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  • BitChip The Bitcoin Killer - The Merchant's Solution To The Bitcoin Problem [View article]
    The defense of the Fed is always that things would have been much worse had they not acted. If the government were capable of producing prosperity, we would all have above average wealth. The very fact that the government will intervene is now part of financial planning. When people learn that the government doesn't have their back covered, they will act a lot more prudently. Can we allow that in a country that depends on consumer debt and deficit spending to survive? Bitcoin? With a government that brought you the "we know everything about you" NSA, I suspect the concern over Bitcoin is that NSA and IRS haven't figured out how to trace transactions yet. Once they do, Bitcoin will be just another bailout opportunity. If you don't like it or understand it, don't use it.
    Feb 3 02:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On the hour [View news story]
    It would seem that people will not be happy until the market endures a long, substantial retreat. Several small, short term adjustments simply will not do. Long, slow trends are what most people want because you don't have to think to trade. It gets worse. Most people only want to trade long when you can make more money going both ways. If you know when to trade long, reverse it and trade short. Otherwise, you are just leaving money on the table.
    Jan 31 10:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    The problem with 'government created opportunities' is that they are politically motivated. One election can undo their viability. Government's principal function is to resolve differences without resorting to war. This has been supplanted by the 'tyranny of the majority'; government policies simply intended to garner votes (not enforcing immigration laws, for example).
    The market creates opportunities based on what people are willing to pay for versus what they think is 'fair' or 'nice'. It is not a perfect system, but it is a functional one. A society based on income transfers is not.

    Jan 7 08:54 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    Stiglitz is in the same camp as Paul “there is no deficit too large” Krugman, another 'Nobel Prize Winning' economist. Both see the government as the solution to all of our problems and the 'rich' as the cause. You have to blame the rich, because how else can you justify taking their money?
    Stiglitz complains of education. Well, the government established a Department of Education years ago. What exactly is it they do? The government established departments of Commerce, Labor, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and Interior. You would think they would all be focused on opportunity, and it would abound everywhere. No, these departments are busy putting everyone in a straight jacket. That surely must help.
    Stiglitz essentially suggests that everyone start from the same place concerning upward mobility. Your parents helping you would not be allowed. With Stiglitz, if you can't make it from the bottom to the top in one generation, the system is broken. The fact is you can, it just takes a hell of a lot of work and ability. For Stiglitz, this is asking too much. Nobody should have to work harder than anyone else or it is discriminatory.
    What has really changed today is that the government financing of opportunities with borrowed money is coming to an end and that is the only way government knows how to do it. In the future, the free market will have to create the opportunities or there won't be any, and the current administration would rather die a death of a thousand cuts than let this happen. It would mean reducing government control.
    Jan 4 01:58 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    Well said.

    I learned a long time ago that if something makes you angry, you need to eliminate that from your life. That doesn't mean you run away, it means you address it versus just grumbling about it. If you don't, pretty soon, you are walking around full of discontent. This is not a life to envy.

    Fellow Texan,
    Jan 3 09:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    The reason it is called the 'American Dream' is that it is almost impossible to achieve anywhere else. The tax structure is such in most countries that merely starting a business is daunting. The vaunted social safety nets make employment so expensive that entrepreneurship is essentially discouraged. A French colleague once told me that he would love to partner in a business as long as we did not have to hire anyone.
    More to the point, income inequality is talked about as if it were a plague to be eliminated. I shudder at the thought of their not being income inequality. Imagine a system where no matter how hard you worked, no matter how much you innovated, no matter how much of your money you risked, you were restricted from earning no more than X-times the income of the person who did nothing but get up and go to work in the morning.
    It is the incentive of income inequality that encourages people to invest in society versus waiting for government to solve all the problems and decide what will be done and what will not.
    Jan 3 09:46 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    You can lead a horse to water, but ...

    Kids hear "Get an education." and are too naive to understand that it is not a check box, but a process of preparation. Freshmen should be required to submit an essay on their application explaining, with details, what they expect to be doing when they graduate and how much they expect to make. This essay should have to be signed by at least three people in the chosen field with phone numbers so it can be verified. All too often, students don't declare a major until their 2nd or 3rd year. Even as an electrical engineer, I did not do this. I knew I wanted to do 'electrical engineering', but did almost no investigation into the various types of EE work prior to graduation.
    Jan 2 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    " The US has the highest GDP per capita of any large economy in the world."

    I am not sure what a 'large economy' is nor if what you say is true, but it is not germane. Productivity is nominally determined by the cost of producing goods and services. If these are higher here than elsewhere, we cannot sell into the world market while all lower cost countries will be able to sell here. If in fact, people earn more here without more competitive production, it works against us.

