Friday, January 31, 2014

file taxes online. Sunny bright on cold days.

I just filed taxes electronically before a crook can file for me and
claim my refund. I use a different online service each year. They all
seem good so far. Use the links from your state's website to make sure
to pick a service that can do your state. Some people can file free in
some states.
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/2014-Tax-Season-to-Open-Jan.-31;-efile-and-Free-File-Can-Speed-Refunds

I my go somewhere tomorrow. Our recent weather gyrating between 70 and
below zero shows me that I could enjoy living farther north. Below
freezing all day is ok -- kills germs. Moisture freezes and falls out
of the air, so humidity is zero. Cold is usually sunny -- it gets cold
because of no clouds so temp radiates off into space. No ice to slip
on. Winter is beautiful and very little snow around here. Can see more
because not so many leaves. Sun and beaches is nice healthy too.
Minnesota and Hawaii are the two healthiest states. Global warming
suggests to move north. Minnesota and Massachusetts are the best
educated. Minnesota has a strong economy and the most blondes. Florida
and Texas are sunny and zero income tax. Missouri, once the largest
territory owned by the USA, is sort of in the "middle"

Bullshit shared Salt Lake Tribune

Cause cancer in kids.

Huge waste of tax money.

Check out this article from the Salt Lake Tribune:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/57474781-90/development-devices-education-familiar.html.csp

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nuke missile drug cheat scandal

I seriously considered a career in missile launch when I was in the Air Force.  Sitting in a missile silo with finger on the trigger knowing you are the #1 target to be eliminated first strike in a nuclear war. 

I never heard of anything like this. 

Is Ms. James up to the task of leadership?

Affirmative action for pot smokers?

What is going on in the military these days?

---


The cheating came to light during an inquiry into illegal drug possession, when investigators discovered that test answers were being sent in text messages to the missile launch officers' cellphones.

The cheating is only the latest in a series of scandals for the Air Force, but is particularly alarming

. "You know what the bumper sticker says, 'one nuclear weapon can ruin your whole day,' " 

http://nyti.ms/1fryaoo

NYTimes: 92 Air Force Officers Suspended for Cheating on Their Missile Exam

Air Force officials say they have retested about 500 launch officers at the nation's three bases that oversee the country's arsenal of 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and that all but 22 of them passed.

Get rich by borrowing from bankers.

You too can get some Wall Street financing to invest profitably and become rich 1% by renting to poor deflated addicts living in government financed housing. Easy "work". The losers are addicts on junk food stamps Obamacare housing etc. And taxpayers. Your business expenses are deductible padded fun. How rich avoid taxes legally and grow the economy by putting poor sots illegals in deluxe abodes. 

Good article by NY Times. Full article on their site. 

http://nyti.ms/1ka2u81

NYTimes: Wall Street's New Housing Bonanza

Banks have begun selling bonds backed by foreclosed homes turned into rentals in the United States, bringing calls for Congress to look into the deals.

Wall Street's latest trillion-dollar idea involves slicing and dicing debt tied to single-family homes and selling the bonds to investors around the world.

That might sound a lot like the activities that at one point set off a global financial crisis. But there is a twist this time. 

Investment bankers and lawyers are now lining up to finance investors, from big private equity firms to plumbers and dentists moonlighting as landlords, who are buying up foreclosed houses and renting them out.

The latest company to test this emerging frontier in securitization is American Homes 4 Rent. The company talked to prospective investors at a conference in Las Vegas last week about selling securities tied to $500 million of debt

American Homes 4 Rent, which went public in August, has tapped JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo as its bankers for a debt deal


MINH UONG/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Re: Schiff.... Eureka - cleverly concealed statistics emerge from hiding!

Bob,

It is the duty of all researchers to provide correct cites and links.
Schiff did not do that, so toss it immediately and move on to another
author. He is just laying a trail of fodder for sheeple as he leads them
to slaughter to the tune of $50,000 or $250,000 depending on which
program you want to donate money to. One reason bankers make so much
money is that sheeple really get suckered into deals by slick talking
salesmen and those same sheeple often can't do much math. Humans are
wired for social interactions. They get influenced by hair styles, tone
of voice, accents, etc. I don't watch TV or Radio except when in the
weight room I put on CNBC etc. Try to focus on facts, dry analysis, not
personalities. Hard to do.

