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It used to be that vaccines prevented infection.

Coronavirus has changed all that. The double-vaxxed are ending up infected:

Andrew Doyle, who hosts Free Speech Nation for GB News, has it, and he’s taken his shots.

ITV’s Robert Peston, also double-vaxxed, has it, too:

Peston was supposed to be in Aberdeenshire in Scotland but had to cancel:

I hope he recovers soon.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the debate rages on as to whether children over the age of 12 should receive the vaccine and whether older adults should have a booster shot this autumn.

British supporters of vaccines for children say that such programmes in the United States and France have been highly successful. Hmm.

Dr Robert W Malone is an American physician as well as an inventor of mRNA vaccines and RNA as a drug. He directs his readers to an article in LifeSiteNews about possible coercion being used in high schools:

Meanwhile, the WHO is urging countries wishing to vaccinate their children to donate those doses to Covax instead for wider use around the world. The reply to this tweet includes a statement from Britain’s JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation) which recommended against children’s vaccinations on Friday, September 3:

The WHO also disagrees with booster shots in Western countries, again recommending donating those doses to poorer countries:

The UK also wants to roll out vaccine passports by the end of the month. If we can catch the virus despite two jabs, what is the point? It seems as if we are all back at Square One, only that we are susceptible to milder cases rather than death.

Speaking of deaths, the UK figures for 2021 are on a par with other years since the vaccine rollout began. I saw this graphic on another site with no attribution. Note the bright green line up to Week 33:

https://image.vuukle.com/ed685e8a-908f-4503-badc-e6b31ad2d2c9-ce96d61c-073c-4c3f-bbe6-76ad654e3b52

Moving to poorer countries now, not every nation has shown signs of infection or deaths:

Dr Malone says that Peru had a preventive programme of giving its citizens doses of ivermectin until a new president scrapped it. At that point, fatal infections began rising dramatically:

Since the pandemic began, ivermectin for humans has been taken off the market in several Western countries or is restricted on a prescription-only basis for certain conditions, excluding the virus. In many first-world countries, ivermectin is now used solely on animals for various diseases. The current formulation is made for their consumption.

Yet, in Peru and Africa, the formulation for humans is still available. It is inexpensive and is used to cure a variety of diseases as the following Twitter thread about Africa tells us.

The countries in blue are where ivermectin is used on humans. Note the differences in coronavirus cases and deaths:

Ivermectin, sold under the trade name Mectizan, is used to treat river blindness, a common and highly painful disease. It is not unusual to see people with a pair of eyebrow tweezers on a chain around their necks. Among other things, river blindness inflames the eyelash follicles. The only way to relieve the intense pain is to carefully pluck the offending eyelash. It is an ongoing pain until the disease is cured:

The Japanese have looked at sub-Saharan data and have recommended ivermectin to the government as a treatment for coronavirus:

It seems that the Japanese government rejected the use of ivermectin in combatting coronavirus. The updated statistics for Africa are in the second tweet:

Another big supporter of ivermectin is Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker.

On December 18, 2020, he wrote that by giving Americans two tablets of ivermectin, coronavirus could be stopped in one week in the United States. Two tablets in total is all it would take (emphases in the original):

… Why the hell are you not only letting them get away with it but willing to stand in line and take a not-fully-tested shot when a $2 alternative that does the same thing and has been proved safe over more than 30 years of time is available, and it also has a remarkable record of preventing serious disease and death.   This has been known for months.

We can stop Covid-19 in ONE WEEK.

One.  Not five, six, eight or ten as promised by Dr. Redfield with his “masks” who, I remind you, lied.  Covid-19 did not stop even though he got what he wanted.

The science and the CDC’s own data says this will work in ONE WEEK.

And the risk if it doesn’t work as the science and math says it will?

STATISTICALLY NONE; the drug in question has had over 3.5 billion doses dispensed worldwide and, on the data, is safer than Tylenol and the number of pills you must take is two.

Not two per day.

Two.

