Sunday, April 21, 2013

Well Said...

"In the eyes of the empire builders men are not men, but instruments."

~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

US Insolvent

According to Rob Gordan of Sovereign Investor (2013, April 7):
  • America has not passed a budget since April of 2009 -- almost three and a half years.
  • US annual income is $2 trillion, while US total debt obligations are $121 trillion (that’s a debt ratio of 60/1 -- typically anything over 1/1 is a significant red flag for investors, indicating that the entity of interest may not be able to pay its debts in 12 months’ time).
  • Since 1900, US expenses have increased by an average of 24% a year, while revenues have risen only 15% year.
  • The US has lost money 42 out of the last 47 years.
  • The US expenses are 56% higher than its revenues.
  • The US expects to double its debt within the next 10 years (the interest on that debt alone will equal $1 trillion a year).
  • The US now owes 885% of its GDP, more than any other industrialized country.
  • The US debt per capita is higher than Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
Read More

Let's face it, the US is insolvent.

Source: Gordan, R (2013, April 7), "We're in Uncharted Economic Territory...", Sovereign Investor.

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The Pointless Impasse Between Big Government Democrats and Military-Industrial Republicans

The pointless battle and impasse between big government Democrats and military-industrial Republicans is constructive for Federalism, but destructive for society. Never before have the interests of Federalism and society been so far apart. Herein lies the dilemma for the future -- how to reform Federalism into a system that maintains capitalism while serving society’s needs.

In my view, neither the big government Democrats or military-industrial Republicans have a complete policy platform and approach to meeting those dualist needs. Only the minimum government and maximum liberty Libertarians have solutions that meet the future needs of both capitalism and society. Either the US turns to Libertarianism, or the USA may not make it through the 21st century. I’m sorry I do not have better news or advice for the nation.

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10 Reasons to Become an Entrepreneur

James Altucher of Huffington Post (2013, April 5) posits ten cogent reasons why people might consider quitting their corporate jobs and heading out on their own as entrepreneurs in the coming year:
  1. The middle class is dead.
  2. You've been replaced.
  3. Corporations do not like you.
  4. Money is not happiness.
  5. Too many people can make a major decision that can ruin your life.
  6. Your job is not satisfying your needs.
  7. Your retirement plan is inadequate.
  8. You are running out of excuses.
  9. Small steps toward self-employment are feasible.
  10. You realize that abundance will never come from your job.
Read More

I generally try to talk people out of becoming entrepreneurs because the risks are great -- you can lose everything. However, those with the predisposition and resources for entrepreneurship will always take the leap regardless. For the record, I have owned and operated my own business since 1992 with no regrets. More about my business at:

Source: Altucher, J (2013, April 5), 10 Reasons to Quit Your Job This Year, Huffington Post.

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Friday, April 05, 2013

US Employment to Population Ratio in Stagnation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US employment to population ratio* for March 2013 stood at 58.2%, up from 58.1% the previous month, but down from 58.3% the previous year. The US employment to population ratio has been trending downwards since 2000.

Many economists believe that reporting the number employed as a percentage of the civilian population provides a more accurate description of the current state of employment than conjecturing the number of "unemployed" in a population. The US employment to population ratio reached an historical peak of 64.4% on an annual basis in 2000.

*The BLS defines employment and population (civilian noninstitutional) as follows:
Employment consists of all persons who, during the reference week (the calendar week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, or (b) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.... The civilian noninstitutional population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Geriatric View of Monetary Policy

The notion that the world is coming to an end because of wanton monetary expansion (i.e., "printing" money) by the Federal Reserve is a very stale argument. In fact, the argument is offensive to large segments of the population who are suffering from money shortages. Such preposterous claims are generally made by old people who ironically, are the biggest victims of their own thinking. I am not one of those people and have a different view.

The US cannot build a nation upon false geriatric claims of excess money in the economy. The problem is much more complicated than that, and always has been. But then, that's why old people are old, and why we cut them a break.

It's time for people to let go of the past and accept a more progressive, and hopefully pluralistic view of how best to distribute scarce resources in modern times. It's time for society to join the 21st century.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Santorum Sets Record Straight on Republicanism

"We’re not the Libertarian Party, we’re the Republican Party."

~ Rick Santorum

Hon Richard John "Rick" Santorum (1958- )

Exactly! The Libertarian Party is the only political party that stands for minimum government and maximum liberty. More at:

Libertarian Party

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Today's Worry is Deflation, Not Inflation

According to James Surowiecki of the New Yorker (2013, April 8):
The war-on-savers crowd makes Bernanke out to be a wild-eyed ideologue, willfully risking hyperinflation and sacrificing the well-being of retirees to his reckless schemes. But, if you look at the US economy, you don’t see any of the signs you’d expect if the Fed were acting recklessly: the money supply is not growing rapidly, and inflation is trivially low. If anything, Fed policy has been too cautious; it could have done more to rev up the economy. Sumner has argued that the Fed could have set a public target for nominal GDP and committed itself to printing as much money as needed to get there. And a new research paper from the New York Fed suggests that we should have aimed at a higher rate of inflation, which would have stimulated spending and investment by making it less attractive to just park money in the bank. Bernanke’s critics like to point to the still weak job market as evidence that the Fed’s policy hasn’t worked. It’s far more likely evidence that the Fed hasn’t gone far enough.
Read More

Let's face it, inflation today is tame. The bigger near-term worry is deflation.

Source: Surowiecki, J (2013, April 8), Shut Up, Savers! New Yorker.

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Well Said...

"Democracy and liberty are not the same. Democracy is little more than mob rule, while liberty refers to the sovereignty of the individual."

~ Walter E Williams

Prof Walter Edward Williams (1936- )

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