I think the census document you found is an antique. I have spent weeks
looking through a later big fat hardbound two volume set of books and
typing numbers into the computer from those pages around 1980-1989 and
trying to make sense of the numbers. I think I was looking at the 1975
200th anniversary edition while the latest is available for $1200 at
http://www.amazon.com/The-Historical-Statistics-United-States/dp/0521817919

My work was probably the first and best at the time (including CAPM,
GARCH, etc.) but I dropped it completely (to focus on second by second
real time derivatives trading.) There were several dozen useful books on
the subject, by now many more. There are also now some good professional
data services (expensive) such as Ibbotson at Yale, and dozens maybe
hundreds of useful articles. Unfortunately almost all the good reading
is on paper and expensive or hidden behind online pay walls. I would
find a Phd program on the subject that has all the right books, articles
organized in the library for you and prepare to waste several years.

By consulting these sources of information you will probably see why I
gave up on the project as not being as useful as other databases for
investments -- boring and not useful. It is simple bean counting for
those who cannot do derivatives mathematics and powerful computers. I
can see why history Phds might want to look at this historical data, but
it is not very useful for them either. There is increasingly better data
and problems to work on.

Investor wannabes should first get the appropriate degrees and then read
the many readily available professional materials before reading ads,
blogs, and biased or hysterical or political propaganda. I look at a lot
of this junk since age 4 because journalism is my family's business. I
don't know many professionals who pay much attention to any of this junk
except to scan the headlines and see names of who is doing what in case
nobody told them yet. Most TV and other journalism is just fluff to lure
in investors, but sort of fun.

Get a Bloomberg terminal and real computer data feeds and databases
http://www.bloomberg.com/professional/systems-support/hardware/

It is easy to make $1,000,000 per year trading futures and options
without looking at any data before 2000 or any money supply or inflation
or federal reserve data or much news (it maybe can help give you an edge
though). With the right computer and math tools. The farther back in
history you go the more irrelevant the data will become -- may cause you
to lose money. Financial derivatives did not even take off until the
1980s which is when I moved in that direction. Toss any data before
then. A lot of good books at: http://finmath.com/

Bob wrote:
>
> Joe, it's just not /like/ you to give up so easy, saying you couldn't
> find the statistics that far back, or that maybe they don't exist.
> You're a good teacher, I will say, because you forced me to look it up
> myself, which is something I often do with my students too. It looks
> like that elusive "statistical abstract"/is/ available after all, at
> http://www2.census.gov/prod2/statcomp/documents/HistoricalStatisticsoftheUnitedStates1789-1945.pdf
> and it does indeed go back to 1800 but… it totals 372 pages. Joe,
> you're better at digesting that stuff so why don't you have a look at
> it and get back to me?? It /was/ a URL cite that you felt was lacking,
> right?
>
> Actually, though, there's more good news. The Minnesota Fed (that you
> so often cite) takes /that/ data from Commerce and converts it to one
> that's much easier to read here at
> http://www.minneapolisfed.org/community_education/teacher/calc/hist1800.cfm,
> but then you already knew that, right? It's a long vertical table that
> would fit poorly in email but the numbers don't lie. And yes, I can
> see why the Fed would not want those numbers to be readily available
> to the public – I wouldn't either, if I were a Bankster.
>
> From 1800 to 1913 it shows the slow, steady decline in prices
> (resulting from increased productivity) proving */deflation /*to be
> the rule, as Schiff points out in his article. Then watch prices take
> off /after/ 1913, when the Federal Reserve starts printing, going
> exponential by the 70's, when America leaves the gold standard. >From
> 1913 to 2013 the "average price" *(/per the Fed definition/*/!)/ does
> indeed increase by 2280%, precisely as Mr. Schiff cited. To me, it is
> amazing (but still expected) to see what happens when a central bank
> takes over and goes to pure fiat money! Perhaps Einstein's remark on
> "the power of compound interest" was more than just a quip.
>
> Joe, I think Mr. Schiff would probably like to thank/you/ for
> making/his /point but I gotta ask, how did his $50,000 offer become
> $250,000 in /your/ explanation? Are /you/ fudging figures again? Like
> our Bankster Overlords? Don't worry, Joe, you and I can't be
> victimized any more than we already are by our own Central Bank.
>
> BB
>
> Bob,
>
> He does not cite anything. He is just stringing together words to
> stampede gullible sheeple into giving him $250,000. As you learned in
> high school a citation must contain publisher, date, page, etc. Online
> cites are the URL link. The Statistical Abstract is online at
> http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/12statab/prices.pdf
>
> where on page it takes CPI back to 1950 not the 1800s he discusses.
> The Department of Commerce was not even organized until 1913. He needs
> to explain his data sources and calculations if there are any.
> Probably just total bullshit, spinning fiction to stampede gullible
> sheeple.
>
> A fool is soon separated from his money. If this is all that takes to
> get an "investor's" $250,000 then they deserve to lose it. Try getting
> audited statements of what past investors won or lost by gambling on
> those funds. Bad managers like dumb sheeple who cannot figure out how
> to compute inflation or investment returns because even if they lose
> half their investment the sheeple may still think they made money.
> What a racket! Been going on for centuries.
>
> There are thousands of potential investments. Don't waste time on junk.
>
> It took me a few seconds to see the flashing red stop signs on this one.
>
> wikipedia, google, and major news media are good for spotting the
> hominems to avoid. Don't waste time reading anything by bad or suspect
> hominems.
>
> Don't read anything on the internet. Get the actual paper publications.
>
> It is essential to be able to determine if you are reading ads, pure
> junk, fiction, or science. Takes practice. Wannabes need to get at
> least a degree in finance, investments, CPA, CFA, or Actuary studies
> before trying to become investors. It is not a walk in the park. Takes
> work but reduces the chance you will be victimized by investment scams.
>

