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Disasters Can Happen

Smile! Why Hidden Camera Technology Is Everywhere

Smile! Why Hidden Camera Technology Is Everywhere - Image FlickerAlmost every store that you visit uses hidden camera technology in order to protect their merchandise, and it is also common to run into surveillance equipment at ATMs and banks. Additionally, there are some areas that have cameras in place to help local law enforcement officials monitor traffic violations such as running a red light, and it is now common for police cars to have cameras installed on the dashboard. It is understandable how someone can become uneasy when you consider how many different times a day you are probably being recorded. However, many people believe that the protection that these cameras provide is worth having their privacy invaded.

How Does Hidden Camera Technology Impact our Rights?

Although most people have gotten used to the idea that they will encounter hidden cameras throughout the day, this does not mean that each of them has been installed in accordance with the law. In fact, each state has its own guidelines about (Read More....)

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Why We Are All Doomed

Warning Economic Woesby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

Second quarter GDP, as reported in by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on August 28, grew at an annualized rate of 4.2 percent. This follows up a 2.1 percent decline in the first quarter. Just what is it that turned things around from one quarter to the next?

According to the BEA report, “this upturn in the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected upturns in exports and in private inventory investment, accelerations in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and in nonresidential fixed investment, and upturns in state and local government spending and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports.” Not bad, indeed. It sounds like the economy’s expanding at a very robust rate.

But it doesn’t feel like things are improving for most households. The amount of money Americans earn each hour after adjusting for inflation is (Read More....)

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Holding the Permanently High Plateau

The Mediaby MN Gordon Economic Prism

“Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau,” said Ph.D. economist, Irving Fisher, on October 17, 1929. “I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”

At the time of Fisher’s prediction, the DOW was at 341.86…down from a high of 381.17. Several days after Fisher offered his “permanently high plateau” thesis, the stock market’s decline accelerated. So, too, did the reputation of America’s most famous economist.

On October 23, 1929, after stocks had dropped 20 percent, Fisher declared business was “fundamentally sound.” You can view early video of Fisher’s ill-fated statement here, if you are interested. Despite Fisher’s optimism and academic confidence, he was spectacularly wrong.

Neither business nor the stock market was (Read More....)

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The False Premises Upon Which The European Union is Founded And Why It Is Doomed To Fail

European UnionGuest Post Peter Wood

Some critics of my articles claim that they are too one sided and that I’ve broad brushed all Liberal /socialists with the same nefarious intentions. My articles, however, I specifically accuse left-wing Liberal /socialists of undermining Western democracy. In my view, the other shades of Liberal /socialists are complicit because they are either actively or passively supporting these goals on the basis that the result will benefit themselves and their party, which in the USA is the Democratic Party and in Europe almost all the mainstream political parties.

The False Premises Upon Which The European Union is Founded And Why It Is Doomed To Fail

I admit there are well-intentioned, moderate and right-wing socialists who ascribe to the Enlightenment idea which held that human nature and civilization, through the expansion of scientific knowledge, are able to progress away from the collective violence created by irrational superstition, religion, and ethnic or nationalist loyalties. Once liberated from this destructive ignorance, so the theory goes, people can (Read More....)

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Musical Chairs Investing

Investingby MN Gordon Economic Prism

Markets were closed yesterday in observance of Labor Day. But here at the Economic Prism we labored on. There’s always something to contemplate. Where to begin?

One place, obviously, is this crazy stock market. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year…the broad barometer of man’s hopes and dreams keeps going up. Apparently, August was the S&P 500’s best month since February.

“The S&P 500 gained 3.8 percent for the month,” reported MarketWatch, “representing the bench mark’s best August performance since 2000. The S&P also achieved its largest monthly percentage jump since February, when it rose 4.3 percent.”

Something remarkable is going on here, for sure. After bottoming out at 666 on March 6, 2009, the S&P 500 is up over 300 percent. Simply for buying and holding an index of the stock market’s largest 500 companies, investors have tripled their money.

How (Read More....)

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Why the U.S. Government Should End the 40-Year Crude Oil Export Ban

Oil From Pixabayby MN Gordon

Economic Prism

An abundance of oil hides a lot of mistakes. Just think of Saudi Arabia. Oil accounts for 95 percent of their exports and contributes 70 percent of government revenue.

Unfortunately, the royal family’s taken this cash cow and squandered it. After years and years of pumping and selling this precious resource they’ve been unable to empower their people to stand on their own feet. Instead, their economy remains dependent on mass oil exports.

Oil contributes 45 percent of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product. When oil prices significantly declined in the 1990’s, per capita income fell from a high of $11,700 in 1981 to $6,300 in 1998. Conversely, when oil prices rose in the 2000s, per capita income rose to $15,000.

High oil prices, rather than helping Saudi Arabia, handicapped it. The revenue boost it provided masked over the economy’s limitations. Rather than diversifying its economy, Saudi Arabia continued to rely on its one great resource.

Now, Saudi Arabia and other oil export economies, (Read More....)

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Morons At Large

Caution Of The Timesby MN Gordon, Economic Prism

Up here, near the face of Tahquitz Peak, the summer twilight lingers a little longer. The evening sunshine bends through the tall shady pines and sweet smelling cedars, basking on Idyllwild…the splendor mile high Southern California mountain village. We breathe deeply and exhale gradually. Time slows to the soft rhythm of Strawberry Creek as it meanders through town.

The kids return to school next week. Back to crowded classrooms and common core curriculum. What could possibly be worse? But, at the moment, we’re not ready for them to close the door on summer just yet.

You’re only a kid once. Why not stretch the summer break out to the last moment possible? Plus, the outdoor classroom on Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail provides far more instruction than a classroom ever could. Time, gravity, hydrology, ecology, limitations, consequences…you name it, it’s all right here.

Obviously, there are certain rote learning fundamentals that are best suited to the classroom. Like reading, writing, and (Read More....)

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Fire and Brimstone

Crisisby MN Gordon Economic Prism

Here’s a demoralizing fact. Your paycheck has been shrinking for 5 years. We wish we were making this up…but we’re not…

According to MarketWatch, “Since the Great Recession ended five years ago, the amount of money Americans earn each hour after adjusting for inflation has actually fallen. And that largely explains why the U.S. economy is growing just 60 percent as fast as it normally does.

“Hourly wages have risen about 10 percent overall since June 2009, to $24.45 an hour. But over the same span they’ve slipped 0.3 percent in “real” or inflation-adjusted terms. That means most families are just treading water.”

This, in a nutshell, explains the frustrations the average American worker is faced with these days. They’re working harder than ever. But they are earning less.

It feels like running in ankle deep sand down a hot dry beach that never ends. Terrible amounts of time and energy are traded for a (Read More....)

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