Fifty years ago, U.S. silver coins disappeared from circulation, symbolizing a profound shift in the behavior of the government with respect to money.
You don’t get economic growth without investment. Capital comes from savings and profits. Period. Every tax and regulation that hurt the creation of capital and punish the rewards of successful risk-taking hurt everyone–but most particularly those with the least, who want, as Lincoln put it, to improve their lot in life. It’s not enough to invent something great. You have to have an environment in which entrepreneurs can turn inventions into marketplace products that become increasingly better, cheaper and more accessible to all.
Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile. But through constant experimentation and two painful bankruptcies he turned what had been a toy for tinkerers and the rich (a car in the early 1900s cost the equivalent of more than $100,000 today) into something every working person could afford. Steve Jobs and Michael Dell did the same with personal computers. If you had tried to build an iPhone in the early 1990s, the cost would have been more than $3.5 million.
Shortages of everything from water to car parts and flour to pregnancy tests come after three months of protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro that have left at least 41 people dead. The government yesterday said it will start rationing electricity and water as drought drains hydroelectric reservoirs and water tanks.
GAO report notes exorbitant prices act as de facto subsidy for biofuel firms
Mac Faber: I’m Worried About A Crisis Bigger Than 2008
In the USA, it’s OK to fail and fail and try again. In most of Europe and much of the world, the attitude is: You had your shot, you failed, and now you should just go work for someone else.
But this limits the possibilities. And some of America’s biggest successes came from people who failed often.
We know that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, but few people know that Edison filed 1,000 patents for ideas that went nowhere. He was fired by the telegraph office. He lost money investing in a cement company and an iron business.
Henry Ford’s first company failed completely. Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 publishers. Oprah was fired from her first job as a reporter. A TV station called her “unfit for TV.”
But they all kept striving—and succeeded. They were lucky to live in America, where investors and your neighbors encourage you to try and try again. We are lucky to benefit from their persistence.
But those happy experiments are less likely to happen today. Now there are many more rules, and regulators add hundreds of pages of new ones every week.
“Are we still a capitalist democracy or have we gone over into an oligarchic form of society in which incredible economic and political power now rests with the billionaire class?” Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist, asked that question of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Yellen said she’d “prefer not to give labels,” but she admitted to being very concerned about income inequality.
“So, all of the statistics on inequality that you’ve cited are ones that greatly concern me, and I think for the same reason that you’re concerned about them. They can shape the — determine the ability of different groups to participate equally in the democracy and have grave effects on social stability over time.
Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, referencing the Congressional Budget Office’s long-term budget projections, told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today that under current policies the federal government’s deficits “will rise to unsustainable levels.”
In the 10-year budget projections it released in April, the CBO estimated that the federal government will run $7.618 trillion in deficits from 2015 through 2024. At the same time, the CBO projected that the federal government’s debt held by the public would rise from $11.983 trillion at the end of fiscal 2013 to $20.947 trillion by the end of 2024.
The first Tetrad since the Middle Ages, in 1493, saw the expulsion of Jews by the Catholic Spanish Inquisition, which rocked western Europe.
The second coincided with the establishment of the State of Israel – after thousands of years of struggle – in 1949.
Strangely, the last one occurred in 1967 – far earlier than expected – precisely at the time of the Six-Day Arab–Israeli War.
A spokesman for NASA said: “This is the first eclipse of the year and is well placed for observers throughout the Western Hemisphere.
“It will occur at the lunar orbit’s ascending node in Virgo.
“This is the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015 – a series known as a Tetrad.”
“Not only are there four blood moons on 4/15/14, 10/8/14, 4/4/15, and 9/28/15, but the added significance is that the total solar eclipse on 3/20/15 is on the biblical calendar of Nisan 1. Nisan 1 begins the religious New Year according to the scriptures,” Biltz explained. “This date was the grand opening of Moses tabernacle in the wilderness. This is the day a great sign came and fire fell to light the burnt offering.
“So here we have a total solar eclipse beginning the religious year followed two weeks later by a total lunar eclipse/blood moon on Passover followed by the next solar eclipse (partial) on Sept 13th which just so happens to be Rosh Hashanah!”
HUMPHRIES: Give members of Congress a million dollars a year - (video after the jump)
That’s not a “fact” at all Congressman Moron, I’m mean Moran. That’s kooky. America is not a single company, and Congress is not our board of directors. Not even CLOSE. If they really do think of themselves that way, it might explain why the country is in so much trouble, especially since most politicians couldn’t figure out how to make a profit selling carrots to snowmen.
The “board of directors” of a company would be expected to produce a budget, unlike Congress these days. And it would have to balance. They wouldn’t be able to unload scam products like ObamaCare on their customers.
Also, America isn’t a single economic entity, and thank God for that. We’re filled with thousands of companies, millions of people, who cooperate and compete. The LAST thing we’d ever need is a bunch of directors in Washington trying to manage everything.
But maybe we should take Rep. Moran up on his offer, and start treating Congress like the board of directors for America Inc. How about if we change their pay package so it’s based on the national gross domestic product, the unemployment rate, and the deficit? If they give us a growing economy with low unemployment and a balanced budget, we will give them a sweet bonus. Otherwise, they’ll have to do a lot of belt-tightening — just like we do.
If politicians want to get treated like business tycoons, they should accept the responsibilities of a businessman, too. Responsibilities? That’s no fun. It’s a lot more fun to spend other peoples money to keep your cushy little job, no matter what you’re paid
The investment bank’s April survey of 148 brokers found that this quarter, the average premium increase for customers renewing an insurance plan is 12 percent in the small group market and 11 percent in the individual market, according to Forbes’ Scott Gottlieb.
