Category: Economy

Detroit: Coming Your Way

Detroit BankruptSunday potluck with the extended family. It turns out I am the ‘Detroit’ of the family; the lost age of promise still lingers in the wreckage.

Detroit was the place that epitomized the whole “American Dream” sales pitch, where anybody could scrape up a second chance and win a decent living for yourself and your family. The landless, the uneducated, the minor hooligans, and even people so stupid that they wasted their youthful years chasing graduate degrees could get a fresh start in work that mattered and be rewarded their efforts. Detroit got there first.

It ended long ago, but a car can still roll on for a while after engine cuts out. It is now grinding to a halt; the final halt.

All the


David Stockman is Right, and We Should Probably Be Afraid

Iowa Politics Money Chess TaxesFormer Michigan Congressman and Reagan Budget Director David Stockman’s new book “The Great Deformation” provoked a flurry of insult and ridicule when it first came out back in April. I’m late to the party because as a law school graduate I spend all of my spare cash on liquor; in fact, I have not yet read the book. Fortunately for me, book tour promotional speeches are readily available on Youtube, and Stockman has no instinct for holding back.

Here is the gist; the Bretton Woods Conference made the dollar the reserve currency of the world, it was gold-based until 1971 when Nixon decided to let it float free, allowing the US to run endless trade deficits with mercantilist, export-led industrializing countries in East Asia. Along …


The Conflict of the Generations

gen gap cartoonA recent story from CNBC is claiming that young job seekers are flunking job interviews because they don’t know enough to avoid sending text messages during the actual interview.

Personally I think that the story was largely propaganda to cover up the dreadful employment prospects of recent college graduates, but for the sake of argument let us assume that it is true.

Let us say that we take children from their parents at the age of four or five, lock them up for thirteen years in K-12 public school, sucker them into blowing another half-decade under the instruction of college professors, and when they can’t find jobs when they graduate it is because they don’t know how to act, and that it is their fault.…


Die Law Schools, Die!

law schools 2Law school applications are declining sharply according to the New York Times, which is reporting a projected 38 percent decline from 2010 application levels.

When they failed to find jobs, law graduates took to the internet in droves to spread the word about their predicament, and finally the American Bar Association demanded more employment information from law schools. Before that, schools could count a graduate working part-time as a janitor as “employed,” and could thus report a 91 percent employment rate for their law school graduates.

No longer. The ABA now demands information regarding the type of employment; full-time or part-time, practicing law or not, law-related or not, and the numbers are terrible.

In response, law schools have shown about as much sympathy as one …


The US is in Pre-Recession

The Commerce Department has released GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2012, and these numbers indicate a contraction of an annualized .1 percent, which wasn’t exactly a crash, but it was a contraction nonetheless.

If you read my work, you already know that I don’t think there was a real economic recovery, and that we are in a significant economic depression. If you pretend that people settling for part-time work when they used to have full-time work is indicative of job growth; and think the Fed ’s buying $40 billion per month in bonds with thin-air fun bucks is good; and ignore the college graduates who can’t find jobs because they hadn’t entered the “workforce” yet and were thus not officially unemployed – then …


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

Latino Heritage Festival: A Time of Celebration & Time to Consider Who Best Serves Latinos

(The following piece is a guest writer contribution from Chad Brown)

Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has grown into the largest cultural event in our state.  This is a family event that offers something for everyone.  It is a time of celebration.  I also feel it is time to engage in an honest conversation.  I want to present my argument for why the Republican Party is the best Party to advance the best interests of Latinos in our city, state and country.

We are witnessing the progressive growth of Latino businesses in Iowa. They generate millions in sales every year and create thousands of jobs for Iowans.  Latino businesses are among the fastest growing   segments of the small-business-community …


College, Politics, and Wagnerian Opera

Upon realizing that the carnality which he desired was beyond his reach, the grubby, dwarfish Nibelung named Alberich cursed love itself in order to steal from the Rhine maidens the magical Rhine gold, which he fashioned into a ring which granted to its wearer the power to rule the world. Thus, the Ring of the Nibelung became an object of envy and the obsession to obtain it became the quest of heroes and gods.

To the baby boom generation, a college diploma was the Ring of the Nibelung; a mystical object which granted you the power to rule your world. It was something to be quested for; sacrifices along the way would be proven worthwhile in the end.

Then, it all changed. The problem is, …


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 …