Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quote of the day

"Today’s debate over federal spending and taxes is just so much fantasy. We’re like a family arguing about redoing the kitchen while the house burns down. It’s an irrelevant, annoying discussion. The interesting debate will take place after the collapse, when we have to decide what kind of society to rebuild from the rubble. Then we can argue for limited government and individual rights and sound money and all the rest. Politics will be interesting again. Until then, we should protect our families and tend our gardens."

John Rubino- Interview with Chris Martenson.

Full interview at:


It is time to forget about the false left-right paradigm as both parties have essentially been captured by their wall street masters. The only thing we can do now is prepare for the inevitable paradigm shift by saving as much money as possible, converting said currency into precious metal, become physically, mentally and emotionally fit as possible.

Until next time,



  1. Apparently, they've obtained readings of the radioactive isotope Cesium in the air in Japan. I understand that the only possible source of the Cesium could be the reactor control rods, which are made of Cesium. This suggests that the entire reactor has melted down into a giant blob of liquid, radioactive goo. What an appropriate, real-time metaphor for our financial predicament!

  2. Societies, like individuals, can go nuts. Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Revolutionary France, N//a/zi G e.rma.ny, to name a few. During the Great Leap Forward in Mao's China, the peasants were taught to believe that if they pulled the rice shoots up by hand that they'd grow faster. Of course, they killed the plants, and people starved. The people literally threw their iron cooking utensils into backyard furnaces in an attempt to make steel to meet Mao's steel production targets. And then there was "The Cultural Revolution"....

    If American society went nuts, at what point would we know for sure?

  3. @ 5:03

    You definitely raised a good point. I believe when the sugar bowl gets taken away (i.e. dollar crisis) and Americans can no longer consume at the rate that they do now, the blame game will begin. Something along the lines of South Park's "they took our jobs" type scenario. Governments always like to shift the blame away from their own actions and try to find a "foreign" threat or cause. Sadly, the people tend to fall for it most of the time, hook line and sinker.

  4. Subprime JD,
    Know what I realized (person who asked you for advice on how to find a job)? Law school is a losing game either way. I have zero student loans, but I've lost 4 years of potential income (3 to law school, 1 to passing the CA bar exam - 3 time taker here), professional title I could have added to the job that I left to attend law school, the life savings I had in the market which I used up to pay down my loans, and transitioning into another field had I grown tired of my pre-law school job.

    I also cannot get re-hired in my own field because I'm now overqualified. The cost of just losing your professional life is unmistakable, and so is the gap between entry-level attorneys and experienced attorneys. I do not think law school graduates realize this yet, but they will soon.

  5. "become physically, mentally and emotionally fit as possible. "

    That is the realness, only the strong survive.

  6. Then why did you go to law school? They didn't pick you up and carry you there.

    I know from a prior post you said that you saw brochures promising new grads an average salary of 70k. If you liked your career so much, you wouldn't have left it to pay law school tuition with the hope of making 70k.

    It seems like people in other professions do not blame their schools as much as law school grads. I was at my favorite Eritriean restaurant the other day. The owner told me his brother, who was an engineer, had been out of work for a year. After 6 months he freaked out, thinking he would never work again, and he started driving a cab. Luckily after 6 months of driving the cab, he got an engineer job with a great company.

    Miserable career stuff happens to almost everyone at one time or another. You make Peter look like Mr. Sunshine.

  7. You met someone who had a miserable career situation for a whole six months?

    You are quite wrong if you think that qualifies you to comment on the tens of thousands of people who have been trained for a fast-shrinking legal market, by people who knew there were no jobs but collected tax dollars for the training anyway.

    Your argument isn't even logical. It's more likely that more law school grads complain because 1) There are more of them (hence the problem) and 2) They have more to complain about.

    So all in all, you should get back to your life of living well, which has apparently equipped you with neither logic nor empathy, and wait quietly for the disaster that has already hit the lower rungs of this profession to hit you. It's coming, and you're obviously too stupid to understand or get out of the way, so you should enjoy yourself in the meantime.

