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Showing posts from September 13, 2014

Hillary Clinton: Strong Parental Leave Laws Are Great. Here’s Why You Can’t Have Them.

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[The feminist we've come to know and love. "I don’t think, politically, we could get it now." Calling yourself a pragmatist or a realist, nowadays, is just a nice way of not having to call yourself a Republican. *RON*]

—By Patrick Caldwell, Mother Jones, 12 September 2014
The early stages of Hillary Clinton's proto-presidential campaign this summer were light on details about her domestic policy proposals. Instead, she focused on selling her book, Hard Choices, which focuses on her foreign policy opinions and diplomatic chops.

But this week, during a videotaped speech to a conference on women's issues in Japan, Clinton staked out a strong view on paid family leave, a topic that could play a role in her 2016 campaign. "The United States, unfortunately, is one of a handful of developed countries without paid family leave," she said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "If we give parents the flexibility on the …

Competition Is for Losers

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[A love song in praise of monopolies, of which Google is the poster-child. Americans “mythologize competition” as the essence of capitalism. They fail to see that “capitalism and competition are opposites”. Capitalism is about making profits; whereas, under perfect competition, all profits get competed away. “Only one thing can allow a business to transcend the daily brute struggle for survival: monopoly profits.” *RON*]

By Peter Thiel, The Wall Street Journal, 12 September 2014

What valuable company is nobody building? This question is harder than it looks, because your company could create a lot of value without becoming very valuable itself. Creating value isn't enough—you also need to capture some of the value you create.

This means that even very big businesses can be bad businesses. For example, U.S. airline companies serve millions of passengers and create hundreds of billions of dollars of value each year. But in 2012, when the avera…

Syngenta Stands Firm On Neonicotinoids

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["Amid growing concerns and lawsuits linking neonicotinoid pesticides with bee declines, Syngenta is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the allowable levels of the company’s controversial neonicotinoid product thiamethoxam on certain crops." *RON*]

By Britt E. Erickson, Chemical and Engineering News, Volume 92 Issue 37, p. 7, 12 September 2014 (Issue date 15 September 2014)

Amid growing concerns and lawsuits linking neonicotinoid pesticides with bee declines, Syngenta is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the allowable levels of the company’s controversial neonicotinoid product thiamethoxam on certain crops.

Syngenta is seeking the change so thiamethoxam can be used as a spray on the foliage of alfalfa, corn, barley, and wheat. Currently, the pesticide is approved for use only as a seed treatment on those crops. In explaining its request, the company says, “Mid- to late-season insect pests are not …

China Is Using The UN As Cover For Sending Troops To Protect Its Oil Investment In South Sudan

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[China wants Africa - specifically African oil - under its sphere of influence. It knows it can't get away with simply marching in with its own army, so... *RON*]

Armin Rosen, Business Insider, 12 September 2014
Chinese soldiers from an engineering unit practice at an army camp in Qinyang in Henan province on September 15, 2007.

This week, China announced that it was sending 700 military personnel to join the UN's peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, an oil-rich east African state and site of an ongoing civil war. China has contributed to UN peacekeeping missions before, but the unprecedented size of its contribution, and its purpose in sending troops, reveals just how complicated China's foreign outreach has become as the country continues its rise to super-power status.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, China is deploying troops in order "to help guard the country's embattled oil fields and protect Chinese workers and inst…

EI Premium Cut 'A Job Killer,' Critics Say

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[The graph showing corporations "bunching" up in front of the "tax wall" is an eye-opener. And, of course (Harper and Don Knotts Joe Oliver know their base), no commensurate cut for workers. *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 12 September 2014


It took very little time for the Small Business Job Credit, announced by the Conservative government on Thursday, to start attracting negative attention.

Many economists say the move will do little to spur hiring — and may in fact prevent it.

The tax credit reduces the Employment Insurance premiums that small employers pay. (It doesn’t change the premiums that workers pay.) For the next two years, businesses that pay less than $15,000 in annual premiums will see their premiums reduced to $1.60 for every $100 earned, down from the current $1.88. By one estimate, this will mostly apply to companies with 20 or fewer workers.

Finance Minister Joe Oliver says this will reduce the EI b…