Saturday, September 24, 2022

The View Russia Will Lose War In Ukraine May Be “Naive”

The current view being spread by mainstream media in America may be naive. Russia may still win the war in Ukraine. Like most people at times, I'm taken aback and astonished by just how wide opinions and views surrounding a certain event or situation might be. Like many of you just because I wish to listen to diverse views and the people expounding them does not mean I sign onto their ideology or am a fan. 

Some of the recent overt speculation in the western press that Putin is sick and on the verge of death or losing power while ignoring the fragility and mental lapses of Biden leads me to discount much of what they are saying. The experience of living for over six months with my ninety-three-year-old mother-in-law that suffers from dementia has given me some insight into the loss of cognitive functioning. This extends to how they think, remember, and reason. It also includes some of the many tricks people use to mask or hide the embarrassment they feel when they lose their ability to remember. 

One of the most pronounced methods is to ask general questions such as, how's the family, or did you have any trouble getting here. These can be used when you don't even know who you are talking to or where they came from. The fact is that due to changes in the brain, people living with dementia may sometimes experience hallucinations, delusions and/or paranoia. According to Heathman, MD, a Houston psychiatrist, “paranoia, or having false beliefs, is a common trait of later stage dementia. 

If you were losing control of yourself wouldn't you be worried that people would take advantage of you? Still, having a paranoid individual in charge of your country is not necessarily a good thing. This could be one of the reasons Biden appears so obsessed with Trump and those that support him. It also could lead to unnecessary wars under the idea we must take them out before they "get us." For such a scenario just imagine using information backed by paranoia to justify a first strike on North Korea or Iran.  

The last two paragraphs may have moved off topic, this was never intended to be a Biden hit piece. Returning to the crux of this post, I turn to Dr. Jordan Peterson. If there were a "Saying Things People Don't Want To Hear Award" it would go to Dr. Peterson. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist, and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, #1 for nonfiction in 2018 in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Norway.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never heard of/or read his book. What did catch my eye was an interview on Sky News Australia that lasted just under seven minutes. In the first minute, Peterson comes out swinging. He does this by making the startling statement that there is more than a bit of Hitler in all of us. Not wishing to create a "spoiler alert" for those deciding to watch the short interview it is still fair to call his prediction of Ukraine's future grave.

Victory Is Often In The Eyes Of The Beholder
Peterson states any notions that the Russians are going to lose the war in Ukraine are “na├»ve. He then elaborates, “Or that we’re going to win,” he said. “I don’t understand that. What do you mean we’re going to win? What are we going to win here exactly? Dr. Peterson said even if Vladimir Putin allowed Russia to retreat from Ukraine, the country would be left in “smoking ruins.”

For Russia, victory could be declared if they are sucessful in pushing back the advancing borders of NATO. Peterson also delves into the whole idea of totalitarian states. He also points out that America and NATO, if limited by reason, may not be able to respond with nuclear weapons if Putin decides to unleash a "tactical" nuclear weapon. In my opinion such an event could well redefine modern warfare. The Peterson interview can be viewed at the following link.

Peterson keys in on the fact you cannot win against someone you cannot say no to. We sold our soul to Putin for his oil and gas. Putin holds the best cards in that he controls the gas flow into Europe. This winter has the potential to be very very ugly. If anything, I failed to enter the word very enough times in that last sentence.


 (Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Where Have All The Ships Gone? Signs Of A Recession

The images of the west coast ports packed with ships and pictures of them stacked up just offshore have vanished from the evening news. So, where have they gone, and does this mean the supply chain is fixed? It appears that the post-covid shipping slug is over but this does not mean that the supply chain is fixed or there will not be shortages. 

As of Sept. 21, 2021,  there were 132 cargo ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Dozens of container ships were anchored or adrift off the coast. As of Aug 30, 2022, that number has dwindled to only 8 ships waiting off Southern California. The end of goods backing up in ports on the west coast is a sign we are moving on. Danielle DiMartino Booth recently stated, "We have never seen the collapse of the magnitude that we are witnessing in imports. That is always a tell-tale sign that you are already looking through the rear-view mirror at recession."

In a video released on September 6, 2022, Sal Mercogliano, a maritime historian at Campbell University and former merchant mariner delved into the reduction of ships currently sitting off the west coast. This includes the important Port of Los Angeles and the implications for the flow of cargo and goods as well as freight rates. It now seems that for several reasons, the international supply chain crisis that impacted U.S. logistics firms, retailers, and consumers could continue for a long time.

Most of the disruption in the flow of goods may be in the rear-view mirror, however, a slew of new economic destabilizing factors are beginning to emerge. These will result in a bumpy ride for consumers going forward. Those issues most on our radar are centered around energy whether it is gas or electricity. Others are being talked about but being largely shrugged off until the shelves are empty or prices go through the roof deal with food.

It has also become a problem that in the post-covid era many people simply lack the desire to return to work. This is playing havoc within the labor market. It seems sitting on their bottoms at home for a year has become addictive. The reality is employers are now finding they are often having to pay more for less productive workers.This is one of the factors driving inflation. 

Swinging back to the idea ports are no longer backed up, has to do with the flow of goods. First, we had few goods in the pipeline, then more than a lot, and now it has slipped back a bit below normal because many companies had ordered more than they needed when they were unable to get goods. This has resulted in some companies and retailers now finding they are overstocked and up to their ears in inventory. Another problem is much of this inventory does not meet their current needs.

In short, the supply chain is still messed up but in a different way. Things are not back to normal and the system is not running like a fine-oiled machine. An example of this surfaced this week when Ford warned that it expects to see an extra $1 billion in costs in Q3 due to both "inflation and supply chain issues". Ford is currently suffering through parts shortages that have affected between 40,000 and 45,000 vehicles. 

According to The Detroit News, The legacy auto manufacturer at the end of the third quarter expects to have a 'higher-than-planned' number of vehicles assembled but awaiting parts due to supply shortages. The models affected are primarily "high margin trucks and SUVs." This means these vehicles haven't been able to be shipped to dealers. Ford is just one in the long list of companies in this situation and someone will have to pay for what is happening. 

