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2019-04-18 14:54 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 725 references
[Comments enabled]  

Yeah, I read it.

Here's the quick summary.

On collusion: There was no "strong evidence" say much less anything that would rise to probable cause.  At all.

On obstruction: It's complicated.

One of the reasons its complicated is intent.  All criminal statutes require mens rea, with only a smattering of exceptions (oddly enough the statute Hillary violated with her "email server" does not require intent; negligence is sufficient.  Nonetheless remember, she was not prosecuted.)

Obstruction is a funny statute though, in that you can obstruct an investigation into something that didn't happen.  The reason for this is that the prosecution is presumed not to be corrupt!

But.... what if it is?

In this case we know it was.  Specifically, we know the originating event that led to Mueller's appointment was the Steele Dossier which was a piece of opposition research paid for by a political opponent's campaign during the election and that the origin of the alleged "evidence" that gave rise to the investigation was intentionally concealed from a FISA judge and worse, it wasn't just concealed -- the FBI affirmatively lied.

Had they not lied the FISA judge would have never approved anything and there would have been no Mueller; a mere assertion alone by Ohr or Strzok without alleged facts doesn't get there.  The FISA warrant on alleged verified information does.  But.... the FISA warrant was predicated on repeated lies.  Not mistakes -- perjury.  That's a felony standing alone.

Further Mueller had no business being appointed in the first place; he was charged with investigating his own former coworkerswhich is a clear conflict of interest and in violation of federal procedure governing said conflicts.  In other words by the very standards of the appointing department his appointment was facially void.

To put it in simple terms the "prosecution" has been proved corrupt and worse, once that was discovered nobody stopped the investigation and indicted the corrupt individuals despite the predicate acts that gave rise to the appointment being facial felonies under long-standing Federal Law.

So this gives rise to the obvious question: Can you be convicted of obstruction if the investigation is corrupt at inception?  The courts have never ruled on that as far as I know.

But I'll give you my 2 bits on how that had better be decided if it ever goes before a judge or jury:

If a court ever rules you can commit Obstruction of Justice (as a matter of a criminal law) and thus be jailed for acting to stop a corrupt investigation when same is aimed at an elected official in the United States Government then we may as well just start The Second American Revolution right here and now.  A corrupt investigation or prosecution of such a person at the federal level has no check and balance; there is no further and higher law enforcement agency to appeal to. It is by definition an act of Sedition in that it seeks to overthrow a properly-elected government official through the use of force.  There is no law that should ever be respected by anyone, of any political stripe, that seeks or claims to criminalize same.  I give anyone using non-violent means to stop such a coup -- and that's exactly what it is -- credit for their restraint, as said restraint is by no means a part of any ethical or moral duty in such a circumstance.

We shall see if the criminally insane who knowingly cheered on and even suborned this lawless behavior by the FBI and the Left continue or fold their cards.  That determination remains to be seen, but it's my bet that this report and the Democrats's reaction to it, especially by people like Cummings who is already shooting off his mouth, will do nothing more or less than drive this nation further toward a very uncivil set of events.

After all neither political party will do a damn thing about in excess of $3 trillion stolen by the medical industry from the American people every single year -- $25 per day, per person in the United States!  Is it any surprise that these same people think it's perfectly fine to overthrow elections "at whim" and, by the way, what makes you think this behavior won't be repeated since there's no indication anyone has or will go to prison for any of it?

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2019-04-09 11:42 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 185 references
[Comments enabled]  

Read this article carefully.

We have unprecedented levels of low unemployment in America. It could even be said that we really have too many jobs and not enough people to fill them. While this currently isn’t a problem, it will soon have devastating impacts on our nation’s economic stability, and the only answer is to increase immigration to America.

In the past 60 years, the birthrate in the United States has decreased by over 50 percent and is only falling faster. This is not by design.

There are multiple factors contributing to this trend: people are getting married later and having kids later in life, women are focusing on their careers more than ever before, and contraception has become more effective.

All of these causes make one thing clear: the declining birthrate shows no sign of stopping.

Well gee, so you think this is just about women marrying later and having kids later in life?

Are women focusing on their careers or being forced to in order to eat?

Yes, contraception has become more effective -- that's good rather than bad.  I presume you don't think a high abortion rate is good, yes?  Oh wait -- we have that too.  How effective is that contraception you flaunt so daringly?

Why don't you take a big mug of STFU, quaff it and sit down, jackass.

America (and the rest of the western world) has spent the last fifty plus years doing all of the following:

  • Punishing men for choosing to have children.  That's right -- punishing.  If you're a man there is literally no possible way for you to secure the right to raise your own kids.  Even if you have billions you can't get there from here.  You have better odds if you have money and your wife (or paramour) decides to cut you out of the picture but most of the time you get both severely restricted in your ability to raise said kids and you get the whole bill.  You don't think that situation, which the "feminists" cooked up and rammed down everyone's throats might make men who are intelligent, skilled and desirous of a family think twice about making children, do you?

  • Punishing women for choosing to have children.  That's right -- punishing.  If you're a woman how often do you hear the bull**** about you can have it all, chick! -- career, motherhood, etc?  How many kids are in daycare instead of home and why does daycare exist if this is true?  Oh by the way, how do you pay for said daycare and how many hours out of the waking day do you spend raising said kids?  Well under half.  What the hell sort of message does that send -- that you're a walking uterus and once you crank out that baby it'll take a village!  Oh Hitlery, cry me a ****ing river you evil five-alarm bitch. Not one woman in a thousand can pull the **** you and your spawn got away with.  If you think this is some grand voluntary set of choices for 99.99% of women in America go visit all those women who don't have much in the way of choice at all; that would be damned near all of them.  It's not like the "zero inflation, high productivity" world we live in and have for the last 50 years, according to the government, has made it trivial for a single-earner, two parent household to buy a house, put food in the fridge, keep the water and power on and pay for the trip to the doctor when the juniors get the sniffles has it?  Why do you think we have all those abortions taking place *******?

You think people don't respond to incentives?  The hell they don't.

You think a woman chooses to have an abortion when she can reasonably choose to have and raise the child instead?  What sort of bullcrap is that?  You think the 16, 18, 20 or 25 year old woman created the societal circumstances we live in today -- the near-requirement for two good incomes among a couple to raise a kid in most metropolitan areas of the nation, $100,000 college tuition bills, $10,000+ property tax bills, $20,000 per year family "health insurance" policy costs and more?  Schools that are diverse but where half the ****ing High School "graduates" can't write a basic business letter, balance a checkbook or make change for a $20 in their head?

Did said young woman -- or young man -- get a vote on that property tax bill?  Did they get to choose whether their teacher was minimally competent in basic mathematics?  Did they have a voice -- any voice whatsoever -- in the crap that was stuffed in their heads for the previous 20 years?

Who created, promoted and continues that pattern today?  The power structure in our government does and nearly all of it is felony-level fraud from top to bottom.

The article points out that Medicare and Medicaid currently spend $1.3 trillion a year.  Uh, gee, someone else has read the MTS -- the government's official general ledger!  Fancy that.

What that article doesn't point out is that the tax rate on Medicare covers less than a third of the Medicare spending and zero of Medicaid!

Oh by the way -- that omission isn't an accident.

Social Security isn't the problem -- it's running a small (about 15%) cash deficit and can be reasonably fixed by either raising the cap on FICA tax, modestly increasing the tax rate or some combination of the two, along with getting all the able-bodied fraudsters (there are a lot of them) off SSDI.  Likely half of those on SSDI can work -- they just choose not to because they're not highly-skilled and all-in they figure it's better to sit around on their ass and blow the government check on booze, drugs or both.

Medicare and Medicaid, when those programs were put in place, lived in a world when health care was 3-4% of GDP -- that is, 3-4% of the economy.  Despite the greatest improvement in technology the world has ever seen over the last 50 or so years, which is the definition of productivity and which should have dropped that percentage of the economy by half or thereabouts instead medical care has increased as a percentage of GDP by more than five hundred percent and every damn bit of it is directly a result of the government -- and it wasn't an accident, it was done intentionally.

If we lived in a nation where the Rule of Law meant anything every single member of said government and all of those involved in same would have long been indicted, tried, convicted and hung.  There would be a literal gallows on the National Mall.

This is all fraud and felony and it has utterly destroyed, along with the bull**** run by Marxists, some of whom claim to be "feminists", the incentives for people to have children.  As a direct result intelligent men and women are choosing not to.

Rather than solve those problems and re-create said incentives this jackass in the referenced article and many just like her of both sexes instead propose to import tens of millions of stupid, uneducated and illiterate people.

Why do they have to be stupid, uneducated and illiterate?

Because if you import educated and intelligent people they won't make any children either -- they can and will figure out that their kids, should they choose to have them, are overwhelmingly at odds of getting screwed and thus you've gained nothing.

So instead all the various thugs and felons who infest both think tanks and government propose to and actively do import a bunch of people who can't add 2 + 2 or, much worse, who intend to use a penis and vagina as a means of forcibly overthrowing our representative government over time, installing a religious caliphate in its place.

Medicaid, I remind you, in states that have "capitated" same spends about $700/month per person.  If you import a stupid and uneducated person and allow them to have legal status they will place over $8,400 a year on the government in the form of spending instantly and forever just on this one program alone.  If said person can make $10 or even $15/hour they'll never pay anywhere near that $8,400 in taxes annually and that ignores the rest of the tax expenditures (e.g. school costs for the kids they bring in with them or make once here, SNAP, WIC, Section 8 housing, EITC and more.) 

You cannot get out of this box via immigration and attempting it will simply speed up the collapse.

The short term answer is to break all the medical monopolies and start throwing people in prison for violating the law.  This, by the way, isn't a choice because those stupid, uneducated and illiterate people are incapable of earning enough income to pay a material amount of tax in excess of that which they consume in government services.  It's true that said people pay taxes (e.g. if you rent a place to live you pay property taxes in your rent just as certainly as you do if you buy a house) but in terms of their total tax contribution .vs. government outlays it is either neutral or negative, and in terms of Medicare and Medicaid it is deeply negative.

