Most of the cops picked up another day toward retirement and maybe a story or two.
Most of the cops picked up another day toward retirement and maybe a story or two.
If you remember from prior posts, there have been changes made over time to both the calculations the government uses to measure inflation, and those it employs to measure unemployment.
All of these changes have been specifically designed to lower the numbers for inflation and unemployment in a deliberate effort to deceive the public with regards to the true economic condition of the country.
And because the government's numbers are designed to deceive, they naturally fly in the face of the everyday citizen's everyday experience.
The result of course being that while people don't for the most part understand the specifics of what is going on, they do know that the numbers the government touts in an effort to sell a program or justify it's existance are under the best of circumstances wrong or worse (and IMHO) a bald faced lie.
The further result of course being that people view their government as, under the best of circumstances an incompetant joke, or (and IMHO) a lying incompetant joke.
Even your garden variety public school dropout who probably couldn't even begin to tell you how a percentage is calculated, intuitively understands that if CPI is the measure of how much the price of stuff is going up, then two is way too low a number.
The final further result of course being that people come to understand that if they can't trust the numbers the government pushes out there every single day as fact, they can't trust anything the government has to say on any issue.
And when I say anything, I mean everything, from 9/11 commisions to anything you might care to ponder.
Which is exactly the situation we find ourselves in at this very instant.
If you want to actually fix this mess, the place to start is to go back to the original method for measuring unemployment and the CPI.
While those calculations may not be perfect, they will serve us well by accurately defining where we are in comparison to where we have been, and in doing so will represent the first tentative steps toward establishing an honest federal government.
OK, OK a more honest federal government.
In the interest of full disclosure and keeping in mind that not once have I ever represented myself as being a real nice person, by the end of this thing I am laughing so hard my ribs ache and my eyes are filled with tears.
The middle Roanboy is completely disgusted over me ROFLMAO at this poor kid's pain.
Ahhh, but the middle Roanboy has been blessed in this life in that he has experienced very little in the way of real adversity.
And unlike his father he couldn't possibly understand what EVERYBODY, which is to say EVERY SINGLE BODY WITHOUT EXCEPTION who has ever traded his own money for a living knows firsthand but can't even begin to accurately describe.
That being the sick, all encompassing, inconsolable grief, despair and self-loathing that accompanies the knowledge that you have just screwed yourself out of all your money and ........................ it's nobody's fault but your own.
There's really nothing like it.
My father used to say, "You aren't a boater until you've hit the dock ........ hard"
The truth is, you ain't a trader until you've gone broke ............. hard.
I like this kid, admire his cajones and hope he catches some lessons and bounces back.
If he sticks however, as Denny McClain once famously said,
Be warned, the language is ..... strong.
Which is to say that the language essentially amounts to the use of only one word, although in all of it's possible forms and with both great skill and passion.
Thanks for the several expressions of concern for my wellbeing as summed up in the title to this post.
You know who you are.
As a result of the history of money thing we posted two weeks ago, we were bombed with stuff including; a no kidding 12 or 14 sites some of which we already had but lots of it brand new to us, 6 or 8 videos accompanied by thoughtful messages of encouragement that went something like "At least it's not 3 and 1/2 %#@$&* hours." and another raft of articles and posts both condemning and defending our banking system as employed today.
Our favorite of these came from Pat ? who basically said, "Here's all the stuff I've accumulated, see if you can figure it out."
As many of you know, I've nothing better to do anyway, so I've gone through it.
Now the question becomes do we just compile, then excerpt it and offer it raw?
Or do I actually do a little work and provide some (for what it’s worth) analysis?
So anyway, the following is one of our favorites among the videos we've received so far.
Some of it’s conclusions are disputed.
The best part is that it ain't 3 and 1/2 ^%$%^&% hours.
No ... its' only about 47 minutes.
If you can't stand it, skip to about 41 minutes for a powerful enough summary.
Distractions abound in this country.
Cynical Roany thinks that this is by design.
The example of this that best speaks to me has to do with taxes.
Your "Silly Little Democrats ............." are always whining about tax cuts for the "The Rich".
The American people pick a side and go to arguing and finger pointing.
Anger and upset are the only outcome.
Media is complicit.
Everybody benefits except the citizenry.
Democrats have their union and legal haters pumping up the masses.
Republicans have their wealthy and middle class constituents feeling themselves to be under siege.
The media get their ratings and sell their advertising because promoting drama is good for business.
As for me?
I got questions.
First of all, who the hell is "Rich"?
As opposed to, who the hell is Rich?
I would truly love to hear the debate where "Rich" finally gets defined.
Is "Rich" a function of income?
Are you "Rich" if you made $250,000 last year?
