A Lively Discussion
In Case You Missed It
This week marked the first anniversary of our blog, The Iconoclast Investor, and I want to thank all of our loyal readers for making it such a great first year! I love having an interactive outlet for Cabot's investing advice and really enjoy reading your responses to our posts. We've grown a lot in the last year and plan to keep growing in the future.
Since Cabot launched the blog last July, we've guided you through the bear market and into a new bull market with our detailed stock chart analyses (the blog has visual aids) and ongoing commentary on the state of the market. You've responded by writing some very insightful comments and starting a lot of great discussions. The topics have ranged from specific stocks and market action to the future of U.S. politics and the possibility of living in a car-free world. Many of the conversations started here in Cabot Wealth Advisory have carried over to the blog and been kept going by you, our readers.
Throughout the year, we added stock charts to the blog to help you understand our editors' technical analyses better. We also added real-time stock quotes so you always know what the stocks we discuss are doing right now without having to go to another Web site.
We've also expanded our reach by starting a Twitter account where we connect with Cabot readers and fellow investors on variety of investing topics. If you haven't followed us yet there, you can do so by clicking here: http://twitter.com/IconoInvestor
As always, if you have any comments, suggestions or questions, send me an email or comment on the blog, http://www.iconoclast-investor.com. We love hearing from you, our readers, as we improve our products to serve your needs more effectively. Thanks again and keep reading!
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I'm guessing that some of you have never been to our blog--maybe you're a new subscriber or perhaps you just don't think blogs are for you. So to give you an idea of what you're missing, I'm going to bring you some of the blog's most recent comments, which came in reaction to Timothy Lutts' piece about U.S. politics past, present and future. You can read the original article here: http://www.cabot.net/Issues/CWA/Archives/2009/07/Healthcare-Stock-for-Changing-Times.aspx
"While I liked most of the article, I don't see how supporting the IRS and socialized medicine helps us. I think the author is off on that count.
"It is notable that one of the most successful Libertarians, Ron Paul (yes he is an LP member) supported eliminating the income tax and replacing it with nothing, and a comparatively mainstream conservative, Mike Huckabee advocated abolishing the IRS and replacing it with a national sales tax.
"One can call for quality private medical care and alternatives to the IRS, without insisting that it happen at once. Gradualism is simply the honest acknowledgment that we are part of a process in which one doesn't get perfection overnight.
"In other-words, maximizing a voluntary non-coercive society is a destination. In looking at compromises I always look to see if it points us in the direction of that destination. As Tom Knapp once noted, "I recognize that the bulk of the passengers will be disembarking at stations somewhere east of the one for which my ticket is stamped."
"If I believed government run health care was the solution, and that the income tax were good for the economy, I would stop being a Libertarian. To accept these premises, would be to reject many of the most fundamental arguments that support most libertarian positions. That doesn't mean I would oppose intermediate measures in which some (but less) of the socialism and taxation still existed.
"The Republicans are already using our rhetoric everywhere I turn, but when cornered on the issues they show they don't mean it. If we are to contrast ourselves from them, we must be clear that we really mean it. Otherwise, we are just Republicans with no campaign funds."
"Thank you very much for your insightful article regarding the Libertarian Party. I'm currently running as an "L," this upcoming local election, for an At-Large seat for City Council. Reading your article has encouraged me to keep on fighting the good fight, and not give up or give in to either party that is in power "for now." As you have pointed out, the political pendulum will swing back again towards the "other" party, and we Libertarians, will be ready with candidates of our own."
Yours in Freedom,
"As has already been pointed out in other comments, ballot access obstacles are a serious impediment to the growth of the Libertarian Party. One thing that the original commentary does not point out is that these obstacles did not exist during much of the political evolution cited. They were enacted by Democrats and Republicans trying to protect their duopoly on power.
"While I agree on the importance of removing these obstacles I think it is even more important to reform the electoral process as a whole. Our current first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all electoral system encourages the fear of "spoilers" thus causing people to vote not for what they want but against what they fear.
"We need reforms such as instant-runoff-voting (IRV) for executive offices and proportional representation (PR) for legislative bodies. IRV would allow people to rank their choices for an office allowing them to cast their first place vote for a minor party candidate even if they believe that candidate has no choice of winning. If indeed that candidate comes in last their second choice will then be awarded a vote in the next round where the last place candidate has been eliminated. PR involves using multi-seat districts and awarding seats in proportion to the vote totals. For example, in a five seat district if 20% of the voters support a minority candidate, that candidate would get one seat of the five - still a minority position but at least a presence at the table.
I am presently laying the groundwork to unseat a 20-year incumbent Congressman in south Mississippi (D), and replace him with a Libertarian. I am constantly engaging Republicans that want to do the same thing, but replace him with a Republican instead. The Republicans complain to me that by running a Libertarian candidate, we are going to split the vote and allow the Democrat to win the election (2010).
This "splitting the vote" thing is a fallacy. As I told one of the supporters of the Republican candidate, Libertarians historically take just as many votes from the Democrats as they do from the Republicans. The reason is simple. Disenfranchised conservative Democrats that seek fiscal responsibility and protection of civil liberties vote for Libertarians, and disenfranchised Republicans that seek fiscal responsibility and protection of civil liberties vote for Libertarians. We are seldom 'spoilers' like Ross Perot. We take votes from both parties equally."
"I agree with this article, however, I choose slightly different wording when it comes to platform modification.
"The Libertarian Party is a party built around the philosophy of libertarianism.
"However, libertarianism is usually presented as a "final product," without a specific road map on how to get there.
"So, I don't call it "moderating the platform," personally. I prefer to refer to it as "progression towards liberty." (Note that the previous commenter had an aversion to "moderation" but outlines a very similar approach as I will present).
"It took over 200 years, and several wars, to have our liberties stripped away from us.
"Of course, some good things occurred (such as ending slavery and voting rights). Almost everything else, however, has been action to consolidate power at the federal level, by stripping rights from the local and state governments.
"We can't change the world overnight. If welfare were ended tomorrow, every city in America would be ablaze. And it's not the recipients' fault; generations of government dependence have created the problem.
"We have to create the stepping stone process; one that will take years--and most likely, a century or more. People can adjust to change, but only small changes.
"This is precisely why the Obama administration is about to fail miserably--they're going too far, too fast.
"We need to institute libertarian principles and policies, through the Libertarian Party, at a rate that average Americans can handle.
"That's my approach, anyway."
"The LP does not need to moderate its positions. The whole internal Platform battle over the past few years illustrates quite clearly how much of a mess that makes.
"What does need to be done is establish an incrementalist approach couched in populist terms which will head towards the goals and deliver the votes.
"But the biggest problems are twofold: 1) The system is skewed on ballot access against third parties, and that needs to change to properly level the playing field. 2) The mindset of the populace who are so ingrained by their MSM [mainstream media] exposure into the D/R mentality, that needs changing into better thinking, and away from the MSM brainwashing into more options politically instead of big government and less freedom from either the left or the right.
Again, thanks to everyone for making this first year so successful on the Iconoclast Investor. Keep reading and commenting!
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In case you didn't get a chance to read all the issues of Cabot Wealth Advisory this week and want to catch up on any investing and stock tips you might have missed, I have links below to each issue.
Cabot Wealth Advisory 7/13/09 - The Tour de France, Kazakhstan and China
On Monday, Timothy Lutts wrote about the Tour de France and its connection to the vastly underdeveloped nation of Kazakhstan. But Tim's real focus was Kazakhstan's neighbor, China, whose power Tim believes is largely underestimated by Americans, despite sporting 8% growth this year during the worldwide recession. Tim wrote about a stock that's been called the "Expedia of China" and was recently featured in Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report. Featured stock: Ctrip.com (CTRP).
Cabot Wealth Advisory 7/16/09 - Gas Prices Don't Predict Green Stock Performance
On Thursday, Brendan Coffey wrote about why Green investments aren't directly affected by the daily fluctuations in oil and gas prices, despite many people believing they are. Brendan also discussed the growing worldwide investments in Green and a Green stock that is perfect for solar, wind and hybrid lovers. Featured stock: Maxwell Technologies (MXWL).
Until next time,
Editor of Cabot Wealth Advisory
Editor's Note: Cabot Top Ten Report is the #1 source of new stock ideas, like past winners Crocs, First Solar and Apple, just to name a few. Editor Michael Cintolo always has his eye on the market, looking to discover which stocks are going to be the leaders of the new bull market. Every Monday, Mike provides subscribers the market's 10 hottest stocks, including a detailed fundamental and technical analysis. If you're ready to discover the strongest stocks in the market today, Cabot Top Ten Report is right for you. Click here to get started today!