Friday, March 27, 2009

Sooooo...You Think the Housing Crisis is Over? Yeah...Me Too!!

According to Establishment cheerleaders and evangelists, the housing crisis is now over. It conjures in my mind an accident scene: "C'mon people. Keep moving. There's nothing to see here." Hmmmm...

Just about a week ago, the Federal Reserve contributed mightily to the primary ingredient that caused the housing crisis in the first place. By socializing the liabilities for stupid investments, Timothy Geithner's plan for dealing with bad bank assets makes the economic situation even worse.

Those who really think the housing crisis is over don't understand the problem.

Problem #1: Federal Reserve Prints More Funny Money.

On March 19th, the Federal Reserve produced more of what it's best at producing--funny money.
With the country sinking deeper into recession, the Federal Reserve launched a bold $1.2 trillion effort Wednesday to lower rates on mortgages and other consumer debt, spur spending and revive the economy.
This is supposed to fix something? They know

I'm feeling so warm and fuzzy with reassurance now that I must have just peed my pants.

it won't fix the housing crisis, and they're gambling on the likelihood that you won't know that.

But hey, the housing crisis is over regardless of reality! To the Light Brigade, I say, "Charge!" To the Titanic, I say, "It's just an ice cube!" Reuters reports that we have nothing to fear. So, by gum, it must be.

With a new infusion of drugs to the American economic crack addict, the housing problem that needs time to right itself will be exacerbated. Much of the glut

But hey, the housing crisis is over regardless of reality! To the Light Brigade, I say, "Charge!" To the Titanic, I say, "It's just an ice cube!"

of vacant housing that would have gradually been reduced will now sit idle for a longer period of time as lenders run pell mell to lend the Fed's new money, and the construction industry interprets that as a signal that they should build more new houses. It's a violation of Economics 101 all over again. Prepare for housing crisis #2.

Problem #2: Timothy Geither and the March to Public-Private Socialism

From one perspective, socialism is the distribution of risk and the results of failure evenly across society. I don't know about you, but I'd rather be on the hook my my own mistakes only. I've made enough of them for myself. I just haven't gotten used to paying for the failures of politicians and their friends on Wall Street.

I'll never get used to it, but the Federal Government,

The problem will go away of its own accord (without bureaucratic tinkering), similar to how the sun gradually dries out the muddy ground after a sustained thunderstorm. But every time the Federal Reserve tries to fix it, such actions have made and will make the problem both longer and worse.

both Republican and Democrat is "banking" that you will. On top of bailout packages and stimulus plans comes now the socialization of (your) responsibility for bad bank assets. Along the lines of this latest economy-destroying tactic, Timothy Geithner, the United States Treasury Secretary, came out with a poppycock plan for our economy a couple of days ago, under the title of "My Plan for Bad Bank Assets".

Geithner's explanation of the bad bank assets was just as poppycocky as his plan. He said:
..this crisis was caused by banks taking too much risk...
If he was interesting in speaking the truth, what he would have said would have been more along the lines of:
...this crisis was caused by the Federal Reserve injecting too much liquidity into the system, which signaled that the economy was far more robust than it really was, which in turned caused the banks to take too much risk...
But then that would be, for the former head of the New York Federal Reserve, to admit guilt, wouldn't it?

Geithner tries to reassure America that
...the Public-Private Investment Program will ensure that private-sector participants share the risks alongside the taxpayer...
I'm feeling so warm and fuzzy with reassurance now that I must have just peed my pants. Under the plan, you and I will only ever have to pay for the effects of half of the financial institutions' malinvestments.

I'll admit I was surprised to hear something mature come out of Joe Biden's mouth with regard to the economic crisis:
"We're in a position where in order to rebuild this economy, it can't be built on a false bubble," the former senator said. "We have to get down to rebuilding an economy that produces a solid foundation..."
Whether or not he means it is another matter. If he'd chastised the Federal Reserve in the same breath, I'd have believed he did mean it. But no.

. . .

So if you think the housing crisis might be over, go ahead and say it like a mantra. That won't make the reality any less of a contrast to your wishful thinking.

The problem will go away of its own accord (without bureaucratic tinkering), similar to how the sun gradually dries out the muddy ground after a sustained thunderstorm. But every time the Federal Reserve tries to fix it, such actions have made and will make the problem both longer and worse.




