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Showing posts from March 6, 2014

RMR - Income Splitting

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Italo Calvino cited in Maria Popova's "Brain Pickings"

Read the original article here.

Guilty as charged:

“Every day I tell myself that reading newspapers is a waste of time, but then … I cannot do without them. They are like a drug.” - Italo Calvino

How the Ukraine crisis ends

Read the original article here.
[I cannot begin to tell you how much I dislike Henry Kissinger. So imagine my surprise when I found myself thinking that this was one of the more sensible opinion pieces I've read during the Ukraine crisis. *RON*]

By Henry A. Kissinger, The Washington Post, Published: March 5

Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.

Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.

Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Mos…

The Inverse of Oversight: CIA Spies On Congress

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Read the original article here (and see a video I could not bring over).
["McClatchy News Service... reported that the CIA’s inspector general has asked for a criminal investigation into CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides who were investigating the agency’s prominent role in the Bush-era torture of detainees." *RON*]
By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept, 5 Mar 2014
In the wake of an explosive new allegation that the CIA spied on Senate intelligence committee staffers, one senator felt this morning that he needed to make something clear.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee oversees the CIA, not the other way around,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) said in a press release.

In normal circumstances, that would have been a statement of the obvious. Today, it was more a cry for help.

The role of income inequality

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Read the original article here.

[This piece might be described as 'data in support of the Krugman demand-side/fiscal policy argument'. *RON*]
The rise in income inequality was a root cause of the U.S. financial crisis and the slow post-recovery period.Mediocre income gains for middle income households have contributed to the slow recovery of U.S. consumption and economic growth.As pressure continues to build to address income inequality, we expect the government to lead on this issue and private sector to lag. Columbia Management, March 3, 2014

By Marie Schofield, Chief Economist and Toby Nangle, Head of Multi asset Allocation. This is the second part in their series:Slow growth: Why is it here and will it stay? Part one can be read here.

The roots of the great financial crisis and the slow post-recovery period can be traced to many factors, but a predominant one is the rise in income inequality. What is not generally known is that this is not a new or recent development—income in…

Why the 1 Percent Have Nothing to Fear

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Read the original article here.
[Barack Obama and the Democrats aren’t really coming for your wealth. They just want your political donations. "The president has said that addressing income inequality will be the centerpiece of his remaining time in office, but when the president spoke to the DNC, he didn’t mention income inequality at all."*RON*]
 By John Dickerson, Slate.com

If you are a member of the 1 percent, be wary, the politicians are coming for you. They’d like a donation to their campaign. Given all the talk about income inequality, you might have worried that they’d be supporting policies that could hurt you. Rest easy: Control of the Senate hangs in the balance this election year and the political system needs your donations more than your hide. Pollsters and strategists are telling candidates that targeting the rich or talking too much about income inequality isn’t a smart strategy. So you’re not even likely to receive a righteous rhetorical scapegoating. History …

This Chart Pretty Much Says It All About Canada's Income Inequality

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Read the original article here.

[No comment required. *RON*]

Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 03/04/2014

Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been boasting about data showing that Canadians’ net worth boomed in recent years, arguing, in essence, that Canada isn’t facing the sorts of income inequality problems that others are facing.

It’s a political gambit, of course, and it’s aimed at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s recent talk about income inequality. Last week, Kenney accused Trudeau of “making things up” when the Liberal leader asserted that Canada’s middle class is stuck in neutral.

But is Trudeau really making things up? Not according to a new study of incomes from the University of British Columbia, which found that nearly all the gains since the 1980s have gone to the top 10 per cent of earners — and much of that went to the very top 0.01 per cent of earners.

The researchers describe the income gains at the top of the ladder as "dramatic."

Check out this chart from Thomas Le…

It’s the inequality, stupid

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Read the original article here.

[An excellent piece, describing the situation very well in a few words. *RON*]

ROBERT B. REICH, Special to The Globe and Mail, Mar. 05 2014


U.S. President Barack Obama calls income inequality the “defining challenge of our era.” Polls show that a majority of Americans believe inequality has grown over the past decade, and that they favour tax increases on the wealthy to help the poor. The non-partisan Pew Research Center recently found that six out of 10 Americans believe their system unfairly favours the wealthy.

And yet the reaction of U.S. conservatives has been to change the subject. Those with presidential ambitions say the focus should be on poverty, not income inequality. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida points to the poor’s “lack of mobility” as the core problem. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin blames their isolation from mainstream America.

Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks argues that the “interrelated social problems of the po…