In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper.Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.” — Emperor Palpatine, The Return of the JediJon Stewart made great comedic hay during the Bush Administration out of the enormity of Dick Cheney’s “Sith Lord” malevolence. Events in Iraq in the past week have made especially palpable Cheney’s Palpatine-like quality.As Iraq unravels, you may suspect that Cheney might now […]
Entrepreneurs are high-tailing it out of the United States, and it’s the politicians’ faultThe U.S. government is driving some of its most productive citizens abroad. The only beneficiaries are countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, which offer sanctuary to Americans fleeing avaricious Uncle Sam.Three years ago Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s founders, joined 1,780 other […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
A cushy job in Hawaii that pays six figures. A beautiful girlfriend/boyfriend. Job security and professional experience that gives you plenty of future opportunities. Would you throw that all away to do what you think is right? Last year, one government contractor did just that. And now you see the world the government tried to hide from you.
As the world gets more digital, people forget about the benefits of transacting in cash. And government officials know that.
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
The experts will tell you the recession is over, but they’re only torturing the data to hide the truth. The economy never recovered from the downturn it experienced. But the downturn happened in 2000, not 2008. The country’s been in the middle of a 14 year recession and hardly anyone knows the truth.
All paper currency has a shelf life. It could be 5 years or 500 years, but at some point, the value of any paper currency eventually reaches zero. That's why, for centuries, people have turned to one shiny metal to safeguard their personal store of wealth. And, as Jim Rickards explains, you still have that option. Read on...
Edward Snowden’s one year visa in Russia expires at the end of next month. With only a few weeks left before he finds himself without a safe country to live in, he sat down to give an exclusive interview. Here are the most important things he wants you to remember from his recent sacrifice.
Government has a serious problem. It’s got nothing worthwhile to do. All the cool things in life come from the private sector, and this is more obvious than ever. The market is creating whole worlds before our eyes, while the government seems ever more like a hopeless anachronism.
Government’s life depends on public frenzy about some grand task it is seeking to accomplish. But today, there is no epic struggle, no grand historic project, no leading us to the light, no vanquishing evil and all those other things government used to claim to do.
It has certainly flopped as the Savior of the Economy. It can’t educate the kids, it can’t give us riches and it can’t even deliver mail.
So its idle hands do the devil’s work. Government grabs our money and dishes it out, roughs people up in the name of safety or security or whatever and otherwise hectors and prods us in a billion dumb ways that make it harder and harder to achieve a better life.
Oh, but wait! Let’s not forget the War on Terror. Surely, there is a job worth doing.
Just last week, the headlines blared that government authorities had done it again. They had marvelously protected the homeland from a catastrophic bombing. The plot, fortunately foiled, involved an amazing bomb sewn into underwear, to be worn on another U.S. flight.
But the U.S. officials intervened and saved the day. They bombed the heck out of the nasty terror cell, slaughtered a few of these vermin. Ah, the world is safe for another day.
This is what we were told. I saw the headlines and smelled a rat, but I moved on. But then the headlines continued the next day and the next. You know how this happens. You finally relent and read the thing because the editors think it is important and, of course, it is irresponsible not to be “in the know.”
But by the time I actually started paying attention to the latest act in this security theater, the story had changed — not just a little, but a lot. It turns out that the U.S. had an agent inside this terrorist operation. He was a Saudi national in the pay of the CIA, and he was operating in Yemen. Pretty exotic stuff.
The details continued to pour out. This guy was not just an informant. He actually delivered the real bomb to the CIA! Now, that’s an effective agent. Right? It seems so. What’s more, he was the actual guy who was going to carry out this operation.
And the operation itself? A suicide bombing. He volunteered to die. He was given the bomb that he would use. He took the bomb to the CIA. To what extent he was the actual plotter, the guy who talked others into this whole thing and whether the bomb even worked — these things are all unknown. All that is known is that this unnamed informant turns out to be the terrorist in question and that he himself did all of this on behalf of the CIA.
Now, let’s just say you are an Islamic follower in Yemen and like nearly everyone else in this region, you are pretty fed up with U.S imperialism. This young punk from Saudi Arabia suggests a plot to blow up an American airliner. Maybe this sounds interesting and epic, but maybe somewhat reckless.
In fact, you are going to be pretty suspicious of this whole idea, but he is driving everyone crazy with demands that he be given a bomb. Then he even suggests that he be the suicide bomber. You might be thinking, “Hmm, whatever else, at least this plot could result in one fatality: this stupid punk from Saudi Arabia!
“Here’s your bomb. Knock yourself out. Break more than a leg.”
I, of course, have no idea if this is what happened. But the CIA’s involvement here compromises the narrative enormously.
As David Shipler wrote in The New York Times:
“The United States has been narrowly saved from lethal terrorist plots in recent years — or so it has seemed. A would-be suicide bomber was intercepted on his way to the Capitol; a scheme to bomb synagogues and shoot Stinger missiles at military aircraft was developed by men in Newburgh, N.Y.; and a fanciful idea to fly explosive-laden model planes into the Pentagon and the Capitol was hatched in Massachusetts.
“But all these dramas were facilitated by the FBI, whose undercover agents and informers posed as terrorists offering a dummy missile, fake C-4 explosives, a disarmed suicide vest and rudimentary training. Suspects naively played their parts until they were arrested.”
In the Middle Ages, there was a profession called the wine taster. His job was not to discern the vintage or tell if the bouquet had a hint of blackberry. His job was to make sure the wine was not poison.
But let’s say many years went by and none of the wine was poison. The wine taster started getting nervous for his job and profession. So he went around the city and tried to get people to poison wines. He made himself a presence among all the vandals and vagrants and volunteered to do the poisoning himself.
If the news of his mischief came out, do you think he would have been a hero or a villain? It seems that he would have been and should have been completely washed up. He was going around trying to get people to poison wines as a way of maintaining his job. This is a moral outrage. He would surely be out of work.
This is what the government is doing to us these days. It is trying to inspire terrorism and then claiming credit for having discovered it. Then it scares people into thinking that their job is extremely important, and therefore, without it, we would all be sunk.
In other words, this looks less like national security and ever more like a racket.
People say that terrorists are desperate cowards. Maybe. But then what phrase is left for a government that does this sort of thing as a way of maintaining its lease on life in times when ever more people are fed up with the whole game?