“The 100-Year Toaster”–Ch. 14

Addicted to Accounting is the focus of this Chapter. Conventions, depreciation, and the time-value of money may be driving toward unsustainable and anti-environmental outcomes.   A journal entry for delusion?  Or a T-account for Depletion?

Because as we look at what much of the world is doing wrong (high non-renewable resource burn rates for one), accounting’s curious ways of “valuing technology” becomes a focus.  Accountancy has helped shape consumption and idealize product lifespans..

We will lay it out after a few weekend headlines and our ChartPack…

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16 thoughts on ““The 100-Year Toaster”–Ch. 14”

  1. 30K DOW coming soonly ..’sky rockets in flight” – “dam the torpedos and full speed ahead” – let the bronco buck!
    C’mon G its the blowoff – and you R talking caution – caution! Go Long brother Go Long w/20%Sell Stop – the Fed has Ure back baby.

    Used to think it was Turtles holding up the World – the coot was wrong, again,its the FED holding up the World. China has their own Deep Problems, while back in the motherland, Vlad has Ruskies going steady.. math still says Sunspot this month..

    Funny U mention $3000 BTC price or going to Zero. Coot will be backing up the truck at $3000-$3500 level..buybuybuy – like the coots entire retirement account!

    Shorting BTC’s is one of the most dangerous games to play in Finance-imho – Crypto exchanges are like the wild west – pretty much unregulated markets – and like any other Rigged Market (precious metals/Stocks/bonds/commodities) if U dont have Physical Possession of Asset – U dont have SQUAT!

    • One “seer” out there says BTC will bottom out toward the end of January and into February in the sub-$4000 range and then bumble along until the start of Summer when, basically, a hockey stick trace on the chart will ensue. They made it sound interesting so I went in search of a video on YouTube about getting started in cryptos. Found one by Crypto Casie, or something like that, made it about half way through and said to Hell with it. If some kid in his mom’s basement in Crimea is going to steal something that valuable that easily from me then I’m much more in favor of making the little s**t work for it and come over HERE and try to steal it from people that are still allowed to have guns … BIG guns, and then shed a little sweat carrying my treasure off.

      The case can be made that the banks are going to go all in with this blockchain concept as they try and force us all to go cashless – mainly to track all transactions and expose our lives fully to TPTB. We’re almost there with our debit cards. The only thing they fear is, if they try to pull on us what they did in India and declare all of our C-notes worthless after a certain date, they don’t want us going “Lebanon” on them. People get nasty when you take their life savings away from them and give nothing in return. It’s almost a fait accompli with the inflation we’ve seen since 1913, though. We have very little of the US$’s value left that we’ve been forced to save in all of our lives. Cryptos will be accepted more when the infrastructure is in place to use them but we’re not there yet and if it takes the mind of a smart little Crypto Casey just to get started then it’s going to be a long slog to making them ubiquitous.

    • To add to the nit picking, & I may be way off base because I always don’t pay attention, the first electric POP UP toaster was made in 1919, making it 100 years old. I have not been able to find any 1919 models available for sale or in working condition. Most of the old ones don’t work unless they are restored. I found a restored 1928 one on eBay. I do not consider a toaster a toaster unless it is pop up, otherwise it is a grill.

      What am I trying to say: The name can’t be the 100 year toaster, unless I missed something.

  2. I wonder if some countries might ban Crypto currency mining to “prevent climate change”? The energy costs of crypto currency mining are high. The other issue is that governments might at some point be ready to issue their own crypto currencies. I wonder if some countries might then issue a ban on possession of “illegal crypto currency” to fight “money laundering”?

    • 110 percent…..prognosticator…..now if you knew 6 numbers next tuesday or saturday…. then …all else would be ‘moot’

    • Banning anything just raises the price. Anyone with resistive heating in their house can swap in a couple of GPU’s and seek hashes while creating the same amount of heat. I’ve not done it for several reasons, including up front effort I don’t have time for, and that there are far more efficient(per dollar) heating methods.

      There are many requirements for spinning reserve power generation. Using that power for cryptos is fine if the processors can suspend at any time. The same is true for solar that has no immediate use and all batteries are full. I’m still not sure where the real value of cryptos is other than the ease of value transfer between nations(or even domestically) and the privacy factor. Both of these are real values, but as a store of wealth, I don’t quite see it.

      While using surplus power works well for mining, it’s far less useful for the transaction verification phase. This is the real flaw in cryptos, IMHO.

    • The energy costs of mining gold & silver are high also. It is all relative & Con Ed would approve of the high energy cost to mine crypto’s. A Country’s currency is backed by their taxing powers. Cryptos are backed by good intentions. Which one would you rather own? Take Lebanon for instance. Once they had a thriving tourist industry & prosperity with individuals able to pay taxes. Today it is war torn & their currency virtually worthless, which will be the eventual fate of bitcoin.

  3. I’m sure your consig is a nice guy, but I immediately think “Ferengi” when I hear the word accountant. Sorry.

    The costs for minerals, fuels, water, and atmosphere are built into the costs of producing goods. If society does not believe the users of such are appreciating the value of such, it has a tool called taxes to control their consumption. The best way to save something is to make it too expensive to destroy (or transform).

