Former Michigan Congressman and Reagan Budget Director David Stockman’s new book “The Great Deformation” provoked a flurry of insult and ridicule when it first came out back in April. I’m late to the party because as a law school graduate I spend all of my spare cash on liquor; in fact, I have not yet read the book. Fortunately for me, book tour promotional speeches are readily available on Youtube, and Stockman has no instinct for holding back.
Here is the gist; the Bretton Woods Conference made the dollar the reserve currency of the world, it was gold-based until 1971 when Nixon decided to let it float free, allowing the US to run endless trade deficits with mercantilist, export-led industrializing countries in East Asia. Along …
It is axiomatic in history that the new worlds of the revolutionaries tend to resemble the social systems of the past. Tsar Alexander II freed 60 million serfs with the stroke of a pen, and seventy years later Joseph Stalin would re-impose serfdom under the guise of collective farms. He used bullets instead of ink. Similar stories can be told of the French Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and probably all revolutions in some respect.
Alexander Hamilton wanted America to copy the British system, complete with political elites, state-supported monopoly corporations like the British East India Company, and all-powerful central government. It took two hundred years to overcome Jeffersonian resistance, but Hamilton finally won when TARP was implemented.
Perhaps it is no surprise …
A sizeable chunk of my legal career has been spent neck-deep in the morass of the foreclosure wave that has wreaked havoc across the land several years ago. If you wonder what has made me cynical about both the economy and the competency of government, it was my year doing foreclosures.
First of all, I am not the big expert, and this is in no way legal advice; I worked long enough to learn how the process works and how it ties in to real estate market and the economy as a whole. I think I have put the picture together reasonably well, and I have learned a few things about our national obsession with real estate.
Banks Do Not Hold Mortgages
The fact that …
Well, another class of high school graduates are killing time until they begin their college experience. In four, five, or six years, many of them will graduate from college, and move to Dallas County so they can work as temps at Wells Fargo.
Meanwhile, town squares across Iowa are emptying out. I’ve spent some time exploring small towns in rural Iowa, and there are common threads that threaten to further damage the prospects of the young, and may even threaten the existence of many towns across the state.
And so it goes; young people leave to try and buy jobs that don’t matter (and often don’t exist in large numbers), buildings stand unused, and eventually the towns just collapse into stagnant malaise.
What Muscatine Has …
Having nothing better to do, I decided to spend Monday morning on the DMACC campus for a spring career fair. I wanted to wander around and ask questions to people to try and gauge their perception of the job market, but I had no intention of simply administering a poll. No, I was going to make people defend their statements by asking why they held that belief, like Socrates but without the profoundness.
I asked jobseekers if they were feeling optimistic or pessimistic. I asked recruiters about what kind of people they are looking for, both in terms of skills and personality.
Optimistic, They Think
Personally, I believe that optimism is stupid and should be hated, but I appear to be alone in this sentiment. …
To kick off the IWEA conference at HyVee Hall, both the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor took turns at the podium to celebrate Iowa’s commitment to wind power. I was there to take notes and to take a look around.
The Governor’s comments were short, citing Iowa’s adoption of wind energy standards, the lease royalty income for landowners, the jobs associated with the wind energy sector, Iowa’s exporting of wind-generated power, and used a comment on the importance of the STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, and math) to introduce Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, for whom STEM is something of a pet project.
The Lieutenant Governor’s comments centered around education; preparing the young for the jobs of the “knowledge-based economy,” which I put in …
The tax credit for wind energy is back on the agenda, and Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley and Terry Branstad are taking leadership roles in fighting for the extension, going so far as to appear together at a press conference about it.
Wind energy is my favorite target at the moment, because it combines socialist economics, corruption, aesthetic vandalism, junk science, and cynical political machinations – all melting together into a hideous soup of wasted money and ruined skylines.
After the last election, targeting two of Iowa’s best known Republicans for criticism is perhaps a risky business, but for those who think I – with my dislike of leftists – shouldn’t be doing it, I offer the following historical analogy:
In the days of …
Below is a brief overview of a bi-partisan initiative that is set to be brought to the floor of the Iowa Legislature when it gavels in next session. Once it is brought to the floor I will publish a more detailed look at it. As noted on Wednesday, Sen. Brad Zaun, Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, and Rep. Kevin Koester have already signed on to support the measure and it will be interesting to see the reaction from both sides once the session starts.
The Every Iowan Economic Empowerment Act or The Empowerment Act takes advantage of our state’s strengths in two ways.
I. Rewarding Hard Work & Sacrifice Provision
The first component of The Empowerment Act rewards the hard work and sacrifice of Iowans by …
I cast my ballot early. I didn’t vote third-party and therefore my vote isn’t being wasted. It also isn’t going to matter.
Since 1990, the United States has run aggregate trade deficits above $8 trillion. This is funny, because in 1990 the M2 metric of currency supply was only $3 trillion. There should be nothing but dust coming out of the ATM machines. We have purchased entire merchant-fleets full of foreign goods, and paid for it by quite literally printing money.
Foreign countries, being more blatant about their currency devaluation policies, have been willing to go along with this arrangement. The result is this dynamic: The US prints dollars to buy goods from China, and the Chinese central bank prints yuan to buy the dollars. …
For those who haven’t paid attention to The Des Moines Register’s recent editorial board history, there is no question their endorsement of Mitt Romney is a big story. This history includes a 40 year gap in backing a Republican for President, spanning all the cycles between Richard Nixon’s second run and Mitt Romney’s second bid for the oval office.
Over the next week much of what you hear from both the left and the right will be various forms of skepticism, questioned motives, and outright dismals—including claims this was payback for Obama disrespecting them last week. Our readers clearly know we generally don’t have much love for The Register, and specifically we exposed the ridiculous intellectual dishonesty of their 2008 presidential endorsements.