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Category Archives: economics

Is Facebook Too Big To Fail?


Facebook Stock Slide

With an initial public offering of $38.00 a share, a high of $45.25 a share, and a low of $18.75 per share, Facebook’s stock has been as rocky as a soap opera love affair. Today’s trading shows the current price per share is $18.96. However, with this slide, comes the calls for the company’s CEO and majority stock holder Mark Zuckerberg to step down. For some, it’s rather easy to gloat in the downturn of those who they perceive to be “well off” or “rich”. I however marvel in the fact that someone can take what seems to be a simple idea (sharing pictures, ideas, lives), apply the idea to a system that’s already invented (computer, internet), and turn it into a multi-billion dollar company. It really signifies the American dream.
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Capitalism, the Superior Societal System


“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
– Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering
political economist.

Self interest, what some may call “greed”; wrongly, is a good thing.

Put simply, capitalism, is as natural to humans as breathing. In the first moments of the dawn of mankind capitalism was present. Everyone who has ever lived, has participated in free market economics. This includes, the communist, marxist, socialist and every other follower of a political philosophy that has existed. The self-interest of an individual is the foundation of ‘economy’. This self-interest is a force on both sides of the market. Someone has a need for a good or service, and someone else has the good or service to provide. It really is as simple as that.

When someone performs labor, they have transferred a part of themselves into that which they have done. The task has become intertwined with their very soul. Same with someone who creates a product, that endeavour also is a part of them. This, I believe is the inherent reason that wherever and whenever socialism or communism is experimented with, it always fails. It is because the economic system of socialism punishes the producer and rewards the mooch. It steals the very soul of man. When a person lays their hand to the plow, they do it to better their socio-economic status, not for their health. They do it for their family. This is why the recent remarks made by President Obama about small business owner’s hit such a sour note. “If you have a business, you didn’t build that, someone else made that happen.” The election that we happen upon will be a decision solely won or lost on who we think will do a better job of pulling the American economy out of the ditch. Capitalism vs. socialism. The difference’s, couldn’t be further apart. Our politicians are attempting to mix the two, and have. However, I suggest they are not compatible with one another. One steals from one party, and distributes the stolen money to those without the morality to know that they should refuse to take the money. One, lets the party who earned the money to keep the fruits of their labor, and spend it accordingly to their will. They do not mix as philosophies.

Like all other things, capitalism doesn’t fare well when mixed with immorality. Here is the issue that befalls us currently. The enemies of capitalism use instances of Immorality to attack it. What they fail to do is separate free market capitalism and the immoral act. An excellent example of this is the issue a few years back when it was found that Bernie Madoff swindled many out of billions of dollars as an investor. Communists point out “look that man stole a ton of money from innocent people, capitalism is terrible!” You see, capitalism doesn’t breed theft, or a skewed view of greed, or what the Holy Bible calls covetousness, (the act of wanting after the things that others possess). The act of theft is a fallen, human condition, it develops in the heart before it is acted upon. Capitalism serves those in need of goods or services, it doesn’t steal from anyone. Another argument against capitalism is “look, the housing market collapsed, or the Dow Jones fell 300 points, capitalism sucks!” The flaw of that argument is this, free market capitalism has not been practiced in our nation for better than a hundred years. There are a set of structures built into an economy, a set of laws. Just like physics, an economy is bound by its laws. If a body is at rest, it will tend to stay at rest until something moves it. If a body is in motion, it will tend to stay in motion until something stops it. Equally, if a force outside the market attempts to control it or manipulate it in any way, it has an effect. The effect can be either positive or negative, however, there is an effect. An example of this would be the housing bubble. When congress decided to set new loan rules for housing by demanding banks lower their standards on lending, the market was affected. What ensued from that decision is now remembered as the housing crash of ’08. A lot of finger-pointing came from that market crash. Many blamed the banks, many blamed the people who couldn’t afford the home, however few blamed the real culprit, the set of loan rules that caused the bank to make bad loans in the first place. Pure, free market capitalism doesn’t recommend loaning monies to people who can’t repay. The housing crash has been used to attack capitalism. When the market fell, Americans should have marched on Washington D.C. and demanded that congress pass legislation to remedy loose loan rules pushed upon the banks by the government.

