Guillotines and Red Octobers

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The French would be in the streets.

Of course, they are in the streets – but that’s in France. What about here? General Motors just announced it will be closing five plants and firing about 15,000 people – and that’s probably just for openers.

This, by itself, isn’t cause for pitchforks.

Companies sometimes have to lay people off – because sometimes, people aren’t buying what the company is selling. Even when this is the result of mismanagement, it’s a normal part of life in a free economy.

But GM used the government as its personal Luca Brasi to mulct taxpayers – including those people GM just fired – to the tune of $33 billion back in 2009 – so that those jobs would be saved.

That, at any rate, was the alleged basis for the bailout.

Now GM is cashing out – and that is cause for pitchforks.

The money that GM will save by not paying those 15,000 workers – and not building those cars – won’t be refunded to the taxpayers whose generous, at-bayonet-point “contributions” made it possible for GM to keep its doors open. The money will be pocketed by GM – including CEO Mary Barra, whose annual compensation package amounts to in excess of $21 million. She is the highest-paid CEO of any car company and heads a company that is losing market share, contracting its operations and firing its employees en masse.

Mary Barra isn’t even taking a pay cut.

She will probably give herself a raise – for making GM more “efficient” and giving it the “flexibility” to ” . . . increase the long-term profit and cash generation potential of the company.”

She means cash generation for herself and other executive class-insiders, of course.

Barra is also aggressively tub-thumping for more taxpayer bailouts – in the form of a continuation in perpetuity of the $7,500 per car federal tax subsidies given to float the “purchase” of otherwise unsaleable electric cars. These are set to expire at just the moment that GM (and not just GM) is ramping up production of these EVs almost no one wants – or at least, which almost no one would buy if they couldn’t offload some of the purchase cost onto the backs of someone else.

Barra and GM also insist that federal fuel economy mandates not only remain in force but be raised, per Barack Obama, to almost 50 miles-per-gallon by model year 2025.

In the name of “sustainable development” and “urban mobility” solutions – GM’s new catchphrase in China, where it sees a glorious future for itself – funded by plant closings and layoffs here.

At the same time, she says GM will “focus” on building trucks and SUVs – vehicles that stand as much chance of achieving 50 MPG as OJ Simpson has of beatification by the Pope in Rome. The latest GM truck – the 2019 Silverado 1500 series – actually gets worse mileage than the outgoing 2018 model. The V6 version’s mileage is down by about 3 MPG vs. the 2018 with the same engine; the 2019 V8’s mileage is down by 1 MPG.

And the 2019 Silverado’s new “efficient” 2.7 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine – the first use of a four cylinder engine in a full-size truck – averages a flaccid 21 MPG. Possibly because putting a four cylinder engine in a full-size truck is like expecting Danny DeVito to piggyback carry Arnold Schwarzenegger up a flight of stairs and not breath hard doing it.

The only way a full-size truck is ever going to average 50 MPG is down an elevator shaft – engine off, transmission in neutral.

Yet Barra is betting the house on a class of vehicles which cannot comply with the onerous regulations she champions. And most of the cars which stood a chance of surviving in a 50 MPG fatwa’d, small-carbon-footprint world have been cancelled, per Barra. What will GM fall back on when the Jenga tower collapses about five years from now?

Or sooner?

Barra and GM probably think they can sell trucks and SUVs with the cost of EVs folded into their prices – which will continue to rise like a Weimar Mark. The manufacture of lots of EVs will help with the CAFE math (one EV that uses no gas at all plus one SUV or truck that uses a lot of gas averages more than two SUVs or trucks that use a lot of gas) and government mandates and subsidies will help with the EV math.

Even if you don’t buy an EV – you’ll pay for one.

The whole hideous business is a textbook case of socialism for the rich –  the (ahem) free market for everyone else; the impolite but accurate way to describe what most textbooks politely but far-from-accurately call a “mixed” economy.

While Barra puts on her weight belt so as to not hurt her back hauling her $22 million from the Brinks truck, those 15,000 fired people and their families ( doubling if not tripling the number of people affected by this) will have to figure out how to pay the rent, the electric bill and feed their kids. Many will go on the dole – and who will pay for that?

Not GM.

Not Mary Barra.

The mass firings were announced – without warning – the day after Thanksgiving and just in time for Christmas.

It’s the sort of thing that led in the past to guillotines and Red Octobers.

Will it lead to the same things here? Not unless Americans can be roused off their sofas and pulled away from their TVs and “the game.”

. . .

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65 COMMENTS

  1. Americans seem to be in a contest to see who can be the most disgusting. When did tattoos, obesity, and debt become attractive?

    Americans scream North Korea is evil because they torture and have nuclear weapons, but the US also tortures and has nuclear bombs.

    Americans say blacks are evil, but everything is illegal now and everyone is a criminal.

    Americans used to fight Nazis and Commies, but now have become Nazis and Commies.

    Americans say Obama was an asshole for destroying the US with wars, debt, and tyranny, but Americans then turn around and say Trump is a holy god for supporting wars, debt, and the police state.

    Americans are completely unable to see hypocrisy.

    Insanity.

    The entire USA seems to be committing suicide.

    WTF?

  2. Frankly, most of those (quite expensive!) trucks seem to be purchased by elderly rednecks with handicap plates so they can haul a few groceries home from Safeway. Around here none of them look like they’ve ever done an honest truck day’s work in their lives.

    In fact, not too long ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Nice truck. So sorry about the penis.” Made me laugh out loud.

    Cheers,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where the only trucks that do any real work are at least 20 years old, and frequently older.

    • Hi Kim,

      I live in the country and see both types – the old people and the young ones, too. There is a reason these oversize trucks are being built – they sell. Hugely. Now, it can be argued that it’s circular. That they’re bought because they’re big – and bigness breeds more of the same. Rinse and repeat. I think that is a factor, certainly – and it’s driven, in part, by an American public that has been living in a state of low-grade hysteria since the new High Holy Day of NahnnLevven (say it like The Chimp used to). The fear breeds aggression and that is manifested in these angry-looking, over-huge vehicular Stegasauri.

    • Kim,

      Best. Bumper sticker. EVER! LOL!!

      You’re so right about the trucks though. Few can afford to use a $70K for real work or off-roading; and would be stupid to do so with such expensive trucks even if they could.

      For many, these trucks exist only because big cars and wagons are no longer made.

      My F250 just turned 20- at least it can be used for what a truck was intended for. (Well, 10% of the time, anyway- other 90% I haul groceries and dog and cat food!). But when ya see how much these old trucks are worth these days- it’s absurd! The new ones cost so much- to purchase and especially to repair, once out of warranty- that they are essentially no longer economically viable except as disposable luxury vehicles- same as modern BMWs or Benzes- so now, there is an incredible demand for the older trucks.

      • Interesting. I have a 1989 Toyota Hilux truck (inherited from my grandfather, and still with less than 80,000 miles) that’s about as basic as they come. Original equipment included an AM/FM radio with 1 speaker, a 3 speed automatic, and hand-cranked windows. But it’s been great for everything from hauling gravel, to mulch, to wood and supplies from Home Depot. Oh, and it got me from Boston to Mérida, Mexico and back in 2014 without attracting unwanted attention in Mexico. (Every campesino has a similar old, small truck.) And no, it’s not pretty, nor lifted, nor has colorful suspension components. It’s just what a truck was meant to be: a work vehicle.

        But yeah. My cousin is a contractor and doesn’t like the enormous trucks the Big 3 are putting out these days and wonders what his next truck will be. A “poseur-machine” is not going to meet his needs.

        Cheers!

  3. I would suggest that Government Motors is mired in C-suite incompetence, but they show us almost every year that it’s something MUCH worse.

    They have been showing us incompetence beyond boundaries ever since Michael Moore released his great film, “Roger and Me.”

