American Classic 2012 – Zen is what you make it.


My advice: Stop spending. Start saving. Expect worse. Work for the best.

Help is not on the way from either Left or Right. You must create your own job. The time is yesterday to evaluate your skillset.

Bill4DogCatcher.com’s outlook is that 2012 will be 2011, only worse.

Everyone wants everyone else to pay for what they themselves do not want to pay for. Yet so much is owed that it just about doesn’t matter if you or I both pay more, unless quite a bit more // the flip side is that we are mostly in this pickle because we went along with tax cuts, cheap Chinese products and all of those added benefits without a second thought — back when we had the luxury of having a second thought.

2010: 2.9 million home foreclosures. Approximately 12,000,000 changed their way of life.

2011: On par with 2010 but foreclosures are up about 30% since August 2011.

2012: 2011 continued + federal meltdown. All are to blame and it will take sacrifice by all to fix it. If you want it then it needs to be paid for.

American Classic 2012

American Reality 2012

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

Don’t look for more in 2012. Or not enough to break through our population growth level.

The jobless numbers may get better as a percentage but that is because we are no longer counting the majority of the newly jobless from 2008-2010.

Look for the raw number of Americans employed to hover around 134,000,000 on a good day for the next few years. In 2000 we had 132 million employed and by 2010 that raw number had dropped to 130 million despite 30 million new souls added among us.

2010: 75% of those jobless got some form of unemployment assistance.

2011: 48% get some form of unemployment aid; you have a lifetime limit of 99 weeks.

2012: The raw number of those employed seems to have plateaued. We are not losing jobs but neither are we gaining jobs. Population growth requires that at least 125-150,000 jobs be created monthly. Ain’t happening. WON’T HAPPEN. Technologic advances are not slowing and the truth is that much of what is still done by people with jobs now could be further automated and refined (i.e. humans no longer needed). It will be too.

So what to do? It will take a lot more thinking than just taxing the rich or telling the screwed: eat cake.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “American Classic 2012 – Zen is what you make it.

  1. George S. Harris

    While I suspect your dire predicitions may be true, particularly the federal government meltdown, I am equally certain that if everybody, “Stop[s] spending. Start[s] saving. Expect worse.” your predictions will certainly come true and in spades. The American people have an obligation to themselves and the nation to make certain this does not happen. While many believe that “their guy/gal” in Congress is OK, that simply is not the case. The nation has to wake up and vote a great number people out of a job on Capitol Hill. The Senate Majority Leader and the House Speaker and the House Majority Leader are not “leaders”, they are destroyers–the worst kind–pious and self-righteous.

    I have rated your prediction at one star because you don’t seem to believe that anything can be done and I, for one, am not prepared to accept that as an absolute.

    • True enough on both counts: my prediction is dire and I don’t believe that anything can be done to stop it. Not before 2016/2017, as I discussed in an earlier posting.

      Reading through both published writings of partisans left and right, and through the statistics about how fragile our economy has become, I do not believe that the partisans will be ready to talk until they’ve met total disaster at the polls.

      2012 will be largely an electoral stalemate. A stalemate would be the equal of an economic implosion.

      The Republicans will welcome (most will) a collapse of our economic system. They don’t see it as a negative. They believe that our society needs to be rebuilt. A collapse provides the basis for that rebuilding.

      On the other hand, the Democratic answer really does seem to be ‘spend more’ and avoid making the hard decisions about managing benefits and costs. There are some good ideas such as heavy investment in infrastructure. Yet short of printing money they don’t have either the votes or a billpayer to underwrite infrastructure investments.

      Only once we’ve imploded and both sides do some soul-searching, and the average voter realizes what asses they themselves have been, can we move forward. That is 2016-2017 as I see it.

      • George S. Harris

        I think it will be interesting and sadly by 2016 I will be surprised if I am still here. I hope I am because I am not ready to concede. If there is the total collapse that you predict, will it be possible for our nation to rise again? It would seem to me this kind of collapse is just what China would be waiting for–they would become THE world power dictating what we do. Of course this is just based on my gut feeling at this time. As we weaken, China takes over more and more and we become less capable of doing anything to stop them. The 2012 election may not be a stalemate–I am beginning to think people are seeing the Tea/Republicans for what they are–destroyers.

      • I am ever the optimist, although I try to stay pragmatic about it.

        Our nation will not collapse. Our political system will implode.

        Am hopeful that a case of the blinding obvious strikes American voters and they punish those elected officials that do not come to the table with a willingness to work for the greater good.

        We should be concerned that China will take advantage of this. We would if the situation was reversed. It is the natural order of things. China has now offered to bail out Europe … although I believe that the Europeans are smart enough to say ‘no thank you’.

