Guest Post: Sex, Money and Largesse - The Hidden Depression

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Lance Robert from StreetTalk Advisors

Sex, Money and Largesse - The Hidden Depression

dpi-real-unemployed-051112"Sex" and "Money" are probably two of the most powerful words in the English language.  First, those two words got you to look at this article.  They also sell products, books and services from "How To Have Better Sex" to "How To Make More Money" — ostensibly so you can have more of the former. Unfortunately, they are also the two primary causes of divorce in the country today.

Behind the mainstream media's attention to the daily economic numbers there is a hidden economic depression running along the underbelly of the country.  High levels of unemployment have kept pressures on wages even as work hours have lengthened.  This, of course, is assuming full time employment.  In reality many individuals are working but either part-time at one or more jobs to make ends meet or working full-time as a temporary hire at reduced wage levels.  The declines in real income are evident.  The burgeoning labor pool and demand for work is suppressing wages as companies opt for increasing productivity and streamlining employment to protect corporate profit margins.  However, as the cost of living is affected by the rising food, energy and healthcare prices without a compensatory increase in incomes - more families are forced to turn to assistance in order to survive. 

government-transfers-051112For a large portion of America the issue of unemployment and underemployment remains an everyday concern.  Without government largesse many individuals would literally be living on the street.  The chart shows all the government "welfare" programs and current levels to date.  The black line represents the sum of the underlying sub-components.  While unemployment insurance has tapered off after its sharp rise post the financial crisis, social security, Medicaid, Veterans' benefits and other social benefits have continued to rise.   The government "safety net" is already under tremendous strain as the number of "workers" supporting the system has fallen markedly over the last 30 years.  With more than 78 million "baby boomers" rolling into retirement the Social Security Administration has already warned they will begin paying out more than they take in by 2017 and will be insolvent not long thereafter without real reforms to the system.

government-transfers-dpi-051112For the average person these social benefits, however, are critical to their survival as they make up more than 22.5% of real disposable personal incomes.  With 1/5 of incomes dependent on government transfers it is not surprising that the economy continues to struggle as recycled tax dollars used for consumption purposes have virtually no impact on the overall economy. 

More disturbing is that this huge increase in demand on "welfare" support in its various forms does not include the more than 46 million Americans which are dependent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or more affectionately known as "food stamps." Without this assistance the basic needs of survival for many families can not be met.  Yes, we all hear of the occasional lottery winner who is also living on "food stamps" but the reality is that there is a large and growing population that would not eat without the program.  Despite commentary from the Department of Agriculture that says "obviously, it's [the food stamp program] putting people to work.  If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs," the reality is that recycled tax dollars have been proven to generate little or no economic growth which is evident from recent GDP data.  Astoundingly the total benefits in 2011 rose above $71 Billion which was a 107% increase from 2008.  Yet we are told the economy is improving?

food-stamps-gdp-051112The issue of dependency, as more of the nation's population receives nutritional assistance as well as other forms of support, is that it leads to decreased productivity over time.   Yes, on an immediate basis, individuals are able to buy the necessities of life but reduces their ability to produce at higher levels in the future as long term unemployment leads to degradation of job skills.  As consumption is inhibited due to lack of productivity; increased dependency leads to lower standards of living.  

As the ability to source income from traditional support programs becomes limited or exhausted - individuals can become very creative.  Two of the most interesting areas that have been tapped to support basic consumption needs since the beginning of the "great recession" is student loans and disability insurance.

disability-millions-051112The number of individuals claiming disability has surged to the highest levels on record since beginning of the last recession.  What is most notable, however, is when the surge of individuals claiming disability began - exactly two years from the beginning of the financial crisis.  This is when the 2 years of extended unemployment insurance began to run out.  Well, it is either that, or the work place has become extremely hazardous over the last couple of years.  Today, more than 28 million Americans who are of working age have a disability - a level higher than at any other time in recorded history.

However, if you cannot claim disability why not just say you are going back to school?  Student loans have been hitting the mainstream media lately as the current administration debates the merits of lowering interest rates and forgiving student loan debt.  We are told that we should pity the youth of America who are graduating college but so indebted that they can not service their debt or have a fair start at life.  However, forgiving student loan debt when it wasn't used for education, but a new iPad instead, is another issue.  The chart shows only the federal student loan program which has surged 400% since the end of the last recession and is now the federal governments largest financial asset comprising 31% of its balance sheet.  However, in reality, student loan debt in total, which including private label loan programs, has now reached $1 trillion.  Either I am correct about the real uses of student loan debt, or, we are about to embark upon the great educational renaissance. 

student-loans-051112The problem for American families today, despite media commentary to the contrary, is simply the inability to maintain their current standard of living.  When income remains stagnant or falls, due to job loss or reduction in pay, the impact on the budget at home is significant when there are already very low saving rates and the inability to access a tight credit market.  The recent surge in consumer debt, with little relative increase in overall personal consumption expenditures, shows this to be the case.  For Main Street the economy remains mired at sub-par growth rates three years into a post-recessionary environment.