Ivermectin will receive broad media coverage only when it’s too late. What a pity.

Before I get to coronavirus and the economy, here’s a clip from Season 22 of The Simpsons. I read elsewhere that this was about the zika virus outbreak, but it hasn’t aged a day. This is worth a watch for a laugh and for its uncanny accuracy:

Interesting, because:

It seems that humans can pass coronavirus to cats, but not vice versa.

I found that Simpsons clip in the replies to Newsmax’s John Cardillo’s tweet, which is bang on the button:

The same goes for every other nation doing a shutdown.

Coronavirus strategies adopted in most other countries — those with lockdowns — will prove fatal:

Everyone talking about ‘wartime’ and ‘we must do our part’ really needs to have the following graphic put in front of them for eight hours a day. Those idiots, especially among our notional betters, should be forced to memorise it:

Please pay special attention to the abortion number.

Then revisit the COVID-19 figure.

Even a healthcare worker agrees the shutdowns are harmful:

So does someone at ‘high risk’:

More here:

It’s no wonder that people with two synapses rubbing together suspect that a) something is amiss or b) underfoot:

I’m disappointed in Donald Trump. I’m disappointed in Boris Johnson. As for other world leaders, I’m not surprised they plumped for a shutdown.

I don’t often agree with Lord Sumption, but he nails it here:

This is what we’re looking at with regard to shutdown length:

This is what Market-Ticker‘s Karl Denninger has to say on the matter:

He’s got a set of coronavirus figures that he explains. I won’t go into them here, but I do highly recommend you read them.

He concludes (all emphases in the original):

That’s 50 days, approximately, or roughly two months.  In other words, roughly what they’re talking about doing, right?

(For the pedantic folks that’s not exact because there is some repression from already-infected in both of those sequences — but not a statistically significant amount, and it’s a lot easier to follow without it.)

What did we get?  15 days (three viral infection cycles) worth of not doing it.

What do you think happens when you relax the lockdowns? R0 goes back to what it was because there’s still no herd immunity.

The shutdowns will have been useless in eradicating coronavirus:

You have to get the last case in the entire country and isolate it.  You also have to prevent anyone from anywhere in the world from coming back in and re-infecting your population.  Which you can’t and won’t.  Only twice in the history of mankind has actual eradication been accomplished — one of which was smallpox, and that one came about by forced vaccination.  Smallpox was fatal about 30% of the time, there were many outbreaks before the vaccine was developed and while there were quarantines and forced isolation events actually preventing more outbreaks repeatedly failed until that vaccine became available and herd immunity was achieved.

Oh, and for comparison, smallpox had an R0 not too far removed from this virus — best estimates are that it was around 3.5 …

The premise that somehow “flattening the curve” means the total number of people will get this virus will be smaller is a lie.

There are exactly three ways that happens: 1) The virus is hard enough to get and easy enough to identify before contagion, which is what happened with SARS and made it possible to contain it; 2) There is a vaccine and thus we can use that to obtain herd immunity to suppress the effective R0 below 1.0 or; 3) Enough people get the virus that R0 is suppressed via natural herd immunity.

That’s it.

If you suppress a virus with these measures you do not change this fact.  You only change timing, and in addition you take all the economic and social damage from those mitigation measures.  You do not change the total number of infections and, where medical interventions in the most-severe cases are ineffective 85-90% of the time, you also don’t change outcomes either.

On April 3, Denninger covered the economic outlook. Be afraid, be very afraid:

Folks, there’s now way to sugarcoat this: 30% of small businesses are gone.  They will never reopen.  We are not only destroying their cash flow the incessant prattle of fear has turned people against the premise of ever setting foot in a place where you may be within 6′ of another person — ever again.

If we do not stop that right now you could reopen every single bar and restaurant and they would have no customers.  It doesn’t matter whether the sign reads “open” or “closed” if nobody comes through the door to spend money.  Loans, forgiven or not, do exactly nothing if there are no customers.

