Episode-1405- Listener Feedback for 8-11-14 — 53 Comments

  1. Oh Jack you are soooo right about technology in retail. I am a former” Evil Operator” of several “M” restaurants. I was screaming for this technology for my stores prior to 2008…it was available but the big chain was not ready with testing it for security purposes. This is no surprise to me and I bet the current operators are jumping for joy. Margins are thin and frankly the easiest place to cut cost is in labor. No brainer to capitalize a fixed asset cost and they don’t require health insurance!!! Don’t be surprised when the kitchen becomes automated also, that has been in test for quite some time. I am guessing once they get the bugs worked out it will roll out too. BTW…I sold out in early 2008 after 25 years in the business. Here is an interesting observation, I am seeing a very similar pattern in government actions to the business model employed by big business. The question is who learned from whom? Spot on Jack!!

  2. Agree with your summation of Dave Ramsey. He does a lot of good getting people to realize they need to get out of debt and helps them get out, but his other strategies are bad. His refusal to accept the wisdom of HELOC to get out of debt is such garbage, just like you said. My own 100% disagreement with Dave is his push for folks at age 60 to get Long Term Care Insurance. Every penny you put into LTC is gone is you don’t need nursing home or home health care. Accidents or sudden & quick illnesses mean all that money is in the LTC company’s pocket. Better to do good investments and spend the money however you want! My LTC is taken care of by Smith & Wesson, if need be.

  3. Conflicted Monday response:

    No, I would not receive the RFID implant because it would just be “buying” into another economic system that was controlled by the governments of the world.

    Since the scenario already shows that the Government can’t be trusted with the US dollar and global economy, I’m sure that most people in my local area would side with my thinking and refuse to get the implant. That said, I would have plenty of friends and neighbors to barter with for goods and services. I don’t believe that it would take my community long to become self-sufficient for most goods and services.

    I’m sure that other people in “free states/communities” would also refuse to get implanted and a large black market system would be established in direct competition to the Government system. This would allow my community to trade with other like-minded people who have goods or services that we may wish to acquire.

  4. Conflicted Monday: Wow, someone is either a Christian or has considerable familiarity with what you find at the back of The Book, to have written this scenario. Being a recently returned to the flock Christian, I would not participate in the RFID program as this bears far too much similarity with events described in Revelations.

    Might catch some mockery on this one, but that’s my legit response, and would be the same if this scenario was no longer just a hypothetical. It would be self-sufficiency and black market barter for me from there on in.

  5. Conflicted Monday:

    Well if the dollar AND the global economy has already collapsed, the black market and shadow economy would EXPLODE. My wife’s family experienced this same thing in Mongolia in the 90’s after a planned devaluation led to a currency crisis. Rationing was established, but it wasn’t enough for most families to live on and most stores didn’t have much on their shelves to buy. So just about everyone bought, bartered, and traded on the black market (BTW my wife said that booze was a very popular item to buy/sell at that time). So if we truly have an economic and dollar collapse, I expect black market shopping would be common even for those with the hypothetical RFID chip. Seeing as in that situation most of the things and services I want or have to offer would be easily bought or sold in the shadow economy, I wouldn’t see a compelling reason to get the RFID chip. Or maybe I’d get it and have it removed soon after, just in case there was something that required it. But I don’t think it’d be truly necessary, since the shadow economy at that point very well might rival the official economy. But seeing as I don’t see RFID “implants” as likely either, I’m not going to spend a lot of time worrying about it. On the other hand, I DO expect to see big growth of shadow economies in most developed nations as a response to increasing restrictions and tyranny.

    – Nick

  6. Funny thing about the Mcdonalds thing is that has been put in place for so long already at other places. Back at Virginia Tech one of the off campus subways had that years ago. I first went there in 2006, so who knows how long it was there before that.

    If subway can do it, I can assure you other places can too. You didn’t pay with the machine but you selected your sandwich. I see no reason why you couldn’t pay at it as well.

    The one area I see some issues is drive through. The only way i could see it working is if you had to get out of your vehicle to do it, and I can see some resistance to that. Depending on your vehicle an atm is a pain in the ass enough as it is, or even just hitting the red button at sonic, let alone picking a whole meal for 4 and paying for it. (Although you can use a card at sonic as well).

