Guest Post: Hey Joe!

Just six short years ago, the median net worth of middle class US households was \$120,000.  Today, it has fallen a whopping 45% to just \$66,000.
Pretend you are an average Joe.  Joe has just seen his net worth nearly halved in the last six years.  He just lost the health insurance that his employer used to provide, and because Joe has a spouse and kids he is suddenly looking at an additional 15% of his yearly salary to cover health insurance.  Joe didn’t expect or plan for this.  He starts doing the math and realizes that he already pays 1/3rd of what he earns in State, Federal, and various local taxes.  Now Joe suddenly has all these additional health care costs, real inflation is making everyday items like gas and clothing more expensive, and at this point, he doesn’t honestly know how he is going to pay the bills… assuming Joe is able to keep his job.
The futility of saving doesn’t really matter much to him right now, because not only is he not going to be able to save anything this year, he may have to start cannibalizing what savings he does have.  Joe starts to get scared because he just doesn’t know how he is going to make this work. He hasn’t done anything wrong, he is working harder than ever, yet he is drowning.
So how about it, Joe?  Still think the system works to your net benefit? Just how long are you going to keep taking this? How much more CAN you take?

By Pining 4 the Fjords, TFMetals Report:

This essay was inspired by a deceptively simple question: At what point will people decide they have had enough? By this, I mean at what point will a plurality of citizens look around them, examine their situation, and come to the realization that the present system is not working to their benefit and indeed, is likely working to their detriment?  Does the frog really sit in the pot while the heat is slowly turned up, content until the moment where it is too late and he cooks to death? Or does the frog in fact realize at some point that heat is on, he is getting extremely uncomfortable, and that he better jump if he wants to live?

Just six short years ago, the median net worth of middle class US households was \$120,000.  Today, it has fallen a whopping 45% to just \$66,000 (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/business/americas-sinking-middle-class.html?_r=0).  The number of working-age Americans stuck in part-time employment has more than doubled during the last six years from four million to nine million, and this number is about to take another major leap upwards as Obamacare mandates incentivize companies to cut previously full-time worker to below 30 hours per week, above which the government now requires companies to provide coverage.  Speaking of Obamacare, its initial impact has been to raise premiums nationwide, amounting to a massive middle class tax-hike, while five and a half million people who used to have health coverage have now lost it.  When the employer mandates really kick in next year, some estimate that based on numbers provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, between 50 to 90 million additional Americans may lose their current coverage (http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/31/did-hhs-estimate-that-93-million-americans-will-lose-their-insurance/).  Hope and change!

So play along with me here.  Pretend you are an average Joe.  Joe has just seen his net worth nearly halved in the last six years.  He just lost the health insurance that his employer used to provide, and because Joe has a spouse and kids he is suddenly looking at an additional 15% of his yearly salary to cover health insurance.  Joe didn’t expect or plan for this.  He starts doing the math and realizes that he already pays 1/3rd of what he earns in State, Federal, and various local taxes.  Now Joe suddenly has all these additional health care costs, real inflation is making everyday items like gas and clothing more expensive, and at this point, he doesn’t honestly know how he is going to pay the bills… assuming Joe is able to keep his job. In the past, Joe managed to set aside about five grand per year because he foregoes expensive vacations and always buys used cars, yet he has seen the real purchasing power of the money he set aside ten years ago decline by 30% over that time…  \$1,500 of every \$5,000 he managed to save has been confiscated via inflation and lower purchasing power.  But the futility of saving doesn’t really matter much to him right now, because not only is he not going to be able to save anything this year, he may have to start cannibalizing what savings he does have.  Joe starts to get scared because he just doesn’t know how he is going to make this work. He hasn’t done anything wrong, he is working harder than ever, yet he is drowning.

So how about it, Joe?  Still think the system works to your net benefit? Just how long are you going to keep taking this? How much more CAN you take?

Joe may indeed be pissed.  He might be mad as hell and isn’t particularly inclined to take it anymore. But here’s the problem: chances are that Joe doesn’t even know who he should be mad at for this.  Depending on his previous voting history, he might blame one party or the other but he needs to understand that neither party is going to fix this thing under the present system.  He might want to blame general groups like “welfare queens” or “greedy corporations” but he needs to understand that ultimately they both feed from the same trough- him and his labor, through the inherent wealth confiscation of fiat creation over time.

