The Colder War

November 21st, 2014

the colder war

 

How the massive power shift in Russia threatens the political dominance of the United States

There is a new cold war underway, driven by a massive geopolitical power shift to Russia that went almost unnoticed across the globe. In The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp, energy expert Marin Katusa takes a look at the ways the western world is losing control of the energy market, and what can be done about it.

Russia is in the midst of a rapid economic and geopolitical renaissance under the rule of Vladimir Putin, a tenacious KGB officer turned modern-day tsar. Understanding his rise to power provides the keys to understanding the shift in the energy trade from Saudi Arabia to Russia. This powerful new position threatens to unravel the political dominance of the United States once and for all.

  • Discover how political coups, hostile takeovers, and assassinations have brought Russia to the center of the world’s energy market
  • Follow Putin’s rise to power and how it has led to an upsetting of the global balance of trade
  • Learn how Russia toppled a generation of robber barons and positioned itself as the most powerful force in the energy market
  • Study Putin’s long-range plans and their potential impact on the United States and the U.S. dollar

If Putin’s plans are successful, not only will Russia be able to starve other countries of power, but the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will replace the G7 in wealth and clout. The Colder War takes a hard look at what is to come in a new global energy market that is certain to cause unprecedented impact on the U.S. dollar and the American way of life.

Marin-Katusa

Meet the Author:

Marin Katusa is one of the leading experts on–and most successful portfolio managers in–the energy and resource exploration sectors.

Katusa has rubbed elbows with energy ministers, generals, oligarchs, and billionaires all over the world. He’s strapped on a flak jacket to survey lucrative projects in Russia, Iraq, Ukraine, Kuwait, Mongolia, Kosovo, Colombia, and many other dangerous yet resource-rich jurisdictions that require the protection of heavily armed private security forces.

Starting out as a mathematics professor, Katusa left academics to apply his models to portfolio management. His funds are among the top-performing in the resource sector over the last five years in Canada. He’s a regular contributor to the Business News Network (BNN), and has been interviewed by global media outlets such as CNBC, RT, CBC, Bloomberg, and Forbes.

Katusa first became interested in the energy sector through investing. He began in mining, shifted to Uranium, and began to see the unconventional energy sector as a much bigger story.

Since 2007, Katusa has been serving as the chief energy investment strategist for Casey Research. He is one of the most active financiers for early-stage, junior resource companies in Canada, and was the lead financier in the first two financings for Cuadrilla Resources, now one of the largest and most successful unconventional natural-gas plays in the UK. He also structured the financing and the sale of Turkana and the world-class 10BB oil block in Kenya to Africa Oil, a Lundin-held company with a market capitalization of over C$2 billion. Katusa is a founding director of Copper Mountain, Canada’s third-largest copper mine.

Over the years, Katusa has been involved in raising over C$1 billion in capital for early-stage and producing resource companies.

Katusa speaks fluent Serbian and Croatian, and is conversant in Russian. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, he lives in Vancouver.

Marin Katusa will be joining me this Saturday on Your Financial Advisor! You can listen live from anywhere Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD by logging on to www.wfmd.com and clicking the “listen live” button! If you can’t tune into the show, there will be a podcast available the week following the show here.

 

 

 

Three Things a Tesla Teaches Us about Stewardship

November 19th, 2014

FWE

 

Dr. Anne Bradley | Nov 19, 2014

Tesla1

The Tesla is becoming an increasingly frequent sight in the area in which I live, as are many other kinds of electric vehicles. Commercially, this technology is relatively new, but despite the political undertones inevitable to any discussion involving environmental technology, it can teach us a lot about our call to stewardship.

The Importance of Innovation

Oil is scarce, and electric vehicles offer creative ways to steward this diminishing resource. We should, as with all things, try to use resources as efficiently we can. This doesn’t mean that we will completely eliminate its use.

In fact, according to freelancer Michael Schirber in an article for LiveScience.com, “Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they’ll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts, such as seats, dashboards, bumpers, and engine components.”

Due to considerations of weight, plastic is greatly preferred over steel or aluminum in auto production. Because of this, oil is an inevitable component of even electric vehicles. Electric cars do not eliminate the demand for oil, but they do make us use it more effectively.

Similarly, as electric vehicle technology develops, it requires us to think innovatively about how we use electricity. We will experience surges in the demand for electricity during the early stages of electric vehicle adaptation, but this forces us to think about how we use this and other resources.

According to the MIT Technology Review, “Plugging in an electric vehicle is, in some cases, the equivalent of adding three houses to the grid. That has utilities in California—where the largest number of electric vehicles [is] sold—scrambling to upgrade the grid to avoid power outages.”

There are certain times during the day during which electricity use eclipses the rest of the day, generally after people get home from work and use energy to cook dinner and source their TV. Newsworthy events also trigger spikes in electricity usage, and the demand for the electricity necessary to charge car batteries would mimic those spikes. As technology continues to develop, these issues will likely be resolved.

The Tesla—and electric vehicle technology in general—will spark other areas of innovation. As researchers and developers explore new kinds of transportation, discussions about how we are to use our resources have already begun.

The Place of Creative Destruction

Creative destruction is the process by which industrial technology and capabilities morph to address growing needs in the economy. The fact that technology is constantly developing and adapting to meet new needs is easy to overlook. Often, the process happens so quickly that we don’t notice.

Sometimes it’s a bit more painful. The debate surrounding the transition from traditional car to electric vehicle shares undeniable similarities with the transition from horse and buggy to the early car. The automobile solved significant environmental and sanitation issues inherent to the use of the horse as a key means of transportation.

Simultaneously, it eliminated the need for certain craftsmen involved in the making of buggies and wagons. The demand for smiths and carpenters decreased as automobiles became more popular. Ultimately, these jobs were recouped in the automobile industry, but training and adaptation had to take place first.

It is still too soon to know how the story of the electric vehicle will unfold, but it’s safe to guess that it will include a similar process of destruction and adaptation.

Practical Stewardship

As has been referenced earlier, we’ve been called to fulfill the cultural mandate by being faithful stewards of our resources. In instances like this, where there are many considerations of financial means, logistical needs, and other variables, there may not be a right or wrong approach.

Depending on her constraints, a mom might opt for a minivan. Another individual might need a pick-up truck, given his or her resources and calling. If we’re going to choose to use our resources in one way or another, we need to be able to justify our decisions and become informed.

The fundamentally important lesson of stewardship brought to us through economics is about finding innovative ways to use our scarce resources.  The market process has and continues to help us do this. We now have many more “substitutes” than we did even thirty years ago, including hybrids, increasing public transportation, telework, and electric cars.

How we decide to steward our resources can aid or detract from fostering an entrepreneurial and innovative environment that promotes healthy relationships with those around us.

We each have been entrusted with a specific realm that we are called to tend. For some, this may fall within a department at work, for others their discipline at school, or for some it may be the home.

Each comes with a set of challenges and rewards, and it’s possible to fulfill our calling in these areas well or poorly. We were made by a creative God, and we are called to probe into an issue or situation to achieve full understanding, think innovatively, and be the best stewards we can of the resources we have been given.

IRA and Legacy Planning

November 14th, 2014

Click the link below for the IRA and Legacy Planning Guide as well as a list of the Top 10 Mistakes made while planning!

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John Sculley is joining Your Financial Editor for its 17th Anniversary Celebration

November 14th, 2014

Happy 17th Anniversary to Your Financial Editor! To help me celebrate is Mr. John Sculley- former CEO of both Pepsi and Apple. We will be talking about his latest book, “Moonshot” and his video series designed to help innovative entrepreneurs   - You can listen live from anywhere Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD by logging on to www.wfmd.com and clicking the “listen live” button! If you can’t tune into the show, there will be a podcast available the week following the show here.

