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    • Free Talk Live 2014-11-28
      Black Friday Madness :: Were things better in the past? :: Waiting In Line :: Religion and Morality :: Consumerism :: Black Friday Darker in Other Countries? :: Man Arrested for Pointing Banana At Police :: Drug Use and Being a Better Person :: Activist Critique :: Robin Hooding Tactics :: Crossing Guard Attack
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    • The Clock is Ticking in Switzerland
      For most of my career in international investing, I had always placed a great deal of faith in Switzerland's financial markets. In recent years, however, as the Swiss government has sought to hitch its wagon to the flailing euro currency and kowtow increasingly to U.S.-based financial requirements, this faith has been shaken. But this week (November 30t […]
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      As Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has turned his country into a petri dish of Keynesian ideas, the trajectory of Japan's economy has much to teach us about the wisdom of those policies. And although the warning sirens are blasting at the highest volumes imaginable, few economists can hear the alarm. (A longer version of this article can be found in E […]
    • Contemplating Stocks without QE
      Some influences on the stock market are casual, subtle or open to interpretation, but the catalyst behind the current stock market rally really shouldn't be controversial. As far as stocks go, we have lived by QE. The only question now is, whether we will die without it. A larger version of this article appears in the fall edition of Euro Pacific Capita […]
    • It's The Economy, and They're Not Stupid
      The sharp rebuke to the Obama administration delivered by the mid-term elections should not be construed as an endorsement of the GOP, which remains as unpopular as ever. Rather, as has been the case in the last few election cycles, voter revolts have hinged on continued dissatisfaction with the strength of the economy and the diminishing financial prospects […]
    • Governments Need Inflation, Economies Don't
      In an article in the UK's Telegraph on October 10, veteran economic correspondent Ambrose Evans-Pritchard laid bare the essential truth of the nearly universal current embrace of inflation as an economic panacea. While politicians, CEOs and economists talk about demand stimulus and the avoidance of a deflationary trap, Evans-Pritchard reminds us that in […]

Ready Ames Fire! The Iowa Presidential Straw Poll

August 13th is the Ames, Iowa presidential straw poll.  Why is this so important?  The winner of this straw poll almost always wins the primary next year in Iowa, and Iowa is the first primary state in the election so it’s critical to the campaign’s momentum to get an early victory.  A member of our SB Meetup, Jun Dam, has created a website for people to phone bank in Iowa here: http://grassroots.wildfireplatform.com/t/sbrp.  It’s really easy to use, and if you just have a little spare time after work or on the weekends, then any amount of calls can make a big different.  All we need to do is identify Ron Paul supporters and urge them to purchase tickets for the straw poll in Ames.

Another helpful website related to this is http://www.iowaforronpaul.com.  This site was created by Ron Paul’s PAC and has up to the minute news about the campaign’s progress in Iowa and ways you can help out.  If you navigate to the Projects section, there’s a breakdown of all the operations that need funding that you can donate to directly.

The College Bubble

Despite my recent post calling out NIA’s unethical schemes, they do put out some great information as long as you ignore their penny stock suggestions.  Most of NIA’s documentaries on YouTube are definitely worth watching and their latest one, College Conspiracy, exposes some important issues that everyone should heed, especially the future generation.  This film completely shuns the common notion that everyone should go to college if they want to succeed in life and warns that the next huge bubble in our economy will be our colleges.  Very few people have spoken out on this issue, but as of late it’s starting to become discussed by more prominent figures such as Peter Schiff, Gerald Celente, and Adam Kokesh.  For instance, Peter Schiff has been saying that unless you go to college with a specific career in mind, you’re better off going directly into the job market.  This way you avoid piling up student debt, you can start generating revenue immediately, and after 4 or 5 years you can probably be in a position that’s just as good as one you’d get out of college.

College Conspiracy starts with a little history lesson by showing how after WWII college degrees were a prestigious achievement that set employees apart.  No matter what subject a student studied, when they graduated they were able to find work in any number of fields.  Nowadays, almost everyone goes to college right out of high school and holding a college degree doesn’t set you apart from anyone.  Due to ever growing demand in colleges and government subsidized student loans, the price of college tuition has risen exponentially.  The film highlights one lady who went to nursing school back in the 90’s and accumulated over $200K in student debt and ten years later she still can barely make her minimum payments.  She was told that nursing jobs will always be in high demand, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  If she had the choice to do it all over again, she would have never chosen to pursue nursing school.