Companies are forced to pass the costs of supply chain problems on to customers, shareholders, or both. We should not be under the illusion things will straighten out anytime soon. The problems we face now have created new problems down the road.  We should also add into this the effects of bad weather on crops and livestock as well as prices of energy and oil soaring from war and geopolitical issues. Expect some of these factors to result in additional empty shelves, rising prices, and more shortages for months to come.


Footnote; Here is the ink to the video mentioned earlier in the article;   Another post you may find interesting appeared on this site back in April, it looked into how the geopolitical issues we face with Russia and China could result in even more supply chain problems. that link is;

 (Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The World Is A Hindenburg In Search Of A Spark - 10 Of The Most Explosive Issues We Face

The face of America is growing less friendly, years ago Dale Carnegie wrote a book titled; How to Win Friends and Influence People. It was first published in 1936 and it became a massive bestseller. Carnegie was an early proponent of what is now called responsibility assumption, one of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people's behavior by changing one's reaction to them. 

The World Is A Hindenburg
If Carnegie was alive today he would most likely be shocked at how many people approach others with a scowl and distrust. This feeling, or reality, has spread across the globe making the world a Hindenburg In Search of a spark. Time may prove that we as a society have become far too complacent to the rising threats growing up around us.

For a majority of people, thoughts of what the future holds are bracketed by a general feeling it will be more of the same. This means not necessarily better but certainly not much much worse. The opinions and assumptions people form are heavily swayed by mainstream media and big tech's hold over how we get information. 

This information is often shaped to distract rather than inform. The stuff and fluff presented as news by mainstream media generally omit many of the important events occurring across the world. In short, most people never hear about the protests, killings, and governments failing to protect the rights of their people. Most people never hear the things the media intentionally excludes from its coverage. Overall we, as a society, are poorly informed.

Famine And Drought







Social Violence










The future is uncertain, however, the following list below contains the 10 largest and most explosive issues before us. With this in mind, protecting your savings and capital should be job one. Some of us have been predicting a storm is coming, and it now appears it has arrived.

How will things in China play out? - will Xi survive - cities are locked down - people are protesting - and more. China with its "ghost cities" is not the well-oiled machine many people think it to be.

If China moves on Taiwan how will that be resolved? Most likely, not well, it is difficult to see anything good flowing from such a confrontation.

Will the European Union and the euro survive? Putin is going tit for tat and holds the cards when it comes to energy. America's Military Industrial Complex has never found a war it did not like, there is big money to be made blowing things up. With Biden enthusiastically sending American dollars and weapons to Ukraine, we have the potential to light up Europe and the world with a nuclear glow.

Energy Conundrum, across the world energy has become a big deal. Because the world is convinced mankind is causing the climate to change and soon we will be up to our ankles from rising tides and unable to grow food because plants will bake in the fields. This means we should turn off the lights, live in the dark, and eat bugs.

EV Stupidity, with the energy crisis in mind the answer is to use more electricity to power cars rather than design a world where we drive less or use more efficient vehicles. 

Is Globalization Dead? We can only hope. When you join mega-global corporations and big dumb governments together and throw in massive social unrest, what could go wrong?

Fiat Currencies, the financial sector, and contagion - Ha, no fraud going on there, no deck of cards ready to fall, I assure you everything is built on a foundation of stone.

Inflation, deflation, or stagflation, stability is gone. What does this mean for us as we plan ahead? It means most of us are screwed.

Growing inequality! This is our only real success. We have proven we can grow inequality and make Jeff Bezos rich. By buying things online and putting the local stores where our neighbors work out of business we can make ourselves poorer. As a bonus Amazon will deliver products to our door pronto so we can return them the next day. This way they can be sent unused to a landfill and factories will have to make more.

Artificial intelligence and "robotish" things. "At least we are being looked after." or should I say spied on. What we should be afraid of is when robots start building and repairing robots then we will merely be a bothersome infestation. That is the day the slaughter bots will be released.

Well, that seems to be enough. If you want to bring up another major issue let me know in the comment section. For fun and giggles, Take a look at the great chart that recently appeared on

This chart, which is one of the best I have ever seen concerning the "wealth effect." should be enough to convince even the harshest skeptic that there is something very wrong going on. The 10 explosive issues above should exceed the need most people have for doom porn. The answer to all these woes that some people have come up with is that women need to have more babies. This is based on the idea we will need more workers. Such a tactic is a little like pouring gasoline on the fire to put it out. The argument could be made that if we stopped destroying all we touch, we would need far fewer workers. Oh, and by the way, have a marvelous day. 


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Tuition Loan Forgiveness Program Is Another Biden Lie

The Biden Tuition Forgiveness Program should be considered a lie at least until it comes to fruition. The possibility it will never occur remains a solid possibility. While the White House and Democrats have had lots of time to craft the legislation this does not mean it has been done well, it may be full of holes. Granting such a gift to garner political favor is clearly an egregious overreach of power.

Consider the possibility that President Biden is stretching the truth a bit in order to stimulate his party's base. It also allows him to claim he has fulfilled another of the promises he made during the campaign. A recent poll suggests that many Americas are not thrilled with this so-called forgiveness program for a slew of reasons. First and foremost, it is simply unfair. 

The student loan forgiveness plan announced on Aug. 24 would eliminate up to $10,000 of federal debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Following the announcement, Biden indicated that 95% of borrowers, or some 43 million people would benefit from his debt relief plan. Nearly 45% of borrowers, or almost 20 million people, would have their debt fully canceled

Determining who benefits most from student loan forgiveness, the poor, middle class or wealthy may sound like a straightforward exercise, but it is not. Data peculiarities and future financial benefits that would disproportionately accrue to certain borrowers make an exact accounting nearly impossible. The relief is also limited to those who make less than $125,000 per year, or married couples or heads of households earning less than $250,000.

In breaking down the distribution of total dollars forgiven by three income groups the White House shows that 87% of the money would go to those earning less than $75,000 a year. None would flow to individuals earning more than $125,000. Leveraging this data, Biden said the plan would target poor and middle-class people or in his words, the "families who need it the most. Not only does the policy set an income cap for forgiveness, recipients of Pell Grants, a type of financial aid for lower-income families, qualify for double the maximum relief, or $20,000, relative to other borrowers.

The White House's decision to measure income per individual, rather than at the household level skews the data. If each spouse in a married couple earns $70,000 a year, they would have $140,000 of joint household income but would count among the group earning below $75,000 in the White House income analysis. The JPMorgan Chase Institute, in a separate study, found that a smaller share, or around 51% of total debt forgiveness would flow to the bottom 60% of households that earn below $76,000 a year.

It is impossible to be sure about which income groups will get what share of the benefits. Analysts are busy using different data sets that yield different results. Flowing back into the fairness issue is the fact that parents that put themselves into hock to put their children through college get nothing. The same can be said for the millions of people that have worked hard to pay off their student loans. 

Also, consider that the government issued Pell Grants to students based on parents' income; as long as a borrower's income is less than $125,000, they'd qualify for the Pell Grant forgiveness "bonus" based on their parents' lower incomes from years prior. In short, this general lack of fairness coupled with the idea society is rewarding those breaking their promise to pay back loans does not set well with taxpayers that may be forced to pick up the tab, this includes a lot of Democrats.

Student Loans Soared After The Government Took Over - The number of loans and the amount of money loaned to students soared after the government took over lending. Loans became far easier to get. Adding to the cost and failure of this program is that in recent years talk about loan forgiveness and other programs has caused many loan holders to halt payments in the hope the government would forgive the balance and write them off
We are talking about a lot of money. Before this is over, the tab for forgiving student loans may approach a trillion dollars. This represents around $3,000 per man, woman, and child living in America. This is why Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich suggested student loan borrowers shouldn’t bank on forgiveness yet. “I think there’s a lot of people celebrating prematurely,” Brnovich said. GOP attorney generals from states such as Missouri and Texas, as well as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and those connected to conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, are also reported to be mulling over their options to block Biden’s plan.

A legal challenge to the Biden plan could go on for a long time throwing the fate of these loans into limbo for the foreseeable future. Do not be surprised if this issue finds its way to the Supreme Court. No lawsuit has been filed yet, but Brnovich admitted that waiting too long could create problems. “People’s expectations are starting to get set,” Brnovich said. “And I think that means that if we can file a lawsuit, we should file it sooner rather than later.”

While White House spokesman, Abdullah Hasan, is busy accusing the GOP of double standards that will punish the middle class. The Biden administration has released a 25-page memo by the U.S. Department of Justice making the case that canceling this debt is “appropriate” under the Heroes Act of 2003. That law was passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It permitted the executive branch to forgive student loans during national emergencies. The Trump administration declared the Covid-19 pandemic a national emergency in March 2020, apparently, it never ended.

Those trying to block this program will likely argue that the Heroes Act doesn’t give the president the power to forgive student debt in the broad way he is trying to. Another issue for those bringing a legal challenge against Biden’s plan will be finding a suitable plaintiff. Someone has to make the case that student loan forgiveness causes them “personal injury,” and that may not be easy. This injury is needed to establish what courts call ‘standing.’ No individual or business or state is demonstrably injured the way private lenders would have been if their loans to students had been canceled. 

The student loan program became part of our government's legacy of failure during the Obama years.  Many of us predicted it was a slippery slope that would lead to defaults and at the same time drive up the cost of higher education. This prediction has come true. Remember much of this money was borrowed under the pretense of being used for education but was used for living expenses such as apartments and cars. One thing that is clear is they will find a plaintiff. This is so big that loan forgiveness will affect states and taxpayers. Clearly, Biden is disingenuous in his effort to promote this as a done deal.


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Intolerance - Remain Silent Or Be Branded An Extremist

It appears we are rapidly approaching or have reached the place where we must remain silent or be branded an extremist. There is a growing trend of intolerance. In such an environment it is little wonder that many people have become less vocal and afraid to speak their mind. The source of this is rooted in a blatant disregard for the opinions of others by both those on the left and the right. Democracy as a form of government is far from perfect. Its greatest weakness is rooted in the ability of a small vocal group to force its opinions on others. Sadly, this is not something that is going to rapidly go away.

In a recent speech akin to something you might have witnessed in Germany or Italy before World War II President Biden demonized what he called MAGA Republicans. Biden labeled this group of Americans as dangerous extremists. The message was clear, anyone that expressed the views bantered about by former President Trump could be marked as an extremist. Those that do speak out under such a political framework are now part of a group that law enforcement officials target and might be inclined to place under tighter scrutiny or surveillance. 

This growing fear of speaking out is not limited to America, we are seeing it in countries that claim to be free across the world. The tech giants and governments have been throwing fuel on the fire by adding to the feeling retaliation is a fair response to those we disagree with speaking their mind. The tech giants' effort to closely watch, silence, and censor those not marching in line with their desired narrative is a dagger in the heart of free speech. This effort is apparent when we hear about small fringe groups outside mainstream society threatening to block highways, shut down ports, and occupy state capitols if things fail to go their way. It even extends to harassing elected officials, we are hearing more threats from groups vowing to hound and badger members of Congress or the judicial system at their homes.

Governments Are Adding To The Fear

This started several years ago and ramped up when the term "politically correct" moved front and center. In the minds of some individuals if you say anything that they consider "incorrect" it justifies a harsh response. It has now extended to declaring saying something that could hurt the feeling of some individual or group could be considered "hate speech." As a result of this growing intolerance, people feel compelled to deny their opinions and remain silent.

The United Nations has weighed in on this subject since hate speech incites violence and undermines social cohesion and tolerance. It claims such speech is nothing new, however, its scale and impact are nowadays amplified by new technologies of communication. The impact of hate speech cuts across numerous existing United Nations areas of focus, from human rights protection, preventing atrocity crimes, sustaining peace, promoting gender equality, and supporting children and youth. The problem here is when hate speech is allowed to be defined by the ears of the beholder. 

Forcing Agreement Can Be Ugly
A sign of growing intolerance is seen in the mass arrest of nonviolent protesters by governments. It is important we remember the cornerstones of democracy are the  freedom of assembly and the right to speak freely. When these are trampled upon for any reason, the system is in danger of being cast aside.

This article is about the ability of a vocal minority to make people so uncomfortable they become silent. It is about how we should be appalled by those that justify violence, aggression, and force towards those that simply disagree with them. It is about how the threat you may be demonized if you say what you feel tends to breed silence. Watching this unfold is leaving a sickening feeling in those valuing free speech.

We should be alarmed by a survey taken by Cato Institute/YouGov that found most Americans say "the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive". The survey indicated that 52% of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 77% of Republicans now say they have political opinions they are afraid to share. Most people do not enjoy confrontations or being harassed and as a result, are self-censoring themselves. With the free exchange of opinions and ideas being the foundation of a free and healthy democracy the sign public discourse is being destroyed does not bode well for our continued freedom.


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Big Companies Are Predatory, Big Governments Do Dumb Things

Mankind faces a toxic mix when it comes to protecting our freedom. Big companies are predatory, big governments are stupid. The thing they have in common is they both want more control and power. China is a good example of trying to combine both, this experiment however seems to be crumbling before our eyes. Yes, where the powerful forces of global companies and big governments meet is at the intersection of Globalization and the World Economic Forum's vision of the future. 

The whole concept of people power or that the masses have at any time the ability to just say no is constructed around the rather utopian or optimistic view that people can agree on what is in their self-interest. In truth when you push away the emotional high garnered from the vision of a quick clean non-violent rebellion, we are the underdog in this ongoing struggle for control of our lives. History shows the so-called masses are seldom able to come together on anything. 

Keeping us divided and docile is a tool used to prevent unrest from boiling over and those in charge use it well. When people do rise up, achieving reform is more difficult to accomplish than simply promising it. The head may change but it often inherits the same old body of government workers that are resistant to change. True improvement tends to flow from evolution rather than revelation. The reason rebellions fail is often because those rebelling generally replace one bad government with another. 

The idea that a large government hanging above us to regulate our lives will solve our problems has proven to be a fallacy. It could be argued the larger governments become the less responsive they become. Government bureaucracies tend to get bogged down in their mission to serve the people. They also have a huge problem balancing their mission to serve with their natural inclination to extend control over just about everything including our lives. This is often done under the claim it is for the "greater good."

Mega global companies and big government are the two largest threats to our freedom. Throughout history, monopolies of any kind have demonstrated a natural propensity to abuse the people, and governments have exhibited the ability to do dumb things that benefit the few rather than the masses. We see this in their inclination to rush to war and how they rapidly include cronies in anything they do which corrupts the fruit of their efforts. 

Big Companies Tend To Be Predatory

For years many economists have discounted how the greed of these companies has created and added to the many problems the world faces. For example, the main reason we have the military-industrial complex and companies rushing to make bombs is that by doing so, they gain power and add to their profits. This train of thought brings front and center the question of whether mega-global companies are working in the direction of taking over the world and even dominating governments and countries. This is in some ways an extension of the New World Order with CEOs pulling the strings. The power these companies wield is often masked behind the facade of a figurehead leader but it is very real.

Developments over the last several decades portend a shift in power from country to corporations. The argument can be made that corporations are well on their way to supplanting the state as the world's dominant organizational structure in the future. Knowledge is power and this means power is flowing to large conglomerates and internet companies. Those that are most prominent control the communication networks collecting and storing data on all of us. They are now in a position to manipulate us in every way.

Over the years, this has resulted in a blurring of the lines between business and state. It has also shaped the world as we know it. By weaponizing the data they have collected as propaganda in a battle for our hearts and minds technology companies may hold an advantage over national governments in persuading individuals to align with their interests. This translates into enormous persuasive power and could be the key to providing corporations with a path to ultimately control populations, governments, and even nations. As they have gained power it seems these powerful global entities often lead governments around by the nose placing and have taken to placing people in a position of servitude.

Biden's Recent Speech Was About Control

The idea that a world controlled by mega companies will be benevolent and kind ignores the greed and ambitions of those who control them and how little regard they can have for those ranked below them. In his novels, Orwell depicted how governments could take on a life of their own and criticized totalitarianism throughout his writings. Totalitarianism, the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism is a political concept that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life.

As an added bonus for these behemoths they can hide behind the governments they control sucking the blood from them while remaining aloof and shielded from the evil they inflict. It is difficult to deny that in our modern world many large companies already have more power than most nations and their power continues to grow at an alarming rate. The bottom line here is the power of the people is at a strong disadvantage when it comes to reforming society. The reality of sustained "power to the people" is as rare as a unicorn in your backyard. When all is said and done, in their effort to control us, the ugly forces of monopolistic conglomerates and governments continue to turn people into pawns.


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Narrative Of Housing Shortage Beginning To Crumble

The housing market in America is not one but many markets that generally share a few common threads. In America, the government, coupled with a slew of builder and Realtor associations controls the housing narrative. The truth is what they have been telling and selling us is generally based on their self-interest. Owning your home has pros and cons and is not the best option for everyone.

With mortgage rates rising, it appears we are witnessing a key reversal moment in the housing sector where FOMO vanishes and is replaced with the idea I'm glad I didn't buy. The narrative we have a housing shortage is begging to crumble. It is likely many buyers are shifting into a wait-and-see mode. The false housing narrative of shortages is breaking down. The cheap money flowing from Wall Street has stopped flowing in and in some places has begun to retreat. 

