Medicare

Guest Post: Charting Insolvency - Social Security And Wages

Do those collecting three times the median wage really need the same SSA benefits as those with no other retirement income? The conventional answer is that any means testing of Social Security would destroy its political popularity, but in reality such means-testing would likely affect only the top (higher-income) 10% of the populace. "We wuz promised" does not apply to "pay as you go" systems, which are extraordinarily exposed to current trends and realities. It's time for America to examine the social contract/Social Security in an era of declining full-time employment and widening income inequality. We as a nation need to prioritize the Social Security retirement income of those with no other pension incomes.

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Obama NOT Worst President

Yesterday I thought that Barack Obama was probably the worst President in the entire history of the USA given his record on unemployment and Gross Domestic Product since he has been in office. But, then again, on second thoughts...

21 Facts About America's Surging Government Dependence

The percentage of Americans that are economically independent has dropped to a stunningly low level. What we have in America today is a situation where economic independence is being systematically eradicated and the government is increasingly being expected to provide our daily bread and to take care of all of us from the cradle to the grave. And once you become a serf of the state, it is very hard to resist anything the government is doing in a meaningful way.  After all, the money that you are getting from the government is enabling you to survive.  In essence, your allegiance has been at least partially purchased and you may not even realize it. At this point, the number of Americans that are financially dependent on the government is absolutely staggering, and it gets worse with each passing year.  Just consider the following statistics...

Guest Post: The New, Improved 1984

George Orwell's prescient book 1984 envisioned a technologically-enabled authoritarian state of ubiquitous surveillance, propaganda and fear that constantly rewrote history to suit the needs of the present regime. Welcome to the new, improved 1984, America 2013. Ubiquitous surveillance: check. Ubiquitous propaganda extolling the state and central bank: check. Perpetual fear-mongering: check. Perpetual war against an unseen enemy who can never be defeated: check. Police state with essentially unlimited powers to suppress "enemies of the state": check. Continual revision of history to support the current party line: check. However, Orwell underestimated the power of complicity; once you get a check from the state, you begin loving your servitude.

America: Where Hard Working, Productive Members Of Society Pay For The Health Care Of Everyone Else

Everybody in America wants health care - but most Americans seem to want someone else to pay for it.  In the United States today, the way that our system works is that the hard working, productive members of society pay for the health care of everyone else.  At least under socialism everyone gets the same benefits.  Our system of health care is a very twisted version of socialism where millions upon millions of very hard working people are forced to pay for the health care of others, but often can't afford to purchase decent health insurance for themselves. When you add it all up, the hard working, productive members of society are at least partially subsidizing the health care of well over half of all Americans while having to pay for their own health care at the same time. Needless to say, it isn't too hard to see who is getting the raw end of the deal.

Eric Sprott On The Detroit Template

The problem is clear; every level of government has promised too much and is now faced with the politically unappealing prospect of either drastically increasing taxes for the working age population or significantly reducing benefits for the retired (or future retired). As evidenced by the Detroit bankruptcy, the longer we wait, the worse it will get. The greater the delay, the more pain and suffering citizens will face when the benefits and safety nets they have come to expect from the government suddenly disappear. Over time, politicians from all stripes have proven adept at cognitive dissonance, but these increases in taxes and cuts to benefits will have to happen, one way or another; it is just a matter of time.

Guest Post: 10 Reasons Why Obamacare Is Going To Ruin Your Medical Care... And Your Life

The bottom line is that Americans are losing more and more of their medical freedom.  By 2015, so many workers will be trapped in the government-run health insurance exchanges that there will be no going back to the private plans we have today. At this rate, single-payer proponents will drive private insurance companies out of business, which has been their intention all along. Obamacare is a hodgepodge of new regulations, requirements, and penalties. Here are the ten most important points that doctors should tell their patients.

Detroit's Bailout "Plan B": Obamacare

When Detroit filed for bankruptcy, the city's demands for a Federal bailout promptly rose to the surface and then just as promptly dissipated following a polite but stern rejection by the president, almost too fast and without any fight, according to some. Or maybe that is only how it appeared. According to the NYT, Detroit's advisors may be looking at a completely different source of Federal "assistance" - a much more indirect one, even if at the end of the day, it is taxpayers who end up footing the bill. Obamacare.

Frontrunning: July 29

  • More Doctors Steer Clear of Medicare (WSJ)
  • Syrian Looters in Bulldozers Seek Treasure Amid Chaos (BBG)
  • Siemens CEO Peter Löscher Is Set to Leave His Post After Series of Earnings Misses (WSJ)
  • Silver Vault for 200 Tons Starts in Singapore as Wealthy Buy (BBG)
  • Omincom and Publicis merger shows that advertising is now firmly in the business of Big Data: collecting and selling the personal information of millions of consumers (NYT)
  • Apple supplier accused of labour violations (FT)
  • 'BarCap was the Wild Wild West – that’s what we called it’ (Telegraph)
  • P&G chief seizes opportunity in era of three-day stubble (FT)
  • Federal Reserve 'Doves' Beat 'Hawks' in Economic Prognosticating (WSJ) - LOL: Fed "hawks"

35 Facts To Scare A Baby Boomer

If you want to frighten Baby Boomers, just show them the list of statistics in this article.  The United States is headed for a retirement crisis of unprecedented magnitude, and people are woefully unprepared for it.  At this point, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen for almost the next 20 years.  The number of senior citizens in America is projected to more than double during the first half of this century, and some absolutely enormous financial promises have been made to them. So will we be able to keep those promises to the hordes of American workers that are rapidly approaching retirement?  Of course not. The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroit is just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core.

What's Up With Inflation?

If we analyze inflation by these two metrics (purchasing power - which declines as real income stagnates and prices rise - and by exposure to real costs), we find the middle class is increasingly exposed to skyrocketing real-world prices. Pundits in the top 5% have the luxury of pontificating on the accuracy of the CPI while those protected by government subsidies and coverage have the luxury of wondering what all the fuss is about. Only those 100% exposed to the real costs experience the full fury of actual inflation.

Guest Post: Trying To Stay Sane In An Insane World - Part 1

Facts are treasonous and dangerous in an empire of lies, fraud and propaganda. It is maddening to watch the country spiral downward, driven to ruin by a psychotic predator class, while the plebs choose to remain willfully ignorant of reality and distracted by their lust for cheap Chinese crap and addicted to the cult of techno-narcissism. We are a country running on heaping doses of cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias, an irrational belief in our national exceptionalism, an absurd trust in the same banking class that destroyed the finances of the country, and a delusionary belief that with just another trillion dollars of debt we’ll be back on the exponential growth track. The American empire has been built on a foundation of cheap easily accessible oil, cheap easily accessible credit, the most powerful military machine in human history, and the purposeful transformation of citizens into consumers through the use of relentless media propaganda and a persistent decades long dumbing down of the masses through the government education system. This national insanity is not a new phenomenon. Friedrich Nietzsche observed the same spectacle in the 19th century: “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

Can The US Economy Keep Up With This Exponential Chart?

Anyone that thinks that the U.S. economy can keep going along like this is delusional.  We are in the terminal phase of an unprecedented debt spiral which has allowed us to live far, far beyond our means for the last several decades.  Unfortunately, all debt spirals eventually end, and they usually do so in a very disorderly manner