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Guest Post: The Golden Age Of Our Times Is The Age Of Gold

In Gold We Trust - 5 hours 11 min ago

Towards a new international monetary system - Part 2.

 

[This is the English translation, first published here on 2014/04/10, of the original article written in French]

 

We first established in January 2013 the need to resolve the problem of the international monetary system, and its absolute priority. [1]

 

We then proposed in May 2013 a strategy to effectively prepare the necessary resilience to support the change in the international monetary system. [2] The various official announcements over the past months have largely confirmed that this anticipation was shared. [3]

 

The synthesis of this strategy was again stressed by Laurence Brahm on 21/10/2013:

 

" It is not the complete removal of the old Bretton Woods financial architecture but rather the creation of a new parallel structure to the old. Eventually, countries will be able to choose which architecture is better suited to their own plans for reconstruction and renovation. " [4]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4164" align="aligncenter" width="343"] The Golden Age (Zucchi)[/caption]

 

 

This week of March 2014 where I release this article sees an important step in international relations. It is nothing less than discussing the 2015 framework and choosing between the repetition of the Vienna Conference in 1815 (the Concert of Nations) or Yalta Conference in 1945 (the Cold War) that will support the “new rules of the game in international politics“. [5]

 

In fact, this week in Europe a large number of high level bilateral meetings take place:

 

- President Xi met with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, François Hollande, Angela Merkel and then with the European Commission president [6]

 

- President Obama met with President Xi, and then he has extended his trip at the last minute to meet the Heads of State of The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, UAE, South Korea, Japan, then a meeting with the Pope in Rome and a meeting with the King of Saudi Arabia. [7] Followed by a planned meeting with Mr Barroso and Van Rompuy [8]

 

- The G7 meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014.

 

- And other bilateral meetings, more or less official and prepared, among other heads of state following their presence at the Nuclear Security Summit 2014.
Officially the goal is mostly to talk about the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea, or to sign some contracts. The public communiques will mention them.

 

We believe that other issues, much more important but related, will be discussed: those around the current reorganization of the new international monetary and financial system. [8.1]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4166" align="aligncenter" width="666"] Marketable U.S. Treasuries held by the Fed in custody for Foreign Official and International Accounts; till 3/26/2014; (Sources: St Louis Fed, Conscience-Sociale.org)[/caption]

 

 

Our analysis is that the Ukrainian crisis was triggered by the U.S. deep state in preparation for the introduction of this next reorganization. [9] This is to retain the EU in the area of U.S. domination. [9.1]

 

The time has come to clarify what we mean by new international monetary and financial system.
We believe this is not only about launching what is already announced:

 

- A Development Bank for BRICS parallel to the World Bank
- A BRICS stabilization fund parallel to the IMF
- New bilateral trade agreements parallel to the WTO but to go much further.

 

 

 

 

Firstly, the BRICS Development Bank is becoming a "Bank initiated by BRICS for the development of all interested parties" and whose governance is open to any state wishing to join with the framework agreement. [9.2]

 

Secondly, and this is the most innovative part: it is to create another institution parallel to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

This is the oldest international financial institution fully governed by the West (6 permanent members and founders are the central banks of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK and USA, which can have a double voting weight - analogy with Obama's meetings this week is not a coincidence [10])

 

BIS is the central bank of central banks, that is to say, it organizes and manage trade between them ... especially those concerning physical gold. Activities related to financial regulation (the famous Basel Committee rules) were added much later, after the existence of the bank became public when it was kept secret since its inception. [10.7]

 

The first problem to solve for the overhaul of the international monetary and financial system is not really the choice of a new currency. This is only a means. This is primarily to ensure price stability and the development of international trade. Otherwise, the only alternative is endless war for resources that are increasingly scarce. It is therefore necessary to separate the problem of a reference currency for international trade, from that of a reserve currency for central banks.

 

Global geopolitical dislocation following the 2008 crisis has cut the Gordian knot: there is no need any more to make a decision for all countries (which has blocked reform for many years [10.6]). Now BRICS countries have the initiative and willingness to move forward. This will is the key factor as we wrote: [10.9]

 

The global geopolitical context is characterized primarily by a tilt after reaching the tipping point: the decline of the American empire on the one hand and the rise of the multipolar initiative led by BRICS on the other. Because they are so desperately lacking in autonomy of decision and willingness, the EU and Japan find themselves buffeted by this tidal wave of history.

 

The choice is made for several years, international trade will be based on gold [10.3].

 

How will this happen in practice? Not with boats or trucks loaded with bullion, of course. As we said a "second BIS" was designed that can manage a clearing house for payments (settlements) in physical gold, especially to add to it a fundamental function to allow again international settlements for goods using "Real Bills" (a.k.a. Gold Bills), as recommended by the New Austrian School of Economics. In his work Professor Fekete described these Gold Bills as being “destined to be settled in gold coins that are made available after the ultimate consumer surrenders them in exchange for finished consumer goods upon maturity”. [10.4] Their issue is strictly limited by the orders received to buy goods. They allow increasing the money velocity without systematically using coins and without any risk of inflation. [10.1]

 

This is far from a simple "100% gold" standard.

 

Gold is the only money (gold - silver ratio must float) as everyone knew for millennia. Today most people have more or less forgotten this unique role, Western central bankers have tried for a century to put lipstick on a pig, so to speak. [10.8] By deceiving us, they deceived themselves and began to believe their own nonsense. A historical failure and on a global scale. Alas, it is a failure of the European spirit. We need to recognize it in order to find the impetus beneath our feet allowing us to arise from the depth of this graveyard by the sea. [10.2]

 

BRICS countries do not necessarily need the West to initiate this new settlement system. [10.5] It must be noted in this respect what it can supersede. The dollar currency and U.S. Treasury at the foundation of famous "petrodollars" are replaced by the Gold Bills that will allow buying oil for example. [11] It is the function of reference currency for international trade.
But US Treasuries have a function of income related to their mid/long term interest rate too - it is also a fatal flaw in this system. This is the second problem: the choice of the reserve currency for central banks.

 

The new system offers very smartly to decouple these two functions. The income function can be brought (at appropriate time) by introducing gold bonds, that is to say bonds denominated in gold weight (ie not merely an obligation backed by gold collateral denominated in fiat currency – a.k.a. gold backed bonds), with interests denominated in gold weight and whose principal is redeemable in gold weight. Again, we must have an institution for the issuance of these bonds.

 

Note that to start, it is not necessary to replace any national currency by gold coins. The gold bills will circulate in parallel of currencies, and user confidence in these currencies will be reflected in real time in the local price of that currency measured in mg of gold (that is to say, the inverse of the ‘price of gold’ measured in the currency, which is the usual vision that we have - a totally wrong perception because you can not measure the length of a bar with a rubber-band: you must take the opposite approach). Hence the fundamental importance of not having rigged gold markets as currently in New York and London. [12]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4169" align="aligncenter" width="705"] (Source: GoldSwitzerland.com)[/caption]

 

 

[caption id="attachment_4170" align="aligncenter" width="665"] Price of one U.S. dollar in mg of pure gold since 1968 till 3/24/2014 (Sources: St Louis Fed, LBMA, Conscience-Sociale.org )[/caption]

 

 

The U.S. have no way to prevent BRICS countries to launch this parallel system, a competitor of the one based on U.S. Treasury bond, and which finally obliterate their attraction.

 

The only remaining choice as new rules for American decision-makers (that is to say, the public state and the deep state) are the following, as they are standing with their back to the wall [12.2]:

 

- either to accept an open cohabitation of two parallel systems, with 100% of the players who know that the dollar system can not be competitive (very quickly one system will endure and all U.S. Treasury assets going up in smoke). Modestly this is called "asset restructuring in U.S. bonds market." This is the path of Vienna in 1815. [12.1]

 

- or not to accept this open cohabitation, that is to say close the door to hide behind and build a wall as high as possible so that no one can escape from the dollar zone. For this area can last as long as possible (while being doomed because of deflation), it must be the largest possible, and the EU is a tempting (with its remaining gold reserves) and very easy prey thanks to Atlantist governments and European Commission who are obediently following the interests of the American deep state. The strategy is therefore to make them sign the TTIP as soon as possible, which quickly convinces them not repatriate their gold and abandon the euro (two currencies for the US-EU area only, is one too many) as they have already abandoned their sovereignty. This is the way of Yalta in 1945. [12.3]

 

The next time you meet your President or Prime Minister, you now know which good question to ask him: what did he choose for us and that is supposed to commit all?
BRICS countries are reaching out to European people since 2009, and our governments show their disdain so far, preferring the shadows of the world before. [13] But it is not too late to think about our place in Europe and in the world, it remains few short months and the ticket can be taken since this week. Hurry up or repent.