Whether this will be a short-term dip in prices or develop into a situation that lasts for years is difficult to predict. Just a few of the factors feeding into future prices of housing include interest rates, property taxes, insurance costs, maintenance, and the incomes of people living in the area. Incomes and interest rates are huge factors when it comes to affordability. This is where the real problem is and the lack of an easy fix that will make money for the big boys that drive our economy.

Affordability Is A Growing Issue
Housing prices can surge during a bubble but rapidly retreat. It appears we have reached that apex and while cheap or inexpensive housing is difficult to find overall plenty of housing units exist if people are simply willing to clean them up. Often this means lowering their expectations of what they deserve, the reality is not everyone can afford or live in a brand new house.

It is a recent development, meaning just in the last few decades, that young couples and singles think they need or should be living in a several thousand square foot house with all the fixings and three or more baths and bedrooms, an attached garage, and more. Yes, the average size of new homes has grown while the size of families or the number of occupants has declined. 

Population shifts and the media hype have also added to muddying the housing picture. Housing envy, the desire to live like the Jones is driven by images of most families living far better than the average American. Whether it is in a commercial, film, or on the news, few people are put before us that live in a dirty cramped shit hole.

The sad fact that people cause most of their own problems tends to be overlooked. If a person wants a nicer place to live there is a thing called paint and another item called a broom. The number of empty and underutilized houses in older neighborhoods stand as a monument to our government's failed housing policies.

Investor demand and massive building activity in various areas of America will prove to be a destabilizing influence on prices going forward.  Overall, one of the largest factors remains the fact houses are a tangible asset and may prove safer than the paper promises most people consider as having value. We must also remember home-ownership plays directly into the wealth effect. Housing values impact how people feel about the economy and has a huge influence on spending habits.

All the above factors feeding into this important sector of our economy create a murky picture for the future of housing. In an economic downturn of real magnitude, a reduction in household creation where people double or triple up is very likely. Across America, we have a huge number of large houses and the consolidation in the number of households can rapidly reduce demand when people move in together. One thing that is clear, people should take a cautious approach when they decide to make one of the biggest purchases of their lifetime.

Footnote; Below are links to other AdvancingTime articles on housing. Comments are welcome.


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)





Thursday, August 25, 2022

Jackson Hole, More, "We Intend To Be Fair But Firm."

Expect more of that same old speech, "We Intend To Be Fair But Firm." These words used to explain policies are used to create an impression of stability and strength rather than detail the way forward. Many variations of this well-worn line exist. examples are, "we will move cautiously in a prudent manner" or "our actions will be data dependent." 

The real question is, where's the beef? Those expecting clarity and transparency to flow out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming will most likely be disappointed. It is likely Powell will use this closely-watched Jackson Hole speech to stress that the central bank is going to bring down the high U.S. inflation rate even if it means a recession. The crux of his message being they will do this even it if means weaker short-term growth. After parsing every word coming out of his mouth do not expect to find any answer for fixing the mess they have created.

Expect No Beef
Staying on message, central banks continue to say the return of inflation to 2% is critical to achieving maximum employment and growth on a sustained basis. The recent minutes of the Fed’s July meeting confirmed this point, but Markets have failed to take to heart what it really means if the Fed embarks on such a course. In truth, more attention will be focused on how he says this and his posturing than anything else, and expect the media to spin his words in a way that reassures us all. 

Yes, they will tell us the Fed will move forward in a "fair but firm" way. Still, as of late, more attention has been focused on the idea when things get tough the Fed will panic and quickly "pivot" and return to quantitative easing. Do not expect Powell to talk about that possibility it simply won't be discussed or confirmed. When all is said and done this will most likely be a nothing burger to which markets may or may not overreact and the world will go on while our public servants suck down their catered dinners and fine wine.  


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Monday, August 22, 2022

Is The Yen About To Resume Its Path Lower?

Much of the recent strength in the yen can be explained in one word and that is China. While I have seen no other currency watchers espouse this theory, I continue to contend the yen has become a major conduit by which wealth is being transferred out of China. This tight relationship can be seen each time trouble surfaces in China's economy. When this happens the yen rises in value as wealth exits China through business back-channels. 

Let's be frank, most economic watchers think the Chinese economy is in big trouble, this makes it logical many people would want to get their wealth out of the country. This, however, is easier said than done. China has very strict rules related to taking money in and out of the country. These rules regulate the actions of individuals attempting to move money out of China. We can assume, that most people moving large amounts of money would rather go under the radar and avoid running into problems with the Chinese government.

A few other factors feed into the recent bounce in the yen but do not be surprised if this recent strength rapidly fades. One factor playing into the bounce is the decline in the yen's value over the last several months may have been a bit overdone. Another could be related to the fact energy prices have come down reducing the cost of imports needed to fuel the economy. Still, we are again beginning to see the yen slip down towards its lows and should be repaired to see it again slip into new low territory. 

Japan's basic problems still remain. As stated in an earlier post, higher interest rates are toxic to the highly indebted nation. Also, unfavorable demographics will continue to haunt the small island nation. Simply put, the fundamentals for Japan are lousy. Much of the risk of who gets hurt in the case of a falling yen or a default has shifted from the private sector to the Japanese public since the BOJ has continued splurging on JGBs.

The Japanese Government Is Heavily In Debt

As Japan continues down this path it is only a matter of time before the credibility of the BOJ is lost and the yen plunges. To support their stock market the BOJ has even gone to buying stock. When investors in Japan's government bonds begin to believe that inflation is about to return it would be logical for owners of  Japanese debt to rush out of the low-yielding securities and buy foreign bonds or equities.

Unlike many other leading economies, Japan has been battling deflation or falling prices for the best part of the past two decades. We may have reached the point where reality has now taken hold. This has been a long time coming. When Japan crumbles it will be felt across the world and add to doubts about the whole fiat currency system.  


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Threat Of Liz Cheney As A Tool To Split The Party

Last Sunday morning on Meet The Press in the last few minutes they brought up the subject of Liz Cheney making a run for President in 2024. When it comes to me expressing my opinion of her odds of winning such a bid I will keep my mouth shut. History shows that we can sometimes be very very right, and at other times, very, very wrong. Let the AdvancingTime Article where I dissed, even mocked, Biden when he entered the 2020 Presidential race and his slim odds of getting elected remain buried deep in the archives of this blog.

