Generational Theft

In my lifetime, we have witnessed the greatest intergenerational transfer of wealth ever seen. Seniors have benefited. Our youth have taken it on the chin.

Oddly, even so-called conservatives don’t seem to mind this massive redistribution of wealth. It enjoys broad support. The reasons are obvious; 1) older people vote at a higher rate than young people and 2) people (both voters and their elected representatives) tend to vote their self interest.

Hence, at least thus far, the Boomers and their parents’ generation are doing just fine, the recipients of massive transfers; the youth are massively in debt and on the hook for trillions of obligations owed to what I call the dying generations.

I’m not going to get into the numbers here. If you want to catch a glimpse of them, you can watch this video of renowned investor Stanley Druckenmiller (a former Pittsburgher so he must know what he’s talking about!).

But you shouldn’t have to be convinced. Just think for a moment of the massive transfers that take place in the form of Social Security (people take out far more than they pay in), Medicare, special benefits extended to seniors by state and local governments (e.g., real estate tax breaks) and the less visible countless tax breaks and subsidies that inured mainly to the benefit of the Boomer and their parents’ generations, both in earlier times (education in particular) and now as they age and die.

The result? Continue reading Generational Theft

Calling Out The Charlatan (Installment 1 in the Saga of the Trump Administration)

img_3210I took this photo recently when visiting family in Las Vegas. The building carries the name of the man some (albeit a minority) of my fellow citizens chose to be our new president.

Saturday, in a style reminiscent of communist regimes and the propaganda tactics they so effectively employed, he and his press secretary, Sean Spicer, blatantly lied to America.

Misinformation is a game they play well. Continue reading Calling Out The Charlatan (Installment 1 in the Saga of the Trump Administration)

Things I Learned in 2016

It’s easier to learn things at your age, Vera, than it is at mine. Everything is new to you. Much less is new to me.

Nonetheless, there are always opportunities to learn new things, regardless of age. In fact, I can’t imagine living without learning. It’s what makes life interesting.

So, as I’m sitting in Starbucks in southern California early this morning, I’m reflecting on what I learned this year. Here are just a few highlights: Continue reading Things I Learned in 2016

Christmas Is a Great Time for Choosing How to Live

Whining gets old fast. No one like to be around a whiner.

If I find myself complaining about something, I have to ask myself, then why am I not doing something about it?

No one likes to be around a complainer. Incessant complaining makes for a very sour person. It’s hard to be happy if you’re always complaining.

So one thing I’ve learned over the years, Vera, is either do something about it or shut up. Continue reading Christmas Is a Great Time for Choosing How to Live

Trump Is So Much Smarter Than So Many Politicians and Academics

Yesterday’s event at Carrier in Indianapolis put me over the top. Well, actually, it wasn’t the event itself, where the president-elect announced he had saved some (but not all) of the jobs that were slated to move to Mexico. Rather, it was the reaction to the announcement by The Wall Street Journal (a Republican media mouthpiece, which hated the deal) and many liberal politicians, economists and talking heads (the people who populate Twitter and TV cable shows). You know something is amiss when the WSJ and liberal academics agree. Continue reading Trump Is So Much Smarter Than So Many Politicians and Academics

Irony, Hypocrisy, Flip-Flopping, the Art of Speaking Out of Both Sides of One’s Mouth & Choosing Your Role Models Well

My message to you today, Vera, is simple: choose your role models well.¬†And don’t assume that because someone is an adult or holds a high position they are acceptable.

You’re fortunate: you have two great role models as parents. But not everyone is so fortunate. Indeed, the world is full of people who are hypocritical, flip-flop on a dime if necessary to serve their own selfish interests and routinely speak out of both sides of their mouths.

These are not the kind of people you should embrace as role models. The fact that some people think they’re admirable shouldn’t change that fact. We all have standards. Set yours high.

Here’s a portion of a letter that¬†Steven J. Harper wrote to president-elect Donald Trump (aka Crooked Donald) that demonstrates my point: Continue reading Irony, Hypocrisy, Flip-Flopping, the Art of Speaking Out of Both Sides of One’s Mouth & Choosing Your Role Models Well