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1.21.22 - 2022 Midterms Are a No-Win for Dems

Gold last traded at $1,832 an ounce. Silver at $24.27 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices steadied Friday on normal profit-taking and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks traded lower as sharp losses in Netflix dragged the Nasdaq Index deeper into correction territory.

Gold at Highest Since November as Bond Yields Pare Gains -Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance

"Gold touched the highest in almost two months, after rallying on easing U.S. bond yields and a weaker dollar.

Treasury yields extended a decline from the highest in two years. Gold nudged higher on Thursday, having broken through a key resistance near $1,835 an ounce on Wednesday.

The decline in yields and a softer greenback both provided support to the metal. Volatility in U.S. equities is also stoking demand for havens, with the S&P 500 suffering its biggest two-day decline since December this week.

Gold has managed to gain this month even as central banks prepare to dial back stimulus and inflation-adjusted bond yields rise....

'$1,820 is the new floor for now, and interest should follow,' Nicky Shiels, head of metals strategy at MKS PAMP, wrote in a note. 'There will, however, be more futures buyers (not sellers) above $1,850, who have currently been flat.'"

Fed The Bond Market Is Calling the Fed's Bluff -American Consequences

"Simply put, the bond market has a way of forecasting or discounting economic trends much better than stocks do… It’s forward looking.

So when we think about the current environment and what Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve are saying they’re about to do (which is raise rates substantially), I’ve been focusing on the price action of the bond market.

And it’s not lining up with the consensus. What do I mean by this?

Inflation is at 40-year highs, our Fed Chairman (Powell) just last week told Congress he will fight inflation by raising rates, and many Fed members are saying the Fed is going to raise rates two, three, or even four times this year.

And yet… bonds have hardly moved. In fact, they rallied for a bit after Powell’s speech… That’s not the price action of a bond market expecting runaway interest rates higher. The bond market is calling the Fed’s bluff – and quite frankly, so am I.

So, what’s the bond market discounting? What’s it pricing in for the future? I don’t know for certain, but it sure isn’t buying what the Fed is selling....

I want to focus on the spread between stocks and interest rates...Most important is that stocks rallied for almost three weeks after this Fed meeting (February 19, 2020, to be exact). Interest rates did not. The bond market was not buying the growth story or the stabilization story.

This was the trap. The bond market was discounting trouble ahead. Was it discounting a virus? Probably not, but it was discounting lower growth, not higher growth like the Fed wanted us to believe. So stocks (and the Fed) got it wrong and bonds sent the warning....

If everyone knows the Fed is raising rates and inflation is here to stay, but the bond market is saying otherwise, then no one is thinking. That is the trap that’s being set… at least that’s what the market is telling me right now.

So what do we do? The cat is out of the bag in terms of when I’m expecting this rally in stocks to come to a halt. I’ve said I expect the market to drop fairly soon, in February/March."

2022 Midterms Are a No-Win for Democrats -Wall Street Journal

"Anyone who’s served on a White House staff, Democrat or Republican, has some sympathy for what President Biden and his team are going through. Crisis after crisis at home and abroad, a stalled legislative agenda, lousy polls, a divided party, plenty of critics - including usually friendly voices - and internal backbiting spilling into public view: Team Biden is beset by all this and more.

For beleaguered West Wing denizens, there’s some good news. Things will probably get better. The bad news? Not much better, and it won’t be enough. Democrats will still suffer a whooping this fall....

Mr. Biden liked being seen as more transformational than President Obama, 'seeking a much more dramatic sea change.' Caught up in the hype, Mr. Biden threw his weight behind the proposed Build Back Better Act to transform fundamentally America’s economy and climate policy, and joined the push for a federal takeover of local elections.

The problem is that Americans are generally not fond of transformation, except for a few exceptional moments in our history. This isn’t one of them. Most times, Americans like changes to be incremental and, if they’re really significant, approved by commanding congressional margins and strong bipartisan support. Mr. Biden had neither.

