Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Social Security Proposes "Immediate And Permanent Reduction" In Benefits

See: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-09/social-security-proposes-immediate-and-permanent-reduction-benefits

According to the 2017 Trustees report, “Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2035.” They’re practically giving us a date that we can circle on a calendar and mark “End of Social Security.”  The Trustees go on to lightly propose solutions, including an “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits to all current and future Social Security recipients.” And in case you’re wondering who these whack-job Trustees are, they include the Treasury Secretary of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Labor.  These aren’t just random people.  We’re talking about politicians at the highest levels of government who are telling us that Social Security is running out of money… and calling for an immediate and permanent cut in benefits.
My comments:  2035 is optimistic.  And unfortunately, you can't cut benefits, not enough to make a difference anyway.  Social Security is a social contract, instituted by FDR and re-ratified by Reagan.  It is not something you can change on a whim.
This is a slow-motion train wreck, or as the author puts it, a supernova.  It is going to cause the whole system to blow up.  But we have 13-17 years until it happens.  The best we can do is small incremental changes that will delay the inevitable. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

New prime number discovered

It is  277,232,917-1, having 23,249,425 digits.  It is the 50th mersenne prime.
See https://www.mersenne.org/primes/press/M77232917.html

Thursday, January 4, 2018

FY2019 is the year everything goes to hell again

Source: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/53437-wydenltr.pdf

This is from the CBO.  It predicts that 2019 will have a deficit of $975 bn, up from $689 bn previously predicted.  You know it will really be above $1 trillion.  And furthermore, it will never drop below the trillion-dollar mark again.

This was caused by the Trump tax bill that was just signed. So aren't I a big hypocrite, supporting Trump but also complaining about the deficit?  Yeah.  But my whole thesis is the the system is doomed in any event.  Prior to this, I had forecast that the trillion dollar deficits wouldn't return until 2022.   So, what I am saying is that Trump just caused things to accelerate by about 3 years.  The benefit is that people will get to keep more of their own money, which is a good thing.

We need to start thinking about the economic collapse that will happen sometime in the 2030s and how to prepare for it, and what comes next.  Instead of denying that it will happen.

Dow 25,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 25,075 today (Jan 4, 2018).  It first closed above 20,000 on Jan 25, 2017, so it went from 20K to 25K in less than 1 year.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The deficit in FY2019 will be $1.2 trillion

During FY 2019, for example, these discretionary plunges into deficit finance include slashing revenue by $280 billion, while pumping up an already bloated baseline spending level of $4.375 trillion by another $200 billion for defense, disasters, border control, ObamaCare bailouts and domestic pork barrel of every shape and form. These 11th hour fiscal maneuvers, in fact, are so asinine that the numbers have to be literally seen to be believed. To wit, an already weak-growth crippled revenue baseline will be cut to just $3.4 trillion, while the GOP spenders goose outlays toward the $4.6 trillion mark. 

And that is without factoring in the next recession, which will make the deficit soar even more.  And a possible war with North Korea.  And whatever "storm" Trump keeps hinting about.  As 2017 comes to a close, everything seems pretty rosy.  But things are going to get real interesting soon.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Venezuela to launch new crypto-currency called the Petro

See https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/29/venezuela-oil-backed-cryptocurrency-to-launch-in-days.html

This sounds cool and I think it would work.  Could the Fed blacklist it? 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top Alternative Crypto-Currencies

What are the best crypto-currencies, besides BitCoin?  I think the alternatives would have these characteristics:  1) be profitable to mine, according to CoinWarz.com or WhatToMine.com, where the profit is at least equal to the estimated electricity cost; 2) Use the SHA-256 or EquiHash algorithms, which are usually the most profitable; and 3) have a coin market cap of at least $10 million (according to coinmarketcap.com), so they have some user base.

Here is the list, sorted by market cap:

  1. BitcoinCash (BCH) $56.3 billion
  2. Bitcoin Gold (BTG) $6.7 billion (equihash)
  3. ZCash (ZEC) $1.8 billion
  4. Digibyte (DGB-SHA) (DGB) $451 million
  5. Peercoin (PPC) $127 million
  6. ZenCash (ZEN) $123 million (equihash)
  7. Curecoin (CURE) $14 million

I'm not saying to buy these.  I think the best way of getting started is to mine them and these would be the best to mine.  There are also ones below the $10 million market cap that are worth watching, like Deutsche eMark (DEM), and TigerCoin (TGC).  Also the CryptoNight algorithm is worth looking at.

I am leery of Ethereum because it keeps getting hacked, and they keep messing with the code to reverse the hacks. Litecoin showed a lot of promise a couple of years ago, and it is still one of the largest by market cap ($16 billion), but it is missing something or is way overpriced.  It is not as profitable as the ones above.

There are over 1000 other alternatives, but these appear to have the best future, in my opinion. List subject to change by the day.

Update:  Here is another one to add to the list.
Hush (HUSH) $18 million (equihash)

The hard life of bitcoin miners in Inner Mongolia


The noise—a constant drone from the small fans attached to each machine, as well as the huge fans built into the walls of the building—is loud and unceasing. Employees must wear ear mufflers to do their work.

Bitcoin miners, though they profit from the virtual world, can no more escape the materiality of their vocations than gold miners. The bitcoin mines that rely on cheap hydroelectricity must disrupt their operations in the winter, when waters ice up and there’s less precipitation. They pack up their entire operations, load them onto trucks, and, after an arduous drive, reassemble them elsewhere. That usually ends up being Inner Mongolia because of its stable source of coal-powered electricity, said Liu Tao, a Bitmain executive in charge of mining operations.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pittsburgh Mills

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