Healthy. Raw Milk Sales on the Rise -- No Illness Seen

+
 

Raw Milk on the Rise -- No Illness Seen

January 28, 2014 | 10,521 views
Raw Milk

Story at-a-glance+

By Dr. Mercola

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) commonly warns against drinking raw milk, citing numerous "outbreaks" linked to the product.

But drinking raw milk produced by grass-fed cows from clean, well-run farms is actually far LESS dangerous than drinking pasteurized milk. In fact, not only does raw milk contain good bacteria that are essential for a healthy digestive system, raw milk also offers protection against disease-causing bacteria.

CDC data show there are about 412 confirmed cases of people getting ill from pasteurized milk each year, while only about 116 illnesses a year are linked to raw milk.1 Eventually, as the numbers of raw milk dairies increase, and so too do their happy customers, the CDC may be forced to change its tune.

No Illnesses Linked to Raw Milk in Arkansas

Last year, Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe signed into law HB 1536, which legalized the sale of locally produced raw milk from the farm. Four months after the bill took effect, as of January 20, no illnesses have been caused as a result of this increase in raw milk sales. According to Arkansas Online:2

"Four months after a state law took effect allowing the sale of unpasteurized milk, the Arkansas Health Department has yet to identify an illness 'definitively linked' to consuming the beverage."

The new bill impacts both cow and goat milk. Previously, Arkansas allowed farmers to sell up to 100 gallons of raw goat milk per month at the farm, but HB 1536 will increase that to 500 gallons. Additionally, raw cow's milk is now also allowed


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/28/drinking-raw-milk.aspx?e_cid=20140128Z1_DNL_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20140128Z1&et_cid=66915186&et_rid=411154900

Monday, January 27, 2014

70 fall to 0 degrees. Move south for health or north for wealth?

Alan,

We were sunny up near 70 degrees yesterday. Today it felt like zero and
cloudy but I had a nice walk. I feel more vigorous in colder weather.
32 degrees is best for intense exercise to prevent overheating. Windy 0
need to cover exposed flesh.

I will probably move south, and may drive down to Florida soon to
investigate the space coast beach Orlando area. I have never been to
the southeast. Many of those states have unhealthy populations and less
education.

I need access to a university to help resolve many interesting questions
on biochemistry and health, among other fields. I also want to live
where I do not have to drive at all. My big project this year is
getting rid of everything possible to make moving easy and to reduce my
square foot requirements. And massive time waste to manage those. Still
over a ton of papers and books after shedding several tons. Scan into
computer and the cloud. Clean up my iMac too by deleting junk.

