Tag Archives: interview

Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett: Dick Sim, Global Entrepreneur

Dawn J. Bennett, host of Financial Myth Busting, recently interviewed Dim Sim a global entrepreneur and author, on her show. In his interview with Bennett, Sim discusses the coming clash we’re going to have between the United States, the European Union, the Middle East and Africa, as well as the geopolitical changes that these disparities are fueling.

Bennett says America is fighting for its existence on an economic, cultural and physical front. On the economic front, Bennett says she thinks the government has to get out of the way. Sim says he thinks the government is part of the problem, especially for certain segments of society.

“Lately, in the last decade or so, economic growth has been weak and there’s large segments of our society, the bulk of them working people, who are really suffering,” says Sim. “We still have a bunch of people that do really well: the big business people, the big politicians, the think tanks, those people that are surrounded and interact with them they are doing very well. So we have a sort of fragmented society and that’s part of what we saw with the Trump force. So we’re sinking the bottom of our society, economically, but that’s connected to cultural issues.”

At the same time, there’s the mass migration out of the Middle East, which presents a moral quandary. As Bennett describes it, “You don’t want to drown your country with refugees who don’t fit in and don’t contribute but you also don’t want to sit there as thousands of migrants drown while trying to escape oppression by fleeing across the Mediterranean.”

Sim says we have a moral obligation to help these people who are suffering around the world, but we need to be selective about who we bring over here.  He explains the biggest contribution is all the technology that’s been industrialized since the Second World War came out of the United Sates, and this has immense implications in terms of wealth in the United States but also throughout the world in terms of relieving global poverty and suffering. He says we need to continue performing this high-value technical work and need immigration policies that support that.

“We can’t help everyone and we need to keep doing what we do because the world needs what the U.S. does in terms of inventing new technology in agriculture, computers, software, medical technology,” Sim says. “And we have a particular way our society is organized structurally but also culturally that does that. We don’t often talk about that and we don’t teach it to our children. It’s a very precious reality that we need to care more about and protect more.”

Right now the United States’ chief concern is terrorists coming in, but that’s not really the big issue, according to Sim.

“The big issue is the evidence in Europe is that Muslims—not all Muslims but a lot of those who come to Europe—they do not assimilate, they set up communities that are self-segregated and they continue to live by the values of conservative Islam,” Sim explains. “And these values, in terms of the treatment of women, gays—you know, you’ve got sexual crimes honor killings, female genital mutilation, a bunch of stuff that are unacceptable in the west but they continue in Europe. We have these issues on a much smaller scale in the United States.”

He continues, “The cultural issues are tearing Europe apart. The long-term issue is the lack of assimilation and the United States should learn from Europe. It’s not a question of—we believe so much in freedom of religion that it’s very, very difficult for Americans to say ‘Well, I wish we can discriminate against Islam.’ The way to think about Islam is not as a religion, but as a way of organizing a complete society.”

To view the complete interview, click here.

Millennials and Their Political Views

Dawn J. Bennett, founder and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services, recently interviewed Chris Koopman on her radio show Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. Koopman is a Senior Research Fellow with Project for the Study of American Capitalism at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where he specializes in regulation competition and innovation. He is also a contributor at the Hill and was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for law and policy.

In his interview with Dawn J. Bennett, Koopman discusses millennials and their view of politics. According to Koopman, what’s really important about millennials as a political force is the generation now matches baby boomers as the largest demographic in the electorate. Therefore, how millennials think, feel and vote really matters and should be taken seriously.

“I think that’s why in this past election there were a lot of questions about how do millennials feel about the future of capitalism and how do they feel about the future of free market,” said Koopman. “And more often than not, millennials are being pegged as embracing socialism but I think it’s more about distrust and just growing frustration with the current system more so than capitalism per se.”

Koopman said that as a generation, millennials are told they live in a capitalist system. While that’s mostly true, many fundamental pieces of the system don’t represent a free market system.

“Millennials are getting the raw end of that deal,” he said. “They don’t like it and therefore when people ask them how they feel about capitalism they respond that they don’t like it.”

Earlier in the year, a survey was released in which one-third of millennials identified supporting socialism, while less than half said they supported capitalism.

“I think this sort of reinforced this idea millennials don’t understand the world that we live in and we’re sort of chasing dreams as opposed to living in any sort of reality about our current situation,” said Koopman. “But I think that kind of misses the mark when you put it into the context that millennials live in.”

He continued, “You know, we look at the current system, and what have we known? Nothing but Wall Street bailouts, corporate greed, political scandals, tax codes riddled with loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected. And for the bulk of millennials this is all we’ve ever known. So when people ask us how we feel about it of course we’re going to come out with a resounding negative response.”

Koopman has written that surveys show millennials are heavily in favor of the term “free market,” over “government-managed economy.” He believes these findings show that millennials are much more free market than they’re given credit for. To put it into context, he referenced occupational licensing. The millennial generation, more than any other prior generation, had to beg for permission to practice their chosen profession. One in three of millennials has to get an occupational license, compared to five percent just one or two generations ago. This is the type of thing that has become embedded in the system and attributed to capitalism, he explained.

