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It’s Time to Privatize the Postal Service

Nov 17, 2011, 7:30 am EDT
It’s Time to Privatize the Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service’s future is bleak. With mail volumes having dropped more than 20% over just the past five years, radical change is coming to the USPS.

Like many other giant companies that confront a rapidly shrinking market, the USPS is “discussing restructuring options with potential advisers,” according to Bloomberg News. Among those advisers are Moelis & Co., Rothschild and Perella Weinberg Partners. But USPS, which could run out of money on Sept. 30, 2012, is already in the midst of a major overhaul: It has announced plans to slash 220,000 jobs by 2015 and shutter as many as 3,700 post offices. Clearly, there’s more to come.

For the year ended Sept. 30, the USPS reported a $5.1 billion net loss. The only reason the loss wasn’t even more massive was that the Postal Service delayed a $5.5 billion retiree health care payment until 2012. Read 

Mitt Romney: Dull, Cerebral and a Shoo-In as GOP Nominee

Nov 16, 2011, 8:00 am EDT

There has been a lot of kerfuffle in the last few weeks about problems plaguing Republican presidential hopefuls. Sexual harassment allegations plague Herman Cain. Ricky Perry royally botched last week’s GOP primary debate. As a result, new frontrunners are bubbling up among the slew of Republicans vying for the White House.

But while the scandals and soundbites make for good TV, the fact of the matter is that we have a long year between now and Election Day 2012 — and no matter what distractions pop up, the economy and government spending are still going to be the biggest issues at the ballot box.

For that reason, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a shoo-in as the Republican nominee. Read 

Jobs Numbers Show Obamanomics at ‘Work’

Nov 16, 2011, 5:45 am EDT

Wow, what a stinker! I am referring to the November jobs report, on which the White House, along with the media lackeys, is attempting to put on a positive spin.

Here is the sad reality: The initial November jobs report lists a gain for non-farm employment of 80,000 jobs. This miserly gain is more than 35% below the 125,000 average monthly gain of the past 12 months. Since President Barack Obama took over, America has lost nearly 3 million jobs. At year-end 2008, non-farm payrolls totaled 134,383,000 jobs. The most recent report showed 131,516,000 non-farm payroll jobs, along with a startling 9% unemployment rate.

Yup, nearly 14 million Americans are on the well-understated unemployment roster. The unemployment rate for blacks is 15.1%, for Hispanics 11.4% and for Asians 7.3%. At the feeble 80,000 jobs gain rate logged in October, it would take 37 months, or more than three years, for non-farm payrolls to get back to the level witnessed when Obama first moved into the White House. Read 

Shine a Light on Congressional Stock Traders

Nov 15, 2011, 12:27 pm EDT

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans’ approval rating for Congress is at a mere 13%. It’s the lowest ever (George Washington must be rolling in his grave).

Then again, citizens have plenty to be mad about. And now we have some more red meat: A recent episode of 60 Minutes makes Congress look like a shifty hedge fund, with its members trafficking in insider information. Needless to say, it has ignited a firestorm.

For example, in September 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a horrific presentation to a variety of members of Congress. What happened next? They started to dump their investments. Read 

Did the GOP Presidential Debate Help Investors Decide?

Nov 15, 2011, 12:15 pm EDT

CNBC is unquestionably the premier business and investing television network, so it would make sense that CNBC would host a debate between Republicans vying for their party’s nomination.

It also would make sense if that debate was focused on business and the economy and aimed at addressing the concerns of individual investors. But how much did investors learn about how each Republican would approach the titanic tasks of spurring economic growth, creating jobs and bringing stability back into the financial markets?

We learned a lot about the candidates’ big-picture approach, but little about how each candidate would actually attempt to solve these problems. Read 

Congratulations, Ohio — You Have Just Bankrupted Your State

Nov 15, 2011, 8:00 am EDT

With Ohio’s vote last Tuesday, you have all just decided resoundingly to bankrupt your state and, in the process, kicked a really good governor in the face. You have allowed the public sector unions to run roughshod over you. Who in their right minds would want to start a small business or any other form of business in Ohio? Have you looked into who funded the charge against Senate Bill 5?

I am truly sorry to sound so sour. I grew up in Cleveland, watching Otto Graham, Lou Groza and Dante Lavelli play football for the Browns on freezing cold Lake Erie Sundays. Today, our family investment office in Naples, Fla., is dedicated to Paul Brown and the great Browns teams of the 1950s. Since we opened the Naples office nearly a decade ago, the sons of both Groza and Graham have visited. Before he passed away, Lavelli and I had a couple of wonderful phone discussions about the glory days of the Browns — I bet today’s Browns wish they had the old Jim Brown back. I was in attendance at the old Cleveland Stadium to watch Brown set records. So, yes indeed, there is no one alive with a more hopeful wish for the future of Ohio than yours truly.

For nearly five decades, my business has been advising conservative small-business owners and retired and soon-to-be-retired investors planning for a comfortable and secure retirement. I know what I am talking about when it comes to fiscal responsibility and investing for the future. I am certainly not a politician and, in fact, neither a Republican nor a Democrat. My sole interest in politics is how our government governs in the interest of my family and my clients. With that said, you can only imagine the sickness I feel as I read with despair the defeat of Ohio’s public employee labor rules bill. Read 

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