What if you've never made anywhere near that number ever before?
What if you're unlikely to ever make that much again?
That doesn't happen you say?
I know a raft of guys in the real estate business who had a big year that they have never duplicated.
How about if you're only making $60,000 a year, but it's from a $1,800,000 in CDs or treasuries, and you happen to be living in a nice little, paid for condo in Destin.
What if you're 62 years old and have a defined benefit retirement plan from a pair of government entities paying $86,000 a year with escalators for inflation until the day you die, plus Social Security, plus all the health care you can eat for $142 a month, and you happen to be living in the nice little paid for condo in Destin right next door to the one mentioned above?
The reason I ask is that my HP 12C (financial calculator) is telling me that the above deal has a "Present Value" of $1,292,228 if capped at 3% (That there is real estate guy talk. Capped is short for cap rate which is an assumed rate of return for some specified investment, which in this case it is arbitrarily set by me at 3% because there is almost negligible risk in a defined benefit government retirement plan. The less risk, the lower the cap rate.) and amortized over 20 years.
That $1,292,228 is before you even begin to figure for the Social Security benefit, and the true cash value of the health care.
Katie K. has cache.
Katie K. (not her real initial) has been with us from the very beginning.
Katie was Terry D's first secretary and as such typed (I've always suspected wrote, which he vehemently denies while she stays mum which only hardens my opinion) Terry D's letters when we were nothing but a newly minted group of young grownups firing letters around to each other in an effort to figure out just what the hell was going on.
Anyway, Katie followed the conversation on facebook which resulted from the quotes on astrology you'll find three or five posts below, liked one of the comments and asked if I would give it a post of it's own.
Around here, whatever Katie wants, Katie gets.
A Christian's Defense of Astrology
If you are a Christian and have read the Bible, you have to acknowledge that it was a “Star” placed in the heavens that caused the Magi to mount up in search of “The King of the Jews”.
If you are a Christian and have read the Bible, you have to acknowledge that it was God himself who said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
It wasn’t Pete Seeger who came up with the idea, it was Solomon in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 who says, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.”
The fact that men aren’t very good at understanding the times and cycles of our lives and world beyond the very simple patterns of the tides and the seasons and worse still at predicting them, is neither here nor there.
There are now thousands of years of man’s recorded history available for us to study.
And there are millions of years of astronomical history available for us to study.
Seems quite the waste not to spend a little time comparing the two.
What a sordid adventure this has been.
A month or so ago I asked myself a question,
"Who owns the Fed?"
Foolishly thinking that having asked that question, at about 8:30 am on a Saturday morning, I'd have a post done by noon at the latest.
Just another example of just how wrong one can be, when one is wrong.
I read a lot of it.
I'm a little mad at myself here because if you follow some of this stuff far enough, you get to part about the escaped, homosexual, occultist Nazis hiding underground (literally) somewhere in Argentina ....... with grey space aliens.
I am not making this up.
Hell, I couldn't make it up.
Anyway, what I'm mad about is that I lost that link.
You can believe me when I tell you I'm lookin' for it.
But I digress.
Evidently lots and lots of people have asked this question, long before I did and have posted/published their answers.
Then a whole other group read the first group's post/publication/book and felt a need to dispute those answers.
Now, wouldn't you think that it should be easy to determine the ownership of something as important as the entity the controls the money supply of the world's largest economy?
This is the information age after all, don't you think that a simple list might be easily obtainable?
Click it and read it dagnabit, it'll only take a minute and I'm trying to make a point here.
You don't even have to read anything this time.
See what I mean?
Hmmmmm, is all I have to say about this.
The vids now, are a whole new ballgame.
And while a lot of the vids are very good and entertaining, none of it is as helpful as I would have liked in answering the original question, "Who owns the Fed?" because one needs to have a much better than none at all understanding of the nature of money, before any of the above makes even one lick of sense.
So, here's where I start.
The following comes from a definite Libertarian point of view, and while some may prefer a different viewpoint, it is very clear and easy to grab hold of.
It'll take about 40 minutes but you will most likely be entertained and a hell of a lot smarter about the world around you than you are now.
Go get a beer, a glass of wine, a cup of coffee, maybe a sandwich.
Got all that?
I'll be back on issues having to do with that non existant list in a bit.
Here's maybe a better example on how government and the "Political Class" keeps America divided.
Let's say somebody earned $100,000 last year.
How much taxes did he/she pay?
Who the hell knows?
Everybody is different.
Do you have a mortgage?
Live in a high tax environment?
Drive far to work?
Save for retirement?
Support a church or a charitable organization?
There is only one area where everybody is the same.
Everybody is pretty damn sure everybody else is paying a helluva lot less.
