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September 2009

America – Driving Toward Third World Oblivion

My predisposed thoughts about third world countries include the following: high unemployment, a growing number of government bureaucrats (who hold the best and most secure jobs), rich and poor with little or no middle class, high levels of debt, dependence on foreign imports, and a chronically weak currency.  Unfortunately, all of these characteristics are now attributable to the U.S. The middle class in the U.S. is quickly disappearing.  Because the …Read More

The Con Game

I was watching Chris Matthews on MSNBC on Tuesday September 15th, and was struck by the discussion group’s commentary.  In essence, the group believed that the current economic environment was ready to improve as soon as “the folks” regained their confidence.  While I do understand that a positive mindset can help keep people from hoarding their paychecks, I also understand the real world. In order for people to spend more …Read More

An Explanation of the Diverging Prices of Oil and Natural Gas

Some in the business media, including the morning host and hostess on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, admit to being confused by the seeming contradictory price movements of oil and natural gas.  This is an explanation of that divergence. The price of natural gas can be approximated by the price of UNG, the symbol for the U.S. Natural Gas Fund, LP, a fund that attempts to mimic the price of …Read More

Labor Day 2009

“Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.       A. Lincoln.” Labor Day, first celebrated in September 1882, is usually feted with family barbecues. As we acknowledge the end of summer this year, the American worker sadly finds himself “celebrating” a lost decade. Job growth among the private sector has been declining the past ten years. The public sector employee and …Read More

The Inflation/Deflation Debate – a Reconciliation

The Treasury is on a wild spending spree with the Fed creating the money that can’t be placed at a targeted low interest rate.  Consequently, the Fed has more than doubled the monetary base in the past year. Economists trained as monetarists are wringing their hands over the coming wave of inflation due to the excessive money creation.  After all, M*V = GDP (i.e., Money * Velocity), and since M …Read More