"Luxury is one of the few sectors to have done well in recent years," said a partner specializing in tax at Grant Thornton in Milan
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
"Luxury is one of the few sectors to have done well in recent years," said a partner specializing in tax at Grant Thornton in Milan
Rich people are often tax evaders and draft dodgers (I have known many
of them). They can easily afford to pay a tax attorney $100,000 to save
them $1,000,000+ in taxes. Generations of rich have paid little or no
taxes their entire life; in the US or many other countries around the
world. If they decide to get a job or start a company they may have to
pay some taxes, but may be able to avoid most of those taxes too. The
system is rife with loopholes and tricks built up over centuries in
countries around the world. Supports a large army of wealthy lawyers and
accountants -- I almost joined that profession in College in Southern
California instead of joining the military. Some evaders even renounce
their citizenship to legally avoid taxes forever. They can control
their assets, politicians, and the minds of the sheeple from any nice
place in the world they want: Monaco, Paris, Beverly Hills, San
Francisco, San Diego...
Wikipedia has flushed some of these facts into the public domain, easily
accessed by a cheap computer or phone with footnotes and links to
details. Some professors have computer skills and access to databases
of relevant records but those reports are hard to read even for those
with substantial training. Wikipedia provides a bridge between
difficult scientific writing and hysterical and often erroneous articles
in the news media, blogs, TV... Wikipedia articles and cited articles
tend to be of higher quality and quantity than what I can find by google
searches. Not surprising as Google is aimed at the profitable ad
supported mass market that wants entertainment instead of in-depth
boring articles that are free without ads.
As the extent of tax evasion / avoidance becomes known people may decide
to clamp down on it in the USA and around the world.
One problem is that the needed data is not available.
Estimates of tax avoidance range up to $2 trillion!
An IRS report indicates that 1,470 individuals earning more than
$1,000,000 annually faced a net tax liability of zero or less.
Corporate taxes are less than taxes on people
*Total receipts (in billions of dollars):*
Individual income tax
otherpayroll tax <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payroll_tax> 959
Corporate income tax
Estate <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inheritance_tax>andgift taxes
Deposits of earnings andFederal Reserve System
Other miscellaneous receipts 21
> Much easier to avoid taxes by just making political contributions or
> agreeing to be a stooge for the NSA. GE and Google paid no taxes last
> year. This detailed article obviously only applies to the 99%.
> *Subject:* Tax Avoidance. MIT professor in Journal of Finance (#1)
> There are many such tricks, some illegal but hard to catch. Full
> article on the Wiley Journal of Finance site, free until they clean it
> up for publication.
> Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes
> Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping —
> sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A
> study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.
> "I think it's a big problem in the U.S. tax system that individuals
> can evade taxes and that they try to do so offshore" "So we just felt
> like it was a big policy issue actually to try to get a handle on how
> much this occurs and whether we could track this down with data."
> In round-tripping, American citizens open bank accounts in tax havens
> such as the Cayman Islands. They funnel money into the accounts and
> then use it to buy stocks and bonds back in the U.S.
> "A U.S. individual would pretend essentially to be a foreign
> investor," Hanlon says. "So they would set up, say, a bank account or
> a shell corporation offshore and from that offshore location they
> would invest back in the U.S."
> Normally, American citizens who invest in the United States are
> supposed to pay taxes on any profits they make. "But if they pretend
> they're foreign and don't report that they're U.S. residents and don't
> report that income then it's very hard for the tax authorities to
> catch them,"
> For a long time it's been nearly impossible to quantify
> round-tripping. E.J. Fagan of Global Financial Integrity, a nonprofit
> research and advocacy group, says a lot of countries refuse to tell
> the Internal Revenue Service anything about their U.S. customers.
> "Very often a lot of these jurisdictions — places like, for example,
> Mauritius or the British Virgin Islands — they make the Cayman Islands
> look open and transparent. So, very often it's hard to know where the
> assets are,"
> But in a study in the Journal of Finance, took a look at how much
> money has come into the country from places such as the Cayman Islands
> since 1984. The flow of money into the U.S. has always been erratic
> and can be affected by a lot of different factors. But the researchers
> decided to look at what happened to the flow when the U.S. tax rate
> went up.
> Employing Becker's (1968) economic theory of crime, we identify the
> tax evasion component by examining how foreign portfolio investment
> varies with changes in the incentives to evade and the risks of
> detection. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence of
> investor-level tax evasion affecting cross-border equity and debt
> Why Bitcoin (and Other Cryptocurrencies) Will Inevitably Become Tools
> of the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal
> Last week, an op-ed that I wrote for The Baltimore Sun prompted a lot
> of very strong reactions, both positive and negative. I argued that
> efforts to make Bitcoins functionally anonymous are very dangerous,
> because money laundering is inherently very dangerous.
> To summarize my argument: transnational crime is a global business
> valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and criminals need a
> way to easily launder, move, and invest that money to make it worth
> the risk. I brought up two examples—rhino poaching and human
> trafficking—in the op-ed, but there are dozens more crimes (including
> drug trafficking and weapons smuggling) to which you can refer.
> from 2002 to 2011, developing countries lost US$5.9 trillion to
> illicit outflows.
> Developing Countries Are Being Undermined by Rich Nations' Greed
> transnational crime is a global business valued in the hundreds of
> billions of dollars, and criminals need a way to easily launder, move,
> and invest that money to make it worth the risk.
> two examples—rhino poaching and human trafficking, but there are
> dozens more crimes (including drug trafficking and weapons smuggling)
The other reason why officials might want to hold back these numbers is that income inequality is, according to the study, the result of government policies.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
My internet connection quit working today. Then suddenly started
working again about the time to go to bed. I will answer emails tomorrow.
