In his Star Ledger column, “Crackpot libertarianism at the convenience counter,” Paul Mulshine tries to make the case that Senator Richard Codey’s bill to increase the age to legally buy cigarettes from 19 to 21 is not an infringement on individual liberty. He fails miserably.
Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban ambassador to the European Union, was our last lecturer in Havana. A professor at the University of Havana, Dr. Alzugaray was a long time diplomat, who served in many countries during his 37-year career, called for “normal relations” between the two neighbors, the world’s greatest superpower and the small island nation that “is not a threat to the United States or its people.”
The revelations that the Internal Revenue Service has been giving extra careful review of the tax- exempt applications of Tea Party groups and other “patriotic” organizations should raise the obvious question, doesn’t an income tax lead to all kinds of abuses?
Anti-gun rally likely to miss the mark
The upcoming Bergen Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence rally on Sunday is an attempt by well-meaning individuals to address a serious problem in our society. However, the approach is naive and counterproductive.
The coalition says that the majority of people “support common sense legislation to prevent homicides, suicides and mass murder.”
One sure way to reduce “gun violence” in America is to decriminalize such drugs as marijuana and narcotics. In one stroke, gang violence would end in inner cities, where heavily armed drug dealers protect their turf, causing death and destruction in their communities.
There is another common-sense way to reduce crime in our society. Pass legislation that puts citizens and non-citizens on notice that the punishment for committing a violent crime will be deportation, not prison. No ifs, ands or buts. No more career criminals; one strike and you are out.
Lastly, the coalition ignores an important principle, which is the right of self-defense. In New Jersey, however, the only place you can exercise that right is in your own home or apartment. It is virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit to protect oneself in your automobile, mall or street. That means violent individuals can prey on the rest of us. In other words, a defenseless crime victim is at the mercy of the bad guys, a fact that the coalition is comfortable with.
Fort Lee, April 18
The writer is a professor of finance at Ramapo College and a former candidate for statewide office as a Republican and a Libertarian.
In his New York Times column, “Lust for Gold” (April 12), Paul Krugman embraces once again monetary inflation as one of the ways to create prosperity, one of the longest enduring myths in economics. By disparaging gold as money, Krugman also reveals his lack of understanding of monetary economics. In addition, Krugman’s support for deficit spending also puts him in the camp of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, who said “deficits don’t matter.” In short, Krugman as well as Republican politicians just cannot get enough of the welfare-warfare state.
In my last post I pointed out that savers should be earning about 4% interest on their savings accounts in banks or in money market mutual funds (MMMF). Instead, because of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy, that is, creating money of out-of-thin air that drives down interest rates across the yield curve—the interest rate depicted on a graph for short-term to long-term maturities—savers are forced to subsidize the banking sector, the federal government and corporate America as well as home purchasers and automobile buyers. (more…)
The former congressman and Reagan administration budget director lays out the case for what ails America in today’s New York Times, crony capitalism. One of the best essays to appear in an Establishment newspaper in recent years.
I have been teaching Corporate Finance I, the introductory Finance course at Ramapo College’s business school, since 1985. In the textbook’s chapter on interest rates, which is a standard discussion in all textbooks, students learn that the following equation, r = r* + IP. In other words, the nominal interest, rate, r, the rate earned on risk-free debt (such as three month U.S. Treasury bills) equals the real rate of interest (the rate mutually agreed upon by borrowers and lenders in a free market) plus an inflation premium. (For non-risk free debt there are additional premiums, liquidity, default, etc.)
In his New York Times op-ed column (“What Hath Rand Paul Wrought”), Russ Douthat applauds Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Douthat believes Senator Paul has done the GOP a great service by highlighting issues it is embraced—“hair-trigger hawkishness and absolute deference to executive power”– that have made the Party a two-time presidential loser to Barack Obama.
In his budget address to the legislature, Governor Chris Christie announced that New Jersey would participate in an expansion of Medicaid as part of Affordable Care Act known to most people as Obamacare.