When the government pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, they’re not actually printing the money. It enters as digital entries in banks across the country. It’s made the system fast, responsive, and, unfortunately, vulnerable. Now our money is no longer something we hold in our hands, but something that exists on a very susceptible network.
When’s the best time to invest in something? When everyone else is trying to get their money out of it. It might go against conventional thinking, but following the crowd usually makes you miss the real opportunities. At one monetary metal conference recently, the smartest guys in the industry sat down to discuss where these real hidden gems lay.
Say goodbye to your boring morning commute. New technologies are changing the way people drive their cars. It’s making them safer, more fuel efficient, and could reshape the way America builds its roads and cities. The only thing that could stand in the way...
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
When the NSA surveillance news broke last year it sent shockwaves through CERN, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland. Andy Yen, a PhD student, took to the Young at CERN Facebook group with a simple message: “I am very concerned about the privacy issue, and I was wondering what I could do about it.”There was […]
Remember that correction we’ve been quietly talking about over the past couple of months?Well, it might be right around the corner. Stocks waited until the last day of the month to nose-dive. The S&P 500 posted its first 2% down day since April — and the Dow wasn’t far behind. Early this morning, futures continue […]
I was talking with one of my colleagues the other day, and he raised a very interesting question, one that deserves consideration by anyone worried about their digital privacy. He read an article that championed the idea that the more steps one took to protect their privacy by using anonymous Web-browsing tools like Tor, the […]
Health care costs in the U.S. have been rising so steadily for so long that containment barely seems possible. Even optimists don’t dream of cutting the price tag. As its official name — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — suggests, Obamacare aims for affordability, not radical reduction.But at a time when we’re all […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
I want to share some insight and give you a front-row seat to America’s next big shale play.Let’s get to it…Over the past 10 years, the U.S. has turned the ship around, quite literally.We’ve gone from a country that was expecting to import massive amounts of oil and gas — to a country that’s sitting […]
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 […]
What if I told you that the march of human progress could be traced in a direct line from the Epicureans of Ancient Greece… through the 18th Century’s cure for smallpox… to where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates found inspiration as scrappy teenagers… to the flying car of tomorrow?Stay with me and I’ll show you […]
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.
What’s the #1 reason a start-up fails?It runs out of money!And why would it run out of money?Because nobody wants the product it’s selling!For early-stage investors, this presents a bit of a conundrum:If a product doesn’t exist yet, how do you figure out if there’s demand for it?And how do you figure it out before […]
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.
Every time Bitcoin crashes, it winds up at a price greater than it’s previous high. Yet the experts still call it a currency fad that will fade away. But a little over a year since it really took up, the digital currency is still going strong, and is once again seeing its price rise. But is there another reason why people are buying Bitcoins.
According to some estimates, one man - whose name you're probably not familiar with - has saved over a billion lives. Who is he? And how has he influenced the current crop of innovators? Josh Grasmick explains...
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.
Biotech breakthroughs and other transformative innovations are a few of the brightly shining spots in the U.S. economy. In fact, Paul Mampilly believes this is the golden age of biotech investing, and that you can earn massive returns while investing in companies with drugs that benefit all of humanity. Read on for his latest example...
Harold Hamm isn’t your typical entrepreneur. His life’s story shows you success in America doesn’t always depend on a fat checkbook
Obama recently claimed this was the “Decade of the Brain”. But it not the first time the government made that promise. The last time they did it, they wasted millions of your tax dollars. Now they’re back for round two. But this time, their failure could mean more than squandered money. It could mean making Alzheimer’s even worse for those who suffer from it.
Does owning a gun mean you’re guilty until proven innocent? Considering what happened to one man from Florida, that might be the case. But there’s more to this story than just a case of police overreach. Police departments across the nation could be implementing a new technology that puts the burden of innocence squarely on your shoulders.
