ECONOMICS: Seems like cost-savings will sweep the land of truck drivers?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/10/american-trucker-automation-jobs

End of the road

*** begin quote ***

“Labor accounts for 75% of the cost of transporting shipments by truck, so adopters can begin to realize those savings. Beyond that, while truckers are prohibited from driving more than 11 hours per day without taking an eight-hour break, a driverless truck can drive for the entire day. This effectively doubles the output of the trucking network at a quarter of the cost. That’s an eight-times increase in productivity, without taking into account other benefits gained by automation,” he says.

*** end quote ***

Clearly, that efficiency will lower the prices of goods and services.

The human cost to individuals will be catastrophic.

As Jason Stapleton keeps saying: “You must invest in your own human capital.” 

The job you have today may not exist in a decade; adapt or die.

And, politicians and bureaucrats or “unions” can’t stop the “eight times increase in productivity”.

Sigh!

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ECONOMICS: Unless they are defended by the government, cartels always break down

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

https://www.garynorth.com/public/17188.cfm

The Economics of Assistant Coaches’ Bribery
Gary North – September 28, 2017

*** begin quote ***

There is a fundamental rule of economics: unless they are defended by the government, cartels always break down. They can be sustained only by government intervention. The government protects the cartels from members of the cartel who break the rules of the cartel in order to increase market share and thereby increase net income. The government makes cartel-busting a crime. In the case of the movie and also in the case of the latest scandals, net income is really what it is all about.

What we are seeing is the intervention of governments around the country to defend the NCAA’s cartel. If it were not for government intervention to keep coaches from paying full ticket for the valuable services of the best players, major universities would be forced to pay millions of dollars to these players, just as professional sports teams have to pay their players. A free market would prevail.

Top collegiate basketball coaches today are paid multimillion-dollar salaries. The head coaches don’t want to lose this income. In contrast, assistant coaches are not paid huge salaries. They are tempted to do under-the-table deals that are against the financial interests of the NCAA’s cartel. None of the coaches being accused of bribery is a head coach. No head coach is going to risk his $4 million annual salary for penny-ante payoffs to recruit top players.

If we had a free market in college education, there would be no legal restriction on the use of the word “college” or “university” imposed by any state on profit-seeking educational ventures. There would be no government money used to build sports stadiums. There would be open entry. Private college tuition would fall at all but the premier schools. College athletes in the top-ranked sports universities would be paid full ticket.

*** end quote ***

Ignoring for the moment that these alleged “bribery” charges may not — or should not be — considered  accurate, why do we have cartels in sports?

Why are the Taxpayers funding sports stadiums?

Why are the Team Owners (i.e., “State Universities”) allowed to keep “indentured servants” working (i.e., playing games) for them?

Argh!

We need to get the Gooferment out of all of there!

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ECONOMICS: Lessons Leaned from Kansas

Thursday, June 29, 2017

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-19/the-kansas-supply-side-experiment-unravels

ECONOMICS
The Kansas Supply-Side Experiment Unravels
Tax cuts were supposed to spur growth, boost revenue and create jobs. The results were the exact opposite.
By Barry Ritholtz
June 19, 2017, 11:19 AM EDT

*** begin quote ***

When a governor announces an economic theory as a solution to a state’s fiscal problems, while challenging all comers to observe the results, that’s something I want to pay attention to. And so for the past five years, I have been watching the public-policy experiment in Kansas with great fascination.

With the state legislature now rejecting the governor’s experiment, we can move onto to the next phase: Not recrimination and blame, though there is lots of that going around. Instead, I want to look at how the experiment played out, and what lessons there are to be learned from it.

*** and ***

By just about every measure, Kansas’ economic laboratory experiment is now over, and the results are in. Supply-side tax cuts as executed in Kansas don’t generate more economic growth or create more jobs. They reduce tax revenue and forced the government to cut spending on essential goods and services like roads and schools.

*** end quote ***

I don’t think Ritholtz’s analysis goes quite far enough.

He doesn’t consider that “time” in his lessons learned.

It takes more than a generation to get folks to change. So a quick tax slashing with a large deficit spend is not how to spur the growth promised in the Laffer curve. It takes time to adapt.