John-Sculley-Forbes

John Sculley’s Background:

As a boy, John Sculley loved to tinker with electronics; when he was five, he asked Santa for a dry-cell battery, a buzzer, and hookup wire. At ten, he was dismantling radios and converting them into intercoms. As a teen, he invented a color cathode-ray tube that, if someone hadn’t beaten him to the patent, would have been the prototype for the Triniton color TV tube.

It should be no surprise, then, that Sculley is a recognized expert and popular speaker about high-tech tools for tackling such challenges as corporate revitalization and the high cost of health care. What may be surprising is the path that led him here.

The son of a Wall Street lawyer father and an artistic mother, John Sculley was born in New York City and grew up in Bermuda and on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He earned an undergraduate degree from Brown University and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Architecture. But a summer internship at a New York industrial design firm convinced Sculley that marketers, not designers, were calling the shots. So he switched to Wharton, Penn’s prestigious graduate school of business.

After earning his MBA in 1963, and taking advantage of his interest in math and statistical modeling, Sculley worked in market research for a New York advertising agency. Four years later, as big corporations began moving their marketing operations in-house, he joined the Pepsi-Cola Company as a trainee.

Sculley describes his first few months at Pepsi as a whirlwind of different jobs in different cities as he learned the rules of corporate culture and the ropes of the soft drink industry. By 1970, at age 30, he was Pepsi’s youngest vice president of marketing, managing a staff of 75. In 1977, after heading the company’s International Foods division and then serving as senior vice president for US sales and marketing, he was named the youngest ever President of Pepsi-Cola.

Sculley credits his years at Pepsi for the evolution of his marketing approach. He says, “My ideas about marketing revolved around building the best possible consumer experiences and then helping find the most creative ways to tease a consumer’s curiosity to become our loyal user.”

In his 1987 book, Odyssey, Sculley says that it was a speech by anthropologist Margaret Mead that inspired the revitalized Pepsi Generation campaign. Mead noted that the single most important factor for marketers since the end of World War II was the emergence of an affluent middle class. Sculley focused on how Pepsi could tap into the children of this generation by associating Pepsi via television with the Baby Boomers’ lifestyle activities.

The Pepsi Challenge was another consumer-experience-centered campaign, designed to capture the surprise of Coca-Cola drinkers when they discovered that they had chosen Pepsi over Coke in a blind product taste test. By the time Sculley left Pepsi in 1983, the Pepsi brand had become the largest-selling consumer packaged goods brand in America, surpassing Coca-Cola in market share.

The partnership of Steve Jobs and John Sculley has been well-documented in Sculley’s own book, in countless interviews, and, most recently, in the biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson, published shortly after Jobs’ death in late 2011.

Why did Jobs hire Sculley? Says Sculley, “Steve wanted to be CEO, but the Apple board felt he wasn’t ready. Steve was still over a year away from launching the Mac and the company needed the aging Apple II to continue to provide cash flow for the next three years.”

Today, John Sculley is focused on sharing his considerable experience with corporate executives, “serial entrepreneurs,” and third-wave companies that are not afraid to take risks, to adapt to change, or to use technological advances to achieve their goals.

moonshot

About his book “MoonShot”

“The future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious… This is the most exciting time ever to be part of the business world.”

Throughout history, there are some events that stand out as so groundbreaking that they completely change life as we know it. The Apollo moon landing of 1969 was one of those events—the invention of the Apple personal computer was another. In this book, John Sculley—former CEO of both Pepsi and Apple—claims we are in an era that is giving birth to numerous groundbreaking events and inventions—moonshots—that will change the way we live and work for generations to come.

The time is ripe, according to Sculley, for a new breed of innovative entrepreneurs to build businesses across industries that will bring in billions of dollars—while changing people’s lives for the better. And in this book, he’ll show you how to do it. Moonshot! lays out a roadmap for building a truly transformative business, beginning with a can’t-fail concept and drawing on clear examples from companies who’ve done innovation right.

Turnout was UP in key Senate races

November 10th, 2014

Difference-in-voter-turnout-2014-vs.-2010

Kyle Hauptman

 | AEIdeas

Just a short post to note that low voter turnout is NOT, despite what some observers are implying, responsible for the GOP takeover of the Senate.

