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Well-known "Doctor Doom" Marc Faber was effectively expelled ("resigned" technically) from three boards and CNBC has said they will not book him in the future after his latest newsletter came out.

In it he said:

"Thank God white people populated America and not the blacks," wrote Mr. Faber, who is managing director with investment advisory and fund management firm Marc Faber Ltd., in his latest monthly newsletter.

"Otherwise the U.S. would look like Zimbabwe, which it might look like one day anyway, but at least America enjoyed 200 years in the economic and political sun under a white majority."

This of course was instantly pounced on by damn near everyone as an outrageously racist statement.

When challenged he doubled down:

"If stating some historical facts makes me a racist, then I suppose that I am a racist," Mr. Faber later told Bloomberg news service in an e-mail.

There's a point in there that nobody wants to talk about, of course, because it will instantly lead you to being branded "racist" -- exactly as happened here.

Can we have a debate or talk about facts in a civil society today without being instantly blackballed if your point of view isn't sufficiently politically correct?  It appears not.  Does it matter if you cite actual facts?  Apparently not.

For example, if you remember the "bathroom bill" screamfest one of the points made is that it enables creeps to sexually assault people, including children.  I don't recall anyone saying that all transgender people are creeps, however, that it enables creeps was alleged.  The retort was that such an assault has never happened and won't.

It turns out that's a lie: A 10 year old girl was in fact assaulted by a man claiming to be a woman in a bathroom.  Said person has now been convicted.  The not-funny part of this is that I cannot find in the news stores on this conviction when the assault happened.  You don't go to trial on a felony criminal count in an afternoon; it frequently takes a year or more.  Was that assault known during the debate on the North Carolina Bathroom debacle, and intentionally buried by the media so it could not be part of the debate and ensuing lawsuits?

Should we re-examine the current status of same in light of the fact that the existence of this assault was intentionally buried, is now known, and balance the risks with the rewards of allowing people who are in fact men into the women's room?

Yes.

Will we? 

No.

Zimbabwe and what has happened there is a historical fact.  What happened here in America is also a historical fact.

Was Christopher Columbus a man, part of a group of Spaniards, who murdered innocent and peaceful native people and stole their land?  Was he part of a group of Spaniards who brought order to what was previously chaos and set in motion a wave of technological and social progress never before seen in the world on the landmass now known as "America"?  Or is the truth somewhere in the middle?

Why isn't a robust and public debate on what actually happened and why appropriate and why should a loud pressure group get to demand that statutes of him be torn down and through threat and coercion brand him a murderous thug?

There are some people who are willing to blow a whistle, but their content gets them blackballed and "de-platformed"; Youtube will mark anything like that "mature only" and de-monetize it, which amounts to censorship for a media organization since you thus can't make money off it.

What happens when you erase history and ignore facts and thus refuse to learn from same?

You get to do it again, quite-probably with disastrous consequence.

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2017-10-20 12:57 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 318 references
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There is something heinous and outrageous about anyone who attempts to politicize a condolence call when one of our service members is killed in action.

That outrage extends to everyone involved.

It extends to the so-called "Representative" in question, in this case Fredrica Wilson, D-FL, who with intent did intentionally listen in on a call from the President that was intended for family members of the fallen without prior notice to everyone on said call.

It extends to the family, who permitted said "Representative" to be present in direct and outrageous violation of the obvious expectation (which does not need to be explicitly stated) that such a call would be private and for the sole benefit of the family of said service member.

And finally it extends to the media that has taken what is a solemn and personal matter and turned it into a political circus with the permission and support of everyone above.

I expect the media to act like the National Enquirer on a daily basis.  The media has already long-earned a rusty chainsaw up the poop chute; there is no remaining respect to be lost there.

But I utterly refuse to give any respect to any person who enables and commits such an act.

Fredrica Wilson, may an alligator cross your path and turn you into the animal scat that you have demonstrated you already are through your own actions.  **** you.  Further, should you be reelected for your upcoming term every single person who votes for you in your district has earned the same sentiment.