The more he pushed for transformational change while holding a razor-thin House margin and a 50-50 Senate, the more negative public opinion grew. The president’s job approval fell from 56% approve, 36% disapprove at the start of his presidency to 41% approve, 53% disapprove now in the RealClearPolitics average.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s Covid spending tracker says $5.6 trillion has been spent or distributed to deal with the virus - while another $1 trillion of appropriated money hasn’t been deployed. Despite this, Congress is talking about appropriating more money, leaving a growing number of Americans to wonder why.

This compounds the administration’s mistake of dismissing inflation as transitory, which undermines public confidence. Many Americans understand that Mr. Biden’s massive federal spending has been a big contributor to inflation, flooding the market with too much money chasing too few goods....

Presidents can recover from difficult moments like this, but there’s no easy way back. Even a dramatic reset, shuffling Mr. Biden’s staff and upgrading his lackluster cabinet all seem unlikely to make a difference for the president. For now, Team Biden is stuck riding it out. It’s their own damned fault."

Survey: Internal Combustion Favored Over Battery Power -WardsAuto

"While automakers advance toward an electrified future, consumers wary of electric vehicles’ limitations continue to be drawn toward internal-combustion-powered vehicles (ICE), a global survey by the Deloitte consultancy finds.

In the U.S. alone, 69% of consumers say they expect their next vehicle to have an ICE powertrain. And despite a growing interest in sustainability across the globe, more than half of U.S. consumers (53%) are unwilling to pay more than $500 for alternative engine technology.

Deloitte’s 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study is based on responses from more than 26,000 consumers from 25 countries conducted between September and October.

The study explored issues affecting the global automotive sector including advanced technologies, sustainability, cost expectations on new vehicles, virtual purchasing and mobility services.

'While the automotive sector focuses on the road ahead and a return to its pre-pandemic pace of growth, consumer values remain aligned with familiarity and affordability,' Deloitte says in a news release summarizing the report’s findings.

That is underscored by general consumer resistance to paying for advanced technologies including autonomous driving, enhanced safety and connectivity."

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1.20.22 - America Lurching from Pandemic to Recession

Gold last traded at $1,841 an ounce. Silver at $24.65 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices extended gains Thursday on safe-haven buying and a weaker dollar. U.S. stocks rebounded a day after dipping into correction territory, as investors tip-toed back into technology names.

Gold, silver see price gains in inflation worries -Kitco

"Gold and silver prices are higher in early U.S. trading Wednesday, with silver notching a seven-week high. The precious metals are seeing buying interest amid growing worries about rising global price inflation, as well as some geopolitics presently at play....

Global stock markets were mixed to weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins, following solid losses Tuesday. Risk aversion is heightened at mid-week.

The Biden Administration said it thinks Russia may be on the brink of invading Ukraine. North Korea is test-firing missiles again, and terrorists attacked the United Arab Emirates with drones a few days ago. And bond yields are rising on rising inflation concerns.

In overnight news, U.K. inflation rose to a 30-year high as the consumer price index rose 5.4% in December, year-on-year.

The key outside markets today see crude oil prices higher, at a seven-year high and trading around $86.50 a barrel. The International Energy Agency forecast that global oil demand in 2022 will exceed that of the pre-pandemic levels....

Technically, the February gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage amid a price uptrend in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at $1,850.00."

free lunch What the Left Will Never Understand About Capitalism -Daily Signal

"The American economy, according to the left, is built on inequality and deepens that inequality at every turn, excluding great numbers of Americans from opportunity. We have heard this since we were in knee socks.

What has reemerged, undeterred by decades of bleak failure, is a fideistic belief in near limitless government spending, planning, and collectivism to heal and augment America’s economic scene.

The American Rescue Plan of March 2021 spent $1.9 trillion in funds the federal government did not have, most of it not going to COVID-19 relief efforts, the purported reason for the legislation. And it spread these funds across economic sectors.

Other goals of the legislation were to further secure single-payer health care with premium support even for the employed, while instilling in many the experience of a universal basic income courtesy of monthly checks received by roughly 85% of households.

Indeed, so pervasive has the left’s critique become that it is wrapped in a justifying monetary framework known as Modern Monetary Theory, which posits the unique insight that government spending faces no hard constraints from tax receipts or borrowing costs because it is only money that we owe to ourselves. The federal government should accordingly set vast public spending goals that reframe the economy in a progressive direction.

