Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ignorant Media

John Stossel

Ignorant Media
Has the media gotten worse? Or am I just grouchier?
Every day I see things that are wrong or that so miss the point I want to scream.
Four examples:
Storm Coverage
As this week's storm approached the East Coast, the media reverted to breathless hype: "monster storm ... very dangerous." Here I blame my beloved free market: Predicting scary weather works. Viewers tune in.
What galls me more is the reporters' government-centric thinking. "Everything is closed," they say. "Employees can't get to work."
But the corner grocery stayed open. So did many gas stations and restaurants.


Free Market Care

John Stossel

Free Market Care
President Trump and Paul Ryan tried to improve Obamacare. They failed.
Trump then tweeted, "ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!"
But I do worry.
Trump is right when he says that Obamacare will explode.
The law mandates benefits and offers subsidies to more people. Insurers must cover things like:
--Birth control.
--Alcohol counseling.
--Depression screening.
--Diet counseling.
--Tobacco use screening.
--Breastfeeding counseling.
Some people want those things, but mandating them for everyone drives up costs. It was folly to pretend it wouldn't.


The Dangers of the ‘America First’ Doctrine

Mark Skousen

  Last week before his “state of the union” address to Congress, President Trump visited with executives from the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company who admitted they were outsourcing their technology abroad. Harley-Davidson cycles are often subject to large tariffs when they are produced in foreign countries, sometimes as high as 100% because of competition with other manufacturers.
Nevertheless, the stock has been doing well since the financial crisis of 2008. After mentioning his discussion with the executives on overseas taxes, Trump commented, “They weren’t even asking for change… But I am.”
Trump’s idea of “change” is to impose heavy duties on foreign products coming into the United States. A smarter solution, in my opinion, would be to threaten foreign countries with retaliatory duties unless they reduce the costs of the tariffs they charge.


How George Soros Lost $1 Billion

How George Soros Lost $1 Billion

by: Mark Skousen
In the weeks and days preceding November 9, 2016, the day the next president of the United States was elected, markets had been trading in a very cautious pattern.
A close election race combined with a turbulent year for both domestic and foreign stock markets made the election a pivotal time for several major investors who sought to profit handsomely if the election broke a certain way. Many financial gurus and political pundits believed the markets would rise if Hillary Clinton, the candidate representing “more of the same” and a “continuation” of Obama’s policies, won.

How I Made the Forbes Billionaire Issue!

Mark Skousen

My picture is found on page 119 of the latest Forbes billionaire issue dated March 28, 2017. To find out the details, click on the link at the end of this article. Meanwhile…
First, I want to make a confession: I indeed may qualify to be in the top 1% of American income earners, but my net worth is modest by billionaire standards. I probably could be much wealthier if I stopped teaching and writing books, and devoted more time to business and money-making. But my interests are much broader than purely materialistic goals.
As Ben Franklin wrote near the end of his life: “The years roll round and the last will come; when I would rather have it said, He lived usefully, than, he died rich.”
My goals are to have a good relationship with my wife and family, my friends and colleagues. I like to write about investments and attend conferences to help people become better investors. I like to teach college students about sound economics and influence them to make good decisions in their lives. I believe in charitable work. And last but not least, I want to devote time and effort to keep my country free and to make a contribution to the freedom movement.
I believe that money opens the doors to many opportunities, and gives me the free time to accomplish my non-material goals. We have a fascination with the 2,043 billionaires on this Earth, as recorded in the latest issue of Forbes. I’ve personally met with a dozen or more billionaires, including Bill Gates (see my photo with him below), Warren Buffett and Charles Koch.



Global shares tumble on jitters over Trump reform agenda

AP News

Global shares tumble on jitters over Trump reform agenda
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stock markets fell Wednesday, with Tokyo tumbling more than 2 percent, as jitters over U.S. President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on his reform agenda darkened sentiment. German's DAX lost 0.7 percent and the CAC 40 in France fell 0.8 percent, while futures showed U.S. stocks were set to open lower.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 slid 0.9 percent to 7,309.15. France's CAC 40 dropped 0.8 percent to 4,964.41 and Germany's DAX fell 0.7 percent to 11,880.78. Auguring a downbeat start for Wall Street, S&P futures fell 0.2 percent while Dow futures also lost 0.3 percent.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index fell 2.1 percent to close at 19,041.38 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 1.1 percent to 24,320.41. Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost 1.6 percent to 5,684.50. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5 percent to 2,168.30 and the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.5 percent to 3,245.22.