This is where, dear Turdite, you come in.  Joe probably doesn’t quite understand the symbiosis between the Federal Reserve, big banks, and big government.  He knows he is being screwed by the system in some way, but he doesn’t really comprehend that it is fiat money creation that is both causing his current difficulties AND is strengthening and enabling the Leviathan powers beyond his control to screw him at every turn.  He doesn’t yet get it… but for the first time in his life, he might be ready to hear a few things and not dismiss them out of hand.  Maybe, if you see him this Christmas, you can gently direct Joe to Mike Maloney’s series on money. Maybe you can buy him a copy of The Creature from Jekyll Island.  Maybe you can just quietly talk about why these things are happening and how sound money acts as a check on both corporate AND governmental power, each of which is accrued at his expense. Who knows, maybe you can even sneak the word Liberty into the conversation.

Small things like this might just have a bigger impact than you can imagine. In his bestselling book The Tipping Point, author Malcolm Gladwell notes that social changes often take place with surprising ferocity, when an invisible but crucial point is reached that destabilizes the current paradigm.  Everyone takes the status quo for granted… right up until the moment that a critical mass of people (nowhere near a majority, just a sizeable percentage) shift their behavior.  Then a tipping point is reached and everything changes.

Gladwell notes three major factors that precipitate such tipping points.  First, he describes the “Stickiness Factor”, referring to the power of a simple slogan or idea that distills the movement into a memorable and instantly comprehensible core.  Additionally, he ascribes great importance to “The Power of Context”, outlining how such sweeping changes can take place only in an atmosphere fertile for change where people are receptive to new ideas or practices.

Finally and most crucially, he notes “The Power of the Few”.  It doesn’t take many to precipitate a tipping point, but those involved have special skills that Gladwell breaks into three categories. Connectors are people who thrive on social information and interpersonal relations, and they have a unique capacity for making connections between large numbers of people with complementary skills. Connectors function as the social equivalent of a computer hub- they always know a guy who knows a guy, and are great at putting people together.  Salesmen have the special knack for communicating a message and getting people to go along with them.  Charismatic and persuasive, they are powerful negotiators and have an indefinable knack for influencing people to agree with them.  Finally, Mavens are amazing repositories of information and knowledge.  They possess a deep understanding of issues and facts, and are exceptionally skilled at solving problems.

It sure seems like we have a whole bunch of people who fit these descriptions perfectly, knocking around in the comments section at TFMR every day, doesn’t it?

Here’s the deal: If the Great Keynesian Experiment really is in its death throes, if seventy years of malinvestment and easy money really are coming home to roost in a decrepit and dying system, then something is going to have to take its place.  Maybe the motto “Prepare Accordingly” might not just be solely applicable to gold and silver investing. Maybe we should be out there trying to plant some memes and prepare some intellectual battlespace.  Maybe we should do our best to talk to a few folks, if we have the opportunity.  Maybe they’re ready to listen.

Hey, Joe.

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1. Conax says:

Ron Paul tried twice- twice to get in and twice he was ridiculed, lampooned, they drew absurd cartoons, stuffed the ballot boxes, anything to avoid the very candidate espousing policies that could have turned the ship of state off its destructive course.  The second time, his own son sold him out for crumbs from the owner’s table.
Enjoy your collapse.  You earned it, average Joe.
Before this thread is gone, someone will splain what a phony R Paul is, and how he couldn’t have made any difference.

• hromano1030 says:

Correction, Ron Paul tried three times. Maybe you for got 1988. And by the way, he probably could not have made a difference. I voted for him every time, but I am glad he was never elected. The system is so badly broken, that even if Ron Paul was not assassinated and would have done the necessary things required to fix the problem, like default on the debt and fix the money and end ALL government subsidies and disbanded all the alphabet government agencies, there would have been rioting in the streets when all the leeches on the government tit were weaned.

And, if a Libertarian were to be in office when the final collapse happened under the weight of all that debt, Liberty and Libertarianism would have suffered for a hundred years. TPTB would not have to conjure up an external boogieman, they could have just pointed the finger at our beloved Dr. Paul.

