Government Stats Show College is a Waste

Folks we all know that America’s citizens are honest, hard-working folks; just ask any politician. Conversely, we all know that our leaders would sell-out their dear old granny for another term in office. Stuck in the middle are America’s families.

Families are faced with the question of where to send their child/children to college. I know this process can be a daunting task. My son is looking at a college with an annual tuition of $50K plus room and board. Given the high cost of college, perhaps you should rethink college.

Why, you may ask? We have solid proof that college is a waste of money.

How? We have data from people without four-year degrees self-reporting their 2019 earnings to the government. If widely circulated, the data we are about to present would shatter the myth that college is the path to wealth.  The data that we are about to present is not manipulated by government bureaucrats or defenders of college. Why encumber yourself with debt when you can earn the wages that we are about to present for more menial jobs?

What you are about to read is data that was randomly collected during a one-week period processing unemployment claims at California’s Employment Development Department. You may ask how I know this stuff is true and all I can tell you is that the following wage information was visually verified by our blog’s staff.

Occupation SalaryState
Beauty Operator Apprentice $            65,000New Mexico
Beautician $            80,000Montana
Bone Cooking Operator $            70,000North Carolina
Barber $            70,000Georgia
Photographer’s Model $            80,000New York
Contractor $            75,000Pennsylvania
Hairdresser $            75,000Indiana
Beautician $            68,000Nevada
Abstract Manager $            83,000Texas
Assistant Manager $            95,000New Hampshire
Retail Area Supervisor $            96,250Illinois
Maid $         950,000Arkansas
Photographer’s Model $            78,000Virginia
Retail Area Supervisor $            82,000Texas
Security Guard $            60,000Texas
Retail Area Supervisor $            50,000Michigan
Cashier $            56,500Illinois
Beautician $            82,850Texas
Chef $            72,000North Carolina
Delivery Driver/Warehouse $            90,000Arizona
Cashier $            80,000Arizona
Cashier $            56,500Illinois
Abstract Manager $         120,000Utah
Manager-Fast Food $                  900Missouri
Apron Cleaner $            65,000Florida
ASC Certified Auto Tech $            33,034California
Invoicing Clerk-warehouse $            78,855California
Business Office Cashier $         120,000California
Gardener $            79,000California
Banker $         120,000Texas
Account Information Clerk $         125,000North Carolina
General Maintenance/Janitor $         150,000Minnesota
Abstract Manager $         300,000Florida

There it is unequivocal proof that you don’t need college.

Analysis

Gospel truth, the highest paid person in our list was a maid who made $950,000. I guess that she learned from Al Capone that if you report illicit income, they can’t send you to prison for tax evasion.

The Beauty Operator Apprentice was one that I didn’t recognize. I had to ask the wife. Her understanding of the job is that this babe is the one sweeping up the hair clippings after you get a haircut. I never knew people pushing a broom were paid $65,000.

I tried searching for Abstract Manager on the Internet but came up with nothing that made sense. Given the wage scale, you’d think they were government employees, but we all know that government never lays off anyone. With a pay range of $83K to $300K, it must be a good gig.

The last job that needs special remarks is the General Maintenance/Janitor gig. Please note the wage of $150K. Folks this person claims to have earned this wage in Nevada County California. Per Nevada County statistics, the per capita income for this county in 2018 was just over $37K.

Hopefully by now, you are suspecting that I have withheld some information. If you think this is the case, then you are correct. Remember that I said that these wages were self-reported. This is true but I didn’t say why and therein is the rub. These wages were reported by people applying for California unemployment. The State category in my list is the state the person lives in now. Oh, none of these folks had any reported income on record with the State of California.

Who said crime doesn’t pay? These folks are doing all right or so they would have you believe.

Final thought, I hope this small widow into the fraud making its way thru EDD would be of interest to our readers.

Massive Food Inflation/Shortages Coming

We here at the blog have warned you; lockdowns, extra $300 a week benefits, vax vs anti-vax, and general fear would eventually lead to issues in the overall economy.  You likely thought we were tin foil hat wearing wackos.  Well, include Sysco as a wacko as well, or maybe they are credible?

Sysco is the largest food distributor in North America. You may recognize their trucks delivering to restaurants.  Sysco provides food supplies to restaurants, jails, schools, and most concert venues or event halls.  Chances are if you go out or “grab a bite” somewhere you likely are eating something from a Sysco truck.  Well Sysco reported earnings earlier this week and, on the call, gave these dire warnings and I quote.

Sysco, North America’s largest wholesale food distributor, which is turning away customers in some areas where demand is exceeding capacity.

U.S. Food Suppliers Are Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked

“There are certain areas across the country that are more challenged by the labor shortage and our volume of orders is regularly exceeding our capacity,” Sysco Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hourican said in a letter to clients earlier this month. “This has, unfortunately, led to service disruptions for some of our customers.”

Hourican’s troubling observations were confirmed by an analysis from DecaData, which tracks retailer transactions with shoppers and manufacturers; it showed that retailers are bumping up against manufacturer capacity as they stockpile ahead of the holiday season. In July, the incidence of suppliers limiting or putting a cap on orders from customers was more than double what it was in January, its data show.