    Incidentally, the $85B/month the Fed is pumping out is counted as part of our GDP, while it has almost no effect on productivity (which is why it hasn't created jobs).
    Jan 2 01:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inequality: Does It Matter? [View article]
    An excellent article, but instead of thoroughly documenting income inequality (a mathematical distinction, not a moral issue), why don't we ask why there are so many people at the bottom of the income ladder? One simple contributing factor is that when people moved into the middle class and life became easier, they stopped working so hard. They spent their time enjoying the benefits of modest affluence. This is the norm, not the exception. The consequence of this was lower productivity. People did not spend time getting better educated or trained or even informed. They were watching their new 60” HDTV brought home in their new $40K truck parked in front of their new home. As the article states, to pay for this, they wanted higher wages, and this made them even less productive. When companies could not meet their every need, they turned to government which happily complied in return for their vote. By jacking up the debt, the government has made the country even less competitive (taxes, a cost of production, must be paid). Now, we are discovering high cost domestic jobs are going overseas not because companies are greedy, but because if they did not, the companies would go out of business. Their competition is taking advantage of lower wages and taxes elsewhere, so companies here have little choice.
    If we are ever to narrow the income gap, we must raise US productivity. This will take a long time and require a lot of changes and infrastructure investment, and we haven't even started talking about it yet.
    Jan 2 09:21 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advice To Investors That 'Don't Fight The Fed' [View article]
    Have you ever heard the term “planned economy” or “picking winners and losers”? How did it go for those countries? In the short term, there can be some impressive successes focused very narrowly. When you try to carry the whole system, things collapse. Does the Fed really think it has found a silver bullet? Does Bernanke really think he is so brilliant (a la Paul (not spending enough) Krugman) that he can see what nobody else in history has discovered? Prosperity is not based on how much money you create; it is how much value, and the Fed printing money is creating none. The really important question for Bernanke is, 'after you have spent 2-4 $T and accomplished nothing, who will you blame?' or will you just say, '... if we hadn't done it, it would have been so much worse'. The people who did not get rich off the Fed will surely understand.
    Jul 18 07:50 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Outlook: The Game Has Changed [View article]
    It is all well and good to be talking about what is going on under the hood at the central banks, but ultimately, future US prosperity depends on our level of productivity compared to other nations. That depends on a skilled and educated workforce, and a sensible tax and regulation policy. It only takes three strikes and your out. We've already got four.
    When the US fails, it will be because nobody thought they should have to earn what they want.
    Jul 9 01:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3D Printing - Opening Pandora's Box [View article]
    What if someone uses a knife to sharpen a stick used to stab someone? Should the knife manufacturer be liable? Absurd! Lawyers will sue in hopes of out-of-court settlements, but nobody should expect to win a mis-use suit. As stated by others, injuries resulting from the sale of dangerous products produced by 3D printers are a greater and viable risk.
    May 6 01:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And Samsung Just Don't Have A Chance Against BlackBerry [View article]
    As others have alluded, once DoD pulls the strings, "mission creep" sets in. How long before it becomes "necessary" for the DoD/federal government to have the capability of controlling all mobile phones? I say, let them have their own OS and leave commercial versions alone.
    May 6 09:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why A Stock Market Bubble Is Forming Right Now [View article]
    The stock market has benefited for many years from the regular deposits into people's retirement accounts in good times and bad. Add to this, the flight money from the rest of the world to a 'safer' haven, and the fact that money can be borrowed at such low rates that almost any investment return is profitable. Add on to this the losses covered by the current administration, and there seems to be no shortage of money with which to buy stocks. If the Fed raises rates, only that component of the demand will diminish. There will still be lots of dollars chasing stocks driving the prices up. Value? What's that? This is strictly demand driven price increases by people who don't want to miss the train. Even if the EU recovers (perhaps a big if), there will still be the retirement component that is growing. Only when people begin cashing in their holdings to live will the ride end. The people getting today's $30K/year jobs will not be putting a lot away for their senior years.
    May 3 06:33 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel In Mobile: Large R&D Makes Victory Inevitable [View article]
    Many years ago, I asked why laptops and laptop displays were not sold separately? Now, they are and we call them tablets if you hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse. The point is that the next generation of "must have" devices will be portable computers that can interface with any display, keyboard, and mouse. When this happens, people will pick the computer that suits their needs, and have different (multiple?) displays for different applications. If Intel wants to lead the pack, this would be a good place to start.
    Feb 6 12:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment