The City of Santa Barbara is letting the heart of their town, State Street, die. Empty stores, a struggling mall, and the homeless are the symptoms. The homeless are using the street as their crash pad: intoxication, panhandling, sleeping, urinating deter shoppers from enjoying this public space. It can be fixed but the City needs to show some leadership and rethink their approaches to the problems. They seem to be unable or unwilling to do that.
This article was written in 2010 after the 2008 Great Recession kicked off. It was my response to commentators who were raising the specter of high inflation and hyperinflation. Instead of inflation we got deflation as many of the boom phase investments were substantially devalued. These malinvestments resulted in a serious contraction of economic activity and lending, and much of the money printing stimulus (euphemistically called “Quantitative Easing”) lay in Excess Reserve accounts at the Fed. Looking back, it’s a good explanation of hyperinflation and is applicable to today’s economy. (more…)
The real Donald Trump has revealed himself. His incitement of his hard core followers to assault Congress shows his contempt for the democratic process. Trump is now the leader of a powerful authoritarian political movement that he will exploit to regain the national limelight and serve his craving for power. On January 21, 2021 he will begin his campaign to take back the presidency. As he has shown he poses a danger to our fragile democratic institutions.
There is a reason that cream does not rise to the top in the political process. Politics in America is a blood sport which disincentivizes decent candidates from running for office. What we get are packaged commodities uttering banalities that appeal to the gullible and pollsters. Yet people still see politics as a noble enterprise where leaders can bring about positive change. They don’t.
Warning! You may find this article disturbing. If facts, reason, free speech, and history are offensive to you, I urge you to not read this piece which you may consider to be a violent act and find refuge in a safe place where you can reinforce your ideas of wokeness, postmodernism, multiculturalism, Critical Theory, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, De-constructionism, and Marxism. (more…)
The Fed has signed up for Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), printing new money at will to fund the federal government’s $3 trillion coronavirus bailout. MMT, also known as Magical Monetary Theory, has a long history of failure and this time will be no exception. Prepare for what’s coming next.
The first lesson from the pandemic is that nobody knows anything. The next thing to know is that we are in a recession, a really bad one. If you think that this recession is solely caused by the pandemic (“supply shock”) you would be wrong. Every recession needs a trigger to set it off. In 2008 it was mainly the Lehman Brothers failure. This time the pandemic trigger is unique but it will, like all previous recessions, expose underlying weakness in the economy.
Excuse my sensationalist “fake” headline, but what would Bernie say about someone who makes a billion dollars by inventing a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus? Would Bernie consider it “immoral” and “disgusting”? Should the inventor’s billions be confiscated as he would like? This exposes Bernie’s corrupt ideology that has impoverished millions wherever tried.
Santa Barbara’s liberal City Council voted to delay the implementation of 5G wireless service in the city in the hope they could kill it. They are doing this because they fear the “dangers” of electromagnetic radiation (aka, radio waves). Yet the overwhelming scientific opinion is that 5G radiofrequency radiation is harmless. These science-denier tin-hatters fail to understand this issue. People want 5G. Why don’t they let their constituents vote with their dollars and see if they want it.
There is a lot of media praise for Thomas Piketty, a French economist and his new book, Capital in the Twenty-first Century. The basic theme of the book is that the rich get richer and everyone else gets poorer. Piketty’s solution is confiscatory taxes on wealth to reduce the amount of capital in the hands of “capitalists”. He believes this will force capital into the hands of more productive members of society such as entrepreneurs and then the benefits will be more widespread throughout society. It’s a mish-mash of failed ideas about capital, labor, inequality, entrepreneurs, free markets, and economic progress. It is “economics lite.”