So the question is how do we sanction you Mr Obama, you who violate the sovereignty and privacy of the Americans and also stealing the assets of the American people…
President Obama announced that he signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on “individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people.”
Someone summarized Barack Obama in three words — “educated,” “smart” and “ignorant.” Unfortunately, those same three words would describe all too many of the people who come out of our most prestigious colleges and universities today.
President Obama seems completely unaware of how many of the policies he is trying to impose have been tried before, in many times and places around the world, and have failed time and again.
Economic equality? That was tried in the 19th century, in communities set up by Robert Owen, the man who coined the term “socialism.” Those communities all collapsed.
Wealth is relative. Those are probably the three most important words in personal finance. Gary makes $25,000 a week and feels inadequate. Pete makes $25,000 a year and feels so rich that he retired eight years out of college. How rich you are has very little to do with how much money you have in the bank and a lot to do with your expectations of what you need that money to do for you. It’s a two-part equation, and a lot of people become miserable ignoring the second part.
Eduardo Porter asks how much the housing bubble and its collapse cost us in his column today. (He actually asks about the financial crisis, but this was secondary. The damage was caused by the loss of demand driven by bubble wealth in a context where we had nothing to replace it.) Porter throws out some estimates from different sources, but there are some fairly straightforward ways to get some numbers from authoritative sources.
When the corporate cash dam bursts, everything will be ok, right? Well, maybe.
Investors betting that the past year of more than 20 percent gains in western stock marketscan be echoed, or at least sustained, through 2014 have long assumed that a corporate spending revival will nurture a building economic recovery.
The argument is simple. Years of banking crises, credit droughts and economic uncertainty have prevented businesses investing for the future. Instead, they have clipped costs, wages and jobs and built up huge stockpiles of cash rather than investing in new plants, staff, updated technology, equipment or acquisitions.
As the economic fog lifts, this idle, near zero-yielding cash will surely be put back to work eventually, they argue, creating a potentially virtuous circle of greater demand, higher growth, earningsand employment all round.
The problem, however, is that assumes cash stockpiling has all been due simply to a hiatus in the economic cycle. Many argue the hoarding is instead driven by more durable demographic trends and political reforms that are stirring corporate anxiety about exposure to soaring pension and healthcare costs as workforces age and government coffers shrink.
In 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. shared his Dream with the nation, he never envisioned an America where ‘reproductive justice’ would end more than 56 million innocent human lives. His dream never pictured a nation where black boys and black girls would never be able to join hands with white boys and white girls, as sisters and brothers, because ‘freedom of choice’ determined some humans are simply not equal. New York has the second highest abortion rate in America and the second highest total number of abortions, exceeding 100,000 annually. There is obviously no lack of access. Yet, liberal legislators in the state want to decriminalize all abortions allowing the violent procedure through the entire 9 months of pregnancy.
IN my last year on Wall Street my bonus was $3.6 million — and I was angry because it wasn’t big enough. I was 30 years old, had no children to raise, no debts to pay, no philanthropic goal in mind. I wanted more money for exactly the same reason an alcoholic needs another drink: I was addicted.
Money managers are wondering whether soft earnings will justify more stock gains, given the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 26.5% rise last year. That helps explain why the Dow is down 118 points to start the year.
Among their biggest questions: Just how expensive are stocks, anyway? Are they overpriced compared with likely earnings gains? What do stocks typically do when they get this pricey? What should investors do?
Profits are dangerously elevated by all reasonable measures. S&P 500 Index real earnings per share are far above their long-term historical trend. Industry profit margins are at or near all-time highs. Corporate profits, both as a percentage of GDP and relative to labor income, are at or near record levels. The dramatic rise in income inequality is a direct consequence of this spectacular reallocation of income to capital and away from labor.
While conservatives (and populists of many stripes) typically attack the growth of centralized bureaucracy in Washington DC, we are failing to perceive how fully bureaucratic rule nowadays permeates every level of government right down to many small town councils and county commissions.Consider, for example, the more than three dozen cases reported around the country of local bureaucrats flexing their power to stamp out the menace of . . . children’s lemonade stands. The Coralville, Iowa, police shut down 4-year-old Abigail Krstinger’s sidewalk lemonade stand because she lacked a $400 city permit—a feat duplicated in Midway, Georgia; Appleton, Wisconsin; and McAllen, Texas. This kind of bureaucratic blunderbuss wasn’t limited just to phantom fears of an obscure lemon juice-borne bacteria. Local bureaucracies have even restricted or stopped annual Girl Scout cookie sales drives.
These mindless expressions of bureaucratic rule didn’t stem from any mandate from Washington DC. These idiocies were self-generated at the local level. Ask a businessperson or entrepreneur where the most significant regulatory hurdles come from today: most will say local or state government rather than Washington DC.
World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.
President Obama on Tuesday said he’s “not just going to be waiting for legislation” from Congress to move forward his agenda in 2014, further stoking a clash between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue over the reach of executive power.
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said before a Cabinet meeting at the White House, issuing a challenge to GOP lawmakers who have blocked most of his second-term agenda.
Obama is hailing 2014 as a “year of action” after enduring the roughest 12-month stretch of his presidency.
