Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Teavana must keep 77 store open

A socialist judge in Indiana ordered Teavana to keep 77 stores open that it was planning on closing, because of the pain it would inflict on the malls they are in.  See

I find this very bizarre.   I don't know how long the stores are forced to remain open, maybe if it is only 6 months then this isn't that big of a deal, but this is an incredibly stupid decision by an incredibly stupid judge.  I don't know why Starbucks doesn't appeal it.  How can you force a store to remain in business? This will encourage stores that are on the edge about remaining in business to close pre-emptively.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Who directs the CFPB?

By the end of the day, it was still unclear who was the true acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — President Trump’s pick of White House budget director Mick Mulvaney or one of the agency’s longtime executives, Leandra English.  Mulvaney showed up at the agency’s Washington headquarters early in the morning bearing a bag of doughnuts and then firing off an email ordering the staff to disregard any orders from English.  ... The agency, they say, was intentionally created to be independent of Congress and from political pressure from the White House  Washington Post 

So President Trump doesn't have authority to appoint the acting director of the CFPB, but a federal judge does?  And it is independent of both Congress and the White House?  What kind of out-of-control agency is this?  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Crisis in 2031

The CBO has published their latest 2017 report on Long Term Projections for Social Security (source: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/53245).  This shows that Social Security benefits will be cut in 2031, which is two years later than they had previously projected in 2016 (source:  https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52298).  See my article, Crisis in 2029.  Give Donald Trump credit for this.

Here is what the numbers look like, as a percentage of GDP: (source: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/53245-supplementaldata.xlsx, Appendix B-3).

Calendar Year Tax Revenuesa Outlays with Scheduled Benefits Outlays with
Payable Benefits

2017 4.67 4.98 4.98
2018 4.67 5.06 5.06
2019 4.67 5.18 5.18
2020 4.65 5.31 5.31
2021 4.65 5.45 5.45
2022 4.64 5.54 5.54
2023 4.62 5.66 5.66
2024 4.61 5.75 5.75
2025 4.60 5.85 5.85
2026 4.58 5.97 5.97
2027 4.57 6.07 6.07
2028 4.57 6.13 6.13
2029 4.57 6.19 6.19
2030 4.57 6.23 6.23
2031 4.53 6.27 4.53
2032 4.51 6.30 4.51

The reason why this will cause a crisis in the Year 2031 is because there is no solution.  You can't cut benefits.  Fuggedaboutit.  It is not an option.  Ronald Reagan promised that Social Security benefits would be paid.

You can't increase taxes, and we are specifically talking about Social Security taxes.  Not enough to make a difference.  And taxes are meaningless in the era of trillion-dollar deficits.

And you can't borrow.  Well you can, but it would add $500 billion+ per year to the National Debt, on top of what it already is projected to be in the year 2031.

So there you have it.  I like to make doomsday projections, that is why I started this blog, and The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) will be in 2031.  And just for fun I will pick a date, Friday, Sept 19, 2031 (Rosh Hashana II on the Jewish Calendar - financial crises seem to coincide with Rosh Hashana).  Don't make any financial projections after that date.  The land will still be here, the people will still be here, but we will have a dictatorship with price controls to try to keep a lid on the hyperinflated dollar.  Or something like that.

The best we can do is to try to push this date out with incremental changes and kick the can down the road.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

$20.5 Trillion in Debt

The national debt is now (as of 11/14/17) $20.5 trillion.  It was just a couple of months ago, on 9/11/17 that we first reached $20 trillion.  Part of the jump was due to the national debt being frozen for almost a year. 

I expect the $21 trillion mark to be set about 9/15/18 or about 10 months from now.  The deficit in 2018 is supposed to bottom out at about $563 billion, and then start increasing rapidly every year thereafter. 

Again I want to comment on the irony here.  This national debt is our "trash".  Part of it is made up of noble things that we can't pay for right now, like hurricane relief.  Part of it is arguably necessary for our national security, like paying for a military with bases abroad in 130+ countries.  And a large part of it totally wasted or it goes to the banksters.  But this debt is the foundation for the entire global financial system.  We can call this "trash to cash".  So the more trash we generate the more cash we have. 

The bigger the debt, the more wealth somebody has.  So why not increase it even more, but spread it around more evenly so it doesn't all go to the banksters?  It will never be paid back.  But we don't have to worry about that until the day when the whole system will explode.  And that day is quite a ways off.  I'm just saying that, if a little bit of debt is good, then more is better, right?

The Potato Hack

The Potato Hack is a 3-5 day fad diet in which you eat only boiled potatoes.  No butter, oil or cheese, no salt, no pepper, no other spices or sauces.  Nothing else.  Here is how it is supposed to work:

The theory why people are calling this a “diet hack” isn’t because of calories. That would just be normal dieting. The reason why potatoes are the chosen food is because they’re basically zero fat and come with high quality protein, something very rare in a vegetarian protein source, and a lot of nutrients. The theory is because your body needs fat to manufacture insulin, if you are eating ZERO fat, it has to pull fat out of storage to manufacture insulin. Because white potatoes are so highly insulogenic and create such a massive, high GI response, it needs A LOT of insulin – which requires a significant portion of fat. Since you aren’t eating fat along with it, it is forced to go to adipose tissue as a source – and needs quite a bit – to make all that insulin.