 

What is currently discussed off-line is however everybody's concern, and will commit us for a long time to come. Do not suffer without understanding.

 

An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. (O.A. Battista, 1917-1995)

 

 

Written by Dr. Bruno Paul

 

_______________________

 

[1] ‘La crise écologique globale exige une refonte du système monétaire international’, Conscience Sociale, 01/2013; This article was itself in the continuity of the fundamental question raised in 2011: 'How to replace the world trade reference currency', Conscience Sociale, 06/2011

 

[2] a) 'Towards a new international monetary system - part 1', EN or FR version, Conscience Sociale, 2013; b) the first mention of this strategy can be found in the conclusion of 'La géoéconomie des Bons du Trésor US', Conscience Sociale , 12/2012

 

[3] a) ‘China, Europe Agree on Currency Deal’, TheTrumpet.com ; b) ‘China's planned crude oil futures may be priced in yuan’, Reuters ; c) ‘India to resume paying Iran in Euros’, India Times ; d) ‘PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves’, Bloomberg ; e) ‘China’s central government has reportedly approved 12 new free trade zones, including ones in Tianjin and Guangdong’, The Diplomat ; f) ‘Harbinger: 23 countries begin setting up swap lines to bypass dollar’, The Examiner ; g) ‘FMI: La réforme de l'institution reste bloquée par Washington’, Les Echos ; h) ‘Dollar-based system is inherently unstable - The culprit is the dollar’, Financial Times ; i) ‘A Shanghaï, Pékin s'offre un laboratoire des réformes’, Le Monde ; j) ‘La banque de développement et le FMI des BRICS sont nés’, L’Express ; k) ‘Shanghai Free-trade Zone to lead on yuan reform’, South China Morning Post ; l) ‘IMF Quota and Governance Reform: Political Impulse Needed for Progress on Reform Process’, CIGI ; m) ‘South Korea, Australia ink US$ 4.5 billion currency swap agreement’, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute ; n) ‘BRICS Bank: Caution is a good policy’, India & Russia Report ; o) ‘G20 regrets IMF reforms delay, India says can't wait for long’, Industan Times ; p) ‘Медведев: особую экономическую зону в Крыму будет курировать Козак’, RBC Daily ; q) ‘Gold trading to open up to foreigners in Shanghai’, SCMP, 03/2014; r) 'Russia without dollar - what are the risks?', pravda.ru, 03/2014

 

[4] a) Les Brics veulent en finir avec l’extrémisme des marchés financiers’, RIA Novosti ; b) original article: 'БРИКС положит конец рыночному фундаментализму' RBC Daily

 

[5] a) R. Cohen, ‘International Politics: The Rules of the Game’, Longman Group United Kingdom, 1982 ; b) Le Président Xi déclare ainsi cette semaine: "China is firmly committed to ... building a new model of major country relations", Reuters, 03/2014

 

[6] Le Parisien , 03/2014

 

[7] The Guardian, 03/2014

 

[8] European Council , 24/03/2014

 

[8.1] Ne pas ignorer par exemple: a) 'Did Russia Just Move Its Treasury Holdings Offshore?', WSJ, 03/2013 ; b) 'Emerging Markets central banks sell US government bonds', Financial Times, 03/2014

 

[9] a) ‘La crise ukrainienne, un événement de la politique profonde’, Conscience Sociale, 03/2014; b) For the exact definition of 'deep state' see 'La politique profonde et l’Etat profond (deep deep politics and the State), Conscience Sociale, 03/2014

 

[9.1] ‘Global systemic crisis-escalation in the US reaction for survival: trigger a cold war to make it easier to annex Europe’, Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin n°83, 03/2014

 

[9.2] 'The Way Forward for the Brics New Development Bank ', All Africa , 03/2014

 

[10] Obama and Cameron prepared this meeting last week: whitehouse.gov , 03/2014

 

[10.1] Real Bills maturity is 91 days maximum.

 

[10.2] 'La Crise de l’Esprit Européen' and 'La conjecture de Valéry, de Paul à Paul', Conscience Sociale, 02/2014

 

[10.3] 'Building a strong economic and financial security barrier for China - Actively build and implement national gold strategies', In Gold We Trust, 09/2013

 

[10.4] a) For more details, you can read his recent announcement ‘Gold Bills Payable in Gold Sovereigns' AE Fekete , 03/2014; b) On the distinction between Gold Bills and Real Bills: ‘Interview with Prof. Fekete’, Daily Bell, 03/2014

 

[10.5] The group formed by the BRICS is already sufficiently autonomous: 'Sanctions effect: Russia to change its Economic Partners... for the better', Russia Today , 03/2014

 

[10.6] 'U.S. Dollar, Euro, Renminbi as invoicing currencies in international trade and as reserve currencies - A bibliography', Conscience Sociale

 

[10.7] Founded in 1930, its existence was publicly unveiled in 1977. Note also that according to the by-laws the small territory of the BIS building is not subject to Swiss law. Police or army can not have access. See also 'Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret That Runs the World Bank', Adam LeBor , PublicAffairs, 2013

 

[10.8] 'Bernanke Tells Congress: I Don’t Really Understand Gold' , Forbes , 07/2013; But they recognized themselves be burnt out: see Conscience Sociale, 08/2013

 

[10.9] 'Focus' chapter in Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin No. 83, 03/2014

 

[11] It should be noted in this respect that the BRICS countries have learn from the experience of purchases by India of Iranian oil using gold, through Turkish banks. This is a case of an unjust embargo imposed by the West proved to be a weakness that would lead to huge consequences. History is fond of this kind of irony. See a) WSJ , 02/2014; b) Foreign Policy , 02/2014

 

[12] a) 'Sun Zhaoxue: The United States Intends To Suppress Gold To Ensure The Dollar’s Dominance', In Gold We Trust, 01/2014 ; b) The origin of this strategy date back to distant times. See for instance: 'Minutes of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Principals and Regionals Staff Meeting, Washington, April 25, 1974', in FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1973–1976 VOLUME XXXI, FOREIGN ECONOMIC POLICY, DOCUMENT 63 ; c) 'La Manipulation du Prix de l’Or', 24hgold, 09/2008 ; d) 'Barclays, Deutsche Bank Accused of Gold Fix Manipulation', Bloomberg, 03/2014

 

[12.1] 'What the world needs is 19th century behavior', Russia in Global Affairs, 03/2014

 

[12.2] 'L'implosion du marché COMEX et la dé-américanisation du monde’, Conscience Sociale, 10/2013

 

[12.3] 'L'Union européenne: la nouvelle URSS', Vladimir Bukovsky

 

[13] ‘La dérive néo-conservatrice de la politique française’, Agile Democracy , 03/2014

 

 

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BNP Banker, His Wife And Nephew Murdered In Belgium

Zerohedge - 6 hours 6 min ago

In the beginning it was banker suicides. Then about two weeks ago, suicides were replaced by outright murders after the execution-style killing of the CEO of a bank in otherwise sleepy (and tax evasive) Lichtenstein by a disgruntled client. Then on Friday news hit of another execution-type murder in just as sleepy, if not so tax evasive, Belgium, where in the city of Vise, a 37-year-old Director at BNP Paribas Fortis was murdered alongside his wife and a 9 year old nephew in a premeditated and orchestrated drive-by shooting.

L'venir reports:

According to Marcel Neven, Mayor of Vise, nothing can yet explain what caused the violent shooting that rocked the neighborhood sports hall of his town this Friday, April 18, late at night. A man of 37 years, Benedict Philippens, bank manager Ans-Saint-Nicolas, was shot. A little 9 year old boy, living in Dolhain, was also killed. A lady, the wife of the man and the boy aunt and godmother, Carol Haid, 37 also died of his injuries on Saturday, in the morning. She was hit by three bullets in the back, said a judicial source.

According to information from the survey and some witnesses, a car waiting outside their house Berneau street near the sports hall Visé. When the victims' car is back in the driveway, shots were fired from the car that waited patiently. The author of the shots is actively sought.

So far neither the shooter nor any motive for the execution have not been found: "Some suggest the presence of a single gunman with an automatic pistol, others are surprised that a bullet hole was noted in one of the windows of the sports hall. "That would mean that the author was already in the driveway of the house and waited for the victims side of the house," says a source close to the case."

Like in the Lichtenstein murder, there is a possibility the murder was the result of a previous argument with a customer:

This Sunday, the investigation is ongoing but it seems that the track of reckoning is preferred. In 7Dimanche newspaper, a friend of Benedict recalls that he had a big argument with a customer six months ago.  He had even threatened the director publicly. He then had to put on the door. "There are six months, he told me he had a big argument with a foreign client."

