July 19, 2013

“The last hold-out is no longer holding out. North Korea now allows collective farms to lease land to peasants. The peasants pay 30% of the crop to the collective. We can be sure of this: output will rise. This is what Deng did in 1978. He freed up agriculture. The boom began within a year. The peasants will buy into this if they believe they will really get to keep 70%. They are suspicious. But if the collectives abide by the rules, Communism is finished. The experiment has failed. Celebrate. Light up a Cuban cigar. (No. Sorry. That’s illegal in the land of the free and the home of the NSA.) May the lights come back on in the North.” Continue reading

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce summarizes what the situation is. ‘Small businesses expect the requirement to negatively impact their employees. Twenty-seven percent say they will cut hours to reduce full time employees, 24 percent will reduce hiring, and 23 percent plan to replace full time employees with part-time workers to avoid triggering the mandate.’ Thanks, Nancy. Thanks Barack. You have just created the new normal for low-paid workers: lower pay! This is why the government decided to delay implementation of small business rules until 2015. You see, there are Congressional elections in November of 2014.” Continue reading

“This is the thing about impossible obligations. They get abandoned. This confirms economist Herbert Stein’s law: ‘When things can’t go on, they have a tendency to stop.’ A year ago, the experts denied that anything was wrong. Yes, there were ‘problems,’ but nothing that could not be fixed. ‘Bankruptcy? Are you serious? Of course not. There is no possibility of that. Such talk is inflammatory. Perish the thought.’ That’s what politicians always say . . . right up to the end. The pensioners will have to go back to work. They will be covered by Medicare only. They believed the politicians. They invested their working years in terms of promises made by politicians.” Continue reading

“Chmn. Bernanke: When we buy securities from a private citizen, we create a deposit in their bank, and it shows up as reserves. So if you look up our balance sheet, our balance sheet balances. We have Treasury securities on the asset side. On the liability side we have either cash or reserves at banks, and on the margin that’s what has been building up as excess reserves at banks. Rep. Rothfus: You create the reserves? Chmn. Bernanke: Yes. Rep. Rothfus: Is that printing money? Chmn. Bernanke: Not literally.” Continue reading

“The move is clearly a tragedy for Detroit residents, workers and retirees. Many will see their health-care and pension benefits slashed. But, ultimately, Detroit felt it had no choice to get out from under its crushing burden. But what about the broader implications? What does this mean for the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market? Well, many market pundits will claim Detroit is an isolated case. Many bond-fund managers will try to downplay the significance of this. Do not fall for it. First, Detroit is far from alone. While it is certainly the largest municipality to go broke, the city is just the latest in a long line of troubled municipal borrowers to tumble into bankruptcy.” Continue reading

Today the House took a significant step toward removing the federal government from the class room.  The Student Success Act of 2013 will reauthorize and reform the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act that has not been reformed since the 2… more

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GOA taking on the Justice Department and Harry Reid! And we’re winning!

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“Nearly one-third of Americans received government-funded food aid in 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are roughly a dozen federal food assistance programs operating today. The USDA reports that 59 percent of households that participated in one of the four largest food assistance programs—food stamps, school breakfasts, school lunches, and WIC—end up receiving benefits from ‘two or more programs.’ This indicates significant duplication, ‘providing participants total benefits in excess of 100 percent of daily nutritional needs.'” Continue reading