    Waiting 20 years to buy a toaster when you need one now is ridiculous. We are blessed to live in a nation that can take opportunity costs (alternative solutions) for granted. Accountants rank up there with the investing and insurance wonks who live to make simple things difficult. I think of my family as a small company depreciating over 85 years and I simply measure what comes in against what goes out, maximizing the first and minimizing the second. Seems to be working very well so far. It’s no accident that most self-help books on acquiring wealth emphasize the same method — the trick to accumulating money is to simply not spend any.

    And you hit the nail on the head in the beginning of the column about investing. It is a problem trying to determine where to invest for any reliable rate of return anymore. Maybe we need smaller, local stock exchanges to bridge the gap between rolling the money into the castle versus rolling it into the national (and increasingly global) economy.

  4. dam.. I had an odd thing happen today.. a friend to our new friend staying with us.. stopped by to visit him.. our new friends wife got sick.. the hospital she worked at of course let her go since she could’t perform her job.. she lost her insurance.. they took everything..
    so anyway this guy stops by to visit and it comes out that his wife has a long term illness.. but was able to do basics.. fell.. broke a bone.. ended up in a medical facility.. at the beginning rate of ten grand a month plus.. besides personal items and medical expenses.. room and board..
    they own a large amount of land.. but the costs are at the point where the income from that land is less than what is going out.. he is about a year away from loosing everything.. and of course the nursing facility doesn’t care if he survives..
    He asked if we had an extra bedroom if it comes to that.. and he didn’t know what to do.. I unfortunately don’t have anymore extra bedrooms.. and I don’t have a clue what he can do.. since we all end up in the same position in the end.. I could only say. that medical facilities are full of fresh divorcee’s.. they end up getting a divorce so they can retain enough to survive.. the medical facilities still get half of everything..
    I felt bad for him..

    • For 10 GRAND a month, IF his wife is moveable, he can take her home, buy a used electrical or manual lift bed off of Craigslist or whatever local place you have, set up his wife comfortably in a room in his OWN house. Use his monthly budget that is now back in the BLACK column and hire people to come in and help him care for his wife. Contact his church, get help there, too. He needs to quit the hemorrhaging right now! Look, it is not that hard to care for a sick person! Yes, I said it! The key is to get set up to be successful! (I am not talking about 24 hour coma patients although there was a woman in Florida who cared for her daughter, who was in a diabetic coma for over 30 years she was fed by a feeding tube and her Mother changed her and then re positioned her every two hours)….I am also not talking about patients that are on life support, breathing, etc. But, someone who is elderly and who has broken a bone and doesn’t need to be in the nursing facility anymore, and is not eligible for any rehab programs needs to be brought home! Then you set up THREE stations. Station 1: BEDROOM: diapers if needed, wipes, bed, sheets, towels, clothing, etc. 2nd Station: BATHROOM: where the person gets to clean up, even if she just gets a french bath, but if you get help, she can sit on a shower chair, and get a bath that way. Have diapers if needed, wipes, all necessities including toothbrush, etc. I have purchased Walkers at garage sales and there are also inexpensive wheel chairs available plus toilet seats that add height to the toilet . Station 3: LIVING ROOM: Lift Chair (many sold used), diaper, wipes, station, and a porta potty (also can buy used). This is what we did for my parents, and both of them were severely 24 hour assist, one with Parkinson’s and the other one with brain cancer. Once this man gets a plan and a schedule, people can help him NOW before he loses everything. Unless his wife is beyond getting her out of that nursing home, there is no reason for him to lose everything. If she’s that sick, she may be eligible for hospice AT HOME. Where is the rest of his family? DOES HE HAVE ANY FAMILY? These 3 stations are set up to a) get the patient up each day, allow them their morning dignities, b) get them to the living room or kitchen for breakfast and meals, c) have them stay as long as possible in the living room, to have a normal routine. IF they are too sick to leave the bed, you make the bedroom nice enough for the day routines and meals. IF she can’t eat, and is using a feeding tube, you can still learn how to manage that – WE DID VERY SUCCESSFULLY. He can give her her medications, home-health nurses can come into the home and monitor her. She may recover faster and better at home.

      LOOB; your stories are great, your details are lacking. I just don’t see throwing away a whole life time of work and planning to just plan to throw it all away without planning!


