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: Ludwig von Mises

Apple’s Repatriation of Its Profits: Talk About Stimulating the Economy!

English: Apple's headquarters at Infinite Loop...

Apple’s headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 22, 2018:

After paying the world’s largest tax bill – $38 billion – Apple, Inc., the world’s largest company by market capitalization and now the government’s largest taxpayer, will have $214 billion left over.

It is making plans for that $214 billion. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said it would be making “a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy that Apple created with iPhone® and the App Store®.”

It added:

Apple is already responsible for creating and supporting over 2 million jobs across the United States, and expects to generate even more jobs as a result of the initiatives being announced today.

The numbers are almost incomprehensibly large. Apple generates worldwide revenues of $230 billion, making profits of nearly $50 billion. It employs 124,000 people worldwide, 84,000 of them in the U.S. It has independent contractual arrangements with another 1.6 app designers, to whom it paid $5 billion last year. It operates 500 retail stores worldwide.

Apple’s biggest problem is that

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Apple’s Repatriation of Its Profits: Talk About Stimulating the Economy!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 19, 2018: 

After paying the world’s largest tax bill – $38 billion – Apple, Inc., the world’s largest company by market capitalization and now the government’s largest taxpayer, will have $214 billion left over.

It is making plans for that $214 billion. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said it would be making “a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy that Apple created with iPhone® and the App Store®.”

It added:

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Baltimore Mayor Vetoes Minimum-wage Bill After Doing “Research”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 3, 2017:

During her election campaign for mayor of Baltimore last fall, Democrat Catherine Pugh (shown below), along with dozens of other Democratic politicians, supported the “Fight for 15” to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Last week, she had the opportunity to fulfill that promise when the Baltimore city council passed a bill doing just that. But, after doing “some research,” Pugh changed her mind and her position, saying instead that “I am vetoing this bill.”

One wonders just what her “research” uncovered that was persuasive enough to cause her to change her mind, go against the grain, veto the bill, and incur the wrath of the progressives on the city council. Perhaps she had a conversation with

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Trump’s Regulatory Executive Order: One In, Two Out

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 30, 2017:

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

White House officials described President Donald Trump’s Executive Order for “Reducing Government Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Cost” as Trump’s “one in, two out” plan: For every regulation promulgated by a federal agency, that agency must “identify” two existing regulations to be targeted for extinction.

The order also sets a cap of $0 for the cost of new regulations, with the only exceptions being military and national security regulations. The president said when signing the order,

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Who Knew Mexico Had So Much Oil? Who Cared?

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

According to the CIAs 2015 World Factbook, Mexico had less than 10 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves as of last December. That placed the country at 17th position, just ahead of Angola and just behind Algeria. The fact that it had ten times more than that underground and under the Gulf of Mexico didnt matter. If you cant get to it, it doesnt count.

And ever since 1938 a succession of Mexican statist presidents made sure no one could get to it. When then-President Lazaro Cardenas consolidated all foreign oil producers by nationalizing their properties, he named the resulting company Pemex. And then he and future presidents milked it for all it was worth, funding various socialist projects, setting up retirement plans for their political cronies, and in general ignoring the untapped reserves lying just offshore.

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Like a Zombie, the Export-Import Bank is Threatening to Come Back to Life

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, September 9, 2015:  

The movie White Zombie, a horror film in 1932 starring Bela Lugosi, featured zombies as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician. The Export-Import Bank doesn’t quite fit the definition, but it’s close.

Crafted by socialists surrounding FDR in 1934 and given life by an executive order, Ex-Im was granted permanent status as an agency in 1945. It has been repeatedly, endlessly, mindlessly resurrected almost 20 times since then, until the end of June.

Since then pressure has been building among its crony beneficiaries

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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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Could a Professional Wrestler be the next Senator from Tennessee?

