Crash Odds Down Slightly – Tax Robotics?

On  the Peoplenomics side of the house, we will be taking on a very complicated subject in the ChartPack tomorrow:   How much of our contradictory signals in the economy right now can be traced back to corporate tax reform?

And while THAT debate (and modeling) continue, there’s the matter of the coming jobs collapse thanks to robotics.  One of our astute readers caught the headline “Introduce robot tax, or face massive economic disruption warn lawyers” and was kind enough to pass it along.

The problem with robotics (*and factory automation of any sort) is that it displaces workers.  Remember, when HUMANS work, they generate income taxes, payments into Labor and Industries, they buy (at legal gunpoint) insurance…and the list goes on.  Right down to buying a car and gas, oil, tires etc. to commute.  Robotics?  Nope.  Screws everyone.

(Continues below)


To be sure, there is likely some level of power tool use that could be logically argued against.

Take the construction worker putting a deck on a house;  Should they pay a tax on the power screw-gun, for example?  No, obviously not.

BUT, if half the UAW rank and file in Detroit are displaced by robots on the production line, shouldn’t there be some quid pro quo from the Factory Owners who just removed several thousand primary jobs – not to mention going out to tertiary jobs  (day care workers, quickie-mart people selling coffee and doughnuts in the morning) perhaps 10’s of thousands?

These jobs – the ones being replaced by ROBOTICS are not apparent now – because we are in the OVERLAP BOOM.  This is where the factories still have workers – but only until the machines get dialed in.  Right now, though, workers plus robot builders.  But then what?

They’re toast in the longer-term.

But:  How to tax?

The Internet as a prototype:

This “tax robotics” question actually has one of its roots in how things are taxed on the Internet.

Don’t know if you noticed, but a group of republicans are trying to shove a “net sales tax” through.  And, honestly, it’s not a bad idea.

It’s a terrible idea.

The problem is one we’re familiar with because we actually do pay sales tax on our Internet information product ( for those sales in the state of Texas.

Should our subscribers in Switzerland pay sales tax?  Or, those who live in a state without a sales tax – like Oregon?

Would it bother us to pay sales tax on all states?

Depends how it is structured.

If we were to pay sales taxes based on our tax home (Texas), no big deal.  Press button (*6-3/4%) and write the check.  Increase subscription cost from $40 to $45 to cover it all.  Ebd of story.

Here’s where the (stupid) GOP gets it wrong:  Should I, as an internet-based “product” producer, have to pay “sales tax” to New York?

The (dimwits) will argue yes, if the product is consumed in New York, but remember, Peoplenomics is a news/information product.  Enter the Freedom of Speech issue.

For now, New York lays it out this way in this tax advisory  (Tax Bulletin ST-620 (TB-ST-620)):

“If you sell publications that qualify as newspapers or periodicals for sales tax purposes, you don’t need to charge sales tax because they’re exempt. “

So, let’s see how the dimwits roll with this one:  It’s arguable we shouldn’t even pay sales tax in Texas, but we do, because we don’t begrudge the government its slice.

The problem is when I start up my next company – let’s call it Chester Industrie – and we begin to sell online some incredibly neat products.  If the dimwits get their way, I would end up having to do sales tax filings in 50-states under their plan.

Better:  Sales taxes should be based on the point of manufacture, or if in reselling (Amazon et all) then based on the point of shipping.  Amazon has warehousing in Texas already and charges sales tax here.

One company, one location?  Taxes to one state – not 50.

Would this tend to drive business to lower (sales tax) cost states?  Duh.

Why, hell YES!  And you’d begin to see some long-overdue restructuring of America – the decentralization that has led to lemming and demagogue politics.  The free-lunchers.  Only way to teach ’em a thing, or three, is to cut ’em off at their pocketbooks.

I’ve been through this on the local sales tax side.  Eventually, cities like, Seattle, start to drive out new business with their exorbitant local option sales taxes..,.

And if you really want to see some of the worst taxes in the country, look at the metropolitan utility districts of Texas. Gawd-awful.

Anyway, since I may get Chester Industrie going, it’s laughable to see the dimwits trying to deal their own broke states into another tax and spend scheme.

