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2017-12-26 10:01 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 681 references Ignore this thread
But I Have A Pension! (And Inflation Is <2%)
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Time for this one again:

smiley

Just in from a reader..... Texas' teacher's retirement system (TRS) served up an upper-decker for Christmas.

You know all those teachers and others who say "they're protected" in their retirement -- and health care?

Well, maybe they are, but guess what -- their spouses?  Not so much.

Health premiums for spouses (paid by the retiree) just went up -- a wee bit.

From $200 -> $700 a month.

2% inflation eh?  Uh huh......  See what happens when you intentionally ignore all the fraud for years because you believe "I'm protected"?

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Magus
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Ouch - that'll hurt. Probably needed, but that'll put a huge damper on ones budget pre-Medicare

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"There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved."

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Flappingeagle
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Would anyone on these forums be surprised to learn that pensions everywhere are searching for any and all loopholes as a way of reducing payments? It looks like the TRS found a good one.

Flap

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Trying to leave the Rat Race to the rats...
Nickdanger
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This will hopefully impact a lot of pensions going forward as a way to cut costs. I hope this becomes a widespread practice. It really gripes me that a friend of mine has their after retirement (pre-65) insurance covered by the company, which is a public utility that has been asking and receiving regular rate increases over the years. So I and everyone else am funding their insurance, thank you very much. If you get electricity, there is no option here.

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Grammar: the difference between knowing your **** and knowing you're ****.
Ktrosper
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ft collins co
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KD wrote..
2% inflation eh? Uh huh...... See what happens when you intentionally ignore all the fraud for years because you believe "I'm protected"?

Oh I know! I know! Pick me!!!
smiley
and
smiley
and
smiley
and
smiley
and
smiley
then
smiley<--Us laughing at the "protected" pensioners..
smiley<--pensioners finally realizing that 2+2 actually IS 4.

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The unexamined life is not worth living.-Socrates
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.-Aristotle
Liberty exists now in the spaces government has not yet chosen to occupy.-Doc Zero
I anticipate that 10 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders will blow me this evening.-K.D
Whitehat
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The People's Republic of New York
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Texas is an interesting case as they can in many of their major municipalities renegotiate their pensions which are not codified in the constitution in the same way as other states. one thing is that what is often "protected" is the actual pension payment, not the lifetime medical benefits for the pensioner and spouse. often this is a union negotiated issue. we often see that after members retire from a union, the union is less interested in fighting for their retirement benefits. if changes are proposed by a municipality, they would be smart to make it seem like they have to cut the current work force's benefits to support the retired. we have already seen this over the past twenty years, hot and heavy the last ten, here in the people's republic of new york. the newer crops are getting much less that the older ones and paying more. there has been some resentment building.

the medical is the low hanging fruit as this is not what is codified in the state constitutions.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
snow, seasons, distance and dirt roads: SSDD
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7)
Tickerguy
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Don't worry, this will all fuel very strong consumer spending over the coming year and make the economy great again!

smiley

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Winding it down.
Rollformer
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Karl, you are not thinking like an economist. You see, we have to make a hedonistic adjustment. You see, now in addition to insurance, the retiree spouses now get buttsex. You see, they now get more, therefore they are experiencing a reduction in cost, not an increase!
Whitehat
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The People's Republic of New York
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@ Rollformer, don't know if Karl does this, but that was comment of the month caliber. i owe you a beer for that one as it will get some mileage.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
snow, seasons, distance and dirt roads: SSDD
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7)
Demosthenes
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I talked to my father on Christmas Eve, about the state of affairs.

Well. It'd be more accurate to state a spirited attempt to talk was made.

His response was to tell me an anecdote. A couple weeks ago, my father had stopped by the local watering hole. He doesn't drink anymore, it was for a soda pop and some conversation.

About a block away, going home, a cop cruising the area flipped around and turned on his lights. My father pulled off, thinking the cop must be on his way to a call. Obviously, this was not the case. He was after my father, who hadn't done a darned thing... except, he'd been parked a few minutes before at the bar, and now this cop cruising the area pulled him over for no apparent reason...

The cop tells my father he pulled him over for not wearing a seat belt. Do I really have to tell everyone that my father was, in fact, wearing a seat belt? I bet I don't.