    • @The New Mike you said,

      “The one area I see some issues is drive through. The only way i could see it working is if you had to get out of your vehicle to do it, and I can see some resistance to that. ”

      Nope as they say, “there’s an App for that”. Restaurants like BJ’s Brew House and Panera Bread already have apps where you can order before you get to the place. McDs will have something similar.

      Pull out your free Obama Phone, get the free MickyDs app, pay with your Food Stamp Card and when you get to the window your food is ready to go, then you get the Obamacare Hospital App so you can check into the cardiac ward after one too many Big Macs.

      Yep in many ways we are headed strait to Idioacracy just with “smart phones”. Soon the phones will be called smart, not because they are smarter than old phones but because people are becoming dumber when the phones are getting better.

      • I stand corrected.

        What I didn’t consider is that the linear progression of an ordering line would/could be replaced. In fact, what you just described is work in parallel. Taking a bunch of orders, first come first served, but not necessarily first picked up. I still think in general that might be a pain in the ass due to the fact that you’d have to do it before hand, but I guess you could park in the parking lot, choose what you want, they make it and when its done you drive around. (You get a response).

        F___ that is actually a really good business idea….

        • Still not enough Tech in there. Phones have GPS right, time of travel estimated arrival time, etc.

          Add to it making parking lots like Sonic, the food is brought to you.

          When you arrive you pull up your app and type in 14 because you are in 14. The automated system has yoru food just about ready in cue because it knew where you were as you got closer and only needs 5 minutes to make your mcds slop anyway.

          The food is made by robots. I now need one person to talk to customers, one or two to run food to cars, one to refill shit, that is all. I am now running a restaurant with 3-4 employees.

          Sometimes 2 people and sometimes 4 or 5. The app builds a record so I only have the bare minimum of pain in the ass human labor.

          Right now at Panera you just pick your own order up off the counter if you already paid, it is just sitting there with a number when you get there. If you get there before it is up someone just yells #14 when they put it on the counter.

        • Give it another 5-10 years and when you get to your spot something akin to a bank tube for the drive up deposit will bring you your food. No more food runners even.

        • You can skip the tube and have a robot take it to the apps GPS coordinate.

          All it needs is basic collision avoidance and car window recognition (well within current tech).

          As soon as the self-driving cars get 50 state approval.. say goodbye to those pizza delivery jobs. =)

      • Going further you could very easily have it oriented how sonic does. You pull up, you have the menu. You don’t have the app? You can just QR scan something. Now its on the phone, badabing bada boom.

        My favorite part about that idea is that you offload the cost of the ordering mechanisms to software, which could be locally or in a cloud/central environment. Not only that but you offload the burdon onto the customers. They’re the ones who have to purchase and maintain the hardware necessary for ordering. At sonic (as an example) you have to maintain each and every card reader, each and every speaker, button, lights, etc. Nothing I hate more than pulling up to a drive through speaker and it sounding like ass, or you have somebody who barely speaks english and you’re not even 100% sure they got your order right.

        This is difficult to convey over text, but I pulled up to this local sonic (can you tell I like sonic?) in Northern Virginia and apparently they replaced the entire inside staff with cheap latin labor. I ordered a banana milkshake for a friend and when he replied he asked me if i said vanilla or banana. Try to say that in your best horrible spanish accent because they sound exactly the same. They actually got rid of that entire crew eventually, probably because of communication issues.

      • Ok, going EVEN further with this.

        Have you seen Dominos online ordering? They came out with it probably 4 years ago. Total game changer in my opinion. You obviously order everything online like you’d expect and then they have tracking software that tracks where your order is during the entire process. No calling up no bs, no “wheres the pizza”. No reason that couldn’t be everywhere else as well, especially in the places where I’m sorry I just don’t need extra help with my order.

        Like you said a restaurant can be different. If i’m going somewhere and I’m getting a steak I have to hear from them exactly what rare and medium-rare is. Descriptions aren’t normally enough for me to gauge whether or not If i go with one or the other I’m going to be dissapointed. (Either a very cold steak, or way over done).

