Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
World War II might have dragged the country out of the Great Depression, but it did so at a great price. Central planning took center stage, and politicans and bureaucrats suddenly knew what was best for America, the economy, and your life. On top of that, they replaced the free market with a new economic system… Creditism.
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification is important, for it provides the rationale for the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary expansion since 2008. While critics may dispute the wealth effect’s magnitude, few have challenged its conceptual soundness. Such is the purpose of this article. The wealth effect is but a mantra without merit.
Baron Rothschild, the famous French financier, was once heard to say that he knew of only two men who really understood money -- an obscure clerk in the Bank of France and one of the directors of the Bank of England. “Unfortunately,” he added, “they disagree.”
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
The financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
“When they come for my gun, they will have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands,” is a common refrain I often hear from the Neo-Cons when there is a threat, credible or otherwise, that the U.S. government is going to take their firearms.And, when I hear this crazy talk, I agree with […]
Last year was quite the year for Bitcoin. We’ve seen exponential growth in Bitcoin’s exchange rate and extensive coverage in the media. Another phenomenon we have witnessed is the proliferation of alternative cryptocurrencies, five of which we’ve provided below.What all of these cryptocurrencies have in common is that they rely on a decentralized network to […]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information […]
Amidst all the revelations about how the American people, many of whom are absolutely convinced they live in a free society, have their telephone calls, emails, website visits, and who knows what else under surveillance by their own government, let’s not forget the massive infringements on financial privacy that have gone on for decades.Consider, for […]
Image: ShutterstockBitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem, along with alleged co-conspirator Robert Faiella, was arrested by federal authorities last week for allegedly laundering more than $1 million worth of Bitcoins. This is a tiny amount compared to the largest drug-and-terrorism money laundering case ever. Yet when British bank HSBC was found guilty in 2012 of laundering billions, […]
The exercise had an awesome name, inspired by the movies: “Quantum Dawn 2.”On July 18, scads of U.S. banks, stock exchanges and government agencies took part in a digital fire drill — a practice run in the event all of Wall Street came under massive cyberattack.This isn’t the first time banks have come under an […]
The faces of the Detroit bankruptcy are the thousands of pensioners whose promised benefits are suddenly part of the restructure negotiation. When Motown filed for Chapter 9 last July, the city had $11.5 billion in unsecured liabilities. The vast majority of this was pension and health care benefits owed to retired city employees.The images of […]
So you’ve maneuvered the Obamacare website, plugged in your top-secret information and found out how much you are forced to pay to avoid a fine.And for some of you, it turns out you qualify for a government subsidy — making the premium sound like a bargain. But signing on that line to accept the government’s […]
The Largest Company in History:“The United States Corporation of Government (USCOG)”I follow global social and commercial networks, looking for entrepreneurial opportunities.Innovation surges when industry and government models change. Buggy whips. Landline phones. Railroads. The Soviet Union. Apartheid South Africa. All marked social and commercial innovation, both bad and good.We are witnessing a new form of […]
We’d like to give the banks in Australia some credit. They’ve finally gone and done it. They have caught up with 1960s technology. They’ve figured out how to use PIN numbers.How to only use PIN numbers, that is. They’re considering scrapping signatures on credit cards to cut down on fraud. Apparently, having to verify your […]
We put in a good-citizen call to the SEC the other day.“There’s a massive scheme to manipulate stock prices,” we told the friendly agent.“I have to tell you that your call is being monitored so that we can better serve the public,” he replied.“Oh, don’t worry about that. The NSA is tapping our call anyway.”“Are […]
Bitcoins are largely considered digital currency (or “crypto currency”) so you’d expect it to be treated like currency on a retail web site. But the Internal Revenue Service might not think so.
Politicians — elected officials — are street smart rather than book smart.If you care about influencing government policy it helps to know how they think.Forbes contributor Nathan Lewis argues that:“Too much is done today on the oral tradition. That is, literally, what it is. In this post-Gutenberg age, we have some better alternatives.“Thus, we need […]
Bitcoin has been making headlines for months now. Extreme price fluctuations have sparked a vigorous debate: Is it a currency or a scam? Is Bitcoin viable in the long-term, or are we witnessing a bubble waiting to burst?The answers to these questions are simple: Yes, Bitcoin is a currency, but we cannot know if it […]
Now, this is sheer entertainment. The Chicago branch of the Federal Reserve has addressed the great monetary question of our day. A researcher has taken a detailed look at the prospects for market-based crypto-currency, with a special focus on Bitcoin. It concludes that Bitcoin is not a viable replacement for the dollar. The report includes some dark hints that should it ever become so, it should probably be crushed.
What’s funny and fascinating is to follow the thinking here. What you discover is the greatest act of Freudian projection I’ve ever seen in a Federal Reserve study.
