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.
Bulls & Bears
This past week’s Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital managing partner; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com director of stock research; Scott Bleier, HybridInvestors.com president; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research editor; Bob Froehlich, DWS Scudder chairman of investor strategy; Cheryl Casone, FOX Business Network; Marc Lamont Hill, Professor of American Studies at Temple University.
Trading Pit: "President" Al Gore: Good or Bad for Stocks?
"President" Al Gore? He has an Oscar, an Emmy — now a Nobel Peace Prize — is the next trophy the oval office? And would the green president bring green or red arrows to Wall Street?
Gary B. Smith: A “President Al Gore” is unlikely, because he definitely won’t run. But, if he did run and won, the market would crash!
Marc Lamont Hill: Al Gore represents a level of hope, possibility and experience that Senator Clinton and Senator Obama do not. Gore would signal a type of economic prosperity for everyday people that we won’t see from anyone on the left. He has a different level of political courage and will than anyone else we’re seeing right now.
Tobin Smith: Senator Clinton would be better than Al Gore as president! Gore would sell out the economy for global warming.
Pat Dorsey: It depends on what his policies would be. If he brought someone like a Bob Rubin, who was in the White House as Treasury Secretary for some fairly prosperous years in the Clinton era, that would be viewed very positively. If he leaned more towards the protectionist rhetoric of the Democratic base, then that would be problematic.
Cheryl Casone: The first thing Al Gore would do if elected president would be to push his green policies. That would be good if you own alternative energy plays, but for someone that owns fuel and energy stocks, it would be bad news.
Scott Bleier: This is not such a far-fetched idea. It would be good for stocks if he ran for president. Given the choice between a “President Hillary Clinton” and “President Al Gore” I would take Al Gore. He would do more for the economy.
A New Bull Market for the Housing Market?
Gary B. Smith: When housing stocks start to tick up as they have over the last month that usually means the housing market is going to start to tick up as well. With high employment and low inflation the next bull market will be a housing one.
Scott Bleier: The only way we are going to have a new housing bull market is when the Federal Reserve takes rates to one percent. In order for that to happen a recession needs to happen first, which is not going to happen. Housing is not going to have a bull market for another six to ten years.
Cheryl Casone: Real Estate is good long-term investment. If you have the cash to spend there are a lot of good deals out there.
Tobin Smith: We have had a once in a lifetime housing bubble. It will take six to ten years to bring this back. Inventory is now at fourteen months; it needs to get down to six months. And only when it is at six months, then we’ll have a housing bull market.
Bob Froehlich: Buy a house to live in, not as an investment. Over the last thirty years home appreciation has been six percent a year, and the stock market appreciation twelve percent a year. The best place to invest is in our equity market, not the real estate market.
Celebrate the 5-year bull market "Bulls & Bears" style with the best stocks for the next five years.
Bob Froehlich: China Mobile (CHL)
Tobin Smith: VMware (VMW)
Gary B. Smith: NASDAQ 100 (QQQQ)
Pat Dorsey: Progressive (PGR)
Scott Bleier: EnerNOC (ENOC)
Gary B. Smith's prediction: Lindsay says no to clubbing; you should say yes to BUD
Pat Dorsey's prediction: Say no to BUD, yes to TAP! Molson Coors up 40 percent in 1 year
Bob Froehlich’s prediction: Offense with defense; Raytheon (RTN) Up 30 percent by Nov '08
Scott Bleier's prediction: History won't repeat '87 crash, but Dow down 10 percent by January
Tobin Smith's prediction: Sun power heating up; LDK Solar (LDK) up 50 percent in 6 months
Cavuto on Business
On Saturday, October 13, 2007, Neil Cavuto was joined by Jack Welch, “Winning: The Answers” author; Charles Payne, wstreet.com; Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine; and Sascha Burns, Democratic Strategist.
Bottom Line: Hillary’s 401k Plan: Would It Bankrupt America?
