What The National Pamphleteers Don’t Report:

Why the death of Europe is America’s opportunity

by Arthur Herman,

Fox News

May 08, 2012

•The new American century is coming–and Europe, and the rest of the world, had better get ready for it

•Sunday’s elections in France and Greece prove that the #EU is headed off the cliff, and its voters don’t care

•No great empire has ever collapsed as swiftly and decisively as modern day Europe

    Elections Sunday in France and Greece prove once and for all that the European Union is headed off the cliff, and its voters don’t care.  In the short term, that’s going to mean some heartburn in US markets and global financial centers. No one likes to watch a major portion of the world’s industrialized economies, commit suicide. But in the long term, the death of Europe offers a huge opportunity for the United States—and a vindication of our free market system.

    By “Europe” I don’t mean the collection of nation-states which were once the driving engines of Western civilization, and home to our own culture and science. I mean the great socialist empire known as the European Union which the Maastricht Treaty created in 1992, at the end of the Cold War–another war, by the way America won for Western Europe, and which it did nothing to bring out.

Well, no great empire has ever collapsed as swiftly and decisively as this one.

    President Obama was probably too busy doing his victory laps on the anniversary of the killing of Usama bin Laden to notice, but [….]

http://www.aei.org/article/economics/international-economy/why-the-death-of-europe-is-americas-opportunity/

 

5 Small-Cap REITs With Attractive Dividend Yields

by Tim Plaehn,

seekingalpha.com
July 4, 2012

    I tend to favor larger REIT companies over smaller ones on the belief that companies become large because they do a better job at managing their business and making money. Yet a scan of dividend yields shows the larger REITs often pay lower dividend yields and that smaller cap REITs come with higher dividend yields. For the REIT investor looking to pick up a couple of extra percent on distribution yield, smaller cap stocks offer an alternative way to go.  The average of the current dividend yield of the five largest REITs is 2.68%. This is not exactly the type of yield an income oriented investor may be looking for. Moving to the other end of the REIT listing – market-cap-wise – here are a handful of REITs with attractive current yields and good long term prospects.

    Colony Financial Inc. (CLNY) is a finance/mortgage REIT focused on commercial mortgages and distressed debt opportunities. Colony Financial’s strategy looks for opportunities to earn 10% to 15% on equity without leverage. This REIT went public in 2009 and has steadily increased the dividend over its 2 1/2 years of existence. For the first [….]

http://seekingalpha.com/article/702031-5-small-cap-reits-with-attractive-dividend-yields?source=email_investing_income&ifp=0

 

105 Dividend Champions For July 2012

by David Fish,

seekingalpha.com
July 1, 2012

    Note that all references to Champions mean companies that have paid higher dividends for at least 25 straight years; Contenders have streaks of 10-24 years; Challengers have streaks of 5-9 years. “CCC” refers to the universe of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

With a Little Help from My Friends

June proved to be a surprising month, not only in terms of the number of promotions from one category to another, but also in terms of additions to the Dividend Champions “universe.” The newest Champion – Universal Health Realty Trust (UHT) – was not expected to join that list until next year. On June 7, the company announced a modest half-cent increase in [….]

http://seekingalpha.com/article/694491-105-dividend-champions-for-july-2012?source=email_investing_income&ifp=0

 

Halting Syrian Chaos

by Robert D. Kaplan and Kamran Bokhari

STRATfor.com

July 4, 2012

    What if Syrian President Bashar al Assad really goes? There is an assumption in the West that the way to win a strategic victory over Iran and improve the human rights situation inside Syria is to remove the Syrian leader. It is true that Iran’s prospects of keeping Syria as its own Mediterranean outpost are probably linked with the survivability of al Assad’s regime. But his removal might well hasten the slide into chaos within Syria and in adjacent Lebanon, rather than slow it. Al Assad’s departure could even ignite a disintegration of the Syrian power structure into various gangs and militias.