Breaking the medical monopolies will halt the collapse immediately and it is the only means of doing so.  This is not politics -- it's math and there is no escaping mathematics.

2024 is not far away folks and the nasty is that close.  Those aren't my numbers they're the government's numbers.

Longer term the solution is found in fixing the incentive structure in this nation so that:

  • Both sexes (yes, there are only two) who desire families can pair off and be reasonably certain they will be able to raise their children even if something goes wrong in their adult relationship.  This means a complete upending of how divorce, custody and child support work in the United States.  There are answers to this problem that do not require a return to the 1950s paradigm; there were serious injustices then but what we have now is worse as intelligent members of both sexes are literally choosing to commit slow genocide by choice rather than create children that they know will have no reasonable hope of a decent future.  We either fix this on a legal level or we will never have educated, intelligent couples choosing to have more than a replacement level of children.  Period.

  • The lie of "low inflation" and "great standards of living" has to be turned into a truth.  This means the destruction of monopolist and cost-of-living jacking practices across the board so that virtually any couple can have one person go earn a living and the second raise kids at home.  It has to work everywhere in the United States, not just if you're able to earn $200,000+ a year in a city or $100 large in the suburbs and rural areas.  Chief among the cost-push problems are those imposed by the medical scam but the issue does not solely lie there.  Teacher, police, fire and other public-sector unions must be destroyed outright; they are largely responsible for the insane cost-of-living ramp via embedded and hidden taxes and fees that drive up everyone's cost of living.  Even FDR, a staunch socialist, said that public-employee unions were unacceptable and needed to be banned.  The reason for this is clear: An adversarial negotiation, which wage and working conditions always is, cannot take place if one side of the table can vote the other side out of office and replace them!  Every one of these unions is by definition an instrument of financial******and fraud and anyone maintaining or attempting to maintain them needs to go to prison -- or be tried and hung.

No, those changes aren't going to come in a day.  But then again neither will fixing demographics.  It requires at minimum 20 years to start to fix a demographic shift since that's how long it takes to choose to have a kid, make the kid and raise the kid!

Demographics is destiny and the fact of the matter is that unless we provide incentives for intelligent and educated people in this country to produce at least a replacement rate of children there is no long-term solution; said educated and intelligent people will disappear as a result of their own choices.  Unless you intend to imitate Genghis Khan and start raping women as he did you have only incentives to work with; there is no forcible way forward that government can elect.

Importing people who are unintelligent and uneducated only makes the problem worse and also invites into our nation those who would, under that guise, use their reproductive capabilities to destroy the very foundation of this nation by breeding a huge number of people who have no respect for representative government, no intention of assimilating and every intention of, when their numbers are numerous enough, overthrowing said government and our Representative Republic by force.

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2019-03-21 14:02 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 819 references
[Comments enabled]  

When In The Course of Human Events......

The Founders of this nation put forward a very basic premise:

to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them

That no government, no person whether royalty or not, King, Queen or Pawn, can take from one to give to another, to make one lesser than another, to bring remove from one the basics of humanity for the privilege of another.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

That the very premise of humanity is that one has a right to live, to be left alone to do as one pleases, and to pursue -- but not be guaranteed -- happiness.  The only lawful and proper constraints arise when your exercise of same prevents someone else from having that same peaceful enjoyment.

One cannot have a right to life if one cannot defend it using tools at least as powerful as those who would take it from you.

One cannot have liberty if one is compelled to slavery for another's benefit.

The Founders put together a document called The Constitution.  The debate over it, and what needed to be added to it, is found in The Federalist and The Anti-Federalist; two books that are the chronology of the running debate of the time.  Anyone who claims to have an opinion on the foundations of our nation and why the Constitution is important ought to have read both, as should anyone who claims a right to run for elective office at any level -- state, local or federal.

Chief among the foundation of this nation is The Rule of Law and that it apply equally to everyone, all the time, in each case without exception.  Our government and We The People have made a mockery of this.

Not one illegal immigrant has a right to be here under any circumstance; The Rule of Law says so.  It does not matter whether they personally intended to break said law; that merely encompasses whether they bear criminal culpability for the offense.  If you find yourself with someone else's $1,000 and you did not intend to steal it, but you had no lawful means by which you came to have it you still have no right to keep it.

Calling someone a Dreamer is an insult to America.  Their "dream" is theft.  A thief has no right to keep the spoils irrespective of their personal culpability in obtaining same nor do they have any right to demand respect from anyone else.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Mark Warner, both Democrats, have threatened legislation that is a rank violation of the First Amendment in response to the Christchurch livestream.  Where is respect for the contract our government has with the people; the terms of which are embodied in The Constitution and its Amendments?

There is no respect because the people of this nation no longer have respect for themselves nor any willingness to hold government to the terms and conditions of its very existence.

Every single person in America should not only watch the Christchurch slaughter they should watch all videos of any extremist Muslim who saws off heads or throws gays off buildings.  It is not possible to understand evil and the only effective means to stop it if you refuse to recognize it exists and watch the errors others made that led them to their demise.

