|We cannot, we must not ever forget who we are, where we came from, and why we are free!
If enough of us were willing to speak out
about injustice, our leaders would not dare to be deceptive. This sin of
omission on our part hurts us and our national honor ... not them. That is
the irony of a sin of omission. We see the risk as the consequences to
ourselves if we dare to be bold and speak out. In fact, the risk is the
damage we do to our character and self-respect if we remain silent. Think of
the people you admire and respect. Do they speak out or do they hide in the
background? Be bold my friends and you will be changing the world.
"Do we want what is best for our country or do we just want what is best for us?"
Consider for a moment the possibility that the answer to this question is
"What is best for our country is best for us."
And that the answer we give will determine our destiny ... and our future ... for generations.
Consider this ...
Have you noticed that the 21st century is very different compared to earlier centuries?
Changes are happening much faster now (exponentially) than ever before.
The reason for this is the widespread use of Computers and the Internet which has unleashed a powerful force which I call CIC(kick) that is speeding up change ... EVERYWHERE.
You are not imagining that the world is moving more quickly. It is.
CIC is the combined exponential power of Creativity, Information, and Communication.
The old (linear) ideas don't work in this new world.
Are you willing to open your mind and consider some new (exponential) ideas to find out ...
- Why Citizens feel so disconnected from Government.
- What is wrong with the US Economy and what will make it right.
- How cost/quality/access can be balanced in the US Health Care System
- Why there was a 2008 Financial Crisis.
- Why the 2009 Economic Stimulus didn't work.
- Why the US/Mexican Border has not been secured.
- Why the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill happened.
- What is really happening in Europe and the Middle East.
- Where we will be in 10 years … in 50 years.
- What WE can do about what is happening.
The United States (July, 2012) is on the brink of a divisive conflict
between the Public Sector and the Private Sector (politically defined
as "the middle class vs. the super-rich"). These two sectors
have a quasi-symbiotic relationship. The Public Sector provides
protection, regulation, infrastructure, and a safety net. The Private
Sector finances the Public Sector by paying taxes, and creates jobs and
wealth through innovation and risk-taking which is what enables it to
pay taxes. The Public Sector hurts itself by being too onerous because
that results in lower tax revenue. There is a limit to the alternative
of borrowing and increasing the National Debt which occurs when lenders
will simply refuse to lend. If and when that day comes, all of us will suffer far beyond our worst nightmare.
The reality is the Private Sector, not the Public Sector, is the goose that lays the golden eggs.
the Private Sector, or the people who expand the Private Sector... and
no more golden eggs. The creative spark of the unencumbered,
entrepreneurial individual mind, whether in the form of the wheel, the
telephone, or the computer, lights the path to prosperity. The rest is
just window dressing. To say otherwise will never make it so.
indication of the confusion about the free enterprise system is the
controversy which has erupted in July, 2012 about the contribution of
small business to the economy. What the small businessman does that
employees and government do not is he (or she) takes a risk. If it
works, he is successful; if it doesn't he can lose everything. This is
the essence of the free enterprise system and I am disappointed that
nobody, Democrat or Republican, has mentioned it.
have reached a tipping point as a result of the collusive relationship
between politicians and unions, and misleading accounting practices
(see the Chapter on the National Debt) - politicians have been promising higher
pension and medical benefits to public employees for decades in exchange for
election support by their unions. These benefits have been massively
underfunded raising the specter of city and state bankruptcies. At the
national level, the tipping point may be the actual
cost if Obamacare is implemented, or simply waiting too long to repair
Social Security and Medicare.
The very real threat of "A house divided against itself cannot stand" in this looming
tragedy is because
half of us pay income taxes ... and half of us don't,
a few of us are wealthy ... and most of us are not,
which is ripe for unscrupulous political manipulation in an election
year. And watch out for what Socrates said, "When the debate is over,
slander becomes the tool of the loser".
have had a glimpse of the future in Greece and even in the State of
Wisconsin. This is becoming a life and death struggle between
concentration of power and distribution of power, between coercion and
enlightened self-interest, between tyranny and freedom. It is time for
all of us to take a stand one way or the other or get out of the way.
