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How To Make A Million: Extortion Creates Its Own Antidote

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The problem is its own solution. Whether we try to stop the Status Quo, or let it stop, it WILL stop.

Longtime correspondent Eric A. has a new essay describing a key dynamic of the years ahead: Extortion and skimming create their own antidotes. As the costs of skimming, extortion and corruption reach new heights, the savings to be gained by bypassing the Status Quo systems also increase.

Here are a few of Eric's previous essays:

A Brief History of Cycles and Time, Part 1 (May 13, 2013)

A Brief History of Cycles and Time, Part 2 (May 14, 2013)

Generation X: An Inconvenient Era (May 23, 2013)

The essence of my key analytic concepts, neofeudalism and neocolonialism, is that debt and other state-cartel schemes enclose and imprison the bottom 90% while leaving the illusions of liberty, democracy and "prosperity" intact so the debt-serf inhabitants of the home-country neocolonial plantations love their servitude.

Eric's point is that the incentives to escape the home-country plantation are rising in parallel with the skimming of the state-cartel Elites.

Here's is Eric's provocatively insightful essay: 

 


Concerning the Middleman-Skimming Economy, I’m here to tell you, it’s not all bad! The oppressive system you describe of graft, fraud, theft, and extortion creates its own antidote.
Banking, for instance. Problem: they have created an enormous skimming operation, and one that puts users at personal and financial risk, as well as annoying the heck out of customers for no reason. But that means the problem, stated simply is, "they make too much money."

But that means that ANY ONE who goes around them in ANY WAY, has enormous payoff. Also creating a solution, like micro-loans, digital clearing, etc, has enormous incentive.

Simply put, so long as the out-sized pay exists, the out-sized incentive to avoid them, ignore them, go around them, re-think them, will always exist. Every minute, to every participant. So they're really creating the solution as fast as they can.

Same with these other issues. Health Care? The kickoff of ACA (Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare) was the starting gun for cash-only medical care which until now only lived in the slimmest shadows. Since basically the co-pay alone is more than paying in cash--and the entire premium is 110% of direct welfare to the health lobby (a business model usually called “extortion”)-- there's no possible incentive not to ignore the system entirely and pay cash. The penalty would have to be 2x, 3x, 5x higher to come anywhere near tipping the balance. And thanks to a decade of previous screwing, the young people don't actually HAVE the money, so even if the penalty were raised, it would have no practical effect.

Although college, with their 3x more admins, paid 2x more is a clear example, it's the same with military, government, all these. All we have to do to save 50%, 90% or more is ignore them and let them collapse.

What do you think Detroit is doing for their present residents? As far as I can tell, basically nothing--and that's true for cities nationwide. All we have to do is tell them to cease existing, go bankrupt, for-the-love-of-God stop helping, and we'll all save 50% of our money and scarcely have a lower level of service. I mean, you can hardly exceed abominable.

The NYC school system is a great example: something like 66% of students drop out, while many of the remainder are uneducated and illiterate. What possible harm would it be to close the school system and stop paying for it altogether? With rates that bad, basically only the students who would study at home and pass anyway are passing now. Teachers, administration, programs, are therefore measurably providing ZERO benefit over the baseline. So it's easy to see that we can't possibly do worse, BUT WE CAN SAVE 100% OF OUR MONEY.

That's incentive. Especially when most of us haven't got a nickel to spare. By demanding ALL THE THINGS, they have only destroyed themselves.

Unfortunately, they've taken most of us with them.

Just for anecdote, a friend of mine works for a group home. They had a resident with a 105-degree fever who had been to the E.R., but had returned as his heart was racing--a thing easily noticed by pre-nurses and healthcare-oriented staff. 

This patient had chest pains as well, and although hard to quantify it was worrisome stuff. So they took him back to the E.R. and waited 2 hours to be seen because there were... wait for it... two patients that evening.

The doctor prescribed Motrin. ... I didn't skip over a part there, the doctor heard the healthcare employee say the patient had chest pains with an irregular heartbeat, refused to hear it, refused to examine, said they’d seen the patient yesterday and they had a cold. Yes, they'd been in already. Because they didn’t diagnose it the first time. The hospital then forgot to fill the prescription Motrin and issued an empty envelope, releasing the patient on a Sunday, presumably to DIE OF HEART ARRHYTHMIA, and/or fever, and/or whatever it was they might have had, which they didn’t know, because they never looked.

