Early warning signs that Mexico may follow Venezuela’s example?

American Thinker notes two worrying developments in Mexico. We try to stay in touch with Mexico.  This week, we saw a couple of articles that should worry the Mexican middle class. First, Presidente López-Obrador is making investors a bit weary, according to Richard Castillo via Pulse News Mexico: Fear does not ride on a burro; it flies at the speed of sound! And spreading fear of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) economic policies seems to be the leading reason that Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has slumped markedly to the point of reaching a minimal growth of 0.1 percent for the

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The “housing affordability crisis” is more a crisis of wasteful spending

According to Yahoo! News, the housing affordability crisis is spreading. What began on the coasts, in areas like New York and San Francisco, is now radiating into the nation’s heartland, as well as to cities from Las Vegas to Charleston, South Carolina. Entry-level buyers are scrambling to purchase homes that are in short supply, sending values soaring. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will reduce interest rates this week will do little to change the sober reality: For many, prices have risen much faster than incomes, pushing homeownership out of reach for a new generation of hopeful buyers. That’s cooling the market,

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It’s as if they can’t connect the dots

I’m puzzled by the lack of awareness shown by many business media and journalists in their reporting these days.  One will report on this aspect of industry, while another reports on that aspect;  but they’ll seldom make the mental connection (at least in their reporting), to point out that there’s a cause-and-effect relationship at work. Case in point:  the trucking industry.  There are many reports that, after a bumper 2018, it’s in the doldrums this year.  Here’s one example from Business Insider, earlier this year. Last year, retailer after retailer sounded the alarm on the rising costs of transportation — and how

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Quote of the day – Chicago pensions edition

Last Saturday I pointed out that my earlier predictions about Illinois and Chicago’s pension crisis were proving to be precisely as I’d forecast.  The city is seeking a state bailout of its untenable position.  If it succeeds, I’ll bet the state will seek a federal government bailout of its suddenly expanded pension obligations (which it already can’t afford). John Ruberry sums up the pensions plight of Chicago and Illinois in a single sentence: That’s like having Puerto Rico transferring its financial problems to Venezuela. Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Peter

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It’s never nice when friends fight . .

. . . even online friends and fellow bloggers;  but sometimes it happens. Borepatch argues that the War On Drugs is a colossal failure;  therefore, drugs should be legalized and regarded as a source of tax revenue. It’s way past time to declare victory and brings the troops home.  Legalize it all, tax it (use some of the revenue to fund treatment centers) and be done with it.  This sure isn’t working.  It’s  a stupid game and we shouldn’t play. There’s more at the link. Aesop responds in two articles with his usual acerbic, biting style, pointing out the many negatives associated with legalizing drugs. 

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I smell a rat (and a cheese)

I note that a new record has been set for the world’s most expensive cheese. An artisan blue cheese sold for over $16,000 at an auction in Spain, shattering the Guinness world record for the most “expensive cheese in history.” In August 2018, 15 different restaurateurs from across the country met for an auction of 5.78 pounds of Cabrales cheese from the Valfríu cheese factory — one of the strongest blue cheeses in the world, Guinness said in a Thursday press release. Attendees kept raising their bids during the seemingly endless gathering — until no one topped the $16,223.99 offer proposed by Iván Suárez,

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Why the national debt will cripple our economy

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve warned of the perils of debt in general, and the national debt (i.e. what the US government owes) in particular.  Deficit spending (the primary cause of the problem) is currently growing the national debt at almost $1 trillion per year, and it’s getting worse. Prager University has just published this video, setting out in plain and simple terms why this is unsustainable, and must be stopped.  I can’t recommend too strongly that you watch this all the way through, and then send the link to your family and friends.  Unless all Americans unite around this issue very soon,

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A self-centered, narcissistic, “I’m entitled!” whiner

Kim du Toit refers to some things as “RCOB moments”, meaning “Red Curtain of Blood”.  Something is so egregiously wrong, or stupid, or ridiculous, that one experiences a red curtain of blood over one’s vision as one instantly loses one’s temper.  Comprehensively. I had such a moment – several of them, in fact – while reading this article. I have $235,000 of student debt. The first $120,000 came with a bachelor’s degree from my state school. Another $70,000 or so came with my master’s degree. The remainder is accrued interest. . . . I would have to begin devoting half of my

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Why the concentration of wealth is so big a concern

A lot of people don’t seem to understand why the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands is a major economic concern.  I’ve heard several readers and/or commentators maintain that since a capitalist system “grows the pie“, anyone can make more money by being inventive or creative, or working hard;  therefore, since we’re not dealing with a finite pie size, it doesn’t matter if the rich become richer, because anyone else can, too. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. Regardless of the size of the economic pie at any moment in time, there are several primary functions of

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Mexico’s president meets reality, and doesn’t like it

Mexican President Lopez Obrador is apparently peeved with US President Trumpover the latter’s economic retaliation against Mexico for not stemming the tide of illegal alien border-jumpers. In a pointed letter released Thursday, López Obrador lashed out at Trump for what he described as the U.S. president’s “turning the United States, overnight, from a country of brotherly love for immigrants from around the world, to a bolted space, where there’s stigmatizing, mistreatment, abuse, persecution, and a denial of the right to justice to those who seek — with sacrifice and hard work — to live free from misery.” López Obrador said that

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