Archive Page 2

20
Aug
09

Judge Napolitano on Government vs. Private Enterprise

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17
Aug
09

The recovery isn’t here yet

The talking heads believe that the economy is recovering. Stocks are up, but does that mean the general economic picture is better?

The stock market has risen by 50% this yearThat doesn’t mean we’ve hit the bottom, but that is only one of many factors. The question that must be asked is “what has changed that would lead to a recovery?”

“Data provided by credit reporting agency TransUnion shows the ratio of mortgage holders who are 60 days or more behind on their payments increased for the 10th straight quarter, to 5.81 percent nationwide for the three months ended June 30.”

The situation for homeowners hasn’t improved

“Regulators on Friday shut down Colonial BancGroup Inc., a big lender in real estate development that marked the biggest U.S. bank failure this year, and a small bank in Pennsylvania.”

Banks are still failing

“The American economy lost 467,000 more jobs in June, and the unemployment rate edged up to 9.5 percent in a sobering indication that the longest recession since the 1930s had yet to release its hold.”

Jobs are still being lost

There has been no significant improvement of economic conditions. Every government interference in the marketplace, even if it appears to help in the short-term, creates distortions that can only be maintained temporarily. Eventually the distortion must be wiped away by a correction that reallocates the resources away from politically directed ends into market directed ends. This takes time. The larger the distortion the bigger and more painful the correction.

The recovery will come once business has restructured away from politically motivated directions, back to satisfying the needs of consumers. Any further interference by Washington DC only lengthens the duration of the current correction.

13
Aug
09

Obama and the Post Office

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Writing in The State and Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Lenin summed up the economic aim of socialism as follows: “To organize the whole economy on the lines of the postal service….”

Incredible, isn’t it? After centuries of treatises and miles of paper and tubs of ink, this is the great historical turning point: government employees carrying sacks of paper mail from house to house, and operating at an economic loss.

It’s fascinating how it all comes down to the post office, again and again in the history of public policy. And so it is in our time, with Obama’s admission/gaffe/slip concerning the post office and its analogy to what he wants to do with health care.

Here is a transcript of his spontaneous talk at a high school. A student raised a question about the government’s provision of health services and its impact on private services.

“How can a private company compete against the government? My answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining, meaning that taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services, and a good network of doctors, just like private insurers do, then I think private insurers should be able to compete.

“They do it all the time. If you think about it, UPS and Fed-Ex are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems…. there is nothing inevitable about this somehow destroying the private marketplace. As long as it is not set up where the government is being subsidized by the taxpayers so that even if they are providing a good deal, we keep having to pony up more and more money.”

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12
Aug
09

Court throws out FOIA Lawsuit against the Federal Reserve

12
Aug
09

The Plague of Punitive Populism

by William Norman Grigg

“Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there.”

~ Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath

In Virginia, police officers raid a baptismal party for two small boys. Without cause or provocation they assault the grandfather who owns the home, tasering him three times while children and other guests look on in horror.

When the pregnant daughter-in-law of the victim intervenes, she, too, is forced to perform the “electron dance.” The grandfather is charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication, despite the fact that Virginia state statutes specify that such offenses cannot be committed on one’s own property.

The woman who came to the aid of the first victim was charged with “assaulting an officer,” since her brave effort to protect the grandfather from a criminal assault involved placing her unhallowed hands on the sanctified personage of a “law enforcement officer.” Such presumption simply cannot be tolerated.

A few weeks earlier in Webster, Texas, a pastor is tasered after a member of his congregation was pulled over by police in the church parking lot. Once “backup” arrives – the boldness of police, like that of feral wolves and droopy-drawered gang-bangers, is a function of operating in packs – the officers charge the church sanctuary, assaulting Pastor Jose Moran and pepper-spraying the worshipers who objected to the treatment of their pastor. Once again, the victim, rather than the assailants, finds himself charged with assault.

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12
Aug
09

Krugman Asks the Wrong Question

Krugman

12
Aug
09

Stitch in Time

by Bill Bonner

At least something good has come out of the economic crisis; it blew off the purple robes that clothed economists and exposed their naked flanks. Still, they don’t deserve the beating they’re getting in the press – with snide remarks and sarcastic comments; they deserve better. A beating with sticks!

Even Alan Greenspan admitted he had “found a flaw” in his own thinking. We will have to imagine the giggles from the back of the room – if anyone had been awake. If was as if Stalin had confessed to being rude to his mother or Bernie Madoff copped a plea for shoplifting. The mea was fine, but the culpa didn’t seem to measure up to the facts. He, more than any living human being, was responsible for the biggest financial debacle in history; you’d hope he’d be a gentleman about it and hang himself.

Meanwhile, the queen of England visited the London School of Economics and had a question: why weren’t economists on top of this thing?

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