If we were in a log cabin, in 1820 Kentucky, and I spent 2 hours walking my sick Pa down to the neighboring cabin and said, "Well Billy-Joe, Pa's been sick and now his heart sounds funny," what do you think you would do? You'd probably say, "let me listen and see if you're right." We've descended below the level of instinctual primate behavior here, and are into some sub-basement reserved for PhD’s. 

Doctors and mis-prescriptions are now a leading cause of death--26x more deadly than firearms, 800,000 vs. 30,000/yr.

Death by Medicine (Estimated Annual Mortality and Economic Cost of Medical Intervention)

Gun violence in the United States

Granted that as people see doctors when already ill, the numbers are not neatly comparable. However, medicine is considered "safe" or "exemplary", we are encouraged to use it, while guns are often considered the standard for "unsafe" and "dangerous." While many would die without medicine, this suggests the baseline is that 800,000/year would be saved by banning medicine altogether. In short: We're doing it wrong. Considering we pay twice (on a per person basis) what other developed nations pay for care, net-net could we really do much worse by having no doctors or medicine whatsoever?

Not really an unusual case either. They tried to kill someone a few weeks earlier and a different patient that weekend. They have tried to kill family members several times. I’m sure most readers have a similar scare stories. But death by neglect is still fatal, the fault of just not giving a damn.

Surely I exaggerate?

800,000 people were statistically killed via paid-for quack science that incorrectly (and illegally) promoted statins in Europe.

Medicine Or Mass Murder? Guideline Based on Discredited Research May Have Caused 800,000 Deaths In Europe Over The Last 5 Years (Forbes)
The earlier paper demonstrated the potentially large and lethal consequences of the current European Society of Cardiology guideline recommending the liberal use of beta-blockers to protect the heart during surgery for people undergoing non cardiac surgery. There is, it has now become clear, a general lack of concern and response to evidence of scientific fraud and misconduct.

This was quickly followed by a few thousand probable deaths of blood clots due to a newer configuration of the Pill.

Have 800 women been killed by the Pill? The alarming dangers of taking so-called third generation contraceptives (Daily Mail, U.K.)

(Note that 800 deaths are only the U.K.) --Just two random articles in the last few days, probably hundreds of others with millions of deaths if I looked. The over 60,000 deaths from provably corrupt research authorizing Vioxx comes to mind.

I somehow feel that if I killed 800,000 people through fraud, abuse, or neglect, that the police would be --I don't know-- MAD at me or something. Or killed even one group home patient by refusing to lift a finger. There were once quite a number of laws concerning it: neglect, reckless endangerment, manslaughter--murder even.

But that's so 20th Century. Consequences, I mean. Laws and enforcing them. Like so many, we're now considering flying out of the country for healthcare, but unlike so many we don't have money for 5-star hospital spas in Goa or Singapore. So we were thinking maybe the Belgian Congo for better medical care than rural NY. I hear they may have stethoscopes there.

THAT'S what I mean when I say you could close the whole system and have it be a measurable benefit to mankind.

The problem is its own solution. Whether we try to stop, or let it stop, it WILL stop.Because anything that can't go on, won't. When you're at 100% costs and 0% benefits, congratulations, you've reached the Singularity. 
 


Thank you, Eric, for an insightful look at the benefits of bypassing or ignoring the Status Quo systems, and the benefits that will accrue from their inevitable collapse. The idea that the next arrangement will be better, cheaper, more equitable and sustainable is not yet dominant, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

 


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Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:21 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Maybe this government economic show reel will explain:

http://youtu.be/sV6gK5vKiPE

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:26 | Link to Comment Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

Creepiest show ever. 

An obvious product of the Jesuit conspiracy to rule the world from the Vatican while using wholly innocent members of another group as unwitting patsies.

Barney is deep, deep inside the NWO.  The person inside that suit is a lizard.  He fucking owns Hollywood.  He merely awaits the awakening of the Annunaki before he reveals himself and rules from Jerusalem.

He's also, I suppose unsurprisingly, a HuffPo "top commenter."

 

 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:29 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

ehe...

eeuuuhhhmm...

maybe you should ask your doctor for some stronger meds...

just saying :)

meds are good :)

PARTY FOR ONE!!