Neil Cavuto: Handing out $1,000 to everyone in the U.S. It’s part of Senator Hillary Clinton’s universal retirement plan. Would it create a golden nest egg for all Americans or break America’s bank? Jack, what do you think?
Jack Welch: Well, I don’t think she’s offering it to me…
Neil Cavuto: Wouldn’t it be cool if you got it though, Jack?
Jack Welch: It’s a silly time in the campaign. A week ago she was giving $5,000 to babies. Now, it’s $1,000. It’s just more government spending, but it won’t break the bank. The thing that’s ironic to me is that the Democrats went crazy over Bush’s Social Security changes. And one of the reasons why they went crazy is because they were upset about private accounts being managed by individuals. What is her plan now? Private accounts. So now, she’s trusting the same people she said couldn’t be trusted. It’s ironic. But, it’s not a bank-breaker. It’s just a political ploy and you’ll see a lot of them over the next couple of weeks.
Neil Cavuto: Someone was counting it up, Charles, and said it was about $100 billion in promises of federal spending to spread the economy, help the middle class, help those applying to college… What do you think?
Charles Payne: It’s horrendous. Hillary said it’d cost $25 billion, but really it’d be $50 billion according to her plan. The hypocrisy of it is tremendous because what we’re doing is penalizing or attacking one group of people to reward another. I think any time we do that, it bankrupts the spirit of America, the American Dream. And then Hillary went on to say something I thought was really ironic and sad: That everyone could have their own estate. But, why would anyone want their own estate if you’re just going to take it from us at the end!
Neil Cavuto: Sascha, you pretty much agree with everything he just said, right?
Sascha Burns: Nonsense. First of all, you guys don’t like this because it only goes to people making less than $100,000 a year. So maybe it doesn’t apply to you. You’re talking about penalizing folks. How ‘bout talking about penalizing the middle class by giving tax cuts to an estate?
Charles Payne: We give tax cuts to people who pay taxes! What’s wrong with that?
Sascha Burns: Hey, I understand that. But we’re talking about $25 billion a year for this.
Charles Payne: $75 - $100 billion, but go ahead…
Sascha Burns: $100 billion a year in Iraq. You make choices. And this is one of them. You’re 20 years old. You put $1,000 away until retirement. Then, the money you invested becomes $700,000 on retirement.
Charles Payne: Amen!
Neil Cavuto: And you think that’s going to sit alone and no one’s going to touch it?
Sascha Burns: Well, you can’t take it out, except for…
Neil Cavuto: Well, that’s what they said about Social Security…
Sascha Burns: Social Security privatization start-up, Neil, was in the trillions. We’re not talking trillions here.
Tracy Byrnes: First of all, facts are missing here. Hillary is offering the incentive to families. So single mothers like myself will not get the credit at all. Then, she’s moving on and trying to help these low-income people, but the low-income people don’t have the extra cash to put into savings. And don’t forget, by the time you get the credit back, it could be 18 months. It means nothing then! At that point, you could care less. So, I applaud Hillary for trying to get people to save money, but I just don’t think this is going to do it for people.
Neil Cavuto: Adam Lashinsky, my issue is the government advising me to save money. It’s like me telling you to go eat a salad. It’s a tad hypocritical.
Adam Lashinsky: But, the government advises you on all sorts of things. And it does advise you to eat a salad, by the way. Our government is in the business of giving us advice, sometimes good advice! This is just an idea to use the tax code to encourage people to save. We already do that. There’s a deduction for having an IRA. Not enough people save, so this politician is offering another proposal to get people to save. It’s funny that people would attack this, because Jack’s right, it has a lot of similarities to some of the private account proposals that were in the President’s plan.
Neil Cavuto: Jack, here’s my question. Just like the company you used to run, GE, would there be any impetus for that company to offer 401ks if Uncle Sam’s going to do it?
