Friday, November 30, 2012

Industrial Deception and Fractional Reserve Banking Misconception

For most of my career I worked in "Financial Services" (what an oxymoron that one is). Of course, what we we sold was in the interests of the financial system and the industrial revolution's elite. The idea that any significant percentage of The People could be made financially secure by investing in our current system was one of The Great Lies.

(Nearly) Everything, or every concept, in our financial system is either designed (if you tend toward conspiracy theories) or has evolved by phenomenon (my way of thinking) to enslave (most of) The People.

And now many people 50 and up have no "retirement savings".

The pension system is a perfect example: The beneficiaries of pensions extort that money from younger workers. Why else would pensions exist? If the older worker's production was such that it could support and sustain them for 20 or 30 years of idleness, their pay would reflect that fact and they would save that money for that time in their life. Anyone with even rudimentary math skills (but in America that is roughly 2% of the population) understands the certainty of this, and anyone with just a modicum of common sense can make the connection that government workers have enslaved non-government workers to fund the public employee pensions.

In my capacity as a Wall Street broker/salesmen I had a bird's eye view of the financial circumstances of the non-elite 1%. See, Billionaire's are not the 1%. The 1% are working stiff professionals with $350k plus incomes with a couple of million $$ net worths. And in my experience, I can think of very few that were not completely enslaved by their mortgages, car leases, property taxes, and insurance bills. Invariably they were one job loss, a divorce, an illness or injury away from penury - despite having lifetime earnings of $10 to $30 million-freaking-dollars.

There was no difference in the security level of these high earners and more pedestrian earners.

We were trained to dress well, use the right fork, put our napkins in our lap and request fresh pepper on our salad so that we might go forth and sell the 1% financial solutions to give them "financial security and peace of mind". In my 25 years I don't think I, or anybody else working in the industry, succeeded in giving our customers any such thing - and not that it was our fault. It was not. That's just the system.

The truth was that the "financial security" we were selling could not be had by anything that the vast majority could buy. In fact, security would lie in the direction of not buying. Not buying a house with high property taxes or an extra bathroom. Not buying a ski house. Not buying an expensive car. Not buying expensive jewelry/clothes/vacations. Not eating out. Not paying $20 for a martini.

People sold their freedom for the chachkas (link provided for the Yiddish challenged) mentioned above - The Great Chachka Enslavement.

While personal freedom is to be had with a modest house and an old car, or better yet - no car - the system cannot tolerate this, and hence the system cannot abide your personal freedom. Accordingly, it has evolved to enslave you for its own purposes:

The Industrial Deception and the Fractional Reserve Misconception.

The system needs you to be in debt, and it requires this for 2 very basic reasons: First, money is created in our system by being lent into existence - no lending = no money supply. (Since going off of the Gold standard World GDP has increased by 5 or 6 fold - and total debt has increased by 65 fold. Is there any wonder that Americans consume anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications the way they do?) Second, the system needs you to work yourself to death. If you don't the 1% will not be able to enjoy those private jets, and today's elderly (but not you when you are old) will not have 25 years in idle retirement with nearly free healthcare and a monthly stipend coming in - far in excess to anything that they contributed to. (And people under 30 voted overwhelmingly for Obama? The younger generation either has rocks in its head or it is complete unable to run a few, short, and simple financial calculations... but they can text with both thumbs so they got that working for them.)

All of that money creation has had 2 entries (like everything else financial) on the Balance Sheet of Life. Your debt is somebody else's asset. Same with the government's debt. That huge deficit? You owe it and the 1% owns it.

Do you get that? The deficit has been run up in order to buy your vote through elections cycles over the past 40 years, only you didn't actually get anything for selling your vote. What you got was enslaved.

