ECONOMICS: Tweedle dee and Tweedle dumber!

Monday, October 22, 2012

http://cafehayek.com/2012/10/no-debate-both-are-economically-ignorant.html

No Debate: Both Men are Economically Ignorant

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 17, 2012

in SEEN AND UNSEEN, TRADE

*** begin quote ***

Each man insists that America’s economy can be harmed by inexpensive imports – in other words, harmed by opportunities for voluntary exchanges that lower Americans’ cost of living.

By promising to raise taxes on Americans who buy Chinese-made goods, Mr. Romney again promised to break his campaign promise to not raise taxes. That he is unaware of the contradiction isn’t promising.

Mr. Obama is no better. He bragged that he “saved a thousand jobs” with his “tough” trade action that – by raising taxes on Americans who buy Chinese-made tires – ensured “that China was not flooding our domestic market with cheap tires.”

By this logic, the President’s policy is inexcusably lame. If creating more jobs in U.S. tire factories justifies forcing consumers to pay higher prices for tires, the Obama administration should also outlaw the sale of used tires (which, like low-priced imports, are “flooding our domestic market”). Indeed, the president should seek legislation mandating that all rubber used to make tires be non-vulcanized. The resulting decline in tire durability will create even more jobs in U.S. tire factories by “protecting” our market from being “flooded” with cheap tire durability – that is, with tires that last for tens of thousands of miles before needing to be replaced.

*** end quote ***

It’s hard to imagine that there is any rationale for restrictions?

Do we want to be a nation of tire makers?

In the Sixties were more expensive for a poorer quality. Now they are “cheaper” and more durable.

(Remember that the value of money has been inflated away. Gas is up by a multiple of 100 in dollars but about 50% cheaper in silver. Tires in the Sixties ran about $20 each; some more some less. Priced in gold a tire was 20/35 = 4/7 = 0.57 oz. So today, just recently I paid over 100$ per tire; where as I should have paid over a 1k$ each. SO tires have gotten 90% cheaper. It’s the value of money that obscures our vision.)

I want Americans to have cheap tires so they can spend their money on other needs and wants.

If it means the tire industry has to go to China, all well and good.

If the Chinese are so dumb as to give us tires for worthless green pieces of paper, great!

The market will peacefully decide what gives us the most bang for our buck. With out a politician “helping”.

Argh!

—30—


POLITICAL: Politicians only show the “good”; never the “harm” they do

Sunday, October 14, 2012

http://cafehayek.com/2012/10/threadbare-economics.html

Threadbare Economics

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 11, 2012

in POLITICS, SEEN AND UNSEEN, TRADE

*** begin quote ***

This administration policy will win votes for the President from some textile workers in the Carolinas. And Mr. Sanchez and his big boss can now bask self-righteously in their imagined humanity.

But will Mr. Sanchez pose for pictures with poor families whose living standards fall because clothing is now made more costly? Will the administration stage press events to highlight the jobs lost because American consumers, obliged to spend more on clothing, will have less to spend on restaurant meals, evenings at the movies, and other goods and services? Will the President post photos on his website of Americans whose jobs are destroyed because foreigners will now have fewer dollars to spend and invest in the U.S.? Will Mr. Obama boast that his re-election strategy includes a policy that, by dulling the creative forces of competition, diminishes America’s economic dynamism and, hence, reduces its economic growth?

*** end quote ***

It’s our old friend Bastiat and those unseen unintended consequences!

Nasty old “rule”.  “Every time a politician says or does something, look for what’s behind the curtain.”

It’s like when the increased minimum wage law induced AT&T to automate the elevator operators out of their jobs. Some were capable of other work, but many were just let go. My cousin never worked again in her life. True she wasn’t the sharpest blade in the draw, but she was the unseen side of that increase in the minimum wage law.

So don’t tell me that real people are not hurt when the politicians run amok!

–30–


LIBERTY: Gooferment fails to protect property rights

Friday, January 27, 2012

http://lewrockwell.com/napolitano/napolitano37.1.html

How Much Economic Freedom Do We Have in the United States?
by Andrew P. Napolitano

*** begin quote ***

The root of economic freedom is the recognition of the right to own private property. That includes the right to utilize it unmolested, to dispose of it without anyone’s permission and to exclude anyone from it, even the government. Suffice it to say, no American president since the advent of the income tax and the Federal Reserve 100 years ago has fully accepted or meaningfully defended that right. The more the government extracts in taxes and the more it inflates the money supply, the more it rejects and assaults property rights.

*** and ***

There is not a single example in human history of central economic planning producing more prosperity than a free market. The framers understood that. That’s why they wrote a Constitution that prohibited an income tax, forbade the states from interfering with contracts, and prevented the feds from taking life, liberty or property without due process. All those constitutional prohibitions have been nullified by amendment or disregarded by consensus.

*** end quote ***

From the diktats (i.e., what the politicians call “laws” and “regulations”) that deprive folks of their property, to the taxes and inflation to just steal their wealth, we have no property rights.

In New Jersey, the real estate property tax mostly to support the Gooferment Skrules turns owners into defacto “renters.

How can you think we are free?

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Jan-20 @ 09:32


INTERESTING: Tom Woods on Economics and American History

Monday, July 18, 2011

http://youtu.be/m-LJ3wZjD4I

A great thirty minutes.

Wish I’d seen it in High School.

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RANT: Who Put Hannibal Lecter in Charge of Government Spending Cuts?

Friday, July 15, 2011

http://goo.gl/K2HZ0

Small Government News
Published by Carla Howell and Michael Cloud
The Center For Small Government and
the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who Put Hannibal Lecter in Charge of Government Spending Cuts?
by Michael Cloud

*** begin quote ***

“What kind of heartless, sadistic animal are YOU?” demand Opponents of cutting government spending.

