Sunday, May 27, 2018

The tightening screw.

Public services are stripmined to meet pension obligations . . . .[1]
And as pension fund investments’ rates of return are adjusted to actual (not held at delusional) levels the call goes out, in California’s case, to local governments to make up the shortfall so payouts remain at Wizard of Oz levels. Don’t touch that dial!

Is it California’s constitution that prohibits reduction in pension benefits? What ever state got that provision approved must have some seriously stupid voters. Really? Retired state employees are precious jewels in our firmament who should not have to tighten their belts? Remus reported on the pension of the officer in the Florida school shooting who stayed outside while shots were being fired inside – almost $9,000 a month! Woodpile Report no. 530, 5/27/18.

Medicaid payments now take up to 25% of tax revenue in some states. Obamacare in its heyday “solved” the “healthcare crisis” by increasing premiums and inflating copays so that the ever-squeezed middle had “health insurance” in name only.

A slight rise in the interest rate increases government debt service costs but abnormally low interest rates favor the banksters, drive savers (esp. seniors) into riskier stock market investments and investors into ever more questionable investments thereby exacerbating the misallocation of capital. Higher interest rates also drain money from overseas markets as holders of cash seek higher returns here, which has the effect of raising the value of the dollar, which harms exports.

God knows what derivative exposure portends for the world financial system but a quart of scotch a day will help you keep from thinking about it. As your correspondent has frequently observed, many things can be ignored but not the iron laws of arithmetic. Someone can take hormones, shave his beard, wear a dress and call himself Daisy Mae but, Pilgrim, no amount of hormones or weed will boost pension fund discount rates into the comfort zone.

Well, that’s today’s dose of economic hysteria. No one seems to be in charge and everyone wants to temporize and pretend. Don’t miss the chart of total debt in Smith’s article referenced in the note below. Always one of my favorite as it suggests a, um, certain fragility to the whole dealybob. And while you’re at it, contemplate that Deutsche Bank is laying off 10% of its employees and that the USG thinks its a great idea to spend $32,000,000 per hour on our overseas bases and activities since 2001. Yessir. That is some seriously important [stuff] going on overseas and it’s good that we’re heavily involved in it. I know we’re safer and more prosperous for waging war on the Syrian nation for reasons that must be kept wery, wery secwet.

The only place in our national life where the iron laws of arithmetic do NOT apply appears to be in the area of immigration and job theft. Apparently, there is NO UPPER LIMIT to
  • the number of foreigners who can be welcomed to our country and given welfare benefits or
  • the number of jobs that can be stolen from American citizens so that foreigners can “make a contribution,” that is to say the contribution that Americans could have made had their jobs not been stolen from them by foreigners and the political filth who run this country.
Pedal to the metal on that one, good buddy. Bienvenido, Abdul, Kwame, and Fernando!

[1] "America 2018: Dicier By The Day." By Charles Hugh Smith, ZeroHedge, 5/27/18 (formatting removed).

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