Friday, October 16, 2009

Dow & Gold At Highs?

Ok, I'm confused. The Dow cracked 10,000 yesterday for the first time in a year, while gold finished today at $1,050/oz, which is just off an all-time high. This doesn't make a lot of sense, with gold so often being strongest when stock markets are at their weakest.

My biggest market fear is that inflation is inevitable, thanks to the rampant printing of valueless money wrought by the stimulus, so in that sense, the gold price makes perfect sense. But the stock market? Why is it so high?

I'm going to have to do my homework on this.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reason on Whole Foods

Interesting to hear some Whole Foods employees speak, alongside Whole Foods protesters.

Yet Even Still More Smoking Ban for Marion County

It seems like there is endless restlessness by those who wish to use the power of government to force businesses to involuntarily adopt no-smoke policies. From WTHR 13's report:
A City-County Council committee approved a tighter ban in a 4-2 vote. The measure is designed to further reduce health effects of secondhand smoke especially on non-smoking workers at bars and clubs.


City Councilor Christine Scales questioned the wisdom of expanding the current restrictions. "Why a total ban? We're talking about serious liberty interests at stake here. Smoking is legal," she said.

I happen to like no-smoke establishments. I choose to patronize them. However, I get hung up on the phrase "the pursuit of happiness". People define that in different ways. For me, playing hockey is one avenue to happiness. For others, it's smoking a cigarette in a bar. I no more want a group of busybodies to outlaw my ability to play hockey on the basis of safety and eliminating risky behavior than smokers or bar owners want this ban. It's the third parties, those who don't even participate in the ownership or behavior, who are driving this law. That makes their efforts very suspect to me. I don't trust little dictators.

The ends of the no-smoke policy is nice, but the means are very important to me. There are the parallels I think of:

I like having a fully staffed military, but I oppose conscription.
I like having top notch health care, but don't think you should be taxed to make it so.

We want the ends. For the means, it is so unnecessary to resort to force, yet it is our nation's first resort anymore. We become less American daily.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So, Who Will Pay?

With the health care debate, the proponents seem to be stuck on a nuance-free, black & white answer: The Rich(tm). After all, they can afford it.

Alas, the reality is that it isn't just the rich. Turns out it could be people working manufacturing jobs, right here in Indiana. From an Indy Star report:
Zimmer Holdings, Biomet and DePuy Orthopaedics are based in Warsaw, along with several smaller companies and suppliers. Together, they generate nearly a third of the estimated $32 billion in global orthopedic device sales.

But the industry, succeeding even as some other U.S. manufacturing sectors are slumping, faces challenges:

A proposal that passed the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday would place as much as $40 billion in new taxes on the medical device industry in the next decade.

As always, the devil's in the details, although, there's devil aplenty in the main argument, as far as I'm concerned. Anyhow, is this what the proponents want? To do something that would stifle the creation of good paying manufacturing jobs?

Also, it may meet the definition of Obama's campaign promise that taxes won't be raised on 95% of individuals, but taxes on corporations end up being taxes on the employees and customers of those corporations. Again, lack of nuance. Black & white. Ham fisted simpleton explanations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Limbaugh To Own The Rams?

I was amused to see that one former painkiller addict wouldn't support the other. From the AP:
Rush Limbaugh's bid to buy the St. Louis Rams ran into opposition within the NFL on Tuesday. Colts owner Jim Irsay vowed to vote against him

I get the feeling that Indy's conservative football fans must have some large cognitive dissonance buzzing their brains right about now. The Colts are 5-0 and playing some of their best football ever, but the team is the city's welfare queen poster child, with Irsay a billionaire in no small part due to transfers of wealth from the populace to him. Then, the iconic Limbaugh gets a slap in the face from Irsay.

The Left boycotted Whole Foods when its' CEO said things it found insulting. Any chance the right will boycott the Colts?

Before any Limbaugh supporters call it un-American for Irsay to take this stance, just remember that the NFL and its' franchises are a different kind of property than, say, a common piece of real estate. The other owners do have a vote on whether or not to accept any prospective owner or ownership group, and they can discriminate against any prospective buyer, for any reason, no matter how illiberal that might seem.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rewarding Saturday

I was very happy to deliver a talk to potential Libertarian Party candidates this Saturday, on the subject of beginning the race. Mainly, as the most recent candidate for Secretary of State, my top secondary objective, apart from winning, was to establish four more years of automatic ballot access for LP candidates. These were some of the folks who will take advantage of that ballot access.

Most of what I do in politics has no immediate return. This event was rare in that there was the immediate gratification of meeting and informing these good people, and, in helping to justify that campaign- both at once.

Now, folks: file those papers!!!