If President Obama Twittered

I've just become a fan and a participant in "tweeting" on Twitter.com. That's why I found the following cartoon so elegantly funny. If he tweeted, what would Barack Obama's twitter log look like?






Monday, March 23, 2009

How the Welfare State Killed the Seagulls Before Killing Itself

People are like seagulls in one important way: when things are done for them that they should be doing for themselves, they not only come to depend on the aid, but they gradually forget how to support themselves at all. Government, in an attempt to be benevolent, has destroyed the thrift and industry of many "seagulls" in the United States.

The Social Security program, despite how well meaning it may have been, has contributed to the destruction of the family in the United States. From this behemoth has come a plethora of welfare programs that have squelched the ability of people to provide for themselves.

It is important for us to take care of each other in times of indigence. This is the essence of charity. It is the essence of welfare. Welfare works best, however, when it is local. When welfare is local, it encourages the indigent to get back on their feet. Federal welfare programs have been largely a bust because they treat people like flocks of seagulls who don't know how to take care of themselves. As a result, they come to not know how to take care of themselves. A country cannot survive when the majority of its people become the equivalent of flocks of dependent seagulls.

Marion G. Romney, in a 1982 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, recalled a story he had seen years earlier in the Reader's Digest magazine:
“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. …

“The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the … sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets.

“Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.

“A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?
Ladies and gentlemen, government is running out of goods. They can't feed the seagulls anymore. The latest "infusion" of $1.2 trillion into the bond market by the Federal Reserve is indication enough that the United States is on a sinking life raft.

President Romney goes on to say:
The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of wealth, possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens.

We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and political, temporal, and spiritual independence.
With his New Deal, Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to solve clear problems of capitalistic domination of the working masses in America. Whether or not he was able to solve those problems, it is now clear that he created far greater ones, which still exist today.

Lyndon Johnson, the uber-protege of FDR, carried on Roosevelt's legacy with his Great Society. While minority (especially black) social indicators were improving consistently before the 1960's (when the Great Society took effect), those indicators plummeted thereafter. Minority families began to break down. Government-created neighborhoods provided backhanded incentives for crime to thrive. Educational achievement among minorities came to a screeching halt and went backwards. The drug culture became one of the most successful enterprises in many inner-city areas.

Because of government, masses of Americans have become as the flock of seagulls described above. We've forgotten how to take care of ourselves temporally and financially, thinking that no effort is required. We've forgotten to take care of ourselves spiritually, thinking that government can somehow do that for us.

If there was ever a time that we as states, localities, and families, need to become self-sufficient, rather than being wards of government bailouts and stimuli, it is now. We can't be like the seagulls, or we will die. Government, our welfare state shrimp fleet, is leaving port, and will not be back for a long, long, time.

Related Posts:

Obama's Socialist Firing of GM CEO Rick Wagoner
US Government to Back Up Private New-Car Warrantees




Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIG Highway Robbery: A Simple Way to Stop it Dead in Its Tracks

While Congress has been putting on a live theater show about how "concerned" they are that some AIG executives got several million dollars in bonuses, you're not being allowed to find out that people in higher places than that have stolen thousands of times as much of that money for themselves. Maybe this will finally convince you than an Establishment Democrat is every bit as vile as an Establishment Republican.

They shouldn't have given AIG the stinking bailout in the first place. The tip of the iceberg screams putrescence. If you only knew what's going on behind the scenes, you'd scream. If you want to know, take your heart medication, and read on.

The Bush Administration was a den of vipers, no doubt. But the Obama administration is no different, a fact that's coming to light much sooner than I expected.

The Barack Obama administration knew about the bonuses even before they gave another $30 billion to AIG, and Obama himself was even in on the take from AIG during the campaign season. But that is as a snowflake in hell compared with how big the real problem is.

If your congressional representative voted for the most recent stimulus package or for the bailout last November, no agenda item should be more important for you than to see that he or she is not re-elected. If he or she voted for either of these highway robberies, then your representative is either economically daft or they are a criminal.

These gangsters are behaving as though the world would cave in if "too-big-to-fail" AIG were allowed to fail. Please don't fall for that silly canard. Let me ask you this: when Enron went out of business did your power go out? As a pattern for things to come, it's important to notice that that "too-big-to-fail" organization did a lot more damage when it was still in business.

