A Psychological Stocking-Stuffer

What’s true of money is you “Can’t take it with you.”  But some things you can.  And so in a well-balanced life of making and having, holidays bring a great opportunity for self-reflection and improvement.

In my drive to understand people more clearly, this morning’s report may be useful in better understanding people.  Important stuff, too.  Since many of us must accomplish large parts of life through the efforts of Others.

To get the most out of them and of ourselves, my personal “discovery of the year” may be useful.

We’ll roll it out after a few headlines including some fresh economic data and then a roll through our ChartPack…

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19 thoughts on “A Psychological Stocking-Stuffer”

  1. California is poised to go full Reset:


    But you say: “It only applies to peoples with more than $15,000,000 in assets”. In a hyper-inflation depression, that may be the cost of an apple selling on a street corner. This sounds like a very progressive CA R measure. Work harder Mark, you will need something extra to pay that 10 year capital back tax.

    And you wondered what a Global Reset was really about.

    • “In a hyper-inflation depression, that may be the cost of an apple selling on a street corner”

      I was thinking a big mac lol…it won’t just be the kids making s quarter mil living in their cars.
      It will really be interesting if the war powers act is initiated and they start seizing buildings to house those living on the streets of sanfran

      • “It will really be interesting if the war powers act is initiated and they start seizing buildings to house those living on the streets of sanfran”

        That sounds very R & D progressive. I have to wonder what that would do to the high end real estate markets? Progressives are always instituting progressive taxation which ends up primarily benefitting wealthy progressive robber barons. It would certainly be a windfall for the ruling progressive gangs in the form of progressive contribution payola. Pay up, or we fill your vacant property with Antifa activists who aren’t really house broken. That would dovetail with the other progressive Reset measures in play.

        I think the CDC could probably pull that off without invoking war powers. They are from the government, and they are coming to help. We are taking over your vacant building; here, take a box of trash bags as compensation. This would be progressive hoodoo economics wielded by doctors for local progressives, as opposed to Fed centralized progressive hyper-inflating hoodoo economics primarily benefitting progressive hedge fund types, which we have already gotten a taste of.

        Sometimes living modestly in a very small house on ag land has it’s advantages. At least as long as encroaching development and officious land thieves keep their distance.

        Cancel any plans for even a short trip to the West coast. Too much potential tax liability is now in play.

      • “take a box of trash bags as compensation. ”

        Just make sure they cut a hole in them for the head and arms lol lol..

        Wife brought one home for me to laugh at lol…
        since when I worked day labor scooping hot dirt.. I have kept bio hazard suits and purified air masks on hand in a box just in case I ever worked in a situation like that again.. I asked her if she wanted to take some to work.. she said no.. instead we are following the protocol we set up when we cared for other people in bio hazard health situation. the change clothes and shoes are bagged washed and disinfected. Then showered UV Everythig sprayed and laundered real masks not the good luck club mask lol lol..

  2. It will never pass. We aren’t the 5th largest economy in the world because we are stupid. Far left rattling their cages…as long as they are kept in their cages …all will be fine. But…to be fair..some of these businesses like Elon Musk are hypocrites. California let him start his businesses practically tax free…gave him billions in subsidies…allowed tesla owners like myself to get $7500 state tax credits to buy their cars, and California was initially responsible for 80% of it’s sales…In the luxury category, There are more Tesla’s on the road here than Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Audi. ..and he is complaining? He will game Texas for a while until he can’t and will move somewhere else that wants to run a Corporate tax brothel.

    One interesting note…Musk can’t get his California engineers to move to Austin. They like it here. Who wouldn’t? Same with Oracle. 90% of the employees basically told Larry Ellison to go pound sand. I have over 100 Oracle clients…and of course I called all of them to see if they had to move.(potential sale for me)…they told me there was a internal rebellion about the move. Too much competition in the Bay Area in that space for them to retreat to for Larry to not listen. SAP has US HQ here, AWS has a huge footprint in Sunnyvale, Snowflake, MongoDB, MarkLogic, Neo4J, Qubole, are HQ’d here and all are Oracle competitors and all would live to hire Oracles top,talent….They will keep their Redwood City office intact.

