Students of Austrian business cycle theory are familiar with the term malinvestment. A malinvestment is any poor use of resources or capital, commonly made in response to bad policy (usually artificially low interest rates and/or unsustainable increases in the monetary supply). Here, we introduce a related term: malincentive. While not part of the official economic lexicon, I consider a 'malincentive' a useful word to describe any promise of short-term gain whose long-term costs outweigh any immediate benefits enjoyed. Malincetives and malinvestment go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, the former causes the latter. As humans, we respond remarkably well to incentives. And dumb incentives encourage us to make dumb investments.
Zero (or negative) interest rates around the world have practically destroyed any reasonable expectation of savings. Simply put, saving money guarantees that you will lose after adjusting for inflation, at a time when the US government’s finances have never been more precarious. Crazy. Buying ‘risk free’ bonds, dumping money in a mutual fund, and waiting for the government pension to kick in just won’t produce the results that it used to.
While pro-Bernie progressives are free to create their own communities in Ron Paul’s world, Ron Paul libertarians are compelled by force to participate in Bernie’s world. That is the fundamental difference between liberty and socialism, between voluntaryism and collectivism, between statism and private property. Nothing prevents progressives from living as they wish now, except the very things they viciously oppose: decentralization, secession, and local control.
The standard narrative we are told by the government and their lapdog media is that tax avoidance is something that self-centered rich assholes do so that they can buy more Ferraris. This is complete propaganda. Taking legal steps to reduce what you owe is all about ensuring that your labor goes to the causes that YOU believe in, rather than funding spy agencies and bombing raids on children’s hospitals.
UnitedHealth made its divorce with Obamacare complete when it announed plans to exit most of the Affordable Care Act state exchanges where it currently operates by 2017. During a conference call with analysts Tuesday, CEO Stephen Hemsley noted that "next year we will remain in only a handful of states."
$13,903,107,629,266. Can the nation afford this much debt? This much we have learned about debt after 40 years of writing and study: It is better not to incur it. Once it is incurred, it is better to pay it off. America, we have a problem.
Fraud as a way of life caters an extravagant banquet of consequences. This can't be said politely: the entire status quo in America is a fraud.
Our system was never intended to be like this. Our founders hated taxes, and they fought a very bitter war to escape the yoke of oppressive taxation. During his very first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson clearly expressed what he thought about taxes... “A wise and frugal government... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” Why couldn’t we have listened to him?
“The typical investor has usually gathered a good deal of half-truths, misconceptions, and just plain bunk about successful investing.” With the month of April winding up the seasonally strong time of the year, earnings season just ahead and economic growth weak, the risks to the downside far outweigh “hope” of higher prices. Or, is “bad news” still the bear market deterrent?
What's a Couple Hundred Trillion Benjamins Between Friends?
The unintended consequences of a minimum wage hike in a weak economic environment are not inconsequential. Furthermore, given that businesses are already fighting for profitability, hiking the minimum wage, given the subsequent “trickle up” effect, will lead to further increases in productivity and “off shoring” of jobs to reduce rising employment costs. So much for bringing back those manufacturing jobs.
"when I look at the current picture of expected tax revenues combined with benefits promised to future generations, this is the most unsustainable situation I have seen ever in my career." The disaster that Druckenmiller sees coming for the United States is all about changing demographics and entitlement spending. They don’t add up to a sustainable situation. Fixing this is going to require some real sacrifice by the American people and that doesn’t sound like a very appealing platform upon which to get re-elected.
Wage inequality is really a sign of a deeper problem; basically it reflects an economic system that is not growing rapidly enough to satisfy everyone. Our basic problem is that the world economy is growing so slowly that the ordinary workers at the bottom find themselves with less than an adequate quantity of goods and services. This problem seems to be getting worse rather than better, over time, making the problem a political issue.