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June 23, 2014

Various investment strategies for 2014

Steven R. Berryman

Many equate “investment strategies” with immediate wealth or other personal gain; I propose that we begin to take the much broader view in this matter to include ways that we spend our time observing happenstance in the world around us, especially including longer term benefits to next generations, or even spanning political outcomes.


Investing in money gathering matters is a form of qualified risk taking any way one measures it, but simply think about the individual or group you are paying the commissions to; if they were so bright, why wouldn’t they have already retired on the wealth garnered by their superior level of knowledge and advice? Hmmm?


So, look at other ways to invest: your time, for instance. Take the time to lift up your head and measure the world around you to see what’s going on; some political deadlines and international intrigue are the first two items you may stumble upon.


Locally tomorrow is Primary Election Day in Maryland, and it’s not too late for the disenfranchised to Google some candidate names to discern positions on issues of note. Delegates, state senators, and on and on. Have you been away? Was growth or business acumen important last time around?


This year we dis-enjoy very bad economic standings in our native Maryland. Last week our venerable Frederick News-Post shared a wire service report that we had zero (O) economic growth in the entire year of 2013. None. Nada. Nunca; zilch, zed.


For every small business that picked up a buck, another lost one asunder.


Businesses and transportable constituents are flocking away from Maryland in droves, in part due to a lack of business contracts from the all-insulating federal government, and also in part to total taxation rates that make New York and New Jersey envy us. (Not to mention changes in local gun laws; that’s for another column)


So, consider your favorite politicians growth and business friendly positions on Tuesday, and tell your friends…. (called networking)


Don’t have time to even ask your learned friends for some election advice? Then be prepared to suffer an incinerator that is not the least bit self-sustaining, despite the propaganda. The City of Harrisburg (PA) went bust on just such a gamble, joining Sacramento (CA) for the dubious distinction of “city in receivership.”


Invest the time to learn that heavy metals are concentrated in the ash of the output of a fixed incinerator, potential state partners in the project are not to be trusted, and that the BTU rating of non-recyclable trash will not be enough to create any energy bonus in the burning.


Invest some time in watching foreign policy bloom and then fail, as well.


Not that we have ever had any coherent strategy from either of the past two administrations, but the original Bush push to take Iraq (or liberate it, or whatever) has morphed into news stories that – admit it, you are ignoring – use terms you may recognize like: We are now sending “military advisors” back into Iraq.


Sounds a bit Nam-ish, to those having lived through the quagmire that was LBJ’s and Nixon’s Vietnam. (Well, and Kennedy’s and Kissinger’s)


And so, we fiddle with Iraq, nestled between Iran and Syria. Who is watching?


Surely expansionary Russia, foisting up this incident upward to distract from atrocity in Ukraine, is a player. They watch, they wait, they tamper.


Much line Mainland China watches for openings allowing for conquest into Formosa, the “other China.”


And what is it that we seek to protect in Iraq?


That investment is of national ego, combined with oil wealth, of course. You know our flag was planted firmly when we spent two billion dollars on the embassy-that-would-be-a-castle in Iraq! We recently sent another 250 Marines to back up the turrets and drawbridges therein.


The continued presence of any boots on the ground in this oil land is surely to control oil sanctity; the coin of the realm. Is this worth the “investment?” …. in potential young lives…


So, invest wisely in how you spend time. From local politics to national scandals, the awareness can either protect, or obfuscate the truth. You can be protected from guilt, or become assuaged and made free through action.


You will only know this upon a needed re-engagement. Our nation is longing for one….in a time when Al Jazeera’s new network produces better news content than American national television networks.


Just where did we go wrong, and how to reinvest our American know-how?


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