American ingenuity. It’s the stuff of lore and legend, and it’s what drives the global economy. We literally bank on the next disruptive entrepreneur — and innovative new technology — to completely redefine or create new industries. It’s what America does really well, our goose that continues to lay golden eggs.And yet, maybe not.The truth […]
We’ve pointed out in the past that President Obama’s views on the surveillance state shifted completely from when he was Senator to when he was President. As Senator, he supported a bunch of reforms that are very much like the ones his panel have suggested — and which he’s about to ignore. The NY Times has a long article talking about President Obama’s path from an NSA critic to a supporter, and this is the key line, delivered by a nameless “former aide:”
“…he trusts himself to use these powers more than he did the Bush administration.”
This is not the first time we’ve seen this attitude of “I’m trustworthy, so it’s okay” from President Obama. Remember, back during the last election, President Obama instructed his staff to come up with explicit rules concerning the use of killer drones — rules that the military under Obama did not have — because he was worried how a President like Romney might use the program. Of course, once it became clear that Obama would win re-election, those plans to create rules were put on the shelf.
This is the corruption of power. It’s a belief that we don’t need explicit rules and protections because “I’m trustworthy and I won’t abuse this stuff.” But just about everyone thinks of themselves as trustworthy — and then an extreme situation comes up… and they abuse that trust just a little bit, because they can, and, hey, they’re trustworthy. And then they abuse it some more. And some more. Or, the next guy abuses it. And the next guy abuses it some more, because there’s a precedent set.
If you’re really trustworthy on issues like this, then you would have an even stronger support for the rules, because you know you’ll never abuse them. It’s actually only if you’re in power and you’re not trustworthy that you fear such rules.
The Times coverage also suggests, as President Obama himself has, that the other big difference is that once he was in power, he “better understood the threats,” as well as how these programs protected us. But that position is undermined by much of the rest of the article, which suggests that the reality is that, once in power, President Obama just didn’t care any more:
“Feeling little pressure to curb the security agencies, Mr. Obama largely left them alone until Mr. Snowden began disclosing secret programs last year. Mr. Obama was angry at the revelations, privately excoriating Mr. Snowden as a self-important narcissist who had not thought through the consequences of his actions.
“He was surprised at the uproar that ensued, advisers said, particularly that so many Americans did not trust him, much less trust the oversight provided by the intelligence court and Congress. As more secrets spilled out, though, aides said even Mr. Obama was chagrined. They said he was exercised to learn that the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was being tapped.”
This fits with earlier claims we’ve heard about how President Obama keeps finding out about what the NSA is doing from the Snowden leaks, and then having to go ask the NSA what’s really going on. The idea that the President didn’t know that the NSA was tracking the phone of the leader of one of our largest allies suggests a complete disinterest and hands off approach to the surveillance state — which is another recipe for allowing widespread abuses.
Similarly, as we were among the first to point out, the FISC ruling that noted the NSA had abused section 215 of the PATRIOT Act for years, came just weeks after President Obama took power. He claims that as he studied the programs, he found that they were important and vital and weren’t being abused. Yet, just weeks after he became President the court in charge of oversight found exactly the opposite. You’d think that if he were actually concerned about the surveillance state, he would have taken an interest. But he didn’t:
“But when Mr. Obama was briefed, the case did not stir consternation. The president’s team instructed the Justice Department to fix the problem, but ‘this was not a central concern and he was very quick in knowing how to deal with it,’ said a former administration official.”
Because even if the program wasn’t in line, it’s okay, because, hey, the President is a “trustworthy guy.” And that’s exactly how you end up with an abused and overreaching surveillance state. I’m sure that the President believes he is a trustworthy guy. And there’s plenty of truth to that old line that “we judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.” He may have the best of intentions, but when you’re in charge of the most powerful government in the world, being a “trustworthy guy” doesn’t cut it.
The corruption of power is too clear and too easy. There needs to be real and significant controls, and not just because you think you won’t abuse the system — or because the guys before or after you might. There needs to be real and serious controls because the natural direction of a surveillance state is to abuse civil liberties, whether intended or not.
The president’s statements when he was a Senator may have just been political posturing. But now he’s President and all he’s done has shown that he doesn’t understand how a true leader handles such situations. Instead, he’s succumbed to the corruption of power.
– Mike Masnick
This article originally appeared here on Techdirt.com.