The greatest threat posed by Liz Cheney may be that she could split the Republican Party and hand the Democrats the next Presidential election. Consider the Ross Perot scenario, years ago he pulled enough votes away from George Bush Senior to hand the election to Bill Clinton. This role as a spoiler still exists and if Trump does run, never Trumpers and Democrats would fund her campaign simply to torpedo the Don.

The polls were correct that neocon Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) would lose her congressional seat in the primaries. Her poorly-received crusade against former President Donald Trump proved to be her Waterloo. To say Cheney sparked a conservative backlash in her district where 70% of Wyoming voters chose Trump in 2020 is an understatement. Her participation as vice chair of the January 6th committee, and her stand that there's never been a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump didn't do Liz any favors.

One of the biggest dangers faced by Republicans is the party will be split by those old-school Republicans that still wish to control its future. So here is Cheney, she is still viewed by many as a "Never Trumper - warmongering - commie hater" extension of her father. Their refusal to concede power and willingness to cut off their nose to spite their face continues to exist. That of course does not imply the Democrats are in great shape going into future elections. 

The Democratic Party also has its demons, not only has it failed to govern since returning to power but they have moved way farther to the left than many Americans. Their abuse of the political system coupled with poor leadership at the top has left many voters underwhelmed. After my bad call on Biden's chance of becoming President, while not a fan, I will not say Liz Cheney has no political future but I will say her next role may be that of a spoiler.


(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Saturday, August 20, 2022

The World May Be About To Face A Big Shock

While it is difficult to be ready for change, we should try to be diligent and remain ready. The reality is that when change does occur, it may come fast and furious. The big shock is rooted in the speed things can unravel in our modern world. People tend to discount risk after years of hearing warnings of doom that fail to materialize. An example of this is the resilience of the stock market here in America as the Fed raises interest rates.  

In a recent video Robert Kiyosaki author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” and Raoul Pal warn about the great reset of 2022 in the world economy. This includes several scenarios of how things might play out. Many of the references to similar past periods throughout this video, help cultivate a better understanding of today’s macroeconomic environment & trends. The video refers to how the IMF recently painted a picture of a world economy that promised slow or no growth. The IMF implied there was little hope as it stated the world economy is heading into the worst economic headwinds since World War II.

It Is Kinda Like This!
Most people are so busy dealing with the events occurring in their everyday life they take little time to consider how things happening around the world and in the economy will affect them. Other than natural disasters and war, demographics, inflation, shortages, and changing consumption patterns all play into the world we will face in the future. One of the areas where many investors and the public at large could be discounting the risk to the economy as the Fed moves into quantitative tightening.  

As Liquidity Goes, Economy Could Free Fall
The true effect of quantitative tightening has yet to hit most markets or Main Street. When QT kicks in liquidity will rapidly fall. This is a factor that will be felt around the world. It will hit first in the most speculative markets such as commodities and expand outward from there. The lack of time to adjust and alter both our lives and investments will spell doom for millions as defaults become common. When people feel less flush, they pull back and reduce leverage, many even stop paying on debt. This can set in motion a self-feeding loop or cycle that can rapidly accelerate.  

With the IMF's view of the economy in mind, it is important to note, that risk abounds. One of those risks is that, whether we are talking about Democracy, Communism, Socialism, or Fascism the strong link they share is one of dominance and a desire to control. We are currently witnessing some of what I'm writing about now happening in China. The combination of additional unbridled spending and new programs focused on controlling the masses by administering programs geared to curb social unrest is not appealing. Sadly, this is what we may see if things slip into chaos. Again, the real shocker is just how fast this might unfold. 


Here is the link to the video mentioned above;

(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Next Major Economic Crisis Will Redefine Real Wealth

The Shell Game Of Wealth Transfer
Today some market watchers claim that the stock market is being held at lofty levels while the smart money is rushing to the exits. Today tens of trillions of dollars are sitting in offshore banking accounts in places such as the Cayman Islands. Today governments and businesses are borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars each year by issuing bonds some of that will not be returned to investors for decades. Today homes, apartments, and buildings are being built, some poorly constructed, with loans guaranteed more or less by the American people. Today America's national debt stands at almost 31 trillion dollars and is rising. Today currencies such as the euro and yen that are even more fundamentally flawed than the dollar are weakening. I could do this a bit longer but I suspect I've made the point.
All of the above should give investors a reason for concern. Still, an even bigger issue is how much wealth will escape the next large economic crisis. This is very important because it helps set the bar for the rate of inflation or deflation that will affect us in the coming years. Most economists agree we did not solve many of our financial problems after 2008 but merely masked them with a huge amount of newly printed money. The fact is, wealth and how things are valued are not constant but fungible and constantly changing, constantly moving, and come in many forms. 
Wealth is defined as the abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions. An individual, community, region, or country that possesses an abundance of such possessions or resources to the benefit of the common good is known as wealthy. Defining wealth is one thing but it is important to actually delve into its nature to truly understand just how elusive it can be. Imagine your life as the poorest person in a very rich and wealthy society versus how you might live as the richest person in the poorest and wretched place. When you do the former might be preferable.
Wealth can be held in the form of paper, promises, or as something more tangible and real such as property or goods. Some items such as a tool hold "utility value" and its value may be based on how much work it can perform or the revenue it can produce. Replacement cost, supply and demand, and factors such as whether something can spoil or might grow obsolete over time also help determine its value as a place wealth can be stored.

Children Say The Silliest Things
Pensions, annuities, and even investments in stocks and such all fall into the area of paper promises that are often recorded somewhere far from sight as a digital entry on a computer. These intangible stores of wealth based on faith have grown at a massive rate during the last several decades. Prior to that wealth tended to be stored in tangible items such as land, buildings, and things such as gold. Currencies, also known as fiat money, are also just IOUs or paper promises. The idea of a currency-free society in my mind tends to break the bonds that link us to wealth but that is for another post.

