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.
SOLAR ENERGY COMPANY, SOLYNDRA -- A COMPANY THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA RECENTLY TOUTED AS A SUCCESSFUL GREEN JOBS CREATOR -- IS GOING BANKRUPT: PROOF D.C. IS BACKING JOBS THAT DON'T LAST?
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well Cheryl, government-created jobs are destructive right? You mentioned the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, but my God, green, government created jobs are suicidal. I mean only for government did jobs cost money. In the private sector, in the real world, they're productive. They actually serve an economic purpose. The green jobs only exist because of the subsidies. Their purpose is political, not economic and that's why you literally might as well burn the cash to keep warm because it's always a destruction of capital as it was under the prior president with his ethanol, green jobs program.
TRACY BYRNES: Eleven hundred people are now out of work because of this company that's gone bankrupt. You know, the Obama administration did not do its due diligence when they decided to invest in this company, and to Jonathan's point, government cannot create jobs, at least any kind of lasting jobs, we saw that in the jobs number this Friday. Any kind of job created from the stimulus is now gone. The only way to create jobs is to quit the uncertainty, to get rid of it. To quit the regulations, to quit the uncertainty in the tax code, and then you will see people get out and hire. Until then, forget it.
CHRIS HAHN: Well, I think the United States needs to invest in these industries and there's going to be failures along the way. We've seen that with Solyndra, but you know we want to be competitive in this field because this is the next wave of energy in the world. I mean, China's investing significantly in to this and so are other countries around the world and we need to do the same. We're already behind them by about ten years. I think we're going to have to see more investment in this and we're going to see more failures, and eventually we're going to get it right. This is a new field and we're going to have to learn how to do it, and until we do, we're going to see more failures. I'm sure there are going to be successes that come out of this as well. We just have to wait and see. It's going to take time; it's not going to happen overnight. And let me clear up the uncertainty for all of the businesses at home. First of all corporations aren't even paying taxes in this country, and as for individual tax rates, they're going back up three percent of the marginal rate. That's certainty.
JOHN LAYFIELD: We are the only developed country in the world, the entire world that does not have an energy plan. We don't have a jobs plan, a long term budget plan. We don't have a long term tax plan. We are making short term plans and it's ridiculous. It is an embarrassment what's going on in Washington, D.C. and how they invest is also incorrect. We should invest in infrastructure, but not this way. The way we invest - you have a backer President Obama, who was also an investor in this company. That's why this company got money. You have the best lobbyists who get money. The way you invest is, you invest in the train track. You don't invest in the train when there is no train track and you let private enterprise do it. You charge the transmission user the producer and it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything. You let private enterprise do it.
HOMES IN FLOOD-PRONE AREAS CONTINUE TO GET REBUILT AFTER EXTREME WEATHER: SHOULD GOVERNMENT GET OUT OF THE FLOOD INSURANCE BUSINESS AND STOP WASTING TAXPAYER MONEY?
JOHN LAYFIELD: There's about 40 people reportedly who have lost their lives in this last hurricane Irene. We're not diminishing anything that has gone on with the loss of life and of property. We're talking simple economics right here and what we can and can't do in this country and we are running out of money in this country, and we legislate bad decisions. We're not talking about acts of terrorism here, we're not talking about freak acts of nature. We're talking about people who live in a flood zone. You have two houses in a flood zone, one has insurance, one does not, we bail out the one that doesn't. We have two houses, one person pays their mortgage, one person doesn't, we bail out bad decisions all the time and we punish the creation of capital in this country.
JONATHAN HOENIG: We should get rid of the program Cheryl, and to that extent government makes these terrible natural disasters even worse. It subsidizes, as John mentioned, living and building in what are very dangerous areas. To that extent, it distorts the real cost, the actual cost of living and working and building there, and it's impractical because we know it fakes the reality of risk, but it's also immoral, the fact that nationally people have to subsidize others for buying insurance. Why it exists is a mystery to me and it's only existed since the late 60s to begin with.
TRACY BYRNES: What about the people that never in a million years expected hurricane Irene to end up in their basement. There were towns in New Jersey that were nowhere near rivers. Wallington, New Jersey got flooded. I mean so many towns that have never seen water before look like the pictures we're showing right now. I don't know if cutting them off at the knees is the way to do it, because how else are they going to rebuild? They would have never in a million years had flood insurance.
CHRIS HAHN: You know, I agree that there should be some reevaluation and you shouldn't be allowed to build again, and again, and again in a place where we know there are going to be floods. You should probably get one bite at the apple. If you go back again you're on your own, but we do need federal flood insurance. There's no private market for this. It's never going to exist. Part of what the federal government is there for is to provide a safety net in situations like this. You talk about certainty in the market. People need to have certainty in their homes and they need to be secure so if something bad happens, they're going to be able to rebuild.
STATES ARE IMPLEMENTING A FOUR-DAY SCHOOL WEEK TO CUT DOWN ON SPENDING: WILL THIS COST PARENTS NOW AND HURT EDUCATION IN THE FUTURE?
TRACY BYRNES: Unless you're going to change my work week to four days a week, I'm going to have to pay to put my kids in daycare on that fifth day. And you're going to ask these kids to go to school for a longer day in a shorter amount of time? Kids have the attention span of a lima bean these days, they cannot. We are so behind academically throughout the rest of the world. We are doing our kids a disservice just because we're broke? I think it's terrible.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Honestly, government, which has the monopoly over the public schools really has become the parent. If the reason for keeping this failed school system is daycare, I mean honestly Tracy it's cheaper for you to hire a babysitter for your kids, then to fund this union-dominated school system. Why do you want to keep them there more? That's the whole point. They're not learning in the public schools. You want to keep them there an extra day? They'd do better on the streets.
CHRIS HAHN: You know, I'm glad that Tracy is now becoming a progressive. Thank you for coming over to the light side, Tracy, we love you here. What people don't understand is exactly what you just said Cheryl, this hurts us in the long run. It's what the conservative policies do, they hurt us years from now. They might not hurt us today we might have a little extra cash in our pockets today, but tomorrow we're dead. We're not competitive. We have to work towards becoming competitive with this country. We forget that other countries are competing. They're beating us in math and science and by cutting the school week, I don't see how we compete.
JOHN LAYFIELD: This is a terrible thing to even make this into a partisan argument Chris. That is what's wrong with America right now. That's a separate argument. I work with a great program that works with gangs and kids around the world, and the biggest problem you have is kids' idle time. That's when they start getting in gangs, that's when they start getting in trouble, but you've got to have curriculum to go with it. Jonathan is right, our education system is terrible, but cutting a day out of school is not going to help the social fabric of this country.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
TRACY BYRNES: Cheryl, 17 percent of all medical costs are associated with obesity. You want to get rid of obesity? Maybe we should get rid of the corn subsidies because fructose and corn syrup are in everything we eat because it's so darn cheap.
JOHN LAYFIELD: The president is serving up another jobs speech this Thursday. I wish there was going to be some substance, I don't think there is. It's right in the middle of the U.S. Open where Djokovic is serving up nothing but greatness. One of the best seasons since '69 and Rod Laver. Bet on him and bet on stocks that pay a dividend that have always done well like Pepsi. Paying a 3.2 percent yield right now.
JONATHAN HOENIG: Well Cheryl, I watch the Baltic dry shipping industry index which is actually an indicator of shipping rates. It finally broke above a March low and in my mind is starting to base. Looking at shipping companies, SEA is an ETF in Guggenheim shipping index. Very depressed; very weak part of the market, but could turn around if for some miraculous reason the economy actually does find some legs.