Economist.com – God meets Mammon. The Profit of Turning Thugs into Programmers. Hey pols, here’s a secret: if you provide people with a legitimate means to satisfy thier wants and needs, they won’t resort to crime.

“Since 90% of the candidates he finds are drug addicts, the first step is a drug-treatment programme.” Not exactly model students. Nonetheless, “of the 150 or so graduates from Brother Holub’s programme, not one has been sacked. Instead, HBI graduates earn an average of $40,000 a year, and more than $63,000 after two years.” Attack the cause, not the symptoms.

Forbes.com: Bill Bites Back (why to invest in MSFT now) The very nature of software production (extremely low variable cost) justifies an oligopolistic market structure. I think MSFT develops the best products and w/o them, we’d still be paying for our internet browsing software. The downside is that their anti-piracy technology in XP and Office 2002 is too fucking good. I’ll leave it to The Economist to enumerate why the antitrust case is “An unsettling settlement

I’ll give anyone 2:1 odds that MSFT is pleading its case before trust busters in the next 10 years.

Forbes.com: Government By Tax Credit “If the idea of receiving $1,000 off your tax bill for a Disney World fling strikes you as bizarre, consider this: Families can claim state or federal tax credits for enrolling teens in driver’s ed, installing solar-heated spas, driving vehicles that burn alternative fuels, fixing up their “historic” homes, caring for relatives, adopting foreign children, sending their kids to college, paying for afterschool golf and for contributing to political campaigns.”

My solution: NO INCOME TAX.

And the bubble gets bigger….
This chart of all three major US Indices displays the nice U recovery followed by a narrow trading range technical traders expect. Over the long term, fundamentals prevail however. The market will tank again.
Note the following index closing prices:
Date, SPX, DJX, NASDAQ
Sept-10, 1092, 9606, 1695
Nov-6, 1120, 9545, 1834
%CNG, +2.6, -0.614, 8.20
How can the S&P 500 and NASDAQ gain after the 9-11 attacks, the start of Vietnam II and a worsening economy? (BTW, if the economy wasn’t continuing to deteriorate, the Fed wouldn’t have cut another ½ pt today.)
Think about the increased expenses to protect our citizenry, the additional time we will waste at airports, bridges, tall buildings, etc., the reduced prospect of consumer spending…. The 9-11 realization took at least 3% (my subjective guess) out of the true value of the U.S. economy. Without good news to compensate for this, can we conclude that the public markets are more overvalued than before? I hope not.