Winning and Losing Streaks in the DJIA In the Age of Trump

Political Calculations

Winning and Losing Streaks in the DJIA In the Age of Trump
We're tied up with other projects today, but for some quick fun, we threw together the following chart showing the trajectory of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) since 8 November 2016 (a.k.a. "The Age of Trump"), where we've noted some unusual winning and losing streaks in just the past two months....
Longest Winning and Losing Streaks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average From 8 November 2016 Through 27 March 2017
Going back to 2 May 1885, there have been a total of 4 winning streaks where the DJIA closed higher than its previous day's close over 12 consecutive trading days, with the fourth just having ended on 27 February 2017.
By contrast, there have been 43 losing streaks where the DJIA closed lower than it's previous day's closing value on 43 separate occasions since 2 May 1885, where the current losing streak through yesterday, 27 March 2017 may not yet be over.
Should the current losing streak extend a ninth day, it will mark just the twelfth time in the last 132 years where the Dow has dipped for that many days in a row.

"Tolerant Liberal" Lists 28 Reasons to Hate Conservatives


"Tolerant Liberal" Lists 28 Reasons to Hate Conservatives
There is actually a website called “LiberalAmerica”… And they claim to have been saving America since 1776. (Kind of a neat trick for a website. And, no: I didn’t know America needed saving from Constitutional government either.) Tiffany Willis, the editor in chief, came up with a wonderfully bigoted list of 28 reasons she’s too closed-minded and intellectually dishonest to have grown-up conversations with people who are ideologically opposed to her political philosophy.
For both your enjoyment (and because writing is more therapeutic for me than grinding a cheese grater against my forehead) I have provided her gleefully bigoted list below, with a few interjections of my own:
(Tiffany’s words are in italics… The rest is me. Enjoy.)
Here is why I have to abandon attempts at intelligent conversation with most of you.
Um… Because you’re incapable? (Sorry… But you kinda softballed that one in there.)


The Next Recession Looms Large


The Next Recession Looms Large
Currently economists and market watchers roughly fall into two camps: Those who believe that the Federal Reserve must begin raising interest rates now so that it will have enough rate cutting firepower to fight the next recession, and those who believe that raising rates now will simply precipitate an immediate recession and force the Fed into battle without the tools it has traditionally used to stimulate growth. Both camps are delusional, but for different reasons.


Gold vs. Paper: The Only Debate That Matters

Peter Schiff
While a record audience watched the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the sad truth is that the candidates differ very little on the issues that matter most. As president, both Clinton and Trump are likely to drive the country deeper into debt, expand government power, and further curtail individual liberty and economic freedom. Though we can vote against the candidate we feel will accelerate this trend, our votes may do nothing to change the direction we are headed.
 

Midnight in America

Peter Schiff
Stunned political analysts are missing the most plausible argument explaining Donald Trump's unexpected victory. The misreading of the American electorate stems from the political class’ acceptance of mistaken (and increasingly insane) economic dogma that has arisen over the past generation. Based on their flawed understanding of economics, the pundits could simply not understand why the electorate had become totally disillusioned.
 
According to the ideas favored by economists on Wall Street, in government, and in the Federal Reserve, Americans should be enjoying a marginally good economy. Unemployment is low, home values and the stock markets are high, credit is cheap and plentiful, prices are stable, auto sales are robust, healthcare is available to all, and GDP is growing, albeit at levels that are below optimal. These are conditions that would normally favor the incumbent party, and would discourage voters from taking a chance on an unknown who has promised to tear down the entire system. But that is precisely what happened. There can only be two explanations: Either Trump supporters were motivated by hatred strong enough to cause them to vote against their own economic interests, or they understood the economic reality better than the Ph.D.'s. I believe the people got it right.

Trump Deficits Will Be Huge


Peter Schiff
There is much we don’t know about how the Trump presidency will play out. Will the Wall get built? Who will pay for it? Will it have at least some fencing? Will repeal and replace happen at exactly the same time? Will Trump throw a ceremonial switch? Will there be a Trump National Golf Course in Sochi? It’s anyone’s guess.  But of one thing we can be fairly certain. President Trump is very likely to preside over the largest expansion of Federal budget deficits in our history. Trump has built his companies with debt and I’m sure he thinks he can do the same with the country. His annual budget deficits are likely going to be huge. This development will make a greater impact on the investment landscape than most on Wall Street can imagine. 
 

