Sunday, October 15, 2017

“IF It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is”!

“Greed is good”, as Gordon Gekko exclaimed in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”. It looks like quite a few people agreed with that statement as the revelations about the “Ponzi” scheme run by Bernard Madoff had been unfolding a few years ago, and it caught quite a few South Floridians and others in it’s web of deceit.

A “Ponzi” scheme is a swindle in which a quick return on an initial investment is paid out of funds from new investors, which lures the victim or victims into bigger risks, and eventually results in a financial bust and the loss of most all the money invested. Eventually, the scheme runs out of new investors and the scheme goes bust.

As despicable as Bernard Madoff was in his operation of his financial “Ponzi” scheme, the people who got caught up in his web of deceit, couldn’t control the greed “ gene”, that is residing in all of us, and it came about to bite these people in the butt, big time.

The “victims” of this scam were not illiterate school dropouts, who were taken advantage of by a smooth talking charlatan (which he was), but were some of the wealthiest “machers” here and around the country, and in foreign countries as well. Fred Wilpon, owner of the N.Y. Mets, Steven Spielberg, famed Hollywood producer, Mort Zuckerman, owner of the N.Y. Daily News and U.S. News and World report, and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), were some of the famous people taken for a ride on the Madoff scam machine. It is estimated that up to $50 billion had been lost by these and other investors. The final total will probably never be known. Bernie Madoff will be spending the rest of his life in prison for his crime.

Some people were looking for that proverbial, “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow, and believed that Bernie Madoff was some sort of a “financial genius” who could produce financial profits more than double the prevailing rate of what banks and other financial institutions were giving their depositors and clients. Greed blinded these people when they should have known that this guy was just another “snake oil” salesman selling a bogus product.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for even one person’s greed”. Getting annual returns of between 12% and 15% was not normal in the realm of today’s business and financial investing – it should have raised a “red flag” if anyone wanted to know how this “ financial guru” knew something nobody else knew? In other words, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, should have been the catchword, heeded by all the dupes who entrusted this guy with their life savings and their philanthropic trusts.

I don’t wish hardships on anyone, as “ there, but for the grace of God, go I”, but when the greed “ gene” takes over one's mind, it’s very difficult to act rationally when the dollar signs cover your eyes and warp your good judgment. This won’t be the last time somebody will attempt to “screw” his friends and friends of friends in order to live the “good life” on the backs of his naïve victims, but it should be a wake up call, to all investors, to be vigilant in the future for the enticing deals that sounds “too good to be true”, because as we’ve seen in this case, “they probably are”.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

The "Anti-Hate" Group That Is a Hate Group!

The Southern Poverty Law Center bills itself as an “anti-hate” group. But in reality, this group’s sweet-sounding name disguises a nefarious purpose that threatens free thought and speech. In this week’s video, American journalist and researcher Karl Zinsmeister from PragerU explains. He reveals how the masterminds behind the Southern Poverty Law Center, contrary to their stated goal of reducing hate, are actually fueling it.
Did you know PragerU is a 501(c)3 non-profit?

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 12, 2017

MORT’s meanderings

What part of GONE FOREVER don’t you understand?
Let me ask those of you who take a knee when our National Anthem is being played . . . those of you who hate President Trump for being a different kind of President, one who keeps his promises; one who puts this nation first; one who has in a just a few short months, effectively become the leader of the Free World by demonstrating his extraordinary skills at dealing head-on with even the most long-standing, complex, vexing problems and obstinate people, both foreign and domestic.  

While other recent Presidents have made much noise about inheriting difficult situations, President Donald Trump assumed the Presidency that immediately followed the most disastrous eight years of Obama, who did his best to destroy all that has made the USA the exceptional nation it is.  If anyone can legitimately claim to have inherited the greatest possible mess, it is President Trump.  And, he faces the most unAmerican media, the most demonic Democrat leadership in the Congress and an entire generation of Millenials who are bent on destruction of the status quo for no intelligent reason except, they are so totally clueless that they think Bernie Sanders makes sense.

If the absolute, worst-case should occur, meaning that the moronic masses should overwhelm the Trump Presidency and Administration - -
          what part of GONE FOREVER don’t you understand?

                                                                        MORT KUFF     © 9-21-2017

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Is Raising the Minimum Wage Good or Bad for the Economy?

There has been an organized effort on the part of unions and the liberals (a/k/a Democrats and Progressives), to raise the minimum wage nationally to $15.00 per hour. Is that proposal good economic policy or is it a disaster for the working poor who are now working for the minimum wage?

The intentions of raising the pay for workers is admirable, but the negative economic consequences of instituting a $15.00 minimum wage, by government mandate, is apparent for anyone who has any kind of rational economic sense.

Instead of boosting the supposed working poor (e.g. teens, immigrants, the unskilled and seniors working to supplement their retirement), the boost has actually eliminated jobs and has locked many of the unskilled workers out of the job market. Basic economics predicts that by increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, it will never work, and it actually hurts the unskilled workers for which the increase was intended to improve their economic condition.

Arbitrarily mandating pay levels in excess of the value of the work performed, actually locks out many in the work force and denies them the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience that they need to qualify for more skilled, higher paying jobs. It has been determined, in the real world, that a person doesn't get paid for the time he/she works, they get paid for the value they bring to the time they work.

Well, what has happened in some of the cities where the minimum wage was arbitrarily raised (or will be raised to $15.00 incrementally). The cities of Seattle and San Francisco have raised their minimum wage, so what has been their experience? In the City of San Francisco, the minimum wage increase has led to a rash of restaurant closings due to the increased labor costs mandated upon the owners of these restaurants by the city. It seems that many of the legislators in California are blinded to the facts by their liberal ideology by not recognizing the negative “benefits” of raising the minimum wage. In fact, House Democrat Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, from the San Francisco area, has stated that if the Democrats retake the House of Representatives in 2018, they will raise the federal minimum wage rate to $15.00 per hour in the first 100 days.

In Seattle, it's the same story. A study by the University of Washington has shown that increasing the minimum wage has hurt low wage Seattle workers. Workers are taking home $125.00 less per month due to cutbacks in hours totaling up to 3.5 million hours per calendar quarter, and in addition, many small businesses have shut their doors and have gone out of business leaving many workers unemployed.

How will employers try to meet the increased costs of payroll on their businesses? Adding “unproductive” costs on them forces them to look at other options in order to survive and remain financially efficient. Those options have included, raising prices (a real negative in many cases), closing their doors and going out of business (another negative), using robots, installing self-service kiosks, cutting back employee hours, or actually laying off workers. Most of those options are not good for the working poor or for our economy in general.

In conclusion, the proverb, “The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions”, seems to apply to the advocates and proponents of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. The “workers” who are protesting various businesses to have that business pay the $15.00, in most cases, are protesting for their own unemployment. Remember, to these protesters, isn't it better to be employed, at say $8.00 per hour, than be unemployed at $15.00 per hour? For that is the consequences of this liberal “feel good” proposal to raise the minimum wage. It's time to cut our losses and realize that the only effective way to raise wages and create upward mobility, instead of government mandates, is through increased demand, by a vibrant, growing economy. The Pres. Trump tax plan is one way of achieving that positive result.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Make lemonade when handed lemons

I am about to walk through a bed of hot cinders to approach a very
controversial subject ignited with well meaning, miss informed do-
gooders, who think giving the knee to our flag and national anthem
when it is played is a form of protest to champion the plight they
claim is injustice to our under class minority citizens in a just cause;
but it has lost its true meaning and gotten out of control, and in truth
they are giving the finger to my beloved country.

If these over paid complainers are serious about their concerns for
the downtrodden, they should kneel in prayer for the restoration of
family structure, where 67% of black households lack the presence
of a father caused by hit and run macho conquests and domestic
violence, that can also be attributed among some of the protestors.
Much of the present discourse began with "don't shoot, hands up,"
induced from a lie, provoked by a bully (Michael Brown) in Ferguson,
Mo. who defied violently an arrest order from a police officer. So was
born the phrase, "Black lives matter," that has become an organized
mob to disrupt anything or anyone who disagrees with their agenda of
black supremacy.

Racism continues to exist, because the accusers and their liberal
minions are feeding and keeping it alive, using the people they profess
to help for their own warped benefit for power and financial gains.
There is no denying the black mark of slavery tarnished the, "shining
city upon a hill" in our history.

The human flesh was supplied to our shores by their own people. If
there is a plus to be had for hardship and indignity to this inhumane
episode, it is that their progeny eventually, on their own volition, had
the opportunity to rise above victimization and achieve the American
dream they wouldn't have had in their ancestral land.

These kneelers will do well to see they are profiting big time from the
road that brought them here.

Many have taken the opportunity to contribute and integrated into a
productive society, where others have chosen to remain dependent
on government subsidies and play the system.

When I listen to the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, I have to check the bottom of my
shoes to make sure where it's coming from.

Conservative column from George Giftos


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Whatever Happened to.......?

  • common courtesy,  like people holding the door open for another person and that person then saying THANK YOU for your effort?
  • free and open discussion of political topics in our schools and colleges without the interference of hecklers and people threatening violence? (ex: Antifa and Black Lives Matter)

    • our elected representatives showing up for work on a regular basis and doing their job as an elected official and then passing meaningful legislation for the benefit of the citizens they represent?
    • professional athletes playing the sport they excel in while keeping their political and social views to themselves, not at their workplace?
    • newspapers and some cable T.V. Stations giving us the unvarnished “truthful” news (not “fake news”) instead of being overly partisan for one political party over another?
    • law and justice as applied to people in high places who seem to be getting away with crimes, while the poor “schlumps” like us get “nailed” for the very same crimes? (ex: Hillary Clinton and her illegal server).
    • the presumption of innocence when someone is accused of a crime in a “he said – she said” situation, unless or until found guilty in a court of law, as a false accusation can ruin a person's life forever?
    • honoring your father, mother and family by a person being honest and trustworthy in his dealings with others.
    • people being able to practice their religious beliefs without being called vile names, chastised, or threatened by the government and people who abhor religion (ex: gay marriage, co-ed bathrooms, abortion etc.)?

    • a person being judged on the content of his/her character instead of the color of his/her skin, ethnic background, religious affiliation, or country of origin?
    • to the idea that you should stand for the playing of the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance out of respect for your country and the people who fought and died for it?
    • the music of today that has no melody, no understandable lyrics, that denigrate women, and cannot be danced to like the music of yesteryear?
    • being able to laugh at an ethnic or racial joke without being labeled a bigot or a racist, even though the person who the joke referred to thought it was funny and not “politically incorrect”?
    • the time when people's achievements were considered to be an inspiration rather than a grievance?
    • the idea that if you worked hard and obeyed the rules and you made a lot of money, it was not subject to the greed of others or the government by taking it from you and giving it to someone else who didn't work as hard as you?

Can anybody figure out what happened?  If you can, please let us know by making a comment on what you just read.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

Bookmark and Share