As for the family, all of them, you have destroyed through your own intentional acts any right to sympathy or other consideration for your family member who gave their life for this nation.  You have crapped all over the very institutions that make it possible for you to take such an outrageous set of actions and get away with them.  In nations without such institutions and protections you would have been put in front of a firing squad within an hour for what you did; try it in North Korea, as just one of many examples around the world.

The deceased deserves much honor for his sacrifice, as does anyone who signs up for military service and has their check cashed.  Everyone who enlists, which I remind you is a voluntary act, especially those who enlist and serve in an elite unit, know damn well exactly how large that blank check is that they hand over on the day they go in and that it might get cashed at any time without notice.

The family members, on the other hand, who have intentionally abused a condolence call to express political hatred, including every member of said family that had any knowledge or involvement in allowing alligator-scat Wilson to be in the room, deserve to see the bird in their face everywhere and anywhere they may be forevermore into the future.  Your actions, each and every one of them, are in fact worse than those of Richard Spencer. While he speaks of vile ideas you not only have crapped all over this nation and the very institutions that have made possible this nation's continued existence for more than two centuries in addition you have and are dishonoring your own kin and his sacrifice in public, an unforgivable sin for which there is no redemption possible.

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I will lay out the indictment here in brief form.  It's aimed at the American public at large because this is what is tolerated on a daily basis and what it costs us.  I'll leave this open for comment for a couple of days, after which I'm locking the topic.

Let's see if anyone can make the case for what they intend to do both personally and collectively about any of this -- and I'll keep this one short.  Trust me, there may be more where this came from if I decide it's worth my while.  After all it's not like I don't have 11,000 articles written over the last decade to draw from..... oh wait....

Let's start with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  There is now incontrovertible evidence that several years before the Uranium One deal was signed off on by both Hillary and Obama, a deal that sold 20% of American uranium assets to Russia (and we all know what uranium is used for, right?), the FBI had an ongoing investigation into the Russian principals of that transaction for bribery and extortion.  There are only two possibilities, of course: Either the FBI (all of it) intentionally concealed the existence of the investigation from the administration or the administration knew damn well that the deal was coerced and went along with it despite having full knowledge of same.

Do I particularly care which it is?  No, because the FBI is the government.

What I do very much care about is that the Russian Government actively practiced extortion and bribery within our borders for years and exactly zero was done about it to this very day more than a decade later.  The FBI knew about it and did exactly nothing.  Not one person has been indicted, the acts themselves were covered up despite being known to the government and the "deal" that appears to have been procured through felony unlawful acts has not been forcibly unwound.  In other words the Russians have been allowed to keep what they stole; this is equally egregious to the FBI watching a mobster rob a bank, knowing who it is that robbed the bank and then not only refusing to prosecute them letting them keep the money.

I remind you that if the government merely suspects you have $10,001 in your briefcase due to selling a substance they don't like they will steal it from you at gunpoint even if they are unable to prove that you did anything illegal.  At the same time the millions of dollars that these people funneled to the Clinton Foundation remains there, it has not been seized and the deal has not been unwound, nor has one single indictment been leveled.

I further remind you that before you scream "Democrats!" that Donald J Trump has been President now for nearly 10 months and he and his attorney general Jeff Sessions have done exactly nothing about any of this.  Trump and his administration along with both sides of the aisle in Congress are therefore explicitly confirming on a literal daily basis that this is "acceptable behavior" and not worthy of criminal punishment.  Let me remind you that Trump, during the campaign, repeatedly cheered on the premise "Lock Her Up."  Well?  Whether you're a "MAGA" supporter, an "establishment" Republican or a Democrat of any stripe go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw because you are all explicitly supporting an administration that has intentionally refused to act on the "buying" of 20% of our nation's nuclear energy and weapons raw material by Russia through acts of bribery and extortion.

Considering that having our energy infrastructure strangled by a hostile government is arguably one of the greatest threats that we could face this activity is especially outrageous.  However, I can understand why you might stick you head in the sand on this; after all, the lights haven't so much as flickered in your house, right?

