Where To Start?

Where to start?

This country is coming apart at the seams. This country is much more fragile than many people think. A large number of people – but no where near a majority –  wish to destroy the existing fabric of government, society and culture. The shooting in Las Vegas appears to have sparked another round of this desire to destroy. These people have moved rapidly from statues to the NFL kneeling to blaming anyone they do not like for the shooting in Las Vegas.

There are people that genuinely believe statues of those who supported slavery should be removed, those who genuinely believe that players that kneeled were doing so to oppose racism and those who genuinely believe that draconian gun regulation is called for. I do not doubt the sincerity of these people – I do think they are delusional in thinking that when the current government/society/culture collapses it will be immediately replaced by something they will find enjoyable and satisfying. THAT is the definition of delusional.

Why would government/society/culture collapse? Because ethics lead to morals and morals lead to laws and the ethics professed by many are those of hate, destruction, deceit and greed.

On top of the ongoing societal disintegration and the ongoing social science experiment in just how many people it takes to not consent before a government is toppled our markets are brittle. Reliable sober people are warning that the stock market is extremely overvalued and due for a significant correction. This correction will not be limited to the S&P but will certainly spread to the bond market, housing, business viability and pensions – and of course derivatives. When – not if – a significant correction occurs it will be ugly. We won’t even talk about government and corporate debt. When paired with the social disintegration that ugliness will be multiplied.

I am not talking about post-apocalyptic Mad Max here – but social and economic disintegration is a fairly well worn path. The United States has all of the classic symptoms of social and economic disintegration – we are becoming increasingly ungovernable as the Federal government is at war within itself, we have destroyed price discovery hence we have destroyed any working markets, we have completely abandoned the concept of risk, and the culture has decided that every bad thing that happens is the other guys fault in some way shape or form. Worst of all many have come to regard government as nothing more than an allocator of spoils and we will fight to the death for our share of the spoils.

We are kind of a despicable people with a despicable culture at the moment. We have Americans actually rooting for North Korea to beat us, we have Americans cheering because they assume primarily Republicans were shot in Las Vegas, we have endless lies and falsehoods to prop our agendas and ideologies and we no longer particularly care that our agendas and ideologies are propped up with lies and falsehoods. In a very real unspoken way we have to normalize lies to maintain a coherent thought process. Many people think the goal is for their lies to be more popular than the other lies – not on what may or may not be true or the conditions under which it may or may not be true. Context is a long-forgotten concept in 2017 America.

Ethics lead to morals and morals lead to laws – a significant number of Americans no longer have any ethics other than to get what ever they can and take it by force from other people if that is the easiest way to get it. Of course that is not what they advertise their ideology to be – they tend to wrap this lust for power and spoils in the much more socially acceptable ‘compassion’ blanket. That ethic leads to our current morals and those morals lead to our current laws focused on who will use force to take what from the other guy. Government has become little more than a power struggle over who will control and allocate the spoils. Our politics have devolved into a personal war over which side of the allocation of spoils you may fall on. Underlying all of this is the irrational belief that the United States will always remain the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world and that we can endlessly pillage the rest of the world for spoils. The United States became the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world because of an ethic – and that ethic is evaporating. That those fighting over the allocation of spoils cannot take a step back and look at the big picture will be our doom. Unfortunately many of these people have been taught by a deficient education system that it was always this way – hence they have no concept that the ethics leading to the morals leading to the laws that allowed the United States to become what has become are wholly different that the ethics they profess today.

I honestly think there is no other solution than to let it crash and burn and then rebuild. The United States has more than enough energy, food potential, infrastructure and smart people so we can rebuild (in what ever configuration) on a rational structure once the chaff gets burned away.

Sometimes societies just collectively go insane and this society is ready for a straitjacket in the rubber room.

Yearning For Feudalism

1. Fact: Modern “Progressives” barely know there is such a thing as ‘Monetary Policy’ and they have no idea what it is or how it works.

2. Fact: The overwhelming majority of wealth transfers to the rich occur via monetary policy – about $15 trillion in net wealth transferred from the bottom 93% to the top 7% during the Obama years.

