Category: Economy


Feds Set Tax Haul Record: $472B In One Month

 

 

 

 

 

” The federal government set a record tax haul in April, taking in nearly a half-trillion dollars in one month alone, according to Congressional Budget Office statistics released Thursday.

  April is always a busy month with the tax deadline on April 15, but this year’s haul was historic, totaling $472 billion, far outstripping the previous monthly record, set last April, of $414 billion.

  Spending, meanwhile, was a more modest $317 billion, leaving the government with a surplus for that one month of $155 billion — also a record.”

Washington Times

 

Happy Birthday FA von Hayek

 

 

 

Wiki Bio

 

” Friedrich August Hayek ; 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek and frequently known as F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian, later turned British , economist and  philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and … penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena”.

Hayek is an economist and major political thinker of the twentieth century. Hayek’s account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He also contributed to the fields of systems  thinking ,  jurisprudenceneuroscience, and the history of ideas.

  Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

  In 1984, he was appointed as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for his “services to the study of economics”. He was the first recipient of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Prize in 1984. He also received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 from president George H. W. Bush. In 2011, his article The Use of Knowledge in Society was selected as one of the top 20 articles published in the American Economic Review during its first 100 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concise Encyclopedia Of Economics:

 

” If any twentieth-century economist was a Renaissance man, it was Friedrich Hayek. He made fundamental contributions in political theory, psychology, and economics. In a field in which the relevance of ideas often is eclipsed by expansions on an initial theory, many of his contributions are so remarkable that people still read them more than fifty years after they were written. Many graduate economics students today, for example, study his articles from the 1930s and 1940s on economics and knowledge, deriving insights that some of their elders in the economics profession still do not totally understand. It would not be surprising if a substantial minority of economists still read and learn from his articles in the year 2050. In his book Commanding Heights, Daniel Yergin called Hayek the “preeminent” economist of the last half of the twentieth century.”

 

 

 

Further Reading

 

The Friedrich Hayek Quote Page

Biography of F. A. Hayek (1899-1992)Mises.org

Friedrich Hayek (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

F. A. Hayek | Libertarianism.org

BBC News – Masters of Money: Friedrich Hayek

F.A. Hayek – Encyclopedia Britannica

BBC News – Keynes v Hayek: Two economic giants go head to head

Friedrich von Hayek Nobel Prize Winner

Videos

 

 

Bibliography

 

1920–1929

  • Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (1929) 

1930–1939

  • Prices and Production (1931) 
  • Monetary Nationalism and International Stability (1937) 
  • Profits, Interest and Investment (1939) 

1940–1949

1950–1959

  • “The Transmission of the Ideals of Economic Freedom,” (1951) Full Article
  • John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship and Subsequent Marriage (1951) ISBN 978-0-678-06504-4
  • The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason (1952) ISBN 978-0-913966-67-9
  • The Sensory Order: An Inquiry into the Foundations of Theoretical Psychology (1952) ISBN 978-0-226-32094-6
  • The Political Ideal of the Rule of Law (1955)

1960–1969

1970–1979

1980–1989

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which Is The World’s Happiest Country?

 

 

 

 

” It may be better known for banking than bohemia, but Switzerland is the happiest place in the world to live, according to the annual study published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

  The World Happiness Report suggested that residents of the nation of lakes, Lindt and Roger Federer, are more content, on average, than those in any other country. Britons, by contrast, were judged to only be the 21st happiest of the 158 nations to feature.

  The second happiest nation was deemed to be Iceland, followed by Denmark (a previous winner), Norway and Canada. Scandinavian countries once again dominated the top ten.”

 

The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Displaced American Workers Sue DHS Over Work Permit Expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

” American workers who lost their jobs to foreign replacements are suing the federal government over a new rule that will allow more foreign workers into the job market.

  In a stated effort to encourage guest workers to stick around permanently, the Department of Homeland Security will now grant their spouses work permits in addition to visas. DHS estimates more than 100,000 spouses will be eligible to apply when it begins accepting applications May 26.

  The complaint, filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute on behalf of the displaced workers, alleges DHS does not have the authority to make the rule, and that the rule violates federal labor protection law. IRLI is asking the judge to halt implementation of the rule until the case is heard.

“ The larger implication is that Obama is arguing he has the executive authority to allow anyone to work in the United States,” John Miano, the attorney for the displaced workers, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “[He] started with the children, then the parents, and now the spouses of H-1B workers.” “

 

Daily Caller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Census: Record 51 Million Immigrants In 8 years, Will Account For 82% Of U.S. Growth

 

 

 

” Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures.

  A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million.”

 

 

 

 

 ” The report was provided to Secrets and released Wednesday evening.

  The surge in immigrant population, both legal and illegal, threatens to slam into the presidential campaign as GOP candidates move to figure out what their position is and the president tries to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation.

” These numbers have important implications for workers, schools, infrastructure, congestion and the environment,” said Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research. “They also may have implications for our ability to successfully assimilate and integrate immigrants. Yet there has been almost no national debate about bringing in so many people legally each year, which is the primary factor driving these numbers.” “

 

Washington Examiner has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Multi-Millionaire’s Personal Blueprint For Surviving the Coming Currency Collapse

 

 

http://files.stansberryresearch.com/images/Chart1.png

 

 

” Dear Fellow American,

  Do you believe America’s financial problems from 2008 have been fixed?

  Do you think we’ll have another banking crisis in the next few years, or a problem with our currency?

  If you are concerned about these possibilities, you are not alone.

  After all: What we are witnessing in America today is unprecedented.

  Our government has embarked on a gross, out-of-control experiment, expanding the money supply 400% in just six years, and more than doubling our national debt since 2006.

  It took our nation 216 years to rack up the first $8.5 trillion in debt… then just 8 more years to double that amount.

  And this is precisely why so many questions about the economy and our future remain. For example.. “

 

 

The tale of financial woe continues …

 

 

” The American people deserve to know what our government has done, what’s coming next, and what you must do to protect yourself and your family from the disaster our government has created.

  Many of the smartest people in the industry… like CIA and Pentagon insider Jim Rickards… hedge fund multimillionaire Jim Rogers… and superstar investor Kyle Bass (the minimum to invest with Bass is $5 million), are all taking precautions against a serious market crash and financial crisis.

  • Rickards is publicly recommending people rush to buy gold, real estate and hard assets
  • Rogers moved his entire family to Singapore to essentially get them out of America.
  • And Bass built a 41,000 square foot ranch stocked with firearms and gold “

 

Read the rest and prepare accordingly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Current State Of U.S. Entrepreneurship Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

 

Business Closings Hold Steady While Business Startups Decline

 

 

” The current state of entrepreneurship is receiving considerable attention as debate simmers around questions of business dynamism in the United States. According to a Gallup article, the U.S. has dropped to 12th among developed nations in terms of business startups. Economists also recently found evidence for this downward trend in business activity and attribute it to diminished incentives for entrepreneurs to start new firms.

  This raises some questions: What exactly are the factors leading to the decline in business activity in the United States? And what can be done to revive the American entrepreneurial environment?

  Economists identify the costs imposed on entrepreneurs by the regulatory environment as one of the most important influences on business dynamism. Where regulations make it difficult to start and operate businesses, entrepreneurs have a difficult time bringing new ideas and innovations to fruition. Promising entrepreneurs who face burdensome regulations might opt out of doing business or decide to take their ideas to countries with more favorable business climates.”

 

Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Red State vs Blue State. It’s City vs Country

 

 

 

” As a resident of the upstate portion of New York (not the Big Apple) I have written frequently about the depressing, negative effects which liberal tax and spend policies combined with strangling regulatory burdens have had on the state, as well as the economic death spiral which has followed. Many of the complaints I hear from residents of the more rural, upstate region center on the unbalanced power held by New York City and the complete disconnect between the government and the more conservative, rural communities to the north and west. But even as a person studying and experiencing these effects first hand, I don’t think I ever grasped the full impact of this disparity in the way it’s spelled out by William Tucker of the American Media Institute.

  Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

  Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

  The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it’s a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.

  That comparison between the city of Binghamton and the wreckage of Detroit is a true eye opener, but it’s not the only such story in the non-city portions of the state. IBM was once the powerhouse of employment in the greater Binghamton area, employing more than 16,000 people as recently as the late 1980s. Today the entire complex has been sold to local developers and the computer giant employs a few hundred people (many of whom are contractors) renting out a tiny portion of the old complex. Kodak employed 62,000 people in Rochester during the same period as IBM’s heyday. Today there are roughly 4,000 workers. Xerox and Bausch & Lomb were also huge employers there but are now largely (or entirely) gone.

  These stories are repeated over and over again in cities and towns across the upstate region, so it’s more than coincidence. Tucker ties it all together. “

 

Read the rest of Jazz Shaw’s piece at Hot Air

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Border Agents Bracing For New Immigrant Surge

 

 

Families of Central American immigrants turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico on September 8, 2014 in Mission, Texas. Although the numbers of such immigrant families and unaccompanied minors have decreased from a springtime high, thousands continue to cross in the border illegally into the United States. The Rio Grande Valley sector is the busiest area for illegal border crossings, especially for Central Americans, into the U.S.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Photo: John Moore, Getty Images

John Moore, Getty Images

 

 

” On a recent evening near the banks of the Rio Grande, a group of five Guatemalan immigrants, among them two girls, ages 8 and 10 without a parent or guardian by their side, turned themselves over to U.S. Border Patrol agents. 

  It is a familiar scene to law enforcement agencies in South Texas that witnessed nearly 50,000 unaccompanied children and families, mostly from Central America, illegally streaming across the border here last year.

  While far fewer immigrants have been detained in recent months than during the same period a year ago, thousands are still crossing the Rio Grande illegally, and border agents are bracing for thousands more in the months ahead.

  Already, 15,647 minors and 13,911 families have been detained since the beginning of the fiscal year in October, along the whole Southwest border, most of them in Rio Grande Valley. With the historically busy April, May and summer months ahead, it is conceivable that apprehensions this year will surpass all but the unprecedented surge of 2014.”

 

Houston Chronicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upstate New York Is Becoming Detroit With Grass

 

 

” Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.

  Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.

  The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it’s a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.

  Upstate New York, the portion that lies beyond the New York metropolitan area, has become “The Land That Time Forgot,” a broad swath of depressed cities and low-profit farmlands that stretches from Newburgh and Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley through the old manufacturing centers of Schenectady and Troy, across the Allegheny Plateau to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, all the way west to Jamestown, the city with the lowest percentage of college graduates in America.”

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price Of Ground Beef Hits Record In February: $4.238 Per Pound

 

 

 

” The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high in February, hitting $4.238 per pound, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  A year ago, in February 2014, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.555 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 19.2 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in February 2010, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.277, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.961 per pound, or an increase of 86.1 percent.”

Change you can believe in , which is the only change left after a trip to the grocery store … read on

The World’s Next Credit Crunch Could Make 2008 Look Like A Hiccup

 

 

 

 

” We are certainly living in strange times. An unprecedented monetary experiment is coming to a staggered end and no one knows the potential repercussions – a plague of frogs cannot be entirely ruled out.

  For the time being, the markets remain sanguine, expecting, for example, a gentle increase in the Bank of England’s main interest rate to just 1.5pc by the end of the decade. And, who knows, maybe the markets are right.

  But maybe it’s too quiet. Last week, Ray Dalio, the founder of the $165bn (£110bn) hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, wrote a widely-circulated note warning his clients that the US Federal Reserve risked setting off a 1937-style crash when it starts raising interest rates again.

  Then, as now, the central bank had spent years printing money in order to help the American economy recover from the 1929 crash. But the side effect was a stock market bubble, which promptly burst when the Fed prematurely increased rates. Mr Dalio is worried about a repeat performance: “We don’t know – nor does the Fed – exactly how much tightening will knock over the apple cart.”

  It’s true that the policy and regulatory response to the last crisis often sows the seeds for the next. It is not hard to map out a sequence of events in which that proves to be the case again. If it were, a US stock market crash might be the least of our problems.”

 

Read more at the Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why South By Southwest Is A Huge, Exploitative Scam

 

 

 

” The city of Austin is often the only part of Texas that makes sense to solid-blue progressives. It’s a connection that is embodied by the South by Southwest festival currently underway, the annual event to which lovers of music and human inventiveness like to flock.

  It is thus with regret and a sense of intra-tribal disloyalty that I come not to praise the festival but to — well, probably not bury it, because SXSW is a cultural juggernaut and I am not. But I come to call on my fellow lovers of music and human inventiveness, and most especially my fellow liberals, to stop with all the praise. Because the for-profit, privately held entity that is South by Southwest annually turns a handsome profit from nearly immeasurable amounts of unpaid labor.

  In this, SXSW — which started as an itty-bitty thing before becoming a corporate behemoth —is hardly alone. The American cultural scene and labor market writ large are chock-a-block with people profiting from unpaid labor. It’s just that, traditionally, progressives are supposed to oppose that sort of thing. Not pay anywhere from $650 to $1,745 to attend.

