Sunday, 18 October 2009

Zero Income

I have a forum that I go over to....that covers discussions over the universal health care program. There are dozens of these now. I was reading through the cost factors. Several independent groups have figured the general cost rate to average for the first year...in 2013....around twelve percent of your salary (plus your boss will pay an equal amount).

The same independent analysts offer the opinion that it can't remain at twelve percent.....because of realization that the "experts" underestimated the true cost, and it'll have to rise to a likely fourteen percent by the end of 2014. They even suggested various question marks which still exist.....if the younger generation will be handed a higher percentage above the over 60 crowd. I sat and read an article today where it's suggested that the older crowd wouldn't be able to cover the twelve to fourteen percent deal and the political dimwits were fearful of upsetting them anymore they have already done.

Someone on the forum even offered the idea that by 2018....you'd likely pay around sixteen percent of your yearly income. This starts to become a significant amount of income.....and I offered a moment of wit on the forum where a guy would just quit working and let "the system" cover his butt.

A few hours later, someone on the forum came back and said that he'd already taken that step. In the spring of this year this guy gave up his sales job....sold his $250k house....and somewhere out to Iowa. He has forty acres, a couple of cattle, and a house with a couple of solar panels. At age forty with around $200k stuck in a trust....the guy is living strictly off the farm and shows zero income for the year.

The guy didn't go into details but I'm guessing the trust fund is well hidden and he probably draws less than $12k a year off this for general expenses. The curious thing...who will pay his health care costs? If you have zero income and the trust fund is well hidden....the state and government will be stuck. The taxpayers will have to pay for this guy.

I sat there and pondered this. If you were a middle class guy....pulling in $44k a year....and all the various taxes, government fees, social security and universal health care costs took out $22k of that....then you worked your butt off to get half of the paycheck? You toss in your housing cost, gasoline, and then food for the family....and there really isn't much left. So why work? This guy with the family and the farm....who has given up on producing income....just might be right. Thats the sad thing.

Suppose next year.....fifty thousand folks woke up and did the same thing? Suppose in 2011 that one hundred thousand simply gave up producing an income. The plain truth is that the government and all of these various agencies under it....can't function if five percent of the US population just said adios to work and returned to producing just enough food for themselves.

I can't imagine this being a brilliant idea or even recommending it.....but it's interesting that people have basically started to comprehend the costs of everything.

He Doesn't Remember What He Said

A while back in Venezuela...some folks were a bit worried over their status and ownership with golf courses in the country. There was a suggestion that they might become public property...owned by the government.

The President....Hugo Chavez....set up the local communal councils...and they came right up and agreed with no issues over the golf courses....agreeing that they provide a source of work and support tourism within the country.

Everyone at that point felt happy and satisifed.

So this week....President Huge Chavez came up and put golfing down as a threat. He described the game as lazy, bourgeois and the antithesis of his revolution.

Now, to be fair....he did have one thing right on this description....it is a lazy game and can't compare to real sports.

But beyond that....it's not the government's business to jump into sports and deem whats ok or not. Well...that mentality ended this past week. folks moved up to seize two of Venezuela's prime courses, at Caraballeda and Maracay.

Some folks think that the political bigwigs of the two regions decided that they could run the courses better than the professional management currently there. Some folks think it's merely an attempt to take property and keep things running...with profit going into someone else's pocket.

My guess is that the top manager of each course has packed up and leaving the country. Behind him...the assistant manager...probably a Venezuelan guy....is debating the situation and the local political guys desperately need him to stay...to make it still a competitive golf course. If this guy leaves...and the head chef...the head bartender...the head grounds guy...then this course is pretty much left to a third-rate manger or replacement to take charge.

The odds of them maintaining the profit level of the business? Zero. They've lost a minimum of ten percent of the income by this action....and probably more.

The one thing in life which is a certainty....is that the last folks on Earth you want to manage a business of any type...is a government official. If you are a business, and you have to report to some government guy or local community council or some political party...you can forget about profits, a strong customer base, and a future.

The curious thing and warning here....is that Chavez actually hinted in the beginning with the people he picked...that the courses would be free of government control. I would imagine every single course in the country is now considering their future and likely viewing a chance to just dump the course as quickly as possible for any buyer.

Step by step....month by month...Chavez is dismantling the country and private property. Eventually, he will come to the agricultural base....and insist on breaking up large-scale farms into 10-acre plots for all the poor people of the country...duplicating Zimbabwe. Then food will have to be imported...to feed the public.