The Export-Import Bank and it’s Abolishment!

American taxpayers have been funding the bad decisions of top US exporters since 1934!

The Export-Import bank (EX-IM Bank) of the United States is, essentially, a self-sustaining agency that provides loans and credit guarantees for exporters’ products being shipped and sold overseas.  It was started in 1934 through an Executive Order by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to assist with the failed economy of the Great Depression (  The EX-IM bank was an ambitious attempt to stimulate exports by providing loans and backing for the exporting companies within the United States.  This bank was founded under the principles of economic security and stability under the Keynesian School of Economics but has evolved into a loan-machine for top companies; its fate is now tied to the national security of the United States.

1934 also saw the dramatic decrease of bank reserve requirements and a spike in the FED’s interest rate; this was all an aggressive attempt to stimulate economic growth by providing an incentive to lend in the economy.  What happened was quite the opposite; the seemingly improving economy received the wrong attention at the wrong time, triggering a deflationary spiral, and slipping America into a deeper depression than it had originally experienced (Bartlett, 2009).

2014 General Ledger graph showing the top ten borrowers of the EX-IM Bank

This is a graph showing the 2014 general ledger of the EX-IM Bank’s loan recipients.  There is a clear disconnect in record keeping and a lack of austerity in the bookkeeping process.  They have reported several figures on their website and to the Congressional Budget Office, but were unable to provide documentation for many of these loans and their recipients. (Source:

Two different bills are being proposed in the House of Representative in regards to the abolishment or restructuring of the EX-IM Bank.  Unfortunately, neither of them has made it through the House of Representatives as of today’s date. H.R.2263, also called the “Export-Import Bank Termination Act” was introduced to the 113th Congress in the Senate and House of Representatives, calling for the abolishment of the bank.  The bill states that the government must freeze all future expected loans, restructure the terms of existing loans, re-staffing the members of the bank into the Department of the Treasury, and allowing the Inspector General to dissolve relationships and agreements as he sees fit, within the confines of the law.  This bill calls for the total abolishment of the bank and spells out, oin detail, how it will succeed in doing so.

The second bill: S.819, calls for restructuring, not abolishment, and was introduced in the first session of the 114th Congress.  This bill is a little more realistic, in that it calls for a review of fraud controls, the implementation of a Risk Officer that reports to an independent auditor, and an increase in loss reserves.  It also shows an ambitious proposal to eliminate discrimination in the industries the bank funds and an increase in small business lending.  As responsible as this bill sounds, reading through it doesn’t provide any realistic accountability measures or addressing the economic implications of reforming the lending practices.  Abolishment of the bank may cause an investment vacuum; meaning that where there is a demand for this type of service and the bank is abolished, it is inevitable that someone else will step in to provide the exact same service. With that, an entirely new set of problems may arise; sometimes the Devil we know is better than the Devil we don’t know.  But like all government funding programs, once it is created it is next to impossible to kill, so maybe reforming the bank is the only realistic proposal in the current political climate?

Nobody of consequence even paid attention to the EX-IM Bank until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published that, with new accounting techniques called Fair-Value Accounting, the bank was showing a $200 million loss based on future projections, as opposed to the $675 million profit that was reported for 2014 (  $200 million dollars may seem like a lot of money but when the top borrower (Boeing: refer to above graph) is responsible for $8.3 billion and the total lending balance is $27.4 billion, this is only a loss of 0.73% as compared to the reported profit of 2.5%. This information only came to light only after reliable sources determining an accounting loss as well as the unpopular lending practices of the bank, it’s no wonder there has been a call to abolish the bank and its unsavory lending practices. The EX-IM Bank website continues to advertise that over 164,000 domestic jobs are supported by the bank’s activities. Considering the US economy, whose 2014 GDP was $17.4 trillion (World Bank) added 215,000 jobs in the month of July alone and 3,116,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) jobs in 2014; 164,000 jobs is a drop of water in the ocean compared to any serious contribution to the state of the economy.

