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

Tag Archives: Free Market

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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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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“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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How to Rate Bernie Sanders?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 22, 2015:  

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont

Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont

The National Taxpayer Union rates the performance of Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democrat Party’s nomination for president in 2016, at a lowly five percent out of 100. The American Conservative Union rates his performance barely higher, at 6.2 out of 100.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has rated Sanders over the years at between a C- and F. And this despite the NRA’s dalliance with Sanders in 1990 that put him into the House, replacing a RINO, Peter Smith.

Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the NRA, wrote to the group’s 12,000 Vermont faithful in 1990 that

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On Gun Control, Bernie Sanders Is a Conundrum

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 21, 2015:  

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders reflects the bifurcation evident in his state almost from its very beginning. One of only two states to vote against Franklin Roosevelt in all four of his presidential campaigns, Republicans dominated Vermont’s politics from 1854 until the mid-1970s. Since then it is one of the most reliably blue states in the union. In 2013, it became the 17th state to decriminalize marijuana, while in 2014, it was the first state to call for a constitutional convention to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, wherein the court decided that Americans didn’t lose their right to financially support political candidates just because the Americans form a corporation. That same year it also became the first state to require GMO labeling.

It is also known for being the state that allows its citizens to carry sidearms without

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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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Greek Vote the Death Knell for the EU?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 8, 2015:  

English: Nigel Farage at Lord's cricket ground...

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, named “Briton of the Year” in 2014 by the London Times, has finally found his voice. He noisily departed the Conservative Party in 1992 after the signing of the treaty that created the European Union to start his own UK Independence Party (UKIP). His criticism of the EU has been steady ever since, culminating in his eulogy on Monday: “The European Union is Dying Before our Eyes.”

According to Farage, Sunday’s referendum in Greece sealed its death warrant, even if somehow the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is able to come to terms with the troika and have them turn on the financial spigot once again: “It [was] a crushing defeat for those Eurocrats who believe that you can simply bulldoze public opinion.” He added,

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Is Puerto Rico America’s Greece?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 6, 2015: 

After running deficits every year since 1973 and paying for them by borrowing, the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico has finally run out of options. On June 28, the island’s Governor Garcia Padilla admitted that its $73 billion “debt is not payable.… We will [shortly] be in a death spiral.” Padilla added: “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.”

The math is persuasive.

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Greeks Shout “NO!”

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 6, 2015:  

Greek citizens shouted “No!” to further austerity measures for the hapless country in exchange for more of what got it into trouble in the first place: other people’s money. The lopsided 60-40 vote astonished telephone pollsters, who predicted a much narrower victory for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of the far-left Syriza party. Although the issues were far more complicated than the referendum made it appear, the 68-word ballot question made it easy: do you want more increases in taxes, more cuts in pension benefits, another increase in the VAT … or not?  Translated into English, the ballot read:

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Greece: Capital Controls Threat Increases as Deadline Approaches

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 22, 2015:

The announcement last week by Greece’s central bank that it may be forced to start implementing capital controls — eliminating the ability of Greeks who still have any money in the bank to withdraw it or send it to another country for safekeeping — may just be a ploy to bring more pressure on the Troika (European Central Bank, IMF, and eurozone countries) to release the last batch of funds from Bailout Number Three.

Withdrawals by nervous Greeks began last fall as Bailouts Number One, Two, and Three were only pushing the country further into recession. Withdrawal from the eurozone itself became increasingly likely, with the result that the euro would be replaced in Greece with a new currency with much less purchasing power.

Ever since Greece joined the European Community, later to be called the European Union, it has enjoyed far better credit ratings than it deserved. Assured that default was now no longer an option, central banks and other international financial institutions were more than willing to

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“Kafkaesque” Ruling from FCC Fines AT&T $100 Million

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 19, 2015: 

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka, author of the chilling novel, The Trial, in 1926

 

In The Trial, Franz Kafka told the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Left unfinished at his death, a ghostwriter completed the novel, which became one of Kafka’s best known and most frightening novels.

In it, Kafka described perfectly the ruling announced on Wednesday by the hidden anonymous commissars of the Federal Communications Commission:

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FCC Fines AT&T $100 Million

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 18, 2015: 

In its ruling adopted on June 3 and released for public viewing on June 17, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), chaired by Tom Wheeler (pictured), announced that it was not only fining AT&T $100 million for violating its so-called “transparency rule” but also was going to mandate that AT&T install numerous “requirements to bring AT&T into compliance” with that rule.

At issue was AT&T’s repeatedly stated policy that at certain times and under certain specifically stated circumstances, subscribers to its “unlimited” data services would experience a slowdown (called either “congestion” by its supporters or “throttling” by its enemies such as Consumers Union) in connectivity. AT&T bent over backwards to make sure that every one of its customers was aware of the possibility, including 

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Schumpeter’s Gale Blows Away Colt

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 17, 2015:

Glock 17 9mmPara (erste Ausführung - Februar 1986)

Glock 17

 

Schumpeter’s Gale is the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Often credited with first developing this first axiom of the free market, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter was merely expanding on Karl Marx’s hopeful prediction that capitalism would eventually destroy itself. Out of the ashes would rise communism.

Marx and Schumpeter were half right:

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Proposed Federal Tuition-free Community College Likely to Be a Bust

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 8, 2015: 

Buried in the fine print of President Obama’s State of the Union speech last January was an idea that the federal government should make community college tuition-free. It’s loosely based on a Tennessee program that seems to be working without federal funding or intervention.

The federal program would add $6 billion to the government’s already bloated educational assistance programs, which already run $70 billion (not counting the $100+ billion in student loans) every year. Anything for the kids, it seems, and according to promoters, the taxpayers won’t feel a thing.

According to the federal program, an estimated nine million students attending community colleges could avoid up to $3,800 a year in tuition, with three-quarters of the largesse coming from Uncle Sam and the balance put up, under federal mandates, by the states. In his speech, Obama called community colleges “essential pathways to the middle class,” adding,

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SAVs are Raising Existential Questions for Car Companies

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 22, 2015:

SAVs are “shared autonomous vehicles” – driverless, robotic automobiles – and they are already raising serious questions that GM and Ford are just starting to address. Questions like: what business are we in today? What business will we be in tomorrow? Twenty-five years from now? Will we be in the car business or the transportation business? What does that mean? What do we do now so we’re still around and profitable then?

GM spokesman Jim Cain put the SAV revolution in the best possible light:

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Driverless Cars to Disrupt Industry, Benefit Consumers

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 21, 2015: 

English: Google driverless car operating on a ...

Google driverless car operating on a testing path

 

Brian Johnson, in his “Disruptive Mobility” report issued by Barclays Bank on Tuesday, sees that a future with driverless cars will mean far fewer cars on the road, a much smaller GM and Ford, and consumer travel costs cut by two-thirds. A generation from now there will be just 100 million cars on American roads (compared to 250 million today), and new car sales will fall below levels touched at the bottom of the Great Recession: less than 10 million a year.

This means that, unless they adapt and adopt new strategies, and perhaps a new business model, General Motors and Ford will likely be vastly smaller enterprises than they are today. He predicts that

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Energy Department Approves Six LNG Export Plants; More Coming

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 28, 2015:

On April 14, the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission published a remarkable summary of its recent approvals for private energy companies to build LNG (liquid natural gas) export plants along the East and Gulf Coasts.

What’s remarkable is that for decades the DOE has bought the argument that exporting LNG to customers around the world might jeopardize its supply here in the United States. It also bought the argument that allowing private producers to ship their product overseas would only encourage more fracking here with its claimed attendant but unproven dangers to the environment.

That the DOE is giving approval to LNG export facilities is proof that reality has finally replaced ideology at the agency, at least for the moment. As expected,

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Oil Production Still Increasing — Confounding Experts

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 16, 2015: 

Logo of International Energy Agency

A month ago the International Energy Agency (IEA) began hedging its bet that declining oil prices would cut production: “U.S. supply [of crude oil] so far shows precious little sign of slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it continues to defy expectations.” 

This is how economists say “Oops!” 

On Friday the IEA was still astonished at the resilience of the oil industry as it continued to produce at record levels, despite predictions that declining rig counts would force production cuts. Instead, total U.S. crude oil production hit a high of 9.4 million barrels a day during the week ending March 6. 

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US Crude Production Sets Record in March, Surprises the IEA

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 15, 2015: 

Just a quick look at the history of the International Energy Agency should convince anyone of its inefficacy: founded in 1974 at the suggestion of Henry Kissinger, its focus is on management of other peoples’ resources. Its mandate: the “3Es”: energy security, economic development, and environmental protection. The fact that it lacks any understanding of how the free market automatically addresses these issues showed up a month ago when its prediction of lower oil production in the US fell flat: “The U.S. supply [of crude oil] so far shows precious little sign of slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it continues to defy expectations.”

On Friday it confirmed its ignorance of how the free market works when it announced – surprise of surprises – that

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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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