President Obama himself yesterday emphasized the “two-thirds who didn’t vote,” when discussing the new GOP-controlled Senate. Low turnout may have impacted some GOP wins for governor, but it seems a stretch to claim that lower-than-normal turnout for a midterm election cost Harry Reid his Senate majority leader job. Compared to presidential years, turnout is always lower for midterm elections, including in years like 1986 & 2006 when Democrats gained Senate seats. But were this year’s key Senate races decided by low turnout? Not so much.

Some of this narrative got started when Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight.com posted the map above under the headline “Preliminary Turnout Numbers Are Way Down From 2010 And 2012.”The map itself compares turnout in the midterm elections of 2010 & 2014. Notice anything about the states with key Senate races?

Let’s look at the eight states labeled Toss Ups by Real Clear Politics:

State (incumbent)           Turnout change vs. 2010

  • AK: Begich (D)                                   +3.4%
  • CO: Udall (D)                                      +1.8%
  • GA: Open (R)                                     -5.7%
  • IA: Open (D)                                       +0.7%
  • KS: Roberts (R)                                  +1.1%
  • LA: Landrieu (D)                                +5.0%
  • NH: Shaheen (D)                              +3.1%
  • NC: Hagan (D)                                    +1.5%

That’s right, the map shows turnout increased in seven of eight Toss Up states. These seven states alone are essentially responsible for Democrats’ losing their majority, since this list includes five GOP pickups (assuming Sullivan is certified in AK) plus a good shot at a sixth after Louisiana’s runoff. It’s not even clear that Georgia had lower turnout, since the map above uses preliminary data and yet the actual results show turnout almost identical to 2010 at 2.56 million.

For good measure, the only other GOP pickup in a state not rated “Safe” by RCP occurred in Arkansas (rated “Lean GOP”). Yup, the map shows turnout up there was well, +3.7%.

As for why overall turnout was down across the country? Plenty of reasons are speculated upon, but it should be noted that California alone (11% of the country’s registered voters) is responsible for 27% of the total turnout drop, according to the data used for 538’s map. And obviously this year not only did CA have no Senate race but Gov. Jerry Brown won by 17% against a low-on-cashopponent. Compare that to 2010, when record amounts of cash were spent (especially by Meg Whitman) on barn-burner elections for both Senate and Governor.

Throw in lower-interest races in New York (no tight races either year but had both Senate & Gov races in 2010 vs. just gubernatorial race in 2014) & Texas (2010 had a hotly-contestedgubernatorial race vs. two boring Sen & Gov elections this year) and you’ve got 40% of the entire US drop-off.

Original Source of Article: http://www.aei.org/publication/turnout-key-senate-races/

Why Does Income Inequality Exist? An Economic and Biblical Explanation

October 31st, 2014

income-inequality-banner

The Bible speaks at length about our uniqueness. We are created in God’s image and are matchless, just like a snowflake. We are also commanded to use our unique combination of skills and abilities to glorify God and serve others. Our unique skills allow us to make a special contribution to the world we live in, not just in the church or on the mission field, but through our work.
Because we are uniquely created, we are endowed by Christ with a specific set of gifts. We can further the Kingdom of Christ by knowing our gifts and pursuing them with excellence. Economists refer to this as comparative advantage. People are served best when they focus on the production of things that they can produce most efficiently (at the lowest opportunity cost) and avoid engaging in the production of goods or services for which they are costly producers.

Comparative advantage is the reason that I am an economist and not a professional singer. I love to sing but am not naturally gifted, so the time and energy I would have to put into becoming good enough to serve others through that is wasted. This diversity of gifts allows us to serve others through market exchange. I can open a dry-cleaning business or run a restaurant if those are my gifts. By pursuing that with excellence I am not only awarded an income, but it allows me to serve others. Because gifts are different and value in the market place is subjective, incomes will be different. They are different because we are created differently. Income inequality is then inseparable from a fallen world in which scarcity abounds.
The market is only capable of rewarding through profit and it punishes with losses. These are in terms of dollars. Because the goods and services we bring to the market are valued subjectively by the purchaser, income inequality is a fact of economic life and economics pervades all of our life choices.

That said, we as Christians are called to seek justice and to care for the poor. We must be at the forefront of this discussion on income inequality – understanding where it is natural, and challenging the status quo where it is unjust. Corruption and injustice that cause poverty must be eradicated. Christians must also be leaders in cultivating and protecting an economic environment that creates opportunity for those in poverty to enjoy upward mobility through the dignity of work.

This paper looks at some of the economic and Biblical reasons why income inequality exists. The following are the primary findings of this research:

  • Diversity is a Biblical premise of Creation. We are born with different gifts.
  • By focusing on our gifts we can unleash our comparative advantage and bring value to the marketplace by serving others.
  • In a free society, absent cronyism, disparity of wages is not a sign of injustice.
  • If we care about a society that reduces poverty and assists the poor, we should be concerned not about income inequality but the relative prosperity of those at the bottom and their income mobility.
  • An opportunity society is the best way to unleash the creativity and dignity with which we are created and serve others with our gifts.

We assert that income inequality is a natural part of the human condition. We are created uniquely and that means that there is no universal Biblical standard for income equality. The question that must be addressed Biblically and through public policy is the relative prosperity of the poorest among us and their ability to gain income through the pursuit of their gifts. To that end, we need an opportunity society which embraces our uniqueness, unleashes our creativity and potential and serves the common good. Markets have empirically demonstrated that they are better than any other system at lifting the poor out of destitution.

 

AnneBradley

About the Anne:

Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute, where she develops and commissions research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and has previously taught at George Mason University and at Charles University, Prague. She is currently a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. She served as the Associate Director for the Program in Economics, Politics, and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University.

Dr. Rathbone Bradley’s academic work focuses on: the political economy of terrorism with specific emphasis on the industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book that analyzes the political economy of al-Qaeda post 9/11. Based on her academic research she also worked as an Economic Analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Terrorism Analysis.

Dr. Rathbone Bradley received her Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2006 during which time she was a James M. Buchanan Scholar.

Joining me this week on Your Financial Editor is Ms. Anne Rathbone Bradley  - You can listen live from anywhere Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD by logging on to www.wfmd.com and clicking the “listen live” button! If you can’t tune into the show, there will be a podcast available the week following the show here.

 

University of Pittsburgh Ebola expert: Infections among medical staff expected

October 24th, 2014
By David Templeton / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amy-L-Hartman

Amy L. Hart­man did breakthrough Ebola research a decade ago and joined a CDC team that helped bring the 2005 Mar­burg virus outbreak under control in An­gola.

The Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh doc­tor of vi­rol­ogy and re­search man­ager at the uni­ver­sity’s Re­gional Bio­con­tain­ment Lab­o­ra­tory in Oak­land said what is hap­pen­ing in Dal­las in the wake of Tho­mas Eric Dun­can’s death from Ebola comes as no sur­prise.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the trans­mis­sion from Dun­can to health care work­ers is not at all un­ex­pected,” she said. “And I would ex­pect other po­ten­tially in­fected trav­el­ers from West Africa, like Mr. Dun­can, to come to the United States and show up at Amer­i­can hos­pi­tals.”

Given the ex­tent of the out­break in West Africa, a few more are likely, she said.

Mr. Dun­can died Oct. 8 in a Dal­las hos­pi­tal, and two nurses who treated him have con­tracted Ebola.

The big ques­tion is why one of those nurses, Amber Joy Vin­son, took a round­trip flight early this week be­tween Dal­las and Cleve­land.

“I’m sur­prised they ha­ven’t kept those in­di­vid­u­als un­der close ob­ser­va­tion for 21 days,” she said. “Why she got on a plane, I do not know. The like­li­hood that she would have in­fected any­one dur­ing a flight is low, but it is not a risk they should have taken. They shouldn’t be trav­el­ing dur­ing that time.”

Breaches in pro­to­col es­tab­lished by U.S. Centers for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion are ex­pected to be ad­dressed dur­ing a hear­ing at noon to­day held by U.S. Rep. Tim Mur­phy, R-Up­per St. Clair, as chair­man of the House Over­sight and In­ves­ti­ga­tions sub­com­mit­tee. It will fo­cus on “pro­tect­ing pub­lic health and en­sur­ing that not a sin­gle ad­di­tional case of Ebola oc­curs in the United States.” Tom Frie­den, CDC di­rec­tor, will tes­tify about how the in­fec­tions oc­curred in Dal­las.

Gov. Tom Cor­bett said his ad­min­is­tra­tion has been talk­ing with the CDC, mu­nic­i­pal and county health of­fi­cials, and hos­pi­tals state­wide to learn from what has hap­pened in Texas.

As a post-doc­toral fel­low with the CDC, Ms. Hart­man dis­cov­ered an amino acid that makes the Ebola vi­rus patho­genic. When the out­break of Mar­burg, which is in the same fi­lo­vi­rus fam­ily as Ebola, oc­curred, she and other CDC sci­en­tists went to An­gola to con­firm in­fec­tions of Mar­burg. That out­break, the larg­est ever of Mar­burg, re­sulted in a 90 per­cent death toll, with 229 deaths among 254 infections.

Ebola in­fec­tions oc­cur only from di­rect con­tact with in­fected bod­ily flu­ids, rather than aero­sol trans­mis­sion. His­tor­i­cally, health care work­ers in­volved in treat­ing in­fected pa­tients “have al­ways been a crit­i­cal el­e­ment in the am­pli­fi­ca­tion and spread of these out­breaks,” she said, mak­ing them the “weak link” in out­breaks, even if they wear proper pro­tec­tive gear.

“This vi­rus is so deadly, and the amount that is needed to in­fect a per­son is so small, that one tiny, in­ad­ver­tent mis­take — ‘a breach in pro­to­col’ — is all that is needed to be­come in­fected.” Even ex­pe­ri­enced med­i­cal staff with the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion and Doc­tors With­out Borders in Africa be­come in­fected, she said.

“Here,” Ms. Hart­man said, “this mini-out­break in Dal­las shouldn’t go be­yond the ini­tial trans­mis­sion. That is a dis­tinc­tion that is eas­ily lost on the pub­lic and me­dia, which can be prone to over-ex­ag­ger­a­tion.”

A ma­jor Amer­i­can out­break re­mains un­likely.

“We know how to con­trol Ebola out­breaks,” she said. “We’ve been suc­cess­ful in do­ing it many times in Africa, and it shouldn’t be any dif­fer­ent here, where we have proper med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties. It’s a mat­ter of con­tact-trac­ing and quar­an­tine.”

You can find the original publication here.

Phyllis Schlafly-Who Killed the American Family?

October 24th, 2014

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since the publication of her best-selling 1964 book, A Choice Not An Echo. She has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started her national volunteer organization called Eagle Forum. In a ten-year battle, Mrs. Schlafly led the pro-family movement to victory over the principal legislative goal of the radical feminists, called the Equal Rights Amendment. An articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement, she appears in debate on college campuses more frequently than any other conservative. She was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by theLadies’ Home Journal.

Mrs. Schlafly’s monthly newsletter called The Phyllis Schlafly Report is now in its 47th year. Her syndicated column appears in 100 newspapers, and on many conservative websites, her radio commentaries are heard daily on over 600 stations, and her radio talk show on education called “Eagle Forum Live” is heard weekly on 90 stations. Both can be heard on the internet.

Mrs. Schlafly is the author or editor of 20 books on subjects as varied as family and feminism (The Power of the Positive Woman and Feminist Fantasies); the judiciary (The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It); religion (No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom); nuclear strategy (Strike From Space and Kissinger on the Couch); education (Child Abuse in the Classroom); child care (Who Will Rock the Cradle?); and phonics (First Reader and Turbo Reader).