    After all, we are talking less of the removal of one man than of the end of a 42-year dynasty. The president’s father, Hafez al Assad, came to power in 1970 after 21 changes of government — mostly through coups — in Syria’s first 24 years of independence. Moreover, the new Syrian state held free and fair elections in 1947, 1949 and 1954 that all broke down according to tribal, regional and sectarian interests. Hafez finally ended the chaos by becoming the Leonid Brezhnev of the Arab world: He staved off the future by institutionalizing fear, even as he did nothing to nurture a civil society out of the country’s inherent divisions. Alas, the collapse of such a state is messy business. Sectarian awareness may be less deeply etched in Syria than in Iraq, but once the killing starts people have a tendency to revert to these default identities.

    Chaos in Syria benefits nobody. The Turks do not want [….]

http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/halting-syrian-chaos-robert-d-kaplan-and-kamran-bokhari?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120704&utm_term=kaplan&utm_content=readmore&elq=5744d3d0dab04a39b5ed07726fc47c38

 

Florida Pastor Releases 10 Commandments…for Dating His Daughter (Justin Bieber May Not Apply)

 

by Benny Johnson,

theblaze.com
July 1, 2012

    Florida Pastor Doug Giles has some advice for potential suitors for his two daughters. ”Don’t think about it”… unless of course you’re ready to adhere to some “rules” he puts forth. In a world where many young men are lacking manners, Pastor Giles‘s old world ’respect my daughter’ commandments are a breath of fresh air.

Here are three Blaze favorites:

Commandment I. Thou shall understand that your presence doesn’t make me happy. And know this: I’ve got a PI doing a background check on you at this moment.

Commandment II. Thou had better have a life. I have worked my butt off providing a good life for my daughter; therefore, you better have one, Spanky.

Commandment VI. Thou shall know [….]

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/hilarious-florida-pastor-releases-10-commandments-for-dating-his-daughter-justin-bieber-may-not-apply/

 

In 2010 Obama Promised to Double Exports by 2015; So How’s He Doing?

by Mike Shedlock,

townhall.com

July 6, 2012    Purportedly the US is going to decouple from the global economy, led by exports. I believe otherwise, which got me to thinking about pledges president Obama made in January 2010.

On January 27, 2010 Obama pledged to double exports by 2015.  The humorous comment at the time, as noted by the New York Times a day later,  was made by Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, who asked “How will he perform this miracle? It really is a mystery.”

    With that backdrop, inquiring minds may be wondering what has actually happened.

[Not to fear, I have a set of charts that will unravel the mystery.]

[A chart]
ISM Manufacturing: New Export Orders Index

[A chart]

Manufacturing New Export Orders – Percent Change From Year Ago

Let’s hone in since the promise was made.

[A chart]
Bear in mind those are manufacturing numbers, not total numbers, and not actual dollar numbers at all.

Even though they provide serious clues as to what is happening, we need to dig further.

Let’s take a look at “Real Net” Export Orders. “Real” means inflation adjusted. “Net” subtracts imports.

Real Net Export Orders

[A chart]

Please note the left scale. It is negative.

There is no point in honing in further, you can [….]

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/07/06/in_2010_obama_promised_to_double_exports_by_2015_so_hows_he_doing/page/full/

 

How To Build Wealth With Dividend Paying Stocks

by Marc Lichtenfeld,
seekingalpha.com

June 28, 2012

    I recently received an email from a reader in his 50s who plans to retire in four years. He told me he’s just getting started in investing and wanted some ideas for “rapid growth.” Yikes! Hopefully, he’s got a large 401((k)), a pension, or an inheritance. Four years isn’t enough time to get your finances ready for retirement if you’re starting from scratch.  While I like a good speculation as much as anyone, the reader’s approach flies in the face of how to actually make serious money in the markets…

The Dividends Statistics Speak for Themselves

    If you’re investing in stocks for the long term, the best thing you can do is buy stable companies with a track record of increasing their dividends and then reinvest those dividends. Sure, they may only be 3% or 4% dividends, but you’ll be shocked at the way they can create significant wealth. I’ll show you exactly what I mean in just a moment, but first, check out these eye-popping statistics on reinvested dividends:

From 2000 to 2010, reinvested dividends were responsible for 87% of the S&P 500′s total return.

