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Hometown: fly over country
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Number of posts: 450

Journal Archives

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.


Another Robots Are Coming Story

This is a good read for both conservatives, the workers will have more time on their hands. or the liberals, the workers will not have to work as long to make the same amount.


The Decline and Fall of Hillary Clinton

For that matter, Clinton’s own attitude during the campaign so far reminds me of nothing so much as what happens when someone puts money into a defective vending machine. She’s fed the thing her quarters and pushed the right button, but the desired product hasn’t dropped to the bottom where she can get it. Now she’s jabbing the button over and over again, and in due time she’ll be pounding her fists on the thing and screaming at it because it won’t give her what she’s paid for. I honestly don’t think she’s ever, even for a moment, considered the possibility that the voting public isn’t simply a passive, mechanical mass that will spit up a presidency for her if she just manipulates in in the right way. I doubt it has entered her darkest dream that the American people might just up and decide to cast their votes to further their own interests rather than hers.


The Clinton Donor Organiozation

Scale and complexity arise from the multiple channels that link Clinton donors to the Clintons: there is the stream of six-figure lecture fees paid to Bill and Hillary Clinton, mostly from large corporations and banks, which have earned them more than $125 million in the fifteen years since Bill Clinton left office in 2001. There are the direct payments to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns, including for the Senate in 2000 and for the presidency in 2008 and now in 2016, which had reached a total of $712.4 million as of September 30, 2015, the most recent figures compiled by Open Secrets. Four of the top five sources of these funds are major banks: Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley. The Clinton campaign meanwhile has set a goal of raising $1 billion for her Super PAC for the 2016 election.

And this does not include the over one billion in donations to the Clinton Foundation!


Six National Security Questions That will Never Be Asked.

By Andrew J. Bacevich

To judge by the early returns, the presidential race of 2016 is shaping up as the most disheartening in recent memory. Other than as a form of low entertainment, the speeches, debates, campaign events, and slick TV ads already inundating the public sphere offer little of value. Rather than exhibiting the vitality of American democracy, they testify to its hollowness.

Present-day Iranian politics may actually possess considerably more substance than our own. There, the parties involved, whether favoring change or opposing it, understand that the issues at stake have momentous implications. Here, what passes for national politics is a form of exhibitionism about as genuine as pro wrestling.


Oligarchs & Criminals: Reward and Punishment After the Unmoved Mover

by Ian Welsh @ http://www.ianwelsh.net/oligarchs-criminals-reward-and-punishment-after-the-unmoved-mover/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IanWelsh+%28Ian+Welsh%29
Our conception of human nature rules most of our social decisions, including those centered around economics and justice.

One of the primary concerns of Theology and Metaphysics was to find an “unmoved mover,” or, a “first cause.”

Our ancestors were not stupid. They noticed that effects seemed to have causes. Even when the cause was not evident, they assumed there was a cause because of how the rest of the universe worked.

In one sense, this is a search for “the creator,” or “the first,” or “God” (though it need not be God in any monotheistic sense). What created the universe runs very quickly into infinite regress. If X created the universe, what created X?

You needed, then, to find a cause which itself had no cause. You needed to find an unmoved mover: Something that could move other things, but was not itself caused by anything.

To many moderns, this seems like a pointless pursuit, but the most brilliant people in many cultures pursued it for thousands of years, precisely because the oddest thing about existence isn’t any one part of existence, it is that there exists existence at all.

Not Going to Take it Anymore - Doctors in the Pacific Northwest Unionize, Begin Collective Bargainin

Found this over at the blog Health Care Renewal:

We have posted about the plight of the corporate physician. In the US, home of the most commercialized health care system among developed countries, physicians increasingly practice as employees of large organizations, usually hospitals and hospital systems, sometimes for-profit. The leaders of such systems meanwhile are now often generic managers, people trained as managers without specific training or experience in medicine or health care, and "managerialists" who apply generic management theory and dogma to medicine and health care just as it might be applied to building widgets or selling soap.


Chinese talking cybersecurity means security is already lost

Does this mean that privacy no longer exists?

Remember how this story unfolded? There had been a hack and some records were compromised. Then there had been a hack and hundreds of thousands of records were compromised. Rinse-repeat almost ad infinitum until now we know that 56 million fingerprint records were lost.

I think it is safe to assume at this point that all records held by the Office of Personnel Management have been accessed and copied by the bad guys. It went undetected for months, they had high-bandwidth access, so whatever secrets there were in those records, background checks, security clearances, etean that privacyc., are now probably for sale.

Or are they? It turns out there are far worse things that could be done with the records ... .

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