Largest US Food Distributor Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked; Price Shock Imminent

I know what you are thinking, its one supplier, crying wolf, well united Natural Foods is another large distributor, here is what they said.

Another major distributor, United Natural Foods is having trouble getting food to stores on time. The company blamed not just labor shortages, but also delays in the procurement of some imported goods like cheese, coconut water and spices, as causing the problems.

“We anticipate additional supplier challenges in the short term with gradual improvement through the fall and winter,” a United Natural Foods representative said. The company’s top priority is to support customers “by working diligently to recover and bring their shelves back to normal inventory levels as quickly as possible.”

U.S. Food Suppliers Are Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked

Look at how desperate these corporations are to hire workers.

U.S. companies across industries are reporting a dearth of workers amid sweetened unemployment benefits, stimulus payments and a pandemic that has reduced the appeal of in-person employment. Houston-based Sysco is aggressively hiring warehouse workers and truck drivers and offering referral and sign-on bonuses along with retention money for current staff.

The entire food sector is seeing “massive labor shortages,” Benjamin Walker, senior vice president of sales, marketing and merchandising at Baldor Specialty Foods told Bloomberg. “Service levels are the lowest I’ve seen in my 16-year career, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon.” Finding truck drivers is “next to impossible,” he said, while freight costs are rising daily. The company’s orders are arriving late and consequently facing delays in being sent to customers. On the outbound side, on-time deliveries are still above 50% but have fallen from the usual rate of more than 90%.

“We all thought it would be over by now. It’s just one thing after another,” he said.

“This is going to be the norm for a while.”

Folks get ready. In addition to menu shortages, inflation is coming to restaurants in a very big way soon. For the elite, that means they may not have a steak on the menu, for the serfs, the chicken dish you ordered; they may be out of it.  The price increases hit the corporations first as they have to buy from distributors, but they are coming to a grocer near you, mark my words.  You can already see it in the “ads” each week, you may notice sales prices don’t seem as great anymore.  You may have also heard about water and toilet paper shortages or quotas placed on how many you can buy.  This is not a test or a joke people, we are facing inflation like never before seen in a millennial’s lifetime.  A burger (2 patties) no cheese, or bacon at Five Guys runs almost $10, that does not include fries and a coke.  That price would be laughable a year or two ago, it could be a sale price in another year.

Truth be told, the labor shortage is due to a variety of things, yes, the $300 a week is a thing still and will continue to be.  Also, most truckers have worked non-stop with mandatory overtime since this started, they are burned out, and want/need a family life balance.  As far as the slaughterhouses/production lines for veggies etc., those workers feel the same way, and frankly the wages are not typically conducive to long term employment at one place.

In addition, the shortage of labor has been brewing for years, and our education system is to blame.  I will expand on this in another blog but for years of my childhood anything other than a management desk job with stock options and 10% annual salary increases was a loser job.  Actually 2 former teachers of mine impressed that on me; work at a grocery store…loser, construction…loser, truck driver…loser.  Well, we know are desperate for these positions so much so hiring bonuses are being dangled, they still cannot hire folks.  The reason is truck driving is a skill you need a separate license for, your regular Class C license isn’t what you need.  Getting a class A license takes time, and a behind the wheel test, and lots of training; the acquisition cost to a company is very high.  This is not going to be a short-term fix.

A corporation as big as Sysco unable to deliver foods to some customers; and in some area’s not taking new customers at all.  A recipe for massive disaster.  Again, I’m not citing high prices yet, its scarce availability. 

The Chief

Why is Food so Expensive?

Well, that is not an easy question, and I certainly won’t have the answer after these messages from our advertisers.  The answer also certainly isn’t in that click bait article you found on Yahoo News.  Additionally, it won’t be on your cable debate show were a left and right pundit lock horns for a segment and both declare victory afterwards.  The answer is easy to see, but hard to explain.

We are suffering in the overall economy; you just cannot see it yet.

Sign at Elk Grove Chili’s

First of all, we have to go back to the “essential workers only economy” this started the issue.  If you were really an essential worker; food operations, manufacturing, grocery etc. type jobs you were required to come to work, no days off and usually mandatory overtime.  Ask any grocery store worker, or someone at a slaughterhouse, or who makes toilet paper/Clorox wipes.  These folks are burned out after doing that for a year, and rightfully so.  They need a break; some in these fields are even quitting their jobs or leaving their fields all together.  So, you have a slight shortage as folks are tired, I can’t blame them. 

Next you have the supply/demand issue. As you may have forgotten, we closed down dine in, this essentially shut down food suppliers; think USFoods, Sysco and Restaurant Supply Co.  Contrary to public belief, manufacturing lines/plants aren’t convertible, meaning you can’t change the toilet paper from commercial grade 1-ply to household based 2-ply by flipping a switch.  Food service works the same way. The companies named earlier specialize in selling cases of food product to parks, restaurants, correction facilities and institutions, not a grocery store.  While most still would argue corporations are large enough, a company like Kraft can innovate on the fly, they can’t.  As a result, you had a supply chain meltdown, which is continuing to this day, as you can see with food prices. I will touch on that later.

