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2017-12-31 09:46 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 472 references Ignore this thread
2018 Forecast: Winter
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I've been harping on this more-or-less continually since 2011 -- it relates to your personal health and reliance on the health care system in the United States.

Specifically, if you look like you're pregnant and you're not (or can't be) -- let's just make it simple folks; if you stand in the shower, look straight down, and you see gut instead of genitals.....

You can ignore this (again), if you want.  But time's pretty-much up.

Trump's "tax cuts" are going to accelerate the deficit spending trend that Obama (and Bush before him) initiated.  The Fed's machinations over the last 100+ years are utterly irrelevant because all of them are in fact driven by Congress.  The Fed is a creature that operates at the behest of Congress, as a creation of Congress, and every single dollar it has "printed" it has "printed" because Congress spent money it did not have.

In other words, Congress ran a deficit.

The Fed has its share of detractors and I'm among them.  But those who refuse to place responsibility where it belongs are fraud-running jackasses, and while I'm happy to try to educate folks those who refuse to learn and cling to that which is trivially disproved mathematically wind up on my "ignore" list.

The bottom line: It is Congress, which is elected by you, that has destroyed the purchasing power of the currency and enabled all of the fraud and force in our economy today.


Health care costs have exploded because of fraud, extortion and just plain intentional bloat.  Hiring ratios of 10-30:1 for administrators to doctors and nurses are just a start.  You pay for every one of those people but they never provide a single second of care to a single person.  This crap standing alone is strangling the economy and it's strangling the Federal Government.

Then you add onto it monopolist protections system-wide.  You can't get a price before a procedure and you can't hold someone to a price.  How much you pay has nothing to do with the complexity and everything to do with how you pay (or whether you can.)  The health system is the only form of "business" in which a hospital or physician bills you for fixing their screw-ups -- and if those screw-ups kill or permanently maim you they're "entitled" to bill you for that too.

The entire health system in this country, top to bottom, is a racketeering enterprise on grand scale, it currently consumes one fifth of all money spent in the United States, stealing at least 80% of that, and in many cases produces negative or zero net value while doing so.

The Federal Government knows this.  It also knows that if the Attorney General, Congress or the President puts a stop to it there's a monstrous recession -- in fact, from an economic definition perspective an immediate Depression will result.  It wouldn't last long and we'd be far better off when it was over but the next 12 to 18 months would be nasty and whoever is in office at the time will get blamed -- and lose their jobs.

As a result none of the people in office -- not federal, state or local -- will do it unless the public rises and demands it, making clear that there are three -- and only three -- alternatives: Do it, leave peacefully and be replaced by someone who will, or rest in pieces.

Ultimately the people of any nation have the right to issue such a demand -- but only in concert, as a body politic.  1776 was such a demand and when the answer "nuts!" came back from the British monarchy the colonists reply was "ok, since you insist in pieces it shall be."

No lone person has the right to do it (we call that terrorism) but the people as a body politic always do, provided the alternatives are laid on the table.  That's the very premise on which a representative republic is based.

Well, you won't do it.  Not collectively, or in sufficient numbers.

You'd rather get screwed on-balance.

As a result your only alternative is to not need the medical scam.

Sadly if you do need it and the tipping point comes -- which may be as early as this year, you're going to be severely hosed -- or worse, dead.

There's much more, of course -- autos, "higher" education and other areas of grift and scam (FANG-cough-cough!) but this one you can actually take some level of personal control over and thus to a meaningful degree evade.

I've written many pages on this topic, and unfortunately there are some who have enough bad luck, or have just let things go too long, for whom there is no way out at this point.  There's nothing that can be done if you're in that position.  But if you're not, and most people who are today dependent on the medical scam can make a differencethen you're running out of time -- fast.

Start reading, and start doing.

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Good post. Have a healthy New Year, and a happy one, too.
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A True American Patriot!
Time to feed the chickens.
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Campaign donations of organizations in the medical industry ... nearly $400 million in 2017


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
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Went onto Facebook a bit ago for the daily dopamine hit, but that doesn't seem like what it is, at least to me anymore.