This threatens to be a problem that will not go away for a generation.  When the Depression came through it altered behavior for nearly 50 years.  This isn’t that bad yet but it will end up that way if we don’t cut this crap out right now.

Not in a month, not in three weeks, not at some indeterminate point when some model says it’s ok, now.

Further, the collapse in health care I warned we were at risk of seeing is going to occur if we don’t cut this crap out.  There will be little or no warning when that comes; a demand spike into collapsing employment in the sector, and thus no people to take care of you means you will die if you have an ordinary heart attack.

The only recourse — even though we’re already in economic trouble — is to reopen for business:

Next month is going to print 10+ million jobs lost  The internals in this jobs report say it might print as high as 20 million.  It will break every record.  The only way to stop it is to reopen the economy right now and take whatever mitigating steps we can for those who are at high risk, which we know are identified — they are the deadly co-factors in the NY death data.  Specifically, those who have Diabetes, Lung Disease, Cancer, Immunodeficiency, Heart Disease, Hypertension, Asthma, Kidney Disease or Liver Disease, either singly or in combination, should self-isolate and not live with anyone who isn’t willing to do so with them.  That means your groceries and such are ordered for pickup, you drive to the WalMart or wherever and the bags get loaded in the trunk, then you go back home.

Those people may also choose to take their chances and use HCQ as a prophylaxis.  It may work and it may not.  Some people cannot do so because of other drugs that interact badly with it, but the dose required for prophylaxis is likely similar to that for malaria, which is a once-a-week pill.  Will that stop all high-risk people from getting it and potentially dying?  Nope.  In fact it might not help much at all.  Some people will be forced off it by side effects.  We don’t know.  But it’s the best we have and the best we’re going to have in the next few weeks, so you fight the war with the army you’ve got.  We cannot sit locked down for even another three to four weeks, and you know that claims is a lie; there’s no date being given, the Administration already lied once and tripled its original claimed time while some governors have even issued orders all the way out into June already.

We now have governors, mayors and others that are literally placing people under house arrest — more than 3/4 of the nation’s population is under such orders and some, including in Kentucky, are literally putting ankle bracelets on ordinary citizens to compel compliance.  Walton County in Florida just banned families from sitting in their yard on property they own.

This is not theoretical any more.  It is not a “inconvenience.”  It has destroyed consumer confidence and if we don’t cut it out now it will destroy a huge percentage of economic activity on a permanent basis.  You cannot fix this by handing people “money” that we do not have; more debt is the last thing this nation and its citizens need.

By June the economy will be a smoking hole in the ground from which we will not recover.  We will have so-ingrained people with fear that it will not matter what you do or when you do it.  That fear will last years, even decades and we absolutely must not have that happen.

Period.

We must keep people out of the hospitals that are high risk.  We cannot, as a society and economy, accept the path being put forward by people on the Gates’ Foundations board and their models.  Their models, which are the predicate for every single one of the shutdowns thus far have already proved wrong in the case of NY; they claimed the city would need far more hospital beds and ICU beds than on this day are actually required.  In fact they’re so far off they’re laughable yet all the so-called “experts” are still setting policy with those models.  Remember, NY is the worst thus far in the US and yet the models predicted that by now it would be three times worse than it actually is.  There has only been an 0.4-0.5 change in transmission rates (from ~2.7-2.2) and that is consistent, within a tenth, between NY and nationally as a whole.

I understand the fear — it’s palpable — this is a sniper attack; you can’t see him but he can kill you without warning.

I get it.  It’s why snipers scare the living hell out of people; a guy shooting at you who you can see is still scary, but much less-so than a gunshot that comes out of nowhere.

We must overcome the fear; we must stare it down and power through it.  We have no choice.

I fully agree. I always opposed the shutdowns, for economic and libertarian reasons in equal measure.

The statisticians advising our world leaders are dangerous characters. I’m rewording Mario Puzo’s quote about a lawyer with a briefcase to say (emphasis mine):

A statistician with a spreadsheet can steal more than a thousand men with guns.