Needless to say the locals of the quiet town are stunned by the news:

According to the neighbors, "the couple lived for 5 or 6 years" in his little house. They had been married a little over a year. The neighborhood shocked again that it is a normal family. "Usually, shootings in the region, it is often stories of drug with the Dutch, because it is not far from the border."

 

The mayor did not say more about the possible causes of this unfortunate news item. He noted, however, that the occupation of the victim, banker, "perhaps could" be related to drama. Marcel Neven adds that this is the first time in his back as mayor he faced such violence in a crime. "The police arrived on the scene Friday night was very impressed to see the body there in the driveway."

So just like in the Lichtenstein murder, was it truly some atrocious act by bankers that caused their clients to take justice into their own hands, or is it becoming the norm that when dealing with members of the banker class, the population - disenchanted with a legal system that is largely in the pocket of the financial system - is increasingly resorting to not only vigilante justice, but the taking of banker lives with no regard for innocent bystanders?

If indeed so, this could mark a dramatic, and lethal, escalation in the way bankers are treated by the broader public, not only in places where banker revulsion is palpable but in quiet, sleepy backwaters like a small Belgium town.








Donetsk "Letter To Jews" Found To Be A Forgery

Zerohedge - 6 hours 22 min ago

In the days before the Geneva "de-escalation" conference (and coincidentally, days after the secret visit of CIA director Brennan to Kiev), the top story across western media was the "undisputed" proof that east-Ukraine, populated by "terrorist separatists", is preparing to unleash a neo-nazi wave against local jews, when a leaflet was unveiled, beckoning the Jewish population to register and declare their assets.

The USA Today promptly reported (joined by CBS and CNN): "Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website, and Ukraine's Donbass news agency."

Consequences for non-compliance will result in citizenship being revoked "and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property," it said. A registration fee of $50 would be required, it said.

Odd because as the same USA Today further reported, "Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk, told Ynet she never experienced anti-Semitism in the city until she saw this leaflet."

Perversely, even the local Jewish community issued a statement saying the leaflet distribution "smells like a provocation." The chief rabbi of nearby Dnipropetrovsk, Shmuel Kaminezki said, "Everything must be done to catch them."

So the bottom line, namely that this was merely a provocation designed to generate a kneejerk emotional response from the west and paint the pro-Russia militia as neo-nazis and generally, as fascists (even though it was the ultra nationalist Right Sector that was instrumental in the overthrow of the Yanukovich government) was clear to most - even the population that was seemingly being targeted.

But not to John Kerry. "Secretary of State John Kerry said the language of the leaflets "is beyond unacceptable" and condemned whomever is responsible."

"In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it's grotesque," he said. "And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities — from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of — there is no place for that."

 

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt called the leaflets "the real deal." But the man whose name appears on the leaflets, Denis Pushilin, identified as chairman of "Donetsk's temporary government," said he was not responsible.

"The real deal"... with the small exception that they were forged, in everything from the photoshopped stamp, to the fact that the person who allegedly signed the leaflets, Denis Pushilin - the Chair of the recently created Donetsk republic - explicitly stated he had nothing to do with this attempt to rile up anti-semitic sentiment in Donetsk.

Of course, with the CIA operating freely in Kiev, and having been rather instrumental in the establishment of the current political regime (as it did in the US-foreign policy "success stories" of Libya and Egypt), one can be sure that the provocations will only gets more grotesque, surreal and most likely, violent from this point onward.

More details on the forgery in the clip below:








EaSTeR ViSiToRS...

Zerohedge - 6 hours 52 min ago


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..

 

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Keep a close watch on this bunny

There's something that smells kind of funny

His criminal goal

To run down his hole

While carrying all of our money

The Limerick King

 








Five Reported Killed In East Ukraine Following Ultra-nationalist Attack

Zerohedge - 12 hours 43 min ago

And to think it was just two days ago when all the USDJPY momentum ignition algos roared to life on flashing headline news of yet another diplomatic "de-escalation" of tensions in Ukraine. What was clearly ignored is that since John Kerry was involved, it was nothing but the latest sham. And the proof came moments ago when Reuters reported, citing Russian state television on Sunday, that five people were killed when Ukraine gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report. Ukraine's Interior Ministry in Kiev could not immediately be reached for comment and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov had no word of the reported incident on his Facebook page, where he usually posts updates on any clashes - perhaps because this one was allegedly started by Ukraine ultra-right nationlists of the Right Sector.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 news station, citing its correspondent in Slaviansk, said three of the dead were with the pro-Russian separatists who control Slaviansk, and the other two were from the group which attacked their checkpoint.

The self-declared mayor of Slaviansk, who supports the pro-Russian separatists in the city, said there had been a clash overnight and there were casualties, a Reuters Television team in Slaviansk said.

RT has more:

The fatalities came after a night attack on a protester checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, a Rossiya 24 news channel correspondent reported. Four cars drove by the checkpoint and opened fire at the local residents holding it, killing three people and seriously injuring another one.

 

A group of protesters, who had firearms unlike those holding the checkpoint, was called from their camp in the city. They opened fire at the attackers, killing two of them, the report said.

The protesters in the confrontation reportedly captured the attackers’ two cars. Firearms, explosives and aerial photos of Slavyansk were discovered there. RIA Novosti cites a doctor at the city’s main hospital as saying that four people with gunshots were brought in overnight.

 

“Apparently, something serious happened,” the doctor said.

 

The protesters believe that they were attacked by paramilitary from the Right Sector.

So if this is not merely another attempt at provocation and indeed the attackers' cars were captured and can be provided as evidence, and it can be verified that it was indeed Ukraine elements who were in breach of the now clearly null and void Geneva agreement, this may just be the escalation that Putin, who last week admitted for the first time the massing of Russian forces at the Ukraine border, will be free and clear to finally roll the tanks across the border purely with intentions to "protect" a "separatists" population which is clearly now targeted by its own government.








Terry Coxon on US Dysfunction and the International Trust Solution

Daily Bell - 13 hours 55 min ago
An International Trust assures your freedom to invest anywhere, no matter what investment restrictions the US might adopt. Currency controls in the US? They can't touch your International Trust – it's not in the US. Limitations on capital leaving the country? Your capital already left, and it's being safeguarded in the jurisdiction you chose. From there it can be redeployed anywhere in the world. There are alternative strategies for protecting your assets, but they are far less powerful and far ...

Why and How to Say No to an Unnecessary Root Canal Procedure

Dr. Mercola - 15 hours 1 min ago


PLEASE NOTE   This is the first of a two part series.  Part two will comprehensive and specific options on what to do if you already have a root canal will be posted soon. These two articles are our effort to help save lives not teeth.

By Dr. Lina Garcia

One of the fundamental understandings that supports holistic, biological dentistry is that the dental procedures and materials used in them can affect your whole body, not just your teeth.

In the case of a root canal procedure, it can lead to a number of chronic health problems and even degenerative diseases. Unfortunately, it is very rare for someone in need of dental care to be aware of this.

Although you may be surprised to read this view of root canals, any time the procedure is done there is a real possibility it can endanger your overall health because of the infection and toxicity that can develop in your tooth after the root canal is performed.

The connection between a root canal treated tooth and disease in another area of your body is one the majority of health-care practitioners and their patients are simply unaware of.

The lack of awareness of this connection is puzzling when you consider that in conventional dentistry medicine there is an appreciation of research that has identified a connection between periodontal disease and other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and difficulties during pregnancy.

Periodontal disease is the general label used to describe chronic infection and/or inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. The American Academy of Periodontology actively seeks to educate the public about research that supports what perceptive dentists inevitably recognize: "Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body."

Periodontal Disease: A Risk Factor for a Root Canal

Periodontal disease has been identified as a potential risk factor for many systemic diseases. However it is not well appreciated that microbes surrounding a periodontally involved tooth can invade it from the apex and damage or kill it.

When this happens, a conventional dentist will recommend a root canal procedure. Tragically, most conventional dental and medical establishments inexplicably disregard the connection between oral microbes associated with root canals and systemic disease.

So, every year, millions of Americans undergo at least one root canal procedure with no awareness of the risk involved to their overall health. The root canal procedure is typically done instead of extracting the diseased, dying or sometimes already dead tooth.

Root canals have been, and continue to be, a conventional, or "standard of care," procedure done by a dentist or an endodontist. (An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in doing a root canal procedure, which is also called endodontic therapy.)

The root canal procedure is endorsed by the dental establishment as the preferred alternative to extraction. It is a big part of the business of dentistry. Give people what they want — and who wants to lose a tooth? So conventional dentistry offers a procedure that allows patients to keep a problem tooth while conveying confidence there are no risks involved.

But, unfortunately, there are risks.And what all too many dental practitioners don't realize isthat a root canal treated tooth can be a direct cause of numerous degenerative diseases.

