William Thien

Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Now that the country’s economy is coming back due to the incredible Trump tax breaks as well as steps taken by previous administrations, I think it is time to take one more measure to ensure that the country’s industrial sector remains strong. It is time to incentivize quality in American industrial production.

Following World War II reconstruction of Japan included sending two men to rebuild Japan and Japanese industry. Those two men were General Douglas MacArthur and W. Edwards Deming.

We all know who Macarthur was. Deming on the other hand was a statistics professor at New York University who believed statistics could be used to improve the quality of industrial production. Without elaborating here on what Deming did for Japanese industry, it is safe to say it worked.

Just look at all of the products of Japanese origin that have displaced American made products, big ticket items no less, cars, motorcycles, electronics, you name it, for one major reason. QUALITY!

Americans are sick of paying for cars that fall apart after driving them off of the lot and they have been voting with their dollars for decades now by purchasing Japanese products. Japanese manufacturers have been so successful selling to Americans who are fed up with poorly made products that Japanese manufacturers now have the largest automotive production facilities in The United States. All of that is because of a quest for quality. All of that coming from a country the size of California, one state, with a population a fraction of The United States. That tells you what the power of quality is to the consumer. It is everything.

What the President and Congress can do now is to provide additional tax incentives for American industrial producers to improve quality measures on our own soil, here in The United States.

Measures taken by US based industries will have to be verifiable and should result in measurable (threshold) quality improvements in order for the tax incentives to be earned.

The tax incentives should be substantial in order to motivate US industrial producers to take action because often it is difficult to change production methodologies which can require changing industrial machinery (no small task) and retraining large numbers of employees (again, no small task).

We know the statistics professor’s efforts in Japan were successful 68 years after Deming visited Japan and the effects are massively visible today on our roads and in our homes.

It is time for The President and Congress to make something approaching Deming’s system of statistical analysis for quality improvement in Japan an achievable goal here in The United States by offering substantial tax incentives, which must be verifiable, to produce quality on a massive scale. Here. Not there. Here.

But it should not stop there. Statistics are not the only way to improve quality in industrial production. If a company can demonstrate that it has made changes to improve quality, capital investments, training regimens, whatever it takes, that should be incentivized as well.

The President and Congress should waste no time installing such tax incentives.

Now that the economy has become a global one for good, things can change overnight. The one thing industrial producers can do here in America is to ensure the global consumer has faith in US made products. The best way to do that is to constantly improve quality.

It is better to take such measures now, when the country’s economy is strong than when the country faces some form of economic depression such as following one of the several bubbles the country has faced in the last two decades. Then, companies are in a different mode, often downsizing, selling off capital, just to make ends meet.

Again, The President and Congress should waste no time installing such tax incentives to improve the production of quality in The United States.

This is not about a tax break for corporations, it is about an industrial movement, it is about ensuring a new age in American economic prosperity.

cc: The President of The United States

Congressman James Sensenbrenner

Copyright © William Thien 2018

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Decades long (Greenspan to Yellen) monetary policy aimed at continually diminishing the strength of the currency for the regular population is in and of itself justification enough to respond.

I believe Washington has chosen monetary policy that forces the public to work longer hours for less income with the desire of increasing productivity at the expense of American working classes and their quality of life.

It has nothing to do with the general economy. The labor statistics coming out of Washington are false.  We’ve all known that for many years. The statistics don’t include the perpetually unemployed or the unaccounted for in industrially blighted urban areas. Therefor, the numbers are unreliable. So why the constant attempt to weaken the dollar?

Is it about selling more American made goods overseas? Somewhat, yes. But in my opinion it is more about squeezing the American working classes to get them to work harder for less, increasing the speed of the treadmill so to speak through weakening the dollar, thereby increasing productivity.

Again, if you weaken the dollar, if you systematically do so while steadily increasing inflation, a person needs to work harder and/or longer hours to get what they want or need or they must borrow more. A weaker dollar buys less and it buys less everywhere you use it even at home, not just overseas when you travel. The thing of it is, it’s not a function of the economy, it’s not happening on its own. It’s policy!

That’s what the FED has been up to starting with Greenspan, what the parties have been up to starting with Clinton, NAFTA and MFN for China, and the dollar.

You are getting squeezed by the FED/Washington establishment and the same people you elected. If money is speech as the Supreme Court determined, by weakening the dollar your voice is also being muffled. Directly.

The dollar isn’t too strong. Rather, Washington may be too powerful, too disingenuous.

I heard a debate on the radio this morning on the way to work. During the broadcast they were talking about a Constitutional Convention. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

I myself say, “What do you mean I don’t sound like a conservative? You are full of it. You can be a conservative and still be a working stiff! Conservatism isn’t just for the very wealthy. That’s something else altogether. That’s the monetary policy we have now.”

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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I am always a bit puzzled (not entirely, just a bit) when I hear our country’s leadership say things like “the dollar is too strong” or “we need to make the dollar more attractive in the foreign currency markets.”

What they are saying essentially is that American made products aren’t as attractive in overseas markets if the dollar is strong because the American products become too expensive or less attractive price-wise for foreign consumers.

But a weaker or weakened dollar also means that I have to spend more of my dollars to get what I want. If you don’t make that many dollars or as many as you’d like, if you are in the lower to lower middle income brackets, the argument that the dollar is too strong is a somewhat punitive statement and it means that action to bring down the value of the dollar will have a direct impact on your buying power, decreasing your buying power.

Few would disagree that America needs to sell more products in foreign markets but you would hope that our country’s leadership would find other ways to make sure such sales increase such as instituting quality controls on production or some other method rather than simply selling everything on the cheap and making everything more expensive for the American consumer, punishing the American consumer, which is what they are doing.