How many gay people would support a person who supports said political and religious philosophies if videos of those adherents murdering gay people by throwing them off 20 story buildings were readily available?  Why do you think Senators Blumenthal and Warner want that content declared illegal despite it being a rank violation of the Constitution to do so?

Governments are banning and attempting to ban such not because they fear copycats: They are banning that speech and literally burning books because faced with the gore, the nastiness and inhumanity of these acts the people may conclude that it was the government itself that sowed the seeds of these acts, conspired with and gave comfort to said people and groups all the while rendering individual people powerless to stop it by infringing on The Right to Keep and Bear Arms -- and did all of the above intentionally.

Were the people to reach that conclusion they'd be correct and in response they might revoke their consent to said government entirely and demand it depart.

A slave is not allowed weapons because he might use them to become free.

Cultures collapse when there is no cohesion remaining -- when the primary means to get ahead is to stomp on someone else's head instead of innovating and when cheating is no longer punished and is celebrated instead.  If that is not curtailed then collapse is inevitable -- it is simply a matter of time.

Whether something is "hate speech" is in the eye of the beholder but irrespective of that The First Amendment protects it.  Why?  Because even the most-vile expression of dislike is one's right to hold and have.  To state otherwise is to state a right to control another person's mind and thoughts -- to not only enslave as to labor but to thought itself.

That is profoundly evil.  It is what the Communist Chinese are doing right now with the Uyghurs, numbering more than 11 million of their citizens.

This very same act is what our government is now calling on "big companies" to do, it is what the left has repeatedly done to anyone who dares speak against their policies and desires whether on college campuses, in corporate America or in the public square and now we have two Senators who deserve an immediate and long prison term for their threat to knowingly and intentionally violate their oath of office and The First Amendment, including the threat to impose said violation by force.

Celebrities with dim-witted children got them into colleges by paying bribes and cheating.  The claim that said students were "blameless" if their test scores were faked or they faked a "disability" to extend time and thus be able to cheat is a lie.  Said "students" are fully culpable yet none of them have been charged; not only did every one of them know they didn't compete on the rowing team (for example) any of them who got an extra hour or two to take the SAT or ACT knew damn well they were cheating, whether they knew their answers were being modified or not.

Why did this happen and why aren't the kids in the dock too?

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

Colleges claim they need "diversity."  That's nonsense; in a meritocracy the best rise irrespective of skin color, race or religion.  The fact is that this "diversity need" is met by lowering standards and allowing unqualified people who cannot do the work into the school.  This was going on in the 1990s and it has only gotten worse -- much worse -- since.  There is, of course, no value in that to a person "selected" via "diversity" if they have to pay full price and will inevitably fail to be able to do the work.  This in turn means someone else gets screwed so they don't have to pay full price and they also don't have to do the work they are incapable of.  The alleged "degree" conferred by said school is thus rendered meaningless; it no longer denotes competence and to prevent that from being recognized and their "brand" destroyed said colleges conspire with employers and governments, both outwardly and not to "require" said "credentials" for an ever-expanding list of "professions."

In short college is no longer about education; it is about grift, fraud, bribery and slavery.  It's a racketeering enterprise writ large and ought to be prosecuted as a felony, starting with the "most-elite" schools.  Is it any surprise that a tiny bit of the bribery began six months earlier with so-called "standardized" testing that really isn't and claims of being on a soccer team that were false?

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

The Fed is prohibited from buying anything other than government backed securities.  Fannie and Freddie paper have on their face the statement that they have no such backing; go online and view any of their prospectuses.  I pointed this out more than 10 years ago with a copy of the front page of one such offering out of thousands; every one bears the same statement.  That the government bailed them out does not matter.  The Fed's transacting in same and their continued ownership is illegal.  Rather than change the law (which might provoke a debate over exactly what The Fed "prints") they simply ignore the law and you let them.

The Fed's legal mandate under the law is for stable prices.  The Fed's chair and other governors make dozens of speeches a year and testify under oath before Congress to their intent to violate the law with their "2% inflation target."  Congress could change that law but doing so might provoke a debate over exactly what The Fed "prints" and so instead both Congress and The Fed ignore the law and you let them.

The truth is that Money is a medium of exchange which you acquire by producing something of value to someone else.  It facilitates trade because it is fungible -- that is, you don't need to transact in oranges, chickens or hours of programming a computer; all three can be reduced to money.

You cannot print money because it is impossible to materialize a television, a car, a piece of computer software, gasoline or electrical power out of thin air.

You can print credit, which spends like money.  But if you emit credit then what you are claiming is that someone in the future will produce a thing to legitimate what you did.  If the people refuse what's left?  Force -- slavery in point of fact.

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

Pakastani American named Imran Awan worked for Democrats in Congress from 2004 - 2017.  While doing so it is rather apparent he ran a spy ring inside Congress and stole Congressional computer equipment, much of it with the knowledge of Congressional Democrats.  Prosecuting him would have inevitably drawn those Democrats into what could have easily wound up being criminal culpability including spying for foreign nations.  So they let him go despite proof that he wired more than $280,000 to Pakistan -- funds that very well might have been used to facilitate terrorism!

