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Showing posts from 2014

Racism and Discrimination: Forces of Nature

The deaths of Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner of Staten Island, New York, reveal not merely a growing police state, but also a certain apathy toward impersonal affairs and the lives of others. For most, these protests will remain yesterday's news, a forgotten fixture on local television stations and social media feeds. When it finally becomes personal for you, the time for action will have passed, and it will be too late. Law doesn't justify behavior. It can only artificially rationalize it and similarly administer guilt. In the end, we might want to ask ourselves, "Did man make himself criminal, or was that law's accomplishment?”

This year, articles abound in coverage of police brutality, racism, and discrimination. Social media pages are inundated with shared commentary, videos, and op-eds related to these cases. People across the nation scream for justice in the streets, on the sidewalks, and even on interstate highways, while college students a…

The Future Price of Oil

By now, the mainstream consumer is all too aware of the collapse in crude oil prices. Crude oil futures continue to slide, reaching five-year lows and generating concerns about a deflationary death spiral. The future price of commodities and the nature of deflationary or credit-contractionary forces have been the topic of great contention and speculation. Without a well-equipped background in economic theory, investors are left playing darts in the dark, while the dartboard remains in the other room. Let's take a ride on the helicopter of heterodoxy to examine this economic scenario from a bird's-eye view. Upon completing this article, the reader will better understand the forces of the modern economy, and he or she will be well-equipped to describe the future of the dollar, how those commodities will be priced in it, and why deflation is the saver's reward for continued cost cutting, efficiency, and overall market-generated prosperity and greater economies of scale.

If you…

Existential Economics: The Fallacy of Demand-Side Economics

We too often accept that the measure of our own successes must naturally hinge upon the extent to which we are able to include or contribute to the lives of others, but this is, of course, untrue. We can take hold of our own personal lives to enhance them by our own original outlooks, creations, and mechanisms by which life is to be principally and existentially measured and supported, and through which our living, breathing moments may be enriched by the commensurate degree to which we are able to satisfy those personally defined measures. We may in fact face reality with nothing more than our own perspectives and the product of our own labor. This is all too possible. 

Indeed, as Adam Smith wrote, one may largely benefit from his immersion into the divisions of labor, but one is held by no obligation, but of his own choosing, to respond to this inherent material advantage. Moreover, one may operate his own economy which serves nothing but the satisfaction of his own desires. He may b…

Happy Women's Equality Day

Today the Twitterverse, Facebook Feminists, and President Obama unite to celebrate Women's Equality Day. Women's Equality Day and #WeMatter are trending as men and women alike rally behind the cause. Much like the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, the conversation keeps us greatly entertained, but the themes of the protest are largely lost, confused, or simply misunderstood by both participants and observers. In the end, Occupy Wall Street was successful only in generating a popular political protest. Their occupations have solved nothing, and they have predominantly abandoned their posts to unknowingly succumb to their imminent failure secured by this dire reality: the failure of commercial America stems from Pennsylvania Avenue, not Wall Street. 

What would you say if I told you that equality and women's rights and income equality were concepts that have historically formed the basis of all tyrannies throughout modern history? What if I told you that a soft despotism, cor…

One of Every Three American Adults is a Criminal

Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal posted an article on the growing epidemic of criminal records. The article reports that nearly one out of every three American adults has a criminal record -- a statistic corroborated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose records show 77.7 million individuals on file in the organization's master criminal database. Is this an indication of a society which is becoming more violent and criminal, or of one which is becoming ever-populated with needless and overreaching laws, ordinances, and regulations? In a country whose growing majority depends upon government for salary or entitlements, this is indeed the mechanism through which the dependency is enabled. Some are obviously more than willing to surrender increments of freedom for the promise of free stuff.    

Along with the extensive and pervasive development of laws in the United States, their execution has become more vile and horrid. And the experience of police brutality, along wit…

There's Gotta Be Something More

Too often we find ourselves wishing for more. More out of life. More money to spend. More time to relax. More opportunities to succeed. More to define our lives. But we forget that we are in charge. We forget that we are responsible.

It is all too easy to surrender our responsibilities to the Leviathan of fallible omniscience, the mystic proxy by which all of the unknown might pass to transform into sound and popular solutions. We consult systems and we expect justice from them. Of course, nothing of the sort can exist, as justice is delivered neither here nor by any Creator but by our neighbors: those who live among us. They know no more about the universal purpose of life than the ideologue, academic, or politician knows about you. They are only guessing. All of us seem to be searching for an answer. All of us want to find purpose, reason, and justice -- and we will, at whatever cost, cling to our hopes while we pummel individual and contrarian thought to apprehend it within our res…

Death by Inflation

Josh Barro, opinion journalist and editor for Business Insider, is one of many academics who have become infatuated with the neoclassical traditions of Keynesian economic theory, or its largely-confounded offshoots which purport to offer vastly different conclusions while somehow remaining rooted in the greatly misunderstood nature of money, or its commonly accepted impostor known as fiat currency.

In a recent interview with Peter Schiff, author, CEO, and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, Barro defended the notion that oil prices are largely immune to fluctuations in the monetary base, and that it is rather geo-political dynamics which are responsible for the increase in crude oil prices. Barro even claims that, absent measures of quantitative easing, fuel prices would remain largely unchanged. This view is simply one which fails to recognize the false sense of wealth -- often called the wealth effect -- engineered by the immense scale of bond-buying and purchases of mor…

The Myth of Spending (or Printing) Your Way to Prosperity

Spending derives from supply which, to whatever extent of time, rests in savings, and which stems from a sacrificed measure of consumption at a previous time. An economy based upon consumption will destroy and prevent production, as economies of scale are enabled by ever-cost-reducing mechanisms which distribute consumable goods at an ever-affordable per-unit cost. Monetary figures, in the way of fiat currencies, distort real value. However, currency is intrinsically worthless absent a network of production, which is the impetus which assigns that currency real value, or purchasing power. Fiat currency will fail to benefit anyone until some material supply is made available to those who are able to create value consistent with the inherently-arbitrary figures of that currency.

In order for supply to increase, someone must sacrifice immediate consumption to permit production elsewhere. These values are not pulled from magic monetary allowances, but by the creation of supply which even…

Cullen Roche's Not So "Pragmatic Capitalism"

In his riveting new work Pragmatic Capitalism, Cullen Roche, founder of Orcam Financial Group, a San Diego-based financial firm, sets out to correct the mainstream schools of economic thought, focusing on Keynesians, Monetarists, and Austrians alike. This new macroeconomic perspective claims to reveal What Every Investor Needs to Know About Money and Finance. Indeed, Roche introduces the layman to various elementary principles of economics and financial markets, revealing in early chapters the failed state of the average hedge fund and mutual fund operators -- who are better car salesmen than financial pundits, Roche writes --  who have fallen victim to the group think phenomenon, spawning the nearly perfect positive correlation to the major indexes, and thus, accounting for tax, inflation, and service adjustments, holistically wiping out any value added by their supposed market insight. 

Roche also references popular studies, such as the MckInsey Global Institute's report which sh…