Signs of things to come
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Started by wglassfo - July 24, 2020, 6:01 p.m.

Just a few tidbits that may be a short or long term trend or just a brief change in direction

Dollar down

Stk market down

Gold up

Silver up

Now for some reasons why this might be the start of some thing different, and some things that have been with us for some time

China has had bank runs

China may have bank failures [some smaller banks have been absorbed by larger banks]

China is having trouble finding customers for production

Congress will approve another stimulus bill, further adding to natn'l debt

World banks are printing money from thin air [dollar down and other world fiat down in relationship to gold]

Dr. copper is some thing I watch, seems to have peaked which indicates a lack of demand for industrial use

Natn'l debt may matter if market losses faith in FX [gold and silver up]

Houses close to wealthy in NYC are building new homes as the used home market is limited, in the places they want to live [fear factor??]

Evictions for non payment of rent will soon start

Mortgage defaults will soon be a factor

Fed will be forced to bail out banks, as defaults swamp bank reserves

And if you don't think inflation is here

What was the price of a car, house in say 1960-1970

What was considered a middle class income for a family

1976 in bought a brand new Meteor [Ford full size sedan with all the toys for 7500.00]

Today my truck retails at 50,000 plus as does our Jeep SUV CAD

We built a brand new house 40 yrs ago with 1760 sq ft plus a full basement underneath, oak trim, all the goodies for 230,000. We had the land on our farm

What do you think of inflation, wages needed today for middle class family etc.

Not even going to discuss pensions, elderly living standards

Some have trended longer and some may be just a dip in price,

Just a brief snap shot of some things that catch my attention You may have different views



By metmike - July 25, 2020, 11:52 p.m.
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Our Price Basket

 Our basket is representative of the goods and services we all use and buy, obviously different people spend different amounts and buy different types from what we use to calculate the basket, but overall, we believe the products provide an example of a typical cart that allows us to measure on a yearly basis.  You can find below a more detailed list of what we included and the dates and locations prices gathered from

Our Pricebasket showing inflation of food etc. from 2008 to 2020 

By metmike - July 25, 2020, 11:56 p.m.
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Cost of Living in United States


