Here are some things I think I am thinking about:
1) Don’t Piss in my House. YouTube demonetized some people and now Conservatives are up in arms about the first amendment. In case you missed it – basically, there’s some Conservative guy on YouTube who says a lot of inappropriate things about homosexuals and other people. A VOX Media reporter was the target of some of these insults and made a big stink about it. Big enough that YouTube decided to demonetize the YouTuber (meaning, he won’t make money from YouTube ads).
I’ve expressed my view here before. I’m not a huge fan of the growing trend in political correctness, but I also don’t think the internet is a public park giving us broadly public rights of expression. When we upload content to social media platforms we are specifically using privately owned server space. That is server space private companies paid for with the express purpose of PRIVATE PURPOSE for PRIVATE PROFIT. For instance, I pay thousands of dollars a year to supply internet real estate to readers and forum users here. If someone uploads a comment to my forum that I don’t like then it is 100% my right to remove that comment just like it is your right to remove someone from your home who pisses on your carpet. Free speech gives you the right to say what you want, but it doesn’t give you the right to say things wherever you want.
2) Don’t Piss in my Ports. I made some bad jokes on Twitter about the price of avocados and Trump’s confounding trade wars with the world. The thing is, Trump seems to have a woefully misinformed understanding of international trade and he actually thinks that China pays the tariffs when in fact it is US importers who pay the tariffs and pass along those import taxes as higher cost goods to US consumers. Lots of us have been explaining this for years and now we have empirical evidence that this is true. According to the NBER the tariffs are costing US consumers $1.4 billion per month. Imagine implementing a huge tax cut that seemed to have some economic benefit only to offset it in part because you don’t understand the only thing that economists actually agree about!
Look, I get it. Trump is spreading an attractive protectionist agenda, but this trade agenda is really hurting American consumers. If you want to secure the borders there are ways to do that that don’t involve using the American consumer’s well-being as a bargaining chip all because you misunderstand the fact that China isn’t paying the tariffs in the first place….
I am not sure why people continue to put up with this nonsense. TARIFFS ARE TAXES. Liberals AND Conservatives should be up in arms over this.
3) Please Piss on the Fed. Is anyone else tired of hearing about the Fed? I’ve spent the better part of 10+ years debunking myths about the Fed. But there seems to be some self defeating inertia to all of this Fed obsession in part because the Fed is so vocal. For instance, there have been THIRTEEN speeches this week by Fed officials. THIRTEEN. What on Earth could these people possibly have so much to talk about?
I’ve long explained that the Fed just isn’t as powerful as some people think. But we treat it like the savior of the economy every time things start to look a little bit fragile. I really don’t get it. Look, I understand and support the Fed having some role in the economy. But it would be nice if they took more of a backseat to fiscal policy sometimes and took more of a systematic role in executing policy as opposed to this constant open mouth policy which seems to create more confusion than anything else.¹
¹ – Clean up on aisle 4.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.