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America’s “Fertility Crisis” Is A Government-Caused Crisis

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, January’s report on fertility from the CDC set off a new wave of speculation in the media about the alleged “fertility crisis.” We continue to see headlines like Fortune magazine’s article “Americans Aren’t Making Enough Babies, Says CDC ” and we hear from experts in this Marketplace interview that replacement-level fertility, “is needed to sustain high living standards and a high quality of life.” This latter sentiment takes us to the heart of the matter: when we hear about the fertility crisis, it is usually packaged as an economic crisis. That is, we’re told that standards of living will collapse if people don’t start to have more babies. This argument, of course, should be noted as being distinct from other arguments— namely sociological, cultural, political, and religious arguments — in favor of higher fertility. Some of those are compelling. I remain unconvinced, however, that a stagnant or declining population necessarily presents an economicproblem or a threat to the standard of living. The problems we were likely to encounter result from government programs and government spending — not from demography or markets themselves. Fewer People Can Mean More Resources per Person As Peter St. Onge has pointed out, zombie movies have dramatized the relative plenty that could result from a cataclysm that destroys population without destroying capital. We can, of course, also point to a real-life version of this in which a...

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Finland Feds Investigate Nokia Phones Sending Data To China

Finland’s chief of data protection said on Thursday that he would investigate Nokia owner HMD over claims that its mobile phones have been sending data to Chinese state-owned servers.  The investigation follows an report by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK which claims that owners of Nokia 7 Plus phones may have sent sensitive information to a server in China for several months.  NRK conducted an investigation after being tipped off by a man named Henrik Austad, who monitored the traffic on his Nokia 7 – discovering that it was sending unencrypted information to a Chinese server “vnet.cn” while switched on. The data reportedly included his location, SIM card number and the phone’s serial number.  The information consists of identifiable data on both the telephone and the telephone number to which it is attached, and which base station it is associated with. This enables the recipient of the package, and anyone with access to the traffic stream along the way, to follow the phone’s real-time movements. –NRK When NRK tried to track down the ownership information for the URL to which the information was being sent, they hit a dead end.  The Nokia 7 Plus sent the data to the domain vnet.cn. In the register, the “China Internet Network Information Center” (CNNIC) is listed as the contact point. This body is responsible for all domains under the top-level domain .cn . When we contacted CNNIC, we were told that the state-owned telecommunications company China Telecom...

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Pound Rallies As EU Agrees to 2 Week ‘Unconditional’ Brexit Delay

1,002 days have passed since Britons voted to leave the EU in a referendum that, before Donald Trump’s electoral triumph, stood as the most strident populist repudiation of the globalist world order. And after nearly three years of frenzied negotiations, the UK and the EU haven’t managed to agree upon a deal. So what difference could another two weeks possibly make? Well, we’re about to find out. With the Conservative Party in shambles, backbenchers on the brink of rebellion and cabinet members leaking stories about her impending ouster as prime minister, Theresa May has at least managed to convince the EU27 after another day of harrowing negotiations in Brussels – which produced a flurry of headlines on the rumors before a final decision was announced by European Council President Donald Tusk – to give her just a little more time to give her widely loathed withdrawal agreement one more go in the Commons (it has already been defeated twice by historic margins). Specifically, Tusk revealed that the EU had authorized a two week ‘unconditional’ delay, with another six weeks on the table should May manage to pass the withdrawal agreement (which has already been defeated twice by historic margins, and which the EU has insisted will not be modified in any meaningful way). EU27 unanimously agrees on its response to UK’s requests. I will now meet PM @theresa_may. #brexit...

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Where Defense Spending Dollars Go: The Top Ten States

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk, A defense report, revised in March 2019 for fiscal year 2017, shows what states benefit the most from defense spending. Please the US department of Defense report on Defense Spending by State for fiscal year 2017 as revised in March of 2019. Conducted between June 2018 and November 2018, the analysis primarily entailed an examination of DoD prime and sub-contract award data and of defense personnel and payroll figures, which become reliable for analysis in March of each year. This report’s findings are drawn from numerous sources, including the DoD’s Defense Manpower Data Center; the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau; and USASpending.gov, which is managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Overview In FY 2017, DoD spent $407 billion on contracts and payroll in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, approximately $1,466 per U.S. resident. This spending accounted for 2.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, and was higher as a share of GDP than the $378.5 billion spent in FY 2016. Of these funds, $271.7 billion (67 percent) was spent on contracts for various products and services, while the remaining $135.3 billion (33 percent) paid the salaries of DoD personnel. Most contract spending went to supplies and equipment (51 percent) or services (38 percent). The remainder supported research and development (8...

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Manhattan Homes Are Staying On The Market For The Longest Time In 7 Years

Homes in Manhattan that sold in February sat on the market for the longest amount of time since 2012, according to a new Bloomberg article. The data cited in the article shows that sellers in the market are not lowering prices quickly enough to meet the demand of buyers. Properties had been listed for a median of 117 days before finally going under contract, which was up from 90 days a year earlier, according to a new analysis by StreetEasy Manhattan. Home sellers wound up shaving a median of 4.6% off of their asking prices as a result. These types of discounts will continue to get deeper if sellers are looking to close sales in a market that, right now, is “crowded with choices” according to the report. The index of Manhattan home values, which is compiled using closed purchases, was down 4.3% from February 2018 – a change that is “eyebrow raising” according to Grant Long, senior economist at StreetEasy. He said:  “With a strong economy and home-shopping season right around the corner, plenty of New Yorkers are well-positioned to buy this spring. However, many are willing to walk away from deals that just aren’t financially attractive and continue renting instead — creating a market poised to punish sellers who don’t price their homes sensibly. When the inevitable wave of new inventory hits the market this spring, interested...