My reading indicates many health benefits from sunlight. For example
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_sun_exposure#Sun_exposure_and_survival_from_malignant_melanoma

all measures of sun exposure (history of severe sunburn, high levels of
intermittent sun exposure) were associated with improved survival from
melanoma

Hawaii is good but high tax, expensive, poor business and university
environment. I got out of shape and soft in Hawaii despite walking 12
hours per day. I ate a lot of croissants and jelly causing weight gain
around my waist. I also drank a lot of very good coffee but that
interfered with my sleep. I did not sleep at all on the return night so
awake 40 hours. Then slept too much. Bad for immune system so I got
the flu. 1 vacation ruined nearly 2 months. I don't like vacations or
travel. Lived out of a suitcase most of my adult life, like homeless
(over 50 homes by now). Ate mostly in restaurants, unhealthy stuff.
Nibbled on raw fruits, nuts, vegetables, and dry cereals at home. I
have had far too much stress and poor health habits. Sitting is bad for
health. Computers and delicate math problems require too much sitting.
I am surprised I am still alive.

I learned the concept of over-training. I usually over-train. Body
must have time to recover or you will go backwards. Now I am in danger
of under-training and getting out of shape. Cold snow wet days I do
little. In the past I always exercise a lot no matter how bad the
weather. Will see if I make progress on very hard exercises while doing
much less. Saves time too. Cool climates often have better economies
because people stay indoors and work instead of going to the beach. Or
something else. Why is Minnesota so much healthier and better educated
than Arkansas despite much colder weather? Epidemiology Economic
Geography is interesting.

I just ordered a set of gymnastics rings to help do more kinds of arm
exercises. Those will be an easy test as to whether I am making
progress or not. At my age I should be happy to stay constant but I
will push to do some hard stunts.

I read that aerobics require an equal amount of anaerobic biochemical
processes to prepare the substrates that will be burned by aerobics. So
all exercise is equally aerobic and anaerobic.

I bought 3 bottles of black walnut oil for the better Omega 3 fat ratio.
I gathered a bag of black walnuts but too much work to crack them.
Hunting, fishing and gathering diets are hard nowadays for modern
people. I found some classes and books on healthy organic edibles
growing all around me. But do I have time to learn all this?

http://www.amazon.com/Pure-Black-Walnut-Oil-ounce/dp/B007MY63T4

Stock Bond funds boom stop? PIMCO rats leaving a sinking ship? Poor still deflated?

Dear Professor Kaufman,

I attach charts on S&P500 and Corporate Bond Total Return indexes
showing very strong performance since the 1980s.

Bonds jumped from below 400 to nearly 3200 since 1987 an eight-fold
increase for a per annum return of 8% ln(8)/(2013-1987)

S&P500 jumped from 200 to 1600 over the same time period also an
eight-fold increase. (Not including dividends that would push stock
returns higher than bonds)

Interest rates are stuck at historically low rates near zero, probably
due to QE stimulus measures of the Federal Reserve board. If interest
rates go higher then that should clobber Stocks and Bonds via the
discounted present value formula. QE was recently reduced, so maybe
that is why Stocks and Bonds prices are falling back somewhat? Maybe
more declines to come? Is that why El-Erian left Pimco? He sees
problems ahead so wanted to get out before the crash so his reputation
will not be damaged? Will he be the first Egyptian California Governor?

Seems that the Bernanke QE stimulus boosted rich people's stock and bond
portfolio but did little for poor and middle class people's pocket books
so they could not spend much money on products so inflation rates were
held low, as shown by the CPI chart attached. CPI inflation remains
very low by historical standards, like interest rates. How can the
Bernanke policy be called stimulative with such low CPI inflation rate?

Could Bernanke have come up with a better stimulus policy that benefited
poor and middle class people so they could afford to buy more and push
up the inflation rate? Do you think Yellen will be more capable of
causing inflation? Obama is complaining about increasing inequality but
hasn't he been in charge since 2008 when much of these deflationary
policies have been going on? Aren't Obama and Bernanke part of the
problem, not the solution? That is inflating rich people's portfolios
while deflating people so CPI gets deflated.


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303802904579335040395215958

Mr. El-Erian, 55 years old, will leave in mid-March after seven years at
the helm of the Newport Beach, Calif., firm, which manages $2 trillion
as a largely autonomous unit of German insurer Allianz

Pimco's effort to build a stock-fund business, launched under Mr.
El-Erian, has faltered

Pimco Total Return Fund suffered industry-record outflows in 2013, when
stocks posted their biggest gains in over a decade.