  8. Pretty sure LWIC is a troll.

  9. LWIC,
    1) I did not know at the time that there if you are not top 10% of your class, or at at a top 20 school, there is a non-existent market for you. Nada.

    2) I thought being a lawyer would offer real stability and a modest degree of prestige in my life. Past the $70K figure, I would have had to work for 6-7 more years at my old job to get there, and I felt a higher education degree would add tons of title to my name, and protect me in ways that a job title cannot, because you can lose your job at any time. That's the perception of post-graduate degrees, that they are with you forever, so you will in a sense, always have a job. How foolish on my part.

    3) I did not know that law schools are unregulated and the ABA and the law school deans' goal is to pump out as many lawyers into the economy and get as many students into law school as possible. Examples - trying to allow foreign attorneys to sit for a U.S. state bar exam, trying to get rid of the LSAT. Prospective students due not know, like I did not know, that law school is interested in one single thing, that you take out a loan and pay it to them. Once they got that, you are on your own.

    I also did not know that a JD and a bar license does not in any way, shape or form, teach you how to practice law, give qualified legal advice, or guarantee you any type of full-time job in the legal profession. If it had said that on the dotted line, it might have made a difference. But that is the reality, and it is a strangely one-sided deal.

    You do not hear about other professionals complaining because their professions are regulated. Dental/Medical schools for example, cost around just as much as law school, but being able to work in the field is a non-issue, but they have a very different model for attendance. Have you ever heard of a doctor complaining about not finding work? That's because they get to work as long as they get in and graduate.

    It is extremely difficult to get into a recognized Dental or Medical school, and they let far less students in than a law school does, plus there are far less such schools per profession in the United States compared to law school. Second, once you get into either institution, it is very, very hard to get kicked out. If you were to try and drop out, it is likely the school would aggressively try to keep you there. Getting in and getting through the programs are the real challenges. There still are challenges after that, but you do work for compensation.

    Whereas, law schools let everyone in, and have high attrition rates, especially at the bottom-ranked schools, because they are in love with tuition $$$ and the low overhead, and they do not think too many lawyers pose a serious danger to the public, the way medical schools and dental schools do, which is why there is always a demand for those professions.

  10. I'm sympathetic to most all of your positions SJD, and think over all you fight a good fight. The subcurrent of libertarian fetishism - that leaves me cold though.

    Libertarianism is just another anthropocentric fundamentalism that attempts to impose feeble human absolutes on the chaos that is real existence. As with any absolutist dogma, it inevitably fails when forced to bump up against the real world.

    By equivalent western models, you actually have a fairly 'libertarian' internal structure in many ways, and the results speak for themselves - no trickle down, plenty of hoover up of wealth concentration, abysmal public infrastructure, collapsing economy. Of course, the libertarians will shriek and howl that it's not being done right, and you need more libertarianism - which starts to sound just like the squawks of socialist apologists who claim communism wouldn't have failed if only it were done right.

    I watch this blog from Australia, where we have universal health care, genuine public education, largely progressive taxation - all things which according to libertarianism's economic taliban should have us buckling at the knees. Except we have an outperform economy that avoided recession quite comfortably, has healthy growth and employment figures.

    It's probably obvious by now libertarianism sh*ts me no end - everytime it bobs up I'm reminded of Rand's distillation of its credo, for every man to "live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself."

    And every time I wish her mother had done just do during wet nursing.

  11. Hello Aussie!

    Great response, I enjoyed it very much.

    "Libertarianism is just another anthropocentric fundamentalism that attempts to impose feeble human absolutes on the chaos that is real existence. As with any absolutist dogma, it inevitably fails when forced to bump up against the real world"

    I must say that at this point I'm extremely libertarian on social issues and substantially libertarian on economic issues. Notice the difference between the two and i'll elaborate further.

    In a real world "pure libertarian" markets are impossible and you are correct in your criticism of the system not being libertarian enough as it can never be as people seek power through corruption and greed. For the record I am not a absolutist and I full well understand the limitations of libertarianism.

