Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Politicians who know nothing of how hard it is to be an entrepreneur

From SovereignMan.com

May 23, 2017

Santiago, Chile
This morning I read a stinging open letter written by a small business owner in the Land of the Free named Don Chernoff.
Chernoff imports and sells luggage, and he pulled no punches in voicing his disgust for the phony support and failed policies that constantly make his life more difficult.
I’ve edited his letter for length below; the full version is available here.
You all love to talk about how much you support small business; the reality is the opposite. The economy is changing rapidly and is vastly different than just a few years ago. Many of the factory jobs in this country have gone and will not return.
Computer technology and automation will soon eliminate thousands more jobs (think truck drivers, taxi drivers, office workers, etc…).
Because there will be fewer middle-class jobs, many people who never considered working for themselves will be forced to become sole proprietors or open a small business. It is therefore critically important that you make it easier for these people to do so.
Right now instead of creating incentives for people to start their own small business, you create nothing but hurdles, allow me to give some examples.
Excessive health care costs

I work for myself and have to pay my own medical expenses. Before the “affordable care act” I was paying about $200 per month for a high deductible policy. It was far from perfect but it got so much worse under the “Affordable” care act.
I now pay over $400 a month, my deductible went from $5,000 to over $6,000 and my out of pocket costs for care have skyrocketed.
At this rate, I will go broke soon, and I am healthier than average. I don’t know how any normal working family or small businessman can possibly afford these rates without going bankrupt.
Income Tax Filing

I have to spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars for a tax accountant each spring to prepare my taxes because I cannot possibly understand how to do it myself, and I have a master’s degree in engineering.
I also have to remember to pay quarterly estimates, even if my income in not predictable or fluctuates (which it does for most small businesses) or else I get dinged with penalties.
This is a time and cost burden that makes it very hard to run a small business. . . The current tax code is an abomination and should be scrapped.
Excessive import duties
There is a lot of talk lately about a “border adjustment tax” (BAT), a fancy name for an import duty on imported products. I design luggage and I need to contract out the manufacturing to companies that specialize in making luggage. All of these factories just happen to be in Asian countries.
Because of this I am charged almost 18% on my cost of goods for all my imported luggage. Last year these fees came to over $100,000.
The only reason I can see for these fees is government greed.
There is no luggage manufacturing industry in the USA that is being protected. This is another huge burden that makes it difficult to survive in the ultra-competitive luggage business.
Congress and President Obama had a chance remove this burden last summer, and they did what they do best: nothing.
If you do impose a border adjustment tax, will it be on top of the 18% I’m already paying? If so you will put me out of business.
Excessive customs inspection fees for imported products
My company designs luggage that is made in Asia and imported by ship to the USA. It is sold at all Men’s Wearhouse stores and Jos A Bank stores.
A recent shipment was delayed for almost 2 weeks at the port of Los Angeles for extra customs inspections.
The container was first x-rayed, and since that apparently wasn’t good enough, it was then opened and inspected by hand.
There was nothing in the container but the same luggage I’ve been importing for 15 years. I was then charged over $2,000 for this “privilege,” in addition to the 18% import duty I already pay.
This is not the first time I’ve had to pay for extra inspections that were unnecessary.
I understand the need for security but I’m a known importer of the same products for almost 15 years, and this is a terrible cost burden for my small company.
Excessive Social Security burden
Many years ago when I quit a perfectly good job to start my own small business, I was shocked to learn that I had to pay both my share and what had been my employer’s share of Social Security.
If you wanted to create the perfect disincentive to discourage people from taking the leap to start a small business or become self-employed, it would have been difficult to invent a better one.
Capital Gains taxes
So you’ve busted your butt for 20 or 30 years running a small business or sole proprietorship, now you’d like to retire and enjoy life.
Between state, federal and local taxes you’ve probably paid 50% or more of your income in taxes, but that’s not enough for politicians.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have created a business you can sell, now you’ll get to enjoy paying another tax on the capital gain from the sale.
It’s just another penalty imposed on hard-working folks by politicians who don’t think we are paying “our fair share.”
The word “entrepreneur” is endlessly tossed around by politicians who know nothing of how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. You all love to say you encourage entrepreneurship, but the reality is you stand in the way.
Most small businesses either fail or stay small because it is really hard to grow a business, and because of all the burdens you put on us.
Quit your job and try it yourself if you don’t believe me.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black

Founder, SovereignMan.com

Monday, April 24, 2017

Road Map on How to Think

Ritholtz’s post on the Sherlock Holmes approach to thinking was applied to business but, it applies to almost everything. See the web link for the graphic.

1. Know Human Nature
2. Learning Never Stops
3. Reason Backward
4. Cultivate Multidisciplinary Thinking
5. Don’t Make the World Fit Your Tools


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Perfect! Simpsons & SJW

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Well, why are you talking to them? They’re nuts…

From an interview with Kim Iskyan, Publisher, Stansberry Churchouse Research

Me: The thing is, a lot of what you read in the media goes through a sort of prism. How do you learn how to sort through it?

Jim Rogers: I'm trying to teach my children – they're still very young – to get information from five or six different sources, preferably contrasting sources, left-wing, right-wing, call them what you will, from different countries and then you figure out what's really happening. If you read the Communists and the Fascists and the Nazis and the Capitalists or the religious, if you read them all, you get all sorts of different views but it'll help you figure out what really happened.