My father was written a ticket for something he knew he hadn't violated, the cop knew he hadn't violated, and he knew the cop knew and the cop knew that he knew.

The moral of the story was that the cop wanted to get him on an expensive DWI charge and had to settle for a measly 'failure to wear seatbelt'. Which, in my father's eyes, meant my father won. He told me how much satisfaction he gets out of keeping Them from getting what they actually wanted. And really, he insisted, if he hadn't been mouthy then the cop "probably" wouldn't have written the lying ticket at all.

The bald facts are that my father was mugged by an armed man. But I couldn't convince him of this.

Humans learn by failure and pain, but we don't like learning much. It's difficult. So we avoid recognizing failure (this was a fluke, a one-off, just bad luck) and ignore pain (oh, it's no big deal, it's not that bad) if that's an option on the table. And we want that option to be on the table. Ignoring it, minimizing it, justifying it - way, way easier than seeing a genuine problem which will take effort and change to fix.

You see, everything in my father's lengthy experience with life indicates to him that his worldview, his narrative, his approach to life WORKS. He is a successful man; nice house, nice cars, nice workshop, great credit, solid career with a recent market innovation to add to his CV. There is nothing in that list which informs the man he might be doing something wrong. Therefore he must be right. Science!

Confirmation bias will keep him seeing that pretty fantasy land his brain tells him he lives in. He'll minimize any evidence that tells him this isn't working, and he'll maximize any evidence that tells him it is. We all do it. It's wired into the brain.

I'm not even sure it's possible to make people see what's right under their nose when they've decided not to. The more we know about the human brain, the more it appears to be a computer (albeit a very damp one). Computers that interact need firewalls. There are all of these neurological tics in the human brain, and as frustrating as it is when it's impossible to break through someone's Dunning-Kruger or confirmation bias, I suspect these tics act as our firewalls. We're not meant to break through them. Certainly not with ease.

The longer this goes on, and the more I read history both ancient (Rome) and recent (Venezuela), the more I think there is no talking to people about problems until they're ready to admit there is one. And folks won't admit there's a problem until they experience sufficient, unavoidable pain and failure. People who have managed to turn a society and economy into a "win" for themselves aren't going to see problems. Who thinks success is indicative of a problem? Why, no one does, it wouldn't be logical. The "winners" are also incentivized to protect the environment in which they have prospered.

I wish I could make people see what's going on. I wish all I had to do was point out patterns that others could see for themselves, and that folks could take those patterns and apply them to their own lives to see if they scientifically reproduced similar results. It just doesn't appear that humans work like that.

I suppose, on the bright side, we're in for so much pain and consequences that the people who survive the dystopian ****show we're living in may solve a problem or two, thus inching us closer to humans eventually having a civilization that doesn't fail catastrophically.

You know. Maybe.

Aztrader
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Scottsdale, AZ
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The sad thing today is you have to have both a radar detector and a camera in your car. We know that cops are mostly tax collectors for their cities and towns when revenue is down and they have the power to stop anyone they want for any reason. We also know that the cops know that trying to fight them in the local courts can be a waste of time and money. Unfortunately, tickets have gotten out of control costing $250.00 plus which could be a whole weeks pay for a minimum wager. I doubt if Hillary or any other politician has ever paid any kind of fine even though they have made millions stealing from the people. The truth about our society is ugly and most of it is hidden from the masses. They simply accept the abuse and move on..........
Vermonttech
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Malta ny
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Interesting thing happened to me a few weeks ago. The local fire inspector called and informed me that he wanted to schedule a visit to my workplace. Historically the local volinteer fire chief did the inspections and we had a great relationship with him. He always told me that we had a squared away facility. We have never been cited or even had any problems with the inspection. The "new" guy is now a city employee. He even told me that his job is to make money. We were given multiple pages of citations. I disputed some, corrected some chicken **** level stuff and cleared all of them in a few day thrash. They got NOTHING from us. We live in a world of blatant government theft nowadays. They don't even try to hide it anymore.
Jackrussell
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Austin TX area
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Problem w/ TX teacher retirement is that if you say, "screw this, I am just dropping," you can NEVER get back on. And, with the way healthcare is in flux, with big changes coming, I don't know what the future holds on getting another policy, so I don't want to loose it permanently. So I guess my only option is to pay exorbitant rates for unused insurance (haven't been to doctor in ages), or, find a job with health insurance so you can drop TRS while you work, since it is a so-called "qualified event" which allows you to rejoin, if you later quit. Other advice from the galley would be welcome.....

