Skip to main content

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.

While the barrage of newly exposed bad actors is terribly distasteful, it would be wrong to simply wring our hands and decry the current low levels of morality. While a case can surely be made for low morality, I believe that an equally convincing case for real optimism is valid. We may be witnessing a breakthrough in human history – a time when many old offensive standards that have stood for so long are being challenged vehemently. Those on the left have been the most vocal, or at least have gained the most media attention in their challenges – from Black Lives Matter, to the women’s march on DC post-election, the many protests of police violence directed at African-American men, etc., etc. But those on the right have also been vocal about their objections to those things they find morally indefensible about our current society, including providing us with many of the most pointed defenses of our constitutional liberties.  In this time of enlightenment, we must all continue to have the courage to speak out against wrong at every turn, regardless of the short-term cost or the power positions that will be threatened.

Of course, there is risk in this time as well, as accusations fly and society is tempted towards a “guilty until proven innocent” standard.” Also, we cannot allow our righteous anger to become distorted by those with agendas that are not pure, who would redirect a call for reform into one of conflict based upon our political leanings, our gender, or the color of our skin. In the end, even these conflicts and their costs, which may be inevitable byproducts of the move towards righting some old wrongs, are well worth it. It is important to remember that nothing good comes without a price, and that freedom is messy by definition, but is always preferable to the alternative.

Popular posts from this blog

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.

James Harden - A Classic Case of Misunderstood Value

The last time I wrote on hoops was December 2013 when I presciently trashed Carmelo Anthony. The time has come to take out my poison pen once again to decry James Harden as a fraud. I know that Harden has amazing stats - third in scoring, first in assists, and that his team the Rockets have far exceeded expectations as they are currently the 3rd seed out west. But, I still maintain that he is an awful player.

The End of The Financial Supercycle

Since I graduated college nearly 35 years ago the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury bond has declined from near 16% to today’s 2%-2.5% trading range level, and this tells an important story. The massive decline in yields on all financial instruments during this period, which I will call a “Financial Supercycle”, and the concurrent expansion of multiples and thus valuations, has led to massive wealth creation which has served to bolster the overall economy by literally infusing trillions of dollars of capital in the form of both found money (gains) and loans (recycled savings). In that same time, the field of finance and investments was red hot, growing dramatically in size and expanding in a multitude of ways, spurred by an abundance of creativity that spawned new ways to borrow and new ways to invest.  Innovations that have been introduced during this time and have heightened and broadened access to capital include entire financial markets such as the junk bond/high yield bond marke…