Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Economics

California’s Pension Plans Report Dismal Results, Increasing Shortfalls

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 20, 2016:  

Ted Eliopoulos, the chief investment officer of the country’s largest pension plan, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), did the best he could with the bad news: “Positive performance in a year of turbulent financial markets is an accomplishment that we are proud of.” That “positive performance” was a measly 0.61-percent return from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, on his $300 billion pension plan. That means that the fund is now about $100 billion short of meeting its future obligations.

But that $100 billion number greatly understates the real liability because it’s based on a pixie-dust assumption that the plan can earn an average

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Chicagoans Hit With Massive Tax Increases Over July 4 Weekend

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 11, 2016:  

It Takes Taxes and Bonds - NARA - 534022

The second installment of property taxes due from Chicagoans hit their mailboxes over Independence Day weekend, thus proving the adage that “if one didn’t like taxes without representation, he certainly won’t like taxes with representation.”

William Phillips of Rogers Park (one of 77 communities on the far north side of Chicago) was almost first in line at the assessor’s office on Tuesday, hoping to complain to someone about his bill. “Our taxes increased fivefold,” he stated. “I was expecting [them] to go up maybe twice as much but not four to five times as much.”

Right behind him was Cornes King of Chatham, who told ABC7 News:

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Day of Reckoning for Chicago Taxpayers

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 11, 2016:  

Chicago landsat image

Chicago landsat image

Chicago just experienced a great irony. Its bill for past extravagances run up by its corrupt politicians arrived over the July 4th weekend. It was of course then that Americans were celebrating Independence from British politicians seeking to impose taxes without representation.

With representation, Chicago taxpayers have allowed themselves to be saddled with taxes far exceeding those that triggered the American Revolution. The trouble is that the realization just hit home over that weekend.

The second half of 2016 property taxes was due on July 1st, and on Tuesday unhappy taxpayers were lined up outside the tax assessor’s door to complain. It was a little late. About two decades late.

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Ending Crude Oil Export Ban Already Helping U.S. Economy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 8th, 2016:  

English: Crude oil tanker SAFWA moored off Rot...

Crude oil tanker SAFWA moored off Rotterdam.

Since the 1970s ban on exporting crude oil was lifted last December, the oil industry has given statists and anti-growth politicians a lesson in free markets: exports increased seven times their previous levels in just the first three months of 2016. And this in the face of an economy that is still suffering from the dregs of the Great Recession.

This was predicted by IHS (Information Handling Services), located near Denver, two years ago when the group stated that

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New Bailout Bill for Puerto Rico Supposedly “Won’t Cost Taxpayers a Dime”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 30, 2016:  

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY)

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY)

Since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it, it must be true: The bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday to rescue Puerto Rico from its overwhelming financial troubles “won’t cost taxpayers a dime, not a dime.”

The president has said he would sign into law the dreadfully misnamed Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) immediately and would then begin to nominate the seven members of the board to oversee its implementation. That board is to become effective on September 1.

That provides no help to Puerto Rico, which will default

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About That New, Dreadfully Misnamed Puerto Rico Bailout law

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 1, 2016:  

English: Map of Peuto Rico, with inset showing...

Investors saw the market values of their Puerto Rican bonds soar with news that Congress passed the “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act” (PROMESA). They had a right to be happy: prior to the news their long bonds were trading at about 62 cents on the dollar. Afterwards they jumped to 66 cents. Still a paper loss of a third of their initial investment, but better than anticipated.

What’s anticipated is that the new oversight board, populated with politicians (but none from Puerto Rico), will solve all of the island’s problems,

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Rio Gets $900M Emergency Disbursement From Gov’t for Olympics

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 20, 2016:  

Português: Placas promovendo a candidatura do ...

On Friday, just seven weeks before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are to begin, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Dornelles, declared a financial emergency, saying that his state has run out of money.

In his official statement, Dornelles said the state — which is helping the city of Rio prepare for the Games, which begin on August 5 — is facing a “public calamity,” adding:

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In Venezuela, the Elite Meet to Eat While the Masses Starve

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 17, 2016:  

Another version of the flag of Animal Farm, ba...