These financial strains are pervasive and continue to weigh on families and their relationships.  While it is true that "money can't buy happiness" try asking a couple who are living on food stamps and working two part-time jobs just to "get by" about how "happy" they are.  Even as the media trumpets that the Fed has saved the economy from a "depression," it might just be a statistical victory at best.  The government may say this is not the 1930's where bread lines formed outside the corner soup kitchen, however, for many American's the only difference is that they are found at the mailbox and online instead.

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Badabing's picture

sex money and rock and roll

Catch-22's picture

The man who smiles in the face of adversity…  might not have fully understood the depth of his predicament 


Temporalist's picture

Why am I picturing a fan, shit, and brown splattered teeth?

AldousHuxley's picture

some people are into that shit ...literally.

brewing's picture

and the msm talks about a 4 year old sucking his mom's teet, instead of something that matters...

hardcleareye's picture

You know, it all comes down to prospective..  to that 4 yo suckling on Mom tit really matters.... to you and me... not so much....

But like we have said on ZH, msm is catering to the 4 year old mentality and intellectual levels....

resurger's picture

That's a badass line


SimpleSimon's picture

...or has found some one else to blame...

Peter Pan's picture

The following exchange took place once on radio:

Guest: Sex is the great motivator

radio host: I thought it was money

Guest: Yes, but only so you could get more sex

resurger's picture

Not all women care about money, you can still get more sex if you work on your self (i.e workout, being yourself & being slick), and i hate those fucking guys who cant approach women because they dont want to be turned down! FUCK THAT! If she wont be down with you, then try agian... you have to be senseless.

And at the end of the day, if you are filthy rich and you dont know how to fuck, your money cant do the fucking for ya!

The BED is where the Rubber Meets The Road


Doña K's picture

There is a beautiful deserted island in the middle of nowhere where the following people are stranded:

2 Italian men and 1 Italian woman
2 French men and 1 French woman
2 German men and 1 German woman
2 Greek men and 1 Greek woman
2 English men and 1 English woman
2 Bulgarian men and 1 Bulgarian woman
2 Swedish men and 1 Swedish woman
2 Irish men and 1 Irish woman

One month later on this beautiful deserted island in the middle of nowhere...

The 1 Italian man killed the other for the Italian woman.

The 2 Frenchmen and the French woman are living happily together in a "menage a trois".

The two German men have a strict weekly schedule and alternate with the German woman.

The 2 Greek men are sleeping with each other and the Greek woman is cleaning and cooking for them.

The 2 English men are waiting for someone to introduce them to the English woman.

The Bulgarian men took one look at the endless ocean, one look at the woman and started swimming.

The two Swedish men are contemplating the virtues of suicide while the woman keeps on bitching about her body being her own and the true nature of feminism.

But at least it's not snowing and the taxes are low.

The Irish began by dividing their island Northside-South side and setting up a distillery. They don't remember if sex is in the picture, because it gets sort of foggy after the first few litres of coconut-whiskey.

But at least they know the English aren't getting any...!!!


Oracle of Kypseli's picture


There were also:

1 Saudi man 6 Saudi women and 1 Pakistani man.

The Saudi man had slept with 2 of the Saudi women and then decided it was too much like hard work so he paid the Pakistani to do it for him.

Decolat's picture

I'm Irish, and that's exactly what I would do. +1

Robot Traders Mom's picture

So where does Lance Roberts invest his client's money? What is the solution for a financial advisor?

GeneMarchbanks's picture

This article is vapor titled. Durden, are you now too poor to afford a title?

Shizzmoney's picture

After reading this article, I'm going to come up with my own self-help book:

"How To Make More Money" = "How To Have Better Sex"

falak pema's picture

sex and money are the two most powerful words of the puritan english language, its post 1492 civilization, that which survived Thomas Moore and was consecrated by Will the bard; but not that of mediterranean region which inspired Chaucer, and which has seen and digested too much of both and wants a balance now; that's called cumulative western civilization of greek inception, until you lose it once again! Ah, Sisyphus....thy name is Greek.

Spastica Rex's picture

I always recall Chaucer for his excellent fart humour:

This Nicholas immediately let fly a fart
As great as if it had been a thunder-bolt,
So that with the stroke he was almost blinded;
And he was ready with his hot iron,
And he smote Nicholas in the middle of the ass.


falak pema's picture

homeric with a comical english twist to it, theatre of the absurd. 

Flakmeister's picture

The two of you clearly do not belong here...

falak pema's picture

we are on planet earth, even if its planet of the apes. How is the energy scene treating you?

