Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two articles worth reading

Two worthy articles today.

The first is that a judge blocked key parts of the Arizona immigration bill. Okay, if immigration isn't such a big deal to all these people why do we even have immigration laws? Apparently, they are not really in force across the country anyway.

And the second compares deficits of Obama with Reagan, and Obama's tactic of attempting to spend and tax our way into prosperity.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Illegals and Disease

Another reason why it is dangerous to have illegal aliens is because of communicable diseases. Illegals are not vaccinated.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Socialist Propaganda

Socialist themed populist articles have flowed freely since the beginning of the recession. Sadly, they are still coming. Here's my response to an article on Yahoo about "the middle class being wiped out" - a socialist favorite.

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This article is such biased trash. I am so sick of the socialist propaganda going on in this country.

point 1: so what. My neighbor having more money than me does not make me poorer.
Point 2: all this says is that 61 percent of Americans live beyond their means. Most of these people do so by choice.
3: once again, refer to point 1
4: a function of choice.
5: a function of choice.
6: so either they didn't save enough or they want to live a more lavish retirement. However,with the stock market dropping by over a third over the last two years, and many people having a big block of savings in the stock market, 24 percent choosing to work longer does not say much about rich vs poor.
7: and millions of Americans were up to their eyeballs in debt keeping up with the Jones' using their houses as ATMs. This just shows poor financial choices once again.
8: and the sky is blue. Thanks for making a circular argument.
9: Uh, yeah, it is called foreclosure. Once again, Americans living beyond their means
10: How much larger are corporations now? Different responsibilities?
11: liquid such as stocks? What is an acceptable number by your standards?
12: once again, what is your acceptable number?
13: Uhhh yeah, because compensation declined 50% from the previous year. If you start with 100 and go to 50, that is a loss of 50%. Then if you gain 25, that is a gain of 50%, but it is still only 75% of the original number!
14: This does not relate to the middle class versus rich debate. This is a problem with big government and is likely the only point that I agree with you that should be changed.
15: blah blah blah
16: This is a symptom of unemployment welfare. See how fast this changes when the benefits are cut.
17:I think you are confusing a service economy (IBM type jobs) with the service industry (waiters).
18: Once again, this is a problem with welfare benefits being too liberal.
19: And how many shirts can these workers put out? How much capital do they require? More importantly, how many people are employed in the American textile industry (low!)
20: How is this relevant to this topic?
21: How many become millionaires in other years? Is it usually 15 percent or so? This could be a statistical error and being a millionaire doesn't say as much as it did 30 years ago.
22: and they also pay about 90 of the taxes.

"What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor? Not much." Are you serious? It's called human capital and innovation.

Capitalism gives people a choice to move up the ladder. There is no free lunch as one must work for it. Sadly, most people take the easy road and their income and savings reflect as much. All self made billionaires and millionaires deserve their wealth because they obviously created something that other people are willing to buy a lot of.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paying People Not To Work

It looks like it is going to get extended again: Obama & Co's economic policy of paying people not to work. A WSJ article sums it up nicely.

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's take on Obama's economic policies.

Friday, July 9, 2010

For the Long Run

Today I encountered an article by the highly regarded economics/finance professor Jeremy Siegel (and many time author) about some antidotes to the current economic slowdown. One of his pieces of advice mentions a reduction in unemployment benefits. Overall a good read. Hopefully Yahoo doesn't kill this article like it seems to do with all of the others I have posted a year or more ago.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Leonhardt's at it again

Leonhardt may be the most left-winged biased writer that the New York Times has on its staff. Today he wrote another piece of trash titled, When Caution Carries Risk.

Leonhardt's douchery knows no bounds. The Fed can only do so much and it has done quite a lot since the beginning of this crisis. Many are saying the Fed has done enough or too much. So how has Ben Bernanke "been unwilling to use his power to lift growth and reduce joblessness from near a 27-year high?" Wait, isn't that Obama's job? Actually I am just kidding here, but making a point because if a Republican were in the White House, that is who he would be bashing. But back to the point, what does he expect the Fed to do? It has already lowered interest rates to near zero and flooded the market with liquidity. What, is Ben supposed to declare an acceptable unemployment rate and somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat to make it get there overnight? Economic cycles take some time and they will eventually be fixed on their own, even without the Fed's help. The Fed can only quicken its pace, but there there is no free lunch as there are side effects. So to answer your rhetorical question, the greater risk is doing too much!

As is common among journalists, they write articles about topics that they are not really qualified for. Leonhardt is no exception because he is not an economist and obviously doesn't understand what the Federal Reserve does.

Also, he mentions,

In effect, Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues have decided to accept an all-but-certain downside — high unemployment, for years to come — rather than risk an even worse situation — a market panic, a spike in long-term interest rates and yet higher unemployment.

Even by your own statement, isn't that the prudent way to play it? Would you prefer he gamble with the economy and lead to the latter, worse situation?

And like usual, he contradicts himself:
If Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues decided to take further action, their most likely move would be to bring down long-term rates. They could do so by buying the bonds that backed longer-term loans.
and then a few paragraphs down he says,

The Fed, meanwhile, has to show it has a strategy for selling the trillions of dollars of assets it bought during the crisis — without damaging the value of private investors’ holdings and without, at some point, igniting inflation. “The more we buy,” Donald Kohn, the Fed’s vice chairman said last month, “the more assets we will ultimately need to dispose of.” The more the Fed buys, the greater the risk that it will find the point at which the market becomes unnerved.
By your own admission it is risky for the Fed to 'do more.' Which by the way, the Fed only has a limited ability to influence long-term interest rates.

Do us all a favor and stop writing columns, please.

Fiscal Austerity

Keynesians would say that the U.S. created the Great Depression because it cut spending. Today I read a convincing perspective that provides reasoning against this line of thinking, titled Liquidate, Liduidate, Liquidate.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More abuses of the system

Hey, it's only a few thousand dollars of welfare money that was withdrawn at California strip clubs, so no big deal, right? Well then you have nearly $2 million that was withdrawn at casinos over 8 months, so clearly this is a major problem (and this is just one state!). They really should do a long term study of where most money is withdrawn from across the country. I would bet these are not some isolated events. People caught doing this sort of thing should be banned for life from welfare, and forced to return all benefits received, with interest. I think prison time for fraud would be acceptable as well. But that would never happen in this country, unfortunately, because freebies are cherished.

As a bonus, here is an article that describes how Feds wasted millions in utilities programs for the "poor" by paying the utility bills of people who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions. There's really just too many ways for people to work the system at honest tax payer's expense.

This is just another reason why government spending has to be curtailed! It is the only way to stop the flow of waste.

BP Oil Spill

Why isn't the US doing all it can do to avert the oil spill? An interesting article by an economics professor at Emory appeared at the Wall Street Journal that raises some interesting issues titled, Why Is the Gulf Cleanup So Slow?

The A Whale has arrived and is awaiting approval while doing some test runs. Really, like what is there to approve?

And where have all the environmental groups been picketing and raising a ruckus? There hasn't been a lot of coverage in the media about these groups. Is this an attempt to prevent Obama's popularity from declining further?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Response to Valliere

In the article, Valliere: A GOP Conspiracy to Weaken the Economy?, I posted the comment:

Valliere makes a biased and sophomoric argument against Republicans in this article. Extending handouts does not strengthen an economy. In fact, it will accomplish the exact opposite opposite because public money is going out the door and nothing new is being created. These are not public works programs, which would actually help the economy.

The problem with handouts is that incentives become misaligned. On one hand you make the choice to receive free money for doing nothing, compared to getting up at 6am every morning to go to work. The choice is easy for most people.

Republicans are actually doing a great thing for this country by aligning people's incentives with the costs and benefits. I bet these long term unemployed will start finding jobs once their freebies are curtailed.

I personally know people who have been receiving unemployment benefits for years solely because they would rather sit around collecting free money instead of going to work each day. I would bet there is a fair share of those in the current unemployed category.

You are going to compare medical decisions of doctors from 250 years ago who had but a 100th of the knowledge we have now to Republicans making a choice about the economy? A juvenile comparison.

"I would argue loud and long that deep spending cuts — including entitlement reforms — should occur once the economy stabilizes"

The problem is, these cuts never happen. But more to the point, the major fact right now is that voting against additional handouts is not a 'long and deep spending cut' where money was already being spent. The difference is that new freebies are just not being created.

Yes, extra spending could help out our economy, but only on projects that directly add to the GDP. And unfortunately politicians of the past blew it, because now we are all tapped out. Instead of being responsible in the past and saving a rainy day fund, politicians have always had the tenacity to spend, spend, spend regardless of what the state of the economy is in. After the recession is over, politicians are going to suddenly become responsible? Yeah right.

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Reading other comments brought some additional points. One being that Republicans are the minority in congress and they're still being blamed.

Realtor Lobbyists

More on the housing tax credit waste, which has now been extended yet again.