Perry Glasser

THE GOOD NEWS

In Business, Economics, Economy, Political Economy, ROBERT REICH, SOCIAL MEDIA, TAXES on January 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm

SOCIAL MEDIA STARS -TWOFER

Dollar$ like to imagine the column is the counterpoint to the tsunami of illogic and disinformation that rises in the far off muddled oceans and then inundates us all. Good news rarely makes it into major media. Social media is more iffy, but the War for Clicks devolves into imagery of Fluffy the Cat or Adolph Hitler because as long as there is no middle ground, panic, disgust, and self-pity rules the day.

Good News

  • Though legions of the self-righteous were quick to announce they had to leave the country because of The Orange One’s election, they are still here. Yes, that is good news. This is America, and in America when an election result does not confirm your convictions you are obliged to learn something and, if so inclined, try again. (Go Joe!  Joe Biden that is.)
  • Urban murder rates in the US are the lowest they have been since 1990. That’s hard to notice on the Left where shrill accusations of American racism serve as a touchpoint for activism no matter how distant the cry lies from Truth.
  • The stock market is at an all-time high. Again, the Left wants you to believe that lives are being crushed by corporate America when, in fact, more than half of all American workers have 401-k accounts whose returns have been staggering in the past 2 years. Will there be a correction?  Of course. So what? Stay the course; grow rich sloooooowly.
  • Unemployment rates are so low that wages are rising. If employers want hands, eyes, or brains, they have to bid for them. Cynics question the motives of organizations that have perceived the 2018 tax cut as an occasion to raise minimum wage and to give low-level workers raises.   No one, however, has yet demanded that workers scorn the new money in their wallets. Dollar$ suggests the true cause is a worldwide growing economy.
  • Your take-home pay starting in February will be higher. If you are on salary, You get to keep more or what you earn. Robert Reich* and other progressives who lack a program beyond, “I’m against it!”  are at pains to remind us that this is really a profound plot to transfer wealth from your pocket to the pockets of the rich. Dollar$, however, suggests you buy a better Pinot. Should the tax law need to be adjusted, it will be. After all, if tax law were shaped in brittle concrete, how did it get changed this year?

* Professor Reich continues to redefine chutzpah by not only telling citizens his work is vital to the program-free Resistance, but by asking us to pay to see that vital message on Netflix. This is akin to expecting members of the maquis before they were strangled with piano wire to have passed a hat to continue their vital anti-Nazi work and expecting the SS to look on benignly before beginning any torture.
All right, maybe they’d pass a beret.

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REICH AND THE RESISTANCE

In Economy, Politics, ROBERT REICH, SOCIAL MEDIA on December 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm

Dollar$ apologizes for departing from its usual mission to analyze finance and instead articulate a political opinion. Lord know we don’t need another internet opinion, opinions being like rear ends—everyone has one, and everyone is sure theirs looks and smells better than anyone else’s.  But it is time Professor Robert Reich be called out. Enough is enough, and in this case enough is too much.

Professor Reich professes at U Cal Beserkely where California in 2016 paid him $263,000 to teach a class or two each year—that’s about $25,000 per lecture. That arduous duty is assisted by graduate students, also paid for by the U Cal system. That leaves the former Secretary of Labor plenty of time for speaking engagements at $40,000 a pop.

It’s not hard to be productive if you have a crew of graduate teaching assistants in your personal blog mill. Professor Reich produces 3 to 5 social media posts and short videos per day  and peddles a series of lectures on Netflix.

He lectures on wealth inequality in America.

Dollar$ is not waiting for the professor to start turning back his salary to Californians.

Professor Reich had high expectations that he’d return to the corridors of power with the elevation of Hillary Clinton to the presidency. That presumption afflicted plenty of coastal intellectuals who thereby fumbled the election by neglecting to campaign in several swing states such as Ohio and Wisconsin, places former President Obama won, twice.

