Industrial Insight

Education bubble??

April 19, 2011
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Monday, April 18, 2011 3:12 AM

The “Education Bubble”; Student Loan Debt Passes Credit Card Debt, Expected to Hit $1 Trillion

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal says We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education.

“A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.

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Who do we owe??

April 19, 2011
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The Biggest Lie About The US Debt
Joe Weisenthal | Apr. 13, 2011, 8:21 AM

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How complex is our tax code? complicated….

April 19, 2011
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America’s Tax System In Just 72,536 Easy Pages

Peter Suderman | April 18, 2011

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How can we cut the federal budget when we are all getting checks??

April 12, 2011
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April 11, 2011

We’ve Promised More Than We Can Deliver

By Robert Samuelson

Few Americans realize the extent of their dependency. The Census Bureau reports that in 2009 almost half (46.2 percent) of the 300 million Americans received at least one federal benefit: 46.5 million, Social Security; 42.6 million, Medicare; 42.4 million, Medicaid; 36.1 million, food stamps; 3.2 million, veterans’ benefits; 12.4 million, housing subsidies. The census list doesn’t include tax breaks. Counting those, perhaps three-quarters or more of Americans receive some sizable government benefit. For example, about 22 percent of taxpayers benefit from the home mortgage interest deduction and 43 percent from the preferential treatment of employer-provided health insurance, says the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

“Once politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything,” writes the eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson in a recent collection of essays (“American Politics, Then and Now”). The concept of “vital national interest” is stretched. We deploy government casually to satisfy any mass desire, correct any perceived social shortcoming or remedy any market deficiency. What has abetted this political sprawl, notes Wilson, is the rising influence of “action intellectuals” – professors, pundits, “experts” – who provide respectable rationales for various political agendas.

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Inflation does not increase employment, employment raises wages…..

April 8, 2011
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April 4, 2011 Will the Real Phillips Curve Please Stand Up?

John P. Hussman, Ph.D.
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There are more than twice as many government workers as manufacturing workers…

April 1, 2011
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We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity

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I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.