When I published The Financial State of the Union in 2013, my advice was to prepare for a grid down situation.
That was issued without considering prophecy. I still believe there will be a grid down time, but that will be at the end of the 7-year tribulation.
Given what I’ve learned over the years, my advice now is to get out of the United States, if you can, while you still can.
Even the US Treasury is saying by 2024 that income tax collection will be less than interest on the Federal Debt. There are payroll taxes that mostly pay for Social Security and Medicare promises, but right around the corner is a time when the government can’t afford anything else.
Roughly 30% of state income comes from the Federal Government. Imagine the sacrifices those cutbacks will entail.
Few Americans understand just how bad things were during the Great Depression. This time will be worse, especially because of so many relying on government assistance. On top of that the reality of social programs and pension plans being Ponzi schemes will become apparent.
While almost no place in the world will be unaffected, some places will be less affected. There are no perfect places to go to, so it’s important to understand the tradeoffs.
My destination location may be different than what would suit you. As with many of you, my ability to act depends on eliminating my debt service so I can afford the move.
This destination is Belize.
Belize is a poor country and will be so after the collapse.
The United States used to be a rich country and is now the most financially underwater country. Unfortunately, most Americans still believe we’re the richest country in the world. I believe that change will greatly increase crime and violence in the US.
In the grand scheme, nobody cares about Belize – there are no vast resources (like oil) that would cause it to be invaded. For those traveling on land between the Americas, Belize is out of the way for that journey.
The official language is English, so any legal and medical dealings you have would be in English.
You can be licensed for a small firearm.
It is hot – typically in the 80s years round on the coast. Here in Dallas, we’d love to be that cool in the summer. In the winter, it’s slightly cooler, but no need for heating (or heating bills).
It is humid on the coast – also in the 80s. That’s about 10 points higher than Houston.
I’m focused on Ambergris Caye and much of this discussion is about this location.
Health is a big part of my decision and most of health is a healthy lifestyle.
I’ll be able to enjoy Vitamin D without supplementation year-round.
Transportation on the Caye (pronounced “key”) is by golf cart, bike, or walking. I’m looking at 3-wheel cargo bikes for us.
You won’t find American fast food restaurants in Belize. There is some availability of American processed foods in grocery stores, but expect to pay at least 3 times the price for that junk.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood are available year-round.
Life runs on “island time” – slower, and a lot less stressful.
On Ambergris Caye a one bedroom furnished apartment can be had for as low as $1,000 a month.
There are two programs for becoming long-term residents – the Qualified Retirement Program and Permanent Residency.
Belize is close to the US and with a direct flight, you can be in Houston or Miami in less than 3 hours flight time.
The Belize dollar exchange rate is set at $2 per US dollar. Sometimes prices are listed in US dollars and sometimes in Belize dollars. Just be aware of this when you research prices.
Belize isn’t perfect, but it should be an alternative to consider over the US for the next 20 years.
Especially attractive for those of retirement/Social Security age.
How your phone can be stolen without leaving your hand
It's Rhyming Again
Why Gold Is Money
Women's Soccer Equal Pay = $48,251.87
The Financial End of the Road:
National Debt Death Spiral
(PDF) Treasury Presentation
We're Already Underwater
The Additional $9 Trillion Federal Deficit From Last Year
Pension Death Spiral
The Zombie Transformation
No Good Choices
And Of Course
Then There's The Floods
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Plus Liver Damage
A Kick In The Gut
Which Is Important Because...
Summary And Testing
Deficit Up, Up, and Away
When Social Security Cuts Happen
1 + 1 = 100
But We Have Video Of Your Guilt
National Debt Death Spiral
Break Even Point
People Are Dumber Now
Space Weather Health Risks
(Video) Space Weather Health Intro
(Video) Space Weather Health Casey Example
(Video) See What's Missing From The Climate Models (focus on 12:30-16:30 if you can't watch the whole 40 minute presentation)
Cosmic Rays Increasing
You might be saying - John, you need to turn in your math card.
If we were talking about ordinary numbers, you'd be right. But today I'm talking biology and the synergistic effects of toxins.
The term we need to add is lethal dose (LD). A LD50 means the 50% of the test subjects (usually lab mice) die. A LD1 means that just 1% die.