Manipulating currency may be easy on American producers but it is also hard on American consumers as it is the same as taxing their dollars so they have less or simply reaching into their pocketbooks and taking the money right out by decreasing their buying power.

Have you seen the price of a new car or house lately? Maybe the dollar is weak enough already.

Copyright © William Thien 2017

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This country was founded on the desire to avoid paying unreasonable taxes with the call, “Taxation without representation!” Careful scrutiny of taxes and tax law is in the DNA of every true American.

Anyone of us can make the argument that there are times we don’t see a fair distribution or proper use of our taxes.

The tax code is written with lobbied, legislated loopholes and for businesses and business people not to utilize those loopholes would be foolish financial practice. We all use whatever deduction we can use when we do our taxes. Why shouldn’t someone in business do the same? Why shouldn’t Donald Trump do the same?

Most programs used on home computers to do your taxes compute those deductions for us. If we go to an accountant or tax attorney, they do the same.

Trump isn’t really doing anything wrong in that regard. It’s a non-issue.

What I will say, though, is that the circumstances at hand are to me the best reason for a flat tax, in that not only will everyone pay their fair share when there is a flat tax, we would all be equally invested in seeing that the tax rate is kept under control. As it is now, the tax code only treats some favorably or fairly. All you have to do is read my essay America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird to know that.

Trump not paying any income taxes for years is the best reason for a flat tax.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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Profits are profits until the method used to achieve and generate those profits is no longer a valid method of profit generation and instead becomes a generator of future liabilities, turning profits into false prophets, ahem, false profits.

We know that ultra low interest rates, something we have been seeing for over a decade, have resulted in incredible surges in stock market strength and gargantuan growth in the real estate market. Yet, we also know that even slight upticks or the mere talk of increases in lending rates can result in sizable market corrections. We have seen this phenomenon during the last year and a half during public discussions by the FED to increase interest rates, causing the FED to abandon all such plans time and time again as the market plummets over several days. Just the mere whisper of an increase in rates causes panic.

Therefore, has the method of keeping interest rates so low for so long actually created an environment where today’s profits are actually future liabilities? If so, then they are false prophets, ahem, false profits.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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The FED and the administration have been saying inflation is under control but the numbers tell us otherwise. In a recent article on Reuters it was determined that many major pharmaceutical manufacturers are charging prices as much as one hundred percent (100 %) higher than just five years ago for necessary medications. Is it inflation? Is it price gouging? Is it ethical? One thing is for sure, the prices are up. That signifies inflation.

Read the article here, Makers took big price increases on widely used U.S. drugs.

Drug price increases at 100 percent over five years and inflation is under control? What’s that you say?

Copyright © William Thien 2016

One thing socialists and communists don’t want the public to know about socialism and communism is that the social programs they derive make things more expensive for those who are taxed to pay for the programs.

Let’s take rent assistance, for example. If you skim tax dollars off of the middle class (that’s where the money comes from) to redistribute it to pay for single women having children out-of-wedlock (nearly half of all babies born last year were born to single mothers), single mothers who need to stay home and take care of their babies, what is effectively happening is that an increase in the demand for rental housing is taking place and there is a corresponding supply of money, rent assistance dollars, to satisfy that demand. The socialists are using your money, tax dollars, to pay for that rent assistance. You are thinking, “Awe, isn’t that nice, I’m helping someone keep a roof over their heads.” But that’s only a small portion of it really, the good part.

The social programs put more money into the rental economy and thereby enable landowners to increase their rents. If all people don’t have enough money to pay the rent, landlords have to lower the rents. When demand is high, when money is available as in the form of rent assistance, prices are kept high, artificially high. The key word is “artificially” high. When demand is low, prices go down.

Now there is nothing wrong with landowners getting paid for renting their property, but social programs such as rent assistance are a double whammy to you and your dollar in that they totally undermine your very own housing dollar by working against it, driving the price of housing up for you and also taxing you for the dollars to do it! That’s what the socialists and communists don’t want you to know! They are forcing you to screw yourself right out of your very own place!

The same holds true for most major social programs and entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, you name it. If you examine the cost of health care since the implementation of those two programs, what has happened? Recognize a pattern, yet?

Shhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. They don’t want you to know, either. I’m not supposed to say anything, or else!, they say.

The media doesn’t tell you, do they? No, they want people sitting at home in front of the television or making more babies on the rug in front of it. If people are working, they can’t watch TV. Only those who ascribe to the socialist system can stay at home and watch TV all the time because they get the check, the assistance, and the food stamps. And many do. One in six Americans now receives food stamps, almost fifteen percent of the population. How many of them are working?

Corporate media actually likes the socialist system because it creates a large audience of viewers that they can market their products to in order to get the money from the food stamps and assistance checks. Is it big business? No, ladies and gentlemen, it’s huge!

How about food stamps? We’ve been talking about that lately. As I’ve described, when you throw a bunch of money in to any market, prices go up. It’s basic economic theory. If the supply remains constant and demand increases, prices go up. When you put $74 billion dollars into the market economy demand increases and so prices go up. And prices have gone up, haven’t they?

There were some questions sent to me asking about how such assistance programs drive up the prices of things and as you can see, not only do social programs drive up the price of things you buy, they use your money to do it. That’s what the socialists and communists in the government don’t want you to know.

Well, what’s in it for the socialists and communists in the government, you ask? A job, a job helping you screw yourself it appears, and judging from the size and scope of social programs in the US in comparison to the 1950’s, apparently they take great pleasure in seeing to it. Maybe Senator McCarthy from Wisconsin was right. Yes, I suppose he was.

Shhh! I shouldn’t be telling you all of this, any of it.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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