Yellen shows her hand … Yellen said this week that she is more worried that a shock to the economy might lead to deflation — a debilitating spiral downward in prices and demand — than rampant inflation. Those who cling to old certainties about the economic notions that dominated policy between the 1980s and late 2008 find themselves today tilting at windmills such as the likelihood of a return to high inflation. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Just print, baby.
Free-Market Analysis: This Reuters editorial presents the reality of Yellen’s upcoming Fed regime. Peter Schiff and others – including The Daily Bell – were correct.
There is not going to be any radical tightening at the Fed.
Supposedly, Yellen was going to cease quantitative easing. But QE is simply a strategy and whether or not it continues does not necessarily have an effect on the larger money-printing environment.
This article tells us what is probably the truth about the Fed regime: People misinterpreted Yellen’s initial remarks on the subject. Just because she is departing from Ben Bernanke’s goal-based employment doesn’t mean Yellen is departing from the idea of printing currency to create jobs. Continue reading →
For most of Canada’s existence, it has been regarded as the weak neighbor to the north by most Americans. Well, that has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. Back in the year 2000, middle class Canadians were earning much less than middle class Americans, but since then there has been a dramatic shift. At this point, middle class Canadians are actually earning more than middle class Americans are. The Canadian economy has been booming thanks to a rapidly growing oil industry, and meanwhile the U.S. middle class has been steadily shrinking. If current trends continue, a whole bunch of other countries are going to start passing us too. The era of the “great U.S. middle class” is rapidly coming to a bitter end.
In recent years, I have been up to Canada frequently, and I am always amazed at how much nicer things are up there. The stores and streets are cleaner, the people are more polite and it seems like almost everyone that wants to work has a job.
But despite knowing all this, I was still surprised when the New York Times reported this week that middle class incomes in Canada have now surpassed middle class incomes in the United States… Continue reading →
In a 15 minute-long ideological crusade, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes smeared Cliven Bundy supporters as ‘insurgents’ while lamenting the threat posed to the establishment by an Alex Jones-Drudge-Fox News-Rand Paul “axis” that threatens to rock the 2016 presidential race.
Implicitly siding with Harry Reid’s widely derided claim that Cliven Bundy and his supporters are “domestic terrorists,” Hayes linked Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller’s labeling of Bundy ranch advocates as “patriots” to Alex Jones and Infowars, which he sophomorically described as “a paranoid online haven”.
Prior to World War I, nearly all psychiatrists worked in mental institutions, where they dealt with the committed and insane. But they were really just caretakers; they didn’t cure anyone. In fact, in those institutions, the “inmates” were very often subjected to cruel and inhumane psychiatric experimentation, and much of it was inflicted upon them to keep them quiet, not make them better.
When the Great War broke out, psychiatry made its first foray into the military. For example, in Germany, soldiers who were unwilling to return to the hellish trench warfare at the front were subjected to what was called the “Kaufman Cure.” It was anything but a cure, however; it was a procedure that involved shooting painful electrical currents through the soldier’s body while a practitioner intoned hypnotic suggestions. Its victims rightly deemed it a form of torture, but the Kaufman Cure was widely seen as successful by psychiatrists because it did indeed induce terrified soldiers to return to the front lines, and in a rush.
‘We must aim to make psychiatry permeate all of society’
By the time World War II began, psychiatrists had forged established paths into the militaries of many nations. And it was through the military that psychiatrists finally achieved newfound status as “medical doctors.” But influence over the psychology of the military was just a small fraction of what psychiatrists had planned.
On June 18, 1940, Brig. Gen. J. R. Rees, a psychiatrist, stood before the Annual Meeting of the National Council for Mental Hygiene to outline psychiatry’s ambitions for the future: Continue reading →
Speaker of the House John Boehner, speaking to a group of donors at a Republican Party fundraiser last month, pledged that the House would pass several immigration bills this summer. Several attendees at the fundraiser told the Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler that Boehner said he was “hellbent on getting this done this year.”
One of Boehner’s House colleague’s, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said during a recent trip to Silicon Valley that legislative action this year was “entirely possible,” with the House likely voting this summer on five to seven immigration bills. Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which hosted Goodlatte’s visit, related the congressman’s statement to the Journal.
On April 18, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) issued a statement expressing his apprehension about a possible House immigration vote. After noting that President Obama and congressional Democrats have “put their collective weight behind an immigration bill that delivers a sweeping amnesty for open borders groups and a huge guest worker surge for corporations,” Sessions observed that — according to the Wall Street Journal report — “House GOP leaders are considering a plan to move an apparently similar immigration plan this summer.”
Sessions warned that the move that the House Republican leadership seems intent on taking would be bad on several counts. The first of these is political, since public trust in President Obama is at a record low, holding a vote on the type of immigrations bills likely to be introduced would amount to a reversal of the position the GOP took before the primary season. Such an about face would “represent a colossal breach of the public trust,” maintained the senator, because American workers count on Republicans to protect their jobs from guest workers and illegal immigrants. Continue reading →
This article was written by Liz Bennett and originally published at Underground Medic
Over the last decade world grain reserves have fallen by at least a third and that decline looks set to continue. For the last half of the 20th century overproduction was the order of the day. Huge grain surpluses, butter mountains and milk lakes dominated the news.