Jack Welch: I don’t think that’ll stop. I think it’s another perk.
Neil Cavuto: But, a lot of medium-sized companies are going to say, “Geeze, if Uncle Sam’s going to foot the bill, why should I?”
Adam Lashinsky: Neil, the 401k will go a lot further than what this proposal or other proposals like it would offer. You can save much more through your companies 401k than what you could with Mrs. Clinton’s plan.
Charles Payne: The bottom line, Adam, is this is an empty promise and I think this is disingenuous to the American people. I’ll tell you why. First of all, we talked about a 401k and withdrawing. You’ve got people who are barely making ends meet. Let’s say I put $1,000 in now and two years from now I really need the money, how do I get it out? Will there be penalties involved? Also, the $100,000 threshold. People watching this show should pay attention to that. That’s what the Democrats are calling the middle class. A lot of people watching this show make $100,000 and they’re just barely making ends meet. And according to the Democrats, you’re rich if you make $100,001.
Adam Lashinsky: Charles, the tax code is full of breaks for people who make more than $100,000 a year. We could get into that on our next show.
Neil Cavuto: Yes or no. You think this is a good idea.
Adam Lashinsky: I do.
Neil Cavuto: And you love it because you love everything the Dems do, right?
Sascha Burns: Right absolutely. I don’t even think for myself.
Sascha Burns: I think trying to help people save money is excellent! I own a small business and I don’t have a 401k.
Neil Cavuto: And you have faith in the government to help you save.
Sascha Burns: I have faith that if I don’t choose to use it, it’s no cost to the government. And if I do use it, it’s better for the government.
Charles Payne: Saving is great, Neil! But not taking from someone to give to someone. If we’re going to take $1,000 out of Jack’s wallet and give to me, I’d take it. But it wouldn’t be great for Jack.
Sascha Burns: Jack would be all right.
Neil Cavuto: That’s 5 minutes of Jack’s time, by the way.
More for Your Money: Doctors in the Workplace: Best Fix for Health Care?
Neil Cavuto: Have you heard about this? No more HMOs or PPOs. Some companies now offering on-site health clinics for employees and their families. Could this be the best fix for America’s health care problems? Time to get “More for Your Money.”
Tracy Byrnes: I think it’s crazy! People don’t want to go to the doctor as it is. And clearly some of the panel has never been to the gynecologist… to force me to go to somebody…
Neil Cavuto: I thought you’d never ask.
Tracy Byrnes: To go to someone I don’t like... If I have to go to a doctor I don’t love, I’m not going! So, we’re not helping the health care of our people.
Sascha Burns: I think anything the free market does to try to fix our health care system is great in a way. But, the problem is it turns our health care from big government to big company. Do you want your employer knowing if you’ve been treated for alcoholism or depression? The problem is while there are privacy laws, there are subjective ways to get around them. Just look at what happen to George Clooney, for cryin’ out loud. His information got sold to the media. How do you know you’re going to be protected?
Jack Welch: I happen to think it’s a damn good idea. But, unfortunately, big companies don’t employ that many people. And small businesses can’t afford it. I though it was fabulous. And I never learned what was going on with the employees. But, they loved having a clinic in the building. Now, for a hypochondriac for me, it was perfect! I was down the hall if I had a crink in my neck! I loved it.
Charles Payne: I agree with Jack 1000 percent. I don’t see how anyone can say they don’t like this because George Clooney’s information got out. With all due respect, your information won’t be sold the way his was…
Sascha Burns: Very true. But it’s the employer I’m worried about, not the media.
Charles Payne: Well at some point you’ve gotta trust someone. It’s always if, if, if. I think this is tremendous. It’s more than an olive branch with these lower paying jobs we always complain about. Let’s help them out. I think it’s an incredible thing for people who work at the Wal-Marts and other big stores like it.
Neil Cavuto: Adam, what do you think of that? You’re out in San Francisco. What’s the feeling there?
