RANT: Gas is going up and staying up?

Monday, December 10, 2012

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/this-chart-implies-something-very-troubling-about-the-price-of-gas/

THIS CHART IMPLIES SOMETHING VERY TROUBLING ABOUT THE PRICE OF GAS

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 12:50pm by Becket Adams

*** begin quote ***

See that? Although the price of crude has fallen in recent months, as the above chart clearly indicates, the price of gasoline remains at a record high.

“Anecdotally, it feels like when oil prices rise, gas prices at the pump rise; but when turmoil pauses in global geo-politics – or some entity decides that high oil prices just will not do for the world’s economy – gas prices at the pump seem not to drop so quickly,” writers are Zero Hedge note.

“Yes there are pipeline, inventory (and even tax) issues but the following chart suggests ‘gouging’ on a national level,” they add.

It’s also worth noting that what we’re seeing today with the price of gasoline and crude is eerily similar to what we saw right before the economic collapse of 2008.

*** end quote ***

I think there maybe a big overhang on the markets due to increased costs (i.e., Obamacare) and increased taxes (i.e., the fiscal cliff).

Given the “gouging rules” passed after Sandy. Or used during Sandy. I wouldn’t lower my price un my competition forces me to.

Hmmm?

–30–


RANT: The election results sadden me

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Huge unemployment, record numbers not working, welfare at an all time high.

Debt soaring, deficits increasing, fiscal irresponsibility.

Foreign policy in shambles. More wars, less peace.

Lying, cover ups, media bias.

Assault on the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments.

Corruption and fraud in the elections.

Obamacare fundamentally seizes control of healthcare. Death panels start killing us. Cost exponentially increase.

Pro-Life and Catholic values rejected. Marriage redefined. I am taxed to fund activities I deem abhorrent and immoral.

A second term of even more radical action can be expected.

Sorry, but the American Experiment in Liberty is traveling down the road to ruin.

If anything, this election convinces me more that we have to figure out how to secede.

Looks like, things are going to get much much worse. As the takers have outvoted the makers. And, like the nursery story, The Little Red Hen, the producers have no incentive to cooperate in the theft of the fruits of their labors.

I’d predict that the “productive class” will coast and the economic will get even worse.

I just don’t understand the logic.

But, I will not be abused. I will not be robbed, I will not kneel.

I do NOT consent.

–30–


MONEY: Stay at home spouse should think outside the box

Monday, November 5, 2012

http://blogs.smartmoney.com/advice/2012/10/22/should-stay-at-home-spouses-get-their-own-credit-cards/?cid=djem_sm_dailyviews_t

OCT 22, 2012, 2:03 PM

Should Stay-at-Home Spouses Get Their Own Credit Cards?

By AnnaMaria Andriotis

*** begin quote ***

An effort to loosen credit-card standards for stay-at-home spouses would seem to benefit millions of consumers, but critics say the change could actually push some families deeper into debt and derail their finances.

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed loosening regulations to make it easier for the nation’s more than 16 million stay-at-home spouses to qualify for credit cards, largely undoing more stringent requirements put into place in October 2011. Prior to then, consumers could sign up for a credit card by stating their household income, even if all of that income came from their spouse. But the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act required the Federal Reserve to amend several lending provisions for credit card issuers, including a new rule that issuers had to ask for individual income on a credit card application, and could no longer rely on household income.

If enacted, the CFPB’s proposal would allow credit card issuers to ask card applicants 21 and over for income to which they have a “reasonable expectation of access,” which could include a spouse’s salary. The bureau says it’s aware of several issuers that have denied card applications from otherwise creditworthy individuals based on the applicant’s stated income.

***

Not everyone agrees that this problem would outweigh the benefits. Some say the old rules were more fair for consumers. “Stay-at-home parents shouldn’t be penalized because they don’t personally bring in income,” says Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart.com.

*** end quote ***

Having had a spouse pass, maybe I am a little sensitive to this issue.

I see this area fraught with issues over and above the very real and present danger that the couple may get into credit card debt.