The employment shortage is a massive issue right now.  Yes, it is 2 pronged; first of all, you have the aforementioned overworked employees.  Additionally, you have the workers who were laid off and collected the Trump/Biden extra money on top of unemployment.  You may notice I blame Trump. Yes, he signed it into law. I also believe he was given awful advice by his aides.  Either way, those folks are slowly coming back to work, but most are holding out since, well… its free extra money and the American Dream—according to the Democrats—is living at home and being paid not to work.  This creates a far bigger problem than any other factor so far mentioned in this blog post.

The issue at hand is that experienced workers are not reporting back. You may not believe it, but a waiter doesn’t get their start at The Capital Grill Steakhouse, they get it at a local diner or short order chain restaurant.  As a result, the top tier chains are having an impossible time finding help, leading to bigger issues down line.  Just today I went to Chili’s. The place was 100% open, but the staff was non-existent, the bartender was also waiting all tables in the bar area, as well as cleaning!  The lack of experience showed, but I cannot blame her, she doesn’t have help.  I saw other folks giving her an earful, several of which were old enough to know better.  The place had at least 3 signs that I counted, they are desperate for workers.

Which brings me full circle.  The businesses now have to pay very high starting wages to low skilled workers.  I saw a McDonalds speaker box advertising $17.50 an hour starting pay.  A McDonalds, in a city of 175,000.  That is likely the person working the till, what do you pay the line cook?  Fry cook?  Assistant manager and Manager?  Are we going to see $85K a year managing a McDonalds in the suburbs?  In reality, the wages are necessary as one must coax the folks at home on the sofa watching daytime TV to get back to work.  Which means you must beat Uncle Sam’s $300 a week kicker to your paycheck.  As a result of this, you see price increases that are only going to get worse.  You see, most businesses hedge on food expenses meaning they lock into a long-term deal, at a fixed price.  Well, “Force Majeure” is a fancy term for an event outside of your control that allows you to cancel a contract and get out of it.  Due to Covid, suppliers invoked this contract clause. You didn’t really feel it at first since it was only grocery stores loading up on food.  Now we see businesses re-opening trying to load up on goods as well.  We haven’t even really seen the return of concerts, weddings or the like yet.  These put upward pressure on food.  A lack of workers puts upward pressure on wages, which increases food costs. 

Think of it this way, Slaughterhouse USA can process 10,000 burgers in a day.  That is not problem when they are selling to grocery clients, and a few restaurants doing mostly take out.  When demand picks up, they can still only produce 10,000 patties, so now the grocer, the takeout business which is ramping up, the fine dining business, and others are bidding for the 10,000 patties.  But my slaughterhouse is short workers who want to vacation/quit/breaks, so now I’m under pressure to produce 10,000 patties a day.  A tall order when there are only about 4 producers of beef in the economy, this was due to merger and acquisition activity.  Now due to a supply, demand, and labor shortage, price inflation is nuts.  Don’t believe me, a friend who is a big shot at a food supply company told me he can’t believe what he is seeing, and says it’s going to get worse.  Consider this a lesson as to why the 90-day calendar does not allow for any deviation from the mean from business.  We saw this coming, and couldn’t keep up, as a result we will pay the price.

The first solution is re-open fully, the second is eliminate the extra unemployment kicker, then we must normalize the labor market and try to get the supply chain under control.  That will be a tall order for President Depends, Joe Biden.  Biden seems more enthralled with going door to door and finding out whether folks have gotten the vaccine than doing anything to help the country.

Joe Biden checking vaccine status in middle America

Enjoy your $20 fish and chips, with no drink mind you… Seriously check out the menu at Mimi’s Café.

The Chief

Editor’s Note: Mimi’s official online menu does not have any prices on it or I would have posted the link. In my experience, when a menu has no prices and you have to ask, you better go somewhere else that you can afford.

Where’s the Drought

Folks we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in the history of California and nobody living in a populated area has any clue that its unfolding. Why?

When Jerry Brown was Governor, we had certain days that we could water our yard. Water companies would pay you several thousand dollars to rip out your lawn and replace it with rocks. The media was publicizing conservation at much the same pace and intensity that they have been pushing social distancing, masks, and vaccinations during Covid yet there is hardly a word about water.

Each story of the drought is treated as a separate and unrelated event with no real consequences. However, for those of us native Californians, the conclusion is unmistakable. Below are a few examples that should cause you concern.

The state’s more than 1,500 reservoirs are 50% lower than they should be this time of year, according to Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California-Davis.

Folsom Residents Asked To Conserve Water To Combat Ravages Of Drought On Folsom Lake

Klamath River Basin

A recent AP news release was titled ‘Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border’. And the unfolding historic drought is predicted to worsen.

Clearly, the growing needs for domestic water to support human needs and food production as well as wildlife habitats must not be ignored. That said, dam removal proponents are short-sighted and are merely looking to their own needs, which do not consider the big picture.

The shocking truth is that; in the middle of a record period of historic drought and ‘water crisis’, the governors of Oregon (Kate Brown) and California (Gavin Newsome) have collaborated with Berkshire Hathaway’s profitable Pacific Corp and a relatively few minority stakeholders to circumvent a Congressional Act, the Klamath River Basin Compact, and wrongfully remove 4-dams during a drought that’s intensifying.

Klamath Dams Removal In The Midst Of ‘Water Crisis’ – Antithesis Of Water And Wildlife Conservation

Three of the four Klamath River dams proposed for removal are in Siskiyou County, CA, where a referendum proved that 78.84% of voters were against the Klamath dam removal project.