        • Oh even steaks can be done with assurance with what rare means. Consider today people buy diamonds online and get exactly the grade they expect they can even view the exact stone in high resolution in browser and then click buy and they do it.

        • Fair enough.

          So what you’re trying to say is that when you go to a fancy restaurant, you want to be able to throw your weight around and have that king like atmosphere of telling your surf to fetch you food will soothing you will their tantilizing talk of the delicacies. While most of the time you’d rather deal with robots?

          Har har har.

          Going to a NICE resturant is definitely a weakness of mine. Leaving near New Orleans makes it easy to find good eaterys. Heck even walking around the French Quarter you may be like “oh lets go here for lunch, if we go for lunch it’ll be cheaper.” 150-170 dollars later….

        • Well pretty much. As all things it depends.

          Really what I am personally saying anyway is that when I go to a nice place I want the atmosphere. If I am paying 70 bucks for a steak MAY BE WORTH 35, I want an experience to go with it. If I am grabbing a quick bite I want to be left the hell alone even if it is a sirloin.

          It is really more about competence and service then cost, cost is just how you get there. A bit ago Dorothy and I took Bryan and Kelly Black (of ITS Tactical) to Lonsome Dove in Fort Worth. Chef Tim Love’s masterpiece in my opinion.

          With drinks and all, deserts, appetizers, etc. we spent more than I care to admit but hey, what kind of service do you think we got? I didn’t throw my weight around and I know you are just jesting but what really happened is I paid a premium for premium service and that is what we got.

          Basically a robot can do a better job than a server qualified to work at McDonalds and at least as good as one qualified to work at Applebees or Chilies. But they can’t do the job of one who is qualified to work at say Three Forks, Lonesome Dove or say Capital Grill.

          I actually think long term this will be a boom for SMALL TIME restaurants. There will be a great niche, in employing GOOD people. Imagine when you go to a resturant of the typical consumer level, think Chilies or something like that. You usually see 2-3 really good people and the rest are frankly incompetent.

          The good will loose jobs too, they will command a great wage with small niche restaurants. The bulk though will head for the welfare basket!

        • Agreed. I don’t know why I didn’t consider that but its kind of an obvious statement. I’m referring to the fact this will be a boone to the niche food place.

          The reason why the internet has become the master piece for the entrepreneuer is the number of people you can touch, but also the low cost of starting up. Because of the low cost, anybody can get started and because of the pool of individuals to pool from niche can go to the roof. A food place GENERALLY is limited by the number of people who can frequent it, so you have to drop the costs in order to get variety.

          I can certainly see cheaper physical business products and services being a boon for the niche food business. One of the things I can’t stand about Mish Shedlock’s opinions (not that I am reading any news/media anymore anyway) is his insistance that we don’t need so many pizza and fast food restaurants. I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t want one size fits all. Even if they do EXACTLY the same thing (with their business model), the taste is frankly different. Depending on the mood I am in, I’ll choose one or the other. (never ever ever never mcdonalds or subway. ew).

          If I could have 20 different burger places with different tastes, and there just isn’t some huge cost necessary to support it (therefore less customers are needed), that would be nice. More choice, and they are as less dependent on your support alllll the time. Maybe this is a good reasoning to say the mom and pop business isn’t out of date, just the model they’re using is.

      • That is true. I actually see the running the food out to customers as being a waste of resources, but can’t quite comprehend how to fix that situation cheaply. That is what the drive through line is, the person stays there, you come and get it (seems like the cheapest for the business).

        But that is one reason I like sonic, you can park there and sit around and decide what you want (always the most annoying process with multiple people).

  7. Conflicted: Without a chip, you won’t be able to pay rent, mortgage or property taxes, so you’re homeless. No car insurance, vehicle fees, or driver’s license renewal, bus/train/air fares, so no transportation. No hunting licenses or ability to pay entrance to state/national forests, so you’re not able to hunt/forage in the most common/fruitful places. And cameras everywhere enforce these rules.

    At this point, your only hope is the kindness and goodness of friends, family, and strangers. But if all this is happening because it’s the Tribulation spoken of in Revelation, that’s gone as well.

    At that point, all you have are the promises of the Lord: Seek first His Kingdom in all that you do, and you will always have what you need to glorify His name; Even in starvation. Think long and hard about Luke 12.