Mrs. Schlafly is a lawyer and served as a member of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, 1985-1991, appointed by President Reagan. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Mrs. Schlafly is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University, received her J.D. from Washington University Law School, and received her Master’s in Political Science from Harvard University. In 2008 Washington University/St. Louis awarded Phyllis an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Phyllis Schlafly is America’s best-known advocate of the dignity and honor that we as a society owe to the role of fulltime homemaker. The mother of six children, she was the 1992 Illinois Mother of the Year.

Joining me this week on Your Financial Editor is Ms. Phyllis Schlafly the author of “Who Killed the American Family?”- You can listen live from anywhere Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD by logging on to www.wfmd.com and clicking the “listen live” button! If you can’t tune into the show, there will be a podcast available the week following the show here.

About Who Killed the American Family?

Who-Killed-the-American-Family2

American families are the backbone of this nation. The American family is the fundamental institution that provided the Founding Fathers with the emotional support and driving courage to face the tyrannical government that threatened their very existence. It is the essential building block of a free society with limited government.The American family used to be the fundamental institution of our stable, liberty-loving and very successful society, but in the last hundred years it has been attacked, debased, maligned, slandered and vilified by every facet of society. At issue is a rebellion against any sort of moral code, and no family is safe from the official busybodies.

“Who Killed the American Family?” reveals the concerted assault on the American nuclear family by many forces: feminists, judges, lawmakers, psychologists, school districts, college professors, politicians offering incentives and seeking votes, and more, each opposed to the traditional American nuclear family and each with its own raison d’être for wanting to abolish it. The wreckage of the American family leaves us with the inability to have limited government, because government steps in to perform tasks formerly done by the nuclear family.

A veteran conservative activist and thought leader who led the charge to successfully defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, Phyllis Schlafly explains how changes in the law, in court decisions, in the culture, in education and in entertainment have eroded the once-precious institution. Any of these factors on its own would not have been enough to impact our families, but together they add up to a mighty force. Schlafly not only exposes the tactical charge the left has implemented, but she offers hope and a plan for stopping anti-marriage incentives and restoring in our culture the sacred nature of the family unit.

Financial Planning’s Darkest Hour

October 17th, 2014

When politicians disengage from fiscal responsibility, it’s easier for others to do so, too.

Written by: Don Phillips, appeared in Morningstar Advisor

  

Financial planning took center stage in the U.S. political debate this summer when vice president Joe Biden bizarrely boasted that he had no savings account and owned not a single stock nor bond. His comments were in response to Hillary Clinton’s odd attempt to bond with middle-class Americans by declaring that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Clinton, of course, neglected the reasons for her family’s financial distress, namely the huge legal costs incurred defending themselves against charges of dubious ethical behavior. Rather than feel shame that their elite position and legal wiliness sheltered them from the consequences of their actions—Clinton pays that issue of inequality no mind—she instead seems guilt ridden over the sizable nest egg she and Bill have built through hustle and hard work in subsequent years. So, there you have in a nutshell the current view of financial planning in American political discourse. Of two leading candidates for the next presidential election, one is embarrassed by her success, the other proud of his failure.

Biden’s comments will surely distress financial planners. Here is a man who has reaped a well-above-average salary over more than three decades in the Senate and six years in the White House, yet he has no meaningful savings, despite likely having significant subsidies for meals, entertainment, travel, and even housing. Most alarmingly, he seems to view his lack of financial discipline as a political asset, something that makes him more electable, more like the common man. But to anyone grounded in financial planning, he simply looks like someone who’s made foolish and irresponsible choices. Like Rip Van Winkle sleeping through the American Revolution, Biden has slumbered through a 17-fold rise in the stock market and the greatest bond bull market in history! His financial ineptitude perhaps sheds light on our political leaders’ inability to shave our Federal debt. As Ben Franklin said, “It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.”