US Fed official favors 4 interest rate hikes this year

US Fed official favors 4 interest rate hikes this year

AFP/File / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren stressed that "it is important to avoid creating an over-hot economy that could require a more rapid tightening of monetary policy"
A US central banker said on Wednesday he favors four increases in the key interest rate this year, one more than projected by the majority of Federal Reserve policymakers.
Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren, previously known for supporting the Fed's ultra-accommodative policy, seems to have had a drastic change of opinion, and now is concerned about preventing the economy from overheating.
The Fed already raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in March -- following a similar move in December -- and policymakers on the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) project two more increases in the benchmark federal funds rate over the next six meetings in 2017.


No turning back: Britain launches EU exit process

No turning back: Britain launches EU exit process

AFP/File / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016
Britain launched the historic process of leaving the EU on Wednesday, saying there was "no turning back", but its European partners were quick to warn of the difficult path ahead.
Nine months after the stunning vote for Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May gave EU President Donald Tusk formal notification of Britain's intention to withdraw from the 28-nation bloc.
The unprecedented move, just days after the EU celebrated its 60th birthday, leaves Britain deeply divided and has thrown a question mark over the future of the alliance.
"This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back," May told MPs, to cheers from members of her ruling Conservative party.
British ambassador Tim Barrow delivered the letter to Tusk triggering Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, starting the two-year countdown to Brexit.


Mexican president says seeking 'new relationship' with US

Mexican president says seeking 'new relationship' with US

AFP/File / EZEQUIEL BECERRA Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto told a summit in San Jose he would keep the countries represented informed of aspects of its talks with the US that would affect them
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday he is working on "a new relationship" with the US and thanked Latin American neighbors for support as Mexico faces "big challenges" with its vital trading partner.
His comments were made at a one-day summit in Costa Rica's capital San Jose that gathered leaders from Mexico, Central America and Colombia.
US President Donald Trump, who took office in late January, has vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico and Canada.


How to Reorganize the Government Without Congress

How to Reorganize the Government Without Congress

As well as releasing his budget, President Trump recently signed an executive order to make the executive branch more efficient. In signing the order, he said “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere. Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted.”
So far the budget has overshadowed the executive order. But the two work together. The reorganization plan complements the budget by enabling the administration to reduce waste without waiting for Congress.


Leveling the International Corporate Tax Playing Field

Leveling the International Corporate Tax Playing Field

Tax reform is getting well-deserved attention in Congress because of its importance to stronger economic growth.  Corporate tax reform is seen as an essential component to reforming the tax code if stronger economic growth is going to be achieved and maintained.
It has been over 30 years since the last major tax reform and the world has changed greatly over that time.  The economy has become truly global and our economic success is directly related to our ability to compete on an international basis.  The House Ways and Means Committee has produced a plan—A Better Way—that would make a strong contribution to the success of U.S. companies in the global market.


Want to Help Women? Lower Marginal Tax Rates

Diana Furchtgott-Roth

This year April 17 is Tax Day.  Those who pay little tax count themselves as lucky winners.  Some of the biggest losers will be married, working women, who are being discouraged from working by high rates of tax.
Higher marginal tax rates discourage married women from working.  When single women work and are considering marriage, higher rates discourage marriage.  Sometimes high tax rates result in women quitting the workforce altogether.


How to Reorganize the Government Without Congress

Charles Hughes

As well as releasing his budget, President Trump recently signed an executive order to make the executive branch more efficient. In signing the order, he said “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere. Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted.”
So far the budget has overshadowed the executive order. But the two work together. The reorganization plan complements the budget by enabling the administration to reduce waste without waiting for Congress.


How to Reorganize the Government Without Congress

Charles Hughes

As well as releasing his budget, President Trump recently signed an executive order to make the executive branch more efficient. In signing the order, he said “Today there is duplication and redundancy everywhere. Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted.”
So far the budget has overshadowed the executive order. But the two work together. The reorganization plan complements the budget by enabling the administration to reduce waste without waiting for Congress.


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