IMHO, that is…

• undeRGRönd says:

+1 Romano…
That might be the scenario of Rand is allowed to even get close.
IMO his “crumb strategy” was to appear more palatable to the
RepubiX Party folks, and the establishment.

Ever notice how SCORES of the better qualified politicians are RETIRED?
Or just not running for anything? Makes me think Bix Weir’s GOOD GUY Theory
may be feasible. The Good Guys wanna insulate themselves from the blame, when it crashes.

2. AGXIIK says:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Yep, Average Joe is getting rotobleeped into the next century.
On a personal note, our health insurance, the one that HNIC KLUMMAC allowed us to keep, yeah, that substandard one that everyone is said to hate, went up by 16%.
No inflation there, right Zman.  And most of that increase was due to the taxes and fees passed through to us by our insurance carriers who saw \$100,000,000,000 passed on to us by SHINOLA-care.  Our health insurance premiums now total \$9,888 with a \$5,200 deductible for each policy
But wait, it gets better.  If you call in the next 10 minutes you get the BRONZE PLAN for only a 50% higher premium.
If we decided to go with the BRONZE PLAN offered Obama-care, it would cost \$629 a month per person.  I asked what the ZINC plan would cost.   Cue Crickets chirping. These operators standing by have no sense of humor.
But here is where it gets really good
If we chose the BRONZE PLAN it comes with a lifetime supply of skin toner for that nice overall tanned color—like a roadkill possum.
Our income is low enough to get a SUBSIDY  Whoo hoo.   Guess who pays for the subsidy?
You do!
All the poor schmucks who got to keep their healthcare programs and now have to pay \$100,000,000,000 in taxes and fees
I guess that by not taking a dip in the cess pool of the Unaffordable Care Plan we get to pay the subsidy for others
Ain’t America wunnerful?
We took out the gram scale, measured the weight of our souls and figured the subsidy was too high a price to pay for making a pact with the DEVVIL,  screwing tax payers and getting to be first in line for DEATH PANELS LLC.
Frankly I really don’t give a crap about it:   Just venting.  We can manage this clusterbungle from income and our stack, part of which was set aside for this eventuality, but it pains me no end to see our friends get screwed and tattoed by these bastards
The tipping point in this country is when Average Joe finds his kids are dying because Dear Fuhrer decided to nationlize the health care system and systematilically reduce the surplus population. He must have read Swift

• MaryB says:

Soon it will be the lead plan as the Obamacare community trolls find out how pissed off people are getting…

• Ordinary Joe says:

Sorry to say, but the Brits took it all the way to the death panels and fight to retain it.  The system becomes more corrupt each day.

I do not think the Average Joes understand.

3. The Joe’s are gonna keep on taking it until they and their families are sitting in a cold, dark home with zero chance of a meal happening.  THEN they ‘might’ get up off their collective backsides and do something.

• Ed_B says:

Yep… and probably the wrong thing at that.  :-(

• Ordinary Joe says:

I agree 100%.

4. 2 OZ. says:

Very good Conax. You are right. The average Joe has no one to blame but Joe him/her self. “Vote for the lesser of the two evils” the A Joe says. You get what you vote for. Right and Left has put us where we are.
And AGX is dead on with the Affordable Un-Affordable Care Act. Thing is, if no one buys the plans and no one pays the penalties, what is the gov. to do??????????????? Arrest everyone???????? Garner all accounts if they can’t collect from tax refunds??????????? My oh my, what a bad scenario for TPTB. Did Paul Revere say the “British are coming” or did he say the “Regulars are coming”????? Who are the Regulars today? The average Joe and TPTB, that;s who. Stand for what you believe and do what is right & not what is expected by someone else’s ideals.

5. andrew james says:

Joe sounds like an idiot. I’ve talked to him already.  Right now he has to pay child support all the while watching his ex-wife loot his son’s trust fund.  Joe’s not going to help the effort.  In fact after you tell Joe that Silver is up over 500% since 2001 the only thing he’s inspired to do is ask you for 20 bucks.  I could go on and on about Joe.  Do what you will.  I’m going to cover my own ass and watch Joe squirm.

6. oldarmy says:

Joe is in big trouble and does not even know it yet….that is how smart Joe is.  I think he still believes the Government numbers, if he even reads them.  I happen to have two Joes as sons.  One living with his Grandmother, laid off at 28 and a 21 yo who has never had a job..EVER.  What Joe does not realize is that as bad as it is now they will look back on these days as “good times”.   I have one son who is a Ranger…I tell him under no circumstance do you shoot at Americans.  That is how bad I think it could get.

7. Mammoth says:

DELETED BY THE AUTHORITIES

8. silverrrrr says:

The Average Joe will be okay for the interim.  Because they are PRODUCTIVE! They are working, bringing home the fiat.  Granted, the amount is dwindling no doubt, but its there.
The REACTION is going to be the Free Lunch Bunch doing what they do best: loot, steal, burn, destroy, and DEMAND the government give them more food stamps, housing, Obozophones, etc.
Then, when the FLB starts taking from the Average Joe, will the Average Joe wake up and start blasting the freeloaders to hell.  Ah, that will be when it gets real! And that’s when we take back our country!

• Blue Bear says:

The shoes have already begun to fall, the 2 year unemployment gravy train is over for the moment.  How long before the falsely disabled on SSI benefits become expendable?  People need to realize that capital creation in this country has been killed over the last 20 years with the easy money/ZIRP policies of Greenspan and company.  This isn’t the place I was born and I don’t recognize the area, The government has broken the social compact with the populous and has no intension of returning to being responsible to the people.  “May you live in interesting times” truly a curse that has befallen us.  Well, now we will find out where the rubber meets the road and who the real men are in this country, if any still exist.

• Ordinary Joe says:

I don’t think so Silverrr.  It will be the FLB demanding that the Joes go to work that will start the ball rolling.  The Joes will be perplexed and not understand what is happening.  When the Joes start getting shot in great numbers, that’s when they will wake up.  The Knock Out game, what’s that?

• undeRGRönd says:

@Blue Bear: “…and who the real men are in this country, if any still exist.”

Well, my friend, you are in the right place. We have REAL Men (& women) Right here @ SD!
Starting with our founder, The DOC!

9. AGXIIK says:

copy that silverrrrr   there were two videos in the last two days.  First one what a flash mob at a big mall in NY. 400 punks ranging through the mall making mayhem
second one was 600 in a movie theater in FLA   Seems some of the homies wanted free movie tickets   The security got the place shut down. From there the riot erupted in the parking lot. Cops were outmanned 10 to 1.  Peace was restored.
Funny how all this talk FEMA camps and round ups never seem to come to pass.   Maybe it’s just an urban legend, maybe not.  Or these mobs are just a warm up to the real thing.  No sense in tipping your hand unless TPTB don’t have the cojones to manage these flash mobs
Or maybe since they are most people of color they are given a pass.  Whites will see the worst.  Who knows.  But flash mobs of 400-600 yobboes is a load of hooligans
I got to thinking what I would do if confronted with that scene. Best advice—don’t be there when it happens. There is nothing that important in a mall or movie theater that is worth getting in the middle of a mess like this—even the latest IPuddle or 3D movie.

• MaryB says:

Why I live in the middle of nowhere…

• Ed_B says:

“Or these mobs are just a warm up to the real thing.  No sense in tipping your hand unless TPTB don’t have the cojones to manage these flash mobs”

A pretty decent argument could be made for these “flash mobs” being the 1st row of pawns sent forth as the end-game begins.  It is unlikely that these idiots even know that they are pawns.  Anyway, if this can escalate a bit, it will be a great excuse for declaring martial law… to, uh, restore order.  Yeah, that’s it.

Meanwhile, those of us who go about our business with no intention of ever harming anyone or being harmed by anyone still carry concealed and will NOT be mobbed.  My suspicion is that if 2-3 of these a\$\$clowns in the front row get shot, the rest will show their true yellow color.  If not, then that is what hi-cap mags are all about.

• @Ed_B
I have a sneaky suspicion that an electric grid outage will be “used” to usher in martial law. There is no question in my mind that martial law will be their big move against us and the grid is the obvious false flag choice. With all the tanks, the camps and the ammo, what else could we expect?

• Ed_B says:

@SilverSlicker

That would be one of my top candidates too but we can’t count on any single problem being the reason for martial law.  More likely it will be either a series of escalating problems or significant simultaneous problems.  With the employment situation as it is and the younger adults in our society suffering the most from it, the big cities could easily be turned into tinder boxes.  A nice summer heat wave would certainly exacerbate the situation, as temps rise and tempers flare.

False flag event?  You bet.  Always a favorite of the skulduggerous people in power.  They seem to need that as cover for actions that would otherwise never be tolerated.

As to the alleged FEMA camps, who knows?  Personally, I’ve never seen one even via Google Earth.  If they exist, and they may, FEMA is probably the least of our problems.  From what I have seen of them, they can’t find their arse with both hands, a flashlight, and a boy scout search party.  DHS concerns me.  TSA concerns me.  NSA concerns me.  Obamunism concerns me.  FEMA?  PFFFT!

• undeRGRönd says:

“FEMA is probably the least of our problems.  From what I have seen of them, they can’t find their arse with both hands, a flashlight, and a boy scout search party.”
That’s all about to change. They will enlist the aid of the NEW Boy Scouts! (rainbow bunch)

10. PatFields says:

I can’t even BEGIN to say how pleasing it is to see another sincere advocate join the Honest Money camp. I earnestly pray this trend continues. I can only hope that ‘Pining 4 the Fjords’ is a fairly young fellow (or gal). We old farts have only so much time remaining to ‘preach that Gospel’.

• Ed_B says:

@PatFields

Like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain in winter, Pat, it WILL grow.  :-)

• 4 oz says:

Yep Pat love it when peeps catch on….& Ed it IS growing.
Was stunned over Christmas with the willingness of a niece, age 22 and a nephew, age 19– actaully wanting to quiz me on my ‘way out there’ views of the economy; Both having expressed frustation with the rough going they and many of thir friends are finding. Was able to vist some and then linked ‘em both the Mike Maloney’s Ep 4 Hidden Secret of Money….

• Ed_B says:

Yeah, 4-oz., it is.  And thank heavens for that.

Way to go with your niece and nephew.  If their minds really are open, then they are ready for the info that you can pass on to them.  The Mike Maloney series on The Hidden Secrets of Money is excellent.  I saved them all and have them on a single DVD as mp4 files that I can share with others.  Love the format too.  The 45 or so minute segments are perfect for conveying a good amount of info without overwhelming most people… and they can watch each segment as their schedule permits; very handy, that.

Once they have watched those videos and have some understanding of these issues, they will never again be satisfied with the canned glop that the MSM passes as information.  It is not information most of the time.  It is disinformation.  They will see this as the info unfolds before them.  They will be stacking soon, no doubt.  Encourage that with the gift of a silver coin or two.  :-)

11. silverdog says:

Joe reminds me of the frog in the pot. Turn the gas up slowly so he dosn’t notice the boil that is sure to come. Call me a pessimist but I don’t have a lot of faith in Joe. Good luck Joe. Glad I’m not you!

• Ed_B says:

Perhaps people like Joe are the best examples of why we should strive to be something better than average?  Joe is a 1st class sheeple, IMO.  He could be so much more than that but makes no effort to become that which he could be but isn’t.  I know a few Joe’s and Jill’s and it is frustrating to deal with their bland acceptance of a minimal life.  It doesn’t HAVE to be that way, yet they make little to no effort to improve their lot in life.  OK is good enough, apparently.  Until it’s not, of course.  :-/

12. AGXIIK says:

Ode to EdB   The Average Joe

Ed  called the elites THE SKULDUGGEROUS
He knew their fav sport was to bugger us
They came over the hill
and were aiming to kill
But Ed picked them off with his RUGER US*

*SR 1911

• Ed_B says:

LOL!  Thanks @AGXIIK.  I am now officially immortalized!  :-D

• undeRGRönd says:

I’d man that hill with either of you two Old TimerZ  :D

Me and my USMC Son that is.
BTW, my Daughter shot a 4-5″ group (9 shots) with Sonny-Boys Ruger 556 @ 100 yards… First Timer!
My B.O.B. (& Sisters) is looking pretty lethal

13. silverrrrr says:

@4oz:  Being that their ages  are 22, and 19 that makes me believe they may have already been BRAINWASHED in college by the liberal left-wing elitists who teach the young, impressionable kids WHAT to think, instead of HOW to think!
All you have to do is take them on a tour of the last six years.  They were old enough to remember specific instances of how the capitalistic society was turned into a socialist freedom-eroding country.  If they don’t get it, they will be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

14. Not Sure says:

You all talk like the average Joe is someone else.

