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.
"WASTE BONUSES" PROMPTING CALLS TO TIE FED'L WORK REQUIREMENTS TO FOOD STAMPS
SABRINA SCHAEFFER: What's clear is that our safety net is terribly broken. SNAP has doubled in size since 2007. It is now helping 47 million Americans. I know our economy is not great right now but I also know something is terribly wrong if we have 1 in 7 Americans on food stamps.
MIKE OZANIAN: I think the main problem is the President's economic policies have been terrible. I think what you need to take away from this is that if you go back to what a real recovery is in the mid ‘80s, the average person was on food stamps for 6 months. Today after 4 years of the Obama recovery, the average person is on food stamps for 9 months. That tells you all you need to know about how bogus President Obama's economic policies are.
RICK UNGAR: Everybody always wants to blast by the real reason for this extraordinary growth. People who work at Walmart don't make enough money and end up getting food stamps. Coincidentally, who is the biggest beneficiary of food stamps in this country? Walmart in their grocery division is. So yes, it's a great idea for people to work but the better idea is to pay people enough so they don't need food stamps.
RICH KARLGAARD: We simply have to make food stamps less appealing to adults who are healthy. People between the ages of 18 and 65 who are healthy should not be on food stamps and if they are they should have a work requirement. Of course you exempt children and the truly disabled. The expansion has come in this 18-65 area and that just doesn't wash. We need to peel back the number of people on food stamps.
JOHN TAMNY: You want to grow the economy with people that are working, and then you don't need food stamps to begin with. I think we have to remember that cities and states should be the laboratories of ideas. Let them control distribution of food stamps. If so, there will still be waste, fraud, abuse, but there will be much less of it.
BILL BALDWIN: There's a lot of talk about the government mandating $15 an hour wage. This is a great place to mandate it. Here is how it works, if you're earning $600 a month in food stamps, you owe the government 40 hours of work. We will find work for you. There's lots of work needs to be done by the government.
NEW CALLS TO GROUND RECREATIONAL DRONES & LIFT BAN ON COMMERCIAL DELIVERY DRONES
RICH KARLGAARD: A company like Amazon is contemplating using drones to do individual delivery of packages to houses. I would trust Amazon because Amazon has deep pockets, therefore they have to train drone operators and operate with strict standards or else get their rear sued off if they screw up, whereas Joe the drunk flying through a fourth of July fireworks celebration is a real risk.
CARRIE SHEFFIELD: I agree with the justification for commercial drones. But I just don't see how we could ban personal drones as well. I think rationale would exist for both. I think there's more risk when you increase the liability to a company level. So I think we should allow them both for personal and commercial.
SABRINA SCHAEFFER: I definitely heard a lot of conversations about this on the radio and TV now. I think we're having the conversation that needs to be had. One of the things we need to pay attention to is how government is using them, right? The government is using drones because they're so much more affordable for things like search and rescue than traditional helicopters. We have to assume this is a market that only has room to grow. We need to figure out as society with government help how we do this safely. From marketing to agriculture, there's tremendous potential here.
JOHN TAMNY: I say about a thousand flowers bloom, will there be mistakes? Of course. But how we advance economically, we will see drones transform how we get consumer goods. I saw an article how it will transform how you watch college football. Let them do it. Get the government out of the way, let them work their magic.
BILL BALDWIN: We need a simpler solution. My solution is no drones within 20 miles of an airport.
RICK UNGAR: There should be an exemption to all pizza places if it speeds up delivery. This is simple. We license people to drive a car. We should license people to drive a drone. Two, you simply put limits on how high they can go depending what they are, and you have to be licensed for that. This is not rocket science. They are flying things. The FAA covers flying things. There are things we know to do to make it safe.
REPORT: FEDERAL AGENCY THAT INSURES PENSIONS WILL HAVE $49.6B DEFICIT BY 2023
CARRIE SHEFFIELD: Pensions are a relic of the past. They're from a manufacturing-based economy. We are an information-based economy. We need to shift our employees onto 401K defined contribution plans. We will get a much more accurate reading of liabilities and the taxpayer will be rescued.
JOHN TAMNY: I don't like it at all. The federal government should not be bailing out failed pension plans. The one area I would disagree is I don't want rules on this. Some companies may want to offer to fund benefit plans, some may want to offer 401Ks. Let them do it, but remove bailout form the equation.
RICH KARLGAARD: I agree with John, but most companies and unions should go with 401Ks. It's simpler. As Warren Buffet points out, the best investment plan for most people is simply to dollar cost average into a broad S&P index. That's going to outperform the professional managers 8 out of 10 times.
RICK UNGAR: I've got to say, I think Carrie made a good point here. The concept of a defined benefit plan really did work better in a manufacture-based society. The thing that I have some concern over is I think you can't go to people who have based their retirement coming up over all these years on a defined benefit and just switch it on them. Going forward, I think she might have a good point.
MIKE OZANIAN: The problem with this is that the PBGC is not, by law, allowed to set its premiums. The government sets its premiums. If it was allowed to set the premiums it'd have enough money to cover its liabilities, so get rid of that law. I agree with John. Let people choose what type of plans they want and you wouldn't have to bail them out if you got rid of this law limiting the rates on premiums.
BILL BALDWIN: Weight Watchers International, Inc. (WTW)
MIKE OZANIAN: Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM)