Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff is a Sideshow: It's the Economy, Not the Budget, Stupid

By Carl Schramm

Recently, using the comforting, measured and boring tones perfected by Alan Greenspan, Chairman Bernanke in a speech to the New York Economic Club observed that the best of the policy options open to us might lead us back to our economic potential by 2018. Apart from the idea that we can’t have our economy back for maybe six more years, at least three things in his speech are cause for profound worry no matter how analgesic the language is meant to sound.

The presidential campaign drove the first and most serious point home. No one seems to have any sense of urgency regarding growth. The "guild" economists who advised both sides focused more on blaming various actors for why the recession won’t end rather than showing any sense of the profound costs of what a lost decade of growth means to America. President Obama’s "George did it" narrative met Mitt Romney’s mantra of "Obama doesn’t know anything about business." Romney’s feint at growth sure sounded more like "I can manage better." [more...]

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Three Big Lessons For America

It is hard to believe that it was only five years ago that the first Global Entrepreneurship Week was held. Last week gives evidence of the tremendous enthusiasm for the idea that Prime Minister Gordon Brown and I kicked off in 2007 with 38 countries participating. One hundred thirty nations sponsored an enormous array of events all aimed at helping young men and women around the world consider their future as potential creators of new businesses, and as contributors to the economic well-being of their countrymen.

The success of the week can be measured in many ways. It is estimated that over 15 million youngsters participated in tens of thousands of events and competitions. The Web site provides a marvelous sense of the scope of activities. Many young people had their first glimpse of a possible new future for themselves, others had their first conversation with an aspiring entrepreneur in another country, and still others visited a company, indeed, a start-up company for the first time.

Global Entrepreneurship Week holds important lessons for Americans in particular. The first is simple but is worth reflecting on. Just a few years ago GEW was nothing more than an idea. It grew from a conversation between two people who were passionate about helping their countries see the importance of entrepreneurs to their respective nation’s economic growth. [more...]

Friday, October 26, 2012

An Election about the Economy Will Really Be About Entrepreneurs

By Carl Schramm

For the first time in our history entrepreneurs are becoming part of the political furniture. Speakers at both the Republican and Democratic conventions mentioned small businesses, firms with fewer than 500 employees, endlessly - actually 106 times.

Small business is an expected mainstay of convention rhetoric. But, the debut of entrepreneurs as the people who form our new firms is critical because they were, accurately, described as the people who take risks and create, according to the Kauffman Foundation, over sixty percent of all new jobs in our economy.

Starting more new firms is not only the best path to resolving the recession; they are the principal source of wealth for America's future. In fact, Republican speakers described the role they play in the economy 13 times while Democrats did 9 times. Joseph Schumpeter would be smiling that the little guys, the entrepreneurs, the people who challenge the incumbent firms with their upstart startups, the causers of all the "creative destruction" that drive government regulators crazy, the new companies that seem to relish what he called the "gales" of competition that big companies fear, are somehow beginning to be seen as the champions they are. Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, said "America's entrepreneurs are our greatest asset" during her speech to the Democratic convention. [more...]

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Economic Ignorance Gap between Liberals and Conservatives

There are two Americas. The first America is represented by those who work in the government sector (those who almost always support Obama and vote for Democrats), and who think the private sector is doing just fine. The second America is represented by private sector entrepreneurs, small business owners, and job creators (who almost always support conservative candidates and causes) who know the terrible truth - the economy is in horrible shape. The difference between these two Americas is due to economic ignorance.

To save America, we must ignore those in the government sector and start listening to those in the private sector who are living at "ground zero." They are the experts. They have the "boots on the ground." They understand first-hand what Obama’s policies have wrought: complete economic collapse. The dirty little secret rarely discussed or explained by the media and pollsters is the economic ignorance gap between what conservatives think of the economy versus what liberals think. [more...]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tax Cuts, the Buffett Rule and the Election

I believe business owners tend to pay their “fair share” - the top 10% of income earners pay 71% of all federal income taxes paid. The United States, as of April 2012, has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. That means that together with personal and corporate taxes, our government is generating the highest tax base in the world. The Buffett Rule isn’t about money and rewards at all but about creating controversy and stirring up resentment between different levels of income earners. The numbers aren’t overwhelming; according to projections, the Buffett Rule would only raise $4.6 billion, which could easily be found by cutting wasteful spending. Additionally, since the Buffett rule doesn’t distinguish between classes of income, it could have a negative effect on investment. Capital gains taxes, for example, currently at 15%, would go up to 30% for high income earners who, for the most part, are capitalizing many of America’s new businesses that create new American jobs. [more...]

OPEC Meeting Could Throw Off Global Energy Markets

This Thursday the leaders of OPEC will meet in Vienna to try to stabilize global oil prices. Over the last two months we’ve seen about a 20 percent drop in oil prices. While that may be good news for Americans at the pump, there are many other factors at work here. First, OPEC wants to see consistency in oil prices. The last thing they want to see is the situation they had three years ago when the price of oil went down to about $30 per barrel. OPEC wants to see oil at $100 per barrel, which is a good number for all of them. If that doesn’t happen, things could get pretty contentious. [more...] Note: Will McAndrew appeared on and WSJ’s on this topic. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Global Oil Price Drop Creates American Opportunity

After watching France elect their first “Socialist” leader in 17 years, global oil markets are falling. It’s no big surprise; Capitalism doesn’t think too fondly of its socialist counterpart. That’s why oil prices fell as much as 3.2 percent after France elected Francois Hollande as its new president. As the European debt crisis escalates, more countries are starting to reject necessary austerity programs geared toward reducing spending and running a fiscally sound operation. The masses are actually calling for more government spending and more money printing. What the masses do not understand is that falling oil prices, and for that matter falling commodity prices, present a major opportunity for the United States. [more...]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

America, We Have a Problem

The high priests of the Social Security and Medicare "trust funds" (whatever happened to the lockbox?) issued new warnings about the solvency of the "trust funds" they oversee. The Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund will be gone, depleted, kaput in 2016, which is two years earlier than expected. Thank you, masters of the obvious! Matt Rutledge, a research economist at Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, stated in Investor's Business Daily: "We see a lot of people applying for disability once their unemployment insurance expires." Next shoe to drop: The Social Security trust fund, which goes to retirees, will be exhausted in 2036, two years earlier than projected last year. This, once again, should not be a surprise to anyone who pays any sort of attention to our fiscal situation, because like clockwork, every year, the death date for the lockbox gets moved closer. [more...]

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Could Spain’s Reign over Dire Economy Subject World to Greater Downfall?

Write this down - soon you will tune in to the news and it will be “all Spain, all the time.” By this summer (and maybe sooner) Spain will be on everyone’s lips. You will wish you'd never heard of Spain. Spain could take us all down. This month marked the anniversary of the sinking of the supposedly unsinkable Titanic. Spain is the new Titanic. It’s already hit the iceberg and is sinking fast. 1,500 died when the Titanic sank. Spain's sinking could kill entire economies, destroy millions of jobs, affect billions of lives, and drown us all in debt. Spain is about to become a gigantic problem for the entire world. Unlike Greece, Spain is too big to fail, but also too big to bailout. The economic news out of Spain is very, very bad for all of us. The reason Spain is so important is because size matters. [more...]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why We Should Kill the SEC

By Christopher Markowski

As the speed of trading literally approaches the speed of light, the SEC can't keep up. To wit, there's SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro's claim that many of the Wall Street firms her agency regulates have technology budgets that are larger than her total operating costs. But it's easy to blame the regulators. What's much harder to do is blame the real culprits: Ourselves. [more...]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Are We On the Verge of the Obama Great Depression?

By Wayne Allyn Root

America has always been a land of boom and bust. It’s just part of the natural business cycle. But Obama and his socialist cabal have channeled Hoover and FDR, who turned an ordinary bust into The Great Depression with a toxic strategy of bigger government, more spending, more debt, expanded entitlements, more rules and regulations strangling business, higher minimum wages, more power to unions, and dramatically higher taxes to pay for this expansion of big government. Sound familiar? Simply add in "green energy" and this is the same toxic brew of the Obama game plan. Interestingly, it's the same plan that has led Europe to the edge of the cliff as well. [more...]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

U.S. Corporate Taxes Need to Go to Zero

On April 1, our ally Japan is playing a cruel little April Fools' Day joke on us: The country is lowering its corporate tax rate from 39.5% to 35%. This will give the United States the dubious and awkward distinction of having, at 39.2%, the highest integrated federal/state tax rate among the developed countries of the world. In the world of politics, where nothing is without nuance and message, I wonder what our friends in Japan are trying to tell us? [more...]

Why You Should Support the Keystone Pipeline

This one should just be a no-brainer.  We have a project that will create more than $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy.  It will increase the personal income of Americans some $6.5 billion, along with increasing gross output (product) another $9.6 billion.  This project will create more than $585 million in new revenue for states and will create 13,000 union jobs.  Even better, this energy pipeline is fully paid for by private dollars, meaning no government financing. Yet President Obama and his administration has lobbied against the Keystone XL pipeline which would jumpstart a struggling U.S. economy.  The administration has used excuses that doesn’t make sense to justify their opposition to this program.  First it was the environmental concerns.  When those were proven to be manageable, then the administration pointed to the pipeline route through Nebraska which had not received all of the regulatory approvals. [more...]

Monday, March 5, 2012

Government Employees - The True 1%

How did America become broke and insolvent? How did we build up an unimaginable $115 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities? How did we allow the American Dream to become a nightmare? All we need to do is look at the primary demand the Eurozone and IMF are placing on hopelessly bankrupt Greece to get their new $170 Billion bailout: Greece has agreed to cut 150,000 government employees. Even Cuba's leader Raul Castro recognizes government employees are at the root of economic destruction, as he is cutting over 2 million of them to save Cuba from bankruptcy. The truth is that government employees are the true 1%. We have far too many of them (21 million), they are paid too much, and their union demands are straining taxpayers to the breaking point. [more...]

'Fair Taxes' Actually Are Unfair to All

By Christopher Markowski

The presidential election is grinding away on a single issue: What constitutes a fair tax burden for the support of our great country and way of life. The Democrats say the wealthy should pay more. To wit, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's comment that the most fortunate should pay more for the privilege of being an American. Predictably, the Republicans say this is tantamount to wringing the neck of the Golden Goose. The conflict has an ugly veneer, fresh off the Occupy Wall Street movement where the 99% were pitted against the 1%. "Tax fairness" is all about giving the government more that it can get away with. That's why it's unfair to all, because in the long run, it hurts us all.  [more...]

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oil Speculators Cash In on Washington's Lapse

In 2008, then candidate Obama said gas prices were exorbitant because of failed policies. This week he said they were high because of increasing global demand combined with pockets of unrest. I'm not going to dignify either contention with a reasoned response. Here's the point to keep in mind: Neither the administration nor the Congress wants clarity on energy prices. The reason for this is simple. They are too indebted to the financial services industry that is capitalizing on the confusion to do anything about it. [more...]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Truth About Oil

Iran, OPEC, evil oil companies and hurricanes... oh my! What in the world is driving oil prices? The price we are paying at the pump has never been so high at this time of the year.  The media is already speculating that we will be paying $5 at the pump very soon.  Since Obama has taken office, the price of oil has risen by over 86%.  The media is always coming up with different reasons as to why oil prices rise and fall, and more often than not, they are dead wrong. I will explain to your listeners what is driving the skyrocketing cost of oil.  Are there political forces at work?  Is it the result of our monetary policy?  Is speculation to blame?  What about BIG OIL? [more...]

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Government's Latest Shakedown: $25 Billion - Today's Outrage

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the federal government and 49 state attorneys general reached a $25 billion agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses, something is definitely happening on Shakedown Street. This is nothing more than the Feds holding a gun to the head of the largest banks and telling them to empty their pockets. [more...]

Mr. Obama, We Don't Have a Tax Problem, We Have a Spending Problem

Did you see President Obama's new 2013 budget? It's filled with $1.5 trillion in tax increases for the rich. It appears that the president and his leftist cabal believe we are all stupid. They believe if you tell enough lies, the lies become fact. They spend all day, every day, trying to convince Americans that taxes on the rich are too low. The reality is taxes are not low at all. If you think they are, you've either been brainwashed or you aren't paying taxes. The truth is: The taxes are too damn high. [more...]

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

American Jobs Fallacy

By Christopher Markowski

The mainstream media could hardly hold back their glee with the January jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed our unemployment rate dropping to 8.3%. Hold the Dom Perignon!  The numbers are not what they seem.  In a report worthy of Soviet Central Planning, a record 1.2 million people “disappeared" from the labor force last month.  The labor participation rate is now down to a fresh thirty year low.  When looking at the internal numbers even closer, it actually gets worse. Do any of the candidates have the right stuff on job creation?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EU Nations Should and Will Eventually Drop Off the Euro

Are we becoming slaves of the financial institutions that gamble with our money? Are we rolling over and play dead when Chinese, German and other banks come asking for money that they loaned us so easily? No, my friends, we should not. Let’s have judges and justice departments all over the globe check in the cloudy and murky waters of the hedge funds.  Let's demand from our politicians, left and right, to return to the kind of legislation that did NOT allow banks to gamble, but to simply keep our deposits in TRUST, secure and safe. [more...]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Are Becoming the Biggest Loser

The USA is now ranked 10th in the world in business competitiveness, and in economic freedom, falling behind countries such as Chile and Mauritius. In 2008, I was furious at the fact that we were ranked 5th in the world and offered free market ideas to turn the nation around. Instead we took a sharp left turn. We are now fast becoming a socialist state that takes a back seat to ridiculous government spending that is turning us into a Nanny State. Chris We must change our course immediately lest we go into a socialist death spiral that will be almost impossible to reverse.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shake-Ups in 2012

2012 will be the most interesting, significant, exciting, and frightening year in U.S. and perhaps world history. The EU economic collapse will accelerate. Not only are most major European banks insolvent but so are entire EU countries. Eventually this will lead to a massive European economic depression, which will eventually lead to the breakup of the EU and the end of the euro. [more of Wayne's 2012 predictions here...]

Predictions for the 2012 Economy

"Watchdog on Wall Street" Christopher Markowski, political and economic expert and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, says, "The year is 2012 and the world is seemingly walking a tight rope. From the upcoming election to the never ending European soap opera, our ballooning national debt, China, Venezuela and North Korea to top it all off. What should investors do with such an uncertain and tenuous future?" Call for interviews with Christopher Markowski to find out.