When government wants to “expand it’s partnership role” with tax grabs like this – instead of taxing the human job-killing machines upstream…it shows you how little these people – many of whom have never worked a day in their sorry lives in the Real World – know about the country they are pretending to govern.  Around the corner and up your tax, types.

(Hmmm…anyone I haven’t offended yet?)

Where was we….ah…over here:

Housing Starts

Just out from Census this morning:

If you prefer verbose?  (*Boy, did YOU come to the right place, or what?)

Building Permits Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,298,000. This is 5.7 percent (±0.7 percent) below the revised January rate of 1,377,000, but is 6.5 percent (±2.4 percent) above the February 2017 rate of 1,219,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at a rate of 872,000; this is 0.6 percent (±0.9 percent)* below the revised January figure of 877,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 385,000 in February.

Housing Starts Privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,236,000. This is 7.0 percent (±16.7 percent)* below the revised January estimate of 1,329,000 and is 4.0 percent (±12.2 percent)* below the February 2017 rate of 1,288,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 902,000; this is 2.9 percent (±10.8 percent)* above the revised January figure of 877,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 317,000.

Housing Completions Privately-owned housing completions in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,319,000. This is 7.8 percent (±14.8 percent)* above the revised January estimate of 1,224,000 and is 13.6 percent (±16.0 percent)* above the February 2017 rate of 1,161,000. Single-family housing completions in February were at a rate of 895,000; this is 3.0 percent (±10.6 percent)* above the revised January rate of 869,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 418,000. “

I’d look for things to remain somewhat even-keeled until we see if the market will allow the Fed to raise any more this year.

They’re between a rock and a hard spot next week for the FOMC because it’s great to have a bubbly stock market and repatriation of Apple dough from the Tax Reform sounds good – and sure, let’s clean off the balance sheet at all…

But, how long in all this money flood back to the US before some foreign bank bites the big one and sets off the Global Panic?  We shall see.


While waiting for the industrial production and utilization report things were slightly red.

I look for the market to be somewhat down – toward the close.

Meantime, we see the old Dow record 26,616 and change is STILL 350-points from a new high by our 55-day mark.

As of this morning, though, the odds of another year of upside are about even.  The risk the Crash repeats right here, right now is 52.5% using my incredibly convoluted way of thinking.

What could drive it?


You should keep tabs on the story about how the US is now, for the first time, blaming the Russians for attacks on the US power grid.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see some REAL Russian hacker prowess demonstrated in response.  A kind of “No, if we had, it would feel like this…” from Putski et al.  Telling you, having worked with Ukrainian contract programmers, you’d be hard-pressed to find better in Seattle, for example.

They aren’t “good” – they’re awesome and not to be trifled with.

Sometimes, I think the whole pseudo-battle over Ukraine was less about the warm water port than about software HR…Eastern Europe (Poland east) is hot with grand programmers.

Oh, sure, and Chinese spoofing the ruskies, too.  Plausible de-what-ability?

More at Feds: Russian Hackers Are Attacking U.S. Power Plants.

I checked with our source warhammer – a former oak leafy type  – who’s active in this area:

No surprise here.  It’s been a poorly kept secret that much of America’s critical internet-based infrastructure has been compromised since the get-go.

I was involved in a meeting back in 2000 in which the National Security Agency expressed concern that systems once analog, which had network tech overlaid upon them (e.g. power and water distribution systems), had exploitable flaws which were totally unknown.  The rub was how to identify those security flaws.  Essentially, the answer is to pay hackers to find them.

Russia, China, the Norks and Israel all seem to have done precisely this.  In effect, the Internet boom of the 90s was a modern equivalent of a Trojan Horse.  We’ve since fully embraced an initially non-secure technology, trying to overlay security on top when it should have been baked-in in the first place.  But adding security made networking difficult, less marketable.  So we fully accepted pumping out innovation with exploitable flaws.  Sadly, history shows there is a  price to be paid for such narrow-mindedness.