You remember Hannibal Lecter, don’t you? Perhaps you cringed while watching Anthony Hopkins portray him in “Silence of the Lambs.” Or perhaps you read Thomas Harris’ novels featuring him.

*** and ***

So why are opponents of government spending cuts letting Hannibal Lecter decide what to cut?

Why would opponents of government spending reductions appoint someone who takes delight in finding the most cruel ways to inflict pain?

But those are the wrong questions. Here are the right questions:

Why are opponents trying to convince Americans that any and every government spending reduction would inflict pain and injury?

Why are opponents of government spending cuts trying to scare us, guilt us, shame us, malign us, and intimidate us into shutting up?

How do they get away with this farce?

*** end quote ***

Yup, it’s a joke.

Any cut is a bad cut!

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RANT: “Default”? No way, not needed

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

As a political junkie, I’m enraged when some bozo (i.e., politician and /or bureaucrat) is allowed by some talking head to say “default” without opposition.

IMHO any reasonable person would pay the interest on the debt first, then the social security and other mandatory welfare payments, and come up with a “total must pay”. Subtract that total from the budget to come up with “what’s left to pay”. Subtract “total must pay” from current receipts for “what’s left”.

Divide “what’s left” by “what’s left to pay” and that’s the haircut that the budget must be slashed by.

No one is going to be happy, but no default. It’ll set off a lot of wailing and gnashing but that’s what fiscal discipline is all about.

That’s why I say don’t raise the debt ceiling. And, don’t let politicians and bureaucrats scare old people by saying no soc sec or the markets by saying default.

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RANT: Keeping people in poverty

Friday, January 7, 2011

http://reason.com/archives/2010/12/31/the-obamacare-fraud

The ObamaCare Fraud
The law will penalize doctors to pay patients and penalize patients to pay doctors.
Shikha Dalmia | December 31, 2010

*** begin quote ***

When the government hands out subsidies, it will use a household’s income in the previous year as the basis for guessing what the household is qualified to get in the current year. But if the household’s income grows midyear, the subsidy recapture provision will require it to repay anywhere from $600 to $3,500, compared to the $450 that the law originally called for.

This will make it very hazardous for poor working families to get ahead. In the original law, the loss of subsidy with rising income already meant absurdly high effective marginal tax rates—the implicit tax on every additional dollar of income earned. How high? The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon puts them at 229 percent for families of four who increase their earnings by an amount equal to 5 percent of the federal poverty level or $1,100. In other words, a family that added this amount to an income of $44,700 would actually see its total income fall by $1,419 due to the loss of subsidies.

*** end quote ***

Yeah, I’m sure glad how these politicians and bureaucrats “care” for the poor!

Who needs a plantation, overseers, and the problems. Just trap the serfs in poverty and make it impossible for the poor to improve their situation. Where’s Robin Hood, Zorro, or V (for Vendetta; not the aliens on ABC) when you need them.

And, of course, we’ll need more bureaucrats to administer these programs.

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: Diesel is a better answer than gas – electric hybrids

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/peters-e8.1.1.html

New Year’s Wish List
by Eric Peters
EricPetersAutos.com

*** begin quote ***

More diesels

And fewer $40,000 hybrids that barely outdo the mileage of an ’80s-era Plymouth Champ. Diesels, unlike hybrids, work – if “working” means they deliver very high gas mileage without a very high price tag. Gas-electric hybrids and electric cars are impressive as technology but crap as consumer products – if the point of the exercise is to produce economical transportation. If you have to pay $30,000 or $40,000 (or even $25,000) to get 35 or 40 MPGs then MPGs don’t really matter since whatever you “save” in fuel costs is negated by the cost of the car itself. But diesel engines can deliver 60 MPG in a subcompact car that costs less than $15,000. Just not here. They have such cars in Europe. Santa needs to bring a few of them to us. But first, he’ll need to put some coal in the stockings of the government bureaucrats who have made the American car market unfriendly for diesel vehicles by imposing one regulatory obstacle and expense after the next. It’s not that diesels are “dirty” – the Europeans are just as obsessed with saving the planet as we are. It’s simply that our bureaucrats and politicians aren’t as smart as those in Europe.

*** end quote ***

I loved the three diesels I’ve had in my life.

Once upon a time, diesel fuel was cheaper than gasoline.

Don’t understand why that is? It’s easier to refine.

We know that the taxes on petrol of all flavors is a significant cost component. And, a good way for the Gooferment to bury taxes. With the illusion that it’s all going to “roads”, which is “barbara streisand”!

So why don’t we exploit technology that works?

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MONEY: We need to return to Constitutional money — gold and silver

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

http://nicholasnigro.blogspot.com/2010/11/quantitative-easing-just-got-easier.html

Sunday, November 7, 2010
Quantitative Easing Just Got Easier
Nicholas Nigro

*** begin quote ***

This roundabout way of printing money will, apparently, guarantee only one sure thing that you can take to the bank: the further weakening of the once Almighty Dollar and a corresponding rise in critical commodity prices because of it. Translation: From the grocery store to the gas pump, those who can least afford it will pay more and more for basic necessities. But I imagine the government measuring sticks will continue to tell us that we are living in a period of very low inflation for the foreseeable future, and that we should be more concerned about the prospects of deflation.

*** end quote ***

What “they” have fooled everyone into thinking is that a “dollar”, a “Federal Reserve Note”, that green piece of linen cotton “paper”, is actually worth something tangible. In elementary economics, we learned that humans transferred from barter to money because money had certain useful characteristics. Most notably it permitted the butcher to trade directly with the candlestick maker without trading with the baker first. From whence all the good things that the division of labor provides — specialization.

Quoting from my favorite novel (Mine!) “Money is a matter of functions four, a medium, a measure, a standard, a store.” He repeated that four times like poetry. “Six Characters in Money: Portable – Durable – Divisible – Uniformity – Limited Supply – Acceptability.” CHURCH 10●19●62 (Vol 1) 978-0-557-08387-9 page 110

“We, The People” have forgotten that. As well as the Dead Old White Guys Constitutional admonition that only gold and silver should be money. Along with a bunch of other stuff, like the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and a general dislike for oppressive Gooferment.

So, now, the politicians and bureaucrats are riding high on the hog and the taxpayers have been laid low. Like the host of a parasite weakened to near death.

Gooferment is the meme that kills people. It’s time to awaken from our economic nightmare and throw out the FED and return to “Constitutional money” — gold and silver. And watch the global economy rebound when the world isn’t paying the “inflation tax”.

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POLITICAL: Follow the money

Sunday, July 25, 2010

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=181549

How Congress makes Americans sick
Walter E. Williams
Posted: July 21, 2010

*** begin quote ***

The Fanjul family of Palm Beach, Fla., a politically connected family, has given more than $1.8 million to both Democratic and Republican parties over the years. They and others in the sugar industry give millions to congressmen to keep high tariffs on foreign sugar so the U.S. sugar industry can charge us higher prices. According to one study, the Fanjul family alone earns about $65 million a year from congressional protectionism.

*** end quote ***

Price supports and price ceiings are political payoffs to someone. You just have to follow the money. Cui bono?

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RANT: Is it too late?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-11/reagan-budget-guru-david-stockman-on-obamas-shoddy-economic-team/full/

Trashing Obama’s Economic Team
by Lloyd Grove

*** begin quote ***

Yet Stockman hopes the Republicans gain the majority in the House and Senate next November, because “then the next Congress gets down to the business of trying to reform entitlements and cut spending. Also, while we’re at it, we have to get out of the imperialism business, okay? No imperial power has succeeded on the edge of bankruptcy.”

Which means: Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq right away—the same prescription touted by renegade Republican congressman Ron Paul.

“I’m totally in agreement with Ron Paul,” Stockman says. “I don’t think he can be elected president, but I think he’s the only guy who really understands monetary policy, economic policy, the proper role of the state, the proper role of the U.S. in the world. On the other hand, the world is changing pretty dramatically before our eyes. I wouldn’t rule out anything right now. But if you asked me who is speaking truth to power, it’s Ron Paul.”

*** end quote ***

One can only hope that “We, The People” get our country back from the fascists and socialists that have taken over!

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: “Unemployment insurance” ain’t insurace; it’s gooferment welfare?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=141537&catid=188

Man loses unemployment benefits after dipping into 401k
Lori Obert written by: Anastasiya Bolton   

*** begin quote ***

LONGMONT – After 32 years at IBM, in August of 2009, Bob Jackson was laid off and looking for a job.

“I never dreamed I’d have to have unemployment some day,” he said.

Jackson has been looking everywhere, including retail and home improvement stores, for more than a year. He hasn’t gotten anywhere.

“We’re lucky to get half way through the month before we’re completely out of money. It’s been rough,” Jackson said. “It’s a hard market right now to find a job, especially at my age.”

In November, Jackson filed for unemployment and received two checks.

As part of the rules for receiving benefits, every two weeks, Jackson had to call into what is called a CUBLine (The Colorado Unemployment Benefits Line.) The automated line goes through a series of questions unemployment benefit recipients answer. During one of the calls, Jackson was asked if he’d taken out a distribution from his 401k. He said he did, $10,000 to pay for his son’s college.

*** and ***

“Under our unemployment insurance program we’re following state law, which is if you touch even $5 dollars for your 401k it will impact your benefits,” said Cher Haavind, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “It’s an employer-funded program, whether it’s severance, pension or distribution of 401k, all those things, any other money you have received from the employer will play into your benefit amount.”

Haavind added, “The program is there to meet one’s needs again when they’re transitioning from job to job. Perhaps the perception is if you have other resources available to you that you should look at those first before receiving unemployment insurance benefits.”

*** end quote ***

Perhaps, the perception is that it’s “unemployment insurance”.

Argh!

Gooferment, and its bureaucrats, really drive me off the deep end.

So it’s not insurance; it’s welfare.

It’s “employer funded”. Sure it is. If they put it in your paycheck, you could save for your own “unemployment”! Argh!

So the politicians justifiy messing with people’s lives and money on the basis that they are too stupid to manage their own money?

Argh!

This is welfare for the lucky few and for the goofermetn bureaucrats who run the program.

Argh!

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GOLDBUG: Speculating about gold confiscation is asking the wrong question

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

http://www.silvermonthly.com/195/government-confiscation-gold-happened-beforecould-happen/

Government Confiscation of Gold: It Happened Before — Could It Happen Again?
by: J.D. Seagraves

*** begin quote ***

Although the U.S. dollar is constantly under pressure, the U.S. government continues to stockpile debt, and impossible-to-fulfill entitlement commitments loom on the horizon, the idea that the U.S. government would try to confiscate citizens’ gold today or anytime in the foreseeable future certainly seems spurious at best. After all, the government did so in the past in order to recalibrate the gold standard, which we have not been on since 1972.

However, our government has become increasingly bold in its refusal to be restrained by the Constitution, and following the return to limited government (at least in rhetoric) by the Reagan administration in the eighties, the Constitution has been all but ignored by subsequent administrations and congresses.

