Fireside Chat

Ep. 134 — Which Will Do More Harm: The Virus or the Lockdown?

The LA Times reports that extreme poverty may be the pandemic’s heaviest toll. But it isn’t the virus causing this suffering—it’s the lockdown. Dennis also addresses the latest new media lie about him—these leftists are determined to discredit Dennis, but they are just too easily proven wrong every time they try.

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Washington Post Ominously Warns That Bitcoin Is Being Used By ‘Extremist Groups’

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Demonization is the first step toward making something illegal.  Over the past couple of months, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have experienced a tremendous surge in popularity.  Personally, I was completely floored the other day when my nephew wanted to ask me questions about investing in Bitcoin.  It seems like the whole world is getting caught up in the cryptocurrency revolution, and needless to say, the powers that be cannot be thrilled about this.  Independently-controlled cryptocurrencies represent an existential threat to the global debt-based central banking system that we have today, and so the elite have a very strong incentive to bring about the demise of Bitcoin and other emerging cryptocurrencies.

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‘Bottom Up’ Versus ‘Top Down’ Thinking

By Neil Lock Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Today, I’m going to look at two diametrically opposed ways of thinking, and at the practitioners of those two ways. One way, I call bottom up; the other, top down.

Bottom up thinking is like the way we build a house. Starting from the ground, we work upwards, using what we’ve done already as support for what we’re working on at the moment. Top down thinking, on the other hand, starts out from an idea that is a given. It then works downwards, seeking evidence for the idea, or to add detail to it, or to put it into practice.

These two opposed methods bear on far more than just the way we think. The idea of bottom up versus top down can be applied to many dimensions of our lives. It can be applied to our overall world view, and to our views on religion. To how we seek knowledge. To our ethical and political views. To our conception of government and law. To our opinions on economics and environment. To how we communicate with others. To our views on education and media; and many more. Bottom up versus top down isn’t a single scale of (say) 0 to 100, but a multi-dimensional space, in which each individual’s position is represented on many different axes.

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Back to Economic Basics

   By Bob Shapiro

My blog is about 2½ years old now, and I’ve had well over 30,000 views. Articles automatically also get posted onto my Facebook page, where a larger number of my friends see them; most of the comments show up on my Facebook page.

While I still write posts myself, the lion’s share are re-posts from friends around the world who write well on the issues which are important to me (hey, it’s my blog). Many times, I fall into the trap of forgetting that many (most?) readers have zero training (and less understanding) of the subjects I blog about.

Because so many people (Americans and not) have no real clue about the good that is Capitalism and the benefits that each person enjoys because of Capitalism, I’d like to go over a few basics. So, this is for the good people out there who say things like, “He can afford it,” and “He’s just greedy and only worrying about making a profit.”

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Why Bad Economic Theories Remain Popular

By Steve Saville – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, the most prominent “Austrian” economists of the time, anticipated the 1929 stock market crash and correctly predicted the dire consequences of government attempts to artificially stimulate economic growth in the aftermath of the crash. John Maynard Keynes, on the other hand, was totally blindsided by the stock market crash and the economic disaster of the early 1930s. And yet, Keynes’s theories gained enormous popularity during the 1930s whereas the work of Mises and Hayek was largely ignored. Why was it so?

Keynes became popular because he told the politically powerful what they wanted to hear. In particular, he provided power-hungry politicians with intellectual support for the schemes they not only already had in mind, but in many cases were already putting into practice. Despite being riddled with errors, Keynes’ theories also appealed to many economists because the implementation of these theories would confer a lot more influence upon the economics fraternity. The fact is that in a free economy there wouldn’t be much for an economist to do other than teach economics. He/she would certainly never have the opportunity to be involved in the ‘management’ of the economy.

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David Stockman Sounds The Alarm

By Daniel Lang – Re-Blogged From Zero Hedge

As time goes on, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Trump isn’t going to be able to prevent a major financial crisis in this country. Depending on your beliefs, that’s either because he’s inept in some way, or because he’s being hamstrung by a political system that’s determined to keep our nation on the same unsustainable path. Whatever the case may be, it seems that there is no way that we can change course at this point. We’re headed for a financial crisis, and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.

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The Benchmark Unions and Government’s Ignore

By Dale Netherton – Re-Blogged From http://www.iPatriot.com

If you look at the structure of our government and compare it with how unions are structured you see one fundamental similarity.  The government and the unions do not target a bottom line.  Both of these organizations have nothing to rein in their spending in the case of government and nothing to rein in their demands in the case of the unions.  This oversight by these organizations places them on an eventual clash with the reality of fiscal sanity.

We have seen the unions that have bankrupted the companies they have infiltrated by making demands for wages and benefits that eventually became unaffordable.  We are seeing that phenomena played out in the state of Wisconsin. Likewise the government has reached a point where it too cannot just spend with impunity as it has done in the past.  The reality of living off of borrowed money has appeared as the fact that creditors that don’t get paid don’t continue to loan money. When the source of loans dries up there is no longer an alternative for the government to acquire money.  The illusion that the government can always tax the citizens reaches a point of diminishing returns not only by the unavailability and the affordability but also by political unpopularity.  This in the world of finance is bankruptcy whether the government wants to declare it or not.

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People are More Afraid of Clowns than Climate Change

SOURCE: VOX graphic based on Morning Consult poll of 1,999 Americans (October 15 to 17, 2016) and Chapman University poll of 1,511 Americans (October 11, 2016).

SOURCE: VOX graphic based on Morning Consult poll of 1,999 Americans (October 15 to 17, 2016) and Chapman University poll of 1,511 Americans (October 11, 2016).

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A VOX poll shows that Americans are more afraid of clowns than climate change.

Americans are more afraid of clowns than climate change, terrorism, and … death

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The Single Most Important Thing About the US Economy Sure Looks Broken

By James Pethokoukis – Re-Blogged From the American Enterprise Institute

US productivity in the second quarter grew at the fastest pace since the end of 2013, according to revised government figures. This is good. But if you pull back the camera, longer-term productivity growth remains terribly worrisome. IHS Global Insight:

This update does not change the underlying story. Productivity growth remains low. The slowdown started about 10 years ago. The Great Recession muddied the data, making it difficult to tell whether the slowdown was a byproduct of the business cycle or something fundamental. In recent years, it has become clear that something was fundamentally off.

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Prices, the FED, and Elections

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I came across a web site which has a comparison of food & gasoline costs over the last 60 years: the same staple items in 1954, 1984, and 2014. Not surprisingly, prices are up – way up.

The same basket of goods which today costs $28.38, cost $11.26 in 1984. And, it cost only $3.68 in 1954! Prices for these items have gone up almost 8 times during the last 60 years – that’s a compounded annual rate of about 3.5%!

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