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.
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Eric Bolling, Fox Business News; and Marc Lamont Hill, Ph.D., Temple University.
Trading Pit: Will Dems' New Energy Plan Push Gas Prices Higher?
Gary B. Smith: Well, it points out again how stupid the Democrats are. Let's just use Exxon as an example. Forget the fact they (Exxon) make less per dollar revenue than Google or Microsoft. Let's forget the fact that from 2002 to 2006 they paid more in taxes than they earned in the U.S. The fact of the matter is when we tried a windfall profit tax in the 1980's, it led to shorter oil supplies.
Marc Lamont Hill: The gas tax holiday works. It can take some of the ridiculously obscene profits these companies are making and distribute it to poor people. Even if gas prices don't drop dramatically, we can provide aid to people who are at the lower end of the social rung of the ladder.
Eric Bolling: Here is how they (the Democrats) are going to fix the high price of gas. Number one, they are going to give a gas tax holiday. And John McCain wants to do that as well. He's wrong as well because that is going to increase demand. Number two is a tax on oil companies. If I am an oil company, here is what I do: I explore, I produce and I pay taxes. If I have to pay more taxes, I am going to explore and produce less, and that will drive down production. Demand up and production down, that is just economics 101.
Tobin Smith: I feel like we are in a time warp! It is not like we have gotten any smarter in 20-30 years. We are going to solve a problem by disincentivizing production and incentivizing demand. They are attempting to disincentivize demand.
Scott Bleier: It is not just a democratic problem. It is both parties' problems. Haven't we learned our lesson in 30-35 years? This is the greatest transfer of wealth out of this country that we have ever faced, these high oil prices. We are sending money everywhere. We are making everybody rich and it is coming out of our pockets. It is time to bring it home. It is time to drill here. It is time to take our assets and use them here.
Fallout From Burma Cyclones: Food Rationing in U.S.?
Eric Bolling: Yes! Rice went to $25 per hundred pounds, and then it backed off. Sam's Club was limiting purchasers. This time the cyclone may wipe out 600,000 tons of rice at a time when shortages are sprouting up. From 2001 to now we have half the supply of rice in the world. I went out on the street a couple of days and I paid $5.79 for a bag of rice. Then I went into Food Emporium and paid $13.65 for the same bag of rice. I asked the manager why, and he said "I ran out of low-priced inventory". So since her had to pay more for his inventory, we are all going to be paying a whole lot more.
Marc Lamont Hill: Eric and I agree on this. The American people are scared. So they are importing food in large amounts and that is going to drive certain people out of the market. We have to ration the food to make sure there is enough for everybody.
Scott Bleier: Absolutely not! You can buy all the rice you want at a given price. If you begin to ration, you will create shortages. Rice will come off the shelves and people will hoard. That is exactly what you do not want. Let the markets take care of it. There is plenty of rice if you pay the right price. There are food stamps and government aid for some people. If you ration, that's how you eliminate supply and encourage hoarding.
Stock X-Change: Bolling's Best Buys
Marvel (MVL )
Vale Do Rio (RIO )
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM )
Research in Motion (RIMM )
Gary B Smith: Water is the new oil. PowerShares Water Resources (PHO ) doubles in 3 years!
Tobin Smith: Ethanol out, corn down and Tyson (TSN ) up 50 percent by next spring
Eric Bolling: Drive past Citgo, stop at Chevron. "CVX " up 30 percent by end of '08
Scott Bleier: Toyota (TM ) going green to make green; up 30 percent in 12 months
Marc Lamont: Coincidence? Oil prices will drop before the election!
On Saturday, May 10, 2008, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, "Yes, You Can Supercharge Your Portfolio" author; Charles Payne, wstreet.com; Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine; Ben Ferguson, Radio Talk Show Host; and Katrina Campins, Real Estate Broker.
Bottom Line: Is a Do-Nothing Congress Best for Wall Street?
Neil Cavuto: This week, Congress got busy! It unveiled plans to bring down gas and food prices. But, would Main Street and Wall Street be better off if it kept doing nothing at all?
Ben Ferguson: Congress scares me to death. Why would you want Congress to do anything?! Any time they get involved with energy, you have food problems with ethanol. If they get involved in the housing problem? We are going to have a moratorium on foreclosures and help people pay their housenotes. This Congress scares me to death! I don't want them to do anything at all.
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, what do you think of everything that's going on… as you keep becoming a bigger movie star.
