Universal Basic Income For Everyone!

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Several countries and cities studied and tested a universal basic income (UBI). At first glance it looks like giveaway nonsense:

  1. Who pays for the giveaways?
  2. Does the UBI discourage work and self-improvement?
  3. How much price inflation does it create?
  4. How much additional unpayable debt will be created by the UBI?
  5. The UBI should be how large? If $1,000 per month per person is good, is $10,000 per month better? Which bureaucrat defines the size of the benefit?
  6. Does it apply to everyone? Adults only? Means tested? Only those who voted and paid taxes? Only those in good standing with the “thought police?”

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States Rush to Rein In Prescription Costs, and Drug Companies Fight Back

By Robert Pear – Re-Blogged From NY Times

States around the country are clamping down on pharmaceutical companies, forcing them to disclose and justify price increases, but the drug manufacturers are fighting back, challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights.

Even more states are, for the first time, trying to regulate middlemen who play a crucial role by managing drug benefits for employers and insurers, while taking payments from drug companies in return for giving preferential treatment to their drugs.

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Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs, according to Trish Riley, the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy.CreditJulio

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Bankruptcy Soars As The Country Grapples With An Unprecedented Debt Problem

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt.  Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House.  We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and it has enabled us to enjoy our ridiculously high standard of living for far longer than we deserved.  Many of us have been sounding the alarm about our debt problem for a very long time, but now even the mainstream news is freaking out about it.  I have a feeling that they just want something else to hammer President Trump over the head with, but they are actually speaking the truth when they say that we are facing an unprecedented debt crisis.

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Pensions – A Stealth Mortgage On Your House

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Money manager Rob Arnott and finance professor Lisa Meulbroek have run the numbers on underfunded pension plans and come up with an interesting – and highly concerning – new angle: That they impose a “stealth mortgage” on homeowners. Here’s how the Wall Street Journal reported it today:

The Stealth Pension Mortgage on Your House

Most cities, counties and states have committed taxpayers to significant future unfunded spending. This mostly takes the form of pension and postretirement health-care obligations for public employees, a burden that averages $75,000 per household but exceeds $100,000 per household in some states. Many states protect public pensions in their constitutions, meaning they cannot be renegotiated. Future pension obligations simply must be paid, either through higher taxes or cuts to public services.

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Trustees Report: Medicare to Go Broke 3 Years Sooner

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class.

The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won’t be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point.

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More Absolutely Crazy Pension News

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

“War” and “pensions” are conceptually about as different as it’s possible to be. But – in a measure of how far into Crazy Town we’ve wandered – they’re both taking the world in the same direction.

If a Middle East (or Asian!) war doesn’t spike oil prices and push the global economy into recession, then pensions will probably produce the same end result. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer New York Times article that should be read in its entirety for a sense of what public finance has become:

A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash

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Are Intragovernmental Holdings Real Debt?

By Scott Anderson – Re-Blogged From Seeking Alpha

[This article orignally was written over 5 years ago. I’ve update the numbers to today. -Bob]

As everyone who is paying attention knows, the amount of US debt outstanding is fast approaching $20.5Trillion. But whom do we owe it to? Most of the debt, about $14.8T of it, represents debt held by the public. This portion of the debt is easy to comprehend. It could be bonds held by investors, savings bonds given to children, bonds purchased by the Chinese government, or even bonds purchased by our good buddies at the Federal Reserve. The remaining balance of $5.7T, known as “Intragovernmental Holdings,” is what I would like to discuss today.

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