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The major factor that could hinder Africa’s steady growth

Recent economic reforms in Africa along with deals given to China over resource rights have allowed the continent to experience gradual growth despite the global decline. The current North American drought however has caused food prices around the world to skyrocket and this trend poses a threat to all of the development Africa has made. Reuters reports on Africa's current economic situation and the effects of a possible food shortage:
Rising food prices could hit commodity producers[...] Click here to continue reading

We should still be listening to Milton Friedman’s economic advice

100 years ago today, one of the most influential economist of the 20th century was born. Milton Friedman was a renowned scholar who ripped holes in the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and other progressives while also serving as economic advisor to such leaders as Ronald Reagan. Business Insider relives one of his most famous interviews discussing capitalism and its relationship to greed:
In 1979, a young Phil Donahue challenged legendary economist Milton Friedman on the principles[...] Click here to continue reading

Towns in poverty continue to outlaw economic self-reliance

I don't get angry very often, but here's something that managed to really push my buttons.

Around America the same phenomena are occurring:  In some of the nation's poorest towns, it’s becoming illegal to be resilient.

This is absurd! The people who need to harness the power of self-reliance the most are being denied the freedom to do so, by towns that are wedded to a dysfunctional past.

Take this man for example:[...] Click here to continue reading

Former classification czar believes too much is classified

Confidential Folder
Classified documents and national secrets have been around for hundreds of years. However a growing trend of over-classification is occurring in the US as almost every government document now has some type of classified status. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports on recently unclassified documents and the absurd lack of reasons for their classification in the first place:
The US classification system is “dysfunctional” and “clearly lacks the ability to differentiate between trivial information and that which can truly damage our nation’s[...] Click here to continue reading

The true definition of success

In 2007 John McAfee explained in Fast Company, “Success for me, is can you wake up in the morning and feel like a twelve year old?”

However, that was right before he lost 95% of his net worth. He explains in Robert Frank's book, The High-Beta Rich, that he was living through a second childhood, wasting money on grown-up toys and making poor investments. Only a year after the quote, his definition of success had contributed to the destruction of his[...] Click here to continue reading

Big changes to Taiwan’s 2012 growth forecast

taipei sunset

The global recession has caused a sharp decrease in demand for products worldwide. Big manufacturers like China and Japan have all revised this year's growth forecasts. Despite the depression taking place mainly in Europe, large and small asian countries alike have felt the macroeconomic impact of the sovereign debt crisis. BBC News reports on Taiwans current contraction and the revisions made to their prospective growth:

Taiwan's economy contracted in the three months to the end[...] Click here to continue reading

Gold Investing: Believe the fundamentals, not the hype

Long time gold skeptic Warren Buffett must be smiling right now as over the first six months of 2012, the precious metals market has taken a beating. However, many gold supports are looking at recent gains in the past few days as a sign that the rare material is prime for a comeback. Mish's Global Economic Analysis reports on gold's recent hype along with the 5 reasons why it's a sound investment despite the hype:
"To get[...] Click here to continue reading

Have you noticed this very deceptive form of inflation?

Trakai Lithuania Camp
July 31, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Every summer, my colleagues and I invite young people from all over the world for an intensive 4-day workshop about freedom and entrepreneurship.

This year's workshop just concluded yesterday afternoon, and it was, without doubt, the best one ever.

58 students attended from countries as diverse as Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Venezuela, Singapore, Russia, the Philippines, Greece, Malaysia, Turkey, Australia, China, Belarus, Switzerland, England, Poland, Canada, the US,[...] Click here to continue reading

California: A case study of bad economic policies

California Desert Car
Around the world, countries have been unable to repay massive debts in wake of the global recession. In the US specifically, California is drowning in deficits created by huge welfare programs and lavish government spending. Stockton California has become infamous as the first US city to actually declare bankruptcy. Business Insider reports on California's current financial and why we should use it as a prime example of bad fiscal policies:
Three California cities have recently declared bankruptcy:[...] Click here to continue reading

