Day in a life: Selling loose cigarettes on the streets of New York

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This is a fantastic slice of life from the streets of the Big Apple.

Right now tobacco is in sort of a legal netherworld. It’s legal, but also frowned upon by polite society and it is taxed heavily. The attached article is what it looks like in this netherworld.

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Here’s the First U.S. Senator to Publicly Declare His Support for Marijuana Legalization

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Good to see this. The drug war is a waste. It causes incredible harm to citizens. It encourages all sorts of cronyism. Marijuana legalization would be a very positive development for the country and a win for those who hold the Constitution dear. That’s right Tea Party, pot legalization is absolutely a win for constitutionality.

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Elizabeth Warren’s silence was Fidelity’s (the mutual fund giant) gain

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Ms. Warren is the darling of many who think that if there was just more government activism all the world could be set right. That if just more people like the doe eyed wonder from Harvard were to get into Congress, and imagine, the presidency, we could finally settle some scores with Wall Street.*

Don’t count on it folks.

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American Princeling: Joe Biden’s son and his life of crony privilege

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Let’s face it. The progeny of Washington’s political class have a lot of advantages. Hunter Biden seems to have made the most of his.

I was actually surprised to hear that the most junior Biden son was in the Navy reserves. Though as a “public affairs officer.” (?) There isn’t even a draft to dodge. And I am sorry to hear that the guy was discharged for cocaine use. It’s actually pretty hard to test positive for cocaine. He must have been partying the night before practically. Sounds like there might be an issue. But I don’t think anyone is shedding any tears over recent events. (Including Hunter Biden.) He’s got plenty of other stuff going on and before we know it he’ll be kicking around K Street again. Good as new.

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Political entrepreneurs vs the real entrepreneurs

Jobs cc ccWe are regulating our economy to death. One of the main reasons why there is an increasing disparity in wealth in this country is that the crony class is wrapping the middle class and the merchant class – the entrepreneurial class – in red tape. Pay a tax here. Pay a fee there. Do you have a license to do that?  It is harder and harder to build a business – something which is plenty hard to do without the crushing weight of the state.

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The Crony Love Affair Between North Carolina, Credit Suisse and Erskine Bowles

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Our state employee pension systems are chock full of crony capitalism. They are often overly generous, but they are also big fat pools of money from which the politically connected can siphon enormous fees. The whole racket is paid for by the taxpayer of course.

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Is the Last Great Bubble bursting? (The central bank bubble)

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If it does, and eventually it will, watch out. We will enter completely new economic territory. You think things have been wild since 2008? If people truly call out the emperor as naked, if that becomes the consensus, holy moly, are things going to get interesting.

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Boston Globe: Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

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I was recently talking with senior wonk in Washington DC about this very issue. Why was it for all the think tanks, all the white papers, all the fits and crying in the media about this issue and that, that policy on the big issues hardly ever changes to reflect the will of the American people?

My friend thought basically the same as the author interviewed in the attached article. There is a surface level government and then there is the “deep state,” a place where massive power is housed, and wielded by largely faceless and mostly unaccountable managers who have agendas which are often very different from what you and I might want.

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