The Reality Gap

In our world of notions there are many reality gaps. What is a reality gap? Lets just say it is the difference between the way things are assumed to be and the way things really are.

You may have noticed that governments around the world are undergoing considerable stress. Both governments and citizens are not getting the results they expect.

Government is assumed to do all kinds exotic things. Are you looking for fairness? “Well, great. Lets have government make things fair?” Are all of your needs being satisfied? No? Well. government can fix that.” Well, there is no case in history where a government has done these kinds of things. Government never will do these things. These kinds of notions keep those who adhere to erroneous notions occupied with political busy work. Are the illusive benefits out there? They never have been. This is half of the biggest human reality gap of the current societal arena.

What does government do? Humans have a strong instinct to live off the efforts of others. Government ends up facilitating that instinct. Personality characteristics are distributed among the earth’s inhabitants in a way that is like a bell curve.  Some are naturally adept at living off the efforts of others. It might be said, “I sure would like this that or the other….Before I expend the effort to bring that about…….First, I will see if I can get others to provide it…”  Government is the place to go to get what you want and have others pay for it. Government is a clearing house for all who approach out of self interest, in attempts to get what they want. This is the way government functions. Goodwill is assumed for the comfort the notion of goodwill provides various participants. There is no goodwill. Goodwill exists only where folks are free to do as they please.

All try but only the most adept manipulators are successful at this. Government becomes their resource and they make good use of it.

Carrying on the notion that governments do anything else puts the average person in an unenviable position. Expect fairness and the administration of justice and what do you get? You get what always is. The result is highly skilled manipulators taking from everyone else while convincing them they are acting in the public good.

Although there are many, the reality gap between what government does and what people expect is highly destructive in today’s time frame.

 

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Politics and Animal Behavior

With Fantasy Free Economics I teach how to live and survive outside the herd.

What is the nature of animal behavior? It is not so much that animals do not think. Their decisions are made automatically. When animals live in groups, they have a leader and all have tasks they perform according to their status in the group. Herd positioning is determined by dominance and subservience. Each animal constantly attempts to get maximum benefits by virtue of being a member of the group.

Human beings think constantly and come up with brilliant thoughts and ideas. However when doing politics their behavior is the same as all animals. Actual thought does not even enter the equation. All of politics comes down to each person trying to get what he wants.

It is the nature of aggregations of people that thought and opinions become fairly standardized. Behaviors are engaged in out of instinct. Since the beginning of recorded history, people have looked first to the aggregation they belong to for their essence. It is out of instinct that they look to government to solve their greatest difficulties. How do we know this is instinct? It could not be anything else. In modern times, government has not solved a single problem in any country in the world. Efforts to do things like stimulate economies are ongoing and have been for many decades. No government economic intervention has ever failed to do more harm than good. Either people are acting on instinct or they are crazy. This is all instinctive.

Political decisions are made in the reptilian portion of the brain. The reptilian brain uses a different set of facts than the larger thinking brain.  Can a president improve an economy? According to the reptilian brain it can. The larger brain knows better. The reptilian brain treats government as an arbitrator of justice and fairness.  For political decisions the reptilian brain overrides the thinking process.  Government serves as a way for people to get what they want and have others pay for it. Fairness and justice are not even part of the equation.

Notice that in the current political arena sound bites are used as facts. This is the reptilian brain at work. Is politics animal behavior? You bet it is. Thinking is done in other areas of life. Politics is part of the tribal positioning process and that is the purpose it mainly servers. This is why it is so easy to know what people will do under what circumstances. Group behavior among humans parallels group behavior in the animal kingdom.

Please understand that fantasy free thinking is not the path to happiness.  Happiness is much easier to obtain living inside the herd. Fantasy free thinking is good only if you genuinely want to know what is going on in the world and how to interpret it. It actually makes finding happiness a little more difficult.

It takes a completely sober mind to entertain this. It is almost impossible to live your life as a herd animal and see yourself doing so at the same time.
Another World Saving Tune by Curbside Jimmy

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Rigging the Stock Market Long Term Consequences

Most Americans are unaware the financial markets are rigged. That doesn’t mean prices will never fall. It does mean that the nature of the coming decline will be different than what has occurred in prior bear markets. That is because elevating asset prices especially stocks as a national goal has priority over national defense, law enforcement and all other activities government is involved in.

