New Jersey, New York, California, Oregon, and Washington – Just Sell Them for Parts!

cropped-laughing-owlWith a nod to Bill Engvall, let’s honestly discuss three complete holes in America where suicide by legislative fiat and executive stupidity has produced catastrophic failure.  Let me be perfectly honest, if either of these states were a business, they would have been forced into receivership, broken up, sold for parts, and their leaders jailed for incompetency and felonious charges of malfeasance long ago!  The charades have ended, the rose-tinted glasses are off, and frankly, the party is over, all the taxpayers are fleeing, and the businesses are closing shop and fleeing for healthier climates.

California this week passed another job-killing piece of legislation.  The bill is targeted at Amazon and is built on hogwash, acrimony, lies, and allegations so thin you could read Apple’s User Agreement through them.  Not the first time California’s legislative body has targeted a specific business for job-killing legislation, not the first time the legislation is built on sand, and the forecast is for torrential rain, not the last time this idiocy is going to happen.  The fact that California keeps killing itself is depressing!Bird of Prey

New Jersey and California hold an interesting title, and 32 other states are 100% insolvent in their Unemployment Compensation Trust Funds.  Business owners, this fact alone should scare the living daylights out of you and every one of your workers right now!  Now, some of you get it; some are scratching your heads and going; why is this important.  For those who got it, feel free to skip the following explanation.

The unemployment trust fund is akin to the social security trust fund managed by, raided, and depleted by the Federal Government.  No money means that the debts in those trust funds cannot be paid, and all the funds being collected right now are not being used for future calamities.  For all you economists out there, yes, this is a very simplified explanation.  Insurance trust funds are expected to be the funds of last resort to ensure payments to investors; those paying premiums for coverage can receive protection.  Not having these trust funds means the state unemployment insurance fund is in deep trouble, and there is only one direction to point the blame, the legislators and executives in government.

Bobblehead DollNow, some are claiming these funds were only depleted due to the COVID pandemic.  Do not believe the hype.  These funds were in trouble long before COVID hit, and the fact that there are funds to replenish these trust funds and government leaders are refusing to invest money in the trust funds should be major red flags for everyone in the state!  State and local governments are spending money like it’s Christmas, and the New Year will never come with the bills from the holidays.  Think drunken-sailor on 7-day liberty here if you prefer that analogy.  Either way, financial troubles are brewing above and beyond the current inflation woes, and the media is deftly NOT reporting this crisis.  Does anyone want to venture why this topic is not being discussed?

The Article from the Tax Foundation lays out the data nicely, and you are left to draw your own conclusions from the data.  But tell me, what happens when you call GEICO, Farmers, All-State, etc., with a claim and the claim is denied because the insurance company has no money?  Now multiply that by every wage-earner and business in your state and tell me if maybe, just maybe, the unemployment insurance trust fund being insolvent should be a more significant issue of discussion.Tax Burden

If your state is insolvent, and your next paycheck is a LOT lighter, remember this tidbit about unemployment tax insurance trust funds.

Unemployment insurance tax rates on businesses rise automatically when trust fund balances are low.”

Do you see the trouble now?  First, the government maliciously raids and spends the funds, then a hidden tax kicks in, depleting your paycheck, and the government does not have to tell you why your paycheck is lighter.  Especially since those in legislative bodies traditionally exempt themselves from having to pay these taxes.  Now add in the other hidden taxes; inflation goes up because when taxes climb, inflation climbs, prices go up to cover the hidden taxes of higher costs to operating a business, and wages stagnate, which crimps your budget even further.Government Largess

The states mentioned are not the states that did not need Federal Intervention, and they are not counted among the states spending money wisely, as discussed by Governing.com.  Please tell me that nobody is surprised by this revelation.  I find it alarming that Governing.com, in their analysis, was able to conclude the following:

Despite predictions that COVID-19 would crush state tax revenues, most of them didn’t need mega-billions in pandemic aid to balance their budgets. But for the most part, they seem to be spending the money wisely.”

