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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The dollar, less almighty: Big investors see possible long-term currency weakness

The Washington Post: “I would recommend against buying long-term fixed-dollar investments,” Buffett said at a public appearance in New Delhi.

via Newsalert.

Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend


America’s Ever Expanding Welfare Empire

Forbes: "Of course, the big picture comprises the entire scope of entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. Social Security spending for 2010 was $721.5 billion, with Medicare spending totaling $457 billion for the year, for a combined total of $1.179 trillion. Adding in federal welfare spending for the year leaves a combined total for entitlement spending of $1.879 trillion. The total federal budget for that year was 3.720 trillion. So entitlement/welfare state spending overall for that year was just over 50% of the entire budget. Not exactly stingy."

Ryan’s budget only slows the growth of this welfare/entitlement empire. 

MUST READ! Steyn: The Disappearing Dollar

Mark Steyn on the devaluation of the dollar and the consequences when it's no longer the world's reserve currency.

"What will America look like without the dollar as global currency? My old boss Conrad Black recently characterized what’s happened over the last half-century as a synchronized group devaluation by Western currencies. That’s a useful way of looking at it. What obscured it was the dollar’s global role. When the dollar’s role is ended, the reality of a comatose “superpower” living off a fifth of a billion in borrowed dollars every single hour of the day is harder to obscure."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Obama’s spray-on hair of fiscal policy

Dr. MIlton Wolf:  It has become increasingly obvious that to balance America’s national budget, we must cut spending and optimize tax revenues. The challenge is to find the tax rate that will best yield the necessary revenue. Consider these obvious scenarios: A tax rate of zero percent would yield zero in revenues, while a tax rate of 100 percent would also yield zero in revenues because no one would work for nothing. Americans aren’t stupid. Clearly, then, simply increasing tax rates will not always increase revenues.

Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves

This should be a boon for divorce lawyers:  ...your iPhone, and your 3G iPad, is regularly recording the position of your device into a hidden file. Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We're not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it's clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.

$6 Gas? Could Happen if Dollar Keeps Getting Weaker

CNBC: "All we have to have is a couple badly placed hurricanes which could constrain some of the refinery output capacity in some key locations," says Richard Hastings, strategist at Global Hunter Securities in Charlotte, N.C. "If you get weakness in the dollar concurrent with the strong driving season concurrent with the impact of one or two hurricanes in the wrong place, prices could go up in a quasi-exponential manner."

Using a model that combines "subtle rates of change" with movements in the dollar index [.DXY  74.11    -0.26  (-0.36%)   ] and commodity prices, Hastings figures the low dollar is responsible for about one-third, or $1.31, of the total gas-at-the-pump cost.

Monday, April 18, 2011

There should be a ‘Regulation Day’ to Remind Us How Much They Cost

At The Corner:  "Regulations cost $1.75 trillion in compliance costs, according to the Small Business Administration. That’s greater than the record federal budget deficit — projected at $1.48 trillion for FY 2011 — and greater even than all corporate pretax profits. This is only one of many findings of the new edition of Wayne’s “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” a survey of the cost and compliance burden imposed by federal regulations."


Radial Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt

Are you shocked? 

Telegraph:  The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.

Gov’t handouts exceed taxes as % of income for first time since 1936

HotAir has comments and links.

"For the first time in 72 years, the percentage of average household income supplied by the government exceeded that of the taxes paid to the government."