But there is nothing 'modern' or innovative about Modern Monetary Theory or any of the other policies set before us. For this and other pieces of market and fiscal wisdom, we can turn to a timely volume titled There’s No Free Lunch by David Bahnsen....

What is evident is that a free economy is bound to the basics of thrift, courage, risk-taking, virtue, alertness, restrained laws, and liberty. The book also puts to the reader something even more controversial than just market economics.

Bahnsen underscores that we also need an anthropology of man under God, rooted in freedom and virtue, to make sense of the high adventure of wealth creation and its responsible stewardship....

According to Bahnsen, this means that: 'Business flows from the creative spirit of mankind, and the creative spirit of mankind comes from our status as image-bearers of God. If you get this wrong, you will get everything else wrong. Lenin is a case in point.'

The economists need to get right with the truths about God and man, Bahnsen says. The failure to do so plagues our thinking about what defines us as a trading people. And, I would add, as a constitutional people who must accept hard limits on what the government can do for us.

This argument is sorely needed right now as we hear voices reducing us to egalitarian monads who should bemoan inequality, inequity, and unfairness. The assumption being that an economy is materialistic, its evaluation and correction should take place along lines of income redistribution, government-created jobs, and a providential welfare state."

America is lurching from pandemic to major recession, after Biden unleashed inflation -Daily Mail

"As we emerge from the pandemic, Joe Biden's economic policy bungling is driving America into a brick wall of malaise and stagflation.

For those of us who lived through it, the comparisons to Jimmy Carter's failed presidency are hard to ignore.

So, why is the Biden administration so determined to ignore both the cause of Carter's economic failure and President Ronald Reagan's very successful formula for reversing it?

Like Carter, the Biden administration is acting as though it can ignore fundamental economic problems forever. News flash - it can't.

The longer we wait to seriously address inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain problems, the worse the threat of an inevitable and deep recession becomes....

Unlike both Republicans and Democrats during the Reagan years, the people who hold power in Washington today clearly have no respect for the free market. But the free market doesn't care what they think. The law of supply and demand is not a law you can amend.

I'm extremely concerned about what lies in store for this country. The longer Biden and his allies keep their heads buried in the sand, the worse the eventual reckoning will be....

Now, we're staring down the maw of a major recession that will cause serious economic pain for millions of Americans, as the economy jumps from the pandemic frying pan into the inflation fire."

Enter the Metaverse, the Promise of Autonomy from the Physical World. -City Journal

"It is no coincidence that the metaverse as a practical project emerged out of the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic....

The great migration to digital during the pandemic showed the enormous advantages of being able to work and live within an artificial, secondary universe.

In this universe, the laws of space and time no longer apply, or at least they can be bent, enhancing human powers in ways still to explore: an end to long commutes and the achievement of measurable increases in productivity; the ability to participate in meetings and conferences on different continents and on the same day; and children still able to attend school, even amid the worst public-health emergency in a century.

The immediate appeal of the metaverse is that it promises to marshal the virtues of digital life, while addressing many of its shortcomings. Instead of business meetings on Zoom, imagine entering a digital room and talking to our colleagues around a virtual table, or even walking together in an electronically conjured garden...Is there a reason to travel physically to Venice to visit the Biennale instead of jumping into the metaverse and enjoying all the art and video installations with the latest fully immersive technology? Traveling to exotic locations could happen while we sit in our own living room....

What truly distinguishes the metaverse is its autonomy from the physical world. The metaverse exists on its own. It has a life of its own. It creates a genuinely alternative world. As Mark Zuckerberg does not tire of pointing out, the metaverse cannot be compared with the Internet because it aims to place us within the digital experience, inside an embodied Internet, on a more or less unending basis. One accesses the Internet. One enters the metaverse....

The difference matters. To see why, consider how the relation between user and the digital environment gets turned on its head. With the Internet, the user remains sovereign, dictating when and how digital interactions take place. In the metaverse, the user finds himself entirely surrounded by the platform, and the quality of the experiences will frequently depend on whether he or she accepts that fact....

