MATH IS HARD – THAT IS WHY WE’RE SCREWED

53 comments

Posted on 27th November 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Did you ever wonder where the term FISCAL CLIFF came from? All of a sudden it was immediately adopted by the entire MSM and all the politicians and corporate CEOs as the mantra to scare Americans into believing it must be avoided. It is clear to me that the powers that be did focus group testing to develop the proper term that would strike fear into the hearts of non-critical thinking ignorant Americans across the land. Nevermind that this fake crisis was created by the very people who are running around like chickens with their heads cut off warning of the dire consequences. The fiscal cliff is just another diversion created by the ruling oligarchs to keep the masses distracted. If we did nothing, taxes would go up, the arms industry would lose some profits, and Federal spending would be modestly cut all the way back to 2010 levels. The economy would suffer a short recession and would be growing again by the 4th quarter of 2013. Sounds horrific. The truth is that the lowlife politicians, their corporate puppeteers, and the Wall Street cabal don’t want to cut spending, pay more taxes or see their profits reduced. Therefore, a grand bullshit compromise will ultimately be announced to great fanfare and a 500 point stock rally will ensue.

But, as the story below clearly and factually details, nothing will be solved. The entitlement can will be kicked down the road like it has been for 30 years. No one in Washington DC gives a shit about the long-term future or unborn generations. They care about the next election. They depend on the fact that 99% of the public don’t understand deficits, debt, unfunded liabilities or accrual accounting. The American public wants to be lied to and mislead. They don’t want to think. They don’t want to do the math. It’s hard and won’t give them the answer they want. I wonder what percentage of Americans actually understand the concept of net present value? If you stopped a person on the street, they would probably think you were asking about net pleasant value. Our politicians have promised the American people $86 trillion more in entitlements than they have the money for. And this is based on an unrealistic discount rate of 8%. If we use a realistic discount rate of 4%, the unfunded liability will be north of $150 trillion for Medicare and Social Security. When you add in all the State and local unfunded liabilities, you approach $200 trillion. These figures are so mind numbingly large, that Americans just tune it out. This is what the oligarchs depend upon. They will slowly destroy your lives through their man made inflation and eventual decision to not honor their entitlement promises.

The sheeple will not rise up. They will passively be led to slaughter. Math is hard.

Cox and Archer: Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt

Hiding the government’s liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can’t.

By CHRIS COX AND BILL ARCHER

A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton’s Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama’s recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.

Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.

A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?

As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion “fiscal cliff” and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government’s unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one.

But it hasn’t. For years, the government has gotten by without having to produce the kind of financial statements that are required of most significant for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. The U.S. Treasury “balance sheet” does list liabilities such as Treasury debt issued to the public, federal employee pensions, and post-retirement health benefits. But it does not include the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and other outsized and very real obligations.

As a result, fiscal policy discussions generally focus on current-year budget deficits, the accumulated national debt, and the relationships between these two items and gross domestic product. We most often hear about the alarming $15.96 trillion national debt (more than 100% of GDP), and the 2012 budget deficit of $1.1 trillion (6.97% of GDP). As dangerous as those numbers are, they do not begin to tell the story of the federal government’s true liabilities.

 

image

David Klein

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

Why haven’t Americans heard about the titanic $86.8 trillion liability from these programs? One reason: The actual figures do not appear in black and white on any balance sheet. But it is possible to discover them. Included in the annual Medicare Trustees’ report are separate actuarial estimates of the unfunded liability for Medicare Part A (the hospital portion), Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

As of the most recent Trustees’ report in April, the net present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare was $42.8 trillion. The comparable balance sheet liability for Social Security is $20.5 trillion.

Were American policy makers to have the benefit of transparent financial statements prepared the way public companies must report their pension liabilities, they would see clearly the magnitude of the future borrowing that these liabilities imply. Borrowing on this scale could eclipse the capacity of global capital markets—and bankrupt not only the programs themselves but the entire federal government.

These real-world impacts will be felt when currently unfunded liabilities need to be paid. In theory, the Medicare and Social Security trust funds have at least some money to pay a portion of the bills that are coming due. In actuality, the cupboard is bare: 100% of the payroll taxes for these programs were spent in the same year they were collected.