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

It is a felony to restrain trade, attempt to monopolize or fix prices among people who are supposed to be competing.  The medical industry does it every single day.  Why not when the example set is that if you're rich or powerful (and they are both) you could even spy for a foreign nation and get away with it.  We could literally dispose of the entire federal budget deficitall of the Federal debt, all of the state and local pension problems and cut property taxes in half or more if we put a stop to this crap.  They do it because despite the law they have no fear of prosecution.  Why should they?

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

I can, through hard work, earn a mid-six-figure income and have multiple business ideas that I'd like to develop.  I've done it before and can do it again.  But given the above examples, along with the myriad things I've watched big business do in the last 20 years and get away with all of them -- acts that were I to do myself I would be prosecuted criminally and go to prison, why would I?  If I was to undertake any of those risky ventures and put my capital and intellectual effort at risk any of those people could illegally undermine my product or service, putting me out of business or simply steal it.  Unless I was willing to personally kill the persons responsible there is nothing I could do about it and I'd go broke.  I will not undertake such a venture for as long as all of this crap exists, and that's why.  I instead choose to hike, ski, run, drink beer and enjoy a much lower stress lifestyle.  I do not need any of the trappings of wealth; they're options.  When my time comes to die those ideas,  products and services intentionally left undeveloped will die with me instead of being produced.

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW.

The Christchurch shooter, obviously nuts, wrote a "manifesto" which governments are actively trying to suppress your ability to read.  In it he pointed out an inconvenient truth -- that there is no nation with a material white population percentage in which white women are reproducing at a replacement or better rate.  That is, unless this changes white people will eventually go extinct.

We bemoan a little fish, frog or bird disappearing but there is literally not one word in the media about the most-productive and innovative differentiated group of human beings ever to walk the planet heading directly for extinction by their own voluntary decision.  Why are white women choosing not to bear children?  Maybe it's because a goodly number of them have come to the same conclusion I have -- that there is no rule of law -- and thus unless they're so rich they can cheat like those who did so to get their kids into college their offspring have no chance of success on a merit basis and they thus make the entirely reasonable decision not to create children at all.  After all why would you willingly and intentionally bring a child into this world if you believe they are going to be enslaved and mercilessly robbed for their entire lives?

Rather than correct that problem governments instead are importing people who have not yet made that determination or worse, believe and are explicitly promised that they can simply put their hand out and force others to provide whatever they want and need -- and thus those people make the entirely reasonable decision to breed like rabbits!

WE HAVE NO RULE OF LAW AND WE ARE GOING TO LITERALLY EXTINGUISH WHITE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WESTERN WORLD AS A RESULT.  AS FURTHER POPULATION SEGMENTS ARE TAPPED TO BE THE VICTIMS OF SAID POLICIES THEY WILL CHOOSE NOT TO REPRODUCE AS WELL AND INEVITABLY THEY WILL ALSO GO EXTINCT, ONE AT A TIME.

We have in fact become so depraved that our own government is giving cats diseases on purpose to study them and even though those diseases are easily curable and the animals could then be adopted out that takes a bit of effort and more than a a nickel in cost so they kill them instead.  That would be bad enough but our government is also importing cats and dogs from nations around the world for the purpose of meat to feed said study subjects, practicing animal cannibalism.  We can't be bothered to use byproducts of human food production; you see, that might cost a bit more money.

I'm not the only one who recognizes this; here's another article pointing out many of the same things.

America is extended, riddled with debt and too reliant on ever more debt, past its growth peak, incapable and unwilling to address structural issues. Both political parties have given up on dealing with debt, illusory monetary policies such as MMT are invented to render structural issues as irrelevant. Meanwhile wealth inequality keeps expanding from administration to administration no matter who is in charge with voters distracted by the ideological divisions of the day, not trusting their leaders or each other.

And all this with 3.8% unemployment. What will this all look like during the next downturn? Nobody knows. Rome showed us to not take civilization for granted. It also showed us to not ignore structural problems before they become too large to tackle.

Sven may be hopeful but I am not.  I'm not alone either.  Charles Hugh Smith has written a number of columns on this same point, including just recently.

I challenge you to show me just one "grand idea" or modern stock market rocketship that is not a scam in some form over the last 10+ years.  Netflix, as just one example, effectively stole their entire distribution infrastructure, which is very expensive, through various forms of browbeating and when that was threatened they got the government to mandate their ability to force non-customers to pay for what they wanted during the Obama Administration.  Then, when Obama left, both he and his wife got a multi-million dollar contract from the company.  You don't really think that was the kickback payment to the former President since the stock went from ~$5 when Obama took office to nearly $400 now....

I've written on many of these other firms, in detail, over the last decade.  None of them would exist were there an even-handed enforcement of the law for the simple reason that all of them violate the basic law of business balance: The more people who touch a transaction the more it costs -- always.  The reason for that is simple: Nobody works for free and if you think you've found someone who is someone else is stealing from them because no rational person will perform work that benefits only someone else.

THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW.

