Connect with us

Economy

Making America insolvent

Published

on

Making America insolvent

The stock market is setting records, unemployment is relatively low, inflation is low, and America’s economy is churning along. Lots of reasons to be happy if you’re rich. But we’ve got a $20 trillion Sword of Damocles hanging over our collective heads.

America’s GDP is somewhere north of $18.5 trillion, and increased over the 2nd quarter of 2017 at an annual rate of 3.0 percent (over the 1.2 percent of the first quarter), while the PCE price index went up by only 0.3 percent.

Though it’s encouraging to see the economy growing at a reasonable rate, it’s very troubling to see the federal government’s debt exceeding the nation’s GDP. In business, nobody ever wants to owe more than they produce, unless those debts are tied to solid and appreciating assets.

Of course, the value of the United States’ real estate far exceeds the national debt, right? Well, actually, no. The value of all land (in 2009 dollars) was estimated at $23 trillion by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in a 2015 report.

Essentially, the federal government has mortgaged all the land in the country, including Washington D.C. and every bit of property the federal government owns (about $1.8 trillion according to the report).

Your home may have a mortgage, but the government has also mortgaged your land, and every dollar produced by every company in America is mortgaged and attached by the federal debt.

In business, we call this situation “insolvency.” Companies that believe they can grow their way out of insolvency have to sit in front a room full of creditors and bankers and explain how this works. Frequently, the bankers don’t buy it.

But the U.S. government is too big to fail, and therefore China, Saudi Arabia and other debt holders aren’t about to call Congress on the carpet to explain how we get out of insolvency. That’s the job of the electorate–we’re the ones being mortgaged and co-signed on the debt our government has piled up.

It is unconscionable and immoral for our federal government to continue to lead us into insolvency. If you look at history, when powerful nations embark down a road of insolvency, ultimately it leads to war.

The U.S. has no shortage of natural resources. We are the most productive nation on earth in food, energy, and innovation. Trump and Bannon’s answer to the national debt is to grow our way out of it by making better trade agreements. That means selling America’s resources at a higher price to foreign buyers. If it only worked that way in reality, if only “America, incorporated” could simply raise the price of food, natural gas, oil, and intellectual property, we’d all be drinking wine and smelling roses.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it? Corporations in America have foreign capital investments, and many are owned and headquartered offshore. Much of America’s enormous productive capacity is pledged to foreign owners profit expectations. That’s how a free market works.

The only way to force companies to fall in line with a nationalist economic policy is to…well, force them. In historical political science-y and economic terms, that’s called “fascism,” where the government sets the economic priorities for each market and companies must comply or be nationalized.

A nationalized economy does not suit America, where liberty and opportunity are valued above cultural homogeneity. Where the left would impose that hegemony over American social values, our federal government and the economic nationalists led by Steve Bannon would impose it on our corporate values. Neither solution can work in the U.S.

In the end, either foreign capitalists will continue to draw profits out of America, in an unending spiral of unpayable mortgages until someone calls a debt (provoking war); or we will impose unacceptable barriers to free trade, which will cause consumer prices to skyrocket, in a cycle of punitive tariffs and restrictive trade agreements. This will eventually lead some nation that the U.S. forces an ultimatum of forgiving defaulted debt or resource starvation to begin a war.

It might be an economic war at first, but such things usually lead to a shooting war. This is how Japan ended up in World War II. It’s how North Korea might react if all other options are removed. It’s how China will react as they continue to build their power and military.

By mortgaging America, our federal government is placing our nation at odds with practically every country in the world. Even Canada and Mexico, faced with renegotiating NAFTA, will side against an America with $30 trillion in federal debt and $25 trillion in GDP.

Our federal debt more than doubled since 2007. In another 10 years, it’s entirely possible we will see this scenario in our faces, especially if Trump remains in office 2024.

