Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Is John Galt

From market-ticker.org, by Karl Denninger: It's Called Evolution, Gentlemen
In short, if you want it in two words, it's this: I'm done.
I choose instead of either active participation through funding of our government's BS or violence to peacefully withdraw my consent.  To refuse to labor.  To make do with less -- a lot less.  I choose to reduce my voluntary contribution to the tax hoard that is misspent or forms the foundation against which our government borrows, giving the proceeds to those who think that doping it up is a grand past-time or shoveling guns, missiles and money to terrorists while groping our grannies, using the very existence of the terrorists we gave the guns and missiles to as justification for what any civilized society would call sexual assault.
The portion of that which I earn by my efforts that I am able to retain in real terms shrinks by the day, and I have concluded that the balance of benefits and harms, especially the harms done to others using my tax dollars, is no longer acceptable to me.
My decision will not change until America changes.  Until it wakes up.  Until the people demand and the government of this county, this state and this nation recognize everyone's fundamental rights -- that shall not be infringed means what it says, that shall pass no law means what it says and all branches of government stop using taxpayer dollars to arm terrorists, maintain and promote medical monopolies, promote and empower banking cartels while excusing violence and fraud, both financial and corporeal, committed against the people of this nation by those entities and the agents of government itself. 
I have seen enough frauds committed by and with the active involvement of government to become convinced that this is what, in the main, my tax dollars are buying.  Whether it be Angela Corey's apparent intentional withholding of evidence from George Zimmerman's counsel (and now her firing of one of the people who tried to do the right thing), the rip-off of pension funds and the taxpayer through both looting of the funds and ridiculously over-promised rates of return or the literal thousands of citizens that have had their homes foreclosed upon through blatantly fraudulent process and perjured documents, enough is enough.
I will not accept mere political promises as they are rubber checks without a penalty for being fraudulently issued and over the last 20 years they have always bounced.  I instead demand action, indictments, prosecutions, break-ups of monopolies, impeachments, business closures, the end of deficit spending and reform. These are not discussion points, they are demands.  They are demands that I have every right to make because it is with the fruits of my hand and mind that this government has foisted upon the American people these frauds, costs and harms.  I have written too many large checks to the IRS over the years only to see this crap not only continue but accelerate in the harm done to our nation -- and especially our youth.
I hope, pray for and encourage others to also peacefully withdraw their consent.  If enough of us who are the producers in this nation do so then government will have no choice but to bow to our will or collapse.  My decision in this regard, if ratified by concurrence of just a small percentage of the population, represents what I believe is the only remaining lawful and peaceful way to accomplish that goal.
I'm on board. My own withdrawal of my productivity from the vampire that is the Federal government will take time, but I'm moving in that direction. I'm reorganizing my investments so that they are not Federally taxable (this does not include using IRA accounts, 401(k)'s, etc; I am dismantling mine before they are confiscated). I am eliminating my debts that generate interest income for the Feds and for their favored corporations. Ultimately, I will bring my personal productivity down to a level that they do not tap into, and/or into forms of voluntary trade with others that they cannot tax at all.

As the author says, it will only take enough of us, not all of us. The goal will be reached even faster if we put our government's creditors on notice that this is what we intend to do. Are you listening, China?

HT: Captain Capitalism

Friday, September 27, 2013

Again, Ban All You Want, We'll Just Print More

Defense Distributed brings us yet closer to a fully 3D-printed firearm:

3D Printing Now Brings You Semiautomatic Pistols (The Better To Scare Control Freaks)
It's not yet ready for prime-time (it has yet to be tested), but 3D printing tinkerers have developed a design for a semiautomatic pistol. In fact, the developer says a full-automatic version would be easier to make with available materials. What a long way we've come, in just a few short months, toward the ultimate goal of rendering gun control laws a complete joke. Well...they were already a joke (though a dangerous one). It's more accurate to say we've come a long way toward rendering such laws moot, and easily bypassed by even those with limited technical skills.
The future is not in centralized power.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Category Creep

Right now there are two categories for health insurance: smoking and non-smoking. That has been the major lifestyle choice that interested the actuaries of health insurance providers for decades. 

Now that .gov is taking an even bigger stake in health insurance, and medical care generally, than ever before, watch for that to expand!
 