It wasn't just Bush administration officials that knew about this.

When Enron went out of business did your power go out? As a pattern for things to come, it's important to notice that that "too-big-to-fail" organization did a lot more damage when it was still in business.

Obama administration officials knew (and know) about it just as well as their Establishment Republican counterparts. And they are lying to you with as much effrontery as the Bush people were.

Timothy Geithner didn't just forget to pay a couple thousand in taxes. He stole BILLIONS of your tax dollars, along with Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. What ought to make blood shoot out of your eyes is that most of the money that congress supposedly earmarked for AIG wasn't really for AIG after all. And because your congresspeople (including Barack Obama) were stupid enough to vote for the bailout, they knew they could ask for more and get away with it. Most of AIG's money got passed through to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and others. Slate magazine says
The AIG bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already. It all appears, once again, to be the same insiders protecting themselves against sharing the pain and risk of their own bad adventure.
What a racket!! It kind of reminds you of the Mexican Peso Bailout, doesn't it? Interestingly

Washington D.C. is a revolving door for thugs, and they are robbing ME blind. They're robbing YOU blind, too, but apparently you don't care.

enough, Lawrence Summers, deputy Treasury secretary in the Clinton Administration and instrumental in the Peso Bailout, is Director of the White House's National Economic Council in the Obama administration.

Washington D.C. is a revolving door for thugs, and they are

Obama administration officials knew (and know) about the theft of tax dollars just as well as their Establishment Republican counterparts. And they are lying to you with as much effrontery as the Bush people were.

robbing ME blind. They're robbing YOU blind, too, but apparently you don't care.

When will more people realize that it doesn't matter whether it's a Republican or Democrat administration, it matters whether the person believes in liberty and accountability, or whether they are a member of the Shadows of Power behind the scenes.

If you want your country back, and I hope to God you do, you have got to stop voting for thieves in an attempt to avoid voting for villains. The Bush Administration was a den of vipers, no doubt. It's now coming into the open--much sooner than I imagined--that the Obama administration is no different.





Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"We're All Socialists Now?" Like Heck We Are!!!

Newsweek's cover story from its February 16, 2009 issue declares smugly that "We Are All Socialists Now." I'm sure at some point along the way they also declared that a consensus exists that man is causing irreversible global warming.

The only people who are socialists now are (a) some of those who are in debt bondage and want an easy fix, (b) nearly all of those who want to control other people's lives, or (c) most of those who don't think clearly. Admittedly, that probably includes quite a few of us. But it's nowhere near all of us.

Besides, I can't be a socialist. According to the state of Missouri, I'm a Ron Paul-affiliated terrorist.

I'll be dead before I'm a socialist. And there are no socialists in heaven.

Several years ago, I made a derogatory

They can't afford for us all to become socialists anyway. They need at least a fair number of ants to support their grasshopper lifestyles.

comment about the spectacles that everyone seemed to be wearing those days. This was very off-putting to my then girlfriend (who, fortunately, never became my wife).

"You ALWAYS overgeneralize!!" she exclaimed, clearly exasperated and clearly unaware of her witty faux pas.

It is with much the same accuracy that Newsweek now claims that all Americans are socialist.

Sadly, though, the story lives up neither to the headline nor to Newsweek's wishful thinking. Newsweek's paean to world socialism tells us not much more than we already know, that some people really are--gasp socialist. Lamenting this fact would have been news. Reveling in it is not.

The Federal Government is socialist? Says Newsweek:
A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points.
Newsweek might like to think they got the best of us there, but us non-socialist hick types have known that our government has been socialist for more than 80

Does it make Utahns socialists just because our state legislators jumped off a bridge with a defective federal bungee cord tied to their ankles?

years.

Most State Governments are socialist? It's disturbing that this somehow seems like news to Newsweek. Yet the number-two Establishment propaganda rag seems proud of supposedly having uncovered a brand new fact, even though every state in the union eventually took handouts from the federal government during FDR's Newly Great Depressionary Deal.
it is unlikely that even the reddest of states will decline federal money for infrastructural improvements.
Does it make Utahns socialists because our state legislators jumped off a bridge with a defective federal bungee cord tied to their ankles?