Many Diseases Can Be Related to Root-Canal-Treated Teeth

If you have at least one root canal treated tooth, acting upon the understanding that it can be damaging to your health may help you realize freedom from one of the diseases or ailments listed in the table below.

Arthritis Appendicitis Endocarditis, myocarditis (heart inflammation) Kidney, liver and gallbladder problems Meningitis Anemia Hardening of the arteries Nervous system breakdowns Pneumonia Heart lesions Eye infections Cancer

Many people suffer from diseases or ailments that modern medicine says are ofunknown cause. Well, the reality is that root canals are a seriously overlooked cause of many diseases.  

More and more holistic-minded dentists, physicians and other practitioners are beginning to realize that many previously "incurable" diseases and ailments, which have no conventionally recognized cause, can sometimes be radically improved or completely resolved by extracting a root-canal tooth (or teeth) and properly cleaning out the tooth socket(s).

A Root Canal Will Leave Dead Tissue in Your Body

On the surface, having a root canal procedure instead of extracting a tooth is very appealing. A tooth is obviously an important part of your body that you want to keep if at all possible. Butit's more important for you to see your health in a holistic way, so you can avoid losing much more than your tooth  It's silly for us to think of ourselves as a collection of body parts that function independently of each other.

Seeing your health in a holistic way leads to understanding that each and every, part of your body can have an influence on the whole. In cases of intense pain, it may be thought of as a "mercy killing," but having a root canal can definitely be an effective way to eliminate the pain — kill the tooth and you kill the pain.

The pain is gone because the nerves are gone.  However, a much more accurate, no-nonsense way of describing the end result of a root canal is this: It doesn’t "save" the life of the tooth, but it does keep enough of the tooth’s structure intact so that the crowned chewing surface will be functional, and you keep the aesthetic value of the tooth.

So there you are — you are now left with a functional but dead tooth in your mouth that looks good when you smile. But think about this for a moment. Doesn't it seem unhealthy, and even strange, to leave a dead tooth in your mouth? If any another organ in your body, like your appendix, were dead, it would have to be removed or else very aggressive strains of microbes that nature uses to decompose dead tissue would set in and threaten your life! And something similar happens with a dead tooth, whether it is killed from infection, trauma or the root-canal procedure.

After a root canal is done, the dead tooth, not sometimes, but always becomes an environment conducive to harboring chronic infection and toxicity.Because there is no reliable way, practically speaking, to completely sterilize a root canal treated tooth, (while it is still in a patient’s mouth), it will be a source of infection for the whole bodyuntil it is extracted and the tooth socket is cleaned.

How to Avoid the Root Canal Procedure that You Might Not Even Need

One of my biggest challenges as a Biological Dentist is when a patient cries with regret for agreeing to have a root canal procedure done to a tooth or teeth – a procedure they neither needed nor understood from the perspective of whole body health. Like any part of the body, a tooth can be inflamed, painful, or simply sensitive. If you go to a dentist they will quite often advise you to have a root canal.

But not so fast! Let’s learn and make a wise decision.  The table below lists several reasons a tooth can be sensitive or painful but please understand that it there is not enough space in this article to more fully elaborate. The best way to evaluate your specific pain would be with a qualified dental professional.

Clenching or grinding Stress Poor hygiene Referred pain from your heart Referred muscle pain from temporalis or masseter muscles Lack of sleep Trigeminal neuralgia Sinus headaches Sugars or processed foods, even fruits Ill-fitting restorations Neuropathic pain Tumors or aneurisms Hormone changes including perimenopause, menstrual cycles, and changes in testosterone levels Fractures Referral headaches from migraines or cluster headaches that change the blood vessels and nerves of the head Salivary dysfunction

Every single tooth is a little organ, and the same blood and lymphatic fluid that flows to and through your heart and all the other organs and systems in your body also flows to and through your teeth. Additionally, there is a complex system of nerves that connect your teeth to your brain, and every tooth is connected to one of the channels of life-force energy most commonly known as the acupuncture meridians. So, when you see the whole picture, you understand that your teeth are affected by what is going on throughout your body, and, of course, your entire body is affected by what is going on in your teeth.

Unfortunately, we usually do not learn about the oral/systemic health connection and the hidden risks of conventional dental practices until after we have developed at least one chronic health problem conventional practitioners do not know how to resolve. I understand it can be hard to believe that established dental practices that have been around for many decades can be obstacles to your good health because it was a challenge for me as well. All biological dental professionals were once traditionally trained. The move away from that training to encompass a wider view is never easy, but vital to our integrity.

Be Your Own Advocate and Become Educated

Changing things for the better begins with questioning the status quo. It ultimately requires that you make better-informed choices so you do not wind up supporting the dysfunctional aspects of the conventional dental and medical establishments. Every time you accept and pay for a treatment, you are in essence saying, "I support this.” So please, before paying for a root canal procedure, or for that matter, any other procedure, make sure the problem is not somewhere else and that the pain in your tooth will not subside if you properly address that issue.

The surest path to good health is to become educated (at least in a general way) about the different approaches to dentistry and medicine that are available to you before you actually have to make a choice for you or your children. With this in mind, I encourage you to seek out and create your own network of practitioners — family physician, dentist and nutritionist, for starters — who have a holistic understanding of health and appreciate the value of working together as a team to meet the health-care needs of you and your children. While finding and creating your own network of holistic practitioners will take some time, it will be time well spent.

My years of practice have taught me that the best way to prevent disease is to build your health. We all have a self-healing potential, which I refer to as "the Health." I'm devoted to helping people learn how dental practices caneither improve or damage their health. I want to help you make well-informed choices that support your health in body, mind and spirit. You certainly do have choices to make, especially avoiding unnecessary root canal procedures.

The holistic physician Dr. Thomas Rau, in his comprehensive book, Biological Medicine, says: "The disruptive fields which occur most frequently in the body, causing remote illnesses in other organs, are the teeth. So long as these disruptive factors are not eliminated, the physician will remain unsuccessful in many cases of chronic disease." Ultimately, the tragic consequence of not acknowledging the connection between our teeth, dental treatments and our overall health is no attention is given to the real cause of — and curative treatment for — many chronic health problems.

Powerful Strategies to Consider Before a Root Canal

When you have pain in your leg, arm, stomach, eyes or any body part, hopefully you are not advised to kill the nerves of the area to shut off the pain. While this is obvious for these body parts, this advice is not obvious, and certainly not routine in your mouth.  Most conventional practitioners have accepted the idea of killing a tooth even though it causes a poisonous environment that harbors pathologic bugs and disease.  If a tooth is sensitive or hurting, the following are some of my recommendations before agreeing and paying for a root canal procedure:

Ozone therapy Proper oral hygiene Stress management Nutrition Oil pulling Local support for the tooth such as adjusting an ill-fitting restoration, a splint or mouth guard, decay and more Digest enzymes Proper sleep Traditional Osteopathic Treatment and support

All the above can buy time for your immune system to recover allowing your tooth to heal. In trying to support and encourage my patients’ own healing capabilities, and based on my studies, I will tell you that, without a doubt, what you are eating and drinking every day has a huge influence on the health of your teeth and gums. Even more, it is essential for us to appreciate that good nutrition contributes to the structure and function of every cell in our bodies.

I want to do all I can to make sure my patients and readers of this article understand the importance of developing the right nutrition habits in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. Nutrition can also support you while your tooth is healing from a metabolic, physical or emotional injury. In that respect I firmly agree with Dr. Mercola’s nutrition plan . If you haven’t had a chance to review it, please do as it is completely free and over 100 pages. It is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections so you can easily customize it for yourself

There is absolutely no question that making a commitment to self-care practices to help to prevent tooth decay in the first place is an example of wisdom in action. Except for a tooth injured by some type of physical trauma, a tooth that has had a root canal procedure, also had some degree of decay.

Prevention is BEST Option for Avoiding Root Canals

To prevent the need for root canal treatments, you must eliminate tooth decay through proper oral hygiene and good nutrition. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings are preventative measures that help to remove the sticky plaque and calcified deposits that form on the surface of teeth and helps to minimize the impact of many individuals' nutritionally poor and sugar rich diets. I have learned, and so I teach, that faithfully practicing good nutritional habits is, without a doubt, the most important preventative measure, because tooth decay is a consequence of systemic metabolic disturbance.

As Dr. Weston Price wrote in his book, 'Nutrition and Physical Degeneration', "...when teeth are decaying, other things are going wrong in the body"! To achieve optimal oral and total body health, your teeth and the rest of your body needs you to choose high quality foods that are in harmony with your metabolism. It is also absolutely essential to eliminate all sources of refined and processed sugar, white flour products, soft drinks and all other 'junk' foods and beverages. The wisdom is actually very simple: give your body what it needs and avoid hurting yourself with what you are eating and drinking!

