Archives For October 2011

This is good news (unless you’re a bank stockholder): Wells Says No to Debit Fees. The article also contained an interesting graphic that showed the expected quarterly revenue that will be lost due to the new debit card rules. Bank of America is expected to lose revenues $475 million per quarter while Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase are expected to lose $250 million in revenue per quarter.

OT: My Brother’s Music

October 31, 2011

My brother took a short scene from the movie, “Up!” and added his own piano playing. Tell me what you think.

You can compare it to the original by fast forwarding the following video to 3:30…

Oh, and PLEASE become of a facebook fan of The Music of Christopher Pritchard.

Thursday is Daiper Need Awareness Day in Connecticut

Gov. Dan Malloy is declaring Thursday “Diaper Need Awareness Day” in Connecticut as the state’s Democrats try to raise awareness of the cost and public health concerns of diapers.

The move is part of a campaign to push the federal government to provide free diapers for poor families, and follows in the wake of a bill proposed by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) called the Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act (DIAPER), reports the Hartford Courant.

“No family should have to choose between buying diapers for their child or buying groceries—but that is exactly what is happening today,” said DeLauro in a statement earlier this month. “Diapers are expensive, but necessary, to keep children healthy and in daycare, giving their parents the freedom they need to work.”

Traditionally, public assistance funds and food stamps have not been applicable to the purchase of diapers. DeLauro estimates that families pay about $100 a month purchase diapers.

Here’s the deal: I have NO PROBLEM with Representative DeLauro starting her own PRIVATE foundation to collect and dispense diapers to those in need. I DO have a problem with her expecting taxpayers to cover the cost, creating ANOTHER government program.

This quote stuck out to me: “No family should have to choose between buying diapers for their child or buying groceries…” This makes no sense to me since the families that are in this situation are probably already on food assistance programs.

Whatever the case, I can’t get Benjamin Franklin’s thoughts out of my mind:

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

The more I listen to and read Milton Friedman, the more I like him. Although this interview is probably 40+ years old, the things Friedman says are still applicable today. The man was a genius. This video is around 30 minutes long, but well worth your time. Enjoy.

Circular Logic

October 25, 2011

I saw this on one of my friend’s facebook pages and thought it was hilarious (click on it to see a larger version):

I think the source of the graphic is Capitalism is Freedom but the site wouldn’t load for me.

I’ll just let the graphic speak for itself…

I cannot stress this enough: NEVER EVER NEVER EVER PUT TOO MUCH OF YOUR ASSETS INTO ONE STOCK. It can fall and it can fall fast and hard. That’s JLP’s obvious tip of the day.

Milton Friedman on Greed

October 24, 2011

Good stuff. I’m impressed that Donohue even had Friedman on his show.

Here’s a transcript of the exchange I found on another website:

Donahue: When you see around the globe the mal-distribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on?

Friedman: Well, first of all, tell me is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy; its only the other fellow who’s greedy.

The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear: that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Donahue: But it seems to reward not virtue as much as ability to manipulate the system.

Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think – excuse me, if you will pardon me – do you think American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout? Is it really true that political self interest is nobler somehow than economic self interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.

What’s interesting is that Friedman does not say that capitalism is perfect, only that of the systems available, it’s the best.