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Who Will Join The 3000Hit Club After Adrian Beltre

Ryan ZimmermanNationals22109308+24.21611 The elder statesmenFor players age 31 and up, the difference between their career hits and hits of an average 3,000-hit club member at the same age and point in season How quickly things can change …Players age 30 and under who were furthest ahead of the 3,000-hit pace in 2007 PLAYERTEAMAGE2017CAREERAVG. 3K CLUB HITS AT SAME AGEDIFF. PLAYERTEAMAGE2017CAREERAVG. 3K CLUB HITS AT SAME AGEDIFF. The middle-agersFor players age 26 to 30, the difference between their career hits and hits of an average 3,000-hit club member at the same age and point in season Miguel CabreraTigers348226012296.5+304.5 The 3,000-hit pace was prorated to 101 games into each player’s current-age season to match where we stand in 2017.For players who are no more than 50 hits behind the average 3,000-hit-club member at the same age.Source: FanGraphs Xander BogaertsRed Sox24103631552.4+78.6 Manny MachadoOrioles2491790552.4+237.6 Albert PujolsAngels378629112791.1+119.9 The next set of players are theoretically in their primes, though their chances might be more complicated to predict than any other group’s. Tigers outfielder Justin Upton started his career with a flourish, recording four 150-hit seasons by the age of 26, but he also turned in a few years below that level of production and is now behind the pace. Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro has a similar story — he led the NL with 207 hits in his sophomore season, when he was with the Cubs, but has since settled into a solid pattern of racking up 150 hits per season. He’s still ahead of pace, but he might not be for long.Some of these guys are on an upward trajectory, though. Beltre’s teammate Elvis Andrus has become a hitting machine — he hasn’t dropped below 150 hits since his rookie year in 2009, and he’s on pace for more than 180 this season. Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is having an MVP-type season; he’s on track for 226 hits this year, which would be his fourth straight 200-hit season. And Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals has swung his way to within striking distance of a 3,000-hit pace this season, producing what works out to a 198-hit campaign over 162 games. Jeff FrancoeurBraves23117363-46.31373 NAMETEAMAGESEASON HITSCAREER HITSVS. PACECURRENT HIT TOTAL Jose ReyesMets24119643+90.72049 Bryce HarperNationals24116767552.4+214.6 Jimmy RollinsPhillies281321227-32.22455 Eric HosmerRoyals2712210621084.7-22.7 PLAYER HITS Adrian BeltreMariners281021371+111.92996 Adrian BeltreRangers385429962897.4+98.6 Players in their 20s have historically gone in many different directions. To illustrate this, let’s pretend we were writing this article 10 years ago and evaluating the players who were 30 or younger and on the best pace to reach the milestone. Carl CrawfordDevil Rays25115921+195.51931 Delmon YoungDevil Rays21116156-17.01162 Starlin CastroYankees279712441084.7+159.3 PLAYER HITS Carlos CorreaAstros22104370283.3+86.7 Mookie BettsRed Sox24112555552.4+2.6 Midseason hit totals were interpolated by prorating a player’s full-season total over 101 games.Source: FanGraphs.com Francisco LindorIndians23106410409.5+0.5 The 3,000-hit pace was prorated to 101 games into each player’s current-age season to match where we stand in 2017.For players who are no more than 50 hits behind the average 3,000-hit-club member at the same age.Source: FanGraphs At that time, Beltre, Pujols and Cabrera were in pretty good shape, but every other player that was ahead of the 3,000-hit pace or slightly behind it has since fallen short or dropped way off pace. Edgar Renteria played just four more seasons, collecting fewer than 500 more hits before calling it a career (two World Series rings were was apparently enough). Likewise, Andruw Jones would retire before the 2016 season while Carl Crawford, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright — none of whom have formally retired yet — have not yet appeared in a game in 2017.And today’s younger hit leaders might have something working against them that previous generations didn’t: Hits are harder to come by in today’s more three-true-outcomes-focused game. The 2010s have seen the fewest hits per game of any decade since the 1960s and the fourth fewest of any decade since 1900.Then again, that could be counterbalanced by the fact that this is a special crop of young talent the likes of which MLB hasn’t seen in a while. And besides, in any given season between 1961 and 2000, an average of 9.2 active players went on to eventually become members of the 3,000-hit club. So odds are good that several of the players racking up hits this season will get to 3,000 before all is said and done — they just might not be the players we’d expect. After Cabrera, nobody over the age of 25 is more than 200 hits above the historical 3,000-hit pace. So, in the absence of strong veteran candidates, younger players such as Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper show up as decent picks for the next generation of 3,000-hit club members — if only because there’s still so much ambiguity about how