I fully believe Putin could turn elements of American infrastructure dark with the proverbial flip of a switch.  That is quite dramatic, so instead, the mere threat of doing so provides negotiating power.

This is the anvil hanging over technology’s head.  It is not as secure as we hope and are often led to believe.”

And when comes to “bit-measuring” contests between Trump and Putin, let’s just say those could be a stormy sessions.

Speaking of Which

See the George Nader story in the Sacto Bee.  They headline “Mueller witness is convicted pedophile with shadowy past.”

Reward POOR Performance?

Deutsche Bank boosts bonuses to 2.3 billion euros despite bigger 2017 loss.

Gotta send them my resume – I can piss money away like crazy and I don’t even need a co-CEO to help.

Awrightthen – Moron Monday!

48 thoughts on “Crash Odds Down Slightly – Tax Robotics?”

  1. “rank and file in Detroit are displaced”

    People overlook the rank and file in Detroit have been displaced, more than once. During the last displacement Bush gave them a blank check so they could pretend a little longer – we got 96 month car notes and more diluted purchasing power.

    (I know you, me and the other readers here would never finance a car for 96 months. But the others outside this forum who do finance for 96 months set the general price level for us.)

    “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” – George W. Bush

    The ‘robots’ have been here considering the excess labor America has.

    Lear Corporation is to open a new plant in Flint, MI. Total jobs will be 435.

    I happen to know someone who went to apply for a production job there. The line to apply for one of the 100 production jobs was over 2,000 people at late morning. That’s a lot of gators scrubbing for $13.85 per hour.

    100-plus available Lear jobs in Flint starting at $13.85 per hour

    But on the other hand, Flint, MI has a lot of homes under the 50K mark so “affordable housing” is everywhere. :)

    America can’t compete becasue of that first bailout decades ago.

    • You hit the nail on the head. EXCESS LABOR. There are nearly 7 billion people in the world today and tens of millions are heading to the western countries. Robots aside, we are not in a world anymore that uses massive amounts of unskilled labor. Automation/Technology does more with less…that’s the paradigm, HOWEVER, someone forgot to turn the baby machines off in the last century so now we have billions of people in a world where technology does what….more with less….less jobs that is. So, unless you want to be competing with your children and grandchildren for jobs…..

    • OOOPS.. I am one of the bottom feeders that has to finance a car for 96 months and at a higher rate of interest.
      they get you.. you have to have dependable transportation to and from a job.. they figure you can pay x dollars.. for those that make 13.00 an hour.. guaranteed they won’t get a loan for a fifty grand house( at least the banks here won’t ).. instead they will be sent to an apartment complex. Now if they have anything on their credit.. oops.. wrong again.. you don’t qualify for a normal apartment you are sent to see the slum lords.. where an apartment that would normally be considered trash a fire hazard rat trap etc.. well they rent those out for double or triple what a normal apartment would cost. For years I couldn’t get a loan for a roll of toilet paper.. what happened to me was my boss had an issue we paid for our health care insurance and we had the cards.. but I discovered when my son fell out of a tree and sent a branch through his chest and had to have a surgeon fly across the country to fix.. that it wasn’t any good.. the home insurance the same thing.. disability insurance don’t waste your money on them.. they are great if you have a broken arm but if something serious happens.. forget it.. bend over grab your ankles and learn to twerk for the insurance company cause its coming.. anyway the doctors expenses etc.. the month or so in the hospital amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.. you couldn’t get an apartment.. you had to settle for a slum lord.. you were in the depths of labor.. I have stood in those lines.. heaven help you if you are between the ages of fifty to sixty five to.. that is even worse..
      I have done jobs that most people would cringe at.. the loss of manufacturing jobs is a massive issue.. one that if it doesn’t affect you then you don’t know.. a person sees an issue and you are sympathetic with the person going through it.. for years I took care of people in severe pain and health conditions. all that time I thought I understood what they were going through. I have had my share of the devils walk.. then when it hit me.. I realized.. I didn’t have a clue.
      that is why I get so frustrated with people that are prepping for hell to come visit.. excuse me.. we don’t know what it is like.. we have not had hell visit since the civil war. a single mom working at a restaurant or in some other service position or labor position cannot survive on thirteen dollars an hour.. go in for a loan the banker will laugh at you.. they know.. rent lets say the fifty thousand dollar house.. there will be at least a thousand dollars in taxes.. a hundred a month. the five hundred dollar loan payment.. then the garbage. there is another twenty a month or more.. the electricity the sewer and water.. the insurance.. the car payment.. traveling expenses.. you are now touching two grand a month or close.. that isn’t even considering food.. now with that income your banker knows you cannot absorb any debt.. credit cards now.. they will dump a ton of them on everyone.. which is what is happening now.. eventually plastic will run out.. and if they cut social programs without giving any livable alternative.. well that will be the crash when hell comes to visit.

