Don’t let Walker take away our rights.” That claim is repeatedly heard in Wisconsin as public-union workers try to recall Republican state Senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker’s plan to require the workers to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare costs and limit their ability to use “collective bargaining” to increase pay and benefits.
In 1987, as a freshman in college, I walked into the university library and took down a tome entitled the House of Rothschild. The book told a story of a humble Jewish family from Frankfurt that began as money lenders to the German aristocracy and expanded its wealth exponentially and geographically until its interests extended into the ruling houses of Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Austrian branch was endowed with titles and lands by the Hapsburg emperor and the British branch was similarly ennobled by Queen Victoria.
The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states' contributions to pay for those promises is widening.
Edwin Vieira, Jr. is an attorney who has won three cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He earned four degrees from Harvard University, including his doctorate. A popular speaker, he is also the author of the monumental two-volume survey of monetary history in our nation entitled Pieces of Eight. He resides in Virginia. The following interview was conducted by John F. McManus, publisher of The New American.
The price of one ounce of gold exceeded $1,500 yesterday, and immediately the media was filled with explanations. Jan Harvey, writing for Reuters, said gold was benefiting from “the threat of a downgrade to the United States’ triple-A credit rating this week and fresh worries over euro zone debt [that] fueled fears over the outlook for both the dollar and the euro.”
When the federal government took over General Motors in July of 2009, it was “the only way to avoid an economic calamity,” according to President Obama.
Stuffed full of $50 billion of taxpayers’ money, GM began to revive, a little. It had lost an amazing $103 billion over the previous five years, partly by acceding to union demands for generous compensation packages (including payments to workers even when the plants where they worked weren’t even running!), and partly by misreading market conditions and their competition.
Each year, American taxpayers lose anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of their income to the federal and state government in taxes, with the additional cost of filing taxes averaging approximately $20 billion annually. However, those figures pale in comparison to the 20 shocking tax-related facts put together by Business Insider, ones that will reportedly “make your head explode.”
As the supporters of President Barack Obama have complained about tax cuts for the rich during the ongoing budget debate, one group of Americans has escaped their notice: the 45 percent of Americans who will pay no federal income tax at all for 2010.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a report today entitled Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, compiled by Wayne Crews, which reveals that the cost to Americans for complying with federal regulations far surpasses the amount of the federal budget deficit.
There are different ways of calculating unemployment. The data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics culls out those who are not seeking employment, which may include people who no longer need to work (because they have retired, their spouse has found a good job, or because their financial situation improved.) Those Americans no longer seeking work, however, may also include those who have simply given up trying to find a job because the market seems hopeless.
It was President Richard M. Nixon, a favorite of the neoconservative establishment, who announced in his first term that "We're all Keynesians now," indicating that the old Republican bible of balanced budgets and a limited role for government in the marketplace was dead forever. Perhaps a future President — no doubt one who, like Nixon, got elected by preaching the virtues of free markets and small government — will look back at the Bretton Woods II Conference and announce grandly: "We're all Sorosians now."