By City in United States


Cost of Living Index
Rent Index
Cost of Living Plus Rent Index
Groceries Index
Restaurant Price Index
Local Purchasing Power Index
1New York, NY100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00100.00
2San Francisco, CA92.68109.64100.9691.8587.01135.51
3Anchorage, AK91.2536.4964.5191.6574.89116.96
4Oakland, CA89.3480.9185.2297.1370.9294.81
5Boston, MA88.5274.6481.7590.0483.25105.63
6Honolulu, HI88.4062.1275.5790.6576.6673.95
7Seattle, WA88.0264.7076.6482.3484.33124.89
8Washington, DC84.5974.6979.7681.2680.01113.81
9Minneapolis, MN83.8142.4563.6282.1276.34113.04
10Charleston, SC83.5948.4066.4188.9171.9396.76
11Miami, FL82.6855.9469.6282.6074.9181.50
12Chicago, IL82.4754.6268.8781.4474.45107.39
13Fort Lauderdale, FL81.9953.2967.9892.6769.7596.64
14Portland, OR81.2946.6464.3782.8268.85102.44
15Los Angeles, CA80.8569.6475.3881.0478.48105.47
16Tampa, FL80.5539.9760.7489.4265.64108.37
17Irvine, CA79.7665.7272.9173.3377.35134.54
18Philadelphia, PA79.5446.0063.1679.5367.0386.66
19Pittsburgh, PA79.3935.0057.7282.1862.94106.29
20Sacramento, CA79.1345.1062.5278.5069.02106.51
21Cleveland, OH78.9837.6858.8283.7065.9988.44
22Milwaukee, WI78.8333.9956.9481.1868.1386.02
23San Diego, CA78.6865.4872.2375.8376.61117.46
24Asheville, NC78.0639.8459.4081.8471.7599.84
25Atlanta, GA77.1046.9062.3678.7163.23125.34
26Birmingham, AL77.0829.1653.6880.2860.2186.63
27New Orleans, LA77.0540.0158.9776.7170.8385.34
28San Jose, CA76.6581.2578.8970.1177.78141.81
29Charlotte, NC75.9542.5059.6170.1668.94125.89
30Baltimore, MD75.2542.3359.1872.2271.33105.30
31Denver, CO75.1651.0663.3967.2975.39119.71
32Ann Arbor, MI74.7849.4462.4175.0262.30113.37
33Rochester, NY74.6328.5152.1174.1670.11100.97
34Albany, NY73.9432.5653.7368.4277.04111.44
35Spokane, WA73.4628.4651.4970.5771.8495.62
36Columbus, OH73.1630.5552.3571.8166.76125.38
37Fort Worth, TX72.8232.9453.3572.2659.34116.71
38Colorado Springs, CO72.8234.9654.3475.7358.92108.05
39Knoxville, TN72.6631.7152.6682.8458.5195.35
40Orlando, FL72.5939.5956.4772.1471.21102.62
41Nashville, TN72.1446.0959.4265.4775.49108.91
42Buffalo, NY71.6526.7849.7470.3063.09100.59
43Omaha, NE71.5229.6051.0572.0459.14110.38
44Olympia, WA71.4139.3855.7769.5264.99110.86
45Kansas City, MO71.3729.1950.7866.4468.96114.50
46Richmond, VA70.5634.0952.7668.2470.49109.77
47Riverside, CA70.5443.6757.4266.9368.6298.27
48Jacksonville, FL70.2632.4251.7872.3670.56114.43
49Raleigh, NC70.2536.0053.5272.7766.21129.80
50Detroit, MI70.0840.0455.4272.0957.4376.99
51Las Vegas, NV69.5435.7653.0559.9672.21113.89
52Tucson, AZ69.2726.7448.5166.4355.1397.60
53Reno, NV69.0537.3953.5968.5565.59122.22
54Louisville, KY68.9430.8850.3567.6571.89107.45
55Houston, TX68.7642.2755.8365.0270.33127.58
56Eugene, OR68.7533.3751.4874.9355.3494.07
57Des Moines, IA68.6627.7848.7070.3958.99114.61
58Phoenix, AZ67.5735.7752.0463.4563.17117.34
59Madison, WI67.1536.4252.1563.6763.46119.50
60San Antonio, TX66.8934.9651.3064.2663.00106.99
61Tulsa, OK66.7926.7247.2369.2456.94113.33
62Toledo, OH66.6620.5844.1664.8761.04101.40
63Salt Lake City, UT66.3835.9251.5162.5163.23121.39
64Dallas, TX65.5847.5556.7858.7564.66142.94
65Indianapolis, IN65.3328.9947.5962.8354.90113.49
66Austin, TX64.5048.7556.8164.1060.88128.78
67Little Rock, AR64.4425.9345.6460.6766.73124.15
68Fresno, CA64.4031.4048.2959.4960.47112.88
69Cincinnati, OH64.3434.2449.6462.9857.22120.11
70Memphis, TN64.0525.8345.3958.7559.30107.53
71Albuquerque, NM63.7626.1645.4061.4564.49109.88
72Huntsville, AL61.7728.5145.5364.4456.85127.55
73Boise, ID61.2834.7848.3554.0164.4297.96
74Lexington, KY61.0826.3444.1263.2651.74124.53
75Wichita, KS60.9122.6442.2256.7453.09111.21
76El Paso, TX57.9722.6340.7261.2943.68119.79

Showing 1 to 76 of 76 entries

By metmike - July 26, 2020, midnight
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A Look Back At What Things Used to Cost


by Farmers' Almanac Staff | Posted In: General

What did things cost over the decades, compared to today?