I attach a financial reform proposal by John Cochrane University of
Chicago. I took a class with him some years ago. Shortly thereafter he
married Eugene Fama's teenage daughter --- that may have helped him keep
his job at Chicago. Fama's 4 grandparents were Italian --- that
explains his Boston Italian accent. He would show up at professional
meetings in a red shirt and motorcycle jacket. Sort of a flashy
character with grandiose book titles such as "Foundations of Finance"
helped him get his reputation and lengthy publication list and Nobel
Prize. Plus the fact that his work is very politically correct to the
powers that be, and well funded. Not much in that short book but it was
in the right place at the right time.
Cochrane's fix seems much more complicated than mine. But it may work.
I am reading it carefully, and it is a long tedious read. At least it is
a good summary of a lot of good related work. He is a standard
University of Chicago Free Market proponent and Cato Institute
Libertarian (founded by a Koch).
Clearly something needs to be done. 2008 could have spiraled out of
control very easily. Then the economy has been weak since then, a slow
recovery. Better to prevent crashes instead of trying to fix the
problems resulting from crashes.
Sent via the FOX News iPhone App. Download the app here.
DoLibertarians have always been flummoxed by inequality, tending either to deny that it's a problem or pretend that the invisible hand of the market will wave a magic wand to cure it.
NYTimes: A Deadly Fungus and Questions at a Hospital
Bedsheets, towels or gowns are believed to have transmitted infections of a flesh-eating fungus that killed five children during an outbreak at a New Orleans children's hospital.
C.D.C. investigators did not fault the hospital for failing to move more quickly to detect the outbreak
With one child, a doctor allegedly agreed to biopsy an infected spot only after a nurse and the parents insisted.
the hospital's infection investigators did not become involved for months because their threshold
In a city where so many institutions had failed its citizens — a former mayor convicted of bribery, a
police department tainted by charges of brutality,
schools where student performance was historically abysmal
Monday, April 28, 2014
Gold was legalized by Nixon Ford Republicans so inequality rose as the
smart rich took advantage of the dumb poor.
Those same parties pulled a bunch of other tricks to force the desired
outcome, and continue to pull in the same directions with inequality
currently winning (Obama no better than Bush because Obama and modern
liberals are stupid -- dumbed down by drugs, disease, junk food stamps,
Beware of any blogger who talks about Keynesian without defining what
they mean (see Wikipedia for the confusion).
I have never heard any real banker use the term Keynesian. I doubt if
Keynes is taught in any top MBA curriculum any more. Keynes may
sometimes be discussed by a politician, blogger, TV talk radio, media...
to confuse uneducated sheeple, to separate them from their money.
Probably bears no relation to what Keynes actually said. Keynes should
be read in the original with footnotes to page number if somebody claims
some idea is due to Keynes.
Bloggers who conclude that gold is an investment cannot be trusted. Gold
has never paid a dividend through the whole of human history. The
discounted present value of zero is always zero, no matter what the
discount rate. A cheap BB gun can at least procure fowl, squirrel,...
Most people nowadays are incredibly under-invested in survivable
environment, water, food, etc. A family farm supports health if SHTF or
no SHTF. Valuable fiat money should be used to procure a few survivable
acres and not wasted on gold coins that will be confiscated in the
Mexican Reconquista Holocaust.
Piketty is worth reading the original or at least the reviews. There is
a lot more to it than the one chart.
Incredible irony on display here. Now a 2^nd liberal scholar with
impeccable PhD credentials makes the /same/ observation as SecLabor
Robert Reich and others – that the incredible wage inequality
("Inequality for all" – Reich's documentary) being experienced
globally /began in 1971/. Any working person who experienced that
decade knows precisely what happened. Adjusted for inflation, wages
topped out that year – monetary inflation caused by one thing: fiat
The BRICS are buying gold and the US/UK are selling (actually have
sold). When the BIS/G20 craft the new Bretton Woods II, what will back
the new reserve currency?
*Editorial of The New York Sun | April 21, 2014*
With all that has been written in respect to Thomas Piketty's new book,
"Capital," you would think that someone — Paul Krugman, say, or Jonathan
Chait or David Brooks or Hendrik Hertzberg; we're not worried about who
it might be so much as someone among the liberal intelligentsia — would
have remarked on an odd coincidence of timing. We're speaking here of
the timing of the rapid rise of the blasted inequality over which
Professor Piketty is so upset. After all, this inequality has become the
cause celebre of the season for President Obama and his entire political
party.*It's the issue of the hour. Yet when it comes to the timing at
which this phenomenon presented itself, nada. Omerta.*
*Well, feature the chart that Professor Piketty publishes showing
inequality in America.* This appears in the book at figure 9.8; a
similar version, shown alongside here, is offered on his Web site. It's
an illuminating chart. It shows the share of national income of the top
decile of the population. It started the century at a bit above 40% and
edged above 45% in the Roaring Twenties. It plunged during the Great
Depression and edged down in World War II, and then steadied out, until
we get to the 1970s. Something happened then that caused income
inequality to start soaring. The top decile's share of income went from
something like 33% in 1971 to above 47% by 2010.
*Hmmm. What could account for that?* Could it be the last broadcast of
the "Lawrence Welk Show?" Or the blast off of the Apollo 14 mission to
the Moon? Or could it have something to do with the mysterious D.B.
Cooper, who bailed out of the plane he hijacked, never to be seen again?
A timeline of 1971 offers so many possibilities. *But, say, what about
the possibility that it was in the middle of 1971, in August, that
America closed the gold window at which it was supposed to redeem in
specie dollars presented by foreign central banks. That was the default
that ended the era of the Bretton Woods monetary system.*
*_That's the default that opened the age of fiat money._*Or the era that
President Nixon supposedly summed up in with Milton Friedman's immortal
words, "We're all Keynesians now." This is an age that has seen a sharp
change in unemployment patterns. Before this date, unemployment was, by
today's standards, low. This was a pattern that held in Europe (these
columns wrote about it in "George Soros' Two Cents") and in America
("Yellen's Missing Jobs"). From 1947 to 1971, unemployment in America
ran at the average rate of 4.7%; since 1971 the average unemployment
rate has averaged 6.4%. Could this have been a factor in the soaring
income inequality that also emerged in the age of fiat money?
*This is the question the liberals don't want to discuss, even
acknowledge. *They are never going to get it out of their heads that the
gold standard is a barbarous relic. They have spent so much of their
capital ridiculing the idea of honest money that they daren't open up
the question. It doesn't take a Ph.D. from MIT or Princeton, however, to
imagine that in an age of fiat money, the top decile would have an
easier time making hay than would the denizens of the other nine
deciles, who aren't trained in the art of swaps and derivatives. We
don't belittle the skills of the top decile. We tend to view them the
way we view great baseball players or violinists — heroic figures.
Neither do we make a totem out of economic equality; in inequality,
after all, are found incentives.
*In terms of public policy, though, we favor honest money. It works out
better for more people.* And there is a moral dimension to the question
of honest money. This was a matter that was understood — and keenly felt
— by the Founders of America, who almost to a man (Benjamin Franklin, a
printer of paper notes, was a holdout), cringed with humiliation at the
thought of fiat paper money. They'd tried it in the revolution, and it
had been the one embarrassment of the struggle. They eventually gave us
a Constitution that they hoped would bar us from ever making the same
*There is an irony here for Monsieur Piketty. It was France who gave us
Jacques Rueff, the economist who had the clearest comprehension of the
importance of sound money based on gold specie.* He was, among other
things, an adviser of Charles De Gaulle. It was De Gaulle who in 1965,
called a thousand newspapermen together and spoke of the importance of
gold as the central element of an international monetary system that
would put large and small, rich and poor nations on the same plane. We
ran the complete text of Professor Piketty's book "Capital" through the
Sun's own "Electrically-operated Savvy Sifter" and were unable to find,
even once, the name of Rueff.
Yet the way in which American colleges have globalized comes with costs, too. For one thing, the rise in foreign students has complicated the colleges' stated efforts to make their classes more economically diverse. Foreign students often receive scant financial aid and tend to be from well-off families. For another thing, the country's most selective colleges have effectively shrunk as far as American students are concerned, during the same span that many students and their parents are spending more time obsessing over getting into one.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
I started college as an Anthropology major.
Finance is reverse archaeology.
Archaeology tries to find out what people did in the past.
Finance tries to find out what people will be doing in the future.
Present Value = the discounted present value of future income, from the
standpoint of a forward looking, rational optimizer.
When I see an interesting book, I go to Amazon.com to see what critics
say. Try to get both sides, alternative viewpoints. Also listing of
related works. Often there are excerpts. Then go to the Professors
website where sometimes related whole books and papers can be downloaded.
Ian Morris teaches classics, history, and archaeology at Stanford
University. Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1960, he now lives in
the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. He has directed excavations in
Greece, and Italy, and has published 11 books and more than 80 articles.
His most recent book, "Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of
History, and What They Reveal About the Future" (2010), tells the
stories of East and West across the last 15,000 years, from the final
days of the Ice Age into the 22nd century, explaining why the West came
to dominate the rest--and what will happen next.
His next book, called "War! What is It Good For?" will tell the story of
war from prehuman times to our own, making two controversial claims --
first, that war has helped humanity as well as harming it; and second,
that war is now changing out of all recognition.
"Morris's pace is perfect, his range dazzling, his phrase making fluent,
his humor raucous… A rattling good book." – Wall Street Journal
"An exuberant and wonderfully entertaining tour de force of history,
archaeology, anthropology, geography, evolutionary biology and
technological and military speculation that improbably combines a
hardcore intellectual seriousness with a larky, almost blokeish note
that would go down just as well on Top Gear as it clearly does at
Stanford." —David Crane, The Spectator
"Morris's argument is brilliantly made, argued across a huge sweep... It
is a magnificent and stimulating read, and should be given to anyone
involved in the business of war and peace, or the human fate in any
respect—and already a book of the year." —Robert Fox, The Evening Standard
"Morris's effort is in a different league . . . He is a much wittier and
more self-deprecating writer than most of his competitors, has a sharper
eye for facts and ancedotes, and steers well clear of preening bombast .
. . Clear, acute and counterintuitive, his book is a pleasure to read."
—Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times
"Big ideas spill out on almost every page of War! This is that rarest of
books, one that both entertains and challenges." —Alan Cate, Cleveland.com
"This erudite yet compulsively readable history of war (and actually
much more) by archaeologist-historian Morris (Why the West Rules—For
Now, 2010) takes the provocative position that, over time, the value of
war, despite its horrors, has been to make humanity both safer and
richer . . . Throughout this rare mixture of scholarship, stunning
insight, and wit, Morris cites the widely divergent opinions of past
philosophers and scholars, and, though he makes his case convincingly,
future (and, oh yes, the future is projected) students, readers, and
critics of this book are likely to continue the fascinating argument
Morris raises here. War! What Is it Good For? appeals to (indeed, may
broaden) the largeaudience that has made Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs,
and Steel (1997), much quoted in it, a modern classic and should join it
on personal and library bookshelves." —Mark Levine, Booklist (starred
"A disturbing, transformative text that veers toward essential reading."
—Kirkus (starred review)
"An ambitious, epoch-spanning study of violence writ large across time
and place . . . A fascinating and stimulating work sure to compel
readers of anthropology, archaeology, history, and futurity."
"Ian Morris' evidence that war has benefited our species—albeit
inadvertently—is provocative, compelling, and fearless. This book is
equally horrific and inspiring, detailed and sweeping, light-hearted and
deadly serious. For those who think war has been a universal disaster it
will change the way they think about the course of history." —Richard
Wrangham, author of Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human
Violence and Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
"Perhaps you think that you already know everything about the history of
all peoples on all the continents for the last 15,000 years. Even if you
do, you'll still get a fresh perspective from this thought-provoking
book. With this volume and his previous Why the West Rules—for Now, Ian
Morris has established himself as a leader in making big history
interesting and understandable." —Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs,
and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies
Choose to Fail or Succeed
"That war is the antithesis of everything we cherish in our modern
civilization is that one rare idea nobody would dare disagree with in
polite company. Nobody except Ian Morris that is. This delightful,
erudite and thought-provoking book challenges some of our core beliefs.
Morris argues, fairly convincingly, that far from being its antithesis,
war is the mainspring of our civilization, and we are far from the last
chapter of the history that war has made. You will be surprised,
informed, entertained and most importantly challenged by this book."
—Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power,
Prosperity, and Poverty
"We now live in a far safer, healthier, and more prosperous world than
any of our ancestors ever did. Ian Morris has drawn upon a breathtaking
array of data from paleography, anthropology, history, psychology, and
political science to demonstrate the unpalatable but inescapable truth
that we do so thanks to what has for centuries been seen as mankind's
greatest scourge: war. Written with all of Morris' habitual narrative
flair, this brilliant book will surely change forever the way we think
about human conflict and what we should attempt to do about it in the
future." —Anthony Pagden, author of Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year
Struggle Between East and West
I'd like to see a debate between this author and Professor R J Rummel
(author of "Murder by Government.") He makes some huge assumptions
about "the old days." I think it would be more accurate to say that
war makes Banksters richer and safer.
In the long run, wars make us safer and richer
By Ian Morris, Published: April 25
/Ian Morris, a professor of classics at Stanford University, is the
author of "War! What is it Good For? Conflict and the Progress of
Civilization from Primates to Robots."/
Norman Angell, the Paris editor of Britain's Daily Mail, was a man who
expected to be listened to. Yet even he was astonished by the success of
his book "The Great Illusion," in which he announced that war had put
itself out of business. "The day for progress by force has passed," he
explained. >From now on, "it will be progress by ideas or not at all."
He wrote these words in 1910. One politician after another lined up to
praise the book. Four years later, the same men started World War I. By
1918, they had killed 15 million people; by 1945, the death toll from
two world wars had passed 100 million and a nuclear arms race had begun.
In 1983, U.S. war games suggested that an all-out battle with the Soviet
Union would kill a billion people — at the time, one human in five — in
the first few weeks. And today, a century after the beginning of the
Great War, civil war is raging
in Syria, tanks are massing on Ukraine's borders
and a fight against terrorism seems to have no end.
Why conflicts make the world safer and richer
So yes, war is hell — but have you considered the alternatives? When
looking upon the long run of history, it becomes clear that through
10,000 years of conflict, humanity has created larger, more organized
societies that have greatly reduced the risk that their members will die
violently. These better organized societies also have created the
conditions for higher living standards and economic growth. War has not
only made us safer, but richer, too.
Thinkers have long grappled with the relationships among peace, war and
strength. Thomas Hobbes wrote his case for strong government,
"Leviathan," as the English Civil War raged around him in the 1640s.
German sociologist Norbert Elias's two-volume treatise, "The Civilizing
Process," published on the eve of World War II, argued that Europe had
become a more peaceful place in the five centuries leading to his own
day. The difference is that now we have the evidence to prove their case.
Take the long view. The world of the Stone Age, for instance, was a
rough place; 10,000 years ago, if someone used force to settle an
argument, he or she faced few constraints. Killing was normally on a
small scale, in homicides, vendettas and raids, but because populations
were tiny, the steady drip of low-level killing took an appalling toll.
By many estimates, 10 to 20 percent of all Stone Age humans died at the
hands of other people.
This puts the past 100 years in perspective. Since 1914, we have endured
world wars, genocides and government-sponsored famines, not to mention
civil strife, riots and murders. Altogether, we have killed a staggering
100 million to 200 million of our own kind. But over the century, about
10 billion lives were lived — which means that just 1 to 2 percent of
the world's population died violently. Those lucky enough to be born in
the 20th century were on average 10 times less likely to come to a
grisly end than those born in the Stone Age. And since 2000, the United
Nations tells us, the risk of violent death has fallen even further, to
As this process unfolded, humanity prospered. Ten thousand years ago,
when the planet's population was 6 million or so, people lived about 30
years on average and supported themselves on the equivalent income of
about $2 per day. Now, more than 7 billion people are on Earth, living
more than twice as long (an average of 67 years), and with an average
income of $25 per day.
This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began
incorporating the losers into larger societies. The victors found that
the only way to make these larger societies work was by developing
stronger governments; and one of the first things these governments had
to do, if they wanted to stay in power, was suppress violence among
The men who ran these governments were no saints. They cracked down on
killing not out of the goodness of their hearts but because well-behaved
subjects were easier to govern and tax than angry, murderous ones. The
unintended consequence, though, was that they kick-started the process
through which rates of violent death plummeted between the Stone Age and
the 20th century.
This process was brutal. Whether it was the Romans in Britain or the
British in India, pacification could be just as bloody as the savagery
it stamped out. Yet despite the Hitlers, Stalins and Maos, over 10,000
years, war made states, and states made peace.
War may well be the worst way imaginable to create larger, more peaceful
societies, but the depressing fact is that it is pretty much the only
way . If only the Roman Empire could have been created without killing
millions of Gauls and Greeks, if the United States could have been built
without killing millions of Native Americans, if these and countless
conflicts could have been resolved by discussion instead of force. But
this did not happen. People almost never give up their freedoms —
including, at times, the right to kill and impoverish one another —
unless forced to do so; and virtually the only force strong enough to
bring this about has been defeat in war or fear that such a defeat is
The civilizing process also was uneven. Violence spiked up and down. For
1,000 years — beginning before Attila the Hun in the AD 400s and ending
after Genghis Khan in the 1200s — mounted invaders from the steppes
actually threw the process of pacification into reverse everywhere from
China to Europe, with war breaking down larger, safer societies into
smaller, more dangerous ones. Only in the 1600s did big, settled states
find an answer to the nomads, in the shape of guns that delivered enough
firepower to stop horsemen in their tracks. Combining these guns with
new, oceangoing ships, Europeans exported unprecedented amounts of
violence around the world. The consequences were terrible; and yet they
created the largest societies yet seen, driving rates of violent death
lower than ever before.
By the 18th century, vast European empires straddled the oceans, and
Scottish philosopher Adam Smith saw that something new was happening.
For millennia, conquest, plunder and taxes had made rulers rich, but
now, Smith realized, markets were so big that a new path to the wealth
of nations was opening. Taking it, however, was complicated. Markets
would work best if governments got out of them, leaving people to truck
and barter; but markets would only work at all if governments got into
them, enforcing their rules and keeping trade free. The solution, Smith
implied, was not a Leviathan but a kind of super-Leviathan that would
police global trade.
After Napoleon's defeat in 1815, this was precisely what the world got.
Britain was the only industrialized economy on Earth, and it projected
power as far away as India and China. Because its wealth came from
exporting goods and services, it used its financial and naval muscle to
deter rivals from threatening the international order. Wars did not end
— the United States and China endured civil strife, European armies
marched deep into Africa and India — but overall, for 99 years, the
planet grew more peaceful and prosperous under Britain's eye.
However, the Pax Britannica rested on a paradox. To sell its goods and
services, Britain needed other countries to be rich enough to buy them.
That meant that, like it or not, Britain had to encourage other nations
to industrialize and accumulate wealth. The economic triumph of the
19th-century British world system, however, was simultaneously a
strategic disaster. Thanks in significant part to British capital and
expertise, the United States and Germany had turned into industrial
giants by the 1870s, and doubts began growing about Britain's ability to
police the global order. The more successful the globocop was at doing
its job, the more difficult that job became.
By the 1910s, some of the politicians who had so admired Angell's "Great
Illusion" had concluded that war was no longer the worst of their
options. The violence they unleashed bankrupted Britain and threw the
world into chaos. Not until 1989 did the wars and almost wars finally
end, when the Soviet collapse left the United States as a much more
powerful policeman than Britain had ever been.
Like its predecessor, the United States oversaw a huge expansion of
trade, intimidated other countries into not making wars that would
disturb the world order, and drove rates of violent death even lower.
But again like Britain, America made its money by helping trading
partners become richer, above all China, which, since 2000, has looked
increasingly like a potential rival. The cycle that Britain experienced
may be in store for the United States as well, unless Washington
embraces its role as the only possible globocop in an increasingly
unstable world — a world with far deadlier weapons than Britain could
have imagined a century ago.
American attitudes toward government are therefore not just some Beltway
debate; they matter to everyone on Earth. "Government," Ronald Reagan
assured Americans in his first inaugural address, "is not the solution
to our problem; government is the problem." Reagan's great fear — that
bloated government would stifle individual freedom — shows just how far
the continuing debates over the merits of big and small government have
taken us from the horrors that worried Hobbes. "The 10 most dangerous
words in the English language," Reagan said
another occasion, "are 'Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to
help.' " As Hobbes could have told him, in reality the 10 scariest words
are, "There is no government and I'm here to kill you."
To people in virtually any age before our own, the only argument that
mattered was between extremely small government and no government at
all. Extremely small government meant there was at least some law and
order; no government meant that there was not.
I suspect even Reagan would have agreed. "One legislator accused me of
having a 19th-century attitude on law and order," Reagan said when he
was governor of California. "That is a totally false charge. I have an
18th-century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear
that the safety of law-abiding citizens should be one of the
government's primary concerns."
Heavy rain, thunder, lightning, while I lifted weights for over 2
hours. I saw the storm coming so planted some grass and walked along
the lake until light rain started. Then after weightlifting I walked
more in the shopping center where I decided to buy a lot of new clothes
due to deflation and many of my baggy clothes out of style. I need
skinny jeans to show off my shape. Lots of exercise, not much pain
today. I decided to prioritize health and comfort over athleticism and
difficult painful dangerous sports. Saves a lot of time too. I got a
compliment on my sun-tan yesterday, already. Spring is just starting.
Photo below shows leafs appearing. Past 2 days really taking off, to
where can't see many buildings around town. Healthy wild onions,
garlic, persimmons taste great, as do the fish from the lake all within
50 yards of the photo.
> Joe, stay safe !
NYTimes: In Poorest States, Political Stigma Is Depressing Participation in Health Law
Officials say the health care law has been stigmatized for many it could help, especially in states that are medically underserved but hostile to President Obama.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Inside the sleek hillside headquarters of Valley Health Systems, built with a grant from the health care law, two employees played an advertisement they had helped produce to promote the law's insurance coverage for young, working-class West Virginians.
The ads ran just over 100 times during the recent six-month enrollment period. But three conservative groups ran 12 times as many, to oppose the law and the local Democratic congressman who voted for it.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
The study found that 41 board members at large drug companies held leadership posts at academic medical centers. Their average compensation for serving as a company director was $312,564.
"These leaders are wearing two very important hats at the same time," said Gellad, the study's co-author. "There are a lot of benefits from academic medical centers having interactions with industry, but we can't ignore the risks."More scrutiny for UCLA's School of Medicine
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.
A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running.
The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate.
The price hikes cascaded quickly down to consumers. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
in Fresno, the rural areas around here, and most of the country. Part of
the globalist extermination agenda. Import cheap Japanese autos to kill
off Detroit autos, steel and coal companies, etc. Import cheap drugs to
mollify the unemployed thus preventing revolution. Or just throw them in
jail. Hire other criminals and legal addicts as cops and prison workers
to rape and harass their kin and neighbors. Import cheap illegal Mexican
peons to do the grunt work so as to further displace (steal the jobs of)
black and white trash. For the few teens who can pass the Army physical
exam, ship them off to crusades in the holy land to procure more drugs
and maybe kill a terrorist (rare). "Good" girls get grants to take the
ACT SAT exams over and over again, and AP classes until they get
accepted into Colleges where they accumulate student loan debts while
providing sexual services to Negro ball players. Then spend decades in
government work to repay those loans, hopefully without reproducing
(trained in safe sex from an early age). Cheaper to import more
immigrants who are gullible and easier to control than citizens.