I am sure you are starting to see what I am asserting here: The government's debt has enslaved you. Your home and mortgage has enslaved you. Your car, your refrigerator, your dish washer, clothes washer, dryer, the toaster, the f***ing blender, et al, have conspired to enslave you. Your engagement ring. Your expensive wedding and even more expensive divorce... the grand sum of all of these inputs is that you are financially insecure, anxious, sleep deprived, and fat. Did I mention your family circumstances? Either you don't have kids, or you are raising kids in a broken home, or you resent your spouse for working so many hours to meet that mortgage and those car payments, and providing for you and the kids you do have - and in almost every circumstance you do not really have any money or any sort of financial security.

But you want your kids to go to college, get a "good job", and repeat this ferkakta process?

Is (formal) "education" the answer? It is for those with professional licenses (engineers, lawyers, physicians, dentists) and regulations that create barriers to entry.

(Take my favorite - fill and drill dentists. How long do you think it would take someone to become a "Dental Hygienist" in reality. A week? 2? How long before any relatively bright person could drill and fill a cavity? A few weeks, TOPS. Yet in 48 states a person cannot even open their own "Dental Hygienist" practice. They must be overseen by a "Doctor".

The result is over 100 million American's receiving absolutely no dental care because the Dental lobby has succeeded in complicating the subject in order to keep their incomes high. We urbanites look down our long noses at people with holes where teeth should be, and what is keeping those teeth from being there are the very people that claim to care about our dental health.

The U.S. Army will take a high school graduate and within 16 weeks he is a trained medic capable of all manner of field surgeries - emergency traches, spine stabilization, vents, wound care - with bullets and shrapnel flying around.... but it takes 12 years to train a guy to repair your torn ACL? 12 years??!! To do minor carpentry and elementary seamstress work?

Did I mention healthcare professionals kill more people than they save? After all, seat belts cause people to drive with less care. Want people to drive really, really safely? Put a dagger pointing at their chest on the steering wheel - in the aggregate you will save far more lives and prevent far more injuries, as sensible people would drive only when necessary and when they drove they would do it with great care. Wanna bet the same would be true in a deregulated healthcare environment? Making healthcare affordable is as easy as 1,2,3. Eliminate health insurance. Of course, the system does not want affordable healthcare any more than it wants affordable housing.)

But outside of professionals... do retail managers "need" a $200k education, and 4 years of not earning? Police officers?  Kindergarten teachers? Nope. But they are getting it - and they are getting it good. And hard.

And everybody is broke. Anxious. In debt. On medication. Fat.

It ain't a coincidence.

You can think for yourself. It takes courage and b@!!$ but you can think. And act.

I have a friend of mine, "C". "C" has no formal education past 8th grade. He went to work at 14, and saved every dime. He never drank or smoked. Never gambled. Never owned a car. Never wasted money on gold teeth or tattoos. By 20 he had enough money saved to buy some land, and enough experience to "G.C." the construction of his own house. Though he never had a steady "job" (he worked at odd jobs, construction, and farm work), he bought the land for cash with money he had saved by working the previous 6 years. He bought the building materials for cash, and he built himself a home. He was 23 when he and his wife finished the home and already had 2 children.

He is 55 now and has never been in debt. Although he has 11 children (and 45 grandchildren), "C" has a net worth in excess of $500,000 and his monthly need for cash is less than $2,000 because he lives in a rural setting with very low property taxes, he grows and raises most of his food, and he refuses to buy insurance of any kind. He did all of this while living his entire life off-grid.

No one in his family has ever been arrested; ever used drugs; ever took an anti-depressant. ever been divorced; ever died in a car accident or by violence.

Maybe you don't want to live like "C". You don't have to, but you can take instruction from people that have arranged their lives differently. "Steal" their good ideas, if you will.

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity" - Ben Franklin

American policy waged a war on poverty in the 20th century - and now has 1/6 of its citizens receiving food assistance from the government.

American policy was to keep the Oil flowing out of the Middle East/North Africa at all costs - and now its economy cannot function in the absence of 240 million automobiles and far flung suburban sprawl... all the while destroying the environment with those hunks of metal and obnoxious McMansions.

