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: Private Sector

Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks Already Being Felt

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 22, 2017:

English: G. Edward Griffin

G. Edward Griffin

The latest report from the American Action Forum (AAF), which has been tracking President Trump’s promise to deregulate American businesses, continues to be upbeat. In April it had found that the repeal or delay of regulations imposed during the Obama administration could lead to $86 billion “in net fiscal effects” for taxpayers as a result. The latest from AAF said that the trend downward in regulations and upward in freedom from them continues apace.

In July the Washington Post counted 860 regulations that the Trump administration was either pulling or suspending, and then included commentary from anti-Trump liberals that

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Most Aid to Hurricane Victims Is Private, Not Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 15, 2017: 

English: Jacksonville, Fla. (Oct. 24,2005) - T...

When asked where to send money to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) administrator Brock Long referred them to the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)’s website, NVOAD.org. NVOAD is nearly 50 years old, a coalition of private, mostly Christian or faith-based, groups that specializes in helping victims recover from natural disasters. It was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969.

The seven founding members were

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Trump Takes Credit for Banner Jobs Report

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 4, 2017:  

Within 15 minutes of Friday morning’s release of the July jobs numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), President Trump tweeted: “Excellent Jobs Numbers just released — and I have just begun. Many job stifling regulations continue to fall. Movement back to USA!”

He has good reason to cheer:

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Robots and Kiosks (and Amazon) are Making Jobs Reports Irrelevant

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 7, 2017:

MarketWatch

MarketWatch

Malcolm Frank is one of those rarest of futurists: He sees what’s coming and writes clearly about what to do about it. In his What to do When Machines do Everything: How to get Ahead in a World of AI, Algorithms, Bots and Big Data, Frank discusses the massive upheavals businesses are going through as they try to keep up and stay profitable.

One issue he doesn’t discuss is how to measure the new economy’s output.

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Ruling for Big Taxi in Europe Could Spell End for Uber, Lyft, Airbnb

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 12, 2017:

In what could spell the end of Uber (and by inference other digital information providers such as Lyft and Airbnb) in Europe, an advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recommended that the court treat Uber as a “transportation service” and not a digital information service.

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, a Polish lawyer, whose opinion carries such great weight among the 15 judges making up the ECJ that they usually follow it, said on Thursday: “The Uber electronic platform, whilst innovative, falls within the field of transport. Uber can thus be required to obtain the necessary licenses and authorizations under national law.”

Translation: Uber must now look and act like Big Taxi. Drivers cannot be “amateurs” but

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Saudi Arabia’s Troubles Mount: Public Sale of Part of Aramco Delayed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 17, 2017:

Saudi Aramco's headquarters complex in Dhahran...

Saudi Aramco’s headquarters complex in Dhahran, Eastern Province

Under Saudi Arabia’s “National Transformation Program” (NTP), being pushed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the sale of up to five percent of the country’s crown jewel, Saudi Aramco (officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company), would boost private employment and diversify the kingdom away from oil. The initial public offering (IPO), if and when it happens, would be the largest IPO in history and value Aramco at around $2 trillion, making it the largest publicly traded energy company in the world.

The funds raised would flow into a “sovereign wealth fund,” which would then invest in foreign and national companies in the private sector. This, it is hoped, would entice others to join in turning Saudi Arabia into more of a capitalist economy rather than a state-controlled one.

In Salman’s grand scheme,

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Texas Congressman Proposes “Permanent” Fix for Social Security

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Saturday, December 10, 2016:  

Congressman Sam Johnson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, presented his plan, the “Social Security Reform Act,” on Thursday, which he called “a plan to permanently save Social Security.”

His proposal involves the same solutions often proposed by others trying to keep Social Security from going broke: cutting benefits, raising the retirement age, adding “means” testing, and cutting or eliminating altogether the COLA — Cost of Living Adjustment.

According to Michael Linden, an associate director at the liberal Center for American Progress, the cuts to benefits would be severe — between 11 percent and 35 percent — and they would include those already receiving Social Security benefits. Social Security actuaries who analyzed Johnson’s plan (at his request) came up with different numbers: Cuts would range from 17 percent to 43 percent but over a longer time period and with the same conclusion: everyone in Social Security (with the exception of the lowest-income participants) would take a hit under Johnson’s plan.

Nowhere in Johnson’s plan is any mention of privatizing the program, which is surprising, as it was a topic of discussion during the Republican presidential debates. Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Ted Cruz all expressed their support for privatizing Social Security as the best way to solve its myriad problems.

Here are some of those problems:

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Trump’s Labor Secretary: Fast-food Magnate Is Anti-Minimum Wage

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, December 9, 2016:  

CKE Restaurants

When President-elect Donald Trump nominated Andy Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants (Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.), on Thursday, he called him the “ideal candidate,” stating, “Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor. Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring [that] workers receive the benefits they deserve. [In addition] he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages.”

Puzder is ideal in more ways than one.

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Trump “Saves” 1,000 Carrier Jobs

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Boston

Carrier Corporation, a division of United Technologies, announced on Tuesday that it will, after months of negotiations, keep some of the jobs in Indiana that it earlier planned to ship to Mexico. Indiana Governor and now Vice President-elect Mike Pence, as governor of the state, was the initial driving force behind the negotiations. Both he and President-elect Donald Trump will start their “thank you” tour on Thursday, beginning with Indiana, where the details of the agreement will be spelled out.

That’s why Trump was able to tell his crowd of supporters in Indianapolis in April that the deal was all but done:

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Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 30, 2016:  

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

President-elect Donald Trump picked Elaine Chao shown) for secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday, raising concerns about her connections with the Republican establishment as well as China. Some of those concerns are balanced by her affiliations with pro-freedom and pro-free market organizations.

If confirmed, she will face a host of issues,

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Mexico’s Huge Oil Reserves Now Open to Private Exploration

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 28, 2016:  

Four years ago Enrique Peña Nieto (pictured, with Donald Trump) promised while running for president of Mexico that, if he were elected, he would open the country’s energy industry to the private sector. At the time his promise was almost laughable. While he did win the election, his party controlled less than 40 percent of the Congress, below the 50 percent needed to gain any kind of traction for his promise, and far below the two-thirds majority needed to attack the root cause: a constitution that prevented any outside competition to either of its state-owned oil (Pemex) or electricity (CFE) monopolies. He also faced enormous political pressure from leftist labor unions, environmentalists, and beneficiaries of the various welfare-state programs that revenues from Pemex were funding.

But within two years he had accomplished the impossible: Articles 28 and 29 in his country’s constitution were modified, allowing private producers in to explore, extract, refine, transport, store, and distribute crude oil and natural gas. This included allowing private companies to bid to generate electricity in competition with CFE.

Pemex was formed in 1938 with the remnants of foreign oil companies that were nationalized by Mexico’s then-President Lázaro Cárdenas. And the memories of that takeover still lingered.

But when he announced the new freedom to open bidding for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, Nieto said:

Reforms are the foundation for building a better country. They are [the] platform for beginning a new stage of development….

 

One of the key elements of the reform is to enable competition in the market. Competition should bring better prices to industry, which, in turn, can be more competitive, increasing exports, generating new employment and reducing prices in the local market.

He described the lifting of the heavy hand of the state from his country’s energy industry as “knocking down the walls”: “If we really want to achieve change in these [industries], then this has to be a structural change … we have to be the government that knocks down the walls that are in the way of achieving a more equitable and just society.”

Within weeks of Nieto’s announcement in August 2014, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) adjusted Mexico’s oil and gas projections upward by 25 percent and then, as foreign interest in developing Mexico’s vast untapped reserves began to surface, it readjusted them once again, this time by 75 percent.

It took time for the improvement in production to take place, not only because of the new rules that the government was tasked to write to incorporate the new freedoms, but because of the enormous decline in crude oil and natural gas prices set off by OPEC’s decision in November 2014 to flood the market.

But now, with the recovery in oil prices, interest in the nearly 1,000 oil and gas leases of Nieto’s country has skyrocketed. In August Exxon Mobil joined with Chevron and Hess to bid for rights to drill in Mexico’s deep waters. They will be competing with 20 other companies which have set their sights on the same leases, with the winner to be announced on December 5.

This has excited investors, with Business Insider calling it a “huge opportunity.” On Saturday James Stafford, writing for Oilprice.com, declared: “Welcome to the early stages of an oil and gas game that will be bigger … than anything in history. Mexico’s reform legislation … provides an unprecedented opportunity for oil companies looking to tap into Mexico’s huge oil potential.”

International Frontier Resources Corporation (IFRC), a Canadian oil development company, estimated those untapped Mexican reserves “could total as much as 115 billion barrels … [thanks to] the denationalization of 914 oil and gas leases.”

According to the CIA’s 2015 World Factbook, Mexico had less than 10 billion barrels of proven reserves as of December. If IFRC is correct, Mexico’s new proven reserves would jump to 125 billion barrels, placing it ahead not only of the United States (with 36 billion) but also the UAE (98 billion), Russia (103 billion), and Kuwait (104 billion).

As Stafford concluded: “Right now, there is nothing bigger than Mexico when it comes to oil and gas sales. We’re talking about North America, large oil reserves, good infrastructure and discoveries that are already in development.”

Once the heavy hand of the state is lifted from the economy, it’s positively astonishing what the free market can accomplish. Not only investors, but also lovers of freedom, are watching events unfold south of the border with great anticipation.

Social Security to Announce Tiny Increase in Benefits for Next Year

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 11, 2016:  

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Next Tuesday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will announce Social Security’s COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2017. It is widely anticipated to be between nothing and $3 a month for the average beneficiary.

But Medicare premiums (retirees are often expected to pay a monthly fee for coverage) for seniors receiving Social Security retirement benefits are expected to jump nearly $30 a month. That premium increase would reduce the average retirement benefit by about $25 a month, except that Congress had inserted a “hold harmless” provision into Medicare law. Instead, the premium increase will be funded by Medicare, thereby hastening the day when that part of Social Security runs out of money.

