Happy Mother’s Day to my mom

Today is Mother’s Day for 2020 and many are celebrating their mothers….from a distance. Unfortunately, I am doing the same, as my mother is in a physical rehabilitation center two hours to my north.

I have been more fortunate than many in having such a loving mother over the years. She has truly been an amazing mother, and she is an amazing person for anyone who has been fortunate to meet her.

My mother provided a safe and nurturing environment for me and my siblings to live. She kept us constantly busy; cleaning the house, volunteering our time, giving us entrepreneurial direction, etc.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there!!!

jakkie-karl

Coronavirus Humor, Part VII

International Liberty

For this seventh edition of coronavirus humor (previous versions here, here, here, here, here, and here), let’s start with a clever video from Reason.

There are many reasons why the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

The coronavirus is merely the most-recent example.

While law-abiding people are worried about crime and societal breakdown, it appears that criminals also have something to worry about.

Meanwhile, the Babylon Beesatirizes vapid celebrities.

No matter how they expressed their emotions, everyone agreed that the scene off the Malibu coast Monday morning was exactly what America needed to get through this pandemic. Celebrities gathered their multi-million-dollar yachts on the waters of the Pacific Ocean and spelled out “WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.” “We’re just like you,” said Ellen DeGeneres on her Instagram as her servants sailed her yacht into position to form the apostrophe. …”Stay…

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Coronavirus and Subsidized Unemployment

International Liberty

Remember the “jobless recovery” of the Obama years?

Part of the problem was that President Obama kept extending unemployment benefits, which subsidized joblessness, as even Paul Krugman and Larry Summers had warned.

The good news was that Congress eventually said no in 2014 (actually one of the three best things to happen that year).

After that happened, the labor market improved.

But politicians apparently didn’t learn anything. As part of emergency coronavirus legislation, they turbo-charged unemployment benefits.

The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial from yesterday has a good summary.

Much of the harm from the coronavirus is unavoidable, but it would be nice if politicians didn’t compound the damage by ignoring the laws of economics. The worst blunder so far on that score is the $600 increase in federal jobless benefits… Why would anyone take a pay cut to go back to work? …Employees say they’ll…

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The Minimum Wage Should Be Abolished, not Increased

International Liberty

As I discuss in this recent interview, a higher minimum wage is a terrible idea if we care about facts and evidence (and also want to help poor people).

In the interview, I mentioned that minimum wage mandates aren’t good news for workers who lose their jobs.

One of them, Simone Barron, wrote in the Wall Street Journal about her unfortunate experience after the minimum wage was increased in Seattle.

This city’s minimum wage is rising to $16.39 an hour on Jan. 1. Instead of receiving a bigger paycheck, I’m left without any pay at all… That’s because the restaurant where I’ve worked for six years is closing as a consequence of the city’s harmful minimum-wage experiment. …When rent is too high, labor costs too much, and customers don’t want to pay $40 for a roast-chicken entree, the only way for many operators to ease the pain is to…

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2019 update on my permanent portfolio

So, we close out 2019 with only a slight gain from 2018. Frankly, you would have been better off investing in a simple index fund than in my portfolio in 2019. That said, over the last four and a half years the portfolio has increased in value by just shy of 160% (159.5%) while the DOW increased 73% and the S&P increased 63.5% over the same period (8/21/2015-12/31/2019).

While the DOW increased by about 25% in 2019, my permanent portfolio only increased slightly due to the decrease in Bitcoin. As mentioned in a few prior posts, we would have likely sold off a lot of the Bitcoin during a once a year rebalancing of the portfolio; however, this portfolio is designed to be static (buy and hold). Nonetheless, the portfolio has seen gains over 2X the DOW and the S&P with near-zero tax consequences and little risk. The only tax consequences of this portfolio can be found in the mutual funds as the hard assets (gold, silver, etc.) and the three stocks do not throw off a dividend.

We’ll take another look at the portfolio on August 21, 2020, which will be 5 years the portfolio has been public.

Here is a link to the permanent portfolio page.

Florida is the 8th most diverse state in the nation

With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing and the leadership in Fortune 500 companies still dominated by Caucasian males, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2018’s Most & Least Diverse States in America.