In exchange for the payroll taxes that aren’t paid out in benefits to current retirees in any given year, the trust funds got nonmarketable Treasury debt. Now, as the baby boomers’ promised benefits swamp the payroll-tax collections from today’s workers, the government has to swap the trust funds’ nonmarketable securities for marketable Treasury debt. The Treasury will then have to sell not only this debt, but far more, in order to pay the benefits as they come due.

When combined with funding the general cash deficits, these multitrillion-dollar Treasury operations will dominate the capital markets in the years ahead, particularly given China’s de-emphasis of new investment in U.S. Treasurys in favor of increasing foreign direct investment, and Japan’s and Europe’s own sovereign-debt challenges.

When the accrued expenses of the government’s entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.

Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn’t be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation’s debt and deficit problems be solved.

Neither the public nor policy makers will be able to fully understand and deal with these issues unless the government publishes financial statements that present the government’s largest financial liabilities in accordance with well-established norms in the private sector. When the new Congress convenes in January, making the numbers clear—and establishing policies that finally address them before it is too late—should be a top order of business.

Mr. Cox, a former chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission, is president of Bingham Consulting LLC. Mr. Archer, a former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, is a senior policy adviser at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

 

53 Comments
  1. sangell says:

    I read Ben Bernanke coined the term ‘fisal cliff’. Of course it should be called the “Obama Plan” for it was his deal to get the debt ceiling lifted so he could continue his fiscal deficits without having to hike taxes of cut spending before the election.

    Fiscal Cliff sounds a lot better though than “The Obama Plan” or “Obama’s Ploy” or even the formal name “The Budget Control Act of 2011″.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 1:16 pm

  2. Stucky says:

    “Fiscal cliff” was first popularized last February when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of “the coming fiscal cliff” that would take effect with spending cuts and tax increases.

    A quick google search will reveal a Dallas Morning News editorial in 1975 …. about when New York City being on the verge of bankruptcy and the potential fiscal cliff. So, there has been at least some precedent.

    The bottom line is that there are only a handful (if, that) Original Sources used by the MSM. Then the entire dumbass MSM parrots like lemmings the dumbass shit spewed by these one or two sources.

    For example, take the description of Hurricane Sandy as a “Frankenstorm”. I don’t recall hearing that term before. Then, suddenly, it’s on every fucking network and newspaper, overnight. Like I said … MSM goddamned asswipe lemmings.

    Besides, I like the term …. it’s a lot better than the more accurate “point of no return”. That would actually scare the sheeple into doing something responsible. Can’t have that!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:35 pm

  3. Roysyl says:

    Paraphrased: “You don’t need a god to have a mass movement but you do need a devil” Eric Hoffer in “The True Believer.”

    It is much easier to herd lemmings than cats – Me.

    Connect the dots.

    Roy

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:20 pm

  4. Moto says:

    Another opinion piece in the WSJ by politicians who contributed to the problem while they were in office and now have all the answers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    27th November 2012 at 2:38 pm

  5. Administrator says:

    Moto

    Another useless comment that adds nothing to the discussion. Thanks for playing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:41 pm

  6. DaveL says:

    Once again, it’s good to be 72 (next week). I’m off the age cliff and heading for the bottom..

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 3:25 pm

  7. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @DaveL – Lucky.

    I’m 26, and looking forward to a lifetime of dealing with this mess. AT LEAST I”LL SEE THE iPHONE 95 AND YOUR ASS WILL BE DUST!!!!!

    ……god thats depressing. Someone get me a McChicken.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 3:34 pm

  8. AWD says:

    “Now, as the baby boomers’ promised benefits swamp the payroll-tax collections from today’s workers, the government has to swap the trust funds’ nonmarketable securities for marketable Treasury debt. The Treasury will then have to sell not only this debt, but far more, in order to pay the benefits as they come due.”