Ok, so maybe I'll let you slide on that one.

I won't let you slide on the $15,000 a year that is stolen from every family in this nation on an annual basis by the medical scam in the United States.

The means by which it happens are so varied and outrageous that they are almost beyond belief.  I have heard many people scoff at me when I point out that we overpay by five times in this country for medical care.  That is, if we stopped the scams I assert that your cost for medical care (and health insurance) would come down by 80% in a day.  I'm utterly confident in this number, however, and I would like to give you just a few reasons why.

One, for instance, is the fact that virtually every eye-drop medication is intentionally designed to waste half of the drug prescribed.  If that crap was to be stopped and the companies were prevented from simply doubling the price per-vial by competition the cost of said drops on a per-month basis would instantly fall by half.  Remember, this is without any other competitive pressures of any sort being brought to bear -- it would simply result from putting a stop to the intentional practice by the drug companies of designing a dispensing device that intentionally and unavoidably causes you to waste half the medication by having it run down your face.

Never mind the fact that such a practice also likely causes some percentage of users to suffer side effects that are harmful when the medicine goes in places it isn't intended (like your sinuses and throat), which you then must pay more money to counteract or treat.

The second I've written on several times: Drugs (such as antivenoms for scorpion stings and snakebites) that are sold in Mexico OVER THE COUNTER for $100 or so, yet in the United States a few dozen miles north the exact same drug, made in the exact same factory by the exact same company is available only from a hospital under prescription and costs tens of thousands of dollars.  This crap is true for almost every drug with varying differences by nation, with the United States paying the most in essentially every case.  While the really crazy ripoff percentages come for drugs that are relatively rarely used (like snakebite antivenom) they often amount to 500% or more for "mainstream" pharmaceuticals, whether they be for Hepatitis-C, diabetes (insulin), high blood pressure or hundreds of other conditions including various forms of cancer. The only reason this situation persists is that it is a federal offense for you to cross the Mexican (or any other) border, fill a suitcase with said drug for cash and then bring it back to the US and sell it for whatever you can fetch.

The third is "CON" laws in many states that require before you open or close a medical facility you receive a "Certificate Of Need."  The board evaluating your application?  It's made up of the owners of the existing medical facilities in the area.  This, along with other aspects of price fixing, is largely why you can literally fly to Narita, Japanhave an MRI done (for cash) and then fly home while spending less than the local imaging center charges you for the exact same scan and reading of same.  You are literally bilked out of anywhere from 5-10 times the cost in that first-world, first-class nation for the exact same thing.

Then there's The Surgery Center of Oklahomawhich I've written on several times.  They're a cash-based surgery center that will give you a price, soup-to-nuts, for a procedure just like the corner grocer does.  Hospitals and doctors for years have said you "can't" do that with medicine; this organization has proved that's a lie.  They not only do it their business is thriving.  Because they have quoted you a price and that's what you pay they also have every incentive not to screw up and give you an infection while there.  A traditional hospital gets to and does bill you to treat an infection they gave you while you were in surgery.  That incentive for them to not screw up is reflected in outcomes: The Surgery Center posts their infection rate and on a typical year it's twenty-five times lower than the national average.

Most of this is "hidden" from you through employer-provided insurance, but the scam continues nonetheless. The average Florida family pays over $18,700 a year for "health insurance" irrespective of who writes the check and if it was a more-appropriate $4,000 you'd get the nearly $15,000 a year difference in your salary.

Cut the crap, America.  Not only does the medical scam in this country, all of which I remind you is illegal and has been for 100 years, which medical and insurance firms twice tried to claim exemptions from when sued, the cases went to the US Supreme Court and the medical and insurance firms lost both times, cost every single family in this nation $15,000 each and every year, or enough to make the mortgage payment on a middle class house it also results, if you wind up in the hospital, a risk of infection twenty five times greater than what a market system brings you.

If the robbery isn't enough is a twenty-five times greater risk of a bankruptcy due to infection caused by the hospitalor, in the extreme cases, your death enough to get you off your ass?  May I remind you that roughly 200,000 people die in this country every single year due to preventable medical screwups, and that's only counting the ones that aren't successfully hidden.  In fact this is the third leading cause of death in the United States!

