Where I live they are building houses again. The neighborhood beside me should have been built 5 years ago but finally the bulldozers are in motion again. But don’t call it a recovery. There is no vibrance in the market. Just a subset of people escaping places like California with solid state jobs at the University.
But even here there is concern. 2 years ago the builders began again, thinking the market had finally turned. But after a brief uptick things settled down again. The all cash buyers disappeared and all that was left were regular people who actually needed mortgages.
And getting a mortgage is still pretty tough as the attached article outlines.
But I believe a small part (but a growing part) of the ongoing housing chill is that many people have finally seen through the rather idiotic obsession with always living in the largest house one can afford – or in many cases – one cannot afford.
Hemp for those who don’t know is the male of the cannabis plant. The female plant is what contains THC, the substance that gets one high. Hemp is just an amazing industrial product.
If one has ever had a shirt or a piece of rope made from hemp one is struck by its durability. Much more durable than cotton for instance. It is tough but also soft. It has a million uses, from paper to building material. However for years the drug war (not to say cotton producers and producers of chemical based products such as Nylon) have gotten in the way of the legal cultivation of this very useful plant.
Perhaps no longer.
There was a time when this country was filled with hemp fields. In fact at one point in early colonial America it was actually against the law NOT to grow hemp because it was so useful.
Uber has been fun to watch. And even though the company did hire a crony of its own recently to deal with urban politicians looking to shake down the company, Uber is still a very good free market story. It’s busting up government sponsored taxi regimes in cities all over the world and generally providing a much higher quality product than the old taxi companies were. It’s putting the heat on politicians and transit unions. (When the BART workers struck last year it was Uber and similar services which came to the rescue of commuters.) It is creating value.
Earlier this month we explained that there is no such thing as “free” community college and that it was the middle class which would likely foot the bill for any “free” tuition.
Looks like we were right.
Most farming in this country is done by massive agribusiness conglomerates. But there are still a few small farmers out there. There may be fewer however once Obamacare really takes hold.
Below is yet another example of how red tape and over regulation push small businesses over the edge while large businesses benefit from the increased complexity and cost of regs. In the medium run the big guys gain market share and keep upstart innovators in check. All thanks to government “solutions.”
Late last year we asked if the Democratic party really wanted to become THE corporatist party. Well, the Dems have a new friend in DC, the good ole’ US Chamber of Commerce.
This op-ed was written by a colleague of mine in San Francisco, Bill Shireman. His organization, Future 500 is a client.
I have written a number of times about the City by the Bay at ACC. It is a fascinating place. A refuge for the weird and for the rich and for the weird and rich. Jammed onto the tip of a peninsula, space is at a serious premium. Throw in a government which is very very “liberal” and all sorts of strange economic phenomena occur.
It’s amazing but even now many people refuse to see this rather obvious fact. Government and big business like each other. For the most part they aren’t rivals. GM, Goldman Sachs, GE, Boeing, JPMorgan, Monsanto, Walmart, Chrysler, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, CVS, AT&T, Northrup Grumman and many other giant companies are partners (to a significant degree) with the US government.
Because that’s where the money is. Specifically taxpayer money.
By Ed Ring, executive director, California Policy Center
Conservatives in America are at a crossroads. They face a choice between greater freedom or greater security. While striking this delicate balance has required ongoing policy choices throughout history, recent events involving law enforcement have brought these choices into sharp focus. Here’s how Patrik Johnson, writing last month in the Christian Science Monitor, described the choice:
“Police forces nationwide are being pulled between two opposite trends: more empathetic, community policing and an increasingly militarized response to crises.”
I remember when I was a kid hearing stories of surveillance in places like East Germany and the USSR and they haunted me. The idea that the government had an ever watchful eye trained on the citizenry just seemed insane and a horrible way to live.
One of the big differences between us, “the free world,” and the communists (I was told) was that we didn’t have a Stazi or a KGB. Our government didn’t fear its own people. We were a free and open society. We were a free people.