Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…
A Digest of Urban Survival Resources
Fixing our Political System
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. >George Orwell
The economic misery of the middle class and the resentment our government has fostered among the electorate for its overbearing and crushing anti-freedom policies has fueled the rise of Trump and anti-establishment feelings in this country.
New data from Wells Fargo indicates that something is spooking a sector of the U.S. population, for example, — the nation's seniors — in a serious way.
On its Investor and Retirement Optimism Index, which tracks investor sentiment, retiree optimism dropped 23 points in a single quarter.
"It was a very big drop, and the first time in over a year that retirees were less optimistic than non-retirees," says Zar Toolan, director of advice quality for Wells Fargo Advisors.
COSTS RISE, INVESTMENTS FLAT
With the cash in their bank accounts earning virtually nothing, and the stock market essentially flat for the year, retirees have not been seeing any portfolio improvements. Inflation, a notorious portfolio-killer, looms whenever an economy is heating up.
Meanwhile, living expenses are lofty. Healthcare costs in retirement for a 65-year-old couple now stand at an estimated $245,000, according to Fidelity Benefits Consulting.
What really drives the point home for retirees is that they have a shorter investment horizon than those still in the prime of their careers. An investor at age 70 or 75 cares very much about shorter-term portfolio gains.
As a result, financial planners report having do an increasing amount of hand-holding with their senior clients.
"They worry about ISIS, rising interest rates, income disparity, European recession, dysfunctional Congress, slowdown in China, and falling commodity prices," says Austin Frye, a financial planner in Aventura, Florida. "There is, in fact, a lot for them to worry about.
Over the past half century, our two-party system has managed to create a nightmare of red tape and regulation at the federal and state level which has strangled our growth and freedom while feathering their respective nests.
The “G” in government now represents GREED and GOUGE the citizen. Even our courts have become another taxing authority with ludicrously high fines and costs. Unelected officials via hundreds of agencies now rule our nation and levy fines created out of thin air without benefit of legislation creating a nationwide pit which has sucked the lifeblood out of our once famous middle class job creation machine.
The average American has been dummied down or has lost faith in our system while our middle class has been decimated as a result of too much government….
Case in Point: A Texas 7th grader was ordered to cover up his Star Wars T-Shirt because it violated the school’s ban on symbols oriented towards violence. Colton Southern was told to zip up his sweatshirt to conceal the image of a Storm Trooper holding a blaster.
We’ve witnessed incidents in CA where children were told they could not wear an American flag on their shirt as it “might offend” others.
If things don’t change soon, there won’t be much left to govern. The United States has become a parody of George Orwell’s book 1984. This became especially true after 911 when suddenly all citizens lost their privacy and saw many of their freedoms and Bill of Rights diminished due to the results of a hastily and poorly conceived set of laws poorly named the “Patriot Act.”
Our nation’s greatness did not erode overnight but it sure seems the quality of our leadership [from either party] has.
Personally, I put much of the blame for our demise on career politicians. George Washington warned against this in his farewell speech but that seems have been forgotten by the political elite who have figured out just how profitable it is to continually feed at the public trough, often collecting multiple public pensions and gold plated perks [Congress, for example, gets an automatic pay raise but usually forgets about our military or Social Security recipients].
1. TERM LIMITS-This is a must. Our Founders served without pay, only expenses. I suggest current elected leaders get paid a salary and perks for 20 years and that’s it. If they feel inclined to ‘serve’ further, they can do so for expenses only or perhaps at the same rate Social Security recipients get AND if they need it, they should get Medicare at the same scale as well. This should apply across the board – no job hopping or switching states [as the Clinton’s did so she could get a New York Senators job] to get extra pensions as is so often the case in politics.
2. OVERHAUL OUR TAX SYSTEM – Our system is antiquated, outdated and overly complex. A flat tax system is in order in which everyone pays a percentage including foreign corporations doing business here. The US has a high corporate tax which is why so many incorporate elsewhere. Many low income people receive refunds despite never paying into the system. Since the United States has become an expensive nation in which to live, a better system might be to completely eliminate ALL taxes for low income people on the first $25,000 of income. That would give them an immediate boost income without hurting small businesses.
3. START ELIMINATING government agencies and red tape which hamper job creation or duplicate each other. For instance, we do not need 51 Department’s of Education, we do not need the BATF, etc. If an agency doesn’t help to boost new jobs, cut costs or help citizens or industry become more productive – GET RID OF IT!
4. WELFARE-If you’re not here legally, you’re not entitled to food stamps, Section 8 housing, free schooling, free medical care, etc. – Period! If you continually have illegitimate children, don’t expect the government/taxpayers to pay for them. One is a mistake but three or more is a way of life.
5. If you have a felony conviction, [EX: the late Marion Barry, former Mayor of Washington, DC] you should not be allowed to run for office…if cannot legally own a gun, you shouldn’t be in office.
Many of my colleagues in the financial sector are saying this is the lull before the final storm and frankly, I often agree. The wizards in Washington always manage to pull another rabbit from the hat despite rapidly mounting debt and inflation.
The world is already at peak debt yet…
Politicians continually seek new ways to fleece the public of their money and their rights so I too feel it is only a matter of time before the casino collapses.
Personally, I believe some kind of collapse will have to take place before a new system replaces it…that would be how history normally operates and your best bet is to cover your bets as best you can. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Yours for better living in the New Year,
Bruce ‘the Poor Man’
My New Year’s Gift to you [Donations appreciated]
How to Survive the…
War on Middle Class and All 14 Bonus Reports can be downloaded here: