Category: Capitalism

Waechter’s Final Pre-Election Weigh In: No Matter How You Vote, the Economy Will Not Improve

I cast my ballot early. I didn’t vote third-party and therefore my vote isn’t being wasted. It also isn’t going to matter.

Since 1990, the United States has run aggregate trade deficits above $8 trillion. This is funny, because in 1990 the M2 metric of currency supply was only $3 trillion. There should be nothing but dust coming out of the ATM machines. We have purchased entire merchant-fleets full of foreign goods, and paid for it by quite literally printing money.

Foreign countries, being more blatant about their currency devaluation policies, have been willing to go along with this arrangement. The result is this dynamic: The US prints dollars to buy goods from China, and the Chinese central bank prints yuan to buy the dollars. …


Fake jobs numbers…. again

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Reports, Numbers, Charts, GraphsThe White House this morning, is serving up fake jobs numbers… again. And they read like a fairy tale. 7.8% unemployment. But notice… the U6.. the real unemployment number… isn’t listed in the reports we all see… It stood at 14.6% as of last month. That’s a fact that has not moved substantially, for months. Here’s the breakdown from the BLS.GOV website.

Measure Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted
Sep ’11 Aug ’12 Sep ’12 Sep ’11 May ’12 Jun ’12 Jul ’12 Aug ’12 Sep ’12
U-1 Persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force 5.2 4.3 4.2 5.3 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3
U-2 Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the

The American Socialist Commonwealth (Part 2 of 2)

(This is the second installement of a 2 part piece, click here for part 1)

Former Hoover Institute Fellow Antony Sutton surmised that there were three species of socialism: Bolshevik socialism, state corporatist socialism, and welfare state socialism. All three shared one common premise – government involving itself in the planning and organization of the economy.

In Bolshevik socialism, the state owns all means of production: Farms, factories, mines, timberlands, and everything else that produces consumer or industrial goods. The decisions about what to produce come from a centralized committee dedicated to planning the economy. In this form of socialistic economy, we see things like the Soviet GOSPLAN, the organization tasked with writing the Five Year Plans. Another example would be Mao’s Great Leap …


The American Socialist Commonwealth (Part 1 of 2)

In 1920, as socialist parties held power in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Russia, it appeared that the world following World War I would be a world built by socialist planning. Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, thought that a socialist world simply wouldn’t do, and put pen to paper to explain why. The result was Mises’ first published article, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.”

Mises’ premise was really quite simple; in a socialist economy, things that are used to produce other things are controlled by the state, which means that investment in production goods no longer involves price comparisons. In a socialist system, the planners decide that more tractors should be built, and order factories to build them.

Socialist administrators can …


Failed Policies of the Last Century

(The following article was written by Peter Vessenes and contributed via Kassandra Kuehl)

On Saturday, September 1st, President Obama accused Mitt Romney of retreating to policies from the “last century” and “sticking it” to the middle class.

Is this really the case?  Whose policies exactly have “stuck it” to the middle class?

Why not go back to the Great Depression as a starting point?  After all, we are in a “Recovery” that looks a lot like that time period.  Which “policies” began there?  Perhaps the largest was Social Security.  After all, Social Security was a Democrat Party program that promised the government would “set aside” retirement, or safety money for people when they reached 65 years of age.   Unfortunately, the average life expectancy at that …


Tax-Exempt Municipal Bonds Must End

In his autobiography, Calvin Coolidge singled out tax-exempt bonds as a travesty; idiotic, improper, probably immoral, and something which needed to be addressed.

Firmly believing that all the income of the nation had to be treated equally (and that public debt was hostile to liberty) Coolidge decried this special treatment, stating point-blank that it provided a way for the wealthy to hide their income from taxation, made it too easy for local governments to amass debt, and benefited local politicians and the buyers of their bonds all at the expense of the taxpayers who had to cover the interest on the debt.

In Coolidge’s day, the courts had ruled that the Federal government didn’t have the power to tax municipal bonds – cities are incorporated …


Dr. Bernanke’s Fed Funds Patent Tonic with Opium

If you look at the weekly price chart for either gold or silver for the week ending January 27, 2012, you can make out a distinct “J” shape in prices of both metals. Tuesday the prices were suppressed, and then on Wednesday they spiked upward. You can actually pinpoint on the charts the moment the Federal Reserve announced its intent to keep the Federal Funds Rate at nearly zero percent until late 2014.

Low interest rates are supposed to spur economic growth, or at least that is what the textbook for my International Political Economy course said, so what could possibly be wrong with low interest rates?

Of course, low interest rates provide an incentive to borrow money. However, they also form a powerful incentive …


2011 – The Year of Rabid Tribalism

The following comes from the ESPN college football website:

“Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn knew the Gators’ locker room wouldn’t be the same as an NFL locker room, because the roster is twice as big — too many people for the same kind of togetherness seen in the NFL. But he wasn’t expecting so much division. ‘The amount of selfishness and separation between different classes was startling. It seemed like we had a fractured bunch at times, for whatever reason,’ said Quinn, who had spent the past 10 years as an assistant coach with four NFL teams. ‘Not a close-knit team.’”

The Florida Gators had another poor season on the college gridiron in 2011. This exceptionally proud football program finished with a six win/six loss …


The Big Spanking

Our grandchildren were over last weekend–two boys ages 5 and 3.  At one point the 3-year-old was telling me about being disobedient and how Daddy had to give him a big spanking.  Now I know my son and I’m sure that he was providing gentle discipline, but the point wasn’t lost and can be applied to last week’s election.

Much has been made of the Republican’s gains in the House and Senate, and their effective control of Congress.  This was clearly a repudiation of the Obama, Reid, and Pelosi policies of economic stagnation.  Make no mistake about it, this was about the economy.  The Democrats insistence on spending taxpayer’s money ineffectively, squandering it, actually, passing huge and unpopular bills, and their complete lack of caring …


Cash for Clunkers

money-flying-awayBy all accounts, the cash for clunkers program has been a huge success.  Never mind the fact that auto dealerships want nothing to do with the bureaucratic red tape and if at all possible will steer a customer toward conventional financing.  The fact of the matter is that it has been a real boost to the economy.

So who really has benefited from this program?

  • Some consumers, who traded up from old gas guzzlers to spiffy new fuel-efficient models,
  • Auto dealers, who were able to dump inventory and pay their financiers,
  • Banks, who all of a sudden, had some new auto loan volume, with up to $4,500 down-payments,
  • Auto companies, especially Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, who led the pack in sales.  Conspicuously absent from