One day, the Internet arrived, seemingly from nowhere, and we got used to thinking that it would be forever. It now seems clear that we are on the cusp of a successor: the metaverse. Much has been written about a clash of titans between Facebook and Microsoft to decide which will control the new virtual world to which humanity as a whole is supposed to migrate....

The metaverse represents the most recent battle between human freedom and the constraints of reality. It could also become a battle to define reality itself."

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1.19.22 - The Fed is Behind the Curve (As Usual)

Gold last traded at $1,840 an ounce. Silver at $24.18 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices rushed higher Wednesday on rising inflation and a falling dollar. U.S. stocks fell despite several strong earnings reports, as investors remained cautious on equities amid elevated rates.

Oil Pushes Toward $90; Gold Seen Holding $1,800

"Oil bulls are getting all the support they need in their quest for $90-and-above a barrel as the week opens with a deadly air raid on the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a major producer, and a positive supply-demand forecast due from crude exporters group OPEC.

The Iran-allied Houthi movement launched drone and missile strikes on Sunday which set off explosions in fuel trucks in the UAE that killed three people, and warned that it will target more facilities, prompting Abu Dhabi to say that it reserved the right to 'respond to these terrorist attacks.'

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is, meanwhile, slated to release its monthly oil market report later on Tuesday. Those long the market will be hoping to use that report as leverage for getting crude to its first target of $90 a barrel and eventually beyond $100.

At $84.50 a barrel for US crude’s West Texas Intermediate and $87.50 for London-traded Brent, oil prices are already up 12% this year, extending 2021’s rally of more than 50%.

The gains came amid evidence that months of fears about the Omicron variant of COVID may have been exaggerated, as the variant has hardly caused as many deaths or illnesses as other strains, including Delta....

On the gold front, longs are expected to keep the yellow metal above the key $1,800-an-ounce support, following through with last week’s 1% gain that left the front-month contract in New York’s COMEX gold at above $1,816."

The Fed is behind the curve (as usual) -TheMoneyIllusion

"There’s a widespread impression that the Fed has recently tightened monetary policy. And it’s true that they have taken specific steps to signal an intention to raise rates and end QE earlier than had been expected six months ago. Nonetheless, monetary policy has effectively eased in the past six months, becoming more expansionary. The stance of monetary policy is not about Fed actions, it’s about market expectations of inflation/GDP growth.

During the summer of 2021, 5-year TIPS spreads hovered around 2.5%. As of today, they are over 2.9%. The problem is that the equilibrium interest rate is rising faster than the Fed’s signals about future rate increases. This is actually the typical pattern over the business cycle. The Fed tends to raise rates too slowly during booms and cut them too slowly during recessions.

Actually, the situation is even worse than suggested by the rising TIPS spreads. The Fed isn’t targeting inflation; it’s targeting average inflation. That means a period of above target inflation should be followed by expectations of lower inflation going forward. Ideally, after the high inflation of the past 6 months, TIPS spreads should have declined, as markets anticipated a make-up period of below 2% inflation....

Monetary policy is not binary situation of 'success' and 'failure'. All monetary policy ends in failure of some sort, it’s just a question of how bad. There’s still time for the Fed to remedy the situation and produce a soft landing. To do that, they need to aim for no more than 4% GDP growth going forward, and no less than 3%. (In my view, trend GDP growth is now below 2%) To do that the Fed needs to get ahead of the curve. Tighten policy enough to significantly reduce market inflation forecasts."

With Rate Increases Looming, Investors Dump Shares of Money-Losing Companies -Wall Street Journal

"Moonshot stocks are coming back to Earth.

As the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates, investors are repricing their bets on one of the riskiest corners of the market: shares of companies that don’t make money. Cash-burning technology firms, biotechnology companies without any approved drugs and startups that listed quickly via mergers with blank-check companies - some of which soared during the pandemic - have dropped sharply....

On average, loss-making companies in the analysis slid 25% from the market’s close on Sept. 30 through Friday. Profitable companies in the index, meanwhile, gained an average of 1.4% for the same time frame....The performance of riskier growth stocks, which aim to deliver sharp profit growth in the future, also lagged behind broader indexes in the latter part of 2021....

Hawkish Fed policy is driving a rotation toward stocks that generate higher-than-average dividend yield, such as areas like banks and insurance, said Jonathan Garner, the Hong Kong-based chief Asia and emerging-market strategist at Morgan Stanley.

