Whoda Thunk It?

I would not be surprised to learn that Peppermint Psaki doesn’t know who Larry Summers is or how he warned about inflation last year.

A Modest Proposal

The idea of forgiving student loan debt keep resurfacing. I’m sure some folks think it’s a good idea, but is it fair? What about those of us who paid our tuition as we went along? Shouldn’t that be refunded to keep things fair?

Let’s see … I graduated from Vanderbilt in May, 1970, having spent $9600 on tuition. The legal rate of interest in Tennessee is 10 %, so [punches calculator buttons] I’d be due $1,364,000.

Seems fair to me.

A Return to Normalcy

That was Harding’s successful campaign slogan in 1920. He was running in a country turned upside-down by the Wilson’s wartime proto-Fascist government. Wilson, who was no friend of the Constitution, had stuck the government’s nose into too many corners of American life, and the people pushed back against his overreach.

I’ve been writing about the overreach the Democrats have been engaging in since the 2020 election. They’ve sought to impose abnormality on the public, and the public is starting to push back. And the trigger seems to have been what is happening to kids while they are in school.

Forced cosmetic masking and coverups of crimes against students were issues that swayed the election in Virginia last year. Racist propaganda in the form of so-called Critical Race Theory, inappropriate sexual topics in kindergarten, and hidden efforts to promote and enable “gender” transitions have sent parent lobbying at state legislatures this year.

For the most part, it seems their pushback is winning. Several states have outlawed teaching racism. This week, Florida passed a ban on inappropriate class related to sexuality.

Of course, the media and the Democrats (BIRM) are howling, and it looks as if many of them are willing to go into this November’s elections without letting go of their overreach.

Meanwhile, the public is beginning to notice that inflation is at its highest in over 40 years, that the world is tending toward WW3, and that they can’t afford to buy $55k EVs. Things are about to get uglier.

Stay tuned.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

I’m so old, I remember the last time the government admitted that the inflation rate was 7.5 %. Of course, they bragged about the rate having come down from a much higher peak back then. Today, the rate is on the way up.

The Gentle Reader may remember that I once said that Carter’s second term would be a best case scenario for the present administration. That was much too optimistic. We’re already in James Buchanan territory and rapidly headed downward.

Off-the-Shelf Solutions for a High-Class Problem

Folks at the Xiden White House have referred to inflation as a “high-class” problem. Now, when I took ECON 101 many decades ago, I was told that the cause of inflation was too much money chasing too few goods. Of course, the Build Back Better scam will pump even more fiat money into circulation, so that would suggest that inflation would accelerate even more if Xiden’s plan were to pass.

But what if all that money had no goods to chase after? Would that break the back of inflation? Is the supply chain disruption seen as so potentially beneficial by the people in the Administration that they’re willing to tolerate late delivery of their treadmills?

Or are they thinking at all?

Hmmmm.

Fiat Penuria

The Xiden Administration’s economic policies have resulted in the inflation rate rising to 6.8 percent for the 12 months ending this November. This has mostly been caused by executive actions such as the restrictions imposed on the oil and gas industries which turned America from a net exporter of energy products to a net importer.

But have no fear. This afternoon the President will sign another “executive
order on delivering the Government services and experience the American people expect and deserve.”

Fiat Penuria. Let there be scarcity.

Political Smash and Grab

The Democrats have managed to build a majority. However, it’s a majority of voters who oppose the Build Back Better tax-and-spend scam.

I’ve been writing since the first of the year about the Democrats’ panic resulting from their unexpectedly poor performance in the down-ballot races in 2020. With their prospects for 2022 looking even worse, the Democrats have tried and mostly failed to get as much of their wishlist passed before they lose control of both houses of Congress, and the Xiden Administration has promulgated a series of lawless regulations. Fortunately, the courts still seem to be in the business of upholding our laws and the Constitution.

At the state and local level, the Democrats’ overreach over the past two years on a range of issues from Covid lockdowns to school curricula been met with popular resistance.

Economic reality is beginning to set in, and Margret Thatcher’s Corollary to the Law of Thermodynamics (The problem with socialism is that it always runs out of other people’s money.) is at work.

Things are about to get even uglier. I expect a flurry of activity from the Democrats to grab as much as they can before they lose what control they still have. 2022 is going to be weird.

Chipping Away at the Supply Chain

Milton Friedman once remarked that if the government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, we would quickly have a shortage of sand. The looming supply problem for the electronics industry isn’t a sand shortage but one of silicon metal used to make semiconductors. SMM News is reporting that government imposed power restriction in China are adversely affecting silicon production.

The insufficient power supply will inevitably lead to a decline in the output in Q4. The impact of the dual control of energy consumption is more significant on the supply of silicon. The major silicon metal producing regions including Yunnan, Xinjiang, Sichuan will have to cut the production, where the silicon plants cannot maintain the normal production from September to November. The power shortage also restricts the production.

BTW, silicon isn’t rare; it’s the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust. Oh, and a vast array of products uses semiconductors. Even the toaster I bought last year uses an integrated circuit as the basis of its timer.

Taxing Unrealized Capital Gains

Lots of folks have seen the value of certain capital assets rise significantly over the past couple of years. One of the reasons my 401k has done so well is that several of the mutual funds in that portfolio have positions in companies such as Tesla, SpaceX, and Apple. I haven’t become a billionaire, but I’ve been along for the ride.

So now, the some of the more economically-challenged on the Left are proposing a “wealth tax” as a way of funding the Build Back Better scam. I saw a tweet this morning suggesting that because Elon Musk had seen his stock portfolio rise $36 billion recently, he should be hit with an $8 billion dollar tax bill. Musk seems to be a very savvy enough businessman. I doubt he keeps that kind of cash on hand. I’ll bet he’d have to sell a substantial part of his holdings in order pay up.

That leads to these questions—

If he dumped a large chunk his stock in companies like Tesla and SpaceX, wouldn’t that cause a drop in the prices of those stocks? Supply would suddenly exceed demand in the stock market. What could happen to my 401k? If it suffers an unrealized capital loss, should I get a tax rebate?

If he had to sell so much stock that he lost control of the companies, would the new owners keep him? If not, would they be as well run? Would the value of the holdings in my 401k be further depressed. How many jobs might be lost if the companies’ are as well run?

If destroying the businesses run by one of the richest men on the planet would only provide $8 billion (less than 0.25 % of the $3.5 trillion advertised price of Build Back Better), are the enough other fortunes that could be raped to fund the scam? And with so many business trashed and jobs lost, what would happen to income tax revenue?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Karmic Blues

Blue is in charge in Washington, and the world economy is feeling the effects of their … um … management. Slashdot reports that the one of the supply chain disruptions is a shortage of blue pigments.

Dutch paint maker Akzo is running out of ingredients to make some shades of blue, the latest fallout from the global supply-chain disruptions that are spreading across manufacturers.

Heh.