I have relatives in Denmark. In my last visit, I got a lesson about how the Nordics were better because of Jante’s Law.
Jante’s Law describes a set of cultural norms common in Nordic countries emphasizing collective well-being and group accomplishments, and disapproval of touting individual victories.
The concept of the Law of Jante—Janteloven in Denmark, Jantelagen in Swedish, Jante laki in Finnish and Jantelögin in Icelandic—while it is simply a part of the cultural oxygen that everyone here breathes, was laid out in stark terms in a 1933 book called “A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks” written by Danish-Norwegian author Axel Sandemose.
In it, Sandemose satirically conjectures that Danes are so happy because their highest aspiration is to be average, and he mocks the fictionalized small town people from the village where he grew up.
People with low expectations always achieve them.
EUROPE’S FAVORITE SPORT
Of course we then got into the favorite sport of Europe. Some think it is Soccer/Football, but it really is America bashing. Wherever I go in Europe, that place is always better than in the USA, the food, the culture, the history or whatever. I get told this while they are wearing Levi’s, smoking Marlboro’s and drinking Coke. Because of Jante, life was better there.
When I’d had enough, I pointed out that there was this muslim problem in their country. They call them the new Danes. Those are the one’s not born there. They immigrated, but won’t assimilate, won’t speak the language (or if they do, not properly, the biggest sin to be discriminated against) and suck off the hind teat of social welfare. Since I pointed out the obvious, I got no push back.
PREDICTING THE BOW AND ARROW ATTACK
I got an earful about gun murders in the US and other problems we had. I was told how guns were outlawed in the Nordics so this wasn’t a problem in the hygge place.
I finally broke and said that human nature is not equal. Some are more naturally gifted intellectually, athletically and with more good or evil in their motivations.
My statement in 2016 was if you take away the guns, they’ll use a bow and arrow. If you take that away, they’ll use a knife. If you take that away, they’ll use a stick. People are not equal and that is behind America’s Exceptionalism. It’s also behind the hate of the attack yesterday.
I’ve never been popular with them, being the only real American they are related to. I decided to not make myself less popular, only because of respect for my wife and ended the conversation.
Within days, this happened in the UK, where guns are banned.
Human nature doesn’t change. Love and hate don’t change either.
OSLO—Several people were killed and others were injured by a man using a bow and arrows to carry out attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.
“The man has been apprehended … from the information we now have, this person carried out these actions alone,” police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters.
“Several people have been injured and several are dead,” Aas said. He declined to comment on the number of casualties.
The attacker was a radicalized Dane who randomly shot at people. The reason will come out, but won’t be reported in the mainstream media (MSM).
I don’t think this guy was even a New Dane. The story says he was radicalized.
He randomly shot at people.
Look to the Gates of Vienna if you really want to find out what happened when it comes out.
Southwest Airlines cancelled 1400 flights yesterday. They blamed it on weather and other things. No other airlines cancelled flights because of weather. Air traffic controllers gave them the flying fickle finger of fate also and aren’t showing.
It just came out that 200 members of Congress used Ivermectin instead of the jab, hypocrites. Do as I say, not as I do.
From Social Media:
The Big Pharma are greedy for money from new medicines. Big Government is using Covid for the Re-Set with socialism and to take power and Bill Gates and the WHO want depopulation. Big Tech is covering simple and cheap solutions like this from everyone they can.
India said eff-you and gave everyone this and Ivermectin and have killed Covid off where it is used.
Wake up and stop the madness.
Just as we saw with hydroxychloroquine last summer, government alphabet agencies, the medical industrial complex, and their willing accomplices in the media have recently made it clear that there is yet another safe, effective treatment for COVID-19 they wish to torpedo. It’s the latest naughty word which will get you censored on social media and mocked and belittled by late-night “comedians”: ivermectin.
While ivermectin has been used by certain brave doctors around the world to treat COVID-19 for over a year now, it only recently became the target of a multi-pronged attack, with the U.S. government, the media, and Big Pharma all playing important roles in the deadly dystopian disinformation campaign against the drug. As more Americans became aware of ivermectin’s efficacy against COVID-19, like clockwork the government and its propaganda arm in the press jumped in to discredit it, referring to the drug snidely as a “horse dewormer.”
We watched the FDA embarrass itself with its ridiculing tweet telling people “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it,” while linking to an agency article on why people should not use ivermectin to treat or prevent the China Virus. We saw Rolling Stone magazine forced to admit that its recent story about Oklahoma hospitals being overwhelmed by patients who overdosed on ivermectin was completely false.
Pharmaceutical company Merck, which produces ivermectin, discredited its use for COVID by irresponsibly stating, “We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information.” It is worth noting that Merck and Pfizer are developing their own oral antivirals that would directly compete with the cheap and effective ivermectin. These antivirals, unlike ivermectin, would be patented, creating the potential for pharmaceutical companies to rake in billions of dollars from their use.
What the globalist elites and the medical establishment won’t tell you is that those who discovered ivermectin and its use to treat parasitic diseases won a Nobel Prize in 2015—it was the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine’s only award for treatments of infectious diseases in six decades.
Almost 4 billion doses of ivermectin have been prescribed for humans, not horses, over the past 40 years. In fact, the CDC recommends all refugees coming to the U.S. from the Middle East, Asia, North Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean receive this so-called dangerous horse medicine as a preemptive therapy. Ivermectin is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be an “essential medicine.” The Department of Homeland Security’s “quick reference” tool on COVID-19 mentioned how this life-saving drug reduced viral shedding duration in a clinical trial.
To date, there are at least 63 trials and 31 randomized controlled trials showing benefits to the use of ivermectin to fight COVID-19 prophylactically as well as for early and late-stage treatment. Ivermectin has been shown to inhibit the replication of many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and prevents transmission of COVID-19 when taken either before or after exposure to the virus.
Ivermectin also speeds up recovery and decreases hospitalization and mortality in COVID-19 patients. It has been FDA approved for decades and has very few and mild side effects. It has an average of 160 adverse events reported every year, which indicates ivermectin has a better safety record than several vitamins. In short, there is no humane, logical reason why it should not be widely used to fight against the China Virus should a patient and doctor decide it is appropriate to try in that patient’s case.
Critics argue that ivermectin hasn’t been approved for use in the fight against COVID-19 and therefore should not be prescribed to patients. Doctors, however, often prescribe drugs to help patients that aren’t necessarily approved for their particular ailments—it’s called “off-label” prescription and according to the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 10-20 percent of all prescriptions are prescribed in this fashion.
Make no mistake, the evil, deadly, coordinated globalist attacks we are currently witnessing on ivermectin will go down in history as a vicious crime against humanity; a grievous public health policy error that can only be explained by following the money. Many top doctors agree that hundreds of thousands of American lives could have been saved had early treatment protocols such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine not been so maliciously vilified by authority figures, some pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare providers who just so happen to have financial incentives to suppress the truth about these cheap, effective drugs.
There is an unbelievable push to get people vaxxed. There is an equal effort to stop the cure and prevent people from being healed. Why is this?
HURTING THE CURE
The governor said he was surprised at the HHS “abrupt and sudden” announcement that it would be taking control of distribution. He said this took him by surprise because a week prior, on Sept. 9, the Biden administration said they were increasing monoclonal antibody distribution by 50 percent.
Now the HHS, as of Monday, “seized control” of the treatments, the governor said, adding that earlier in the week he received “official word” that Florida’s shipments of the monoclonals would be reduced by 50 percent.
Before, providers and infusion centers, as well as the state of Florida, would simply call Amerisource, a third-party affiliate of Regeneron that makes the monoclonal antibodies treatment, and request whatever amount was needed. Now, DeSantis said this new method will make it “doubly difficult” for hospitals and other providers because they will now have to go through the state to get their treatments.
“They sprung this on us,” DeSantis said at the press conference on Thursday. “They pulled the rug out from under us.”
It is surprising when the hospital Covid cases have been reduced by 50 percent because of this.
He said the results of the monoclonal antibodies are positive and that there have been 24 consecutive days in the decline of the COVID hospital census statewide.
The governor said he is pleased with the trends that are occurring and credits the vaccine and the monoclonals for the reduction in hospitalization rates. Florida hospital admission rates have decreased by 50 percent.
Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.
Yet Celebtards like Jimmy Kimmel trash Ivermectin users and it’s treatment. Fortunately, a Dr has responded with facts about it rebuking him from carrying the water for Big Pharma.
During your show on 8 September 2021, you commented on the shortage of ICU beds, saying “Vaccinated person having a heart attack? Yes, come right on in, we’ll take care of you. Unvaccinated guy who gobbled horse goo? Rest in peace, wheezy.” I take issue with your commentary for three primary reasons: 1) the comments appear to be racially discriminatory, 2) the comments are not founded in science and serve to further divide a country that, unfortunately, is taking medical advice from too many non-physicians, and 3) the suggestion that doctors should selectively treat patients is unethical.
THE VAXX IS A DEATH SHOT
The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) is exploding with vaccine injuries, at a rate never seen before. The number of injuries and deaths from these vaccines is so immense, all prior vaccine injury data over the past two decades pales in comparison to the carnage observed in 2021.
The government’s passive vaccine injury surveillance system has logged over 675,000 adverse reactions from the vaccines in just eight short months. If these medical issues were divvied up among the roughly 17,000 hospitals in the United States, there have been roughly 40 COVID vaccine injuries for every hospital in the nation.
Over the past forty-seven days of reporting, there have also been 3,296 deaths reported to VAERS. This is equivalent to SEVENTY deaths per day — a sacrificial routine of medical malpractice and wrongful death that must be stopped.
Singapore has just reached a level of vaccination penetration that many other developed economies would envy: 80% of its adult population has been vaccinated. And yet, it continues to struggle with one of the worst outbreaks yet. On Sunday, the nation of 5.7 million people reported 555 new local COVID-19 cases, the most since August 2020. One day prior, Singapore recorded its 58th COVID death, a partially vaccinated 80-year-old man with a history of diabetes, hypertension and heart problems.
A curious thing has happened since Singapore hit 80%, Cook reminds us: “The community cases have actually gone up since reaching 80 per cent coverage, in part because we’re allowing more social events for those who are vaccinated and, I dare say, more fatigue at the control measures,” Cook told the ABC.
And the outlook isn’t exactly positive: Gan Kim Yong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force, said the “worrying” spike in infections would “probably get to 2,000 new cases a day,” describing the next two to four weeks as “crucial.”
It’s a lesson that’s not unique to Singapore; “One main lesson from across South-East Asia is that it is incredibly hard to prevent Delta’s spread and, as Singapore shows, even high vaccination rates will not help that much,” Cook added.
Of course there are the other 2 countries, Israel and the UK that have the same high level of break through Covid cases.
An inconvenient fact is being suppressed. In countries like the United Kingdom or Israel where the double- and triple-vaxxed are dominant, they are seeing spikes in hospitalizations. This directly and unambiguously debunks claims that the vaccines are working, yet cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias have the pro-vaxxers performing mental gymnastics to explain it all away.
Another series of inconvenient facts exist in VAERS data. People are definitely dying from the vaccines. There are far too many reports to conclude that they’re all just lies or misunderstandings. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that only 1%-10% of actual adverse reactions to the vaccines are reported to VAERS, which means the total dead is almost certainly much higher than what anyone is saying.
Gibraltar has a 99% Vaxx rate:
Well, isn’t that always the reason? Isn’t that the lesson from Watergate, follow the money?
Big Pharma gets paid for every “free” vaccination by Government. Government gets lobbying money from Big Pharma to have them push their products. One hand washes the other. In real life, it’s called laundering and crime.
The Government is pushing everyone to get vaxxed, knowing that it is causing the variants and killing people. The long term effects are not known, but it is not good.
But the failure of the mRNA vaccine is far more serious than the failure to protect. The vaccine itself (1) causes illnesses and deaths identical to Covid illnesses and deaths as the massive number of deaths and health injuries in the adverse vaccine reaction databases indicate, (2) the “vaccine” creates variants capable of escaping immune response, and (3) the vaccinated are contagious and dangerous to the unvaccinated.
Did the FDA largely shrug-off its regulatory duties and abandon its normal standards and protocols because
a– It wanted to rush the Covid vaccines into service as rapidly as possible?
b– It knew the Covid-19 vaccine would never meet long-term safety standards?
We don’t know yet, but the adverse events report strongly suggests that the Covid-19 vaccine is hands-down the most dangerous vaccine in history.
The Government is guilty of getting money from Big Pharma in the form of lobbying. They want control over people and are willing to kill them. They have no idea what the long term effects will be because they rushed it to market without proper testing.
Big Pharma is raking in the profits while having a track record of producing vaccines that don’t work. They paid off the Government to get emergency authorization and didn’t do proper testing to know what the effects will be.
Both are guilty of murder, but neither will be held accountable. Money talks and there is a lot of it going around. The People’s best interest is not a concern for them, power and control are.
I retired and enjoyed the heck out of it. If you want to know what I did, go to about and about me.
I started planning for it when I was in my 30’s and knew it would be a long game to have enough. I listened to Larry Burkett of Crown Financial Services, a biblical based ministry that taught me to save and to live debt free. I posted about it a while back on how an average Joe can become a millionaire.
Was it hard?
You bet it was. There were a lot of sacrifices and a lot of learning about investing, managing money and faith in God. It turns out that we were blessed with an abundance of riches, only a small amount of which are financial.
We were alone.
Fortunately, my wife was on the same page. Heck, my Mom even taught me how to save as she lived through the depression. She could make anything last longer than possible. That woman sacrificed for us and I noticed. My siblings however never learned. Mom told me she taught each of us the same lessons, but said no one else listened to her.
I caught a lot of crap from my friends.
Working in the airline industry is very common for my family and friends. We have many pilots and flight attendants in that group.
One of them, with whom I went to school with since 7th grade, gave me a ton of grief when I was in my late 20’s. He was serving cokes for a living (flight attendant) and wasted 15 years of his life doing it. He was broke when he quit.
I spoke to him one Saturday when I was at work. He told me that he only worked 2 weeks a month and was off to Hawaii, rubbing it in my face that I had to work. When I hung up, I knew right then that I was making a short term sacrifice for long term gain. I would be retiring early while being financially safe and knew I would have to work hard. I said to myself that I would make it my goal and I’d be playing golf while he was working. He still is working today, and when he got to the real world I’d had 15 years of experience. I had owned my own business shortly after that conversation. FWIW, I played golf this week.
Did I get even with him?
I chose not to rub it in because the facts show our different outcomes. I’m glad I have mine.
Being an introvert, I don’t want to get into it anyway and he doesn’t want to talk much anymore. I don’t care what happens to others as I can’t control anything other than my destiny. I’m sorry he didn’t listen to me. He told me he resented that job for 13 of the 15 years he did it and hates his current job.
A theme and a pattern.
It wasn’t only my siblings and friends. When I sold my business and went to work for IBM, they were the same. When it came time for me to say goodbye, my house was paid off and we had saved. Almost no one could believe that I was pulling the plug that early. They thought it was some scandal that I had to quit and were very disappointed that the reason I retired was because I could. Most of them were keeping up with the Jones and didn’t save. I looked some of them up and they are still stuck working at the same job when I left.
At the end, IBM was a terrible place to work (see managing executive ego’s, the good, the bad and the ugly). I actually pulled the trigger a year early to get out of that hell hole. To a person, everyone said they wished that they could do what I did, get out. They were too far in debt to do so.
I turned down moving to New York to “climb the ladder” because living there sucks and I didn’t want to raise a family there. People told me when they moved to New York, they got to pay 30% more for everything, for less than I made. Again, I knew that I was making the right decision for my family not to go there to “get ahead” (behind would have been the actual case if I’d gone there).
Dad worked until he was 70. Work defined his life. He was lost when he retired.
Working was only a means to an end for me. To be fair, I was fortunate enough to be highly successful and God decided that I should be compensated for it. That helped make it happen, but if you go back to my siblings, they earned more than me at times. They still work though as most of it was wasted on useless stuff.
Dad couldn’t understand my goals, but I had so much going on that work was interfering with my life, so I stopped. I never regretted it.
A lot of the IBM’rs died shortly after retiring because they had to work a long time. I saw that and knew I wanted to enjoy my life. Now, every day is Saturday for me.
I have enjoyed each day these last 10 years. Heck, I’m the president of the how to enjoy your retirement club. Never once did I think about going back because I didn’t have to.
If there is any lesson, it is in the post of how to become a millionaire.
Short term sacrifice for long term paradise.
I got my ass beat a lot growing up. It was almost every day one summer. I’m pretty sure I earned and deserved every whack. I turned out just fine and respected my Dad even though he was the administrator of spanking.
When I look at the woke people, the cancel culture and the idiots on Twitter, Fake Book and other social media, I’m thankful for my upbringing. It scares the crap out of me that this group of ‘tards are about to run everything while a bunch of them still live in their parents basement.
The ones that made it out of the basement are bringing down the NBA, NFL, MLB and the rest of sports and entertainment (and life).
I also can get anywhere with only a map, write in cursive and can figure out how to fix just about anything without a search engine.
According to the boring company, They are going to build a tunnel in Ft. Lauderdale from downtown to the Beach.
Musk is a smart guy with a good track record. I don’t know how well this one is thought out
I lived there for years. The traffic is horrendous in South Florida. I’ve documented it in my traffic post here. Almost anything that creates another artery to ease traffic is welcome, but will be overflowed quickly.
Here’s an excerpt:
Washington, DC (CNN)Fort Lauderdale, Florida plans to strike a deal withElon Musk‘s The Boring Company to build a tunnel between its downtown and the beach.The Boring Company would offer rides in Teslas to hundreds of people a day for $5-8 per person, the city’s leaders have said before. A similar ride in an Uber would cost about $10 per trip at current prices, according to Uber’s ride price estimator.”This could be a truly innovative way to reduce traffic congestion,” Mayor Dean Trantalis said Tuesday night, announcing the plan, though the costs to the city were initially undisclosed. He said other firms will have 45 days to submit competing proposals.