American policy was to recreate the European "Safety Nets" that have left all of us unsafe, insecure, and broke.

American policy was to make everything fair and now we have an entrenched and permanent underclass and an out and out WAR between the sexes.

American policy was to "educate" (indoctrinate?) our young people with college for all. So we credentialized "Play Ground Supervisor", "Massage Therapists", "Political Scientists" (SNICKER!!!!), and, my personal favorite, "Women's Studies Professors" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHALOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! Eh... Heh... Sorry. That got away from me), and now we have over $1 TRILLION in student debt that will never, ever be repaid.

There is a better way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time to Purge

The elections are over and, as expected, Mitt Romney lost.

Or did he?

Romney was the better man representing the lesser (worser?) party. While I think Romney, under most circumstances, would have made the better president I am not sure about under the present circumstances.

The Republicans should have run Ron Paul. The Republicans should have embraced the message from the Libertarian wing of the GOP and of the Independents.

They did not - and they have suffered the consequences.

Good. Because it is time to purge. 

Energy and debt constraints will force the U.S., over time, into either Statism or Libertarianism. It matters little how the Statist groups call themselves - Republican, Democrat, Green, Red, Blue - this is one of those glaringly black and white issues in an otherwise billion shades of grey world.

Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt loosed the evils of Constitutional tampering and gaming upon our nation - and we have never recovered. History is written by the victors.

FDR's rejection of Individual Rights in favor of Special Interest Rights/Group Rights and rejection of personal freedoms and personal responsibility beginning with his addicting social programs and culminating with the absolute worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court (and that it beats some of the Slave decisions says a great deal) - Wickard vs Filburn - set us on the road that has brought us here.

(I highly recommend that thinking people that might be constrained for time watch the reasonably historically accurate 1980's movie "Reds" directed and starred in by Warren Beatty. It is on Netflix now. While long (3 hours) and windy, every thinking person should get an idea of where the American Left comes from. And not that the Left of that time was entirely without merit as is the Left of our time - which is another thing that makes the movie worth watching.)

We live in a plantation economy. The banks enslave us with debt and the Fractional Reserve Banking System concentrates wealth in the hands of Banking, Media, and Entertainment Industries. These people control the Democratic party. The Republicans control nothing. Goldman Sachs and Wall Street? Democrat (how the Left convinces the masses that New York's establishment industry, and with New York the most Liberal bastion in the U.S., is somehow controlled by Christian Conservatives is simply beyond me... a better example of the power of propaganda I cannot imagine). Hollywood? Democrat. New York Times? Democrat. Republicans? Nothing. Zip. Zero Nada. Actually that's not true... they controlled the Defense Industry. The funny thing is is that the guy that got this ball really rolling for the Left was a Republican - non other than the Left's favorite man to hate: President Richard M. Nixon.

Since taking the U.S. off of the Gold Standard (and this is NOT a plea for a return to the Gold Standard) the world's GDP has grown by 5 or 6 fold. The world's aggregate debt in that same time period has increased some 60 to 70 fold. This is NOT a coincidence. And cui bono? Who benefited from this expansion (explosion) of debt? The banksters in New York. Not "Wall Street". New York.

(New Yorkers kill me... Liberal, "true blue", they bleed blue... and are completely deaf, dumb, and f***ing blind about their contribution to CO2 emissions & climate change via their manufacturing of debt enslavement of the world's people and their funding of the U.S. military/industrial complex and social programs. After all, without the world's largest military to enforce US$ hegemony the U.S. (and the other OECD countries, which simply operate as protectorates of the U.S) would not be able to fund its massive budget deficits - and that's the end of the social programs. They whine for the "poor", when it is their opulence that creates the relative deprivation between themselves and the poor bastards in fly-over-land which they profess to care for but truly despise. Ignorance truly is bliss.)

