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

Stocks to Fall Further, Say Market Bears

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 26, 2015:  

Marc Faber, the bearish financial commentator from Thailand whom financial talking heads in the media love to hate, really doesn’t care what people think. He’s old enough to know his own mind (he’s 69), and he’s been right often enough that his opinions carry plenty of weight. He’s also a curmudgeon. In his June 2008 newsletter, following the arrival of $600 “stimulus” checks in everyone’s mailbox, Faber wrote this, belittling the idea that much if any of that free money would help stimulate the US’s moribund economy:

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United States Falls Further in the Human Freedom Index

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 24, 2015:  

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957

The fifth annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index,” showed the United States falling further in a global measurement of personal, civil, and economic freedom, from 17th place in 2011 to 20th in 2012 (the latest year for which reliable data is available). Ahead of the United States are Canada in 6th place and the United Kingdom, in 9th place. The United States barely edges out the Czech Republic and Estonia, in 21st and 22nd places respectively.

Wrote Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s co-authors:

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Royal Dutch Shell Gets Permission to Drill in the Arctic Ocean

That article was published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 21, 2015:  

Map showing the location of the East Siberian ...

Map showing the location of the East Siberian Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Siberia and between the Laptev Sea and Chukchi Sea.

The last time Shell tried to find oil in the Arctic Ocean, it was 1991. Since then, challenges from environmental groups, escalating costs, and changing economies have stymied the company, or any of its competitors, from continuing their search.

In 2008, however, Shell succeeded in obtaining a lease to drill in the Chukchi Sea, off the northeast corner of Alaska. It paid $2.1 billion for the opportunity and has invested more than $7 billion since then.

It stubbed its toe in 2012 when its multi-billion-dollar Kulluk drilling rig ran aground, delighting environmentalists, and stalling its efforts for the next three years.

So far, for its efforts, it has not obtained a single drop of oil or a single cubic foot of natural gas.

And yet,

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Latest Report: Technology Is “A Great Job Creating Machine,” Not a Job Destroyer

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 19, 2015:  

Deloitte logo.

After reviewing 140 years of data in England and Wales, the consulting firm Deloitte just reported that technology has actually created more jobs than it has destroyed. Because new technology has reduced greatly the costs of common staples such as food, household goods, and transportation, consumers have been increasing their spending elsewhere. Deloitte calls new technology a “great job-creating machine,” adding:

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Shell Gets Final Approval to Drill in the Arctic Ocean

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 18, 2015: 

Shell Oil Company

On Monday the U.S. Department of the Interior issued a final approval to allow Royal Dutch Shell to start drilling an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea, northwest of Alaska. Though the Department of the Interior is headed up by Sally Jewell, who was handpicked by the Obama administration for her background not only as the former CEO of REI, a Seattle-based outdoor equipment retailer, but as a die-hard Democrat contributor, the announcement nevertheless enraged environmentalists who remember both the Valdez oil spill and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout.

The last time Shell drilled in the Arctic Ocean was 1991, and environmentalists have been keeping the pressure on succeeding administrations to make it the only time. In 2008, however,

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Three Establishment Mouthpieces Want to Eliminate the Oil Export Ban

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 17, 2015:  

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 29JAN11 - Daniel Yergin, Ch...

Daniel Yergin

Just when one thinks the “establishment” has it in for the United States, along comes not one, not two, but three official utterances from three of its mouthpieces that make complete sense.

First, in May, 2013, Zeke Hausfather, writing in Yale Climate Connections, published by Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, explored in detail why, despite increasing production of oil thanks to the fracking revolution, those nasty horrible CO2 emissions have actually gone down! In the five years between 2008 and 2013, they dropped an astonishing 12 percent, and for at least one very good reason:

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Trickle of Companies Leaving Illinois Turning Into a Flood

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 14, 2015:  

On Thursday, Hoist Liftruck’s announcement that it was moving more than 500 manufacturing jobs to Indiana was just the latest in a long and almost fevered list of other companies seeking to escape Illinois’ outrageous workers compensation costs and high taxes.