Sometimes, I get interviewed by different kinds of people. A few will say, "Well, why are you talking to them? They're nuts, they're crooks, they're blah, blah," whatever they have to be. And I try to say, "No, no, first of all, the one problem in the world right now is we don't talk to each other. We should be talking to everybody, no matter what you think of them. And second, that's how you get your message out. If you talk to them, they have to listen to you no matter how nuts they are. And also, you can help possibly change the world."
So talk to everybody, read everybody. The weirder the better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Times in the course of events when a society cannot tell what the f@#$ is going on

Which brings us to the curious case of Bashar Assad’s recent supposed poison gas bombing of civilians in Khan Sheikhoun. The media triumvirate was avid to play along with the story. I don’t know about you, but I have to ask myself: what would Assad’s strategic goal be in gas bombing women and children? To gin up worldwide positive PR? To get the Syrian people on his side against Isis and other jihadis? What advantage could Assad possibly gain? In warfare generally, the tacticians strike against military targets. There’s a hypothesis that Assad’s air force sought to strike a rebel arms depot in Idlib province — a military target. The hypothesis goes further, saying that the depot contained phosgene and chlorine gas, but not Sarin. The wind carried these released gases among civilian homes and streets in Khan Sheikhoun. People suffered and died. Evidence for the absence of Sarin gas is that the gassing victims were handled manually by doctors and aid workers in street clothes. Sarin can kill on skin contact and doctors have to treat it in protective gear. So, maybe the gas wasn’t Sarin and maybe it wasn’t dropped in bombs from Assad’s planes. But, like the pipeline angle of the story, this hypothesis is missing in the media triumvirate’s pages.

James Howard Kunsler


Saturday, April 1, 2017


A liberal icon comes out…

Friday, March 24, 2017

People all over the world need help

From Graham Summers at Gains Pains Capital…

The people losing their minds on social media over Trump as President are some of the most lost/spoiled people on the planet.

And they don’t even know it.

These people have obviously never faced a real problem in their lives, which is why they are so worked up about a non-issue.

Let me be clear… anything that you can address by sitting at home whining on your expensive computer on a social media platform is NOT a REAL problem. You are just playing a team sport like fantasy football.

Access to running water/ food… THOSE are real problems.

Right now, as I write this, there are children in developing countries who just arrived at school after starting a 5-HOUR journey at 3AM.

I am not writing that metaphorically. I personally know people who work with these children. Again… these are CHILDREN who wake up at 3AM, walk 5 hours to school because there isn’t another school closer…and then walk back home again.

Do you have a 10-hour commute?

Do you have to walk those 10 hours through mountains or jungle where there are people who could kill or rape you any day of the week?

There are well over 1 billion people in the world who have REAL problems and could use help. The people losing their minds on social media all have resources/ talent/ and energy to help solve these problems.

But they are not.

Instead they are ranting about how “awful” it is in the US.


Read the rest at: gainspainscapital.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Please read this important information about your credit card

…you can create all of the money you want, however, production of real things cannot be accomplished with a keystroke.

Then there is the issue of liberty. Each Federal Reserve Note is a liability of the Fed and gives the bearer the right but not the obligation to purchase — whatever the Fed deems appropriate. How much one can purchase keeps changing base on a theory-driven experiment that has never worked. Since the Fed is nothing more than an agent of the Central State, the ability to control what the wages of its workers will purchase, is a dangerous power for any government.

If a Federal Reserve Note is a liability of the central bank, then what is the asset? The only possible answer is the nations productivity. So, in essence, an agent of the government, the central bank, most of which are privately owned (ownership is cloaked in secrecy) owns the entire productive output of free and democratic nation-states.

People who speak of liberty and democracy in such a system only delude themselves.

Then there is the solution, default. That only resolves the books, the liability of human needs remain. Bankruptcy does not resolve the residue of social misery and suffering left behind for the masses who became dependent on lofty promises (debt). These promises (debts) were based on theories that have reappeared throughout human history under different guises but have never worked.

More debt will not resolve debt. The individual’s liberty is nonexistent if he does not own his labor. A people should consider carefully the viability (arithmetical consequences) of borrowing, at interest, to consume their own production. The asset of our labor cannot simultaneously be a liability we owe to ourselves at interest.


Clickbait News

Article from Charles hugh Smith on www.zerohedge.com about Snesationalist Clickbait that passes for news:

The Old Media followed this nostrum: If it bleeds, it leads, meaning the gory airline crash or auto pile-up was the leading "news story." In an era in which fact-free, evidence-free accusations that just happen to align with CIA agendas are passed off as "news," and anyone who questions the "authorities" is slandered as "promoting fake news" (talk about doublespeak), that promotion of mere gore now seems quaint.

Though the Corporate Media denies it, of course, the lines between propaganda, paid content and actual reporting have blurred. The C.I.A. has played a major role in the Corporate Media for decades. If you doubt this, please study the following:

The CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein

The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know This article by Professor James Tracy first published in August 2015 is of particular relevance in relation to the “fake news” campaign directed against the alternative media.

Operation Mockingbird


Spring is right around the corner

From Car Talk (www.cartalk.com)