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Daniel Matthew Korn

Would you be interested in reviewing a book that demonstrates that your ideas about healthier eating habits would be insufficient to solve the obesity problem?

Acksiom

I think I know what book DMK has in mind, and I second his polite query.

GK

Daniel,

Yes, I'll review it. But healthier eating habits (if accompanied by some exercise), *would* be sufficient to reduce the obesity problem back to the much lower rates of just 25 years ago. This is also why Japan, France, etc. do not have much obesity, despite wealth.

What is the thesis about why it would be insufficient?

Daniel Matthew Korn

If we want to use exercise to lose weight, then we need a scientific explanation of why plateaus occur. You are familiar with the case that exercise routines can produce weight loss that then slows or stops, with no change in diet or routine. While we know that fat oxidation is impaired in obesity, and that exercise increases fat oxidation, we don't have an explanation for why exercise becomes less effective. The book presents a thesis, I don't want to steal the thunder though as it is explained in detail.

As to your second point, there is something else occurring with the Japanese. Japanese in the U.S. who adopt the western diet have a lower rate of obesity than the American average. There are genetic factors in obesity that have a some correlation with obesity. In the U.S. after adjusting for socioeconomic status, diet, and exercise, there is still variance in the rate of obesity within and among ethnic groups that researchers believe are caused by genetic factors.

As to your third point, the French do have a lower rate of obesity than Americans, and they do eat less processed food, however they also eat much more meat and saturated fat than Americans. They also drink more alcohol and exercise less.

There are several things that have changed in the American diet in the last one-hundred years. I will list one example here that pertains to the French and Japanese, but it is probably dwarfed by the two other changes discussed in the book. Animals are fed corn and soy meal rather than grass and hay in the United States. This changes the fatty acid content of the meat. For example, salmon are high in omega-3 fats because they eat green algae, cows are high in omega-3 fats when they eat grass. They are high in omega-6 fats when they are fed corn and soy.

The Japanese are one of the world's largest fish consumers and as such they have a diet high in omega-3 fats. French rural farmers graze their animals because they believe it produces better tasting meat and dairy. So the French also have a diet high in omega-3 fat. High consumption of omega-6 fats has been associated with obesity, while omega-3 fats have been shown to help in weight loss. However, this is probably only one reason the French and the Japanese are so much thinner. This does show how changes in agricultural practices can effect the nutrient quality of our food.

The book discusses another agricultural practice change that affects food nutrient content, and a component of our diet that has only recently been linked to obesity, there was a genetic factor that confounded previous studies. I don't want to give it away, because it will spoil the book for you.

Full disclosure, I am the author of the book. I have already published the first edition of the book, but a revision will be publish next week. The first edition left out one significant change in agricultural practices. I can either send you a physical copy or an electronic copy.

Daniel Matthew Korn

Correction: There are genetic factors in obesity that have a some correlation with ethnicity.

brokerdavelhr

GK...

Been away along time... Great article to come back to. Thumbs up man.

Geoman

1) Yes.
2) Double yes
3) Ehhhh. Sounds too prone to abuse. How about reduce corporate taxes across the board to at or just below the world average?
4) Yes!
5) Ehhhh... not sure what the "supercharge" effect would be.
6) Ditto.

Okay, but add in the following:

1) Cannot sue anyone for freely provided services.
2) Cap all medical lawsuits nationally at $250,000.
3) Make it illegal to pay defined benefits as part of compensation packages in the U.S. It must all be defined contribution.
4)Create foundation colleges - all money for education goes to foundation invested in stocks and bonds that in turn pays five percent year to sponsor promising students in all fields of study. In 50 years or so college would be provided to all students at no charge.

GK

Geoman,

3) It would cause a disproportionate jump in productivity and innovation, for just a tiny loss in taxes collected. These 'change agents' are the most productive people of all, and should be given special incentives. Abuse can be policed - it is no harder than policing a large corporation's accounting practices.

5) The high incentive for women to divorce, given the big financial benefits they reap, result in a) too many men with no incentive to be productive, given that they have to pay their ex, and b) too many kids from broken homes, who grow up to be liabilities to society (and vote for leftists).

Intact families are good for society, in many economically measurable ways. There would be no immediate burst, but the cumulative long-term impact would be huge.

6) Surely, if voters were to go to the polls exactly when they are most irate about taxation and spending, it would cause a major change in national politics and politician behavior. Fiscal conservatism would be automatic.

curious reader

Overall, this is an excellent article. It is sometimes amazing how this country ignores such common sense solutions. Here are some thoughts.
1) Eliminate income tax with holding - This was instituted in ww2 as an efficiency measure. While it is undoubtedly more efficient, it also obscures how much we actually pay in taxes. Having to write a lump sum check every year will make the public think very hard about the tax burden.

2) Everyone should have to pay taxes - A situation in which fewer than 50% of the populace are net payers of taxes is dangerous. The productive will not stand for being exploited forever.

3) Downsize the military - We have troops in 100+ nations. For reasons that escape me, we feel unsafe despite our ocean barriers and thousands of nuclear weapons. (For instance, what is the purpose of NATO without the Warsaw Pact?) We have no need for the current large, forwardly deployed, and expensive armed forces.

4) End the drug war - I have seen estimates that the drug war costs ~$25 billion/yr. This is probably an estimate of direct costs. If so, it severely under estimates the true costs. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, mostly due to the narcotics trade. I fully agree with your points about the adverse effects of divorce on children, but consider how much worse incarcerating fathers can be. Once put behind bars, these men obviously can't support their families and their job prospects are dismal when they are released. Also, the violence associated with the illegal drug trade hurts society in a variety of ways.

There are other common sense ideas that would have immense payoffs, but these are just a few off of the top of my head.

jeffolie

One simple way to stimulate the economy is to reverse the Fed's policy of paying interest on its deposits. Banks should be forced to pay interest on deposits at the Fed. Banks then would be motivated to make loans rather than keep the huge deposits at the Fed that they currently keep there. The lack of lending is a significant factor in the stress placed on medium to small businesses.

ADAM

very good what makes sense is the taxes on married couples to those still single the reason they make taxes lower when married is to promote marriage and baby making and all the rest of money you will spend on the child{s}. making tax day before election day seems to be politicizing the point but good gesture. immigration reform is a definite need but then i would suggest loans for those wanting to come to US or lowering costs to become a citizen. i think obama's health care initiative has true meaning to higher life expectancies in the US more than health coverage for all. i would like to hear your thoughts on the final draft of the health care bill when it comes out.

Jason Bontrager

Why not just eliminate all current Federal taxes (individual and corporate) and institute a flat sales tax? No complicated filing issues, everyone pays, people can adjust how much they pay by adjusting their spending habits, and the price of everything will be unlikely to change much because as the corporate income tax disappears, companies won't have to pass that cost on to the consumer (and those that try to maintain the higher price will find themselves out-sold by those who don't).

And if poor people can't afford so much food then obesity becomes less of a problem as well;-P.

JPINTX

ADD THIS...
A friend who is nearly as conservative as I, said to me that he would be willing to see his tax dollars used to pay for breakfast and an afternoon snack or needy school children. I thought for a moment then said, fine, but let's make it all children regardless of need. The hook I wanted to add, is huge signs all over the cafeteria saying "your meal is a gift from the TAXPAYERS", NOT from the elected school board, or the state rep, or your US Congressman, Senator or President, but from the TAXPAYERS.

Why not expand the concept of insuring that it is made clear to all recipients of "state" funds of any kind, including paychecks, that the largess comes not from elected officials, or bureaucrats, or "the government" but from the TAXPAYERS.

Troll Feeder

I disagree with 1) Americans Have to Adopt Healthier Habits, because it is nunya business. The common riposte that bad individual habits cause increased collective costs is not an argument to restrain the individual--that has it exactly backwards; rather, it is an argument to quit collectivizing and taxing to cover up the consequences of individual decisions.

To wit, if an individual wishes to eat, drink, or smoke to excess, then let that individual bear the full cost of his increased (relative to the average individual who does not overindulge) gluttony.

Requiring someone to join your insurance program and then prohibiting him from certain behaviors on the basis of that membership is dishonest, back-handed tyranny, and must not stand.

Of course I agree that we would be better off in general if individuals took better care of themselves; the benefit is not worth the consequent loss of liberty if it only comes at the point of a gun, however.

Troll Feeder

ADAM | June 23, 2009 at 07:16 PM
"making tax day before election day seems to be politicizing the point but good gesture."

Taxation should be politicized, and the consequences of a person's political choices should be made as stark and clear as possible.

Jason

My contributions. Instead of nationalized health care:

(1) REINSURANCE: Set up government "reinsurance" of private health insurance plans. The government payments kick in after the private carrier has paid out an annual maximum amount per insured. Advantages: flexible cost can be adjusted by changing the max payout; puts downward pressure on insurance premiums; maintains choice, innovation, downward market pressure on prices; strengthens incentives for employer provided health care, job creation and work; fairer distribution of cost of catastrophic levels of care.

(2) INCREASE SUPPLY. Invest in setting up more medical schools and training not only more doctors, but nurse care practitioners. Better, simply a program for the government to reimburse all tuition costs upon completion, and let the market build the additional schools. Hint: there is limited supply because the doctor's organizations want it that way.

Marshall

Even simpler: Abolish withholding.

Make taxes due upon filing once each year instead of it invisibly disappearing from their paychecks.

Jason

Also, abolish the corporate income tax. It is absolutely counter-productive and makes no economic sense.

Micha Elyi

"A Measured Balance Between Layoffs and Salary Reductions"

We could quibble about the details of how that would be implemented but the plain fact is that trying to hang on to employees during a cyclical downturn nearly killed large parts of the U.S. semiconductor business in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Eager not to repeat their layoff-and-rehire fiasco of an earlier 1970s downturn for all the reasons outlined in the post, many of the biggest chip companies tried to hold on to their employees during the following trough in the cycle. Despite culling the least productive employees (which spooks the rest of the cubicle herd every time in a big company; employee evaluations are confidential, you know), extending factory shutdowns during holidays and summer vacation periods, making pay cuts, and shortening workweeks, those companies bled money like crazy when orders dried up and customers weren't ready to commit to production that would draw from the new-products pipeline. The second downturn turned out to be longer and steeper than industry analysts originally forecast. Oops! The eventual layoffs in Downturn 2.0 were sharper, deeper, and nastier than they would have been had the usual cuts of staff and line workers been made earlier.

Meanwhile, the salary freeze on top employees only encourages them to leave; even if the other firm has a similar freeze, there's no cap on offers that can be made to new hires. And that's just one of many, many things that go wrong with the kinds of ideas that sound soooo good in B-school bull sessions when those ideas encounter the real world.

