Showing posts from November 2, 2015

Robert Reich: Everywhere You Look Huge Cartels Are Jacking Up Prices, Gouging You However They Can

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[More on the Myth of Free Markets. The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market. *RON*]
By Robert / AlterNet, 2 November 2015

Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward.

But this debate ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market.

The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market.

For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation.

Why Bad Guys Win at Work

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[Snakes in suits. As the rules governing corporations allow them to behave in ways that are increasingly psychopathic it is only natural that corporations should gravitate toward hiring psychopaths to run their businesses. *RON*]

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Harvard Business Review, 2 November 2015

“Not all psychopaths are in prison – some are in the board room,” Robert Hare famously said during his aptly titled lecture, The Predators Among Us.

Psychopathy is one of three “dark triad” traits, the other two being narcissism and Machiavellianism. It should be noted that, unlike clinical personality traits, these traits are normally distributed in the population – e.g., you can score low, average or high – and perfectly indicative of normal functioning. In other words, just because you score high doesn’t mean that you have problems, either at work or in your personal life. And despite the antisocial implications of the dark triad, recent research has high…

In Arbitration, a ‘Privatization of the Justice System’

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[Lengthy but eye-popping: the corporatocracy and regulatory capture. Again, in a so-called 'free market' system there are always, in fact, rules and regulations, structures and processes that govern fundamental transactions, such as how contracts are governed. The important thing is who controls how these structures and processes get decided upon. This is how the corporatocracy gets established. *RON*]

Jessice Silver-Greemnerg and Michael Corkery, New York Times, 1 November 2015
Deborah L. Pierce, an emergency room doctor in Philadelphia, was optimistic when she brought a sex discrimination claim against the medical group that had dismissed her. Respected by colleagues, she said she had a stack of glowing evaluations and evidence that the practice had a pattern of denying women partnerships.

She began to worry, though, once she was blocked from court and forced into private arbitration.

Presiding over the case was not a judge but a corporat…

Kinder Morgan oil pipeline hanging "precariously" in Burnaby

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["Send a third-stage Guild Navigator to Kaitain to demand details from the Emperor. The Spice must flow." Frank Herbert (1965). Dune. This provides a clear insight into the world-class emergency procedures we can expect from K-M: keep the oil flowing, regardless of the risk to local residents and the environment. *RON*]
Mychaylo Prystupa, Vancouver Observer, 2 November 2015

Burnaby residents were alarmed this weekend by the sight of an exposed high pressure Kinder Morgan petroleum pipeline on Burnaby Mountain, hanging by a crane wire, apparently threatened by shifting ground due to heavy rains.

Following reports of petroleum smells from neighbours, a large number of trucks and heavy equipment were seen working late into the night on a steep mountain slope around the company’s pipeline.

Burnaby retiree John Clarke attended to the scene Saturday night, and photographed a huge crane holding up the company’s petroleum pipeline "precariou…

‘We must use the living wage to slay the ogre of income inequality’

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[Not only is there a moral imperative to pay the living wage; it will boost the economy, too. See also the well-balanced New Light on Income Inequality. *RON*]
John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, The Guardian, 31 October 2015
Rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay seems like a sensible enough suggestion, but years of stagnant, and even falling, wages in a host of job areas, including manufacturing, the public sector and construction, has seen the reality of this phrase become far from the norm for millions of workers.

Figures released on Sunday show that more than six million workers earn less than the living wage. So while unemployment may be falling, and some wages rising, the picture in the homes of workers across Britain isn’t as bright as that portrayed in the headlines.

Anti-austerity populism may be on the rise in Euro zone

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[With both Madrid and Barcelona having voted in anti-austerity governments, the world awaits the results of the 20 December national elections in Spain. See also: UK Government austerity programme 'an international embarrassment', Community groups close doors in protest against austerity, and Our Brand Is Crisis, and the West's catastrophic global austerity experiment. *RON*]

Neal Kimberley, South China Morning Post, 2 November 2015

“The European Union is not going very well,” admitted Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission on October 22, although you might not know it judging by the scale of investor demand for euro zone members’ government paper that has led to negative yields on many of the member nations’ 2-year sovereign bonds.

That said, markets have reacted rationally, understanding the European Central Bank’s (ECB) efforts to ease the euro zone’s economic problems, including a possible expansion of quantitati…