Leading me to ask, why did the Federal Government invest our tax dollars, venture into such incredible debts, and shut down a booming economy?  COVID has proven NOT to be worthy of the title “Pandemic.”  Yet, COVID remains an excuse for emergency measures, emergency spending, and emergency police actions.  Will any media representative ask a politician why?  I didn’t like the book, but I read Albert Camus’ book “The Plague” for light reading.  That is a book about a public health crisis, a pandemic worthy of the title pandemic, and several times in world history, the title pandemic has been warranted when survivors are burning corpses in the street.  COVID fits none of the definitions or situations for a Pandemic, except for the politically connected to laugh at the politically abused populations.Angry Wet Chicken

Look at Washington, New York, New Jersey, California, and Oregon across the COVID-19 political mania.  Tell me why COVID is not an exercise in malicious government and politics gone horribly wrong.  Sure, we can add New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, and a couple of other states into the mix for fun.  These core states are where politicians made vast sums of money on COVID-Hysteria, and I would like to keep the focus small for the current article.

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee is reporting 32 states are intentionally withholding money from rural governments as a political move.  When you take the top 20 receivers of COVID-Relief money and the 32 states withholding COVID-Relief money, you find some lines of congruence with states with the harshest COVID restrictions, ridiculous COVID mandates, and no correlating data to infection risk avoidance.  Now, why isn’t COVID reported as a political and social experiment gone horribly wrong?  Worse, why was the money borrowed by the Federal Government at extortionate rates and given pell-mell to the states when the majority of those states do not need the money and the states that did need the money have sufficient if their politicians reigned in spending?Angry Grizzly Bear

The five states mentioned are not poor states by any stretch.  They have resources, both human and natural; they have riches galore, they have potential, they used to have favorable business climates, they are committing suicide.  Why should the rest of America bail them out?  Why not break them up into parts, sell assets to cover debts, place them into receivership, and force them on a diet of sanity and logic until the bills are paid?

I close with a word of warning.  Texas, you’re headed to California status faster than you would like to admit!  Your COVID restrictions are particularly heinous and represent the infection found in Austin spreading like fast-moving cancer to steal your state and liberty.  Arizona, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, you are all on a similar track, the speed might not be as noticeable right now, but the infection is there and growing.  Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, both Dakotas, you are all at various places in being terminally sick with the same cancer.  If soft words and political expediency can conquer the Western US, the entire United States is lost.  New Mexico has been lost since it was given statehood in a political move that robbed Arizona and Texas of land!

Image - Eagle & FlagThe time to awake and arise is now!  The fight for liberty and freedom will be fought and won or lost in the American West.  Sure, the coasts of America are well and truly infected.  But, the fight for independence is not on the shores; it is right outside your doors.  The media and politicians like to hyperventilate about the coasts, but the rural communities in the “Fly-Over” states are more important to liberty and freedom surviving than any other local in America.  Awake and Arise!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Have You Heard?

DutyThe following is a recap of several stories that should have been big news, but since the corporate media is practicing “Biden Behind Covering” (BBC), I doubt this news was heard anywhere.  However, this information is critical, and I have included the links if you want more than my paltry summation of the story.  I encourage you to always hit the links included in the articles I publish, so you know where I get my source materials.

Judge for yourself the importance of the following, but I encourage you to judge wisely, for America is in deep trouble!

Inflation Definition: Formula & How to CalculateFrom the NCSL regarding the future of finance, we find a curious article, “Do State and Local Governments Need to Worry About Inflation?”  The simple answer is absolutely, as the continuing pension crisis will be multiplied as inflations grows.  How much is inflation up, a year ago inflation was 4.2% less than it is today.  But that is a statistic that doesn’t carry the real weight of the problem.  If you owed $100 last year, without interest calculations, you now owe $4.20 more.  That $10.00 steak is now $10.42, before taxes.  That tank of fuel, before all the taxes, is $0.42 more expensive than a year ago, and inflation was already hurting America.  The way inflation works is comparable to running on a freshly waxed floor in your socks, you have to exert more effort to maintain your same spot, forget slowing down, or stopping for that will include falling.  Let me reintroduce you to a term used in the early 1970s, stagflation.  Stagflation occurs when the inflation rate is so out of control, no new jobs are created, employers are looking to cut employees left and right to maintain shareholder profits, and the entire economy grinds to a messy halt.