Who will make the first move to save the global economy? Donald Trump? (I think Boris Johnson will wait and see what the United States does.)

Please, President Trump, reopen for business by the end of April.

I intend to return to my reviews of Cannes restaurants.

However, so many strange news stories have appeared that it is worth taking note of a few.

Apple bans LifeSite News

Today, I happened across this tweet:

On July 31, LifeSite News reported:

A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform.

Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all of our content from their platform.

Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel “didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines.” Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s “[c]hannel content shows intolerance towards a specific group.”

Planned Parenthood, perhaps?

Apple would not say:

“We don’t yet know the reason for Apple’s decision to delete our channel,” said LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief John-Henry Westen. “However, at a time when there is growing evidence that tech juggernauts are engaging in concerted censorship against even mainstream conservative viewpoints, Apple’s decision – made unilaterally, and without opportunity to appeal – is frightening.”

“It goes without saying that LifeSite would never promote intolerance or hatred against any group,” Westen continued. “However, in our current divisive political climate, even mild expressions of common conservative viewpoints are often written off as de facto hatred and intolerance. We certainly hope that this is not what Apple is doing. However, we urge our readers to contact Apple, and to respectfully demand that they reinstate LifeSite’s channel.”

Anyone who would like to support LifeSite in being reinstated can sign their petition.

LifeSite first applied to be listed on Apple News in November 2018. It took six months before they were accepted. Now they have been denied.

This is pure censorship.

Think of it this way:

El Paso shooting

Speaking of guns, Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger has an excellent essay on the El Paso shooting, which took place on Saturday, August 3, 2019.

‘On El Paso’ is worth reading in full. Denninger makes salient points about the American shootings that cause the most outrage — and which are most easily cleared up.

Inner-city shooting cases rarely get solved (emphases in the original):

The clearance rate (that is, the odds of getting arrested if you shoot someone) in Chicago is 9%.  In Atlanta, 12%.  In almost every other major city (Baltimore anyone?), it’s roughly the same.  Yeah, if you go insane and start shooting people in a WallyWorld en-masse you’re either going to jail and will get the needle or will just get shot where you stand.

But if you shoot people one at a time you have a ten percent chance of getting caught; 9 out of 10 times you get away with it.  I know people who were close with someone who got shot, the dead person was not a gang member or otherwise engaged in activity that typically gets you shot (he was an ordinary businessmanand the perpetrator has not been identified or arrested a full year later.

That is not uncommon.  In fact it’s not only common it’s a 90% probability if you get plugged in a major city right here, right now.

He says that is why law-abiding Americans need guns:

If that doesn’t force your pea-sized brain awake long enough to realize that the cops are worthless in solving crimes and their best, highest and only calling is to zip your ass into a black bag and haul it away after you get killed then you are too stupid to deserve to be able to reproduce.  There is only one way to stop that sort of crap and that is for you to stop it, personally, if someone intends to whack you or someone you love.  To do that, especially if you’re not a 20 year old body-builder male, you’re going to need the only equalizing force ever invented by mankind and you better know how to use it too.

It’s called a gun.

Yet, as he points out, the small town or suburban mass shootings generate all the leftist outrage.

Of course, their cry is always for gun control. However, Denninger explains why gun control will not work:

… cut the crap on the “gun control” nonsense.  Just over the border, a few miles away, there are more guns than you can shake a stick at — everyone of them unregistered in America because they’re in Mexico.  Juarez is an insanely violent area, and it’s right there.  You want a gun and can’t pass a background check here, get it there.  93% of crimes go unreported in Juarez.  Without a real wall and enforceable border, what’s to stop you from bringing that gun here?  Hell, the Mexican you buy it from might have gotten it courtesy of Eric Holder, our former AG, who has never been held to account for running many guns into Mexico!

