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: profit

Do Trump’s Flip Flops Reflect Lack of Constitutional Understanding?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 14, 2017:

Pebble massage sandals from Dalian, China.

Flip flops

The mainstream media have rejoiced because they perceive that President Donald Trump has abandoned policies and changed long-held positions that they have considered anathema. Politico said the president has “demonstrated an incredible willingness to bend his past positions, or abandon them entirely. Sometimes he offers an explanation; sometimes not.” CNN called them “stunning U-turns on key issues” reflecting “extraordinary political shape-shifting.”

The “key issues” are Syria, Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, NATO, his hiring freeze, China’s currency manipulation, and the Export-Import Bank.

Syria tops the list currently as the president,

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Restaurants Add “Labor Surcharge” to Tabs to Cover Minimum-wage Increases

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 13, 2017:

English: This is actually Tom's Restaurant, NY...

Instead of increasing their menu prices in response to increased minimum-wage levels, restaurant owners are burying their increased labor costs at the bottom of each tab. The increase, between three and four percent, only comes after the customer has completed his meal. The increase also increases the tip customers leave behind as most customers leave a gratuity based on the check’s total. This is going to raise the average customer’s check, which has already increased by nearly 11 percent since 2012, close to five or six percent.

Some restaurant and fast-food owners aren’t burying the increase but are instead calling attention to it so that customers know that they’re the ones actually bearing the brunt of the forced increase in the minimum wage. Sami Ladeki, the owner of six Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill restaurants in San Diego and eight others across California, used to call it a “California mandate” but removed it after getting a call from the city attorney. Ladeki, who says he makes a profit of around one percent charging $12 to $14 a pizza, told the Wall Street Journal:

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February Jobs Numbers Explode, Blowing Past Economists’ Expectations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 8, 2017: 

.jobs -- Cut To The Chase

The ADP/Moody’s jobs report released on Wednesday showed job growth 50-percent ahead of Wall Street’s expectations: 298,000 jobs were created in February versus expectations of less than 200,000 by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal. The job growth was all across the spectrum, with construction and manufacturing sectors adding 106,000 new jobs.

The report, sponsored by ADP, a human resources management company with more than 400,000 business clients, and aided by Moody’s Analytics, was based on performance reported during the month to both entities. Mark Zandi, Moody’s chief economist, commented on the remarkable February numbers:

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AT&T Agrees to “Re-source” Jobs Back to United States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 6, 2017:

The union representing AT&T workers in five southern states announced on Thursday that it had reached a tentative agreement with AT&T Southwest that includes a promise to hire 3,000 American workers to do jobs previously done overseas.

It’s a four-year deal that includes wage increases, paid parental leave, and sweetened healthcare benefits for some 20,000 AT&T workers. It’ll become effective after the union membership approves it.

There was some apparent reluctance on the part of the company to include the resourcing, as its statement didn’t mention it:

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Study: $15 Minimum Wage Would Force McDonald’s to Increase Prices 38 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 20, 2017:

English: The official logo.

James Sherk, a Hillsdale graduate and now the Bradley Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, found that if a $15 minimum wage is enforced across the country, fast food prices will jump far more than initially thought. A 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, currently priced at $4.49, would jump to $6.20. A Starbucks Grande Mocha Frappuccino would increase from $4.56 to $6.29, while a 6-inch turkey sub at Subway would cost $5.87, up from $4.25. A Whopper Meal from Burger King would jump to $8.96 from $6.49.

A CrunchWrap Supreme, Crunchy Taco and large drink from Taco Bell would cost $8.27, up from $5.99; a Wendy’s Son of Baconator Combo, currently $6.69 would cost $9.23; a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich Combo, priced at  $5.95, would cost $8.21; and a Pizza Hut Medium Hand-Tossed Cheese Pizza, on today’ menu at $11.95, would jump to $16.55.

That’s a 38-percent increase, far higher than many old-school economists have concluded, and it puts the lie to union claims that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would result in a transfer of wealth from rich business owners to low-paid workers. Sherk’s analysis concludes that there would be a transfer, but it wouldn’t be from the business owners: It would be from their customers.

First, those owners with a McDonald’s franchise aren’t rich and they’re not likely to become rich. Ed Rensi, who worked for McDonald’s for 30 years, ending up as the company’s CEO in 1991 and retiring in 2007, told Forbes:

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First, Big Taxi. Next, Big Box Stores. Now, Big Car Dealers.

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 25, 2017:

English: Tesla Motors opened its showroom in M...

A Tesla “Gallery” storefront

An unfettered free market has but one goal in mind: to serve a customer – the guy with the money in his pocket – better. It’s driven by the profit-motive: better service means more customers bringing more money to the improviser who has figured out how to do it profitably. Adam Smith said it much more elegantly:

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Ford to Sell and Finance Its Autos Online

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 24, 2017:  

Ford said on Monday that it would join forces with software developer AutoFi, Inc. to allow customers the freedom to purchase a Ford or a Lincoln automobile and obtain financing for it online without forcing them to endure the usual three- to five-hour long sales pitch in one of its showrooms.

The software will allow shoppers to compare models, prices as delivered, available options, and choices of financing among different lenders. Once the sale and financing are completed, the customer stops by the dealership to pick up his car. Nice and easy.