Ben Stein: The conventional ethanol mandates have managed the miracle of transforming high energy prices into high food prices. They were a disaster from the word "go." And it's just going to get worse. The amount of acreage devoted to growing crops for ethanol is growing, not falling. I don't want Congress anywhere near these problems. Congress will undoubtedly make it worse. We are in a commodities cycle. It will end, and we will have a correction. But, it may take a long time.
Neil Cavuto: Barney Frank has been saying… that left on their own, these businesses have gotten us into a pickle. And for as much as these business hate the government intervening, they have botched it. So, Congress has this $300 billion plan.
Tracy Byrnes: The best thing that could happen to America is if we have the election next week and we would be done with it. And then all the political posturing would be done and people could go home and we could get back to business.
Neil Cavuto: Do you honestly think it would stop after the elections?
Tracy Byrnes: The explosiveness would go away. The urgency would go away.
Neil Cavuto: No way. We're going to be on steroids with these spending plans.
Tracy Byrnes: We can't be!
Charles Payne: The bottom line is Congress has always botched it. At this point, we need Congress to do the right thing; not the knee-jerk, after-the-fact reactions. We need to get off of foreign oil. We need to do the right thing. They need to let us drill in ANWR. Social Security has to be fixed. We have kind of forgotten about the border situation. We do need Congress to act, but we need them to do the right thing, which they haven't done in a long time.
Tracy Byrnes: They've done so much all ready!
Ben Stein: What makes you think they will no?
Charles Payne: I would hope that somehow, somewhere around the way they do the right thing. I agree with you 1000 percent. But, if Congress doesn't act, we are going to keep going down that slippery slope.
Neil Cavuto: Let's turn to our flag-burning liberal, Adam Lashinsky. What do you think, Adam?
Adam Lashinsky: Well, I was about to say my liberal friend, Charles Payne, is making a lot of sense this Saturday morning. This isn't about liberal or conservative. The question is do we want our government to govern. And the answer is yes! I want to remind you that President Bush signed the ethanol laws that Congress passed. He called for them to do something, and they did it. We can all agree they didn't do the right thing, but the question is do we want them to stop working? The answer is no! Washington will embrace whatever the president and Congress want to do. What they want is predictability. I'll give you an example: The electric-utilities know that some sort of carbon tax is coming to regulate them. They want to know what it is. Tell them what it is and their investors will embrace that down the road. But, they want to know!
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein touched on something. There's a thought here Ben, that when it comes to food and energy on this hot commodity run… it's now sort of unwinding, but government intervening would make it worse. What do you make of that?
Ben Stein: Well, that has been the effect in past years. I am the oldest one here, so I can tell you I remember when the Nixon administration, with my father – I'm sorry to say – in the lead, put controls on oil, and it prolonged the oil crisis. The government should realize there is no such thing as an economy without cycles. This cycle will come to an end too, but keep your hands off in the meantime!
Neil Cavuto: Ben, I have talked to a lot of Republican strategists in the last couple of weeks and they always say to me, "Neil, our platform is a worrisome one in an election year. We are telling you we are not going to come to your rescue. We are not going to advocate a government response." And they fear it's a tough sell. What do you think?
Ben Ferguson: It's a tough sell because if you look at what the Democrats have been selling – "We're going to fix all your problems. We are going to take care of everything going wrong in your life. Every bill you can't pay, food or gas prices, we are going to fix it." You talk about the predictability that Washington wants… I think most people want to know "Hey! Let's do the right thing and don't try to knee-jerk react to everything when trying to fix it right now is unrealistic." These problems are going to take a long time to fix.
Adam Lashinsky: No one's going to disagree that knee-jerk reactions from Congress are usually the wrong thing to do. I completely embrace that. When we as a country have botched something that led to something like the credit crunch or the housing meltdown, the question is do we want to make good policy or let the chips fall where they may? I think we want to make good policies.
Ben Ferguson: There are consequences for your actions. The problem is Congress is trying to fix everything when there is a bad policy or when Americans do bad things. You can't do that!
Tracy Byrnes: Neil, I find myself in an odd position because I somewhat agree with young Ben here… and I don't typically do that.
Ben Ferguson: I'm going to leave now.
Tracy Byrnes: We need an alternative energy plan. Congress needs to focus on that. But, Congress needs to stay out of everything else. They need to let the stimulus packages roll through and let the interest rates take effect. Everyone needs to take a step back and be patient. Let the commodities market and housing market work itself out.