George W. Bush is a socialist? Yes, says Newsweek, and a conservative to boot!! (I guess 50% accuracy or less is good enough for Establishment hack magazines.)
...under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly.
The next thing Newsweek will be telling us is that

We have been so up to our ears in being sick of socialism that, unless martial law soon comes to town, your socialist nirvana gig is up. Even people who watch Survivor, 24, and the Simpsons all day can tell when an economy is tanking and who caused it.

they didn't see the economic collapse coming!

Socialism stinks. Those of us who have been on the receiving end of it oughta know. We have been so up to our ears in being sick of socialism that, unless martial law soon comes to town, your socialist nirvana gig is up. Even people who watch Survivor, 24, and the Simpsons all day can tell when an economy is tanking and who caused it.

Hardly anyone now living has ever lived in a free market economy. But that doesn't make us all socialists. To be socialists just because nitwits tell us it's a good idea would make us cowards, megalomaniac wannabes, or stupid.

The moon is NOT made of green cheese. Housing prices do NOT always go up. And we are NOT even close to all being socialists.

You can't afford for us all to become socialists anyway. You need at least a fair number of us ants to support your grasshopper lifestyles.




Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BYU Projected to Appear in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship

Have you filled out your March Madness tournament picks yet? I have, under the name of one of my all-time heroes--Ben Bernanke. Even though I work for BYU, I picked BYU to win one game. But there is one reputable group that picks BYU to make it all the way to the NCAA Tournament Finals.

Determining the real winner is academic...if you know what I mean. In the latest tournament projections from InsideHigherEd.com, Brigham Young University is picked to fall to North Carolina in the championship game. Here's how it could happen:
Back by popular demand, Inside Higher Ed proudly presents its 4th Annual Academic Performance Tournament. As in years past, we have broken down the entire men’s tournament bracket and advanced those teams with the better performance in the classroom.
So who knows? BYU might get trounced in the first round by Texas A&M like they did last year, but apparently, if this were all based on academics, we could make mincemeat of A&M with one hand tied behind our backs.



So does this give me solace that BYU in reality won't make it past the 2nd round of the tournament?

It should. If I worked for BYU-Idaho, which doesn't sponsor intercollegiate athletic programs, it might.

But it doesn't.






Saturday, March 14, 2009

FDR, the NRA, and the Rise of the Modern Corporation

FDR was probably sincere when he expressed his desire to help "The Forgotten Man"--the everyday American. The policies of his administration, however, had the opposite effect. Not only did high wages keep many individual Americans out of work, the draconian rules of the National Recovery Act destroyed hundreds of small businesses. The NRA purposely herded industry into larger and larger corporations. This is one aspect of FDR's failed policies whose negative effects we are still dealing with.

When FDR came to power in America,

By the time the NRA bull had finished running through the china closet, hundreds of small businesses had been destroyed. This fact, and the fact that small business destruction was largely by design, have been redacted from public school textbooks.

Fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was all the rage across the western world. Many of the policies of the Roosevelt administration, though tamer in practice than Mussolini's strong-arm tactics, were nonetheless based on the efficiencies that the fascist government of Italy seemed to exhibit. One such American program was the National Recovery Administration.

A common misconception in America today is that the policies of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration helped the common man. They did not. FDR's policies made life much more difficult for the everyday American to get by. In many cases, it was not until Roosevelt's policies were removed that the economy began rolling again. Nowhere is this more evident than in the bizarre rules and obvious effects of the National Recovery Administration. In the two years that the NRA existed prior to it being declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, hundreds of businesses had failed due to the economically imbecilic rules of the NRA. According to Burton Folsom's book, New Deal or Raw Deal, an independent review board later observed that
[m]any codes...spurred "the exit of the small enterprises" and led to "the always growing autocracy of the greater" corporations. Yale economist Irving Fischer analyzed the impact of the NRA and told Roosevelt "the NRA has retarded recovery and especially [has] retarted re-employment.

Burton Folsom, New Deal or Raw Deal, p. 57
A hallmark of the NRA was to allow the larger corporations in each industry to write the rules for that industry. Invariably, those rules were to the detriment of the smaller companies, many of whom died out. This was by design. FDR, in this regard, said "Must we go on in many groping, disorganized, separate units to defeat or shall we move as one great team to victory?"

The tire industry illustrates one recurring problem of the NRA

Corporations still largely write their own rules today, to the detriment of us all. How ironic that such a malady was perpetuated by an Administration that claimed to be in favor of helping the forgotten man.