their careers will turn out. There’s a decent chance that at least one player in this bunch — if not a handful — will get to 3,000 hits, though it’s difficult to say which one(s) it will be.Of course, the uncertainty involved in projecting players’ careers is still huge. Even showing up on the ahead-of-pace list for your age isn’t a guarantee of getting 3,000 hits; far more young and mid-career players fall short of making the club than make it in: We start with the oldest group of candidates. Right behind Beltre is Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels, who — with his 2,911 lifetime hits3Current-season numbers are accurate as of end of play on July 26, 2017. — is almost assured of reaching the milestone either later this season or early next year. And Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is another strong candidate, with over 300 more career hits than the average 3,000-hit club member had at the same age. The only thing that might hurt Cabrera’s chances is a late-career slowdown; he’s currently suffering the worst hitting season of his major-league career.Cabrera has such a cushion that he can afford some small decline, though he’ll need to bounce back soon to stay on pace. Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, is also in a down season — he’s on pace for his lowest hit total since his rookie year — and he doesn’t have much room to fall off before losing the pace entirely. After a rough July, Cano’s chances could be evaporating before our eyes. (Houston Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran is also fourth on the hits list among active players — but with fewer than 2,700 hits at age 40, his chances are next to nonexistent.) Robinson CanoMariners349923092296.5+12.5 Andruw JonesBraves30791635+28.11933 Justin UptonTigers299414091434.4-25.4 The young gunsFor players age 25 or lower, the difference between their career hits and hits of an average 3,000-hit club member at the same age and point in season AS OF MID-2007 … The 3,000-hit pace was prorated to 101 games into each player’s current-age season to match where we stand in 2017.For players who are no more than 50 hits behind the average 3,000-hit-club member at the same age.Source: FanGraphs The 3,000-hit club is about to get bigger, as longtime FiveThirtyEight favorite and noted on-deck circle relocater Adrian Beltre gets closer to the milestone with every multi-hit game. Beltre, who notched his 2,996th hit on Wednesday, probably wouldn’t need to cross the 3,000-hit threshold to ensure his place in Cooperstown, but the achievement helps underscore just what a special player he has been over his two decades in the major leagues.Beltre’s milestone, whenever it comes, will mark the third consecutive season in which a player notched his 3,000th hit; Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees homered for his in June 2015, while the Miami Marlins’ Ichiro Suzuki smacked a triple for his 3,000th hit last August. New membership in the 3,000-hit club tends come in bunches, like when nine players1Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, George Brett and Robin Yount. joined its ranks in the 10 seasons from 1992 to 2001, so more members could be on the way.But who will be next after Beltre? Let’s take a look at a handful of candidates coming up behind him on the active hits leaderboard — plus some younger players who might join the chase — and gauge their chances against the historical pace of the average 3,000-hit club member at the same age.2Age is as of June 30 of each season. Mike TroutAngels2567984725.2+258.8 Rougned OdorRangers2385460409.5+50.5 PLAYERTEAMAGE2017CAREERAVG. 3K CLUB HITS AT SAME AGEDIFF. Elvis AndrusRangers2811413801259.4+120.6 PLAYER HITS Jose AltuveAstros2714111871084.7+102.3 David WrightMets24122556+3.81777 Grady SizemoreIndians24109518-34.91098 Miguel CabreraMarlins24117771+218.82601 Albert PujolsCardinals271151274+189.72911 Justin UptonD-Backs191919-43.31409 Edgar RenteriaBraves301021872+265.12327 read more

Ohio State senior outfielder Shea Murray stands in the box against Purdue on April 1, 2017 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Lantern reporterThe Ohio State baseball team was coming off their most dominating win of the season and first Big Ten win in a 13-2 victory over Purdue after scoring nine runs in the first four innings.But the tables turned on Saturday as the Boilermakers pounded out six runs in the first four innings and held on to that early lead to win, 6-1.Purdue put its leadoff hitter aboard in each of those innings and every time, that runner came around to score. The inability to keep the leadoff batter off base was a problem for the Buckeyes, said OSU coach Greg Beals, and one that cost them the game.