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Guest Post: The United States Of Delusion

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The irony is that clinging to delusion rather than face the necessity of deep cuts in borrow-and-squander budgets will lead to the involuntary reset of the entire system, depriving every vested interest of their share of the swag.

We are living in the United States of Delusion. The delusion has four key sources:
1. We can borrow-print-and-spend our way to prosperity when debt and fiscal/monetary stimulus are yielding ever more marginal returns:
The Dangerous Blindspots of Clueless Keynesians (January 2, 2013) The Keynesian model is a Cargo Cult, mired in a distant, romanticized past where Central Planning, intervention and manipulation were solutions rather than the root of the economy's fatal disease.
2. The risks of this fatal fiscal delusion are masked by a complicit Mainstream Media and a perception-management, manipulation-dependent Central State and Federal Reserve.
Spoiled Teenager Syndrome (January 3, 2013) Masking risk, cost and consequence creates an illusory world that eventually crashes on the unforgiving rocks of reality.

Is masking risk, cost and consequence a strategy that leads to success? No; it is a pathway to repeated catastrophic failure. What is the Central Planning strategy being pursued by our Central State and the Federal Reserve? Masking risk, cost and consequence.

3. The true costs of the Neoliberal Cartel State are cloaked, massaged and distorted by bogus budgets and wildly unrealistic projections.

Sickcare is fundamentally a system of interlinked politically powerful cartels.Insiders who refuse to speak on the record for fear of antagonizing the powers that be, exorbitant price increases, confidential agreements and a tug-of-war between warring tribes. Is this the Mafia we're talking about?
From the point of view of investigative journalism, it could al 

so describe America's health care industry. Stated truthfully, the industry is a highly profitable and politically powerful group of companies which operate in cartel-like fashion: that is, they use their clout to limit competition and establish highly profitable pricing. 

Western Pennsylvania has about 140 MRI machines, while the 32 million residents of Canada share 151 MRI machines. And the U.S. machines are getting a lot of use: the number of CT and MRI scans (scans other than old-fashioned X rays) tripled from 85 to 234 per thousand insured people since 1999.
While proponents are quick to note that scans are cheaper than the alternative diagnostic procedures, one firm's research found that a doctor who owns his own machine is four times as likely to order a scan as a doctor who doesn't. 

As if that wasn't enough to highlight the self-serving nature of "fee for service" cartels, MRI scanner manufacturer General Electric waged a two-year lobbying campaign to roll back cuts in Medicare reimbursements for scans. While the effort proved unsuccessful due to the intense political pressure to reduce soaring Medicare costs, critics observed that providers simply made up the reduced reimbursements by increasing the number of tests administered. 

The only solution that actually addresses the systemic problem is to get rid of the entire fee-for-service structure and break up the cartels.Healthcare must be reconnected to diet, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and community, and to education and emotional well-being.


If you really want a solution, then start by pinning down exactly who's getting all the money. Then find out if they're accountable for how it's spent. Nobody wants to admit the reality: our nation is dominated by cartels and fiefdoms serving entrenched constituencies whose budgets are simply not sustainable.Please consider this chart of the University of California system's employment of professors and administration. If we extrapolate the lines, then soon there will be more highly-compensated seat-warmers in administration than there will be professors teaching in the classrooms.

It seems that some members of the Education Cartel and Fiefdom came to do good but stayed to do well--as in triple the national median earnings of full-time workers: 


Salary: $172,163
Position: High School Teacher
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Physics (Grades 9-12 Only)
Years Teaching: 30.5
Degree: Master's

Salary: $163,526
Position: High School Teacher
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Driver Education
Years Teaching: 32
Degree: Master's

And how about those pension and retirement costs? We have an answer for New York City, and it is sobering. NYC budget - pension costs skyrocketing:

Over the past decade, New York City hasn’t really grown its population but has increased expenses from $28.8 billion to $49.7 billion. The vast majority of that $20.9 billion increase has been in the form of more dollars to fewer employees. Pension costs are killing us most: this has grown from $1.3 billion in 2002 to $8.3 billion in 2012.

That's a 638% increase in pension costs in one decade, while the city budget leaped 72% despite a stable population. The share of the budget devoted to pensions jumped from 4.5% in 2002 to 16.7% in 2012.