A wise but simple oral hygiene practice that can be very supportive in helping you to have healthy teeth and gums, is the practice of 'oil pulling'. This wonderful practice not only has preventive value, but also therapeutic value for teeth and gums. Choosing to keep a dead tooth in your mouth can put you at increased risk of a variety of health problems. So, if a dentist recommends a root canal procedure to "save" your tooth from being pulled, remember to ask yourself, "How will I be affected if I have a dead, chronically infected tooth in my mouth?" Or do I really need this root canal? Perhaps the tooth can heal without the unnecessary root canal procedure.

When I graduated from dental school, I took an oath that to this day encourages me. The oath said in part: "I will strive to advance my profession by seeking new knowledge and by re-examining the ideas and practices of the past." I hope that oath guides you, as well as me, on this journey toward making choices that will support your health. I hope it will encourage you, your family and the community to help forge a new dental and medical “Paradigm”.

Resources to Help You Find a Biological Dentist

If you are seriously considering any of the dental procedures discussed above it is best to have them performed by a biologic dentist. The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist that would best serve your needs:

About the Author:

Dr. Lina Garcia is a Doctor of Medical Dentistry as well as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. She has been dedicated to the research and teaching of alternative solutions for conventional dentistry.  Dr. Garcia has published several articles and is soon releasing her first book, “Take Care of Your Teeth and Build Your Health”. She has trained around the world and is excited to be able to offer holistic services at her practice. She sees patients from all over the United States and worldwide, in her South Barrington, IL office

You don’t own yourself — the Federal Reserve does!

Trent Goodbaudy - 16 hours 50 min ago

For a while I have been receiving e-mails from a good friend who has asked me to investigate something weird about the Birth Certificates. He wanted me to take a look at them because they have certain numbers and other […] ↓ Read the rest of this entry...

The post You don’t own yourself — the Federal Reserve does! appeared first on Freedom from Government - Official Website.

LBMA defense of London gold fixing distracts from central bank involvement

GATA - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:53

10:03p ET Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

The March edition of the London Bullion Market Association's magazine, The Alchemist -- presumably named for the ability of LBMA members to turn gold into paper -- carries a long defense of the daily London gold price fixings against complaints that they are likely manipulated by their participating bullion banks.

The defense, written by Peter Fertig, director of QCR Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd., maintains that there are plausible explanations for the aspects of the fixings that have been called suspicious by Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz of New York University's Stern School of Business. Plausible explanations or not, Fertig declines to explain the necessity of the peculiarly closed and elite mechanism of the London fixes, a mechanism not used and indeed not allowed in any other commodity or currency market.

Fertig acknowledges only briefly that peculiarities in London gold fix prices may have something to do with central banks. "During the period under investigation," Fertig writes, "many central banks had been sellers of gold."

... Dispatch continues below ...


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Indeed, probably every bullion bank participating in the London gold fixes is used by various central banks as cover for surreptitious intervention in the gold and currency markets. At least that is the powerful implication of the secret March 1999 report of the staff of the International Monetary Fund, which found that Western central banks are determined to conceal their gold swaps and leases to facilitate their surreptitious interventions:

http://www.gata.org/node/12016

How much more useful Fertig's research would be if it examined whether the bullion banks in the London fixes get gold or pledges of gold from central banks and function in effect as the agents of central banks in the gold market. But like everyone else connected with the London gold fix, and like all mainstream financial news organizations themselves, Fertig can't put a single critical question to central banks about their participation in the gold market. The first rule of mainstream analysis of the gold market is never to question the market's primary participants. This turns all such analysis into mere distraction, which usually seems to be the objective.

At least Barrick Gold, once the big hedger among gold miners, admitted a decade ago that it had become an agent of central banks when it borrowed their gold and sold it into the market:

http://www.gata.org/node/1858

Those who advocate free and transparent markets in the monetary metals and limited government rather than totalitarian government may hope that the class-action lawsuits starting to be brought against the London gold-fixing banks eventually will compel them to claim the same immunity Barrick claimed when it was sued for gold market rigging. That is, a claim of immunity as the agent of central banks, a claim that will put responsibility for gold market manipulation where it most belongs.

Fertig's essay is titled "Has There Been a Decade of London PM Gold Fixing Manipulation?" and it's posted in PDF format at the LBMA's Internet site here:

http://www.lbma.org.uk/assets/blog/alchemist_articles/Alch73Fertig.pdf

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

* * *

Join GATA here:

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2403 Flora St., Dallas, Texas
Saturday, May 31, 2014

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Spring Dinner Meeting
Union League Club, New York City
Thursday, May 22, 2014

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Canadian Investor Conference 2014
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1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sunday and Monday, June 1 and 2, 2014

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New Orleans Investment Conference
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https://jeffersoncompanies.com/new-orleans-investment-conference/home

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Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of our London conference in August 2011 or our Dawson City conference in August 2006:

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Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

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The Secret World Of Gold

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:22

In light of the Chinese demand we discussed earlier, the ongoing manipulation of 'rigged' markets everywhere, and rising geopolitical tensions (as the de-escalation continues), we thought it worth dusting off this excellent  and wide-ranging look at the history and present of the barbarous relic, gathering many perspectives (pro and con) on gold.

The following documentary moves from historical shipwrecks to Nazi 'death gold' and England's war chest to recent years where widespread economic uncertainty has given the yellow metal a "new luster in the world of high finance." Valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold; and the clip provides color on many of the market manipulations of the last few years. As MacDonald says, whether it’s a few gold coins or gold bars stored in one of the many vaults around the world, many investors are taking a shine to gold. But there’s not a lot of it. It is said that, even melted down, there would not be enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Some claim that much of the gold held by the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and Fort Knox is gone - that for every 100 ounces of gold traded, there exists only one ounce of real, physical gold. So, where is the gold - and who really owns it?








Gene Arensberg: What's important -- what Comex participants say or what they do?

GATA - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:07

9p ET Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Gene Arensberg's Got Gold Report discloses tonight that the major gold futures market participants classified as producer merchants have the smallest short position in eight years. The industry, Arensberg writes, is expecting higher prices. His commentary is headlined "What's Important -- What the Comex Participants Say or Do?" and it's posted at the GGR Internet site here:

http://www.gotgoldreport.com/2014/04/whats-important-what-the-comex-part...

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

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http://www.jsmineset.com/2014/04/01/toronto-qa-session-announced/

Join GATA here:

Porter Stansberry Natural Resources Conference
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora St., Dallas, Texas
Saturday, May 31, 2014

http://stansberrydallas.com/

Committee for Monetary Research and Education
Spring Dinner Meeting
Union League Club, New York City
Thursday, May 22, 2014

http://www.cmre.org/news/spring-meeting-2014/

Canadian Investor Conference 2014
Vancouver Convention Centre West
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sunday and Monday, June 1 and 2, 2014

http://cambridgehouse.com/event/25/canadian-investor-conference-2014-inc...

New Orleans Investment Conference
Wednesday-Saturday, October 22-25, 2014
Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana

https://jeffersoncompanies.com/new-orleans-investment-conference/home

* * *

Support GATA by purchasing DVDs of our London conference in August 2011 or our Dawson City conference in August 2006:

http://www.goldrush21.com/order.html

Or by purchasing a colorful GATA T-shirt:

http://gata.org/tshirts

Or a colorful poster of GATA's full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2009:

http://gata.org/node/wallstreetjournal

Help keep GATA going

GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax-exempt under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Its e-mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at:

http://www.gata.org

To contribute to GATA, please visit:

http://www.gata.org/node/16

The 5 Faces Of Income Inequality

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 21:36

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,

Since Easter is a time of family, compassion, forgiveness and resurrection, I thought this would be a good weekend to think about the income inequality/wealth gap which will be part of the mid-term election debate. There are many questions that must be answered from not only “how” to solve the issue, but also “should” it be?

There is no historical evidence that wealth redistribution leads to stronger economic outcomes as it discourages “hard work.” However, there is also little argument that the current state of crony capitalism and corporate greed has gotten more than just a bit out of hand.

To start our thought process in this week’s things to ponder here is a study on the wealth inequality gap in America by Politizane:

 

1) Thomas Piketty, Whither The Bottom 90% by Scott Winship via Forbes

"Piketty’s book lays his cards on the table from the start. He titles it to evoke Marx and begins with an epigraph quoting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen to the effect that all inequality should be viewed as suspect. He poses the question in which he is interested as whether capitalism is fundamentally self-correcting in a way that prevents inequality from getting out of control or whether it will produce ever-rising inequality. While he allows that his answer is “imperfect and incomplete,” his modesty goes out the door before that paragraph ends. Piketty’s thesis, in his own words:

 

'When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.'"

2) The War On Poverty Is Grounded In Paternalism by Scott Beaulier via Real Clear Markets

“The plight of the poor is about a lot more than getting a better education or finding a job. It's about repairing the damage that has been done to their lives on a multitude of margins--broken families, stress and depression, fear of crime, drug use, etc. And, the plight varies from person to person and community to community. Like the broader effort to alleviate world poverty that I mentioned earlier, our War on Poverty has layered one bad idea on top of another in the hope something will stick. Yet, the problem persists, and there are few promising signs we are even headed in the right direction.”

3) Baseball And Income Inequality by Nick Colas via ZeroHedge

The United States already has the highest level of income inequality of any advanced country (according to the CIA’s World Factbook), but particular cities within the country display a considerably higher level than the national average.  And among cities with Major League Baseball teams, the inequality that exists regarding ticket prices directly correlates with the level of inequality in those urban areas.”

4) The Mismeasure Of Inequality by Kip Hagopian and Lee Ohanian via The Hoover Institution

“Perhaps the most important question left out of almost every discussion about income inequality is, “Why should we care about it?”

 

Many of those who worry about high income inequality argue that it is an indicator of social injustice that must be remedied through redistribution of income (or wealth). Unfortunately, those who make this claim have not provided any generally accepted criteria for determining when an economic system is unjust. Nor have they provided a convincing argument that such injustice is widespread in the U.S. (In considering this issue, it is worth noting that Greece, Spain, and Italy all have substantially lower income inequality than the U.S. The same is true for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.)

 

Measuring inequality using the Gini coefficient. There are at least five methodologies used to measure income inequality. The most commonly used is the Gini coefficient (also called the Gini index) developed by Italian statistician Corrado Gini. The Gini coefficient is a method of measuring the statistical dispersion of (among other things) income, consumption, and wealth. The figure of merit for the Gini coefficient for income inequality ranges from zero to 1.0, where zero represents total equality (all persons have identical incomes) and 1.0 represents total inequality (one person has all of the income). By this measure, the U.S. has substantially higher income inequality than almost all other industrialized nations. In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. Gini coefficient was .469, while the average Gini coefficient for the 27 European Union nations was .31.”

5) A Guide To Statistics On Historical Trends In Inequality via Center On Budget And Policy Priorities

“Data from a variety of sources contribute to this broad picture of strong growth and shared prosperity for the early postwar period, followed by slower growth and growing inequality since the 1970s.  Within these broad trends, however, different data tell slightly different parts of the story (and no single source of data is better for all purposes than the others). 

 

This guide consists of four sections. The first describes the commonly used sources and statistics on income and discusses their relative strengths and limitations in understanding trends in income and inequality. The second provides an overview of the trends revealed in those key data sources. The third and fourth sections supply additional information on wealth, which complements the income data as a measure of how the most well-off Americans are doing, and poverty, which measures how the least well-off Americans are doing.”

Whatever your position is on income inequality or the “great wealth divide,” there is little argument that it currently exists.  As I stated at the beginning, the question is whether something should be done about it.  Raising taxes on “the rich,” forced redistribution, increases in social welfare, etc. all have potentially negative economic consequences which affects everyone.

There is clearly no easy solution. However, for the upcoming mid-term elections this debate will waged to swing votes in favor of those who want to remain in political office on both sides of the aisle.  This is ironic considering that the majority of those individuals are currently in the top wealth brackets in the U.S. Maybe we should just start there?








Quick Update On The Conscience of Paul Krugman

Mises Canada - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 20:43

It certainly generated amusement among critics of Paul Krugman when Gawker reported that he was being paid $25,000/month to do very little work on behalf of the City University of New York’s new program on income inequality. I truly wasn’t going to say anything about this episode on these pages; I mentioned it on my personal blog, and merely asked my readers if they thought it was hypocritical, without weighing in one way or the other.

Yet it is the defense of Krugman by his supporters (e.g. here and here) that has pushed me to comment. Krugman’s defenders are claiming that he hasn’t really been lambasting “the 1%” so much; rather, he’s been attacking the “0.01%.” They also explain that his $225,000 spot at CUNY is probably a pay cut (though we don’t know exactly what he was getting paid from Princeton).

Well,  Krugman just appeared on Bill Moyers’ show for an episode that had “the 1%” in its title. (I don’t know when the interview was actually recorded; it could have been before the Gawker story broke.) During the first 3:00 minutes of the show, both Moyers and Krugman refer to “the 1%” as being the bad guys. Krugman never stopped to clarify, “Oh by the way, if we’re talking about income (as opposed to wealth), then I fall into this group whom we’re going to demonize for a half hour.” Anybody casually watching this conversation would certainly walk away thinking we were talking about “the 1%,” and not “the 0.01%.” To repeat, that term was in the very title of the episode.

(Incidentally, as far as I can tell Krugman’s income isn’t public knowledge. But, according to the latest publicly available IRS data, “the 1%” threshold in the United States was an adjusted gross income of about $389,000 in 2011. With his  professor salary, royalties on his popular books, high-dollar speaking fees, and income from financial assets, I would be very surprised if Krugman isn’t in “the top 1%” if we’re going by income, which many people in The Occupy crowd have in mind.)

While I’m on the subject, one other quick update: In a previous post I showed how Krugman didn’t even bother mentioning the very sick patients (including those getting cancer treatment at NYU) who were “furious” about the effect ObamaCare was having on their ability to keep their doctors. In a later post Krugman actually wrote this about some of the ObamaCare critics:

[T]he benefits of Obamacare, for all its imperfections, are immense. Millions of people who lived extremely anxious lives now have far more security than before. Compared with those benefits, the complaints of some already insured people that they have less choice of doctors than before, or that they’re no longer allowed to retain minimalist plans, look like whining. (And of course not one of the more serious-sounding stories about soaring premiums and all that has held up under scrutiny.)

Got that? He is literally calling cancer patients whiners. (Or actually no, that’s not right: He is saying that their complaints “look like whining.” Krugman characteristically has left himself an escape hatch. No matter the evidence, you can’t disprove what complaints “look like” to Paul Krugman.) And note that in a country with hundreds of millions of people, not only is Krugman confident that not a single case exists of someone who has been truly hurt by ObamaCare, but he is so confident that he says “of course” no such story has been documented. I mean if there were a single human being really hurt by ObamaCare, Paul Krugman would know about it, since he’s the compassionate yet empirical one.

Anyway, I will return to more substantive issues in future posts, but these two incidents were so brazen I had to comment.

Anti-HFT Trading Platform Comes To "Rigged" FX Markets

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 20:29

The surge in volume on the anti-HFT equity trading platform IEX - of Flash Boys and TV-fight-night fame - makes it very easy to see how the buy-side (which the US retail investor is one small part of) clearly prefers an un-rigged place to find willing sellers (or buyers). Relatively light regulation and high volumes make the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market a prime target for high-frequency traders. More than 35% of spot currency volume in October was by speed traders, up from 9% five years earlier, but just as in equity markets, there are speculators and there are natural buyers and sellers in FX markets (looking to hedge payments and receipts from real business for example). As Bloomberg reports, a currency-dealing platform known as ParFX, established in 2011, offers a transparent marketplace and subjects orders to random pauses of about 20 to 80 milliseconds, and "is the industry’s effort to heal itself."

IEX volumes hit record highs...

 

And now the FX markets - also dominated by High-Frequency-Trading - have an anti-HFT platform upon which to transact...

The FX market is just as plagued by the HFT "parasite" as equity markets...

Relatively light regulation and high volumes make the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign-exchange market a prime target for high-frequency traders. More than 35 percent of spot currency volume in October was by speed traders, up from 9 percent five years earlier, according to Boston-based consultancy Aite Group LLC.

 

...

 

There’s been a lot of dissatisfaction, particularly on the buy-side and asset-management community, about high-frequency trading,” said Richard Bentley, the vice president for financial services at Software AG, which aggregates trading platforms including ParFX. “There’s the perception that they’re parasites. What ParFX have done is essentially play to that and said, come and trade in our pool, because we’re not going to allow the HFT people to come and spoil the fun.”

And ParFX was set up specifically to rmeove HFT's ability to front-run orders (just like IEX did in equity markets)...

A currency-dealing platform known as ParFX, established in 2011 by firms from Deutsche Bank AG to Citigroup Inc...

 

The system started trading in July, and now executes deals for 15 firms including Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Barclays Plc and UBS AG, the four biggest currency dealers. It expects to have 25 percent more clients by the end of April.

 

ParFX offers a transparent marketplace and subjects orders to random pauses of about 20 to 80 milliseconds, and “is the industry’s effort to heal itself,” according to Marcus.

The bottom line is a search for "trust" is on the rise...

“These banks do need to trade foreign exchange because it’s their business and they’re hedging their currency exposure across the world,” London-based Marcus said in an April 15 interview. “They would rather trade in an environment that they can trust.”








It's Time To Retire Gross Domestic Product As A Measure of Prosperity

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 19:34

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

What if we used wellness (Gross Domestic Happiness) as a metric for prosperity rather than GDP?

Distilling an economy's success in delivering "prosperity" to a single number has outlived its purpose. Zachary Karabell describes the birth of GDP in far less complex times in (Mis)leading Indicators: Why Our Economic Numbers Distort Reality (Foreign Affairs):

A GDP that is growing in sync with expectations can enhance a country’s reputation and thus its strength and power. A GDP that is contracting or failing to meet expectations, on the other hand, can lead to disaster. Yet a hundred years ago, the concept of GDP did not exist; history unfolded without it. The United States, for example, managed to win its independence, fight a civil war, and conquer a continent without any measure of national income.

GDP’s origins lie in the 1930s, when economists and policymakers in the United States and the United Kingdom struggled to understand and respond to the Great Depression.

 

It is not terribly surprising that economists and policymakers came to favor a statistical technique that helped the United States survive a depression and win a war. But not even the economists who invented this metric imagined that GDP would become so central to every state in the world within a few short decades.

The problem is this radical reductionism at the heart of any single measure is irrevocably flawed:

 

Leading indicators were invented to measure the economies of the industrial nation-states of the mid-twentieth century. In their time, they did so brilliantly. The twenty-first century, however, is proving more challenging to measure. Industrial nation-states have given way to developed economies rich in services and to emerging industrial economies exporting goods made by multinational companies. The statistics of the 20th century were not designed for such a reality, and despite the assiduous efforts of statisticians, they cannot keep up.

These shifts have created a temptation to find new formulas, better indicators, and new statistics. But the belief that a few simple numbers or basic averages can capture today’s multifaceted national and global economic systems is a myth that should be abandoned. Rather than seeking new simple numbers to replace old simple numbers, economists need to tap into the power of the information age to figure out which questions need to be answered and to embrace new ways of answering them.

The limitations of GDP are so severe that the number is at best misleading. Karabell identifies three intrinsic flaws in any single-number scheme to measure GDP:

1. GDP does not include vast swaths of economic output and value

2. GDP is useless in measuring real-world trade

3. GDP counts digging a hole and filling it but not conservation of energy or resources.

If a steel mill produces pollution that then requires a cleanup, both the initial output (the steel) and the cost of addressing its byproduct (the cleanup) add to GDP. So, too, would the cost of health care for any workers or residents injured or sickened by the pollution. Conversely, if a company replaces its conventional light bulbs with long-lasting LED bulbs and, as a result, spends less on lighting and electricity, the efficiency gains would detract from GDP. Yet few would argue that the pollution example represents a positive development or that the lighting example constitutes a negative one.

The simplistic assignment of "import" and "export" completely misses the reality of modern manufacture and trade, where parts come from multiple nations. As Karabell explains:

 

If trade numbers more accurately accounted for how products are made, it is possible that the United States would not have any trade deficit at all with China. The problem, in short, is that trade figures are currently calculated based on the assumption that each product has a single country of origin and that the declared value of that product goes to that country. Thus, every time an iPhone or an iPad rolls off the factory floors of Foxconn (Apple’s main contractor in China) and travels to the port of Long Beach, California, it is counted as an import from China.

A more reasonable standard, of course, would recognize that iPhones and iPads do not have a single country of origin. More than a dozen companies from at least five countries supply parts for them. Infineon Technologies, in Germany, makes the wireless chip; Toshiba, in Japan, manufactures the touchscreen; and Broadcom, in the United States, makes the Bluetooth chips that let the devices connect to wireless headsets or keyboards.

 

Taking these facts into account would leave China, the supposed country of origin, with a paltry piece of the pie. Analysts estimate that as little as $10 of the value of every iPhone or iPad actually ends up in the Chinese economy, in the form of income paid directly to Foxconn or other contractors.

I have addressed this issue for years, for example: Trade War with China: Who Benefits? (April 11, 2007)

Trade and "Trade War" with China: Who Benefits? (October 5, 2010)

No single number, regardless of the inputs, can possibly reflect the real economy. Karabell concludes:

How entrepreneurs run effective businesses; how individuals buy homes, pay for college, or retire -- none of those decisions should be based on the leading indicators of the last century. Old attachments to those indicators, and to the myth that there is something called “the economy” that affects all people equally, poses a major obstacle to progress.

Karabell also discusses what I call the propaganda value of GDP:

 

These measurements were not invented to serve as absolute markers of national success or failure or to indicate whether some governments were visionary and others destructive. But the transformation of these numbers from statistics into markers of national success happened so quickly over the course of a few decades that no one quite noticed what was happening.

I tend to think political authorities knew exactly what was happening: they realized that their own credibility could be boosted by a rigged GDP number. Thus we have the central government of China issuing blatantly bogus claims of 7+% annual GDP, as anything less will severely erode their claim of managerial brilliance.

In our own propaganda-dependent state, GDP is almost always positive, much like corporate earnings always beat expectations by a penny.

But we should be paying attention to an even deeper critique of GDP: that prosperity no longer depends of the "growth" of consumption, financialization, etc. but on the Degrowth of narcissistic consumerism and more efficient use of resources and capital.

What if we used Bhutan's guiding national policy of Gross Domestic Happiness, as a metric for prosperity?

A second-generation GNH concept, treating happiness as a socioeconomic development metric, was proposed in 2006 by Med Jones, the President of International Institute of Management. The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking seven development areas including the nation's mental and emotional health.GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following measures:

1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution

 

2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic

3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses

 

4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients

 

5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits

6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates

 

7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

Here in the U.S., we give lip-service to all these values, but ask yourself: where do we spend most of our time? Serving our masters in the State/crony-cartel economy, creating GDP.

Yes, we all still need to earn a livelihood, but imagine a society constructed around generating Gross Domestic Happiness instead of GDP. The power structure would collapse because none of these activities generate enough profits or taxes to keep the Machine operational.

It is a sad statement that we often only awaken to real value and meaning when we've run out of time to change the way we "invest" our time.








Two Of The Most Remarkable Charts We’ve Seen This Year

King World News - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 18:58
As the world seems to hurtle from one crisis to another, today a man out of Europe who has been extremely accurate with his calls on the gold market sent King World News two of the most remarkable charts we’ve seen this year. He also included some fantastic commentary to go along with the key charts. Below is the exclusive KWN piece by Ronald-Peter Stoferle of Incrementum AG out of Liechtenstein.

US, And Global, Military Spending Summed Up In One Chart

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 18:36

While we previously noted the relative stability (but absolute surge) in US military spending over the past few decades, the scale of what the world's peace-keeping, red-line enforcing, hypocrisy-packed nation spends in context to the rest of the world...

 

Source: AFP

We previously put the US military budget in context over time...

 

 

And unless we get some serious military conflict to blame a reflation on, and if U.S. military spending were to revert to its 2000 level over the next five years, as President Obama had proposed, and the rest of the world were to continue spending the same portion of its GDP on the military, U.S. military spending as a share of the global total would decline sharply, to just under 30 percent.








Everything We Are Told About Deflation Is A Lie

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:18

Submitted by Tim Price via The Cobden Center blog,

“The European Central Bank has given its strongest signal yet that it is prepared to embrace quantitative easing to prevent the euro zone from sliding into deflation or even a prolonged period of low inflation.”
- ‘Draghi strengthens QE signal’, Financial Times, April 4, 2014.

Yes, heaven protect Europe’s embattled citizens and savers from a prolonged period of low inflation. How could they possibly survive it ?

If history is any guide, probably quite well. As Chris Casey points out in his essay ‘Deflating the deflation myth’, the American economy during the 19th Century twice experienced deflationary periods of roughly 50 percent:

Source: McCusker, John J. “How Much Is That in Real Money?: A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, Volume 101, Part 2, October 1991, pp. 297-373.

This during a period of “sustained and significant economic growth”. But just think of all those poor consumers, having to make the best of constantly falling everyday low prices.

In their research article ‘Deflation and Depression: Is There an Empirical Link?’ of January 2004, Federal Reserve economists Andrew Atkeson and Patrick Kehoe found that “..the only episode in which we find evidence of a link between deflation and depression is the Great Depression (1929-1934). We find virtually no evidence of such a link in any other period.. What is striking is that nearly 90% of the episodes with deflation did not have depression. In a broad historical context, beyond the Great Depression, the notion that deflation and depression are linked virtually disappears.”

