Episode-1807- Four Years of Flux – Rapid Changes Between Now and 2020

future

Today I will take a look into the next 3.5 years, yea half of 2016 is already gone and tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of what I see coming.  They world is not on “a tipping point” it is teetering on dozens of them, some good, some bad and again some ugly.

Understand I am not someone who claims to be a futurist or a profit, just a person that pays attention and isn’t willing to let others tell me what will or won’t happen.  Over the years I racked up a lot of spot on predictions and a few misses to boot, keep that in mind today.

We are at a very unique point in history though, there has never been a time like this, ever.  Every generation seems to think that but this time really is different.

Consider that in 1995 almost no one was online.  It was going to be 3 years before google was even founded, but yahoo was born in that year, as a simple directory.  There was no such thing as a smart phone, no Facebook, Twitter, Slack or any social media at all.  I was using a pager for work, only senior managers had mobile phones.  We still had tape players and frankly CD players in cars.  It would not be till 2001 that the first iPod would let you keep a measly 1000 songs on it.

In 1995 a 1 gig hard drive was huge, now we have 256 gig usb drives that hang on a key chain.  That is only 20 years ago folks.  And nothing has slowed down, in fact tech is speeding up rapidly.

In those same 20 years China’s GDP doubled making second only to the US as a global economic super power.  Russia rebuilt itself after the fall of the USSR into a new military and economic superpower.  In the last 5 years the middle east has turned into a complete quagmire.  You know what though, all that stuff is typical, it is what happens when you marry technology to the standard global flux that thing really start to change.

Tune in today to discuss…

  • Things that will clearly be on their way out by 2020
    • Conventional education
    • Most manufacturing jobs
    • Most agricultural jobs
    • The general practitioner doctor
    • A tremendous number of low level and service jobs
    • The current IPR paradigm
  • Things we will see available by 2020 in mass
    • 3D printers – in a way you can’t yet imagine
    • Self driving cars will start to be on regular roads
    • Virtual reality will be on the way to becoming a mega industry
  • Bad things likely to happen by 2020 or very soon there after
    • The student loan bubble won’t pop, it will explode
    • Commercial real estate will crash in a way that makes 2008 look like a day at Disneyland
    • The government is going to take over health care, people will beg them to
    • The stock market will crash, hard
    • The government will take over everything it can (survival mode)
    • Dozens even hundreds of pension funds will fail
    • Domestic terrorism will get worse
  • The solution
    • There is no one solution
    • Work hard, save, protect your wealth
    • Develop hard and soft skills
    • Stay up to date on technology (yes social media)
    • Create groups, community, relationships
    • There has never been a time more suited to basic prepping
    • Don’t be afraid, when you fear you capitulate to tyranny
    • Be open to radical change at the systems level
    • Be a willow not an oak

Resources for today’s show…

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83 Responses to Episode-1807- Four Years of Flux – Rapid Changes Between Now and 2020

  1. LowWattLiving

    I think about people talking about the 20’s all the time. I’m 42 and I do remember people talking about the 20’s when I was younger. It seems crazy.

    • My father was 41 when I was born. So I had an “older” father than most of my friends had growing up. I remember my dad talking about having an outhouse until he was 19.

      • Modern Survival

        Yea my dad was pretty young when I was born but it didn’t matter rural PA was a different place. My old man was born in 51, when he was 10 he helped my Grandfather build the bathroom, it was an obvious addition to the back of the house off the kitchen, since there was plumbing there.

        There was also no septic, there was a huge old stripping hole behind the house and a drain pipe just dumped everything in it. Since there was only our family and two others doing that into that hole which was about 80 acres in size, it did no damage and you never would have known it. Amazingly human waste is organic matter! I should note this hole was forested in, did not hold water.

        It wasn’t until the 90s that the township put in proper sewer and hooked up all the old homes to it.

        When I watch the house hunting shows and people complain that a bathroom, especially a half bath is “too close to the kitchen”, I just realize how fucked we are as a society.

