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The Misdirecting Media

I’ve been a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, which has meant dealing with a ton of frustration. Last week, after dominating the New Orleans Saints for most of the game the team fell apart in the final quarter, and with only 25 seconds remaining were losing by a point and seemed doomed to add to the five-decade history of sadness for Vikings fans.  But a miracle occurred and the Vikings quarterback, unheralded Case Keenum, led them on a remarkable drive that culminated in a 61-yard touchdown pass as the game ended.

Recent posts

Diffusing the Pressure

Too many Americans are living stressful lives, with no savings and thus no safety net if they hit a bump in the road. I’ve read estimates that fully 70% have savings of less than $1,000.  While it is true that certain key economic statistics have improved in the past year, too many Americans still count on food stamps for their survival and too many are not employed or have been left behind in the move to technology-driven economy. And, while consumer spending has increased of late, which has created the sense of economic health, of concern should be that credit card debt levels are at all-time highs.

Taxes and Hyperbole

There is a new tax code in the U.S., and this is indeed a “Yuuuge” deal. As far as I can tell, it is as close to an unmitigated home run for America as can be. Is it perfect? Of course, it’s not. The code retains its unwieldy size and complexity, largely as a result of compromises made in order to bribe congressmen and senators for their votes. Until we get term limits, it seems we’re stuck with a tax code that is big and complex. However, it does hit the mark on a few key issues: most every taxpayer will now pay less to the federal government (except those in states with ridiculously mismanaged economies who now will be forced to hold their state politicians more accountable); and our businesses, large and small alike, will remit less of their profits to the federal government and will be liberated to invest that savings into growth – which will surely create job and wage growth in the productive private sector.

Group Think – The NBA

I’ve long been fascinated with the works of behavioral scientists, which are devoted to trying to answer the question of why we humans think and do as we do. I’ve learned how hard-wired we are to be influenced by media and our peers, and how truly difficult it is for us to think “outside of the box,” or to avoid Group-Think. This blog will be the first in a series on this topic and will be dedicated to one of my favorite topics – NBA basketball.

Freedom, Accountability, and Growth

As I see it, there are two competing philosophies on the organization of human life on earth. In the first, freedom is prized above all else. The thinking here goes that every human life is imbued with a spirit from God and is on a journey of both self-discovery and growth. The second holds that most of humanity is dumb and oriented towards bad behavior, and must be controlled by a small and enlightened elite for the good of the greater society.

The Modern Era of Enlightenment

A big, fat, ugly guy abused his power position to try for sex with attractive women – and it happened in Hollywood. Surprised? Few are, despite the original feigned shock. And now the avalanche of accusations of such misconduct is a daily event in America, and Hollywood, while perhaps having more than its fair market share, is far from being the only industry where sexual abuse occurs.

You Need to Ask the Right Question

If you ask the wrong questions, the answers will probably also always be wrong, and even irrelevant.  This might seem obvious, but I’ve noticed that this truth is often completely overlooked, and even by the world’s most intelligent. While I’m certain this is so in every facet of life, for the purpose of this short paper I will focus on the investment/finance world.