Enjoy Your Dependence Day, America
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-07-04 01:00 by Karl Denninger
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Enjoy Your Dependence Day, America
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It was not that long ago that a group of men and women in this nation decided they had enough.

They didn't have electric power. They didn't have Teslas. Most homes didn't have any sort of "plumbing"; there was an outhouse, as the named implied, out back -- which was little more than a pit and a shack around it.  Taking a bath required heating water over a fire, which then could be poured into a tub; a "shower" was unheard of. Indeed these people didn't have cars; they rode horses or walked, and many could not afford a horse, so feet it was.  There was no "welfare", no AFDC and no Obamacare. If you didn't work you either found someone who took pity on you -- privately -- or starved. They did have firearms, but not because someone gave them to them, and in fact the government kept trying to confiscate them or limit what they could own or where they could carry them.

The genesis of the American Revolution was a modest but real increase in taxes that the Crown attempted to impose, especially on what was at the time an effective national beverage -- tea.  I remind you that at the time the effective tax rate in the Colonies was a mere 2%, and the increase proposed was tiny.

Yet it, along with a government that wanted to tell people how to live, pushed the nascent Americans far enough over the edge that they grabbed rifles and told the soldiers -- and the Crown to "get out."

The Crown didn't originally think they meant it.  There were skirmishes.  It's a commonly held, but false, belief that suddenly people started shooting out of nowhere.  In fact there were multiple small acts of violence that just never caught fire.  Lexington and Concord, however, were a different matter, and both took place on April 19th 1775, or more than a year before the Declaration of Independence would be signed.

Every man who signed his name to that document did so in a time of war and as a knowing and intentional act of treason.  Had the Revolution failed those who survived the fighting would have been hanged, and they knew it.

Not only was the nation at war for more than 12 months before the founders signed the Declaration it would be June 21st, 1788, years after the last rifle shot rang out, before the Constitution would be ratified.

Between all those events were plenty of people sticking up the middle finger to varying degrees.

Most did so very quietly.  In fact the name "three percenters" comes from the very small percentage of those who did so violently.

Some of the most-effective protest isn't violent.  Violence makes it easy for the government to corral you and ship you off somewhere; indeed, it's nearly certain to happen.  You only "win" in a violent protest if you win entirely and the odds are very much against you since most revolutions fail and of those that succeed the next government is often worse than the previous one with the new leaders deciding to kill anyone who might challenge them as their first act in power!  Thus unless you're one of the (very few) "favored" you hang anyway, even though you "won"!

On the other hand non-violent economic resistance is not only often effective for you it's a hell of a lot safer.  There are few "regimes" throughout history that manage to actually enslave the population.  Most of them don't go that far by a long shot; they instead try to obtain compliance through hand-outs and building your "expectations" to unrealistic levels at which point you voluntarily put up with their crap.

Look around you folks.  I can't tell you how many people I've had respond to me that it's impossible to run a household on anything less than $60,000, $100,000 or more a year in "income."  In that range more than half of what you make is actually going to someone else, and yet you work your ass off at that level for most people.

Today for young people it's economically dangerous to try for what was formerly just a function of hard work.  How do you go to college now without either taking on debt or getting your parents to foot the bill?  Don't think the second option leaves you as a young graduate "safe" either; by definition those who "can pay a lot" drive up the price for everyone else; that's simple supply and demand, and when fueled by a debt bubble you now have a built-in "expectation" of what you "should" be able to make.  What happens when that doesn't materialize post-graduation?

Now consider how much easier is it to work at a level of making $20,000 or $30,000 a year......

Can you do any of that in a big city and not be living in a slum with shootings going on all around you on a daily basis?  Probably not.  That becomes a problem for not only the older folks but the younger ones if their "expectations" are that they can live in the Chicago area, for example, where $500,000 houses come with $20,000 annual property tax assessments and the cheap houses ought to have a machine gun turret on the roof!

But can you make it work -- easily -- in some corner of Arkansas or Alabama?  Hell yes.

So what keeps you from doing it?  Is it really all that important to have the parochial existence?  The manicured lawn?  The big city life?  The Lexus or Mercedes?  The "access" to all those supposed things?  Does any of that really bring you joy, or are you just a hamster on the wheel trying to make enough money so you don't drown while preserving the facade for your neighbors, associates and kids?

You know damn well I'm right.

When you boil it down here's the problem with deciding to be a hamster: It only works if everyone else around you is willing to do so as well.

