March 14, 2009

Navajo Coal, Everybody's Money, and More

***A report in the current issue of Forbes is relevant to all Kentuckians, including environmentalist, coal miners, politicians, and investors. As goes the Navajo Nation, it seems to me, so goes Kentucky when it comes to new coal-fired energy plants:

The Navajo nation has huge reserves of coal, a 50% unemployment rate, and a desire to build what the EPA says "would be one of the cleanest coal plants in the nation." Environmentalist groups are suing to prevent construction. If they're successful, the Navajo will build five gambling casinos instead. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. says, "'The creator put the coal and the water there to be used. What we need to do is use it.'"
Christopher Helman, "Beyond Casinos, Forbes
, March 16, 2009, p. 88 ff.

***Trying to understand what got us into our economic plight? Here's the answer:

"In 2008 the average household net worth dropped by 22.7%.
. . . [Conventional wisdom] had us believing that over the long run stocks produce the highest returns, that a diversified stock portfolio protects you against loss and that the risk of owning stocks is small if you hold them for a long time.
"We now know that conventional wisdom is wrong."
Steve H. Hanke, "Unconventional Wisdom," Forbes, March 16, 2009, p. 106

***If you're a person who thinks women get all the breaks in society, I've got news for you:
"In the worst financial crash since the Depression, financial service and insurance firms have cut 260,000 jobs. Seventy-two percent of the missing workers laid off have been women, even though they constituted 64% of employment before the crash began."
Anita Raghavan, "Wall Street's Disappearing Women," Forbes, March 16, p. 72 ff.

And just in case you're wondering how the folks who sold the (flawed) conventional wisdom package to us feel about recent events, here's a cover headline from that same issue: YES--YOU DESERVE A FAT BONUS.

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