In Klamath County Oregon, where one of the Klamath River dams is located, voters considered whether the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River should be removed. That vote proved 72% of voters are opposed to the Klamath River dam removal project.

Shasta Lake

Lake Shasta this summer is facing possibly its lowest level in at least 44 years, and that could be bad news for the people who rely on it for drinking and irrigation water, as well as endangered salmon that depend on it to survive.

Dam operators have to go all the way back to 1977 to compare how bad this year’s water situation is shaping up to be, said Don Bader, area manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the dam.

It’s dry. It’s second worst, so far. It’s probably going to exceed ’77. But the kicker is in ’77 we didn’t have all the requirements that we have now,” Bader said.

Lake Shasta is facing its worst season in 44 years. Here’s what that means for those who rely on it.

Because of the drought and low lake level, several of those communities have already had their water allocations from the bureau reduced about 45%.

Most water being released from Shasta Lake now is not for farmers but fish.

Shasta Lake discharging most water for fish not farmers

A study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center tends to support that. The study says that more than 80% of the salmon eggs in the river could die this summer as a result of warm water in the Sacramento River.

As of Tuesday, Shasta Lake was at 54% of average for the date and Trinity Lake was at 62% of average, according to the bureau.

The rainfall total at Shasta Dam was just under 24 inches since Oct. 1, according to the California Department of Water Resources. The previous record for low rainfall was 24 inches in 1977, Bader said.

Things have just fallen off the cliff in the last six weeks. So that’s where we are now. Day to day, they’re making all kinds of decisions down in Sacramento about what can we do to salvage the rest of the season,” Bader said.

Currently, Shasta Lake is at 40 % capacity or 73 feet below this time last year.

Oroville Lake

Oroville Lake

DWR State Water Project Chief of Utility Operations John Yarbrough said Friday the lake capacity measured at 709 feet, where at normal capacity it would be sitting at 900 feet.

The last time the water was this low was during the 2014-2015 season, when the lake’s lowest point was 715 feet — making 2021 even drier, according to DWR Public Information Officer Liza Whitmore.

Yarbrough confirmed the department projects the lake could drop even lower than the historic low from 1976-1977 of 645 feet, by late summer or early fall.

“The thing that’s different this year and unique from other droughts we’ve experienced is this year the snow pack … the amount of runoff was only about 20% of what we expected,” he said.

“We started with a snow pack that was smaller than average but from that snow pack the amount of water we got was dramatically less than what we expected.”

How could low water levels at Lake Oroville signal risk for Butte County’s rural communities?

Water in a key California reservoir is expected to fall so low this summer that its hydroelectric power plant will be forced to shut down for the first time, officials said Thursday, straining the state’s already-taxed electric grid.

An unrelenting drought and record heat, both worsened by the changing climate, have pushed the water supply at Northern California’s Lake Oroville to deplete rapidly. As a result of the “alarming levels,” officials will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967, California Energy Commission spokesperson Lindsay Buckley told CNN.

The water in Lake Oroville — the state’s second largest reservoir — is pumped through underground facilities to generate electricity, which can power up to 800,000 homes when operating at full capacity.

A California reservoir is expected to fall so low that a hydro-power plant will shut down for first time

Folsom Lake

Conditions were ripe for exploring the lowest depths of Folsom Lake, which is a reservoir of the American River. California’s historic drought meant water levels were incredibly low in the reservoir, just over a third of its usual storage capacity.

Dramatic photos show California’s water-starved Lake Oroville

See drone video of low water level at Folsom Lake in June 2021.

Video: Folsom Lake shrinks to surprising lows over the weekend, water 68 feet lower than last year – ABC7 San Francisco

Mystery plane found in California lake turns out to be from 1986 crash–UK Guardian.

Farmers Cutoff

Around 6,600 farmers in the Central Valley — which encompasses Sacramento County to Kern County — may face potential disaster after being warned by the state of possible water cutoffs.

The warning is more than just a cautionary notice for the agricultural community, as farmers say it could lead to catastrophe.

‘This could be devastating’: 6,600 Central Valley farmers notified of potential water cutoff

The State Water Resources Board notified the affected farmers Tuesday that they could face water cutoffs as the state deals with the ongoing drought that has already cut off federal and state irrigation supplies.

“We are seeing unprecedented amounts of fallowing. We’ve already lost several corn crops across the state,” Raudabaugh said. She explained that a number of farmers have fallowed land, meaning acres will not be used and will be left untouched.

If you have orchards or vineyards and you’re told to cut back your water, cut off your water, you’re essentially killing that orchard and that vineyard,” Bruce Blodgett, the executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau said.

For about half of what California has spent at EED since Covid started, we could have fixed the water infrastructure enough to last for the next 30 years. A few years ago, the number was about 75 – 80 billion dollars. Instead, in the last few years California has dismantled three dams and has zero intentions of building any new water storage despite billions authorized by voters for just that purpose.

Given the above, how come Governor Newsom is not enacting draconian water restrictions? I suppose he has a reason, but clearly Newsom can’t recall.