A friend from my old job, a jovial gentleman, who had had a lung transplant two or three years ago, has now been diagnosed with stage 4 mesothelioma. The odds of that are just staggering low. Hopefully he passes while he can still pass peacefully.
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Karl, wishing you a happy and healthy 2018! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience here on the Market Ticker. I've been following you since the inception, and words can't describe how appreciative I am of how much this content has made a positive difference in my life.
Posts: 72
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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Christmas dinner with my parents consisted of me trying to persuade my mother to drop her blood pressure meds altogether, like NOW. Throughout 2017 she has focused on a proper diet and exercise program. As a result, her diabetes pretty much went away, her resting heart rate has come down from the 80s to the 60s, she has lost 30 or so lbs, and her extremities have gained back some lost nerve function. This, however, was not good enough for her "doctor", who insisted she go on statins to take her 150/80-160/90 BP down to what it "should" be.

I insisted that if all her other markers were coming in line, that BP could not be far behind, so long as she stays the course and keeps to her healthful changes. She hates the way the statins make her feel, and I said she will hate it even more when they give her back her diabetes and kill her kidneys to boot. She still consumes too much caffeine in my opinion, and she bakes with "gluten free" grains from time to time, and I said as much to her that she needs to chuck those habits too. But all in all, her changes have been positive, but even so the medical establishment is trying to milk her for money and kill her slowly.
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East of Sheol
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The Federal Government knows this. It also knows that if the Attorney General, Congress or the President puts a stop to it there's a monstrous recession -- in fact, from an economic definition perspective an immediate Depression will result. It wouldn't last long and we'd be far better off when it was over but the next 12 to 18 months would be nasty and whoever is in office at the time will get blamed -- and lose their jobs.


Considering these people (10-30:1) produce absolutely nothing from a manufacturing standpoint would it really cause much of a recession? If these people get put deservedly out of a job the money that they were getting goes into the pockets of the people being formerly screwed. That money can be used elsewhere for other goods and services outside the health care system.

I know the stock market gets hammered and all the people that have invested in the scam through health care stocks also get their just rewards for investing in the scams that have financially raped the people of this nation -no sympathy from me.

This is not like losing a manufacturing base that actually creates something of value. When the medical system adds nothing of value and instead functions like a giant tick on the back of the American people then getting rid of the parasite immediately strengthens the host.

Not sure if I am missing something but I can't see where these people being put out on the street is such a bad thing for the rest of the nation - until the government decides to pay them benefits in "sympathy". I doubt the rest of the nation outside of "health fail" even notice a recession if they had no need of these services?

Anyway- thanks for all you do. Best of the new year to you.

"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
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It can be done. 20 pounds in 6 weeks to keep my job.

Had this same discussion with another driver Friday night.
His A1c hit 9.7 and his Dr. wanted to put him on Insulin.
No job for him then.
You don't get diabetes by someone sneezing on you.
Most people do it to themselves.
This is huge for my wife. Her A1c was over 12.
Now it is below 8.
We are doing it together.

Daughter is going HFLC MP too. 4 Pounds her first week.
She is also on a huge debt reduction program with the goal of paying off her mortgage in 5 years.
She is working part time to supplement her Real Estate and took in a college student boarder.
Cost her $1000 to finish off the bedroom in her basement.
She will get $450 a month renting it out.
Her Mortgage is only $550.

Watch out for yourselves, Government surely never will.

Rollformer, that is really bad news.
Since you worked together and Meso is usually related to workplace exposure, Get checked yourself.
Still trying to reconcile the Lung transplant though....
He didn't get a bad lung? Or was Meso already there necessitating the transplant?

Best of Luck to everyone in the New Year and may your endeavors be productive and families healthy.

Preparing to go Hunting.
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Vernonb wrote..
would it really cause much of a recession?
A textbook definition of an economic depression is a decline in real GDP exceeding 10%. The medical parasites consume 20% of GDP currently, when historically the medical industry was only 3-4%. Given the state of modern American politics, if the medical industry were gored, do you really believe the opposition wouldn't use that as a talking point, especially given the short-term effects felt by everyone who's reliant on the medical scams for their paychecks? It isn't just those who explicitly work for a medical firm, but also those who do higher-order work for those firms (e.g., construction firms that build medical facilities; electricians, plumbers, etc. whom they hire; the firms that provide supplies to those contractors; ...).