  South by Southwest happily touts the financial benefits it brings to Austin (“in 2013, SXSW was responsible for injecting more than $218.2 million into the Austin economy”), but is rather more shy about revealing its own profit margin (“as a privately held company we do not make our financial statements public”).

  However, between ticket sales, merch ($75 “interactive sunglasses,” anyone?), and colossal corporate sponsorships, it seems safe to assume that the margin isn’t slim — and all that bank is made on the backs of thousands of artists and volunteers who are in every meaningful sense unpaid. Volunteers get festival passes; artists get to choose between a tiny honorarium, or festival passes. Neither goes very far at the grocery store.”

 

The Week has more liberal whining about the profitability of SXSW 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diplomatic Disaster: Obama Humiliated By Allies’ Rush To Join China’s New Bank

 

 

 

 

 

” The battle of wills between Beijing and Washington over a China-sponsored development bank for Asia is turning into a rout, and the Obama administration has found itself isolated and embarrassed as its top allies lined up this week to join the proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

  In what one analyst dubbed a “diplomatic disaster” for the U.S., Britain became the first major European ally to sign on as a founding member of the Shanghai-based investment bank, joined quickly by France, Germany and Italy, which dismissed public and private warnings from the U.S. about the bank’s potential impact on global lending standards and the competition it could provide to existing institutions such as the U.S.-dominated World Bank.

  Luxembourg, a major global financial center, revealed this week that it would sign up. China is also wooing Australia and South Korea, two of America’s closest Asian allies, to join before the March 31 deadline. A South Korean wire service reported Wednesday that Seoul was “seriously considering” the offer.

   With 32 countries on board and more expected in the coming days, Chinese state media have begun to gloat about the failure of the Obama administration to rally even its closest allies and trading partners to shun the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They noted that U.S. officials have long lectured China, now the world’s second-largest economy, to take a more active “stakeholder” role in global economic affairs, but then tried to undermine the investment bank almost from the time Chinese President Xi Jinping floated the idea of an Asian development fund during a trip to Indonesia in October 2013.”

    We challenge anyone to inform us of even one single thing that the present administration has accomplished that has benefitted the United States . Continue reading about the latest failure of Obama/Clinton “smart diplomacy” here .

Incredible New 3D Printing Technique Looks Like Sci-Fi

 

 

 

 

 

” A new innovation by Carbon3D, unveiled Monday at the TED2015 conference, could finally move 3D printing out of the hobby shop and onto every factory floor.

  Imagine you’re in an emergency room with a blood vessel blockage. To save your life, a surgeon will first insert a tube, and carefully guide it through the clog. Then she might insert a stent, a piece metal or fabric mesh, to keep the vessel open. But that piece of hardware isn’t made to fit your body. Carbon3D can make one that does.

” The idea that you could produce a biodegradable stent that takes in your own anatomy and the tributaries of your blood vessels while you’re on the catheter table in an emergency room — that’s an amazing new future that is now in reach,” said Joseph DeSimone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon3D and a chemistry professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

  It all started in Japan with a tiny house that took 4.5 hours to build. It was made of plastic and measured 2.5 inches across and 2 inches high and had “partitions, furniture, and stairs.” It was one of the first 3D printed items to ever exist. That was 1981.”

 

 

 

   Popular Mechanics brings the news of revolution in the micro-printing area of additive manufacturing while from the more macro side of the technology comes news of cheap 3D printed homes for the third world

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Back in July, the WASPProject unveiled to us their plans to 3D print homes in 3rd world countries using nothing but a 3D printer and clay made from native soil. The idea is a tremendous one, one which could be extraordinarily groundbreaking when it comes to creating shelter for poverty stricken nations.”

 

 

waspextruder2

 

 

” Clay is abundant, and these 3D printers are quite affordable compared to other machines on the market. Providing a single 3D printer to small communities where there is little to no structurally sound housing, could provide for a solution to one of the world’s biggest problems.  The fabrication of multiple homes in a short amount of time, is exactly what WASP is hoping to accomplish.”

 

 

Read all about the WASPProject here and here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outsourcing In America

 

 

 

 

 

” The work that the 400 SCE IT employees do isn’t disappearing, instead it and their jobs are being taken over by foreign guestworkers here on H-1B visas. Those guestworkers are employed by the two leading India-based outsourcing firms, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.