'That’s playing out on a world-wide basis, and we expect it to continue,' Mr. Garner said."

Biden's Georgia Speech Is a Break Point -Wall Street Journal

"The president’s Tuesday speech in Atlanta, on voting rights, was a disaster for him. By the end of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s answering speech on Wednesday you knew some new break point had occurred, that President Biden might have thought he was just crooning to part of his base but the repercussions were greater than that; he was breaking in some new way with others - and didn’t know it.

It is poor political practice when you fail to guess the effects of your actions. He meant to mollify an important constituency but instead he filled his opponents with honest indignation and, I suspect, encouraged in that fractured group some new unity.

The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels.

Presidents more than others in politics have to maintain an even strain, as astronauts used to say. If a president is rhetorically manipulative and divisive on a voting-rights bill it undercuts what he’s trying to establish the next day on Covid and the economy. The over-the-top language of the speech made him seem more emotional, less competent.

The portentousness - 'In our lives and . . . the life of our nation, there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before them from everything that followed. They stop time' - made him appear incapable of understanding how the majority of Americans understand our own nation’s history and the vast array of its challenges.

By the end he looked like a man operating apart from the American conversation, not at its center. This can be fatal to a presidency....Most wince-inducing: 'Will you stand against election subversion? Yes or no? . . . Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace ? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor ? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?'

If a speech can be full of itself this speech was. From the floor of the Senate the next day came Mr. McConnell’s rebuke. It was stinging, indignant to the point of seething. He didn’t attempt to scale any rhetorical heights. The plainness of his language was ferocious....

When national Democrats talk to the country they always seem to be talking to themselves. They are of the left, as is their constituency, which wins the popular vote in presidential elections; the mainstream media through which they send their messages is of the left; the academics, historians and professionals they consult are of the left. They get in the habit of talking to themselves, in their language, in a single, looped conversation.

They have no idea how they sound to the non-left, so they have no idea when they are damaging themselves. But this week in Georgia Mr. Biden damaged himself. And strengthened, and may even have taken a step in unifying, the non-Democrats who are among their countrymen, and who are in fact the majority of them."

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1.18.22 - Gold Holds Ground Despite Fed Rate Signals

Gold last traded at $1,814 an ounce. Silver at $23.56 an ounce.

NEWS SUMMARY: Precious metal prices traded mixed Tuesday as rising interest rates boosted the dollar. U.S. stocks fell sharply after Goldman Sachs reported disappointing earnings and as government bond yields hit Covid-era highs.

Gold holds ground despite Fed's rate rise signals -Reuters/Kitco

"Gold prices held their ground on Monday, with gains capped by expectations of monetary policy tightening in the United States.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,819.41 an ounce while U.S. gold futures also edged up by 0.1% to $1,818.80. U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday.

'A tightening money policy could have negative impacts on gold, but despite that gold has been holding up very well. I think it's mainly because the overall Fed balance sheet is still at elevated levels,' said Xiao Fu, head of commodities markets strategy at Bank of China International....

The focus is now on the U.S. Federal Reserve's Jan. 25-26 meeting after policymakers signaled that they would start raising interest rates in March to tame inflation."

inflation Here's why inflation numbers are about to get worse -TheHill

"This week the government announced that the inflation rate - as per its Consumer Price Index - has reached 7 percent, the highest it’s been since 1982. But ask any business owner and they’ll tell you that the consumer price index only tells us about the past. It isn’t the true indicator of future inflation.

The future is all about the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures the costs to make things. That index rose a whopping 9.7 percent. And - bad news, everyone - inflation is going to go a lot higher in the months to come because of this.

Why? Because there are many different materials that go into the PPI. Some are used more frequently than others. So we have to dig further. And when we unpeel the PPI and look closely at the costs of the core materials and labor used in manufacturing, farming and construction, we find that prices have risen much, much more than the reported 9.7 percent. And those prices are ultimately going to find their way to customers in the coming months.

