Pipe Dream Economics

Fiscal policy, as opposed to monetary policy, is more readily understood by the average working stiff.  Income taxes, budget deficits, the national debt.  These are all tangible things people can grasp a hold of, if they care to.

The consequences of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) or quantitative easing (QE), however, are less obvious to the casual observer.  They may experience the wild booms and busts of central bank caused price distortions, yet never connect the dots back to the Fed.  Some may falsely condemn capitalism.

The industrious wage earner may also find that, despite working harder and harder, their lot in life never improves.  It may even regress.  Still, many won’t recognize heavy handed monetary policy as factors for their disappointment.

The recent college graduate making a subsistence wage at a franchise coffee shop, and buried under $50,000 in student loan debt, may be deeply aware that something is radically wrong.  How come the cost of school is at such disparity with the value it provides, they may ask? Continue reading

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Central Bank Visions of Absolute Control

There’s not much you can do in the year 2021 that doesn’t leave a digital trail.  The collusion of big tech and big government has assured this.

Still, there does remain one simple way to elude the busybodies.  In fact, one of the last ways to preserve some level of economic privacy is to pay with cash.

Because when you pay with cash the authorities cannot monitor and track what you buy.  They don’t know if the cash you pulled from the ATM was stuffed in your mattress, or used to buy groceries or ammo or silver coins.  What’s more, the authorities don’t like this.

The control freak central planners want to know what you are buying, and where and when you are buying.  They also want to know how much you spend down to the very last cent.  A digital dollar, coupled with the abolition of cash, would allow them to do this.  Moreover, it would provide them the ability to have full control over every transaction you make.

For example, if a purchase falls outside of the parameters established by the digital dollar’s monitoring algorithm, it could be cancelled on the spot. Continue reading

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The Great Computer Chip Shortage of 2021 is Just Heating Up

The great computer chip shortage of 2021 will likely get worse before it gets better.  This conclusion was reached following brief study and anecdotal review.

Moreover, while COVID lockdowns may have initially triggered the shortage, several decades of shortsighted decisions and simmering geopolitical tensions make it much more than a matter of fixing a few broken links in the supply chain.  Here’s why…

The world’s top two leading chip companies are Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.  These two Asian firms, combined, control more than 70 percent of the semiconductor manufacturing market.

The U.S., which was once a leader, lags behind in chip manufacturing after major – and shortsighted – shifts in the business models in the semiconductor industry over the last 15 years.  But this could change…assuming the U.S. government can bend the semiconductor market to better meet its will.

The global semiconductor shortage and geopolitical tensions with China have now prompted Washington scrutiny of the supply chain. Continue reading

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Don’t Take Me for Granted

“Screw your freedom.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, August 11, 2021

Freedom Lost

Freedom in America, and throughout the world, is in decline.  In fact, it has been in decline for many years.

Perhaps a little freedom lost in exchange for security and comfort may seem like a fair trade in certain cases.  But caution is advised.  As the idea of what freedoms are acceptable to give up expands, the air of freedom becomes polluted.

Small losses of freedom, whittled away incrementally, add up.  You may not notice it from day to day.  Yet over time the sum losses have resulted in a world that’s dramatically less free.

Compulsory seatbelt requirements or drivers licenses may not be a big deal.  One could argue this government regulation is a small sacrifice that’s intended to provide public safety.  Yet maybe the world would be a better off without it.

And what about body scan searches to board an airplane?  Or proof of vaccination to enter an indoor business or to cross state lines?  What about vaccine passports? Continue reading

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