In Reich’s case, the shock of loss has precipitated two responses:

  • Reich wrote a book called Saving Capitalism, which at his levels of compensation suggests the question “Save it for whom?”
  • Reich has positioned himself as the leader of The Resistance, the enemy being President Trump.

In the pictures above, can you guess, which is the real resistance fighter?

Dollar$ is no fan of Donald Trump, who in his personal history proves himself to be a lout and whose public utterances and Twitter-babble are a national embarrassment.

That said, Dollar$ points out to Reich and others that history is non-malleable fact (except at universities where professors who scoff at notions of “fake news” also posit that we live in a world where Truth is a matter of perspective).  Importantly, History is not a metaphor. That stuff happened to real people, and it was often less than pretty.

No one doubts that all internet arguments devolve into comparisons to Hitler, but until Professor Reich and other “resistors” show evidence that American citizens in the 21st century are being tortured and strangled with loops of piano wire, can we hope to no longer see a reference to the Resistance in WW2?

It’s not fun; it’s not persuasive; it’s not appropriate. And other than being a hope concerned citizens will send Professor Reich a few bucks, Reich’s Resistance has absolutely no program.

All the posture does is insult brave men and women whose sacrifice and courage should not be trampled for a cheap political point.

 

BITCOIN IN WONDERLAND

In Business, Economics, EDUCATION, Finance, Personal Finance, Political Economy, Wall Street, Wall Street Journal on December 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

“Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); ‘now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!”

Bitcoin Speculator

Bitcoin Speculator

Whenever Dollar$ believes the Bitcoin mania is safely dead, someone nibbles a few crumbs of Bitcoin Cake and we hauled back to Looking Glass Land where mad creatures believe strongly that “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never jam today,” is an economic promise and not an explanation the White Queen offers Alice.

The Queen said. ‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.’
‘It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”‘ Alice objected.
‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.’

Beware of strange substances that are labeled Eat Me.

A Silicon Valley startup called Xapo is the White Queen of BitcoinLand.

If you think gains like these are sustainable or represent some sort of value, you must have been eating Alice’s cakes. Maybe you’ve got some of that jam from yesterday. You might also wish to contact Dollar$ who just happens to have shares in the Brooklyn Bridge he can be persuaded to sell to you, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

BTC-2010-lin

 

Xapo is headquartered in Hong Kong, safely away from pesky US regulatory agencies. Sure, they’ve got offices in California, but so does every other financial firm in the world. The Board of Directors boasts former bankers from Argentina and Brazil, not exactly world beaters for stable currencies.

Magic Beans

The bitcoin business proposition is like the story Jack and the Beanstalk. (When it comes to bitcoins, metaphors from fantasy and fairytales are unavoidable.) Give us your real cow, and we will give you magic beans! Overnight they will grow to the sky! When you get up there, you’ll probably encounter a voracious giant ! To survive the giant, you’ll need to be a thief and run like Hell! All you need is the heart of a thief!

The Xapo Proposition

Xapo claims to have constructed physical vaults, “the company says are in mountainous regions.” There are no physical coins, of course. What will be down there will be computers Xapo promises will never be connected to the Internet–you know, like your laptop with no wifi.  If so, that means an army of people doing data entry on a army of disconnected laptops, in mountainous regions that cannot be approached easily. The mountain locations are, naturally, top secret.

If this does not strike you as the premise of a James Bond plot to bring down the world currency markets, what does?

goldeneye_oddjob007_reloade

Bitcoin Security

Liquidity

The bottomless credulity of the cyber-community originates with vitamin deficiencies caused by a steady diet of cold pizza and Red Bull for breakfast, watching Goldfinger too many times, the conviction being that one can get rich without ever getting out of a chair, if armed with an unshakeable libertarian belief that the arms merchants, sex traffickers, and drug dealers MUST have an untraceable non-government issued currency for money laundering.

Bitcoin Banker

Bitcoin Banker