I have addressed these issues many times, for example in The Devolution of the Consumer Economy, Part II: Rising Costs, Declining Wages (April 8, 2011) and Complexity: Bureaucratic (Death Spiral) and Self-Organizing (Sustainable) (February 17, 2011).
I have highlighted the Education and Sickcare Cartels, but there are many others with exploding costs and zero alignment with accountability or performance. The Department of Defense, famous for routinely losing track of hundreds of billions of dollars (and does anyone lose their job over that gross mismanagement? No, everyone gets a promotion and raise for doing such a swell job), manages to triple the cost of every weapons system, regardless of the actual performance benefits (increasingly marginal, perhaps?)
The new F-35 fighter aircraft cost $150 million each, once we add in the overruns, replacing the Super Hornet F-18 E/F that cost $57 million each. (Once lifetime costs are included, the F-35 will cost upwards of $300 million each.) Is the F-35 really three times better than the F-18? Which would a commander facing 100 bogeys rather have, 30 F-35s or 90 F-18s? (I suspect they'd take the 90 F-18s, as long as they were loaded with the latest Sidewinder and long-range air-to-air missiles. As has been famously pointed out, at some point quantity becomes a winning quality.)
Will 100 F-35s prevail over 1,000 dirt-cheap drones? How about 10,000 drones? If the future of warfare is increasingly powerful unmanned networked drones (and it clearly is), why are we spending $1 trillion+ on hyper-costly aircraft that are essentially designed for a previous era?
4. The consequence of substituting delusion for reality is ignored or hidden from view, with the complicity of all the self-serving, entrenched vested-interests.
Is there any evidence that continuing to borrow and squander money on diminishing returns will magically cause a sudden return to productive investment? Of course there isn't; the magical belief that doing more of what has failed will eventually evade causality is delusional.
Does anyone seriously think that counterproductive "investments" in diminishing returns will "grow our way out of debt"? Of course not; everyone with a vested interest in the crumbling Status Quo is terrified that their share of the borrowed/printed swag will be cut. So the only alternative is to cling to a delusional state where belief in the impossible replaces a realistic assessment of risk, cost and consequence.
The irony is that this strategy of clinging to delusion rather than face the necessity of deep cuts in borrow-and-squander budgets will lead to the involuntary reset of the entire system, depriving every vested interest of their share of the swag. Is delusion a sustainable state? No. Thus we can confidently predict that causality, factuality and karma will eventually sweep aside delusion and all those who cling to it.

My new book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It is now available in print and Kindle editions--10% to 20% discounts.


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Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:29 | 3122324 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change Islamo Mugabe.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:38 | 3122368 uno
uno's picture

I'll raise you a choom wagon

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:55 | 3122455 Landotfree
Landotfree's picture

"We are living in the United States of Delusion"

fixed it for the author

"We are living on the Floating Rock of Delusion"

I assure you it's not just a US thing.  Until the author realizes the underlying problem instead of symptoms of the problem, he will remain delusion as well.

I can assure the author that he can stop all this so called printing, eliminate the whole government and the system will still collapse, matter of fact, I would wager the house on it happening overnight.   The worse delusional person is a delusional person that doesn't know they are delusional i.e. the author.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:12 | 3122510 IvyMike
IvyMike's picture

It's the advocates of City-Statism (Civilization) who are delusional.

The United States is indeed a "shining city upon a hill," for all City-Statism is worth.

Even Jefferson recognized the filthy ways of city-slickers:

"When they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe."

~Thomas Jefferson
Letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

Yep, that's the way Civilization (City-Statism) goes these last 8000 brutal years.

"Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home."

~Stanley Diamond
In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization, p. 1

P.S. "The Voluntary City" is an oxymoron.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:13 | 3122535 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Whatever you say Runs with Scissors.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:21 | 3122575 redpill
redpill's picture

Speaking of delusion, did you know ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand?  They would suffocate.  Say, kind of like the American middle class!



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:23 | 3122587 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

IMO a grand reset *IS* the intended outcome.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:42 | 3122681 walküre
walküre's picture

There is no other option. I talk to people who either know it and admit that or they pretend not to know it and lie. Forget the people that wouldn't understand what is going on. They'll be lining up for the latest I-crap the day of a currency reform.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:47 | 3123942 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

A reset has been part of the plan since 1913,

in other words,

a reset was always part of The Plan.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:46 | 3124188 prains
prains's picture

paying a good educator (these are rare but not impossible) with 30 + years 160k to do a good job is CHEAP and that person is a real contributor to your country's well being.

the fat ass on wall street loading toilet paper rolls in the "gents" room is making triple that.  I'm not a teacher but good teachers who suck on the end of the bullshit coming out of american classrooms

for 30 years can make 160 all day long, its the bankers you need to look at

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:07 | 3122523 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Govt. unions....

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:10 | 3122528 IvyMike
IvyMike's picture

If you can only complain about unions and nothing else, you might be a KOCHsucker.

Funny watching the City-Statist factions fight amongst each other like Politburo apparatchiks.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:44 | 3122404 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Frank Marshall Davis jr.'s mojo should allow the casino to continue to operate until the control grid is complete.

<---- these people regularly beat off to pictures of Alan Greenspan

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:27 | 3123604 rotagen
rotagen's picture

Theres only one delusion, the one that ignores the fact that Wilson allowed a criminal cartel of Banksters to issue fake money and create fake debt.  Thus rendering all talk about other "Delusions" void, false, and hypocritical.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:30 | 3122329 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Western Pennsylvania has about 140 MRI machines, while the 32 million residents of Canada share 151 MRI machines.