Yesterday, you may have belonged to a non-smoking classification. You had a certain premium that you paid.
 
Tomorrow, you could be part of the non-smoking, meat eating classification. There will be a new premium for that. No doubt a higher one.
 
Do you like to ride motorcycles? Maybe you're in the Motorcycle riding, beer drinking, smoking class. You'll have an even higher premium!

The list could go on forever, and it probably will. Why? Because when .gov assumes a financial interest in health care, and seeks to lower your individual impact on the system as the system increasingly changes to exist for its own sake, it will take an increasingly aggressive role in managing your life and lifestyle.

High premiums are the weapon they will use to discourage behavior they deem "unhealthy." That may at times pertain to things that truly are unhealthy, but more often it will probably be whatever some .gov type just personally doesn't like.

They can't mandate a higher premium just for you and your particular pleasures. Obozocare incorporates one of the most awful ideas ever heard of in insurance: community rating. That's where they set premiums based on "your community," charging everyone the same based on how much medical services are being consumed in a given area (basically, whatever healthy, responsible decisions you make for yourself that might otherwise earn you a lower insurance premium will be negated by the crack heads that live near you).

The way around that is to just come up with new categories to put you into. 

Don't think it could happen this way?
 
Have a look at the taxes on cigarettes and booze, and in particular why some keep clamoring for them to be even higher than they are now. The precedent was set a long time ago for using .gov enforced disincentives to certain behaviors. Your hobby is next.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Wish I Was A Typical Family of Four

Forbes.com: Obamacare Will Increase Health Spending By $7,450 For A Typical Family of Four
$621 billion is a pretty eye-glazing number. Most readers will find it easier to think about how this number translates to a typical American family—the very family candidate Obama promised would see $2,500 in annual savings as far as the eye could see. So I have taken the latest year-by-year projections, divided by the projected population and multiplied the result by 4.
Interactive Guide: What Will Obamacare Cost You?
Simplistic? Maybe, but so too was the President’s campaign promise. And this approach allows us to see just how badly that promise fell short of the mark. Between 2014 and 2022, the increase in national health spending (which the Medicare actuaries specifically attribute to the law) amounts to $7,450 per family of 4.
I wish my personal cost under Obozocare went up just $7,450 over the next nine years.

Mine went up $12,420. Just me, as a healthy, non-smoker with no family. That doesn't even include any future increases in insurance premiums that I would suffer.

At least it did on paper; I dropped out and I won't be coming back.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wiped Out

Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory
CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year.
I like the "embarrassing shortages" bit. That must be the situation we've all found ourselves in when you realize that there's no TP left in the bathroom and you have to ask someone to bring you more, only across an entire nation.

The difference here being that in the U.S. we don't have this problem (yet), because we don't have an idiotic government causing over-consumption of toilet paper by mandating lower prices on a dwindling supply.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Throwing Ourselves Lead Life Preservers

Via Yahoo Finance: Americans Sacrificing Freedom To Avoid Another Meltdown
No matter what you hear to the contrary greed didn't create the housing bubble. People are always greedy and anyone suggesting otherwise is selling you something. What unleashed the worst of our greedy instincts was a series of horrifically ill-conceived regulations crafted by buffoons on both sides of the political aisle. Through the power of misguided regulations elected officials created a system that violated the basic laws of economics. The result was a systemic promotion of our most base greed instincts at the expense of collective common sense.
What's fascinating is that our collective response to the meltdown has been to cede basic liberties to the same group of elected officials in an effort protect us from letting a similar crisis from happen again. Predictably, the politicians are using the opportunity to wrest even more power from Main Street.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

If You Demand Free Lunch, Eventually There's No Lunch

The Onion is a lot of fun.

It's even more fun when the antics of one of their fictional characters illustrates the naked truth about some people's behaviors, beliefs, and their maddening contradictions.







Starbucks Caves, Promotes Their Competition

I spotted this open letter from Howard Shultz, the CEO of the Starbucks Coffee Company this morning via a patriot group I follow on Facebook. You can follow the link to read the letter in its entirety, but I wanted to highlight this portion of it here:
Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.
For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas—even in states where “open carry” is permitted—unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.
I understand the lack of enthusiasm for having one's place of business turned into a stage for political theater. It sort of detracts from the point of having a place of business: to make money.