Unintended Consequences: they're not just somebody's idea, they're the law.

Micha Elyi

"Reform Divorce Laws"

I see a lot of good sense there plus good intentions. But as long as the misleading term "no fault divorce" continues to be used for what is really "unilateral divorce," the worst of the social pathologies caused by easy divorce will remain unaddressed and unsolved.

Koblog

Yoga? We need to become Eastern mystics as well?

Norm

Sounds to me like #8 won't go anywhere without without incentives. Part of it might be giving insurance companies a safe harbor to stiffly penalize behaviours in their rates. Another might be "Krispy Kreme" taxes where the government applies excises for things like high fructose corn syrup, transfat oils, and meat. If a Twinky is ten times the cost of an apple, people will eat more apples and fewer Twinkies.

dustydog

"5) Cut every portion size by at least 10%, ideally 20%."

Heh - if you cut each meal successively by 10%, and eat 3 meals a day, by Day 15 you're eating less than 1% of what you started with. After a month, you're down to 1% of 1%. So a man who eats a 3000 calorie diet now will only be eating two tic-tacs a day under your plan!

John

Great public policy suggestions. If only you had left out the dietary advice. My diet used to be like you suggested, and it caused no end of problems. Low-carb/high protein works for me, and others. Please let individuals explore the dietary question for themselves, and pursue what makes them happy.

Toads

John wrote :

Low-carb/high protein works for me, and others.

Define 'works'. It may have helped you lose weight, but red meat leads to high cholesterol, AND high incidence of colon cancer. This will shorten your life and rack up the medical bills.

A diet dominated by fruits and vegetables = no cholesterol and no colon cancer.

John Bradley

Women are really shooting themselves in the foot by supporting divorce laws laws that are biased against men.

Males are getting much smarter about this, and individuals with an even meager net worth are demanding prenuptial agreements. I know I did with my wife, and though we're happily married, I'm really glad I did after seeing some male friends become economically devastated while the ex-wife was living it up.

More and more men are simply deciding not to get married at all, which works to the benefit of men, as does most of the feminist agenda. As women get older, they're much less likely to ever get married or have children, with men this is no problem.

Couples now simply move in together, and when the relationship gets stale, simply leave without the law getting involved. Men can keep doing this forever, but women have a much shorter shelf life.

With all the debate about gay marriage, my solution would be to get government out of the marriage game all together. Make it a private agreement between consenting adults, and keep government out.

Toads

John Bradley,

There seems to be a lot of disagreement about whether pre-nups hold up in court or not. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Couples now simply move in together, and when the relationship gets stale, simply leave without the law getting involved.

You would still owe a) Palimony, and b) Child Support if there is a child. Child support payments are made, by feminists, to be huge in order to get around pre-nups, or the lack of wedlock.

jeffolie

The economy is getting so much worse that a record has been set in Credit Card chargeoffs. For a while the media was full of stories about how homeowners would rather be late or default on their mortgages rather than lose their credit cards. America is slipping into The Crisis in the Fall of 2009.

===========================================================


* Chargeoff rate rises over 10 percent for the first time

* Moody's sees chargeoffs peaking at around 12 percent

* Moody's says bad loans will peak in Q2 2010

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. monthly credit card chargeoff rate surpassed 10 percent and hit a sixth straight record high in May, Moody's Investors Services said on Wednesday, as unemployment grew to a 26-year high.

The chargeoff rate index -- which measures credit card loans the banks do not expect to be repaid -- rose to 10.62 percent in May from 9.97 percent in April.

"We expect the chargeoff rate index to continue to rise in the coming months but at a slower pace, as it peaks at around 12 percent in the second quarter of 2010," Moody's senior vice president William Black said in a statement.

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFinancialServicesAndRealEstateNews/idUSN2415584020090624

Geoman

Funny - I agree with most of the advice here regarding how to supercharge the economy. Even the not so great ideas have some merit. So....why are all these fairly obvious solutions not followed?

The common theme is that implementing each one would adversely impact people who have large economic/social/political stakes in our economy being inefficient.

The power to tax and regulate is POWER, pure and simple Power to get elected. Power to favor friends and punish enemies. Wielding this power is why people run for office. They will never give it up without a fight.

A huge mistake was made when the terms of taxation were not spelled out in the 16th amendment.

Andy Freeman

> I propose that the US allow quick and unlimited immigration for anyone with a bachelor's degree from a recognized university in their country (a list of institutions by country which the US DHS maintains on a website).

No. We want the engineers and physical scientists, but we don't want the social scientists and the humanitics folks.

GK

Andy Freeman,

No. We want the engineers and physical scientists, but we don't want the social scientists and the humanitics folks.

I thought about first restricting the degrees to engineering/science/business/medicine, but in most countries, arts are pursued by a much smaller proportion of college students than in the US (given that these people have to worry about earning a living). There is dramatically lower prestige assigned to studying humanities relative to engineering, so this is self-policing in developing countries. In India, virtually nobody majors in psychology or history. Even women who just want to get married off study 'commerce'.

Also remember that a proper male/female balance is desirable. The current H1-B system only imports men, for the most part. That is not good.


Geoman

Instead of anchor babies we can start having anchor entrepreneurs, anchor geniuses...