Healthcare clinics and emergency centers are popping up everywhere in my area. It is like they are all saying, lets cash-in on the screwed-up health system, which encourages HEAVY use of private insured and government-paid alike, zero price transparency, and tons of patients they can load up charges: "medically necessary," you know.
Tickerguy
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Quote:
Problem w/ TX teacher retirement is that if you say, "screw this, I am just dropping," you can NEVER get back on. And, with the way healthcare is in flux, with big changes coming, I don't know what the future holds on getting another policy, so I don't want to loose it permanently.

You can only be prosecuted once for...... oh never mind, the American people forgot all that **** from 225+ years ago and we bred it out of ourselves about the same time we defined another 235 "genders".

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Winding it down.
Demosthenes
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Quote:
Other advice from the galley would be welcome.....

There are no winning moves. Any current illusions of "success" are just illusions, slated to burst the very moment TPTB decide your temporary bubble of success is no longer benefiting them.

Stop playing the game. It can't be won, and it was designed that way.



... okay, I was going to stop there, but it occurs to me that it will sound to you as frustratingly vague and unhelpful. Perhaps if I am more direct.

The system is a socialist predator-prey environment. It's easy to see how we personally are being preyed upon, and understandably we'd like this to stop. But it won't, not until we identify the ways in which we have become a predator in this predation-encouraged economy and society, and we stop.

Gen is right. The problem isn't our leaders. It's us. Yes, they've offered us the possibilities of making nice livings in protectionist markets. If we happened to get ourselves a nice little hidey-hole in one of these not-free markets, it's going to be very difficult to see how we have perpetuated this mess as long as it was working out for us. But it breaks the market, it breaks the people around us, and there's nothing about a predatory captured society that will pass us by unscathed.

We don't need better leaders. We need to be stronger people. The problem is us.

Check this out. https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/teren....

Quote:
The number of Social Security beneficiaries hit a record 61,859,250 in November, according to data released by the Social Security Administration.

At the same time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with unemployment at the lowest rate since 2000 (4.1 percent), there were 126,827,000 full-time workers in the United States (including government workers). Yet that equaled only 2.05 full-time workers for each person receiving Social Security benefits.


Emphasis mine.

You're a teacher, Jack. You can do math. You know this math will not work. Now it's up to you to fix the equation and get it right this time. Yes, it will be difficult. Everything worthwhile is. The only benefit to doing a lot of hard work instead of taking the easy way is that hard work... works.
Tickerguy
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Actually, Social Security (retirement) is JUST FINE. All those intergovernmental bonds? The system was designed to stash those for EXACTLY THIS REASON; it is a huge buffer.

Why? Because all those people getting (and to be getting) will DIE, and when they do the ratio will rise once again (workers:retirees.) The system WILL survive, if it it's not looted first, but with most of those bonds gone. So what? That's how it was INTENDED to work.

Now Medicare is another matter entirely. There is NO FIX for that without fixing the underlying MEDICAL SYSTEM. Medicare was designed for a nation where ~4% of GDP was spent on medical treatment, which it was at the time. Now it's 20%. You CANNOT make that up during the time the boomers are still in the system nor in the future. It's IMPOSSIBLE. The ONLY way to fix that is to return medical care to ~4% of GDP and THAT means breaking all the monopolies.

Conflating the two is intentionally dishonest and anyone who runs that horse**** here will not have an account for very long, as I've explained exactly what's going on in this regard MANY TIMES.

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Winding it down.
Analog
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arkansas ozarks
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Quote:
Medicare was designed for a nation where ~4% of GDP was spent on medical treatment, which it was at the time. Now it's 20%.

I see my Medicare invoices paid at about one-fourth of what employer's private insurance used to pay.
Even if we boomers have doubled the demands on Medicare that's not why Medical Care is 20% of GDP.


