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REFLECTIONS ON 2017
  Karl Arnold Belser
11 January  2018



This year has been a year of personal aging and my time horizon of interest has narrowed. In total I am encouraged that the United States is starting to address the critical issues of international competitiveness, excessive spending on welfare and insufficient spending on infrastructure.

ECONOMICS

I feel encouraged that under the guidance of the Trump/Republican government the ship of state (the US) is changing course in a constructive way. The new tax law, which is going to cost me much more in taxes, puts the US on an even playing field with all other nations in the world. One has to have a thriving economy for the nation to survive.. in other words one does not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs by over regulation and over taxation as was done in Venezuela. This is not a trickle down argument because the general public will loose entitlements as the nation trys to balance its budget. If there is no money earned by anyone there will be no benefit for anyone.

The congress is now trying to steer the ship of state (the Titanic) away from the mountain of  promises to the US citizens (The Iceberg). Many people see the trouble ahead but do not know how to reign in benefits that can't be paid.  

To start with the new tax law has eliminated the individual mandate in which mostly young people pay for medical care they do not need. 
Many of these younger people have huge student loans and no skills to repay these loans. Neither they or the government considered if the educational expense was a good investment. Further , these younger people have poor chances of employment because of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics.  These young people are the nations future. So they should not be mistreated if the nation wants to survive.

The mandate money was the money essentially used to pay for the Medicare cost of older people during their last year of life. These older people have no skin in the game. They are just entitled and further, as a cohort, they are much richer than the younger people.  The question is now who will pay for this excessive cost?

The Obama care medical program has no limits or preconditions so the cost of medical care will probably rise precipitously. This I think will make the nation aware that benefits have to be limited for older, not-contributing people. The fuse has been lit and it is only a matter of time before this bomb explodes.


POLITICS

The left  and much of the new media (people with socialist inclinations) have had what amounts to a nervous breakdown. They have accused the president of being a traitor, which as I write this seems to be totally unfounded and inflicted on the president by the Trump Dossier from Fusion IQ that was apparently commissioned by the democratic party and possibly the FBI. So Trump is probably not a traitor.. Then there is sexism and the trial by mob rule through the media that has ruined many men's lives without due process of law. Then there were in incidents where the violent left disrupted gatherings of people that loved their southern heritage even though they would probably agree that slavery is not OK. Their statues and symbols were attacked and in some cases destroyed. This is pretty much what ISIS did in Irak when they destroyed the remainders of old civilizations in the name of God. I summed much of this activity up in my post Mass Hysteria. I realize that no matter how obvious these facts are most liberal people will reject them because of confirmation bias. See my post An Invisible truth.

The other bomb whose fuse has just been lit is one of giving student loans to many unqualified students for an exorbitant cost for an education that is likely to be useless because no one knows today exactly what the future jobs will be when artificial intelligence and automation are in full bloom. Many of these people will be debt slaves for life. many of these people will not be able to get employment because of minimum wages and professional credentials that the less intelligent people will probably have difficulty getting. The result so far has been a crime wave in the black community and a drug and suicide epidemic in the white community. I think the government has sentenced thees people to a wretched life. The solution I think is to make government more local so that the need of individuals can be locally supplied and controlled. In short the centrally controlled  nanny state has to be dismantled and returned to local communities.

NATURE

The year 2017 was one of the worst years ever for natural disasters. Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Harvey decimated Puerto Rico and Houston Texas respectively. There were also huge wild fires in California and other parts of the west coast that burned cities like Sonoma, Ventura and Montecito. The denuded land
near Montecito has recently resulted in significant land slides . Bankrupt and corrupt Puerto Rico is going to suffer for years while a large part of the population is moving to the US. It is clear that the climate patterns are changing such that the weather is more severe.

The government is footing some of the bill for these disasters.
However, the US government given the current economics of the country cannot tolerate these huge expenses year after year. Just like there may have to be rationing for medical treatment there probably will be some kind of rationing  for the effects of natural disasters. I see this change in events as being positive because it will cause the individual citizens to have more skin in the game. If the government won't cover losses then the people that live in hazardous areas may want to rebuild elsewhere or personally assume the risks.

CONCLUSION

I do not expect any of these changes to happen peacefully or quickly. I am glad I am old and wealthy so that the remainder of my life might be relatively happy. 
    
Last updated January 11, 2018
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