The main component to these machines working is helium, which BTW, there is a shortage in:

Legislation passed in 1996 mandated that the federal government sell off its helium reserves by 2015. They've been selling the remaining gas since then, but as production around the world has slowed, and no government action has been taken yet, questions remain.

This will only mean not only will the price of helium will go up, but ALSO the cost of MRIs.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:37 | 3122367 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

You mean it will be more expensive to talk like a chipmunk?  Fuck!  When will the insanity end?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:44 | 3122397 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

So as soon as 'Obamacare' kicks in... Everybody should go once a day to request for an MRI of something while investing in helium futures... BULLISH!


I look for T Rowe Price to be right on top of this... After all, their commercials brag about 'understanding the complexities' of a global economy...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:50 | 3122442 greyghost
greyghost's picture

bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla "KARMA" bla charlie "i'm paid by the word" smithie. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla "KARMA" by charlie "i save the karma for the last sentence" smithe. we should be so lucky he takes off on a year long quest to the land of the dalai lama.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:33 | 3122636 uno
uno's picture

a friend who was a parametic in Toronto told me the expensive machines were distributed though many hospitals to keep expenses down; so if someone needed a mri they were put in an ambulance (if in a hospital) and carted there, then carted somewhere else if need be (cancer treatment etc). 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:31 | 3122331 Jam Akin
Jam Akin's picture

Never underestimate the power of inertia.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:31 | 3122332 G_T_A_44
G_T_A_44's picture

Most people hear/believe only what they want to hear/believe, while very few act on what they see.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:34 | 3122341 LouisDega
LouisDega's picture

Delusional. Hmm, Will drinking more merlot help?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:45 | 3122408 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

as long as it's 'kool aid' flavored...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:02 | 3122482 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

No, but maybe this:

"Calif. company offers help to state in setting up retail-marijuana plan

A company that makes vending machines to dispense marijuana is one of dozens of firms and experts that have offered to help the state [Washington] set up new rules now that the drug has been legalized."

Brings new meaning to the names:

Krackel, Abba-Zaba, Mr. Goodbar, Whatchamacallit, and of course - Munch


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:02 | 3123111 redpill
redpill's picture

Total fiat absorption.  Fire up the choom wagon!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:24 | 3122590 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Re 'Delusional', one of the delusional people is Charles Hugh-Smith with his 'two minds' .(admitted schizophrenia?) ... trying to market his now essentially stone-age product ... of all things, a 'book', ha!

As Hugh-Smith pimps himself above ...

« My new book Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It is now available in print and Kindle editions--10% to 20% discounts. »

So a 20% discount on something to prop the door open ... What is the point of a 'book' now in these days, other than a novel, or a nice special-interest book with pictures?

If it's friggin' worth anything, put the info on the web, dammit! ... instead of trying to jack people for a few fiatscos for a 'book'

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:00 | 3123104 DavidC
DavidC's picture

It's hardly pimping when it's a one liner, below the body of the article.

And what's wrong with informing people that a book is available should they wish to avail themselves of it, even if you don't?

I've got a copy of Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggins's book 'Empire of Debt' that I still go back to occasionally, written in 2002 - amazing how prescient it all is.

Nothing wrong with books!


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:34 | 3122342 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

The joke of the century was watching the markets rocket on Barry's higher taxes and sustained government over-spending.


Barry and his Ben are into the market buying over valued stock to keep the facade running as long as possible.


The reality is that increasing taxes will choke private sector revenue/profits as consumers spend less. 

Growth rates are already falling - markets remains up.  Let's see the results for Q4 - higher earnings (from firing) and lower revenues (because channels are stuffed and consumers reduced spending) have been going on for THREE straight quarters - can carry on for only so long.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:34 | 3122348 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:52 | 3122449 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long, and you burned so very, very brightly Roy." -- Dr. Eldon Tyrell

Last thing he says before Roy Batty rips Tyrell's head off.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:35 | 3122349 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

"We are living in the United States of Delusion"


'They' are living in the United States of Delusion

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:06 | 3122514 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

No, more like mass "Mind Control" via Psyche Warefare/PsyOp propaganda.  All bought to by CIA/Mossad etc.. Intelligence Agencies/Pentagon/Military Industrial Complex. 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:35 | 3122350 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

The more you spend the more save

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:36 | 3122359 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

False hope chains us to our (self) delusions. This truism cannot be over stated.

Unlike a complicated mechanical device where breakdowns can (and will) happen with increasing regularity as complexity increases, hope, faith and belief are emotional engines and thus can operate long past their (obvious) fail date.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:39 | 3122378 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

So who has the false hopes?  The growth will come back or the the reset be a comin'?  I have assumed the former, but the planners have been pretty good at pepering over the latter.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:02 | 3122427 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

My comment applies to any position taken (and/or maintained) for emotional reasons. At one time or another we have all clung to impossible situations way too long for our own good when we were emotionally involved, regardless of the "facts" of the situation.