Not that its a conspiracy - it isn't. Its just the evolution of some incredible phenomenon. Americans were displaced from the countryside to the cities from 1925 to 2000 as the "machines" (industrialized farm equipment) took over their jobs in agriculture. Then the "machines" (robots) displaced these people on the factory floors of Detroit, et al. Now computers and other advances of automation are replacing these people in their jobs in cubicles moving bytes around on a screen. All of the Labor Union gnashing of teeth and blaming China, Japan, India, whoever...  is not going to undo the machines.

Of course, this is creates a very, very serious problem for the Fractional Reserve Banking System of money creation. Machines may cause some capital investment, but as they become more efficient both in producing and being produced that capital investment continues to decline, and; as the machines displace people, demand from those being replaced goes down like a rock in a pond leading to "jobless recoveries" - and further concentrating wealth into fewer and fewer hands. Think about the implications of this (unfortunately, if you do not understand money creation in our system all of the thinking in the world won't help. Wikipedia has an excellent primer). So the government stepped in and gave people "free" money in order to negate the effects of the machines on people's earnings and to prop up demand. There are no actions taken that do not generate unintended consequences - and the unintended consequences of this, along with some incredible demographic changes wrought by birth control/the Green Revolution/vaccines and anti-biotics have increased the population 3X in less than 75 years. The phenomenon increased their "free" time, but since they have crowded themselves together there is not much to do with that free time but watch TV and consume other media. Most of these (increased population) people are not happy just to be alive because the Media is constantly reminding them that they are not as rich/good looking/fabulous/interesting as the folks on TV... not to worry, because the government has funded healthcare to the point that it is now 18% of GDP, which combined with the unintended consequences of media exposure has 1/3 of American women over 40 now either on happy pills (anti-depressants) or deadening pills (anti-anxiety) to make them feel better about themselves after watching TV and reading beauty magazines, not to mention making over 50% of them obese. Men are about half as bad off when measured by happy pills and fat @$$es. Some argue that this is existential. To that I say: Donkey Dust!

Now, The People are by mathematical necessity "average" - and the complicated set of circumstances of our economy and political system is simply beyond the cerebral capacity of "average" people. In fact, it appears to be beyond the capacities of Nobel Prize Winners like Paul Krugman (this is not a backhanded insult to Krugman who I think is a bright and thoughtful man. The media worships him like a god, but I just don't find him infallible. In fact, I think his Keynesian indoctrination has created a permanent, critical flaw in his thinking - not that mine, or others, is perfect. Economics is not called the "Dark Science" for nothing). Should you doubt my analysis on The People's ability to understand the system I respectfully submit that if it were understandable that politicians and policy makers would be unable to get away with the copious lies and half truths that they seem to do, and; The People would be able to agree on things, or at least create a much more cohesive "center", to a much larger extent than they do now. Further, if The People understood the system, they would be able to exploit its production much more uniformly - yet they do not. I could go on forever with this line of thought but let's move on for now...

The U.S. has become the Tower of Babel. People shout past each other; there is little communication. The Web is now completely Balkanized, and crazy people are suggesting violent insurrection. How the F^&%$$ did we get here?

- to be continued...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My name is Greg Jeffers and I am a White Male

My name is Greg Jeffers and I am a "White Male" (mostly). (My wife is non-White. My kids are mocha-cappucino-with-whipped-cream-gorgeous. I mention this to stop some looney from interpreting this as some kind racist diatribe from a "White Male".) I have no idea what I have done as to be so despised as I have spent the last 30 years getting up at the @$$ crack of dawn working like a pack animal to provide a life for my family - but hated I am. My name is Greg Jeffers and I am a "White Male".

The Media is in all its glory with the re-election of a sitting president by 1% of the popular vote. They have declared victory for Liberalism and the Death of the Republican party and Conservatism. While I have little empathy for either Conservatism OR Liberalism, I do have great affinity for the idea that we need more than 1 political party here in the United States of America.

It seems that the media, in all its wisdom, has proclaimed the death of the 2 party system because the Republican party is the party of "Older White Males". Forget for a moment that we have not had a 2 party system in decades. Let's just go with the media narrative.