    No, it really goes further back than that. Maybe all the way back to about 1972. Just guessing…that’s before I was born.

    Back in 2008, Government Motors should have been put through a proper bankruptcy, instead of a bail-out. Instead of the cries about “saving” a bloated GM, they would have had an orderly closing of their unprofitable divisions, or possibly a selling-off of those lines like Pontiac and Saturn. Oldsmobile had been shuttered a few years earlier. Actually, by 2000, was there really any difference between a Chevrolet, an Oldsmobile, and a Buick? You certainly couldn’t tell it from what passed for styling; they all looked the same from the exterior.

    Maybe Mary Barra is getting ready to re-brand the company.

    Greedy Motors, anyone?

  4. Where’s that fat slob Michael Moore when you need him??? Didn’t he get all butthurt about GM laying people off in “Roger and Me”? All I hear from him today about Government Motors shutting five plants is crickets.

    Funny how he doesn’t give a shit about the assembly line worker any more now that he’s whored himself out to the Hollywood elites and the globalist grifters like Hillary Clinton…

    • Hi X,

      My friend Fred Reed published an article about this the other day – about how the Left no longer gives a damn about the working man… especially the white working man.

      • The left never really did give a damn about the working class…..they were simply used (as are blacks, trannies and the rest of the oppression olympics “victims”) as an excuse for the seizure of more coercive government power. Jordan Peterson mentions this often in the context of his recommendation of Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier…worth a read.

  5. Campfires; Scouts; tents…I guess this is as good a place as any for this:

    You guys who are planning on staying put…..

    Can’t even enjoy the simple act of FISHING anymore! This’un is about the way it is in NY- but I’m sure it’s similar in a lot of other places (And definitely state and national parks)- and if it’s not yet that way in your area, it’s just a matter of time, just like seatbelt laws and smoking bans….

    https://www.newsday.com/long-island/dec-fish-enforcement-1.24570348

    If this isn’t a perfect illustration of the level of our slavery……

    • Nunz,

      That’s all over Amerika.

      And then we wonder why no young people go fishing, or hunting, or want to drive anymore.

      Hell, if I was a twenty something, I know I’d have little interest in any of it either.

      Take a good look at the foonge on the face of the UberFrau enforcer in that article.

      Resting Bitch Face clam cop with a gun, badge and attitude, just looking to wreck your day.

      Who needs that kind of AGW aggravation in their life, just to catch a couple lousy King’s fish?

      • AF,

        How vile, isn’t it!

        When I think of how as a teen, 40 years ago, I’d go fishing off of bridges and bulkheads and jetties, right in NYC, …no “license”; never once bothered by anyone…..

        Compare that to the prospect of doing so today, with licenses and tickets, and armed bastards and cunts harassing you….for FISHING!

        And now they have limits for lousy ubiquitous blackfish??!!! (They were my specialty!)

        More proof that stupid Americans will tolerate ANYTHING, and wave a flag while doing so. And they continue to fish… “Just obey zee rules”.

        In some countries, those uniformed thugs would be shot and just disappear- and no one would ever know what became of them, because the whole town would just keep quiet and be outraged that the government would try to impose such a thing upon them; and would gladly do the same to any others who might be dispatched, as they would take universal umbrage at the mere thought of the most natural of their right as a living creature upon this earth being so controlled!

        But not in the good ol’ land of baseball and apple pie, where ya can’t smoke in a bar, and where signs on restroom doors have no meaning.

    • Well yes, they have gestapo out in the woods with radar to ticket off roaders, and on the lakes unless someone might have a beer while boating, so why not? I really have a hard time believing it was this bad in the soviet union or nazi Germany. After all, everything is a privilege and not a right…

  6. There’s an Esso (Canadian name for Exxon) station about 1/2 mile from the large Esso Refinery here in Edmonton. The price last week was $1.32 per litre for regular gas. The current US/Canadian exchange rate is $1.34 Canadian for $1.00 US. One US gallon is equivalent to 3.78541 litres. I came up with a price of $6.6956 Canadian for one US gallon of gas.
    To consider the price of an Imperial (i.e. Canadian) gallon in US dollars – the Imperial gallon is 4.54609 litres – at $1.32 per litre the price is $6.00 Canadian dollars per imperial gallon and at the current US/Cdn exchange rate it costs $8.04 Canadian for one Imperial gallon.
    Reminder – this oil comes from the huge oil fields 40 miles from the city of Edmonton.
    The price today for the same gas at the same Esso station is 92 cents per litre.