“It is hard to imagine a world,” says the unimaginative study, “where the main currency is based on an extremely complex code understood only by a few and controlled by even fewer, without accountability, arbitration, or recourse.”
Blink, blink. This is the Fed talking here. Talk about complex. When the Fed governor speaks in Congress, he (soon she) speaks in such a blithering array of econ-babble that no one dare respond, for fear of seeming ignorant. It’s like the first day of an Intro to Physics class. The professor asks if there are questions, and everyone sits in terror.
In a half-century of this nonsense, only Ron Paul ever really dared to ask serious questions of the Fed. The main way the Fed avoids questions is to blind people with crazy statistics and complex analysis. One might say that the Fed’s management of the dollar is based on “extremely complex code understood only by a few.”
But no, this is what the Fed says of Bitcoin, an open-source protocol that anyone can download, examine, and critique, a currency that has its every single transaction logged in a public ledger in the cloud. Never in history has there been a more transparent money.
It gets better. Here is another example of the Fed “criticizing” Bitcoin. Recall that no government agency created Bitcoin. It was an invention of one person or team that wrote up the protocol for a perfect money and dumped it on an obscure Internet forum. Eight months later, it obtained a market value. Since then, it has grown and grown and is now being used all over the world. It has a market capitalization of $4.5 billion, and the exchange rate to the dollar shows ever increasing value.
This has all been accomplished without any third-party sponsorship or support from the state. That’s a bit embarrassing for an agency that claims to be absolutely essential for the management of the U.S. monetary and global empire. We could never abolish this wonderful institution!
So how does the Fed account for Bitcoin? “Bitcoin is free of the power of the state,” says the report, “but it is also outside the protection of the state.”
Scary! The writer presumes that everyone believes the state has been protecting the dollar! If you assume that 100 years ago, when the Fed was created, $1 dollar was worth $1, today it’s worth less than 5 cents.
In contrast, Bitcoin keeps going up in value relative to the goods and services it buys. That’s a pretty weird and unprecedented thing. In other words, if you hold Bitcoin, you actually see your wealth grow even without investing. That is the way sound money works. It is what the Fed decries as “deflationary,” a word that only means it gets more valuable.
The Fed assures us that “throughout most of Western history, the state has involved itself in money. At a minimum, the state has used money as a coordinating device, usually supporting its value by accepting it in the payment of taxes.”
You think being taxed feels like being robbed. The Fed says no. You are being taxed so the dollar will continue to have value. This is a restatement of the “valor impositus” position from the Middle Ages — a great lie from kings that they are the reason anything is right about the world.
It gets even weirder. The report adds, “One main function of money is to free a debtor from his or her obligations, tying money to an essential state function, the administration of justice.”
But actually, the effect of the Fed has been exactly the opposite. There is no way that the government could have racked up a crazy and unpayable $17 trillion debt without the Fed promising to print enough money to bail out the system no matter what. In fact, the whole reason the Fed was created in the first place was to allow the government to go into debt without facing market-based consequences.
In other words, the Fed has not freed us from debtor obligations, but rather imposed vast obligations on us and many generations to come.
The Fed offers one more big criticism of Bitcoin. Here again, the jaw drops. Prepare yourself for this broadside: Bitcoin has “a status of quasi-monopoly in the realm of digital currencies by virtue of its first-mover advantage.”
Yes, a quasi-monopoly. Maybe that should be considered better than the full-blown monopolistic cartel that the dollar represents. What’s next? The Federal Trade Commission needs to get in there and break it up? That would be a very amusing thing to watch.
There has never been a currency more resistant to control by government than Bitcoin. It lives on a distributed network. The feds could take down a trillion copies of the ledger, but it could live again as long as one copy survived. It is exchanged person to person, with no third-party involvement, making it even more resistant.
Plus, the use of cryptography to guarantee the integrity of transactions makes it almost impossible for outsiders to access the identity details behind transactions.
Indeed, this is the whole reason for the structure of Bitcoin. It was made to be state resistant. It was made to thrive without the intervention of a central bank. It has no single point of failure. Therefore, of course, it is driving the elites just about bonkers.
But if this is the best the Fed can do, the future is rather bright. I can’t think of any less plausible criticism than for the Fed to criticize Bitcoin — which the market has been free to accept or reject — as a secretive, complex, and cartelized system.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin is called the “honey badger” of currencies for a reason. Its march proceeds regardless. The supposed bubble and bust of this last March is already looking like growing pains. Even if you bought at the top, you would have already seen a 50% return on your money.
Bitcoin will continue to be misunderstood, smeared, attacked, and denounced. But you know what? Bitcoin just doesn’t care. Every month that goes by, it gets more popular, more useful, more accessible. Someday it could be the new world reserve currency, and it will leave these stuffy researchers in Fed palaces crying into their morning cappuccinos.