“So it’s not that we’re misinformed. It’s not that we’re lazy or unable to think for ourselves. It’s that we’re frustrated,” Koopman said. “You compare us to other generations at this same age and we’re poorer, we’re more in debt and more out of work.”

He continued, “And I think you go back to the 2016 election… and look at some of the numbers that are coming up and see that 10 percent of millennials that voted, voted third party. You have this desire in an entire generation to find a different approach, a different way, because they’re just flat-out tired and frustrated with the current system as it stands.”

The Problem with Socialism

Dawn J. Bennett, founder and CEO of Bennett Group Financial Services, recently interviewed Tom DiLorenzo on Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. DiLorenzo is an economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business and the bestselling author of The Problem with Socialism. In his interview with Dawn J. Bennett, DiLorenzo discusses his bestselling book and the numerous issues with socialism.

Socialism in Scandinavia

DiLorenzo’s book debunks the common myth that Scandinavian countries are proof socialism can work, an argument that Bernie Sanders made in an earlier Democratic debate.

According to DiLorenzo, while Sweden was one of the most prosperous countries in the world from the late 19th century until about the 1940s and had the highest per capital income growth of any country during that time, the nation destroyed its job growth.

“They started nationalizing some of their industries; they adopted a very large welfare state, and a heavily progressive income tax. That was their version of socialism,” explained DiLorenzo. “As a result, Sweden did not create one single net new job from 1950 until 2005, according to the Swedish Economic Association. They destroyed job growth. So Bernie Sanders had got it all wrong. The only reason why Sweden was once prosperous is capitalism, and not socialism. Socialism killed prosperity in Sweden.”

Socialism and the Environment

DiLorenzo also disproves the popular misconception that socialism is better for the environment, compared to a loosely regulated free market.  A chapter in his book, “How Socialism Causes Pollution,” is dedicated to this poor argument.

“The basic theory of the cause of pollution is that it’s unregulated free markets, and the pursuit of profit leads to pollution,” DiLorenzo tells Bennett. “Well, the socialist countries of the Soviet empire outlawed profit seeking for 70 years. So when we had the collapse of socialism all around the world in the late 80s, early 90s, and people were finally able to go and look around these formerly closed societies, they found that they had the worst ecological catastrophes in the whole planet, far worse than anything we’ve ever seen here.”

He continued, “There was even a book written called Ecocide in the USSR, ecological suicide. We heard about things such as boats on the Volga River having signs on them saying don’t throw cigarettes overboard, the river may catch on fire, because there were so many chemicals floating down the river. The problem was the absence of property rights. When nobody owns property they tend not to take really good care of it. To relate to that idea ask yourself who takes better care of cars; people who rent cars, or people who own their own cars? If the society has an absence of property rights then you really have a lot more ecological damage than you do in a capitalist society. Besides that, the wealthier countries are always healthier and cleaner.”

To view DiLorenzo’s full interview on Financial Myth Busting, click here.

 

Dawn J. Bennett & Jeff Snider Discuss the Federal Funds Rate Hike

Dawn J. Bennett, host of Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett, recently interviewed Jeff Snider on her radio show. Snider is the Head of Global Research for Alhambra Investment Partners and has authored and published several detailed investment reports that clash with the established opinion presented by the media.  In his interview with Dawn J. Bennett, Snider discusses his take on the federal funds rate hike.

On the subject of the rate hike, Snider says he doesn’t think the market is ready for what’s occurring. “I don’t think the market is ready for pretty much anything that’s going on right now. Any small change, and it seems like everybody’s nervous about what that may be. And I think with monetary policy it’s probably that much more amplified given that there’s so much uncertainty about what it might mean as far as accommodation and main stream views of what accommodation actually is or might be,” he explains.

Bennett notes that a policy error might actually end all the bubbles and allow the U.S. to almost reboot the system, and Snider agrees.

“I actually think that what the Federal Reserve actually does is largely irrelevant,” says Snider. “And the Fed doesn’t actually have any direct control over even the money supply. And mostly what they’re doing is just policy communication.”

He continued, “If you look at the Federal funds market itself, it’s a shell of what it used to be. The Federal funds rate for that matter is basically irrelevant. There’s very little volume in Federal funds at all. So when they’re raising or lowering the Federal funds rate, it’s more about trying to signal psychology and market sentiment than anything else. So I don’t think they actually much control over the market.”

Snider suggests that the Federal Reserve needs to let the markets decide what the correct value of money is and where stability is. He says Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen must understand that stability is the most important factor here— not just the artificial centralized stability the Feds try to impose, but real monetary stability.

He continued, “We used to talk about things like the strong dollar. The strong dollar had nothing to do with whether it goes up or down, the strong dollar was the fact that the financial system and the economic system were stable enough that nobody went through convertibility and allowed the dollar to remain as the bedrock association of the economy. We don’t have that anymore, in fact everything that the Federal Reserve does or any other central bank does is the opposite of stability. So that’s where it all needs to start. We need to have monetary stability. We don’t need to worry about what the Federal Reserve is debating in each and every policy meeting, that should be the farthest thing from investors’ minds when they think about what they’re doing insofar as their portfolios.”

To view Snider’s complete interview with Dawn J. Bennett, click here.