The rich 1% reap great financial benefits from this drug, education,
government, junk food, prison, military industrial complex. With huge
piles of valuable fiat money US$ the rich buy up most available property
in US, Mexico, and worldwide. Increasing control over the media,
political system, military, courts, and all forms of power. Will be
impossible to dislodge.
McDowell County has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for
more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and
was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His
first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first
recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B.
Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty" in 1964, it was the
squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed
— Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of
thousands above a subsistence standard of living. But a half-century
later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to
have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining
along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and
communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse
and a high rate of imprisonment.
McDowell County is in a place truly left behind, from which the educated
few have fled, leaving almost no shreds of prosperity.
46% of children do not live with a biological parent. mothers and
fathers are in jail, are dead or have left,
median household income $22,000
worst childhood obesity rate
highest teenage birthrate
reeling from prescription drug abuse. The death rate from overdoses is
more than eight times the national average. Out of 115 babies born, over
40 had been exposed to drugs.
a problem widespread in rural America, the incarceration rate in West
Virginia is one of the highest in the country.
"These are good people, good families," Sheriff West, an evangelical
pastor, said of his lifelong neighbors. "But they get involved with
drugs, and the next thing you know they're getting arrested."
depending on government benefits has become a way of life, passed from
generation to generation.
47 percent of personal income in the county is from Social Security,
disability insurance, food stamps and other federal programs.
cause of the current social unraveling: the disappearance of the only
good jobs they ever knew, in coal
fewer than one in three McDowell County residents are in the labor
force. The chief effort to diversify the economy has been building prisons.
biblically divided between forces of dark and light: between the working
blue- and white-collar residents who anchor churches, schools and the
city government, and the "pill head" community.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Great spring weather. I live in a deciduous forest so we get dramatic
blossoming: dogwood, redbud, and pale green leaves all over. Very
beautiful. I may have a lot of injuries, blisters and pains but I enjoy
my 10 mile walk along the lake. I am going to be more cautious try to
quit getting hurt so much (and get more paperwork done).
I am drinking water out of the lake, boiled. Tastes much better than
city water that contains fluorine, chlorine and who knows what else.
I moved my org email back to godaddy.com 5 year contract seems to be the
best and cheapest. I am setting up a related new blog on google to
detail my plan to improve USA money banking, taxation, etc. Remarkably
the google blog is free and seems to work ok so far. All this internet
engineering stuff is tricky to setup right especially without formal
training. But price is near zero and more powerful than ever before.
I finally checked my internet bandwidth use -- it was only 10% of what I
am paying for, an overpriced ripoff that I don't like to support. I
don't use the internet very much. I have a huge backlog of real paper
work and also a lot of computer work that does not need the internet
much. I have been thinking of getting a google chromebook to use
specifically for internet related activities. Chromebooks are cheap
(subsidized by google) and can do a lot of modern work. The new HP
comes with a free T-Mobile 4G cell phone connection for when wifi is not
available. I could use that for email, banking, light use, and travel.
Then go to school or Starbucks when I want to use wifi heavy downloads
or something, like updating the computer. Rare.
I don't watch movies, play video games, or do much with images except
read news stories, and even those images do not help much. What the
world needs is better text -- like better laws, contracts, bank checks,
prices.... A word is worth a thousand pictures. I finally bought a
radio to follow news and jazz. I may even get a TV if I move to where
TV service is available. We got 0 channels here. I thought internet
was great in the early years - free and a wild west atmosphere. Now it
is crowded, regulated, monitored, a pain and often a ripoff. Time to
sell, reduce exposure and write a book on how to help others live
without so much online risk and cost.
HP Chromebook 14" with Intel Processor
4G Mobile Internet Service (200MB/month)
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
in Portland Oregon suburb. I suspect his blog is also mostly fiction
designed to entertain and then fleece the sheeple. The rich 1% can
easily afford pay those blog editors to post erroneous information that
will motivate sheeple to buy or sell either the wrong investments or at
the wrong time. In economics and finance you can often get access to the
factual data from various databases free such as the Saint Louis Federal
Reserve bank. You don't have to rely on some Journalist interpretation
of the data (which is often biased or wrong). You can read the numbers
yourself nowadays if you have internet access. Taking appropriate
university classes can help to sort through what numbers you should be
looking at for what purpose. Many studies have already been done and can
be found free.
Tyler Durden works night jobs where he sabotages companies and harms
clients. He also steals left-over drained human fat from liposuction
clinics to supplement his income through soap making and create the
ingredients for bomb manufacturing, which will be put to work later with
his fight club.
Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk ( born 1962) is an American novelist
best known as the author of the novel Fight Club, which was made into a
feature film. His paternal grandfather was Ukrainian and emigrated to
New York. Palahniuk grew up living in a mobile home in Burbank
Washington. His parents separated when he was fourteen. Palahniuk's
father began a relationship with a woman, whose ex-boyfriend murdered
the couple. Later, Palahniuk's mother died of cancer. .... Palahniuk had
been living with his boyfriend. ... In response, he made an angry audio
recording and put it on his web site, not only revealing that he was
gay,... making some fans believe that Palahniuk was embarrassed by his
homosexuality. Palahniuk now is openly gay and according to an interview
in 2008, he and his male partner, live in "a former church compound
outside Vancouver, Washington
The news portion of the site is written by a group of editors who
collectively write under the pseudonym "Tyler Durden", a character from
the novel & film Fight Club.
Readership and influence
impressing even those who say the news site is full of conspiracy theory
and "apocalyptic world view". According to Quantcast, Zero Hedge has as
of 2012 a monthly global traffic of 1.8 million people. In December
2012, Bank of America blocked its employees' access to Zero Hedge. Zero
Hedge celebrated one billion views in June 2013.