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 13:32 | Link to Comment manofthenorth
manofthenorth's picture


Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't.  You cannot shirk this and be a man.  To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may.  ~Mark Twain

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:21 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Allow me to simplify;

That which cannot be sustained, won't be.

Same as it ever was...

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:29 | Link to Comment DavidC
DavidC's picture

Yes, you're right, but what the hell are we witnessing this afternoon, as soon as the US opens, crap figures and the markets go up like a rocket.

DavidC

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:33 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

Desperation.  Fear.  Greed.

Currencies... economies... even nations are not going to go quietly into the grave.  Everyone is going to grab at everything and anything on the way down.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:00 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

You might want to consider what that "market" is priced in. 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:21 | Link to Comment Johnny Cocknballs
Johnny Cocknballs's picture

all you really need to know is this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0pQNkX8jLM

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:26 | Link to Comment derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

ATH takes me to my ATM which creates an ATH

its that ez

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:31 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

When it stops in a significant way, the riots begin.  If it stops all at once in a catestrophic manner, we go Mad Max.

Yeah, sounds great.

Stupid article.  

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:42 | Link to Comment Mad_max
Mad_max's picture

You rang?

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:32 | Link to Comment Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Extortion rackets, bitches.

Deliver nothing while charging exorbitant fees.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:35 | Link to Comment derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

3 more spoo points and we get new highs.  O is our saviour.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:41 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

 Since basically the co-pay alone is more than paying in cash--and the entire premium is 110% of direct welfare to the health lobby (a business model usually called “extortion”)-- there's no possible incentive not to ignore the system entirely and pay cash. The penalty would have to be 2x, 3x, 5x higher to come anywhere near tipping the balance. And thanks to a decade of previous screwing, the young people don't actually HAVE the money, so even if the penalty were raised, it would have no practical effect.

This has been the case for a decade. The copays are so high now that physicians will accept CASH in the AMOUNT OF THE COPAY to skip the insurer completely. Been there. Done that.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 14:34 | Link to Comment TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

"Since basically the co-pay alone is more than paying in cash"

Paid cash for more than 2 decades, including for other
uninsured relatives.

It get`s even better : you also skip the unnecessary operations and medications if you approach doctors privately with cash in hand. No cover whatsoever ? Wait, then we do something else ...

I saved 90% on the potential medical cost by bypassing
the system. Not counting the strong incentive to take full responsibility for my health and keep the doctors away to
start with.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:26 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Charles Hugh Smith reall did himself proud with this essay.  Good work.

Here is a surgery center that will perform the work for less than what most patients have to pay out of pocket under their medical plans:

http://www.surgerycenterok.com/pricing/

 

 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:28 | Link to Comment Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

We will go PAST the Singularity towards more than 100% costs and less than 0% benefits. The process was always maximizing short-term benefits in ways which simultaneously were maximizing longer term costs. The process was always privatizing the profits, while socializing the losses. Therefore, it is inevitable that that system reaches some tipping points where the longer term costs accumulate to be greater than the short-term benefits. However, at that point (the Singularity) those trends will simply continue to get worse, faster.

The foundation of the system was fraud backed by force, where the short-term benefits from doing that were always accumulating longer term costs. However, since the foundation of the social pyramid system was lies backed by violence, those systems of organized lies were able to deliver the benefits of the organized robbery from doing that. During that process, what was always happening was based on attitudes of evil deliberate ignorance, which were the side-effects of the triumphs of the claims of the few backed up by coercion against the many.

Advances in science and technology were employed inside of the social pyramid systems to advance it short-term goals. The more powerful and capable the technology began, the more it was able to maximize short-term benefits, while still deliberately ignore the longer term costs.

The whole world is running out of its "luck" of having had a fresh planet to strip-mine. Every economic decision was directed to develop in the ways that they did by the short-term expediencies of whomever was the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence. There was never anything that could stop that, except its own longer term consequences ... and collectively, we are reaching the tipping points of that Singularity.

Although, THEORETICALLY, there are plenty of creative alternatives which could be assembled into better systems, which did not deliberately ignore their longer term costs, but rather worked towards better evolutionary ecologies, the actual political world is so totally dominated by the people who are the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites that nothing like that is PRACTICALLY possible. The politics of legalized lies, backed by legalizing violence, delivering short-term benefits to a few, but larger and larger longer term costs to the many, will continue to get worse, faster, for as long as that is possible. Therefore, we will NOT see things stop at some Singularity point, but rather, see things flip over to their opposite, to become 110% costs and minus 10% benefits, and so on ... and that will continue for as long in the future as one can imagine that system can survive that kind of madly self-destructive insanity, for the same reasons as why that system of least morality was able to be made and maintained in the first place.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 13:53 | Link to Comment kellycriterion
kellycriterion's picture

Not bad, you have a clue. But the psychology?

