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OIL PRICES SPIKING AS ISLAMIC MILITANTS SEIZE MORE IRAQI CITIES
STEVE FORBES: We should have that kind of a backup. The pipeline should have been approved years ago. Also the White House should rule restrictions on federal lands on drilling for gas and oil. It's a bull market there. If there is more supply, we'll get through this crisis, but we have to get the signal out there and the White House is not giving it.
RICK UNGAR: Actually, I don't know that you can draw this strong connection between the terrible things happening in Iraq and the value of the keystone pipeline would add in bringing down prices. It might bring it down a tiny bit, but most experts will tell you it's not going to be huge. But I will make a prediction that's going to make each and every one of you very happy. You noticed that last week the president announces 30 percent reduction in carbon, right? Why would he do that at such a strange time with some key democratic candidates hanging in the balance? I'll tell you why. Very soon, he is going to announce that he is approving the keystone pipeline and he was thrown a bone to the environmentalists when he made that announcement. It's going to happen.
RICH KARLGAARD: Well, I think that the keystone is a good thing and it would be a great signal, you know? It would stop speculation. It would show that this government is serious about energy production. What is going on in Iraq is tragic right now. I think it's a long-term blip. It was at an energy conference in Houston this week; the reserve in North Dakota is going to be dwarfed by what's happening in Texas right now. Things happen in Mexico and Mexico decided to privatize their oil industry. That's going to be huge. So from Canada to North Dakota through Texas and Mexico, we're just going to be awash in oil.
MIKE OZANIAN: This thing should have been approved years ago. One of the benefits would have been our economy would have been stronger and as to what's pertaining to the Middle East, the President would then have gone out and gutted the military because our economic growth had been so weak. That's my real concern; he's gutted our military at the time al Qaeda is getting stronger.
SABRINA SCHAFFER: This is a president that's spoken passionately for a need for environmental regulations and for energy independence. Allowing the keystone pipeline to move forward would check off three of those boxes. The problem is that we suffer from this fossil fuel alarmism here in the United States, which is driven all by the fringe environmentalists, and as they said there's no blanket of regulations large enough to allow them to throw their weight behind the keystone pipeline, but this is truly absurd.
JOHN TAMNEY: Well, I'm all for building the keystone pipeline, but let's not mistake a couple of things here. We don't have a supply problem and evidence supporting that is all the oil coming online around the world when oil prices are still high. Oil is high today because the Bush and Obama administration have not protected the dollar. If you want to see oil prices drop you must do as Reagan and Clinton did and protect the dollar and oil prices will decline. I love keystone but it has nothing to do with the price of oil.
FRANCHISE GROUP SUES TO BLOCK SEATTLE'S $15 MINIMUM WAGE
RICH KARLGAARD: You know, Seattle has been in a boom and now at the very apex of their boom, part of which includes this great tourism industry and restaurants and so forth, this $15 minimum wage is going to put serious hurt on the restaurants and service workers. It sounds good. Seattle is an expensive place to live. 15 dollars an hour is not much. It's just that it won't work. Tips are going to go down. Jobs are going to disappear. It's going to have a negative impact.
RICK UNGAR: They're going to lose this lawsuit almost for a certainty. The city government has every right to pass this kind of a law. But have to call all of my friends here on the panel out a little bit. I constantly sit here and listen to you complain about federal government having too much power, and that where it ought to reside is in the city government and the local government. Now you have a local government taking action for only their city and you're complaining about that. Is it about government going to the cities or is it about you only like city governments getting involved if you like what they pass? Let Seattle happen. Let's see how this experiment works out. This is what you always support. Let it happen.
JOHN TAMNEY: The constitution protects private property. My labor is also private property. I transact for how much I want per hour in the business and the business should be able to choose how much it pays me, so I love this lawsuit. Business should protect their rights and we as individuals should protect our rights to get jobs.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD: Bad policy is bad policy at whatever level. I'm a proud alumni of minimum wage. I made tacos at Taco Bell. I was lucky to have that job, but in Seattle the most likely to be laid off are going to be Hispanic or African American young people. It will hurt them the most and this liberal policy of ‘it feels good' is going to hurt young people the most. What we need is the earned income tax credit.
STEVE FORBES: If you're going to hire somebody at minimum wage you're not going to have to go to older workers. So, younger people that don't have the skills, especially from the minority community, will be hurt and there will be more kiosks so it's counterproductive and this is what happens in an economy where you have stagnation. You get this silly destructive and self-destructive legislation.
SABRINA SCHAFFER: The problem is this is all about politics and not good policy. I was at a conference this week as well and it was all about women voters. 2/3 of minimum wage earners are women. The problem is they're presenting this as a way to alleviate poverty but that's not because people are in low paid fast food jobs it's because they don't have access to jobs at all. Less than 9 percent of people living in poverty who are 16 and older had full time work. 67 percent didn't have work at all. This is the problem. It's not the low wages.
PRESIDENT ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CAP STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS FOR SOME GRADS
STEVE FORBES: The more the government helps anything the more it ends up doing harm. By providing easy loans, guaranteeing loans and things like that, colleges have got more and more money. Look at their staffs 20 years ago versus today. How many hours do tenured professors teach in a class for undergraduates today versus 20 or 30 years ago? The government provides the money, the tuitions go up and the students are left with the tab.
RICK UNGAR: I've heard the argument many times. The only problem with it-and I take the point-the problem is that to solve this problem by killing government loans to people who need them is the absolute same thing as saying "you know what, only wealthy people in this country are going to get to go to college. That's not good for anybody. I support doing something, if you can think of a good idea, to solve this tuition problem. In the meantime, the Senate not allowing people who have this debt to go refinance it at different rates, that was absolutely nonsense. Businesses get to do it every day. Why can't they?
JOHN TAMNY: I want to see the line in the Constitution that says taxpayers owe their fellow man a college education. To Steve Forbes' point, when government is subsidizing tuition, when you can get a loan for any college regardless of the worth of the college, naturally they have no incentive to reduce their prices. So one factor of the high tuition that we allegedly want to fix is the governments' involvement in a business that it should not be involved in.
MIKE OZANIAN: Unfortunately, Obama has given us such a horrible recovery that one of the ways he feels that he'd get voted is to give people things for free. But as Steve and John have pointed out, the colleges aren't stupid; they know that the students are getting free money and they're raising prices. The way that you make college more affordable are the two things that will eventually happen: you get an economic recovery, so people will earn more money, and colleges get competition, like from online learning, and that's going to actually impact lower prices.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD: We have a fundamental disconnect right now between the ivory tower and the real world. We need a connection here. Right now a kid who studies the mating habits of orangutans will pay the same interest rate as a computer science, economics-things that actually matter, things that make a difference in the real world, so what we need to do is differentiate the value. We need to calibrate the student loans, because right now it's this vicious cycle where the college presidents know that those pockets have a never-ending bucket of money from the government with no real reflection in the marketplace.
INFORMER: FATHER'S DAY STOCKS FOR DAD
MIKE OZANIAN: ETF: First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index (FDL)
JOHN TAMNY: Hertz Corporation (HTZ)