To determine where the most idea and identity exchanges have occurred at the highest level in the U.S. — and where the population is relatively more homogeneous — WalletHub compared the 50 states across six key categories: socio-economic, cultural, economic, household, religious and political diversity.

Diversity in Florida (1=Most Diverse, 25=Avg.):

  • 22nd – Educational-Attainment Diversity
  • 9th – Racial & Ethnic Diversity
  • 7th – Linguistic Diversity
  • 2nd – Birthplace Diversity
  • 16th – Industry Diversity*
  • 3rd – Marital-Status Diversity
  • 1st – Generational Diversity
  • 12th – Household-Type Diversity

*Includes civilian employed population aged 16 and older

For the full report, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-diverse-states-in-america/38262/

Back to School!

Belleyre Books

Brownies

August marks the start of school for much of the U.S. The Palm Beach County schools start August 13! If you still need to do school shopping, this weekend is Tax-Free Weekend in Florida. From Friday, August 3rd through Sunday, August 5th, clothing, footwear, and certain school supplies are tax free. The Florida Department of Revenue provides a complete list of eligible purchases. Many other states also have Tax Free Weekends with similar benefits.

Although most books aren’t tax-free this weekend, the affordable In 90 Pages books are worth the extra tax cents to get off to a good start. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are essential skills for every student. Students are even often expected to know how to create a document, spreadsheet, and presentation with no extra instruction. The In 90 Pages series provides clear, step-by-step instruction, and an easy to use QUICK REFERENCE page keyed to the…

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Clothing optional beach in Palm Beach County this summer? Perhaps

The Palm Beach Examiner

This morning, February 2, 2018, the non-profit Palm Beach Naturists sent a demand letter to Palm Beach County Commissioners. It was a call for a family-friendly clothing-optional beach at one of their 11 public county beaches (see below). Last year, they were unofficially denied; however, the naturists still are retaining their right under Florida law to set up a clothing optional beach on their own. If the county does not act by their April 20, 2018, commission meeting, then the growing group says they will do it themselves, setting up their own signs and will decide which beach it will be.

They also have an online petition they just started which they expect to have over 1,000 signatures by the close of February. The group looks forward to “thousands of Palm Beach County residents and tourists will be able to enjoy a family-friendly clothing optional beach in our own backyard…

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Should We Give Politicians the Power to Swap Campaign Cash for Corrupt Earmarks?

International Liberty

This is depressing.

Republicans botched the repeal of Obamacare. They’ve already sold out (twice!) on the spending caps in the Budget Control Act, and they’re about to do it again.

And now they want to bring back earmarks.

In this interview with Neil Cavuto, I explain why this is a very troubling development.

One thing I didn’t mention in the interview is that earmarks are inherently corrupt. Indeed, there’s a near-universal four-step process that – in a just world – would result in politicians getting arrested (see 18 U.S. Code § 203) for bribery, graft, and conflicts of interest.

  1. An interest group decides it wants other people’s money and decides to use government as a middleman.
  2. The interest group hires lobbyists, most of whom are former members of Congress or former staff members.
  3. The interest group and the lobbyists direct campaign contributions to one or…

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“If You Don’t Where Aleppo Is, You Can’t Bomb It” Says Larry Sharpe In Defense of Gary Johnson

THE LIBERTY HERALD

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Last night’s episode of the Governor’s House with Larry Sharpe became heated when someone commented on the livestream “What’s an Aleppo?”

Among Sharpe’s commentary on universal basic income, New York’s new free college program and unions (and someone calling in asking if Larry had seen our Presidential Poll), was a response to a viewer seeming to seek to make a crack at Gary Johnson’s infamous slip on MSNBC where a reporter asked “What is Aleppo” and Johnson did not know is was the capitol of Syria.

“Shame on you for doing that” began Sharpe and then explained how he was not embarrassed at all by being Gary Johnson supporter and retorted the Johnson jab with “if you don’t know where Aleppo is, you can’t bomb it.”

The Governor candidate continued by praising Johnson for being honest and saying that it’s a flaw he would love to see in his…

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