That brings us to GSE’s. The Government Sponsored Entities are those businesses like Fanny Mae, and Freddie Mac. Actually, there are a lot of these. Many would agree that the federal government should not be in  the business of owning businesses. Owning a business is not one of the seventeen enumerated powers of the government laid out in the U.S. Constitution. However, the government, through influence and regulation, own or run a plethora of companies. General Motors, Chrysler Corp., Floodinsurance.gov, banks, investment firms, insurance companies, now with Obamacare the government absorbed 1/6th of the U.S. economy, this is a short list, there are many more. A state regulated and controlled market is not free market capitalism, it is state capitalism like China operates. With the latest comments that Obama has made about expanding the auto bailouts to other industries, Americans should be extremely concerned about our direction as a nation. He is espousing marxist theory on the campaign trail, and the sad part is not many Americans know it when they hear it. On the other hand, if George W. Bush would have campaigned in ’04 and told the American people that he was shutting down and selling off GSE’s to private buyers, or “worse” yet, private equity firms, the press would have had a seizure! They would have said that the nation was being transformed for the worse. But, when our nation is being strangled by Venezuelan style business models, (nationalizing industry) the press is silent. That is criminal!

To me, the results of the Founders’ exceptional vision can be summed up in one sentence: Throughout human history, the American Idea has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. – Paul Ryan (R) Wis.

Capitalism has, as Paul Ryan puts it, “done more for the poor than any other system”. The man is right. In the history of the world, capitalism has brought the over all living standard higher than ever before, not just in our own country, but in all countries. It has brought new innovations to the market place like electricity transmission, light bulbs, the automobile, the train, the airplane, oil production, the space shuttle and the personal computer. If you see it, there is a great chance that capitalism brought it to life either through direct or indirect funding.

As long as people exist, free market capitalism will exist. As long as people exist, the threat of someone trying to squash capitalism will exist.  Although, It is our inheritance from our founders, economic freedom.

Some just want to live their lives, and some just want to run the lives of others.

It is the battle cry of small government patriots, we need a free market, right away!

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 

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Obamacare’s First Kiss of Death


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In my home state, the political jockeying has been intense already this election cycle. Ohio, is of course very important to the presidential elections because of our swing state status.

Recently both candidates have been criss-crossing Ohio to grab up the all so coveted independent vote. As important as this election is, I don’t know how anyone can be “independent”. This is the most polarized I have ever seen our political climate. I think most people have already made their mind up.

Obama stopped in to Ann’s Place a diner in west Akron yesterday around 8:30 a.m. to have a little breakfast. (His second of the day) I wonder if Michelle knows? Just a few hours after hugging Obama, Josephine “Ann” Harris the restaurant owner was in her home and began complaining of a tingling feeling and that she did not feel well. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. She had suffered a full cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and could not be revived.

I in know way mean to make light of the passing of Ann Harris. However, I would like to point out some simularities between this incident and other’s that the nation faces.

Since Obama has successfully sucked the life out of the nation and the economy, is it possible when he hugged this poor woman he sucked the life outta her also? Of course I’m being satirical, but I think this may be an omen. Obamacare is certainly the grim reaper to our nation. Yes, Obamacare = Kiss of Death. How bad does this look in this election season? The president shows up, hugs a business owner, and she dies? ! Holy Cow! Damn the luck!

Remember America, Obamacare = Kiss of Death!

Robert E. Stage Jr.

 

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Louisiana Secedes from Obamacare


The following are a series of Tweets from LA Gov.
Bobby Jindal
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Gov. Bobby Jindal

Follow

@BobbyJindal

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Florida Secedes from Obamacare


Cross posted from NBCMiami.com

Gov. Scott: Fla. Won’t Comply with Health Law GARY FINEOUT 07/01/2012 4:26 PM
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott now says Florida will do nothing to comply with President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and will not expand its Medicaid program.