On July 14 machine-maker DE-STA-CO said it was moving 100 jobs to Tennessee. The next day energy processor Bunge North America said it was shutting down its plant in Bradley, Illinois, and laying off 210 workers. The day after that General Mills pulled the plug

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Seattle Progressives Prove Certain Economic Laws Cannot Be Repealed

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 14, 2015:  

Peter, Paul & Mary

By changing the meaning of the word “flowers” to “businesses,” the lyrics from Peter, Paul & Mary’s anti-war song applies perfectly to the new Seattle under its new minimum wage mandates: Where have all the businesses gone?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?”
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

And when will Mayor Ed Murray and his gaggle of progressives who unanimously passed the anti-business, anti-employment minimum wage law last summer ever learn: you cannot fool Mother Nature, and you cannot repeal economic laws.

In Murray’s case the economic law still to be learned is:

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Seattle’s Minimum-wage Increase Starting to Cost Jobs

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 13, 2015:

Jodi Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale, a small th...

Jodi Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale

The Seattle city council mandate that business owners must raise the minimum wage they pay to their workers to $11 an hour (on the way to $15 an hour over the next few years) is already having its predicted effect: In the first six months of this year, 1,300 restaurant workers in the city have lost their jobs, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

In the single month of May, one month after the $11 mandate kicked in on April 1, 1,000 workers lost their jobs which, according to AEI economist Mark Perry, “was the largest one month job decline since … the [start of] the Great Recession.”

In simple terms, thanks to the progressives running the city council, Seattle restaurant workers are suffering their own recession.

To add salt to the wound, statewide (not including Seattle), restaurant employment has increased by 3.2 percent, adding 2,800 jobs over that same period.

This wasn’t supposed to happen,

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Trump Calls Drop in Chinese Currency “Devastating”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 12, 2015:  

In an interview at CNN, Republican presidential candidate and billionaire businessman Donald Trump was aghast at the decision by China’s central bank to allow the country’s currency to more closely reflect its real value by letting it drop by more than two percent:

They’re destroying us! They keep devaluing their currency until they get it right. They doing a big cut in the yuan, and that’s going to be devastating for us.

This was echoed by Thomas Gibson, head of the American Iron and Steel Institute: “Our government must address the massive damage that China’s undervalued currency is causing to our nation’s manufacturing sector, especially the steel industry.”

Trump failed to make clear exactly who “us” is. By allowing the yuan to be valued daily as the market deems it, rather than having it arbitrarily pegged loosely to the value of the dollar, every consumer at Walmart is going shortly to see a sign in their window:

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Saudi Arabia’s Cash Reserves Dwindling, Forcing It to Borrow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 7, 2015:  

English: Saudi Arabia

In an astonishing admission that the Saudis have gambled with a bet that is now going sour, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (the country’s central bank) reported:

It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers [in the United States] are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short run.

The main impact has been [for U.S. producers] to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells.

This [strategy to break U.S. producers] requires more patience.

But patience will last only as long as their foreign reserves of cash, and Saudi Arabia’s reserves (immense though they be) are dwindling rapidly. They peaked at $737 billion in August of 2014. In May of this year, they were down to

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“Gig” Economy Ending Lifetime Careers, Opening Opportunities

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 5, 2015:  

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, Cal...

Lending Club headquarters in Redwood City, California.

According to the Financial Times — referring to the “gig” or contractor/freelance economy — the “new world of work is both more exciting and less secure.” And an increasing number of former employees are celebrating that new world by participating in it, leaving collectivists and statists gasping and wondering who will pay for the benefits they have promised if everyone starts working for himself?

The number of independent contractors is growing. And not just in the United States, either. London’s Financial Times reported earlier this week that

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China Has Its Own Plunge Protection Team

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 31, 2015: 

China has its own Plunge Protection Team. Its efforts were in evidence last Wednesday as the Shanghai and the Shenzhen indexes, both of which had been flat most of the day, leaped up three percent and four percent, respectively, in the last 30 minutes of the trading session.

Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of China, exclaimed:

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Chinese Plunge Protection Team Failing to Stem Stock Market Declines

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 30, 2015:  

A historical chart of the Shanghai (SSE) Compo...

A graph of the Shanghai Index showing the first bubble in 2006-2008

In the last 30 minutes of trading on Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index jumped more than three percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite (equivalent to the U.S. Nasdaq index) leaped more than four percent. That this was the result of actions taken by China’s unofficial “plunge protection team” was obvious to Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International: “Clearly it is government intervention again.”

China’s plunge protection team (PPT), equivalent to the U.S. stock market’s “Working Group on Financial Markets” set up under President Reagan following Black Monday in October 1987, has moved heaven and earth to keep its stock markets from collapsing. The team, made up of China’s Securities Finance Corporation and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, along with top officials from the country’s 21 largest brokerages and the Chinese central bank, has implemented an entire panoply of measures to stem the tide, including:

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Home Ownership Rate Lowest Since President LBJ

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 29, 2015:  

English: 904 S. 3rd, Mount Vernon, Washington....

According to the Census Bureau, home ownership in the United States has now dropped to the lowest level since 1967, and estimates are that the decline will continue to the lowest level ever recorded. The rate for the second quarter of 2015 was 63.4 percent, the lowest rate since Lyndon Johnson was president. The rate stands a good chance of reaching the all-time low, 63 percent, set in 1965 when the U.S. government began keeping track of such a statistic.

It wasn’t supposed to happen. In 1995 after the rate dipped to a breath-taking, eye-popping 64.7 percent from the previous 50-year average of 65.3 percent, according to the Census Bureau, the Clinton administration issued a call to arms! The government must do something!

When then-President Bill Clinton announced his “National Homeownership Strategy” in May 1995, he said,

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Social Security Disability Trust Fund Could Be Depleted by Late 2016

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 23, 2015:  

Every year the language of the trustees of the Social Security system becomes more strident, and every year the managers of the program kick the can further down the road. In its report issued on Wednesday, the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees stated that “Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund now faces an urgent threat of reserve depletion, requiring prompt corrective action by lawmakers if sudden reductions or interruptions in benefit payments are to be avoided.” The report noted:

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Social Security Disability: Reaching the End of the road?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 24, 2015:  

Social Security Poster: old man

Buried in the annual exclamations of urgency by the trustees of the Social Security system issued on Wednesday was this warning: action by Congress will “give the public adequate time to prepare.” In the short run, some 11 million on Social Security Disability will learn that their benefit checks will drop by $200 a month starting next fall, so they need to get used to that. In the long run everyone receiving anything from the celebrated Ponzi scheme will see their checks go to zero:

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“Sharing,” or “Gig,” Economy Catching Flak From Democrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 16, 2015:  

The “sharing” or “collaborative” economy — often derided by statist politicians as the “gig” economy — continues to explode with new applications, aided by the Internet, coming on stream almost daily.

A few are well known: Uber, Lyft (chairman in photo), and Airbnb. But others, such as Zaarly, TaskRabbit, and DogVacay, are expanding rapidly as well, thanks to the unique combination of individuals seeking flexibility, income, and opportunity without the confines of the corporate world, and thanks to the Internet. And it’s starting to drive those who would control everyone everywhere crazy.

Charles Cooke, at National Review Online, spelled out the reasons for the growth of the sharing economy using Uber as an example:

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The Root Cause of Greece’s Problems: Socialism

This article was published online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 13, 2015:  

English: Alexis Tsipras in a press conference ...

Alexis Tsipras

Returning to Brussels with an austerity program eerily similar to that just rejected by Greek citizens a week ago, Prime Minister Alex Tsipras hoped to obtain another bailout in exchange for debt forgiveness by the European Central Bank (ECB). Tsipras is desperate: His government must make a $7.8 billion payment to the ECB next Monday, and another $13 billion by the middle of August.

Instead, following marathon sessions lasting into the wee hours, those EU officials upped the ante, passing even more stringent demands before granting Tsipras his lifeline. It told Tsipras, in essence, either to paint or get off the ladder:

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Support to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban About to Overwhelm Obama

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 10, 2015:  

Apparently deciding that approaching President Obama directly on the matter of oil exports would be a waste of time the Laborers’ International Union and the International Union of Operating Engineers (both Obama supporters) wrote a letter to Congress instead, urging them to lift the ban on exporting crude oil.

Said the letter:

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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.

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