The EX-IM Bank exists today to provide loans and guarantees for exporters that couldn’t otherwise find funding in the private sector.  In 1934, we desperately needed economic stimulation with exporters and it’s understandable why Roosevelt felt compelled to create this bank. However, the principles of free market enterprise suggest that if nobody in the private sector will fund a project, maybe it’s not a lucrative investment.  Allowing the markets to adjust naturally is the backbone of the Classical School of Economics, created by Adam Smith, which fundamentally worked up until about 1929. Five years later, we adapt untested principles by a man named John Maynard Keynes and he is a celebrity overnight.  I’m not undermining Keynes’ brilliance or contribution to the world; I’m saying that the EX-IM Bank was founded with untested principles that were successful in the short-run, but highly volatile and unpredictable in the long-run. In response to Adam Smith’s paradigm stating that over time, markets will adjust; Keynes’ response was that over time, we’re all dead.  Meaning that long-run faith in markets adjusting to their natural levels has little traction when people are hungry today.  Adam Smith’s school omitted behavior economics entirely, assuming that people will always produce what demand dictates and had no concept of credit; Keynes micro-managed the economy until every aspect of the markets were saturated with fiscal and monetary policy.

The role of the government is not to grow wealth, create jobs, manipulate markets, or determine which industries and corporations get a pass on bad investments through handshake agreements; the role of the government is to protect freedoms and provide for the common good. The idea of this bank existing in the first place is unethical, unconstitutional, and terrible economics.  Boeing is threatening to take its business out of the United States if the EX-IM Bank is abolished (Forbes magazine).  This makes politicians nervous and is arguably a detriment to national security; however, in the long run, the system will adjust or they will come to agreement through other means.  Empty promises and shallow threats by politicians and industry leaders mixed with fear and uncertainty are not reason enough to keep a bank as corrupt, un-American, and unsustainable as the EX-IM bank in power.

Further Information:


Ben Bernanke: Being in the Military Won’t Actually Help You in The Real World (Foreign Policy Magazine)

Ben Bernanke is a bit of a celebrity among economists and is undeniably brilliant. His creativity prevented a depression and his reputation kept America in charge. We all owe him our livelihoods. He isn’t saying that serving is pointless; he’s saying don’t believe the recruiter when they tell you it’s like ‘Call of Duty’ and you’ll fall into a high-paying job afterwards. He’s a man of numbers, not opinions. The reality is that veterans have to fight their way back into the job market just like everyone else does, and it’s an uphill battle. The Army is downsizing and everyone in our generation who didn’t serve has more experience and is more qualified; that’s the hard truth. The other hard truth is that everyone may be appreciative and supportive, but when it comes to a job interview, nobody gives a shit. It’s up to the media and policy-makers to create an incentive to hire veterans, but it’s up to us to do the work. So go back to school; it’s free. The military did a bang up job screwing up our 20s, our relationships, our attitudes, and our health. Take control and don’t ruin our 30s…

Ben Bernanke: Being in the Military won’t Actually Help You in The Real World

The Irony of the Welfare State

Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. The little red hen calls on her neighbors and asks who will help her plant the wheat, that they might have some bread. The cow, the duck, the pig, and the goose beg off. So the hen plants the wheat herself. It grows tall and bears ripe grain. She asks who will help harvest the wheat.

“Not I,” says the duck.
“Out of my classification,” says the pig.
“I’d lose my seniority,” says the cow.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation,” says the goose.

So the hen harvests the wheat herself. In time she asks who will help her bake the bread.

“That would be overtime for me,” says the cow.
“I’d lose my welfare benefits,” says the duck.
“I’m a dropout and never learned how,” says the pig.
“If I’m the only helper, that’s discrimination,” says the goose.

The hen bakes the bread herself. She shows it to her neighbors. They each demand a share. The hen refuses and keeps the bread for herself.

“Excess profits!” says the cow.
“I demand equal rights!” yells the goose.
“Capitalist leech!” screams the duck.
“But I earned the bread?!” retorts the hen.

The neighbors grovel with the barn leader, who is elected by the neighbors. The hen is forced to share her bread with the neighbors by the barn leader.

“I’m grateful!” Declares the pig.
“I’m happy!” Proclaims the duck.