Biden’s Child Tax Credit and How to Opt Out

Joe Biden doesn’t believe in tax cuts, but he is willing to mess with your refund and possibly prevent you from getting one.

My introduction to this brazen tampering with taxes was a form letter the I received from the IRS.

You may be eligible to receive advance payments of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) . If you’re eligible for advance CTC payments and want to receive these payments, you don’t need to take any action. You will receive a letter with more details.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law in March, made important changes to the CTC for most taxpayers in 2021. The credit amounts increased for many taxpayers, and the credit is fully refundable, which means taxpayers can benefit from the credit even if they don’t owe any income taxes. The credit also includes qualifying children who turn age __ in 2021. The American Rescue Plan directs the IRS to make advance monthly payments of half the estimated annual CTC. The IRS will make payments from July through the end of this year.

For tax year 2021, the advance CTC payments will be half of the estimated CTC. The maximum annual CTC will be $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17, and $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6, at the end of 2021. In general, qualifying children must live with the taxpayer in the United States for more than half the year.

The maximum credit is available to taxpayers with a modified Adjusted Gross Income of:

• $75,000 or less for single taxpayers,

• $112,500 or less for head of household,

• $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return and qualifying widow(er)s and• the maximum credit phases out for higher income taxpayers.

If you don’t wish to receive advance CTC payments, instructions on how to unenroll from these payments will be available by the end of June. Please continue to check www.irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021 for additional information about these advance CTC payments.

My first question after why, is what will this do to my taxes when I file on or before April 15th next year?

Folks, the question of whether you wish to participate in this is “dazzle the voters program” is in two parts. First what does the child tax credit do to my taxes? and second, how much will I get?

I took a look at my taxes from last year (2020 tax year). The Child Tax Credit in 2020 was $2,000.

The child tax credit is deducted directly from the amount of taxes that you owe.

Suppose per the tax tables, you owed $15,000 in Federal tax. The child tax credit is deducted directly from this amount. Thus $15K minus $2K is $13K. If you had $13K withheld from your pay, then you’d owe zero in additional taxes.

Biden is doing two things simultaneously with the credit this year. First, he raised the credit from $2K to $3K per child. (I’m omitting the amount for children under 6 in my example.) Then Uncle Joe is going to send you a series of checks between July and December which will total $1,500. The other $1,500 will then be available to deduct from your taxes.

Now I’m going back to my previous example to demonstrate the math.

Taxes per tax table $15K, minus Child Tax Credit of $1,500 is $13.5K. If you had $13K withheld from payroll, then you get to write a check to Uncle Joe for $500 next year. So much for free money. Thus, for every child between 7 and 18 years of age, you get to send in $500 per child to the government, come April 15th next year. So much for free money. Now granted, your mileage may vary but even if you usually get a refund at tax time, you will still get to pay by getting a smaller one or maybe having to pay.

If you are near the top of any of the earning amounts listed in the letter, then you probably better opt out. If you are in the bottom income brackets, then enjoy spending your refund this year instead of getting it next year like you usually do.

Frankly, I think this scheme will bite me in the fiscal butt, so I decided to opt out. Please note that doing so is difficult and time consuming. But I did it. Here is my guide.

Your adventure in opting out begins at IRS.GOV.

On right side, click on Get Answers on the Advance Child Tax Credit

Select Unenroll From Advance Payments

On next screen again click on Unenroll from Advance Payments

And just when you thought you were on your way, you hit a hard stop. You must verify your identity with ID.me. If you’re like me, you now get to create an account. Folks this process is cumbersome, frustrating, and time consuming.

You begin by entering your email and creating a password.

You then get to select a method of two factor authentication.

Then you need to switch to your phone and then take a photo of the front and back of your driver’s license.

You cannot do this step on a PC even if you already have the photos ready, the ID.me program is broken and won’t let you. Instead, ID.me asks for your cell phone number and then sends you a text message with an embedded URL in it. It reminds me of the U-Haul self-return process. You can only take live photos of your driver’s license.

After a few tries, you’ll get both sides of your driver’s license uploaded and then you get to take a live selfie with your front facing camera. It checks your face against the photo ID that you submitted. This step is especially buggy.

Plan on 20 minutes to do the ID.me process.

At this point, I was then able to return to my desktop PC and completed the process.

Click on UNENROLL FROM PAYMENTS

Click on I UNDERSTAND AND WANT TO PROCEED

Make sure box is checked and click on SUBMIT

Then you get a confirmation screen Unenroll From Receiving Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

Except, if you’re married and file jointly, the opt out process is not complete. Your spouse now gets to do the whole process that you just completed. Yep, when I opted out, I only opted out of half of the automatic payment. In order to truly opt out, my wife now has to go to the IRS site and do everything that I just did.

Folks opting out is painful but for many, I think you will experience more pain on Aril 15th if you don’t.

Johnnie Does on the Cable Watchers Conundrum

Folks you hear us at ReallyRight.com rail against cable constantly, here is yet another reason, a real-life example from this past week.

