Showing posts from December, 2013

The year of the 1%ers

What bitter irony that in the year following the re-election of the most left-wing President in history, America's wealth and income inequality continues surging to new highs.

Real estate is re-bubbling, the stock market is skyrocketing, but job creation is slow and the new jobs tend to be low-paying and/or part-time.  Real median household income is still well below where it was a decade ago.

There are many reasons for the growing inequality.  At the top end, Fed easy money is at the top of the list for increasing stock and real estate wealth and incomes in banking, real estate development, and related industries.  The crony capitalist / corporatist regime in Washington D.C. is not far behind, with the Washington suburbs becoming one of the wealthiest areas in America based on buying and selling policies that rule the rest of us.

At the other end of the spectrum, automation and outsourcing certainly play a large role in the decline of the middle class.  But throughout history, jo…

News you can use

'Twas Christmas Eve, Babe

Richard Riordan and Tim Rutten have absolutely no idea what they're talking about

It's bad enough when one person writes something obviously wrong (like Chriss Street did last week).

But how do two supposedly intelligent people collaborate on a short editorial and both not realize that what they are writing is ridiculous?

Richard Riordan and Tim Rutten in the Sacramento Bee, on whether to default on municipal bondholders instead of cutting pensions:
Some will argue that it’s better to hurt “fat cat” investors than retirees on fixed incomes. That’s nonsense, however. The majority of municipal bonds are purchased by funds whose shares are held by private pensions and individual 401(k) accounts precisely because they’ve been seen as low-risk investments. That means that trying to resolve a municipal bankruptcy entirely on the backs of bondholders just spares one group of working people by hurting another. That's nonsense, however. Municipal bonds are tax-free (other than the short-lived Build America Bonds), so it would be financial malpractice to put them in…

What to get for the WCV reader who has everything

Zombucks, the currency of the apocalypse. My favorite is the Walker (above), which is sold out but you can still find it on eBay.

New York Times illustrates ObamaCare Cliff

As we've said over and over, it's all about the incentives.

ZeroHedge has pointed out the welfare cliff, where government payments punish work and reward quitting your job or cutting your hours.

Now there's an ObamaCare cliff: middle class families are screwed if they have to pay the full price of ObamaCare. The solution? Cut back on work.
Ginger Chapman and her husband, Doug, are sitting on the health care cliff.

Doug and Ginger Chapman with their son Charlie Galanes, 11. They are looking for new coverage after their plan was canceled.

The cheapest insurance plan they can find through the new federal marketplace in New Hampshire will cost their family of four about $1,000 a month, 12 percent of their annual income of around $100,000 and more than they have ever paid before.

Even more striking, for the Chapmans, is this fact: If they made just a few thousand dollars less a year — below $94,200 — their costs would be cut in half, because a family like theirs could qualify …

Not much thinking going on at American Thinker

At the "American Thinker," a relatively widely-read conservative web site with serious writers and real staff, Chriss Street makes the assertion:
One of the reasons the reported unemployment rate isn't higher is that the State of California's [sic] statistically considers all 1,427,000 welfare recipients to be "employed."No evidence is given to support this assertion; the link is to a blog that makes the same unsupported assertion.

This statement was so ridiculous on its face that I responded instinctively:
Get your facts right, moron.

All welfare cases are not counted as employed in the official unemployment stats. Where would you even come up with something so absurd?Admittedly, it's bad form to initiate a discussion by calling someone a moron, but the combination of ignorance and arrogance by a publication proclaiming itself the "American Thinker" is enough to make me do Very Bad Things.

Street responded:
It is referred to as "welfare to …

Colorado school shooter was a Keynesian

Of course.
In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith who through his invisible hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as "Keynesian."It's a very short logical step from the Broken Window Fallacy to the Wounded Bodies Fallacy. Keynesians believe in breaking things, starting wars, and creating nonsensical busywork to boost their idol, Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Think of all the GDP that Pierson created.

HT: Ace.

Obama's America

... where your mail from political dissident groups comes conveniently pre-opened!

365 ways to get rich

Great personal finance tips here from Forbes. Browse them all. It won't take that long.

Many are ideas we've discussed here over the years. Many will be new to you.

One I will disagree with is #353: Own gold through ETFs like GLD. We've discussed before why that's a bad idea. It's not clear that all the ETFs actually own segregated physical gold that hasn't been leased or swapped or otherwise encumbered by the big banks. Buy physical gold coins.

#352 is right on, though: Keep 5% of your portfolio in gold.

Filthy Filner 2016

Business opportunity

Uranus Gold Couriers:
India Gold Price Premium at 23.2%, Now at US $1514 US

Fast food strike update

Today is a nationwide fast food strike, where workers in minimum-wage jobs demand "living wages." Hint: if you're trying to support a family while still flipping burgers, you're doing it wrong. Fast food jobs are for young people to learn job skills and customer service before acquiring education or other skills that will allow them to get real "living wage" jobs. They're also not bad for senior citizens to stay active and supplement their Social Security.

Our Los Angeles correspondent I.P. Freely will be reporting live throughout the day from McDonald's restaurants.

5:51 AM:
Report: Meal number 1: no picket lines at first Mcdonalds at 5:30 a.m. Oh wait... that's cuz they're f'ing lazy!
Food: delicious

11:59 AM:
Report: Meal number 2: Not a picketer in sight. I counted 14 employees working diligently behind the counter, of which I could see. This McDonald's is in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and probably has more lunch tim…

Friends in high places

Our friend Adrienne Gonzalez of Jr. Deputy Accountant has been named managing editor of Going Concern, the web's most popular (and funniest) accounting site.

JDA's hits over the years include getting the name "Zimbabwe Ben" in print in Time Magazine.

Let it never be said we don't have an eye for talent.