Investors yanked a net $41.1 billion from the Total Return fund in 2013, and

Pimco's U.S.-listed mutual funds suffered $30.4 billion in withdrawals,
their first since at least 1993.

"Equities seems to have been the area where [Pimco] has been behind
competitors,''

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-el-erian-pimco-20140122,0,5385394.story

El-Erian unexpectedly announced his resignation as CEO.

Pimco offered no explanation for the departure, sparking conjecture on
Wall Street about whether the current challenges at the investment giant
played a role.

"He was doing CNBC and Bloomberg and all the editorials to make him so
prominent — and then, poof," "To see him leave is so shocking. There
was no prelude to this."

Pacific Investment Management Co. rode the decades-long surge in bonds
to become a Wall Street colossus. The company manages $2 trillion in
assets, including the savings of millions of individual investors in
401(k) retirement plans

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Deep Freeze in Midwest, Northeast to Be Prolonged

60s today but cold coming back. Drought in California is caused by the
same weather pattern. May flip back to normal any day.

I may disappear to Florida for a couple of weeks. I find 0 is not bad
around here. Lots of bright sun at this low latitude (like Bakersfield
Santa Barbara). Sweatshirt with parka + sweat pants wrapped in nylon
shell is all I need to not get cold at all. I have lived in much
colder. I could easily take Minneapolis -- dry sunny winters, even
though very cold. However my reading and experience suggests many
benefits from sun and beaches so it is worth exploring options. I will
write a longer letter on the benefits of sunshine and sunny southern
latitudes like where I lived ages 0-13 and went to college in San
Diego. Careful personal observations in addition to science reading.

> http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/dangerous-cold-returns-to-ling/22351937
> you just might escape the cold this time ! Lucky ! We, out West, have
> the drought to worry about ! Spring-like weather.
>
>

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Libertarian Republicans?

Republicans need a candidate and new ideas. 

New York times long article is favourable. 

http://nyti.ms/1e4Y154

NYTimes: Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance

As Rand Paul tries to broaden his appeal, he is also trying to take libertarianism, an ideology long on the fringes of American politics, into the mainstream.

off to an exclusive resort on Mackinac Island where he talked about the future of the party. in the company of Karl Rove and other power brokers, and his audience was of Republican stalwarts who were sizing up possible presidential candidates.

As Rand Paul tries to broaden his appeal


Crooked doctors. $6B lost medicare

Federal officials estimate that 10 percent of payments in the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program are improper. That would suggest at least $6 billion a year in improper payments under Medicare's physician fee schedule.

Malcolm K. Sparrow, a Harvard professor and an expert on health care fraud, has said the losses could be greater because the official statistics "fail to accurately capture fraud rates" in Medicare.

http://nyti.ms/1e4OsDm

NYTimes: Doctors Abusing Medicare Face Fines and Expulsion

The Obama administration is cracking down on doctors who repeatedly overcharge Medicare patients; the government may even disclose how much individual physicians are paid for treating Medicare patients.

USA benefit from tighter money

An array of United States economic data has continued to point to an economic recovery that is gaining strength and could actually benefit if investors are looking for somewhere to put money that was previously in developing countries.


http://nyti.ms/1jJByvC

NYTimes: Economic Shifts in U.S. and China Batter Markets

With China's rise and the Federal Reserve's economic action both in retreat, investors have been heading for the exits in markets as far removed as Buenos Aires, Istanbul and Beijing, with effects spilling over into the rest of the world.

Health effects of sun exposure

 Season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, and sunscreen are among the factors that affect UV radiationexposure and vitamin D synthesis.[10] The UV energy above 42 degrees north latitude (a line approximately between the northern border of California and Boston) is insufficient for cutaneous vitamin D synthesis from November through February;[11] in far northern latitudes, this reduced intensity lasts for up to 6 months. In the United States, latitudes below 34 degrees north (a line between Los Angeles and Columbia, South Carolina) allow for cutaneous production of vitamin D throughout the year.

DNA errors. FBI database

:Dan Krane, a biology professor at Wright State University, said the disclosure was the government's clearest acknowledgment to date that "there are mistakes in that database."