Charles Payne: Congress never wants to fix anything, which is why Wall Street is so afraid of it. Congress wants to patch everything up. Unshackle business. Unshackle the rules. That's what Congress can do! They can do something positive! But, it's always finger-pointing and blaming someone else and taking from this guy and giving to that guy. You look at what is happening in Brazil with these giant oil finds off their coast. It's crazy that Congress will not get its act together. We want them to do something and do the right thing.
Neil Cavuto: Maybe Congress should move to Brazil?
Adam Lashinsky: Don't over-analyze Wall Street. Wall Street loves it when Congress over-regulates something.
Charles Payne: I don't agree with that.
Ben Stein: That's total non-sense.
Charles Payne: That's totally nuts. Wall Street is shaking in its boots at thoughts of a Democrat in the White House.
Neil Cavuto: Charles, you're yelling again.
Charles Payne: I tried to be cool!
Neil Cavuto: That scares me. When you do that. It scares me.
Head to Head: $10,000 Tax Credit, Best Cure for Sick Housing Market?
Neil Cavuto: Another tough sign for housing. The number of pending home sales tumbling 20 percent in March compared to a year before. Now, one GOP Congressman wants to fix it by giving home buyers $10,000! Sounds pretty temping…
Katrina Campins: It does. The average American doesn't save, and the average American is in debt for the first time since the Depression. I believe this bill will help motivate and reward Americans to save, especially those in the lower to middle income brackets.
Neil Cavuto: So, you like it?
Katrina Campins: I do. I think now is a great time to buy. Interest rates are low. Prices have dropped.
Neil Cavuto: If it's such a great time to buy, you don't need the government cutting you a check, do you?
Katrina Campins: I think a lot of people are fearful because of the media's attention on the market conditions.
Neil Cavuto: I gotcha. Well, tell them to stop watching CNN.
Ben Stein: Well, I don't think the government ought to be subsidizing people for buying their own homes. They already subsidize them enough through the tax system. I don't know why a guy who is a renter should help somebody else become a buyer. It's a super-good time to buy. There's no reason the government should chip in and put more money in the pot. And there's no reason to tax the guy who already has a home or the guy who's a renter to help the guy who's buying a new house. That would be an outrage!
Katrina Campins: It's psychological.
Tracy Byrnes: And it's a delayed gratification. I'm not going to get this credit for another year and a half. The psychology needs to change. People think home prices are still going to fall, so why should I buy? They also thought that the interest rates were going to fall, not that the short-term rates have anything to do with the 30 year. But, that's the psychology. Now that the rates have stopped coming down, maybe we'll get people start applying for mortgages again. And then, you will slowly start to see home prices quit their descent down. You have to change the psychology.
Neil Cavuto: Mortgage applications increased this week.
Charles Payne: They had a nice spike! I'm surprised a GOP lawmaker would make this proposal. It's like the audacity of false hope… like $4,000 toward college when it costs $25,000 a year. It doesn't mean anything to a poor person! A lot of people who can't afford a house, still won't be able to afford a house. This is just posturing. If the government wants to pay for someone's house, then pay for it! This is a joke all the way around. The only thing I would say is I think we ought to do something for the soldiers, for the GIs. They fight in Iraq. They deserve a house. Taxpayers owe them a house!
Neil Cavuto: Amen to that. Adam Lashinsky, on the point where the government should start cutting checks to everyone else, what do you think of that?
Adam Lashinsky: Again, Charles is absolutely right. This is how we got into this mess in the first place. Homeownership is a wonderful thing, but we have made it too important in this country through government policy that you have to own a home. You don't have to own a home! That is why what Ben said is right. This proposal goes against people who own a home already or chose to rent.
Neil Cavuto: Katrina is shaking her head. She's about to say "You're fired!"
Katrina Campins: I think the proposal's great because it rewards people for buying a primary home, not an investment and not flippers. Our mentality has changed when it comes to owning a home. You are correct. It's been addressed like a commodity. We need to go back to buying a home and building wealth, which have historically been one of the best ways to build wealth in this country. But, people just don't save. It's psychological.
Neil Cavuto: You are a real estate broker, right?
Katrina Campins: I am. And you know what's interesting? I'm busier now than I was last year.
Neil Cavuto: Look me in the eye, look at me through that electronic eye… you are a real estate broker. If someone hands you money, you take it and you run with it!
Katrina Campins: No, you know what? I build by business on relationships. And to be honest with you… yes, most real estate brokers would take the money and run. But, sometimes I convince people not to buy a home.
Neil Cavuto: I find that hard to believe…
Katrina Campins: Ask any of my clients!
Neil Cavuto: Ben Stein, play this out for me. Where do we go from here?