        • I’m the youngest out of 10 kids. We lived on a small farm and back then we were Mormons so having a lot of children was not out of the norm. Man I wish we still had that place. We never knew how good we had it.

  2. I’d like to see a podcast that takes a look at Sun Tzu and the Art of War and how his philosophy can be applied today to make our lives more resilient. Especially with all the changes coming our way.

    Good show.

  3. I haven’t listened yet, but it seems like your didn’t mention war in other countries affecting us. We got into two world wars at the end of major depressions. We are also more divided ideologically than ever. Some countries are looking to take advantage of this.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-baltics-troops-russia-1.3635139

    • I listened to your ‘cast. Three times. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting anything you said.

      I think you are right on the beginning of it all, just not the timelines of it all.

      Also, I see three different ways it can go.

      1.) Socialism takes over. If there are no jobs, crime and unrest go through the roof! Guaranteeing people the basics of home and food along with the distraction of free VR will stop the riots against the “Haves”.

      2.) World War. You are completely right that countries are attacked when they are presumed weak. If what you said happens, student loan bubble, commercial market crashing, high unemployment, stock market crash. If all this happens, not only expect more domestic terror, but expect Russia to test NATO in the Balkans and China to take over the South Chinese Sea. I’d almost expect Russia and China to coordinate their attacks simultaneously to stretch our military resources. I wouldn’t say nukes, but missiles on our cities? Definitely. (This would also follow our history of WW-I and WW-II.)

      3.) The school system is “Bailed out”. You state that if half of the working population becomes unemployed, they will home school. I think you are giving people way too much credit. Public school is used a day care for parents. All the creative stuff will be cut: art, music, auto, ect. but the rest will go on. Some will learn, most will fake it. some won’t care. Again this will be deemed more “efficient/cost effective” than kids running loose and tearing up stuff.

      In the end we’ll find out how it goes.
      The one thing that is an absolute. VR is the new drug. Imagine being able to escape a world of disappointment and loss when you can have the illusion of excitement, fame, notoriety, and sex.

      • Ed H from Ohio

        I agree with you considering VR. People use drugs as it is when they think their life sucks. Imagine if you could go into a Virtual World and be a King or a Great Warrior. If the amount of power you have in VR determined how much money you had in the real world for your needs people would in VR all the time.

  4. WOW..Jack this is a sobering episode. I have been thinking these things for a while now myself…however when I mention to a close friend or family member that this economy or political system is a total sham they look at me like I have 3 heads. We have 3 kids….the pressures and stigma of “preparing for college” is probably worse then when I was in high school…in high school we all applied to many colleges the waited with fingers crossed for acceptance letters….but now not only is college completely unaffordable (unless you anchor yourself with tons of debt) the social aspect is worse IMO. Safe zones, politically correctness, “diversity”, inclusiveness, entitlement…..I don’t want my kids getting into that snake pit…for what..a job at IHOP?? Thanks Jack….great show today…
    Chef Keith Snow

  5. I liked the view on how Virtual Reality will take off. This phenomenon was portrayed in the fantastic Sci-Fi novel “Ready Player One” by Ernest Klein. In that the VR console called the ‘Oasis’ takes over as the system that everyone in the world uses.

    It also depicts free online education and a lot of business done through it. Some of the main characters start off in poverty, but become rich via the ‘Oasis’. So there is some parallels with what Jack shared.

    PS. If you’re going to get the book, go via tspaz.com;-))

    • Modern Survival

      Imagine “Second Life” in a real player experience. Just sayin.

    • The next few years we’re going to see huge strides by the establishment to keep the public docile while they strip away the last of our financial and political liberties. I was an early adopter of tech back in the day, but no more. VR, self driving cars, robot assistants, social media going all-video/audio, all of that stuff is going to be rolled out big time in the next 5-10 years. As the last of industry and tech jobs disappear it will be vital that the establishment keep up the dog and pony show in order to camouflage the beginning of the next phase.