    SS and Medicare are a ponzi scheme. Only problem is the number of privately employed people is shrinking daily. Businesses are heading out of the country, small businesses are collapsing and going bankrupt in record numbers (due to regulations and Obamacare), massive layoffs, the economy is contracting while the boomer entitlements are growing exponentially. The boomers will choke and collapse the ponzi scheme. Sorry.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 3:55 pm

  9. Eddie says:

    It’s not the math. The math is pretty simple.

    It’s the preference that the average person has for delusional thinking, as opposed to facing the overwhelming evidence, the obvious truths and the sad circumstances of our world.

    It’s like when you wake up one morning and you know it’s freezing outside and you have to get up, chop some wood and make a fire. But you just want to lie there under the covers and hit the snooze button again…and just get five more minutes…so you close your eyes and pull the covers up over your head and try not to wake up…

    America has been hitting the snooze button for ten years. Rip Van Winkle is our role model. Most everyone has taken the blue ambien and washed it down with the government kool-aid, and who knows if anybody will ever wake up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 4:09 pm

  10. AWD says:

    Student loan bubble is starting to pop. 90+ day delinquencies at 11%.

    Here’s some math for you. Let’s see how smart you are….

    first, look at these two graphs:
    Student%20Loan%20Delinquencies_0.jpg
    Student%20Loan%20Delinquencies%20Total%20Amount_0.jpg

    Then, I give you a number. The number is the total amount of student loan debt (an increase of $42 billion since last quarter). Outstanding student loan debt now stands at $956 billion.

    Now, you do the math, if you can. How much money is currently in 90+ day delinquency. I’ll give you a hint: 11% of $956 billion. And the answer is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 4:36 pm

  11. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    Just started paying on mine. Yay.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 4:40 pm

  12. Eddie says:

    I had to laugh, AWD. The google ads are covering up the pertinent parts of both graphs, and I’m not even competent to move them out of the way.

    If ten percent of 956 billion is 95.6 billion and one percent of 956 billion is 9.56 billion then my mental arithmetic says the sum of those is your answer. Back of the envelope says 105.16 billion.
    Am I close? Is that a really, really large amount of money about to go poof?

    Most practicing dentists can’t even calculate the maximum safe dose of lidocaine for local anesthesia. Don”t put me on the spot like that.

    So what happens when it pops? The government has always been the guarantor of those loans, right. We’ll just bail out the banks again. No big deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 5:01 pm

  13. AWD says:

    The maximum safe dose of Lidocaine, or xylocaine, or tetracaine, is enough to acheive complete local anesthesia.

    $105,160,000,000 in student loan debt (all Federal) is 90+ days delinquent, and may never be paid back, and is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy court. The delinquency rates have gone parabolic is the point of the graph. The full story is on zero hedge.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-27/scariest-chart-quarter-student-debt-bubble-officially-pops-90-day-delinquency-rate-g

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 5:09 pm

  14. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @Eddie – Right click on the image, then select “Open image in new tab.”

    It will open up a new browser tab with the appropriate image in it, with the added bonus that you can now zoom in!

    View->Zoom in

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 5:09 pm

  15. sangell says:

    Student loans are not a bad thing in and of themselves but the notion that everyone is eligible is.

    First of all we don’t need 60% of high school seniors going to college. Academia foisted that canard on the public with the old trick of confusing correlation with causation. Yes, once upon a time a high income correllated very nicely with a college degree but that was in an era where only 10 or 20% of high school seniors went to college. The fact that most of them also came from strong middle class or upper middleclass backgrounds didn’t hurt their chances to land a good job either.

    One could point out that 99% of NFL players went to college too but your chances of playing for an NFL team are not enhanced by going to Harvard or Yale anymore than your chances of working at Goldman Sachs with a degree from Ozark Bible College. In fact, you might have more success working your way up from the mail room than arriving on Wall St. with such a degree.

    Schools should have to co-sign for student loans. They are the beneficiary of the loan so they’ll be cautious as to whom they co-sign for. Were schools made to do that you can bet they wouldn’t co-sign a loan for a student with an SAT score of 1000 who wants to major in psychology though they might for a kid with an SAT score of 1350 who has some chance of making a living as a clinical psychologist!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 5:53 pm

  16. Eddie says:

    It is a whole lot of money…but there aren’t any derivatives on student loans…No credit default swaps in the shadow banking system, because student loans are and always have been completely risk free for banks. I they don’t get paid, Uncle Sam is on the hook to make them good to the lenders.