    • California is currently living on “The Bubble” of investments and underlying decisions that were made 20 to 30 years ago. NEW decisions are now being made that will over time deflate that bubble (a repitition of what happened to Michigan and Detroit, which thought they could NOT be assailed because of THE Auto Industry was the biggest industry in the US and THEY controlled it).

      A severe tax policy against the golden gooses combined with an exceptionally generous welfare policy to the non-productive segments of society WILL accellerate the decline that California has already entered, LA being the perfect example (in case you haven’t noticed yet LA is now the largest welfare location in the entire US and MOST of it’s formerly large aerospace manufacturing and other manufacturing sector has now departed – LA has moved from being a net revenue Generator for the State to being a net state revenue Sucker if you actually bother to look at the numbers).

      California’s state revenue stream differ from most other states in that they rely very very heavily on Capital Gains Taxes from individuals. Once the “start up” culture plays out and there are no longer the outsized profits being made off of “start up” stock sales California is going to be in a world of super hurt wrt it’s state revenue stream. When that happens the state will STILL OWE the money and services it promised to the NON productive classes but no longer have the huge revenue streams from it’s smaller remaining productive class to pay those amounts.

      California’s state and local budgets have structural problems that are going to bite them hard once they hit, and as shown by this attempted TAX Scheme those government entities are already facing HUGE budget issues even before they fall off the cliff wrt to the upcoming slowing of the “Start Up” culture and EXTREME slowdown on their Capital Gains Taxes on that “Start Up” culture.

      “IF” California would actually become a separate country it’s economy would actually shrink quite dramatically since it would no longer be “the center” of R&D in new technology for an entire country of 330,000,000, but would instead be “the center” of R&D for a country of 45,000,000 (ie: about the size of Spain, smaller than France, Italy, or Great Britain, and considerably smaller than Germany).

      The technology shift AWAY from California has begun … and will only build up speed and momentum as California tries more and more schemes to tax tax tax it.

      • I agree with most of what you said Steven…but not the last statement. The technology shift only happens with mature technology…but the Bay area has always about the next big thing. We have re-invented ourselves over and over… emerging stronger and richer than the previous wave.

        And if we were a country, we would still have exports. America gets much of its produce, fruits, entertainment, and technology from here…and that would continue because we have the capacity no other state has and we have the intellectual capital as well…and that’s important…because as you know, it’s a pretty incredible place to live

        • I would suggest that much of computing (and the web) is already mature technology.

          Ure went shopping for a computer. Looking at something with 8+ cores.

          Thing is, these have been around for a while (Xeon) and a person with the cash can lust after 24 cores and half a TB of RAM and not go broke.

          Not imagine that core – from these heights – double. What changes?

          At some point – reduced instruction sets and such matter – but like MSFT found out with Word. It doesn’t make people type faster or think better. Why even with the latest and greatest of Dragoon Speak, I am unchanged in IQ.

          Computers are (Ure’s humble) where cars were. Once they went well over 100 MPH what was the point of that bigger engine?
          Computers are there.

          You may miss it driving a car with o-60 time under 4 seconds, but is there some point to screens so small you can’t read them and apps so powerful the number of backdoors is uncountable?

          Consumers are sometimes rational. When they are – and they reverse a long-standing trend – life changes.

          We can’t live in a world of app developers. Someone has to do the food thing. Basics matter – besides BASICA and GW-BASIC and VISUAL BASIC and…..following?

          It only takes one Ure-like thinker to sink the entire Bay area. A $299 per seat, modular, cross-platform ERP system and kiss off Oracle. Over time, open source wins.

          See Deshpande & Riehle, 2008: https://dirkriehle.com/2008/03/14/the-total-growth-of-open-source-abstract/

          As the fraction of open source grows, investment of your local “hot companies” will falter,. Layoffs will come as they always do.