      If it wasn’t for the fact that we have a political elite manipulating these human developments I’d probably be in support of these advancements. As it is I can only play the Luddite card now and be very, very concerned as the USS Humanity is increasing steered into choppy waters.

    • Ed H from Ohio

      I agree Virtual Reality will be huge. Their is an anime that you can watch on Netflix called “Sword Art online” that is the future of video game playing. Also VR could be used for Virtual Nations. When you can’t tell the difference between the two Worlds will add a whole new level too how we can live in our world. I am sure this will solve some problems we are dealing with now, but cause new ones to replace the old ones. People may find jobs in VR instead of the real world to earn money to live. VR like in the anime is only a matter of time it may take another 20 years or maybe 30 or 40, but it will happen.

  6. OK, so when does Skynet become self aware.

    • Modern Survival

      I doubt we will see anything approaching that. The key is who controls skynet, by the way skynet exists.

      Google intelligent traffic systems

      You know that little series that didn’t make it with the girl terminator, they basically show this in the final episode of the first season, I think it was the final episode period.

      They plug her into the traffic system in Phoenix and when she comes out John says, “did you see it” and she responds with “I saw everything”. Then it got canceled despite pretty good ratings, hmm?

      By the way I am not basing my opinion on that rather it matches my opinion. I sold a LOT of hardened Ethernet equipment to TxDot and many cities and counties in Texas. I have been to the Tarrant county traffic facility just south of I-20 near Forest Park. It looks like video from NASA space center. Note that is ONE COUNTY.

    • Richard Hauser

      Read Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity Is Near” which is the theory about when computers will become smarter than people. The author claims it is about 2040.

  7. Government schools aren’t going anywhere for one simple reason, they constitute the largest confiscation on EVERYONE’S tax bill. Whether you have kids in school or not you pay for government schools. By the same token state colleges are supported by states using tax money. There’s no getting around school taxes. It has a built in support system through confiscation. Until you get rid of publicly supported school systems they are here to stay. I know they suck but it doesn’t make any difference. People who homeschool their kids still pay school taxes. Are there better forms of education? Of course there are. Will lots of people opt out? Of course they will. But, the education system isn’t going anywhere and I’ll bet you 1000 dollars if we are still around, that in 2030 all the major universities will be alive and well. Smaller attendance? Probably so. Different curriculum? Absolutely.

    • Modern Survival

      And the slaves will never be freed because they are too important to the economy. Right? You do realize it is a lot easier to end government schooling that slavery or gain women the right to vote for instance right?

      Our entire world is in such denial of so many things right now. Like I said by 2020 no one will doubt any of the things I talked about today.

      There will be hundreds of bankrupt universities by 2030, primary education will have less than a 50% participation rate by then and most of that will not be in buildings, there will be no such thing as a school bus.

      I will take your bet in SILVER, that would be 59 ounces as of today. So 59 ounces on the above? Cuz a 1000 bucks will be worth about 20 by then.

      • Do you think there is a point to where they just mandate you go to save the system? Governments are good about using force to keep failed systems going. So, if you home school you are endangering your children; therefore, they must send CPS to take them from you.

        Many countries do not allow a home school option. In WA state you have to (or risk above said CPS) register with the school that you are homeschooling and they require your children to take the crappy test.

        • Modern Survival

          Governments do what is in their best interest. This includes leveraging technology. Like I said they won’t stop taking the tax money, and they will eliminate a major expense at the same time. Once the market starts taking too much from them they will respond to the market, indeed they already have. You can go to government school at home in Texas right now.

          The only thing actually propping up government school for now is people see it as free day care.

      • Silver or an oz. of gold, either one works for me.

      • Actually no I don’t realize that at all. Human bondage isn’t very marketable at some point no matter where you are at.

