If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

How can we be the equivalent of this man at our jobs?

How can you take a mundane task and do it so well it inspires others?

How can we serve our employers, families and customers in this way?

Takeaway:  Every act of creation is a self-portrait.  Take pride in  your work.

Is the Human Capital Bubble a failure of the free market or a failure of government mismanagement? 

In his article on Yahoo Finance, Charles Wheelan makes the claim that the market sent out faulty signals.

While I agree with the premise of the article since I share Wheelan’s sense of disappointment that some of the brightest minds in the world clicking green and red buttons in front of monitors rather than building alternative energies and infrastructures, I strongly disagree with the notion that this phenomenon is solely the result of free-market forces.

The human capital bubble is not a reaction to free market forces, but rather the reaction to government influence on market forces.  Can anyone honestly claim we have a free market when:

The government controls the money supply by buying and selling securities in the open market?

Legal tender laws prohibit competing currencies?

The former CEO of an investment bank becomes the watchdog of the very organization he used to run?

A government literally creates money out of thin air to attempt to CONTROL the expansion of the economy?

Supposed regulators are asleep at the wheel… Harry Markopoplous tipped off the United States Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly both verbally and in writing starting in 1999, when he argued that it was not legally possible for Madoff to deliver the returns he’d claimed to deliver.  The SEC took no action.

The government sets short term interest rates via committee?

The government jawbones to strengthen or devalue its currency at the whim of whoever is in charge?

Banks leveraged 30:1 borrow from the government at below market interest rates?

A POPULIST PRESIDENT ALLOWS TEN DIFFERENT CORPORATE WELFARE PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO BAILOUT THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY?

The message Mr. Wheelan neglects to mention is that an economic system which is constantly manipulated cannot possibly send out accurate signals.  If we want to avoid bubbles and misallocation of resources, we need a truly free market.  This means a private money system, a private banking system, competing currencies and a government that cannot obfuscate economic reality with accounting tricks.

This bubble was a perfectly natural outcome from the market responding to supply and demand.  When there is massive demand (for housing, caused by low interest rates), you can be sure that profiteers/businessmen/entrepreneurs will do everything they can to satisfy that demand by providing plenty of supply.

Markets are unavoidable since humans are always seeking to maximize their happiness and maximize their resources; it is for this reason that markets exists in prisons, elementary school cafeterias and even amongst people that don’t speak the same languages.

The genius of the free market is that it converts greed into consumer-satisfying productivity – Gary North

Takeaway:  Those of us that believe in individualism, freedom, liberty and no corporate welfare need to enunciate that the human capital bubble is not the result of free market forces, but the market reacting perfectly to politicians/economists meddling unnecessarily with interest rates.

Let us hope that as our economy contracts, the power government exerts on our economy will contract as well.

Executives at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the biggest stock-market rally in 71 years to sell their shares at the fastest pace since credit markets started to seize up two years ago. (emphasis mine)

The data about employment, overcapacity, too many homes on the market, too much corporate welfare and too many jobs in the FIRE economy without producing anything of value point to deep, structural problems that cannot be solved or eliminated without pain.

This pain will come in the form of job losses and restructuring since it is only a matter of time before we cannot simply roll over our debt and expect perpetually rising asset prices.

It seems to me this March rally has been based on speculation of recovery rather than *tangible improvements* in the actual economy.  It looks like a lot of insiders feel the same way.

I called this site Inthon since it comes from the phrase Intellectual Honesty.  There are plenty of reasons to believe that this market has legs and there are plenty of reason to believe that this market is toast.  I’ve found it helpful to read the strongest, most opinionated sides of an argument before making up my mind.

Politics and increasingly, economics, are a confidence game.  The pieces of green paper in your wallet are only worth something since the person who accepts those pieces of paper has confidence in the fact that they have value.  When a system relies on confidence, it is imperative to those in power that the facade of confidence be maintained.

As Buddha has said

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Thanks for reading.

I have been able to build a loving relationship with my significant other due to an intrinsic desire to care for and nurture her in return for the love she shows me. Doing the nitty-gritty work like housework, or listening to her stories from work, or providing a shoulder to cry on never seem to tax me or present insurmountable hurdles. Things are not perfect or magical, but the work put into the relationship clearly pays off. This fact is so obvious to me that I know that relationship with my significant other is my number one priority and I am consciously trying to improve myself and make myself a more tolerable person to live with.

Work seems to present more of a challenge. I would be lying if I said it was engaging, engrossing or provided great value to anyone. I doubt that anyone would miss my work if I left. To be honest with myself, the work I perform is replaceable with the correct person. This realization seems to be a major source of frustration throughout the workday.

One of my happiest memories from Chicago (where I lived for the last two years) was when I came across a man trying to lift something heavy on all his own. I immediately jumped in and helped him make it to his doorway. He reached into his pocket to try and compensate me, but I just shook his hand with a big smile and left. Little did he know how much that task reinvigorated me and reminded me of the joy of helping others.

I came home later that day and called my girlfriend to tell her about the experience. It seemed so real and genuine to help someone out who was struggling. My sense of happiness might have been derived from the fact that at my past job I spent 10+ hours a day generating financial reports no one seemed to cared about. I doubt more than a handful of people, over the span of two years, actually read the work I spend hours of my life producing. Spending 10 hours a day, five days a week for two and half years doing work no one bothered to read was so demoralizing, I would literally have to push the thought out of my mind in order to concentrate.

Even nowadays at my far more humane job, I find difficulty finding motivation to excel when I find the work not serving a useful purpose and the nitty-gritty skills to success do not come easily or do not present any fulfilling payoff, unlike a real relationship.

I often think about the circumstances of coal miners who had to work uncomfortable jobs for their families and themselves. I certainly have it much better than they did, so I should be thankful and grateful for my circumstances. On the other hand, I know I am capable of providing more value to others, even if it is something as simple as reading to a child.

I often remind myself I am lucky to have any job in this economy, let alone a well-suited “stimulating” job, however, I can’t help but think there has got to be a way to provide value for others and earn a wonderful living at the same time.

To read more about the economy, click here.