The project will be dubbed “The Las Olas Loop,” a reference to a local road that connects to the beach. The Boring Company offers a transit system called the Loop, in which people in standard Teslas are driven from station to station in tunnels. Its first project opened last month at the Las Vegas Convention Center. There are plans to extend the system through more of Las Vegas.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Florida has about a 2 foot water table meaning no one builds basements there for a reason, they flood. To compound it, the water table is next to a centimeter at the beach. It’s a few feet above sea level in most places and is as much lakes inland as land in a lot of places, like South Florida.
As smart as Musk is, This isn’t drilling through rock. Florida is basically a big sand bar. Water flows easily through sand.
All I can say is good luck, and invest in industrial water pumps if this project gets off the ground. They will need to pump a lot of the Atlantic back into the sea.
They are bigger and currently badder than we want to be. Is is really this dystopian?
I know they have free shipping, but there is always something else you want, not need and they put it in your face.
I’ve bought zilch this year. I realized that Amazon is discounting a lot of stuff to put their version of the products in your house.
Really, I don’t need more stuff and the deals aren’t that great anymore. There is also 2 million deals to sort through, most of which you could get for the same price by waiting and watching.
“You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.”
We all are smart at something (the converse is true about the other things). For that we grant ourselves superiority status that bleeds to other things that aren’t always our best subjects.
That led to the next saying. “Here, hold my beer”. We all know how that turns out.
It’s ok to say you don’t know about something. It ends some conversations based on competing knowledge, some of which could actually be true.
I look at the experts on what is happening in the world and wonder if some of these people have overstepped their boundaries…….Like this one:
Alina Chan, a biologist at the Silver lab at the Harvard School of Medicine
Chan is one of 18 scientists who finally admitted in the journal of Science last month that the Wuhan coronvirus likely originated in a Wuhan, China virology lab.
Chan says liberal scientists lied to the American public for months about their beliefs on the origination of the virus to not be associated with the President who was trying to save lives.
The political rhetoric is about equality, but people are too different to be equal, at anything, even identical twins think differently. Equal opportunity to succeed is our best shot.
There is no magic bullet in life on Earth.
BTW, this is another censorship shot. I don’t think they like the real definition instead of theirs.
He lived through the ravages of Communism and wrote about it.
Why would anyone want that again?
Hat tip to The News Punch, more here.
And just think, company’s 1 and 10 are trying to be the most woke right now. I get that it’s a long time ago, but memories are long.
I once had to deal with this issue at IBM. Naturally, the PR department did it’s best to sweep it under the rug in public, but behind the scenes it was a train wreck to not get it wrong. I remember thinking that what they said in public was morally wrong and couldn’t support it.
Evil is evil
Coca-Cola was a major presence in Nazi Germany, even though officials in the Reich were said to believe the stuff was too frivolous for the German character. Nevertheless, the very American nature of the product (wealth, flashy dreams, etc.) appealed too much to the German public and the stuff was kept around. It wasn’t until 1942 that the company’s presence in the nation was seriously threatened.
Coca-Cola’s hundreds of bottling plants in Germany were naturally cut off from main American support when America entered World War II. But Max Keith, the representative of the company in Germany at the time, redubbed the product “Fanta” for Reich consumption. The bottling factories and processing plant were then used to provide Germany’s citizens a key element to keep their energy up to support the war effort: A supply of sugar above what the government rationed to them. After the war, Keith, in an amazing display of company loyalty, turned over the wartime profits to the parent company when the Allied armies arrived, when surely the gigantic amount of inevitable post-war confusion and complication would have allowed him to sneak off with it.
9. Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Prior to World War II, Germany had been one of America’s most important film markets (as implied in the above entry, Germans had a bit of an obsession with a heavily romanticized vision of America), and as such, American film studios were willing to bend over backward to appease the German government. Even Warner Brothers, who developed a reputation for being the most anti-Nazi of major studios at the time, ordered that the word “Jew” be taken out from their movies and invited Nazi dignitaries to visit their studio.
But the single greatest act of Nazi support was one done by MGM after the invasion of Poland in 1939. They donated prints of eleven of their films to the German Relief Effort after the war with Poland began. These bewildering dreams of maintaining a market in Germany only died off after France and Britain’s markets threatened to die out too in response to all this collusion with their enemy.
8. Chase Manhattan Bank
The Chase Manhattan Bank’s form of colluding with the Reich was particularly heinous. Because Carlos Niedermann, Chase’s representative in Paris, had very good personal relations with the Nazis, he agreed to their requests that the bank seize the assets of at least one hundred Parisian Jews that were considered especially worth pursuing by the Reich. This doubtless helped the Gestapo capture those people. Chase Manhattan was hardly alone in this, though. In 1998, the company was part of a suit demanding reparations from J. P. Morgan and Citibank for the millions of dollars stolen. In the end, the payouts were $200 a month. The survivors and descendants had to fight to not have large amounts of the payments eaten up by wire transfer fees.
7. Dow Chemical
It’s not too much of a stretch for many people to imagine oil companies collaborating with evil people. We are used to the mental image of oil companies being willing to prop up evil dictators to have access to petroleum and similar atrocities. Dow Chemical was one of the companies that provided an insane amount materials for the Nazis, including not only raw materials but also American technological innovations in regards to oil refinery. The contributions were so extreme that it allowed the Nazis to forgo their previous quotas to accommodate the influx. This indicates the Nazis were taken by surprise in regard to how much material they received from these American companies! No wonder they were able to achieve the massive armament build-up that they did.
6. Brown Brothers Harriman
During the early 1930s, Fritz Thyssen ran a business that he used to help finance Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Brown Brothers Harriman was a subsidiary company that he used as a base of American operations. This collusion is of particular note because it was integral to the basis of the claim that Prescott Bush, father of ex-President George Bush and of course grandfather of ex-President George W. Bush, supported the Third Reich. He was on the board of directors for BBH and in 1942, the company’s assets were seized by the federal government. Suspicions then arose that some assets were taken as part of the Bush family fortune. These, among other reasons, came to light in 2003 as part of the presidential campaign, and make it appear that the Bush family owed their fortune to Nazi activities. It really does seem like the sort of discovery an opposing campaign team would dream about making in regards to their opponent (not that it ultimately helped much).
In 1933, 1.25% of the company’s entire inventory came from Germany, but mostly it was in the form of trinkets, like Christmas decorations. At the time, even that led to protests in America because news was coming from Germany that the Reich was beginning its public persecution of the Jews. When Woolworth conceded to public pressure and removed the offending items from its stock, it caused protests over in Germany over the abuse of their “hospitality.”
What was significant about Woolworth’s interaction with the Nazis was a horrible thing that Woolworth did, that ultimately lent legitimacy to their notorious anti-semitism. Woolworth fired all of its Jewish employees. This won them the designation “Adefa Zeichen,” an award reserved for companies that were “pure Aryan.” Most likely Woolworth doesn’t advertise their products with that seal of approval.
Alcoa is now the third largest aluminum producer in the world. Back in 1941, it was much more powerful. It had a monopoly on aluminum in addition to owning a massive amount of America’s electricity production and other minerals. Before America declared war on Germany, it sent so much of its aluminum product over to Germany that the country made upwards of sixty percent more aluminum products than America. When the US’s involvement in the war began, there was a massive aluminum production shortage in America, in no small part because of Alcoa’s monopoly. Alcoa essentially sold the Axis powers much of the material to build their war machines and a reprieve from the American war machine.
When Hitler pays tribute to you in his biography and keeps a portrait of you in his office, it will be hard for you to claim that you did not have some connection to him. However, Henry Ford didn’t seem particularly inclined to distance his company or himself from the Nazis anyway, since he accepted Germany’s highest honor freely and never returned the award while Hitler was alive. He was a committee member of the America First Association which advocated America to stay out of World War II. In 1998, it came out that the Third Reich was providing Ford’s factory in Cologne with 1,200 Russian slaves, as a potential form of compensation
2. General Motors
Similar to their automotive rivals, General Motors was sued by Holocaust survivors for assisting the Nazi war machine. Beginning in 1935, GM built a factory in Berlin for the purpose of building “Blitz” trucks for the Wehrmacht. Ford began building similar trucks around the same time, but GM was the number one producer of the vehicles that were vital for the quick conquests of Poland, France, and much of the Soviet Union. Albert Speer, the minister of armaments and war production, claimed that the rubber GM supplied was the key to the ability of the Germans to wage war the way they did. Inevitably when America declared war on Germany, the Reich seized GM’s German production facilities.
Although neither Ford nor General Motors ever fully conceded that they had willingly participated in the use of slave labor, they both were massive contributors to a fund started in 2000 for Holocaust survivors.
In 1933, International Business Machines began providing Germany with punchcard machines that functioned as precursors to modern computers and databases. Documents have since been uncovered that show that as late as 1941, IBM was working in tandem with the Reich to liquidate Jews from Holland. IBM employees were training SS personnel how to use their machines to record the movement, sorting, and mass execution of large numbers of undesirables, at times right in the headquarters of death camps. These machines, however, remained IBM property at all times.
In 2002, IBM was sued by five gypsies to collect reparations because their parents had been killed during the Holocaust. After four years of legal discussion, the case was dismissed due to the statute of limitations.
“We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.” – Walt Kelly
Only a few generations ago, the average lifespan was about 40 years. People died from diseases that make Covid seem like a scratch.
More people have more chances to do good or get ahead in their own way than any other time in history.
I ask myself, why is there so much unrest and hate? It shouldn’t be that way. Your time is short and passes quickly. Not everyone needs to go down as a revolutionary. That is so much wasted effort out of the day.
My saying for today is look for something good instead of bad. No matter what, it will make at least that moment better.
“Man, I think most white people and black people are great people,” Barkley said. “I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power.” “They divide and conquer. I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods, we all got money, let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other, let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other, let’s scramble the middle class. I truly believe that in my heart,” he said.
He lives on in the College and University system today. Marx and his policies went from Frankfurt to Columbia in NY when the Germans were smart enough to get rid of his ideas.
For decades, we’ve been told that the population of the earth is one of the causes of many of our problems and only by reducing it (Bill Gates) will we survive.
This is either something that is a global destruction issue (like the dinosaur extinction) or is just more climate scare tactics (yes, it is the same group claiming the death of the planet by weather also). Certainly history will be the judge but so far none of the climate extinction events have come true (such as from an Inconvenient Truth FWIW).
NOW WE HAVE THE TEST – SEX
One would think that if you were holed up with someone else, sooner or later it would lead to babies in 9 months. I get that there is birth control but we’ve seen that people are inconsistent and sooner or later it happens. Look at office sex. A lot of people wind up doing it with co-workers they’d never touch except for familiarity.
However, we find that this is not the case. People have stopped bumping uglies.
CBS obtained data from health departments in over two dozen states that shows “a 7% drop in births in December—nine months after the first lockdowns began.”
Research from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., predicts that births may well be down 300,000 to 500,000 in 2021.
Brookings also notes, contrary to what the romantics thought would happen, that surveys of couples, particularly those with young children at home, report declines in sexual activity.
But these COVID-related hits to birth rates really attach to a trend of declining fertility rates in the U.S. that has been going on for years.
WHO ISN’T DOING THE DIRTY?
The U.S. fertility rate in 1900 was almost 4, more than double today’s rate. Please don’t tell me it was because times were so much more safe and certain over a century ago.
In a 2019 Pew Research survey, 16% said having children is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Twenty-two percent said it is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.
In the same survey, 57% said that “having a job or a career they enjoy” is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life. Forty-six percent said “having a job or career they enjoy” is essential for a woman to have a fulfilling life.
Regarding being married, 16% said it is essential for a man to have a fulfilling life, and 17% said it is essential for a woman to have one.
This data, I think, sheds light on why Americans are not having children. It’s not because times are so hard. Every time is challenging, and Americans are more comfortable and prosperous today than ever in history.
Maybe the Brookings scholars will be right about having 300,000 fewer births in the U.S. in 2021 because of COVID-19.
They get picked on for being losers, but the millennials and Gen-X,Y and now Z are not holding their own. There is a reason for a generation of Baby Boomers. They came home from war and got busy about life. Boomers had the hippie sex and love days so they held up their end of the deal.
Humor here: Maybe all the drugs that the Boomers did is why we have screwed up generations that follow. The boomers got out of the parents basements and for the most part never returned.
WHAT WE WILL FIND OUT ABOUT OVERPOPULATION
Now we will see if the over population alarmists are right (no) or are they full of it to try and get money (the usual reasons). With the younger generation just not doing it to the fill the needs of replenishing our population minimums it’s going to go down. We will then get to see if there is enough food (yes), land (yes) and will people kill the earth (no).
The population scare tactics crowd will not stop until they move onto the next scare to try to get us to part with part of our paychecks so that congress can waste it.
Judge for yourself. I think we have the technology to farm all the food we need and people haven’t been able to change the temperature more than a tenth or two (not even proven yet scientifically, no the science isn’t settled yet).
Here’s my advice. Get busy at getting busy. The planet is resilient. We need the kids and generations prior to ours survived actual million death events unlike Covid. The death count is so overstated and incorrectly calculated that by just correcting for actual Flu deaths would make what it is, less significant were it not an election year in 2020
The government is to serve the people, not the other way around. Underneath the covers of the Covid bill (go research it, you won’t believe me even if I put the facts here, but they are in the bill) is kickback money that they have given organizations who will then contribute to the politicians.
It is a cycle that has made most in congress millionaires and fund their campaign chest for the next election.
I see it and I’m not a political operative. I hope your intelligence lets you connect the dots also. The facts and the history are there. Ruling classes for all of history vote themselves power and money and destroy nations.
I slip in things like China Virus, IRS is big brother and other words just to give the censors something to do. Sooner or later they’ll move the line and you won’t see me for 30 days or whatever the penalty is for using the wrong work or pronoun that I probably couldn’t keep straight.
They can’t ban me on Fake book or Twatter because I fired them first.
Our morally vacuous Congress and other leaders no longer seem to have our best interest in mind. It seems that keeping power is more important than the will of the people. Spending $4400 per person to give them maybe $1400 is not a great deal for those who have to pay for it.
Why are they wasting time on anything not devoted to helping us medically, economically and protectively? They want to consolidate power and ensure re-election. This is not new it seems. Every politician seems to succumb to this unless he has a greater calling, few do.
I’m not taking sides because I believe politicians to mostly be on one side, theirs. Vote themselves a raise. Buy stock in a company 2 weeks before you are about to approve their product.
I shake my head at how we let this group of elitists in. They crept in over the years and I doubt their intentions are good, rather mostly self-interest.
The money flows easily in Washington. Lobbyists, tech companies and their oligarchs (the richest) and who can forget the celebtards who pretty much take the morally wrong position whenever possible.
There, did I offend enough people? I said nothing about race, religion, gender, or belief. I am talking about greed and power.
It looks like it would work for the people. If not, at least enjoy the thought.
“Mediocre men often have the most acquired knowledge.”
I’ve noticed how smart people are when they have a phone to look up the answer to anything, without learning how to do something. I’m not advocating a life of mistakes to learn, but most of us learn more by having to re-do something than breezing through it.
I also noticed that the most insane arguments on the Internet are by those partially informed, yet willing to show their ignorance or lack of IQ in public. As usual, it is most often done in the cesspool that is Twitter or Facebook.
Please stop it so the rest of us can enjoy it again.
I like people that are informed and right most of the time. Friedman was both. He was an economist. I take it for what it is. I suppose there are political overtones if you want to read into it, but I am trying to stay out of that pool so don’t.
There is a lot of things that can hold us hostage like addiction, debt, lying….you recognize them.
Here is a link to the files below. I looked at some and there is a lot of incriminating information. I’m sure if due diligence were actually done, some crimes could be solved.
There is other informational and odd things such as I didn’t know that Steve Jobs was HIV positive according to the records here. He had a tough life that wasn’t worth the fame and money. There are a lot of other people doing a lot of other things if you care.
Someone mentioned that the Las Vegas shooter was an FBI sniper, but I never found that file.
It has the secret rituals of some of the College Greek institutions. I guess if you are a rival fraternity, it would be interesting to look at.
The filenames are descriptive enough to see what’s in it. Have fun.
I hope it was worth it to all of those who got the information together and those who leaked it.
I’m interrupting humor and sarcasm to note a trend. If you read my about, I notice trends and patterns as facts begin to fall into place over time.
As always, the human race seems to come down to power (and other forms like sex and money). Not everyone wants it, but those addicted to it can’t get enough.
In 2020, Big Tech financed a lot of the election, probably on both sides but they seem to favor one side over the other. I’m not going to get into being political but both sides of the spectrum don’t serve us as well as they should. It seems that they serve themselves in terms of granting more power and control. On the other side of power is……
BIG TECH HAS BIG MONEY AND BIG INFLUENCE.
At some point, they tell you to follow the money. No one has more money (ergo influence) than Big Tech right now. I’ll give you that the government has more, they get it from taxpayers and the tech companies. They don’t have to earn it so it is less valuable and more widely wasted.
It’s not just about money though because money buys power and influence. Tech will likely sit their people in positions in the new cabinet, as currently elected but is not the big issue. It is trivial compared to the war.
The war is who controls the message.
GOVERNMENT IS GETTING GENERIC AND TECH RUNS RINGS AROUND THEM
After watching the tech hearings over the last couple of years, Congress is filled with mostly idiots when it comes to tech. They asked Facebook and Google simpleton questions I’d be embarrassed to ask my grandparents. Of course, the CEO’s ran circles around the questioners and frankly made them look like the emperor with no clothes . They didn’t even have to lie (although it looks like they bent the truth pretty heavily) because the questions were so elementary.
The result is that Tech (mostly the FAANGS) control the message that congress had a stranglehold on and the fight is on for said power. On the big tech side is the money and on the government side is regulation.
AMERICANS ARE WAKING UP TO THIS POWER STRUGGLE (AS IS THE REST OF THE WORLD)
I’m not the only one noticing this. This study (linked below) surveyed Americans, but users around the world are the same:
A majority of Americans across the political spectrum believe tech companies have too much power and do more harm than good, and most people have deep concerns about how companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google use their personal data, accordingto a new poll released today by Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The wide-ranging report, “Techlash? America’s Growing Concern with Major Technology Companies,” provides findings on how Americans view the roles internet and technology companies play in their lives and in society. Major findings include the following:
- Americans believe internet and tech companies have a negative impact on American life: People think the companies do more to divide society (60%) than to unite it (11%); misinform the public about the news (47%) rather than make people more informed (19%); and create more problems than they solve (47%), rather than solve more problems than they create (15%).