Be wary of four fatal errors: 1. Everything will be resolved
satisfactorily even if we do nothing; 2. This is really a struggle
between the rich and the poor; 3. The Public Sector is the goose that lays the golden eggs; 4. A tyrant will be kind and generous to us.
said, "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from
us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and
lick the hand that feeds you; may your chains set lightly upon you, and
may posterity forget that you were our countrymen"..
THE FAUCET PRINCIPLES
These principles are valid for
Actuarial Soundness, for Exponential Solutions … for Life. The secret
is to balance or optimize them so that they work cooperatively. When
one principle is ignored or violated, the faucet becomes impaired.
F - Facilities available
A - Adequacy
U - Understanding
C - Consistency and
E - Equity, or fairness
T - Time available
Make no mistake, interest
rates will begin to rise and/or the Stock Market will begin to fall if the US Debt Limit resolution is
viewed as inadequate (written July, 2011). And in our new exponential, electronic, globalized economy, this
could happen in seconds. Have you noticed the level of interest rates in Greece lately?
now (November, 2011) the heads of government in Italy and Greece have
been replaced and we await the deliberations of the US Congressional
Super Committee. Can we anticipate a concrete solution or is this just
more dancing on the deck of the Titanic?
Are we approaching the 29th day for the United States? (September, 2012).
I do not say this lightly and, in my opinion, both political
parties share the responsibility for the current
state of affairs. Consider what
US National Debt went over $16 trillion (that is 16,000 billions). That
is more than $51,000 for every man, woman, and child.
- The third Quantitative Easing (printing $40 billion per month)
announced by the Federal Reserve caused the rating organization,
Egan-Jones to lower the US Government to AA- from AA. Paul Ryan,
the Republican vice-presidential candidate, called it a "sugar-high"
for the economy less than two months before the Federal Election. Too
much money chasing too few goods and services always leads to
inflation. It is inescapable.
United States is mired in a stagnant economy with unemployment
remaining above 8% and the increase in Gross Domestic Product stuck
below 2%. Average income is declining and the number of people below
the poverty level is higher than it has been for decades. The Bush tax
cuts are scheduled to expire or be renewed on January1, 2013 as are
the devastating Sequestration cuts to military and domestic
spending. Obamacare is in the process of implementation with as yet an
unknown impact on health costs and taxes. Expanding regulation has
inhibited business to grow and expand. The debt crisis in the European
Union shows no signs of being resolved with attendant repercussions for
the American economy. All of these factors introduce uncertainty, the
"economy-killer", into the mix.
- Illegal immigration continues to be an unresolved issue with no light on the horizon.
September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin
Towers in New York City, there were demonstrations against the United
States in Egypt and soon afterward across the Middle East, Africa,
Asia, and even in Australia. These were ostensibly a reaction to an
obscure YouTube movie which appeared in July denigrating Islam.
Libyan Embassy was set on fire and the US Ambassador and three members
of the Consulate Staff were killed. Members of the Obama Administration
claimed that this was a spontaneous reaction to the YouTube movie
despite the fact that Rocket Propelled Grenades were involved and
everybody else seemed to be convinced that this was a preplanned
terrorist revenge attack coordinated to take place on September 11.
After eight days, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney,
acknowledged it was "self-evident" that this was a terrorist
attack. Nevertheless, the Administration is still claiming it was tied
to the YouTube movie. What is interesting is that in the second Presidential Debate on October 22, 2012
President Obama said unequivocally that he had stated this was a
terrorist attack during a press conference in the Rose Garden on
September 12, 2012, one day after the attack. And now, on October 23, 2012 an email from the State Department to the White House Situation Room has come to light stating as it happened that the attack was by a terror group. Requests for additional security were denied and then later during the attack there were three unanswered calls for help. Can it get any worse? And finally, wouldn't the Obama Administration be offering more information if it made them look better?
