Thursday, November 29, 2012

Peter Schiff: Patriotic Millionaires Unmasked

Peter Schiff, the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser and a full service broker/dealer, shares his thoughts about the post-election landscape in the USA.

Despite the breathless post-election "think pieces" that have drawn sweeping and deeply considered conclusions about the political drift of the country, at its core President Obama’s re-election is easy to understand. He essentially promised millions of middle and working class voters that if he were to be re-elected, they would receive benefits paid for by the rich. You don’t need to read a Time Magazine cover story to untangle this political strategy. Now that he has been given a second term, Obama needs to deliver the goods by raising taxes on the rich and only the rich. He will be "asking" them to pay their "fair share," (as if "asking" and "fairness" have anything to do with it). In reality the wealthy already pay taxes at a much higher rate than average Americans and in many cases will now have to pay more than half of their income in federal, state, and local taxes.

While most people would assume that the wealthy would chafe at such a heavy burden, some affluent individuals have apparently organized spontaneously to express their willingness to help the country. In interviews and articles, these self described "Patriotic Millionaires" have implored Congress and the President to raise their taxes. They claim they can easily afford to pay a little more to save the nation from fiscal insolvency.

Conservative economists believe that an economy is most vibrant when as much money as possible is left in the private sector where it can be used for business investment and job growth. Left wing economists believe that government spending, which they term “investment,” does more good. Through this lens, it’s tempting to see the Patriotic Millionaires as well meaning Americans who have simply subscribed to a misguided economic philosophy. However, the reality may be far more sinister.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peter Schiff asks: Is a college degree worth the cost? Well, you decide

Peter Schiff, the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser and a full service broker/dealer, express his opinion about the college degree in the United States.

President Obama promotes the myth that everyone must go to college. That if you don't go, your life will be ruined -- that you will end up waiting tables, or trapped in some other mundane occupation. The truth is, even with a college degree, you may still end up waiting tables, you'll just begin your "career" four or five years later, tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Here is an example of some of the plumb jobs college grads were able to land during the Obama administration. Not just liberal arts majors mind you, but graduates with degrees in mathematics, robotics, neuroscience, engineering, accounting, business administration, economics, biology, communications, graphic design, marketing, and linguistics.

Of course when it comes to education, it's not just the Obama administration that deserves a failing grade. For years, politicians of both parties have pandered to students by promising more aid in the form of direct or subsidized student loans. As a result, colleges and universities are freed from competitive forces that would otherwise keep tuition low. Easy access to cheap credit enables students to bid up tuition, benefiting the educational establishment at their expense. Politicians secure student's votes by promising relief from skyrocketing tuition by providing even more loans. Ironically, the loans themselves are the very reason tuition is so high in the first place.

Before the Federal Government got involved, college degrees were much more affordable, and ambitious students from poorer families could easily work their way through. In addition, as fewer high school graduates actually went on to college, not only were college degrees much less expensive to obtain, they were far more valuable to have. With so many high school grads going on to college, a college degree is actually less valuable in today's job market, despite its inflated price tag, than was a high school diploma in the 1950s. The only solution is to get the Federal Government completely out of higher education, and let the free market fix what the government broke!

For those of you who feel a college degree is essential to financial success consider John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Rockefeller dropped out of high school and began working full-time at age 16. Carnegie didn't even go to high school and began working full-time at age 13. Both men were born poor and became self-made billionaires, with estimated net worths at their deaths (in today's dollars) of $670 and $300 billion respectively. To put those numbers into perspective, the richest living American, Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard during his sophomore year, has an estimated net worth of just $65 billion.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Peter Schiff is embracing the fiscal cliff

The fiscal cliff has long been the chief problem of the U.S. economy and the uncertainty has created a volatile marketplace. Each and every political party has its own ideas how to act when the fiscal cliff comes. Peter Schiff not an exception as he has spoken his mind is concerning the U.S economy.

In a time of such worry for the next year’s potential threat to the United States, Schiff is embracing the fiscal cliff.

“The truth is that, regardless of what you call it, going over the fiscal cliff is not the problem, it is part of the solution. Our leaders should construct a cliff that is actually large enough to restore fiscal balance before a real disaster occurs,” he commented.

Moreover, he is of the opinion that the fiscal cliff will inevitably lead to cuts in government spending which would put the country on the right track. Furthermore, Peter Schiff navigates the cliff. Even though markets may get slaughtered and the dollar might endure a crisis, the real assets do offer compelling investment. Schiff, of course, has mentioned many times that he had chosen gold to help his portfolio because he believes that the dollar will bear a major debasement, which would make silver and gold especially attractive to investors.