        The notion that it is “for the children” has appeal worldwide. It’s why the confiscation for school taxes is so easily sold to the public, it’s for the children. You have the mistaken belief that colleges and school systems are in place to educate kids, they aren’t. They’re political power and money centers. You are right about alternative education beyond a shadow of a doubt, but it will exist along side of the huge bureaucracy of the mass daycare system that is a jobs program for marginally employable teachers.

        Colleges are profit centers on numerous fronts, money from taxes, sports, corporations, tuition etc. College sports is more ingrained now than it’s ever been. They’re more profitable now than they’ve ever been before and the students are on the the hook for life for tuition by Congressional decree!

        Will some colleges go bankrupt? Emphatically, YES! Will 90% of colleges fail? Not happening, not by 2030, especially state funded ones. Bluebird isn’t going anywhere neither are school systems.

      • It’s already happening. TL/DR: ITT-Tech shut down all campuses.

        https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/07/itt-tech-shuts-down-all-campuses

        Even main stream news outlets are reporting on the student loan bubble. It is bursting.

    • Modern Survival

      Let me add there is no reason to believe that it would end property tax. First more than half your property tax bill is NOT for schools. Man read it, read the break down.

      Next if they do get rid of most of the schools, fire most of the teachers and keep the tax than most municipalities MIGHT be able to pay existing pensions and service their other debts of other obligations for 20-30 more years. No politician thinks that far out.

      • its not apart of our culture to look that far ahead. It is in China. They look WELL into the future and plan for it.

      • I’m holding my tax bill in my hand right now, the bill is $1900, the school portion is $1014. So you are right it’s not half it’s 53.36%!

        I live in Dekalb County, GA. Not all school districts are as onerous. It’s the reason we just bought 40 acres in Missouri. 5 more weeks and we’re out of this tax feedlot!

        • Modern Survival

          Believe what you want Les.

          The writing is one the wall and your assumption that buildings need to exist to justify the theft of your money is so off point.

  8. Does pornhub have a a ticker symbol. Sounds promising.

  9. The “tithe” system you describe is what the Andean Cosmovision calls “ayni”…
    Reciprocity/exchange.

    A balance of giving and receiving that reflects the underlying dynamnics of the Cosmos.

    • Modern Survival

      Interesting a lot of authors have talked about it, I first herd it in The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

  10. Jack,
    I don’t understand the harm defaulting on these student loans has. Could you expound on it a little bit? What I mean is how does defaulting on faux money created via keystrokes cause damage other than the loss of future spending from student loans that won’t be taken out? I feel like it’s a gaurenteed loan that we borrowed from ourselves that we won’t pay back. I know I’m missing something but I don’t see it.

    Thanks

    • Further expounding:
      I understand how the student loan bubble explosion will cause the inevitable implosion of the education system and the ripple effect of that implosion through the rest of the economy. But what I don’t understand is how the loss of money that never existed effects the government/the people/wherever the fake money was loaned from?

      • Modern Survival

        Because the MONEY DOES EXIST, it doesn’t matter how it was created.

      • The government has essentially guaranteed $1+ trillion (increasing 50-80 billion per year) of student loans. If the loans are defaulted or forgiven (same effect), the government has to repay the investors (pension funds, individual investors, hedge funds, mutual funds) who bought the debt. This goes from an off-balance sheet liability for the government to being an on-balance sheet liability – all impacting the debt markets at one time in one fiscal year. Either taxes increase to pay the bill or the government prints money (inflates) to get out of the mess. Regardless, all Americans pay the bill both directly and indirectly (higher interest rates/borrowing costs AND lower buying power/higher prices for imports and hard commodities like food and energy).

        If the government defaults on the guarantees and doesn’t pay the investors, millions of Americans lose their retirement and investment funds (future capital) and many financial institutions would go bankrupt (leading to additional very negative follow-on effects).

        Ultimately, this is all about confidence in the US currency and economy. Too much defaulting on obligations (defaults OR inflation), destroys confidence leading to some very bad economic consequences. Ask the Venezualans, about life in an economy where all confidence in the economic system and government has implodes with all of the bills and consequences coming due.