Ben Stein: The real estate crash has reached a bottom. We will scrape along the bottom for a few more months or maybe a couple of years and then come back up. It's cyclical. Why can't people get that through their heads? It's cyclical! It goes down. It will go up.
More for Your Money: $tocks That'll Bring You Luck!
Neil Cavuto: Why do these guys get to have all the fun? Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher hitting the big screen this weekend in "What Happens in Vegas." Now, our guys are here to help you hit the jackpot.
It's time to get "More for Your Money."
Ben Stein: iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA)
*Ben owns shares of this stock
Adam Lashinsky: GLG Partners (GLG )
Charles Payne: Excel Maritime Carriers (EXM )
FOX on the Spot!
Charles Payne: World says "Yes" to Nukes; "CCJ " Jumps 25 percent in '08
Adam Lashinsky: Pennies & Nickels Tough as Steel! Buy "NUE "
Ben Ferguson: Happy Mother's Day, Hillary? Obama Wins Dem Nomination
Ben Stein: Plan on Retiring? Bank on Variable Annuities!
Tracy Byrnes: This Summer's Best-Seller: My "Break Down Your Money"
Neil Cavuto: Dems' $300b Stimulus Bill Will Get Approved by Pres. Bush
FlipSide: $5 Gas: Best Thing for America!
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief: I live out in California. I probably spend more on gasoline than anybody else here. Here is why I'm willing to take the hit and see continued high prices. If prices go back down, that means they have spiked temporarily, and then Hillary Clinton is right; that's a windfall profit for the oil companies. If they are permanently high, here's what happens; the oil companies invest and explore more and alternatives become a source of investment for other people. There is a reason why bio-diesel, wind and solar are cheaper than they used to be. People invest in them. If prices go back down we drive SUVs and stay dependent on Mideast oil.
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief: That sounds like Obama and Carter economics. You might call it ‘fuelish'. $5 a gallon gasoline would destroy what is left of the auto industry. It would crash the airline industry. They're already going to have to cut back 20 percent to cope with fuel prices today. It would raise food prices, increase the cost of living. Why are we going to hurt ourselves even more?
Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Business Network: You know, I find our tax system in this country detestable. It is immoral. I have covered the IRS and taxes for two decades now. I hate all things taxes. But, hey, we've been talking about energy independence since Nixon talked about having a program similar to Kennedy putting a man on the moon in terms of energy independence. Back then, oil was $12 a barrel, now they are talking about oil going to $200. Three quarters of the known reserves on the planet are in government control, governments that are hostile towards us: Iran, Venezuela, Sudan. Maybe the way to get off of OPEC and the oil thugs is to put in a gas tax and mandated fuel efficient cars on the road.
Evelyn Rusli, Forbes.com Anchor: More pain than gain. We are on the cusp of a possible recession. If you think consumer spending is slow now, it's going to be really slow if gas goes to $5 a gallon. Yes, the airline and auto industry will suffer incredibly. Plus, even if it was $5 a gallon overnight, do you think it's going to evolve overnight that we're going to have all these alternative energies? It would take years of development. This would really push us over the edge.
Josh Lipton, Forbes.com Staff Writer: I think Quentin is on point. I think that high energy prices are going to promote energy conservation. People are going to be more likely to carpool, telecommute, invest in public transportation. And we'll be less dependent we are on foreign oil.
John Rutledge, Forbes Contributor: High prices make sense today, not because of taxes, but because the demand for oil is up in the world. There are three billion people riding motor bikes. We use it like drunken sailors. We're afraid to drill holes. We're afraid to build nuclear plants. So guys, say hello to your new masters in the Persian Gulf and other places. The answer isn't corn and ethanol, the answer is in research and science. There is enough energy in a bath tub of water to power the US economy for a year. We just don't know how to release it without blowing things up yet.
In Focus: 'President Obama': Good or Bad for Working-Class America?
Steve Forbes: Whether it's white collar or blue collar, he'd be a choke collar for the economy. Higher taxes, higher regulation, higher unemployment would be a playback to the 1970s. Those kinds of things would hurt everyone, not just the union. They ought to look at what he is going to do, not the fact that he's going to be the Democratic nominee.
Lacey Rose, Forbes.com Senior Reporter: It's all a bunch of pandering. We are fools to listen to everything we hear on the campaign trails. There are certainly all sorts of things going on. He's trying to appease a voter base that he hasn't been able to claim. He's gotten in with the Volvo driving, NPR listening, tote bag carrying liberals, but he doesn't have the white working class set. He needs this. He's doing it, and it works.
