After an intense pro-European Union tax-funded lobbying campaign warning of disaster, Croatians voted by an almost two-to-one margin to join the troubled EU despite a debt crisis that threatens to sink the region’s single currency and an increasingly authoritarian tone emanating from Brussels.

 

President Barack Obama claimed in his third State of the Union address that he supported a policy of "no bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts." But he said this after he had outlined more than half a dozen new spending handout proposals in a speech that also praised bailouts. On taxes, Obama concluded of retaining outrageously high middle-class tax rates and increasing the tax rates on the rich: "That’s how we’ll reduce our deficit."

 

Mainstream economist Robert Samuelson admitted last week that the case for the ending of the economic boom in China has some substance. Keynesian economist Paul Krugman also confirmed that China is in trouble and questioned its ability to avoid a hard landing.


 

Billionaire investor George Soros, infamous for his lavish funding of big-government and globalist causes, dropped several bombshells during a recent interview with Newsweek including a bold forecast of potential Western economic collapse, massive civil unrest, and the end of what he likes to paint as the “free market.” He also sees the emergence of one of the most dangerous periods in modern history, describing it as a time of “evil.”

 

Republicans debated the housing bubble/bust in the January 23 NBC debate, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney drawing political blood from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on his Freddie Mac consulting ties.



 

This may be the golden age of presumptuous ignorance. The most recent demonstrations of that are the Occupy Wall Street mobs. It is doubtful how many of these semi-literate sloganizers could tell the difference between a stock and a bond.

 

Last Friday’s unemployment numbers, on the surface at least, appeared to reflect a growing, albeit slowly, economy. The number of new unemployment claims for the week ending January 14th dropped to 352,000, down from 402,000 the previous week, and down from 415,000 a year ago. The four-week moving average also dropped, from 382,500 to 379,000.

 

As an industrialist, I’ve taken an interest in President Barack Obama’s insourcing kick which has occurred over the past few weeks, highlighted by his weekly radio and Internet address on January 14 and a speech delivered in the East Room of the White House a few days earlier (I’m certain that he’ll talk about it during this week’s State of the Union Address, too). By "insourcing," the President refers to a reversal of the outsourcing trend by American manufacturers. Some of them, though few in number, are bringing jobs back to the United States.

 

A farmer in the communist collective of Xiaogang, a small village in eastern China, was starving, along with his family and his neighbors. At one of the political indoctrination classes he was forced to attend, Yan Junchang had a revolutionary idea: why not try privatizing the farms and letting the farmers keep what they grow?

 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for January 23-29, 2012.

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