From 1990 to 2010, reinvested dividends were responsible for 43% of the S&P 500′s total return.

From 1871 to 2003, reinvested dividends were responsible for 97% of the stock market’s total return.

Let’s dig deeper…

What Dividend-Paying Companies Are Telling You

The first question to ask yourself when investing in dividends is [….]

http://seekingalpha.com/article/689591-how-to-build-wealth-with-dividend-paying-stocks?source=email_investing_income&ifp=0

 

Importance of Issues: Economy, Health Care Top Voter Concerns

by Scott Rasmussen,

rasmussenreports.com
July 5, 2012

Generic Congressional Ballot: Republicans 41%, Democrats 40%

26% Say Their Personal Finances Are Getting Better

50% Trust Republicans More on Economy

47% Consider Obama’s Political Views Extreme, 31% Say Same of Romney

Employment Index Slips To Early 2012 Level

    The economy remains most important to voters on a list of 10 key issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports, but interest in health care is back up following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Obama’s health care law. New national telephone surveying finds that

74% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the economy as Very Important to how they will vote in the next election.

67% rate health care as a Very Important issue and

64% say the same about government ethics and corruption. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Surveys of 1,000 Likely Voters each were conducted on June 27-28 and July 1-2, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin [….]

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/importance_of_issues

 

Judicial Betrayal

by Dr Thomas Sowell,

townhall.com

July 4, 2012

    Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. Yet there are people in Washington — too often, Republicans — who start living in the Beltway atmosphere, and start forgetting those hundreds of millions of Americans beyond the Beltway who trusted them to do right by them, to use their wisdom instead of their cleverness. President Bush 41 epitomized these betrayals when he broke his “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge. He paid the price when he quickly went from high approval ratings as president to someone defeated for reelection by a little known governor from Arkansas.

    Chief Justice John Roberts need fear no such fate because he has lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court. But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher — and should be. The Chief Justice probably made as good a case as could be made for upholding the constitutionality of ObamaCare by defining one of its key features as a “tax.”  The legislation didn’t call it a tax and Chief Justice Roberts admitted that this might not be the most “natural” reading of the law. But he fell back on the long-standing principle of judicial interpretation that the courts should not declare a law unconstitutional if it can be reasonably read in a way that would make it constitutional, out of “deference” to the legislative branch of government. But this question, [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/07/04/judicial_betrayal/page/full/

 

Justice used research by Dem ‘agent’ to build case against Texas voter law, rep claims

by Mike Levine,

foxnews.com
July 5, 2012

    The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday accused the Justice Department of using data from an “agent of the Democratic Party” to bolster its case for blocking Texas’ controversial voter ID law. Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who represents Texas, said he’s “disappointed” and concerned by the “unacceptable” move, demanding an explanation in a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder.

The letter notes that the Justice Department is using data compiled by a company whose client list has included President Obama’s own election campaign.

“The Department of Justice has a responsibility to enforce and uphold the laws of the land without the influence of partisan politics,” Smith wrote.

“When the Department goes to court, it represents the United States of America, not the Attorney General’s political party.”

Smith’s letter comes […..]

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/05/gop-lawmaker-accuses-justice-department-basing-voter-law-crackdown-on-liberal/?test=latestnews

 

Latino Marine Doing 1Million Push-Ups For Wounded Soldiers

by wsvn.com

Fox News Latino
July 05, 2012

    A U.S. Marine is on a mission to help soldiers injured while serving in the military. U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Enrique Trevino began the push-up challenge as a New Year’s resolution. “I just challenged myself to do a million push-ups,” said Trevino. Now, Sergeant Trevino is determined to do 1 million push ups by year’s end, for the Wounded Warrior Project.

“Instead of doing a million push-ups to benefit myself,” he said,

“I want to give back to my brothers and sisters in the armed forces, who have had so much taken away from them.”

    The project provides programs and services to severely-injured service members, during the time between active duty and transition into civilian life. “A lot of people have forgotten about them,” Trevino said. Trevino is hoping to [….]