Mike Ozanian, National Editor: He'd be a working-class villain. All you have to do is go to Obama's website. He wants government to take over private industry. Two examples; he wants mandatory pensions. Pension plans have been a disaster. He wants expanded child care. Who do you think is going to pay for all that? If the companies have to increase their costs, they're going to hire less people or charge higher prices.
Quentin Hardy: Look, first off, the teamsters and other unions are endorsing the presumed front runner, Barack Obama. The next thing you know, the conservatives will look at the guy they used to hate, John McCain the front runner, and start finding things to like about him. That's what happens. Wait a minute, it already did happen with McCain, and McCain is already saying four more years of Bush policies in return. How's that good for average working Americans, the kind of people unions represent? The past eight years have been a disaster for average working Americans. Average wages are not higher, costs are higher, health care and education costs are higher. If Obama represents change, he's going to win the hearts and minds of the working people.
Rich Karlgaard, Publisher: First of all, I'm glad Lacey called Obama a liar and a panderer so I don't have to do that. The funny thing about employees, never forget this, is very simple. Employees need employers, and the only way you're going to get employers excited to hire more employees is if you cut corporate income taxes and things like that, none of which Obama has talked about.
Jack Gage, Associate Editor: Absolutely incentives still matter. Listen, union who don't want to compete for their jobs would love a presidential co-conspirator. Their slice of the labor pie is declining, 40 percent in the last 25 years. Now they need a Barack Obama to restore some of their luster in the labor equation.
Is Wal-Mart Proof We Don't Need National Health Care?
Rich Karlgaard: Yes. You go to WalMart.com and print out the number of drugs that you can get. A 30 day supply for $4 and a 90 day supply for $10. Arthritis medicine, penicillin, just all kinds of drugs that are cheap right now. It shows you the free market can work if given a chance.
Quentin Hardy: No, it shows that Wal-Mart can have really big orders because it's a really big company, so it gets really big discounts from manufacturers, something the veteran's administration hospital already does as well. You don't get it with the Medicare drug benefit because the drug lobby bought the Republican Congress and made that impossible.
Steve Forbes: Hey, if you want more for less, you have to have a free market. And instead of giving the government more power, which would mean higher prices ultimately, or rationing or both as you have in other countries, remove the barriers to health care today. Allow people, for example, to buy insurance across state lines so you get the kind of competition that Wal-Mart is giving on drugs. Do that and we'll turn an industry that is a liability into a growth asset for all of the American economy.
Elizabeth MacDonald: There are reports that Target and K-Mart may check in too. I'm loving this. You go buy a keg of mayo then you go get your anti-cholesterol drug. Saying that Wal-Mart is going to fix the health industry's ills and our problems with health care is like saying JC Penny selling IRAs with a gift card is going to cure Social Security. This is ludicrous. We're talking about faceless bureaucrats denying health insurance coverage. Wal-Mart's not selling health insurance, they're selling generic drugs. That's the real problem. Yes, opening up more competition in that market across state lines, free market and the government working together, could possibly fix the problem.
John Rutledge: The private sector needs to drive the solution. Competition is what drives prices down. I have sold products to Wal-Mart. They know how to crush suppliers. That is what we need here. Health care needs more competition, not more rules. For example, did you know it's illegal for a doctor to sell anyone a service who is eligible for Medicare at a price that is not a Medicare price? Wal-Mart drives prices down. Good for customers. But to really get them down, as Steve always says, you need to get the decisions about what to buy in the hands of customers.
Informer: Best Stocks for Mom
Jack Gage: Apple (AAPL)
Evelyn Rusli: Emerging Markets Index (ADRE)
Josh Lipton: Tiffany & Co. (TIF)
Mike Ozanian: ACE (ACE)
Should We Get Rid Of Gas Taxes Forever?
Amanda Carpenter, TownHall.com: The gas tax is unfair to people who are forced to pay for mass transit. If you look at the transportation bill, the gas taxes go to fund, 37 percent of it go to earmarks not used by most Americans.
Wayne Rogers, Rogers & Co: I think we are discouraging people from using too much energy, but I think that's the point. Certainly with the federal tax…Not the state taxes because they use that to maintain the roads. But the federal tax, there's an alternative. Let all the roads be toll roads. Take all of the federal highways, put them into a toll system, make the people who use the roads pay the toll, take away the federal tax and give it back. The people who use the roads will have to pay it directly. I want to get the federal government out of the business of stealing our money.
