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    Daily Digest 1/26 – Doomsday Prep For The Super Rich, What Is The ‘Crisis’ Of Modernity?

    by DailyDigest

    Thursday, January 26, 2017, 3:37 PM


Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Replacement for Obamacare (lambertad)

The bill will also give “individuals the option of a tax credit of up to $5,000 per taxpayer for contributions to an HSA…. Removes the maximum allowable annual contribution, so that individuals may make unlimited contributions to an HSA….[and] Eliminates the requirement that a participant in an HSA be enrolled in a high deductible health care plan.”

The full bill has many other details on the HSA plan, who can use it and how and for what, and its tax treatment.

Doomsday Prep For The Super Rich (Adam, Chris M.)

Last spring, as the Presidential campaign exposed increasingly toxic divisions in America, Antonio García Martínez, a forty-year-old former Facebook product manager living in San Francisco, bought five wooded acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest and brought in generators, solar panels, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. “When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos,” he told me. The author of “Chaos Monkeys,” an acerbic Silicon Valley memoir, García Martínez wanted a refuge that would be far from cities but not entirely isolated. “All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob,” he said. “No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.” Once he started telling peers in the Bay Area about his “little island project,” they came “out of the woodwork” to describe their own preparations, he said. “I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now.”

Elites Eying The Exits Signals America's Crisis (reflector)

If anything, Osnos wrote, inequality is widening, noting recent statistics from the National Bureau of Economic Research that showed that while incomes for the top 1 percent of Americans have nearly tripled, half of the population was earning at the same level they did in 1980, comparing America’s wealth gap to that seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A Golden Opportunity To Prepare (TIffany D.)

The prescription put forth by the GAO and CBO is one that will sound very familiar to you: lower federal spending (with reduced interest-carrying costs), and change programmatic spending on Social Security and federal health care programs.

I won’t plow into that thicket here, but let’s just say that both are going to be a challenge for any Congress or president.

Tweetonomics: Implications of @RealDonaldTrump? (Axel M.)

All Presidents have the bully pulpit at their disposal, even as Trump’s use of it may elevate it to new highs (lower it to new lows?). Trump’s nominee for Commerce Secretary stated it succinctly in his nomination hearings: "When you start out with your adversary understanding that he or she is going to have to make concessions, that’s a pretty good background to begin." The Financial Times recently published an OpEd that discusses how Mr. Ross thrived in his career employing this principle. From the article: "The first step in such negotiations is to get everyone to admit to the problem, perhaps even to create an exaggerated sense of it, so that no one thinks it can be ignored until tomorrow."

What is this ‘Crisis’ of Modernity? (reflector)

But beyond the spent force of monetary policy, we have noted that developed economies face separate, but equally formidable ‘headwinds’, of a (non-policy and secular) nature, impeding growth – from aging populations in China and the OECD, the winding down of China’s industrial revolution, and from technical innovation turning job-destructive, rather than job creative as a whole. Connected with this is shrinking world trade.

Privacy concerns prompt protests in California (Chris M.)

Employees who will be subject to the screenings see things differently. “I’m a mother of three,” says Bernadine Choi, who has spent the last four days protesting in front of the Los Angeles Employment Resource Center (figure 2 shows a similar gathering, at San Jose’s Beckman Park). “Some days I may not have had enough sleep. I may look haggard. I may look like I want to kill someone. Should I have to lose my job because of that?” Others worry about the risk of racial profiling and point to the national overhaul of airport security systems that was implemented in 2111 after troubling statistics on machine-learning-triggered detentions had been revealed.

Oil Prices Rise As Markets Buy OPEC’s Charm Offensive (Tom K.)

Ahead of this past Sunday’s meeting of a monitoring committee to decide how compliance to the OPEC-non-OPEC deal would be supervised and assessed, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al-Falih said on Friday that around 1.5 million bpd of the agreed upon 1.8 million bpd of oil had already been taken out of the market in January.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 1/24/17

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