Category Archives: Economy

Mike Rowe: Everyone Is Essential, by John Stossel

You can’t turn life into a padded cell. From John Stossel at pjmedia.com:

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Politicians have too much power over our lives.

Many used the pandemic as another excuse to take more.

Early on, politicians declared that they would decide who was “essential.” Everyone else was told to stay home.

Much of the economy stopped. Millions were laid off.

Then politicians relaxed the rules for industries that they deemed “essential.”

“You can’t just call somebody essential without implicitly suggesting that half the workforce is not essential,” points out Mike Rowe, host of the surprise hit TV series, “Dirty Jobs.”

That’s a big problem, says Rowe, because people find purpose in work.

Now the Biden administration is eager to give money to people not working. It’s pushing a new stimulus package that would pay the unemployed an additional $400/week.

Since states like mine tack on as much as $500/week in unemployment benefits, many people learn that the $900/week. leaves them with more money if they don’t go back to work.

So, many don’t.

But staying home imposes costs, too. Calls to suicide hotlines are up. Domestic violence is up.

“It’s happening because people simply don’t feel valued,” says Rowe.

Politicians claim they save lives when they order businesses to close. When Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a lockdown, he said, “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”

Rowe mocks that in my new video this week.

“Let’s knock the speed limit down to 10 miles an hour… make cars out of rubber… make everybody wear a helmet,” he says. “Cars are a lot safer in the driveway… ships a lot safer when they don’t leave harbor, and people are safer when they sit quietly in their basements, but that’s not why cars, ships and people are on the planet.”

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The Global Inflation Nightmare That You Have Been Warned About Is Here, by Michael Snyder

Inflation means inflation whatever passes for the money supply. Inflation has varying effects on the general price level and on specific prices. That said, if you inflate the money supply like developed world governments and their central banks have been doing the last year, it’s a pretty good bet that it will drive up most prices. From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

If you thought that authorities all over the planet could print, borrow and spend money like there was no tomorrow without any consequences, you were being delusional.  Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we have witnessed the greatest monetary binge in world history.  Of course that was going to cause enormous problems.  Of course that was going to cause nightmarish inflation.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense should have been able to see that.  When the value of money is tied to nothing, “more money” is always such a tempting solution for those in power.  But as history has demonstrated over and over again, going down that path almost always leads to tragedy.

In our case, it will be the poorest people on the planet that suffer the most.  According to Bloomberg, basic food staples are dramatically spiking in price all over the globe…

Global food prices are going up, and the timing couldn’t be worse.

In Indonesia, tofu is 30% more expensive than it was in December. In Brazil, the price of local mainstay turtle beans is up 54% compared to last January. In Russia, consumers are paying 61% more for sugar than a year ago.

And as Albert Edwards has pointed out, annual inflation in cereals has hit 20 percent, which represents “the highest annual rise since mid-2011 when the Arab Spring was in full flow!”

If prices continue to rise like this, it is just a matter of time before we see widespread food riots all over the globe.

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Bill Gates Wants to Realize Global Vision in His Lifetime, by Joseph Mercola

Few people know how many pies in which Bill Gates has his greedy fingers. From Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

“Bill Gates — What You Were Not Told,” a segment of the Plandemic documentary,1 reviews the personal and professional background of the Microsoft mogul, Bill Gates. Contrary to popular myth, many see Gates as more of an opportunist than a genius inventor, and the video touches on several of the less honorable moments of his career.

After years of building a reputation as a “ruthless tech monopolizer,” Bill Gates 2.0 was launched with the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this foundation, he reinvented and rebranded himself as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists.

Gates’ Charity Is Not What It Seems

Alas, as noted by AGRA Watch,2 Shiva Vandana, Ph.D., and others, Gates’ brand of philanthropy creates several new problems for each one it solves and can best be described as “philanthrocapitalism.” As noted in the AGRA Watch article, “Philanthrocapitalism: The Gates Foundation’s African Programs Are Not Charity,” published in December 2017, advocates of philanthrocapitalism:3

“… often expect financial returns or secondary benefits over the long term from their investments in social programs. Philanthropy becomes another part of the engine of profit and corporate control. The Gates Foundation’s strategy for ‘development’ actually promotes neoliberal economic policies and corporate globalization.”

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Warren Buffett: “Retirees face a bleak future”, by Simon Black

Negative real interest rates mean there’s no way to save for retirement with even a modicum of safety. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Warren Buffett minced no words in his most recent annual shareholder letter (which came out over the weekend) when he told investors that “retirees face a bleak future.”

