Financial Sector Calls Gold ‘Shiny Poo.’

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Lawrence Parks, founder and executive director of the Foundation of the Advancement of Monetary Education. Larry has dedicated much of his life towards the study and promotion of sound money, having author articles that have appeared numerous times in publications like The Economist, The Washington Times, National Review, and The Wall Street Journal just to name a few. He even hosts a weekly TV show that airs on cable networks in the Manhattan area called “The Larry Parks Show”. He is given expert testimony in Washington to the United States Congress on monetary policy. He’s a real champion for sound money, and it’s great to have him on with us today.

Larry thanks for the time and welcome. It’s good to talk to you.

Larry Parks: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for hosting this.

Mike Gleason: Well Larry, to set the stage here briefly give us some background about the Foundation of the Advancement of Monetary Education and what motivated you to take the helm of the organization nearly 25 years ago, let’s start there.

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Supreme Court Deals Major Blow to Public Unions, Rules in Favor of Non-Members

By Aaron Credeur – Re-Blogged From Independent Journal Review

In a ruling that deals a devastating blow to worker unions across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Wednesday that state government employees who choose not to become union members cannot be forced to pay union dues.

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Gorsuch Deciding Vote in Labor Union Case

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

America’s union leaders are about to find out if they were right to fiercely oppose Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court as a pivotal, potentially devastating vote against organized labor.

The newest justice holds the deciding vote in a case to be argued Feb. 26 that could affect the financial viability of unions that are major supporters of Democratic candidates and causes. The unions represent more than 5 million government workers in 24 states and the District of Columbia who could be affected by the outcome. The other eight justices split 4 to 4 when the issue was last at the court in 2016.

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France: Labor Reform Gathers Steam Among Lawmakers

Re-Blogged From Worldview.Stratfor.com

The French government has the backing to potentially pass a broad labor reform package. During a press conference Aug. 31, French officials presented details on labor reform, including five “ordinances” (legislative acts similar to presidential decrees). French President Emmanuel Macron promised during his campaign to restore France’s reputation as a European power at the same level as Germany. These pro-business measures aim to increase France’s competitiveness and to help the second-largest EU economy.

The labor reform initiative proposes to give more flexibility to enterprises and aims to reduce unemployment from 9.4 percent to 7 percent by the end of the current legislature and presidency in 2022. The proposed reform includes changes to workers’ representation and contracts. Negotiation of salaries will take place at the enterprise level, instead of the sector level. French businesses would also be able to fire workers based on their economic impact domestically rather than internationally.

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Connecticut May Be Tapped Out on Taxing Rich Folks

By R Williams – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Connecticut, the wealthiest U.S. state with a per capita income of $39,373 a year, can’t rely on taxing rich people to close its budget deficit, The Wall Street Journal reports.

 “Gov. Dannel Malloy has twice before bet that taxing the wealthy would help solve the state’s fiscal problems,” the newspaper reports. “But neither increase resulted in sustained revenue growth, according to his administration, which says it would be a mistake to do it a third time.”

The New England state faces a budget deficit of $400 million and deteriorating fiscal problems that have led bond-rating firms to lower the state’s credit rating. Connecticut also leans heavily on high-paid hedge fund workers.

Image: WSJ: Wealthy Connecticut May Be Tapped Out on Taxing Rich Folks
(Dreamstime)

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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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The Minimum Wage

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

The push to raise the Minimum Wage refuses to die, both the Federal Rate and Rates in the various States. Supporters say that poor people need to earn enough to support themselves and their families, and nobody – certainly not I – can argue with that sentiment.

However, I think that it is valid to explore the actual effects of a Minimum Wage hike. I’d like to suggest three examples to consider in this quest – two may seem unrelated at first, while the third will use extreme numbers.

Example 1: Suppose you are considering the purchase of a new computer. In your locale, you find you have two choices. The first is a fully loaded, name brand PC with a selling price of $5000. The other choice is one assembled at a local shop to your specifications. For what you need, the price will be $1000.

The $5000 box is appealing, but your budget pushes you toward the $1000 option. Before you can make your purchase, the government (at whatever level) issues an order saying that “No computer may be sold for less than $4000.”

You still may opt for the lower cost choice, but relatively, the $5000 price is not so bad. Of course, your budget still is your budget, so you may just forget the purchase altogether.

Example 2: Your roof leaks. One contractor offers to repair your roof for $5000, while another will do only a full new roof, and the charge will be $50,000. Before you can choose, the government declares that roof work may not cost less than $40,000.

Once again, the law is discouraging the lower price option, while encouraging either the higher priced work or letting the leak continue.

