Is More Debt the Key to the American Dream?

Some lawmakers think that the way to the American Dream is to load up on more debt at the top of the housing cycle.

Consider H.R. 898, the Credit Score Competition Act introduced into Congress by three Congressional Representatives. It would direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored entities (GSEs) that guarantee 90% of the mortgage loans in the United States, to lower credit standards for mortgage loans.

“Alternative credit score consideration by the GSEs is a win-win: it opens up the market in a responsible manner for those qualified to buy a home and eliminates the government-backed monopoly in credit scoring. That’s why the Credit Score Competition Act has garnered such strong bipartisan support,” said sponsor Rep. Ed Royce.

“Alternative credit score” is just a misleading obfuscation of the term “low credit standards.” Kind of like “alternative facts”. read more…

The Thirty Dollar T-Shirt

I checked out my closet to see where my clothes were made. My shirts were made in Vietnam, China, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, and Turkey. My Levi jeans were made in Bangladesh, India, and Mexico. I couldn’t find any clothing made in America. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough. At Costco you can get a very nice all cotton t-shirt made in Peru for $12.

Think about all the jobs lost because of these cheap imports. If Costco was truly patriotic why don’t they buy American made clothing? Wouldn’t that keep jobs in America? Trump says that China and Mexico are stealing American jobs. read more…

The Mind of Donald Trump

One can see President Trump as a decisive leader who takes bold action to move the country forward. Or, one can see him as a leader blissfully ignorant of the consequences of his actions.

I choose the latter interpretation.

I am reading about the consequences of his edict to ban entry to people from the seven prohibited countries. This is just one edict among many that are bold and reckless. These actions reveal a pattern to his decision-making.

There are six elements to President Trump’s thought process: read more…

Oh Vanity, Thy Name Is Trump

                    “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance.”

                    —Samuel Butler, British poet (1613 – 1680)

President Trump’s obsession about his popularity manifested itself in a shocking display of outright lies to protect his vanity. His contention that the media were lying about the number of people at his inauguration reinforces what we already know about the man: vain, egotistical, narcissistic, and very thin-skinned.

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Trump’s Big Promise

On Inauguration Day Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America. His inaugural address was stern, painting a bleak vision of America, yet promising to resurrect America from its “carnage”.

The paramount theme of his address, which will be the defining issue of his administration, was to revitalize America by protecting it from foreign competition. He will metaphorically wall off America. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first.” “We will follow two simple rules; buy American and hire American.” read more…

Who Will Drive Policy In The Trump Administration?

The rumor is that Ivanka Trump was the one who, during election night, came in and told her father that he was pulling ahead in the presidential race. His response, “What do you mean I’m ahead?” is something I made up, but it has a strong ring of truth to it. At the outset of the evening the polls and the TV commentators were ready to crown Hillary Clinton, but as the night dragged on something else happened.

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Fidel Castro, R. I. H.

Fidel Castro died.

Praise was heaped on him from every thuggish leader around the world. China’s Xi said he was a “dear comrade and true friend” of the Chinese people who made “immortal contributions to the development of socialism around the world.” Putin said he was “a wise and strong person” who was “an inspiring example for all countries and peoples” and a “sincere and reliable friend of Russia.” Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro offered solidarity and love to the Cuban people. Pope Francis prayed for his eternal rest. Even President Obama offered tactful condolences to the Castro family and said “our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people.”

They were partying in Miami, home to those who fled Castro’s terror. read more…

Will Donald Trump Be an Agent of Change?

Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America and one-half of the country are ecstatic and one-half are fearful of it.

This election season was one of the worst in modern times as our top aspirants to the presidency abandoned facts, reason, common sense, and collegiality. This isn’t just about Trump: both candidates are guilty. It has given birth to a new Right-Left populism based on economic and social myths.

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The Lesser of Two Evils, or What to do on Election Day

My Republican friends tell me that they don’t like Trump but they will vote for him because, as bad as he is, he is better than Hillary. My Democratic friends tell me they don’t like Hillary but they will vote for her because, as bad as she is, she is better than Trump.

That is what is called a dilemma, wherein you have a choice between two unattractive options. Actually, it is more like a Morton’s Fork where there is a choice between two equally unattractive options that lead to the same unpleasant conclusion.

To say that this election cycle has been a disaster is to state the obvious. It would be great entertainment if it were a different country. But it isn’t. Shame on us for letting it happen.

Our politicians promise us many things. If they could solve our problems by those promises they would already have done so and we would be living in their promised Utopia. After all, they’ve had 80 years to do so. Their tool kit hasn’t changed much over the years, yet we still vote them in. We must challenge the intellectual status quo or resign ourselves to creeping stagnation and social disunity.

In past months I have detailed the failings of Hillary and Donald’s policies. Both candidates threaten our economic well-being and individual freedom as well as our security. Here are my concluding thoughts. read more…

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