US army prepares for domestic riots and civil unrest

As financial dispair and desperation hit Europe, riots have been continuously breaking out in protest to the dire living conditions. As the situation continues to worsen in the US however, many politicians are calling for measures to move the country towards an authoritative police state in order to ensure 'national security'. RT News reports on the government's recent purchase of riot gear and its anticipated use on US soil:
A solicitation for weapons posted on the official government website for federal business opportunities[...] Click here to continue reading

Japan can’t recover with ‘flat production’

welding robots

The financial crisis across the Eurozone has had ripple effects around the globe. Many of the eastern manufacturing powerhouses like China and others are all experiencing lulls in consumer demand and declines in production output. Despite expectations for a quicker recovery, the Japanese economy has been unable to bounce back from last year's tsunami and the current global recession. BBC News reports on Japan's struggling manufacturing industry and their expected future outlook:
Japanese industrial production slipped 0.1%[...] Click here to continue reading

China works to cover up instead of clean up political corruption

Nanjing Shanghai China
The extent to which the Chinese government will go to censor information from their citizens knows no bounds. Despite China's growing move to westernize their economy and society, they still continue to frequently limit speech and strive to cover up the rampant corruption within the government. The Financial Times reports on China's ban on news outlet Bloomberg and its political significance:
Bloomberg's news website remains blocked by China's state censors a full month after it detailed the riches[...] Click here to continue reading

Motivational Monday: Where in the world is the next Marissa Mayers?

African Women Business Office
The massive reach of the internet and today's global technologies have created many entrepreneurial opportunities for people who have never had access before. The indiscriminate nature of technology has also allowed women to break through many long emplaced glass ceilings. CNN reports on Africa's growing tech boom and the incredible women that are taking full advantage of the rappidly growing trend:
Things are going great for women and it seems the West is slowly shedding its aversion to[...] Click here to continue reading

The world’s gold is moving from West to East

Did you know that, according to Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada’s latest World Wealth Report, there are now more millionaires in Asia than North America…?

An estimated 3.37 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region have a liquid net worth of over US$1 million. That compares to 3.35 million in North America.

The same trend is evident in the gold market.

While the current world hubs for gold trading and storage are London,[...] Click here to continue reading

THIS country has ‘the highest proportion of people out of work’

Unemployment Levels Rise Dramatically In Spain
The sovereign debt crisis occurring in Europe is one of the most severe depressions in decades. The peripheral EU nations of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are all experiencing high unemployment and are struggling to keep in place their mandated austerity measures. One nation however is hurting more than others. Reuters reports on Spain's grave unemployment and the nation's extremely bleak outlook:
Spanish unemployment hit its highest level in the second quarter since the Franco dictatorship ended in[...] Click here to continue reading

The big vulnerabilities of biometric security

In the movie Minority Report, audiences witnessed a future where citizens iris's were scanned at every turn in order to both track and market to individuals. This fiction however is soon to be reality as government agencies have begun increasing their use of biometric data. The Electronic Freedom Foundation reports on the current vulnerabilities of this security along with the dangers that the new technology presents:
At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week, Javier[...] Click here to continue reading

Oregon police arrest man for being too self-reliant

Water Sewer Drain
One of the most important core values that Sovereign Man promotes is self-reliance. However, in the US and other countries, governments are making it increasingly difficult to live sustainably because of the threat it poses to the profits of private corporations and crony politicians. CNS News reports on the developing story of an Oregon man being sent to jail for recycling rain water and melted snow:
A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and[...] Click here to continue reading

China’s sovereign wealth fund experiences ‘worst year ever’

Despite the size of their economy and the amount of direct state support, China was far from immune to the global depressions occurring in Europe and the US. In 2011 Chinese investments took a massive hit but in spite of the loss, they feel confident in their long-term positions. CNN reports on the current status of one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds:
China's sovereign wealth fund suffered its worst year ever in 2011,[...] Click here to continue reading

This is the scariest thing about using Skype

Skype iPhone
Government surveillance of civilian communications has been going on since they could intercept couriers delivering messages on foot. However, in today's digital age it's even easier for governments to obtain your conversation as service providers are becoming more compliant to these high power entities. The Washington Post reports Skype's new policy to hand over any of your communication records at the request of Big Brother:
Skype, the online phone service long favored by political dissidents, criminals and others[...] Click here to continue reading

One of the scarcest resources in the world

July 25, 2012
Trakai, Lithuania

We've spoken before about the importance of a second passport. It is, in short, one of the best insurance policies you can have.