Example 3: Putting food on the table, clothes on your back, and a roof overhead are serious needs. Nobody should have to make do with less than everything he desires. So, let’s raise the Minimum Wage to $100 an hour, so that every wage earner can afford to live in dignity. </sarc>

As it turns out, very few employment opportunities can repay the hiring business enough to be able to pay the $100 per hour tab. So, almost zero new jobs appear. Many previous tasks that people could do become automated. With less business competition, the few remaining companies are able to raise their prices to offset the higher Minimum Wage.

Existing jobs also are affected by the same burden of $100 per hour wages. Many (most?) existing jobs disappear and unemployment goes up. Jobs are traded in for automation where possible.

Image result for $100 minimum wage clipart

The net effect is that a few businesses, and a few people, benefit from the new $100 Minimum Wage. However, the business must pay more, many people become unemployed, consumers must pay more, and taxpayers now must support a larger population of out-of-work people.

So, how do these three examples apply to a raise only to $15 over several years? It’s all the same!

A few people benefit. The few who get hired benefit. The few who get a raise will benefit. And because of reduced competition, higher wage employees also may get a raise.

BUT!! Many more people will be unemployed. Taxpayers will have to pay more. And, consumers will have to pay more.

So, why would anybody support this nonsense?

As it turns out, Democrats are favored by several voting blocs, two of which are unions and poor people. We’ve seen that higher wage earners benefit from reduced competition, and indeed, unions are the driving force behind the push for a higher Minimum Wage.

Poor people will be hurt as their already high unemployment rate becomes even higher due to a higher Minimum Wage. But the socialist left which makes up the majority of the Democrats are telling the poor that they’ll get paid more – and yes, those who do get new jobs (and those not being fired from current jobs) will be helped.

But, the socialist left is committing a lie of omission by not telling the poor how the higher Minimum Wage will hurt them.

The Democrats had to choose between two constituencies – unions and the poor. They’ve made their choice and have thrown the poor under the bus. They’ve covered it up with the lie that they’re helping the poor.

Image result for unemployment clipart

It’s not like the ill effects of raising the Minimum Wage have been kept a secret. Anybody with average intelligence who has seen the kinds of examples I’ve laid out can understand the concept.

To me, the Democrats (and not a few Republican socialists) are doing evil. They are stabbing the poor in the back and then bragging how their stupid policies are helping the poor.

DOL vs the US Economy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro
The US Government is bloated. Who knew?
Most spending either is duplicative of what already is available in the private, productive sector of the Economy, is actually harmful to the US Economy, or just uses up capital for unneeded programs – capital which would be better spent on the investment which would make all Americans richer. Who knew?
The Department of Labor is just one example of this waste. It pays people to NOT work, so many people don't look for work as hard as they could. It prohibits unskilled workers from getting the jobs which might teach them skills, through the Minimum Wage.
Here is an introductory video from the CATO Institute on D.O.L. and its waste.

We need to get government back under control, and the Department of Labor is a good place to start.

NLRB Joint-Employer Cases

By Aloysius Hogan – Re-Blogged From Competitive Enterprise Institute

Your salary, purchasing power, and job are on the line as an independent federal agency takes the core American business concepts of franchising, temporary staffing, contracting, sourcing, and outsourcing to court.

Regular Americans stand to lose a lot as some franchises are regulated out of existence. Franchise businesses provide us food, tax preparation, day care, gasoline, and many other products and services. We all know someone who has worked in a temp agency. Businesses commonly outsource accounting and cleaning. Our cars are manufactured with parts sourced from smaller businesses. Our homes are constructed with subcontractors plumbing the bathrooms and wiring the fixtures. All are at risk.

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The Problem of Staff Quality in Urban Schools

(I was a math teacher for a few years in a couple of suburban school districts. While most of the teachers which I came into contact with seemed quite competent, occasionally one would say something which would make me scratch my head. One middle school science teacher didn’t have a grasp of the distances in our solar system, asking me during a conversation if our moon was 240 thousand miles away or 240 million. Apparently, this is light stuff compared to the lack of basic skills of teaching and administrative staff in at least one urban school district.  –Bob)

By Jeffrey M. Hartman – Re-Blogged From http://jeffreymhartman.com

Urban schools tend to struggle with every aspect of their collective mission. Educating exceptionally needy students while struggling to pay electric bills makes for a disheartening endeavor. Compounding this, the public can be less than sympathetic to the travails of these schools and their employees. Taxpayers often see the imbalance between expenditures and results as a reason to cry foul. The public directs most of its scorn at school leadership. However, this same public reserves a fair share for those working at the school level. Having worked at the school level myself, I sadly must admit that an unspoken issue weighing on urban schools is the quality of their employees.

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