Ireland

Signs Of The Time, Part 105

Lausanne, Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Center, publisher of the World Competitiveness Yearbook, “the leading annual report on the competitiveness of countries,” has just released its 28th edition of the publication. From their website:

The USA toppled as world’s most competitive economy
IMD World Competitiveness rankings released

30 May 2016 – The USA has surrendered its status as the world’s most competitive economy after being overtaken by China Hong Kong and Switzerland, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Center.

The sheer power of the economy of the USA is no longer sufficient to keep it at the top of the prestigious World Competitiveness Ranking, which it has led for the past three years.

The IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group within IMD business school, has published the ranking each year since 1989 and it is widely regarded as the foremost annual assessment of the competitiveness of countries.

The 2016 edition ranks China Hong Kong first, Switzerland second and the USA third, with Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Canada completing the top 10…

“USA third”

Disappointing to hear, but not altogether shocking.

You can read the entire piece on IMD’s website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 Asia, Europe, North America, Signs Of The Time No Comments

Gun Registration Often Leads To Confiscation, As New Yorkers Find Out Once More

Why Gun Rights Advocates Oppose Gun Registration

A centralized registration system is the one usually proposed by gun control activists, and it is the type most feared by gun rights advocates. At the heart of resistance to registration is the belief that it encourages firearm prohibitions and ultimately leads to confiscation. (It is also why many choose not to comply and register weapons already owned.)

Those who favor more gun control often accuse gun owners of being paranoid, but the track record of firearms registration is not a good one.”

-GunCite.com, popular firearms information website, August 24, 2007

Supporters of more gun “control” in the United States routinely push for the registration of firearms.

And, “Don’t worry,” they like to say, “No one is going to take away your guns.”

Problem is, history repeatedly shows otherwise.

I blogged backed on January 14, 2013:

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.
Fact: It did in Germany. The (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.
Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.
Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.
Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.
Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Now, you can add the “Big Apple” to that list for a second time. Edmund DeMarche reported on the FOX News website earlier today:

The New York City Police Department is taking aim at owners of shotguns and rifles capable of holding more than five rounds, demanding such guns be surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.

The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter’s recipient is to, “Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“Surrendered, altered or taken out of the city.”

Sound familiar?

“Question: Why is it, every time I buy and register a gun in New York City, it gets confiscated?

Man, funk dat!”


Sagat, “Funk Dat” (1993)
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

DeMarche, Edmund. “NYPD cracks down on long guns that hold more than five rounds.” FOX News. 5 Dec. 2013. (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/05/nypd-targets-owners-multi-clip-shotguns-rifles/?intcmp=latestnews). 5 Dec. 2013.

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Cook County Implementing Gun Registration?

Taking to heart Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opinion about letting no crisis go to waste, both the City of Chicago and Cook County are joining together to push more gun “control” on their law-abiding residents in the aftermath of Newtown, Connecticut. From the Ward Room blog on the website of Chicago NBC affiliate Channel 5 yesterday:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to broaden a requirement for gun owners to report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County

For the first time, similar reporting requirements would be expanded to all of Cook County under companion legislation that’s been drawn up.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle plans to introduce that legislation at a county board meeting on Wednesday.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“To report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County.”

“Report… sale of firearms.”

Should the proposed legislation pass, when a firearm is sold in Cook County, would information about the gun, seller, and purchaser, now be provided to County officials?

Sounds like this could be a new gun registry in the works.

Back on November 23, 2012, I blogged about Cook County’s recently-adopted $25 per gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases in the county also being a possible gun registration scheme.

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.

Fact: It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.

Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.

Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.

Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.

Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Nothing on the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) website about this. Not surprising, considering how active the gun “control” supporters are these days.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Chicago Gun Rules Could Extend to All Cook County.” Ward Room. 13 Jan. 2013. (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Chicago-Gun-Rules-Could-Extend-to-All-Cook-County-186728431.html). 14 Jan. 2013.

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

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U.S. Falls To 15th In Democracy Rankings

Back when I was toiling away on “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street” a couple of years ago, I came across something that made me chuckle. I don’t remember the source, but in the wake of all the government bailouts and intervention after the global financial crisis really reared its ugly head in 2008, it was said one of the most popular books in Russia at the time was Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

While in America, Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto was a hot item.

I have a feeling this was more commentary than fact, but what reminded me of this was something I stumbled on the other day on the Washington Times website. Jennifer Harper blogged on the Water Cooler on December 17:

A new rating of the most “democratic” nations on the planet places the U.S. in 15th place in a list of 104 countries. Who made the assessment? The Vienna, Austria-based Democracy Ranking annually rates the democracy among world populations based on “quality,” taking into account such factors as political rights, civil liberty, press freedom, corruption, political stability, “gender gap” issues and myriad socioeconomic indicators.

Nordic nations — where governments tend to flirt with socialism — dominate the lead. The top 10 nations on the list are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Austria.

Harper noted that the United States dropped from 14th to 15th place in the latest rankings.

Next time some politician or somebody else proclaims we live in a model democracy, a beacon for the world to follow, I’ll have to remember these rankings.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual here in Amerika.


“Glenn Beck presents the Obama National Anthem”
YouTube Video

Just kidding. I’ll keep toiling on in the plutocracy.

You can find out more about the Democracy Ranking’s findings on their website here.

Source:

Harper, Jennifer. “’Most democratic’: U.S. is 15th on the list.” Water Cooler. 17 Dec. 2012. (http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/dec/17/most-democratic-us-15th-list/). 20 Dec. 2012.

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 Corruption, Europe, Freedom, Government, Socialism No Comments

60 Minutes Segment About Eurozone Crisis, Potential Impact On United States

We’re in a debt crisis. Eurozone countries have way too much debt. We have gorged on debt. We are living beyond out means. And after 10 years of booming economic times- it is now payback time. We are paying back our credit cards, and that will prove very painful and costly…

Well, the U.S. is doing terribly well at the moment. However, clearly if the Eurozone has a really bad time of it this year, which it could well do, then America will not escape unscathed.

-Louise Cooper, Senior Financial Analyst at BGC Partners, talking to Steve Kroft in a recent interview that appeared on the CBS show 60 Minutes this past Sunday. Cooper has been called “The Downturn Diva” by the British press.


“An Imperfect Union: Europe’s debt crisis”
CBS News Video

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European Central Bank Attempts To Shield Spain And Italy From Debt Contagion

I’d be willing to bet most Americans thought Monday’s carnage on Wall Street was the direct result of Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States’ credit rating. However, developments across the pond related to the lingering sovereign debt crisis may have contributed to the sell-off as well. From the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Blackstone and Charles Forelle today:

The European Central Bank delivered on its promise to purchase Italian and Spanish bonds on a large scale, calming investors who had grown increasingly worried that euro-zone leaders might sit idly by while the debt crisis engulfed Spain and Italy.

Government bond yields of Spain and Italy plunged Monday, as did their yield spreads over safe German bonds. Italy’s 10-year bond yield fell to around 5.3% from just over 6%. Spain’s fell even further, to 5.15%.

The ECB bought those countries’ bonds for the first time since creating its debt-purchase program 15 months ago, said traders. The ECB didn’t say how much it bought or confirm what bonds it purchased, but estimates range from around €3.5 billion ($5 billion) to as high as €5 billion. In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Monday, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said the central bank’s actions “undoubtedly were significant,” and necessary to ensure that its interest-rate policies functioned smoothly…

The ECB’s purchases of Italian and Spanish bonds were no help to European equities, which tumbled along with the rest of the global markets Monday. Bourses in London, Paris and Frankfurt all traded lower; German and French indexes each shed more than 4%.

Well, if anyone still believed Spain and Italy were strong enough economically so as to be somehow immune to the debt contagion that’s already claimed Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, these actions by the European Central Bank demonstrate otherwise. And due to the size of their economies, such a condition is worrisome. Blackstone and Forelle noted:

Italy and Spain, the region’s third- and fourth-largest economies, have a combined gross domestic product of nearly €2.7 trillion, almost 30% of the euro zone total. Royal Bank of Scotland economists estimate the ECB and Europe’s bailout fund will eventually have to own €850 billion of Spanish and Italian bonds to safeguard those countries.

It might be a good idea to keep monitoring the sovereign debt situation over in Europe. Investors may be easing up after the ECB’s actions, but keep in mind that no intervention would have been necessary if the rosy pictures that had been painted recently of these two major European players were really true.

Source:

Blackstone, Brian and Forelle, Charles. “Italian, Spanish Bond Yields Decline.” Wall Street Journal. 9 Aug. 2011. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904480904576496363709187284.html?mod=googlenews_wsj). 8 Aug. 2011.

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Dennis Gartman Predicts ‘All The PIIGS Will Go Bankrupt’

Yesterday I discussed the potential impact on the United States should Greece and Portugal default on their debt. As most of you might already know, these two European states belong to a group of nations referred to as the “PIIGS.” From Investopedia.com:

An acronym used to refer to the five Eurozone nations, which were considered weaker economically following the financial crisis: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

And one veteran investor who correctly-called the 2008 commodities pull-back thinks each of the PIIGS will soon be going bankrupt. From Lee Brodie on the CNBC website yesterday:

Will the EU ever corner the problem?

According to strategic investor Dennis Gartman the short answer is ‘No.’ He tells Fast Money it ain’t gonna’ happen.

Although he concedes problems will probably be contained in the short-term – in the long-term he doesn’t see the situation playing out terribly well, at all.

In fact he tells us that he expects “all the PIIGS will go bankrupt.” And not 10 or 20 years from now. Gartman says prepare for it to start happening “sometime over the next year and a half. But they’re all going to go.”

Stay tuned…

Source:

Brodie, Lee. “Dennis Gartman: PIIGS Will Go Bankrupt Within 18 Months.” CNBC. 6 July 2011. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/43656127). 7 July 2011.

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