The mistakes were discovered in July, when the FBI, using improved software, broadened the search parameters used to detect matches. The change, one FBI scientist said, was like upgrading or refining "a spell-check." In 166 instances, the new search found DNA profiles in the database that were almost identical but conflicted at a single point.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57446470-68/dna-errors-profiles-cases.html.csp

Friday, January 24, 2014

Schiff, UCB investment schemes, Re: Deflation myth (before and after Central Banking)

Bob,

I will not be sending Mr. Schiff $50,000 his minimum required investment
in "Euro Pacific Capital" in the Connecticut Hedge Fund center.
http://www.europac.net/services/wealth_management

You can see from the title and first paragraph that he is targeting
emotion -- "ogre, clear and present danger, stalking, global warming,
peak oil, Arab Spring, Miley Cyrus, nuclear Iran, Obamacare, horror,
deflation, basement" he hits all the buttons, so no no need to read
further.

If you do read further you will find no mathematics, no graphs, not even
a table of numbers, or where those numbers might be, or any footnotes to
scientific literature that might support to what he is saying.

Such blogs are designed for the gullible, and best avoided. They are
free and worth what you pay for them. Sales pitches. You can find
better free entertainment on Youtube that is not trying to separate you
from your money. The only way they can stay in business is from
constant infusions of cash from outside investors. Hence the
proliferation of investment blogs, pie in the sky, get rich schemes
trying to herd investors into plunking down money.

If you want to gamble, I recommend Tahoe Reno Vegas where you can get
free drinks while losing money.

If you want to learn finance, follow Schiff's footsteps to Beverly Hills
High School and UC Berkeley to learn how to fleece the sheeple without
third party published audits on investment performance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Schiff
*graduated from theUniversity of California, Berkeley
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_California,_Berkeley>in 1987
with a BS in Accounting and Finance*