  2. Another example of the deterioration of american manufacturing power & the loss of jobs is GE. How low can GE stock go before it is attractive again…a company that was once a shining example of American industry & economic power. With its massive debt and assets sales draining future earnings, not to mention the potential elimination of its dividend in its entirety, my guess is around $1.00 to $2.00, especially if the market has a severe correction. But profits are a long way off as GE slowly reverses its financial mess including a lack of intelligent management. Over the last 7 years instead of paying off debt, it purchased about $42 billion of its own stock all before its stock crashed. Like GM they became fat & happy & spent more time patting themselves on the back instead of running a successful business, just Like the politicians in Washington, DC. This is another sad state of affairs that is taking the GREAT out of Trump’s MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

    • GE has not produced much of anything for years. They became a financial organization and licensed its logo to a bunch of foreign manufacturers just to trick the boomers into thinking they were getting quality goods.

  3. The main reason to replace humans with robots is paying no taxes on labor, that is a fact. What I do not get is all productivity reports show productivity goes down when AI,and robots take over. It leads me to believe robots and machines can never replace the human factor. As I learned at the beginning of the computer age,computers make mistakes,and robots require constant repair and maintenance. For robots,like humans,power is strength,when cut off,they fall,like puppets with cut strings.

    • When automation is installed HUMAN productivity goes down, because they do not lay off the human workers immediately, there are a certain number kept around to fine tune the robots.

      In a company, more workers laid off raises the productivity numbers, and logically/theoretically the highest productivity number occurs when all workers are laid off.

    • The main thing is our taxes as an artificial intinti we don’t need taxes to survive none nada no no taxes

      • Why do we have to pay back into a system when the system artificially creates all the money that we need to operate our system sounds like a gang Mafia Rothschild Vatican conglomerate

      • I’m sorry if shining light on the subject test strips everybody’s middle metabolism of how the going to wake up in the morning but truth is out there why would you want to pay someone money or tax money when you live on this island and you create your own existence and these people who think they have the right to come in and the man you pay them and they want you to become the slaves know I say put those people out do not let them into your life if you do then destroy it because they’ll take control over it completely monetarily as you are I have seen and our experience think this thing called you put a label on it go ahead and area

      • The Vatican specialty is called


        That’s a double magic lantern arrange to combine to images of the same object or seen or used to bring one image after another on the screen by the alternative use of the lanterns a projection lantern.

        Which means

    • Of course productivity goes down. “Productivity” is a labor statistic. A fully-automated factory will have a “staff” of three humans: A foreman, a repairman, and an inspector. The inspector will double-check finished product, and so be working 100% of the time. The foreman is salaried, and so not figured into the data. The repairman is a necessary presence, but is likely to hardly ever work. Therefore, in an automated workplace, “productivity” will drop into the neighborhood of 50%. Don’t confuse “productivity” with “production.”

      With CAR or CCR, production costs go down, uniformity and consistency go up, as does net efficiency. Manufacturing errors go down, but given a sufficiently well-written codeset, they go to zero.

      Computers and robots don’t make mistakes, they exaggerate human error. Until the maturation of fuzzy logic and AI, a machine will not even be capable of deviation from its instruction set. Before AI, any “error” will always be on the programming side — i.e. a human error.