Biden’s fiscal mismanagement is irresponsible to an almost buffoonish extent, but the damage his example does cannot be laughed off. Clinton’s comments are similarly harmful, even though her actions are more dignified. Both leaders perpetuate the insidious notion that saving and investing are activities available only to the fabled 1%. They bolster the impression that the average person need not be concerned with such matters or should be embarrassed for having success in so doing. That may be a sentiment that wins elections, as it’s comforting to be told you don’t have to do the hard work of saving for the future, but it runs counter to much of what makes America great. It’s deeply troubling that our savviest political leaders see more advantage in exploiting financial ignorance than in correcting it.

John Dos Passos famously said in his kaleidoscopic trilogy, U.S.A., “all right, we are two Americas.” He was referring to matters of wealth, as the 99% movement has more recently. But wealth is mercurial. It falls on the pop star as readily as the businessman, the tech entrepreneur as the star athlete, the lawyer, or the lottery winner. It is also easily squandered. Much more enduring, and perhaps more divisive, are people’s attitudes toward money. For generations of Americans who were reared on the lessons of Franklin’s frugality, Emerson’s self-reliance, and Thoreau’s independence, Biden’s boasting of his utter dependence on the state to care for his future needs is incomprehensible, especially in light of the myriad advantages he’s had. Biden seems forged from a wholly different set of principles than those on which our country was founded and many of us were reared. I think this division is what inspires critics of the Obama administration when they awkwardly toss out charges of socialism. It’s as if we’ve split into two sects, one championing Franklin’s self-made man, the other seeking solace in Biden’s state-dependent man.

For U.S. planners, this deterioration of fiscal responsibility, as exhibited by two of our most prominent politicians, likely means more tough times ahead when it comes to curbing client attitudes and behavior. When our leaders disparage or disengage from fiscal responsibility, they make it that much more tempting for others to do so, too. Rather than embrace the financial planning movement’s efforts to strengthen the middle class by promoting thrift and investment, today’s leaders are more apt to signal that the average American need not concern themselves with saving or investing. That may comfort voters, but it lessens our national resolve and undermines the spirit on which our country was founded. More immediately, it makes the struggle against financial apathy and ignorance that planners continue to wage all the more difficult.

Jim Rogers Interview on the Fed and Global Economics

October 17th, 2014

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Jim Rogers has made money as an investor over several decades by learning about and understanding global long-term fundamental drivers. He has been an outspoken critic of our current Federal Reserve Board policy and of government deficit spending. With the current bull market pushing six years and the historic open ended quantitative easing policy nearly finished, we thought it would be a good time to check in with Rogers, who now lives in Singapore, regarding the bull equity market, commodities and the long-term effect of this extraordinary period of central bank activity. He shares his thoughts on the global economy and offers some surprising views on potential economic and political changes.

Futures Magazine: The current bull market, which some people view as a creation of central bank policy, has been going on for more than six years without a serious correction. Is one due?

Jim Rogers: [There is] a worldwide ocean of artificial liquidity; the ocean is getting bigger all of the time. It’s the first time in recorded history that all the major central banks have been printing money. The Japanese said they would print unlimited amounts of money, Europeans said we will do whatever it takes, the English say ‘“let us in too,” the Americans—you know what they are doing. [The Fed] says it is cutting back on its purchases but in the meantime the money printing continues. The people who are getting this money are having a wonderful time; and their friends are having a wonderful time, unfortunately it is artificial and it has got to end someday. I don’t know when “some-day” is, I’m terrible at market timing in the best of times [let alone] when [we are seeing something] that never happened in world history. When it ends it is going to be a nightmare for everyone concerned except the people that get it right. Most of us will not get it right. We have had economic setbacks in America every four to six years; we are going to have them again. The one in 2008 was worse than the one in 2002 because the debt was so much higher. The debt has gone up a staggering amount since 2008. The next time it is going to be worse. I hope we all survive it. If we somehow survive the next one, then for the one after that: I doubt if anyone could survive because the debt will be so high.

To read the full interview click here!

Article written by: Daniel P. Collins for Futures Magazine (October 2014 Edition)