  7. “…as OJ Simpson has of beatification by the Pope in Rome.”

    By the current pope? Much better than even chances, IMO. Just sayin’. After all–and in the words of Francis the talking pontiff–“Who am I to judge?” (That would be the Francis who lives behind one of the most massive walls this side of the Great Wall of China.)

    My creds: cradle Catholic, still practicing but–like many of my fellows–held in contempt by the Vatican and wearing that contempt as a badge of honor.

        • I do not see being called ‘deplorable’ as being “fun” at all! I would consider it as a vicious insult to me since I am not a conformist CONservative or Republican with inconsistent beliefs. I favor voluntaryist communities! I am an Anarchist!

          • Brian, we’re “deplorables” even to what is now called “Anarchism”, because that term has been so misappropriated by the media, and now even adopted by practitioners of truly deplorable schemes, like socialism and communism, that I don’t even use the term anymore in reference to myself, except when in the company of others (such as yous guys) who know the difference.

            I wouldn’t dare call myself an Anarchist in public or amongst family/neighbors, who don’t understand, because they see the garbage that is being falsely called Anarchist today, and would associate us with it- and would forever think that we advocate the very opposite of what we indeed do.

            A similar thing has happened with “Libertarian” too. E-loon Musk[rat] is a “Libertarian” you know 😉 , as is Penn Gillette, who although he does “get” a lot of it, still thinks taxation for “social safety net programs and roads” is fine….

            They’re making us invisible by corrupting any term we might use to describe ourselves.

            “What are you?”
            A Libertarian”
            “Oh, you mean like Elon Musk and Penn Gillette and Gary Johnson?”
            “NOooo! Errrr, uh…I’m an Anarchist!”
            “Oh, you mean like those people who want to take all of the rich people’s money?”
            “Nooooo!! Errr…uhh…a Voluntaryist”
            “OHhhhh! You volunteer at the soup kitchen?”… 😀

          • Chill, brother. If you take these people seriously, you only encourage them, on the one hand, and give yourself an ulcer, on the other. Before any of us was called a member of the “basket of deplorables,” we were all routinely going about our business and minding it. I found having what we already were and were doing suddenly declared “deplorable” by one of the most vile people on the planet to be quite refreshing, affirming and validating. Not that I needed any of that “support” from HRC.

            Our most powerful weapon against the true deplorables is an unfailing sense of humor about them. That means never taking them seriously or personally, and exposing them to unrelenting and merciless ridicule. The first part of that formula requires no effort at all. The second part is why we spend time on blogs like this one. Just make sure you’re always having fun.

            • Markus, if we didn’t have a good sense of humor, we’d probably all be on a rubber ranch! (Eric might end up in the poor house from ruining keyboards by spewing coffee all over them from some of our comedy stylings!)

      • Same here: Was raised Catholic, still practices, doesn’t agree with many of their “terms and conditions,” married a Methodist/Orthodox gal, has Jewish roots. Would not be surprised if OJ is beatified!

  8. Hey Eric,

    Just to get a little perspective, how old are you?

    You say, “General Motors just announced it will be closing five plants and firing about 15,000 people – and that’s probably just for openers.

    This, by itself, isn’t cause for pitchforks.”

    I was 20 when Hizzoner Coleman Young ordered his SWAT team to invade and capture the land for the Poletown plant. One of the 5 plants you mentioned above.

    After the invasion and after all the home and business owners were removed at gunpoint, everything was destroyed.