Every Demonscat on the planet has jumped on this demanding “more gun control” without even waiting for the bodies to reach room temperature.  Yeah, right.  You can blow me, lefties.  Your fantasy-land nonsense would prevent nothing.  Go look in Mexico; there is exactly one legal gun store in the entire country and it takes months to get paperwork processed to buy one.  Possession of even one firearm or one round of ammunition is good for a five year prison sentence there.

That does exactly zippo to prevent all those who want to murder from acquiring and using them in Juarez.

Since it is proved that just a few miles south the most-restrictive gun laws imaginable do exactly nothing to prevent hundreds of murders every year in that city alone no, I will not consent to any further infringement of the 2nd Amendment. 

Ben Carson’s visit to Baltimore

Dr Ben Carson, who heads HUD, visited Baltimore last week.

Karl Denninger wrote another great piece, ‘How Come Nobody Is Quoting Carson?’

Although the highly-experienced brain surgeon did not implore the city’s underprivileged youths to stop shooting each other, he did offer — unreported — advice on how to get ahead in life:

What did he say as the solution to poverty (which NPR did not report, as you can see)?

1. Finish High School.

2. Get married.

3. Don’t have children until you have accomplished #2.

Now does this somehow deal with the Federal Government impoverishing people by running fiscal deficits?  No.  But at a micro level — that is, individual people, not macro policy — he’s right.

Absolutely, but because this is a middle class way of living, this will get ignored.

That said, who would know best about those points? Ben Carson himself. The good doctor was raised by a single mother. He almost went to the dark side as a youth, then found religion and did his best to not only graduate from high school but also to go on to university and medical school — to become a brain surgeon, no less.

Denninger expands on the good doctor’s points:

… for the ordinary, average person they mean a lot.  And by the way, remember this rule that I drilled into my daughter:

“1 + 1 can be more than 2.  That’s the only real magic you will ever find in the world, but it is real, provided you choose wisely.  However, 1 – 1 is always 0 and can, if you choose poorly, be worse than that; it can be negative.”

One of the problems with this advice in today’s world is that there are an awful lot of zeros or worse walking around — of both sexes.  And by the way, almost without exception every one of those Hollywood “stars” or pro sports players in any league, ever, are all less than zeros in every respect except for being rich and if you emulate them without being rich first you will be destroyed.

He and Dr Carson are 110% correct.

Please share this advice with your children, if you haven’t already.

Cloud computing and Capital One

This year, a former Amazon.com employee hacked into Capital One Financial Corp. customer data that Amazon.com was storing on its cloud services.

On July 29, Bloomberg reported:

While the complaint doesn’t identify the cloud provider that stored the allegedly stolen data, the charging papers mention information stored in S3, a reference to Simple Storage Service, Amazon Web Services’ popular data storage software.

An AWS spokesman confirmed that the company’s cloud had stored the Capital One data that was stolen, and said it wasn’t accessed through a breach or vulnerability in AWS systems. Prosecutors alleged that the access to the bank data came through a misconfigured firewall protecting one of its applications.

Paige A. Thompson was arrested Monday and appeared in federal court in Seattle. The data theft occurred some time between March 12 and July 17, U.S. prosecutors in Seattle said.

Karl Denninger posted a hard-hitting article about this. Don’t miss ‘I TOLD YOU SO: “CLOUD” IS INSECURE’.

You bet it is. Yet, we have friends who store their personal — including financial — data on the cloud! No!

Denninger explains:

There you have it.  The bank had data that was highly confidential and let another company with thousands of people who could access it, none of whom the bank knew by name or could vet, have said data by intentionally putting it on that other firm’s computer systems in the name of “cloud computing.”

One of those people did allegedly access and steal it.  It doesn’t matter how they did so; the fact that the data was there provided the “honeypot” and a large base of people who knew it was there instead of said data being on your own corporate infrastructure behind access controls that you, and only you, are responsible for.

Gee, how dumb are you?