“They got the leadoff guy on the first four innings. Two of them, we let them on base freely,” Beals said. “They were hit batsmen or a walk. We ended up having eight of those total for the night. Didn’t pitch the ball nearly as cleanly as we needed to be successful.”Taking their first lead of the series, the Boilermakers’ leadoff hitter reached base on a first-pitch hit-by-pitch and later came around to score on a groundout to the shortstop. A leadoff double and sacrifice bunt put a runner on third for freshman third baseman Mike Madej who punched a single through the left side of the infield to bring the score to 2-0. Junior right fielder Alec Olund lined a triple into the right field corner, scoring Madej from second. Olund scored later in the inning on a groundout, increasing his team’s lead to four runs.The Boilermakers again scored runs on groundouts, one in both the third and fourth innings to raise the score to 6-0.Feltner was able to keep the leadoff batter from reaching first base and scoring for the first time all night in the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore left fielder Nick Dalesandro grounded out to Feltner, who stared down Dalesandro after he fielded the ball.“There was no words said by Feltner. He stared him down,” Beals said. “I don’t like it, but it’s that fine line between you want your guys to have some competitive juice, but you want to make sure they’re controlling it properly and using it properly.”Beals said that emotions just got the better of him, but that they had a discussion and cleared up the situation.“We talked about it, we addressed it and he knows his emotions got away from him a little bit there,” Beals said.With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Buckeyes strung together three straight hits, capped off by an RBI double from redshirt senior right fielder Shea Murray that brought the score to 6-1.Murray finished the game with three of the Buckeyes’ eight hits and both the team’s doubles. It was the first career multi-hit game for the pitcher-turned-outfielder.“I had runners on first and third, on the corners, and my thought process there was just trying to hit something far and deep and I kind of got out in front of it and took it down the line,” Murray said.Making the transition from pitcher to outfielder for Murray has taken some time to reach a point where he feels completely comfortable with his game, but he said he has really been feeling more confident both in the field and at the plate.“As far as defensively, I feel really comfortable. That’s something that you can get thousands of reps in over the course of time off fungos, off intersquad games and stuff,” Murray said. “I think I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable at the plate. I think a lot of comfort at the plate comes from confidence. So a game like this obviously helps out a lot towards the confidence side of it.”The Boilermakers were provided with a strong performance from sophomore starting pitcher Gareth Stroh. Though he entered the game with a 6.83 ERA, he allowed just one run to cross in 7.2 innings. OSU mustered only six hits, one extra base hit and no walks, while he struck out two.Beals was impressed by the outing of Stroh and credited the Boilermakers’ starter with putting a lot of movement on his fastball.“He’s got a little bit of angle and deception on that fastball. Kinda that typical lefty that’s got some left-handed deception to it,” Beals said. “A little bit disappointed in our inability to get things going a little earlier off of him. Throwing a lot of fastballs to us, I thought we would make an adjustment the second time through the lineup.”Redshirt senior starting pitcher Jake Post was again unavailable to start Saturday, but Beals confirmed he will be starting on Sunday.“Jake Post is going to take the start tomorrow. Jake’s continued to get better throughout the week,” Beals said. “He tweaked the back a little bit — kind of old-man back — and he’s been able to progressively get better.”Despite the injury, Post has been eager to get back out on the mound in his senior year, Beals said.“He’s a senior and it’s going to be a big game for us,” he said. “We need to win this home series and he wants the ball so we’re going to give it to him.”Post will deliver the first pitch of Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. as OSU looks to take the rubber match against Purdue. read more

Minister Ferreira Says Peoples National CleanUp Day in October

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, September 26, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of the Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira, announced in the House of Assembly, September 20, that his Ministry is fulfilling the first of the Government’s promises, quoted in its public 2017 Manifesto, “to inaugurate the People’s National Clean-Up Day,” launched through the Ministry’s National Clean-Up Plan to start off in New Providence during October 2017, then extend out to the Family Islands “in an island-specific way.”During his House address, the Minister remarked: “Mr. Speaker, I grew upon a clapboard house at the foot of Kemp Road.   We had a broom for sweeping the yard, in fact all of the neighbours did; and every Saturday we did sweep the yard.“Today we live in a Bahamas where we have become accustomed to waste.   Whether derelict vehicles, fridges, stoves, or bulk waste, there is garbage everywhere.   This problem did not happen overnight nor will the fix be overnight, but it is a journey we must all take together.”Minister Ferreira said the theme of the Clean-Up Campaign will be “Keep Our Bahamas Beautiful” and is designed to encourage everyone to “Keep The Bahamas Clean, Green, and Pristine” by appealing to Bahamian pride in our country.   