I was chatting up a fellow colleague, he also devoid of cable, and we were speaking in open terms about the coming doomsday scenario regarding the water shortage here in California.  We joked about picking up pallets of water from a local Costco or Sam’s, whomever had it the cheapest, and debating who was more likely to load it in my truck.  Joking of burning out all our lawn and replacing with AstroTurf, with the work being done by non-combustion engine machines.  The 90-Day Guy walked in and started making fun. He had zero clue about the drought; I kid you not, zero.  He wondered which channel we saw it on, to which we both replied, KCRA3 news app.  He still said he hadn’t heard it anywhere, as if we follow some obscure tin foil hat form of media.

Folks the local news has been on this issue for about 2 months now. I have seen photos of our Dictator Gavin Newsom pictured in lakes and other bodies of water with what would appear to be about a 50% at best supply of water

Gavin Newsom Declares Drought Emergency In Most Of California’s Counties 05/10/2021

In many north state counties (i.e., where no one lives) are on restrictions, and at some point, will be under severe cutbacks.  These will be announced shortly. In the opinion of this blogger, it will happen right around recall time, after it’s been certified Newsom will either not be recalled, or he will go down in flames.  Rumor has it farmers and others are already under severe cutbacks.  90-Day Guy had an ear to ear aww shucks grin.  He is clueless.

Folks I call this the cable watchers’ conundrum for this very reason. Imagine paying roughly $2K a year for cable yet you are completely in the dark on local issues, however you know all about what McConnell, Pelosi, Biden, Harris, McCarthy, and AOC had to say on all topics of national attention. As a rule, cable networks have zero interest in California, or really most states for that matter.  If it bleeds it leads, and sex sells, which is all they care about as these type issues drive ratings.  For months now the news has been dominated by BLM, George Floyd murder cops, Joe Biden, the US Capitol “insurrection” and other trash, nary a mention of the real issues in this country.  These are the issues he knows about, issues no reader of this blog cares about.  Seriously, I could not give a rip less about the issues listed above.

The conundrum is this, they believe wholeheartedly all is well, similar to those on Titanic or Poseidon who thought it was no big deal while the rats and others were scrambling.  Problem is when the national guys pick it up, it is far too late and the 90-day types panic as they react by grabbing all the toilet paper, Clorox wipes, Lysol etc. Sound familiar?  90-Day Guy even told me he did as much.  He and all the others panicked. Guess he missed this on Fox. Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border: Oregon’s Klamath County is experiencing its driest year in 127 years

The same story played out with the torrential downpours we had a few years ago, I had told him in advance they would flood the Wilton and other unincorporated areas around the county, he panicked.  The levees overtopped as they were supposed to, flooding outlying areas. His response, he jumped in his car and headed toward Tahoe…keep in mind, that this choice saw him literally having to drive thru the areas where the flooding was occurring in the valley in order to get to higher ground.  He thought the safest place was not in a building or a house, but in a compact sports car.  As if he thought he could outrun the flood.  About a week later, he returned and threw his wife under the bus, it was all her idea, he said she watches too much TV.  He asked why I didn’t overreact, and my response was, you are far safer in a building where you can climb/get to higher ground than inside a car.  The car is likely to die in 6 inches or so of water and if it goes higher you will be taken for a ride; it won’t be fun, likely ending in death.  Keep in mind he was the smart one.

Harken back to when the Oroville dam was in peril. I had been discussing it for a couple weeks, he ignored or rolled his eyes at me, thinking I was an alarmist.  Then the day finally came, the spillway at Oroville failed, he went nuclear. He got into his car and jammed it home, keep in mind we are so far from the Oroville dam that the flood or even remnants would not have gotten close to us.  He panicked on command, just as cable wanted him to do.

The less time you have to react the better, notice the news doesn’t break in saying we may have a problem, the news shows the levee or spillway failing.  At that point everyone with a brain knows it’s too late, but not the 90-day types, they think they have inside info.  Look for the shelves to be devoid of water soon and look for panic to set in among all those who re-did their yards during Covid.  It won’t be pretty, consider yourself forewarned.  By the time Tucker, Hannity, or any of the other news networks pick it up, it’ll be too late.  But maybe a vaccine will exist? LOL

BTW we are now on day 432 of “2 weeks to flatten the curve.”

Johnnie Does

Thoughts on Working for EDD

Folks, as I reported, I recently took a position at California’s most publicized agency, Employment Development Department (EDD). While I’m just a tiny part of the organization, I can attest that there is a lot of crazy junk gumming up the works. This post is to give you an idea of what’s happening.

To collect unemployment in California, and presumably anywhere else, you must normally meet two conditions: first you must be able to prove your identity, and second, you must have worked in California and contributed to the state’s unemployment fund.

The following are all true. Names are withheld so I can keep my job.

While I was in a training session, an applicant for unemployment was randomly picked as an example. This guy applied with a variety of documents such as Green Card, driver’s license, etc. The training allowed us to actually see the documents submitted to the State of California. While the name on all the documents matched, the birthdays were very wrong. The initial batch of documents submitted by this applicant had birthdates in two different months and on two different days. Of the documents submitted, at least two had one birthdate and others had a second birthdate. In the initial pass, this guy was denied unemployment; however, he appealed the denial. He was approved in the appeals process by someone that seems to be designated as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Since he was now identity approved, the trainer, entered the Social Security Number that he provided into one of their many computer programs and the Social Security Administration (SSA) returned the same name with yet a third birthdate for this individual. At this point, I and another trainee, both with private sector background, challenged the instructor. How can a guy that submitted identity documents with three different birthdates in different months be approved for benefits? The instructor answered that when he appealed, he submitted two documents with the same birthdate; thus, he was now identity approved by the ALJ and it’s our job to mark the applicant as eligible.

