MEGATHREATS? MAYBE, BUT NOT INEVITABLE I recently read "Megathreats: The Ten Trends That Imperil Our Future, and How to Survive Them" by Nouriel Roubini (made famous as the predictor of the 2008-9 housing crisis). It is purposefully, "alarming. Roubini lists 10 "Megathreats:" The mother of all debt crises -- he points out that public and private debt is 350% of Gross World Product. He forecasts that defaults like Argentina (9 times since 1816 independence) will be commonplace. The bailout trap -- when banks go bad, government bails them out; when autos go bad, government bails them out; when utilities get the point. The demographic time bomb -- western civilization (and Japan) are rapidly aging. Old people don't produce, and young people don't save. The easy money trap leading to cycles of booms and busts. Stagflation Currency meltdowns Border closings and deglobalization -- immigration into the north from the south has kept labor

Thinking Of Selling NFTs? Consider These Tech And Legal Factors First

 The buzz around nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is reaching a fever pitch. Enthusiasts claim NFTs will permanently alter how we buy and sell everything from artwork and music to fashion and real estate. Skeptics say they are yet another overhyped bubble destined to burst — the Dutch tulips or Beanie Babies of the 2020s.  It’s too early to tell which camp will prevail, but there’s no denying that NFTs are sparking fascinating conversations about technology, art, culture and authenticity across a wide range of industries. I recently wrote a simple guide to NFTs from a consumer perspective, asking pertinent questions related to legal, financial and even environmental issues. Now let’s look at the other side of the token and explore the considerations for sellers.  How NFTs Work   NFTs are digital assets that exist on a blockchain — usually the cryptocurrency Ethereum blockchain — and are used to represent collectibles, such as videos, images, music and memes. Each NFT has a unique valuation an

Are NFTs Worth The Hype? Important Questions To Consider Before Buying

 An artist from Wisconsin known as Beeple made international news this year when a piece of his digital artwork sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s, a record-breaking amount paid in a new category of assets called nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Immediately afterward, you could almost hear millions of people around the world simultaneously Googling, “What is an NFT?” Like most stories related to blockchain or cryptocurrency, this one seemed to bring up more questions than answers. What do NFTs actually do? If you buy one, what exactly do you get, and what is it worth? What are the pros and cons?  This is an emerging technology, and I’ve been asking the same questions myself as I learn more. I’ve put together a basic guide to NFTs from a consumer perspective: what the tech does, how NFTs can be used and important issues to consider before purchasing.  What Is An NFT? How Is It Used? Perhaps you were skeptical about bitcoin a decade ago, but now it's worth close to $60,000, and you’re lo

Will We Waste the Lessons of the Covid Crisis?

 We find ourselves at a critical moment in the world’s history. Our country has weathered a global pandemic and economic collapse just a decade following a catastrophic financial crisis—the Great Recession. We have survived, but is that enough? Don’t we want more for every citizen and our communities? For ourselves and our families? A sense of urgency can serve as a catalyst to improve our lives, but we must avoid falling prey to the hysteria trap set by many in politics and the media. The world is not ending. And clearly, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic has accelerated many changes and advancements in the way we work, including greater flexibility in where and when. This, in turn, has created tremendous workplace diversity from a geographic perspective. The global pandemic has also energized innovation and progress in the way we obtain professional services. Perhaps the biggest example is telemedicine, which leverages technology to make a board-certified profession available to everyone

Forgive and Forget? The Student Loan Debt Controversy

 Student loan debt affects roughly 44.7 million Americans at an average of about $37,584 per borrower.[1] That’s nearly $1.7 trillion owed collectively. Shockingly, this amount has grown more than six times faster than the US economy. The current student lending system is a field of land mines. Lenders often encourage students to take on loans that are extremely disproportionate to what is affordable. Furthermore, they market loans as ‘financial aid’ or ‘assistance,’ or even as ‘grants and scholarships,’ purposely obfuscating students’ obligations to the debt they incur. Congress is now talking about student loan forgiveness and it’s a hotly debated issue. As in my previous writings on controversial topics, I’ll mix a bit of history and context, spicing it up with a splash of counterpoints where I can.  How did we did get here? Student loans are a relatively recent issue for the American people. In the 19th century, higher education was mostly free or expensive and was widely considere

57 Years After the March on Washington, Have MLK’s Dreams been Realized?

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (August 28, 1963) Fifty-seven years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the March on Washington D.C., where 250,000 people gathered in one of the largest political rallies in U.S. history. The March is credited with helping pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. While Dr. King’s speech is rightfully immortalized, fewer remember that the March’s organizers at the time also had very concrete political demands that were as much about economic justice as racial equality. On the recent anniversary of the March, I began to wonder whether or not the March’s “10 Demands” for freedom, education and equality have been realized – and, more importantly, what we still need to do as a nat


          In September 1999, Harland C. Stonecipher gave a speech that opened with a passage from Isaiah Chapter 8, verse 6, " Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”             He did so because he was preparing for a call to action. Today the words and spirit of Harland Stonecipher, the founder of LegalShield, will ring through my voice today.           Anyone that knows me knows that I love the United States of America. This country offers more freedom, more opportunity than any other country in the world!   This is a country that promises to offer each of us the ability to succeed and achieve as much as our desire and abilities will allow us.   The promise is for everyone. It is the United States Constitution.   The only limits in America should be those we place upon ourselves.           But today, but not just today, for more than 200 years, we realize that there is a problem with


In my lifetime I have witnessed incredible progress for humanity.   The facts show a significant decrease in poverty and disease, with corresponding improvements in education, healthcare, human and civil rights.   But I’ve also seen us repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I remember Rodney King and the protests and riots that followed his beating by police.   I remember Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a policeman and the subsequent protests and riots. We now mourn George Floyd and we are in the middle of peaceful protests and riots. I’ve seen this play out on large and small stages: Anger, violence, some platitudes from “woke” CEOs and the same dribble from the same voices of the left and right. Here’s a question: How do we NOT return to ‘normal’? How do we NOT allow complacency to set in? In my life, I have done stupid things. I’ve crossed the line of proper judgement and of the law. I’ve been caught speeding and been caught by police. Every time I’ve told them I

Has Atlas Shrugged? Why a Surveillance State is a really bad idea.

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges: medical, scientific, political, economic, social and moral.   The medical or healthcare industry feared that hospitals would be overrun, that the lack of masks, gloves and ventilators were in such short supply that people would die who otherwise would have survived the virus.   Science does not have answers to origin nor cure.   Politicians have taken the unprecedented approach of “pausing” economic and social life as the only response to address the fears articulated by the medical and scientific communities. This is a complicated issue with many times conflicting and contradicting information from governments and the media.   The use of fear has been a powerful motivator.   CNN keeps a “leader board” of cases and deaths running 24/7. Every news organization publishes headlines meant to promote hysteria (and viewership for their business model). Every citizen was told to “save grandparents” and “protect the

Are we headed for recession (August 2019)?

I have been thinking quite a lot about the real economy and the financial economy.  I draw a distinction between the vast majority of the citizens of the United States of America in the real economy -- they work and earn and save and spend -- and the financial economy.  The real economy has household and business income. Citizens must have housing and items inside the home. They must have food and transportation and clothing and entertainment...the list is obvious because we are all part of this real economy.  We earn. We borrow. We spend. We save.  As you aggregate the real economy, real goods are produced and consumed either at home or abroad. Real supplies and materials ladder up into increasingly complex goods.  Real work is done on infrastructure and real innovation and research occurs.  This is different than the financial economy. The financial economy wishes to make money based upon the real work of others in the real economy.  The financial economy lends money to people and