That isn't enough to get you off your ass?  Go **** yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

Think there are no answers to this rampant scam and the death it brings?  The hell there aren't.  There are remedies available at both state and federal levels.  I remind you that virtually every state (if not every) has an anti-trust law roughly parallel to the US Federal law (15 USC Chap 1.)  This means state prosecutors can bring these cases too, and state legislatures and executives could demand they do so.  Either the States or the Federal Government could start right here with a one-sentence law and follow it up here.

County and local governments could condition the issuance of business licenses (without which no medical facility or drug store can operate at all) on the posting of prices and non-discriminatory billing.  They could do that right now via city or county ordnance and if they did it would resolve their budget problems as well as fixing health care for you, their constituent.  Instead they******you on property taxes and engage in financial shenanigans that ultimately will bankrupt both them and you.

They don't fix the problem instead of screwing you because you refuse to make this issue, which robs you of a ****ing house every single year, the political point that they must face and resolve or be ejected from office and shunned to the point that they can't even walking the family dog without facing birds flown in their face by everyone they meet, with your treatment of such bastards extending from the lowliest cop on the beat to the Governor of every single state of the Union -- and every government employee in between.

Let me know when you stop consenting to being financially raped, along with accepting a twenty-five times greater risk than necessary of being severely injured or killed as a direct result of virtually every hospital in the United States having every reason to not give a damn if they give you an infection because they profit from it when it happens.

You don't want to do it?  You don't care that you're robbed out of a house every year?

Fine.

I don't want to hear your complaints when the economy collapses as this scam exceeds the ability to extract any more money from the people, or at least as bad or maybe worse forced rationing comes into play, you need medical care of some kind and you're simply told "Nope", leaving you die in agony after bankrupting you.

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2016-11-12 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 17783 references
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Let me make a few observations.

First, eight years ago, and again four years ago, America elected a President.  Fully half, give or take a couple of percent, disagreed with the outcome.

There were exactly zero riots, fires, "mass protests" and similar following that outcome despite the fact that half the population vehemently disagreed with it.

This time around, not so much.

Now I want you think very carefully about the following.

Most of the land mass of this nation is owned and resided upon by people who are in "red" (that is, the winner this time) areas of the country.  With the exception of certain urban centers and right along the Mexican/Texas border there are very few "solid" blue areas.

Those urban centers consume roughly 90% of the energy and food in this country yet they comprise 5-10% of the land mass.  The "red" areas produce 95% of the food and energy this nation consumes and occupies 90-95% of the land mass.

Do you really think that doing something like eliminating the last pieces of the structure our founding fathers put in place to prevent tyranny of the majority from being able to take hold is a good idea?

A little history lesson: Prior to the 17th Amendment ratified in 1913 it was impossible for the Federal Government to shove any program down the throats of the 50 states.  That's because the state legislatures had effective control of the Senate and could recall their Senators.

The House was elected by the people, the Senate was elected by The State Legislatures (and could be recalled by same) and The President was elected by the Electors, which were voted for in the popular vote.

The latter provides a modest but real increase in the representation of "flyover" states; that is, those with lower population counts.  In other words it is a check and balance in the ultimate tyranny of democracy.

Yes, I said democracy is ultimately tyrannical -- because it is.

America is not a Democracy.  It is a Constitutional Republic.  This is very important; in a democracy 50%+1 can render the 50%-1 slaves by mere vote.  Those who are in the minority in a democracy have no rights at all.  Democracy is best represented by two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

We are all minorities in some form or fashion.  If you're gay, black, yellow, male, female, whatever -- all it takes is some other set of groups to get together and decide to oppress you, and in a democracy you're ****ed.

America's founding fathers put in place two systems to prevent this.  The first was the bicameral legislature; a House elected by the people at large and a Senate elected by the State Legislators.  This structure guaranteed that a landmass that amassed 50%+1 of the population (not even in the same state or states!) could not band together and shove down the throat of the States any policy measure because you needed the concurrence of more than half the state legislatures, where each were delegated but two votes to their Senators who were accountable to said legislature, to pass anything at all.

