is facing what some think is a potential economic catastrophe. The notion that this country would ever default on its bills, debts that were created by Congress, has always been unthinkable. Because it is has always been regarded as a total impossibility, no one, even the best economists, can know what the outcome will be. How will other countries react? How will it affect interest rates? And most importantly, how will it affect the banks that we deal with everyday? Before getting to this, I think I must first describe where we are concerning the Mercury retrograde cycle.

Right now, we are in what’s called the ‘shadow’ period. This is the territory in which Mercury will travel back and forth between July 15, 2011 and September 9, 2011. This territory covers 19° Leo and 1° Virgo, so Mercury will be in this 12° area for 7 weeks. For the United States, Mercury will oppose the U.S. Moon. This will tell us quite a bit as we go forward. Mercury will go retrograde on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 8:50pm PDT. The retrograde period ends on Friday, August 26, 2011 at 3:03pm PDT. This one fact means that the public (Moon) will be changing their minds during the retrograde period. So, whatever people are thinking right now is very subject to change in the coming weeks.

Personally, I do not believe the new Republicans in the house who are pushing this draconian activity understand either history or economics. I can understand the idealism of their thinking, but they have not thought through the huge impact and consequences of their aims. For them, the idea of closing the U.S. government seems to be a trivial, almost fun, matter. This tells me that we strongly need Mercury retrograde at this particular point in time, as it is likely to force people to change their minds.

Let’s start with the meaning of the shadow period. Although people often do not pay attention to this part of the cycle, it is one of the most important. Firstly, we know that every decision made or considered right now will be reviewed. This is guaranteed. I have found that this is one of the most unstable periods there are in terms of astrological cycles. It can be described as an upsurge of unconscious material into consciousness. Thus, it is unpredictable and can easily create problems for the person. Let me give an example. A few years ago I met with a client who had said some very rude things to a close friend. It happened in the shadow period. As she thought about it during the Mercury retrograde period, she began to acknowledge how much she had hurt her friend, how severe and out of proportion her words were and she had begun to feel a great deal of regret. She sought to understand what had happened that caused this ‘needless’ and self-inflicted crisis in her friendship, which had been a good one for many years. What came up over several sessions was that she realized that she had not expressed her real feelings to her friend about certain problems in the relationship for a long time and that resentments were slowly building up during the entire time. She didn’t realize how angry she was when suddenly (during the ‘shadow’ period) she burst out with a nasty tirade that surprised even her. This is not unusual at this time. The problem, of course, was actually with her as she had not spoken with her friend at all about what she was feeling.

There is one more aspect of the story that is most important. After she did speak with her friend, she found out that most of what she was feeling was due to a small, even trivial misunderstanding that had become completely overblown due to its not being dealt with during the prior years. Her friend was extremely shocked at the entire episode as what was really going on was completely different from the perceptions of her friend. The entire matter need not have ever happened if my client had gone to her friend and straightened matters out in the beginning. In regular everyday life, this sort of thing happens all the time and while our lives can become quite stressful and difficult, the problems can be fixed. But now let’s asks the bigger questions. What happens to a nation when the same phenomenon happens? Are not the consequences going to be much, much bigger? Might they lead to catastrophic consequences?

This is what is happening right now in my opinion. The new legislators in the House of Representatives do not understand and do not seek to understand the consequences of the U.S. government’s failure to pay its legal and obligatory debts. This is a great example of idealism triumphing over practical knowledge. It is based on gross misunderstandings of what the consequences will be. The only thing we don’t know is what the Obama administration will do if no deal is reached. There is the 14th Amendment, which states the following:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payments of pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

There is no consensus among constitutional scholars on how this might affect the present situation, but that is only because this has never happened before in U.S history. It appears that Obama does not want to use this option, but if he did, while it would be challenged in the courts it could take years for his action to go through the legal process and by then, he would either be serving a second term or be replaced.

Now, let’s go back to the fact that the Mercury retrograde cycle opposed the Moon of the U.S.

It certainly means that the media and public will be watching the events of this process with the same attention and intensity that is given to a Presidential election. It will be analyzed and debated 24 hours a day and will ignite the passions of a confused and disturbed public. This alone suggests a degree of panic, caused simply by the great uncertainty of what effects of the default will be on the average citizen. Will it cause a cascade effect that brings about a depression and/or a collapse of the U.S. currency? Will it feel like complete chaos or will things return to normal? Do the Republicans in the House have any idea of the consequences of their extreme position and what will they learn from this? Or, will this turn out to be a non-event?