      How much maintenance do the robots on the automated line at the Hyundai/Kia factory require? I’m honestly not sufficiently motivated to try to dig the data up, but it might be of interest to this discussion. What I do know is H-K went from a “junk Korean automobile” to a vehicle lineup which rivals Toyota in long-term reliability, and Mercedes and Lexus in amenities and initial build quality, in less than 10 years, and for half the price. If it ain’t the ‘bot builders, how’d they do it?

      • That’s swell for manufactured goods. Does not even come close to working in ag, in a system that works with nature and puts carbon in the soil.

        Robots are not sustainable, in that they use lots of energy on materials to construct.

        A consumption tax on all goods consumed would put humans in the same realm of cost of production as automated systems.

        But back to the initial point automation wants consistency. Nature does not provide that and monocropping produce less food than layered/integrates cropping systems.

      • John, never underestimate the ability of motivated kiddies to figure out means of mechanizing anything. If it saves time or up-front labor, someone will figure out how to drill and plant a sidehill (or any other difficult field), then groom and harvest it. Marketing it to farmers isn’t their department. As soon as someone convinces Deere they can cheapen the build, then sell their machinery at cost and make a killing on spares, like the auto industry, there’ll be robots to do damn’ near everything ag. It won’t be better, but it will make farming an 8-hour job, and then it’ll sell…

  4. “shouldn’t there be some quid pro quo from the Factory Owners who just removed several thousand primary jobs ”

    No. Why should anyone be a factory owner if installing factory equipment means the government will put a gun to his head and demand the vig.

    What’s to stop people like you from demanding taxes any time any kind of intelligent machine is sent to do the jobs that humans suck at? What about replacing a crew of surveyors with a single drone that flies via intelligent software? Is that a robot? It just replaced 5 guys who take forever, are not accurate, and need to pee.

    Every technological disruption causes increased productivity. This is no different, and until you can prove it’s different, you just sound like a buggy whip salesman.

    • Phil, your logic is seriously flawed:

      When you write “Why should anyone be a factory owner if installing factory equipment means the government will put a gun to his head and demand the vig.”

      Goverment vig doesn’t stop ANYONE. Take farmers, for example. Your principle here would read “Why should plant fields if planting seeds means the government will put a gun to his head and demand the vig.”

      They DO demand vig and they get it EVERY TIME.

      It’s a crooked system – but no one owns the land, or even the right to use it without the vig. Gert back to me when you have your own Army, Air Force, and Navy, not to mention a puppet congress to makder more equitable laws….

      • where’s that little thumbs up clicker thing on this blog where we can just kick it . like yeah I agree I give you a thumbs up on that one

  5. Folks, this Russia stuff is bunk. All this stuff is setting-up for a grand false flag and perhaps a war. Yes Russia could hack power grids, but they have no reason to antagonize a country that is already trying to ‘get the goods’ on them by outright lies. I have never scene a full court press as hard as the deep state is putting on Russia. I can only speculate that they are worried about a major financial collapse and must cover their tracks with a war.

    • Then you need to pull the newspapers leading up to WWII and see how they demonized Germany. Same propaganda, same process, same owners of the presses, the movies, the tv stations, the radio stations, all of it. Same press for war. What they want, they get, they just need to ‘convince’ the population, which they have been working on full speed ahead now, to support it. WARN your military age family and friends (beginning with those about 8 years old), warn them so they can make an informed decision, at the time, about going to yet another war to destroy more innocent people and do the dirty for TPTB. I see the draft coming, they will want to be knowledgeable about how to avoid that as well.

  6. “Here’s where the (stupid) GOP gets it wrong: Should I, as an internet-based “product” producer, have to pay “sales tax” to New York?
    The (dimwits) will argue yes, if the product is consumed in New York,”

    Perfect example.. a Product in the USA should pay tax if it is consumed in another state.. yet they will argue that it isn’t fair to other countries if we tax the goods and serviced that our industrial leaders have outsourced to increase their bottom line.. by putting our working class out of work. then complain that about how the big industrial cities have decayed into wastelands that look quite a bit similar to a city in another country that is affected by war so that the very few can make more money to bolster up their bank accounts that they keep hidden so they don’t have to pay taxes on the wealth they have generated..
    a perfect example..

