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by Vice President Knight Allen
Originally published on May 12, 2016 - reprinted with permission

    Clinton vs. Trump
Both Cruz and Kasich dropped out after Indiana but Bernie Sanders continues on. I guess it's reasonable to ask, Why not? He keeps winning state after state but under the Democratic Party system he never gets any delegates. Certainly not in numbers that even remotely reflect his popularity.

    Bernie reminds me of Rhett Butler in 'Gone with the Wind' who goes off to join the Confederate army when it's obvious the Civil War is lost. When asked why he said it's because the Lost Cause is the only one worth fighting for. Of course Rhett was a capitalist and had hedged his bets with his gun running profits. Bernie the socialist would probably have written a letter of outrage to Lincoln demanding the North send at least half of its war production to the South. You know, in the interest of "fairness."

    I suggest we all sit back, relax and enjoy our very own national three ring circus.

    A book written by Rob Brotherton deals with conspiracies and how those folks with what might be called "suspicious minds" may not be as completely off the wall as a lot of us think. Obviously 9/11 was a conspiracy as was the first attack on the Twin Towers in 1993. OK, understood, but I found this to be food for thought: "90% of routine federal indictments for terrorist attacks since 9/11 contain at least one conspiracy charge." It's not just terrorism. Conspiracy charges are the rule not the exception in price fixing, insider trading and money laundering cases too. It seems conspiracies are going on all around us all the time. I enjoyed this quote from Edward Abbey: "It's true that I don't know exactly who my enemies are but that of course is exactly why I'm paranoid."

    The RJ reported the state unemployment rate on 4/14. Just like the wage numbers I wrote about last month the state runs a year-over-year time frame that sets a positive tone for the numbers. The stat that jumped out at me was this: "Nevada's total job base stood at 1.350 million in the month" (March 2016). Once again, let's get some longer term perspective. At the end of 2007 just before the crash total Nevada employment was 1.284 million. We've picked up 66,000 jobs in eight plus years an increase of 5%. Combine that with the total wage increase of 6% and I think we can all be grateful we're retired.

    Unless you are involved with the world of finance you might not recognize the name Bill Gross. He is a Wall Street guru who built the world's largest bond fund and then left (or was forced out) and has pretty much started all over again with a much smaller pool of capital. He was interviewed by Barron's last month (4/11/16) and he said something I'd like to relate to you. He said people save to achieve their dreams; college for their kids, retirement and they depend on a return on that money. But, "Well, sorry. When interest rates get to zero - and that isn't the endpoint, they could go negative -SAVERS ARE DESTROYED (my emphasis). And savers are the bedrock of capitalism. Savers allow investment and investment produces growth."

    That is well said. Charles Schwab has talked about this too. There are reports out there that suggest savers have been robbed of a trillion dollars in interest payments since quantitative easing began. But, hey! Don't be concerned. It's all being done for the Greater (Wall St.) Good and for the General (Government's) Welfare.

Contact Vice-President Knight Allen