A collectivist defines peace as the silence of their enemies, through fear, imprisonment or death. That's how they define peace. - Mike Vanderboegh

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I say we hold a big BBQ...

Winding it down.
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Supertruckertom: the lung transplant was a double, so most likely it was the donor who had been exposed. Apparently, he is old enough that he may have gotten a bad polio vaccine that may have given him a virus that may have caused it (it is apparently so rare that they can't prove the relationship. That substantial polio vaccines were contaminated with the virus is well established.)

I think he had an autoimmune issue where his body turned on his lungs. I'm not sure he had a precise diagnosis. They were hours away from pulling the plug when those lungs became available.

The scam was incredible, though. Once he got back to work, he brought his hospital bills in to share with everyone. I don't think the transplant was all that expensive; but a couple months prior in ICU was incredible.

The funny thing is that one of our parent companies had been bankrupted by asbestos in 2000 or 2001. He came from the steel company parent, so I doubt he was exposed to it.

There is a certain bitter irony in the whole thing. Life saved by a transplant, and dying of lung cancer. Through no fault of his own.

By the way, I am not an anti-vaxxer. Relevant Wikipedia article is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SV40 . There is a citation to a medical journal. And it appears that there is no conclusive evidence that the virus is especially harmful to humans.
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When Karl starting posting on carbs I thought he was full of crap. The wake-up happened in 2015 when an old college buddy bluntly said I was getting chunky and my dad (a retired PE teacher) was voicing concerns about my weight. I was gaining, but my dietary habits handn't changed. Looking in the mirror, I couldn't live with all the lard I was carrying around, so with nothing to lose-- especially as dieting had never worked for me-- I decided to give HFLCMP a try.

My glucose numbers pegged me at pre-diabetes: anywhere from 90-145 fasting, and the numbers got worse as I time tested myself after a meal. When I stopped carbs, the withdrawal was awful, but I stuck with it. There was a learning curve, but once I broke the addiction I never looked back.

Fast forward almost two years I'm 30lbs lighter, I eat until I'm full, I can go 18 hours w/o food and not feel hungry, and this month it seems my blood glucose levels are normal. My body has healed. I've never felt so good, and like Karl who long-distance runs, I just started learning Jui Jitsu. My 50 y/o body feels better from anytime after I was 30.

On this New Years Eve, get off your fat ass and ignore conventional dietary wisdom. You don't know what you don't know.

Karl, you changed my life and added many years to it. Happy New Year and thanks.
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Great post. Thank you.
Happy New Year (not so) Big (anymore) Guy :)

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
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Even if you aren't overweight, it is prudent to look at your family history if it is available to see what you want to try to avoid. I've never been obese, and was only overweight years ago when I took SSRIs; I'm a "healthy" weight and don't have a "stomach.". I get plenty of exercise. But my father and brother are both diabetics on insulin.

So, per Karl's advice, I took an A1c test - it was 5.7. I'm sure that being vegan (all whole foods) for many years did not help. So I went to very low carb vegetarian (full fat dairy intake is associated with avoiding diabetes). Got down to 5.2. But that didn't last; I tried adding legumes, went back to 5.7, and was unable to get my A1c down again once I quit eating legumes.

So now I'm doing very low carb vegetarian with intermittent fasting. I bought a meter (also something Karl suggested), and have discovered some unpleasant things about my blood sugar. It doesn't go up horribly after my low carb meals. But the other day I had a big salad, some cabbage/soysauge stew, a inch square of 73 percent cocao chocolate (I don't even like chocolate, but it's supposed to be good for preventing diabetes) and a cup of pasta (the pasta was a sort of test; I don't eat it normally). I was stuffed. None of these things, individually, even a cup of pasta, do anything horrible to my blood sugar. But combined, they caused it to go to 159, where it sat for 5+ hours. My mouth was dry and I felt really sick.

