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Archive for the month “July, 2016”

The Plight of Most Retired People Living on Social Security

This is my second post on attempting to explain why terrible things have happened to America. The following information is based on my personal assumptions, beliefs, conclusions, and opinions.

When discussing who is to blame for all the terrible things that have happened to America, I always assume that The Powers That Be (TPTB) and their cousins Certain Rich And Powerful Entities (CRAPE) are the culprits. I refer to these two groups as the Elites.

Of course these elites will always claim to be acting in the best interests of the country. I will let history be the judge of their actions.

So let’s proceed with discussing the plight of most retired people living on Social Security benefits.

Their Sources of Income – Most retired people living on Social Security benefits have two common sources of income. Their primary source of income is their Social Security benefits. But some of them have managed to accumulate various investments. I’m not going to discuss retired people who live on pensions other than Social Security, since there is such a wide diversity of these other plans.

Social Security benefits are adjusted annually based on the official inflation index for the prior year as published by the government. These increases tend to be relatively small, as discussed below. I recall a recent year when the government claimed there was zero inflation for the prior year. So there was no increase to Social Security benefits for the next year.

Most retired people tend to favor safe investments since they don’t have time to recoup any losses from risky investments. (Note: Wall Street brokers sometimes refer to risky investments as high-yield investments, as a way to encourage their purchase.)

Their Plight – The people who live on their Social Security benefits are caught between two opposing forces that are forcing them into a life of desperation. On the one hand, the US government provides a bogus inflation index that is used to adjust the Social Security benefits annually. This official inflation index has been modified in order to understate the actual increase in the cost-of-living.

On the other hand, the Federal Reserve System (the Fed, which is the US central bank) has a policy of increasing the inflation rate by 2% every year. Of course the actual inflation rate may rise far above this desired goal at various times. The Fed deliberately creates inflation by issuing excessive amounts of US currency. This is done in accordance with Keynesian, a bogus economics theory used by the elites to justify their manipulation of the economy.

The result of these two opposing forces is that the actual cost of living continues to increase. However, Social Security benefits continue to fall below what is needed to maintain a constant standard of living.

Actions of the elites – You might wonder why the government issues these bogus reports on the condition of the economy. Well, if you make all these promises about how you’re going to benefit the voters, you have two choices. One choice is to do whatever it takes to fulfill your promises. The other choice is to issue bogus reports that purportedly show what a great job you have done. I believe the government has taken the latter course of action. (Note: If you want to see accurate reports about the state of the US economy, shadowstats has them.)

Actually, the Fed has two policies that harm retired people. One long-term policy is to continually destroy the value of the US dollar in order to create inflation. Since the Fed (a private bank mostly owned by foreign banking interests) was secretly foisted upon the American people in 1913, the value of the US dollar has decreased by about 99%. When you watch movies about past times you might wonder at how valuable the money was back then.

A more recent policy of the Fed has been to drive interest rates far below what they should be. The result of this is that most of the safe investments used by retired people earn very low returns. So retired people have Social Security benefits that are far below what they should be, and earnings from safe investments that are far below what they should be.

The only way out – One of the results of these actions of the elites is that some retired people had to go back to work. Poor uncle Joe and aunt Martha. They worked their fingers to the bone while looking forward to a blissful life in retirement that was promised by the government. Surprise, surprise! They have been playing a Monopoly game where the dice are loaded against them. Only the elites are allowed to have dice that are loaded to favor them.

Conclusion – Well, I have lambasted the elites enough for this posting. You probably want to know what you can do to improve things for your own future or current retirement. So here are some of my suggestions.

If you are still young enough to try some risky investments you might invest in some precious metals (gold and silver) or the stocks of companies that mine precious metals. If you buy physical precious metals, such as coins or bars, be sure to take possession of them and keep them in secure storage that is under your direct control. You can talk to a stockbroker about various gold and silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that are safer than buying individual mining stocks.

The problem that most people have with risky investments like these is they get overwhelmed by their emotions when these investments are at their peak and refuse to sell. The best way to trade risky investments is to avoid the bottom and the top. This means you should not buy them until a new upward trend in prices has been firmly established. Then you should sell them when everyone starts talking about what a great investment they have become.

If you are older you need to think about some way to make some money on the side. I don’t necessarily mean taking some low-wage job someplace. I mean using your acquired experience, knowledge, and skills to provide information or a service to people at a reasonable price. Some of my inexpensive Kindle books on Amazon can help you make some money on the side. To review these books, click the link below:

Books by Charles Moorehead

The Growing Division Between the Rich and the Not So Rich

 

This is the first post to my blog about all the bad things that have happened to America. As to who is responsible for these bad things, I believe there are two main groups. First, there is The Powers That Be (TPTB) group. In some  circles this group is referred to as the ruling class. Their main business is running a country or powerful international organizations. Second, there is the Certain Rich And Powerful Entities (CRAPE) group. They are primarily concerned with their own affairs. However, they may exert their control or influence over TPTB group from time to time. Some individuals may go back and forth between these two groups.

I have decided that this first post will be based solely on my own assumptions, beliefs, and opinions. I don’t want to involve other people in this first post. Besides, it is very difficult to find out what is really going on when TPTB and CRAPE make decisions behind closed doors. This is doubly true when people from these groups also own and control the mainstream media. In other words, what passes for news on the mainstream media sometimes may be nothing more than self-serving propaganda.

I am sure that many readers of these posts will disagree with me. All of my readers are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. Any comments, good or bad, about this post are welcome.

This first topic concerns the large and growing division between the rich and the not so rich in our country. Things weren’t always like this. There was a time when the government wasn’t as closely controlled by CRAPE, when certain large corporations weren’t so greedy, and when there weren’t so many onerous government regulations. So let’s discuss these three matters.

Control of the Government – One of the reasons that CRAPE are getting richer is because they have a certain amount of control over the government. How is the government controlled by CRAPE? Well, if politicians want to get elected at the national level, they need a lot of money to run their campaigns. And when CRAPE provide large amounts of money to politicians, they expect to receive benefits from the government many times greater than their campaign donations. So CRAPE receive many undeserved benefits.

Of course, if you believe that large donations from CRAPE entitle them to substantial rewards, maybe their benefits aren’t undeserved after all. Depends on your point of view I guess. Personally, I think that these large campaign donations are nothing but bribes. And I think these bribes should be outlawed. But don’t hold your breath.

New members may enter Congress expecting to benefit the ordinary people. But I believe most of them will eventually succumb to the allure of power. Then they realize they need to satisfy the demands of CRAPE if they want to stay in office.

So what benefits do CRAPE receive from the government? Well, the politicians pass laws that include many benefits to CRAPE. Of course these benefits aren’t going to be spelled out. A certain law isn’t going to say that ABC Corporation gets the following benefit. Instead the law is going to have some arcane language that describes how to qualify for a certain benefit. And lo and behold, only ABC Corporation or other generous donors qualify.

Certain Greedy Corporations – Up until about 1970 employees received their fair share of the rise in productivity of large corporations. Productivity refers to the relation of income to expenses. When income rises faster than expenses, this denotes an increase in productivity. So why do many employees no longer receive their fair share of this increased income? I suppose you could say the management at certain large corporations decided they were more deserving than their employees.

I believe there is a natural progression in the life of a successful corporation. Let’s say that a business is started by eager entrepreneurs will have some great idea they want to put into action. As part of this great idea they want to reward their customers, who give them money, and their employees, who deliver the products, services, or information. If the corporation become successful over a long period of time the original entrepreneurs are apt to leave and no longer be in charge. Instead the corporation may be taken over by “professional” managers. Some of these new managers may not share the idealism of the original entrepreneurs. Instead, they may be primarily concerned about their own welfare.