Political power can do amazing things. When all of the country’s resources are focused on enriching those who are already rich, the country’s future is destroyed. A corporation can invest in plant and equipment and innovate. In a free market doing that is how profits are made but there is a faster way.

With enough political power government can be used as a means of driving up stock prices. That is the fastest possible way to make the most money. If making profits is that easy, who needs to invest in capital and innovate? The incentive to do so is lost. Welfare for the rich has the same effect on productivity of the rich as regular welfare has on the productivity of the poor.  Welfare for the rich is more damaging to the economy because investing and innovating are what creates profits. Give the rich a free ride and the whole country suffers. Do it long enough and the entire economy will be destroyed. How long have we been artificially elevating asset prices? Someone needs to count the years but it has easily been long enough to destroy the economy and perhaps the political system also.Another World Saving Tune by Curbside Jimmy

 

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Cowering Down to the Censors

In a herd setting, the herd is managed most easily when everyone thinks the same thing and certain rhetoric is deemed the right thing to say. Within a herd there are always factions struggling to elevate themselves and diminish others. Each faction develops right things to say and think. There is always a contest to squeeze resources and benefits out of the group as a whole.

In this type of setting government censorship is not needed although it is being implemented in some countries.

Roseanne Barr is the latest to be censored. And like all others, she profusely apologized, and basically cowered down. Folks who live off of the grace of the herd are easily made to back down. Their essence comes from what people think of them.  I have no idea what she tweeted. Eventually I will see it. It doesn’t really matter what she said. Anything that is a threat to a herds group think logic gets censored.

Anyone who is concerned with the survival of the country must realize that the danger from mainstreaming the practice of censorship is much greater than any damage resulting from hearing or reading something that opposes a groups assumed right way to think and speak.

Another World Saving Tune by Curbside Jimmy

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Herd Posturing

Anybody can do this. Observe the current scheme of things without looking through the . Your chances of making accurate assessments are almost 100%. Experts are not needed. Experts need you more than you need them. An expert almost always offers a more popular explanation and that is not possible unless reality is altered.

Have you noticed that there is not one initiative to repeal even one law in the United States today? Also, there is not one initiative devoted to closing even one government agency. There are multitudes who call themselves conservatives who engage in endless rhetoric. Yet, for the purpose of accomplishing conservative goals, there is absolutely zero activity. Given the level of dialog, at first glance this looks bizarre to say the least.

It is only odd to the degree you indulge in fantasy. A fantasy free look reveals that an aggregation of people actually is a herd. Human behavior in herd settings parallels the behavior of other animals in a herd setting. Human beings are no more prone to governing themselves than is a herd of horses.

Americans are said to be governing themselves but instead they use political discourse as a means of improving their status in the herd. Herd animals expect to receive benefits from the herd to which they belong. Individual work turns out to be a second choice for all animals. In a herd setting all of the animals try to get more out of the herd than they put into it. Some do and some don’t but the effort is ongoing and relentless.

The next time you see someone ranting about supporting the troops, ending the Fed, welfare or anything of the sort, ask three questions. What specific things are you doing to have laws repealed? What demonstrative action are you taking to close one or more government agencies? How is it that you expect the country to change without repealing one law or closing one government agency? Probably you will be ignored and the subject will change.The Swamp My Puppy Dog and I is another timely Curbside Jimmy song.

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How Will the Stock Market Will Die?

In this cycle, the stock market will not die a natural death. In an organic market which is what professionals and amateurs believe we have, a bear market begins when . Often when prices have been elevated by investors bidding prices up due to a strong belief in positive influences, a crash occurs when selling accelerates.

Today’s stock market has been created by a political agenda and is not the result of enthusiasm and excitement on the part of the public. As supply begins to overtake demand, stock prices are artificially supported. In order for the market to drop, the political agenda will have to be exposed or the support network must unravel more than it already has. What are the pillars that support the market? How can changes within and between these pillars  cause the stock market to fall?

Federal Reserve: The primary role of the Federal Reserve System is that of elevating asset prices. There is no evidence that the resolve to accomplish that goal has weakened. As Quantitative easing ends, new tools for supporting the market are being rolled out. In the case of a serious decline, our Federal Reserve will announce that they are buying stocks outright to “save the world.” In the history of the world, there has never been a government initiative that has been a benefit to an economy.