  The SCE workers are wondering: “Why should I lose my job when the work still needs to be done? Why is the government doing this to me and my family?”

  Adding to the injustice of losing their jobs, the SCE workers are being forced to do something that is so common in the industry it is a term of art: “knowledge transfer,” an ugly euphemism that means being forced to train your own foreign replacement. The SCE workers are, “demoralized; in disbelief; beyond furious; down in the dumps; feeling anguish; depressed; feeling dehumanized; feeling humiliated; worrying about the future; worrying about paying the bills.”

  The SCE workers rightly place the culpability squarely on SCE executives, the president, and Congress. One worker simply said, “Shame on Edison for doing this and shame on our politicians for enabling it.”

  H-1B visas are temporary work permits issued by the U.S. government that are good for up to six years. The intent is for these visas to be used only when an American worker cannot be found. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor states, “The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.”

  In practice, the H-1B visa has been used for years to undercut American workers with lower-wage, and often lesser-skilled, workers brought in from overseas. How does this happen? Congress sets the wage floors for H-1Bs, and it has set it far below market wages.”

 

The Hill has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Name Government As No. 1 U.S. Problem

 

Trends in Top "Most Important" U.S. Problems, March 2014-March 2015

 

 

 

” Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

  Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.

  The latest results are from a March 5-8 Gallup poll of 1,025 American adults.

  While the ranking of the top two problems is similar to what Gallup found in February, mentions of the economy dropped from 16% to the current 11%. In a separate measure, Americans’ confidence in the economy had been dipping further into negative territory in late February and early March, but has been improving in recent days. “

 

 

    Read it all and rejoice as the truth finally begins to dawn on the general public …

 

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obamacare Exchange Customers Set For Significant Premium Spikes, CBO Predicts

 

 

 

 

” Obamacare exchange customers are about to see spikes in their premiums, the Congressional Budget Office predicted Monday, saying insurers that offer plans are facing twin pressures from the government and the marketplace that will mean hikes of more than 8 percent a year through 2018.

  Now in the second year of full operation, the exchanges are critical to the success of the law. The government is using tax subsidies to attract more customers to help offset costs for the rest of the system.

  Nearly 11.7 million Americans bought plans on the exchange in the second enrollment period, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Monday afternoon, hours after the CBO’s analysis was released.

  The CBO said premiums for the key “benchmark” exchange plans will rise an average of 8.5 percent per year from 2016 to 2018, faster than the rest of the health care market.”

Washington Times

US Running Out Of Room To Store Oil; Price Collapse Next?

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.

  For the past seven weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of 1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country’s main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported last week.

  If this keeps up, storage tanks could approach their operational limits, known in the industry as “tank tops,” by mid-April and send the price of crude — and probably gasoline, too — plummeting.

” The fact of the matter is we are running out of storage capacity in the U.S.,” Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citibank, said at a recent symposium at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.”

 

Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record 290 Newcomers Join Forbes Billionaires List, Including Michael Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

” A record 290 newcomers joined the Forbes billionaires list in the last year as world markets defied international turmoil. While wars, diseases and currency crises made headlines, tycoons from every continent but Antarctica managed to mint new 10-figure fortunes.

  Nearly 25% of this year’s first-time billionaires hail from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57, followed by India, with 28, and Germany, with 23.

  The most famous rookie on the billionaires list? Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and indisputably the best-paid athlete of all time. Forbes first outed Jordan as a billionaire last June. Most of his cash comes from Nike payouts on his iconic brand. The Jordan brand grossed an estimated $2.25 billion in 2013, earning his Airness some $90 million. But his most valuable asset is his stake in the Charlotte Hornets, worth more than $500 million. When ex-Microsoft MSFT +0.07% CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for a stunning $2 billion, values of all NBA teams skyrocketed, creating three new billionaires. Jordan’s old boss Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls, joined the list with a fortune of $1.3 billion, and Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander boosted his net worth to $1.6 billion.

  Aside from Jordan, the Silicon Valley kids are the stars of the incoming class. Garrett Camp, Travis Kalanick and Ryan Graves, the trio of early Uber members, have seen plenty of bad publicity over the last year. India temporarily banned their service, Spain shut it down entirely, and an Uber executive brought on a torrent of criticism when he suggested digging up dirt on the personal lives of journalists. None of the news has scared away investors, who have put over $4 billion into the company already, valuing it at $41.2 billion. Camp and Kalanick are now worth an estimated $5.3 billion, and first-employee Graves is worth $1.4 billion.

  Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia, the three Airbnb creators, are also facing regulatory concerns, with their couch-crashing business coming up against legal issues in New York City. No matter: The company has 1 million listings for places to stay and is worth more than Hyatt Hotels. Each of the cofounders have $1.9 billion fortunes.

  The youngest newcomers to the list are Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, the Snapchat founders who brazenly turned down $3 billion in cash from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for their disappearing photo app in 2013. Smart move: Snapchat is now reportedly getting offers that would value the company at $19 billion, and Forbes estimates Murphy and Spiegel are worth $1.5 billion apiece.”

 

 

    Read more at Forbes and see the entire list of new billionaires here . For some the Obama economy is booming , just not for us peons .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Town Sees 61% Drop In Crime After Kicking Out Cops

 

 

 

 

” Rather than degenerate into a lawless land where criminals rule the streets, a Texas town that fired its entire police department has seen a 61% decrease is crime.

  In 2012, Sharpstown, a community of 66,000 located just southwest of Houston, declined to renew its contract with the constable’s office, essentially dismissing its cops.

  Instead, the Sharpstown Civic Association hired SEAL Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets.

“ Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61% in just 20 months,” James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL, told guns.com”

 

 

The most surprising thing about this article were these revelations:

 

 

Not only has SEAL been more successful at preventing crime in Sharpstown than traditional law enforcement, they are cheaper. Sharpstown is saving $200,000 per year over their previous contract with the constable, and they get more patrol officers for less money, guns.com reported.

  So far, more than 70 communities in Harris County, where Sharpstown is located, have contracted with SEAL, according to guns.com.”

 

 

   Read the rest and note this Washington Post article of a few days ago that also highlights the rise of private police forces , albeit with the much more Statist attitude typical of that democratic mouthpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Factory Decline Even Worse Than Greece

 

 

French Manufacturing

 

 

 

” The economic divide between Europe’s largest economies widened in February, as a closely-watched survey showed manufacturing output in France contracted at a faster rate than Greece, despite the weakening euro.

  Output at French factories fell for a ninth consecutive month in February, as new orders dried up and overseas demand fell. This led to a further fall in employment, Markit said, as it described general demand in France as “lacklustre”.

  By contrast, a stronger rise in new business helped output at German manufacturers expand for the 22nd consecutive month in February. Markit described the latest rise as “broad-based”, but said growth was “weak by historical standards”. “

 

 

The Telegraph has more on the European socialist market doldrums 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Workers Fill Hundreds Of Sacramento-Area IT Jobs

 

 

 

 

” It’s nearly 8 p.m., and inside a state office building two dozen computer experts design and troubleshoot a system that will take and process millions of unemployment claims each year.

  It’s a $200 million Employment Development Department project, but with the exception of two managers, everyone inside the office is from outside of the U.S. They are employed by Deloitte, a major U.S. IT company hired by the state to create and manage its Unemployment Insurance Modernization project. The mostly Indian nationals are allowed to work here under a visa program called H-1B.

” It’s not any different than what illegal aliens have done to construction workers,” said Kim Berry, the webmaster of two sites that almost exclusively address the influx of foreign workers in the U.S. IT job market. “Why hire an American to do the roofing when you can have a truckload of illegals do it for $30 per day each?” “

 

   Read more about foreigners being hired to do the jobs from which Americans are laid off . Perhaps if a college education in America didn’t cost more than a house the US education system could produce the specialized workers domestically .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walker Thrills A Packed House At CPAC

 

 

” Scott Walker hit all the right notes when he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to address a standing-room-only crowd — even gamely handling a heckler.

  Walker was talking up Republicans’ push to pass a right-to-work law in Wisconsin, a measure to weaken labor unions, when a heckler stood up and began shouting in the packed ballroom. What he said wasn’t clear, but Walker handled it like a pro: He quipped, “Apparently the protesters come [here] from Wisconsin as well.”

  The governor, considered a top contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, got a quick standing ovation for his response — one of a number he got during his address.

  After spending some time touting his strong domestic record as governor of Wisconsin, Walker sharply criticized the Obama administration for its ineffective strategy in the fight against the Islamic State, and its disapproval of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address before Congress.”

     Judging from the venom dripping from the fangs of the Statist media , the potential of a Scott Walker candidacy is a terrifying possibility , which is surely a sign that the democratic cheerleaders of the press consider him a serious threat .

National Review

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