Sunday, January 09, 2011

We Can't Get There From Here.

Blue Cross just raised some eyebrows in California with its new proposed rate increases of up to 59%. The newly elected Insurance commissioner called for a delay in the rate hikes saying recent increases by the industry were alarming. Not everyone needs health insurance, but if you are old, you are being singled out. All of that spare retirement money, just laying there. It’s a side effect of “quantitative easing” AKA inflation.

I just switched my company health insurance from Health Net to Anthem Blue Cross. My Anthem rates are about $15 a month higher. Just before the conversion I got a letter from Health Net stating that my present doctor, dentist and pediatrician would no longer honor the plan. By switching, I was able to keep all three of our doctors. It kind of makes you wonder what Health Net did that my doctors, as a whole didn’t like. Notice with the proposed Obamacare, who cares how much the premiums are?

Then we have our new Governor “MoonBeam” Jerry Brown and his new budget proposals set for release tomorrow. Let’s just call it Christmas in reverse. The press prints phrases like “Painful budgetary truth,” “Chronic budget shortfalls.” The new governor wants a pay check, he won’t work for free. The truth is, no one valued Arnold’s free advice, it was deemed "Worth less." Make Californians pay for the "Bad news" advice.

A cure-all statement that is constantly repeated by politicians with little effect is: “We need to create more jobs to stimulate the economy.” If no one is buying, what are you going to produce and hire people to make? Better yet, what products can we make here cheaper than out sourcing to China?

So what is the bottom line? --no new money for government, no new jobs, high health care costs, no money for education, fire or police. If you are on welfare, they are going to pull the rug out from underneath you.

There is a comfort level we all enjoy, and it is starting to look as if, --We can't get there from here.

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved


Realist said...

I have been saying for years that Americans have been living "too high on the hog". Now we are seeing the effects.
Eventually, if we are to have a strong growing economy, Americans will be forced to stop buying cheap foreign products. We will have to buy smaller homes. Drive tiny cars and motorized trikes like in Europe and Asia. And having to "save up" just to buy a new pair of shoes will become commonplace.

AIM said...

We've hardly ever had, throughout the history of this nation, leaders that fully understand economics and human behaviour and have a vision for the future... intelligent people truly dedicated to America's future, dedicated to humanity's future. Plus, corruption and immorality have been on the rise. And now we have America in its current state. It's been a long time in the making.

We don't have leaders. Just imposters.

rob in ns said...

Both of my parents are retired living having paid off house and cottage. They have pension and GIC's as their income and are doing well. The longer this goes on the more I realize that they and the people like them who have no debt are the real targets of all the policies in place. I'm guessing that there is alot of money that will be changing hands via inheritance in next 20 or so years. They, the banks and government, want their piece of the action. Sad thing is we vote for this happen. My unborn grand-children will probably disown me when they finally get wind of this.

Tyrone said...

I like to say, Americans have been Living High on the HELOC


Anonymous said...

Perhaps a temporary ban on legal immigaration might be in order.
We allow around 1,200,000. legal immigrants into the U.S. every year.
How about a 3 year freeze on immigration, until the economy inproves?

Anonymous said...

anon 9 am,

problem is that we need some of those immigrants for certain jobs, like high tech and really low tech.

the current population is not having enough kids bc it is expensive and not enough studetns are going into the hard sciences and engineering, the backbone of our economy, technological innovation.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Realist

For a strong economy, we will have to be the cheap labor source for the rest of the world. Inflation will get us there eventually unless the rest of the world prints money at the same rate we do.

And you're right, we will have to downsize if the purchasing power of our dollar drops to zilch.

Jim in San Marcos said...


I look at it a bit different. The country as a whole should have saved for that "rainy day" and we never did.

You get laid off from your job, with no money in the bank and a car payment due,--you can't say we didn't ask for this to happen.

We can't really fault our leaders, the only qualifications for their jobs relate to age rather than experience.

As you suggest, we've made our bed and now we have to sleep in it. Our future is full of uncertainty.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Rob

You might want to take your parents down to an estate lawyer and have them plan things out. They could find a very constructive way to pass their estate onto their kids without the government and the banks taking a big share. Probate in this country can absorb 40% of an estate. Just appointing a relative as a conservator to the estate could save you 35K

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 9:00

Immigration isn't something you can stop with a law. If you have a dream to come here, it can happen. The rest is reality. Jobs for immigrants are few and far between now.

I look at immigrants as consumers and taxpayers with the expectations of very limited benefits.

Your suggestion of a three year freeze until the economy gets better sounds very optimistic. 10 years of doom and gloom could be more realistic.--I've been wrong before, so who knows!

Anonymous said...


From what I have read, in the last Depression people became thrifty, saving everything from buttons to used yarn.

Do you think we will need to reach that point again, before things start to turn around? If so, we still have a long way to fall. The thrift mentality is no longer in our collective consciousness. It may indeed take 10 years, as you say.

AIM said...

I disagree. We haven't had leaders, real leaders... real intelligent, responsible people with a vision of the future. A true leader would ensure the populace received the education that would make them self-sufficient and able to take care of themselves (save for a rainy day, etc.). Politicians operate off of plans to be re-elected and accomplish their personal agendas. You'll never get anywhere having a new plan every 4 or 8 years as each administration comes through. Our country should have a main goal and mission for itself for growth and prosperity on all levels of activity. A real leader would be aware of that and would be following a long term plan fo all to agree upon and follow. A benevolent dictator would be far better than our congress and administration. Things would go in one direction long enough for there to be some results and improvements, instead of zig zagging and switching plans every 4 or 8 years. Just as an individual needs a goal and a detailed action plan and the time to execute it in order to be successful and evolve... so does our country. This system doesn't work.