I am a "White Male". Worse, I am an "Older White Male". You know, the demographic that produced the most income/tax revenue per capita in the U.S., with the lowest criminal conviction ratio of any male demographic.

Let me tell you of my "Older White Male" experience. Contrary to the media narrative, like most "White Males" I was not born to privilege. Yes, a higher proportion of "White Males" are the sons of Doctors, Lawyers, and Indian Chiefs than is the case of Tan/Brown/Black/Red/ or pick the complexion that you, in your own personal narrative, do not define as "White", but most of us are the sons of bricklayers, janitors, truck drivers, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, etc... and other non-professional, working class folk. In my case, I was the 5th son of a working class father. What education I have I worked for. What assets I have I earned. This is the case for 99% or so of us "White Males".

Let me tell you of our adult experience. We went to work. Most right after  High School, and for the privileged right after college and maybe grad school. But worked. I started working at 13, bought my first car for $298 (it had a blown head gasket and had seized up. Privileged guys and gals won't know what this means) at age 20 from money I earned digging irrigation sprinklers in the Summer Sun of South Florida in between my sophomore and junior year. I rebuilt the engine with borrowed tools and a $15 "Chiltons Auto Repair Manual". I had never worked on a car before in my life. So much for privilege.

But I digress.

We went to work. We got married (the other Male demographics did not for the most part). Can you imagine that? We thought we were doing the right thing, giving our children a home and a name and legitimizing our relationships - like our parents had done. Of course, we stepped right into the Feminist political attack on Men, Marriage, and Children (60 Million abortions since Roe V Wade and counting!) and its influence on Family Law, and many of us went through disgraceful divorces and the enslavement of asset seizure, "alimony", and "child support". (Wait... before you get your dander up on "child support"...). And still we married - for a while.

And we went to work (I know how much those literary Lefties like when I start sentences with "and"). We started businesses. REAL businesses. The overwhelming majority of businesses with over $1 million in revenue or $100k in net income (the kinds of businesses and revenue that can actually support and provide for a family)  were started by men, or should I say "White Males"? We "White Males" valued family, hard work, thrift and frugality, and respect for the law. Or at least we used to.

For the most part, we behaved ourselves. 2 Percent of the population commits 50% of the violent crime - and while this 2 percent is "Male" it is not comprised of "White Males".

We also had failures in business and our personal lives. I went broke twice personally. In recounting that to my older son his response was an incredulous "When? I don't remember that." That's because I was provident - like most "White Males" - and I picked myself up, brushed off the dust and hoof prints and tire tracks... and continued to provide for my children. This is somewhat unique to "White Males" in  our country and culture.

And went back to work. As the vast majority of us "White Males" have done since we were teenagers or young adults. Providing for our children. Providing for our wives. (Oh, I know a great many "White Females" work now - and many of these are childless or have an only child (I will cover the impacts of non-child bearing people later). What education or start they got likely came from a "White Male", though for some reason a small, but vocal (histrionic?) percentage of these "White Females" have come to hate the White Male that provided for them in their formative years (we can address Freud later).  You see, I am an "Older White Male". We coached little league. We taught our kids to swim and took our kids to the shore. We played catch. We taught our kids to ride a bike. We sat through tuba lessons, ballet lessons, spelling bees, and PTO meetings. We were home every night for dinner and we read books to our kids at bedtime.

Of course, not every child of a "White Male" had this as a formative experience though most do - but let me ask you a really, really brutal question. Do the children of "Non White Males" have this as their formative experience? How about the children of "White Females with No White Male in the Home?" The sad fact of the matter is that 1 of the 2 large minority groups in the U.S. is completely broken as a culture - a demographic dominated by fatherless homes, violent crime, addiction, requiring government assistance for shelter, food, healthcare... and overwhelming the criminal justice system. Yet "White Males" are the enemy of the enlightened. Go figure.

