News Items November 2013

My list of news items to comment on keeps stacking up, so rather than posting about each of them, I’ll just do a short comment on each of them here.

Microbusiness Success – Oklahoma Home Bakeries no Longer Need Licensing

This is a fantastic move. Home bakeries selling under $20,000 do not need a license, and only need to tell where the baked goods came from. We need to do this with more industries, and maybe even raise the minimum. Actually, a better methodology would be to switch from an amount-based requirement to a structure-based requirement. In other words, sole proprietorships don’t need a license, but corporations do.

Illusions of Wealth

This is a great ZH article on how bubbles don’t create real wealth, only an illusion of it. For example, there is no way to sell off the entire stock market for its present price. If the stock market were real wealth, then you could justify holding it in absence of the price of the stock itself (i.e. due to dividends or other reasons to hold the asset). Since the prices can’t be sustained on their own, and no one would buy the stocks except for the hope of higher prices, then the “wealth” in the value of the stock is merely an illusion. A few people will be able to sell out at the current price, but not many.

A Fed FOMC Governor Comes to Grips with Reality

A fed governor tells the truth about QE and who it benefits.

WebMD is being Paid Off by Obamacare

It turns out a lot of “articles” about Obamacare are actually paid advertisements, and Obamacare is paying a lot for these. Basically, Obama is paying off key boosters.

Inflation as indexed through CPI is actually hiding how much living standards have decreased because of the Fed

There’s a lot to say about this, but I don’t have the time.

An interesting Bitcoin Article

Another one

Yet another one

The third Bitcoin article talks about how we can prevent Bitcoin from imploding by simply ignoring traders who fix prices. If only we could do that with the regular currency! I offer you these articles just for additional information, not because I necessarily endorse their valuations, conclusions, or methodology.

Lots of People Don’t Breath Enough When Emailing


Black Thursday Videos

Many people are in a sad place…

A New Gold-Backed Currency?

I like the idea, but I like mine better.

Apparently Germany is very productive

But the EU isn’t necessarily happy about it.

There Really Are Welfare Junkies

When you look at all of the “help” that goes to the poor, you realize that it actually makes more sense for the poor to not work than to work, at least for them. You cannot hope to elevate people when working incrementally actually decreases their pay, and there is no negative for not working.

There is a widespread perception that something is very wrong

Yes, yes there is.

Today’s Wealth Destruction is Hidden by Government Debt

From the article:

Many people believe the paper wealth they own in the form of government bonds, investment funds, insurance policies, bank deposits, and entitlements will provide them with nice sunset years. However, at retirement they will only be able to consume what is produced by the real economy. But the economy’s real production capacity has been severely distorted and reduced by government intervention.

In other words, the government is hampering real economic production, and real capital investment, which means the money won’t be worth anything when it matters.

Insider Trading at the Federal Reserve and Investment Giants?

My answer – no. Everybody knew that QE would never end. PIMCO was simply taking advantage of what everyone else knew to be true. If they had insider information, it didn’t give them a better insight than Peter Schiff. A more telling thing would be if they *stopped* MBS purchases in a way that was timed with the fed pulling back on QE.

Dad Arrested After Asking To Take His Children Home After School

Guys, seriously, pull your kids out. If your school system is this insane, please consider homeschooling. It looks like a Facebook pagea has been created as well as a page to fund the father’s defense.

Hospital Kidnaps Daughter for 9 Months

Hospitals are just as totalitarian as the schools.

How to Turn a Beer Can Into a Stove

I actually haven’t watched this, but it looks cool.

Lessons from Armed America

This looks like an interesting book.

A student worksheet about Democrat/Republican ideas which grossly slants Republican ideas

Another reason to homeschool.

10 Corporations that Control the Major Brands

Go local when you can, or at least realize who is trying to manipulate you.

FEMA Camps for Homeless in Columbia, South Carolina

Seriously (though they may not be actually run by FEMA). Basically, homeless people (and newly-released prisoners) will be trucked off to camps. They will only be able to leave the camp with permission. Disturbing fact – there are an estimated 1,600 homeless people, but the camp only holds 240. If you live in Columbia, STOP THE MADNESS. It is worrisome where this will go. Reminds me of an old saying about how the law is fair because “neither kings nor homeless people will be allowed to sleep under bridges.”

This also doesn’t look to be an isolated incident, either.

That’s all for this morning!

Some Criticisms of George Gilder’s Knowledge and Power

I’ve been reading (actually listening to) George Gilder’s new book, Knowledge and Power, dealing with what he calls the “information theory of capitalism.” The book is, overall, fantastic. I heartily recommend it to anyone, and believe that Gilder provides both an excellent defense of capitalism as well as an excellent understanding of it. Hopefully soon I will write an overview, because it really is good. However, before I forget, I want to cover some of the places where I think Gilder is wrong. Gilder is an optimist. I like optimists. That’s actually one of the things about my book – it’s an optimistic prepare book. However, Gilder often goes beyond optimism to all-out rose-colored-glasses.
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