During this period the United States had a farm programme where land lay idle to prevent even more surpluses, this provided a cushion against shortages, the land could be planted up if the surpluses fell to levels considered to be too low. In the UK land was left fallow and green manured to enrich it for the following season. The crops were rotated and the harvests were generally very good. In addition there was the carryover: The amount of grain left in the massive storage silos at the time the next crop is harvested. Other western nations had similar systems.
1965 is a good year to show how the system cushioned against disaster. In 1965 the Monsoon in India failed. The United states shipped a full fifth of its grain harvest to India which averted a potential famine. due to the amount of surplus in store the incident had a minimal effect on grain prices on the world markets.
There were occasional spikes during the period of 1950-2000, but the effects on world prices were a short lived thing. The weather was usually to blame and after a bit of a ‘blip’ everything settled down when the amount of idled land and the amount of food commodities in store were announced. Continue reading →
Research drones will begin flying over North Dakota the week of May 5, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday. North Dakota is the first of six unmanned aerial systems (UAS) test sites to begin flight operations.
The first flights will take place over North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Center using a Draganflyer X4ES, the Associated Press reports. A second set of missions will fly over Sullys Hill National Game Preserve this summer. The mission will be run by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. None of the scheduled flights will be over private property.
The aim of these flights will be to show that UAS can check soil quality and the status of crops in precision agriculture research studies, according to an FAA press release. Precision agriculture is a farming management concept that involves fine-tuning the application of seed, fertilizer and pesticide on every square foot of a field to improve yields and reduce costs.
“North Dakota has really taken the lead in supporting the growing unmanned aircraft industry,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “We look forward to the contributions they and the other test sites will make toward our efforts to ensure the safe and efficient integration of UAS into our nation’s skies.” Continue reading →
Why is the federal government so obsessed with grabbing more land? After all, the federal government already owns more than 40 percent of the land in 9 different U.S. states. Why are federal bureaucrats so determined to grab even more? Well, the truth is that this all becomes much clearer once you understand that there is a very twisted philosophy behind what they are doing. It is commonly known as “Agenda 21″, although many names and labels are used for this particular philosophy. Basically, those that hold to this form of radical environmentalism believe that humanity is utterly destroying the planet, and therefore the goal should be to create a world where literally everything that we do is tightly monitored and controlled by control freak bureaucrats in the name of “sustainable development”. In their vision of the future, the human population will be greatly reduced and human activity will be limited to strictly regulated urban areas and travel corridors. The rest of the planet will be left to nature. To achieve this goal, a massive transfer of land from private landowners to the federal government will be necessary.
So the conflict between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the BLM is really just the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that the BLM has their eyes on much bigger prizes.
For example, Breitbart is reporting that the BLM is looking at grabbing 90,000 privately-held acres along the Texas/Oklahoma border…
After the recent Bundy Ranch episode by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Texans are becoming more concerned about the BLM’s focus on 90,000 acres along a 116 mile stretch of the Texas/Oklahoma boundary. The BLM is reviewing the possible federal takeover and ownership of privately-held lands which have been deeded property for generations of Texas landowners. Continue reading →
The Obama administration is again delaying a decision on whether to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a move Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., says is nothing more than a gift to the environmental lobby that could force Canada to abandon the U.S. as a partner on this critical project.
“The hardcore greens came out a couple months ago, after the final environmental impact study was ruled as a final study by the State Department. They held a press conference saying, ‘We will boycott the 2014 elections if the president signs this.’ The president knows. His brain is telling him that it has to be signed. There’s just no good reason to deny the permit except for the political pressures that are on him from his far left,” said Terry, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“So (the administration) found another creative, meaningless way to just delay signing that permit until after the elections,” he said.
If this is just a political calculation, the environmental lobby appears to carry more weight inside the White House than Democratic lawmakers from right-leaning states and even multiple labor unions anxious to get to work on the pipeline. At least 11 Democrats in the U.S. Senate have publicly urged Obama to green-light the pipeline and unions like the Laborers International Union of America, or LIUNA, are also lobbying hard for Keystone’s approval.
Terry said there’s enough support in the Senate to break a filibuster and maybe even override an Obama veto of the pipeline. At least 11 Senate Democrats have publicly expressed their support for the project. He said the fight inside organized labor is a bit more complex.
“It’s the trade unions that will go to work at good middle-class wages, but those are the ones that the president’s throwing under the bus, a bus probably driven by a Teamster who would actually benefit from this project,” he said. “The reality is the major political unions today, like the SEIU and the government employees, they’re standing with the green organizations opposing this pipeline.”
Time to stop following defunct economic policies … Can economists contribute anything useful to our understanding of politics, business and finance in the real world? I raise this question having spent last weekend in Toronto at the annual conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a foundation created in 2009 in response to the failure of modern economics in the global financial crisis (whose board I currently chair). Unfortunately, the question raised above is as troubling today as it was in November 2008, when Britain’s Queen Elizabeth famously stunned the head of the London School of Economics by asking faux naively, “But why did nobody foresee this [economic collapse]?” – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: The system needs tweaking.
Free-Market Analysis: This Reuters article/editorial says that central banking doesn’t work.
But after admitting that central bank modeling is dysfunctional, the article predictably proposes that the solution is MORE SOPHISTICATED central banking.
And not just a more sophisticated version but something more pernicious. We’ll get to that in a moment. Continue reading →