If everything goes according to plan, Laurie Pickard will earn her MBA in three years for less than $1,000. She’ll take classes from Harvard, Wharton, and Yale, among other top-tier schools. And she’ll tackle it all while keeping her full-time job as a rural enterprise development and entrepreneurship specialist at USAID. She’ll accomplish all of this from Kigali, Rwanda.
It sounds too good to be true. But Pickard, 32, is determined to pull it off. If successful, she’ll arguably be the first person in the world to cobble together an MBA program from massive open online courses (MOOCs), free or low-cost classes accessible to anyone with Internet access.
Pickard didn’t plan to pave the way for earning a dirt-cheap business education. In fact, she initially had her sights set on a more conventional path — and she has the background to get into an elite program. Pickard’s resume includes a B.A. in politics from Oberlin College, an M.A. in geography and urban studies from Temple University, and stints with the Peace Corps and the International Finance Corporation in Nicaragua.
A pioneering climate scientist with decades at Harvard and MIT, Lindzen sees his discipline as being deeply compromised by political pressure, data fudging, out-and-out guesswork, and wholly unwarranted alarmism. In a shot across the bow of what many insist is indisputable scientific truth, Lindzen characterizes global warming as “small and . . . nothing to be alarmed about.” In the climate debate—on which hinge far-reaching questions of public policy—them’s fightin’ words.
The survey, conducted this past week, found that 40 percent of Americans now work more than 40 hours per week, including nine percent who work more than 50 hours per week.
Last May, Rasmussen found that 33 percent of Americans worked more than 40 hours per week, including 11 percent who worked more than 50 hours weekly. The most recent survey suggests that, in just seven months, the number of Americans working more than 40 hours per week has increased.
According to the survey published Friday, 28 percent of Americans now work less than 40 hours per week, which is a drop of six points from 34 percent in the May survey.
The survey of 623 employed adults had a margin of sampling error of +/- three percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
In a Rasmussen survey released in November, Americans were found to be more pessimistic about the U.S. job market than they have been in nearly two years.
Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, just 19 percent believed the job market is better than it was one year ago, a decline of six points from September and the lowest finding since December of 2011.
As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. State officials are scrambling to change the rule.
As the investigation into the shooting at Arapahoe High School continues, law enforcement officials stress that the presence of an armed guard in the school “was the key factor in preventing more deaths and injuries.”
A new report released from the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) has found that the Obama Administration delayed enacting regulations that could adversely affect the 2012 presidential election. The ACUS is an independent agency that advises the government on regulatory matters.
Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.
Obama’s tough speech on income inequality earlier this month was delivered at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta. As chief of staff to Bill Clinton, Podesta helped lead the charge to deregulate Wall Street, which resulted in the banking bubble that wiped out the savings of tens of millions of Americans.
But instead of chastising Podesta for the errors of his ways, Obama in 2008 appointed him to oversee his presidential transition team. That led to the appointment of Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, two former Clinton officials responsible for the banking meltdown, to repair it. Just this past week, it was announced that John Podesta would be reappointed as a senior adviser to the Obama White House.
John Podesta should not be confused with his brother Tony, although both were founding partners of the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm that has represented Walmart, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America and BP along with dozens of other multinational corporations.
Tony still heads the lobbying firm, but John left when he joined the Clinton administration and subsequently founded the Center for American Progress, a think tank that attracts major funding from defense, energy and pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes the Podesta brothers work on opposite sides of the policy street, but both are big contributors to the Democratic Party, and it doesn’t hurt for lobbyist Tony to have the same last name as brother John, an Obama insider.
The housing market appears to be in better shape than it really is and investors should be wary regarding investing in Housing stocks, investing in property not as a primary residence, and should conduct a thorough analysis of their own financial obligations with regards to their primary residence.
In many parts of the world real estate prices have risen quite substantially due to several factors, one is foreign buyers trying to move money out of their home countries for security purposes. Another is institutional investors hoping to buy low and sell high in an investment strategy, and then there are the small to medium size professional flippers who buy properties, make some cosmetic changes, and hope to sell these properties into an improving market because supply is artificially tighter, and the broader economy is better than when they originally purchased the properties.
During 2013, America continued to steadily march down a self-destructive path toward oblivion. As a society, our debt levels are completely and totally out of control. Our financial system has been transformed into the largest casino on the entire planet and our big banks are behaving even more recklessly than they did just before the last financial crisis. We continue to see thousands of businesses and millions of jobs get shipped out of the United States, and the middle class is being absolutely eviscerated. Due to the lack of decent jobs, poverty is absolutely exploding. Government dependence is at an all-time high and crime is rising. Evidence of social and moral decay is seemingly everywhere, and our government appears to be going insane. If we are going to have any hope of solving these problems, the American people need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and finally admit how bad things have actually become. If we all just blindly have faith that “everything is going to be okay”, the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions are going to absolutely blindside us and we will be absolutely devastated by the great crisis that is rapidly approaching. The United States is in a massive amount of trouble, and it is time that we all started facing the truth. The following are 83 numbers from 2013 that are almost too crazy to believe…
Over 50 Sailors who served on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) are Suffering from Thyroid Cancer, Leukemia, and Brain Tumors after participating in Humanitarian assistance during the Japanese earthquake of 2011.
During the Fukushima Nuclear rescue efforts, sailors onboard the USS Ronald Reagan and apart of the battle group that responded to the disaster, were exposed to high levels of radioactive material while afloat off the East coast of Japan.