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The Other John Mc

The Other John Mc
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  • Phil's Liberal Rant of the Week - Taxes!  [View instapost]
    I think you nailed it Phil...and along similar lines, I always loved Carl Sagan's definition of Science as being two key things: (1) a body of knowledge, and (2) a way of's not science if it doesn't have both ingredients
    Feb 24, 2012. 12:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Phil's Liberal Rant of the Week - Taxes!  [View instapost]
    billknowsall, you said:
    "Taxes should ONLY be used to raise revenue".

    A government that can print its own money does not need taxes in order to have money...think about that for a second, why would an entity that can print its own money need taxes? They have an unlimited source of "revenue" at the press of a button. So why tax?

    The answer, correctly pointed out by Phil above, is that taxes serve to regulate the economy (the amount of money in circulation versus the amount of goods being chased). Government spending is the gas pedal, taxation is the brakes, and going the speed limit safely involves keeping inflation in check by balancing these two forces.

    Governemnt does not tax because they need our money...they DON'T. Any thinking to the contrary is delusional.
    Feb 24, 2012. 10:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Phil's Liberal Rant of the Week - Taxes!  [View instapost]
    Rich in Quebec, your Social Darwinist point is right on the money...just look above at the first comment on this article by "what?what?"...he/she says "We should provide basic needs and security as a society but always encourage if not force people to better themselves, it is the driving force to evolution."

    Why is "'evolution" perceived to be necessarily good or right?
    It doesn't really have anything to do with taxes. Evolution's "survival of the fittest" is not a moral imperative intended for sociology or economics or law, it is an observation about the natural world for explaining phenomena in biology (and to some extent sociology and psychology).

    And who would want to live in a world like that? Is that the ideal we should be striving to? That the strongest should "survive" and everyone else can go to hell? (ignoring the fact that the strongest typically means the cruelest, the most-power hungry, the most evil people will seize and secure power and resources).

    People should keep scientific concepts that they don't understand out of politics and economics....sorry one of my pet peeves.
    Feb 24, 2012. 10:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Japan Falls, We Will Feel It [View article]
    OK then do the reverse thought experiment. What are the economic implications of a family of four that can print its own money to pay back bills? Should their borrowing costs be more or less than a family down the street that has no printing press? Which one is a safer investment to lend money to?
    Feb 16, 2012. 07:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • When Japan Falls, We Will Feel It [View article]
    Currency issuing nations are not directly comparable to households (currency users).
    Feb 15, 2012. 11:08 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Is Gold Really Worth? [View article]
    If you would like to send me all your "intrinsically valueless fiat" money, I would be more than happy to accept.
    Feb 14, 2012. 07:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Monday Market Miracle: Greece Is Fixed Again [View article]
    "austerity claims a major victory for bondholders as they twisted the arms of the Greeks until they snapped and then they put the knife in to hold them in place and began twisting the legs until they snapped and then they shoved a "rescue package" down their throats. And to think in the old days we used to have to have a war to destroy another country - how silly - now we can do it with contracts!"

    What an insightful and disturbing observation.
    Feb 13, 2012. 11:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Using Miles To Measure Recessions [View article]
    Similarly, gasoline usage has been dropping noticeably:
    Feb 10, 2012. 11:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Not Again: Greek Deal Less Than Advertised [View article]
    I agree with your "banks as dead money" thesis...can't see why anyone would want to own a bank stock unless they are experts at reading balance sheets and accurately valueing the assets...there's a reason so many of them trade below book value.
    Feb 10, 2012. 08:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Using Miles To Measure Recessions [View article]
    Very clever, thank you!
    Feb 9, 2012. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why 2012 Will Be Way Better Than 2011 [View article]
    Pretty standard to use logarithm chart scales for large data sets (with wide range) so that all data is visible in one glance....nothing deceptive about it.

    Shiller's historical stock market data is inflation adjusted (gives real prices in modern-day dollars) shows clearly that stocks have done well over time...and before you ask, yes, Shiller also uses log-scaled charts.
    Jan 18, 2012. 02:29 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Europe About To Unravel? [View article]
    good question! Mr. Market wows me
    Jan 17, 2012. 01:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investing In 2012 - What We Have Learned From Panic Times [View article]
    I can't tell if you are being tongue-in-cheek or not...

    "So it is not too much of a surprise to see emerging market stocks performing about the same as the S&P 500." This is not proof in support of the efficient market hypothesis...any observation is possible if the returns are random and unpredictable (emerging markets better or worse). Comparable returns in two different asset classes over some arbitrary time period is not evidence in support of the EMH. Just to be clear.

    Why bother recommending ETFs and mutual funds for purchase if you are a believer in efficient markets? Wouldn't a randomly chosen one perform be just as likely to go up as any other?

    And if you had been successful in your pickings over the past year, would you then have claimed it was due to randomness and not your stock-picking skills (as you are doing now)?

    I am not trying to be sarcastic or anything like that, I enjoyed reading your thoughts, just curious about your thinking on this. Thanks.
    Jan 3, 2012. 12:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why PEG Ratio Analysis Is A Silly Tool [View article]
    another point you forgot to mention:

    PEG ratio is non-sensical because it's taking one ratio (Price/Earnings) and dividing by a percentage (some growth rate over some time period) to get ANOTHER ratio...

    for people that have to do math occasionally (and have to pay attention to units), your head should now be hurting...

    only in finance would they come up with a "measure" like this, haha
    Dec 23, 2011. 02:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 'Twas The Friday Before Christmas [View article]
    To be honest I haven't been crazy about a lot of your articles, but you have been growing on me lately. And now, with this article, I'm caving in and am now officially a 'follower'. Great article and happy holidays.
    Dec 23, 2011. 10:42 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment