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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why does something have Value?

Dr. Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith institute, provides an excellent video on value. Where does value come from? Who gives something value? These questions and more are addressed in this short video clip.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Thought for 401k plan investors

A 30% drop in your portfolio requires a 42.5% return on you principle just to break even.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Minimum Wage Discussion

The talk about raising minimum wage higher is spawning more debate and discussion. An interesting take on Minimum Wage in an article titled, "Waging War against the Minimum Wage" 

Cutting Excessive Government Spending: A Novel Concept

Government spending is out of control. With the Federal deficit into the trillions, it would seem practical to cut back Government spending. Especially when the debt load for the United States Government is in the trillions of dollars. Note: the debt purchased is to "true up" the deficit. The interest payments must be paid back and just imagine the interest payment on trillions of dollars!

What is maddening is when prominent economists promote the spurious notion that the Government needs to spend more money, and this action is placing us into a deeper amount of debt. At what point is enough enough?

Let us not forget the Federal Reserve. Since it can print out money upon demand, it makes the spending process very simple for the folks in DC. The Fed is purchasing more US Government debt has seen the Federal Reserve's balance sheet balloon in size since the financial meltdown of 2008. A growing balance sheet of the Federal Reserve with US Govt securities is not a great thing in the long run.  Couple this process with increased Government spending, it is a recipe for economic disaster.

This article titled, "Houston We have a Spending Problem", observes some of the thoughts of the media and economists regarding Government Spending.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Target of the Next Robbery: Your Retirement Plan

"Wherever wealth is accumulated someone will be there to try and steal it"~R. Nelson Nash

There are talks in Congress with regards to making some major changes to the qualified retirement accounts.  Talks are of course just that, but there are discussions about the Government possibility of  taking over these qualified accounts. This information may not be accurate, but what is the likelihood that this could happen? It may not happen, but with the Government's increasing debt load, expanding welfare state with Obamacare, Social Security's financial shortfall, Medicare deficits, and the like, these changes are on the table for consideration.  Just food for thought as one reads this article by the American Thinker titled, "The Feds Want Your Retirement Accounts"  

In the meantime, how does this play out if you are one placing money into these retirement accounts? What kind of control to you have over these accounts? Do you feel that this money is still your private property, or is it subject the Federal Government's control?


Monday, February 18, 2013

Thought of the Day: Pushing against the current Paradigm

This thought comes from Robert Greene's book, "Mastery" page 245

Your task as a creative thinker is to actively explore the unconscious and contradictory parts of your personality, and to examine similar contradictions at the world at large. Expressing these tensions within your work in any medium will create a powerful effect on others, making them sense unconscious truths or feelings that have been obscured or repressed. You look at society at large and the various contradictions that are rampant-for instance, the way in which a culture that espouses the ideal of that tamps free expression down. In science, you look for ideas that go against the existing paradigm, or that seem inexplicable because they are so contradictory. All of these contradictions contain a rich mine of information about a reality that is deeper and more complex than the one immediately perceived  By deviling into the chaotic and fluid zone below the level of consciousness where opposites met, you will be surprised at the exciting and fertile ideas that will come bubbling up to the surface. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

History of Labor Laws: The Chinese Connection

Proponents of minimum wage, Labor laws, and the like argue that these types of laws protect the downtrodden, poor, minorities and immigrants. However, history does not support this claim. In fact, it proves the opposite. For example, let's take the laborers from the Transcontinental Railroad in the late 1800s. The vast majority of these laborers were from China, as these industrious laborers were escaping the intense squalor, poverty and the harsh conditions of China. Many firms related to the railroad hired these laborers because they could accept lower than market wages, work longer hours, and they were very diligent in their work.  They provided an excellent service, and both parties benefited: Labor and Management.

From an economic standpoint, this seemed to be a good thing, but something happened. People were uncomfortable with these immigrants. Typically, the immigrants lived in communities that comprised other Chinese. Many other laborers and citizens did not understand the Chinese culture or the way of life, and began to become uncomfortable with the.increased influx of Chinese labor into the United States. Subsequently, White Labor unions began to organize against this trend. They lobbied to push for anti-immigration legislation to stop the influx of Chinese Labor. A successful campaign was done, and it manifested its self in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Subsequent acts were passed in 1892, 1902 and 1904 to restrict the in flux of other immigrant groups. The act was eventually reversed in the 1943.



In short, the white labor organized against the Chinese to use the power of the Federal Government to legally push out Chinese Labor. The Chinese did not benefit from this legislation. Understand: They were leaving the harsh conditions of China to come to the United States to earn lower wages--lower wages that were below the market in the US, but much better than in China. They were seeking to improve their lives, not worsen their lives. Passing these laws, to wit, discriminated against the Chinese labor in favor of the White Labor.  This is an example of how Government can be used to hurt the poor and downtrodden.

Here is a video providing a brief summary of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.





Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thoughts on Minimum Wages and Racism

Dr. Walter Williams explores how minimum wage law impacts blacks. In this brief video, he talks about how it was used as a racist tool against blacks by White Labor Unions. Yet, many blacks currently support this type of legislation without understanding its impact.







Minimum Wage and Unemployment

Proposals are being forwarded for debate with the notion that minimum wage should be increased. Most first year economics students learn that there is a correlation:  raising minimum wages increases the unemployment rate. Currently, unemployment rates are around 7.8%(U-3). Economic output is is paltry, yet we are to accept the concept of raising minimum wages?  Next, how does this help poor kids and minorities? It actually prices them out of the job market as employers consider hiring folks with more skills at a higher wage of pay. Or they redirect those dollars into purchasing equipment that would yield a similar output of labor.  What happens to the poor and minorities when this occurs? Dr. Thomas Sowell expands on the impact of raising minimum wages in this clip.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Positive Liberty Memo


MEMO

RE: Positive Liberty

To: Members inside the Dialectic

CC: Members of the League of Shadows

The purpose of the ever expanding Government: To create a exponentially growing underclass of individuals that will comprise laggards, layabouts and the like. All of these individuals, or LITs(Lumpens in Training), will live in the muck and mire of squalor. In the meantime, the politicos that surreptitiously steal the wealth, will be projected as the saints of sanctimony. Of course, the LITs will be magnanimously grateful for the infinitesimal amounts of wealth given to them by their plunderous and nefarious over lords.

Note: You people desire this outcome because you vote for it with your Jackass and Elephant political system, enjoy the results of your folly.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Williams Jr