Let's take your Uncle Roany as an example.
I own my home free and clear, having bought a much smaller, cheaper house than I could have, had I been willing to mortgage.
So ....... here's my question?
Why the hell should I be expected to subsidize the interest payments you make on your purchase of a bigger and nicer house than I have??????
Your Uncle Roany really likes sex.
Really, really ............................................ Seriously.
Early on in my marriage, I didn't realize that a lot of sex would result in a lot of babies.
I thought it was the fluoride causing it.
Why should you be asked to subsidize the consequences of my baser instincts and lack of training in the "Facts of Life"?
Because I have a pretty small house in a suburban bedroom community, my property taxes are pretty low.
Why should I have to subsidize your lifestyle in a real cool, high tax city.
I like to give money away.
Why should you be expected to subsidize my religious, charitable or civic convictions?
How do you think people would feel about themselves, their neighbors, and their country, if everybody knew for damn sure that everybody was getting the exact same deal?
Whatever that exact sameness might be?
First of all, apologies to whomever put together the below chart.
I grabbed it off from somewhere thinking that there was some identification on the chart to acknowledge and link to.
There is not.
Now I can't remember where I found it.
If somebody has seen it before, let me know.
I will cheerfully give credit and link to the source.
The following chart provides an outstanding example of how our government keeps us apart and at each other's throats.
Anybody paying the slightest bit of attention has heard that the rich pay the lion's share of the INCOME TAXES in this country.
It is true.
The top 1% of taxpayers pay about 35% of our nations INCOME TAX.
The top 25% pays about 83%.
The top 50% pays about 96%.
It is also true, the rich earn the lion's share of our national income, but on a percentage basis they pay more in taxes than they earn in income.
But INCOME TAXES on individuals only makes up 43.5% of the total tax receipts of the federal government.
42.3% is paid in in the form of "PAYROLL TAXES" aka "WITHHOLDING TAXES" aka FICA, aka Social Security and Medicare taxes which are deducted directly from wage earners paychecks and are sent to the government.
The balance mostly comes from by corporate taxes which we all pay when using the goods or services provided by corporations, and some other relatively minor sources.
The withholding rate for "The Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI), again what most of us call Social Security or FICA is 12.4% of one's taxable income.
The rate for Medicare is 2.9% of one's taxable income.
For a total of 15.3% tax on wage earners above the INCOME TAX.
In the case of Social Security, the tax is largely paid by middle and lower income taxpayers because the income against which it is applied is capped at $106,800.
Here's where the truth gets bent.
I'm trying to put the best construction on this.
You are told that the funds go to the "Social Security Trust Fund" or the "Medicare Trust Fund".
And that's true as far as it goes, but what really happens is that the Federal Government issues debt (bonds) which is exchanged for your (cash) payroll taxes.
And subsequently sends your payroll taxes (cash) to the general fund.
Every dime of income the Government collects regardless of source, ends up in the general fund where it is spent as though it were exactly the same thing as "INCOME TAXES".
Name an activity that the Federal Government participates in, and that is where your FICA is being spent.
Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, now Libya, maybe Iran.
Defending Europe (NATO) from Russia, or Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan and South Korea from North Korea and China, the Saudis from Iran.
Not to mention from their own people.
Welfare benefits, unemployment compensation, food stamps.
Government salaries, pensions, benefits and perks.
National parks, roads, bridges, education, research.
Now, some of that stuff you can legitimately call an investment in America.
But is it appropriate to be investing people's health and retirement monies on all of the above?
Here's the government's argument,
"Some people are not able, or prepared to invest their retirement money themselves. What if they make bad investment decisions and lose their money?
Were some people in control of their retirement funds they would indeed make some bad investments and suffer losses.
But just for fun, imagine a prospectus selling an investment in the defense of Europe.
Here's the offering.
You provide military equipment and personel to Europe free of charge, and in so doing allow the average European citizen a month of vacation every year, mostly free health care, and retirement at around age 58.
You don't get a plug nickel back, get to work until your 61.5 at least, but ................. you get to say that you're making the world safe for Democracy.
You can be a drooling moron and you're still passing on that opportunity.
So, here's the consequences:
Upper income people feel abused because they're thinking they're doing all the heavy lifting.
The middle class feels abused because they thought they were saving for their retirement, but are starting to realize that Social Security is likely to go broke, their money having been squandered.
In truth, it ain't gonna go broke.
The government will print the dollars to pay you back.
The bad news is that each dollar is likely to be worth a helluva lot less than the one you payed in.
Retirement money is just being spent and not invested, which results in the poor feeling abused because there are no jobs, and subsequently no future.
While all they hear is "The Rich" bitching about their taxes.