The hikes — the largest in the past three years, according to Morgan Stanley’s quarterly reports — are “largely due to changes under the [Affordable Care Act],” analysts concluded. Rates have been growing increasingly fast throughout all of 2013, after a period of drops in 2012
The latest survey found that states seeing the steepest price increases for off-exchange individual plans include Delaware—where off-exchange plans increased by 100 percent, New Hampshire increased by 90 percent, Indiana by 54 percent, California by 53 percent and Connecticut by 45 percent.
Meanwhile, as Forbes noted, small group market plans increased the most in Washington by 588 percent, Pennsylvania by 66 percent and California by 37 percent.
Meanwhile, premiums for plans purchased on the state and federal exchanges tend to have cheaper premiums than comparable employer-based plans, though they have higher deductibles.
A report released by PwC’s Health Research Institute found that the average cost of premiums sold on the Obamacare exchanges is about $5,844 annually —or 4 percent less than the average cost of $6,119 for an employer-provided plan with comparable benefits.
As a proud new beneficiary of the Affordable Health Care Act, I’d like to report that I am doctorless. Ninety-six. Ninety-six is the number of soul crushing rejections that greeted me as I attempted to find one. It’s the number of physicians whose secretaries feigned empathy while rehearsing the “I’m so sorry” line before curtly hanging up. You see, when the rush of the formerly uninsured came knocking, doctors in my New Jersey town began closing their doors and promptly telling insurance companies that they had no room for new patients.
Call it the million-worker mystery.
A large chunk of American adults are no longer in the labor force. That has left economists divided over how many of them are voluntarily not working—or even looking for work—because they wanted to retire, go to school or take care of family members, versus how many have been forced out because they couldn’t find a job.
“Almost everyone who’s looked rigorously at the numbers thinks both of those things are going on,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.
What they can’t agree on is what is more prevalent—leaving the workplace on purpose or getting left out even as the economy improves.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have created a “thinking cap” that electrically stimulates the brain to increase its ability to learn from mistakes.
We performed a re-analysis of the data from Navarro et al (2003) in which health symptoms related to microwave exposure from mobile phone base stations (BSs) were explored, including data obtained in a retrospective inquiry about fear of exposure from BSs
The Census Bureau’s Philadelphia office wasn’t just corrupting the nation’s unemployment rate by fabricating data. It was also filing false information about inflation in this country.
Just how large an effect this fraud was having on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — and consequently the cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients and others — is not yet known.
A BloombergView column written by William D. Cohan summarizes the latest thinking of Seth Klarman, the highly respected hedge-fund manager whose 1991 value-oriented investment book, Margin of Safety, sells on Amazon.com for $1,495 for a used copy.
Writing in his latest investment letter, Klarman, the founder of Boston-based Baupost Group, argues that he sees artificially high prices everywhere he looks in the stock and bond markets.
Why is Gross Output such a big deal? Because it measures the economy in a far more comprehensive and accurate manner. GDP represents the value of all final products and services. It ignores all the steps that go into the making of these things. It’s sort of like looking at a carton of milk and paying no heed to everything that goes into creating that milk and getting the carton onto the store shelf.
GDP thus gives a distorted picture of the economy. How many times do we read that consumption represents 70% of the economy and therefore it’s important to “stimulate demand” by increasing government spending?
In figuring GDP, government spending is said to represent 20% of the economy, investment a measly 13%. (Incredibly, imports are counted as a negative for the economy and subtract 3% from GDP. Protectionists love this absurdity.)
GO counts all the intermediate steps in the making of products and services. The results are stunning: Consumption is 40% of the economy, not 70%; government outlays are down to 9%; and business spending soars to 50%.
This new statistic will also better reflect the volatility in the ups and downs of economic activity. The 2007–09 recession was deeper than GDP figures reflected, the recovery somewhat better.
The Congressional Budget Office’s recent analysis of the Democratic proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour was widely reported to result in a loss of 500,000 jobs.
Yet that estimate didn’t account for the ObamaCare employer mandate. The nonpartisan scorekeeper said that combining a minimum-wage hike with ObamaCare’s employer penalties would likely cause deeper job losses than a wage hike alone.
What has the American taxpayer received in return for billions of dollars siphoned through the IMF to deadbeat governments? Nothing but ill will from abroad. First, the IMF’s policy of lending millions, or billions, to fiscally mismanaged governments is counterproductive: Such bailouts help to prop up inept and/or corrupt governments. Second, bailouts create moral hazard, inducing private corporations and banks to lend funds to poor credit risks, confident that IMF funds will make them whole. Third, typical IMF rescue packages demand painful readjustments: 1) government spending cuts—e.g., shrinking popular programs, laying off a percentage of government employees, reducing government pensions—that understandably angers those adversely affected; 2) higher taxes in the name of balancing the budget.
From the Ezra Klein-led media outlet whose goal “isn’t telling you what just happened, or how we feel about what just happened, it’s making sure you understand what just happened,” comes this bit of brilliant ‘splainin’: “Stop freaking out about the debt.” Seriously. Because, as narrator Matthew Yglesias explains in a mind-blowing animated video, “the U.S. government can never run out of dollars. Unlike you, or the company you work for, or the town you live in, the federal government prints dollars.”
As of June 30, 2013, total local government debt and contingent liabilities had reached 17.89 trillion yuan (almost $2.9 trillion), up 63 percent from the end of 2010, announced China’s National Audit Office at the end of last year.
One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This newest estimate is based on the CDC’s evaluation of health and educational records of all 8-year-old children in 11 states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah and New Jersey.
The incidence of autism ranged from a low of 1 in 175 children in Alabama to a high of 1 in 45 in New Jersey, according to the CDC.
Children with autism continue to be overwhelmingly male. According to the new report, the CDC estimates 1 in 42 boys have autism, 4.5 times as many as girls (1 in 189).
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.”