The statistics reflective of the current gradual liquidation of Social Security’s so-called Trust Fund are familiar to most recipients:

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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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Brazil’s Economy Entering Depression

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 28, 2016: 

English: Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro city ce...

English: Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro city center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The latest numbers coming out of Brazil confirm what Goldman Sachs said last December: “What started as a recession … is now mutating into an outright economic depression, given the deep contraction of domestic demand.”

Translation: President Dilma Rousseff’s attempt to stimulate the slowing economy via massive insertions of new debt has in fact had the opposite result.

Consumers have cut back by more than eight percent across the board, while investment spending has declined more than 10 percent last year, with cumulative capital spending

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Another Keynesian Failure: Brazil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 28, 2016:  

John Maynard Keynes Русский: Джон Мейнард Кейн...

John Maynard Keynes

Boiled down to its most crude elements, Keynesianism, according to Antony Mueller at the Mises Institute, is “the economic policy doctrine of growth by spending.” Since 2003, when the current political party in Brazil, first headed up by Lula and now by Dilma Rousseff, came to power, it installed it in spades. For a while it seemed to work: demand for Brazil’s raw materials: oil, iron ore, and agricultural products grew as China (also pursuing the “growth by spending” mantra) also grew.

But the boom, which at one point included Brazil as one of the BRIC (Russia, India, and China) nations that would soon overtake the developed world, went bust.

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Federal Deficit at Eight-year Low; Don’t Celebrate Yet

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 16, 2015:  

On Thursday the Treasury Department announced that the federal deficit for the 2015 fiscal year, which ended September 30, fell to an eight-year low — $439 billion — thanks to tax revenues that grew at a rate faster than government spending. Revenues, according to the department, grew by eight percent over last year while government spending grew by five percent.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew celebrated:

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Want a Raise? Work for the Government

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 9, 2015:  

It used to be that the way to get ahead was to work harder, work smarter, find your passion (à la Tony Robbins), marry the boss’s daughter, or be the boss’s daughter (or son). But, according to the latest study from the Cato Institute, the best way is to “sell your soul to the company store” (apologies, Johnny Cash): Work for the government. Preferably, the federal government.

Since the 1990s, federal government employees have enjoyed greater increases in salary growth than those in the private sector, with federal workers in 2014 earning 78 percent more, according to the latest report from Cato, entitled “Downsizing the Federal Government.”

In 2014, based on numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the average federal worker in 2014 made

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Kansas Considers Tax Increases Just as Its Economy Revives

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 12, 2015:

English: Aerial view of Kansas City, Kansas, l...

Aerial view of Kansas City, Kansas, looking southwest. The Kansas River (right-center) joins the Missouri River (left). A small piece of Kansas City, Missouri is visible on the left of the Missouri River.

 

Kansas House members debated until midnight Thursday whether to raise sales and cigarette taxes in order to close the state’s budget deficit. The House had just resoundingly defeated a previous measure that would have raised those taxes even more, but the state is facing a deadline to balance its budget, required under its constitution.

There’s a roughly $400-million shortfall this year, which is estimated to increase for the next several years.

Left-wing pundits have had a field day taking Governor Sam Brownback to task for calling his massive tax cuts enacted in 2012 an “experiment,” a “shot of adrenalin,” and similar to Ronald Reagan’s experiment based on the Laffer Curve: Reducing tax rates will increase tax revenues as the economy grows.

Paul Rosenberg, senior editor of Random Lengths News, a tiny weekly newspaper operating out of Long Beach, California, is a good example. His paper describes itself as an “independent progressive newspaper” with a readership of 63,000 that “is proud of the support from the Harbor Area labor unions, who allow us exclusive distribution inside most of their union halls.”

Rosenberg managed to get a screed attacking Brownback published in the hard-left Salon magazine in which he describes the Kansas governor as

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Jeb Bush’s Ties to Insider Financial Interests Are Confirmed

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

Jeb bush at noaa earth day

Jeb Bush celebrating NOAA’s Earth Day

Revelations from the International Business Times (IBT) that Jeb Bush helped move billions of dollars of Florida’s pension plans to insider investment firms while he was governor are only going to make it more difficult for him to persuade rank-and-file Republicans that he has their best interests at heart. 

Bush himself is a wealthy man with a net worth, back in 2007, of $1.3 billion. Since then he has been paid millions in the private sector while serving on various boards of directors and giving more than 100 speeches at $50,000 a pop. 

But in order to have a shot at the White House he is going to have to touch his network of insiders. And that network is vast and far-reaching, thanks not only to connections he made while dishing out financial favors during his term as Florida’s governor but to his family’s connections as well.

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Russian Cyber-thieves Steal $1 Billion From Russian Banks?

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

A report released on Monday from Kaspersky Lab to be presented at a cyber-security conference in Cancun, Mexico, revealed a highly sophisticated, well-funded, and immensely patient plan to steal at least $300 million from banks around the world, with estimates that the real losses could exceed $1 billion.

Kaspersky Lab, the fourth largest international provider of sophisticated software to fend off malware attacks, has been tracking the band of hackers known as Anunak or Carbanak for years. The first public exposure of the plot to steal millions at first appeared in late 2013 to be a simple mistake:

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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.