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jkbRN

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Barney Frank joins Signature Bank board

It's the first time the co-author of the landmark Dodd-Frank reform law has joined a bank since leaving Congress two years ago.


Signature Bank, one of the city's fastest-growing financial institutions, said that former Congressman Barney Frank would join its board.

Mr. Frank's name is on the Dodd-Frank Act, a financial reform law that is highly unpopular among many bankers. But officials at Signature said they are happy to have Mr. Frank join their boardroom. "We specifically seek members … who share diverse perspectives and possess strong decision-making capabilities," said Chairman Scott Shay.

Signature, which launched in 2001, has about $29 billion in assets and serves primarily small businesses around New York. It has few retail branches.

It isn't clear how much money Mr. Frank will make from his new job, but Signature typically pays its directors about $60,000 a year in cash and also pays them in stock. Mr. Frank was granted 1,913 shares with a market value of about $280,000 that will vest next March.

The appointment is Mr. Frank's first to a bank board since retiring from Congress in 2013. He succeeds former board member Alfred DelBello, a onetime lieutenant governor who died last month.


Source: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150617/BLOGS02/150619877/barney-frank-joins-signature-bank-board

TYT: How Media Coverage Affects Election Polling

Sanders vs. Clinton: Who Has the Best Plan for America's College Students?

The differences between the college financing plans offered by Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are important - both for their impact on the middle class, and for what they tell us about the candidates and their governing philosophies.

Elementary and high school education is correctly seen as the bridge to a better future for young people. It is offered to all, at no cost, because we understand that society does better when the individuals within it do better.


The Sanders plan provides tuition-free public higher education to every qualified student. The Clinton plan does not.

The Sanders plan treats higher education the same way we have treated other forms of education in the past: Every young person who studies hard and succeeds in school should be able to get the education they need. By contrast, the Clinton plan charges tuition to middle-class students, using an as-yet unspecified formula based on a family's income.


The Clinton approach is unnecessarily complicated.

The Clinton plan is unnecessarily complicated and difficult to administer. It leaves a number of key questions open to manipulation by future politicians, such as: What are the thresholds for paying part of the tuition? What's a reasonable percent of family income to pay into the program?
Compare that to the simplicity and safety of a program like Social Security, which is run at very low administrative cost. If you qualify for its benefits, you receive them. We don't "means test" Social Security - and we shouldn't. We shouldn't do it for a public higher education, either.


The Clinton plan holds political risk.

The principles behind the Clinton plan seem closer to some of the Republican candidates' ideas than they do to those of great Democratic presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chris Christie, for example, wants to cut Social Security benefits for Americans earning over $80,000.

Another conservative group, the Concord Coalition, proposed that Social Security benefits be cut for any family whose annual income exceeds $40,000 per year - and that includes both Social Security benefits and the cash value of their Medicare protection!

That's the problem with ideas like these. Once the door is open, there's always the possibility that politicians will use them to shift costs to the middle class.


The Clinton plan also requires middle-class students to work as well as study, something their wealthier peers won't be required to do.

The Clinton plan also forces students who receive financial aid to work 10 hours a week, in addition to keeping up with their coursework.

College is a time for study and achievement. It can also be competitive. Students who are forced to comply with Clinton's 10-hour-per week work requirement - which is 1/4th of a full-time job - will carry a heavy burden of time and effort. Wealthy students won't share that burden because their parents are paying full tuition.

"I'm not going to give free college to kids who don't work some hours to try to put their own effort into their education," says Hillary Clinton. But nothing is being "given." Students must work hard and achieve academic success in order to be accepted to college. This seems like an oddly judgmental framing, especially if we believe that higher education and hard work are the doors to opportunity and improvement - for each individual student, and for society as a whole.


The Clinton plan doesn't ask enough of the rich. It places a financial burden on the middle class instead.

It's sometimes possible to make a burden on the middle class sound like a progressive idea. Chris Christie ludicrously claimed that "the left are defending the rich," for example, because progressives want to protect and expand Social Security benefits for everyone. (He didn't mention the fact that progressives want "the rich" to pay their fair share in taxes to cover it.)

Hillary Clinton defends her college plan by saying that "I am not going to give free college education to wealthy kids." And yet Social Security, Medicare, public elementary and high schools, the federal highway system, and a host of other programs are also available to all who qualify.


The Clinton plan is not a "no debt" program.

While it has been described as a plan for eliminating student debt, the Clinton plan is highly unlikely to accomplish that goal. Middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet - a situation that already forced many to take on debt. Any plan which adds to their costs by charging for college tuition will inevitably force some cash-strapped families to take on additional debt.


The Sanders plan is a mainstream, practical and smart proposal.

The Sanders plan, by contrast, lies squarely in the line of great initiatives like Social Security. And it's not a new idea. The University of California offered free tuition to all in-state residents until the 1980s. The average tuition fee at a four-year public university in 1965 was only $243. Many of the best colleges, including the City University of New York, charged no tuition at all.

Germany eliminated tuition at public universities last year because they understood that their modest fees - roughly $1,300 per year - discouraged qualified students from going to college. Other countries are doing the same.
In the end, the difference between these two plans isn't just financial. It also reflects different views of ourselves as a nation, and different attitudes toward the middle class and the young.



The Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/sanders-vs-clinton-who-ha_b_8216290.html

TYT: Debates & DNC 09/21

NYT/CBS Poll 09/09-09/13: Clinton 47%, Sanders 27%, Biden 15%, OMalley 0%

http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/281213317/Cbs-Nyt-Poll-Dem-Toplines-9-15-15

NBC/Marist: Bernie Sanders Leads Hillary Clinton by 9 in New Hampshire, Gains in Iowa: Poll

In Iowa, she holds a 67 percent/27 percent favorable/unfavorable score among Democrats, and just a 32 percent/61 percent score among all registered voters.

By comparison, Biden's numbers among Democrats are 74 percent/17 percent, and among registered voters they sit at 42 percent/44 percent.

In New Hampshire, Clinton holds a 69 percent/27 percent favorable/unfavorable score among Democrats, and 36 percent/60 percent among all registered voters.

In contrast, Biden's numbers among Granite State Democrats are 76 percent/17 percent, and among registered voters they are 46 percent/43 percent.



Bernie Sanders has jumped out to a nine-point lead over front-runner Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and he's gained ground on her among Iowa voters in the Democratic presidential race, according to a pair of brand-new NBC News/Marist polls.

In New Hampshire, the Vermont senator gets the support of 41 percent of Democratic voters, Clinton gets 32 percent and Vice President Joe Biden gets 16 percent. No other Democratic candidate receives more than 1 percent.

Back in July's NBC/Marist poll, Clinton was ahead of Sanders in the Granite State by 10 points, 42 percent to 32 percent, with Biden at 12 percent.

Without Biden in the race, Sanders' lead over Clinton in the current survey increases to 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent.

In Iowa, Clinton maintains her previous advantage over Sanders — but her lead has declined from 24 points in July (49 percent to 25 percent) to 11 points (38 percent to 27 percent); Biden sits at 20 percent. View the full New Hampshire poll here.


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Further Reading:
http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/bernie-sanders-leads-hillary-clinton-9-n-h-gains-iowa-n422111
http://www.scribd.com/doc/278707798/NBC-News-Marist-Poll-Iowa-Annotated-Questionnaire-September-2015
http://www.scribd.com/doc/278707802/NBC-News-Marist-Poll-New-Hampshire-Annotated-Questionnaire-September-2015

Ipsos/Reuters Poll 09/02: Clinton 44%, Sanders 24%, Biden 17%

Joe Biden (D) 17%
Lincoln Chafee (D) 1%
Hillary Clinton (D) 44%
Andrew Cuomo (D) 2%
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 1%
Martin O'Malley (D) 0%
Bernie Sanders (D) 24%
Jim Webb (D) 0%
Wouldn't vote 10%


Full Results:
http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/2015ReutersTrackingCorePolitical9.02.15.pdf

Robert Reich: Why Our Economy No Longer Works for the Vast Majority of Americans

In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years – by 2028 – that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money.

“For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem – how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

We still have thirteen years to go before we reach Keynes’ prophetic year, but we’re not exactly on the way to it. Americans are working harder than ever.

Keynes may be proven right about technological progress. We’re on the verge of 3-D printing, driverless cars, delivery drones, and robots that can serve us coffee in the morning and make our beds.

But he overlooked one big question: How to redistribute the profits from these marvelous labor-saving inventions, so we’ll have the money to buy the free time they provide?

Without such a mechanism, most of us are condemned to work ever harder in order to compensate for lost earnings due to the labor-replacing technologies.

Such technologies are even replacing knowledge workers – a big reason why college degrees no longer deliver steadily higher wages and larger shares of the economic pie.


Since 2000, the vast majority of college graduates have seen little or no income gains.

The economic model that predominated through most of the twentieth century was mass production by many, for mass consumption by many.

But the model we’re rushing toward is unlimited production by a handful, for consumption by the few able to afford it.

The ratio of employees to customers is already dropping to mind-boggling lows.


When more and more can be done by fewer and fewer people, profits go to an ever-smaller circle of executives and owner-investors. WhatsApp’s young co-founder and CEO, Jan Koum, got $6.8 billion in the deal.

This in turn will leave the rest of us with fewer well-paying jobs and less money to buy what can be produced, as we’re pushed into the low-paying personal service sector of the economy.

Which will also mean fewer profits for the handful of billionaire executives and owner-investors, because potential consumers won’t be able to afford what they’re selling.

What to do? We might try to levy a gigantic tax on the incomes of the billionaire winners and redistribute their winnings to everyone else. But even if politically feasible, the winners will be tempted to store their winnings abroad – or expatriate.


Instead of shortening the patent period, how about giving every citizen a share of the profits from all patents and trademarks government protects? It would be a condition for receiving such protection.

Say, for example, 20 percent of all such profits were split equally among all citizens, starting the month they turn eighteen.

In effect, this would be a basic minimum income for everyone.

The sum would be enough to ensure everyone a minimally decent standard of living – including money to buy the technologies that would free them up from the necessity of working.


Full Article: www.alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-why-our-economy-no-longer-works-vast-majority-americans
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