This is why we must always question everything, starting with ourselves. Very often it is not that an outside force blinds us, but rather that an outside force leverages our own blindness.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:06 | 3122515 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

your posts always get me emotional

There's good emotional of course but maybe that's not the right word. Maybe passion and a human or animal instinct for survival and a core "feeling" to protect yourself and your family 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:38 | 3122618 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I understand your point completely and I'm not saying that we should be emotion-less, just that we should be fully aware of our emotions and the vulnerabilities that are exposed when we are acting upon emotion.

For example, you posit that "There's good emotional of course but maybe that's not the right word. Maybe passion and a human or animal instinct for survival and a core "feeling" to protect yourself and your family". If we are not fully aware of our emotional response to our feelings of insecurity (aka FEAR) as well as to the ways our blind response to fear can expose us to exploitation, we can be herded around like frightened little sheep when a false flag event such as 9/11 (or Sandy Hook?) is pulled off.

We have all heard the phrase "Never let a crisis go to waste". They are of course talking about the ability to exploit our misdirected emotional responses, often the very one you point towards, that of our emotional need to protect heart and home.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:46 | 3123924 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

you may need to find another descriptive CogDiss, as "emotional" is so gender'd,

Maybe passion and a human or animal instinct for survival and a core "feeling" to protect yourself and your family

no dudes here will allow that label to be applied to their act-ions, as DaveyJones shows.

bitches are emo, real men act passionately, from instincts.

this is in NO way detracting from either of your posts, as there IS a point to be made, and one angle might be to re-cognise that everyone has emotions, some have a wide range of emotions, some act from their emotions - as as you say, best to be fully aware of how one's emotions inform actions, before "they" manipulate one into a corner. . .

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 20:10 | 3124240 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Really you're both right - it's more than a definitional problem. All I can say is both in my own life and two decades in the criminal courts I have seen "emotions" do good work and bad. In that sense, Cog is right, don't let them go on auto pilot. In the other sense, you're right our "lower" animal instincts whether a "female" protect and care or a male "fight or flight" should never be plain ignored   

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:24 | 3124366 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

I admit I was being facetious, but also pointing to the "emotion" word being used in a derogatory sense, and most frequently applied to women, as it would rankle most here to be labeled as such (self included, yes).

and one can only imagine the "emotional displays" you're privy to in court - though I'm betting a good portion draw from believing the bigger the display, the more attention, and the likelihood of getting what one wants. . . rather like indulged children, hm.

it's sad that our culture rewards immature "emotional" displays, as it just encourages acting out, and delays maturity, IMO.

and we all need to get our needs/wants sorted, particularly going forward, when *shocks* are going to push some people out of their comfort zones - cue drama!

best new years wishes DaveyJones!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:36 | 3122362 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

"Thus we can confidently predict that causality, factuality and karma will eventually sweep aside delusion and all those who cling to it."

This is the day that I, and probably many of us here, go to bed with.  It is a dream day that I anticipate and pray for constantly. 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:38 | 3122374 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Barry pays lip service and provides cosmetic relief to his 'constituents' and then turns around and smiles at his well heeled friends knowing full well he has done nothing but create an illusion that the ignorant masses adore. Barry is good at Chicago style poitics which is about bullying, lying and taking care of your crony buddies...he's worthless as a leader and is a charlatan...All you need to do is look at the results of the debt ceiling negotiations.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:50 | 3122440 yogibear
yogibear's picture

"All you need to do is look at the results of the debt ceiling negotiations."

Absolutely! We will see the debt limit moved to $20 trillion.

Move on get to work Benny Bernake (Chuck Shumer says) and keep printing.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:06 | 3122512 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Yer boy, I assume, Ronnie Reagan raised the debt ceiling...........18 TIMES!  Can I mark it down that you think Reagan was 9X the asshole you think Obama is?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:01 | 3122492 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Yeah, Romney had no "well heeled friends", or "crony buddies". Too Funny.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:28 | 3122609 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Do you still not understand they are on exactly the same team?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:39 | 3122382 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture
Argentina presses claim to Falkland Islands, accusing UK of colonialism


 Fri January 4, 2013
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:47 | 3122412 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Develop big enough nukes and they can claim anything. The one with the largest nukes and being able to deliver them wins, end of story.

Right now the UK is in control.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:54 | 3122464 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I would suggest that the UK invade Argentina and take it over, but the fact is, given how the UK runs itself, it wouldn't be much of an improvement.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:11 | 3122531 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

and the restaurant food would decline

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:57 | 3122477 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

Argentina just occupied-----Ilhe of Man,or was it Jersey Gernsey,or Mull of Kintyre,what a laugh that,would make in Downing S 10,itll give Cameron a servere case of fluid,to deal with!


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:58 | 3122478 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I give Argentina the odds.

They have less distance to row.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:30 | 3122619 linrom
linrom's picture

That's funny. Wasn't Argentina colonized by Germans with certain affiliations with former government fleeing Europe after WWII

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:12 | 3122851 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

Nope-  Argentina is pressing claims to Las Islas Malvinas, there are no Falkland Islands

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:48 | 3122422 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

A hip replacement costs $25,000 in Nashville, TN (I know, my wife's Dad just had one).  He could have had the same hip replacement done in Singapore, in a new, state of the art hospital, by US trained doctors, for $10,000, including travel costs.

There's yer HC problem.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:56 | 3122472 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Yep, until we seriously address the cost side of the equation, no type of health care reform will make a difference. Like pissing in the ocean

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:57 | 3122476 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Why bother going all the way to Singapore? There's a new cash-only hospital in Oklahoma City which offers similar pricing.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:13 | 3122537 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

Inflated costs of Pharma, Insurance, Medical suppliers, AND malpractice insurance.

Basically, everyone who SPONSORS our congress.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:54 | 3122743 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

And, it was all such a waste.  If you are concerned with health, you don’t want to go near a doctor, prescription drugs or a hospital.

I’m 68; but my biological age is somewhere between 20 and 30.  I go to the batting cages 3 days a week, hit 800 to 1,000 pitches each day (60-90 mph).  I frequently take turns with former pro and college players who tell me I should be playing men’s senior league (a level of play equal to a major college); they tell me I would lead the league; and I’m not a body builder; instead, 5’ 10”, one hundred and thirty-five pounds.

I attained this condition by following a set of health principles I developed over the years.  By following such principles you can reduce your biological age 5-20 years, at least; cancel your health insurance (said principles become your health insurance), reduce your food expenditures (digestion becomes more efficient).

Everyone needs to learn and observe these principle: mothers to be can bring forth prize children; the young can develop to their full potential, the old can quit being a burden on their children…

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:05 | 3123995 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

Care to give a hint about what principles you follow?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:15 | 3122878 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

or just maybe the solution is stop eating non-foods(packaged items) prescription drugs etc and our hips won't turn into peanut brittle when we are older.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:37 | 3123315 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Similar cost differential going into a private UK hospital and

having a Harley Street surgeon do it.Plus the West End to recuperate.

Lets just face that medical costs are totally out of control in the USA.

Oh wait, OldbongwaterCare fixed that.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:48 | 3122426 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

These bastards never let me down. FOMC meets, have a little theatre, talk some shit like ending QE (which can never happen) because no one has 4 trillion laying around to buy the debt we have to refinance this year.

And the good sheep sell gold, silver, and commodities. It's all bullshit. Expanded rant here.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:52 | 3122448 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

I dont, have a new book to sell.So there you se,you just saved some money.


5.Which is missing:It cost a ton of money,killing people all over the planet!


Wonder how much,medicare,education,infrastructure,and respect from the world,well put in the rest self,youll get by taking a peacefull wiew on others!

Obama,care for nobody,just the Obamas,or is it The Ohabamas.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:53 | 3122454 Meremortal
Meremortal's picture

What's going to amaze young people who realize what's going on (a small minority) is how long the PTB can get away with this.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:54 | 3122462 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

I don't think we will wait that long for delusion to be shattered. I predict Barry Hussein will pursue his agenda quickly to transform america and it will lead the badly fractured country to the abyss. And I think it's all pre planned. DHS didn't buy all that ammo for nothing

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 12:56 | 3122474 yogibear
yogibear's picture

"talk some shit like ending QE (which can never happen) "

The Fed is in a rut with no way out.  It did it to itself when they bailed out everyone and monetized,

Buying time for the senate and congress on the debt ceiling.


The Fed is purchasing the majority of US debt. You think they can stop?

The economy really tanks if they stop.

Rates start really spiking and the US cannot afford to borrow so it has to slash 40% of spending.

Remember the US borrows .42 of every dollar  it spends.




Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:32 | 3122634 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Do you think they *WANT* to stop? This was all planned to have the intended outcome. Moves along the narrative until the end game.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:02 | 3122495 MrTouchdown
MrTouchdown's picture

Charles seems to have missed something very important: The problem is not fee for service, it's the lack thereof. If insurance didn't pay for everything, then doctors would have to offer what their patients could afford. If the patients couldn't afford MRIs and other expensive things, then they'd be more inclined to do some preventative healthcare - like diet and exercise. As it is now - it's one copay for all the work you'd like done. Of course extra, and very expensive, stuff is tossed on with every visit - but the patient doesn't care. Insurance covers it all.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:02 | 3122496 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

All 3 branches of government that as envisioned would uphold the "checks and balances" thingey, are now totally corrupted.  The Marxists/Fascists or whatever have done a masterful job of infiltration, especially of the court system and the MSM.  It still amazes me that Arpaio has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that Obama is a fraud and yet all court cases to bring his evidence to light have been arbitrarily dismissed and not even been noted in any  mainstream news media.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:12 | 3122536 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

"All 3 branches of government that as envisioned would uphold the "checks and balances" thingey, are now totally corrupted. "


"All 3 branches of government that as envisioned would uphold the "checks and balances" thingey, are now totally CRIMIANALY corrupted. "

Criminal.  Control the narrative.  Control the conversation.  The system is beyond being corrupt.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:38 | 3122667 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

It’s time to take matters into our hands, as American Founders did.  Here’s how English rebels brought down judges and tax collectors, bishops and kings who thought they had a divine right to impose taxes without the consent of those taxed; men who, 150 years later, would guide American rebels.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:06 | 3122513 I am on to you
I am on to you's picture

Oh by the way,its not only Eumerica,whos going under,its the hole Bodega.

Someone,had a brilliant idea,to handle over the keys to the CLEPtocrats.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:13 | 3122538 UGrev
UGrev's picture

I would love to see the massive shift into cash only for these services. One of the primary reasons costs are so high is because those who can pay subsidize those who cannot through insurance. 

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:18 | 3122561 JR
JR's picture

Aetna: “Somebody has to pay for it (Obamacare).”

One wonders just who that might be: California in 2010-2011 faced a budget deficit of $14.4 billion while the cost of illegal aliens came in for an estimated $21.8 billion in annual expenditures (Federation for American Immigration Reform - July 2010, revised 2011). 

To provide all Americans with health insurance, premiums will have to rise to pay for it, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” this past December 27.

It’s America’s producers who are paying the costs and it is government programs such as those bringing illegal aliens into the receiving ranks that are pushing budgets and American taxpayers off the "fiscal" cliff.

Bertolini said that health insurance premiums could double in some places on the same basic types of policies people have today.

Most illegal aliens (and Obama-declared legals) do not pay taxes. And, once given amnesty, their new legal status makes them eligible for receiving Social Security.

From Jack Martin at FAIR:  Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Nearly all of those costs are absorbed by state and local governments.

“At the federal level, about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.

“Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.”

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:21 | 3122570 linrom
linrom's picture

Neoliberal--term is used without giving proper credit to Michael Hudson who has been writing and speaking out against those he calls NEOLIBERALS. Who is a neoliberal: people like Summers, Bloomberg--these people came from nice Democratic middle class families, but now sold out so they could amass greenbacks.

US of Delusion---term stolen from Chris Hedges' Empire of Delusion, again without proper attribution.


I really don't like CHS, as a matter of a fact the only blogger that I now respect on ZH is John. Aziz.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:23 | 3122577 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

DelusionolTM BITCHEZ!

Now with extra tasty microchips:

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:32 | 3122632 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

So true, so many disasters waiting to happen: pensions that give grunt bureaucrats retirement checks greater than $4,000 per month; judges and department heads, $15,000-$20,000 per month; government debt sufficient to cannibalize following generations of Americans to the end of time; the 8-9 trillions that went missing from DOD, SSA, HUD, the list goes on.

Such debts necessitate the imposition of taxes on following generations, for which they cannot possibly give their consent.  Whether such taxes are laid on present or following generations, it makes no matter: every tax is ultimately laid on the weakest members of society – children and yet to be born.  Here is the text of a relevant petition on the White House site,

“We hereby observe that child rearing is the first industry of every species.  It was reserved to us by the 9th amendment.  It is now a right on paper only; for, when property is taken from a man w/o equal compensation, it makes him less able to provide wants of his children.  Such takings drive him to vagrancy or banditry, ill health or poverty; his wife, to prostitution; his children to lethargy, confusion or anger; all, to a promise of youth broken [; and none able to trace cause and effect thru too many links].  Taxes are such takings.  If a man does not neglect, abuse or abandon his children by his own folly, the law will force him to do such despite his best efforts.  A Turncoat at the Gate could not cause a more complete destruction.  Therefore, all taxes that subvert the activity of child rearing should be reduced or abolished.”

Please attach your signature to it; remember, we all, at one time, were children, or yet to be born.  This will tell you the legal basis of it.

If it brings no results, we then have to learn lessons of English rebels who brought down judges and tax collectors, bishops and kings who thought they had a divine right to impose taxes without the consent of those taxed; men who, 150 years later would guide American rebels.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:33 | 3122640 midtowng
midtowng's picture

High school teaches making $170K? I don't believe it. And your link doesn't work.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:57 | 3122764 JR
JR's picture

The militant teachers unions are plugged in to all the advantages of the Left’s welfare-state issues and are given control of the government schools. That means socialist and leftist control of what is taught and what is not taught and, of course, delivery of over-the-top benefits and raises for their members.

The Left gives the teachers unions this power because those unions support almost every Democrat issue that comes down the pike: diversity, gay rights, open border immigration, feminism, abortion, redistribution of the wealth, lockout of Christianity-connected issues, and revision of history (negative portrayals of America's white Christian Founders and the U.S. Constitution).

On the high school salaries posted, it is time to stop saying it can’t be because it is.

The government's goal is to deprive Americans of their culture. This is typical of the modern state - post Federal Reserve.

In De republica Cicero claimed Romans “had never wished for any system of education for free-born youth that was either definitely fixed by law or officially established or uniform for all.”

Even in Hadrian’s time, it has been reported that education was a private initiative but it was said that the situation changed as the government subsidized the schools.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:10 | 3122841 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

A little leg work for you:


I have personally battled the educrat establishment in CT, you have no idea the depth of the sleaze, especially at the admin level.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 18:13 | 3124017 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

You're not paying attention. There is (was) a high school teacher in Illinois who made $650,000 a couple years back. Name was Timothy Bowman, iirc. Documented at their government website. He was just the top dog on a list of thousands. Probably 'just' an example of pension spiking, but you never know. Teachers are stealing taxpayers blind.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:35 | 3122647 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Nobody wants to admit the reality: our nation is dominated by cartels and fiefdoms serving entrenched constituencies whose budgets are simply not sustainable."

This isn't capitalism.  The fiefdoms are government, banks, energy, MIC, education and sick care.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:36 | 3122650 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

The delusions mentioned above are all symptoms of the grand delusion noted by John Steinbeck, "the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarassed millionaires." Combine this observation with Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class and this stupidity we call a culture and economy starts making sense.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:37 | 3122656 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

This guy produces more bullshit than a rodeo.

There is always someone selling "The end is near!"  And there are always people who buy it, despite the absence of hard evidence to support it.

Doom and gloom has always been a niche market.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:12 | 3122857 JR
JR's picture

If you don’t think the election of Obama signals “the end is near,” then you don’t know what an end looks like.

Thank goodness for truth tellers like Charles Hugh Smith, and shame on us for having ever believed Nouriel Roubini whose Dr. No image turned out to be Dr. Yes for the welfare state:

Speaking of gloom, this from Roubini aka Dr. Doom ringing in the New Year on The Financial Times January 2, 2013:

“The longer-term picture is bleaker still. The reality is that America is yet to wake up to the full extent of its fiscal nightmare. Even the typical Republican voter is not – being on average older and poorer than a Democrat voter – in favour of gutting the welfare state. Tea Party extremists are more noise than signal. That is why the plans of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republicans’ losing presidential ticket, postponed all the tough spending cuts on Social Security and Medicare by a decade.

“Neither Democrats nor Republicans recognise that maintaining a basic welfare state, which is right and necessary in our age of globalisation, rapid technological change and demographic pressure, implies higher taxes for the middle class as well as for the rich. A deal that extends unsustainable tax cuts for 98 per cent of Americans is therefore a pyrrhic victory for Mr Obama.”

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 14:21 | 3125416 busted by the b...
busted by the bailout's picture

You wrote: "Thank goodness for truth tellers like Charles Hugh Smith".

He wrote:

"The irony is that clinging to delusion rather than face the necessity of deep cuts in borrow-and-squander budgets will lead to the involuntary reset of the entire system, depriving every vested interest of their share of the swag."

I don't consider this truth; it is purely his opinion and unsupported speculation, i.e., bullshit.  Truth demands a much higher level of evidence.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:17 | 3122696 Kastorsky
Kastorsky's picture


this is the worst bubble of them all - by amount of money involved, nubmer of participants - dependents and beneficiaries.

Article doesn't mention farma industry - which is a huge part of it.

In 2004 there ware 3mil only nurses, it's now probably closer to 5 mil. Just shy of 2 nurses for every 100 americans.

Forget real estate and education - this is the "Little Boy" of bubbles.

And consequences will not be a declining housing market - there will be real zombies - all those psychotic drugs and pain killers addict.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:18 | 3122903 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture


not following your logic...more nurses leads to increased use of "psychotic drugs and pain killers"...???

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:25 | 3122939 Kastorsky
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:46 | 3122700 Gimp
Gimp's picture

No delusion - look at your paycheck  ...

Noticed  $225 less in this paycheck compared to last paycheck, Thank you very much Obama you communist!

Equates to $6600 roughly less  a year...and you want the consumers to spend more!  Recession coming to a town near you..soon.



Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:23 | 3123814 BurgundianRon
BurgundianRon's picture

Certainly you mean thank you very much for the $13,200 in 'tax relief' you received over the past two years? At a $330,000 income level - I'm doubting the loss of $6600 will cause you to drastically change your spending habits. Unless of course your math is incorrect or you were already over the SS income cap at the end of the year? Compare checks from the same period a year ago - this year's should be 2% less (roughly, depending upon exempt deductions like 401k, or HSA)

I'm not in support of the man or the ridiculous social security payroll tax holiday instituted 2 years ago, but your response is exactly what most Americans will feel as well, however flawed it may be. This is why tax holidays (or 'relief spending') are a bad idea, always. We spend what we have and we get used to it. When you try to go back to the way it was - it always sucks!