- Misinformation, hate speech and data privacy are top concerns: Americans are overwhelmingly concerned about misinformation on the internet (74%), the privacy of their personal data (68%), and they are very concerned about hate speech and other abusive or threatening language online (56%).
- A bipartisan majority believes internet and tech companies have too much power: While 77% of Americans hold this opinion, Americans are equally divided on whether the government should intervene to break up these companies. Republicans tend to be more critical of internet and tech companies than Democrats and independents.
- Americans say leaders are not paying enough attention: Fifty-nine percent say elected officials and political candidates are paying too little attention to technology issues, including 67% of young adults (aged 18-34) and 71% of Democrats, versus 43% of Republicans and 57% of independents.
- People don’t trust tech companies to police content on their platforms, but they trust the government even less: A majority of Americans don’t trust internet and tech companies much (44%) or at all (40%) to make the right decisions about what content is allowed on online platforms. But 55% of people still prefer that the companies make those decisions, rather than the government (44%).
We can’t count on the tech companies to do anything other than to seek power:
Self-regulation has failed. One of Silicon Valley’s most valuable assets until now has been the cultural permission to try new things. The public has put up with arrogant rhetoric and a lax attitude toward the law in exchange for innovative ideas that meaningfully improved upon the status quo. But it was a Faustian bargain, with untrammeled innovation raising the specter of uncontrolled growth. When we learn about Airbnb endangering neighbors, Twitter failing to stop rampant harassment, or YouTube radicalizing its viewers with an algorithm that recommends extremist content, we see the destructive harm technology companies can do and their unwillingness to rein in their greed. The narrative has shifted from a question of whether there will be regulation at all to the fight over who should make the rules—and how tough those rules should be.
WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES?
Usually no one wins or the Government uses it’s tentacles to overwhelm companies with regulations. Tech has the power of the message and as much money. Further, with their hands in the pockets of the politicians and the ineptness of Congress, it let’s me think that Tech will have the early upper hand. Congress can pass laws, but tech is usually steps ahead and there is no telling what has been embedded in the future technology. It takes 5 years or so to bring a new product to market. The 2025 tech is already being tested in labs somewhere.
Sure, they might have to pay fines, but they are rounding errors at the rate tech is making money.
So I’m predicting this. It will be a standoff and both sides will struggle for power. In the meantime, users will suffer from regulation or invasion of privacy from both parties.
Congress will get more money out of the tech companies in the form of lobbying or the people they place in high positions. The relationship becomes incestuous.
Again, we are the losers.
Amazon, the trillion-dollar tech company, has hired lobbyist Jeff Ricchetti, whose brother will be the top White House counselor to Joe Biden.
Jeff Ricchetti’s firm, which he founded in 2001 with his brother Steve Ricchetti, the incoming Biden adviser, registered as a lobbyist for Amazon on Nov. 13.
I’m not sure the world is quiet this bad yet, but I’ve been wrong before
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward
We are in a season of change, from health issues to government changes around the world to how and where to work. It is up to each of us to adjust accordingly.
Adjust doesn’t mean changing any core values or forgetting lessons from experiences, it is applying them to the situation.
Set your sails and forget 2020 other than the lessons learned. Apply them to your future and move along, life will anyway, either with you or without you.
I’ve heard it said that governments based on a republic have an average life span of about 200 years throughout history. That means America is in overtime.
Other nations have been unable to unseat the USA as the de-facto world leader by force, so they are using the 5th column instead. Here is the definition of the 5th column -> Link to 5th column.
I have chosen to not be political, rather than observe patterns and history on this one.
“In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry about where the next meal would come from.”
I suppose that being an economist is like being a weather forecaster. You are more likely to be wrong about your guess, but people still tune in the next day in case you might be right.
I just finished a conversation with a successfully retired executive. He told me the secret to retirement is to keep your life uncomplicated. These two are related.
If you do something really well are paid for it, you hit the lottery. If it is one of your 1000 things, you still are ok. If you are hating your job and don’t something you do well you might be a dumbass.
Life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing. Sure, we have to do things we don’t want to, but not all the time.
If you do this, your life will be a lot easier than swimming upstream doing something you don’t like and aren’t good at. There is nothing wrong with tenacity, as long as it is combined with intelligence.
The moral of the story is don’t be a dumbass.
Act as if what you do makes a difference, it does – William James
No matter what you do, someone is watching. Your kids learn by imitating you. Your co-workers watch you to see if you carry your load.
The military in the trenches of warfare want someone next to them they can trust, with their lives. It could come down to that in an instant.
Whether you are spiritual or secular is noticed also. The way they treat you will be your judge of how they perceive your actions.
So, actions speak louder than words. Others notice. Some may not care, but with the internet, nothing you do is ever forgotten. The politicians in this years election are going to have to deal with it. Some have decades of experience, some have a few years. They will all be judged by what they have done and who they have done it for.
Also, don’t be a dick on social media. It will haunt you forever.
Act right, do the right thing because it makes a difference.
“The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.”
A more common version of this is he who hesitates, hesitates.
No one knows the outcome of any decision. We only have a few scientific theorems that are somewhat certain, for now. They could be proven incorrect (Einstein’s Theory of Relativity) if we use scientific methods.
The same can be said for our everyday lives. We usually think we are right, but we don’t know how it will turn out. Many times our decisions help or harm others in ways we never intended them to.
Nevertheless, most of the time, making a decision is better than not making one, or procrastinating. I’m in favor of getting the best intel you can to make a good decision, but in the heat of the battle you have to make one.
This is why some are better leaders than others. They have the right instincts or have been through enough to have history and experience on their side to make a better decision.
There have been good young leaders, it’s just that most don’t have the wisdom of a life lived to not know when to shut up.
We’ll never have perfect clearness because we can’t see the future. If we did, life wouldn’t be worth living.
Covid has changed our lives for good, and possibly/probably not for the better. Let’s take it by activity.
Here is some history. Flying used to be fun, economical and had good service. We used to like going on an airplane until some jag-off decided to try and light his shoe bomb on a plane. Then another tried to blow up his underwear. We now have to queue in a long line and I’m not all that sure that it’s stopped anyone other than the average Joe traveler. It hasn’t stopped the TSA from copping a feel on strangers. The food sucks now and isn’t free anymore. Flying is more like the line for enlistment (including your prostate exam by the TSA) than to get on a plane.
With Covid, we can now add a temperature check, face masks and the the fear of catching anything from being in a tube for hours with little to no service. The airports are petri dishes for bacteria.
Given the losses on travel companies and equipment manufacturers, it doesn’t bode well for the travel industry or the travelers.
Going to the office to work.
The requirement to be in person at work not as necessary as thought.
Before remote working, we had to be in the office or no one could be fully sure that you were earning your pay. Travel and working remotely eased that but there still are some bosses who didn’t trust their employees. I had one piss-ant manager named R. Gorman when I worked at Thinkpad who didn’t trust anyone. He sent a memo called rules of the road where you had to be in the office. All that got him was no trust or loyalty from the team. We were technologically equipped to work from anywhere and always did on business travel, but there still was some requirement to be in the office otherwise.
Employees want to be empowered to succeed. When that happens, they find ways to be creative and accomplish their goals. Conversely, when you treat them like school children, many will act that way. Just like with Ray, our productivity went down and the Ray jokes went up.
Now, no one can go in to work while we are socially distancing, and most jobs (non-manufacturing) are still getting done. It’s easy to reach anyone at anytime (too easy and too intrusive) but the oversight of said taskmasters is not needed. In a way, the people are now empowered and they still get the work done. This one could be a benefit of Covid.
The downside is that a lot of empty buildings will lose their real estate value as there is no need to be in the office with the exception of essential workers.
How it affects the home
For us introverts, I thought it would be a time that we could cancel and/or avoid engagements until Zoom invaded our lives. Now even virtual happy hours are like a meeting. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to get privacy when kids and dogs are in the room or yelling in the background. Spouses or parents have been caught parading nude in front of the camera by accident.
When you meet in person, it’s easier to read body language and have someones attention. I tend to drift during Zoom meetings and have multiple devices that I often look at. I’ve noticed that I’m not alone.
Trouble for Introverts
Normally, we would be in pig heaven not to have to go to the office. In addition to the invasiveness of Zoom/Skype, we are stuck in the house with extroverts who won’t leave us alone. It’s like being trapped in hell. You want the quiet and the peace you got when the extrovert was in the office, instead your personal space is invaded and you can’t escape.
The school model is now exposed, especially at college level. No more extortion for dorms when you can do 90% online. College professors are no longer as essential. Recorded classes, especially at the 100 and 200 level are adequate. Online testing and submitting required homework is routinely done online even well before this virus.
It turns out that colleges are a Breathtakingly overpriced product.
According to Mike Rowe: “They’re gonna’ find big thinkers with easily accessible ideas who are exponentially more interesting than professors, and soon, I hope, our obscene love affair with credentialing is going to stop, and we’re going to pause in every imaginable way, and look at what is essential – not just in workers or in work, but in education, in food, in fun. Everything is going to be forced through a different filter,” he said.
Colleges will also be exposed on their sports programs. Sports are a bank fund that pays for a lot of other school expenses and is a recruiting tool for enrollment. The schools will now have to rely on actual academics as a draw for students instead of March Madness or Bowl season. Maybe the students will now get an education instead of an indoctrination to Marxism.
Conversely, this is a big positive as the cost of education has the opportunity to go down (but so far the colleges are still extorting the same ransom from parents). Room and board are a large part of the cost of an education. Combine that with the lack of a requirement for many classrooms and there is the road to cutting costs.
It is not in the best interest of the Major institutions to charge less, but the cat is out of the bag that you can get almost as much done online. I hope that the masses will overcome and help this opportunity for cost cutting.
For elementary, middle and high school, I think it will hurt our youth. There is a need for hands on in basic learning and kids have the attention span of gnats. Sometimes you need to snatch their asses back to attention when it’s learning time.
New paradigm for getting essential needs like groceries.
Essential services like cancer, emergency rooms are same, but will change. Non-essential Dr. visits are now handled over the phone or via video. Dr.’s can now dedicate more of their time to real emergencies or necessary in-person visits. A person using the Emergency Room for healthcare because they don’t have insurance is going to go way down.
There is no downtime for paperwork and other overhead that comes with any job, but that got handled off-line mostly anyway.
Rely on technology more, but the risk is that you can take down a society like the virus did. Beware of hackers though, where there is opportunity, there will be bad guys looking to make your day worse.
Groceries have taken a turn for the better/worse/something different. Now that we went through the great toilet paper shortage and people have enough to wipe their asses for the next 5 years. They can realize that a little planning can condense 5 shopping trips into one, or one delivery or pickup.
A lot converts have been made for grocery delivery. There are a few kinks that need to be worked out though. I’ve gotten stuff I didn’t order, but mostly I rarely get everything I wanted, even if I put in what the substitute would be product. There is no shopping for the store brand that is a whole lot cheaper.
We have gotten used to queuing a lot more now. It used to be the end of the world for some people who had to wait for more than one person to checkout. Now, we’re standing on X’s taped to the floor like kindergartners waiting to go potty.
As is the trend, online shopping has picked up and the downside is retail stores are less needed. Again, this is a loss in real estate value and will leave a lot of square footage available.
So all in all, some of this is good, but a lot of it was unnecessary. If it wasn’t an election year or if there were different political leaders, a whole lot of people wouldn’t be losing there freaking minds over every little thing that they look for to be offended by. HCQ would be over the counter like it is in a lot of countries and we wouldn’t be held hostage for masks as no one really seems to know whether it truly helps or hurts us yet.
I’ll remain optimistic that society will adapt. I’m pessimistic that this is a political power opportunity to control the masses and we should beware.
Hat tip to Moonbattery
For politics, we need balance. History shows that too much dominance by any side makes for lack of clear vision as leaders. Their goal becomes being re-elected instead of serving the office they were elected to. There are plenty of examples.
In Companies, being the solution to a problem is one business model, until the problem goes away then so do profits.
The better model is innovation. Not that I find it that innovative, but look no further than the iPhone as an example. Conversely, we are still stuck with Windows however and I find no real innovation there. I left that platform as quickly as I could
Then of course there is Facebook, Twitter, Google and host of other platforms that haven’t really offered a solution other than sucking the time out of your day and providing a place to move along anarchy.
Look at the motives of the person trying to offer a solution. Are they selling you a bill of goods, re-election or innovation?
When you do things because they are easy or the easy way, life will be hard in the future. When you do things that are hard, life will become easy.
I remember in my early working days when I was busting ass on a Saturday. A friend of mine was giving me a hard time about working while he was on his way to Hawaii because he only worked 2 weeks a month (he was a stewardess – his words). He was flying there for free because he worked for the airlines.
I knew that I was making a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. I couldn’t afford the trip both in terms of money or time off.
A few years later, he decided not to serve cokes in the air for a living, but had wasted 15 years of working experience. I had committed to getting ahead early in my career to enjoy my time later in life. That required me to work hard when I was younger and sacrifice some things.
Now, I go where I want, when I want. I’ve long since retired and my friend is still catching up and will be working for a long time. I can afford a ticket to wherever, usually on frequent flyer points. Life is a full circle.
I’m not a fortune teller, but life is short and there is a time for work and a time to reap the rewards of that work. I knew that early and instead of living for the moment I had to work hard and sacrifice to enjoy the fruits of that labor.
We all learn lessons in life, but the are eerily similar. Few are sports stars, win the lottery or inherit their wealth. You need to work tenaciously, suffer from some hard knocks and learn from your experiences. I knew way back then that goofing off early in life when you should be building the foundation for your life was the right decision.
I decided not to rub it in with my friend now that we are on the other side of the equation. He is suffering enough and it’s just not worth it to me. The results speak for themselves.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Remember, I’m an observer of trends and have taken a position of waiting to see where I’ll fall on any subject until enough facts are in.
Milton Friedman said people are greedy and power hungry when answering who would you trust to have power for your government. We’ve had a test run on what would happen with the struggle to re-open the country after the Wuhan/Covid virus. (here is a brief clip, but the entire discussion is there if you want to view it). He refers to Einstein, Henry Ford and others accomplishing what they did and how.
Some governors have shut down their states, while others are trying to re-open. It’s too early to see who is right, but the trend is leaning towards the virus dying down in both.
What does this have to do with the right to bear arms? It gives us the right to protect ourselves from our enemies. At the time it was referring to the oppressive British, but when setting the boundaries of what was to become the greatest nation ever, it was to protect us from an oppressive US government or any other government for that matter.
As always, history will show the outcome.
- Thou shalt not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad hominem)
- Thou shalt not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make them easier to attack. (Straw man fallacy)
- Thou shalt not use small numbers to represent the whole.(Hasty generalizations)
- Thou shalt not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (Begging the question)
- Thou shalt not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (Post hoc/False cause)
- Thou shalt not reduce the argument down to two possibilities.(False dichotomy)
- Thou shalt not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (Ad ignorantum)
- Thou shalt not lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (Burden of proof reversal)
- Thou shalt not assume “this” follows “that” when it has no logical connection. (Non sequitir)
- Thou shalt not argue that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true. (Bandwagon fallacy)
Try telling this to the Press, celebtards, sports stars who try to cram their opinion on those because they are good a games or career politicians. They are the worst offenders.
No one would wish what happened to us with the China/Wuhan/Covid-19/Kung flu/Corona virus this year. I wonder if there is any silver lining?
WE’VE LEARNED THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE IN PERSON AT WORK
First, the essential workers should be commended. Those putting their life at risk for the rest of us or to keep us able to stay away but help keep the economy going do need to be there. They don’t get thanked enough and deserve more accolades than they are getting. I can’t list them all, but you know who you are as do we, especially when we go out or are in need and you are there.
There are a group of desk jockeys that can work from anywhere, including home, the coffee shop or anywhere that has WIFI. Many companies are still getting along just fine without everyone in their cubicles or open office space being babysat by next level of ladder climbers and wannabees.
Yes, some of them are goofing off, but they goof off at the office also. They self-sort themselves out of their jobs after a while anyway. The other workers know who is carrying their load and who is carrying a load of bullshit without them being there.
We have been forced into a higher level of trust to get the job done. I’ve worked for some who didn’t trust their employees if they weren’t at their desk. If you treat people like grownups they will be. If you treat them poorly or like monkeys, like managers I’ve had they will eat bananas.
Now, those who want to work at home or remotely had the chance to prove that they could get the job done and don’t have to go into an office to do the same thing.
For introverts, this is a blessing. They don’t have to be sentenced to the jail of in person meetings or having to have their day ruined by HR regimented nonsense that can be done in non-critical hours.
This is a unique time to get more work done, or to refine our work habits. See above about goofing off in the office and you have now eliminated water cooler BS sessions, meaningless meetings that can be done on email or chat and time to actually concentrate.
I know those in sales have to talk, but if they concentrate more on selling, they too will be more productive. A lot of them are too chatty anyway.
The USA works more than other countries and it appears that we like to work. You can tell by how much we’ve achieved, but also the lack of vacation we take vs. other countries. Hey, but how many countries have landed a man on the moon?
We have the opportunity to open up (re-open up) and unleash the greatest economy and workforce that has ever existed. There are people dying to get back to work that may be furloughed. I only hope the politicians haven’t put onerous rules in place that hurts the economy and the ability for small businesses to thrive.
You can now go anywhere you need to if you want. I imagine that travel will be light at first, although some with pent up demand or anxiety will leave as soon as it is allowed. The downside will be the TSA security check lines if we have to stay 6 feet apart. The line will be out of the building and into long term parking.