    • Modern Survival

      Okay, first the government is on the hook for the trillion dollars. We can’t cover it. There are lending institutions who loose if it goes into default. These same institutions provide the new loans, the new loans keep the money coming into the existing education ponzi scheme.

      If I have to explain more than that you need to go back to MANY of my podcasts on basic economics.

  11. This is a start:
    http://fortune.com/2016/02/25/school-districts-teaching-through-virtual-reality/

    Virtual Reality in your School

    But they haven’t taken it as far as Jack where kids won’t need to be bused to schools to be taught via VR.

  12. Does TSP have a slack channel?

  13. Ron Longwell

    Sobering podcast, Jack. So here’s my question – and it’s a preparedness question. Are private 401k and 403b accounts in jeopardy? I’d love for you to discuss the concept of retirement (is it simply an quaint, outdated notion we should give up on?), and the pros and cons of pulling your money out of your retirement accounts before the balloon pops. And, if one does pull their money out, what’s the best way to invest it? Pay off your mortgage? Buy gold? Invest in your property infrastructure (gardens, tractors, livestock equipment, etc.)? Thanks for all your work.

    • Modern Survival

      The greater danger is what is inside them, securities wise, as in most are all in stock based funds, no hedge options, etc.

      Worst case they do some sort of “wealth tax” to “save the nation” and such things are not excluded from it.

    • 2+ years ago I moved my 401k from a stock/bond mix to “cash.” I was told there’s no longer a cash option so I asked what my options were. I had to go to a Money Market Fund. I just got this email from my Financial Benefits Dept.

      “An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although a money market fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in such a fund.” It goes on to explain that stocks and bonds are risks too.

      I feel like my money is being held hostage. Sigh

      By the way, I only fund my 401K @ 1% of my paycheck. I would stop funding altogether but my employer contributes 5% of my annual salary every year.

  14. From the recent things I have read and heard VR is going to be huge in the next couple of years. Next VR are doing concerts and sports events and Google cardboard offers cheap entry using your phone. Really interested to see how it goes when the sensation suits come out

  15. Great episode. A bit late listening, but the “Amazon grocery model” is already here – at least in some markets – and it’s working. I live near Seattle, so my area gets to be unoffical beta testers for many of Amazon’s roll-outs before they go national. Amzn recently partnered with a hyper-local small, organic grocery chain here and does 2 hour delivery of nearly anything in the store. And it’s just like you describe: within the established Amazon framework, you just click “add to cart” on your shopping: 4 tomatoes, a baguette, a roast chicken, some ginger ale. Sub-2 hours later, it’s at your door. Tried this service for the first time a bit ago when the whole family was sick and it was great. Cost was basically the same as it would be for me to go pick this stuff out myself – they just added a built-in gratuity for the driver. Honestly, between super-fast delivery of physical items and increased digital content, we’re at the point where I hardly have to leave my house if I don’t want to.

  16. Love you Jack, but you need to find another analogy and give up on the ‘LP’s are dead’ thing. It’s a smaller market for sure, but it’s like saying the American Bison is done, nowhere near what they were, but back from the brink. The ‘mp3s’ are easy’ and ‘only hipsters like LPs’ is out of context as well, sure there’s a lot of man girls that put their hair in a bun and hope their friends see them buying an LP, but the ‘easy’ part is like suggesting Mercedes will go out of business because KIA exists. The non-hipsters are in it for quality, and no digital format in broad distribution come anywhere near to the quality of LP.

    Just sayin…

    • Modern Survival

      Dude as an industry it is DONE, D-O-N-E

      It is a fad for now, nostalgia for the way things never were.