In his 2008 essay ‘Deflation and Liberty’, Jörg Guido Hülsmann writes as follows:

“In the present crisis, the citizens of the United States [he could have added: and of the UK, and Europe] have to make an important choice. They can support a policy designed to perpetuate our current fiat money system and the sorry state of banking and of financial markets that it logically entails. Or they can support a policy designed to reintroduce a free market in money and finance. This latter policy requires the government to keep its hands off. It should not produce money, nor should it appoint a special agency to produce money. It should not force the citizens to use fiat money by imposing legal tender laws. It should not regulate banking and should not regulate the financial markets. It should not try to fix the interest rate, the prices of financial titles, or commodity prices.

 

“Clearly, these measures are radical by present-day standards, and they are not likely to find sufficient support. But they lack support out of ignorance and fear.

“We are told by virtually all the experts on money and finance – the central bankers and most university professors – that the crisis hit us despite the best efforts of the Fed [..and the Bank of England, and the ECB..]; that money, banking and financial markets are not meant to be free, because they end up in disarray despite the massive presence of the government as a financial agent, as a regulator, and as money producer; that our monetary system provides us with great benefits that we would be foolish not to preserve. Those same experts therefore urge us to give the government an even greater presence in the financial markets, to increase its regulatory powers, and to encourage even more money production to be used for bailouts.”

But as Hülsmann goes on to argue, all of these contentions are wrong, and have been proven to be wrong since the times of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. A paper money system is not beneficial “from an overall point of view”. (Nor has any unbacked paper money system ever lasted.) A paper money system does not create real resources on which our welfare depends. “It merely distributes the existing resources in a different manner; some people gain, others lose. It is a system that that makes banks and financial markets vulnerable, because it induces them to economize on the essential safety valves of business: cash and equity.”

The conventional view of deflation is that if it sets in, “the banking industry, the financial markets, and much of the rest of the economy will be wiped out in a bottomless deflationary spiral.” But as Hülsmann goes on to argue, such a spiral would not prove fatal to the lives and welfare of the general population. Rather, it would destroy “essentially those companies and industries that live a parasitical existence at the expense of the rest of the economy, and which owe their existence to our present money system.”

Let us be more explicit. Severe deflation threatens at an existential level bankrupt banks and the bankrupt governments that perpetuate their existence. Deflation is a mortal enemy to the heavily indebted state and its embedded parasites, but it is a friend to the saver and to anyone with a positive net worth. Because it is so dangerous to the debtor, (unelected) central bankers clearly feel they have no option but to incinerate savers at the altar of perpetuating an unsustainably indebted banking and political elite.

So it would seem that the euro zone, under Mario Draghi, is on the verge of outright quantitative easing, and that the ECB is also committed to using “unconventional instruments” in an increasingly desperate attempt to revive the corpse through explicit inflationism, not least by actually buying sovereign debt of dubious underlying value, rather than merely pledging to. The financial markets certainly appear to think so: the yields on Spanish 5-year government paper fell below those of their US equivalents last week. Spanish bonds yielded more than 7% above US paper as recently as 2012. And as Bloomberg pointed out, the yields on Spanish and Italian five year paper, and the yield on 10 year Irish government debt, all fell to record lows last Friday.

Whether in terms of goosed bond markets or inflated stock markets, inflated higher not necessarily by any improvement in corporate prospects but primarily by expectations of more ex nihilo money courtesy of the world’s major central banks, these are false markets. They cannot entirely be trusted – assuming that markets ever can. Fund manager Seth Klarman has written well on the artificiality of today’s markets:

“The Fed and the Treasury openly discuss the aims of their policies: to manipulate financial markets higher and to generate reported economic “growth” and a “wealth effect”. Inside the giant Plexiglas dome of modern capital markets, just about everyone is happy, the few doubters are mocked and jeered, bad news is increasingly ignored… The artificiality of today’s markets is pure Truman Show. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve purchased about 90% of all the eligible mortgage bonds issued in November.”

John Phelan of the Cobden Centre writes well that “the Federal Reserve has become an enabler of the financial havoc it was designed (a century ago) to prevent.”

Messrs Yellen, Draghi et al should be careful what they wish for. Inflation targeting is hardly a precise science. Achieving an entirely arbitrary 2% inflation level is bad enough for savers on fixed incomes when deposit rates are close enough to zero as to make no difference, but markets have a tendency to overshoot. Most government bond markets are clearly overbought – but in a QE world given fresh impetus by the looming arrival of the ECB, overbought markets can become even more overbought. When we don’t claim to understand the underlying dynamics (political) or the final destination (though we have our own fears), it’s much better simply not to play. From an asset allocation perspective, classic, benchmark-unconstrained Benjamin Graham-style ‘deep value’ equity is, we now believe, pretty much the only game in town – and that is where we now focus our attention, almost exclusively.

Meanwhile, we watch in disbelief as market distortions become even more untenable.








How Americans Die

Zerohedge - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 16:35

America is growing older.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the conversion of America's age pyramid into a rectangle from 1960 to 2050, as was shown in a recent post highlighting America's two 'slow-motion' social dramas. As the Pew Institute summarized "we'll have almost as many Americans over age 85 as under age 5. This is the result of longer life spans and lower birthrates. It’s uncharted territory, not just for us, but for all of humanity. And while it’s certainly good news over the long haul for the sustainability of the earth’s resources, it will create political and economic stress in the shorter term, as smaller cohorts of working age adults will be hard-pressed to finance the retirements of larger cohorts of older ones."

 

And as society comes to grips with the realization that the average age of America will hit new record highs with every passing day for the indefinite future, a new, and far less pleasant topic is sure to gain prominence. Namely: how Americans Die.

This should be intuitive: since older people die sooner than the young, even despite the generally declining mortality by age cohort, the sheer record number of aged Americans will soon drown out the incremental improvements in life expectancy.

But it is not only age that is a key issue: one surprising finding (in addition to a curious tangent of a brief spike in AIDS-related deaths in the late 80s and early 90s for the 25-44 year old cohort), is that over the past decade, motor vehicle accidents has lost its top spot as the primary cause of violent deaths across the population, handing over the title to both drug-induced deaths and suicides. 

Incidentally, in 2010, the number of suicide deaths was nearly four times greater than the number of Americas murdered by firearm. Perhaps it is time to ban suicides.

All these and many other curious observations surrounding this fascinating topic are revealed in the following interactive visual data compendium by Bloomberg's Matthew Klein.

So without further ado, here is a detailed look into How Americans Die.

First, it should be obvious that courtesy of numerous, life-extending advances over the past several decades, the morality rate has tumbled. Yet in recent years, it has been mostly males who have benefited. Overall progress stopped in the mid-1990s.

 

However the lack of improvement can be attributed to a simple factor: the aging of Americans, and specifially those aged 55 and over have risen as a total portion of the population from a little over a fifth of total in the year 2000 to a quarter currently.

 

Another obvious observation: old people die sooner than the young

 

Instead of breaking down the population into genders, looking at age cohorts over time shows a plunge in mortality across all age groups, with the biggest beneficiaries being Americans 25 and under.

 

However, something curious appears in the 25-44 age group sometime in the late 1980s...

 

That something was AIDS...

 

The AIDS epidemic was so bad for about a decade, the disease became the single largest killer of Americans in their prime, surpassing cancer, heart disease, and all other causes of death.

 

Of all races, however, the AIDS epidemic targeted mostly black men between 25 and 44.

 

Another curious observation: there has been no progress in mortality for the 45-54 year olds since the late 1990s.

 

This quandary is further compounded by the reduced mortality of cancer and heart disease - the biggest traditional killers of this age group - over the past several decades.

 

So what is the offset? Simple - a surge in deaths from two new killers - suicide and drug deaths.

 

As noted earlier, while until the mid-1990s, gun deaths outnumbered drug deaths, since then the number of gun murders has actually declined, while drug deaths have exploded. As have suicides. Actually perhaps it is time to ba suicides and drugs. Oh wait, somehow the pharma lobby wouldn't be too happy with that.

 

As for cars, no need to ban those: motor-related deathes have plunged to a record low, even with seemingy everyone texting and driving.

 

Safer roads, however, have been more than offset by an explosion in suicides, with representatives of the 25-44 age group most likely to take their lives.

 

Still, despite all of the noted curious patern shifts, the reality remains that most Americans are living longer and dying of natural causes.

 

If there is any bad news here, it is that as Americans get older they increasingly succumb to such debilitating, age-related diseases as dementia and Alzheimer's. Indeed, while there has been substantial progress in heart disease-related deaths, the total number of deaths in the 75 and older category has remained flat, precisely due to the increasing prevalence of such age-degenrative conditions.

 

Which means one thing is certain: the amount of spending on Alzheimer's and other age-related diseases is set to soar.

Source: Bloomberg








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