      • .02 cents…
        I commend you on taking care of your parents.. Parkinson’s and brain cancer can be quite a challenge..
        We did discuss those options.. he to is elderly and yes a stand aid or medi lift are great items..
        A few years ago I was sure I was on the way out.. my body was five times it’s normal size and I was mottled over my whole lower extremities.. the look in the mirror was the look of death.. working in the medical field since before you got paid to do it I had seen that look many thousands of times. The adjustment was also horrendous.. I went from working a hundred plus hours a day to nothing. My wife sacrificed her time and energy caring for me. I got the medilift and the stand aid the bidets on every toilet tub lifts and wheelchair accessible shower..the hand rails etc.. i dont have a stand assist we which is what he would need..400 new.. the govt price is over 4000.00
        The issue is raised is 24 hour care.
        What surprised us was you cant own anything..if you have it it has to be spent..I now get around with a cane and thank god I found George’s site.. a professor friend suggested I discover george ure.. and thank god I did. It kept my.mind busy..
        His problem is in several areas.. his home is an older one narrow hallways and bathroom that isnt wheelchair accessible. She would require 24 hour assistance because she has ms. Since the shots she has to have weekly are over 5000 00 a week.. not covered by any insurance company. The motor scooter.. the one they wanted him to buy is five grand I showed him where he can get them for six hundred..
        They price your insurance higher to to get you off of the plans..that’s why we will be paying an extra couple hundred a month starting January..and next year they will boost it again..since it doubled from last years increase my guess is it will be for a four hundred a month increase..only time will tell..

        I swore I’d never put my wife through it again..I would get a divorce and move into a facility. Mostly because I couldn’t expect anyone to give up their life for mine. I seen what a struggle it was for her..physically and mentally.
        Our new friend.. great guy..his wife was a nurse she got sick the hospital let her go..they got her off the I insurance took their farm and all his belongings everything gone..when he came to us all he had was his clothes. Hes been living in our spare room almost five months now.. before him my friend was a top engineer for the oil companies designed big offshore oil platforms..because he had to give testimony and he didnt lie.. he to lost everything.
        Eventually we all will be there.
        The days when the sons and daughters took care of mom and dad are long gone. Today they have to work multiple jobs to survive. They mean well .. when I started going blind.. ( yup they suspected neuro myelitis optica) everyone was coming out of the woodwork offering to read to me ( yes the stuff I read would bore them to death ) but realistically I know it wouldn’t work out..
        He is right where its designed he should be.
        In the end we all will leave what is left is a couple of boxes of assorted treasures a few photos and the memories of what you stood for.

      • Hundred plus hours a week.. not a day lol.. I was working two full time jobs at two medical facilities and stocking shelves at a grocery store part time..

        Then I just couldn’t walk.. I thought it was an arthritis problem from when I fell thirty feet and got busted up real bad.. unfortunately it was much worse than that..

      • Unfortunately 02 is it is designed so that we leave with nothing..only a select few will.. our medications are thousands of percent higher than other countries.. our medical industry has gone nuts since deregulation .. so has insurance.. the only good thing about obamacare was that they made is so you cannot berefused.. it didn’t gaurantee that they couldn’t price gouge you into not having it..
        If your uninsured your still sent to the ER where it will cost you a minimum of a grand.. and the part D often times will not cover ambulance services if you are not admitted.. for a helecopter to just lift off is what twelve grand.. not counting the miles and how long.. get real sick and watch what happens.. of course policies in your area may be different than what is offered in our area.. which I say .. open the borders.. a policy in the UK should be able to sell here in the USA a policy in texas should be available in New York.. etc.. open the borders for pharmaceuticals.. there shouldn’t be any reason why there is over a thousand percent charged here than there.. or more.. make it a serious offense to discriminate.. a policy should be sold to everyone for the same price.. now basic policy a should be the same then sell riders. want plastic surgery.. buy this package addition.. etc.. make it illegal to price gouge.. same price for everyone.. if it goes up it goes up.. but then that won’t happen as long as the lobbyists keep making it beneficial to keep things the way they are now..
        I had thought about the countries that we can move to that offer inexpensive healthcare yet we can keep our SS benefits.. I watched a show on sixty minutes once where elderly couple were living like kings off of it.. only most of the old migrate to lower texas or up the upper borders so they can cross over to buy medications.. from what I have been told the savings is so great it pays for the whole stay in texas through the winter months..
        I use to have them bring back stuff.. like a bar of soap for a nickle where here its over a dollar a bar.. stuff like that..

  5. “…a time when we need to see some “creative destruction” of jobs and insanely complicated Tax Codes”

    ‘Won’t work. “Creative destruction of jobs without an accompanying physical destruction of the formerly-employed, increases the dole, with a corresponding increase in governmental regulation and bureaucracy to manage the increase, and a corresponding decrease in the tax base and personal freedom. This is why wars are always good for an economy. They stimulate the economy and kill off superfluous jobs, but they also kill off the most-enthusiastic breeders and a segment of the workforce.

    Insanely-complicated tax codes, limits the number of people who’re capable of doing the tax paperwork and also the avenues by which the taxpayer can submit their completed tax return. It’d be a boon to Harvey Silverglate though, because he could come out with an updated bestseller called “300 Felonies a Day…”

    I’ve never cared for the concept of depreciation. No matter the method or approach, all types seem like they’re nothing more than an exercise in mental masturbation for accountants, designed to complicate p/l statements and tax codes, and not really necessary for anything except boardroom propaganda and as justification for having a tax accountant on-payroll…

    I also don’t care for the Mpls Fed’s calculator except as a “quick & dirty” starting point, because inflation is nowhere close to linear, either along a timeline or across different product lines.

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