YOU are the average Joe!

PS. Ron Paul could have never changed or “saved” our country. He is just another part of the theater. That should have been obvious when he joined the Republican ticket. And confirmed when his boy threw him under the bus.

• Ed_B says:

“You all talk like the average Joe is someone else.  YOU are the average Joe!”

LOL!!!  Not effing hardly.  Consider a Gaussian bell-shaped curve.  Average Joes populate the center 1/3 of that curve.  But the curve also has another 2/3, half of which are way above average and the other half way below average.  The part way below average consists of the mooch class, criminals, drug addicts, and other low lifes.  The part way above average consists of those of us who have made a substantial effort NOT to be average but to be much better than that.  This has taken years of hard work and study on our parts and that effort has had its positive impact on our lives.  Additionally, we are awake and aware of all the social, political, and economic crap that is flying, while Joe Average hasn’t a clue.  We stack and prep because of all this while Joe Average is primarily concerned about today or tomorrow at the outside.  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are the limits of his awareness.  Tell Joe Average on Monday that a monster hurricane is approaching and will be here in 5 days and he will sit on his a\$\$ for 4 of those days, probably drinking beer all day and watching Dumb-O-Vision, and then rush out to the stores to clean off the shelves at the last possible moment.  During that same time, those of us who prep are ready for the storm and spend our time checking on family members, making sure that they have food, water, heat, light, comms, meds, and transportation, boarding up windows, checking our gear and supplies, etc.

• Mammoth says:

@Ed_B , would Average Joe even understand the concept of a ‘Bell Curve?’

• Not Sure says:

Then I think you need to define what bell curve you are talking about? Intellectual, financial, physical, or spiritual. A person who is a 1 on the intellectual scale but a 10 on the physical will possibly survive better than the opposite during violent times. History has shown that. I know a lot of people that you would think are Average Joes, who are aware of what is going on in the world but don’t want to waste their lives preparing for something they have no idea if and when it will occur in their lifetimes. For instance, I have known some individuals that are very pleasant and seem very non-violent until they get behind the wheel of car. They transform into a psychopath with a 3000lb. missile at their control. Never would have guessed it until you actually took a ride in the car with them. People are much more complex than you apparently understand.
And bell curves are a statistical metric that really has nothing to do with a person’s life. Statistics mean nothing when some crackhead is pointing a gun at you or some thug carjacks you. At that point it only takes one instance to ruin your life in a hurry. Statistics can help a person avoid certain situations but that can be changed by one unfortunate anomaly or outlier.

So, go ahead and prepare. You will never truly be prepared because, more than likely, one of those you are preparing with may the one that takes you out.

• Ed_B says:

@Mammoth

“…would Average Joe even understand the concept of a ‘Bell Curve?’”

Probably not.  But then, I am not addressing AJ with this message.  I am addressing those who frequent the Silver Doctors web site and virtually all of them would understand the reference.

@Not Sure

“People are much more complex than you apparently understand.”

Oh, please.  You accuse me of something which I have not done while you yourself are doing it.  Yes, I DO know that people are complex.  This is all relative.  AJ is much less complex than those who are above average.  I know a number of such people and their interests are quite limited.  I am not denigrating them for being what and who they are.  But I also would not be able to have a real discussion with them about art, classical music, literature, history, current events and their impact upon our lives, mathematics, physics, or many other subjects that do not interest them.  And no, I do not wish to discuss with them the finer points of Dancing With The Stars or what the Kardashians are up to.

A bell curve is a reference meant for those who understand distributions of various things, including people, as seen via mathematics.  Is this all there is to people?  Absolutely not.  But one must start a discussion somewhere and that is where I chose to start it.