What I don't appreciate is the obvious anti-2nd stance that Shultz is taking. He tried to make it appear that he's not taking sides, but after identifying two actors, he singles out one for exclusion without addressing directly the other: law abiding patriots, you're out; screeching anti-liberty activists, you get a pass.

People who were coming into Starbucks stores sticking up for their rights, which is something they can do daily and normally, during the course of making an organized political statement or not, you're out.

People who were showing up only to turn the stores into protest camps, you're in.

Oh, but cops can have guns. Great. Thanks.

Your message is loud and clear, Howard. Loud and clear.

The joy of a truly free market is the availability of alternatives (the so-called "free" mixed market that we actually have, for the moment it's sufficient). There are other coffee shops out there ready to exchange their products for my money that are perfectly willing to do the right thing, which is to tell the loons harassing their law-abiding customers to get off of their property.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Sure She's A Great Catch, Too

A friend of mine saw this and took this picture on a job site he was at earlier today:

 

Takes one to marry one? I'm going to guess that she's not much to speak of herself. Then again, what would I know - I'm just an idot.


More People Doing the Health Insurance Math

A good read that I found this morning, thought it appears that the author isn't aware that the IRS has no authority to force you to pay the Obamacare fine for not having an approved insurance policy.
Now I understand that the system as designed under ObamaCare needs people like me to buy insurance precisely because I will spend more on insurance than I would consume in services, and that means my dollars are subsidizing someone else's care. They made it mandatory because they knew people like me would have no incentive to buy if they didn't. But avoiding the $750 tax penalty is not enough of an incentive to get me to pay $5,000 for something I'm getting now for less than $2,000.
His reasoning is solid, and it should definitely be given consideration by everyone, but especially by younger folks. You've already been screwed over in so many ways by people who are older than you, who rigged the system to extract a comfortable living from you and leave you poor. Don't let them do it to you again in this way, too. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Right to Privacy? Yeah, Right.

I've been hammering on the financial destructiveness of Obamacare lately (and for years, in different places - still trying to develop my blogging habit; I'm getting there). It's an easy one to discuss because most people can perceive immediately the negative impact of the numbers on their own lives. Just about everyone has at some point felt the sting of an unexpected added cost (car breaking down, baseball through a window, food stains on brand new clothes, etc.). You can explain that to someone, tell them how it's going to be like experiencing that every single day for the rest of their life, and they get it.

Talking to someone about their rights being taken away is a lot harder. It's not something everyone experiences very often (at least up to this point, but more and more of you will get to sample this experience soon). I had the experience at an early age, so it's easy for me to grasp what is coming at me in this regard.

Probably the simplest way to make it understandable for the most people is to put it in terms of experiencing an embarrassing incident. Think of something that you would feel is embarrassing, whatever that may be. You're a bit lucky in this case though, because only one other person is aware of your embarrassing incident, and they're keeping quiet about it (maybe it embarrassed them, too).

Move forward in time: now you're in a situation where you need something. Whatever the something is isn't important, just understand that it would be rather unpleasant for you to not gain access to it. To get the thing, you have to answer some questions.

To answer one of the questions truthfully, you have to reveal the embarrassing incident.

Here's the part that really sucks: the embarrassing incident really has nothing at all to do with what it is that you need to gain access to, but you still have to answer a question that could reveal that it happened to get the thing. Whatever answer you give will also be recorded, put into a database, and will instantly become accessible to thousands of other people who have nothing at all to do with helping you get the thing.

So now you have to lie, or you have to reveal the incident. What's worse, and what you can't forget, is that you can't reveal the incident without also revealing that your friend was also involved in the incident - you don't only expose yourself, you expose another person. You become responsible for embarrassing your friend. There's a very good chance that the other person is not going to be very happy with you for exposing his/her secret.

So now you have a choice: lie to protect yourself and your friend, or tell the truth and embarrass both of you.

Let's skip an analysis of the benefits/consequences of taking either path. They're pretty obvious: lie, and you get the thing. Tell the truth, and you get the thing. The right and wrong of lying isn't the important thing here, nor are the ramifications of telling the truth and injuring a third party's reputation.