In the past, I have written several pieces about subjects such as writing off the rising amount of bad debt, how debt is like a mirage moving into the distance, and how bad debt is resolved. In short, the vessels where we store our wealth are often weak and fragile, however, the crux of this article centers around what will or might be left after stress pushes the global economy to the brink or into total collapse. Of course, a great deal will depend on how such an event unfolds. This means what kind or type of value and wealth is the first to vanish. I will be the first to admit the answer is unknown.

Be Skeptical, Be Cautious, Get Smart!
Much like a shell game, wealth is transferred in our modern society from one area to another. Wealth is always on the move. It zips across borders at the click of a button and just because you deposit it with a local institution does not mean it stays in your community. An example of this took place during the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s when huge beautiful buildings were constructed in certain areas from wealth transferred in from other parts of the country. Needless to say when the dust settled the big winners were the areas with the new buildings. The losers were those forced to pay for them when the loans used to build them went into default.
We must never forget the world is full of crooks, evil politicians, and judicial systems where true justice is a rare commodity. What is indeed important is what or how much wealth survives an economic crisis and in what form. When that wealth comes out of hibernation it will soak up all the tangible assets on the planet. This will be the determining factor of whether we face inflation, deflation, or some crazy mix of the two. 
The next major economic crisis will totally redefine real wealth providing it is what some people refer to as the "Forth Turning" which would totally reshape the economy for decades to come. Remember it is the nature of those in charge to throw the masses under the bus when things go sideways. This means the average person should expect little in the way of protection in any coming storm. The economic landscape we face following such an event will without a doubt be shaped and depend on what wealth survives and how much vanishes following a tsunami of defaults and /or monetization of debt where government debt disappears and inflation takes its place.
As a mental exercise, I am asking you to consider and question such a possibility. Taking a "follow the money" approach think about the many or multitudes of places your wealth might vanish into or how it could slip away. Sadly, this also blows a hole in the idea that you can safely tuck your money away in an offshore banking account. We must ask, where all the money deposited in the Caymans really is. Banks do not just sit on deposits and keep them safe. We need only look at the current economic chaos in China to see how elusive wealth can be. A word to the wise should be sufficient and cause any person prudent or interested in protecting their wealth to consider the many ways wealth can vanish and that it can without a doubt happen to you.
(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act Deserves Our Condemnation

Anyone pleased about the type of legislation Washington has come to see as normal does not understand what it means to be responsible. Huge bills containing hundreds or even thousands of pages of print where the devil in the details can be hidden from the minions are far too common. Bills joining and including several unrelated issues seldom make sense. It seems more like a wish list of things that would never get through the process on their own suddenly become more reasonable when coupled with other unimpressive ideas. Most of the large spending bills being passed in Washington deserve our condemnation.

Mainstream Media Hails The Victory!
While the news put out by mainstream media is busy saluting Biden and the Democrats for passing the latest "groundbreaking and historic" monstrosity they mention but fail to highlight the fact it was totally partisan. Not one Republican Senator voted for it. In short, this implies it is the type of legislation that only half the country or voters would support.

Its supporters claim this bill aims to curb inflation by reducing the deficit, lowering prescription drug prices, and investing in domestic energy production while promoting clean energy solutions. Sadly, the cost for this monster is also skewed and not evenly shouldered by all. Not only is there some dispute as to who will get stuck paying for it when all is said and done, but do not be surprised if it cost more than planned and is far less effective at meeting its goals than promised. 

Even the name of this legislation has drawn criticism for being misleading. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is not so much about reducing inflation as it is about, other things. Some people are calling it a landmark climate, health care, and tax package. In truth, it does a lot of things at great cost that many Americans don't necessarily agree with. The Senate Democrats put out a one-page summary of the bill touting all the support it received. If it was overwhelmingly supported, why did it not get one Republican vote in the Senate?

The Democrats Are Thrilled
As for actual inflation reduction, the Tax Foundation estimates that the Inflation Reduction Act would reduce long-run economic output by about 0.1 percent and eliminate about 30,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the United States. It would also reduce average after-tax incomes for taxpayers over the long run. In fact, the Tax Foundation claims this bill may actually worsen inflation by constraining the productive capacity of the economy.

One glaring problem is that it pushes Americans into electric cars whether they want them or not. The biggest issue with this is the whole premise that electric cars will solve the world's environmental problems may be fundamentally flawed. A great deal could be done to improve the MPG we get on gasoline-fueled vehicles and the way we use them. Regardless of what many voters think, through subsidies, it seems those in charge are hellbent on pushing electric vehicles down consumers' throats under the idea it is for the greater good.

The idea Washington will utilize this law to bargain down prescription prices for all Americans is also hogwash. This legislation simply caps seniors' out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses to $2,000 per year, and in four years will enable Medicare to negotiate the prices on 10 medications. As for all those people in America with diabetes, the final version of this bill that was passed by the Senate caps insulin prices at $35 a month for Medicare patients only.

Those unimpressed with how Obamacare has performed will be annoyed to find this legislation also pushes back for three years the massive increase in Obamacare premiums that were set to move higher in January. This means the enhanced federal tax credits to save millions of people an average of $800 a year on health insurance premiums on the Affordable Care Act will remain in effect. This highlights the fact this does not reduce inflation it merely kicks the can down the road by masking the true cost of services by transferring wealth to subsidize their cost.

This Is The Reality We Face
This bill is another case of a slight majority shaping society and  transferring wealth through subsidies and edicts from high. The best thing about The Inflation Reduction Act is that its creators cannot praise it as being passed with broad bipartisan support. Again, I point to the fact not one Senate Republican voted for this 430 billion dollar bill. In some ways, its passage personifies Washington at its worse.  

