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Mike J

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Mike J last won the day on September 18

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About Mike J

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    Philippines

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  1. The problem I see is that the huge rise in value for these digital currencies is based almost entirely on the belief that the value will continue to rise. People who have bitcoins not only want to hold them as they increase in value, they seek to buy even more, more, more! They have no practical "use" for the currency, it is strictly an investment. What you are seeing is "panic buying" driven by euphoria. Now there are new digital currencies being touted everyday as being the better, more useful, etc. choice over bitcoin. There will soon be a tsunami of these new currencies available. Remember baseball cards, Avon bottles, beanie babies, collector coins, McDonald Happy Meal toys, etc. It may be true that bitcoin has a self limiting supply, but the overall supply of digital currency has no physical limit at all. The only real limit is common sense and right now that seems to be in short supply. People are buying bitcoin because they think it will increase in value not because of any inherent value, utility, or plans on buying something with the coins. The dream is to "catch the wave baby", sell at the top, and turn them back in dollars, euros, etc. The longer they dream, the more likely they are to drown when that wave crashes.
  2. Mactan dentist

    The Green Apple dental clinic is located in the Ayala Mall Cebu City if that is close enough for you. I have been there three times, twice for cleaning, and once for a crown. The equipment used is reasonable modern (compared to my dentist in the USA) and they seem to practice good hygiene which is very important to me.
  3. There are a number of questions that seem to strike fear into a man's heart, at least this man anyway. Perhaps the most famous example is; "Does this dress make me look fat?" My wife ask me a question yesterday while we were driving from Moalboal to Carcar to visit the vet clinic for our new puppy. I was driving and she said; "How do the other drivers keep their cars looking so nice, without any dents or scrapes?" I could have said "they do not use the sound system while backing", or even "reminds me of your Buick Park Avenue when we lived in the US". What I did do instead was consider the possible ramifications of those answers and said; "Hmmm, I never really thought about that." So far it seems to have worked. Sure hope she doesn't read this post. How do others handle these kind of "awkward" questions? You don't want to lie, but you don't want to have an upset spouse either.
  4. Bamboo Guns. 'Sports & hobby' or culture category?

    When they first started using them a few weeks ago our older dog got 50 meters from the house on our walk then put the brakes on. He was more than pleased when I turned us around and headed back home. He is better now but gets nervous when he see groups of kids playing in or near the road. Before he was always excited to see kids and enjoyed their attention. I came close to crashing my scooter when they first started to use them and one was fired just as I was passing by (only about 5 meters away). Now that I know what a "cannon" or "boga" look like I am more aware and have not been taken by surprise. In addition to the bamboo ones they also use empty soda cans to make them here. Like many laws here, the ordinance against them does not seem to be enforced.
  5. Expat fight at McDonalds

    Maybe next time with pillows?
  6. Casting out the bait, twitch, twitch, . . . anyone biting? Hmmm, maybe try a different forum?
  7. Running Out Of Money, is your pension secure?

    When the program was initially established (1940) it was, in fact, what you describe as a pension. For the sake of brevity I will call them benefits in the remained of the post. You would pay in taxes based on your earnings, and collect the benefits when you retired. They started out on the wrong foot by allowing people who retired shortly after the program was enacted to collect benefits even though they had paid little or nothing into the program. The thought was that a LOT of money was coming in and LITTLE going out because the ratio of working to retired was quite large, especially in the early years. That ratio dropped from 41 workers to 1 retiree in 1945 to 4 workers for every 1 retiree in 1965. The current rate is 2.9 workers per retiree and getting worse. Then the problems grew and grew and grew: Benefits became more generous and expanded from the concept of pension to a true benefit. A "minimum" per month amount regardless of how much was paid in. Expanded to include SSI payments for disability. There are many many law firms that specialize in grabbing these benefits with some paying doctors to declare otherwise healthy individuals as disabled. Additional payments if retired and you have children under the age of 18, or 21 (I think) if still in college. You can almost double the benefit if you have two children living at home in your retirement years. There are quite a few US expats who are able to take advantage of this when they have children here in the Philippines (or other countries). The program was then expanded into Medicaid to cover healthcare during retirement. Again benefits grew and grew until cost of benefits far exceeded the dollars coming in from Medicaid taxes. The taxes coming into the retirement system were not invested. Some were paid out as benefits and the remainder were "loaned" to the government to make the budget look balanced. It looks more balanced because the US government does not recognize this as a national debt (go figure). In essence was has happened is that the program turned into the largest ponzi scheme in world history and is ongoing. Currently there are still more SS dollars coming in than going out but again that will change in 2034 at the current rate. Like any ponzi scheme when expenses exceed income the scheme will collapse under it own weight unless something changes. In short it was a program with good intentions that grew totally out of control in the income/outgo ratio, and the government has compounded the problem by taking the excess and replacing it with IOU's that are not shown on the ledgers as debt. The problem has gotten so big that politicians are afraid to address it on either the tax and/or the benefit side. So they just keep "kicking the can down the road."
  8. A little like buying cars; it is not initial expense that kills you, it is when you go trade them in for a newer model.
  9. New Peso Notes

    I hope they keep making the 5 centavo coin and do not change it. They work really well for washers, are cheaper than steel, and will not rust like steel or iron. At least that is what I heard, have not done it myself as that would not be legal.
  10. Running Out Of Money, is your pension secure?

    That is exactly what the USA has done. To make it even worse, what was initially initiated as a means to supplement income for people with no pensions, it has morphed into a multifaceted benefit heavy program and is now the "primary" income for people who have no pension and/or IRA and were unable to save a "retirement nest egg" for any one of a number of reasons. The USA is expected to have benefit payments exceed the social security revenue coming in the not so distant future (currently projected to be 2034). At that point an estimated 79% of benefits will be covered by incoming SSA tax revenue. You can only kick that can so far down the road and the further out you make changes the more painful those changes will be for both the people paying in and the people receiving benefits.
  11. What drives me crazy is when they use my shovel to mix concrete and then let the concrete dry on the shovel. Several coats later and you can hardly lift the shovel. Then you have to pay them to chip it off. Good day for rant as I did not get enough sleep last night. Pouring rain, thunder, and the new puppy had to go out twice. But she is a little sweetheart and I appreciate that she wakes me when the "urge" hits in the middle of the night.
  12. Expat Sugar Daddy’s, right or wrong?

    The term "arm candy" comes to mind.
  13. Well done Mr. Jack! There is one beggar here in Moalboal that I give money to (only 5 peso at a time). I had seen her many times on the street begging and always refused to give her money. Then one day about two years ago I was eating lunch at the local resto. Down the street about 50 meters I saw her sitting on the dirty sidewalk and eating. As I watched I saw that she was sharing her food with the stray dogs! Here was a person who was destitute, had to beg for food, and what little she had she was sharing with the stray dogs. I have to admit that I felt a certain shame at my actions and an admiration for hers. Now each time I see this lady I go to her and put the money in her hand, I do not wait for her to ask. If I see her outside the bakery I will also her some bread. For me it took an act of kindness by someone far less fortunate than myself to come to a realization of how blessed and privileged I am.
  14. Expat Sugar Daddy’s, right or wrong?

    When ladies ask me "Do you need a girlfriend?", I answer "I can hardly afford my wife, much less a girlfriend." If that does not seem to work I tell them my asawa chased away the last girlfriend with a bolo.
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