  8. The fast food story is essentially turning
    The the restaurants into large vending machines. I can just see the vending machine from idiocracy. Now serving the unfit mother. President Komatcho can’t
    Be too far off.

  9. My local library implemented a new checkout system last year. When you’re ready to checkout, you put your stack of books on the counter and scan your library card. Using the RFID tag on each book, it scans each book in the stack in about 3 seconds. That’s it, you’re done. Grab your books and leave. By the time I get to my car, I have an email from the library that shows the list of items I just checked out and the due date of each item. No interaction with a “librarian” is required.
    Seems like the grocery stores and big box stores could easily do the same with a cart load of crap. Just put your cart on the X, scan your credit card, wait 3 seconds, boom. Done. It’s definitely coming.

  10. Jack — I found a certain synergy out in the blog-o-sphere with your comments regarding when people will finally be completely fed up by government overreach and just say, “No more.” One of the other podcasts I listen to regularly is the C-Realm Podcast, and the guest on this week’s episode was John Michael Greer (author of The Archdruid Report). Greer cited a research trip across the US recently taken by an anthropologist he knows, and the anthropologist was asking people everywhere he went what their thoughts were on the direction of the country. This was the first time that he came away with the impression that most people see the entire system as broken beyond repair. Greer opined that this signifies a somewhat dangerous time, because when a critical mass of people see the current system as broken beyond repair, that is the stuff that revolutions are often made of.

    • No doubt the email is not encrypted and therefore anyone that has access to the library server or any servers in between you and your phone can read that email. Thus such a person (or government agent) can have a list of your books…. and track you when you carry your book around. I hope that doesn’t sound too paranoid, but they can read some credit cards (called “smart cards”) in your wallet as well. That is NOT paranoid. Criminals will do that.

      RFID readers can read a passive tag (which is what a library book would have) up to 12 meters away. That is by design. No telling how far a reader might gather info if one fiddled with the design.

      You can thwart such scanning by using one of those metal-lined wallets or building your own wallet using duct tape and aluminum foil. That will at least discourage the average criminal from stealing your credit card.

      As far as library books are concerned, I’d try getting one of those “freezer bag” totes with a metal-cloth lining and place a book in it. You can find out if the library scanner “sees” your book. Of course… don’t steal the book. This is just an experiment. Try different materials and see what works.

  11. The fast food ordering kiosks are already here. The Schlotzsky’s in one of the terminals at the Denver airport has had them for at least the last year. I fly in and out of there every few months. Sure there is still one person in the back making the order, and one up front to hand out the order and fill the drinks, but that is about it. Select what you want, add and delete items, select style of chips, select drink, even prompts for add on items, slide your card, prints a receipt, and wait for then to call your number and hand you the food.

  12. Conflicted Monday
    Not an unheard of scenario in some religious circles. Since one possible consequence of a collapsing economy could no income, the affect would be the same, so I have considered how that would look, in either case.

    I don’t plan to take the RFID (also known as ‘the mark of the beast’). What Christopher De V. said is what I’m willing to give up, including becoming homeless if the county takes the land. The truth is we don’t know for sure what we’ll do until faced with something, but I’d like to think that a new kind of ‘underground’ will evolve.

    Thinking ahead, I am experimenting with how ‘no buy/no sell’ might work, drawing ideas from history, such as the lives of pilgrims, pioneers, and civil war survivors What’s the use of learning their skills if I’m not willing to apply them. As crazy as it may seem, I enjoy the challenge as an experiment which includes staying home mostly and making do. So, I find that I’m eating less, I’m not so hungry, and I can do with less than I thought without losing weight. I know I can end the project anytime, with confidence having done it. So, to carry the experiment in to winter, I am dehydrating wild foods and invasive plants to make into super food powder and medicine. We’ll see this winter how that works, along with preps and garden. I don’t want to think I could do a thing, I want to know I can.

  13. Regarding conflicted Monday:
    I’m not sure why people are so quick to say “no way” to the RFID. Unless you pay completely in cash or barter today, “they” can already track everything you purchase. When I recently bought a house I had every one of my bank account transactions over the past two months scrutinized to make sure I didn’t have any “illegal” sources of income. The system is already extremely invasive. I’m not sure why having the “chip” moved from a piece of plastic to your body make a difference.

