Never bet against America. Warren Buffett, 2021 Annual Shareholder Report
Im not a bull, Im not a bear; Im a chicken. Charles Allmon(Maxims of Wall Street, p. 67)
One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Pledge of Allegiance
It is easy to be bearish on America, with all theshenanigansgoing on in Washington these days wasteful deficit spending, widespread voting fraud, lockdowns, loss of liberties and the cancel culture.
Yet, Wall Street is hitting all-time highs, so there must be something good going on.AndForecasts & Strategiesis beating the market!
Warren Buffett is Still Bullish
Warren Buffettjust released the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK-B) annual shareholder report.
He was upbeat even though his investment fund, Berkshire Hathaway, vastly underperformed the market last year (up only 2% compared to the S&P 500 index rising 18%).
There are some bright spots in todays top news story.
Gov. Kristi Noem is a Hero
GovernorKristi Noemgave a heroic speech at CPAC Friday evening, Feb. 26, declaring, South Dakota never ordered a single business or church to close in 2020 (although she did close down schools until the fall).We never mandated that people wear masks.After providing the best information about the virus, she said, I trusted the people to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their communities.
Noem said she was surprised that she was the only governor to oppose the coercion, the force, the anti-liberty steps to control the coronavirus.As a result, South Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate, 3%, in the country.
Good for her!We are looking forward to meetingGov. Noem in personon July 21-24 in the opening ceremonies at the Rushmore Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.
At the end of this Skousen CAFE, I have a special announcement about FreedomFest:Our keynote speaker will require two bodyguards!Plus, ourprivate subscriber meeting at FreedomFest is almost sold out see below how to sign up.
Tom Woods on the Two Visions of America
Last Tuesday evening, March 2, over 250 friends of liberty gathered at a local speakeasy restaurant in Southern California to hear economist and authorTom Woodsand I talk about the uncertain future of freedom.
It was a standing-room-only crowd.The Tom Woods Show is a popular daily podcast that interviews a variety of guests, including me from time to time.He also is the author of 12 books, includingThe Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.
I invited him and his fianc to California to speak candidly about our country, and he didnt disappoint us.(He also will be a featured speaker at FreedomFest this year and will have his own Tom Woods Day!Not to be missed.)
Your editor and Tom Woods taking questions.
The Conflict of Visions Between the Authoritarians and the Libertarians
He spoke passionately aboutCOVID and Two Visions of America.He began with a discussion of ProfessorThomas Sowells 2007 book A Conflict of Visions.This book summarizes Sowells philosophy about politics.
Essentially, the world is divided into two types theauthoritarianswho want to control and run our lives, and thelibertarianswho want to control and run their own lives.
Tom Woods asked the audience, Why is it that those who favor lockdowns are also the ones who favor raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour?
Governor Noem is in the libertarian camp.She and other government officials in South Dakota want to give you all the correct information about the virus, and then let you decide how to comport yourself, your businesses and your institutions.
Joseph Smith,the Mormon leader, said it best.When asked why the city of Nauvoo in Illinois was prospering, he responded,We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.
We believe in persuasion, not force. Read the articlehere.
How to Become Unified as All Americans
I dont think the divide is that great in America.I am inMilton Friedmanscamp.He argued that if the facts were presented in a fair and convincing way, most people would adopt the same policies.It is more a question of education and training rather than some kind of genetic division between Republicans and Democrats, or between liberals and conservatives.
Most people have the same goals, such as living a comfortable and profitable lifestyle, to help end poverty, social injustice, discrimination, gross inequality, crime and environmental pollution, while becoming more humane, educated and spiritual.
The real debate is how to accomplish these goals, not what the final goals are.
For example, Milton Friedman always argued that if people really understood that the real costs of a $15 minimum wage law, and how it actually hurts the poor more than helps them, they would not support it.
Thats why at FreedomFest, we always present both sides of the arguments in a civil manner. As Ben Franklin said, By collision of different sentiments, sparks of truth strikeout, and political light is obtained.
We are more interested in what is right than who is right.We focus on the best solutions, not winning a debate.
Big Announcement:Keynote Speaker Requires Two Bodyguards, Early-Bird Discount Ends This Month!
Meet Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Prepare to be inspired, challenged and maybe even outraged by a woman who grew up in oppression but found the courage not only tofreeher own life but to challenge that oppression in full scale. Her pushback has made her the target of Islamic extremists, to the extent that she requires round-the-clock security. In her first appearance atFreedomFest, Ms. Ali will discuss her new book,Prey, and share with us the lessons she has learned about oppression, forced inequality and extremism, and how to combat them.
Other confirmed speakers:#1 Talk Show HostLarry Elder, Whole Foods CEOJohn Mackey, health care expertDr. Drew Pinsky, economistTom Woodsand podcasterDave Rubin.
We also plan a full three-day investment conference, with a specialBitcoin vs. gold debateyou wont want to miss.Plus, the 10th anniversary of the Anthem film festival (expect to meet a major movie star, to be announced soon!).
We have nearly 1,200 attendees signed up already, with five months to go.Many people are making it a family vacation, to see Mount Rushmore and Deadwood.Three hotels have already sold out.
Our early bird discount ends this month on March 31.NOW is the time to register.The price is only $399 per person, $299 for each guest.Special discounts exist for students and young professionals.
Go towww.freedomfest.com, or call Hayley at 1-855-850-3733, ext. 202, to register or get more information.Use Eagle2021 code.
Special Private Reception for Subscribers Almost Full!
Remember, subscribers to my newsletter get a 2021 American Eagle silver dollar and a signed copy of The Maxims of Wall Street at our special Eagle private meeting at FreedomFest.The room at the historic Alex Johnson Hotel (whereRonald Reaganand five other presidents have stayed) is limited to 150 subscribers).Were almost sold out, so I urge you to sign up right away.
Good investing, AEIOU,
You Blew it!
Dont Give Away Free Books!
Im not a fan of giving away books. Free books are seldom read.
I well rememberHans Sennholz, when he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in the 1990s and published tons of books to give to donors like myself, as well as important persons, for review.
I hardly ever read them, and discarded them after a while, or gave them to a library. When I became president of FEE in 2001, I noticed there were thousands of books stacked in the basement of the FEE mansion in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York.
This was a serious misuse of capital whatLudwig von Mises(Hans mentor) would call malinvestment!Think tanks send out free books all the time, which makes it appear that they are doing something good with donors money.
But if you charge for the books, only those who really want to read them are likely to buy them and not let them gather dust on their bookshelves.
The Henry George Foundation used to give away thousands of copies ofHenry GeorgesProgress and Poverty and then announced to the world that it was a bestseller and sold more copies than anything except the Bible.
The Ayn Rand Institute does the same. The group encourages donors to give money to fund the distribution of copies ofAtlas ShruggedorCapitalism, the Ideal.I suspectAyn Randwould want her readers to pay!
Religious groups do the same with the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Science & Health, the Koran, etc.
Distributing books for free is not a good use of a valuable commodity, paper!
Granted, young people often dont have the funds to buy books.But even a discounted price is better than no price at all.Instead of a free book, why not adopt a policy of charging a modest FEE for books.
Sometimes retail publishers charge too much for their books, and Im against that, too.I always offer a discount for my books, whether The Maxims of Wall Street or The Making of Modern Economics.Check out my discounted prices atwww.skousenbooks.com.But never offer books for free!
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