Folks you can’t believe the ages of applicants for unemployment. A large segment of the applicants are minors. And no, I don’t mean 15 with a paper route. The youngest applicant that I personally have seen was 1 ½ years old. Born in 2019. But the little tyke is in good company. Here are some other years that I noted, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2007, 2008, and 2005.

One girl applied for unemployment because she earned $100 in cash during 2019 and due to Covid, she couldn’t babysit in 2020.

One applicant (still a minor) says he (or she) was a child actor but hadn’t worked in seven years and was applying for unemployment during Covid.

One applicant about 11 years old, said she was a part-time model and lost income due to Covid. She was the only minor that had any reported income to the state.

Not the be left out, the infirm and elderly are also trying to cash in on California’s Unemployment Give-away. The oldest applicant I personally have seen was born in 1930. This person is in good company also. Again, no reported income but they’re applying anyways. Makes you wonder if there’s a consolation prize just for entering.

Many people have notes on their accounts stating, “over 100 SSNs submitted from this address.” I’ve seen others with 35 at the same address. Multiple applicants at the same address are common to see.

Other notes on accounts include, “Claimant has not lived at address filed on this claim for 17 years” and “claimant letter … postmarked FedEx International from India” and “verified claimant address on internet maps, the address is a vacant lot.”

You may not realize that you can live virtually anywhere in the world and apply for unemployment in California. I spoke with my sister about this, and she correctly reminded me, it’s a matter of where you worked then, not where you are living now. Thus, applications have arrived from all over. In a brief time, I’ve seen applications from Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Texas. The thought of California sending money to Texas is funny, considering that they are already send many jobs there.

This reminds me that one fellow did have a note on his account stating that he had never lived or worked in California, only Georgia, but he applied anyways.

There is a diversity of applicants. I’ve seen many great leaders seeking handouts at the public trough including Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, and Israel. Oh and a few folks named after Greek gods as well. No matter who you are or where you live, every applicant is given the same process. If we can check the boxes for you, then you can qualify.

Oh, all my examples above were approved for identity purposes. Whether they eventually got a check from Uncle Gavin is unknown.

EDD has the same problems as every other state agency, the computer programs can’t talk to each other. EDD has a mind-boggling amount of resources available but at the end of the day, its up to humans to enter data because processes and programs are limited. Again, the backbone of the agency are those pesky Unix programs that we patched back in the Y2K days.

I currently have to use four different programs to do my job but I’m aware of at lease five more that others in the agency are using. My first step is to match the claim information in three different programs, if the unemployment application is not entered in all three, it’s a hard stop and the email telling me what to do gets returned to the pool of limbo and despair and I go on to the next item.

Folks, I might get into more detail about the claims process in another post, but my overall point is that all these dead-end claims are clogging up the system. All these folks with no business applying are gumming up the works and preventing others from being vetted for eligibility. Yes, EDD is a mess, but they have plenty of help as I hope I’ve illustrated.

The Real National Security Threat

Folks I just want to make a quick point and alert you to where this country should be spending its defense dollars…cyber security.  Yeah, like to stop hackers.  Like the ones from Russia who shut the Colonial Pipeline and are causing gas shortages in the southeast and eastern seaboard.  Reports are that Colonial was using antiquated software and the Russians were easily able to hack into it, causing the failsafe to shut the pipeline down. 

I will defer to the Blog Father on issues of hacker defense and the like since that is his wheelhouse, but allow me to point out, not a single bullet was fired.  Russia didn’t need a fighter jet, a tank or a boat, just a few hackers.

We paid the hackers 5 million, because well, people were panicking due to a lack of gasoline.  Folks, if you are just now starting to pay attention to this threat, the number of businesses, school districts, hospitals, and cities that have paid ransom over the last two years are legion.

We spend all this money each year on defense: jets, tanks, boats, missiles, bombs, guns etc.  Why nothing on cybersecurity?  This needs to be a wake-up call, actually it should be the second, we shut the entire country due to Covid-19, and now a pipeline gets hacked, and we cannot supply the south or east coast gasoline.  Stop the military industrial complex and start getting with the program!

We spend all this money and have nothing to show for it, stop with all the pension and bloated payroll spending and let’s rethink this strategy before something bad happens, like I don’t know the electrical grid is taken down? Or an EMP weapon is used.

Johnnie Does

Troll commentary:  Joe Biden was asked about his thoughts on the pipeline, and he said, “I stopped that pipeline the day I was inaugurated…come on man!”

State of California Abandons Commercial Real Estate

With the backdrop of impending economic ruin and a recall, Governor Newsom has implemented what I consider a financial suicide pact for California’s government. Newsom and his “brain trust” have decided that working conditions under Covid-19 are such a wonderful thing that all State workers—to the fullest extent possible—will continue to work at home from now until Doom’s Day. Yep, state workers—as a group—will never again have to report to a brick-and-mortar office building. They will continue to work at home from now until they retire.