As soon as any material percentage of people (like myself) hop off the wheel you're all ****ed because unlike the hamster wheel in your kid's pet cage a human hamster doesn't have enough body mass by himself to actually turn the wheel.  He needs thousands of others on the wheel with him to fund the crazy and there is a point that can rapidly occur where there is insufficient mass remaining to turn the wheel at all.

Exactly where is that point?  You don't know and neither do I, but that it exists is fact.

We're going to find that point in the realm of public spending and "promises".  Illinois is just one example, but hardly the only one.  Those who think it's an isolated incident or even confined to "blue states" are in for a very rude shock, because the biggest part of this game is not state or locality-specific at all -- it's federal.

What will be your option when the wheel comes to a halt?  Do you think you'll have plenty of time?  Years, even decades to change your mind and take action to mitigate the disaster?  History says you're wrong; how long did Greece get before things got ugly?  Have they really gotten that much better since?  There are myriad examples through the last 50 years alone, say much less if you go back further.  The warnings are present if you care to look for decades but nobody listens until it's too late -- every time.

There apparently was a fossil found of a man in Pompeii.  He was masturbating when he got buried, which, if you think about it, is remarkable.  Vesuvius gave plenty of warning that it was going to blow up, but the people of Pompeii did not leave.  They did not take any action at all to save their own asses, despite knowing they were sitting right next to a literal bomb.  When the final cataclysm came it was so fast that the man rubbing one out didn't even have time to contemplate what was about to happen to him -- or perhaps he did indeed, realized he was screwed, and took those last few seconds to try to gain one final bit of pleasure before he was engulfed.

Happy 4th folks.  Now go pay homage to that which this nation lost decades ago, and no, Trump hasn't reignited it.  That there are no protests that cannot be contained within the Mall's boundaries in DC, not toward Trump but toward a government that has enabled and continues to enable the systematic looting of everyone in this nation to the tune of trillions every single year tells me everything I need to know about the path this nation is on.

Trump is just Vesuvius' warning, being ignored.

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User Info Enjoy Your Dependence Day, America in forum [Market-Ticker]
Drole
Posts: 28
Incept: 2015-11-17

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In my ongoing relocation search, just yesterday a 30-something hipster told me how I wouldn't want to live someplace rural because they lack 'diversity.' And i'd have to drive a long way to see a movie. Sign me up!
Vernonb
Posts: 1817
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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Quote:
In my ongoing relocation search, just yesterday a 30-something hipster told me how I wouldn't want to live someplace rural because they lack 'diversity.' And i'd have to drive a long way to see a movie. Sign me up!

This is why I live in a small Appalachian community of less than 800 people at the top of a mountain. I'll take my daily dose of lack of 'diversity' when it comes to diversifying (diluting) myself in the presence of idiots any day! We have no police force and generally everyone is armed. Seldom do we have any real violence. The last violence was a police officer that stabbed his wife to death before 2006.


20 + miles from the nearest major city. THANK GOD!


Just another hipster moron that couldn't survive 3 days w/o some type of governmental service.

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"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Maynard
Posts: 348
Incept: 2007-11-27

Like many PNW
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I mention this from once in a while on TF to hopefully convince someone else to jump off the hamster wheel. We did it 2 years ago. Its possible to live off sub $20k/year income. We do it well with a 3yo and thats coming off dual 6 figure incomes.
You HAVE to change your lifestyle and expectation. Meaning you can't buy whatever you want. But its worth it. I don't feel like I am feeding the beast.
BTW I was looking at RE in Arkansas this week. There are some awesome places with lots of land for 150k.
Imustbenutz
Posts: 325
Incept: 2010-11-04

Absurdistan, USSA
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This is a great meme, fast forward to 2017 - we are fighting amonst ourselves.
Vitchilo
Posts: 6150
Incept: 2011-04-27


Banned
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Meanwhile, our pile of manure in canada, trudeau, will pay 10 million $ to Omar Khadr, the al-qaeda terrorist who murdered a US medic... because he was beaten in Guantanamo.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/khadr-se....
Quote:
Ottawa reportedly set to pay millions to Omar Khadr
Multiple reports say apology and payment coming for former Guantanamo Bay prisoner

Announced on July 4 to boot.

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We hang the petty thieves and promote the great ones to office.
Click
Posts: 3
Incept: 2017-06-26

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Profoundly well written, as usual, and the rumblings of a super collapse are being felt everyday by this reader.

Methinks some very hot SHTF within five or ten years, perhaps sooner. And when it does I want a hefty stockpile of food, water, medicine, farming supplies, firearms, ammunition and as much fuel as I can safely store.

Priorities are:

1) Health
2) Practical skills
3) Bug-in and bugout plan
4) Keep the family together
5) Weight investment with tangibles
6) Speak truth and warn the masses
7) Have faith

Thanks, Karl, for caring enough to make a written declaration/ warning...
Analog
Posts: 1423
Incept: 2010-12-29

arkansas ozarks
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Quote:
BTW I was looking at RE in Arkansas this week. There are some awesome places with lots of land for 150k.


I wanted to be near water so bought a small house on a few acre pond too small for outboards but great for swimming. Grandkids love it. Big change from Florida Keys back country fishing to catfish and bass though.

Were i twenty years younger i'd look around Flippin and Mountain Home, on the big lakes.

a.

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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Delphis
Posts: 1402
Incept: 2009-06-04

Washington
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Hi bar to vault, Karl...

But I am going to call this your best holiday post ever.

Thank you for your continued, formidable insight and willingness to share your thoughts and speak your conscience. You have enlightened and motivated me to act and make changes to my plans and do the same to those around me willing to listen and learn.

Happy Fourth of July to you and Sarah.

Cheers!

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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."....Albert Einstein
"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."...George Washington
Yourapostasy
Posts: 52
Incept: 2008-10-06

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"Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources." Abba Eban said this, and almost certainly not Churchill. There is hope along these lines, though a slim one, that we may yet avert disaster.

Even if you truly believed we are 100% going to end up in a better-be-a-prepper scenario (we're definitely headed in that direction, but I doubt even Karl is so convinced we'll land there that he's already liquidated, bugging out, and so busy prepping he won't dabble in the financial markets in the meantime), it will not afflict everyone with equal viciousness, and unless you bug out now to a really remote area like the Faroe Islands and set up self-sufficiently there, it will be quite difficult to guarantee avoiding the fallout. My family history has memories of one of the Communist revolutions and WW2. In both, there were stretches of years where life carried on somewhat "normally", far away from the "front lines". When violent change came for them though, it was a pell-mell dash for life, and the situation changed in a blink of an eye.

One scenario that keeps me musing at nights like this is equities and bonds get squashed flat in a flash crash, and trap all the "financial preppers": people who withdraw from active economic participation, but still store their wealth in the financial markets, because they don't see the signs yet for them that say, liquidate and literally bug out now. That's a really tough call to make, and if you call for it now, know that you've been preceded by literally decades of others who made the same call, only to throw in the towel years later.

It may be more sustainable to re-orient withdrawing as a permanent lifestyle change. Not a "if we avoid disaster, then I'll come back," but a permanent "those ****ers will never, ever make me or mine that dependent upon them, ever again".

The prepping/independence rabbit hole goes deep, though. If you haven't dived into it yet, then make sure you establish boundaries before you start.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/11/11/....
Sloonie
Posts: 2218
Incept: 2008-04-16

waaaaay up North
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Great post, Karl, and right along this line, if one takes the time (all of 33 minutes), the following is an excellent piece about what people were willing to do and be in the search for freedom, in 'coming to America'.
Worth the watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvxRajqG....

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"If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don't have the strength to live in a world like that..."-Father Gabriel, 'The Mission'


Ponzi_unit
Posts: 9142
Incept: 2007-09-05

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My last day of work is July 14th and I won't be 59 till this fall.

Took last week off from work and wrote 3 resignation letters. Turned in the letter that was two sentences long. The rest of the week I sat there and stared at the walls and realized I am going to need to find something to do.

I'm all cash. I own a car and some clothing and a few electronic devices.

One thing that concerns me most is decent medical care. I don't want to live in a location that requires a helicopter as an emergency vehicle. I have taken positive health steps - losing weight but certain services are important.

Looking around my general vicinity for places to live it was interesting to note that high crime areas (burglary) are often where you don't expect them to be. Many rural communities have sprung up and unless they have some sort of security, they are targeted by thieves when the leave for work. Police reports list lots of small to modest crimes of theft.

So you might avoid violent crimes buy moving away from urban areas but you increase your non-violent burglary type crimes.

So I don't see myself rushing out to buy a property right now and can see myself continuing renting for now.

Also, since I'm packing it in I have concerns about insurance. I know it's going to be outrageously expensive but in my budgeting, I allowed for full cobra coverage till the end of the year. I'm not sure if I will actually do that and at least on the Dental side of things, I'm going to see what cash pricing is for work that is to be done for the rest of the year.