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:50 | 3122720 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Corrupt systems do not correct, therefore...

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:50 | 3122722 Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

We are like hogs being fed while being led to the slaughter.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:51 | 3122725 Duke of Con Dao
Duke of Con Dao's picture


eh? like blurred vision? 

here's my paean to 2013

YouTube - Happy New Year 2013! Fireworks from the Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 13:52 | 3122728 Monk
Monk's picture

The root of the current crisis isn't central planning, Keynesianism, or even a central state but the opposite. The country is essentially run by private corporations doing what what wish, and that includes the Federal Reserve.


Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:01 | 3122766 Kastorsky
Kastorsky's picture

no, it's not a bubble:

Employment growth is expected to account for about 3.6 million new wage and salary jobs-19 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the economy over the 2004-14 period. Wage and salary employment in the health care industry is projected to increase 27 percent through 2014, compared with 14 percent for all industries combined. Many of the occupations projected to grow the fastest in the economy are concentrated in the health care industry. For example, from 2004-14, total employment of home health aides-including the self-employed-is projected to increase by 56 percent, medical assistants by 52 percent, physician assistants by 50 percent, and physical therapist assistants by 44 percent.
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:00 | 3122776 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

ha ha

The only solution that actually addresses the systemic problem is to get rid of the entire fee-for-service structure and break up the cartels.Healthcare must be reconnected to diet, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and community, and to education and emotional well-being.


as a physician (of 40 years) I can only say this is wishful thinking. First it ignores chronic diseases like MS, RA, SLE and other illnesses for which no cause related to the above list of 'solutions' is known. Secondly my luck with changing behaviors is lousy and not for want of trying (really not kidding here). There are many statements that claim 'if we just do x we will solve our cost problems. Unfortunately unless the obesity issue is solved our health is going to continue to cost. We decreased smoking and that helped but other chronic issues will continue to lead to physician visits. I do not know the solution but MRIs are a great tool with excellent info and no radiation. They are an amazing tool which will only get more use.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:05 | 3122804 realtick
Fri, 01/04/2013 - 16:21 | 3123569 JR
JR's picture

Excellent graph of the demise of the American Dream!

And now the U.S. Senate is pondering H.R. 6429 to ease rules for the entry of more high-tech immigrants into the US on the on-going basis apparently that Americans either are unqualified for STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - Jobs – or that foreign workers are cheaper. Already, Nouriel Roubini is preparing America for his new one world where U.S. taxpayers and the middle class must “recognise that maintaining a basic welfare right and necessary in our age of globalization ."

That’s “basic welfare” of course for the finance industry’s government-connected multinational corporations.

According to , “H.R. 6429 would require that DHS post on its official website information about the employers who sponsor STEM graduates for green cards, the number of STEM graduates they sponsor and the occupations of the STEM graduates they sponsor.

“H.R. 6429 would eliminate the diversity lottery green card (permanent residency) program and reallocate up to 55,000 green cards a year to new green card programs for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees. 

“H.R. 6429 would require universities be eligible for federal student financial aid programs…and  would also create a new green card category for immigrants who have received STEM master’s degrees from U.S. universities.”

Multinational corporations are behind this U.S. push for foreign-born graduates; in the past they have not only exploited these entries but have replaced their higher-paid American counterparts to boost their profit margins on Wall at the expense of Main Street.

Norm Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin and a IEEE Life Fellow said two years ago Already, 70% of engineers with PhD’s who graduate from U.S. universities are foreign-born.”

A was only a few years back that it was discovered MIT professors were counseling U.S. students not to pursue engineering careers. It seems the university’s professors already knew the path U.S.-based corporations intended to take. Nothing has changed except that “China has replaced the U.S. as the world’s number one high-technology exporter,” according to Augustine, while America isliving off the investments we made over the past 25 years… eating our seed corn”

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 14:43 | 3123021 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

well weve had religion for 1000's of years so I'd say delusion is perpetual and not going away anytime soon.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:25 | 3123250 Remington IV
Remington IV's picture

Giving  a machine gun to a MONKEY

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 15:40 | 3123341 stiler
stiler's picture

so why is it not the case that "the great reset" is itself part of the delusion? Who said any of us deserve another chance. Well, of course it will go on. It has to. It has for millions of years. Really? Says which god?

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 17:46 | 3123934 larz
larz's picture

Help me Mr Wizzard.......

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 19:40 | 3124172 ramacers
ramacers's picture

one gotta have skin (neck) in the game for legitimacy.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:27 | 3124373 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

Bernanke sucks

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 21:30 | 3124379 Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

America the Beautful :) :)

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