GK

Geoman,

Point 1) would achieve that. Point 1) combined with point 3) would achieve much more still, given how many immigrants are entrepreneurs.

charly

1) Bachelor immigration is good for the country as a whole but bad for the native population of that country. So i think you should pass on this idea.

2) Tax simplification: Great idea just like a drugsfree society. But it is not going to happen. With the computerization of the world you can expect the opposite.

3) Contradiction of 2) They also don't work. Besides the X prize contestants were all group efforts with big costs. Doubt that any of the realistic contestants could make a profit for only the X-price so they would have to pay any taxes at all.

4) Sarbanes-Oxley was there to restore trust in the American stockmarket, not individual stocks. If it was voluntary than no small cap would do it as cost are to high for the small decrease of individual stock risk.

5) Kids are expensive, as you noted under 1)

6) Fiscal conservatism is not the same as low taxes as Argentina showed.

Daniel Matthew Korn

Low carbohydrate diets don't have the complete answer to why obesity is occurring. First off, American's were getting over 80% their calories from grains in 1860 with much less than a 0.5% prevalence of obesity. Also, in the 1950's, the rural Thai got about 80% of their calories from white rice, a refined carbohydrates, and they had no obesity. At the height of its popularity, amount 10% of North Americans were on the Atkins diet. It is now less than 2%. If low carb diets were the key to weight loss, that would not have happened. So while there may be something wrong with today's refined carbohydrates and sugars, the Atkin's diet appears to be missing something.

As to calorie restriction, this doesn't work either. When you put people on low calorie diets, their bodies go into starvation. Obese people have diet of starvation of low calorie diets. One of the features of obesity is reduced fat oxidation, the process by which stored fats are converted into free fatty acids that can be used for energy. Calorie restriction does nothing to address this problem, not does it explain why this was happening. The failure of this concept is illustrated by an experiment done in the 1980's. Prisoners were given all they could eat, and intentionally tried to gain weight, sometimes eating 10,000 calories a day. The result? Their metabolisms spiked. While they did gain weight, after the experiment was over they lost it in a few months without trying. So rather than restricting calories, we need to understand why the body is failing to naturally regulate its weight.

We need to identify factors that can affect our hunger and our ability to use stored fat. We also need to explain why refined carbohydrates are associated with obesity in the United States, but not in the rural Thai in the 1950s. I believe my book has resolved these unexplained issues and many more.

I believe one of the causes of obesity is nutrient deficiency. Refining carbohydrates removes the nutrients stored in the germ oils that increase insulin sensitivity (make us feel more full in response to food). So why could the rural Thai eat refined white rice that lost this and stay thin? The nutrients are fat soluble, they fed the rice shavings to their chickens and the fat soluble nutrients remained in the food supply.

This is not the only change in our diet that I believe is responsible for obesity, but I can't write my whole theory here.

GK, did you still want to review the book?

GK

charly,

1) Your position is absurd. If educated people want to come here of their free will, because their home countries do not have good opportunities for them, you think we should not accept them, simply so that they can stay in Iran, Russia, and China, with less freedom and less prosperity? Ridiculous. You are effectively obstructing their freedom and human rights.

3) It is not a contradiction at all. Make the X-Prize tax exempt, to increase the incentive. Period.

4) Sarbanes-Oxley is a negative force, that does more harm than good. People in business agree. That is why small companies should have the choice not to do it.

5) er.. what is your point? That human reproduction should stop? Or that men should exist only to enable women to mooch off of them?

6) Again, you miss the most basic of points. This will make politicans avoid wasteful spending and pork, as they would be at high risk of losing elections.

GK

Daniel,

Yes, I will review it. But note that I disagree with you on some elements.

1) A diet that has more natural foods, is less likely to cause obesity. As you correctly mention, refined carbohydrates, processed sugars, etc. wreak nutritional havoc.

2) But I do feel that most obese people could avoid obesity altogether with better habits, and particularly a better diet. The lack of obesity in wealthy nations like Japan, France, Sweden, etc. shows this. Also, in America itself, educated people have lower obesity than less educated people. The myth that 'healthy foods are too expensive' is extremely incorrect. Quite the opposite, in fact.

3) I strongly believe that prevention (and hence the personal responsibility of such) is the biggest solution to healthcare problems. The current crisis is merely market forces telling us that the current diet/incentive structure of our present society is unsustainable.

charly

1) I wasn't clear. It is bad for the native population of the country they go to. And you are part of the native population of America

3) No profit no tax so it is already tax exempt.

4) It is a macro thing, not a micro. Individually it is a negative but collectively it is a positive.

5) Most divorces are economicly negative for both spouses. And if you exclude the divorces were one of the spouses was an adict, gambler or mentally insane than it is true for almost all marriages.

6) As seen under W and Reagan. Politicians will cut taxes. Cutting spending is something completely different.

GK

charly,

1) Ridiculous. Immigration of skilled people is GOOD for native-born US citizens. This is already explained in the article, and you have not given any counterpoints beyond merely stating your uninformed opinion. In fact, the article already points out why such opinions are ignorant.

Frankly, you do not know what you are talking about.

3) The point is that profits should be tax exempt, as well as X-Prize distributions. Don't dance around the issue.

4) Wrong again. Collectively, SarbOx is a huge negative. If all small companies face this onerous burden, the combined cost of this is huge. Individual short-sellers do a much better job of detecting malfeasance than any government red tape.

5) Super wrong. The woman usually profits, even after legal fees (which are often paid by the man). This is why women initiate 70-90% of divorces. You are a woman with an entitlement complex, apparently.

This is also why many men are avoiding marriage, demanding pre-nups, or learning how to become PUAs.

Alimony should end. Anyone who believes in alimony is someone who effectively believes that a woman is inferior to a man. I do not believe this (but apparently many feminists do), and thus I do not believe in alimony.

6) So you agree with point 6, as point 6 would lead to a reduction in spending and wastage. What is your point?

charly

Point 6 doesn't lead to a reduction in spending. It may lead to a reduction in taxing, especially visible taxation. But Thacher's Britain showed that lower visible taxes aren't the same as lower taxes overall. And California and W (or Iran) showed that lowering taxes overall doesn't lead to lowering spending, just more lending. Which often is solved by the most invisible of taxes, inflation.

There is also the question of waste. What do you mean with waste? Do you mean a) spending a million on the Opera is waste or b) spending a million to spend a million on the Opera is waste. The problem with a) is that you may find it but somebody else may find it not wastage. The problem with b) is that it isn't large compared to the total budget and that it cost money to not waste, isn't that wastage too.

PS. Advise for politicians when tax day and election day fall near each other. Make sure that your voters overpay so they know on election day that they will get a big cheque back. They will love it!!!

charly

4) Collectively SarbOx cost a lot of money etc. But that doesn't mean that no SarbOx would be more economical. Isn't short selling at-the-moment illegal? It is also not the question if short sellers are better at finding it but if they produce the same trust as the law. They clearly don't and that is the reason for SarbOx so they are clearly inferior.

3) I don't dance around the issue. But a) they are companies so they don't pay income tax as they are no natural persons and b) the major price with "X-Prizes" is publicity and not the price and i don't see how you can make the publicity tax free.

charly

You are wrong on immigration.

First you claim that US prisons are filled with a disproportionate number of unskilled illegal immigrants*)**). Have you any proof of that because i really want to see that. What i always have understood is that first generation migrants are law abiding and that the problems start with the second generation.

*) corrected for age and sex distribution and for the crime of being illegal, not corrected for immigrants who are skilled in crime.
**) I doubt that it changes the numbers for America but people who didn't intend to life in America like drugsmugglers caught at the border and people like Noreiga are IMHO not illegal immigrants.

Secondly i think you made a mistake with 1 million as it is to many people. Approximately 4 million people are born in the U.S each year. A third gets a degree so you almost want to double the number of degree holders. I think that would impact the social position significant of native born Americans very significantly. Every nurse will be fired for an immigrant doctor. You also claim that the influx of unskilled immigrants is even higher. So you claim that 50% of the people will be immigrants. I think your wrong. I also wonder where you will find the people? Are there even enough people with degrees in the world to satisfy that demand and would countries allow such a large flight?
In short i think you don't mean 1 million but something like 200.000

But now to the major issue between us. You look at it from the money point of view. I don't. I look at what you can buy with the money. Take for example homes. Simplified if you are the richest man in town you can buy the most expensive house in town, The second richest can buy the second most expensive house etc. What happens when you insert 5% highly educated immigrants in a society is that they will buy the lower half of the best 10% of homes so everybody else will life in homes who will be 5% lower than they otherwise would have(See Kabul as an example). The same is true for the best schools, best doctors, best restaurants etc. For those things absolute money/position isn't important but relative money/position. It is not about absolute medium wage but the relative position you wage has to the medium

GK

charly,

1) For someone who knows so little about immigration and economics, it is more than a little arrogant to say that "you are wrong about immigration". Particularly when other commenters here (who have established a track record of dialog that you have not) all agree with the position.

You think economics is a zero-sum game. It is not, as per Econ 101. More educated people in the US = more economic growth and upliftment for all. US Natives without degrees will be pushed down lower, but they deserve it. By your perverted logic, the US would benefit if fewer people had degrees, so colleges should shrink to make sure that a smaller percentage of the population has degrees. Madness.

You also claim that the influx of unskilled immigrants is even higher. So you claim that 50% of the people will be immigrants.

I clearly stated in the article that unskilled immigration, legal and illegal, should be blocked. Don't comment without having the courtesy to read what is actually written in the article.

and would countries allow such a large flight?

It is not a question of 'allowing'. It is the free will of those immigrants. Except for Cuba and North Korea, permission is not required to *leave* a country. Or didn't you know that?

In short i think you don't mean 1 million but something like 200.000

Wrong again. India produces 3 million bachelor's degree graduates a year. China produces 4 million a year.


3) It is a copout to say that companies that don't earn income don't pay taxes. The point is that those who earn income should be tax exempt. You have provided no coherent argument against this.

4) Short selling is not illegal for non-financial companies, and that the law to ban shorting for financial companies is a bad law. SarbOx is an unnecessay burden that does more harm than good. Look at the stock market performance after Sarbox, and the choked flow of IPOs.

charly

1) That i don't agree with you doesn't mean i'm wrong nor that i know little about it.

    US Natives without degrees will be pushed down lower, but they deserve it.
Deserving or not, they are 3/4 of the population, why would they vote for it. They are dumber on average but not that dumb.
    By your perverted logic, the US would benefit if fewer people had degrees
Not by my logic. I even said that for the country it would be good, just not for the native population. Especially the supermajority with a degree.

3) Not a copout, just don't see how you could implement it without it being a giant loophole.

