Perhaps it’s because I am newly unemployed, or maybe not. However, today is a bit of a black pill day for me.

Reader BobF is angry that his money is gone. They took money from him for decades, and now there won’t be any left to pay the Social Security and the Pension that he was promised. I agree, it’s perfectly acceptable to be angry about that. Heck, when I first was told (by someone commenting on this very blog) that my pension was simply a way for public employees to screw the employers that had to pay them, I was pissed. I spent decades, working for less money than I could have gotten elsewhere, risking my life to EARN that pension.

The money is gone. They spent it. Like a dad who is angry because when you sent your kid off to college, you gave him your credit cards to use in the event of an emergency, and he maxed them all out on unnecessary bullshit, it’s our fault for giving them essentially unmonitored access to the credit cards. Yep, I said it- it is our fault for not watching what they were spending the money on. So now we have $200,000 in maxed out credit cards, and nothing to show for it. Except in this case, it’s $35 trillion worth of useless treasury notes, and a bunch of promises.

So yeah, everyone is getting screwed. Take a moment to let that sink in. Now feel the anger? You pissed off? Well, so was I, when I first began to realize just how fucked we are.

The time to complain about that was when the Congress spent DECADES throwing money around like a Frat boy with his dad’s credit cards. And yes, it was spent on bullshit.

  • $190,000 by Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for digitization of the New York Historical Society’s photo collection.
  • $200,000 by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) for the Providence Holy Cross Foundation tattoo removal violence prevention program in Mission Hills.
  • More than $220 million to build a bridge between Gravina Island, an island that was home to 50 residents at the time, and the Ketchikan Airport.
  • Don’t think that the holy grail of the Republicans, the defense budget, was immune from this waste. Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Ca.) resigned and pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in kickbacks from military contractors for steering billions of dollars worth of defense budget dollars their way, using his positions on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee and the Intelligence Committee to insert earmarks for military spending.
  • $500,000 in federal funding for the construction of a very unique museum in Sparta—a town that had a population of about 18,000—the Sparta Teapot Museum of Craft and Design.
  • $14.8 billion to Boston for a tunnel (The Big Dig) that was the most expensive highway project in history.
  • $3.4 million for a tunnel in Florida that would allow turtles to cross Highway 27 safely.

Decades of wasteful project after wasteful project, adding up to hundreds of trillions of dollars in spending. Every single President since Eisenhower has been a part of it. Who is blame? We are. We let them do it. Let the anger soak through you, then take a deep breath. Let it out. I agree with you. It sucks.

The money is gone. There is no way that it will ever be paid back. We owe more money than physically exists. That right- add up all of the money in the world: Dollars, Euros, Yen, Yuan, all of it. Now send it all in. That doesn’t even pay what the US owes, much less the debt of all of the other nations in the world. Now you begin to see just how fucked we all are. Yes, I am using the word “fucked” even though profanity is not used here very often. Why? Because no other word really begins to describe just how bad things really are.

There is no way out of this. The bill is going to come due, and we are the ones who will be stuck with it. That pension you are owed? Gone. The Social Security fund that took from you a third of every dollar that you earned for your entire working life? It’s been spent. I’ve been warning you about this since I figured it out, back in 2007.

Again, the time for us to have fixed this passed some time ago. I became an adult during the Reagan administration. It was probably already too late at that point. My generation inherited the problem, but we certainly didn’t even try to fix it. So yeah, I blame the Boomers (and my own parents, who were part of the silent generation) for creating the problem, but the generations since then certainly didn’t try to fix anything. That makes all of us responsible.

Lacta alea est. It’s too late to cry over spilt milk. You can be mad, but that is like the old man yelling at clouds: it doesn’t change anything.

All we can do now is try and save what we can, and in my opinion, all we can do is try and save our local area. Be ready, band together with as many like minded neighbors as you can, and try to weather the storm. Sauve qui peut.

Get skills. Stockpile tools, gear, food. Learn to garden. Plan. Make friends with neighbors who have complimentary skills. Stockpile stuff that you can trade to people with skills who may compliment your own. For example, extra guns for neighbors who may not have one. They can use it to stand watch while you sleep, or cover your backside.

It’s coming. We don’t know when, but at this point, it’s undeniable.

Categories: economics


Joe Blow · May 16, 2023 at 6:13 am

I have started converting my cash savings into precious metals. I always invested, a little leftover this quarter? Go get a few rounds of silver for the pile…. but now? The stack of 100s and 20s I used to keep in the safe are shiny round things now. Ditto for the 1s and 0s that used to populate my savings account at the bank.
Cash transactions under 10k don’t legally have to be reported, but if you keep it to about 5 or 6k per transaction, you can walk out of that coin dealer every day un-marked.
There will be a confiscation attempt, you can bet on that, too.
That advice is assuming your lead is stacked higher… get that in order first!