      • re: George’s comment about computers.

        I believe the notebook companies learned this with the virus outbreak. It’s nearly impossible to find no frills, inexpensive notebooks and small desktop monitors because the demand is so high for home schoolers. The expensive stuff is sitting on the shelves gathering showroom dust.

        Microsoft may have figured this out long ago when it started locking out the older versions of the software and started selling subscriptions.

      • “Ure went shopping for a computer. Looking at something with 8+ cores.”

        ‘Reminds me, I picked up a Sun UltraSPARC T3-4 a few weeks ago — good working condition, $65 w/mirrored RAID drive stack and a fresh OS build included.

        Micro$oft who…?

    • “It will never pass.”

      It already has passed…. it was all in one of those Bill’s that no one wanted to read. I think that even the trump administration could do it as well before the inauguration..
      All that needed is state of emergency…
      If my interpretation is right.. then every one at the funny farm can be sent home to. till the emergency improves..
      Remember them running made helm exercises..
      One of the disturbing things during the exercise was they had been using disturbing targets in the firm of everyday citizens.. after an update they quit using them.

    • People who work in IT or highly specialized industries see the world completely different than most boomers who stuck it out in one job folding burritos on some assembly line.

      Corporate doesnt have any competitive mechanism for controlling this set of employees like they do for the burrito folders. Cash and quality of office life improvements is about it.

  3. One thing about Trump vetoing the bill. Where was he the last two months when they were fighting this out in Congress. Dems wanted $2000, Repugnantcans wanted far less..

    Oh…I remember…Trump was busy spewing baseless conspiracy theories about a fraudulent election. Haha. That has taken up nearly 95% of his time. Now that he has no case he is trying to save face by giving the perception he is coming to the 11th hour rescue on the stimulus Bill by saying he NOW wants $2000 distributed. Well the Idiot in Chief allowed it to go to the 11th hour before he got involved. He didn’t do his job early on because he was as usual only concerned about himself and somehow he feels if he makes it all better..people will like him enough to jump on his conspiracy bandwagon and overturn a fair election. It’s always about him pathetic.

  4. Elaine has my full sympathy. My dearest friend and dance-away lover has a somewhat similar history. She is blessed with great health for her age and doesn’t yet have any bone problems. Then again, it’s genetics – her mother didn’t either at age 92. She(and I) both have what might be considered “irrational” fears that we’re trying hard to address. Mine is regarding teeth. I can barely imagine how psychologically invasive the contemplated surgery must feel to Elaine, not to mention the obvious physical. She’s graced to have someone with her that cares. She has my best wishes and prayers.

    For those with osteo problems, both with bone density and joints, I’d refer to an old article with (IMHO) some merit:


    I won’t put any disclaimers – we’re all responsible for our own choices, so do your own research.

  5. Your discussion on banishing fear reminds me of when I learned about cognitive behavioral therapy. That voice that you hear is usually telling you about the worst possible outcome of the situation you’re in. Cognitive behavioral therapy tells you to step back (engaging the judge, as you say) and remember there are many possible outcomes to every situation, and many of those are good. I take it a step further and remember that even if the most feared outcome occurs, there is more than one set of consequences that can come from that, and not all of them are bad.

    I learned this technique from a therapist when suffering acute panic attacks from the anxiety of too much going wrong all at once. She recommended reading “Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapy” by David D. Burns, M.D. First published in 1980, it was and still is a useful resource for me.

  6. Indy used to be the place to be, for any kind of ortho work. Dunno if it still is, but I do know I shopped around, then traveled to St. Vincent Indy for my steel hip, 14 years ago. Hobbled in at 0700 Saturday, walked out at 2100 the same Saturday (I was walking laps around the floor at 1230…) My local hospital told me: 4-6wks with a walker and zero weight-bearing, and another 6wks before I could lose the walker — unacceptable!

    It may pay to shop around… Just sayin’.

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