USDA Mortgage Program Extended

Many people had believed that the USDA home loan program had run out of money, but the United States Department of Agriculture has just boosted the loan limit to $2.5 billion.  Doing so has opened up the door to getting a new home for many people across America.  Most all areas are eligible for the USDA rural housing loan except for actual major city centers.

Unfortunately, guaranteeing all of these loans will create another housing bubble which will eventually burst creating even more economic fallout damage than has already been done.  However, I am in the business of providing services to people who want them and if it’s legal to make money issuing government backed loans than I will do so.

The USDA mortgage program was extended after extensive hardcore lobbying by Ruben Hinojosa the Chairman of the Congressional Rural Housing Caucus.  He probably believes this is what will get him re-elected.

Comedy Central Knuckles Under on South Park Muhammad Episode

South Park’s new episode was altered without permission by the show’s creator’s Parker & Stone after threats by Islamic groups. A message on SouthParkStudios.com read:

“We apologize that South Park Studios cannot stream episode 201 at this time. After we delivered the show, and prior to broadcast, comedy central placed numerous additional audio bleeps throughout the episode. We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show. We will bring you a version of 201 as soon as we can.”

Some coward at Comedy Central forced them to block images of the Prophet Muhammad and when they said his name.

So stupid, both on the part of Comedy Central (weak sad organization) and on the part of the Islamic groups threatening South Park (not much better way to make Americans hate you than by threatening our lives & freedoms).

USDA Home Loans program EXTENDED?

The USDA home loan program is running out of money right now, but it appears that Congress is about to extend the program.  Two bills are sitting in the house and are very likely to pass.  If you want to lock a USDA home loan in Washington today, click on the link and talk to Nick Fitzer about how he can help you with your home loan.  The program is nearly out money because it is so good for buyers- it is one of the only programs requiring no money down at this point.  It is government backed & subsidized and gives home buyers a great deal.

Welcome to War

A video unflattering to the US military has been leaked showing two pilots shooting suspected insurgents (and 2 reuters journalists).

I think the pilots were justified in their action… the concept of war without any collateral damage is a silly, stupid American ideal. No other country comes remotely close to being as careful as we are in pursuing war.

The soldiers found two wounded children and quickly brought them out and began field treatment, eventually sending them to an Iraqi hospital. What other country treats their enemies wounded that way?

Private Currency FAQs

What is private currency?

The Liberty Dollar is a privately issued currency in America
The Liberty Dollar is a privately issued currency in America

Private currency is money issued by non-governmental organizations (usually banks or companies) to be used as legal tender for all debts and exchanges.  Most private currency’s are backed by gold or silver or some other commodity of material value.

What is government-issued currency?

Government issued currency is used by citizens of a state to pay taxes and complete transactions with other citizens.

The United States Dollars is an example of a currency issued by the government.  Some governments back their money systems with a commodity (usually gold), but most now have moved to “faith-based” systems.  The American currency is backed “by the full faith and credit of the United States”.

How does private currency work?

A bank would collect people’s deposits of gold and give them back contracts stating that the contract was worth a certain weight of gold.  For example, Bank of America could issue its own currency (mini-contracts) that states that each one is redeemable at any branch for 1/100 an ounce of gold (roughly $12 at current gold prices).  People could then use these notes to go to Costco to buy food or to Rite-Aid to buy medicine or to Ikea to buy furniture.  The store owners at Costco could then use these notes to pay for new supplies for their warehouse or to pay their employees.  The parties could keep using the notes to exchange back and forth or could go to Bank of America and redeem it for gold.

Why is their no private currency in the United States?

Two reasons:

  1. It is illegal to issue any sort of currency in America.
  2. Double taxation.  If Todd bought a car from John with 100 “Bank of America dollars”, both Todd & John would have to pay income tax.  Todd would pay it on the car and John would pay it on the “Bank of America dollars”.

What are the benefits of private currency?

  1. Freedom from government control
  2. Competition by currency managers leading to greater efficiency
  3. No monopolies
  4. Currency backed by commodity of your choice

What are the problems with private currency?

  1. Potential bankruptcy/failure of the issuing organization
  2. Change in value of the underlying commodity (including trust)
  3. Many currencis could make some transactions difficult
  4. Little used currencies would be illiquid

Are there any private currencies currently used in America?

Yes, there are several private currencies:

Benefits of government issued currency?

