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The Book on Being Rich or Poor
27 Feb

To become rich, one does not need to be smart, or tough, or caring. One needn’t be honest, principled, or spiritual. Being cultured, humble, or impatient are not requirements either. You can be all of these things, none of these things or some of these things, and become rich. Becoming rich doesn’t even require having a good idea; as one can be born into money, born with fine athleticism, or be taken by the hand of an a rich person…..

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15 Feb

I recently watched much of Janet Yellen’s two-day interrogation by congress. She is the head of the Federal Reserve, a position that bestows her with oracular respect when the economy is good and besots her with derisive incompetence when the economy is bad. There was much fulminating by the representatives, our representatives, over a lack of wage growth for typical American in recent years (although the truth of this extends back to the 1980’s) and whether the Fed’s recent low…..

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Universal Basic Income (UBI)
16 Jan

The problems of unemployment and poverty have been around, to some degree, since the dawn of civilization. They seem to be intractable. Thankfully, efforts to solve them continue and recently, an idea has been gaining support that is intended to combat these very real economic concerns. This idea is called universal basic income, or sometimes simply basic income. It involves every individual of a nation receiving a sum of money that would suffice to fund their fundamental needs each and…..

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Fearful World (political junkie 2)
13 Dec

It was unnervingly beautiful today. The middle of December is just not supposed to be so warm. However, it made for a Winter day when friends could take advantage to enjoy being outside together.

One friend (a political junkie) asked me, out of the blue, how I felt about seeing people in burkas, eyes being the only clue to human presence inside it, walking in public? Could I imagine a circumstance where I’d be afraid? The questions startled me because…..

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Letter to a Co-worker (political junkie)
09 Dec

Dear Chris,

I feel lucky that we have been seated by our bosses in such a fashion that we have been able to get to know each other. So this letter, while direct, is being written from caring…

In our last conversation you spoke of states’ rights and how within each state, democracy, regardless of the will of the majority, should rule. You also stated a desire for our leaders to maintain the original thinking of the founding fathers. These…..

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The Refugees from Fear
21 Nov

A safe world is what we hope for every time a child is born. It’s what we want whenever a loved one steps outside. We all aspire to a safe life. We discuss it regularly with friends and even pray for it. But how much safety is enough? Can there even be too much of something that we so cherish?

The people expert in such matters know that when a speed limit is set on state highways, a certain number…..

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Arguing Wombs and Warming
29 Oct

 

Some who would deny women the choice to bring her fetus to term or not use science to prove that there’s a life inside the womb. They trumpet the beating heart and the fact that the fetus feels pain. They also earnestly state that with ever improving technologies and techniques, fetal life will become viable at an ever younger age., placing the logic of Roe V. Wade at risk. Science from this view is clearly the unborn’s best friend.

…..

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What the Heck is an “Unfettered No?”
20 Oct

In my book the “unfettered no” is the holy grail, the yardstick for measuring whether we have achieved a truly free market. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about or utter to ourselves the words “fair opportunity”—as in everyone deserves a fair shot at realizing the American dream. But fundamentally, for there to be economic freedom for all, one must always have a choice, in every transaction, including to participate or not in the competitive market at all……

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In the lazy hours before Sunday dinner…
06 Sep

I have no idea of what I’m going to eat tonight. I’ll probably go along with the type of food that the rest of my family wants. It’s easy, politically, emotionally, logistically, to go along with the crowd.

On Wall Street we counsel our clients to take the emotion out of investing.  There, sometimes what’s best isn’t easy. There, I’m wired to be logical, rational. For this reason—and as a dyed-in-the-wool, free-market-loving capitalist—I can’t figure out why we accept the reality…..

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Taxing Land is a Good Idea
20 Aug

There is an economically neutral tax. There is a tax that doesn’t have the effect of making you poorer than you should be or richer than you should be; but only one. My previous blog entry discussed one way in which taxing capital distorts the degree of our being poor or rich. It’s why taxing capital is a big mistake. However, the one tax that is economically neutral is a tax on the value of land. It is not a…..

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