Buffett was referring to the pitifully low interest rates that dominate fixed income investments (like bonds and annuities).

In September 1981, he writes, investors could buy a 10-year US government bond yielding nearly 16%.

Now, inflation was a lot higher in the 1980s than it is today. But even after adjusting for inflation, the average annual yield for any investor who held that 1981 bond to maturity over the next decade would have been 5.7% per year.

Today, that same 10 year bond yields just 1.4%. But the official inflation rate in the United States is also 1.4%. This means that, after adjusting for inflation, your net yield today is ZERO.

What’s even more incredible is that there are obvious signs inflation may be on the rise; for example, the most recent Producer Price Index of wholesale price inflation reached its highest level since 2009.

Yet simultaneously the Federal Reserve keeps saying that they want to keep interest rates low. And they’re doing their best to push the 10-year yield even lower than 1.4%.

In other words, inflation could go higher, and interest rates lower. So anyone who buys bonds will actually suffer a negative yield after adjusting for inflation.

And this is precisely what Buffett was talking about.

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Are You Easy Prey? by Jeff Thomas

Broke governments, particularly the broke American government, are growing increasingly rapacious. Unfortunately, the only way to protect yourself may be to leave the country. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

easy prey

For many years, I’ve been predicting the coming of a crisis of epic proportions. I’ve focused on the economic and political aspects, although the social aspects will be no less severe.

This is not the stuff of crystal balls, nor is it mere guesswork. The fundamentals for economic crisis have remained essentially the same for thousands of years, and if we’re diligent enough to study history and analyse the present, we can identify the fundamental ingredients of a crisis in the making. Once we’ve done this, the actual prediction of the event itself is no more inspired than recognising that if we have a bomb filled with explosives and we light the fuse, it will go off.

The predicted bomb was long in coming, but in 2020, it arrived on our doorstep and the fuse is lit.

Governments understand that, if they wish to give the shaft to their own citizens and still remain in power, they must deflect blame for their actions to another party.

In 2020, they outdid themselves by creating perhaps the most ingenious distraction ever created. Whether or not the coronavirus was consciously created and/or consciously released, governments’ handling of it has been brilliant.

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Party Like It’s 1984, by James Howard Kunstler

There’s no way Americans are going to allow themselves to be herded into The Great Reset. So says James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Chalk up a fatal blow to The Patriarchy. That avatar of toxic masculinity, Mr. Potato Head has been dumped into the same humid chamber of perdition where the ghosts of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Theodore Bilbo, and Phyllis Schlafly howl and squirm — liberating the billions of potatoes world-wide from the mental prison of binary sexuality. The move by Hasbro (bro? really??) may yet disappoint the legions in Wokesterdom as a-bridge-not-far-enough while they await the debut of Transitioning Potato Head, complete with play hormone syringe and play scalpel, so that the under-six crowd can begin to map out their own gender reassignments without the meddling of Adult 1 and Adult 2, formerly known as Mommy and Daddy.

Was it mere coincidence that the action in Toyland happened the same week that one Rachel Levine was grilled in hir Senate confirmation hearing for the post as Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services? The hearing tilted toward transphobia when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked zie, a little too aggressively, if they were in favor of pubescent children opting for sexual reassignment in opposition to xyr parents. The nominee, who hirself transitioned from “male” to “female” in 2011, answered that transgender medical issues are “complex and nuanced.” True (perhaps). And probably more than a Senator who transitioned from ophthalmologist to politician might appreciate.

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Texas ‘Deep Freeze’: Urgent Climate Warning but “Not What You Think”, by F. William Engdahl

Maybe Texas wasn’t prepared for cold weather because those in charge believed global warming predictions. From F. William Engdahl at globalresearch.ca

In the unfolding extreme winter tragedy in Texas as well as many other regions of the United States not prepared for severe winter weather, a notable point is that much of the vast windmill batteries across the state, supposed to generate 25% of the state electric power grid, have frozen and are largely useless. The recent severe winter weather across not only the continental USA but also large parts of the EU, and even the Middle East, warrants a closer look at a subject that has been too long ignored by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, as well as by a new group of academics known as Climate Scientists. That is, the influence of our sun on global climate.

Cold Climate Change

On February 14, 2020 a record Arctic cold front swept from Canada far south to the southernmost parts of Texas on the Mexican border. The immediate impact has been power outages for up to 15 million Texans who as of February 17 remained without heat and electricity, as almost half the wind units were frozen and inoperable from ice storms, many permanently. Texas over the past five years has doubled its share of wind generation to the grid in a rush to adopt a green energy profile. With some 25% of the state electric grid from wind sources, almost half that is out of commission, many permanently, from the storm.