This article first appeared at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:

 

In gearing up for the 2014 Senate election in Tennessee, the Tennessee Alliance Tea Party & Liberty Groups announced in its newsletter last week that current Senator Lamar Alexander was ripe for extinction:

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Wealthy are Moving to Belgium (for the, er, Culture)

Belgium Waffles with Strawberry Sauce and Bacon

Belgian Waffles with Strawberry Sauce and Bacon (Photo credit: VancityAllie)

Some of the excuses being given to explain why rich folks are leaving high-tax France and moving to low- or no-tax Belgium are entertaining. Daniel Senesael is the mayor of Nechin, a Belgian village about 800 yards from the French border, where famous – some say infamous – actor Gerard Depardieu just moved. Said the mayor:

I think he wanted to enjoy the atmosphere in Belgium, our identity, the rural, bucolic setting.

Right. It had nothing to do with the 75% income tax rate the Socialist French President Francois Hollande has inflicted on incomes over $1 million. It had nothing to do with the capital gains tax of zero in Belgium either. You bet.

Depardieu joins members of the Mulliez family, owners of Auchan  and Decathlon stores.

Senesael later on expanded on the real reasons the actor moved to his rustic attractive bucolic village:

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Skyscraper Announcement Confirms Impending Chinese Recession

Empire State Building all

Empire State Building all (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thank Gary North for alerting me to this. It’s far more than just historical coincidence. The announcement that China is going to build the world’s tallest building is a strong indicator that it is going into (if it hasn’t already gone into) recession. Tall buildings signal the top.

Mark Thornton, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, wrote about this in July, 2004:

This 4th of July will mark the groundbreaking of the Freedom Tower at ground zero of the World Trade Center. The design of the building calls for a height of 1,776 symbolic feet, which will capture the title of world’s tallest building when it is completed in late 2008 or 2009.

Groundbreakings, opening ceremonies, and certainly July 4th are all causes for celebration, but the Freedom Tower may be a signal that something much more sinister is afoot. For more than a century there has been a correlation between the building of the world’s tallest building and severe economic downturns.

That correlation is eerie, but here it is:

The correlation is as follows. The announcement and groundbreaking for the world’s tallest building takes place at the end of a long boom or sustained bubble in the economy. The stocks go into a
bear market; the economy goes into recession or worse. The building is completed. The economic turmoil that ensues is either severe, drawn out, or as in the case of the Great Depression, both.

There’s this:

The Panic of 1907 which helped bring about the Federal Reserve Act was signaled by the building of the 612 foot Singer Building completed in 1908 and the 700 foot Metropolitan Life completed in 1909. There was only a short, sharp downturn in 1913 when the 792 foot Woolworth building was completed, as the establishment of the Fed and WWI intervened.

And then this:

The Great Depression was signaled by a series of three record-breaking skyscrapers. The 927 foot Wall Street building was completed in 1929; the 1046 foot Chrysler Building was completed in 1930; and the 1250 foot Empire State Building was completed in 1931. The Great Depression helped bring on Roosevelt’s New Deal.

And this:

The 1970s were characterized by high rates of unemployment and inflation. This “stagflation” was signaled by the building of the 1368 foot high World Trade Towers which were completed in 1972 and 1973. The Sears Tower set a new record at 1450 feet when it was completed in 1974.

Then Thornton explains why the correlation is valid, in economic terms. Faulty price signals at the top of a boom cause bad decisions to be made, often very bad:

At first glance the association of record-setting skyscrapers and economic crisis would seem to be a spurious correlation. Surely, the building of such skyscrapers does not cause economic crisis. However, there is good reason to believe that skyscrapers and crisis are linked via the business cycle. Long periods of easy credit create economic booms, particularly in investment, speculation becomes pronounced, and entrepreneurs lose their compass of economic rationality and make big mistakes. The biggest mistakes — record-setting skyscrapers — comes toward the end of the long boom and signal the bust. (my emphasis)

The Chinese economy, like ours, has been running on paper money for years and giving out false and misleading signals to investors. They have made the mistake which I characterize as “straight line thinking in a curvilinear world.” Here’s a link to the announcement that not only are they going to build the world’s tallest building, they’re promising to do it in 90 days!

Stay tuned and watch for the coming recession in China.

Tired of Political Yard Signs?

Obama/Biden yard sign

Obama/Biden yard sign (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

Jeffrey Tucker is tired of seeing all the political yard signs showing up in his neighborhood, and I think he makes a very good point:

I can’t understand why people are willing to give up precious real estate on their front lawns, make friends mad at them, and put their own credibility on the line to back some politico who will certainly betray them in a matter of weeks.

I live in a neighborhood where such signs are prohibited except for 3o days before an election. No commercial advertising of any kind is allowed at any time. Even pickup trucks with advertising on the doors are prohibited (they must be parked inside).

Tucker’s neighborhood has the same rules:

My neighborhood forbids commercial advertising on the front lawn, but the code makes an exception for politicians running for office. If anything, it should be the opposite. Commerce serves me every day. I feel genuine gratitude for these companies who give me great products and services, always keep their promises, and never force anything on me.

Talk about truth in advertising, and vice versa! The free market is

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Austrian School Economics in Estonia

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For many, Austrian school economics is theoretical nonsense. It’s nice to read about. It’s nice and logical. It’s common sense economics. But it really can’t apply to the real world. After all, with paper currency backed by nothing and central banks running the show, Austrian thinking is strictly theoretical.

Or maybe not.  Frank Shostak, a scholar at the Mises Institute, has uncovered something quite remarkable in Estonia:

Against the background of a severe economic crisis in the eurozone, one is surprised to find a member of the euro area that is actually showing good economic performance. This member is Estonia. In terms of so-called real gross domestic product (GDP) the average yearly rate of growth in Estonia stood at 8.4 percent in 2011 against overall eurozone performance of 1.5 percent. So far in 2012 the average yearly growth stood at 2.8 percent in Estonia versus -0.2 percent in the eurozone.

How about unemployment there?

Also note that the unemployment rate in Estonia displays a visible decline: it fell to 5.9 percent in August from 7.6 percent in January. In contrast, the unemployment rate in the eurozone climbed to lofty levels in August. After closing at 10.8 percent in January, the eurozone unemployment rate shot up to 11.4 percent in August.

One of the basic premises of Austrian economics is the “cleansing” process that must take place to

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How to Answer Obama’s Claim That “You Didn’t Build That!”

Thomas J. DiLorenzo: Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build It’ Canard

Barack Obama’s ignorant “you didn’t build it” remark did two things: First, it displayed remarkable economic ignorance; and second, it asserted exactly the opposite of the truth with regard to the role of government in the economy. In today’s world American businesses that are successful in the marketplace have become so despite government intervention, not because of it.

You didn't Build that, Obama Did.

You didn’t Build that, Obama Did. (Photo credit: scismgenie)

This article by economic historian Thomas DiLorenzo is one of the best I’ve seen in refuting Obama’s claim, and brings out several other good points as well. I’ve asserted that Obama is a Marxist in philosophy and in action. DiLorenzo quotes none other than Yuri Maltsev, a former advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev (who, as you will remember, was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, a position that he obtained by being successfully more ruthless and murderous than those in his party), who said that Obama is a “Proud Marxist.” DiLorenzo says that Obama is “belligerently ignorant of economics and consequently is in denial of much of economic reality.”

All Obama is doing, then, is reiterating a position that he believes is true, that he must believe to be true in order to justify his continuing attack on private capitalism.

Says DiLorenzo:

As for the role of government, history proves that it has always been the mortal enemy of free voluntary exchange and the generation of prosperity through the free market. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1956 book, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, “A nation is the more prosperous today the less it has tried to put obstacles in the way of the spirit of free enterprise and private initiative. The people of the United States are more prosperous than the inhabitants of all other countries [as of 1956] because their government embarked later than the governments in other parts of the world upon the policy of obstructing business.”

Government is the enemy, not the friend, of the free market, or of freedom itself. Therefore, Obama is an enemy of the free market, and of freedom itself.

Keynesian Economists Finally Catch Up and Agree: China to Have Hard Landing

Paul Krugman, Laureate of the Sveriges Riksban...