  1. Uniform money system throughout the country that can be used everywhere
  2. Currency is more likely to be stable then if issued by a private organization

Problems with government issued currency

  1. If the government issued currency fails, the entire economy collapses since there is no way to easily place transactions
  2. The government can use it to secretly tax the population by printing more money and spending it.
  3. Governments can use it as a c`rude tool to try to influence the economy (bad idea letting bureaucrats try to play with the free market with a massively powerful lever).

Additional resources on private currency

Healthcare Reform: Who Benefits?

Yesterday Congress approved a very big piece of legislation: the regulatory overhaul of our countries health systems.  The key points of the new legislation are:

  • Requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty
  • Add 16 million people to Medicaid
  • Subsidize low & middle income private health care coverage
  • The bill will provide 32 million people with health coverage, but leave out 23 million more
  • Insurers must provide coverage to old & sick people (effectively forcing young & healthy people to pay for the older peoples care)
  • Abortions will not be paid for
  • Prescription drugs will receive additional trademark protection from generics

Who are the biggest beneficiaries of healthcare reform?

  1. Low to middle income people with regular jobs (self employed & entrepreneurs aren’t helped)
  2. Insurance companies: they are guaranteed millions of new customers by law & spent $100 million lobbying to push through this law
  3. American Medical Association: this giant trade union just got guaranteed pay for its already very highly priced workers
  4. Prescription drug companies: their patent period has been extended… meaning they get to make billions more dollars off keeping prices high.  They also have had their anticompetitive deals with generic drug companies continued (the FTC has opposed these deals where prescription companies pay generic companies not to compete).
  5. Government bureaucrats who will find their organizations growing vastly to support all the additional regulations
  6. Hospital organizations which now will receive payment for almost all patients

Who is most hurt by the new healthcare reform?

  1. Generic drug companies.  They will be unable to bring their low-priced drugs to market to compete with the expensive big boys.
  2. Middle to upper income people who will pay for the vast majority of low income people’s health care.
  3. Young & healthy people who will now be forced to pay extra to cover the old & sick.
  4. Women in need of abortions will get no help.
  5. Taxpayers who will now see the national deficit balloon further (Congressional budget office doesn’t take into account the first four years of costs)
  6. The free market which now sees even more regulation & less individual choice & freedom.
  7. The 23 million who don’t get health insurance, including illegal immigrants.
  8. Self employed workers who must pay an extra tax on health insurance premiums.

Bruffy’s Tow in Marina Del Rey, CA

The following is, as always, my personal opinion and view of the situation.

Allow me to introduce you to Bruffy’s Tow in Marina Del Rey, CA.  The owner, Kevin Bruff , is probably the most honest tow truck operator I have run across (not that I meet that many lol).  After my car was towed twice in one week out of Venice, CA I was very unhappy and believed that there was some sort of malfeasance occurring.  I wrote an blog post about Bruff’s Tow after talking to Mr. Bruff and not resolving the situation satisfactorily.  Mr. Bruff called me back again and explained the situation more clearly and how his police impound garage works.  I believe that Bruffy’s Tow is a straightforward operation that only tows vehicles they have a clear right to tow.   No one likes being towed, but I do understand that towing is a necessary operation for a city with limited space to function well.

My problem needs to be taken up with the DOT- a giant faceless bureaucracy that I’m sure will be much more difficult to deal with than Kevin Bruff & his company.  The city did not post signage 24 hours in advance of a temporary tow zone being created and thus my car was towed.  That was not Bruffy’s Tow’s fault… they have nothing to do with the posting of signage and just come out when a parking enforcement officer lets them know. I am working on taking this to something called the “Western Adjudication Division”- but have had no responses yet.

LA Parking Tickets & Towing: A Tax for the Poor

Today I went outside to get my car to drive to a business meeting only to discover it had been towed.  I called around and found it at Bruffy’s Towing in LA.  It had been towed because of a temporary tow away zone that apparently they only need to give 24 hours notice for. Such a ripoff.

Many poor people cannot afford a parking spot and must park their cars on the street.  Not only must they deal with moving their car every 6 days because of street cleaning, but their car can get expensive tickets or towed with only a days’ notice. One of the biggest revenue streams for cities is their parking tickets and towing fees, but those fees are almost all born by poor people.  Wealthier folks use paid parking garages when they go places and have their own spots in their garage at home.

Trent has spent several hundred dollars on tickets since moving to Los Angeles, CA and now I have to pay $283.  It really stinks, but at least we can afford to do it.  Many poor people can’t and these parking tickets & towing expenses break their backs.