My view is that we are a democracy and that this is what is being challenged. In a democracy it is always easier to say ‘No’ to things and to take positions that stop the advancement of solutions to problems. But this is my position.

So, to end this article, I have a question on a subject that I am not even close to understanding. I would love to hear from the readers of my newsletter on its possible answer.

Why is the so-called Tea Party, who is composed primarily of blue-collar and middle class citizens (although financially supported by extremely wealthy oligarchs) so vehemently against increasing the taxes on the super rich among us? These are the citizens who can easily afford to pay the extra taxes and who did so in the recent past. Many of them did not object then and are not objecting now. The richest person in the U.S., Warren Buffet, is one of them. Why is the Tea Party protecting the wealthy 1%, of which they will never be a part?

Your responses to this article are welcome.

Best Wishes,

Jim Sher




Astrology Mercury Retrograde Moon
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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17 responses to “Are We In For An Economic Catastrophe?”

  1. Hi, Jim — The s0-called “freshmen” Republi”cons” in the House owe their elected jobs to the oligarch — like the Koch Brothers — who bought their campaigns. You probably know they all signed a pledge that Grover Norquist insisted upon that they would not permit ANY kind of tax increase. –The thing is sooooo insane, infuritating: and the fact that so many of the trans and “supra-national” corporate and hedge fund CEOs pay NO taxes, getting millions or billions in tax REFUNDS is even MORE infuriating! Especially as most of us have seen our own incomes in our fields shrink –or disappear, while they move their activity overseas to cheaper manufacturing/labor markets, or other countries that DO have, and/or are building a middle class. Thwe idea that people have so much money that they GAMBLE it on derivatives, commodoties, etc. instead of doing ANYThing to create jobs, invest in America, it’s citizens — is a kind of capitalism run so amuck that it defies comprehension. —That’s my spiel. Marcia

  2.' Joy says:

    Most of our debt problems stem from OVER SPENDING, and if that
    problem is not resolved, there is a good chance our country will end up being like Greece, and/or a 3rd world country.
    WHy do you think all the job creators are leaving our country?
    !. The high cost of labor. (As in Greece)
    2. Over taxation-The US has one of the highest tax rates in the
    world. If you are going to tax the rich, then please exclude
    corportations and job creators. I thought the goal was to create
    more jobs. If you increase jobs, more revenue will come naturally.
    I am not defending the rich but they serve their pupose in getting
    the economy going again.
    What is happening to common sense? Why are many not even concerned
    about their children’s future? Why are we leaving them our debt?
    If the Over-spending is not stopped then we are doomed!

  3. Kimberly says:

    This is a question that also baffles me. Many of the offerings given above are also among the possibilities I’ve thought of. Another likelihood, considering that for the most part this group of people seems mostly to be concerned with cutting the social programs and the taxes that go to pay them, is that there is a palpable resentment to those to whom assistance is given. It is perceived as handouts to people who should be working as hard as they. Jealousy, as well, may be paying a part: “Why should I work my ass off and those lazy folks just get the money handed to them?” But also I think there is a bigger picture at work here – when is everyone going to get it that Capitalism, with its obsessive interest in growth, doesn’t work? The word “sustainable” is not in the true Capitalist’s heart. How do you think we ran up this debt in the first place? Does not the money handed out, through whatever program, even if borrowed, support the growth machine? Every dime put into the economy translates into numbers the Capitalists salivate over. If double-digit numbers aren’t met every year then someone gets sacked because he or she isn’t doing their job. No mercy for the compassionate, the far-sighted, the one who thinks of the whole of society rather than just its few members who are in positions to reap the insanely obscene benefits if the target growth is reached. Don’t even get me started on how our wise leaders (led by Wall St. graduates) bailed out the banks then turned around blithely talking about reducing social security (another thing I don’t get – they call it an “entitlement” as if we didn’t earn it but a big chunk of my paycheck goes into it every week.) As a society we have become so pro Big Business we have forgotten not just the little guy but everybody, which brings us back to the original question – Why is the Tea Party protecting the uber wealthy? Well I don’t think it’s just the Tea Party. It’s much, much bigger than that. It’s in the dark corners where others quietly go about their Big Business that you really have to worry about.