3. Fact: Modern “Progressives” constantly and even violently argue for policies that are simply wealth transfers to the very rich with a facade of compassion placed around it – the reason why is #1 on this post.

4. Fact: Long time Progressives such as Charles Hugh Smith, who actually understand monetary policy, point out that modern ‘Progressives’ are yearning for, fighting for and demanding a 21st century version of feudalism without the first clue that this is what they are actually doing. As a result Progressives that indeed understand monetary policy are shunned, belittled and attacked – for merely pointing out the fact that modern ‘Progressives’ are yearning for, fighting for and demanding a 21st century version of feudalism because of #1 on this post.

This is not pejorative – just facts. That modern “Progressives” have adopted a cultural motif that anyone who does not agree with them is evil and to be disregarded and the enemy makes it almost impossible for them to come to realize the truth of #1.

Hence – they will continue to argue, even engaging in violence, for continued massive wealth transfers to the 1% while sincerely believing that they are doing just the opposite.

Stop Bilking The Sick

To paraphrase Thomas Sowell – socialism is the belief that you cannot afford hospitals, doctors, nurses, technicians, ambulances and medication but you can somehow afford hospitals, doctors, nurses, technicians, ambulances, and medication along with an army of bureaucrats on top of it all.

The cost of healthcare has increased 78X as a per cent of GDP since government decided to jump in and ‘help’ – get government out of it entirely and watch the costs drop like a rock. The only way that government can solve the healthcare problem is by deciding it will stop ‘helping’ and get out of healthcare entirely. How many bankruptcies and how much of a financial burden would healthcare cause at 1/78th the current cost?

Expecting government to ‘fix’ this problem is like expecting small pox to cure small pox – not going to happen. Government interference is the root cause of the problem – not the solution. That many people are making tremendous amounts of money from the sick and needful by convincing the gullible that government is the solution rather than the problem is beyond atrocious.

Stop the corruption and bilking of the sick by ending government involvement in and funding of healthcare.

55 Years Of Healthcare History

Our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, we keep giving government more control, our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, we keep giving government more control, our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, we keep giving government more control, our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, we keep giving government more control, our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, we keep giving government more control, our healthcare allocation and expense keeps getting worse, ad nauseam.

55 years of healthcare history in a single paragraph.

Some People Will Say I Am Being Unfair About This

Mish Shedlock recently posted an article stating the obvious – ‘living wage’ and ‘guaranteed income’ schemes cannot work. That this is not obvious to a significant percentage of the population is pretty scary.

Damn education system again!

Let us quickly review why that cannot work. The simple answer is because there is not enough money – but due to political dishonesty that obvious answer becomes convoluted and many people will dissemble on this topic for their own selfish reasons. The method by which those who wish to obfuscate will claim it can work is via more debt. Simple truth. To review, the United States Federal government official ‘on the books’ debt is $20 trillion. The unofficial ‘off the books’ but actual debt is north of $210 trillion. The advocates of guaranteed income wish to add trillions more to this debt, even though no rational person believes we can pay what we already owe. How would the United States manage to fund this program? In the short term via the Federal Reserve issuing more credit. More credit equals more debt and in order to pay the debt with interest it requires ever more grotesque market distortions that will result in ever less employment and even more wealth inequality that will result in ever more people needing assistance that will result in ever more government programs that will result in ever more Federal debt.

Wash rinse repeat.

Many of the people who support these types of programs see them as a cure to economic ills and injustice. Some people are patently dishonest on the matter but most people just believe they are being compassionate. The initial problem here is that the people that are simply trying to be compassionate generally have no idea how any of it is funded and beyond that have no idea how the current monetary regime operates. Consequently they have no idea that what they are proposing will generate poverty and misery and wealth inequality. The second problem is a cultural phenomena has taken hold on the political and social Left that effectively claims that anyone who bothers to point out the obvious effect of these policies – that the net result is simply a massive wealth transfer to the 1% – is a tool of Wall Street and the corporations and such and that they are to be hated and denounced.