So, I've always liked to eat big meals, and wait again until I was really hungry to eat again. I think I may be sensitive to meal size (the "Chinese restaurant meal" effect, where stuffing your stomach can raise your blood sugar even if it's just by eating a head of lettuce, per Dr. Bernstein). So, I'll avoid that. But there is no way I would have been able to guess this without a meter. You really do need to get a meter to see what is going on.

As a side note, I have started googling "vegan diet causes diabetes." It is insidious. All that it pulls up is the pro-vegan propaganda. I was vegan for 19 years, but I never thought it was an especially healthy thing to do (that wasn't my motive), and now I think that for many people it can be a disaster. I am guessing that the "success" these diet sometimes have in lowing blood glucose is due to their restricting calories and thereby causing weight loss (which is not going to last; weight lost that way comes back). I would bet a great deal that a vegan diet that is not calorie restricted would not help at all.
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The mesothelioma thing is interesting. I've done some more research. Found an interesting article from "The Atlantic" from 2000 (not exactly a bastion of irrationalism). https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc....

Apparently the virus is quite common in mesothelioma cases, and 20% of mesothelioma cases present with no exposure to asbestos. So keep rational here, and understand that even if all 20% of those cases were caused by the SV40 virus, we are talking about hundreds of cases per year where tens of millions were affected. I would imagine quality control has improved.

This did get me thinking about the chicken pox vaccine. I don't know the side effect profile of the vaccine, but I was able to find some statistics on this particular deadly scourge. It appears from CDC data (https://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/surveilla.... that in the early 1990s, prior to the anti-itch injection, 4,000,000 children were infected annually, and 100 - 150 would die.

So I did some math. Current pricing for the chicken pox vaccine is about $122.02, again CDC data. It appears that each dose costs about $122.02 (the difference between standard MMR and MMR+CP is in line with this). For the sake of argument, I assume every child gets the pox (if you follow the first link, it is nearly true). So each year, we vaccinate 4 million people twice at a cost of $122 per (I am excluding the doctor bill for the visit). So each year, we spend roughly $976 million to prevent 150 deaths per year. So now, we know that the value of a child's life is $6.5 million.

Admittedly, $244 is not a lot of money, but in light of a disease that primarily causes some discomfort, perhaps it should not be mandatory?

The traditional vaccines are justified. Mandatory vaccinations against deadly diseases should be mandatory.

However, given the growing stupidity of the population, I am starting to think that the tetanus (lockjaw) vaccine should be outlawed. </sarc>
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Best wishes for the new year to everyone,

what I have learned this year is how much room I still had for improvement.

Start of 2017: not really overweight but not my optimum shape either, I am 5' 2 so for me 110 lbs is about right, so I am carrying around a gallon of milk that I don't need... running with that is not even the best idea (knees). I walk/run 7 miles 4 times a week, plus I have a part time job (40 hours a week) where I walk a lot.

2017 changes: vigilantly eliminated ALL processed foods. No carbs aside from fruits and vegetables. No pasta, no rice, no breads -except Ezekiel- At least 5 cups of greens a day (kale, salads and mostly cruciferous). Some meat (grass fed mostly) no more than 250 g daily and eggs. No sodas, no sugar. Grass fed butter, full fat plain yogurt, various cheeses. I still eat vegetable soups with beans and lentils. Most importantly I added one day of intermittent fasting - for about 18 hours (planning to do better in 2018). Other days I limit eating to 3 times a day maximum -no snacking. In 2018 I will try to set the 3 meals within a 6 hour window (ie limiting insulin spikes and hopefully allowing more autophagy. I will try to transition to 2 meals a day only, no more than 6 hours apart. Oh, and I virtually don't drink alcohol.
Results from 2017 "experiment": I am feeling better than ever. The 7 miles walk-run flies by. I am 110 to 112 lbs. My skin and my gums look a lot better. My resting heart rate is 50 or below. I am over 60.