    Of course the government can attach wages to collect…so the incentive will be for the borrowers to go underground…they can work int the medical mary jane “industry” or maybe drive a gypsy cab or a tow truck for cash under the table.

    It’s an interesting question, then of what to do with “uncollectible” student debt. The paper will always be worth something, because the debt can never be written off in bankruptcy. Maybe sleazy collections firms will buy the debt for pennies on the hundred and then go after the “students”.

    Many borrowers are never going to be able to pay them back..but some will eventually…. if our current banking system doesn’t go out of existence, because the debtors won’t even be able to get a (gasp) credit card without clearing it up.

    Will there be some kind of debt amnesty for students who were dumb enough to piss away money to University of Phoenix or pay 15 grand to go to a dental assisting school?

    Probably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 6:35 pm

  17. Novista says:

    FDIC – 1933
    SS – 1936
    FNMA – 1938
    Hmmmm. The first is technically insolvent as of 2012; if it weren’t, more bad banks would have bit the dust.

    People really should read that 1936 Social Security pamphlet, just to see the brazen lie for themselves. Did no one ever ask how you can be saving for your retirement when 41 other workers and you are paying for those who came before?

    Someone should go to the shrine of Saint FDR and kick.the.shit.out.of.it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 7:06 pm

  18. Eddie says:

    “The maximum safe dose of Lidocaine, or xylocaine, or tetracaine, is enough to acheive complete local anesthesia.”

    A widely held misconception.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 7:15 pm

  19. AWD says:

    Only dentists worry about local anesthesia doses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 7:17 pm

  20. Stan says:

    Obama cares about the unborn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 7:21 pm

  21. AWD says:

    Inadequate local anesthesia by clueless dentists,

    The main reason people hate going to the dentist.

    11688958-closeup-of-dentist-hand-with-drill-and-painful-patient.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    27th November 2012 at 7:29 pm

  22. Eddie says:

    Well, it is perhaps the most statistically likely way for us to kill someone.

    Besides, its a Board question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 7:31 pm

  23. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    sangell

    “Student loans are not a bad thing in and of themselves but the notion that everyone is eligible is.

    First of all we don’t need 60% of high school seniors going to college. Academia foisted that canard on the public with the old trick of confusing correlation with causation. Yes, once upon a time a high income correllated very nicely with a college degree but that was in an era where only 10 or 20% of high school seniors went to college. The fact that most of them also came from strong middle class or upper middleclass backgrounds didn’t hurt their chances to land a good job either.

    One could point out that 99% of NFL players went to college too but your chances of playing for an NFL team are not enhanced by going to Harvard or Yale anymore than your chances of working at Goldman Sachs with a degree from Ozark Bible College. In fact, you might have more success working your way up from the mail room than arriving on Wall St. with such a degree.

    Schools should have to co-sign for student loans. They are the beneficiary of the loan so they’ll be cautious as to whom they co-sign for. Were schools made to do that you can bet they wouldn’t co-sign a loan for a student with an SAT score of 1000 who wants to major in psychology though they might for a kid with an SAT score of 1350 who has some chance of making a living as a clinical psychologist!

    I always thought the entrance exams to get into public schools should be more rigorous, and open enrollment should stop altogether.

    If people are serious about going to college they should at least be able to scrap together a decent grade on the SAT/ACT.

    If we are going to loan out money, at least try to make sure the person getting the loan is smart enough to get through the program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 7:53 pm

  24. DaveL says:

    sangell says:

    “Student loans are not a bad thing in and of themselves but the notion that everyone is eligible is. ”

    How about we tie loans to study choice?