The theme implores cleanliness in our communities by reminding our people to ‘Be A Hero And Put It In The Can Man.’“The campaign will be executed in a five-phase approach with the goal to fully clean New Providence and maintain its cleanliness, and improve the general aesthetics.   New Providence has been divided into five zones and each zone correlates with a phase,” said Minister Ferreira.He explained that each phase will encompasses the constituencies or zones as follows:“Phase 1: Bain Town, Grants Town, St. Barnabas, Englerston and Centerville;Phase 2: Bamboo Town, Pinewood, Nassau Village, South Beach, Sea Breeze, and Fox Hill;Phase 3: Marathon, Freetown, St. Anne’s, Fox Hill, and Elizabeth;Phase 4: Fort Charlotte, Mount Mariah and Killarney; andPhase 5: Golden Isles, Southern Shores, Tall Pines, Garden Hills, Bamboo Town, Golden Gates, Carmichael and South Beach.”Minister Ferreira added: “the Clean-Up Campaign will require the full commitment and involvement of communities and stakeholders.   It will include the removal of garbage, appliances, furniture, derelict vehicles, rodents, and vegetation from lots and lot clearances.”Additionally, the Ministry anticipates that the success of the initiative will translate into the speedy and effective removal of waste; efficient monitoring; ongoing public awareness and education; and enforcement.   The Ministry will partner with media to get the message out.   And there will also be school outreach in hopes that educating the children will mean they will educate the adults they live with at home.“To brand our messages, the project will employ the use of a mascot, which will signal to Bahamians the source of the message disseminated, and the expected environmental content.   Posters for billboards will feature everyday people and celebrities and will be strategically placed at selected roundabouts throughout New Providence,” said Minister Ferreira.“The secret of an effective clean-up campaign is a good enforcement programme.   Appreciating this fact, there will be collaboration with the Health Inspectorate Division of the Department of Environmental Health Services, the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Agriculture, and Community Leaders who we expect to eventually take the lead in keeping their communities clean, green, & pristine.  We also expect to receive corporate sponsorship and buy-in.”The Clean-Up Campaign is a voluntary event and all citizens and residents alike are asked to join in the community clean-up next month.By: Gena Gibbs (BIS)Photo Caption:  Minister of The Environment & Housing, the Hon. Romauld Ferreira.(BIS Photo) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Farooq Entire Indian forces cant defend against terrorists

first_imgAsserting that the entire Indian security forces would not be able to defend the nation from terrorists, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday called for a dialogue between the India and Pakistan to end violence at the border.“For how long do we want to see innocents being killed (in the border areas)? How much the army can defend us? Even if the entire Indian Army comes then they will not be able to defend against the terrorists. There is only one way and that is to talk to them,” Abdullah said at a press conference here. The former state chief minister also reiterated his earlier stance that PoK belonged to Pakistan and that India should be content with Jammu and Kashmir, saying that both nations do not have the courage to take each others’ territories. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam“Farooq Abdullah will say this again and again. Not for the last 15 years but ever since I entered politics, I have never felt that these two sides can be united. Neither do we have the courage to take their territory, nor do they have the courage to take ours. We are also a nuclear power; they are also a nuclear power,” he said.Abdullah said that dialogue is the only way forward for a resolution to the Kashmir issue. “Ever since I came into politics, I have always said that this state (PoK and J-K) can never become one. Neither do we have the power to take back their part (PoK) nor have they (Pakistan) the power to take our part; we are a nuclear power and they, too, are,” he said at a discussion by civil society to explore the ways for bringing peace and reconciliation between the two countries.last_img read more

