the dollar vigilante blog
Feedback Friday - May 18, 2012
Share this article on:
Welcome to the premier edition of Feedback Friday!
We receive such great correspondence at The Dollar Vigilante, we decided to begin sharing them with our readers to encourage an open discussion of the real lives of people experiencing the end of the monetary system as we know it.
Each Friday we will select a few comments, questions or feedback and feature them here. Send any questions or comments you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's get straight to this week's feedback.
REAL WORLD FINANCIAL PLANNER EXPERIENCES
Your article, "Forget Retirement... and Retirement Savings" was published shortly after the annual visit by a financial firm handling investment plans for employees where I work. Those who wished to do so could meet with one of the firm's financial planners to see how things were going. My wife asked me to meet with one of the planners, so I did. She was annoyed that last year's planner advised changes to my portfolio, which then lost money, although that probably would have been still the case if nothing had changed.
I had a feeling how it would go and I wasn't disappointed. The advisor showed me how much money I had accumulated and then asked me if I had enough to retire on to live the way I would wish. By the way, I had said I have no plan to retire - ever. I think the two planners in the room with me that day thought I was kidding, but I wasn't. Doesn't everyone wish to retire at the earliest opportunity and enjoy a life of ease, with investment payoffs flowing into one pocket and Social Security into another?
Their game is always to demonstrate a wide gap between how much one has already invested and what one would hope to have upon retirement at a certain age. One then feels the need to put even more money into an IRA, etc., handled by the firm, of course. They need not prod you to fork over more money since they lead you to reach that conclusion yourself.
I told the advisor of a recent dilemma faced by my wife and how she might want some counseling on the matter, so they elevated my case up the food chain to someone else. When I spoke to my wife about it, she decided she didn't want to consult anyone at the company at this point, so when a more senior rep left a voicemail, I replied in an email that allowed me to provide more detail and express some other concerns.
One of these concerns is that the financial advice being given does not take into account some very serious considerations, such as the federal government going deeper into debt by about $150 million per hour, as illustrated by this chart:
Another link I included showed the ever-declining value of the dollar due to the creation of more money to cover the feds' spending. There are many other factors I could include, but I noted that no matter how much money I might set aside, it would all be for naught if its value is being diluted, to say nothing of the fact that the feds' spiking expenses could very well lead them to gobble up any investments I might have in order to keep going for a little while longer. (I'm sure this would be to ensure "fairness" and "national security" and it would be done "for the greater good" or some other blather.)
The investment advice given by the company, however, pretends that none of this is going on. If feds had a balanced budget, if they weren't facing financial crisis, if they weren't creating so much new money, I don't see how the investment advice would be any different than what they're putting out now because it doesn't take into account any of what's happening outside the meeting room. It's as if none of these severe problems exists and all will be well when one reaches the nirvana of retirement.
My email also included a link to your "Forget Retirement" column and, to no surprise, I've yet to receive a response. What can they say when you so ably point out the king has no clothes?
Northern Virginia, not far from Mordor on the Potomac
Thank's for the email TTB. It is always interesting for us to hear about people testing the crazy babble we talk about here at TDV out in real life. The response of your registered financial advisor is as we expected: complete silence. They have no response to this line of questioning (ie. fact-based). You might as well have written them in Chinese... it would have registered the same amount of comprehension on their end. They, like most people in the USSA today, are trained to regurgitate memorized propaganda. When you go outside of their "comfort zone" and ask about the real issues facing American serfs today, their brain melts just a little bit... then they delete your email and hope you never call again.
All the more reason to never use government registered financial advisors, unless you can find the one in a million who thinks freely... and, obviously, they would never suggest you close down your IRA or that you move it into a self-directed IRA and move the assets outside of the country... there's nothing in it for them if you do that.
Whereas, us nutjobs here at TDV come up with all manner of crazy ideas... just today, in fact, we were batting ideas around the office when we realized that someone with an IRA over $100,000 could easily turn it into a self-directed IRA, sell out of the losing mutual funds they are invested in, buy real estate in Dominica with the funds (still in the IRA) and be eligible for an immediate passport in Dominica. If you are interested in that, call James Guzman at our office (+1-347-480-1584).
While your government registered financial advisor or company hired IRA consultant tries to get you to invest more into a system that is on its deathbed, we are some of the only people on Earth working to help you get away from it.
READER DISSENT ON THE BENEFITS OF PUBLIC INDOCTIRNATION
IN RESPONSE TO "SENDING YOUR KIDS TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IS CHILD ABUSE"
Hey, sorry school was awful for you. It is for many. But to try to take your story, a couple other random anecdotes, and pretend that you're diagnosing a real systemic problem is going too far. Just so everyone knows, I'm a small government guy who supports Ron Paul, buys precious metals, and knows that the welfare state we live in based on fiat currency is destined for disaster.
I have also been in public and private education throughout my whole life. I have been in the student's desk and the teacher's desk. I've come away knowing that there are good teachers and bad ones. There are good principals and bad ones. And there are good and bad students, too.