        Our country is hugely rich. Just this morning a published report came out that Wall Street has raked in more profits within Obama’s first 30 months than in all eight years of George Bush. We have wealth.

        What we have is an inequity in how that money serves our citizenry. That is where the fight and implosion will come.

        >> Social Security: small tweaks can keep this program sound for another generation easily. But will folks accept moving back retirement age by two years and adjusting the means testing. People earning $85,000 are collecting social security. No, that was not the intent and funding those folks will keep the system from being fixed. The AARP should be ashamed of itself for insisting that Social Security is a retirement fund and that every American should be eligible to tap into it at current age standards. That logic would break the bank.

        >> Medicare/Medicaid: Bankrupt beyond belief. No fixing this. It would be best to just scrap the program after passing a defined benefits plan of basic health screenings and a short menu of covered procedures.

        >> Military/Industrial Complex: People are blind to the costs. I know incredibly liberal Democrats that will even argue we cannot afford to cut back on defense. The only way to manage this issue is to insist across the board for all budgetary items that ‘if you want then you must collect taxes to pay for it’ — whether it is social or military programs.

        >> Corporate and social welfare: we wonks know where to find the numbers but the average American doesn’t know and doesn’t really care. So this makes debate irrelevant as people are arguing from rumor, big lies, urban legends, misleading headlines, etc. There needs to be more plain English publishing of the numbers. Not only doesn’t the rich pay their share of taxes but neither does the middle class. The working class gets both stiffed and blamed in this argument while everyone but them is getting a good deal … or at least a deal that gives them the equivalent of tax cuts and credits that end up underfunding our government.

        So the implosion that I foresee hopefully can be resolved peacefully by prolonged disappointments and then renewed resolve to be pragmatic. Am hopeful. But there are those that relish this same outcome minus the pragmatism. What drives the Right is a belief that a collapse will cause Americans to flood to them for salvation. And on the Left there is a belief that if the financial system can be crippled then that buys time to convince people that a redistribution of the wealth from those that have it will solve all problems. It will take a few years for both to learn that life just doesn’t work well under those conditions.

  2. George S. Harris

    “Social Security: small tweaks can keep this program sound for another generation easily. But will folks accept moving back retirement age by two years and adjusting the means testing. People earning $85,000 are collecting social security. No, that was not the intent and funding those folks will keep the system from being fixed. The AARP should be ashamed of itself for insisting that Social Security is a retirement fund and that every American should be eligible to tap into it at current age standards. That logic would break the bank.”

    One more thing that is the absolute simplest would be to remove the income ceiling ($106,800) on how much is taxed and raise the tax rate by perhaps .5%. At present, the Obama administration has lowered the tax rate to 4.2% to reduce the tax burden on employees and employers–bad idea. Employers don’t hire people because the SS tax rate has been lowered–they hire people because of an increase in demand for goods and services. I don’t know why the administration can’t get that. We should also look at all the things that have been added to the original SS act–consideration should be given to funding them separately.

    “Medicare/Medicaid: Bankrupt beyond belief. No fixing this. It would be best to just scrap the program after passing a defined benefits plan of basic health screenings and a short menu of covered procedures.”

    I think we need to figure out why Medicare/Medicaid is in so much trouble. Things like “push” programs for diabetes supplies (and I am sure there are others) should be stopped. If they weren’t highly profitable, companies wouldn’t be doing them. People using those systems often wind up with far more supplies than they can ever use. Rather than limiting what supplemental insurance plans pay, perhaps it should be the other way around. While I am not wonkish enough to come up with the numbers, in my heart of hearts, I know they must be highly profitable.

    Yes, a viable military is horribly expensive–particularly when you are at war for 10 years and you try to add nation building to it and you don’t r e source the war with some sort of added tax. We need to be asking ourselves if we need new weapons systems as frequently s we seem to say we do. Our enemies have been fighting us with the AK-47 for decades. Yes, we have all these things that find people in the dark and around corners, etc. yet our enemies pay some kid $5, give him an AK47 and a handful of rounds and tell him, “Go kill Americans. If you come back, we will give you more ammo. If you don’t we will take care of your family.” Right!

    Look at the fight over a new tanker for the Air Force–ridiculous. How many different types of

    Corporate and Social Welfare: Why are we still paying farmers to not grow something? Why are we paying farmers TO grow something? Why are we subsidizing oil companies to drill more wells? Look at their profits–have we lost our minds? In days gone by, subsidies were needed to get companies to take risks in unexplored arenas–that is not the case today.

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