Mailbag: The Future of America… as Seen From the Emergency Room

What a treat!

We got to practice our high-speed driving skills.

Last week, we pulled a passed-out pal out of the river

This week, we rushed a dear loved one to the emergency room with a towel wrapped around her blood-gushing hand.

One minute, she was helping clear a trail through thick brush.

The next, she learned never to get in the way of a raging machete.

She’s fine.

Just five stitches.

Under Observation

As the young and all-too-serious doc put a nice new hem in her hand, he told us to sit outside… not to breathe on anything… and, for heaven’s sake, not to make eye contact with the patients.

They’re nervous these days.

We tried his advice for a minute then went for a walk.

Eventually we found a doc we knew. The flowers from our farm blessed her wedding last July.

“Staying busy?” we asked.

“It’s either empty or a madhouse,” she said.

We were blessed by the former.

“How about you?” she asked, knowing what we do all day. “Investors are on their toes these days, huh?”

“Yup, it’s either empty or a madhouse.”

“Darn COVID,” we griped in near unison.

With that, we meandered back to whence we belonged. They hid all the magazines, so we stared at the TV.

The news was on.

Yuck… a more deadly virus than anything that clings to the glossy pages of a good monthly.

We rolled our head back, closed our eyes and caught a far-off conversation.

Paying for It

“How much is it if I don’t have insurance?” an older gentleman asked.

Oh boy… this was gonna be good.

We winced when we couldn’t hear the answer. But we knew what it was.

“Well, in that case,” he sounded stunned, “I want the no-insurance price.”

A couple of seconds went by, and we caught just a few hushed words filtered out by a soggy mask.

“You mean because I pay for insurance, I have to pay more than the no-insurance price?”

Ah… it seems like the man with a limpy leg had strolled into the Land of the Big Deductible.

We’ve been there.

It’s an ugly, vertigo-inducing place – where up is down and the sky seems to rise and rise and rise.

“Can I just tell you I don’t have insurance?” he said.

This time we heard the answer.

“No!”

He should have lied earlier.

Once again, the folks on the dole do better than those dumb enough to do it the right way.

With that, we turn to the mailbag…

Right vs. Wrong

Right on! In the last company I worked at before I retired, the far majority of our employees were under 25. We offered a company-subsidized medical plan. We begged these folks to enroll, but they “couldn’t afford it” because they had to pay for the fancy cellphones and their cable bills with all the options. And their car payments on their fancy wheels. (I drove a 10-year-old car with 175,000 miles on it. Still drive it with 250,000 on it.) Ditto with participating in the company partial-matching IRA offered.

Yet, can you blame them as their boomer parents spent like crazy – expensive trips, eating out, you name it – and now they are crying for government handouts because they have saved just $50 to $75 grand for retirement and have refinanced their homes several times for lifestyle? And worse yet, they want the government to take it from those who sacrificed and worked and saved.

As one with three PhDs, who had nothing saved and was in debt up to the eyeballs, told me a couple years ago, “The government has lots of money and should just print it and send it to me.” – Reader J.R.

Well… your Ph.D. pal wins.

Uncle Sam just sent one round of freshly printed money to mailboxes around the country and is gearing up for another (if he can get the postman to deliver the darn things).

With any luck, the next one will come right before the election.

But who can blame folks for looking to Washington to save them? After all, it’s those dopes who got us into this debt-fueled mess.

It was after World War II, for example, that the nation’s mortgage boom started – when our keepers wanted to force home prices to rise.

Before the government began subsidizing loans, the average household had debt that was just 20% of its income.

After the advent of the 30-year mortgage, that figure rose to more than 70%.

Yeesh.

The private sector would never lend at ratios like that… Thank goodness it can push its risk onto the government.

We’ve raised two generations in a row who believe Washington is the solution to our failures.

Our forefathers would be frightened.

Trouble Ahead?

With the COVID-19 pandemic and companies laying off workers left and right, I am scared. The uncertainty of where the economy is heading, and especially what I saw with the debate a few days ago, man, I don’t know. Thanks for your letters of encouragement and hope. God Bless. Reader M.L.

It’s easy to be on edge. But here is your nerve-calming mandate.

It’s simple.

Rely on yourself.

Create a safety net. Slash your spending if you have to.

Have an alternate source of income.

Don’t stop investing – not with Washington printing so much funny money.

And when it comes to your money, think differently. If everybody else is doing it… don’t do it – no matter how alluring.

We live in interesting times.

But then again, the history books are wild.

One more…

I have just been informed that my rental management company will no longer accept any “paper” transaction as of November 1. This means that my monthly rent payment has to be an electronic transfer? I absolutely hate this, and if I could move right now I would. My cash or check should be acceptable tender, and to be told that I can only pay my rent by a direct withdrawal from my bank account really ticks me off. As long as my rent is paid, these folks should be happy.

Americans are being forced to give up the use of “money” from hand to hand. How are we going to pay the guy that mows our lawn? How about the babysitter? How do we fight this? – Reader P.R.

Ah… P.R., you answered your own question.

How should you fight this? Move.

Let the landlord go through the hassle of finding another tenant. That will change his mind.

But you say you can’t move. If that truly is the case, see above.

Don’t be beholden to anybody but yourself.

Get free.

Do what it takes.

If you don’t… just take a stroll through an emergency room. You’ll see the future of America.

There’s no cash there… and everybody’s screaming about something.

Keep the comments and questions coming. Send them to mailbag@manwardpress.com.

P.S. If you want to know the very best way to overcome the death of cash, click here. We’ve put together a presentation on the entire situation… including details on five simple steps to take right away. There’s a big meeting scheduled for November 5… so move your money now!

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