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Which would you choose: a single-platform app with a great user experience or a cross-platform app with a poor one?Entrepreneurs would be facing that choice had Facebook not agreed in September to relicense its popular React framework for third parties. React Native renders mobile user interfaces on both iOS and Android with minimal or even no native coding required.Related: User Experience Is Integral to Winning App DesignIt wouldn’t have been an easy decision to make. A tailored user experience is more important to customers than ever, yet six-figure app development costs offer a powerful incentive to inexpensively support both platforms.With React Native, however, entrepreneurs can have the best of both worlds. Whether you’re building a new app or improving an old one, use the following four tips to complete that task with React Native, which:1. Supports both platforms from the startIn the past, determining which platform to support was a question of the app’s likely user base. North America and Western Europe are dominated by iOS, while Android leads almost everywhere else. Globally, 88 percent of smartphone users run Android.Related: Sorry Windows, Android Is the World’s Most Popular OSReact Native almost entirely eliminates this choice. Rather than construct parallel codebases in Swift and Java (the respective languages of iOS and Android), developers using React Native need only to maintain a single JavaScript codebase for both platforms.At Yeti, we tried cross-platform solutions such as PhoneGap and Xamarin, but neither offered a great experience for users and developers alike. That isn’t to say that React Native eliminates all cross-platform challenges, but it substantially reduces them.2. Identifies platform-specific needs for native code.What of the remaining cross-platform challenges? They tend to come down to hardware differences between the two devices. For example, if your app will use Bluetooth technology, Apple Pay or Android’s near-field communication feature, you’ll still need to write native code.So, conduct rigorous testing to ensure that any features you build in React Native work across Android devices’ varying shapes and screen sizes. Consider designing and developing screens separately if they don’t render cleanly in Android or iOS.And know the good news: that native-code needs have been steadily decreasing as the React community has matured.Need help? Check React Native component libraries to avoid reinventing the wheel with native iOS or Android code.3. Plan ahead with web apps.”Mobile first” has become the mantra of entrepreneurs and developers. The reason is that porting from web to mobile can be a nightmare. What works on desktop rarely works on a smartphone screen.React Native doesn’t solve many desktop-to-mobile design challenges, but it does enable entrepreneurs to reuse code from web apps written in React. There’s a talent advantage there, too: Web developers using React Native can more easily cross into mobile development than they’d otherwise be able to.Walmart Labs, actually, has just made this process even easier. The company, which uses a React-based system for the front end of its website, just open-sourced a tool that allows entrepreneurs to migrate existing apps to React Native. Walmart used its own tool to convert its shopping cart web app to its mobile app.4. Don’t sweat porting between mobile platforms.Even if their interfaces look similar, an iOS app and its Android brother run on vastly different code. Until React Native, making an app fluent in both languages was no small task. Just one challenge, for example, is that Apple design elements exist within two dimensions, whereas Android design incorporates depth.But assuming that the app doesn’t make extensive use of proprietary hardware, such as the phone’s camera, React Native can drastically cut conversion times. A relatively simple React Native app initially deployed for iOS can be rolled out for Android in mere weeks. Just be sure to check for interface issues and incorporate proprietary features, such as Android’s back button, before going to market.Related: Early Days, But Apple Pay Struggles Outside U.S.Facebook itself did this in 2015. The tech giant made its Ads Manager app, originally developed for iOS, both its first React Native app and its first fully cross-platform app. Porting Ads Manager to Android took three months, but the team has since turned React Native conversions into a science.In sum, those outside the tech world may underestimate the impact React Native is having on app development. And supporting both iOS and Android is nowhere near the enormous undertaking it once was. With React Native, entrepreneurs can spend more time meeting users’ needs and less time worrying about their choice of smartphone. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. October 18, 2017 4 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

first_img The writer of those words was a member of a Valencia University economics class. The professor, Jack Chandliss, asked the class to write an essay on what the American dream means to them, and what they want the federal government to do to help them achieve that dream. Out of 180 students participating, only about 10% wanted the government to leave them alone and not tax them too much, but a whopping 80% wanted the government to provide pretty much the whole dream thing wrapped in a tidy bow – including free college tuition and health care, jobs, even the down payment on their future homes, money for retirement and hard cash, taken in the form of taxes from rich people. Please take a moment to watch a worthwhile interview with the professor. Pretty eye-opening, eh? The point here is not complex, but it is important. With the apparatus of state education over many years serving to bamboozle the populace into the