Guest Post: A Former Marine's Outlook On Inflation, Life Expectancy, And Future Returns

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Hedgeless Horseman

A Former Marine's Outlook On Inflation, Life Expectancy, And Future Returns

The details of the federal employees' pension system are not something that interests me, nor do I understand exactly how the US Treasury is borrowing money from it, and with little or no mention of it in the press.  Thanks to Zero Hedge, at least I do understand why the US government is forced to borrow money from its own employees, as both the monetary and political reasons have been covered on this site extensively. 

Recently, I have been thinking about a former marine I know that recently "retired" from the federal government after a couple of decades as an US postal inspector.  During his entire career in government service, he carried a weapon, and spent most of his time conducting narcotics investigations.  He has photos of himself beside giant mountains of cash and drugs that he had seized on raids.

Several months ago, before he retired, he shared a little bit about his financial situation; specifically that he has several hundred thousand dollars in a federal retirement account invested in U.S. treasuries.  He said it was essentially all that he and his wife had saved, and that he knew it was not going to be enough for him to truly retire, especially because they still have kids to put through college.  However, he said that if he went to Afghanistan for one year as a security contractor, then he could make enough money so that he would not have to work doing landscaping for the rest of his life, which is what he saw as his second option.  

Being a bit of an instigator, I asked this ex-marine/postal worker what his assumptions were regarding inflation, his life expectancy, and future returns.  He stared at me silently for an uncomfortably long time.  Please understand me when I say that this is not the type of man anyone would ever really want to piss off.  Think more R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey and less Cliff Claven.  I then realized that I should be more careful what I say, or risk being the messenger that is shot delivering bad news.

His response, when it finally came, surprised me.  He said, "I don't trust the government."  He then went on to explain that although he and his buddies were just a bunch of government hacks that had put in their time, they did risk their lives on a regular basis.  For that, the primary reward they were all promised, and did expect, was a federal pension.  We talked a little about the idea of his pension being denominated in US dollars, and the history of the US dollar's purchasing power, but it was an uncomfortable conversation for both of us, so we moved on to other topics.

A couple of months later I learned from the man's family that he had in fact deployed to Afghanistan.  I do not know what he is doing there, but I expect it is dangerous.  What I wonder is this.  Does this man know that the government is paying him (albeit indirectly through Xe or the like) combat pay by borrowing from his own retirement...the very same retirement fund with a NPV sufficiently small to cause this man to leave his own kids to fight other men's' kids half way around the world?  Does he realize that because it enables the Federal Reserve's QE and ZIRP policies, the government is responsible for the inflation and low treasury yields that will likely make it so that even with a year's worth of combat pay this man will very likely still end up mowing bankers' lawns for the rest of his life?  If he does not know this, now, I most certainly do not want to be the one to tell him.

He said, "I don't trust the government." 

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Dr. Richard Head's picture

I thought they were fighting for our freedom over there? 

TSA "Pat Downs" - Taste the Freedom

MisterAmbassador's picture

The American military may one day (very soon) be ordered to point their guns not at foreign people off in some distant land most of us would have a hard time finding on a geographic map but at fellow Americans in Los Angeles, Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, New York...

I trust that our military is still on the side of We the People.  I trust that our military is beholden and loyal to the Constitution of the United States of America above someone with the title commander-in-chief who may issue orders contradicting that document.  I trust that our military holds themselves to a higher standard than "just following orders".

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Unfortunately I personally know many veterans and enrolled military and many of them can compartmentalize their needs to support their family against what they are doing to innocent people, regardless of nationality, race, or geographic location.

Hell, I know one that just enlisted and he is so excited to be deployed ASAP because the combat pay is so much higher. 

Fortunately we have the Oath Keepers, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and a variety of other veteran groups that support the people over the kleptocracy, but those numbers pale in comparison to those willing to kill for a debt note to a central bank.  

Dr. Richard Head's picture

FYI - look at the ranks of the "protest controllers" in for the G20, DNC, and RNC of last presidential election.  Just take a wild guess where they were recruited from?  Hint - they don't care about anyone but their needs and those that they percieve to be getting in the way of those needs.

MisterAmbassador's picture

Of course there are some, maybe many like that.  But, even they must still believe on some level that they are "defending America" or "defending freedom" or something bigger than themselves because they are risking their lives. 

When it becomes undeniable that that America is nothing more than a myth or, indeed, the big lie, I think most of them will at least rethink that.  Don't the Marines say something along the lines of "God, Country, Corps"?  At least they recognize something higher than orders issued by man.

Even the Chinese refused to roll a tank over one of their own - at least when the cameras were around.  We all have cameras on us now.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I sure as fuck hope so.  At 5'9", 165 lbs, and only .38 in my pants, chances are I will be taken out pretty quickly. 

one can hope, but the more destitute people become because of the banksters, the more dire things they will do for debt notes.

Fiat - It's everwhere you don't want it to be.

MisterAmbassador's picture

Might I recommend having a pocket-sized Constitution/Declaration of Independence handy in your pants too?  Nothing like pulling that out of your pocket and just reading it aloud.  Would probably have a much more profound effect than pulling that .38 out.

LFMayor's picture

That's exactly what John Lennon said!

Mec-sick-o's picture

And he was shot to death.

Clampit's picture

And here we are still talking about him being right today.

Captain Planet's picture

but he was shot to death

last I checked, the bible was the only paper strong enough to stop bullets

fuu's picture

That didn't work real well in Kent State.

I only kill chickens and wheat's picture

I would suggest to read it at home, and not "carry" the constitution. DHS Domestic Terrorist Profile:

*Expressions of libertarian philosophies (Statements, bumper stickers)
*Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or Gun Club Membership, holding a CCW permit)
*Survivalist literature (Fictional books such as “Patriots” and “One Second After” are mentioned by name)
*Self-sufficiency (Stockpiling Food, Ammo, Hand Tools, Medical supplies)
*Fear of economic collapse (Buying Gold and Barter items)
*Religious views concerning the book of Revelation (Apocalypse, Anti-Christ)
*Expressed fears of Big Brother or Big Government
*Declarations of Constitutional rights and Civil liberties
*Belief in a New World Order Conspiracy

Opps I'm 6/10

-Michelle-'s picture

We were 8/10, but we let the club membership lapse.

gmrpeabody's picture

And all this time I thought I was the All-American boy. Who would have thunk it?

sun tzu's picture

Nearly everyone on ZH is a terrorist. There are still a few shills for the Fed and some Obots who will become anti-government when their Messiah is no longer in office.

disabledvet's picture

not you again.  PUT YOUR PANTS ON MISTER!

Milestones's picture

Funny post!!!      Milestones

Henry Chinaski's picture

Can you post the link to said profile?  All I found is this and most of those items aren't there.

DHS Assessment - Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

New_Meat's picture

ya, all I get is Nightengales' Song, ... perhaps after Rawles (the eotwawki guy) post.  But the Profile needs to be distributed rather widely, so it seems as likely as others, esp. w/OPSEC from DHS.

However, is consistent with previous Big Sis publications, e.g. (but widely reported):

go figure.  This would be good enough for GW to run with an entire post, such are the standards.

- Ned



sun tzu's picture

I believe that was released by the Missouri State police working in conjunction with DHS in 2009. Anyone with a Ron Paul bumper sticker was a potential terrorist. If you support a third party, you are a potential terrorist. 

Fedophile's picture

DHS Assessment - Pg 4

Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members.  Prominent among these themes were... perceived government infringement on civil liberties

GreenSideUp's picture

Here's the original report that was leaked (IIRC) although these fusion centers are in many states.

GreenSideUp's picture

A bit OT but here's a story about a friend of mine who was asked to leave a national park because of his Campaign for Liberty bumper sticker.

CD's picture

Ouch. I would imagine the federal version is even more complete & extensive. And that on some version of it, ZH is sure to be listed...

strannick's picture

Guess they'd be cuffing the Founding Fathers and piling them into the Paddy Wagon. Sound like Stalin, Mussolini and Mao are more their style.

Would they prefer bumper stickers like this? "Gold in the hands of the public is an enemy of the State" -Adolf Hitler

New_Meat's picture

"Paddy Wagon"

Such an ethnic slur, esp. w/Our Dear President downing Vitamin G in Ireland!

- Ned

falardea's picture

Oh damn.  Time to start posting DNC party line comments on my facebook.  Dis-information might save me... and get me a coosh government job.

razorthin's picture

Elitist marginalization of counter viewpoints is it's most effective tool

DeadFred's picture

"Opps I'm 6/10"

and they just updated your DHS dossier.

BorisTheBlade's picture

From a man who knew something about words and guns:

"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

CH1's picture

And from a guy who knew even better:

We would not let our enemies have guns, so why would we let them have ideas? - Uncle Joe Stalin

GubbermintWorker's picture

I'll stick to the .38, thank you very much.

serotonindumptruck's picture


Shot placement is important. I recommend upper-body, center-of-mass for maximum efficacy.

Groin shots can effect rapid exsanguination also, so that may be something to keep in mind as you're sighting your target. An injured femoral artery is usually fatal.

High Plains Drifter's picture

a lot of people impune the 38 ever since the glock came out etc. but the freakin 38 is a cannon, no doubt.....ha ha

SuperRay's picture

That's a nice sentiment, but the guys who'll be pointing guns at you won't give two shits about the constitution - they won't be educated, intellectual types who weight concepts of justice, freedom, and individual sovereignty.  No, they'll be hardened, jacked up hardasses who like having power over people (that's why they joined the police force).  Your .38 and my 9mm won't mean much to them - they won't think twice about dishing out brain damage or death.  

Bananamerican's picture


our military, our national guard, our cops, are so far beyond Kent State it isn't funny anymore.

People don't even know their neighbors in many places anymore and as Joni Mitchell said, "everyone hates everyone"...

as long as the forces of "Control" are paid in ANY 3rd world country that's what they will attempt to maintain.....United we stand, divided we fall. Worse than divided, we are "separated"

High Plains Drifter's picture

maybe kent state was a kind of a experiment. they wanted to see how much stress NG troops could get under before they pulled the trigger and also if they would actually fire on other Americans. they fired on them and killed 4 of them. so now fastforward to today and see what kind of people are the services. men who grew up playing video games etc........not good........

Calmyourself's picture

God made man, Smith & Wesson makes us equal.

shesalive's picture

smith and wesson - the best in feminine protection.

A Nanny Moose's picture

it ain't the size of the rabbit, it's how fast runs in n out of the to speak

augie's picture

I beleive you are thinking of the core values, which are honor, courage, and comitment. I wish i could agree with your points but my personal experience won't allow me to do so.

MisterAmbassador's picture

Actually, I was thinking of the quote from "A Few Good Men".  I just went and looked it up, and to my dismay, the direct quote is from the character Dawson:  "Unit. Corps. God. Country."

So, thanks guys.  I was actually trying to not be all doom and gloom for once.

/pops some Vicodin/

But, still, if you're just a little guy facing an army, don't bother pulling out the gun.  If you're going to go down, might as well go down pulling out the Constitution.  Even if they still shoot you for reaching into your pocket, one of them just might look and realize it was the Constitution.

DosZap's picture

Here's the REAL one.Notice what comes FIRST.

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

In the National Guard (Army or Air)

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God.

ANY Unlawful Orders are NOT to be obeyed, if it's opposed to the Constitution, then the one's giving the orders are traitors.