This can't -- and won't -- change without Americans rising up by the millions and demanding that it stop and be willing to enforce that demand by whatever means are necessary.  This does not mean violence is required but until and unless those who claim to be "our leaders" believe that any such demand has the force of the people behind it and will be enforced should they stick up their middle finger toward common people once again as they have done for the last 30+ years they have no reason to stop stealing, stop rigging the system and stop screwing everyone else.

There's no reason for me to be hopeful because there is no reason to believe that Americans, say much less the people in any of the other developed, western nations will in fact demand this crap stop.  In fact there is every reason to simply sit back and enjoy what little time is left, given that within the next six years tipping points will be reached in the US on a budget and monetary basis that will destroy the illusion of "growth and prosperity" and from which there is little or no chance of recovery.

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2019-02-09 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 239 references
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There have been recent measles outbreaks in the United States -- which have led many to claim that this is likely related to "anti-vax" sentiment and "personal exception" laws for vaccination.

(CNN)So far this year, Washington state is averaging more than one new measles case a day as officials try to help stop the disease's spread.

Since January 1, Clark County Public Health has confirmed 47 cases of measles. In King County, home of Seattle, at least one confirmed case was reported.

A vast majority of those who came down with measles -- 41 -- were not vaccinated against the disease, Clark County officials said. One patient did receive a vaccination against MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), but the health agency declined to provide more details on that case "to protect the patient's privacy."

Measles is a nasty disease.  It is not simply "a rash, a fever, and then it's over" sort of thing.  In a small but significant percentage of the people who get it the infection spreads to the brain or causes a secondary pneumonia condition to arise; both can permanently injure or kill.

The MMR vaccine is allegedly about 97% effective in providing immunity if you get both doses (one at about 12 months, and the second between 4 and 6 years of age.)  The problem is that we admit into this country a huge number of individuals who have no vaccinations in this series and sometimes none at all, nor do we track them.  They're illegal invaders.

"Herd immunity" is often claimed as the reason to require everyone be vaccinated.  But that claim is bull****; herd immunity is the phenomena that drops the transmission efficiency of a given disease below 1.0.  Measles is extraordinarily contagious, however -- a single person who has it and is contagious that comes in contact with 1,000 non-antibody carriers (either through previous exposure or vaccine) will likely infect an utterly enormous percentage of those exposed.  While it is true that in vaccinated populations transmission will eventually die out due to herd immunity those who have vaccine failure -- and a single-digit percentage of those vaccinated are not protected -- are still nearly-certain to contract the disease if they are exposed.

The bottom line issue here is that illegal immigration is a monstrous vector problem and one we can put a near-100% stop to by stopping all invasion of this nation by those who are not vaccinated.

Again, while a wall or other hard border barrier will not stop all persons from coming into the country illegally it will stop more than 90% of them immediately.  That's the record other nations with border walls have -- including Israel.

If you decide for whatever reason not to vaccinate your kid(s) then your kids are the ones primarily at risk.  But those who did take the vaccine and have it fail for reasons entirely beyond their control, simply because it doesn't always work, should not be exposed to the risk of serious disease and even death simply because some jackwad politicians and businesspeople want political favors and cheap under-the-table illegal labor.

Those who advocate for illegal immigration and protection of any who cross illegally and are already here ought to be charged as accessories before the fact with manslaughter should any US Citizen die as a result of such an infection and be hung at the national mall in fulfillment of their sentence.

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2018-11-23 10:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 2591 references
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As usual the lie factory continues here -- and this is from someone who knows better.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit millions of Americans, but are major drivers of our national debt, which has skyrocketed to more than $21 trillion. If every U.S. taxpayer was billed for an equal share of that debt, we would each be charged about $400,000.

The cause of our out-of-control national debt is rooted in current and long-term obligations of these three big entitlement programs, due in large part to rapidly rising costs and an aging population.

Again, let me reference this Ticker, just one of dozens I've written over the years, that points out the truth: There is no crisis in Social Security.  There is a problem which can be addressed, but the problem was caused directly by tampering with interest rates within The Fed and Congress along with allowing millions of able-bodied people to claim "disability" -- and some of them have been documented to have run marathons while allegedly "disabled."

Nonetheless Social Security is fixable without a large amount of pain.  Why?  Because it is a progressive tax-based system (you get more back in benefit for the first dollar you pay in via taxes than later ones), it holds a relatively large body of bonds which by design were constructed to allow "pig-in-python" style bursts of baby creation (ala The Boomers) as the designers anticipated that happening (along with "busts" at other times) and the tax rate is, in relative terms, high.  (12.4% of all wages earned up to the cap -- you only  "see" half of it as a payroll deduction -- unless you're self-employed!)  Further the boomer pig in the python will start to recede in ten years -- 2028 -- as boomers start dying and so will their outsized proportion of the "draw" on said system.

In other words the conflation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is an intentional lie that is repeated for political purposes and any politician or other policy "wonk" who does so deserves to be destroyed as his or her intent is to wreck this nation on a permanent fiscal basis by generating enough screaming among seniors to guarantee the actual problem is not addressed.