The value of a two income family is that, if properly diversified by company (i.e., both spouses don’t work for the same big company) as well as by locale (i.e., dad works on Wall Street and mom works on Broad Street in a different sector), then that provides a lot of safety. As long as they “live” on one income, then they are relatively insulated when one of them loses their employment. (Notice I said “when”; not “if”!)

There is a HUGE danger when the two checks are not “independent”. Or, if they need both to “live”.

(Either of those cases are a much bigger problem than the risk being explored here!)

The stay at home spouse, for whatever reason, was deemed the “lesser of two evils”. Maybe, most likely, they earned less and the loss of income is substantively made up for by the lack of day care costs. Net of taxes, commuting, lunches, and “wear ‘n’ tear”, the couple decides to forgo some income, which when net of costs is considered, isn’t so bad.

From my pov, this has several risks to this approach.

Number One is that the stay at home spouse’s skills will “age” badly. For all intents and purposes, I’d guesstimate the spouse’s renetry rate at just the minimum burger flipper wage. “Everyone” can go to MickeyD’s?

Life insurance is a hidden expense in this equation. Having had a dependent spouse, much of my fiscal planning was around if I got hit with the proverbial Mack Truck, what does she do?

One, that I’ve seen but not experienced, is what happens if the stay at home spouse — male or female — gets divorced. The TV prototypical example is Doc X who gets married in med school; typically to a nurse. Becomes a big doc and has an affair with the sexy secretary. Stay at home spouse is <crude vernacular for the act of procreation>. The stay at home spouse is muchly at the mercy of the working spouse.

I’m not sure how you handle these things.

I’m sure the working spouse would be insulted at any suggestion that the stay at how spouse would be eft high and dry.

BUT!

Sorry, but it has to be considered.

Stay at home spouse BEFORE they agree to become the “wife” (boy or girl):

(1) Need life insurance that names them as the beneficiary and lock it in stone;

(2) Need a legal document that outline any promises or expectations (written by a pre-divorce lawyer); and

(3) Funds on deposit in the “stay at home” person’s name that can’t be touched. (Think Titanic’s lifeboat).

Too many people — gay or straight — married or living together — traditional or non-traditional — don’t think outside the box.

I write this not for the adults, but for the children who always seem to get the short end of the straw.

—30—


MONEY: Financial planning with old memes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-coming-retiree-crisis-2012-10

Take Action Now To Prepare For The Great Retiree Crisis

Jeff Voudrie, See It Market | Oct. 10, 2012, 8:30 AM

***** begin quote *****

The financial planning community has largely relied on assumptions regarding equity, debt and inflation percentages that have been experienced over the last 30 years.

There are 3 problems with these assumptions:

Equity returns the last 30 years have been extraordinarily high as a result of the longest and greatest Bull market in the history of U.S. stock markets. Accordingly, many financial plans used projections that assumed equity returns of 8-10% a year.

Debt returns over the same period are equally skewed. Remember the double-digit interest rates of the 1980’s? In 1989, as a young broker, I was selling 30-year TVA bonds yielding 10%! Financial plans the last 5-10 years have used interest rate assumptions around 5-6% a year.

The scenarios that led to the historic markets the last 30 years are very unlikely to EVER be repeated in today’s retiree’s lifetime. And those who are taking distributions based on these outdated assumptions may soon run out of money.

For instance, let’s assume that someone retired 5 years ago at age 60 with a $500,000 investment portfolio. Based on financial plans popular at that time, the retiree is taking $2500 a month in distributions—money they need to maintain their current standard of living. Since the plan anticipated the ability to average a 7% return on a portfolio with close to 50% in equities, the retiree expects to be able to take those distributions and never run out of money.

Adjusting those assumptions based on what many believe resembles more reasonable assumptions going forward requires decreasing the rate of return assumption for a similar-risk portfolio to around 4% and increasing the inflation assumption from 1-2% a year to 3-4% a year (which may still be too conservative). Suddenly, the portfolio that should last forever is now projected to be exhausted in only 16.8 years! That means that the entire nest egg and what it earns cannot sustain the current withdrawal rate. Since the retiree started the withdrawals five years ago, now they are down to 11.8 years—running out of money around age 76!

