Archive for the Economics Category

Are “Prices” A Language? Are Antitrust Laws Grounded In The First Amendment? How Do We Forestall The “Frightful Five” And Other Monopolies? Oh, And Happy Halloween! (October 30, 2017)

Posted in Amazon, Apple, Constitution, Economics, Facebook, First Amendment, Google, Internet, Language, Microsoft, Monopoly, Price, Radio, Technology on October 30, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Prices for goods and services are a language spoken with numbers (7) not letters (L).”

J          “I love language.  French is the language of love and the language of diplomacy.  Accounting is the language of business.  So Prices are the language of a free market economy?”

K          “Yes.  Russian is one of the languages of literature.”

J          “So is French.”

K          “And English.”

. . .

K          “Monopolies distort Prices which distorts speech.  By distorting Prices, the public is making inaccurate and incomplete decisions and paying more for goods and services while the corporations are not internalizing externalities.”

J          “Price may just be the real Esperanto.”

. . .   

J          “The current monopolies are in part the consequence of acts of commission and even more often acts of omission by the government.”

K          “The problem with my analysis is that the First Amendment is a restriction on government activity not a requirement for government action.”

J          “So the Constitution is unavailing.  We are stuck with Congress, the executive agencies and the courts to protect us.”

K          “They do not speak our language.”

. . .

[See the interview by Terry Gross with the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo with “The New York Times” who cautions that the “Frightful Five” (Amazon, Google/Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook) are more powerful than the governments on the “Fresh Air” radio program titled “How 5 Tech Giants Have Become More Like Governments Than Companies” on October 26, 2017.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Spanish is the language a man uses to talk to his God;

French is the language a man uses to talk to his wife;

Italian is the language a man uses to talk to his mistress;

German is the language a man uses to talk to his mule.

And English is the language a man uses to fly a plane or to surf the web or to engage in international discourse.  You create it, you talk it.

And Price is the language a man and a woman use to value and exchange resources.

Second Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 9, 2017)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Economics, Economics Nobel, Nobel Prize, Noble Prize, Noble Prize in Eco-nomics on October 9, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “An award dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the work of someone on the planet who really knows something about eco-nomics.  Eco-nomics is about making and sharing; e-con-omics is about taking and stealing.”

J          “The Noble Prize in Eco-nomics is a delightful and playful replacement for the discredited ‘Nobel’ Prize in Voodoo E-con-omics.  And I get it.  You get what you reward.  You need to reward what you want to get.  Who gets it this year?”

K          “The recipient of the second annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics is . . . Norbert Häring of Planet Earth and Germany.  His considerable corpus of work is undergirded by the conviction that eco-nomics should be concerned with pursuing the public good not just producing goods.”

. . .

[See “There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics” in “AlterNet” by Yasha Levine dated October 12, 2012, “The Nobel family dissociates itself from the economics prize” in “Real-World Economics Review Blog” by Jorge Buzaglo dated October 22, 2010 and “The Beauty (Pageant?) of Economics” in “Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis” by Ronald A. Wirtz dated September 1, 1999.]

[See the e-commentary at “Announcing The First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (May 2, 2016)”, “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”, “From e-con-omics to eco-nomics? (August 1, 2011)” and “Skip the Nobel in Economics (October 6, 2009).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Eco-nomics is about good; e-con-omics is about goods

Eco-nomics is about making; e-con-omics is about taking

Eco-nomics is about making good; e-con-omics is about taking goods

“There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”  Claude-Frédéric Bastiat

Charlottesville . . . Chancellorsville? (August 14, 2017)

Posted in Economics, Education, Military, Race, Schooling, Schooling Industrial Complex, Trumpi on August 14, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Hate may abate, but it will never sate.”

J          “Despite what is in the Constitution, hate is in our constitution.”

. . .

K          “Academia is one of the battlefields.  Education is part of the solution and may impart some tolerance and understanding.” 

J          “At core, the battle is economic.  To make it, one must be schooled.  Those not making it need to blame someone or something else for their circumstances.”

K          “Tolerance and understanding are easier to swallow if one also has some chow to swallow.”

. . .

K          “Two of the racist rabble rousers were schooled at the University that is still addressing and assessing its racist history.”

J          “So much for schooling.  Schooling can only do so much.”

. . .

J          “At Chancellorsville, Lee divided his armies.  In the Charlottesville campaign, Lee’s contemporary clans united their armies under the sham pretense of protecting his statue.”

K          “Scrutinize the flags, banners and gonfalons carried by the goons.  The White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Freikorps and other malcontents and discontents are mobilized and mobilizing for an uncivil war.”

J          “And awaiting the spark.  Donaldo Trumpi as President is doing nothing to provide them with economic opportunity and everything as the ‘Dog-Whistler In Chief’ to promote the conflict.”

. . .

J          “What heroes should we celebrate to replace Fort Benning and Fort Bragg?”

K          “Fort E. Shinseki and Fort S. Butler?”

. . .

K          “And yet we as a society must do everything reasonable to promote and foster the right of peaceful assembly – even for the goons – subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.”

J          “But they were not assembling themselves, they were intimidating others.  And the authorities knew what would erupt when the two groups were allowed to collide.”

. . .

[This week, consider considering the e-commentary at “Rerouting History (February 15, 2016)”, “The Confederate Flag:  What Does It Mean To You? (July 6, 2015)”, “Celebrate Virginia’s ‘Celebrate Slavery Month’ (April 12, 2010)”, “King Daze (January 20, 2014)” “Columbus And The Redskins (October 14, 2013)” and Brown Is The New Black (February 18, 2008)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Remove the statues; end the idolatry

Honesty And Efficiency . . . In Life And Law (July 31, 2017)

Posted in Courts, Economics, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, On [Traits/Characteristics], Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty on July 31, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .    

K          “Economists are indifferent to honesty yet revere efficiency as a fetish.  Look at how inefficient the practice and pursuit of dishonesty is in our daily lives.  I have enough experience and am confident that one out of every ten of her statements is false.  Confirming the veracity of her statements consumes resources, both in time and money.  Of her ten statements, which one is false?  The seventh statement?  The second statement?  The fifth statement is the one in the middle and surely must be false.  Surely.  Probably.  Possibly.  Likely.”

J          “If you cannot rely on the veracity of every statement, then you cannot rely on the veracity of any statement.”

K          “The dilemma.  The expensive dilemma.  After nine honest statements, the next statement must be a lie.  Then, if or when it is a lie, can I rely on the next nine statements as truth?  However, the very next statement may be a lie followed perhaps by nine honest statements.”

J          “They are right.  Inefficiency is so inefficient.”

. . .     

K          “I have seen the handiwork of a judge who probably is not a fundamentally dishonest person who nonetheless wrote at least one blatantly dishonest decision.  He could not know.  And I know the truth, the facts and the law.  If that is the only data, is the judge accurately characterized as dishonest?”

J          “If someone is dishonest only ten percent of the time, is the person honest?”

. . .

J          “Joe DiMaggio said ‘There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.’  The judge did not care that you would only be seeing him once.”   

K          “And no camera lights were on him to keep him honest.”

J          “When you get right down to it, someone who is dishonest only ten percent of the time is presumptively dishonest.”

K          “Challenging the presumption is expensive, both in time and money.  Over the decades I have discovered that judges, all on the public payroll in America, are more dishonest more of the time than any other profession except real estate agents and used car salesmen.”   

J          “They are in the private sector and are expected to cant their sales pitch.  Judges may forget that they are in the public sector and are paid by the public.”

K          “Their power is unchecked.  There is no ethos of ethics or honesty in America today.”

. . .   

[See the e-commentary at “On Standards & Quality (July 20, 2015)”, “The Court Of Truth And Justice (CTJ) (August 29, 2016)”, “Assigning Blame:  The Lawyers: 50 Percent; The Non-Lawyer Public: 50 Percent; The Judges: 100 Percent (December 3, 2012)” and “Perjury, the American Way (February 20, 2006).”

Bumper sticker of the week:

If it feels good, do it

Social (In)Security And The C.P.I. (May 29, 2017)

Posted in Economics, Inflation, Social Security on May 29, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2015 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,374.90

  • Your 2015 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $146.90

$104.90 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$42.00 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount based on your 2013 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 2, 2015 is:                                                                      $1,228.00

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2016 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,374.60

  • Your 2016 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $243.60

$121.80 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$121.80 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount based on your 2014 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on December 31, 2015 is:                                                             $1,131.00

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

  • Your new 2017 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $1,378.90

  • Your 2017 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $267.90

$134.00 for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$133.90 for the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) based on your 2015 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 3, 2017 is:                                                              $1,111.00

 How Much Social Security Will I Get?

 Your new 2018 monthly benefit

Amount before deduction is:                                                          $?,???.??

  • Your 2018 monthly deduction for the

Medicare Part B Premium is:                                                            $???.??

$???.?? for the standard Medicare premium, plus

$???.?? for the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) based on your 2017 income tax return

  • Your benefit amount after deductions that will be deposited into your bank account or sent in your check on January 3, 2018 is:                                                                  $?,???.00

. . .

[John Fitzgerald Kennedy – May 29, 1917.]

[See “Shadow Stats” www.shadowstats.com collected by John Williams and navigate the site.]

[See the e-commentary at “Back Door Inflation (July 16, 2007)” and “The Economic Numbers Game (May 5, 2008).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

What did we fight for, again?

How Much Social Security Will I Get?

Will I Get Much Social Security?

Will I Get Social Security?

Will I Get Security?

Will I Get Security Socially?

“The cost of living has gone up another dollar a quart.”  W.C. Fields

They allege that the cost of living for the consumer has not gone up, but I never got the memo.

“And 3 Feet Above The ‘Recalibrated Sea Level’!!!” (May 22, 2017)

Posted in Architecture, Economics, Health Care, Housing on May 22, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Forget about the attractive magnet schools, forget about the nine star energy rating, forget about the cute little pergola in the back yard.  Recall and remember that the property is 3 feet above the official published ‘Recalibrated Sea Level’ (‘RSL’) for the region!!!  3 whole feet!!!  Almost a meter of freeboard.”

J          “The sales brochure proclaims:  ‘Natural gas bill:  only $14,700 per year!  And only 1600 square feet!’  That should seal the deal.”

. . .

K          “The premium for the flood insurance exceeds the yearly mortgage payments, but that is the way it is today.”

J          “Bummer.”

K          “But it is still slightly less than my health insurance premium.”

. . .

K          “I think they call it ‘contemporary architecture’ in all the tony salons.”

J          “Did you read if the HOA provisions allow you to use one of the swamped homes in the neighborhood as a duck shack?”

K          “If you have both your state and federal duck stamps and a temporary use permit on your person.  But there is a three-day stay limitation.”

. . .

[See the article “High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises” by Erika Bolstad in “Scientific American” dated May 1, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary at “The Marginal Utility of (House) Utilities:  Only 1600 Square Feet! (October 25, 2010)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Take the high ground, take the high road.

First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 10, 2016)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Banks and Banking System, Courage, Credit Unions, Crime/Punishment, Economics, Economics Nobel, FDIC, Journalism, Kleptocracy, Law, Newspapers, Nobel Prize, Noble Prize, Press/Media, Rule of Law, Song Reference on October 10, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “An award dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the work of someone on the planet who really knows something about eco-nomics.”

J          “Novel.  Appropriate.  Necessary.  And unprecedented.”

K          “The recipient of the first annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics is . . . Professor William Kurt Black, Esq. professor of law and economics with the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  With decades of substantial and substantive real world experience, Professor Black examines and explicates the workings of banks and the banking system in the United States and the world with insight and conviction.  In his classic, timely and timeless magnum opus The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, he advances the conservative notion that those in the banking industry who commit systematic and rampant fraud should be convicted.  In an inspiring TEDxUMKC presentation available at TED the national public forum, he notes that bankers deploy banks as weapons of mass destruction against the public.  Unlike so many other law professors and judges who explore the interface of law and economics, he contends that law and economics should serve more than the interests of the wealthy and the powerful.  A felicitous contributor to the public discourse and dialogue, Professor Black’s continuing academic and personal commitment to the common weal and greater good is a good thing.”

. . .

[“This is Walter Kingsbury Brinkley, XYZ News, New York.  Earlier today, the highly coveted Noble Prize In Eco-nomics was awarded to Professor William K. Black, Esq. of the University of Missouri at Kansas City.  In his most celebrated work, Professor Black contends among other observations that the adoption of the rule of law in America is a swell idea.  In a related development, the Swedish bankers convened and announced the 2016 Nobel Prize in E-con-omics given to the individual who has or individuals who have done the most during his, her or their career to advance the interests of the wealthy and powerful.  . . . “]

[See the e-commentary at “Announcing The First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (May 2, 2016)”, “Award Deadlines (Livelines?) (July 25, 2016)”, “From e-con-omics to eco-nomics? (August 1, 2011)” and “Skip the Nobel in Economics (Oct. 6, 2009).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered I’ve seen lots of funny men; Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.”  “The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd” by Woody Guthrie (c) 1958 (renewed) Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc.

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank; give a man a bank and he can rob the world.