*** end quote ***

Sorry, but that is absolutely the wrong question.

Yes! With Gooferment debt as far as the eye can see. And “unfunded liabilities” that even scare politicians and bureaucrats abound. (Not for the reasons you think; they are worried how they are going to collect! Did you forget the three “laws” of policial behavior again? Remember the three “laws” of political motivation: (1) reward your friends; (2) punish your enemies; and (3) feather your own nest.)

So with this “crisis” looming, the popular tin foil hat worry is “gold confiscation”. Sorry, but that won’t help the politicians and bureaucrats through this crisis. Last time, it was easy and there was enough wealth that could be stolen to make it worth their while. This time, not as many people own gold, they don’t old anywhere near as much of it, those that do own gold also own guns, the population isn’t as docile and complaint as back then, and the We, The People are aroused and as irritable as a cranky tired child .

No, there will be no “FDR-style gold confiscation” because, pure and simple, it can’t give the politicians and bureaucrats enough wealth to pay their own pensions. Or, even allow them to buy enough votes to get reelected. That’s what the “crisis” is all about.

I think the correct question is “what WILL they seize that can end the crisis?”. That’s the question.

The only pot big enough is the 401k / IRA wealth save by Americans for their retirement and held by a small number of “custodians”. 13T$! Sticking there waiting to be stolen.

That will be their target.

Of course, it will have to be done: “to save the children”. In this case, it’ll be the “child-like investor” who will be deemed to need their “retirements” protected from the inability of Wall Street to be honest and to generate the returns necessary for a “safe and secure” retirement. And, of course, the “crisis”, the American version of the “Reichstag fire”, will be to “save Social Security, Medicare, and the Drug Benefit”. There have to be some “poor children” in there somewhere.

Think back when Bush supposedly wanted to “privatize” Social Security. (Like that was going to ever happen. It sent the message that “you victims have been getting screwed big time” and now were going to “allow you to be screwed a little less”. It said sotto voce that maybe you the individual didn’t need the wise old Gooferment to plan your retirement!) Remember how the politicians and bureaucrats screamed that the Stock Market was “unsafe”. (Yeah, like getting a negative 3 per cent return on your “Social Security” investment was safe. Or, that depending upon Gooferment not to change the rules on “Social Security” again. Remember it was never going to be taxable. It was never to be changed. It was the supposed “third rail” of politics. It was “retirement insurance”)

Get ready for a large dose of propaganda!

I suspect the argument will run concurrently along several lines: “Save Social Security for Future Generations”, “Save your Social Security from the Boomer shift”, “No Social Security for the Wealthy”, “IRAs and 401ks are not ‘safe’ in the Markets”, “It’s not fair to poor people who couldn’t save”, and “The Gooferment gave you a tax break so some or all of it is theirs”. Argh!

When the Gooferment first created IRAs in my early days, I didn’t go into one because I was concerned about them changing the rules on them. If we had blogs back then, I’d have ranted about them. Eventually my then accountant, (I’ve gone through several since then), convinced me to “take the tax deduction”. It meant I paid less taxes out of my own pocket and had this pot of money, that I couldn’t touch until I was old, over on the side. Eventually, I thought this was how they were going to get out of the Social Security “problem”. (Little did I know then!) But I was concerned then about taxablity. I suspected that they end the program at a “bad time” (i.e., for the Gooferment; when they needed the money), make it all taxable right there and then, and I’d be stuck for an even bigger bill. Argh!

SO! Short story, long! No gold confiscation. IRA / 401k confiscation.

It’s easy. Only have to “rob” a few thousand “custodians” who are mostly big banks and brokerages that are already under the Gooferment’s thumb.

It’s “enough”. 13T$ will allow the Gooferment to keep on spending.

It’s “politcally feasible”. Propagandize the Sheeple. Promise them “enhanced Social Security”. (With interest rates at below 1%, how much cash flow would you have to pay on 13T$? Think lie they are taking out fixed rate mortgage and you’re stuck with the paltry returns. No adjustments. Argh!)

That’s the question.

And so what are you going to do about it.

Sheeple!

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GOLDBUG: Time to return to Constitutional money

Sunday, July 4, 2010

http://www.commodityonline.com/futures-trading/technical/Can-gold-be-valued-in-currency-or-is-itself-money-16935.html

Can gold be valued in currency or is itself money?
Published on June 21, 2010 14:45:00 IST

*** begin quote ***

My suggestion to Ron Paul and all those wanting to return to gold, is the best way to accomplish this is not by proclaiming your determination to replace the Federal Reserve Board with the gold standard, but to attack the legal tender laws of this country.

*** and ***

The key is to go after the governments monopoly on money. If broken, gold will find it’s way into the monetary system, as it is today, and reclaim it’s superior role as long as it is not prevented from doing so. Legal tender laws do just that. They prevent choice.

*** and ***

If governments fail to get their fiscal houses in order there is no telling what the future will bring. Gold offers some semblance of security. Among other things, it is a hedge against stupidity. Given the almost criminally reckless fiscal policies of government, who in his right mind would not want to protect himself. And if a currency crisis occurs, who would believe the promises of a new government paper currency in light of the broken promises of governments everywhere. Gold is not a promise that can be broken, and therein lies its present appeal.

*** and ***

To all the pundits that believe a gold standard is impractical, I suggest they look at the present fiat system and then judge it against the hundred years of monetary stability we enjoyed in years past under the gold standard. Then talk to me about which system is practical and which system is not.

*** end quote ***

The Dead Old White Guys had just experience the inflation of paper money. They saw first hand how it let the Gooferment buy more than it had without any check or balance.