Adam Lashinsky: Well, I hate that this is shaping up as a men versus women issue… This is not about forcing people to go to the doctor, Tracy, it’s about making it easier for people to go to the doctor. Now, there is a downside. If the company says you can only go to this doctor and we’re not going to insure you to go anywhere else, I think that would be a bad thing.
Tracy Byrnes: And that’s the point, Adam. Forcing me to go a particular person…
Jack Welch: They’d never do it.
Tracy Byrnes: You don’t think so?
Jack Welch: No.
Adam Lashinsky: It makes it easier for you to go, you might just go more.
Sascha Burns: Well, think of the ways it could be extremely helpful: Flu shots, ear infections, quick check ups… those are great reasons.
Charles Payne: So you’re flip-flopping. You like it now?
Sascha Burns: No.
Neil Cavuto: You just agreed with the King of Capitalism, Jack Welch! We have bonded here. You agree with Jack!
(Jack tries to shake Sascha’s hand)
Sascha Burns: I’m a lover not a hater. The issue is whether or not you can choose a specialist.
Adam Lashinsky: You need to be able to do.
Sascha Burns: That’s not at all flip-flipping.
Neil Cavuto: Sascha, you ended on a very uplifting free market note and for that I think everyone thanks you! I thank you.
Sascha Burns: Thank you, Neil!
Neil Cavuto: I think I’ve had a very contagious effect on you.
Inside Jack’s Head
Neil Cavuto: “Do this or else!” Yankees’ boss, George Steinbrenner, threatening Joe Torre to beat the Cleveland Indians or look for a new job. We all know how that turned out… So, are ultimatums the best way to motivate workers? Or do they simple backfire?
Let’s go inside the head of one of the most successful bosses ever, Jack Welch. Do ultimatums work?
Jack Welch: Absolutely not. At least public ultimatums don’t work. I mean, there’s no way that a boss should be publicly admonishing someone to do something. It’s just wrong. And Torre in particular has done a great job and the public doesn’t agree with Steinbrenner. It’s wrong.
Neil Cavuto: So you’re open to Steinbrenner telling Torre that privately.
Jack Welch: Absolutely. Candor is the way you lead people. You shouldn’t run the FOX Business Network if you don’t have every employee knowing where they stand, if you’re not appraising them as they go through the days, and weeks, and months of the start-up. You as a leader must keep people informed.
Neil Cavuto: Would you make a make-or-break decision based on a single series, a single event, a single sales achievement?
Jack Welch: No, because we would have been evaluation him all along. And we would have had at least four appraisals of Joe Torre over the course of the year.
Neil Cavuto: So the record of Torre is 10, 11 seasons in a row in the post season…
Jack Welch: Well, I wouldn’t go back that far…
Neil Cavuto: What would you do? Joe had to get the guys into the World Series, but he flopped.
Jack Welch: If they said to Joe Torre last year when they brought him back that if Joe didn’t get the team into the World Series they were going to have to part… Joe would have been preparing all along for his next move… and he wouldn’t have a gun at his head 24 hours before the big game!
Neil Cavuto: So in other words, you mapped out what the parameters were?
Jack Welch: You always do that for employees. Here is where you stand. You tell them what you don’t like about what they’re doing. And you tell them what they can do to improve. And you meet with them several times over the course of the year.
Neil Cavuto: I know on some authority that you used to ride your sales guys hard. They’d have to put up impressive numbers and then the bar would raise again the next year. You were pinning them in a corner, weren’t you?
Jack Welch: No. You’re always trying to beat last year. That’s how you measure how you’re doing against the competition and yourself.
Neil Cavuto: And if they did not?
Jack Welch: Well, they’d have a chat with their boss about it.
Neil Cavuto: Did Jack Welch have a chat with them?
Jack Welch: I didn’t have a lot of sales people reporting to me…
Neil Cavuto: But, you conveyed the message, right?