    The only people allowed to remain were a handful of Jews. And they had to be dead for at least 33 years. http://nighttraintodetroit.com/2011/09/30/beth-olem-the-cemetery-in-the-gm-poletown-plant/

    Thousands of people, hundreds of businesses, half a dozen churches, and a hospital all gone.

    All to be replaced by a factory that never even employed half the number promised.

    But Roger Smith (may he rot in hell driving a Fiero for the rest of eternity) employed a bunch of robots. Robots that smashed car parts while the members of Local 22 waited around the assembly line for the technicians to repair the robots.

    Now Generous Mother (ironically headed by a Y chromosome deficient individual as of late) tells us she is going to lay off 13 or 14 hundred (of the promised 6000) and abandon the replacement for the abandoned Cadillac Clark plant.

    If it isn’t cause for pitchforks, perhaps wood chippers?

  9. Gm can close whatever plants they want. They should pay back all those bailout loans. Another dumb thing GM is doing is moving production to china for cars they still plan on selling like the Cadillac xt6 until it is discontinued. Waste billions into ev’s and ride sharing when your sedan line up sucks and truck market is now losing to Ram! If people didn’t want to buy your ice cars why ev cars? The quality rep will follow. I still want a corvette though before it goes ev.

  10. “Will it lead to the same things here?”

    No.

    If the 2008 bailouts didn’t wake the American Sheeple up I can’t imagine what it would take.

    • Hi Fred,

      I wonder…. Americans are not yet suffering to the degree the people in France are. Imagine if we had to pay $100 to fill up our cars because of taxes… .

      • Life is pretty darn good here. The problem they have and we have is you can’t vote to change the system. It will never change, it is too big. Things would have to get really bad to drive some sort of actual physical revolt. When that happens, things will get even worse.

        You simply won’t have gas to buy, won’t have food to buy, won’t have electric. It will all be shut down and if you some how manage to win, what ever that would look like. The dollar will be worth nothing and everything as you know it will be changed.

        People who talk about revolts have no idea what they are talking about. This isn’t 1700 where virtually everyone is a farmer. It is 2018 where you buy groceries one day at a time.

        • Todd,

          But don’t you think it is time for something?

          Like 20 years ago when Abner Louima was sodomized by the NYPD and people all over the country were driving around with little toilet plungers slid over their car antennas?

      • The French like most europeans have been under the rule of ‘betters’ for centuries. As such their system is more obvious and more tempered by uprisings. The american system evolved under conditions where it had to be hidden.

        I wouldn’t call what we have not suffering as much, but its a different sort of suffering. The French and most europeans can (if they want) see they are ruled and owned so they’ll get out the torches and pitchforks and make demands. Americans are divided to sects and made to fight each other politically over spoils not seeing that they are all owned. Americans think they are free so they’ll put up with far worse treatment because with freedom its on you to make things better for yourself. The enormous medical cartel in the US a prime example. People don’t realize that the owners use it as a mechanism to take people’s productivity. In Europe people demand the owners take care of them, their productivity already taken. Subtle differences to the same end is all I see. Differences necessary in the USA for the time being. How many more generations that will hold are probably few.

      • Don’t worry, Eric- if people start getting restless, a false-flag attack and or some new war will quiet them down and make them “grateful to be Americans”; get the flags waving; and even more volunteering to be mercenaries to go “over there” to do to innocents what the gov’t whom they’re serving did to them and theirs.

        If the last 150 years of egregious atrocities hasn’t awakened people….we can only conclude that they must be dead.

        The real problem is, people don’t even know what freedom is anymore; much less care about it. Even if they were to rise up and do something…the results would not be good.