    • Richard Hauser

      Per your statement “no digital format in broad distribution come anywhere near to the quality of LP”, I’d say Neil Young would disagree.
      http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/6/7504455/pono-music-store-expensive-high-fidelity-audio

      And the first part of that statement “non-hipsters are in it for quality” is false basically because of the general interest level in both records and in the Pono player. The truth is that the rare audiophile is interested in this technology, but the majority of people don’t care. My guess is that you are one of the rare audiophiles. My uncle was one and we just through out his old real-to-real, now there was some quality audio.

      I agree with Jack, records are done. Heck, I think CDs are done.

      • Modern Survival

        Of course CDs are done! It is hard to grasp that they still exist for now. I have a shit ton of them but you know what, I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY ARE. I burned them all to my PC years ago, that music via icloud is on my mac, my pc, my phone, my TV, I need to find them and pawn them (likely for a quarter each) and buy a case of beer.

    • There is a telling scene in a movie I just watched about Phil Spector starring Al Pacino. The lawyer tasked with defending Spector holds up a 45 insert for a turntable to a young paralegal and asks him what it is. He has no idea. Interestingly, I just sold all of my albums and got decent money for them but I cannot get any takers at all for my cd’s. Personally, I just do not miss the days of having to flip an album over every forty minutes.

      • Modern Survival

        See I had one of those turn tables where you stack 5 records, one finishes the needle is drawn back the next one falls, it plays. You can go 6 strait (one side) then flip them all.

        I still do not miss that either! Apple Music or Pandora just has way too much going for it.

  17. So…we finally got out of debt. I’m 46 with a long history of choices that didn’t quite work out as expected.

    I am really conflicted about contributing to my IRA, but the company match is up to 4% now my plan is to do that into a ROTH for a while the withdraw my contribution after consulting with an accountant (but I learned I could pull out my money penalty free from Jack)….so it works like a savings account in which I instantly earn 100% interest…correct?
    1. Leverage the company match
    2. Get and use the money I’ve already paid tax on.
    Does that seem like a reasonable way to minimize risk and maximize short and mid-term gain?

    REF: http://www.rothira.com/roth-ira-withdrawal-rules

    • Modern Survival

      Yes but any contributions must be in place for 5 years before you can withdraw them tax free.

      • W-W-JACK-DO?

        Hummm….so my grand idea to contribute 4% + employer match of 4% and pull all the principle it out in 3 years to plunk down on a property isn’t going to work…

        But if I can get my down payment by other means (a stretch), a decent chunk of money could be available in ~7 years when the first 2 years of money hits the 5 year mark. That’s not as spiffy but not horrible.

        My last property, purchased in 2005 for $275K was worth $190K in 2013. I lost all my extra principle payments, sweat equity and every dollar I put into it…life’s savings. I really want to own land again, but I want to be patient, build up some reserves and a down payment and wait for a great deal to come along.

        My goal is to buy property again when the bubble pops…and I’m planning on 3 years as a target window.

        With that objective in mind, is diverting 4% of our income into an IRA still the “best” move?

        • Modern Survival

          Start out by finding out exactly what the penalties are on contributed funds! Far as I know on a standard it is 10% plus taxes, so IT MIGHT BE, 10%.

          So if you are going to put in say 20K and take that out you get 18K, additionally you have another 20K left behind. If that is the case you pay 2K for a total of 38K in money total for you long term. BUT IDK if that is the way it works. So I would find out the actual cost of taking the money and factor in the total. You may also want to make sure your employers plan will even let you withdraw part of the money, vs. all.

          Weird shit has happened since last I cared about 401s personally.

    • I did get some clarification from a CPA regarding the 5-year withdrawal rule.

      The five year clock starts from the day the plan was established.

      Therefore, I can contribute 4% and double my money from my employer all the way to 5 years. The day, I can withdrawal all the principle without penalty, including the employer match. I don’t currently have a great way to double my principle and still have access to it. Worst case I double my money now, and pay a 10% penalty to pull it out in 3 years…I think the math still works.