4) Stock market performance in Europe has been just as bad without SarbOx. Small caps and large caps both perform badly but it is a bigger problem for small caps. Maybe it is not SarbOx but something else? (that is a rhetorical question)

jeffolie

I have lost 46 pounds in the last 3 months by reducing my starchs and fats.

Services decline, 70% of economy

The economy is still declining. The economic hole is getting a little bit deeper.

The spin masters would have you believe that the decline stopped. That is a lie.

================================================================

NEW YORK – A trade group's measure of the health of the U.S. services sector contracted less than expected in June, reaching its highest level in nine months.

The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said that its services index read 47 in June, up from 44 in May. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a reading of 45.5 last month.

Any reading below 50 indicates the services sector is shrinking, and June marked the ninth straight month of deterioration. But it was the best showing since September when the index was at 50.

Service industries such as retailers, financial services, transportation and health care make up about 70 percent of the country's economic activity. Any turnaround in the sector requires improved consumer spending.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090706/ap_on_bi_ge/us_economy


GK

jeffolie,

I have lost 46 pounds in the last 3 months by reducing my starchs and fats.

That is good news. You have extended your probable lifespan by a decade, and will see more events in your grandchildren's lives. Now take it another level higher and incorporate foods from #4 of point 8 in your diet. Anti-oxidants, anti-cancer agents, and aging-inhibitors abound in those foods.

My prediction of when the recession ends, and at what level of job losses, is here. The prediction is from April 17.

So we still have 2-4 months till the trough, and about 1.6 million more jobs to be lost.

Of course, any of the 8 points above would provide a big boost.

jeffolie

I am looking for another DJIA downturn into The Crisis in The Fall of 2009. Often there are crashs that bottom with declines in September and/or October. So, beware!!!!!!!!!!!!


elliottwave.com: wave 3 CRASH right around the corner

I do not subscribe to Pretchters elliottwave.com nor his services. One time I did but his timing was bad. Still he has made some good calls, and yet again he has made some bad calls; and, he is known to alternative his predictions to his 'alternative count' scenarios.

================================================================

Is the Bear Market's Most Violent Decline Right Around the Corner?

Is the most powerful of all waves right around the corner?

The short answer is "YES." See an idealized impulse wave 3
in bull and bear markets.

The long answer will help you anticipate where and when …

First, let's describe wave 3.

If wave 3 was a superhero, he'd probably be The Flash (though he could be The Hulk).

http://www.elliottwave.com/features/default.aspx?cat=mw
Like The Flash, there's no mistaking wave 3's characteristics:
It gets to where it's going in a hurry.
It usually catches everyone by surprise, and
You'll know it when you see it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EWI's Short Term Update will help you prepare for wave 3's arrival.
Steve Hochberg's Short Term Update closely analyzes the subdivisions of wave 2 so you can prepare for the resulting wave 3 opportunity – or get out of its way entirely. Try Short Term Update risk-free today. Get the best deal when you bundle it with the comprehensive Financial Forecast Service. Learn more.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Robert Prechter describes third waves in his seminal book with A.J. Frost, The Elliott Wave Principle:

"Third waves are wonders to behold. They are strong and broad, and the trend at this point is unmistakable. … Third waves usually generate the greatest volume and price movement and are most often the extended wave in a series."

But to truly appreciate the power and lightening-speed of third waves – and be prepared to anticipate one – you must first know how to identify the waves that precede it, namely wave 2.

Here's what Prechter writes about wave 2 in The Elliott Wave Principle (two words have been reversed to apply to bear markets):
"At this point, investors are thoroughly convinced that the (bull) market is back to stay. Second waves often end on very low volume and volatility, indicating a drying up of (buying) pressure."

If you're thinking the description of wave 2 seems eerily similar to today's environment, you're right.

On February 23, Robert Prechter's Elliott Wave Theorist recommended aggressive speculators close their short positions to avoid being caught in a "sharp and scary" rally. Just a few trading days later, the market began a multi-month rebound – wave 2.

BUT … Volume has steadily decreased since that rally began in early March. Volatility is on the rise. And perhaps most noteworthy of all: The investment herd – more specifically, the financial media – has jumped to proclaim the "worst is over."

All the classic characteristics of bear-market rallies are there. Even a quick online search turns up headlines like:

"Worst of the recession is over" ~ July 7
"Econ Crisis Not Over, But Worst Has Passed" ~ July 8
"June job bounce could mean worst is over" ~ July 7
"Wall St's fear gauge suggests the worst is over" ~ June 28

Recognizing the personality of wave 2 allows you to prepare for what's next, a move you really want to look out for, wave 3 – The Flash.

Third waves move far and fast. They make good opportunities for aggressive speculators, but they can become a death knell for longer-term investors' portfolios.

Steve Hochberg's Short Term Update closely analyzes the subdivisions of wave 2 so you can prepare for the resulting wave 3 opportunity – or get out of its way entirely. Try Short Term Update risk-free today. Get the best deal when you bundle it with the comprehensive Financial Forecast Service. Learn more.

http://www.elliottwave.com/features/default.aspx?cat=mw

Daniel Korn

Hi GK,

We are actually not in disagreement. When referring to refined carbohydrates, I was just mentioning a single topic in the book. Another topic I identify is food processing and agricultural techniques that are impacting nutrition. For example, breads in the United States have the grain oils removed to prolong shelf life (even in whole wheat breads - but not 100% whole wheat breads), while this is much less common in Europe.

