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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Obamacare Reality is Here

Yesterday, while delivering some heavy duty medical equipment to one of our business accounts, I chatted with a young employee of theirs. He was about 30 years old and I could tell he was fairly intelligent.

Here in Boise, we have a huge supply of medical equipment refurbishers. The margins are enormous. It is nothing for these refurbishers to buy a piece of medical equipment for five thousand bucks, put a little work into it, and re-sell it for eighty thousand dollars to some second tier medical provider who cannot afford to pay half a million for the newest device.

I have another friend who works for a company that quite literally drives a U-Haul truck around a population center in surrounding states- asking dentists if they have old equipment for sale. Old fashioned cold calling. They buy just about everything. Once the truck is full- they drive it back to Boise. They have been doing this for years. That little company employs 25 people all making 10-15 bucks an hr. No benefits of course.

In Boise, that's the standard wage everywhere. The owner gets rich while everyone else scrapes by. This is the new American business model. We call it, "Living someone else's dream."

So that is who I was talking to. A 30 year old man living someone else's dream. He had a wife and two kids. He told me he had just finished his taxes and he was screwed. I asked him why.

He said that he and his two children had no insurance. Obamacare costs are currently 700 a month or 8400 a year. He simply couldn't afford it. So he said, he was trying to come up with the penalty payment of 700. I had the impression the kids were not his deduction. He added, "it makes me sick to know that we pay pennies for this medical equipment and re-sell it for enormous amounts." He said that's how you know that the medical community has so much fucking money- that they think nothing of paying small fortunes for 15 year old pieces of equipment. Just the shipping costs alone usually amount to 2-3 thousand dollars.

On a personal level, one of the things that pisses me off the most about Obamacare is that the original bill writers arbitrarily assigned 11 thousand bucks as the "poverty level." Eleven thousand bucks is not even minimum wage. Nobody can live on 11,000 dollars. Period. If you are making 900 a month- you are in deep shit. However, the bill writers chose this level as the starting point for those who qualify for subsidies. That way- anyone making 44k or 400% of the "poverty level" a year- pays full price for Obamacare. Anyone making less than that gets some sort of subsidy.

Had they used 15k as the poverty level, most Americans would have been subsidized. They did not do that because it didn't pencil out- they needed every penny they could get. All Obamacare was ever meant to do- was to steal money from all of the healthy and productive citizens that lost jobs and benefits in 2008- and force them by law- back into the healthcare insurance system which was bleeding losses. That's it.

This is social engineering. Discrimination based on wages. The lowest earners, or the people least capable of having children and supporting them- get free health care and thus they have children. Higher wage earners, the people more likely to support their children- cannot afford to have children. It's a sort of cultural de-evolution where the least intelligent and least productive are encouraged to reproduce. The intelligent and productive people realize they cannot afford to have kids.

That is the Obamacare reality. It doesn't exactly bode well for the future.

That 30 year old kid is saving 8400 bucks a year in premiums along with a 2000 dollar deductible. That's net money after taxes. It's like a second mortgage except you have nothing to show for it. Strangely, millions of people aren't buying in. I do not care what type of bullshit our government is spewing about sign ups- people aren't going to buy this.

In the meantime, the rest of us are forced to try and find healthcare and pay cash for it. I cannot tell you how poor the level of service has been for me. Doctors and clinics simply don't want you. They don't need the business when they can gouge ridiculous prices that they know third party providers will pay.

In the mean time- anyone owing a penalty better pay it. Because if you don't pay the penalty you can damn sure bet that a few years from now you'll be receiving correspondence from the IRS. They'll be asking for a lot more than the original penalty and they'll get it.

And to think we fought a revolutionary war over 3% in taxes. I'll take King George III any day- over this clown.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Being Realistic When It Comes to Gold Ownership

At this point in the 2nd greatest bull market in the history of the United States, if you had no information other than the US stock market and it's ridiculous valuations, you'd think we were embarking on the greatest century of industrialization that the world has ever seen.

Of course this is not true. The devil they say, is always in the details.

If you are going to manipulate markets, then you are going to have to acquire the means to manipulate any or all markets when you need to. You can only do that when you own everything on the monopoly board including the money supply. The world's central banks, and their elite owners, currently own everything on your monopoly board. You are some game token, rolling dice, hoping to avoid these predators- but sooner or later they will get you. That's how the game of monopoly always ends. The people with all of the money figure out a way to take all of yours. It's the greatest poker game of all time.

The price of gold has tumbled from the 1900 dollar per ounce price level in 2011 all the way down to the current price of 1190.

You'd think in that type of environment- that demand for gold had dropped sharply or that there is an over supply of gold. Or both. Or maybe that the world's banks had quit counterfeiting their fiat currencies and were actually paying down the principal on all of the debt they had acquired. Well not only is all of that untrue, the reverse is true. Gold demand has never been greater, the supply of gold (a finite resource) is dwindling and industrialized countries are not paying down the principal on their debt burdens- they are actually adding more debt. For anyone with even a rudimentary idea of the economic laws of supply and demand- this is simply not possible. Yet, here we are.

There is no doubt that most- if not all- markets are under the direct ownership of the mega banks and the central banks.They don't even want depositors money. They don't need it- they have a rich supply of their own zero interest rate supplied money.

So I got tired of reading all of those gold blogs about a year ago. They regurgitate the same information over and over again. Every once in awhile some "expert" will call for 2100 dollar gold like Eric Sprott's Dec 2014 call. He's just selling you his book. So I scan headlines, look for some new angle, and I make my own "what is gold currently worth?" line.

What is gold currently worth absent all of the market manipulations and disguised data? My line is about 2300 bucks. If things continue in a status quo sort of way through the end of this year, then gold should be worth about 2500 bucks. Would I sell gold at that price?

Probably not. I didn't sell at 1900. That was the last time I think it may have been fairly priced- that was 2011. How will you know when it is fairly priced again?

Gold will become fairly priced at that precise moment when the buyers of gold wished they had bought more of it. Gold will be fairly priced when people who have none can't get their hands on any. Gold will be fairly priced when the suppliers quit selling.

When will that happen? Honestly, I hope it never happens. Because if gold ever gets fairly priced in a world awash in a sea of debt and worthless currency- a lot of things will have to change- and that won't mean things have gotten better.

I view gold as the ultimate insurance policy. I am not holding gold hoping to trade it for twice as much fiat ass wipe this year- double what banks were offering for it last year. I am holding it as protection against currency collapse. I am holding it because when they issue the next latest and greatest currency, I will have something to barter with. That's how you preserve wealth. You can't preserve wealth in any game that is created and run by bankers. They're going to find a way to beat you every time and we know one other thing. Bankers have destroyed every fiat currency ever created. The destruction of worldwide currencies is occurring right in front of your eyes. I don't need a navigation device to show me where this is headed.

Can government confiscate our gold? Well they can try. They can try to tax it out of existence. But I doubt they will get a lot of support from the people who own it. They'll be getting their support from the people trying to steal it from us.

You ever wonder why there is no "gold mine" on a monopoly board?

Gresham's law is accepted because people with two types of currency will always trade the weaker currency away- holding the more valued currency for themselves.

Gold is real money. It is wealth preservation. You know gold has great value when every banker in the world is trying to get their hands on it while telling everyone else it is worthless. Gawd what I wouldn't give to know how much gold Ben Bernanke owns.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down

A couple of years ago, while attending my best friend's funeral, the local mortician stopped me as I entered the gym where the service would be held. Of all the things he might have said to me- he chose to ask, "are you still pontificating your opinions on those blogs you write?"

I can't really describe how inappropriate that remark was. Not only did it come from the funeral director of our local mortuary during a funeral service, but it was decidedly malicious. Who says things like that to people attending a funeral? 

A person who desperately wants to say something malicious and who is only going to get one opportunity to say it- that's who. It was never really meant as a question.

An online definition of pontificate says:  to speak or express your opinion about something in a way that shows that you think you are always right.

In America, we have a cultural illness wherein the vast majority of people practice contempt prior to investigation. They pretend to genuinely mull something over when in fact- they have immediately rejected the premise you or someone else offered almost immediately. 

That's ok. These are the kinds of people who still own Enron stock and 8 track tapes. They might actually think the Democratic Party still represents the working class. These are the people who never let the facts get in the way of their opinions no matter how much the supporting facts have changed. Nobody gets through to them and in the end I think they just lead quiet lives of desperation.

Malicious people tend to take everything personally. They are already pre-disposed to anger because they have an ego that decided an issue long ago. Often they practice cognitive dissonance. In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

So I think that's what happens. People get pissed off when you have the audacity to offer your opinions particularly on some matter that they vehemently (insert ego here) disagree on.  

I've started my share of shit storms. In fact, I was the first person that I knew of who publicly started to question President Obama's credentials, his citizenship, and where he got his money to attend Columbia and Harvard. I did that back in 2007 when I was still the Police Chief. The backlash was so intense that I had to stop. The problem with shit storms is that there are no discernable facts which you can cull or extract and then proceed to stick up your opponent's ass. Obama to this day has not disclosed his school transcripts, his Indonesian passport, or his foreign aid scholarships. You cannot possibly win an argument where one side has the means to completely erase the facts. One day, when nobody cares any longer, we will know the truth. Until then, I simply sidestep the issue. 

This is what I have learned about public writing.

Check your facts. Write as authentically as you can. There are a lot of angry people out here. They take everything personally and they launch personal (and almost always anonymous) attacks.    

Write anyway. 

People have value. They have insight, information, and experience which is useful. I love authentic writing. I love it when somebody says something I had been thinking but could not find a way to verbalize. It happened last week in this paragraph:

The answer is rooted in what Megan McArdle calls the "Mandarinization of America." It's an elite cultural attitude implying that those who go to the best schools and know the right people deserve to be the rulers of the nation. Those who go to Harvard and Yale have the best credentials and deserve the best jobs. Such an attitude infects America's Political Class. It's reflected in the fact that all nine Supreme Court Justices attended Harvard or Yale. So did our last four presidents. Here's the source article:

Whatever you do, please remember it's not the critic who counts. They don't learn, they don't ever offer anything useful. They are cowardly and timid souls who every once in awhile, muster up just enough courage to say something malicious and anonymous. Don't give them any space in your head- I made that mistake at a funeral a few years back.

Nobody remembers who they were anyway.