I am about half way through so this might be premature.
Rickards seems to be telling the story of the death of the dollar and the international monetary system due to deflation. It seems for half a century at least we’ve been fighting underlying deflation pressure but never really naming it publicly. Specifically that we do inflationary things that are damaging and cumulative.
So imagine that the following were really driven by attempts to avoid deflation:
De-pegging from gold and the oil embargo (justifying symptom)
Inflation during Carter’s term
Iran Contra and electing the actor Regan to pump things up with star wars etc.
Iraq 2 and 911
2008 meltdown and austerity
More pending austerity over oil derivatives
That all these things might be explained by a perpetual fight with deflation. From what I can tell deflation comes when most people lose confidence in their system. To me, despite the many reasons provided by the author for deflation, its plausible that it ultimately results from fake jobs that lack necessity and have no dignity, security, sense of contribution or future. To me capital itself and capital as a class seems to be becoming obsolete. Maybe we can replace the capital side of the economy with distributed automated organizations? I am saying I think the capitalist is obsolete, not the innovator. Excessive executive compensation is a symptom. Just like index funds can outperform or equal managed funds so also might a computer program (DAO) do better than typical management but because we have thousands of overlapping mutual reigning down taxation driven blind money on firms we have inflated management compensation and ridiculously call it wages or earned income. This system looks set to deflate.
Will SAFE and its coin help? In a sense a system that can replace money is a DAO. SAFE is a system of distribution designed to replace a tainted factional system.
If you do read the book, Rickards seems like a Bush crony and the book seems like a mea culpa in a way about stuff like 911. He goes ahead and ignores Carlyle group insider trading etc., and tries to pretend the BA and its backers weren’t complicit, but implicit seems to be the idea they were just trying to avoid a deflationary disaster that would sink the rich and government budgets at the same time. In deflation government revenue gets switched off, it also provides a profit hiatus, its an economic black plague. Author also does a lot of bragging that seems out of place in book on a serious subject.
If we deflate do we go steady state, assuming we avoid civil strife? The population too can become simply exhausted and depressed over debt and insecurity. You can get it from demographic changes but its also possible to exhaust a population to the extent that they just start to horde stuff when you take more and more from them and want to provide less and less. Steady state might be lean but is there fear that it’s also feudal? He chides China’s prospects quite a bit but as he does so I keep thinking he is describing the US.