Foreign Central Banks: Foreign central banks buy stocks without apologies. Many have loaded up on the riskiest stocks in the history of stock market trading. Anytime the central bank favorites are under pressure, expect foreign central banks to support the prices of what they already own. How long will foreign central banks cooperate with a U.S. political agenda? They will continue until or if citizens in foreign counties discover how much they are being fleeced and force changes. Discontent around the globe is growing but so far there is no focus on the actual causes of difficulties. Failure of foreign central banks to cooperate in elevating asset prices would burden our Federal Reserve with a serious handicap.

Friends of the Federal Reserve: These are high frequency trading firms, individuals and institutions which get advance information and are guaranteed a profit. These are the parties who squeeze short positions, slow down volume when that is needed, create artificial demand in the derivative markets and keep prices moving higher. This group is allowed to break just about any law, if the end result is higher stock prices. Causing a decline is not politically doable. These are not patriots. They will cut and run when and if the profit guarantee disappears. As it is, stock market volume consists almost entirely of very short term trading. If mountains of long term holdings started hitting the market, I am not sure the friends could handle it. They also depend on ordinary traders continuing to use traditional technical analysis dogma for decision making. That is about like offering a neck to a predator but folks can’t break the habit.

Corporate Buybacks: This may be the first pillar to break. Corporate insiders are not fools. The fastest way to get paid the most money in the shortest period of time is to run up the price of the companies stock for any or no reason at all. Corporations will take advantage of the government’s gift as long as they possibly can. Producing and innovating is much slower in generating personal profits. They also know that after loading up their companies with treasury stock with borrowed money, any drop in the stock’s price will be catastrophic. This may be the first pillar to opt out.

Retail Brokerage Firms: Every order received is shared with the high frequency trading firms. Retail brokers benefit every time a customer gets stopped out.

Stupidity: The biggest asset the manipulators have is the stupidity of the American public. This is treated as a constant. That may be a mistake. It only takes 3% of the public thinking to generate a change in a political agenda. Thinking is starting to increase ever so slowly.

Chances are still better that the economy will be completely destroyed before asset prices completely change direction. What is important to know is that this is not an organic market. Government intervention in the stock market began during the Reagan administration in a small way and has continued to each year since. Today all of the world’s resources are focused on keeping asset prices moving higher. A very small percent of the world’s population has an overwhelmingly large part of the world’s political power.
The Swamp My Puppy Dog and I is another timely Curbside Jimmy song.

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Herding as a Choice

Herd animal is a choice except that it is a choice not often recognized. Once a herd animal does not mean always a herd animal. Once a human being makes the discovery and reasons.  “Yes, I am a herd animal. I am being herded.” That person flips to the other side and starts reasoning independently of the herd. That hardly ever happens because herding behavior is so normal is it is never questioned.

Living independently of the herd really is that easy. There is one caveat. The discovery of herding nature must be at a deep enough level to influence behavior. Many things are understood academically but are treated like just another thing to know. Understanding occurs at different levels.

Herd animal is the path of least resistance. Herding surely evolved as a survival tool. Go along to get along and your chances of suffering are greatly reduced. Herding behavior surely facilitates ones genes are passed forward into new generations.

Opting out of the herd is risky and not necessarily the best choice. To engage in the study of economics, leaving the herd is is entirely necessary, if being right is of any genuine importance. Clearly very few academics leave the heard. That is why they sound so smart but are never right about anything.

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Crime is Contagious

Crime is o.k. as for secretaries of states, members of congress, presidents and so on. The probability of being prosecuted diminishes the higher up a person is on the political power scale.  This is nothing new. What is new is that folks know about these kinds of crimes and watches those at the top get away with everything from murder to gun smuggling. Innocent until proven guilty you say? That standard only applies in an actual court of law. For a case to go to trial there must be a suspicion crimes are committed. Sometimes suspicion is well grounded. In the cases of the politically powerful suspicion is explained away.

Crime is in fact contagious. Human beings broadcast and receive their states of mind. Everything people do is at least in a minor way contagious.  This is all outside the awareness of the people who receive and broadcast. Not surprisingly verbal communication is unique in that we are aware of what we are doing. People are influenced in countless ways of which they are completely unaware.

When crime is o.k. in government and with politicians this influences the behavior of ordinary people. Do things in the country seem weird? Some of those already on the edge go over the edge as a result. 