But the synergistic effect of two or more toxins is not simple math. A 1978 paper discusses how a LD1 dosage of mercury when combined with a LD1 dosage of lead resulted in the death of 100% of the lab rats - LD100.
LD1 + LD1 = LD100
Of course the dosage for humans does not directly translate from animal studies and it's frowned upon to perform such lab tests on humans (though we're guinea pigs for what the various governments and corporations allow/force upon us).
There are also several levels below death. Sometimes damage is permanent. Sometimes it's reversible. Some toxins are cumulative.
But the take-away point is that when you read about the results of safety studies - the individual substance may be as "safe" as advertised, but when combined with other ingredients - the results can be damaging to your health or even result in death.
I've included a couple of articles for your reading "pleasure":
Dr Miller discusses effects including mercury and aluminum.
Another discussion on synergistic toxicity.
It was about 10 years ago when I found out that I was not going to be hired for the job I'd held since 2007. They did ask if I'd stick around for two or three months to train my replacement.
By summer I'd enrolled in the Master of Science in Finance program at Texas A&M Commerce. That formal education plus the informal education in finance, technology, health, and geopolitical events has consumed about 30,000 hours of my life over the last 10 years.
This has made it difficult just to have a meaningful conversation with people. If we only consider the top 1% of what I've learned as critical information - that's 300 hours. To relay that in a year would require 6 hours a week - not a likely occurrence.
I believe that at least 10% is really important information for our lives - that's 3,000 hours. That's about a year and a half of 40 hour weeks. An impossible task.
Was the 30,000 hours worth it?
Not financially - I've made less than nothing for my efforts.
Not spiritually - I've no evidence that I've helped one person in their walk with Christ.
Not physically - Again no evidence that I've helped one person prepare for the trying times ahead.
It was some time over a decade ago, I decided I wanted to be prepared for a grid down scenario (what I considered the worst case). Now I realize the futility in that. That may be the biggest benefit to me out of those 30,000 hours.
The Amish have the best skills and communities of any group I know of and they are still dependent on the supply chain. Even if they can overcome the supply chain collapse - can they overcome the bigger problem?
I learned from the late Mat Stein that when the grid goes down, nuclear power plants will go critical. A large scale grid down (whether from a man-made or natural event) would result in the radiation release equivalent of 400 Chernobyls.
Human nature is such that little, if any action will happen before an event occurs.
Reality is such that once an accident (event) starts, it's too late to put on your seat belt (prepare).
I still believe it's prudent to be ready for a two or three month event of which we've repeated seen with hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, and the like. Anywhere can have the power knocked out for a few days from storms or equipment failure.
We are so busy and have some many distractions in our day-to-day lives that really important issues are ignored or neglected.
Schools do a poor job of education and I believe that was the goal when the Prussian education model was brought to America. We do learn loyalty to team and not to question authority.
We have a populace that is:
Biblical illiterate (even most Christians)
Our churches are practically worthless and the worldliness was institutionalized before my parents were born.
Billy Sunday declared in 1914 that we were in need of a revival as our churches had become third rate entertainment centers. IF he were here today I think he'd say they've become first rate entertainment centers.
I've come across many of the milestones of how Christians became so deceived:
- Isaac Newton
- 1751 Machine that made everything
- The Lost Generation
- Electricity and Oil to power the machines
- Logic gates
The challenges to our way of life are many:
Financial: We're way past broke. The world is about $250 trillion in debt with over $73 trillion here in the US. That doesn't include about another $250 trillion to meet the promises of Social Security, Medicare, and pension plans just in the US.
As the Federal debt and interest rates rise (just to normal rates) we'll soon (less than a decade) reach the point where the government would have to borrow money just to pay interest on the debt - nothing to defense or any of the other budgeted items.
- Most countries are below replacement rate
- Loss of elder wisdom coming to a head
- We have about 4 years to change the hearts and minds of the young
-- Many critical materials in short supply
-- Energy constraints
-- Space Weather/Cosmic Rays
Health: We can't even begin to fix this problem until the discussion becomes about health rather than costs. The main driver of our ills is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is lifestyle driven by a number of factors:
- (Processed) food:
-- Sugar, specifically fructose
-- Omega 6 seed oils (canola, corn, etc.)