Her neighbors wondered why she never baked the bread again.

-Ronald Reagan, 1976

Sitting on Cash

This article relates to my blog entry about corporate inversion. Bringing cash into the country has so many barriers that companies are simply letting it sit. An infusion of corporate cash in the economy may cause some issues but far fewer than keeping the cash in a vault. America has a right to provide a disincentive to keeping cash overseas, it undermines the tax structure and removes it from circulation; but it has to realize that people are doing it anyways and getting that money back would benefit everyone. It’s an interesting policy debate that has been ongoing for years, it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

If you’re like most people living paycheck to paycheck, you have a simple problem at the end of the month – not enough cash. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about here – it’s a common problem that is faced by a large number of families as the economic recovery struggles on.

But if you’re an S&P 500 company, you may have a different problem – too much cash. Not precisely too much cash on hand, that is, since that’s never a problem. You may have something like cash sitting around somewhere in the world that you have trouble bringing home to make use of the way you want to.

Therein lies the problem with this economy – not that there isn’t enough to go around, but that it isn’t going around.

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The Greek Crisis in a Nutshell

The crisis in Greece can be explained using three policy fundamentals: their manipulation of debt-to-GDP ratio as outlined in the Maastricht Treaty of 1999, European austerity policies, and the pillars of fiscal autonomy that were incorporated from America’s financial system.

Greece has been cooking the books ever since joining the European Union and adopting the currency back in 2001 by separating entitlement transfer payments from their overall deficit figures.  They basically reclassified their annual deficits by stating they were transfer payments, hiding them on the reports and lacking transparency; it wasn’t until 2009 that their lack of transparency had been revealed.  According to the Maastricht Treaty of 1999, which formally spelled out the specifics of joining the Eurozone, a country must maintain a maximum debt-to-GDP ratio of 60% and an annual deficit of no more than 3% of GDP.  A 2010 review of their books by an independent auditor revealed that in 2009 Greece’s actual deficit was 15.6% (a 520% discrepancy), which lead to the public knowledge of their financial hardships and ultimately to two bailouts-one in 2010 for €110 billion and the other in 2012 for €130 billion which was spread through various lenders, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB).  Greece was given numerous extensions to pay their IMF debt and officially defaulted on their $1.7 billion (€1.55 billion) payment last week, leading to the vote that occurred over the weekend which offered another bailout by the European Union, but would require a serious economic hardship to the country.   Greece voted ‘no’, leaving the fate of Greece’s inclusion in the European Union in question.

Where did all of the money go? Entitlement benefits, mostly.  Greece’s island of Zakynthos has the highest population density of citizen’s collecting disability benefits for being legally blind (9%), of which these include a taxi cab driver and a construction worker (Angelos, 2012).  They also have numerous individuals (almost 40,000) collecting state retirement pensions posthumously. Additionally, they have noted that several individuals are receiving full retirement benefits that are over the age of 100; the authorities are looking into it.  Unemployment in Greece has skyrocketed from 7% in 2008 to 22% in 2012, of which 51% are under the age of 25 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

A leading cause of the unemployment issue is due to the European Union’s austerity program.  The long and short of this expectation is for a balanced budget of each member state.  It was imposed by Germany and insists on better economic progress in the long run, but has shown to cause high unemployment and a decrease in GDP in the little time that it has been implemented.  Germany insists that the austerity experiment will improve everyone’s economy in time, but Greece looks to be the first serious casualty of the experiment. Austerity increases the debt-to-GDP ratio burden of each country and decreases infrastructure spending, causing less opportunity to pay existing debts and economic growth.  Accounting is a zero-sum game; if you bring in $5 you can only spend $5.  Economics is a little more flexible with spending and it needs to be in order to stimulate the multiplier effect of currency (when you deposit $100 into the bank it is leant out to businesses who then invest in equipment and people, who then deposit money into the bank, etc…).  Increasing taxes and decreasing government expenditures takes more and more money out of circulation and decreases economic growth.

It is argued that Germany knew all along that Greece was ineligible to join the Euro currency but was able to let them in through cronyism and cooking the books.  This leads to the attitudes of resentment and hostility that we are seeing in the media.  Greek people are mad that they must sacrifice entitlements that were rightly afforded to them because of a handshake agreement from 15 years ago that they were not consulted about.  Germany is trying to keep pensions and benefits being paid to the Greek people, but the Greeks don’t want to reform their entitlement system or leave the Euro currency.  This, mixed with centuries of war and resentment within the two cultures… something has to give in order to avoid a full-out depression in Greece.  In the meantime, Europe has taken a page out of America’s playbook and has been throwing money at the situation hoping it’ll fix itself, perpetuating the cycle of corruption and opaque entitlement spending.

In the United States, if one state isn’t doing well economically, we simply move to another state that has more opportunity.  Moving from Anchorage, Alaska to San Antonio, Texas may not be easy but it is more than practical for the sake of finding work, and people do it all the time.  If Alaska’s unemployment rate begins to climb, people move elsewhere, removing these people from Alaska’s labor market and effectively regaining a balance in the unemployment rate.  During the recession, I moved from Buffalo, New York to Key West, Florida for this exact reason and, short of logistics, it was economically smooth.  I could access all of my bank accounts instantaneously, my car registration and driver’s license were recognized in Florida, I could speak the language, and my education credentials were recognized.  This is not the case in Europe.  Even though Europe has the freedom of mobility within its member states; accessing your banking, speaking the language, and transferring you educational certifications is less than smooth.  There are also the social issues of centuries of homogeneous living and xenophobia by the older generations. The United States’ currency union has centralized the banking system so that personal finances are not tied to the state which the bank resides and has been insured by the federal government (FDIC) to encourage people to deposit their money in the bank and let it multiply.  In Europe, the member state housing the bank reserves the right to confiscate your personal funds and convert it to a new currency overnight.  This rule has caused bank-runs in Greece, where everyone is desperately trying to withdraw their cash from the ATM before it is converted into a currency of less value.  Bank-runs were the biggest contributing factor to the Great Depression and the American system of banking has since evolved to avoid them.  Europe’s policy of decentralized banking has not given people the incentive to deposit their currency in the banks and this is why, if you have ever visited Europe, you’ll notice that it is a predominantly cash society.

The best American example I can think of is Texas.  If Texas were to leave the United States and create its own currency, the state would acquire this currency and all debts held would be converted but citizens’ personal finances would still be held in US dollars.  It is at the discretion of the individual to convert the currency based on the economic climate of the transition, but they would have control. In Greece, the citizens could wake up one morning and all of their Euros are now worth a lot less simply because they were in a Greek bank.  If I were a Greek, I would put my Euros in my mattress, so to speak.

This is an oversimplification of the Greek crisis, but it is difficult to get a handle on the scope and specifics by reading the never-ending onslaught of information being published. The European Union is relatively new and is still battling the social, political, economic, language, and educational hurtles of combining 27 countries that have historically been adversaries.  America had the luxury of starting from scratch and had to experience the Great Depression to learn some valuable lessons.  Europe is getting there and unfortunately, when you calculate the human factor into economic behaviors the waters become turbulent.  It is easy to tell Europe to do things the way we do things in America, but we have our own problems.  I give the Europeans credit for trying something new and something that they can truly call the European System of Economics; but how many lives have to be ruined before they decide if austerity is worth the headache?  I personally believe in reducing the debt and eliminating deficits, but much like tax reform, nobody has come up with a reasonable and realistic solution, short of letting the current infrastructure collapse, start something new, and trying all over again.  Ultimately we would make the same mistakes and have new problems.  So all we can really do is learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward.

I hope this breakdown helped explain the crisis and welcome any and all feedback.

Thank you for your time.


Bureau of Labor Statistics


Angelos, James, “’Island of the Blind’ Riles a Greek Public Facing Cutbacks” The Wall Street Journal. April 3, 2012

The Associated Press

Brookings Brief: 06 July, 2015

BBC Podcast: 06 July, 2015

Hubbard & Kane (2013), The Economics of Great Power, Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, pgs 204-212

Are We Still Keeping Up With The Joneses?