Obama appeared on the David Letterman TV Show and yet was too busy to
meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, to discuss
the inexorable progress by Iran toward the successful development of
nuclear weapons. The US has refused to "red-line" Iran which would
define a point beyond which action would be taken.
risk of an interrupted oil supply is increasing exponentially. It is
becoming obvious to everyone that the United States must move quickly
toward domestic energy independence. The adverse consequences of our
failure to do this have been horrendous both domestically and, in
particular, with respect to US foreign policy in the Middle East and
elsewhere. And yet ... and yet the Obama
Administration continues to refuse to approve construction of the
Keystone XL Canadian oil sands pipeline. Shall we wait until the
Canadians decide to sell the oil to the Chinese? A report on the
potentially enormous oil and gas resources of the 1.5 million acre ANWR
area of Alaska was submitted in 1987 to Congress by the Department of
the Interior. No action has been taken. Drilling leases on federal
lands are not being approved. What are we waiting for?
President Obama continues his uninterrupted campaigning and the US Congress is on the verge of a long recess. Shouldn't
Americans feel completely justified to be outraged by the lack of
response to the now obvious deterioration of the United States both
domestically and abroad? Are US
political leaders aware of the risk
and real danger here? They are playing with fire and acting like the
man who was asked for the definition of Ignorance and Apathy. His
response was, "I don't know and I don't care." As for help from our Allies, remember, the first
reality of geo-politics is anarchy. All countries will never fail to act in their own self-interest.
Americans should be asking ourselves one simple question, "Are things getting better or are things getting worse?" And we should be asking a more difficult question, "What am I prepared to do about it?" How
long can we continue to say, "I'm too busy", "It's not my problem",
"I'm not interested"? Are we just going to wait for the 29th day?
presumption of the US Federal Government is that it must be the
architect of any economic recovery by creating jobs. In fact, it is the
Private Sector which creates jobs and wealth. The President's message
should not be, "This is how I will create jobs". Rather, it should be, "This is how I will get out of the way to better enable the Private Sector to create jobs".
of the problems confronting the US economy is that, like the federal
government today, too many people were using borrowed money as income
for decades before the financial crisis of 2008. When they were unable
to continue borrowing, such income disappeared. It will not return
until their outstanding loans have been repaid. This has left a big
hole in consumer spending, which is about two-thirds of the US
economy, and made recovery a lot more difficult. Unfortunately, a
substantial part of this borrowing was in the form of higher home loans
which turned out to be a very bad idea when the housing bubble burst.
Many of you may think I am exaggerating, that somehow consequences can be avoided forever, just
because we don't want them to happen.
As an actuary I can assure you, it doesn't work that way. Risk doesn't work that way.
important thing to understand about Risk is that risk is impersonal. Risk
does not care if you are a good person. Risk does not care if you are doing
something that you think is socially desirable. Risk does not care if you do not have
enough money to back up taking the risk, in case it materializes adversely. Risk always
operates the same way, for everyone. Always. Every single time. It operates on the basis of circumstance
Risk can be brutal. It has left us with three economic choices.
Make the tough decisions to reposition and redirect the US
economy: promises made and expectations may have to be revised
downward (depending upon how smart and bold we are) but at least we will be able to pay for them and end up with a
2. Don't make the tough decisions to reposition
and redirect the US economy: inflation will revise the value of promises
made and expectations downward to a level we can afford. Unfortunately,
at the same time, inflation will devastate the rest of the economy.
Something in-between 1. and 2.: The closer to 1., the lower will be
inflation and the healthier will be the economy. The closer to 2., the
higher will be inflation and the more devastated will be the economy.
Pretending these are not our choices will result in 2. It is time to Pay the Piper
and his price-tag for delay is inflation and increasing
the difficulty of the decisions required ... exponentially.
people everywhere cannot believe is that, for the first time in our
lifetime, there is no longer enough money to pay for everything we
want. Unfortunately, we have waited so long to do anything about it
that we are not even close to having enough money, unless we are willing to embrace some new ideas. The alternative is that
it is likely everybody is going to pay, whether they like it or not.
How to understand and use CIC (and Risk) can be found by clicking on BOOK.We don't have a lot of time to learn about CIC and how to use it.
The Exponential Clock is ticking toward the 29th day ...
tick ... tick ... tick.
See the ABOUT
pages for more information on what and how. Or jump right in by clicking BOOK, BLOG or FORUM on the menu bar.
"New here? Check out the 29th Day FAQ. It will explain what this is and how you can participate.