-- Chlorine and byproducts
- Microbiome issues
-- Lack of fiber
-- Lack of fermented foods
- Stress/Modern life:
-- Lack of Sleep
-- Lack of sunlight
-- Lack of movement
-- Anxiety (money, relationships, etc.)
The American Way:
-- God given rights at founding
-- Tolerant of other Christian denominations and Judaism
-- Deception is now institutionalized
-- Science and Technology cannot be tamed
It's all a matter of faith - everything comes from God or everything comes from nothing.
Jesus in John 14 said - I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Is Jesus a liar?
If so, then Christianity has a problem. If not, then the rest of the world has a problem.
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2. Few are still alive from that era, fewer still are old enough to remember it. Even the lessons of 9/11 have been lost on us and that's been less than 20 years ago.
We live in unprecedented times. The next 10 years will see more change than what we've experienced since WW2 - and not for the better. I tried to warn people with The Financial State of the Union, but even Christians prefer the lies over the truth.
The best advice I have today - read Ecclesiastes and enjoy what you can - and do your best to stop being a Worldly Christian.
What can be fairer than equal pay?
What would equal pay look like?
How this can easily be done with a simplified tax code.
What can be done until laws are changed?
Given the pain many Americans suffered with the 2008 recession and things heating up for the 2020 election, what can be done to help the majority of our workers?
Until Congress passes legislation to create a Department of Fairness, there's actually a lot we can do to achieve equal pay.
Let's see what equal pay would be.
All pay is reported to the government. The Social Security Administration produces an annual report of wage statistics.
The current report is for 2017 which is where our numbers come from. The 2018 report is due in October. (link to report)
The average pay of 165,438,239 workers is $48,251.57 or roughly $4,020 per month or $928 per week (before taxes, Social Security, and Medicare deductions).
Over two-thirds of workers (67.4%) make less than this.
Looking at the top 25 highest paying jobs (link to article) - there just aren't enough job openings (less than 60,000) to give the remaining 165 million a shot of bettering themselves.
The only fair thing to do is have every worker earn $48,251.57.
Since everyone makes the same pay, this would simplify taxes. Rather than multiple deductions (taxes, Social Security, and Medicare) - we can have just one deduction to pay for all levels of government.
Government spending is currently running a bit over $7 trillion (link to debt clock).
Since a balanced budget is desirable - this works out to $42,311.86 per worker
($7,000,000,000,000 / 165,438,239).
So after paying for government, every worker will equally be left with $5,939.71 (about $495/mo or $114 per week).
Until we have the Department of Fairness, we'll just have to settle for the current taxing structure - even it that means more debt for now.
What else can we do in the mean time?
Bill Gates (article link) and Warren Buffett (article link) both agree they aren't paying enough in taxes. Fortunately, there's an easy fix - all they have to do is write a check to the government (instructions here).
President Trump has already donated his salary to various agencies.
Congress can at least reduce their pay to $48,251.57 just to show how fair and patriotic they are.
As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi makes the most at $223,500 - so she can donate $175,248.43. Most Senators and Representatives make $174,000 meaning they can donate $125,748.43 for fairness. Socialist champions Bernie and AOC, being leaders, should do this immediately.
All other government workers at all levels should do the same because that's what patriots do.
Imagine union workers and leaders making their patriotic fair share.
Think of all those patriotic professors and college coaches taking only their fair share. That would reduce the cost of college making education more affordable.
Think of all those patriotic professional athletes only taking their fair share. That would allow for lower ticket prices where ordinary people could afford to go to the game again.
Think of all the patriotic performers earning their fair share. You could afford to go to the movies and concerts more often.
Think of all the patriotic media members working for their fair share - making news more affordable.
Think of all the patriotic medical staff, lawyers, and tech workers accepting only their fair share - making these services more affordable.
It wouldn't take much for the one-third of workers doing their patriotic duty, allowing the other two-thirds to make their fair share.
While contracts are being changed, Congress can change the tax code to collect all income over $928/week, which could then be passed on at tax filing time to make up the fair pay for the majority of workers.
But what about other income - business, investment, and retirement. What about children and people that can't work?
Stay tuned for Part 2.
John R. Ragan, Captain, USAFR (Ret), MBA, MS - your guide on our journey through The Financial State of the Union