I read that the bookings for Cruise ships are in high demand, something I just don’t understand. Cruise ships are petri dishes for viruses and have been for a long time. Why you would want to be in basically a jail cell that travels with limited escape time to buy a T-shirt doesn’t seem desirable, but I have friends who love it. They mostly like to eat though and say it’s a cheap way to travel. At least they won’t be on planes for those of us who want to get where we are going and then actually see the country/place we are visiting.
You won’t have to worry about getting stuck in the middle seat for a while on an airplane. That is the designated social distancing seat, like it’s going to matter when you are in a tube for hours and well within the reach of a cough or a sneeze. I love this one as the airlines have made travel less enjoyable year over year. The armrest fight for position will be solved for now.
I imagine there will be a lot of deals at first. Travel costs should be down as well as tourist traps will have good prices to make up for the time we’ve spent in our quarantine jail. Get ’em while you can. There will be less tourists everywhere you go and businesses dying to offer deals to make up for the faux shut down.
One can look at the downside and think that the world is going to end and that we might die from Covid-19. The statistics say that it is mostly in a few concentrated places (NE corridor and elderly care facilities) and affects those with a co-morbidity. The odds are in our favor that we won’t get it or that it won’t be as bad as the media is trying to shove down our throats.
When this passes (hint: watch how soon it passes after the November election is over regardless of who wins) the opportunities to better your life and enjoy some things in the work/life balance that have been either ruined or complicated for us.
Everyone has both. Some choose one over the other. Most mesh the two together.
The difficulty in this day of being barraged by social media and a 24/7/365 news hype cycle is that you can choose to go with your bias and only see one side of any story. This is dangerous regardless of which side you view it from.
Don’t believe the scare tactics of the money hustlers who rush people into a position like sheep herders trying to corral the flock into group think. The tactic is shame for not subjugating yourself to the PC position of the day.
It takes courage to step out and stand for what is right, especially in the start of a crisis or an event in time. This requires critical thinking as to discovery of the real facts and applying the necessary logic to come to the right conclusion. It also can take time. The media and politicians will try to rush us into judgement based on opinion.
As they said in Watergate, follow the money and you’ll usually see through those who are self-serving.
Most of all, don’t be a sheep. Think for yourselves and don’t take anything you read online as gospel, except for the Gospel.
Sooner or later, time exposes the truth. Whether you want to believe it or not is now up to you.
“If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” -Ferdinand Porsche
People need to overcome challenges and problems in life. They are handed to us everyday whether or not we want them. That is just life and maintaining the balance that humans require.
To get ahead, you must step out, take a risk, use your talents and sometimes you won’t succeed. When you do, you get a sense of satisfaction from overcoming or in the case of Dr. Porsche, you start an iconic car company.
“The higher man is distinguished from the lower by his fearlessness and his readiness to challenge misfortune.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
This is not a rating system based on grief, rather how one acts in the face of things not going their way. Everyone has ups and downs despite what they post on social media. We all have the choice to give up, or pulling up our trousers and moving ahead. Note: it doesn’t say we won’t grieve or suffer, rather how we persevere.
Douglas Adams – “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
I guess not. I wonder what lessons we will have from the Corona/Covid/China/Wuhan/Whatever virus? Probably not to trust the media and to carefully evaluate if Congress is working for us or themselves.
I love sports as much as any other red blooded American male. I love both playing them and watching the best compete against each other. I just wish they’d realize that with a very few exceptions, athletics is all they are qualified to pontificate on. I’m tired of being lectured about their position on anything other than their sport. I’m willing to bet that I’m not alone and in the majority.
I’ve already posted here that actors (celebtards) are the same.
Even though the meme points to their salary, I don’t have a problem that they make a lot of money. It doesn’t make them smart or qualified to tell the people with essential jobs how we should think though. I’m glad that they worked their way to the top based on their skill and God given talent that they worked hard to perfect. They should be grateful that they were born in a time and a place that allows them to succeed. When anyone succeeds, the tide rises for all boats so good for them.
They are getting a lesson that while we enjoy being distracted watching them, we don’t miss their soapbox spoutings and are managing to survive just fine without them.
I hope they don’t forget that it’s the fans who pay them. They work for the fans, not the other way around.
Actors are people who are famous for being able to imitate and to pretend. This does not qualify them for NASA, Weather Condition determination or basically anything else. They are something to look at, listen to on-screen and forget. Rinse and repeat.
They used to be respected more when they cared for their country, their fans and people in general. Social media, fame and fortune have convinced them that someone actually cares what they think. There have been some who actually contributed to the betterment of the world, but most of them were in the WWII class.
These days, they seem to have a delusion that their opinion on politics, climate change, gender identity, what to eat and anything else would actually matter to someone outside of Hollywood. They are a part of the do as I say, not as I do crowd. In fact they are the president of the club.
The basic nature of people is that they care about people who think like they do or conversely, are looking for a train wreck. Celebrities and now many sports figures fit into these categories.
People are tired of them pontificating about anything or their pet cause, even if it is noble. Shut up and act and don’t tell us what to do. Most of us who live real lives are smarter and have more common sense.
The overpaid sports stars are now getting into the act by trying to inform us on how we are to act with respect to our personal patriotism. Again, shut up and play the game. They are entertainment for us to distract us from daily life at best. We don’t care about your personal vendetta’s that you thrust upon us because somehow your millions don’t make up for your perceived injustice.
How do I know this? The NFL is now worried about dwindling numbers both at the stadiums and the TV numbers. Go to the link and find one team who can’t even sell out a 27,000 seat stadium.
Some of the athletes think that we care what they think because they can play a kids game.
I read this at Diogenes Middle Finger and found it enlightening on the subject as he called out the assholiness of LeBron James. BTW, you should follow DMF, a blog I read daily and recommend it.
It’s not as if we’re talking about some of the real heroes in sports of my youth, here. The Lebron James’ of the world did not have to struggle, and in the process, advance the character and quality of American Life by their example, like some of my childhood heroes did. Lebron James is no Hank Aaron, suffering death threats for being good enough to threaten a cherished record, or being a — maybe THE — visible symbol of the pernicious, past influence of racism.
James wouldn’t be judged worthy to hold Muhammad Ali’s jockstrap, on his best day. He certainly couldn’t make you think about a common humanity, couldn’t be a universal symbol of hope, like Ali did and was.
Jim Brown would run Lebron James over and trample him into the dirt, demanding respect. Just respect. James will never have the grace, the quiet dignity, or garner the universal love, of a Gayle Sayers.
In fact, James is most likely the visible symbol of the moral decay and decadence of the Modern Athlete, and symptomatic of the greater trend in society wherein people who obviously couldn’t find their own asses with both hands and a road map consistently have microphones shoved in their faces with an expectation that they will — as if by magic — make some profound statement that will occupy the intellect and nourish the soul.
VOTING WITH OUR WALLETS
The net of it is that movie sales are declining, there are fewer attendees in sports and the only people who care about actors are other actors, and I’ll bet they don’t like each other that much either.
WHEN CELEBTARDS ARE BETTER NOT TALKING BECAUSE THEY DON’T THINK
Barbra Streisand should just stick to singing, or retiring.
Update: The 2018 Oscars were last night. They went on about #MeToo, yet it was their ilk that were the worst offenders of moral debauchery. Instead, they chose to reduce their likeability and their relevance by again making it political. I wonder how they justify in their minds that the rest of the country actually cares what they think about anything (except millineals who believe anything and eat Tide pods). Jennifer Lawrence, with her 8th grade education is going to save democracy while she is taking a year off from acting.
The most relevant tweet of the event was this one:
In these days of divisiveness, there are some facts based on economics that are hard to refute, even if you don’t want to admit it. I enjoy discussion by people of high IQ and of great wisdom, something the world of Political Correctness is sadly overlooking.
The brilliant John Hawkins presents the facts about this subject. It is to be the 2014 top priority from our executive branch. Readers should evaluate the facts and judge for yourself if this is good for the country or not. Park your ideology at the door (regardless of its source) and think through the argument. Your beliefs are yours, just make sure to check with history to see what information it supports
The truth is that income inequality is of minimal importance in a nation like America, where so many people already move between classes, where the poor are doing so much better than they used to, and where our poor already do so well compared to the rest of the world. “Among children from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 84 percent of those who go on to get a college degree will escape the bottom fifth, and 19 percent will make it all the way to the top fifth.” During the Great Depression, more than 60% of Americans were living below the poverty line. Over the last 50 years, that number has generally ranged between 12%-15% — and even that dramatically overstates the number of poor Americans because it doesn’t take into account government assistance that’s being paid out. On top of all that, liberals get so angry when people point out that more than 80% of poor Americans have cell phones, televisions and refrigerators while “most Americans living below the official poverty line also own a motor vehicle and have more living space than the average European.” Yet, they don’t take into account the fact that almost half of the world’s population still lives on less than $2.50 a day. In other words, if you are poor, you can live better and have more opportunity to advance in America than you will anywhere else. That’s why immigrants all across the world still want to come to this country.
1) The higher the government mandated minimum wage/living wage, the more people it prices out of jobs: When you force businesses to pay people more than they can return in value with their work, companies tend to respond either by hiring better quality people, replacing the jobs with automation, moving the posts overseas or by looking for opportunities to get rid of the positions entirely. The higher the wages and benefits the government insists on, the more stagnant it makes the labor market for the people who need to build their skills the most. If your goal were to deliberately put as many young, unskilled single mothers out of work as possible, the best politically feasible way to do it would be to jack the minimum wage up into the stratosphere.
2) It emphasizes making people more comfortable, not helping them succeed: There is no shame in taking any honest job, but you’re not supposed to make a living pressing the button that drops the fries into the grease at McDonald’s. If you work long enough at an entry-level job to worry about raising the minimum wage, you’re failing your family, your society and yourself. Instead of encouraging minimum skill workers to demand that the government force businesses to give them more money than they’re currently worth, we should be encouraging people to build their skills and move up, move on or start their own business. Want poor people to be eligible for more education or training? Want to give them micro-loans? Want to make it easier for them to create small businesses? Those are policies that make poor Americans more valuable. That’s good for them and the country. On the other hand, trying to redistribute income ultimately brings everyone down, especially the poor Americans who lose their drive after becoming dependent on it.
3) The more government becomes involved, the more it stagnates the economy: As John F. Kennedy said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The stronger the economy is, the more jobs it creates and the more everyone — poor, middle-class, or rich — benefits. How do you make the economy stronger? You keep the government small, taxes low, and regulations light. That’s a proven formula that has worked time and time again. On the other hand, if you want to constipate the economy, you make the government bigger, increase taxes and pour on the regulations. How did that latter set of “solutions” work out for Detroit?
4) The more the government focuses on income inequality, the harder it is to get ahead: As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” You can see this very clearly with Obamacare, where a few people are getting subsidized care, while tens of millions more are losing their health care and paying considerably more to make up for it. It works the same way with income inequality. Want to make Wal-Mart pay all its employees twice as much? Then that means all the poor Americans who shop at Wal-Mart will have to spend more of their limited incomes to pay for it. Want to give more tax dollars to the poor? Then the rich and middle class will have to pay more in taxes. So, the moment that poor American is making enough money to get into the middle class, he’s hit with a bigger tax bill that makes it harder for him to ever get ahead. In other words, the more resources we put into “helping” the poor, the harder we ultimately make it for those very same people to ever permanently escape poverty and live the American Dream.
5) It ignores the real causes of poverty: The real causes of lasting poverty in America are not greed, the rich, racism, America being “unfair,” or any of the other excuses that you hear so often. Instead, the harsh truth that so many people don’t want to hear is that if you stay poor in America, it’s usually because you made bad life choices. Via Walter Williams, here’s what you have to do in order to avoid poverty in America.
“Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.”
Instead of lying to destitute Americans and telling them that the rich became wealthy by stealing the money that the poor never had in the first place, why not tell people the truth? Yes, it might make some poor Americans feel bad, but do you think welfare, food stamps, and living in a housing project do wonders for people’s moods?
It is interesting to think of what he observed in the mid 1800’s vs. the country we have in 2014. Here are his comments based on a visit:
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that stuck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.
In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of Freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom; it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point -of -view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.
I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart? But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of cities or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.
The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.
Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God.
Moreover, all sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same.
In the United States the sovereign authority is religions…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect [denomination], this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect, from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together [Christianity], everyone abandons him and remains alone.
I do not question that the great austerity of manners that is observable in the United States arises, in the first instance, from religious faith…its influence over the mind of woman is supreme, and women are the protectors of morals. There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.
In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…
Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate…
I sought for the key of greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and the institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the chutes of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.
Christianity is the companion of liberty in all of its conflicts–the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.
They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe than by styling it in a democratic and republican religion…From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.
The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a most alarming spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them along is so strong that it cannot be stopped, but is not yet so rapid that it cannot be guided; their fate is in their hands; yet a little while and it may be no longer.
Read the rest of this PolitiChicks.tv article here: http://politichicks.tv/column/2014-alexis-de-tocqueville-esque-year-restoration/#5ulfUJKsDb9hcb3G.99
I have always been warned of the great wealth transfer from the middle and lower class to the wealthiest. I first thought it would be through the devaluation, then revaluation of gold, but I didn’t realize that it was engineered through Washington programs, financial crisis, stock compensation and accounting tricks.
I have been reading and found this. Attribution is below and comments should consider this if you get upset, especially if you lose your shirt. Here are some excerpts:
“Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books. The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.”
“The previous all-time high in stock buybacks occurred in 2008 at the previous peak. That brilliant strategy led to 50% shareholder losses in a matter of months. No Board of Directors fired any CEO for these disastrous strategic blunders. These cowardly ego maniacs didn’t buy back any stock in 2009 and 2010 when they could have made a killing with valuations at decade lows. After the stock market recovered by 100%, these stooges then began borrowing and buying. It has now reached another all-time high crescendo.
Dividends and stock buybacks in 2015 topped $1 trillion for the first time according to S&P Capital IQ Global Markets Intelligence. As CEOs have borrowed billions to buyback their inflated overvalued stock, they have put the long-term sustainability of their firms at extreme risk.”
“The 2008 Wall Street created financial crisis will look like a walk in the park compared to what’s coming down the pike now. We now have a bond bubble, stock bubble, housing bubble, commercial real estate bubble and central banker confidence bubble all poised to pop simultaneously. The negative interest rate and banning of cash schemes will be dead on arrival, driving a stake into the heart of the Fed vampire.”
Even the billionaire oligarch crony capitalist Warren Buffett addressed this despicably flagrant flaunting of basic accounting principles to mislead shareholders in his annual letter last week:
It has become common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real. “Stock-based compensation” is the most egregious example. The very name says it all: “compensation.” If compensation isn’t an expense, what is it? And, if real and recurring expenses don’t belong in the calculation of earnings, where in the world do they belong?
Wall Street analysts often play their part in this charade, too, parroting the phony, compensation-ignoring “earnings” figures fed them by managements. Maybe the offending analysts don’t know any better. Or maybe they fear losing “access” to management. Or maybe they are cynical, telling themselves that since everyone else is playing the game, why shouldn’t they go along with it. Whatever their reasoning, these analysts are guilty of propagating misleading numbers that can deceive investors…. When CEOs or investment bankers tout pre-depreciation figures such as EBITDA as a valuation guide, watch their noses lengthen while they speak.
Buffett’s words are borne out in the chart below. Based on fake reported earnings per share, the profits of the S&P 500 mega-corporations were essentially flat between 2014 and 2015. Using real GAAP results, earnings per share plunged by 12.7%, the largest decline since the memorable year of 2008. Despite persistent inquiry it is virtually impossible for a Wall Street outsider to gain access to the actual GAAP net income numbers for all S&P 500 companies. With almost $500 billion of shares bought back in 2015, the true decline in earnings is closer to 15%.”
I do not support any politician in my blog. I’m generally not happy with any of the current crop. One is called out in the following paragraph that causes problems with Wall Street….
“The establishment is aghast that Donald Trump is storming towards the presidency. They are blind to the fact their unconcealed felonious actions rise to the level of treason in the eyes of average hard working Americans. The fabric of this country is being torn asunder by a contemptible class of corporate fascists, ego maniacal bankers, shadowy billionaires, and media titans. They have reaped billions of profits since 2009 as the Fed and politicians in D.C. rolled out “solutions” designed to enrich them. They are confident their failures will be shifted to the American people again. The American people may have a different opinion this time. Pitchforks and torches are being readied.”
I found this article from The Burning Platform which was entitled the Great Corporate Earnings Fraud.
In the song Mrs. Robinson is a line that states, Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio? I wondered the same about Al Gore. He went from front page man on global warming to I don’t hear anything about him anymore on #AGW. I wondered where he went and why?
There is a famous statement that goes: Where your treasure is, so will your heart will be also. I thought his heart was with global warming, but he’s no where to be found, so I looked for what his treasure was. If it wasn’t really global warming, what was it?
He enrolled in Divinity school so it appeared that he was looking for his treasure from God, but he didn’t finish his degree either. So what has he been chasing his whole life, really?
The rest of this post is merely an observation based on his actions throughout the years. Some will disagree, others will identify and most won’t care. No judgement is being passed, merely a commentary on the general state of man with the public record as documentation.
If you disagree or want to get into an ideological debate, please see the comments policy on the right.
According to Anthony Watts, one of the most trusted sources on Climate issues, “While preening at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 during the premiere of his An Inconvenient Truth fib-umentary, Gore made his grand declaration. The former vice president said, in the words of the AP reporter taking down his story, that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” In Gore’s own words, he claimed we were in “a true planetary emergency.”
10 years later, there has been no measurable change in the Arctic ice. As with most of the climate predictions, it was based on prediction models. Anyone who has watched the weather knows that it is rarely right 5 days from now, let alone 5 years from now, yet he sold this snake oil and it was drunk by many or used as a political tool.
HIS EARLY TREASURE
It is common knowledge that he was funded by coal and tobacco, but people repent and so I supposed this was the case also. As of the latest search, he still hasn’t sold his fortune in Occidental stock and dividends he receives. It is nebulous as to whether he has or not, so we’ll give him a pass on it, although he’s earned $500,000 from zinc royalties (which causes environmental issues to produce) as of the last documented tax return that is public. Perhaps it is a legal reason that prevents him from selling this asset. Armand Hammer, the head of Occidental was well known for his communist ties to the Soviet Union was close to the Gore family.