Let's say I took a trip in my time machine to ancient Egypt and said to the people "you're pouring all these resources into embalming and crypt building, then burying valuable items in the ground based on the invisible promises of a take it with death cult?" How would I have been received? Religious belief you say? But what's behind the belief? What's the appeal?

Let's take another trip to Russia in the 1920s. I say to people "Dictatorship of the proletariat? That doesn't make sense, it's a logical contradiction. You're just replacing the old elite with a new elite based on the promise that they're better managers and will play nicer distributing goodies. Considering the nonsense they spout, the methods they employ, the wasted energy on maintaining the fictionalized version, you're chances of success are nil." Obviously true, but I doubt most would want to hear it.
What's the common denominator? Suppressing fear, assuaging fear, protecting and puffing up egos. If you go deep enough at some level everyone knows it's just a big game, a big scam. But most can't help themselves, they're junkies, they've been hooked, been conditioned.

The fear merchants, the panderers are performance artists and pushers.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 15:56 | Link to Comment Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

"The fear merchants are performance artists."

For sure!

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 00:02 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think;
and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” - Thomas Edison

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 14:37 | Link to Comment perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

"The politics of legalized lies, backed by legalizing violence, delivering short-term benefits to a few, but larger and larger longer term costs to the many, will continue to get worse, faster, for as long as that is possible."

The key phrase here is "...for as long as that is possible." Long human experience shows that the masses opt out and alternatives thrive well before the post-singularity you describe. Don't regard doom-porn futures as inevitable. You get what you concentrate on. You seem like a very smart and capable guy. Concentrate on, and grant energy to, something better.   

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 16:12 | Link to Comment Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

You are probably right, perelmanfan! However, I am stuck in my chosen rut, after deciding to dig in there over and over again for a few decades:

http://www.marijuanaparty.ca/article.php3?id_article=215

It is difficult for any of us to overcome our own education. I was raised to respect evidence and logic, and therefore, I had a tough time adapting to discovering the degree to which society was controlled by lies backed by violence, which did not care about anything else than being able to continue to back up lies with violence, and therefore, evidence and logic only mattered to that system to the degree to which those could be exploited to tell better lies, or back those lies up with better violence, but certainly not to come to any different conclusions. Despite having my nose ground into those real social facts for quite a while, I keep on having irrational hopes for a some series of political miracles ...

I like to think that I am working to at least try to slow down how fast things get worse. However, so far, I have had no noticeable effect upon the real situation always getting worse, because the best professional liars and hypocrites keep on winning elections, while there is no practical way to do anything about that, because the whole system has been too completely corrupted. Most of my old friends and acquaintances have done more of what you suggest, perelmanfan, but I am like a dumb bull dog, that will just not let go of the thing I have sunk my teeth into. The problem is that what I do just BARELY works enough to keep trying, and makes the most theoretical sense of anything that I can currently think of actually doing.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 16:52 | Link to Comment perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

