I’m starting this edition of Potty Reading with something inspirational before I subject you to the torment of my soap box.
Many of my clients and friends have heard me say before that even if I won the lottery, I would still do what I do. I love the puzzles and challenges that comprehensive planning demands of me, but more than that I think, I love the priviledge of helping, getting to know, and developing friendships with some very special clients. In life, we are fortunate to meet people who make us want to better and stronger in our faith. I’m blessed to know Gary and Terri Lockman and share this video with you.
Depublican and Remocrate Policies Must Stop
Uncertainty is a key theme everywhere we look. The financial mess in Europe, political turmoil at home, and dubious economic policies have all but caused the stock market to capitulate. Treasury bonds and AA corporate bond yields are pushed so low, its as though the bond buyers are waiting for the priest to read the last rights to the stock market.
The turmoil in Europe centers around entitlement, conflicting ideologies and unchecked fiscal policy. Sounds familiar? Yes, and it affords us a glimpse of where we could be in about a dozen years. One of my favorite Gurus, Robert Sanborn, who runs the Elkhorn Fund, eloquently said: “1) we live in a world where the prudent are constantly ridiculed, pressured, and compelled to bail out the imprudent (with predictable “incentive effects”); and 2) politicians throughout the West, particularly on the left, have zero desire to address any long-term structural issues related to the bloated “public worker/entitlement” state.”
Even though we can look to Europe as our future fate, November will be the tipping point for the US. Greece, for example, borrowed an extraordinary amount of money at cheap rates. Hardly any of that borrowed money went into productive long term investments. In fact, the money went to public employees (unions), entitlement programs and to politicians. Deficits kept soaring with no cuts to entitlement, crisis erupts and they make the Germans out to be the bad guys because they demanded balance budgets. As you know, Greece held their election and the socialist won. Ditto France, where the new prime minister just lowered the retirement age to 60 and raised the top income tax rate to 75%. Can you find a startup company to come from France in the last 10 years?
Europe’s economic policy is one of tax and spend, also know as Keynesian. Though flawed, politicians like the power it affords them. Voters quickly learn which Politicians will turn on the red light for them and thus, they start voting themselves the treasury. Now we have red light politicians scoffing at the idea that to have welfare, you must first have wealth.
So here we are, with 65% of the Federal Budget going to entitle someone, or some group, reversing the spread of entitlement cancer will be very difficult. In the last 4 years, Federal jobs have doubled and so has unemployment. Did you know that the average salary with benefits for a federal job is $150k vs $62k for the private sector?
While we certainly have our challenges ahead, we still have the fundamental elements in place to return to a healthy, growing economy: the spirit of the American entrepreneur, fertile agricultural land, and abundant natural resources. Wisconsin and Indiana are now beacons of fiscal reform for other states to follow, while California and others drive off the tax and spend cliff.
With uncertainty comes volatility, and investors fleeing volatility will loose opportunity. One-year CD rates are averaging below 1%. That’s a high price to put savings in a “safe” investment when inflation is 3%. Don’t pay the priest yet. Equities are not dead and the neither is the idea of limited government.
Speaking of The American Entreprenuer.
We know that technologies can be disruptive. The link below is about Sebastian Thrun who’s disrupting education. Stanford snubbed his idea of providing an online class for Artificial Intelligence. 23,000 students completed his course. Of his 200 Stanford students enrolled, 30 attended lectures and the other 170 took it online. The top 410 performers on exams were online students. The top ranked student from Stanford came in at 411.
We The People Can Be Resilient.
Thank you Mrs. Brown for a fascinating article about the human spirit.
Secrets of the Super Resilient
Illness. Divorce. Job loss. The death of a loved one. You don’t get this far in life without experiencing some adversity. But while you can’t avoid painful events, you can learn to control your response to them. “The brain is an organ of adaptation,” writes Laurence Gonzales, author of the new book Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience. Here, he reveals how recovery can be a transforming experience that not only moves us forward but also enriches our lives in ways we never could have imagined
by Laurence Gonzales http://www.more.com/secrets-of-the-super-resilient
Your Tax Dollars are Working Hard to Watch YOU.
I have a thing for conspiracy stuff, so I thought I would share this:
“Big Brother is watching. No kidding. And the warning is coming from none other than Google, which says government spies may be spying on you. Some believe the Google announcement may be related to the recent discovery of the data-mining virus named “Flame.” In a June 3 New York Times article, Andrew Kramer and Nicole Perlroth write1:
“When Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Europe’s largest antivirus company, discovered the Flame virus that is afflicting computers in Iran and the Middle East, he recognized it as a technologically sophisticated virus that only a government could create.
He also recognized that the virus, which he compares to the Stuxnet virus built by programmers employed by the United States and Israel, adds weight to his warnings of the grave dangers posed by governments that manufacture and release viruses on the internet.