The federal government must, for the sake of our nation and our liberty, stop this disastrous debt spending. Insolvency is no way to run a business, or a government.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Economy

Reminder: Tech Giants are not monopolies

Published

on

Reminder Tech Giants are not monopolies

There is a lot of disgust aimed towards tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. And why not? These companies are large, incredibly biased, and quite powerful. Their reach is everywhere, striving towards omnipresence. Their influence can sway public opinion, as evident on issues such as Net Neutrality and to reach back for a more benign issue, SOPA 2014. Another concern is the pubic safety of personal information. Data breaches, hacks, and leaks are all significant risks. In China, Google has assisted the government with the surveillance of their people. And while public safety is an issue, the solution of regulating these large companies as monopolies is fraudulent in its premise. The enact anti-trust laws would ignore the simple fact: neither Google, Facebook, or Twitter are monopolies.

Antitrust

But denotation doesn’t stop individuals from advocating action. Kurt Schlicter of Townhall wrote a fiery piece advocating for serious regulation.

And what’s also scary is their willful manipulation of the algorithms that determine what can and cannot be said and read. If you don’t exist on Google, in many ways, you really don’t exist at all. Well, that’s intolerable. Our free society conducts its business on the Internet, and if one unaccountable, partisan group can decide what topics can and cannot be discussed, we no longer have a free society. We’d have a fascist one, and fascists are bad even if those fascists swill kombucha tea, bike to work at a Mountain View campus, and spew ridiculous mottos like “Don’t be evil.”

By definition, a monopoly is when a single firm has absolute market share. Yet the federal government has its own definition. And that definition is comprised in the form of antitrust laws. Ryan Cooper of The Week proposed:

It could be that careful anti-trust action could build a market with several search competitors, and thereby create some competition. But certainly all search platforms should be forced to follow something like a railroad’s common carriage rules, where websites are not allowed to be ranked according to how much they might profit the platform itself, and get fair access to search traffic.

This action would break Google apart into several companies and only enrich Google shareholders. The Google splinters would crush the actual competitors of Google rendering making this polygopoly a more clear monopoly for the shareholders than it was already before. Historically speaking, the Rockefellers gained an immense amount of wealth after Standard Oil broke apart. Again it must be said about how Coopers supposition is a flagrant misuse of antitrust law.

Suicidal?

Microsoft’s battle in the 1990s is a crowning misuse of antitrust law. Microsoft was found to be a monopoly because they put their own software, internet explorer, on their own operating system, Windows. What Microsoft did was clear business instinct. Yet the feds and several states wanted to split them up. Their plan ultimately failed but the precedent remains. In 1999, Milton Friedman referred to companies seeking to break up Microsoft as suicidal, seeking action that would one day be used against them.

“Under the circumstances, given that we do have antitrust laws, is it really in the self-interest of Silicon Valley to set the government on Microsoft? Your industry, the computer industry, moves so much more rapidly than the legal process, that by the time this suit is over, who knows what the shape of the industry will be. Never mind the fact that the human energy and the money that will be spent in hiring my fellow economists, as well as in other ways, would be much more productively employed in improving your products. It’s a waste! But beyond that, you will rue the day when you called in the government. From now on the computer industry, which has been very fortunate in that it has been relatively free of government intrusion, will experience a continuous increase in government regulation. Antitrust very quickly becomes regulation. Here again is a case that seems to me to illustrate the suicidal impulse of the business community.”

The USFL is another clear example where using antitrust was literally business suicide. The United States Football League launched in 1983 as a spring alternative to the NFL. Yet in their poor management, they moved to fall where the NFL had all of the TV contracts and sued the NFL for antitrust. In truth, their very existence disproved the notion that the NFL was a monopoly, also the existence of college football. The USFL invested everything into the antitrust suit and won $3 dollars($1 tripled).

