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Tag Archives: crony capitalism

The Fed is never going to raise rates (?), Economy facing headwinds from overseas, Job participation rate 38 year low

As we’ve said China is driving things economically right now. The Federal Reserve doesn’t want to say it. It wants everyone to think that though our boat is leaking it is unlikely to leak as much as the rest of the the world’s economic “boats”. And right now that may be true. But we are still taking on water. The Great Economic Experiment post 2008 is failing, as many of the more market oriented have long predicted, and now the American central bank has very few options.

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Congressman Stephen Fincher: From Tea Partier to corporate welfare champion

The old joke is that many a congressperson gets elected by explaining to his constituents that he going to go to Washington so that he can drain the swamp. But once he gets to DC he decides that the “swamp” is more like a hot tub and he slides right in, martini in hand. Looks like we lost another one to the hot tub.

And the guy is from West Tennessee too. Real “Murica” (in the best sense.) Sounds like the boys in Jackson need to take a trip up the highway to set their Congressman straight.

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The US Chamber of Commerce wants free market conservatives/libertarians gone from Congress, Will spend $100 million to kill TEA Party

Somehow, for many people, the TEA Party has become some sort of social conservative thing. This is the dominant narrative repeated in much of the press and indeed some social conservatives have tried to run with this recharacterization.

But the TEA Party wasn’t and isn’t about social issues. It is about reducing the size of government. It is about bringing the political class in line. It is about We the People saying ENOUGH! And most importantly it is about being TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. T-E-A.

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Economists Can’t Find the Silver Lining in Today’s Jobs Report

The good news is the market seems to be shrugging of the relatively bad news. The assumption is that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise rates before the end of the year in light of the jobs report. The central bank won’t raise rates because it can’t, though it wants to. (Most people think anyway. Some think the Fed has no intention at all of raising rates anytime soon. They are the small minority though.) As such Wall Street gets to continue enjoying 0% rates. So the Street sees at least a bit of a silver lining (for itself) even if “economists” do not.

The jobs numbers are quite poor but not grim. In light of the Chinese, and increasingly global slowdown the dip in the number is of serious concern however.

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In Uber fight, London may mandate five-minute wait for a ride

Why, other than blatant pro cab company cronyism is such a restriction being put on Uber drivers? Uber is a better product than your standard cab ride. It makes more sense than the antiquated cab companies of old. In most cases it’s cheaper and the service better than what we used to have. But the buggy whip…er…I mean… taxi companies around the world have worked to shut out competition by enlisting crony friends in city governments in an effort to stop legitimate progress.

At least London cabbies aren’t beating up Uber drivers (with union blessing) like they are in Paris.

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Obamacare co-opts imploding everywhere, billions of your tax dollars wasted

There are people who honestly believe that markets are some sort of human construct, that supply and demand aren’t as simple as water flowing downhill. These people have done great damage to our economy and our society over the years. The Obamacare “co-opts” are just the latest example of this kind of magical policy thinking.

Markets are natural phenomena. Ebb and flow. But they can be inconvenient for some who would like to construct a new reality out of whole cloth. Kind of like how gravity is inconvenient for those who would like to be able to jump to the moon.

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Lew Rockwell Calls for Grassroots Campaign to Draft Ron Paul for House Speaker

Now this would be interesting. The Speaker of the House does not need to be a member of Congress so it’s kosher.

Such a thing would amount to a mini-revolution of sorts of course. As such it’s a pretty long long shot. (To say the least.) I don’t see the Chamber of Commerce or other special interests getting on board the Paul for Speaker bandwagon anytime, well, ever. But that really is the point though isn’t it?

We have no opinion on who should be Speaker. That is for the House and its members to decide. However, political fireworks are always fun.

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The Pill Whose Price Went Up 5000%? It Costs 5 Cents in India.

Yeah the CEO guy who raised the prices of Daraprim comes off as a jerk and so makes an easy villain. But the real problem is with our drug regulatory system. The drug is a generic and so should be cheap but the FDA has only approved one producer in the USA and as such the company has an artificial “monopoly.” Jacking the price of the drug is only possible because the government makes even producing a generic drug very costly.

I figured there was more to the story than was being reported. Thanks to Alex Tabarrok at GMU for clarifying the issue.

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Washington Post says; “Trust in the media is at an all-time low. That’s a terrible thing for all of us.” (No it’s not. It’s a good thing.)

Of course The Post thinks the fact that the public no longer trusts it is a bad thing. That a small group of media outlets can no longer completely dominate the news “narrative” is terrible in the eyes of one of the #oldmedia outlets. We wouldn’t expect them to like it. But that people no longer trust the “media” particularly the “legacy,” “old,” or “crony media” is actually a very good thing for the country.

It used to be that most Americans got their news from the local paper and Walter Cronkite and never even considered that they were being lied to and manipulated for political reasons. (Not that this was always the case.) Consider that Cronkite used to sign off of his broadcast with this little tag.

“And that’s the way it is.” 

For Mr. Cronkite and his production staff maybe. Perhaps for the folks just down the road at The New York Times. But “That’s the way it is” is unbelievably arrogant. Yet at the time I’ll bet not that many people saw it that way.

Now we know better.

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Fed Should Raise Rates To Loosen Policy

Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) is failing for the reasons outlined below.

At least before ZIRP was just failing generally. Now we appear however to be feeling the first acute effects of this grand experiment. And that is not good news.

To turn things around, or at least to begin turning things around, rates have to normalize. Which means likely that rates need to go up.

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