The Atlantic: Trump’s Plan to Bring Jobs Back From China Misses the Point on U.S. Manufacturing.
“The truth is, even if China blinked out of existence tomorrow, there just wouldn’t be a need for much of the work America lost. While low-skilled labor dominated manufacturing in decades past, automation and computers have made factory floors both tremendously productive and relatively human-free. A revitalized American manufacturing sector would raise employment, but not to the levels seen in 1979—a heyday that economists say is unlikely to be repeated.”
The Atlantic: The Two Contradictory Ideas Many Americans Have About the Economy.
“Many Americans, then, are holding two contradictory ideas in their mind at once: the optimistic belief that their success is in their hands (on display since Tocqueville’s Democracy in America) and the acknowledgement that wages have been steadily stagnating (on decline since the band America).” Dumb reference, that last one.
Dissent: Is Labor a Commodity in Wisconsin?
“Surely if labor (or labor power) is a commodity, it is as Marx and many others have noted a peculiar one. It has sentience, feelings, ideas and the capacity for resistance. It’s not just another bar of soap.”
BillMoyers: Clinton’s Defense of Big Money Won’t Cut It.
She must move left on this issue.
Pacific Standard: Why Are Americans Killing Themselves?
“Consider that some three-quarters of the eight million jobs lost during the Great Recessions were in manufacturing—the sort of trade that primarily employed white men. And those jobs aren’t coming back any time soon.” No upward mobility, debt bondage, isolation ... how hard can it be to understand?
Guardian.UK: Trump and Clinton share Delaware tax ‘loophole’ address with 285,000 firms.
“This squat, yellow brick office building just north of Wilmington’s rundown downtown is the registered address of more than 285,000 companies. That’s more than any other known address in the world, and 15 times more than the 18,000 registered in Ugland House, a five-storey building in the Cayman Islands that President Obama called ‘either the biggest building in the world, or the biggest tax scam on record’.” Remember those text ads in the back of magazines, “Incorporate in Delaware”? Yeah. That. Surprised it is still allowed to exist.
Watch the Circus: Why I Blew the Whistle on the SEC’s Investigation of Goldman Sachs.
The Atlantic: Many Middle-Class Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck.
“The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?” Dryly: Apparently only Washington and media journalists don’t know.
AP: Las Vegas, N.M, eyes ‘damn authentic’ campaign for tourism.
Everyone’s gone insane for tourism in this state. Las Vegas’ plaza is the star of the show Longmire; so damn authentic, it’s supposed to be Wyoming. I wish ‘em luck.
naked cap: Administration Trying to Throw Massive Secrecy Veil Over Pilfering of Fannie and Freddie.
At least scan it.
BBC: Oil exporters set to discuss output freeze.
“The world’s leading oil exporters could be finally about to take action following the fall in prices.” Ruh-roh. Hope you didn’t buy any V8s.
Guardian.UK: US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims Oxfam report.
“US corporate giants such as Apple, Walmart and General Electric have stashed $1.4tn (£980bn) in tax havens, despite receiving trillions of dollars in taxpayer support, according to a report by anti-poverty charity Oxfam.”
Later: The Atlantic goes a little deeper.
TripleCrisis: No Country for Old People.
Wolf Street: What in the World’s Going on with Banks this Week?
Maybe paranoia. Maybe not. This has my ears wide open: “US banks are expected this coming week to report their worst quarter financially since the start of the Great Recession.”
As I age, the condition of my retirement account becomes more important, you see.
NY Times: In Wyoming, Hard Times Return as Energy Prices Slump.
As I’ve warned, when there’s a boom there’s always a bust. The American West is littered with evidence of the previous cycles. Going into one, you’ve gotta chuck most of your earnings into savings. One can escape neither history nor inevitability.
Guardian.UK: Pfizer formally abandons $160bn Allergan deal after US tax inversion clampdown.
The Atlantic: Why Promising Baltimore Students Don’t Escape Poverty.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. You pull a child out of a bad situation, put her/him in a good one, they’ll thrive. Boarding schools might help solve this - if there were the will to vivify them. America might end up stunned at the excellence unleashed. I saw, via his childhood diary, how my own father (ensconced in an orphanage) went from near-illegible and near-unintelligible to quicksilver, witty and erudite in a few short years after being sponsored to a private prep school (where he had to shovel out the stables, do the most menial chores to stay). Riffing off an earlier post, ‘social elites’ felt he had to ‘prove’ himself by superhuman efforts in order to ‘deserve’ education. Physical labor, excessive hours ... and catching up to grade level? Efforts that social elites could never match, even if they wanted to. And that is what is wrong with having the ‘haves’ legislate aid to the ‘have nots’. They load the dice. The fact that Dad succeeded, is amazing.
WaPo: The ‘darker link’ between ancient human sacrifice and our modern world.
“But he says his study illustrates how religious rituals like human sacrifice are often designed to serve someone other than the gods: ‘It shows how religion can be exploited by social elites to their own benefit.’” I’ll repost some of Roger Waters, then:
God wants sedition
God wants sex
God wants freedom
God wants semtex
What God wants
[God help us all]
We have a lot of social elites in Santa Fe. And I grew up around them in Princeton (I was ‘working class’, when P-town still had such a thing). The elites have left working class so far behind, they can no longer understand the day-to-day challenges involved. They have no conception of the triggers hidden in our economy to depress those who are financially stressed. Because social elites don’t experience the great ‘thumb’ riding on our lower classes, they have no empathy for them. And if the plebs complain ... ‘sacrifice’ them!
Guardian.UK: If you don’t want people to pee in the streets, build more public toilets.
“We should be prosecuting individuals who don’t make use of public toilets. But if those public toilets don’t exist, handing out fines and naming names is completely unacceptable.” You’d think Santa Fe, a tourist town, would be better with this. Most people rely on the La Fonda when downtown. The parking garage bogs can be creepy. There are some nice ones in the back of the Arcade (where the original Woolworth’s used to be), on the Water Street side.
NY Times: The ‘Panama Papers’ - Here’s What We Know.
SoundWavesTV: KGO and the Death of Radio.
“Citadel, along with Cumulus, Entercom and Clear Channel (a.k.a. iHeart Radio) destroyed radio as we knew it. If you can’t stand to listen to radio anymore you can thank these companies. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed them to consolidate thousands of Mom-and-Pop radio stations into just a handful of owners. What was once a thriving marketplace of ideas and new music became a moribund feedback loop of homogeneity and satellite programs.” Synchronicity. I just popped in the car to go deposit a check, and the local classical station interrupted a wonderful Haydn flute piece RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE to give a station identification ... then started a new piece after. I sat and yelled at the radio for about two minutes.
NY Times: A Renewable Energy Boom.
BillMoyers: Why Bernie’s Right About Glass-Steagall.
vowe dot net: The Panama Papers, explained with piggy banks.
The Atlantic: The End of Welfare as We Know It.
“The numbers of people receiving food stamps will drop, and thousands more people won’t be able to eat, or survive. But to the policymakers who look for a shrinking welfare program, the changes will be considered a success.” Bill Clinton’s cave to the Republican Congress still destroys many lives and families. We thought Reagan was bad; I’ve not forgiven this craven settlement. “Bipartisanship”, my arse.