Category Archives: Economics

Greenspan Speaks on US and Global Economic Problems

It’s refreshing Greenspan focuses on the need for savings (especially long-term investments) and worker productivity, which seems so obvious yet so many today seem to claim any near-term consumption, any spending, will miraculously result in growth. It is investment and research that grow an economy, long-term.

Greenspan also mentions the current investment environment is unpredictable, resulting in greater investment risk especially for longer-term investments.

H/T: ContraCorner

Pat Buchanan’s Surprising Take on Lifting the Cuba Embargo

Well, I say surprising. Maybe it’s not surprising to the people who know him better.

To me, lifting the embargo is a no-brainer from a non-interventionist perspective. Buchanan has a point here:

But Obama threw in an admission that all nine presidents before him pursued a “failed policy.” Calling for recognition of the Castro regime as the legitimate government of Cuba, Obama said, “Isolation has not worked.”

“Not worked”? What is he talking about? Isolating Cuba during the last 30 years of the Cold War helped bankrupt and bring down the Soviet Empire, which had to carry Cuba on its back.

But why did the embargo need to be continued once the Soviet Union collapsed?

I agree that Obama should have laid off publicly criticizing past Presidents and policies because to do so is generally unseemly, and maybe he should have extracted an agreement from the Castro regime that they would lay off the whooping it up and declaring victory, if such a thing is possible. Maybe they could have agreed on a joint statement.

Thomas Fleming doesn’t agree, and I think his comment probably explains Buchanan’s position as well as any:

Pat has been a friend for years and we usually agree, but not always. We all have a fall-back position, and Pat’s is the Cold War, just as for others it is the War Between the States, and for still others the Persian Wars.

Is Max Boot the World’s Most Obnoxious Neocon?

I once suggested on the old site that we come up with a “prize” for most obnoxious neocon. If we did, Max Boot would surely be a finalist. The Republican midterm rout (some of the newly elected Republicans are quite hawkish) has hawks feeling their oats. This has uber-hawks like Boot clamoring for more wars. Good little globalist that he is, he also throws in a plug for “fast track” for the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Daniel McAdams from the Ron Paul Institute replies here to Boot’s wild eyed rantings.

IRS Goes After Kent Hovind Again

For those who haven’t followed this case, Kent Hovind is a young Earth creationist who had a ministry dedicated to spreading his young Earth beliefs. Because he considered what he was doing a ministry, he didn’t believe that he had any income tax obligation.

First of all, I’m not a young Earth creationist, and I think young Earthers create unnecessary confusion within the ranks of Christianity. If you tell people that the reliability of the Bible rests of the literalness of the first few chapters of Genesis, then when they start to have doubts about the age of the earth they are liable to have doubts about the whole.

That said, the prosecution (persecution) of Kent Hovind and his ridiculous prison sentence should be decried by all traditionalist conservatives. From what I know of this case, Hovind’s belief that he had no tax obligation was sincere and not just a way to get out of paying taxes. If it was a way to avoid taxes, it was likely based on his belief that income taxes in general were illegitimate. (Apparently he made some statements to that effect in the past.) In other words, he wasn’t just a dead beat attempting to scam the government.

Sentencing non-violent people like Hovind to prison is ridiculous. Hovind is not a danger to society. Hovind is not a public menace. A sentence of restitution and community service or something like that would have been the appropriate response even if you agree with the Federal Government that what he did was a crime.

Now Hovind and his lawyer are facing new charges. Admittedly, Hovind has demonstrated bad judgment here. His lawyer is a sovereign citizen type, so Hovind’s experience should tell him that alternative explanations of the law are a path fraught with danger.

I am not a lawyer and I would make a very bad one if I was, because I don’t default accept the government’s declarations in cases like this. If Hovind claims he has no tax obligation because he is a ministry then that contention it seems to me should be part of what is at trial, not just the “facts” with the government’s take on the matter taken for granted. Same with these sovereign citizen types. If they make a claim, then the government should have to counter that claim.

While I have sympathy with these alternative explanations of the law types in their dealings with the government, I am very conflicted about how it all plays out in real life. If someone has an alternative understanding of the law, then if they act on that as an act of civil disobedience knowing they are likely to face legal consequences, then so be it. But when they drag others into it on the basis that what they are doing is legal when the law is properly understood and applied, then there can be a lot of civilian casualties, so to speak, in their war for justice as they perceive it. A lot of naïve people suffered because of the tax protestor movement, regardless of what you think of the tax protestors’ claims about the validity of the income tax.

But all that said, these new charges are piling on. Hovind should have never been sent to prison in the first place, but he has been punished enough. The Federal Government should leave him alone and go after some real criminals.

* As an aside that will be most meaningful to people familiar with the young Earth creationist milieu, one of the sorriest aspects of the whole Hovind affair is the role that Pensacola Christian College (the creators of the very popular ABeka home school curriculum) played in ratting out Hovind. Rebekah Horton, college VP and the Beka in ABeka, demonstrates a startlingly unnuanced take on the matter of paying taxes. But even if she is entirely right about what the Bible says re. taxes, there is no Biblical imperative to rat out your co-belligerent in the young Earth battles. What kind of a goodie-goodie busybody do you have to be to rat directly to the IRS?

Scammers

Within the civil liberties crowds, there was a great misunderstanding of the NSA revelations from Snowden—though NSA snooping dates back to  the 70s and nothing was really learned in terms of scope, if some insights into application, there was a general pretend this is new meme.
As the broader picture of government snooping emerged, I wrote that evidence gathered from such sweeps wouldn’t pass in court so one had to guess the primary use was economic crime. (E.g. who shorted airline stocks prior to 9/11? The FBI says it was one firm, a one off, and the documents were shredded by the SEC.)
News that NSA Chief (and liar) Keith Alexander was day trading on exotic commodities in overseas markets not simply furthers the point, but demonstrates what worthless scoundrels find themselves in high power–Hillary’s cattle future windfall being the simpler method lacking all that snooping.

Buy Some Films of James Jaeger

Below I posted a video on Cultural Marxism, which I said was a must watch and was curious who was behind it. Thanks to the sleuthing of fellow blogger weavercht, he learned that it is a film by James Jaeger. Since I thought to myself, “This is our kind of guy,” but I didn’t recalled ever hearing of him, I did some internet searching.

First of all, he started Matrixx Productions which makes documentaries. Not all of them are necessarily up our alley, but many are as you can tell by the title list. Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul and Edwin Viera make frequent appearances in his documentaries.

But the guy seems to keep a pretty low profile, I suspect by choice. He has an IMDB entry but it contains no bio. He has a Linked In profile, and he has a Facebook page. I sent him a Facebook friend request, but I suspect he is pretty judicious about who he accepts requests from, because we only have one friend in common. Normally I have a lot of friends in common with people in our “circle.”

Anyway, I suggest buying some of his videos. It looks like a lot of them are available on YouTube, but he deserves some of our money for his efforts.

BTW, one piece of trivia I learned from his IMDB site, Edwin Viera (who I once sat at a table with at a Constitution Party event and bounced some at the time rather amateurish money questions off of) is the brother of Meredith Viera. I had no idea.