15 June 2016

Insanity, in 19 bullets

The United States of Amerika has become one of the most insane countries in the world.

I've written a series of posts on what could end the current record-breaking "recovery". What is missing from all of those posts is a list of the individual items of insanity that collectively represent a very Dark Swan in the form of the collapse of Amerika as a nation. I have started to use Amerika because the America that I knew, and the Constitution I swore to protect (from enemies foreign and domestic) no longer seems to be meaningful. I consider this my form of protest, something still theoretically protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

This list of insanity bullet points does not include anything that the man-child, probable Russian puppet (or at least patsy), and also possibly early stage dementia suffering porn-star paying adulterous "fucking moron" (me quoting others, not stating this as a fact) is doing to distract from the internal problems, and in fact internal problems that he is encouraging. This also excludes the quislings in Congress who would rather destroy the country than admit what their leader, with their support, is doing. 

Some examples, in no particular order:

1. The police can pull you over and take you assets on the grounds that the policeman thinks, maybe, you might use those assets to commit a crime. It is then up to you to engage a lawyer to fight in court to have your assets returned to you. In 2014 police departments across the US seized more in value from citizens that the total value of assets stolen in burglaries. Asset seizures now account for reasonable parts of police budgets. So, the police are encouraged to steal from the people.

2. In a number of states, there are "open carry" laws that mean a person can walk down the street, or into a shop, openly carrying an assault rifle. Therefore, in such a state, you have no idea if the person with the gun is a nut, a terrorist, or just has a very small penis.

3. Meanwhile the organization (NRA) that rents congressmen to ensure no laws are passed that will reduce the ability of their members to sell guns, also refuses to allow people to carry guns at their national convention. I wonder why? In addition, we recently learn that the NRA will happily take money from anyone, including non-Amerikans. That the NRA is basically an anti-Amerikan entity happy to overthrow the Constitution (while pretending to protect it) can be seen in the appointment of their new president, a man who when in the Military, overrode instead of protecting the Constitution, as he swore to do (protect it, not override it).

4. Almost anyone can buy an assault rifle and/or handgun, but buying a pressure cookers makes you a potential terrorist. Cooking for yourself instead of eating out has become the sign of a sick mind that must be watched, and of course a potential terrorist.

5. The Fed cannot raise interest rates to any meaningful level, because to do so will increase US government debt payments to a level that will bankrupt the government (and the country). So more stimulus will be added, with the objective of pumping the money supply enough to ensure that interest rates remains low. There is plenty of evidence that this is destroying the savings and retirements of a generation.

6. The "Wealth Effect" requires that the Fed be more interested in propping up asset prices in the short term, with little or no regard for the negative impacts when stimulus is no longer effective (which might be now). The "Wealth Effect" is based on the idea that if stocks/equities and other assets (like houses) go up in value, people will think they are rich and there will be greater spending and therefore greater economic activity.

7. Borrowing is future spending brought forward. Eventually that future will be "now". The Fed and government are stealing the future's spending, beggaring us, our children, and quite possibly their children. But as long a "now" doesn't happen until the next person is in office, all will be good.

8. After promised to reduce the deficit, the Republican Party and Trump have actually, even though they control both houses of Congress and the White House, actually raised the deficit and predictions are now for multi-year $1,000,000,000,000 deficits through the 2020s. Does the expression "unsustainable" mean anything to anyone?

9. Companies are considered "people" and therefore political contributions or advertisement are considered "free speech" and are protected by the constitution - effectively protecting the right of corporations to use money to drown out the voice of the people.

10. Fewer jobs are created each month than the number of people entering the workforce, yet unemployment continues to decrease. After all, if you are not receiving an unemployment benefit or are not "actively looking for work" then you are not counted as unemployed. Of course, unemployment benefits only last so long.

11. The jobs that are being created are mostly in the service sector and are low wage jobs. Couple that with importing educated labor to displace US educated workers through the H1B1 program, and corporations, with the help of the government, are able to push down wages for what should be the remaining higher-wage jobs. A great race to the bottom.

12. The labor participation rate is as low as it was in the late 1970s, but unemployment is at 4.0%. Either large numbers of couples are able to live on a single income (which we know is not true), or something else is happening.

13. The national debt is now greater than 100% of GDP and rising, with no end in sight. Unfortunately the Fed and congress seem to be taking a lesson from Japan - that a country really can go on buying debt from itself to fund itself forever (really?). All this when economists are telling us that a Debt to GDP ratio of greater than 90% will demonstrably reduce GDP growth. That >100% debt to GDP is for Federal debt only, and does not include state or territory (such as Puerto Rico) debt, or local (such as Chicago) debt.

14. The two political parties' candidates are a Sheep in Wolf's Clothing vs a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Both are equally scary, for different reasons. Neither will save the country, let alone actually make changes that will reduce the coming pain of default and economic depression. Both are crooks, but of different kinds and times. They fight to retain their seats in Congress and do not care about the country or the future.

15. Home ownership rates are at their lowest in decades. The dream of home ownership, through government programs encouraging unsafe lending, quite possibly contributed to the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and the Great Recession. The increased ownership has unwound, yet the dream remains.

16. The country is probably as polarized as it has ever been. Republicans from Democrats, Black and Whites and Hispanics from each other, Muslims from everyone else. All this in a context of a social media world designed to reinforce existing positions and prejudices. The "Melting Pot" has become the boiling pot.

17. In the last financial crisis, the US Government bailed out the major banks, with a very large chunk of the bailout money then being paid out in bonuses to employees of the Too Big to Fail (TBTF) banks.

18. TSA and the abrogation of the Constitution through the Patriot Act (and extensions) while providing "security theatre" only, serves as a proving ground for how to complete the subjugation of the population - the "Sheeple". I've been known to mutter "Baa baa" when standing in the TSA lines.

19. Meanwhile, the exercise of protest by kneeling for the flag is presented as some form of treason and disrespect, when the protesters themselves have very clearly and carefully explained exactly what they are protesting.

Sadly, all "sides" are so polarized that there will be no movement toward common solutions. One side will make a proposal, the other will reject it out of hand. And round and round it will go. And when it does fall apart, there will be enough blame to go around to ensure that the country continues to be polarized, avoiding anyone being held to account.

"This cannot end well" is so right, and when it ends, it will be in the breakup of the United States of Amerika. A civil war is coming, and if not that, then the imposition of the ultimate police state. 

First of course there will be the Second Great Depression, and that cannot be far way. People who actually understand the economics are already predicting a recession in the second half of 2019 ("if there are no Black Swans before then"). 

Yet Black Swans are all around, mostly in the unsettling of international markets by the current traitor in the White House, who hops from one artificial international crisis to another, all with the goal of distracting us from his crimes. "Fake News" will be the cry, from him and his toadies.

If there is any good news, it is that the Praetorian Guard can only be bought for so long, and any Galba, Ortho, or Vitellius (I admit, I always forget the third in that list) will have a short shelf-life. That includes the current Galba, who with his sons Uday and Qusay (as some are calling them) will be discarded when the time comes. Yet we need to remember that the very process that Galba came to power because the prior Emperor was mad and the system had collapsed.

Galba's end wasn't pretty, and my own guess is the best this Galba can hope for is a pillow over his head, and not to be publically murdered in the Forum by his Praetorian Guard.