Mainstream economist Robert Samuelson admitted last week that the case for the ending of the economic boom in China has some substance. Keynesian economist Paul Krugman also confirmed that China is in trouble and questioned its ability to avoid a hard landing.

Samuelson raised rhetorical questions about China’s economic future, all with the same answer: “Could the world’s economic juggernaut, having grown an average of 10 percent annually for three decades, face a slowdown…or a recession?” Yes, it could. “Does it have a real estate ‘bubble’ about to ‘pop?’ ” Yes, it does. Could that have “global consequences?” Yes, it will.

Noting that Nomura Securities is predicting a one-in-three possibility of a hard landing—defined as a drop in China’s GDP to five percent or less—Samuelson said that such a sharp slowdown “would raise unemployment and social discontent” with consequences similar to the start of the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009 in the United States. Samuelson admitted that the Chinese government has created

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More Recycling, Less Liberty

Trash Recycling with Disposal Containers

To celebrate America Recycles Day, the Tellus Institute published a study showing the benefits of increased recycling, by force if necessary. The Tellus Institute’s mission is “to advance the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and humane global civilization,” and has published 3,500 studies, analyses, and reports on everything from energy, water, sustainable communities, corporate social responsibility, and climate change.

Its latest study, “More Jobs, Less Pollution,” prepared for several interested parties including the BlueGreen Alliance, the Teamsters, and the SEIU, purports to provide

strong evidence that an enhanced national recycling and composting strategy in the United States can significantly and sustainably [there’s that word again] address critical national priorities including climate change, lasting job creation, and improved health.

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Roubini v. Rockwell on the Gold Standard

Nouriel Roubini, Turkish economist, professor ...

Image via Wikipedia

New York University economics professor Nouriel Roubini made a name for himself back in 2005 by predicting the Great Recession long before others did. Fortune magazine wrote “In 2005 Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy.” The New York Times said he predicted “homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt.” In September, 2006 Roubini warned that “the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence, and, ultimately, a deep recession.”

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Tea Party Giving Neocons Heartburn

An F-117 Nighthawk engages it's target and dro...

Image via Wikipedia

Several neoconservative writers have recently expressed nervousness about Tea Party supporters threatening to make substantial cuts in military expenditures in order to rein in government spending. Articles in the Washington Post and at Heritage.com, by Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Brooks, Edwin Fuelner, and William Kristol have made it clear that “the conservative movement—and the party that seeks to represent it—is at a crossroads.” One road will continue funding the military-industrial complex in “defense of freedom,” while the other road “beckons in an almost Calvinistic call to fiscal discipline” resulting in potentially severe defense department cuts.

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50-year-old Book is Amazon Bestseller

Cover of "The Road to Serfdom: Text and D...

Cover via Amazon

When Glenn Beck urged his listeners, “Please, pick it up. The Road to Serfdom. Make it part of your essential library,” sales of Austrian Economist Frederick von Hayek’s book at Amazon.com pushed it to Number 1 the next day. Prior to the election of President Obama, “The book sold respectably at a clip of about 600 copies a month,” according to Bruce Caldwell, editor at the University of Chicago Press. “But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven’t slowed down since.”

When John Stossel, host of Fox Business, featured the book on his show on February 21, sales jumped again.

Opinions as to the remarkable interest in a book published in 1944 by an obscure economist vary, but most center on the book’s uncanny prediction that is now being fulfilled in the United States:

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Free Markets, Deregulation, and Blame

Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Image via Wikipedia

Free markets, in the full sense of the phrase, exist only in the minds and imaginations of free-market economists from the Austrian School, such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

The classic definition is simply a market without intervention or regulation by government. In truth, commerce in any developed country is always controlled to some extent by government. A free market requires the right to own property, which means that the wages, earnings, profits, and gains obtained by providing products and services to others belongs to the individual generating them. The assumption is that an individual with this kind of freedom would only make an exchange that gained him a benefit.

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Financial Reform: Pressing On, Regardless

Bob Corker

Image via Wikipedia

Last month, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) pushed back against the Obama administration’s plans to create a “standalone” Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and some Washington-watchers held their breath to see if Corker would hold his ground.

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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.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann