(L55) Pit Bulls – The Breed of Love and Trust

This is my seventh speech for the public speaking course of the Ron Paul Curriculum, and this week we had to pick an animal to research!
I decided to cover the origins and progression of the Pit Bull breeds; I hope I can open eyes and hearts, and teach you guys something new!

Again, the facts, stories, videos and pictures I mentioned can be all be found at Pitbulls.org, or by clicking here.

As always guys, thank you for watching and listening! If you have any comments, suggestions or requests, please leave them below and be sure to like and share if you enjoyed it!

God Bless!

My Summer Reading List 2015 (L175)

Create a reading list (equivalent to that of roughly 8 books) for this coming summer. The books you choose should focus on either business, personal finance, and/or economics.
Each of the books I have chosen were picked from the suggested reading lists in this weeks lessons. I also left the majority of the other book suggestions (which I did not choose) at the bottom of the page.

The first book I picked (at almost 200 pages) is called Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By, by Carey Siegel. I chose this book first because it covers a broad range of principles at a few pages a piece; I think it will be an impacting way to begin my summer reading.
The second book I picked is called What Has Government Done To Our Money, and like many other books on the suggestion list, it was written by Murray Rothbard. Being a short book, it doesn’t fail to cover crucial topics in understanding the gold standard, the history of money, and the barter system.
The third book I picked to read this summer was written by Bob Murphy, and while being officially titled The Great Depression and The New Deal, it is also known as the “Politically Incorrect Guide to The Great Depression”.
The fourth book I chose is How Capitalism Saved America, by Tom DiLorenzo; I am rusty in my economic history and this will hopefully be a good book to help me brush up.
The fifth book I’ve chosen is The Cause of The Economic Crisis, by Ludwig von Mises (who also appears on the suggestion list quite a few times).
The sixth book I’ve chosen is called Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow, by Ludwig von Mises.
The seventh book I chose is called Trade Offs, by Harold Winter. It covers the economic “trade offs” between safety/quality, and expense.
The eighth (but not the last) book I’ve chosen to add to my reading list this summer is The Road To Serfdom, by F.A. Hayek.

Other Books On The Suggestion List Included:

  • Applied Economics by Thomas Sowell
  • A Beginners Guide to Investing: How to Grow Your Money The Smart and Easy Way by Frey, Frey and Byte (100 P)
  • Common Sense Economics by Gwartney, Stroup, Lee, and Ferrarini
  • Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson
  • America’s Great Depression by Murray Rothbard
  • The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman (400 P)
  • Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

Top 5 Biggest Mistakes of Young Married Couples (L170)

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I just wanted to start this one off by saying that I myself recently got engaged to the love of my life on June 27th 2015! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this class could not have matched up with the timeline of my life (this year) more perfectly! I have been handling my own finances for a little over a year now, and I have been handling my finances in a conjoined fashion with my fiancé for a little under a year (probably closer to 8 months).
I am writing this weeks essay from a unique point of view as it is, but I would also be interested in re-visiting this question in say, a year or two from now. I wonder if my options, or their order on the list will be any different after having been married (engaged) for a few more years.

1. Communication
In my opinion as somebody who has been handling their finances with a significant other for some (short) time, the biggest mistake young married couples can make in handling their finances would be to not communicate with one another. If one wants completely separate accounts/assets, and the other wants joined accounts/assets, this could be a recurring financial issue straining the relationship, and a middle ground must be found before any decisions are made. Communication and willingness to compromise are crucial. If one is great with money, and the other has no will power, then as a couple decisions need to be made to benefit you as a team.

2. Priorities
Paying off bills and other expected expenses for the month should always be at the very top of your priority list. If there is money left in the budget for “fun” after everything is taken care of, be sure to remain conscious spenders. Do not ever spend money that you do not have, and avoid borrowing money at all costs.

3.) SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!

4.) Don’t Get Caught Up In The Moment
Young couples often get caught up in the magic of freedom, and the actual contents of bank accounts are easily lost in the wonder of the magic silver card. Together make a budget for each month so you’re on the same page. Don’t cost yourself money out of laziness or excitement; it isn’t worth it. Keep your eyes on the goal.

5.) Don’t Be Too Stubborn
Just keep in mind, you don’t know everything – nobody does. So the best you can do is take all the information and help that others offer you. Don’t be afraid to take advice!

How Does Inflation Affect Me? (L165)

Inflation affects each and every one of us on a daily basis in the United States (and many places elsewhere across the world). It doesn’t interfere with my life in a good way either; every time inflation rises, my dollar has less and less purchasing power. Inflation also neglects to take an equal affect on the entire market; severely screwing the majority of the population while favoring a very slim few. Inflation affects me every time I spend money; food, clothing, internet, even a house.
According to Numbeo, the current average cost of a gallon of milk (where I live) in Boston, MA is $3.65. Using an inflation calculator to go as far back as 1913, I found that what bought me a gallon of milk today could have bought me $87.98 worth the products (CPI). That is like one gallon of milk vs. one small grocery trip (today). In 1950, that same $3.65 would have had the purchasing power of $36.14 (CPI 1). Money is losing its value almost quickly enough to sit and watch.

Bibliography
“Food Prices in Boston,+MA, United+States.” Food Prices in Boston,+MA. Numbeo, July 2015. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://www.numbeo.com/food-prices/city_result.jsp?country=United%2BStates&city=Boston%2C%2BMA&gt;

“CPI Inflation Calculator (1).” CPI Inflation Calculator. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=3.65&year1=1950&year2=2015&gt;.