Student loan debt in the US has surpassed total credit card debt.  This is caused entirely by the government’s loose lending standards to students and their push to make college tuition “affordable” for everyone.  If you haven’t already noticed, this is exactly the same policies that lead to the housing market crash.  Instead of Sallie Mae, it was Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing people’s mortgages and the government promoting a home ownership society via tax breaks and other incentives.  This fueled a housing market mania, shooting up home prices to unsustainable levels and causing the bubble to inevitably crash.  As a result our nation is still in one of the worst recession’s in history.  Sadly when unemployment started to jump over 10%, many people who feared the terrible job market opted to go back to school in an attempt to come out more employable in the future.  Unfortunately, when most students graduate they will be faced with mountains of debt and few jobs to fill, and unlike credit card debt, student loan debt has no escape clause and one cannot just declare bankruptcy to default on it. In fact, if you saw the news recently, a SWAT team barged into a family’s house when a wife owed money on her student loans (you can find the article here).  This is what the country is coming to when government gets in bed with education.  Their indoctrination will enslave the youth with mountains of debt that they’ll have to work like slaves to pay off, and if not they’ll send in their goons.

Eventually students are going to stop paying for such highly inflated tuition costs and once enrollment begins to drop, the bubble will pop and colleges will start going bankrupt in droves.  Like most government programs meant to make something more affordable, our government’s meddling in education has done the exact opposite and has completely stifled any good innovation or progress (health care is another classic example).  Technology, on the other hand, will fill the void when colleges are exposed as poor investments.  For a fraction of the cost, online virtual courses can teach students just as effectively as physical classrooms.  They can offer lessons by world class professors and let the students learn at their own pace.  This is the future of learning, and one that is much different than the stale model that’s currently our educational system.

Recently, entrepreneurship and creativity have been on the decline, while the financial sector,  lawyers, and beauracrats have been on the rise.  As our country’s trade imbalances continue to grow and our nation is faced with a looming debt crisis, these are not the kind of jobs we need.  We need innovators, not drones; producers, not parasites.  If you take the majority of self made millionaires and business owners today, most will tell you that college did nothing to aid in their success.  To put this idea to practice, the founder of Pay Pal, Peter Thiel, has recently offered a $100K scholarship to 24 candidates to skip college and to work on entrepeneurial projects in Silicon Valley (this was recently discussed on Adam vs The Man here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvVkoPOkBSk&feature=youtu.be).

Although I’ve taken a critical look at colleges, I should note for some people, higher education is definitely recommended.  For those who want to be doctors, there is pretty much no avoiding many long years universities.  But the idea that college is a guaranteed path to success should not be taken for granted and hopefully we start taking a serious look at them using a cost benefit analysis.  We are in the Age of Information, and it’s definitely not because of our higher education.  It’s because of technology that we’ve increased our knowledge capacity.  With the world wide web available to just about anyone via their smartphone, computer, TV’s, and gaming systems, we have unlimited information at our fingertips.  Using this wealth of information, students need to follow their passion and creativity so that it can be developed into a career in which they can best succeed.  Being forced to take college classes the government feels is necessary to make us well rounded individuals is not the ideal approach to learning and one cannot expect students to fully appreciate the subject.  For instance, I hardly learned anything about the true nature of politics while in school, and it wasn’t until after I graduated did my passion for it spark.  After researching the subject intensely, my views of the world changed and I developed a political ideology of libertarianism.  At that point forward, I began to follow politics very closely and became involved with many national and local political campaigns.  My growth in this area is entirely self motivated and possible because of the Internet, and if I pursue something further in the field then its because of what I’ve learned after college.

For your reference, here’s College Conspiracy:

For Liberty: How the Ron Paul Revolution Watered the Withered Tree of Liberty (my 1 second cameo)

I just finished watching an awesome documentary called For Liberty which details the surge of the Ron Paul Revolution back in 2007/2008.  It brought back many great memories and made me psyched about the upcoming 2012 election cycle.  The documentary starts with the early 2007 GOP presidential debates in which Ron Paul made a name for himself and then culminates in his giant Rally for the Republic counter-convention in St. Paul, Minnesota which gathered more than 15,000 supporters in August, 2008.

My 1 second of fame in the documentary. If you notice, immediately to my left was the Libertarian Party presidential nominee, Bob Barr. He was a douchebag who tried to ride Ron Paul's cottails and attract his supporters.

Coincidentally, I noticed that my wife and I had a brief cameo in the film because we traveled to Minnesota for the Rally for the Republic and we were right outside the Target Center when the Freedom Walkers arrived.  I posted a screen capture from the documentary pointing myself  out at the 1:45:52 mark.  My one second of fame!  FYI, I was wearing my “Legalize the Constitution, Ron Paul 2008″ t-shirt.

For those who supported Ron Paul in the past, this is a definite must see as it will reignite the passion that you experienced in 2008 and get your adrenaline pumping to go out and all do it again this next election cycle.  Those who don’t support Ron Paul or don’t know who he is, this is a great primer to see what the revolution is all about and how it is unlike any other phenomenon tapped by a presidential candidate in the past.  Some may wonder or question how such a revolution began, and this video will show them.  There was a passion for liberty in each one of us, and Ron Paul was just the messenger that set it on fire and brought it out.  As such, it is not centered around one man, nor will it end after Ron Paul’s campaigns end.  It’s a spontaneous and decentralized force that will continue to burn until the country is set free.  Let’s go out and continue the revolution and keep fighting to get Ron Paul and many other liberty candidates elected in 2012!

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