I understand that the topic of monetary policy makes peoples eyes roll and that understanding monetary policy appears to be the most boring way that someone could spend their time. I understand most people have little interest in understanding monetary policy, and that because it appears complicated, convoluted and boring makes it the perfect mechanism for wealth transfers to the 1%. That the wealth transfers to the 1% can be covered in a facade of compassion makes it ideal. The very wealthiest fund these social program theories because they make the 1% wealthier and nearly everyone else poorer. The truth.

That socialism and wealth transfer programs enrich the few at the expense of the many has always been true in each and every situation where it has been put into practice. Even in the earliest days of the Soviet Union the politburo members travelled in Rolls-Royce’s while millions starved in the Ukraine. Now people scoff and say “But the Soviets were evil!” Ok, how about Cuba where the overwhelming majority exist on less than $100 a month but those at the top party on yachts and indulge every material luxury imaginable? Cuba, where those at the top travel to Europe for medical care while bragging on how effective the ‘free’ Cuban healthcare system delivers healthcare? Still not convinced? How about Venezuela where items as basic as toilet paper differentiate the masses from the elite? We will not even talk about the Sandinista genocide of the Miskito Indians and Bernie Sanders rationalization of why that was necessary to advance Nicaraguan socialism.

The latest absurdity that socialist point to is Denmark – a country that itself claims it is not socialist and beyond that is a monarchy! Even in the ‘successful’ example of Denmark wealth inequality exceeds that of the United States. Oh by the way – Denmark recently announced they will be slashing their social spending by more than half – so there is that as well.

In other words – there are no successful happy examples socialism.

None.

I understand that some people will say I am being unfair about this – but all I am doing is pointing out what Bernie Sanders has claimed were the ‘successful’ examples of socialism over the past fifty years.

Due to temporary monetary and fiscal gimmicks we allow ourselves to continue the fantasies that the debt does not matter. The corollary fantasies are that we can adopt programs that will balloon the debt ever farther beyond what we already owe and will someday default on.

Sometimes societies just collectively go insane.

Bombshell: The Science is Unsettling and the Debate is Heating Up.

 
 
A critically important debate is roiling the field of climate science and journalistic and political engagement of the issue. A group of distinguished climate scientists has published a study in the journal Nature Geoscience concluding the major models relied on for climate projections are flawed and the predictions have been wrong since at least 2000. Warming is slower than expected. Carbon’s effect on trapping heat is lower than assumed. Therefore, humanity has time to avoid a critical predicted 1.5 degree Celsius warming targeted in the Paris Accords, which and to stave off projected environmental disaster.
 
 Responses and characterizations of the study have been all over the map. The Washington Post sounds a hopeful, noncommittal note: “New climate change calculations could buy the Earth some time — if they’re right.

Climate writer James Delingpole gloats at Breightbart: “Climate Alarmists Finally Admit ‘We Were Wrong About Global Warming‘”

Scientific American is notably declarative: “Climate Change Will Not Be Dangerous for a Long Time,” with the cautionary subhead: “Slower warming than predicted gives the world time to develop better energy technologies.” The piece observes the new study provides a middle option between “really dangerous right now” and “it’s all a hoax.” It notes that slower than feared warning means temperatures do not become hazardous under the models for about a century, giving humanity several decades to improve energy technology and pursue better mitigation.
 
Popular Mechanics rains on the party and scolds: Sorry Skeptics: The Earth is Still Warming.

Under the satisfied heading: Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now? Investors Business Daily points out that if the models have been generally and consistently wrong, and warming has been flat, then how can researchers be so sure they are getting it right now? How much credibility was invested in, how many skeptics have been mocked, marginalized, and denied publication, tenure, or grants, merely for raising questions about predictions—and policy demands—that the climate catechism insists are settled and beyond discussion?
 

The New York Times inexcusably but unsurprisingly so far has found this story not among the news that is fit to print.

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One difference I have with any skeptics who now feel triumphalist or in a position to gloat is that the Alarmist Army is not in the least throwing in the towel on the anti-carbon agenda. The study and discussion represent a retrenchment and recalibration. After so many years of crying wolf, warning of thresholds, tipping points, and points of no return, that just aren’t materializing, the alarmists know they are losing credibility and public attention. This seems a strategy to step back, reset the clock, and keep hammering.
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