Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp
Vol. 2011 No. 5


When my mother died in 1937 she had left my dad, myself and two older sisters penny postcards, which each of us recognized as private communication, and therefore were not shared.  What’s my point?  Today it costs $.29 versus the penny and of course at the time the cards on which mother’s messages were sent were included in the 1¢ stamp.  Inflation?




Ronald Reagan, a U.S. President, and Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Prime Minister, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in N.Y.C., were like-minded.  The first quotation is from President Ronald Reagan describing federal government: “If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  If it stops moving, subsidize it!” 


The “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher, noted in connection with socialism & communism and aptly put it, socialism & communism ultimately fail for “At some point, you run out of other people’s money!”


Ah, so.




This week several kindly television commentators have opined “President Obama doesn’t have a plan, he doesn’t have a clue.”  I don’t happen to concur.  The “clue” is more of the same.  We’ll keep money low cost at least through 2013 as the U.S. and the world are held hostage.


Back in the mid 70’s Paul and Anne Erlich teamed with John Holdren, Obama’s science and technology guru, in a now rare co authored book.  Paul Erlich kept moving up the dates at which the world would run out of food.  He proved wrong, but not before making big money.  Meanwhile Anne had her formula for ushering in communism.  Get the major urban centers and states to inflate their budgets to the point where the federal government (with a heart) would bail them out and go broke.  Enter communism.


Also this week a news commentator enthusiastically recommended the Feds ladle out greatly increased state awards which the states would “wisely” allocate money to longer term projects creating added (permanent!) jobs.  He was so sincere and eager to advance his formula, I wondered if he were wetting his bloomers. 


            There are more direct routes:


1.      Term limits for the president (6 years).


2.      Stop threatening industry large and small.


3.      Close military bases domestically and in over 100 countries, not all countries welcome the U.S. in their backyards.


4.      Allow energy producers to find more oil & gas - reducing dependency on foreign sources.  Stop threatening decision makers with more taxes.  Energy industry, with threats removed, should readily increase jobs by 100,000 or more.


Given the basis for hope versus disgust, U.S. would import less oil, saving billions of dollars per month.


Half our population pays no income tax.  All should.  We are being “sucked in” to accept “more of the same” absent living within a budget now – not several years later of running up 8% per year cash deficits versus income.   


A good friend, who remains anonymous, says his customers recognize we’re communist now – not socialist.


That stigma rests squarely on the shoulders of leadership – not on the backs of the people who would sacrifice but not for a government run amuck. 


Two items are called to your attention:  Charles Gasparino’s “The Sellout” is worth reading.  So are the tuitions of top U.S. universities noted in the current issue of Forbes magazine.   Most universities among the top 80 charge tuition above $50,000 per year, fifty times that which my Dad paid Yale University $900 per year (not including books and incidentals) when I entered the class of 1944.


If the U.S. budget rises 8% per year as built in, and 401ks earn 2% per year, I hope Messrs Bernanke, Geithner, and Obama, don’t become teachers when they retire from politics. 


Raymond Plank