Remember that I said that the question being asked and the incident you're keeping secret have nothing to do with the thing that you're after. The important thing here is: why are you being asked this question at all?

Think about that. The thing you're trying to get access to, you really need it. The people who can give it to you, they're asking you to jump through hoops that are completely unrelated, but which can inflict a different, unacceptable harm on you. Does it occur to you that perhaps they're doing this because they know that your immediate need of the thing gives them some power over you, but that getting the unrelated information out of you would give them even more power over you?

Do you feel resentment yet? Are you becoming angry? Scared? All of the above? Do you enjoy feeling these things?

Are you thinking to yourself, "why am I being put into a position to experience this? They're doing this to me because they can, and it has nothing to do with what I need right now!"


It's called leverage. Private information, in the hands of a third party, gives that third party power over the individual they have information on. It's another way that some people can effectively own other people. That's what they're going to try to do with you. You will be their property. Your only means of defense will be to lie, and to do it consistently and flawlessly. If you slip up even once, your answers will conflict with what's in the database, and then they'll have you. 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Whole Life Insurance As An Alternative to Health Insurance?

Now that the health insurance market is even more screwed up thanks to Obamacare and is only worth staying out of, people need to look at potential alternatives for something to fill that need (if they want to). One possibility: whole life insurance.

I know, Dave Ramsey hates the stuff. Please don't bother reminding me, but also don't let his rejection of it stop you from reading further. His panning of the product is based purely on a dollars and cents perspective, which has its merits, but only to the extent that an individual values only that. There are other uses for this stuff than just insurance, and some may find those other possibilities to be worth every penny. Here's a little taste: what if you didn't have to deal with bankers as much, or ever again? Interested? Read on.

Whole life insurance is life insurance, not health insurance, so it's not an obvious nor direct replacement. It's also not cheap insurance, relative to "term" life insurance. However, unlike term and unlike health insurance, it has cash value (I'm ignoring HSA accounts in stating this; you have to have an eligible health insurance policy to  be allowed to fund an HSA account, but the account is separate from your policy).

The cash value of a whole life policy is an internal dollar amount that the policy is worth. It is not the death benefit, which is what the policy will pay out to beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. Over time, if a policy is structured in a certain way, the cash value can increase the death benefit, but for now just focus on the fact that they're different things.

The sum that sits inside a whole life policy is a portion of the premiums paid to keep the policy in force. They accumulate over time and earn interest (sometimes called dividends). Subject to certain limits, a person can "over fund" their policy by paying extra money into it, which adds to this cash value faster.

This is where things get interesting. The interest/dividends earned within the policy are not subject to income taxes, and whole life insurance policies will typically pay a minimum guaranteed rate, otherwise paying more if market conditions allow it. For example, my policy will always return at least 3% per year, but currently it's returning 4.5%. Your earnings grow tax-free (so you have to take into account the tax-equivalent yield to correctly evaluate what you're getting), and they can only grow - you can't lose ground (worth) like you can in the stock markets.

So what? Life insurance only pays out when you die, right?

Not quite. You can take loans against the cash value of a whole life policy. Loans are also not subject to income taxes. You're still in the clear in that regard.

So usually when you take out a loan, two things happen: you become obligated to pay the loan back, and the lender begins charging you interest. When you borrow from a whole life policy, you're not technically obligated to pay the loan back, and YOU are the recipient of interest on the loan.

It's simple: if you borrow from your policy and don't pay the loan back, then your policy lapses and that's the end of that. The money you owe, you owe to yourself. Obviously you can't be in debt to yourself, so what this really means is that not paying back a loan you took out from your own life insurance policy just collapses and cancels the policy. You don't end up owing the provider.

But there's a very good reason to pay the loan back, and that's the interest that's building on the cash value portion of the policy.

If you take a sum out of a savings account, say $1,000 out of a $10,000 balance, you cease earning interest on the $1k you have in-hand. The other $9k is the only portion earning interest, so your total earnings go down. If you did the same thing with a whole life policy, you continue earning interest on $10,000, as if you never took the $1k out. When you pay the $1k back in, you have your $10k in place, plus ALL of the interest you would have earned. 

Think about that. You borrowed from yourself, continued to earn interest on your savings as if you had not touched them, but you had the full utility of the funds you did borrow anyway. When you paid the money back, you put it back into your own pocket, not into someone else's pocket. As long as you restore the cash you borrowed to the policy and keep it in force, you get to keep everything.