Inflation may erode PTI's political capital - Newspaper - DAWN.COMRisk managers across the financial system are looking at the government on the Federal, State, and Local levels and are not liking what they see as inflation continues to grow beyond the Federally approved 2% annual allowed rate.  As taxes adjust for increased inflation, it will require more money to pay taxes to maintain current levels, as inflation depletes the value of dollars saved.  Thus, every government is looking at their “Rainy Day” funds, and are watching it depreciate as inflation increases, and this is happening before a penny is even spent.

VaccineFrom SHRM, we find the next astounding piece of news, the “EEOC Gives the Greenlight for Limited Incentives for COVID-19 Vaccinations.”  Mandatory vaccinations are illegal in the United States, currently.  However, incentivizing vaccinations by an employer has now been made acceptable.  Do you see a problem with this EEOC ruling?  Did you notice how slippery the slope is between employers incentivizing vaccinations and mandatory vaccinations?  During periods of higher inflation, how much value is $500, from an employer to vaccinate?  Other employers are allowing employees to sticker their badges showing they vaccinated and can stop wearing a mask in public.  No sticker, you have to keep your mask on.  Slippery slope?  Colleges, K-12 Schools, and other organizations all have a hodgepodge of rules for mingling in a post-COVID government mandated lockdown, as the “New” normal.

Do you see the problems with employers picking winners and losers based upon vaccination status?  How long before those who cannot, or will not, be a guinea pig for a useless vaccine, that is shrouded in mystery, and which has zero long-term studies completed, for a viral disease with a 99.02% chance of survival, are shown the door because of risk averse insurance policies?  I have some concerns with this decision and remain convinced that the EEOC has been bought and paid for by parties unknown.  Their last several decisions have left me seriously concerned.  Watch the bureaucrats, they are sneaky!Plato 2

Virginia Allen, writing for The Daily Signal, provides the next piece of news that should be wall-to-wall with parents marching.  “California Public School Gives Third Graders Assignment About ‘Place on Gender Spectrum.’  Let that sink in for a moment.  9-year-old students are being asked to choose where they place themselves on the “gender spectrum.”  What the heck is a “Gender Spectrum?”  At 9-years old, I was more interested in getting better at little league than I was about anything else, except my paper route.  A quote from the article sums the problem nicely:

The school board is completely indoctrinated. Many teachers are completely indoctrinated. … You cannot change their mind. The only thing you can do is vote them off [the school board] and let them know there are consequences to teaching children inappropriate things for their ages.”

When your politicians are no longer afraid of the citizens they afflict, tyranny has begun to reign!  California is a perfect example of what happens when the populace checks out, the politicians stop fearing the ballot box, and power concentrates under a single party.  Now, ask yourself, is this the America you want for your kids and grandchildren?  I know my answer!Apathy

Cal Thomas also writing for The Daily Signal, presents the scariest topic of all, “Ministry of Truth 2.0.”  Consider for a moment, you make a comment in a grocery store, an off-hand comment to another person, the next day a person from Homeland Security is knocking on your door to discuss your passing of disinformation, who possesses the legal authority to place you under arrest, no evidence needed, and you are guilty until reluctantly allowed to be innocent.  From the article:

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas is reportedly considering the development of tools that would help America’s children discern truth from lies and know when they are being fed “disinformation.”

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceIf you have not read, or listened to, George Orwell’s book 1984, you might not recognize “the Ministry of Truth,” which is the propaganda arm of the government who rewrites history to what the government says it is, and not what actually happened.  Would someone please explain to me who appointed the Homeland Security Secretary the harbinger and decider of truth and lies?  When the media cannot even get the truth right, how will a government, senate appointed, person who serves at the pleasure of the current sitting US President know, recognize, or even understand truth?  When the media allow truth to be “subjective to circumstances, environments, and cultures,” how will bureaucrats be able to discern truth?

