Saturday, February 08, 2014

Idiots Are In Control

I’m amazed when grown men sit down trying to end the civil war in Syria and expect Bashard al-Assad to clear out and turn the country over to someone else with a gun. The US had a civil war and there were about a 750,000 deaths. Civil wars end sooner or later, they run out of grave diggers.

We have a President that thinks a minimum wage of 10 dollars per hour will solve the problems food stamps and unemployment insurance couldn’t cure. The people in China building our cell phones get 60 dollars a week. It kind of makes you wonder, if we are paying too much for flipping hamburgers. We certainly have no way to off-shore the restaurant business.

If you’re in Mexico assembling wide screen TV’s at 60 cents an hour, any job in California is a step up. No wonder we have an immigration problem, Mexico has a wage problem. 10 dollars an hour is heaven, Obama has become the patron saint for illegal aliens.

Obama’ wife thinks that modifying the school lunch program to make it healthy will keep kids mean and lean. The only problem, if it doesn’t taste good, you’re not going to sell many school lunches. Net result; satisfy your customer or go out of business. It is irritating to see trash cans filled with perfectly good food in the name of bureaucracy. The kid doesn’t have to eat the apple; it just has to be on his tray for the school to be up to government standards. The supermarket down the street sells lots of greasy chicken. If you do the math, a trash can full of chicken bones weighs a lot less that a trash can full of uneaten fruit.

Obama just praised CVS pharmacy for discontinuing the sale of cigarettes. The government can screw up my animal fat fried French fries (because they are unhealthy) and at the same time tax me to death if I want to smoke cigarettes. If the government was to ban cigarettes, people would be healthier and live longer, which is ultimately bad for the Social Security fund and bad for government programs that depend on the cigarette taxes. My guess is that CVS figured out that at $6 dollars a pack, the kids would rather smoke dope, and the only other people with money were the elderly buying prescription drugs.

"Obamacare" is turning into one of those nightmares with subtitles like, “What voter did you piss off today.” It’s nice to know that the government needs a lot of young people signing up to pay for all of the old farts already sucking money out of the plan. One is buying “insurance,” and the other is receiving “benefits.” My doctor really likes me, I’m 67 and have private health insurance; he mentioned that he doesn't take Medicare patients anymore (and didn’t elaborate why), but he was firm and meant it.

Ben Bernanke’s last week in office, brought up the image in my mind of a teacher passing out stick matches in a day care center, one to each kid. Everyone was happy they got one and that he was leaving.

Janet Yellen and Jack Lew are Obama’s picks for the Fed and Treasury, the new Laurel and Hardy of Wall Street. Why do I get the feeling that neither one has a restroom key?

The national debt is up for a vote in Congress soon. It kind of reminds me of a turkey farm I use to fly over years ago in Greeley Colorado. There were about 6,000 baby turkeys in a huge greenhouse like enclosure about 600 feet in length. It was heated by two gas heaters, one at each end. I had just taken off the runway when one of the greenhouses caught on fire. The wind had extinguished the lit flame on the one burner and over a long length of time,the unlit gas reached the other burner, all hell broke loose. The smell of burnt hair was overwhelming as I flew through it. What it demonstrates, is that under the right conditions the unexpected can be quite disastrous.

There is a fine line between unintended and unexpected consequences. Congress is full of unintended events. Unexpected events are a surprise to everyone. Fortify your nest egg with a little physical Platinum, Gold and Silver.


Sackerson said...

Nice to see you laying about you with a will, Jim!

dearieme said...

"Fortify your nest egg with a little physical Platinum, Gold and Silver": unfortunately the banks near us have all shut their safety deposits, and burglars nowadays come equipped with metal detectors.

Unless, of course, the latter statement is a false rumour put about by a remarkably long-sighted government.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

Not sure how to advise you, my wife and I each get a free of charge safety deposit box at our banks. I find it rather surprising that your banks have shut down their safety deposit boxes.

Silver coins are rather bulky and a pain to steal. 1,000 ounces of silver weights 63 pounds, you certainly won't carry it out in a plastic trash bag or pillow case.

If your burglars are showing up with metal detectors, I'd suggest parking the Rolls and the Lamborghini in the garage.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

I'm still kicking, had a little bout of writers block.

Nice to know that I still have a few readers left.

Take care.

dearieme said...

To be fair, my bank offered me the use of a safety deposit service in Scotland, but a four hundred mile journey isn't quite what I had in mind.

It's very inconvenient: in the past we've put our paperwork in the safety deposit when we've had spells working abroad. So one of the few advantages of branch banking over internet banking has been tossed carelessly away. As a rule of thumb, people who run large corporations are lousy businessmen, and banks are no different.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious, if the dow ends up going to 20,000 or plus, and then a ression happens and it backs down to 15,000, will you define that as the "depression" you have been predicting?

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what you call an impending "depression". I and many others are certain that "busts" are part of "booms", but we would like to know what the "doomers" think is the difference between a normal recessionary pullback and full blown armageddon depression. Can you please help to elaborate on the difference.
long time reader

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 5:11

Depressions are usually caused by a miss allocation of resources. They are not planned events, but they are cyclic. Lately you hear people reference the time from 2008 to 2011 as the “Great Recession.” No government has ever waved a flag and announced that they were in a great depression. The closest they came to it was “we are in hard times.” Historians usually are given the rights to label depressions.

The stock market is just a bunch of people buying and selling stock certificates to each other. RCA radio went from $1.50 a share to over $500 before the crash in 1929 and then back down to $2.00. 500 dollars was a year’s wages back then—in today’s world that would be about 30 thousand dollars. 1929 was the age of new inventions; the airplane, the automobile, the light bulb, electric refrigerators, phone, and indoor plumbing. These are just the things you would expect that would stop a depression from taking place, technology and innovation.

A depression is a non-event. Nothing is blown up or destroyed. You either have a job and money to spend or you don’t. I would tend to argue that we are in a depression right now. It is not as obvious as it could be with all of the government spending.

You have to look back on history to realize that the Great Depression didn’t start in 1929, it started back in 1926 with the hurricane that devastated Florida. The stock market crash, was just a marker that pointed out, that even the rich had lost large sums of money.

I’ll try to answer your question more fully in my next missive.

Take care and thank you for you patronage.

Joseph Oppenheim said...

In 1931, Hoover, while president, called it a depression...In The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972, author and historian William Manchester argued that Herbert Hoover deliberately chose to use the word “depression” -