  4. You’re darn tootin’ that a lot of Americans will be changing their minds about this situation, if indeed a “default” comes to fruition. Many may see their elderly relatives devoid of financial resources and healthcare. Not a pretty sight.

    I agree with Suzanne that our society is enamored with the rich, or the concept of becoming wealthy. A thesis of writer/social observer Barbara Ehrenreich in one of her works (she’s written alot about this phenomena) is that Americans envision themselves as one day becoming rich and they begin to identify with the interests of the wealthy class.

    I am stumped as to why those center-left attempt to be so ethical, when the right thinks nothing of using any obscure rule for their purposes. How many “signing statements” did Dubya use during his Administration? Lots. I think Obama should use the 14th Amendment or a State of Emergency or a signing statement, or whatever other maneuver is needed to avoid economic collapse. The debt ceiling issue can be handled as a separate matter, and any debt reduction and deficit matters can be worked on with a longer term timeframe. I believe Bill Clinton was advocating that. This has been done oodles of times. The point now is that the Republicans want badly for Obama to FAIL. That has been the Republican modus operendus from the very beginning, spoken very openly.

    Given that my personal financial situation is so pathetic, I can’t say that I want to “observe” the consequences of such a collapse as an intellectual exercise. It would make me feel even more hopeless. Although I agree that sometimes only radical situations (the square) will bring about a healthy change,it is just too hurtful to see people suffer because of this, especially since those that will be affected the most had nothing to do with bringing about this situation.

    May those in power “rethink” their backwards positions, and may we all advocate for the interests of the many. I hope the creative energy of the Sun in Leo brings some loving solutions.

  5. Jim Sher says:

    To Diana:

    I wouldn’t disagree with your thoughts about the white collar professionals supporting the movement. But are they the ones who go to the rallies and are so fired up? I don’t think so. Middle and upper class professionals tend to be more aware of the severe consequences if the federal government stops paying its already agreed upon debts.

  6.' Diana says:

    How ironic the date Aug. 2,2011 is. I was surprised by your observation that the tea party is made up of both blue-collar workers in addition to the middles class. My perception in the New York Metro area is that the tea party consists of those who seek to benefit most to have their income taxes cut (the white-collared professional middle to upper class) by calling for cuts to traditional “entitlement programs” that assist the poor and the millions who remain unemployed. The federal and state governments have consequently lost millions of taxes due to this epic unemployment, so giving tax breaks to wealthy individuals, who don’t create jobs with cost of living wages, makes absolute semse. For the tea party people and the Republicans to resort to posturing and arguing to the contrary is totally irrational.

  7.' Chris says:

    I think Suzanne nailed the main reason, “Americans are enamored of the idea of “getting rich quick.” Fame, fortune, luck, winning — all are always around the corner in the national psyche.” The thinking is, “don’t tax them now because when I get rich, I want to keep my money.” the truth is that you have almost the exact chances of being struck by lightening as being a billionaire in America, 1 in 750,000. The odds of being a millionaire are a little better, about 1 in 100.

    The other reason is that there is a tremendous dis-information campaign out there to talk about how much the wealthy give and that all charities would shrivel up and die if rich folks had to pay the IRS instead of donating their wealth. This is also drivel. John D. Rockefeller hired Ivy Lee to be his publicity adviser after the 1914 Ludlow Colorado massacre. Ivy Lee was a master at publicity / damage control and was the brain child behind the wildly popular images of Rockefeller giving dimes to children. What Lee and Rockefeller discovered is that every one hates a union busting robber baron who calls out the Colorado National Guard to fire on 1200 unarmed miners and their families, but they love a philanthropist who plays golf and gives dimes to homeless ragamuffins. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have taken this game to the status of fine art. Funny how nobody asked what the tax savings are for “donating” tens of billions of dollars to your own “private” charities or what strings are attached.

    By the way, from 1954 to 1963 the top marginal tax rate in America was 91%. During this period our nations GDP rose substantially in nearly every year, the S&P 500 stock market index went up over 230%, and I wasn’t able to find a single major charity that failed during this period. High tax rates don’t kill growth, they don’t kill philanthropy and they don’t kill jobs. More 1% propaganda.

    With respect to the Debt ceiling, pure theater. Mark my words, we will have a dramatic 11th hour come to Jesus meeting where an agreement is made replete with grand photo opportunities of disheveled lawmakers with sweat stained shirts, bloodshot eyes, and haggard looks on their faces emerging from darkened conference rooms hands clasped in self congratulatory celebration. The US dollar is still the worlds reserve currency and it’s only competition, the Euro, is having member countries sliding into technical sovereign default by the month. The US will not default on one penny of our debt and the rest of the world, with shrinking foreign options, will continue to buy it.

  8.' Sue says:

    Interesting comments. Susanne and Judith bring up valid points. Janey…I think you give the T.P.ers too much credit…and collapse will equal serious disaster for everyone except the super rich who will profit even more. Equitability through collapse will never happen. Maria…yes, some will do anything to bring down a black man. That could be the deciding factor, as pathetic as that may seem…Eileen…right on! Barbara, yes wars caused it, but also UNFINANCED wars…in the past the rich were willing to pay to protect their foreign interests (thru war) but Reagan/Bushes made them think they could have their cake and eat it too. Corporations have trillions stashed overseas and are refusing to pay taxes on it. Claudette…it seems you are falling into the same trap as the T.P.ers. Blaming govt. for the sins of the multinational corps. and banking system. The Federal Reserve is a private bank and they are running the financial system, not the govt. While it is true there are way too many politicians in the pockets of corporate America, the fact is stupid Americans elected these people. Blaming the victims, like immigrants, is a great tactic used by the rich to keep the little folk blaming each other while the rich laugh all the way to the banks…overseas! I highly recommend reading a recent book called Treasure Islands where much of this secret banking and corporate manipulation is revealed. If we want to turn this around, we better know what needs turning!! Pluto t squaring Uranus and Saturn should give us a hint that the truth is underground and we need to dig it up!!

  9.' Janey says:

    Thank you, Claudette! It’s heartening to know at least one other reader of this blog can see the big picture!

  10.' Claudette says:

    Is anyone in America awake? There hasn’t been any money in our treasury for over seven decades. All debts have been continuous by fraud paper pushing. The banks have no money, they use Americans as their collateral. Your signature and SS# is their bread & butter. When the Congress put OUR Social Security monies into the General Fund they committed treason. Why aren’t they all in prison? We have been duped, robbed and forced into foreign countries to kill innocent people. Why hasn’t every American written, called or walked to their White House and demand their country back! The answer is so obvious….their elected criminals have laced their water with flouride, food with aspartame etc., so their minds cannot compute all of these atrocities. What is happening did not occur overnight, it has been encroaching with each corrupt administration. Our leadership never realized the American citizens were their EMPLOYERS!! These self appointed theives ransacked our Treasury, our SS fund, the veterans health benefits and yes even the public school system. Now it is disclosed that an evil CEO media mogul has been tapping phones. Our government has a malignant cancer that has spread throughout the world. Our Treasury needs to be shut down and no more monies exchanged without the approval of the American people. No more bail outs, no more foreign aid, no more arms to Israel etc., and NO ILLEGALS allowed across ANY borders unless EACH person places $25,000. in a bank account to cover their being allowed to live here. If other countries can demand this, why not the U.S.? Are our politicians just plain ignorant? I ask each member of Congress, the House and the Executive branch of our government to clean their desks out and vacate the premises. We are not a corporation or thrift store. We are a Republic. We can return our country back to its Constitutional independence. Let each State return to solvency without federal scams frauding their treasury. We must turn this around collectively. Otherwise people, go back to watching TV and allow your mind to be lulled to sleep. Life over!!!

  11.' Barbara says:

    The matter at hand can be distilled to one truth – We are experiencing the bankrupting effects of waging war on 3 fronts outside of our borders. The constitution was violated with the Iraq war. Under Obama there are more soldiers involved in war fronts than there were with Bush. Historically, a nation that wages extended wars outside of its borders for an extended length of time, collapses internally from the financial burdens. Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex. Wall Street and the military are running are country and Obama seems to be the hood ornament on the car they are driving. Raising taxes on the rich is not the solution.It is a red herring. Getting out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya will do far more to stabilize the debt. BTW I voted for Obama.