Dagen McDowell, Fox Business Network: But Wayne you are doing the same thing and that is discouraging driving and trying to cut demand for fuel. If you got rid of the gas tax and didn't do what your plan called for, you better watch out. We are going to consume more oil and gas and wind up buying it from people who hate us. This is the most insane thing. Getting rid of them makes zero sense. Why do you want to encourage people to drive more and use more fuel and make us more dependent on foreign oil? We pay 40 cents a gallon now. That is nothing compared to every other developing nation in the world!
Pat Powell, Powell Financial Group: The gas tax holiday is a gimmick, but lowering taxes is not. I am thinking we want to do this permanently. What you have is a bunch of politicians in Washington who want to confiscate your money and use it for whatever purpose they desire. Let's get this and make it permanent. Let's put money back in people's pockets. Then they can decide whether they want to drive a hybrid or take mass transit. Why must we always give our money to the government?
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: I don't really want to lower consumption or demand. People have the right to pay whatever the market will bear. I am for a flat tax across the board. Let's get rid of the income tax. The truth is that a gas tax holiday is a short term election tactic which can get these politicians votes. If you want to bring gas prices down, let's talk about increasing supply. With the Democrats and McCain in bed with the green movement…that is where we are.
More Foreclosures to Save the Housing Market?
Pat Powell: Guaranteeing $300 billion of mortgage debt is a stupid idea even for politicians. Show me somebody in trouble from a sub-prime loan, and I will show you someone who has a boat load of credit card debt at 30 percent, and two leased cars sitting in the drive way. You are talking to some more working person out there who is paying his mortgage on time, and he is going to subsidize somebody living in a $400,000 house somewhere else.
Jonathan Hoenig: It is not the government's job to keep people in their homes and to subsidize irresponsibility. Nobody had a problem with housing problems going up year after year. If you want to have a healthy market going forward, then prices need to be corrected and that prevents it from doing that.
Dagen McDowell: In theory you are right, Jonathan but you don't want prices to correct in the way that foreclosures would correct them. You have plunging prices and That hurts everybody. It hurts appraisals, tax revenue. But you don't want to see a tsunami of foreclosures.
Wayne Rogers: I think sooner our later you have to pay the piper. It is simpler as that. If people have over expanded, then they rue that day when they can't. You can't bail out everybody and certainly the federal government shouldn't be doing it. When we went there this whole business of derivatives, where as soon as I made this loan, I forgot who the borrower was and sold it to somebody else…that somebody syndicated and it went to somebody else. The thing is then, the borrower and the lender become totally disassociated. That lost all of the ability that we had under the Glass-Stegall act where borrowers and lenders corrected themselves. Everybody is irresponsible. The maker says I didn't do it, and the borrower says it is not my fault.
Should You Be Able to Be Fired For Getting Divorced?
Jeanine Pirro, Former Prosecutor: It is absolutely crazy. This is America. If you look at the numbers, it pretty much tells you that more people are getting divorced. What is it? 50 percent? Something crazy like that. Here's the bottom line. Did he sign an agreement with Wheaton College? Yes, he did. But you have a professor who has been there for 30 years, he -- he has been married 34 years. There is no horrible scandal attached to this. This guy is a class act. Instead of trashing his wife, he would rather resign.
Wayne Rogers: It's a legal question…you just said it. If there's an agreement, and he signed the agreement, eyes wide open, they have every right to fire him. On the other hand, if they want to be nice guys and redeem themselves, that is wonderful. But he has decided to take a hard line himself. I think your private life is private. It is your own business, and it is not their business. I agree with that in a moral sense. However, he signed a legal document.
Jonathan Hoenig: I think it is an asinine policy, but the job requirements said you can not get divorced. They can fire somebody for any reason. I think it is their right to fire someone if they made it clear in the beginning. I don't think it is a very good policy because so many people are getting divorced, but it is their right. The employee has no right to a job. It's the employers call.
Dagen McDowell: It's a Christian college where all of the employees have to sign a statement of faith. They know what they're getting themselves into, it's perfectly transparent and perfectly within their right to force this on people who get divorced. The professors at Wheaton used to have to sign an agreement of personal responsibility. You couldn't drink off campus or dance. So they have gotten looser, but they are sticking to this because it is a faith-based institution.
Best Bets: Dagen Makes the Call!
Wayne Rogers: Net Servicos de Comunicacao (NETC)
Jonathan Hoenig: Japanese Small Cap Stocks (JSC)
Jonas Max Ferris: Dodge & Cox Global Stock (DODWX)