What I need to improve in 2018: more high intensity exercise (ie intervals of running at max. speed, rather than "jogging" and I need to monitor my recovery times. More yoga, continue my ballet bar routine (same as I used to do as a kid). Strength building work outs (pull ups push ups ,etc...). I am not planning to spend one minute in a gym, rather I will do all of the above outside, regardless of weather conditions.
Most importantly: monitor my sleep time and bring it to 8 hours a day...

I also plan to spend most of my time outdoor, hiking in altitude etc... by 2019. It will be interesting to see what my backpacking food looks like, what I have seen backpackers eat is a total nightmare. May be I can come up with easy and healthy solutions for everybody to use.

with friends like this, capitalism needs no enemies
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Vancouver WA
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Rollformer - Unless I am misreading your above comment, how can you conclude "Mandatory vaccinations against deadly diseases should be mandatory."?

By no means am I against vaccinations, but it should be a well informed parents who get to make the choice for their children and well informed adults who get to choose for themselves.

You just said that 100-150 deaths per 4,000,000 annual infections took place, well that makes chicken pox a deadly disease. Does that mean the state has the right to force my child to be vaccinated? What about the flu? People die every year because of the flu.

I have heard the "Herd" argument for children getting vaccinated, the argument basically states that ALL children should be vaccinated to insure the disease is not spread to other children, but isn't that an oxymoron?

If I felt a vaccine would keep my child safe from a deadly disease and had them vaccinated, why should I be concerned someone else choose not to get their child vaccinate? If their child gets sick, mine should in theory be safe. so the whole Herd Vaccination is based off a lie.

I very much believe vaccinations have a place but not forced vaccinations.

If you can come up with a good argument why the government should have more rights to what is put into my children than I do, I am interested in hearing it though.

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@Mangymutt: My characterization of chicken pox as a "deadly scourge" was sarcasm, should have been more clear. My primary point is that it is too damned expensive.

Let's take a look at measles. According to the CDC, prior to vaccination measles was a rite of passage, much like chicken pox. CDC data says that their cost for the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) is $20.59 per dose, and US private sector is $70.92. We divide each by 3 to estimate the cost of the measles vaccination (so 6.86 for CDC, 23.64 for private sector).

Doing the same math (CDC estimates pre-vaccine infections at 3.5 - 4 million in the US, with about 500 deaths). Assuming two doses, we come up with about $110,000 per life saved for the CDC and $380,000 for the private sector. Compared to $6.5 million for the chickenpox, this is vastly more cost effective.

I should note that cost per life saved is not quite a perfect metric. It works better for chickenpox, because serious complications are rare. For measles, there is a small, but substantial risk, for swelling of the brain, which can be quite nasty. So you also have to adjust for the improved quality of life for those instances.

But the point I was trying to make is that the chickenpox vaccine is basically robbery.
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Vancouver WA
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Got ya, I figured most of your post was filled with sarcasm, I was just not sure were the " Mandatory vaccinations against deadly diseases should be mandatory." lay.

My grandmother was an RN and the only childhood disease she was concerned with me getting was Mumps as that could lead to sterility. If a parent wants to pay the $21 for the vaccine that is their choice let them, but when we have the government dictating children need to be vaccinated, I have a difficult time agreeing to that.

It seems like EVERY time government comes up with a solution the problems get worse.
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According to the CDC, prior to vaccination measles was a rite of passage, much like chicken pox.

Being a boomer I had most of the so-called childhood diseases. Chicken pox, rubella, measles and the mumps. In fact my brother and I had them all together as well as having our tonsils out at the same time. I have nothing to back it up, but I do believe my immune system is stronger for having fought off these diseases naturally. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't wish these maladies on anyone. It was especially hard on our mom who wore herself ragged nursing us back to health.
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The People's Republic of New York
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figured that it was appropriate given the title of the posting. perhaps the word is beginning to get out added the fact that it appeared in a major publication. those of us stating the same thing for over a decade can watch the fun as they try to spin this.

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)
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You just said that 100-150 deaths per 4,000,000 annual infections took place, well that makes chicken pox a deadly disease.

Isn't 4/100K deaths/infections statistical noise?
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Canyon Lake
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This is on point

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