    But this I can say for sure: absent government intervention the housing bust would never have taken place. Absent government intervention the student loan fiasco would never have taken place. Absent the federal government spending over $950 billion per year on wars and military spending the majority of Americans oppose our balance sheet would be much healthier today. Absent the federal government's confiscation of peoples earnings by the use of social security taxes that money would have not been squandered by the government and would be in the hands of the people who earned in it the first place.

    With regards to Australia's economy, due to the government throwing the kitchen sink at the housing mess by implementing the insane 16k first time home owners grant, the housing bubble got even bigger. The Australian housing market is on the verge of a terrible crash which will rival America's. Given that I've been to Australia four times, I have seen little shit homes selling for 700k, average homes for 1 million plus, and nice homes selling for 5 million plus. Australia has the most over valued housing marketin the world and you can thank the Australian government for making it bigger by inducing young Australians to buy into the ponzi by offering them huge incentives like the FHOG.

    With regards to healthcare, Australia is the second most expensive country in the world after the US. And don't forget that the US federal gov spent over 800 billion for Medicare and Medicaid in Fiscal 2010, and that doesn't include state spending on healthcare. What we have in the US is the worst kind of healthcare spending: government spending which is piggybacked by a extremely corrupt "private" sector.

  12. Thanks for the reply, as I said, I'm with you on most positions. And sorry to bump an aging thread. Very briefly:

    Military adventurism - for mine the greatest issue you face, socially and fiscally. A dose of Ron Paul policy here would do the world some good. Us included - Australian foreign policy is basically 'what he said', he being whoever the current POTUS is. We have an abysmal history of pimping out our armed forces to the US. It just doesn't cost as much being deputy dawg - see the world, shoot people in their own country, Uncle Sam's treat.

    Nothing changing there any time soon - our Labor PM gave an address to Congress last month which was as good a rimjob as you'll find. Pandering to the myth of exceptionalism. Disgraceful, and encouragingly at least reported so back home in a large part of our horrifically concentrated MSM.

    The housing market - you're very learned here. The Australian market is a horribly distorted mess, and one in which I agree the government should be well out of. Australian public debt is actually pretty sound, but lost in the feelgood chatter locally about the rotten state of public finances elsewhere in the rest of the developed world is recognition of the mountain of private debt, most of it in utterly nonproductive housing debt. FHOG is terribly inflationary policy that serves only to transfer wealth from the young to older members of our society. It's not the only structural problem - we have for years encouraged speculative investment in housing (investment for capital growth, as opposed to rental income) through 'negative gearing', which allows repayments on debt financed property investment to be tax deductible.

    The house price 'growth' celebrated by the real estate agents, MSM and even our state and federal governments is inflation by any other name. The only difference I'll cede between here and the US is that our mortgage lending is full recourse - people will dig in to make repayments, as if they fail, they not only lose house, they'll be bankrupted too.

    It's not uncommon for housing loans to also be backed by third party guarantees, particularly where banks are lending against very little deposit (mainly mums and dads signing on to help little jim or josephine get their stake in the great australian dream). So there is plenty of incentive to dig deep and make a loan work,somehow, anyhow, which will keep the bubble pumped a little longer.

    I used to do mortgage recovery work in a top tier law firm out here for one our major banks - we'd take the house, bankrupt the borrowers, and then take the houses of any guarantors if there was still coin owing. Worst case ever was an old man who lost the house he'd built himself after the war, never owed a cent on it. But he'd guaranteed his deadbeat son's mortgage.

    Healthcare's probably a point of difference. Ours is bunk in many ways, but there's something comfortably civilised knowing you can be treated without suffering enormous financial penalty. I'm definitely a strong advocate for universal healthcare, though I recognise it has its own inflationary downside.

    Keep on trucking!

  13. For a very different take on libertarianism, consider Kevin Carson, mutualist.org, and the Center for a Stateless Society.

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