The Unsustainable U.S. Economy

Unsustainable EconomyThe U.S. National Debt often touted at an enormous $18 trillion is really more than 3 times that amount and closer to a whopping $65 trillion!


That’s when you actually count all the unfunded liabilities for civilian and military pensions, retiree healthcare, social security, and medicare.


For each of the 318.9 million people of that United States, it mean $203,826 of debt or for a family of four that’s a debt of $815,303.


Put another way, the entire net worth of Americans is $84.9 trillion, but after subtracting the debt of $65 trillion, it drops to just about $20 trillion–coincidentally around the amount of our new debt ceiling.


Moreover, with the richest 1% owning more than 50% of the wealth by 2016 that leave only $10 trillion or $31,675 for each of us–not so hoity toity for 239 years of independence and founding as a nation or all the blood, sweat, and tears we put in every day of our lives.


In terms of our escalating debt, just this last year alone, social security spending went up to $944,143,000,000 or the equivalent of $6,345 for every American with a job. and this is projected to dramatically rise with the retirements of the baby boomers.


Projections are for social security to exhaust its funds by 2035, which could result in across the board 20% or more cuts in benefits of the already meager program where many seniors end up eating cat food.


Additionally, the retirement age already set to go to 67 by 2027 could be forced to go even higher, and social security would likely be curtailed or eliminated entirely above certain income levels.


Is this the financial security and brighter future we are leaving our children and grandchildren?


We can kick the can down the road, but the unsustainability of it all will eventually come back to haunt us. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pictures of Money)

Self-Perpetuating Immigration For All The Wrong Reasons

Business Lover

So this is the prevailing misguided logic by some for more immigration. 


We need immigrants to “reduce the ratio of retirees to workers.”


Why? 


Because the birth rate has fallen to below replenishment rates (roughly 2.1 births per women). 


And since our “trust funds” for social security, medicare, pensions, and the like have NOT been been kept in trust, BUT INSTEAD have been squandered on other things…


Therefore, according to this warped thinking¬†we now need a wave of immigrants to come save us–have lots of babies¬†and grow our economy–to pay for what we should be able to, but can’t–because of gross mismanagement and corruption with the money that was taken out our payroll all our lives supposedly to care for us in our elder years.¬†


The wrong reasons for immigration are expressed by Charles Kenny in Bloomberg Businessweek.


– According to Kenny, “More immigration is both the cheapest and most effective response to the challenge of a shrinking, aging population,” which he frets is “ominous for pension and health-care costs.”


Kenny’s approach to immigrants is that they are not vital and talented human beings, but rather basically baby machines with higher birth rates for population replenishment, as he states, “Although immigrants rapidly adopt the fertility patterns of their new countries, they still tend to produce more children to begin with.”


– And he says, because most come over as adults, we have the benefits of the workers “without the expense and delay of rearing…[them as] children.”

– Oh, and by the way, Kenny says, “Some newly arrived workers help provide cheap child-care options.”


Wow, how biased, cold, and condescending is that!


Not once does Kenny mention or advocate for immigration for any of these truly worthy reasons:


–¬†Shelter from persecution¬†


– Political asylum


– Promote diversity


РBring in needed skills, investment, and innovation 


– Rejoin families


And what is the result of bringing in immigrants to pay our way?


Well, we’ll need to bring in yet another and another, wave after wave of immigration, because we can’t balance of budget and spend rationally, responsibly, and with an eye toward the future–it’s self-perpetuating immigration for the sake of deadbeatism.¬†


Sweet land of liberty is being thrown out for a bunch of economic opportunists who feel we need “immigrants to [come to] the rescue” rather than join together with us in being great in terms of compassion, humanitarianism, and mutual respect.¬†


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How Do You Like Those Apples?

Apple

A new proposed method for determining Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for people receiving Social Security and federal and military retiree pensions is called the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

The Federal Times (18 July 2011) reports that “proposed COLA changes would mean smaller annuities for retirees.”
Essentially, the Chained CPI doesn’t just look at the change in prices for “market basket” of goods, but it “takes into account…the fact that most consumers change their buying habits when prices go up.
What this means in a simple example (exaggerated for effect) is that:
If the price of an Apple goes up from $1 to $2 instead of COLA being adjusted so that retirees get $2 for the apple, we give them instead maybe $1.25, since we ASSUME that because the price of apples went up “people are likely to buy fewer apples or switch to a cheaper fruit.”
Does that sound right from your shopping experience?  
Are you going to buy fewer apples or are they sort of a necessity?  Further, if the price of apples goes up, is it not likely that the price of other common fruits will go up in an inflationary environment as well. 
This proposal which is estimated “to save $300 billion in its first decade” sounds like quite the fuzzy economics indeed.¬†
So how do you like those apples?
(Source Picture: here)