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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: fly over country
Home country: USA
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Number of posts: 461

Journal Archives

The (Bill) Clinton Team’s Secret Meeting on CEO Compensation

This piece seems to support the premise of the book "Listen Liberal" about who the democratic party represents.

Naked Capitalism readers are familiar with the fact that CEO compensation exploded starting in the 90s, and that this explosion was related to a shift towards companies providing compensation in the form of stock options. A major cause of the shift was Bill Clinton’s 1993 move to make executive comp deductible from corporate income taxes only when given as stock options.


The WTO and free trade

What this shows is that free trade comes at a big cost. Right now the US is in WTO Arbitration with a cost on 1.5 billion dollars over the cancellation of the trans Canadian pipe line.


There is more then one way to skin Second Amendment cat

Don’t Bank On It

There are a number of perfectly lawful businesses that sit at the edge of political acceptability. The most obvious is the marijuana biz, in states where it’s lawful. But try to use that cool credit card with the magic chip and you might get a shock. You see, the feds, who hate cash because only criminals use cash (and they can’t track your every purchase), won’t let banks maintain accounts for weed sellers and have a program, a quiet program, to prevent credit card companies from processing payments.

But marijuana is a Schedule I drug, so why should they? Fair enough. What about knives?

A major knives manufacturer from central California says his company was denied access to an internet payment processing service because they sell weapons online, raising questions about whether an anti-fraud program called Operation Choke Point is continuing to block legal businesses in the firearms and weapons industries from accessing basic banking services.

“It was pretty simple and straightforward,” Aaron Hogue, co-owner of Hogue Inc., said of the situation he faced with Wells Fargo bank. “They called my controller, and said, ‘Sorry, but we’re not going to be able to process any credit card transactions for the sale of weapons online.’”


Turkish President Erdoğan’s Precious (Feelings)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who, I’m legally required to state1, is not now and never has been employed as a Gollum impersonator, is doing a great job supporting the argument that the amount of power a leader has at his disposal is inversely related to his ability to tolerate “insults” or dissent.

At a September press conference, Erdoğan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin claimed “there is a vibrant environment of debate in Turkey,” and said that it’s “never possible to consider insulting the presidential office within freedom of expression.” Although that statement is completely laughable, it was not a joke—Turkey does seriously crack down on “insults” to President Erdoğan, who, I repeat, is not one of the River-folk and has at no point been accused of murdering the hobbit Déagol.

And this is an ally?



to paraphrase Nietzsche: The republicans stared into the abyss and Donald Trump stared back

Why is Clinton using Trump to promote Republicans?

Strategically, this advantage should create an extraordinary opportunity for the American liberal-left. As the standard-bearer for the Democratic party, Clinton is in a position to press this advantage against her political opposition and make them pay as high a price as possible for nominating such an unpopular candidate. Broadly, this would mean, among other things, winning as many legislative seats as possible in order to advance the Democratic agenda.


The Uncertain Future and the American Election

I want to say something simple about Clinton and Trump as President, and about the future this election cycle presages.

With Clinton you know pretty much what you’re going to get. She has a track record: she’s a neo-liberal, neo-conservative. She’ll throw the left some bones, especially on identity politics issues, but basically she’s the status quo candidate. Slightly to the left of Obama on domestic issues but well within the neoliberal consensus, significantly to his right on foreign policy issues.

Trump has issues he keeps hitting again and again. Trade and immigration are the big ones. Generally Trump looks at most issues as profit-loss statements. “Is America winning from this trade deal? Is America spending more on NATO than it is worth”. But Trump’s said a lot of things, and his track record from private business says less about how he’ll run things than one might like, especially as his long term strategy is to “hire the best people”, and who knows who those will be?


Obsessing About The “Thin Blue Lines” While Elite White-Collar Crime Runs Rampant

The New York Times published a book review entitled “Thin Blue Lines.” The two books reviewed were about street crimes. Based solely on reading the NYT book review, and wearing my criminology hat, neither book adds materially to the useful literature. The two books, and the book review, however, share a common characteristic that is worth analysis. All three conflate “street crime” with “crime” and “police” with “law enforcement.” The “blue lines,” of course, refer to police, rather than the FBI white-collar crime section that is supposed to investigate elite white-collar crime. If the American police represent “thin blue lines,” then in comparison the pittance of law enforcement personnel charged with investigating elite white-collar crime represent the sheerest tissue paper – so insubstantial that they must be described as diaphanous or gossamer


Economists Only Care About Efficiency When the Policy Redistributes Income Upward

Neil Irwin raises the question of whether economists have been too single-minded in pushing efficiency, while ignoring issues of distribution. This is way, way, too generous to economists. In fact, economists have been totally happy to ignore efficiency considerations when the inefficiencies redistribute income upward. This situation pops up all the time.

As I (Dean Baker) frequently point out in comments here and elsewhere, we protect doctors, dentists and other highly paid professionals from competition with their lower paid counterparts in the developing world or even other wealthy countries. We have maintained these protections even while our trade negotiators did everything they could to make steel workers and textile workers compete against their low-paid counterparts in Mexico, China, and other developing countries.


How Bernie Gives Hope For the Future

A self-identified socialist won 22 states.

He did FAR FAR better than any left-wing candidate has in years. Yes, he lost, but he showed very clearly that the country IS changing.

He won super-majorities of young people.

The model I have been operating under for some time, following Stirling Newberry, is that the US doesn’t have a real chance at change until 20-24, because older cohorts need to die and younger cohorts need to replace them.

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