RM, I appreciate your thoughtful response. My touchstone in such matters has always been a story about author Ken Kesey, who was invited to speak to a huge group of anti-war protestors at the height of the Vietnam conflict. Everyone assumed Kesey would proclaim solidarity with the protestors, but instead, he said something like, "I can't believe you are devoting so much energy to fighting the system - you are just legitimizing it, and giving it energy. You should say 'Fuck it' and turn your backs on it, and create a world that's in line with your own dreams." 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:33 | Link to Comment Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture
Report: Gas pipeline not enough to avert New England energy crisis http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/18/energy/report-gas-pipeline-not-eno...
New England is facing an energy crisis brought on by high natural gas prices, and the call by governors in the six states for a new, publicly funded natural gas pipeline does not go far enough to solve the problem, according to a detailed analysis of the region’s energy options. The 30-page analysis, released on Feb. 11, was conducted by a consulting group, Competitive Energy Services of Portland, Maine, on behalf of the Industrial Energy Consumer Group, which represents large-scale electricity users in New England. ------------------- From last September------- P.S., Silkman was involved with Enron Energy Services back when I was in the business circa 2000. Lot's to that story. Remember that Eric Holder worked for Covington as well so I suppose that more serious matters may have occurred. http://www.cov.com/files/Publication/cfeffdbb-2b1a-461e-8817-15c824ed38d...
  1. COMPETITIVE ENERGY SERVICES AND DR. RICHARD SILKMAN Commission Orders Also on August 29, 2013, FERC imposed a civil penalty of $7.5 million on Competitive Energy Services (CES), a Maine firm that provides energy consulting services and ordered it to disgorge $167,000 in profits. CES assisted the Rumford Paper Company with its participation in ISO NE’s DALRP. Rumford’s conduct was not the subject of the CES Order. The Commission found that on behalf of Rumford, CES implemented a scheme similar to Lincoln’s to inflate the customer baseline and thereby inappropriately receive demand response payments, described above. In addition to making findings similar to those in the Lincoln order, the Commission also found that:
    • ?  CES’sadvicetoRumfordtodeviatefromits“normaloperations”wasevidenceoffraudulent conduct, where CES’s advice to and compensation from Rumford were premised on a departure from Rumford’s routine practices.
    • ?  CES’sclaimedignoranceaboutthenatureoflegitimateDALRPparticipationwasdisingenuous, given that CES’s expertise entails advising clients on energy program participation. In a separate order, FERC also imposed a civil penalty of $1.25 million on CES’s managing member Dr. Richard Silkman for his role in CES’s advising Rumford. The Commission found Dr. Silkman was liable as an individual and stated that pursuing claims against CES and Silkman was necessary to appropriately deter corporate and individual fraudulent conduct. 
      ---------

      http://www.mainebiz.biz/assets/pdf/MA5798719.PDF ---from above doc.--- Silkman has been a principal owner of, and has been employed by, energy consulting firms since 1992 (including his founding and ownership of CES in 2000).10 Silkman is also a partner in two wind generation development companies in Maine (Beaver Ridge Wind, LLC and Mount Harris Wind, LLC) and a solar technology development company (GridSolar LLC). 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:39 | Link to Comment Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

The other big issue is rent seeking and who got all that stimuls money, especially in the wind sector. (First Wind, UPC/IVPC/Evergreen). just use each name and TIF as search key words. Try other renewable entities as well.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2014/02/19/politics/tax-law-allows-billions-i...

 

 

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 13:09 | Link to Comment Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

Maine gov. pushes back against wind energy bill

http://newsok.com/maine-gov.-pushes-back-against-wind-energy-bill/article/feed/652875

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The LePage administration pushed back against a proposal Tuesday that supporters say would ensure the decision-making process on wind energy proposals in Maine clearly follows the law…

…Alfond said his measure would ensure wind regulators at the Department of Environment Protection aren’t using criteria not specified by law to unfairly reject a proposal.

“The DEP continues to use application instructions and policy statements regarding evidence to circumvent the process and impose their own will and judgments,” Alfond told the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. “This has directly impacted wind-siting applications in a negative way.”…
————————-
(my comment)
This is a situation where yes means no and no means yes by following the law. Here is how the good Governor weighs in on the matter and is correct.
———————-

…Maine is New England’s wind power leader with more than 500 megawatts of capacity, but the LePage administration has previously opposed wind energy because of the high cost and several wind project proposals have faced fierce opposition from communities that say the turbines will change the landscape and ruin the views and will endanger wildlife, particularly birds.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 14:05 | Link to Comment Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

I do apologise for the html mess in my first comment... that said.

 

Silkman/Enron…. I know he was working with them purchsing electricity for his business at the time as an aggregator. 
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=20011204&id=2KJJAAAAIBAJ&...

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:45 | Link to Comment Wilcox1
Wilcox1's picture

The great weakness of any fortress entity is immobility; it is defeated by going around it.

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 12:58 | Link to Comment kurt
kurt's picture

Its Official: we don't have to seek revenge or hope for justice against the corrupt banking system. It will cure itself. No need to regulate or even watch. It will all take care of itself. What a relief. I wouldn't want to see anymore perp walks of the rich and sociopathic. All Fixed! Yea! Hey its already auto-magically fixed.

Bonus time. Happy Days are Here Again.

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 00:07 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel!"

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!