For starters, the costs of most of the core raw chemicals that make up just about everything we use are skyrocketing and show no sign of future relief. Aluminum is used in just about all sectors of the economy, and the costs of this core material have risen 37 percent in the past year and show no sign of letting up. Tin, which is used as a protective coating and alloy for steel, has gone up 116 percent. Speaking of steel, the cost of iron and steel has shot up 87 percent.

Yes, many of these materials are commodities, and the price of commodities can fluctuate. But there's no indication that our worldwide supply chain and labor shortage problems are going to be resolved any time soon....

All in all, the total costs of manufacturing have increased more than 15 percent over the past year. But it's not just the manufacturers that are suffering. Farmers are paying almost 16 percent more to feed their animals and 92 percent more for potash, which is one of the main ingredients in fertilizer....

The Fed already plans to have anywhere from three to four interest rate hikes this year to taper down this liquidity. Will their strategy work to curtail inflation in 2022? Given its performance over the past couple of years, many business owners I know are skeptical. They have a right to be."

Real Wages Plummet as Inflation Hits the US Recovery -Mises

"The headline 3.9 percent unemployment rate looks positive, but job creation fell significantly below consensus, at 199,000 in December versus a consensus estimate of 450,000.

The weak jobs figure should be viewed in the context of the largest stimulus plan in recent history. With massive monetary and fiscal support and a government deficit of $2.77 trillion, the second highest on record, job creation falls significantly short of previous recoveries and the employment situation is significantly worse than it was in 2019.

The most alarming datapoint is that real wages are plummeting. Average hourly earnings have risen 4.7 percent in 2021, but inflation is 6.8 percent, sending real wages to negative territory and the worst reading since 2011....

Now put this in the context of a massive $3 trillion stimulus and the evidence is clear. There is no bang-on-the-buck from this unprecedented spending spree. All the jobs recovery comes from the reopening. The stimulus plan has not accelerated job growth, it has slowed it....

No US citizen should be happy about plummeting real wages and stagnant labor participation in the middle of a strong recovery and the second-largest deficit on record....

There is a clear threat to American workers from persistent high inflation and the higher taxes that the massive deficit includes: the destruction of the middle class and fewer job opportunities in the future as small and medium enterprises, the largest employers in the United States, suffer rising input prices and weaker margins.

The United States will not have a strong job market unless it recovers the trend of rising real wages and increasing labor participation rate that existed in 2018-2019. Everything else is just a poor and unproductive bounce."

A Simple Plan to Solve All of America’s Problems -The Atlantic

"During the holiday week, I spent a frigid afternoon standing in a long line outside the local library to pick up a rapid COVID test. Lines for essential goods are a pretty good sign of failed public policy.

When food runs low, there are bread lines. Where gasoline is in short supply, there are gas lines. But there I stood, nearly two years into a pandemic, shivering inside a depressing metaphor of state failure. As I bounced from foot to foot to stay warm, I asked myself: How on earth did this happen?....

Zoom out, and you can see that scarcity has been the story of the whole pandemic response. In early 2020, Americans were told to not wear masks, because we apparently didn’t have enough to go around.

Last year, Americans were told to not get booster shots, because we apparently didn’t have enough to go around. Today, we’re worried about people using too many COVID tests as cases scream past 700,000 per day, because we apparently don’t have enough to go around.

Zoom out more, and you’ll see that scarcity is also the story of the U.S. economy. After years of failing to invest in technology at our ports, we have a shipping-delay crisis...After decades of letting semiconductor-manufacturing power move to Asia, we have a shortage of chips, which is causing price increases for cars and electronics.

In the past few months, I’ve become obsessed with a policy agenda that is focused on solving our national problem of scarcity. This agenda would try to take the best from several ideologies. It would harness the left’s emphasis on human welfare, but it would encourage the progressive movement to 'take innovation as seriously as it takes affordability,' as Ezra Klein wrote.

It would tap into libertarians’ obsession with regulation to identify places where bad rules are getting in the way of the common good. It would channel the right’s fixation with national greatness to grow the things that actually make a nation great - such as clean and safe spaces, excellent government services, fantastic living conditions, and broadly shared wealth.

The abundance agenda aims for growth, not because growth is an end but because it is the best means to achieve the ends that we care about: more comfortable lives, with more power to do what we want, with more time devoted to what we love."

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