Apparently, this onetime accounting gimmick is projected to save the state lots of money. Instead of the government paying building rental (or long-term leases) and all utilities, supplies, and maintenance of the offices, now its employees will. As a benefit, California can fudge some numbers about how green the state’s government has become because nobody must drive to work anymore. Oh, and all those businesses that once served state workers breakfast and lunch around said office buildings are going out of business in droves.

In March I will have to spend one three-hour session in my office packing up my personal belongings and scanning any documents in the cubicle. Said documents will then be placed in the shredding bin for destruction. The goal is for me to be completely out of the office at the end of this visit. My coworkers have been commanded to do likewise. Sometime that month we will also be issued laptops to replace the desktops that we have been logging into from home each day since the pandemic panic was initiated. Then we can use VPN (Virtual Private Network) access instead of the VM Ware application that we now use.

Folks, in some cases working from home might work OK but to initiate a blanket policy doing this is nuts. If you think, there’s fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, just wait until the fragmentation of government functions becomes manifest.

  • How does someone monitor your workload when you work from home? Remember that government is not concerned with sales or productivity so what metric do you use? Hamsters are busy all day but do they actually go anywhere on their little wheels?
  • How do you balance workload when you’ve never done the work you are now supervising?
  • How do you promote people or train new employees with no properly written procedures and no face-to-face interaction? Office work is about relationships not just managing email traffic.

Folks, I know that in this post Enron business world, separation of duties is a thing but what California is perpetrating now is a gross perversion of the concept. I think it is a formula for financial ruin with even less accountability.

Oh, case in point is EDD. Did you know that the $31 billion in fraud was due in part to EDD’s employees working from home? There was no way to properly supervise the unemployment case workers because everyone was hiding in their respective homes just clicking approve on whatever came up on their computer screens. I really doubt that EDD employees—especially those hired after the two weeks to flatten the curve—ever had any relationship with their supervisors and I also guarantee that they had inadequate training to boot. In such a scenario, you only get supervision when you ask for help or deny too many claims.

Folks, Governor Newsom, and his fellow travelers are remaking California government right under your noses and the public—as usual—is none the wiser. Guess if it’s not on television then it’s not news. Both ideas and actions have consequences.

The only upside I see on this is that more people can be home during the day to watch their neighborhoods. Hopefully, this will somewhat mitigate the fact that both Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown have emptied much of the state prison population into suburbia. Perhaps tens of thousands of state workers being home all day will make the criminal class think twice about home burglaries.

Meanwhile, because I work from home; my wife is happy that the trash is empty, the laundry is done, and the dishes are clean; and my dog is happy that he gets at least two walks a day and lots of love. Sadly, Rush Limbaugh is not the only guy showing up to work with half his brain tied behind his back just to make it fair.

Gavin Newsom Now Bribing Voters

What a time to be alive!  I fire up the KCRA 3 news app, and viola!  The CA state legislature has authorized 5.7 million folks to get stimulus payments.  If you are here illegally, as in you should not be here, then you get $600!  But…in the words of that guy who sells Ronco knives on TV infomercials….”but wait, there’s more!” 

If you make less than $75k after accounting for deductions, YOU TOO GET A CHECK!  Another $600, so if you’re illegal and make less then 75k (since when do people being paid in cash file taxes?) you get a cool $1,200, just for living here.  This is a modern-day bribe.

Don’t believe me, see for yourself.

About $2.3 billion of the money will go to people who claim and receive the California earned income tax credit. In general, that’s people who earn $30,000 a year or less.

Another $470 million will go to people who earn a maximum of $75,000 per year after deductions and use an individual taxpayer identification number to file their income taxes. These are mostly people who don’t have Social Security numbers, including immigrants.

Some people fit both of those categories. In those cases, they will get $1,200, not $600. The Democratic-controlled state Legislature did this because most people who file their taxes this way are immigrants who were not eligible for federal stimulus checks Congress approved last year.

About $993 million will go to people who get help from state programs targeting low-income families, the elderly, the blind and the disabled.

California OKs $600 stimulus payments to 5.7 million people

According to the article, you get your check 3-4 weeks from Franchise Tax Board after you file your taxes.  I would file ASAP, because this state already allowed convicts, felons, folks on death row, and “US Senators” to obtain fraudulent payments via our unemployment board (EDD).  There is no telling when the cash will run out so I would claim earlier as opposed to later.  BTW most folks making around 100k will end up under the 75k threshold after mortgage interest, federal tax, and charitable donations are deducted.  Oh well.

Just remember, the recall should be certified around early April.  The election must be held a couple months or so after that, about when your check will arrive.  No word if it will be stuffed inside your recall ballot.  But I digress.  Pretty sad for a guy to pay you to vote for him, but at least this will be construed as a legal exchange between consenting adults.

The Chief

Editor’s Note: Yesterday Gavin also gave slackers another gift from the Franchise Tax Board when FTB was instructed to halt debt collections from tax filers until July 31, 2021. Unless I missed something, tax filings are still due on April 15th; therefore, the State’s best chance to collect money from resident’s tax returns will be null and void for the second year in a row. This amounts to Newsom commanding that the debts that taxpayers owe to the State be written-off by various state agencies. Typically, state agencies will attempt collection for two years before writing-off the money as a bad debt. In a typical year, if the money is not collected by April 15th then it likely never will be.