The entire problem with our budget lies in Medicare and Medicaid.  The reason is multi-fold but is focused in the following places:

  • The Medicare tax rate is 2.9%, (1.45% each for employer and employee), or less than one quarter of that for Social Security.  Yet last fiscal year Social Security spent $1.03 trillion while Medicare and Medicaid spent $1.46 trillion with approximately $1.15 trillion being Medicare.  In other words Medicare assesses taxes at less than 1/4 the rate of Social Security yet pays out more money.

  • Medical spending as a percentage of the national economy has increased by a factor of five since Medicare was put into place. Medical spending was approximately 4% of GDP in the 1960s; at 4% of GDP Medicare was sustainable indefinitely as its tax receipt projections were approximately correct in covering expected expenditures.  Medical spending is almost 20% of GDP today, or five times as high in percentage terms.  Yet the Medicare tax rate has not advanced at all.  It would have to be five times what it is today, and advance at the rate of medical spending generally indefinitely into the future, to be solvent.

  • If is not possible to "catch up" now even if you immediately made the Medicare tax 15%, which would be higher than Social Security, because those who are retired now didn't pay the higher rate and the bonds were not bought with their funds.  As such it is flatly impossible to fix this on a prospective basis through higher taxes.  IT CANNOT BE DONE BECAUSE TOO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED WITHOUT DOING IT OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS.

  • Medicaid is even worse because there no tax assessed to cover it.  That is, Medicaid is a "pure" entitlement and last year spent approximately $400 billion.  You get it because you're low-income, not because you paid into it while working and now need it.  For this reason you cannot fix Medicaid with any sort of targeted, employment-based tax because there isn't one and the regressive nature of such taxes means people will leave the workforce to avoid paying same and then collect it.  In fact that has happened now and continues to this day.

By 2040, Medicare, which funds health care for people 65 and older, will cover 88 million enrollees and the cost per enrollee by then is estimated to more than triple. Medicare’s hospital insurance program, known as Part A, can only pay full benefits through 2024, according to the program’s trustees.

Why will it triple on a per-person basis?

Simple -- we have an out-of-control medical racketeering set of enterprises in the United States, all of which are illegal under more than 100 year old law.  Years ago I wrote an article on Lilies explaining how exponents invariably screw anyone who relies on them for a long-term "growth" plan.  It's mathematics, not politics and mathematics cannot be evaded.  But far worse when you only think you see the tiniest bit of the problem coming you're nearly dead -- every time -- because of how exponential math works.  As such the la-la-la-la-la nonsense out of politicians on this and all related subjects has only one rational, society-preserving response: REVOLT.

Let's make this clear right up front: Neither the left's "Medicare for all" or the right's "Repeal and replace" mantras will do a damn thing about this, and 2024 is not far away.  I will also remind you that markets never let you actually hit the wall just as they did not in 2000 and 2007.

Once they suss out that the politicians will not fix it because the people are sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting for people like Trump and Occasional Cortex the market will dive.  Not a little, a lot.  This will force the naked swimmers in the pool above water level for their ugliness to be seen by all.

Again -- there is no tax change that can fix this.  The only means to fix it is to dramatically cut medical spending in the economy as a whole -- not cost-shift it, not make someone else pay, stop paying entirely right now, not in the future, not via some claimed "cost curve" bend in the future that never comes.

Medical spending as a percentage of the economy must collapse back to about 4% of the economy, or approximately one fifth of what it is now, and it must do so today.

This is not impossible, contrary to those who say it is.  As just one example we can take as much as $400 billion out of federal health spending per year right now, today, forevermore by simply addressing one self-inflicted, very damaging and expensive set of disease treatments: Diabetes.  

To those who claim that sort of action would be "cruel" I reply that it is the very opposite of cruel because not only does it take a huge whack out of the federal budget (and state pension expenses) it also will dramatically improve the life of those who suffer from this condition, including in many cases reversing it entirely!

Please explain how that is "cruel".  I'm waiting......

When it comes to surgeries (Hospital Part "A" stuff) may I point to The Surgery Center of Oklahoma which routinely, even when it has to buy supplies and drugs at monopolist prices which are 100-500% or more of a market price, manages to undercut the local hospital in your town by that very same 80% I cited as necessary?  Were they able to buy supplies and drugs at market prices it would likely be 90%.  Oh, and you're one twentieth as likely to acquire an infection in said surgery center as your local hospital because they can't bill you for the cost of fixing their own mistakes and as a result they're far more-careful than your local hospital is.

Incidentally those "mistakes" (negligence, mostly) kill 200,000 Americans a year and maim millions which does even more economic damage since a dead (or maimed) person either produces nothing or far less than they otherwise could.

In 2011, in my book Leverage, I laid out a means to fix this.  Through the years since I've fleshed it out a bit more, but the basic premise remains

  • Enforce the damned law against all the medical providers, require them to post prices and charge everyone the same price for the same thing, thereby allowing competition into the game.