  18. Jeremy Downing

    I saw this today on Bloomberg. Let the commercial real estate implosion begin!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-16/day-of-reckoning-comes-for-u-s-shopping-malls-laden-with-debt

  19. Ron Longwell

    So I’ve been reading all this, and am intrigued by your last comment, “Weird shit has happened since I last cared about 401s personally.” So I think several of us are asking the same question here, but I’ll state it plainly: What does Jack Spirko do, personally, to prepare for retirement? Or is retirement something you’ve just given up on? Are you in the stock market at all? I realize you’re not God, for heaven’s sake, and I’m certainly not trying for (or advocating) a “just do what Jack does” approach to all this, but you’ve thought about all this much longer (and probably much deeper) than some of the rest of us. I’m really interested in knowing your approach to this whole conundrum. Maybe you’ve talked about this in an episode recently (I’m relatively new). If so, please link to that episode. Thanks!

    • Ron Longwell

      Thanks, Jack! That’s helpful. Perhaps you could address this whole retirement issue in a future episode. Feel free to self-destruct the comment now. 😉

  20. Jack seemed to indicate as a podcaster/educator that he can’t be replaced, at least not for a long time, but maybe he already has been and the audience just doesn’t know it:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3581085/A-robot-teaching-grad-students-5-months-NONE-realized.html

  21. Viewing a decade as coherent started with a book called Only Yesterday, written by F. L. Allen in 1931. He was the first to popularize the 1920s as a concept-one reason why you think of the 1920s first. The book is still in print and a good read. He was especially prescient in understanding the media and publicity–which he called “ballyhoo.”

  22. Tina Paxton

    Hi Jack, I am listening to this podcast for a second time. Very sobering and it leaves me with much to consider. I made a very long FB post yesterday and there were definite signs of “Spirko’s influence” in it. I *think* that is a good thing. haha.

    I am one of those with the Student Loan Albatross around my neck. It happens far easier than we realize as it is easy to focus on “get the degree, make more money” rather than on what the loan bottom line is. And, you guessed it, I can’t possibility pay the loan — the monthly loan payments are 2/3rds of my monthly income! I am not, however, in default.

    There is a program called IBR (Income Based Repayment) which uses your income to determine the monthly payment. My IBR payment is $0. I have to reapply yearly for 25 years and they will eventually write it off. If the government ends up having to write off a trillion dollars worth of loans such as mine, yes, that is going to make a huge impact on the economy! I can’t speak for all those in a similar situation as mine but for myself, I hate the situation I’m in…I hate that I got suckered into continuing in college with the carrot that when done, I will earn a great living…it is a sucker’s game and I’m one of the suckers.

    For anyone who thinks I’m getting the easy way out keep this in mind — it affects my ability to borrow for anything else because even though I don’t have payments, I still owe that money and it is considered anytime I apply for a car loan or mortgage or anything else.

  23. Jack, I still believe the most brilliant idea you had was the Indian Reservations setting up their own hospitals. No FDA, no Insurance malarky and “the politician that tries to regulate or stop it commits career suicide.”

    • Steve Forbes was talking about this too several years ago.
      I think it could make almost as much money for tribes as casinos.

      MANY please travel to Costa Rica and other countries for medical tourism…
      It seems like having them travel to a “third world” reservation in the Southwest would be easier for them and provide much needed income for tribes that got the short end of the stick land-wise.

      If the erected retirement facilities next to the casinos it would sure simplify things for a lot of people I see playing slots…

  24. A friend of mine is a teacher. She posted about 10 school days before the end of school that her kids had figured out they would pass the class even if they failed the final so most of them decided to just stop participating.

    Her mind was melting as so many kids seemed content with mediocrity. …but they were smart enough to figure out the point at which additional effort would not generate a substantial return on investment.

    I was raised to do my job/school/whatever, to the best of my ability. I agree with Jack regarding all the government school garbage, but I think it’s important to do the best you can where you are…even if where you are sucks sometimes.

    My teacher friend was trying to discern when this mediocrity mindset shift started to take over, and she settled on the participation trophy philosophy.