Hence, the tax rate needs to be gently reduced over time with cutting waste and abuse. Then, strategic complete cuts to programs that are ineffective, and inefficient. With those savings either “banked for a rainy day” or returned to the taxpayer.

A one trick pony shot is not going to “fix” the decades of “training” that “We, The Sheeple” have in what Gooferment will do for them. 

Rigorous fiscal discipline, while not showy, will bring prosperity. 

IMHO this is needed at all layers of Gooferment.

Sad to say, but at one time, it could be found in both parties. Not any more in either.

Argh!

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ECONOMICS: Corporations do NOT pay taxes; only real people do

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

FROM THE WSJ

*** begin quote ***

TALKING POINTS
Tax talk. President Trump has ordered aides to draft a tax plan that slashes the corporate tax rate to 15%, even if that means a loss of revenue and exacerbating the plan’s procedural and partisan hurdles. Mr. Trump told his team to “get it done,” in time to release a plan by Wednesday.

*** end quote ***

For the life of me, I never understood that “We, The Sheeple” don’t understand what appears to me as “simple economics”.

When taxed, “corporations” have really ONLY two choices — pass them along or go out of business. 

Yes, I know that they could potentially reduce their profits, but let’s examine that concept. As Larry Kudlow says “Profits are the mother’s milk of stocks and the lifeblood of the economy.” When you reduce profits, you send signals to the economy that things are bad here. Then, the flow of capital dries up. Eventually, profits are zero and there is no incentive but to shut down.

So, taxes get passed along to the consumer. Lucky, real people get to pay MORE taxes.

What’s really bad is those taxes are HIDDEN in the priced of stuff we buy. Pick up any can of beans and tell me how much of that cost is taxes. It can’t be done. Argh! And, the politicians and bureaucrats just love it that way.

Then, want to know why corporations move overseas? The US tax rate on corporations is 30%. I think that’s the highest in the world. There’s the incentive to move. And, if you can’t move, that’s a reason to not go into business. 

Argh! Cubed!!!

Wake up people. The correct corporate tax rate is ZERO! Make the people aware of how much Gooferment really is costing us.

Argh!

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ECONOMICS: $78 trillion pension shortfall

Thursday, April 6, 2017

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/03/no_author/worlds-first-pension-crisis/

The World’s First Pension Crisis
By Simon Black Sovereign Man
March 31, 2017

*** begin quote ***

In the late in the 5th century BC, the government of ancient Rome came up with a new idea that has lasted for thousands of years.

I’m not talking about their roads, republican form of government, or water sanitation.

Their bold idea was to start paying retirement benefits to Roman soldiers.

*** and ***

So just as the ancient Romans invented the first pensions, they also invented the first pension crisis. It wouldn’t be the last.

Most major governments find themselves in a similar position today.

According to a 2016 report from Citibank entitled “The Coming Pension Crisis,” the 35 developed nations which comprise the OECD (including the US, Canada, Japan, most of Europe, etc.) have pension shortfalls totaling $78 TRILLION.

To put this in context, $78 trillion is more than the size of the entire world economy.

*** end quote ***

Nothing like being a Gloomy Gus on a nice sunny day, but the nice thing about being a retired fat old white guy injineer who is a poor old senior citizen on a fixed income, I have the perspective to look back and forward. Past is prologue. 

I used to counsel my fat old white guys in job search. Part of that advice was to conduct the Sunday morning “board meeting”. Humorously, the jobseeker has to wear many hats. When I was one, I learned the trick at the DBM “turkey farm” of “wearing many hats”. So I, as the CEO, would turn to myself, as the CFO, and say: “How are revenue and expenses?”. Then the CFO would report. SO to with the CIO role, HR role, Sales Manager, Marketing Manager, etc. etc. At one time I think I had six or seven distinct “roles” in my job search.

One of my turkeys was so dense, I had to have him make paper hats with titles on them.

All that being said, there is a “retirement crisis” ahead. Probably not for me, but the younger you are the more positive I’m that you will hit it. “Pension shortfalls” equal to the world’s economy?

I can hear you say, but I don’t have a pension. But as taxpayers, you have to pay for public pensions, social security, and other “entitlements”. That’s even worse.

