DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
BILL CLINTON TELLS COLLEGE GRADS THAT U.S BUSINESS HAS GONE BAD, COMPANIES ONLY WORRY ABOUT PROFITS
Jonathan Hoenig: Liz, the former President, who to my knowledge has not worked in the private sector since before I was born, is dead wrong. Profit is the heart and the lifeline of America. It's the result of mutually-beneficial productive trade that benefits not only shareholders, but all stakeholders as the former President referred to. Apple and Microsoft have enriched their investors, but it also helps their suppliers, their customers, their employees; everyone. This is why people protest TARP, but line up to celebrate an Apple store or a Wal-Mart coming into their neighborhood. We need more profit, not less of it.
Tracy Byrnes: If you don't focus on profit, then you can't turn the lights on the next day and come to work the next day, and look, profits are what creates jobs at the end of the day. If we don't have profit, we're not hiring, and look, it's only then when you have profit that you can be philanthropic and give back Liz. If you don't have that bottom line, you're not giving anything to anyone.
Christian Dorsey: The President is simply saying, not that profit is bad, but that profit for the sake of only profit is not in the good interest for America and not in the good, long-term interest of the corporation. When you focus only on the short-run profit, that results in asset-bubbles; that results in market imbalances. When you take the long view when you incorporate rising living standards and growing the economy as a whole, which is what corporations are supposed to be about, that actually improves the corporate bottom-line and its long-term liability. The President was spot-on.
John Layfield: Bill Clinton said there are two things that have hurt America over the last 30 years, and number one is focus solely on profits, and that's the key thing, solely on profits. Number two, the U.S. government can't do anything right. Bill Clinton was right about both. The thing is, we're not talking about an either, or. We're not talking about don't do profits because you want to make a good product. We're not talking about either, or. You've got to make money. The President is not saying that, but the key is to develop good products; to develop good services. Profits will always follow. It's not a binary proposition of either, or.
Wayne Rogers: I'm sitting here listening. I think John Layfield is absolutely right. The concentration on making quarterly numbers by corporations is all skewed and the wrong way. There are stakeholders out there who are part of the community. It's not necessarily the corporation's responsibility to do so, but the reason all of this occurred and Bill Clinton did not talk about it, is the fact that we have allowed in this country, major corporations to get big, and big has strangled the competition. Competition is what brings the best price and the best product to the consumer, and as a consequence of ignoring that, then all of these other interests; workers, communities, customers, etc. become part of that. If the competition was there, you wouldn't have to worry about that. He wouldn't be worried about that and I think John is right, he is talking to people who are graduates in a business school and business schools are possibly teaching something other than that and that's what you should get back to; the fundamentals of the free market system.
Jonathan, you've been talking all the time. Just shut up for a minute. Property rights are fundamental and we should be paying attention to that.
STATE LAWS FINING AND PENALIZING PARENTS FOR 'SINS' OF THE CHILDREN
Tracy Byrnes: This is like the nanny-state gone ridiculous. You don't know what goes on at home first of all and everyone wants to put the blame on somebody else. Teachers don't want to take the blame and parents don't want to take the blame either. Everybody needs to step up and take some responsibility, but you don't need to fine me because I had a bad morning and my kid was late.
Wayne Rogers: It's a good law. All of these laws are good. You can't just go out and wildly populate the country and be irresponsible. There are other people paying taxes to support that school system. There are parents, parent-teacher association and you can't force off on the teacher your responsibility for raising your child. The teachers, that's not their job. There job is education. There job is not to take responsibility for your child. If you can't take responsibility for your child they should lock you up. It's a good law. Keep it up.
Jonathan Hoenig: We've made them take responsibility for our own children Wayne because we have a government-monopolized, public education system. Liz, this isn't happening at private schools. This is happening at public schools, and it's unbelievable to me. So they force parents and the community to support these failing schools, and then punish the parents when the kids don't perform as they want them to.
Christian Dorsey: Look, I'm with Tracy. First, education policy is about blaming the schools, then it was blame the teachers, and now it is blame the parents. We can't figure out what to do to fix problems that exist in certain educational pockets, so we blame and punish, and really, putting a parent in jail because their child is truant is really going to be successful in getting that child to go back to school? Come on it's absolutely obscene! We've got to remember that education, at least when I went to grade school, which wasn't that long ago, it wasn't just because I was afraid of my mother. It was because, hey no jokes, but it was because I wanted to go to school. It was because if I was ever not in class, there was no place I could hang out because a neighbor would tell on me. No business would allow me to hang out there. All of those community factors have broken down, which enables this, and if we don't get to fixing this we're in trouble.
John Layfield: Look, we're sissy-fying America. We're turning these kids into a bunch of pansies. If parents are negligent go after them, okay, but if a kid sneaks off and smokes a joint in school when his parents had no idea, take the kid outside and tan his hind quarters until he can't walk. It's very simple. We're raising kids and we're scared to say anything to them. We don't want to say this, we don't want to do that and we don't want to offend them. We don't want to retard their growth. Listen, whoop these kids and get it over with.
USDA CHIEF SAYS DRIVERS PAY LESS AT THE PUMP BECAUSE OF ETHANOL
John Layfield: Definitely sending prices higher. These numbers from the USDA chief are fictitious. The CBO last year said it cost, to replace a gallon of gasoline, about a dollar seventy-eight. Remember a few years ago I almost did an ethanol deal and corn was two dollars and bushel and I said what if it goes above three? And they said it will never do that. It's at seven fifty right now. Food inflation caused by corn-based ethanol has also made corn-based ethanol itself unsustainable. We're at fifteen billion gallons right now in the country. We can't produce anymore and right now the guys who are producing it can't make money themselves.
Christian Dorsey: It does reduce the cost of gasoline, but to me that's a meaningless argument because, ask any family in America. Would they rather deal with food costs that are lower, or a slightly higher price at the pump? It's a silly thing to continue to subsidize ethanol. You subsidize something when it has a weak demand, but given that we mandate the use of ethanol, you can't say that demand is weak. So having all of these unintended consequences are not cool.
Wayne Rogers: Well, you know Brazil has been very successful with ethanol because it's based on sugar. That's about eight times what we get out of corn. So we shouldn't be doing it, but we've got to do something. There's a lot of natural gas in this country. Let's exploit those things and get rid of these things that don't work.
Tracy Byrnes: Look, ethanol has less energy, it's the most subsidized form of transportation fuel, it's jacking the prices, and it's hurting your corn chips.
Jonathan Hoenig: We didn't even have an energy department until 1977. It was formed Liz by the Carter Administration to get us off of foreign oil. It is preposterous to think that guys in Washington know the right energy. We should let the market decide and stop subsidizing everyone. Get the government out and let the consumers make the decision.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Tracy Byrnes: Wisconsin court ruling just favored the unions. They repealed collective bargaining. This is so bad for budget cuts and spending going forward Liz.
John Layfield: David Einhorn, famous for shorting Lehman brothers just bought into the Mets as a former season ticket-holder. I would short those freakin Mets. Oh my goodness, they're a disaster. I hope he can turn them around, but buy one of his other stock picks he likes, Microsoft.
Wayne Rogers: I like Ashford Hospitality Trust. It's a hotel. It's been very strong I own it. I've had it since six. It's trading about 12 bucks. It throws up a pretty good dividend and it's growing.
Jonathan Hoenig: Well Hangover two is opening this weekend Liz and it's going to do big business, but take a look at National CineMedia. They're the ones that own that word scramble, the advertising program that goes on. All those advertising dollars it's been a strong market and I think the stock goes higher from here. I don't own it yet, but it's on my radar.