Nevertheless, it appears that before global warming, it was MONEY that was more important than anything else. In the overall realm of things, climate issues appear to have only been a means to the end, or his treasure and not the end itself.
Most of what is below are documents from Climate Scientists or court records. I don’t challenge the views on climate on either side as minds are already made up. My thesis is that he was after money more than protecting the planet.
THE PATH OF HIS POLITICAL CAREER
He of course was a Senator and a Vice President for which he should be commended for serving his country.
It sticks in the craw of the Gore acolytes who generally are Bush 43 haters, that he lost. No matter how many times the media recounted the votes in Florida, Bush still won every recount. This signaled the end of his political career, but it wasn’t the treasure he was really seeking.
One thing that dogged him was that he had a low net worth compared with the other politicians who were his compatriots. I point to the fact that he wasn’t an astute investor given the fore-knowledge congress has of bills that affect corporations. They are not subject to insider trading laws, so just by being there any idiot should increase their wealth at an exponential rate as almost all have done.
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
This film got a lot of play despite blatant errors which were discovered in court, but then Hollywood rarely gets the truth right and a politician making a movie sort of dooms it’s necessity for truth from the beginning. It did finally start the ball rolling for his money making from global warming, a cause he had pushed uphill for years.
He also won a Nobel Peace Prize. They soon after gave one to a President who had accomplished nothing up to that point.
On January 25th, 2006, while at the Sundance film festival screening “An Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore said this as chronicled in an article by CBS News:
The former vice president came to town for the premiere of “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary chronicling what has become his crusade since losing the 2000 presidential election: Educating the masses that global warming is about to toast our ecology and our way of life.
Gore has been saying it for decades, since a college class in the 1960s convinced him that greenhouse gases from oil, coal and other carbon emissions were trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, resulting in a glacial meltdown that could flood much of the planet.
Americans have been hearing it for decades, wavering between belief and skepticism that it all may just be a natural part of Earth’s cyclical warming and cooling phases.
And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said.
He sees the situation as “a true planetary emergency.”
“If you accept the truth of that, then nothing else really matters that much,” Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We have to organize quickly to come up with a coherent and really strong response, and that’s what I’m devoting myself to.”
“Al Gore is the principal prophet of doom in the global warming debate, and the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth is his gospel to true believers. But Gore has misled them.”
Two years ago, British High Court Justice Michael Burton characterized Gore’s film as “alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis.” The court, responding said the film was “one-sided” and could not be shown in British schools unless it contained guidelines to balance Gore’s attempt at “political indoctrination.” This is the antithesis of the scientific method which requires independent proving of a hypothesis to be true science.
Some of these are the decline of Arctic ice (there was a huge re-freeze in 2015), the decline of polar bears and the rising sea level. I was called a flat-earther for questioning the rising tides by a believer in the global warming religion, Tim O’reilly. When I asked for any proof, I received the statement that climate science is hard.
What is hard is for the weatherman to get the forecast right next week. How in the world can you predict 10 years from now? The answer of course has proven to be quite obvious. If you go to the link starting with since (above) Tim, you’ll see that this is bunk. I’ve started to look at the climate change worshipers as the real flat-earther’s now. They seem to be equally as wrong.
HE WAS PROTECTED BY THE MEDIA
The Press Protected His Cause nevertheless as errors weren’t generally reported, and despite trying to kick start the alternative energy sector, most companies didn’t succeed in the free market economy, rather used government subsidies and regulation to survive. He was wise to benefit from the government backing, increasing his fortune.
Al was the nameplate for global warming until that name got tarnished. It morphed to climate change and whatever name that didn’t lose PR favor, but it was still the same gaia cause and Al was the figurehead. It didn’t matter what he said as he had the media covering for him on this initiative.
THE FINAL FRONTIER, HOW HE FOUND HIS HEART’S TREASURE
He started a TV channel, sat on the board of Apple (for which he benefited handsomely) and other money making ventures. While it did nothing to affect Climate change issues to speak of, this appears to be the treasure he was really seeking. He sold Current TV to Al-Jazeera, an oil funded carbon spewing country for hundreds of millions, and that was the antithesis of what he was preaching to the warmers. Al-Jazeera has closed doors on this project in 2016 having not been able to gain an audience in the US. Again, the media was mostly silent, he was one of theirs.
In selling the network to the huge oil producing carbon emitters, he Found the treasure he sought, but sold Out his followers in a big way. It doesn’t matter because what is done, is done. His record is there for history to judge. He is a rich man and now he is seeking ways to release his inner chakra, too bad for Tipper. Name calling for anyone who challenges the “settled science” has been the norm, but it turns out that they are the real flat earthers as they love to call anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
SO WHAT WAS THE REAL TREASURE IN HIS HEART?
Here is where we get to the answer. He was after the money, that was where his treasure really was, gathering wealth. The reason we haven’t heard from him is he is rich and got people to buy into what he was selling. He has big houses with carbon footprints of cities. He flies on private jets to conferences and stays in huge suites.
He got his real treasure which was the dollar, and is riding happily into the sunset a very rich man.
Just like the Mayan calendar in 2012, the earth didn’t end or drown, but we won’t hear anything on Al flying in private jets either. It seems he is the biggest flat Earther of all.
Update 8/3/17:He recently traveled 3000 miles on a carbon spewing plane for the promotion of his new movie to tell people that they should reduce carbon emissions. It was at that conference that it was revealed that one of his houses emits 34 times the carbon emissions of a regular house.
Maybe the delusional devotees who have bought into the weather lie include Tim O’Reilly, who could only tell me that climate science is difficult when he couldn’t explain why the oceans aren’t rising when I asked him. Perhaps he will look past his devotion to this Gaia worship and see the facts, although I don’t expect him to admit both the error in judgement and the fact that he has completely shelved science for ideology. Other devotees like Tom Raftery at GreenMonk have gone out of business because they couldn’t make enough money (bilk companies) or get enough government subsidies. James Governor who helped found Greenmonk told me that he would “save” the planet or make money trying. None of these new Flat-Earthers can explain why it is cooler now than when Al received the Nobel Prize.
They have bought into the lie that Al was peddling and should have invested with him since he was after the money and would do or say whatever he needed to do to achieve it. James in fact never either saved the world or got rich trying.
This was years before Al Gore’s revelation that he was just after the money, so it seems that the climate changers are really just greedy. That makes them the real “Flat-Earthers”.
Here is a recent protest by the Climate change supporters:
A few years ago in a small town, robbers entered a bank and one of them shouted: “Don’t move! The money belongs to the bank. Your lives belong to you. Immediately all the people in the bank laid on the floor quietly and without panic.
This is an example of how the correct wording of a sentence can make everyone change their world view.
- One woman lay on the floor in a provocative manner. The robber approached her saying, ” Ma’am, this is a robbery not a rape. Please behave accordingly.”
This is an example of how to behave professionally, and focus on the goal.
- While running from the bank the young robber (who had a college degree) said to the older robber (who barely finished elementary school): “Hey, maybe we should count how much we stole.” The older man replied: “Don’t be stupid. It’s a lot of money so let’s wait for the news to be told how much money was taken from the bank.”
This is an example of how life experience is more important than a degree.
- After the robbery, the manager of the bank said to his accountant: “Let’s call the cops.” The accountant said: “Wait, before we do that let’s add the $800,000 to the robbery of that we took to ourselves a few months ago and just say that it was stolen.”
This is an example of taking advantage of an opportunity.
- The following day it was reported in the news that the bank was robbed of $ 3 million. The robbers counted the money, but they found only $1 million so they started to grumble. “We risked our lives for $1 million, while the bank’s management robbed two million dollars without blinking? Maybe its better to learn how to work the system, instead of being a simple robber.”
This is an example of how knowledge can be more useful than power.
Moral :Give a person a gun, and he can rob a bank . Give a person a bank, and he can rob everyone.
via R.W. Forsythe
Peter Schiff explains how Government is complicit in the rising cost of higher education…..and how to solve it.
Free markets would drive the cost down, so why is the cost skyrocketing?
Apple has prided itself on cutting edge products. Their mantra is to create great products that we didn’t know we needed. It worked for the iPod, IPhone and iPad. Now there are rumors about the iWatch. Guess what, they are going to miss the boat on this as they have overlooked what we do and do not need.
Who are the biggest consumers of new technology?
First it is the early adopters, they’ll buy anything. That is a small percentage of the population though, maybe 15% at the most and that is being generous.
They will likely be the bulk of the iWatch consumers. Here are the others:
Dilberts who need to have the most gadgets.
Some workout people who for while will think this is cool. This groups purchasing power will wear off as you can tell by the proliferation of watch style monitoring devices being purchased, but then discarded. It is not the killer app.
Who won’t by buying them?
Almost everyone else and the biggest problem is the group that has the largest digital footprint:
The generation of 18- to 34-year-olds, known as Millennials, are an increasingly influential group that impacts many aspects of the American lifestyle, including fashion, technology and entertainment, according to the upcoming 2013 Digital Marketer Report from Experian Marketing Services. The report looks at key segments of the consumer landscape, including millennials, who provide a major opportunity for marketers to reach consumers via mobile. Millennials spend 14 percent more time engaged with their mobile devices in an average week than their generational peers.
Guess what? They don’t wear watches for the most part, they keep time on their phone. They want a phone with a bigger screen, better input capabilities and easy access to social media. An iWatch doesn’t fit this model. This will continue for the rest of their lives (likely) and with the younger generation.
They also have to pick which device they are going to buy as student debt is at an all time high. If you need an iPhone to work the watch, no money left for beer or video games.
What is the biggest attraction for Facebook and most social media? It is the sharing of pictures. Why did Instagram get bought for 1 Billion dollars? Why is snapchat gaining ground and Twitter adding video to their photo capabilities? With the grandparents getting onto Facebook, the youngsters are using other apps like Instagram to share their lives with their friends. While you can see a picture, it is small.
So why are they doing it? Because they need the buzz or the next great thing. Will they do it anyway? Of course, Samsung already has one announced and Apple copies and tries to make it better
I’m not saying watches are dead, who doesn’t want a Rolex for example, it’s just that the impact of an Apple Watch isn’t going to be the $100 jump in the stock price that earlier products were.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
Robert Frost – “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
arrêtez de ramer, tu attaques la falaise. (You can stop rowing now, you’re on the beach)
It is easy to lose one’s perspective in a mass of details. – Bible Study Fellowship
Failure is but a paragraph in the book of each human life. It is the pages that follow that ultimately define us
Laurence J. Peter – “An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”
“Racing is Life. Everything before and after is just waiting.” Steve McQueen from the movie LeMans
Albert Einstein open original article “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former
Joseph Heller -“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.”
Sidney J. Harris – “A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.”
Abba Eban-“History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.”
When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less. -Paul Brown
You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. -Michael Jordan
Every game is an opportunity to measure yourself against your own potential. -Bud Wilkinson
Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly. -Shaquille O’Neal
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” Winston Churchill, as quoted in The New American Newspeak Dictionary (2005) by Adrian Krieg, p. 96
Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength
“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won
370H-SSV-0773H – read upside down
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so [are] the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.– Ecclesiastes 9:11,12 —
“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.” – John Kenneth Galbraith
If guns kill people, then pens misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, forks make you fat, and TVs make you watch porn.
Listen to people. If they are worth talking to, they are worth listening to first.
You can’t change what happens to you in life. All you can change is how you deal with it.
I think I’m emotionally constipated because I haven’t given a Rats Rump in days.
Liberalism: Moochers electing looters to steal from producers
Political Correctness – A term used by whiny wussies that need stuff sugar coated
“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” -Albert Einstein
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” Abraham Lincoln
- “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” Elmer Davis
- “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.” John F. Kennedy
- “Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I’m not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be.” John Wayne
- “We must always remember that America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people but because of what people did for themselves and for one another.” Richard Nixon
- “There is no limit to the greatness of America!” George W. Bush
- “Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.” Ann Coulter
- “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Nathan Hale
- “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Adlai E. Stevenson
- “One, if you attack my integrity, I will defend myself. If you attack my patriotism, I will defend myself. If you come after my family, I will counter-attack viciously, I will destroy you.” Scott Ritter
- “The American patriots of today continue the tradition of the long line of patriots before them, by helping to promote liberty and freedom around the world.” John Linder
- “Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” Calvin Coolidge
- “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” Theodore Roosevelt
- “You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world…. We are not a nation, so much as a world.” Herman Melville
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within – Ariel Durant
“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.” – George Eliot
But isn’t it always that way with liberals? The only time they seem to make any sense at all is when they’re drunk or you are.
Ya gotta be tough if your gonna be stupid.
“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of crap by the clean end.”
Laurence J. Peteropen
“Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.”
“Never judge a book by its movie.”
“Liberals are very broadminded: they are always willing to give careful consideration to both sides of the same side.”
Ronald Reagan – “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Douglas Adams – “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
Ronald Reagan – “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”
Mark Twain – “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
Frank Zappa – “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”
Peter Drucker – “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
Michael Crichton – “Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”
Thomas Sowell – “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
Vince Lombardi – “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”
Ronald Reagan – “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”
“Thanking Obama for killing Osama bin Laden is like going into McDonald’s and thanking Clown Ronald McDonald for the hamburger. The person cooking the burger should get the credit, not the Clown. It was the intelligence gained by the previous administration that found him.”
And you sir are weak! Unwilling and unable to look evil in the eye and deal with it! – Jack Bauer
“If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself.” -Ferdinand Porsche
This came from Christian Personal Finance, but is in my theme of taking control of your personal finances and helping yourself to use your money wisely and understand successful financial principles. These days you need to take control of your economic situation and not rely on the government to take care of you as they will take your money in taxes at any chance they can.
If your credit score has fallen recently, due to a missed payment or two, or perhaps you have too much credit outstanding, there are some simple ways you can improve on your credit score that will get it back on the right track. Doing a combination of several of these could see your credit score rise significantly in just the next few months – and that goes for your credit score at each credit repository.
If you’d like to check your credit score,
click to get your credit score for free.
1. Pay your bills on time from now on.
This may sound beyond obvious, but if you have any late payments in the past year or two, they’re having a disproportionately negative impact on your credit score. You can’t fix this overnight, but the best strategy going forward is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
One of the more fortunate aspects of credit scores is that the older negative information gets, the less impact it has. This is why it is so critical that you put any negative credit situations into your past as soon as possible. If you have a late payment that you made three months ago, you may not be able to do anything about that now, but if you make your payments on time for the next nine months, you’ll put that late payment one year into your past. By then, your credit scores should once again begin to rise. But this will happen only if there are no delinquencies in the future.
2. Take a time out on credit.
The credit scoring models favor older, established debt. Conversely, they take a dimmer view of new debt. For this reason, if you’re looking to improve your credit scores, it will help to avoid applying for and accepting new loans. This will be even more important if you have taken a new loan or two in the very recent past.
This will help your credit scores on two fronts. First, any time you apply for credit, your credit report will show a credit inquiry. While credit inquiries do not have a big impact on your credit score, the one they have is definitely negative. If you apply for credit with several lenders over a space of one or two months, the combined impact could be more significant. By not applying for new credit, you will not be adding new inquiries to your credit report.
The second of course is that any time you take a new loan, you receive a negative hit on your credit reports because of the lack of payment experience. You’ll avoid this hit by not taking any new loans.
3. Pay off small balance accounts.
Another factor the credit scoring models consider is the number of loans you have outstanding. In general, a person with three outstanding loans will have a better credit score that someone who has ten outstanding loans.
For this reason, you might want to pay off some of your loans starting with the smallest. If you have seven loans outstanding, and you can pay off three of them with combined balances of $1,000, you will have reduced the number of loans with outstanding balances down to four.
While this may not cause your credit scores to rise by a hundred points, it could cause a smaller increase but one that will happen pretty quickly. This is one of the best ways to get upside action on your credit scores in short order.
4. Pay down a few debts.
This one is big time, and is usually referred to as credit utilization. The credit repositories measure the percentage of outstanding debt against your amount of available credit. If you have $15,000 in outstanding balances on open credit lines of $20,000, your credit utilization is 75% (or $15,000 divided by $20,000).
For comparison sake, credit repositories generally consider a credit utilization of 80% or greater to be a negative. Less than 80% is considered a positive. It is of course a matter of degree; the lower the credit utilization, the more positive the impact on your credit scores. The higher the credit utilization, the greater the negative impact will be.
Credit utilization is considered one of the best predictors of debtor default. This is why it carries such a heavy impact on your credit scores. And even if your credit scores are good despite a high credit utilization, a lender may still make a decision not to extend a loan to you.
In order to improve on this critical metric it is important that you pay your loans down to a level in which they will be at least below 80% of available credit. You should try to get each loan account down below this percentage, as well as for the combination of all of your loan accounts. This is another strategy that can improve your credit scores pretty quickly – by lowering your credit utilization, you lower your risk of default according to the credit scoring models.
5. Check your credit report for errors.
You should review your credit report at least annually to look for errors. Many contain errors that have a negative impact on your credit scores. For example, you could have loan accounts included in your credit report that are not yours. This will increase the amount of debt that you’re carrying, and lower your credit scores.
Worse is if you have derogatory credit that is either not yours, or is reported in error. Unfortunately, when you have derogatory credit, the responsibility to clear it up rests completely upon you – even if the entry is in error. You’ll have to contact the creditor to ask them to correct the information reported. Usually, in order to do that, you’ll have to present some sort of tangible evidence that what the creditor reported was in fact an error. If you don’t have this evidence, the creditor will probably not remove the information.
Once any errors are corrected, you’ll have to specifically request that the creditor remove the derogatory information from your credit report. You should also obtain written confirmation that the entry was an error from the creditor. Just in case the creditor doesn’t get around to reporting the corrected information to the credit repositories, you will then have written evidence to do it yourself.
6. Pay off any collections, charge-offs or other past due amounts.
If you have any outstanding obligations – even if they’re well in the past – they will still be having a negative affect on your credit scores as long as they are showing up in your credit report. Make arrangements to pay them off, and make sure that you get a letter of confirmation from the creditor. The creditor should report this information to the credit repositories, but once again, if they don’t you will have to do it yourself.