“CPI Inflation Calculator.” CPI Inflation Calculator. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=3.65&year1=1913&year2=2015&gt;.

The Federal Reserve and The Economy (L160)

It may come as a surprise to most that the housing bubble of the early 2000s was not only predictable, but preventable. (With every boom comes a bust; especially when it is an artificially stimulated boom.) Austrian economics has shown us time and time again that a boom created by monetary inflation, while being unsustainable, is also reckless and superfluous. As the government floods the market with false pointers (as to where the market is headed), investors are finding their money misplaced. Without real market statistics, investors cannot accurately make decisions with their money; rather it is placed where the government points, not the buyers. This in turn, makes the bust following each improper investment inevitable. The Federal Reserve continues to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong, and it is causing issues on a massive country-wide scale.
In a free market, the buyers control the investment pointers; accurately directing the money where the producers want, and need it. This would also mean that in a free market, the booms and busts of the economy would be lesser. There would be more of a smooth, natural and intervention-free flow of money and products between producers and buyers; therefore creating a healthy economy with less risk.

Economic Evaluation 2015 (L155)

fredgraph

According to investment and financial educators Mike Maloney and Peter Schiff, a huge financial crisis is in the making. Through pinpointing similarities in trends from the 2008 financial crisis and information today (2015), they have built quite a strong case for the instability of the United States’ economy. A big issue that they discuss in their video Charts The Government Doesn’t Want You To See: Schiff & Maloney Reveal The Truth, is the fact that people, it seems, are no longer investing! (At least not as much as they typically would/should be.) People not buying new goods is causing the value of those goods (as a whole) to drop. This is reflected in multiple charts on the FRED website; including the Value of Manufacturers’ New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries. A current drop in value, much like the drop appearing during the 2008 financial crisis is clearly visible. (Charts).

nacm

(Charts).

Another worrisome connection in financial trends is found in the NACM credit application rejections numbers; in 2015 the United States saw their biggest spike in credit application rejections in recorded history. In this case, 2015’s numbers are not only similar to that of 2008’s, but the rejection spikes actually exceed the previous largest spike on record (which occurred in 2008). According to Maloney and Schiff, these could be the warning signs of a crash much, much worse than that of 2008 approaching. (Charts).

inflation

(US Inflation Calculator)

Inflation, being just a fancy word for the devaluation of the dollar, (or the increase of prices), is representative of the economy as a whole. As inflation rises, your dollar is able to purchase a smaller and smaller amount of any given good. Already in 2015 the United States’ inflation rates have outdone those of 2008. (Although it seems that inflation rates are the lowest in times of recession, it is more likely than not that things have been planned to look that way, in order to shield inflation from economic blame. Factually, it does not make sense that this could be the case.) Also equally suspicious, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistic’s unemployment rates reflect lower rates in times of recession too. 2015’s records closely match those of 2008, with only a difference of %0.1 for the month of May. (In May of 2008, the employment rate was 5.4%; in May of 2015 the unemployment rate was 5.5%.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics.) However, with unemployment rates being shown at their lowest right before (and during the beginning of) recessions, wouldn’t that mean that it was not really a recession? It is obvious here, that with all the changing standards of calculation, as well as interest rates and inflation, records do not necessarily accurately reflect the economy. (Fake government numbers covering up real government mistakes? The American people have not ever witnessed any behavior like that before…) In the words of a good friend and teacher, “the books are being cooked”.

This report has honestly confused me a lot more than it has clarified things for me. I understand the snags in our economy as of now, and I understand who is to blame. I do not understand however, how it is that the majority of Americans are blind to these issues. These numbers and books all mean nothing if they aren’t filled by credible sources; do your research folks, it can be a deceptive world out there, but the truth really is all around us.

Bibliography

Charts The Government Doesn’t Want You To See: Schiff & Maloney Reveal The Truth. Perf. Mike Maloney and Peter Schiff. Youtube, 2 June 2015. Web. 6 June 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q62atnTQldI&feature=youtu.be&gt;.

US. Bureau of the Census, Value of Manufacturers’ New Orders for Consumer Goods Industries [ACOGNO], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ACOGNO/, June 11, 2015.

“US Inflation Calculator.” US Inflation Calculator. COINNEWS MEDIA GROUP, n.d. Web. 15 June 2015. <http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/&gt;.

“Bureau of Labor Statistics.” United States Department of Labor. Us Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 15 June 2015. <http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet&gt;.

“How I Would Invest $2,000” (L145)

If I were to receive $2,000 to invest over a five year period, I would split it up between an emergency fund, bonds, stocks, and precious metals. $600 of this money would go directly into an emergency fund. Of the remaining $1,400 (for my portfolio), silver (and possibly gold) would make up 10%; it is always good to have some portion of your investments in tangible items. Stocks would make up another 60%, and bonds would cover the remaining 30%. Although I do not have details or company/corporation specific information, I can tell a risky deal from a dangerous one; I know how to be (nearly) sure that I will not lose all my money.Stocks are used to expand ones portfolio. Bonds, being less risky typically, (though not always) are more a source of income than anything else. When investing in stocks (or even possibly bonds), I would more likely than not use a dollar cost averaging technique, so as to lessen the risk of investing it all at once. Also, within my bonds and stocks categories, I would be sure to diversify. (Not put all of my eggs into one basket!) This will also lessen the risk of losing all my money in one downfall. Although I seem to be doing everything I can to avoid risk, one must also keep in mind that great return does not come without great risk, and to win big you need to play big. Do not make decisions stupidly, but boldly, and with great knowledge and understanding.