By the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank —

(which: ain’t “federal”; it’s a private cartel of banks; ain’t a “reserve” of anything; it’s ious with the taxpayer being the ower; and ain’t a bank; it’s a price fixing machine that makes the bankers rich and the politicians with an unending supply of spendable “money”.)

— they have made the Dead Old White Guys’ worst nightmare true. Unchecked gooferment.

Argh!

Time to roll back “progress” and go back to gold.

As a check on gooferment spending. ANY gooferment!

How can we be “independent” without honest money?!

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GOLDBUG: A buying opportunity

Friday, July 2, 2010

Like the guy on the TV says: “Wealth Protection”. Gold has never been worth zero. Unlike the Zimbabwe dollar, the German pre-WW2 Mark, and countless other fiat currency (i.e., printing press printed paper that is only “money” because guys with guns say it is). Even the most wildly bullish tout like Kudlow, and “the every feeling is expressed” Orman, wouldn’t argue with 5 to 10% in gold. Due to the “interesting” numbers in the CFTC, the number of contracts outstanding, and the various derivatives around commodities, I’d suggest that bullion coins from a low cost / low overhead reputable dealer is the best way to have that investment. Call it Gooferment Insurance. I’d further suggest that you want “good delivery” where they put the coins in your hot little hands. Then you can put them in an interesting place (e.g., curtain rods; taped to the hidden in the wall side of your medicine chest, or (my personal favorite) inside some furniture that ain’t easy to move like a grandfather’s clock. (No fire risk. Gold doesn’t burn. Like paper money.) I don’t recommend burial because you, or your heirs, will forget where you stashed them. (And, for my fellow tin foil hats, the gooferment has ground penetrating radar.) :-) And, please, don’t even consider “numismatic coins” from ANYONE. (Overpriced misgraded and in some cases fakes and frauds. And, the Gooferment will seize them as quick as anything else if they’re desperate enough.) Remember FDR broke into bank vaults during the “bank holiday” for folks’ gold stashes.

imho ymmv faiwwypfi tanstafl!

# – # – #

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To: @reinke.cc
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MONEY: Benefit are a big loser for employees

Friday, July 2, 2010

Home » 2010 » 07 » 01 »

COLUMN: Can we put an end to corporate socialism already?
Thursday, July 1, 2010 | 12:49 p.m. CDT; updated 3:04 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 1, 2010
BY George Kennedy

*** begin quote ***

New state employees, most of whom will earn less than $25,000 a year, will have to start contributing 4 percent of their salaries to their pension program, which has long been one of the benefits that compensate for low-paid careers.

*** end quote ***

Why do you have a Gooferment pension plan? Isn’t that socialism as well? Aren’t you in effect saying that people aren’t capable of managing their own money?

Maybe that 4% is more important to pay for something the individual values more than a “pension” sometime in the future.

Let’s not overlook that there are some “interesting” unintended consequences.

(1) What happens if the new employee doesn’t do the five years to get vested? Guess that poor slob made a bad bet.

(2) What happens if the Gooferment decides to pull the rug out from under them and changes the “law” so there’s no pension?

(3) What happens if the pension plan is underfunded? (Here in NJ the gooferment hasn’t funded the state pension plan in a decade and no one really knows what that means.)

(4) What happens if like CALPERS that investments don’t keep up with obligations?

(5) What happens if the poor slob dies the day before he retires? Day after? Like Social Security, it’s probably a bad bet.

(6) What happens if we have inflation? And our poor slob is retired on fixed income. Bad bet? (If he or she had a their OWN diversified investment portfolio, then they’d be capable of making some adjustment. In theory, portfolio income would go up to in some way compensate. The defined benefit of a pension plan means they are screwed.)

(7) What if when the poor slob retires, he wants his money to make a big purchase? A vacation home for cash. Buy into an assisted living. Or anything. What’s he do, go to JGWENTWORTH to sell his pension at a discount?

SO I think what you have is socialism at the expense of the low wage person. (Poor slob is intended to engender sympathy for some one who just has to shut up and take it.)

Along time ago, I talk to an AT&T pension actuary who explained how benefits were a huge win for the employer and a big loser for the employee. It’s never changed.

And don’t get me started on the Social Security Ponzi-like Fraud.

# – # – #

Upon reflection, the Employer could, as a condition of employment, negotiate that a suitable third party pension plan must be taken by all employees. So that no one retires on welfare. Wonder what the CEO and CFO would say? TO that I say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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MONEY: Wikipedia’s explanation of “malinvestment” is sparse

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A OPEN EMAIL TO LEW ROCKWELL, A CHAMPION OF AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS

Dear Mister Lew:

Re: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malinvestment

Perhaps you could (if you are so moved), or one of your bright interns (you exploiter of the youth), could write an appropriate text for Wikipedia that truly reflect such an important word.

I’d do it, but I’m just a fat old white guy injineer. Remember the sources of my education: I’m just a fat old white guy injineer with: Law “degree” from watching Judge Judy, Medical “degree” from watching Doctor Phil, Building “degree” from watching “Holmes on Homes”, and Investing “degree” from reading about Bernie Made-off.

To which I’ll probably add ekenomicks from reading Mises and Rockwell. Yes, in college, (manhattan college manhattan dot edu), in my economics course, “Human Action” was on the supplemental reading list. And I read it then. Didn’t understand most of it. Surprised? Don’t be; in theology, we had to read a translation of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, Bhagavad Gita, and “Essays in Zen Budhism”. I hated that class; the Professor had a thing for “God and the Ways of Knowing” by Jean Danielou. Even four decades later, I can remember him babbling on about good old Danny Lou. But, those were the days. When Universities were truly about imparting wisdom regardless of the source. Not like today when it’s ersatz “whizdumb”.