  7. There is absolutely nothing manufactured in America that cannot be purchased more cheaply from a foreign source, period.

    The Chinese can reverse engineer any product in less than 90 days, and produce it at the quality level the customer is willing to pay for, using labor at half the cost by an industry taxed at 10% of the USA levels. Think about this often and long. The Chinese are even more competitive on high quality goods, but Americans do not know this, simply because Americans cannot afford that level of quality, and that includes American corporations. China is even replacing japan as a source of quality goods worldwide.

    When the reset is over, USA wages will be equal to Chinese wages, and if you don’t know how much that is you should look it up or just hold your opinions.

    Prison labor will be a primary factor in making America competitive again, and if you don’t know how much that is, look that up too. Prisoners are subsidized to the tune of $30-40k per year with your tax dollars.

    I was mentored by a senior VP of a GM division. Back in 1980 GM factory workers were costing GM more than $100k per year with benefits and retirement. With today’s tax structure, taxes and medical would eat half of that.

    • How do you change that how do you change that exactly X-Pac how would you change that so that it’s all equivalent do you have any idea

    • You’ve never worked with tools, have you? Chinese mild (generic) steel is nearly comparable to ours, or anyone else’s — it’s slightly more-crystalline and brittle, but not bad for structural steel that’s not subject to fatigue.

      Their tool steel is garbage.

      It doesn’t matter whether that wrench says “Snap-On” and costs $42, or “Crescent” and costs $16, or has a generic label and costs $2. The Chinese haven’t figured out how to mix the chromium, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, and whatever else a specific tool alloy requires; they haven’t figured out how to temper or harden it, and they haven’t figured out how to make a forging that’s not crystalline, brittle, and soft.

      The Chinese do three things better than anyone else: Silk, porcelain china, and LED illumination (although their switches suck.)

      I agree they can produce stuff that’s at a quality level people are willing to pay for. We, as consumers, have been programmed over the last 50-60 years, to accept pretty, fashionable stuff which is absolute junk, and not recognize stuff which is quality. The Chinese are perfectly capable of manufacturing end-user product to this level, and for cheap, but they are incapable of producing hand or machine tools, blades, fasteners, or transport devices of a quality suitable for mission-critical applications, at any price.

      Barring a deflationary depression (which is actually likely), American wages will never be the same as Chinese, nor German wages the same as American. They may reach purchasing power parity on the world stage, but not numerical parity. Proles are stupid or ignorant — sometimes both. They look at numbers, not value.

      BTW my grouse is not with Chinese products. I buy my share, but I buy them at a price which accurately reflects their value. My complaint is with notably inferior Chinese product which is marketed at a price comparable to fine or extraordinary quality American, German, Swedish, or Swiss product – especially product sporting a label formerly associated with a quality product. It is a form of “false advertising” which I find unacceptable. I should think, based on your background, you would also…

      • Thank you; that is what I see, crap marketed as quality. When I want quality, I shop Estate Sales.

      • As do I, and I also do yard sales and “junk” pawnshops (the fancy pawnshops have shiny new tools that’re crap.) What’s scary is I routinely talk to fabbers, welders, machinists, etc., and they also shop second hand now when they need a tool that neither Matco nor S-K make.

        p.s. My Vice-Grips say “Petersen” on the side, and have hard jaws…

  8. Hey G, how about them Bitcoins? How long did it take to clear your recent ETF short trade?? Three days, no? Bitcoin clears in minutes, and the cash is in the bank the same day. Debunked. Easily lost..more FUD, no one has ever lost a Bitcoin, thrown out old computers with legacy BTC stored in “paper” wallet,yes,sent to wrong address -sure. Debunked. How is the Short ETF’s performed the past 2 years ? Better off “investing” in air me thinks.
    Because Bitcoins are the “dirt” the (“tulips” = Tokens) grow in, there really is no end in sight.

    As the late Russel Bernard once said..”All misery in the world is a business plan.”

    The $2458 BTC price back in June 15, 2017 was a bargin, only a 225% gain based off todays low of $8000.00
    Buy The F-ing Dip..and prosper.