Car: $500
House: $3,500
Milk: $.32
Bread: $.06
Gas: $.12                                           

Car: $750
House: $4,000
Milk: $.23
Bread: $.09
Gas: $.10

Car: $3,500
House: $20,000
Milk: $.49
Bread: $.22
Gas: $.30

Car: $12,000
House: $100,000
Milk: $2.30
Bread: $.61
Gas: $1.12

Car: $35,285*
House: $222,800 (median price, according to Zillow)
Milk: $3.50
Bread: $2.50
Gas: $2.90


By metmike - July 26, 2020, 12:05 a.m.
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Getting a raise is great. You suddenly have more money to spend on the things that are important to you and to save for the future. But earning more money won't get you very far if student loans, medical bills and child care are so expensive that they eat up all your additional income. Unfortunately, that is the situation that we as a country find ourselves facing, as a new graph from personal finance site HowMuch makes clear:




This graph is modeled after one created last year by economist Mark J. Perry, who used data on inflation-adjusted price and wage changes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. People who are bullish on the economy (and modern capitalism in general) tend to emphasize how affordable consumer goods have become, and that's certainly true when you look at TVs, toys and personal tech. But as consumer goods have become more affordable, the prices of essential services like health care, college tuition and child care have risen much faster than wages — meaning that people are spending more of their income on things they can't meaningfully opt out of. So if it feels like student loans, health insurance premiums and day care bills are wiping out too big a chunk of your paycheck… well, that's probably why.

By cutworm - July 26, 2020, 7:02 a.m.
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It's interesting that the 3 fastest growing areas on this chart are heavily government subsidized. All but child care and wages are subsidized. 

Things not subsidized same or cheaper.


By TimNew - July 26, 2020, 7:55 a.m.
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Basic principle of economics.  When you inject money into a system,  prices go up. They'll find a way to use it.

Back in the 70's,  when government decided to make education affordable, I was paying less than 500/semester at  a state university living off campus. Between summer jobs and the GI bill,  I was living comfortably.

Today, that same school charges 8,210,  roughly 16.5 times higher. 

I think it's safe to say the tuition has substantially outpaced inflation. Can't imagine getting the same education without massive debt.

By metmike - July 26, 2020, 2:16 p.m.
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"It's interesting that the 3 fastest growing areas on this chart are heavily government subsidized. All but child care and wages are subsidized. 

Things not subsidized same or cheaper."

Astute observation cutworm!

In health care, I believe the system is totally broken and corrupt and only socialized medicine will ever work to serve the needs of the most Americans..............but with college tuition, its insane!

Here's an opinion/case to back you cutworm!

What Do Government Subsidies Provide? Higher Prices And More Overhead, Mostly


By metmike - July 26, 2020, 2:23 p.m.
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These are my views on health care.

                Corruption causing our health care system to collapse            

                            13 responses |               

                Started by metmike - Oct. 16, 2019, 12:05 p.m.    

By cutworm - July 26, 2020, 7:47 p.m.
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"In health care, I believe the system is totally broken and corrupt and only socialized medicine will ever work to serve the needs of the most Americans..............but with college tuition, its insane"

Let's think this out:

Large Government money inflates college tuition prices

Large subsidized and controlled health care increased cost

Government subsidized * is partial socialism**

so some socialism is bad but more or all socialized  medicine will  work to lower cost for everyone?




NOUN a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole                           

* subsidized



  1. (of an organization or activity) supported financially.
    "a subsidized industry"
    • having part of the cost of production paid in order to keep the selling price low.
      "subsidized food"
By metmike - July 26, 2020, 8:10 p.m.
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Sorry about that misplaced post earlier.

"so some socialism is bad but more or all socialized  medicine will  work to lower cost for everyone?"

We don't have a non socialized solution to the current badly broken health care industry that would even get us in the vicinity of being viable. 

The rational of your statement is based on applying a blanket statement about something failing in some realms because of the improper way that its being applied and assuming that it can't be used correctly to fix a totally broken problem.

Obama Care was a bad fix. 

Just look at Canada. Their system works great.

It's NOT all the health insurance industry that gets all the blame(intentionally).

They have to pass on the real costs. 

In almost every free market, demand and supply rule for prices. This is good............for those markets. 

Health care is different. You can't shop around to get a cheap heart operation. When you get sick........or have an emergency, you need immediate care, not the cheapest after you check out prices. 

We pay 3 times more for everything than any other developed country........because of corruption, bribes and politics.

I am all ears to hear how we will just use the free market(that has caused the corruption) to get prices down to what they are in all the other countries

The other thing is...............what do you do with people who cant afford health care?

Let em suffer?

Let em die?

There is a near 100% chance that this country will eventually adopt a system that covers most people that want insurance. 

And it won't be private health insurance that covers the ones not insured because they cant afford it.

It's a tough pill to swallow for those that work their butts off  and pay money for their coverage.............that others would get it for free.

Especially for the ones with great group plans with good rates because their employer is footing a big part of the bill.

Over the last 10 years, my wife and I had no health insurance half of the time. I have a serious autoimmune disorder and before the change that eliminated no coverage for pre existing conditions, we were screwed. 

We also got price gouged badly. We saved 90,000 in yearly premiums but not having coverage and get REAL lucky with no major incidents when there was no coverage.

I gambled that our medical costs would not exceed 90,0000 for those 6 years that we had no coverage. ..........and won.

Before they got rid of the pre existing conditions, they would write a new policy and start over every year, so that conditions from previous years don't have to be covered.

Non Obama care/market place health insurance (private insurance) probably still has the limits on coverage for pre existing conditions.

A person dying of cancer now, using the Obama care insurance with no previous health insurance, can take out health insurance and be covered.

Also, the price of cars or tv's should be set by demand/supply/cost conditions in the free market. Same with most everything.

But people don't need new cars or new tvs or new computers. If they are real poor and cant afford  a car, they either drive a cheap clunker or go without. Same with the other CONVENIENCES and LUXURIES that should be priced based on the market conditionss. 

Health care is not a convenience or luxury. It's a right. 

Deb and I know what its like to NOT have healthcare for numerous years. It turned out great because we were extremely lucky but mainly because the system is so screwed up that taking that high risk PAID OFF HANDSOMELY with the $90,000 we saved.

We just started our first group policy  in almost 15 years on July 1st.

During years we had no insurance.........I let things go. Then, we would get health insurance for a year and I would have everything done.........hernia surgery, hemmoroid surgery, 2 eye surgeries, elbow surgery...........and hit the max out of pocket expense early...........then get everything else for free during the rest of the year.

By TimNew - July 27, 2020, 9:21 a.m.
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Healthcare is not a right.

People from Canada come to the US for treatment they can't get in Canada's system.

I agree that right now, Canada's system is better than ours thanks to decades of government interference.  More government is not the cure.

By metmike - Aug. 22, 2020, 11:13 a.m.
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We were without health insurance again for around 9 months but got on a group plan that my wifes work offered for the first time (very small business) . It started July 1, 2020.

Here are some numbers/info:

Cost: $1,800/month  ==$21,600/year 

Deductible: $5,000/year    

Doctor visit co pay $45, specialist $90

Prescriptions: A tad cheaper on a couple than our Sam's membership, a bit more expensive on a couple, much more expensive on a couple...........GOOD RX is the cheapest by far on most of them which requires nothing but a warm body.

They pay $0 on MRI's and X rays and other things. Until you hit the $5k deductible, then they pay 50% up to $8,500, then they pay 100%.  For out of network stuff, the deductible is $16,500. My wife's family doctor of 15 years is out of network with this new insurance company. He is with St. Vincents, but must be with Deaconess to be covered..........and that's not happening. 

She says she wants to stay with him and pay the full price of office visits. 

They will cover 1 colonoscopy every 10 years.........telling me that, even if we had a colonoscopy a couple of years ago, we can have another one now, since this policy started July 1, 2020 and we didn't get our free colonoscopy yet. 

What does this mean?

My wifes company, because of an arrangement we have has given her a raise of $21,600/year to pay for the health care insurance. Otherwise, no way would I pay for this. I would go without health insurance, as we have for much of the last 15 years because it represents horrible value vs the risk. 

Looking at what we will pay out in a year, along with the deductible totals out to $26,600. This is the amount that we must pay out of pocket in a year before the insurance company will start paying on procedures at 50%.

That number is $30,100 before they will pay out at 100%.

I don't know who obtained this policy with her company but my wife and I have a big disagreement on whether its the best one out there. She insists they checked everywhere. I can't imagine there aren't better ones. exists and we have it, as do a heck of a lot of other people.............and its a clear example of how our medical care/health care system is badly busted.

Who the heck, except rich people can afford $21,600/year for a married couple(minimum cost) and to lose $26,600 in payouts before getting benefits?

Fact is, I know some wealthy people without group plans, that because they can afford to take more risk, that don't buy the health insurance because they are smart with their money. 

My son works for Toyota, which is a massive company and his plan is awesome.........because they have so many employees. 

One way to look at this is from the risk/reward standpoint, is to ask yourself what the chances are of you having medical bills greater than $26,600 in the upcoming year?

And dial in the other factor.

What is the chance of you having medical bills of $100,000+ from a catastrophic event. 

Each person will have different odds based on their health but also, every person will have impossible to calculate odds based on random variation sicknesses/events that WILL happen to some people, one of which could be you..........the type of which can bankrupt you if you have no health insurance.

Then, you have to decide if, paying something like $100,000 in a 4 year period with CERTAINTY is worth protecting yourself from an event that might cost $100,000+ ?

Bottom line, to make out, you MUST have a catastrophic event that costs much more than $100,000 in a 4 year period.

What are the chances of that?

1 out of 100?

Maybe for older folks in bad health,  1 out of 10?

So that would be the risk of going bankrupt from medical bills if you had no health insurance.

What is the risk you take of having health insurance?

Paying out $100,000 in just over 4 years and the risk of that is 100 out of 100 because you WILL PAY THAT with 100% certainty. It's the price to have coverage.  

What risk am I willing to take to save that $100,000 in premiums is the real question(and we can use longer period, let's say, making that 9 years and $200,000.

Risking a 1 out of 100 event?  Heck yes, I'll take a 1 out of 100 chance of going bankrupt to get $100,000 in 4 years, or $200,000 in 9 years. 

1 out of 10 chances? You are probably pretty sick/pre existing conditions and you have to have a decent amount of money to dish out $200,000 in premiums the next 9 years. I still would not do it.

So the protection/coverage only offers value to people that are VERY sick and have the money to pay for it. 

This is exactly why we went without health insurance in  so many recent years.

Our medical care/health care system is completely broken!!!!!

By wglassfo - Aug. 22, 2020, 12:05 p.m.
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You say canadians go to the USA for medical procedures

You are correct

There are two reasons that I can think of

1: The person may be able to pay the cost and doesn't want to wait for a long time for elective surgery. Bigger boobs is elective surgery and not very high on the waiting list. Cancer patients get immediate treatment but the boobs can wait. Even hip replacement can wait but is a higher priority than boobs. However you will get the boobs adjusted as you wish if you wait your turn according to need and available operating space

2: You may be a visitor to the USA and become sick. You don't go home, you enter a USA hospital and then when able to go home, then, you go home. That happened to me and I spent a week in the USA hospital system before going home. My USA hospital treatment did not cost me one penny.

By metmike - Aug. 23, 2020, 12:17 a.m.
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Thanks Wayne.

Sounds like  you think  that your health care system is pretty good, correct?

By TimNew - Aug. 23, 2020, 7:24 a.m.
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Here are some other explanations for why Canadians come to the US for medical care.

TORONTO — When Sharon Shamblaw was diagnosed last summer with a form of blood cancer that could only be treated with a particular stem cell transplant, the search for a donor began. A Toronto hospital, 100 miles east of her home in St. Mary's, Ontario, and one of three facilities in the province that could provide the life-saving treatment, had an eight-month waiting list for transplants.

Four months after her diagnosis, Shamblaw headed to Buffalo, New York, for treatment. But it was too late. She died at the age of 46, leaving behind a husband and three children

By metmike - Aug. 23, 2020, 1:39 p.m.
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Thanks Tim!

Interesting article that makes your case and I can't disagree with because I don't have accurate data on that element.

So many other articles/studies that contradict it too. 

Countries With the Most Well-Developed Public Health Care Systems

The U.S. ranks 15th.

  • No. 10: Switzerland. Best Health Care System Rank: 10. ... 
  • No. 9: Netherlands. Best Health Care System Rank: 9. ... 
  • No. 8: Australia. Best Health Care System Rank: 8. ... 
  • No. 7: Japan. Best Health Care System Rank: 7. ... 
  • No. 6: United Kingdom. Best Health Care System Rank: 6. ... 
  • No. 5: Germany. ... 
  • No. 4: Norway. ... 
  • No. 3: Sweden.
  • No. 2: Denmark
  • No. 1: Canada

The Truth on Wait Times in Universal Coverage Systems