Eric Wilner · May 16, 2023 at 6:28 am

Yup. The system’s been fundamentally broken for decades, and the failure is now rapidly accelerating. The corruption of the institutions, which I started noticing in the early 90s, is now so blatant that… well… over half the population will still manage to ignore or deny it no matter what.
We managed to relocate to a semi-rural area just before 2020 happened, and I’m busily learning rural skills (in among pressing family responsibilities).
One quibble: “… bridge between Gravina Island, an island that was home to 50 residents at the time, and the Ketchikan Airport” – nope. The airport is on Gravina Island, and the bridge was meant to connect it to the city.

Get Some Go Again · May 16, 2023 at 6:38 am

All the ruff n tuff Sargent York keyboard cowboy creampuffs in fear of glowy bois is so cute.
Why are big badasses with the gear so in fear rainbow buttplug double digit IQ minions?
They’ll leave ya to meme and peck away as no threat.
Realize there is nothing left to lose before it is too late.
The state is illegitimate and they don’t have the numbers to round up those dank meme makers that have saved the former republic.
The plan is to make it so everyone has to revolt out of survival necessity with thirty years of chaos and discord on the menu.
Freedom isn’t free and there is no magic soil.

EN2 SS · May 16, 2023 at 7:17 am

What’s the saying?
Hard men bring good times.
Good times bring soft men.
Soft men bring hard times.

Well, the New Dark Ages are upon the world and it ain’t going to be easy, good, or fun. Buckle up, rough road ahead.

wojtek · May 16, 2023 at 9:30 am

I’m new to this blog, so I do notice a certain bitter “undertone”, but I still think you’re an optimist. A realist knows that there is a much worse solution to the problems you’re describing: it’s called a war. The bigger the better. Worked out the previous two times. Plus countless times in between. And it looks like things are in the works for another repeat. Old debts gets wiped out, financial commitments are reduced. People are happy if they are alive.

BobF · May 16, 2023 at 9:40 am

Couldn’t agree with you more. Many years ago, in my early years of the military, I maintained my “home of record” and voted by mail in my home state. With my moves it was simpler that way.

As I became more aware and a bit more active I began writing to my home state reps. Bet I was probably the only out of state return address they saw, mostly to reps in D.C. about national issues, but sometimes to the ones back home about in-state issues. I kept doing that for most of my career. later dropping the home of record and registering wherever I was.

Around that change time, I began asking questions of those who “supported our troops”, of which I was one. Flag wavers all, I asked if they really supported us. Well, of course!

Really? When is the last time you complained to a politician about military pay scales that have young marrieds getting food stamps and on the WIC program? When is the last time you complained about veterans getting treatment in substandard (in some cases horrible) conditions by doctors who can’t communicate in English? There were other non-military issues and questions too.

You KNOW the responses and facial expressions I got. Over the years of that I NEVER got a positive response. NOT ONCE. Not even from family who knew some of those issues directly affected me.

So yes, there was a VERY long time to complain, to hopefully make things better, but damned few people ever actually tried to make change. And as for support of the military, that extends to flag waving by family and friends, not to the general population. Even they share little to no action to make things better for the very people they claim to care about.

Steve · May 16, 2023 at 9:41 am

“Who is blame? We are. We let them do it. Let the anger soak through you, then take a deep breath. Let it out. I agree with you. It sucks.”

Sorry, but this is hogwash. There never was a way for “us” to make a change. The system was designed to ratchet in one way. That may or may not have been the intent, but on reflection it’s the only possible outcome.

Doubt that? GenX now outnumbers Boomers. Take the lead. Show us how to even cut back the tiniest amount. The “extreme” bargaining positions are spending a crapton more and spending two craptons more.

You became an adult during Reagan, right? What good have any of the measures at hand done? Did Reagan cut spending? Other than a brief blip with Contract With America, we haven’t even slowed it. Assuming the Tea Party was ever real, it was subverted almost instantly, and any which escaped that were strangled by Feds like Lois Lerner.

Unless you are saying we should have busted open the cartridge box a couple centuries ago when there was at least some possible way of changing the system, all you are doing is blaming the victim.

    Divemedic · May 16, 2023 at 10:18 am

    Too many people are recipients of the grift. We can’t even get all of the people who read and comment on this blog to agree. Read the comments and tell me how many on here say they are OWED their Social Security money, and are willing to demand it.

      Big Ruckus D · May 16, 2023 at 1:12 pm

      I don’t expect to ever see a return of one cent of the money I’ve paid into SS and MC. Do I deserve my payouts when I reach the age of eligibility? In a strictly contractual sense, of course I do. But I wrote all that money off long ago, knowing and accepting the govt was full of shit and wouldn’t make good on it’s promises. Not to me and my generational cohorts, in any case.