  9. The NASDAQ 100 showed some weakness today after recent strong performance following the downturn at the beginning of Feb. Probably just consolidating the gains. So for FANG stock holders, expect to see a loss in your account today, but an extraordinary comeback from the Feb lows.

  10. Putin probably could.. I. Don’t think he would in less forced to though.
    I think he has a level of integrity that he isn’t being given credit for.
    Russia s only in what four countries and each one of them reached out for his help.
    I am less worried about that than I am with the puppet masters chess game playing both sides against the other for personal gain.

    • Mr. Putin does not have integrity, as we’ve come to accept its meaning. What he HAS is “loyalty” — a deep, burning loyalty to “Mother Russia” which probably defies comprehension by the vast majority of Westerners. Putin will take our indignities, just or unjust, standing up, because they don’t impede his vision for Russia’s future.

      If we get into a set-to with China, Iran, Korea, or another of Russia’s allies, Putin will keep Russia carefully neutral if he can, because of efficiency and a knowledge of history, not integrity or decency.

      We became the world’s preeminent power by remaining neutral until the remainder of the participants in WW-I had exhausted their money, capacity, and resources. When the party was over, the U.S. was the only “game in town,” and we became the “company store” for the ROW.

      [I wonder if George has figured this into his ’20s replay projections?
      — I’d bet he has…]

      Were we to go to war with Russia, the FSB’s counterpart to our NSA would take out our gas, electric, water, and transportation grids in a millisecond, as much as they could, and before the EMP devices even launched.

  11. I am sorry I get little many many laborers I had no control over my situation.
    Most my life a vacation was an 8 hr. Day.. Most of my was 90 plus.. And one hellatious year of 140 plus hours a week working off a hospital bill.
    So I sometimes get a little flustered. Mostly because people really don’t have clue.

  12. Such fuzzy thinking. If a robot replaces an assembly line worker, what does AWS replace? You all don’t even know the difference.

    • In short order, AWS (which we assume you’re referring to Amazon Web Services) will be largely an AI hosting in the cloud tool – that will replace even more humans.
      You may not be tracking on scaling.
      A man with an axe can fall a tree.
      A man with a knife can produce a carving of a car.
      A man with a 100-ton press can produce a car body panel.
      A man with a 3D printer can produce all the parts save the casting and those come down the AI line… and tooling? Direct AI to mold-making EDM (look it up).
      A man with an AI platform owns everything above and makes more…
      From a policy standpoint, the guy with the axe was taxed on his income. The guys with AI?

  13. We have never seen war.

    Even during the War between the States, there were vast tracts of the U.S. which war never touched. We’ve never experienced that which Europe twice did last century — essentially a “Sherman’s March” across an entire continent:

    Where every town is devastated, every civilian displaced,
    where pillage, rape, and murder are commonplace and inconsequential,
    where every meal becomes a struggle, and each new day, both a blessing and a curse.

    That war could come to our shores is the “unintended consequence” of which none of the damn’ warhawks, like McCain and Graham (and Hillary, BTW), accept the possibility. “War-talk” bores me. Idiots like these in positions of considerable influence, give me pause with respect to the savvy of the Primary voters in their respective States…

    • I don’t want to see one in the USA either..
      It is easy to sit in your magic chair and yell at a coach because if he did this he could have won the game.. the player.. heck if he moved like that he could have caught that pass.. or read a book on how to survive hell..
      the shock of reality of a real SHTF scenario is a whole different story.
      there is an old saying that goes..
      There was a television show on the Green channel a few years ago.. thirty days.. anyway it took people of means that had never experienced a lifestyle.. like one of one of their laborers etc.. and they had to go into the world and live for either thirty days or ninety days.. without using any of their influence or connections or their cash.. they canceled it after one season.. because it was to hard for them to do it and most would quit midway through the test..

      • IMO were they to take random 20-30yos, of any social or income strata (except Amish or Old Order Mennonite), they’d get the same result. The vast majority of people in developed nations no longer know how to work, or to survive, and I believe in an EOTWAWKI situation many would choose to lay down and die, rather than learn…

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