I hope that all you youngsters have a plan for when you’re my age.

Good luck.

p.s., sorry my generation has left you a mess to clean up.

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ECONOMICS: Consider “systematic externalisations of cost” by Gooferment

Thursday, February 23, 2017

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2017/tle910-20170219-03.html

Traditionalism and Free Trade: An Exercise in Libertarian Outreach 
by Sean Gabb sean@libertarian.co.uk
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

*** begin quote ***

What is true of national distribution networks is also true at the level of international trade. British and then American control of the seas has made shipping safe from piracy. British and American control of the Middle East has externalised many of the costs of oil drilling and movement. British and American armed interventions stabilised less powerful countries for the sale of our industrial output, and then for the development of manufacturing industry in places where the local ruling classes could be bribed and assisted into making labour both cheap and docile.

These facts go far to explaining why Chinese apples undercut Kentish apples in Kent, and why it is worth concentrating the manufacture of virtually all electronic goods in a few coastal regions of China, and why most of the clothes we buy are put together in Turkish and Bangladeshi sweatshops. It goes far to explaining why, when I drive home every summer from the family trip to Slovakia, I share fabulously expensive motorways with lorries that pay a pittance per mile, and burn diesel at prices—even allowing for taxes—far below the real cost of extraction and transport, and that are carrying goods to places like Manchester and Leeds where once whole armies were employed in their manufacture.

In short, the manufacturing side of the globalisation that traditionalists denounce proceeds from a pattern of comparative advantage that makes sense only on the basis of systematic externalisations of cost.

*** end quote ***

I read this and was literally stunned.

He makes an excellent point that the USA Rust Belt was cause by Gooferment subsidies and interference in free trade. 

While no one likes pirates — except when Johnny Depp is one in the movies — the control of them to enable long distance free trade is a cost that should be absorbed in the competitive marketplace. When Gooferment steals wealth from the USA’s taxpayers to “protect freedom of navigation”, then they are subsidizing imports and exports.

Like the gas tax is impossible to “see” in the price of a can of beans, so to this “protection of sea traffic” is NOT reflect in the market price of imported goods.

That’s a STUNNING realization to me.

So to the Gooferment subsidization of ports, airports, and highways. You can’t see that in competitive purchase decision down at Walmart. If there was a “Made in America” TV, of course it would be at an absurd cost disadvantage because all the “costs” are not in the price tag. 

That’s the realization this article brought to me. 

Argh!

Another case of Gooferment causes the problem and then causes more problems “fixing” the original problem. 

Argh!

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ECONOMICS: Janet Yellen and the “FED” should go to the trash pile of history

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

https://dailyreckoning.com/91851-2/

POSTED JANUARY 25, 2017
Trump Missed His Biggest Chance to Drain the Swamp
BY DAVID STOCKMAN 

*** begin quote ***

Janet Yellen insists that she would serve out her full term (until January 2018) and has rather cheekily lectured Congress about the dangers of political interference with the central bank.

Oh, my.

Before December — after the election — the Fed spent the past year sitting hard on interest rates for no plausible reason whatsoever. The main reason was to perpetuate the stock market bubble and thereby ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and a perpetuation of the current Wall Street/Washington regime.
To his credit, Donald Trump called her out on this blatant political meddling during the campaign, calling it “shameful” and designed to keep the stock averages levitated through November 8th.

He was exactly right. Yet notwithstanding his shocking victory, Yellen has the temerity of a pot calling the kettle black. Her Keynesian-statist party has been rebuked by the American public, but the terminally grating school marm who occupies the big chair in the Eccles Building petulantly insists that her right to rule has not been diminished by an iota.

*** end quote ***

The Federal Reserve Bank is a misnomer. IT ain’t “federal”. It reserves nothing. And, it ain’t a “bank”. It is a private cartel of the elite banks run for their benefit and that of the entrenched politicians.

It’s designed to corrupt Americans and the world into accepting a unbacked fiat currency.

The benefit of a real gold standard is to restrict what the Gooferment can spend. Imagine if it couldn’t borrow and spend beyond what it could steal from the taxpayers. A lot less war and welfare spending, for sure.

Argh!

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