The Ruins of Obama’s Catastrophic Foreign Policy

President Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and ISIS, September 29, 2015

President Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and ISIS, September 29, 2015
Wikimedia Commons/Kremlin.ru

No American president in my lifetime has had a foreign policy that has been as complete and total a failure as that of Barack Obama. Every foreign affair problem he has touched has turned to worms. The failures have mounted to such an extent that the very existence of our country is threatened. Most Americans would probably consider my last sentence to be extreme hyperbole, but taking a look at each of the threats against us, I can not see how the threats against us could be judged as anything less than existential.

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Can This Election Season Get Any More Amazing?

Oh, No! Not again!

Oh, No! Not Again!
Screen shot from a Fox News broadcast

Are we living in the real world, or are we living in some fictional world straight from the imagination of some novelist? No House of Cards drama could possibly compete with the surreal unreality that is Campaign 2016. As is often said about many more plausible happenings, you can not possibly make this up!  Continue Reading…

How a Bursting Stock Market Bubble Will Hurt Everyone

OOPs! A Bear!

OOPS! A Bear!
(c) Can Stock Photo

Approximately eight years ago,  progressives were screaming that capitalists had with their avaricious, dishonest and selfish behavior thrown us into another Great Depression. The reaction of a Democratically controlled Congress was the Dodd-Frank Act, which has bedeviled the U.S. economy ever since. Yet noting this just barely scratches the surface of all the misdeeds of the executive and legislative federal government branches that are progressively weighing down our economy. One of the major effects of government discouragement of economic activity has been the inflation of a stock market bubble. Continue Reading…

Clinton and Trump on Foreign Policy

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take the stage at the third and final Presidential debate.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton take the stage at the third and final Presidential debate.

The differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on foreign policy appear to be more than they actually are. However, this fact has been muddled by the necessity for Clinton to appear to agree with President Obama’s failing foreign policy, together with the need to look different from Trump. Nevertheless, one has to question Clinton’s competence from her own record as Secretary of State.  Continue Reading…

The Threat of the U.S. Stock Market Bubble

The New York Stock Exchange
Wikimedia Commons

The last time we were hit with a devastating recession,  the Great Recession of 2007-2009, it was caused by the bursting of a real estate bubble created by federal government policies. Now we are facing the possibility of another gut-busting disaster from the inflation of another financial bubble, but this time it is a stock market bubble.  Continue Reading…

Perspectives on Unemployment

Percent of men, ages 25 to 54, who are not working and not looking for work versus year.

Percent of men, ages 25 to 54, who are not working and not looking for work versus year.
New York Times/Bureau of Labor Statistics

When a founding and respected member of the left wing media  begins to echo those of us who are right of center, I have to sit up and take notice! The Editorial Board of the New York Times (of all people!) took official notice that a large fraction of the people who leave the work force every year are people who are in their prime years with ages between 25 and 54. Accompanying their editorial was the chart above of the percent of men, ages 25-54, who are not in the labor force.  Continue Reading…

Why Isn’t the US Economy Booming?

A wartime factory worker in 1940s Fort Worth, Texas

A wartime factory worker in 1940s Fort Worth, Texas
Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

On opening up my online edition of the Wall Street Journal this morning,  I found a provocative essay on the editorial page concerning economic growth. Entitled Why the Economy Doesn’t Roar Any More by Marc Levinson, the post asked this fundamental question: Why, after eight consecutive years of low-growth recovery from the end of the Great Recession in 2008, has the American economy never boomed once, and why is it not growing now at the long-term average of 3.23 percent? So far this year, the U.S. economy has been growing at an average annualized rate of 1.1 percent according to the Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED). In June the World Bank revised downward their estimate of this year’s world GDP growth from 2.9 percent in January to 2.4 percent. In the words of the World Bank, this lower growth ” is due to sluggish growth in advanced economies, stubbornly low commodity prices, weak global trade, and diminishing capital flows.” Continue Reading…

The Consequences of a Hillary Clinton Presidency

The Oval Office in the West Wing of the White House during the Administration of William Jefferson Clinton

Imagine Hillary Clinton here. The Oval Office during the administration of William Jefferson Clinton
Wikimedia Commons/National Archives and Records Administration

I hate to say it, but it sure looks like Hillary Clinton will be our new president. Of course if the shoe were on the other foot and Trump looked like he were increasingly likely to win, I would be saying “I hate to say it, but … “.      Continue Reading…

U.S. Economy and Stock Markets, October 2016

The time evolution of the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow statistic for Q3 2016

The time-evolution of the GDPNow statistic  from the Center for Quantitative Economic Research of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Image Credit: Federal Reserve District Bank of Atlanta/Center for Quantitative Economic Research

The graph above  of the GDPNow statistic produced by the Atlanta Federal Reserve confirms what the bulk of economic statistics are saying to me. By now it should be obvious to even the most dense that something is very, very wrong with our economy.  Continue Reading…

Russia Stable in the Short Term; The Long Term Is Something Else

Russia and its western "Near Abroad"

Russia and its western  “Near Abroad”
Map courtesy of Google Maps

Russia is becoming a major danger to the rest of the world on a par with ISIS because of their “Russian World” project. The term “Russian World” should be understood to mean that part of the world  culturally dominated by Russian civilization. Unfortunately, in the view of the Russian Federation’s President, Vladimir Putin, and a great many other Russians, Russia lost governmental control over a very large portion of the Russian World with the dissolution of the Soviet Union on the day after Christmas in 1991. What seemed like a Christmas gift to NATO and the West, was a chilling humiliation for the new Russian Federation.  Continue Reading…

How Is the Weather Like a Country’s Economy?

Hurricane Isabel, a category 5 hurricane, seen from the International Space Station in  September 2003. This deadly storm had many of the same system characteristics in the planet’s weather that a government Keynesian “stimulus” program has on an economy.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Image Courtesy of Mike Trenchard, Earth Sciences & Image Analysis Laboratory , Johnson Space Center.

Organized. Deadly. Destructive. Those were major qualitative characteristics of Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, and they are much like some of the qualitative characteristics of a government’s Keynesian “stimulus” program in an economy. In fact, the analogy goes far deeper than mere metaphor, as they are closely related mathematically in their descriptions inside their respective systems: in the planet’s weather system in the one case, and in a country’s economy in the second.

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Labor Market Not Nearly As Good As Many Think

The kind of jobs that are available? A railroad work crew in 1941 near Bellefont, Kansas.

The kind of jobs that are available? A railroad work crew in 1941 near Bellefont, Kansas.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons/National Archives and Records Administration/Charles O’Rear, 1941, Photographer

Many have been touting the growth of new jobs as one of the very few bright spots in the U.S. economy. Janet Yellen has certainly said she believes that in some very recent statements. Unfortunately, in this as in some other ways, the economic optimists may have been fooling themselves.    Continue Reading…