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/community/2012/07/05/latino-marine-doing-1m-push-ups-for-wounded-soliders/?test=latestnews

 

Live Free — And Uninsured

by Jonah Goldberg,

townhall.com

July 04, 2012

    In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” held a seminar of sorts at the Aspen Institute’s legendarily pretentious Ideas Festival. Someone in the audience asked NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner this question: “Today’s decision is a positive decision for the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans. Who are the losers today?” Rovner seemed to struggle to find losers. She came up with insurance companies that want the so-called individual mandate — now a punitive tax, according to the Supreme Court — to be much more punitive. After thinking through her answer, she later added that another group of losers might be the citizens of states whose governors opt to not participate in the law’s expansion of Medicaid.

    So, Obamacare creates no losers except where it fails to tax people sufficiently and where GOP governors fail to accept the wisdom of the law. In short, the only thing wrong with Obamacare is that it isn’t even more punitive, more mandatory and more intrusive. It is an interesting perspective given that [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2012/07/04/live_free__and_uninsured/page/full/

 

Governor Walker Breaks New Ground in Higher Ed

by Lindsey Burke and Teresa Shumay

heritage.org

July 5, 2012

    Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), already well known for his efforts to curb union power, has now set out to tackle an equally big task: busting the higher education bubble. The problem of college affordability is recognized on both sides of the aisle, but sadly, most efforts to abate the problem – such as increasing federal subsidies – have only exacerbated it. Walker wants to try a different approach for taxpayers and students in his state. Last Tuesday, Walker released his proposal to create the University of Wisconsin Flexible Degree Program, a competency-based approach using both online learning and traditional college courses. He explained:

“This unique competency-based model will allow students to start classes anytime they like, work at their own pace, and earn credit for what they already know… Students can use knowledge obtained on the job, through free open courseware, or anywhere else to quickly test out of a module or a course. A student may move ahead as soon as he or she can prove content mastery.”

    Obtaining a degree through the University of Wisconsin system will now be more affordable and customizable. By tapping into and giving [….]

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/07/05/morning-bell-governor-walker-breaks-new-ground-in-higher-ed/?roi=echo3-12479671341-9064558-306ae0b7e68bfe22fc2ec11c510efcfc&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell

 

Conservators Restore Historical Paintings of America’s Founding Fathers

by Billy Hallowell,

theblaze.com
July 2, 2012

WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) — Sixteen paintings by American artist Gilbert Stuart of some of the nation’s founding fathers and other figures are showing their true colors for the first time in decades through a major conservation project at the National Gallery of Art. The project is restoring the original appearance of Stuart’s portraits of people including presidents George Washington and John Adams. Gallery conservators have been painstakingly removing yellowed varnish from Stuart’s paintings to reveal true flesh tones and clothing colors that had been hidden by a discolored old protective coating.

    Conservators told The Associated Press the work may reveal some new discoveries about Stuart’s work. His “Vaughan-Sinclair” portrait of the nation’s first president from 1795 may actually be a more finished painting from an earlier time than originally thought. It will likely draw interest from Stuart researchers, they said. In a portrait of Abigail Adams that took [….]

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/see-conservators-restoring-historical-paintings-of-americas-founding-fathers/

 

Negotiations Behind U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

by Reva Bhalla,

STRATfor.com
July 3, 2012

    Over the past week, the latest phase of U.S.-led sanctions against Iran has dominated the media. For months, the United States has pressured countries to curtail their imports of Iranian crude oil and is now threatening to penalize banks that participate in oil deals with Iran. In keeping with the U.S. sanctions campaign, the European Union on July 1 implemented an oil embargo against Iran. The bloc already has begun banning European countries from reinsuring tankers carrying Iranian oil.

    On the surface, the sanctions appear tantamount to the United States and its allies serving an economic death sentence to the Iranian regime. Indeed, sanctions lobbyists and journalists have painted a dire picture of hyperinflation and plummeting oil revenues. They argue that sanctions are depriving Tehran of resources that otherwise would be allocated to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This narrative also tells of the Iranian regime’s fear of economically frustrated youths daring to revive the Green Movement to pressure the regime at its weakest point. But Iran’s response to [….]

