Apr 142014
 

The headline in the print edition of the Denver Post of an associated press story on the nomination of Janet Yellen highlights a quote from President Obama, “She understands the human cost when people can’t find a job.” This statement about then-new Fed Chair Yellen, which emphasizes Yellen’s Keynesian-based commitment to the unemployment prong of the Fed’s dual mandate, underlies why some economists feared that no matter how bad policy might have been during Bernanke’s tenure, policy is likely to get worse rather than get better from a sound money perspective during a Yellen reign. Her empathy for the unemployed was clearly present in her remarks following her first official policy meeting which as reported by the Wall Street Journal “were a notable affirmation of her commitment to low rates until the economy is much stronger.” She emphasized, “The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans, and it also looks that way in some economic statistics.” She then chose to support her remarks not with usual econ jargon and statistics, but “Ms. Yellen instead exhibited a personal touch … by coloring her comments with experiences of three people who had struggled to gain full-time work.”

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Mar 312014
 

Many like to watch movies or read fiction novels as a way to relax and get away from work and other stresses of day-to-day life.  I, on the other hand, find non-fiction to be much more interesting than almost anything dreamed up by a fiction writer.  So, when I want to relax and get away from things I like to read and watch non-fiction books and documentaries.

Given what is going on in China lately I have been nearly obsessed learning about China's history.  It is easily one of the most interesting cultures on Earth with thousands of years of dynasties, warlords, communism, capitalism, wars and atrocities.

Of all the atrocities the worst, by far, was committed during Mao's Communist China revolution and the typically Orwellian named, "The Great Leap Forward".

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Mar 122014
 

Over the decades various administrations, seeking to improve their economic record, monkeyed with economic statistics to the point that the statistics are no longer meaningful.

According to Friday’s (March 7) payroll jobs report, the US economy created 175,000 new jobs in February. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll let you have at a good price.

Even if 175,000 jobs were created in February–remember now, February was a cold month whose low temperatures are used to explain poor housing and retail sales performance, yet somehow created 40,000 more jobs than needed to keep up with population growth–that is an insufficient amount to drop the unemployment rate.

To see how screwed up US economic statistics are, consider the reported unemployment rate (U.3) of 6.7 percent in comparison with the fact that there are about 6 million Americans who have been unable to find a job and are no longer counted as unemployed. These millions of unemployed are not included in the reported rate of unemployment.

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Jan 242014
 

Of the various flavors of government interventionism in our lives, the minimum wage is perhaps the most welcomed. It appeals not only to our innate sense of “fairness” but also to our self-interest. Its allure may erroneously lead us to the conclusion that because “it is popular,” ergo “it is right.”

The more astute proponents of the minimum wage, however, immediately point to the obvious; namely, that an extreme minimum wage ($1,000 per hour) would be unequivocally detrimental. However, the proponents quickly turn to dismissing this fear by asserting that, empirically, no such job loss occurs when the minimum wage is slowly raised. This is akin to arguing that although fire can boil water, a small fire won’t heat it up. The support for this assertion is the oft-cited 1994 study by Card and Krueger[1] showing a positive correlation between an increased minimum wage and employment in New Jersey. Many others have thoroughly debunked this study and it is significant that the original authors eventually retracted their claims.[2]

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Jan 062014
 


If one looks at the current paper money system and its negative social and social-political effects, the question must arise: where are the protests by the supporters and protectors of social justice? Why don’t we hear calls to protest from politicians and social commentators, from the heads of social welfare agencies and leading religious leaders, who all promote the general welfare as their mission?

Presumably, the answer is that many have only a weak understanding of the role of money in an economy with a division of labor, and for that reason, the consequences of today’s paper money system are being widely overlooked.

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Oct 282013
 

Dreams usually come to an end when we get to the good part. The juiciest part of the American dream has ended too; except the country will be waking up in the middle of the cold dark night and see itself breaking out into a cold sweat. Isn’t it amazing how the US federal workers get back to work and the politicians and the mainstream media believe that things are all hunky dory in the good old Land of Dreams? Dream on! The problem has only been temporarily solved and it won’t go away as it has nothing to do with brinkmanship or gamesmanship as it always has done in the past. It’s the whole system that needs an overhaul. The swamp needs dragging so that we can get rid of the swamp flies that have been feeding off the country.

How many times have I heard people (including US citizens and not just the politicians) harping on about how resilient the US economy is, how much the Chinese will never be better than them and how they will always be top of the roost? The US has been waning for decades now on a credit-rich, cash-poor economy where the order of the day is reduced salaries and increased taxation while the unemployment numbers just keep getting cranked up one more notch.

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Jul 242013
 

Rather than expanding the money supply, quantitative easing (QE) has actually caused it to shrink by sucking up the collateral needed by the shadow banking system to create credit. The “failure” of QE has prompted the Bank for International Settlements to urge the Fed to shirk its mandate to pursue full employment, but the sort of QE that could fulfill that mandate has not yet been tried.

Ben Bernanke’s May 29th speech signaling the beginning of the end of QE3 provoked a “taper tantrum” that wiped about $3 trillion from global equity markets – this from the mere suggestion that the Fed would moderate its pace of asset purchases, and that if the economy continues to improve, it might stop QE3 altogether by mid-2014. The Fed is currently buying $85 billion in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities per month.

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Jul 032013
 

America governs lawlessly. Out-of-control rogues run things. Conditions go from bad to worse. Tyranny threatens everyone. So does possible global war.

Fear-mongering, saber rattling, hot wars, proxy ones, drone ones, geopolitical ones, financial ones, anti-populist ones, mass incarceration, censorship, lawless sanctions, subversion, sabotage, targeted assassinations, mass murder, cyberwar, and horrific draconian harshness reflect out-of control governance gone mad.

Lying is official policy. So is state terror. Independent governments aren’t tolerated. They’re targeted. Regime change is prioritized. World peace is threatened. Humanity’s menaced. Survival’s uncertain.

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Jun 122013
 

Like the U.S., many democratic nations are suffering from permanently high unemployment, staggering public debts and budget deficits, and a deep economic recession. Although many people blame politicians for their problems, virtually no one ever considers blaming the democratic system for our woes. If you think about it, however, it’s clear that it’s the collectivist nature of democracy that has led us into this hole.

Over the last 150 years, government debts have grown inexorably. During that period, average government spending increased from 12% of GDP to a hefty 47% among major Western countries.

At the same time, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations ballooned from one to a whopping 200 books. This shows that government interference into the private lives of individuals has mushroomed and that democracy is a danger to liberty.

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Jun 072013
 

Why does a large portion of the population choose not to work when there are many jobs available? The answer is simple. If you can receive 2-3 times as much money from unemployment, disability, and/or welfare benefits (subsidized housing, food stamps, free cellphones, etc.) as you can from a temporary or part-time job, and live a life of leisure, why work? In 2011, the U.S. government spent over $800 billion[1] on this “welfare,” exceeding expenditures on Social Security or Medicare.

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