(the "fox-guards-henhouse" problem) and its dire results. Goodrich, Goodyear, and Firestone were commissioned to write the "tire code" for the NRA. Almost overnight, the price of tires soared. This meant that many people could no longer afford to buy a car, and many others drove on bald, used, or rebuilt tires, which increased the danger to themselves on the roads.

The worst effect, however, was the disappearance of many smaller tire companies from the market. These smaller tire companies, to stay in business, had been compelled to make better tires than The Big Three, and to sell their tires for lower prices. The NRA's tire code, written by those who could not afford to sell their tires for as little as the smaller companies, required that tires be sold for no less than certain minimum prices. This rule, favorable to the larger companies, helped The Big Three to run nearly all the other tire companies out of business.

In this way--and in a plethora of industries--the NRA ensured that hundreds of thousands of Americans would remain without jobs and that the economy would continue to languish far beyond the timeframe that it would have had the economy been able to take its natural course.

Frederick Wood, attorney for Joseph Schechter in the Supreme Court case in which the NRA was thrown out, opined sarcastically that
it might be all right to go the way of Mussolini or Hitler, but a constitutional amendment was necessary for that...

Amity Schlaes, The Forgotten Man, p. 241
Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes said,

Extraordinary conditions do not create or enlarge constitutional power. [The NRA] lies outside the sphere of Constitutional authority.

But the damage had, by this time, already been done.

By the time the NRA bull had finished running

In this way--and in a plethora of industries--the NRA ensured that hundreds of thousands of Americans would remain without jobs and that the economy would continue to languish.

through the china closet, hundreds of small businesses had been destroyed. This fact, and the fact that small business destruction was largely by design, have been redacted from public school textbooks. In the NRA regime, large corporations made the rules, and those rules benefited the large corporations.

Corporations still largely write their own rules today, to the detriment of us all. How ironic that such a malady was perpetuated by an Administration that claimed to be in favor of helping the forgotten man. How unfortunate that the ghastly remedies of the NRA still plague the American economy 75 years later.



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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your Basic Free Market Economics Quiz (Part 2-Inflation)

Here's part two of your basic economics quiz. The five questions below deal with inflation and deflation. When you come out on the other end, you might find that your definitions of these terms have changed.

1. True or False: Inflation is a general rise in prices?

Answer: Not exactly.

Inflation is only that general rise in prices that is caused by an increase in the money supply without a corresponding increase in productivity (goods and services). Any other rise in prices--caused by a reduction in productivity caused by ravages of war, natural calamity, etc.--does not constitute inflation. Non-inflationary rises in prices are much more likely to correct themselves (i.e. when the crisis is past). It is much less likely that inflation will occur if a country is on a commodity standard, such as gold. Higher prices that people generally describe as "inflation" are actually a consequence of the actual inflation, or increase of the money supply. In today's America, this is the fault of our central economic planning bureaucracy, known as the Federal Reserve.

2. True or False: The American economy has always experienced inflation?

Answer: False

Due to a relatively constant money supply at the time, coupled with ever increasing productivity, something that cost $100 in 1820 cost only $63.02 in 1913. But this is where the wheels began to fall off the American economy. What happened in 1913? We have experienced inflation for almost all of the time since 1913, when the Federal Reserve was created. The tendency of living Americans to claim that America has always had inflation is similar to the claim of living, former Soviet citizens that Russia had always lived under Communism. If what you know is all you have ever known, it's hard to imagine anything else. However, there really was a time when you could put away something for your future and expect it to not have been ravaged by central economic planning by the time you needed it.

3. True or False: Central Planning encourages saving and investment?

Answer: False

Central planners, having the hubris that they can manage all by themselves something as large as an economy, invariably cause more problems. Some of this is intentional, as the central planners usually benefit from their mismanagement (they get first crack at the inflated money supply before prices generally start to rise). Very seldom has central planning not corresponded to inflation. During inflationary times, people are much less likely to save and invest, because the value of their money declines over time as it is destroyed by the negative effects (inflation) of an inept central planning bureaucracy.

4. True or False: It is possible for a well-functioning economy to experience zero inflation?

Answer: True, but not entirely probable.