Never assume that outstanding balances don’t matter because they’re five or six years old. Paying them off is another way to provide a quick lift to your credit scores, especially if you’re paying off more than one.
Take as many of these steps as you can, and you should be able improve all of your credit scores in just a few months, if not sooner.
A man stopped at a local gas station and after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside.
One man would dig a hole two feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the previous hole. The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down the road.
“I can’t stand this,” said the man, tossing the can into a trash container and heading down the road toward the men. “Hold it, hold it,” he said to the men. “Can you tell me what’s going on here with all this digging and refilling?”
“Well, we work for the government, and we’re just doing our job,” one of the men said. “But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you just wasting the taxpayers’ money?”
“You don’t understand, mister,” one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. “Normally there’s three of us: me, Elmer and Leroy. I dig the hole, Elmer sticks in a tree, and Leroy here puts the dirt back. But Elmer’s job’s been cut on account of the sequester… so now it’s just me an’ Leroy workin,'”
- My dog is worried about the economy, because dog food is up 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7 in dog money. (Joe Weinstein)
- The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. (Ambrose Bierce)
- Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are a wonderful person. (Ann Landers)
- The reason a dog has so many friends is he wags his tail and not his tongue. (Unknown)
- If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise. (Unknown)
And my favorite:
- There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. (Ben Williams)
Despite his request to pay more taxes and that the rich do not do their fair share, it appears that Mr. Buffet has reduced his tax burden. While you read the story below, consider if there is a double standard.
Warren Buffett is the best of the best at transforming income into wealth. How did he do it? Wise investing, you say. Combine this with his reputation for having enormous integrity and his well publicized frugal lifestyle. When it comes to consumption he seems to possess traditional midwestern values. In spite of his substantial wealth he lives in a relatively modest home and drives American makes of cars. Ah , but there is something else. As I stated in The Millionaire Next Door,
Millionaires know that the more they spend, the more income they must realize. The more they realize, the more they must allocate for income taxes. So . . . adhere to an important rule: To build wealth, minimize your realized (taxable) income and maximize your unrealized income (wealth/capital appreciation without a cash flow).
You may recall from an earlier blog that the typical millionaire next door has a realized income that is equivalent to only 8.2% of his wealth [median]. But Mr. Buffett is much better at miniziming his income as a function of net worth. According to the 2012 Forbes 400 list, Mr. Buffett has a net worth of $46 billion. CNN Money reported that “his taxable income was $39,814,784” in 2010. That is the equivalent of only 0.087% of his net worth! Translated, the typical millionaire next door’s percentage of realized income to his net worth (8.2%) is nearly 95 times higher than Mr. Buffett’s (8.2%/0.087%).
Also consider something else in this equation: income tax as a function of net worth. The typical millionaire next door pays the equivalent of approximately 2% (median) of his net worth in income tax annually. But here again Mr. Buffett is far, far better in minimizing his income tax. According to Reuter’s, “[Warren Buffett] paid only $6.9 million in federal income taxes in 2010.”
In a nominal sense, $6.9 million in income tax might appear to be a significant amount of money. But look at Mr. Buffett’s tax bill as a function of his net worth, that is $6.9 million as a percentage of his $46 billion in wealth. At this rate he is paying the equivalent of only 0.015% of his net worth. Compare this with the 2% paid by the millionaire next door. This rate is more than 133 times greater than Mr. Buffett’s. In fact, if Mr. Buffett was taxed at the same rate (2%) he would owe the Treasury Department $920,000,000 or nearly $1 billion. You might say that it is unAmerican not to pay your fair share. But Mr. Buffett gets special dispensation regarding this topic. Why? He has pledged to leave the vast majority of his estate to noble causes. And according to Forbes, he has already demonstrated considerable generosity. “He gave $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation in July, bringing his total giving to $17.5 billion. . . in August he pledged $3 billion of stock to his children’s foundations.
Who is more likely to do an efficient job distributing money from your estate, the government or enlightened eleemosynary organizations? You know the answer and apparently so does Mr. Buffett.
It’s worth your read and is worth doing. We should press for this:
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to SHARE this on Facebook or forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2012
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person SHARES this on Facebook or contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!
Instead of leaving the country in better shape as every generation until now has done, debt is weighing on us like a herd of elephants. The taxpayers, likely the next generation will be taxed ad infinitum.
Why can’t the US get it right vs. other countries? It is explained below. Most of all, our politicians have gotten in the way of actual healthcare. We need to get rid of them first, although that is not the nature of this article, but the crux of how we got where we are.
Check out the one where other countries deal with their population that smokes way more than the US does….need I say more?
The Bipartisan Policy Report titled “What is Driving US Health Care Spending? America’s Unsustainable Health Care Cost Growth” issued in September lists seven factors increasing American health care costs. The “fiscal cliff” debates include many of these arguments.
While these factors do indeed play roles in American health care, almost all are at work in other industrialized countries, all of whom provide better care to more people for half what we spend. Good intentions aside, the report overlooks critical (and dysfunctional) characteristics of American health care and instead distracts itself with factors never mastered by any country (including ours).
The report was prepared under the direction of former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), former Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former Congressional Budget Office Director Dr. Alice Rivlin. With such participants, the report certainly qualifies as bipartisan, but unfortunately the final product does not qualify as accurate.
Here are the seven factors. They are largely irrelevant in our quest for better care at less cost.
1. Many industrialized countries pay providers on a fee-for-service basis, seemingly rewarding more care rather than better care. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.
2. Other countries face aging populations with higher smoking rates and more chronic illnesses than we have. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.
3. Other countries face patient demands for the latest therapies. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.
4. Other countries do not financially penalize patients seeking care. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.
5. Other countries provide patients with no more information about complex health decisions than we do. Yet their costs are lower and their health results are better.
6. Many hospital systems in other countries dominate their markets. Yet their costs are lower and their citizens are healthier.
7. The one exception making us unique is our malpractice costs. Yet defensive medicine costs $55 billion annually, just 0.2% of our $2.6 trillion health care spending.
Thus we face the same challenges every country faces. But American costs are increasing faster and are already twice as high. What are these other countries doing differently? They apply three characteristics missing from American health care:
- Everyone is included without discrimination against the sick. Unlike other countries, Americans encourage private insurance companies to insure only healthy patients, leaving sicker patients to government programs, charities, or no care at all.
- Patients can seek care without financial penalty. We are unique in using high deductibles and co-pays to discourage patients from primary care. Although patients in other countries see their physicians more frequently and spend more days in the hospital than we do, their costs are less and their citizens are healthier.
- Financing is provided exclusively by publicly accountable, transparent, not-for-profit agencies. Although providers make a profit in many countries, we are the only nation in which financing agencies make a profit.
No country, including ours, has ever resolved the Bipartisan Policy Report factors. Yet our health care costs are the world’s highest. Although the report is bipartisan, it misses the critical factors driving up American health care costs. And unfortunately so does the Affordable Care Act, another valiant but futile effort at addressing our health care crisis. If the US wants a health care system that provides better care to more people for less money, we should take our lessons from countries already doing so, not from think tanks speculating on economic theories never applied successfully anywhere.
Successful systems around the world can teach us proven methods of containing costs while providing better care, but if only we choose to learn from them. These policy makers chose to ignore these lessons. The rest of us should not.
Once again, the rich like their money. Once again, Socialism doesn’t work because growing an economy is the way out of a deficit rather than taxing your way out. So Hollande’s premise during his campaign, like in the US is a facade.
As Frank Zappa said: Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.
Margaret Thatcher noted that socialism doesn’t work because sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.
France’s Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.
The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’s election campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council’s concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday’s decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.
While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget using the
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00
Easier to understand ??…….OK now,
Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say, You come home from work and find
There has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood….
And your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ……
Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?
I’ve had PC’s since before the IBM PC in 1981. I’ve built hundreds of computers over different phases of the PC life cycle (for myself, others and at computer stores I worked at for years). I’ve personally owned many ThinkPads since they were introduced…likely between 40-50 including my multiple work PC’s. The same is true with Microsoft. I’ve worked with DOS and Windows, Windows for Workgroups, (built and wired my first network in 1994), NT, 95, 2000, XP and you name it. I first put up webpages since 1993 and every version of DOS or Windows made starting with 1.0 for both. I’ve finally had it with the declination of the quality, service, especially customer service and workmanship of IBM/Lenovo and Microsoft products.
I began to desire a different machine when the smartest guys at IBM (IBM Fellow’s) and the smartest (and of course some of my favorite) IT analysts starting using Mac’s. It told me times were a changin’.
WHEN THEY WERE GOOD
It used to be that when you went to a frequent flyer lounge at an airport, it would be a ThinkPad convention because they were so tough, now everyone is switching to an iPad which I now also love and have.
Further, when I retired, I bought what I thought would be the ThinkPad which would last me for at least 5 years (pictured below). It was the worst PC experience to date, see the beginning below.
In reverse order, after 1.5 years, one of the USB ports failed, the screen is falling apart (for the second time…the first in only months), the battery died in the first 6 months (they fixed that under warranty after 1 month of calls and forcing a manager intervention because customer service blamed me) other hardware and software problems which eventually got fixed over hours of calls (the final fix was always simple and could have been easily accomplished from the start).
I called the Lenovo help desk and not only did they refuse to fix most of my problems (all within the warranty period), but they were with the exception of one person, unhelpful to me and not proficient in English 95+% of the time (some were rude, but tech support is a thankless job). Note: I like the people from other countries and think that they are hard working so I have no problems with the people, rather the policies they are forced to adhere to put them into positions they shouldn’t be forced into. I’m clearly calling out the company, not the people here. It’s just in this case we couldn’t understand each other and they mostly were not trained or who couldn’t fix problems and just couldn’t help fix issues Lenovo created.
Here’s what my screen looks like now with use that is less than normal due to my retirement status:
This was compounded by the fact that they originally shipped me a computer which was in for repair as I found it had someone else’s password on it. Tech support recognized the serial number as someone else’s machine and I had to ship back a PC so that they could ship me what I ordered which was supposed to be new. They at first required me to pay for the return shipping for the machine which they wrongly shipped me in the first place. It took them 5 weeks to get me this wrong machine once I ordered it in the first place, so needless to say, this added to a dissatisfied experience. Let me summarize it: The 1st machine I received was in for repair which they shipped to me as my new machine. They finally agreed to pay for the shipping back to them after weeks, but I was in dis-belief by now as I had to get upper management approval 3 levels above my call to tech support to get shipping approved and the machine I ordered sent to me. This was a 6 week timeframe that I put up with to get a ThinkPad that looks like the one above.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMPANY PURCHASED FROM IBM?
So, what happened when Lenovo bought the PC Division from IBM? Quality and customer service have apparently suffered, at least for me. It is fair to note that Lenovo is the PC leader even though PC’s are a dying breed and are now a commodity item, but that the lead is mostly due to HP executive incompetence and Dell lack of innovation.
WORKING FOR IBM PC DIVISION, MORE THINKPAD BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE THAN MOST HAVE
I worked with ThinkPads at companies before IBM. I then did communications for the IBM-PC (PSG) division back in the early 2000’s. IBM-PCs were a rock solid product that introduced many technologies from the floppy disk, HDD on PC’s, open system motherboard, the start of an incredibly successful industry, creation of millions of jobs, Bluetooth and WiFi to the industry. It was well accepted by industry leaders as the standard to compare against and I was proud of representing the machines. By then, we had slipped to about 4th place, but IBM had other priorities by then. Analysts always recognized that the IBM ThinkPad was the industry leader, albeit most of the time the expensive option. I never had a problem educating them that it was the industry leader to be compared against. I also learned from IDC, Gartner, Forrester and others that Dell and HP were sub-standard compared to the ThinkPad.
THE IBM TO LENOVO EMPLOYEE TRANSITION
The co-workers who went to Lenovo were mixed. The developers were good, with the chief designer being one of if not the best, but he obviously had nothing to do with my 410S. The Press communications team however was a joke. Much of the management that I had worked with were handcuffed by the new ownership. However, with the non-inventor taking over control, changes in leadership including many Dell executives, it has appeared to make it less than the leader of rugged laptops, a position it once enjoyed.
MY LATEST PURCHASE
Since my ThinkPad failed and the screen basically fell off (I am retired and don’t travel anymore so it didn’t have the wear and tear to justify its condition), the keyboard keeps sticking, ports not working and the other problems I’ve described have forced me to buy a new PC.
Side note: I worked with Microsoft since 1981 in one form or another, as a partner, but mostly as a competitor as Microsoft was very belligerent and went out of their way to be anti-IBM (see my joint announcement wrap up). I’ve worked with their products since DOS 1.0 which I still have installed on an original PC at home. They loved Lenovo when the purchase was made and the difference was an overnight sea change in their attitude of helpfulness and pricing.
So the combination of Lenovo’s product being poor, their customer service being unhelpful led me to buying a MacBook Pro (but I got much more computing power and a brand new experience in helpfulness).
But, both Lenovo and Microsoft lost me as a customer and I can’t be alone.
Here is my new computer, a 13 inch Macbook Pro:
It sync’s with my phone and iPad seamlessly. I don’t have weekly Microsoft security updates or blue screen of death experiences. It is powerful, I can read Windows files and have converted them, multimedia is a snap, graphics are beautiful and most of all it works without gyrations to make drivers, port configurations and software incompatibilities work. I have never before been an Apple fan except when I ran an advertising department for a few years and understood artists needs for them.
When managing a store at a computer chain, my store was recognized as the retailer that lead the nation in Apple sales so I do have experience with them. My store also was a leading promoter of the first Macintosh during the famous 1984 ad time. In other words, I know them well, but I’ve used Wintel computers most if not all of my life until now.
Further, I called their tech support and went to an Apple store and guess what, they were friendly and helpful, and it just works. I paid less for the software than the PC version (I just built a multimedia PC for my TV viewing so I am fully aware of company configured, or self built PC’s vs. Mac machines hardware and software.
THE TREND OF PC’S
Mobile devices are killing standard laptops at a rate far faster than laptops replacing desktops, but there is still a need for machines that do more than a tablet until they increase in input efficiency, storage capacity and business application conversion (there are tons of legacy apps still out there as the average person still interacts with COBOL 13 times a day). This hasn’t caused me any issues with my new laptop though, it just works.
The company that is easy to work with, keeps up with the trends and produces quality equipment will be the one who has market leadership. I have voted with my money.
This is not my data, rather a Bloomberg study. What I can’t figure out is how the US is so emotional except for the political discord recently (the article below says they are happy). I much more expected it from the Latin countries.
Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit,” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” They also point to low work satisfaction, competitiveness, and the urban experience: “Staying emotionally neutral could be a way of coping with the stress of urban life in a place where 82 percent of the population lives in government-built housing.”
The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. It’s not even close; the heavily Catholic, Southeast Asian nation, a former colony of Spain and the U.S., scores well above second-ranked El Salvador.
Post-Soviet countries are consistently among the most stoic. Other than Singapore (and, for some reason, Madagascar and Nepal), the least emotional countries in the world are all former members of the Soviet Union. They are also the greatest consumers of cigarettes and alcohol. This could be what you call and chicken-or-egg problem: if the two trends are related, which one came first? Europe appears almost like a gradient here, with emotions increasing as you move West. (their emotions are sedated)
People in the Americas are just exuberant. Every nation on the North and South American continents ranked highly on the survey. Americans and Canadians are both among the 15 most emotional countries in the world, as well as ten Latin countries. The only non-American countries in the top 15, other than the Philippines, are the Arab nations of Oman and Bahrain, both of which rank very highly. (they have it good there)
English- and Spanish-speaking societies tend to be highly emotional and happy. Though the Anglophone nations of the world retain deep cultural links, it’s not clear if Spain’s emotional depth has anything to do with Latin America’s. According to Gallup, “Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.” Yes, even Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is apparently filled with happy people. (they have to say that or be imprisoned)
Africans are generally stoic, with some significant exceptions. The continent is among the world’s least emotional, though there is wide variation, which serves as a non-definitive but interesting reminder of Africa’s cultural diversity. Each could be its own captivating case study. It’s possible that South Africa’s high rating has to do with its cultural ties to Western Europe, for example, and Nigeria’s may have to do with the recent protest movement in the south and sectarian violence in the north. (life is tough for them, they cope)
The Middle East is not happy. Gallup notes, “Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences.” Still, that doesn’t quite fully explain the high emotions in the Levant and on the Arabian peninsula, compared to the lower emotions in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. Perhaps this hints at how people in these countries are being affected by the still-ongoing political turmoil of the Arab Spring. (they are rife with terrorists who brim with hate)
What am I missing? Every color-coded national boundary here tells a story. Why is Haiti so bereft of emotion compared to its neighbors? Why is Angola so heavy with feeling? Leave your thoughts in the comments or reach me on social media. (Haiti was founded on voodoo so they believe in the devil).
This goes with my series of “How and average Joe can become a Millionaire”.
I am not the author, but this is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make (the other is tithing) The whole article can be found here:
One of my good friends, “Judge Rob,” is a local, elected judge who also owns a small family business. Judge Rob paraphrased Warren Buffett when we were discussing mortgages over a recent breakfast, saying, “If I knew where I was going to live for the next decade or so, I would buy a house with a long-term mortgage.” The idea is that a mortgage is a good hedge against inflation because you pay it off with much cheaper dollars down the road.
Today, many pundits point to low interest rates and encourage people to borrow as much as they can while interest rates are low. While they do have a good point, deciding when to pay off my own mortgage caused a great deal of conflict between the logical and emotional parts of my brain.
In the early days of black-and-white television, much of the programming was old, silent movies. Who can forget the little old widow, confronted by the evil, rich banker, who licked his chops at the opportunity to throw her out as her mortgage payment came due? As the deadline got closer, the piano would bang louder and faster, and somehow Widow Nell would make her payment in the nick of time. Was I programmed by my generation’s version of Sesame Street?
There’s Something to Being “Old School”
I spent a good bit of my breakfast with Judge Rob in “Yes, but!” mode. Here’s why.