Medical/Insurance/Pharma complex just takes too much out of the system .

Memo to District of Corruption - "You can't base an economy on paying one another's medical bills. You already tried to run it on approving one another's mortgages , how'd that work out for ya? "

a.

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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Demosthenes
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My apologies for not being clear, Gen. I wasn't attempting to send a message of "SS is failing and it must be fixed", though I can see now how it could be read that way.

I was hoping to use those numbers to illustrate the ratio of economic production to economic consumption of production via redistribution and market distortion. I had recently read that article, and it was the first to spring to mind as an example of the issue. I thought TFers would, like me, see it as a rather alarming set of figures showing how many incomes are detached from economic production. Incomes were my gist, not SS. The economy looks like an ouroborous.

Here is another example which may be more appropriate. http://www.khou.com/news/health/price-of....

The free market says some savvy person will see an obvious opportunity to undercut NextSource and scoop up a tidy sum for themselves in the process. People buying cancer drugs will have lower prices, NextSource learns a valuable lesson - or doesn't, fails, and other business grow to take its place.

That isn't happening. Possibly because the government has set extraordinarily high barriers for entry into this marketplace and there's not much real competition.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. NextSource is a fair example of a distorted market inefficiently allocating resources. When consumers are forced to overpay what the drug is worth, including being forced to subsidize a discounted price for people who can't afford the 1400% increase, there are lost opportunity costs. That money would have been spent elsewhere, possibly supporting work of true value instead of a slick scheme. An ouroborous.

I ought to have said it outright, and not assumed people would just get where I was going with it. Y'all don't know me well enough for shortcuts in communication on my part. I was trying to avoid becoming the unfamiliar guy that only writes enormous manifestos. Maybe I should just roll with big posts for a bit, to avoid lack of clarity. I dunno. Communication is complicated.

Is this more clear?
Rollformer
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Did you see this Executive Order? https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-.... I will not link, but twatter is going insane with hashtag #qanon . I have run out of tin for the latter, but the EO is interesting.
Tickerguy
Posts: 151171
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A True American Patriot!
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Meh

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Winding it down.
Aztrader
Posts: 7913
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Scottsdale, AZ
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cHECK OUT THE FEDERAL SALARIES

https://www.openthebooks.com/map/?Map=58....

Jacksparrow
Posts: 34
Incept: 2016-04-15

4116 Libby Rd NE, Olympia WA 98506
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In my case for 2016 if I added my son as either a plus one, or as part of family coverage, it would have cost me an extra $980/mth, or about 1/3 of my monthly retirement check. His mom already had family coverage so she added him on her plan. My prediction is the whole healthcare system is in full on collapse by the end of 2018.
Dennisglover
Posts: 952
Incept: 2012-12-05

Huntsville, AL
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@Jacksparrow--the "whole healthcare system" (cough-cough) is something I want very much to be in "full collapse" a long time before the end of next year.

That's one reason I have refused to "contract" for Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental, Obamacare, or anything else since my company-provided "medical insurance" expired at the end of August. I'm not feeding the beast any more.

As for the "company-provided" phrase there, it became extremely clear to me on April 1, when I went on furlough, and later when I became Part Time On Call (for which I absolutely love my Company!), that the premiums were actual checkoffs against what might have been part of my salary, and I had to pay the $500/month insurance for Employee+Spouse (cheap by many measures, I know) from my pocket. Most of that insurance premium was because my ex-wife was a cancer survivor, I suspect--my premium would have been about $180/month (Blue Cross/Blue Shield Platinum, CIGNA dental, etc.).

#NukeTheSwamp

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TANSTAAFL
Jackrussell
Posts: 13
Incept: 2016-12-10

Austin TX area
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AZTRADER: THANKS For govt salary info, wow! Temple, TX VA hospital, nurses $100k, almost ALL the doctors are making $350,000 yr range, and appear to be foreign nationals (most South Asian). I am close to a MD in a different Temple hospital, says the patients exclaim, "We love you Dr. A, you're the only doctor in the department whom we can understand". WHY JOBS NOT GOING TO HARD-WORKING AMERICANS? Yet ANOTHER reason this is a CRAZY, retched system.
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