Medicare

Blog

Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock

Are You Infuriated Yet?

You should be. I certainly am...
Friday, October 20, 2017, 8:27 PM

Both the pension and health care crises are infuriating and self-inflicted wounds.

We could have avoided them by making wiser choices in the past. We didn't. We could limit their damage by making better choices today. We almost assuredly won't.

Anybody who studies the system and its math comes to the same conclusion: the corporations have all the power and they are misusing it for private gain.

An easy prediction to make is that this simmering anger of the populace is going to start boiling over more violently in the coming years. Welcome to the Age of Fury. » Read more

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 2)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

 

 

 

 

video

This chapter of the new Crash Course series has not yet been made available to the public.

Each week over the rest of 2014, in sequential order, a new chapter will be made publicly available (we've currently published up to Chapter 12)

If you don't want to wait, you can:

 

 

 

 

Insider

The Real Story to Focus On

Given the macro trends, how do we "win"?
Monday, August 19, 2013, 12:12 AM

Executive Summary

  • What Detroit tells us about continuing the status quo
  • The shocking true size of the real U.S. debt
  • Why time is our most valuable but scarcest asset
  • Where your efforts need to be placed to address the big picture

If you have not yet read Part I: Why We All Lose If the Fed Wins, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

If we can't even have an honest conversation six years into this failed experiment about its core aspects, then it is little wonder that there's virtually no appetite for the bigger burning questions of our time, such as where do we want to be in twenty years and what do we need to do to get there?

Instead, the focus is simply on preserving the status quo and doing everything possible to maintain it. Never mind that the status quo is obviously failing in many key regards and needs some serious adjustments.  All that the Fed and D.C. have in mind here is more of the same.

And this is why we will lose the war.

The Detroit Harbinger

If we want to know what happens when we ignore reality and just soldier on, we need look no further than Detroit to see how that works out. For years, that city mismanaged its finances, continually banking on the idea that eventually jobs and opportunity would return. They continued to offer yet failed to fund lavish pension promises to municipal employees, even though anybody with a pocket calculator could work out that the plans were not viable.

But the plans were offered, and the union reps on the other side of the table accepted the terms, even though at some point it would have made sense for someone to raise the obvious by noting that the plans were utterly insolvent and almost certain to stay that way.

Right now, the pensions in Detroit are underfunded by $3.5 billion, according to official figures.  But those same officials are assuming an 8% rate of return on current pension assets, a rate that nobody is actually achieving in the pension world thanks, in large part, to Bernanke's 0% interest rate policy.

Here's how they got to this point: » Read more

Daily Digest

Image by Dan4th, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 4/24 - U.K. May Have Slipped Into Third Recession, Pensions In Danger

Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 10:41 AM
  • U.K. may have slipped into a third recession
  • Police Warn Budget Cuts Could Lead to Fewer Officers
  • Meals on Wheels faces Federal cuts
  • Time for Growth: Austerity Has 'Reached its Limits,' Barroso Says
  • Utah cancer clinics turning away Medicare patients
  • San Francisco official probes whether Nevada is 'patient dumping'
  • MU sees 866 percent debt increase over past 10 years
  • City remains knee-deep in more than 7,000 abandoned properties
  • Call for new U.S. crossing fee at land borders criticized in both countries
  • Indian Jewelers Offer Premium on Gold Imports as Demand Surges
  • Parents cutback on food for kids to cope with rising prices
  • Bernanke Gets Japanese Assist in Helping Homebuyers: Mortgages
  • Sanford facing $20 million shortfall; pensions in danger
Blog

Let's Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can't Afford the Future

Unemployment, taxes & unfunded retirements are squeezing us
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

The truth is: The three adult generations in the U.S. are suffering, and their burdens are likely to increase with time. Each is experiencing a squeeze that is making it harder to create value, save capital, and pursue happiness than at any point since WWII. At that point, we were a creditor nation with an economy exploding into dominance on the world stage. Now, however, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation and our economic hegemony is increasingly at seige across a number of fronts.

A continuation of the status quo is a decision to sleepwalk face-first into the constraints hurtling towards us.

Instead, shouldn't we stop fooling ourselves and ask: What should we be doing differently? » Read more

Blog

The Structural Endgame of the Fiscal Cliff

It's not just a temporary political event
Wednesday, December 26, 2012, 2:51 PM

To understand this endgame, we need to start with the financial and political basics of wealth and power in the U.S.

1.  Wealth and thus political power are highly concentrated.  The dynamics of rising wealth disparity and the increasing concentration of wealth are debatable; the disparity is not.  Roughly 70% of all financial wealth is held by the top 5%; within this top layer of ownership, the top ½ of 1% hold an outsized share. » Read more

Blog

What to Do When Every Market Is Manipulated

Hint: cut the strings
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 10:34 AM

If you don't know who the sucker at the card table, is it's you.

~ old gambler's saying

What do the following have in common?

LIBOR, Bernie Madoff, MF Global, Peregrine Financial, zero-percent interest rates, the Social Security and Medicare entitlement funds, many state and municipal pension funds, mark-to-model asset values, quote stuffing and high frequency trading (HFT), and debt-based money?

The answer is that every single thing in that list is an example of market rigging, fraud, or both. » Read more

video

¿Qué pasaría si fuese verdad que, como Kevin Phillips afirmó recientemente en un artículo de la revista Harpers, “Las estadísticas son instrumentos vitales para calcular el vigor de la economía usamericana, pero desde los años sesenta Washington ha estado embaucando a su ciudadanía y acreedores con estadísticas oficiales manipuladas”?

¿Que pasaría si nuestras decisiones individuales, corporativas y gubernamentales estuviesen basadas en datos profundamente inexactos, cuando no totalmente falsos?

Ésa es la razón por la que en este capítulo vamos a estudiar los métodos que sirven para calcular la inflación y el producto interno bruto, también denominado PIB.

video

Si han completado el capítulo anterior sobre la deuda, puede que se estén preguntando si sus ahorros o sus activos les permitirán hacer frente a tal endeudamiento. En el próximo capítulo me ocuparé de los activos. En este capítulo presentaré pruebas fehacientes de que Usamérica se ha mostrado incapaz de ahorrar dinero en todos los estamentos de su sociedad, lo que convierte a su gobierno en insolvente. Les aclaro que utilizo el término insolvente con todo el peso de su significado. Mientras que la quiebra es un proceso legal que se inicia cuando los desembolsos de dinero no alcanzan para pagar las deudas, la insolvencia tiene lugar cuando los pasivos exceden a los activos, lo cual es el primer paso en el camino que lleva directamente a la quiebra.

La finalidad del Crash Course consiste en ofrecerles el contexto y los datos necesarios para que sean capaces de evaluar con precisión las probabilidades y los riesgos que correrá nuestra economía durante los próximos años. Mi opinión es que los próximos veinte años van a ser completamente distintos de los últimos veinte, y en apoyo de esta afirmación me propongo guiarlos por el terreno de seis áreas esenciales. La Deuda, el Ahorro, los Activos, la Demografía, el Pico del petróleo y el Cambio climático Cualquiera de ellos puede plantear gravísimos problemas por sí solo, pero la combinación de dos o tres a la vez… bueno, prefiero dejar que lo evalúen ustedes.