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Google Shopping Kills the First & Second Amendment


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Cross posted from prisonplanet.com

Google sent out an email to Google Adwords customers saying that they are going to pull all Google Shopping results for guns, ammunition, gun optics and gun accessories (Shopping results, not general search results).
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HamLund Tactical received this email and posted it on 68forums.com (emphasis added) …

Dear Merchant,

We’re writing to let you know about some upcoming changes to the product listings you submit to Google. As we recently announced, we are starting to transition our shopping experience to a commercial model that builds on Product Listing Ads. This new shopping experience is called Google Shopping. As part of this transition, we’ll begin to enforce a set of new policies for Google Shopping in the coming weeks. A new list of the allowed, restricted, and prohibited products on Google Shopping is available on our new policy page – http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd.

Based on a review of the products you’re currently submitting, it appears that some of the content in your Merchant Center account, HamLund Tactical, will be affected by these policy changes. In particular we found that your products may violate the following policies:

Weapons

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all of the products identified as being in violation of policies. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your feeds and/or site to comply, so that your products can continue to appear on Google Shopping.

To help you through this new set of policies and how to comply with them, we would like to give you some specific suggestions regarding the changes needed to keep your offers running on Google Shopping.

Weapons

As highlighted on our new policy page http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd, in order to comply with the Google Shopping policies you need to comply first with the AdWords policies http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/StQ08jAzM4fVtG.We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping. In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed and then re-submit your feed in the Merchant Center. For more information on this policy please visit http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/GbBNIGHOribLzf.

We’re constantly reviewing our policies, and updating them when necessary, to ensure we’re offering the best experience possible to our users. We’ve identified a set of policy principles to govern our policy efforts on Google Shopping in the U.S. These principles are:

1) Google Shopping should provide a positive experience to users. Showing users the right products at the right time can truly enhance a user’s experience. When people trust us to deliver them to a destination that’s relevant, original, and easy to navigate this creates a positive online experience to the benefit of both users and merchants.

2 ) Google Shopping should be safe for all users. User safety is everyone’s business, and we can’t do business with those who don’t agree. Scams, phishing, viruses, and other malicious activities on the Internet damage the value of the Internet for everyone. Trying to get around policies or “game the system” is unfair to our users, and we can’t allow that.

3) Google Shopping should comply with local laws and regulations. Many products and services are regulated by law, which can vary from country to country. All advertising, as well as the products and services being advertised, must clearly comply with all applicable laws and regulations. For the most part, our policies aren’t designed to describe every law in every country. All advertisers bear their own responsibility for understanding the laws applicable to their business. Our policies are often more restrictive than the law, because we need to be sure we can offer services that are legal and safe for all users.

4) Google Shopping should be compatible with Google’s brand decisions. Google Shopping must be compatible with company brand decisions. Our company has a strong culture and values, and we’ve chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values. In addition, like all companies, Google sometimes makes decisions based on technical limitations, resource constraints, or requirements from our business partners. Our policies reflect these realities.

We’ve given much thought to our stance on this content, as well as the potential effect our policy decision could have on our Merchants, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Sincerely,

The Google Shopping Team

© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Merchant Center account.
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This is a pity. I liked using Google Shopping to compare prices on gun-related products. Google now has a worse policy than ebay, which at least allows accessories. Shame on you Google.

UPDATE: I published this post a few hours ago and the search “5.56mm ammo” (as seen in the screenshot above) worked in Google Shopping. I now get “5.56mm ammo – did not match any shopping results”. It may still be working for some people, depending on which Google servers you are hitting

 

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A Memo to the President, Congress and the Supreme Court


I think it necessary and proper to offer a remedial course concerning how laws are passed in our Republic. This memo is addressed to our Federal government at large. I believe all Presidential candidates, Senatorial candidates, House of Representative candidates, and Supreme Court Justices should be required to attend a 6 month course on how a bill becomes a law.
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