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‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ Cities, Counties, & States Spring Up Across The Country

Authored by Dagny Taggart via The Organic Prepper, Sanctuary cities aren’t just for immigrants anymore… A growing number of states, counties, cities, and towns are declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” and are refusing to enforce gun-control laws that infringe on the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. While adopting ordinances and resolutions to defy gun laws isn’t a new tactic, momentum is rapidly building – likely in response to increasing calls for more gun control at state and federal levels. Sheriffs in several states say they will NOT enforce gun control laws. Sanctuary counties and towns are passing resolutions that state no funding will be used to enforce unconstitutional laws and that the sheriff will uphold his oath to the Constitution instead of enforcing laws that violate the Second Amendment. County sheriffs are, legally speaking, the last line of defense in the battle for gun rights: Federal agencies do not have state powers. Due to the Constitution’s structure of dual sovereignty, the feds have no authority to enforce state laws. Furthermore, states cannot be compelled to enforce federal laws. (source) Here’s a rundown of the states with jurisdictions that have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions. Colorado In Colorado, 23 out of 64 counties have adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, and others are considering implementing similar resolutions. Legislators and sheriffs in the state are pushing back against House Bill 19-1177, a red flag bill that...

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“It Feels Eerily Like 2007” – DoubleLine’s Gundlach Blasts Fed’s “Unprecedented Reversal”

As the whipsaw in stocks and the dollar sank in today – while the bond market remains unimpressed by the machine’s liftathon today – market participants are still shaking their heads at what just happened. One of the more outspoken of those market participants is DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach who took to Twitter this morning to express his disdain… “Three months ago the Fed predicted totally different policy than where they are now. How can they predict 2020 policy with a straight face?” Three months ago the Fed predicted totally different policy than where they are now. How can they predict 2020 policy with a straight face? — Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) March 21, 2019 But he was not done, in a brief interview with Reuters after the close, Gundlach unleashed on Jay Powell and rest of the FOMC warning that their sudden cautious stance on raising interest rates could backfire by creating uncertainty in the economy… “This U-Turn – on nothing fundamentally changing – is unprecedented,” Gundlach said in a telephone interview. “Three months ago, we were on ‘autopilot’ with the balance sheet – and now the bond market is priced for a rate cut this year. The reversal in their stance is stunning.” Gundlach, the new “Bond King” now that Bill Gross has ‘retired’, oversees more than $123 billion in assets (we offer that tidbit to suggest he...

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Which Nations Will Crumble And Which Few Will Prosper In The Next 25 Years?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds, Adaptability and flexibility will be the core survival traits going forward. What will separate the many nations that will crumble in the next 25 years and those few that will survive and even prosper while the status quo dissolves around them? As I explain in my recent book Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic, the factors that will matter are not necessarily cultural or financial; being hard-working and wealthy won’t be enough to save nations from coming apart at the seams. Here are the factors that will matter in the next 25 years: 1. The ability to engage and survive non-linear change, which is rapid, unpredictable and systemic, as opposed to linear change which is gradual, predictable and limited in nature. None of the current political systems are decentralized enough and adaptable enough to survive the non-linear era we’re entering. As I explained in What If Politics Can’t Fix What’s Broken?, the politics of centralized compromise and incremental, top-down adjustments are wholly inadequate to dealing with non-linear disruptions. 2. The nations that cannot jettison their parasitic elites will fall; the few that find the political will to jettison their parasitic elites will have the wherewithal to survive and possibly even prosper as the global status quo collapses around them. The problem, as we all know, is the parasitic elites rule the centralized hierarchies of...

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Canada Sees Largest Influx Of Immigrants Since 1913

Though the mainstream media (and many in Congress) has largely dismissed President Trump’s cries about an emergency along the US southern border, even the New York Times and Washington Post have acknowledged in recent weeks that the number of migrants crossing the southern border is climbing rapidly. As the number of apprehensions have increased, the situation has gotten so bad that the administration has decided to start releasing some migrant families because its detention facilities along the border have become so crowded. And as it turns out, migration is surging north of the border as well, as Canada’s statistics agency reported on Thursday that the country experienced the largest inflow of migrants in more than a century last year. Though the figures excluded illegal migrants (who have also reportedly been entering the country in record numbers), more than 320,000 people migrated to Canada last year, with more than 71,000 arriving in the final quarter – including legal refugees attracted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “open door” policy. The increase is the largest since 1913, when 401,000 migrants entered Canada. The country has detailed migration data stretching all the way back to the mid-19th century. As birthrates in the developed world continue to slide, the influx of migrants helped Canada’s population swell by more than half a million people last year, the largest annual increase since the 1950s, and the...

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Catastrophic Flooding In Midwest Could Last “For Months”, Threatens US Food Production

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog, The worst flooding disaster in the history of the Midwest is just getting started, and as this crisis unfolds we are all going to be feeling the pain.  The “bomb cyclone” that recently brought hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions to the middle of the nation was the spark that set off this catastrophic flooding, and now all of the snow from one of the snowiest winters in decades is going to be feeding into rivers that have already shattered all-time flood records.  As you will see below, most of the Great Plains and Upper Midwest is currently covered by more than 10 inches of snow, and all of that water has to go somewhere.  As all of that snow melts, we are going to witness an agricultural disaster that is far beyond anything that we have ever seen before in modern American history. If you think that I am exaggerating even a little bit, please read this article all the way to the end. As I did research for this article, I was floored by the immense devastation that has already taken place.  But if the crisis was over, at least farmers could start picking up the pieces. Unfortunately, the crisis is not over.  In fact, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is saying that we are “just getting...

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