Jack Welch: No, the business leaders did that. But I always…
Neil Cavuto: C’mon Jack. You were very hands on.
Jack Welch: Yeah, but I’m not talking to some salesman out there. His leader is. But they all knew the rules of the road.
Neil Cavuto: But, you made it clear you gotta put up or shut up.
Jack Welch: You gotta deliver.
Neil Cavuto: Alright, so Joe Torre didn’t deliver. He didn’t give the Yankees a post-season victory.
Jack Welch: Nobody ever, to my knowledge in the company I ran, was told publicly, “You gotta deliver this or go.” You always have to have a candid discussion. And every one of your new employees better know where they stand in your new network all the time and you can’t have any last minute surprises.
Neil Cavuto: Ok, you’re staring at me and I’m shaking.
FOX on the Spot
Charles Payne: Bull market turns 5! Buy SYK for the next 5
*Charles owns shares of this stock
Adam Lashinsky: Bull market turns 5! Buy BA for the next 5
Jack Welch: Dems push more social programs after "surge" success
Tracy Byrnes: Madonna's move marks beginning of end for labels
Neil Cavuto: FOX Business Network launches on Monday!
Forbes on FOX
In Focus: Noble Prize Winners Gore and U.N.: Worst Thing for Economy and Global Markets?
Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief: If Gore had his way, he would hurt the economy. This is a form of green socialism, since red socialism went out the window 15 years ago. Every part of every word he says is completely false. The carbon dioxide problem, there’s not real connection if you look at those graphs in his movie. A British judge found that his numbers for sea level were nonsense. He said Chad has dried up because of global warming. No way! It’s dried up about 5 times over the past ten thousand years. This is going to hurt the economy!
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley bureau chief: I’d call this scenario hating the messenger so bad you can’t hear the message. George Bush Senior called Gore “Ozone Man” and has made fun of him in the past. Evidence has been coming in favor of Al Gore for fifteen years, most recently the Artic melting this summer. At this point the White House and even Exxon Mobil admit this issue is real. What really strikes me though is how capitalists can’t see a problem as an opportunity for creative destruction – for breaking up an old system that’s poisonous and creating a wonderful green industry.
John Rutledge, Forbes contributor: Manmade global warming is a load of crap. It’s bad science. There’s a book called “Unstoppable Global Warming”. Every fifteen hundred years, it tells you what the physics are. This is a story where you should follow the money. The money and all over the world for carbon is egregious. Mr. Gore and his pals are right in the middle of it. This is very bad. It’s going to kill growth in the world. Three billion people in the world would be poor if their policies were put into effect.
Victoria Barret, associate editor: Well some of the science does say that global warming is manmade. It’s a mixed picture. We don’t quite know, so why should we take the risk? When you travel to places like China, you can hardly breathe the air there. If we want to move in the right direction, I’m fine with that. If people are paying a premium to buy cars that look like orthopedic shoes, that’s fine with me! As long as the government doesn’t overstep its bounds and create money piles for people to be green. That wouldn’t make sense.
Neil Weinberg, senior editor: The science is out. Some people say no, some people say yes. I say shame on the Republicans and shame on the Democrats for turning something which should be a scientific topic into some political freefall. That’s pathetic. I say let’s do a cost-benefit analysis. Let’s say we assume certain things are true, and then we implement sensible things, not stupid ethanol taxes.
Bill Baldwin, editor: I’ll give a prize to anyone who is in favor of a carbon tax. If we had a carbon tax, we could repeal all those silly ethanol subsidies and fuel efficiency standards. We also wouldn’t have to have a carbon permit system which is just an opportunity for UN inspectors, insiders and politicians. Politicians would implement a permit system and the IRS would implement a tax.
Who's Better for the Middle Class: Bush or Clinton?
Steve Forbes: In the name of helping out the middle class, Hillary will hurt it. She’ll raise taxes on income, capital gains and dividends. She’ll put in trade protection as policies and that will only hurt the economy, which will hurt the middle class. She wants to reform Social Security which is going to mean higher taxes. More government bureaucrats will make taxes skyrocket and that’s going to hurt the economy tremendously. We’re going in the same direction as Old Europe, even though Europe is trying to shed taxes.
Elizabeth MacDonald, FOX Business Network: I think Hillary is going to surprise us all after she gets the Democratic nomination. She is going to pull the trigger on a middle class tax cut and that will help the middle class, just like her husband did to lock in a victory in 1992. President Bush is the worst spender we’ve seen since Lyndon B. Johnson. If you factor in the Iraq War, the deficit is out of control. When Hillary is elected president, and there will be a President Hillary Clinton, she is not going to be a trade protectionist.
Mike Ozanian, senior editor: Hillary is a socialist. She’s a parasite on wealth. She basically is a predator, she attacks wealth. Capitalistic societies have big middle classes that have pretty good standards of living. Hillary wants to turn the United States into Venezuela. If you look at what she wants to do, it’s taking away money from people who have it and giving it to people who will vote for her. Whether it’s $5,000 for every baby or a government sponsored 401k plan, it’s as simple as that.
Quentin Hardy: The middle class is 52 percent of the country….an income of $25,000 to $75,000 a year, with the median at about $45,000, that’s the middle. For them, it’s about a future for their children, their education and their healthcare. It’s not about the stock market for them because they don’t own much of it. And by the way, unemployment is not at a record high, job security has never been tougher on people and the future is very worrisome for many. I don’t think that Bush has done much good for these people. I think Hillary will be a huge improvement.
Victoria Barret: Bush has made a lot of mistakes and I’m not going to defend him, but I find Hillary’s plan very worrisome. She talks about increasing trade barriers, she’s pro-unions, she’s talking about government slush funds. These are all things that would be horrible for economic growth and ultimately that’s what is going to affect the middle class.
Keep America Safe: Get Rid of Government Regulations!
Mike Ozanian: Government food regulations are terrible and we should get rid of them! We should privatize it and make food inspections voluntary for companies. If a company wants to have their food inspected, let them pay the money to get it done and the food will be stamped accordingly. If you don’t want it inspected, you don’t have to get it done and the price of food will be reflected. I think if you have multiple safety inspection standards, the poor will eat better!
Evelyn Rusli, Forbes.com markets reporter: Privatization is not the answer. Food safety is the one place where you want the government to have the greater hand. Let’s look at the real problem. The FDA has 1,300 food inspectors and there are about 120,000 food producers in the U.S. It’s a problem of being under funded and not having the money to hire more staff. I think the government is very crucial here because they can provide one thing that companies can not, an unbiased company check.
John Rutledge: We don’t need to privatize the same rules. I like private, but don’t take the rules and move them over. We’ll create a new terror industry like we have in the travel business. Let the private companies do it because their brands are already at risk. We can set up an auditing system where private audits can be done, stamp it on the brand and charge more for the product. I think it’s a great idea.
Quentin Hardy: Privatization is ok but it’s overrated. We privatized the guards in Iraq and they shot at civilians. We privatized rating agencies and look what they did to the sub-prime industry. This does not solve the problem. And as for the idea of registering to have your food inspected, that means the poor people will eat more dangerous food!
Steve Forbes: There’s no way you’re going to lose government regulation in food inspections, even though we don’t want to put more power in the hands of people who gave us Katrina disaster relief. I think the idea of having private sectors regulate their own inspections in addition to the government is the right thing to do. Don’t shut the government out of the business completely, just do it yourself better.
Informer: Be$t Funds for the Next 5 Years!
