Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash

Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash

I have cautioned investors for many years not to store gold and silver in safe deposit boxes, now Largest Bank In America Joins War On Cash. I said you may not be able to gain access to your box when you really need it. Now look what the largest bank in the U.S. is doing. Chase even goes as far as to prohibit the storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes. In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its “Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,” one of the highlighted items reads: “You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.” Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained.

Well Duh Hillary


Lack of Affordable Housing

Lack of Affordable Housing

The Richmond Times-Dispatch editorializes, about the disturbing report (commissioned by the Capital Region Collaborative, which is the offspring of the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce) that draws attention to the lack of affordable housing.
More than one-third of area households pay more than 30 percent of their income to keep a roof over their heads. Affordable housing has been an issue since before the housing bubble really inflated, and it has remained an issue after the housing collapse — which suggests the issue is systemic. The systemic problem is that regional inflation-adjusted housing costs have increased significantly, whereas inflation-adjusted incomes have increased very little, or not at all.

Looking at the chart above, the median household income is flat to down 5% since 2001 and median gross rent and median housing costs for owners are up 15% to 20% from 2001.

Politicians bemoan the fact that there is little in the way of affordable housing, yet the “barriers to entry” is a major reason for high rents and a systemic problem.

All builders face “barriers to entry” when they pursue a project. Among their biggest obstacles when building housing units are the high development fees and other demands on construction imposed by city governments. Throughout the country, our leaders preach the value of keeping communities economically viable. Yet their development restrictions are often so onerous that builders must charge excessively high rents in order to gain a return on investment. This also applies to commercial real estate.”
High rental rates usually cause families to buy rather than rent. Traditionally, buying a home is cheaper than renting. Studies show that families who own their homes pay just 22.1 percent of their income toward housing. The high rental rates bring on new supply of apartments until too many are built and the oversupply causes rents to shrink. When rates get low enough families find it cheaper to rent rather than buy.

Across the country rents have been rising. Nationwide, demand for rental housing by people between the ages of 25 and 34 has driven up rents to the point that in 2012 renters devoted an average of 32.9 percent of their income toward housing. The cost of rental housing is up 3.4% over five years. This should be a time of rising homeownership, yet, the homeownership rate in 2014 has fallen to 64.8 percent; it’s lowest in 19 years, according to U.S. Census statistics.
It’s a crazy time.

We have a new phrase. It’s called “cost burdened.” Approximately 35% of all households in the Richmond Regional Planning District are “cost burdened.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the term “cost burdened” to define households that need more affordable housing. HUD defines cost burdened households as “families who pay more than 30% of their income for housing… and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care.” Households that pay more than 50% of their income for housing are considered severely cost burdened and may face even harder choices between paying for housing and other necessities. Approximately 15% of all households in the Richmond Regional Planning District pay more than 50% of their income for housing.
What is the solution? The Richmond Times-Dispatch suggests the solution to housing affordability is pay people more money. Housing cost burdens span all income levels, but are most common among households with low incomes (80% of AMI or lower) and moderate incomes (80-120% AMI). Of the region’s cost burdened households, more than three-fourths are in the low-income category. A family of four with a household income below $58,300 would be classified as having a low income.

If we made sure all workers made $29 per hour for a 40 hour week for 52 weeks, a worker would make $60,320 per year. No more top down approaches as the Report suggests. Just pay people more! It’s a crazy time.

Nobody thinks of the consequences, such as restrictions by Obamacare that are causing employers to hire workers for less than 40 hours per week; or the adjustments that will be made in prices. It stands to reason that if you pay a waiter $29 an hour, you will have to raise food prices to cover the cost. How about the means tested benefits a family receives because of their low income. Many of those benefits will be lost. How about higher incomes equal more taxes. I am not sure a simplistic solution of paying people more will really benefit the people you are trying to help.

Americans have worried for years and years about affordable housing. We have built housing that had to be bull-dozed because of massive failure. We have subsidized housing and passed that burden on to the 30% who pay taxes. No one has tried loosening restrictions on builders that would help them lower costs of building. Maybe we don’t need more government, but more market solutions.

2.7 Mag Off Oregon Coast

M 2.7 – 18km NNW of Gold Beach, Oregon

Time
Location
42.573°N 124.479°W


Trustworthy?


Some Hillary Stuff

Jack Kelly writing at To The Point News gives us some Hillary Stuff. Hillary announced her candidacy for president Sunday with a tweet and an insipid video. There were lots of glitches in the rollout, but she is campaigning exactly as an unlikeable candidate with stale, unpopular ideas, a record devoid of accomplishment, and a closet full of scandals ought to campaign.”

“Hillary should join Guardians of the Galaxy, because she’s always talking to plants,” said Jim Treacher.

In a planned luncheon with plants, Hillary didn’t leave a tip, but few of the Lying Swine (the MSM) mentioned that.

4.2 Magnitude Strikes Offshore Oregon

M 4.2 – 203km W of Bandon, Oregon

Time
Location
43.431°N 126.875°W
Depth
10.0 km


HOW DO WE GET THE GOVERNMENT TO OBEY ITS OWN LAWS?

From To The Point News Written by Richard Rahn
Wednesday, 08 April 2015

Last week, the Obama Justice Department declined to press charges against former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner — even though there was overwhelming evidence that she had targeted conservative groups and may have been complicit in destroying her emails.

She also waived her Fifth Amendment privilege by proclaiming her innocence before a congressional committee and then refused to answer questions.

It is possible that for some unknown reason Ms. Lerner’s case should have been dropped, but to many it appeared that once again President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were applying the rule of law selectively.

Concealing information from Congress is considered a major offense, punishable by fines and significant jail time. The evidence seems to be overwhelming that some in the IRS and the Department of Justice have concealed information from Congress. In fact, Mr. Holder was cited for contempt of Congress for withholding information.

The rule of law breaks down when those charged with enforcing the law are, in fact, violators of it.

We now know that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton withheld at least some of her emails from Congress despite pledging full cooperation back in 2012 regarding the Benghazi disaster, and she failed to use U.S. government email servers as she was required to do.

Again, these are serious crimes that someone less influential than Mrs. Clinton might well go to jail for — yet she most likely will be given a pass.

Mr. Obama has taken many actions contrary to the rule of law. One can go on the Internet to obtain long lists of these alleged violations, many of which are now being litigated. One of the cases that the courts have already settled was Mr. Obama’s outrageous claim that he, not Congress, would decide when it was in session.

By making the false claim that Congress was not in session, he improperly made “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and others, which the courts then reversed, along with decisions made by the board when it was composed of illegal members.

Sustained economic progress is near impossible without the rule of law. Historically, people have either been governed by arbitrary decisions of rulers or by laws that are readily understood, equally applicable to all (including the lawmakers), and only changed by a formal and open process.

The concept of the rule of law goes back at least to ancient Greece. In England, the Magna Carta (1215 A.D.), established that the rule of law was superior to that of “divine right of kings.” It is no coincidence that the industrial revolution and modern commerce developed first in the Netherlands and England, both of which were governed by the rule of law rather than the arbitrary decisions of a king or religious ruler.

In order to protect the rule of law, the American Founders explicitly designed a system to limit the power of the executive and even that of the legislature and the courts.

It is no surprise that those countries in the world whose citizens enjoy the highest per capita incomes (with the exception of some petro-states) largely operate under the rule of law, particularly when it comes to economic issues, rather than the arbitrary decisions of a dictator.

The economic importance of the rule of law can be understood by looking at the highly publicized Argentine government bond default in 2001. Argentina sold more than $100 billion of government bonds in the years immediately preceding 2001 under New York law and using New York financial institutions.

The reason it used New York rather than Argentine law is that purchasers of the bonds had much more faith in the rule of law in New York than the rule of law in Argentina. Thus, using New York law, Argentina could get a much better price for its bonds, saving its taxpayers many billions of dollars.

The Argentine government has been trying to renege on its promise to use New York law but, fortunately, the U.S. courts have not let them do so.

The rule of law has been undermined in the United States by the fact that not all are treated equally. Politicians have increasingly exempted and declined to prosecute themselves and other government employees for violations of the law that apply to the rest of us.

One of the solutions would be to greatly expand the right of private action against individual government employees and elected officials when their actions cause harm to individuals or groups.

Tea Party and other groups should be allowed to sue Ms. Lerner and other miscreants at the IRS, without the government protecting them under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

Finally, the rule of law has been undermined by the enormous increase in the number of laws allowing people in government to target almost anyone. There are more than 4,600 federal felonies now on the books, which many, if not most, citizens have unknowingly violated because many of these laws defy common sense.

If the Ten Commandments were good enough for the Lord, then a limit of a hundred felonies ought to be good enough for the federal government.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

Two Oregon Offshore Quakes

  1. 1.7 magnitude 120km W of Dunes City, Oregon 2015-04-07 12:53:31 UTC-05:00 depth 28.6 km
  2. M 4.2 – 154km W of Bandon, Oregon

     154km W of Bandon, Oregon 2015-04-07 09:54:44 UTC-05:00 depth 10.0 k


Keystone Pipeline Can Not Get Passed

20150407_rail

No wonder the Keystone Pipeline can not get passed. Have you ever wondered why we put up with oil train accidents resulting in recent months in spills, intense fires and community evacuations? Warren Buffet is the answer. His Berkshire Hathaway owns the Burlington Northern, now the BNSF Railway

According to Zero Hedge oil shipped by rail since 2010 has expanded from 20 million barrels to 378 million barrels a year and the BNSF Railway carries 70% of the oil.

Zero Hedge speculates that the “Sage of Wall Street” may be lobbying his buddies in Washington DC for a bailout. A spokesman says, “Languishing oil prices also make oil-train transportation look too expensive when compared to shipping in foreign oil.”

In recent weeks, the price gap between U.S. and Brent, the benchmark foreign crude, has narrowed to about $7 a barrel, making some oil-train shipments too costly at this time. That’s why the Key Stone Pipeline Can Not Get Passed.

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