When I was contemplating paying off my mortgage, I spoke with a CPA who also happened to be a financial advisor recommended by a good friend. I explained that I was self-employed, so my income fluctuated, and my mortgage was my largest monthly bill. I suggested that there could be some emotional benefit to paying it off. Less stress perhaps?
He insisted that I could invest and out-earn the cost of my first mortgage. He pooh-poohed the idea of paying it off to calm my nerves, and kept repeating that I could easily invest my money and earn more after taxes than the cost of the first mortgage.
When I asked if his mortgage was paid off, he responded with, “Oh, hell yes!” I was flabbergasted. How could he advise me to do one thing when he’d done the exact opposite? He explained that his wife was from Germany – the old school where you pay your bills, don’t borrow money, and stay out of debt.
Then I asked him, “Once you paid off your mortgage, did you sleep better at night?” He pondered a bit and said, “Yeah, I guess I did. I no longer worried about it. No matter how bad things got, we would still have a roof over our heads.”
When I asked Vedran Vuk, our senior research analyst, about when to pay off a first mortgage, he made some excellent points. First, you should no longer view your house as an investment that’s going to rapidly appreciate as it did in the past. A house is a home, and you should look at it that way. Second, right now a mortgage can make sense from an investment perspective. If you can borrow money at 3.5%, invest it, and earn a guaranteed higher return on it, you’ll come out ahead.
The real question becomes: where can you find a guaranteed greater return, even with the low mortgage rates available today? The government is committed to keeping interest rates artificially low for the foreseeable future. Yields on CDs and high-quality bonds are pathetic.
I just checked my brokerage account, and the longest CD they have available is a five-year CD paying 1.15%. A 30-year Treasury bond will pay 2.8%. Neither holds any appeal for me, particularly if I were investing with borrowed money.
If you’ve found an investment that’s a lead-pipe cinch – one that’s absolutely, positively going to pay off – and a low mortgage rate, you may want to roll the dice. However, I want to add one more note of caution.
The upcoming issue of Money Forever‘s premium subscription, which we’re releasing on December 18, takes an in-depth look at reverse mortgages, one of the most controversial ways to help fund your retirement. Our team will explain reverse mortgages in easily understood terms, highlight pitfalls to avoid, and explain how a reverse mortgage is a good way for some (but not all) folks to fund their retirement and maintain their lifestyle.
Before obtaining a reverse mortgage you must go through HUD counseling. While researching our upcoming report, I came across a study of over 20,000 people who had been through HUD counseling between September 2010 and November 2010. A few statistics really jumped off the page!
In 2000, the average age of people receiving reverse mortgages was 73 years old. By November 2010, the average age had dropped to 71.5, and it’s continuing to decline. In other words, retirees are tapping into their home equity at an increasingly younger age, many because they have no other choice.
It was also interesting to learn why these folks wanted a reverse mortgage. In the 70-and-older group, 38% still had mortgage debt. Seventy-one percent owed 25% or more on the current value of their home, and 33% had a mortgage in excess of 50% of the value of their home. Many wanted a reverse mortgage because they could not service their existing debt. A reverse mortgage is based on the net equity in your home. If their homes were paid for, meaning no huge house payment, perhaps they could have put off the reverse mortgage for a few more years. The older the applicant, the higher monthly payment they receive.
I wonder how many of these folks lost money betting on their lead-pipe cinch investment because they had been nudged along by their CPA.
My point is simple. For most baby boomers and retirees, their home is their largest asset. You don’t want to live like the little old widow in a black-and-white film, worrying about getting thrown out of your home, particularly if you’re no longer working.
Nevertheless, if you had a mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate and we were still living in a world where a top-quality bond or CD would pay you 5% or more, it could make sense to take advantage of it. But that’s not the world of today.
Ideally, you would pay off your mortgage and then use the money you’d been setting aside for payments to build a nice portfolio. For many folks, home equity is like a security blanket – and a potential source of income for when they may really need it.
The Judge’s Word Isn’t Always Law
As I left our breakfast meeting, I shared a few parting comments with Judge Rob. The mortgage conundrum has both financial and emotional factors. Paying off your mortgage is a milestone; it really does change your life. I certainly sleep better, and my blood pressure probably dropped ten points. It was the point when my wife and I actually started accumulating true wealth.
Once I paid off my mortgage, I never looked back.
Two disturbing articles came my way. I watch the economy and look for trends. I found two that are similar because of political policies, yet would be so easy to fix if the respective governments would stop spending, handing out money to those who don’t deserve it, stop handing to themselves and stop the regulations.
We are headed into a depression and it appears that is what the governments want. History shows they can control a distressed population more easily than a productive, self-reliant successful one…so the preponderance of evidence shows it is intentional.
You’ve been warned, get out of debt, get a strong cash position, stock up on supplies (they are much cheaper now before inflation) and do everything you can to be self reliant rather than convenient. This is against all the pundits who want you to buy into this is just a phase, just like right about 1926.
Here they are.
#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001. That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011. That is not just a decline – that is a freefall. Just check out the chart in this article.
#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.
#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth. Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes. For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.
#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.
#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.
#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.
#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001. During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day. How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?
#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center. Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.
#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.
#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned. By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.
#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.
#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.
#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.
#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.
#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets. Could that possibly be accurate? Are people really that foolish?
#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before. In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.
THE EUROPEAN UNION
The following are 11 facts that show that Europe is heading into an economic depression…
1. The economies of 17 out of the 27 countries in the EU have contracted for at least two consecutive quarters.
2. Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a brand new all-time record high of 11.7 percent.
3. The unemployment rate in Portugal is now up to 16.3 percent. A year ago it was just 13.7 percent.
4. The unemployment rate in Greece is now up to 25.4 percent. A year ago it was just 18.4 percent.
5. The unemployment rate in Spain has hit a brand new all-time record high of 26.2 percent. How much higher can it possibly go? This is already higher than the unemployment rate in the United States ever reached during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
6. Youth unemployment levels in both Greece and Spain are rapidly approaching the 60 percent level.
7. Earlier this month, Moody’s stripped France of its AAA credit rating, and wealthy individuals are leaving France in droves as the socialists implement plans to raise taxes to very high levels on the rich.
8. Industrial production is collapsing all over Europe. Just check out these numbers…
You don’t have to be an economic genius to understand that the perpetual uncertainty over the Eurozone’s future has led to a widespread freeze on industrial investment and development. Industrial production is collapsing at an accelerating rate, falling 7% year-on-year in Spain and Greece, 4.8% in Italy, and 2.1% in France.
9. There are even trouble signs in the “stable” economies in Europe. In Germany, factory orders in September were down 3.3 percent from the month before, and retail sales in October declined 2.8 percent from the previous month.
10. The debt of the Greek government is now projected to hit 189 percent of GDP by the end of this year.
11. The Greek economy has shrunk by more than 7 percent this year, and it is being projected that the Greek economy will contract by another 4.5 percent in 2013.
But sometimes you can’t really get a feel for how bad things really are over there just from the raw economic numbers.
Many people that are living through these depression-like conditions are totally giving in to despair. Just check out the following example from an RT article from earlier this year…
A 61-year-old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt. A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.
The pensioner’s lifeless body was found dangling by an attendant in a public park not far from his home in the suburb of Nikaia, Athens. The attendant also found a suicide note in the man’s pocket, The Athens news reports.
The man, identifying himself as Alexandros, said he was a man of few vices who “worked all day.” However, he blamed himself from committing one “horrendous crime”: becoming a professional at the age of 40 and plunging himself into debt. He referred to himself as a 61-year-old idiot who had to pay, hoping his grandchildren would not be born in Greece, as the country’s prospects were so bleak.
I heard him speak once, and it was inspiring. He was late in life but still had much youth in his presentation. I wish I could come up with such inspiring messages:
- Money won’t make you happy… but everybody wants to find out for themselves.
- People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.
- Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.
- Money will buy you a bed, but not a good night’s sleep, a house but not a home, a companion but not a friend.
- People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.
- If you can dream it, you can achieve it.
- Building a better you is the first step to building a better America.
- Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
- Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.
- Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.
- Every choice you make has an end result.
- Every obnoxious act is a cry for help.
- Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.
- Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
- I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.
- If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments.
- If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
- If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.
- If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.
- If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.
- If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.
- If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.
- It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.
- It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.
- Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.
- If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.
- People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
- Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.
- Success is dependent upon the glands – sweat glands.
- The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
- The way you see people is the way you treat them.
- When you are tough on yourself, life is going to be infinitely easier on you.
- You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.
- People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.
- You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure.
- Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.
- Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.
- Remember that failure is an event, not a person. You cannot tailor-make the situations in life but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations.
- You do not pay the price of success, you enjoy the price of success.
- You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.
- Remember that failure is an event, not a person.
- You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.
- There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.
- Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.
- If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.
THE CAUSE – VIA USA TODAY
Recently elected President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government introduced France’s 2013 budget with steep tax increases on the rich that include a 75% tax rate on those earning more than $1.28 million for two years and a new 45% rate for revenues of more than $193,000. Higher taxes on businesses are proposed as well.
“In the north, we are hearing that more and more people are preparing to leave the country,” said Sebastien Huyghe, a conservative UMP lawmaker. “This autumn, a number of people may make their arrangements.
“The 75% tax will not fill the country’s coffers; instead, it sends a strong signal that will both scare away those who have the means to create jobs, and prevent others from coming and investing in France,” he said.
Economists and analysts say the super-tax is more symbolic than effective, saying it would affect only 2,000 to 3,000 French households while adding little to state revenue.
“From a strictly budgetary and economic point of view, the impact will be marginal, but the Socialists expect a political effect, and they are right,” said Thierry Pech, editor-in-chief of Alternative Économiques monthly magazine. “There is a deep resentment (by the public) against the ultra-rich, one that could feed populism.”
Many French say these super-rich must contribute more, and those seeking tax exile betray the very country that gave them the savoir-faire that led to their international success, a sort of French version of the “You didn’t build that” claim that President Obama leveled against successful businesspeople in America.
“Has (Arnault) thought about all the help he has received from French investors and from the French state itself to make it where he is now?” asks French taxpayer Olivier Weber in Paris.
Last year, 16 business tycoons and other holders of French fortunes wrote an open letter in the French weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur with the title “Tax us!”, saying that after benefiting from the “French model,” they were willing to pay more in times of crisis. But that was before a super-tax.
Many of them have changed their minds, such as Jean-Paul Agon, the chief executive of L’Oréal, the biggest cosmetics company in the world.
“If there is such a new tax rule, it’s going to be very, very difficult to attract talent to work in France, almost impossible at a certain level,” he told The Financial Times.
Even Stéphane Richard, CEO of telecom company Orange , who is close to the Socialist party, is worried about the “accumulation” of taxes and the impact on the French economy.
“I’m worried that we start by taxing the rich, and that’s it,” he told French daily Le Monde. “It’s one thing to call on economic patriotism, it’s another to organize a looting (of the rich) that will turn on the tax exile machine.”
Some French shrug their shoulders with typical Gallic distaste
“It’s normal to pay your taxes — it’s important — it means you belong to a community,” said Christine Templier, 38.
IS THE USA GOING DOWN THIS PATH?
Share the wealth has been the mantra of the current government. Current policies emulate France, Greece and the PIIGS. Based on our tax system, we certainly seem to be headed in the direction of not having enough taxpayers to pay for the entitlements.
It is said that the 1% need to pay more. In fact, if you confiscated 100% of their wealth, it wouldn’t make a dent in the deficit. It causes division and class warfare. It clearly defies the history of success where “a rising tide raises all boats”.
SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?
Besides the obvious of spending less, which congress does not have the ability on either side to do, grow the base of taxpayers and more revenue will come in. JFK and Reagan (and other Presidents) proved this so we have history to support this. In fact, the largest year of tax revenue ever by the government was 2007. There are far more complex economic theories, but increase a tax base who are not afraid to spend more, and tax revenue will rise.
I don’t think Zuckerberg, Gates and Buffet will leave America if they raise taxes, but many are leaving California (at 2000 per week). If you look at history, we can do more by having an economy that is growing for everyone. By not singling out a specific group, we get the rising tide and an economy shift with more jobs and more tax revenue.
Maybe there will be a lesson in here for them and they can get their tax base back.
I was hoping this was not true, but it is his Doug’s point of view.
(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)
[Skype rings. It’s Doug, as expected.]
L: Hi, Doug. I got the Alan Colmes article you sent. I can see why it got your goat – guess you’ve got a good rant in mind?
Doug: I don’t approve of rants. It’s true that I have strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to express them – but a considered and defensible opinion, even if it’s delivered with conviction, is essentially different from an emotional outburst.
L: Okay, sorry. No rants. But if the other side starts name-calling, we can be forgiven for a little emotion on our side – how does one answer a snarky dismissal of anyone who doesn’t agree with so-called progressives, labeling them “regressives”?
Doug: I’m certainly not above delivering an appropriate and well-deserved insult. An insult is really all that the lame attempts of progressives to shame people into voting for Obama deserve. From a long-term perspective, it certainly doesn’t much matter who wins the coming election; Romney would be just as great a disaster for what’s left of America as Obama, just in slightly different ways, with different rhetoric.
It’s interesting how certain breeds of statist are now re-labeling themselves as “progressives.” I guess they like the sound of the root word – progress – even though they only want progress towards collectivism. They used to call themselves “liberals,” a word which in America used to stand for free minds and free markets. But they appropriated it and degraded it – classical liberals had to rechristen themselves “libertarians.” World-improvers, political hacks, and busybodies in general are excellent at disguising bad ideas with good words, ruining them in the process.
It’s said that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But that’s actually untrue; propaganda is a very effective weapon. As Orwell pointed out, if you control the language, you control people’s thinking; and if you control people’s thinking, you control their actions. So I despise the way these types manipulate words.
As for the case at hand, one of the things that annoys me most about Colmes’ vapid article is his dishonest and misleading, albeit conventional, defense of the New Deal – America’s first great lurch towards socialism. He defends all the harm it’s done as a wonderful thing. He repeats the fiction that the New Deal rescued the economy from the last depression. It actually made the Depression deeper, and made it last longer.
L: Do tell.
Doug: Well, to start with, Colmes, a self-appointed whitewasher of American socialism, begins by resting his case on the claim that it is American socialism that has made America exceptional. It’s quite a bold assertion, since socialism as well as fascism are antithetical to everything that was good about America. He really is a cheeky bastard.
L: He calls his socialism “liberalism.”
Doug: Yes, but that too is an Orwellian perversion. As always, we should start with a definition. Around the world, you ask people what a liberal is, and they say something that at least relates to the word’s original meaning: liberals favor liberty. And that’s not just the civil liberties defended by the ACLU, but also economic liberty – meaning freedom to engage in free trade with others. The free market.
But back in the 1930s, socialists like Norman Thomas started to realize that they were never going to persuade the majority of Americans to accept socialism outright, so they changed the name and embarked on a deliberate campaign to implement their agenda, one piece at a time, calling it liberalism. And who could be against that?
L: I’ve read that most of Thomas’ 1932 platform has now become law in the US.
Doug: I believe that’s true. Take a look at this Word document [it will download automatically]. Actually, the same is true of Marx’s Communist Manifesto. But back to today, Colmes’ claim is absolutely ridiculous. Social Security, Medicare, and progressive income taxes have not made America exceptional, but just the opposite; they’ve made it like all the other socialist and fascist countries that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. They are burdens that have slowed the economy and distorted people’s incentives and ideas.
These programs have, perversely, hurt the poor – the very people they’re supposed to help – the most. They’ve acted to corrupt them and cement them to the bottom of society. They’ve destroyed huge amounts of capital, which would otherwise have raised the general standard of living, redirecting it from production toward consumption. These coercive ideas all originated and were first implemented in Europe before so-called liberals foisted them on Americans, in the name of freedom. It’s quite Orwellian, the way they’ve twisted concepts to mean the opposite of what they once did.
L: Some people would argue that things like Social Security liberate them – free them from fear of poverty in old age.
Doug: That claim shouldn’t be worth answering – but it must be answered, because Boobus americanus believes it. It’s a classic “big lie.” Say it often enough, and people think it’s true. In fact, Social Security acts to impoverish the country, by destroying the incentive to save.
L: How so?
Doug: By taking almost 15% of a person’s wages right off the top, Social Security makes it much harder for a poor person to save money. Worse yet, it makes people think they don’t need to save for themselves; it gives them a false sense of security. Even worse is that the money never really belongs to the presumed recipient; it’s simply another unsecured obligation of a bankrupt government.
Social Security payments should at least be set aside as discrete accounts in each person’s name, and become assets for them. If that money were placed in an individually owned pension plan, with just average management, the results would be many times what people now hope to get. And the plan wouldn’t be a burden to future taxpayers. Social Security is, in fact, just a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where the next generation of young people is forced to support the last generation of old people.
Worst of all, the program causes people to be irresponsible. This is a disaster, because a free society can only exist when everyone takes personal responsibility seriously. It’s a swindle, and it corrupts everyone. No wonder parents can no longer rely on their own children to support them in old age. Maybe the Chinese will lend the US government the money it needs to pay its Social Security obligations…
But the numerous practical failures of a program like Social Security are not the main problem.
The primary problem with a scheme like Social Security is that it’s not voluntary; it’s coercive, which makes it unethical. You can’t force people to do what you think is right and then claim to be liberating them. Alleged freedom from fear of poverty in old age in exchange for theft of wages in the present – and the correct word for taking people’s money without their consent is “theft” – is not liberal in any defensible meaning of the world. It’s brute, “might-makes-right” power clothed in noble-sounding words.
L: Colmes says that Social Security keeps 40% of seniors above the poverty line today, and “helps families with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones.” That’s a bad thing?
Doug: No one seriously thinks they’ll be able to have a decent quality of life on Social Security retirement income alone. Why do you think so many senior citizens are working at Walmart or the like? Colmes is committing the same error Bastiat pointed out 200 years ago; choosing to value immediate, direct, and visible benefits, but ignoring the delayed and indirect costs, which only become obvious later.