And we went to work. "White Males" paid the majority of Federal and State income taxes. The majority of local property taxes. The majority of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and any other tax you can think of - and "White Males" did this out of all proportion to their percentage representation of the population.

Despite all of our efforts and production the narrative has been somewhat different. Radical Feminists - for the most part "Gay White Females" - have convinced "Straight White Females" that "White Males" are the enemy. That "White Males" have declared War on Women ("White Females"), and they did it with Abortion. Think about that for a moment: "Gay White Females", a demographic that will likely never be confronted with pregnancy, have convinced "Straight White Females" that freedom can be had only by killing your unborn child when confronted by unplanned pregnancy (shows you what Gay White Females" know about pregnancy... most pregnancies are "unplanned") and that ANY questioning of this belief system is clear proof of a state of War existing between "Straight White Males" and "Straight White Females".

And never mind the facts on abortion! "Straight White Females" have far fewer abortions per capita than "Straight Non-White Females" (look, it ain't even close. "Black Females" abort 32% of their pregnancies according to the CDC - about 3.5 TIMES the abortion rate for "White Females"). Abortion in the "White Female" demographic is relatively low and getting lower - yet, temporarily at least, "Straight White Females" have bought into the argument of "Gay White Females" that "Straight White Males" (but not "Gay White Men") are waging war on "Straight White Females".

Yes. I make that assertion. "Gay White Females" dominate the Feminist narrative as well as the demographic. Think about that for a moment.  A demographic ("Gay White Females") that does not produce children and does not raise children is, temporarily, having a far greater influence over "Straight White Women" than their natural partners in life, society, and nature - "Straight Men of Any Shade or Hue". And look, I am a Libertarian in the extreme. Gays must have the same Right to self determination as Straight people. That does not make Gay people, or childless people, or people that have children that they do not care for, as productive or as desirable for society as people that have and raise and provide for their children. The male demographic doing that in the greatest numbers and percentages? You got it: "Straight White Men."

The Left is doomed here, as is the Right. The "Straight White Females" that had fallen for the "Gay White Female" argument are dying out as they simply did not reproduce. DNA wins all multi-generational arguments and political agendas; or, said another way, "Those Who Breed, Succeed" (politically). The new crop of "Straight White Females" actually LIKE "Straight White Males" and they are going to go off, pair up, and make lots of little "Straight White People" with the occasional "Gay White People".  Immigration into the U.S. is collapsing along with the collapse of fertility in Latin America and the decline of Oil imports into the U.S. 72% of America is "White". Americans will continue to intermarry (though it seems that for some reason this intermarriage has occurred overwhelmingly between whites and asians and whites and hispanics but not between whites and people of African descent. Not sure why that is) and assimilate. The resulting culture will be uniquely American and it will sort itself out, not in some multicultural fantasy but in an arrangement that best suits the bearing and raising of children - because those that breed, succeed. Those who do not, especially those that abort, die off.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Price of Convenience

There have been a number of very popular books, from the Bible's "Ecclesiastis" (B.C.) to "The History of Materialism and Criticism of its present importance" (Bertrand Russell, 1950) "Henry and the Great Society" (H.L. Roush, 1969) to "Fight Club" (Chuck Palahniuk, 1996). I am sure there are many more... these are just some that I have had the pleasure to have read.

I just recently finished "Henry" and while it was the least creative of the above mentioned books it did a great job of driving home hard data of the impact of "labor saving devices" on our lives. (Ever hear of the concept "Time and Motion Study"? I almost wish I had not. Once you understand the implications you will find it always and everywhere in your thoughts.)  Anyway... clearly, given my reading habits, I have been infected by this for some time.

When I commuted to work in New York, I couldn't help but resent the time spent on the train - about an hour each way. Of course, the schedule said 44 minutes, but who gets to the platform with 1 second to go before departure? Time waiting for the train PLUS time on the train PLUS time from the station to home or work equaled my commuting time. I was on the 6:301 AM express every day and got home everyday at about 7:10 PM. This is NOT an 8 hour day. Isn't that what all those "labor saving devices" were supposed to do? Free us from drudgery and overwork? So that we would have disposable income for luxury items (think McMansions)?  I went months without even seeing the sun. 

