Bits and Pieces – 20170224, Friday

Commentary: I had come to the point of thinking that writing and presenting factual material had little value other than to myself – which is why I continue to do so. In conversations with people I had noticed that when presented with facts contrary to their position they seemed to back off but fail to change their position. Here’s support for that observation: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds. To note: “Once formed, impressions are remarkably perseverant.” This points to our early life as the formative stage for many of our narratives about the world. It also shows the danger the school system poses when it strays beyond the 3 Rs.

The writer notes “People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people.” This is due to the sociability nature of our species. The application of this principle to current events (Trump) is enlightening since”as a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding,” but from what we hear from friends and read in the MSM, particularly if it reinforces what we already believe we know (confirmation bias).


On another topic, robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) is the most important aspect of our economy in terms of social disruption and change. The assembly line robots of the twentieth century are still there, but RAAI is about to lay waste to sectors of the service industry: A warning from Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking.  The videos are entertaining and they reveal a need for human workers alongside the automation – just not as many. In fact add in the losses in the transportation industry (trucking, taxi) coming with autonomous vehicles, the loss in the financial services sector as AI systems replace tellers and financial advisors and you get a social catastrophe.

Social support systems like EI and welfare will collapse under the pressure of the millions of new unemployed and unemployable. The unemployment will be structural and persistent. A living wage is increasingly being proposed by the progressives who haven’t apparently considered the question of where the money will come from.

Tax revenues on income will drop drastically because incomes will drop in a similar manner.  Sales tax revenues will drop – the newly unemployed will be spending  most of their money on rent and food and not other consumables. Raising corporate taxes is out of the question if governments want to keep the few jobs they have.  Our children are not being prepared for this new world.  I see no happy outcome.

The War on Cash: Taiwan is the latest to control cash transactions: Taiwan Joins Global War On Cash: Plans To Ban Purchases Of Houses, Cars, & Jewelry. The article lists 5 negative impacts worth noting in case the issue becomes personal.

Climate: Do climate models take this into consideration? I think not: From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a ‘chaotic solar system’ Perturbations in earth’s orbit due to the gravitational pull of other planets seem to explain ice ages.

MSM: Caught with her pants down? A 30 second clip from MSNBC: MSNBC Anchor: “Our Job” Is To “Control Exactly What People Think”. CNN has been recognized as one of the prime sources of biased reporting and the creation of fake news. Now some of the behind the scenes activity is coming to light: O’Keefe Drops “Bombshell” Undercover Video Footage From Within CNN.

Russia: One of the narratives we play from is a hatred of Russia. Glenn Greenwald speaks of the use of the Russian bogeyman: The Increasingly Unhinged Russia Rhetoric Comes From a Long-Standing U.S. Playbook.

Bits and Pieces: I’m throwing this in to capture the numbers (not the costs which are estimates). My gut tells me that how this situation is managed from the employment point of view will be an indication of how we might try and handle the massive unemployment caused by RAAI over the next decade: New Study Finds That Trump’s Immigration Crack Down Could Cost $5 Trillion In GDP Over 10 Years.

One for your back pocket: How Tennessee Could Be About To Start A Constitutional Crisis.

There are two sure-fire ways to kill jobs, raise the minimum wage and raise taxes. The wage issue we have written on and follow: Socialism: Living and Minimum Wages. Philadelphia has initiated a project to demonstrate the latter: Philadelphia Soda Tax Leads To 30-50% Plunge In Sales, Mass Layoffs. City officials are about to learn of the Laffer Curve, a theory that says after some optimal tax level, increasing taxes reduces revenues from taxes.

Recall that before Greece and before Cyprus there were Ireland and Portugal that faced sovereign debt issues. Portugal was supposedly fixed. As Martin Armstrong updates us, it isn’t: EU Bailout of Portugal Has Failed. The thing that saved Ireland, its low tax on industry which brought in investment, the EU has been trying to destroy. Germany is bent on maintaining its mercantilist superiority. And Greece is back in the news with the next installment of its never ending debt crisis looming. I think Martin Armstrong is right when he says this is the year that European sovereign debt hits the fan. Oh, and I forgot Italy: Move Over Greece, Italy’s Crisis Will Be Worse.

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