How many times have I pointed this out?  Dozens

Once you use a “cloud provider” it’s not your data anymore despite your claims otherwise.  The data is, in fact, accessible by anyone who has administrative access at the cloud company and they don’t work for you nor can you vet them.  Further, those people working there now know the data is there which gives them a big fat “target list” to take a crack at.  Those people with that knowledge and at least some expertise in getting in, including perhaps even direct credentialed access through ordinary administrative procedures number in the thousands at large firms like Amazon or Microsoft if not tens of thousands and you not only can you as the “customer” not vet them you have no idea who the hell they are.  Some of them probably aren’t even American citizens! H1b (not this time, but you can bet in general) for the win!

[[Update 7/30 6:50 AM: It appears that the person who did the “hacking” not only was employed by Spamazon the individual claims to be here in the US illegally.  So how’d they get the job?  Spamazon, for its part, disclaims responsibility and says “it wasn’t hacked.”  Disclaim whatever you want Amazon; the fact is the data was on your box and was stolen by what appears to be an ex Amazon employee.  Such a wonderful job of vetting you do eh, never mind all the SJW/insanity connections allegedly present with this individual too.]]

Congratulations Capital Zero, 100 million records stolen because you were ****ing stupid and put saving a buck in front of data security.  This should be treated by banking regulators as criminal negligence; ditto for any other firm that has its data stolen after employing such a “cloud” environment where there was any expectation of privacy or protection of said data.

This is why you don’t use cloud computing for anything you give a crap about and has to be kept secure …

Yes, yes and yes!

You can read more about the hacker and see photos at the Daily Mail. Definitely worth viewing.

If you think you cannot provide enough resilience on your home computer, think again. This is what one of Denninger’s readers says (emphases mine):

I can buy multi-terabyte drives for a couple of hundred bucks (obviously price varies as a function of quality, intended use, etc.) just about anywhere. For a thousand bucks I can set up a pretty-near foolproof, multi-terabyte, automated RAID system with access times for any computer on my own network that have gotta be less than up- and downloading from the cloud.

Where exactly is the alleged cost savings for anyone to store any data “in the cloud”?

Spot on. If you cannot build it yourself, hire an expert.

———————-

And thus concludes my news in brief.

You couldn’t make it up.

More on mathematics, what we in the UK refer to as ‘maths’, and the economy.

Have you ever wondered when you bought a pension how they arrived at rather large sums to be paid out with relatively little input on your part?  Yes, of course, these companies have set calculations, but, surely, why couldn’t I arrive at the same numbers projected over 30 – 40 years? ‘Is it just me?’ I used to wonder.

No, it’s not just me — or you — who can’t figure this out.  Karl Denninger at Market Ticker has used primary school — ‘third grade’ (i.e. a class of 8 and 9 year old pupils) — mathematics to prove these projections wrong.  You can see what calculations he uses in the first part of ‘Proving Up The Fraud Using 3rd Grade Math’.  Denninger addresses pension funds, health care and housing values for an American audience, but anyone contemplating the future will find what he says of interest.

I don’t agree with everything Denninger says, particularly on Obama and on the OWS movement, but he does give me pause for thought when discussing the economy. Emphases below are his in the original.

Pension funds

Now let’s take the claimed 8% annual return that pension funds like to use in their public statements.  The average working stiff labors from age 20 to 65, or 45 years.  At 8% if we wish to determine how many years it takes to double by divide into 72 and get 9.  The average working stiff’s employment lasts for five of these periods (9 x 5 = 45 years.)

We therefore look at the above table [see his post] and determine that the fund alleges that it can turn $1 into $32 in the same 45 years.  This is what you were sold in your “pension fund.”

But is this reasonable

Well, let’s think this through.  To make 32 times someone has to have 32 times, right?  That is, a pension fund must get the money it presumes to pay your pension with from somewhere.  Since you do not pay in 32 times what you draw out of the fund during your working life (you intend, for example, to work for 45 years and then retire at 65 and live for 20 more; that is, you will work for only about twice as long as you are retired) you would have to put one half of your salary into the fund in order to actually pay for your retirement.   Yet the common “contribution” to a pension fund is about 1/10th that much money!