Public education, as we know it, is a very complicated and flawed idea. But for a lot of kids, it's the best thing that ever happened to them. I've seen kids with nothing good in their home life... actually pure neglect and/or abuse in their home life...I've seen those kids come to a good classroom (mine and other teachers') and find success, develop critical thinking skills, and learn how to live and thrive in the world.
I'm guessing for you, you had a very strong mind growing up. You probably had parents who cared a lot about you. If so, that's great. Or maybe you have had horrible parents and you single-handedly overcame both them AND a crappy school experience. I don't know.
But don't make your story THE story for everyone. You have to put a lot more thought into this if you're going to try to diagnose the problem with public education and prescribe the country something better. Yeah, I've heard how we should just scrap the whole idea. Maybe that's what you want, but you have to prove that with more than a lousy personal story. You have to prove why that's the best possible option. You have to show how all those kids with crappy home lives and parents who despise their existence are going to be better off.
Unfortunately you missed the point, Jakob. That's ok... you used to be a public school teacher so you are used to skimming over things and not really paying much attention. Our point wasn't that just because "we" had a bad experience in school that it is bad. We brought up all the reasons why it is a downright despicable place to send any child... irrespective of our own personal experiences.
Today we just happened upon one of the best descriptions of government schooling by doc_sprayberry. Here are some selected comments from his excellent article, "The Truth About School":
After reading that, Jakob shows, that he while he thinks he is a free thinker, he is actually still brainwashed into the necessity of violently stealing money from people (taxes) and using it to put kids into brainwashing camps. What is his main argument? Many kids get abused at home, so it is better that they have a criminally funded enterprise to go to so they can get abused at school instead.
That's quite the argument... and one spawned from a lifetime of being brainwashed. Jakob can't even imagine a world where perhaps there were other options for kids. For example, child labor laws all but ensure that abused kids have no other options. A 12 year old who is abused could just run away from home, get a job, and try to make a life for himself... except for the government. The government forces them into extra-familial abuse instead. And Jakob thinks that is the best we can do as humanity?
That's the other sad part about statism, everything seems so hopeless. Once you free your mind and free yourself you realize anything is possible. Not just a choice of where to be abused.
ELEVATOR TO HELL
IN RESPONSE TO "CHARLES SCHUMER TELLS AMERICANS THEY CAN'T LEAVE SO EASILY"
The one-time exit tax already exists (unfairly already). What they are proposing is that you must pay tax on any capital gains earned *in the future* even after renouncing! In other words, renounce today and you'll still be liable for what you earn tomorrow even though you don't live in the US and are not a US citizen! Makes me sick to my stomach. This country is dead today. Something so outrageous should never even be proposed in a 'free country.'
This is going to keep so many talented, potential entrepreneurs from ever coming to the US, lest they too then become owned by the US for life. And current, natural-born Americans, this to me, is "the wake up call", "slap across the face", "cold bucket of water" sobering realization that NOW is the time to GTFO b/c it will only get worse and worse and less free. I don't understand how these politicians can be SO DUMB as to not understand that this will be *harmful* to our economic future. Savrin created jobs and wealth in America. For that they should be thankful. This the the only fair article on Savrin in the MSM (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/05/renouncing-citizenship).
The US should be aiming to *be* one of those countries that attracts entrepreneurs and the businesses, wealth and jobs they create.
This is sickening. So horribly, horribly sickening.
And they plan to make it retroactive 10 years to apply to anyone who renounced in the last 10 years. Changing the rules even after the fact for those individuals. So if you are under the asset and income thresholds presently, as I am, the day has come.
We are glad that you see the seriousness of what Chuck Schumer is proposing, Michael. The US Government, which always tries to hide how evil it is showed its bloody fangs this week. Thanks to public school indoctrination and propaganda they've managed to brainwash the majority of US citizens into thinking they are free and live under a benevolent government. When Facebook's Saverin tried to leave they showed their true colors. But, unlike in Cindy Lauper's classic, the true colors weren't good. They were very, very bad.
The reaction of the majority of US citizens who have been systematically impoverished for decades was not surprising. Get 'im! We suggest if you have any significant assets you get out now before these bills pass... and do it a little more quietly than Saverin did.
CAN'T AFFORD TO LEAVE, CAN'T AFFORD TO STAY
IN RESPONSE TO "CHARLES SCHUMER TELLS AMERICANS THEY CAN'T LEAVE SO EASILY"
We've passed the transition point between "can't afford to leave" and "can't afford to stay."
It will be interesting to see how many people lose everything because they were afraid of the little bit they might lose by springing for that second passport, buying foreign property, or having precious metals held overseas (but they charge a 3% storage fee!!!).
We agree, David. Schumer's blood-thirstiness has tipped the scales dramatically towards "can't afford to stay".
Heck, when the statist conformist rag, the Wall Street Journal, is asking, "Should You Renounce Your Citizenship?", it almost makes us feel like we aren't so cutting edge anymore. We remember when we said the US dollar would collapse and people were aghast. Now people just nod their heads and say, "Ya, of course". And we used to say that productive people need to get out of the US and most western countries and people thought we were crazy. Now it's in the Wall Street Journal.
Maybe we are getting old. We don't feel like the new, cool thing anymore.
That's all from Feedback Friday this week. Until next week, stay free.