Earnings Season Reflects Consumer Slowdown
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca to discuss how Wal-Mart earnings reflect the state of the American consumer, how health care costs will contribute to the slowdown in spending and why housing has become a rich man’s game.
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For Paul Krugman, Everything’s An Exception
The failure of Detroit is only the latest dramatic illustration of the practical failure of liberal-progressivism, standing in contrast to the great successes of free markets and conservative governance. If you are Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist, this sort of thing ought to give you pause about the connection between your big-government ideas and reality. Instead, it is only the latest | Read More »
The Wealthy’s Fast-Pass Lifestyle
On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca to discuss more on Detroit’s bankruptcy, one-percent playtime consultants and the reality gap between the wealthy and the rest of America.
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NC Unemployment Cuts: A Necessary & Difficult Change
Yesterday, North Carolina became the first state in the country to forfeit federal long-term unemployment benefits. As her state budgets continued to balloon and unemployment remains uncomfortably high, the Republican controlled legislature ended the state’s war on prudent fiscal policy by exempting herself from receiving further federal assistance for people unemployed longer than 26 weeks, as well as lowering the maximum potential benefit. If you | Read More »
After The Gold Rush IV: Fear Not The Latent Unpleasantness. Fear The Pain-Killer Instead
Kicking the metaphorical Mr. Brownstone of QE is also necessary for the United States to ever redevelop the economic power that we once enjoyed. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may be pitching his last inning, but he said the right thing when he announced that The Fed would taper the rate at which it shelled out QE. As you can read below, that will be hard. Here’s what Mr. Bernanke got as a reward for speaking the truth to a gaggle of easy money addicts yesterday.
STOCKS GETTING SLAMMED — INTEREST RATES SPIKING — COMMODITIES CRUSHED — GOLD AND SILVER TANKING, The LIBOR Of China Is Going Totally Ballistic, Market Bloodbath In Brazil, and you’d better have a GOOD Plan ready, because Night Wolf is Eating The Moon Virgin! Now I can’t quite verify that last one, but it’s not a good day to check in and take a peek at the Ye Olde Mutual Funds.
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Scientism, Despotism, Blackmail and The New Carbon Dioxide Regulations
Well, well, well. The Obama Administration is preparing to declare war. No, no you Nervous Nellies, not on Syria. That will be a collective police action where we help Al Qaida by leading from behind. This will be an all-out frontal assault. A veritable Pickett’s Charge of the Paper-cut Rangers. President Barack Obama is out to slay
Man-made Cooling, Global Warming, Climate Change once and for all. According to the always entertaining Henry Waxman, it involves his legacy.
“This is an important issue to the president. It’s a question of his legacy,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Five years from now, people will be talking about what the Obama administration did on climate change, not entitlements or the deficit or whatever they are talking about now. Because climate change is here and real, and we have to address it.”
Of course there will be travails before we carve this great and lion-hearted President’s
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smirking benevolent visage into the hard, enduring granite of Mount Rushmore. But if Congress won’t act to protect future generations, Barack Obama will. He currently proposes to issue a new regulation in July that would limit source emissions from Power Generation Facilities to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour.
Tags: Clean Air Act
, Climate Change
, Henry Waxman
, Power Generation
The IRS, The NSA and Comprehensive Amnesty Reform All Tie Together In a Very Nasty Way.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters nationwide believe it is likely the NSA data will be used by other government agencies to harass political opponents. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 30% consider it unlikely and 14% are not sure.
The government claims it will keep Americans safe. It says it will do so by establishing the most extensive data surveillance system in human history. It also pushes hard to pass Comprehensive Amnesty Reform. Our political leaders seem deliberately blind to this obvious contradiction.
Then, on top of the obvious epistemological blindness of building a security state with open borders, they make it worse by knowingly and deliberately unleashing the IRS on their political opponents like an underfed pack of Dobermans. All of this makes the true values of the current administration apparent. Keeping you down is far more important than keeping you secure.
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When The State Plays God Someone Lives and Someone Dies
The Fundamental Problem of Economics states that people with infinite demands will attempt to meet those demands with limited resources. This predictably fails. The best we can hope for is what is called a Pareto Optimal solution where you pretty much do the best you can with what you have. Much of the debate between boosters of command economies and free market economies centers on how a society works towards getting more to dole out and a Pareto Optimal distribution of what they have.
The socialists in Venezuela solve this problem by rationing. They ration food. The socialists in America solve this problem by rationing. They ration donated organs available for transplant. This can lead to heart-breaking and intractable dilemmas in which there is no answer that maximizes everybody’s happiness. In just such a dilemma, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius learned just how hard a job it was to be queen.