  12.' Melissa says:

    The short answer: ignorance (and the 1% is taking full advantage of it!) and fear (of all that changes including having a black president- terrifying, right?).

  13.' eileen says:

    The Tea Party suffers from Stockholm syndrome. a state of false consciousness in which a victim identifies with its oppressor because it has been so beaten and demoralized by their relationship he has no self except in relation to his abuser. Through dense magical thinking, he upholds the agenda of the 1% to support his delusion of power sharing. He cannot apprehend the reality of his status in the social order. He is the blue collar slave to the carrot master.

  14.' Maria says:

    Thank you for your insights Jim; I find the correlation fascinating. I think the key to partially answering your question is in what you said above- “they are financially supported by extremely wealthy oligarchs”–you know, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” mentality, plus they are totally convinced that everyone is lying about a catastrophe. AND they are bent on getting Obama out of office and they think by creating this crisis is a way to discredit him, because somehow they will twist it to be entirely his fault!Of course it is more complicated than that. However, I can’t begin to fathom the extreme posturing that’s going on in our government, it’s incredulous because they are doing it on purpose…’s a sinister energy in my opinion. But in the end, I think they are in for a rude awakening, because I trust there is a much higher purpose to this scenario on a global scale. Will it push us to an expanded consciousness so that we can begin to recreate how we live AND with our highest values for all intact? Hold on tight for the ride and wait to see….Looking forward to your next commentary!

  15.' Janey says:

    I think the so called “tea baggers” realize what the naive among us do not: That is, the “super rich,” as a rule, do not pay taxes. One glaring example is Wall Street Banker turned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. What irony! The Secretary of the Treasury not paying taxes? The whole system is a joke. The “super rich” and mega corporations pay minimal or no taxes, the poor don’t have the money to pay taxes, so the burden falls on the middle class. Democrat, Republican, Independent — whatever label you prefer — if you’re making a decent living, you’re going to get screwed. And that, at its core, is what this Tea Party movement is really all about. Read My Lips: No new taxes! Take your debt and stick it you-know-where.

    The debt is largely illegitmate anyway, bailing out Wall Street banks to the tune of trillions and funding their illegal wars — oh, excuse me. I do mean funding their illegal “kinetic actions” and their illegal occupations of foreign lands, all paid for by the blood of American soldiers, and the blood, sweat, and tears of the American middle class taxpayers. The whole thing is monumental scam.

    In my opinion, the sooner the system collapses, the better. Then maybe a more equitable society can be built on its ruins.

  16.' Judith says:

    I strongly suspect that the tea party members and those congressional or other elected officials they have put into place do not even realize that they are part of a much larger and grander plan…to bring down the U.S. and get rid of money…cash that is. It is the culmination of the plan to introduce facism into this country and the world. Facism…the rule of the many by the few…Germans thought they were being loyal too when they were duped by’s jews are the working class. Keep people in a constant state of fear and require that they work from sun up to sun down to just survive..

    If that seems riduculous to you…think it through carefully, pay attention to the defeat of any and all groups (unions) that gave strength to middle america, now in recent news and ongoing since the early ’80’s. Hold on to your hat, we have a rough ride ahead!

  17.' Suzanne says:

    The question you pose at the end of your article is one that has been asked for the past decade or longer. Why do people vote against their own interests? Part of the answer, I believe, has to do with the fact that Americans are enamored of the idea of “getting rich quick.” Fame, fortune, luck, winning — all are always around the corner in the national psyche. (Plus, the media has pushed us to revere the wealthy and the “stuff” they can buy, as if they were Gods.) In that scenario, to vote for lower taxes for the rich comes from believing that you are the one who is about to be rich.

    The full answer is surely more complex than that, but it’s certainly one explanation.

    Why the Tea Party takes defaulting so cavalierly might be examined through the lens of Americans having lived off of credit for the past thirty years. Until recently, there has always been a way to put off paying the piper. Perhaps it is just inconceivable for people brought up to believe they could have anything they wanted, have it now — and pay for it later — to truly believe that catastrophe is lurking. Privilege makes lazy thinkers.

    I hope you’re right that our leaders will use the coming month to reconsider their shoddy thinking.

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