(I had back problems as a young man and I always attributed them to playing football in high school and college and heavy weight lifting. When I moved to Florida my back problems went away without any input that I was aware of. Of course, for the first time in years I was getting enough calcium via dairy and plenty of sunshine/vitamin D. At the time I did not make the connection, but recently I have come across studies showing a very high correlation between back pain and insufficient calcium intake and vitamin D blood levels. Of course, I can't know for sure that that was it. I can tell you that I make sure I get enough sun/vitamin D supplements, fatty fish, eggs, organ meat and calcium just in case). 

I had a beautiful house on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River in Westchester that I never enjoyed (or when I did I was too exhausted to notice the view), a gorgeous young wife I never saw (she worked like crazy, too), and a leased Range Rover in the garage that I never drove. I worked around the clock to pay for stuff I never used, didn't like, and didn't really want - but I didn't know that until after I bought it - and my weekends were taken up with all of the mundane things that needed doing but did not get done with my work schedule. This is what happens when you don't think for yourself. 

Think of all that was not - no car, no mortgage, no cable bill, no TV, no smart phone bill, no health insurance/life insurance/car insurance/whatever bill. All those labor saving devices, luxuries, conveniences, and bragging rights conspired to trap me (us) into a 12 hour day. So much for "convenience" and "labor saving".

Do you know how long a human being can keep that kind of work schedule? Not all that long. Somewhere in your 40's you simply cannot keep this pace, or worse your health deteriorates. Yet the system has kept you in school earning nothing (and going into debt) until your mid 20's giving you only 20 years to really feather the nest. Do you know how many people have a feathered nest by 50 today? How about being mortgage free, with a fat retirement account and money to educate the kids? Almost none. Government workers, specialty surgeons, trial lawyers, and investment bankers/brokers/hedge fund managers. Everybody else doesn't have 2 nickels to rub together - but they do have cars and smart phones and cable TV. The very things that were supposed to give people freedom and leisure have enslaved them.

The economy and the employment situation in the U.S. and Europe has been giving signals to people to rearrange their lives - rather than listen to those signals large portions of the population want the government/president/Congress/Tooth Fairy to "fix it". Fix what, exactly?

Entire industries were conceived to keep you in debt. Mortgage debt, auto debt, credit card debt - and now Educational debt. One cannot be in debt and be "financially secure". These are mutually exclusive events. Said another way, if you are in debt you are insecure - and the system likes it that way. Even if you - the individual - were to curtail your debt, the government would increase its debt to keep "demand" going and to "fix" the economy.

Entire industries were conceived to destroy the environment AND addict you to "labor saving devices" that, in truth, have only forced you to work yourself to ill health - and they did it "at one fell swoop". 

The financial system teetered and nearly ended (and Europe is doing its best to finish itself  off) from inappropriate levels of debt. What's the government's solution? More debt (which is exactly what you should do if you want to put off the day of reckoning; that is hardly a cure). While the climate models of Hanson, et al have not been terribly predictive of temperatures, the incidence of record new high temps is 10X the number of record new low temps, and the atmosphere's CO2 concentration does continue to climb. Can we prove the link? Not yet. When we can, we will be dead. So what do our leaders talk about this election season? How to drill more so that we can lower the price of gasoline and increase carbon emissions! Got that? Our leaders want you to have a "good job at a good wage" (so that you can go into debt) with nothing to show for it at the end of the month (or the end of your work life) but miles on a car you can't afford, driven to a house you never see (and can't afford to heat or pay the property taxes on), dragging around a bag for a belly because that "good job at a good wage" requires you to sit for 10 hours per day moving bites around a screen in the complete absence of sunlight, fresh air, and exercise... all so you can afford the "labor saving devices" in your life and the fossil fuels that will eventually kill you, your family, and everybody you know.