If you only have one passport, you become trapped by a single government-- a government that has the power to tax you into the poorhouse, steal your assets, send your children into combat against their will, and much more.

A second passport provides options.[...] Click here to continue reading

Invasive TSA checkpoints are coming to train and bus stations

TSA Workers Take Over At O'Hare's Terminal 1
Anyone who's traveled on an airplane post-9/11 knows the extent to which the TSA are willing to invade your privacy. Celebrities and average civilians alike have fallen victim to the TSA intrusive search procedures. In addition to their security at airports however, TSA are increasingly being stationed at trains and bus stations where they establish random checkpoints. The Los Angeles Times reports on the new TSA initiatives and what it means for your privacy:
The Transportation Security[...] Click here to continue reading

Hunan capital calls for huge stimulus package

Changsha China
The global financial crisis has caused declines in growth across almost every continent. After decades of steady gains, Chinese officials are now anxiously seeking short-term solutions to a temporary financial lull. In a knee-jerk reaction, government officials in Changsha are calling for an enormous amount of government stimulus to be pumped in the economy. Reuters reports on the situation and the imminent spending anticipated to occur:
The government of Changsha, the capital of central China's Hunan province, has launched[...] Click here to continue reading

Congress finally decides to audit the Fed

Federal Reserve Building
Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve have been a prime example of why big central banks are ineffective and can destroy a nations currency. The Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dollars into the economy in order to 'spur' growth by bailing out corrupt bankers and so far their initiatives have been failures. Congress yesterday finally managed to listen to one of the sane few, Ron Paul, and his mission to audit the Fed and hold them[...] Click here to continue reading

The next Asian Tiger to revise their growth forecasts

Seoul South Korea
Around the world, countries that were once expected to experience an explosion of growth are now hitting a plateau as global manufacturing demand declines. Both the BRIC's and the Four Asian Tigers are all revising their growth forecasts as sovereign debt crises continue in Europe and soon in the US. CNN reports on the current stall of the once very promising South Korean economy:
South Korea's economic growth rate fell in the second quarter to its[...] Click here to continue reading

Government is spying on ‘virtually every U.S. citizen’

When Bush first enacted the patriot act I was up in arms over the blatant constitutional violation that it posed, however, many people that I knew didn't seem phased by it. They insisted that the government wouldn't abuse this power and they didn't feel their privacy was at risk because they're not 'terrorists'. Contrary to their belief though, NSA wistleblowers have been coming out confirming the indiscriminate spying of all American citizens. RT News reports on this disturbing[...] Click here to continue reading

China’s strengthening currency forecasts a gowing consumer economy

Many US politicians continue to spout off rhetoric that America can't compete with China in exports because the Chinese are artifically devaluing their currency. This assertion however is quickly becoming an invalid one as the renminbi continues to appreciate in value. Business Insider reports on this surprising trend and what the IMF believes will occur as a result of a stronger Chinese currency:
A new report from the IMF says the renminbi is only "moderately undervalued" and points to a decline[...] Click here to continue reading

‘Britain in its longest double-dip recession in more than 50 years’

British Sterling Pound

Around the world, economies have been consistently struggling to produce any type of real growth in recovery of the 2008 collapse. European nations like Greece and Italy have been hit especially hard and now the United Kingdom joins them in their efforts to rebuke their current austerity measures in favor of an ineffective stimulus and increased government spending. The Telegraph reports on the UK's declining economy along with their possible recourse:
The figures from the Office for[...] Click here to continue reading