Also, in Europe it is more common for cows to be grazed, instead of given corn and soy based commercial animals feeds, which changes the nutrient content of the meat. This has something in common nutritionally with the effect of food additives on our body, and growing fruits and vegetables using chemical pesticides. I think you will find the mechanisms that I propose for nutrition affecting weight regulation and chronic inflammatory disease rates (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.) very interesting.

Please let me know where I should mail the book for you to review it.

---------------
Daniel,

Yes, I will review it. But note that I disagree with you on some elements.

1) A diet that has more natural foods, is less likely to cause obesity. As you correctly mention, refined carbohydrates, processed sugars, etc. wreak nutritional havoc.

2) But I do feel that most obese people could avoid obesity altogether with better habits, and particularly a better diet. The lack of obesity in wealthy nations like Japan, France, Sweden, etc. shows this. Also, in America itself, educated people have lower obesity than less educated people. The myth that 'healthy foods are too expensive' is extremely incorrect. Quite the opposite, in fact.

3) I strongly believe that prevention (and hence the personal responsibility of such) is the biggest solution to healthcare problems. The current crisis is merely market forces telling us that the current diet/incentive structure of our present society is unsustainable.

jeffolie

My long predicted Crisis in the Fall of 2009 is coming a little early.

1 in 8 deliquent.

==========================================================

Foreclosure Filings Hit Record 1.5 Million; One in Eight Americans Delinquent; Obama's Mortgage Rescues Create ‘Confusion’


The grim but not unexpected housing data shows U.S. Foreclosure Filings Hit Record 1.5 Million in First Half.


U.S. foreclosure filings hit a record in the first half, a sign that job losses and falling property prices deepened the housing recession, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

More than 1.5 million properties received a default or auction notice or were seized by banks in the six months through June, the Irvine, California-based seller of default data said today in a statement. That’s a 15 percent increase from the year earlier. One in 84 U.S. households received a filing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said May 28 that prime fixed-rate home loans to the most creditworthy borrowers accounted for 29 percent of new foreclosures in the first quarter, the biggest share of any type of loan.

One in eight Americans is now late on a payment or already in foreclosure, the Washington-based mortgage group said.

Twenty of the 50 U.S. counties with the highest foreclosure rates were in California and 12 were in Florida, RealtyTrac said.

“I don’t see any turning of the tide,” said Donald Haurin, an economics professor at Ohio State University in Columbus. “The effect of more foreclosures will be continued downward pressure on house prices, and lead to difficulty making mortgage payments that are continuing to reset.”

Payment-option adjustable rate mortgages will contribute to higher defaults, said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac. About three quarters of those loans will adjust to require higher payments next year and in 2011, with the peak coming in August 2011 when about 54,000 loans recast, according to data from First American CoreLogic of Santa Ana, California.

More than 8.3 million U.S. mortgage holders owed more than their homes were worth and an additional 2.2 million borrowers will be “underwater” on their loans if prices decline another 5 percent, First American said March 4.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.c....-record-15.html

jeffolie

I have lost 57 pounds now by lowering my fats and starchs plus exercise.

Epiphany

5) There is no way to tell in a divorce, who was actually a "dutiful" husband or a "bad boy." There is no data that women are at fault for 70-90 percent of divorces.

You don't even mention child support...which is one of the main reasons women get money...unless you are some rich billionaire and shes suing you, normal women get money for the kid (which SHE usually ends up taking care of)...its not like their vindictive bitches who just marry then divorce to get pocket money for themselves without having to work...this can only be true of men who are very rich (in which case they normally sign forms to protect their assests from divorce) regular men do not have enough money to give a significant enough percentage to a divorced wife so that she could just live off of that as income...its absurd to say so

LupusSolus

It's not the divorce laws that need to be reformed so much as the child custody and child support laws ... and the judges' biases against fathers.

Gordon

I think they are good suggestions. I just have to disagree with this part:
"While America is the best county in the world in most ways,..."
This is a commen fallacy repeated often by Americans -who have had it drummed into them all thier life by American media and Politicians. It is, however, far from true when compared to the other developed countries. There are many reasons why this is but I will name just a few (I can go on about it for a long time otherwise): Americas massive prison population; massive number of homelessness, American military budget is far larger than all countries in the world combined(!); Highest rate of obesity; It is the worst polluter in the world per capita; Shocking healthcare system; Shocking Literacy and Education...

It may be a habit to say that America is the greatest country in the world, but it hasnt been true for a very long time..

GK

Gordon,

I consider America to be the best among available countries. I am the child of immigrants, and have lived in other countries extensively (which reinforced my views on America's net superiority).

The points you have memorized are common fallacies believed by foreigners who desperatley want to avoid having to face up to their own shortcomings. They are more than stale, and implode when exposed to simple logic.

1) Prison population : So.....people who commit crimes should not be imprisoned? I think a policy of letting criminals roam free is disastrous (plus, Britain has cameras on street corners anyway, as a compensating strategy).

2) Homelessness : Mostly by choice. You are merely imbibing the dogma without stopping to think. America has very high human development, so this is no a byproduct of 'poverty' as such.

3) Military budget : This is a positive, rather than a negative. Many other countries in the world save money on their own militaries (notably the other NATO countries) due to the US doing the heavy-lifting here. In Europe, only Britain and France have any militaries to speak of.