    I for one fear a world run by the participation trophy generation that we celebrated for sucking.

    • Modern Survival

      True story Sam, in 10th grade I had major paper due for the second of four semesters. I didn’t want to do it, between football, hunting and work, it just wasn’t something I felt was worth my time. So I just didn’t do it.

      The teacher sets me down and offers to let me turn it in late, basically pleading with me to do it. Your so smart, apply yourself that shit. Her face I can still see when I said the following to her.

      “Well I got an A on the first semester, I will get an A on the 3rd and 4th, I could take your tests right now, this second and do that and you know it. This paper is two major test grades so this semester I will get a C.

      Now what I figured out is that three A’s and one C will give me a final average of an A. The only thing on my high school transcript is going to be my final averages, so I just can’t see any good reason to spend my time and effort on something like this.”

      Her face was just kind of still and unmoving, sort of like a frozen oh fuck what do I say now type of thing.

      Exasperated she came back with well are you 100% sure you will get A’s on all my tests?

      After pointing out that they were all multiple choice, that I had never missed a single answer on one yet, that they were all out of the book which I had already read cover to cover in the first three weeks, that I never took notes or even paid attention in her class, I asked her if she doubted I would get all A’s.

      It ended with this statement, “well John we are done here, I hope you really think about this, you can still turn that paper in if you want”.

      There was never anyway it was ever going to happen. Doing your best makes sense but do your best where it benefits you.

    • Jack…
      I could not agree more. Thinking outside the box and not being a good little battery in the Matrix is good. Your story is hilarious and illustrates you’ve been thinking outside the box for a long time, and I think most of us appreciate you challenging us to do the same.

      I often ask people who are turning their hamster wheel of life trying to buy stuff they can’t afford, etc., “Are you sure that is the best use of your life?”

      I think where my friend was freaking out because the kids were not getting As, but Cs…their goal was to “pass” the class and that was it. The possibility of doing better than a C was of no interest to them.

    • Took an Economics class in college where the entire semester grade consisted of 2 tests. Never went to class and went in for the midterm. Scored a 96 while class average was in the 50s. Teacher added 35 points to everyone’s test so the average score could be “respectable”. Didn’t even bother to show up for the final.

      Oh yeah, this was at UT Austin.

      • Modern Survival

        *** Teacher added 35 points to everyone’s test so the average score could be “respectable”. ***

        And there you go, that is all I need to hear to explain that college has become young adult daycare. It totally explains the highly educated idiots that I hired and fired over the years.

  25. When discussing manufacturing jobs, I’d agree, as robotics get cheaper, more of those jobs will be replaced. However, didn’t those jobs already move to China? What about the possibility of manufacturing moving back to the US because of cheaper robotics? US might get a net job gain within manufacturing sector …just to support the programming and repairing the robots. This will give US designers the ability to startup new products via 3-D printing and robotics so fast that product evolution will make the consumer’s head spin. China won’t have time to steal our ideas.

    • Modern Survival

      No 2 trillion in output is a LOT of money, employing a lot of people. Your graph shows about 12 million people employed in manufacturing jobs in our nation.

      You know how many full time employees we have in the US in ALL JOBS. 123.6 million people are full time employees in the US.

      Hence 12 million manufacturing jobs represent 10% of total employment in the nation, 10 percent!

      To put it in perspective the largest single employer employs only 1.2 million people.

  26. I was listening this morning and you talked about how nobody uses CD’s anymore. Well, I pulled a car in at work and it has a cell phone mount that goes IN the CD slot, lol. My co-workers were wondering why I’m laughing. The company is called Koomus, I looked it up and sho’ nuff’ CD mounted cell phone holders.

  27. Jack,
    Good show! The VR thing I hadn’t thought about, but it isn’t hard to see it becoming a major industry. I’m glad you talked about that one.

    I do wish you had done a segment on the future of food and self-health care though. I know you’ve spent time on both of those topics and I’m sure you will talk about them again in the future.