In any event, I commend the link for your attention.

fjohn aka alibertarianin08824
behind enemy lines in Pepuls Republik of Nu Jerzee

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Cut out “problem” down to size!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

http://channel-surfing.blogspot.com/2010/06/out-of-work-out-of-luck.html

Thursday, June 24, 2010
Out of work? Out of luck

*** begin quote ***

We are facing the worst employment crisis in memory, but Senate Republicans insist on playing political games with jobless benefits, forcing the Democrats into a counterproductive slashing of the bill and then still voting as a block against it.

*** end quote ***

Correct me if I am wrong, BUT don’t the D’s control the Prez, the Senate, AND the House? They can literally send ALL the R’s home and nothing should stop them. Sorry, but you can NOT condemn the R’s for the lack of what you call progress on any issue.

Personally, as hard as it sounds, the Gooferment can’t spend us back to prosperity. Nor can they hand out unemployment “benefits” by borrowing from the Chinese and indenturing future generations.

Sorry, but folks are going to be hurt, take it on the chin, and even take big losses. For that we have to blame the politicians and bureaucrats. They were either asleep at the helm or corruptly blinded to the truth.

Sad to say but there is enough blame to go around. D’s or R’s. No one escapes the judgment of history.

That being said. We need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

How about ending the drug war, pardon all the non-violent drug offenders, clase down the FDA, and send all the lobbyists home? Use the savings to pay down the debt.

How about adopting GW’s (George Washington’s foreign policy as pronounced by Ron Paul) by just bringing the troops home. Use the savings to pay down the debt.

How about getting the Federal Gooferment out of all sorts of things: the Agriculture Department, the Education Department, and Commerce, Energy, Transportation. Use the savings to pay down the debt.

We’d be back to “normal” in no time!

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POLITICAL: I’d prefer USP, UL, Consumers Reports, doctors, and WalMart over the FDA

Friday, June 18, 2010

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-businessman-battles-als-prepares-for-eternity/

Catholic businessman battles ALS, prepares for eternity

By Spencer S. Busby

*** begin quote ***

San Diego, Calif., Jun 6, 2010 / 01:19 pm (CNA).- Three years ago, Shane FitzMaurice was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The rare neurological disorder is typically fatal within five years of diagnosis.

*** and ***

Initially, the diagnosis felt like a death sentence. “At first, I was in denial,” FitzMaurice said, “feeling all doom and gloom and ‘why me’?”

But then he decided to fight back. Last August, he traveled with his wife to Monterrey, Mexico, to undergo an experimental procedure that implanted his own body’s stem cells into his brain. While FitzMaurice was pleased that he took action by undergoing the procedure, he admits that it has resulted in only limited improvement.

Still, FitzMaurice believes such therapies should be more freely available in the United States. “People with a terminal diagnosis should be able to sign a waiver with FDA to be guinea pigs, because we do not have the time to wait.”

*** end quote ***

We know so little about our own bodies.

And it’s a terrible disease.

That being said, the man has a great point. Why should the FDA keep interfering? Are they protecting him from something worse? What could that be?

TIme to nuke the FDA!

They are just a bunch of bureaucrats captured by Big Pharma.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Thalidomide? That happened with the FDA. And they used it to slow the process and make it more expensive. It’s not like we don’t have drug disasters anyway. And, what good drugs have they prevented by making it too slow and too costly.

I’ll take faster and cheaper. USP, UL, Consumers Reports, doctors, and WalMart will do a much better job of keeping us safe.

Argh!

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Fannie-Freddie Fix — nuke them!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=an_hcY9YaJas&pos=10

Fannie-Freddie Fix at $160 Billion With $1 Trillion Worst Case
By Lorraine Woellert and John Gittelsohn

*** begin quote ***

Fannie and Freddie, now 80 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers, already have drawn $145 billion from an unlimited line of government credit granted to ensure that home buyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund. That surpasses the amount spent on rescues of American International Group Inc., General Motors Co. or Citigroup Inc., which have begun repaying their debts.

*** end quote ***

You have to be kidding me. When will we cut our losses on this disaster?

Surly even the politicians can see what a disaster this is. And, who are the other 20%? Politically connected friends? Argh!

Repaying. Yeah, this article repeats the “big lie” about repayment.

Got to buy some more gold and silver. It the shumer hits the fan, we’re screwed.

We’ll be the golden horde in the camps.

What will it take to bring on the revolution?

Can it be avoided?

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RANT: ‘Beach House Bailout’

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=165701

OBAMA WATCH CENTRAL
Is insurance industry next takeover target?
Proposal in Congress puts feds in middle of catastrophe claims
Posted: June 12, 2010 9:10 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh

*** begin quote ***

“The ‘Homeowners’ Defense Act,’ H.R. 2555, dubbed the ‘Beach House Bailout,’ requires taxpayers across the country, and in your district, to subsidize insurance for wealthy homeowners along the Florida coastline,” the letter to members of Congress said. “The bill is structured to assist the state of Florida (and to a much smaller extent, California) through federal assistance.”

*** end quote ***

Never mind take over, who wants to subsidize rich people on the Florida coast in mansions?

Let Donald, Rush, and whomever fund their own risks!

As a matter of fact, why is the gooferment involved in “insuring” floods any way?

Can you spell ‘moral hazard’?