4) Pollution per Capita : Wrong. Norway, Canada, and Australia are higher per capita, due to factors such as low population density, cold weather (Canada and Norway), and being oil exporters (Canada and Norway again). Do some research before you post an easily checked falsehood.

Also, virtually all new clean energy technologies are invented in America.

5) Healthcare system : Substantially better than Britain or Canada. More Canadians and Brits come to the US for urgent procedures than the other way around. Canada and Britain depend on medical/pharma innovation done by America. A British journalist admits that American healthcare is superior to Britain's, and explains why.

6) Literacy and Education : America has 17 of the top 20 Universities in the world. Your own lack of fact-checking your opinions does not reflect well on your capacity for logical deduction.

Your memorized points are quite false, and a stale boilerplate for anti-Americans who do not have the morals to verify facts before believing them. Your screed shows why, in fact, America is the best. The absence of compelling or original arguments is indicative of that.

The real measure of the quality of a country is the net difference between the number of people who want to get in vs. those who want to get out. Since America has net immigration even from other developed countries like Britain, Canada, Australia, and Japan, this soundly proves America's ability to be the top choice.

Read why the US will still be the only superpower in 2030.

Charly

Are you really claiming that the homeless want to be homeless?

And claiming that your healthcare is better than the British, it is like claiming that your food is better than the British. Probably true but not something you would be proud of.

GK

Charly,

Anyone of sound mind and body can earn at least minimum wage, which is enough to have a modest home. Cities that spend the most on 'homeless' people (like San Francisco) have the most homeless, due to the incentives provided. People migrate from elsewhere into New York and San Francisco to be homeless, because they are getting more for less relative to the labor required from a minimum wage job.

When you create an incentive for something, you get more of it. When you create a disincentive, you get less of it.

Healthcare is such a thing that it has to be measured in relative terms, rather than absolutes. But you are agreeing that in relative terms, the US system is better (as British journalist Steven Glover explained in the link).

Exclude just 2 things : Illegal immigration and unlimited malpractice suit awards, and most of the US problems would vanish.

I have clearly written that I think Americans have terrible diets (and flimsy excuses on why they have such diets), but that is a matter of personal responsibility, rather than any government action.

Charly

What do you consider sound mind and body? How large is the group that isn't of sound mind or body? More specific what is the percentage of healthy people older than 50.

If you ask the average Brit about their healthcare system they will say it is the worst system in the Western World outside the USA (i'm not sure about the US) so saying that it is better than the British is simply not a compliment.

You assume that illegal immigrants are a large expensive percentage wise for the healthcare system. Have you any proof of that?

GK

Charly,

Most 'homeless' are perfectly capable of earning the minimum wage or more. Cities that provide opulent freebies to 'homeless' get more and more peopl deciding that this is a better choice than working. That is why NY and SF have the most homeless - they provide incentives to qualify as 'homeless'.

Not only is Britain worse than the US, but so is Canada. France is worse than Britain (15,000 died in France in 2003 from a mere heat wave. The same heat wave in the US would only kill 50-60 people).

You assume that illegal immigrants are a large expensive percentage wise for the healthcare system. Have you any proof of that?

Study the state known as California. Few would dispute that illegals (along with frivolous malpractice suits) are a bulk of the cost excess.

Why don't you provide sources for your counterclaims, for a change?

Gordon

Sorry, I didnt know what kind of person I was dealing with. Really, I was wasting both my time and yours.

Charly

The bulk of the healthcare cost are in the last few years of somebodies life. If you look at who dies in California than you will see that illegal immigrants are a very small subset of those that die so i think your are wilfully wrong.

NY and SF have the most homeless because small town sheriffs give problem people a warning and a one way ticket to the big town. It is also much easier to get homeless there. Housing is much more expensive and people life in smaller homes there so they quicker kick uninvited guest out.

GK

Gordon wrote :

Sorry, I didnt know what kind of person I was dealing with.

In other words, a colored person who is actually pro-US. That cannot be tolerated by your ilk.

I am glad you are concerned with not wasting my time, but I have a lot of experience in presenting actual facts to doctrinaire anti-Americans who love to be brainwashed without the slightest interest in fact-checking. It is quite typical for anti-Americans who, upon seeing their memorized points tightly refuted, retreat with great haste rather than engage in rational examination of their fallacies.

Sloan

I really found this article eye opening to how easy the sagging economy can be reversed. Have you thought of attempting to plug in numbers and see how it could affect deficit reduction, GDP, etc? Thanks for the read!

DoesNotMatter

Hey Buddy, Have you ever tried to pick up women? It's a lot of fun...exactly as you mention. In fact after certain legal issues are cleared, I plan to quit my job and pick up women full time. Seriously, having the sort of game where you can sleep with one new woman every 2 weeks is worth $2 million in the bank. I make about $130k/yr in the semiconductor industry currently and have sex with 5 new women a year. A heavy job like this makes it hard to have the sort of light-heartedness required to pick up women. Still I try. At the moment I cannot stay in the west without working. As for india, forget about picking up women there. So I'm waiting for my green card. Then I quit my job and game women full time. My own estimate is
$130k/yr + sex with 5 new women a year = $15k/yr + sex with 25 new women a year

Would love to see you do a post on the economics, pros, cons of polygamy by the way. I think under polygamy, there would be almost zero PUA activity, as almost all women would be married.....and so I am not in favour of it....... hehehehehehe

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