    Is it just the religious angle? As one who has studied and taught the Book of Revelation for a number of years, I find suspect the hyper-literal translations that are attached to one of the few books of the Bible that goes out of its way to heavily use symbolism. That kind of hysteria-inducing take might sell books, but it rests on very flimsy hermeneutics. Suffice it to say that the clearer parts of the Bible (the book of Galatians, for one example) makes absolutely clear that it is one’s faith that saves you not what is done with (or to) your flesh.

    Still, it is an interesting question to think about in terms of what the requirements are to participate in an economy. Everything has a cost.

    • That’s not a bad point. The sealing of the faithful, for instance is pretty much always interpreted as figurative as well. I don’t think that if RFID chipping becomes a common thing it will be mandatory, which means it wouldn’t even conform to what you call a sensationalist interpretation of the text.

      But forced chipping, at a time of great upheaval and suffering, with acceptance of it being a mandatory condition for participating in the economy? The parallels would be very hard for me to ignore.

  14. If the RFID chip was in my hand, or my head, then no way, that’s the Mark of the Beast. If it’s implanted in my buttcheek, then no problem, it’s already so close to the cell phone and credit card with RFID that I’m already carrying around.

    As an interesting aside, some think the Mark of the Beast being on the hand or head is actually symbolism for following the Beast in your actions (hand) or your thoughts (head). Considering how much the rest of the book is symbolism, that explanations seems as plausible as anything I’ve ever heard, and is where I tend to lean in my interpretation.

    And sorry if this makes this blog comment section eerily like Ep. 1404, but the earliest manuscripts of Revelation actually have the number of the beast as 616, not 666, which some believe to be a number puzzle pointing to the Emperor Nero.

  15. Was government involvement in nutrition such a good thing as Scott Adams and the caller suggests?

    Look at the governments dietary guidelines, food pyramid, food wheel, my plate, ect.

    US goverment nutritional recommendations that have been preaching a high carb, low fat, grain based diet have caused exploding obesity and diabetes rates and have killed millions of Americans.

    And you want the same government that royally f’d nutritional advice to get in to the financial advice buisness?

    • I’m no fan of government but your argument is riddled with issues.

      Do you think anybody is influenced by governments food pyramid, wheel, plate or anything else? Do you believe that the explosion in obesity is directly related to these advertising campaigns? (Meaning, that the millions of obese people were caused because of the food campaigns?) That is how your argument reads to me. In fact you explicitly state the government recommendations were the cause of exploding obesity, so I’ll take the above statements to be “yes”.

      The government could also be a product of the culture which believes that high carb, low fat, grain based diets are good diets. The advertisement campaigns are therefore would be just a natural result, and don’t actually influence (think cause and effect). In fact I’m sure you could pull any ol fatty off the street and ask them if the government uses a wheel or a pyramid and they’d have no idea what you’re talking about, but that is a speculative guess.

      I personally don’t think that a “high carb, low fat diet” is THE cause of obesity either, let alone the government’s advocation (all the way back in washington). Rather I’d say a poisoned food supply, but that’s me. There are enough people who eat high carbs and low fats that prove this one out, in my mind. Last weekend I was talking with a guy at the farmers market who sells pastured poultry and we talked about how we like the thighs the best and that we could literally careless about low fat breast meat. I doubt there are many obese people who purchase low fat breast meat from him.

      I might argue that the reason there is such obesity is because the food that obese people eat, isn’t even food, its just tasty coated inedibles. I don’t care if its grain, fats, or anything else. Slap salt/sugar/grease on a piece of plastic and its food. People have been saying this literally for decades. “Processed foods”. “Don’t eat as much processed foods”. Processed foods, to me, doesn’t mean foods that aren’t in their raw state, because that might mean something like canned corn, or fresh foods you might buy from the super market (like a whole cooked chicken) but rather all the “extra things” that are added in frozen foods, boxed foods, etc. I will also throw in all the unhealthy things given to animals that get turned into these foods as well.

      The only “real change” I’ve seen that government has caused in diets in the last few decades would be the school lunches by the current administration for which we’ve seen this thing flop like we all know it was going to. Certainly school lunches have always been government created, and have always sucked, but again, I would say product of the environment. That’s how you get pizza, fried chicken, french fries and all these other things for lunch. Thats what they want, thats what they want to pay for.

      • Actually Mike I don’t place all of that blame on Government but I do put much of it.

        The entire “low fat, high carb” diet was given legitimacy by government. Children were taught the pyramid from 1st grade on by teachers they trusted, so where their parents.

        This of course was pushed into the medical industry by government legitimacy and regulation.

        This led to a point by the 1980s that every other box of shit on the shelves of stores had a “low fat” or “no fat” label.

        Want to keep going, why is corn syrup in EVERYTHING, including shit there is no reason for it to be in. How about Bratwurst, yep they now have started to put fucking corn syrup in brats!

        How about canned tomatoes, for 15 years I watched my grandmother can tomatoes and never a spec of sugar was needed.

        Dude government is not only paying subsidies to farmers to grow corn, they are paying subsidies to companies to USE IT.

        Is the government behind this, sort of. The truth is industry is behind it. The same people that own P&G and Nabisco own Merck and Pfizer.

        The Food and Drug Administration?

        Come on man, why do you think food and drugs are regulated by ONE entity?

        Yet are you going to buy a loaf of bread or a burger from a doctor or pharmacist? Or get a medical exam from a baker or a butcher?

        The combination of food and drugs in one regularity body tells you the whole thing Mike. Yes government did a lot of this, but government is nothing but a bunch of psychopathic marionettes! Look who pulls the strings man.

      • @Jack

        I have been doing some “research” if you will on casuality and the reasonability of believing various beliefs. What I have come across is that in order to believe or prove that “The government caused obesity” you have a few things you must believe or prove first. (obviously). You also added in “who pulls the strings” which is intent, so I’ll lump that in as well. Here are some that come off the top of my head in no particular order.

        A. The government’s intent. (Did they MEAN to push on something harmful, or was it on accident). (I call this benevolant idot, and evil genius).
        B. The government was able to influence people in their choices via their “Food pyramid (scheme, har har)”
        C. Low Fat/High carb dietary advice CAME from the government. In otherwords you have to believe/prove that the government came up with it, or if that’s just what “people” believed.
        D. That Low fat and High carbs CREATES obese people. (I’m speaking casuality)
        E. Corn is subsidized specifically FOR people to eat it. (Rather than subsized because that’s what farmers grow).
        F. Government (this government) has control over what the mass of people do or do not do. (In this case, eat Low fat high carbs).
        G. The food and drug administration was created intentionally so that the same people who run food and drug companies can pass off food and drugs.

        These aren’t exactly in order, but you get the picture. I don’t feel comfortable taking a stake and claim in ANY of those. I know this government way way WAY too well. Here are alternatives to everything i’ve listed. Not saying i’m saying they’re MY opinions, but that they are pretty reasonable opinions.

        A. The government did not intentionally push “bad nutrition”, but believed it was good (they were wrong).
        B. The government doesn’t influence shit with what people eat. The government wants people to “stop eating bad food” (like fast food) but that is failing miserably. My response to F will point this one out as a falacy, at least some of the times.
        C. Low Fat, High Carbs came from people believing that fat makes you fat, and carbs give you energy (to burn those fat cells).
        D. Obesity has been created by shitty food rather than “Low Fat”. People gain wait eating very fatty fast food salads. There is focus on sugars, salt, saturated fats and other things in fast food as the cause of obesity.
        E. Since corn has been shown to be a multi-purpose crop and has become a wholistic, single point backbone of the countries food industry, subsidzing it ensures that there are less shocks in the supply and creates a more “constant stream” of corn to fuel the system. Corn stores VERY well and has a shit load of energy. These properties make it EXCEPTIONALLY well for a one size fit all for “fuel”.
        F. This is total bullshit. The population time and time again has shown that regardless of what government does it will do what it wants to. Every libertarian ever will say “look at prohibition”. Lets look at marijuana, lets look at any topic you want to discuss. Flat out, I couldn’t tell you what the portions are on a foot plate to save my life, nor do I believe anybody else can (who isn’t actively looking at the topic).
        G. It is a convenient boxing for a government organization to box reponsibilities by “what is ingested by a person”.