    Say a loan of $1.98 for Women’s Gender studies
    And $25,000 for Math, Science, Engineering

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 8:32 pm

  25. Mark says:

    How about we offer those who are deliquent on their loans government jobs to pay off the loan. And affordable housing so they can compete with immigrants who cram 4 to a room.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 7:45 am

  26. TeresaE says:

    @PC, great call on the right-click, my tip o’ the day is if you hold down CTRL, then click either “-” or “+” (take out the quotation marks) you can enlarge or shrink the screen.

    Comes in handy when I can’t locate one of my multitudes of pairs of reading glasses. Don’t laugh, I didn’t think I would need them either then I met my 42nd b-day.

    The reason we are FUBAR isn’t (solely) due to Math Is Hard (which, it isn’t, it is logical, English is freaking “hard,” but I digress) it is because we – as a nation – have decided that reality is not to be heeded and we keep re-electing the same people back into office.

    These people didn’t understand math in the 70s, or the 80s, or the 90s, or now.

    And really, it ain’t that they “don’t understand” math, it is that they CHOOSE to ignore it. Re-election is the only important thing, no matter how many times your “representative” gets on TV telling you they care.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Wealth for the middle is going down, burdens are going up, and the can will be kicked until the day that JP Morgan decides that the “poor” no longer deserve their food stamps.

    Eddie, what makes you think that student loan debt is somehow segregated from the rest of the TBTF bankers “assets?” Those bastards would sell the deed for their grandma’s home if they could make a dime doing it. And have.

    I have NO faith that anything we think we “know” is true. The lies have been told for so long, the skeletons buried and re-buried so many times, that nobody truly has a grasp of the underlying reality.

    What’s really hard is continuing to keep my mouth shut as those around me continue to believe we live in a free country under the rule of the Constitution and law. Or logic, for that matter.

    So.Very.Hard.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 9:05 am

  27. AKAnon says:

    TE-Right on. You made a really profound point, please allow me to expand on it. Math isn’t hard (at least the math relevant to the economy), it is UNPLEASANT. It is unpleasant because it leads to the incontrovertible truth that our path is unsustainable and the sacrifices WILL be made, whether wilfully or not.
    English, on the other hand, IS difficult and can be confusing, but it can be pleasant to listen to. The point is that unlike math, you can say anything you want with words. When Paul, Bass, Denninger, Admin, etc. say something the masses don’t want to hear, the masses and MSM simply ignore it. Then they quote that douchebag Krugman, who explains that the solution to our economic woes is to give the masses more free shit. Or bullshit from O, or Geithner’s rational for eliminating the budget ceiling. Now that’s worth listening to and reporting-it makes the masses happy. MSM has no problem with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 10:29 am

  28. TeresaE says:

    @AKA

    I don’t know if things are the same in Alaska, as in the contiguous, but I know that other than side-effects from medications and heartburn from overeating, we no longer have tolerance for pain of any kind. We don’t even accept and plan for the inevitable. Heck, my own dad has officially entered the end of his life and 100% REFUSES to do anything to plan for it. He will not hear the truth about what is going to be left for us kids to clean up and he sure as hell won’t do anything to fix it. Too painful I guess.

    Which is why things are going to suck so bad for us all. When masses of people are instantaneously hit with pain and inevitability, the howls and cries are going to be epic.

    Nobody wants the truth unless the truth feels good. The truth is our future is going to be painful and cost more than we can pay.

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    27th November 2012 at 11:42 am

  29. AWD says:

    “Well, it is perhaps the most statistically likely way for us to kill someone.”

    May be a board question, but it’s wrong. 340,000 people die from obesity every year. Dentists fix people’s teeth so they can once again shovel food into their faces unabated. Dentists therefore contribute to the obesity epidemic and the resulting massive loss of life and horrible, miserable slow death of the fatties.

    17572

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:14 pm

  30. youcanthavemyglock says:

    AWD, hey you make that microscope image scroll like a teleprompter so Obama can see it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:20 pm

  31. Eddie says:

    I can assure you that people without teeth have no trouble achieving obesity, most of the time.

    Your take on dentistry is pretty typical for a know-it-all physician. The only thing most physicians know less about than dentistry is economics, and you are no exception.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:22 pm

  32. Administrator says:

    OOH GOODIE!!!