which beats his father's racket where followers not only lost money but
went to jail
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Schiff
Schiff is serving a 13-plus year sentence for tax crimes with his
location listed as the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Worth,
Texas. Schiff has a web site named "PayNoIncomeTax.com" which has
previously offered his various books for sale. He is featured in
Hollywood producer Aaron Russo's 2006 film America: Freedom To Fascism.
In this last case Schiff's attorneys again asked that the court consider
the claim that Schiff has a mental disorder relating to his beliefs
about taxes. Schiff had attempted to evade the payment of over $2
million in taxes from 1979 through 1985 and that he had used offshore
bank accounts using multiple tax identification numbers and had
attempted to hide assets in connection with his tax protester related
activity. Other individuals who have been convicted of federal tax
crimes after following Irwin Schiff include Warren J. Burdett;
Christopher and Pamela Harrison; Scott D. Haynes; Kenneth Heath; Joseph
Letscher; David Middleton; Robert L. Mosel; James C. Payne; David G.
Pflum; and Steven A. Swan.
>
>
> The "Deflation Is An Ogre" Myth
>
> /by Peter Schiff via Euro Pacific Capital
> <http://www.europac.net/commentaries/deflation_menace>,/
>
> Dedicated readers of The Wall Street Journal have recently been
> offered many *dire warnings about a clear and present danger that is
> stalking the global economy*. They are not referring to a possible
> looming stock or real estate bubble (which you can find more on in my
> latest newsletter <http://www.europac.net/global_investor>). Nor are
> they talking about other usual suspects such as global warming, peak
> oil, the Arab Spring, sovereign defaults, the breakup of the euro,
> Miley Cyrus, a nuclear Iran, or Obamacare. Instead they are*warning
> about the horror that could result from falling prices, otherwise
> known as deflation*. Get the kids into the basement Mom... they just
> marked down Cheerios!
>
> In order to justify our current monetary and fiscal policies, in which
> governments refuse to reign in runaway deficits while central banks
> furiously expand the money supply, *economists must convince us that
> inflation, which results in rising prices, is vital for economic growth*.
>
> *Simultaneously they make the case that falling prices are bad.* This
> is a difficult proposition to make because most people have long
> suspected that inflation is a sign of economic distress and that high
> prices qualify as a problem not a solution. But the absurdity of the
> position has not stopped our top economists, and their acolytes in the
> media, from making the case.
>
> A January 5th article in The Wall Street Journal described the
> economic situation in Europe by saying "Anxieties are rising in the
> euro zone that deflation-the phenomenon of persistent falling prices
> across the economy that blighted the lives of millions in the
> 1930s-may be starting to take root as it did in Japan in the
> mid-1990s." Really, blighted the lives of millions? *When was the last
> time you were "blighted" by a store's mark down?*If you own a
> business, are you "blighted" when your suppliers drop their prices?
> Read more about Europe's economy in my latest newsletter
> <http://www.europac.net/global_investor>.
>
> The Journal is *advancing a classic "wet sidewalks cause rain"
> argument, confusing and inverting cause and effect.* It suggests that
> falling prices caused the Great Depression and in turn the widespread
> consumer suffering that went along with it. But this puts the cart way
> in front of the horse. The Great Depression was triggered by the
> bursting of a speculative bubble (resulted from too much easy money in
> the latter half of the 1920s). The resulting economic contraction,
> prolonged unnecessarily by the anti-market policies of Hoover and
> Roosevelt, was part of a necessary re-balancing. *A bad economy
> encourages people to reduce current consumption and save for the
> future. The resulting drop in demand brings down prices.*
>
> *But lower prices function as a counterweight to a contracting economy
> by cushioning the blow of the downturn. I would argue that those who
> lived through the Great Depression were grateful that they were able
> to buy more with what little money they had*. Imagine how much worse
> it would have been if they had to contend with rising consumer prices
> as well. Consumers always want to buy, but sometimes they forego or
> defer purchases because they can't afford a desired good or
> service. Higher prices will only compound the problem. It may surprise
> many Nobel Prize-winning economists, but discounts often motivate
> consumers to buy - -try the experiment yourself the next time you walk
> past the sale rack.
>
> *Economists will argue that expectations for future prices are a much
> bigger motivation than current prices themselves. But those economists
> concerned with deflation expect there to be, at most, a one or two
> percent decrease in prices. *Can consumers be expected not to buy
> something today because they expect it to be one percent cheaper in a
> year? Bear in mind that something that a consumer can buy and use
> today is more valuable to the purchaser than the same item that is not
> bought until next year. The costs of going without a desired purchase
> are overlooked by those warning about the danger of deflation
>
> In another article two days later, the Journal hit readers with the
> same message: "Annual euro-zone inflation weakened further below the
> European Central Bank's target in December, rekindling fears that too
> little inflation or outright consumer-price declines may threaten the
> currency area's fragile economy." In this case, the paper *adds "too
> little inflation" to the list of woes that needs to be avoided.
> Apparently, if prices don't rise briskly enough, the wheels of an
> economy stop turning*
>
> Neither article mentions some very important historical context.*_For
> the first 120 years of the existence of the United States (before the
> establishment of the Federal Reserve), general prices trended
> downward_*. According to the Department of Commerce's Statistical
> Abstract of the United States, *the "General Price Index"* declined by
> 19% from 1801 to 1900. */This stands in contrast to the 2,280%
> increase of the CPI between 1913 and 2013/*
>
> *_While the 19th century had plenty of well-documented ups and downs,
> people tend to forget that the country experienced tremendous economic
> growth during that time. _*Living standards for the average American
> at the end of the century were leaps and bounds higher than they were
> at the beginning. The 19th Century turned a formerly inconsequential
> agricultural nation into the richest, most productive, and
> economically dynamic nation on Earth. Immigrants could not come here
> fast enough. But all this happened against a backdrop of consistently
> falling prices.
>
> *Thomas Edison once said that his goal was to make electricity so
> cheap that only the rich would burn candles. He was fortunate to have
> no Nobel economists on his marketing team. *They certainly would have
> advised him to raise prices to increase sales. But Edison's strategy
> of driving sales volume through lower prices is clearly visible today
> in industries all over the world. *By lowering prices, companies not
> only grow their customer base, but they tend to increase profits as
> well. Most visibly, consumer electronics has seen chronic deflation
> for years without crimping demand or hurting profits. *According to
> the Wall Street Journal, this should be impossible.
>
> *The truth is the media is merely helping the government to spread
> propaganda.* It is highly indebted governments that need inflation,
> not consumers. But before government can lead a self-serving crusade
> to create inflation, they must first convince the public that higher
> prices is a goal worth pursuing. *Since inflation also helps sustain
> asset bubbles and prop up banks, in this instance The Wall Street
> Journal and the Government seem to be perfectly aligned.*
>