Archive

Consumer Spending and Economic Growth

The U.S. economy is generally believed to be substantially consumer driven.  Accordingly, trends in consumer spending are closely watched by investors and economists.  With an economy that is largely dependent on consumer spending, it is important to recognize that an individual consumer can spend only so much. Recently reported retail sales figures have been disappointing.  […]

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Living to 100

It is beginning to appear that life expectancy approaching 100 years may be a realistic premise.  This raises some key questions, of which perhaps the most important is, “can you afford to live to 100?” We are all probably familiar with the quote, “if I’d known I was going to live this long, I would […]

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Single-payer Healthcare

Healthcare remains a headline issue with a wide range of proposals.  The discussion is highly politicized and generally tends to emphasize benefits while glossing over costs.  Inevitably, there are comparisons with other national systems and recurring comments, from advocates and critics, without much clarity as to what actually comprises single-payer healthcare. Wikipedia defines single-payer healthcare […]

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The Uneasy Bull

At any given moment, investors are faced with a multitude of uncertainties.  For example, we see geo-political risks both here and abroad; the threat of war with North Korea and the senseless massacre in Las Vegas can shake anybody’s confidence in the market.  Storms have destroyed cities in Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico […]

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ZEV Mandates

The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program is a California state regulation that requires automakers to sell electric cars and trucks in California and 9 states on the east coast.  The exact number of vehicles is linked to the automaker’s overall sales within the state. While the ZEV regulations include plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell […]

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Value-added Taxes

A value-added tax (VAT), known in some countries as a goods and services tax (GST), is a type of general consumption tax that is collected incrementally, based on the surplus value, added to the price on the work at each stage of production.  Unlike sales taxes, which are added to the selling price at the […]

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