Economies are apt to function much better if they are not controlled by central economic planners. Human foibles being what they are, it's not likely that we'll live without any inflation, though, because it's hard to correctly quantify the goods and services in an economy on a continual basis. However, inflation would be much less in an economy that is (a) on a commodity standard, and (b) not controlled by a behemoth such as the Federal Reserve. However, if the money supply were to remain relatively constant, the effect in a healthy economy would be falling prices.

5. True or False: Deflation is a decline in consumer prices? Falling prices are a bad thing?

Answer: Not exactly and not necessarily.

Just as most people are apt to mis-define inflation, they are apt to give the wrong definition to deflation. Deflation is only that decline in consumer prices that results from a decrease in the money supply. Prices also go down as a result of efficiencies of production, or as a result of overproduction (supply exceeds demand). This is not deflation. This is a good thing. When inflation (increase in money supply) is mixed with efficiencies of production, prices do not go down as much as they would have. Imagine, for example, what the cost of a personal computer would be if there hadn't been nearly 100% inflation of our currency since PCs came out in the early 1980's.

. . .


Life without the Federal Reserve would likely have been so much sweeter. Without the inflation that the Fed has caused, you would still be living on a much lower salary, but your home would have a cost not much higher, unlike today. Without our "friend", The Fed, you'd be paying about 27 cents for a gallon of gas, 10 cents for a loaf of bread, and $200 for college tuition. Instead it seems that the cost of living goes up each year more than the increase in our salaries. It kind of makes you feel like a rat in a cage, doesn't it?

You know what? You are.




Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Your Basic Free Market Economics Quiz (Part 1)

How much do you know about free market economics? After reading the answers to the following quiz, you might be surprised at how simple the answers are to what you may have thought were complex economic questions. If the questions have heretofore seemed complicated, chances are that you've attended a government school for most of your life.

The major difference between the laws of economics and other natural laws is that government officials haven't yet bamboozled a large segment of American society into thinking that it's possible to violate the law of gravity.

1. True or False: The United States of America enjoys an economic free market?

Answer: False.

Although central planning has been discredited in the Soviet Union and many other countries, the United States economic market is still controlled by central planning. Rather than allow the market to regulate itself, the Federal Reserve controls the money supply and interest rates. As a result of such control, the USA cannot be considered to have a free market economy.

2. True or False: Free market deregulation is to blame for the current economic crisis?

Answer: False.

Contrary to what is conventionally spouted across the airwaves, the American economic market is very highly regulated by government. The primary way the government regulates the economy, as discussed in answer #1 above, is through the monopoly called the Federal Reserve. Other ways in which the market is highly regulated include the interventions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailouts to friends of government officials, and stimulus packages to encourage further profligate spending among the United States populace.

3. True or False: Bailouts and stimulus packages will help cause a healthy economy?

Answer: False.

They will create just the opposite. Bailouts and economic stimuli simply prolong and increase the economic agony that will inexorably follow the inevitable failures of central planning. Bailouts are generally given to rich friends of government. Stimulus packages generally encourage more purchasing of items on credit by the general populace, rather than to encourage them to save a healthy amount of their income. Bailouts and stimulus packages do not bail the economy out of its malaise, nor do stimuluses stimulate it. During difficult economic times, we need neither.

4. True or False: Boom and bust cycles are a natural part of a free market economy?

Answer: False.

Booms and busts almost always occur in the presence of central economic planning. The Federal Reserve is not the first central bank that the United States has been plagued with. Other booms and busts have been related to previous central banks and their regulative mismanagement of the economy. If the United States government were to abolish the Federal Reserve, the likelihood of another boom/bust cycle would diminish dramatically.

5. True or False: A house is the best investment you can make? Houses never lose their value?

Answer: False and False.

After Japan's housing bubble burst, home prices plummeted by 80%. We should have seen it coming. Houses in the United States became vastly overvalued in the past ten years due to (1) artificially low interest rates kept in place by the Federal Reserve, (2) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchasing up to 50% of United States home loans, freeing lenders to make more ill-advised loans, and (3) reduction of lending standards through faulty research that originally claimed that minorities were being unfairly rejected for mortgage loans, as well as through intimidation of banking institutions by groups such as ACORN, which resulted in large numbers of loans given to people who could not afford them. All of these problems and more made it appear to home builders that a far greater demand for homes existed than there really was.