Some of these new managers decided to ship the production facilities overseas to low-wage countries. Some of them decided to bring in low-wage foreign workers on the absurd notion that they cannot find a sufficient number of skilled domestic workers. These actions caused many of the original workers to lose their jobs or have to take a reduction in their wages. At the same time, some of these new managers are receiving massive salaries and bonuses. As a matter of fact, large employers in the United States have the greatest disparity between the top salaries and the bottom salaries than in any other country.

Onerous Government Regulations – Another benefit received by CRAPE, in this case certain large corporations, is the multitude of onerous government regulations. Large corporations can afford to abide by these regulations. However, small business firms are prevented from forming or growing due to the damaging impact of these regulations. Small business firms are the biggest source of employment for ordinary people. So when these regulations destroy small business firms the result is increased unemployment for the common people.

Certain large corporations want to destroy small business firms because of their potential competition. Many large corporations become locked into rigid and noncompetitive business practices. In comparison many small business firms are nimble and willing to adapt to changing conditions.

The upshot is that certain large corporations often welcome these onerous government regulations because they can reduce possible competition from small business firms. It should be noted that large corporations often have a direct influence on what new government regulations are created. You see, bureaucrats often consult with large corporations when planning new regulations.

Conclusion – I’m just getting warmed up in posting why our country has fallen on hard times. I believe CRAPE may use many ways to control or influence things to benefit themselves and harm ordinary people.

So what can you do to help yourself? For this first post I am proposing that you visit my website and learn how to reduce your living expenses per below:

            Reduce Your Living Expenses

What has happened to America?

I haven’t been updating my blog lately because I ran out of useful things to say. But now I have decided to resume blogging every Friday to explain what has happened to America. I will attempt to explain why things are in such a mess for our country and the majority of its people. Plus, I will do my best to help you survive the hard times we are experiencing.

These blogs will be based on my personal opinions and insights, my interpretations of common sense and human nature, and the opinions of various people who have achieved success by not following conventional wisdom.

If I believe that something I say is a fact, then I will provide a link to an authoritative source. If I am discussing the personal opinions of other people, then I will provide a link to the site that contains these opinions.

As far as placing blame for the awful things that have happened to out country and most of its people, I  assume that The Powers That Be (TPTB) are allowing or controlling most of these events. But as to who the “powers behind the throne” might be, I do not know.

You should assume that I cannot prove anything that I am stating in these blog posts, unless I provide a link to the source of that information.

Also, if you take any actions based on the information in my blog posts you must assume sole responsibility for any losses or other mishaps you encounter.

Here is a tentative outline of the subjects for my future blog posts:

  • Why there is such a large and growing division between the rich and the poor.
  • Why most retired people can’t live on just their Social Security benefits.
  • Why most of the good paying factory jobs have disappeared from our country.
  • Why most families can’t live on the earnings from just one job anymore.
  • Why the stock market is so high when the economy is in such a bad shape.
  • Why we have so many pointless wars that we never seem to win.
  • Why the economic statistics issued by the government often fail to reflect reality.
  • Why the Middle Eastern terrorists are so mad at us.
  • Why the Federal Reserve is creating our money when the Constitution says that Congress is in charge of creating our money.
  • Why un-backed paper notes have become our form of money when this fraudulent form of money was so vigorously condemned in the Federalist Papers and was denied to the states in the Constitution.
  • Why the government and the Federal Reserve System want to control our economy, instead of allowing the free market to work its miracles, even though the central control of an economy has never worked for large advanced societies.
  • Why the government allows the large “Too Big To Fail” banks (that almost brought the country to ruin during the 2007-08 global financial crisis) to continue with their insane activities and thereby place the country in an even more dangerous situation.

At the end of every post I will try to show some easy ways for you to make money or provide some part of your survival needs. This should help you to overcome some of the nonsense that TPTB are doing to harm you.

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