      The boomers will be the last ones to see any payouts from this system, and some of them will outlive it’s ability to pretend at still being solvent. I’m not even all that pissed about it anymore, it’s just how things are. MC is already bust, it is ~20% funded from tax receipts at best, the rest is all deficit spending added to the debt. With the collapse of modern healthcare I see coming, it won’t much matter anyway. You’ll either be naturally healthy and not need what American medicine has offered for the last few decades (keeping sickly bastards with chronic conditions going via meds and surgeries), or you’ll just be shit outta luck. Being able to pay for it or not won’t even be a consideration, as it simply won’t be available to any significant degree.

      So yeah, we got played. We paid in, in good faith, and the govt stole it all and pissed it down various and sundry rat holes, never to be seen again. Since we won’t be getting our money back out, I’ll settle for having the debt written down in having retribution on at least some of the responsible parties. Strikes me as a fair trade. Maybe when it finally all goes to hell, I’ll be out panhandling beside the interstate off ramp with a cardboard sign that says “will work for an opportunity to run a politician through a wood chipper”.

        Steve · May 16, 2023 at 4:54 pm

        I’d like to propose an amendment. How’s about we suspend them above a tank of hungry piranha so they have to keep their knees bent to keep their feet out of the water, and we keep this going for as long as we remain entertained. Or maybe instead of piranha, a nest of fire ants. Or maybe our friends in Australia can recommend something interesting.

        After that, you can feed ’em through the woodchipper. Feet first. Minimum feed rate. We can even change out the gears for an even slower feed.

      Steve · May 16, 2023 at 5:59 pm

      Maybe. I think it all depends. I’m seeing more and more regular old people getting tired of being hosed every single day of their lives. You need something credible to point to that shows this isn’t going to be yet another case of they get screwed, while the gravy train keeps going for foreign dictators, mil contractors, federal workers, welfare roaches, banksters, green energy scammers, etc.

      That’s the key. You need some way of convincing people that this time it won’t be just the private sector workers that take it in the shorts. Without that, let the whole thing burn down, and hopefully soon so I can help my kin ride it through.

    Anonymous · May 17, 2023 at 9:37 am

    Clarifying voter culpability was the true benefit of the Ron Paul presidential campaigns. There were so many “google Ron Paul” signs that nobody can claim ignorance of freedom movement talking points, and writing in Ron Paul on the secret ballot was available to any voter without consequence. But that’s not what 90% of voters chose.

dave in pa. · May 16, 2023 at 9:55 am

started stockpiling “stuff” back in the 1990’s still kept a fair amount in the bank. then 2008 came. stop keeping money in the bank. started buying more stuff. and I tell people that “stuff” is better than money. the value of the dollar has dropped big time.
I think of it this way, back when I first started working. like 12 or so. a pair of Levi jeans, made here was like 7 bucks.
timberland work boots where 10-12 bucks or so. again made here. now ? a pair of jeans made HERE is what like 90 bucks or better ? the new money will be seeds, mason jars and lids
and ammo. any medical supplies will be worth their weight in gold when it all crashes down.
used to own some gold coins and some silver. but I got rid of them. well, I had help with that bit- the EX took them when she left. just as well, one can not eat gold or silver.
made the move and got a place in the woods years ago. spent some cash putting things in here, like 2 wood stoves and other bits to make life a little easier when things go south.
this is not going to end well for a lot of people.

Dirty Dingus McGee · May 16, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Over the course of my life, nearly $280,000 has been “contributed” to “my” SS account, according to the statement I received from the SS administration. While I would have much rather had that money to invest as I saw fit, that option was/is not available. I have no expectation to get even 50% of that money back, probably closer to 25-30% in reality. I do intend to collect what I can, even though my actual investments have done decent over the years. Like others, I live in a rural area, have no debt including my home, and can be relatively self sufficient. I have nearly all I need as far as tools and equipment, plenty of precious metals, gold, silver, brass and lead, and the room to grow a good amount of food for when TSHTF.

I think its a race as to which will collapse first, financial security or society. Probably both at about the same time.

    BobF · May 16, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Planning ahead, the way things were going I decided to draw from the plan as soon as eligible. Didn’t care what the break-even age was, just get as much out as I can before they steal the rest of it. Wife did the same. I’m now past the break-even point, so in a sense I won. Haven’t won, really, as I’ll never get back the stealings, but best as it can be.

Anonymous · May 17, 2023 at 10:08 am
90% of voters believed they could continue to be net recipients of communism, while getting mad at libertarians shouting ‘let go you fool that won’t work’ at them with bullhorns.

Non-workers in The Villages have chopped up their real estate into the anti-agriculture, anti-industrial format of suburbs, while the bucket-of-crabs HOA pulls down any attempt to rearrange it for production. What do these people think they will be eating as SS buying power declines? Will there be mass suicides?

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