The Apple Watch has changed things in society.  Sales are up and Apple business is booming at $240/share.  But are we still keeping up with the Joneses?

Branding and labels used to be a status symbol; not long ago, you were judged by the kind of car you drove and the name on the back of your shirt.  Keeping up with the Joneses was an accepted marketing ploy by numerous advertisers and marketers.  With the latest economic recession and the lessons learned from it, we have seen an unprecedented call within society to live within our means; making the Joneses less powerful as people attempt to get a handle on credit card debt and future investments.  I can see from several reports that the Apple Watch sales are booming, but who is realistically buying them?  The Conan O’Brien show had a hilarious and revealing skit about the Apple Watch, exposing it as a superfluous gimmick.  On his show, he was advertising the Apple Pocket Watch, which was simply an iPhone.  There is nothing the watch can do that the iPhone can’t and it has a shorter battery life, a higher price tag, and everyone needs a phone in today’s world; you don’t need a watch anymore, it is viewed as status symbol or outfit accessory. But to whom?

From experiences I have had, spending money on useless items is no longer a status symbol or something you brag about at cocktail parties; quite the contrary. The Great Recession has exposed the ugly truth behind marketing and consumerism and people are slowly but surely holding themselves to a higher standard than to be spoon-fed merchandise that they don’t need.   I met my first Apple Watch owner the other day, or at least the first person who will admit to purchasing one, since its release almost a month ago and all I could think was how he must have horrible money management skills to spend so much money on such an item.  The fact that I live in Washington, DC and it took me a month to meet my first Apple Watch owner shows, unscientifically, that this is a niche item that appeals to only a minority demographic.  Even when I lived in Tennessee (another life ago), I was driving a 20 year old car that I bought for $400 to work and back because my wife had an hour drive to work and needed the car we were making payments on.  People were either telling me how great of an idea it was to drive a clunker to work or the ones that thought it was ridiculous would inevitably ask me for a ride home because they couldn’t afford to put gas in their pickup trucks that they bought solely because it was a status symbol, not thinking about how financially irresponsible or unnecessary it may have been since they did not live a lifestyle that needed a pickup truck. When someone buys a nice car the first question that everybody has is “how high are his monthly payments?”  But nobody will ask that in polite company.

The release of the Apple Watch has paved the way for “wearable tech”, as it is being called.  A recent podcast by Bloomberg (First Word) discussed how there are market research firms currently analyzing the marketing of wearable tech.  They find that the younger generations are less resistant to allow wearable technology to make suggestions for consumer products than the older generations, naturally.  An example with the Apple Watch was an app that will suggest certain creams to help you with your sleeping cycle (that had been recorded with your watch) along with where to purchase these items and alert you when you are close to these locations.  This was a natural evolution of this technology but I am in that resistant generation of consumers.  I am not comfortable with Big Brother knowing my sleep patterns or my whereabouts at all times.  We already have this problem with the iPhone and it has created countless security issues that are still being analyzed and thwarted.  I do own an iPhone, hypocritically, but I have not downloaded my online banking app nor do I make any purchases or tie any payment cards to my account; I’m simply not ready for my money to be stolen out from under me.  A recent hacking scheme targeted Starbucks customers who have downloaded the mobile app.  Hackers were using the software that adds money to a purchasing account and stole thousands of dollars.  This is insured but it shows how much work is ahead of us in the protection of personal information through technology.  Target has been hacked several times as well; I have gotten three new debit cards issued to me within the past two years because Target can’t keep up with hackers.

The availability of credit and economies of scale production has allowed name brand to be accessible to the masses.  I see all kinds of people wearing Ray Ban sunglasses with Michael Kors purses and Rolex watches in their Audis or BMWs. No longer are these items solely for the affluent and elite; nowadays, we can no longer judge a person’s lifestyle or role in society by their belongings.  If a rising tide raises all ships, what is the future for branding as a social status symbol?  Maybe this is good? Allowing people of all backgrounds to own items that they wish to own.  This breaks down social barriers and levels out social inequality that started in the 1970s when wearing brand names became mainstream.  The Joneses are no longer setting marketing trends by appealing to societal pressures.