AutoFi’s CEO Kevin Singerman said he really wasn’t trying to disrupt the sales process:

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Clintons Shutter Global Initiative as Donations Dry Up

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 16, 2017: 

Hillary Clinton in Concord, New Hampshire

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) filed a WARN — Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification — with New York State’s Department of Labor on Thursday, announcing that, effective April 15, 2017, it would be closing its doors and laying off 22 employees. The CGI’s stated reason: “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Following the election, foreign governments that had been regular donors began cutting their contributions to the Clinton Foundation, some severely. For example,

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Oil and Gas Prices Dropping in Anticipation of Trump Presidency

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 14, 2016:  

Even as prices for crude oil and natural gas were already declining thanks to continued overproduction by the OPEC cartel, the commitment of millions of dollars in new capital expenditures by major oil companies next year, and the stirring of recovery in the oil patch, last Tuesday’s election added additional impetus to the decline. The price for crude oil for December delivery has dropped more than $2 a barrel since the election, and Evan Kelly, writing at OilPrice.com, thinks it’s going to drop further, perhaps much further.

Reasons abound, mostly around Donald Trump’s promise to breathe new life into an industry hampered by overregulation driven by questionable concerns over global warming.  As Kelly wrote:

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Tax Foundation Rates Tax Plans of Trump and Clinton: Trump’s Plan Wins

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 20, 2016:

Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Analysis by the Tax Foundation of all that is currently known about the tax plans proposed by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton concludes that, if enacted, Clinton’s plan would expand government at the expense of a shrinking economy. On the other hand, Trump’s plan would grow the economy, shrink government’s revenues, raise wages, and expand employment.

But it’s not tax “reform,” claims the study’s author, Kyle Pomerleau,

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Saudi Energy Minister: Crude Oil at $60 Not “Unthinkable”

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

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, asserted at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul on Monday that he is optimistic that members of the OPEC cartel will agree on production cuts at its meeting in late November, and that it isn’t “unthinkable” that, as a result, crude oil prices could hit $60 a barrel by the end of the year.

Following late September’s informal meeting when the cartel agreed to appoint a committee to come up with options in time for the Istanbul meeting, energy traders drove the price of crude above $50 a barrel. On Monday it nearly touched its highest level for the year, reacting to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for OPEC’s possible cut in crude oil production to “stabilize” the market.

Such a production cut, if it takes place (OPEC members are notoriously fickle about keeping solemnly-pledged agreements), would be designed to push crude oil prices higher, but still low enough to keep “rivals from raising their output,” according to OPEC’s secretary-general following the September meeting in Algeria.

That’s going to be a trick,

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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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Tennessee Representative Calls for “Public Corruption” Investigation of Clinton Foundation

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 14, 2016:  

English: Official Congressional portrait of Co...

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.

Within days of FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend indictment of Hillary Clinton in the e-mail scandal, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn began circulating a letter among her House colleagues to generate support for an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. As of Wednesday more than 40 members had signed onto the letter. It is to be sent to Comey on Friday, with copies to the heads of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Trade Commission.

In her letter she claims that

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Corruption in U.S. House: Fattah Forced to Resign; Rangel Chooses to Retire

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 27, 2016:  

Official House Photo of Congressman Chaka Fatt...

Official House Photo of Congressman Chaka Fattah, from Pennsylvania’s 2nd district

Within days of each other, two House Democrats — one a petty thief, the other a big-time plunderer — have had to account for their unethical behaviors. The first was forced to resign from office; the other announced his intention to retire.

Chaka Fattah, whose birth name is Arthur Davenport, represented Pennsylvania’s Second District (mostly Philadelphia and its environs) from 1995 until Thursday, June 23 when he was forced to resign. It wasn’t his idea. Fattah wanted to stay in office until the day before his sentencing on October 4, milking his position for every last penny.

A year ago July, he and four of his associates were indicted on federal charges for

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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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Terry McAuliffe’s Long Romance with the Clintons

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 25, 2016:  

One of the perks of having a long, close personal and financial relationship with the Clintons is freedom from prosecution. When informed that the FBI was investigating him for violating campaign finance laws, Terry McAuliffe (shown), Virginia’s governor and FOB (friend of Bill’s), expressed surprise but said, through his lawyer, that he would cooperate whenever they got around to contacting him about it.

McAuliffe’s been there before, probably before some of the investigators were even born. The Department of Justice first began investigating McAuliffe’s deals back in

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Chesapeake Energy Claims It’s NOT Declaring Bankruptcy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 9, 2016:  

On Monday, at 11:18 a.m., the second-largest natural gas company in the country issued this terse statement:

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has served as one of Chesapeake’s counsel since 2010 and continues to advise the company as it seeks to further strengthen its balance sheet following its recent debt exchange. Chesapeake currently has no plans to pursue bankruptcy and is aggressively seeking to maximize value for all shareholders.

Ominously, when Timothy Puko of the Wall Street Journal asked for clarification, he wrote “A Chesapeake spokesman declined to elaborate further.”

The company has been in survival mode since

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Want to Revive a State’s Economy? Put in Place the Florida Model

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 29, 2016:  

Rick Scott has always been an entrepreneur. While enrolled at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and working full-time at a local grocery store, Scott and his wife Ann bought two Kansas City donut shops. After getting his law degree, he went to work at a law firm specializing in the health care industry. In 1987, at age 34, he took all that they had in the bank and started Columbia Hospital Corporation. Two years later his company was merged with the Hospital Corporation of America to become Columbia/HCA.

In the next ten years it had grown to become

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Florida’s Economy Rebounds Thanks to Cuts in Taxes, Spending, Regulations

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

Almost immediately upon assuming Florida’s governorship in January, 2011, Rick Scott started cutting. He increased the state’s exemption level for corporate taxes from $25,000 to $50,000. He expanded the state sales tax exemption for manufacturing equipment. In 2013, he approved a three-year total exemption of that sales tax. In 2014, he pushed to raise the corporate tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. Last year he signed into law a $400 million cut in vehicle fees. In all, over the past five years he, with the help of a friendly legislature, has cut nearly 50 taxes.

Along the way

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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.