Japan’s trade deficit could mean a rebound for nuclear energy

Nuclear power station on the river bank
The massive tsunami that rocked the Japanese people in March of 2010 is still fresh in many minds, especially the nuclear disaster that followed as a result. This scare has has hurt the global demand for nuclear power as well as uranium and other peripheral industries. This lack of nuclear power in Japan however has created a hue trade imbalance for foreign energy and is now pushing officials to promote turning back on their nuclear power plants. The[...] Click here to continue reading

$11.37 billion in taxes go to keeping Americans ignorant

Confidential Folder
When people think of American spies and classified documents, they flashback to the Cold War and the information warfare between the US and the USSR. The government had many secrets back then however, the current administration is now spending more tax dollars than every to secure classified information as well as increasing the amount of classified information at an unprecedented rate. The Asia Times reports on this startling trend:
A government outfit few of us knew existed, the[...] Click here to continue reading

Intelligence officials finally admit to unconstitutional wiretapping

Telephone wires
When the Patriot Act was first enacted under the Bush administration, there was serious outrage over the lengths to which citizens constitutional rights were violated. This same violation of privacy and desecration of the fourth amendment continues under the Obama administration to a vast extent. The Electronic Freedom Foundation reports on a recent confession by intelligence officials publicly confirming that unconstitutional wiretapping has been occurring:
As Congress and the President rush to re-authorize the dangerous FISA Amendments Act (FAA)—the law shamefully[...] Click here to continue reading

Why do we need a central bank?

July 25, 2012
London, England

For the last two weeks here in the UK, TV stations have been running a documentary series called "Bank of Dave", in which down-to-earth businessman Dave Fishwick attempts to establish his own bank.

The premise sounds plausible: offer depositors 5% interest (as opposed to zero), and lend to credible small businesses that are otherwise ignored by the majors.

But as the irrepressible Dave soon discovers, getting a[...] Click here to continue reading

Spain’s spiral out of economic control

Unemployment Levels Rise Dramatically In Spain
Anyone who's turned on the news in 2012 is pretty well aware that there is a severe sovereign debt crisis occurring in Europe on an unprecedented level. Greece barely avoided a complete catastrophe but more nations in the Eurozone periphery continue to be unable to maintain a balanced budget. Business Insider reports on Spain's growing dispair and the economic implications of their possible exit from the Eurozone:
Spain is battling to avert a fully-fledged sovereign rescue[...] Click here to continue reading

The US racked up $6,866,712,084,997.92 in debt since 2007

Bernanke Testifies To House Group On Fed's Effort To Provide Liquidity
Nobel Prize winning economists like Paul Krugman and fellow Keynesian devotees like Ben Bernanke profess that the only way out this current financial crisis is to SPEND MORE. However, looking at the massive increases in government spending since the 2007 collapse shows these economic initiatives are woefully ineffective. CNS News reports how over the past 5 years, the nation's total debt has increased by more than $1 trillion each year:
By the end of the third quarter of fiscal[...] Click here to continue reading

Argentinian town uses lottery to determine who gets their paychecks

Ushuaia Argentina
When governments spend more money than they can afford and plan a budget based on unsustainable growth, collapse is inevitable. This is what we are currently witnessing in Argentina where officials can no longer pay all of the government employees' salaries. Yahoo! News reports on the current debacle in a small Argentinian town where only the lucky will receive their paychecks:
A raffle will determine which civil servants in a small Argentine town will receive their pay first, due to[...] Click here to continue reading

Tax Policy Center: US tax policy prevents upward mobility

US Treasury
Many politicians and citizens alike believe that massive social welfare programs combined with vast government subsidies provide a catalyst for both growth and upward social mobility. Unfortunately these policies actually have the exact opposite affect that their proponents advertise. Surprisingly, even people in the Tax Policy Center are fully aware of this yet politicians fail to listen. Business Insider reports:
...according to my always-provocative Tax Policy Center  colleague Gene Steuerle , our tax and spending priorities not only fail to promote[...] Click here to continue reading