Ape the Rich

There are probably diminishing returns to this investment strategy, but aping the rich is not a bad idea, at least in this case:

Investors worried that inflation and financial market turmoil will wipe out the value of their cash have poured money into gold over the past decade. Prices have gained almost 500 percent . . . → Read More: Ape the Rich

Doug Casey Predicts Day of Economic Reckoning Is Near

It is a deal with the devil: Governments churn out more and more cash for the promise of continued prosperity. But the day of reckoning is near, according to Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research and an expert on crisis investing. As the epic battle between inflation and deflation continues, Casey discusses his . . . → Read More: Doug Casey Predicts Day of Economic Reckoning Is Near

Heartiste’s Questions

Regarding the future:

1. How is the present automation and productivity conundrum qualitatively different than ones from the past (for example, the classic case of the auto replacing the horse and carriage)? If you do not believe it is qualitatively different, explain how we escape the “zero marginal productivity” worker trap, especially in an . . . → Read More: Heartiste’s Questions

The business of Indian politics

Raymond Fisman, Florian Schulz and Vikrant Vig have a fascinating new working paper: Private returns to public office, which gives us new insights into Indian politics.

We know that elections in India are typically rather close. There is something almost capricious about who wins and who doesn’t. The random outcome of an election can, . . . → Read More: The business of Indian politics

The Rich Aren’t Necessary

So says Nick Hanauer:

It is astounding how significantly one idea can shape a society and its policies. Consider this one.

If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down.

This idea is an article of faith for republicans and seldom challenged by democrats and has shaped much of today’s . . . → Read More: The Rich Aren’t Necessary

One Financial Advisor's Secrets for Making and Protecting Gains: Danielle Park

Never one to follow the conventional wisdom, author Danielle Park, president and portfolio manager with Venable Park Investment Counselors, sees more dark days ahead before the market moves into an inevitable secular bull phase. At the end of March, this investing pragmatist will share her secrets for protecting wealth at the World MoneyShow . . . → Read More: One Financial Advisor’s Secrets for Making and Protecting Gains: Danielle Park

Whence Inheritance

Here’s an explanation called the “rotten parent theorem”:

Wealthy kids are usually wealthy because their wealthy parents left them a lot of money. You might think that’s because parents are altruistic towards their kids. Indeed every dollar bequeathed is a dollar less of consumption for the parent. But think about this: if parents are . . . → Read More: Whence Inheritance

The Cost of Signaling

Like this isn’t an attempt to split a non-existent hair:

The segregation model predicts that as the society gets wealthier, the dollar cost of college will get higher. The signaling model would not necessarily predict that. In fact, it would predict that the market would try to find less expensive signals.

It’s like Kling . . . → Read More: The Cost of Signaling

Redistributing Wealth

In an axiomatic sense, wealth is always distributed in some way. Likewise, any transfer or exchange of wealth is a redistribution of wealth.

Redistribution of wealth comes in two forms: coercive and voluntary. The former method of redistribution is associated with socialism and, more generally, any statist attempt at transferring the goods or wealth . . . → Read More: Redistributing Wealth

Is Socialism an Ex Ante Rationalization?

A while back, I asked if libertarian political theory was an ex post rationalization used simply to justify the cause of freedom without actually explaining why it worked. It seems reasonable to ask a similar question of socialism: is socialist political theory* simply a rationalization for pursuing a certain course of action?

At first . . . → Read More: Is Socialism an Ex Ante Rationalization?