BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Category: Business (Page 1 of 3)

My Dennis Michael Lynch Appearance on Immigration: ‘America Isn’t Just an Economic Entity’

On Monday 2/8, I sat in as a guest on Newsmax TV’s DML Unfiltered.”

During the episode, we had the chance to discuss several points including a supposed stand-down order given to border patrol agents and America’s immigration policies more broadly, the useful idiots being produced by America’s education system and what Donald Trump (or other Republicans) have to do to defeat Hillary Clinton.

You can watch the relevant clips below.

Immigration

America’s Useful Idiots and Our Education System

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Government Thinks You’re Too Dumb To Try Crowdfunding

Over at The Federalist, I write about how the SEC is subverting perhaps the only piece of pro-market legislation passed during the Obama administration in the so-called “crowdfunding” component of the JOBS Act.

This bill was supposed to democratize startup funding by allowing you and I to invest in the next Uber. Instead, in its implementation of the law, the SEC is completely undermining that aim and discouraging companies from availing themselves of crowdfunded equity altogether.

Here is a taste of the piece:

Market participants in crowdfunding would invest in companies with varying levels of disclosure on varying terms based upon risk-reward payoffs they deem appropriate. In fact, while startups are loathe to provide detailed information on their operations, some companies would voluntarily provide more robust disclosures to entice greater investment on more company-friendly terms, thereby creating a potential race to the top without government coercion.

Moreover, market participants are perfectly capable of determining for themselves how much money they should invest in speculative startup ventures. Americans are free to spend as much as we want on everything from doughnuts to liquor and lottery tickets. Investing in startups may provide only marginally better odds than the latter; at the very least it has the upside of leaving us thinner and sober. Why should government leave us free to choose on how we spend on some things, but not others?

Read the whole thing here.

 

Featured Image Source: JoBlo.

When Progressive Policies Cause Creative Destruction

Be sure to check out my latest article over at The Federalist, where I examine the collision course we are on between technological advancement/automation and progressive policies that are ironically causing technological advancement/automation to accelerate, low-skill progressive voters be damned.

Here’s a taste:

For years now, we have seen headlines foretelling a doomsday scenario in which mass numbers of Americans are thrown out of work, replaced by computers, robots, and other time-saving, liability-minimizing machines. Human capital is not static, and not all process changes will happen all at once. Different industries evolve at different speeds, and human beings are adaptive. Yet it is only natural that businesses need continually seek ways to lower costs to profit and survive, and automation is a key means by which to do so.

In an age in which the “deadweight loss” attributable to taxes, compliance, and hyper-regulation is massive, automation will become far cheaper than having to hire, train, and pay severance to human beings. Since regulation is the mother of innovation, so artificially high costs from other forms of government intervention will force businesses to innovate by first replacing full-time workers with temporary ones, and eventually with cost-effective machines that do not require health and welfare benefits and pensions.

This presents an interesting conundrum for a Progressive coalition that relies in part upon the very poor. To the degree to which large-scale Progressive reforms like Obamacare and the recently popular $15 minimum wage raises the cost of doing business, the move to automate will only accelerate, hurting most those lower-skilled, generally poorer constituencies, which happen to be politically Progressive. This “creative destruction” will be an unwelcome development to many manual laborers, a betrayal to the Progressive political class.

Read the whole thing here.

China Chills ‘Rumor Spreaders’ Because It Can’t Handle The Truth of Communist Wreckage

The recent collapse of the Chinese stock market, and the inability of the country’s central planners to “successfully” intervene and stop the slide of prices artificially elevated thanks to their previous intervention is a serious rebuke to the Communist regime.

That is why today the Chinese government is seeking out scapegoats, reportedly arresting around 200 people for “rumor-mongering” or related “violations” in connection with the market selloff and recent Tianjin chemical factory explosion.

This follows a series of other desperate moves:

Since an epic stock boom went bust this summer, China’s government has struggled to contain the crisis, ordering the press to downplay the story, and periodically singling out scapegoats, from hostile foreign forces, to“malicious” short-sellers, to the U.S. Federal Reserve and now, the press.

Notably, concerning this latest round of illiberal and ill-conceived “damage control,” the Chinese authorities forced a financial journalist named Wang Xiaolu to “confess” on Chinese state television to one such supposed violation resulting from a report he published in late July in which he indicated that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was contemplating ceasing share price “stabilization” efforts.

And all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot handle the truth that it has blown a bubble of epic proportions that like all bubbles must end in liquidation; all of this because the Communist Chinese regime cannot bear to take responsibility for its failed central planning reflected in plunging financial asset prices.

The free flow of information, like the free flow of ideas and capital, is anathema to totalitarian regimes, and indeed dangerous to them.

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7 Minutes With Jim Grant Tells You All You Need to Know About World Markets Today

A must-watch interview with the publisher of the great Grant’s Interest Rate Observer conducted by Reason’s Matt Welch:

For a much deeper dive with Jim Grant from several months back, check out my interview with him on the insightful and ever-relevant The Forgotten Depression.

I spoke about it with TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka starting at 21:43 below:

 

Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab/Reason.

21 Thoughts About The Fed, China, Markets and #BlackMonday 2015

First, if we really are entering a global bear market worldwide, this must be said up front:

The Fatal Conceit aside, here are my 2 Bitcoins worth of thoughts in the wake of today’s market convulsions:

1) People ought to stop thinking The Federal Reserve can drop manna from the heavens.

The Fed is not G-d. It is a group of very mortal central planners who control the cost of money. Unfortunately now, they control so much more, in an attempt to manipulate the prices of financial assets and prop up whole industries.

We should pray for a world in which people’s lives do not hinge on transcripts of Fed minutes.

2) The Fed has zero incentive to raise rates and extricate itself from financial markets.

It will always find an excuse (turbulence in the markets, tepid growth, political uncertainty) to follow the path of least resistance (in this case keeping the Fed Funds rate at 0% ad infinitum). What political reason could it possibly have to allow interest rates and prices to normalize?

Peter Schiff agrees:

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The Left’s Minimum Wage ‘Compassion’ Actually Reflects Contempt for Entry Level Workers and Entrepreneurs

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association, alerts us to the latest plan to ensure “economic justice” through raising worker pay by government decree.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, believing that the Empire State is free from the strictures of supply and demand curves — or more likely that he must appease Big Labor — is promoting a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.75 an hour for workers in fast-food restaurants with 30 or more locations.

Supply Demand

(Image Source: Danieljmitchell.wordpress.com)

Such a plan may be politically astute — how can anyone be so heartless as to oppose higher pay — but its practical effects will illustrate that as with most all such policies, progressives hurt most those those they purport to want to help.

As Caldeira notes, when prices are set by fiat, you get adverse consequences. Under Gov. Cuomo’s plan:

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An In-Depth Interview With Kimberly Guilfoyle on Achieving Your Dreams

Full Interview

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James Piereson Discusses America’s “Shattered Consensus”

Full Interview

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Economist Walter E. Williams Discusses America’s Contempt for Liberty

Full Interview

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