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/negotiations-behind-us-sanctions-against-iran?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120703&utm_term=gweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=6a6fcb57b01244a981710a4f2f80e39c

 

Obama’s Swiss Cheese Campaign

by Michelle Malkin,

townhall.com

July 04, 2012

    What’s pale yellow, riddled with holes and not very sharp? President Barack Obama’s renewed class-warfare attack on GOP opponent Mitt Romney. To kick off the Independence Day holiday, America’s fundraiser-in-chief took to Twitter to stoke wealth-bashing resentment against Republicans. “FACT,” Obama’s official Twitter account declared, “In 2010, Romney reported having a $3 million Swiss bank account.” Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina piled on, urging “every reporter covering Romney” to read left-wing Vanity Fair’s new report on his offshore finances. In a water-carrying news conference call, Obama campaign flack Ben LaBolt assailed Romney’s “mysterious corporation in Bermuda, his funds in the Cayman Islands and the Swiss bank account he opened.”

    The Democratic wizards of election-year optics believe that such populist rhetoric demonizing foreign money will help shore up their left flank and win independents tired of crony, out-of-touch government. One problem: They launched their class war fusillade in the same week that Tinseltown tycoon George Clooney announced Obama fundraising efforts — in Geneva, Switzerland. Oops.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney will entertain 150 European elites at a swanky Swiss reception, “which will be followed by a more intimate — and expensive — dinner at which the star will be the guest of honor. Tickets for the latter event will go for $20,000 for singles and $30,000 for couples.” As Reuters reported at the time, Clooney spearheaded a similar event in Geneva, “one of the world’s most affluent cities,” in 2008. “Some 170 contributors paid $1,000 a head to hear him speak at a cocktail party held at a museum in Geneva’s Old Town. And 75 high-rolling supporters spent $10,000 each to attend ‘an intimate seated dinner'” with the actor. Swiss money for thee, but not for Romney, eh, Democrats?

    Even more problematic for Obama: Some of his very best [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2012/07/04/obamas_swiss_cheese_campaign/page/full/

 

Scalia’s Wise Dissent

by Lee Harris,

american.com

July 5, 2012

    Critics of Justice Scalia’s dissent have lambasted him for his reference to Obama and have mocked his admission that his mind was ‘boggled’ by the government’s arguments. Yet none has addressed the heart of his quite powerful argument. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law, I came across several liberal commentators who treated Justice Scalia’s dissent as if it were the ravings of an unhinged lunatic. Naturally, I expected a bit of bias on their part, and decided to look over Scalia’s dissent for myself. As I glanced over it, I was struck by the names of two long-dead European thinkers whom Justice Scalia cited, Samuel von Pufendorf and Emer de Vattel. This grabbed my attention. Why Vattel and Pufendorf, I wondered. Was Justice Scalia simply showing off his erudition or had his hatred of Obama driven him to find solace in musty old volumes of antiquated philosophical musings? At any rate, I was intrigued, and promptly began to examine Scalia’s argument, along with Justice Kennedy’s opinions and the dissents of Justice Thomas and Justice Alito. Eventually, after some reflection, I began to see what Justice Scalia was up to.

    To understand the logic of Scalia’s dissent, we must begin with the basic principle of American federalism, which, in delivering the court’s opinion on the Arizona case, Justice Kennedy lucidly explained as follows: [….]

http://www.american.com/archive/2012/july/scalias-wise-dissent

 

Teachers’ Union Expelled from School District

by John Ransom,

townhall.com

July 6, 2012    The trouble with education in this country starts and ends with unions. They are out-of- touch museum relics, fitting for a day that used rotary presses to distribute the news, but wildly inappropriate for an age that‘s both wired and wireless. Unions have prevented, and continue to prevent, much-needed reforms in education, public finance and government. They cultivate a sense of entitlement wholly out of order for the times, which call for more self-reliance and entrepreneurship.