Jim in San Marcos said...


In my reply, I was just pointing out that without any real qualifications for political office, you really can't expect much.

14 trillion dollars of debt has been swept under the rug and it isn't going away. This has accumulated over the last 35 years.

The present governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie might be the sort of leader you had in mind. The trouble is, the voters don't like bad news or "tough love." They will shoot the messenger every time.

Alex Tocquerville 150 years ago said "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

We could be fast approaching our final destination.

AIM said...

Then we agree Jim. The system doesn't work. Anyone can become a politician and "leader" and therein lies most of our problem.

We should be in a deflationary depression now based on all of our economic fundamentals: the excess, corruption, credit, debt, borrowing, deregulation, cronyism, fraud, derivatives, collapsed housing, subprime loans, commercial real estate collapse, bank and big business collapse, leverage, etc. etc.

But the government and the Fed have intervened by changing all of the rules and printing printing printing. They will continue to bend rules and make new rules... and be unfair and unjust... and experiment... in order to keep the system afloat.

As a result, we don't have any prediction on what is coming economically or fiscally, and thus we're unable to truly prepare for the future or protect ourselves. Intervention prevents natural phenomena from going through its natural cycle.

One thing you can probably be certain of happening, although because of the intervention and the non-velocity of money... there is no way to tell when it will really start up, is that the cost of living will start going up in large degrees annually and then monthly. If one isn't able to figure out how to continue to increase his income and how to make his assets increase in value he will be in big trouble and unable to maintain a decent standard of living. That is what is coming. Agree?

Anonymous said...

" AIM said...
Then we agree Jim. The system doesn't work. Anyone can become a politician and "leader" and therein lies most of our problem."

I agree also that the system does not work, but I think it is misleading to say that anyone can become a politician and "leader" ... because most cannot.

Only people with certain pre-sanctioned viewpoints and pre-sworn loyalties can get the money to run a campaign these days, haven't you noticed? :)

Jim in San Marcos said...


We are in complete agreement. The cost of living is rocketing upward, I paid $50 for a tank of gas today, that includes the two gallons I got for my lawn mower. I can't retire and pay all of my bills---so I guess I'll keep hitched up to the plow.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 5:19

Ask yourself one question, did we elect Ronald Reagan or John Wayne President?

Meg Whitman former CEO of Ebay tried to become governor of California and didn't make it.

What real qualifications does Obama have to be president? Being 35 years old or older doesn't cut it for me.

Politics is a very dirty game where everyone in your family can be picked on. A lot of people that could run, never will because of that.

IMHO most politicians are bottom feeders (fishing term). Arguing over the qualities that make them electable is kind of a lost cause.

Anonymous said...

In a democracy the politician has to appeal to least common denominator for votes. Telling the truth doesn't get you elected except in rare circumstances. The public only wants someone either look good in front of camera or alternately someone to laugh at. Pretty sad. It reminds me of a quote by Winston Churchill which escapes me at present time about the perils of democracy.

rob in ns

Anonymous said...

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

AIM said...

Thanks to FDR in the 30's and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society the momentum has been in the direction of the government and your employer will take care of you. This has eroded character and diminished the individual's levels of causation, responsibility, self-sufficiency, industriousness, creativity, innovation and so on. Americans have been trained into dependency.

Government has succeeded in increasing its reach since the 30's. Our current Congress and Obama administration are continuing it.

A party or politican who stands for small government and freedom and liberty for the people (which has the prerequisite of individual character and responsibility) doesn't have a chance against a liberal, victim oriented, benefit oriented, entitlement oriented, "the government will protect and take care of you" oriented party or politician.

Our politicians are a reflection of the majority of the population. A reflection of the average American's character, responsibility level and knowledge base. Sad.

This is most likely a key reason why most empires expire.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 12:37

I enjoyed your quote. It is loaded with truth.

It is very irritating to realize that the person in question could cancel out my vote on a whim.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually post links but this I think is appropo. The voters in my hometown want the schools to maintain current funding and if they don't get their way they are threatening to move somewhere else. I have to laugh because many of these same people complain that their taxes are too high. Trying to point this contradiction out to these people is pointless and this is the electorate the politicians have to pander too!
Kind of reminds me of the movie "This is Spinal Tap" where the lead guitarist is bragging about his amp that has volume that goes to 11 instead of 10. When the interviewer asked him why he didn't make ten louder the guitarist got that blank thousand yard stare.

frakrak said...

Recently read that your big four banks "owned" 17% of your GDP in 1995, by 2008 it was 55%, currently it is 64% of your GDP. I wouldn't be too concerned about the quality of your politicians, but the quality of your silent Feudal overlords. And if you will be able to "own" private property in the future?? Not looking all that promising with recent developments about the questionable ownership of millions of American homes at the moment....

AIM said...

Major multi-national corps and banks rule. This won't change until the system collapses... due to their actions. Sit back and enjoy the movie.
And... figure out how you are going to maintain your standard of living.