Blog Archives

Looks Like I’ll Be Able to Retire Comfortably at Age 91

My advice is to focus not on retiring comfortably, but on working comfortably.

You’ve probably seen articles and adverts discussing how much money you’ll need to “retire comfortably.” The trick of course is the definition of comfortable. The general idea of comfortable (as I understand it) appears to be an income which enables the retiree to enjoy leisurely vacations on cruise ships, own a well-appointed RV for tooling around the countryside, and spend as much time on the golf links as he/she might want.

Needless to say, Social Security isn’t going to fund a comfortable retirement, unless the definition is watching TV with an box of kibble to snack on.


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Anatomy of a Failing State: Japan’s Budgetary Nightmare

Once the global economy rolls over into contraction, the tide will recede and Japan’s fiscal and monetary bankruptcy will become painfully apparent.

What do you get after 25 years of stagnation and Keynesian Cargo Cult monetary stimulus? A failing state, that’s what. The intellectually bankrupt ruling Elites of Japan have no solution for Japan’s slow stagnation, as real reform would diminish their wealth and power.

So their only “solution” is to double-down on monetary stimulus: flood the enfeebled Japanese economy with more credit and fiscal stimulus, a.k.a. building bridges to nowhere: Japan’s Monetary Pearl Harbor.

But reality isn’t as immobile as failed policies.


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The Rot Within, Part I: Our Ponzi Economy

Depending on blowing the next bubble to temporarily prop up the economy is the height of foolhardy shortsightedness.

All the conventional policy fixes proposed by Demopublican politicos, technocrats and the vast army of academic/think-tank apparatchiks are the equivalent of slapping a coat of paint on a fragile facade riddled with dryrot. All these fake-fixes share a few key characteristics:


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The Happy Story of Boomers Retiring on Their Generational Wealth Is Wrong

This happy story is wrong on multiple counts.

The conventional view of the Baby Boomers’ retirement is a happy story: since we’re living longer and remaining productive longer, Boomers will not be as much of a burden on Gen-X and Gen-Y as doom-and-gloomers assume.

Not only are Boomers staying productive longer, they will draw upon their vast generational wealth as they age, limiting the financial burden on younger generations.

This happy story is nicely summarized in this lengthy piece 
The Fear Factor:
Long-held predictions of economic chaos as baby boomers grow old are based on formulas that are just plain wrong.


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Want to Fix Income/Wealth Inequality? Here’s How

There is nothing fancy about these three solutions.

I have covered rising income/wealth inequality for many years in dozens of entries. Since Thomas Piketty’s new book has catapulted the topic into the media spotlight, it’s a good time to list solutions that go deeper than Piketty’s proposed global wealth tax–a proposal he characterizes as utopian.

Every solution is utopian, because the Financial Aristocracy and their central bank cronies have democracy by the throat. There is no legislative way to change the Status Quo when political power is for sale to the highest bidder, and central banks are issuing nearly-free money to the financial oligarchy that owns the political machinery.

But listing solutions is still important, because it reveals just how far from democracy, rule of law and free-market capitalism we have fallen.


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