So where’s the rest come from?  Well, from “earnings” we are told.  But what are “earnings” to a corporation?  Earnings are simply the amount of money the company has left after it pays all its costs in delivering goods and/or services to consumers.

In other words, “earnings” are economic surplus.

Now certainly productivity has improved over time.  Indeed, it is the growth in productivity that has improved the standard of living through the ages.  But this belies the question: If 1/32nd of the alleged “growth” in that fund is your contributions to it, can you reasonably expect that the funds will grow by a factor of 31 over a 45 year time period?

In a word: No.

Health care

Health care costs are growing about 9% annually … Republicans claim that nobody over 50 will lose their Medicare as it is today.  That’s a promise to keep the cost escalator going, since that’s “what medical care today” is.

Ok, how reasonable is this?

Well, 9% doubles in 8 years.  A person who is 50 expects to live to approximately 85, or 35 years.  That’s 4.37 doublings.

From the table above [see his post] we see that this is somewhere between 16 and 32 times today’s value.  Again, confining our math to that learned in 3rd grade and estimating between the numbers, we’ll call it 20 times.

Today, a single person health insurance policy for a person of about 50 years without any serious chronic conditions in good health is likely to cost $1,000 a month or more.  We’ll use that figure, even though many people will cost much more (especially if you’re obese, have Type II diabetes or indications of heart disease.)  That’s $12,000 a year.

What you’re being sold is that by the time you’re 85 the government will be able to provide you with a $240,000 a year health benefit. 

One quarter of a million dollars!

Do you believe that?  I hope not, because you’re not going to get it.  Note that for you to get that $240,000 in health benefits someone has to pay $240,000 in taxes – one-for-one – and this assumes no waste inside the government itself!

Housing industry

Now let’s look at the “10% a year price appreciation” claim of the housing industry in the 2000s.  Again, the rule of 72 says that this results in a double in about 7 years.  The 30 year mortgage, of course, is for 30 years, which is 4 doublings (and a bit.)

This means your $150,000 house would have been “worth” $2.4 million in 30 years.

Do you really believe that?  More to the point, did the person who sold you that dream believe it or did they know it was a lie – that there was no possible way there would be enough money in the economy in 30 years for anyone to pay you $2.4 million?

He proves that these projections are ‘pyramid schemes’ — his words — and that they are ‘mathematically impossible’.

The government is lying

In another post, ‘OWS (And Everyone Else): Pay Attention to Greece’, he explains:

In the case at hand in the United States we have a government on both sides of the aisle that has made promises that are mathematically impossible to keep.  That same government conspired with The Fed and with Wall Street to blow a series of bubbles that led you to believe, over the space of 30 years, that you could have more than you can actually pay for with your work output.  This claim was a lie and it infested virtually every area of our nation.  Housing, education, medical care – all were used as a means to blow up the bubble to larger and larger dimension[s] whenever it threatened to collapse and expose the frauds.

These claims were active frauds as anyone who examined them with any sort of critical eye toward the mathematical realities of the claims knew they … could never happen. 

As just one example of dozens the claim that “house prices are expected to increase 10% a year for the foreseeable future” was interpreted by many as “it’s safe to finance the purchase of a house and then withdraw the claimed increase in value as this will go on forever” (see the foreseeable future words for justification in the common man’s reliance.) 

The lie is the mathematical impossibility of this.  A $150,000 house that appreciated at that rate for 10 years would be worth $389,000.  But over 30 years that same $150,000 house would be “worth” $2,617,410.  Nobody ever asked the obvious question: Exactly how was a “middle class” person going to afford to buy a $389,000 house, say much less a $2,617,410 one?

They couldn’t, of course, but this was the lie that was run.

I’ve often contemplated this and wondered how it could be so.