This evaporated with the passage of the 17th Amendment.  Now you only needed 50%+1 of the people in a given state to pass anything you wanted and they could all live in a tiny percentage of the land mass -- such as is the case with Illinois where more than half the population lives in the immediate area of Chicago.

What came right after that?  Prohibition, shoved down the throat of the States, less than 7 years later!

What also came after it was an unbridled expansion of the Federal Government into state affairs.  Indeed, virtually everything became a "legitimate" federal matter.  Why?  Because it was impossible for the States to prevent it.

Do you think the founders were wrong to do what they did, and the 17th Amendment corrected that?

If you believe so then please consider this.

 

Ever drive through small town America?

Hell, how about "not-so-small-town" America?

Many of these towns look like something out of a WWI or WWII European war movie.  There was one factory or maybe two, but now it sits empty, weeds growing out of the parking lot as high as your head, all the windows are broken out and the roof has caved in.  Over on the outskirts there's a Walmart that pays $9/hour, but only offers 20 hours/week.  The factory paid $30/hour, full-time, plus benefits and food, power, medicine and beer cost half of what it does now. 90% of what formerly were little diners and shops in the "center" of the town, which might have one actual traffic light, are gone -- boarded up and often literally falling apart.  There might be one bank left, a branch of a big national chain, and maybe an antique store.  Maybe.  All the factory jobs left for China and Mexico and everything else died when the middle-class incomes to support them disappeared.  We did that as a nation with our "progressive" and "global" agenda driven by the 50%+1 that live in the closest big city 200 miles away.

The locals who used to work in the fields within 10 or 20 miles from that town are all unemployed too.  Why?  Because the illegal Mexicans came and we refused to throw them out.  They work for a few bucks a day in cash, no taxes, no unemployment, no nothing.  No American can live on that; the embedded cost of just trying to stay alive would leave you with zero.  But the Mexicans work hard and then sleep 10 to a single-room apartment, which incidentally is a total ****hole as you'd expect given that density of occupation.  They don't care; it's better than what they had in Mexico, you see, and they can Western Union home some of the money.  This is the face of "immigration", mostly illegal, that really exists in this country.  They brought their third-world ****hole here and while it's a little bit better than what they had in the process of doing it they dragged us into the gutter with them.

The people who lived in that town did and most who are still there do go to church every weekend, and some go again during the week, usually on Wednesday.  There's usually one, sometimes two churches.  Every one of them has the word "God" or "Christ" in the name on the front.  They mean it when it comes to their faith and in addition that's where all the local people shake hands, exchange chit-chat on the last week and, for younger people, it's where they meet one another.  You know, girls and boys.  Yeah.  Faith is real there, you see, and it's Christian. But from your point of view that's deplorable and that "those people" don't like the idea of making a wedding cake for a gay marriage is deserving of a federal lawsuit and loss of the bakery (which is, as a result, now closed -- putting yet more people out of work.)  The people who live in these towns don't see your point of view as a civil rights matter but rather as attacking God.

What was left after the factory was displaced isn't enough to run a "service economy", which is why it never showed up there and the old business buildings are all boarded up.  Nobody can afford $8 lattes on a $9/hour wage for 20 hours a week and nobody would want them if they could.  There's probably a McDonalds on the outskirts, and a couple of self-serve gas stations with a convenience store.  It sells cheap beer and lots of it to the locals who have nothing to do but drink and then go to church and pray for forgiveness for last night's 12 pack.  None of the jobs at any of these places, except maybe the store manager, makes more than $9/hour and Obamacare has forced all the regular workers down to 20 hours a week on top of it.  Try living on $180/week gross sometime -- before FICA and Medicare is taken out, never mind gas for the car and the rapidly-escalating car insurance bill -- and you might understand.  Yes, I know the car is 15 years old and runs like crap.  What do you expect on under $1,000/month of income?

