Thursday, June 07, 2012

What Is Wrong.... A One-Paragraph Summary

7 June 2012

This is a paragraph that I wrote to a liberal friend today (slightly expanded from the original):

I am not a conservative, but I also differ with many liberals, so I'm not sure what category I fall in. I believe in free markets, but our present market is manipulated. Our corporate "titans" seem to manage businesses for themselves, not for their shareholders. General Electric Corporation, as an example, has shed 58% of its value since the year 2000, and the broad markets have punished shareholders for 12 years. The ultra-rich are taking everything private, and closing out public participation in ownership of assets. Governments are adding gatekeepers and regulators, and shedding service providers, builders and maintenance workers. The income tax code is a Byzantine labyrinth that favours the rich and punishes the middle class. We are conducting costly wars on drugs, privacy and terror. Paul Krugman is calling for more debt, which cannot possibly work long-term (look at Japan for a trip down that road). Unions are losing the battle to protect their members, but winning the battle to prevent young people from entering the workplace. I hope you grasp my dilemma. It seems that everyone on both the left and the right is doing exactly the wrong thing. My personal investment strategy (precious metals) is predicated on the assumption that decision-makers everywhere, given a choice, will take action without consideration of long-term consequences. Our governments are accumulating debts that the young cannot pay, and the prospect is that we shall all be taxed at ever greater levels in order to fund the ballooning cost of a world that none of us wants. There are of course bright spots out there, but the broad trend is as negative as I have ever seen.

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