Flakmeister's picture

The energy scene is again demonstrating the fact that when markets fail, they do so in a incredibly self-destructive manner....

NotApplicable's picture

By definition, markets do not fail, but rather they clear.

Only someone who holds a flawed definiiton of a market would believe otherwise.

Simply put, a "failed market" is not a market.

Flakmeister's picture

They can certainly fail when the discount rate used to estimate NPV and FV is fubar....

Spastica Rex's picture

You're mom doesn't belong here.

Seasmoke's picture

in the 21st Century it is not necessary to stand online for checks any more.....making things look much better......thats a win-win

dbTX's picture

It takes two to tango.


My friend, Count Whackanov begs to differ. 

Alcoholic Native American's picture

Fuck Families, what about me! 

SourNStout's picture

Entitlements will bring the collapse to our system. Try taking something from someone who feels they "earned it" because they were promised it.  

Student loans keep the sheeple attached to the system. Those loans only make for a better unknowing collateral for more government debt. Ideally the sheeple feel like they should pay back the loans, even if they don't they are entrenched in the working class, making for a better rating on the governments borrowing capacity. 

Without sheeple as collateral, how would TPTB borrow from our friends? 

Collapse ---> Chaos ---> System Reset

Audit --- Expose --- End it


shuckster's picture

Entitlements are created to paper over the fact that free enterprise cannot support the population. Entitlements are the only thing protecting Capitalism from what it is - a racket

hardcleareye's picture

You call this economy a "free enterprise" or "Capitalism"........  rotflmao.......

Shuck I'll give you a pass because you have only been on ZH for 14 weeks 5 days...... lololol

hardcleareye's picture

It is always interesting when you starting throwing large numbers around to put them into prospective.

Let's compare SNAPS to other government outlays, looking at 2011 vs 2000?

Source for these numbers is, (in millions of dollars)

Lets take "605 Food and nutrition assistance, 2011 est   $107,219 vs in 2000   $32,483"

Now lets compare that to say:

"Total, National Defense 2011 est $768,217 vs in 2000  $294,363 "

Or the

"900 Net Interest 2011 est $322,427 vs in 2000 $282,745"

Or education

"501 Elementary, secondary, and vocational education 2011 est $44,535 vs in 2000    $20,578 

The change in the cost of feeding your people, waging war to maintain a secure oil supply, paying the investors interest on money you borrowed to fund your government because you spent more than you took in....... or the cost of providing a eduction to the next generation of voters.

Interesting to compare the TOTAL National Defense Cost to SNAPS to providing a High school education to our next generation, $768,217 vs $107,219 vs $44,535




smb12321's picture

ZHers act like there is some grand plan behind entitlements but that is not the case.  It's simply an evolving accumulation of campaign promises made good (it's all free), bad economics (cost is $500 B but we only produce $300 B) and the manifestations of the change in the citizens attitude toward the role of government.

If the State can be all things, fix all things, provide all things and ensure all things then anything is acceptable including non-stop rises in academia (the real villian), massive debt and (simultaneously) a slew of "free" programs. Remember that BO fought to have ALL student loans come through the government. 


If you don't have enough money, have more sex. It's free, good exercise, makes you feel rich inside. Then, you go into the world with fire in your belly, ready to kick the shit out of reality, and bring home the bacon. Rock n roll is mood music, either way. Standard of living is an oxymoron. Quality of life is more important.

Gully Foyle's picture


"have more sex"

I wouldn't want to touch any woman today. You just can't tell what kind of STD they carry, or how many. Quite a few are happy to infect either intentionally or because it never crossed their minds they may have picked something up.

Fuck I remember getting freaked out at catching crabs.

The modern society has elevated everything dirty, disgusting and dismal into modern pop culture.

The new normal is disease ridden and ugly.


Well, either double bag the old weenie, and de - louse the talent when you bring them home to your bat cave, or, see above advice for " It takes two to tango " My friend, Count Whackinoff begs to differ. Or, do without - it really isn't that important anyway. A life of servitude for some pussy is highly overrated. And, the cost of trolling for some fresh pussy is ridiculous. I'd rather be reloading some high velocity rifle ammo.

blunderdog's picture

   I wouldn't want to touch any woman today.

Lucky for you, everybody wins on that one.

slackrabbit's picture

I prefer to give the receive ;-)

If not me, then who? (see now it sounds noble)

Joe The Plumber's picture

There are quite a few case studies in couPles where one partner has hiv or hepatitis and there has been no transmission

I aint worried. Most everything you can treat except hepatitis and hiv but it has to be a pretty skanky ho to have that, or be extremely unlucky and have a boyfriend who is hanging out unbeknownst to the lady at queer park

Joe The Plumber's picture

Not that there's anything wrong it