Tell me, how will the tools be protected from the bias of the tool designers?  One of the biggest issues in modern research is researcher bias; yet somehow the secretary of Homeland Security can magically control bias to protect the tools from the opinions, knowledge, experiences, and politics of the designers.  Exactly how will this occur?  Do you recognize how slippery this slope is, and how dangerous?Why

As a homeowner in a town that is within 50-miles of the southwest border, the continued blind-eye being turned to the southern border infuriates me.  Please, follow this link, and then consider what is being said.  Do not look at the politics of the situation, do not listen to the political leaders and political commenters.  Listen to your heart, your gut, your conscience, and tell me, if the 9-year old girl was your sister, cousin, daughter, what would be your response?  From the article we also find the following:

The cartels are making an ungodly amount of money on a daily basis, somewhere to the tune of $15 to $25 million a day in just the trafficking and smuggling of human beings. That doesn’t include the narcotics. We’re seeing, for example, fentanyl, 5,000% increase in fentanyl coming across the border.”

America Is Crying Digital Art by Deborah VicinoWant to hear the truth about the problem on the southern border, let’s talk about “got-aways.”

Got-aways” are individuals that are crossing the border illegally that don’t want to get caught. They don’t want to go through processing because they are either a gang member, someone on the terrorist watch list, a convicted sex offender, [or] a violent offender. These are people who know that once they are caught, they will get turned right back around because of their record, because they have a record in the United States.”

From January to June, the Border Patrol, through all their efforts, have lost around 200,000 “got-aways.”  These are people seen on cameras, who have eluded apprehension, and are now roaming American streets.  A convicted sex offender was given a small baby to help him cross the border.  Where the parents of this child are, no one knows.  So, even when they get caught, we still have problems getting rid of the vermin mixed into this humanitarian crisis.  How many terrorists from non-South and Central American countries have slipped through as “got-aways?”

Knowledge Check!America is being taken for a ride by the Cartels who run the Southern border!  This is the truth, and anyone trying to tell you something else is selling snake oil and trying to make a buck off the tragedy that is the US Southern Border.  Like all evil and conspiring people through history, the innocent are the shields covering the criminal actions, these children deserve better, but they will never have a future until America becomes a land of laws again, where the Rule of Law is honored.

Child Abuse - New Day Advocacy CenterCan you hear the Statue of Liberty weep at how are laws are being manipulated by the drug cartels, for the glorification of single-party rule and fiscal return on investment?

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Come, Let Us Reason Together – Chapter 4

Bird of PreyPSA:  I am not a cynic; I understand the concepts being discussed, and it might appear that I am cynical about insurance companies by the tone of the writing.  Please note, I am generally in favor of the insurance industry.  However, when government mandates insurance coverage to spread the risks out for the benefit of the insurance industry, insurance has become a tax.  When a business offers insurance, but the co-pays and the costs are too high, insurance is no longer a benefit, and I want the option to opt-out of the employer “benefit.”

Insurance as a concept has been around for a long time, historically speaking.  Maritime insurance was a concept from the 1340s, and Benjamin Franklin dreamed up property insurance in 1752, becoming America’s first insurer.  Insurance separated investment as a method of managing risk, making investing more palatable and shoving the consequences of natural disasters, pirates, and other methods of losing onto another responsible party.  Some of the biggest names in insurance can trace their roots to the Great Fire in London in the 1660s.  We mention all of this, as a foundation for understanding the role and the meaning of insurance.

Interest vs. Investing

Ziggy - The GovernmentInterest, in this usage is referring to the advantage to a group or single person, as well as improving one’s welfare.  Maritime shipping would take on several loads, and people who owned those loads had a vested interest (having a personal stake in something) in seeing that ship arrive on time at its intended destination.  For example, sugar has been a huge commodity in history, and a sugar mill would ship the sugar to destinations for sale.  People interested in improving their welfare could invest in the sugar mill, or with a higher risk, expecting a higher return, invest in the shipping company, or the ship.  Thus, investing became one where opportunities to increase interest became popular.

