Tax Wealth

The United States badly needs to eliminate the income tax which hurts workers. Instead it should enact a wealth tax. raising revenue to run the government from a wealth tax rather than an income tax what encourage people to make sure they were getting high returns on their wealth rather than just sitting on cash. It would be very beneficial for everyone.

Competition

Competition is hugely important… It keeps everyone honest. If my prices are too high or quality too low, customers just choose another provider.

Without competition, laziness / complacency / corruption always set in. This is the downfall with both socialism and with our patent system… There is no motivation to work harder or reduce prices.

Evacuate Hong Kong

The freedom loving protesters in Hong Kong are in deep trouble. The Chinese army has arrived on the scene, and history shows this can end in slaughter. The current leadership in China is basically a dictatorship that will respond extremely harshly to perceived threats.

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Even if all the protesters went home today, China will still use facial recognition on the thousands of photos of the protesters from the early days, then will systematically hunt them down and purge them.

So what should be done?

We need to make a massive effort to evacuate Hong Kong of all those willing to leave and resettle them with green cards and citizenships in the United States and Canada and Japan and other willing countries.

Empty out cruise ships or even cargo ships and send them to Hong Kong and let everyone there know this is their last chance to flee.

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As one of the last bastions of free people in the world, we have a strong ethical and moral obligation to help these freedom fighters. Taking no action or even worse, barring them entry is tantamount to murder. We need to be courageous and do the right thing and evacuate Hong Kong.

Joel’s Economic Forecast – Recession Impending

We have reached a critical juncture in the global economy.
First, let me give you the background on why we are at a critical juncture then I will explain what it means for you in a challenging global market environment. You don’t need to understand all of my underlying logic, though I am including some of my analysis here for your reference if you are interested.
I have always enjoyed studying economics, investing, and was a business finance major at my university. I have been quite successful with my own stock and bond investments. My disclaimer here though is that no one can really time markets, even Warren Buffet and Benjamin Graham will say that. For the last two years, I have believed that the long bull run in the global economy has turned into a bubble. I sold all of my stocks and have turned to investments that I believe will better weather a recessionary / inflationary environment. My timing has been off as the stock market has gone up another 50%, but I don’t believe there is anything sustaining the current overheated stock market in the US.
We are currently in the longest bull run in US history for the stock market. Business has run in cycles for the last century and this is the longest upcycle we’ve seen. I believe this upcycle is no longer supported by genuine underlying growth in trade and is instead just floating on investor optimism.
One indicator that has been fairly reliable in the past is what is called an inverted yield curve on bonds. In simple terms, an inverted yield curve is when the US short term bonds pay a higher interest than US long term bonds. This is a violation of basic economic common sense usually since people want to be paid more money if they are going to lock up their money long term. However, if investors are afraid of long term economic prospects, they will want the safety of long term bonds and will be willing to accept less money. For the first time since 2007, the bond yield curve inverted today.
Another indicator I watch closely is price to sales of the S&P 500. This is basically the difference between the revenues and the market capitalization of the 500 biggest companies in the US. This reached an all time high recently… meaning that the stock market value of these stocks is not really justified by their revenues. In my opinion, only positive thinking supports the current market high and when people start getting scared a crash will happen.
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A highly respected indicator in the market is the S&P 500 PE ratio. This is the difference between the profits and market value of the 500 largest companies in the US. Currently this is as high as it’s been previously back through the late 1800’s. When it’s reached similar levels previously, generally a crash and recession have followed. Notice the previous peaks corresponding to the recessions in the 1920s, 70’s, late 80’s and late 1990’s, and the most recent crash in 2007.
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Further, a number of soft factors indicate possible recession. These include the rise of populist / nationalist leaders in many countries who are shutting down trade between countries and damaging global supply chains. This will greatly increase the costs of doing business around the world. It appears that every large economy in the world outside of the US is now in contraction and the US may soon follow.
So what does all this mean on a global scale?
 
We are likely to see the global economy slow down or even go into recession. I am not sure when, it could start this week or it could be in the next year or two. When this happens, companies all over the world typically freeze new hiring and lay off newly hired people. Coalition will do neither. Many poorly run companies will go bankrupt and people will panic. However, just as the upcycle comes to an end, the downcycle will too. Global GDP will continue to rise over the long term as technology continues it’s rapid advance. Companies that make smart decisions now will gain a major advantage in the future.
 
What can you do personally?
 
What you should do personally will vary greatly depending on your personal circumstances. Advice that will help you broadly is that you should make sure you have a written personal budget, that you are saving & investing money each month in safe places, build healthy habits, pay off high interest debt first, and remember to enjoy life.

Unpopular Opinions

We are moving to a world where unpopular opinions lead to very bad results for their holder. Here are a few of mine to post prior to the total loss of freedom here.

  • The Marvel movies are terrible with weak plots and characters that are all godlike making the action sequences pointless.
  • Truth is real, there are no alternative facts… Just lies.
  • Conspiracy theories should be harshly shut down as they detract from public discourse.
  • The original 3 star wars movies are the only ones that should have been made.
  • There are no supernatural powers, we just have science and the evidence we see.
  • Gas should be heavily taxed, and NIMBYism blocked by allowing extremely high density housing to be built anywhere. This will lead to far more efficient cities.
  • Never go into debt unless you are extremely knowledgeable in it.
  • Trump is not only a traitor, but is evolving America into a totalitarian nation.
  • Housing is not an investment, but a commodity. Build lots more of it and eliminate regulations on that building.
  • Most concepts you take for granted are not real and can be taken away anytime. This includes money, human rights, fair laws, etc.
  • Fox News is the worst of yellow journalism.
  • College is not right for most people.
  • Doctors are in it for the money and only give lip service to patient care. You need to carefully monitor and pushback on them. Your car mechanic is probably more trustworthy.
  • Human beings are natural predators. They also are carnivorous, not vegans.
  • Most people don’t just have one soulmate. You would fall in love with most people you spent enough time with and had chemical reactions in your brain with.
  • Work ethic is far more important in life than intelligence, looks.