The long-term costs of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, and so forth include bankrupting the country, among other economic consequences. But even more disturbing and damaging is the degradation of once self-reliant people to subservience and dependence, which is what happens when government assumes responsibilities that adult individuals should bear themselves.
For example, Social Security disability benefits are being used as an alternate income source by the unemployed. As of August, 2012, there were about 10.8 million people collecting disability income – that’s a larger number than the entire population of most US states, and up from 8.1 million in 2007, when the Greater Depression began. It can be a great scam, claiming PTSD, unprovable back pain, or a mood disorder. There’s a whole class of ambulance-chasing lawyers that takes these cases on contingency.
L: What about the individuals who try and can’t bear the responsibilities of adulthood?
Doug: The programs exist and have not prevented that from happening; there are plenty of homeless people today. I would argue that most of them are in that position because they’ve developed bad habits. There would be a lot fewer of them if they didn’t get taught from childhood that assuring their own lives and well-being is really the state’s responsibility, not their own. The system is failing these people, but again, that’s beside the point; two wrongs don’t make a right. The whole idea of a government “safety net” is wrong, in principle and practice.
Ideas have consequences in the physical world, and lies, twisted words, and self-contradictory, impossible claims can be extremely damaging. You can’t liberate people by putting them in financial chains.
L: I understand the principles, but many people don’t – or just don’t care. People like Colmes see the parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the infrastructure built by the Works Progress Administration as unmitigated goods, the work given to all the millions employed by the government as life-saving, and the idea of helping those in need to be a moral imperative they don’t question.
Doug: The average person has been handed this party line throughout his life, from teachers in government schools to talking heads on TV. He’s been discouraged from thinking critically or independently. We have two widely shared myths – that Roosevelt’s New Deal cured the Depression and Johnson’s Great Society cured poverty – although both beliefs are counterfactual. It’s pretty much as Will Rogers liked to say: “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”
Now a new myth is being hatched, that Obama and Bernanke’s quantitative easing saved the economy. But that will never catch on; it will be totally debunked over the next few years as they destroy both the dollar and the economy.
Colmes seems completely unaware that government programs have costs. The money used to pay the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration workers had to come from somewhere – where? It’s either forcibly taken from current taxpayers, who then can neither enjoy it nor invest it as they prefer – or it comes from taking on debt, which means future taxpayers, who are thereby turned into indentured servants. That money was redirected from whatever uses those who earned it had for it, and put to uses government employees deemed best.
The political process, of course, has a perverse tendency to result in “pork” spending on the most useless, wasteful, and idiotic programs imaginable. It goes for things that are politically productive for the people who control the state, not necessarily economically productive for either society or the taxpayers. But again, this is all secondary to the ethics of the matter; that is vastly more important.
Parks are nice, but should the money to build them have been taken from entrepreneurs struggling to build businesses in the 1930s? Or single mothers in, say, Harlem, struggling to feed their families? It’s the little people who can’t afford the lawyers and accountants needed to cut tax bills who suffer the most.
Coercing people to do what politicians decide is simply unethical.
L: What about the argument that it’s not coercion if the people voted for the politicians who passed the laws that created these programs?
Doug: Essentially another big lie. In the first place, people vote for politicians – who rarely keep promises – not for laws at the federal level. None of these laws were enacted by the people. Second, unless you could get unanimous consent of every person affected, it would still be coercive to people who have committed no crime and want no part of it, and thus unethical.
If 51% of the people vote to enslave 49% of the people, that doesn’t make that slavery right. If 99% vote to enslave 1% – something many of the ignorant, torch-wielding masses seem to be clamoring for these days – it’s still wrong. Ethics is not a matter of popularity contests.
Anything that society wants or needs can, should, and will be provided by entrepreneurs working for a profit.
L: Can you elaborate on that? It’s all fine to criticize stupid ideas, but unless you offer a constructive alternative, what’s the point?
Doug: Indeed. We’re talking about products and services that people regard as necessary or beneficial for society as a whole, but which they say private enterprise wouldn’t provide adequately. Roads, schools, and post offices are frequently cited examples.
Government post offices were a bad idea to begin with – even back in the 1800s when most people thought they were vitally important, a man named Lysander Spooner set up a private company to deliver mail – and do so for less than the government charged. This superior service upset the apple cart, and was outlawed and shut down. Today, everyone knows that UPS and FedEx do a better job than the post office; no sensible person trusts the government when it absolutely, positively has to get there. Between that and email, the post office should have been shut down, rather than propped up, long ago. It now costs taxpayers on t he order of $12 billion a year.
Similarly, there’s a history of private roads going back to previous centuries. The fist transcontinental highway, the old Route 66, was paved with private money. There are private roads in the US and around the world today. It’s simply not true that you need a government to build things that people actually need. You need government roads about as much as you need government cars.
We’ve covered schools and education. The schools are absolutely the last thing the state should do…
L: What about things like the military, police, and courts?
Doug: Well, I would argue that even those should be handled by the private sector, but I understand that many people can’t get away from the idea that these services are core government functions that should not be privatized. That’s because they fear they would not be fair and impartial – though it’s a cruel joke to think that government courts today are fair and impartial. At any rate, I could live with it if government were limited to these core functions; but police and courts are only a tiny fraction of what government does today.
There’s great danger in having the government do anything, quite frankly. But it could be better if more people like Ron Paul or my friend Marc Victor were in office. Check out Victor; he has the potential to be the next Ron Paul – on steroids.
L: Understood: if no one can make a buck providing some good or service, how vital can it be? Anything people actually want will be provided by entrepreneurs, making a profit. And like you, I too like to start by asking what is right, before I ask how much it costs. But most people just don’t seem to think this way. That’s why I keep coming back to the practical arguments. It seems that, regardless of one’s politics, it should matter that the state’s coffers are empty.
Colmes argues that by 2022 Obama’s Affordable Care Act “will provide coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.” He doesn’t mention that mandated government spending and interest payments have already taken over the entire federal budget. Even now, with a $1.5 trillion deficit, most of the $700 billion for the military, the $227 billion for interest on the national debt and the $646 billion for regular government services is borrowed every year. The whole thing is an impossible pipe dream that absolutely ensures the bankruptcy of not just the US government, but American society itself.
Doug: It seems insane – people wouldn’t believe us if we’d written this into a story some years ago.
But you can see the scary truth in the news every day; people in Europe’s totally broke and failing economies protest violently in the streets for their governments to spend more money those governments don’t have and won’t be able to borrow. Colmes exhibits this same breathtaking unwillingness to face the facts. He talks about one in seven people being on food stamps, as though it were a good thing. He talks about how politicians voted to extend unemployment benefits with money they don’t have as though that’s an unquestionably good thing to do.
L: So is Colmes an evil manipulator or a misguided dupe?
Doug: I don’t see how any intellectually honest person can write a long article praising a whole alphabet soup of government agencies without ever once admitting their failure, asking how much they cost, or examining the ethical basis for their existence. So I suspect he’s both a knave and a fool.
Colmes’ article encapsulates wrong-headedness and willful ignorance in exactly the same way that Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman invariably do. They’re all very destructive people. Since they don’t appear to be stupid – in the sense of having low IQs – I’m forced to assume they’re ill-intentioned.
L: So… What’s in it for him to circulate such obviously biased and misleading opinions?
Doug: Perhaps he’s simply a sociopath who gets pleasure from destruction. Or perhaps he’s just motivated by fame and money and has found a profitable gig. Despite being an apologist for socialism, the man hosts a talk show and writes books which make him money; he doesn’t do it pro bono. He has identified a market and is making money, pursuing his own self-interest, deliberately or unwittingly to the detriment of society.
L: Just like a politician.
Doug: He sees the government as the solution to every problem. But since government is pure coercion by its very nature, you can count on it to do the wrong thing – and often even the exact opposite of the right thing.
L: It’s perverse.
Doug: [Laughs] Took the words out of my mouth.
L: Investment implications?
Doug: Nothing specifically related to Colmes. He’s just another sign of the degradation of America, yet another data point supporting my view that the US is probably past the point of no return. The place that was once America is going through the wringer, and so is the rest of the world. And the way to deal with that is what we’ve been saying for some time now: rig for stormy weather.
L: Liquidate, consolidate, speculate, create – and internationalize.
Economist John Williams of Watchdog.com describes why we will suffer from hyperinflation that will begin no later than 2014 and why.
Open ended QE will cause treasury debt which leads to long range insolvancy of the US Government. If they had to report income under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) rules, we are losing $5 trillion annually. Taking 100% of peoples income would still not pay for this debt.
We are broke.
Government has been kicking the bucket down the road and the result will be inflation.
The global loss of confidence in the dollar happened with the raising of the debt ceiling last year.
The Fed’s primary goal is to keep the banking system solvent. They haven’t done anything to stimulate the economy.
More evidence that inflation is just around the corner from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
It’s not that the Keynesians aren’t smart, nor poorly educated, nor bad economists (at least they studied it to make their economic position), rather it is that they are not students of history. I may have to argue that they are bad economists later though as it has yet to work and is failing again.
Here are 2 articles:
So what kind of Keynesian world are Bernanke and the other wise ones in Washington shaping for us?
Keynesians see a depression as a lack of aggregate demand — as opposed to Austrians who know a depression is the required cleansing of the malinvestments created by the preceding boom of the government’s making. Policy makers, following the Keynesian playbook, enact policies to stimulate aggregate demand and offset the fall in private investment. On the fiscal-policy side, Keynesians advocate higher government spending. On the monetary side, they insist on lowering interest rates to zero if necessary.
The world has recent experience with attempts at resuscitating a bubble economy. The Bank of Japan cut interest rates six times between 1986 and early 1987 and all that new money caused the Japanese economy to bubble over. As Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin write in Financial Reckoning Day Fallout,
the problem with all money is that it is as fickle and unreliable as a bad girlfriend. One minute she goes along with the flow. The next minute she turns silly and bubbly. And then, she gives you the cold shoulder.
The prolonged period of low interest rates created one of the largest domestic bubbles in the world. For a brief moment in 1990, the Japanese stock market was bigger than the US market. The Nikkei-225 reached a peak of 38,916 in December of 1989 with a price-earnings ratio of around 80 times. At the bubble’s height, the capitalized value of the Tokyo Stock Exchange stood at 42 percent of the entire world’s stock-market value and Japanese real estate accounted for half the value of all land on earth, while only representing less than 3 percent of the total area. In 1989 all of Japan’s real estate was valued at US$24 trillion which was four times the value of all real estate in the United States, despite Japan having just half the population and 60 percent of US GDP.
“The Japanese asset bubbles were identical to other asset bubbles in the sense that they were essentially inflated by credit,” writes Asian bank regulator Andrew Sheng in his book From Asian to Global Financial Crisis.
Banks lent to highly leveraged developers to buy real estate against inflated collateral values, which then fueled the bubble further. Asset prices bore no realistic relationship to their return on capital, particularly since cost of funding was exceptionally low. The minute the credit stopped, the bubble began to deflate, and the main victims were the banks themselves.
After the bubble popped in Japan, that government pursued a relentless Keynesian course of fiscal pump priming and loose fiscal policy with the result being a Japan that went from having the healthiest fiscal position of any OECD country in 1990 to annual deficits of 6 to 7 percent of GDP and a gross public debt that is now 227 percent of GDP. “The Japanese tried to cure an alcoholic with heroin,” writes Bonner. “Now, they’re addicted to it.”
Japan’s monetary policy was to aggressively lower rates to .5 percent between 1991 and 1995 and has operated a zero-interest policy virtually ever since.
Between 1992 and 1995, the Japanese government tried six stimulus plans totaling 65.5 trillion yen and they even cut tax rates in 1994. They tried cutting taxes again in 1998, but government spending was never cut. Also in 1998, another stimulus package of 16.7 trillion yen was rolled out nearly half of which was for public-works projects. Later in the same year, another stimulus package was announced, totaling 23.9 trillion yen. The very next year an ¥18 trillion stimulus was tried, and, in October of 2000, another stimulus for 11 trillion was announced. As economist Ben Powell points out, “Overall during the 1990s, Japan tried 10 fiscal stimulus packages totaling more than 100 trillion yen, and each failed to cure the recession,” with Japan’s nominal GDP growth rate below zero for most of the five years after 1997.
After five years in an economic wilderness, the Bank of Japan switched, during the spring of 2001, to a policy of quantitative easing — targeting the growth of the money supply instead of nominal interest rates — in order to engineer a rebound in demand growth.
The move by the Bank of Japan to quantitative easing and the large increase in liquidity that followed stopped the fall in land prices by 2003. The Bank of Japan held interest rates at zero until early 2007, when it boosted its discount rate back to 0.5 percent in two steps by mid year. But the BoJ quickly reverted back to its zero interest rate policy.
In August of 2008, the Japanese government unveiled an ¥11.5 trillion stimulus. The package, which included ¥1.8 trillion in new spending and nearly ¥10 trillion in government loans and credit guarantees, was in response to news that the Japanese economy in July suffered its biggest contraction in seven years and inflation had topped 2 percent for the first time in a decade.
Newswire reports said the new measures would include assistance to the agriculture sector, support for part-time workers to find better employment, and rebates on toll roads. Additional spending was also to flow to healthcare, housing, education, and environmental technology.
Just this past April, the Japanese government announced another ¥10 trillion stimulus program. This was after Japan’s economy shrank by a record 15.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2009. This drop was on the heels of a 14.4 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Last month, Reuters reported that the Bank of Japan reinforced its commitment to maintaining very low interest rates and may provide even further easing. “The bank said that it would not tolerate zero inflation or falling prices.” The bank left its policy rate at .1 percent and analysts see the rate staying low possibly until 2012.
According to Reuters, the Japanese government “is fretting over the risk of the economy flipping back into recession and is pushing the bank for action.” Economy flipping back into recession? Are they kidding? Japan’s GDP at the end of this year will be no higher than it was in 1992–17 lost years.
“After 17 years of bailouts and stimulus programs, the Japanese should be getting good at them,” write Bonner and Wiggin. “But it’s a little like a guy who’s getting good at suicide — if he’s so good at it, you’d think he’d be dead already.”
But Keynesians are wont to grade on a curve. Nobel laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, for one, points to Japan’s fiscal stimulus packages as having “probably prevented a weak economy from plunging into an actual depression.”
And finally, here is a video on Keynesian Economics.
Economists have either followed Friedman or Keynes for Economic Theory over the last century. Keynes is being used currently and you can judge the results for yourself. For me, it does not seem to work, nor has history shown it to have worked for any of the presidents who have based their administration on Keynesian theory anywhere in the world.
I quote one of the best authors of our generation on economics for this article.
If Milton Friedman were alive today — and there was never a time when he was more needed — he would be one hundred years old. He was born on July 31, 1912. But Professor Friedman’s death at age 94 deprived the nation of one of those rare thinkers who had both genius and common sense.
Most people would not be able to understand the complex economic analysis that won him a Nobel Prize, but people with no knowledge of economics had no trouble understanding his popular books like “Free to Choose” or the TV series of the same name.
In being able to express himself at both the highest level of his profession and also at a level that the average person could readily understand, Milton Friedman was like the economist whose theories and persona were most different from his own — John Maynard Keynes.
Like many, if not most, people who became prominent as opponents of the left, Professor Friedman began on the left. Decades later, looking back at a statement of his own from his early years, he said: “The most striking feature of this statement is how thoroughly Keynesian it is.” No one converted Milton Friedman, either in economics or in his views on social policy. His own research, analysis and experience converted him.
As a professor, he did not attempt to convert students to his political views. I made no secret of the fact that I was a Marxist when I was a student in Professor Friedman’s course, but he made no effort to change my views. He once said that anybody who was easily converted was not worth converting.
I was still a Marxist after taking Professor Friedman’s class. Working as an economist in the government converted me.
What Milton Friedman is best known for as an economist was his opposition to Keynesian economics, which had largely swept the economics profession on both sides of the Atlantic, with the notable exception of the University of Chicago, where Friedman was both trained as a student and later taught.
In the heyday of Keynesian economics, many economists believed that inflationary government policies could reduce unemployment, and early empirical data seemed to support that view. The inference was that the government could make careful trade-offs between inflation and unemployment, and thus “fine tune” the economy.
Milton Friedman challenged this view with both facts and analysis. He showed that the relationship between inflation and unemployment held only in the short run, when the inflation was unexpected. But, after everyone got used to inflation, unemployment could be just as high with high inflation as it had been with low inflation.
When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s — “stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.
This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.
Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”
Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institution ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.
As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.
He also wrote this:
When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s —”stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.
This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.
Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”
Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institutions ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.
As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.
A true leader who built a business by standing for what he believed in. Now he is being discriminated against by those against discrimination. Hated by those who say they are against hate.
Mr. Cathy goes about the success of Chick-Fil-A and serves, hires and buys from those who say they hate what he believes in. Who is the hypocrite?
As you can see, he is not picking on any group, rather is giving to what he believes in. Just because you aren’t a politically correct lemming doesn’t make you against something, it is your right to have an opinion. He can run his company the way he so desires. Those who believe otherwise to make a statement by starting their own business and supporting their desired group, rather than trying to change everyone else.
For many months now, Chick-‐fil-‐A’s corporate giving has been mischaracterized. And while our sincere intent has been to remain out of this political and social debate, events from Chicago this week have once again resulted in questions around our giving. For that reason, we want to provide some context and clarity around who we are, what we believe and our priorities in relation to corporate giving.
A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-‐fil-‐A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.
As we have stated, the Chick-‐fil-‐A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators.
Political correctness has made us a nation tolerant only of “one-legged opinions,” a friend of mine recently observed. We take a stand on a hot issue, but only on one leg at a time, shifting when necessary so as not to offend the beliefs of others—but never standing solidly on two feet.
Like a modern day parable, the story of a lone, courageous businessman has taught us what it means to be guided by truth, rather than political fad.
Dan Cathy is the Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, a privately owned chain of quick service restaurants with annual sales of $4 billion. The company is ranked the 10th fastest growing retailer in the country, although Chick-fil-A restaurants close their doors every Sunday, the best sales day of the week for those in this business sector.
Cathy recently expressed his belief that marriage is the union of a man and…
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