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Showing posts from August 7, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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Why a Consumption Tax May not Make any Sense at All

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[Good article! The devil’s in the (accounting) details — and the economic effects. *RON*]
Steve Roth, Evonomics, 5 August 2017


You often hear calls out there — mostly from Right economists but also from some on the Left — for a consumption tax in the U.S. As presented, it’s a super-simple idea: tally your income, subtract your saving, and what’s left is your consumption. You pay taxes on that.

We want to encourage thrifty saving and discourage profligate consumption, so what’s not to like?

Lots. Before getting into the idea’s economic virtues and vices, consider the accounting. Whaddaya mean by “saving”? Economists are deeply confused about that word, so it’s worth sorting through a bit.

Start with a simple pared-down household. The only accounting complication is that they own a house:


How much did this household “save”? Should the interest payments count as consumption? The principal payments almost certainly should not (and could be treated that …

Report “Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life" – Info

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[This is the site where you can download the full report. Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life. How Companies Collect, Combine, Analyze, Trade, and Use Personal Data on Billions. A Report by Cracked Labs, Vienna, June 2017. Author: Wolfie Christl. Contributors: Katharina Kopp, Patrick Urs Riechert. Illustrations: Pascale Osterwalder.]

» Download full report as PDF
» Web publication with infographics

» All infographics/illustrations on one page

Contact: impact@crackedlabs.org
(phone contact on request)
Media Coverage / What Others Say “How we are all pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered – by online biz all day. Cracked Labs shines light on surveillance capitalism” (The Register)“Untangling the other dark web – of pervasive, inescapable, corporate surveillance” (Glyn Moody)“a new, authoritative & chilling report on how big corporates track your every move” (Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian / Observer)“Ninety-three glorio…

This is a Post About Drought. And Farmer Suicide.

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["It’s too late to save the crops. It’s too late for the grass to come back or to have enough to feed all the cows through the winter. But it is NOT too late to save the farmers and ranchers, and we’d better start talking about that. Right. Damn. Now." *RON*]
FLYINGTOMATO, Prairie Center, 31 July 2017

I traveled to Pierre on Saturday from my home in Northeastern South Dakota–a tiny little nook of the state that is green, lush, and lucky with moisture. We had edged into abnormally dry status in the last drought monitor update dated 7/25, but the nearest weather station update records nearly an inch of rain that day–and I’m fairly certain that in our little corner we absorbed twice that or more late that afternoon and into the evening.


The afternoon of the storm, I was trudging around a Nature Conservancy prairie preserve in Deuel County, and as I was leaving lightning was flashing in the distance and dark clouds edging in from the north a…

Failure to reach Brexit deal ‘suicide’ for UK, says former EU chief

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[This whole deal appears to be spinning, floundering. Romano Prodi, once Italian prime minister, says compromise on both sides is essential and that a second referendum would be almost impossible. *RON*]

Michael Savage, The Guardian, 6 August 2017

Britain will be committing economic suicide unless it is prepared to compromise to reach a comprehensive Brexit deal, a former head of the European Commission has warned.

Romano Prodi, the economist and former Italian prime minister, said the Brexit negotiations had made little progress in the first year after the referendum and urged both sides to begin making concessions on trade and immigration to reach a deal.

In an interview with the Observer, he said that more and more people were suggesting to him in private that a second referendum may be needed. However, he said a “historic compromise” would eventually be reached because the Europe-wide economic consequences of failure had been heavily underestim…

Google blocked every one of the WSWS’s 45 top search terms

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[I saw this link on Naked Capitalism. This was their comment: "I tried 'Trotksy.' Nothing from Google 10 pages into the search results. Bing had a WSWS hit at #75, six pages in. WSWS was at #70 on DuckDuckGo’s infinite scroll. Trotsky is seven pages in at Yahoo, five pages in at the DogPile aggregator, three pages in at Yandex, and two pages in at Yippy, oddly, and on the front page at #19 at Unbubble (a neutral European search engine). Certainly, some, er, invisible hand seems to be operating at Google. Readers, try for yourselves!" *RON*]
Andre Damon, World Socialist Web Site, 4 August 2017

An intensive review of Internet data has established that Google has severed links between the World Socialist Web Site and the 45 most popular search terms that previously directed readers to the WSWS. The physical censorship implemented by Google is so extensive that of the top 150 search terms that, as late as April 2017, connected the W…