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MONEY: Keep rotating incumbents OUT!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

http://biggovernment.com/jboehner/2010/06/12/washington-democrats-out-of-control-spending-spree-needs-to-stop-now/

Washington Democrats’ Out-of-Control Spending Spree Needs to Stop. Now
by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

*** begin quote ***

“Waiting and hoping for the best is no longer an option, not when 43 cents of every dollar we spend this year is borrowed from our kids and grandkids. Our posterity shouldn’t have to foot the bill because Washington Democrats can’t do what they were elected to do or summon the courage to say no to special interests with their hands out.”

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) R response 6/11/10

*** end quote ***

Not that the R’s are any better than the D’s.

Our only defense is to start the carousel. Keep rotating incumbents OUT!

A marginal nutcase is better than these corrupt politicians.

Sorry, but, if we cant have NO government, then we have to have a lot less of it.

1. End the personal and corporate dole;

2. Dismiss gooferment public education;

3. Stop the various wars — foreign and domestic;

4. Repatriate the troops home;

5. Downsize ALL gooferments;

6. Eliminate all taxes but tariffs and excise.

and

7. Prosecute the “retired” and current politicians for “treason and sedition” against the Constitution. Make them pay off the debt that they ran up on our “credit card”.

Argh!

Lest you think I don’t have a solution, I do.

Get off fiat money. Go back to the Constitutional gold / silver standard. Payoff the debt by a federal “yard sale” of assets. Issue 30, 40, 50, and 100 year bonds to “paper the debt”.

No more “unfunded liabilities”.

A moral promise was made in Social Security and to a certain extent it has to be fulfilled. BUTT (there’s always a big but) it may not be paid off at 100¢ on the dollar. Especially if your name is Donald Trump. We may have to do a means test on those who have been unjustly enriched by the prior political class decisions.

Unwinding this mess is going to be ugly, but we don’t have a lot of choice.

If they can do it in Chile, we can do it here!

# # # # #


RANT: Deadbeats are deadbeats!

Friday, June 11, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/business/01nopay.html

Owners Stop Paying Mortgages, and Stop Fretting
Wendy Pemberton, a barber in Florida, with a customer, Howard Cook. She stopped paying her mortgage two years ago.
By DAVID STREITFELD
Published: May 31, 2010

*** begin quote ***

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — For Alex Pemberton and Susan Reboyras, foreclosure is becoming a way of life — something they did not want but are in no hurry to get out of.

Foreclosure has allowed them to stabilize the family business. Go to Outback occasionally for a steak. Take their gas-guzzling airboat out for the weekend. Visit the Hard Rock Casino.

*** end quote ***

Deadbeats are deadbeats.

As the taxpayer, why am I financing them?

Just cause you bought high and it’s low now, how is that society’s problem?

Sorry, it’s a private matter. Unless you are claiming fraud, in which case, the gooferment should investigate.

Otherwise, tough love!

I’d like to go to Outback, but I’m “poor”. I have to pay my taxes so they can be subsidized! Argh!

Ditto the boat and the Hard Rock.

# # # # #


GOLDBUG: In your back yard; not your IRA or 401k

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

http://dumpdc.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/put-gold-and-silver-in-your-ira-or-401k/

Put Gold and Silver In Your IRA or 401k

*** begin quote ***

“It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” George Carlin

In my opinion, any consideration about investment income right now is a big mistake. Your NUMBER ONE CONCERN should be protecting the purchasing power of your money.

Buy gold and silver coins and keep them in a safe at your home. Then, with your retirement accounts, transfer your positions in money markets, bonds, mutual funds and stocks into gold and silver.

*** end quote ***

I’m not sure how viable IRAs and 401ks are in the scenario where gold and silver makes sense. The politicians can “seize” the accounts via the “custodians” and you are screwed. You know that in a hyperinflation scenario that the gooferment will be desperate for funding. In even a moderate inflation, a la Carter of the 80′s, the metal in your IRA won’t help you. And, you must always remember the FDR seizure of gold.

I think 5-15% metal holding is appropriate in today’s economic climate.

BUT, BUTT (there’s always a big but), that metal is in one ounce rounds in your physical possession.

Despite Milton Freedman’s “People must work hard to dig gold out of the ground in South Africa – in order to rebury it in Fort Knox or some similar place.”, better buried in your back yard than in OHB44′s spending plan.

imho!

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RANT: Can we silently revolt?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The oligarchy runs the country for their own benefit. That hasn’t changed since forever. The “democracy” is all theater. At least since Lincoln, maybe just after Andrew Jackson. Clearly FDR, by the removal of the nation from the gold standard, set up the unlimited expansion of the gooferment. Wilson’s creation of the FED set up FDR.

Argh!

How do we unwind this? Can we silently revolt? Participation in the elections is just a sham. I don’t know how we can derail this. If no one votes, what happens? Can we just ignore them? I don’t think so. Preserve wealth by buying gold and gold equivalents. They can inflate the currency, but we don’t get hurt if we’re not holding dollars.

Thinking about Robinson Crusoe’s island, with coconuts and fish, and a banker. If the banker inflates the currency, how do Tom and Dick protect themselves? The price of goods and services must go up the amount of inflation. If money is being inflated, then Tom and Dick must avoid holding money. Clearly, they can exchange directly. How do we extrapolate this to the island called America? You must escape the fiat currencies. Buy things that will hold their value. Real Estate. Gold. Commodities.