    A knockdown drag em out between AWD & Eddie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:43 pm

  33. AWD says:

    Dentists have no sense of humor.

    Thank God for dentures…

    bigblt.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:43 pm

  34. Administrator says:

    AWD

    On the cruise you could get a mound of bacon with a side order of bacon sprinkled with bacon.

    SSS would have been in bacon heaven

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:45 pm

  35. AWD says:

    Dentistry is about as interesting as getting a root canal. Oh, wait, same thing. When dentists are drilling for tooth pulp, they are eating bullets.

    Do dentists have the highest suicide rate?

    Dentists’ odds of suicide “are 6.64 times greater than the rest of the working age population,” writes researcher Steven Stack. “Dentists suffer from relatively low status within the medical profession and have strained relationships with their clients–few people enjoy going to the dentist.” One study of Oregon dentists found that they had the highest suicide rate of any group investigated. A California study found that dentists were surpassed only by chemists and pharmacists. Of 22 occupations examined in Washington state, dentists had a suicide rate second only to that of sheepherders and wool workers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:47 pm

  36. AWD says:

    The 13 Careers Where You’re Most Likely To Commit Suicide

    1) Dentists are 5.45 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    2) Musicians are 3.60 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    3) Actors are 2.80 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    4) Dancers are 2.67 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    5) Authors are 2.60 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    6) Photographers are 2.50 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    7) Artists, sculptors and painters are 2.12 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    8) Carpenters are 2 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    9) Doctors are 1.94 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    10) Performers like comedians are 1.90 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    11) Mathematicians and scientists are 1.85 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    12) Skilled manual laborers and machinists are 1.63 times more likely to commit suicide than average
    13) Semi and unskilled manual laborers are 1.46 times more likely to commit suicide than average

    No mention of Harvard/NYT economists, porn stars, or accountants…

    http://www.businessinsider.com/jobs-commit-suicide-2010-10?op=1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 1:56 pm

  37. AWD says:

    No, really, I am smiling behind this mask. I’m a sado-masochist. I had to be to become a dentist. We ration out local anesthesia, your pain is our gain!

    dent.jpg

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    27th November 2012 at 2:08 pm

  38. AKAnon says:

    AWD-So what professions are LESS likely to commit suicide than average? Or is this study from Lake Woebegone, where everyone is above average?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:10 pm

  39. AKAnon says:

    TE-I like to think we are “special” here in Alaska. At least in my part of the state, you have to accept some hardship to live here (-25F this morning), so maybe we are more tolerant of discomfort than the Lower 48 folks. I’ve always said it helps keep out the riff raff. And the multi-generational residents came from hardy stock-100 years ago, this was no country for the weak. But now half the population lives in and around Los Anchorage, and they have plenty of amenities (and FSA).

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    27th November 2012 at 2:14 pm

  40. Eddie says:

    AWD

    I’ll modify what I said. Your grasp of economics is fine.

    It just grates on me a little, the dental references.. People listen to what you write. They might even think you know something.

    I know you’re just pulling my chain, but others might think you’re an authority. I don’t hold myself to be an authority in your field, and you damn sure aren’t any kind authority in mine.

    I haven’t harbored a suicidal thought in my entire life. I have a great relationship with almost all my 12000 active patients, and I’m content with my status on the healthcare ladder. Dentists are the last of the solo practice doctors.Dentists have it a lot better than physicians at the moment. I’ve known several physicians who sent THEIR kids to dental school. I’ve written recommendations for a few of them.

    My theory about the suicide rate in the profession is (and this is just my pet theory) is that dentists make just enough money to get themselves in real trouble..either with the IRS, ex-wives, Ponzi schemes, or the like.

    Nothing depresses people like owing a few hundred thousand to the IRS and having some barely literate asshole harass you and attach your checking account, maybe lock you out of your own place of business. After you worked your ass off to get your head above water. That’s why people off themselves…sometimes by flying airplanes into government buildings. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:15 pm

  41. AWD says:

    AKA

    “Infamously cranky New Yorkers may be among the grumpiest people in the United States, but we‘re the least likely of all Americans to commit suicide, a new study shows.”