This is not clairvoyance. The communication is wordless. We don’t know what it is but we know it is there. The best way to put a damper on school shootings is to begin to hold folks on the higher end of the power scale accountable. Until laws are enforced at the top, don’t expect to see a let up in lawlessness at the bottom. Expect more school shootings. Expect other odd acts of violence. Expect chaos.

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The School Shooting Solution

I have written many times that solutions to problems are normally simple. Complex solutions evolve because the solutions are distasteful or will upset the prevailing structure of society.

Schools are organized in such a way that a child’s identity, self worth and role in society is determined by how successful he is in interacting with other students. Within high schools a social structure develops. There are kids at the top and kids at the bottom. Then there are kids who are neither at the top or the bottom. They are rejected by everyone. To high school students being accepted is imperative. Failure to be accepted is failing as a person. Some kids can handle it and some can’t.

Schools encourage the social structure. They nurture it. For the majority of students, their worth as a person is all they learn. Neither parents nor teachers want to change this so focus turns to guns. I am not a gun guy. I don’t own any. I have little respect for the one issue conservatives who rant constantly about loosing their second amendment rights. They care nothing about keeping any of their other rights. So, I don’t need them. That being said taking away guns is what gets the attention so that something can be done without addressing true causes.

The way to end the phony high school culture. How would that be done. Shut down the athletic programs. Get rid of school clubs. Take away all of the school spirit. The kids who do these shootings, although their victims are people, they are shooting at the system itself. Make the schools business like. Absolutely nothing goes on besides learning and teaching. The shootings will disappear.

This is a solution. Something like this is not a popular idea. The way it is now, schools jobs are at a maximum. Vendors depend on schools being exactly the way they are now. Parents might have to send kids for only a half day and the babysitting aspect would be lost. The solution is simple so the real cause is set aside and guns are said to be the heart of the problem.

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Donald Trump, World Leaders and Tensions

Any world leader is potentially dangerous. It is important that citizens see them for who and what they are. It is unwittingly assumed that world leaders are actually trying to do what is best for their respective countries. This is what I call the imaginary incentive to serve. Nature provides no such incentive. World leaders acquire their positions out of self interest. Donald Trump, President of the United States is no exception. The game of politics at the top is played by mankind’s most accomplished and effective predictors. All are very effective at manipulating people and circumstances. Truth is not part of politics. Only one thing matters to a world leader. That is getting what they want. Power is always at the top of the list.

The office of President of the United States is generally held by a person who does not live by a particular moral code. Donald Trump pays for sex. Many people would not have a personal friend who does that. Most have also learned that that is what they are going to get in a president. It is hard to turn someone out of office for such a thing and there would be no point. The replacement would likely be just as bad in that department. To become a world leader, one must have an elevated notion of entitlement. The fact that Trump has questionable  morals is so commonplace among politicians, there is not much point in worrying with it.

If you are a citizen and support Trump, you may come out ahead. The things Trump does my be of help to you but that is incidental. Trump’s concern is Donald Trump. That is the nature of elected leaders. The incentive to serve really is completely imaginary. As silly as it is, citizens get the short end of the stick over and over again because they honestly do believe their leaders take them seriously. That is not the case.

Lets be clear. We do not know what Trump wants or what he expects to gain from holding the office. There are parts of the process by which he gains power that are potentially dangerous. I write constantly about the propensity of mankind to worship. Who worships who? Who needs whose approval? Donald Trump is an absolute master at getting folks to need his approval. When he was doing his show, The Apprentice he had people standing in line to get fired by Donald Trump. He and his family are heavy into branding. What is branding other than manipulating others into believing something is special just because it is endorsed by a special person. Branding is the business of selling products to people who need the approval of the person whose name is on the brand.

The danger we have in Trump is that he has an extraordinary ability to get people to act without thinking by virtue of needing his approval. What is politics? Politics is the art of getting people to act without thinking. So far Donald Trump does not seem to be guilty of anything with which he is being accused. He is called a racist constantly but he is not. He can get people to do things which are against their best interest. World leaders are all potentially dangerous. An individual who can coax others into worshiping him, or needing his approval if you prefer, can get folks killed and seriously impoverished if he takes a wrong turn. The most destructive leaders in history all have had this same characteristic.

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