      • Hi Eric, I AM paying nearly $100 to fill up my fuel tank here in the USSA, but my fuel tank holds over 30 gallons and I am paying for diesel.
        You said: “I wonder…. Americans are not yet suffering to the degree the people in France are.” The USSA government mafia has learned the fine art of quisling, as my darling Claire Wolfe wrote about way back in 2003. Here is a 3 paragraph snip:
        “But there’s something else that’s causing the heat to rise and freedom to evaporate into air. It’s going on in all three stories above and in daily life around us. Call it the Quisling Effect.
        Most everybody knows what a quisling is: a turncoat, a Judas, a Benedict Arnold. Specifically, the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “a traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country.”
        The word “quisling” has a naturally slimy sound. Even if you didn’t know what it meant, you’d know it was something unsavory, undesirable, or at best, something weak. Not many people realize that (as with martinet, sandwich, and boycott), the word came to us from a man’s name.”

        • Hi Brian,

          Very true in re Quislings (named after Vidkun Quisling, the Nazi puppet ruler of Norway during the war). This category includes – in my opinion – everyone who works directly for the government, since they are working against freedom by definition. It matters not whether the specific work they are engaged in is harmless or even beneficial. Because they draw their salaries by force, applied to those who are under duress to pay the taxes which finance them. And no person has the right to force another to pay his salary.

          This is the core thing I try to harp on in all my work. The idea that using force to take other people’s freedom or their property (which amounts to the same thing) is always wrong – whether exercised by an individual or by individuals claiming to represent a collective.

          Somehow, we have to get back to the idea that every individual is sovereign over himself; owns his own body and mind absolutely – and therefore, owns whatever his body/mind produce or acquire through peaceful means, absolutely and without qualification.

  11. Eric asked:

    “Will it lead to the same things here?”

    Sure it will, it already is…the UniParty in California and outright communists like Sanders and Cortez prove it.

    Idiots both here and in France for for these people, who are very open and honest about what they plan to do, then they freak out when they do it.

    So then the lumpenproletariat take it the the next level, and overthrow the entire existing order in favor of “Glorious New Order” of the New Soviet Man” and other nonsense.

    It’s not long past that point we find ourselves eating the zoo animals…assuming we can stay out of the mass grave.

  12. A friend of Iranian ancestry who left Iran not long before the Shah did told me, “I see many of the same forces building here in America right now that were building up before the Shah left…I’m sure you know what happened next.”

    This friend then told me, “The scary thing is, that nobody has any idea that the forces are building, and nobody has any way of knowing what will set it all off. And what really, really scares me is that when it does get set off, the aftermath is worse than anybody could ever imagine. You Americans should thank God that your first revolution turned out the way it did…the next one will look a lot more like the one in Iran, or the ones in France and Russia.”

    I sincerely hope that this friend is wrong.

  13. “Will the frogs on this side of the pond notice the water just got a lot warmer?”

    Maybe. But they will just bitch about it and do nothing.

    And they should do nothing unless they are going to do everything. Even the French will F’ this up. Either they remove the entire ruling class, create a solid incorruptible form of governance actually controlled by the people and be willing to chop heads to defend it, or new slime will ooze in to fill the void left by the old being removed. This is obvious to anyone who has studied past revolutions and the aftermath.

    Also obvious, even if France did it all right and made a better country, no way in hell TPTB in other countries would allow it to stand as an example to others. They would do the Iraq/Libya thing to France before letting it happen.

    The revolution will be bloody or it will amount to nothing. TPTB will not let go peacefully, this much we already know.

  14. Not surprising that Barra is one of those “Sustainable Growth” songbirds. All they really want to sustain the growth of is their bankroll and their power-trip. I don’t want to be under that bubble when it bursts.

  15. Part of the problem is all these companies promise future glory and success if we all put in our time today. If they just paid us cash instead of cash+”benefits” we’d be far less dependent on them. But thanks to Uncle’s meddling in the labor pool back in the 1940s by setting up price controls on labor (because… ya know… Hitler), companies had to offer up benefits to compete. The war ended, but the benefits stayed. And there’s still far more meddling in the labor markets than necessary (because… ya know… evil).