The modern stock market traces its roots to the 1600s and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, where for the first time, people interested in investing could be joined to companies needing investors, and money could exchange hands for certificates (stocks or bonds) showing interest.  A point of reference, the Dutch East India Trading Company was an original benefactor of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, and sugar, molasses, and spices were the commodities being shipped.  Not saying all the Dutch East India Trading was in non-human commodities, but sugar was a huge driving factor for separating risk through insurance that drove the stock exchange creation.

photo_slideshow_maxOne final point, government’s have interests, generally traced to those paying the highest taxes, or with the most political connections.  Government’s do not have allies, as much as they have groups of governments that share a common interest.  For example, countries belonging to NATO.  NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and was designed for those countries with interests in seeing trade safely through the North Atlantic.  Not all the countries in NATO are friendly with all the other countries, but the common interest in seeing trade and markets operate smoothly has generated NATO and kept it alive since 1949.  Government never has friends; they only have relationships based upon mutual interests.  These are cogent points that must be remembered!  Incredible as it seems, interests change, and when interests change, relationships between countries and governments force ideological changes, and today’s relationship might not be the same tomorrow, which is one of the reasons why the United Nations is such a pile of hypocrisy and uselessness!

Insurance and Investing

Insurance as described by Webster’s dictionary is a practice or arrangement by which a company or government agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a premium.  The payments of premiums provide the insurance company with vast sums of cash.  Some of which are placed into long-term investments, medium -term investments, stocks, bonds, T-bills, and other methods of protecting the money paid in premiums.  The higher the risk, the higher the cost of the premium.  The one rule in insurance that has never changed from the 1300s is, if the insurance company can collect a premium, and not pay on a claim, the interest the premiums collect remains and the shareholders see larger returns on their investments.

Calvin & Hobbes - EnmityHence, lawyers and bankers have a vested interest in seeing insurance companies not have to pay claims, but still collect premiums.  Thus, contract law was established, and the insurance companies took full advantage of language to protect their premiums from paying a claim.  Another growth industry directly tied to the insurance industry, was special courts for hearing claims and awarding damages (Tort Law).  Cornell Law university provides some clarity on tort law, “A tort is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability.  In the context of torts, “injury” describes the invasion of any legal right, whereas “harm” describes a loss or detriment in fact that an individual suffers.”  Placing insurance companies squarely into the middle of tort law, and thus opening up new avenues for protecting against paying a claim from the premiums paid and invested.

Types of Insurance

ApathyImportant to understanding, Carl Marx and communism uses the ideas of mutual insurance companies to create a society where all share the risks, all benefit in the gains, at least in theory.  However, like insurance companies, someone in communism must enjoy all the benefits for taking the risk of establishing the community, and the reality of China, Cuba, and USSR become evident.  Where the leaders take everything for themselves, and the regular people live in squalor and depredation.

Janet Hunt wrote an great article on types of insurance companies and her article can be found here.  Currently there are nine different types of insurance companies available and are detailed below:

    • Mutual Companies – owned by policy holders who are also considered shareholders, sharing the risks, and benefiting from the lack of paid claims.  The mutual society of this type of insurance company shares dividends and when losses occur, generally the shareholders (policyholders) might not see an increase in premiums.
    • Stock Companies and Mono-Line Carriers – Stock companies are corporations and the distribution of dividends become payments to shareholders.  These insurance companies are very averse to paying claims.  Mono-line carriers only carry a single type of insurance.  For example, a company might only carry car insurance, specializing in just car insurance provides savings in overhead, and they might have agreements with other carriers to provide linked coverage for other insurance products.
    • Lloyds of London – When you want to insure the weird, Lloyds of London is the carrier of choice.  I cannot tell you how hard I have laughed at people willing to insure body parts, unusual, or high-risk items.  Share my laugh, look up what policies Lloyds has written insurance policies for and you too can have a good chuckle.  Lloyd’s does carry insurance for mundane and normal, but those policies do not make me laugh.  I feel sorry for the citizens of the United Kingdom, since Lloyd’s of London is backed by parliament, the taxpayers are on the hook for Lloyd’s losses eventually.
    • Alien Carriers – These are insurance carriers that are owned and operated in one country, doing business in another country, selling premiums, and paying claims.  Important to note about alien carriers, the lawyers charged with engineering methods to control risks to paying claims can create a nightmare using the laws of both countries.  Alien carriers can also be operating in one US State but be owned and governed in another US State.
    • Domestic Insurance – These are companies who are owned and operate in a single US State, or other geographical area.  For example, a domestic insurance company in Texas, might or might not have the ability to operate outside Texas, where it would be considered an alien provider.
    • Direct Sellers – Do not use insurance agents, selling directly to the public or insurance consumer.  To be considered a direct seller, the majority of the business occurs online or over the phone.  Direct sellers are pretty straight forward, and some of the biggest names in insurance providers are direct sellers.
    • Captives – A captive insurance company is a unique insurance provider, generally specializing in one type of insurance product for a specific industry or groups of individuals.  For example, if a business owns a fleet of vehicles, they will have insurance through a captive insurance company who specializes in handling the risks of fleet vehicles.  Another type of captive insurance company occurs when a parent corporation needs insurance but builds a branch of their company to handle the insurance instead of going through an insurance company.  In this model, the parent company keeps the premiums in-house and has a vested interest in protecting their investments.
    • Standard Lines – This is your normal insurance company with insurance agents, local offices, is regulated by the state board of insurance, pay fees into the general state guarantee fund, and are subject to the laws and ordinances of the state in which they operate.
    • Excess Lines – Think of these companies as insurance for high-risk individuals and companies, who cannot get insurance through a standard line company.

I know, that is a whole lot more than you think you want to know about insurance companies.  However, my only logic for making these distinctions in this article is to aid in understanding the classifications of insurance company, and some of the peculiarities in insurance products.  I feel the more you know, the better questions you can ask, leading to improvements in your bottom-line.

Emtional Investment CycleWith all the ties to investing, savings products, and the flow of money into and out of an insurance company, the discussion of insurance companies remains critical.  Especially when the government can create an insurance company, then mandate that company be used to provide coverage, creating a tax and fee that the taxpayer might not realize.  For example, around the time that states began demanding drivers have car insurance, GEICO began selling policies to non-government employees.  GEICO is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company, and by selling policies to non-government employees, the government is able to reduce the risk of insuring their employees.  Thus, an argument can be made that the government only created GEICO to reduce the risks of insuring government employees, as well as benefiting from a flush of cash from premiums paid.

Ziggy on GovernmentBoth Lloyds of London and GEICO leave me worrying for taxpayers.  However, since the US Government is the only provider for some types of insurance, specifically flood insurance, which is mandatory for homeowners living in a flood plain, one must ask more questions about where the money goes and why?  What steps have been taken to protect the public from large scale incidents where the insurance company will have to make massive payments?  What does the government invest in to protect the premiums paid against the time of claims?

When a person begins discussing savings instruments, investments, and the links between insurance companies and government, a lot of potential questions arise, and the answers become more sparse inversely to the specificity of the questions asked.  For example, if a savings account interest is so low, due to inflationary spending by the government, what interest does the government, as a holder of savings accounts, receive for their investment?  Where does the government invest their premiums from insurance payments?  How is the government protecting their customers from inflation as a result of poor fiscal policy?Plato 2

Never forget, an insurance company must pay dividends to their shareholders who have invested interests (money).  GEICO is a Berkshire Hathaway company, and stopped being publicly held in 1996.  The questions for why the Government Employee Insurance Company is wholly owned and operated by Berkshire Hathaway opens a lot of questions.  This would be akin to Lloyds of London being sold to a private company, where parliament stopped caring or backing Lloyds.  Why becomes a major question requiring detailed answers.  Look at the political situation in America at the time of the sell, and more questions rise, and less answers are provided.

Knowledge Check!America, when it comes to cash flow, money, and government fiscal policy, we need answers.  We need the elected representatives to understand basic economics, and we need to hold a tighter rein on those elected representatives.  The current fiscal health of America is poor, solely because of the elected representatives and their bureaucratic minions.  We must have a solution that protects America, and this solution needs every citizen involved and engaged.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.