Another version of the flag of Animal Farm, based on the flag of the Soviet Union. Hoof and horn symbol created by Al2.

On Monday OPEC gave Venezuela more bad news: Oil production fell another 120,000 barrels a day in May, putting further pressure on the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro to pay its bills and maintain order. On Tuesday more than 400 citizens of Cumana, a city of 800,000 a few hundred miles west of Caracas, were arrested following another food riot.

On Thursday the British tabloid Daily Mail published a dozen pictures of the wealthy elite enjoying themselves at the opulent Caracas Country Club where membership costs $110,000. The slums where the masses are starving can be seen in the background.

The contrast, startling as it was, illustrates how socialism — called Chavismo in “honor” of former president Hugo Chavez — ultimately decimates the middle class and

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Elon Musk’s Conversion from Saint to Sinner

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 10, 2016:  

English: Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5, the fourth-...

Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5, the fourth-generation Roadster from electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc.

Once upon a time Elon Musk said he believed in hard work, technology, and some breaks to gain success. He didn’t believe the U.S. government should provide subsidies to companies, and he believed that the free market would provide the “best solution” to such problems as pollution. At the time, Stanford University Professor Fred Turner called him out for being a hypocrite:

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Elon Musk: Once an Entrepreneur, Now a Crony Capitalist

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 9, 2016:  

In the early days, Elon Musk (shown above) made his fortune the usual way: by creating products and services that people could use, which they paid for using their own money, to improve their lives. Today, however, he has found a better way: using taxpayer guarantees to help fund his new ventures and reduce his risks while he enjoys the profits if they succeed.

In simple terms, Elon Musk has become a welfare queen on steroids,

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Obama Does a 180 on Social Security; Now Wants to Expand Its Benefits

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 6, 2016:  

Social Security (play)

In a breathtaking reversal that far-left progressives are calling a victory, President Obama said in a speech in Elkhart, Indiana, on Wednesday that Social Security benefits should be expanded and made more “generous”:

And then we have to tackle retirement security. That’s something that keeps a lot of people up at night. … Let’s face it — a lot of Americans don’t have retirement savings. Even if they’ve got an account set up, they just don’t have enough money at the end of the month to save as much as they’d like because they’re just barely paying the bills. Fewer and fewer people have pensions they can really count on, which is why Social Security is more important than ever.

 

We can’t afford to weaken Social Security. We should be strengthening Social Security. And not only do we need to strengthen its long-term health, it’s time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so that today’s retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they’ve earned. And we could start paying for it by asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more. They can afford it. I can afford it.

This was met with huzzahs from the Left. Hillary Clinton tweeted,

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Something is Wrong When A “Fine Arts” Major Has to Defend Social Security

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 6, 2016:  

Following President Obama’s statement last Wednesday that Social Security benefits ought to be expanded and made more “generous,” someone at the Washington Post thought it would be a good idea to tout the wonders of that welfare state program. Rather than pick someone with some credentials as an economist, even a liberal one, the Post instead picked Jared Bernstein (above) to do the honors. Which he did:

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$60 Oil “Very Possible” Says Saudi Arabia’s New Oil Minister

This article was published by TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 3, 2016:  

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.9...

On November 17, gas prices had dropped to $1.99 in Bakersfield, California, due to falling Oil prices

Following the OPEC meeting on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s new oil minister, Khalid Al Falin, told CNN that $60 a barrel oil is “very possible” by the end of the year, with even higher prices expected next year. He said that supply and demand in the oil market have “converged” without the OPEC cartel needing to curtail supply. In short, OPEC is celebrating its strategy of letting the lowest oil prices seen in years weed out the weak and marginal players in the United States, resulting in cuts in production. As Qatar’s oil minister exulted at a press conference in Vienna following the meeting, “The worst is over for oil.”

Translation:

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United States No Longer First in Global Competitiveness

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 1, 2016:  

English: Cropped version of Thomas Jefferson, ...

Thomas Jefferson

According to a study just released by the International Institute for Management Development (IIMD), the “U.S. economy is no longer the most competitive and pro-business in the world.” It has held the top spot for the last three years but has, thanks to increasing government regulation and taxation, slipped to third place. Said Arturo Bris, IIMD’s director, “The U.S. still boasts the best economic performance in the world, but there are many other factors that we take into account when assessing competitiveness. The common pattern among all of the countries in the top 20 is their focus on business-friendly regulation, physical and intangible infrastructure and inclusive institutions.”

Based on its analysis of more than 300 criteria, the United States no longer excels based on

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Edict From Venezuela’s President Maduro: Grow Your Own Food

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 27, 2016:  

                            No Hay Comida is translated: There is no food

Word got out that there would be chicken for sale at the Central Madeirense supermarket in Guarenas, Venezuela, on Friday, so Kattya Alonzo got there at 4 a.m. The line of others already snaked around the block, waiting for the delivery trucks to arrive.

But when the trucks arrived at 6:30, the national guardsmen monitoring the crowd sensed the possibility of a riot and ordered the trucks to move on. The people waiting in line turned ugly and

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Venezuela Collapsing; U.S. Officials Fear Violence, Military Coup

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 18, 2016: 

Seal of the C.I.A. - Central Intelligence Agen...

U.S. intelligence officials warned on May 14 that Venezuela is descending into economic and political chaos that is likely to end in street violence, military suppression of citizens’ rights, and a possible coup to remove President Nicolás Maduro.

How much of that reflects CIA interventions to keep the crisis somewhat under control is an open question. But one of those anonymous “intelligence officials” told the Wall Street Journal that “[our] goal is to mitigate the crisis that they’re experiencing. It’s in the United States’ interest that Venezuela not bottom out.”

If past experience serves as a guide for the future, the CIA could

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Brazil’s Interim President Says “Trust Me,” Installs Corrupt Bureaucrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 16, 2016:  

Upon taking over Brazil’s presidency from disgraced former President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday, interim president Michel Temer asked his skeptical citizenry to “trust” him, saying that his new administration would be Brazil’s “salvation”:

Trust me. Trust the values of our people and our ability to recuperate the economy…. It is essential to rebuild the credibility of the country abroad to attract new investments and get the economy growing again…. It is urgent to restore peace and unite Brazil. We must form a government that will save the nation…. It’s urgent to seek the unity of Brazil. We urgently need a government of national salivation.

Even if he truly intended to do any of that, the challenges he faces almost defy description.

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Trump Suggests National Debt “Deal,” Media Calls It “Fanciful” and “Dangerous”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 9, 2016:  

A snippet from Donald Trump’s conversation with CNBC on Thursday raised the ire of numerous media commentators, who called Trump’s plan “unprecedented” (CNBC), “fanciful” and a “threat” (New York Times), and “tantamount to a debt default” (Yahoo Finance). Others called his remarks “reckless,” while Tony Fratto, a former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration said, “This isn’t a serious idea — it’s an insane idea.”

What sparked the ire? The initial impetus was when Trump said, “[The U.S. Treasury is] paying a very low interest rate. What happens if that interest goes up two, three, four points? We don’t have a country. I mean, if you look at the numbers, they’re staggering.”

Indeed they are. The U.S. Debt Clock shows the national debt closing in on $20 trillion, while the economy is slumping along, with a GDP at just over $18 trillion. Put another way,

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A Tipping Point in Texas? It’s Building Its Texas Bullion Depository Bank

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 6, 2016:  

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow W...

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow Wilson signs creation of the Federal Reserve. Source: Date: 24 December 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A modest bill, getting little press and clothed in innocuous terms, could spell the end of the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on its “federal reserve note” currency. When Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed it into law almost a year ago, he said:

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Texas Contracts to Build Nation’s First State Gold Bullion Depository

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 5, 2016:  

The Texas Comptroller’s Office has begun to receive bids from private contractors interested in building the country’s first state gold storage facility, the Texas Bullion Depository (TBD). When Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law the bill providing for it last July, he said it was all about saving fees being paid to store the state’s gold in New York banks:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.