Archive for June 2012

The Beginning Of The End

June 28, 2012

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obamacare, indicating it’s okay for the Government to force its citizens to spend money.  If anyone else does that, it’s called extortion.  That being said, I’m already beginning to consider the fallout from Obamacare if it’s not de-funded and/or repealed in the near future.  Below are just a few of the potential consequences and unintended effects of this fantastic piece of legislation.  I’m sure I’ll think of more after my nausea wears off, but here’s what I have so far:

1) There is already a shortage of doctors.  This will exacerbate that issue as more of them leave the profession.

2) It will take months, if not years to get an appointment to see one of the aforementioned.

3) For all of the marginally subsistent people out there, this will push many of them over the edge into foreclosures, bankruptcies, etc.

4) This opens the door for our Government to force us to pay money for anything, and call it a tax.

5) There is now a toll to be a citizen of this fine Nation.  People may begin to renounce citizenship and jump ship to other Countries.

6) If people are force to pay for something, they typically want to use it.  Now every time someone stubs their toe, they will run to the doctor.  Although this may have positive intended side effects, like catching serious illnesses earlier.

7) Not really an effect, but it just shows the members of the Supreme Court haven’t actually read the Constitution.  It’s really not that long.  They could read it over a lunch break.

8) If they have read it, their reading comprehension skills are those of a 3rd grader, which is even more frightening.

9) The costs of health care will skyrocket, as evidenced by every other Government-subsidized program they’ve ever created.

10) Taxing the already-overtaxed middle class even more is clearly going to create an economic recovery.  But then it won’t be referred to as a tax, colloquially, it will simply be a fine for failing to comply with the law of the land.

It should be interesting to watch this unfold.

Road Trip – RIP

June 28, 2012

I recently got back from a road trip of sorts with my wife and son.  We went out to Indiana from Philadelphia to see my newly-minted 1/2-step-nephew twice removed (or something like that).  The drive out there was atrocious.  We hit at least a dozen construction zones, about ten of which were inactive.  Obviously our Government has a ton of money to start projects, but no money to actually fund any of them.  The roads were all fine, and I didn’t see any power lines or fiber optic cables being put in.  It was just a bunch of orange cones left out because no one wanted to remove them.

The most enjoyable construction-induced traffic jam occurred shortly after we entered the paradise known as Ohio.  Nothing for miles except over-sized over-weighted semi’s and dump trucks, and people with barely enough cranial nerve activity to tie their shoes.  For some reason unknown to thinking hominids, this wondrous state decided to close one lane of a two-lane road for the better part of 100 feet.  This caused a 20-mile backup, took over 3 hours to get through, and was there for no sensible reason that I could discern.  I’m debating sending the state of Ohio a bill for our gas that was wasted sitting on that pathetic excuse for a road.  Thanks to our 3+ hour delay, we also got to Cincinnati just in time for the heart of rush hour.  Tack on another hour.  All in, it took us about 15 hours to get to the mecca known as Columbus, Indiana, so I could hang out with some very bizarre religious zealots for the day (yes, I know, bizarre and religious zealot in the same sentence is redundant).

On the way back, we decided to go 100 miles out of our way to avoid the train wreck (no pun intended) that we took on the way there.  It saved us at least 2 hours, probably more.  Needless to say, I won’t be venturing westward toward the flat cornfields of the Midwest any time too soon.

Impressive Net Worth Numbers

June 14, 2012

By impressive, I mean disastrous.  The Federal Reserve issued a bulletin for June, 2012, indicating the changes to net worth of American families between 2007 and 2010.  Here is a quick summary of the data:

 

Does that seem okay to you?  Me neither.  The median household net worth is down 40% in 3 measly years.  And that only includes 2010.  Despite a tepid recovery in equities (about 9% in the past 18 months), I would guess the numbers are even worse for 2011 and YTD 2012.  Not only is the decline pathetic, but so was the starting point.  The year 2007 was at a high point in the economic cycle, and is up there with the highest net worth estimates of all time.  So at one of the best times in recent history the net worth of people under the age of 34 was a whopping $12,400.  I can’t remember the last time my checking account fell below that number.  And this FELL to $9,300.  Young people can’t save $1,000 a year?  They have so little the equity markets can’t be blamed for much of that loss, and they obviously can’t afford a home.  I’m going to surmise that since there are no jobs that people are raiding their savings accounts to pay the bills.

And the situation is almost as bad for the next age group.  People that are around 40 years of age only have $42,000.  Assuming they’ve had 18 years to work since graduating college, that’s a savings of a whopping $195 a month.  This also assumes zero growth, dividends, or interest in that time period.  For those that didn’t go to college, it’s only $159.  A lot of people are irresponsible, credit-loving dolts.  That’s a fair statement.  But many people would actually like to save, and gain some financial stability while they are still of working age.  So why hasn’t it happened?  Because there are serious structural issues in this poorly-run nation of ours.  There are so many things to blame I’d need an anthology, but here’s a few culprits:

1) Sending our jobs to China

2) Importing far more than we export.  Although we have exported quite a few millionaires.

3) Stagnant wage growth.  Actually, wage declines.  This can be blamed on Wall Street.

4) Wall Street

5) Our good ole’ Government.  Which pretty much encompasses the first four points.

The solutions are simple.  They really are.  They’re just not “politically favorable”.  Reduce the corporate tax rate, slap some more tariffs on Chinese import goods, and get the hell out of our way.  That would solve 90% of the problem.  But no one has the gall to make the tough “politically unfavorable” decisions.  So our net worth will continue to crumble, our nation will devolve into the 3rd world, and we’ll all have to get ready to live out of a cardboard box eating ramen for dinner.  Welcome to the new America, and enjoy the ride.


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