Monday, July 17, 2017

Episode 194, The Mandibles--Great Collapse Fiction

I recently came across an outstanding novel about economic collapse by Lionel Shriver, The Mandibles, A Family, 2029-2047.  (It's been out just over a year, but I'm a little slow, what can I say?)

I enjoyed The Mandibles so much that I've devoted the entire podcast to recounting the story and how it compares to "The Collapse" that so many of us have been anticipating (and talking about) for so long.

Lionel Shriver is a well-known award-winning author who turned her considerable literary talents not long ago to the unsustainable financial problems facing the U.S. and the rest of the world. The result is a supremely entertaining and realistic page-turner that immediately lept to the top of my list of favorite "collapse fiction", a genre which will some day be compared and contrasted to the real thing.

Well, we jump the comparison gun in this show, testing The Mandibles against various expectations we have for the upcoming real-world Collapse, including:

  • Stock market collapse
  • Demise of the dollar as the world's reserve currency
  • Repudiation of the US debt
  • Confiscation of gold
  • Hyperinflation (or will it be Deflation?)
  • Widespread civil unrest
  • Aftermath and recovery
I know I say this all the time, but this really IS a great show!  Give it a listen!

***WARNING!***  This podcast is loaded to the rafters with plot spoilers--but the book is such a good read that won't matter!

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Episode 193, Meanwhile Back at the Collapse...

Constant major distractions aside, the darndest thing about this Collapse is that it's not going away, whether we pay attention to it or not.

Even if you like Trump and support him and his policies, there's only so much that he or anyone else can do to stop the inevitable.

In this show, I talk about how the slow-motion low-grade collapse in progress now could ramp up to "Godzilla Grade" at any time for many reasons, including:
  • The economy is not recovering, it's getting worse for most people
  • The stock market is in an irrationally high bubble
  • The Federal Reserve remains in near-ZIRP "emergency" mode
  • States and municipalities are staggering under unmanageable pension obligations
  • Oncoming racial doom stalks our major cities (per Fred Reed)
  • Social and cultural deterioration in other sectors continues
  • The odds of a major war are increasing
  • Political polarization in America is becoming lethal
What is going to accelerate the collapse in progress?  And what should you do to get ready?  Sixty-four thousand dollar questions, answered in this show.  Give it a listen!

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Episode 192, CashDoc: Eating the dinosaur eggs of Big Medicine

Big Medicine must be destroyed.  And CashDoc is just the thing to destroy it.

CashDoc is a little bit like Uber for the medical business. CashDoc connects people who need medical care with medical care providers ready to serve them.

With today's high "insurance" premiums, and super-high annual deductibles, millions of people are spending their own cash on their own medical care. And those costs have gone up up every year, year after year, for decades.

CashDoc blows up the expensive
"confuseopoly" of Big Medicine, and brings the advantages of open markets and transparent pricing to the little guy, the average individual or family consumer of medical care.  At the same time, doctors and other medical practitioners can focus on caring for patients while avoiding the costly bureaucratic thicket of Big Medicine.

Combine CashDoc with a cost sharing mechanism--medical "assurance"--from organizations such as Samaritan Ministries, and you have the advantages of an open market coupled with affordable protection against unforeseen medical expenses including emergencies.  

It's too bad that CashDoc doesn't exist today, but it's an idea whose time has come, so it's all but inevitable that someone will make it happen. When they do, we will have a viable alternative to the super-high costs and crazy incentives of Big Medicine (hey, it's December, and you've finally burnt through your sky-high deductible, how about we operate on that shoulder that's been bothering you?)

Give this show a listen, and let me know if you're ready for CashDoc.  I am!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Episode 191, Pushing Trump Out the Airlock

It didn't take long for Trump's opposition to crank up the impeachment machine, now did it?

Of course, it helps when the opposition comprises the media, establishment politicians, and the administrative state. These are rice bowls of solid neutronium.

When you're on a four-year trip to Mars you have to find a way to get along. Whatever happens--he keeps leaving his space socks floating around the bedroom, she keeps nagging him to take out the space trash--you still gotta live together no matter what.

Unless someone gets pushed out the airlock.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Episode 190, Death by Credit Money

That's what the Z Man calls it on Grace and Steel podcast 78, which inspired this podcast by yours truly.

Credit has been around for about as long as money has been, since the first caveman Wimpy promised to pay next Tuesday for a hamburger today.

But super-easy credit money, thanks to the Federal Reserve's zero interest rate policy, and gigantic quantities of it, thanks to banks too big to fail, is a recent phenomenon, and it has funded the transformation of industry after industry--not in a good way, of course. When you examined what has happened and why, the term "strip mining" comes to mind.

What could possibly go wrong, with millions of consumers maxed out on seven-year car loans, $16,000-per-family credit card debt, tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and maybe a home mortgage to boot?  And no problem, really, with major corporations borrowing money to buy back their own stock. And it's all good, $20 trillion in on-the-books FedGov debt, with about ten times that in unfunded liabilities.

Nope, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Everything is going to be just fine.

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Episode 189, TrumpCare (what it SHOULD be)

While we'll likely never get it this side of the collapse of Western Civ, medical care should be an open market.

The problems with the current state of medical care in America are legion, beginning with government domination of the so-called marketplace of medical insurance, which for starters, isn't insurance at all, but a mechanism for fixing prices at nose-bleed levels, and transferring the responsibility for payment to someone else, including unborn taxpayers.

Regardless, ObamaCare is headed for the ash heap of history, and if it happens while Trump is still president, whatever replaces it will be called TrumpCare. What SHOULD replace ObamaCare?  What would be the result? And what about poor people, who can't afford anything, much less medical care. Great questions, all, answered in this episode.

And don't miss Robert Gore's brilliant new essay, The Useful and the Useless, from his Straight Line Logic blog, read aloud on the podcast.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode 188, The War on Trump

Nice to be back on the podcast airwaves after a voice-destroying bout with The Crud.

Meanwhile, the next round of skirmishes are well underway in the rapidly-warming Cold Civil War.

(Yeah, I know, in the last show I said we should ignore what's happening in Washington, but sometimes I just can't help myself.)

Just so it has a handy name, let's call the fight against the noisy opening of Trump's presidency as "The War on Trump".

How is this war shaping up?  Trump is pushing his agenda, with a misstep here and there, but mostly moving forward at battle speed, with all guns blazing.

Trump's opposition appeared routed at first, but it's gathering itself and is now executing a coherent, though not necessarily winning strategy. What is it? And how have the last couple of weeks resembled the Battle of Dunkirk in World War 2 (pictured)?

Good thing there's nothing at stake, right?

Somewhere in the middle of all the action, I take a detour into the two ideological sides of the fight between what most call the Left and the Right.  I call them the Voluntarists and the Compellions.  Maybe not as simple, but more descriptive, as explained in the show.


And oh yeah--Washington delenda est, y'all.