We have a problem.
Our dear mother was fired last week.
She didn’t get caught stealing. She didn’t slap any colleagues on the rump. And her performance and dedication were stellar.
Nope… this beloved retiree got fired from her volunteer gig because county officials slashed more than $200,000 from the library system’s budget.
The money the county is now saving by closing the library several nights each week – this is the crazy part – is now going to the county’s opioid treatment system.
Heroin and prescription drug abuse is so bad in the region that officials were forced to scrounge up enough cash to start a court system… entirely for opioid offenders.
Clearly America faces a serious crisis.
Out with the libraries… in with the drug courts.
But all hope is not lost. Our glass is half full.
We’ll start our latest round of reader feedback (send us yours here) with a note from the field.
The kind doctor reminds us that the roots of the opioid problem are deep, but change is afoot…
Remember the term “fifth vital sign.” If a physician didn’t take care of the pain, he or she was subject to peer review and subject to disciplinary action. Once a method of practice sets in, it is hard to make a shift and patients become disgruntled. I personally advocated no opioids for non-cancerous pain while I learned and short-term practice of pain management.
One area there seems to be inroads is the practice of “Functional medicine,” where the focus is on returning to normal function using various means via nutrition, nutraceuticals, physical activity, relaxation practices and techniques of behavioral modifications. – Reader C.D., M.D.
For readers who aren’t familiar with the so-called fifth vital sign, it’s the decades-old idea – largely pushed by drug companies – that patients should not have to endure pain.
Just as docs were taught to check our pulse, breathing, blood pressure and temperature… they were taught (by drug companies) to monitor and treat pain.
As our reader said, it’s an idea that’s still rampant in the medical community – even though it’s been proven to cause big trouble.
It’s a strong reminder to choose your doctor wisely.
If more folks did, our dear momma might still have a job.
Moving on… but continuing with advice from the doctors in the house…
Here’s a great tip that came in response to last week’s essay on the value of knowing how to stop serious bleeding.
Traditionally, QuickClot has been issued and used for internal bleeding. It has caused internal burns and throws the occasional embolism. An Israeli Z bandage works better [here’s a link].
Pure sugar can act as a clotting agent and is surprisingly antibacterial. Pure honey (not honey flavored high fructose corn syrup) is also surprisingly antibacterial. Sugar is easier to carry as it comes in packets; you will need several. – Reader M.K., Ph.D.
Great advice. Sugar packets are also handy in a first-aid kit in the event of a diabetic emergency.
When Banks Fail
Our piece last week about the value of a backup bank account drew a lot more attention than expected. Some folks praised the idea. Others said we were crazy.
The naysayers have a point. We missed something vital.
Here’s one comment…
You obviously trust the banks and your government more than I do. The solution to the bank locking you out of your money is another bank account? Why not put your money – at least your emergency funds – where no one can block your access? With all your talk about self-reliance, that advice really surprised me. – Reader E.G.
Oh no, them there are fightin’ words. We imagine more than one dusty western duel erupted after a man doubted another man’s distrust of the government.
We certainly stand by what we wrote. But we add what we thought was an obvious caveat… that, of course, readers keep ample cash on hand.
But how much to keep at home?
We don’t recommend storing tens of thousands of dollars in your basement safe. It’s at risk of fire, theft, flooding… you name it. That’s not the case with an FDIC-insured account.
Plus, the First Bank of Your Basement doesn’t pay a lot of interest.
Keep enough at home to get you through a short-term emergency – about 5 grand. But that’s it.
Now, here’s the thing… it’s what readers will surely call us on.
What if the system fails and both banks go down?
It’s a very real possibility. But let us be the first to tell you that a pile of cash won’t be what keeps you safe when it happens.
You’ll need a whole lot more than a few thousand greenbacks to survive.
Adding another voice to the discussion, a reader wrote us about an experience when New Orleans was besieged by a hurricane-fueled disaster.
A co-worker had evacuated to the Florida Panhandle following all the proper procedures. His problem was he was born and raised in the city so everything he dealt with was in New Orleans.
When he went to get gas, his credit card did not work; he tried his debit card, and it didn’t work. He went in to the cashier to see what was wrong and gave him the credit card to check out. The cashier’s response was “Your bank does not exist.” It was a major bank in New Orleans, and it had flooded out. His checking and savings accounts were all in the same bank, and they did not get access for weeks, not hours or days but weeks.
Now when I speak about disaster planning, I tell people as you did to have at least two banks and make sure they are in different parts of the country. – Reader J.C.
We agree. While a wide-scale failure of the banking system would be devastating, a regional failure due to technological or natural causes is much more likely.
Bottom line… get a backup account and store some cash at home.
Buyers vs. Sellers
But forget losing money. Let’s wrap up by looking at how to make some money… big money.
The Liberty Indicator – which tracks large slugs of buying and selling activity – is a great tool no matter what direction the Dow is headed.
What makes it a great tool regardless of market direction? Why does it work well in up and down market trends? Thanks. – Reader D.M.
For those who are unfamiliar, the reader is asking about the proprietary trading system we use within Manward Trader – our subscribers-only investment advisory.
The answer to the question is quite simple.
The Liberty Indicator is a unique volume-tracking tool that shows us exactly when a stock’s short-term trading volume switches from selling to buying. When it does, nearly a decade of research shows it’s a strong clue that the momentum will not only continue but strengthen.
It works in up or down markets for two reasons.
First, there is always a stock going up… even during the rout of 2008, plenty of stocks jumped higher. The Liberty Indicator easily uncovers them.
But, second, if we simply flip the system, we can see which stocks will be the biggest losers. By using the various tools in our chest, we can take advantage of the trend and make some strong gains… even while stocks are falling.
If you want to learn more about my system – and the cheap “backdoor” play on crypto that it led me to – click here.
This bull market may soon come to an end… but we’re not worried.