Bill Gross, the head of PIMCO, is an avid Zero Hedge reader. On August
9, 2013 he tweeted, "Gross: Strategists/writers I follow? Dalio, Durden,
Bianco, Arnott, Aitken, Santelli, Grant, Grantham,
Exposing Goldman Sachs
Zero Hedge is credited with bringing flash trading to public attention
in 2009 with a series of posts alleging that Goldman Sachs had access to
flash order information, allowing the firm to gain unfair profits. The
site contends that Goldman Sachs' alumni are at the center of a powerful
The solution is "a purifying market crash that leads to the elimination
of the big banks altogether and the reinstatement of genuine free-market
capitalism" - "Dow Zero." The site drew the attention of the mainstream
financial media and became a news source for reporters. Bloomberg News
published stories based on Zero Hedge's posts, such as "Goldman Sachs
Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine,"
NYTimes: An Apple a Day, and Other Myths
The gap grows between food folklore and science on cancer.
50th anniversary of the surgeon general's report on smoking and cancer. campaign against tobacco has been a triumph. But now that smoking is on the wane in this country, obesity is on the rise. Being fat (as opposed to eating fat), Dr. Willett proposed, may now be causing more fatal cancers than cigarettes.
Monday, April 21, 2014
fewer students, faculty, staff will make apartments near colleges
cheaper, and condos will fall in price. I lived here for college in San
Diego. Overpriced now and then, has been some inflation. But a lot
within walking distance. I can find better deals than this now having
traveled to many more states. Much better colleges. But weather in San
Diego is hard to beat.
$1069 / 1br - 468ft² - Cozy 1 bedroom, walking distance to school!
© craigslist - Map data ©OpenStreetMap
55th at Remington
*1*BR /*1*Ba*468*ft^2 apartment
laundry in bldgoff-street parking
cats are OK - purrrdogs are OK - wooof
This amazing apartment has it all! Perfect sized living area, large
windows, tons of storage, plus get FREE assigned parking, FREE ARC
membership and 20% discount on SDSU campus purchases. And you absolutely
can't beat the location! One of our most popular floor plans they go
5460 55th Street
San Diego, CA 92115
(866) ••• •••• <https://sandiego.craigslist.org/fb/4429083510>
Albert's College Apartments has it all at amazing prices! We are
conveniently located just 40 steps from San Diego State University and
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Rent Online and see Availability at http://albertscollege.mgproperties.com/
Located in the heart of SDSU right off the 8 Freeway and close to La
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Highlights/ SEO: STUDIO, ONE BEDROOM, TWO BEDROOM, THREE BEDROOM, PET
FRIENDLY, CATS, DOGS, POOLS, VIEWS, MISSION VALLEY, SDSU, SAN DIEGO
STATE UNIVERSITY, FREE GYM MEMBERSHIP, ONSITE LAUNDRY, BBQ AREA, WALKING
DISTANCE TO CLASS, CAMPUS, 24 HOUR MAINTENANCE, CENTRAL LOCATION, DOWNTOWN
Albert's College Apartments
5460 55th Street
San Diego, CA 92115
Sine wave oscillation. Surprisingly there were many warm days even in
the cold winter depending if the wind blew from the north or south. One
advantage to a central location is that weather tends not to get too hot
or too cold. If you don't like the weather, just wait a few hours and
the weather will reverse, often the same day. We had a 70 degree
temperature drop in one day in January.
The 1936 heat wave followed one of the coldest winters on record.
The 1936 North American heat wave is the most severe heat wave in the
modern history of North America. It took place in the middle of the
Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and caused catastrophic
human suffering and an enormous economic toll. The death toll exceeded
5,000, and huge numbers of crops were destroyed by the heat and lack of
moisture. Many people suffered from heat stroke and heat exhaustion,
particularly the elderly. Unlike today, air conditioning was in the
early stages of development and was therefore absent from houses and
commercial buildings. Many of the deaths occurred in high population
density areas of Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland,
Toronto and other urban areas. Farmers across the continent saw crop
failure, causing corn and wheat prices to rise quickly. Droughts and
heat waves were common in the 1930s.
The 1936 North American cold wave ranks among the most intense cold
waves of the 1930s. The states of the Midwest United States were hit the
hardest. February 1936 was one of the coldest months recorded in the
Midwest. The states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota saw
their coldest month on record. What was so significant about this cold
wave was that the 1930s had some of the mildest winters in the US
history. In addition to one of the coldest winters in the 1930s, the
cold wave was followed by one of the warmest summers on record, the 1936
North American heat wave. Wind chills in some locations were near −100
°F. This intense cold compelled some people to wear seven layers of
clothing before going outdoors.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
great condition, despite being 50 years old. It is just a matter of
maintenance and not crashing it. People don't need new cars all the
time, just learn how to maintain a vehicle. Better yet get a horse -
better for the drivers and better for the environment. Amish use horses
and have less allergies, Alzheimer's, autism, and diseases of all sorts!
where they were exploited by the Rich 1% like the Mexicans of today, and
abused by crooked cops. Big Government saves the day with relocation
camps where they were safer from exploitation, according to the novel.
The problem with this story is that it ignores the role of Big
Government in causing the dust bowl over decades. The federal government
encouraged Okies to homestead and farm on fragile desert land that only
gets 10 inches of rain per year. The grasses that were plowed up were
needed to hold the fragile topsoil in place. Best use for such land is
Bison, cattle ranching (the use today -- panhandles stink to the high
I remember a row of those big 3 story cheap government apartment /
tenament buildings thrown up hastily and later torn down. Had a junk
food store across the street with gas pumps and a crummy garage the
poorest street in the Porterville Barrio, Orange street 4 blocks east of
the High School.