Frankly, unions suck.

Really.

They suck the money out of our wallets; they suck productivity out of workers; and suck up all the leavings from the public trough. Increasingly, the public has had it with the private country clubs known as “public” unions. So it should surprise no one that one county school district is fed up. And they have finally decided to boot their left-leaning union and try life and education in the 21st century.

    The Douglas County School District, a suburban community south of Denver, Colorado, has decided to part ways with their teachers’ union in the absence of progress on a new contract which expired June 30th, 2012.

“The Board of Education finds and declares that the Collective Bargaining Agreements between the District and the Unions,” said the district on July 3rd in its formal resolution dissolving the bonds between the union and the district, “which had been effective from July 1, 2011 through and including June 30, 2012, are now expired and of no legal effect whatsoever.”

    The dissolution between the district and the union is unprecedented and sources close to the union tell me that unions are pensively watching, worried that other districts around Colorado and the country could take the same action as Douglas County has. We can only hope. The main issue between the district and the union was [….]

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2012/07/06/teachers_union_expelled_from_school_district/page/full/

 

Protest Movements as Political Strategy

by Ben West,

STRATfor.com
July 5, 2012

    Recent protests throughout Sudan are the latest in an ongoing trend of protest movements around the world, from Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt to oil workers in Norway and opposition parties in Thailand. Protests have proved an effective strategy against autocratic regimes, political repression and austerity measures. As with insurgency strategy, protests rely on underlying support from the population rather than on superior weapons. Both insurgency and protests are forms of asymmetric opposition in which the insurgents or protesters cannot succeed by using force to overwhelm the state but must find (or create) and exploit specific weaknesses of the state.

    However, protest movements are not as aggressive as insurgencies. Violence is integral to insurgent strategy, but protest movements may be simply a negotiation tactic to extract concessions from a state or a corporation. Strikes are one of the most common forms of protest used to leverage labor resources for higher wages or more benefits. Thousands of protests, such as strikes, occur around the world every week. Most are small and insignificant outside the protesters’ community. In order to address the geopolitical importance of protest movements, this analysis will focus on protests intended to create political change.

    Sometimes protests can spur insurgencies. In the case of Syria, civilians congregated in the streets and public places to [….]

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/protest-movements-political-strategy?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20120705&utm_term=sweekly&utm_content=readmore&elq=c660172d5b924b039ce5468f33b1d1a6

 

The Hayek Effect:

The Political Consequences of Planned Austerity

by Lee Harris,

american.com

May 17, 2012

Why the political revolt in Greece may not be a fluke, but a harbinger of more revolts to come.

    In 2010, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary named “austerity” as its “Word of the Year,” noting that it had been the subject of more than 250,000 searches on its free website. This sudden flare-up of interest in austerity did not arise because large numbers of people suddenly decided to live like Trappist monks. Rather, it was owing to the austerity programs that the creditor nations of the European Union, led by Germany, had decided to impose on the EU debtor nations, such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain. In return for a pledge to continue loaning the debtor nations more money, the creditor nations demanded that the debtors must in effect tighten their belts. This belt-tightening required slashing some of the government-provided benefits and social services that the citizens of the debtor nations have come to take for granted. It also took the form of higher taxes and lower wages.

    These EU austerity programs did not lack critics among economists, many of whom had long decried the austerity programs that the IMF had been imposing on underdeveloped nations that proved unable to repay their debts. The argument of the critics went like this: Austerity programs not only caused distress and suffering to the general population of a country—most of whom had received no benefit from the original loans—they were also counter-productive from an economic perspective. Austerity programs would tend to degenerate into a vicious cycle. Cuts in government spending would lead to an economic down-turn, even a severe recession, naturally accompanied by higher unemployment. This, in turn, would reduce government revenue, requiring further bailouts from creditors, who would demand further austerity measures, and so on.