    So instead of handing you a few gold coins at the end of the week you can use as you see fit (including putting in a safe and “removing” it from the economy), we get enough scrip to keep us alive another week and a promise of future payouts. When the company goes tits-up through overly optimistic forecasting and terrible mismanagement, all the people who played along are reminded that no one has a crystal ball. But instead of the pension funds and insurance being first in line at the bankruptcy hearing, they have to get inline with everyone else (maybe) and are more likely to get handed off to the government’s horrific systems (likely). Ask anyone who lived through the 1980s in Western Pennsylvania how that worked out.

    We’re so conditioned to expect the future glory we demand corporations become eternal entities. Uncle is well aware of the problem and therefore will do anything they can to keep these zombie companies alive. Just cut ’em a check, keep people punching the clock so they don’t look around them and see just how badly screwed they really are. The system has become so brittle that any minor problem will cause massive cascading failures. They were able to crank up the printing press in 2008 and contain the damage, but I don’t think they have that arrow in the quiver anymore. Not with 10,000 boomers a day turning 65 for the next 15 years. They want the retirement they were promised not hyperinflated paper, and they’re going to get it on the backs of the GenX and millennials. My GenX will probably just bend over and take it, but those feisty millennials actually believe the BS they’ve been taught.

      • It’s a an interesting problem. It’s another way we are ‘running out of money’. I have a modest IRA in a well known fund company. I was looking at returns on their other offerings. One will pay $50, $70, or up to $200 per share so you can make about 3% if you are lucky. The expense ratios are almost a nonexistent factor. The 401k has also failed us.

        I recall some of the balanced funds getting at least 10% in the mid to late 90’s.

        • Hi Someone,

          I never trusted in the “401k thing.” I don’t like my money being in hock to some shystery Wall Street entity, backed by government – unable to access my money except under their terms and conditions. So I never bought in. Instead, I bought land – and my house. Which I own, free and clear – other than rent payments to the government. But the point is I chose to not pay a mortgage for 30 years, which was only possible by not paying into a 401k. I don’t have a “retirement” plan, but I do have a much lower cost of living than most people – because I don’t have a mortgage payment to make and I can skip the obnoxious homeowner’s insurance, too (saves me almost $2k per year, equivalent to the rent payment I have to make to the government).

          And I have a fungible asset/store of value. I could cash out of the house at any time and use that money to fund my retirement.

          This seems a more sensible plan to me.

          • The 401K issue that keeps people in, well what keeps me in, is the ‘company match’. If you don’t put the minimum in you effectively get paid less.

            But I do imagine that government in the name of ‘fairness’ will raid the 401K’s of the prudent to provide for the imprudent and taking a big cut to keep itself afloat. That’s the new american way. Punish the prudent, productive, and responsible for the benefit of the imprudent, unproductive, and irresponsible. This is at the heart of all the big social problems in the country IMO.

            • Hi Brent,

              Yes, but its a gamble. I’d rather have the money in my hand than “contribute” to the 401k, because I’ll have the money in my hand. The 401k is a theoretical full loaf down the road somewhere. I’d rather take the actual half loaf right now!

              Because I agree with you that the SOBs will raid/tax the 401k such that whatever you put in will be effectively taken – before you ever laid a hand on it.

              • There’s standard 401K and then there is Roth. If the company offers both then a split down the middle with a company match can be hedge. Everything has to be a stupid game these days.

                • Nunzio,

                  Can anybody say “bail-ins”

                  Had to look that one up.

                  So let’s see…
                  Asset Forfeiture where any amount of cash is subject to seizure…
                  Negative interest rates/Bank fees…
                  Bail-ins…

                  Well Nunz it looks like cash will soon become as odiferous as you in the woods. At least for those of us that have given up on commercial air travel.

                  I think the Bank of Keister will be doing an enormous amount of “personal banking” in the future.

            • BrentP, I used to tend to think the same way about the way that government spends our money on feathering the nests of the unproductive businesses and people as you seem to, but I have taken a step further back in order to see the bigger picture. What I see is a federal government spending whatever money it wants thanks to the bankster controlled Federal Reserve regardless of the financial limitations of any present economy. They could likewise finance all government expenditures without taxing any of us until the collapse of our monetary system, but they choose to tax us in order to assert domination over us and to create strife among different groups of us! How many years has the collapse of the dollar been predicted by the hard money crowd?
              I strongly agree that the dollar will eventually crash, and I would prefer owning hard assets as well! The problem is that global governments, oligarchies, and banksters consist of psychopaths and other mentally ill freaks which control this entire open air prison planet!

    • Hi Mark,

      I began a quiet revolt of my own a few years ago. I simply stopped getting saaaaaaaaaaafety inspections for my bikes, stopped paying the annual tag renewal fee. This has saved me hundreds of dollars so far. The risk – in my area – is slight because AGWs are sparse and plate readers are scarce. Plus I don’t ride the bikes regularly.

      I am giving thought to getting Farm Use tags for my truck – no registration fees, no inspection.

      And I am considering cancelling the insurance on most of my old bikes, which are all Antique-tagged already.

      • I am thinking @ “Farm Use” tags too, since my truck only runs on three cylinders, and damn near all I use it for is to go to the dump. I fire it up pretty much only on Saturdays. Is there also no personal property tax on “Farm Use” vehicles. Damn County says my old truck is worth $2500 or so…. they sure as hell wouldn’t give me an offer like that if they wanted to buy it….

      • I can’t believe how expensive things are back east of Big Muddy.

        All of our vehicles are now permanent plates, and marginal cost of liability insurance on four of them is pretty low.

  16. Living in pretty much socialist Europe for the past 12 years – was really surprised to see the french protest over a tax rise like this – have a new found respect for them…..now just wondering if they will actually make something of this, and if it will be replicated in other western countries, or will it just fizzle away as politicians give away more shit (from someone elses money)….

    • Hi Nasir!

      I think Macron heated the pot too much, too soon. The frogs noticed.

      Macron dramatically increased the cost of fuel (allegedly, to “combat climate change”) over the course of just one year and people over there are really feeling it.

      These people are at the point of not having anything left to lose. With fuel at $7-$8 per gallon, tanking up an average car with a 15 gallon tank costs more than $100. If you fill up once a week, as most people need to, that’s pushing $500 per month just to get to work.

      That makes it no longer worth working.

      The same is coming here, I am certain.

      The question is: Will the frogs on this side of the pond notice the water just got a lot warmer?

      • Well said Eric – some frogs may notice – those are the guys sitting on forums like this!! The rest will, as you say be too engulfed in “the game”…..

        I do think that the western systems are screwed in so many ways – tax rises are a must now given where debt is, but tax on income is at historic highs…. the climate problem was created. Now with france and the EU – the issue happening is that now that macroon has given in, france will have a bigger deficit than Greece and italy, whos budget the EU masters just rejected…. will be fun to watch…..

      • Re costing over 500 dollars a month in gas to run their cars – very true, thats what I see here in the UK. This is why in Europe, most of the peasants (particularly those who have to work for a living) now live in or very close to big cities…. And the beautiful countryside is left for those above us to enjoy, the way it was always meant to….

      • And France is already a “low-carbon” economy next to Germany

        Germany shut down their zero-carbon nuclear power plants & now has to burn lignite (one step up from peat) to keep the lights on.

      • Mayor Banana Nose Kenney of Philly recently levied an 100% soda tax on his people “for their health and fo’ da chilluns”. It turns out that less than 25% will go for the ejumucation of the ninnies. The rest will go to da Philly gubmint.

    • For years France has been at or near the top of nations where speed and red light cameras are vandalized or destroyed. Looks like the people are taking their rebellion to the next level.

      Disabling those cameras is very rare over here; I would love to see more of it. They are 0% about traffic safety and 100% about revenue. Fixing and replacing cameras is expensive; make those programs revenue-negative, and they will be abandoned. Some countries have installed cameras to guard the cameras and/or set up dummy cameras, which also adds to the expense.

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