Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Boston’s aftermath

Obviously my heart and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in the cowardly bombings in Boston yesterday, and, as with everyone, I stand with the people of Boston.  However, that all said, I have to tell you that when I heard what had happened yesterday, I had a sinking feeling that hasn’t dissipated yet.

I know, as usual, we’re going to over react. Well, perhaps not “us” as in you and I, but our betters in positions of elective power will. It is as sure a bet as the sun rising in the east.

Prepare yourself for more restrictions on you liberty and freedom.  That’s a given.  The only answer government has, in reality, is to clamp down even further on our ability to interact freely without it monitoring those interactions.  How else, it will tell us, can it work toward ensuring another Boston doesn’t happen?

And, of course, this will manifest itself in the form of even more laws and restrictions all in the name of safety and security. Prepare for more justifications to intrude on your privacy.   More laws that will restrict you from purchasing certain items.  More scrutiny when you travel.  In sum, less freedom and more government.

I’d love to believe that won’t happen.  But it will.  It’s not even in doubt.  Just as we have seen government over-reaction in the aftermath of Newtown, CT, you can count on the same thing happening when the carnage is so much more.

Part of that will be driven by the usual media overload, the result of the 24 hour news cycle combined with “if it bleeds it leads” and the partisan talking heads who simply don’t know when to shut up.  Chris Matthews, among many others, is an example of that ilk. And, of course, it will all boil down to opposing political agendas with the freedom and liberty lobby taking the usual beating.

We’ll also see a substantial portion of the population laud these new restrictions and laws, still not understanding who it is that pays no attention to (or figures out ways to circumvent) them.  Instead the law abiding will live with the loss of liberty, while the terrorists and criminals will ignore the government’s “solution”.

We’re a nation without the ability to put events like this in context (thanks in part to the saturation coverage by the media and the alarmism by politicians).  We’re a nation that has run scared for years.

It’s time to suck it up and stand up.  These things are going to happen.  None of us like that or find it acceptable. But what should be equally unacceptable and unliked is the continuous bleeding away of our liberties.

Free nations should understand that with that freedom comes risk.  And, as we have seen, no matter how many laws and restrictions we put in place, these things still happen.  I’m not saying we should be vigilant and take precautions.  I’m saying we shouldn’t over-react like we constantly do.

Boston is a terrible tragedy.  We don’t need to compound it by taking away more of the freedoms we have apparently taken for granted in the past.

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 15 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The Housing Market Index fell 2 points in April to a worse-than-expected 42, the lowest since October.

The Empire State Mfg Survey shows an abruptly slowing rate of monthly growth in the district, falling over 6 points to 3.05.

Net foreign demand for long-term U.S. securities fell into negative territory, with a net outflow of -17.8 billion.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

It’s tax day … sorry, I’m not in the mood

After considering the check being written by me to the scumbags that run this joint, I’m not in a particularly good mood.  They’ll waste it as we all know.  There are millions, if not billions of items or programs or, well you name it, that government has no business even being near that they’re up to their rear ends in.  And, as we’ve said a million times, government’s have no money … they can only tax it or borrow it.  At this very moment, while they’re taking an obscene percentage of what I worked very hard to make last year, they’re planning on borrowing even more to spend on crap like this and tell us it’s “necessary.”

Anyway, this is as good as it gets today.

See you tomorrow.

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 14 Apr 13

This week, Michael and Dale discuss Kermit Gosnell and the UK.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 12 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

Falling gas prices sent Producer Prices down by -0.6% in March, the though the core PPI rate rose 0.2%. On a year over year basis, the PPI is up 1.1%, and the core PPI is up 1.7%.

Retail sales fell a disappointing -0.4% in March. Sales were also down -0.4% ex-autos, and down -0.1% ex-autos and gas.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell 6.7 points in the first April reading to 72.3.

Business inventories were steady in February, rising only 0.1%. A 1.2% increase in sales drove down the stock-to-sales ratio to a lean 1.28.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Obama’s Orwellian budget claim in pictures

Orwellian, in that his claim is as follows:

President Obama is marketing his new budget by saying it has “more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue.” Is this true?

In a word, no.

In fact, his spending increases and advertised spending cuts cancel each other out—leaving only a massive tax increase.

Here’s a graphical representation of the point:

Yeah, I know … big surprise.

A politician lied again.

Wow.

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 11 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index stayed steady at –34.0 this week.

March chain-store sales were mixed with 9 retail chains reporting higher year-on-year sales rates, 7 reporting lower rates, and 1 unchanged.

Initial jobless claims fell 42,000 last week to 346,000. The 4-week average rose 3,750 to 358,000. Continuing claims fell by 12,000.

Import prices fell 0.5% in March, with the year-on-year rate at -2.7%. Export prices fell -0.4% with the year-on-year rate up 0.3%.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Obama budget proposal should be DOA

Apparently President Obama is sure his newest budget proposal is so good there’s no room or need for negotiation.  Or so a senior White House official says:

“We don’t view this budget as a starting point in the negotiations. This is an offer where the president came more than halfway toward the Republicans,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to detail the forthcoming document.

“So this is our sticking point,” the official said. “And the question is: are Republicans going to be willing to come to us to do serious things to reduce our deficits?”

Obama is proposing a $3.78 trillion dollar budget.  Estimated tax revenues for 2014 are  $3.22 trillion.  Yet, this is being touted as a “budget cutting” budget and the White House claims it is exactly what the Republicans have wanted.

What … another deficit?

By the way, I don’t want “reduced deficits”.  I want NO deficit.  I.e. any budget that begins with an amount higher than the estimated tax revenues for the year is Dead On Arrival.

And that’s precisely the declaration this budget (like all the other budgets Obama has submitted) deserves.

DOA.

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Economic Statistics for 09 Apr 13

Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped 1.3 points in march to 89.5, 1.2 points below the recovery average.

February wholesale inventories fell -0.3%, while sales rose 1.7%, pulling the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.19.

In weekly retail sales, Redbook reports a 2.5% year-on-year sales increase, as sales slowed following the Easter week. ICSC-Goldman store sales rose 0.7% in the week, with sales up a soft 2.1% year-over-year.

~
Dale Franks
Google+ Profile
Twitter Feed

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Buy Dale’s Books!