***** end quote *****

Clearly, the political class has screwed up the American economy.

Pity the poor, the elderly, the middle class, those on fixed income.

Inflation is grossly understated by the “official” stats.

Are we headed to be like Europe or pre-WW2 Germany?

Clearly, everyone needs to update their financial plans.

I’ve recommended to my turkeys that they adjust their “money reserve requirements”.

Everyone better plan to work for a longer time.

— 30 —


POLITICAL: Politicians only show the “good”; never the “harm” they do

Sunday, October 14, 2012

http://cafehayek.com/2012/10/threadbare-economics.html

Threadbare Economics

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 11, 2012

in POLITICS, SEEN AND UNSEEN, TRADE

*** begin quote ***

This administration policy will win votes for the President from some textile workers in the Carolinas. And Mr. Sanchez and his big boss can now bask self-righteously in their imagined humanity.

But will Mr. Sanchez pose for pictures with poor families whose living standards fall because clothing is now made more costly? Will the administration stage press events to highlight the jobs lost because American consumers, obliged to spend more on clothing, will have less to spend on restaurant meals, evenings at the movies, and other goods and services? Will the President post photos on his website of Americans whose jobs are destroyed because foreigners will now have fewer dollars to spend and invest in the U.S.? Will Mr. Obama boast that his re-election strategy includes a policy that, by dulling the creative forces of competition, diminishes America’s economic dynamism and, hence, reduces its economic growth?

*** end quote ***

It’s our old friend Bastiat and those unseen unintended consequences!

Nasty old “rule”.  “Every time a politician says or does something, look for what’s behind the curtain.”

It’s like when the increased minimum wage law induced AT&T to automate the elevator operators out of their jobs. Some were capable of other work, but many were just let go. My cousin never worked again in her life. True she wasn’t the sharpest blade in the draw, but she was the unseen side of that increase in the minimum wage law.

So don’t tell me that real people are not hurt when the politicians run amok!

–30–


RANT: “Default”? No way, not needed

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

As a political junkie, I’m enraged when some bozo (i.e., politician and /or bureaucrat) is allowed by some talking head to say “default” without opposition.

IMHO any reasonable person would pay the interest on the debt first, then the social security and other mandatory welfare payments, and come up with a “total must pay”. Subtract that total from the budget to come up with “what’s left to pay”. Subtract “total must pay” from current receipts for “what’s left”.

Divide “what’s left” by “what’s left to pay” and that’s the haircut that the budget must be slashed by.

No one is going to be happy, but no default. It’ll set off a lot of wailing and gnashing but that’s what fiscal discipline is all about.

That’s why I say don’t raise the debt ceiling. And, don’t let politicians and bureaucrats scare old people by saying no soc sec or the markets by saying default.

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RANT: Borrow from China to give it to the Muslim Brotherhood?

Monday, June 6, 2011

http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/humpty-obumpty-and-the-arab-spring/

Humpty Obumpty and the Arab Spring
By Spengler
DC Insanity: Washington Borrows From China and Gives The Money To The Arabs

*** begin quote ***

(Editor’s Note: I keep giving you proof of the myriad ways that the global collapse will occur. It could come from within DC. But is just as likely to come from outside the USA as other nations implode. And don’t forget about the European Union. HALF of its member nations are already bankrupt. And OBama commits $20 Billion to Arabs…money that we are borrowing to “lend” to the Arab nations that are in trouble.)

I’ve been warning for months that Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and other Arab oil-importing countries face a total economic meltdown (see Food and failed Arab states, Feb 2, and The hunger to come in Egypt, May 10). Now the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed my warnings.

*** and ***

Whatever the Group of Eight actually had in mind, the proposed aid package for the misnomered Arab Spring has already become a punching bag for opposition budget-cutters. “Should we be borrowing money from China to turn around and give it to the Muslim Brotherhood?” Sarah Palin asked on May 27.

*** end quote ***

# – # – #

Maybe I’m being taken in by the “stupidity” of Sarah Palin, but this make as much sense as BHO44 stopping Gulf drilling and giving 2B$ to Brazil to drill in the Gulf.

Time for “We, The Sheeple” to speak up!

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