. . .

As you noticed, the answer to each question in this quiz was "false". Hopefully by answering "false" to these and similar questions you will become more conditioned to spot the plethora of economic falsehoods that masquerade as truth in America. We've only scratched the surface. Stay tuned...




Friday, March 06, 2009

You Look Kinda Funny With Your Global Warming Consensus Down Around Your Ankles

Hopefully there'll someday be a consensus on global warming. Right now there is nothing of the sort, despite the fact that a vocal minority claims that there is a consensus that man is causing the bulk of global warming. If, ultimately, we can get enough honest people in the world, the consensus will be that man would have to do far more than we are now to have any significant effect at all on earth's climate. A recent report by the Discovery Channel is the latest salvo to make this inconvenient truth more clear.

Humans should be stewards of the earth. But

A 30-years hiatus from global warming? Awesome! That will give us easy enough time to recover from our worldwide Establishment-induced economic coma.

they should also shake off the chains of hubris that have thus far compelled them to think that humans can collectively destroy earth's climate. Al Gore: Mother Nature sniffs her nose at you. Go get a real job.

There is no consensus on the cause of global warming. But there are two ways by which a consensus could be established:
  • The Bad Way - By the time Hitler reached the pinnacle of power in The Third Reich, he had achieved consensus--among millions of starstruck and otherwise dumb people. Leni Riefenstahl, videographer of the Hitler juggernaut, shows in her propaganda piece entitled "Triumph of the Will" how this came about. I pray to God that the preponderance of Americans do not become, in our soon-to-arrive economic hard times, as stupid as the overwhelming majority of Germans became during the hyperinflation in Germany during the 1920's and 30's.
  • The Good Way - Honesty in the global warming debate, to coin a Billy Joel phrase, is such a lonely word. We need a gigantic dose of honesty, which will probably only come about if we knock our federal government down to the size of which was envisioned by our founding fathers.
Fortunately, there is some honesty on the "crusader" side of the debate today--sort of. A recent report by the Discovery Channel is one such welcome surprise:
...climate is known to be variable -- a cold winter, or a few strung together doesn't mean the planet is cooling. Still, according to a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.

Earth's climate continues to confound scientists. Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001 despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.
The Discovery.com article goes on to say
...one of the toughest problems in climate science [is] identifying the difference between natural variability (like the occasional March snowstorm) from human-induced change.
Well...yah.

The authors of the study cited by the Disovery Channel are more than quick to point out that despite having been baffled by the current turn of events, they are nonetheless absolutely, positively sure that it will be really, really bad in the future.



Eager to avoid persecution, however, the authors of the study cited by the Disovery Channel are more than quick to point out that despite admitting to having been baffled by the current turn of events, they are nonetheless absolutely, positively sure that it will be really, really bad in the future--like it was supposed to be already. One of the study's authors, Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, says
...thinks the trend could continue for up to 30 years. But he warned that it's just a hiccup, and that humans' penchant for spewing greenhouse gases will certainly come back to haunt us.

"When the climate kicks back out of this state, we'll have explosive warming," Swanson said. "Thirty years of greenhouse gas radiative forcing will still be there and then bang, the warming will return and be very aggressive."
Thirty years? Awesome! That will give us easy enough time to recover from our worldwide Establishment-induced economic coma. Dependence on a failed social security system will have made me dispensable (and "dispatched" by government Fabians) by then, anyway. Also, by then our children will have become accustomed to us leaving to them our problems to deal with.

;-)

Man is not killing the globe. I hope someday that there will be a consensus around this fact. I'm not holding my breath, though. There are enough government-paid science whores who are already doing that.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Utah Death Row Inmates Succeed in Massive Jailbreak!

No they didn’t really break out of the state pen. But those who support an amendment to the Utah Constitution to allow the legislature to limit the number of appeals of death row inmates are apparently afraid that such an event is likely to occur. There are better ways to solve this problem than the "now I'm really REALLY mad" approach.

The Deseret News reported recently that
"Our current justice system is broken. The death penalty in Utah has become a myth. Death row inmates are winning a war of attrition," [Utah Attorney General Mark] Shurtleff wrote Tuesday in his personal blog on the attorney general's Web site.
Oh? Which war is that? Are they back on the street so they can

If Utah judicial officers really ARE ignoring the law, then don’t you think they should be impeached?

Okay, then. Let’s not clutter up our constitution with unnecessary refuse.

murder again?

I haven’t had to experience the murder of a family member by someone who is still on death row, so perhaps my observations here are callous. I would probably have a much more difficult time not hating my family member’s accused murderer than those who already have to suffer this ignominy. But what are the chances that I will stop hating them after they are dead?

I support the death penalty, and I think that the Attorney General may have a point when he says
The Utah courts' refusal to follow the law contrasts sharply with the position of most other states and the U.S. Supreme Court, which has long recognized that such judgments about the extent of post-conviction appeals are for the legislative branch to make.
But I’m seeing in a constitutional amendment nothing more than a “now I’m really REALLY mad!!”

what will we do if the courts fail to follow the law when it has the force of a constitutional amendment—seek a federal constitutional amendment?

solution.

What will we do if the courts fail to follow the law when it has the force of a constitutional amendment—seek a federal constitutional amendment?

There is a more elegant solution, which, at the same time would, instead of passing the “really REALLY mad” test, would have to pass the “really REALLY sure” test.

Article 77-5-1 of the Utah State Code says
77-5-1. Officers liable to impeachment.
The governor and other state and judicial officers, except justices of the peace, shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors or malfeasance in office. (Emphasis added.)
This law has been in place since 1980. If Utah judicial officers really ARE ignoring the law, then don’t you think they should be impeached?

Okay, then. Let’s not clutter up our constitution with unnecessary refuse.





Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why Utah Should Reject $1.7B Stimulus Money

Utah has, for the last several years, been one of the best fiscally managed states in the country. Accepting $1.7 billion of federal money to help fix what Utah has done a masterful job of taking care of on its own would precipitate a financial catastrophe. Utah should reject the so-called stimulus out of hand.

The computer project budget

Have no fear, though--the federal government is coming to the rescue. Yes, that federal government. The one that couldn't bail itself out of a wet paper bag, let alone anyone else.

for my company was slashed by 20% this year. Some of that was compensated for by sweeping funds forward from 2007 and 2008 that had not been used. There is none of that left now. This year, everything looks fine, but for 2010, all bets are off. Budget cuts are looming--unless we can get a government bailout.

Just kidding. A government bailout would be the worst thing that ever happened to my company. It would be the worst thing that could ever happen to Utah as well.

Utah currently has just over $414 million in its rainy-day fund. This is far better than most states in the union. Projections indicate that, without any cuts in the state budget, all of that an more will be needed to make up for shortfalls. In these

If we accept a handout from a federal government that can't afford to give it, we will most assuredly lose the skill that we have developed as a state--to budget wisely and live within our means.

austere times, legislators have been using austere measures to help ensure that we don't use up all of our rainy-day money.

Have no fear, though--the federal government is coming to the rescue. Yes, that federal government. The one that never met a deficit it didn't like. The same one that couldn't bail itself out of a wet paper bag, let alone anyone else. The Deseret News reports
Utah will get $1.7 billion and change from the federal stimulus spending of $878 billion, state legislators were told Thursday morning.

While some conservative legislators are wondering out loud if all of the funds should be accepted, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. says Utah will take every penny — it is all needed to avoid even deeper cuts in state programs and employee layoffs.

Documents handed out on the House and Senate floors show that over three years, Utah will get $1,731,494,511.

Most of that money, $1 billion, will come before July 1, during the current fiscal year.
The federal government

If Utah has the fortitude to tell the federal government to stick its $1.7 billion where the sun don't shine, we'll be a lot better off in the future.

doesn't have this money to give in the first place. We would do well to stop our avoidance/denial behavior when it comes to this fact. The platitudes about not spending our children's inheritance seem awfully hollow when we've now mortgaged our grandchildren's future and are beginning to destroy what might be left of their posterity.

What started out as localized infections in Massachusetts and California now threatens to infect the entire country as the various united states claim dependence on the federal teat without first stopping to think what kinds of addictions and slavery that will without question entail.

If Utah has the fortitude to tell the federal government to stick its $1.7 billion where the sun don't shine, we'll be a lot better off in the future. First of all, we'll have fewer impossible and freedom-destroying federal requirements around our necks than other states. But more importantly, we won't lose the skill that we have developed as a state--to budget wisely and live within our means.