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The Improving Science of Anthropogenic Global Warming
A brief history of recent climate science puts this outstanding effort in its proper context. From about 1850 to nearly 2000 our planet appeared to be growing significantly warmer over time. There were fluctuations, but a trend was identified (and some would say artificially amplified) suggesting that our climate was warming at a dangerous rate. We have recently enjoyed a fortuitous leveling in what was previously a significantly alarming increase in the Earth’s Median Daily Temperature. From about 1998 to the present, the Earth’s temperatures have either stabilized or moderately decreased. The current controversial theories regarding human impact on the terrestrial climate failed to explain this departure from forecast. But rather than holding a polka dance to celebrate our likely salvation from climate-induced immolation, proponents of AGW engaged in an odious practice of “Hiding the Decline.” But why hide the decline when you can scientifically account for it instead?
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The Hidden Tax of the Regulatory State
Many of us in the Tea Party have focused intensely on the cost of big government to the federal budget. Undoubtedly, this cost will be born directly by future taxpayers in the form of more taxes, higher interest payments on debt, and less economic growth. While we must continue hammering home this point, we must also understand that many Americans still fail to connect the | Read More »
After The Gold Rush II – Kentucky Coal and Japanese Stocks
If you have based your hope for prosperity on what Globalization Guru Thomas Friedman referred to as The Electronic Herd, this morning you probably feel like one of the pigs that Christ sent over the cliff when he exorcised “Legion.” For today, at least, there is no hiding from the stupid. The Nikkei 225 crashed and burned yesterday and Business Insider describesjust what traders in American Equities markets woke up to this morning.
Markets around the world are deep in the red. England’s FTSE is down. 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.3%. Germany’s DAX is down 2.4%. Spain’s IBEX is down 1.4%. Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 is down 0.8%. This follows sell-offs across Asia. Japan’s Nikkei fell by a stunning 7.3%.
I’m sure the parrots at CNBC Squawk Box are remarkably charming this fine and wonderful morning. And Jim Cramer has probably exploded and totally made a mess all over the set at “Mad Money.” However, you can get the same level of news content and far more entertainment by watching this Alien’s clip linked here. What staggers the mind is that all of this is caused by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropping hints that he might choose to reduce the rate at which he hands out free money to banking institutions via QE.
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Restoring The Republic III – Curing The Sickness Known As Healthcare
Don’t get me wrong. I like O-Care about as much as I like getting a prostate exam. The bill is typical of unthinking, boilerplate socialism’s response to the negative externalities that result from market failure. We should therefore trash Obamacare, but let’s just make that the warm-up set. The real heavy lifting required to fix our healthcare system involves addressing the causes of a market failure so catastrophic that something as obviously stupid as Obamacare seemed like a palatable solution.
Karl Denninger explains why poor people often can’t afford health insurance. The care provided is so badly overpriced that health plans are paying out more vastly more than the goods and services provided can possibly be worth. He describes the price mark-up of a common chemotherapy drug below.
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Iraq’s Descent Back into Civil War Makes the Case for American Energy Independence
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana (HT: Wikiquote)
America now faces a typical conundrum that has plagued all of our recent Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way forward to President Barack Obama. We depend upon the Middle East for much of the energy that provides our motive power. As a result of this debilitating dependence upon people who hate us and practice a system of ethics and morals totally alien to our own, we are increasingly compromised and forced into courses of action that do not benefit our national commonweal. If we produce enough of our own energy, while curbing our domestic consumption, we can break this cycle of self-sabotage. If we don’t break the cycle, every US President going forward will wage his own, pointless version of a Punic War in Western Asia. I describe the current state of play below.
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Hitting The Brakes on Foxx as Transportation Secretary
Last Sunday’s news of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s nomination as the next transportation secretary came without much ado. However, for those who live around the Charlotte area and know the history of local public transportation, the pick of Foxx at the very least deserves some consideration. According to the Charlotte Observer (who no doubt was up late Saturday night scrubbing their website): Flanked by Foxx | Read More »
Urban Apartheid In New Haven, CT
The New Haven, CT NAACP has looked at the statistical trends that they feel will drive the future of African-American prosperity in New Haven. What they have seen does not make them happy. In an effort to draw attention to this set of troubling tends; they regrettably entitled their recent report Urban Apartheid. This I find to be historically inaccurate and unjustly polemical in nature. I will lay out my reasons for saying so below.
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