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Showing posts from March 5, 2017

Sikh man shot in US, told to 'go back to your country'

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[This time a gun attack in Washington state follows the killing of Indian engineer in Kansas last month. *RON*]
A Sikh man was shot and wounded near Seattle in the US state of Washington by an attacker who approached him in his driveway and reportedly told him to leave the country, police and media reported.

Seattle television station KIRO 7 reported on Saturday that the man was working on his car in his driveway when he was shot in the arm.

A witness told the TV station she knew the victim and saw him after he was attacked on Friday.

Today's Trumpery

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How Accounting Smoke and Mirrors Makes Corporate Profits — and Rich People’s Income — Invisible

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[Increasingly, businesses don’t generate profits. They generate capital gains. It’s fiendishly clever. "And just to mention in passing, none of that shareholder income ever appears as household income in the national accounts. It might as well not exist." *RON*]
By Steve Roth, Evonomics, 19 February 2017
Image you’re Jeff Bezos, circa 1998. You’re building a company (Amazon) that stands to make you and your compatriots vastly rich.

But looking forward, you see a problem: if your company makes profits, it will have to pay taxes on them. (At least nominally, in theory, 35%!) Then you and your investors will have to pay taxes on them again when they’re distributed to you as dividends. (Though yes, at a far lower 20% rate than what high earners pay on earned income.) Add those two up over many years, and you’re talking tens, hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes.

You’re a very smart guy. How are you going to avoid that?

Neoliberalism Was Supposed to Make Us Richer: Three Reasons Why It Didn’t

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[How neoliberalism contributed to the productivity slowdown. *RON*]
Chris Dillow, Evonomics, not dated.
Chris Edwards says the privatizations started by Thatcher “transformed the British economy” and boosted productivity. This raises an under-appreciated paradox.

The thing is that privatization isn’t the only thing to have happened since the 1980s which should have raised productivity, according to (what I’ll loosely call) neoliberal ideology. Trades unions have weakened, which should have reduced “restrictive practices”. Managers have become better paid, which should have attracted more skilful ones, and better incentivized them to increase productivity. And the workforce has more human capital: since the mid-80s, the proportion of workers with a degree has quadrupled from 8% to one-third.

Washington Governor’s Order to Protect Immigrants Will Also Save State’s Economy

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[Immigrants make up 17 percent of the state’s workforce. If Washington’s undocumented workers were deported, nearly $14.5 billion in economic activity could be lost. *RON*]
Josh Cohen, Yes! Magazine, 1 March 2017

On Feb. 23, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed Executive Order 17-01. The order came just three days after the Department of Homeland Security released a memorandum implementing President Trump’s executive order to expedite deportations. Inslee’s order clarifies what data state agencies are allowed to collect about religion and immigration status and mandates that state agencies and law enforcement not assist the federal government with civil immigration law enforcement (the state will still assist with criminal immigration law enforcement).
“This executive order makes clear that Washington will not be a willing participant in promoting or carrying out mean-spirited policies that break up families and compromise our national secur…

In a Rust Belt Town Where Tuition Is Covered, Economy Begins to Revive

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[After Kalamazoo, Michigan, offered college tuition for nearly all high school graduates, dropout rates declined and the city’s population began to rebound. *RON*]
J. Gabriel Ware, Yes! magazine, 2 March 2017

Autre Murray, 24, never planned to go to college. He thought he couldn’t afford it—even with student loans. Besides, he wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of ending up in “debt up to the neck.” Instead, Murray planned to earn a high school diploma and find a job doing manual labor, maybe somewhere like a factory. He told himself he didn’t need a college education to become successful.

But now he’s on his way to obtaining a bachelor’s degree, as are other members of his Kalamazoo, Michigan, hometown. That’s thanks to the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program first announced at a board meeting of Kalamazoo Public Schools in November 2005. The nonprofit of the same name provides scholarships that cover 65 to 100 percent of college tuition and f…