The multiplier for government spending makes no sense. I think this is another example of the broken window fallacy. A dollar in the private sector is either sitting idle or being used to create wealth. If government takes that dollar and spends it, it destroys wealthy by taking it from where it was satisfying the desires of the person who created that dollar of wealth to someplace that didn't. After government spends it, the dollar is once again in the private sector sitting idle or being used to create wealth, but in a perverted location that drags our economy into a less productive state. The only thing that's changed is the country is poorer for having the dollar taken from the person who created that wealth, making our economy less productive. In this argument, what's not seen is what that dollar was doing before government seized it. Even when a dollar is sitting idle, i.e. being saved but not loaned, it's still influencing interest rates. All money is available for use at the right price.
Peter Schiff says the decade from hell is coming, not going.
"Under no circumstances could the past ten years be described as "the decade from hell." In fact, in terms of economic good fortune, the period shares parallels with the Roaring Twenties. I would describe this as a decade of sin that paved the way to hell.
Yes, we had spectacular problems like September 11th and the invasion of Iraq – which were horrific for those who were directly affected – but for most Americans, it was a time of unexpected wealth and unearned prosperity. Up to the days of the stock market crash, the economics of the decade will be remembered for cash-out refinancing for millions of homeowners, no-doc liar loans, no-money-down car purchases, eight-figure Wall Street bonuses, cheap Chinese imports, and trample-to-death holiday sales. In other words, the decade now closing gave us the biggest and most irresponsible spending orgy in U.S. history. The past decade was the party; the one ahead will be the hangover."
It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Successful Austrian school investors are shorting the S&P, government bonds and the political economy.
"Capitalism is primarily attacked by two groups: utopians who wish to impose a more "compassionate" system, and political capitalists who want to enjoy the fruits of success without bearing the pain of failure. They use the coercion of the state to gain privileges, at the expense of everyone else."I love how truth can be presented in such concise a concise way. Lies, as politicians show us every day, take a lot of words to confuse people into believing them. Truth is simple and elegant.
"We are essentially doing a long-short strategy -- long physical gold, short the Standard & Poor's 500. At the 1980 peak, the ratio of the gold price to the S&P was about six times; at the low in 2000, it got down to 0.2; today it is at about one. We can go to two, three, four times.
We're essentially short the political economy, and the most politically connected firm is Goldman Sachs [GS]. It has two sides: a highly secretive and profitable trading operation, and a more pedestrian public business. Our suspicion is that their secret sauce is access to friends in high places, and that the model breaks when it either flies too close to the sun or a public backlash opens them up to scrutiny. Trading and principal investments account for 67% of net revenue this year, the highest level ever. Goldman, aggressively plying the risk trade, is vulnerable to the next leg down."
I hope Goldman finally pays the piper.
We're not anywhere near Peak Oil.
"The facts backing up this assertion are simple: every year in the past 60 years has had more petroleum reserves at the end of the year than at the beginning."And unless Al Gore gets his way, this will continue to be true. People didn't need government to develop coal in order to move people from burning wood, they didn't need government to develop oil in order to move people from burning coal, and we don't need government to develop whatever we'll transition to after oil. All government can do is slow down the development of alternative energy because every interference in the market makes it less productive.
Climate frauds say meteorologists can't predict the weather next week because the system (the earth and sun) is too complex, but they can predict the climate in 50 or 100 years even though the system (the earth and sun) is just as complex.
I bet Al Gore has a bigger carbon footprint that every village in Africa, and while he flies around demanding people give up their electricity and his friends block the development of power plants in Africa, Africans die from dysentery because they cook on dung fueled stoves.
The Ninth Circuit makes a lot of stupid rulings, but not blocking victims of cops from sueing over being tasered is a fantastic ruling. It's about time these thugs get held accountable for electrocuting people. Electrocution is a dangerous, barbaric practice and should be outlawed. We don't allow interrogators to electrocute terrorists, and rightly so. Allowing cops to electrocute Americans is an abomination. Saying they were just following orders, or in this case, their training, is no defense.
This is an import question: Is aviation security mostly for show? It's important that Americans start thinking skeptically about our government and what we read and hear on the news. I have no idea how much of aviation security is for show and how much is for real, but clearly much of it is for show. Not letting passengers go to the rest room in the last hour of a flight adds zero to security and is intended solely to provide a false sense of security - it's for show. Many other restrictions, restrictions that have a real cost to travelers, are for show, and that's stupid.
""Security theater" refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards."I like the term security theater.
"When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense."That sums it up.
"Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time."Yes!
"But even as we do all of this we cannot neglect the feeling of security, because it's how we collectively overcome the psychological damage that terrorism causes. It's not security theater we need, it's direct appeals to our feelings. The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability, the kind of strength shown by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.
By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.
We should treat terrorists like common criminals and give them all the benefits of true and open justice -- not merely because it demonstrates our indomitability, but because it makes us all safer."
I'm all for Congress rescinding its declaration of war on al Qaeda and returning terrorism to a criminal activity. We should have done that after we ousted al Qaeda from Afghanistan in 2002. But as long as that declaration of war is active, we have to treat al Qaeda like enemy combatants to avoid the consequences of blurring the sharp line between prisoners of war and criminals. As soon as we blur that line, our government will start treating American citizens like prisoners of war, it's already started, and that we can never allow.
Why is the TSA harassing bloggers for posting its new security directives? Why would they be secret anyway? How can people meet the security requirements if they're not aware of them? The war on terror is running amok, you cannot have both freedom and perpetual war and we need to end this war.
Here's another one of those elegant truths:"Government is the only human enterprise that profits from failure."Imagine what would have happened if a private security firm had failed to stop this guy from getting on the plane - the individual who passed him would have paid a price and his company would have paid of price, possibly losing the security contract at that airport. But the government agent won't lose his or her job, and the government agency will end up with more funding because of this failure. It's not hard to figure out which of those options would produce superior security. A passenger on the flight reports:
""An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said `This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.' The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17 (although I think he is 23 he doesn't look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said `you can't board without a passport.' The Indian man then replied, `He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.' I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said `You will have to talk to my manager,' and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn't on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.""So not only did government security fail to stop the underwear bomber, management assisted him in getting on the plane despite not having a passport. Another Indian man was found to have a bomb in his carry-on after the plane landed. Another witness says a man calmly videotaped the entire incident.
Timeline of clues government missed in stopping the underwear bomber.
China searching to build overseas navy base. The reason conservatives would be up in arms about this, differentiating between the US and China, is China is a dictatorship a the US is ostensibly a free country. Until we convince them that the US isn't free and that the greatest threat we face is from the federal government, conservatives will continue believing in the illusion of great differences between our government and the Chinese government. Let's get to the real question: Why can't China refuel its navy in other ports? Why can't we?
How Marxism has gravely damaged American society.
"Perhaps the greatest influence of communism in the United States is upon the political thinking of the American people. Many ideas that have achieved widespread acceptance in the United States on the part of people who have no sympathy with communism are derived directly from Marxist doctrine, but most people who hold those ideas are ignorant of their source."All you have to do is look at Marx's ten precursors for communism and see how many we've adopted already.
Fox plays hardball with Time Warner, which may remove it from its service while a contract is worked out. Fox is counting on its huge audience to pound Time Warner for taking it off the air, and I think Fox is right. I bet it gets a super deal from this strategy. John Kerry should keep his nose out of this and let the parties reach a voluntary agreement.