A talk with Leesa Donner on new special counsel for Trump-Russia probe

You have probably heard by now that the United States Justice Department has appointed a new special counsel for the Donald Trump-Russia investigation.

I speak with Leesa Donner, editorial director of LibertyNation, about the headline news. We talk about former FBI Director Robert Mueller, what this means for President Trump and how long the investigation may take.

Here is the video:

You can also check out the report here.

My take on Donald Trump’s terrible 20% tariff on Canadian lumber

As a libertarian, most of what United States President Donald Trump is doing can’t be championed, whether it is foreign or trade policy. The only enjoyment that a libertarian can get is his treatment of the mainstream media, which is both comical and a form of karma (remember how they treated Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012).

Right now, the Trump administration wants to slap a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber.

The media claim that this is bad for Canadians because we’ll be the ones paying for it. However, if you understand the regressive nature of tariffs and protectionism, it is usually the importing nation that suffers the most from this initiative.

I recently wrote about this on Liberty Nation entitled “Was Trump’s Canadian Tariff Actually A Bad Idea?” I go into the basic economics behind this move.

Here is an excerpt:

If Canadian companies could sell the Americans a cheaper product then what’s the big deal?

One of the fallacies behind this move – and, in a broader sense, protectionism – is that exporters are impacted the most by tariffs. This is incorrect. The president’s 20% lumber tax will not be paid for by the Canadian lumber industry, but rather by American lumber-buying companies and homebuyers.

A high-cost domestic industry would welcome a tariff because it protects it from low-cost foreign competition. This is a trade policy that makes a country poorer by raising prices, destroying jobs and increasing taxes for Americans, all in the name of protecting domestic producers.

The administration may believe that it is creating, protecting or saving jobs in the lumber industry. However, the president’s import tax will have a greater effect in other US industries, particularly in construction, where there are thirty-two construction workers employed in homebuilding for every one worker in logging, lumber and wood production combined, according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The tariff would increase housing prices, slow homebuilding and lay off thousands of construction workers.

Simply put: Trump placed a 20% tariff on the American people.

A Look at the American Subprime Auto Loan Market

I have a new article up at LibertyNation.com that takes a look at the subprime auto loan market in the United States. This will likely be President Donald Trump’s major financial crisis sometime in his first term in the Oval Office.

A new debt bubble has formed in the U.S. economy concerning auto loans. As this frightening balloon takes in more air, President Donald Trump may soon find himself in a financial crisis the likes of which his democratic predecessor confronted when he took office in 2009. This news is a bit more than worrisome.

Auto loans are poised to grind down the U.S. economy in the next couple of years similar to the housing bubble of 2008. Here’s why: Analysts are beginning to allude to the various warning signs: total auto loan debt has reached a staggering $1.1 trillion and delinquency rates are going up and subprime lending is a dominant theme.

For close to ten years, consumers have had the ability to borrow money at historically low interest rates. Thanks to seven-year auto loan promotions and motorists purchasing vehicles without any money down, reckless spending has been rampant – there was a $96 billion increase recorded in auto loan debt in 2016.

As the Federal Reserve begins to gradually raise interest rates, borrowers may find themselves under water.

You can read more here.

The Student Loan Debacle

The topic of student loans generates a lot of reaction. It remains one of the biggest debts for any household today, and it is crippling millennials, particularly those who sought out useless degrees.

Although student loans are horrific in Canada today, it is much worse south of the border in the United States. A student loan is the biggest form of non-mortgage debt: $1.3 trillion, and there are no signs of it slowing down (it has gone up for 18 straight years).

You can thank the government and its intervention into the education sector for this mess.

Over at Liberty Nation, I went into the basic economics behind the student loans mess.

Here is an excerpt from the piece:

For eighteen consecutive years, U.S. student loan debt has risen, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Since the financial crisis nearly a decade ago, student loan debt has surged 170% to $1.3 trillion, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Student loan debt is now greater than auto loans ($1.2 trillion) and credit card debt ($1.0004 trillion).

But the numbers are even more terrifying when you begin to dig beneath the surface.

Forty-four million Americans have some type of student debt, and eight million of those borrowers are in default. Today’s default rate remains higher than before the Great Recession. It is expected to get worse as college education prices continue to soar; tuition and fee prices have jumped between 9% and 13% in 2016.

The study found that the average graduate leaves school $34,000 in the red, up 70% from ten years ago. Meanwhile, 10% of borrowers are at least ninety days behind in debt repayment, and this is causing the credit scores of numerous graduates to tumble.

The present financial situation of college graduates is leading many to delay adulthood and is also having a significant effect on the overall economy.

You can read more here.

Infographic: 21 famous night writers

Every writer has his or her favourite time or place to write. Legendary author Agatha Christie liked to write in the bathtub eating apples, Earnest Hemingway wrote standing up, Marcel Proust wrote in bed and Vladimir Nabokov had to write in silence.

I particularly like to write my fictional works in the morning at a coffee shop or late evenings at home when it is raining outside.

This infographic takes a look at 21 famous writers who liked to pen their work in the evening. There is something magical about writing in the evening: typing on your typewriter as the smoke rises from your tobacco pipe with the sounds of Miles Davis simmering in the background. This is heaven.

Here is the infographic:


When do you like to write? Let me know in the comments section!