hardened belief that government has a positive role to play in virtually all aspects of modern life, it should come to no surprise to anyone that, when push comes to shove, people are now trained to look to government to solve the problems – even when it was the government that created the problems in the first place. Thus, confronted with the intractable mess they have made, these governments have to keep alive the mythology they have created about their omnipotence. Which is easier said than done, because with things now swirling fairly quickly around the drain, the mob is beginning to lose faith – and even patience. Which puts these governments in a very tight spot, because the only way they can actually fix things is by doing exactly the opposite of what people have come to expect from their governments, which is always to do more. Put simply, the only hope now is that these governments begin to reduce their roles in their respective economies, and dramatically so. Concurrently, they have to encourage people in their aspirations to greater wealth, by lowering their taxes and unwinding the tangle of regulations they have created over the last half-century. But if the governments actually tried to take these actions, the brainwashed masses would be positively befuddled then outraged, as it goes against everything they have been taught. Why, it would be like the Pope shuffling his way to the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica and informing the doting faithful that there isn’t a god and never has been. Riots would follow. So it is that we find ourselves at a particularly interesting juncture in the historical record. On the one hand you have a majority of the world’s population who have been carefully schooled into believing that the institution of government holds the solution to all problems and is the source of succor to all who need it. (Even that subset of the populace who has lost confidence in their current government invariably believes as doctrine that the next and better government can change things for the better and lead the way to the shining castle on the hill.) In this mix are the politicians and their functionaries, 99.99% of whom believe that, if for no other reason than their re-election prospects, they have to do something to meet the demands of the public. Of course, under normal circumstances the “something” usually consists of making grand-sounding speeches and otherwise blowing smoke. Today that’s just not going to cut it, for the simple reason that the crisis is real, it is spinning out of control, and it’s not going to go away unless and until the markets are allowed to breathe again. Which brings us full circle to the simple truth that the brainwashed public won’t stand idly by while the politicians lower taxes and regulations on the profit makers or cut back state pensions and guarantees or otherwise reduce any of the many services the state has taken on itself to provide. “Between a rock and a hard place” is an inadequate phrase to describe the situation. Meanwhile, the mob has started to gather, their dark mutterings heard by the politicos who quickly don the red caps themselves, the better to be viewed as one with the people and join in expressing outrage against the capitalists who have been selected as fall guys in this unfolding drama. When confronted by reporters about the fact that his 75% tax on high-income owners would raise nowhere enough revenue to offset France’s towering debt and social obligations, Mssr. Hollande was heard to respond: “It’s not a question of return. It’s a question of morality.” When coercion and theft are considered moral, anything is possible, and none of it good. While I certainly can’t say how this is all going to end, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to end well. [Was David’s pessimistic view of the future shared by most of the experts who spoke at the just-concluded Casey Research Recovery Reality Check Summit? If you weren’t there, you can still learn the answer to that question – an audio collection of every presentation is in progress. You’ll hear every speaker… see every graph and chart… learn what the experts are recommending for your investment portfolio to help you survive and thrive during the coming deluge. The Summit Audio Collection will be available on CDs or in instantly available MP3 format – order your copy now.] By David Galland, Casey Research If history has taught one certain lesson, it is that the less fettered an economy, the better humankind is able to do what it does best: run from trouble and run toward opportunity. In this way mistakes are quickly resolved and progress assured. Conversely, the deeper the muck of regulation, mandates, taxes, subsidies and other bureaucratic meddling, the slower we humans are in following our natural instincts until the point that progress is slowed or even stopped. It is said that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. In the current circumstances, it appears that enough time has passed that current generations have completely forgotten the critical connection between the ability of humans to freely pursue their aspirations and economic progress. You can see this ignorance in the popular demand for even more, not less, meddling in the affairs of humankind. Should this trend continue – and for reasons I will touch on momentarily, I firmly believe it will – then the aspirations of the productive minority will soon be dampened by ever higher taxes and other attempts to “level the playing field” and the global economy, already in tatters, will fall off the edge. There is no more timely nor acute example of this growing trend than what is currently going on in France. I refer, of course, to the first round of the presidential election process, scheduled for this weekend. In France, if no candidate attracts no better than 50% of the vote, then the two leading candidates go to a decisive runoff vote, this time around to be held on May 6. The current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative in name only, was running at a fairly steady gait toward re-election (thanks to the head start awarded all incumbents), when leading socialist candidate Francois Hollande came out with a proposal to tax anyone with an annual income of over one million euros at a rate of 75%. He also promised to add a tax on all financial transactions and increase taxes on France’s biggest companies to 35% – securing bragging rights as levying the world’s third-highest corporate taxes, the US being #1. This all on top of a 25% VAT, one of the world’s highest. By some calculations, the result of Hollande’s new taxes is that effectively 100% of all incomes over one million euros will now be stripped away by the state. For good measure, Hollande also promised to reverse the recent modest increase in retirement age from 60 to 62 pushed through by Sarkozy. While I am sure it is mere coincidence, I found it noteworthy that Mssr. Hollande’s campaign slogan is “Change – Now!” Remarkably, at least for those with some small understanding of economics, as a result of leaning into the microphone with these proposals Hollande has galloped ahead of all other potential contenders and is now projected to finish nose by nose with Sarkozy. After which the also-rans will be removed from the race, freeing their supporters to share their affections elsewhere. Given that the leading contender for third place with an estimated 14% of the vote is one Jean-Luc Mélenchon – charitably categorized as “far left”, a label that can be applied to most of the other candidates – it is projected that the “conservative” Mssr. Sarkozy will go down in double-digit flames come May 6. Bringing to mind the prophetic utterance of Louis XV: “Après moi, le déluge.” The deluge in Louis’ case manifested as the murderous affair commonly known as the French Revolution. In the case of Mssr. Hollande taking up residence in the Palais de l’Élysée, the deluge is likely to manifest in the form of rising interest rates as investors look to protect against an acceleration in the country’s debt to GDP ratio, already projected to hit almost 90% this year, exacerbated by a flight of capital, investors, entrepreneurs and large businesses. As is the nature of such things, because of the aforementioned predilection of humans to run from trouble, we likely won’t have to wait for Mssr. Hollande to be formally enshrined in the gilded halls for the trouble to start – it will begin within days and maybe even minutes of the handicappers concluding that his ascendency is a sure thing. Given that France is the third-largest economy in the already-troubled Eurozone, one can expect the deluge to spread, with potentially devastating consequences. That the guillotines may soon be rolled out across Europe can be better understood by taking into account that the Eurozone sovereign deadbeats are on the hook for roughly nine trillion euros in debt, some significant percentage of which has to be rolled over to ready buyers over the next couple of years. Adding weight to the problem is that, according to the latest figures out of the IMF, Europe’s banks may have to sell off up to 3.8 trillion euros in assets, many of them questionable, between now and the end of next year. At least, if they want to remain solvent. Across the pond, the United States also has aggressive funding needs, given that the “change” we experienced ourselves in the last presidential election has left the government gasping for about $1.4 trillion in additional funding each year. Then there is Japan, officially the world’s largest debtor in terms of debt to GDP, where the easy availability of local funding has dried up, requiring that nation to go to the international markets for funding as well. The phrase “an awful lot of hogs at the trough” comes to mind. My point is not just that these governments are broke and are about to get a lot more broke as interest rates rise on their many debts and financings, but rather that the global trend toward a resurgence in public demand for socialism in response to a worsening crisis is a certainty. How could it be otherwise when for decades now the schooling of children has been delegated to functionaries of the state? For evidence, look no further than the screen swipe here. It is a quote from an essay by a college student in the United States on role the government should play:last_img read more