Tyler, Texas, once known as the “Rose Capital of America,” saw temperatures of near -20 C.

Gas processing plants across Texas are shutting as liquids freeze inside pipes further reducing power just as demand for heating fuel explodes. Heating fuel prices in Oklahoma jumped 4000% in two days and are rising. Wholesale prices for delivery in Texas are trading as much as $9000 per mega-watt hour. Two days before the storms price was $30. In a summer peak demand, a price of $100 is considered high.

Reduced gas supplies from Texas to Mexican power companies have led to blackouts in northern Mexico, with almost 5 million households and businesses left without power on February 15.

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Socialism-in-Practice Was a Nightmare, Not Utopia, by Richard M. Ebeling

It’s not like the world hasn’t witnessed plenty of socialism’s horrific failures. From Richard M. Ebeling at aier.org:

It is amazing sometimes how really short humanity’s historical memory can be. Listening to some in American academia and on social media, you would think that socialism was a bright, new, and shiny idea never tried before that promises a beautiful future of peace, love, and bountifulness for all. It is as if a hundred years of socialism-in-practice in a large number of countries around the world had never happened. 

If the reality of actual socialism in the 20th century is brought up, many “progressives” and “democratic” socialists respond by insisting that none of these historical episodes were instances of “real” socialism. It was just that the wrong people had been in charge, or it had not been implemented in the right way, or political circumstances had prevented it from getting a “fair chance” of successfully working, or it is all lies or exaggerations about the supposed “bad” or harsh” experiences under these socialist regimes. You cannot blame socialism for there having been a Lenin, or a Stalin, or a Chairman Mao, or a Fidel Castro, or a Kim Il-Sung, or a Pol Pot, or a Hugo Chavez, or . . .  

Tyranny, terror, mass murder, and economic stagnation, along with political plunder and privilege for the few at the top of socialist government hierarchies were not indicative of what socialism could be. Just give it one more chance. And, then, another chance, and another. 

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Oil and Debt: Why Our Financial System Is Unsustainable, by Charles Hugh Smith

Energy is and will always be the dominant variable. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

How much energy, water and food will the “money” created out of thin air in the future buy?

Finance is often cloaked in arcane terminology and math, but the one dynamic that governs the future is actually very simple.

Here it is: all debt is borrowed against future supplies of affordable hydrocarbons (oil, coal and natural gas). Since global economic activity is ultimately dependent on a continued abundance of affordable energy, it follows that all money borrowed against future income is actually being borrowed against future supplies of affordable energy.

Many people believe that alternative “green” energy will soon replace most or all hydrocarbon energy sources, but the chart below shows why this belief is not realistic: all the “renewable” energy sources are about 3% of all energy consumed, with hydropower providing another few percent.

There are unavoidable headwinds to this appealing fantasy:

1. All “renewable” energy is actually “replaceable” energy, per analyst Nate Hagens: every 15-25 years (or less) much or all of the alt-energy systems and structures have to be replaced, and little of the necessary mining, manufacturing and transport can be performed with the “renewable” electricity these sources generate. Virtually all the heavy lifting of these processes require hydrocarbons and especially oil.

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Doug Casey on Rapidly Rising Taxes and 3 Other Imminent Dangers to Your Wealth

Broke governments are going to be even more unbelievably rapacious than they are now. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

dangers to your wealth

International Man: President Biden’s Treasury Secretary—and Obama Fed Chair—Janet Yellen recently floated the idea of taxing unrealized capital gains through a “mark-to-market” mechanism.

What is going on here?

Doug Casey: When you tax unrealized capital gains—as they do with foreign stocks in a number of countries, like New Zealand, where it made my life expensive and miserable while I was living there—any stock market assets that you have are marked to market annually. This is a big disincentive to own them because whether you sell the asset or not, you’re going to pay taxes as if you’d sold it.

This is why very few Kiwis own foreign stocks. They’re liable to be taxed on gains, whether or not they sell and actually pocket the gains. I presume that’s what Yellen is talking about. It would make it pointless to buy a stock like Berkshire Hathaway and just hold it for decades to escape capital gains taxes. But the bright side is that if this law was in force, Warren Buffett would no longer be able to whine about the injustice of paying fewer taxes than his secretary.

I question whether the proposal will be enacted, though, simply because it’s so stupidly destructive. It’s clear that Yellen needs to collect on some more six-figure speeches to gain a proper understanding of it and get off that hobby horse.

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