        To believe that the government’s actions were intentional, for malicious sake, to push bad nutrition (knowingly) onto its populace, to fatten them up, and kill them, so that medical companies can profit off the medical things, requires allllllll of those (and tons more beliefs) to all (probably) be true. Its a tall order. This is why Alex Jones is so friggin hilarious to me. He takes it up another 3 notches to the point where the liklihood of him being right is very low.

        I am still formulating a very systematic approach to breaking down these belief systems, but I tell you what I’m seeing pattern after pattern no matter what the topic is. Here are a few other ones I have white boarded out.

        “9/11 was intentionally caused by the US government for an excuse to go to war for oil”
        “Pearl Harbor was intentionally allowed to happen by the US so that the US would have an excuse to be pulled into WW2″ (my wife came up with this one because there was talk that the US knew the japanese were coming to attack pearl harbor and intentionally stood down the military protection at Pearl Harbor”.

        • Bluntly I could refute all of that easily enough but don’t have the time, desire or energy to do so right now.

  16. Just wanted to chime in on the Dave Ramsey thing. I am a huge fan of his, but probably agree with you a little more than I agree with him. I like to tell people I agree with Dave 120% on 75% of his advice. Forget saving for college, and his investment strategies.

    Now heres the thing I disagee with in your assesment, and the answer to your direct call for opinions on the question you asked. I sincerely believe that Dave absolutely practices what he preaches and that there is zero basis to believe otherwise. He has his principles and he sticks to them. So no, I don’t believe at all he leverages debt on real estate. Dave also runs a podcast and class called entreleadership and talks about best practices for businesses. The number one principal that the teaches to be successful is to walk with a huge amount of integrity. I believe he is a man of integrity. I think he is very dogmatic about the things he preaches as well, to a fault. That is his problem. I think a man who talk as much as he does about having integrity to be successful, and a man who fears his God as much as he does, will absolutely practice what he preaches.

    So, in my opinion. Yes he owes people an apology for 2008 (though I think his dogmatic brain still thinks he did the right thing,) and there is an argument to be made and you might be right (though I think I still side with Dave on this one) that it is wise to leverage debt in certain places like cars; real estate and business, However, I have no reason to doubt he practices what he preaches. You cant work in his organization unless you believe in his “brand” and principles. I think innuendo otherwise is inappropriate. I think is like accusing Geoff Lawton of secretly using pigs.

    My Two Cents.

    • Well I will say it again then, he is either lying or stupid. I guess you are making a case for him being stupid then.

      Either way don’t take his advice.

      John do you really believe Dave who is worth like 10-20 million sat and took a bath for more than 50% of it in 2008-2009? Do ya really?

  17. yep, I made my case. I’m leaning towards stupid. I think dogmatism is stupid. However, I do believe he is consistent. And I am a pretty firm believer in Hanlon’s razor.

    I’ve read his material and you have heard him enough too. Dave thought that we would always have Bear Sterns. He thinks there are organizations that are too big to fail (in an incapacity sense.) I was turned off by him at first because of all the valid criticism thrown at him over this very subject. So yes, I believe that Dave believes in what he was saying.

    And I am in agreement with you. On investment, I say don’t take his advice. Or at least the details. Baby step #4 is to save for retirement. I agree with the principle but not the execution.

    • @John, dude you know a guy like Dave doesn’t manage his own investments any more than say Suzie Orman does.

      Dave likely has a top level “guy for that” and doesn’t even understand what he does. Either that or he really is stupid, I am sorry I don’t think he is that stupid.

    • @Jack (hey how come I cant reply to your comments)
      Oh I’m sure he has a “guy for that”. But isn’t that what he recommends? He sends people to a “financial adviser” (liar) to do their growth stock mutual funds. Actually, doesn’t Dave say thats what he does? I’m sorry, I’m going to hold out and say you have to have a burden of proof that he doesn’t practice what he preaches. Daves known character flaws are stubbornness and hardheadedness. My “stupid” theory fits the description. He is also known for being a person a high character and integrity, your “liar” description does not fit. And once again, Hanlon’s Razor.