Okies in California: Upon arrival, they find little hope of making a
decent wage, as there is an oversupply of labor, a lack of laborers'
rights, and the big corporate farmers are in collusion, while smaller
farmers are suffering from collapsing prices. A gleam of hope is
presented at Weedpatch Camp, one of the clean, utility-supplied camps
operated by the Resettlement Administration, a New Deal agency that has
been established to help the migrants, but there is not enough money and
space to care for all of the needy. As a Federal facility, the camp is
also off-limits to California deputies who constantly harass and provoke
Steinbeck wrote: "I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards
who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects]." He
famously said, "I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags,"
and this work won a large following among the working class due to
Steinbeck's sympathy to the workers' movement
"Steinbeck was attacked as a propagandist and a socialist from both the
left and the right of the political spectrum. The most fervent of these
attacks came from the Associated Farmers of California; they were
displeased with the book's depiction of California farmers' attitudes
and conduct toward the migrants. They denounced the book as a 'pack of
lies' and labeled it 'communist propaganda'. Some accused Steinbeck of
exaggerating camp conditions to make a political point. Steinbeck had
visited the camps well before publication of the novel and argued their
inhumane nature destroyed the settlers' spirit.
unsuitable for European-style agriculture; the region was known as the
Great American Desert. Settlement was encouraged by the Homestead Act of
1862. With the end of the Civil War in 1865 and the completion of the
First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, waves of new immigrants arrived
in the Great Plains, and cultivation increased significantly. An
unusually wet period in the Great Plains mistakenly led settlers and the
federal government to believe that "rain follows the plow" (a popular
phrase among real estate promoters) and that the climate of the region
had changed permanently. The United States government expanded on the
160 acres offered under the Homestead Act—granting 640 acres to
homesteaders in western Nebraska under the Kinkaid Act and 320 elsewhere
in the Great Plains under the Enlarged Homestead Act. Waves of European
settlers arrived in the plains at the beginning of the 20th century.
Unusually wet weather seemingly confirmed a previously held opinion that
the "formerly" semiarid area could support large-scale agriculture,
which was readily enabled by technological improvements such as
mechanized plowing and mechanized harvesting. The Russian Revolution and
World War I increased agricultural prices, which further encouraged
farmers to dramatically increase cultivation.
Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged
the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the
1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dry land farming methods to
prevent wind erosion. Extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of
the Great Plains during the previous decade had displaced the native,
deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during
periods of drought and high winds. Rapid mechanization of farm
implements, especially small gasoline tractors and widespread use of the
combine harvester, significantly impacted decisions to farm on arid
grassland much of which received no more than 10 inches of precipitation
per year. The unanchored soil turned to dust that the prevailing winds
blew away in clouds that blackened the sky. These choking billows of
dust – named "black blizzards" or "black rollers" – reached such East
Coast cities as New York City and Washington, D.C. and often reduced
visibility to a yard or less. In many regions, over 75% of the topsoil
was blown away by the end of the 1930s.
More than 500,000 Americans were left homeless. Parents were forced to
pack up "jalopies" with their families and a few personal belongings,
and head west in search of work. Some residents of the Plains,
especially in Kansas and Oklahoma, fell ill and died of dust pneumonia
or malnutrition. The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in
American history within a short period of time. Between 1930 and 1940,
approximately 3.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states;
With their land barren and homes seized in foreclosure, many farm
families were forced to leave.
one-eighth of California's population is of Okie heritage.
During President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first 100 days in office in
1933, governmental programs designed to conserve soil and restore the
ecological balance of the nation were implemented. established the Soil
Erosion Service in August 1933. the Federal Surplus Relief Corporation
(FSRC) was created after more than six million pigs were slaughtered to
stabilize prices. The pigs were sent to slaughterhouses and the meat
packed and distributed to the poor and hungry. Our program – we can
prove it – saved the lives of millions of head of livestock. They are
still on the range, and other millions of heads are today canned and
ready for this country to eat." The FSRC diverted agricultural
commodities to relief organizations. Apples, beans, canned beef, flour
and pork products were distributed through local relief channels. Cotton
goods were later included, to clothe the needy. In 1935, the federal
government formed a Drought Relief Service (DRS) to coordinate relief
activities. Although it was difficult for farmers to give up their
herds, the cattle slaughter program helped many of them avoid
bankruptcy. "The government cattle buying program was a blessing to many
farmers, as they could not afford to keep their cattle, and the
government paid a better price than they could obtain in local markets."
the cougar will jump you from behind before you know it is there, before
can draw your gun. Cougars do not attack pairs of people or people
walking large dogs such as a greyhound. Gray wolf is the top predator
in North America. If a mountain lion sees a greyhound its instincts
tell it to flee ASAP before the wolf pack can gang up on it.
Cougars are more of a California problem (range map below). Occasionally
a cougar will wander as far east as Missouri where a grey wolf has also
been spotted, last year. But Missouri does not have any breeding pairs
of big predators nowadays. Does not even seem to have many coyotes, or
rabid foxes which were all over the places I lived in Northern
California and Nevada. Where I walk now is crowded with people,
workers, tourists, and has a highway and frontage road between me and
the forest where wild animals live. Deer all over the place and smaller
animals everywhere -- mink, groundhog, rabbit,...
Greyhound is a strong healthy breed without the many genetic problems of
most pure breeds. The greyhound can frighten away obnoxious small dogs
that you may encounter on your walks. You can get one cheap from
"greyhound rescue" organizations that deal with overproduction of the
racing industry. Greyhounds sleep most of the time but need to get out
once a day for exercise -- a fast run. Unfortunately greyhounds are too
docile to be a watchdog -- it will make friends with any human. Use an
Yorkshire terrier for a watchdog. Or maybe some geese that can also eat
your weeds. Or go to electronics.
An excellent stalk-and-ambush predator, the cougar pursues a wide
variety of prey: deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep, cattle, horses,
sheep. While large, it is not always the apex predator in its range,
yielding to the jaguar, gray wolf, American black bear, and grizzly
bear. It is reclusive and mostly avoids people. Fatal attacks on humans
are rare, The cat has many names in English, of which cougar, puma and
mountain lion are popular.
those lacking a high 'prey drive' will be able to coexist happily with
toy dog breeds and cats. Many owners describe their Greyhounds as "45
mile per hour couch potatoes".
Greyhounds live most happily as pets in quiet environments
Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) was established in 1987 for the purpose
of finding homes for ex-racing greyhounds, and educating the public on
the suitability and availability of greyhounds as pets. GPA has adopted
out over 65,000 greyhounds