Friday, December 28, 2012

Should cities (especially ones like Parma) own golf courses?

It will likely be the third year in a row that Ridgewood spends more than it earns.
Now if Ridgewood was a private company, usually you go out of business when you spend more than it earns.  But not in fantasy world of government owned entities!  

This brings up a valid question, why does a city, Parma no less, own a golf course?  Is it mentioned in the city charter..."there shall be one golf course and one ice cream parlor owned by the city at all times' (sarcasm)

Constantly, Government 'leaders' feel the Government should own business', land, assets...when the exact opposite should  be the case.

If Ridgewood was a viable business, it could function without a $52,000 loan from the city.  Or, it could go to a bank and ask for a loan.  People of Parma, beware...your city council is inhabited by idiots.

Read full article here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A plea to end the War in Afghanistan

How long should we as a nation continue to sacrifice blood and treasure for what is clearly a losing proposition?
 The War in Afghanistan has been going on for over 10 years now.  Think about that for a minute...Think of what has happened in 10 years... Shows that were in the top 20 of TV ratings included such darlings as 'Becker', 'Inside Schwartz', and 'Judging Amy'.  Smart phones were phones with caller IDs.  I could go on and on, but remember, everyday over the past 10 years we have been at war with a country, and no one can really tell us why.  There is no end in sight.  There is no truce.  It's a war that can not be won and was never declared an official war by Congress.  Instead, we just keep wasting BILLION$ on 'promoting democracy' and 'freeing the people', yet in the process, create more enemies.

There are still about 67,000 U.S. soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines deployed in Afghanistan, alongside 37,000 military personnel from other coalition member nations. The White House has said it intends to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan more or less indefinitely, both to help train Afghan forces and to carry out counter-terrorism operations, long after NATO's mission in Afghanistan formally concludes at the end of 2014.
67,000 of our fellow Americans are putting their lives at risk, for what?

About five years ago, I read a book by an Islamic scholar, Rory Stewart, who decided he'd become the first tourist to walk across a post-Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Relying on his wits, knowledge of Muslim customs and the kindnesses of strangers, Stewart trekked for a month from village to village. His "The Places in Between" proved a remarkable travelogue, if for no other reason than it underscored just how primitive and disconnected much of Afghanistan really is. Loyalties rarely extend beyond the village, the tribe and Allah. Given those realities, the idea of instilling in the Afghan people anything resembling American-style, flag-waving, defend-the-homeland nationalism is almost laughable. It would be laughable were it not for the fact that more than 2,000 brave Americans have died trying to change things. How many more have to die before enough is enough?

I need to read this book!  Or rather, I need our Government 'Leaders' to read this book!

I don't want him to go back to Afghanistan. I don't want anyone's son or daughter to have to go back. It's no longer worth it.

This sums it up.

Please read David Freed's entire letter here.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mr. Greenspan - 25 years ago

"Gold will impose discipline not just Monetary Policy, but Federal Budget Policy as well."

"If you can not finance deficits, you can not create them or sustain them."
- Alan Greenspan

Check out Mr. Greenspan give testimony on CPI:

Our ex-Fed Chairman Mr. Greenspan talked a mere 25 years ago about creating a CPI that accurately reflects changes to commodity prices.  You know those commodity prices that follow the time-tested idea of supply and demand.  Damn you rising prices!  The Fed has a mandate for stable prices!  How dare you not have a centrally planned index that takes into affect droughts, competition, wars, tariffs...

So how does CPI look...hmm....courtesy of St. Louis Fed:

Mr. Greenspan made this speech in 1987.  If you follow this graph, to purchase $120 of goods in 1987 would cost you close to $230 today.  Thats your dollar at work people!

Looks like inflation has done very well for those that benefit from Inflation: Those that have access to Money first, and the Government that can use cheaper dollars to pay off their debts.

Remember, Inflation is never good when it is Fed induced.  Never.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Unions: Oh how I love thee...

It's always comical to me when 'Labor' supporters wage hell on any employer or state when there is Right to Work legislation.  You have to love this quote from where else, a Detroit Democrat:
"You will forever remember the day when you thought you could conquer labor," Sen. Coleman Young II, a Detroit Democrat and son of the city's fiery late mayor, boomed during floor debate Thursday. "Be prepared to engage in the fight of your life."
This coming from the poignantly titled 'Unions vow political payback for right to work law' Huffington Post article

Disclaimer: My Grandpa, whom I love and admire very much, is hardcore pro-Union.  He feels there should be a Living Wage, Management is always out to get employees, and that Unions/Government help grow this country.

As I have grown older and studied on more economic issues, I realize how wrong of a view my Grandpa possesses.  Who creates jobs?  Government doesn't create jobs.  Why, if I was an employer, why would I want to open a business in a non-right to work state?

Unions prevent employers hiring more workers by requiring a higher wage for the work done, Seniority rules that prevent employers from promoting or rewarding hard working employees, and rules that prevent employers from removing non-productive workers from its workforce.

I used to be a huge Union supporter.  Than I realized where the real problem lies.

Friday, November 9, 2012

UltraMarathon Man - Dean Karnazes

One of the my favorite passions is running.  I could blog just about running, and I would never get bored.


The one runner I look up to the most is Dean Karnazes, the Ultra Marathon Man.  What separates Dean from any other runner I have followed or met, is his drive.  My friend gave me a copy of his book, 'Ultra Marathon Man', and I finally got around to reading it.  I was blown away!

Below are some quotes from the book that I treasure and use as motivation:
Most dreams die a slow death.  They're conceived in a moment of passion, with the prospect of endless possibility, but often languish and are not pursued with the same heartfelt intensity as when first born.  Slowly, subtly, a dream becomes elusive and ephemeral.  People who've let their own dreams die become pessimists and cynics.  They feel that the time and devotion spent on chasing their dreams were wasted.  The emotional scars last forever.  "It can't be done," they'll say, when you describe your dream.  "It'll never happen."
This part of the book really stood out to me.  I feel I have followed this path many of times in my life, and when I reflect on what went wrong, it was because of lack of intensity.
Runners are real people.  They don't run for money or recognition, they do it out of passion.
Runners are the most peculiar, caring, funniest, interesting people I have ever met.  Some of my best friendships were forged running.

Check out his website and find out what he is up to next!

Why 2013 will be more expensive for bacon

"What can I get for you today?"
"2 eggs, scrambled.  Toast, Hashbrowns, and a side of bacon."
"Ok, bacon is an extra $4, is that fine?"

This is a fictitious conversation that may happen at diners across the country in 2013.  Why might this be the case?  Well you have to look at the costs of production to go from farm to table to understand...

1.  Farmer "Dennis" raises pigs
  • Costs of feeding pig, taxes on land, and transportation to slaughterhouse 
2.  At slaughterhouse
  • Cost to slaughter pig, package pig, deliver to grocery store or restaurant or distributor.
3.  At Restaurant
  • Overhead (restuarant equipment, taxes, wages)
I highlighted Costs of Feeding Pigs because of two main factors: Bernanke money printing, and the severe drought suffered throughout the Midwest in 2012.  Bernanke's money printing is seeping into the system, but the dought might have the biggest impact.  Since the pigs feed off of corn and grain, farmers realized High Corn Prices to Stay, and brought their pigs to slaughter earlier than expected. This rush of pigs to slaughter will DECREASE the cost for bacon in the short run because of an increase in supply, but will lead to an INCREASE the cost for bacon in the long term as there will be less pigs to slaughter.

Just "food" for thought!