You also don't have to qualify for a loan from your own policy. You just tell your provider that you want a loan, and you get your check. You can't borrow more than your policy contains in cash value, so there's no need for the insurance company to subject you to the Spanish Inquisition-like experience that you get if you walk into a typical bank seeking a loan. You are the bank. 

There's no age restrictions here either, unlike IRAs, 401(k) accounts, etc. There's also no purpose-specific qualifiers for taking out a loan on your policy, unlike funds in a Health Savings Account, which must be spent on whatever .gov decides to declare "allowable expenses." 

That's where this product really begins to head off into "life serving" territory; that is, it serves your life and enhances it, versus what health insurance has become, which by and large appears to be increasingly promising to do the opposite. 

The money you pay toward a health insurance plan goes only toward that. The money is gone. You have access to certain services described by the plan, but unless you put a whole lot of money toward the policy each month, you're still going to have to come up with more to cover your co-pays. You can't get a loan from your health insurance policy to do something else in life that interests you. If you want to get a new car, put a down payment on a house, buy up some dividend paying stock in the midst of a market crash, whatever you can think of, there's nothing in your health insurance to do that with. The utility of the money you paid toward your health insurance is gone forever, locked up in that particular use by the dictates of asshole government bureaucrats who will make your health insurance unnecessarily expensive by loading it up with coverages you don't need, forcing you to go forth and earn it somewhere all over again (and the next month, they'll be back for more...).

Unlike contemporary health insurance, which is now plagued with the horrendous concept known as community rating, where you are at the mercy of the dumbest and sickest people around you when it comes to how your health insurance premiums are set, a life insurance company will look at you as an individual. You can actually get a LOWER premium for making good choices: eating right, exercising, not drinking a bottle of whiskey and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, etc. Once your premium is determined, it remains level for the rest of your life, too, unlike health insurance premiums that will rise every year, whether you use the policy or not. So, contrary to what health insurance markets have been twisted into by special interests and moron politicians, the life insurance market rewards the young and the healthy.

The potential use for this kind of insurance that I'm getting at should be obvious by now: instead of paying good money into something that is over-priced, set up to punish your good behavior because of the bad behavior of others, and which offers you no value outside of its sole purpose, why not buy yourself something that serves you in whatever way you see fit?

If you get sick, borrow against your policy. If you get really sick - terminally ill - you may even be able to access up to half of the death benefit of your policy, which you can use to handle your medical and life expenses (you choose how to spend the money). Granted, your medical bills could end up being larger than the value of your policy. It's a risk that you would be taking on, certainly. On the other hand, what if that doesn't happen? What if instead you stayed away from this kind of product and went for exorbitantly expensive health insurance, paid thousands of dollars per year into it, and then find after several decades that you never needed it that entire time. All of that money, and all of the time out of your finite life that you traded for it - poof! Gone! Health insurance cannot be used to build wealth like whole life insurance can. Want something else now? Well, get back to work! You have to earn that money all over again. 

Like I said, I have one of these policies, and now that I've kicked the bullshit health insurance market to the curb, I'm looking to start another. I won't disclose who my provider is, only because I'm not looking to endorse any particular insurance company. Some are better than others, but I leave that up to you and your agent to research and decide on.

Life is risk. It's also finite. There's never going to be a "completely safe" way to go through life, and there's only so much time that each of us has to get on with the things that we want to do. There are pro's and con's to everything, trade-offs between alternatives that must be evaluated. What those are is a question of what an individual finds relevant to him or her, which is a matter of what they value. The problem with what has happened in the health insurance market is that some people are trying to force everyone else to participate in what it is that they value. They do this at great cost to some for the benefit of others, and in such a way that many people, especially the young, will have to put their dreams on hold for years and years as they're forced to work to fund someone else's interests. Whole life insurance has its drawbacks, but depending on your interests, hopes, and dreams, it may serve you better than health insurance ever will. That's for you to decide.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Don't Buy Health Insurance, Don't Pay The Fine, Do Enjoy Yourself

I found this little gem earlier:

The law prohibits the IRS from using liens or levies to collect any payment you owe related to the individual responsibility provision, if you, your spouse or a dependent included on your tax return does not have minimum essential coverage. However, if you owe a shared responsibility payment, the IRS may offset that liability against any tax refund you may be due.

What this means is that if you give .gov the one-fingered salute over this health insurance nonsense, like I am, then they fine you. The "shared responsibility payment" is what they call it. (That's their cute little socialist way of saying "hey, young people: pay way too much money for health insurance now and put however much of your life on hold so Boomers who have already had their fun will have things easier").

But here's the thing: the IRS can only withhold the penalty from a tax return payment owed to you. They cannot send you a bill for it, put a lien on your income and assets, etc.

What's my source for the above info?

The IRS itself: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision

The snippet I quoted above is at the very bottom of the page (of course).

So here's all you have to do:

If you are an hourly/salaried individual and you receive a W-2 form, get busy adjusting your withholding to bring yourself as close to break-even as possible (in terms of owing more in taxes vs. receiving a return), or such that you'll owe some.

If you are self-employed, you can pretty much control all of this.

Then, just don't pay the stupid fine! They'll no doubt keep it on their books for years, until the statists give the IRS the power to collect it, or the ACA is repealed and all of these bullshit fines are eliminated/forgiven. One or the other will happen, or over time maybe both. I say: take the chance. If you don't give in to their extortion and this nightmare is brought to an end, you win. If you hand over your money out of fear of what they might eventually do and then they are defeated, then you just lose. There will be no restitution of stolen money once the law is repealed; everything taken from you will just be "considered even."

Screw them and their system. If you're young, all you're going to get is your dreams put on hold because people one or two generations older than you were too stupid and/or irresponsible to prepare for their later years. They had their fun, and now they expect you to wait to have yours while they continue to have their own. By the time they're finally dead, you'll have missed out on years of your own happiness, and your "reward" for "paying in" will be to receive far, far less than those who came before you (if there's anything left at all - the numbers are not good). Your only hope is to enjoy yourself now, keep as much of what's yours away from this black hole, and do your part to crash and burn what they've created and forced on you.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The ACA Has Come for Me, So I Will Shrug

A letter from my health insurance provider finally came that I have been expecting for some time now. I now have the confirmation of my fears in black and white right in front of me. My current so-called high deductible, Health Savings Account-eligible (HSA) policy is being discontinued and will be replaced with an Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant one. They even included a side-by-side comparison of my current plan features with the "Bronze" level plan it will convert to.

The substantial differences:

Deductible: was $3,500; now $5,000 in-network, $10,000 out-of-network

Coinsurance: was 50% for all categories of providers; now 30% in-network, 50% out-of-network

Out-of-pocket max: was $5,000 in any scenario; now $6250 in-network, $12,500 out-of-network

Other listed services are basically the same as they were before, which was that they were covered after my deductibles had been met. What is now covered that I didn't have before is maternity care, which sure makes me feel more secure about my non-existence uterus!

The price tag:

My policy was $140/month.

It will now be $254.57 (the Bronze plan is the cheapest one).

This is a premium increase of 81.8%, and a deductible increase of 42.8%. The other changes are largely meaningless, except that they add to the expense of the insurance.

My answer: No.

That's it, I'm done.

I'm out.

The purpose of insurance is supposed to be to protect one against catastrophe. It is supposed to be a relatively small exchange of value now as a hedge against unpredictable, crippling calamity later. It is also supposed to be insurance, period, not a laundry list of pre-paid medical services, many of which should not be paid for via insurance at all, but rather out-of-pocket and as needed, because they are routine and expected things. Further, insurance is supposed to be something one adopts as a virtuous move, voluntarily jumping into the "pool" before it is needed, such that the pool will exist for you and your fellow voluntary participants when it is needed. To protect the value of what the participants are investing in, the pool must necessarily exclude those who wait until it is too late to participate. As this law is written, anyone can jump in at any time, well after their need has been established, and such that the necessary security and longevity of the pool (that is, the protection of the early adopters' investment) simply cannot exist. Being a willing participant in health insurance pools before one is sick is now a sucker's bet.