Thank you for your time


Liberland: the newest eccentric-micro-state

Liberland is the newest country to be formed in the world. On a patch of land no bigger than a cow pasture on the Danube river between Serbia and Croatia. To paraphrase the quoted articles, they have had over 200,000 citizenship applications and only three current residents.  I have cited the respective articles to this blog and I would like to use this blog entry as more of a discussion because, frankly, I’m having a difficult time formulating an opinion.

Trying out something completely new; with all of the technological advances we have and no existing infrastructure, Liberland is an empty canvas with a world of possibility. Vit Jedlicka, The president and one of the founders of Liberlandintends to combine, what he considers, the Multilateralism of applying the best of several constitutions and establish a functioning government within the year. People from all over the world have offered their expertise to build an infrastructure and they are in the process of being recognized by Serbia and Croatia. In addition to being placed on a waterway for trade, all things considered, it sounds like this might actually get the momentum it needs to survive.  

Is Liberland a game-changer? A model that others will study and build theories on for years? Or a state doomed to fail at their first hiccup?  I can see arguments on both sides of the situation but this is such an unprecedented situation, I guess only time will tell.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to comments
The Telegraph
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Today’s Stagflation and Taxing the Rich

Tax reform is on everyone’s lips these days and the more ideas I have while reading about it, the more I realize that many people before me have had similar, if not the exact same ideas, well before I came into the dialogue. The issue that the tax code needs to be reformed is not the issue, that is a matter of record; how do we reform it is the question?

The cited podcast below got me thinking about tax reform and the narrator has some excellent, commonsensical, arguments.  He states how people face trade offs when it comes to tax reform and how nobody is willing to budge on their tax exemptions that affect their bottom-line. It’s easy to be an arm-chair quarterback and say we need reform, but nobody is willing to forfeit convenient complexity for a simple tax code because of the years of exemptions and patch jobs that have been instated into the modern tax code.  Also, how abolishing the Internal Revenue Service is redundant because they only enforce the laws, they are past in the legislature and it is from there that reform must happen.

This got me thinking about the state of the economy in the late 1970s. I did not experience this economy, I was born in the 80s, but we seem to be repeating the same issues that Jimmy Carter had seen back then.  Slow economic growth, low participation rate, little to no incentive to go to work and an unsustainable entitlement program.  Jimmy Carter blamed the issues of the nation on the people in his speech in 1979 calling it a crisis of confidence and how the government cannot help, that change must come from the attitudes within the household… Thanks Carter… It wasn’t until Arthur Laffer theorized the Laffer curve (below) and convinced President Reagan several years later that lower taxes can create more tax revenue did the economy begin to improve.

Laffer’s curve shows that as tax rates go up, tax revenues will also go up; but there is a point of critical mass where it becomes counterproductive to raise taxes because it disincentivizes people to work because of the high income taxes.  The government must find a balance in order to maintain adequate taxation for social services and a growing economy.  Reagan lowered the tax rate from 70% to 32% and we’ve seen continual GDP growth ever since, until recently. It could be argued that we have raised taxes to or past the point of critical mass and are now disincentivizing people to work, or that we have created a generation of entitlement and social security and medicare benefits are simply too generous, writtled with fraud, and underfunded.

No matter how you slice it, we need social security and tax reform.  The participation rate is slowly falling and retirees are increasing.  2025 is the year the economists say is when we will no longer be able to pay entitlement benefits to those whom deserve it.  And yes, we have created a generation of entitlement, but that monster was born long before any Millenial.  We created a world better for our children, now they are the ones who have to figure out a way to pay for it.  We have been borrowing from future generations and stifling growth through debt since President Johnson and are past the point of no return with the deficit.  So now what? Everyone is screaming for reform but nobody wants to sacrifice services to pay for it.

Raise taxes on the wealthy… That’s rich.  The answer to irresponsible government spending is to take money from the people who aren’t irresponsible with their money.  Just because Warren Buffet has money doesn’t mean the government has the right to take it all to pay off bad debts, especially the bad debts caused by the student loan crisis. Our progressive tax system has already seen its consequences by encouraging corporate inversion, stifling tax loopholes, and the wealthy voting with their feet by moving to tax haven countries life Switzerland and Andorra.  I’m not saying the wealthy shouldn’t pay their fair share, we all should, I’m saying that we need to take a good look in the mirror about how we got ourselves into this mess before asking Mommy and Daddy to write a check or stealing money from their dresser like an adolescent.  If we want to be treated like adults then we need to start acting like adults.  It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the world we live in.

Supply side economics encourages economic wealth by eliminating barriers of entry for new competition and encouraging investment by not crowding out the economy.  It promotes earning a paycheck and not asking for handouts.  We definitely need a safety net system in place, automatic government transfers are one of the only reasons why didn’t fall into a full-blown depression in 2008; but why were we in that predicament in the first place? Because people are greedy and don’t want to work… so they steal money from the people who are best positioned to invest and increase aggregate demand.  Maybe, instead of taking Warren Buffet’s money and spending it willy-nilly, we should put a copy of the current budget in front of him and ask for advice.  The only way to get ourselves out of this mess is to make the difficult decisions when it comes to budget and tax reform while still maintaining an incentive for people to work; that’s tricky business, but we can take a page out of Laffer’s book to make progress.

Read about the economy and the way things are going, I implore you.  This is important and without everybody being educated on the issues we are doomed to repeat history.  Do not let another stagflation of the 1970’s happen today.

Thank you for your time.

Andrew Laffer still publishes from his firm in San Francisco, California: The Laffer Center

The Laffer Curve shows that Tax Increases are a bad idea

Bill Gale on taxes and the IRS– podcast

Religious Freedom Laws and morality

This is a piece from my best-friend Adam about the labeling of those against gay marriage as bigots.  As a man of the world I agree in live-and-let-live and never gave much thought to the LBGT agenda nor what it is doing to the religious community; but Adam offers a terrific perspective on how the conscientious objectors feel in regards to being labeled something that misrepresents their opinion.

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it. -Voltaire

Matt Walsh’s blog has an excellent take on the debate as well:

Sorry Gays, You Don’t Have the Right to be Free from Discriminatoion

Adam Jarosz @ WordPress

The case against the labeling of traditional marriage supporters as bigots:

I have a problem with the argument that all who are opposed to homosexual marriage are bigots. Here’s why…

I have an objection to homosexual marriage not out of bigotry but out of morality. While we are all called to love each other and treat each other with respect, it doesn’t mean we have to accept moral relativism as truth. For those who are in a state where homosexual marriage is granted, the LBGT community can legally marry but that doesn’t change the foundation of faiths. It’s a marriage of the state. Every culture has a different history and tradition with marriage with most officially believing it’s between a man and a woman. There are a large sum of people who subscribe to these traditions which means it’s not just a outlier of bigots. Is the only way to deal with this is to label everyone on the other side a hater? Is the strategic move here to shame the majority into submission?

While in the eye of the law they are equal, it doesn’t change the fact that the two stances are opposed in faith. The new permittance of homosexual marriages does weave room into society however that doesn’t mean it’s ok for them to now force others to accept what they believe. That doesn’t mean those with objections are bigots, it’s clearly a differentiation of philosophy.

The voters will decide about homosexual marriage and those who do marry will be free to live with their families just like any other culture is free to live theirs. While there may be some whom are blatantly bigoted, what about the majority of Christians, Muslims, etc. who have a real objection in regards to what the definition of marriage is? This isn’t a hate issue for us but why should we take part in something that clearly goes against our morality? Why can’t we object and not be made out to be criminals?

Specifically in the cases of wedding providers and not other areas of life, why should the devout be forced to decide between the closure of their business and providing a service against their conscience? I only say this in the specific argument with the wedding, not other areas of life and culture because it’s about the philosophy not the person.

After reading the law, which holds no substantive language that states the permission of discrimination, I find the upheaval about it less about bigotry and more about submission to the LGBT lobbyists.


Adam Jarosz

The new economy has changed everything, one man's attempt to make sense of it all