University tuition

Denninger adds that another ongoing bubble surrounds university tuition costs, which have increased tenfold from what they were when I graduated at the end of the 1970s.  They are so astronomical as to be scary.  My fellow Britons, unless something is done, we could experience the same, thanks to Tony Blair who made our universities fee-paying institutions. He took the lid off what was a sensible system in which the taxpayer invested in our nation’s future.

Denninger writes of the current American situation:

In College education land the same lie was run.  It led to an outrageous increase in college costs that dramatically outstripped earnings for degree-holding graduates.  This in turn made college a bad deal nearly across-the-board and as it occurred colleges and lenders lobbied Congress to change the law so that when your kid got rooked by this scam they couldn’t file bankruptcy and force those who blew the bubble to eat the loss.

More on Medicare

In the same post, Denninger has more to say on health care costs:

We did the same thing with Medical Care.  By providing “free” (or nearly so) care to Seniors and illegal immigrants, with the former being told “they paid for it” through Medicare taxes (a bald lie as on average they only put in 1/3rd in inflation-adjusted dollars as to what is spent on them) and the latter being simply told “you deserve it” the increase in medical insurance costs has run approximately 9% annually and will continue until and unless policies are changed.  This means that the $700 a month insurance policy for the reasonably-healthy 50 year old ($8,400 a year) who has been promised “no reduction in his Medicare” will cost $171,477 a year by the time he’s 85 with no adjustment for the higher expense that comes with age.  That is, today’s 15 year old will be forced to pay $171,477 a year for his medical insurance when he reaches 50.  Obviously, he won’t as that amount is more than three times today’s median family income and even if we allow a 3% inflation rate (which we should not) it will be more than 100% of the median family income in inflated dollars!  Since you can’t pay more for something than you earn in total, what the politicians are telling you they will do cannot happen.

This is just astounding, and you, too, might have come to the same conclusion, whilst scratching your head, thinking, ‘How will we and future generations manage to live? And why isn’t anyone in power putting a stop to it?’

Denninger on bankruptcy

Unfortunately, the notion of bankruptcy might loom large for many.  For some, it is already a sad reality. Certainly, anyone contemplating it is well advised to discuss his circumstances with a financial advisor and/or an attorney before doing anything.

Denninger (under his pseudonym ‘Genesis’) warns Americans about using part of their retirement funds in a potential bankruptcy scenario:

NEVER EVER TOUCH RETIREMENT MONEY FOR THIS PURPOSE!

EVER EVER EVER!

It’s EXEMPT from being seized in bankruptcy. You invade it, you lose that protection.

DO NOT DO IT.

So, try to get some reasonably-priced, eminently sensible advice to map out a way forward.

These are roller-coaster times. We have little reason to feel complacent. Salaries in many fields have not appreciated that much since I finished university. Furthermore, jobs are hard to find, especially for graduates and those over the age of 45. (Only 10 years ago, my mother retired when she was 80, overshadowing those 60+ years younger than she in an office job!)

Not to mention offshoring jobs, which wasn’t even a consideration 30-odd years ago.

Back then, it really was true in most Western countries that you made your own future: if you worked hard, you would succeed.  I had a conversation with an Englishman who told me that in the 1980s he and a couple of his schoolmates would clean offices on weekends at age 14.  He made a number of useful contacts that way, enabling him to become self-employed full time when he finished secondary school.

He said, ‘The problem today is that kids don’t want to work.’

I replied, ‘That’s not the problem.  Think of all the regulations in place — some good, some petty — which have been written into law since you were 14 years old.  A child that age couldn’t now clean offices or do any of the enterprising work you and your friends did 30 years ago. Plus, we have immigrants who do that now at knock-down salaries, as provided by an agency. So, there’s no market for an English person these days, teen or adult.’

‘Oh, yeah …  I never thought of it that way.’

So, to me, it would be untruthful for us to insist that everyone will have a chance — or the individual freedom — to achieve his career dreams in the world today.  We hope they will. However, I would first point out the many obstacles and the stiff competition our youth will have to face.

But, then, that’s a topic for another day.

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