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I’m not going to harp on this topic for long, as I have better things to do – like PROTECTING people from the inevitable HYPERINFLATION.  However, the only way to PROTECT is via education, on a wide variety of inter-related topics.

In my May 16th RANT – “AGT” – I wrote of Howard Stern’s ascendance from a martyr of free speech to the “MAINSTREAM.”  As a judge on the nationally-televised, ratings blockbuster family show America’s got Talent, Stern finally got the recognition he so richly deserves; as a good man, and one of the nation’s great comedians and conversationalists.  Granted, he occasionally talks dirty; but far less than portrayed, and always within the context of his subscription-based, comedy show.

Anyhow, his first season on AGT just concluded, with the grand prize winner – Olate Dogs – winning the $1 million grand prize; plus a Las Vegas performance contract, in which NBC will likely mismanage them into oblivion…

Olate Dogs, The Finals ~ America’s Got Talent 2012
But what’s this?

If you read the fine print during the credits, it turns out America’s TOP RATED reality show –raking in tens of millions of advertising dollars each season – is LYING about paying the $1,000,000 prize it speaks of no less than a half-dozen times each episode.  In fact, it’s been LYING about this “minor difference” for at least five years; as the “million dollars” is actually paid out as a $25,000 annuity over 40 YEARS, or as a lump sum based on the “net present value” of said annuity…

NBC’s America’s Got Talent $1 million is actually worth $25,000 a year, or maybe just $375,000

To start with, think how unfair it is that the prize money itself hasn’t increased over that time; as care of Fed MONEY PRINTING, $1,000,000 has been heavily diluted…

…which – thanks to John Williams of ShadowStats – has caused REAL consumer price inflation of roughly 10% annually…

One million still makes a difference in nearly anyone’s lifestyle, even if taxes didn’t chop a third off the top.  However, the “net present value” of a $1 million, 40-year annuity likely nets the winner no more than $200,000 – $300,000 under the lump sum alternative, depending on which ARBITRARY “discount rate” the show’s accountants are ordered to use.

For those not versed in discount rates, they are used to calculate how much each payment is worth.  Typically, they are based on current interest rates; adjusted – of course – for numerous, ARBITRARY factors.  The concept behind it – theoretically – is that it should mirror a rate that one could generate by investing each payment over the 40 years.  The Fed has set the “discount rate” for banks at ZERO PERCENT until “at least mid-2015”; which, if used for this prize, would result in a pre-tax net asset value of $829,000.  In other words, not far from the published $1,000,000 prize level.

However, I ASSURE you AGT will utilize a number far higher than 1%; arguing some mumbo-jumbo about “risk” of some sort, via equally farcical legalese.  More likely, AGT uses a discount rate that would have been more appropriate a decade ago – before the Fed lowered interest rates to ZERO – of 5%-9%, yielding a net asset value of $300,000-$400,000, in PRE-TAX dollars…

I have carefully watched contestants speak of the “million dollars” as if it actually was a MILLION DOLLARS, so either they have been LIED to or – more likely – misled to believe the prize is worth much more than it really is.  Very sad, as these artists from the “WIDE WORLD OF MANKIND” represent the best of what’s inside us all, and deserve to be treated better on the rare occasion they defy the odds to generate a financial windfall.

However, this is America, where citizens’ life savings are ALWAYS stolen, “by hook or crook.”  Rich corporations like NBC, deemed “Too Big Too Fail” by the politicians receiving their lobbyists’ checks – can run roughshod over America; but as for the people exploited along the way, “SCREW THE POOR!”


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