This is what 40 years of sending jobs overseas with "trade deals" did.  It's what Amazon did.  It's what Walmart and its Chinese supply line did.  It's what "progressive America" did, and then to add insult to injury the teachers in the public schools tell all the kids that Mommy and Daddy are bad people and hate both the planet and their own kids because they don't drive a $30,000 Prius or a $60,000 Tesla.

This is everywhere in rural America.  Get in your car and out of your comfort zone some time and you'll see it. It's not far from wherever you are.  I've driven through dozens of these formerly-alive places in the last six months -- every one of them dead today, but full of real people.  I never met one such person that was a racist, xenophobic *******, but they're not very happy, and the people they're unhappy with are those very same folks you wanted to keep in office in Washington DC.

If you think the destruction of small town America is confined to farms you forget the other half -- energy.  Would you like your lights to work?  Many of those small towns are dead because of the insanity of our energy policy -- or lack thereof, tied to left-wing whackjob nonsense.

Now you want to add insult to injury when they show up to vote, exactly as civics tells them we have a right to do, and a large number of you in the cities did not show up.

They bought into the message of bringing American jobs back to America and ejecting those who have no right to be here.  You call them xenophobic, racist and small-minded -- they call it a shot at decent employment for the first time in 30 years.

They believe in the Henry Ford model of American business, and they're not wrong to do so.  Make the product here, pay the people well enough to be able to afford it, and you'll do just fine.

They win the election, in short, and you lose.

Then you decide to be a sore loser and loot, burn, beat people, issue threats, cry, whine on social media and try to obstruct everything by any means possible -- legal or not.  You bus people in to "protest" and riot, you "petition", you raise hell in short -- oh, and all this after you implored the other side to "respect the outcome of the election" and lambasted them for suggesting they might want to merely count the ballots twice!

Note again, as I pointed out above, that eight years ago, and four years ago, these very same people were on the losing end of your stick exactly as they had been for the previous three decades yet they did none of the above.  They understand duplicity and your double-standard quite well, seeing as they did the honorable thing and respected the outcome twice in a row despite getting screwed sequentially both times.  The only thing your brand of government offered them in the end was Medicaid or worthless "health insurance" through the exchange; the former has no doctors that accept it within 20 miles and the latter has a $5,000 deductible before it pays anything, which is utterly laughable when you consider these folks have a gross wage of under $1,000 a month.

Now the question:  Are you prepared for the possibility they might decide en-masse that they're done with this crap -- and with you?  That they're not going to take it any more?

What if the people who live in the "red" areas, that is, those who produce the food and energy that are consumed to the 90th percentile in the "blue" areas, decide they're not going to do that for the blue areas any more?  What if their middle finger goes up, in short?

Remember, we allegedly do not permit slavery in this country any more -- which means that which someone owns they have the right to sell - or not sell.  They have the right to produce - or, more to the point, not produce.

What if the people who peacefully conceded the result of two elections over the last eight years despite vehemently opposing the outcome decide that if the "blue" folks can riot, loot, beat people who vote the "wrong way" and similar they will not accept any further election result that doesn't go their way, and instead of rioting or burning things they will simply shut off the flow of food and energy to said "blue" areas?  After all, you don't value them at all -- you consider them subhuman, racist, xenophobic, deplorable and irredeemable -- all at once.

I'll tell you what happens if they take that decision: Every major city in the country would go feral within hours.

Within days those cities would not be blue, they'd be blackened and reduced to ash as those very same "protesters" you like so much loot, burn and shoot at each other trying to get the last scraps of food and fuel remaining.  They would then probably try to come out of the cities and take by force what had been denied them, only to run into a major problem - the "red guys" have more guns, they know the land because they live there, and more importantly they actually hit what they aim at, having had plenty of practice feeding their families with deer, wild boar and similar.  Mr. Gang Banger against Mr. Deer Hunter isn't a very fair fight, when you get down to it.

Oh by the way there's a phrase for what this would mean, if you haven't figured it out by now: Civil War.

Is that what you want?

It's where your actions are headed, if you keep doing what you're doing -- and nobody knows exactly where the tipping point is.

Better think long and hard, those of you in the "blue" places who are running this crap.  You do not have a snowball's chance in Hell of being able to grow enough in the way of crops on the landmass you control to feed a tenth of your population and every squirrel in your trees would be shot dead and eaten within an hour after this began.  Silent spring indeed.  Never mind the fact that most of you "wonderful snowflakes" couldn't shoot, skin, butcher and cook a deer -- or even a squirrel -- if you had to.  Never mind that a good 80% of you couldn't manage to run one mile if you were being chased by someone interested in eating you.

The day that cellophane-wrapped chicken stops showing up in the grocery store is literally the day 90% of Blue America starves.

Nobody in their right mind wants such an outcome.  But where do you think this all goes if you keep it up, eh?

Every bit of it has been enabled by the 17th Amendment and tyranny of the majority -- a tyranny you wish to increase by doing things such as abolishing the Electoral College.

There's a very good reason our founding fathers designed a Constitutional Republic instead of a Democracy.  They understand the problem with democracy: It doesn't work.  Democracy always ends up leading to riots and civil war, because exactly what the blue folks are doing now escalates until everyone starts shooting everyone.

A Constitutional Republic avoids this outcome because even a very large majority cannot infringe the rights of everyone else -- even when the majority lives in big, concentrated places like cities.

That was the magic sauce of the original design in our legislature and Presidency.  It's why we have an Electoral College -- to provide a bit of "overweighting" to those places that are utterly crucial to the cohesiveness and survival of the nation as a functional republic -- that is, a bit more balance against tyranny of the majority of 50%+1.

We got rid of the biggest check and balance with the 17th Amendment and I have, for decades, maintained that whenever America finally is declared dead and done, and the book is closed, that will be written in as the reason our nation's political system failed.  It's the only Amendment we cannot reasonably repeal, because to do so would require the sitting Senate to vote itself out of a job.  I'm sure you can figure out how likely that is.

But we can avoid doing more violence to our Constitution -- and we had better, or the outcome, given the annals of history available to anyone who cares to look, is quite certain.  If you want to see how this turns out should you keep pressing the issue go have a look at the map of how many states Trump won .vs. Clinton, or how the county-by-county map looks.  You'll see a lot more red of various shades than you will blue.

The bottom line?  Go ahead and be a sore loser.  Go ahead and whine.  Go ahead and try to change what our representative process led to.  Go ahead and decide to loot, burn and beat.  Refuse to accept the result of the election, if you insist.  Hell, go ahead and try to threaten or even bribe the electors!  Make sure you tear down the last little bit of foundation and structure inherent in the design of the legislature and executive of the United States.  Who needs it; it's all in the name of being "progressive", right -- even if when counted by landmass, counties or states the election was a landslide for Trump.

Just don't be surprised, if you keep it up, that at some point, given that you're utterly reliant on those you're abusing for the basics of life -- the loaf of bread, the gallon of gasoline, the electricity that powers your lights -- they decide they've had enough.  That day your supply of cellophane-wrapped meat and plastic bag full of bread disappears like a fart in the wind.  There comes a time when those who you've put the boot to for so long, and then try to deny the ability to change things peacefully through the representative process our founding fathers gave us, decide that despite their religious beliefs and good manners they're not going to service you on their knees any more.

Don't be dumb enough to think you can keep doing what you've been doing forever because you can't and if you go too far there will be no warning, no second chances and no saying you're sorry.  It'll just happen starting with one final stupid act -- and then we all lose.

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2016-10-15 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 4647 references
[Comments enabled]  

Go back and read this Ticker, and the link in it on the actual budget deficit we ran last year (no, it's not the nice number you see at the top of the MTS.)

The budget deficit was in fact $1.4 trillion -- not the claimed $587 billion (which is bad enough, incidentally.)

Last year the Federal Government spent $1,417 billion dollars out of $3,854 billion, or 37% of every dollar it spent, on Medicare and Medicaid.  This was a 9.3% increase over last year's expenditure of $1,296,731 (million), all-in.

But inside this figure are even-more damning numbers.

Payments to the health care trust funds were up 13.4% (!)

Spending on CHIP, the plan for poor kids, rose last year by an astounding 56%.  While the total spent was only $14.3 billion that rate of rise is utterly astronomical by anyone's measure.

Don't believe for a second that administrative expenses are under control, which is a claim often made for Medicare and Medicaid: They were up 32% last year for the primary hospital insurance trust fund.  No, that's not a misprint.

Hospital benefit payments for Medicare?  Up 8.4% -- the bright spot, believe it or not.

Medicare Part "D" (drugs)?  Sit down: Up 26.2% to a total of $95.2 billion.

Folks, at this rate of change within the next four years Medicare and Medicaid will consume just over $2,000 billion a year, or $2 trillion -- an increase of $600 billion a year in spending.  

Let me remind you that last year taxes (receipts) rose by a paltry 0.55%, and at this rate of increase over the next four years government revenue will absorb only $72.9 billion of that $600 billion in additional spending -- and this assumes that absolutely nothing else in the budget increases in cost at the same time, an utterly fanciful notion.

In other words there will be at least another $500 billion of additional annual deficit, and likely far more than the $600 billion denoted here, bringing the total to more than $2 trillion in actual deficit being run per year.

If this pattern were to continue for 10 years then Medicare and Medicaid would rise to $3,448 billion, or for all intents and purposes all of the $3,854 billion the government spends now!  Worse, increased tax revenue would absorb only $184 billion of that additional cost -- for all intents and purposes ZERO.

For those politicians and others who claim Social Security is going to blow at roughly the same time, no it won't.  Social Security payments (for retirees and disability) rose 3.2% last year while for both retiree and disability tax receipts rose at a 5.2% rate.  Yes, on a cash basis Social Security ran a deficit last year but the rate of increased tax revenue was higher than the rate of spending growth and Social Security has a $2.8 trillion dollar Treasury security cache it can redeem to cover the shortfall.  At present rates Social Security may have issues in the future, but for right now it is stable.

MEDICARE AND MEDICAID ARE NOT AND THEY ARE WHERE THE ENTIRE PROBLEM RESIDES.

We will not manage to get through the next 10 years at this rate and in fact will not get through the next President's term.  If we do not put a stop to this right now the stock market will collapse and lose up to 90% of its value, all pensions will collapse and at best be able to pay 50% of what was promised (are you a teacher, firefighter or police officer?  Bend over because law or no law you are screwed.)  The bond market will collapse as the spiral of debt will be clear to everyone and nobody will be willing to buy a bond from anyone at any reasonable interest rate, which will instantly destroy the value of all outstanding long-term Treasury debt by as much as 50-70%, government entitlements will collapse (to put that in plain language they will go to zero or effectively so) and real estate values will collapse as demanded interest rates on mortgages will make the 1980s look like a Girl Scout Party.

And by the way it is not possible to tax our way out of this and certainly we cannot do so by "taxing the rich", as is often claimed.  If you confiscated all of the money made by those who make more than $500,000 a year you would not even close the deficit gap for one year.  Of course if you did that the amount of money those who make over $500,000 a year would choose to make next year, and thus be subject to said tax, would be no more than $499,999, and thus you'd get zero in tax from them via this approach in year #2.  Anyone running a "pay your fair share" claim is lying and they know it; again, that's the math.

We must -- and can -- stop this crap with existing law.  Specifically, by applying 15 USC Chapter 1 to all parts of the health care industry.  This will collapse the cost of care for both the government and private parties by as much as 80% and permanently end and reverse the budget problems it is causing -- for the federal government, for state and local pensions, and for private firms and individuals.

I have been writing and speaking on this since I ran MCSNet in the 1990s.  It has been a focus of this column since it was formed in 2007, including in this column written in 2012.  We have willfully and intentionally, as a nation, ignored this issue for the last decade and we are now facing the destruction of our economy, our markets, our government, our society and our way of life if we do not put a stop to the pillaging of our economy and people NOW.

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