    “Black Women Least Likely to Commit Suicide, Have Strong Racial Regard”

    So, I’m guessing Black women from New York.

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    27th November 2012 at 2:15 pm

  42. AWD says:

    Eddie,

    Nothing I say or write is to be taken personally. This is a blog, mainly for entertainment purposes. Admin is like Caesar, he likes to put the monkeys in the arena and watch them fight. Your skin will thicken up the longer you stay around.

    “It just grates on me a little, the dental references”

    Constant grating creates callouses….(let’s hope)

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    27th November 2012 at 2:19 pm

  43. AWD says:

    I’ll post this here, where you can see it

    AKAnon better be careful, as should the Muckster….

    The-United-States-of-Shame.png

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:24 pm

  44. Eddie says:

    And interesting? Dentistry is infinitely fascinating.

    My biggest frustration is that I am trained to do treatment far above the level most people can afford to pay for.. If money were no object, I’d be doing cutting edge treatment and my days would be filled with interesting cases…and I’d be making people very happy, because when you have no teeth, and somebody gives you some (dental) implants, it makes you VERY happy.

    Not sure about the breast implants.Looking at nice set of breast implants makes ME happy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:27 pm

  45. AWD says:

    If I had to do it over again, I think I’d go into plastics. Women’s vanity knows no bounds.

    breast-augmentation-saline-silicone-gel-breast-implants-photos1.jpg

    I always insist on natural myself

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    27th November 2012 at 2:34 pm

  46. Eddie says:

    Naturals in the pic? I doubt it. Probably just good work by somebody who knows how to make them LOOK natural.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:42 pm

  47. AWD says:

    No, those are both implants.

    The eternal question, natural vs. implants?

    dental-implant.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:50 pm

  48. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @AWD

    I see nipples in that pic!

    “The only thing most physicians know less about than dentistry is chemistry, and you are no exception.

    FIXT!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 2:51 pm

  49. Administrator says:

    I see camel toe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 3:05 pm

  50. Administrator says:

    The cancerous mole is natural too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 3:05 pm

  51. Eddie says:

    TPC

    I don’t remember much about chemistry either, even though I have 48 hours or so of chemistry course work on an ancient transcript somewhere. Double major, chem and bio. Twelve more hours of grad biochem in dental school and a course called dental materials which is nothing but chem and physics.Two summers spent trying (unsuccessfully)to synthesize crown ethers and three summers working as a grad assistant in materials science.

    Somebody told me once…”forget as much as you can as fast as you can, and you’ll remember what you need to know.”

    I took his advice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    27th November 2012 at 3:26 pm

  52. TeresaE says:

    AKAnon says: TE-I like to think we are “special” here in Alaska. At least in my part of the state, you have to accept some hardship to live here (-25F this morning)

    As I expected, I’ve been wondering if the larger cities have started housing a more “southern” (as in south of AK) type. Of course I knew you were special.

    Seems that if you choose to live out in the boonies, as many do in northern Michigan too, but nothing like AK, you are harder working and more forward thinking than the average citizen.

    Having to plan to live months without the ability to trek to Walmart tends to do that to people.

    I wish I didn’t hate the cold so. The older I get the more I realize that I could be fulfilled in a life like that. This suburban existence (and I’ve noticed, along with technology it has infected most of the countryside here too) is draining on me. What in the hell is it all for? My kid has more than your kid, my car is nicer than yours, my clothes are better too. Seems to be the apex of what people around me strive to be.

    When the shit hits the fan everyone will suffer in some way. Those that already spend most of their energy in direct pursuit of survival will be fine. Those that think pulling out the checkbook is the epitome of “hard” work are going to be devastated.

    Wonder if AWD or Eddie could tell us what they think the suicide rates/percentages will look like then?

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    27th November 2012 at 6:29 pm

  53. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    @Eddie – “orget as much as you can as fast as you can, and you’ll remember what you need to know.””

    I wish I could take that advice, unfortunately there have been useful applications for every lick of biology and chemistry i’ve ever had in my current position.

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    27th November 2012 at 12:45 am

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