Neil Weinberg: Vanguard Total Market (VTSMX)
John Rutledge: S&P Dividend Fund (SDY)
Evelyn Rusli: Bridgeway Aggressive 2 (BRAIX)
Bill Baldwin: Nat'l Municipal Bond (MUB)
Our Cashin’ In crew this week: Dagen McDowell, FOX Business Network; Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management; Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com; Gary Kaltbaum, Kaltbaum & Associates; and Cody Willard; FOX Business Network.
Can We Afford to Keep Our Kids Safe in School?
Cleveland police are still trying to put the pieces together in what happened when a disturbed student walked into a high school and began firing. It’s a story we’ve heard too often: is it time to spend whatever it takes to keep our kids safe in the classrooms?
Gary K: Yes, absolutely! There are just too many incidents these days. Also this week, there was a 14-year-old and his mom arrested for a huge arsenal to be used for an attack similar to the Columbine incident. When I was in high school, we had security in the library for stealing books. The book would ring. If it’s good enough for the books, it should be good enough for the students. There is no amount of money that is too big to keep our kids safe while they are being educated.
Jonathan: We are certainly spending enough on the public schools as it is. Whatever it takes when it comes to a public institution? You’re writing your own death sentence. It never seems to work out. The problem is that these are public schools. Every issue with the public schools, whether it is the pledge of allegiance, to celebrating Christmas, to prayer shows us the difficulty of running them. I would advocate privatizing the schools and let those individual parents and educators make the decisions about what type of security that is needed.
Cody: It would be great to get a mass movement toward the privatization of the school system, but the reality is we have a public school system. My mom is a public high school teacher. These incidents are adding up and we do have a problem. We should spend more if we are going to have public schools.
Dagen: Let’s say we put a metal detector in every school in America, do you really think that will stop some lunatic who wants to kill people and then kill himself/herself?
Cody: I’m never an advocate of the government throwing money at a problem. However, I do think we need to spend more money on some sort of security system, whether it is metal detectors or security companies that step in.
Jonas: There’s only so much a school can do to fix problems with kids. There are a lot of kids in schools. A few people are going to get into bad situations. There’s no amount of money you can throw at that to solve the problem. This is a problem with public and private schools. More kids are in public schools so we do see more of those cases. There was that case at Simon’s Rock College, one of the most expensive schools in the country, where a student walked in with an SKS and shot a bunch of people. It is a problem and most schools do have some sort of security. We already spend money on this. Schools are one of the safest places to be. The highways are more dangerous for most students than school.
Gary K: Homeland Security asked for $190 billion for next year. There isn’t any way we can take 1-2 percent out of that for our schools and children in order to keep them safe? I wouldn’t mind if my child has to walk through a metal detector. It will not ensure safety, but if there’s that chance that it will stop something from happening, I am all for it.
Dagen: There was a shooting in Red Lake, MN, not long ago where several people were killed and the gunman shot the security guard and charged right through the metal detector.
Jonas: In this Cleveland case, the metal detector was there, but it was off. This school was also initially financed by Bill & Melinda Gates. This school was not lacking in funds or equipment. There are just cases where this stuff happens.
Jonathan: At the end of the day, if you are a parent in New York City, do you send your kid to a public school or private school? Where are they going to be most safe?
Jonas: I was least safe walking the streets of New York to school. Schools are safe. The chance of dying at school is extremely low in this country.
Dagen: Instead of metal detectors and arming people, it’s about teaching teachers and others in the schools to listen and pick up signs that someone might be in danger.
Sen. Obama’s Pollution Plan: Threat to America’s Economy?
Presidential candidate Barack Obama wants stiffer fines for companies polluting our air. Is this a good, “green” idea or will it just pollute America’s Economy?
Jonathan: There’s no question it would hurt our economy. It would really hurt industry, but that’s what the environmentalists want. Any tax or cap on emissions would slow progress and human advancement and kill industry. The “greens’” motivation isn’t greener energy; it’s less energy. They are not going to be satisfied until we’re back in the Stone Age. They’d love to see big smoke stacks fall over and never be rebuilt.
Cody: Clean business is good business. It should be set by a free market course. We’re seeing that, even with Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It shines more light on it and in turn we as consumers start wanting change our ways. It’s a grassroots movement and is going to happen anyway. Why tax these guys? Punish them. If these businesses are polluting the economy, punish them. Don’t make it a tax for some, but not others.
Dagen: Businesses across this country and around the world see the writing on the wall. They know something is going to happen to curb emissions. They are ready for something like the cap and trade system that Sen. Barack Obama is proposing. Business wants some sort of national solution, rather than it being a patchwork of states, which is what we are starting to see.
Gary K: By capping the amount of emissions and output, you’re capping the economy. I keep reading about trading and emissions. Let business do its thing. If one breaks the law, let it pay the fine. I just keep hearing this rhetoric of how business is bad, but I am reading about a ton of businesses that are doing the right thing and doing better when it comes to pollution. Businesses are very smart. This anti-business rhetoric doesn’t work.
Jonas: Any tax is bad for the economy, but if you offset it with tax cuts for corporate income tax, for example, then it could work. Wouldn’t it be better to tax bad behavior instead of good behavior? Why not punish people who produce something that’s bad for the environment and then give a tax break somewhere else in order to balance it out?
Jonathan: The environmentalists aren’t anti-business. They are anti-man. They are against man’s progress. Environmentalists think that man’s progress means nature’s destruction. Can you imagine if the colonists arrived to this country and said, “We should expand, but we shouldn’t cut down too many trees.”
Cody: Who are these environmentalists you’re talking about? Not everyone who wants to reduce emissions is fighting mankind.
Jonathan: What is their motivation?
Dagen: Open your eyes, Jonathan. This is about oil and our dependence on stuff that countries pump out. These are countries that cheat us.
Jonathan: No, it’s not. You can’t win the environmental argument; so let’s throw out the national security argument. If you think Iran is going to hurt us, let’s talk about bombing Iran.
Dagen: Oh please!
Gary K: I’m just hearing about too many rules and regulations. Most businesses do the right thing. Most businesses do not pollute. Most businesses follow the rule of law. If businesses do bad things, go after them.
Is Google Turning Into “Big Brother”?
Google’s detailed “Street View” added six more cities to its roster this week, which has more people voicing concerns over their privacy. Is Google going too far?
Jonas: It’s on the edge of going too far. I checked out the “Street View” and if it was at a higher resolution, maybe they went too far. Technically, it’s not privacy infringement, but I think it is time to start deciding what the privacy rules are. I know we don’t have a right to privacy, but it doesn’t mean someone can park a web camera in front of your house and broadcast it over the Internet for all to see. We have to determine where to draw the line.
Cody: It’s the age of empowerment and Google gets that. George Orwell had it all wrong. This is not big brother watching you; this is little brother watching you. This is not the government peering in, but just people trying to get more information. Google will continually empower people to get more information.
Gary K: At some point, we have to draw the line somewhere. This just let’s the peeping toms go nuclear.
Jonathan: Google took a picture. They have taken pictures of streets in America and assembled them in a format that is really useful to use. Think about it; I use Google 20,000 times a month and I haven’t sent them a dime yet. I say “Bravo!” to them for making these incredible tools that make our lives so much better.
Jonas: It’s just a matter of time before marriages are broken up because someone’s car is parked in front of someone’s house and it shouldn’t be. We’re all scared of the government. In some ways, I prefer the government doing the spying because they at least have the similar purposes of securing the country.
Cody: Yeah, the government always does right by the citizens.
Jonathan: Any power that Google has is economic power. Government power is power by coercion, which is what I am much more worried about.
Best Bets: Best Stocks For the Next 5 Years!
Gary K: Costco (COST) (Friday’s Close: $68.00)
Jonas: Janus Capital (JNS) (Friday’s Close: $34.45)
Jonathan: PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bearish (UDN) (Friday’s Close: $27.31)