And this is what people want? What they are asking their political leaders for?

The economy Tee'ed it up for our political leaders, Intellectuals, educators, philosophers, ethicists, parents,  etc... to change the narrative. To end the enslavement to "labor saving devices" - and the debt incurred to buy them - that by all scientific accounts are destroying the life giving properties of our planet. Seems like a win-win, no? Yet all I see on the web for political debate are references to Women's Reproductive Rights (abortions) and Gay marriage (yawn). John Lennon famously quiped "If everybody demanded peace instead of another Television set, then there would be peace". Old John must be spinning around in his grave. We have too many T.V.'s, so now it is cell phones and note pads - yet another monthly bill that must be serviced in an environment of declining incomes. 

This is the non sequitur presidential election. NOTHING follows. Not a flippin' thing. They both want to expand drilling, coal production, the economy, employment, government spending... all of which requires forcing the population into debt (to increase money supply and demand) as well to increase the Federal Government's debt problem. This is exactly what we have been doing for 40 years or so since the end of the "gold standard". How's it working out for the "middle class" so far? (That was a rhetorical question. The middle class does not exist and never existed. They are merely members of the hand to mouth working poor.)

Sometimes I think I am the only normal person left.

In the final analysis, this is probably all just too complicated and entrenched politically and systemically to "solve" on a macro level. Ergo, it is all about you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Power Interruption Preparedness

I received a number of phone calls from friends up in New York about generators - how to use them, which was best - likely because they probably thought that I was some kind of nut living with guns and generators out in the wilds of Tennessee.

Yes, I have a generator. I use it for field welding, remote power tool use, and for when I have too many cows to milk by hand (though I solved that by selling a couple cows). I do not have a generator for backup electrical power to the house (although I am sure I could use it to keep the freezer cold, I probably won't because I have other plans... but you never know). Because we have young children and live in an area prone to wind/ice storms (not snow, this is the south) and have lost power often enough we have some experience in the matter of backup plans that have been "field tested" if you will.

Rather than spend $1000 on a generator that may or may not work after sitting in your garage or basement for 5 years and for which you may or may not be able to fuel consider this instead:

1 Kerosene heater - $109
2 Kerosene Hurricane Lamps - $50 (I like the "Jupiter" model. Once fueled it will go for a week) and a box of candles.
25 gallons of Kerosene (which will last forever in storage and unlike gasoline does not explode) $100
1 Browning propane camp cookstove (not needed if you have a gas range at home) $100
2 bottles of standard BBQ propane from Home Depot - $50
3 LED 200 lumens or better flashlights and batteries $20 at Costco. (I tell you to get this just for fun. The kids will have misplaced the flashlights and the batteries you bought will be dead and there will be no batteries in the stores. So curse loudly and stumble down to where you stored the kerosene lamps you previously fueled, hit them with a match that you bought along with the flashlights you can't find... and Viola! You have turned back the darkness.)
2 LARGE coolers. (If you have a big freezer put a block of ice in there now. If not, do your best to get ice in an emergency... but its not that easy, as any Floridian will tell you.) You don't have as much food in the fridge as you think. After 3,6, or 9 meals, it will all be gone.
Get some storable food or put some up yourself by learning how to can foods at home.
1 All American 21.5 Qt. Pressure Canner - $250 with shipping. (You can get the cheap ones at Walmart, but they have a rubber gasket. Guess when the gasket fails? Right when you are in the middle of a big canning job. The metal on metal with the screw tighteners are worth the extra money. We absolutely LOVE our canner. With reasonable care it should last for generations.) If you have a freezer full of food and you have a canner and jars with a little effort you can have a pantry full of canned food instead of very expensive and smelly garbage.

Hot showers can be had with one of these... but you will need a propane tank AND a 12 volt battery which may or may not work when you need it. A large pot of hot water warmed on your Browning stove and taken to the tub will get you clean enough.

Some good books (hardcopy) a chess board and some fine wine and you are good to go.