  • Make illegal any sort of cost-hiding (such as the current practice of not being quoted a charge and then having your insurance company play the "explanation of benefits" game.)  This is illegal everywhere else in the economy with damn good reason -- it is, in every case, a criminal conspiracy as it intentionally screws some people who have no opportunity to shop or say no.  In other words you must get a bill and submit it to the insurance company yourself so you see the entire bill, and you must agree in advance to the charges.  When that's physically impossible (e.g. you're on your back having a heart attack) you cannot be charged more than someone who is conscious and able to give consent for the same procedure.

  • Medicaid can be rendered unnecessary in its entirety by these changes (no, this doesn't mean poor people get no medical care -- see the text of the bill.  They in fact get superior care to what they get now.)

  • Forbid drug companies from differentially-pricing across national boundaries -- either directly by law or by dropping the law that currently forbids me from getting on a plane, filling my suitcase with drug "X" in said nation and flying back to resell it in the United States.

  • Forbid government (or care invoiced to the government on behalf of a citizen) from paying anything for medical care where a lifestyle change will provide substantially equivalent or superior outcomes.

  • Force alleged "insurance" to actually be insurance.  What we now call "health insurance" is not insurance; it is a scam, a fraud under the law and a felony criminal offense in every single instance.  Actual insurance by the definition of the word is a group of people who pay a small amount of money into a pool in anticipation of a possible but not certain loss, and from which losses are then paid to those who suffer them.  By definition with insurance once you have a loss you no longer pay anything; the company pays you, and it is criminal fraud to buy an alleged "insurance" policy against either a certain or already existing loss.

Congress would have to act to put into place much of this.  But not all.  The President is the head of the Executive, which is in charge of law enforcement.  Myriad existing parts of the health system are breaking existing, in many cases 100+ year old, laws -- specifically related to anti-trust.  In the specific case of anti-trust these violations are not civil offenses they are criminal felonies.  As a result right here and now, today, the President could direct the US Attorney General to bring said charges tomorrow as could any State Attorney General, since every state legal code I'm examined has similar statutes to 15 USC Chapter 1.

The people of this nation have the ability to put a stop to what is otherwise going to be a certain collapse -- not just in asset markets but of the government itself.  This is not going to happen in 2024 when Medicare cannot pay it will happen before that date because in the history of the world markets have never allowed an actual end date to be reached before they throw up all over the impending disaster.  To expect otherwise is to claim that literally everyone in the world is stupid beyond words.

May I point out that when Medicare's funds are exhausted that $1.1 trillion dollar expenditure (and rising) from last year will be immediately reduced by 75%?  That's right -- they took in just $260 billion last fiscal year in Medicare taxes but spent four times that amount.  If you think the government can immediately add $800 billion to the deficit without interest rates spiking to 10% or more overnight -- which instantly crashes the markets and government both -- you have rocks in your head.

Exactly when the markets will blow up is not determinable in advance but that it will happen is an absolute certainty.  Once it happens there will be no orderly path available to the government or anyone else to stop or mitigate the damage since the entire problem with the market throwing up on such an event is that confidence in the ability and desire of government to address the issue will have been irretrievably lost.

I will remind you that in 2008 the housing sector and frauds in a small part of it, centered in a few "hot" markets such as Florida and California, caused the Stock Market to lose well over half of its value.  This was due to scams in perhaps 3% of the US Economy.

This blowup will be not in 3% of the economy but rather nearly 20% of it and thus will be six times as bad.

The market will not lose 50% of its value, it will lose 90% or more of its value.

GDP will not decline a few percent, it will decline 20% or more.

We will not lose a few million jobs, we will lose 20% or more of the jobs in our economy.

There will not be a couple of investment banks that fail; all of the money-center banks will fail as will all businesses that have any sort of material debt exposure.  That's every large bank, the majority of regional banks and more than half of the publicly traded firms in the United States.

There will not be a few people who lose everything -- homes, jobs, savings and retirement -- up to a third of Americans, or perhaps as much as 100 million people, will lose everything.

The odds that some sizable percentage of that 100 million people will turn to extreme and uncoordinated violence is very high.  A third of the nation may well end up hungry and homeless.  If you think the government will be able to control or put that down think again; the number of angry, willing-to-do-it individuals will be several times the size of the military and police forces combined while federal, state and local government ability to pay said forces will have collapsed.  How many cops will show up for work when their paychecks bounce and they know going to work means their family is defenseless?  How many members of the military will suddenly decide that the Constitution means something and orders be damned?  There's no way to know the answers to those questions in advance, but I assure you -- you're not going to like the answers.

You think this can't happen here?  Oh yes it can.  It has in many other nations, some with ridiculous amounts of very valuable natural resource -- such as oil.  Venezuela anyone?

If you think this is not serious enough to get off your ass now and demand resolving the problem with something as immediate and forceful as this law, backing up that demand with whatever is necessary to make it happen, and yes, I do mean whatever is necessary, then you are through your inaction giving consent to an all-on collapse of our society and government within the next six years.

The market's determination that you're un-serious and don't give a crap, at which point the option to address this problem peacefully and politically will expire, could come at any time including today -- and it is certain on the present path that the hard end-point will arrive before the end of Trump's second term when Medicare runs out of money.

This is no longer an abstract issue that is at some point "far off" in the future.

It must be addressed now.

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