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Taxpayers witnessed a crime and stayed around long enough to get charged with it.
Fedwatcher
Posts: 1952
Incept: 2009-04-07

Southern California
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"Taxpayers witnessed a crime and stayed around long enough to get charged with it." - Ponzi_unit

Until enough voters feel the pain and wake-up, nothing will change.

History shows that "Crash And Burn" is a normal part of the political cycle which often sees the wrong people put in charge thus requiring another "Crash And Burn".

After the "Crash of 1929" we had many "Crash And Burn" cycles before our recovery brought about by WWII.


I would like to believe that it was FDR that got us out, but the evidence is that he failed.
Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Yep.

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Winding it down.
Bkmiller
Posts: 215
Incept: 2008-08-30

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>>at least on the Dental side of things, I'm going to see what cash pricing is for work that is to be done<<

Ponzi_unit,

I also pulled the plug and retired from Corp America a couple years ago to voluntarily lower my income and improve my life. (Happily, I might add). As to dental costs, the cash pricing isn't too bad...

As my (still) long-time dentist told me, "...you can get by with paying cash for dental work...medical is another matter". He's also a sole-practitioner, aware of, and understanding of, the medical-dental insurance pricing issues / racket.

Med "insurance" / med care is another matter, as you undoubtedly know. I am fortunate to have retiree medical from my former employer, with a large % paid by said former employer (for now). I'm always looking over my proverbial shoulder for when that will go away...exponents ya' know... It.Can't.Last.

Math.Will.Not.Be.Denied.

Suggest you have a frank discussion with your dentist. You may be surprised as to his flexibility for cash.

And, congrats on turning the page to the rest of your life! I can almost guaran-f**king-tee that you will not regret your decision! (No warranty expressed or implied. :-) )
Dennisglover
Posts: 686
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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@Ponzi_unit: My last day of work might have been March 31. I'm on the "disabled list" right now, and am really glad to work for a company that just says, "If you're in a tight, we're still in with you."

If you've never had a corn in the center of an ankle, expressing itself at every other step, feeling like a 20p nail has been driven into your shoe from below, I don't expect you to understand that I simply cannot face walking the distances I have to in my job at US Army Space and Missile Command HQ. If that makes me weak, okay, it does.

Retirement was already scheduled for 01 December 2017. Maybe it's come early. But my employer has not abandoned me, and that's a good thing. There must be some other employers and companies like that, out there. Check 'em out, if you care: http://boecore.com/. (I'm not a recruiter, but there's good stuff going on in this company.)

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TANSTAAFL
Dennisglover
Posts: 686
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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By the way, @Sloonie, I like Stefan Molyneux very, very much. Of course the link you posted led me to other links I hadn't seen before.

Thanks again!

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TANSTAAFL
Ponzi_unit
Posts: 9142
Incept: 2007-09-05

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BKMiller "...you can get by with paying cash for dental work...medical is another matter"

Good to know. Will take it up with Dentist when she's back from vacation.

DennisGlover "But my employer has not abandoned me, and that's a good thing."

I'm sure I'll miss the socializing that comes with co-workers and I know for sure I need to replace that somehow but to the company itself, i'm just a number. I've been pinned down to a cube for so long I'd almost pay to have a job where I had to walk!

I've been looking around for an outdoor / adventure / survival type instructor and most of them seem to come and go without regular scheduled courses.

Figured I'd take my youngest son and I. Start out simple, like wild foods identification and then work our way up to primitive camping. I used to know an old-timer, ex-ranger and he'd take scouts into the Okefenokee swamp. I recall him telling me he had to get approval from a Congressman to do it and a few of the parents were distraught at the liability forms they had to sign and pulled their kids from the trip.

First time he did it, only two kids made it the entire hike. His son and the smallest kid in the troop. The others pulled themselves out at various points. I don't think I'm up for something like that right off the bat!

Going to look around for some charities that are not too political. Stuff to keep busy for a while. Mostly just worry about taking care of my own health and spending time with youngest son.

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Taxpayers witnessed a crime and stayed around long enough to get charged with it.
Imustbenutz
Posts: 325
Incept: 2010-11-04

Absurdistan, USSA
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okay, so the meme failed to upload...
Inline
Burya_rubenstein
Posts: 1245
Incept: 2007-08-08

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Found this today, and would like your take on it.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-is....
Tickerguy
Posts: 149209
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Meh, for a whole host of reasons.

Like the ones I've outlined. You don't need to shoot people to have a society collapse. Oh, the shooting (and other similar things) come after, but they're not the START of it.

We may have more 35+ year olds, but how many are on welfare?

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Winding it down.
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