But what does the little guy do? Emulate the Mormons and the Amish. Put up a year’s supply of food. Pay off any bad debt. Buy gold. Or at least silver. Get small. Get light. Remember the 7 points of success. Develop streams of income. Perhaps that crazy real estate guy who wanted everyone to have 12 single family homes as rental properties. That’s his idea to create a pension of sorts. By the use of leverage, the renters pay off the mortgages. At the end of thirty years, the properties are yours and the rentals become your income stream. Unfortunately, that’s an impossible dream. Let’s assume that houses are 200k each. 12 = 2.4 million. You have to start with one. 20% down = 40k$. Say 10k$ for start up expenses. 5% 30 fixed mortgage = 1400 $/month. It just doesn’t work. 2.4M$ @ 5% = 120k$ per year. With no work and no risk. But, with 30k$ per house, 12 houses, 360k$ starts the chain. So you could boot yourself into it. You need a real sharp pencil and something that works to deliver. It’s possible.

Argh!

What do you do? You need that white collar job to generate the money necessary to get started.

# # # # #


POLITICAL: We don’t have “private industry”; we have witch’s brew of a mix

Friday, May 28, 2010

ORIGINAL POST

FJohn Reinke

“With the Gulf oil leak: the state was revealed, once again, as utterly incompetent at anything but taxing and making war, that is, stealing and murdering. It was funny to hear Progs urging Obama to seize personal control and fix everything. He doesn’t want the political responsibility, of course, but in any event, the… state employs no one with any such ability, and if it did, he would soon be useless, thanks to the environment of public property. All the state can do is grab other people’s money and use some of it to hire favored private contractors. Virtually all its millions of uncivil servants are good only at being busybodies, and armed ones at that.”

Sadly all too true!

>One Lesson of the Gulf « LewRockwell.com Blog http://www.lewrockwell.com
>With the Gulf oil leak: the state was revealed, once again, as utterly incompetent at anything but taxing and
>making war, that is, stealing and murdering. It was funny to hear Progs urging Obama to seize personal
>control and fix everything. …

RELOCATING A COMMENT

*** begin quote ***

I am offended!! Some of us are highly skilled workers (not me of course, but there are some) who are not only competent, but very, very smart (again clearly not me). Policy makers and political appointees are typically the poor performers because they have no subject matter expertise and if they do it is outdated since See Morethey probably haven’t had … See Morereal world, boots on the ground experience in a long time. This is a very clear failure on the part of private industry, which as a dedicated libertarian (unlike Rand Paul who was a poster child until he stepped on his you know what) is who you want running the world. BP wanted the lead and they dropped the ball- now everyone wants the gov’t to clean it up. Can’t have it both ways- either private industry is capable or they need oversight.

*** end quote ***

>I am offended!!

GOOD! If we can get folks’ Irish up, maybe, just maybe, we can change the “barbara streisand”!

>Some of us are highly skilled workers

I think we have “workers” that highly skilled. Even for the Gooferment!

The workers, (even you), are NOT bad people.

It’s just that “the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall”. Like the drunk looking for lost keys under the street light as opposed to looking by the storied “dark by the front door where those keys were lost”. It’s that 100,000 foot plan that is wrong.

You can put the best workers on the job, but the problem is that the “job” is completely wrong!

Argh!

>Policy makers and political appointees are typically the poor
>performers because they have no subject matter expertise

I disagree. They get poor results because they are working but have started with a poor meme (i.e., gooferment force) and have poor paradigms (i.e., centralized command and control systems don’t have the price and market mechanisms to guide them in decisions).

Reference: http://mises.org/etexts/mises/bureaucracy/section2.asp

Bureaucracy by Ludwig von Mises (1944): Section 2 Bureaucracy

“Bureaucratic management is the method applied in the conduct of administrative affairs the result of which has no cash value on the market. Remember: we do not say that a successful handling of public affairs has no value, but that it has no price on the market, that its value cannot be realized in a market transaction and consequently cannot be expressed in terms of money.”

An entrepreneur has profit and loss to guide decision making. A bureaucrat doesn’t have that. So decisions are “political”; not profit seeking. The cost of capital, the business risks, and the size of reward are all available for the entrepreneur to guide, measure, revise, and quit.

>This is a very clear failure on the part of private industry

Unfortunately, the “private industry” had willing unindicted co-conspirators in: both political parties, Congress, States, various Administrations, and the main stream media. Campaign contributions, regulatory capture, and incompetent gooferment all loom large in this disaster. I read that the gooferment had a plan for a spill, but never bothered to buy the booms needed for the plans. SINCE 1968! ROFL!

We don’t have “private industry”. We have a gooferment – big company – big labor paradox.

>which as a dedicated libertarian

Will reject your assumption that we have “private industry”!

>(unlike Rand Paul who was a poster child until he
>stepped on his you know what)

I think he was attempting to make a very valid point. The reason we needed a “Civil Rights Act” at all was that governments were forcing segregation.

Take look into the famous Rosa Parks and bus story. You’ll find that there was no segregation on the buses run by greedy businessmen who wanted all fares regardless of color. The Legislatures voted in a law about “back of the bus”. And the bus owners lobbied AGAINST it. (ROFL, yes those evil capitalists!)

What he was trying to say was that the law should not have applied to private property. Gooferment property, access, and such is a fine target.

I think what everyone needs to understand that the marketplace is a real-time ongoing election. You vote with your dollars. If there’s a racist business, then they will be at a competitive disadvantage. There competitors will eat their lunch. So the marketplace will “fix” the problem.

>Can’t have it both ways- either private industry is capable
>or they need oversight.

But we don’t have that either or. We have a muddle. With payoffs and a wink’n’nod!

>

Don’t forget that the “limited liability corporation” is a creation of the Gooferment!

For other examples, look at the FDA / Big Pharma. Look at Big Education and all levels of gooferment, politicians, and bureaucracy.

>

Don’t poke sticks in the little L libertarian’s cage! It’s not productive, doesn’t change anything, and annoys the Libertarian.

:)

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