The icing on the cake for many taxpayers that already feel their freedom is slipping away as they wither under thousands upon thousands of archaic tax laws. The bill will also give $80 billion to the IRS to expand its audit capabilities, as well as a bevy of technology upgrades. The big issue is while Democrats hail the passage of this bill as a big win it is in all honestly, no way to run a country.


Footnote: The following articles were referenced for this article;                      https://Are EVs Good For The Environment? Mostly Not! html

(Republishing of this article welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog)

Saturday, August 6, 2022

The Smartphone's Role In Dumbing Down America

The smartphone has begun to play a huge role In dumbing down America. Rather than being a source to move us forward, it has become an albatross around the necks of many weak-minded souls that depend on them. People turn to these devices for all kinds of unneeded updates including performing simple math problems so they don't have to think. 

Originated in 1933, the term "dumbing down" was movie-business slang, used by screenplay writers, meaning: "to revise to appeal to those of little education or intelligence." For those with little drive or purpose, the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy find great comfort in the constant flow of dribble a cell phone can provide. In short, dumbing down is the deliberate oversimplification of intellectual content in education, literature, cinema, news, video games, and culture.

It should be noted this is being written just as the world is on the cusp of being offered a whole new recipe that may lead to more social dysfunction. That comes in the form of "virtual reality" which offers an even stronger form of escapism that may result in damaging the ability of people to relate to each other in the real world. Especially worrisome is the effect it might have on children that experience and embrace it. Their ability to separate this fake virtual world from reality could become impaired.

A great deal of the problems with smartphones are rooted in the idea everyone deserves one. Yes, I said deserves, not needs. Smartphones are now considered by many people as an extension of their being. A government program started years ago has mushroomed in size and transfers a huge amount of wealth down the social ladder. Years ago I wrote an article that outlined a government program supplying free phones to people with low incomes or that have been declared needy. At that time these phones have become known as "Obama Phones." Below I give some of the details about the program including who qualifies. If you want to be popular with the voters give them free stuff and let them know that they should not bite the hand that feeds them.

The term "Obama phone" is not a myth as an online search rapidly confirms. This popular government program explains why we see so many people that would appear to not have a dime in their pockets walking along or driving down the street talking on a cell phone. What exactly is the free Obama phone? It is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. It seems that communication should not be limited to people based on what they can afford. The Lifeline program started decades ago to help low-income families have access to landlines has been expanded. Over the years the cost of cell phones and cellular service has decreased and the program has been extended to cover cell phones.

So who qualifies? It appears little has changed over the years, it seems that if you or members of your household are, receiving the following benefits you automatically qualify for the Lifeline program. The best way to know if you qualify is by filling out an application for a Lifeline provider in your state. Those interested in the program must have an income of less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or about $22,350 per year for a family of four.

  • Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income – commonly known as SSI
  • Health Benefit Coverage under Child Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)
  • The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.
  • Low-Income Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance ( Section 8 )
  • If you are a low-income Eligible Resident of Tribal Lands
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families – TANF

Lifeline is a government-sponsored program, but who is paying for it? Some people claim that the government is using taxpayers’ money to run this program, however, the claim is false. The clever clowns we have sent to Washington found a backhanded under-the-table sort of way to make it appear it is not taxpayer money. Universal Service Fund (USF) which is administered by the Federal Communication Commission along with the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), pays for the Lifeline phone assistance program. The Universal Service Fund (USF) was created back in 1997 by Federal Communication Commission to achieve the goals set by Congress under the Telecommunication Act of 1996. According to the Act, service providers are obliged to contribute a portion of their interstate and international telecommunications revenues. In short, paying phone customers are paying for it.

It is written that if you are one of those people who have lost their jobs due to the recession, then probably you’re having a hard time with your daily expenses. On top of that, paying telephone bills is just another pressure. You can get rid of this burden by applying to the "Lifeline Assistance Program" run by the government. To get a phone contact the provider of this service. The government has approved many companies at the national and regional levels to provide this service to eligible people.
Just how much might one of these free government cell phones change your life?
  • An employer can more easily reach you with a job offer if you have a free government cell phone.
  • You can stay in touch with your doctor and other emergency medical professionals more easily with a free government cell phone.
  • A free government cell phone can help you keep in touch with family and other loved ones.
And the good news is that while a government-assisted cell phone provides you with up to 250 monthly minutes to go with your free cell phone. While that’s a generous contribution from the government, it’s barely enough airtime to last many people a month. But good news is they can easily buy more minutes for the phone from each of the major Lifeline cell phone companies. You can see this is what has happened when it has gotten to the point where people carry their phone in their hand as they go about their business. Apparently, if you use a promotion code, you can get some very good deals.
Smartphone Have Become A Major Distraction
A great deal of attention has been given to some of the ideas and visions the World Economic Forum has floated. A powerful and very visible glimpse was contained in the public relations video entitled: “8 Predictions for the World in 2030. Its 2030 agenda promotes the idea that  by 2030, "You will own nothing. And you'll be happy." Smartphones dovetail with edging the general population towards such an existence. With the government transferring the costs for millions of customers to those that pay full price, another face of corporate welfare is exposed.

Over The Years This Addiction Has Only Grown Stronger

Interestingly while many people admit they are addicted to these phones that seem to offer a form of escapism from the real world, some users are moving back to dumbphones. A video by ColdFusion (, an Australian-based online media company, looks into this "Anti-Smartphone Revolution." It points out how the dumbphone or what is sometimes called a brick is far less intrusive in our lives. Surprisingly, it is those users between the age of 25-35 that are leading this charge.
Are Smartphones Making Children Slaves To Big Tech?
We should never underestimate the role of the smartphone in dumbing down America. We can only hope people will begin to take a closer look at these society-changing devices. When a phone will provide the answer to simple math problems many people no longer feel compelled to learn or memorize the things which give us perspective and help us to understand the world around us. It has become apparent, that smartphones change more than society. They change people, too. Being able to push a few buttons does not necessarily make you smarter.

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Republishing this article is welcomed with reference to Bruce Wilds/AdvancingTime Blog