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

Big Taxi Wins Big in Massachusetts

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 23, 2016:  

Sign Taxi Zagreb, Croatia

Massachusetts is now the 35th state to regulate ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, but with a vengeance not seen elsewhere: A portion of a new 20-cent tax per ride will be used to fund improvements for the old taxi cartel.

First, the new tax is not called a “tax” but a “fee.” Second, the tax won’t be charged either to the driver or to his customer, but to the ride-sharing company itself. Third,

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Oil Now in a Bull Market?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 19, 2016:  

English: Logo of the U.S. Energy Information A...

Energy traders looking for any sort of news that would push crude oil prices higher have found two slender reeds: a falling dollar (making American oil more expensive overseas), and a surprise report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing shrinkage in the vast oversupply of crude and gasoline that has weighed on the market.

Accordingly, the price of Brent crude (priced in London) and West Texas Intermediate (priced in Oklahoma) jumped by more than 20 percent over the last week, putting it into “bull market” territory. It has led observers to conclude that

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Fully Self-driving Cars by 2021, Says Ford CEO

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 18, 2016:  

On Tuesday, during a hectic day of media interviews about the coming revolution being caused by autonomous vehicles (AVs), Ford’s CEO Mark Fields told Wall Street analysts that such vehicles “could have just as significant an impact on society as [Henry] Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago.” He told workers at a Ford plant in Palo Alto, “This is a transformational moment in our industry … it is a transformational moment in our company. We are making people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.”

He said that his company’s foray begins with e-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft and will expand to the consumer market by 2021 if not sooner.

He’s not alone.

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Anti-gun Politicians Falling Further Behind, Thanks to the Internet

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 17, 2016:  

Steve Israel

Anti-freedom Congressman Steve Israel

New York’s Democratic House Representative Steve Israel (left) could be the poster child of the typical anti-gun politician. He has little respect for his oath of office, scoring an abysmal 18 out of 100 on the John Birch Society’s Freedom Index. That index uniquely measures how pols vote on issues that are clearly constitutional, or not. Israel gets it right (no pun intended) just once out of every six votes.

The anti-gun establishment loves him. He scores 100% with both the

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3D Printed Guns: More Freedom, Less Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 16, 2016:  

Swatjester AR15

Swatjester AR15

With Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, a company that sells both software and hardware allowing individuals to make firearms at home, is getting more attention thanks to his pending lawsuit against the government. In light of this, Thor Benson with the liberal anti-gun Daily Beast, decided to interview Wilson. Following that interview, Benson predicted a “terrifying future” where government gun controllers wouldn’t be able to keep up with Wilson’s expanding technology.

Benson wrote that legislators can pass laws requiring background checks and putting undesirables onto “no fly, no buy” lists all day long. But they will have precious little impact

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Venezuelans Pour Into Colombia to Buy Food; Staples Not Available at Home

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 15, 2016:  

Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro

Marisol Sayago, a 65-year-old pensioner living in San Cristobal, Venezuela, traveled 40 miles on Saturday to buy 15 rolls of toilet paper. Crossing the border into Colombia, she did what shopping she could on her limited pension check in shops in Cucuta, saying, “It’s not economical, but what else can I do? Over there [pointing back across the bridge to Venezuela] you can’t find anything.”

Sayago was joined by an estimated 54,000 other Venezuelans suffering under the socialist regime of her country’s Marxist president, Nicolas Maduro (shown).

Maduro closed the border with Colombia last August, claiming that

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A Lesson in Free Market Economics – from Venezuela?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 15, 2016:  

Over the weekend, some 54,000 Venezuelan citizens living near the country’s border with Colombia poured over the Simon Bolivar Bridge so they could buy toilet paper, cosmetics, vitamins, and tires. Many brought empty suitcases, others brought packets of the nearly worthless Venezuelan bolivar currency, still others brought gold earrings, necklaces, and other personal valuables to exchange in local pawn shops for Colombian currency so they could spend it.

They were there to buy. And the merchants were ready to sell. As they exited the bridge on foot (cars won’t be allowed for at least another month) they were greeted with friendly Colombians

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Oil Price Rise Only Temporary; Could Drop Back to Low $20s

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 10, 2016:  

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

In light of record supplies of gasoline and crude oil, why are prices rising? After hitting a low of $26 a barrel in January, crude oil topped $52 a barrel in early June, only to drop below $40 a barrel last week. The recent rise back above $40 is a head fake, according to oil analyst Stephen Schork, editor of the daily subscription Schork Report. The recent bounce forced massive short covering by traders convinced oil was headed back down to the $20s and had nothing to do with the fundamentals.

The fundamentals, according to Schork, are bearish for oil (and gasoline) prices, and not likely to change any time soon. Even the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the government’s watchdog agency in charge of predicting the future, has been forced to

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Production Freeze Main Topic at OPEC Late September Meeting

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 8, 2016: 

OPEC’s current president, Qatar’s energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada (shown at center, above), announced Monday that the oil cartel will hold “informal” side meetings at the International Energy Forum in Algeria in late September. Not surprisingly, the topic will once again be “cooperation” among the disparate and increasingly desperate members to restrict production in efforts to force oil prices higher.

Al Sada, who holds a Ph.D. from England’s University of Manchester’s Institute of Science and Technology, asserted,

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What Would the Apostle Paul say About the Minimum Wage?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 5, 2016: 

One can surmise from his instructions to believers in the church in Thessalonica: “When we were with you, we gave you this rule: Whoever will not work should not be allowed to eat.” What’s less clear is: what if government mandates keep one from working, or keep employers from hiring those willing to work?

St. Paul assumed that people had the freedom to contract out their labor, to sell the one primary thing they possessed: their time and effort in exchange for money. He also assumed that employers, given the opportunity, were free to hire someone who could add value to their businesses.

Minimum wage laws abrogate that essential freedom, with all manner of negative results. One,

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More Proof: Raising the Minimum Wage Increases Unemployment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 4, 2016: 

If more proof were needed that raising the minimum wage would increase unemployment among lesser-skilled workers, the Heritage Foundation’s latest study provides it.

For one thing, the push for a national minimum wage of $15 an hour would actually cost employers $18.61 an hour, thanks to payroll taxes, unemployment insurance and ObamaCare taxes. The proposed increase, if passed into law, would, according to Heritage, impact one-third of all American workers, and hurt the most those working in lower-cost states.

The math is simple, and deadly.

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Comeuppance in the Oil Patch

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 3, 2016:  

Looking down from Heaven, George Mitchell must be pleased with what’s going on below: oil inventories are growing to the point where offshore tankers and railroad tank cars are having to be used for storage, oil and gas prices are dropping along with the costs of all the other 6,000 consumer products made from petroleum, rig counts are increasing, production costs are dropping, and, best of all, OPEC’s influence is waning daily.

The Economist called Mitchell the father of fracking in its eulogy following his death in July, 2013. They referred to him as

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U.S. Oil Shale Producers Putting OPEC Into Financial Bind

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 2, 2016:  

This wasn’t supposed to happen. When OPEC decided in November 2014 to keep producing crude oil at or near maximum rates, it was following an unspoken strategy to force the U.S. oil shale industry to back off. That would allow prices to rise back to levels needed to fund the cartel’s military adventures and their welfare states.

Marginal producers in the United States did declare bankruptcy, while other producers stacked most of their oil rigs, cutting daily production in the country from 9.7 million barrels per day (mpd) to 8.5 mpd. This caused crude oil prices to rise from the low 30s to the mid 50s.

But then oil prices levelled off and began to decline,

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Sixty Percent of Brazilians Expect Economic Losses From Olympics

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 27, 2016:  

Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics bid logo.

The theory — and the marketing materials — claim big benefits for Rio de Janeiro for hosting the 2016 Olympic Games: 500,000 people and more than 10,000 athletes attending and spending; improved infrastructure that lasts long after athletes and attendees leave; greater global exposure and enhanced credibility; and, if all goes well, increased revenues that will offset the costs and maybe even leave a little profit behind.

Brazilians aren’t buying it.

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