So when you start combining potatoes with outside sources of protein and fiber – like egg whites, fish or vegetables – you are destroying the “hack.” You are greatly reducing the insulin spike you’re supposed to get, which lessens the immediate fat need from your fat cells to manufacture insulin. The whole point is because potatoes are so massively insulinogenic. If you add stuff, it doesn’t work. It has to be all potatoes.

You could surely do it with white rice too, but it’s not recommended because there’s virtually no protein (certainly no high quality protein) and far less nutrients. Potatoes were chosen because of the very high quality protein, the nutrient density, the high glycemix index and the fact that someone can survive a very long time eating simply potatoes – it is nearly a complete food – you will become ill much faster eating just white rice than eating just white potatoes.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Social Security spending tops $1 trillion for the first time

(CNSNews.com) - In fiscal 2017, real Social Security Administration spending topped $1 trillion for the first time, according data published in the Monthly Treasury Statement.

The Social Security Administration spent a total $1,000,812,000,000 in fiscal 2017, according to the Treasury.

How long until it tops $2 trillion? 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Collapse will come by 2030


The American empire is coming to an end. The U.S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U.S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.  The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.   The collapse will come by 2030.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Retrofuture EPCOT

The future used to be cool.  What happened?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon

California Dreamin

There were a small number of songs from the 1960s that seemed to have a deeper spiritual meaning.  For a brief moment (before my time), we were listening to something profound.  Then the Beatles and the hippies came in and ruined everything.  There is something very geeky and cool about young men in suits with hair just slightly too long who might be singing on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The House of the Rising Sun

The Sound of Silence

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Nights in White Satin

The Precariat

The precariat is a term coined to describe the segment of the population that lives without security or predictability. These days it often refers to the former American middle class that’s currently experiencing reduced circumstances. There’s always been a precariat, but it usually includes a minor subset of the population that no one really likes or cares about. Indentured Irish servants, black slaves, Jewish and Italian sweatshop workers, Mexican field hands, Puerto Rican cleaning ladies… It’s a long list. People are up in arms now because the “wrong people” have fallen in to the precariat that didn’t used to “belong” there. There’s been a sudden realization that sometimes the structure of the economy itself institutionalizes their personal decline.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Salads are making you fat

According to Susie [Burrell] - whose ebook on salads is available to download here - just because you're ordering a salad, it doesn't mean it's healthy.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Scarsdale Diet

I love the Military Diet, which has about 10 different names.  But it is only 3 days long.  I found another diet which is very similar and is 7 days long.  It is the Scarsdale Diet, which was popular in the 1970s before the horrible Atkins diet came in and took over like a bully.

Here is the menu plan for the first day of the diet.

Breakfast in Scarsdale diet menu is the same everyday.


scarsdale diet menu breakfast
  • 1/2 grapefruit – the best fruit for breakfast!
    However if you don’t have a grapefruit at hand, you can substitute it for other fruit in season.
  • One slice of protein bread, toasted, no spread added.
  • Coffee or tea (no sugar, cream or milk, no honey).

Day 1

  • Assorted cold cuts
  • Tomatoes – sliced, broiled, or stewed
  • Coffee/Tea/Diet Soda/Water

  • Fish or shellfish, any kind
  • Combination salad, any greens and vegetables as you wish
  • One slice protein bread – toasted
  • Grapefruit – if not available, use fruit in season
  • Coffee/Tea/Diet Soda/Water
Source: http://www.weight-loss-advisor.com/scarsdale-free-diet-plan/

Kyle Bass predicts that China will crash by June 2018

RP: And what about a time horizon? I know it's difficult. I don't want to pin you down.
KB: Well, no, it actually requires you to pin me down because our investors pin us down.
RP: OK, so when the f***'s this going to happen?
KB: So my best guess is between November and call it June. November 2017, June 2018.”
So the system is set to crash, with records in the stock market and real estate bubbles.  But it could exist in this position for years.  There must be some kind of needle to pop the bubble.  Or a trigger to start the avalanche, or a catalyst to start the chemical reaction, to use different metaphors.  I like the word "catalyst".
In 2008, it was the collapse of Bear Stearns as well as the subprime mortgages.  This time it could be the collapse of China, which will suck up money and cause global trade to collapse.
Kyle Bass has been wrong before, on Japan.  But I think Japan is a special situation with factors there that don't apply elsewhere.  So look to China to collapse, which will start the next global economic crisis next summer or fall.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ludwig Van

Wow, incredible performance of a very complicated piece.