Meanwhile, in the real world, the percentage of employed Americans continues to relentlessly decline while retail sales in this "consumer economy" are collapsing. The economy of the world's great energy glutton is so anemic that the U.S. is now a net energy exporter due to plummeting demand within its own economy. If those reality checks are not enough to rouse Americans from their propaganda-induced stupor, perhaps one final question will accomplish this: How could a "four-year recovery" take the U.S. directly to an economic cliff? By definition, any "recovery" should be taking the U.S. economy away from any kind of economic cliff since any honest characterization of an "economic recovery" directly and necessarily implies that the economy is healing. The "fiscal cliff" the media is trumpeting with as much hysteria as they can muster is proof there never was any U.S. economic recovery. Prudent readers must confront two, ugly truths. They will not recognize even the most cataclysmic economic changes as they are approaching and very likely not even grasp events as they are happening. Second, the vast majority of readers have been thoroughly deceived by the endless choruses of "don't worry, be happy" emanating from the U.S. propaganda machine. To these difficulties we can add one more: a world of fantasy prices. There are several dynamics at play here. One of these dynamics is another lesson from the Weimar hyperinflation. There was lag time between the money printing that produced hyperinflation and the actual hyperinflationary surge in prices that took place. Put another way, the banksters of that era were also adept at manipulating markets. Or, while the German government and its bankers could delay the hyperinflation they were brewing, they were powerless to prevent it. The combination of manipulation and the panic that results from any collapsing market leads to another dynamic: the "dead-cat bounce" where even worthless assets can temporarily rise in value, but only because the previous rate of collapse was temporarily excessive. As our crippled financial system nears the point of collapse and hyperinflation looms, yet another dynamic is part of the inherent definition of hyperinflation itself.