      I think his economic capital (money) is very much tied to his social capital. That social capital is destroyed when he does not practice what he preaches. When that integrity is destroyed, his economic capital is destroyed. Its a greater risk than early 2008 forecasts (not arguing for direct dichotomy there.)

      • ” Actually, doesn’t Dave say thats what he does?”

        And there is his out. And you know what I know enough to know this about financial advisers with NO BURDEN OF PROOF.

        1. Dave is absolutely an accredited investor.

        2. 99.5 percent of people that listen to Dave are not.

        3. Dave’s ELPs are people that work with non accredited investors.

        4. Only a complete moron that is an accredited investor uses an adviser that caters to non accredited investors.

        Enough said.

        Hence again moron or liar, take your pick, both are bad.

        • “And there is his out. And you know what I know enough to know this about financial advisers with NO BURDEN OF PROOF.”
          I’m sorry, Im having a hard time understanding what you meant by this.

          And when I said, “isn’t that what Dave says thats what he does” I was referring to the mutual funds, not going to the financial adviser. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

          And I’ve taken my pick, told you why, gave my evidence. I believe that Dave held on to his Growth stock mutual funds all throughout 2008 because he is a stubborn man with normalcy bias.

          I would agree both moron and liar are bad. But I’d be ok breaking bread with a moron more than a liar. There is an element of intent there and a much stronger accusation with the liar accusation than the moron one.

  18. Student Loan Debt: Is it Tax Deductible? Yes, and no. Student Loan Debt is touted as being tax deductible, but that is true only so long as you make less than 50 grand a year (it’s been a while since I had a student loan, so I don’t know if the number has changed). This means if you make a little more than the average salary today, your government student loan debt IS NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

    • This is such a good point. The amount of money I paid on interest in the last 2 years has been insane (nearly my entire paycheck goes towards student loan debt) and absolutely none of it was tax deductible.

      I am finding that unless you’re self-employeed, there isn’t remotely enough things you can deduct to make it even worth your while to do itemized deductions. I have been working on writing a How-to book, and have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on equipment and supplies. Doesn’t matter, still won’t be enough to beat the standard deduction.

  19. Blueberries: DON”T PLANT 18 INCHES APART !!!! If you want to be able to get in between them to pick, then 7-8 FEET apart is what you want.
    These things spread and get prolific. The season just ended in North GA and I’ve still got the scratches from 13 bushes to prove it.
    Try to buy early, mid- and late season varieties, or you’ll be overwhelmed.
    As the old man with the “you-pick-it” blueberry patch told me, put away your pruners for the first ten years. He was right, of course.
    And don’t forget to pinch off the blooms the first Spring, so they’ll spend that energy developing the root system.Azalea fertilizer each Spring before the blooms open works great.
    Shop around for better prices on the bird netting you will need, and be on the lookout for PVC plumbing pipe to build the framework with. It will slide onto upright pieces of rebar about 4 feet long.Best not to plant under trees if possible, cause leaves and limbs are a pain in the bird netting.
    You’re gonna have blueberries year-round, at least frozen for cooking.Enjoy!

    • I disagree about the pruners, but it depends on the shape you get them in. The first thing I do (especially now) with every plant that comes onto this property is give it one hell of a hair cut when it goes in the ground. I received some blueberries from ISONs nursery that were so wildly out of proportions I darn near cut them down to the ground.

      After going blueberry picking, I got a really good feel for how many plants you need. The patch had bushes at least 6-7 feet high and a good 4 foot wide. I should have counted how many bushes we picked from total, but we came away with 4 gallons. Maybe about 15?

  20. I really appreciate your discussions of “financial liars.” I’m in an industry where everyone seems to want to be my financial advisor – I’m an attorney, and my husband is a business owner. I just can’t figure out how exactly they could ever help me – sure, I put a % of my income into a 401k, but I’m also ready to slide that over to a money market should I feel I need to. I also buy silver / gold when it is a good deal, just like you always talk about. A little here and a little there adds up.

    I feel like there is nothing they can tell me I can’t find out through a little research on the various funds available to me. I can see historic performance, see holdings reports, and research various industries all on my own…

    Every time I am tempted to sign on with one of these guys, I can just listen to this podcast!