RETIREMENT FOR DUMBASSES
I’m not sure where I saw it, most likely The Woodpile Report, but someone was talking about reader complaints about 401(k)’s being frozen and the wailing and gnashing of teeth and the corporate pooh-poohing and what not rose to quite the din. Now, even knowing that a recovery is impossible because the underlying paradigm of energy growth of the last five hundred years driving the economy is coming to an end ( granted, I thought Peak Oil was going to be more “straight dive downward” than what is currently taking place which is “same volume, less BTU, plus export decline due to home use plus the dwindling supply of grain into the fuel tank” ), it still takes me by surprise how passionately and fervently folks take for granted the old regime promises. I understand the end is nigh, but I should understand that no one wants to listen to that. As their reality twists and distorts about them, they have three choices. Accept hardship and sacrifices, accept ANY kind of change from the better, or ignore anything suggesting they are screwed. Everybody wants to just ignore the problem, and I’m sure that includes almost every survivalist who refuses to believe they need to do more than pack a BOB and buy an AR-15. They have had three years of increasing evidence that all that they hold dear from the past is coming to an end, yet they only hear “frac oil” and “green shoots”. How can anybody still believe they will be well taken care of in retirement? Cities are declaring bankruptcy, counties are raising taxes on the 25% of the population unemployed and states have all borrowed from the pensions to pay for last years budget deficits. Medicare is in worse shape than Social Security, medical care cost inflation relentlessly continues and without the financial players doubling the derivatives out there in the last three years, the whole world would already have been a smoldering squished pile of dog crap. We are kicking the can down the road as well as chugging from a gallon bottle of Hair-O-D-Dog.
Let me put this as simply as I possibly can. If you rely on any promise of future compensation from anybody to put food on the table, you are a complete and utter moron. Turn in your Bison Club Member badge at the door, and don’t let it hit you on the ass on the way out. Your pension, corporate or civil, is toast. You might get a bit, but not a lot. Ask the retirees from American Airlines how their pension is looking ( or GM for that matter ). Social Security has already seen two years of COLA freeze, and one year of a token increase. In that three years most things rose in price at least by a third. Your COLA was about 3%. 3% versus 33%. You do the math. In a very short time, the SS check you believe is your birth right will buy very little indeed. Every single swinging dingus out there is going to get screwed. There isn’t enough to go around, because only the population goes up, not the energy or other resources. The first stage in the collapse is shrinking resources for all but those in power at the very top. Cutbacks in all financial promises is the first step. It will not reverse. Things will just get worse. End of story and no exceptions, and sorry, but that includes you. Need has nothing to do with it, nor does fair, nor does the fact it is your money matter at all.
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Here is our future as old bastards. We work, then we die in middle age ( of course, work might be robbing people with actual jobs, begging on the street corner or selling your organs one by one- most folks can start with their brain. Just blow off the cobwebs first ). You won’t work into old age unless you are very lucky. Most will just die of something undiagnosed. Medical care is slowly going back to the old norm of “for rich bitches only”. As is any kind of advanced education. As is retirement. As is job security, or job safety. And that is if we don’t see a collapse. That is the best case scenario. This is nothing more than common sense in a economic/energy contraction scenario. Everything for the common people, benefit wise, was only allowed by a surplus in energy. Hey, I’m about as low on the economic totem pole as you get without being unemployed in the ghetto, and believe me I appreciated the benefits we got with oh so very little effort ( sure, you work hard for your minimum wage, and for most folks it is pitifully little cost-of-living wise, but it is still very generous in historical terms- thanks socialist welfare state! ). I understand the transient nature of those benefits, however. Ding dong, the witch is dead. Rush Limbaugh can now celebrate the demise of any worker compensation above bread and water level. Soon he will be able to rule his empire of worker-serfs. Too bad he will no longer have anyone listening to his show that can afford to buy his sponsors products. One seriously has to wonder if he ever heard of Henry Ford ( if he did, it was the Henry Ford that wiped out Brazilian Indians as the rubber rush took hold to equip his factory, not the Henry Ford that paid his workers enough to buy the product they assembled ).
Stop acting so pitiful, trying to cheat death into your seventies and beyond. Have the good graces to die when your body decides. We are all going to get there soon enough as it is. You won’t be able to afford the medical, and retirement won’t be there anyway. For you young bucks still working, if you have more than one weeks wages in the bank as a checking/debit account cushion, say goodbye to it. All ones and zeros in the computer you call wealth are easily disappeared. Hey, why actually disappear people, right? Bloody expensive. Just disappear their paper wealth and they disappear soon after, starved to death in a cold dark apartment. How convenient for those in charge. Wouldn’t it be inconvenient for those doom and gloomers if instead of surviving the apocalypse we were forced to survive the end of our paper wealth in a still functioning economy? Don’t trust the bankers, or the government. They are just as dangerous as squads of semi toting brigands.
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