Competition

Google/ Alphabet

Search Engine, adsales, appstore, Youtube, email, consumer electronics, operating systems, big data, web browser, programs, social network etc.
  • Verizon (Yahoo, AOL) – failed internet giant, search engine, adsales, email
  • Apple – fellow tech giant, consumer electronics, app store, operating system
  • Microsoft – operating systems, direct competitor to Google’s word processing platform, web browser(sort of), app store, search engine
  • DuckDuckGo – private search engine
  • Opera – web browser, free VPN/ adblock
  • Brave – web browser with adblock
  • Netflix – content streaming platform
  • Hulu – Content streaming platform
  • TV – not a company but a replacement for Youtube
  • Yelp – review website

Facebook

Social networks, text app for europeans,
  • Twitter – microblogging platform
  • Minds – social network
  • Snapchat – picture messaging, social network
  • Craigslist – localized ad sales
  • Reddit – online community based on interest
  • Myspace – Technically still a thing, rebranded as a music page
  • Codias – political social network

Twitter

Microblogging platform
  • WordPress – webhosting, blogging platform
  • Gab – Turkish microblogging platform
  • Steemit – cryptocurrency social network for original content creators
  • Kialo – social media platform for civil debate
  • Micgoat – video/blogging platform for debate

Conclusion

As you can see, Google is so large and expansive, they cannot be considered a monopoly, for their is competition every industry they are in. Their most serious competitors are other tech giants, like Microsoft and Apple. Facebook has numerous competitors as does Twitter. Just because their competition lacks prominence, doesn’t mean there is a monopoly.

The titans of tech are not monopolies, nor should we want them treated as such. Treating Facebook as a monopoly would create at least three large companies. And these newly divided large companies would eventually merge together and crush the alternative social platforms that currently exist. Rather these platforms would benefit from these companies remaining large and having bad PR. These companies will create innovations and capitalize on their fall should they end up like Yahoo or Kodak.

Continue Reading

Economy

Mimi Walters says CA rail is the epitome of taxpayer waste

Published

on

Mimi Walters says CA rail is the epitome of taxpayer waste

The idea was doomed from the start, at least to those who understood the magnitude of the project California Democrats were pushing. A nice-to-have it like California’s high-speed rail is only nice to have when it doesn’t cost billions of dollars in a state that has trouble keeping to its budget.

Representative Mimi Walters (D-CA) from Orange County understands this all too well. As one of the few Republican representatives in the leftist state, it’s up to her and other fiscally responsible representatives to make Sacramento listen to reason.

In the quote, she was referencing a LA Times article that further criticized the project. When the LA Times points outs waste coming from Sacramento, you know it must be bad.

Continue Reading

Economy

GE Appliances CEO Kevin Nolan credits tax cuts for more investments, jobs

Published

on

GE Appliances CEO Kevin Nolan credits tax cuts for more investments jobs

GE Appliances is poised to invest another $200 million into domestic manufacturing, creating hundreds of jobs and helping to boost Kentucky’s economy. This is the latest in a string of expansion investments that the company needs in order to meet increased demand.

CEO Kevin Nolan credits tax cuts for the recent major investments. It isn’t just that demand is higher because more people are working and keeping what they bring home. The corporate tax cuts that Democrats have been trying to paint as cronyism for the greedy business elite are playing a big role in U.S. companies expanding their operations and increasing the workforce.

The changes in rates and favorable tax treatment of investments in machinery and equipment play a big role in our expansion plans.

Citing Tax Reform, GE Appliances Launches $200M Investment in U.S. Manufacturing, Adding 400 Jobs

https://www.shopfloor.org/2018/10/citing-tax-reform-ge-appliances-announces-200-million-investment-u-s-manufacturing/“GE Appliances has long been an exemplary corporate partner for Louisville and the Commonwealth,” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said. “This iconic company has employed many thousands of Kentuckians for generations, and we are grateful for their most recent investment in the Bluegrass State. As GE Appliances continues to adapt to a changing marketplace, we are confident that they will remain a perfect fit right here in Kentucky—America’s center for engineering and manufacturing excellence.”

Appliance Park, GE Appliance’s headquarters, is a 900-acre facility that’s home to five manufacturing plants, a technology and engineering center, industrial design and the largest warehouse in its distribution network. The company started manufacturing operations there in 1953. The complex generates an annual Kentucky economic impact of $4.6 billion annually and employs more than 6,000 workers.

Continue Reading
Advertisement Donate to NOQ Report
Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Trending

Copyright © 2018 NOQ Report