Thursday, January 31, 2013

Appreciating the Positive

This WSJ makes a very good point, despite all our current problems life today is pretty darn good.  Here are the final two paragraphs, but I think the whole piece is worth reading:

Even though the inflation-adjusted hourly wage hasn't changed much in 50 years, it is unlikely that an average American would trade his wages and benefits in 2013—along with access to the most affordable food, appliances, clothing and cars in history, plus today's cornucopia of modern electronic goods—for the same real wages but with much lower fringe benefits in the 1950s or 1970s, along with those era's higher prices, more limited selection, and inferior products.
Despite assertions by progressives who complain about stagnant wages, inequality and the (always) disappearing middle class, middle-class Americans have more buying power than ever before. They live longer lives and have much greater access to the services and consumer products bought by billionaires.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Moving to Avoid State Income Taxes

Several stories are out recently revealing how many high earners move to avoid onerous state taxes.  It makes me happy that in the process they help starve the blood sucking parasites that make up the electorate and governments of our most socialist states (e.g. CA and NY).

This story for example, reveals that Tiger Woods saved about $100 million in CA taxes over a 16 year career.  While this story highlights a potential developing trend of hedge funds and private equity firms leaving NYC to relocate to Palm Beach, Florida.

Another beneficial result is that several states are discussing reducing their income and corporate taxes to become more competitive.  Not only will this make the movement of high income earners  more pronounced -- it might also eventually allow activists in high tax states to successfully promote freedom over tax, spend and regulate. (I know, the latter is probably wishful thinking, the leaders in these states seem to be willing to completely bankrupt their states rather than even consider changing their ways.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roe v. Wade 40 Years Later

ARI has two valuable commentaries:  Dr. Peikoff at the Huffington Post, and the first ARI podcast featuring Onkar and Tom Bowden.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Enititlement Programs are not Part of the National Debt

For those willing to engage in the next political tragi-comedy, the debt ceiling negotiations, here's a good WSJ piece laying out some valuable talking points / myth-busters.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Regulating Google

A good blog post on Google's right to charge for and use the property it has created.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Building Businesses

I enjoyed this Forbes story highlighting the Koch brothers ability to build businesses by thinking long-term and willingly taking on calculated risks.  They seem to be very admirable entrepreneurs.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Danger of Municipal Bonds

For some reason markets seem to be much more "jerky" than I would have ever guessed from standard economic theory.  I predict that one day in the next three years, the market will suddenly "realize" that's it's been mis-pricing the risk of municipal bond defaults and "haircuts", and the bond market will see a precipitous decline.  This WSJ story lists one of the principal risks that, in my opinion, the market currently isn't really discounting:
The municipal bankruptcy unfolding in Stockton, California is giving investors a bad case of deja vu. Just as the Obama Administration bailed out the United Auto Workers in Chrysler's bankruptcy while hanging bondholders out to dry, the city of Stockton is subordinating its bond debt to worker pensions. But what's really scary is that the Stockton case could be replayed in dozens of California cities.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Soul Searching After a Horror

I think this article is a good example of the positive soul-searching a horrific event can elicit.  Hopefully Indian culture will improve as a result of the recent prominent gang-rape-murder.

I post this as a reminder that we must continue to try to offer positive and constructive analyses as our own cultures worsens, the alternative is to have religious views gain prominence.