    Because all EU nations are democracies, this meant that the voters could easily reject the highly unpopular austerity programs by the most obvious method available to them.The fate of the European austerity program, however, has [….]

http://www.american.com/archive/2012/may/the-hayek-effect-the-political-consequences-of-planned-austerity/

 

The Mob Presses on John Roberts

by Brent Bozell,

townhall.com

July 04, 2012

     Is anyone surprised that the ink wasn’t dry on Chief Justice John Roberts’ incoherent switcheroo before team Obama was again denying Obamacare is a tax? Why did he do it? There is no doubt that the left waged a war on the court’s public image. Just as Obama lectured at the justices during his State of the Union address for the Citizens United decision, so Obama and his media minions prepared for this verdict with blatant mob pressure: Side with us or your image is ruined.

    For liberal journalists, repeal of Obamacare was tantamount to a deadly third strike. Strike one was Bush versus Gore, which caused a serious liberal scream-fest that continues in some quarters to this day. Strike two was the Citizens United campaign spending case, because in the leftist worldview all major tipping points of public policy should be controlled by the state. In the media’s twisted lingo, upholding the Constitution would be “partisan.” Mangling it would be “nonpartisan.” This routine was sickening to watch from beginning to end, especially the way liberal journalists switched on a dime in finding that Roberts had transformed himself from rejectionist tea party villain to savior of the high court.

    NBC’s David Gregory [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/2012/07/04/the_mob_presses_on_john_roberts/page/full/

 

The Underclass

by Dr Walter E. Williams,

townhall.com

July 04, 2012

    Anthony Daniels, who writes under the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is a retired prison doctor and psychiatrist who tells of his experiences with his patients in “Life at the Bottom.” It’s an insightful book of essays about the self-destructive behavior and attitudes of the underclass. In one essay, “We Don’t Want No Education,” reprinted by City Journal, Dalrymple says that he cannot recall meeting a 16-year-old from the public housing project near his hospital who could perform simple multiplication operations, such as nine times seven. One 17-year-old told him, “We didn’t get that far.” This was after 12 years of attending school. One of Dalrymple’s patients took a drug overdose because of constant bullying from classmates. “She was stupid because she was clever.” What her peers meant by that was anyone who worked hard and performed well at school was wasting his time when truancy and wandering downtown were deemed preferable. The underlying threat was: If you don’t mend your ways and join us, we’ll beat you up.

    These weren’t simply idle threats. Dalrymple says he’s often met people in their 20s or 30s in his practice who gave up at school under such duress. Those who attend a school that has very high academic standards risk a beating if they venture into neighborhoods where the underclass live. He recalls treating two boys in the emergency room after they’d been beaten and two others who had taken overdoses for fear of being beaten at the hands of their neighbors. Dalrymple says that most of the young people whom he’s met [….]

http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2012/07/04/the_underclass/page/full/

 

‘Wait ‘Til Next Year’ – Lifestyle Hedging

by ‘Reel Ken’
seekingalpha.com

June 30, 2012

    Growing up in New York in the 1950’s meant you were either a Brooklyn Dodger, NY Giant or Yankee fan. For me it was the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unfortunately, it seemed that every year they would lose to the Yankees in the World Series. All I had to console myself was the perennial Dodger mantra…”Wait ’till next year”.  One time, quite by accident, my dad revealed to me that he bet on the Yankees every year. This was astonishing, given that he was neither a betting man nor a Yankee fan. Pressed to defend this heretical act, he explained simply that if the Dodgers won, he would be so happy, losing a few dollars didn’t matter. In fact, if he could, he would gladly pay the heavens if the Dodgers would win. On the other hand, if the Dodgers lost, he made some money and it softened the blow. It made so much sense to me, this was a strategy that I would employ continuously through my life.

    It wasn’t till quite a few years later, in business school, when I learned about hedging, that I realized what he was doing. He was simply hedging two resources (emotional and financial) so as to assure gain regardless of outcome. Now, I’ve written extensively about [….]

http://seekingalpha.com/article/694281-wait-til-next-year-lifestyle-hedging?source=email_investing_income&ifp=0

Until Next Sunday….

Advertisements