Beyond the specific purpose of insurance and its correct form, there is the much bigger matter of its value within the context of my life. Properly structured and priced, health insurance is supposed to serve me; that is, it should enhance my life by providing greater value than it costs me. My existing health insurance plan, though it has many warts and could be cheaper, at this time does do that: I can both afford it and make contributions to my HSA without negatively impacting other things I am doing in my life. These changes, and the resulting price increases, would force me to draw resources (money, which is a tangible representation of my finite energy and time) away from other parts of my life to devote to the new policy. If I do not do so, then basically I could afford the new policy only by scrapping what I am contributing to my HSA and redirecting it to the premium, which destroys the utility of the HSA. Or, if I maintain my HSA contributions at their current levels as a percentage of my premiums, I will have to eliminate from my budget many of the other things that I enjoy in life: saving, investing, paying off debts, any number of leisure activities, etc. To keep everything in place in my budget and my life that is there now, I would have to work even harder to earn more money, sacrificing more of my time and energy in a way I would not otherwise choose to (resulting also in paying more taxes, and moving even further away from eligibility for a tax credit to offset the cost of my "affordable" health insurance).

In any scenario, the requirement that I own one of these idiotic health plans requires that I begin sacrificing higher values to what is now a lower one: my health insurance, which was always supposed to serve me, now requires that I serve it. This is value-destroying, which means it is life-destroying, and is therefore insane.

So I am dropping out. I am cancelling my existing policy before it automatically converts to this new, destructive policy. I fully acknowledge the risk I am taking, both in terms of my future health and the statutory punishments described within the ACA for not carrying insurance, but the math is very simple: I am alive and healthy now and can find much higher value and utility in having my life, my time, and my energy more in my own hands and at my disposal than I can by sacrificing it to the destructive policies dreamed up by unaccountable bureaucrats and would-be aristocratic "elected leaders." It is better to access more of what I value now, rather than constantly putting my dreams and goals on-hold for the sake of what some bureaucrat thinks I should devote my life and time to doing.

I accept that by choosing to more fully enjoy my life now, that I may subject myself to a potentially painful and rapid end later. I accept that I may have to take the end of my life into my own hands if the situation becomes hopeless enough. However, I find it preferable to seek and seize more of my own happiness now, as I conceive of it, with the possibility that I may not get sick and die relatively early in life. The gamble is an easy one to accept: I know that if I pay for one of these policies that I will lose value now and for the rest of my life. I know that ultimately I will die anyway, and that when I do die the chance is higher that I will go to my grave regretting everything I wanted to do but could not afford to do because an evil, out-of-control government forced me to devote my time and energy to what they thought was best, not what I valued most. I am going to take more of my own life into my own hands, and I am going to demand that all others back off and leave me to its entirety.

This is what I am choosing to do. I do not require that others follow my lead to validate what I am doing, but I do urge everyone else to do the same. To defeat and destroy this monstrosity that is being forced on us all, enough of us must refuse and resist. Let this be an open declaration of war upon schemes such as this one and those who seek to empower themselves as dictators trying to ride the tigers they have created: we know that you need us, our lives, and our energy, and we will make as many people as we can aware that they do not need you. Our weapon will be our non-participation; we will destroy you by doing nothing. We will remind the disillusioned and disappointed at every available opportunity that the new pains being forced upon them come from you, and that you can be removed and the pains alleviated. We will not voluntarily participate in your schemes, except in ways that will bleed out and destroy your creations. We will force you to reveal your true natures and initiate physical force against us when we do not accept your shackles and resist. We will put your creditors, both foreign and domestic, on notice that we intend to remove your access to our productivity by choosing to reduce it, such that they will cease backing you up by buying your debt. Through example, philosophy, persuasion, and demonstration, we will help individuals remember and realize that they are an "I," not a "we," and that you simply are not the predicate of anything relevant to, or required of, their own happiness on this earth; that you are mere men and women not worthy of respect or fear, only of scorn; and that you are in fact the antithesis of an individual's happiness.

Each of us, as individuals, has everything to gain by resisting: we can reclaim ownership of our own lives, and then do with them as we will, cooperating with others on a voluntary basis if we so chose, to whatever just ends we as individuals might identify. The would-be dictators and collectivists that presently attack us at every turn stand to lose that which is not rightfully theirs: power over you. This is a fight that is very much worth having. Living your life, as you see fit to do so, depends on it.

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