Corporate Taxes, Big Oil, Antitrust, Inflation and Political Misdirection

Try saying that fast three times.

Given high joblessness, too much debt, looming budget cuts, financial malfeasance and gas and food based inflation people are understandably angry and such anger is often not placed on the source of the problem thanks to political misdirection rather on the symptoms.

On the matter of oil related inflation many are of the opinion that “big oil” is gouging the populace a fear that is not unwarranted given Standard Oil’s market monopolization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Since this is an immigrant blog, before discussing high oil prices, I thought it might be helpful to discuss the past US history of market manipulation and antitrust laws that arose to address the issue.

 

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Bully – R Rated?

A great documentary which is causing controversy for the R rating it received by the MPAA opens today in theaters in limited release and unrated: “Bully”.

Movie critic Richard Corliss summarizes the film this way:

Lee Hirsch's documentary pries open a world of child abuse by other children: taunts and threats that can drive a victim to suicide. Bully is a documentary as vivid as any horror film, as heartbreaking as any Oscar-worthy drama. Alex Libby, a 12-year-old in Sioux City, Iowa, is a sweet, smart kid with a passing resemblance to a pre-teen David Letterman. His classmates call him Fish Face, and that’s when they’re being nice. On the school bus, the boy in the next seat tells him, “I will f—in’ end you, and stuff a broomstick up your ass.”

That last episode reminds me of my daughter’s school bus [...]

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Hiring the Fox to Fix the European Hen House Problem?

As I indicated in comments on a prior thread the current global financial woes have been caused by bankers via action and the limiting and repeal of sound regulation.

Rolling Stone wrote a very telling article describing how Goldman Sachs has had their hand in the genesis of many if not all of the bubbles of the past 20 years.  To be certain many others participated as well – other banks, people, politicians, etc.

At its core the global financial crisis has been created by unsound banking practices such as derivatives, commodities price manipulation, cheap money + related un-creditworthy mortgages and above all too much debt.

The prescribed and undergoing fix to all of this is a lot more debt and continued unsound banking practices the focus of which is to try to inflate one’s way out of the problem something discussed in [...]

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Romneycare for all – how will the Republican Supreme court rule?

Medical students show their support for Obama's healthcare law in Washington

Sure, they call it Obamacare. But he borrowed the idea from Romney’s healthcare law in Massachusetts, so let’s honor the original inventor of this law at least while the law is being disputed. Once it is the law of the country and expanded to the whole 50 states, I will proudly call it Obamacare, even prouder if they add the Public Option to it.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents marched today outside the white-marble building across from the U.S. Capitol. The first picture (courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Reed) shows Medical students showing their support for U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

The second picture (courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Reed) shows a very upset Tea Party protester against U.S. President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act who tries to block a supporter of the act (Click to maximize picture). I understand the smile of the pretty young lady [...]

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Miami Welcomes Brazilian Invasion

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? (PART II)

Upon my return to Miami from Brazil on March 13th, something very strange happened. The next day, while I was out running errands and doing the customary grocery shopping after being away for over a month, I had a Twilight Zone moment. As I pushed my cart from isle to isle, checking my list for all the items I needed, I kept hearing people speak Portuguese. For a minute there I felt confused and even dizzy. Then I started questioning my own sanity! Was I really on that flight? Or was it just the lingering effects of a really bad jetlag? But to my temporary relief there it was, written in large green letters: PUBLIX.

When I came home still feeling a bit discombobulated, I started opening my mail and found an article my father [...]

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Immigration, Economics and Politics

As in any election year politicians pander to their support bases and there has been a lot of chatter about immigrants being a great source of problems.

For example, Romney got up on high horse the other day about self deportation and I think this article in Fox Latino did a pretty good job of unhorsing his argument so to speak.

This being said I hold that we cannot allow immigrants to enter the US without limits due to the social costs and because there is a small, but growing segment of that demographic that goes right onto welfare without working.

It’s important to remember that before the 1930s neither Americans nor immigrants had any benefits and therefore mass waves of immigration did not cost the US much money rather helped build the country via low cost labor.

I’m not suggesting that we go [...]

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Silly Wabbit, Etch-A-Sketchs Are For Grownups Running For President

mittromneysketch2

Apparently Romney’s magic underwear comes with a campaign “reset” button. His spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom says come Fall, everything changes. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again,” said Eric and we'll forget all the crazy stuff Romney's said. But Eric forgets the Internet doesn’t have memory lapses.

I don’t think these fools (I’m referring to the GOP Primary candidates, but it’ll hold true for Dems candidates as well) understand the Internet does not facilitate the “I’ll walk it back if and when the moderates catch on” routine. It’s time we stop having memory lapses and remember that candidates, by pandering to the extremists, don’t allow us to get to know what they truly stand for. Am I supposed to forget Romney is not concerned with the poor or that he’ll defund Planned Parenthood? No. I wasn’t going [...]

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The Brown and Beer Thing is Such Bushit

Over the weekend I watched Limitless. I thought it was an okay movie that it left me melancholic for all those little tidbits of information which are misfiled in the labyrinth that’s my brain. And then I heard that Scott Brown is a likeable guy. “A guy you would love to have a beer with.” And I thought; “tidbit! Where have I heard that before?”

BUSHit!—Gesundheit.

George W. Bush is also another guy who won the hearts, minds and unfortunately votes of those who pick their leaders according to their beer face. And we all know where that got us. Why is a beer face mistaken for charisma for these people? If I went with this notion, I’d be looking for Justin Timberlake or DJ Pauly D to run for public office.

Am I misunderstanding this? Do I have to replace “beer” with “wine” or [...]

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The Iranian Dilemma

There’s lots of talk about attacking Iran and while some support such action and I think with far too much enthusiasm many are indifferent or against it.

Before offering an opinion on the matter I think it’s worth analyzing the situation.

Persian Gulf Oil Overview

Whatever action is taken or not there is no easy or clear decision on this matter.

Economically in 2011, 17 million barrels of oil per day were shipped through the Strait of Hormuz and with global output at 88 million barrels per day this represents roughly 20% of daily global output.

(See US Energy Information Administration)

Additional oil from the region travels by pipeline to the Red Sea, Turkey and within the UAE to the other side of the Strait.

Around 10% of US oil consumption is supplied by the Persian Gulf

This represented 16.4% of our [...]

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Is Human Behavior Akin to a Sine Wave the Volatility of which Determines our Future?

Is human behavior like a sine wave whereby the greater the volatility the less the stability?

 

If so then very little volatility would result in more stability, but with too little to no volatility then pretty much no change happens – probably not a good thing.

 

Very high volatility is representative of the past 30 years where we seem to be in a never ending boom to bust cycle.  This is extremely injurious to many and when not curbed will certainly lead to bad war and perhaps collapse of the entire system.

 

On the flip side, low to flat volatility is probably what occurred during a period like the dark ages – very little change or innovation, which I do not think lends itself to growth or advancement of our species.

 

This begs the question is if there is a moderate [...]

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