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Carlos Lam  

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  • The Inflation Bias: A Look at Search Trends [View article]
    I'm not anti-dollar, but I am anti-fiat. You are absolutely correct that I favor gold. And I will tell you why:

    *** under a gold coin standard, government can only increase the money supply by increasing gold production

    *** under a gold coin standard, government can only increase expenditures by either true taxation or borrowing; it cannot increase spending via the hidden inflation tax

    *** history shows us that fiat currencies eventually die, while gold has been used as a medium of exchange, store of value, and currency for millennia

    Deflation CAN happen; it is a contraction of the money supply. We all know that the money supply CAN contract. In the long term, though, fiat currencies (because they can be easily printed) are inflated; history is replete with examples of this fact.
    Feb 9, 2011. 06:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Possible the Jobs Cavalry Will Ride to the Rescue? [View article]
    "However, the federal government, states, locals, and US labor must also do their part by reducing or eliminating unnecessary taxes, regulations, and non-competitive wages and union work rules. It won't be easy but I believe this tide can be turned."

    This is key, but it will not be accomplished until things are FAR worse. I've got almost 18 years in state & local politics, and -- believe me -- unions & companies that feed at the gov't trough will fight tooth & nail against anything that un-feathers their nests. While things are bad now, they are not nearly bad enough to scare the necessary committee chairmen or house speakers in the various states into doing what is right.
    Feb 8, 2011. 05:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Inflation Bias: A Look at Search Trends [View article]
    The author is correct to look at the contrarian view, but -- in a fiat currency system -- inflation is the problem, not deflation. Whether it be the Song Dynasty notes, the Continental, French Assignat, Weimar mark, or Zimbabwe dollar, fiat currencies are inflated until they die. History is decidedly on the side of the inflationists on this one.
    Feb 8, 2011. 05:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Egyptian Tinderbox: How Banks and Investors Are Starving the Third World [View article]
    Ellen Brown again shows herself to be a statist, thereby completely giving the Federal Reserve a pass. She's probably one of a dwindling band of Bernanke defenders still around.
    Feb 4, 2011. 04:10 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mainstream Media Misses the Boat (Again) on Manufacturing Report [View article]
    The ISM reflects a lot of big manufacturers which are global plays. Karl is correct that there's no wage growth in the US, but there's plenty of growth and savings in Asia and Latin America, which is where these major players are exporting their products. Unfortunately for us Americans, the big manufacturers have a lot smaller "footprint" in terms of domestic jobs than they used to, thanks to our own wage demands and our own governmental regulations, not to mention automation.
    Feb 2, 2011. 07:17 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Are Independent Inflation Gauges Saying? [View article]
    The inclusion of housing costs in any measure of price changes renders the index useless to me. Those of us who have fixed-rate mortgage (or even have a home paid off) and intend to stay put for a long time because we have young kids care most about "consumable" costs: food, gasoline, utilities, healthcare, education. Each of those, BTW, had been rising (except for NG, which has remained pretty stable).
    Feb 2, 2011. 07:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Robust ISM Numbers Have a Foreign Flavor [View article]
    Rosenberg is correct. Companies manufacturing to export are doing very well selling to expanding Asian and Latin American economies (BTW, if I had the diplomatic corps as a sales force handing out offers of meetings with the SoS, I'd probably make more sales too) This is very good in terms of American competitiveness in the long run, as we need to export more.

    The average blue-collar man-on-the-street isn't doing as well, though. The big manufacturers don't employ as many people as they once did thanks to overpriced labor and automation. Home prices are commencing a double-dip. Food and fuel prices are up. Unemployment is still very high.

    I do keep kicking myself for not buying DE and CAT at the '09 lows!
    Feb 2, 2011. 07:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metastasizing State-Bankruptcy Meme [View article]
    By "Supreme Court," I would assume you mean the individual state's supreme court. The U.S. Supreme Court would have no jurisdiction to tell an individual state what its own constitutional provision regarding debt actually mean.s
    Jan 25, 2011. 02:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metastasizing State-Bankruptcy Meme [View article]
    Well, my nearly 18 years in state and local politics makes me think that state pols will ask the following questions.

    1. Can I raise taxes to pay for debt service and retirees' pensions? Answer: No.

    2. Am I more likely to lose re-election by screwing debtholders or retirees? Answer: Depends. In a district with a lot of public employment retirees, you can bet that the pol is going to vote for screwing the debtholders. And in the midwest, there are a heckuva lot more retirees than debtholders.
    Jan 25, 2011. 02:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metastasizing State-Bankruptcy Meme [View article]
    Davewmart, the supposed fiscal transfers from CA to other states are done at the federal level, but I've yet to see a solid, well-reasoned accounting of them. Supporters of a CA/IL/NY bailout always make the fiscal transfer argument, but they never produce data to back it up from a source that I personally would consider unbiased.
    Jan 25, 2011. 02:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metastasizing State-Bankruptcy Meme [View article]
    docroc, government has actually regulated financial and healthcare systems more since the days of Pres. Reagan.
    Jan 25, 2011. 02:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Metastasizing State-Bankruptcy Meme [View article]
    "Let’s take the option off the table, once and for all, rather than taking it seriously and thereby only making it harder for states to borrow the money they need."

    No, I don't want the option off the table. To be sure, I WANT to make it harder for states to borrow because they need to spend less money. Moreover, as a federal taxpayer, the availability of bankruptcy is somewhat comforting because the last thing I want is IL, NY, or CA asking the feds for a bailout.
    Jan 21, 2011. 03:48 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Positioning for a Food Riots Economy [View article]
    Look, whether you agree with the author's thesis or not, it's simply a good idea to have some food stored away "just in case" something happens, whether it be a food riot, flood, or earthquake. Similarly, it's good to have some gold, silver, and a working firearm ready "just in case" the unpredictable occurs. The author's piece is simply good common sense, nothing less or more.
    Jan 18, 2011. 04:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Book Review: Inflated [View article]
    I was given _Inflated_ for Christmas by my wife and enjoyed it immensely. I particularly liked the historical narrative employed to demonstrate how we got to where we are. Definitely a must-read for any student of economics.
    Jan 18, 2011. 07:05 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Inflation Ravages the Economy [View article]
    It ravages the economy b/c investors have far capital to invest. If the value of money did not decrease, for example, two lathes could have been purchased instead of one, thereby raising the production capacity of the nation.
    Jan 13, 2011. 11:11 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment